William Elliot Griffis.

The Japanese nation in evolution; steps in the progress of a great people online

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Admiral H. Togo



THE JAPANESE NATION
IN EVOLUTION



STEPS IN THF PROGRESS OF A
GREAT PEOPLE



WILLIAM ELLIOT GRIFFIS, D.I)., L.H.D.

FORMERLY OF THE IMPERIAL INIVERSITV OF JAPAN

AUTHOR OF "THE MIKADO's EMPIRE," "JAPAN IN HISTORT,

FOLK-LORE, AND ART," ETC., AND " COREA, THE

lUiRMlT nation"



*'RACE IS THE KEY TO HISTORY^*



NEW YORK

THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO.

PUBLISHERS



gtf^«,R r MORS£ STErH€i»



Copyright, 1907,
By THOMAS Y, CROWELL & COMPANY.



Published, Septbmbbb, 1907.



in admiration of japan 8 triumphs in peace
(gkeatkr even than those in war)

THE Al'THOR

IN THE WORDS OF THE CIVIL ADMINISTRATOR OF FORMOSA)

GIVES

"THANKS TO THE

GREAT Gl'AHDIAN SPIRIT

WHO THROUGH UNBROKEN AGES HAS CONTINUALLY

GUIDED

HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR

AND EACH ONE OF HIS IMPERIAL ANCESTORS "

^8 WELL AS OUR OWN SAVAGE FOREFATHERS, OUR MEDIAEVAL

SEERS, AND OUR MODERN LEADERS INTO THIS

TWENTIETH CENTURY, SO AUSPICIOUS FOR

THE COMING UNION AND RECONCILIATION

OF ORIENT AND OCCIDENT

IN WHICH

JAPAN, AMERICA, AND GREAT BRITAIN

ARE TO BEAR A NOBLE PART



514435



PREFACE



[easing duty to acknowledge ni^

itinual debt during forty years to those who

led the ore and furnished the raw materials of

lolarship, out of which I have coined some of the

^er opinions I send forth herewith for circulation.

ice I have dealt much with origins, I am most

lebted to native Japanese scholars who have co-

jrated with me, and to those pioneers who not

ly opened the treasures of the native literature,

with critical and comparative skill have appraised

worth — Messrs. Satow, Aston, and Chamberlain.

^e Records (Kojiki) and the Nihongi (Chronicles

Japan), written in the first quarter of the eighth

itury, have been constantly by me. To the

\ John Batchelor, who has made the realm of

LU scholarship his own, and to the writers in

Iglish and German for the Asiatic Societies

Japan, I am deeply indebted. Other authorities,

iguists, archaeologists, ethnologists, investiga-

— to whom I am obligated, are mentioned in

text, and to these and to any that may be un-

led, I am profoundly grateful.

the pronunciation of Japanese names and words,

which J have used as few as possible, — the

itinental or Italian system of vowel sounds is

Every vowel and consonant is sounded,

vii



viii PREFACE

g being hard. There is virtually no accent, nor
need there be any, when each vocable receives proper
attention.

a as in far ai as in aisle

e " " men ei " " weigh

i " " pin ail as on in trout

o " " bone a flat not used
u " " truth

As this book treats of the young Japanese nation,
it has nothing to say about "gods," in which the
author has no belief, and of which he knows noth-
ing. Nor does it deal much with figureheads or
impersonalities of any sort, but only with human
beings who, in their long struggle upward, have
been led, as my faith is, of God. As He had an
"Old" testament with the Hebrews, and also with
our savage forefathers, so with the children of Nip-
pon has He made a covenant. The " Old " is be-
coming the "New," and the spirit of the Master
who came "not to destroy but to fulfill" is conquer-
ing, slowly but surely, the brutish savagery that
masks itself under " civilization " and " Christianity "
as well as intrenched "paganism." In the potencies
of blood, inheritances, geographical situation, and
advantages in the age and the ages, the Japanese
people seem to me to have, above every other nation
on earth, the power to become the true middle term
in the surely coming union and reconciliation of the
Orient and the Occident ; and this, I have tried to
show in this work. W. E. G.

