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THE

NATIONS*

HISTORIES



JAPAN




«- Iyeyasu.

From a kakemono of the Tamato-Tosa School in the Anderson
Collection, British Museum.



THE NATIONS' HISTORIES



JAPAN

FROM THE AGE OF THE GODS
TO THE FALL OF TSINGTAU

BY

F. HADLAND DAVIS

AUTHOR OF

"MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF JAPAN,"

"THE LAND OF THE YELLOW SPRING, AND

OTHER JAPANESE STORIES "

ETC.



LONDON: T. G. & E. G. JACK, LIMITED
NEW YORK : FREDERICK A. STOKES GO.

1916



J3.3



Printed in Great Britain

by Ttirnbull 6r* Spears, Edinburgh



DEDICATED

TO MY WIFE



387874



CONTENTS



i.
ii.

• in.
*av.

vV.

WI.

VII.

VIII.

IX.

X.

XI.

~XII.
XIII.

XIV.
XV.

XVI.
XVII.



The Ainu, and the Coming of the Japanese
The Age of the Gods ....
From Jimmu to Jingo. ....
From Ojin to Senkwa ....
The Coming of Buddhism
The Fujiwara and the Nara Period .

KlYOMORI AND THE TAIRA

Two Famous Warriors ....

The Wars of the Gem-Pei .

The Ho jo Period . . . . .

The Wars of Succession and the Ashikaga

Shoguns . . . ..."

nobunaga and christianity .

hldeyoshi and the first persecution of the
Christians .....



hldeyoshi and the korean wars

Iyeyasu and the Founding of the Tokugawa
Shogunate .....



Christians in the Seventeenth Century
The Dutch Traders and Will Adams .



PAGE

I

13
26

47
66

78

87

98
in
129

138
149^

163

177

191
206
218^



Vlll



JAPAN



XVIII. Commodore Perry and Treaties with Foreign
Powers



XIX. The Downfall of the Shogunate and the
Restoration of the Emperor

XX. The War with China

XXI. The Russo-Japanese War

XXII. The Fall of Tsingtau

Bibliographical Note .

Appendix

Index ....



230

241

254
269
283

295
299

3i7



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGK

Iyeyasu . . i ..... Frontispiece

Three Picturesque Ainu Fishermen .... 8

An Ainu Home ........ 8

Ama-terasu, the Sun Goddess emerging from the Cave . 20

The Empress Jingo on her Expedition to Korea . . 48

shotoku-taishi (centre figure the smaller figures are

the young princes, his brothers) .... 72

Stately Splendour of Tennoji Temple and its Pagoda,

S.E. Osaka 80

MlNAMOTO YORIMASA ........ 96

Benkei wielding Halberd against Yoshitsune in the

famous Fight on Gojo Bridge ..... 164

Yoshitsune at the Battle of Ujigawa advancing against

yoshinaka fleeing over ujl bridge . . .112

The Battle of Dan-no-ura . . . . . . 120

yoritomo at the temple of hachiman . . . .128

Kwannon, Goddess of Mercy . . . . . .152

Kyoto — Bridge crossing the Kamogawa .... 256

be



x JAPAN

PAGE

Tokyo — the Shiba (Buddhist) Temple .... 256

The late Emperor Mutsuhito ...... 272

The Emperor Yoshihito . . . . . . . 272

Tsingtau — German Military Waggons passing through the

Street ......... 280

Generals Kamio and Barnardiston ..... 288

LIST OF MAPS

Central and Western Japan ...... 20-1

China, Korea, and Japan ..... . 264-5

Japanese Empire in 191 5 ....... 290-1



JAPAN



CHAPTER I

THE AINU, AND THE COMING OF THE JAPANESE

The Ainu, who completely drove out the Koro-pok-guru, or
" cave men," were among the first inhabitants of JapanT
They were originally a fierce and vigorous people, and many
were their victories over the Japanese when these hairy
aborigines were led to battle by Pontiac and Tecumseh. /it
is written : " When our august ancestors [the Japanese]
descended from Heaven in a boat, they found upon the
island several barbarous races, the most fierce of whom were
the Ainu." So true was this reference to fierceness that the
Ainu were not completely subjugated until the eighteenth
century.

