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of tiny companies, the translation of the Gospel, and then prayer and
waiting for the descent of the Holy Spirit. A study of the Book of the
Acts of the Apostles, followed in order to find out how the Christian
Church began. On the 10th day of March, in the year of our Lord and of
the era of Meiji (Enlightened Peace) the fifth, 1872, at Yokohama, in
the little stone chapel built on part of Commodore Perry's treaty
ground, was formed the first Reformed or Protestant Christian Church in
Japan.

At this point our task is ended. We cannot even glance at the native
Christian churches of the Roman, Reformed, or Greek order, or attempt to
appraise the work of the foreign missionaries. He has read these pages
in vain, however, who does not see how well, under Providence, the
Japanese have been trained for higher forms of faith.

The armies of Japan are upon Chinese soil, while we pen our closing
lines. The last chains of purely local and ethnic dogma are being
snapped asunder. May the sons of Dai Nippon, as they win new horizons of
truth, see more clearly and welcome more loyally that Prince of Peace
whose kingdom is not of this world.

May the age of political conquest end, and the era of the
self-reformation of the Asian nations, through the gospel of Jesus
Christ, be ushered in.




NOTES, AUTHORITIES, AND ILLUSTRATIONS


The few abbreviations used in these pages stand for well-known works:
T.A.S.J., for Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan; Kojiki, for
Supplement to Volume X., T.A.S.J., Introduction, Translation, Notes,
Map, etc., by Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain; T.J., for Things
Japanese (2d ed.), by Professor B.H. Chamberlain; S. and H., for Satow
and Hawes's Hand-book for Japan, now continued in new editions (4th,
1894), by Professor B.H. Chamberlain; C.R.M., for Mayers's Chinese
Reader's Manual; M.E., The Mikado's Empire (7th ed.); B.N., for Mr.
Bunyiu Nanjio's A Short History of the Twelve Japanese Buddhist Sects,
T[=o]ki[=o], 1887.


CHAPTER I

PRIMITIVE FAITH: RELIGION BEFORE BOOKS


[Footnote 1: The late Professor Samuel Finley Breese Morse, LL.D., who
applied the principles of electro-magnetism to telegraphy, was the son
of the Rev. Jedediah Morse, D.D., the celebrated theologian, geographer,
and gazetteer. In memory of his father, Professor Morse founded this
lectureship in Union Theological Seminary, New York, on "The Relation of
the Bible to the Sciences," May 20,1865, by the gift of ten thousand
dollars.]

[Footnote 2: An American Missionary in Japan, p. 209, by Rev. M.L.
Gordon, M.D., Boston, 1892.]

[Footnote 3: Lucretia Coftin Mott.]

[Footnote 4: "I remember once making a calculation in Hong Kong, and
making out my baptisms to have amounted to about six hundred.... I
believe with you that the study of comparative religion is important for
all missionaries. Still more important, it seems to me, is it that
missionaries should make themselves thoroughly proficient in the
languages and literature of the people to whom they are sent." - Dr.
Legge's Letter to the Author, November 27, 1893.]

[Footnote 5: The Religions of China, p. 240, by James Legge, New York,
1881.]

[Footnote 6: The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, p. 22, Boston editions
of 1859 and 1879.]

[Footnote 7: One of the many names of Japan is that of the Country Ruled
by a Slender Sword, in allusion to the clumsy weapons employed by the
Chinese and Koreans. See, for the shortening and lightening of the
modern Japanese sword (_katana_) as compared with the long and heavy
(_ken_) of the "Divine" (_kami_) or uncivilized age, "The Sword of
Japan; Its History and Traditions," T.A.S.J., Vol. II., p. 58.]

[Footnote 8: The course of lectures on The Religions of Chinese Asia
(which included most of the matter in this book), given by the author in
Bangor Theological Seminary, Bangor, Me., in April, 1894, was upon the
Bond foundation, founded by alumni and named after the chief donor, Rev.
Ellas Bond, D.D., of Kohala, long an active missionary in Hawaii.]