Ithaca, July, 1907.



CONTENTS



PREHISTORIC XIPPOX

)DUCTION

The White Race and the First Inhabitants. The
Fapanese a Mixed People made up of Several RacCvS,
le Basic Stock being a White R.vce and speaking an
Lryan Tongue. What the Soil, Language, and Re-
jarches of the Past Fifty Years and esjtecially of the
Opening of the Twentieth Century Reveal.



PAfJK

1



The Aryan Whitp: Race in the Archi-
pelago

The Malay Element in Japan
The Idzumo Cycle of Legends
The Yamato People and Mikadoism
Yamato Damashii ....
Stone Age and Iron Agk .
The Highest and the Lowest



10
30
48
63
75
90
101



XL
XIL
XIII.



JAPAN IX THE LIGHT OF RECORDS

The Aryan Religion . .

The Political Revolution or a.d. 01.
The First New Japan
Church and State ....
Woman the Conservator .
Imperialism, Expansion, and Feudalism



119
133
146
159
167
180



CONTENTS



THE JAPANESE A NATION

CHAPTER

XIV. One People: Two Capitals

XV. Japan rejects Mongolism .

XVI. Japan as a Dark and Bloody Ground

XVII. The Christian Century

XVIII. The Self-isolated Hermit Nation .

XIX. Bushido in Revelation



195
207
221

238
257
271



MODERN OCCIDENTAL INFLUENCES

XX. The Native Intellect Fertilized .
The Russian Menace in the North
Diplomacy and Commotion .



XXI.
XXII.

XXIII.



XXIV.



The New Government and the New

Japan

Foreign Servants and Helpers



285
296
310

326
334



JAPAN AMONG THE NATIONS

XXV. The New National Army and Navy . 347

XXVI. Panoplied Japan. A Public School Army 358
XXVII. The War with Russia. A Foothold on

THE Continent 370

XXVIII. A World Power. Ambitions, Burdens,

Problems 383

XXIX. Second to None 394

Index 401



ILLUSTRATIONS



Admiral II. Togo



Frontispiece



10



tiO

llf)



rAOIHO PAOB

Our Aryan Kinsmen in Japan. Ainu Subjects of
THE Mikado

Of the First Fa.milies in .Japan. Ainu Father ani
Son

Tattooed Letter Carrier, 1870 ....

The Rocky Coast, at Misaki, iielow Satsuma

Students in the Woman's University in Tokio

Mountain Village Tea-house ....

General Kuroki

l*AGODA OF THE Mu.NAMKlO <>P HoRIU.JI, FOUNDED

607 A.D 128

Crown Princess Sada and Crown Prince Yoshihito 152

Popular Buddhism in Japan's Appealing Land-
scape 218

Castle of Ni.jo; Place of the Charter Oath, 1868 254

Memorial Lanterns presented by Vassal Daimios
AT the Tombs of the Shoguns ....

The First Telegraph in Japan, 1871 ....

The Yedo Shogun and his Wife in Treaty Days .

National Industrial Exposition at Osaka, 1904 .

American College (German Reformed Church)

IN Sendai 342

In the Higher Technical School, Tokio . . . 346



260
312
310
322



xii ILLUSTRATIONS

PAOB

The First National Cemetery at Nagasaki . . 356

One of the Red Cross Hospital Ships of Japan . 364

Founders of Political Parties in Japan . . 388
Sannomiya, Court Chamberlain. General Ko-

DAMA, Chief of Staff 396



JAPANESE NATION IN EVOLUTION



■F

^^■■b wi



INTRODUCTION



WHITE RACE AND THE FIRST INHABITANTS

islands of Nippon have been long populated,
but the Japanese are a young nation. Their savage
ancestors ''came out of the woods" when ours did.
The archipelago was first of all inhabited by a race
common to both Europe and Asia. White men,
belonging to the great Aryan family and speaking a
language akin to the Indo-Germanic tongues, were
the first "Japanese," who are a composite, and not
a pure "Mongolian" race. Their inheritance of
blood and temperament partakes of the potencies of
both Europe and Asia.

