kurea; and before them the great military families
of the Gen and Hdi subdued the northern savages
and made the civilization of the whole empire possi-
ble. The Tokugawas who now rule us are the de-
scendants of the Genji. Above all others, give
honor to the Mikado, but never forget his faithful
" Was ever our land of Echizen wild and unciv-
" Yes ; but of the three Echi Echizen, Etchiu,
and Echigo, which lie along the west coast of our
90 HONDA THE SAMURAI.
great island between the central mountains and the
sea, and between Kyoto and the wild north Echi-
zen was civilized first. I propose to tell you the story
of how the arms of the Mikado were in the early
ages extended over all Hondo, as we call the main
island of Japan. I shall partly read from our great
historian Rai Sanyo, who has written the best history
of our country, and partly explain by talking. The
story will also show the origin of many of our cus-
toms, the favorite subjects of our artists and ro-
mancers, and also tell how the Throne and the Camp
came to be separated."
" And may I ask questions as we go along ? " in-
" Certainly, my son. I want you to learn all you
can, so I shall begin with the story of Yoshi-iye',
who may be called the founder of the Gen family,
or Genji; though the first men to whom the name
of Minarnoto was given were grandsons of the Mi-
kado Se*iwa, just as the first man named Taira was a
great-grandson of the Mikado Kuammu. The Chi-
nese sounds of Minamoto and Taira are Gen and
" Oh, yes ; we boys divide into two parts, those in
our street and those in the next, when we play
games, and call ourselves Genji and He"ikd. When
we are rivals at school, and when at kite-time we
play at cutting kite-strings, and the polo-players
with red and white hats, and, indeed, whoever are
opposed to each other, call themselves Genji and
Hdike. Will you tell us about them and the mean-
ing of their names ? "
ME. RAI TALKS POLITICS. 91
" Yes ; but it is difficult to know just how the most
ancient noble families received their names, though
these were originally bestowed by the Mikado. One
of the court families has a name meaning ' Orange,'
another ' Wistaria-meadow ; ' but of Minamoto or
Gen, and the Taira or He'i, the families which had
their origin eight centuries ago, the meaning is lost.
I shall now tell you the story of the campaigns of
Toshi-lye*, which means ' He who raises up our
house,' and you will soon see how he got his name.
" Anciently the empire of Dai Nippon was con-
fined to a comparatively small portion in the central
part of the main island, or Hondo. The land north
and east of Kyoto was comparatively unknown or
unexplored, and filled with tribes of savages who
gave uncertain obedience to the Mikado, and fre-
quently broke out in rebellion. To subdue them
and extend his rule, the Mikado sent out brave gen-
erals from Kyoto who won great renown in conquer-
ing these tracts of northern country, and paving the
way for the civil governors and the centralized sys-
tem of government. These generals were almost
entirely chosen from the great military families of
the Gen and He'i, while the Fuji-wara and other
families were noted for their civil talents. The He'i
generals made conquest chiefly in the south, and the
Gen in the east and north.
" One of the first Gen soldiers who led a victo-
rious expedition into the region north of Yedo,
which was then a wild moor or prairie region, was
Yoriyoshi. On his return to the capital, having won
92 HONDA THE SAMURAI.
great fame, the Mikado conferred higher rank upon
him, and the praises of the hero were sounded on
every side. A nobleman of the He'i family gave
him his daughter in marriage. This lady was very
beautiful and highly accomplished in court life, and
after his long wars and many years spent ' under
the dews and stars, with iron and sharpness in his
hand,' the fierce warrior settled down to the joys of
a roof, of mats, of music, of love, and of home.
" Yoriyoshi longed for a son to bear half his own
name, linked with that of the family, which none
dare use in an uncalled-for manner.
" One night, as he lay asleep, he dreamed that
Hachiman, the god of war, whose original shrine
was at a place called Eight Flags, or Banners, near
Kyoto, a later one being at Tsuruga, appeared to
him in great splendor with eight banners waving
round him. The august being approached the war-
rior and presented him with a sword.
" This was a dream of most lucky omen. When
he awoke he told his wife, and, full of joy, medi-
tated deeply on the vision. Some time after that a
son was born, and there was great rejoicing in Yori-
yoshi's house. The female neighbors, friends, and
ladies of rank came in to congratulate the mother,
while old comrades and the nobles rejoiced with the
father. They also sent presents of food, sweetmeats,
fans, and other things wrapped in the red and white
cord. Yoriyoshi said, This boy will yoshi [raise up
or make to flourish] our iye [house or family].
