Infomotions, Inc.éiji / Griffis, William Elliot, 1843-1928

Author: Griffis, William Elliot, 1843-1928
Title: éiji
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): buddhism; shint; japanese; japan; buddhist; buddha; chinese; sect; japanese buddhism; china; religion; saddharma pundarika
Contributor(s): Singleton, Esther, -1930 [Editor]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 122,583 words (average) Grade range: 12-15 (college) Readability score: 46 (average)
Identifier: etext15516
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Project Gutenberg's The Religions of Japan, by William Elliot Griffis

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Title: The Religions of Japan
       From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji

Author: William Elliot Griffis

Release Date: March 31, 2005 [EBook #15516]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by Nathan Strom, Frank van Drogen, David King, and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team






"I came not to destroy, but to fulfil."--THE SON OF MAN









This book makes no pretence of furnishing a mirror of contemporary
Japanese religion. Since 1868, Japan has been breaking the chains of her
intellectual bondage to China and India, and the end is not yet. My
purpose has been, not to take a snap-shot photograph, but to paint a
picture of the past. Seen in a lightning-flash, even a tempest-shaken
tree appears motionless. A study of the same organism from acorn to
seed-bearing oak, reveals not a phase but a life. It is something like
this--"_to_ the era of Meiji" (A.D. 1868-1894+) which I have essayed.
Hence I am perfectly willing to accept, in advance, the verdict of smart
inventors who are all ready to patent a brand-new religion for Japan,
that my presentation is "antiquated."

The subject has always been fascinating, despite its inherent
difficulties and the author's personal limitations. When in 1807, the
polite lads from Satsuma and Ki[=o]to came to New Brunswick, N.J., they
found at least one eager questioner, a sophomore, who, while valuing
books, enjoyed at first hand contemporaneous human testimony.

When in 1869, to Rutgers College, came an application through Rev. Dr.
Guido F. Verbeck, of T[=o]ki[=o], from Fukui for a young man to organize
schools upon the American principle in the province of Echizen
(ultra-Buddhistic, yet already so liberally leavened by the ethical
teachings of Yokoi Heishiro), the Faculty made choice of the author.
Accepting the honor and privilege of being one of the "beginners of a
better time," I caught sight of peerless Fuji and set foot on Japanese
soil December 29, 1870. Amid a cannonade of new sensations and fresh
surprises, my first walk was taken in company with the American
missionary (once a marine in Perry's squadron, who later invented the
jin-riki-sha), to see a hill-temple and to study the wayside shrines
around Yokohama. Seven weeks' stay in the city of Yedo--then rising out
of the debris of feudalism to become the Imperial capital, T[=o]ki[=o],
enabled me to see some things now so utterly vanished, that by some
persons their previous existence is questioned. One of the most
interesting characters I met personally was Fukuzawa, the reformer, and
now "the intellectual father of half of the young men of ... Japan." On
the day of the battle of Uyeno, July 11, 1868, this far-seeing patriot
and inquiring spirit deliberately decided to keep out of the strife, and
with four companions of like mind, began the study of Wayland's Moral
Science. Thus were laid the foundations of his great school, now a

Journeying through the interior, I saw many interesting phenomena of
popular religions which are no longer visible. At Fukui in Echizen, one
of the strongholds of Buddhism, I lived nearly a year, engaged in
educational work, having many opportunities of learning both the
scholastic and the popular forms of Shint[=o] and of Buddhism. I was
surrounded by monasteries, temples, shrines, and a landscape richly
embroidered with myth and legend. During my four years' residence and
travel in the Empire, I perceived that in all things the people of Japan
were _too_ religious.

In seeking light upon the meaning of what I saw before me and in
penetrating to the reasons behind the phenomena, I fear I often made
myself troublesome to both priests and lay folk. While at work in
T[=o]ki[=o], though under obligation to teach only physical science, I
voluntarily gave instruction in ethics to classes in the University. I
richly enjoyed this work, which, by questioning and discussion, gave me
much insight into the minds of young men whose homes were in every
province of the Empire. In my own house I felt free to teach to all
comers the religion of Jesus, his revelation of the fatherhood of God
and the ethics based on his life and words. While, therefore, in
studying the subject, I have great indebtedness to acknowledge to
foreigners, I feel that first of all I must thank the natives who taught
me so much both by precept and practice. Among the influences that have
helped to shape my own creed and inspire my own life, have been the
beautiful lives and noble characters of Japanese officers, students and
common people who were around and before me. Though freely confessing
obligation to books, writings, and artistic and scholastic influences, I
hasten first to thank the people of Japan, whether servants, superior
officers, neighbors or friends. He who seeks to learn what religion is
from books only, will learn but half.

Gladly thanking those, who, directly or indirectly, have helped me with
light from the written or printed page, I must first of all gratefully
express my especial obligations to those native scholars who have read
to me, read for me, or read with me their native literature.

The first foreign students of Japanese religions were the Dutch, and the
German physicians who lived with them, at Deshima. Kaempfer makes
frequent references, with test and picture, in his Beschryving van
Japan. Von Siebold, who was an indefatigable collector rather than a
critical student, in Vol. V. of his invaluable _Archiv_ (Pantheon von
Nippon), devoted over forty pages to the religions of Japan. Dr. J.J.
Hoffman translated into Dutch, with notes and explanations, the
Butsu-z[=o]-dzu-i, which, besides its 163 figures of Buddhist holy men,
gives a bibliography of the works mentioned by the native author. In
visiting the Japanese museum on the Rapenburg, Leyden, one of the
oldest, best and most intelligently arranged in Europe, I have been
interested with the great work done by the Dutchmen, during two
centuries, in leavening the old lump for that transformation which in
our day as New Japan, surprises the world. It requires the shock of
battle to awaken the western nations to that appreciation of the racial
and other differences between the Japanese and Chinese, which the
student has already learned.

The first praises, however, are to be awarded to the English scholars,
Messrs. Satow, Aston, Chamberlain, and others, whose profound researches
in Japanese history, language and literature have cleared the path for
others to tread in. I have tried to acknowledge my debt to them in both
text and appendix.

To several American missionaries, who despite their trying labors have
had the time and the taste to study critically the religions of Japan, I
owe thanks and appreciation. With rare acuteness and learning, Rev. Dr.
George Wm. Knox has opened on its philosophical, and Rev. Dr. J.H.
DeForest on its practical side, the subject of Japanese Confucianism. By
his lexicographical work, Dr. J.C. Hepburn has made debtors to him both
the native and the alien. To our knowledge of Buddhism in Japan, Dr.
J.C. Berry and Rev. J.L. Atkinson have made noteworthy contributions. I
have been content to quote as authorities and illustrations, the names
of those who have thus wrought on the soil, rather than of those, who,
even though world-famous, have been but slightly familiar with the
ethnic and the imported faith of Japan. The profound misunderstandings
of Buddhism, which some very eminent men of Europe have shown in their
writings, form one of the literary curiosities of the world.

In setting forth these Morse lectures, I have purposely robbed my pages
of all appearance of erudition, by using as few uncouth words as
possible, by breaking up the matter into paragraphs of moderate length,
by liberally introducing subject-headings in italics, and by relegating
all notes to the appendix. Since writing the lectures, and even while
reading the final proofs, I have ransacked my library to find as many
references, notes, illustrations and authorities as possible, for the
benefit of the general student. I have purposely avoided recondite and
inaccessible books and have named those easily obtainable from American
or European publishers, or from Messrs. Kelly & Walsh, of Yokohama,
Japan. In using oriental words I have followed, in the main, the
spelling of the Century Dictionary. The Japanese names are expressed
according to that uniform system of transliteration used by Hepburn,
Satow and other standard writers, wherein consonants have the same
general value as in English (except that initial g is always hard),
while the vowels are pronounced as in Italian. Double vowels must be
pronounced double, as in Meiji (m[=a]-[=e]-j[=e]); those which are long
are marked, as in [=o] or [=u]; i before o or u is short. Most of the
important Japanese, as well as Sanskrit and Chinese, terms used, are
duly expressed and defined in the Century Dictionary.

I wish also to thank especially my friends, Riu Watanabe, Ph.D., of
Cornell University, and William Nelson Noble, Esq., of Ithaca. The
former kindly assisted me with criticisms and suggestions, while to the
latter, who has taken time to read all the proofs, I am grateful for
considerable improvement in the English form of the sentences.

In closing, I trust that whatever charges may be brought against me by
competent critics, lack of sympathy will not be one. I write in sight of
beautiful Lake Cayuga, on the fertile and sloping shores of which in old
time the Iroquois Indian confessed the mysteries of life. Having planted
his corn, he made his pregnant squaw walk round the seed-bed in hope of
receiving from the Source of life increased blessing and sustenance for
body and mind. Between such a truly religious act of the savage, and
that of the Christian sage, Joseph Henry, who uncovered his head while
investigating electro-magnetism to "ask God a question," or that of
Samuel F.B. Morse, who sent as his first telegraphic message "What hath
God wrought," I see no essential difference. All three were acts of
faith and acknowledgment of a power greater than man. Religion is one,
though religions are many. As Principal Fairbairn, my honored
predecessor in the Morse lectureship, says: "What we call superstition
of the savage is not superstition _in him_. Superstition is the
perpetuation of a low form of belief along with a higher knowledge....
Between fetichism and Christian faith there is a great distance, but a
great affinity--the recognition of a supra-sensible life."

"For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing
of the sons of God.... The creation itself shall be delivered from the
bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of


ITHACA, N.Y., October 27, 1894.




Salutatory.--The Morse Lectureship and its provisions.--The Science of
Comparative Religion is Christianity's own child.--The Parliament of
Religions.--The Study of Religion most appropriate in a Theological
Seminary.--Shortening weapons and lengthening boundaries.--The right
missionary spirit that of the Master, who "came not to destroy but to
fulfil."--Characteristics of Japan.--Bird's-eye view of Japanese history
and religion.--Popularly, not three religions but one
religion.--Superstitions which are not organically parts of the
"book-religions."--The boundary line between the Creator and his
creation not visible to the pagan.--Shamanism: Fetichism.--Mythical
monsters, Kirin, Phoenix, Tortoise, Dragon.--Japanese mythical
zooelogy.--The erection of the stone fetich.--Insurance by amulets upon
house and person.--Phallicism.--Tree-worship.--Serpent-worship.--These
unwritten superstitions condition the "book-religions."--Removable by
science and a higher religion.



Japan is young beside China and Korea.--Japanese history is
comparatively modern.--The oldest documents date from A.D. 712.--The
Japanese archipelago inhabited before the Christian era.--Faith, worship
and ritual are previous to written espression.--The Kojiki, Many[=o]shu
and Norito.--Tendency of the pupil nations surrounding China to antedate
their civilization.--Origin of the Japanese people and their
religion.--Three distinct lines of tradition from Tsukushi, Idzumo and
Yamato.--War of the invaders against the aborigines--Mikadoism is the
heart of Shint[=o].--Illustrations from the liturgies.--Phallicism among
the aborigines and common people.--The mind or mental climate of the
primaeval man.--Representation of male gods by emblems.--Objects of
worship and _ex-voto_.--Ideas of creation.--The fire-myth,
Prometheus.--Comparison of Greek and Japanese mythology.--Ritual for the
quieting of the fire-god.--The fire-drill.



Origin of the Kojiki. Analysis of its opening lines--Norito.--Indecency
of the myths of the Kojiki.--Modern rationalistic interpretations--Life
in prehistoric Japan.--Character and temperament of the people then and
now.--Character of the kami or gods.--Hades.--Ethics.--The Land of the
Gods.--The barbarism of the Yamato conquerors an improvement upon the
savagery of the aborigines.--Cannibalism and human sacrifices.--The
makers of the God-way captured and absorbed the religion of the
aborigines.--A case of syncretism.--Origin of evil in bad
gods.--Pollution was sin.--Class of offences enumerated in the
norito.--Professor Kumi's contention that Mikadoism usurped a simple
worship of Heaven.--Difference between the ancient Chinese and ancient
Japanese cultus.--Development of Shint[=o] arrested by
Buddhism.--Temples and offerings.--The tori-i.--Pollution and
purification.--Prayer.--Hirata's ordinal and specimen prayers.--To the
common people the sun is a god.--Prayers to myriads of gods.--Summary of
Shint[=o].--Swallowed up in the Riy[=o]bu system.--Its modern
revival.--Keichin.--Kada Adzumar[=o].--Mabuchi, Motooeri.--Hirata.--In
1870, Shint[=o] is again made the state religion.--Purification of
Riy[=o]bu temples.--Politico-religious lectures.--Imperial
rescript.--Reverence to the Emperor's photograph.--Judgment upon
Shint[=o].--The Christian's ideal of Yamato-damashii.



In what respects Confucius was unique as a teacher.--Outline of his
life.--The canon.--Primitive Chinese faith a sort of monotheism.--How
the sage modified it.--History of Confucianism until its entrance into
Japan.--Outline of the intellectual and political history of the
Japanese.--Rise of the Samurai class.--Shifting of emphasis from filial
piety to loyalty.--Prevalence of suicide in Japan.--Confucianism has
deeply tinged the ideas of the Japanese.--Great care necessary in
seeking equivalents in English for the terms used in the Chino-Japanese
ethics; e.g., the emperor, "the father of the people."--Impersonality of
Japanese speech.--Christ and Confucius.--"Love" and
"reverence."--Exemplars of loyalty.--The Forty-seven R[=o]nins.--The
second relation.--The family in Chinese Asia and in Christendom.--The
law of filial piety and the daughter.--The third relation.--Theory of
courtship and marriage.--Chastity.--Jealousy.--Divorce.--Instability of
the marriage bond.--The fourth relation.--The elder and the younger
brother.--The house or family everything, the individual nothing.--The
fifth relation.--The ideas of Christ and those of Confucius.--The Golden
and the Gilded rule.--Lao Tsze and Kung.--Old Japan and the
alien.--Commodore Perry and Professor Hayashi.



Harmony of the systems of Confucius and Buddha in Japan during a
thousand years.--Revival of learning in the seventeenth century.--Exodus
of the Chinese scholars on the fall of the Ming dynasty.--Their
dispersion and work in Japan.--Founding of schools of the new Chinese
learning.--For two and a half centuries the Japanese mind has been
moulded by the new Confucianism.--Survey of its rise and
developments.--Four stages in the intellectual history of China.--The
populist movement in the eleventh century.--The literary
controversy.--The philosophy of the Cheng brothers and of Chu Hi, called
in Japan Tei-Shu system.--In Buddhism the Japanese were startling
innovators, in philosophy they were docile pupils.--Paucity of Confucian
or speculative literature in Japan.--A Chinese wall built around the
Japanese intellect.--Yelo orthodoxy.--Features of the Tei-Shu
system.--Not agnostic but pantheistic.--Its influence upon
historiography.--Ki (spirit) Ri (way) and Ten (heaven).--The writings of
Ohashi Junzo.--Confucianism obsolescent in New Japan.--A study of
Confucianism in the interest of comparative religion.--Man's place in
the universe.--The Samurai's ideal, obedience.--His fearlessness in the
face of death.--Critique of the system.--The ruler and the ruled.--What
has Confucianism done for woman?--Improvement and revision of the fourth
and fifth relations.--The new view of the universe and the new mind in
New Japan. The ideal of Yamato-damashii revised and improved.



Buddha--sun myth or historic personage?--Buddhism one of the
protestantisms of the world.--Characteristics of new religions.--Survey
of the history of Indian thought.--The age of the Vedas.--The epic
age.--The rationalistic age.--Our fellow-Aryans and the story of their
conquests.--Their intellectual energy and inventions.--Systems of
philosophy.--Condition of religion at the birth of Gautama.--Outline of
his life.--He attains enlightenment or buddhahood.--In what respects
Buddhism was an old, and in what a new religion.--Did Gautama intend to
found a new religion, or return to simpler and older
faith?--Monasticism, Kharma and Nirvana,--Enthusiasm of the disciples of
the new faith.--The great schism.--The Northern Buddhists.--The
canon.--The two Yana or vehicles.--Simplicity of Southern and luxuriance
of Northern Buddhism.--Summary of the process of thought in Nepal.--The
old gods of India come back again.--Maitreya, Manjusri and
Avalokitesvara.--The Legend of Manjusri.--Separation of attributes and
creation of new Buddhas or gods.--The Dhyani
Buddhas.--Amida.--Adi-Buddhas.--Abstractions become gods.--The Tantra
system.--Outbursts of doctrine and art.--Prayer-mills.--The noble
eight-fold path of self-denial and benevolence forgotten.--Entrance of
Buddhism from Korea into Japan.--Condition of the country at that
time.--Dates and first experiences.--Soga no
Iname.--Sh[=o]toku.--Japanese pilgrims to China.--Changes wrought by the
new creed and cult.--Temples, monasteries and images.--Influence upon
the Mikado's name, rank and person, and upon Shint[=o].--Relative
influence of Buddhism in Asia and of Christianity in Europe.--The three
great characteristics of Buddhism.--How the clouds returned after the
rain.--Buddhism and Christianity confronting the problem of life.



The experience of two centuries and a half of Buddhism in
Japan.--Necessity of using more powerful means for the conversion of the
Japanese.--Popular customs nearly ineradicable.--Analogy from European
history.--Syncretism in Christian history.--In the Arabian Nights.--How
far is the process of Syncretism honest?--Examples not to be recommended
for imitation.--The problem of reconciling the Kami and the
Buddhas.--Northern Buddhism ready for the task.--The Tantra or
Yoga-chara system.--Art and its influence on the imagination.--The
sketch replaced by the illumination and monochrome by colors.--Japanese
art.--Mixed Buddhism rather than mixed Shint[=o].--K[=o]b[=o] the
wonder-worker who made all Japanese history a transfiguration of
Buddhism.--Legends about his extraordinary abilities and industry.--His
life, and studies in China.--The kata-kana syllabary.--K[=o]b[=o]o's
revelation from the Shint[=o] goddess Toyo-Uke-Bime.--The gods of Japan
were avatars of Buddha.--K[=o]b[=o]'s plan of propaganda.--Details of
the scheme.--A clearing-house of gods and Buddhas.--Relative rise and
fall of the native and the foreign deities.--Legend of Daruma.
"Riy[=o]bu Shint[=o]."--Impulse to art and art industry.--The Kami no
Michi falls into shadow.--Which religion suffered most?--Phenomenally
the victory belonged to Buddhism.--The leavening power was that of
Shint[=o].--Buddhism's fresh chapter of decay.--Influence of Riy[=o]bu
upon the Chinese ethical system in Japan.--Influence on the
Mikado.--Abdication all along the lines of Japanese life.--Ultimate
paralysis of the national intellect.--Comparison with Chinese
Buddhism.--Miracle-mongering.--No self-reforming power in Buddhism.--The
Seven Happy Gods of Fortune.--Pantheism's destruction of
boundaries.--The author's study of the popular processions in
Japan.--Masaka Do.--Swamping of history in legend.--The jewel in the



Four stages of the doctrinal development of Buddhism in Japan.--Reasons
for the formation of sects.--The Saddharma Pundarika.--Shastras and
Sutras.--The Ku-sha sect.--Book of the Treasury of Metaphysics.--The
J[=o]-jitsu sect, its founder and its doctrines.--The Ris-shu or Viyana
sect.--Japanese pilgrims to China.--The Hos-s[=o] sect and its
doctrines.--The three grades of disciples.--The San-ron or Three-shastra
sect and its tenets.--The Middle Path.--The Kegon sect.--The
Unconditioned, or realistic pantheism.--The Chinese or Tendai sect.--Its
scriptures and dogmas.--Buddhahood attainable in the present
body.--Vagradrodhi.--The Yoga-chara system.--The "old sects."--Reaction
against excessive idol-making.--The Zen sect.--Labor-saving devices in
Buddhism.--Making truth apparent by one's own thought.--Transmission of
the Zen doctrine.--History of Zen Shu.



The J[=o]-d[=o] or Pure Land sect.--Substitution of faith in Amida for
the eight-fold Path.--Succession of the propagators of true
doctrine.--Zend[=o] and H[=o]-nen.--The Japanese path-finder to the Pure
Land.--Doctrine of J[=o]-d[=o].--Buddhistic influence on the Japanese
language.--Incessant repetition of prayers.--The Pure Land in the
West.--The Buddhist doctrine of justification by faith.--H[=o]-nen's
universalism.--Tendency of doctrinal development after
H[=o]-nen.--"Reformed" Buddhism.--Synergism _versus_ salvation by faith
only.--Life of Shinran.--Posthumous honors.--Policy and aim of the Shin
sect, methods and scriptures.



The missionary history of Japanese Buddhism is the history of
Japan.--The first organized religion of the Japanese.--Professor Basil
Hall Chamberlain's testimony--A picture of primeval life in the
archipelago.--What came in the train of the new religion from "the
West". Missionary civilizers, teachers, road-makers, improvers of diet.
Language of flowers and gardens.--The house and home.--Architecture--The
imperial capital--Hiyeizan.--Love of natural scenery.--Pilgrimages and
their fruits.--The Japanese aesthetic.--Art and decoration in the
temples.--Exterior resemblances between the Roman form of Christianity
and of Buddhism.--Quotation from "The Mikado's Empire."--Internal vital
differences.--Enlightenment and grace.--Ingwa and love.--Luxuriance of
the art of Northern Buddhism.--Variety in individual treatment.--Place
of the temple in the life of Old Japan.--The protecting trees.--The bell
and its note.--The graveyard and the priests' hold upon it.--Japanese
Buddhism as a political power.--Its influence upon military
history.--Abbots on horseback and monks in armor.--Battles between the
Shin and Zen sects.--Nobunaga.--Influence of Buddhism in literature and
education.--The temple school.--The _kana_ writing.--Survey and critique
of Buddhist history in Japan.--Absence of organized charities.--Regard
for animal and disregard for human life.--The Eta.--The Aino.--Attitude
to women.--Nuna and numerics.--Polygamy and concubinage.--Buddhism
compared with Shint[=o].--Influence upon morals.--The First Cause.--Its
leadership among the sects.--Unreality of Amida Buddha.--Nichiren.--His
life and opinions.--Idols and avatars.--The favorite scripture of the
sect, the Saddharma Pundarika.--Its central dogma, everything in the
universe capable of Buddha-ship.--The Salvation Army of
Buddhism.--K[=o]b[=o]'s leaven working.--Buddhism ceases to be an
intellectual force.--The New Buddhism.--Are the Japanese eager for



The many-sided story of Japanese Christianity.--One hundred years of
intercourse between Japan and Europe.--State of Japan at the
introduction of Portuguese Christianity.--Xavier and Anjiro.--Xavier at
Ki[=o]to and in Bungo.--Nobunaga and the Buddhists.--High-water mark of
Christianity.--Hideyoshi and the invasion of Korea.--Kato and
Konishi.--Persecutions.--Arrival of the Spanish friars.--Their violation
of good faith.--Spirit of the Jesuits and Franciscans.--Crucifixion on
the bamboo cross.--Hideyori.--Kato Kiyomasa.--The Dutch in the Eastern
seas.--Will Adams.--Iyeyas[)u] suspects designs against the sovereignty
of Japan.--The Christian religion outlawed.--Hidetada follows up the
policy of Iyeyas[)u], excludes aliens, and shuts up the country.--The
uprising of the Christians at Shimabara in 1637.--Christianity buried
from sight.--Character of the missionaries and the form of the faith
introduced by them.--Noble lives and ideals.--The spirit of the
Inquisition in Japan.--Political animus and complexion.



Policy of the Japanese government after the suppression of
Christianity.--Insulation of Japan.--The Hollanders at
Deshima.--Withdrawal of the English.--Relations with Korea.--Policy of
inclusion.--"A society impervious to foreign ideas."--Life within
stunted limits.--Canons of art and literature.--Philosophy made an
engine of government.--Esoteric law.--Social waste of
humanity.--Attempts to break down the wall--External and
internal.--Seekers after God.--The goal of the pilgrims.--The Deshima
Dutchman as pictured by enemies and rivals, _versus_ reality and
truth.--Eager spirits groping after God.--Morning stars of the Japanese
reformation.--Yokoi Heishiro.--The anti-Christian edicts.--The Buddhist
Inquisitors.--The Shin-gaku or New Learning movement.--The story of
nineteenth century Christianity, subterranean and interior before being
phenomenal.--Sabbath-day service on the U.S.S. Mississippi.--The first
missionaries.--Dr. J.C. Hepburn--Healing and the Bible.--Yedo becomes
T[=o]ki[=o].--Despatch of the Embassy round the world.--Eyes
opened.--The Acts of the Apostles in Japan.




    "The investigation of the beginnings of a religion is never the
    work of infidels, but of the most reverent and conscientious

    "We, the forty million souls of Japan, standing firmly and
    persistently upon the basis of international justice, await
    still further manifestations as to the morality of
    Christianity,"--Hiraii, of Japan.

    "When the Creator [through intermediaries that were apparently
    animals] had finished treating this world of men, the good and
    the bad Gods were all mixed together promiscuously, and began
    disputing for the possession of this world."--The Aino Story of
    the Creation.

    "If the Japanese have few beast stories, the Ainos have
    _apparently_ no popular tales of heroes ... The Aino mythologies
    ... lack all connection with morality.... Both lack priests and
    prophets.... Both belong to a very primitive stage of mental
    development ... Excepting stories ... and a few almost metreless
    songs, the Ainos have no other literature at all."--Aino

    "I asked the earth, and it answered, 'I am not He;' and
    whatsoever are therein made the same confession. I asked the sea
    and the deep and the creeping things that lived, and they
    replied, 'We are not thy God; seek higher than we.' ... And I
    answered unto all things which stand about the door of my flesh,
    'Ye have told me concerning my God, that ye are not he; tell me
    something about him.' And with a loud voice they explained, 'It
    is He who hath made us!'"--Augustine's Confessions.

    "Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the
    shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with
    night; that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them
    out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name."--Amos.

    "That which hath been made was life in Him."--John.


The Morse Lectureship and the Study of Comparative

As a graduate of the Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York,
in the Class of 1877, your servant received and accepted with pleasure
the invitation of the President and Board of Trustees to deliver a
course of lectures upon the religions of Japan. In that country and in
several parts of it, I lived from 1870 to 1874. I was in the service
first of the feudal daimi[=o] of Echizen and then of the national
government of Japan, helping to introduce that system of public schools
which is now the glory of the country. Those four years gave me
opportunities for close and constant observation of the outward side of
the religions of Japan, and facilities for the study of the ideas out of
which worship springs. Since 1867, however, when first as a student in
Rutgers College at New Brunswick, N.J., I met and instructed those
students from the far East, who, at risk of imprisonment and death had
come to America for the culture of Christendom, I have been deeply
interested in the study of the Japanese people and their thoughts.

To attempt a just and impartial survey of the religions of Japan may
seem a task that might well appall even a life-long Oriental scholar.
Yet it may be that an honest purpose, a deep sympathy and a gladly
avowed desire to help the East and the West, the Japanese and the
English-speaking people, to understand each other, are not wholly
useless in a study of religion, but for our purpose of real value. These
lectures are upon the Morse[1] foundation which has these specifications
written out by the founder:

    The general subject of the lectures I desire to be: "The
    Relation of the Bible to any of the Sciences, as Geography,
    Geology, History, and Ethnology, ... and the relation of the
    facts and truths contained in the Word of God, to the
    principles, methods, and aims of any of the sciences."

Now, among the sciences which we must call to our aid are those of
geography and geology, by which are conditioned history and ethnology of
which we must largely treat; and, most of all, the science of
Comparative Religion.

This last is Christianity's own child. Other sciences, such as geography
and astronomy, may have been born among lands and nations outside of and
even before Christendom. Other sciences, such as geology, may have had
their rise in Christian time and in Christian lands, their foundation
lines laid and their main processes illustrated by Christian men, which
yet cannot be claimed by Christianity as her children bearing her own
likeness and image; but the science of Comparative Religion is the
direct offspring of the religion of Jesus. It is a distinctively
Christian science. "It is so because it is a product of Christian
civilization, and because it finds its impulse in that freedom of
inquiry which Christianity fosters."[2] Christian scholars began the
investigations, formulated the principles, collected the materials and
reared the already splendid fabric of the science of Comparative
Religion, because the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify
this. Jesus bade his disciples search, inquire, discern and compare.
Paul, the greatest of the apostolic Christian college, taught: "Prove
all things; hold fast that which is good." In our day one of Christ's
loving followers[3] expressed the spirit of her Master in her favorite
motto, "Truth for authority, not authority for truth." Well says Dr.
James Legge, a prince among scholars, and translator of the Chinese
classics, who has added several portly volumes to Professor Max Mueller's
series of the "Sacred Books of the East," whose face to-day is bronzed
and whose hair is whitened by fifty years of service in southern China
where with his own hands he baptized six hundred Chinamen:[4]

    The more that a man possesses the Christian spirit, and is
    governed by Christian principle, the more anxious will he be to
    do justice to every other system of religion, and to hold his
    own without taint or fetter of bigotry.[5]

It was Christianity that, in a country where the religion of Jesus has
fullest liberty, called the Parliament of Religions, and this for
reasons clearly manifest. Only Christians had and have the requisites of
success, viz.: sufficient interest in other men and religions; the
necessary unity of faith and purpose; and above all, the brave and bold
disregard of the consequences. Christianity calls the Parliament of
Religions, following out the Divine audacity of Him who, so often,
confronting worldly wisdom and priestly cunning, said to his disciples,
"Think not, be not anxious, take no heed, be careful for nothing--only
for love and truth. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

Of all places therefore, the study of comparative religion is most
appropriate in a Christian theological seminary. We must know how our
fellow-men think and believe, in order to help them. It is our duty to
discover the pathways of approach to their minds and hearts. We must
show them, as our brethren and children of the same Heavenly Father, the
common ground on which we all stand. We must point them to the greater
truth in the Bible and in Christ Jesus, and demonstrate wherein both the
divinely inspired library and the truth written in a divine-human life
fulfil that which is lacking in their books and masters.

To know just how to do this is knowledge to be coveted as a most
excellent gift. An understanding of the religion of our fellow-men is
good, both for him who goes as a missionary and for him who at home
prays, "Thy kingdom come."

The theological seminary, which begins the systematic and sympathetic
study of Comparative Religion and fills the chair with a professor who
has a vital as well as academic interest in the welfare of his
fellow-men who as yet know not Jesus as Christ and Lord, is sure to lead
in effective missionary work. The students thus equipped will be
furnished as none others are, to begin at once the campaign of help and
warfare of love.

It may be that insight into and sympathy with the struggles of men who
are groping after God, if haply they may find him, will shorten the
polemic sword of the professional converter whose only purpose is
destructive hostility without tactics or strategy, or whose chief idea
of missionary success is in statistics, in blackening the character of
"the heathen," in sensational letters for home consumption and reports
properly cooked and served for the secretarial and sectarian palates.
Yet, if true in history, Greek, Roman, Japanese, it is also true in the
missionary wars, that "the race that shortens its weapons lengthens its

Apart from the wit or the measure of truth in this sentence quoted, it
is a matter of truth in the generalizations of fact that the figure of
the "sword of the spirit, which is the word of God," used by Paul, and
also the figure of the "word of God, living and active, sharper than any
two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of the soul and
spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and
intents of the heart," of the writer to the Hebrews, had for their
original in iron the victorious _gladium_ of the Roman legionary--a
weapon both short and sharp. We may learn from this substance of fact
behind the shadow of the figure a lesson for our instant application.
The disciplined Romans scorned the long blades of the barbarians, whose
valor so often impetuous was also impotent against discipline. The
Romans measured their blades by inches, not by feet. For ages the
Japanese sword has been famed for its temper more than its weight.[7]
The Christian entering upon his Master's campaigns with as little
impediments of sectarian dogma as possible, should select a weapon that
is short, sure and divinely tempered.

To know exactly the defects of the religion we seek to abolish, modify,
supplement, supplant or fulfil, means wise economy of force. To get at
the secrets of its hold upon the people we hope to convert leads to a
right use of power. In a word, knowledge of the opposing religion, and
especially of alien language, literature and ways of feeling and
thinking, lengthens missionary life. A man who does not know the moulds
of thought of his hearers is like a swordsman trying to fight at long
range but only beating the air. Armed with knowledge and sympathy, the
missionary smites with effect at close quarters. He knows the vital

Let me fortify my own convictions and conclude this preliminary part of
my lectures by quoting again, not from academic authorities, but from
active missionaries who are or have been at the front and in the

The Rev. Samuel Beal, author of "Buddhism in China," said (p. 19) that
"it was plain to him that no real work could be done among the people
[of China and Japan] by missionaries until the system of their belief
was understood."

The Rev. James MacDonald, a veteran missionary in Africa, in the
concluding chapter of his very able work on "Religion and Myth," says:

    The Church that first adopts for her intending missionaries the
    study of Comparative Religion as a substitute for subjects now
    taught will lead the van in the path of true progress.

The People of Japan.

In this faith then, in the spirit of Him who said, "I come not to
destroy but to fulfil," let us cast our eyes upon that part of the world
where lies the empire of Japan with its forty-one millions of souls.
Here we have not a country like India--a vast conglomeration of nations,
languages and religions occupying a peninsula itself like a continent,
whose history consists of a stratification of many civilizations. Nor
have we here a seemingly inert mass of humanity in a political structure
blending democracy and imperialism, as in China, so great in age, area
and numbers as to weary the imagination that strives to grasp the
details. On the contrary, in Dai Nippon, or Great Land of the Sun's
Origin, we have a little country easy of study. In geology it is one of
the youngest of lands. Its known history is comparatively modern. Its
area roughly reckoned as 150,000 square miles, is about that of our
Dakotas or of Great Britain and Ireland. The census completed December
31, 1892, illustrates here, as all over the world, nature's argument
against polygamy. It tells us that the relation between the sexes is,
numerically at least, normal. There were 20,752,366 males and 20,337,574
females, making a population of 41,089,940 souls. All these people are
subjects of the one emperor, and excepting fewer than twenty thousand
savages in the northern islands called Ainos, speak one language and
form substantially one race. Even the Riu Kiu islanders are Japanese in
language, customs and religion. In a word, except in minor differences
appreciable or at least important only to the special student, the
modern Japanese are a homogeneous people.

In origin and formation, this people is a composite of many tribes.
Roughly outlining the ethnology of Japan, we should say that the
aborigines were immigrants from the continent with Malay reinforcement
in the south, Koreans in the centre, and Ainos in the east and north,
with occasional strains of blood at different periods from various parts
of the Asian mainland. In brief, the Japanese are a very mixed race.
Authentic history before the Christian era is unknown. At some point of
time, probably later than A.D. 200, a conquering tribe, one of many from
the Asian mainland, began to be paramount on the main island. About the
fourth century something like historic events and personages begin to be
visible, but no Japanese writings are older than the early part of the
eighth century, though almanacs and means of measuring time are found in
the sixth century. Whatever Japan may be in legend and mythology, she is
in fact and in history younger than Christianity. Her line of rulers, as
alleged in old official documents and ostentatiously reaffirmed in the
first article of the constitution of 1889, to be "unbroken for ages
eternal," is no older than that of the popes. Let us not think of Aryan
or Chinese antiquity when we talk of Japan. Her history as a state began
when the Roman empire fell. The Germanic nations emerged into history
long before the Japanese.

Roughly outlining the political and religious life of the ancient
Japanese, we note that their first system of government was a rude sort
of feudalism imposed by the conquerors and was synchronous with
aboriginal fetichism, nature worship, ancestral sacrifices, sun-worship
and possibly but not probably, a very rude sort of monotheism akin to
the primitive Chinese cultus.[9] Almost contemporary with Buddhism, its
introduction and missionary development, was the struggle for
centralized imperialism borrowed from the Chinese and consolidated in
the period from the seventh to the twelfth century. During most of this
time Shint[=o], or the primitive religion, was overshadowed while the
Confucian ethics were taught. From the twelfth to this nineteenth
century feudalism in politics and Buddhism in religion prevailed, though
Confucianism furnished the social laws or rules of daily conduct. Since
the epochal year of 1868, with imperialism reestablished and the feudal
system abolished, Shint[=o] has had a visible revival, being kept alive
by government patronage. Buddhism, though politically disestablished, is
still the popular religion with recent increase of life,[10] while
Confucianism is decidedly losing force. Christianity has begun its
promising career.

The Amalgam of Religions.

Yet in the imperial and constitutional Japan of our day it is still true
of probably at least thirty-eight millions of Japanese that their
religion is not one, Shint[=o], Confucianism or Buddhism, but an amalgam
of all three. There is not in every-day life that sharp distinction
between these religions which the native or foreign scholar makes, and
which both history and philosophy demand shall be made for the student
at least. Using the technical language of Christian theologians,
Shint[=o] furnishes theology, Confucianism anthropology and Buddhism
soteriology. The average Japanese learns about the gods and draws
inspiration for his patriotism from Shint[=o], maxims for his ethical
and social life from Confucius, and his hope of what he regards as
salvation from Buddhism. Or, as a native scholar, Nobuta Kishimoto,[11]
expresses it,

    In Japan these three different systems of religion and morality
    are not only living together on friendly terms with one another,
    but, in fact, they are blended together in the minds of the
    people, who draw necessary nourishment from all of these
    sources. One and the same Japanese is both a Shint[=o]ist, a
    Confucianist, and a Buddhist. He plays a triple part, so to
    speak ... Our religion may be likened to a triangle....
    Shint[=o]ism furnishes the object, Confucianism offers the rules
    of life, while Buddhism supplies the way of salvation; so you
    see we Japanese are eclectic in everything, even in religion.

These three religious systems as at present constituted, are "book
religions." They rest, respectively, upon the Kojiki and other ancient
Japanese literature and the modern commentators; upon the Chinese
classics edited and commented on by Confucius and upon Chu Hi and other
mediaeval scholastics who commented upon Confucius; and upon the
shastras and sutras with which Gautama, the Buddha, had something to do.
Yet in primeval and prehistoric Nippon neither these books nor the
religions growing out of the books were extant. Furthermore, strictly
speaking, it is not with any or all of these three religions that the
Christian missionary comes first, oftenest or longest in contact. In
ancient, in mediaeval, and in modern times the student notices a great
undergrowth of superstition clinging parasitically to all religions,
though formally recognized by none. Whether we call it fetichism,
shamanism, nature worship or heathenism in its myriad forms, it is there
in awful reality. It is as omnipresent, as persistent, as hard to kill
as the scrub bamboo which both efficiently and sufficiently takes the
place of thorns and thistles as the curse of Japanese ground.

The book-religions can be more or less apprehended by those alien to
them, but to fully appreciate the depth, extent, influence and tenacity
of these archaic, unwritten and unformulated beliefs requires residence
upon the soil and life among the devotees. Disowned it may be by the
priests and sages, indignantly disclaimed or secretly approved in part
by the organized religions, this great undergrowth of superstition is as
apparent as the silicious bamboo grass which everywhere conditions and
modifies Japanese agriculture. Such prevalence of mental and spiritual
disease is the sad fact that confronts every lover of his fellow-men.
This paganism is more ancient and universal than any one of the
religions founded on writing or teachers of name and fame. Even the
applied science and the wonderful inventions imported from the West, so
far from eradicating it, only serve as the iron-clad man-of-war in warm
salt water serves the barnacles, furnishing them food and hold.

We propose to give in this our first lecture, a general or bird's-eye
view of this dead level of paganism above which the systems of
Shint[=o], Confucianism and Buddhism tower like mountains. It in by this
omnipresent superstition that the respectable religious have been
conditioned in their history and are modified at present, even as
Christianity has been influenced in its progress by ethnic or local
ideas and temperaments, and will be yet in its course of victory in the
Mikado's empire.

Just as the terms "heathen" (happily no longer, in the Revised Version
of the English Bible) and "pagan" suggest the heath-man of Northern
Europe and the isolated hamlet of the Roman empire, while the cities
were illuminated with Christian truth, so, in the main, the matted
superstitious of Chinese Asia are more suggestive of distances from
books and centres of knowledge, though still sufficiently rooted in the
crowded cities.

One to whom the boundary line between the Creator and his world is
perfectly clear, one who knows the eternal difference between mind and
matter, one born amid the triumphs of science can but faintly realize
the mental condition of the millions of Japan to whom there is no
unifying thought of the Creator-Father. Faith in the unity of law is the
foundation of all science, but the average Asiatic has not this thought
or faith. Appalled at his own insignificance amid the sublime mysteries
and awful immensities of nature, the shadows of his own mind become to
him real existences. As it is affirmed that the human skin, sensitive to
the effects of light, takes the photograph of the tree riven by
lightning, so, on the pagan mind lie in ineffaceable and exaggerated
grotesqueness the scars of impressions left by hereditary teaching, by
natural phenomena and by the memory of events and of landmarks. Out of
the soil of diseased imagination has sprung up a growth as terrible as
the drunkard's phantasies. The earthquake, flood, tidal wave, famine,
withering or devastating wind and poisonous gases, the geological
monsters and ravening bird, beast and fish, have their representatives
or supposed incarnations in mythical phantasms.

Frightful as these shadows of the mind appear, they are both very real
and, in a sense, very necessary to the ignorant man. He must have some
theory by which to explain the phenomena of nature and soothe his own
terrors. Hence he peoples the earth and water, not only with invisible
spirits more or less malevolent, but also with bodily presences usually
in terrific bestial form. To those who believe in one Spirit pervading,
ordering, governing all things, there is unity amid all phenomena, and
the universe is all order and beauty. To the mind which has not reached
this height of simplicity, instead of one cause there are many. The
diverse phenomena of nature are brought about by spirits innumerable,
warring and discordant. Instead of a unity to the mind, as of sun and
solar system, there is nothing but planets, asteroids and a constant
rain of shooting-stars.


Glancing at some phases of the actual unwritten religions of Japan we
name Shamanism, Mythical Zooelogy, Fetichism, Phallicism, and Tree and
Serpent Worship.

In actual Shamanism or Animism there may or there may not be a belief in
or conception of a single all-powerful Creator above and beyond all.[12]
Usually there is not such a belief, though, even if there be, the actual
government of the physical world and its surroundings is believed to lie
in the hands of many spirits or gods benevolent and malevolent. Earth,
air, water, all things teem with beings that are malevolent and
constantly active. In time of disaster, famine, epidemic the universe
seems as overcrowded with them as stagnant water seems to be when the
solar microscope throw its contents into apparition upon the screen. It
is absolutely necessary to propitiate these spirits by magic rites and

Among the tribes of the northern part of the Chinese Empire and the
Ainos of Japan this Shamanism exists as something like an organized
cultus. Indeed, it would be hard to find any part of Chinese Asia from
Korea to Annam or from Tibet to Formosa, not dominated by this belief in
the power and presence of minor spirits. The Ainos of Yezo may be called
Shamanists or Animists; that is, their minds are cramped and confused by
their belief in a multitude of inferior spirits whom they worship and
propitiate by rites and incantations through their medicine-man or
sorcerer. How they whittle sticks, keeping on the fringe of curled
shavings, and set up these, called _inao_ in places whence evil is
suspected to lurk, and how the shaman conducts his exorcisms and works
his healings, are told in the works of the traveller and the
missionary.[13] In the wand of shavings thus reared we see the same
motive as that which induced the Mikado in the eighth century to build
the great monasteries on Hiyeizan, northeast of Ki[=o]to, this being the
quarter in which Buddhist superstition locates the path of advancing
evil, to ward off malevolence by litanies and incense. Or, the _inao_ is
a sort of lightning-rod conductor by which impending mischief may be led
harmlessly away.

Yet, besides the Ainos,[14] there are millions of Japanese who are
Shamanists, even though they know not the name or organized cult. And if
we make use of the term Shamanism instead of the more exact one of
Animism, it is for the very purpose of illustrating our contention that
the underlying paganisms of the Japanese archipelago, unwritten and
unformulated, are older than the religions founded on books; and that
these paganisms, still vital and persistent, constantly modify and
corrupt the recognized religious. The term Shaman, a Pali word, was
originally a pure Buddhist term meaning one who has separated from his
family and his passions. One of the designations of the Buddha was
Shamana-Gautama. The same word, Shamon, in Japanese still means a bonze,
or Buddhist priest. Its appropriation by the sorcerers, medicine-men,
and lords of the misrule of superstition in Mongolia and Manchuria shows
decisively how indigenous paganism has corrupted the Buddhism of
northern Asia even as it has caused its decay in Japan.

As out of Animism or Shamanism grows Fetichism in which a visible object
is found for the abode or medium of the spirit, so also, out of the same
soil arises what we may call Imaginary Zooelogy. In this mental growth,
the nightmare of the diseased imagination or of the mind unable to draw
the line between the real and the unreal, Chinese Asia differs notably
from the Aryan world. With the mythical monsters of India and Iran we
are acquainted, and with those of the Semitic and ancient European cycle
of ideas which furnished us with our ancients and classics we are
familiar. The lovely presences in human form, the semi-human and bestial
creations, sphinxes, naiads, satyrs, fauns, harpies, griffins, with
which the fancy of the Mediterranean nations populated glen, grotto,
mountain and stream, are probably outnumbered by the less beautiful and
even hideous mind-shadows of the Turanian world. Chief among these are
what in Chinese literature, so slavishly borrowed by the Japanese, are
called the four supernatural or spiritually endowed creatures--the Kirin
or Unicorn, the Phoenix, the Tortoise and the Dragon.[15]

Mythical Zooelogy.

Of the first species the _ki_ is the male, the _lin_ is the female,
hence the name Kilin. The Japanese having no _l_, pronounce this Kirin.
Its appearance on the earth is regarded as a happy portent of the advent
of good government or the birth of men who are to prove virtuous rulers.
It has the body of a deer, the tail of an ox, and a single, soft horn.
As messenger of mercy and benevolence, the Kirin never treads on a live
insect or eats growing grass. Later philosophy made this imaginary beast
the incarnation of those five primordial elements--earth, air, water,
fire and ether of which all things, including man's body, are made and
which are symbolized in the shapes of the cube, globe, pyramid, saucer
and tuft of rays in the Japanese gravestones. It is said to attain the
age of a thousand years, to be the noblest form of the animal creation
and the emblem of perfect good. In Chinese and Japanese art this
creature holds a prominent place, and in literature even more so. It is
not only part of the repertoire of the artist's symbols in the Chinese
world of ideas, but is almost a necessity to the moulds of thought in
eastern Asia. Yet it is older than Confucius or the book-religions, and
its conception shows one of the nobler sides of Animism.

The Feng-hwang or Phoenix, Japanese H[=o]-w[=o], the second of the
incarnations of the spirits, is of wondrous form and mystic nature. The
rare advent of this bird upon the earth is, like that of the kirin or
unicorn, a presage of the advent of virtuous rulers and good government.
It has the head of a pheasant, the beak of a swallow, the neck of a
tortoise, and the features of the dragon and fish. Its colors and
streaming feathers are gorgeous with iridian sheen, combining the
splendors of the pheasant and the peacock. Its five colors symbolize the
cardinal virtues of uprightness of mind, obedience, justice, fidelity
and benevolence. The male bird _H[=o]_, and female _w[=o]_, by their
inseparable fellowship furnish the artist, poet and literary writer with
the originals of the ten thousand references which are found in Chinese
and its derived literatures. Of this mystic Phoenix a Chinese dictionary
thus gives description:

    The Phoenix is of the essence of water; it was born in the
    vermilion cave; it perches not but on the most beautiful of all
    trees; it eats not but of the seed of the bamboo; its body is
    adorned with the five colors; its song contains the five notes;
    as it walks it looks around; as it flies hosts of birds follow

Older than the elaborate descriptions of it and its representations in
art, the H[=o]-w[=o] is one of the creations of primitive Chinese

The Kwei or Tortoise is not the actual horny reptile known to
naturalists and to common experience, but a spirit, an animated creature
that ages ago rose up out of the Yellow River, having on its carapace
the mystic writing out of which the legendary founder of Chinese
civilization deciphered the basis of moral teachings and the secrets of
the unseen. From this divine tortoise which conceived by thought alone,
all other tortoises sprang. In the elaboration of the myths and legends
concerning the tortoise we find many varieties of this scaly
incarnation. It lives a thousand years, hence it is emblem of longevity
in art and literature. It is the attendant of the god of the waters. It
has some of the qualities and energies of the dragon, it has the power
of transformation. In pictures and sculptures we are familiar with its
figure, often of colossal size, as forming the curb of a well, the base
of a monument or tablet. Yet, whatever its form in literature or art, it
is the later elaborated representation of ancient Animism which selected
the tortoise as one of the manifold incarnations or media of the myriad
spirits that populate the air.

Chief and leader of the four divinely constituted beasts is the Lung,
Japanese Ri[=o], or Dragon, which has the power of transformation and of
making itself visible or invisible. At will it reduces itself to the
size of a silk-worm, or is swollen until it fills the space of heaven
and earth. This is the creature especially preeminent in art, literature
and rhetoric. There are nine kinds of dragons, all with various features
and functions, and artists and authors revel in their representation.
The celestial dragon guards the mansions of the gods and supports them
lest they fall; the spiritual dragon causes the winds to blow and rain
to descend for the service of mankind; the earth dragon marks out the
courses of rivers and streams; the dragon of the hidden treasures
watches over the wealth concealed from mortals, etc. Outwardly, the
dragon of superstition resembles the geological monsters brought to
resurrection by our paleontologists. He seems to incarnate all the
attributes and forces of animal life--vigor, rapidity of motion,
endurance, power of offence in horn, hoof, claw, tooth, nail, scale and
fiery breath. Being the embodiment of all force the dragon is especially
symbolical of the emperor. Usually associated with malevolence, one
sees, besides the conventional art and literature of civilization, the
primitive animistic idea of men to whose mind this mysterious universe
had no unity, who believed in myriad discordant spirits but knew not of
"one Law-giver, who is able both to save and to destroy." An
enlargement, possibly, of prehistoric man's reminiscence of now extinct
monsters, the dragon is, in its artistic development, a mythical
embodiment of all the powers of moisture to bless and to harm. We shall
see how, when Buddhism entered China, the cobra-de-capello, so often
figured in the Buddhistic representations of India, is replaced by the

Yet besides these four incarnations of the spirits that misrule the
world there is a host, a menagerie of mythical monsters. In Korea, one
of the Asian countries richest in demonology, beast worship is very
prevalent. Mythical winged tigers and flying serpents with attributes of
fire, lightning and combinations of forces not found in any one
creature, are common to the popular fancy. In Japan, the _kappa_, half
monkey half tortoise, which seizes children bathing in the rivers, as
real to millions of the native common folk as is the shark or porpoise;
the flying-weasel, that moves in the whirlwind with sickle-like blades
on his claws, which cut the face of the unfortunate; the wind-god or imp
that lets loose the gale or storm; the thunder-imp or hairy, cat-like
creature that on the cloud-edges beats his drums in crash, roll, or
rattle; the earthquake-fish or subterranean bull-head or cat-fish that
wriggles and writhes, causing the earth to shiver, shudder and open; the
_ja_ or dragon centipede; the _tengu_ or long-nosed and winged mountain
sprite, which acts as the messenger of the gods, pulling out the tongues
of fibbing, lying children; besides the colossal spiders and mythical
creatures of the old story-books; the foxes, badgers, cats and other
creatures which transform themselves and "possess" human beings, still
influence the popular mind. These, once the old _kami_ of the primitive
Japanese, or _kamui_ of the aboriginal Aino, show the mental soil and
climate[16] which were to condition the growth of the seed imported from
other lands, whether of Buddhism or Christianity. It is very hard to
kill a god while the old mind that grew and nourished him still remains
the same. Banish or brand a phantom or mind-shadow once worshipped as
divine, and it will appear as a fairy, a demon, a mythical animal, or an
_oni_; but to annihilate it requires many centuries of higher culture.

As with the superstitions and survival of Animism and Fetichism from our
pagan ancestors among ourselves, many of the lingering beliefs may be
harmless, but over the mass of men in Japan and in Chinese Asia they
still exert a baleful influence. They make life full of distress; they
curtail human joy; they are a hindrance, to spiritual progress and to


The animistic tendency in that part of Asia dominated by the Chinese
world of ideas shows itself not only in a belief in messengers or
embodiments of divine malevolence or benevolence, but also in the
location of the spiritual influence in or upon an inanimate object or
fetich. Among men in Chinese Asia, from the clodhopper to the gentleman,
the inheritance of Fetichism from the primeval ages is constantly
noticeable. Let us glance at the term itself.

As the Chinaman's "Joss" is only his own pronunciation of the Portuguese
word _Deos_, or the Latin _Deus_, so the word "fetich" is but the
Portuguese modification of the Latin word _facticius_, that is
_feitico_. Portugal, beginning nearly five hundred years ago, had the
honor of sending the first ships and crews to explore the coasts of
Africa and Asia, and her sailors by this word, now Englished as fetich,
described the native charms or talismans. The word "fetichism" came into
the European languages through the work of Charles de Brosses, who, in
1760, wrote on "Du Culte des Dieux Fetiches." In Fetichism, the "object
is treated as having personal consciousness and power, is talked with,
worshipped, prayed to, sacrificed to, petted or ill-treated with
reference to its past or future behavior to its votaries."

Let me draw a picture from actual observation. I look out of the windows
of my house in Fukui. Here is a peasant who comes back after the winter
to prepare his field for cultivation. The man's horizon of ideas, like
his vocabulary, is very limited. His view of actual life is bounded by a
few rice-fields, a range of hills, and the village near by. Possibly one
visit to a city or large town has enriched his experience. More
probably, however, the wind and clouds, the weather, the soil, crops and
taxes, his family and food and how to provide for them, are the main
thoughts that occupy his mind. Before he will strike mattock or spade in
the soil, lay axe to a tree, collect or burn underbrush, he will select
a stone, a slab of rock or a stick of wood, set it upon hill side or mud
field-boundary, and to this he will bow, prostrate himself or pray. To
him, this stone or stick is consecrated. It has power to placate the
spirits and ward off their evil. It is the medium of communication
between him and them. Now, having attended, as he thinks, to the
proprieties in the case, he proceeds to dig, plough, drain, put in order
and treat soil or water, tree or other growth as is most convenient for
his purpose. His fetich is erected to "the honorable spirits." Were this
not attended to, some known or unknown bad luck, sinister fortune, or
calamity would befall him. Here, then, is a fetich-worshipper. The stick
or stone is the medium of communication between the man and the spirits
who can bless or harm him, and which to his mind are as countlessly
numerous as the swarms of mosquitoes which he drives out of and away
from his summer cottage by smudge fires in August.

One need not travel in Yezo or Saghalin to see practical Fetichism. Go
where you will in Japan, there are fetich worshippers. Among the country
folk, the "_inaka_" of Japanese parlance, Fetichism is seen in its
grossest forms. Yet among probably millions of Buddhists, especially of
certain sects, the Nichiren for example, and even among the
rationalistic Confucians, there are fetich-worshippers. Rare is the
Japanese farmer, laborer, mechanic, ward-man, or _hei-min_ of any trade
who does not wear amulet, charm or other object which he regards with
more or less of reverence as having relation to the powers that help or
harm.[17] In most of the Buddhist temples these amulets are sold for the
benefit of the priests or of the shrine or monastery. Not a few even of
the gentry consider it best to be on the safe side and wear in pouch or
purse these protectors against evil.

Of the 7,817,570 houses in the empire, enumerated in the census of 1892,
it is probable that seven millions of them are subjects of insurance by
fetich.[18] They are guaranteed against fire, thieves, lightning, plague
and pestilence. It is because of money paid to the priests that the
wooden policies are duly nailed on the walls, and not on account of the
wise application of mathematical, financial or medical science. Examine
also the paper packages carefully tied and affixed above the transom,
decipher the writing in ink or the brand left by the hot iron on the
little slabs of pine-wood--there may be one or a score of them--and what
will you read? Names of the temples with date of issue and seal of
certificate from the priests, mottoes or titles from sacred books, often
only a Sanskrit letter or monogram, of which the priest-pedler may long
since have forgotten the meaning. To build a house, select a cemetery or
proceed to any of the ordinary events of life without making use of some
sort of material fetich, is unusual, extraordinary and is voted

Long after the brutish stage of thought is past the fetichistic instinct
remains in the sacredness attached to the mere letter or paper or
parchment of the sacred book or writing, when used as amulet, plaster or
medicine. The survivals, even in Buddhism, of ancient and prehistoric
Fetichism are many and often with undenied approval of the religious
authorities, especially in those sects which are themselves reversions
to primitive and lower types of religion.

Among the Ainos of Yezo and Saghalin the medicine-man or shaman is
decorated with fetichistic bric-a-brac of all sorts, and these bits of
shells, metals, and other clinking substances are believed to be media
of communication with mysterious influences and forces. In Korea
thousands of trees bedecked with fluttering rags, clinking scraps of
tin, metal or stone signify the same thing. In Japan these primitive
tinkling scraps and clinking bunches of glass have long since become the
_suzu_ or wind-bells seen on the pagoda which tintinabulate with every
passing breeze. The whittled sticks of the Aino, non-conductors of evil
and protectors of those who make and rear them, stuck up in every place
of awe or supposed danger, have in the slow evolution of centuries
become the innumerable flag-poles, banners and streamers which one sees
at their _matsuris_ or temple festivals. Millions of towels and
handkerchiefs still flutter over wells and on sacred trees. In old Japan
the banners of an army almost outnumbered the men who fought beneath
them. Today, at times they nearly conceal the temples from view.

The civilized Japanese, having passed far beyond the Aino's stage of
religion, still show their fetichistic instincts in the veneration
accorded to priestly inventions for raising revenue.[19] This instinct
lingers in the faith accorded to medicine in the form of decoction,
pill, bolus or poultice made from the sacred writing and piously
swallowed; in the reverence paid to the idol for its own sake, and in
the charm or amulet worn by the soldier in his cap or by the gentleman
in his pill-box, tobacco-pouch or purse.

As the will of the worshipper who selects the fetich makes it what it
is, so also, by the exercise of that will he imagines he can in a
certain measure be the equal or superior of his god. Like the Italian
peasant who beats or scolds his bambino when his prayers are not
answered or his wishes gratified, so the fetich is punished or not
allowed to know what is going on, by being covered up or hidden away.
Instances of such rough handling of their fetiches by the people are far
from unknown in the Land of Great Peace. At such childishness we may
wonder and imagine that fetich-worship is the very antipodes of
religion; and yet it requires but little study of the lower orders of
mind and conduct in Christendom to see how fetich-worship still lingers
among people called Christians, whether the fetich be the image of a
saint or the Virgin, or a verse of the Bible found at random and used
much as is a penny-toss to decide minor actions. Or, to look farther
south, what means the rabbit's foot carried in the pocket or the various
articles of faith now hanging in the limbo between religion and
folk-lore in various parts of our own country?


Further illustrations of far Eastern Animism and Fetichism are seen in
forms once vastly more prevalent in Japan than now. Indeed, so far
improved off the face of the earth are they, that some are already
matters of memory or archaeology, and their very existence even in former
days is nearly or wholly incredible to the generation born since
1868--when Old Japan began to vanish in dissolving views and New Japan
to emerge. What the author has seen with his own eyes, would amaze many
Japanese born since 1868 and the readers of the rhapsodies of tourists
who study Japan from the _jin-riki-sha_. Phases of tree and serpent
worship are still quite common, and will be probably for generations to
come; but the phallic shrines and emblems abolished by the government in
1872 have been so far invisible to most living travellers and natives,
that their once general existence and use are now scarcely suspected.
Even profound scholars of the Japanese language and literature whose
work dates from after the year 1872 have scarcely suspected the
universality of phallic worship. Yet what we could say of this cult and
its emblems, especially in treating of Shint[=o], the special ethnic
faith of Japan, would be from sight of our own eyes besides the
testimony of many witnesses.[20]

The cultus has been known in the Japanese archipelago from Riu Kin to
Yezo. Despite official edicts of abolition it is still secretly
practised by the "heathen," the _inaka_ of Japan. "Government law lasts
three days," is an ancient proverb in Nippon. Sharp eyes have, within
three months of the writing of this line, unearthed a phallic shrine
within a stone's-throw of Shint[=o]'s most sacred temples at Ise.
Formerly, however, these implements of worship were seen numerously--in
the cornucopia distributed in the temples, in the _matsuris_ or
religious processions and in representation by various plastic
material--and all this until 1872, to an extent that is absolutely
incredible to all except the eye-witnesses, some of whose written
testimonies we possess. What seems to our mind shocking and revolting
was once a part of our own ancestors' faith, and until very recently was
the perfectly natural and innocent creed of many millions of Japanese
and is yet the same for tens of thousands of them.

We may easily see why and how that which to us is a degrading cult was
not only closely allied to Shint[=o], but directly fostered by and
properly a part of it, as soon as we read the account of the creation of
the world, an contained in the national "Book of Ancient Traditions,"
the "Kojiki." Several of the opening paragraphs of this sacred book of
Shint[=o] are phallic myths explaining cosmogony. Yet the myths and the
cult are older than the writing and are phases of primitive Japanese
faith. The mystery of fatherhood is to the primitive man the mystery of
creation also. To him neither the thought nor the word was at hand to
put difference and transcendental separation between him and what he
worshipped as a god.

Into the details of the former display and carriage of these now obscene
symbols in the popular celebrations; of the behavior of even respectable
citizens during the excitement and frenzy of the festivals; of their
presence in the wayside shrines; of the philosophy, hideousness or
pathos of the subject, we cannot here enter. We simply call attention to
their existence, and to a form of thought, if not of religion, properly
so-called, which has survived all imported systems of faith and which
shows what the native or indigenous idea of divinity really is--an idea
that profoundly affects the organization of society. To the enlightened
Buddhist, Confucian, and even the modern Shintoist the
phallus-worshipper is a "heathen," a "pagan," and yet he still practises
his faith and rites. It is for us to hint at the powerful influence such
persistent ideas have upon Japanese morals and civilization. Still
further, we illustrate the basic fact which all foreign religions and
all missionaries, Confucian, Buddhist, Mahometan or Christian must deal
with, viz.: That the Eastern Asiatic mind runs to pantheism as surely as
the body of flesh and blood seeks food.

Tree and Serpent Worship.

In prehistoric and medieval Japan, as among the Ainos to-day, trees and
serpents as well as rocks, rivers and other inanimate objects were
worshipped, because such of them as were supposed for reasons known and
felt to be awe-inspiring or wonderful were "kami," that is, above the
common, wonderful.[21] This word kami is usually translated god or
deity, but the term does not conform to our ideas, by a great gulf of
difference. It is more than probable that the Japanese term kami is the
same as the Aino word _kamui_, and that the despised and conquered
aboriginal savage has furnished the mould of the ordinary Japanese idea
of god--which even to-day with them means anything wonderful or
extraordinary.[22] From the days before history the people have
worshipped trees, and do so yet, considering them as the abodes of and
as means of communication with supernatural powers. On them the people
hang their votive offerings, twist on the branches their prayers written
on paper, avoid cutting down, breaking or in any way injuring certain
trees. The _sakaki_ tree is especially sacred, even to this day, in
funeral or Shint[=o] services. To wound or defile a tree sacred to a
particular god was to call forth the vengeance of the insulted deity
upon the insulter, or as the hearer of prayer upon another to whom guilt
was imputed and punishment was due.

Thus, in the days older than this present generation, but still within
this century, as the writer has witnessed, it was the custom of women
betrayed by their lovers to perform the religious act of vengeance
called _Ushi toki mairi_, or going to the temple at the hour of the ox,
that is at 2 A.M. First making an image or manikin of straw, she set out
on her errand of revenge, with nails held in her mouth and with hammer
in one hand and straw figure in the other, sometimes also having on her
head a reversed tripod in which were stuck three lighted candles.
Arriving at the shrine she selected a tree dedicated to a god, and then
nailed the straw simulacrum of her betrayer to the trunk, invoking the
kami to curse and annihilate the destroyer of her peace. She adjures the
god to save his tree, impute the guilt of desecration to the traitor and
visit him with deadly vengeance. The visit is repeated and nails are
driven until the object of the incantation sickens and dies, or is at
least supposed to do so. I have more than once seen such trees and straw
images upon them, and have observed others in which the large number of
rusted nails and fragments of straw showed how tenaciously the
superstition lingered.[23]

In instances more pleasant to witness, may be seen trees festooned with
the symbolical rice-straw in cords and fringes. With these the people
honor the trees as the abode of the kami, or as evidence of their faith
in the renown accredited in the past.

In common with most human beings the Japanese consider the serpent an
object of mystery and awe, but most of them go further and pay the
ophidian a reverence and awe which is worship. Their oldest literature
shows how large a part the serpent played in the so-called divine age,
how it acted as progenitress of the Mikado's ancestry, and how it
afforded means of incarnation for the kami or gods. Ten species of
ophidia are known in the Japanese islands, but in the larger number of
more or less imaginary varieties which figure in the ancient books we
shall find plenty of material for fetich-worship. In perusing the
"Kojiki" one scarcely knows, when he begins a story, whether the
character which to all appearance is a man or woman is to end as a
snake, or whether the mother after delivering her child will or will not
glide into the marsh or slide away into the sea, leaving behind a trail
of slime. A dragon is three-fourths serpent, and both the dragon and the
serpent are prominent figures, perhaps the most prominent of the kami or
gods in human or animal form in the "Kojiki" and other early legends of
the gods, though the crocodile, crow, deer, dog, and other animals are
kami.[24] It is therefore no wonder that serpents have been and are
still worshipped by the people, that some of their gods and goddesses
are liable at any time to slip away in scaly form, that famous temples
are built on sites noted as being the abode or visible place of the
actual water or land snake of natural history, and that the spot where a
serpent is seen to-day is usually marked with a sacred emblem or a
shrine.[25] We shall see how this snake-worship became not only a part
of Shint[=o] but even a notable feature in corrupt Buddhism.

Pantheism's Destruction of Boundaries.[26]

In its rudest forms, this pantheism branches out into animism or
shamanism, fetichism and phallicism. In its higher forms, it becomes
polytheism, idolatry and defective philosophy. Having centuries ago
corrupted Buddhism it is the malaria which, unseen and unfelt, is ready
to poison and corrupt Christianity. Indeed, it has already given over to
disease and spiritual death more than one once hopeful Christian
believer, teacher and preacher in the Japan of our decade.

To assault and remove the incubus, to replace and refill the mind, to
lift up and enlighten the Japanese peasant, science as already known and
faith in one God, Creator and Father of all things, must go hand in
hand. Education and civilization will do much for the ignorant _inaka_
or boors, but for the cultured whose minds waver and whose feet
flounder, as well as for the unlearned and priest-ridden, there is no
surer help and healing than that faith in the Heavenly Father which
gives the unifying thought to him who looks into creation.

Keep the boundary line clear between God and his world and all is order
and discrimination. Obliterate that boundary and all is pathless morass,
black chaos and on the mind the phantasms which belong to the victim of
_delirium tremens_.

There is one Lawgiver. In the beginning, God. In the end, God, all in


    "In the great days of old,
     When o'er the land the gods held sov'reign sway,
     Our fathers lov'd to say
     That the bright gods with tender care enfold
     The fortunes of Japan,
     Blessing the land with many an holy spell:
     And what they loved to tell,
     We of this later age ourselves do prove;
     For every living man
     May feast his eyes on tokens of their love."

     --Poem of Yamagami-no Okura,
       A.D. 733.

    Baal: "While I on towers and banging terraces,
    In shaft and obelisk, behold my sign.
    Creative, shape of first imperious law."

    --Bayard Taylor's "Masque of the Gods."

    "Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my
    silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of
    men, and didst commit whoredom with them, and tookest thy
    broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine
    oil and mine incense before them. My meat also which I gave
    thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou
    hast even set it before them for a sweet savor: and thus it was,
    saith the Lord GOD."--Ezekiel.

    If it be said (as has been the case), 'Shintoism has nothing in
    it,' we should be inclined to answer, 'So much the better, there
    is less error to counteract.' But there _is_ something in it,
    and that ... of a kind of which we may well avail ourselves when
    making known the second commandment, and the 'fountain of
    cleansing from all sin.'"--E.W. Syle.

    "If Shint[=o] has a dogma, it is purity."--Kaburagi.

    "I will wash my hands in innocency, O Lord: and so will I go to
    thine altar."--Ps. xxvi. 6.


The Japanese a Young Nation.

What impresses us in the study of the history of Japan is that, compared
with China and Korea, she is young. Her history is as the story of
yesterday. The nation is modern. The Japanese are as younger children in
the great family of Asia's historic people. Broadly speaking, Japan is
no older than England, and authentic Japanese history no more ancient
than British history. In Albion, as in the Honorable Country, there are
traditions and mythologies that project their shadows aeons back of
genuine records; but if we consider that English history begins in the
fifth, and English literature in the eighth century, then there are
other reasons besides those commonly given for calling Japan "the
England of the East."

No trustworthy traditions exist which carry the known history of Japan
farther back than the fifth century. The means for measuring and
recording time were probably not in use until the sixth century. The
oldest documents in the Japanese language, excepting a few fragments of
the seventh century, do not antedate the year 712, and even in these the
Chinese characters are in many instances used phonetically, because the
meaning of the words thus transliterated had already been forgotten.
Hence their interpretation in detail is still largely a matter of

Yet the Japanese Archipelago was inhabited long before the dawn of
history. The concurrent testimony of the earliest literary monuments, of
the indigenous mythology, of folk-lore, of shell-heaps and of
kitchen-middens shows that the occupation by human beings of the main
islands must be ascribed to times long before the Christian era. Before
written records or ritual of worship, religion existed on its active or
devotional side, and there were mature growths of thought preserved and
expressed orally. Poems, songs, chants and _norito_ or liturgies were
kept alive in the human memory, and there was a system of worship, the
_name_ of which was given long after the introduction of Buddhism. This
descriptive term, Kami no Michi in Japanese, and Shin-t[=o] in the
Chinese as pronounced by Japanese, means the Way of the Gods, the t[=o]
or final syllable being the same as tao in Taoism. We may say that
Shint[=o] means, literally, theoslogos, theology. The customs and
practices existed centuries before contact with Chinese letters, and
long previous to the Shint[=o] literature which is now extant.

Whether Kami no Michi is wholly the product of Japanese soil, or whether
its rudimentary ideas were imported from the neighboring Asian continent
and more or less allied to the primitive Chinese religion, is still an
open question. The preponderance of argument tends, however, to show
that it was an importation as to its origin, for not a few events
outlined in the Japanese mythology cast shadows of reminiscence upon
Korea or the Asian mainland. In its development, however, the cultus is
almost wholly Japanese. The modern forms of Shint[=o], as moulded by the
revivalists of the eighteenth century, are at many points notably
different from the ancient faith. At the World's Parliament of Religions
at Chicago, Shint[=o] seemed to be the only one, and probably the last,
of the purely provincial religions.

In order to gain a picture of life in Japan before the introduction of
Chinese civilization, we must consult those photographs of the minds of
the ancient islanders which still exist in their earliest literature.
The fruits of the study of ethnology, anthropology and archaeology
greatly assist us in picturing the day-break of human life in the
Morning Land. In preparing materials for the student of the religions of
Japan many laborers have wrought in various fields, but the chief
literary honors have been taken by the English scholars, Messrs.
Satow,[1] Aston,[2] and Chamberlain.[3] These untiring workers have
opened the treasures of ancient thought in the Altaic world.[4]

Although even these archaic Japanese compositions, readable to-day only
by special scholars, are more or less affected by Chinese influences,
ideas and modes of expression, yet they are in the main faithful
reflections of the ancient life before the primitive faith of the
Japanese people was either disturbed or reduced to system in presence of
an imported religion. These monuments of history, poetry and liturgies
are the "Kojiki," or Notices of Ancient Things; the "Manyoeshu" or Myriad
Leaves or Poems, and the "Norito," or Liturgies.

The Ancient Documents.

The first book, the "Kojiki," gives us the theology, cosmogony,
mythology, and very probably, in its later portions, some outlines of
history of the ancient Japanese. The "Kojiki" is the real, the dogmatic
exponent, or, if we may so say, the Bible, of Shint[=o]. The
"Many[=o]shu," or Book of Myriad Poems, expresses the thoughts and
feelings; reflects the manners and customs of the primitive generations,
and, in the same sense as do the Sagas of the Scandinavians, furnishes
us unchronological but interesting and more or less real narratives of
events which have been glorified by the poets and artists. The ancient
codes of law and of ceremonial procedure are of great value, while the
"Norito" are excellent mirrors in which to see reflected the religion
called Shint[=o] on the more active side of worship.

In a critical study, either of the general body of national tradition or
of the ancient documents, we must continually be on our guard against
the usual assumption that Chinese civilization came in earlier than it
really did. This assumption colors all modern Japanese popular ideas,
art and literature. The vice of the pupil nations surrounding the Middle
Kingdom is their desire to have it believed that Chinese letters and
culture among them is an nearly coeval with those of China as can be
made truly or falsely to appear. The Koreans, for example, would have us
believe that their civilization, based on letters and introduced by
Kishi, is "four thousand years old" and contemporaneous with China's
own, and that "the Koreans are among the oldest people of the world."[5]
The average modern Japanese wishes the date of authentic or official
history projected as far back as possible. Yet he is a modest man
compared with his mediaeval ancestor, who constructed chronology out of
ink-stones. Over a thousand years ago a deliberate forgery was
officially put on paper. A whole line of emperors who never lived was
canonized, and clever penmen set down in ink long chapters which
describe what never happened.[6] Furthermore, even after, and only eight
years after the fairly honest "Kojiki" had been compiled, the book
called "Nihongi," or Chronicles of Japan, was written. All the internal
and not a little external evidence shows that the object of this book is
to give the impression that Chinese ideas, culture and learning had long
been domesticated in Japan. The "Nihongi" gives dates of events supposed
to have happened fifteen hundred years before, with an accuracy which
may be called villainous; while the "Kojiki" states that Wani, a Korean
teacher, brought the "Thousand Character Classic" to Japan in A.D. 285,
though that famous Chinese book was not composed until the sixth
century, or A.D. 550.[7]

Even to this day it is nearly impossible for an American to get a Korean
"frog in the well"[8] to understand why the genuine native life and
history, language and learning of his own peninsular country is of
greater value to the student than the pedantry borrowed from China. Why
these possess any interest to a "scholar" is a mystery to the head in
the horsehair net. Anything of value, he thinks, _must_ be on the
Chinese model. What is not Chinese is foolish and fit for women and
children only. Furthermore, Korea "always had" Chinese learning. This is
the sum of the arguments of the Korean literati, even as it used to be
of the old-time hatless Yedo scholar of shaven skull and topknot.

Despite Japanese independence and even arrogance in certain other lines,
the thought of the demolition of cherished notions of vast antiquity is
very painful. Critical study of ancient traditions is still dangerous,
even in parliamentary Nippon. Hence the unbiassed student must depend on
his own reading of and judgment upon the ancient records, assisted by
the thorough work done by the English scholars Aston, Satow,
Chamberlain, Bramsen and others.

It was the coming of Buddhism in the sixth century, and the implanting
on the soil of Japan of a system of religion in which were temples with
all that was attractive to the eye, gorgeous ritual, scriptures,
priesthood, codes of morals, rigid discipline, a system of dogmatics in
which all was made positive and clear, that made the variant myths and
legends somewhat uniform. The faith of Shaka, by winning adherents both
at the court and among the leading men of intelligence, reacted upon the
national traditions so as to compel their collection and arrangemeut
into definite formulas. In due time the mythology, poetry and ritual
was, as we have seen, committed to writing and the whole system called
Shint[=o], in distinction from Butsud[=o], the Way of the Gods from the
Way of the Buddhas. Thus we can see more clearly the outward and visible
manifestations of Shint[=o]. In forming our judgment, however, we must
put aside those descriptions which are found in the works of European
writers, from Marco Polo and Mendez Pinto down to the year 1870. Though
these were good observers, they were often necessarily mistaken in their
deductions. For, as we shall see in our lecture on Riy[=o]bu or Mixed
Buddhism, Shint[=o] was, from the ninth century until late into the
nineteenth century, absorbed in Buddhism so as to be next to invisible.

Origins of the Japanese People.

Without detailing processes, but giving only results, our view of the
origin of the Japanese people and of their religion is in the main as

The oldest seats of human habitation in the Japanese Archipelago lie
between the thirtieth and thirty-eighth parallels of north latitude.
South of the thirty-fourth parallel, it seems, though without proof of
writing or from tradition, that the Malay type and blood from the far
south probably predominated, with, however, much infusion from the
northern Asian mainland.

Between the thirty-fourth and thirty-sixth parallels, and west of the
one hundred and thirty-eighth meridian of longitude, may be found what
is still the choicest, richest and most populous part of The Country
Between Heaven and Earth. Here the prevailing element was Korean and

To the north and east of this fair country lay the Emishi savages, or

In "the world" within the ken of the prehistoric dwellers in what is now
the three islands, Hondo, Kiushiu and Shikoku, there was no island of
Yezu and no China; while Korea was but slightly known, and the lands
farther westward were unheard of except as the home of distant tribes.

Three distinct lines of tradition point to the near peninsula or the
west coast of Japan as the "Heaven" whence descended the tribe which
finally grew to be dominant. The islands of Tsushima and Iki were the
stepping-stones of the migration out of which rose what may be called
the southern or Tsukushi cycle of legend, Tsukushi being the ancient
name of Kiushiu.

Idzumo is the holy land whence issued the second stream of tradition.

The third course of myth and legend leads us into Yamato, whence we
behold the conquest of the Mikado's home-land and the extension of his
name and influence into the regions east of the Hakone Mountains,
including the great plain of Yedo, where modern T[=o]ki[=o] now stands.

We shall take the term "Yamato" as the synonym of the prehistoric but
discernible beginnings of national life. It represents the seat of the
tribe whose valor and genius ultimately produced the Mikado system. It
was through this house or tribe that Japanese history took form. The
reverence for the ruler long afterward entitled "Son of Heaven" is the
strongest force in the national history. The spirit and prowess of these
early conquerors have left an indelible impress upon the language and
the mind of the nation in the phrase Yamato Damashi--the spirit of
(Divine and unconquerable) Japan.

The story of the conquest of the land, in its many phases, recalls that
of the Aryans in India, of the Hebrews in Canaan, of the Romans in
Europe and of the Germanic races in North America. The Yamato men
gradually advanced to conquest under the impulse, as they believed, of a
divine command.[9] They were sent from Takama-no-hara, the High Plain of
Heaven. Theirs was the war, of men with a nobler creed, having
agriculture and a feudal system of organization which furnished
resources for long campaigns, against hunters and fishermen. They had
improved artillery and used iron against stone. Yet they conquered and
pacified not only by superior strategy, tactics, weapons and valor, but
also by advanced fetiches and dogma. They captured the religion of their
enemies as well as their bodies, lands and resources. They claimed that
their ancestors were from Heaven, that the Sun was their kinswoman and
that their chief, or Mikado, was vicegerent of the Heavenly gods, but
that those whom they conquered were earth-born or sprung from the
terrestrial divinities.

Mikadoism the Heart of Shint[=o].

As success came to their arms and their chief's power was made more
sure, they developed further the dogma of the Mikado's divinity and made
worship centre in him as the earthly representative of the Sun and
Heaven. His fellow-conquerors and ministers, as fast as they were put in
lordship over conquered provinces, or indigenous chieftains who
submitted obediently to his sway or yielded graciously to his prowess,
were named as founders of temples and in later generations worshipped
and became gods.[10] One of the motives for, and one of the guiding
principles in the selections of the floating myths, was that the
ancestry of the chieftains loyal to the Mikado might be shown to be from
the heavenly gods. Both the narratives of the "Kojiki" and the liturgies
show this clearly.

