« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
vegetable curiosities. The Japanese shine when disgrace, caused often by the deeds of like the Chinese in monstrosities. They can other men, appears inevitable, he appoints dwarf trees so well, that in a little box four a day, and according to the exigencies of inches square, President Meylan saw grow- the case, before his family or his assembled ing, a fir, a bambon, and a plum-tree, in full connections, ceremoniously cuts open his owa blossom. Or they hypertrophy plants, if belly at a solemn dinner. Dying in this way, they please, until a radish is produced as he is said to have died in the course of nalarge as a boy six years old. Their gardens, ture; dying before shame came to bim, he however small, are always laid out in land is said to have died undisgraced, and so bas scape style, and each is adorned with a saved his family from that participation in temple, not a mere ornamental summer- his fall, which otherwise was imminent. house, but the real shrine of a household Now we must leave this house, in which we god. Into this garden walks the lady, and have spent perhaps a little too much time: returns with a few flowers. She takes these yet in the whole time we did not once hear to an elegant shelf fixed in a recess of the the squalling of a baby, though a baby was apartment, upon which a bouquet stands, there certainly. If this should meet the eye and is engaged upon her nosegay. An act of Mr. Meek, he is informed that in Japan, of taste? O dear, no; every drawing-room children, until they are three years old, are in Japan has such a shelf with flowers placed not allowed to wear any thing tight about upon it; every lady entering who found her their persons. husband there, and meant to talk with him, Now we are once more in the streets of would in the first place make the nosegay Nagasaki, and observe, that for a gentleman talk, and say, “ The wife and husband are to turn his back upon a friend, is true politealone together.” If company arrive, the ness, in this most original of lands. It sig. flowers must be otherwise adjusted; the nifies that he who so turns is unworthy to position of every flower, and even of green behold the face, &c. A bridal procession leaves, in that bouquet, is fixed by custom, passes us ; the bride in her long white veil. which is law, to vary with the use to which There is a touch of poetry connected with the room is put. One of the most difficult that veil ; it literally is the shroud in which and necessary parts of female education in she will be buried. Japan, is to acquire a perfect knowledge of We are out of town now, and delighting the rules laid down in a large book on the in the open country. Exquisite views of arrangement of the drawing-room nosegay, hill, and dale, and wood, and water, tempt in a manner suitable to every case. It is the sight. Rice fields, of course, we pass; the Japanese “ Use of the globes" to ladies' / rice is a staple article of diet to the Japaschools. The boys and girls, after reading nese, as to so many other millions of the and writing, which are taught (hear, En human race. It is the vegetable food that gland !) to the meanest Japanese, the most finds its way into more mouths than any necessary part of education is an elaborate other. There is wheat, also, in Japan, used training in the ceremonial rules of life. Bows chiefly for making cakes and soy ; bariey for proper for every occasion, elegant kotoos, feeding cattle. The cattle being used as the whole science and practice of good-beasts of draught and burden, it is thought breeding, have to be learned through many improper to kill them, or to deprive the tedious years. To boys there is given spe- young calves of their milk; the Japanese, cial training in the harakiri, or the art of therefore, refrain from milk and beef. They ripping one's self up. Many occasions pre- eat great quantities of fish, poultry, and sent themselves on which it as much con- venison. In the country gardens we see cerns the honor of a Japanese to cut himself quinces, pears, plumbs, cherries, peaches, open, as it concerned an Englishman some oranges, and citrons too; bean-fields abound, years ago to fire a pistol at his friend. The and farms, of which the hedges are all tea. occasions are so frequent, that a Japanese | Where soil and climate favor, many a hillboys' school would be incomplete in which side, in Japan, is cultivated as a tea plantainstruction was not given in this art of sui- tion; but beyond this, the tea plant is used cide. Boys practice all the details in dra by the farmers generally as a hedge, from matic fashion, and in after life, if a day come which they gather their own leaves, and dry