AVords are winged. They fly through the ages,
yet they abide with ever renewing life. In Jai)an,
the primordial names left ages ago on mountain and
river, promontory and island, hill and slope, remain
to make unexpected revelation. They show that
th(! ancestors of the Ainu — an Aryan people — who
now dwell only in the northern islands, once lived all
over the archipelago. No attempt was made to ex-
press these names in writing until the eighth century
of our era. Then, in most misleading Chinese charac-



2 JAPANESE NATION IN EVOLUTION

ters, purposely inteiided'to drop the native vocables
into .obliviori, the : iiew . narnes were made official.
Nevertheless, dijspite ^mistranslations, confusing as-
sociations, popular pronunciation according to the
written ideograph, the aboriginal meaning and often
the primitive form can be regained. These tell
interesting stories.

Most names of places held most sacred in Japanese
history are Aryan. Meaningless in the spoken tongue
and absurd in the Chinese ideograms long ago plastered
over them, they talk truth and beauty when recovered.
Ainu epithets reveal common sense and manifest
natural appropriateness when, read and interpreted
from aboriginal man's point of view. Names of the
conquered chiefs and places found in the Kojiki, or
oldest Records, written a.d. 712, are often trans-
parently Ainu. The absurdly long names of the gods
sprinkled on its pages are manifestly attempts at
folk-etymology, in explanation of Ainu places and
hero names — a process with many analogies in
America. Even when scribes, who first applied
writing to geography, used their pens, they set down
what they heard by means of Chinese characters,
which were then used phonetically, for sound and
not for sense. Afterwards these ideographs were too
often taken at their true significance, thus introduc-
ing a second system of false derivation, a new mythol-
ogy or disease of language, and a threefold confusion
in history. Hence the enormous fungus growth of
mythology to explain what becomes clear in Ainu



WHITE RACE AND THE FIRST INHABITAxXTS 3

speech. For example, such names as Yamato, which
to the eye means mountain gate, is Ainu for chestnut
pond, or the pond among the chestnut trees. Fuji
Yama is named from the Ainu goddess of fire. Even
Satsuma is an Ainu word. Hakodate, which seems
to mean box fort, has another meaning. Yedo,
or bay door in the Chinese script, is in Ainu the
herby place, or where a certain herb grows plentifully.
The aboriginal people, of whom the Ainu are
descendants, speak a tongue which is not Japanese,
Chinese, Korean, or Malay, but Aryan. Thirty-
five years ago, I recognized Ainu names on the moun-
tains and rivers. In 1871, while living at Fukui,
Echizen, in the far interior, seeing no white man for
many months, I was surprised to note in the people
so many physical evidences, as I thought, of descent
from Iranian, Caucasian, or Aryan ancestry. The
types of countenance, the lightness of the skin, the
hair, eyes, and cuticle of the babies and little folk,
and especially the workings of the adult mind, led
me to conclude that the Japanese were not a pure
Mongolian race. In studying the local history of
Koshi, as this part of Japan was anciently called,
I was struck with such names as Ebisu Minato (Ainu
harbor), and astonished at the results of analysis of
those which made nonsense when translated by the
Chinese characters in which they were written. This
opened my eyes. Examining the geography of the
northern end of the main island, I was convinced
that the originals of many names were Ainu. As this



4 JAPANESE NATION IN EVOLUTION

method of research had, in America, helped in the
study of Iroquois and Algonquin localities, I thought
it might in Japan afford a clew to the question as to
who first inhabited the archipelago of Dai Nippon.
As I read Japanese history, I came to believe that these
straight-eyed aborigines were, along with the Yamato
and other races, ancestors of the present Japanese.
In the Caucasian type of face seen all around me, I
was strengthened in my notions. In reading of the
Yezo Ainu and in talking with my fellow-Americans
who had been among them, I recognized in the Eta
muro, the straw boots, the snowshoes of Echizen, and
in certain superstitions, notably about the river-
monster. Kappa, what seemed to be Ainu survivals.