It is scarcely to be wondered at that these aborigines of
Japan, now dwelling for the most part in the Island of Yezo,
are not very promising-looking specimens of humanity. Theirs
fierceness has changed to something that is almost servile.
Now that they are no longer engaged in war they are forced
to be content with various sedentary occupations, relieved
by an occasional bear hunt, which for the time being seems
to revive something of the old fire that glowed so fiercely
in the days of rebellion against the invader. They deserve
to awaken pity rather than scorn, for they have not only

i



2 JAPAN

endured defeat -after offering, a long and stout resistance, but
they have also suffered a brutalising persecution from Japanese
officials, who at one time regarded them as dirt. They were
too often at the mercy of swashbuckling bullies who sadly
abused their power. At the approach of a Japanese official
the Ainu was expected to rub his forehead in the dust of the
road. If he refused to do so, and refusals were by no means
rare, he was promptly decapitated I

The Ainu no longer has the burrowing instincts of an
animal, neither does he drink blood or practise cannibalism.
Fortunately he has lost the savage cruelty of the jungle, and
no longer indulges in horrible forms of punishment, such as
cutting off the nose, severing tendons, and boiling amputated
limbs. When he was driven northward, and after a pro-
tracted struggle at last forced to cross the Tsugaru Strait
and dwell in the Island of Yezo, he lost many of his savage
qualities and with them departed his fine spirit of independ-
ence. To-day he is a pathetic figure with a warlike past
tainted by many deeds of savagery. If a savage can be said
to degenerate the Ainu has certainly degenerated, and partly
because the spirit of independence has been crushed out of
him. He is extremely filthy in his person and his skin is
covered with layers of dirt, which have accumulated for a
considerable time. Filth, as a protection against cold, has
become a necessity, and the Ainu only consents to overcome
his abhorrence of washing on the occasion of a funeral or a
bear feast. Though the Ainu still has many good qualities,
and is very far from being devoid of religious belief, he is
nevertheless addicted to strong drink. He does not become
a toper in the hope of drowning the tribulations of a conquered
people. On the contrary, he drinks simply because he con-
siders drunkenness a state of supreme bliss. He consumes
sake, the Japanese rice-wine, in vast quantities, and has
happily named the beverage tonoto, " official milk," a playful



THE AINU, AND THE COMING OF THE JAPANESE 3

allusion to the time when he received remuneration for his
labour from the Japanese, not in money but in wine. He is
as gross in his drinking as he is in his love of food, and this
applies to the women as much as to the men. Both would
have rejoiced in the overfeeding that goes on in the Fatting
House of the Ibibios of southern Nigeria. When the Ainu
partake of a heavy meal, they allow their digestive organs half
an hour's rest, after which respite they again do justice to
another substantial repast. At such times the Ainu expression,
Ibe aeramushinne, " I am in a state of knowing that I have
eaten," is extremely apposite ! The Ainu, sent as curiosities
to the Chinese Emperor's Court in a.d. 659, and as quaint
specimens of hirsute humanity to an English exhibition a
few years ago, have now, thanks to the sympathetic study of
their manners, customs, and religious beliefs by the Rev.
J. Batchelor, 1 and the learned investigations of Professor
B. H. Chamberlain 2 in regard to their language and mythology,
been recognised as a most valuable link with the early
traditions of Japan.

/The Ainu are connected with Japanese history, but they
are even more memorable as the first geographers of Japan,
for to this savage race the Japanese owe a great many place-
names scattered up and down the Mikado's Empire, a proof
that these aborigines were not originally confined to any
particular island. Their method of naming villages, rivers,
capes, mountains, and so forth, was both simple and apt.
Some peculiar physical feature frequently suggested a name,
such as " The Mountain having a Depression," " Red River,"
and " The Stream Issuing from the Bank of the Hake." When
there was no marked characteristic of this kind, which a
child-like mind would be quick to observe, some local event

1 The Ainu of Japan.

2 The Language, Mythology, and Geographical Nomenclature of Japan,
Viewed in the Light of Aino Studies.



4 JAPAN

supplied the often poetical beginning of topographical nomen-
clature, such as Tushpet, " Rope River," so called because
the inhabitants of Futoro stretched a rope across the river
in order to prevent people from the opposite village stealing
their salmon. The word Yamato, the ancient name for Japan, 1
which many of us associate with Yamato Damashii (" The
Spirit of Unconquered Japan ") , is of Ainu origin and originally
meant " a pond among chestnut trees." Yamato, properly
one of the central provinces, has furnished many a name for
a Japanese battleship, names borrowed from the rivers and
mountains in this ancestral region. Fuji, the peerless
mountain of Japan, is a corruption from the Ainu Huchi, or
Fuchi, the Goddess of Fire. Not infrequently old names
underwent a change when they happened to be of Ainu origin,
but though lengthened and altered in many ways, the change
is not so complete as to baffle the investigation of scholars.
The Ainu have been conquered, and it is possible that in time
this degenerating race will die out, but it has nevertheless
left an abiding mark upon Japan, the mark of many hundreds
of geographical namesj