The nature-worship, which was probably practised throughout the whole
archipelago, became part of the system as government and society were
made uniform on the Yamato model. It seems at least possible, if
Buddhism had not come in so soon, that the ordinary features of a
religion, dogmatic and ethical codes, would have been developed. In a
word, the Kami no Michi, or religion of the islanders in prehistoric
times before the rise of Mikadoism, must be carefully distinguished from
the politico-ecclesiasticism which the system called Shint[=o] reveals
and demands. The early religion, first in the hands of politicians and
later under the pens and voices of writers and teachers at the Imperial
Court, became something very different from its original form. As surely
as K[=o]b[=o] later captured Shint[=o], making material for Buddhism out
of it and overlaying it in Riy[=o]bu, so the Yamato men made political
capital out of their own religion and that of the subject tribes. The
divine sovereign of Japan and his political church did exactly what the
state churches of Europe, both pagan and Christian, have done before and
since the Christian era.

Further, in studying the "Kojiki," we must remember that the sacred
writings sprang out of the religion, and that the system was not an
evolution from the book. Customs, ritual, faith and prayer existed long
before they were written about or recorded in ink. Moreover, the
philosophy came later than the practice, the deeds before the myths, and
the joy and terror of the visible universe before the cosmogony or
theogony, while the book-preface was probably written last of all.

The sun was first, and then came the wonder, admiration and worship of
men. The personification and pedigree of the sun were late figments. To
connect their ancestors with the sun-goddess and the heavenly gods, was
a still later enterprise of the "Mikado reverencers" of this earlier
time. Both the god-way in its early forms and Shint[=o] in its later
development, were to them political as well as ecclesiastical institutes
of dogma. Both the religion which they themselves brought and cultivated
and the aboriginal religion which the Yamato men found, were used as
engines in the making of Mikadoism, which is the heart of Shint[=o].

Not until two centuries after the coming of Buddhism and of Asiatic
civilization did it occur to the Japanese to reduce to writing the
floating legends and various cycles of tradition which had grown up
luxuriantly in different parts of "the empire," or to express in the
Chinese character the prayers and thanksgivings which had been handed
down orally through many generations. These norito had already assumed
elegant literary form, rich in poetic merit, long before Chinese writing
was known. They, far more than the less certain philosophy of the
"Kojiki," are of undoubted native origin. It is nearly certain that the
prehistoric Japanese did not borrow the literary forms of the god-way
from China, as any one familiar with the short, evenly balanced and
antithetical sentences of Chinese style can see at once. The norito are
expressions, in the rhythmical and rhetorical form of worship, of the
articles of faith set forth in the historic summary which we have given.
We propose to illustrate the dogmas by quoting from the rituals in Mr.
Satow's masterly translation. The following was addressed to the
sun-goddess (Amateras[)u] no Mikami, or the
From-Heaven-Shining-Great-Deity) by the priest-envoy of the priestly
Nakatomi family sent annually to the temples at Ise, the Mecca of
Shint[=o]. The _sevran_ referred to in the ritual is the Mikado. This
word and all the others printed in capitals are so rendered in order to
express in English the force of "an untranslatable honorific syllable,
supposed to be originally identical with a root meaning 'true,' but no
longer possessing that signification." Instead of the word "earth," that
of "country" (Japan) is used as the correlative of Heaven.

Ritual in Praise of the Sun-goddess.

    He (the priest-envoy) says: Hear all of you, ministers of the
    gods and sanctifiers of offerings, the great ritual, the
    heavenly ritual, declared in the great presence of the
    From-Heaven-Shining-Great-DEITY, whose praises are fulfilled by
    setting up the stout pillars of the great HOUSE, and exalting
    the cross-beams to the plain of high heaven at the sources of
    the Isuzu River at Uji in Watarai.

    He says: It is the sovran's great WORD. Hear all of you,
    ministers of the gods and sanctifiers of offerings, the
    fulfilling of praises on this seventeenth day of the sixth moon
    of this year, as the morning sun goes up in glory, of the
    Oho-Nakatomi, who--having abundantly piled up like a range of
    hills the TRIBUTE thread and sanctified LIQUOR and FOOD
    presented as of usage by the people of the deity's houses
    attributed to her in the three departments and in various
    countries and places, so that she deign to bless his [the
    Mikado's] LIFE as a long LIFE, and his AGE as a luxuriant AGE
    eternally and unchangingly as multitudinous piles of rock; may
    deign to bless the CHILDREN who are born to him, and deigning to
    cause to flourish the five kinds of grain which the men of a
    hundred functions and the peasants of the countries in the four
    quarters of the region under heaven long and peacefully
    cultivate and eat, and guarding and benefiting them to deign to
    bless them--is hidden by the great offering-wands.

In the Imperial City the ritual services were very imposing. Those in
expectation of the harvest were held in the great hall of the
Jin-Gi-Kuan, or Council of the Gods of Heaven and Earth. The description
of the ceremonial is given by Mr. Satow.[11] In the prayers offered to
the sun-goddess for harvest, and in thanksgiving to her for bestowing
dominion over land and sea upon her descendant the Mikado, occurs the
following passage:

    I declare in the great presence of the
    From-Heaven-Shining-Great-DEITY who sits in Ise. Because the
    sovran great GODDESS bestows on him the countries of the four
    quarters over which her glance extends, as far as the limit
    where heaven stands up like a wall, as far as the bounds where
    the country stands up distant, as far as the limit where the
    blue clouds spread flat, as far as the bounds where the white
    clouds lie away fallen--the blue sea plain as far as the limit
    whither come the prows of the ships without drying poles or
    paddles, the ships which continuously crowd on the great sea
    plain, and the road which men travel by land, as far as the
    limit whither come the horses' hoofs, with the baggage-cords
    tied tightly, treading the uneven rocks and tree-roots and
    standing up continuously in a long path without a break--making
    the narrow countries wide and the hilly countries plain, and as
    it were drawing together the distant countries by throwing many
    tons of ropes over them--he will pile up the first-fruits like a
    range of hills in the great presence of the sovran great
    GODDESS, and will peacefully enjoy the remainder.

Phallic Symbols.

To form one's impression of the Kami no Michi wholly from the poetic
liturgies, the austere simplicity of the miyas or shrines, or the
worship at the palace or capital, would be as misleading as to gather
our ideas of the status of popular education from knowing only of the
scholars at court. Among the common people the real basis of the god-way
was ancestor-worship. From the very first this trait and habit of the
Japanese can be discerned. Their tenacity in holding to it made the
Confucian ethics more welcome when they came. Furthermore, this
reverence for the dead profoundly influenced and modified Buddhism, so
that today the altars of both religions exist in the same house, the
dead ancestors becoming both kami and buddhas.

Modern taste has removed from sight what were once the common people's
symbols of the god-way, that is of ancestor worship. The extent of the
phallus cult and its close and even vital connection with the god-way,
and the general and innocent use of the now prohibited emblems, tax
severely the credulity of the Occidental reader. The processes of the
ancient mind can hardly be understood except by vigorous power of the
imagination and by sympathy with the primeval man. To the critical
student, however, who has lived among the people and the temples devoted
to this worship, who knows how innocent and how truly sincere and even
reverent and devout in the use of these symbols the worshippers are, the
matter is measurably clear. He can understand the soil, root and flower
even while the most strange specimen is abhorrent to his taste, and
while he is most active in destroying that mental climate in which such
worship, whether native or exotic, can exist and flourish.

In none of the instances in which I have been eyewitness of the cult, of
the person officiating or of the emblem, have I had any reason to doubt
the sincerity of the worshipper. I have never had reason to look upon
the implements or the system as anything else than the endeavor of man
to solve the mystery of Being and Power. In making use of these emblems,
the Japanese worshipper simply professes his faith in such solution as
has seemed to him attainable.

That this cultus was quite general in pre-Buddhistic Japan, as in many
other ancient countries, is certain from the proofs of language,
literature, external monuments and relics which are sufficiently
numerous. Its organic connection with the god-way may be clearly shown.

To go farther back in point of time than the "Kojiki," we find that even
before the development of art in very ancient Japan, the male gods were
represented by a symbol which thus became an image of the deity himself.
This token was usually made of stone, though often of wood, and in later
times of terra-cotta, of cast and wrought iron and even of gold.[12]

Under the direct influence of such a cult, other objects appealed to the
imagination or served the temporary purpose of the worshipper as
_ex-voto_ to hang up in the shrines, such as the mushroom, awabi,
various other shells and possibly the fire-drill. It is only in the
decay of the cultus, in the change of view and centre of thought
compelled by another religion, that representations of the old emblems
ally themselves with sensualism or immorality. It is that natural
degradation of one man's god into another man's devil, which conversion
must almost of necessity bring, that makes the once revered symbol
"obscene," and talk about it become, in a descending scale, dirty, foul,
filthy, nasty. That the Japanese suffer from the moral effluvia of a
decayed cult which was once as the very vertebral column of the national
body of religion, is evident to every one who acquaints himself with
their popular speech and literature.

How closely and directly phallicism is connected with the god-way, and
why there were so many Shint[=o] temples devoted to this latter cult and
furnished with symbols, is shown by study of the "Kojiki." The two
opening sections of this book treat of kami that were in the minds even
of the makers of the myths little more than mud and water[13]--the mere
bioplasm of deity. The seven divine generations are "born," but do
nothing except that they give Izanagi and Izanami a jewelled spear. With
this pair come differentiation of sex. It is immediately on the
apparition of the consciousness of sex that motion, action and creation
begin, and the progress of things visible ensues. The details cannot be
put into English, but it is enough, besides noting the conversation and
union of the pair, to say that the term meaning giving birth to, refers
to inanimate as well as animate things. It is used in reference to the
islands which compose the archipelago as well as to the various kami
which seem, in many cases, to be nothing more than the names of things
or places.

Fire-myths and Ritual.

Fire is, in a sense, the foundation and first necessity of civilization,
and it is interesting to study the myths as to the origin of fire, and
possibly even more interesting to compare the Greek and Japanese
stories. As we know, old-time popular etymology makes Prometheus the
fore-thinker and brother of Epimetheus the after-thinker. He is the
stealer of the fire from heaven, in order to make men share the secret
of the gods. Comparative philology tells us, however, that the Sanskrit
_Pramantha_ is a stick that produces fire. The "Kojiki" does indeed
contain what is probably the later form of the fire-myth about two
brothers, Prince Fire-Shine and Fire-Fade, which suggests both the later
Greek myth of the fore- and after-thinker and a tradition of a flood.
The first, and most probably older, myth in giving the origin of fire
does it in true Japanese style, with details of parturition. After
numerous other deities had been born of Izanagi and Izanami, it is said
"that they gave birth to the Fire-Burning-Swift-Male-Deity, another name
for whom is the Deity-Fire-Shining-Prince, and another name is the
Deity-Fire-Shining-Elder." In the other ancient literature this fire-god
is called Ho-musubi, the Fire-Producer.

Izanami yielded up her life upon the birth of her son, the fire-god; or,
as the sacred text declares, she "divinely retired"[14] into Hades. From
her corpse sprang up the pairs of gods of clay, of metal, and other kami
that possessed the potency of calming or subduing fire, for clay resists
and water extinguishes. Between the mythical and the liturgical forms of
the original narrative there is considerable variation.

The Norito entitled the "Quieting of Fire" gives the ritual form of the
myth. It contains, like so many Norito, less the form of prayer to the
Fire-Producer than a promise of offerings. Not so much by petitions as
by the inducements of gifts did the ancient worshippers hope to save the
palace of the Mikado from the fire-god's wrath. We omit from the text
those details which are offensive to modern and western taste.

    I declare with the great ritual, the heavenly ritual, which was
    bestowed on him at the time when, by the WORD of the Sovran's
    dear progenitor and progenitrix, who divinely remain in the
    plain of high heaven, they bestowed on him the region under
    heaven, saying:

    "Let the Sovran GRANDCHILD'S augustness tranquilly rule over the
    country of fresh spikes which flourishes in the midst of the
    reed-moor as a peaceful region."

    When ... Izanami ... had deigned to bear the many hundred
    myriads of gods, she also deigned to bear her dear youngest
    child of all, the Fire-producer god, ... and said:

    "My dear elder brother's augustness shall rule the upper
    country; I will rule the lower country," she deigned to hide in
    the rocks; and having come to the flat hills of darkness, she
    thought and said: "I have come hither, having borne and left a
    bad-hearted child in the upper country, ruled over by my
    illustrious elder brother's augustness," and going back she bore
    other children. Having borne the water-goddess, the gourd, the
    river-weed, and the clay-hill maiden, four sorts of things, she
    taught them with words, and made them to know, saying: "If the
    heart of this bad-hearted child becomes violent, let the
    water-goddess take the gourd, and the clay-hill maiden take the
    river-weed, and pacify him."

    In consequence of this I fulfil his praises, and say that for
    the things set up, so that he may deign not to be awfully quick
    of heart in the great place of the Sovran GRANDCHILD'S
    augustness, there are provided bright cloth, glittering cloth,
    soft cloth, and coarse cloth, and the five kinds of things; as
    to things which dwell in the blue-sea plain, there are things
    wide of fin and narrow of fin, down to the weeds of the shore;
    as to LIQUOR, raising high the beer-jars, filling and ranging in
    rows the bellies of the beer-jars, piling the offerings up, even
    to rice in grain and rice in ear, like a range of hills, I
    fulfil his praises with the great ritual, the heavenly ritual.

Izanagi, after shedding tears over his consort, whose death was caused
by the birth of the fire-god, slays the fire-god, and follows her into
the Root-land, or Hades, whereupon begins another round of wonderful
stories of the birth of many gods. Among these, though evidently out of
another cycle of legends, is the story of the birth of the three
gods--Fire-Shine, Fire-Climax and Fire-Fade, to which we have already

The fire-drill mentioned in the "Kojiki" suggests easily the same line
of thought with the myths of cosmogony and theogony, and it is
interesting to note that this archaic implement is still used at the
sacred temples of Ise to produce fire. After the virgin priestesses
perform the sacred dances in honor of local deities the water for their
bath is heated by fires kindled by heaps of old _harai_ or amulets made
from temple-wood bought at the Mecca of Japan. It is even probable that
the retention of the fire-drill in the service of Shint[=o] is but a
survival of phallicism.

The liturgy for the pacification of the gods of fire is worth noticing.
The full form of the ritual, when compared with a legend in the
"Nihongi," shows that a myth was "partly devised to explain the
connection of an hereditary family of priests with the god whose shrine
they served; it is possible that the claim to be directly descended from
the god had been disputed." The Norito first recites poetically the
descent of Ninigi, the grandchild of the sun-goddess from heaven, and
the quieting of the turbulent kami.

    I (the diviner), declare: When by the WORD of the progenitor and
    progenitrix, who divinely remaining in the plain of high heaven,
    deigned to make the beginning of things, they divinely deigned
    to assemble the many hundred myriads of gods in the high city of
    heaven, and deigned divinely to take counsel in council, saying:
    "When we cause our Sovran GRANDCHILD'S augustness to leave
    heaven's eternal seat, to cleave a path with might through
    heaven's manifold clouds, and to descend from heaven, with
    orders tranquilly to rule the country of fresh spikes, which
    flourishes in the midst of the reed-moor as a peaceful country,
    what god shall we send first to divinely sweep away, sweep away
    and subdue the gods who are turbulent in the country of fresh
    spikes;" all the gods pondered and declared: "You shall send
    Amenohohi's augustness, and subdue them," declared
    they. Wherefore they sent him down from heaven, but he did not
    declare an answer; and having next sent Takemikuma's augustness,
    he also, obeying his father's words, did not declare an
    answer. Ame-no-waka-hiko also, whom they sent, did not declare
    an answer, but immediately perished by the calamity of a bird on
    high. Wherefore they pondered afresh by the WORD of the heavenly
    gods, and having deigned to send down from heaven the two
    pillars of gods, Futsunushi and Takemika-dzuchi's augustness,
    who having deigned divinely to sweep away, and sweep away, and
    deigned divinely to soften, and soften the gods who were
    turbulent, and silenced the rocks, trees, and the least leaf of
    herbs likewise that had spoken, they caused the Sovran
    GRANDCHILD'S augustness to descend from heaven.

    I fulfil your praises, saying: As to the OFFERINGS set up, so
    that the sovran gods who come into the heavenly HOUSE of the
    Sovran GRANDCHILD'S augustness, which, after he had fixed upon
    as a peaceful country--the country of great Yamato where the sun
    is high, as the centre of the countries of the four quarters
    bestowed upon him when he was thus sent down from
    heaven--stoutly planting the HOUSE-pillars on the bottom-most
    rocks, and exalting the cross-beams to the plain of high heaven,
    the builders had made for his SHADE from the heavens and SHADE
    from the sun, and wherein he will tranquilly rule the country as
    a peaceful country--may, without deigning to be turbulent,
    deigning to be fierce, and deigning to hurt, knowing, by virtue
    of their divinity, the things which were begun in the plain of
    high heaven, deigning to correct with Divine-correcting and
    Great-correcting, remove hence out to the clean places of the
    mountain-streams which look far away over the four quarters, and
    rule them as their own place. Let the Sovran gods tranquilly
    take with clear HEARTS, as peaceful OFFERINGS and sufficient
    OFFERINGS the great OFFERINGS which I set up, piling them upon
    the tables like a range of hills, providing bright cloth,
    glittering cloth, soft cloth, and coarse cloth; as a thing to
    see plain in--a mirror: as things to play with--beads: as things
    to shoot off with--a bow and arrows: as a thing to strike and
    cut with--a sword: as a thing which gallops out--a horse; as to
    LIQUOR--raising high the beer-jars, filling and ranging in rows
    the bellies of the beer-jars, with grains of rice and ears; as
    to the things which dwell in the hills--things soft of hair, and
    things rough of hair; as to the things which grow in the great
    field plain--sweet herbs and bitter herbs; as to the things
    which dwell in the blue sea plain--things broad of fin and
    things narrow of fin, down to weeds of the offing and weeds of
    the shore, and without deigning to be turbulent, deigning to be
    fierce, and deigning to hurt, remove out to the wide and clean
    places of the mountain-streams, and by virtue of their divinity
    be tranquil.

In this ritual we find the origin of evil attributed to wicked kami, or
gods. To get rid of them is to be free from the troubles of life. The
object of the ritual worship was to compel the turbulent and malevolent
kami to go out from human habitations to the mountain solitudes and rest
there. The dogmas of both god-possession and of the power of exorcism
were not, however, held exclusively by the high functionaries of the
official religion, but were part of the faith of all the people. To this
day both the tenets and the practices are popular under various forms.

Besides the twenty-seven Norito which are found in the Yengishiki,
published at the opening of the tenth century, there are many others
composed for single occasions. Examples of these are found in the
Government Gazettes. One celebrates the Mikado's removal from Ki[=o]to
to T[=o]ki[=o], another was written and recited to add greater solemnity
to the oath which he took to govern according to modern liberal
principles and to form a national parliament. To those Japanese whose
first idea of duty is loyalty to the emperor, Shint[=o] thus becomes a
system of patriotism exalted to the rank of a religion. Even Christian
natives of Japan can use much of the phraseology of the Norito while
addressing their petitions on behalf of their chief magistrate to the
King of kings.

The primitive worship of the sun, of light, of fire, has left its
impress upon the language and in vernacular art and customs. Among
scores of derivations of Japanese words (often more pleasing than
scientific), in which the general term _hi_ enters, is that which finds
in the word for man, _hito_, the meaning of "light-bearer." On the face
of the broad terminal tiles of the house-roofs, we still see moulded the
river-weed, with which the Clay-Hill Maiden pacified the Fire-God. On
the frontlet of the warrior's helmet, in the old days of arrow and
armor, glittered in brass on either side of his crest the same symbol of
power and victory.

Having glanced at the ritual of Shint[=o], let us now examine the
teachings of its oldest book.


    "Japan is not a land where men need pray,
      For 'tis itself divine:
    Yet do I lift my voice in prayer..."

      Hitomaro, + A.D. 737.

    "Now when chaos had begun to condense, but force and form were
    not yet manifest, and there was naught named, naught done, who
    could know its shape? Nevertheless Heaven and Earth first
    parted, and the three Deities performed the commencement of
    creation; the Passive and Active Essences then developed, and
    the Two Spirits became the ancestors of all things."--Preface of
    Yasumar[=o] (A.D. 712) to the "Kojiki."

    "These, the 'Kojiki' and 'Nihongi' are their [the Shint[=o]ists]
    canonical books, ... and almost their every word is considered
    undeniable truth."

    "The Shint[=o] faith teaches that God inspired the foundation of
    the Mikadoate, and that it is therefore sacred."--Kaburagi.

    "We now reverently make our prayer to Them [Our Imperial
    Ancestors] and to our Illustrious Father [Komei, + 1867], and
    implore the help of Their Sacred Spirits, and make to Them
    solemn oath never at this time nor in the future to fail to be
    an example to Our subjects in the observance of the Law
    [Constitution] hereby established."--Imperial oath of the
    Emperor Mutsuhito in the sanctuary in the Imperial Palace,
    T[=o]ki[=o], February 11, 1889.

    "Shint[=o] is not our national religion. A faith existed before
    it, which was its source. It grew out of superstitious teaching
    and mistaken tradition. The history of the rise of Shint[=o]
    proves this."--T. Matsugami.

    "Makoto wo mote KAMI NO MICHI wo oshiyureba nari." (Thou
    teachest the way of God in truth.)--Mark xii. 14.

    "Ware wa Micni nuri, Mukoto nari, Inochi nari."--John
    xiv. 6.--The New Testament in Japanese.


"The Kojiki" mid its Myths of Cosmogony.

As to the origin of the "Kojiki," we have in the closing sentences of
the author's preface the sole documentary authority explaining its scope
and certifying to its authenticity. Briefly the statement is this: The
"Heavenly Sovereign" or Mikado, Temmu (A.D. 673-686), lamenting that the
records possessed by the chief families were "mostly amplified by empty
falsehoods," and fearing that "the grand foundation of the monarchy"
would be destroyed, resolved to preserve the truth. He therefore had the
records carefully examined, compared, and their errors eliminated. There
happened to be in his household a man of marvellous memory, named Hiyeda
Are, who could repeat, without mistake, the contents of any document he
had ever seen, and never forgot anything which he had heard. This person
was duly instructed in the genuine traditions and old language of former
ages, and made to repeat them until he had the whole by heart. "Before
the undertaking was completed," which probably means before it could be
committed to writing, "the emperor died, and for twenty-five years Are's
memory was the sole depository of what afterwards received the title of
'Kojiki.' ... At the end of this interval the Empress Gemmi[=o] ordered
Yasumar[=o] to write it down from the mouth of Are, which accounts for
the completion of the manuscript in so short a time as four months and a
half,"[1] in A.D. 712.

It is from the "Kojiki" that we obtain most of our ideas of ancient life
and thought. The "Nihongi," or Chronicles of Japan, expressed very
largely in Chinese phrases and with Chinese technical and philosophical
terms, further assists us to get a measurably correct idea of what is
called The Divine Age. Of the two books, however, the "Kojiki" is much
more valuable as a true record, because, though rude in style and
exceedingly naive in expression, and by no means free from Chinese
thoughts and phrases, it is marked by a genuinely Japanese cast of
thought and method of composition. Instead of the terse, carefully
measured, balanced, and antithetical sentences of correct Chinese, those
of the "Kojiki" are long and involved, and without much logical
connection. The "Kojiki" contains the real notions, feelings, and
beliefs of Japanese who lived before the eighth century.

Remembering that prefaces are, like porticos, usually added last of all,
we find that in the beginning all things were in chaos. Heaven and earth
were not separated. The world substance floated in the cosmic mass, like
oil on water or a fish in the sea. Motion in some way began. The
ethereal portions sublimed and formed the heavens; the heavier residuum
became the present earth. In the plain of high heaven, when the heaven
and earth began, were born three kami who "hid their bodies," that is,
passed away or died. Out of the warm mould of the earth a germ sprouted,
and from this were born two kami, who also were born alone, and died.
After these heavenly kami came forth what are called the seven divine
generations, or line of seven kami.[2]

To express the opening lines of the "Kojiki" in terms of our own speech
and in the moulds of Western thought, we may say that matter existed
before mind and the gods came forth, as it were, by spontaneous
evolution. The first thing that appeared out of the warm earth-muck was
like a rush-sprout, and this became a kami, or god. From this being came
forth others, which also produced beings, until there were perfect
bodies, sex and differentiation of powers. The "Nihongi," however, not
only gives a different view of this evolution basing it upon the dualism
of Chinese philosophy--that is, of the active and passive
principles--and uses Chinese technical terminology, but gives lists of
kami that differ notably from those in the "Kojiki." This latter fact
seems to have escaped the attention of those who write freely about what
they imagine to be the early religion of the Japanese.[3]

After this introduction, in which "Dualities, Trinities, and Supreme
Deities" have been discovered by writers unfamiliar with the genius of
the Japanese language, there follows an account of the creation of the
habitable earth by Izanami and Izanagi, whose names mean the
Male-Who-Invites and the Female-Who-Invites. The heavenly kami commanded
these two gods to consolidate and give birth to the drifting land.
Standing on the floating bridge of heaven, the male plunged his
jewel-spear into the unstable waters beneath, stirring them until they
gurgled and congealed. When he drew forth the spear, the drops trickling
from its point formed an island, ever afterward called Onokoro-jima, or
the Island of the Congealed Drop. Upon this island they descended. The
creative pair, or divine man and woman, now separated to make a journey
round the island, the male to the left, the female to the right. At
their meeting the female spoke first: "How joyful to meet a lovely man!"
The male, offended that the woman had spoken first, required the circuit
to be repeated. On their second meeting, the man cried out: "How joyful
to meet a lovely woman!" This island on which they had descended was the
first of several which they brought into being. In poetry it is the
Island of the Congealed Drop. In common geography it is identified as
Awaji, at the entrance of the Inland Sea. Thence followed the creation
of the other visible objects in nature.

Izanagi's Visit to Hades and Results.

After the birth of the god of fire, which nearly destroyed the mother's
life, Izanami fled to the land of roots or of darkness, that is into
Hades. Izanagi, like a true Orpheus, followed his Eurydice and beseeched
her to come back to earth to complete with him the work of creation. She
parleyed so long with the gods of the underworld that her consort,
breaking off a tooth of his comb, lighted it as a torch and rushed in.
He found her putrefied body, out of which had been born the eight gods
of thunder. Horrified at the awful foulness which he found in the
underworld, he rushed up and out, pursued by the Ugly-Female-of-Hades.
By artifices that bear a wonderful resemblance to those in Teutonic
fairy tales, he blocked up the way. His head-dress, thrown at his
pursuer, turned into grapes which she stopped to eat. The teeth of his
comb sprouted into a bamboo forest, which detained her. The three
peaches were used as projectiles; his staff which stuck up in the ground
became a gate, and a mighty rock was used to block up the narrow pass
through the mountains. Each of these objects has its relation to
place-names in Idzumo or to superstitions that are still extant. The
peaches and the rocks became gods, and on this incident, by which the
beings in Hades were prevented from advance and successful mischief on
earth, is founded one of the norito which Mr. Satow gives in condensed
form. The names of the three gods,[4] Youth and Maiden of the Many
Road-forkings, and Come-no-further Gate, are expressed and invoked in
the praises bestowed on them in connection with the offerings.

    He (the priest) says: I declare in the presence of the sovran
    gods, who like innumerable piles of rocks sit closing up the way
    in the multitudinous road-forkings.... I fulfil your praises by
    declaring your NAMES, Youth and Maiden of the Many Road-forkings
    and Come-no-further Gate, and say: for the OFFERINGS set up that
    you may prevent [the servants of the monarch] from being
    poisoned by and agreeing with the things which shall come
    roughly-acting and hating from the Root-country, the
    Bottom-country, that you may guard the bottom (of the gate) when
    they come from the bottom, guard the top when they come from the
    top, guarding with nightly guard and with daily guard, and may
    praise them--peacefully take the great OFFERINGS which are set
    up by piling them up like a range of hills, that is to say,
    providing bright cloth, etc., ... and sitting closing-up the way
    like innumerable piles of rock in the multitudinous
    road-forkings, deign to praise the sovran GRANDCHILD'S
    augustness eternally and unchangingly, and to bless his age as a
    luxuriant AGE.

Retreating to another part of the world--that is, into southwestern
Japan--Izanami purified himself by bathing in a stream. While washing
himself,[5] many kami were borne from the rinsings of his person, one of
them, from the left eye (the left in Japanese is always the honorable
side), being the far-shining or heaven-illuminating kami, whose name,
Amateras[)u], or Heaven-shiner, is usually translated "The Sun-goddess."
This personage is the centre of the system of Shint[=o]. The creation of
gods by a process of cleansing has had a powerful effect on the
Japanese, who usually associate cleanliness of the body (less moral,
than physical) with godliness.

It is not necessary to detail further the various stories which make up
the Japanese mythology. Some of these are lovely and beautiful, but
others are horrible and disgusting, while the dominant note throughout
is abundant filthiness.

Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain, who has done the world such good
service in translating into English the whole of the Kojiki, and
furnishing it with learned commentary and notes, has well said:

    "The shocking obscenity of word and act to which the 'Records'
    bear witness is another ugly feature which must not quite be
    passed over in silence. It is true that decency, as we
    understand it, is a very modern product, and it is not to be
    looked for in any society in the barbarous stage. At the same
    time, the whole range of literature might perhaps be ransacked
    for a parallel to the naive filthiness of the passage forming
    Sec. IV. of the following translation, or to the extraordinary
    topic which the hero Yamato-Take and his mistress Miyadz[)u] are
    made to select as the theme of poetical repartee. One passage
    likewise would lead us to suppose that the most beastly crimes
    were commonly committed."[6]

Indeed, it happens in several instances that the thread by which the
marvellous patchwork of unrelated and varying local myths is joined
together, is an indecent love story.

A thousand years after the traditions of the Kojiki had been committed
to writing, and orthodox Shint[=o] commentators had learned science from
the Dutch at Nagasaki, the stirring of the world mud by Izanagi's
spear[7] was gravely asserted to be the cause of the diurnal revolution
of the earth upon its axis, the point of the axis being still the jewel
spear.[8] Onogoro-jima, or the Island of the Congealed Drop, was
formerly at the north pole,[9] but subsequently removed to its present
position. How this happened is not told.

Life in Japan During the Divine Age.

Now that the Kojiki is in English and all may read it, we can clearly
see who and what were the Japanese in the ages before letters and
Chinese civilization; for these stories of the kami are but legendary
and mythical accounts of men and women. One could scarcely recognize in
the islanders of eleven or twelve hundred years ago, the polished,
brilliant, and interesting people of to-day. Yet truth compels us to say
that social morals in Dai Nippon, even with telegraphs and railways, are
still more like those of ancient days than readers of rhapsodies by
summer tourists might suppose. These early Japanese, indeed, were
possibly in a stage of civilization somewhat above that of the most
advanced of the American Indians when first met by Europeans, for they
had a rude system of agriculture and knew the art of fashioning iron
into tools and weapons. Still, they were very barbarous, certainly as
much so as our Germanic "forbears." They lived in huts. They were
without writing or commerce, and were able to count only to ten.[10]
Their cruelty was as revolting as that of the savage tribes of America.
The family was in its most rudimentary stage, with little or no
restraint upon the passions of men. Children of the same father, but not
of the same mother, could intermarry. The instances of men marrying
their sisters or aunts were very common. There was no art, unless the
making of clay images, to take the place of the living human victims
buried up to their necks in earth and left to starve on the death of
their masters,[11] may be designated as such.

The Magatama, or curved jewels, being made of ground and polished stone
may be called jewelry; but since some of these prehistoric ornaments dug
up from the ground are found to be of jade, a mineral which does not
occur in Japan, it is evident that some of these tokens of culture came
from the continent. Many other things produced by more or less skilled
mechanics, the origin of which is poetically recounted in the story of
the dancing of Uzume before the cave in which the Sun-goddess had hid
herself,[12] were of continental origin. Evidently these men of the
god-way had passed the "stone age," and, probably without going through
the intermediate bronze age, were artificers of iron and skilled in its
use. Most of the names of metals and of many other substances, and the
terms used in the arts and sciences, betray by their tell-tale etymology
their Chinese origin. Indeed, it is evident that some of the leading
kami were born in Korea or Tartary.

Then as now the people in Japan loved nature, and were quickly sensitive
to her beauty and profoundly in sympathy with her varied phenomena. In
the mediaeval ages, Japanese Wordsworths are not unknown.[13] Sincerely
they loved nature, and in some respects they seemed to understand the
character of their country far better than the alien does or can. Though
a land of wonderful beauty, the Country of Peaceful Shores is enfolded
in powers of awful destructiveness. With the earthquake and volcano, the
typhoon and the tidal wave, beauty and horror alternate with a swiftness
that is amazing.

Probably in no portion of the earth are the people and the land more
like each other or apparently better acquainted with each other. Nowhere
are thought and speech more reflective of the features of the landscape.
Even after ten centuries, the Japanese are, in temperament, what the
Kojiki reveals them to have been in their early simplicity. Indeed, just
as the modern Frenchman, down beneath his outward environments and his
habiliments cut and fitted yesterday, is intrinsically the same Gaul
whom Julius Caesar described eighteen hundred years ago, so the gentleman
of T[=o]ki[=o] or Ki[=o]to is, in his mental make-up, wonderfully like
his ancestors described by the first Japanese Stanley, who shed the
light of letters upon the night of unlettered Japan and darkest Dai

The Kojiki reveals to us, likewise, the childlike religious ideas of the
islanders. Heaven lay, not about but above them in their infancy, yet
not far away. Although in the "Notices," it is "the high plain of
heaven," yet it is just over their heads, and once a single pillar
joined it and the earth. Later, the idea was, that it was held up by the
pillar-gods of the wind, and to them norito were recited. "The great
plain of the blue sea" and "the land of luxuriant reeds" form "the
world"--which means Japan. The gods are only men of prowess or renown. A
kami is anything wonderful--god or man, rock or stream, bird or snake,
whatever is surprising, sensational, or phenomenal, as in the little
child's world of to-day. There is no sharp line dividing gods from men,
the natural from the supernatural, even as with the normal uneducated
Japanese of to-day. As for the kami or gods, they have all sorts of
characters; some of them being rude and ill-mannered, many of them
beastly and filthy, while others are noble and benevolent. The
attributes of moral purity, wisdom and holiness, cannot be, and in the
original writings are not, ascribed to them; but they were strong and
had power. In so far as they had power they were called kami or gods,
whether celestial or terrestrial. Among the kami--the one term under
which they are all included--there were heavenly bodies, mountains,
rivers, trees, rocks and animals, because those also were supposed to
possess force, or at least some kind of influence for good or evil. Even
peaches, as we have seen, when transformed into rocks, became gods.[14]

That there was worship with awe, reverence, and fear, and that the
festivals and sacrifices had two purposes, one of propitiating the
offended Kami and the other of purifying the worshipper, may be seen in
the norito or liturgies, some of which are exceedingly beautiful.[15] In
them the feelings of the gods are often referred to. Sometimes their
characters are described. Yet one looks in vain in either the "Notices,"
poems, or liturgies for anything definite in regard to these deities, or
concerning morals or doctrines to be held as dogmas. The first gods come
into existence after evolution of the matter of which they are composed
has taken place. The later gods are sometimes able to tell who are their
progenitors, sometimes not. They live and fight, eat and drink, and give
vent to their appetites and passions, and then they die; but exactly
what becomes of them after they die, the record does not state. Some are
in heaven, some on the earth, some in Hades. The underworld of the first
cycle of tradition is by no means that of the second.[16] Some of the
kami are in the water, or on the water, or in the air. As for man, there
is no clear statement as to whether he is to have any future life or
what is to become of him, though the custom or jun-shi, or dying with
the master, points to a sort of immortality such as the early Greeks and
the Iroquois believed in.

It would task the keenest and ablest Shint[=o]ist to deduce or construct
a system of theology, or of ethics, or of anthropology from the mass of
tradition so full of gaps and discord as that found in the Kojiki, and
none has done it. Nor do the inaccurate, distorted, and often almost
wholly factitious translations, so-called, of French and other writers,
who make versions which hit the taste of their occidental readers far
better than they express the truth, yield the desired information. Like
the end strands of a new spider's web, the lines of information on most
vital points are still "in the air."

The Ethics of the God-way.

There are no codes of morals inculcated in the god-way, for even its
modern revivalists and exponents consider that morals are the invention
of wicked people like the Chinese; while the ancient Japanese were pure
in thought and act. They revered the gods and obeyed the Mikado, and
that was the chief end of man, in those ancient times when Japan was the
world and Heaven was just above the earth. Not exactly on Paul's
principle of "where there is no law there is no transgression," but
utterly scouting the idea that formulated ethics were necessary for
these pure-minded people, the modern revivalists of Shint[=o] teach that
all that is "of faith" now is to revere the gods, keep the heart pure,
and follow its dictates.[17] The naivete of the representatives of
Shint[=o] at Chicago in A.D. 1893, was almost as great as that of the
revivalists who wrote when Japan was a hermit nation.

The very fact that there was no moral commandments, not even of loyalty
or obedience such as Confucianism afterward promulgated and formulated,
is proof to the modern Shint[=o]ist that the primeval Japanese were pure
and holy; they did right, naturally, and hence he does not hesitate to
call Japan, the Land of the Gods, the Country of the Holy Spirits, the
Region Between Heaven and Earth, the Island of the Congealed Drop, the
Sun's Nest, the Princess Country, the Land of Great Peace, the Land of
Great Gentleness, the Mikado's Empire, the Country ruled by a Theocratic
Dynasty. He considers that only with the vice brought over from the
Continent of Asia were ethics both imported and made necessary.[18]

All this has been solemnly taught by famous Shint[=o] scholars of the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and is still practically
promulgated in the polemic Shint[=o] literature of to-day, even after
the Kojiki has been studied and translated into European languages. The
Kojiki shows that whatever the men may have been or done, the gods were
abominably obscene, and both in word and deed were foul and revolting,
utterly opposed in act to those reserves of modesty or standards of
shame that exist even among the cultivated Japanese to-day.[19] Even
among the Ainos, whom the Japanese look upon as savages, there is still
much of the obscenity of speech which belongs to all society[20] in a
state of barbarism; but it has been proved that genuine modesty is a
characteristic of the Aino women.[21] A literal English translation of
the Kojiki, however, requires an abundant use of Latin in order to
protect it from the grasp of the law in English-speaking Christendom. In
Chamberlain's version, the numerous cesspools are thus filled up with a
dead language, and the road is constructed for the reader, who likes the
language of Edmund Spencer, of William Tyndale and of John Ruskin kept

The cruelty which marks this early stage shows that though moral codes
did not exist, the Buddhist and Confucian missionary were for Japan
necessities of the first order. Comparing the result to-day with the
state of things in the early times, one must award high praise to
Buddhism that it has made the Japanese gentle, and to Confucianism that
it has taught the proprieties of life, so that the polished Japanese
gentleman, as to courtesy, is in many respects the peer and at some
external points the superior, of his European confrere.

Another fact, made repulsively clear, about life in ancient Japan, is
that the high ideals of truth and honor, characteristic at least of the
Samurai of modern times, were utterly unknown in the days of the kami.
Treachery was common. Instances multiply on the pages of the Kojiki
where friend betrayed friend. The most sacred relations of life were
violated. Altogether these were the darkest ages of Japan, though, as
among the red men of America, there were not wanting many noble examples
of stoical endurance, of courage, and of power nobly exerted for the
benefit of others.

The Rise of Mikadoism.

Nevertheless we must not forget that the men of the early age of the
Kami no Michi conquered the aborigines by superior dogmas and fetiches,
as well as by superior weapons. The entrance of these heroes, invaders
from the highlands of the Asian continent, by way of Korea, was
relatively a very influential factor of progress, though not so
important as was the Aryan descent upon India, or the Norman invasion of
England, for the aboriginal tribes were vastly lower in the scale of
humanity than their subduers. Where they found savagery they introduced
barbarism, which, though unlettered and based on the sword, was a vast
improvement over what may be called the geological state of man, in
which he is but slightly raised above the brutes.

For the proofs from the shell heaps, combined with the reflected
evidences of folk-lore, show, that cannibalism[22] was common in the
early ages, and that among the aboriginal hill tribes it lingered after
the inhabitants of the plain and shore had been subdued. The conquerors,
who made themselves paramount over the other tribes and who developed
the Kami religion, abolished this relic of savagery, and gave order
where there had been chronic war. Another thing that impresses us
because of its abundant illustrations, is the prevalence of human
sacrifices. The very ancient folk-lore shows that beautiful maidens were
demanded by the "sea-gods" in propitiation, or were devoured by the
"dragons." These human victims were either chosen or voluntarily
offered, and in some instances were rescued from their fate by
chivalrous heroes[23] from among the invaders.

These gods of the sea, who anciently were propitiated by the sacrifice
of human beings, are the same to whom Japanese sailors still pray,
despite their Buddhism. The title of the efficient victims was
_hitoga-shira_, or human pillars. Instances of this ceremony, where men
were lowered into the water and drowned in order to make the sure
foundation for bridges, piers or sea-walls, or where they were buried
alive in the earth in order to lay the right bases for walls or castles,
are quite numerous, and most of the local histories contain specific
traditions.[24] These traditions, now transfigured, still survive in
customs that are as beautiful as they are harmless. To reformers of
pre-Buddhistic days, belongs the credit of the abolition of jun-shi, or
dying with the master by burial alive, as well as of the sacrifice to
dragons and sea-gods.

Strange as it may seem, before Buddhism captured and made use of
Shint[=o] for its own purposes (just as it stands ready to-day to absorb
Christianity by making Jesus one of the Palestinian avatars of the
Buddha), the house or tribe of Yamato, with its claim to descent from
the heavenly gods, and with its Mikado or god-ruler, had given to the
Buddhists a precedent and potent example. Shint[=o], as a state religion
or union of politics and piety, with its system of shrines and
festivals, and in short the whole Kami no Michi, or Shint[=o] as we know
it, from the sixth to the eighth century, was in itself (in part at
least), a case of the absorption of one religion by another.

In short, the Mikado tribe or Yamato clan did, in reality, capture the
aboriginal religion, and turn it into a great political machine. They
attempted syncretism and succeeded in their scheme. They added to their
own stock of dogma and fetich that of the natives. Only, while
recognizing the (earth) gods of the aborigines they proclaimed the
superiority of the Mikado as representative and vicegerent of Heaven,
and demanded that even the gods of the earth, mountain, river, wind, and
thunder and lightning should obey him. Not content, however, with
absorbing and corrupting for political purposes the primitive faith of
the aborigines, the invaders corrupted their own religion by carrying
the dogma of the divinity and infallibility of the Mikado too far.
Stopping short of no absurdity, they declared their chief greater even
than the heavenly gods, and made their religion centre in him rather
than in his alleged heavenly ancestors, or "heaven." In the interest of
politics and conquest, and for the sake of maintaining the prestige of
their tribe and clan, these "Mikado-reverencers" of early ages advanced
from dogma to dogma, until their leader was virtually chief god in a
great pantheon.

A critical native Japanese, student of the Kojiki and of the early
writings, Professor Kumi, formerly of the Imperial University in
T[=o]ki[=o], has brought to light abundant evidence to show that the
aboriginal religion found by the Yamato conquerors was markedly
different at many vital points, from that which was long afterward
called Shint[=o].

If the view of recent students of anthropology be correct, that the
elements dominating the population in ancient Japan were in the south,
Malay; in the north, Aino; and in the central region, or that occupied
by the Yamato men, Korean; then, these continental invaders may have
been worshippers of Heaven and have possessed a religion closely akin to
that of ancient China with its monotheism. It is very probable also that
they came into contact with tribes or colonies of their
fellow-continentals from Asia. These tribes, hunters, fishermen, or rude
agriculturists--who had previously reached Japan--practised many rites
and ceremonies which were much like those of the new invaders. It is
certain also, as we have seen, that the Yamato men made ultimate
conquest and unification of all the islanders, not merely by the
superiority of their valor and of their weapons of iron, but also by
their dogmas. After success in battle, and the first beginnings of rude
government, they taught their conquered subjects or over-awed vassals,
that they were the descendants of the heavenly gods; that their
ancestors had come down from heaven; find that their chief or Mikado was
a god. According to the same dogmatics, the aborigines were descendants
of the earth-born gods, and as such must obey the descendants of the
heavenly gods, and their vicegerent upon the earth, the Mikado.

Purification of Offences.

These heaven-descended Yamato people were in the main agriculturists,
though of a rude order, while the outlying tribes were mostly hunters
and fishermen; and many of the rituals show the class of crimes which
nomads, or men of unsettled life, would naturally commit against their
neighbors living in comparatively settled order. It is to be noted that
in the god-way the origin of evil is to be ascribed to evil gods. These
kami pollute, and pollution is iniquity. From this iniquity the people
are to be purged by the gods of purification, to whom offerings are duly

He who would understand the passion for cleanliness which characterizes
the Japanese must look for its source in their ancient religion. The
root idea of the word _tsumi_, which Mr. Satow translated as "offence,"
is that of pollution. On this basis, of things pure and things defiling,
the ancient teachers of Shint[=o] made their classification of what was
good and what was bad. From the impression of what was repulsive arose
the idea of guilt.

In rituals translated by Mr. Satow, the list of offences is given and
the defilements are to be removed to the nether world, or, in common
fact, the polluted objects and the expiatory sacrifices are to be thrown
into the rivers and thence carried to the sea, where they fall to the
bottom of the earth. The following norito clearly shows this.
Furthermore, as Mr. Satow, the translator, points out, this ritual
contains the germ of criminal law, a whole code of which might have been
evolved and formulated under Shint[=o], had not Buddhism arrested its

    Amongst the various sorts of offences which may be committed in
    ignorance or out of negligence by heaven's increasing people,
    who shall come into being in the country, which the Sovran
    GRANDCHILD'S augustness, hiding in the fresh RESIDENCE, built by
    stoutly planting the HOUSE-pillars on the bottom-most rocks, and
    exalting the cross-beams to the plain of high heaven, as his
    SHADE from the heavens and SHADE from the sun, shall tranquilly
    ruin as a peaceful country, namely, the country of great Yamato,
    where the sun is soon on high, which he fixed upon as a peaceful
    country, as the centre of the countries of the four quarters
    thus bestowed upon him--breaking the ridges, filling up
    water-courses, opening sluices, double-sowing, planting stakes,
    flaying alive, flaying backwards, and dunging; many of such
    offences are distinguished as heavenly offences, and as earthly
    offences; cutting living flesh, cutting dead flesh, leprosy,
    proud-flesh, ... calamities of crawling worms, calamities of a
    god on high, calamities of birds on high, the offences of
    killing beasts and using incantations; many of such offences may
    be disclosed.

    When he has thus repeated it, the heavenly gods will push open
    heaven's eternal gates, and cleaving a path with might through
    the manifold clouds of heaven, will hear; and the country gods,
    ascending to the tops of the high mountains, and to the tops of
    the low hills, and tearing asunder the mists of the high
    mountains and the mists of the low hills, will hear.

    And when they have thus heard, the
    Maiden-of-Descent-into-the-Current, who dwells in the current of
    the swift stream which boils down the ravines from the tops of
    the high mountains, and the tops of the low hills, shall carry
    out to the great sea plain the offences which are cleared away
    and purified, so that there be no remaining offence; like as
    Shinato's wind blows apart the manifold clouds of heaven, as the
    morning wind and the evening wind blow away the morning mist and
    the evening mist, as the great ships which lie on the shore of a
    great port loosen their prows, and loosen their sterns to push
    out into the great sea-plain; as the trunks of the forest trees,
    far and near, are cleared away by the sharp sickle, the sickle
    forged with fire: so that there ceased to be any offence called
    an offence in the court of the Sovran GRANDCHILD'S augustness to
    begin with, and in the countries of the four quarters of the
    region under heaven.

    And when she thus carries them out and away, the deity called
    the Maiden-of-the-Swift-cleansing, who dwells in the
    multitudinous meetings of the sea waters, the multitudinous
    currents of rough sea-waters shall gulp them down.

    And when she has thus gulped them down, the lord of the
    Breath-blowing-place, who dwells in the Breath-blowing-place,
    shall utterly blow them away with his breath to the
    Root-country, the Bottom-country.

    And when he has thus blown them away, the deity called the
    Maiden-of-Swift-Banishment, who dwells in the Root-country, the
    Bottom-country, shall completely banish them, and get rid of

    And when they have thus been got rid of, there shall from this
    day onwards be no offence which is called offence, with regard
    to the men of the offices who serve in the court of the Sovran,
    nor in the four quarters of the region under heaven.

Then the high priest says:

    Hear all of you how he leads forth the horse, as a thing that
    erects its ears towards the plain of high heaven, and deigns to
    sweep away and purify with the general purification, as the
    evening sun goes down on the last day of the watery moon of this

    O diviners of the four countries, take (the sacrifices) away out
    to the river highway, and sweep them away.

Mikadoism Usurps the Primitive God-way.

A further proof of the transformation of the primitive god-way in the
interest of practical politics, is shown by Professor Kumi in the fact
that some of the festivals now directly connected with the Mikado's
house, and even in his honor, were originally festivals with which he
had nothing to do, except as leader of the worship, for the honor was
paid to Heaven, and not to his ancestors. Professor Kumi maintains that
the thanksgivings of the court were originally to Heaven itself, and not
in honor of Amateras[)u], the sun-goddess, as is now popularly believed.
It is related in the Kojiki that Amateras[)u] herself celebrated the
feast of Niiname. So also, the temple of Ise, the Mecca of Shint[=o],
and the Holy shrine in the imperial palace were originally temples for
the worship of Heaven. The inferior gods of earthly origin form no part
of primitive Shint[=o].

Not one of the first Mikados was deified after death, the deification of
emperors dating from the corruption which Shint[=o] underwent after the
introduction of Buddhism. Only by degrees was the ruler of the country
given a place in the worship, and this connection was made by
attributing to him descent from Heaven. In a word, the contention of
Professor Kumi is, that the ancient religion of at least a portion of
the Japanese and especially of those in central Japan, was a rude sort
of monotheism, coupled, as in ancient China, with the worship of
subordinate spirits.

It is needless to say that such applications of the higher criticism to
the ancient sacred documents proved to be no safer for the applier than
if he had lived in the United States of America. The orthodox
Shint[=o]ists were roused to wrath and charged the learned critic with
"degrading Shint[=o] to a mere branch of Christianity." The government,
which, despite its Constitution and Diet, is in the eyes of the people
really based on the myths of the Kojiki, quickly put the professor on
the retired list.[25]

It is probably correct to say that the arguments adduced by Professor
Kumi, confirm our theory of the substitution in the simple god-way, of
Mikadoism, the centre of the primitive worship being the sun and nature
rather than Heaven.

Between the ancient Chinese religion with its abstract idea of Heaven
and its personal term for God, and the more poetic and childlike system
of the god-way, there seems to be as much difference as there is
racially between the people of the Middle Kingdom and those of the Land
Where the Day Begins. Indeed, the entrance of Chinese philosophical and
abstract ideas seemed to paralyze the Japanese imagination. Not only did
myth-making, on its purely aesthetic and non-utilitarian side cease
almost at once, but such myths as were formed were for direct business
purposes and with a transparent tendency. Henceforth, in the domain of
imagination the Japanese intellect busied itself with assimilating or
re-working the abundant material imported by Buddhism.

Ancient Customs and Usages.

In the ancient god-way the temple or shrine was called a miya. After the
advent of Buddhism the keepers of the shrine were called kannushi, that
is, shrine keepers or wardens of the god. These men were usually
descendants of the god in whose honor the temples were built. The gods
being nothing more than human founders of families, reverence was paid
to them as ancestors, and so the basis of Shint[=o] is ancestor worship.
The model of the miya, in modern as in ancient times, is the primitive
hut as it was before Buddhism introduced Indian and Chinese
architecture. The posts, stuck in the ground, and not laid upon stones
as in after times, supported the walls and roof, the latter being of
thatch. The rafters, crossed at the top, were tied along the ridge-pole
with the fibres of creepers or wistaria vines. No paint, lacquer,
gilding, or ornaments of any sort existed in the ancient shrine, and
even to-day the modern Shint[=o] temple must be of pure hinoki or
sun-wood, and thatched, while the use of metal is as far as possible
avoided. To the gods, as the norito show, offerings of various kinds
were made, consisting of the fruits of the soil, the products of the
sea, and the fabrics of the loom.

Inside modern temples one often sees a mirror, in which foreigners with
lively imaginations read a great deal that is only the shadow of their
own mind, but which probably was never known in Shint[=o] temples until
after Buddhist times. They also see in front of the unpainted wooden
closets or casements, wands or sticks of wood from which depend masses
or strips of white paper, cut and notched in a particular way.
Foreigners, whose fancy is nimble, have read in these the symbols of
lightning, the abode of the spirits and various forthshadowings unknown
either to the Japanese or the ancient writings. In reality these
_gohei_, or honorable offerings, are nothing more than the paper
representatives of the ancient offerings of cloth which were woven, as
the arts progressed, of bark, of hemp and of silk.

The chief Shint[=o] ministers of religion and shrine-keepers belonged to
particular families, which were often honored with titles and offices by
the emperor. In ordinary life they dressed like others of their own rank
or station, but when engaged in their sacred office were robed in white
or in a special official costume, wearing upon their heads the _eboshi_
or peculiar cap which we associate with Japanese archaeology. They knew
nothing of celibacy; but married, reared families and kept their scalps
free from the razor, though some of the lower order of shrine-keepers
dressed their hair in ordinary style, that is, with shaven poll and
topknot. At some of the more important shrines, like those at Ise, there
were virgin priestesses who acted as custodians both of the shrines and
of the relics.[26]

In front of the miyas stood what we should suppose on first seeing was a
gateway. This was the _torii_ or bird-perch, and anciently was made only
of unpainted wood. Two upright tree-trunks held crosswise on a smooth
tree-trunk the ends of which projected somewhat over the supports, while
under this was a smaller beam inserted between the two uprights. On the
torii, the birds, generally barn-yard fowls which were sacred to the
gods, roosted. These creatures were not offered up as sacrifices, but
were chanticleers to give notice of day-break and the rising of the sun.
The cock holds a prominent place in Japanese myth, legend, art and
symbolism. How this feature of pure Japanese architecture, the torii,
afterward lost its meaning, we shall show in our lecture on Riy[=o]bu or
mixed Buddhism.

Shint[=o]'s Emphasis on Cleanliness.

One of the most remarkable features of Shint[=o] was the emphasis laid
on cleanliness. Pollution was calamity, defilement was sin, and physical
purity at least, was holiness. Everything that could in any way soil the
body or the clothing was looked upon with abhorrence and detestation.
Disease, wounds and death were defiling, and the feeling of disgust
prevailed over that of either sympathy or pity. Birth and death were
especially polluting. Anciently there were huts built both for the
mother about to give birth to a child, or for the man who was dying or
sure to die of disease or wounds. After the birth of the infant or the
death of the patient these houses were burned. Cruel as this system was
to the woman at a time when she needed most care and comfort, and brutal
as it seems in regard to the sick and dying, yet this ancient custom was
continued in a few remote places in Japan as late as the year 1878.[27]
In modern days with equal knowledge of danger and defilement, tenderness
and compassion temper the feeling of disgust, and prevail over it.
Horror of uncleanliness was so great that the priests bathed and put on
clean garments before making the sacred offerings or chanting the
liturgies, and were accustomed to bind a slip of paper over their mouths
lest their breath should pollute the offering. Numerous were the special
festivals, observed simply for purification. Salt also was commonly used
to sprinkle over the ground, and those who attended a funeral must free
themselves from contamination by the use of salt.[28] Purification by
water was habitual and in varied forms. The ancient emperors and priests
actually performed the ablution of the people or made public lustration
in their behalf.

Afterwards, and probably because population increased and towns sprang
up, we find it was customary at the festivals of purification to perform
public ablution, vicariously, as it were, by means of paper mannikins
instead of making applications of water to the human cuticle. Twice a
year paper figures representing the people were thrown into the river,
the typical meaning of which was that the nation was thereby cleansed
from the sins, that is, the defilements, of the previous half-year.
Still later, the Mikado made the chief minister of religion at Ki[=o]to
his deputy to perform the symbolical act for the people of the whole

Prayers to Myriads of Gods.

In prayer, the worshipper, approaching the temple but not entering it,
pulls a rope usually made of white material and attached to a
peculiar-shaped bell hung over the shrine, calling the attention of the
deity to his devotions. Having washed his hands and rinsed out his
mouth, he places his hands reverently together and offers his petition.

Concerning the method and words of prayer, Hirata, a famous exponent of
Shint[=o], thus writes:

    As the number of the gods who possess different functions is so
    great, it will be convenient to worship by name only the most
    important and to include the rest in a general petition. Those
    whose daily affairs are so multitudinous that they have not time
    to go through the whole of the following morning prayers, may
    content themselves with adoring the residence of the emperor,
    the domestic kami-dana, the spirits of their ancestors, their
    local patron god and the deity of their particular calling in

    In praying to the gods the blessings which each has it in his
    power to bestow are to be mentioned in a few words, and they are
    not to be annoyed with greedy petitions, for the Mikado in his
    palace offers up petitions daily on behalf of his people, which
    are far more effectual than those of his subjects.

    Rising early in the morning, wash your face and hands, rinse out
    the mouth and cleanse the body. Then turn toward the province of
    Yamato, strike the palms of the hands together twice, and
    worship, bowing the head to the ground. The proper posture is
    that of kneeling on the heels, which is ordinarily assumed in
    saluting a superior.


    From a distance I reverently worship with awe before Ame no
    Mi-hashira (Heaven-pillar) and Kuni no Mi-hashira
    (Country-pillar), also called Shinatsu-hiko no kami and
    Shinatsu-hime no kami, to whom is consecrated the Palace built
    with stout pillars at Tatsuta no Tachinu in the department of
    Heguri in the province of Yamato.

    I say with awe, deign to bless me by correcting the unwitting
    faults which, seen and heard by you, I have committed, by
    blowing off and clearing away the calamities which evil gods
    might inflict, by causing me to live long like the hard and
    lasting rock, and by repeating to the gods of heavenly origin
    and to the gods of earthly origin the petitions which I present
    every day, along with your breath, that they may hear with the
    sharp-earedness of the forth-galloping colt.

To the common people the sun is actually a god, as none can doubt who
sees them worshipping it morning and evening. The writer can never
forget one of many similar scenes in T[=o]ki[=o], when late one
afternoon after O Tent[=o] Sama (the sun-Lord of Heaven), which had been
hidden behind clouds for a fortnight, shone out on the muddy streets. In
a moment, as with the promptness of a military drill, scores of people
rushed out of their houses and with faces westward, kneeling, squatting,
began prayer and worship before the great luminary. Besides all the
gods, supreme, subordinate and local, there is in nearly every house the
Kami-dana or god-shelf. This is usually over the door inside. It
contains images with little paper-covered wooden tablets having the
god's name on them. Offerings are made by day and a little lamp is
lighted at night. The following is one of several prayers which are
addressed to this kami-dana.

    Reverently adoring the great god of the two palaces of Ise, in
    the first place, the eight hundred myriads of celestial gods,
    the eight hundred myriads of terrestrial gods, all the fifteen
    hundred myriads of gods to whom are consecrated the great and
    small temples in all provinces, all islands and all places of
    the Great Land of Eight Islands, the fifteen hundreds of myriads
    of gods whom they cause to serve them, and the gods of branch
    palaces and branch temples, and Sohodo no kami, whom I have
    invited to the shrine set up on this divine shelf, and to whom I
    offer praises day by day, I pray with awe that they will deign
    to correct the unwitting faults, which, heard and seen by them,
    I have committed, and blessing and favoring me according to the
    powers which they severally wield, cause me to follow the divine
    example, and to perform good works in the Way.

Shint[=o] Left in a State of Arrested Development.

Thus from the emperor to the humblest believer, the god-way is founded
on ancestor worship, and has had grafted upon its ritual system nature
worship, even to phallicism.[29] In one sense it is a self-made religion
of the Japanese. Its leading characteristics are seen in the traits of
the normal Japanese character of to-day. Its power for good and evil may
be traced in the education of the Japanese through many centuries.
Knowing Shint[=o], we to a large degree know the Japanese, their virtues
and their failings.

What Shint[=o] might have become in its full evolution had it been left
alone, we cannot tell. Whether in the growth of the nation and without
the pressure of Buddhism, Confucianism or other powerful influences from
outside, the scattered and fragmentary mythology might have become
organized into a harmonious system, or codes of ethics have been
formulated, or the doctrines of a future life and the idea of a Supreme
Being with personal attributes have been conceived and perfected, are
questions the discussion of which may seem to be vain. History, however,
gives no uncertain answer as to what actually did take place. We do but
state what is unchallenged fact, when we say, that after commitment to
writing of the myths, poems and liturgies which may be called the basis
of Shint[=o], there came a great flood of Chinese and Buddhistic
literature and a tremendous expansion of Buddhist missionary activity,
which checked further literary growth of the kami system. These prepared
the way for the absorption of the indigenous into the foreign cultus
under the form called by an enthusiastic emperor, Riy[=o]bu Shint[=o],
or the "two-fold divine doctrine." Of this, we shall speak in another

Suffice it here to say that by the scheme of syncretism propounded by
K[=o]b[=o] in the ninth century, Shint[=o] was practically overlaid by
the new faith from India, and largely forgotten as a distinct religion
by the Japanese people. As late as A.D. 927, there were three thousand
one hundred and thirty-two enumerated metropolitan and provincial
temples, besides many more unenumerated village and hamlet shrines of
Shint[=o]. These are referred to in the revised codes of ceremonial law
set forth by imperial authority early in the tenth century. Probably by
the twelfth century the pure rites of the god-way were celebrated, and
the unmixed traditions maintained, in families and temples, so few as to
be counted on the fingers. The ancient language in which the archaic
forms had been preserved was so nearly lost and buried, that out of the
ooze of centuries of oblivion, it had to be rescued by the skilled
divers of the seventeenth century. Mabuchi, Motoeri and the other
revivalists of pure Shint[=o], like the plungers after orient pearls,
persevered until they had first recovered much that had been supposed
irretrievably lost. These scholars deciphered and interpreted the
ancient scriptures, poetry, prose, history, law and ritual, and once
more set forth the ancient faith, as they believed, in its purity.

Whether, however, men can exactly reproduce and think for themselves the
thoughts of others who have been dead for a millennium, is an open
question. The new system is apt to be transparent. Just as it is nearly
impossible for us to restore the religious life, thoughts and orthodoxy
of the men who lived before the flood, so in the writings of the
revivalists of pure Shint[=o] we detect the thoughts of Dutchmen, of
Chinese, and of very modern Japanese. Unconsciously, those who would
breathe into the dry bones of dead Shint[=o] the breath of the
nineteenth century, find themselves compelled to use an oxygen and
nitrogen generator made in Holland and mounted with Chinese apparatus;
withal, lacquered and decorated with the art of to-day. To change from
metaphor to matter of fact, modern "pure Shint[=o]" is mainly a mass of
speculation and philosophy, with a tendency of which the ancient god-way
knew nothing.

The Modern Revivalists of Kami no Michi.

Passing by further mention of the fifteen or more corrupt sects of
Shint[=o]ists, we name with honor the native scholars of the
seventeenth century, who followed the illustrious example of Iyeyas[)u],
the political unifier of Japan. They ransacked the country and purchased
from temples, mansions and farmhouses, old manuscripts and books, and
forming libraries began anew the study of ancient language and history.
Keichu (1640-1701), a Buddhist priest, explored and illumined the poems
of the Many[=o]shu. Kada Adzumar[=o], born in 1669 near Ki[=o]to, the
son of a shrine-keeper at Inari, attempted the mastery of the whole
archaic native language and literature. He made a grand beginning. He is
unquestionably the founder of the school of Pure Shint[=o]. He died in
1736. His successor and pupil was Mabuchi (1697-1769), who claimed
direct descent from that god which in the form of a colossal crow had
guided the first chief of the Yamato tribe as he led his invaders
through the country to found the line of Mikados. After Mabuchi came
Motooeri (1730-1801) a remarkable scholar and critic, who, with erudition
and acuteness, analyzed the ancient literature and showed what were
Chinese or imported elements and what was of native origin. He
summarized the principles of the ancient religion, reasserted and
illuminated with amazing learning and voluminous commentary the archaic
documents, expounded and defended the ancient cosmogony, and in the
usual style of Japanese polemics preached anew the doctrines of
Shint[=o]. With wonderful naivete and enthusiasm, Motooeri taught that
Japan was the first part of the earth created, and that it is therefore
The Land of the Gods, the Country of the Holy Spirits. The stars were
created from the muck which fell from the spear of Izanagi as he thrust
it into the warm earth, while the other countries were formed by the
spontaneous consolidation of the foam of the sea. Morals were invented
by the Chinese because they were an immoral people, but in Japan there
is no necessity for any system of morals, as every Japanese acts aright
if he only consults his own heart. The duty of a good Japanese consists
in obeying the Mikado, without questioning whether his commands are
right or wrong. The Mikado is god and vicar of all the gods, hence
government and religion are the same, the Mikado being the centre of
Church and State, which are one. Did the foreign nations know their duty
they would at once hasten to pay tribute to the Son of Heaven in

It is needless here to dwell upon the tremendous power of Shint[=o] as a
political system, especially when wedded with the forces, generated in
the minds of the educated Japanese by modern Confucianism. The Chinese
ethical system, expanded into a philosophy as fascinating as the English
materialistic school of to-day, entered Japan contemporaneously with the
revival of the Way of the Gods and of native learning. In full rampancy
of their vigor, in the seventeenth century these two systems began that
generation of national energy, which in the eighteenth century was
consolidated and which in the nineteenth century, though unknown and
unsuspected by Europeans or Americans, was all ready for phenomenal
manifestation and tremendous eruption, even while Perry's fleet was
bearing the olive branch to Japan. As we all know, this consolidation of
forces from the inside, on meeting, not with collision but with union,
the exterior forces of western civilization, formed a resultant in the
energies which have made New Japan.

The Great Purification of 1870.

In 1870, with the Sh[=o]gun of Yedo deposed, the dual system abolished,
feudalism in its last gasp and Shint[=o] in full political power, with
the ancient council of the gods (Jin Gi Kuan) once more established, and
purified Shint[=o] again the religion of state, thousands of Riy[=o]bu
Shint[=o] temples were at once purged of all their Buddhist ornaments,
furniture, ritual, and everything that might remind the Japanese of
foreign elements. Then began, logically and actually, the persecution of
those Christians, who through all the centuries of repression and
prohibition had continued their existence, and kept their faith however
mixed and clouded. Theoretically, ancient belief was re-established, yet
it was both physically and morally impossible to return wholly to the
baldness and austere simplicity of those early ages, in which art and
literature were unknown. For a while it seemed as though the miracle
would be performed, of turning back the dial of the ages and of plunging
Japan into the fountain of her own youth. Propaganda was instituted, and
the attempts made to convert all the Japanese to Shint[=o] tenets and
practice were for a while more lively than edifying; but the scheme was
on the whole a splendid failure, and bitter disappointment succeeded the
first exultation of victory. Confronted by modern problems of society
and government, the Mikado's ministers found themselves unable, if
indeed willing, to entomb politics in religion, as in the ancient ages.
For a little while, in 1868, the Jin Gi Kuan, or Council of the Gods of
Heaven and Earth, held equal authority with the Dai J[=o] Kuan, or Great
Council of the Government. Pretty soon the first step downward was
taken, and from a supreme council it was made one of the ten departments
of the government. In less than a year followed another retrograde
movement and the department was called a board. Finally, in 1877, the
board became a bureau. Now, it is hard to tell what rank the Shint[=o]
cultus occupies in the government, except as a system of guardianship
over the imperial tombs, a mode of official etiquette, and as one of the
acknowledged religions of the country.

Nevertheless, as an element in that amalgam of religions which forms the
creed of most Japanese, Shint[=o] is a living force, and shares with
Buddhism the arena against advancing Christianity, still supplying much
of the spring and motive to patriotism.

The Shint[=o] lecturers with unblushing plagiarism rifled the
storehouses of Chinese ethics. They enforced their lessons from the
Confucian classics. Indeed, most of their homiletical and illustrative
material is still derived directly therefrom. Their three main official
theses and commandments were:

    1. Thou shalt honor the Gods and love thy country.

    2. Thou shalt clearly understand the principles of Heaven, and
    the duty of man.

    3. Thou shalt revere the Emperor as thy sovereign and obey the
    will of his Court.

For nearly twenty years this deliverance of the Japanese Government,
which still finds its strongest support in the national traditions and
the reverence of the people for the throne, sufficed for the necessities
of the case. Then the copious infusion of foreign ideas, the
disintegration of the old framework of society, and the weakening of the
old ties of obedience and loyalty, with the flood of shallow knowledge
and education which gave especially children and young people just
enough of foreign ideas to make them dangerous, brought about a
condition of affairs which alarmed the conservative and patriotic. Like
fungus upon a dead tree strange growths had appeared, among others that
of a class of violently patriotic and half-educated young men and boys,
called _Soshi_. These hot-headed youths took it upon themselves to
dictate national policy to cabinet ministers, and to reconstruct
society, religion and politics. Something like a mania broke out all
over the country which, in certain respects, reminds us of the
Children's Crusade, that once afflicted Europe and the children
themselves. Even Christianity did not escape the craze for
reconstruction. Some of the young believers and pupils of the
missionaries seemed determined to make Christianity all over so as to
suit themselves. This phase of brain-swelling is not yet wholly over.
One could not tell but that something like the Tai Ping rebellion, which
disturbed and devastated China, might break out.

These portentous signs on the social horizon called forth, in 1892, from
the government an Imperial Rescript, which required that the emperor's
photograph be exhibited in every school, and saluted by all teachers and
scholars whatever their religious tenets and scruples might be. Most
Christians as well as Buddhists, saw nothing in this at which to
scruple. A few, however, finding in it an offence to conscience,
resigned their positions. They considered the mandate an unwarrantable
interference with their rights as conferred by the constitution of 1889,
which in theory is the gift of the emperor to his people.

The radical Shint[=o]ist, to this day, believes that all political
rights which Japanese enjoy or can enjoy are by virtue of the Mikado's
grace and benevolence. It is certain that all Japanese, whatever may be
their religious convictions, consider that the constitution depends for
its safeguards and its validity largely upon the oath which the Mikado
swore at the shrine of his heavenly ancestors, that he would himself be
obedient to it and preserve its provisions inviolate. For this solemn
ceremony a special norito or liturgy was composed and recited.

Summary of Shint[=o].

Of Shint[=o] as a system we have long ago given our opinion. In its
higher forms, "Shint[=o] is simply a cultured and intellectual atheism;
in its lower forms it is blind obedience to governmental and priestly
dictates." "Shint[=o]," says Mr. Ernest Satow, "as expounded by Motooeri
is nothing more than an engine for reducing the people to a condition of
mental slavery." Japan being a country of very striking natural
phenomena, the very soil and air lend themselves to support in the
native mind this system of worship of heroes and of the forces of
nature. In spite, however, of the conservative power of the ancestral
influences, the patriotic incentives and the easy morals of Shint[=o]
under which lying and licentiousness shelter themselves, it is doubtful
whether with the pressure of Buddhism, and the spread of popular
education and Christianity, Shint[=o] can retain its hold upon the
Japanese people. Yet although this is our opinion, it is but fair, and
it is our duty, to judge every religion by its ideals and not by its
failings. The ideal of Shint[=o] is to make people pure and clean in all
their personal and household arrangements; it is to help them to live
simply, honestly and with mutual good will; it is to make the Japanese
love their country, honor their imperial house and obey their emperor.
Narrow and local as this religion is, it has had grand exemplars in
noble lives and winning characters.

So far as Shint[=o] is a religion, Christianity meets it not as
destroyer but fulfiller, for it too believes that cleanliness is not
only next to godliness but a part of it. Jesus as perfect man and
patriot, Captain of our salvation and Prince of peace, would not destroy
the Yamato damashii--the spirit of unconquerable Japan--but rather
enlarge, broaden, and deepen it, making it love for all humanity.
Reverence for ancestral virtue and example, so far from being weakened,
is strengthened, and as for devotion to king and ruler, law and society,
Christianity lends nobler motives and grander sanctions, while
showing clearly, not indeed the way of the eight million or more gods,
but the way to God--the one living, only and true, even through Him who
said "I am the Way."


    "Things being investigated, knowledge became complete; knowledge
    being complete, thoughts were sincere; thoughts being sincere,
    hearts were rectified; hearts being rectified, persons were
    cultivated; persons being cultivated, families were regulated;
    families being regulated, states were rightly governed; states
    being rightly governed, the whole nation was made tranquil and

    "When you know a thing to hold that you know it; and when you do
    not know a thing to allow that you do not know it; this is

    "Old age sometimes becomes second childhood; why should not
    filial piety become parental love?"

    "The superior man accords with the course of the mean. Though he
    may be all unknown, unregarded by the world, he feels no regret.
    He is only the sage who is able for this."--Sayings of

    "There is, in a word, no bringing down of God to men in
    Confucianism in order to lift them up to Him. Their moral
    shortcomings, when brought home to them, may produce a feeling
    of shame, but hardly a conviction of guilt."--James Legge.

    "Do not to others what you would not have them do to you."--The
    Silver Rule.

    "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye
    even so to them."--The Golden Rule.

    "In respect to revenging injury done to master or father, it is
    granted by the wise and virtuous (Confucius) that you and the
    injurer cannot live together under the canopy of
    heaven."--Legacy of Iyeyas[)u], Cap. iii, Lowder's translation.

    "But I say unto you forgive your enemies."--Jesus.

    "Thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer, thy name is from


Confucius a Historical Character.

If the greatness of a teacher is to be determined by the number of his
disciples, or to be measured by the extent and diversity of his
influence, then the foremost place among all the teachers of mankind
must be awarded to The Master Kung (or Confucius, as the Jesuit scholars
of the seventeenth century Latinized the name). Certainly, he of all
truly historic personages is to-day, and for twenty-three centuries has
been, honored by the largest number of followers.

Of the many systems of religion in the world, but few are based upon the
teachings of one person. The reputed founders of some of them are not
known in history with any certainty, and of others--as in the case of
Buddhism--have become almost as shadows among a great throng of
imaginary Buddhas or other beings which have sprung from the fancies of
the brain and become incorporated into the systems, although the
original teachers may indeed have been historical.

Confucius is a clear and distinct historic person. His parentage, place
of birth, public life, offices, work and teaching, are well known and
properly authenticated. He used the pen freely, and not only compiled,
edited and transmitted the writings of his predecessors, but composed an
historical and interpretative book. He originated nothing, however, but
on the contrary disowned any purpose of introducing new ideas, or of
expressing thoughts of his own not based upon or in perfect harmony with
the teaching of the ancients. He was not an original thinker. He was a
compiler, an editor, a defender and reproclaimer of the ancient
religion, and an exemplar of the wisdom and writings of the Chinese
fathers. He felt that his duty was exactly that which some Christian
theologians of to-day conscientiously feel to be theirs--to receive
intact a certain "deposit" or "system" and, adding nothing to it, simply
to teach, illuminate, defend, enforce and strongly maintain it as "the
truth." He gloried in absolute freedom from all novelty, anticipating in
this respect a certain illustrious American who made it a matter for
boasting, that his school had never originated a new idea.[1] Whether or
not the Master Kung did nevertheless, either consciously or
unconsciously, modify the ancient system by abbreviating or enlarging
it, we cannot now inquire.

Confucius wan born into the world in the year 551 B.C., during that
wonderful century of religious revival which saw the birth of Ezra,
Gautama, and Lao Tsze, and in boyhood he displayed an unusually sedate
temperament which made him seem to be what we would now call an
"old-fashioned child." The period during which he lived was that of
feudal China. From the ago of twenty-two, while holding an office in the
state of Lu within the modern province of Shan-Tung, he gathered around
him young men as pupils with whom, like Socrates, he conversed in
question and answer. He made the teachings of the ancients the subjects
of his research, and he was at all times a diligent student of the
primeval records. These sacred books are called King, or Ki[=o] in
Japanese, and are: Shu King, a collection of historic documents; Shih
King, or Book of Odes; Hsiao King, or Classic of Filial Piety, and Yi
King, or Book of Changes.[2] This division of the old sacred canon,
resembles the Christian or non-Jewish arrangement of the Old Testament
scriptures in the four parts of Law, History, Poetry and Prophesy,
though in the Chinese we have History, Poetry, Ethics and Divination.[3]

His own table-talk, conversations, discussions and notes were compiled
by his pupils, and are preserved in the work entitled in English, "The
Confucian Analects," which is one of the four books constituting the
most sacred portion of Chinese philosophy and instruction. He also wrote
a work named "Spring and Autumn, or Chronicles of his Native State of Lu
from 722 B.C., to 481[4] B.C." He "changed his world," as the Buddhists
say, in the year 478 B.C., having lived seventy-three years.

Primitive Chinese Faith.

The pre-Confucian or primitive faith was monotheistic, the forefathers
of the Chinese nation having been believers in one Supreme Spiritual
Being. There is an almost universal agreement among scholars in
translating the term "Shang Ti" as God, and in reading from these
classics that the forefathers "in the ceremonies at the altars of Heaven
and earth ... served God." Concurrently with the worship of one Supreme
God there was also a belief in subordinate spirits and in the idea of
revelation or the communication of God with men. This restricted worship
of God was accompanied by reverence for ancestors and the honoring of
spirits by prayers and sacrifices, which resulted, however, neither in
deification nor polytheism. But, as the European mediaeval schoolmen have
done with the Bible, so, after the death of Confucius the Chinese
scholastics by metaphysical reasoning and commentary, created systems of
interpretation which greatly altered the apparent form and contents of
his own and of the ancient texts. Thus, the original monotheism of the
pre-Confucian documents has been completely obscured by the later webs
of sophistry which have been woven about the original scriptures. The
ancient simplicity of doctrine has been lost in the mountains of
commentary which were piled upon the primitive texts. Throughout the
centuries, the Confucian system has been conditioned and greatly
modified by Taoism, Buddhism and the speculations of the Chinese wise

Confucius, however, did not change or seriously modify the ancient
religion except that, as is more than probable, he may have laid
unnecessary emphasis upon social and political duties, and may not have
been sufficiently interested in the honor to be paid to Shang Ti or God.
He practically ignored the God-ward side of man's duties. His teachings
relate chiefly to duties between man and man, to propriety and
etiquette, and to ceremony and usage. He said that "To give one's self
to the duties due to men and while respecting spiritual beings to keep
aloof from them, may be called wisdom."[5]

We think that Confucius cut the tap-root of all true progress, and
therefore is largely responsible for the arrested development of China.
He avoided the personal term, God (Ti), and instead, made use of the
abstract term, Heaven (Tien). His teaching, which is so often quoted by
Japanese gentlemen, was, "Honor the Gods and keep them far from you."
His image stands in thousands of temples and in every school, in China,
but he is only revered and never deified.

China has for ages suffered from agnosticism; for no normal Confucianist
can love God, though he may learn to reverence him. The Emperor
periodically worships for his people, at the great marble altar to
Heaven in Peking, with vast holocausts, and the prayers which are
offered may possibly amount to this: "Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name." But there, as it seems to a Christian, Chinese
imperial worship stops. The people at large, cut off by this restricted
worship from direct access to God, have wandered away into every sort of
polytheism and idolatry, while the religion of the educated Chinese is a
mediaeval philosophy based upon Confucianism, of which we shall speak

The Confucian system as a religion, like a giant with a child's head, is
exaggerated on its moral and ceremonial side as compared with its
spiritual development. Some deny that it is a religion at all, and call
it only a code. However, let us examine the Confucian ethics which
formed the basis and norm of all government in the family and nation,
and are summed up in the doctrine of the "Five Relations." These are:
Sovereign and Minister; Father and Son; Husband and Wife; Elder Brother
and Younger Brother; and Friends. The relation being stated, the
correlative duty arises at once. It may perhaps be truly said by
Christians that Confucius might have made a religion of his system of
ethics, by adding a sixth and supreme relation--that between God and
man. This he declined to do, and so left his people without any
aspiration toward the Infinite. By setting before them only a finite
goal he sapped the principles of progress.[6]

Vicissitudes of Confucianism.

