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of Satzuma admitted Xavier to an audience, and gave him permission to teach and preach the Gospel.
• At this period the Japanese empire was the scene of frequent commotion and internal strife. The different princes were almost independent sovereigns. Contending with the supreme government, and with each other, they eagerly embraced every opportunity for realizing the objects of their ambition. The few years of intercourse with the Portuguese had sufficed to enlighten them upon the advantages and profits to be gained from their trade. Every encouragement was consequently given to the traders and settlers, and every facility afforded them for carrying on their commercial concerns.
• When Xavier arrived at Kangasima, the prince of Satzuma was not slow in observing the great respect and homage paid him by the merchants. To serve his own interests he, too, paid marked attention to Xavier, and endeavoured by persuasion and kindness to retain him at his court ; conceiving that if he could conciliate Xavier, and induce him to reside in his state, the commerce of the Portuguese would also find its seat there, and prove a source of great revenue to him.'
Earnest, zealous, eloquent, benevolent, and charitable, the success of the missionaries was soon established, and before Xavier left, after a residence of nearly two years, the Roman Catholic Church had obtained a firm and strong hold on the hearts of the Japanese. Not, however, that we are disposed to give credence to the statement of the Jesuit fathers, and after travellers, quoted without comment by Mr. Macfarlane, that theimmediate successor of Xavier · founded fifty churches, and baptized with his own hands more than 30,000 converts.' It has been well ascertained that the success of the early Jesuit missions, though considerable and surprising, was not so marvellous as was represented by the imaginative pens of the zealous disciples of Loyola. There can be no question, however, that the Roman Catholic faith made great progress in Japan. The people were blinded and attracted by the pomp and ceremonial of its half Pagan, half Christian, ritualism. In connexion with the first attempts of the Jesuits to plant the Catholic faith in these islands, there is a ludicrous circumstance mentioned by Kämpfer. * At first,' says this old Dutch writer, 'the fathers, being unacquainted with the policy, customs, manners, and language of the Japanese, were obliged to get their sermons and lessons to the people translated into Japanese by not over-skilful interpreters, and the Japanese words written in Latin characters, which being done, they read out of these papers what they did not understand themselves, and in a manner, as may be easily imagined, which could not but
them to the laughter of the less serious part of their audience. But in spite of these drawbacks, Romanism had so far gained on the affections of the people in 1582, that the Japanese Christians sent an embassy of seven persons to Rome, who were presented at the Vatican on the enthroni. zation of Pope Sixtus V. in 1585. Nor was the court altogether unfavourable to the new faith, and monks and friars, native and foreign, were permitted to take up their residence in the principal cities of the empire. These, however, presumed too much upon their strength and influence. All accounts agree in representing that they grew rapacious, sensual, and insolent. They aped the manners of the highest aristo. cracy; undisguisedly sought for lands and wealth by any and every
means; openly cursed the old religions, and at last refused to the grandees of the nation the common respect due to the rank which they occupied. This brought down the first storm of persecution upon the Roman Catholic Church. The hitherto mild and tolerant character of the native government at once changed. The adherents of the new faith were proscribed, many were impaled upon the cross, the rest were scattered abroad through every quarter of the empire; the crosses were pulled down, schools and churches were razed to the ground, and the Faith itself was declared infamous, subversive of all ancient institutions, and of all authority and government.' In this persecution the native professors suffered to a much greater extent than the foreigners. Self-interest prompted a more lenient course to be pursued towards the Portuguese. Their commerce had become valuable, and this was still allowed, but they were confined to one islet, and denied the privilege longer to roam at large through the country. Before this occurred, however, the Dutch had visited the island, and through the influence of one William Adams, an Englishman, who had attained to great favour at court, and whose romantic story, copied from Purchas, forms not the least interesting part of Mr. Macfarlane's volume, obtained permission to trade with the people. At this time the Portuguese and Dutch were at war, and soon after an event occurred which, for its influence on the future fortunes of the strangers, and on the opening political and commercial relations of Japan, may be regarded as the most important in the history of that country. We quote Mr. Macfarlane's account of this event :