[Footnote 9: This is the contention of Professor Kumi, late of the
Imperial University of Japan; see chapter on Shint[=o].]

[Footnote 10: In illustration, comical or pitiful, the common people in
Satsuma believe that the spirit of the great Saigo Takamori, leader of
the rebellion of 1877, "has taken up its abode in the planet Mars,"
while the spirits of his followers entered into a new race of frogs that
attack man and fight until killed - Mounsey's The Satsuma Rebellion, p.
217. So, also, the _Heiké-gani_, or crabs at Shimonoséki, represent the
transmigration of the souls of the Heiké clan, nearly exterminated in
1184 A.D., while the "H[=o]j[=o] bugs" are the avatars of the execrated
rulers of Kamakura (1219-1333 A.D.). - Japan in History, Folk-lore, and
Art, Boston, 1892, pp. 115, 133.]

[Footnote 11: The Future of Religion in Japan. A paper read at the
Parliament of Religions by Nobuta Kishimoto.]

[Footnote 12: The Ainos, though they deify all the chief objects of
nature, such as the sun, the sea, fire, wild beasts, etc., often talk of
a Creator, _Kotan kara kamui_, literally the God who made the World. At
the fact of creation they stop short.... One gathers that the creative
act was performed not directly, but through intermediaries, who were
apparently animals." - Chamberlain's Aino Studies, p. 12. See also on the
Aino term "Kamui," by Professor B.H. Chamberlain and Rev. J. Batchelor,
T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI.]

[Footnote 13: See Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, by Isabella Bird (Bishop),
Vol. II.; The Ainu of Japan, by Rev. John Batchelor; B. Douglas Howard's
Life With Trans-Siberian Savages; Ripley Hitchcock's Report, Smithsonian
Institute, Washington. Professor B. H. Chamberlain's invaluable "Aino
Studies," T[=o]ki[=o], 1887, makes scholarly comparison of the Japanese
and Aino language, mythology, and geographical nomenclature.]

[Footnote 14: M.E., The Mythical Zoölogy of Japan, pp. 477-488. C.R.M.,
_passim_.]

[Footnote 15: See the valuable article entitled Demoniacal Possession,
T.J., p. 106, and the author's Japanese Fox Myths, _Lippincott's
Magazine_, 1873.]

[Footnote 16: See the Aino animal stories and evidences of beast worship
in Chamberlain's Aino Studies. For this element in Japanese life, see
the Kojiki, and the author's Japanese Fairy World.]

[Footnote 17: The proprietor of a paper-mill in Massachusetts, who had
bought a cargo of rags, consisting mostly of farmers' cast off clothes,
brought to the author a bundle of scraps of paper which he had found in
this cheap blue-dyed cotton wearing apparel. Besides money accounts and
personal matters, there were numerous temple amulets and priests'
certificates. See also B.H. Chamberlain's Notes on Some Minor Japanese
Religious Practices, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, May,
1893.]

[Footnote 18: M.E., p. 440.]

[Footnote 19: See the Lecture on Buddhism in its Doctrinal
Development. - The Nichiren Sect.]

[Footnote 20: The phallus was formerly a common emblem in all parts of
Japan, Hondo, Kiushiu, Shikoku, and the other islands. Bayard Taylor
noticed it in the Riu Kiu (Loo Choo) Islands; Perry's Expedition to
Japan, p. 196; Bayard Taylor's Expedition in Lew Chew; M.E., p. 33,
note; Rein's Japan, p. 432; Diary of Richard Cocks, Vol. I., p. 283. The
native guide-books and gazetteers do not allude to the subject.

Although the author of this volume has collected considerable data from
personal observations and the testimony of personal friends concerning
the vanishing nature-worship of the Japanese, he has, in the text,
scarcely more than glanced at the subject. In a work of this sort,
intended both for the general reader as well as for the scientific
student of religion, it has been thought best to be content with a few
simple references to what was once widely prevalent in the Japanese
archipelago.