After the death of Confucius (478 B.C.) the teachings of the great
master were neglected, but still later they were re-enforced and
expounded in the time (372-289 B.C.) of Meng Ko, or Mencius (as the name
has been Latinized) who was likewise a native of the State of Lu. At one
time a Chinese Emperor attempted in vain to destroy not only the
writings of Confucius but also the ancient classics. Taoism increased as
a power in the religion of China, especially after the fall of its
feudal system. The doctrine of ancestral worship as commended by the
sage had in it much of good, both for kings and nobles. The common
people, however, found that Taoism was more satisfying. About the
beginning of the Christian era Buddhism entered the Middle Kingdom, and,
rapidly becoming popular, supplied needs for which simple Confucianism
was not adequate. It may be said that in the sixth century--which
concerns us especially--although Confucianism continued to be highly
esteemed, Buddhism had become supreme in China--that venerable State
which is the mother of civilization in all Asia cast of the Ganges, and
the Middle Kingdom among pupil nations.

Confucianism overflowed from China into Korea, where to this day it is
predominant even over Buddhism. Thence, it was carried beyond sea to the
Japanese Archipelago, where for possibly fifteen hundred years it has
shaped and moulded the character of a brave and chivalrous people. Let
us now turn from China and trace its influence and modifications in the
Land of the Rising Sun.

It must be remembered that in the sixth century of the Christian Era,
Confucianism was by no means the fully developed philosophy that it is
now and has been for five hundred years. In former times, the system of
Confucius had been received in China not only as a praiseworthy
compendium of ceremonial observances, but also as an inheritance from
the ancients, illumined by the discourses of the great sage and
illustrated by his life and example. It was, however, very far from
being what it is at present--the religion of the educated men of the
nation, and, by excellence, the religion of Chinese Asia. But in those
early centuries it did not fully satisfy the Chinese mind, which turned
to the philosophy of Taoism and to the teachings of the Buddhist for
intellectual food, for comfort and for inspiration.

The time when Chinese learning entered Japan, by the way of Korea, has
not been precisely ascertained.[7] It is possible that letters[8] and
writings were known in some parts of the country as early as the fourth
century, but it is nearly certain, that, outside the Court of the
Emperor, there was scarcely even a sporadic knowledge of the literature
of China until the Korean missionaries of Buddhism had obtained a
lodgement in the Mikado's capital. Buddhism was the real purveyor of the
foreign learning and became the vehicle by means of which Confucianism,
or the Chinese ethical principles, reached the common people of Japan.
The first missionaries in Japan were heartily in sympathy with the
Confucian ethics, from which no effort was made to alienate them. They
were close allies, and for a thousand years wrought as one force in the
national life. They were not estranged until the introduction, in the
seventeenth century, of the metaphysical and scholastic forms given to
the ancient system by the Chinese schoolmen of the Sung dynasty (A.D.

Japanese Confucianism and Feudalism Contemporary.

The intellectual history of the Japanese prior to their recent contact
with Christendom, may be divided into three eras:

1. The period of early insular or purely native thought, from before the
Christian era until the eighth century; by which time, Shint[=o], or the
indigenous system of worship--its ritual, poetry and legend having been
committed to writing and its life absorbed in Buddhism--had been, as a
system, relegated from the nation and the people to a small circle of
scholars and archaeologists.

2. The period from 800 A.D. to the beginning of the seventeenth century;
during which time Buddhism furnished to the nation its religion,
philosophy and culture.

3. From about 1630 A.D. until the present time; during which period the
developed Confucian philosophy, as set forth by Chu Hi in the twelfth
century, has been the creed of a majority of the educated men of Japan.

The political history of the Japanese may also be divided into three

1. The first extends from the dawn of history until the seventh century.
During this period the system of government was that of rude feudalism.
The conquering tribe of Yamato, having gradually obtained a rather
imperfect supremacy over the other tribes in the middle and southern
portions of the country now called the Empire of Japan, ruled them in
the name of the Mikado.

2. The second period begins in the seventh century, when the Japanese,
copying the Chinese model, adopted a system of centralization. The
country was divided into provinces and was ruled through boards or
ministries at the capital, with governors sent out from Ki[=o]to for
stated periods, directly from the emperor. During this time literature
was chiefly the work of the Buddhist priests and of the women of the
imperial court.

While armies in the field brought into subjection the outlying tribes
and certain noble families rose to prominence at the court, there was
being formed that remarkable class of men called the Samurai, or
servants of the Mikado, which for more than ten centuries has exercised
a profound influence upon the development of Japan.

In China, the pen and the sword have been kept apart; the civilian and
the soldier, the man of letters and the man of arms, have been distinct
and separate. This was also true in old Loo Choo (now Riu Kiu), that
part of Japan most like China. In Japan, however, the pen and the sword,
letters and arms, the civilian and the soldier, have intermingled. The
unique product of this union is seen in the Samurai, or servant of the
Mikado. Military-literati, are unknown in China, but in Japan they
carried the sword and the pen in the same girdle.

3. This class of men had become fully formed by the end of the twelfth
century, and then began the new feudal system, which lasted until the
epochal year 1868 A.D.--a year of several revolutions, rather than of
restoration pure and simple. After nearly seven hundred years of
feudalism, supreme magistracy, with power vastly increased beyond that
possessed in ancient times, was restored to the emperor. Then also was
abolished the duarchy of Throne and Camp, of Mikado and Sh[=o]gun, and
of the two capitals Ki[=o]to and Yedo, with the fountain of honor and
authority in one and the fountain of power and execution in the other.
Thereupon, Japan once more presented to the world, unity.

Practically, therefore, the period of the prevalence of the Confucian
ethics and their universal acceptance by the people of Japan nearly
coincides with the period of Japanese feudalism or the dominance of the
military classes.

Although the same ideograph, or rather logogram, was used to designate
the Chinese scholar and the Japanese warrior as well, yet the former was
man of the pen only, while the latter was man of the pen and of two
swords. This historical fact, more than any other, accounts for the
striking differences between Chinese and Japanese Confucianism. Under
this state of things the ethical system of the sage of China suffered a
change, as does almost everything that is imported into Japan and
borrowed by the islanders, but whether for the better or for the worse
we shall not inquire too carefully. The point upon which we now lay
emphasis is this: that, although the Chinese teacher had made filial
piety the basis of his system, the Japanese gradually but surely made
loyalty (Kun-Shin), that is, the allied relations of sovereign and
minister, of lord and retainer, and of master and servant, not only
first in order but the chief of all. They also infused into this term
ideas and associations which are foreign to the Chinese mind. In the
place of filial piety was Kun-shin, that new growth in the garden of
Japanese ethics, out of which arose the white flower of loyalty that
blooms perennial in history.

In Japan, Loyalty Displaces Filial Piety.

This slow but sure adaptation of the exotic to its new environment, took
place during the centuries previous to the seventeenth of the Christian
era. The completed product presented a growth so strikingly different
from the original as to compel the wonder of those Chinese refugee
scholars, who, at Mito[9] and Yedo, taught the later dogmas which are
orthodox but not historically Confucian.

Herein lies the difference between Chinese and Japanese ethical
philosophy. In old Japan, loyalty was above filial obedience, and the
man who deserted parents, wife and children for the feudal lord,
received unstinted praise. The corner-stone of the Japanese edifice of
personal righteousness and public weal, is loyalty. On the other hand,
filial piety is the basis of Chinese order and the secret of the amazing
national longevity, which is one of the moral wonders of the world, and
sure proof of the fulfilment of that promise which was made on Sinai and
wrapped up in the fourth commandment.

This master passion of the typical Samurai of old Japan made him regard
life as infinitely less than nothing, whenever duty demanded a display
of the virtue of loyalty. "The doctrines of Koshi and Moshi" (Confucius
and Mencius) formed, and possibly even yet form, the gospel and the
quintessence of all wordly wisdom to the Japanese gentleman; they became
the basis of his education and the ideal which inspired his conceptions
of duty and honor; but, crowning all his doctrines and aspirations was
his desire to be loyal. There might abide loyal, marital, filial,
fraternal and various other relations, but the greatest of all these was
loyalty. Hence the Japanese calendar of saints is not filled with
reformers, alms-givers and founders of hospitals or orphanages, but is
over-crowded with canonized suicides and committers of _hara-kiri_. Even
today, no man more quickly wins the popular regard during his life or
more surely draws homage to his tomb, securing even apotheosis, than the
suicide, though he may have committed a crime. In this era of Meiji or
enlightened peace, most appalling is the list of assassinations
beginning with the murder in Ki[=o]to of Yokoi Heishiro, who was slain
for recommending the toleration of Christianity, down to the last
cabinet minister who has been knifed or dynamited. Yet in every case the
murderers considered themselves consecrated men and ministers of
Heaven's righteous vengeance.[10] For centuries, and until
constitutional times, the government of Japan was "despotism tempered by
assassination." The old-fashioned way of moving a vote of censure upon
the king's ministers was to take off their heads. Now, however, election
by ballot has been substituted for this, and two million swords have
become bric-a-brac.

A thousand years of training in the ethics of Confucius--which always
admirably lends itself to the possessors of absolute power, whether
emperors, feudal lords, masters, fathers, or older brothers--have so
tinged and colored every conception of the Japanese mind, so dominated
their avenues of understanding and shaped their modes of thought, that
to-day, notwithstanding the recent marvellous development of their
language, which within the last two decades has made it almost a new
tongue,[11] it is impossible with perfect accuracy to translate into
English the ordinary Japanese terms which are congregated under the
general idea of Kun-shin.

Herein may be seen the great benefit of carefully studying the minds of
those whom we seek to convert. The Christian preacher in Japan who uses
our terms "heaven," "home," "mother," "father," "family," "wife,"
"people," "love," "reverence," "virtue," "chastity," etc., will find
that his hearers may indeed receive them, but not at all with the same
mental images and associations, nor with the same proportion and depth,
that these words command in western thought and hearing. One must be
exceedingly careful, not only in translating terms which have been used
by Confucius in the Chinese texts, but also in selecting and rendering
the current expressions of the Japanese teachers and philosophers. In
order to understand each other, Orientals and Occidentals need a great
deal of mutual intellectual drilling, without which there will be waste
of money, of time, of brains and of life.

The Five Relations.

Let us now glance at the fundamentals of the Confucian ethics--the Five
Relations--as they were taught in the comparatively simple system which
prevailed before the new orthodoxy was proclaimed by Sung schoolmen.

First. Although each of the Chinese and Japanese emperors is supposed to
be, and is called, "father of the people," yet it would be entirely
wrong to imagine that the phrase implies any such relation, as that of
William the Silent to the Dutch, or of Washington to the American
nation. In order to see how far the emperor was removed from the people
during a thousand years, one needs but to look upon a brilliant painting
of the Yamato-Tosa school, in which the Mikado is represented as sitting
behind a cloud of gold or a thick curtain of fine bamboo, with no one
before the matting-throne but his prime ministers or the empress and his
concubines. For centuries, it was supposed that the Mikado did not touch
the ground with his feet. He went abroad in a curtained car; and he was
not only as mysterious and invisible to the public eye as a dragon, but
he was called such. The attributes of that monster with many powers and
functions, were applied to him, with an amazing wealth of rhetoric and
vocabulary. As well might the common folks to-day presume to pray unto
one of the transcendent Buddhas, between whom and the needy suppliant
there may be hosts upon hosts of interlopers or mediators, as for an
ordinary subject to petition the emperor or even to gaze upon his dragon
countenance. The change in the constitutional Japan of our day is seen
in the fact that the term "Mikado" is now obsolete. This description of
the relation of sovereign and minister (inaccurately characterised by
some writers on Confucianism as that of "King and subject," a phrase
which might almost fit the constitutional monarchy of to-day) shows the
relation, as it did exist for nearly a thousand years of Japanese
history. We find the same imitation of procedure, even when imperialism
became only a shadow in the government and the great Sh[=o]gun who
called himself "Tycoon," the ruler in Yedo, aping the majesty of
Ki[=o]to, became so powerful as to be also a dragon. Between the Yedo
Sh[=o]gun and the people rose a great staircase of numberless
subordinates, and should a subject attempt to offer a petition in person
he must pay for it by crucifixion.[12]

As, under the emperor there were court ministers, heads of departments,
governors and functionaries of all kinds before the people were reached,
so, under the Sh[=o]gun in the feudal days, there were the Daimi[=o]s or
great lords and the Shomi[=o]s or small lords with their retainers in
graduated subordination, and below these were the servants and general
humanity. Even after the status of man was reached, there were
gradations and degradations through fractions down to ciphers and indeed
to minus quantities, for there existed in the Country of Brave Warriors
some tens of thousands of human beings bearing the names of _eta_
(pariah) and _h[=i]-nin_ (non-human), who were far below the pale of

The Paramount Idea of Loyalty.

The one idea which dominated all of these classes,[13]--in Old Japan
there were no masses but only many classes--was that of loyalty. As the
Japanese language shows, every faculty of man was subordinated to this
idea. Confucianism even conditioned the development of Japanese grammar,
as it also did that of the Koreans, by multiplying honorary prefixes and
suffixes and building up all sociable and polite speech on perpendicular
lines. Personality was next to nothing and individuality was in a
certain sense unknown. In European languages, the pronoun shows how
clearly the ideas of personality and of individuality have been
developed; but in the Japanese language there really are no pronouns, in
the sense of the word as used by the Germanic nations, at least,
although there are hundreds of impersonal and topographical substitutes
for them.[14] The mirror, of the language itself, reflects more truth
upon this point of inquiry than do patriotic assertions, or the protests
of those who in the days of this Meiji era so handsomely employ the
Japanese language as the medium of thought. Strictly speaking, the ego
disappears in ordinary conversation and action, and instead, it is the
servant speaking reverently to his master; or it is the master
condescending to the object which is "before his hand" or "to the side"
or "below" where his inferior kneels; or it is the "honorable right"
addressing the "esteemed left."

All the terms which a foreigner might use in speaking of the duties of
sovereign and minister, of lord and retainer and of master and servant,
are comprehended in the Japanese word, Kun-shin, in which is
crystallized but one thought, though it may relate to three grades of
society. The testimony of history and of the language shows, that the
feelings which we call loyalty and reverence are always directed upward,
while those which we term benevolence and love invariably look downward.

Note herein the difference between the teachings of Christ and those of
the Chinese sage. According to the latter, if there be love in the
relation of the master and servant, it is the master who loves, and not
the servant who may only reverence. It would be inharmonious for the
Japanese servant to love his master; he never even talks of it. And in
family life, while the parent may love the child, the child is not
expected to love the parent but rather to reverence him. So also the
Japanese wife, as in our old scriptural versions, is to "see that she
_reverence_ her husband." Love (not _agape_, but _eros_) is indeed a
theme of the poets and of that part of life and of literature which is,
strictly speaking, outside of the marriage relation, but the thought
that dominates in marital life, is reverence from the wife and
benevolence from the husband. The Christian conception, which requires
that a woman should love her husband, does not strictly accord with the
Confucian idea.

Christianity has taught us that when a man loves a woman purely and
makes her his wife, he should also have reverence for her, and that this
element should be an integral part of his love. Christianity also
teaches a reverence for children; and Wordsworth has but followed the
spirit of his great master, Christ, when expressing this beautiful
sentiment in his melodious numbers. Such ideas as these, however, are
discords in Japanese social life of the old order. So also the Christian
preaching of love to God, sounds outlandish to the men of Chinese mind
in the middle or the pupil kingdom, who seem to think that it can only
come from the lips of those who have not been properly trained. To "love
God" appears to them as being an unwarrantable patronage of, and
familiarity with "Heaven," or the King of Kings. The same difficulty,
which to-day troubles Christian preachers and translators, existed among
the Roman Catholic missionaries three centuries ago.[15] The moulds of
thought were not then, nor are they even now, entirely ready for the
full truth of Christian revelation.

Suicide Made Honorable.

In the long story of the Honorable Country, there are to be found many
shining examples of loyalty, which is the one theme oftenest illustrated
in popular fiction and romance. Its well-attested instances on the
crimson thread of Japanese history are more numerous than the beads on
many rosaries. The most famous of all, perhaps, is the episode of the
Forty-Seven R[=o]nins, which is a constant favorite in the theatres, and
has been so graphically narrated or pictured by scores of native poets,
authors, artists, sculptors and dramatists, and told in English by
Mitford, Dickens and Grecy.[16]

These forty-seven men hated wife, child, society, name, fame, food and
comfort for the sake of avenging the death of their master. In a certain
sense, they ceased to be persons in order to become the impersonal
instruments of Heaven's retribution. They gave up every thing--houses,
lands, kinsmen--that they might have in this life the hundred-fold
reward of vengeance, and in the world-life of humanity throughout the
centuries, fame and honor. Feeding the hunger of their hearts upon the
hope of glutting that hunger with the life-blood of their victim, they
waited long years. When once their swords had drunk the consecrated
blood, they laid the severed head upon their master's tomb and then
gladly, even rapturously, delivered themselves up, and ripping open
their bowels they died by that judicially ordered seppuku which cleansed
their memory from every stain, and gave to them the martyr's fame and
crown forever. The tombs of these men, on the hillside overlooking the
Bay of Yedo, are to this day ever fragrant with fresh flowers, and to
the cemetery where their ashes lie and their memorials stand, thousands
of pilgrims annually wend their way. No dramas are more permanently
popular on the stage than those which display the virtues of these
heroes, who are commonly spoken of as "The righteous Samurai." Their
tombs have stood for two centuries, as mighty magnets drawing others to
self-impalement on the sword--as multipliers of suicides.

Yet this alphabetic number, this _i-ro-ha_ of self-murder, is but one of
a thousand instances in the Land of Noble Suicides. From the
pre-historic days when the custom of _Jun-shi_, or dying with the
master, required the interment of the living retainers with the dead
lord, down through all the ages to the Revolution of 1868, when at
Sendai and Aidzu scores of men and boys opened their bowels, and mothers
slew their infant sons and cut their own throats, there has been flowing
through Japanese history a river of suicides' blood[17] having its
springs in the devotion of retainers to masters, and of soldiers to a
lost cause as represented by the feudal superior. Shigemori, the son of
the prime minister Kiyomori, who protected the emperor even against his
own father, is a model of that Japanese kun-shin which placed fidelity
to the sovereign above filial obedience; though even yet Shigemori's
name is the synonym of both virtues. Kusunoki Masashige,[18] the white
flower of Japanese chivalry, is but one, typical not only of a thousand
but of thousands of thousands of soldiers, who hated parents, wife,
child, friend in order to be disciple to the supreme loyalty. He sealed
his creed by emptying his own veins. Kiyomori,[19] like King David of
Israel, on his dying bed ordered the assassination of his personal

The common Japanese novels read like records of slaughter-houses. No
Moloch or Shiva has won more victims to his shrine than has this idea of
Japanese loyalty which is so beautiful in theory and so hideous in
practice. Despite the military clamps and frightful despotism of Yedo,
which for two hundred and fifty years gave to the world a delusive idea
of profound quiet in the Country of Peaceful Shores, there was in fact a
chronic unrest which amounted at many times and in many places to
anarchy. The calm of despotism was, indeed, rudely broken by the aliens
in the "black ships" with the "flowery flag"; but, without regarding
influences from the West, the indications of history as now read,
pointed in 1850 toward the bloodiest of Japan's many civil wars. Could
the statistics of the suicides during this long period be collected,
their publication would excite in Christendom the utmost incredulity.

Nevertheless, this qualifying statement should be made. A study of the
origin and development of the national method of self-destruction shows
that suicide by seppuku, or opening of the abdomen, was first a custom,
and then a privilege. It took, among men of honor, the place of the
public executions, the massacres in battle and siege, decimation of
rebels and similar means of killing at the hands of others, which so
often mar the historical records of western nations. Undoubtedly,
therefore, in the minds of most Japanese, there are many instances of
_hara-kiri_ which should not be classed as suicide, but technically as
execution of judicial sentence. And yet no sentence or process of death
known in western lands had such influence in glorifying the victim, as
had seppuku in Japan.

The Family Idea.

The Second Relation is that of father and son, thus preceding what we
should suppose to be the first of human relations--husband and wife--but
the arrangement entirely accords with the Oriental conception that the
family, the house, is more important than the individual. In Old Japan
the paramount idea in marriage, was not that of love or companionship,
or of mutual assistance with children, but was almost wholly that of
offspring, and of maintaining the family line.[20] The individual might
perish but the house must live on.

Very different from the family of Christendom, is the family in Old
Japan, in which we find elements that would not be recognized where
monogamy prevails and children are born in the home and not in the herd.
Instead of father, mother and children, there are father, wife,
concubines, and various sorts of children who are born of the wife or of
the concubine, or have been adopted into the family. With us, adoption
is the exception, but in Japan it is the invariable rule whenever either
convenience or necessity requires it of the house. Indeed it is rare to
find a set of brothers bearing the same family name. Adoption and
concubinage keep the house unbroken.[21] It is the house, the name,
which must continue, although not necessarily by a blood line. The name,
a social trade-mark, lives on for ages. The line of Japanese emperors,
which, in the Constitution of 1889, by adding mythology to history is
said to rule "unbroken from ages eternal," is not one of fathers and
sons, but has been made continuous by concubinage and adoption. In this
view, it is possibly as old as the line of the popes.

It is very evident that our terms and usages do not have in such a home
the place or meaning which one not familiar with the real life of Old
Japan would suppose. The father is an absolute ruler. There is in Old
Japan hardly any such thing as "parents," for practically there is only
one parent, as the woman counts for little. The wife is honored if she
becomes a mother, but if childless she is very probably neglected. Our
idea of fatherhood implies that the child has rights and that he should
love as well as be loved. Our customs excite not only the merriment but
even the contempt of the old-school Japanese. The kiss and the embrace,
the linking of the child's arm around its father's neck, the address on
letters "My dear Wife" or "My beloved Mother" seem to them like
caricatures of propriety. On the other hand, it is undoubtedly true that
in reverence toward parents--or at least toward one of the parents--a
Japanese child is apt to excel the one born even in a Christian home.

This so-called filial "piety" becomes in practice, however, a horrible
outrage upon humanity and especially upon womanhood. During centuries
the despotic power of the father enabled him to put an end to the life
of his child, whether boy or girl.

Under this abominable despotism there is no protection for the daughter,
who is bound to sell her body, while youth or beauty last or perhaps for
life, to help pay her father's debts, to support an aged parent or even
to gratify his mere caprice. In hundreds of Japanese romances the
daughter, who for the sake of her parents has sold herself to shame, is
made the theme of the story and an object of praise. In the minds of the
people there may be indeed a feeling of pity that the girl has been
obliged to give up her home life for the brothel, but no one ever thinks
of questioning the right of the parent to make the sale of the girl's
body, any more than he would allow the daughter to rebel against it.
This idea still lingers and the institution remains,[22] although the
system has received stunning blows from the teaching of Christian
ethics, the preaching of a better gospel and the improvements in the law
of the land.

The Marital Relation.

The Third Relation is that of husband and wife. The meaning of these
words, however, is not the same with the Japanese as with us. In
Confucius there is not only male and female, but also superior and
inferior, master and servant.[23] Without any love-making or courtship
by those most interested, a marriage between two young people is
arranged by their parents through the medium of what is called a
"go-between." The bride leaves her father's house forever--that is, when
she is not to be subsequently divorced--and entering into that of her
husband must be subordinate not only to him but also to his parents, and
must obey them as her own father and mother. Having all her life under
her father's roof reverenced her superiors, she is expected to bring
reverence to her new domicile, but not love. She must always obey but
never be jealous. She must not be angry, no matter whom her husband may
introduce into his household. She must wait upon him at his meals and
must walk behind him, but not with him. When she dies her children go to
her funeral, but not her husband.

A foreigner, hearing the Japanese translate our word chastity by the
term _teiso_ or _misao_, may imagine that the latter represents mutual
obligation and personal purity for man and wife alike, but on looking
into the dictionary he will find that _teiso_ means "Womanly duties." A
circumlocution is needed to express the idea of a chaste man.

Jealousy is a horrible sin, but is always supposed to be a womanish
fault, and so an exhibition of folly and weakness. Therefore, to apply
such a term to God--to say "a jealous God"--outrages the good sense of a
Confucianist,[24] almost as much as the statement that God "cannot lie"
did that of the Pundit, who wondered how God could be Omnipotent if He
could not lie.

How great the need in Japanese social life of some purifying principle
higher than Confucianism can afford, is shown in the little book
entitled "The Japanese Bride,"[25] written by a native, and scarcely
less in the storm of native criticism it called forth. Under the system
which has ruled Japan for a millennium and a half, divorce has been
almost entirely in the hands of the husband, and the document of
separation, entitled in common parlance the "three lines and a half,"
was invariably written by the man. A woman might indeed nominally obtain
a divorce from her husband, but not actually; for the severance of the
marital tie would be the work of the house or relatives, rather than the
act of the wife, who was not "a person" in the case. Indeed, in the
olden time a woman was not a person in the eye of the law, but rather a
chattel. The case is somewhat different under the new codes,[26] but the
looseness of the marriage tie is still a scandal to thinking Japanese.
Since the breaking up of the feudal system and the disarrangement of the
old social and moral standards, the statistics made annually from the
official census show that the ratio of divorce to marriage is very
nearly as one to three.[27]

The Elder and the Younger Brother.

The Fourth Relation is that of Elder Brother and Younger Brother. As we
have said, foreigners in translating some of the Chinese and Japanese
terms used in the system of Confucius are often led into errors by
supposing that the Christian conception of family life prevails also in
Chinese Asia. By many writers this relation is translated "brother to
brother;" but really in the Japanese language there is no term meaning
simply "brother" or "sister,"[28] and a circumlocution is necessary to
express the ideas which we convey by these words. It is always "older
brother" or "younger brother," and "older sister" or "younger
sister"--the male or female "_kiyodai_" as the case may be. With
us--excepting in lands where the law of primogeniture still
prevails--all the brothers are practically equal, and it would be
considered a violation of Christian righteousness for a parent to show
more favor to one child than to another. In this respect the "wisdom
that cometh from above" is "without partiality." The Chinese ethical
system, however, disregards the principle of mutual rights and duties,
and builds up the family on the theory of the subordination of the
younger brother to the elder brother, the predominant idea being not
mutual love, but, far more than in the Christian household, that of rank
and order. The attitude of the heir of the family toward the other
children is one of condescension, and they, as well as the widowed
mother, regard the oldest son with reverence. It is as though the
commandment given on Sinai should read, "Honor thy father and thy elder

The mother is an instrument rather than a person in the life of the
house, and the older brother is the one on whom rests the responsibility
of continuing the family line. The younger brothers serve as subjects
for adoption into other families, especially those where there are
daughters to be married and family names to be continued. In a word, the
name belongs to the house and not to the individual. The habit of naming
children after relatives or friends of the parents, or illustrious men
and women, is unknown in Old Japan, though an approach to this common
custom among us is made by conferring or making use of part of a name,
usually by the transferrence of one ideograph forming the name-word.
Such a practice lays stress upon personality, and so has no place in the
country without pronouns, where the idea of continuing the personal
house or semi-personal family, is predominant. The customs prevalent in
life are strong even in death, and the elder brother or sister, in some
provinces, did not go to the funeral of the younger. This state of
affairs is reflected in Japanese literature, and produces in romance as
well as in history many situations and episodes which seem almost
incredible to the Western mind.

In the lands ruled by Confucius the grown-up children usually live under
the parental roof, and there are few independent homes as we understand
them. The so-called family is composed both of the living and of the
dead, and constitutes the unit of society.

Friendship and Humanity.

The Fifth Relation--Friends. Here, again, a mistake is often made by
those who import ideas of Christendom into the terms used in Chinese
Asia, and who strive to make exact equivalent in exchanging the coins of
speech. Occidental writers are prone to translate the term for the fifth
relation into the English phrase "man to man," which leads the Western
reader to suppose that Confucius taught that universal love for man, as
man, which was instilled and exemplified by Jesus Christ. In translating
Confucius they often make the same mistake that some have done who read
in Terence's "Self-Tormentor" the line, "I am a man, and nothing human
is foreign to me,"[29] and imagine that this is the sentiment of an
enlightened Christian, although the context shows that it is only the
boast of a busybody and parasite. What Confucius taught under the fifth
relation is not universality, and, as compared to the teachings of
Jesus, is moonlight, not sunlight. The doctrine of the sage is clearly
expressed in the Analects, and amounts only to courtesy and propriety.
He taught, indeed, that the stranger is to be treated as a friend; and
although in both Chinese and Japanese history there are illustrious
proofs that Confucius had interpreters nobler than himself, yet it is
probable that the doctrine of the stranger's receiving treatment as a
friend, does not extend to the foreigner. Confucius framed something
like the Golden Rule--though it were better called a Silver Rule, or
possibly a Gilded Rule, since it is in the negative instead of being
definitely placed in the positive and indicative form. One may search
his writings in vain for anything approaching the parable of the Good
Samaritan, or the words of Him who commended Elijah for replenishing the
cruse and barrel of the widow of Sarepta, and Elisha for healing Naaman
the Syrian leper, and Jonah for preaching the good news of God to the
Assyrians who had been aliens and oppressors. Lao Tsze, however, went so
far as to teach "return good for evil." When one of the pupils of
Confucius interrogated his Master concerning this, the sage answered;
"What then will you return for good? Recompense injury with justice, and
return good for good."

But if we do good only to those who do good to us, what thanks have we?
Do not the publicans the same? Behold how the Heavenly Father does good
alike unto all, sending rain upon the just and unjust!

How Old Japan treated the foreigner is seen in the repeated repulse,
with powder and ball, of the relief ships which, under the friendly
stars and stripes, attempted to bring back to her shores the shipwrecked
natives of Nippon.[30] Granted that this action may have been purely
political and the Government alone responsible for it--just as our
un-Christian anti-Chinese legislation is similarly explained--yet it is
certain that the sentiment of the only men in Japan who made public
opinion,--the Samurai of that day,--was in favor of this method of
meeting the alien.

In 1852 the American expedition was despatched to Japan for the purpose
of opening a lucrative trade and of extending American influence and
glory, but also unquestionably with the idea of restoring shipwrecked
Japanese as well as securing kind treatment for shipwrecked American
sailors, thereby promoting the cause of humanity and international
courtesy; in short, with motives that were manifestly mixed.[31] In the
treaty pavilion there ensued an interesting discussion between Commodore
Perry and Professor Hayashi upon this very subject.

Perry truthfully complained that the dictates of humanity had not been
followed by the Japanese, that unnecessary cruelty had been used against
shipwrecked men, and that Japan's attitude toward her neighbors and the
whole world was that of an enemy and not of a friend.

Hayashi, who was then probably the leading Confucianist in Japan, warmly
defended his countrymen and superiors against the charge of intentional
cruelty, and denounced the lawless character of many of the foreign
sailors. Like most Japanese of his school and age, he wound up with
panegyrics on the pre-eminence in virtue and humanity, above all
nations, of the Country Ruled by a Theocratic Dynasty, and on the glory
and goodness of the great Tokugawa family, which had given peace to the
land during two centuries or more.[32]

It is manifest, however, that so far as this hostility to foreigners,
and this blind bigotry of "patriotism" were based on Chinese codes of
morals, as officially taught in Yedo, they belonged as much to the old
Confucianism as to the new. Wherever the narrow philosophy of the sage
has dominated, it has made Asia Chinese and nations hermits. As a rule,
the only way in which foreigners could come peacefully into China or the
countries which she intellectually dominated was as vassals,
tribute-bearers, or "barbarians." The mental attitude of China, Korea,
Annam and Japan has for ages been that of the Jews in Herodian times,
who set up, between the Court of Israel and the Court of the Gentiles,
their graven stones of warning which read:[33]

    "No foreigner to proceed within the partition wall and enclosure
    around the sanctuary; whoever is caught in the same will on that
    account be liable to incur death."


    "After a thousand years the pine decays; the flower has its
    glory in blooming for a day."--Hakkyoi, Chinese Poet of the Tang

    "The morning-glory of an hour differs not in heart from the
    pine-tree of a thousand years."--Matsunaga of Japan.

    "The pine's heart is not of a thousand years, nor the
    morning-glory's of an hour, but only that they may fulfil their

    "Since Iyeyasu, his hair brushed by the wind, his body anointed
    with rain, with lifelong labor caused confusion to cease and
    order to prevail, for more than a hundred years there has been
    no war. The waves of the four seas have been unruffled and no
    one has failed of the blessing of peace. The common folk must
    speak with reverence, yet it is the duty of scholars to
    celebrate the virtue of the Government."--Ky[=u]so of Yedo.

    "A ruler must have faithful ministers. He who sees the error of
    his lord and remonstrates, not fearing his wrath, is braver than
    he who bears the foremost spear in battle."--Iyeyasu.

    "The choice of the Chinese philosophy and the rejection of
    Buddhism was not because of any inherent quality in the Japanese
    mind. It was not the rejection of supernaturalism or the
    miraculous. The Chinese philosophy is as supernaturalistic as
    some forms of Buddhism. The distinction is not between the
    natural and the supernatural in either system, but between the
    seen and the unseen."

    "The Chinese philosophy is as religious as the original teaching
    of Gautama. Neither Shushi nor Gautama believed in a Creator,
    but both believed in gods and demons.... It has little place for
    prayer, but has a vivid sense of the Infinite and the Unseen,
    and fervently believes that right conduct is in accord with the
    'eternal verities.'"--George William Knox.

    "In him is the yea."--Paul.


Japan's Millennium of Simple Confucianism.

Having seen the practical working of the ethics of Confucianism,
especially in the old and simple system, let us now glance at the
developed and philosophical forms, which, by giving the educated man of
Japan a creed, made him break away from Buddhism and despise it, while
becoming often fanatically Confucian.

For a thousand years (from 600 to 1600 A.D.) the Buddhist religious
teachers assisted in promulgating the ethics of Confucius; for during
all this time there was harmony between the various Buddhisms imported
from India, Tibet, China and Korea, and the simple undeveloped system of
Chinese Confucianism. Slight modifications were made by individual
teachers, and emphasis was laid upon this or that feature, while out of
the soil of Japanese feudalism were growths of certain virtues as phases
of loyalty, phenomenal beyond those in China. Nevertheless, during all
this time, the Japanese teachers of the Chinese ethic were as students
who did but recite what they learned. They simply transmitted, without
attempting to expand or improve.

Though the apparatus of distribution was early known, block printing
having been borrowed from the Chinese after the ninth century, and
movable types learned from the Koreans and made use of in the sixteenth
century,[1] the Chinese classics were not printed as a body until after
the great peace of Genna (1615). Nor during this period were
translations made of the classics or commentaries, into the Japanese
vernacular. Indeed, between the tenth and sixteenth centuries there was
little direct intercourse, commercial, diplomatic or intellectual,
between Japan and China, as compared with the previous eras, or the
decades since 1870.

Suddenly in the seventeenth century the intellect of Japan, all ready
for new surprises in the profound peace inaugurated by Iyeyas[)u],
received, as it were, an electric thrill. The great warrior, becoming
first a unifier by arms and statecraft, determined also to become the
architect of the national culture. Gathering up, from all parts of the
country, books, manuscripts, and the appliances of intellectual
discipline, he encouraged scholars and stimulated education. Under his
supervision the Chinese classics were printed, and were soon widely
circulated. A college was established in Yedo, and immediately there
began a critical study of the texts and principal commentaries. The fall
of the Ming dynasty in China, and the accession of the Manchiu Tartars,
became the signal for a great exodus of learned Chinese, who fled to
Japan. These received a warm welcome, both at the capital and in Yedo,
as well as in some of the castle towns of the Daimi[=o]s, among whom
stand illustrious those of the province of Mito.[2]

These men from the west brought not only ethics but philosophy; and the
fertilizing influences of these scholars of the Dispersion, may be
likened to those of the exodus of the Greek learned men after the
capture of Constantinople by the Turks. Confucian schools were
established in most of the chief provincial cities. For over two hundred
years this discipline in the Chinese ethics, literature and history
constituted the education of the boys and men of Japan. Almost every
member of the Samurai classes was thoroughly drilled in this curriculum.
All Japanese social, official, intellectual and literary life was
permeated with the new spirit. Their "world" was that of the Chinese,
and all outside of it belonged to "barbarians." The matrices of thought
became so fixed and the Japanese language has been so moulded, that even
now, despite the intense and prolonged efforts of thirty years of acute
and laborious scholarship, it is impossible, as we have said, to find
English equivalents for terms which were used for a century or two past
in every-day Japanese speech. Those who know most about these facts, are
most modest in attempting with English words to do justice to Japanese
thought; while those who know the least seem to be most glib, fluent and
voluminous in showing to their own satisfaction, that there is little
difference between the ethics of Chinese Asia and those of Christendom.

Survey of the Intellectual History of China.

The Confucianism of the last quarter-millennium in Japan is not that of
her early centuries. While the Japanese for a thousand years only
repeated and recited--merely talking aloud in their intellectual sleep
but not reflecting--China was awake and thinking hard. Japan's continued
civil wars, which caused the almost total destruction of books and
manuscripts, secured also the triumph of Buddhism which meant the
atrophy of the national intellect. When, after the long feuds and
battles of the middle ages, Confucianism stepped the second time into
the Land of _Brave_ Scholars, it was no longer with the simple rules of
conduct and ceremonial of the ancient days, nor was it as the ally of
Buddhism. It came like an armed man in full panoply of harness and
weapons. It entered to drive Buddhism out, and to defend the intellect
of the educated against the wiles of priestcraft. It was a full-blown
system of pantheistic rationalism, with a scheme of philosophy that to
the far-Oriental mind seemed perfect as a rule both of faith and
practice. It came in a form that was received as religion, for it was
not only morality "touched" but infused with motion. Nor were the
emotions kindled, those of the partisan only, but rather also those of
the devotee and the martyr. Henceforth Buddhism, with its inventions,
its fables, and its endless dogmatism, was for the common people, for
women and children, but not for the Samurai. The new Confucianism came
to Japan as the system of Chu Hi. For three centuries this system had
already held sway over the intellect of China. For two centuries and a
half it has dominated the minds of the Samurai so that the majority of
them to-day, even with the new name Shizoku, are Confucianists so far as
they are anything.

To understand the origin of Buddhism we must know something of the
history and the previous religious and philosophical systems of India,
and so, if we are to appreciate modern "orthodox" Confucianism, we must
review the history of China, and see, in outline, at least, its
literature, politics and philosophy during the middle ages.

"Four great stages of literary and national development may be pointed
to as intervening (in the fifteen hundred years) between the great sage
and the age called that of the Sung-Ju,"[3] from the tenth to the
fourteenth century, in which the Confucian system received its modern
form. Each of them embraced the course of three or four centuries.

I. From the sixth to the third century before Christ the struggle was
for Confucian and orthodox doctrine, led by Mencius against various
speculators in morals and politics, with Taoist doctrine continually
increasing in acceptance.

II. The Han age (from B.C. 206 to A.D. 190) was rich in critical
expositors and commentators of the classics, but "the tone of
speculation was predominantly Taoist."

III. The period of the Six Dynasties (from A.D. 221 to A.D. 618) was the
golden age of Buddhism, when the science and philosophy of India
enriched the Chinese mind, and the wealth of the country was lavished on
Buddhist temples and monasteries. The faith of Shaka became nearly
universal and the Buddhists led in philosophy and literature, founding a
native school of Indian philosophy.

IV. The Tang period (from A.D. 618 to 905) marked by luxury and poetry,
was an age of mental inaction and enervating prosperity.

V. The fifth epoch, beginning with the Sung Dynasty (from A.D. 960 to
1333) and lasting to our own time, was ushered in by a period of intense
mental energy. Strange to say (and most interesting is the fact to
Americans of this generation), the immediate occasion of the recension
and expansion of the old Confucianism was a Populist movement.[4] During
the Tang era of national prosperity, Chinese socialists questioned the
foundations of society and of government, and there grew up a new school
of interpreters as well as of politicians. In the tenth century the
contest between the old Confucianism and the new notions, broke out with
a violence that threatened anarchy to the whole empire.

One set of politicians, led by Wang (1021-1086), urged an extension of
administrative functions, including agricultural loans, while the
brothers Cheng (1032-1085, 1033-1107) reaffirmed, with fresh
intellectual power, the old orthodoxy.

The school of writers and party agitators, led by Szma Kwaug
(1009-1086)[5] the historian, contended that the ancient principles of
the sages should be put in force. Others, the Populists of that age and
land, demanded the entire overthrow of existing institutions.

In the bitter contest which ensued, the Radicals and Reformers
temporarily won the day and held power. For a decade the experiment of
innovation was tried. Men turned things social and political upside down
to see how they looked in that position. So these stood or oscillated
for thirteen years, when the people demanded the old order again. The
Conservatives rose to power. There was no civil war, but the Radicals
were banished beyond the frontier, and the country returned to normal

This controversy raised a landmark in the intellectual history of
China.[6] The thoughts of men were turned toward deep and acute inquiry
into the nature and use of things in general. This thinking resulted in
a literature which to-day is the basis of the opinions of the educated
men in all Chinese Asia. Instead of a sapling we now have a mighty tree.
The chief of the Chinese writers, the Calvin of Asiatic orthodoxy, who
may be said to have wrought Confucianism into a developed philosophy,
and who may be called the greatest teacher of the mind, of modern China,
Korea and Japan, is Chu Hi, who reverently adopted the criticisms on the
Chinese classics of the brothers Cheng.[7] It is evident that in Chu
Hi's system, we have a body of thought which may be called the result of
Chinese reflection during a millennium and a half. It is the ethics of
Confucius transfused with the mystical elements of Taoism and the
speculations of Buddhism. As the common people of China made an amalgam
of the three religions and consider them one, so the philosophers have
out of these three systems made one, calling that one Confucianism. The
dominant philosophy in Japan to-day is based upon the writings of Chu Hi
(in Japanese, Shu Shi) and called the system of Tei-Shu, which is the
Japanese pronunciation of the names of the Cheng brothers and of Chu
(Hi). It is a medley which the ancient sage could no more recognize than
would Jesus know much of the Christianity that casts out devils in his

Contrast between the Chinese and Japanese Intellect.

Here we must draw a contrast between the Chinese and Japanese intellect
to the credit of the former; China made, Japan borrowed. While history
shows that the Chinese mind, once at least, possessed mental initiative,
and the power of thinking out a system of philosophy which to-day
satisfies largely, if not wholly, the needs of the educated Chinaman,
there has been in the Japanese mind, as shown by its history, apparently
no such vigor or fruitfulness. From the literary and philosophical
points of view, Confucianism, as it entered Japan, in the sixth century,
remained practically stationary for a thousand years. Modifications,
indeed, were made upon the Chinese system, and these were striking and
profound, but they were less developments of the intellect than
necessities of the case. The modifications were made, as molten metal
poured into a mould shaped by other hands than the artist's own, rather
than as clay made plastic under the hand of a designer. Buddhism, being
the dominant force in the thoughts of the Japanese for at least eight
hundred years, furnished the food for the requirements of man on his
intellectual and religious side.

Broadly speaking, it may be said that the Japanese, receiving passively
the Chinese classics, were content simply to copy and to recite what
they had learned. As compared with their audacity in not only going
beyond the teachings of Buddha, but in inventing systems of Buddhism
which neither Gautama nor his first disciples could recognize, the
docile and almost slavish adherence to ancient Confucianism is one of
the astonishing things in the history of religions in Japan. In the
field of Buddhism we have a luxuriant growth of new and strange species
of colossal weeds that overtower and seem to have choked out whatever
furze of original Buddhism there was in Japan, while in the domain of
Confucianism there is a barren heath. Whereas, in China, the voluminous
literature created by commentators on Confucius and the commentaries on
the commentators suggests the hyperbole used by the author of John's
Gospel,[8] yet there is probably nothing on Confucianism from the
Japanese pen in the thousand years under our review which is worth the
reading or the translation.[9] In this respect the Japanese genius
showed its vast capabilities of imitation, adoption and assimilation.

As of old, Confucianism again furnished a Chinese wall, within which the
Japanese could move, and wherein they might find food for the mind in
all the relations of life and along all the lines of achievement
permitted them. The philosophy imported from China, as shown again and
again in that land of oft-changing dynasties, harmonizing with arbitrary
government, accorded perfectly with the despotism of the Tokugawas, the
"Tycoons" who in Yedo ruled from 1603 to 1868. Nothing new was
permitted, and any attempt at modification, enlargement, or improvement
was not only frowned and hissed down as impious innovation, but usually
brought upon the daring innovator the ban of the censor, imprisonment,
banishment, or death by enforced suicide.[10] In Yedo, the centre of
Chinese learning, and in other parts of the country, there were, indeed,
thinkers whose philosophy did not always tally with what was taught by
the orthodox,[11] but as a rule even when these men escaped the ban of
the censor, or the sword of the executioner, they were but us voices
crying in the wilderness. The great mass of the gentry was orthodox,
according to the standards of the Seido College, while the common people
remained faithful to Buddhism. In the conduct of daily life they
followed the precepts which had for centuries been taught them by their

Philosophical Confucianism the Religion of the Samurai.

What were the features of this modern Confucian philosophy, which the
Japanese Samurai exalted to a religion?[12] We say philosophy and
religion, because while the teachings of the great sage lay at the
bottom of the system, yet it is not true since the early seventeenth
century, that the thinking men of Japan have been satisfied with only
the original simple ethical rules of the ancient master. Though they
have craved a richer mental pabulum, yet they have enjoyed less the
study of the original text, than acquaintance with the commentaries and
communion with the great philosophical exponents, of the master. What,
then, we ask, are the features of the developed philosophy, which,
imported from China, served the Japanese Samurai not only as morals but
for such religion as he possessed or professed?

We answer: The system was not agnostic, as many modern and western
writers assert that it is, and as Confucius, transmitting and probably
modifying the old religion, had made the body of his teachings to be.
Agnostic, indeed, in regard to many things wherein a Christian has
faith, modern Confucianism, besides being bitterly polemic and hostile
to Buddhism, is pantheistic.

Certain it is that during the revival of Pure Shint[=o] in the
eighteenth century, the scholars of the Shint[=o] school, and those of
its great rival, the Chinese, agreed in making loyalty[13] take the
place of filial duty in the Confucian system. To serve the cause of the
Emperor became the most essential duty to those with cultivated minds.
The newer Chinese philosophy mightily influenced the historians, Rai
Sanyo and those of the Mito school, whose works, now classic, really
began the revolution of 1868. By forming and setting in motion the
public opinion, which finally overthrew the Sh[=o]gun and feudalism,
restored the Emperor to supreme power, and unified the nation, they
helped, with modern ideas, to make the New Japan of our day. The
Shint[=o] and the Chinese teachings became amalgamated in a common
cause, and thus the philosophy of Chu Hi, mingling with the nationalism
and patriotism inculcated by Shint[=o], brought about a remarkable
result. As a native scholar and philosopher observes, "It certainly is
strange to see the Tokugawa rule much shaken, if not actually
overthrown, by that doctrine which generations of able Sh[=o]guns and
their ministers had earnestly encouraged and protected. It is perhaps
still more remarkable to see the Mito clan, under many able and active
chiefs, become the centre of the Kinno[14] movement, which was to result
in the overthrow of the Tokugawa family, of which it was itself a

A Medley of Pantheism.

The philosophy of modern Confucianism is wholly pantheistic. There is in
it no such thing or being as God. The orthodox pantheism of Old Japan
means that everything in general is god, but nothing in particular is
God; that All is god, but not that God is all. It is a "pantheistic

Chu Hi and his Japanese successors, especially Ky[=u]-so, argue finely
and discourse volubly about _Ki_[16] or spirit; but it is not Spirit, or
spiritual in the sense of Him who taught even a woman at the well-curb
at Sychar. It is in the air. It is in the earth, the trees, the flowers.
It comes to consciousness in man. His _Ri_ is the Tao of Lao Tsze, the
Way, Reason, Law. It is formless, invisible.

    "Ri is not separate from Ki, for then it were an empty abstract
    thing. It is joined to Ki, and may be called, by nature, one
    decreed, changeless Norm. It is the rule of Ki, the very centre,
    the reason why Ki is Ki."

Ten or Heaven is not God or the abode of God, but an abstraction, a sort
of Unknowable, or Primordial Necessity.

    "The doctrine of the Sages knows and worships Heaven, and
    without faith in it there is no truth. For men and things, the
    universe, are born and nourished by Heaven, and the 'Way,' the
    'ri,' that is in all, is the 'Way,' the 'ri' of Heaven.
    Distinguishing root and branch, the heart is the root of Heaven
    and the appearance, the revolution of the sun and moon, the
    order of the stars, is the branch. The books of the sages teach
    us to conform to the heart of Heaven and deal not with

    "The teaching of the sages is the original truth and, given to
    men, it forms both their nature and their relationships. With it
    complete, naught else is needed for the perfect following of the
    'Way.' Let then the child make its parents Heaven, the retainer,
    his Lord, the wife her husband, and let each give up life for
    righteousness. Thus will each serve for Heaven. But if we exalt
    Heaven above parent or Lord, we shall come to think we can serve
    it though they be disobeyed and like tiger or wolf shall rejoice
    to kill them. To such fearful end does the Western learning
    lead.... Let each one die for duty, there is naught else we can

Thus wrote Ohashi Junzo, as late as 1857 A.D., the same year in which
Townsend Harris entered Yedo to teach the practical philosophy of
Christendom, and the brotherhood of man as expressed in diplomacy.
Ohashi Junzo bitterly opposed the opening of Japan to modern
civilization and the ideas of Christendom. His book was the swan-song of
the dying Japanese Confucianism. Slow as is the dying, and hard as its
death may be, the mind of new Japan has laid away to dust and oblivion
the Tei-shu philosophy. "At present they (the Chinese classics) have
fallen into almost total neglect, though phrases and allusions borrowed
from them still pass current in literature, and even to some extent in
the language of every-day life." Seido, the great temple of Confucius in
Tokyo, is now utilized as an educational Museum.[17]

A study of this subject and of comparative religion, is of immediate
practical benefit to the Christian teacher. The preacher, addressing an
audience made up of educated Japanese, who speaks of God without
describing his personality, character, or attributes as illustrated in
Revelation, will find that his hearers receive his term as the
expression for a bundle of abstract principles, or a system of laws, or
some kind of regulated force. They do, indeed, make some reference to a
"creator" by using a rare word. Occasionally, their language seems to
touch the boundary line on the other side of which is conscious
intelligence, but nothing approaching the clearness and definiteness of
the early Chinese monotheism of the pre-Confucian classics is to be
distinguished.[18] The modern Japanese long ago heard joyfully the
words, "Honor the gods, but keep them far from you," and he has done it.

To love God would no more occur to a Japanese gentleman than to have his
child embrace and kiss him. Whether the source and fountain of life of
which they speak has any Divine Spirit, is very uncertain, but whether
it has, or has not, man need not obey, much less worship him. The
universe is one, the essence is the same. Man must seek to know his
place in the universe; he is but one in an endless chain; let him find
his part and fulfil that part; all else is vanity. One need not inquire
into the origins or the ultimates. Man is moved by a power greater than
himself; he has no real independence of his own; everything has its rank
and place; indeed, its rank and place is its sole title to a separate
existence. If a man mistakes his place he is a fool, he deserves

The Ideals of a Samurai.

Out of his place, man is not man. Duty is more important than being.
Nearly everything in our life is fixed by fate; there may seem to be
exceptions, because some wicked men are prosperous and some righteous
men are wretched, but these are not real exceptions to the general rule
that we are made for our environment and fitted to it. And then, again,
it may be that our judgments are not correct. Let the heart be right and
all is well. Let man be obedient and his outward circumstance is
nothing, having no relation to his joy or happiness. Even when as to his
earthly body man passes away, he is not destroyed; the drop again
becomes part of the sea, the spark re-enters the flame, and his life
continues, though it be not a conscious life. In this way man is in
harmony with the original principle of all things. He outlasts the
universe itself.

Hence to a conscientious Samurai there is nothing in this world better
than obedience, in the ideal of a true man. What he fears most and hates
most is that his memory may perish, that he shall have no seed, that he
shall be forgotten or die under a cloud and be thought treacherous or
cowardly or base, when in reality his life was pure and his motives
high. "Better," sang Yoshida Shoin, the dying martyr for his principles,
"to be a crystal and to be broken, than to be a tile upon the housetop
and remain."

So, indeed, on a hundred curtained execution grounds, with the dirk of
the suicide firmly grasped and about to shed their own life-blood, have
sung the martyrs who died willingly for their faith in their idea of
Yamato Damashii.[19] In untold instances in the national history, men
have died willingly and cheerfully, and women also by thousands, as
brave, as unflinching as the men, so that the story of Japanese chivalry
is almost incredible in its awful suicides. History reveals a state of
society in which cool determination, desperate courage and fearlessness
of death in the face of duty were quite unique, and which must have had
their base in some powerful though abnormal code of ethics.

This leads us to consider again the things emphasized by Japanese as
distinct from Chinese and Korean[20] Confucianism, and to call attention
to its fruits, while at the same time we note its defects, and show
wherein it failed. We shall then show how this old system has already
waxed old and is passing away. Christ has come to Japan, and behold a
new heaven and a new earth!

New Japan Makes Revision.

First. For sovereign and minister, there are coming into vogue new
interpretations. This relation, if it is to remain as the first, will
become that of the ruler and the ruled. Constitutional government has
begun; and codes of law have been framed which are recognizing the
rights of the individual and of the people. Even a woman has rights
before the law, in relation to husband, parents, brothers, sisters and
children. It is even beginning to be thought that children have rights.
Let us hope that as the rights are better understood the duties will be
equally clear.

It is coming to pass in Japan that even in government, the sovereign
must consult with his people on all questions pertaining to their
welfare. Although, thus far the constitutional government makes the
ministers responsible to the Sovereign instead of to the Diet, yet the
contention of the enlightened men and the liberal parties is, that the
ministers shall be responsible to the Diet. The time seems at hand when
the sovereign's power over his people will not rest on traditions more
or less uncertain, on history manufactured by governmental order, on
mythological claims based upon the so-called "eternal ages," on
prerogatives upheld by the sword, or on the supposed grace of the gods,
but will be "broad-based upon the people's will." The power of the
rulers will be derived from the consent of the governed. The Emperor
will become the first and chief servant of the nation.

Revision and improvement of the Second Relation will make filial piety
something more real than that unto which China has attained, or Japan
has yet seen, or which is yet universally known in Christendom. The
tyranny of the father and of the older brother, and the sale of
daughters to shame, will pass away; and there will arise in the Japanese
house, the Christian home.

It would be hard to say what Confucianism has done for woman. It is
probable that all civilizations, and systems of philosophy, ethics and
religion, can be well tested by this criterion--the position of woman.
Confucianism virtually admits two standards of morality, one for man,
another for woman.[21] In Chinese Asia adultery is indeed branded as one
of the vilest of crimes, but in common idea and parlance it is a woman's
crime, not man's. So, on the other hand, chastity is a female virtue, it
is part of womanly duty, it has little or no relation to man personally.
Right revision and improvement of the Third Relation will abolish
concubinage. It will reform divorce. It will make love the basis of
marriage. It will change the state of things truthfully pictured in such
books as the Genji Monogatari, or Romance of Prince Genji, with its
examples of horrible lust and incests; the Kojiki or Ethnic scripture,
with its naive accounts of filthiness among the gods; the Onna Dai Gaku,
Woman's Great Study, with its amazing subordination and moral slavery of
wife and daughter; and The Japanese Bride, of yesterday--all truthful
pictures of Japanese life, for the epoch in which each was written.
These books will become the forgotten curiosities of literature, known
only to the archaeologist.

Improvement and revision of the Fourth Relation, will bring into the
Japanese home more justice, righteousness, love and enjoyment of life.
It will make possible, also, the cheerful acceptance and glad practice
of those codes of law common in Christendom, which are based upon the
rights of the individual and upon the idea of the greatest good to the
greatest number. It will help to abolish the evils which come from
primogeniture and to release the clutch of the dead hand upon the
living. It will decrease the power of the graveyard, and make thought
and care for the living the rule of life. It will abolish sham and
fiction, and promote the cause of truth. It will hasten the reign of
righteousness and love, and beneath propriety and etiquette lay the
basis of "charity toward all, malice toward none."

Revision with improvement of the Fifth Relation hastens the reign of
universal brotherhood. It lifts up the fallen, the down-trodden and the
outcast. It says to the slave "be free," and after having said "be
free," educates, trains, and lifts up the brother once in servitude, and
helps him to forget his old estate and to know his rights as well as his
duties, and develops in him the image of God. It says to the hinin or
not-human, "be a man, be a citizen, accept the protection of the law."
It says to the eta, "come into humanity and society, receive the
protection of law, and the welcome of your fellows; let memory forget
the past and charity make a new future." It will bring Japan into the
fraternity of nations, making her people one with the peoples of
Christendom, not through the empty forms of diplomacy, or by the craft
of her envoys, or by the power of her armies and navies reconstructed on
modern principles, but by patient education and unflinching loyalty to
high ideals. Thus will Japan become worthy of all the honors, which the
highest humanity on this planet can bestow.

The Ideal of Yamato Damashii Enlarged.

In this our time it is not only the alien from Christendom, with his
hostile eye and mordant criticism, who is helping to undermine that
system of ethics which permitted the sale of the daughter to shame, the
introduction of the concubine into the family and the reduction of
woman, even though wife and mother, to nearly a cipher. It is not only
the foreigner who assaults that philosophy which glorified the vendetta,
kept alive private war, made revenge in murder the sweetest joy of the
Samurai and suicide the gate to honor and fame, subordinated the family
to the house, and suppressed individuality and personality. It is the
native Japanese, no longer a hermit, a "frog in the well, that knows not
the great ocean" but a student, an inquirer, and a critic, who assaults
the old ethical and philosophical system, and calls for a new way
between heaven and earth, and a new kind of Heaven in which shall be a
Creator, a Father and a Saviour. The brain and pen of New Japan, as well
as its heart, demand that the family shall be more than the house and
that the living members shall have greater rights as well as duties,
than the dead ancestors. They claim that the wife shall share
responsibility with the husband, and that the relation of husband and
wife shall take precedence of that of the father and son; that the
mother shall possess equal authority with the father; that the wife,
whether she be mother or not, shall not be compelled to share her home
with the concubine; and that the child in Japan shall be born in the
home and not in the herd. The sudden introduction of the Christian ideas
of personality and individuality has undoubtedly wrought peril to the
framework of a society which is built according to the Confucian
principles; but faith in God, love in the home, and absolute equality
before the law will bring about a reign of righteousness such as Japan
has never known, but toward the realization of which Christian nations
are ever advancing.

Even the old ideal of the Samurai embodied in the formula Yamato
Damashii will be enlarged and improved from its narrow limits and
ferocious aspects, when the tap-root of all progress is allowed to
strike into deeper truth, and the Sixth Relation, or rather the first
relation of all, is taught, namely, that of God to Man, and of Man to
God. That this relation is understood, and that the Samurai ideal,
purified and enlarged, is held by increasing numbers of Japan's
brightest men and noblest women, is shown in that superb Christian
literature which pours from the pens of the native men and women in the
Japanese Christian churches. Under this flood of truth the old obstacles
to a nobler society are washed away, while out of the enriched soil
rises the new Japan which is to be a part of the better Christendom that
is to come. Christ in Japan, as everywhere, means not destruction, but


    "Life is a dream is what the pilgrim learns,
     Nor asks for more, but straightway home returns."
    --Japanese medieval lyric drama.

    "The purpose of Buddha's preaching was to bring into light the
    permanent truth, to reveal the root of all suffering and thus to
    lead all sentient beings into the perfect emancipation from all
    passions."--Outlines of the Mahayana.

    "Buddhism will stand forth as the embodiment of the eternal
    verity that as a man sows he will reap, associated with the
    duties of mastery over self and kindness to all men, and
    quickened into a popular religion by the example of a noble and
    beautiful life."--Dharmapala of Ceylon.

    "Buddhism teaches the right path of cause and effect, and
    nothing which can supersede the idea of cause and effect will be
    accepted and believed. Buddha himself cannot contradict this law
    which is the Buddha, of Buddhas, and no omnipotent power except
    this law is believed to be existent in the universe.

    "Buddhism does not quarrel with other religions about the truth
    ... Buddhism is truth common to every religion regardless of the
    outside garment."--Horin Toki, of Japan.

    "Death we can face; but knowing, as some of us do, what is human
    life, which of us is it that without shuddering could (if we
    were summoned) face the hour of birth?" -De Quinccy.

    The prayer of Buddhism, "Deliver us from existence."
    The prayer of the Christian, "Deliver us from evil."

    "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the

    "I am come that they might have life and that they might have it
    more abundantly."--Jesus.


Pre-Buddhistic India.

Does the name of Gautama, the Buddha, stand for a sun-myth or for a
historic personage? One set of scholars and writers, represented by
Professor Kern,[1] of Leyden, thinks the Buddha a mythical personage.
Another school, represented by Professor T. Rhys Davids,[2] declares
that he lived in human flesh and breathed the air of earth. We accept
the historical view as best explaining the facts.

In order to understand a religion, in its origin at least, we must know
some of the conditions out of which it arose. Buddhism is one of the
protestantisms of the world. Yet, is not every religion, in one sense,
protestant? Is it not a protest against something to which it opposes a
difference? Every new religion, like a growing plant, ignores or rejects
certain elements in the soil out of which it springs. It takes up and
assimilates, also, other elements not used before, in order to produce a
flower or fruit different from other growths out of the same soil. Yet
whether the new religion be considered as a development, fulfilment, or
protest, we must know its historical perspective or background. To
understand the origin of Buddhism, one of the best preparations is to
read the history of India and especially of the thought of her many
generations; for the landmarks of the civilizations of India, as a Hindu
may proudly say, are its mighty literatures. At these let us glance.[3]

The age of the Vedas extends from the year 2000 to 1400 B.C., and the
history of this early India is wonderfully like that of America. During
this era, the Hindus, one of the seven Aryan tribes of which the
Persian, Greek, Latin, Celtic, Sclav and Teutonic form the other six,
descending from the mid-Asian plateau, settled the Punjab in Northwest
India. They drove the dark-skinned aborigines before them and reclaimed
forest and swamp to civilization, making the land of the seven rivers
bright with agriculture and brilliant with cities. This was the glorious
heroic age of joyous life and conquest, when men who believed in a
Heavenly Father[4] made the first epoch of Hindu history.

Then followed the epic age, 1400-1000 B.C., when the area of
civilization was extended still farther down the Ganges Valley, the
splendor of wealth, learning, military prowess and social life excelling
that of the ancestral seats in the Punjab. Amid differences of wars and
diplomacy with rivalries and jealousies, a common sacred language,
literature and religion with similar social and religious institutions,
united the various nations together. In this time the old Vedas were
compiled into bodies or collections, and the Brahmanas and the
Upanishads, besides the great epic poems, the Mahabharata and the
Ramayana were composed.

The next, or rationalistic epoch, covers the period from 1000 B.C. to
320 B.C., when the Hindu expansion had covered all India, that is, the
peninsula from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin. Then, all India, including
Ceylon, was Hinduized, though in differing degrees; the purest Aryan
civilization being in the north, the less pure in the Ganges Valley and
south and east, while the least Aryan and more Dravidian was in Bengal,
Orissa, and India south of the Kistna River.

This story of the spread of Hindu civilization is a brilliant one, and
seems as wonderful as the later European conquest of the land, and of
the other "Indians" of North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Beside the conquests in material civilization of these our fellow-Aryans
(who were the real Indians, and who spoke the language which is the
common ancestor of our own and of most European tongues), what impresses
us most of all, in these Aryans, is their intellectual energy. The
Hindus of the rationalistic age made original discoveries. They invented
grammar, geometry, arithmetic, decimal notation, and they elaborated
astronomy, medicine, mental philosophy and logic (with syllogism) before
these sciences were known or perfected in Greece. In the seventh century
before Christ, Kapila taught a system of philosophy, of which that of
the Europeans, Schopenhaur and Hartmann, seems largely a reproduction.

Following this agnostic scheme of thought, came, several centuries
later, the dualistic Yoga[5] system in which the chief feature is the
conception of Deity as a means of final emancipation of the human soul
from further transmigration, and of union with the Universal Spirit or
World Soul. There is, however, perhaps no sadder chapter in the history
of human thought than the story of the later degeneration of the Yoga
system into one of bloody and cruel rites in India, and of superstition
in China.

Still other systems followed: one by Gautama, of the same clan or family
of the later Buddha, who develops inference by the construction of
syllogism; while Kanada follows the atomic philosophy in which the atoms
are eternal, but the aggregates perishable by disintegration.

Against these schools, which seemed to be dangerous "new departures,"
orthodox Hindus, anxious for their ancient beliefs and practices as laid
down in the Vedas, started fresh systems of philosophy, avowedly more in
consonances with their ancestral faith. One system insisted on the
primitive Vedic ritual, and another laid emphasis on the belief in a
Universal Soul first inculcated in the Upanishads.

Conditions out of which Buddhism Arose.

Whatever we may think of these schools of philosophy, or the connection
with or indebtedness of Gautama, the Buddha, to them, they reveal to us
the conceptions which his contemporaries had of the universe and the
beings inhabiting it. These were honest human attempts to find God. In
them the various beings or six conditions of sentient existence are
devas or gods; men; asuras or monsters; pretas or demons; animals; and
beings in hell. Furthermore, these schools of Hindu philosophy show us
the conditions out of which Buddhism arose, furnish us with its
terminology and technical phrases, reveal to us what the reformer
proposed to himself to do, and, what is perhaps still more important,
show us the types to which Buddhism in its degeneration and degradation
reverted. The strange far-off oriental words which today scholars
discuss, theosophists manipulate, and charlatans employ as catchpennies
were common words in the every-day speech of the Hindu people, two or
three thousand years ago.

Glancing rapidly at the condition of religion in the era ushering in the
birth of Buddha, we note that the old joyousness of life manifested in
the Vedic hymns is past, their fervor and glow are gone. In the morning
of Hindu life there was no caste, no fixed priesthood, and no idols; but
as wealth, civilization, easy and settled life succeeded, the taste for
pompous sacrifices conducted by an hereditary priestly caste increased.
Greater importance was laid upon the detail of the ceremonies, the
attention of the worshipper being turned from the deities "to the
minutiae of rites, the erection of altars, the fixing of the proper
astronomical moments for lighting the fire, the correct pronunciation of
prayers, and to the various requisite acts accompanying a sacrifice."[6]
In the chapter of decay which time wrote and literature reflects, we
find "grotesque reasons given for every minute rite, dogmatic
explanation of texts, penances for every breach of form and rule, and
elaborate directions for every act and moment of the worshipper."

The literature shows a degree of credulity and submission on the part of
the people and of absolute power on the part of the priests, which
reminds us of the Middle Ages in Europe. The old inspiring wars with the
aborigines are over. The time of bearing a noble creed, meaning culture
and civilization as against savagery and idolatry, is past, and only
intestine quarrels and local strife have succeeded. The age of creative
literature is over, and commentators, critics and grammarians have
succeeded. Still more startling are the facts disclosed by literary
history. The liquid poetry has become frozen prose; the old flaming fuel
of genius is now slag and ashes. We see Hindus doing exactly what Jewish
rabbis, and after them Christian schoolmen and dogma-makers, did with
the old Hebrew poems and prophecies. Construing literally the prayers,
songs and hopes of an earlier age, they rebuild the letter of the text
into creeds and systems, and erect an amazing edifice of steel-framed
and stone-cased tradition, to challenge which is taught to be heresy and
impiety. The poetical similes used in the Rig Vedas have been
transformed into mythological tales. In the change of language the Vedas
themselves are unreadable, except by the priests, who fatten on popular
beliefs in the transmigration of souls and in the power of priestcraft
to make that transmigration blissful--provided liberal gifts are duly
forthcoming. Idolatry and witchcraft are rampant. Some saviour, some
light was needed.

Buddhism a Logical Product of Hindu Thought.

At such a time, probably 557 B.C., was born Shaka, of the Muni clan, at
Kapilavastu, one hundred miles northeast of Benares. We pass over the
details[7] of the life of him called Prince, Lord, Lion of the Tribe of
Shaka, and Saviour; of his desertion of wife and child, called the first
Great Renunciation; of his struggles to obtain peace; of his
enlightenment or Buddhahood; of his second or Greater Renunciation; of
merit on account of austerities; and give the story told in a mountain
of books in various tongues, but condensed in a paragraph by Romesh
Chunder Dutt.

    "At an early age, Prince Gautama left his royal home, and his
    wife, and new-born child, and became a wanderer and a mendicant,
    to seek a way of salvation for man. Hindu rites, accompanied by
    the slaughter of innocent victims, repelled his feelings. Hindu
    philosophy afforded him no remedy, and Hindu penances and
    mortifications proved unavailing after he had practised them for
    years. At last, by severe contemplation, he discovered the long
    coveted truth; a holy and calm life, and benevolence and love
    toward all living creatures seemed to him the essence of
    religion. Self-culture and universal love--this was his
    discovery--this is the essence of Buddhism."[8]

From one point of view Buddhism was the logical continuance of Aryan
Hindoo philosophy; from another point of view it was a new departure.
The leading idea in the Upanishads is that the object of the wise man
should be to know, inwardly and consciously, the Great Soul of all; and
by this knowledge his individual soul would become united to the Supreme
Being, the true and absolute self. This was the highest point reached in
the old Indian philosophy[9] before Buddha was born.

So, looking at Buddhism in the perspective of Hindu history and thought,
we may say that it is doubtful whether Gautama intended to found a new
religion. As, humanly speaking, Saul of Tarsus saved Christianity from
being a Jewish sect and made it universal, so Gautama extricated the new
enthusiasm of humanity from the priests. He made Aryan religion the
property of all India. What had been a rare monopoly as narrow as
Judaism, he made the inheritance of all Asia. Gautama was a protestant
and a reformer, not an agnostic or skeptic. It is more probable that he
meant to shake off Brahmanism and to restore the pure and original form
of the Aryan religion of the Vedas, as far as it was possible to do so.
In one sense, Buddhism was a revolt against hereditary and sacerdotal
privilege--an attack of the people against priestcraft. The Buddha and
his disciples were levellers. In a different age and clime, but along a
similar path, they did a work analogous to that of the so-called
Anabaptists in Europe and Independents in England, centuries later.

It is certain, however, that Buddhism has grown logically out of ancient
Hinduism. In its monastic feature--one of its most striking
characteristics--we see only the concentration and reduction to system,
of the old life of the ascetics and religious mendicants recognized and
respected by Hinduism. For centuries the Buddhist monks and nuns were
regarded in India as only a new sect of ascetics, among many others
which flourished in the land.

The Buddhist doctrine of karma, or in Japanese, _ingwa_, of cause and
effect, whereby it is taught that each effect in this life springs from
a cause in some previous incarnation, and that each act in this life
bears its fruit in the next, has grown directly out of the Hindu idea of
the transmigration of souls. This idea is first inculcated in the
Upanishads, and is recognized in Hindu systems of philosophy.

So also the Buddhist doctrine of Nirvana, or the attainment of a sinless
state of existence, has grown out of the idea of final union of the
individual soul with the Universal Soul, which is also inculcated in the
Upanishads. Yet, as we shall see, the Buddhists were, in the eyes of the
Brahmans, atheists, because in the ken of these new levellers gods and
men were put on the same plane. Brahmanism has never forgiven Buddhism
for ignoring the gods, and the Hindoos finally drove out the followers
of Gautama from India. It eventuated that after a millenium or so of
Buddhism in India, the old gods, Brahma, Indra, etc., which at first had
been shut out from the ken of the people, by Gautama, found their places
again in the popular faith of the Buddhists, who believed that the gods
as well as men, were all progressing toward the blessed Nirvana--that
sinless life and holy calm, which is the Buddhist's heaven and

It is certainly very curious, and in a sense amusing, to find
flourishing in far-off Japan the old gods of India, that one would
suppose to have been utterly dead and left behind in oblivion. As
acknowledged devas or kings and bodhisattvas or soon-to-be Buddhas, not
a few once defunct Hindu gods, utterly unknown to early Buddhism, have
forced their way into the company of the elect. Though most of them have
not gained the popularity of the indigenous deities of Nippon, they yet
attract many worshippers. They remind one that amid the coming of the
sons of Elohim before Jehovah, "the satan" came also.[10]

From another point of view Buddhism was a new religion; for it swept
away and out of the field of its vision the whole of the World or
Universal Soul theory. "It proclaimed a salvation which each man could
gain for himself and by himself, in this world during this life, without
the least reference to God, or to gods, either great or small." "It
placed the first importance on knowledge; but it was no longer a
knowledge of God, it was a clear perception of the real nature as they
supposed it to be of men and things." In a word, Gautama never reached
the idea of a personal self-existent God, though toward that truth he
groped. He was satisfied too soon.[11] His followers were even more
easily satisfied with abstractions. When Gautama saw the power over the
human heart of inward culture and of love to others, he obtained peace,
he rested on certainty, he became the Buddha, that is, the enlightened.
Perhaps he was not the first Buddhist. It may be that the historical
Gautama, if so he is worthy to be called, merely made the sect or the
new religion famous. Hardly a religion in the full sense of the word,
Buddhism did not assume the role of theology, but sought only to know
men and things. In one sense Buddhism is atheism, or rather, atheistic
humanism. In one sense, also, the solution of the mystery of God, of
life, and of the universe, which Gautama and his followers attained, was
one of skepticism rather than of faith. Buddhism is, relatively, a very
modern religion; it is one of the new faiths. Is it paradoxical to say
that the Buddhists are "religious atheists?"

The Buddhist Millennium in India.

Let us now look at the life of the Founder. Day after day, the
pure-souled teacher attracted new disciples while he with alms-bowl went
around as mendicant and teacher. Salvation merely by self-control, and
love without any rites, ceremonies, charms, priestly powers, gods or
miracles, formed the burden of his teachings. "Thousands of people left
their homes, embraced the holy order and became monks, ignoring caste,
and relinquishing all worldly goods except the bare necessaries of life,
which they possessed and enjoyed in common." Probably the first monastic
_system_ of the world, was that of the Indian Buddhists.

The Buddha preached the good news during forty-five years. After his
death, five hundred of his followers assembled at Rajagriha and chanted
together the teachings of Gautama, to fix them in memory. A hundred
years later, in 377 B.C., came the great schism among the Buddhists, out
of which grew the divisions known as Northern and Southern Buddhism.
There was disagreement on ten points. A second council was therefore
called, and the disputed points determined to the satisfaction of one
side. Thereupon the seceders went away in large numbers, and the
differences were never healed; on the contrary, they have widened in the
course of ages.

The separatists began what may be called the Northern Buddhisms of
Nepal, Tibet, China, Korea and Japan. The orthodox or Southern Buddhists
are those of Ceylon, Burma and Siam. The original canon of Southern
Buddhism is in Pali; that of Northern Buddhism is in Sanskrit. The one
is comparatively small and simple; the other amazingly varied and
voluminous. The canon of Southern scripture is called the Hinayana, the
Little or Smaller Vehicle; the canon of Northern Buddhism is named the
Mahayana or Great Vehicle. Possibly, also, besides the Southern and
Northern Buddhisms, the Buddhism of Japan may be treated by itself and
named Eastern Buddhism.

In the great council called in 242 B.C., by King Asoka, who may be
termed the Constantine of Buddhism, the sacred texts were again chanted.
It was not until the year 88 B.C. in Ceylon, six hundred years after
Gautama, that the three Pitakas, Boxes or Baskets, were committed to
writing in the Pali language. In a word, Buddhism knows nothing of
sacred documents or a canon of scripture contemporary with its first

The splendid Buddhist age of India lasted nearly a thousand years, and
was one of superb triumphs in civilization. It was an age of spiritual
emancipation, of freedom from idol worship, of nobler humanity and of
peace.[12] It was followed by the Puranic epoch and the dark ages. Then
Buddhism was, as some say, "driven out" from the land of its birth,
finding new expansion in Eastern and Northern Asia, and again, a still
more surprising development in the ultima-Thule of the Asiatic
continent, Japan. There is now no Buddhism in India proper, the faith
being represented only in Ceylon and possibly also on the main land, by
the sect of the Jains, and peradventure in Persia by Babism which
contains elements from three religions.[13] Like Christianity, Buddhism
was "driven out" of its old home to bless other nations of the world. It
is probably far nearer the truth to say that Buddhism was never expelled
from India, but rather that it died by disintegration and relapse.[14]
It had become Brahmanism again. The old gods and the old idol-worship
came back. It is in Japan that the ends of the earth, eastern and
western civilization, and the freest and fullest or at least the latest
developments of Christianity and of Buddhism, have met.

In its transfer to distant lands and its developments throughout Eastern
Asia, the faith which had originated in India suffered many changes.
Dividing into two great branches, it became a notably different religion
according as it moved along the southern, the northern, or the eastern
channel. By the vehicle of the Pali language it was carried to Ceylon,
Siam, Burma, Cambodia and the islands of the south; that is, to southern
or peninsular and insular Asia. Here there is little evidence of any
striking departure from the doctrines of the Pali Pitakas; and, as
Southern Buddhism does not greatly concern us in speaking of the
religions of Japan, we may pass it by. For although the books and
writings belonging to Southern Buddhism, and comprehended under the
formula of the Hinayana or Smaller Vehicle, have been studied in China,
Korea and Japan, yet they have had comparatively little influence upon
doctrinal, ritualistic, or missionary development in Chinese Asia.

Astonishingly different has been the case with the Northern Buddhisms
which are those of Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria, China, Korea and
Japan. As luxuriant as the evolutions of political and dogmatic
Christianity and as radical in their departures from the primitive
simplicity of the faith, have been these forms of Buddhist doctrine,
ritual and organization. We cannot now dwell upon the wonderful details
of the vast and complicated system, differing so much in various
countries. We pass by, or only glance at, the philosophy of the Punjaub;
the metaphysics of Nepal--with its developments into what some writers
consider to be a close approach to monotheism, and others, indeed,
monotheism itself; the system of Lamaism in Tibet, which has paralleled
so closely the development of the papal hierarchy; the possibly two
thousand years' growth and decay of Chinese Buddhism; the varieties of
the Buddhism of Mongolia--almost swamped in the Shamanistic
superstitions of these dwellers on the plains; the astonishing success,
quick ripening, decay, and almost utter annihilation, among the learned
and governing classes, of Korean Buddhism;[15] and study in detail only
Eastern or Japanese Buddhism.

We shall in this lecture attempt but two things:

I. A summary of the process of thought by which the chief features of
the Northern Buddhisms came into view.

II. An outline of the story of Japanese Buddhism during the first three
centuries of its existence.

The Development of Northern Buddhism

Leaving the early Buddha legends and the solid ground of history, the
makers of the newer Buddhist doctrines in Nepal occupied themselves with
developing the theory of Buddhahood and of the Buddhas;[16] for we must
ever remember that Buddha[17] is not a proper name, but a common
adjective meaning enlightened, from the root to know, perceive, etc.
They made constant and marvellous additions to the primitive doctrine,
giving it a momentum which gathered force as the centuries went on; and,
as propaganda, it moved against the sun.

This development theory ran along the line of _personification_. Not
being satisfied with "the wheel of the law," it personified both the hub
and the spokes. It began with the spirit of kindness out of which all
human virtues rise, and by the power of which the Buddhist organization
will conquer all sin and unbelief and become victorious throughout the
world. This personification is called the Maitreya Buddha, the
unconquerable one, or the future Buddha of benevolence, the Buddha who
is yet to come. Here was a tremendous and revolutionary movement in the
new faith, the beginning of a long process. It was as though the
Christians had taken the particular attributes, justice, mercy, etc., of
God and, after personifying each one, deified it, thus multiplying gods.