So he took the word yoshi from his own name and
ME. BAI TALKS POLITICS. 93
joined it to iy, and the child was taken to the
temple and there named Yoshi-iye'.
" As the boy grew up, it was seen that his nature
was full of energy and perseverance. Nothing
could turn him back from his set purpose except
the orders of his parents or superiors, whom he
always obeyed without asking ' Naze (why) ? ' He
continually practiced with the bow, spear, and sword.
In time his archery became the theme of praise
throughout the army. He rode by his father in all
his military expeditions, and never feared the whiz-
zing of arrows or the cries of the enemy.
" Until the age of fifteen it is the custom of Jap-
anese lads to wear the hair in boyish style, that is
with a forelock. Arriving at mature years (fifteen)
the youth has his forehead shaved with much cere-
mony in the presence of relatives. Then putting on
the manly dress of tunic and loose trowsers, he re-
ceives the congratulations of his friends and is
henceforth known and treated as a man. If his
father dies, and he is the eldest son, he becomes the
head of the family. On the occasion, which is
called gem-buku, Yoshi-iy6 was not shaved and robed
indoors as usual, but went out to the shrine of Hach-
iman, the god of the eight banners, and there sub-
mitted to the ceremony. He also put on his Sboshi,
or high, black paper cap of rank, in front of the
shrine. For this he was named Hachiman-taro, or
' the war-god's firstborn son.' Thence after he
went to war in the north, and whenever in battle
the enemy saw a valiant soldier slaughtering his tens
94 HONDA THE SAMURAL
upon tens, they cried out one to another, ' It is
Hachiman-taro ! ' and retreated.
" His favorite tactics were called the ' long-snake
order,' because he massed his troops in easily han-
dled lines, like the folds of a snake.
" Yoshi-iy^ was always ready to learn, and though
always victorious was never proud of his military
skill. On one occasion, while visiting the palace of
a nobleman in Kyoto, he gave an account of his
battles in the north. There was a professor of mili-
tary science in another room, who, listening through
the paper partition, said to a friend of Yoshi-iye" :
" ' Your master is a fine fellow, but he does n't
understand military tactics. What a pity ! '
" This friend went and told Yoshi-iye", thinking he
would be very angry. But Yoshi-iy6 quickly said,
'Perhaps it is so.' As the professor was coming
out of the house, Yoshi-iyd went up and thanked
him for what he had said. He then asked permis-
sion to become his pupil. The professor agreed, and
Yoshi-iy6 went to study with him. Thus the wise
and brave soldier, not ashamed to be learning even
after many brilliant victories, became a student once
more. Instead of lazily carousing in the capital, he
was diligent with books and pen, as with arrows in
the battle or mantlets in the siege.
" In the year A.D. 1087 a rebellion broke out, and
Yoshi-iy6 headed several tens of thousands of horse-
men and marched once more to the land of the bear
and the wolf the wild north country of DeVa.
Two mighty rebel chiefs had united their forces and
MR. EAI TALKS POLITICS. 96
attacked one of the loyal garrisons inside a stock-
ade. Yoshi-iyd approached the besiegers' host, warily
guarding against surprise, though his officers thought
there was no danger, they being yet several leagues
distant from the stockade. Yoshi-iye' rode ahead,
keeping a sharp lookout for signs of the foe. Sud-
denly his men saw him reign up his charger and
point to a flock of wild geese flying about in dis-
order in the sky, and not in their regular soldier-
like line. (See frontispiece.)
" ' Look ! ' cried Yoshi-iye", ' there are ambuscaders
near by. Throw out skirmishers of spearmen on
either flank and let them beat the underbrush. Let
the best archers go to the front and follow the spear-
" The orders were quickly obeyed. Shortly after
the scouts found the rebels lurking in ambush;
Yoshi-iy^'s men quickly surrounded and after a short
fight captured them. It was ' as easy as splitting
" Then Yoshi-iye* addressed his troops and said :
" ' Military science teaches me that when birds are
frightened and confused there is an enemy near. If
I had not studied, I should have been in danger.'
" He then surrounded the stockade and bade the
conch-shell blowers sound the charge. It was a very
strong post, and though Yoshi-iye' himself led the
van the gates could not be forced. Just at this
time Yoshimitsu, or Yoshi the third, his brother,
having resigned his position in Kyoto in order to
join his brave brother, reached the camp. Yoshi-iye"
96 HONDA THE SAMUBAI.
put him at the head of a division and again made
an attack, but the stockade could not be taken.
