Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Japan

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Japan, called in the language of the country Nihon or Nippon (Land of the Rising Sun), and Dai Nihon or Dai Nippon (Great Japan), is situated north-west of the Pacific Ocean and east of the Asiatic Continent. It lies between 199°20' and 156°32' E. long. (meridian of Greenwich) and between 21°62' and 50°56' N. lat. It consists of six large islands, Honshiu or Hondo, Kinsui, Shikoku, Hokkaido (Yezo), Taiwan or Formosa, and the southern part of Karafu (Sakhalin). There are besides about six hundred small islands, among which Sado, Oki, Tsushima, Iki, Awaji, and the four archipelagos of the Pescadores, Chishima (Kuriles), Ogasawara, Shima (Bonin), and Okinawa (Riu-kin) deserve mention. The word Japan is the collective name of the whole territory, exclusive of Formosa and Karafuto. The total area amounts to 162,655 sq. miles.

On 31 March, 1908, the total population of Japan was 49,092,000 inhabitants; that of Formosa 3,155,005; and that of the Ainus (aborigines) 17,632. The population is divided according to castes into the Kwazoku (nobles), heads of families, 902; members of families, about 4600; Shizoku (former knights or Samurai), heads of families 439,194; members of families 1,728,650; Heimin (private citizens), heads of families, 8,285,448; members of families 47,358,760. The number of the population increases rapidly. In 1876 it was 34,338,000; in 1886, 38,507,000; in 1896, 42,708,000; in 1907, 49,092,000, of which 24,839,000 were men, and 24,252,000 were women. The density is 415 to the sq. mile, exclusive of Hokkaido, where it is twenty-three to the square mile. Number of married persons, 16,458,308; births in the year 1907, 1,599,231; children born living, 1,457,039; children born dead, 142,092; illegitimate births: boys, 60,445, girls, 60,702. Number of marriages, 361,260; divorces, 60,179; deaths, 1,012,855. Recipients of passports to foreign countries, 43,627; Japanese resident abroad, the civil condition of whom is registered at the consulate, 234,134; in China, 34,006; in Corea, 81,754; in the United States, 20,080; in Hawaii and the Philippines, 73,974; in Europe, 694; the remainder in various countries. Number of foreigners resident in Japan, 18,908; Chinese, 12,273; Coreans, 459; Englishmen, 2293; Americans from the United States, 1624; Germans 664; French, 498; Russians, 194; Portuguese, 197; the remainder belong to various nationalities.


Seas and Straits

The seas which surround Japan are the Pacific Ocean on the east, the Sea of Okhotsk on the North, the Sea of Japan on the west, and the China Sea on the south. The straits separating the principal islands are the Strait of Soya, or La Pérouse between Hokkaido and the Sakhalin, the strait of Tsugaru between the Great Island Honshiu and Hokkaido, and the Strait of Shimonoseki between Honshiu and Kiusiu.

Coasts, Gulfs, and Bays

The coasts are very irregular, the gulfs and bays are very numerous. On the Pacific Ocean are the gulfs of Sagami and Tosa, the bays of Tokio, Suruga, Ise, Omi, Tsuchiura, Seto, etc; on the Sea of Japan, the Bay of Fukuoaka, Wakasa, Kagoshima. Yatsushiro, Amagusa, Shimabara, etc.


The largest lake is Biwa, which is about 180 miles in circumference, 36 1/2 miles long, and 12 1/2 miles wide. According to tradition Lake Biwa was formed by an earthquake in 286 B.C. Renowned for the beauty of its scenery, its praises have often been sung by poets. After Lake Biwa, the best known are Lake Suwa in Shinano, Lake Hakone, on the summit of the mountain of the same name, Lake Chiusenji in Shimotsuke, west of Nikko, 15 1/2 miles in circumference, 4375 feet above sea-level. The cascade of Kegon, one of the most beautiful and renowned of Japan, is on this lake.