What was the soil for the new sowing, and what was the harvest to be
reaped in due time?

With many thousands of India Buddhists whose minds were already steeped
in Brahministic philosophy and mythology, who were more given to
speculation and dreaming than to self-control and moral culture, and who
mourned for the dead gods of Hinduism, the soil was already prepared for
a growth wholly abnormal to true Buddhism, but altogether in keeping
with the older Brahministic philosophies from which these dreamers had
been but partially converted to Buddhism.[18]

The seed is found in the doctrine which already forms part of the system
of the Little Vehicle, when it tells of the personal Buddhas and the
Buddhas elect, or future Buddhas. In the Jataka stories, or Birth tales,
"the Buddha elect" is the title given to each of the beings, man, angel,
or animal, who is held to be a Bodhisattva, or the future Buddha in one
of his former births. The title Bodhisattva[19] is the name given to a
being whose Karma will produce other beings in a continually ascending
scale of goodness until it becomes vested in a Buddha. Or, in the more
common use of the word, a Bodhisattva (Japanese bosatsu) is a being
whose essence has become intelligence, and who will have to pass through
human existence once more only before entering Nirvana.

In Southern Buddhist temples, the pure white image of Maitreya is
sometimes found beside the idol representing Gautama or the historical
Buddha. While in Southern Buddhism the idea of this possibility of
development seems to have been little seized upon and followed up, in
Northern Buddhism as early as 400 A.D. the worship of two Buddhas elect
named Manjusri and Avalokitesvara, or personified Wisdom and Power, had
already become general. Manjusri,[20] the Great Being or "Prince Royal,"
is the personification of wisdom, and especially of the mystic religious
insight which has produced the Great Vehicle or canon of Northern
Buddhism; or, as a Japanese author says, the third collection of the
Tripitaka was that made by Manjusri and Maitreya. Avalokitesvara,[21]
the Lord of View or All-sided One, is the personification of power, the
merciful protector and preserver of the world and of men. Both are
frequently and voluminously mentioned in the Saddharma Pundarika,[22] in
which the good law is made plain by flowers of rhetoric, and of which we
shall have occasion frequently to speak. Manjusri is the mythical author
of this influential work,[23] the twenty-fourth chapter being devoted to
a glorification of the character, the power, and the advantages to be
derived from the worship of Avalokitesvara.

The Creation of Gods.

Possibly the name of Manjusri may be derived from that of the Indian
mendicant, the traditional introducer of Buddhism and its accompanying
civilization into Nepal. The Tibetans identify him with the minister of
a great King Strongstun, who lived in the seventh century of our era and
who was the great patron of Buddhism into Tibet. He is the founder of
that school of thought which ended in the Great Vehicle,--the literature
of Northern Buddhism.[24] From Nepal to Japan, in the books of the
Northern Buddhists there is certainly much confusion between the
metaphysical being and the legendary civilizer and teacher of Nepal. The
other name, Avalokitesvara, which means the Lord of View, "the lord who
looks down from on high," instead of being a purely metaphysical
invention, may he only an adaptation of one epithet of Shiva, which
meant Master of View.

Later and by degrees the attributes were separated and each one was
personified. For example, the power of Avalokitesvara was separated from
his protecting care and providence. His power was personified as the
bearer of the thunder-bolt, or the lightning-handed one; and this new
personification added to the two other Buddhas elect, made a triad, the
first in Northern Buddhism. In this triad, the thunder-bolt holder was
Vagrapani; Manjusri was the deified teacher; and Avalokitesvara was the
Spirit of the Buddhas present in the church. Before many centuries had
elapsed, these imaginary beings, with a few others, had become gods to
whom men prayed; and thus Buddhism became a religion with some kind of
theism,--which Gautama had expressly renounced.

If any one wants proof of this reversion into the old religions of
India, he has only to notice that the name, given to the new god made by
personification of the attribute of power, Vagrapani, or Vadjradhara, or
the bearer of the thunder-bolt, had formerly been used as an epithet of
the old fire-god of the Vedas, Indra.

It were tedious to recount all the steps in the further development of
Northern Buddhism.[25] Suffice it to say, that out of ideas and
principles set forth in the earlier Buddhism, and under the generating
force reborn from old Brahminism, the Dhyani Buddhas (that is the
Buddhas evolved out of the mind in mystic trance) were given their elect
Buddhas; and so three sets of five were co-ordinated.[26] That is,
first, five pre-penultimate Buddhas; then their Bodhisattvas or
penultimate Buddhas; and then the ultimate or human Buddhas, of which
Gautama was one. Or, first abstraction; then pre-human effluence; then

All this multiplication of beings is unknown to Southern Buddhism,
unknown to the Saddharma Pundarika, and very probably unknown also to
the Chinese pilgrims who visited India in the fifth and seventh
centuries. Professor Rhys Davids, in his compact little manual of
Buddhism, says:[27]

    "Among those hypothetical beings--the creations of a sickly
    scholasticism, hollow abstractions without life or reality--the
    fourth Amitabha, 'Immeasurable Light,' whose Bodhisatwa is
    Avalokitesvara, and whose emanation is Gautama, occupies of
    course the highest and most important rank. Surrounded by
    innumerable Bodhisatwas, he sits enthroned under a Bo-tree in
    Sukhavati, i.e., the Blissful, a paradise of heavenly joys,
    whose description occupies whole tedious books of the so-called
    Great Vehicle. By this theory, each of the five Buddhas has
    become three, and the fourth of these five sets of three is the
    second Buddhist Trinity, the belief in which must have arisen
    after the seventh century of our era."

Buddhism has been called the light of Asia, and Gautama its illuminator;
but certainly the light has not been pure, nor the products of its
illumination wholesome. Pardon an illustration. In Christian churches
and cathedrals of Europe, there is still a great prejudice against the
use of pipes, and of gas made from coal, because of the machinery and of
the impure emanations. The prejudice is a wholesome one; for we all know
that most of the elements forming common illuminating gas are worthless
except to convey the very small amount of light-giving material, and
that these elements in combustion vitiate the air and give off
deleterious products which corrode, tarnish and destroy. Now though
Buddhist doctrine may have been the light of India, yet to reach the
Northern and Eastern nations of Asia it had, apparently, to be
adulterated for conveyance, as much as is the illuminating gas in our
cities. From the first, Northern Buddhism showed a wonderful affinity,
not only for Brahministic superstitions and speculations, but for almost
everything else with which it came in contact in countries beyond India.
Instead of combating, it absorbed. It adapted itself to circumstances,
and finding certain beliefs prevalent among the people, it imbibed them,
and thus gained by accretion until its bulk, both of beliefs and of
disciples, was in the inverse ratio of its purity. Even to-day, the
occult theosophy of "Isis Unveiled," and of the school of writers such
as Blavatsky, Olcott, etc., seems to be a perfectly logical product of
the Northern Buddhisms, and may be called one of them; yet it is simply
a repetition of what took place centuries ago. Most of the primitive
beliefs and superstitions of Nepal and Tibet were absorbed in the ever
hungry and devouring system of Buddhistic scholasticism.

The Making of a Pantheon.

Let us glance again at this Nepal Buddhism. In the tenth century we find
what at first seems to be a growth out of Polytheism into Monotheism,
for a new Being, to whom the attributes of infinity, self-existence and
omniscience are ascribed, is invented and named Adi-Buddha, or the
primordial Buddha. According to the speculations of the thinkers, he had
evolved himself out of the five Dhyani-Buddhas by the exercise of the
five meditations, while each of these had evolved out of itself by
wisdom and contemplation, the corresponding Buddhas elect. Again, each
of the latter evolved out of his own essence a material world,--our
present world being the fourth of these, that is of Avaloki. One almost
might consider that this setting forth of the primordial Buddha was real
Monotheism; but on looking more carefully one sees that it is as little
real Monotheism as was possible in the system of Gnosticism. Indeed the
force of evolution could not stop here; for, since even this primordial
Buddha rested upon Ossa of hypothesis piled upon Pelion of hypothesis,
there must be other hypotheses yet to come, and so the Tantra system, a
compound of old Brahminism with the magic and witchcraft and Shamanism
of Northern Asia burst into view. As this was to travel into Japan and
be hailed as purest Buddhism, let us note how this tenth century Tantra
system grew up. To see this clearly, is to look upon the parable of the
man with the unclean spirit being acted out on a vast scale in history.

In the sixth century of our era, one Asanga, or Asamga, wrote the
Shastra, called the Shastra Yoga-chara Bhumi.[28] With great dexterity
he erected a sort of clearing-house for both the corrupt Brahminism and
corrupt Buddhism of his day, and exchanging and rearranging the gods and
devils in both systems, he represented them as worshippers and
supporters of the Buddha and Avalokitesvara. In such a system, the old
primitive Buddhism of the noble eight-fold path of self-conquest and
pure morals was utterly lost. Instead of that, the worshipper gave his
whole powers to obtaining occult potencies by means of magic phrases and
magic circles. Then grew up whole forests of monasteries and temples,
with an outburst of devilish art representing many-headed and many-eyed
and many-handed idols on the walls, on books, on the roadside, with
manifold charms and phrases the endless repetitions of which were
supposed to have efficacy with the hypothetical being who filled the
heavens. That was _the_ age of idols for China as well as for India; and
the old Chinese house, once empty, swept and garnished by Confucianism,
was now filled with a mob of unclean spirits each worse than the first.
With more courageous logic than the more matter-of-fact Chinese, the
Tibetan erected his prayer-mills[29] and let the winds of heaven and the
flowing waters continually multiply his prayers and holy syllables. And
these inventions were duly imported into Japan, and even now are far
from being absent.[30]

Passing over for the present the history of Buddhism in China,[31]
suffice it to say that the Buddhism which entered Japan from Korea in
the sixth century, was not the simple atheism touched with morality, the
bald skepticism or benevolent agnosticism of Gautama, but a religion
already over a thousand years old. It was the system of the Northern
Buddhists. These, dissatisfied, or unsatisfied, with absorption into a
passionless state through self-sacrifice and moral discipline, had
evolved a philosophy of religion in which were gods, idols and an
apparatus of conversion utterly unknown to the primitive faith.

Buddhism Already Corrupted when brought to Japan.

This sixth century Buddhism in Japan was not the army with banners,
which was introduced still later with the luxuriances of the fully
developed system, its paradise wonderfully like Mohammed's and its
over-populated pantheon. It was, however, ready with the necessary
machinery, both material and mental, to make conquest of a people which
had not only religious aspirations, but also latent aesthetic
possibilities of a high order. As in its course through China this
Northern Buddhism had acted as an all-powerful absorbent of local
beliefs and superstitions, so in Japan it was destined to make a more
remarkable record, and, not only to absorb local ideas but actually to
cause the indigenous religion to disappear.

Let us inquire who were the people to whom Buddhism, when already
possessed of a millenium of history, entered its Ultima Thule in Eastern
Asia. At what stage of mutual growth did Buddhism and the Japanese meet
each other?

Instead of the forty millions of thoroughly homogeneous people in
Japan--according to the census of December 31, 1892--all being loyal
subjects of one Emperor, we must think of possibly a million of hunters,
fishermen and farmers in more or less warring clans or tribes. These
were made up of the various migrations from the main land and the drift
of humanity brought by the ocean currents from the south; Ainos,
Koreans, Tartars and Chinese, with probably some Malay and Nigrito
stock. In the central part of Hondo, the main island, the Yamato tribe
dominated, its chief being styled Sumeru-mikoto, or Mikado. To the south
and southwest, the Mikado's power was only more or less felt, for the
Yamato men had a long struggle in securing supremacy. Northward and
eastward lay great stretches of land, inhabited by unsubdued and
uncivilized native tribes of continental and most probably of Korean
origin, and thus more or less closely akin to the Yamato men. Still
northward roamed the Ainos, a race whose ancestral seats may have been
in far-off Dravidian India. Despite the constant conflicts between the
Yamato people who had agriculture and the beginnings of government, law
and literature, and their less civilized neighbors, the tendency to
amalgamation was already strong. The problem of the statesman, was to
extend the sway of the Mikado over the whole Archipelago.

Shint[=o] was, in its formation, made use of as an engine to conquer,
unify and civilize all the tribes. In one sense, this conquest of men
having lower forms of faith, by believers in the Kami no Michi, or Way
of the Gods, was analogous to the Aryan conquest of India and the
Dravidians. However this may be, the energy and valor displayed in these
early ages formed the ideal of Yamato Damashii (The Spirit of
unconquerable Japan), which has so powerfully influenced the modern
Japanese. We shall see, also, how grandly Buddhism also came to be a
powerful force in the unification of the Japanese people. At first, the
new faith would be rejected as an alien invader, stigmatized as a
foreign religion, and, as such, sure to invoke the wrath of the native
gods. Then later, its superiority to the indigenous cult would be seen
both by the wise and the practically minded, and it would be welcomed
and enjoyed.

The Inviting Field.

Never had a new religion a more inviting field or one more sure of
success, than had Buddhism on stepping from the Land of Morning Dawn to
the Land of the Rising Sun. Coming as a gorgeous, dazzling and
disciplined array of all that could touch the imagination, stimulate the
intellect and move the heart of the Japanese, it was irresistible. For
the making of a nation, Shint[=o] was as a donkey engine, compared to
the system of furnaces, boilers, shaft and propeller of a
ten-thousand-ton steel cruiser, moved by the energies of a million years
of sunbeam force condensed into coal and released again through
transmigration by fire.

All accounts in the vernacular Japanese agree, that their Butsu-d[=o] or
Buddhism was imported from Korea. In the sixteenth year of Keitai, the
twenty-seventh Mikado (of the list made centuries after, and the
eleventh after the impossible line of the long-lived or mythical
Mikados), A.D. 534, it is said that a man from China brought with him an
image of Buddha into Yamato, and setting it up in a thatched cottage
worshipped it. The people called it "foreign-country god." Visitors
discussed with him the religion of Shaka, as the Japanese call
Shakyamuni, and some little knowledge of Buddhism was gained, but no
notable progress was made until A.D. 552, which is generally accepted
and celebrated as the year of the introduction of the faith into Japan.
Then a king of Hiaksai in Korea, sent over to the court and to the
Mikado golden images of the Buddha and of the triad of "precious ones,"
with Sutras and sacred books. These holy relics are believed to be still
preserved in the famous temple of Zenk[=o]ji,[32] belonging to the
temple of the Tendai Sect at Nagano in Northern Japan, this shrine being
dedicated to Amida and his two followers Kwannon (Avalokitesvara) and
Dai-sei-shi (Mahastanaprapta). This group of idols, as the custodian of
the shrine will tell you, was made by Shaka himself out of gold, found
at the base of the tree which grows at the centre of the universe. After
remaining in Korea for eleven hundred and twelve years, it was brought
to Japan. Mighty is the stream of pilgrims which continually sets toward
the holy place. A common proverb declares that even a cow can find her
way thither.

In A.D. 572 and again in 584, new images, sutras and teachers came over
from another part of Korea. The Mikado called a council to determine
what should be done with the idols, to the worship of which he was
himself inclined; but a majority were against the idea of insulting the
native gods by receiving the presents and thus introducing a foreign
religion. The minister of state, however, one Soga no Iname, expressed
himself in favor of Buddhism, and put the images in his country house
which he converted into a temple. When, soon after, the land was
afflicted with a pestilence, the opponents of the new faith attributed
it to the wrath of the gods at the hospitality given to the new idols.
War broke out, fighting took place, and the Buddhist temple was burned
and the idols thrown into the river, near Osaka. Great portents
followed, and the enemies of Buddhism were, it is said, burned up by
flames descending from heaven.

The tide then turned in favor of the Indian faith, and Soga rebuilt his
temple. Priests and missionaries were invited to come over from Korea,
being gladly furnished by the allies of Japan from the state of Shinra,
and Buddhism again flourished at the court, but not yet among the
people. Once more, fighting broke out; and again the temple of the alien
gods was destroyed, only to be rebuilt again. The chief champion of
Buddhism was the son of a Mikado, best known by his posthumous title,
Sh[=o]toku,[33] who all his life was a vigorous defender and propagator
of the new faith. Through his influence, or very probably through the
efforts of the Korean missionaries, the devastating war between the
Japanese and Koreans was ended. In the peace which followed, notable
progress was made through the vigor of the missionaries encouraged by
the regent Sh[=o]toku, so that at his death in the year A.D. 621, there
were forty-six temples, and thirteen hundred and eighty-five priests,
monks and nuns in Japan. Many of the most famous temples, which are now
full of wealth and renown, trace their foundations to this era of
Sh[=o]toku and of his aunt, the Empress Suiko (A.D. 593-628), who were
friendly to the new religion. Sh[=o]toku may be almost called the
founder of Japanese Buddhism. Although a layman, he is canonized and
stands unique in the Pantheon of Eastern Buddhism, his image being
prominently visible in thousands of Japanese temples.

Legend, in no country more luxurious than in Japan, tells us that the
exotic religion made no progress until Amida, the boundlessly Merciful
One, assuming the shape of a concubine of the imperial prince who
afterward became the Mikado Yome, gave birth to Sh[=o]toku, who was
himself Kwannon or the goddess of mercy in human form; and that when he
grew up, he took to wife an incarnation of the Buddha elect,
Mahastana-prapta, or in Japanese Dai-sei-shi, whose idol is honored at

The New Faith Becomes Popular.

Then Buddhism became popular, passing out from the narrow circle of the
court to be welcomed by the people. In A.D. 623, monks came over
directly from China, and we find mentioned two sects, the Sanron and the
J[=o]jitsu, which are no longer extant in Japan. In about A.D. 650 the
fame of Yuan Chang (Hiouen Thsang) the Chinese pilgrim to India, or the
holy land, reached-Japan; and his illustrious example was
enthusiastically followed. History now frequently repeated itself. The
Japanese monk, D[=o]sh[=o], crossed the seas to China to gaze upon the
face and become the pupil of that illustrious Chinese pilgrim, who had
seen Buddha Land. Later on, other monks crossed to the land of Sinim,
until we find that in this and succeeding centuries, hundreds of
Japanese in their frail junks, braved the dangers of the stormy ocean,
in order to study Sanskrit, to read the old scriptures, to meet the new
lights of learning or revelation, and to become versed in the latest
fashions of religion. We find the pilgrims returning and founding new
sects or sub-sects, and stimulating by their enthusiasm the monks and
the home missionaries. In the year A.D. 700 the custom of cremation was
introduced. This wrought not only a profound change in customs, but also
became the seed of a rich crop of superstitions; since out of the
cremated bodies of the saints came forth the _shari_ or, in Sanskrit,
_sarira_. These hard substances or pellets, preserved in crystal
cabinets, are treated as holy gems or relics. Thus venerated, they
become the nuclei of cycles of fairy lore.

In A.D. 710, the great monastery at Nara was founded; and here we must
notice or at least glance at the great throng of civilizing influences
that came in with Buddhism, and at the great army of artists, artisans
and skilled men and women of every sort of trade and craft. We note that
with the building of this great Nara monastery came another proof of
improvement and the added element of stability in Japanese civilization.
The ancient dread which the Japanese had, of living in any place where a
person had died was passing away. The nomad life was being given up. The
successor of a dead Mikado was no longer compelled to build himself a
new capital. The traveller in Japan, familiar with the ancient poetry of
the Many[=o]-shu, finds no fewer than fifty-eight sites[34] as the early
homes of the Japanese monarchy. Once occupying the proud position of
imperial capitals, they are now for the most part mere hamlets,
oftentimes mere names, with no visible indication of former human
habitation; while the old rivers or streams once gay with barges filled
with silken-robed lords and ladies, have dried up to mere washerwomen's
runnels. For the first time after the building of this Buddhist
monastery, the capital remained permanent, Nara being the imperial
residence during seventy-five years. Then beautiful Ki[=o]to was chosen,
and remained the residence of successive generations of emperors until
1868. In A.D. 735, we read of the Kegon sect. Two years later a large
monastery, with a seven-storied pagoda alongside of it, was ordered to
be built in every province. These, with the temples and their
surroundings, and with the wayside shrines beginning to spring up like
exotic flowers, made a striking alteration in the landscape of Japan.
The Buddhist scriptures were numerously copied and circulated among the
learned class, yet neither now nor ever, except here and there in
fragments, were they found among the people. For, although the Buddhist
canon has been repeatedly imported, copied by the pen and in modern
times printed, yet no Japanese translation has ever been made. The
methods of Buddhism in regard to the circulation of the scriptures are
those, not of Protestantism but of Roman Catholicism.

In the same year, the Mikado called for contributions from all the
people for the building of a colossal image of the Buddha, which was to
be of bronze and gilded. Yet, fearing that the Shint[=o] gods might be
offended, a skilful priest named Giyoku,--probably the same man who
introduced the potter's wheel into Japan,--was sent to the shrine of the
Sun-goddess in Ise to present her with a shari or relic of the Buddha,
and find out how she would regard his project. After seven days and
nights of waiting, the chapel doors flew open and the loud-voiced oracle
was interpreted in a favorable sense. The night following the return of
the priest, the Mikado dreamed that the sun-goddess appeared to him in
her own form and said "The sun is Birushana" (Vairokana). This meant
that the chief deity of the Japanese proclaimed herself an avatar or
incarnation of one of the old Hindu gods.[35] She also approved the
project of the image; and in this same year, 759, native gold was found
in Japan, which sufficed for the gilding of the great idol that, after
eleven hundred years and many vicissitudes, still stands, the glory of a
multitude of pilgrims.

In A.D. 754 a famous priest, who introduced the new Ritsu Sect, was able
to convert the Mikado and obtain four hundred converts in the imperial
court. Thirteen years later, another tremendous triumph of Buddhism was
scored and a deadly blow at Shint[=o] was struck. The Buddhist priests
persuaded the Mikados to abandon their ancient title of Sumeru and adopt
that of Tenn[)o]; (Heavenly King or Tenshi) Son of Heaven, after the
Chinese fashion. At the same time it was taught that the emperor could
gain great merit and sooner become a Buddha, by retiring from the active
cares of the throne and becoming a monk, with the title of H[=o]-[=o],
or Cloistered Emperor. This innovation had far-reaching consequences,
profoundly altering the status of the Mikado, giving sensualism on the
one hand and priestcraft on the other, their coveted opportunity,
changing the ruler of the nation from an active statesman into a recluse
and the recluse into a pious monk, or a licentious devotee, as the case
might be. It paved the way for the usurpation of the government by the
unscrupulous soldier, "the man on horseback," who was destined to rule
Japan for seven hundred years, while the throne and its occupant were in
the shadow. One of a thousand proofs of the progress of the propaganda
scheme is seen in the removal of the Shint[=o] temple which had stood at
Nikk[=o], and the erection in its place of a Buddhist temple. In A.D.
805 the famous Tendai, and in 806 the powerful Shingon Sect were
introduced. All was now ready in Japan for the growth not only of one
new Buddhism, but of several varieties among the Northern Buddhisms
which so arouse the astonishment of those who study the simple Pali
scriptures that contain the story of Gautama, and who know only the
southern phase of the faith, that is to Asia, relatively, what
Christianity is to Europe. We say relatively, for while Buddhism made
Chinese Asia gentle in manners and kind to animals, it covered the land
with temples, monasteries and images; on the other hand the religion of
Jesus filled Europe not only with churches, abbeys, monasteries and
nunneries, but also with hospitals, orphan asylums, lighthouses, schools
and colleges. Between the fruits of Christendom and Buddhadom, let the
world judge.

Survey and Summary.

To sum up: Buddhism is the humanitarian's, and also the skeptic's,
solution of the problem of the universe. Its three great distinguishing
characteristics are atheism, metempsychosis and absence of caste. It was
in its origin pure democracy. As against despotic priesthood and
oppressive hierarchy, it was congregational. Theoretically it is so yet,
though far from being so practically. It is certainly sacerdotal and
aristocratic in organization. As in any other system which has so vast a
hierarchy with so many grades of honor and authority, its theory of
democracy is now a memory. First preached in a land accursed by caste
and under spiritual and secular oppressions, it acknowledged no caste,
but declared all men equally sinful and miserable, and all equally
capable of being freed from sin and misery through Buddhahood, that is,
knowledge or enlightenment.[36]

The three-fold principle laid down by Gautama, and now in dogma,
literature, art and worship, a triad or formal trinity, is, Buddha, the
attainment of Buddha-hood, or perfect enlightenment, through meditation
and benevolence; Karma, the law of cause and effect; and Dharma,
discipline or order; or, the Lord, the Law and the Church. Paying no
attention to questions of cosmogony or theogony, the universe is
accepted as an ultimate fact. Matter is eternal. Creation exists but not
a Creator. All is god, but God is left out of consideration. The gods
are even less than Buddhas. Humanity is glorified and the stress of all
teaching is upon this life. In a word: a sinless life, attainable by
man, through his own exertions in this world, above all the powers or
beings of the universe, is the essence of original Buddhism. Original
Nirvana meant death which ends all, extinction of existence.

Gautama's immediate purpose was to emancipate himself and his followers
from the fetters of Brahminism. He tried to leave the world of Hindu
philosophy behind him and to escape from it.

Did he succeed? Partially.

Buddha hoped also to rise above the superstitions of the common people,
but in this he was again only partially successful.[37] "The clouds
returned after the rain." The old dead gods of Brahminism came back
under new names and forms. The malarial exhalations of corrupt
Brahmanistic philosophy, continually poisoned the atmosphere which
Buddha's disciples breathed. Still worse, as his religion transmigrated
into other lands, it became itself a history of transformation, until
to-day no religion on earth seems to be such a kaleidoscopic
phantasmagoria. Polytheism is rampant over the greater part of the
Buddhist world to-day. In the larger portion of Chinese Asia, pantheism
dominates the mind. In modern Babism,--a mixture of Mohammedanism,
Christianity and Buddhism,--there are streaks of dualism. If Monotheism
has ever dawned on the Buddhist world, it has been in fitful pulses as
in auroral flashes, soon to leave darkness darker.

For us is this lesson: Buddhism, brought face to face with the problem
of the world's evil and possible improvement, evades it; begs the whole
question at the outset; prays: "Deliver us from existence. Save us from
life and give us as little as possible of it." Christianity faces the
problem and flinches not; orders advance all along the line of endeavor
and prays: "Deliver us from evil;" and is ever of good cheer, because
Captain and leader says: "I have overcome the world." Go, win it for me.
"I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more


    "All things are nothing but mind."

    "The doctrines of Buddhism have no fixed forms."

    "There is nothing in things themselves that enables us to
    distinguish in them either good or evil, right or wrong. It is
    but man's fancy that weighs their merits and causes him to
    choose one and reject the other."

    "Non-individuality is the general principle of
    Buddhism."--Outlines of the Mah[=a]y[=a]na.

    "It (Shint[=o]) was smothered before reaching maturity, but
    Buddhism and Confucianism had to disguise and change in order to
    enter Japan."

    "Life has a limited span and naught may avail to extend it. This
    is manifested by the impermanence of human beings. But yet
    whenever necessary I will hereafter make my appearance from time
    to time as a god, a sage, or a Buddha."--Last words of Shaka the
    Buddha, in Japanese biography.

    "It is our opinion that Buddhism cannot long hold its ground,
    and that Christianity must finally prevail throughout all
    Japan.... Now, when Buddhism and Christianity are in conflict
    for the ascendency, this indifference of the Japanese people to
    the difference of sects is a great disadvantage to Buddhism.
    That they should worship Jesus Christ with the same mind as they
    do _Inari_ or _Mi[=o]jin_ is not at all inconsistent in their
    estimation or contrary to their custom."--Fukuzawa, of

    "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God,
    follow him; but if Baal, then follow him."--Elijah.

    "Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?"--Jesus.

    "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and

    "What concord hath Christ with Belial?"--Paul.


Syncretism in Religion.

Two centuries and a half of Buddhism in Japan, showed the leaders and
teachers of the Indian faith that complete victory over the whole nation
was yet very far off. The court had indeed been invaded and won. Even
the Mikado, the ecclesiastical head of Shint[=o], and the incarnation
and vicar of the heavenly gods, had not only embraced Buddhism, but in
many instances had shorn the hair and taken the vows of the monk. Yet
the people clung tenaciously to their old traditions, customs and
worship; for their gods were like themselves and indeed were of
themselves, since Shint[=o] is only a transfiguration of Japanese life.
In the Japanese of those days we can trace the same traits which we
behold in the modern son of Nippon, especially his intense patriotism
and his warlike tendencies. To convert these people to the peaceful
dogmas of Siddartha and to make them good Buddhists, something more than
teaching and ritual was necessary. It was indispensable that there
should be complete substitution, all along the ruts and paths of
national habit, and especially that the names of the gods and the
festivals should be Buddhaized.

Popular customs are nearly immortal and ineradicable. Though wars may
come, dynasties rise and fall, and convulsions in nature take place, yet
the people's manners and amusements are very slow in changing. If, in
the history of Christianity, the European missionaries found it
necessary in order to make conquest of our pagan forefathers, to baptize
and re-name without radically changing old notions and habits, so did it
seem equally indispensable that in Japan there should be some system of
reconciliation of the old and the new, some theological revolution,
which should either fulfil, absorb, or destroy Shint[=o].

In the histories of religions in Western Asia, Northern Africa and
Europe, we are familiar with efforts at syncretism. We have seen how
Philo attempted to unite Hebrew righteousness and Greek beauty, and to
harmonize Moses and Plato. We know of Euhemerus, who thought he read in
the old mythologies not only the outlines of real history, but the
hieroglyphics of legend and tradition, truth and revelation.[1] Students
of Church history are well aware that this principle of interpretation
was followed only too generously by Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria,
Lactantius, Chrysostom and others of the Church Fathers. Indeed, it
would be hard to find in any of the great religions of the world an
utter absence of syncretism, or the union of apparently hostile
religious ideas. In the Thousand and One Nights, we have an example in
popular literature. We see that the ancient men of India, Persia and
pre-Mohammedan Arabia now act and talk as orthodox Mussulmans. In
matters pertaining to art and furniture, the statue of Jupiter in Rome
serves for St. Peter, and in Japan that of the Virgin and child for the
Buddha and his mother.[2]

What, however, chiefly concerns the critic and student of religions is
to inquire how far the process has been natural, and the efforts of
those who have brought about the union have been honest, and their
motives pure. The Bible pages bear witness, that Israelites too often
tried to make the same fountain give forth sweet waters and bitter, and
to grow thistles and grapes on the same stem, by uniting the cults of
Jehovah and the Baalim. King Solomon's enterprises in the same direction
are more creditable to him as a politician than as a worshipper.[3] In
the history of Christianity one cannot commend the efforts either of the
Gnostics or the neo-Platonists, nor always justify the medieval
missionaries in their methods. Nor can we accurately describe as
successful the ingenuity of Vossius, the Dutch theologian, who,
following the scheme of Euhemerus, discovered the Old Testament
patriarchs in the disguise of the gods of Paganism. Nor, even though
Germany be the land of learning, can the clear-headed scholar agree with
some of her rationalists, who are often busy in the same field of
industry, setting forth wild criticism as "science."

The Kami and the Buddhas.

In Japan, to solve the problem of reconciliation between the ancient
traditions of the divine ancestors and the dogmas of the Indian cult, it
was necessary that some master spirit, profoundly learned in the two
Ways, of the Kami and of the Buddhas, should be bold, and also as it
seems, crafty and unscrupulous. To convert a line of theocratic
emperors, whose authority was derived from their alleged divine origin
and sacerdotal character, into patrons and propagandists of Buddhism,
and to transform indigenous Shint[=o] gods into Buddhas elect, or
Buddhas to come, or Buddhas in a former state of existence, were tasks
that might appall the most prodigious intellect, and even strain the
capacities of what one might imagine to be the universal religion for
all mankind.

Yet from such a task continental Buddhism had not shrunk before and did
not shrink then, nor indeed from it do the insular Japanese sects shrink
now. Indeed, Buddhism is quite ready to adopt, absorb and swallow up
Japanese Christianity. With all encompassing tentacles, and with
colossal powers of digestion and assimilation, Northern Buddhism had
drawn into itself a large part of the Brahmanism out of which it
originally sprang,[4] reversing the old myth of Chronos by swallowing
its parents. It had gathered in, pretty much all that was in the heavens
above and the earth beneath and the waters that were under the earth, in
Nepal, Tibet, China, and Korea. Thoroughly exercised and disciplined, it
was ready to devour and digest all that the imagination of Japan had

We must remember that, at the opening of the ninth century, the Buddhism
rampant in China and indeed throughout Chinese Asia was the Tantra
system of Yoga-chara.[5] This compound of polytheism and pantheism, with
its sensuous paradise, its goddess of mercy and its pantheon of every
sort of worshipable beings, was also equipped with a system of
philosophy by which Buddhism could be adapted to almost every yearning
of human nature in its lowest or its highest form, and by which things
apparently contradictory could be reconciled. Furthermore--and this is
not the least important thing to consider when the work to be done is
for the ordinary man as an individual and for the common people in the
mass--it had also a tremendous apparatus for touching the imagination
and captivating the fancy of the unthinking and the uneducated.

For example, consider the equipment of the Buddhist priests of the ninth
century in the matter of art alone. Shint[=o] knows next to nothing of
art,[6] and indeed one might almost say that it knows little of
civilization. It is like ultra-Puritanic Protestantism and Iconoclasm.
Buddhism, on the contrary, is the mother of art, and art is her
ever-busy child and handmaid. The temples of the Kami were bald and
bare. The Kojiki told nothing of life hereafter, and kept silence on a
hundred points at which human curiosity is sure to be active, and at
which the Yoga system was voluble. Buddhism came with a set of visible
symbols which should attract the eye and fire the imagination, and
within ethical limits, the passions also. It was a mixed and variegated
system,--a resultant of many forces.[7] It came with the thought of
India, the art-influence of Greece, the philosophy of Persia, the
speculations of the Gnostics and, in all probability, with ideas
borrowed indirectly from Nestorian or other forms of Christianity; and
thus furnished, it entered Japan.

The Mission of Art.

Thus far the insular kingdom had known only the monochrome sketches of
the Chinese painters, which could have a meaning for the educated few
alone. The composite Tantra dogmas fed the fancy and stimulated the
imagination, filling them with pictures of life, past, present and
future. "The sketch was replaced by the illumination." Whole schools of
artists, imported from China and Korea, multiplied their works and
attracted the untrained senses of the people, by filling the temples
with a blaze of glory. "This result was sought by a gorgeous but studied
play of gold and color, and a lavish richness of mounting and
accessories, that appear strangely at variance with the begging bowl and
patched garments of primitive Buddhism."[8] The change in the Japanese
temple was as though the gray clouds had been kissed by the sun and made
to laugh rainbows. The country of the Fertile Plain of Sweet Flags was
transformed. It suddenly became the land wherein gods grew not singly
but in whole forests. Like the Shulamite, when introduced among the
jewelled ladies of Solomon's harem, so stood the boor amid the sheen and
gold of the new temples.

    "Gold was the one thing essential to the Buddhist altar-piece,
    and sometimes, when applied on a black ground, was the only
    material used. In all cases it was employed with an unsparing
    hand. It appeared in uniform masses, as in the body of the
    Buddha or in the golden lakes of the Western Paradise; in minute
    diapers upon brocades and clothing, in circlets and undulating
    rays, to form the glory surrounding the head of Amitaba; in
    raised bosses and rings upon the armlets or necklets of the
    Bodhisattvas and Devas, and in a hundred other manners. The
    pigments chosen to harmonize with this display were necessarily
    body colors of the most pronounced lines, and were untoned by
    any trace of chiaroscuro. Such materials as these would surely
    try the average artist, but the Oriental painter knew how to
    dispose them without risk of crudity or gaudiness, and the
    precious metal, however lavishly applied, was distributed over
    the picture with a judgment that would make it difficult to
    alter or remove any part without detriment to the beauty of the

In our day, Japanese art has won its own place in the world's temple of
beauty. Even those familiar with the master-pieces of Europe do not
hesitate to award to the artists of Nippon a meed of praise which,
within certain limits, is justly applied to them equally with the
masters of the Italian, the Dutch, the Flemish, or the French schools.
It serves our purpose simply to point out that art was a powerful factor
in the religious conquest of the Japanese for the new doctrines of the
Yoga system, which in Japan is called Riy[=o]bu, or Mixed Buddhism.

We say Mixed Buddhism rather than Riy[=o]bu Shint[=o], for Shint[=o] was
less corrupted than swallowed up, while Buddhism suffered one more
degree of mixture and added one more chapter of decay. It increased in
its visible body, while in its mind it became less and less the religion
of Buddha and more and more a thing with the old Shint[=o] heart still
in it, making a strange growth in the eyes of the continental believers.
To the Northern and Southern was now added an Eastern or Japanese

Who was the wonder-worker that annexed the Land of the Gods to Buddhadom
and re-read the Kojiki as a sutra, and all Japanese history and
traditions as only a chapter of the incarnations of Buddha?

K[=o]b[=o] the Wonder Worker.

The Philo and Euhemerus of Japan was the priest Kukai, who was born in
the province of Sanuki, in the year 774. He is better known by his
posthumous title K[=o]b[=o] Daishi, or the Great Teacher who promulgates
the Law. By this name we shall call him. About his birth, life and
death, have multiplied the usual swaddling bands of Japanese legend and
tradition,[10] and to his tomb at the temple on Mount K[=o]-ya, the
Campo Santo of Japanese Buddhism, still gather innumerable pilgrims. The
"hall of ten thousand lamps," each flame emblematic of the Wisdom that
saves, is not, indeed, in these days lighted annually as of old; but the
vulgar yet believe that the great master still lives in his mausoleum,
in a state of profoundly silent meditation. Into the hall of bones near
by, covering a deep pit, the teeth and "Adam's apple" of the cremated
bodies of believers are thrown by their relatives, though the pit is
cleared out every three years. The devotees believe that by thus
disposing of the teeth and "Adam's apple," they obtain the same
spiritual privileges as if they were actually entombed there, that is,
of being born again into the heaven of the Bodhisattva or the Pure Land
of Absolute Bliss, by virtue of the mystic formulas repeated by the
great master in his lifetime.

Let us sketch the life of K[=o]b[=o],

First named Toto-mono, or Treasure, by his parents, who sent him to
Ki[=o]t[=o] to be educated for the priesthood, the youth spent four
years in the study of the Chinese classics. Dissatisfied with the
teachings of Confucius, he became a disciple of a famous Buddhist
priest, named Iwabuchi (Rock-edge or throne). Soon taking upon himself
the vows of the monk, he was first named Kukai, meaning "space and sea,"
or heaven and earth.[11] He overcame the dragons that assaulted him, by
prayers, by spitting at them the rays of the evening star which had
flown from heaven into his mouth and by repeating the mystic formulas
called Dharani.[12] Annoyed by hobgoblins with whom he was obliged to
converse, he got rid of them by surrounding himself with a consecrated
imaginary enclosure into which they were unable to enter against his

We mention these legends only to call the attention to the fact that
they are but copies of those already accepted in China at that time, and
are the logical and natural fruit of the Tantra school at which we have
glanced. In 804, K[=o]b[=o] was appointed to visit the Middle Kingdom as
a government student. By means of his clever pen and calligraphic skill
he won his way into the Chinese capital. He became the favored disciple
of a priest who taught him the mystic doctrines of the Yoga. Having
acquired the whole of the system, and equipped himself with a large
library of Buddhist doctrinal works and still more with every sort of
ecclesiastical furniture and religious goods, he returned to Japan.

Multitudes of wonders are reported about K[=o]b[=o], all of which show
the growth of the Tantra school. It is certain that his erudition was
immense, and that he was probably the most learned man of Japan in that
age, and possibly of any other age. Besides being a Japanese Ezra in
multiplying writings, he is credited with the invention of the
hira-gana, or running script, and if correctly so, he deserves on this
account alone an immortal honor equal to that of Cadmus or Sequoia. The
kana[13] is a syllabary of forty-seven letters, which by diacritical
marks, may be increased to seventy. The kata-kana is the square or print
form, the hira-kana is the round or "grass" character for writing.
Though not as valuable as a true phonetic alphabet, such as the Koreans
and the Cherokees possess, the _i-ro-ha_, or kana script, even though a
syllabary and not an alphabet, was a wonderful aid to popular writing
and instruction.

Evidently the idea of the i-ro-ha, or Japanese ABC, was derived from the
Sanskrit alphabet, or, what some modern Anglo-Indian has called the
Deva-Nagari or the god-alphabet. There is no evidence, however, to show
that K[=o]b[=o] did more than arrange in order forty-seven of the
easiest Chinese signs then used, in such a manner that they conveyed in
a few lines of doggerel the sense of a passage from a sutra in which the
mortality of man and the emptiness of all things are taught, and the
doctrine of Nirvana is suggested.[14] Hokusai, the artist, in a sketch
which embodies the popular idea of this bonze's immense industry,
represents him copying the shastras and sutras. K[=o]b[=o] is on a seat
before a large upright sheet of paper. He holds a brush-pen in his
mouth, and one in each of his hands and feet, all moving at once.[15]
Favorite portions of the Buddhist scriptures were indeed so rapidly
multiplied in Japan in the ninth century, as to suggest the idea, that,
even in this early age, block printing had been imported from China,
whence also afterward, in all probability, it was exported into Europe
before the days of Gutenberg and Coster.[16] The popular imagination,
however, was more easily moved on seeing five brushes kept at work and
all at once by the muscles in the fingers, toes and mouth of one man.
Yet, had his life lasted six hundred years instead of sixty, he could
hardly have graven all the images, scaled all the mountain peaks,
confounded all the sceptics, wrought all the miracles and performed all
the other feats with which he is popularly credited.[17]

K[=o]b[=o] Irenicon.

K[=o]b[=o] indeed was both the Philo and Euhemerus of Japan, plus a
large amount of priestly cunning and what his enemies insist was
dishonesty and forgery. Soon after his return from China, he went to the
temples of Ise,[18] the most holy place of Shint[=o].[19] Taking a
reverent attitude before the chief shrine, that of Toko Uke Bime no Kami
or Abundant-Food-Lady-God, or the deified Earth as the producer of food
and the upholder of all things upon its surface, the suppliant waited
patiently while fasting and praying.

In this, K[=o]b[=o] did but follow out the ordinary Shint[=o] plan for
securing god-possession and obtaining revelation; that is, by starving
both the stomach and the brain.[20] After a week's waiting he obtained
the vision. The Food-possessing Goddess revealed to him the yoke (or
Yoga) by which he could harness the native and the imported gods to the
chariot of victorious Buddhism. She manifested herself to him and
delivered the revelation on which his system is founded, and which,
briefly stated, is as follows:

All the Shint[=o] deities are avatars or incarnations of Buddha. They
were manifestations to the Japanese, before Gautama had become the
enlightened one, or the jewel in the lotus, and before the holy wheel of
the law or the sacred shastras and sutras had reached the island empire.
Further more, provision was made for the future gods and deified holy
ones, who were to proceed from the loins of the Mikado, or other
Japanese fathers, according to the saying of Buddha which is thus
recorded in a Japanese popular work:

    "Life has a limited span, and naught may avail to extend it.
    This is manifested by the impermanence of human beings, but yet,
    whenever necessary, I will hereafter make my appearance from
    time to time as a god (Kami), a sage (Confucian teacher), or a
    Buddha (Hotoke)."[21]

In a word, the Shint[=o] goddess talked as orthodox (Yoga) Buddhism as
the ancient characters of the Indian, Persian and pre-Islam-Arabic
stories in the Arabian Nights now talk the purest Mohammedanism.[22]
According to the words put into Gautama's mouth at the time of his
death, the Buddha was already to reappear in the particular form and in
all the forms, acceptable to Shint[=o]ists, Confucianists, or Buddhists
of whatever sect.

Descending from the shrine of vision and revelation, with a complete
scheme of reconciliation, with correlated catalogues of Shint[=o] and
Buddhist gods, with liturgies, with lists of old popular festivals newly
named, with the apparatus of art to captivate the senses, K[=o]b[=o]
forthwith baptized each native Shint[=o] deity with a new
Chinese-Buddhistic name. For every Shint[=o] festival he arranged a
corresponding Buddhist's saints' day or gala time. Then, training up a
band of disciples, he sent them forth proclaiming the new irenicon.

The Hindu Yoga Becomes Japanese Riy[=o]bu.

It was just the time for this brilliant and able ecclesiastic to
succeed. The power and personal influence of the Mikado were weakening,
the court swarmed with monks, the rising military classes were already
safely under the control of the shavelings, and the pen of learning had
everywhere proved itself mightier than the sword and muscle.
K[=o]b[=o]'s particular dialectic weapons were those of the Yoga-chara,
or in Japanese, the Shingon Shu, or Sect of the True Word.[23] He, like
his Chinese master, taught that we can attain the state of the
Enlightened or Buddha, while in the present physical body which was born
of our parents.

This branch of Buddhism is said to have been founded in India about A.D.
200, by a saint who made the discovery of an iron pagoda inhabited by
the holy one, Vagrasattva, who communicated the exact doctrine to those
who have handed it down through the Hindoo and Chinese patriarchs. The
books or scriptures of this sect are in three sutras; yet the essential
point in them is the Mandala or the circle of the Two Parts, or in
Japanese Riy[=o]bu. Introduced into China, A.D. 720, it is known as the
Yoga-chara school.

K[=o]b[=o] finding a Chinese worm, made a Japanese dragon, able to
swallow a national religion. In the act of deglutition and the long
process of the digestion of Shint[=o], Japanese Buddhism became
something different from every other form of the faith in Asia. Noted
above all previous developments of Buddhism for its pantheistic
tendencies, the Shingon sect could recognize in any Shint[=o] god,
demi-god, hero, or being, the avatar in a previous stage of existence of
some Buddhist being of corresponding grade.

For example,[24] Amateras[)u] or Ten-Sh[=o]-Dai-Jin, the sun-goddess,
becomes Dai Nichi Ni[=o]rai or Amida, whose colossal effigies stand in
the bronze images Dai Butsu at Nara, Ki[=o]to and Kamakura. Ojin, the
god of war, became Hachiman Dai Bosatsu, or the great Bodhisattva of the
Eight Banners. Adopted as their patron by the fighting Genji or Minamoto
warriors of mediaeval times, the Buddhists could not well afford to have
this popular deity outside their pantheon.

For each of the thirty days of the month, a Bodhisattva, or in Japanese
pronunciation Bosatsu, was appointed. Each of these Bodhisattvas became
a Dai Mi[=o] Jin or Great Enlightened Spirit, and was represented as an
avatar in Japan of Buddha in the previous ages, when the Japanese were
not yet prepared to receive the holy law of Buddhism.

Where there were not enough Dai Mi[=o] Jin already existing in native
traditions to fill out the number required by the new scheme, new titles
were invented. One of these was Ten-jin, Heavenly being or spirit. The
famous statesman and scholar of the tenth century, Sugawara Michizane,
was posthumously named Tenjin, and is even to this day worshipped by
many children of Japan as he was formerly for a thousand years by nearly
all of them, as the divine patron of letters. Kompira, Benten and other
popular deities, often considered as properly belonging to Shint[=o],
"are evidently the offspring of Buddhist priestly ingenuity."[25] Out of
the eight millions or so of native gods, several hundred were catalogued
under the general term Gon-gen, or temporary manifestations of Buddha.
In this list are to be found not only the heroes of local tradition, but
even deified forces of nature, such as wind and fire. The custom of
making gods of great men after their death, thus begun on a large scale
by K[=o]b[=o], has gone on for centuries. Iyeyas[)u], the political
unifier of Japan, shines as a star of the first magnitude in the heavens
of the Riy[=o]bu system, under the mime of T[=o]-sh[=o]-g[=u], or Great
Light of the East. The common people speak of him as Gon-gen Sama, the
latter word being an honorary form of address for all beings from a baby
to a Bosatsu.

In this way, K[=o]b[=o] arranged a sort of clearing-house or joint-stock
company in which the Bodhisattvas, kami and other miscellaneous beings,
in either the native or foreign religion, were mutually interchangeable.
In a large sense, this feat of priestly dexterity was but the repetition
in history, of that of Asanga with the Brahmanism and Buddhism of India
three centuries before. It was this Asanga who wrote the Yoga-chara
Bhumi. The succession of syncretists in India, China and Japan is
Asanga, Hiuki[=o] and K[=o]b[=o].

The Happy Family of Riy[=o]bu.

Nevertheless this attempt at making a happy family and ploughing with an
ox and ass in the same yoke, has not been an unqualified success. It
will sometimes happen that one god escapes the classification made by
the Buddhists and slips into the fold of Shint[=o], or _vice versa_;
while again the label-makers and pasters--as numerous in scholastic
Buddhism as in sectarian Christendom--have hard work to make the labels
stick. A popular Gon-gen or Dai-Mi[=o]-jin, whose name and renown has
for centuries attracted crowds of pilgrims, and yielded fat revenues as
regularly as the autumn harvests, is not readily surrendered by the old
Buddhist proprietors, however cleverly or craftily the bonzes may yield
outward conformity to governmental edicts. On the other hand, the
efforts, both archaeological and practical, which have been made in
recent years by fiercely zealous Shint[=o]ists, savor of the smartness
of New Japan more than they suggest either sincerity or edification. It
often requires the finest tact on the part of both the strenuous
Buddhists and the stalwart purists of Shint[=o], to extricate the
various gods out of the mixture and mess of Riy[=o]bu Shint[=o], and to
keep them from jostling each other.

This reclaiming and kidnapping of gods and transferring them from one
camp to another, has been especially active since 1870, when, under
government auspices, the Riy[=o]bu temples were purged of all Buddhist
idols, furniture and influences. The term Dai Mi[=o] Jin, or Great
Illustrious Spirit, is no longer officially permitted to be used of the
old kami or gods of Shint[=o], who were known to have existed before the
days of K[=o]b[=o]. In some cases these gods have lost much of the
esteem in which they were held for centuries. Especially is this true of
the infamous rebel of the tenth century, Masakado.[26] On the entrance
into Yedo of the Imperial army, in 1868, his idol was torn from its
shrine and hacked to pieces by the patriots. His place as a deity (Kanda
Dai Mi[=o] Jin, or Great Illustrious Spirit of Kanda) was taken by
another deified being, a brother to the aboriginal earth-god who, in the
ages of the Kami, "resigned his throne in favor of the Mikado's
ancestors when they descended from Heaven." The apotheosis of the rebel
Masakado had been resorted to by the Buddhist canonizers because the
unquiet spirit of the dead man troubled the people. This method of
laying a ghost by making a god of him, was for centuries a favorite one
in Japanese Buddhism. Indeed, a large part of the practical and
parochial duties of the bonzes consists in quieting the restless spirits
of the departed.

All Japanese popular religion of the past has been intensely local and
patriotic. The ancient idea that Nippon was the first country created
and the centre of the world, has persisted through the ages, modifying
every imported religion. Hence the noticeable fact in Japanese Buddhism,
of the comparative degradation of the Hindu deities and the exaltation
of those which were native to the soil.

The normal Japanese, be he priest or lay brother, theologian or
statesman, is nothing if not patriotic. Even the Chinese gods and
goddesses which, clothed in Indian drapery and still preserving their
Aryan features, were imported to Japan, could not hold their own in
competition with the popularity of the indigenous inhabitants of the
Japanese pantheon. The normal Japanese eye does not see the ideals of
beauty in the human face and form in common with the Aryan vision.
Benten or Knanon, with the features and drapery of the homelike beauties
of Yamato or Adzuma, have ever been more lovely to the admiring eye of
the Japanese sailor and farmer, than the Aryan features of the idols
imported from India. So also, the worshipper to whom the lovely scenery
of Japan was fresh from the hands of the kami who were so much like
himself, turned naturally in preference, to the "gods many" of his own

Succeeding centuries only made it worse for the imported devas or gods,
while the kami, or the gods sprung from the soil created by Izanami and
Izanagi steadily rose in honor.

Degradation of the Foreign Deities.

For example, the Indian saint Dharma is reputed to have come to the
Dragon-fly Country long before the advent of Buddhism, but the people
were not ready for him or his teachings, and therefore he returned to
India. So at least declares the book entitled San Kai Ri[27] (Mountain,
Sea and Earth), which is a re-reading and explanation of Japanese
mythology and tradition as recorded in the Kojiki, by a Ki[=o]t[=o]
priest of the Shin Shu Sect. Of this Dharma, it is said, that he outdid
the Roman Regulus who suffered involuntary loss of his eyelids at the
hands of the Carthaginians. Dharma cut off his own eyelids, because he
could not keep awake.[28] Throwing the offending flesh upon the ground,
he saw the tea-plant arise to help holy men to keep vigil. Daruma, as
the Japanese spell his name, has a temple in central Japan. It is
related that when Sh[=o]toku, the first patron of Buddhism, was one day
walking abroad he found a poor man dying of hunger, who refused to
answer any questions or give his name. Sh[=o]toku ordered food to be
given him, and wrapped his own mantle round him. Next day the beggar
died, and the prince charitably had him buried on the spot. Shortly
afterward it was observed that the mantle was lying neatly folded up, on
the tomb, which on examination proved to be empty. The supposed dying
beggar was no other than the Indian Saint Dharma, and a pagoda was built
over the grave, in which images of the priest and saint were
enshrined.[29] Yet, alas, to-day Daruma the Hindoo and foreigner,
despite his avatar, his humility, his vigils and his self-mutilation,
has been degraded to be the shop-sign of the tobacconists. Besides being
ruthlessly caricatured, he is usually pictured with a scowl, his lidless
eyes as wide open as those upon a Chinese junk-prow or an Egyptian
coffin-lid. Often even, he has a pipe in his mouth--a comical
anachronism, suggestive to the smoker of the dark ages that knew no
tobacco, before nicotine made the whole world of savage and of civilized
kin. Legless dolls and snow-men are named after this foreigner, whose
name is associated almost entirely with what is ludicrous.

On K[=o]b[=o]'s expounding his scheme to the Mikado, the emperor was so
pleased with his servant's ingenuity, that he gave it the name of
Riy[=o]bu[30] Shint[=o]; that is, the two-fold divine doctrine, double
way of the gods, or amalgamated theology. Henceforth the Japanese could
enter Nirvana or Paradise through a two-leaved gate. As for the people,
they also were pleased, as they usually are when change or reform does
not mean abolition of the old festivals, or of the washings, sousings,
and fun at the tombs of their ancestors in the graveyards, or the
merry-makings, or the pilgrimages,[31] which are usually only other
names for social recreation, and often for sensual debauch. The Yoga had
become a _kubiki_, for Shint[=o] and Buddhism were now harnessed
together, not indeed as true yoke-fellows, but yet joined as inseparably
as two oxen making the same furrow.

Many a miya now became a tera. At first in many edifices, the rites of
Shint[=o] and Buddhism were alternately performed. The Buddhist symbols
might be in the front, and the Shint[=o]ist in the rear of the sacred
hall, or _vice versa_, with a bamboo curtain between; but gradually the
two blended. Instead of austere simplicity, the Shint[=o] interior
contained a museum of idols.

Image carvers had now plenty to do in making, out of camphor or _hinoki_
wood, effigies of such of the eight million or so of kamis as were given
places in the new and enlarged pantheon. The multiplication was always
on the side of Buddhism. Soon, also, the architecture was altered from
the type of the primitive hut, to that of the low Chinese temple with
great sweeping roof, re-curved eaves, many-columned auditorium and
imposing gateway, with lacquer, paint, gilding and ceilings, on which,
in blazing gold and color, were depicted the emblems of the Buddhist
paradise. Many of these still remain even after the national purgation
of 1870, just as the Christian inscriptions survive in the marble
palimpsests of Mahometan mosques, converted from basilicas, at Damascus
or Constantinople. The torii was no longer raised in plain hinoki wood,
but was now constructed of hewn stone, rounded or polished. Sometimes it
was even of bronze with gilded crests and Sanskrit monograms,
surmounted, it may be, with tablets of painted or stained wood, on which
were Chinese letters glittering with gold. This departure from the
primitive idea of using only the natural trunks of trees, "somewhat on
the principle of Exodus, 20:25,"[32] was a radical one in the ninth
century. The elongated barrels with iron hoops, or the riveted
boiler-plate and stove-pipe pattern, in this era of Meiji is a still
more radical and even scandalous innovation.

Shint[=o] Buried in Buddhism.

So complete was the victory of Riy[=o]buism, that for nearly a thousand
years Shint[=o] as a religion, except in a few isolated spots, ceased
from sight and sank to a mere mythology or to the shadow of a mythology.
The very knowledge even of the ancient traditions was lost in the
Buddhaized forms in which the old stories[33] were cast, or in the
omnipresent ritual of the Buddhist tera.

Yet, after all, it is a question as to which suffered most, Buddhism or
Shint[=o]. Who can tell which was the base and which was the true metal
in the alloy that was formed? The San Kai Ri shows how superstitious
manifold became imbedded in Buddhism. It was not alone through the
Shingon sect, which K[=o]b[=o] introduced, that this Yoga or union came.
In the other great sect called the Tendai, and in the later sects, more
especially in that of Nichiren, the same principle of absorption was
followed. These sects also adopted many elements derived from the
god-way and thus became Shint[=o]ized. Indeed, it seems certain that
that vast development of Japanese Buddhism, peculiar to Japan and
unknown to the rest of the Buddhist world, scouted by the Southern
Buddhists as dreadful heresy, and rousing the indignation of students of
early Buddhism, like Max Mueller and Professor Whitney, is largely owing
to this attempted digestion of Japanese mythology. The anaconda may
indeed be able, by reason of its marvellously flexible jaws and its
abundant activity of salivary glands, to swallow the calf, and even the
ox; but sometimes the serpent is killed by its own voracity, or at least
made helpless before the destroying hunter. When sweet potatoes and
pumpkins are planted in the same hill, and the cooked product comes on
the table, it is hard to tell whether it is tuber or hollow fruit,
subterranean or superficial growth, that we are eating. So in Riy[=o]bu,
whether it be most _imo_ or _kabocha_ is a fair question. If the
Buddhism in Japan did but add a chapter of decay and degradation to the
religion of the Light of Asia, is not this owing to the act of
K[=o]b[=o]--justified indeed by those who imitated his example, yet
hardly to be called honest? A stroke of ecclesiastical dexterity, it may
have been, but scarcely a lawful example or an illustrious and
commendable specimen of syncretism in religion.

Many students have asked what is the peculiar, the characteristic
difference between the Buddhism of Japan and the other Buddhisms of the
Asian continent. If there be one cause, leading all others, we incline
to believe it is because Japanese Buddhism is not the Buddhism of
Gautama, but is so largely Riy[=o]bu or Mixed. Yet in the alloy, which
ingredient has preserved most of its qualities? Is Japanese Buddhism
really Shint[=o]ized Buddhism, or Buddhaized Shint[=o]? Which is the
parasite and which the parasitized? Is the hermit crab Shint[=o], and
the shell Buddhism, or _vice versa_? About as many corrupt elements from
Shint[=o] entered into the various Buddhist sects as Buddhism gave to

This process of Shint[=o]izing Buddhism or of Buddhaizing
Shint[=o]--that is, of combining Shint[=o] or purely Japanese ideas and
practices with the systems imported from India, went on for five
centuries. The old native habits and mental characteristics were not
eradicated or profoundly modified; they were rather safely preserved in
so-called Buddhism, not indeed as dead flies in amber but as live
creatures, fattening on a body, which, every year, while keeping outward
form and name, was being emptied of its normal and typical life. It is
no gain to pure water to add either microbes or the food which nourishes

Buddhism Writes New Chapters of Decay.

Phenomenally, the victory was that of Buddhism. The mustard-seed has
indeed become a great tree, lodging every fowl of heaven, clean and
unclean; but potentially and in reality, the leavening power, as now
seen, seems to have been that of Shint[=o]. Or, to change metaphor,
since the hermit crab and the shell were separated by law only one
generation ago, in 1870, we shall soon, before many generations, discern
clearly which has the life and which has only the shell.[34]

There are but few literary monuments[35] of Riy[=o]buism, and it has
left few or no marks in the native chronicles, misnamed history, which
utterly omit or ignore so many things interesting to the student and
humanist.[36] Yet to this mixture or amalgamation of Buddhism with
Shint[=o], more probably than to any other direct influence, may also be
ascribed that striking alteration in the system of Chinese ethics or
Confucianism which differentiates the Japanese form from that prevalent
in China. That is, instead of filial piety, the relation of parent and
child, occupying the first place, loyalty, the relation of lord and
retainer, master and servant, became supreme. Although Buddhism made the
Mikado first a King (Tenn[=o]) or Son of Heaven (Ten-Shi), and then a
monk (H[=o]-[=o]), and after his death a Hotoke or Buddhist deity, it
caused him early to abdicate from actual life. Buddhism is thus directly
responsible for the habitual Japanese resignation from active life
almost as soon as it is entered, by men in all classes. Buddhism started
all along and down through the lines of Japanese society the idea of
early retirement from duty; so that men were considered old at forty,
and _hors concours_ before forty-five.[37] Life was condemned as vanity
of vanities before it was mature, and old age a friend that nobody
wished to meet,[38] although Japanese old age is but European prime. In
a measure, Buddhism is thus responsible for the paralysis of Japanese
civilization, which, like oft-tapped maple-trees, began to die at the
top. This was in accordance with its theories and its literature. In the
Bible there is, possibly, one book which is pessimistic in tone,
Ecclesiastes. In the bulky and dropsical canon of Buddhism there is a
whole library of despondency and despair.

Nevertheless, the ethical element held its own in the Japanese mind; and
against the pessimism and puerility of Buddhism and the religious
emptiness of Shint[=o], the bond of Japanese society was sought in the
idea of loyalty. While then, as we repeat, everything that comes to the
Japanese mind suffers as it were "a sea change, into something new and
strange," is it not fair to say that the change made by K[=o]b[=o] was
at the expense of Buddhism as a system, and that the thing that suffered
reversion was the exotic rather than the native plant? For, in the
emergence of this new idea of loyalty as supreme, Shint[=o] and not
Buddhism was the dictator.

Even more after K[=o]b[=o]'s death than during his life, Japan improved
upon her imported faith, and rapidly developed new sects of all degrees
of reputableness and disreputableness. Had K[=o]b[=o] lived on through
the centuries, as the boors still believe;[39] he could not have
stopped, had he so desired, the workings of the leaven he had brought
from China. From the sixth to the twelfth century, was the missionary
age of Japanese Buddhism. Then followed two centuries of amazing
development of doctrine. Novelties in religion blossomed, fruited and
became monuments as permanent as the age-enduring forests Hakone, or
Nikk[=o]. Gautama himself, were he to return to "red earth" again, could
not recognize his own cult in Japan.

In China to-day Buddhism is in a bad state. One writer calls it, "The
emasculated descendant that now occupies the land with its drone of
priests and its temples, in which scarce a worthy disciple of the
learned patriarchs of ancient days is to be found. Received with open
arms, persecuted, patronized, smiled upon, tolerated, it with the last
phase of its existence, has reached, not the halcyon days of peace and
rest, but its final stage, foreshadowing its decay from rottenness and
corruption."[40] So also, in a like report, agree many witnesses. The
common people of China are to-day Taoists rather than Buddhists.[41]

If this be the position in China, something not very far from it is
found in Japan to-day. Whatever may be the Buddhism of the few learned
scholars, who have imbibed the critical and scientific spirit of
Christendom, and whatever be the professions and representations of its
earnest adherents and partisans, it is certain that popular Buddhism is
both ethically and vitally in a low state. In outward array the system
is still imposing. There are yet, it may be, millions of stone statues
and whole forests of wayside effigies, outdoors and
unroofed--irreverently called by the Japanese themselves, "wet gods."
Hosts upon hosts of lacquered and gilded images in wood, sheltered under
the temple tiles or shingles, still attract worshippers. Despite
shiploads of copper Buddhas exported as old metal to Europe and America,
and thousands of tons of gods and imps melted into coin or cannon, there
are myriads of metal reminders of those fruits of a religion that once
educated and satisfied; but these are, in the main, no longer to the
natives instruments of inspiration or compellers to enthusiasm. In this
time of practical charity, they are poor substitutes for those hospitals
and orphan asylums which were practically unknown in Japan until the
advent of Christianity.

K[=o]b[=o]'s smart example has been followed only too well by the people
in every part of the country. One has but to read the stacks of books of
local history to see what an amazing proportion of legends, ideas,
superstitions and revelations rests on dreams; how incredibly numerous
are the apparitions; how often the floating images of Buddha are found
on the water; how frequently flowers have rained out of the sky; how
many times the idols have spoken or shot forth their dazzling rays--in a
word; how often art and artifices have become alleged and accepted
reality. Unfortunately, the characteristics of this literature and
undergrowth of idol lore are monotony and lack of originality; for
nearly all are copies of K[=o]b[=o]'s model. His cartoon has been
constantly before the busy weavers of legend.

It may indeed be said, and said truly, that in its multiplication of
sects and in its growth of legend and superstition, Buddhism has but
followed every known religion, including traditional Christianity
itself. Yet popular Buddhism has reached a point which shows, that,
instead of having a self-purgative and self-reforming power, it is
apparently still treading in the steps of the degradation which

The Seven Gods of Good Fortune.

We repeat it, Riy[=o]bu Buddhism is Japanese Buddhism with vengeance. It
is to-day suffering from the effect of its own sins. Its _ingwa_ is
manifest. Take, for example, the little group of divinities known as the
Seven Gods of Good Fortune, which forms a popular appendage to Japanese
Buddhism and which are a direct and logical growth of the work done by
K[=o]b[=o], as shown in his Riy[=o]bu system. Not from foreign writers
and their fancies, nor even from the books which profess to describe
these divinities, do we get such an idea of their real meaning and of
their influence with the people, as we do by observation of every-day
practice, and a study of the idols themselves and of Japanese folk-lore,
popular romance, local history and guidebooks. Those familiar
divinities, indeed, at the present day owe their vitality rather to the
artists than to priests, and, it may be, have received, together with
some rather rude handling, nearly the whole of their extended popularity
and influence from their lay supporters. The Seven Happy Gods of Fortune
form nominally a Buddhist assemblage, and their effigies on the
kami-dana or god-shelf, found in nearly every Japanese house, are
universally visible. The child in Japan is rocked to sleep by the
soothing sound of the lullaby, which is often a prayer to these gods.
Even though it may be with laughing and merriment, that, in their name
the evil gods and imps are exorcised annually on New Year's eve, with
showers of beans which are supposed to be as disagreeable to the
Buddhist demons "as drops of holy water to the Devil," yet few
households are complete without one or more of the images or the
pictures of these favorite deities.

The separate elements of this conglomerate, so typical of Japanese
religion, are from no fewer than four different sources: Brahmanism,
Buddhism, Taoism and Shint[=o]ism. "Thus, Bishamon is the Buddhist
_Vais'ramana_[42] and the Brahmanic Kuvera; Benten is Sarasvati, the
wife of Brahma; Daikoku is an extremely popularised form of Mahakala,
the black-faced Temple Guardian; Hotei has Taoist attributes, but is
regarded as an incarnation of Maitreya, the Buddhist Messiah;
Fuku-roku-jiu is of purely Taoist origin, and is perhaps a
personification of Lao-Tsze himself; Ju-ro-jin is almost certainly a
duplicate of Fuku-roku-jiu; and, lastly, Ebisu, as the son of Izanagi
and Izanami, is a contribution from the Shint[=o] hero-worship."[43] If
Riy[=o]bu Buddhism be two-fold, here is a texture or amalgam that is
_shi-bu_, four-fold. Let us watch lest _go-bu_, with Christianity mixed
in, be the next result of the process. To play the Japanese game of
go-ban, with Christianity as the fifth counter, and Jesus as a
Palestinian avatar of some Dhyani Buddha, crafty priests in Japan are
even now planning.

This illustration of the Seven Gods of Happiness, whose local
characters, functions and relations have been developed especially
within the last three or four hundred years, is but one of many that
could be adduced, showing what proceeded on a larger scale. The
Riy[=o]bu process made it almost impossible for the average native to
draw the line between history and mythology. It destroyed the boundary
lines, as Pantheism invariably does, between fact and fiction, truth and
falsehood. The Japanese mind, by a natural, possibly by a racial,
tendency, falls easily into Pantheism, which may be called the destroyer
of boundaries and the maker of chaos and ooze. Pretty much all early
Japanese "history" is ooze; yet there are grave and learned men, even in
the Constitutional Japan of the Meiji era--masters in their arts and
professions, graduates of technical and philosophical courses--who
solemnly talk about their "first emperor ascending the throne, B.C.
660," and to whom the dragon-born, early Mikados, and their
fellow-tribesmen, seen through the exaggerated mists of the Kojiki, are
divine personages.

The Gon-gen in the Processions.

While living in Japan between 1870 and 1874, the writer used to enjoy
watching and studying the long processions which celebrated the
foundation of temples, national or local festivals, or the completion of
some great public enterprise, such as the railway between T[=o]kio and
Yokohama. In rich costume, decoration, and representation most of the
cultus-objects were marvels of art and skill. Besides the gala dresses
and uniforms, the fantastic decorations and personal adornments, the
dances which represented the comedies and tragedies of the gods and the
striking scenes in the Kojiki, there wore colossal images of Kami,
Bodhisattvas, Gon-gen, Dai Mi[=o] Jin, and of imps, oni, mythical animal
forms and imaginary monsters.[44] More interesting than anything else,
however, were the male and female figures, set high upon triumphal cars
having many tiers, and arrayed in characteristic primeval, ancient,
medieval, or early modern dress. Some were of scowling, others of benign
visage. In some years, everyone of the eight hundred and eight streets
of Yedo sent its contribution of men, money, decorations, or vehicles.

As seen by four kinds of spectators, the average ignorant native, the
Shint[=o]ist, the learned Buddhist, and the critical historical scholar,
these effigies represented three different characters or creations.
Especially were those divine personages called Gon-gen worth the study
of the foreign observer.

(1) The common boor or streetman saluted, for example, this or that Dai
Mi[=o] Jin, as the great illustrious spirit or god of its particular
district. To this spirit and image he prayed; in his honor he made
offerings; his wrath he feared; and his smile he hoped to win, for the
Gon-gen was a divine being.

(2) To the Shint[=o]ist, who hated Buddhism and the Riy[=o]bu Shint[=o]
which had overlaid his ancestral faith, and who scorned and tabooed this
Chinese term Dai Mi[=o] Jin, this or that image represented a divine
ancestor whose name had in it many Japanese syllables, with no defiling
Chinese sounds, and who was the Kami or patron deity of this or that

(3) To the Buddhist, this or that personage, in his lifetime, in the
early ages of Japanese history, had been an avatar of Buddha who had
appeared in human flesh and brought blessings to the people and
neighborhood; yet the people of the early ages being unprepared to
receive his doctrine or revelation, he had not then revealed or preached
it; but now, as for a thousand years since the time of the illustrious
and saintly K[=o]b[=o], he had his right name and received his just
honors and worship as an avatar of the eternal Buddha. So, although
Buddhist and Shint[=o]ist might quarrel as to his title, and divide,
even to anger, on minor points, they would both agree in letting the
common people take their pleasure, enjoy the festivals and merriment,
and preserve their reverence and worship.

(4) Still another spectator studied with critical interest the swaying
figure high in air. With a taste for archaeology, he admired the
accuracy of the drapery and associations. He was amused, it may be, with
occasional anachronisms as to garments or equipments. He knew that the
original of this personage had been nothing more than a human being, who
might indeed have been conspicuous as a brave soldier in war, or as a
skilful physician who helped to stop the plague, or as a civilizer who
imported new food or improved agriculture.

In a word, had this subject of the ancient Mikado lived in modern
Christendom, he might be honored through the government, patent office,
privy council, the admiralty, the university, or the academy, as the
case or worth might be. He might shine in a plastic representation by
the sculptor or artist, or be known in the popular literature; but he
would never receive religious worship, or aught beyond honor and praise.
In this swamping of history in legend and of fact in dogma, we behold
the fruit of K[=o]b[=o]'s work, Riy[=o]bu Buddhism.

K[=o]b[=o]'s Work Undone.

Buddhism calls itself the jewel in the lotus. Japanese poetry asks of
the dewdrop "why, having the heart of the lotus for its home, does it
pretend to be a gem?" For a thousand years Riy[=o]bu Buddhism was
received as a pure brilliant of the first water, and then the
scholarship of the Shint[=o] revivalists of the eighteenth century
exposed the fraudulent nature of the unrelated parts and declared that
the jewel called Riy[=o]bu was but a craftsman's doublet and should be
split apart. Only a splinter of diamond, they declared, crowned a mass
of paste. Indignation made learning hot, and in 1870 the cement was
liquefied in civil war. The doublet was rent asunder by imperial decree,
as when a lapidist melts the mastic that holds in deception adamant and
glass, while real diamond stands all fire short of the hydro-oxygen
flame. The Riy[=o]bu temples were purged of all Buddhist symbols,
furniture, equipment and personnel, and were made again to assume their
august and austere simplicity. In the eyes of the purely aesthetic
critic, this national purgation was Puritanical iconoclasm; in those of
the priests, cast out to earn rice elsewise and elsewhere, it was
outrage, which in individual instances called for reprisal in blood,
fire and assassination; to the Shint[=o]ist, it was an exhibition of the
righteous judgment of the long-insulted gods; in the ken of the critical
student, it seems very much like historic and poetic justice.

In our day and time, Riy[=o]bu Buddhism furnishes us with a warning,
for, looked at from a purely human point of view, what happened to
Shint[=o] may possibly happen to Japanese Christianity. The successors
of those who, in the ninth century, did not scruple to Buddhaize
Shint[=o], and in later times, even our own, to Shint[=o]ize Buddhism
while holding to Buddha's name and all the revenue possible, will
Buddhaize Christianity if they have power and opportunity; and signs are
not wanting to show that this is upon their programme.

The water of stagnant Buddhism is still a swarming mass, which needs
cleansing to purity by a knowledge of one God who is Light and Love.
Without such knowledge, the manifold changes in Buddhism will but form
fresh chapters of degradation and decay. Holding such knowledge,
Christianity may pass through endless changes, for this is her
capability by Divine power and the authorization of her Founder. The now
Buddhism of our day is endeavoring to save itself through reformation
and progress. In doing so, the danger of the destruction of the system
is great, for thus far change has meant decay.


    "To the millions of China, Corea, and Japan, creator and
    creation are new and strange terms,"--J.H. De Forest.

    "The Law of our Lord, the Buddha, is not a natural science or a
    religion, but a doctrine of enlightenment; and the object of it
    is to give rest to the restless, to point out the Master (the
    Inmost Man) to those that are blind and do not perceive their
    Original State."

    "The Saddharma Pundarika Sutra teaches us how to obtain that
    desirable knowledge of the mind as it is in itself [universal
    wisdom] ... Mind is the One Reality, and all Scriptures are the
    micrographic photographs of its images. He that fully grasps the
    Divine Body of Sakyamuni, holds ever, even without the written
    Sutra, the inner Saddharma Pundarika in his hand. He ever reads
    it mentally, even though he would never read it orally. He is
    unified with it though he has no thought about it. He is the
    true keeper of the Sutra."--Zitsuzen Ashitsu of the Tendai sect.

    "It [Buddhism] is idealistic. Everything is as we think it. The
    world is my idea.... Beyond our faith is naught. Hold the
    Buddhist to his creed and insist that such logic destroys
    itself, and he triumphs smilingly, 'Self-destructive! Of course
    it is. All logic is. That is the centre of my philosophy.'"

    "It [Buddhism] denounces all desire and offers salvation as the
    reward of the murder of our affections, hopes, and aspirations.
    It is possible where conscious existence is believed to be the
    chief of evils."--George William Knox.

    "Swallowing the device of the priests, the people well
    satisfied, dance their prayers."--Japanese Proverb.

    "The wisdom that is from above is ... without variance, without

    "The mystery of God, even Christ in whom are all the treasures
    of wisdom and knowledge."--Paul.


Chronological Outline.

In sketching the history of the doctrinal developments of Buddhism in
Japan, we note that the system, greatly corrupted from its original
simplicity, was in 552 A.D. already a millennium old. Several distinct
phases of the much-altered faith of Gautama, were introduced into the
islands at various times between the sixth and the ninth century. From
these and from others of native origin have sprung the larger Japanese
sects. Even as late as the seventeenth century, novelties in Buddhism
were imported from China, and the exotics took root in Japanese soil;
but then, with a single exception, only to grow as curiosities in the
garden, rather than as the great forests, which had already sprung from
imported and native specimens.

We may divide the period of the doctrinal development of Buddhism in
Japan into four epochs:

I. The first, from 552 to 805 A.D., will cover the first six sects,
which had for their centre of propagation, Nara, the southern capital.

II. Then follows Riy[=o]bu Buddhism, from the ninth to the twelfth

III. This was succeeded by another explosion of doctrine wholly and
peculiarly Japanese, and by a wide missionary propagation.

IV. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, there is little that
is doctrinally noticeable, until our own time, when the new Buddhism of
to-day claims at least a passing notice.

The Japanese writers of ecclesiastical history classify in three groups
the twelve great sects as the first six, the two mediaeval, and the four
modern sects.

In this lecture we shall merely summarize the characteristics of the
first five sects which existed before the opening of the ninth century
but which are not formally extant at the present time, and treat more
fully the purely Japanese developments. The first three sects may be
grouped under the head of the Hinayana, or Smaller Vehicle, as Southern
or primitive orthodox Buddhism is usually called.

Most of the early sects, as will be seen, were founded upon some
particular sutra, or upon selections or collections of sutras. They
correspond to some extent with the manifold sects of Christendom, and
yet this illustration or reference must not be misleading. It is not as
though a new Christian sect, for example, were in A.D. 500 to be formed
wholly on the gospel of Luke, or the book of the Revelation; nor as
though a new sect should now arise in Norway or Tennessee because of a
special emphasis laid on a combination of the epistle to the Corinthians
and the book of Daniel. It is rather as though distinct names and
organizations should be founded upon the writings of Tertullian, of
Augustine, of Luther, or of Calvin, and that such sects should accept
the literary work of these scholars not only as commentaries but as Holy
Scripture itself.

The Buddhist body of scriptures has several times been imported and
printed in Japan, but has never been translated into the vernacular. The
canon[1] is not made up simply of writings purporting to be the words of
Buddha or of the apostles who were his immediate companions or
followers. On the contrary, the canon, as received in Japan, is made up
of books, written for the most part many centuries after the last of the
contemporaries of Gautama had passed away. Not a few of these writings
are the products of the Chinese intellect. Some books held by particular
sects as holy scripture were composed in Japan itself, the very books
themselves being worshipped. Nevertheless those who are apparently
farthest away from primitive Buddhism, claim to understand Buddha most

The Standard Doctrinal Work.

One of the most famous of books, honored especially by several of the
later and larger sects in Japan, and probably the most widely read and
most generally studied book of the canon, is the Saddharma Pundarika.[2]
Professor Kern, who has translated this very rhetorical work into
English, thinks it existed at or some time before 250 A.D., and that in
its most ancient form it dates some centuries earlier, possibly as early
as the opening of the Christian era. It has now twenty-seven chapters,
and may be called the typical scripture of Northern Buddhism. It is
overflowingly full of those sensuous images and descriptions of the
Paradise, in which the imagination of the Japanese Buddhist so revels,
and in it both rhetoric and mathematics run wild. Of this book, "the
cream of the revealed doctrine," we shall hear often again. It is the
standard of orthodoxy in Japanese Buddhism, the real genius of which is
monastic asceticism in morals and philosophical scepticism in religion.