* A Portuguese ship, on its way from the East to Lisbon, was captured by the Dutch near the Cape of Good Hope. Among other matters found on board the prize, were certain treasonable letters to the King of Portugal, written by a native Japanese, styled by the Europeans Captain Moro. This man had long been a principal agent of the Portuguese in the country, a close friend of the Jesuits, and a great zealot for the Roman Church. Whether the Jesuits themselves, or others of the missionaries, were privy to this correspondence, is not clearly proved ; but there is reason at least to suspect that the force of circumstances had induced, or compelled, the Jesuits (the real agents of that conversion) to associate themselves with the disaffected native Christians, and with a native political party, in some civil feud which then distracted Japan. Their converts were so numerous, and could be increased with so much facility, that they may have entertained the not very unreasonable hope of being able, with some assistance from Europe, to overturn the old empire, and establish a new and Christian dynasty. In other eyes besides those of the disciples of Loyola, such an end would have gone far to justify the means. The Dutch, rejoicing in so excellent an opportunity of finishing the ruin of the Portuguese, lost no time in laying the intercepted' letters before their patron, the Prince of Firando, who communicated them to the governor of Nagasaki, as supreme director and judge in foreign affairs. Poor Captain Moro, the Japanese Christian, was forthwith arrested. He stoutly denied the charge and the letters ; but his own hand and seal were against him. His letters laid open the whole plot, which the Japanese Christians, in conjunction with some Portuguese, had said against the emperor's throne. They also showed that all they wanted was a supply of soldiers and ships, which had been promised them from Portugal ; and, unhappily, they revealed the names of the Japanese chiefs who had entered into the conspiracy, the success of which was to be crowned by the benediction of the Pope at Rome. It is also asserted that these discoveries were afterwards confirmed by another letter, written by Moro to the Portuguese
Government at Macao, which was intercepted and brought to Nagasaki by a Japanese vessel. Poor Moro was burned alive at a stake; and in the course of the year (1637) an imperial proclamation was issued, decreeing that “the whole race of the Portuguese, with their mothers, nurses, and whatever belongs to them, shall be banished for ever.''
• The same proclamation,' continues Mr. Macfarlane, ‘set forth that no Japanese ship or boat, or any native of Japan, should henceforth presume to quit the country under pain of forfeiture and death ; that any Japanese returning from a foreign country should be put to death; that no nobleman or soldier should be suffered to purchase anything of a foreigner; that any person presuming to bring a letter from abroad, or to return to Japan after he had been banished, should die, with all his family, and that whosoever presumed to intercede for such offender should be put to death, &c.; that all persons who propagated the doctrines of the Christians, or bore that scandalous name, should be seized and immured in the common gaol, &c. A reward was offered for the discovery of every padre, or priest, and a smaller reward for the discovery of every native Christian. • Some of the Portuguese were scared away at once; but others lingered in their narrow factory or prison at Desima, hoping that the wrath would blow over, and that they might yet be allowed at least a little traffic. But the emperor was resolved to get rid of them entirely; and on the assurance of the Dutch that they would regularly supply the country with the goods and commodities required, he again declared the Portuguese enemies of the empire, and forbade them for ever to import even the goods of their own country.
• Thus the Portuguese lost their profitable trade with Japan; and they were totally expelled the country before the close of the year 1639.'
A cold and horrible massacre of all the native converts to Romanism followed, a massacre in which, to their indelible disgrace, the Dutch openly assisted. Forty thousand are said to have perished in this bloody destruction-a number which places the event on the same platform of infamy with the persecutions of the Diocletian and Vaudois Christians. Political considerations were of course the pretext for the massacre, and with the Japanese it was unquestionably, we think, an honest one, but the help of the Dutch was rendered for the paltriest mercenary consideration. Their conduct admits neither of justification nor apology, but it serves pointedly to illustrate the wretched and hardening influence, on this commercial nation, of their sordid thirst for gold. The Christians were buried in one common heap, where they were slaughtered, and over their yawning grave was placed this blaspheming, but puny inscription :—So long as the sun shall warm the earth, let no Christian be so bold as to come to Japan; and let all know that the King of Spain himself, or the Christian's God, or the great God of all, i he violate this command, shall pay for it with his head.'
Since this period, no nation but the Dutch has been permitted to harbour near any town or village of the Japanese. English, American, and Russian vessels have repeatedly assayed to establish an intercourse with the people, but the attempt has always failed. The law admits of no exception, and any one who should break it, must either commit suicide to save his family from death and dishonour, and his lands from sequestration, or himself, and all connected with him, be involved in one common ruin. One is glad to know that the Dutch have not reaped much profit from their apostasy from humanity. They are confined to the wretched islet of Desima, which Kämpfer says, is ' more like a prison than a factory,' and within a space of 600 feet in length and 240 in breadth. From this islet they dare not stir; on it they are obliged to live in miserable wooden houses; they are constantly watched by guards, police, and spies; and, moreover, are obliged to pay these people for the annoyance they cause them.' No female, native or foreign, is allowed to be with them; while everything is done by the Government and its agents to insult and harass the traders. Probably no other nation but the Dutch would have submitted, for so long a period, to these humiliating conditions of traffic; at any rate, for so small a recompense. The Chinese restrictions on commerce were once galling enough; but what can move a Dutchman?'