Probably the most thorough study of Japanese phallicism yet made by any
foreign scholar is that of Edmund Buckley, A.M., Ph.D., of the Chicago
University, Lecturer on Shint[=o], the Ethnic Faith of Japan, and on the
Science of Religion. Dr. Buckley spent six years in central and
southwestern Japan, most of the time as instructor in the Doshisha
University, Ki[=o]to. He will publish the results of his personal
observations and studios in a monograph on phallicism, which will be on
sale at Chicago University, in which the Buckley collection illustrating
Shint[=o]-worship has been deposited.]

[Footnote 21: Mr. Takahashi Gor[=o], in his Shint[=o] Shin-ron, or New
Discussion of Shint[=o], accepts the derivation of the word _kami_ from
_kabé_, mould, mildew, which, on its appearance, excites wonder. For
Hirata's discussion, see T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Appendix, p. 48. In a
striking paper on the Early Gods of Japan, in a recent number of the
Philosophical Magazine, published in T[=o]ki[=o], a Japanese writer, Mr.
Kenjir[=o] Hiradé, states also that the term kami does not necessarily
denote a spiritual being, but is only a relative term meaning above or
high, but this respect toward something high or above has created many
imaginary deities as well as those having a human history. See also
T.A.S.J., Vol. XXII., Part I., p. 55, note.]

[Footnote 22: "There remains something of the Shint[=o] heart after
twelve hundred years of foreign creeds and dress. The worship of the
marvellous continues.... Exaggerated force is most impressive.... So the
ancient gods, heroes, and wonders are worshipped still. The simple
countryfolk clap their hands, bow their heads, mumble their prayers, and
offer the fraction of a cent to the first European-built house they
see." - Philosophy in Japan, Past and Present, by Dr. George Wm. Knox.]

[Footnote 23: M.E., p. 474. Honda the Samurai, pp. 256-267.]

[Footnote 24: Kojiki, pp. 127, 136, 213, 217.]

[Footnote 25: See S. and H., pp. 39, 76.

"The appearance of anything unusual at a particular spot is hold to be a
sure sign of the presence of divinity. Near the spot where I live in
Ko-ishi-kawa, T[=o]ki[=o], is a small Miya, built at the foot of a very
old tree, that stands isolated on the edge of a rice-field. The spot
looks somewhat insignificant, but upon inquiring why a shrine has been
placed there, I was told that a white snake had been found at the foot
of the old tree." ...

"As it is, the religion of the Japanese consists in the belief that the
productive ethereal spirit, being expanded through the whole universe,
every part is in some degree impregnated with it; and therefore, every
part is in some measure the seat of the Deity." - Legendre's Progressive
Japan, p. 258.]

[Footnote 26: De Verflauwing der Grenzen, by Dr. Abraham Kuyper,
Amsterdam, 1892; translated by Rev. T. Hendrik de Vries, in the
Methodist Review, New York, July-Sept., 1893.]


CHAPTER II

SHINT[=O]; MYTHS AND RITUAL


[Footnote 1: The scholar who has made profound researches in all
departments of Japanese learning, but especially in the literature of
Shint[=o], is Mr. Ernest Satow, now the British Minister at Tangier. He
received the degree of B.A. from the London University. After several
years' study and experience in China, Mr. Satow came to Japan in 1861 as
student-interpreter to the British Legation, receiving his first drill
under Rev. S.R. Brown, D.D., author of A Grammar of Colloquial Japanese.
To ceaseless industry, this scholar, to whom the world is so much
indebted for knowledge of Japan, has added philosophic insight. Besides
unearthing documents whose existence was unsuspected, he has cleared the
way for investigators and comparative students by practically removing
the barriers reared by archaic speech and writing. His papers in the
T.A.S.J., on The Shint[=o] Shrines at Isé, the Revival of Pure
Shint[=o], and Ancient Japanese Rituals, together with his Hand-book for
Japan, form the best collection of materials for the study of the
original and later forms of Shint[=o].]