Having referred totlie part these aborigines have played
in regard to Japanese geography as we know it to-day, it is
worth while relating the Ainu legend concerning the Island
of Yezo. It is said to have been created by a god and goddess.
The god was concerned with the eastern coast and the goddess
with the western. The god worked steadily at his portion
of the task, but the goddess, growing weary of her labour,
began to talk to the sister of Aioina Kumui. Presently the
goddess discovered that gossip and island-making do not go
very well together. Seeing what the god had already accom-
plished with resolute will and silent tongue, she tried to make
up for lost time by finishing her work in a great hurry, with

1 Japan and Nippon are corruptions of the Chinese Jih-pen, literally
"the place where the sun comes from."



THE AINU, AND THE COMING OF THE JAPANESE 5

the result that the west coast of Yezo is rugged and dangerous
to this day.

The Ainu, as we have already stated, are a hairy people, and
although their hairiness has been greatly exaggerated by
certain writers, it is nevertheless a marked characteristic, and
has been accounted for by a curious legend. In ancient days
a box floated from Yedo 1 to Saru in the Island of Yezo.
When it reached the shore, it immediately opened, and a
beautiful Japanese girl stepped out. A large dog (or wolf)
happened to see her, and, impressed by her loveliness, came
to meet her. According to one account he temporarily
assumed human shape. Whether he did so or not, he is
said to have led the maid to a cavern. In due time a child
was born — with a tail, and, after the parents had discussed
the matter the appendix was painlessly cut off. It is claimed
that the Ainu were descended from this child. The story is
probably of Japanese origin, and made to accord with the
fact that these aborigines are hairy like dogs. Professor
Chamberlain writes : " The story of the descent of the Ainu
race from a dog has clearly sprung from the similarity of the
word Ainu to inu, the Japanese for ' dog,' and ainoko, the
Japanese for ' half-caste.' "

The Ainu name for world is Uaremoshiri, " the multiplying
world," and with such a conception it is not surprising to find
that they considered it a disgrace for married people to be
childless. Barrenness was thought to be a punishment for
some kind of sin. Mr Batchelor writes : "A curious custom
used to exist amongst this people. As soon as a child was
born, the father had to consider himself very ill. But the wife,
poor creature ! had to stir about as much and as quickly as
possible. The idea seems to have been that life was passing

1 Yedo, the capital of the Togugawa Shoguns and renamed Tokyo
with the restoration of the Emperor was not founded until the seven-
teenth century. Legend frequently ignores dates.



6 JAPAN

from the father into his child." A somewhat similar practice
is still in vogue among Chinese coolies. In this case, however,
no one has offered an ingenious explanation, for laziness is
probably the only excuse for retirement at such a time.

Primitive wooden huts are the dwellings of the Ainu.
House-building usually takes place in the spring and autumn,
and women, as well as men, join in the labour. Every hut
is provided with two windows, one in the east and the other
in the south. The south window is devoid of any religious
associations and often serves as an exit for all manner of
rubbish. The hole in the east of the dwelling is sacred, and
it is here that the Ainu worships his gods. Near this opening
is a group of poles bearing the skulls of bears, foxes, and
other animals slaughtered in the chase. These gruesome
relics are not gods, but they are supposed to possess some
religious significance. In addition to these skulls that nod
in the wind there are inao and nusa, that is, clusters of
shavings fixed to pieces of wood. Nusa strictly means a
number of inao. The east window, with its anything but
pleasing outlook, is the Ainu's shrine. It is here he comes
before setting out on a journey, and it is at this window he
stands to render thanks to his deities for a safe return. On
the occasion of a birth or death in the family, the owner of the
hut invites his relatives and friends to join him at this window,
and there they offer worship to the gods.

