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Japan, its history, arts and literature (Volume 3) online

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the mansion where, forty years ago, Rekko and his clansmen
discussed the possibility of setting the narrowest limits to for-
eign intercourse, is now the site of a big factory, telling how
completely Japan has adopted foreign civilisation.

NOTE 33. The samurai that committed these acts of
blood had abandoned their houses and their paid service, and
devoted themselves solely to a crusade in their country's cause.

NOTE 34. Samurai who, as described in a previous
chapter, abandoned their feudal service and became a species of
knight errant for the purpose of achieving some aim, generally

NOTE 35. Of the eighteen ronin who assassinated li, one
was killed in the struggle ; one, who fled with the Tairo's
head, was incapacitated by his hurts and committed suicide ;
three fell wounded ; eight surrendered themselves, and only five

NOTE 36. Yoshida Torajiro, announcing in a letter to
his father his intention of forming a band to kill Manabe, the
Shogun's delegate to Kyoto, said : " If I die in the attempt,
death may be considered as life."

NOTE 37. Foreigners settled originally at Kanagawa and
subsequently moved to Yokohama, two or three miles down
the bay.

NOTE 38. It is just to note that their suspicion was
never shared by the United States Representative, Mr. Town-
send Harris. His belief in the sincerity of the Japanese officials
never wavered, and when, after the murder of Mr. Heusken,
which Mr. Harris must have felt more keenly than any of his
colleagues, they decided to move their Legations from Yedo to
Yokohama as a protest against the supposed duplicity and inef-
ficiency of the Shogun's officials, the American Representative
remained at his post, and his declared view of the circumstances
of the time showed a clearness of insight that contrasts forcibly
with the ignorance of other foreigners.

NOTE 39. Joint Note on the Political Situation and State



of Affairs in Japan, drawn up at two conferences of the For-
eign Representatives held in Yedo on the nineteenth and
twenty-first of January, 1861.

NOTE 40. British State Papers 1855-70.

NOTE 41. The lady was not purposely spared. A sword-
stroke aimed at her neck shore off a feather in her hat. This
attempt to kill a woman excited much indignation among for-
eigners. But the writer of these pages has been assured by two
of the samurai directly concerned in the affair, that the idea of
a female being among the party of foreigners did not present
itself for a moment to the men of the Satsuma escort. A for-
eign woman in a riding habit and a foreign man in a coat
offered no points for discrimination to Japanese soldiers entirely
without knowledge of aliens and their costumes.

NOTE 42. The foreign public knew nothing of these
things. They imagined that the Sbogun had gone to Kyoto to
receive investiture at the Emperor's hands.

NOTE 43. The principal objection urged against it is that
as the Straits of Shimo-no-seki are Japanese inland waters, for-
eign ships had no right to be there, and consequently could not
justly complain of the treatment they received. But even if it
be admitted that to open fire on a vessel flying a friendly flag is
a legitimate method of remonstrating against her illegal presence,
the reader will have seen, from what has been recorded above,
that the act of the Choshiu gunners was not a simple protest
against trespass, but the deliberate inauguration of an attempt
to terminate foreign intercourse.

NOTE 44. Now Marquis Ito and Count Inouye, two of
the leading statesmen of Japan.

NOTE 45. Afterwards Count Goto and Count Fukuoka,
prominent statesmen of the Meiji era.

NOTE 46. The most prominent among these seven nobles
was Prince Sanj5, afterwards prime minister under the Meiji

NOTE 47. France had always shown herself particularly
friendly to the Tokugawa, and was therefore regarded with
some distrust by the founders of the new system.



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Online LibraryF. (Frank) BrinkleyJapan, its history, arts and literature (Volume 3) → online text (page 16 of 16)