Living in Tokio from 1872 to 1874, seeing and
studying minutely the members of the Ainu colony
of adult males, women, and student lads, dwelling
for a time in the capital, my Opinions were confirmed.
I found close relationships between the old pure non-
Mongolian Japanese language and the Ainu speech.
I never suspected for a moment, however, that in
my lifetime indubitable proofs would be forthcoming
that the Ainu language belonged in the Aryan family.
There was at that time, however, nothing but scanty
Ainu vocabularies accessible, which, beside the rich
grammar and dictionary of the Rev. John Batchelor,
of 1905, are as sand grains to a mountain.

I wrote out my conclusions in 1874, and these were
printed in ''The Mikado's Empire," issued August 6,
1876. In Chapter II, on ''The Aborigines," I






lias (

Arva



^HITE RACE AND THE FIRST INHABITANTS 5

stated (p. 29) that ''Further proofs of the general
habitation of Hondo by the Ainos appear in the
geographical names which linger upon the mountains
and rivers. These names, musical in sound, and pos-
sessing in their significance a rude grandeur, have
embalmed the life of a past race," as Iroquois and
Algonquin names ''echo the ancient glories of the
well-nigh extinct aborigines of America." I also
called attention to the two types of faces seen in
n. In the Preface, I stated my belief that "the
ic stock of the Japanese people is Aino; and that
ijLthis fact lies the root of the marvellous difference
e psychology of the Japanese and their neighbors
e Chinese." In a word, "Race is the key to his-
By "basic stock" I mean the oldest race
wn in the islands. The discussion of this subject,
all its limitations, will be found in Chapter II.
was Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain, with all
wealth of learning and research, who wrought out
this subject more fully. In 1887 he published that
illuminating book, "The Language, Mythology, and
Geographical Nomenclature of Japan, Viewed in the
Kit of Aino Studies." Rev. John Batchelor, who
Sgan Christian work among the Yezo folk in 1879,
has demonstrated that the Ainu language is Aryan,
the marks common to the speech of the six great
ryan peoples, Latin and Greek, Teuton and Celt,
v and Hindu. With personal pronouns, passive
e, case endings, and an absence of honorifics, its
ures are clearly discerned.





6 JAPANESE NATION IN EVOLUTION

The Ainu regard themselves as of a different stock
from the rest of their fellow-subjects of the Mikado.
They speak of their conquerors as ''men of a differ-
ent class of eye-socket," and call them ''Siamese."
Their own name for themselves is Ainu or men. For
ages, "Yezo" meant not an island, but all the main
island east of Omi inhabited by the Ainu. "Yezo"
signified what our own Housatonic (Dutch, Woesten
Hoek) means, that is, The Land of the Savages.
For a thousand years or more the frontier line of the
Mikado's empire was being gradually pushed north-
ward. " Yezo," meaning an island, is a modern word
wholly of European use and origin.

Yezo, Yebisu, and Yemishi, or Ezo, Ebisu, and
Emishi, are one and the same term, meaning barba-
rians or savages, found in the eighth century and later
writings of the Japanese, and in common use, until
all the Ainu on the main island had been absorbed.
By intermarriage, and living under the same political,
social, legal, and religious forces, the conquered Ainu
of Hondo were lost in the mass of the Japanese people.
To this secular process, the most ancient as well as
modern documents, archaeology, place names and
dialects bear witness. How terrible were the means
used, how age-long was the method of making the
Ainu and all other subjects of the Mikado uniform
in life, food, clothing, coif, manners, etiquette,
facial gestures, use of breath, hands, and graduated
language, and expressions in presence of superiors, is
shown in the records and is mirrored in the language



^:



literature. Sumptuary, economical, and religious
y were secured first of all by the sword. The
results were vividly visible to me as I lived in feudal-
ism. They are most powerfully set forth by the late
Lafcadio Hearn, in his "Japan: an Interpretation."
wrote largely from hearsay and lx)oks. I saw
al society as it was, yes, even in phases of life
ami death in the Japanese feudal world, now forever
ed away.