When they determined to starve out the enemy,
Yoshi-iy divided his men into two bands, the many
fainthearted and the few stout-hearted. Every
time he saw a man show a special act of valor he
promoted him into the stout-hearted band.
"As the siege wore on, Yoshi-iy gave orders to
cease fighting in order to starve out the rebels.
He surrounded the front of his camp fronting the
enemy with mantlets of heavy slabs of wood six
feet high and three feet wide, slanting toward the
stockade, and held up by a hinged support within.
Appointing vigilant guards at the gates, he allowed
his soldiers to lie down behind their mantlets and
have a good time eating, drinking, sleeping, and
" This annoyed the rebels very much, and one day
their general sent word to Yoshi-iy6 : ' My army
grumbles much at having nothing to do ; let us get
up a wrestling-match. I have a lusty champion
named Kame'tsunu. Do you send a strong man to
wrestle with him. So Yoshi-iy6 picked out a soldier
whom his comrades called the 0m, or 'demon-war-
rior.' The champions met, and, after a short bout,
the demon-warrior threw and killed his foe.
" The weather now grew very cold, a deep snow
fell, and horses and men suffered greatly. The sol-
diers were afraid of being frozen, and some clamored
to be led home; but Yoshi-iy never quailed, and
resolved to persevere until the stockade fell.
MR. BAI TALKS POLITICS. 97
" The rebels tried all sorts of plans to increase
their provisions or to get Yoshi-iy away. Once,
when the} r sent several scores of their weakest men
into Yoshi-iye"s camp to surrender themselves, Hide"-
taka, one of his captains, said, ' It is only to make
their food last longer. Better cut off their heads.'
The prisoners were made to kneel down in a row
and their heads were cut off.
" The rebels now begged to be allowed to surren-
der, and asked that Yoshimitsu should come to them
to make conditions. Yoshi-iye' sent Hide'taka, who
entered the rebel lines. They surrounded him with
their swords drawn out. But Hide'taka was not in
the least frightened. Then they tried to bribe him,
and offered a great share of booty.
" ' I '11 not trouble you to bribe me : we may make
booty of your goods at any moment ; ' and stroking
his sword he went out.
" The weather became still colder, thick ice formed,
and fuel was scarce. One night Yoshi-iye' issued
orders to his army, ' Burn your camp to keep warm.
The rebels' stockade will fall to-night. We '11 not
need the camp again.'
"At the dawn of day the stronghold was forced
and set on fire. The rebel chiefs folded their hands
and surrendered. Their den was swept out and
handed over to the civil authorities ; the treasonable
rebels all became the subjects of the Mikado, and
the great province DeVa was added to the peaceful
realm of the sovereign of Great Japan.
" With all his victories Yoshi-iye* was very modest.
98 HONDA THE SAMURAI.
After weaving hardness (armor) to his body, and
taking sharpness (sword) in his hands, ' having been
exposed to all weathers a thousand miles from
Kyoto,' and having encountered ten thousand mor-
tal perils, he returned to Kyoto to dwell in peace
and at home.
" At this time the ex-emperor was tormented with
horrible nightmares, and thinking that the weapons
of so invincible a warrior would drive them away,
he asked Yoshi-iy for one. The hero gave him a
black-lacquered war-bow. The emperor placed it
above his pillow in his sleeping chamber. After
that he had no more trouble and his sleep was as
calm as a child's. Wishing to reward his servant,
the emperor called Yoshi-iy6 into his presence and
inquired of him :
" ' Is not this the very bow which you carried in
your campaigns in the north ? '
" Yoshi-iy6 bowed his head and meekly said, * Your
servant does not remember.'
"Then the emperor felt his breath nearly taken
away, and he sighed deeply in admiration of such
"Thus lived Yoshi-iye*, first in battle, modest in
victory, quick to learn, and slow to boast, the ad-
miration of all military men, and the bravest of the
brave warriors who fought under the white banners.
When the eastern savages arose in swarms and plun-
dered the people, he put down the rebels, restored
the Mikado's power, until, to the end of the island,
all submitted to the imperial glory. Like his father
ME. RAI TALKS POLITICS. 99
Yoriyohi, he carried to its perfection the virtue of
reverent performance of duty during a long period.
He died at the ripe age of eighty-six, leaving behind
him six sons who all bore his own and his father's
" That will do for one evening, my son," said Mr.