[Footnote 2: The scholar who above all others has, with rare acumen
united to laborious and prolonged toil, illuminated the subject of
Japan's chronology and early history is Mr. W.G. Aston of the British
Civil Service. He studied at the Queen's University, Ireland, receiving
the degree of M.A. He was appointed student-interpreter in Japan, August
6, 1864. He is the author of a Grammar of the Written Japanese Language,
and has been a student of the comparative history and speech and writing
of China, Korea, and Japan, during the past thirty years. See his
valuable papers in the T.A.S.J., and the learned societies in Great
Britain. In his paper on Early Japanese History, T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI.,
pp. 39-75, he recapitulates the result of his researches, in which he
is, in the main, supported by critical native scholars, and by the late
William Bramsen, in his Japanese Chronological Tables, T[=o]ki[=o],
1880. He considers A.D. 461 as the first trustworthy date in the
Japanese annals. We quote from his paper, Early Japanese History,
T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI., p. 73.

1. The earliest date of the accepted Japanese Chronology, the accuracy
of which is confirmed by external evidence, is A.D. 461.

2. Japanese History, properly so called, can hardly be said to exist
previous to A.D. 500. (A cursory examination leads me to think that the
annals of the sixth century must also be received with caution.)

3. Korean History and Chronology are more trustworthy than those of
Japan during the period previous to that date.

4. While there was an Empress of Japan in the third century A.D., the
statement that she conquered Korea is highly improbable.

5. Chinese learning was introduced into Japan from Korea 120 years later
than the date given in Japanese History.

6. The main fact of Japan having a predominant influence in some parts
of Korea during the fifth century is confirmed by the Korean and Chinese
chronicles, which, however, show that the Japanese accounts are very
inaccurate in matters of detail.]

[Footnote 3: Basil Hall Chamberlain, who has done the world of learning
such signal service by his works on the Japanese language, and
especially by his translation, with critical introduction and
commentary, of the Kojiki, is an English gentleman, born at Southsea,
Hampshire, England, on the 18th day of October, 1830. His mother was a
daughter of the well-known traveller and author, Captain Basil Hall,
R.N., and his father an Admiral in the British Navy. He was educated for
Oxford, but instead of entering, for reasons of health, he spent a
number of years in western Mid southern Europe, acquiring a knowledge of
various languages and literatures. His coming to Japan (in May, 1873)
was rather the result of an accident - a long sea voyage and a trial of
the Japanese climate having been recommended. The country and the field
of study suited the invalid well. After teaching for a time in the Naval
College the Japanese honored themselves and this scholar by making him,
in April, 1886, Professor of Philology at the Imperial University. His
works, The Classical Poetry of the Japanese, his various grammars and
hand-books for the acquisition of the language, his Hand-book for Japan,
his Aino Studies, Things Japanese, papers in the T.A.S.J. and his
translation of the Kojiki are all of a high order of value. They are
marked by candor, fairness, insight, and a mastery of difficult themes
that makes his readers his constant debtors.]

[Footnote 4: "If the term 'Altaic' be held to include Korean and
Japanese, then Japanese assumes prime importance as being by far the
oldest living representative of that great linguistic group, its
literature antedating by many centuries the most ancient productions of
the Manchus, Mongols, Turks, Hungarians, or Finns." - Chamberlain,
Simplified Grammar, Introd., p. vi.]

[Footnote 5: Corea, the Hermit Nation, pp. 13-14; Mr. Pom K. Soh's paper
on Education in Korea; Report of U.S. Commissioner of Education,
1890-91.]

[Footnote 6: T.A.S.J., Vol. XVI., p. 74; Bramsen's Chronological Tables,
Introd., p. 34; T.J., p. 32.]

[Footnote 7: The Middle Kingdom, Vol. I., p. 531.]