It is hardly remarkable, that with the very limited sources of information that have been opened to us, our knowledge of the history of Japan should be extremely fragmentary, and, perhaps, incorrect. The Japanese, however, are a literary people, and if once their jealousy of strangers be overcome, it is probable that we shall know more of their history than of any other Eastern nation. According to present accounts, they claim, in common with the Egyptians, Persians, Hindoos, and Chinese, to be descended from the gods. Mr. Macfarlane adopts the conclusions of modern ethnologists, that the race is of Tartar origin, and belongs to the great Mongolian family; and he supposes, in common with Dr. Pickering, that they may once have peopled a great part of the American continent. If so, they should bear some resemblance to the present race of Red Indians, and we doubt not any ethnologist, always excepting Dr. Knox, would not be long in detecting a number of incidents in tradition, language, and formation, common to both people. As it is, they trace their monarchy to the year 660 B.C.-a date just upon one hundred years later than that now established as the year of the foundation of Rome. At this period, their emperors appear to have had an uncommon tenacity of life, and one of them is said to have attained the age of 156 years.
Their government then was strictly theocratical, the same person uniting in himself the offices of priest and king. Subsequently the duties were divided, and until the present time there are two reigning sovereigns, one, the Dairi, discharging the duties of the spiritual, and the other, the Mikado, of the secular government.
As far as our present information extends, the course of Japanese history has been unusually smooth. Civil wars appear to have been their greatest curse. Of invasions they have known but little—a circumstance owing as much to their insular position as to the fact that they have
no conquering people resident near them. Kublai Khan, to whom we have before referred, after he had subjected the whole of the Chinese empire to his dominion, twice attempted an invasion of Japan. The first invasion failed. On the second occasion, it is said-we apprehend with the usual accuracy of Japanese historians—that the fleet of the Tartar despot consisted of not fewer than 4,000 vessels, and that the number of men embarked amounted to 240,000. This is stated in the true spirit of national vanity, common to all Eastern annalists. If their nation ever gains a victory, it is always over an immense force, for the greater the power of the enemy, the greater is their prowess in withstanding, and their glory in overcoming it. A second time the 'gods of the country' fought for Japan; a storm scattered the fleet, and those who escaped the storm fell by the hands of the enemy. After this we hear of no invasion of the sacred empire.
Every nation has its hero, and the hero of the Japanese is Taiko Samo, Most High and Sovereign Lord,' alias The Ape,' who governed Japan during the latter part of the sixteenth century. Taiko Samo is stated to have commenced his career as a hewer and carrier of wood.
From this menial occupation he was taken into the service of an officer attached to the court of Nobounanga, the Ziogun. In the capacity of a private soldier, he attracted the attention of the Ziogun, who had the reputation of being a shrewd judge of men. His advancement was rapid. At length he obtained a separate command, and in a short space of time was recognised as one of the most skilful generals of the empire. His patron the Ziogun, now reaped the fruits of his discernment; and Taiko zealously strove to repay to his sovereign the favours he had received from him. It was owing to his skill and valour, that the cause of Nobounanga was maintained against a host of powerful opponents. But, though powerful against hosts, Taiko was unable to restrain private malice. Nobounanga fell beneath the sabre or dagger of an assassin; leaving, as his successor, a grandson, a youth possessed of little influence or talent.
Presently, on the death of Nobounanga, the most disaffected, turbulent, and ambitious of the princes and nobles of the land, flew to arms, contending among themselves for the seat of power. For a time, anarchy reigned ; but, at length, Taiko, who had been fighting the battles of his late sovereign in a distant part of the land, arrived, by a succession of rapid marches, at the scene of action; and, falling suddenly on the contending parties, put their forces to the rout. The leader of a numerous and well-disciplined army, Taiko felt his power, and installed himself the successor of Nobounanga.
• The superiority of the Micado was at first acknowledged by the new Ziogun. After a few months, he declared himself independent and absolute. Irresistible in might and skill, he crushed every attempt at opposition; and, ruling the princes and nobles with a rod of iron, he reduced them to a state of abject submission. Adding policy to force, he declared war against Corea, which, in the lapse of ages, had regained its independence, and despatched a force of 200,000 men for the conquest of that country.' After the successful termination of the expedition, Taiko distinguished himself no less as a legislator than he had before as a warrior. He was evidently a man of great powers of mind, strong will, indomitable courage, and a perfect master of the most difficult of all arts—the art of ruling. His laws are represented to be extremely severe and inflexible, but just, and well adapted to circumstance and time. He