The slopes of the mountains being so close to the sea, the watercourse are not very long. They are for the most part only torrents, few of them capable of carrying boats, but they are utilized for rafting and thus supplement the roads. Only 15 are 40 ri or more long, the longest being 110 ri in length. (The ri is almost equal to 2 1/2 miles).


In Japan the mountains cover two-thirds of the surface of the soil. The country is traversed by two chains of mountains, one a part of Sakhalin Island, the other south-east of China crossing Formosa. These two chains meet in the middle of the Great Island (Honshiu), dividing it into two parts which present striking contrasts as much from the political as from the geographical point of view. The highest peaks are situated at the intersection of these two chains, about the thirty-fifth parallel, which has caused tourists to give them the name of the Japanese Alps. The highest are Niitake in Formosa (12,850 feet), and Fuji (12,395 feet) in Honshiu. This last mountain must have been formed by the same earthquake which hollowed out Lake Biwa (286 B.C.). It is a volcano subject at times to terrible eruptions. On account of its regular outline and its majestic beauty it has furnished an inexhaustible source of inspiration to Japanese artists, poets, painters, etc.


Although very mountainous the country is not devoid of valleys, the principal ones being those of Etchigo, Sendai, and Quanto, with Tokio and Yokohama, and a population of 6,000,000 souls, of Mino and Awari (1,150,000 souls), of Kinai, with Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe (2,600,000 souls), of Tsukusi in Kiusiu. The oil mines of this valley furnish 67% of the total production of the mines of Japan.


Three chains of volcanoes exist in Japan. The Kuriles, Fuji, and Kirishima contain 200 volcanoes, of which 100 are still active. The principal ones are Tarumi, Noboribetsu, Komagatake, Agatsuma, Bandai, Kausatsu, Kaimon, Sakaurajima, Fuji, Kirishima, Asama, and Aso. This last, situated north-east of Higo, numbers five peaks, the highest of which reaches an altitude of nearly one mile. It is perhaps the largest volcano in the world, its craters having an extent of 15 miles from north to south, 10 miles from east to west. It was in eruption in 1884, 1889, and 1896.


Their number is proportionate to that of volcanoes. From 1883 to 1897 there were 17,750, that is 1365 per year, nearly 3 1/2 per day. From 1596 to 1877 Japan was visited by 100 more or less disastrous earthquakes. According to minute researchers made by a commission of scholars, the number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions which have caused more or less damage from the beginning of historic times to the present day must equal 2006. One of the most terrible was that of 1855 at Tokio, in which more than 100,000 persons perished and the greater part of the city was destroyed.

Mineral Springs

As compensation for the damage caused by the volcanoes Japan has a large number of mineral springs. There are at least 100 which, because of ease of access and their medicinal qualities, are much frequented.

Climate, Typhoons

During the cold season, which begins in October and ends in April, Japan is visited by the north and the west wind, the atmospheric pressure being lower on the Pacific Ocean than on the continent. The contrary is true from May to October, because the wind then comes from the south and east. This difference in atmospheric pressure gives rise to numerous typhoons, which often cause great disasters. To mention only that of 1902, the number of persons killed equalled 3639, vessels lost 3244, houses destroyed or damaged, 695,062. Total loss, 29,742,081 yen.

Rain, Snow

Japan is one of the most rainy countries in the world. The average yearly rainfall is about 61 inches. The average number of rainy or snowy days per year is 150. There are 89 meteorological stations, where six observations are made daily, at two, six, and ten o'clock, morning and evening (135° E. of Greenwich time).


Dynasty (Teishitshu)

The form of the Japanese Government is an hereditary and constitutional monarchy. A single dynasty has reigned in Japan since the foundation of the empire. The present emperor is the one hundred and twenty-second descendant of Jimmu Tenno, first emperor of Japan. His own name is Mitsuhito; he has no family name since he is supposed to be descended directly from the race of gods. Born 3 November, 1852, he succeeded his father, Komei Tenno, 13 Feb., 1867, and was crowned 12 Oct., 1868. On 28 December the same year he married the Princess Haruko, third daughter of Kuge Ichijo Tadaka, a noble of the first rank, b. 28 May, 1850. Yoshihito Hiyu no miya, son of the emperor, b. 31 August, 1879, was proclaimed heir apparent on 31 August, 1887. On 10 May, 1900, he married Sadako, fourth daughter of Duke Kujo, by whom he has three sons.