Rai. "To-morrow night I shall tell of Yoritomo,
who founded the city of Kamakura."
"Thank you, my honored father; tell me this,
please : were these eastern savages people who lived
around the regions of Yedo ? "
"Yes; all eastern Japan, even where our richest
city now stands, was then wild, uncivilized, and full
" Were they Ainos or Japanese ? "
" They were a mixed race, but certainly not ex-
actly like the hairy and straight-eyed savages now
found only in Yezo, nor yet like the polished people
in Kyoto. The mass of the Japanese were then
much below the level of civilization in our day."
" And is the Tokugawa family of Yedo descended
from the Genji ? "
" They are, my son, and are very proud of it."
" Thank you, honored father ; good-night."
HOW JAPAN'S DOUBLE GOVEKNMENT BEGAN.
longest nights of the year were now com-
- ing on, and as there was a good while to be
occupied between supper and bedtime, the children
longed for more stories. They were beginning, even
the younger one, to notice the difference between
those told by their father and those which they
heard from nurse, maid, and grandmother. On the
whole, they liked better the fairy stories and funny
things which the women told them, but the histori-
cal anecdotes or the instructive legends, of which
their father knew so many, were very pleasant to
Mr. Rai had a habit of first making the children
obedient and then rewarding obedience with a story.
Though very indulgent, he was also very firm. He
commanded and made no explanation, expecting and
receiving instant obedience. Then, if it were best,
he showed the reason for what he had commanded,
and usually told a story to enforce it. He especially
wanted all his children, girls as well as boys, to
have a good education, to be good writers, able to
pen an elegant and legible letter, to know their own
country's history, and to be able to read the best
books. He cared far less for Chinese learning than
JAPAN'S DOUBLE GOVERNMENT. 101
most of the gentry, and gave himself to the study
of Japanese literature, then so much neglected.
The day following his story of Yoshi-iye", the two
children, Kozo and Ume*, who attended the school of
the writing-master who lived inside the castle, came
home almost crying because their lessons had been
so hard. They knew the forty -eight letters, called
the Kana, so well that they already called these
"baby-writing," but even the beginning of Chinese
characters seemed dreadfully hard to master. They
were not far into the " Thousand Character Classic,"
but had already become a little weary over it.
"Persevere, my little jewels," said the father.
"We reach the mountain-top only by single steps;
and remember the song which the grinder of the
crystal ball sang ' Until polished the gem has no
This cheered up time", for she remembered how
her cousin Honda Jiro had found a big lump of
rough quartz crystal. He had offered to give it to
her, but it looked so dull and whitish that she did n't
want it, until her father whispered to her to receive
it and thank him for it. Taking it to the lapidary,
who spent some weeks in chipping, grinding, and
polishing it, Mr. Rai gave it back to her on her birth-
day. Then it was a glorious sphere of flawless crys-
tal as pure as a dewdrop on a lotus. Ever since the
ball had stood in the parlor in front of the kak-
mono, or wall-picture, held in a bronze dragon claw,
and no king was more proud of his crown than was
Um of her jewel.
102 HONDA THE SAMURAI.
That night Mr. Rai allowed all the children to
stay up while he told the story of "The Court
Noble and the Rain Frog."
" In the grand and ancient days when the Mikado's
court was at Nara, there lived a noble named Ono
no Tofu who was very proud of his rank and robes
and high cap. At this time learning was held in
high honor by the emperor and his people, and a
man, however rich and high in office, could not enjoy
the honors which a scholar, however humble, might
" So great was the ardor of the nobility for learn-
ing that the proverb was then made which is still so
often quoted, ' One day at school is worth a thousand
gold coins.' The necessity of perseverance in study
and the dangers of idleness were exposed by another
proverb, ' Learning is like a wagon going up hill.'
These sentiments were often inscribed in great black
letters made with wide brush-pens and hung up on
tablets in the palaces and schools.
"Now this Ono no Tofu, when a boy, had neg-
lected to learn, and when grown up had not the
patience to attempt an education. He could write
very little. He could not read the books of the
sages. While the composition of poetry was one of
the accomplishments of every nobleman and court
lady, Ono no Tofu could not write a single line nor
get the meter of it correctly, even if he had been able
to compose a verse. For this reason Ono was often
snubbed by the literary men, who slyly laughed at
him behind his back, in their baggy sleeves, and
THE COURT NOBLE PEERING AFTER THE FROG. See page 103.