In most of the other sutras the burden of thought is ontology.
Doctrinally, Buddhism seems to be less a religion than a system of
philosophy. Hundreds of volumes in the canon concern themselves almost
wholly with ontological speculations. The Japanese mind,[3] as described
by those who have studied most acutely and profoundly its manifestations
in language and literature, is essentially averse to speculation. Yet
the first forms of Buddhism presented to the Japanese, were highly
metaphysical. The history of thought in Japan, shows that these
abstractions of dogma were not congenial to the islanders. The new faith
won its way among the people by its outward sensuous attractions, and by
appeals to the imagination, the fancy and the emotions; though the men
of culture were led captive by reasoning which they could not answer,
even if they could comprehend it. Though these early forms of dogma and
philosophy no longer survive in Japan, having been eclipsed by more
concrete and sensuous arguments, yet it is necessary to state them in
order to show: first, what Buddhism really is; second, doctrinal
development in the farthest East; and, third, the peculiarities of the
Japanese mind.

In this task, we are happy to be able to rely upon native witness and
confession.[4] The foreigner may easily misrepresent, even when
sincerely inclined to utter only the truth. Each religion, in its theory
at least, must be judged by its ideals, and not by its failures. Its
truth must be stated by its own professors. In the "History of The
Twelve Japanese Sects," by Bunyiu Nanjio, M.A. Oxon., and in "Le
Bouddhisme Japonais," by Ryauon Fujishima, we have the untrammelled
utterances, of nine living lights of the religion of Shaka as it is held
and taught in Dai Nippon. The former scholar is a master of texts, and
the latter of philosophy, each editor excelling in his own department;
and the two books complement each other in value.

Buddhism, being a logical growth out of Brahmanism, used the old sacred
language of India and inherited its vocabulary. In the Tripitaka, that
is, the three book-baskets or boxes, we have the term for canon of
scripture, in the complete collection of which are _sutra_, _vinaya_ and
_abidharma_. We shall see, also, that while Gautama shut out the gods,
his speculative followers who claimed to be his successors, opened the
doors and allowed them to troop in again. The democracy of the
congregation became a hierarchy and the empty swept and garnished house,
a pantheon.

A sutra, from the root _siv_, to sew, means a thread or string, and in
the old Veda religion referred to household rites or practices and the
moral conduct of life; but in Buddhist phraseology it means a body of
doctrine. A shaster or shastra, from the Sanskrit root _cas_, to govern,
relates to discipline. Of those shastras and sutras we must frequently
speak. In India and China some of those sutras are exponents, of schools
of thought or opinion, or of views or methods of looking at things,
rather than of organizations. In Japan these schools of philosophy, in
certain instances, become sects with a formal history.

In China of the present day, according to a Japanese traveller and
author, "the Chinese Buddhists seem ... to unite all different sects, so
as to make one harmonious sect." The chief divisions are those of the
blue robe, who are allied with the Lamaism of Tibet and whose doctrine
is largely "esoteric," and those of the yellow robe, who accept the
three fundamentals of principle, teaching and discipline. Dhyana or
contemplation is their principle; the Kegon or Avatamsaka sutra and the
Hokke or Saddharma Pundarika sutra, etc., form the basis of their
teaching; and the Vinaya of the Four Divisions (Dharmagupta) is their
discipline. On the contrary, in Japan there are vastly greater
diversities of sect, principle, teaching and discipline.

Buddhism as a System of Metaphysics.

The date of the birth of the Buddha in India, accepted by the Japanese
scholars is B.C. 1027--the day and month being also given with
suspicious accuracy. About nine centuries after Gautama had attained
Nirvana, there were eighteen schools of the Hinayana or the doctrine of
the Smaller Vehicle. Then a shastra or institute of Buddhist ontology in
nine chapters, was composed, the title of which in English, is, Book of
the Treasury of Metaphysics. It had such a powerful influence that it
was called an intelligence-creating, or as we say, an epoch-making book.

This Ku-sha shastra, from the Sanskrit _kosa_, a store, is eclectic, and
contains nine chapters embodying the views of one of the schools, with
selections from those of others. It was translated in A.D. 563, into
Chinese by a Hindu scholar; but about a hundred years later the famous
pilgrim, whom the Japanese call Gen-j[=o], but who is known in Europe as
Hiouen Thsang,[5] made a better translation, while his disciples added

In A.D. 658, two Japanese priests[6] made the sea-journey westward into
China, as Gen-j[=o] had before made the land pilgrimage into India, and
became pupils of the famous pilgrim. After long study they returned,
bringing the Chinese translation of this shastra into Japan. They did
not form an independent sect; but the doctrines of this shastra, being
eclectic, were studied by all Japanese Buddhist sects. This Ku-sha
scripture is still read in Japan as a general institute of ontology,
especially by advanced students who wish to get a general idea of the
doctrines. It is full of technical terms, and is well named The
Store-house of Metaphysics.

The Ku-sha teaches control of the passions, and the government of
thought. The burden of its philosophy is materialism; that is, the
non-existence of self and the existence of the matter which composes
self, or, as the Japanese writer says: "The reason why all things are so
minutely explained in this shastra is to drive away the idea of self,
and to show the truth in order to make living beings reach Nirvana."
Among the numerous categories, to express which many technical terms are
necessary, are those of "forms," eleven in number, including the five
senses and the six objects of sense; the six kinds of knowledge; the
forty-six mental qualities, grouped under six heads; and the fourteen
conceptions separated from the mind; thus making in all seventy-two
compounded things and three immaterial things. These latter are
"conscious cessation of existence," "unconscious cessation of
existence," and "space."

The Reverend Shuzan Emura, of the Shin-shu sect of Japan, after
specifying these seventy-five Dharmas, or things compounded and things
immaterial, says:[7] "The former include all things that proceed from a
cause. This cause is Karma, to which everything existing is due, Space
and Nirvana alone excepted. Again, of the three immaterial things the
last two are not subjects to be understood by the wisdom not free from
frailty. Therefore the 'conscious cessation of existence' is considered
as being the goal of all effort to him who longs for deliverance from

In a word, this one of the many Buddhisms of Asia is vastly less a
religion, in any real sense of the word, than a system of metaphysics.
However, the doctrine to be mastered is graded in three Yanas or
Vehicles; for there are now, as in the days of Shaka, three classes of
being, graded according to their ability or power to understand "the
truth." These are:

(I.) The Sho-mon or lowest of the disciples of Shaka, or hearers who
meditate on the cause and effect of everything. If acute in
understanding, they become free from confusion after three births; but
if they are dull, they pass sixty kalpas[8] or aeons before they attain
to the state of enlightenment.

(II.) The Engaku or Pratyeka Buddhas, that is, "singly enlightened," or
beings in the middle state, who must extract the seeds or causes of
actions, and must meditate on the twelve chains of causation, or
understand the non-eternity of the world, while gazing upon the falling
flowers or leaves. They attain enlightenment after four births or a
hundred kalpas, according to their ability.

(III.) The Bodhisattvas or Buddhas-elect, who practise the six
perfections (perfect practice of alms-giving, morality, patience,
energy, meditation and wisdom) as preliminaries to Nirvana, which they
reach only after countless kalpas.

These three grades of pupils in the mysteries of Buddha doctrine, are
said to have been ordered by Shaka himself, because understanding human
beings so thoroughly, he knew that one person could not comprehend two
ways or vehicles (Yana) at once. People were taught therefore to
practise anyone of the three vehicles at pleasure.

We shall see how the later radical and democratic Japanese Buddhism
swept away this gradation, and declaring but the one vehicle (eka),
opened the kingdom to all believers.

The second of the early Japanese schools of thought, is the
J[=o]-jitsu,[9] or the sect founded chiefly upon the shastra which means
The Book of the Perfection of the Truth, containing selections from and
explanations of the true meaning of the Tripitaka. This shastra was the
work of a Hindu whose name means Lion-armor, and who lived about nine
centuries after Gautama. Not satisfied with the narrow views of his
teacher, who may have been of the Dharmagupta school (of the four
Disciplines), he made selections of the best and broadest
interpretations then current in the several different schools of the
Smaller Vehicle. The book is eclectic, and attempts to unite all that
was best in each of the Hinayana schools; but certain Chinese teachers
consider that its explanations are applicable to the Great Vehicle also.
Translated into Chinese in 406 A.D., the commentaries upon it soon
numbered hundreds, and it was widely expounded and lectured upon.
Commentaries upon this shastra were also written in Korean by
D[=o]-z[=o]. From the peninsula it was introduced into Japan. This
J[=o]-jitsu doctrine was studied by prince Sh[=o]toku, and promulgated
as a division of the school called San-Ron. The students of the
J[=o]-jitsu school never formed in Japan a distinct organization.

The burden of the teachings of this school is pure nihilism, or the
non-existence of both self and of matter. There is an utter absence of
substantiality in all things. Life itself is a prolonged dream. The
objects about us are mere delusive shadows or mirage, the product of the
imagination alone. The past and the future are without reality, but the
present state of things only stands as if it were real. That is to say:
the true state of things is constantly changing, yet it seems as if the
state of things were existing, even as does a circle of fire seen when a
rope watch is turned round very quickly.

Japanese Pilgrims to China.

The Ris-shu or Vinaya sect is one of purely Chinese origin, and was
founded, or rather re-founded, by the Chinese priest D[=o]sen, who lived
on Mount Shunan early in the seventh century, and claimed to be only
re-proclaiming the rules given by Gautama himself. He was well
acquainted with the Tripitaka and especially versed in the Vinaya or
rules of discipline. His purpose was to unite the teachings of both the
Greater and the Lesser Vehicle in a sutra whose burden should be one of
ethics and not of dogma.

The founder of this sect was greatly honored by the Chinese Emperor.
Furthermore, he was honored in vision by the holy Pindola or
Binzura,[10] who praised the founder as the best man that had
promulgated the discipline since Buddha himself. In later centuries,
successors of the founder compiled commentaries and reproclaimed the
teachings of this sect.

In A.D. 724 two Japanese priests went over to China, and having mastered
the Ris-shu doctrine, received permission to propagate it in Japan. With
eighty-two Chinese priests they returned a few years later, having
attempted, it is said, the journey five times and spent twelve years on
the sea. On their return, they received an imperial invitation to live
in the great monastery at Nara, and soon their teachings exerted a
powerful influence on the court. The emperor, empress and four hundred
persons of note were received into the Buddhist communion by a Chinese
priest of the Ris-shu school in the middle of the eighth century. The
Mikado Sh[=o]-mu resigned his throne and took the vow and robes of a
monk, becoming H[=o]-[=o] or cloistered emperor. Under imperial
direction a great bronze image of the Vairokana Buddha, or Perfection of
Morality, was erected, and terraces, towers, images and all the
paraphernalia of the new kind of Buddhism were prepared. Even the earth
was embroidered, as it were, with sutras and shastras. Symbolical
landscape gardening, which, in its mounds and paths, variously shaped
stones and lanterns, artificial cascades and streamlets, teaches the
holy geography as well as the allegories and hidden truths of Buddhism,
made the city of Nara beautiful to the eyes of faith as well as of

This sect, with its excellence in morality and benevolence, proved
itself a beautifier of human life, of society and of the earth itself.
Its work was an irenicon. It occupied itself exclusively with the higher
ethics, the higher meditations and the higher knowledge. Interdicting
what was evil and prescribing what was good, its precepts varied in
number and rigor according to the status of the disciple, lay or
clerical. It is by the observance of the _sila_, or grades of moral
perfection, that one becomes a Buddha. Besides making so powerful a
conquest at the southern capital, this sect was the one which centuries
afterward built the first Buddhist temple in Yedo. Being ordinary human
mortals, however, both monk and layman occasionally illustrated the
difference between profession and practice.

These three schools or sects, Ku-sha, J[=o]-jitsu, and Ris-shu, may be
grouped under the Hinayana or Smaller Vehicle, with more or less
affiliation with Southern Buddhism; the others now to be described were
wholly of the Northern division.

The Hoss[=o]-shu, or the Dharma-lakshana sect, as described by the Rev.
Dai-ryo Takashi of the Shin-gon sect, is the school which studies the
nature of Dharmas or things. The three worlds of desire, form and
formlessness, consist in thought only; and there is nothing outside
thought. Nine centuries after Gautama, Maitreya,[11] or the Buddha of
kindness, came down from the heaven of the Bodhisattva to the
lecture-hall in the kingdom in central India at the request of the
Buddhas elect, and discounted five shastras. After that two Buddhist
fathers who were brothers, composed many more shastras and cleared up
the meaning of the Mah[=a]yan[=a]. In 629 A.D., in his twenty-ninth
year, the famous Chinese pilgrim, Gen-j[=o] (Hiouen-thsang), studied
these shastras and sciences, and returning to China in 645 A.D., began
his great work of translation, at which he continued for nineteen years.
One of his disciples was the author of a hundred commentaries on sutras
and shastras. The doctrines of Gen-j[=o] and his disciples were at four
different times, from 653 to 712 A.D., imported into Japan, and named,
after the monasteries in which they were promulgated, the Northern and
Southern Transmission.

The Middle Path.

The burden of the teachings of this sect is subjective idealism. They
embrace principles enjoining complete indifference to mundane affairs,
and, in fact, thorough personal nullification and the ignoring of all
actions by its disciples. In these teachings, thought only, is real. As
we have already seen with the Ku-sha teaching, human beings are of three
classes, divided according to intellect, into higher, middle and lower,
for whom the systems of teachings are necessarily of as many kinds. The
order of progress with those who give themselves to the study of the
Hoss[=o] tenets, is,[12] first, they know only the existence of things,
then the emptiness of them, and finally they enter the middle path of
"true emptiness and wonderful existence."

From the first, such discipline is long and painful, and ultimate
victory scarcely comes to the ordinary being. The disciple, by training
in thought, by destroying passions and practices, by meditating on the
only knowledge, must pass through three kalpas or aeons. Constantly
meditating, and destroying the two obstacles of passion and cognizable
things, the disciple then obtains four kinds of wisdom and truly attains
perfect enlightenment or Pari-Nirvana.

The San-ron Shu, as the Three-Shastra sect calls itself, is the sect of
the Teachings of Buddha's whole life.[13] Other sects are founded upon
single sutras, a fact which makes the student liable to narrowness of
opinion. The San-ron gives greater breadth of view and catholicity of
opinion. The doctrines of the Greater Vehicle are the principal
teachings of Gautama, and these are thoroughly explained in the three
shastras used by this sect, which, it is claimed, contain Buddha's own
words. The meanings of the titles of the three favorite sutras, are, The
Middle Book, The Hundred, and The Book of Twelve Gates. Other books of
the canon are also studied and valued by this sect, but all of them are
apt to be perused from a particular point of view; i.e., that of
Pyrronism or infinite negation.

There are two lines of the transmission of this doctrine, both of them
through China, though, the introduction to Japan was made from Korea, in
625 A.D. Not to dwell upon the detail of history, the burden of this
sect's teaching, is, infinite negation or absolute nihilism. Truth is
the inconceivable state, or, in the words of the Japanese writer: "The
truth is nothing but the state where thoughts come to an end; the right
meditation is to perceive this truth. He who has obtained this
meditation is called Buddha. This is this doctrine of the San-ron sect."

This sect, by its teachings of the Middle Path, seems to furnish a
bridge from the Hinayana or Southern school, to the Mah[=a]yan[=a] or
Northern school of Buddhism. Part of its work, as set forth by the Rev.
K[=o]-ch[=o] Ogurasu, of the Shin sect, is to defend the authenticity,
genuineness and canonicity of the books which form the Northern body of

In these two sects Hos-s[=o] and San-ron, called those of Middle Path,
and much alike in principle and teaching, the whole end and aim of
mental discipline, is nihilism--in the one case subjective, and in the
other absolute, the end and goal being nothing--this view into the
nature of things being considered the right one.

Is it any wonder that such teachings could in the long run satisfy
neither the trained intellects nor the unthinking common people of
Japan? Is it far from the truth to suspect that, even when accepted by
the Japanese courtiers and nobles, they were received, only too often,
in a Platonic, not to say a Pickwickian, sense? The Japanese is too
polite to say "no" if he can possibly say "yes," even when he does not
mean it; while the common people all over the world, as between
metaphysics and polytheism, choose the latter. Is it any wonder that,
along with this propagation of Nihilism as taught in the cloisters and
the court, history informs us of many scandals and much immorality
between the women of the court and the Buddhist monks?

Such dogmas were not able to live in organized forms, after the next
importations of Buddhism which came in, not partly but wholly, under the
name of the Mah[=a]yan[=a] or Great Vehicle, or Northern Buddhism. By
the new philosophy, more concrete and able to appeal more closely to the
average man, these five schools, which, in their discussions, dealt
almost wholly with _noumena_, were absorbed. As matter of fact, none of
them is now in existence, nor can we trace them, speaking broadly,
beyond the tenth century. Here and there, indeed, may be a temple
bearing the name of one of the sects, or grades of doctrine, and
occasionally an eccentric individual who "witnesses" to the old
metaphysics; but these are but fossils or historical relics, and are
generally regarded as such.

Against such baldness of philosophy not only might the cultivated
Japanese intellect revolt and react, but as yet the common people of
Japan, despite the modern priestly boast of the care of the imperial
rulers for what the bonzes still love to call "the people's religion,"
were but slightly touched by the Indian faith.

The Great Vehicle.

The Kegon-Shu or Avatamsaka-sutra sect, is founded on a certain teaching
which Gautama is said to have promulgated in nine assemblies held at
seven different places during the second week of his enlightenment. This
sutra exists in no fewer than six texts, around each of which has
gathered some interesting mythology. The first two tests were held in
memory and not committed to palm leaves; the second pair are secretly
preserved in the dragon palace of Riu-gu[14] under the sea, and are not
kept by the men of this world. The fifth text of 100,000 verses, was
obtained by a Bodhisattva from the palace of the dragon king of the
world under the sea and transmitted to men in India. The sixth is the
abridged text.

It concerns us to notice that the shorter texts were translated into
Chinese in the fourth century, and that later, other translations were
made--36,000 verses of the fifth text, 45,000 verses of the sixth text,
etc. When the doctrine of the sect had been perfected by the fifth
patriarch and he lectured on the sutra, rays of white light came from
his mouth, and there rained wonderful heavenly flowers. In A.D. 736 a
Chinese Vinaya teacher or instructor in Buddhist discipline, named
D[=o]-sen, first brought the Kegon scriptures to Japan. Four years later
a Korean priest gave lectures on them in the Golden-Bell Hall of the
Great Eastern Monastery at Nara. He completed his task of expounding the
sixty volumes in three years. Henceforth, lecturing on this sutra became
one of the yearly services of the Eastern Great Monastery.

"The Ke-gon sutra is the original book of Buddha's teachings of his
whole life. All his teachings therefore sprang from this sutra. If we
attribute all the branches to the origin, we may say that there is no
teaching of Buddha for his whole life except this sutra."[15] The title
of the book, when literally translated, is
Great-square-wide-Buddha-flower-adornment-teaching--a title sufficiently
indicative of its rhetoric. The age of hard or bold thinking was giving
way to flowery diction, and the Law was to be made easy through fine

The burden of doctrine is the unconditioned or realistic, pantheism.
Nature absolute, or Buddha-tathata, is the essence of all things.
Essence and form were in their origin combined and identical. Fire and
water, though phenomenally different, are from the point of view of
Buddha-tathata absolutely identical. Matter and thought are one--that is
Buddha-tathata. In teaching, especially the young, it must be remembered
that the mind resembles a fair page upon which the artist might trace a
design, especial care being needed to prevent the impression of evil
thoughts, in order to accomplish which one must completely and always
direct the mind to Buddha.[16] One notable sentence in the text is,
"when one first raises his thoughts toward the perfect knowledge, he at
once becomes fully enlightened."

In some parts of the metaphysical discussions of this sect we are
reminded of European mediaeval scholasticism, especially of that
discussion as to how many angels could dance on the point of a cambric
needle without jostling each other. It says, "Even at the point of one
grain of dust, of immeasurable and unlimited worlds, there are
innumerable Buddhas, who are constantly preaching the Ke-gon ki[=o]
(sutra) throughout the three states of existence, past, present and
future, so that the preaching is not at all to be collected.[17]

A New Chinese Sect.

In its formal organization the Ten-dai sect is of Chinese origin. It is
named after Tien Tai,[18] a mountain in China about fifty miles south of
Ningpo, on which the book which forms the basis of its tenets was
composed by Chi-sha, now canonized as a Dai Shi or Great teacher. Its
special doctrine of completion and suddenness was, however, transmitted
directly from Shaka to Vairokana and thence to Maitreya, so that the
apostolical succession of its orthodoxy cannot be questioned.

The metaphysics of this sect are thought to be the most profound of the
Greater Vehicle, combining into a system the two opposite ideas of being
and not being. The teachers encourage all men, whether quick or slow in
understanding, to exercise the principle of "completion" and
"suddenness," together with four doctrinal divisions, one or all of
which are taught to men according to their ability. The object of the
doctrine is to make men get an excellent understanding, practise good
discipline and attain to the great fruit of Enlightenment or

Out of compassion, Gautama appeared in the world and preached the truth
in several forms, according to the circumstances of time and place.
There are four doctrinal divisions of "completion," "secrecy,"
"meditation," and "moral precept," which are the means of knowing the
principle of "completion." From Gautama, Vairokana and Maitreya the
doctrine passed through more than twenty Buddhas elect, and arrived in
China on the twentieth day of the twelfth month, A.D. 401. The delivery
to disciples was secret, and the term used for this esoteric
transmission means "handed over within the tower."

In A.D. 805, two Japanese pilgrims went to China, and received orthodox
training. With twenty others, they brought the Ten-dai doctrines into
Japan. During this century, other Japanese disciples of the same sect
crossed the seas to study at Mount Tien Tai. On coming back to Japan
they propagated the various shades of doctrine, so that this main sect
has many branches. It was chiefly through these pilgrims from the West
that the Sanskrit letters, writing and literature were imported. In our
day, evidences of Sanskrit learning, long since neglected and forgotten,
are seen chiefly in the graveyards and in charms and amulets.

Although the philosophical doctrines of Ten-dai are much the same as
those of the Ke-gon sect, being based on pantheistic realism, and
teaching that the Buddha-tathata or Nature absolute is the essence of
all things, yet the Ten-dai school has striking and peculiar features of
its own. Instead of taking some particular book or books in the canon,
shastra, or sutra, selection or collection, as a basis, the Chinese monk
Chi-sha first mastered, and then digested the whole canon. Then
selecting certain doctrines for emphasis he supported them by a wide
range of quotation, professing to give the gist of the pure teachings of
Gautama rather than those of his disciples. In practice, however, the
Saddharma Pundarika is the book most honored by this sect; the other
sutras being employed mainly as commentary. Furthermore, this sect makes
as strenuous a claim for the true apostolical succession from the
Founder, as do the other sects.

The teachers of Ten-dai doctrine must fully estimate character and
ability in their pupils, and so apportion instruction. In this respect
and in not a few others, they are like the disciples of Loyola, and have
properly been called the Jesuits of Buddhism. They are ascetics, and
teach that spiritual insight is possible only through prolonged thought.
Their purpose is to recognize the Buddha, in all the forms he has
assumed in order to save mankind. Nevertheless, the highest truths are
incomprehensible except to those who have already attained to
Buddha-hood.[19] In contrast to the Nichirenites, who give an emotional
and ultra-concrete interpretation and expression to the great sutra,
Hokke Ki[=o], the Ten-dai teachers are excessively philosophical and

In its history the Ten-dai sect has followed out its logic. Being
realistic in pantheism, it reverences not only Gautama the historic
Buddha, but also, large numbers of the Hindu deities, the group of idols
called Jiz[=o], the god Fudo, and Kuannon the god or goddess of mercy,
under his or her protean forms. In its early history this sect welcomed
to its pantheon the Shint[=o] gods, who, according to the scheme of
Riy[=o]bu Shint[=o], were declared to be avatars or manifestations of
Buddha. The three sub-sects still differ in their worship of the avatars
selected as supreme deities, but their philosophy enables them to sweep
in the Buddhas of every age and clime, name and nation. Many other
personifications are found honored in the Ten-dai temples. At the
gateways may usually be seen the colossal painted and hideous images of
the two Devas or kings (Ni-O). These worthies are none other than Indra
and Brahma of the old Vedic mythology.

Space and time--which seem never to fail the Buddhists in their
literature--would fail us to describe this sect in full, or to show in
detail its teachings, wherein are wonderful resemblances to European
ideas and facts--in philosophy, to Hegel and Spinoza find in history, to
Jesuitism. Nor can we stay to point out the many instances in which,
invading the domain of politics, the Ten-dai abbots with their armies of
monks, having made their monasteries military arsenals and issuing forth
clad in armor as infantry and cavalry, have turned the scale of battle
or dictated policies to emperors. Like the Praetorian guard of Rome or
the clerical militia in Spain, these men of keen intellect have left
their marks deep upon the social and political history of the country in
which they dwelt. They have understood thoroughly the art of practising
religion for the sake of revenue. To secure their ends, priests have
made partnerships with other sects; in order to hold Shint[=o] shrines,
they have married to secure heirs and make office hereditary; and
finally in the Purification of 1870, when the Riy[=o]bu system was blown
to the winds by the Japanese Government, not a few priests of this sect
became laymen, in order to keep both office and emolument in the
purified Shint[=o] shrines.

The Sect of the True Word.

It is probable that the conquest and obliteration of Shint[=o] might
have been accomplished by some priest or priests of the Ten-dai sect,
had such a genius as K[=o]b[=o] been found in its household; but this
great achievement was reserved for the man who introduced into Japan the
Shin-gon Shu, or Sect of the True Word. The term _gon_ is the equivalent
of Mantra,[20] a Sanskrit term meaning word, but in later use referring
to the mystic salutations addressed to the Buddhist gods. "The doctrine
of this sect is a great secret law. It teaches us that we can attain to
the state of the 'Great Enlightened,' that is the state of 'Buddha,'
while in the present physical body, which was born of our parents (and
which consists of six elements,[21] Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Ether, and
Knowledge), if we follow the three great secret laws, regarding Body,
Speech, and Thought."[22]

The history of the transmission of the doctrine from the greatest of the
spirit-bodied Buddhas to the historic founder, Vagrabodhi, is carefully
given. The latter was a man very learned in regard to many doctrines of
Buddhism and other religious, and was especially well acquainted with
the deepest meaning of the doctrine of this sect, which he taught in
India for a considerable time. The doctrine is recorded in several
sutras, yet the essential point is nothing but the Mandala, or circle of
the two parts, or, in Japanese, Riy[=o]bu.

The great preacher, Vagrabodhi, in 720 A.D., came with his disciples to
the capital of China, and translated the sacred books, seventy-seven in
number. This doctrine is the well-known Yoga-chara, which has been well
set forth by Doctor Edkins in his scholarly volume on Chinese Buddhism.
As "yoga" becomes in plain English "yoke," and as "mantra" is from the
same root as "man" and "mind," we have no difficulty in recognizing the
original meaning of these terms; the one in its nobler significance
referring to union with Buddha or Gnosis, and the other to the thought
taking lofty expression or being debased to hocus-pocus in charm or
amulet. Like the history of so many Sanskrit words as now uttered in
every-day English speech, the story of the word mantra forms a picture
of mental processes and apparently of the degradation of thought, or, as
some will doubtless say, of the decay of religion. The term mantra meant
first, a thought; then thought expressed; then a Vedic hymn or text;
next a spell or charm. Such have been the later associations, in India,
China and Japan with the term mantra.

The burden of the philosophy of the Shin-gon, looked at from one point
of view, is mysticism, and from another, pantheism. One of the forms of
Buddha is the principle of everything. There are ten stages of thought,
and there are two parts, "lengthwise" and "crosswise" or exoteric and
esoteric. Other doctrines of Buddhism represent the first, or exoteric
stage; and those of the Shin-gon or true word, the second, or esoteric.
The primordial principle is identical with that of Maha-Vairokana, one
of the forms[23] of Buddha. The body, the word and the thought are the
three mysteries, which being found in all beings, animate and inanimate,
are to be fully understood only by Buddhas, and not by ordinary men.

To show the actual method of intellectual procedure in order to reach
Buddha-hood, many categories, tables and diagrams are necessary; but the
crowning tenet, most far reaching in its practical influence, is the
teaching that it is possible to reach the state of Buddha-hood in this
present body.

As discipline for the attainment of excellence along the path marked out
in the "Mantra sect," there are three mystic rites: (1) worshipping the
Buddha with the hand in certain positions called signs; (2) repeating
Dharani, or mystic formulas; (3) contemplation.

K[=o]b[=o] himself and all those who imitated him, practised fasting in
order to clear the spiritual eyesight. The thinking-chairs, so
conspicuous in many old monasteries, though warmed at intervals through
the ages by the living bodies of men absorbed in contemplation, are
rarely much worn by the sitters, because almost absolute cessation of
motion characterizes the long and hard thinkers of the Shin-gon
philosophers. The idols in the Shin-gon temples represent many a saint
and disciple, who, by perseverance in what a critic of Buddhism calls
"mind-murder," and the use of mystic finger twistings and magic
formulas, has won either the Nirvana or the penultimate stage of the

In the sermons and discourses of Shin-gon, the subtle points of an
argument are seized and elaborated. These are mystical on the one side,
and pantheistic on the other. It is easily seen how Buddha, being in
Japanese gods as well as men, and no being without Buddha, the way is
made clear for that kind of a marriage between Buddhism and Shint[=o],
in which the two become one, and that one, as to revenue and advantage,

Truth Made Apparent by One's Own Thought.

The Japanese of to-day often speak of these seven religious bodies which
we have enumerated and described, as "the old sects," because much of
the philosophy, and many of the forms and prayers, are common to all,
or, more accurately speaking, are popularly supposed to be; while the
priests, being celibates, refrain from sake, flesh and fish, and from
all intimate relations with women. Yet, although these sects are
considered to be more or less conformable to the canon of the Greater
Vehicle, and while the last three certainly introduce many of its
characteristic features--one sect teaching that Buddha-hood could be
obtained even in the present body of flesh and blood--yet the idea of
Paradise had not been exploited or emphasized. This new gospel was to be
introduced into Japan by the J[=o]-d[=o] Shu or Sect of the Pure Land.

Before detailing the features of J[=o]-d[=o], we call attention to the
fact that in Japan the propagation of the old sects was accompanied by
an excessive use of idols, images, pictures, sutras, shastras and all
the furniture thought necessary in a Buddhist temple. The course of
thought and action in the Orient is in many respects similar to that in
the Occident. In western lands, with the ebb and flow of religious
sentiment, the iconolater has been followed by the iconoclast, and the
overcrowded cathedrals have been purged by the hammer and fire of the
Protestant and Puritan. So in Japan we find analogous, though not
exactly similar, reactions. The rise and prosperity of the believers in
the Zen dogmas, which in their early history used sparingly the eikon,
idol and sutra, give some indication of protest against too much use of
externals in religion. May we call them the Quakers of Japanese
Buddhism? Certainly, theirs was a movement in the direction of

The introduction of the Zen, or contemplative sect, did, in a sense,
both precede and follow that of Shingon. The word Zen is a shortened
form of the term Zenna, which is a transliteration into Chinese of the
Sanskrit word Dhyana, or contemplation. It teaches that the truth is not
in tradition or in books, but in one's self. Emphasis is laid on
introspection rather than on language. "Look carefully within and there
you will find the Buddha," is its chief tenet. In the Zen monasteries,
the chair of contemplation is, or ought to be, always in use.

The Zen Shu movement may be said to have arisen out of a reaction
against the multiplication of idols. It indicated a return to simpler
forms of worship and conduct. Let us inquire how this was.

It may be said that Buddhism, especially Northern Buddhism, is a vast,
complicated system. It has a literature and a sacred canon which one can
think of only in connection with long trains of camels to carry, or
freight trains to transport, or ships a good deal bigger than the
Mayflower to import. Its multitudinous rules and systems of discipline
appall the spirit and weary the flesh even to enumerate them; so that,
from one point of view, the making of new sects is a necessity. These
are labor-saving inventions. They are attempts to reduce the great bulk
of scriptures to manageable proportions. They seek to find, as it were,
the mother-liquor of the great ocean, so as to express the truth in a
crystal. Hence the endeavors to simplify, to condense; here, by a
selection of sutras, rather than the whole collection; there, by
emphasis on a single feature and a determination to put the whole thing
in a form which can be grasped, either by the elect few or by the people
at large.

The Zen sect did this in a more rational way than that set forth as
orthodox by later priestcraft, which taught that to the believer who
simply turned round the revolving library containing the canon, the
merit of having read it all would be imputed. The rin-z[=o][24] found
near the large temples,--the cunning invention of a Chinese priest in
the sixth century,--soon became popular in Japan. The great wooden
book-case turning on a pivot contains 6,771 volumes, that being the
number of canonical volumes enumerated in China and Japan.

The Zen sect teaches that, besides all the doctrines of the Greater and
the Lesser Vehicles, whether hidden or apparent, there is one distinct
line of transmission of a secret doctrine which is not subject to any
utterance at all. According to their tenet of contemplation, one is to
see directly the key to the thought of Buddha by his own thought, thus
freeing himself from the multitude of different doctrines--the number of
which is said to be eighty-four thousand. In fact, Zen Shu or "Dhyana
sect" teaches the short method of making truth apparent by one's own
thought, apart from the writings.

The story of the transmission of the true Zen doctrine is this:

    "When the blessed Shaka was at the assembly on Vulture's Peak,
    there came the heavenly king, who offered the Buddha a
    golden-colored flower and asked him to preach the law. The
    Blessed One simply took the flower and held it in his hand, but
    said no word. No one in the whole assembly could tell what he
    meant. The venerable Mahahasyapa alone smiled. Than the Blessed
    One said to him, 'I have the wonderful thought of Nirvana, the
    eye of the Right Law, which I shall now give to you.'[25] Thus
    was ushered in the doctrine of thought transmitted by thought."

After twenty-eight patriarchs had taught the doctrine of contemplation,
the last came into China in A.D. 520, and tried to teach the Emperor the
secret key of Buddha's thought. This missionary Bodhidharma was the
third son of a king of the Kashis, in Southern India, and the historic
original of the tobacconist's shop-sign in Japan, who is known as
Daruma. The imperial Chinaman was not yet able to understand the secret
key of Buddha's thought. So the Hindu missionary went to the monastery
on Mount Su, where in meditation, he sat down cross-legged with his face
to a wall, for nine years, by which time, says the legend, his legs had
rotted off and he looked like a snow-image. During that period, people
did not know him, and called him simply the Wall-gazing Brahmana.
Afterward he had a number of disciples, but they had different views
that are called the transmissions of the skin, flesh, or bone of the
teacher. Only one of them got the whole body of his teachings. Two great
sects were formed: the Northern, which was undivided, and the Southern,
which branched off into five houses and seven schools. The Northern Sect
was introduced into Japan by a Chinese priest in 729 A.D., while the
Southern was not brought over until the twelfth century. In both it is
taught that perfect tranquillity of body and mind is essential to
salvation. The doctrine is the most sublime one, of thought transmitted
by thought being entirely independent of any letters or words. Another
name for them is, "The Sect whose Mind Assimilates with Buddha," direct
from whom it claims to have received its articles of faith.

Too often this idea of Buddhaship, consisting of absolute freedom from
matter and thought, means practically mind-murder, and the emptiness of
idle reverie.

Contrasting modern reality with their ancient ideal, it must be
confessed that in practice there is not a little letter worship and a
good deal of pedantry; for, in all the teachings of abstract principles
by the different sects, there are endless puns or plays upon words in
the renderings of Chinese characters. This arises from that antithesis
of extreme poverty in sounds with amazing luxuriance in written
expression, which characterizes both the Chinese and Japanese languages.

In the temples we find that the later deities introduced into the
Buddhist pantheon are here also welcome, and that the triads or groups
of three precious ones, the "Buddhist trinity," so-called,[26] are
surrounded by gods of Chinese or Japanese origin. The Zen sect,
according to its professions and early history, ought to be indifferent
to worldly honors and emoluments, and indeed many of its devotees are.
Its history, however, shows how poorly mortals live up to their
principles and practise what they preach. Furthermore, these professors
of peace and of the joys of the inner life in the S[=o]-t[=o] or
sub-sect have made the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth years of Meiji, or
A.D. 1893 and 1894, famous and themselves infamous by their
long-continued and scandalous intestine quarrels. Of the three
sub-sects, those called Rin-zai and S[=o]-t[=o], take their names from
Chinese monks of the ninth century; while the third, O-baku, founded in
Japan in the seventeenth century, is one of the latest importations of
Chinese Buddhistic thought in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Japanese authors usually classify the first six denominations at which
we have glanced, some of which are phases of thought rather than
organizations, as "the ancient sects." Ten-dai and Shin-gon are "the
medieval sects." The remaining four, of which we shall now treat, and
which are more particularly Japanese in spirit and development, are "the
modern sects."


    "A drop of spray cast by the infinite
    I hung an instant there, and threw my ray
    To make the rainbow. A microcosm I
    Reflecting all. Then back I fell again,
    And though I perished not, I was no more."--
    The Pantheist's Epitaph.

    "Buddhism is essentially a religion of compromise."

    "Where Christianity has One Lord, Buddhism has a dozen."

    "I think I may safely challenge the Buddhist priesthood to give
    a plain historical account of the Life of Amida, Kwannon,
    Dainichi, or any other Mah[=a]y[=a]na Buddha, without being in
    serious danger of forfeiting my stakes."

    "Christianity openly puts this Absolute Unconditioned Essence in
    the forefront of its teaching. In Buddhism this absolute
    existence is only put forward, when the logic of circumstances
    compels its teachers to have recourse to it."--A. Lloyd, in The
    Higher Buddhism in the Light of the Nicene creed.

    "Now these six characters, 'Na-mu-A-mi-da-Butsu,' Zend-[=o] has
    explained as follows: 'Namn' means [our] following His
    behest--and also [His] uttering the Prayer and bestowing [merit]
    upon us. 'Amida Butsu' is the practice of this, consequently by
    this means a certainty of salvation is attained."

    "By reason of the conferring on us sentient creators of this
    great goodness and great merit through the utterance of the
    Prayer, and the bestowal [by Amida] the evil Karma and [effect
    of the] passions accumulated through the long Kalpas, since when
    there was no beginning, are in a moment annihilated, and in
    consequence, those passions and evil Karma of ours all
    disappearing, we live already in the condition of the steadfast,
    who do not return [to revolve in the cycle of Birth and
    Death]."--Renny[=o] of the Shin sect, 1473.

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
    the Word was God."--John.

    "The Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness,
    neither shadow of turning."--James.


The Western Paradise.

We cannot take space to show how, or how much, or whether at all,
Buddhism was affected by Christianity, though it probably was. Suffice
it to say that the J[=o]-d[=o] Shu, or Sect of the Pure Land, was the
first of the many denominations in Buddhism which definitely and clearly
set forth that especial peculiarity of Northern Buddhism, the Western
Paradise. The school of thought which issued in J[=o]-d[=o] Shu was
founded by the Hindoo, Memio. In A.D. 252 an Indian scholar, learned in
the Tripitaka, came to China, and translated one of the great sutras,
called Amitayus. This sutra gives a history of Tathagata Amitabha,[1]
from the first spiritual impulses which led him to the attainment of
Buddha-hood in remote Kalpas down to the present time, when he dwells in
the Western World, called the Happy, where he receives all living beings
from every direction, helping them to turn away from confusion and to
become enlightened.[2] The apocalyptic twentieth chapter of the Hokke
Ki[=o] is a glorification of the transcendent power of the Tathagatas,
expressed in flamboyant oriental rhetoric.

We have before called attention to the fact that, with the
multiplication of sutras or the Sacred Canon and the vast increase of
the apparatus of Buddhism as well as of the hardships of brain and body
to be undergone in order to be a Buddhist, it was absolutely necessary
that some labor-saving system should be devised by which the burden
could be borne. Now, as a matter of fact, all sects claim to found their
doctrine on Buddha or his work. According to the teaching of certain
sects, the means of salvation are to be found in the study of the whole
canon, and in the practice of asceticism and meditation. On the
contrary, the new lights of Buddhism who came as missionaries into
China, protested against this expenditure of so much mental and physical
energy. One of the first Chinese propagators of the J[=o]-d[=o] doctrine
declared that it was impossible, owing to the decay of religion in his
own age, for anyone to be saved in this way by his own efforts. Hence,
instead of the noble eight-fold path of primitive Buddhism, or of the
complicated system of the later Buddhistic Phariseeism of India, he
substituted for the difficult road to Nirvana, a simple faith in the
all-saving power of Amida. In one of the sutras it is taught, that if a
man keeps in his memory the name of Amida one day, or seven days, the
Buddha together with Buddhas elect, will meet him at the moment of his
death, in order to let him be born in the Pure Land, and that this
matter has been equally approved by all other Buddhas of ten different

One of the sutras, translated in China during the fifth century,
contains the teaching of Buddha, which he delivered to the wife of the
King of Magudha, who on account of the wickedness of her son was feeling
weary of this world. He showed her how she might be born into the Pure
Land. Three paths of good actions were pointed out. Toward the end of
the particular sutra which he advised her to read and recite, Buddha
says: "Let not one's voice cease, but ten times complete the thought,
and repeat the formula, of the adoration of Amida." "This practice,"
adds the Japanese exegete and historian, "is the most excellent of all."

How well this latter teaching is practised may be demonstrated when one
goes into a Buddhist temple of the J[=o]-d[=o] sect in Japan, and hears
the constant refrain,--murmured by the score or more of listeners to the
sermon, or swelling like the roar of the ocean's waves, on festival
days, when thousands sit on the mats beneath the fretted roof to enjoy
the exposition of doctrine--"Namu Amida Butsu"--"Glory to the Eternal

The apostolical succession or transmission through the patriarchs and
apostles of India and China, is well known and clearly stated, withal
duly accredited and embellished with signs and wonders, in the
historical literature of the J[=o]-d[=o] sect. In Buddhism, as in
Christianity, the questions relating to True Churchism, High Churchism,
the succession of the apostles, teachers and rulers, and the validity of
this or that method of ordination, form a large part of the literature
of controversy. Nevertheless, as in the case of many a Christian sect
which calls itself the only true church, the date of the organization of
J[=o]-d[=o] was centuries later than that of the Founder and apostles of
the original faith. Five hundred years after Zen-d[=o] (A.D. 600-650),
the great propagator of the J[=o]-d[=o] philosophy, H[=o]-nen, the
founder of the J[=o]-d[=o] sect, was born; and this phase of organized
Buddhism, like that of Shin Shu and Nichirer Shu, may be classed under
the head of Eastern or Japanese Buddhism.

When only nine years of age, the boy afterward called H[=o]-nen, was
converted by his father's dying words. He went to school in his native
province, but his priest-teacher foreseeing his greatness, sent him to
the monastery of Hiyeizan, near Ki[=o]to. The boy's letter of
introduction contained only these words: "I send you an image of the
Bodhisattva, (Mon-ju) Manjusri." The boy shaved his head and received
the precepts of the Ten-dai sect, but in his eighteenth year, waiving
the prospect of obtaining the headship of the great denomination, he
built a hut in the Black Ravine and there five times read through the
five thousand volumes[4] of the Tripitaka. He did this for the purpose
of finding out, for the ordinary and ignorant people of the present day,
how to escape from misery. He studied Zen-d[=o]'s commentary, and
repeated his examination eight times. At last, he noticed a passage in
it beginning with the words, "Chiefly remember or repeat the name of
Amida with a whole and undivided heart." Then he at once understood the
thought of Zen-d[=o], who taught in his work that whoever at any time
practises to remember Buddha, or calls his name even but once, will gain
the right effect of going to be born in the Pure Land after death. This
Japanese student then abandoned all sorts of practices which he had
hitherto followed for years, and began to repeat the name of Amida
Buddha sixty thousand times a day. This event occurred in A.D. 1175.

H[=o]-nen, Founder of the Pure Land Sect.

This path-finder to the Pure Land, who developed a special doctrine of
salvation, is best known by his posthumous title of H[=o]-nen. During
his lifetime he was very famous and became the spiritual preceptor of
three Mikados. After his death his biography was compiled in forty-eight
volumes by imperial order, and later, three other emperors copied or
republished it. In the history of Japan this sect has been one of the
most influential, especially with the imperial and sh[=o]gunal families.
In Ki[=o]to the magnificent temples and monasteries of Chi[=o]n-in, and
in T[=o]ki[=o] Z[=o]-j[=o]-ji, are the chief seats of the two principal
divisions of this sect. The gorgeous mausoleums,--well known to every
foreign tourist,--at Shiba and Uyeno in T[=o]ki[=o], and the clustered
and matchless splendors of Nikk[=o], belong to this sect, which has been
under the patronage of the illustrious line of the Tokugawa,[5] while
its temples and shrines are numbered by many thousands.

The doctrine of the J[=o]-d[=o], or the Pure Land Sect, is easily
discerned. One of Buddha's disciples said, that in the teachings of the
Master there are two divisions or vehicles. In the Maha-yana also there
are two gates; the Holy path, and the Pure Land. The Smaller Vehicle is
the doctrine by which the immediate disciples of Buddha and those for
five hundred years succeeding, practised the various virtues and
discipline. The gateway of the Maha-yana is also the doctrine, by which
in addition to the trainings mentioned, there are also understood the
three virtues of spiritual body, wisdom and deliverance. The man who is
able successfully to complete this course of discipline and practice is
no ordinary person, but is supposed to possess merit produced from good
actions performed in a former state of existence. The doctrine by which
man may do so, is called the gate of the Holy Path.

During the fifteen hundred years after Buddha there were from time to
time, such personages in the world, who attained the end of the Holy
Path; but in these latter days people are more insincere, covetous and
contentious, and the discipline is too hard for degenerate times and
men. The three trainings already spoken of are the correct causes of
deliverance; but if people think them as useless as last year's almanac,
when can they complete their deliverance? H[=o]-nen, deeply meditating
on this, shut up the gate of the Holy Path and opened that of the Pure
Land; for in the former the effective deliverance is expected in this
world by the three trainings of morality, thought and learning, but in
the latter the great fruit of going to be born in the Pure Land after
death, is expected through the sole practice of repeating Buddha's name.

Moreover, it is not easy to accomplish the cause and effect of the Holy
Path, but both those of the doctrine of the Pure Land are very easy to
be completed. The difference is like that between travelling by land and
travelling by water.[6] The doctrines preached by the Buddha are
eighty-four thousand in number; that is to say, he taught one kind of
people one system, that of the Holy Path, and another kind that of the
Pure Land. The Pure Land doctrine of H[=o]-nen was derived from the
sutra preached by the great teacher Shaka.

This simple doctrine of "land travel to Paradise" was one which the
people of Japan could easily understand, and it became amazingly
popular. Salvation along this route is a case of being "carried to the
skies on flowery beds of ease, while others sought to win the prize and
sailed through bloody seas."

Largely through the influence of J[=o]-d[=o] Shu and of those sects most
closely allied to it, the technical terms, peculiar phraseology and
vocabulary of Buddhism became part of the daily speech of the Japanese.
When one studies their language he finds that it is a complicated
organism, including within itself several distinct systems. Just as the
human body harmonizes within itself such vastly differing organized
functions as the osseous, digestive, respiratory, etc., so, embedded in
what is called the Japanese language, there are, also, a Chinese
vocabulary, a polite vernacular, one system of expression for superiors,
another for inferiors, etc. Last of all, there is, besides a peculiar
system of pronunciation taught by the priests, a Buddhist language,
which suggests a firmament of starry and a prairie of flowery metaphors,
with intermediate deeps of space full of figurative expressions.

In our own mother tongue we have something similar. The dialect of
Canaan, the importations of Judaism, the irruptions of Hebraic idioms,
phrases and names into Puritanism, and the ejaculations of the
camp-meeting, which vein and color our English speech, may give some
idea of the variegated strains which make up the Japanese language.
Further, the peculiar nomenclature of the Fifth Monarchy men, is fully
paralleled in the personal names of priests and even of laymen in Japan.

Characteristics of the J[=o]-d[=o] Sect.

H[=o]-nen teaches that the solution of abstract questions and doctrinal
controversies is not needed as means of grace to promote the work of
salvation. Whether the priests and their followers were learned and
devout, or the contrary, mattered little as regards the final result, as
all that is necessary is the continual repetition of the prayer to

It may be added that his followers practise the master's precepts with
emphasis. Their incessant pounding upon wooden fish-drums and
bladder-shaped bells during their public exercises, is as noisy as a
frontier camp-meeting. The rosary is a notable feature in the private
devotions of the Buddhists, but the J[=o]-d[=o] sect makes especial use
of the double rosary, which was invented with the idea of being
manipulated by the left hand only; this gave freedom to the right hand,
"facilitating a happy combination of spiritual and secular duty." At
funerals of believers a particular ceremony was exclusively practised by
this sect, at which the friends of the deceased sat in a circle facing
the priest, making as many repetitions as possible.[7]

In Mohammedan countries, blind men, who cannot look down into the
surrounding gardens or house tops at the pretty women in or on them, but
who have clear and penetrating voices, are often chosen us muezzins to
utter the call to prayer from the minarets. On much the same principle,
in Old Japan, J[=o]-d[=o] priests, blind to metaphysics, but handsome,
elegantly dressed and with fine delivery, went about the streets singing
and intoning prayers, rich presents being made to them, especially by
the ladies. The J[=o]-d[=o] people cultivate art and aesthetic
ornamentation to a notable degree. They also understand the art of
fictitious and sensational miracle-mongering. It is said that Zen-d[=o],
the famous Chinese founder of this Chinese sect, when writing his
commentary, prayed for a wonderful exhibition of supernatural power.
Thereupon, a being arrayed as a priest of dignified presence gave him
instruction on the division of the text in his first volume. Hence
Zen-d[=o] treats his own work as if it were the work of Buddha, and says
that no one is allowed either to add or to take away even a word or
sentence of the book.

The Pure Land is the western world where Amida lives. It is perfectly
pure and free from faults. Those who wish to go thither will certainly
be re-born there, but otherwise they will not. This world, on the
contrary, is the effect of the action of all beings, so that even those
who do not wish to be born here are nevertheless obliged to come. This
world is called the Path of Pain, because it is full of all sorts of
pains, such as birth, old age, disease, death, etc. This is therefore a
world not to be attached to, but to be estranged and separated from. One
who is disgusted with this world, and who is filled with desire for that
world, will after death be born there. Not to doubt about these words of
Buddha, even in the slightest degree, is called deep faith; but if one
entertains the least doubts he will not be born there. Hence the saying:
"In the great sea of the law of Buddha, faith is the only means to

Salvation Through the Merits of Another.

In this absolute trust in the all-saving power of Amida as compared with
the ways promulgated before, we see the emergence of the Buddhist
doctrine of justification by faith, the simplification of theology, and
a revolt against Buddhist scholasticism. The Japanese technical term,
"_tariki_," or relying upon the strength of another, renouncing all idea
of _ji-riki_ or self-power,[8] is the substance of the J[=o]-d[=o]
doctrine; but the expanded term _ta-riki chin no ji-riki_, or
"self-effort depending on another," while expressing the whole dogma, is
rather scornfully applied to the J[=o]-d[=o]ists by the men of the Shin
sect. The invocation of Amida is a meritorious act of the believer, much
repetition being the substance of this combination of personal and
vicarious work.

H[=o]-nen, after making his discovery, believing it possible for all
mankind eventually to attain to perfect Buddhaship, left, as we have
seen, the Ten-dai sect, which represented particularism and laid
emphasis on the idea of the elect. H[=o]-nen taught Buddhist
universalism. Belief and repetition of prayer secure birth into the Pure
Land after the death of the body, and then the soul moves onward toward
the perfection of Buddha-hood.

The Japanese were delighted to have among them a genius who could thus
Japanize Buddhism, and J[=o]-d[=o] doctrine went forth conquering and to
conquer. From the twelfth century, the tendency of Japanese Buddhism is
in the direction of universalism and democracy. In later developments of
J[=o]-d[=o], the pantheistic tendencies are emphasized and the
syncretistic powers are enlarged. While mysticism is a striking feature
of the sect and the attainment of truth is by the grace of Amida, yet
the native Kami of Japan are logically accepted as avatars of Buddha.
History had little or no rights in the case; philosophy was dictator,
and that philosophy was H[=o]-nen's. Those later Chinese deities made by
personifying attributes or abstract ideas, which sprang up after the
introduction of Buddhism into China, are also welcomed into the temples
of this sect. That the common people really believe that they themselves
may attain Buddha-hood at death, and enter the Pure Land, is shown in
the fact that their ordinary expression for the dead saint is Hotoke--a
general term for all the gods that were once human. Some popular
proverbs indicate this in a form that easily lends itself to irreverence
and merriment.

The whole tendency of Japanese Buddhism and its full momentum were now
toward the development of doctrine even to startling proportions.
Instead of the ancient path of asceticism and virtue with agnosticism
and atheism, we see the means of salvation put now, and perhaps too
easily, within the control of all. The pathway to Paradise was made not
only exceedingly plain, but also extremely easy, perhaps even
ridiculously so; while the door was open for an outburst of new and
local doctrines unknown to India, or even to China. The rampant vigor
with which Japanese Buddhism began to absorb everything in heaven, earth
and sea, which it could make a worshipable object or cause to stand as a
Kami or deity to the mind, will be seen as we proceed. The native
proverb, instead of being an irreverent joke, stands for an actual
truth--"Even a sardine's head may become an object of worship."

"Reformed" Buddhism.

We now look at what foreigners call "Reformed" Buddhism, which some even
imagine has been borrowed from Protestant Christianity--notwithstanding
that it is centuries older than the Reformation in Europe.

The Shin Shu or True Sect, though really founded on the J[=o]-d[=o]
doctrines, is separate from the sect of the Pure Land. Yet, besides
being called the Shin Shu, it is also spoken of as the J[=o]-d[=o] Shin
Shu or the True Sect of the Pure Land. It is the extreme form of the
Protestantism of Buddhism. It lays emphasis on the idea of salvation
wholly through the merits of another, but it also paints in richer tints
the sensuous delights of the Western Paradise. As the term Pure Land is
antithetical to that of the Holy Path, so the word Shin, or True,
expresses the contrary of what are termed the "temporary expedients."

While some say that we should practise good works, bring our stock of
merits to maturity, and be born in the Pure Land, others say that we
need only repeat the name of Amida in order to be born in the Pure Land,
by the merit produced from such repetition. These doctrines concerning
repetitions, however, are all considered but "temporary expedients." So
also is the rigid classification, so prominent in "the old sects," of
all beings or pupils into three grades. As in Islam or Calvinism, all
believers stand on a level. To Shin-ran the Radical, the practices even
of J[=o]-d[=o] seemed complicated and difficult, and all that appeared
necessary to him was faith in the desire of Amida to bless and save. To
Shinran,[9] faith was the sole saving act.

To rely upon the power of the Original Prayer of Amitabha Buddha with
the whole heart and give up all idea of _ji-riki_ or self-power, is
called the truth. This truth is the doctrine of this sect of Shin.[10]
In a word, not synergism, not faith _and_ works, but faith only is the
teaching of Shin Shu.

Shinran, the founder of this sect in Japan, was born A.D. 1173 and died
in the year 1262. He was very naturally one who had been first educated
in the J[=o]-d[=o] sect, then the ruling one at the imperial court in
Ki[=o]to. Shall we call him a Japanese Luther, because of his insistence
on salvation by faith only? He is popularly believed to have been
descended from one of the Shint[=o] gods, being on his father's side the
twenty-first in the line of generation. On his mother's side he was of
the lineage of the Minamoto or Genji, a clan sprung from Mikados and
famous during centuries for its victorious warriors. H[=o]-nen was his
teacher, and like his teacher, Shinran studied at the great monastery
near Ki[=o]to, learning first the doctrine of the Tendai, and then, at
the age of twenty-nine, receiving from H[=o]-nen the tenets of the
J[=o]-d[=o] sect. Shortly after, at thirty years of age, he began to
promulgate his doctrines. Then he took a step as new to Buddhism, as was
Luther's union with Katharine von Bora, to the ecclesiasticism of his
time. He married a lady of the imperial court, named Tamayori, who was
the daughter of the Kuambaku or premier.

Shinran thus taught by example, if not formally and by written precept,
that marriage was honorable, and that celibacy was an invention of the
priests not warranted by primitive Buddhism. Penance, fasting,
prescribed diet, pilgrimages, isolation from society whether as hermits
or in the cloister, and generally amulets and charms, are all tabooed by
this sect. Monasteries imposing life-vows are unknown within its pale.
Family life takes the place of monkish seclusion. Devout prayer, purity,
earnestness of life and trust in Buddha himself as the only worker of
perfect righteousness, are insisted upon. Morality is taught to be more
important than orthodoxy.

In practice, the Shin sect even more than the J[=o]-d[=o], teaches that
it is faith in Buddha, which accomplishes the salvation of the believer.
Instead of waiting for death in order to come under the protection of
Amida, the faithful soul is at once received into the care of the
Boundlessly Compassionate. In a word, the Shin sect believes in
instantaneous conversion and sanctification. Between the Roman and the
Reformed soteriology of Christendom, was Melancthonism or the
co[=o]perate union of the divine and the human will. So, the old
Buddhism prior to Shinran taught a phase of synergism, or the union of
faith and works. Shinran, in his "Reformed" Buddhism, taught the
simplicity of faith.

So also _in_ regard to the sacred writings, Shinran opposed the San-ron
school and the three-grade idea. The scriptures of other sects are in
Sanskrit and Chinese, which only the learned are able to read. The
special writings of Shinran are in the vernacular. Three of the sutras,
also, have been translated into Japanese and expressed in the kana
script. Singleness of purpose characterised this sect, which was often
called Monto, or followers of the gate, in reference to its unity of
organization, and the opening of the way to all by Shinran and the
doctrine taught by him. Yet, lest the gate might seem too broad, the
Shin teachers insist that morality is as important as faith, and indeed
the proof of it. The high priests of Shin Shu have ever held a high
position and wielded vast influence in the religious development of the
people. While the temples of other sects are built in sequestered places
among the hills, those of Shin Shu are erected in the heart of cities,
on the main streets, and at the centres of population,--the priests
using every means within their power to induce the people to come to
them. The altars are on an imposing scale of magnificence and gorgeous
detail. No Roman Catholic church or cathedral can outshine the splendor
of these temples, in which the way to the Western Paradise is made so
clear and plain. Another name for the sect is Ikko.

After the death of Shinran, his youngest daughter and one of his
grandsons erected a monastery near his tomb in the eastern suburbs of
Ki[=o]to, to which the Mikado gave the title of Hon-guanji, or Monastery
of the Original Vow. This was in allusion to the vow made by Amida, that
he would not accept Buddhaship except under the condition that salvation
be made attainable for all who should sincerely desire to be born into
his kingdom, and signify their desire by invoking his name ten
times.[11] It is upon the passage in the sutra where this vow is
recorded, that the doctrine of the sect is based. Its central idea is
that man is to be saved by faith in the mercy of the boundlessly
compassionate Amida, and not by works or vain repetitions. Within our
own time, on November 28, 1876, the present reigning Mikado bestowed
upon Shinran the posthumous title Ken-shin Dai-shi, or Great Teacher of
the Revelation of Truth.

The Protestants of Japanese Buddhism.

This is the sect which, being called "Reformed" Buddhism[12] and
resembling Protestantism in so many points, both large and minute,
foreigners think has been borrowed or imitated from European
Protestantism.[13] As matter of fact, the foundation principles of
Shin-Shu are at least six hundred years old. They are perfectly clear in
the writings of the founder,[14] as well as in those of his successor
Renni[=o],[15] who wrote the Ofumi or sacred writings, now daily read by
the disciples of this denomination. With the characteristic object of
reaching the masses, they are written, as we have shown, not in the
mixed Chinese and Japanese characters, but in the common script, or
kana, which all the people of both sexes can read. Within the last two
decades the Shin educators have been the first to organize their schools
of learning on the models of those in Christendom, so that their young
men might be trained to resist Shint[=o] or Christianity, or to measure
the truth in either. Their new temples also show European influence in
architecture and furniture. Liberty of thought and action, and
incoercible desire to be free from governmental, traditional,
ultra-ecclesiastical, or Shint[=o] influence--in a word, protestantism
in its pure sense, is characteristic of the great sect founded by

Indeed the Shin sect, which sprang out of the J[=o]-d[=o], maintains
that it alone professes the true teaching of H[=o]-nen, and that the
J[=o]-d[=o] sect has wandered from the original doctrines of its
founder. Whereas the J[=o]-d[=o] or Pure Land sect believes that Amida
will come to meet the soul of the believer on its separation from the
body, in order to conduct it to Paradise, the Shin or True Sect of the
Pure Land believes in immediate salvation and sanctification. It
preaches that as soon as a man believes in Amida he is taken by him
under him merciful protection. Some might denominate these people the
Methodists of Buddhism.

One good point in their Protestantism is their teaching that morality is
of equal importance with faith. To them Buddha-hood means the perfection
and unlimitedness of wisdom and compassion. "Therefore," writes one,
"knowing the inability of our own power we should believe simply in the
vicarious Power of the Original Prayer. If we do so, we are in
correspondence with the wisdom of the Buddha and share his great
compassion, just as the water of rivers becomes salt as soon as it
enters the sea. For this reason this is called the faith in the Other

To their everlasting honor, also, the Shin believers have probably led
all other Japanese Buddhists in caring for the Eta, even as they
probably excel in preaching the true spiritual democracy of all
believers, yes, even of women.[16] "According to the earlier and general
view of Buddhism, women are condemned, in virtue of the pollution of
their nature, to look forward to rebirth in other forms. By no
possibility can they, in their existence as women, reach the higher
grades of holiness which lead to Nirvana. According to the Shin Shu
system, on the other hand, a believing woman may hope to attain the goal
of the Buddhist at the close of her present life."[17] This doctrine
seems to be founded on that passage in the eleventh chapter of the
Saddharma Pundarika, in which the daughter of S[=a]gara, the
N[=a]ga-king, loses her sex as female and reappears as a Bodhisattva of
male sex.[18]

The Shin sect is the largest in Japan, having more than twice as many
temples as any four of the great sects, and five thousand more than the
So-d[=o] or sub-sect of J[=o]-d[=o], which is the next largest; or, over
nineteen thousand in all. It is also supposed to be one of the richest
and most powerful of all the Japanese sects. In reality, however, it
possesses no fixed property, and is dependent entirely upon the
voluntary contributions of its adherents. To-day, it is probably the
most active of them all in education, learning and missionary operations
in Yezo, China and Korea.

Interesting as is the development of the J[=o]-d[=o] and Shin sects,
which became popular largely through their promulgation of dogmas
founded on the Western Paradise, we must not forget that both of them
preached a new Buddha--not the real figure in history, but an unhistoric
and unreal phantom, the creation and dream of the speculator and
visionary. Amida, the personification of boundless light, is one of the
luxuriant growths of a sickly scholasticism--a hollow abstraction
without life or reality. Amidaism is utterly repudiated by many Japanese
Buddhists, who give no place to his idol on their altars, and reject
utterly the teaching as to Paradise and salvation through the merits of

Yet these two special developments by natives, though embodying
tendencies of the Japanese mind, did not reach the limit to which
Northern Buddhism was to go in those almost incredible lengths, which
prompted Professor Whitney[19] to call it "the high-faluting school,"
and which we have seen in our own time under the cultivation of western

The Nichiren Sect.

The Japanese mind runs to pantheism as naturally as an unpruned
grape-vine runs to fibre and leaves.

When Nichiren, the ultra-patriotic and ultra-democratic bonze, saw the
light in A.D. 1222, he was destined to bring religion not only down to
man, but even down to the beasts and to the mud. He founded the
Saddharma-Pundarika sect, now called Nichiren Shu.

Born at Kominato, near the mouth of Yedo Bay, he became a neophite in
the Shin-gon sect at the age of twelve, and was admitted into the
priesthood when but fifteen years old. Then he adopted his name, which
means Sun-lotus, because, according to a typical dream very common in
Korea and Japan, his mother thought that she had conceived by the sun
entering her body. Through a miracle, he acquired a thorough knowledge
of the whole Buddhist canon, in the course of which he met with words,
which he converted into that formula which is constantly in the mouth of
the members of the Nichiren sect, Namu-my[=o]-ho-ren-ge-ky[=o]--"O, the
Sutra of the Lotus of the Wonderful Law."[20] His history, full of
amazing activity and of romantic adventure, is surrounded by a perfect
sunrise splendor, or, shall we say, sunset gorgeousness, of mythology
and fable. The scenes of his life are mostly laid in the region of the
modern T[=o]ki[=o], and to the cultivated traveller, its story lends
fascinating charms to the landscape in the region of Yedo Bay. Nichiren
was a fiery patriot, and ultra-democratic in his sympathies. He was a
radical believer in "Japan for the Japanese." He was an ecclesiastical
_Soshi_. He felt that the developments of Buddhism already made, were
not sufficiently comprehensive, or fully suited to the common people.
So, in A.D. 1282, he founded a new sect which gradually included within
its pantheon all possible Buddhas, and canonized pretty nearly all the
saints, righteous men and favorite heroes known to Dai Nippon. Nichiren
first made Japan the centre of the universe, and then brought religion
down to the lowest. He considered that the period in which he lived was
the latter day of the law, and that all creatures ought to share in the
merit of Buddha-hood. Only the original Buddha is the real moon in the
sky, but all Buddhas of the subordinate states are like the images of
the moon, reflected upon the waters. All these different Buddhas, be
they gods or men, beasts, birds or snakes, are to be honored. Indeed,
they are both honored and worshipped in the Nichiren pantheon. Besides
the historic Buddha, this sect, which is the most idolatrous of all,
admits as objects of its reverence such personages as Nichiren, the
founder; Kato Kiyomasa, the general who led the army of invasion in
Korea and was the persecutor of the Christians; and Shichimen--a word
which means seven points of the compass or seven faces. This Shichimen
is the being that appeared to Nichiren as a beautiful woman, but
disappeared from his sight in the form of a snake, twenty feet long,
covered with golden scales and armed with iron teeth. It is now deified
under the name meaning the Great God of the Seven Faces, and is
identified with the Hindoo deity Siva.

Another idol usually seen in the Nichiren temples is Mioken. Under this
name the pole star is worshipped, usually in the form of a Buddha with a
wheel of a Buddha elect. Standing on a tortoise, with a sword in his
right hand, and with the left hand half open--a gesture which symbolizes
the male and female principles in the physical world, and the
intelligence and the law in the spiritual world--Mioken is a striking
figure. Indeed, the list of glorified animals reminds us somewhat of the
ancient beast-worship of Egypt. In the Nichiren hierology, it is as
though the symbolical figures in the Book of Revelation had been deified
and worshipped. It is evident that all the creatures in that Buddhist
chamber of imagery, the Hokke Ki[=o], that could possibly be made into
gods have received apotheosis. The very book itself is also worshipped,
for the Nichirenites are extreme believers in verbal inspiration, and
pay divine honors to each jot and tittle of the sutra, which to them is
a god. They adore also the triad of the three precious ones, the Buddha,
the Rule or Discipline, and the Organization; or, Being, Law, and
Church. The hideous idol, Fudo, "Eleven-faced," "Horse-headed,"
"Thousand-handed," or girt in a robe of fiery flame, is believed by
Buddhists to represent Avalokitesvara; but, in recent times he has been
recognized, detected and recaptured by the Shint[=o]ists as Kotohira.
The goddess Kishi, and that miscellaneous assortment or group known as
the Seven Patrons of Happiness, which form a sort of encyclopaedia or
museum of curiosities derived from the cults of India, China and Japan,
are also components of the amazing menagerie and pantheon of this sect,
in which scholasticism run mad, and emotional kindness to animals become
maudlin, join hands.

The Ultra-realism of Northern Buddhism.

Like most of the other Japanese sects, the Nichirenites claim that their
principles are contained in the Hok-ke-ki[=o], which is considered the
consummate white flower of Buddhist doctrine and literature. This is the
Japanese name for that famous sutra, the Saddharma Pundarika, so often
mentioned in these chapters but a thousand-fold more so in Japanese
literature. The Ten-dai and the Nichiren sects are allied, in that both
lay supreme emphasis upon this sutra; but the former interprets it with
an intellectual, and the latter with an emotional emphasis.
Philosophically, the two bodies have much in common. Outwardly they are
very far apart. One has but to read their favorite scripture, to see the
norm upon which the gorgeous art of Japan has been developed. Probably
no single book in the voluminous canon of the Greater Vehicle gives one
so masterful a key to Japanese Buddhism. Its pages are crowded with
sensuous descriptions of all that is attractive to both the reason and
the understanding. Its descriptions of Paradise are those which would
suit also the realistic Mussulman. Its rhetoric and visions seem to be
those of some oriental De Quincey, who, out of the dreams of an
opium-eater, has made the law-book of a religion. Translated into
matter-of-fact Chinese, none better than Nichiren knew how to present
its realism to his people.

In its ethical standards, which are two, this sect, like most others,
prescribes one course of life for the monk, which is difficult, and
another for the laity, which is easy. The central dogma is that every
part of the universe, including not only gods and men, but animals,
plants and the very mud itself, is capable, by successive
transmigrations, of attaining to Buddhaship. In one sense, Nichirenism
is the transfiguration of atheistic evolution. In its teachings there
are also two forms: the one, largely in symbol, is intended to attract
followers; the other, the pure truth, is employed to convert the
obstinately ignorant, against their wills. As in the history of the
papal organization in Europe, a materialistic interpretation has been
given to the canons of dogma and discipline.

Contrary to the doctrine of those sects which teach the attainment of
salvation solely through the aid of Amida, or Another, the Nichirenites
insist that it is necessary for man to work out his own salvation, by
observing the law, by self-examination, by reflecting on the blessings
vouchsafed to the members of this elect and orthodox sect and by
constant prayer. They consider themselves as in the only true church,
and their succession to the priesthood, the only valid one. The strict
Nichiren churchmen will not have the Shint[=o] gods in their household
shrines, nor will they intermarry among the sects. The Nichirenites are
also very fond of controversy, and their language in speaking of other
creeds and sects is not that characteristic of the gentle Buddha. The
people of this sect are much given to the belief in demoniacal
possession, and a considerable part of the duty and revenue-yielding
business of the Nichiren priests consists in exorcising the foxes,
badgers and other demons, which have possessed subjects who are
generally women at certain stages of illness or convalescence. The
phenomena and pathology of these disorders seem to be allied to those of
hysteria and hypnotism.

This popular sect also makes greatest use of charms, spells and amulets,
lays great store on pilgrimages, and is very fond of noise-making
instruments whether prayer-books or the wooden bells or drums which are
prominent features in their temples and revival meetings. In one sense
it is the Salvation Army of Buddhism, being especially powerful in what
strikes the eye and ear. The Nichirenites have been well called the
Ranters of Buddhism. Their revival meetings make Bedlam seem silent, and
reduce to gentle murmurs the camp-meeting excesses with which we are
familiar in our own country. They are the most sectarian of all sects.
Their vocabulary of Billingsgate and the ribaldry employed by them even
against their Buddhist brethren, cast into the shade those of Christian
sectarians in their fiercest controversies. "A thousand years in the
lowest of the hells is the atonement prescribed by the Nichirenites for
the priests of all other sects." When the Parliament of Religions was
called in Chicago, the successors of Nichiren, with their characteristic
high-church modesty, promptly sent letters to America, warning the world
against all other Japanese Buddhists, and denouncing especially those
coming to speak in the Parliament, as misrepresenting the true doctrines
of Buddha.

Doctrinal Culmination.

When the work of Nichiren had been completed, and his realistic
pantheism had been able to include within its great receiver and
processes of Buddha-making, everything from gods to mud, the circle of
doctrine was complete. K[=o]b[=o]'s leaven had now every possible lump
in which to do its work. All grades of men in Japan, from the most
devout and intellectual to the most ranting and fanatical, could choose
their sect. Yet it may be that Buddhism in Nichiren's day was in danger
of stagnation and formalism, and needed the revival which this fiery
bonze gave it; for, undoubtedly, along with zeal even to bigotry, came
fresh life and power to the religion. This invigoration was followed by
the mighty missionary labors of the last half of the thirteenth century,
which carried Buddhism out to the northern frontier and into Yezo.
Although, from time to time minor sects were formed either limiting or
developing further the principles of the larger parent sects, and
although, even as late as the seventeenth century, a new subsect, the
Oba-ku of Zen Shu, was imported from China, yet no further doctrinal
developments of importance took place; not even in presence of or after
sixteenth century Christianity and seventeenth century Confucianism.

The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries form the golden age of Japanese

In the sixteenth century, the feudal system had split into fragments and
the normal state of the country was that of civil war. Sect was arrayed
against sect, and the Shin bonzes, especially, formed a great military
body in fortified monasteries.

In the first half of the sixteenth century, came the tremendous
onslaught of Portuguese Christianity. Then followed the militarism and
bloody persecutions of Nobunaga.

In clashing with the new Confucianism of the seventeenth century,
Buddhism utterly weakened as an intellectual power. Though through the
favor of the Yodo sh[=o]guns it recovered lands and wealth, girded
itself anew as the spy, persecutor and professed extirpator of
Christianity, and maintained its popularity with the common people, it
was, during the eighteenth century, among the educated Japanese, as good
as dead. Modern Confucianism and the revival of Chinese learning,
resulted in eighteenth century scepticism and in nineteenth century

The New Buddhism.

In our day and time, Japanese Buddhism, in the presence of aggressive
Christianity, is out of harmony with the times, and the needs of
forty-one millions of awakened and inquiring people; and there are deep
searchings of heart. Politically disestablished and its landed
possessions sequestrated by the government, it has had, since 1868, a
history, first of depression and then of temporary revival. Now, amid
much mechanical and external activity, the employment of the press, the
organization of charity, of summer schools of "theology," and of young
men's and other associations copied from the Christians, it is
endeavoring to keep New Japan within its pale and to dictate the future.
It seeks to utilize the old bottles for the new vintage.

There is, however, a movement discernible which may be called the New
Buddhism, and has not only new wine but new wineskins. It is democratic,
optimistic, empirical or practical; it welcomes women and children; it
is hospitable to science and every form of truth. It is catholic in
spirit and has little if any of the venom of the old Buddhist
controvertists. It is represented by earnest writers who look to natural
and spiritual means, rather than to external and mechanical methods. As
a whole, we may say that Japanese Buddhism is still strong to-day in its
grip upon the people. Though unquestionably moribund, its death will be
delayed. Despite its apparent interest in, and harmony with,
contemporaneous statements of science, it does not hold the men of
thought, or those who long for the spiritual purification and moral
elevation of Japan.

Are the Japanese eager for reform? Do they possess that quality of
emotion in which a tormenting sense of sin, and a burning desire for
self-surrender to holiness, are ever manifest?

Frankly and modestly, we give our opinion. We think not. The average
Japanese man has not come to that self-consciousness, that searching of
heart, that self-seeing of sin in the light of a Holy God's countenance
which the gospel compels. Yet this is exactly what the Japanese need.
Only Christ's gospel can give it.

The average man of culture in Dai Nippon has to-day no religion. He is
waiting for one. What shall be the issue, in the contest between a faith
that knows no personal God, no Creator, no atonement, no gospel of
salvation from sin, and the gospel which bids man seek and know the
great First Cause, as Father and Friend, and proclaims that this
Infinite Friend seeks man to bless him, to bestow upon him pardon and
holiness and to give him earthly happiness and endless life? Between one
religion which teaches personality in God and in man, and another which
offers only a quagmire of impersonality wherein a personal god and an
individual soul exist only as the jack-lights of the marsh, mere
phosphorescent gleams of decay, who can fail to choose? Of the two
faiths, which shall be victor?


    "The heart of my country, the power of my country, the Light of
    my country, is Buddhism."--Yatsubuchi, of Japan.

    "Buddhism was the teacher under whose instruction the Japanese
    nation grew up."--Chamberlain.

    "Buddhism was the civilizer. It came with the freshness of
    religious zeal, and religious zeal was a novelty. It come as the
    bearer of civilization and enlightenment."

    "Buddhism has had a fair field in Japan, and its outcome has not
    been elevating. Its influence has been aesthetic and not
    ethical. It added culture and art to Japan, as it brought with
    itself the civilization of continental Asia. It gave the arts,
    and more, it added the artistic atmosphere.... Reality
    disappears. 'This fleeting borrowed world' is all mysterious, a
    dream; moonlight is in place of the clear hot sun.... It has so
    fitted itself to its surroundings that it seems
    indigenous."--George William Knox.

    "The Japanese ... are indebted to Buddhism for their present
    civilization and culture, their great susceptibility to the
    beauties of nature, and the high perfection of several branches
    of artistic industry."--Rein.

    "We speak of _God_, and the Japanese mind is filled with idols.
    We mention _sin_, and he thinks of eating flesh or the killing
    of insects. The word _holiness_ reminds him of crowds of
    pilgrims flocking to some famous shrine, or of some anchorite
    sitting lost in religions abstraction till his legs rot off. He
    has much error to unlearn before he can take in the
    truth-"--R.E. McAlpine.

    "There in a life of study, prayer, and thought,
    Kenshin became a saintly priest--not wide
    In intellect nor broad in sympathies,
    For such things come not from the ascetic life;
    But narrow, strong, and deep, and like the stream
    That rushes fervid through the narrow path
    Between the rooks at Nikk[=o]--so he grasped,
    Heart, soul, and strength, the holy Buddha's Law
    With no room left for doubt, or sympathy
    For other views."--Kenshin's Vision.

    "For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the
    same, my name is great among the Gentiles; and in every place
    incense is offered unto my name, and a pure offering, for my
    name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of


Missionary Buddhism the Measure of Japan's Civilization.

Broadly speaking, the history of Japanese Buddhism in its missionary
development is the history of Japan. Before Buddhism came, Japan was
pre-historic. We know the country and people through very scanty notices
in the Chinese annals, by pale reflections cast by myths, legends and
poems, and from the relics cast up by the spade and plough. Chinese
civilization had filtered in, though how much or how little we cannot
tell definitely; but since the coming of the Buddhist missionaries in
the sixth century, the landscape and the drama of human life lie before
us in clear detail. Speaking broadly again, it may be said that almost
from the time of its arrival, Buddhism became on its active side the
real religion of Japan--at least, if the word "religion" be used in a
higher sense than that connoted by either Shint[=o] or Confucianism.
Though as a nation the Japanese of the Meiji era are grossly forgetful
of this fact, yet, as Professor Chamberlain says,[1] "All education was
for centuries in Buddhist hands. Buddhism introduced art; introduced
medicine; created the folk-lore of the country; created its dramatic
poetry; deeply influenced politics, and every sphere of social and
intellectual activity; in a word, Buddhism was the teacher under whose
instruction the Japanese nation grew up."

For many centuries all Japanese, except here and there a stern
Shint[=o]ist, or an exceptionally dogmatic Confucian, have acknowledged
these patent facts, and from the emperor to the eta, glorified in them.
It was not until modern Confucian philosophy entered the Mikado's empire
in the seventeenth century, that hostile criticism and polemic tenets
denounced Buddhism, and declared it only fit for savages. This bitter
denunciation of Buddhism at the lips and hands of Japanese who had
become Chinese in mind, was all the more inappropriate, because Buddhism
had for over a thousand years acted as the real purveyor and disperser
of the Confucian ethics and culture in Japan. Such denunciation came
with no better grace from the Yedo Confucianists than from the Shint[=o]
revivalists, like Motooeri, who, while execrating everything Chinese,
failed to remember or impress upon his countrymen the fact, that almost
all which constituted Japanese civilization had been imported from the
Middle Kingdom.

Buddhism, in its purely doctrinal development, seems to be rather a
system of metaphysics than a true religion, being a conglomeration, or
rather perhaps an agglomeration, of all sorts of theories relating to
the universe and its contents. Its doctrinal and metaphysical side,
however, is to be carefully distinguished from its popular and external
features, for in its missionary development Buddhism may be called a
system of national improvement. The history of its propagation, in the
land farthest east from its cradle, is not only the outline of the
history of Japanese civilization, but is nearly the whole of it.

Pre-Buddhistic Japan.