Branches of the Imperial Family (Kozuko)

There are fourteen branches of the imperial family: Fushimi, Arisugawa, Jan-in, Higashi-Fushimi, Kwacho, Yamashina, Kaya, Kuni, Nashimoto, Kita-Shirakawa, Komatsu, Takeda, Asaka, Higashi-Kuni. The first four families have the title of Shinno (princes of the blood), and constitute the four branches from whom must be chosen the heir to the throne, if the emperor die without issue. The others have the title O (princes). The first, when they are of age, have by right a seat in the house of Peers. The others may only sit there by order of the emperor. These last may also succeed a nobleman or be adopted by him. All are by right a portion of the imperial household. They may be neither arrested nor summoned before a court without the command of the emperor, nor marry without his permission, nor ally themselves with any save the family designated by him. If they commit an act unworthy of their rank the emperor has the right to punish them, and even deprive them of their title of prince. If they are wasteful of their property, they may be interdicted and forced to submit to the appointment of an administrator of their property.

Estates of the Crown

According to the present data the crown possesses 12,135 acres of built land, representing a value of 62,090,830 yen; 5, 272,745 acres of forest valued at 123,809,642 yen; 300,770 acres of diverse territory estimated at 2,319,808 yen. Its bonds and stocks represent a gross sum of 30,000,000 yen, while the amount of its treasure is unknown.

Crown Laws

In the Constitution is inserted a collection of laws known as the Code of the Imperial House (Koshitsu Tempan), in twelve chapters, which govern the Crown. This code regulates the succession to the throne, and the coronation ceremonies, fixes the majority of the emperor, the prince imperial, and the various members of the imperial family. It contains laws concerning the regency, the family council, the governor to be assigned to an emperor in his minority, the expenses of the court, possible disputes between members of the emperor's family, the disciplinary measures to be taken against delinquents.

Ministry of the Imperial Household

The reform of Kaikwa has created a Kunaikwan (government of the palace), which in 1702 was changed into the Kunaisho (ministry of the palace). The minister had the title of Kunaikyo and was charged with the collection of imposts (in the provinces), with the possession of the Crown, etc. He had eight ministers under his jurisdiction. After the Restoration, the Kunaisho was retained, but underwent two modifications, one in 1870, the other in 1889. To-day the Kunaisho is charged with the affairs of the emperor's household. A minister is at the head charged with the general administration and all the employés of the ministry are under his immediate jurisdiction. He has control of the nobility, regulates the civil and religious ceremonies, distributes the favours, presents, or rewards of the emperor, notifies those interested of the decrees raising them to a dignity or an office, and is the executor of all the regulations of the imperial household. He is assisted by a vice-minister and fifteen councillors, all chosen by the emperor. The chief of these are the chamberlain, the keeper of the seal, the empress's steward, the master of ceremonies, the director of the bureau of domains, and the director of the bureau of nobility. The number of employés of the imperial household is 2534; salaries, 1,003,805 yen.