[Footnote 8: "The frog in the well knows not the great ocean." This
proverb, so freely quoted throughout Chinese Asia, and in recent years
so much applied to themselves by the Japanese, is of Hindu origin and is
found in the Sanskrit.]

[Footnote 9: This is shown with literary skill and power in a modern
popular work, the title of which, Dai Nippon Kai-biyaku Yurai-iki,
which, very freely indeed, may be translated Instances of Divine
Interposition in Behalf of Great Japan. A copy of this work was
presented to the writer by the late daimi[=o] of Echizen, and was read
with interest as containing the common people's ideas about their
country and history. It was published in Yedo in 1856, while Japan was
still excited over the visits of the American and European fleets. On
the basis of the information furnished in this work General Le Gendre
wrote his influential book, Progressive Japan, in which a number of
quotations from the _Kai-biyaku_ may be read.]

[Footnote 10: In the Kojiki, pp. 101-104, we have the poetical account
of the abdication of the lord of Idzumo in favor of the Yamato
conqueror, on condition that the latter should build a temple and have
him honored among the gods. One of the rituals contains the
congratulatory address of the chieftains of Idzumo, on their surrender
to "the first Mikado, Jimmu Tenn[=o]." See also T.J., p. 206.]

[Footnote 11: "The praying for Harvest, or Toshigoi no Matsuri, was
celebrated on the 4th day of the 2d month of each year, at the capital
in the Jin-Gi-Kuan or office for the Worship of the Shint[=o] gods, and
in the provinces by the chiefs of the local administrations. At the
Jin-Gi-Kuan there were assembled the ministers of state, the
functionaries of that office, the priests and priestesses of 573
temples, containing 737 shrines, which were kept up at the expense of
the Mikado's treasury, while the governors of the provinces
superintended in the districts under their administration the
performance of rites in honor of 2,395 other shrines. It would not be
easy to state the exact number of deities to whom these 3,132 shrines
were dedicated. A glance over the list in the 9th and 10th books of the
Yengishiki shows at once that there were many gods who were worshipped
in more than half-a-dozen different localities at the same time; but
exact calculation is impossible, because in many cases only the names of
the temples are given, and we are left quite in the dark as to the
individuality of the gods to whom they were sacred. Besides these 3,132
shrines, which are distinguished as Shikidai, that is contained in the
catalogue of the Yengishiki, there were a large number of enumerated
shrines in temples scattered all over the country, in every village or
hamlet, of which it was impossible to take any account, just as at the
present day there are temples of Hachiman, Kompira, Tenjin sama, San-no
sama and Sengen sama, as they are popularly called, wherever twenty or
thirty houses are collected together. The shrines are classed as great
and small, the respective numbers being 492 and 2,640, the distinction
being twofold, firstly in the proportionately larger quantity of
offerings made at the great shrines, and secondly that the offerings in
the one case were arranged upon tables or altars, while in the other
they were placed on mats spread upon the earth. In the Yengishiki the
amounts and nature of the offerings are stated with great minuteness,
but it will be sufficient if the kinds of articles offered are alone
mentioned here. It will be seen, by comparison with the text of the
norito, that they had varied somewhat since the date when the ritual was
composed. The offerings to a greater shrine consisted of coarse woven
silk (_ashiginu_), thin silk of five different colors, a kind of stuff
called _shidori_ or _shidzu_, which is supposed by some to have been a
striped silk, cloth of broussonetia bark or hemp, and a small quantity
of the raw materials of which the cloth was made, models of swords, a
pair of tables or altars (called _yo-kura-oki_ and _ya-kura-oki_), a
shield or mantlet, a spear-head, a bow, a quiver, a pair of stag's
horns, a hoe, a few measures of saké or rice-beer, some haliotis and
bonito, two measures of _kituli_ (supposed to be salt roe), various
kinds of edible seaweed, a measure of salt, a saké jar, and a few feet
of matting for packing. To each of the temples of Watarai in Isé was
presented in addition a horse; to the temple of the Harvest god Mitoshi
no kami, a white horse, cock, and pig, and a horse to each of nineteen
others.