It is not perhaps difficult to reconstruct in imagination the landscape
of Japan in pre-Buddhistic days. Certainly we may, with some accuracy,
draw a contrast between the appearance of the face of the earth then and
now. Supposing that there were as many as a million or two of souls in
the Japanese Archipelago of the sixth century--the same area which in
the nineteenth century contains over forty-one millions--we can imagine
only here and there patches of cultivated fields, or terraced gullies.
There were no roads except paths or trails. The horse was probably yet a
curiosity to the aborigines, though well known to the sons of the gods.
Sheep and goats then, as now, were unknown. The cow and the ox were in
the land, but not numerous.[2] In architecture there was probably little
but the primeval hut. Tools were of the rudest description; yet it is
evident that the primitive Japanese were able to work iron and apply it
to many uses. There were other metals, though the tell-tale etymology of
their names in Japanese metallurgy, as in so many other lines of
industry and articles of daily use, points to a Chinese origin. It is
the almost incredible fact that the Japanese man or woman wore on the
person neither gold nor silver jewelry. In later times, decoration was
added to the sword hilt and pins were thrust in the hair.

Possibly a prejudice against metal touching the skin, such as exists in
Korea, may account for this absence of jewelry, though silver was not
discovered until A.D. 675, or gold until A.D. 749. The primitive
Japanese, however, did wear ornaments of ground and polished stone, and
these so numerously as to compel contrast with the severer tastes of
later ages. Some of these magatama--curved jewels or perforated
cylinders--were made of very hard stone which requires skill to drill,
cut and polish. Among the substances used was jade, a mineral found only
in Cathay.[3] Indeed, we cannot follow the lines of industry and
manufactures, of personal adornment and household decoration, of
scientific terms and expressions, of literary, intellectual and
religious experiment, without continually finding that the Japanese
borrowed from Chinese storehouses. Possibly their debt began at the time
of the alleged conquest of Korea[4] in the third century.

In Japanese life, as it existed before the introduction of Buddhism,
there was, with barbaric simplicity, a measure of culture somewhat
indeed above the level of savagery, but probably very little that could
be appraised beyond that of the Iroquois Indians in the days of their
Confederacy. For though granting that there were many interesting
features of art, industry, erudition and civilization which have been
lost to the historic memory, and that the research of scholars may
hereafter discover many things now in oblivion; yet, on the other hand,
it is certain that much of what has long been supposed to be of
primitive Japanese origin, and existent before the eighth century, has
been more or less infused or enriched with Chinese elements, or has been
imported directly from India, or Persia,[5] or has crystallized into
shape from the mixture of things Buddhistic and primitive Japanese.

Apart from all speculation, we know that in the train of the first
missionaries came artisans, and instructors in every line of human
industry and achievement, and that the importation of the inventions and
appliances of "the West"--the West then being Korea and China, and the
"Far West," India--was proportionately as general, as far-reaching, as
sensational, as electric in its effects upon the Japanese minds, as, in
our day, has been the introduction of the modern civilization of Europe
and the United States.[6]

The Purveyors of Civilization.

The Buddhist missionaries, in their first "enthusiasm of humanity," were
not satisfied to bring in their train, art, medicine, science and
improvements of all sorts, but they themselves, being often learned and
practical men, became personal leaders in the work of civilizing the
country. In travelling up and down the empire to propagate their tenets,
they found out the necessity of better roads, and accordingly, they were
largely instrumental in having them made. They dug wells, established
ferries and built bridges.[7] They opened lines of communication; they
stimulated traffic and the exchange of merchandise; they created the
commerce between Japan and China; and they acted as peacemakers and
mediators in the wars between the Japanese and Koreans. For centuries
they had the monopoly of high learning. In the dark middle ages when
civil war ruled, they were the only scholars, clerks, diplomatists,
mediators and peacemakers.

Japanese diet became something new under the direction of the priests.
The bonzes taught the wickedness of slaughtering domestic animals, and
indeed, the wrong of putting any living thing to death, so that kindness
to animals has become a national trait. To this day it may be said that
Japanese boys and men are, at least within the limits of their light,
more tender and careful with all living creatures than are those of
Christendom.[8] The bonzes improved the daily fare of the people, by
introducing from Korea and China articles of food hitherto unknown. They
brought over new seeds and varieties of vegetables and trees.
Furthermore, necessity being the mother of invention, not a few of the
shorn brethren made up for the prohibition of fish and flesh, by
becoming expert cooks. They so exercised their talents in the culinary
art that their results on the table are proverbial. Especially did they
cultivate mushrooms, which in taste and nourishment are good substitutes
for fish.

The bonzes were lovers of beauty and of symbolism. They planted the
lotus, and the monastery ponds became seats of splendor, and delights to
the eye. Their teachings, metaphysical and mystical, poetical and
historical, scientific and literary, created, it may be said, the
Japanese garden, which to the refined imagination contains far more than
meets the eye of the alien.[9] Indeed, the oriental imitations in earth,
stone, water and verdure, have a language and suggestion far beyond what
the usual parterres and walks, borders and lines, fountains and statuary
of a western garden teach. It may be said that our "language of flowers"
is more luxuriant and eloquent than theirs; yet theirs is very rich
also, besides being more subtle in suggestion. The bonzes instilled
doctrine, not only by sermons, books and the emblems and furniture of
the temples, but they also taught dogma and ethics by the flower-ponds
and plots, by the artificial landscape, and by outdoor symbolism of all
kinds. To Buddhism our thanks are due, for the innumerable miniature
continents, ranges of mountains, geographical outlines and other
horticultural allusions to their holy lands and spiritual history, seen
beside so many houses, temples and monasteries in Japan. In their floral
art, no people excels the Japanese in making leaf and bloom teach
history, religion, philosophy, aesthetics and patriotism.

Not only around the human habitation,[10] but within it, the new
religion brought a marvellous change. Instead of the hut, the
dwelling-house grew to spacious and comfortable proportions, every part
of the Japanese house to-day showing to the cultured student, especially
to one familiar with the ancient poetry, the lines of its origin and
development, and in the larger dwellings expressing a wealth of
suggestion and meaning. The oratory and the kami-dana or shelf holding
the gods, became features in the humblest dwelling. Among the well-to-do
there were of course the gilded ancestral tablets and the worship of
progenitors, in special rooms, with imposing ritual and equipment, with
which Buddhism did not interfere; but on the shelf over the door of
nearly every house in the land, along with the emblems of the kami,
stood images representing the avatars of Buddha.[11] There, the light
ever burned, and there, offerings of food and drink were thrice daily
made. Though the family worship might vary in its length and variety of
ceremony, yet even in the home where no regular system was followed, the
burning lights and the stated offering made, called the mind up to
thoughts higher than the mere level of providing for daily wants. The
visitation of the priests in time of sorrow, or of joy, or for friendly
converse, made religion sweetly human.[12]

Outwardly the Buddhist architecture made a profound change in the
landscape. With a settled religion requiring gorgeous ceremonial, the
chanting of liturgies by large bodies of priests and the formation of
monasteries as centres of literary and religious activity, there were
required stability and permanence in the imperial court itself. While,
therefore, the humble village temples arose all over the country, there
were early erected, in the place where the court and emperor dwelt,
impressive religious edifices.[13] The custom of migration ceased, and a
fixed spot selected as the capital, remained such for a number of
generations, until finally Heian-j[)o] or the place of peace, later
called Ki[=o]to, became the "Blossom Capital" and the Sacred City for a
thousand years. At Nara, where flourished the first six sects introduced
from Korea, were built vast monasteries, temples and images, and thence
the influence of civilisation and art radiated. From the first,
forgetting its primitive democracy and purely moral claims, Buddhism
lusted for power in the State. As early as A.D. 624, various grades were
assigned to the priesthood by the government.[14] The sects eagerly
sought and laid great stress upon imperial favor. To this day they
keenly enjoy the canonization of their great teachers by letters patent
from the Throne.

Ministers of Art.

On the establishment of the imperial capital, at Ki[=o]to, toward the
end of the eighth century, we find still further development and
enlargement of those latent artistic impulses with which the Heavenly
Father endowed his Japanese child. That capacity for beauty, both in
appreciation and expression, which in our day makes the land of dainty
decoration the resort of all those who would study oriental art in
unique fulness and decorative art in its only living school--a school
founded on the harmonious marriage of the people and the nature of the
country--is discernible from quite early ages. The people seem to have
responded gladly to the calls for gifts and labor. The direction from
which it is supposed all evils are likely to come is the northeast; this
special point of the compass being in pan-Asian spiritual geography the
focus of all malign influences. Accordingly, the Mikado Kwammu, in A.D.
788, built on the highest mountain called Hiyei a superb temple and
monastery, giving it in charge of the Ten-dai sect, that there should
ever be a bulwark against the evil that might otherwise swoop upon the
city. Here, as on castellated walls, should stand the watchman, who, by
the recitation of the sacred liturgies, would keep watch and ward. In
course of time this great mountain became a city of three thousand
edifices and ten thousand monks, from which the droning of litanies and
the chanting of prayers ascended daily, and where the chief industries
were, the counting of beads on rosaries and the burning of incense
before the altars. This was in the long bright day of a prosperity which
has been nourished by vast sums obtained from the government and nobles.
One notes the contrast at the end of our century, when "disestablished"
as a religion and its bonzes reduced to beggary, Hiyei-san is used as
the site of a Summer School of Christian Theology.

Along with the blossoming of the lotus in every part of the empire,
bloomed the grander flowers of sculpture, of painting and of temple
architecture. It was because of the carpenter's craft in building
temples that he won his name of Dai-ku, or the great workman. The
artificers of the sunny islands cultivated an ambition, not only to
equal but to excel, their continental brethren of the saw and hammer.
Yet the carpenter was only the leader of great hosts of artisans that
were encouraged, of craftsmen that were educated and of industries that
were called into being by the spread of Buddhism.[15] It was not enough
that village temples and town monasteries should be built, under an
impulse that meant volumes for the development of the country. The
ambitious leaders chose sightly spots on mountains whence were lovely
vistas of scenery, on which to erect temples and monasteries, while it
seemed to be their further ambition to allow no mountain peak to be
inaccessible. With armies of workmen, supported by the contributions of
the faithful who had been aroused to enthusiasm by the preaching of the
bonzes, great swaths were cut in the forest; abundant timber was felled;
rocky plateaus were levelled; and elegant monastic edifices were reared,
soon to be filled with eager students, and young men in training for the

Whether the pilgrimage[16] be of Shint[=o] or of Buddhist origin, or
simply a contrivance of human nature to break the monotony of life, we
need not discuss. It is certain that if the custom be indigenous, the
imported faith adopted, absorbed and enlarged it. The peregrinations
made to the great temples and to the mountain tops, being meritorious
performances, soon filled the roads with more or less devout travellers.
In thus finding vent for their piety, the pilgrims mingled
sanctification with recreation, enjoying healthful holidays, and
creating trade with varied business, commercial and commissarial
activities, while enlarging also their ideas and learning something of
geography. Thus, in the course of time, it has come to pass that Japan
is a country of which almost every square mile is known, while it is
well threaded with paths, banded with roads, and supplied to a
remarkable extent with handy volumes of description and of local
history.[17] Her people being well educated in their own lore and local
traditions, possessed also a voluminous literature of guidebooks and
cyclopedias of information. The devotees were, withal, well instructed
and versed in a code of politeness and courtesy, as pilgrimage and
travel became settled habits of a life. As a further result, the
national tongue became remarkably homogeneous. Broadly speaking, it may
be said that the Japanese language, unlike the Chinese in this as it is
in almost every other point, has very little dialectic variation.[18]
Except in some few remote eddies lying outside the general currents,
there is a uniform national speech. This is largely owing to that annual
movement of pilgrims in the summer months especially, habitual during
many centuries.

Buddhism coming to Japan by means of the Great Vehicle, or with the
features of the Northern development, was the fertile mother of art. In
the exterior equipment of the temple, instead of the Shint[=o] thatch,
the tera or Buddhist edifice called for tiles on its sweeping roof, with
ornamental terra-cotta at the end of its imposing roof-ridge, or for
sheets of copper soon to be made verdant, then sombre and then sable by
age and atmosphere. Outwardly the edifice required the application of
paint and lacquer in rich tints, its recurved roof-edges gladly
welcoming the crest and monogram of the feudal prince, and its railings
and stairways accepting willingly the bronze caps and ornaments. In
front of its main edifice was the imposing gateway with proportions
almost as massive as the temple itself, with prodigal wealth of
curiously fitted and richly carved, painted and gilded supports and
morticings, with all the fancies and adornments of the carpenter's art,
and having as its frontlet and blazon the splendidly gilt name, style or
title. Often these were impressive to eye and mind, to an extent which
the terse Chinese or curt monosyllables could scarcely suggest to an
alien.[19] The number, forms and positions of the various parts of the
temple easily lent themselves to the expression of the elaborate
symbolism of the India faith.

Resemblances between Buddhism and Christianity.

Within the sacred edifice everything to strike the senses was lavishly
displayed. The passion of the East, as opposed to Greek simplicity, is
for decoration; yet in Japan, decorative art, though sometimes bursting
out in wild profusion or running to unbridled lengths, was in the main a
regulated mass of splendor in which harmony ruled. Differing though the
Buddhist sects do in their temple furniture and altar decorations, they
are, most of them, so elaborately full in their equipment as to suggest
repeatedly the similarity between the Roman Catholic organization,
altars, vestments and ritual, and those of Buddhism, and remarks on this
point seem almost commonplace. Almost everything in Roman Catholicism is
found in Buddhism,[20] and one may even say, _vice versa_, at least in
things exterior. We take the liberty of transcribing here a passage from
the chapter entitled "Christianity and Foreigners" in The Mikado's
Empire, written twenty years ago.

    "Furthermore, the transition from the religion of India to that
    of Rome was extremely easy. The very idols of Buddha served,
    after a little alteration with the chisel, for images of Christ.
    The Buddhist saints were easily transformed into the Twelve
    Apostles. The Cross took the place of the _torii_. It was
    emblazoned on the helmets and banners of the warriors, and
    embroidered on their breasts. The Japanese soldiers went forth
    to battle like Christian crusaders. In the roadside shrine
    Kuanon, the Goddess of Mercy, made way for the Virgin, the
    mother of God. Buddhism was beaten with its own weapons. Its own
    artillery was turned against it. Nearly all the Christian
    churches were native temples, sprinkled and purified. The same
    bell, whose boom had so often quivered the air announcing the
    orisons and matins of paganism, was again blessed and sprinkled,
    and called the same hearers to mass and confession; the same
    lavatory that fronted the temple served for holy water or
    baptismal font; the same censer that swung before Amida could be
    refilled to waft Christian incense; the new convert could use
    unchanged his old beads, bells, candles, incense, and all the
    paraphernalia of his old faith in celebration of the new.

    "Almost everything that is distinctive in the Roman form of
    Christianity is to be found in Buddhism: images, pictures,
    lights, altars, incense, vestments, masses, beads, wayside
    shrines, monasteries, nunneries, celibacy, fastings, vigils,
    retreats, pilgrimages, mendicant vows, shorn heads, orders,
    habits, uniforms, nuns, convents, purgatory, saintly and
    priestly intercession, indulgences, works of supererogation,
    pope, archbishops, abbots, abbesses, monks, neophytes, relics
    and relic-worship, exclusive burial-ground, etc., etc.,

Nevertheless, these resemblances are almost wholly superficial, and have
little or nothing to do with genuine religion. Such matters are of
aesthetic and of commercial, rather than of spiritual, interest. They
concern priestcraft and vulgar superstition rather than truth and
righteousness. "In point of dogma a whole world of thought separates
Buddhism from every form of Christianity. Knowledge, enlightenment, is
the condition of Buddhistic grace, not faith. Self-perfectionment is the
means of salvation, not the vicarious sufferings of a Redeemer. Not
eternal life is the end and active participation in unceasing prayer and
praise, but absorption into Nirvana (Jap. Nehan), practical
annihilation."[22] At certain points, the metaphysic of Buddhism is so
closely like that of Christian theology, that a connection on reciprocal
exchange of ideas is not only possible but probable. In their highest
thinking,[23] the sincere Christian and Buddhist approach each other in
their search after truth.

The key-word of Buddhism is Ingwa, which means law or fate, the chain of
cause and effect in which man is found, atheistic "evolution applied to
ethics," the grinding machinery of a universe in which is no
Creator-Father, no love, pity or heart. If the cry of the human spirit
has compelled the makers of Buddhist theology to furnish a goddess of
mercy, it is but one subordinate being among many. If a boundlessly
compassionate Amida is thought out, it is an imaginary being. The symbol
of Buddhism is the wheel of the law, which revolves as mercilessly as

The key-word of Christianity is love, and its message is grace. Its
symbol is the cross, and its sacrament the supper, in token of the
infinite love of the Father who wrote his revelation in a human life.
The resemblances between the religions of Gautama and of Jesus, are
purely superficial. They appear to the outward man. The inward man
cannot, even from Darien peaks of observation or in his scrutiny _de
profundis_, discover any vital or historical connection between the two
faiths, Christianity and Buddhism. In his theology the Christian says
God is all; but the Buddhist says All is god. Buddhism says destroy the
passions: Christianity says control them. The Buddhist's watchword is
Nirvana. The Christian's is Eternal Life in Christ Jesus.[25]

The Temples and Their Symbolism.

In the vast airy halls of a Buddhist temple one will often see columns
made of whole tree-trunks, sheeted with gold and supporting massive
ceilings which are empanelled and gorgeous with every hue and tint known
to the palette. Besides the coloring, carving and gilding, the rich
symbolism strikes the eye and touches the imagination. It is a pleasing
study for one familiar with the background and world of Buddhism, to
note their revelation and expression in art, as well as to discern what
the varying sects accept or reject. There is the lotus, in leaf, bud,
flower and calyx;[26] the diamond in every form, real and imaginary,
with the vagra or emblem of conquest; while on the altars, beside the
central image, be it that of Shaka or of Amida, are Bodhisattvas or
Buddhas by brevet, beings in every state of existence, as well as
deities of many names and forms. Abstract ideas and attributes are
expressed in the art language not only of Japan, Korea and China, but
also in that of India and even of Persia and Greece,[27] until one
wonders how an Aryan religion, like Buddhism, could have so conquered
and unified the many nations of Chinese Asia. He wonders, indeed, until
he remembers how it has itself been transformed and changed in popular
substance, from lofty metaphysics and ethics into pantheism for the
shorn, and into polytheism for the unshorn.

Looking at early Japanese pictures with the eye of the historian, as
well as of the connoisseur of art, one will see that the first real
school of Japanese art was Buddhistic. The modern school of pictorial
art, named from the monkish phrase, Ukioye--pictures of the Passing
World--is indeed very interesting to the western student, because it
seems to be more in touch with the human nature of the whole world, as
distinct from what is local, Chinese, or sectarian. Yet, casting a
glance back of the mediaeval Kano, Chinese and Yamato-Tosa styles, he
finds that Buddhism gave Japan her first examples of and stimulus to
pictorial art.[28] He sees further that instead of the monochrome of
Chinese exotic art, or the first rude attempts of the native pencil,
Buddhism began Japanese sculpture, carving and nearly every other form
of plastic or pictorial representation, in which are all the elements of
Northern Buddhism, as so lavishly represented, for example, in that
great sutra which is the book, _par excellence_, of Japanese Buddhism,
the Saddharma Pundarika.

Turning from text to art, we behold the golden lakes of joy, the
mountain of gems, the floating female angels with their marvellous
drapery and lovely faces, the gentle benignity of the goddesses of
mercy, the rays of light and the glory streaming from face and head of
the holy ones, the splendors of costume, the varied beauties of the
lotus, the hosts of ministering intelligences, the luxuriant symbolism,
the purple clouds, the wheel of the law, the swastika[29] or double
cross, and the vagra,[30] or diamond trefoil. All that color, perfume,
sensuous delights, art and luxury can suggest, are here, together with
all the various orders of beings that inhabit the Buddhist universe; and
these are set forth in their fulness and detail. In the six conditions
of sentient existence are devas or gods, men, asuras or monsters, pretas
or demons, beasts, and beings in hell. In portraying these, the artists
and sculptors do not always slavishly follow tradition or uniformity.
The critical eye notes nearly as much genius, wit and variety as in the
mediaeval cathedral architecture of Europe. Probably the most popular
groups of idols are those of the seven or the thirty-three Kuannon, of
the six Jizo[31] or compassionate helpers, and of the sixteen or the
five hundred Rakan[32] or circles of primitive disciples of Gautama. The
angelic beings and sweetly singing birds of Paradise are also favorite
subjects of the artists.

One who has lived alongside the great temples; who knows the daily
routine and sees what powerful engines of popular instruction they are;
who has been present at the great festivals and looked upon the mighty
kitchens and refectories in operation; and who has gone in and out among
their monasteries and examined their records, their genealogies and
their relics, can see how powerfully Buddhism has moulded the whole life
of the people through long ages. The village temple is often the epitome
and repository of the social life of the people now living, and of the
story of their ancestors for generations upon generations past. It is
the historico-genealogical society, the museum, the repository of
documents and trophies, the place of national thanksgiving and praise,
of public sorrow and farewell, a place of rendezvous and separation, the
starting-point of procession, and the centre of festival and joy; and
thus it is linked with the life of the people.

In other respects, also, the temple is like the old village cathedral of
mediaeval Europe. It is in many sects the centre of popular pleasure of
all sorts, both reputable and disreputable. Not only shops and bazaars,
fairs and markets, games and sports, cluster around it, but also
curiosities and works of popular art, the relics of war, and the
trophies of travel and adventure. Except that Buddhism--outside of
India--never had the unity of European Christianity, the Buddhist temple
is the mirror and encyclopaedia both of history and of contemporary
life. As fame and renown are necessary for the glory of the place or the
structure, favorite gods, or rather their idols, are frequently carried
about on "starring" tours. At the opening to public view of some famous
image or relic, a great festival or revival called Kai-ch[=o] is held,
which becomes a scene of trade and merry-making like that of the
mediaeval fair or kermis in Europe. The far-oriental is able as
skilfully as his western confrere, to mix business and religion and to
suppose that gain is godliness. Further, the manufacture of legend
becomes a thriving industry; while the not-infrequent sensation of a
popular miracle is manipulated by the bonzes--for priestcraft in all
ages and climes is akin throughout the world. It is no wonder that some
honest Japanese, incensed at the shams utilized by the religious, has
struck out like coin the proverb that rings true--"Good doctrine needs
no miracle."

The Bell and the Cemetery.

The Buddhist missionaries, and especially the founders of temples,
thoroughly understood the power of natural beauty to humble, inspire and
soothe the soul of man. The instinctive love of the Japanese people for
fine scenery, was made an ally of faith. The sites for temples were
chosen with reference to their imposing surroundings or impressive
vistas. Whether as spark-arresters and protectives against fire, or to
compel reverent awe, the loftiest evergreen trees are planted around the
sacred structure. These "trees of Jehovah" are compellers to reverence.
The _alien's_ hat comes off instinctively--though it may be less
convenient to shed boots than sandals--as he enters the sacred

The great tongueless bell is another striking accessory to the temple
services. Near at hand stands the belfry out of which boom forth tidings
of the hours. In the flow of time and years, the note of the bell
becomes more significant, and in old age solemn, making in the lapse of
centuries an educating power in seriousness. "As sad as a temple bell"
is the coinage of popular speech. Many of the inscriptions, though with
less of sunny hope and joy than even Christian grave-stones bear, are
yet mournfully beautiful.[33] They preach Buddhism in its reality.
Whereas, the general associations of the Christian spire and belfry,
apart from the note of time, are those of joy, invitation and good news,
those of the tongueless and log-struck bells of Buddhism are sombre and
saddening. "As merry as a marriage bell," could never be said of the
boom from a Buddhist temple, even though it pour waves of sound through
sunny leagues. There is a vast difference between the peal and play of
the chimes of Europe and the liquid melody which floods the landscape of
Chinese Asia. The one music, high in air, seems ever to tell of faith,
triumph and aspiration; the other in minor notes, from bells hung low on
yokes, perpetually echoes the pessimism of despair, the folly of living
and the joy that anticipates its end.

Above all, the temple holds and governs the cemetery[34] as well as the
cradle; while from it emanate influences that enwrap and surround the
villager, from birth to death. Since the outlawry of Christianity, and
especially since the division of the empire into Buddhist parishes, the
bonzes have had the oversight of birth, death, marriage and divorce.
Particularly tenacious, in common with priestcraft all over the world,
is their clutch upon what they call "consecrated ground." In a large
sense Japan is still, what China has always been, a country governed by
the graveyard. These cities of the dead are usually kept in attractive
order and made beautiful with flowers in memoriam. The study of epitaphs
and mortuary architecture, though not without elements bordering on the
ludicrous, is enjoyed by the thoughtful student.[35]

    In every community the inhabitants are enrolled at birth at the
    local temple, whose priests are the authorized religious
    teachers, and are always expected to take charge of the funerals
    of those whose names are thus enrolled. So long as an individual
    remains in the region of the family temple, the tie which binds
    him to it is exceedingly difficult to break; but if he moves
    away he is no longer bound by this tie. This explains the fact,
    so often observed by missionaries, that the membership of
    Christian churches is made up almost entirely of people who have
    come from other localities. In the city of Osaka, for instance,
    it is a very rare thing to find a native Osakan in any of the
    churches. The same is true in all parts of the country. So long
    as a Japanese remains in the neighborhood of his family temple
    it is almost impossible to get him to break the temple tie and
    join a Christian church; but when he moves to another place he
    is free to do as he likes.[36]

This statement of a resident in modern Japan will long remain true for a
large part of the empire.

Political and Military Influences.

A volume might be written and devoted to Japanese Buddhism as a
political power; for, having quickly obtained intellectual possession of
the court and emperor, it dictated the policies of the rulers. In A.D.
624, it was recognized as a state religion, and the hierarchy of priests
was officially established. At this date there were 46 temples and
monasteries, with 816 monks and 569 nuns. As early as the eighth
century, beginning with Sh[=o]mu, who reigned A.D. 724-728, and who with
his daughter, afterward the female Mikado, became a disciple of Shaka,
the habit of the emperors becoming monks, shaving their heads and
retiring from public life, came in vogue and lasted until near the
nineteenth century. By this means the bonzes were soon enabled to call
Buddhism "the people's religion," and to secure the resources of the
national treasury as an aid to their temple and monastery building, and
for the erection of those images and wayside shrines on which so many
millions of dollars have been lavished. In addition to this subsidized
propaganda, the Buddhist confessor was too often able, by means of the
wife, concubine, or other female member of the household, imperial or
noble, to dictate the imperial policy in accordance with monkish or
priestly ideas. Ugeno D[=o]-ki[=o], a monk, is believed to have aspired
to the throne. Being made premier by the Empress K[=o]-ken, whose
passion for him is the scandal of history, he made no scruple of
extending the power as well as the influence of the Buddhist hierarchy.

Buddhism had also a distinct influence on the military history of the
country,[37] and this was greatest during the civil wars of the rival
Mikados (1336-1392), when the whole country was a camp and two lines of
nominees claimed to be descendants of the sun-goddess. Japan's only
foreign wars have been in the neighboring peninsula of Korea, and
thither the bonzes went with the armies in the expeditions of the early
centuries, and in that great invasion of 1592-1597, which has left a
scar even to this day on the Korean mind. At home, Buddhist priests only
too gladly accompanied the imperial armies of conquest and occupation.
During centuries of activity in the southwest and in the far east and
extreme north, the military brought the outlying portions of the empire,
throughout the whole archipelago, under the sway of the Yamato tribe and
the Mikado's dominion. The shorn clerks not only lived in camp,
ministered to the sick and shrived the dying soldier, but wrote texts
for the banners, furnished the amulets and war cries, and were ever
assistant and valuable in keeping up the temper and morals of the
armies.[38] No sooner was the campaign over and peace had become the
order of the day, than the enthusiastic missionaries began to preach and
to teach in the pacified region. They set up the shrines, anon started
the school and built the temple; usually, indeed, with the aid of the
law and the government, acting as agents of a politico-ecclesiastical
establishment, yet with energy and consecration.

In later feudal days, when the soldier classes obtained the upper hand,
overawed the court and Mikado and gradually supplanted the civil
authority, introducing feudalism and martial law, the bonzes often
represented the popular and democratic side. Protesting against
arbitrary government, they came into collision with the warrior rulers,
so as to be exposed to imprisonment and the sword. Yet even as refugees
and as men to whom the old seats of activity no longer offered success
or comfort, they went off into the distant and outlying provinces,
preaching the old tenets and the new fashions in theology. Thus again
they won hosts of converts, built monasteries, opened fresh paths and
were purveyors of civilization.

The feudal ages in Japan bred the same type of militant priest known in
Europe--the military bishop and the soldier monk. So far from Japan's
being the "Land of Great Peace," and Buddhism's being necessarily gentle
and non-resistant, we find in the chequered history of the island empire
many a bloody battle between the monks on horseback and in armor.[39]
Rival sectarians kept the country disquieted for years. Between
themselves and their favored laymen, and the enemy, consisting of the
rival forces, lay and clerical, in like array, many a bloody battle was

The writer lived for one year in Echizen, which, in the fifteenth
century, was the battle-ground for over fifty years, of warring monks.
The abbot of the Monastery of the Original Vow, of the Shin sect, in
Ki[=o]to, had built before the main edifice a two-storied gate, which
was expected to throw into the shade every other gateway in Japan, and
especially to humble the pride of the monks of the Tendai sect, in
Hiyeizan, The monks of the mountain, swarming down into the capital
city, attacked the gate and monastery of the Shin sect and burned the
former to ashes. The abbot thus driven off by fire, fled northward, and,
joined by a powerful body of adherents, made himself possessor of the
rich provinces of Kaga and Echizen, holding this region for half a
century, until able to rebuild the mighty fortress-monasteries near
Ki[=o]to and at Osaka.

These strongholds of the fighting Shin priests had become so powerful as
arsenals and military headquarters, that in 1570, Nobunaga, skilful
general as he was, and backed by sixty thousand men, was unsuccessful in
his attempt to reduce them. For ten years, the war between Nobunaga and
the Shin sectarians kept the country in disorder. It finally ended in
the conflagration of the great religious fortress at Osaka, and the
retreat of the monks to another part of the country. By their treachery
and incendiarism, the shavelings prevented the soldiers from enjoying
the prizes.

To detail the whole history of the fighting monks would be tedious. They
have had a foothold for many centuries and even to the present time, in
every province except that of Satsuma. There, because they treacherously
aided the great Hideyoshi to subdue the province, the fiery clansmen,
never during Tokugawa days, permitted a Buddhist priest to come.[40]

Literature, and Education.

In its literary and scholastic development, Japanese Buddhism on its
popular educational side deserves great praise. Although the Buddhist
canon[41] was never translated into the vernacular,[42] and while the
library of native Buddhism, in the way of commentary or general
literature, reflects no special credit upon the priests, yet the
historian must award them high honor, because of the part taken by them
as educators and schoolmasters.[43] Education in ancient and mediaeval
times was, among the laymen, confined almost wholly to the imperial
court, and was considered chiefly to be, either as an adjunct to polite
accomplishments, or as valuable especially in preparing young men for
political office.[44] From the first introduction of letters until well
into the nineteenth century, there was no special provision for
education made by the government, except that, in modern and recent
times in the castle towns of the Daimi[=o]s, there were schools of
Chinese learning for the Samurai. Private schools and school-masters[45]
were also creditably numerous. In original literature, poetry, fiction
and history, as well as in the humbler works of compilation, in the
making of text-books and in descriptive lore, the pens of many priests
have been busy.[46] The earliest biography written in Japan was of
Sh[=o]toku, the great lay patron of Buddhism. In the ages of war the
monastery was the ark of preservation amid a flood of desolation.

The temple schools were early established, and in the course of
centuries became at times almost coextensive with the empire. Besides
the training of the neophytes in the Chinese language and the
vernacular, there were connected with thousands of temples, schools in
which the children, not only of the well-to-do, but largely of the
people, were taught the rudiments of education, chiefly reading and
writing. Most of the libraries of the country were those in monasteries.
Although it is not probable that K[=o]b[=o] invented the Kana or common
script, yet it is reasonably certain that the bonzes[47] were the chief
instrument in the diffusion and popularization of that simple system of
writing, which made it possible to carry literature down into the homes
of the merchant and peasant, and enabled even women and children to
beguile the tedium of their lives. Thus the people expanded their
thoughts through the medium of the written, and later of the printed,
page.[48] Until modern centuries, when the school of painters, which
culminated in Hok[)u]sai and his contemporaries, brought a love of art
down to the lowest classes of the people, the only teacher of pictorial
and sculptural art for the multitude, was Buddhism. So strong is this
popular delight in things artistic that probably, to this passion as
much as to the religious instinct, we owe many of the wayside shrines
and images, the symbolical and beautifully prepared landscapes, and
those stone stairways which slope upward toward the shrines on the
hill-tops. In Japan, art is not a foreign language; it is vernacular.

Thus, while we gladly point out how Buddhism, along the paths of
exploration, commerce, invention, sociology, military and political
influence, education and literature, not only propagated religion, but
civilized Japan,[49] it is but in the interest of fairness and truth
that we point out that wherein the great system was deficient. If we
make comparison with Christendom and the religion of Jesus, it is less
with the purpose of the polemic who must perhaps necessarily disparage,
and more with the idea of making contrast between what we have seen in
Japan and what we have enjoyed as commonplace in the United States and

Things Which Buddhism Left Undone.

In the thirteen hundred years of the life of Buddhism in Japan, what are
the fruits, and what are the failures? Despite its incessant and
multifarious activities, one looks in vain for the hospital, the orphan
asylum, the home for elderly men or women or aged couples, or the asylum
for the insane, and much less, for that vast and complicated system of
organized charities, which, even amid our material greed of gain, make
cities like New York, or London, or Chicago, so beautiful from the point
of view of humanity. Buddhism did indeed teach kindness to animals,
making even the dog, though ownerless and outcast, in a sense sacred.
Because of his faith in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, the
toiling laborer will keep his wheels or his feet from harming the cat or
dog or chicken in the road, even though it be at risk and trouble and
with added labor to himself. The pious will buy the live birds or eels
from the old woman who sits on the bridge, in order to give them life
and liberty again in air or water. The sacred rice is for sale at the
temples, not only to feed but to fatten the holy pigeons.

Yet, while all this care is lavished on animals, the human being
suffers.[50] Buddhism is kind to the brute, and cruel to man. Until the
influx of western ideas in recent years, the hospital and the orphanage
did not exist in Japan, despite the gentleness and tenderness of Shaka,
who, with all his merits, deserted his wife and babe in order to
enlighten mankind.[51] If Buddhism is not directly responsible for the
existence of that class of Japanese pariahs called _hi-nin_, or
not-human, the name and the idea are borrowed from the sutras; while the
execration of all who prepare or sell the flesh of animals is
persistently taught in the sacred books. These unfortunate bearers of
the human image, during twelve hundred years and until the fiat of the
present illustrious emperor made them citizens, were not reckoned in the
census, nor was the land on which they dwelt measured. The imperial
edict which finally elevated the Eta to citizenship, was suggested by
one whose life, though known to men as that of a Confucian, was probably
hid with Christ, Yokoi Heishiro.[52] The emperor Mutsuhito, 123d of the
line of Japan, born on the day when Perry was on the Mississippi and
ready to sail, placed over these outcast people in 1871, the protecting
aegis of the law.[53] Until that time, the people in this unfortunate
class, numbering probably a million, or, as some say, three millions,
were compelled to live outside of the limits of human habitation, having
no lights which society or the law was bound to respect. They were given
food or drink only when benevolence might be roused; but the donor would
never again touch the vessel in which the offering was made. The
Eta,[54] though in individual cases becoming measurably rich, rotted and
starved, and were made the filth, and off-scouring of the earth, because
they were the butchers, the skinners, the leather workers, and thus
handled dead animals, being made also the executioners and buriers of
the dead. After a quarter of a century the citizens, whose ancestry is
not forgotten, suffer social ostracism even more than do the freed
slaves of our country, though between them and the other Japanese there
is no color line, but only the streak of difference which Buddhism
created and has maintained. Nevertheless, let it be said to the eternal
honor of Shin Shu and of some of the minor sects, that they were always
kind and helpful to the Eta.

Furthermore it would be hard to discover Buddhist missionary activities
among the Ainos, or benefits conferred upon them by the disciples of
Gautama. One would suppose that the Buddhists, professing to be
believers in spiritual democracy, would be equally active among all
sorts and conditions of men; but they have not been so. Even in the days
when the regions of the Ebisu or barbarians (Yezo) extended far
southward upon the main island, the missionary bonze was conspicuous by
his absence among these people. It would seem as though the popular
notion that the Ainos are the offspring of dogs, had been fed by
prejudices inculcated by Buddhism. It has been reserved for Christian
aliens to reduce the language of these simple savages to writing, and to
express in it for their spiritual benefit the ideas and literature of a
religion higher than their own, as well as to erect church edifices and
build hospitals.

The Attitude Toward Woman.

In its attitude toward woman, which is perhaps one of the crucial tests
of a religion as well as of a civilization, Buddhism has somewhat to be
praised and much to be blamed for. It is probable that the Japanese
woman owes more to Buddhism than to Confucianism, though relatively her
position was highest under Shint[=o]. In Japan the women are the freest
in Asia, and probably the best treated among any Asiatic nation, but
this is not because of Gautama's teaching.[55] Very early in its history
Japanese Buddhism welcomed womanhood to its fraternity and order,[56]
yet the Japanese _ama, bikuni_, or nun, never became a sister of mercy,
or reached, even within a measurable distance, the dignity of the
Christian lady in the nunnery. In European history the abbess is a
notable figure. She is hardly heard of beyond the Japanese nunnery, even
by the native scholar--except in fiction.

So far as we can see, the religion founded by one who deserted his wife
and babe did nothing to check concubinage or polygamy. It simply allowed
these things, or ameliorated their ancient barbaric conditions through
the law of kindness. Nevertheless, it brought education and culture
within the family as well as within the court. It would be an
interesting question to discuss how far the age of classic vernacular
prose or the early mediaeval literature of romance, which is almost
wholly the creation of woman,[57] is due to Buddhism, or how far the
credit belongs, by induction or reaction, to the Chinese movement in
favor of learning. Certainly, the faith of India touches and feeds the
imagination far more than does that of China. Certainly also, the
animating spirit of most of the popular literature is due to Buddhistic
culture. The Shin sect, which permits the marriage of the priests and
preaches the salvation of woman, probably leads all others in according
honor to her as well as in elevating her social position.

Buddhism, like Roman Catholicism, and as compared to Confucianism which
is protestant and masculine, is feminine in its type. In Japan the place
of the holy Virgin Mary is taken by Kuannon, the goddess of mercy; and
her shrine is one of the most popular of all. Much the same may be said
of Benten, the queen of the heaven and mistress of the seas. The angels
of Buddhism are always feminine, and, as in the unscriptural and pagan
conception of Christian angels, have wings.[58] So also in the legends
of Gautama, in the Buddhist lives of the saints, and in legendary lore
as well as in glyptic and pictorial art, the female being transfigured
in loveliness is a striking figure. Nevertheless, after all is summed up
that can possibly be said in favor of Buddhism, the position it accords
to woman is not only immeasurably beneath that given by Christianity,
but is below that conceded by Shint[=o], which knows not only goddesses
and heroines, but also priestesses and empresses.[59]

According to the popular ethical view as photographed in language,
literature and art, jealousy is always represented by a female demon.
Indeed, most of the tempters, devils, and transformations of humanity
into malign beings, whether pretas, asuras, oni, foxes, badgers, or
cats, are females. As the Chinese ideographs associate all things weak
or vile with women, so the tell-tale words of Japanese daily speech are
but reflections of the dogmas coined in the Buddhist mint. In Japanese,
chastity means not moral cleanliness without regard to sex, but only
womanly duties. For, while the man is allowed a loose foot, the woman is
expected not only to be absolutely spotless, but also never to show any
jealousy, however wide the husband may roam, or however numerous may be
the concubines in his family. In a word, there is the double standard of
morals, not only of priest and laity, but of man and woman. The position
of the Japanese woman even of to-day, despite that eagerness once shown
to educate her--an eagerness which soon cooled in the government
schools, but which keeps an even pulse in the Christian home and
college--is still relatively one of degradation as compared with that of
her sister in Christendom. For this, the mid-Asian religion is not
wholly responsible, yet it is largely so.

Influence on the Japanese Character.

In regard to the influence of Buddhism upon the morals and character of
the Japanese, there is much to be said in praise, and much also in
criticism. It has aided powerfully to educate the people in habits of
gentleness and courtesy, but instead of aspiration and expectancy of
improvement, it has given to them that spirit of hopeless resignation
which is so characteristic of the Japanese masses. Buddhism has so
dominated common popular literature, daily life and speech, that all
their mental procedure and their utterance is cast in the moulds of
Buddhist doctrine. The fatalism of the Moslem world expressed in the
idea of Kismet, has its analogue in the Japanese Ingwa, or "cause and
effect,"--the notion of an evolution which is atheistic, but viewed from
the ethical side. This idea of Ingwa is the key to most Japanese novels
as well as dramas of real life.[60] While Buddhism continually preaches
this doctrine of Karma or Ingwa,[61] the law of cause and effect, as
being sufficient to explain all things, it shows its insufficiency and
emptiness by leaving out the great First Cause of all. In a word,
Buddhism is law, but not gospel. It deals much with man, but not with
man's relations with his Creator, whom it utterly ignores. Christianity
comes not to destroy its ethics, beautiful as they are, nor to ignore
its metaphysics; but to fulfil, to give a higher truth, and to reveal a
larger Universe and One who fills it all--not only law, but a Law-giver.


    "_Sicut cadaver._"

    "Et fiet unum ovile et unus pastor."--Vulgate, John x. 16.

    "He (Xavier) has been the moon of that 'Society of Jesus' of
    which Ignatius Loyola was the guiding sun."--S.W. Duffield.

    "My God I love Thee; not because I hope for Heaven thereby,
    Nor yet because, who love Thee not, must, die eternally.
    So would I love Thee, dearest Lord, and in Thy praise will sing;
    Solely because thou art my God, and my eternal King."
    --Hymn attributed to Francis Xavier.

    "Half hidden, stretching in a lengthened line
    In front of China, which its guide shall be,
    Japan abounds in mines of Silver fine,
    And shall enlighten'd be by holy faith divine."

    "The people of this Iland of Japon are good of nature, curteous
    aboue measure, and valiant in warre; their justice is seuerely
    executed without any partialitie vpon transgressors of the law.
    They are gouerned in great ciuilitie. I meane, not a land better
    gouerned in the world by ciuill policie. The people be verie
    superstitious in their religion, and are of diuers
    opinions."--Will Adams, October 22, 1611.

    "A critical history of Japan remains to be written ... We should
    know next to nothing of what may be termed the Catholic episode
    of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, had we access to
    none but the official Japanese sources. How can we trust those
    sources when they deal with times yet more remote?"--Chamberlain.

    "The annals of the primitive Church furnish no instances of
    sacrifice or heroic constancy, in the Coliseum or the Roman
    arenas, that were not paralleled on the dry river-beds or
    execution-grounds of Japan."

    "They ... rest from their labors; and their works do follow
    them. "--Revelation.


Darkest Japan.

The story of the first introduction and propagation of Roman
Christianity in Japan, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,
has been told by many writers, both old and new, and in many languages.
Recent research upon the soil,[1] both natives and foreigners making
contributions, has illustrated the subject afresh. Relics and memorials
found in various churches, monasteries and palaces, on both sides of the
Pacific and the Atlantic, have cast new light upon the fascinating
theme. Both Christian and non-Christian Japanese of to-day, in their
travels in the Philippines, China, Formosa, Mexico, Spain, Portugal and
Italy, being keenly alert for memorials of their countrymen, have met
with interesting trovers. The descendants of the Japanese martyrs and
confessors now recognize their own ancestors, in the picture galleries
of Italian nobles, and in Christian churches see lettered tombs bearing
familiar names, or in western museums discern far-eastern works of art
brought over as presents or curiosities, centuries ago.

Roughly speaking, Japanese Christianity lasted phenomenally nearly a
century, or more exactly from 1542 to 1637, During this time, embassies
or missions crossed the seas not only of Chinese and Peninsular Asia,
circumnavigating Africa and thus reaching Europe, but also sailed across
the Pacific, and visited papal Christendom by way of Mexico and the
Atlantic Ocean.

This century of Southern Christianity and of commerce with Europe
enabled Japan, which had previously been almost unheard of, except
through the vague accounts of Marco Polo and the semi-mythical stories
by way of China, to leave a conspicuous mark, first upon the countries
of southern Europe, and later upon Holland and England. As in European
literature Cathay became China, and Zipango or Xipangu was recognized as
Japan, so also the curiosities, the artistic fabrics, the strange things
from the ends of the earth, soon became familiar in Europe. Besides the
traffic in mercantile commodities, there were exchanges of words. The
languages of Europe were enriched by Japanese terms, such as soy, moxa,
goban, japan (lacquer or varnish), etc., while the tongue of Nippon
received an infusion of new terms,[2] and a notable list of inventions
was imported from Europe.

We shall merely outline, with critical commentary, the facts of history
which have been so often told, but which in our day have received
luminous illustration. We shall endeavor to treat the general phenomena,
causes and results of Christianity in Japan in the same judicial spirit
with which we have considered Buddhism.

Whatever be the theological or political opinions of the observer who
looks into the history of Japan at about the year 1540, he will
acknowledge that this point of time was a very dark moment in her known
history. Columbus, who was familiar with the descriptions of Marco Polo,
steered his caravels westward with the idea of finding Xipangu, with its
abundance of gold and precious gems; but the Genoese did not and could
not know the real state of affairs existing in Dai Nippon at this time.
Let us glance at this.

The duarchy of Throne and Camp, with the Mikado in Ki[=o]to and the
Sh[=o]gun at Kamakura, with the elaborate feudalism under it, had fallen
into decay. The whole country was split up into a thousand warring
fragments. To these convulsions of society, in which only the priest and
the soldier were in comfort, while the mass of the people were little
better than serfs, must be added the frequent violent earthquakes,
drought and failure of crops, with famine and pestilence. There was
little in religion to uplift and cheer. Shint[=o] had sunk into the
shadow of a myth. Buddhism had become outwardly a system of political
gambling rather than the ordered expression of faith. Large numbers of
the priests were like the mercenaries of Italy, who sold their influence
and even their swords or those of their followers, to the highest
bidder. Besides being themselves luxurious and dissolute, their
monasteries were fortresses, in which only the great political gamblers,
and not the oppressed people, found comfort and help. Millions of once
fertile acres had been abandoned or left waste. The destruction of
libraries, books and records is something awful to contemplate; and "the
times of Ashikaga" make a wilderness for the scapegoat of chronology.
Ki[=o]to, the sacred capital, had been again and again plundered and
burnt. Those who might be tempted to live in the city amid the ruins,
ran the risk of fire, murder, or starvation. Kamakura, once the
Sh[=o]-gun's seat of authority, was, a level waste of ashes.

Even China, Annam and Korea suffered from the practical dissolution of
society in the island empire; for Japanese pirates ravaged their coasts
to steal, burn and kill. Even as for centuries in Europe, Christian
churches echoed with that prayer in the litanies: "From the fury of the
Norsemen, good Lord, deliver us," so, along large parts of the deserted
coasts of Chinese Asia, the wretched inhabitants besought their gods to
avenge them against the "Wojen." To this day in parts of Honan in China,
mothers frighten their children and warn them to sleep by the fearful
words "The Japanese are coming."

First Coming of Europeans.

This time, then, was that of darkest Japan. Yet the people who lived in
darkness saw great light, and to them that dwelt in the shadow of death,
light sprang up.

When Pope Alexander VI. bisected the known world, assigning the western
half, including America to Spain, and the eastern half, including Asia
and its outlying archipelagos to the Portuguese, the latter sailed and
fought their way around Africa to India, and past the golden Chersonese.
In 1542, exactly fifty years after the discovery of America, Dai Nippon
was reached. Mendez Pinto, on a Chinese pirate junk which had been
driven by a storm away from her companions, set foot upon an island
called Tanegashima. This name among the country folks is still
synonymous with guns and pistols, for Pinto introduced fire-arms, and

During six months spent by the "mendacious" Pinto on the island, the
imitative people made no fewer than six hundred match-locks or
arquebuses. Clearing twelve hundred per cent. on their cargo, the three
Portuguese loaded with presents, returned to China. Their countrymen
quickly flocked to this new market, and soon the beginnings of regular
trade with Portugal were inaugurated. On the other hand, Japanese began
to be found as far west as India. To Malacca, while Francis Xavier was
laboring there, came a refugee Japanese, named Anjiro. The disciple of
Loyola, and this child of the Land of the Rising Sun met. Xavier, ever
restless and ready for a new field, was fired with the idea of
converting Japan. Anjiro, after learning Portuguese and becoming a
Christian, was baptized with the name of Paul. The heroic missionary of
the cross and keys then sailed with his Japanese companion, and in 1549
landed at Kagoshima,[4] the capital of Satsuma. As there was no central
government then existing in Japan, the entrance of the foreigners, both
lay and clerical, was unnoticed.

Having no skill in the learning of languages, and never able to master
one foreign tongue completely, Xavier began work with the aid of an
interpreter. The jealousy of the daimi[=o], because his rivals had been
supplied with fire-arms by the Portuguese merchants, and the plots and
warnings of those Buddhist priests (who were later crushed by the
Satsuma clansmen as traitors), compelled Xavier to leave this province.
He went first to Hirado,[5] next to Nagat[=o], and then to Bungo, where
he was well received. Preaching and teaching through his Japanese
interpreter, he formed Christian congregations, especially at
Yamaguchi.[6] Thus, within a year, the great apostle to the Indies had
seen the quick sprouting of the seed which he had planted. His ambition
was now to go to the imperial capital, Ki[=o]to, and there advocate the
claims of Christ, of Mary and of the Pope.

Thus far, however, Xavier had seen only a few seaports of comparatively
successful daimi[=o]s. Though he had heard of the unsettled state of the
country because of the long-continued intestine strife, he evidently
expected to find the capital a splendid city. Despite the armed bands of
roving robbers and soldiers, he reached Ki[=o]to safely, only to find
streets covered with ruins, rubbish and unburied corpses, and a general
situation of wretchedness. He was unable to obtain audience of either
the Sh[=o]gun or the Mikado. Even in those parts of the city where he
tried to preach, he could obtain no hearers in this time of war and
confusion. So after two weeks he turned his face again southward to
Bungo, where he labored for a few months; but in less than two years
from his landing in Japan, this noble but restless missionary left the
country, to attempt the spiritual conquest of China. One year later,
December 2, 1551, he died on the island of Shanshan, or Sancian, in the
Canton River, a few miles west of Macao.

Christianity Flourishes.

Nevertheless, Xavier's inspiring example was like a shining star that
attracted scores of missionaries. There being in this time of political
anarchy and religious paralysis none to oppose them, their zeal, within
five years, bore surprising fruits. They wrote home that there were
seven churches in the region around Ki[=o]to, while a score or more of
Christian congregations had been gathered in the southwest. In 1581
there were two hundred churches and one hundred and fifty thousand
native Christians. Two daimi[=o]s had confessed their faith, and in the
Mikado's minister, Nobunaga (1534-1582), the foreign priests found a
powerful supporter.[7] This hater and scourge of the Buddhist priesthood
openly welcomed and patronized the Christians, and gave them eligible
sites on which to build dwellings and churches. In every possible way he
employed the new force, which he found pliantly political, as well as
intellectually and morally a choice weapon for humbling the bonzes, whom
he hated as serpents. The Buddhist church militant had become an army
with banners and fortresses. Nobunaga made it the aim of his life to
destroy the military power of the hierarchy, and to humble the priests
for all time. He hoped at least to extract the fangs of what he believed
to be a politico-religious monster, which menaced the life of the
nation. Unfortunately, he was assassinated in 1582. To this day the
memory of Nobunaga is execrated by the Buddhists. They have deified Kato
Kiyomasa and Iyeyas[)u], the persecutors of the Christians. To Nobunaga
they give the title of Bakadono, or Lord Fool.

In 1583, an embassy of four young noblemen was despatched by the
Christian daimi[=o]s of Kiushiu, the second largest island in the
empire, to the Pope to declare themselves spiritual--though as some of
their countrymen suspected, political--vassals of the Holy See. It was
in the three provinces of Bungo, Omura and Arima, that Christianity was
most firmly rooted. After an absence of eight years, in 1590, the envoys
from the oriental to the occidental ends of the earth, returned to
Nagasaki, accompanied by seventeen more Jesuit fathers--an important
addition to the many Portuguese "religious" of that order already in

Yet, although there was to be still much missionary activity, though
printing presses had been brought from Europe for the proper diffusion
of Christian literature in the Romanized colloquial,[8] though there
were yet to be built more church edifices and monasteries, and Christian
schools to be established, a sad change was nigh. Much seed which was
yet to grow in secret had been planted,--like the exotic flowers which
even yet blossom and shed their perfume in certain districts of Japan,
and which the traveller from Christendom instantly recognizes, though
the Portuguese Christian church or monastery centuries ago disappeared
in fire, or fell to the earth and disappeared. Though there were to be
yet wonderful flashes of Christian success, and the missionaries were to
travel over Japan even up to the end of the main island and accompany
the Japanese army to Korea; yet it may be said that with the death of
Nobunaga at the hands of the traitor Akechi, we see the high-water mark
of the flood-tide of Japanese Christianity. "Akechi reigned three days,"
but after him were to arise a ruler and central government jealous and
hostile. After this flood was to come slowly but surely the ebb-tide,
until it should leave, outwardly at least, all things as before.

The Jesuit fathers, with instant sensitiveness, felt the loss of their
champion and protector, Nobunaga. The rebel and assassin, Akechi,
ambitious to imitate and excel his master, promised the Christians to do
more for them even than Nobunaga had done, provided they would induce
the daimi[=o] Takayama to join forces with his. It is the record of
their own friendly historian, and not of an enemy, that they, led by the
Jesuit father Organtin, attempted this persuasion. To the honor of the
Christian Japanese Takayama, he refused.[9] On the contrary, he marched
his little army of a thousand men to Ki[=o]to, and, though opposed to a
force of eight thousand, held the capital city until Hideyoshi, the
loyal general of the Mikado, reached the court city and dispersed the
assassin's band. Hideyoshi soon made himself familiar with the whole
story, and his keen eye took in the situation.

This "man on horseback," master of the situation and moulder of the
destinies of Japan, Hideyoshi (1536-1598), was afterward known as the
Taik[=o], or Retired Regent. The rarity of the title makes it applicable
in common speech to this one person. Greater than his dead master,
Nobunaga, and ingenious in the arts of war and peace, Hideyoshi
compelled the warring daimi[=o]s, even the proud lord of Satsuma,[10] to
yield to his power, until the civil minister of the emperor, reverently
bowing, could say: "All under Heaven, Peace." Now, Japan had once more a
central government, intensely jealous and despotic, and with it the new
religion must sooner or later reckon. Religion apart from politics was
unknown in the Land of the Gods.

Yet, in order to employ the vast bodies of armed men hitherto accustomed
to the trade of war, and withal jealous of China and hostile to Korea,
Hideyoshi planned the invasion of the little peninsular kingdom by these
veterans whose swords were restless in their scabbards. After months of
preparation, he despatched an army in two great divisions, one under the
Christian general Konishi, and one under the Buddhist general Kato.
After a brilliant campaign of eighteen days, the rivals, taking
different routes, met in the Korean capital. In the masterly campaign
which followed, the Japanese armies penetrated almost to the extreme
northern boundary of the kingdom. Then China came to the rescue and the
Japanese were driven southward.

During the six or seven years of war, while the invaders crossed swords
with the natives and their Chinese allies, and devastated Korea to an
extent from which she has never recovered, there were Jesuit
missionaries attending the Japanese armies. It is not possible or even
probable, however, that any seeds of Christianity were at this time left
in the peninsula. Korean Christianity sprang up nearly two centuries
later, wind-wafted from China.[11]

During the war there was always more or less of jealousy, mostly
military and personal, between Konishi and Kato, which however was
aggravated by the priests on either side. Kato, being then and afterward
a fierce champion of the Buddhists, glorified in his orthodoxy, which
was that of the Nichiren sect. He went into battle with a banneret full
of texts, stuck in his back and flying behind him. His example was
copied by hundreds of his officers and soldiers. On their flags and
guidons was inscribed the famous apostrophe of the Nichiren sect, so
often heard in their services and revivals to-day (Namu miy[=o] ho ren
ge ki[=o]), and borrowed from the Saddharma Pundarika: "Glory be to the
salvation-bringing Lotus of the True Law."

The Hostility of Hideyoshi.

Konishi, on the other hand, was less numerously and perhaps less
influentially backed by, and made the champion of, the European
brethren; and as all the negotiations between the invaders and the
allied Koreans and Chinese had to be conducted in the Chinese script,
the alien fathers were, as secretaries and interpreters, less useful
than the native Japanese bonzes.

Yet this jealousy and hostility in the camps of the invaders proved to
be only correlative to the state of things in Japan. Even supposing the
statistics in round numbers, reported at that time, to be exaggerated,
and that there were not as many as the alleged two hundred thousand
Christians, yet there were, besides scores of thousands of confessing
believers among the common people, daimi[=o]s, military leaders, court
officers and many persons of culture and influence. Nevertheless, the
predominating influence at the Ki[=o]to court was that of Buddhism; and
as the cult that winks at polygamy was less opposed to Hideyoshi's
sensualism and amazing vanity, the illustrious upstart was easily made
hostile to the alien faith. According to the accounts of the Jesuits, he
took umbrage because a Portuguese captain would not please him by
risking his ship in coming out of deep water and nearer land, and
because there were Christian maidens of Arima who scorned to yield to
his degrading proposals. Some time after these episodes, an edict
appeared, commanding every Jesuit to quit the country within twenty
days. There were at this time sixty-five foreign missionaries in the

Then began a series of persecutions, which, however, were carried on
spasmodically and locally, but not universally or with system. Bitter in
some places, they were neutralized or the law became a dead letter, in
other parts of the realm. It is estimated that ten thousand new converts
were made in the single year, 1589, that is, the second year after the
issue of the edict, and again in the next year, 1590. It might even be
reasonable to suppose that, had the work been conducted wisely and
without the too open defiance of the letter of the law, the awful sequel
which history knows, might not have been.

Let us remember that the Duke of Alva, the tool of Philip II., failing
to crush the Dutch Republic had conquered Portugal for his master. The
two kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula were now united under one crown.
Spain longed for trade with Japan, and while her merchants hoped to
displace their Portuguese rivals, the Spanish Franciscans not scrupling
to wear a political cloak and thus override the Pope's bull of
world-partition, determined to get a foothold alongside of the Jesuits.
So, in 1593 a Spanish envoy of the governor of the Philippine Islands
came to Ki[=o]to, bringing four Spanish Franciscan priests, who were
allowed to build houses in Ki[=o]to, but only on the express
understanding that this was because of their coming as envoys of a
friendly power, and with the explicitly specified condition that they
were not to preach, either publicly or privately. Almost immediately
violating their pledge and the hospitality granted them, these
Spaniards, wearing the vestments of their order, openly preached in the
streets. Besides exciting discord among the Christian congregations
founded by the Jesuits, they were violent in their language.

Hideyoshi, to gratify his own mood and test his power as the actual
ruler for a shadowy emperor, seized nine preachers while they were
building churches at Ki[=o]to and Osaka. They were led to the
execution-ground in exactly the same fashion as felons, and executed by
crucifixion, at Nagasaki, February 5, 1597. Three Portuguese Jesuits,
six Spanish Franciscans and seventeen native Christians were stretched
on bamboo crosses, and their bodies from thigh to shoulder were
transfixed with spears. They met their doom uncomplainingly.

In the eye of the Japanese law, these men were put to death, not as
Christians, but as law-breakers and as dangerous political conspirators.
The suspicions of Hideyoshi were further confirmed by a Spanish
sea-captain, who showed him a map of the world on which were marked the
vast dominions of the King of Spain; the Spaniard informing the
Japanese, in answer to his shrewd question, that these great conquests
had been made by the king's soldiers following up the priests, the work
being finished by the native and foreign allies.

The Political Character of Roman Christianity.

The Roman Catholic "Histoire del' Eglise Chretienne" shows the political
character of the missionary movement in Japan, a character almost
inextricably associated with the papal and other political Christianity
of the times, when State and Church were united in all the countries of
Europe, both Catholic and Protestant. Even republican Holland, leader of
toleration and forerunner of the modern Christian spirit, permitted,
indeed, the Roman Catholics to worship in private houses or in sacred
edifices not outwardly resembling churches, but prohibited all public
processions and ceremonies, because religion and politics at that time
were as Siamese twins. Only the Anabaptists held the primitive Christian
and the American doctrine of the separation of politics from
ecclesiasticism. Except in the country ruled by William the Silent, all
magistrates meddled with men's consciences.[12]

In 1597, Hideyoshi died, and the missionaries took heart again. The
Christian soldiers returning by thousands from Korea, declared
themselves in favor of Hideyori, son of the dead Taik[=o]. Encouraged by
those in power, and by the rising star Iyeyas[)u] (1542-1616), the
fathers renewed their work and the number of converts increased.

Though peace reigned, the political situation was one of the greatest
uncertainty, and with two hundred thousand soldiers gathered around
Ki[=o]to, under scores of ambitious leaders, it was hard to keep the
sword in the sheath. Soon the line of cleavage found Iyeyas[)u] and his
northern captains on one side, and most of the Christian leaders and
southern daimi[=o]s on the other. In October, 1600, with seventy-five
thousand men, the future unifier of Japan stood on the ever-memorable
field of Sekigahara. The opposing army, led largely by Christian
commanders, left their fortress to meet the one whom they considered a
usurper, in the open field. In the battle which ensued, probably the
most decisive ever fought on the soil of Japan, ten thousand men lost
their lives. The leading Christian generals, beaten, but refusing out of
principle because they were Christians, to take their own lives by
_hara-kiri_, knelt willingly at the common blood-pit and had their heads
stricken off by the executioner.

Then began a new era in the history of the empire, and then were laid by
Iyeyas[)u] the foundation-lines upon which the Japan best known to
Europe has existed for nearly three centuries. The creation of a central
executive government strong enough to rule the whole empire, and hold
down even the southern and southwestern daimi[=o]s, made it still worse
for the converts of the European teachers, because in the Land of the
Gods government is ever intensely pagan.

In adjusting the feudal relations of his vassals in Kiushiu, Iyeyas[)u]
made great changes, and thus the political status of the Christians was
profoundly altered. The new daimi[=o]s, carrying out the policy of their
predecessors who had been taught by the Jesuits, but reversing its
direction, began to persecute their Christian subjects, and to compel
them to renounce their faith. One of the leading opposers of the
Christians and their most cruel persecutor, was Kato, the zealous
Nichirenite. Like Brandt, the famous Iroquois Indian, who, in the Mohawk
Valley is execrated as a bloodthirsty brute, and on the Canadian side is
honored with a marble statue and considered not only as the translator
of the prayer-book but also as a saint; even also as Claverhouse, who,
in Scotland is looked upon as a murderous demon, but in England as a
conscientious and loyal patriot; so Kato, the _vir ter execrandus_ of
the Jesuits, is worshipped in his shrine at the Nichiren temple at
Ikegami, near T[=o]ki[=o],[13] and is praised by native historians as
learned, brave and true.

The Christians of Kiushiu, in a few cases, actually took up arms against
their new rulers and oppressors, though it was a new thing under the
Japanese sun for peasantry to oppose not only civil servants of the law,
but veterans in armor. Iyeyas[)u], now having time to give his attention
wholly to matters of government and to examine the new forces that had
entered Japanese life, followed Hideyoshi in the suspicion that, under
the cover of the western religion, there lurked political designs. He
thought he saw confirmation of his theories, because the foreigners
still secretly or openly paid court to Hideyori, and at the same time
freely disbursed gifts and gold as well as comfort to the persecuted.
Resolving to crush the spirit of independence in the converts and to
intimidate the foreign emissaries, Iyeyas[)u] with steel and blood put
down every outbreak, and at last, in 1606, issued his edict[14]
prohibiting Christianity.

The Quarrels of the Christians.

About the same time, Protestant influences began to work against the
papal emissaries. The new forces from the triumphant Dutch republic,
which having successfully defied Spain for a whole generation had
reached Japan even before the Great Truce, were opposed to the Spaniards
and to the influence of both Jesuits and Franciscans. Hollanders at
Lisbon, obtaining from the Spanish archives charts and geographical
information, had boldly sailed out into the Eastern seas, and carried
the orange white and blue flag to the ends of the earth, even to Nippon.
Between Prince Maurice, son of William the Silent, and the envoys of
Iyeyas[)u], there was made a league of commerce as well as of peace and
friendship. Will Adams,[15] the English pilot of the Dutch ships, by his
information given to Iyeyas[)u], also helped much to destroy the Jesuits
influence and to hurt their cause, while both the Dutch and English were
ever busy in disseminating both correct information and polemic
exaggeration, forging letters and delivering up to death by fire the
_padres_ when captured at sea.

In general, however, it may be said that while Christian converts and
the priests were roughly handled in the South, yet there was
considerable missionary activity and success in the North. Converts were
made and Christian congregations were gathered in regions remote from
Ki[=o]to and Yedo, which latter place, like St. Petersburg in the West,
was being made into a large city. Even outlying islands, such as Sado,
had their churches and congregations.

The Anti-Christian Policy of the Tokugawas.

The quarrels between the Franciscans and Jesuits,[16] however, were
probably more harmful to Christianity than were the whispers of the
Protestant Englishmen or Hollanders. In 1610, the wrath of the
government was especially aroused against the _bateren_, as the people
called the _padres_, by their open and persistent violation of Japanese
law. In 1611, from Sado, to which island thousands of Christian exiles
had been sent to work the mines, Iyeyas[)u] believed he had obtained
documentary proof in the Japanese language, of what he had long
suspected--the existence of a plot on the part of the native converts
and the foreign emissaries to reduce Japan to the position of a subject
state.[17] Putting forth strenuous measures to root out utterly what he
believed to be a pestilential breeder of sedition and war, the Yedo
Sh[=o]gun advanced step by step to that great proclamation of January
27, 1614,[18] in which the foreign priests were branded as triple
enemies--of the country, of the Kami, and of the Buddhas. This
proclamation wound up with the charge that the Christian band had come
to Japan to change the government of the country, and to usurp
possession of it. Whether or not he really had sufficient written proof
of conspiracy against the nation's sovereignty, it is certain that in
this state paper, Iyeyas[)u] shrewdly touched the springs of Japanese
patriotism. Not desiring, however, to shed blood or provoke war, he
tried transportation. Three hundred persons, namely, twenty-two
Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustines, one hundred and seventeen
foreign Jesuits, and nearly two hundred native priests and catechists,
were arrested, sent to Nagasaki, and thence shipped like bundles of
combustibles to Macao.

Yet, as many of the foreign and native Christian teachers hid themselves
in the country and as others who had been banished returned secretly and
continued the work of propaganda, the crisis had not yet come. Some of
the Jesuit priests, even, were still hoping that Hideyori would mount to
power; but in 1615, Iyeyas[)u], finding a pretext for war,[19] called
out a powerful army and laid siege to the great castle of Osaka, the
most imposing fortress in the country. In the brief war which ensued, it
is said by the Jesuit fathers, that one hundred thousand men perished.
On June 9, 1615, the castle was captured and the citadel burned. After
thousands of Hideyori's followers had committed _hara-kiri_, and his own
body had been burned into ashes, the Christian cause was irretrievably

Hidetada, the successor of Iyeyas[)u] in Yedo, who ruled from 1605 to
1622, seeing that his father's peaceful methods had failed in
extirpating the alien politico-religious doctrine, now pronounced
sentence of death on every foreigner, priest, or catechist found in the
country. The story of the persecutions and horrible sufferings that
ensued is told in the voluminous literature which may be gathered from
every country in Europe;[20] though from the Japanese side "The Catholic
martyrology of Japan is still an untouched field for a [native]
historian."[21] All the church edifices which the last storm had left
standing were demolished, and temples and pagodas were erected upon
their ruins. In 1617, foreign commerce was restricted to Hirado and
Nagasaki. In 1621, Japanese were forbidden ever to leave the country. In
1624, all ships having a capacity of over twenty-five hundred bushels
were burned, and no craft, except those of the size of ordinary junks,
were allowed to be built.

The Books of the Inferno Opened.

For years, at intervals and in places, the books of the Inferno were
opened, and the tortures devised by the native pagans and Buddhists
equalled in their horror those which Dante imagines, until finally, in
1636, even Japanese human nature, accustomed for ages to subordination
and submission, could stand it no longer. Then a man named Nirado Shiro
raised the banner of the Virgin and called on all Christians and others
to follow him. Probably as many as thirty thousand men, women and
children, but without a single foreigner, lay or clerical, among them,
gathered from parts of Kiushiu. After burning Shint[=o] and Buddhist
temples, they fortified an old abandoned castle at Shimabara, resolving
to die rather than submit. Against an army of veterans, led by skilled
commanders, the fortress held out during four months. At last, after a
bloody assault, it was taken, and men, women and children were
slaughtered.[22] Thousands suffered death at the point of the spear and
sword; many were thrown into the sea; and others were cast into boiling
hot springs, emblems of the eight Buddhist Hells.

All efforts were now put forth to uproot not only Christianity but also
everything of foreign planting. The Portuguese were banished and the
death penalty declared against all who should return, The ai no ko, or
half-breed children, were collected and shipped by hundreds to Macao.
All persons adopting or harboring Eurasians were to be banished, and
their relatives punished. The Christian cause now became like the doomed
city of Babylon or like the site of Nineveh, which, buried in the sand
and covered with the desolation and silence of centuries, became lost to
the memory of the world, so that even the very record of scripture was
the jest of the infidel, until the spade of Layard brought them again to
resurrection. So, Japanese Christianity, having vanished in blood, was
supposed to have no existence, thus furnishing Mr. Lecky with arguments
to prove the extirpative power of persecution.[23]

Yet in 1859, on the opening of the country by treaty, the Roman Catholic
fathers at Nagasaki found to their surprise that they were re-opening
the old mines, and that their work was in historic continuity with that
of their predecessors. The blood of the martyrs had been the seed of the
church. Amid much ignorance and darkness, there were thousands of people
who, through the Virgin, worshipped God; who talked of Jesus, and of the
Holy Spirit; and who refused to worship at the pagan shrines[24].

Summary of Roman Christianity in Japan.

Let us now strive impartially to appraise the Christianity of this era,
and inquire what it found, what it attempted to do, what it did not
strive to attain, what was the character of its propagators, what was
the mark it made upon the country and upon the mind of the people, and
whether it left any permanent influence.

The gospel net which had gathered all sorts of fish in Europe brought a
varied quality of spoil to Japan. Among the Portuguese missionaries,
beginning with Xavier, there are many noble and beautiful characters,
who exemplified in their motives, acts, lives and sufferings some of the
noblest traits of both natural and redeemed humanity. In their praise,
both the pagan and the Christian, as well as critics biased by their
prepossessions in favor either of the Reformed or the Roman phase of the
faith, can unite.

The character of the native converts is, in many instances, to be
commended, and shows the direct truth of Christianity in fields of life
and endeavor, in ethics and in conceptions, far superior to those which
the Japanese religious systems have produced. In the teaching that there
should be but one standard of morality for man and woman, and that the
male as well as the female should be pure; in the condemnation of
polygamy and licentiousness; in the branding of suicide as both wicked
and cowardly; in the condemnation of slavery; and in the training of men
and women to lofty ideals of character, the Christian teachers far
excelled their Buddhist or Confucian rivals.

The benefits which Japan received through the coming of the Christian
missionaries, as distinct and separate from those brought by commerce
and the merchants, are not to be ignored. While many things of value and
influence for material improvement, and many beneficent details and
elements of civilization were undoubtedly imported by traders, yet it
was the priests and itinerant missionaries who diffused the knowledge of
the importance of these things and taught their use throughout the
country. Although in the reaction of hatred and bitterness, and in the
minute, universal and long-continued suppression by the government, most
of this advantage was destroyed, yet some things remained to influence
thought and speech, and to leave a mark not only on the language, but
also on the procedure of daily life. One can trace notable modifications
of Japanese life from this period, lasting through the centuries and
even until the present time.

Christianity, in the sixteenth century, came to Japan only in its papal
or Roman Catholic form. While in it was infused much of the power and
spirit of Loyola and Xavier, yet the impartial critic must confess that
this form was military, oppressive and political.[25] Nevertheless,
though it was impure and saturated with the false principles, the vices
and the embodied superstitions of corrupt southern Europe, yet, such as
it was, Portuguese Christianity confronted the worst condition of
affairs, morally, intellectually and materially, which Japan has known
in historic times. Defective as the critic must pronounce the system of
religion imported from Europe, it was immeasurably superior to anything
that the Japanese had hitherto known.

It must be said, also, that Portuguese Christianity in Japan tried to do
something more than the mere obtaining of adherents or the nominal
conversion of the people.[26] It attempted to purify and exalt their
life, to make society better, to improve the relations between rulers
and ruled; but it did not attempt to do what it ought to have done. It
ignored great duties and problems, while it imitated too fully, not only
the example of the kings of this world in Europe but also of the rulers
in Japan. In the presence of soldier-like Buddhist priests, who had made
war their calling, it would have been better if the Christian
missionaries had avoided their bad example, and followed only in the
footsteps of the Prince of Peace; but they did not. On the contrary,
they brought with them the spirit of the Inquisition then in full blast
in Spain and Portugal, and the machinery with which they had been
familiar for the reclamation of native and Dutch "heretics." Xavier,
while at Goa, had even invoked the secular arm to set up the Inquisition
in India, and doubtless he and his followers would have put up this
infernal enginery in Japan if they could have done so. They had stamped
and crushed out "heresy" in their own country, by a system of hellish
tortures which in its horrible details is almost indescribable. The
rusty relics now in the museums of Europe, but once used in church
discipline, can be fully appreciated only by a physician or an
anatomist. In Japan, with the spirit of Alva and Philip II., these
believers in the righteousness of the Inquisition attacked violently the
character of native bonzes, and incited their converts to insult the
gods, destroy the Buddhist images, and burn or desecrate the old
shrines. They persuaded the daimi[=o]s, when these lords had become
Christians, to compel their subjects to embrace their religion on pain
of exile or banishment. Whole districts were ordered to become
Christian. The bonzes were exiled or killed, and fire and sword as well
as preaching, were employed as means of conversion. In ready imitation
of the Buddhists, fictitious miracles were frequently got up to utilize
the credulity of the superstitious in furthering the faith--all of which
is related not by hostile critics, but by admiring historians and by
sympathizing eye-witnesses.[27]

The most prominent feature of the Roman Catholicism of Japan, was its
political animus and complexion. In writings of this era, Japanese
historians treat of the Christian missionary movement less as something
religious, and more as that which influenced government and polities,
rather than society on its moral side. So also, the impartial historian
must consider that, on the whole, despite the individual instances of
holy lives and unselfish purposes, the work of the Portuguese and
Spanish friars and "fathers" was, in the main, an attempt to bring Japan
more or less directly within the power of the Pope or of those rulers
called Most Catholic Majesties, Christian Kings, etc., even as they had
already brought Mexico, South America, and large portions of India under
the same control. The words of Jesus before the Roman procurator had not
been apprehended:--"My kingdom is not of this world."


    "The frog in the well knows not the great ocean"
                            --Sanskrit and Japanese Proverb.

    "When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch."
                            --Japanese Proverb.

    "The little island of Deshima, well and prophetically signifying
    Fore-Island, was Japan's window, through which she looked at the
    whole Occident ... We are under obligation to Holland for the
    arts of engineering, mining, pharmacy, astronomy, and medicine
    ... 'Rangaku' (i.e., Dutch learning) passed almost as a synonym
    for medicine," [1615-1868].--Inazo Nitobe.

    "The great peace, of which we are so proud, was more like the
    stillness of stagnant pools than the calm surface of a clear

    "The ancestral policy of self-contentment must be done away
    with. If it was adopted by your forefathers, because it was wise
    in their time, why not adopt a new policy if it in sure to prove
    wise in your time."--Sakuma Shozan, wrote in 1841, assassinated

    "And slowly floating onward go
    Those Black Ships, wave-tossed to and fro."
                        --Japanese Ballad of the Black Ship, 1845.

    "The next day was Sunday (July 10th), and, as usual, divine
    service was held on board the ships, and, in accordance with
    proper reverence for the day, no communication was held with the
    Japanese authorities."
        --Perry's Narrative.

    "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
    Praise Him, all creatures here below,
    Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,
    Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."
        --Sung on U.S.S.S. Mississippi, in Yedo Bay, July 10, 1853.

    "I refuse to see anyone on Sunday, I am resolved to set an
    example of a proper observance of the Sabbath ... I will try to
    make it what I believe it was intended to be--a day of
    rest."--Townsend Harris's Diary, Sunday, August 31, 1856.

    "I have called thee by thy name. I have surnamed thee, though
    thou hast not known me. I am the LORD, and there is none else;
    besides me there is no God."--Isaiah.

    "I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been
    slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they

    "That they should seek God, If haply they might feel after him,
    though he is not far from each one of us."--Paul.

    "Other sheep have I which are not of this fold: them also I must
    bring, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one
    flock, one shepherd"--Jesus.


The Japanese Shut In.

Sincerely regretting that we cannot pass more favorable judgments upon
the Christianity of the seventeenth century in Japan, let us look into
the two centuries of silence, and see what was the story between the
paling of the Christian record in 1637, and the glowing of the
palimpsest in 1859, when the new era begins.

The policy of the Japanese rulers, after the supposed utter extirpation
of Christianity, was the double one of exclusion and inclusion. A
deliberate attempt, long persisted in and for centuries apparently
successful, was made to insulate Japan from the shock of change. The
purpose was to draw a whole nation and people away from the currents and
movements of humanity, and to stereotype national thought and custom.
This was carried out in two ways: first, by exclusion, and then by
inclusion. All foreign influences were shut off, or reduced to a
minimum. The whole western world, especially Christendom, was put under

Even the apparent exception made in favor of the Dutch was with the
motive of making isolation more complete, and of securing the perfect
safety which that isolation was expected to bring. For, having built,
not indeed with brick and mortar, but by means of edict and law, both
open and secret, a great wall of exclusion more powerful than that of
China's, it was necessary that there should be a port-hole, for both
sally and exit, and a slit for vigilant scrutiny of any attempt to force
seclusion or violate the frontier. Hence, the Hollanders were allowed to
have a small place of residence in front of a large city and at the head
of a land-locked harbor. There, the foreigners being isolated and under
strict guard, the government could have, as it were, a nerve which
touched the distant nations, and could also, as with a telescope, sweep
the horizon for signs of danger.

So, in 1640, the Hollanders were ordered to evacuate Hirado, and occupy
the little "outer island" called Deshima, in front of the city of
Nagasaki, and connected therewith by a bridge. Any ships entering this
hill-girdled harbor, it was believed, could be easily managed by the
military resources possessed by the government. Vessels were allowed
yearly to bring the news from abroad and exchange the products of Japan
for those of Europe. The English, who had in 1617 opened a trade and
conducted a factory for some years,[1] were unable to compete with the
Dutch, and about 1624, after having lost in the venture forty thousand
pounds sterling, withdrew entirely from the Japanese trade. The Dutch
were thus left without a rival from Christendom.