he remnants of unconquered and unabsorbed Ainu

people, on Yezo island, with the very few that were

driven across the straits of Tsugaru, were left and

nearly forgotten on the island we now call Yezo,

ch the Japanese never colonized or cared much

ut until the seventeenth century, and of whose

outline, as that of Saghalien, they were of old

rant. The knowledge of their frontier and the

lolidation of thcMr emi)ir(> came to them very late,

then chiefly under the pressure of the Russian

ace.

?ft for eight hundred years beyond the pale of
civilizing and refining influences enjoyed by the
inese, the Ainu remained savage and uncivilized,
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, by the
of firearms and firewater subdued, disarmed,
3hed, without any object to unite them, they
me a cowed, divided, and broken-spirited people.
Klay the annual immigration of Japanese into the
island of Yezo, in some years, exceeds the total number



8 JAPANESE NATION IN EVOLUTION

and the area of fisheries. No longer under the hardy
discipHne of resistance and war, their game disap-
pearing and the hunter's life exchanged for sedentary
habits, they have become like the ''blanket Indians"
on the reservations of to-day, or the beggars at the
railway stations, as compared with the fierce warriors
led by Pontiac or Tecumseh. Once they could make
Japanese tremble and many were their victories in war.

Differences in the daily details of life and physical
environment made of the savage Yezo Ainu and the
Ainu-Japanese two different ''races," whose mixed
offspring degenerate and become sterile. House
life, hot baths, daily cleanliness, agriculture, schools,
religion, art, culture, vigorous mental and political
discipline, all the ennobling influences of a high
civilization were for the men below the straits of
Tsugaru, the Southern or Ainu-Japanese. Dirt,
ignorance, savagery, a hunter's life in the stone age,
remained for the neglected Ainu of the Hokkaido or
northern islands.

Race-hatred, nursery superstitions, religious and
local prejudices completed the separation, and a new
name coined in contempt deepened the abyss by
adding a bitter stigma to Ainu reputation. In
Japanese mouths they were called Aino (Ai-no-ko),
bastard of man and brute, a term as offensive to the
Ainu as is the vulgar objurgation of a female dog's
"son" heard among us. Some color was lent to
this popular notion, because the Ainu culture was
that of man and dog. The Yamato people, in close



nsn
with




^HITE RACE AND THE FIRST INHABITANTS 9

ection with the continent, had horses and cattle.
Though horses are now common in Yezo, the dog was
the only animal domesticated by the Ainu. This
faithful brute is taught not only to hunt bear and
deer, but on land to watch on the shore for the in-
coming salmon, to rush into the water, drive the
fish into shallows, bite off the salmon's head and
e its body at his master's feet. In modern days,
wTth the reckless slaughter of the deer and the extinc-
ign of the bear by the amateur with breech loader,
Ainu hunter-life is nearly over. Being a "ward"
ciTthe Government, he is being crowded out by the
anese settlers in Yezo. Nevertheless this con-
pt for the Ainu and for his alleged mental inferior-
as if it were ancient and inherent, reminds the
erican of the southern black servants' contempt
*'poor white trash" and "crackers."
he Ainu had no metals and knew not how to get
ork them. Their folklore shows that they made
ery, and also that in very ancient times they were
ibals. The Southrons or confjuerors excelled
forge and anvil. Excavations mad(^ in the myriad
11 heaps, from Satsuma to th(^ Kuriles, show that
als were unknown to these Aryans. In the thou-
ids of tumuli, and of dolmens or stone chambers
the conquering race of pre-Mongolian Nippon,
ught metal, tools, weapons, and ornaments of
silver, copper, and gold abound. Anything
rfine, even a tree or textile, is expressed in Ainu
by the term ''metal."