"During the fortnight which preceded the celebration of the service, two
smiths and their journeymen, and two carpenters, together with eight
inbe [or hereditary priests] were employed in preparing the apparatus
and getting ready the offerings. It was usual to employ for the Praying
for Harvest members of this tribe who held office in the Jin-Gi-Kuan,
but if the number could not he made up in that office, it was supplied
from other departments of state. To the tribe of quiver-makers was
intrusted the special duty of weaving the quivers of wistaria tendrils.
The service began at twenty minutes to seven in the morning, by our
reckoning of time. After the governor of the province of Yamashiro had
ascertained that everything was in readiness, the officials of the
Jin-Gi-Kuan arranged the offerings on the tables and below them,
according to the rank of the shrines for which they were intended. The
large court of the Jin-Gi-Kuan where the service was held, called the
Sai-in, measured 230 feet by 370. At one end were the offices and on the
west side were the shrines of the eight Protective Deities in a row,
surrounded by a fence, to the interior of which three sacred archways
(torii) gave access. In the centre of the court a temporary shed was
erected for the occasion, in which the tables or altars were placed. The
final preparations being now complete, the ministers of state, the
virgin priestesses and priests of the temples to which offerings were
sent by the Mikado, entered in succession, and took the places severally
assigned to them. The horses which formed a part of the offerings were
next brought in from the Mikado's stable, and all the congregation drew
near, while the reader recited or read the norito. This reader was a
member of the priestly family or tribe of Nakatomi, who traced their
descent back to Ameno-koyané, one of the principal advisers attached to
the sun-goddess's grandchild when he first descended on earth. It is a
remarkable evidence of the persistence of certain ideas, that up to the
year 1868 the nominal prime-minister of the Mikado, after he came of
age, and the regent during his minority, if he had succeeded young to
the throne, always belonged to this tribe, which changed its name from
Nakatomi to Fujiwara in the seventh century, and was subsequently split
up into the Five Setsuké or governing families. At the end of each
section the priests all responded 'O!' which was no doubt the equivalent
of 'Yes' in use in those days. As soon as he had finished, the Nakatomi
retired, and the offerings were distributed to the priests for
conveyance and presentation to the gods to whose service they were
attached. But a special messenger was despatched with the offerings
destined to the temples at Watarai. This formality having been
completed, the President of the Jin-Gi-Kuan gave the signal for breaking
up the assembly." Ancient Japanese Rituals, T.A.S.J., Vol. VII, pp.
104-107.]

[Footnote 12: S. and H., p. 461.]

[Footnote 13: Consult Chamberlain's literal translations of the name in
the Kojiki, and p. lxv. of his Introduction.]

[Footnote 14: The parallel between the Hebrew and Japanese accounts of
light and darkness, day and night, before the sun, has been noticed by
several writers. See the comments of Hirata, a modern Shint[=o]
expounder. - T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Appendix, p. 72.]

[Footnote 15: Westminster Review, July, 1878, p. 19.]


CHAPTER III

"THE KOJIKI" AND ITS TEACHINGS


[Footnote 1: Kojiki, pp. 9-18; T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Appendix, p. 20.]

[Footnote 2: M.E., p. 43; McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia, Art.
Shint[=o]; in T.A.S.J., Vol. III., Appendix, is to be found Mr. Satow's
digest of the commentaries of the modern Shint[=o] revivalists; in Mr.
Chamberlain's translation of the Kojiki, the text with abundant notes.
See also Mr. Twan-Lin's Account of Japan up to A.D. 1200, by E.H.
Parker. T.A.S.J., Vol. XXII., Part I.]

[Footnote 3: "The various abstractions which figure at the commencement



Online LibraryWilliam Elliot GriffisThe Religions of Japan From the Dawn of History to the Era of Méiji → online text (page 26 of 31)