Japan ceased her former trade and communications with the Philippine
Islands, Annam, Siam, the Spice Islands and India,[2] and begun to
restrict trade and communication with Korea and China. The Koreans, who
were considered as vassals, or semi-vassals, came to Japan to present
their congratulations on the accession of each new Sh[=o]gun; and some
small trade was done at Fusan under the superintendence of the daimi[=o]
of Tsushima. Even this relation with Korea was rather one of
watchfulness. It sprang from the pride of a victor rather than from any
desire to maintain relations with the rest of the world. As for China,
the communication with her was astonishingly little, only a few junks
crossing yearly between Nankin and Nagasaki; so that, with the exception
of one slit in their tower of observation, the Japanese became well
isolated from the human family.

This system of exclusion was accompanied by an equally vigorous policy
of inclusiveness. It was deliberately determined to keep the people from
going abroad, either in their bodies or minds. All seaworthy ships were
destroyed. Under pain of imprisonment and death, all natives were
forbidden to go to a foreign country, except in the rare cases of urgent
government service. By settled precedents it was soon made to be
understood that those who were blown out to sea or carried away in
stress of weather, need not come back; if they did, they must return
only on Chinese and Korean vessels, and even then would be grudgingly
allowed to land. It was given out, both at home and to the world, that
no shipwrecked sailors or waifs would be welcomed when brought on
foreign vessels.

This inclusive policy directed against physical exportation, was still
more stringently carried out when applied to imports affecting the minds
of the Japanese. The "government deliberately attempted to establish a
society impervious to foreign ideas from without, and fostered within by
all sorts of artificial legislation. This isolation affected every
department of private and public life. Methods of education were cast in
a definite mould; even matters of dress and household architecture were
strictly regulated by the State, and industries were restricted or
forced into specified channels, thus retarding economic

Starving of the Mind.

In the science of keeping life within stunted limits and artificial
boundaries, the Japanese genius excels. It has been well said that "the
Japanese mind is great in little things and little in great things." To
cut the tap-root of a pine-shoot, and, by regulating the allowance of
earth and water, to raise a pine-tree which when fifty years old shall
be no higher than a silver dollar, has been the proud ambition of many
an artist in botany. In like manner, the Tokugawa Sh[=o]guns (1604-1868)
determined to so limit the supply of mental food, that the mind of Japan
should be of those correctly dwarfed proportions of puniness, so admired
by lovers of artificiality and unconscious caricature. Philosophy was
selected as a chief tool among the engines of oppression, and as the
main influence in stunting the intellect. All thought must be orthodox
according to the standards of Confucianism, as expounded by Chu Hi.
Anything like originality in poetry, learning or philosophy must be
hooted down. Art must follow Chinese, Buddhist and Japanese traditions.
Any violation of this order would mean ostracism. All learning must be
in the Chinese and Japanese languages--the former mis-pronounced and in
sound bearing as much resemblance to Pekingise speech as "Pennsylvania
Dutch" does to the language of Berlin. Everything like thinking and
study must be with a view of sustaining and maintaining the established
order of things. The tree of education, instead of being a lofty or
wide-spreading cryptomeria, must be the measured nursling of the teacup.
If that trio of emblems, so admired by the natives, the bamboo, pine and
plum, could produce glossy leaves, ever-green needles and fragrant
blooms within a space of four cubic inches, so the law, the literature
and the art of Japan must display their normal limit of fresh fragrance,
of youthful vigor and of venerable age, enduring for aye, within the
vessel of Japanese inclusion so carefully limited by the Yedo

Such a policy, reminds one of the Amherst agricultural experiment in
which bands of iron were strapped around a much-afflicted squash, in
order to test vital potency. It recalls the pretty little story of
Picciola, in which a tender plant must grow between the interstices of
the bricks in a prison yard. Besides the potent bonds of the only
orthodox Confucian philosophy which was allowed and the legally
recognized religions, there was gradually formed a marvellous system of
legislation, that turned the whole nation into a secret society in which
spies and hypocrites flourished like fungus on a dead log. Besides the
unwritten code of private law,[4] that is, the local and general customs
founded on immemorial usage, there was that peculiar legal system framed
by Iyeyas[)u], bequeathed as a legacy and for over two hundred years
practically the supreme law of the land.

What this law was, it was exceedingly difficult, if not utterly
impossible, for the aliens dwelling in the country at Nagasaki ever to
find out. Keenly intellectual, as many of the physicians,
superintendents and elect members of the Dutch trading company were,
they seem never to have been able to get hold of what has been called
"The Testament of Iyeyas[)u]."[5] This consisted of one hundred laws or
regulations, based on a home-spun sort of Confucianism, intended to be
orthodoxy "unbroken for ages eternal."

To a man of western mode of thinking, the most astonishing thing is that
this law was esoteric.[6] The people knew of it only by its irresistible
force, and by the constant pressure or the rare easing of its iron hand.
Those who executed the law were drilled in its routine from childhood,
and this routine became second nature. Only a few copies of the original
instrument were known, and these were kept with a secrecy which to the
people became a sacred mystery guarded by a long avenue of awe.

The Dutchmen at Deshima.

The Dutchmen who lived at Deshima for two centuries and a half, and the
foreigners who first landed at the treaty ports in 1859, on inquiring
about the methods of the Japanese Government, the laws and their
administration, found that everything was veiled behind a vague
embodiment of something which was called "the Law." What that law was,
by whom enacted, and under what sanctions enforced, no one could tell;
though all seemed to stand in awe of it as something of superhuman
efficiency. Its mysteriousness was only equalled by the abject
submission which it received.

Foreign diplomatists, on trying to deal with the seat and source of
authority, instead of seeing the real head of power, played, as it were,
a game of chess against a mysterious hand stretched out from behind a
curtain. Morally, the whole tendency of such a dual system of exclusion
and of inclusion was to make a nation of liars, foster confirmed habits
of deceit, and create a code of politeness vitiated by insincerity.

With such repression of the natural powers of humanity, it was but in
accordance with the nature of things that licentiousness should run
riot, that on the fringes of society there should be the outcast and the
pariah, and that the social waste of humanity by prostitution, by
murder, by criminal execution under a code that prescribed the death
penalty for hundreds of offences, should be enormous. It is natural also
that in such a state of society population[7] should be kept down within
necessary limits, not only by famine, by the restraints of feudalism, by
legalized murder in the form of vendetta, by a system of prostitution
that made and still makes Japan infamous, by child murder, by lack of
encouragement given to feeble or malformed children to live, and by
various devices known to those who were ingenious in keeping up so
artificial a state of society.

That there were many who tried to break through this wall, from both the
inside and the outside, and to force the frontiers of exclusion and
inclusion, is not to be wondered at. Externally, there were bold spirits
from Christendom who burned to know the secrets of the mysterious land.
Some even yearned to wear the ruby crown. The wonderful story of past
Christian triumphs deeply stirred the heart of more than one fiery
spirit, and so we find various attempts made by the clerical brethren of
southern Europe to enter the country. Bound by their promises, the Dutch
captains could not introduce these emissaries of a banned religion
within the borders; yet there are several notable instances of Roman
Catholic "religious"[8] getting themselves left by shipmasters on the
shores of Japan. The lion's den of reality was Yedo. Like the lion's den
of fable, the footprints all led one way, and where these led the bones
of the victims soon lay.

Besides these men with religious motives, the ships of the West came
with offers of trade and threats of invasion. These were English,
French, Russian and American, and the story of the frequent episodes has
been told by Hildreth, Aston,[9] Nitobe, and others. There is also a
considerable body of native literature which gives the inside view of
these efforts to force the seclusion of the hermit nation, and coax or
compel the Japanese to be more sociable and more human. All were in vain
until the peaceful armada, under the flag of thirty-one stars, led by
Matthew Calbraith Perry,[10] broke the long seclusion of this Thorn-rose
of the Pacific, and the unarmed diplomacy of Townsend Harris,[11]
brought Japan into the brotherhood of commercial and Christian nations.

Within the isolating walls and the barred gates the story of the seekers
after God is a thrilling one. The intellect of choice spirits, beating
like caged eagles the bars of their prisons, yearned for more light and
life. "Though an eagle be starving," says the Japanese proverb, "it will
not eat grain;" and so, while the mass of the people and even the
erudite, were content with ground food--even the chopped straw and husks
of materialistic Confucianism and decayed Buddhism--there were noble
souls who soared upward to exercise their God-given powers, and to seek
nourishment fitted for that human spirit which goeth upward and not
downward, and which, ever in restless discontent, seeks the Infinite.

Protests of Inquiring Spirits.

There is no stronger proof of the true humanity and the innate
god-likeness of the Japanese, of their worthiness to hold and their
inherent power to win a high place among the nations of the earth, than
this longing of a few elect ones for the best that earth could give and
Heaven bestow. We find men in travail of spirit, groping after God if
haply they might find Him, following the ways of the Spirit along lines
different, and in pathways remote, from those laid down by Confucius and
his materialistic commentators, or by Buddha and his parodists or
caricaturists. The story of the philosophers, who mutinied against the
iron clamps and governmentally nourished system of the Seido College
expounders, is yet to be fully told.[12] It behooves some Japanese
scholar to tell it.

How earnest truth-seeking Japanese protested and rebelled against the
economic fallacies, against the political despotism, against the
abominable usurpations, against the false strategies and against the
inherent immoralities of the Tokugawa system, has of late years been set
forth with tantalizing suggestiveness, but only in fragments, by the
native historians. Heartrending is the narrative of these men who
studied, who taught, who examined, who sifted the mountains of chaff in
the native literature and writings, who made long journeys on foot all
over the country, who furtively travelled in Korea and China, who
boarded Dutch and Russian vessels, who secretly read forbidden books,
who tried to improve their country and their people. These men saw that
their country was falling behind not only the nations of the West, but,
as it seemed to them, even the nations of the East. They felt that
radical changes were necessary in order to reform the awful poverty,
disease, licentiousness, national weakness, decay of bodily powers, and
the creeping paralysis of the Samurai intellect and spirit. How they
were ostracized, persecuted, put under ban, hounded by the spies, thrown
into prison; how they died of starvation or of disease; how they were
beheaded, crucified, or compelled to commit _hara-kiri_; how their books
were purged by the censors, or put under ban or destroyed,[13] and their
maps, writings and plates burned, has not yet been told. It is a story
that, when fully narrated, will make a volume of extraordinary interest.
It is a story which both Christian and human interests challenge some
native author to tell. During all this time, but especially during the
first half of the nineteenth century, there was one steady goal to which
the aspiring student ever kept his faith, and to which his feet tended.
There was one place of pilgrimage, toward which the sons of the morning
moved, and which, despite the spy and the informer and the vigilance of
governors, fed their spirits, and whence they carried the sacred fire,
or bore the seed whose harvest we now see. That goal of the pilgrim band
was Nagasaki, and the place where the light burned and the sacred flames
were kindled was Deshima. The men who helped to make true patriots,
daring thinkers, inquirers after truth, bringers in of a better time,
yes, and even Christians and preachers of the good news of God, were
these Dutchmen of Deshima.

A Handful of Salt in a Stagnant Mass.

The Nagasaki Hollanders were not immaculate saints, neither were they
sooty devils. They did not profess to be Christian missionaries. On the
other hand, they were men not devoid of conscience nor of sympathy with
aspiring and struggling men in a hermit nation, eager for light and
truth. The Dutchman during the time of hermit Japan, as we see him in
the literature of men who were hostile in faith and covetous rivals in
trade, is a repulsive figure. He seems to be a brutal wretch, seeking
only gain, and willing to sell conscience, humanity and his religion,
for pelf. In reality, he was an ordinary European, probably no better,
certainly no worse, than his age or the average man of his country or of
his continent. Further, among this average dozen of exiles in the
interest of commerce, science or culture, there were frequently
honorable men far above the average European, and shining examples of
Christianity and humanity. Even in his submission to the laws of the
country, the Dutchman did no more, no less, but exactly as the
daimi[=o]s,[14] who like himself were subject to the humiliations
imposed by the rulers in Yedo.

It was the Dutch, who, for two hundred years supplied the culture of
Europe to Japan, introduced Western science, furnished almost the only
intellectual stimulant, and were the sole teachers of medicine and
science.[15] They trained up hundreds of Japanese to be physicians who
practised rational medicine and surgery. They filled with needed courage
the hearts of men, who, secretly practising dissection of the bodies of
criminals, demonstrated the falsity of Chinese ideas of anatomy. It was
Dutch science which exploded and drove out of Japan that Chinese system
of medicine, by means of which so many millions have, during the long
ages, been slowly tortured to death.

The Deshima Dutchman was a kindly adviser, helper, guide and friend, the
one means of communication with the world, a handful of salt in the
stagnant mass. Long before the United States, or Commodore Perry, the
Hollanders advised the Yodo government in favor of international
intercourse. The Dutch language, nearest in structure and vocabulary to
the English, even richer in the descriptive energy of its terms, and
saturated withal with Christian truth, was studied by eager young men.
These speakers of an impersonal language which in psychological
development was scarcely above the grade of childhood, were exercised in
a tongue that stands second to none in Europe for purity, vigor,
personality and philosophical power. The Japanese students of Dutch held
a golden key which opened the treasures of modern thought and of the
world's literature. The minds of thinking Japanese were thus made
plastic for the reception of the ideas of Christianity. Best of all,
though forbidden by their contracts to import Bibles into Japan, the
Dutchmen, by means of works of reference, pointed more than one
inquiring spirit to the information by which the historic Christ became
known. The books which they imported, the information which they gave,
the stimulus which they imparted, were as seeds planted within
masonry-covered earth, that were to upheave and overthrow the fabric of
exclusion and inclusion reared by the Tokugawa Sh[=o]guns.

Time and space fail us to tell how eager spirits not only groped after
God, but sought the living Christ--though often this meant to them
imprisonment, suicide enforced by the law, or decapitation. Yet over all
Japan, long before the broad pennant of Perry was mirrored on the waters
of Yedo Bay, there were here and there masses of leavened opinion, spots
of kindled light, and fields upon which the tender green sprouts of new
ideas could be detected. To-day, as inquiry among the oldest of the
Christian leaders and scores of volumes of modern biography shows, the
most earnest and faithful among the preachers, teachers and soldiers in
the Christian army, were led into their new world of ideas through Dutch
culture. The fact is revealed in repeated instances, that, through
father, grandfather, uncle, or other relative--some pilgrim to the Dutch
at Nagasaki--came their first knowledge, their initial promptings, the
environment or atmosphere, which made them all sensitive and ready to
receive the Christian truth when it came in its full form from the
living missionary and the vital word of God. Some one has well said that
the languages of modern Europe are nothing more than Christianity
expressed with differing pronunciation and vocabulary. To him who will
receive it, the mastery of any one of the languages of Christendom, is,
in a large sense, a revelation of God in Christ Jesus.

Seekers after God.

Pathetic, even to the compulsion of tears, is the story of these seekers
after God. We, who to-day are surrounded by every motive and inducement
to Christian living and by every means and appliance for the practice of
the Christian life, may well consider for a moment the struggle of
earnest souls to find out God. Think of this one who finds a Latin Bible
cast up on the shore from some broken ship, and bearing it secretly in
his bosom to the Hollander, gains light as to the meaning of its
message. Think of the nobleman, Watanabe Oboru,[16] who, by means of the
Japanese interpreter of Dutch, Takano Choyei, is thrilled with the story
of Jesus of Nazareth who helped and healed and spake as no other man
spake, teaching with an authority above that of the masters Confucius or
Buddha. Think of the daimi[=o] of Mito,[17] who, proud in lineage,
learned and scholarly, and surrounded by a host of educated men, is yet
unsatisfied with what the wise of his own country could give him, and
gathers around him the relics unearthed from the old persecutions. From
a picture of the Virgin, a fragment of a litany, or it may be a part of
a breviary, he tries to make out what Christianity is.

Think of Yokoi Heishiro,[18] learned in Confucius and his commentators,
who seeks better light, sends to China for a Chinese translation of the
New Testament, and in his lectures on the Confucian ethics, to the
delight and yet to the surprise of his hearers who hear grander truth
than they are able to find in text or commentary, really preaches
Christ, and prophesies that the time will come when the walls of
isolation being levelled, the brightest intellects of Japan will welcome
this same Jesus and His doctrine. Think of him again, when unable to
purify the Augean stables of Yedo's moral corruption, because the time
was at hand for other cleansing agencies, he retires to his home,
content awhile with his books and flowers. Again, see him summoned to
the capital, to sit at Ki[=o]to--like aged Franklin among the young
statesmen of the Constitution in Philadelphia--with the Mikado's
youthful advisers in the new government of 1868. Think of him pleading
for the elevation of the pariah Eta, accursed and outcast through
Buddhism, to humanity and citizenship. Then hear him urge eloquently the
right of personal belief, and argue for toleration under the law, of
opinions, which the Japanese then stigmatized as "evil" and devilish,
but which we, and many of them now, call sound and Christian. Finally,
behold him at night in the public streets, assaulted by assassins, and
given quick death by their bullet and blades. See his gray head lying
severed from his body and in its own gore, the wretched murderers
thinking they have stayed the advancing tide of Christianity; but at
home there dwells a little son destined in God's providence to become an
earnest Christian and one of the brilliant leaders of the native
Christianity of Japan in our day.

The Buddhist Inquisitors.

During the nation's period of Thorn-rose-like seclusion, the three
religions recognized by the law were Buddhism, Shint[=o] and
Confucianism. Christianity was the outlawed sect. All over the country,
on the high-roads, at the bridges, and in the villages, towns and
cities, the fundamental laws of the country were written on wooden
tablets called kosats[)u]. These, framed and roofed for protection from
the weather, but easily before the eyes of every man, woman and child,
and written in a style and language understood of all, denounced the
Christian religion as an accursed "sect," and offered gold to the spy
and informer;[19] while once a year every Samurai was required to swear
on the true faith of a gentleman that he had nothing to do with
Christianity. From the seventeenth century, the country having been
divided into parishes, the inquisition was under the charge of the
Buddhist priests who penetrated into the house and family and guarded
the graveyards, so that neither earth nor fire should embrace the
carcass of a Christian, nor his dust or ashes defile the ancestral
graveyards. Twice--in 1686 and in 1711--were the rewards increased and
the Buddhist bloodhounds of Japan's Inquisition set on fresh trails. On
one occasion, at Osaka, in 1839,[20] a rebellion broke out which was
believed, though without evidence, to have been instigated in some way
by men with Christian ideas, and was certainly led by Oshio, the bitter
opponent of Buddhism, of Tokugawa, and of the prevalent Confucianism.
Possibly, the uprising was aided by refugees from Korea. Those
implicated were, after speedy trial, crucified or beheaded. In the
southern part of the country the ceremony of Ebumi or trampling on the
cross,[21] was long performed. Thousands of people were made to pass
through a wicket, beneath which and on the ground lay a copper plate
engraved with the image of the Christ and the cross. In this way it was
hoped to utterly eradicate the very memory of Christianity, which, to
the common people, had become the synonym for sorcery.

But besides the seeking after God by earnest souls and the protest of
philosophers, there was, amid the prevailing immorality and the
agnosticism and scepticism bred by decayed Buddhism and the
materialistic philosophy based on Confucius, some earnest struggles for
the purification of morals and the spiritual improvement of the people.

The Shingaku Movement.

One of the most remarkable of the movements to this end was that of the
Shingaku or New Learning. A class of practical moralists, to offset the
prevailing tendency of the age to much speculation and because Buddhism
did so little for the people, tried to make the doctrines of Confucius a
living force among the great mass of people. This movement, though
Confucian in its chief tone and color, was eclectic and intended to
combine all that was best in the Chinese system with what could be
utilized from Shint[=o] and Buddhism. With the preaching was combined a
good deal of active benevolence. Especially in the time of famine, was
care for humanity shown. The effect upon the people was noticeable,
followers multiplied rapidly, and it is said that even the government in
many instances made them, the Shingaku preachers, the distributors of
rice and alms for the needy. Some of the preachers became famous and
counted among their followers many men of influence. The literary side
of the movement[22] has been brought to the attention of English readers
through Mr. Mitford's translation of three sermons from the volume
entitled Shingaku D[=o]wa. Other discourses have been from time to time
rendered into English, those by Shibata, entitled The Sermons of the
Dove-like Venerable Master, being especially famous.

This movement, interesting as it was, came to an end when the country
began to be convulsed by the approaching entrance of foreigners, through
the Perry treaty; but it serves to show, what we believe to be the
truth, that the moral rottenness as well as the physical decay of the
Japanese people reached their acme just previous to the apparition of
the American fleet in 1853.

The story of nineteenth century Reformed Christianity in Japan does not
begin with Perry, or with Harris, or with the arrival of Christian
missionaries in 1859; for it has a subterranean and interior history, as
we have hinted; while that of the Roman form and order is a story of
unbroken continuity, though the life of the tunnel is now that of the
sunny road. The parable of the leaven is first illustrated and then that
of the mustard-seed. Before Christianity was phenomenal, it was potent.
Let us now look from the interior to the outside.

On Perry's flag-ship, the Mississippi, the Bible lay open, a sermon was
preached, and the hymn "Before Jehovah's Awful Throne" was sung, waking
the echoes of the Japan hills. The Christian day of rest was honored on
this American squadron. In the treaty signed in 1854, though it was
made, indeed, with use of the name of God and terms of Christian
chronology, there was nothing upon which to base, either by right or
privilege, the residence of missionaries in the country. Townsend
Harris, the American Consul-General, who hoisted his flag and began his
hermit life at Shimoda, in September, 1855, had as his only companion a
Dutch secretary, Mr. Heusken, who was later, in Yedo, to be assassinated
by ronins.

Without ship or soldier, overcoming craft and guile, and winning his way
by simple honesty and perseverance, Mr. Harris obtained audience[23] of
"the Tycoon" in Yedo, and later from the Sh[=o]gun's daring minister Ii,
the signature to a treaty which guaranteed to Americans the rights of
residence, trade and commerce. Thus Americans were enabled to land as
citizens, and pursue their avocation as religious teachers. As the
government of the United States of America knows nothing of the religion
of American citizens abroad, it protects all missionaries who are
law-abiding citizens, without regard to creed.[24]

Japan Once More Missionary Soil.

The first missionaries were on the ground as soon as the ports were
open. Though surrounded by spies and always in danger of assassination
and incendiarism, they began their work of mastering the language. To do
this without trained teachers or apparatus of dictionary and grammar,
was then an appalling task. The medical missionary began healing the
swarms of human sufferers, syphilitic, consumptive, and those scourged
by small-pox, cholera and hereditary and acute diseases of all sorts.
The patience, kindness and persistency of these Christian men literally
turned the edge of the sword, disarmed the assassin, made the spies'
occupation useless, shamed away the suspicious, and conquered the nearly
invincible prejudices of the government. Despite the awful under-tow in
the immorality of the sailor, the adventurer and the gain-greedy
foreigner, the tide of Christianity began steadily to rise.
Notwithstanding the outbursts of the flames of persecution, the torture
and imprisonment of Christian captives and exiles, and the slow worrying
to death of the missionary's native teachers, inquirers came and
converts were made. In 1868, after revolution and restoration, the old
order changed, and duarchy and feudalism passed away. Quick to seize the
opportunity, Dr. J.C. Hepburn, healer of bodies and souls of men,
presented a Bible to the Emperor, and the gift was accepted.

No sooner had the new government been established in safety, and the
name of Yedo, the city of the Baydoor, been changed into that of
T[=o]ki[=o], the Eastern Capital, than an embassy[25] of seventy persons
started on its course round the world. At its head were three cabinet
ministers of the new government and the court noble, Iwakura, of
immemorial lineage, in whose veins ran the blood of the men called gods.
Across the Pacific to the United States they went, having their initial
audience of the President of the Republic that knows no state church,
and whose Christianity had compelled both the return of the shipwrecked
Japanese and the freedom of the slave.

This embassy had been suggested and its course planned by a Christian
missionary, who found that of the seventy persons, one-half had been his

The Imperial Embassy Round the World.

The purpose of these envoys was, first of all, to ask of the nations of
Christendom equal rights, to get removed the odious extra-territoriality
clause in the treaties, to have the right to govern aliens on their
soil, and to regulate their own tariff. Secondarily, its members
went to study the secrets of power and the resources of civilization in
the West, to initiate the liberal education of their women by leaving in
American schools a little company of maidens, to enlarge the system of
education for their own country, and to send abroad with approval others
of their young men who, for a decade past had, in spite of every ban and
obstacle, been furtively leaving the country for study beyond the seas.

In the lands of Christendom, the eyes of ambassadors, ministers,
secretaries and students were opened. They saw themselves as others saw
them. They compared their own land and nation, mediaeval in spirit and
backward in resources, and their people untrained as children, with the
modern power, the restless ambition, the stern purpose, the intense life
of the western nations, with their mighty fleets and armaments, their
inventions and machinery, their economic and social theories and forces,
their provision for the poor, the sick, and the aged, the peerless
family life in the Christian home. They found, further yet, free
churches divorced from politics and independent of the state; that the
leading force of the world was Christianity, that persecution was
barbarous, and that toleration was the law of the future, and largely
the condition of the present. It took but a few whispers over the
telegraphic wire, and the anti-Christian edicts disappeared from public
view like snowflakes melting on the river. The right arm of persecution
was broken.

The story of the Book of Acts of the modern apostles in Japan is told,
first in the teaching of inquirers, preaching to handfuls, the gathering
of tiny companies, the translation of the Gospel, and then prayer and
waiting for the descent of the Holy Spirit. A study of the Book of the
Acts of the Apostles, followed in order to find out how the Christian
Church began. On the 10th day of March, in the year of our Lord and of
the era of Meiji (Enlightened Peace) the fifth, 1872, at Yokohama, in
the little stone chapel built on part of Commodore Perry's treaty
ground, was formed the first Reformed or Protestant Christian Church in

At this point our task is ended. We cannot even glance at the native
Christian churches of the Roman, Reformed, or Greek order, or attempt to
appraise the work of the foreign missionaries. He has read these pages
in vain, however, who does not see how well, under Providence, the
Japanese have been trained for higher forms of faith.

The armies of Japan are upon Chinese soil, while we pen our closing
lines. The last chains of purely local and ethnic dogma are being
snapped asunder. May the sons of Dai Nippon, as they win new horizons of
truth, see more clearly and welcome more loyally that Prince of Peace
whose kingdom is not of this world.

May the age of political conquest end, and the era of the
self-reformation of the Asian nations, through the gospel of Jesus
Christ, be ushered in.


The few abbreviations used in these pages stand for well-known works:
T.A.S.J., for Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan; Kojiki, for
Supplement to Volume X., T.A.S.J., Introduction, Translation, Notes,
Map, etc., by Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain; T.J., for Things
Japanese (2d ed.), by Professor B.H. Chamberlain; S. and H., for Satow
and Hawes's Hand-book for Japan, now continued in new editions (4th,
1894), by Professor B.H. Chamberlain; C.R.M., for Mayers's Chinese
Reader's Manual; M.E., The Mikado's Empire (7th ed.); B.N., for Mr.
Bunyiu Nanjio's A Short History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects,
T[=o]ki[=o], 1887.



[Footnote 1: The late Professor Samuel Finley Breese Morse, LL.D., who
applied the principles of electro-magnetism to telegraphy, was the son
of the Rev. Jedediah Morse, D.D., the celebrated theologian, geographer,
and gazetteer. In memory of his father, Professor Morse founded this
lectureship in Union Theological Seminary, New York, on "The Relation of
the Bible to the Sciences," May 20,1865, by the gift of ten thousand

[Footnote 2: An American Missionary in Japan, p. 209, by Rev. M.L.
Gordon, M.D., Boston, 1892.]

[Footnote 3: Lucretia Coftin Mott.]

[Footnote 4: "I remember once making a calculation in Hong Kong, and
making out my baptisms to have amounted to about six hundred.... I
believe with you that the study of comparative religion is important for
all missionaries. Still more important, it seems to me, is it that
missionaries should make themselves thoroughly proficient in the
languages and literature of the people to whom they are sent."--Dr.
Legge's Letter to the Author, November 27, 1893.]

[Footnote 5: The Religions of China, p. 240, by James Legge, New York,

[Footnote 6: The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, p. 22, Boston editions
of 1859 and 1879.]

[Footnote 7: One of the many names of Japan is that of the Country Ruled
by a Slender Sword, in allusion to the clumsy weapons employed by the
Chinese and Koreans. See, for the shortening and lightening of the
modern Japanese sword (_katana_) as compared with the long and heavy
(_ken_) of the "Divine" (_kami_) or uncivilized age, "The Sword of
Japan; Its History and Traditions," T.A.S.J., Vol. II., p. 58.]

[Footnote 8: The course of lectures on The Religions of Chinese Asia
(which included most of the matter in this book), given by the author in
Bangor Theological Seminary, Bangor, Me., in April, 1894, was upon the
Bond foundation, founded by alumni and named after the chief donor, Rev.
Ellas Bond, D.D., of Kohala, long an active missionary in Hawaii.]

[Footnote 9: This is the contention of Professor Kumi, late of the
Imperial University of Japan; see chapter on Shint[=o].]

[Footnote 10: In illustration, comical or pitiful, the common people in
Satsuma believe that the spirit of the great Saigo Takamori, leader of
the rebellion of 1877, "has taken up its abode in the planet Mars,"
while the spirits of his followers entered into a new race of frogs that
attack man and fight until killed--Mounsey's The Satsuma Rebellion, p.
217. So, also, the _Heike-gani_, or crabs at Shimonoseki, represent the
transmigration of the souls of the Heike clan, nearly exterminated in
1184 A.D., while the "H[=o]j[=o] bugs" are the avatars of the execrated
rulers of Kamakura (1219-1333 A.D.).--Japan in History, Folk-lore, and
Art, Boston, 1892, pp. 115, 133.]

[Footnote 11: The Future of Religion in Japan. A paper read at the
Parliament of Religions by Nobuta Kishimoto.]

[Footnote 12: The Ainos, though they deify all the chief objects of
nature, such as the sun, the sea, fire, wild beasts, etc., often talk of
a Creator, _Kotan kara kamui_, literally the God who made the World. At
the fact of creation they stop short.... One gathers that the creative
act was performed not directly, but through intermediaries, who were
apparently animals."--Chamberlain's Aino Studies, p. 12. See also on the
Aino term "Kamui," by Professor B.H. Chamberlain and Rev. J. Batchelor,
T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI.]

[Footnote 13: See Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, by Isabella Bird (Bishop),
Vol. II.; The Ainu of Japan, by Rev. John Batchelor; B. Douglas Howard's
Life With Trans-Siberian Savages; Ripley Hitchcock's Report, Smithsonian
Institute, Washington. Professor B. H. Chamberlain's invaluable "Aino
Studies," T[=o]ki[=o], 1887, makes scholarly comparison of the Japanese
and Aino language, mythology, and geographical nomenclature.]

[Footnote 14: M.E., The Mythical Zooelogy of Japan, pp. 477-488. C.R.M.,

[Footnote 15: See the valuable article entitled Demoniacal Possession,
T.J., p. 106, and the author's Japanese Fox Myths, _Lippincott's
Magazine_, 1873.]

[Footnote 16: See the Aino animal stories and evidences of beast worship
in Chamberlain's Aino Studies. For this element in Japanese life, see
the Kojiki, and the author's Japanese Fairy World.]

[Footnote 17: The proprietor of a paper-mill in Massachusetts, who had
bought a cargo of rags, consisting mostly of farmers' cast off clothes,
brought to the author a bundle of scraps of paper which he had found in
this cheap blue-dyed cotton wearing apparel. Besides money accounts and
personal matters, there were numerous temple amulets and priests'
certificates. See also B.H. Chamberlain's Notes on Some Minor Japanese
Religious Practices, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, May,

[Footnote 18: M.E., p. 440.]

[Footnote 19: See the Lecture on Buddhism in its Doctrinal
Development.--The Nichiren Sect.]

[Footnote 20: The phallus was formerly a common emblem in all parts of
Japan, Hondo, Kiushiu, Shikoku, and the other islands. Bayard Taylor
noticed it in the Riu Kiu (Loo Choo) Islands; Perry's Expedition to
Japan, p. 196; Bayard Taylor's Expedition in Lew Chew; M.E., p. 33,
note; Rein's Japan, p. 432; Diary of Richard Cocks, Vol. I., p. 283. The
native guide-books and gazetteers do not allude to the subject.

Although the author of this volume has collected considerable data from
personal observations and the testimony of personal friends concerning
the vanishing nature-worship of the Japanese, he has, in the text,
scarcely more than glanced at the subject. In a work of this sort,
intended both for the general reader as well as for the scientific
student of religion, it has been thought best to be content with a few
simple references to what was once widely prevalent in the Japanese

Probably the most thorough study of Japanese phallicism yet made by any
foreign scholar is that of Edmund Buckley, A.M., Ph.D., of the Chicago
University, Lecturer on Shint[=o], the Ethnic Faith of Japan, and on the
Science of Religion. Dr. Buckley spent six years in central and
southwestern Japan, most of the time as instructor in the Doshisha
University, Ki[=o]to. He will publish the results of his personal
observations and studios in a monograph on phallicism, which will be on
sale at Chicago University, in which the Buckley collection illustrating
Shint[=o]-worship has been deposited.]

[Footnote 21: Mr. Takahashi Gor[=o], in his Shint[=o] Shin-ron, or New
Discussion of Shint[=o], accepts the derivation of the word _kami_ from
_kabe_, mould, mildew, which, on its appearance, excites wonder. For
Hirata's discussion, see T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Appendix, p. 48. In a
striking paper on the Early Gods of Japan, in a recent number of the
Philosophical Magazine, published in T[=o]ki[=o], a Japanese writer, Mr.
Kenjir[=o] Hirade, states also that the term kami does not necessarily
denote a spiritual being, but is only a relative term meaning above or
high, but this respect toward something high or above has created many
imaginary deities as well as those having a human history. See also
T.A.S.J., Vol. XXII., Part I., p. 55, note.]

[Footnote 22: "There remains something of the Shint[=o] heart after
twelve hundred years of foreign creeds and dress. The worship of the
marvellous continues.... Exaggerated force is most impressive.... So the
ancient gods, heroes, and wonders are worshipped still. The simple
countryfolk clap their hands, bow their heads, mumble their prayers, and
offer the fraction of a cent to the first European-built house they
see."--Philosophy in Japan, Past and Present, by Dr. George Wm. Knox.]

[Footnote 23: M.E., p. 474. Honda the Samurai, pp. 256-267.]

[Footnote 24: Kojiki, pp. 127, 136, 213, 217.]

[Footnote 25: See S. and H., pp. 39, 76.

"The appearance of anything unusual at a particular spot is hold to be a
sure sign of the presence of divinity. Near the spot where I live in
Ko-ishi-kawa, T[=o]ki[=o], is a small Miya, built at the foot of a very
old tree, that stands isolated on the edge of a rice-field. The spot
looks somewhat insignificant, but upon inquiring why a shrine has been
placed there, I was told that a white snake had been found at the foot
of the old tree." ...

"As it is, the religion of the Japanese consists in the belief that the
productive ethereal spirit, being expanded through the whole universe,
every part is in some degree impregnated with it; and therefore, every
part is in some measure the seat of the Deity."--Legendre's Progressive
Japan, p. 258.]

[Footnote 26: De Verflauwing der Grenzen, by Dr. Abraham Kuyper,
Amsterdam, 1892; translated by Rev. T. Hendrik de Vries, in the
Methodist Review, New York, July-Sept., 1893.]



[Footnote 1: The scholar who has made profound researches in all
departments of Japanese learning, but especially in the literature of
Shint[=o], is Mr. Ernest Satow, now the British Minister at Tangier. He
received the degree of B.A. from the London University. After several
years' study and experience in China, Mr. Satow came to Japan in 1861 as
student-interpreter to the British Legation, receiving his first drill
under Rev. S.R. Brown, D.D., author of A Grammar of Colloquial Japanese.
To ceaseless industry, this scholar, to whom the world is so much
indebted for knowledge of Japan, has added philosophic insight. Besides
unearthing documents whose existence was unsuspected, he has cleared the
way for investigators and comparative students by practically removing
the barriers reared by archaic speech and writing. His papers in the
T.A.S.J., on The Shint[=o] Shrines at Ise, the Revival of Pure
Shint[=o], and Ancient Japanese Rituals, together with his Hand-book for
Japan, form the best collection of materials for the study of the
original and later forms of Shint[=o].]

[Footnote 2: The scholar who above all others has, with rare acumen
united to laborious and prolonged toil, illuminated the subject of
Japan's chronology and early history is Mr. W.G. Aston of the British
Civil Service. He studied at the Queen's University, Ireland, receiving
the degree of M.A. He was appointed student-interpreter in Japan, August
6, 1864. He is the author of a Grammar of the Written Japanese Language,
and has been a student of the comparative history and speech and writing
of China, Korea, and Japan, during the past thirty years. See his
valuable papers in the T.A.S.J., and the learned societies in Great
Britain. In his paper on Early Japanese History, T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI.,
pp. 39-75, he recapitulates the result of his researches, in which he
is, in the main, supported by critical native scholars, and by the late
William Bramsen, in his Japanese Chronological Tables, T[=o]ki[=o],
1880. He considers A.D. 461 as the first trustworthy date in the
Japanese annals. We quote from his paper, Early Japanese History,
T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI., p. 73.

1. The earliest date of the accepted Japanese Chronology, the accuracy
of which is confirmed by external evidence, is A.D. 461.

2. Japanese History, properly so called, can hardly be said to exist
previous to A.D. 500. (A cursory examination leads me to think that the
annals of the sixth century must also be received with caution.)

3. Korean History and Chronology are more trustworthy than those of
Japan during the period previous to that date.

4. While there was an Empress of Japan in the third century A.D., the
statement that she conquered Korea is highly improbable.

5. Chinese learning was introduced into Japan from Korea 120 years later
than the date given in Japanese History.

6. The main fact of Japan having a predominant influence in some parts
of Korea during the fifth century is confirmed by the Korean and Chinese
chronicles, which, however, show that the Japanese accounts are very
inaccurate in matters of detail.]

[Footnote 3: Basil Hall Chamberlain, who has done the world of learning
such signal service by his works on the Japanese language, and
especially by his translation, with critical introduction and
commentary, of the Kojiki, is an English gentleman, born at Southsea,
Hampshire, England, on the 18th day of October, 1830. His mother was a
daughter of the well-known traveller and author, Captain Basil Hall,
R.N., and his father an Admiral in the British Navy. He was educated for
Oxford, but instead of entering, for reasons of health, he spent a
number of years in western Mid southern Europe, acquiring a knowledge of
various languages and literatures. His coming to Japan (in May, 1873)
was rather the result of an accident--a long sea voyage and a trial of
the Japanese climate having been recommended. The country and the field
of study suited the invalid well. After teaching for a time in the Naval
College the Japanese honored themselves and this scholar by making him,
in April, 1886, Professor of Philology at the Imperial University. His
works, The Classical Poetry of the Japanese, his various grammars and
hand-books for the acquisition of the language, his Hand-book for Japan,
his Aino Studies, Things Japanese, papers in the T.A.S.J. and his
translation of the Kojiki are all of a high order of value. They are
marked by candor, fairness, insight, and a mastery of difficult themes
that makes his readers his constant debtors.]

[Footnote 4: "If the term 'Altaic' be held to include Korean and
Japanese, then Japanese assumes prime importance as being by far the
oldest living representative of that great linguistic group, its
literature antedating by many centuries the most ancient productions of
the Manchus, Mongols, Turks, Hungarians, or Finns."--Chamberlain,
Simplified Grammar, Introd., p. vi.]

[Footnote 5: Corea, the Hermit Nation, pp. 13-14; Mr. Pom K. Soh's paper
on Education in Korea; Report of U.S. Commissioner of Education,

[Footnote 6: T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI., p. 74; Bramsen's Chronological Tables,
Introd., p. 34; T.J., p. 32.]

[Footnote 7: The Middle Kingdom, Vol. I., p. 531.]

[Footnote 8: "The frog in the well knows not the great ocean." This
proverb, so freely quoted throughout Chinese Asia, and in recent years
so much applied to themselves by the Japanese, is of Hindu origin and is
found in the Sanskrit.]

[Footnote 9: This is shown with literary skill and power in a modern
popular work, the title of which, Dai Nippon Kai-biyaku Yurai-iki,
which, very freely indeed, may be translated Instances of Divine
Interposition in Behalf of Great Japan. A copy of this work was
presented to the writer by the late daimi[=o] of Echizen, and was read
with interest as containing the common people's ideas about their
country and history. It was published in Yedo in 1856, while Japan was
still excited over the visits of the American and European fleets. On
the basis of the information furnished in this work General Le Gendre
wrote his influential book, Progressive Japan, in which a number of
quotations from the _Kai-biyaku_ may be read.]

[Footnote 10: In the Kojiki, pp. 101-104, we have the poetical account
of the abdication of the lord of Idzumo in favor of the Yamato
conqueror, on condition that the latter should build a temple and have
him honored among the gods. One of the rituals contains the
congratulatory address of the chieftains of Idzumo, on their surrender
to "the first Mikado, Jimmu Tenn[=o]." See also T.J., p. 206.]

[Footnote 11: "The praying for Harvest, or Toshigoi no Matsuri, was
celebrated on the 4th day of the 2d month of each year, at the capital
in the Jin-Gi-Kuan or office for the Worship of the Shint[=o] gods, and
in the provinces by the chiefs of the local administrations. At the
Jin-Gi-Kuan there were assembled the ministers of state, the
functionaries of that office, the priests and priestesses of 573
temples, containing 737 shrines, which were kept up at the expense of
the Mikado's treasury, while the governors of the provinces
superintended in the districts under their administration the
performance of rites in honor of 2,395 other shrines. It would not be
easy to state the exact number of deities to whom these 3,132 shrines
were dedicated. A glance over the list in the 9th and 10th books of the
Yengishiki shows at once that there were many gods who were worshipped
in more than half-a-dozen different localities at the same time; but
exact calculation is impossible, because in many cases only the names of
the temples are given, and we are left quite in the dark as to the
individuality of the gods to whom they were sacred. Besides these 3,132
shrines, which are distinguished as Shikidai, that is contained in the
catalogue of the Yengishiki, there were a large number of enumerated
shrines in temples scattered all over the country, in every village or
hamlet, of which it was impossible to take any account, just as at the
present day there are temples of Hachiman, Kompira, Tenjin sama, San-no
sama and Sengen sama, as they are popularly called, wherever twenty or
thirty houses are collected together. The shrines are classed as great
and small, the respective numbers being 492 and 2,640, the distinction
being twofold, firstly in the proportionately larger quantity of
offerings made at the great shrines, and secondly that the offerings in
the one case were arranged upon tables or altars, while in the other
they were placed on mats spread upon the earth. In the Yengishiki the
amounts and nature of the offerings are stated with great minuteness,
but it will be sufficient if the kinds of articles offered are alone
mentioned here. It will be seen, by comparison with the text of the
norito, that they had varied somewhat since the date when the ritual was
composed. The offerings to a greater shrine consisted of coarse woven
silk (_ashiginu_), thin silk of five different colors, a kind of stuff
called _shidori_ or _shidzu_, which is supposed by some to have been a
striped silk, cloth of broussonetia bark or hemp, and a small quantity
of the raw materials of which the cloth was made, models of swords, a
pair of tables or altars (called _yo-kura-oki_ and _ya-kura-oki_), a
shield or mantlet, a spear-head, a bow, a quiver, a pair of stag's
horns, a hoe, a few measures of sake or rice-beer, some haliotis and
bonito, two measures of _kituli_ (supposed to be salt roe), various
kinds of edible seaweed, a measure of salt, a sake jar, and a few feet
of matting for packing. To each of the temples of Watarai in Ise was
presented in addition a horse; to the temple of the Harvest god Mitoshi
no kami, a white horse, cock, and pig, and a horse to each of nineteen

"During the fortnight which preceded the celebration of the service, two
smiths and their journeymen, and two carpenters, together with eight
inbe [or hereditary priests] were employed in preparing the apparatus
and getting ready the offerings. It was usual to employ for the Praying
for Harvest members of this tribe who held office in the Jin-Gi-Kuan,
but if the number could not he made up in that office, it was supplied
from other departments of state. To the tribe of quiver-makers was
intrusted the special duty of weaving the quivers of wistaria tendrils.
The service began at twenty minutes to seven in the morning, by our
reckoning of time. After the governor of the province of Yamashiro had
ascertained that everything was in readiness, the officials of the
Jin-Gi-Kuan arranged the offerings on the tables and below them,
according to the rank of the shrines for which they were intended. The
large court of the Jin-Gi-Kuan where the service was held, called the
Sai-in, measured 230 feet by 370. At one end were the offices and on the
west side were the shrines of the eight Protective Deities in a row,
surrounded by a fence, to the interior of which three sacred archways
(torii) gave access. In the centre of the court a temporary shed was
erected for the occasion, in which the tables or altars were placed. The
final preparations being now complete, the ministers of state, the
virgin priestesses and priests of the temples to which offerings were
sent by the Mikado, entered in succession, and took the places severally
assigned to them. The horses which formed a part of the offerings were
next brought in from the Mikado's stable, and all the congregation drew
near, while the reader recited or read the norito. This reader was a
member of the priestly family or tribe of Nakatomi, who traced their
descent back to Ameno-koyane, one of the principal advisers attached to
the sun-goddess's grandchild when he first descended on earth. It is a
remarkable evidence of the persistence of certain ideas, that up to the
year 1868 the nominal prime-minister of the Mikado, after he came of
age, and the regent during his minority, if he had succeeded young to
the throne, always belonged to this tribe, which changed its name from
Nakatomi to Fujiwara in the seventh century, and was subsequently split
up into the Five Setsuke or governing families. At the end of each
section the priests all responded 'O!' which was no doubt the equivalent
of 'Yes' in use in those days. As soon as he had finished, the Nakatomi
retired, and the offerings were distributed to the priests for
conveyance and presentation to the gods to whose service they were
attached. But a special messenger was despatched with the offerings
destined to the temples at Watarai. This formality having been
completed, the President of the Jin-Gi-Kuan gave the signal for breaking
up the assembly." Ancient Japanese Rituals, T.A.S.J., Vol. VII, pp.

[Footnote 12: S. and H., p. 461.]

[Footnote 13: Consult Chamberlain's literal translations of the name in
the Kojiki, and p. lxv. of his Introduction.]

[Footnote 14: The parallel between the Hebrew and Japanese accounts of
light and darkness, day and night, before the sun, has been noticed by
several writers. See the comments of Hirata, a modern Shint[=o]
expounder.--T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Appendix, p. 72.]

[Footnote 15: Westminster Review, July, 1878, p. 19.]



[Footnote 1: Kojiki, pp. 9-18; T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Appendix, p. 20.]

[Footnote 2: M.E., p. 43; McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia, Art.
Shint[=o]; in T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Appendix, is to be found Mr. Satow's
digest of the commentaries of the modern Shint[=o] revivalists; in Mr.
Chamberlain's translation of the Kojiki, the text with abundant notes.
See also Mr. Twan-Lin's Account of Japan up to A.D. 1200, by E.H.
Parker. T.A.S.J., Vol. XXII., Part I.]

[Footnote 3: "The various abstractions which figure at the commencement
of the 'Records' (Kojiki) and of the 'Chronicles' (Nihongi) were
probably later growths, and perhaps indeed were inventions of individual
priests."--Kojiki, Introd., p. lxv. See also T.A.S.J., Vol. XXII., Part
I, p. 56. "Thus, not only is this part of the Kojiki pure twaddle, but
it is not even consistent twaddle."]

[Footnote 4: Kojiki, Section IX.]

[Footnote 5: Dr. Joseph Edkins, D.D., author of Chinese Buddhism, who
believes that the primeval religious history of men is recoverable, says
in Early Spread of Religious Ideas, Especially in the Far East, p. 29,
"In Japan Amateras[)u], ... in fact, as I suppose, Mithras written in
Japanese, though the Japanese themselves are not aware of this
etymology." Compare Kojiki, Introduction, pp. lxv.-lxvii.]

[Footnote 6: Kojiki, p. xlii.]

[Footnote 7: T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Appendix, p. 67.]

[Footnote 8: E. Satow, Revival of Pure Shint[=o], pp. 67-68.]

[Footnote 9: This curious agreement between the Japanese and other
ethnic traditions in locating "Paradise," the origin of the human family
and of civilization, at the North Pole, has not escaped the attention of
Dr. W.F. Warren, President of Boston University, who makes extended
reference to it in his interesting and suggestive book, Paradise Found:
The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole; A Study of the
Prehistoric World, Boston, 1885.]

[Footnote 10: The pure Japanese numerals equal in number the fingers;
with the borrowed Chinese terms vast amounts can be expressed.]

[Footnote 11: This custom was later revived, T.A.S.J., pp. 28, 31.
Mitford's Tales of Old Japan, Vol. II., p. 57; M.E., pp. 156, 238.]

[Footnote 12: See in Japanese Fairy World, "How the Sun-Goddess was
enticed out of her Cave." For the narrative see Kojiki, pp. 54-59;
T.A.S.J., Vol. II., 128-133.]

[Footnote 13: See Chomei and Wordsworth, A Literary Parallel, by J.M.
Dixon, T.A.S.J., Vol. XX., pp. 193-205; Anthologie Japonaise, by Leon de
Rosny; Chamberlain's Classical Poetry of the Japanese; Suyemats[)u]'s
Genji Monogatari, London, 1882.]

[Footnote 14: Oftentimes in studying the ancient rituals, those who
imagine that the word Kami should be in all cases translated gods, will
be surprised to see what puerility, bathos, or grandiloquence, comes out
of an attempt to express a very simple, it may be humiliating,

[Footnote 15: Mythology and Religious Worship of the Japanese,
Westminster Review, July, 1878; Ancient Japanese Rituals, T.A.S.J.,
Vols. VII., IX.; Esoteric Shint[=o], by Percival Lowell, T.A.S.J, Vol.

[Footnote 16: Compare Sections IX. and XXIII. of the Kojiki.]

[Footnote 17: This indeed seems to be the substance of the modern
official expositions of Shint[=o] and the recent Rescripts of the
Emperor, as well as of much popular literature, including the
manifestoes or confessions found on the persons of men who have
"consecrated" themselves as "the instruments of Heaven for punishing the
wicked," i.e., assassinating obnoxious statesmen. See The Ancient
Religion, M.E., pp. 96-100; The Japan Mail, _passim_.]

[Footnote 18: Revival of Pure Shint[=o], pp. 25-38.]

[Footnote 19: Japanese Homes, by E.S. Morse, pp. 228-233, note, p. 832.]

[Footnote 20: Chamberlain's Aino Studies, p. 12.]

[Footnote 21: Geological Survey of Japan, by Benj. S. Lyman, 1878-9.]

[Footnote 22: The Shell Mounds of Omori; and The Tokio Times, Jan. 18,
1879, by Edward S. Morse; Japanese Fairy World, pp. I78, 191, 196.]

[Footnote 23: Kojiki, pp. 60-63.]

[Footnote 24: S. and H., pp. 58, 337, etc.]

[Footnote 25: This study in comparative religion by a Japanese, which
cost the learned author his professorship in the Tei-Koku Dai Gaku or
Imperial University (lit. Theocratic Country Great Learning Place), has
had a tendency to chill the ardor of native investigators. His paper was
first published in the Historical Magazine of the University, but the
wide publicity and popular excitement followed only after republication,
with comments by Mr. Taguchi, in the Keizai Zasshi (Economical Journal).
The Shint[=o]ists denounced Professor Kumi for "making our ancient
religion a branch of Christianity," and demanded and secured his
"retirement" by the Government. See Japan Mail, April 2, 1892, p. 440.]

[Footnote 26: T.A.S.J., Vol. XXI., p. 282.]

[Footnote 27: Kojiki, p. xxviii.]

[Footnote 28: For the use of salt in modern "Esoteric" Shint[=o], both
in purification and for employment as of salamandrine, see T.A.S.J., pp.
125, 128.]

[Footnote 29: In the official census of 1893, nine Shint[=o] sects are
named, each of which has its own Kwancho or Presiding Head, recognized
by the government. The sectarian peculiarities of Shint[=o] have been
made the subject of study by very few foreigners. Mr. Satow names the

The Yui-itsu sect was founded by Toshida Kane-tomo. His signature
appears as the end of a ten-volume edition, issued A.D. 1503, of the
liturgies extracted from the Yengishiki or Book of Ceremonial Law, first
published in the era of Yengi (or En-gi), A.D. 901-922. He is supposed
to be the one who added the _kana_, or common vernacular script letters,
to the Chinese text and thus made the norito accessible to the people.
The little pocket prayer-books, folded in an accordeon-like manner, are
very cheap and popular. The sect is regarded as heretical by strict
Shint[=o]ists, as the system Yuwiitsu consists "mainly of a Buddhist
superstructure on a Shint[=o] foundation." Yoshida applied the tenets of
the Shingon or True Word sect of Buddhists to the understanding and
practice of the ancient god-way.

The Suiga sect teaches a system which is a combination of Yuwiitsu and
of the modern philosophical form of Confucianism as elaborated by Chu
Hi, and known in Japan as the Tei-shu philosophy. The founder was
Yamazaki Ansai, who was born in 1618 and died in 1682. By combining the
forms of the Yoshida sect, which is based on the Buddhism of the Shingon
sect, with the materialistic philosophy of Chu Hi, he adapted the old
god-way to what he deemed modern needs.

In the Deguchi sect, the ancient belief is explained by the Chinese Book
of Changes (or Divination). Deguchi Nobuyoshi, the founder, was
god-warden or _kannushi_ of the Geiku or Outer Palace Temple at Ise. He
promulgated his views about the year 1660, basing them upon the book
called Eki by the Japanese and Yi-king by the Chinese. This Yi-king,
which Professor Terrien de Laeouporie declares is only a very ancient
book of pronunciation of comparative Accadian and Chinese Syllabaries,
has been the cause of incredible waste of labor, time, and brains in
China--enough to have diked the Yellow River or drained the swamps of
the Empire. It is the chief basis of Chinese superstition, and the
greatest literary barrier to the advance of civilization. It has also
made much mischief in Japan. Deguchi explained the myths of the age of
the gods by divination or eki, based on the Chinese books. As late as
1893 there was published in T[=o]ki[=o] a work in Japanese, with good
translation info English, on Scientific Morality, or the practical
guidance of life by means of divination--The Takashima Ekidan (or
Monograph on the Eki of Mr. Takashima), by S. Sugiura.

The Jikko sect, according to its representative at the World's
Parliament of Religions at Chicago, is "the practical." It lays stress
less upon speculation and ritual, and more upon the realization of the
best teachings of Shint[=o]. It was founded by Hasegawa Kakugi[=o], who
was born at Nagasaki in 1541. Living in a cave in Fuji-yama, "he
received inspiration through the miraculous power of the mountain." It
believes in one absolute Deity, often mentioned in the Kojiki, which,
self-originated, took the embodiment of two deities, one with the male
nature and the other female, though these two deities are nothing but
forms of the one substance and unite again in the absolute deity. These
gave birth to the Japanese Archipelago, the sun and moon, the mountains
and streams, the divine ancestors, etc. According to the teachings of
this sect, the peerless mountain, Fuji, ought to be reverenced as the
sacred abode of the divine lord, and as "the brains of the whole globe."
The believer must make Fuji the example and emblem of his thought and
action. He must be plain and simple, as the form of the mountain, making
his body and mind pure and serene, as Fuji itself. The present world
with all its practical works must be respected more than the future
world. We must pray for the long life of the country, lead a life of
temperance and diligence, cooperating with one another in doing good.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Statistics of Shint[=o]ism._

From the official Resume Statistique de l'Empire du Japon, 1894. In 1801
there were nine administrative heads of sects; 75,877 preachers,
priests, and shrine-keepers, with 1,158 male and 228 female students.
There were 163 national temples of superior rank and 136,652 shrines or
temples in cities and prefectures; a total of 193,153, served by 14,700
persons of the grade of priests. Most of the expenses, apart from
endowments and local contributions, are included in the first item of
the annual Treasury Budget, "Civil List, Appanage and Shint[=o]



[Footnote 1: "He was fond of saying that Princeton had never originated
a new idea; but this meant no more than that Princeton was the advocate
of historical Calvinism in opposition to the modified and provincial
Calvinism of a later day."--Francis L. Patton, in Schaff-Herzog
Encyclopaedia, Article on Charles Hodge.]

[Footnote 2: We use Dr. James Legge's spelling, by whom these classics
have been translated into English. See Sacred Books of the East, edited
by Max Mueller.]

[Footnote 3: The Canon or Four Classics has a somewhat varied literary
history of transmission, collection, and redaction, as well as of
exposition, and of criticism, both "lower" and "higher." As arranged
under the Han Dynasty (B.C. 206-A.D. 23) it consisted of--I. The
Commentary of Tso Kinming (a disciple who expounded Confucius's book,
The Annals of State of Lu); II. The Commentary of Kuh-liang upon the
same work of Confucius; III. The Old Text of the Book of History; IV.
The Odes, collected by Mao Chang, to whom is ascribed the test of the
Odes as handed down to the present day. The generally accepted
arrangement is that made by the mediaeval schoolmen of the Sung Dynasty
(A.D. 960-1341), Cheng Teh Sio and Chu Hi, in the twelfth century: I.
The Great Learning; II. The Doctrine of the Mean; III. Conversations of
Confucius; IV. The Sayings of Mencius.--C.R.M., pp. 306-309.]

[Footnote 4: See criticisms of Confucius as an author, in Legge's
Religions of China, pp. 144, 145.]

[Footnote 5: Religions of China, by James Legge, p. 140.]

[Footnote 6: See Article China, by the author, Cyclopaedia of Political
Science, Chicago, 1881.]

[Footnote 7: This subject is critically discussed by Messrs. Satow,
Chamberlain, and others in their writings on Shint[=o] and Japanese
history. On Japanese chronology, see Japanese Chronological Tables, by
William Bramsen, T[=o]ki[=o], 1880, and Dr. David Murray's Japan (p.
95), in the series Story of the Nations, New York.]

[Footnote 8: The absurd claim made by some Shint[=o]ists that the
Japanese possessed an original native alphabet called the Shingi
(god-letters) before the entrance of the Chinese or Buddhist learning in
Japan, is refuted by Aston, Japanese Grammar, p. 1; T.A.S.J., Vol. III.,
Appendix, p. 77. Mr. Satow shows "their unmistakable identity with the
Corean alphabet."]

[Footnote 9: For the life, work, and tombs of the Chinese scholars who
fled to Japan on the fall of the Ming Dynasty, see M.E., p. 298; and
Professor E.W. Clement's paper on The Tokugawa Princes of Mito,
T.A.S.J., Vol. XVIII., and his letters in The Japan Mail.]

[Footnote 10: "We have consecrated ourselves as the instruments of
Heaven for punishing the wicked man,"--from the document submitted to
the Yedo authorities, by the assassins of Ii Kamon no Kami, in Yedo,
March 23, 1861, and signed by seventeen men of the band. For numerous
other instances, see the voluminous literature of the Forty-seven
R[=o]nins, and the Meiji political literature (1868-1893), political and
historical documents, assassins' confessions, etc., contained in that
thesarus of valuable documents, The Japan Mail; Kinse Shiriaku, or Brief
History of Japan, 1853-1869, Yokohama, 1873, and Nihon Guaishi,
translated by Mr. Ernest Satow; Adams's History of Japan; T.A.S.J., Vol.
XX., p. 145; Life and Letters of Yokoi Heishiro; Life of Sir Harry
Parkes, London, 1893, etc., for proof of this assertion.]

[Footnote 11: For proof of this, as to vocabulary, see Professor B.H.
Chamberlain's Grammars and other philological works; Mr. J.H. Gubbins's
Dictionary of Chinese-Japanese Words, with Introduction, three vols.,
T[=o]ki[=o] 1892; and for change in structure, Rev. C. Munzinger, on The
Psychology of the Japanese Language in the Transactions of the Gorman
Asiatic Society of Japan. See also Mental Characteristics of the
Japanese, T.A.S.J., Vol. XIX., pp. 17-37.]

[Footnote 12: See The Ghost of Sakura, in Mitfoid's Tales of Old Japan,
Vol. II, p. 17.]

[Footnote 13: M.E., 277-280. See an able analysis of Japanese feudal
society, by M.F. Dickins, Life of Sir Harry Parkes, pp. 8-13; M.E., pp.

[Footnote 14: This subject is discussed in Professor Chamberlain's
works; Mr. Percival Lowell's The Soul of the Far East; Dr. M.L. Gordon's
An American Missionary in Japan; Dr. J.H. De Forest's The Influence of
Pantheism, in The Japan Evangelist, 1894.]

[Footnote 15: T.A.S.J., Vol. XVII., p. 96.]

[Footnote 16: The Forty Seven-R[=o]nins, Tales of Old Japan, Vol. I.;
Chiushiugura, by F.V. Dickens; The Loyal R[=o]nins, by Edward Greey;
Chiushiugura, translated by Enouye.]

[Footnote 17: See Dr. J.H. De Forest's article in the Andover Review,
May, June, 1893, p. 309. For details and instances, see the Japanese
histories, novels, and dramas; M.E.; Rein's Japan; S. and H.; T.A.S.J.,
etc. Life of Sir Harry Parkes, p. 11 _et passim_.]

[Footnote 18: M.E. pp. 180-192, 419. For the origin and meaning of
hara-kiri, see T.J., pp. 199-201; Mitford's Tales of Old Japan, Vol. I.,
Appendix; Adams's History of Japan, story of Shimadz[)u].]

[Footnote 19: M.E., p. 133.]

[Footnote 20: For light upon the status of the Japanese family, see F.O.
Adams's History of Japan, Vol. II., p. 384; Kinse Shiriaku, p. 137;
Naomi Tamura, The Japanese Bride, New York, 1893; E.H. House, Yone
Santo, A Child of Japan, Chicago, 1888; Japanese Girls and Women, by
Miss A.M. Bacon, Boston, 1891; T.J., Article Woman, and in Index,
Adoption, Children, etc.; M.E., 1st ed., p. 585; Marriage in Japan,
T.A.S.J., Vol. XIII., p. 114; and papers in the German Asiatic Society
of Japan.]

[Footnote 21: See Mr. F.W. Eastlake's papers in the Popular Science

[Footnote 22: See Life of Sir Harry Parkes, Vol. II, pp. 181-182. "It is
to be feared, however, that this reform [of the Yoshiwara system], like
many others in Japan, never got beyond paper, for Mr. Norman in his
recent book, The Real Japan [Chap. XII.], describes a scarcely modified
system in full vigor." See also Japanese Girls and Women, pp. 289-292.]

[Footnote 23: See Pung Kwang Yu's paper, read at the Parliament of
Religions in Chicago, and The Chinese as Painted by Themselves, by
Colonel Tcheng-Ki-Tong, New York and London, 1885. Dr. W.A.P. Martin's
scholarly book, The Chinese, New York, 1881, in the chapter Remarks on
the Ethical Philosophy of the Chinese, gives in English and Chinese a
Chart of Chinese Ethics in which the whole scheme of philosophy, ethics,
and self-culture is set forth.]

[Footnote 24: See an exceedingly clear, able, and accurate article on
The Ethics of Confucius as Seen in Japan, by the veteran scholar, Rev.
J.H. De Forest, The Andover Review, May, June, 1893. He is the authority
for the statements concerning non-attendance (in Old Japan) of the
husband at the wife's, and older brother at younger brother's funeral.]

[Footnote 25: A Japanese translation of Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures,
in a T[=o]ki[=o] morning newspaper "met with instant and universal
approval," showing that Douglas Jerrold's world-famous character has her
counterpart in Japan, where, as a Japanese proverb declares, "the tongue
three inches long can kill a man six feet high." Sir Edwin Arnold and
Mr. E.H. House, in various writings, have idealized the admirable traits
of the Japanese woman. See also Mr. Lafcadio Hearn's Glimpses of
Unfamiliar Japan, Boston, 1894; and papers (The Eternal Feminine, etc.),
in the Atlantic Monthly.]

[Footnote 26: Summary of the Japanese Penal Codes, T.A.S.J., Vol. V.,
Part II.; The Penal Code of Japan, and The Code of Criminal Procedure of
Japan, Yokohama.]

[Footnote 27: See T.A.S.J., Vol. XIII., p. 114; the Chapter on Marriage
and Divorce, in Japanese Girls and Women, pp. 57-84. The following
figures are from the Resume Statistique de L'Empire du Japon, published
annually by the Imperial Government:

        MARRIAGES.              DIVORCES.
        Number.  Per 1,000    Number.  Per 1,000
                 Persons.              Persons.

1887....334,149  8.55         110,859  2.84
1888....330,246  8.34         109,175  2.76
1889....340,445  8.50         107,458  2.68
1890....325,141  8.04         197,088  2.70
1891....352,051  8.00         112,411  2.76
1892....348,489  8.48         113,498  2.76

[Footnote 28: This was strikingly brought out in the hundreds of English
compositions (written by students of the Imperial University, 1872-74,
describing the home or individual life of students), examined and read
by the author.]

[Footnote 29: Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto--Heauton
Tomoroumenos, Act--, Scene 1, line 25, where Chremes inquires about his
neighbor's affairs. For the golden rule of Jesus and the silver rule of
Confucius, see Doolittle's Social Life of the Chinese.]

[Footnote 30: "What you do not want done to yourselves, do not do to
others." Legge, The Religions of China, p. 137; Doolittle's Social Life
of the Chinese; The Testament of Iyeyas[)u];, Cap. LXXI., translated by
J.C. Lowder, Yokohama, 1874.]

[Footnote 31: Die politische Bedeutung der amerikanischer Expedition
nach Japan, 1852, by Tetsutaro Yoshida, Heidelberg, 1893; The United
States and Japan (p. 39), by Inazo Nitobe, Baltimore, 1891; Matthew
Calbraith Perry, Chap. XXVIII.; T.J., Article Perry; Life and Letters of
S. Wells Williams, New York, 1889.]

[Footnote 32: See Life of Matthew Calbraith Perry, pp. 363, 364.]

[Footnote 33: Lee's Jerusalem Illustrated, p. 88.]



[Footnote 1: See On the Early History of Printing in Japan, by E.M.
Satow, T.A.S.J., Vol. X., pp. 1-83, 252-259; The Jesuit Mission Press in
Japan, by E.M. Satow (privately printed, 1888), and Review of this
monograph by Professor B.H. Chamberlain, T.A.S.J., Vol. XVII., pp.

[Footnote 2: The Tokugawa Princes of Mito, by Ernest W. Clement,
T.A.S.J., Vol. XVIII., pp. 1-24, and Letters in The Japan Mail, 1889.]

[Footnote 3: Effect of Buddhism on the Philosophy of the Sung Dynasty,
p. 318, Chinese Buddhism, by Rev. J. Edkins, Boston, 1880.]

[Footnote 4: C.R.M., p. 200; The Middle Kingdom, by S. Wells Williams,
Vol. II., p. 174.]

[Footnote 5: C.R.M., p. 34. He was the boy-hero, who smashed with a
stone the precious water-vase in order to save from drowning a playmate
who had tumbled in, so often represented in Chinese popular art.]

[Footnote 6: C.R.M., pp. 25-26; The Middle Kingdom, Vol. I., pp. 113,
540, 652-654, 677.]

[Footnote 7: This decade in Chinese history was astonishingly like that
of the United States from 1884 to 1894, in which the economical theories
advocated in certain journals, in the books Progress and Poverty,
Looking Backward, and by the Populists, have been so widely read and
discussed, and the attempts made to put them into practice. The Chinese
theorist of the eleventh century, Wang Ngan-shih was "a poet and author
of rare genius."--C.R.M., p. 244.]

[Footnote 8: John xxi. 25.]

[Footnote 9: This is the opinion of no less capable judges than Dr.
George Wm. Knox and Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain.]

[Footnote 10: The United States and Japan, pp. 25-27; Life of Takano
Choyei by Kato Sakaye, T[=o]ki[=o], 1888.]

[Footnote 11: Note on Japanese Schools of Philosophy, by T. Haga, and
papers by Dr. G.W. Knox, Dr. T. Inoue, T.A.S.J., Vol. XX, Part I.]

[Footnote 12: A religion, surely, with men like Yokoi Heishiro.]

[Footnote 13: See pp. 110-113.]

[Footnote 14: _Kinno_--loyalty to the Emperor; T.A.S.J., Vol. XX., p.

[Footnote 15: "Originally recognizing the existence of a Supreme
personal Deity, it [Confucianism] has degenerated into a pantheistic
medley, and renders worship to an impersonal _anima mundi_ under the
leading forms of visible nature."--Dr. W.A.P. Martin's The Chinese, p.

[Footnote 16: Ki, Ri, and Ten, Dr. George Wm. Knox, T.A.S.J., Vol. XX.,
pp. 155-177.]

[Footnote 17: T.J., p. 94.]

[Footnote 18: T.A.S.J., Vol. XX., p. 156.]

[Footnote 19: Matthew Calbraith Perry, p. 373; Japanese Life of Yoshida
Shoin, by Tokutomi, T[=o]ki[=o], 1894; Life of Sir Harry Parkes, Vol.
II., p. 83.]

[Footnote 20: "The Chinese accept Confucius in every detail, both as
taught by Confucius and by his disciples.... The Japanese recognize both
religions [Buddhism and Confucianism] equally, but Confucianism in Japan
has a direct bearing upon everything relating to human affairs,
especially the extreme loyalty of the people to the emperor, while the
Koreans consider it more useful in social matters than in any other
department of life, and hardly consider its precepts in their business
and mercantile relations."

"Although Confucianism is counted a religion, it is really a system of
sociology.... Confucius was a moralist and statesman, and his disciples
are moralists and economists."--Education in Korea, by Mr. Pom K. Soh,
of the Korean Embassy to the United States; Report of U.S. Commissioner
of Education, 1890-91, Vol. I., pp. 345-346.]

[Footnote 21: In Bakin, who is the great teacher of the Japanese by
means, of fiction, this is the idea always inculcated.]



[Footnote 1: See his Introduction to the Saddharma Pundarika, Sacred
Books of the East, and his Buddhismus.]

[Footnote 2: Origin and Growth of Religion as Illustrated by Buddhism;
Non-Christian Religious Systems--Buddhism.]

[Footnote 3: The sketch of Indian thought here following is digested
from material obtained from various works on Buddhism and from the
Histories of India. See the excellent monograph of Romesh Chunder Dutt,
in Epochs of Indian History, London and New York, 1893; and Outlines of
The Mahayana, as Taught by Buddha ("for circulation among the members of
the Parliament of Religions," and distributed in Chicago), Toki[=o],

[Footnote 4: Dyaus-Pitar, afterward _zeus pater_. See Century
Dictionary, Jupiter.]

[Footnote 5: Yoga is the root form of our word yoke, which at once
suggests the union of two in one. See Yoga, in The Century Dictionary.]

[Footnote 6: Dutt's History of India.]

[Footnote 7: The differences between the simple primitive narrative of
Gautama's experiences in attaining Buddhahood, and the richly
embroidered story current in later ages, may be seen by reading, first,
Atkinson's Prince Sidartha, the Japanese Buddha, and then Arnold's Light
of Asia. See also S. and H., Introduction, pp. 70-84, etc. Atkinson's
book is refreshing reading after the expurgation and sublimation of the
same theme in Sir Edwin Arnold's Light of Asia.]

[Footnote 8: Romesh Chunder Dutt's Ancient India, p. 100.]

[Footnote 9: Origin and Growth of Religion by T. Rhys Davids, p. 28.]

[Footnote 10: Job i. 6, Hebrew.]

[Footnote 11: Origin and Growth of Religion, p. 29.]

[Footnote 12: "Buddhism so far from tracing 'all things' to 'matter' as
their original, denies the reality of matter, but it nowhere denies the
reality of existence."--The Phoenix, Vol. I., p. 156.]

[Footnote 13: See A Year among the Persians, by Edward G. Browne,
London, 1893.]

[Footnote 14: Dutt's History of India, pp. 153-156. See also Mozoomdar's
The Spirit of God, p. 305. "Buddhism, though for a long time it
supplanted the parent system, was the fulfilment of the prophecy of
universal peace, which Hinduism had made; and when, in its turn, it was
outgrown by the instincts of the Aryans, it had to leave India indeed
forever, but it contributed quite as much to Indian religion as it had
ever borrowed."]

[Footnote 15: Korean Repository, Vol. I., pp. 101, 131, 153; Siebold's
Nippon, Archiv; Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Education, 1890-91,
Vol. I., p. 346; Dallet's Histoire de l'Eglise de Coree, Vol. 1.,
Introd., p. cxlv.; Corea, the Hermit Nation, p. 331.]

[Footnote 16: See Brian H. Hodgson's The Literature and History of the
Buddhists, in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, which is
epitomized in The Phoenix, Vol. I.; Beal's Buddhism in China, Chap. II.;
T. Rhys Davids's Buddhism, etc. To Brian Houghton Hodgson, (of whose
death at the ripe age of ninety-three years we read in Luzac's Oriental
List) more than to any one writer, are we indebted for our knowledge of
Northern or Mahayana Buddhism.]

[Footnote 17: See the very accurate, clear, and full definitions and
explanations in The Century Dictionary.]

[Footnote 18: This subject is fully discussed by Professor T. Rhys
Davids in his compact Manual of Buddhism.]

[Footnote 19: See Century Dictionary.]

[Footnote 20: Jap. Mon-ju. One of the most famous images of this
Bodhisattva is at Zenko-ji, Nagano. See Kern's Saddharma Pundarika, p.
8, and the many referents to Manjusri in the Index. That Manjusri was
the legendary civilizer of Nepaul seems probable from the following
extract from Brian Hodgson: "The Swayambhu Purana relates in substance
as follows: That formerly the valley of Nepaul was of circular form, and
full of very deep water, and that the mountains confining it were
clothed with the densest forests, giving shelter to numberless birds and
beasts. Countless waterfowl rejoiced in the waters....

"... Vipasyi, having thrice circumambulated the lake, seated himself in
the N.W. (Vayubona) side of it, and, having repeated several mantras
over the root of a lotos, he threw it into the water, exclaiming, 'What
time this root shall produce a flower, then, from out of the flower,
Swayambhu, the Lord of Agnishtha Bhuvana, shall be revealed in the form
of flame; and then shall the lake become a cultivated and populous
country.' Having repeated these words, Vipasyi departed. Long after the
date of this prophecy, it was fulfilled according to the letter....

"... When the lake was dessicated (by the sword of Manjusri says the
myth--probably earthquake) Karkotaka had a fine tank built for him to
dwell in; and there he is still worshipped, also in the cave-temple
appendant to the great Buddhist shrine of Swayambhu Nath....

"... The Bodhisatwa above alluded to is Manju Sri, whose native place is
very far off, towards the north, and is called Pancha Sirsha Parvata
(which is situated in Maha China Des). After the coming of Viswabhu
Buddha to Naga Vasa, Manju Sri, meditating upon what was passing in the
world, discovered by means of his divine science that
Swayambhu-jyotirupa, that is, the self-existent, in the form of flame,
was revealed out of a lotos in the lake of Naga Vasa. Again, he
reflected within himself: 'Let me behold that sacred spot, and my name
will long be celebrated in the world;' and on the instant, collecting
together his disciples, comprising a multitude of the peasantry of the
land, and a Raja named Dharmakar, he assumed the form of Viswakarma, and
with his two Devis (wives) and the persons above-mentioned, set out upon
the long journey from Sirsha Parvata to Naga Vasa. There having arrived,
and having made puja to the self-existent, he began to circumambulate
the lake, beseeching all the while the aid of Swayambhu in prayer. In
the second circuit, when he had reached the central barrier mountain to
the south, he became satisfied that that was the best place whereat to
draw off the waters of the lake. Immediately he struck the mountain with
his scimitar, when the sundered rock gave passage to the waters, and the
bottom of the lake became dry. He then descended from the mountain, and
began to walk about the valley in all directions."--The Phoenix, Vol.
II., pp. 147-148.]

[Footnote 21: Jap. Kwannon, god or goddess of mercy, in his or her
manifold forms, Thousand-handed, Eleven-faced, Horse-headed, Holy, etc.]

[Footnote 22: Or, The Lotus of the Good Law, a mystical name for the
cosmos. "The good law is made plain by flowers of rhetoric." See Bernouf
and Kern's translations, and Edkin's Chinese Buddhism, pp. 43, 214.
Translations of this work, so influential in Japanese Buddhism, exist in
French, German, and English. See Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XXI., by
Professor H. Kern, of Leyden University. In the Introduction, p. xxxix.,
the translator discusses age, authorship, editions, etc. Bunyiu Nanjio's
Short History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects, pp. 132-134. Beal
in his Catena of Buddhist Scriptures, pp. 389-396, has translated
Chapter XXIV.]

[Footnote 23: At the great Zenk[=o]ji, a temple of the Tendai sect, at
Nagano, Japan, dedicated to three Buddhist divinities, one of whom is
Kwannon (Avalokitesvara, the rafters of the vast main hall are said to
number 69,384, in reference to the number of Chinese characters
contained in the translation of the Saddharma Pundarika.]

[Footnote 24: "The third (collection of the Tripitaka) was ... made by
Manjusri and Maitreya. This is the collection of the Mahayana books.
Though it is as clear or bright as the sun at midday yet the men of the
Hinayana are not ashamed of their inability to know them and speak evil
of them instead, just as the Confucianists call Buddhism a law of
barbarians, without reading the Buddhist books at all."--B.N., p. 51.]

[Footnote 25: See the writings of Brian Hodgson, J. Edkins, E.J. Eitel,
S. Beal, T. Rhys Davids, Bunyiu Nanjio, etc.]

[Footnote 26: See Chapter VIII. in T. Rhys Davids's Buddhism, a book of
great scholarship and marvellous condensation.]

[Footnote 27: Davids's Buddhism, p. 206. Other illustrations of the
growth of the dogmas of this school of Buddhism we select from Brian
Hodgson's writings.

1. The line of division between God and man, and between gods and man,
was removed by Buddhism.

"Genuine Buddhism never seems to contemplate any measures of acceptance
with the deity; but, overleaping the barrier between finite and infinite
mind, urges its followers to aspire by their own efforts to that divine
perfectibility of which it teaches that man is capable, and by attaining
which man becomes God--and thus is explained both the quiescence of the
imaginary celestial, and the plenary omnipotence of the real Manushi
Buddhas--thus, too, we must account for the fact that genuine Buddhism
has no priesthood; the saint despises the priest; the saint scorns the
aid of mediators, whether on earth or in heaven; 'conquer (exclaims the
adept or Buddha to the novice or BodhiSattwa)--conquer the importunities
of the body, urge your mind to the meditation of abstraction, and you
shall, in time, discover the great secret (Sunyata) of nature: know
this, and you become, on the instant, whatever priests have feigned of
Godhead--you become identified with Prajna, the sum of all the power and
all the wisdom which sustain and govern the world, and which, as they
are manifested out of matter, must belong solely to matter; not indeed
in the gross and palpable state of pravritti, but in the archetypal and
pure state of nirvritti. Put off, therefore, the vile, pravrittika
necessities of the body, and the no less vile affections of the mind
(Tapas); urge your thought into pure abstraction (Dhyana), and then, as
assuredly you can, so assuredly you shall, attain to the wisdom of a
Buddha (Bodhijnana), and become associated with the eternal unity and
rest of nirvritti.'"--The Phoenix, Vol. I., p. 194.

2. A specimen of "esoteric" and "exoteric" Buddhism;--the Buddha

"And as the wisdom of man is, in its origin, but an effluence of the
Supreme wisdom (_Prajna_) of nature, so is it perfected by a refluence
to its source, but without loss of individuality; whence Prajna is
feigned in the exoteric system to be both the mother and the wife of all
the Buddhas, '_janani sarva Buddkanam_,' and '_Jina-sundary_;' for the
efflux is typified by a birth, and the reflux by a marriage.