tea for home use, just as our farmers brew are well swept, for the farmers on each side their own October beer. Now we are flitting diligently scrape up all manure; and as men under cedar groves, now under firs, now with brooms clear the way before a traveller under mulberry plantations for the silk- of rank, the highway is kept in a very neat worm; every good point in the landscape is condition. Men selling straw clouts for occupied by a temple, which is composed of travellers, and straw shoes for the horses, one large edifice and many little ones, the which require, of course, frequent renewal, little ones are used by pleasure parties. pick up a living by the road-side, and we There is a snake, and there you see in the pass them frequently. Observe that mighty tree a long-tailed monkey, (Inuus speciosus ;) camphor-tree, which every traveller has there is no other kind of monkey in these mentioned. To Kæmpfer it was venerable islands, and the snakes are all of species for its age in the year 1691; still it is healthy, found nowhere else. The tree frog and the and so large that fifteen men can stand witheatable frog live in the north of Nippon. in its hollow. Hot springs, of course, we Here we have squirrels. There are no lions pass in a volcanic country. There is a coaland tigers; there is not a single animal of mine also here, though charcoal is the fuel the cat tribe known upon these islands; you usually burned. can meet with nothing worse than a wild We have now crossed Kiusiu, and reached boar. Great pains are taken to destroy the the seaport of Kokura, where we find our foxes. Here are pheasants without game Phantom Ship in readiness to take us laws, and the peacock yonder looks as if he through a sea covered with islets, to the felt himself at home. Several palanquins large island of Nippon. We shall disembark, have passed us on the road, varying much and travel very rapidly through Ohosaka to in shape and minor details. The shape of Miyako, where the divine Mikado holds his the palanquin, the length of the poles, their court. We pass some strange-looking men position, the way in which they are held, covered with matting, each of whom has in and the number of holders, all are fixed so his hand a long wooden spoon. The spoon as to accord precisely with the rank of the is their cockle-shell, for they are pilgrims good gentleman inside. The number of at- travelling in the most pious form, as beggars, tendants in the train, even of an inconsider- to the shrine of their own goddess. This able man, is startling ; and as for a prince, pilgrimage is made by all good Japanesehe might be setting out to conquer China. the oftener the better, especially as they The roads are good, and there is no lack of grow old, because they get each time full horsemen, but we have not seen draught absolution from the priests for their past carriages ; perhaps these hills are an imped- sins. iment to travelling by such conveyance;! The sun goddess and the Mikado are allied roads over bills and mountains being simply together; and as we now are journeying flights of steps.
towards a seat of government, we can do Hollo! What couple scampers by in such | nothing better than discuss the Japanese a hurry? 'Tis the post ; the greatest princes religion. It begins with an Oriental “once must put by their etiquette, and get out of upon a time,” of gods who reigned for a few its way. One man runs with the letters, and millions of years apiece, above whom there another keeps pace with him to supply his was, and is, and ever will be, one supreme place in case of illness or accident; if both God, free from care. The last of seven royposts fail, the nearest man, wbatever be his al gods said to his wife one day, “There's dignity, must do their work for them. These earth somewhere, I'm sure !” and go he posts are never horsed; but each pair at the poked about with his spear in the water, conclusion of a stage, find the next couple feeling for it. Drops falling from his spearwaiting to catch the important bundle thrown point made the islands of Japan. Then this to them, and set off instantly, before the god made eight millions of other gods, and spent runners have reached the spot where also created the ten thousand things. Havthey may halt and get their wind again. ing ordered matters to his satisfaction, he Goods are conveyed on pack-horses or oxen made a present of his Japanese earth to his over land ; but water transit by lakes, rivers, pet daughter, the sun goddess. The sun or canals, is much more common. The roads | goddess reigned only two hundred and fifty thousand years, and her four successors filled real court was transferred to Jeddo, where the next two million; the last of the four, the Ziogoons reside. Retributive justice we being the great-great-grandson of the sun shall meet with in a little while, but we goddess, fancied a mortal life, and left a have now reached Miyako, the Mikado's res. mortal boy, who reigned on earth, and was idence, and nominally still the capital of the first Mikado: from him all Mikados are Nippon. descended. This is the native Japanese re- Poor Mikado, what a miserable honor he ligion, called Sintoo; worshipping the sun must think it is to be divine! He represents goddess, and Kami, which are minor gods, the sun goddess on earth, and is required to or saints. The Sintoos bow before no im- sit upon his throne quite still, and without ages, but put as emblems in their temples a moving his head for several hours every day, sheet of white paper and a mirror, to de- lest the whole earth should be unsteady. note the soul pure and incapable of stain. When not sitting, be must leave his crown The worshipper kneels, gazes at the mirror, upon the throne to keep watch in his aboffers sacrifice of fruit or rice, deposits mo- sence. Being so very holy, he is deprived ney, and retires. Upon this creed Buddhism of all use of his legs; earth is not worthy of has been grafted; but the religion of the his tread. His nails and hair are never cut learned Japanese is Sintoo-a philosophic --for who may mutilate a god ? Every armoral doctrine which they cherish secretly, ticle of dress that he puts on must be bran while outwardly observing rites prescribed new; his plates, and cups, and dishes, every by custom.