In Japan there are six orders of decoration conferred as award of merit: (1) Order of the Chrysanthemum (Kikuwasho), created in 1876, reserved to sovereigns and members of princely families; (2) Order of Paulownia (Tokwasho), created in 1876, granted to princes and very exalted personages; (3) Order of the Rising Sun (Kyokujitsusho), created in 1875, created for civil and military services; (4) Order of the Sacred Treasure (Zuihosho), created in 1888 to reward civil and military services; 8 classes; (5) Order of the Crown (Hokwonsho), created in 1888, reserved to women; 8 classes; (6) Order of the Golden Kite (Kinshisho), created in 1890, rewards extraordinary military feats, and entitles to a pension. In recognition of meritorious deeds which, however, do not deserve a decoration, the Government awards certificates, medals, and cups of gold, silver, or wood. The number of Japanese thus decorated or rewarded reaches into the millions. On 31 March, 1908, the number of persons decorated and entitled to a pension was 70,822. Pensions furnished by the government, 9,0630,000 yen. Number of decorations distributed in 1903, 3914; in 1905, 36,357; in 1907, 37,602, not counting the decoration of the Golden Kite. Decorations of the Golden Kite in 1904, 2316; in 1905, 27,649; in 1906, 73,810; in 1907, 1,305,018. This shower of decorations was caused by the war with Russia. The number of foreigners decorated by the Japanese was, on 31 March, 1907, 417, and that of Japanese decorated by foreign governments, 542.

Titles of Nobility

The class of nobles (Kwasoku) comprises the ancient nobles of the court (Kuge), the ancient lords of the provinces (Daimio), and those who have been ennobled since the Restoration, or the new nobility (Shin-Kwasoku). Graduated titles were created in 1884 for these nobles of various degrees, in Japanese, Ko, Ko, Haku, Shi, and Dan, corresponding to duke, marquess, count, viscount, and baron. Nobility is hereditary, and on 31 March, 1908, this class consisted of 15 dukes (Ko), 36 marquesses (Ko), 100 counts (Haku), 375 viscounts (Shi), and 376 barons (Dan), that is, 902 families comprising 4600 members, which form the Japanese aristocracy.

Rank at Court

Besides the titles of nobility there are purely honorary dignities, forming a sort of court hierarchy. This hierarchy was established in Japan in the reign of the Empress Suiko (A.D. 603). In 682 the number of degrees was raised to forty-eight; in 702 it was fixed at thirty. At the Restoration this hierarchy was retained but very much simplified. At present there are eight degrees each, except for the first, being divided into two, which gives a total of fifteen. These titles or dignities (I-Kai or Kurai) are awarded to nobles, to functionaries of high rank, or to citizens who, while not belonging to these classes, have rendered signal service to the nation. These dignities carry with them certain rights, e.g., that of assisting at the emperor's reception on a certain day of the year. They are conferred only on Japanese. The number of persons honoured with these titles was, in 1907, 50,906, among them 113 women.

Grades of Civil Functionaries and Military Officials

The former are called Bunkwan and the latter Bukwan. Both are divided into four classes, Shinnin, Chokunin, Sonin, and Hannin. The Shinnin, who form the highest class, receive their investiture from the hand of the emperor himself. The decree of promotion bears the seal of the empire and is countersigned by the president of the council. The Chokunin are appointed by a decree of the emperor, bearing the seal of the empire. The Sonin are appointed by the cabinet upon presentation by the ministers. The Hannin are appointed by their respective ministers. Civil and military officials of the rank of Shinnin, 46; civil officials of the rank of Chokunin, 307; Sonin, 7015; Hannin, 51,952. Army and navy: all the generals and admirals have the rank of Chokunin, all the other officers have that of Sonin, and all non-commissioned officers that of Hannin. For the number see subtitles Army; Navy. The Shinnin number 46 civil or military officials. The statistics for the Shinnin make no distinction between civil and military officials for this exalted degree only.


On his succession to the throne the emperor promised to establish a national Assembly for the purpose of discussing the affairs of the country. Although proceeding from the free will of the sovereign, the project of a Constitution, before being put into execution, encountered many obstacles and provoked violent conflicts between the Government and the democratic party. The various phases of these conflicts may be summarized as follows: In 1873 Itagaki and his followers addressed a petition to the Government in which they called upon it to carry out the sovereign's wishes, and in 1880 a campaign was organized throughout the country for the promotion of the rights of the people. In 1881 Itagaki and his followers organized the Liberal Party and vigorously urged forward the movement in favour of the establishment of a parliament. In the same year the emperor promised to promulgate the Constitution within ten years. Finally on 11 February, 1889, the constitution was promulgated and the Diet was convoked in November of the next year.