At the completion of a new hut the owner gives a kind of
house-warming party, possibly in recognition of the voluntary
labour he has received, and relatives and friends are invited
to the feast. Before the merry-making commences each
male guest takes his moustache-lifter, dips it into his wine-
cup, and offers three drops of sake to such important deities
as the Goddess of Fire, the God of Sleeping Places, and the
very domestic divinity associated with the utensils of the
kitchen. Having, according to ancient custom, propitiated



THE AINU, AND THE COMING OF THE JAPANESE 7

the household gods, host and guests, excluding the women,
who were regarded with suspicion and never permitted to
tamper with religious rites, went outside the dwelling in order
to make quite sure that the garden, spring of water, and so
on had received an adequate blessing from those deities who
were responsible for such things. The inspection over they
re-enter the hut and give themselves up to the joys of the
feast. Their allowance of wine differs from the meagre three
drops they present to the gods. Too often an Ainu house-
warming party, which commences as a plea for divine insur-
ance against all kinds of accidents, ends in a drunken brawl.
That there is not much refinement in the way an Ainu par-
takes of his food may be gathered from the fact that the name
for the index finger is Itangi kem ashikipet, " The finger for
licking the cup." "It is so called," writes Mr Batchelor,
" because people generally cleanse their eating-cups by first
wiping the inside of them with their index finger and then
• licking it ! "

The more remote and the more mysterious a god is the
greater he becomes from the Ainu's point of view, while the
minor deities are those close at hand. The degree of divinity
entirely depends on whether the god is far removed from
things terrestrial or whether he touches the life of mortals in a
more or less intimate way. It is almost as if this barbarian
gave a religious meaning to our proverb, " Familiarity breeds
contempt," for their household gods are not regarded with
the same degree of deference as those brooding far behind
the blaze of lightning and the muttering voice of thunder.

Certain moral precepts are taught by means of naive little
stories. The tale of Pan'ambe and Pen'ambe is told with a
view to discouraging greediness. It is too well known to
need repetition here, but the following story is worth repeating
because it seems to have a historical basis. There was once
a very hard pine tree, and its trunk was so tough that many
2



8 JAPAN

valiant men were powerless to cut it down. At last an old
man and woman stood before the pine tree with a blunt axe
and decrepit-looking reaping hook. When the Ainu saw the
aged couple and learnt that it was their intention to cut down
the tree they laughed heartily. Their laughter was silenced
when the old man and woman brought down the great tree
as if they had been cutting a bamboo shoot. No sooner
had the tree fallen than " the old man and woman passed up
upon the sound thereof, and a fire was seen upon their sword-
scabbards." The tree is supposed to have been felled by
Okikurumi (Yoshitsune) and his wife, and the incident gave
rise to the Ainu saying : " Let not the younger laugh at the
elder, for even very old people can teach their juniors a great
deal, and even in so simple a matter as felling trees." It has
been suggested that this legend is associated with an ancient
battle with the Japanese, and that the hard or " metal pine
tree " was a picturesque reference to the armour of Japanese
warriors. There are other Ainu stories concerning this great
Japanese hero, and conflicting theories as to whether or not
he was worshipped by these aborigines.

We have already seen that the Ainu regarded their women
with suspicion. Most of them were believed to be possessed
with the evil eye, and though their services were gladly made
use of during house-building operations, they were continu-
ally watched lest they should hide a husband's inao or be
guilty of any other kind of sacrilege. They were immune
from religious influence, but possessed great power for work-
ing evil, and this was particularly the case in regard to old
women. They could bring misfortune to the house, and
even disturb the peace of the departed. It is recorded of
one Ainu woman that she dug up a corpse and placed a portion
of it in a family stew-pot, so that her unfortunate husband
unknowingly made a meal of his ancestor !

The death of an Ainu man is made an occasion for a feast



THE AINU, AND THE COMING OF THE JAPANESE 9

to which relatives and friends are invited. Various ceremonies
are performed in the house of mourning and the virtues of
the deceased are loudly extolled in order that the Goddess of
Fire may be pleased to lead the soul to heaven. The body of
the deceased is finally carried out of the hut, followed by
mourners carrying familiar objects to be buried with the
earthly remains of the departed. A man's grave is marked
by a wooden spear. A white pole bearing a head-dress stands
above the last resting-place of an Ainu woman. There are no
cemeteries, no inscriptions, and it is curious to note that while
the Japanese treasure the memory of the dead, the Ainu, on
the contrary, do all in their power to forget the departed.
There seems to be no connection between the religious beliefs
of the Ainu and Shintoism. The only analogy we can discover
is a certain similarity between the inao and gohei, the paper
strips of the Shinto cult, and it is probably only a superficial
resemblance after all.

The Ainu believe in a future life, both for themselves as well
as for their animals. Their conception of heaven is almost a
replica of their earthly existence, with this important differ-
ence that in their heaven there is no pain, death, or re-birth.
The Ainu believes in celestial marriages, and asserts that no
matter how many times a man marries during his earthly
sojourn, in the future life he will have " one wife, and she
will be his first."