thing he touches at a meal-even the kitchen But revenons à nos Mikados : the first utensils used in cooking for him-must not Mikado, though of fabulous descent, is an be used twice, and of course no profane man historical person, Zin-mu-ten-woo, and with may employ what has been sanctified by the him Japanese history begins—at a period Mikado's use. Whatever clothes he puts from whence we date rational annals in some off are immediately burned ; his pots and other countries, about 660 B. o. We will vessels are destroyed. This hourly waste note those points of history that are essential being a heavy pull on the finances of the to a comprehension of the present govern- Ziogoon, the divine victim gets only the ment. Mikados followed each other, sole coarsest slops to dress in, and eats off the rulers and powerful, until they fell into a cheapest crockery. No wonder that he still trick of abdicating in favor of their children, keeps up the fashion of resigning. His paland then doing the duty without being an ace is circumscribed with palisades, and an noyed by the ceremonies of their office. officer residing without the gate spies all his That had its inconvenient results, for pres- actions, and reports them to the Ziogoon. ently came one Mikado who married the Still the poor fellow is divine. The gods, it daughter of a powerful papa; and when the is believed, all spend a month at his place, time came for retirement, and he had abdi- during which month they are not at home in cated in favor of a son three years old, the their own temples, and worship is according. powerful papa thrust him aside into a prison, ly suspended. The Mikado grants religious and usurped the regency. A civil war was titles, fixes feasts and fasts, and settles docthe result of this ; Yoritomo leaped up as trinal disputes. Thus there arose one schism champion of the imprisoned man, so recent. in Japan about the color of the devil. Four ly a king, released him, and restored him to factions respectively declared him to be the regency over his infant son. For this black, white, red, and green. The theologic essential service good Yoritomo was made knot was given to the Mikado of that day to a sort of field-marshal, or Ziogoon. The ex- unravel, who, knowing the obstinacy of theoMikado dying, left Yoritomo the guardian logians well, declared all parties to be right;, of his son; and so for twenty years the Zio. and so the devil of Japan remains to this goon was regent. Infant Mikados still con- day a four-colored monster. Offices of state tinuing to be the fashion, regency became in the Mikado's court-the Dairi it is called hereditary to the Ziogoons; and these last -are above all in honor, objects of ambition being men, it eventually came to pass that even to the Ziogoon. The dwellers in the the Mikado was stripped of all power, and Dairi with the boly prisoner, both male and converted into a magnificent doll, while the female, are the most refined and cultivated
Japanese. From their ranks are supplied | make Nippon subject to him ; but without the poets of the land, who sing the beauties success, winds and waves fighting with the of the rapid Oyewaga, or legends of the Japanese. Mongolians were forbidden then snow-capped Foesi.
to touch Japanese ground, but a century Miyako is the classic ground, the Athens, later friendly relations were restored with of Japan. But we must go on to the Japan China. In 1543, two Portuguese, Antonio ese London, Jeddo, the real capital, a grand Mota, and Francesco Zeimoto, landed in metropolis, with about one million six hun Japan, exciting great interest among a merdred thousand inhabitants. Of course there cantile people, trading at that time, it is is a wilderness of suburb; there are endless said, with sixteen foreign nations. The streets; there is a river through the town Portuguese taught new arts, they brought which flows into the bay, from which this new wares, and they were welcomed eagercapital is not far distant. There are bridges ; | ly: some of them settled, and were married there is a vast multitude of people throng. in Japan. The Jesuits came, too, with Chrising to and fro; there are shops, signs, in- tianity, and their preaching was abundantly scriptions. We will walk into a theatre; successful. Now, it so happened that about for here, as in the days of Æschylus, per the same time, when the Portuguese first formances take place by day There is a arrived, a civil war was waged between two pit, and there are tiers of elegant seats, brothers, for the dignity of Ziogoon. Both which answer to our boxes; the scenery and brothers perished in this war, and then the dresses are handsome, only in scene-painting vassal princes fought over the fallen bone. there is no perspective. As in the early | Nobunaga, the most powerful of these, was European drama, the subjects illustrated aided by a person of obscure birth, named are the deeds of gods and heroes : not more Hide-yosi. Nobunaga became Ziogoon, fathan two speakers occupy the scene at once; vored the Christians, and invested Hide-yosi boys act the female characters. Several with high military rank. A usurper murpieces are performed, each piece divided in- dered Nobunaga, was then himself murderto acts, and the plan is to give after Acted, and left vacant a seat which Hide-yosi I. of the first play, Act I. of the second, was now strong enough to seize. He took and then to begin the third, before taking the name of Tayko, and is the great hero of the series of second acts. As each actor in the annals of Japan. He it was who coneach piece plays also several parts, one tinued the robbery of the Mikado's power, might consider this arrangement to be rather and secured himself against revolt by espuzzling. Gentlemen go out after the act | tablishing a system of check over the prinof any piece they wish to hear, and attend ces, which prevails to this day. He left a to other matters till the next act of the son bearing the name of Hide-yosi, six years same piece shall come on; but ladies sit old, and to secure his power, married him with pleasure through the whole. Dear to the daughter of Jyeyas, a strong papa. souls ! they steal a march upon our feminine Jyeyas played the usurper, of course, and box ornaments; for they bring with them a a large faction supported the young Hidecollection of dresses to the play, slip out yosi, whom he had sworn to guard. The during each pause to change their clothes, boy was Christian at heart; his cause, also, and reappear, to catch the adniiration of was just; the Jesuits, therefore, and the beholders, every time in a new costume. great body of the Christians, warmly took