"The Buddha is the adept in the wisdom of Buddhism (_Bodhijnana_) whose
first duty, so long as he remains on earth, is to communicate his wisdom
to those who are willing to receive it. These willing learners are the
'Bodhisattwas,' so called from their hearts being inclined to the wisdom
of Buddhism, and 'Sanghas,' from their companionship with one another,
and with their Buddha or teacher, in the _Viharas_ or coenobitical

"And such is the esoteric interpretation of the third (and inferior)
member of the Prajniki Triad. The Bodhisattwa or Sangha continues to be
such until he has surmounted the very last grade of that vast and
laborious ascent by which he is instructed that he can 'scale the
heavens,' and pluck immortal wisdom from its resplendent source: which
achievement performed, he becomes a Buddha, that is, an Omniscient
Being, and a _Tathagata_--a title implying the accomplishment of that
gradual increase in wisdom by which man becomes immortal or ceases to be
subject to transmigration."--The Phoenix, Vol. I., pp. 194, 195.

3. Is God all, or is all God?

"What that grand secret, that ultimate truth, that single reality, is,
whether all is God, or God is all, seems to be the sole _proposition_ of
the oriental philosophic religionists, who have all alike sought to
discover it by taking the high _priori_ road. That God is all, appears
to be the prevalent dogmatic determination of the Brahmanists; that all
is God, the preferential but sceptical solution of the _Buddhists_; and,
in a large view, I believe it would be difficult to indicate any further
essential difference between their theoretic systems, both, as I
conceive, the unquestionable growth of the Indian soil, and both founded
upon transcendental speculation, conducted in the very same style and
manner."--The Phoenix, Vol. II., p. 45.

4. Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

"In a philosophical light, the precedence of Buddha or of Dharma
indicates the theistic or atheistic school. With the former, Buddha is
intellectual essence, the efficient cause of all, and underived. Dharma
is material essence, the plastic cause, and underived, a co-equal
biunity with Buddha; or else the plastic cause, as before, but dependent
and derived from Buddha. Sangha is derived from, and compounded of,
Buddha, and Dharma, is their collective energy in the state of action;
the immediate operative cause of creation, its type or its agent. With
the latter or atheistic schools, Dharma is _Diva natura_, matter as the
sole entity, invested with intrinsic activity and intelligence, the
efficient and material cause of all.

"Buddha is derivative from Dharma, is the active and intelligent force
of nature, first put off from it and then operating upon it. Sangha is
the _result_ of that operation; is embryotic creation, the type and sum
of all specific forms, which are spontaneously evolved from the union of
Buddha with Dharma."--The Phoenix, Vol. II., p. 12.

5. The mantra or sacred sentence best known in the Buddhadom and abroad.

"_Amitabha_ is the fourth _Dhyani_ or celestial _Budda: Padma-pani_ his
_AEon_ and executive minister. _Padma-pani_ is the _praesens Divus_ and
creator of the _existing_ system of worlds. Hence his identification
with the third member of the _Triad_. He is figured as a graceful youth,
erect, and bearing in either hand a _lotos_ and a jewel. The last
circumstance explains the meaning of the celebrated _Shadakshari
Mantra_, or six-lettered invocation of him, viz., _Om! Manipadme hom!_
of which so many corrupt versions and more corrupt interpretations have
appeared from Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian, and other sources. The
_mantra_ in question is one of three, addressed to the several members
of the _Triad_. 1. _Om sarva vidye hom_. 2. _Om Prajnaye hom_. 3. _Om
mani-padme hom_. 1. The mystic triform Deity is in the all-wise
(Buddha). 2. The mystic triform Deity is in Prajna (Dharma). 3. The
mystic triform Deity is in him of the jewel and lotos (Sangha). But the
praesens Divus, whether he be Augustus or _Padma-pani_, is everything
with the many. Hence the notoriety of this _mantra_, whilst the others
are hardly ever heard of, and have thus remained unknown to our
travellers."--The Phoenix, Vol. II., p. 64.]

[Footnote 28: "Nine centuries after Buddha, Maitreya (Miroku or Ji-shi)
came down from the Tushita heaven to the lecture-hall in the kingdom of
Ayodhya (A-ya-sha) in Central India, at the request of the Bodhisattva
Asamga (Mu-jaku) and discoursed five Sastras, 1, Yoga-karya-bhumi-sastra
(Yu-ga-shi-ji-ron), etc.... After that, the two great Sastra teachers,
Asanga and Vasubandhu (Se-shin), who were brothers, composed many
Sastras (Ron) and cleared up the meaning of the Mahayana" (or Greater
Vehicle, canon of Northern Buddhism).--B.N., p. 32.]

[Footnote 29: Buddhism, T. Rhys Davids, pp. 206-211.]

[Footnote 30: Prayer-wheels in Japan are used by the Tendai and Shingon
sects, but without written prayers attached, and rather as an
illustration of the doctrine of cause and effect (ingwa); the prayers
being usually offered to Jizo the merciful.--S. and H., p. 29; T. J., p.

[Footnote 31: For this see Edkins's Chinese Buddhism; Eitel's Three
Lectures, and Hand-book; Rev. S. Beal's Buddhism, and A Catena of
Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese; The Romantic Legend of Sakya
Buddha, from the Chinese; Texts from the Buddhist canon commonly known
as the Dhammapeda; Notes on Buddhist Words and Phrases, the
Chrysanthemum, Vol. I.; The Phoenix, Vols. I-III.

See, also, a spirited sketch of Ancient Japan, by Frederick Victor
Dickins, in the Life of Sir Harry Parkes, Vol. II., pp. 4-14.]

[Footnote 32: S. and H., pp. 289, 293; Chamberlain's Hand-book for
Japan, p. 220; Summer's Notes on Osaka, T.A.S.J., Vol. VIL, p. 382;
Buddhism, and Traditions Concerning its Introduction into Japan,
T.A.S.J., Vol. XIV., p. 78.]

[Footnote 33: S. and H., p. 344.]

[Footnote 34: T.J., p. 73.]

[Footnote 35: Vairokana is the first or chief of the five
personifications of Wisdom, and in Japan the idol is especially
noticeable in the temples of the Tendai sect.--"The Action of Vairokana,
or the great doctrine of the highest vehicle of the secret union," etc.,
B.N., p. 75.]

[Footnote 36: S. and H., p. 390; B.N., p. 29.]

[Footnote 37: "Hinduism stands for philosophic spirituality and emotion,
Buddhism for ethics and humanity, Christianity for fulness of God's
incarnation in man, while Mohammedanism is the champion of
uncompromising monotheism."--F.P.C. Mozoomdar's The Spirit of God,
Boston, 1894, p. 305.]



[Footnote 1: Is not something similar frankly attempted in Rev. Dr.
Joseph Edkins's The Early Spread of Religious Ideas in the Far East
(London, 1893)?]

[Footnote 2: M.E., p. 252; Honda the Samurai, pp. 193-194.]

[Footnote 3: See The Lily Among Thorns, A Study of the Biblical Drama
Entitled the Song of Songs (Boston 1890), in which this subject is
glanced at.]

[Footnote 4: See The Religion of Nepaul, Buddhist Philosophy, and the
writings of Brian Hodgson in The Phoenix, Vols. I., II., III.]

[Footnote 5: See Century Dictionary, Yoga; Edkins's Chinese Buddhism,
pp. 169-174; T. Rhys Davids's Buddhism, pp. 206-211; Index of B.N.,
under Vagrasattwa; S. and H., pp. 85-87.]

[Footnote 6: T.J., p. 226; Kojiki, Introduction.]

[Footnote 7: See in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1893, a
very valuable paper by Mr. L.A. Waddell, on The Northern Buddhist
Mythology, epitomized in the Japan Mail, May 5, 1894.]

[Footnote 8: See Catalogue of Chinese and Japanese Paintings in the
British Museum, and The Pictorial Arts of Japan, by William Anderson,

[Footnote 9: Anderson's Catalogue, p. 24.]

[Footnote 10: S. and H., p. 415; Chamberlain's Hand-book for Japan;
T.J.; M.E., p. 162, etc.]

[Footnote 11: The names of Buddhist priests and monks are usually
different from those of the laity, being taken from events in the life
of Gautama, or his original disciples, passages in the sacred classics,
etc. Among some personal acquaintances in the Japanese priesthood were
such names as Lift-the-Kettle, Take-Hold-of-the-Dipper,
Drivelling-Drunkard, etc. In the raciness, oddity, literalness, realism,
and close connection of their names with the scriptures of their system,
the Buddhists quite equal the British Puritans.]

[Footnote 12: Kern's Saddharma-Pundarika, pp. 311, 314; Davids's
Buddhism p. 208; The Phoenix, Vol. I., p. 169; S. and H., p. 502; Du
Bose's Dragon, Demon, and Image, p. 407; Fuso Mimi Bukuro, p. 134;
Hough's Corean Collections, Washington, 1893, p. 480, plate xxviii.]

[Footnote 13: Japan in History, Folk-lore and Art, pp. 86, 80-88; A
Japanese Grammar, by J.J. Hoffman, p. 10; T.J., pp. 465-470.]

[Footnote 14: This is the essence of Buddhism, and was for centuries
repeated and learned by heart throughout the empire:

  "Love and enjoyment disappear,
    What in our world endureth here?
  E'en should this day it oblivion be rolled,
    'Twas only a vision that leaves me cold."

[Footnote 15: This legend suggests the mediaeval Jewish story, that
Ezra, the scribe, could write with five pens at once; Hearn's Glimpses
of Unfamiliar Japan, pp. 29-33.]

[Footnote 16: Brave Little Holland, and What She Taught Us, p. 124.]

[Footnote 17: T.J., pp. 75, 342; Chamberlain's Hand-book for Japan, p.
41; M.E., p. 162.]

[Footnote 18: T.A.S.J., Vol. II., p. 101; S. and H., p. 176.]

[Footnote 19: It was for lifting with his walking-stick the curtain
hanging before the shrine of this Kami that Arinori Mori, formerly
H.I.J.M. Minister at Washington and London, was assassinated by a
Shint[=o] fanatic, February 11, 1889; T. J., p. 229; see Percival
Lowell's paper in the Atlantic Monthly.]

[Footnote 20: See Mr. P. Lowell's Esoteric Shint[=o], T.A.S.J., Vol.
XXI, pp. 165-167, and his "Occult Japan."]

[Footnote 21: S. and H., Japan, p. 83.]

[Footnote 22: See the Author's Introduction to the Arabian Nights'
Entertainments, Boston, 1891.]

[Footnote 23: B.N., Index and pp. 78-103; Edkins's Chinese Buddhism, p.

[Footnote 24: Satow's or Chamberlain's Guide-books furnish hundreds of
other instances, and describe temples in which the renamed kami are

[Footnote 25: S. and H., p. 70.]

[Footnote 26: M.E., pp. 187, 188; S. and H., pp. 11, 12.]

[Footnote 27: San Kai Ri (Mountain, Sea, and Land). This work,
recommended to me by a learned Buddhist priest in Fukui, I had
translated and read to me by a Buddhist of the Shin Shu sect. In like
manner, even Christian writers in Japan have occasionally endeavored to
rationalize the legends of Shint[=o], see Kojiki, p. liii., where Mr. T.
Goro's Shint[=o] Shin-ron is referred to. I have to thank my friend Mr.
C. Watanabe, of Cornell University, for reading to me Mr. Takahashi's
interesting but unconvincing monographs on Shint[=o] and Buddhism.]

[Footnote 28: T.J., p. 402; Some Chinese Ghosts, by Lafcadio Hearn, p.

[Footnote 29: S. and H., Japan, p. 397; Classical Poetry of the
Japanese, p. 201, note.]

[Footnote 30: The Japanese word Ry[=o] means both, and is applied to the
eyes, ears, feet, things correspondent or in pairs, etc.; _bu_ is a term
for a set, kind, group, etc.]

[Footnote 31: Rein, p. 432; T.A.S.J., Vol. XXI., pp. 241-270; T.J., p.

[Footnote 32: The Chrysanthemum, Vol. I., p. 401.]

[Footnote 33: Even the Taketori Monogatari (The Bamboo Cutter's
Daughter), the oldest and the best of the Japanese classic romances is
(at least in the text and form now extant) a warp of native ideas with a
woof of Buddhist notions.]

[Footnote 34: Mr. Percival Lowell argues, in Esoteric Shint[=o],
T.A.S.J., Vol. XXI., that besides the habit of pilgrimages,
fire-walking, and god-possession, other practices supposed to be
Buddhistic are of Shint[=o] origin.]

[Footnote 35: The native literature illustrating Riy[=o]buism is not
extensive. Mr. Ernest Satow in the American Cyclopaedia (Japan:
Literature) mentions several volumes. The Tenchi Reiki Noko, in eighteen
books contains a mixture of Buddhism and Shint[=o], and is ascribed by
some to Sh[=o]toku and by others to K[=o]b[=o], but now literary critics
ascribe these, as well as the books Jimbetsuki and Tenshoki, to be
modern forgeries by Buddhist priests. The Kogoshiui, written in A.D.
807, professes to preserve fragments of ancient tradition not recorded
in the earlier books, but the main object is that which lies at the
basis of a vast mass of Japanese literature, namely, to prove the
author's own descent from the gods. The Yuiitsu Shint[=o] Miyoho Yoshiu,
in two volumes, is designed to prove that Shint[=o] and Buddhism are
identical in their essence. Indeed, almost all the treatises on
Shint[=o] before the seventeenth century maintained this view. Certain
books like the Shint[=o] Shu, for centuries popular, and well received
even by scholars, are now condemned on account of their confusion of the
two religions. One of the most interesting works which we have found is
the San Kai Ri, to which reference has been made.]

[Footnote 36: T.J., p. 224.]

[Footnote 37: "Human life is but fifty years," Japanese Proverb; M.E.,
p. 107.]

[Footnote 38: Chamberlain's Classical Poetry of the Japanese, p. 130.]

[Footnote 39: S. and H., p. 416.]

[Footnote 40: Things Chinese, by J. Dyer Ball, p. 70; see also Edkins
and Eitel.]

[Footnote 41: The Japan Weekly Mail of April 28, 1893, translating and
condensing an article from the Bukky[=o], a Buddhist newspaper, gives
the results of a Japanese Buddhist student's tour through China--"Taoism
prevails everywhere.... Buddhism has decayed and is almost dead."]

[Footnote 42: Vaisramana is a Deva who guarded, praised, fed with
heavenly food, and answered the questions of the Chinese D[=o]-sen
(608-907 A.D.) who founded the Risshu or Vinaya sect.--B.N., p. 25.]

[Footnote 43: Anderson, Catalogue, pp. 29-45.]

[Footnote 44: Some of those are pictured in Aime Humbert's Japon
Illustre, and from the same pictures reproduced by electro-plates which,
from Paris, have transmigrated for a whole generation through the
cheaper books on Japan, in every European language.]



[Footnote 1: On the Buddhist canon, see the writings of Beal, Spence
Hardy, T. Rhys Davids, Bunyiu Nanjio, etc.]

[Footnote 2: Edkins's Chinese Buddhism, pp. 43, 108, 214; Classical
Poetry of the Japanese, p. 173.]

[Footnote 3: See T.A.S.J., Vol. XIX., Part I., pp. 17-37; The Soul of
the Far East; and the writings of Chamberlain, Aston, Dickins,
Munzinger, etc.]

[Footnote 4: Much of the information as to history and doctrine
contained in this chapter has been condensed from Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio's A
Short History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects, translated out of
the Japanese into English. This author, besides visiting the old seats
of the faith in China, studied Sanskrit at Oxford with Professor Max
Mueller, and catalogued in English the Tripitaka or Buddhist canon of
China and Japan, sent to England by the ambassador Iwakura. The nine
reverend gentlemen who wrote the chapters and introduction of the Short
History are Messrs. K[=o]-ch[=o] Ogurusu, and Shu-Zan Emura of the Shin
sect; Rev. Messrs. Sh[=o]-hen Ueda, and Dai-ryo Takashi, of the Shin-gon
Sect; Rev. Messrs. Gy[=o]-kai Fukuda, Keu-k[=o] Tsuji, Renj[=o]
Akamatsu, and Ze-jun Kobayashi of the J[=o]-d[=o], Zen, Shin, and
Nichiren sects, respectively. Though execrably printed, and the English
only tolerable, the work is invaluable to the student of Japanese
Buddhism. It has a historical introduction and a Sanskrit-Chinese Index,
1 vol., pp. 172, T[=o]ki[=o], 1887. Substantially the same work,
translated into French, is Le Bouddhisme Japonais, by Ryauon Fujishima,
Paris, 1889. Satow and Hawes's Hand-book for Japan has brief but
valuable notes in the Introduction, and, like Chamberlain's continuation
of the same work, is a storehouse of illustrative matter. Edkine's and
Eitel's works on Chinese Buddhism have been very helpful.]

[Footnote 5: M. Abel Remusat published a translation of a Chinese
Pilgrim's travels in 1836; M. Stanislais Julien completed his volume on
Hiouen Thsang in 1858; and in 1884 Rev. Samuel Beal issued his Travels
of Fah-Hian and Sung-Yun, Buddhist Pilgrims from China to India (400
A.D. and 518 A.D.). The latter work contains a map.]

[Footnote 6: B.N., p. 3.]

[Footnote 7: B.N., p. 11.]

[Footnote 8: Three hundred and twenty million years. See Century

[Footnote 9: See the paper of Rev. Sh[=o]-hen Ueda of the Shingon sect,
in B.N., pp. 20-31; and R. Fujishima's Le Bouddhisme Japonais, pp. xvi.,
xvii., from which most of the information here given has been derived.]

[Footnote 10: M.E., p. 383; S. and H., pp. 23, 30. The image of Binzuru
is found in many Japanese temples to-day, a famous one being at Asakusa,
in T[=o]ki[=o]. He is the supposed healer of all diseases. The image
becomes entirely rubbed smooth by devotees, to the extinguishment of all
features, lines, and outlines.]

[Footnote 11: Davids's Buddhism, pp. 180, 200; S. and H., pp. (87) 389,

[Footnote 12: B.N., pp. 32-43.]

[Footnote 13: B.N., pp. 44-56.]

[Footnote 14: Japanese Fairy World, p. 282; Anderson's Catalogue, pp.

[Footnote 15: B.N., p. 62.]

[Footnote 16: Pfoundes, Fuso Mimi Bukuro, p. 102.]

[Footnote 17: B.N., p. 58. See also The Monist for January, 1894, p.

[Footnote 18: "Tien Tai, a spot abounding in Buddhist antiquities, the
earliest, and except Puto the largest and richest seat of that religion
in eastern China. As a monastic establishment it dates from the fourth
century."--Edkins's Chinese Buddhism, pp. 137-142.]

[Footnote 19: S. and H., p. 87. See the paper read at the Parliament of
Religions by the Zen bonze Ashitsu of Hiyeisan, the poem of Right
Reverend Shaku Soyen, and the paper on The Fundamental Teachings of
Buddhism, in The Monist for January, 1894; Japan As We Saw It, p. 297.]

[Footnote 20: See Century Dictionary, _mantra_.]

[Footnote 21: See Chapter XX. Ideas and Symbols in Japan: in History,
Folk-lore, and Art. Buddhist tombs (go-rin) consist of a cube (earth),
sphere (water), pyramid (fire), crescent (wind), and flame-shaped stone
(ether), forming the go-rin or five-blossom tomb, typifying the five

[Footnote 22: B.N., p. 78.]

[Footnote 23: To put this dogma into intelligible English is, as Mr.
Satow says, more difficult than to comprehend the whole doctrine, hard
as that may be. "Dai Nichi Ni-yorai (Vairokana) is explained to be the
collectivity of all sentient beings, acting through the mediums of
Kwan-non, Ji-z[=o], Mon-ju, Shaka, and other influences which are
popularly believed to be self-existent deities." In the diagram called
the eight-leaf enclosure, by which the mysteries of Shingon are
explained, Maha-Vairokana is in the centre, and on the eight petals are
such names as Amitabha, Manjusri, Maitreya, and Avalokitesvara; in a
word, all are purely speculative beings, phantoms of the brain, the
mushrooms of decayed Brahmanism, and the mould of primitive Buddhism
disintegrated by scholasticism.]

[Footnote 24: S. and H., p. 31.]

[Footnote 25: B.N., p. 115.]

[Footnote 26: Here let me add that in my studies of oriental and ancient
religion, I have never found one real Trinity, though triads, or
tri-murti, are common. None of these when carefully analyzed yield the
Christian idea of the Trinity.]



[Footnote 1: Tathagata is one of the titles of the Buddha, meaning "thus
come," i.e., He comes bringing human nature as it truly is, with perfect
knowledge and high intelligence, and thus manifests himself. Amitabha is
the Sanskrit of Amida, or the deification of boundless light.]

[Footnote 2: B.N., p. 104.]

[Footnote 3: Literally, I yield to, or I adore the Boundless or the
Immeasurable Buddha.]

[Footnote 4: A Chinese or Japanese volume is much smaller than the
average printed volume in Europe.]

[Footnote 5: Legacy of Iyeyas[)u], Section xxviii. Doctrinally, this
famous document, written probably long after Iyeyas[)u]'s death and
canonization as a _gongen_, is a mixture or _Riy[=o]bu_ of Confucianism
and Buddhism.]

[Footnote 6: At first glance a forcible illustration, since the Japanese
proverb declares that "A sea-voyage is an inch of hell." And yet the
original saying of Ry[=u]-ju, now proverbial in Buddhadom, referred to
the ease of sailing over the water, compared with the difficulty of
surmounting the obstacles of land travel in countries not yet famous for
good roads. See B.N., p. 111.]

[Footnote 7: Fuso Mimi Bukuro, p. 108; Descriptive Notes on the Rosaries
as used by the different Sects of Buddhists in Japan, T.A.S.J., Vol.
IX., pp. 173-182.]

[Footnote 8: B.N., p. 122.]

[Footnote 9: S. and H., p. 361.]

[Footnote 10: S. and H., pp. 90-92; Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, Vol. II.,
pp. 242-253.]

[Footnote 11: These three sutras are those most in favor with the
J[=o]-d[=o] sect also, they are described, B.N., 104-106, and their
tenets are referred to on pp. 260, 261.]

[Footnote 12: For modern statements of Shin tenets and practices, see
E.J. Reed's Japan, Vol. I., pp. 84-86; The Chrysanthemum, April, 1881,
pp. 109-115; Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, Vol. II., 242-246; B.N., 122-131.
Edkins's Religion in China, p. 153. The Chrysanthemum, April, 1881, p.

[Footnote 13: S. and H., p. 361; B.N., pp. 105, 106. Toward the end of
the Amitayus-dhyana sutra, Buddha says: "Let not one's voice cease, but
ten times complete the thought, and repeat Namo'mit[=a]bh[=a]ya
Buddh[=a]ya (Namu Amida Butsu) or adoration to Amitb[=a]ha Buddha."]

[Footnote 14: M.E., pp. 164-166.]

[Footnote 15: Schaff's Encyclopaedia, Article, Buddhism.]

[Footnote 16: On the Tenets of the Shin Shiu, or "True Sect" of
Buddhists, T.A.S.J., Vol. XIV., p. 1.]

[Footnote 17: The Gobunsho, or Ofumi, of Renny[=o] Sh[=o]nin, T.A.S.J.,
Vol. XVII., pp. 101-143.]

[Footnote 18: At the gorgeous services in honor of the founder of the
great Higashi Hongwanji Western Temple of the Original Vow at Asakusa,
T[=o]ki[=o], November 21 to 28, annually, the women attend wearing a
head-dress called "horn-hider," which seems to have been named in
allusion to a Buddhist text which says: "A woman's exterior is that of a
saint, but her heart is that of a demon."--Chamberlain's Hand-book for
Japan, p. 82; T.A.S.J., Vol. XVII., pp. 106, 141; Sacred Books of the
East, Vol. XXI., pp. 251-254.]

[Footnote 19: Review of Buddhist Texts from Japan, The Nation, No. 875,
April 6, 1882. "The _Mah[=a]y[=a]na_ or Great Vehicle (we might fairly
render it 'highfalutin') school.... Filled as these countries (Tibet,
China, Japan) are with Buddhist monasteries, and priests, and nominal
adherents, and abounding in voluminous translations of the Sanskrit
Buddhistic literature, little understood and wellnigh unintelligible
(for neither country has had the independence and mental force to
produce a literature of its own, or to add anything but a chapter of
decay to the history of this religion)...."]

[Footnote 20: M.E., pp. 164, 165; B.N., pp. 132-147; Mitford's Tales of
Old Japan, Vol. II., pp. 125-134.]



[Footnote 1: T.J., p. 71. Further illustrations of this statement may be
found in his Classical Poetry of the Japanese, especially in the
Selection and Appendices of this book; also in T.R.H. McClatchie's
Japanese Plays (Versified), London, 1890.]

[Footnote 2: See Introduction to the Kojiki, pp. xxxii.-xxxiv., and in
Bakin's novel illustrating popular Buddhist beliefs, translated by
Edward Greey, A Captive of Love, Boston, 1886.]

[Footnote 3: See jade in Century Dictionary; "Magatama, so far as I am
aware, do not ever appear to have been found in shell heaps" (of the
aboriginal Ainos), Milne's Notes on Stone Implements, T.A.S.J., Vol.
VIII., p. 71.]

[Footnote 4: Concerning this legendary, and possibly mythical, episode,
which has so powerfully influenced Japanese imagination and politics,
see T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI., Part I., pp. 39-75; M.E., pp. 75-85.]

[Footnote 5: See Corea, the Hermit Nation, pp. 1, 2; Persian Elements in
Japanese Legends, T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI., Part I, pp. 1-10; Journal of the
Royal Asiatic Society, January, 1894. Rein's book, The Industries of
Japan, points out, as far as known, the material debt to India. Some
Japanese words like _beni-gari_ (Bengal) or rouge show at once their
origin. The mosaic of stories in the Taektori Monogatari, an allegory in
exquisite literary form, illustrating the Buddhist dogma of Ingwa, or
law of cause and effect, and written early in the ninth century, is made
up of Chinese-Indian elements. See F.V. Dickins's translation and notes
in Journal of the Royal Oriental Society, Vol. XIX., N.S. India was the
far off land of gems, wonders, infallible drugs, roots, etc.; Japanese
Fairy World, p. 137.]

[Footnote 6: M.E., Chap. VIII.; Klaproth's Annales des Empereurs du
Japon (a translation of Nippon 0 Dai Ichi Ran); Rein's Japan, p. 224.]

[Footnote 7: See Klaproth's Annales, _passim_. S. and H. p. 85. Bridges
are often symbolical of events, classic passages in the shastras and
sutras, or are antetypes of Paradisaical structures. The ordinary native
_hashi_ is not remarkable as a triumph of the carpenter's art, though
some of the Japanese books mention and describe in detail some
structures that are believed to be astonishing.]

[Footnote 8: Often amusingly illustrated, M.E., p. 390. A translation
into Japanese of Goethe's Reynard the Fox is among the popular works of
the day. "Strange to say, however, the Japanese lose much of the
exquisite humor of this satire in their sympathy with the woes of the
maltreated wolf."--The Japan Mail. This sympathy with animals grows
directly out of the doctrine of metempsychosis. The relationship between
man and ape is founded upon the pantheistic identity of being. "We
mention sin," says a missionary now in Japan, "and he [the average
auditor] thinks of eating flesh, or the killing of insects." Many of the
sutras read like tracts and diatribes of vegetarians.]

[Footnote 9: See The Art of Landscape Gardening in Japan, T.A.S.J., Vol.
XIV.; Theory of Japanese Flower Arrangements, by J. Conder, T.A.S.J.,
Vol. XVII.; T.J., p. 168; M.E., p. 437; T.J., p. 163.]

[Footnote 10: _The_ book, by excellence, on the Japanese house, is
Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings, by E.S. Morse. See also
Constructive Art in Japan, T.A.S.J., Vol. II., p. 57, III., p. 20;
Feudal Mansions of Yedo, Vol. VII., p. 157.]

[Footnote 11: See Hearn's Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, pp. 385, 410,
and _passim_.]

[Footnote 12: For pathetic pictures of Japanese daily life, see Our
Neighborhood, by the late Dr. T.A. Purcell, Yokohama, 1874; A Japanese
Boy, by Himself (S. Shigemi), New Haven, 1889; Lafcadio Hearn's Glimpses
of Unfamiliar Japan, Boston, 1894.]

[Footnote 13: Klaproth's Annales, and S. and H. _passim_.]

[Footnote 14: See Pfoundes's Fuso Mimi Bukuro, p. 130, for a list of
grades from Ho-[=o] or cloistered emperor, Miya or sons of emperors,
chief priests of sects, etc., down to priests in charge of inferior
temples. This Budget of Notes, pp. 99-144, contains much valuable
information, and was one of the first publications in English which shed
light upon the peculiarities of Japanese Buddhism.]

[Footnote 15: Isaiah xl. 19, 20, and xli. 6, 7, read to the dweller in
Japan like the notes of a reporter taken yesterday.]

[Footnote 16: T.J., p. 339; Notes on Some Minor Japanese Religious
Practices, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, May, 1893;
Lowell's Esoteric Shint[=o], T.A.S.J., Vol. XXI.; Satow's The Shint[=o]
Temples of Ise, T.A.S.J., Vol. II., p. 113.]

[Footnote 17: M.E., p. 45; American Cyclopaedia, Japan,
Literature--History, Travels, Diaries, etc.]

[Footnote 18: That is, no dialects like those which separate the people
of China. The ordinary folks of Satsuma and Suruga, for example,
however, would find it difficult to understand each other if only the
local speech were used. Men from the extremes of the Empire use the
T[=o]ki[=o] standard language in communicating with each other.]

[Footnote 19: For some names of Buddhist temples in Shimoda see Perry's
Narrative, pp. 470-474, described by Dr. S. Wells Williams; S. and H.

[Footnote 20: The Abbe Huc in his Travels in Tartary was one of the
first to note this fact. I have not noticed in my reading that the
Jesuit missionaries in Japan in the seventeenth century call attention
to the matter. See also the writings of Arthur Lillie, voluminous but
unconvincing, Buddha and Early Buddhism, and Buddhism and Christianity,
London, 1893.]

[Footnote 21: M.E., p. 252.]

[Footnote 22: T.J., p. 70.]

[Footnote 23: See The Higher Buddhism in the Light of the Nicene Creed,
T[=o]ki[=o], 1894, by Rev. A. Lloyd.]

[Footnote 24: "I preach with ever the same voice, taking enlightenment
as my text. For this is equal for all; no partiality is in it, neither
hatred nor affection.... I am inexorable, bear no love or hatred towards
anyone, and proclaim the law to all creatures without distinction, to
the one as well as to the other."--Saddharma Pundarika.]

[Footnote 25: Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, Vol. II., p. 247.]

[Footnote 26: For the symbolism of the lotus see M.E., p. 437; Unbeaten
Tracks in Japan, Vol. I., p. 299; M.E. index; and Saddharma Pundarika,
Kern's translation, p. 76, note:

"Here the Buddha is represented as a wise and benevolent father; he is
the heavenly father, Brahma. As such ho was represented as sitting on a
'lotus-seat.' How common this representation was in India, at least in
the sixth century of our era, appears from Varahamihira's
Brihat-Sainhita, Ch. 58, 44, where the following rule is laid down for
the Buddha idols: 'Buddha shall be (represented) sitting on a
lotus-seat, like the father of the world.'"]

[Footnote 27: See The Northern Buddhist Mythology in _Journal of the
Royal Asiatic Society_, January, 1894.]

[Footnote 28: See The Pictorial Arts of Japan, and Descriptive and
Historical Catalogue, William Anderson, pp. 13-94.]

[Footnote 29: See fylfot in Century Dictionary.]

[Footnote 30: The word _vagra_, diamond, is a constituent in scores of
names of sutras, especially those whose contents are metaphysical in
their nature. The Vajrasan, Diamond Throne or Thunderbolt seat, was the
name applied to the most sacred part of the great temple reared by Asoka
on the site of the bodhi tree, under which Gautama received
enlightenment. "The adamantine truths of Buddha struck like a
thunderbolt upon the superstitious of his age." "The word vagra has the
two senses of hardness and utility. In the former sense it is understood
to be compared to the secret truth which is always in existence and not
to be broken. In the latter sense it implies the power of the
enlightened, that destroys the obstacles of passions."--B.N., p. 88. "As
held in the arms of Kwannon and other images in the temples," the vagra
or "diamond club" (is that) with which the foes of the Buddhist Church
are to be crushed.--S. and H., p. 444. Each of the gateway gods Ni-[=o]
(two Kings, Indra and Brahma) "bears in his hand the tokko (Sanskrit
_vagra_), an ornament originally designed to represent a diamond club,
and now used by priests and exorcists, as a religious sceptre
symbolizing the irresistible power of prayer, meditation, and
incantation."--Chamberlain's Hand-book for Japan, p. 31.]

[Footnote 31: Jiz[=o] is the compassionate helper of all in trouble,
especially of travellers, of mothers, and of children. His Sanskrit name
is Kshiugarbha. His idol is one of the most common in Japan. It is
usually neck-laced with baby's bibs, often by the score, while the
pedestal is heaped with small stones placed there by sorrowing
mothers.--S. and H., p. 29, 394; Chamberlain's Handbook of Japan, 29,
101. Hearn's Japan, p. 34, and _passim_.]

[Footnote 32: Sanskrit _arhat_ or _arhan_, meaning worthy or deserving,
i.e., holy man, the highest rank of Buddhist saintship. See Century

[Footnote 33: M.E., p. 201. The long inscription on the bell in
Wellesley College, which summons the student-maidens to their hourly
tasks has been translated by the author and Dr. K. Kurahara and is as

1. A prose preface or historical statement.

2. Two stanzas of Chinese poetry, in four-syllable lines, of four verses
each, with an apostrophe in two four-syllable lines.

3. The chronology.

4. The names of the composer and calligraphist, and of the

The characters in vertical lines are read from top to bottom, the order
of the columns being from right to left. There are in all 117

The first tablet reads:

Lotus-Lily Temple (of) Law-Grove Mountain; Bell-inscription (and)

"Although there had been of old a bell hung in the Temple of the
Lotus-Lily, yet being of small dimensions its note was quickly
exhausted, and no volume of melody followed (after having been struck).
Whereupon, for the purpose of improving upon this state of affairs, we
made a subscription, and collected coin to obtain a new bell. All
believers in the doctrine, gods as well as devils, contributed freely.
Thus the enterprise was soon consummated, and this inscription prepared,
to wit:

"'The most exalted Buddha having pitiful compassion upon the people,
would, by means of this bell, instead of words, awaken them from earthly
illusions, and reveal the darkness of this world.

"'Many of the living hearkening to its voice, and making confession, are
freed from the bondage of their sins, and forever released from their
disquieting desires.

"'How great is (Buddha's) merit! Who can utter it? Without measure,

"Eleventh year of the Era of the Foundation of Literature (and of the
male element) Wood (and of the zodiac sign) Dog; Autumn, seventh month,
fifteenth day (A.D. August 30,1814).

"Composition and penmanship by Kameda Koye-sen. Cast by the artist
Sugiwara Kuninobu."

(The poem in unrhymed metre.)

  Buddha in compassion tender
  With this bell, instead of words,
  Wakens souls from life's illusions,
  Lightens this world's darkness drear.

  Many souls its sweet tones heeding,
  From their chains of sin are freed;
  All the mind's unrest is soothed,
  Sinful yearnings are repressed.

  Oh how potent is his merit,
  Without bounds in all the worlds!

[Footnote 34: Fuso Mimi Bukuro, p. 129.]

[Footnote 35: M.E., pp. 287-290, 513-514; Perry's Narrative, pp. 471,
472; Our Neighborhood, pp. 119-124. The following epitaphs are gathered
from various sources:

"This stone marks the remains of the believer who never grows old."

"The believing woman Yu-ning, Happy was the day of her departure."

"Multitudes fill the graves."

"Only by this vehicle--the coffin--can we enter Hades."

"As the floating grass is blown by the gentle breeze, or the glancing
ripples of autumn disappear when the sun goes down, or as a ship returns
to her old shore--so is life. It is a vapor, a morning-tide."

"Buddha himself wishes to hear the name of the deceased that he may
enter life."

"He who has left humanity is now perfected by Buddha's name, as the
withered moss by the dew."

"Life is like a candle in the wind."

"The wise make our halls illustrious, and their monuments endure for

"What permanency is there to the glory of the world? It goes from the
sight like hoar-frost in the sun."

"If men wish to enter the joys of heavenly light,
Let them smell the fragrance of the law of Buddha."

"Whoever wishes to have his merit reach even to the abode of demons, let
him, with us, and all living, become perfect in the doctrine."]

[Footnote 36: Rev. C.B. Hawarth in the _New York Independent_, January
18, 1894.]

[Footnote 37: In 781 the Buddhist monk Kei-shun dedicated a chapel to
Jizo, on whom he conferred the epithet of Sho-gun or general, to suit
the warlike tastes of the Japanese people.--S. and H., p. 384. So also
Hachiman became the god of war because adopted as the patron deity of
the Genji warriors.--S. and H., p. 70.]

[Footnote 38: Corea, the Hermit Nation, p. 90.]

[Footnote 39: Dixon's Japan, p. 41; S. and H., Japan, _passim_; Rein's
Japan; Story of the Nations, Japan, by David Murray, p. 201, note;
Dening's life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi; M.E., Chapters XV., XVI., XX.,
XXIII., XXIV.; Gazetteer of Echizen; Shiga's History of Nations,
T[=o]ki[=o], 1888, pp. 115, 118; T.A.S.J., Vol. VIII., pp. 94, 134,

[Footnote 40: T.A.S.J., Vol. VIII., Hideyoshi and the Satsuma Clan in
the Sixteenth Century, by J.H. Gubbins; The Times of Taik[=o], by R.
Brinkley, in _The Japan Times_.]

[Footnote 41: The Copy of the Buddhist Tripitaka, or Northern
Collection, made by order of the Emperor, Wan-Li, in the sixteenth
century, when the Chinese capital (King) was changed from the South
(Nan) to the North (Pe), was reproduced in Japan in 1679 and again in
1681-83, and in over two thousand volumes, making a pile a hundred feet
high, was presented by the Japanese Government, through the Junior Prime
Minister, Mr. Tomomi Iwakura, to the Library of the India Office. See
Samuel Beal's The Buddhist Tripitaka, as it is known in China and Japan,
A Catalogue and Compendious Report, London, 1876. The library has been
rearranged by Mr. Bunyin Nanjio, who has published the result of his
labors, with Sanskrit equivalents of the titles and with notes of the
highest value.]

[Footnote 42: "Neither country (China or Japan) has had the independence
and mental force to produce a literature of its own, and to add anything
but a chapter of decay to the history of this religion."--Professor
William D. Whitney, in review of Anecdota Oxoniensia, Buddhist Texts
from Japan, in _The Nation_, No. 875.]

[Footnote 43: Education in Japan, A series of papers by the writer,
printed in _The Japan Mail_ of 1873-74, and reprinted in the educational
journals of the United Status. A digest of these papers is given in the
appendix of F.O. Adams's History of Japan; Life of Sir Harry Parkes,
Vol. II., pp. 305, 306.]

[Footnote 44: Japan: in Literature, Folk-Lore, and Art, p. 77.]

[Footnote 45: Japanese Education at the Philadelphia Exposition, New
York, 1876.]

[Footnote 46: See Japanese Literature, by E.M. Satow, in The American

[Footnote 47: The word bonze (Japanese _bon-so_ or _bozu_, Chinese
_fan-sung_) means an ordinary member of the congregation, just as the
Japanese term _bon-yo_ or _bon-zuko_ means common people or the ordinary
folks. The word came into European use from the Portuguese missionaries,
who heard the Japanese thus pronounce the Chinese term _fan_, which, as
_bon_, is applied to anything in the mass not out of the common.]

[Footnote 48: See On the Early History of Printing in Japan, by E.M.
Satow, T.A.S.J., Vol. X., Part L, p. 48; Part II., p. 252.]

[Footnote 49: Japanese mediaeval monastery life has been ably pictured
in English fiction by a scholar of imagination and literary power,
withal a military critic and a veteran in Japanese lore. "The Times of
Taik[=o]," in the defunct Japanese Times (1878), deserves reprint as a
book, being founded on Japanese historical and descriptive works. In Mr.
Edward's Greey's A Captive of Love, Boston, 1880, the idea of ingwa (the
effects in this life of the actions in a former state of existence), is
illustrated. See also S. and H., p. 29; T.J., p. 360.]

[Footnote 50: It is curious that while the anti-Christian polemics of
the Japanese Buddhists have used the words of Jesus, "I came to send not
peace but a sword," Matt, x. 34, and "If any man ... hate not his father
and mother," etc., Luke xiv. 26, as a branding iron with which to stamp
the religion of Jesus as gross immorality and dangerous to the state,
they justify Gautama in his "renunciation" of marital and paternal

[Footnote 51: See Public Charity in Japan, Japan Mail, 1893; and The
Annual (Appleton's) Cyclopaedia for 1893.]

[Footnote 52: I have some good reasons for making this suggestion. Yokoi
Heishiro had dwelt for some time in Fukui, a few rods away from the
house in which I lived, and the ideas he promulgated among the Echizen
clansmen in his lectures on Confucianism, were not only Christian in
spirit but, by their own statement, these ideas could not be found in
the texts of the Chinese sage or of his commentators. Although the
volume (edited by his son, Rev. J.F. Yokoi) of his Life and Letters
shows him to have been an intense and at times almost bigoted
Confucianist, he, in one of his later letters, prophesied that when
Christianity should be taught by the missionaries, it would win the
hearts of the young men of Japan. See also Satow's Kinse Shiriaku, p.
183; Adams's History of Japan; and in fiction, see Honda The Samurai, p.
242, and succeeding chapters.]

[Footnote 53: In the colorless and unsentimental language of government
publications, the Japanese edict of emancipation, issued to the local
authorities in October, 1871, ran as follows: "The designations of eta
and hinin are abolished. Those who bore them are to be added to the
general registers of the population and their social position and
methods of gaining a livelihood are to be identical with the rest of the
people. As they have been entitled to immunity from the land tax and
other burdens of immemorial custom, you will inquire how this may be
reformed and report to the Board of Finance." (Signed) Council of

[Footnote 54: In English fiction, see The Eta Maiden and the Hatamoto,
in Mitford's Tales of Old Japan, Vol. I., pp. 210-245. Discussions as to
the origin of the Eta are to be found in Adams's History of Japan, Vol.
I, p. 77; M.E., index; T.J., p. 147; S. and H., p. 36; Honda the
Samurai, pp. 246, 247; Mitford's Tales of Old Japan, Vol. I., pp.
210-245. The literature concerning the Ainos is already voluminous. See
Chamberlain's Aino Studies, with bibliography; and Rev. John Batchelor's
Ainu Grammar, published by The Imperial University of T[=o]ki[=o];
T.A.S.J., Vols. X., XL, XVI., XVIII., XX.; The Ainu of Japan, New York,
1892, by J. Batchelor (who has also translated the Book of Common
Prayer, and portions of the Bible into the Ainu tongue); M. E., Chap.
II.; T.A.S.J., Vol. X., and following volumes; Unbeaten Tracks in Japan,
Vol. II.; Life with Trans-Siberian Savages, London, 1895.]

[Footnote 55: "Then the venerable S[=a]riputra said to that daughter of
Sagara, the N[=a]ga-king: 'Thou hast conceived the idea of
enlightenment, young lady of good family, without sliding back, and art
gifted with immense wisdom, but supreme, perfect enlightenment is not
easily won. It may happen, sister, that a woman displays an unflagging
energy, performs good works for many thousands of Aeons, and fulfils the
six perfect virtues (P[=a]ramit[=a]s), but as yet there is no example of
her having reached Buddhaship, and that because a woman cannot occupy
the five ranks, viz., 1, the rank of Brahma; 2, the rank of Indra; 3,
the rank of a chief guardian of the four quarters; 4, the rank of
Kakravartin; 5, the rank of a Bodhisattva incapable of sliding back,"
Saddharma Pundarika, Kern's Translation, p. 252.]

[Footnote 56: Chi[=u]-j[=o]-hime was the first Japanese nun, and the
only woman who is commemorated by an idol. "She extracted the fibres of
the lotus root, and wove them with silk to make tapestry for altars."
Fuso Mimi Bukuro, p. 128. Her romantic and marvellous story is given in
S. and H., p. 397. "The practice of giving ranks to women was commenced
by Jito Tenn[=o] (an empress, 690-705)." Many women shaved their heads
and became nuns "on becoming widows, as well as on being forsaken by, or
after leaving their husbands. Others were orphans." One of the most
famous nuns (on account of her rank) was the Nii no Ama, widow of
Kiyomori and grandmother of the Emperor Antoku, who were both drowned
near Shimono-seki, in the great naval battle of 1185 A.D. Adams's
History of Japan, Vol. I., p. 37; M.E., p. 137.]

[Footnote 57: M.E., p. 213; Japanese Women, World's Columbian
Exhibition, Chicago, 1893, Chap. III.]

[Footnote 58: There is no passage in the original Greek texts, or in the
Revised Version of the New Testament which ascribes wings to the
_aggelos_, or angel. In Rev. xii. 14, a woman is "given two wings of a
great eagle."]

[Footnote 59: Japanese Women in Politics, Chap. I., Japanese Women,
Chicago, 1893; Japanese Girls and Women, Chapters VI. and VII.]

[Footnote 60: Bakin's novels are dominated by this idea, while also
preaching in fiction strict Confucianism. See A Captive of Love, by
Edward Greey.]

[Footnote 61: "Fate is one of the great words of the East. _Japan's
language is loaded and overloaded with it._ Parents are forever saying
before their children, 'There's no help for it.' I once remarked to a
school-teacher, 'Of course you love to teach children.' His quick reply
was, 'Of course I don't. I do it merely because there is no help for
it.' Moralists here deplore the prosperity of the houses of ill-fame and
then add with a sigh, 'There's no help for it.' All society reverberates
with this phrase with reference to questions that need the application
of moral power, will power."--J.H. De Forest.

"I do not say there is no will power in the East, for there is. Nor do I
say there is no weak yielding to fate in lands that have the doctrine of
the Creator, for there is. But, putting the East and West side by side,
one need not hesitate to affirm that the reason the will power of the
East is weak cannot be fully explained by any mere doctrine of
environment, but must also have some vital connection with the fact that
the idea of a personal almighty Creator has for long ages been wanting.
And one reason why western nations have an aggressive character that
ventures bold things and tends to defy difficulties cannot be wholly
laid to environment but must have something to do with the fact that
leads millions daily reverently to say 'I believe in the Almighty
Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth.'"--J.H. De Forest.]


(From The official "Resume Statistique de l'Empire du Japon,"
T[=o]ki[=o], 1894.)

In 1891 there were 71,859 temples within city or town limits, and 35,959
in the rural districts, or 117,718 in all, under the charges of 51,791
principal priests and 720 principal priestesses, or 52,511 in all.

The number of temples, classified by sects, were as follows: Tendai,
with 3 sub-sects, 4,808; Shingon, with 2 sub-sects, 12,821, of which 45
belonged to the Hoss[=o] shu; J[=o]-do, with 2 sub-sects, 8,323, of
which 21 were of the Ke-gon shu; Zen, with 3 sub-sects, 20,882, of which
6,146 were of the Rin-Zai shu; 14,072 of the S[=o]-d[=o] shu, and 604 of
the O-bakushu; Shin, with 10 sub-sects, 19,146; Nichiren, with 7
sub-sects, 5,066; Ji shu, 515; Yu-dz[=u]; Nembutsu, 358; total, 38 sects
and 71,859 temples.

The official reports required by the government from the various sects,
show that there are 38 administrative heads of sects; 52,638
priest-preachers and 44,123 ordinary priests or monks; and 8,668 male
and 328 female, or a total of 8,996, students for the grade of monk or
nun. In comparison with 1886, the number of priest-preachers was 39,261,
ordinary priests 38,189: male students, 21,966; female students, 642.



[Footnote 1: See for a fine example of this, Mr. C. Meriwether's Life of
Date Masamune, T.A.S.J., Vol. XXI., pp. 3-106. See also The Christianity
of Early Japan, by Koji Inaba, in The Japan Evangelist, Yokohama,
1893-94; Mr. E. Satow's papers in T.A.S.J.]

[Footnote 2: See M.E., p. 280; Rein's Japan, p. 312; Shigetaka Shiga's
History of Nations, p. 139, quoting from M.E. (p. 258).]

[Footnote 3: M.E., 195.]

[Footnote 4: The Japan Mail of April and May, 1894, contains a
translation from the Japanese, with but little new matter, however, of a
work entitled Paul Anjiro.]

[Footnote 5: The "Firando" of the old books. See Cock's Diary. It is
difficult at first to recognize the Japanese originals of some of the
names which figure in the writings of Charlevoix, Leon Pages, and the
European missionaries, owing to their use of local pronunciation, and
their spelling, which seems peculiar. One of the brilliant
identifications of Mr. Ernest Satow, now H.B.M. Minister at Tangier, is
that of Kuroda in the "Kondera"' of the Jesuits.]

[Footnote 6: See Mr. E.M. Matow's Vicissitudes of the Church at
Yamaguchi. T.A.S.J., Vol. VII., pp. 131-156.]

[Footnote 7: Nobunaga was Nai Dai Jin, Inner (Junior) Prime Minister,
one in the triple premiership, peculiar to Korea and Old Japan, but was
never Sh[=o]gun, as some foreign writers have supposed.]

[Footnote 8: See The Jesuit Mission Press in Japan, by E. Satow,
1591-1610 (privately printed, London, 1888). Review of the same by B.H.
Chamberlain, T.A.S.J., Vol. XVII., p. 91.]

[Footnote 9: Histoire de l'Eglise, Vol. I, p. 490; Rein, p. 277.
Takayama is spoken of in the Jesuit Records as Justo Ucondono. A curious
book entitled Justo Ucondono, Prince of Japan, in which the writer, who
is "less attentive to points of style than to matters of faith," labors
to show that "the Bible alone" is "found wanting," and only the
"Teaching Church" is worthy of trust, was published in Baltimore, in

[Footnote 10: How Hideyoshi made use of the Shin sect of Buddhists to
betray the Satsuma clansmen is graphically told in Mr. J.H. Gubbin's
paper, Hideyoshi and the Satsuma Clan, T.A.S.J., Vol. VIII, pp. 124-128,

[Footnote 11: Corea the Hermit Nation, Chaps. XII.-XXI., pp. 121-123;
Mr. W.G. Aston's Hideyoshi's Invasion of Korea, T.A.S.J., Vol. VI., p.
227; IX, pp. 87, 213; XI., p. 117; Rev. G.H. Jones's The Japanese
Invasion, The Korean Repository, Seoul, 1892.]

[Footnote 12: Brave Little Holland and What She Taught Us, Boston, 1893,
p. 247.]

[Footnote 13: See picture and description of this temple--"fairly
typical of Japanese Buddhist architecture," Chamberlain's Handbook for
Japan, p. 26; G.A. Cobbold's, Religion in Japan, London, 1894, p. 72.]

[Footnote 14: T.A.S.J., see Vol. VI., pp. 46, 51, for the text of the

[Footnote 15: M.E., p. 262, Chamberlain's Handbook for Japan, p. 59.]

[Footnote 16: The Origin of Spanish and Portuguese Rivalry in Japan, by
E.M. Satow, T.A.S.J., Vol. XVIII., p. 133.]

[Footnote 17: See Chapter VIII., W.G. Dixon's Gleanings from Japan.]

[Footnote 18: T.A.S.J., Vol. VI., pp. 48-50.]

[Footnote 19: In the inscription upon the great bell, at the temple
containing the image of Dai Buts[)u] or Great Buddha, reared by Hideyori
and his mother, one sentence contained the phrase _Kokka anko, ka_ and
_Lo_ being Chinese for _Iye_ and _yas[(u]_, which the Yedo ruler
professed to believe mockery. In another sentence, "On the East it
welcomes the bright moon, and on the West bids farewell to the setting
sun," Iyeyas[)u] discovered treason. He considered himself the rising
sun, and Hideyori the setting moon.--Chamberlain's Hand-book for Japan,
p. 300.]

[Footnote 20: I have found the Astor Library in New York especially rich
in works of this sort.]

[Footnote 21: Nitobe's United States and Japan, p. 13, note.]

[Footnote 22: This insurrection has received literary treatment at the
hands of the Japanese in Shimabara, translated in The Far East for 1872;
Woolley's Historical Notes on Nagasaki, T.A.S.J., Vol. IX., p. 125;
Koeckebakker and the Arima Rebellion, by Dr. A.J.C. Geerts, T.A.S.J.,
Vol. XI., 51; Inscriptions on Shimabara and Amakusa, by Henry Stout,
T.A.S.J., Vol. VII, p. 185.]

[Footnote 23: "Persecution extirpated Christianity from Japan."--History
of Rationalism, Vol. II, p. 15.]

[Footnote 24: T.A.S.J., Vol. VI., Part I., p. 62; M.E. pp. 531, 573.]

[Footnote 25: Political, despite the attempt of many earnest members of
the order to check this tendency to intermeddle in politics; see Dr.
Murray's Japan, p. 245, note, 246.]

[Footnote 26: See abundant illustration in Leon Pages' Histoire de la
Religion Chretienne en Japon, a book which the author read while in
Japan amid the scenes described.]

[Footnote 27: _The Japan Evangelist_, Vol. I., No. 2, p. 96.]



[Footnote 1: See Diary of Richard Cocks, and Introduction by R.M.
Thompson, Hakluyt Publications, 1883.]

[Footnote 2: For the extent of Japanese influence abroad, see M.E., p.
246; Rein, Nitobe, and Hildreth; Modern Japanese Adventurers, T.A.S.J.,
Vol. VII., p. 191; The Intercourse between Japan and Siam in the
Seventeenth Century, by E.M. Satow, T.A.S.J., Vol. XIII., p. 139; Voyage
of the Dutch Ship Grol, T.A.S.J., Vol. XI., p. 180.]

[Footnote 3: The United States and Japan, p. 16.]

[Footnote 4: See Professor J.H. Wigmore's elaborate work, Materials for
the Study of Private Law in Old Japan, T.A.S.J., T[=o]ki[=o], 1892.]

[Footnote 5: See the Legacy of Iyeyas[)u], by John Frederic Lowder,
Yokohama, 1874, with criticisms and discussions by E.M. Satow and others
in the _Japan Mail_; Dixon's Japan, Chapter VII.; Professor W.E.
Grigsby, in T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Part II., p. 131, gives another
version, with analysis, notes, and comments; Rein's Japan, pp. 314,

[Footnote 6: Old Japan in the days of its inclusiveness was a secret
society on a vast scale, with every variety and degree of selfishness,
mystery, secrecy, close-corporationism, and tomfoolery. See article
Esotericism in T.J., p. 143.]

[Footnote 7: Since the abolition of feudalism, with the increase of the
means of transportation, the larger freedom, and, at many points,
improved morality, the population of Japan shows an unprecedented rate
of increase. The census taken in 1744 gave, as the total number of souls
in the empire, 26,080,000 (E.J. Reed's Japan, Vol. I., p. 236); that of
1872, 33,110,825; that of 1892, 41,089,910, showing a greater increase
during the past twenty years than in the one hundred and thirty-eight
years previous. See Resume Statistique de l'Empire du Japon,
T[=o]ki[=o], 1894; Professor Garrett Droppers' paper on The Population
of Japan during the Tokugawa Period, read June 27th, 1894; T.A.S.J.,
Vol. XXII.]

[Footnote 8: For the notable instance of Pere Sidotti, see M.E, p. 63;
Sei Y[=o] Ki Buu, by S.R. Brown, D.D., a translation of Arai Hakuseki's
narrative, Yedo, 1710, T.N.C.A.S.; Capture and Captivity of Pere
Sidotti, T.A.S.J., Vol. IX., p. 156; Christian Valley, T.A.S.J., Vol.
XVI., p. 207.]

[Footnote 9: T.A.S.J., Vol. I., p. 78, Vol. VII., p. 323.]

[Footnote 10: See Matthew Calbraith Perry, Boston, 1887.]

[Footnote 11: See the author's Townsend Harris, First American Minister
to Japan, _The Atlantic Monthly_, August, 1891.]

[Footnote 12: See Honda the Samurai, Boston, 1890; Nitobe's United
States and Japan; The Japan Mail _passim_; Dr. G.F. Verbeck's History of
Protestant Missions in Japan, Yokohama, 1883; Dr. George Wm. Knox's
papers on Japanese Philosophy, T.A.S.J., Vol. XX., p. l58, etc. Recent
Japanese literature, of which the writer has a small shelf-full,
biographies, biographical dictionaries, the histories of New Japan, Life
of Yoshida Shoin, and recent issues of The Nation's Friend (Kokumin no
Tomo), are very rich on this fascinating subject.]

[Footnote 13: A typical instance was that of Rin Shihei, born 1737,
author of _Sun Koku Tsu Ran to Setsu_, translated into French by
Klaproth, Paris, 1832. Rin learned much from the Dutch and Prussians,
and wrote books which had a great sale. He was cast into prison, whence
he never emerged. The (wooden) plates of his publications were
confiscated and destroyed. In 1876, the Mikado visited his grave in
Sendai, and ordered a monument erected to the honor of this far-seeing

[Footnote 14: Rein, pp. 336, 337]

[Footnote 15: Rein, p. 339; The Early Study of Dutch in Japan, by K.
Mitsukuri, T.A.S.J., Vol. V., p. 209; History of the Progress of
Medicine in Japan, T.A.S.J., Vol. XII., p. 245; Vijf Jaren in Japan,
J.L.C. Pompe van Meerdervoort, 2d Ed., Leyden, 1808.]

[Footnote 16: Honda the Samurai, pp. 249-251; Nitobe, 25-27.]

[Footnote 17: The Tokugawa Princes of Mito, by Professor E. W. Clement,
T.A.S.J., Vol. XVIII, p. 14; Nitobe's United States and Japan, p. 25,

[Footnote 18: M.E. (6 Ed.), p. 608; Adams's History of Japan, Vol. II.,
p. 171.]

[Footnote 19: See the text of the anti-Christian edicts, M.E., p. 369.]

[Footnote 20: T.A.S.J., Vol. XX., p. 17.]

[Footnote 21: T.A.S.J., Vol. IX., p. 134.]

[Footnote 22: Tales of Old Japan, Vol. II., p. 125; A Japanese Buddhist
Preacher, by Professor M.K. Shimomura, in the New York Independent;
other sermons have been printed in The Japan Mail; Kino Dowa, two
sermons and vocabulary, has been edited by Rev. C.S. Eby, Yokohama.]

[Footnote 23: On Sunday, November 29, 1857, Mr. Harris, resting at
Kawasaki, over Sunday, on his way to Yedo and audience of the Sh[=o]gun,
having Mr. Heusken as his audience and fellow-worshipper, read service
from the Book of Common Prayer.]

[Footnote 24: See a paper written by the author and read at the World's
Columbian Exhibition Congress of Missions, Chicago, September, 1893, on
The Citizen Rights of Missionaries.]

[Footnote 25: This embassy was planned and first proposed to the Junior
premier, Tomomi Iwakura, and the route arranged by the Rev. Guido F.
Verbeck, then President of the Imperial University. One half of the
members of the embassy had been Dr. Verbeck's pupils at Nagasaki.]

[Footnote 26: A somewhat voluminous native Japanese literature is the
result of the various embassies and individual pilgrimages abroad, since
1860. Immeasurably superior to all other publications, in the practical
influence over his fellow-countrymen, is the Seiyo Jijo (The Condition
of Western Countries) by Fukuzawa, author, educator, editor, decliner of
numerously proffered political offices, and "the intellectual father of
one-half of the young men who now fill the middle and lower posts in the
government of Japan." For the foreign side, see The Japanese in America,
by Charles Lanman, New York, 1872, and in The Life of Sir Harry Parkes,
London, 1894, and for an amusing piece of literary ventriloquism,
Japanese Letters, Eastern Impressions of Western Men and Manners, London
and New York, 1891.

See History of Protestant Missions in Japan, by G. F. Verbeck, Yokohama,


Abbess, 318.
Abbots, 312.
Abdication, 214.
Aborigines, 9, 38, 43, 77-79, 177.
Adams, Will, 334, 340.
Adi-Buddha, 174.
Adoption, 122, 126.
Adultery, 149.
Aidzu, 119.
Ainos, 2, 9, 16, 73, 177, 317, 379.
Akamatsu, Rev. Renjo, 425.
Akechi, 332.
Alphabets, 199, 200.
Altaic, 39, 389.
Amalgam of religions, 11, 13.
Amateras[)u], see Sun-goddess.
American relations, 11, 12, 157.
Amidaism, 276, 303.
Anabaptists, 162.
Analects, 128.
Ancestral worship, 106.
Anderson, Dr. Win, 435.
Angels, 304.
Animism, 15-17.
Anjiro, 329.
Apostolical succession, 262.
Arabian Nights, 192, 201.
Architecture, 82, 84, 210, 298-300.
Art, 68, 1l4, 195-197, 297, 298, 303-305, 314, 356.
Aryan Conquest of India, 44, 156, 157, 177, 207.
Asanga, 175, 205.
Assassination, 367.
Asoka, 165.
Aston, Mr. Wm. G., 360, 386, 387.
Atheism, 163, 164.
Atkinson, Rev, J.L., 410.
Avalokitesvara, 170, 171, 179.
Avatars, 201, 208, 221, 247, 269, 295.

Babism, 166.
Bakin, 444.
Bangor Theological Seminary, 378.
Batchelor, Rev. John, 317.
Beal, Rev. Samuel, 8.
Beauty, 207.
Beggars, 208.
Bells, 307, 308.
Benten, 204, 207, 218.
Bible, 27, 104, 364, 386.
Binzuru, 237.
Birth, 84.
Bishamon, 218.
Bodhidharma, see Daruma.
Bodhisattva, 169, 204, 234.
Bonzes, 310.
Bosatsu, 170, 204; see Bodhsattva.
Brahma, 247.
Brahmanism, 163, 185, 186, 218.
Brothers, 125, 126.
Buddha. Amida, see Amidaism.
  the Buddha, 101, 103, 161, 162.
  Gautama, 155, 161-164.
  Shakyamuni, 160.
  Siddartha, 410.
  Tathagata, 259.
  Tathata, 243.
Bunyin Nanjio, Rev., 231, 425.
Buddhism, 42, 74, 76, 106, 133, 136, 137, 140, 185, 186, 227, 231.
Buddhist, 165, 166, 183, 214, 229, 252.

Cannibalism, 74.
Canon, Chinese, 103; Shint[=o], 39-41.
Capitals of Japan, 182, 183, 296.
Celibacy, 272.
Cemeteries, 308.
Chair of Contemplation, 252.
Chamberlain, Prof. B. Hall, 39, 324, 388.
Chastity, 68, 124, 149, 320.
Cheng Brothers, 138, 139.
China, 134, 199, 215, 328, 355.
Chinese, 83, 134; Buddhism, 232.
Christianity and Buddhism, 166, 183, 185, 187, 195, 217, 218, 265, 270,
    300-302, 306, 315, 319.
Chronology, 41, 370, 387.
Chu Hi, 11, 108, 139, 143, 144, 356.
Cleanliness, 84, 97.
Clement, Prof. E.M., 407.
Cobra-de-capello, 21.
Cocks, Mr. Richard, 380.
Columbus, 328.
Comparative religion, 4-6.
Confucius, 100-106.
Confucianism, 74, 107, 213.
Concubinage, 149.
Constitution of 1889, 96, 122.
Corea, see Korea.
Courtship, 124.
Creator, 145, 285.
Cremation, 182.
Crucifixion, 115, 368.

Dai Butsu, 203.
Daikoku, 218.
Dai Mi[=o] Jin, 190, 204, 206, 230.
Daruma, 186, 208, 254.
Davids, T. Rhys, 155, 172.
Death, 84.
De Brosses, 23.
De Forest, Rev. J.H., 226.
Demoniacal possession, 281.
Deshima, 354, 358, 362-365.
Dharari, 199.
Dharma, see Daruma, 186.
Dhyana Buddhas and Sect, 172, 252, 254.
Diet, 293, 294.
Divorce, 125, 149.
D[=o]-sen, 236.
D[=o]-sh[=o], 181.
Dragon, 20, 21, 74, 115, 198, 242.
Dutch, 90, 336, 340, 353, 354, 358, 360, 362, 363-365, 366.
Dutt, Mr. Romesh Chunder, 161.

Ebisu, 218.
Ecclesiastes, 214.
Echizen, 312.
Edicts against Christianity, 335, 336, 342.
Edkins, Dr. J., 249.
Education, 313, 320.
Embassy round the world, 373.
Emperor, 148.
Emura, Rev. Shu-zan, 232.
England, 37.
Eta, 115, 150, 275, 316, 317, 367.
Ethics, 92, 94.
Euhemerus, 192, 193, 197, 201.
Eurasians, 344.
Evil, 58, 78.
Evolution, 62.
Ezekiel, 36.
Ezra, 102.

Family Life, 122, 125-127.
Female divinities, 66, 305, 319.
Fetichism, 22-27.
Feudalism, 10, 108-110.
Filial piety, 123, 149, 213.
Fire-drill, 55, 56.
Fire, God of, 53.
Fire-myths, 53.
Five Relations, 105, 114, 148-150.
Flags, 26.
Flood, 53.
Flowers, 58.
Forty-seven R[=o]nins, 118, 119.
Franciscans, 336, 337.
Friends, 127.
Fudo, 279.
Fuji Mountain, 400.
Fujishima, Rev. Ryauon, 231.
Fukuda, Rev. Gyo-kai, 425.
Fukui, 23.
Fuku-roku-jin, 218.

Gardens, 237, 294, 295.
Gautama, 158, 161, 164.
Genji Monogatari, 149.
Genj[=o], 181, 232, 233, 238, 239.
Germanic nations, 10, 44.
Ghosts, 206.
Giyoku, 183.
Gnostics, 193, 195.
God-possession, 201.
Gold, 184, 196, 210, 291.
Golden Rule, 128.
Gongen, 204, 205, 220.
Gore, Mr. T., 7, 384.
Graveyards, 308, 368.
Greater Vehicle, 165, 170, 240, 244.
Gubbins, Mr. J.H., 403, 447.

Hachiman, 204.
Hades, 53, 64.
Hara-kiri, 112, 121, 339.
Harris, Mr. Townsend, 145, 352, 360, 370, 371.
Hayashi, 129.
Heathen, 13, 30.
Heaven, 62, 63, 70, 81, 105, 112, 118, 144.
Hepburn, Dr. J.C., 372.
Hideyori, 340, 342.
Hideyoshi, 313, 333, 338.
Hindu history, 156.
Hi-nin, 115, 150.
Hinayana, 165, 167, 169, 228, 232, 238.
Hiouen Thsang, see Genj[=o].
Hiraii, 2.
Hirata, 86.
History of China, intellectual, 137.
  of Japan, intellectual, 230.
  of Japan, political, 10, 37, 44, 219.
  of Japan, religious, 227, 228.
Hitomar[=o], 60.
Hiyeisan, 16, 297.
Hodge, 102.
Hodgson, Mr. Brian H., 411, 414.
Hokke-Ki[=o], see Saddharma Pundarika.
Hokusai, 314.
Holland, 338.
H[=o]nen, 261, 264.
H[=o]-[=o], 184, 237.
Hospitals, 216, 315.
Hoss[=o]-Shu, 238, 239.
Hotei, 218.
Hotoke, 202, 269.

Idols, 175, 207, 216.
Idzumo, 44, 65.
Ikk[=o], 273.
Inari, 190.
Indra, 163, 247.
Ingwa, 217, 302, 321; see Karma.
Inquisition, 347, 348, 368.
Insurance by fetich, 24, 25.
Isaiah, 100.
Ise, 28, 184, 201.
Iyeyas[)u], 91, 100, 132, 134, 204, 205, 338, 342, 357, 358.
Izanagi and Izanami, 52, 63, 64, 207, 218.

Jade, 292.
Jains, 166.
Japan, area, 9.
  Census, 9.
  Ethnology, 43, 44.
  Geography, 9, 43, 44.
  Government, 40.
  History, 10, 37, 44, 109.
  Origins, 43.
  Population, 8, 9.
  Various names of, 73.
Japanese Bride, The, 125, 149.
Japanese characteristics, 112, 285, 361.
  Language, 113, 116, 135.
  Writing, 200.
Jataka tales, 169.
Jealousy, 124.
Jesuits, 247, 329, 337, 341, 342.
Jesus, 76, 97, 100, 117.
Jimmu Tenn[=o], 389,
Jin Gi Kuan, 49, 94, 390-392.
Jizo, 247, 305.
J[=o] d[=o] sect, 250, 275.
John, 2, 60.
J[=o]-jitsu sect, 181, 235.
Joss, 23.
Jun-shi, 68, 76, 119.
Ju-r[)u]-jin, 218.

Kaburagi, 36, 60.
Kada Adzumar[=o], 91.
Kamui, 30.
Kami-dana, 86, 88, 295.
Kamui, 30.
Kana, 199, 200, 274.
Kanda, Dai Mi[=o]-Jin, 205.
Karma, 162, 169, 186, 234, 258.
Kato Kyomasa, 278, 334, 339.
Ke-gon sect, 242-244.
Keichu, 91.
Kern, Prof. H., 155, 239.
Ki[=o]to, 183, 296, 330, 336.
Kirin, 19.
Kishimoto, Mr. Nobuta., 11.
Kiushiu, 339.
Kiyomori, 120.
Knos, Dr. George Wm., 182, 228, 288, 385.
Kobayashi, Rev. Ze-jun, 425.
K[=o]b[=o], 89, 197, 205, 248, 250.
Kojiki, 29, 32, 40, 41, 52, 74, 82-90, 149, 195, 197.
Ko-ken, Empress, 310.
Kompira, 204.
Konishi, 334, 335.
Korea, 9, 21, 26, 40, 41, 74, 106, 107, 168, 179, 180, 292, 310, 328,
    332, 333, 334, 355, 368.
Kosatsu, 368.
Ku-ya, 198.
Kumi, Prof., 76-82.
Kun-shin, 111, 113, 116, 117, 213.
Ku-sha sutra, 232, 233.
Kwannon, 181, 207, 247, 319.
Ky[=u]so, 132, 144.

Lamaism, 107.
Language of China, 237.
  of England, 295.
  of Holland, 364, 365.
  of Japan, 39, 113, 116, 134, 265, 295, 299, 364.
  of Korea, 116.
Lao Tsze, 102, 144, 218.
Laws of Japan, 358.
Lecky, Mr., 344.
Legendre, Gen., 385, 389.
Legge, Dr. J., 100, 378.
Libraries, 253, 327.
Lingam, see Phallicism.
Literature, 39, 100, 141, 156, 159, 216, 252, 313, 318, 369.
Liturgy, see Norito.
Lloyd, Rev. A., 258.
Loo-choo, see Rin Kin.
Lotus, 434, 435, 437.
Love, 117, 118.
Lowell, Mr. Percival, 397, 423.
Loyalty, see Kun-shin.
Luther, 271.
Lyman, Prof. B.S., 383.

Mabuchi, 90, 91.
MacDonald, Rev. James, 8.
Magatama, 68, 292.
Mahayana, 105; see Greater Vehicle.
Maitreya, 169, 170, 218, 236, 244.
Malays, 9, 43.
Mandala, 203.
Munjusri, 170, 171, 179, 262.
Mantra, 248.
Many[=u]-shu, 39, 40.
Marco Polo, 42.
Mark, 60.
Marriage, 123, 126, 149.
Martyrs, 337, 344, 359, 360, 362, 366-369.
Masakado, 209.
Matsugami, 209.
Matsuri, 28.
Meiji Era, 112, 116, 256.
Mencius, 106, 112, 137.
Mendez, Pinto, 42.
Mexico, 349.
Mikado, 44, 45, 76, 92, 95, 96, 114, 117, 184, 191, 201.
Mikadoism, 45-49, 74-82, 184, 202.
Military monks, 247.
Minamoto, 271.
Ming dynasty, 134.
Mioken, 279.
Miracles, 216, 267.
Mirror, 83.
Missionary training, 6-8.
Mito, 111, 134, 143, 366.
Miya, 82-84, 209.
Monasteries, 162, 165, 298, 311, 312.
Monotheism, 15, 81, 103, 104, 145, 174, 187.
Morse lectureship, 4.
Morse, Prof E.S., 377.
Motooeri, 80, 91, 290.
Mozoomdar, 411, 420.
Mueller, Prof. Max, 211.
Munzinger, Rev. C., 403.
Murray, Dr. David, 402.
Mutsuhito, 60, 316.

Nagasaki, 332, 337, 343, 344, 358, 362.
Nakatomi, 48.
Names, 127, 202, 265.
Names of Japan, 73, 82.
Namu-Amida-Butsu, 259, 261.
Nanjio Bunyin, 231.
Nara, 182, 237, 243, 296.
Nehan, see Nirvana.
Nepal, 167, 168, 171.
New Buddhism, 284, 285.
Nichiren, 277, 278.
   Sect, 277-280, 334, 339.
Nihilism, 236, 240, 241.
Nihongi, 41, 56, 62.
Nikk[=o], 185, 263.
Nirvana, 162, 163, 186, 200, 302, 303.
Nitobe, Mr. Inazo, 352, 360.
Nobunaga, 312, 331, 332.
Norito, 38, 47-49, 54, 55-58, 79, 80, 96.
Northern Buddhism, 165.

Obaku sect, 283.
Offerings, 57.
Ogurusu, Rev. Ku-ch[=o], 214.
Obashi Junzo, 145.
Ojin, 204.
Onna-ishi, see Phallicism.
Original prayer, 271.
Original vow, 273, 312.
Orphan asylums, 216.
Osaka, 130, 312, 368.

Pages, Mr. Leon, 449.
Pagodas, 203.
Pantheism, 31, 142, 143, 187, 219, 243.
Paradise, 210, 229, 259, 261, 280.
Parliament of Religions, 5, 39, 72, 283.
Peking, 105.
Perry, Commodore M.C., 129, 316, 352, 360, 364, 365.
Persecutions, 93, 343.
Persian elements, 195, 202, 304.
Personality, 116.
Pessimism, 214.
Phallicism, 29-30, 49-53, 88, 380-384.
Philo, 192, 197, 201.
Phoenix, 19, 20.
Pilgrimages, 298, 290.
Pindola, see Binzuru.
Poetry, 223; see Many[=u]shu.
Politeness, 74, 241.
Popular customs, 192.
Population, 8, 9, 177, 291, 359.
Popular movement in China, 138.
Portuguese, 344, 345, 347.
Pratyekas, 234.
Prayers, 86-88.
Prayer-wheels, 175.
Printing, 133, 134, 200.
Prometheus, 53.
Protestantism, 155, 162, 252, 274.
Pronouns, 116.
Proverbs, 28, 179, 226, 270, 307, 332, 352, 389.
Psychology of the Japanese, 230, 241.
Pure Land of Bliss, 198, 263-265.
Purification of 1870, 206, 210, 213, 222, 248, 360.
Pyrronism, 240.

Rai Sanyo, 143.
Rakan, 305.
"Reformed" Buddhism, 270, 274-277.
Renny[=o] Sh[=o]-nin, 258.
Revision of Confucianism, 148-152.
Revival of pure Shint[=o], 91-96.
Revolving libraries, 253.
Ris-shu, 236-238.
Rituals, see Norito.
Riu Kiu, 9, 109.
Riy[=o]bu, 89, 191, 203, 209, 211, 212, 223.
Rosaries, 266.

Saddharma Pundarika, 170, 229, 246, 280, 304.
Sado, 341.
Salt, 85.
Samurai, 110, 119, 146, 151, 152.
San Kai Ri, 211.
Sanron sect, 182, 240.
Sanskrit, 25, 182, 200, 210, 245, 249.
Saratashi, 218.
Satow, Mr. Ernest, 39, 47, 386.
Satsuma, 313.
Schools of Philosophy:
  Chinese, 136-139.
  Indian, 159-164, 232.
  Japanese, 356-358, 369.
Sekigaharu, 338.
Sendai, 119.
Seppuku, see Hara-kiri.
Serpent-worship, 30-33, 278, 279, 385.
Seven Gods of Good Fortune, 217, 218.
Shaka, 160, 161, 179, 254.
Shakyamuni, see Shaka.
Shaminism, 15-17.
Shang-Ti, 103, 104.
Shari, 182.
Shastra and Sutra, 231.
Shichimen, 278.
Shigomori, 120.
Shimabara, 344.
Shingaku movement, 369, 370.
Shingon sect, 185, 203, 248-251.
Shinran, 271-274.
Shin sect, 270-276, 317.
Shint[=o], 38, 42, 76, 89, 96, 97, 142, 184, 195, 214, 319.
Sin, 285, 288.
Sh[=o]-gun, 110, 115, 143.
Shomon, 236.
Sh[=o]toku, 180, 181, 208, 236, 313.
Siddartha, 410.
Soga no Iname, 180.
Soshi, 95, 278.
Southern Buddhism, 165, 167.
Spaniards, 336, 337, 340, 347.
Stars, 92.
Statistics of Buddhism, 309.
  of Shint[=o], 400, 401.
Sugawara Michizane, 204.
Suicide, 112, 118-121, 147, 151.
Suiko, 180.
Sung dynasty, 414, 437.
Sun-goddess, 66, 104, 201, 203.
Sun-worship, 46, 47, 82, 87.
Swastika, 305.
Swords, 7, 378.
Syle, Rev. E.W., 36.
Syncretism, 191-194, 205.
Synergism, 268, 271, 272.
Szma Kwang, 138.

Taik[=o], see Hideyoshi.
Takahashi, Mr. Gor[=o], 384.
Takashi, Rev. Dai-Ryo, 238.
Taketori Monogatari, 423.
Tantra system, 194.
Ta[=o]ism, 106, 215, 218.
Tathagata, 259.
Tathata, 243, 246.
Taylor, Bayard, 380.
Tea plant, 208.
Tei-Shn philosophy, 139, 145.
Temples, 83, 93, 209, 305-309.
Ten, 144.
Tendai sect, 185, 244-248, 268.
Tenjin, 204.
Tenn[=o], 184.
Tenshi, 184.
Terence, 128.
Theism, 172.
Theological seminaries, 6-8.
Tibet, 165, 167, 170.
Tobacco, 209.
Tokugawas, 141, 143, 356, 365.
Torii, 84, 210.
Tortoise, 19.
Transmigration of souls, 315.
Tree-worship, 30, 31.
Triads, 171, 255, 279.
Trinity, 428.
Tripitaka, 160, 170, 231.
Tsuji, Rev. Ken-ko, 425.
Tsukushi, 44.
Tsushima, 44.
Tycoon, see Sh[=o]-gun.

Ueda, Rev. Sho-Hen, 425.
Upanishads, 156, 161, 162.
Ushi toki mairi, 31.
Uzume, 68.

Vagra, 305.
Vagrabodhi, 248, 249.
Vairokana, 184, 244, 250.
Vedas, 156, 158, 159, 160, 162.
Vehicles, the three, 234, 235; see also Hinayana and Mahayana.
Victims, 74.

Washington, 114.
Western Paradise, 277.
Wheel of the law, 302.
Whitney, Prof. W.D., 211, 277.
William the Silent, 114.
Woman, 123, 149, 275, 318-320.

Xavier, 324, 329, 330, 345, 346, 347.

Yamato, 44, 76, 87, 91, 109, 177, 179.
   Damashii, 44, 147, 151, 152, 172.
Yamato-Tosa art, 114,
Yedo, 110, 115, 119, 141, 220, 238, 340, 360, 366.
Yen Sect, 252-256.
Yezo, 43, 317.
Yoga, 157, 197, 199, 201, 209, 211.
Yoga-chara, 194, 203, 249.
Yokoi Heishiro, 112, 316, 366, 367.
Yori, see Phallicism.
Yoshida Shoin, 147.
Yoshiwara system, 404.

Zend[=o], 261-262, 267.
Zenk[=o]ji, 179, 181.

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