Prerogatives of the Emperor

The chief rights accorded to the emperor in the Constitution are: to convoke, open, close, and suspend the Parliament; to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies; to issue ordinances which have the force of law, in urgent circumstances when the diet is not sitting and on condition that they be submitted to it in the next session, to give orders for the execution of the laws, to maintain peace and promote the welfare of the people, to assume command of the forces of sea and land and to regulate the organization of both these services, to declare war, make peace, conclude treaties, proclaim a state of siege, to grant titles of nobility, rank at court, decorations, and other honorary titles, to declare amnesty, to commute penalties, and to rehabilitate.

Rights of the People

The rights granted to the people are as follows: Every Japanese subject without distinction of class may be promoted to any civil or military rank or public office. No Japanese subject may be arrested, held, or punished except according to law. Except in cases provided for by law, every Japanese dwelling is inviolable and is not subject to any domiciliary visit. Secrecy of mailed letters and rights of property are inviolable. The Constitution further grants liberty of religious belief in all that is not prejudicial to peace and order and the duties of a subject, freedom of speech, of the press, of public assembly, of association, and the right to present petitions in a respectful manner.


For the management of state affairs the emperor employs several ministers, at the present time nine in number, viz., ministers of foreign affairs, of the interior, of justice, of finance, of war, of the navy, of public instruction, of agriculture and commerce, and of communications.

Privy Council (Sumitsu-in)

The emperor is also assisted by a privy council created in 1888 and composed of a president, vice-president, and fifteen members chosen from among the highest functionaries of at least forty years of age. The president of the cabinet and all the members are councillors ex officio. The privy council gives its opinions concerning questions submitted by the emperor, but is not entitled to make proposals, to decide as last resort, nor to exercise executive power. It gives advice with regard to treaties to be concluded with other powers, in urgent cases, in quarrels which may arise between the Government and the Chambers, in fine in all circumstances in which the supreme power is expected to intervene.


The emperor shares legislative power with two large political bodies, the Chamber of Peers and the Chamber of Deputies. The chamber of Peers enjoys certain privileges. The emperor may suspend but not dissolve it. The duration of the commission of peers is seven years, that of deputies four years. The peers, being appointed by the emperor or by right of birth, are such for life. All the deputies must be re-elected every four years. The chambers discuss and vote on selected laws, the budget, taxes, etc., but their decisions do not go into effect until they have received the sanction of the emperor.

The Chamber of Peers is composed of the members of the imperial family, of all dukes and marquesses over twenty-five, of a certain number of counts, viscounts, and barons who have attained their twenty-fifth year and who are elected by their peers, of members aged at least thirty appointed for life by the emperor because of their services or learning, and lastly of forty-five members aged at least thirty, elected from among the fifteen most influential citizens of each district which returns them. Their election must be confirmed by the emperor. The number of these two categories must not exceed that of the members of the nobility. In 1908 the Chamber of Peers was composed as follows: members of the imperial family, 13; dukes, 10; marquesses 28; counts 17; viscounts, 69; barons, 55; appointed for life by the emperor, 124; chosen from amongst the citizens paying the largest taxes, 45. Total, 361. In the upper chamber there is no political party properly so called; the peers are merely divided into groups, generally composed of members of the same class.