The palace of the Ziogoon covers much his part. Had he maintained his right sucground, being in fact a rural scene-a pal- cessfully Christianity would have become the ace and a park, locked up within the town. state religion in Japan. Jyeyas conquered, As for the Ziogoon, he also is locked up and the Christians, persecuted, afterwards within his trenches. To understand how he rebelling, they were rooted out-regarded is fettered, and, at the same time, how all as a sect politically hostile. Their rebellion the people of Japan have come to be locked broke loose in the principality of Arima; up, we must pursue our little thread of his- the Prince of Arima drove the insurgents, tory. Yoritomo established, as we said, the seventy thousand in number, to the peninpower of the Ziogoons, which flourished for sula of Simabara, where they stood at bay. a long time. Kublah Khan endeavored to Since they were not to be dislodged, the
Dutch, then settled at Firato, were desired displays of pomp; and if his purse be long, to aid the government; accordingly they the Ziogoon invites himself to dinner with sent a man-of-war, which fired upon the him; an honor great enough to ruin any Christians and sealed their fate. To this noble in Japan. Similar checks are upon service the Dutch were indebted for their all governors of towns and all officials. Any permission to retain one factory. All other neglect reported by a spy, any infraction of Christians were destroyed or expelled, and a rule, threatens disgrace and makes it nesince those days every stranger has been cessary to perform the act of suicide before required, exempting the Dutch factory, to described. So it was not without cause that trample on an image of the Saviour, as an they were taught at school the harakiri. evidence of his not being a Christian inter- Perhaps you think the council is omnipotent loper.
Far from it. The council may, indeed, make To finish our history, we must record that any law, which will be submitted by the Jyeyas, having established his own usurpa- | president for sanction to the Ziogoon. Then tion, completed the reduction of the Mikado should the Ziogoon refuse his signature, and to a state of helplessness; completed the differ in opinion from the council, if he blame fettering of the princes, and the protective the law, the question is submitted to the system of espial; and being deified, on death, Ziogoon's three next of kin, and they are under the name of Gongen, was the founder umpires. If these decide against the Zioof the Gongen dynasty of Ziogoons, which goon, he is deposed immediately; if they still rules in Japan and still adheres to the decide against the council, then its president protective system. But in course of time and members must rip themselves up. the power of the Ziogoons has waned; the Yet still this tyranny of custom, which Ziogoon himself is now a puppet to his would seem to be so burdensome to all, goes council, which is governed by a president, on, because all are so bound that none can who by no means is able to do what he begin to stir. The Japanese, as we have likes.
| partly been able to see, are an acute raceLet us now see how all the Japanese are they have original and thinking minds; with tied and bound, and kept in profound peace. a dash of Asiatic fierceness, they are genIn the first place, nearly half the population erous, joyous, sympathetic. They love picare officials in pay, and the whole empire is nic parties and music, with a buffoon ; who sprinkled thickly with spies, some public and first encourage them to throw off restraint, official, who may intrude where they please, to laugh and riot in good-nature; and, asothers concealed and not acknowledged, al. suming then his second office, draws himself though paid, by government. Furthermore, up demurely, to give all a lesson in politeevery householder is required to watch the ness. The buffoons who go for hire to proactions of his five intermediate neighbors, mote mirth with a pleasure.party, go also as and to keep a sharp eye upon movements masters of the ceremonies. The treatment opposite. Every prince is assisted in his of Golownin, as a prisoner, will also illusgovernment by two secretaries, whom the trate the nature of the Japanese. In moving court appoints, one to reside with him, and from one prison to another, he walked, bound the other to reside at Jeddo. These take so tightly with thin cords that they cut every act of government out of his hands, wounds into his flesh. These wounds the The secretary, who lives with him, watches soldiers dressed every evening, but did not him, and acts upon instructions from the slacken any string; they said that he was secretary who resides at Jeddo, who again fettered in the customary way. Yet these is prompted by the council. Not only does men willingly would take him on their backs, the prince live surrounded by a mob of un- to carry him, when he was foot-sore; people known spies, but he is obliged, every alter in the villages were gladly suffered to show nate year, to leave his principality and to sympathy by feeding him with pleasant reside at Jeddo; his wife and family are things as he passed through; and when he always kept at Jeddo in the character of had made efforts to escape; which, if suchostages. Furthermore, pains are taken to cessful, would have entailed harakiri on his prevent a prince from being rich. He is re- guards; they still showed no abatement of quired at Jeddo to impoverish himself by good nature.