JAPAN 1 S DOUBLE GOVERNMENT. 103
called him 'Lord Fool.' Worse than all, he was
never invited to their 'poetry parties,' where witty
lords and pretty ladies met to write, exchange poems,
and to enjoy the favor of the Mikado.
" One day Ono adjusted his high cap on his head,
seized his oiled-paper umbrella, and went out to take
his usual walk. It was a damp morning and he was
very moody over the slights he so often received.
He carried his umbrella closed in his hand, and the
ground being muddy, he had on his high clogs in-
stead of his lacquered slippers, which only the ~kug,
or court nobles, were allowed to wear. These lifted
him high above the ground, making him look taller
and even more proud.
"In crossing a little rustic bridge, his attention
was attracted by a long, pendent branch of willow
which hung over the dry part of the bed of a brook.
It was swaying backwards and forwards. As there
was not a breath of air stirring, Ono was curious to
know the reason for this. He peered down through
the branches, and there on the sand sat a tiny green
rain frog [tree frog]. The tip of the willow branch
was just above his reach, and was so slippery that
every time the frog went to leap on it he lost his
hold and slid back to the ground, while the tip of
the willow branch swayed to and fro. Over and
over again the little creature tried to catch it in
his webby hands, but each time failed. It almost
tickled the little reptile's nose in the most tantaliz-
ing manner so near was it. Sometimes he would
grab the tip, but, unable to hold it, would again slip
104 HONDA THE SAMUKAL
to the ground panting for breath. Ono was now
greatly interested. He stood and watched patiently
till, after a long while, the little creature made a big
leap, seized the willow branch with both front and
hind legs, and was soon climbing up to the trunk
almost as fast as a monkey climbs a persimmon-
"The nobleman took the lesson to heart. 'Sure-
ly,' thought he, as he walked slowly home, 'if this
tiny frog can thus persevere to catch a willow
branch, I ought to be patient enough to acquire
learning.' He immediately began to study, and hired
a teacher. So earnestly did he apply himself that in
a few years he was known as an elegant scholar
and writer. He won great fame before he died, and
specimens of his penmanship and literary composi-
tion are still preserved at Nara and shown to visi-
tors, who admire them greatly."
" Thank you, honored father ; that is a good per-
severance story," said Kine". "I like yours best
because the frog remains a frog and does n't change
into something else. In the fairy tales, the fox turns
into a lady and the lady into a fox, the badger turns
a somersault and becomes a daimio, and the cat is
transformed into an old woman. All kinds of
strange things happen which we never see in the
real animals. That 's why I like real stories and
" But, honored father," said Time", " has n't the
story of the Genji something about ladies in it, or
at least something that tells about birds and flowers
JAPAN'S DOUBLE GOVERNMENT. 105
or scenery? I don't like a story that has all war and
soldiers and fighting in it."
" You are right in your desire, my daughter ; and
as in the story of to-night there are two famous
women, you can stay up and hear it, if you wish."
" Oh, thank you, greatly," said Time*, bowing her
forehead to the matting.
Then Mr. Rai began his story of
YORITOMO, THE FIRST TYCOON.
"Buddhism has been the cause of many of our
national calamities," said Mr. Rai, as a sort of pre-
face. " In the most ancient times our Mikados were
actually rulers, and there was no omission of duties
between Throne and Camp. The one capital was
Nara, or, later, Kyoto. The Buddhist priests per-
verted our emperors from the simple Shinto faith
and persuaded them to leave active government to
the nobles. In many instances the emperors shaved
off their hair and retired to monasteries. They thus
left the throne to mere babies or children, and the
work of governing the empire to the able but un-
scrupulous men like Kiyomori, the head of the Hei,
or Taira, family. The emperor did this to please the
priests, and because they thought they could win
blessedness hereafter by neglecting their duties on
earth. That is the reason why I hate the Buddhist
priests and all their ways.
" Our glorious ' Empire of the Rising Sun ' was ex-
tended to its present frontier chiefly by the prowess
of the generals of the Gen and He*i clans, in a series
106 HONDA THE SAMURAI.
of conquests beginning nearly a thousand years ago.
After campaigns on the borders were over, the heads
of the two clans living in Kyoto became jealous of
each other. At last a great feud broke out, and a
bloody contest began at the base of the imperial
chariot, that was before the palace gates. Ten
separate battles were fought in one day in front of
the palace from sunrise until noon. Then, after the