There is a difference of opinion as to whether the Ainu
heaven is above or below the ground. It is called Kamui
kotan (" the Place of God "). Poknamoshiri (" Underworld ")
is a realm where souls receive instructions before passing
on to the Place of God or to a desolate region of punish-
ment. There are three roads in the Underworld, one leads
from earth to Poknamoshiri, a second enters heaven, and a
third leads to hell, known as Teinei-pokna-shiri (" the wet
underground world "), where there is eternal fire and ice. A



io JAPAN

fresh arrival from earth is told by a watch god that he has
received a message from the Goddess of Fire as to where
the soul is to go. Occasionally Ainu spirits try to bluff their
way into heaven by asserting that they have never committed
any sin. Such impudent souls are dealt with by the Goddess
of Fire herself. " She causes a great picture representing
the whole life of the spirit to be placed before it. Thus the
spirit stands self-condemned, and there is no escape, for the
Fire Goddess has a perfect picture of every word and act the
spirit ever said or did while in a body upon earth."

Having given a brief sketch of the Ainu, their life, manners,
customs, religious beliefs and legends, we must now refer to
the coming of the Japanese, and find out, if we can, who
these conquerors were. The origin of the Japanese has
puzzled many scholars, and no one can at present claim to
have answered the question with any degree of certainty.
Kaempfer (1651-1716) thought that the primaeval Japanese
belonged to the builders of the Tower of Babel, Hyde Clarke
considered they were Turano-Africans, and Macleod was of
the opinion they were probably one of the lost tribes of
Israel. ^Recent scholars tell us that the Ainu were followed
by two distinct Mongol invasions, the second flood of immi-
grants following the first at an interval of many years. Sub-
sequently the Mongols were driven northward by Malays
from the Philippines. " By the year a.d. 500," writes Mr
Robert P. Porter in The Full Recognition of Japan, " the
Ainu, the Mongol, and the Malay elements in the population
had become one nation by much the same process as took
place in England after the Norman Conquest. To the national
characteristics it may be inferred that the Ainu contributed
the power of resistance, the Mongol the intellectual qualities,
and the Malay that hardiness and adaptability which are the
heritage of sailor-men." The Japanese, whoever they are
and wherever they come from, are not a pure race, and it is



THE AINU, AND THE COMING OF THE JAPANESE n

this fusion of blood and confusion in regard to the tides of
immigration that have led to so much diversity of opinion.
The Japanese of to-day present several distinct types, and of
these types we need only mention two, the patrician and the
plebeian. The difference is not simply due to a luxurious
environment on the one hand and rough surroundings on the
other. The plebeian has a dark skin, prominent cheek-bones,
receding forehead, large mouth, and flat nose. The aristo-
cratic type is built on a more delicate scale, with oval face,
either yellow or white, slightly aquiline nose, narrow eyes,
and a small hand. These characteristics are more marked
among' well-born Japanese women, and those of Saga were
referred to by Kaempfer as " handsomer than in any other
Asiatic country." It is the patrician type that has been made
so familiar to us in Japanese art, and if M art is the soul of
Japan," this type reflects all those qualities which the Japanese
are most proud to possess and most anxious to preserve.
Ai he Japanese, at about the beginning of the eighth century,
began to study Chinese history. Here they found references
to certain islands in the eastern ocean peopled with genii
and immortals who possessed the Elixir of Life, a drug which
was also capable of reviving the dead. It was a land of great
beauty where large golden peaches flourished and where
timber was so buoyant than no weight could sink it. There
were rare trees, a mountain plant useful for plaiting into mats,
and large and luscious mulberries. These mysterious islands
were surrounded by a black sea, whose waves, in spite of an
absence of wind, towered to a height of a thousand feet. " At
the risk of challenging a cherished faith," writes Captain
Brinkley, "it is difficult to avoid the hypothesis that from
these fables the compilers of Japan's first written history
derived the idea of an ' age of the gods ' and a divinely de-
scended Emperor." When the Kojiki (" Records of Ancient
Matters ") and the Nihongi (" Chronicles of Japan ") were



12 JAPAN

completed in the eighth century after Christ they contained
many myths that were undoubtedly Chinese in ori gin, / But
if Japan has always been a master in the gentle art of borrowing
ideas, whether it be for her myths or for her government to-



Online LibraryF. Hadland (Frederick Hadland) DavisJapan, from the age of the gods to the fall of Tsingtau → online text (page 1 of 24)