The Chamber of Deputies is composed of two kinds of members, the first returned by the cities having at least 30,000 inhabitants, the others by the districts. Each city and department forms an independent district. To be an elector it is necessary to have attained the age of twenty-five and to pay a minimum of ten yen in direct contribution. One may be a deputy without paying the contribution but it is necessary to have attained at least thirty. Those who are neither eligible or electors are outlaws, bankrupts, those whose property has been confiscated, those who have lost civil rights or who have been sentenced to prison, soldiers in active service, pupils in the public or private schools, professors in the primary schools, ministers of any religion whatever, contractors of government work, officials charged with intervening in the elections, the employés of the ministry of the imperial household, judges, attorneys, collectors, police employés, and general councillors. At present the deputies are divided into four parties: (1) the Government Party (Seiyukwai), which in 1900 replaced the old Liberal Party of Itagaki (1881); (2) the Progressive Party (Shimpoto), or opposition (1882), more or less divided in sentiment; (3), the United Party, formed of old imperialists, opportunists, and deserters from the Progressive Party; (4) the New Association (Yushinkwai) or Advanced Party, among whom there are a number of Socialists. The number of deputies (end of March, 1908), 379; number of electors, 1,583,676; number who cast their votes, 1,353,301; unable to write the candidate's name 3338. Number of deputies in Governmental Party, 167; Progressives, 94; United Party, 68; New Association, 36; nobles (former Samurai), commoners, 273.

Diplomatic Corps in Foreign Lands

Embassies, 7, viz. to England, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Russia. Legations, 8; to Spain, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, China, Siam, Mexico, Brazil. Staff, 90.


Consuls general, 11; consuls and vice-consuls, 31; staff, 365. Civil officials and employees of the Government, 152,159; annual salaries, 44,787,112 yen; government engineers, 9492; employés under their supervision, 17,941, total 27,458; salaries, 9,638,546 yen. Tax bureaus, 18; staff, 8443; annual salaries 2,122,561 yen.

Pensions and Grants

Pensions and grants to retired officials, widows, or orphans; persons assisted or pensioned, 206,860. Total amount: 15,847,280 yen.


Japan is divided into ten large regions comprising eighty-eight provinces. There are: (1) Kinai (or Go Kinai) 5 provinces; (2) Tokaido, 15 provinces; (3) Tosando, 13 provinces; (4) San-indo, 8 provinces; (5) Hokurokudo, 7 provinces; (6) Sanyodo, 8 provinces; (7) Nankaido, 6 provinces; (8) Saikaido, 8 provinces; (9) Hokkaido, 10 provinces; (10) Taiwan, 3 provinces.

Before the Restoration Japan was divided into fiefs (han) administered by daimios. The han established by degrees in the course of the twelfth century were regularly organized by Yoritomo (1192-99). Under the Ashikaga it was no longer the will of the emperor or the shogun but the force of arms which designated the rulers. Tokugawa Ieyasu estimated the number of han at more than 300. They were divided into three classes, according to the importance of their revenues, the Dai-han (large fiefs) being worth upwards of 400,000 koku of rice, the Chu-han (medium fiefs), from 100,000 to 400,000 koku, and the Sho-han (small fiefs), upwards of 100,000 koku.

After the Restoration Japan was divided into departments (ken) and prefectures (fu). The number of these varied several times. To-day for the convenience of the administration the country is divided into three fu, 43 ken, and two special governments (cho), those of Hokkaido and Formosa, comprising altogether 660 districts (gun or kori), 63 municipalities (shi), 1138 towns (cho or machi), and 11,801 villages (son or mura). The three fu (prefectures) are Tokio. Osaka, and Kyoto. Among the municipalities sixteen have more than 50,000 inhabitants and less than 100,000, three more than 100,000 and less than 200,000, and six a population exceeding 200,000. These six cities are Tokio, 1,811,655 inhabitants, Osaka, 995,945, Kyoto, 380,568, Yokohama, 326,065, Nagoya, 288,369, and Kobe, 285,002.