10 JAPANESE NATION IN EVOLUTION

Wash and scrub the unwashed and odorous Ainu,
and you hardly recognize them. They become '^ white
folks" at once. I found the Ainu students in Tokio,
after the application of soap and water, were genuine
white men, looking exactly like fresh arrivals at
Ellis Island, New York City. Kinsmen they may
be of the cave men of Europe, or of those whose
bones lie in the British barrows, whom Isaac Taylor
identifies with the primitive Aryan. Nevertheless,
in the working of their minds, in apprehension of
our ways and thoughts, and needs of daily hfe (though
not in abstract science), as American and British
travellers in our day and generation tell us, they are
decidedly Aryan, more so than the smarter Japanese.
Mr. Archibald Gowan Campbell, in 1898, besides
remarking on their fine physique, says of the Ainu,
'Hhey have a distinct bias for veracity and will
frequently tell the truth to their own disadvantage,''
and that both sexes are devoid of the insatiable curios-
ity of the Japanese; that many Ainu are distinctly
handsome, and the children are singularly European
in their ways, that the Ainu intelligence is limited,
but it seems to be of the same kind as our own and
not of the Asiatic order ; that an Ainu readily under-
stands European signs, while a Japanese invariably
gets them upside down; that it is easier to make a
novel request to an Ainu than to a Japanese, owing
to the simplicity of the one and the conventionality
of the other.

Under Christianity both the cuticle and the tongue



[ITE RACE AND THE FIRST INHABITANTS 11



Ml'




the Ainu become clean. The mind harbors fewer
the images of words and things vile that are com-
n to savagery everywhere and which are so start-
lingly photographed in the primitive documents of
Japan, in which are probably many Ainu episodes
supposed to be "Japanese." A Christian Ainu is
v_erily a new being physically, who anywhere in Europe
America might pass as a gentleman to the manor
rn. Many of them have striking, often pleasing
and attractive faces, with finely chiselled features,
e are florid in countenance, tall in stature, with
soft brown eyes and reddisli hair. Invariably they
ve gentle manners, but the old savage can rise and
temper flame. For the most part these Aryan-
speaking folk are taller than the Japanese, while far
re muscular and sturdy in endurance. They
k, turning the toes out, and not in, as do Japanese
Indians. They have perfectly straight eyes
irizontally set, with noses that equal in protrusion
and mouths that rival in breadth, those of their Aryan
ins elsewhere. They have invariably what men
pure Mongolian stock lack — luxuriant beards and
taches, as well as plenty of hair on their heads,
en free from scalp disease. It is this characteristic
ch has given them the factitious reputation of
essive hairiness. From very ancient times, as
example, when wrecked a.d. 310 on the coast of
na, and when taken by the Mikado's envoys,
659, as curiosities to the Chinese Emperor's
this feature was noted.



12 JAPANESE NATION IN EVOLUTION

The Chinese and the Japanese, in whom Mongolian
blood predominates, have, for the most part, smooth
faces or a few stringy hairs on the upper lip and
chin, visible indeed, but not luxurious. On the
Japanese head, however, the hair grows more thickly
than on the Ainu. It is also true that occasionally
an Ainu is found on whose body and limbs there is a
growth of hair that would make him a special object
of attention to foreigners, especially of those who
rarely ever see nudity on a large scale. Among foreign
people, who in Yezo have seen the numerous half-
breeds supposed to be pure Ainu, and even the natives
in their wilds, there is no subject on which there is
more difference of opinion than that of Ainu hirsute-
ness. Certain authors iiave in book-title, text, and
picture frightfully exaggerated Ainu hairiness. My
own observation agrees with that of those who have
seen the largest number of Ainu. I consider that
their alleged excessive hairiness, as compared with
the Occidental standard, is a fable. The first full
description of the Ainu by M. Rollin, who was with
La Perouse in 1787, has been constantly copied and
is now with some people almost an article of religion.

Few book-writers have ever seen a regiment of
men taking their swim. Having myself studied scores
of Ainu, and, during our Civil War, when myself a
soldier, seen a brigade of men in the United States
Army in a state of nudity, I do not believe the Ainu
are especially hairy except on the face and head.



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