At the head of each department is a prefect assisted by a council of prefecture, which represents the central government, while the general council represents the rights and interests of the people. The general council exercises over the finances of the department a control similar to that which the parliament exercises over the finances of the State. They regulate the distribution of taxes and vote on the needs of the departments. All the citizens residing in a department and who pay a direct yearly tax of three yen have the right to vote for the election of councillors. Payment of a tax of ten yen is necessary for eligibility. The term of office is four years. At the head of each district is a sub-prefect, at the head of each village or town is a mayor assisted by a council. The departments, districts, towns, and villages have a special budget administered by the general council, the district council, the municipal council, and increased by local revenues independent of the taxes raised by the Government. These departments, districts, towns, villages may contract loans with the authorization of the minister of finance. For loans payable in less than three years they are not obliged to secure this authorization. For the financial year 1907-08 the total of the budgets for the department and municipalities were as follows: receipts, 173,004,523 yen; expenditures, 166,614,817 yen; fund for public relief, 34,884,370; total amount of debt, 89,266, 115 yen. Ten years earlier (1897) the receipts amounted to 100,588,000 yen; expenses, 88,817,000 yen; debt, 16,350,000 yen.


For many years Japan had no legal code, the moral law and local custom taking its place. In 604, in the reign of the Empress Suiko, Shotoku Taishi promulgated a code of law in seventeen chapters borrowed from China. This is the earliest code of which mention is made in history. Later the Emperor Mamu (696-707) appointed a commission of scholars to draw up a new code, and the work was completed and promulgated in 701. It is called the code of the era of Taiho (Taiho-ryo), and save for some modifications was in force until the Restoration. At this time intercourse with foreigners and the study of laws used in European countries brought home to the Japanese the necessity of a new code, more in harmony with their new situation. With the aid of foreign legists, they undertook this work of codification, which they brought to a successful issue at the end of twenty years. The collection of laws thus drawn up form six codes: the Constitution, the civil code, the criminal code, the commercial code, and the codes of civil and criminal procedure.

For the application of this new legislation a judiciary organization was created very similar to that which exists in France. It comprises tribunals of justices of the peace (Ku-Saibasho), lower courts (Chiho-Saibasho), courts of appeals (Koso-in), and a court of cassation (Taishin-in). The Constitution published February, 1889, established the irremovability of the magistrates, who can only be suspended by special law. The tribunals number 358; courts of cassation, 1; courts of appeal, 7 (Tokio, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Miyaga, and Hakodate); lower courts (district courts), 49 (at least one to a department); courts of justices of the peace (sub-district courts), 301. Staff of the tribunals, 11,826; judges, 1278; attorneys, 426; registrars, 4140; wardens, 1727; lower employés and agents, 4257; bailiffs, 520; barristers, 2037. The courts of justices of the peace alone have had to judge 133,186 cases; the lower courts, 24,465; the courts of appeal, 3684; and the supreme court, 659.


The law exacts the completion of seventeen years for a man and fifteen for a woman. The consent of the parents is required for males under thirty, and for females under twenty-five. Minors must secure the consent of a guardian and of a family. No person who already had a spouse may remarry, and the penalty for so doing is two years in prison. An adulterer is forbidden to marry the partner in the sin. Marriage between blood relations is forbidden within all degrees of the direct line, and in the collateral line within the third degree inclusive. Marriage between relations (affinities) is forbidden, within all degrees in the direct line, even after divorce, but in collateral line there is no impediment. All marriages contracted through mistaken identity, fraud, or violence can be annulled with three months following their celebration. The woman may not marry till six months after the dissolution or annulment of the first marriage. Husband and wife must live together, the law not admitting separation of body. The fact of the marriage should be inscribed on the register of the civil Government, and in default of this formality the marriage does not exist before the law, and is without effect. Formerly women could not possess property but now they are accorded this right. The law regulates the conjugal partnership of goods, but husband and wife are at liberty to make a contract. The husband is obliged to provide for the support of the family and to defray the expenses of the children's education. He has the right to administer the property of his wife and to collect the profits, but he is not entitled either to sell it or to give it as security, or to lend it without consent. In Japan, marriage is always arranged by an intermediary. The law stipulates nothing with regard to the ceremony, which is left to the choice of those concerned. The peasants follow the customs of the country, the chief of which involves the exchange of cups of wine by the betrothed pair. The Buddhist or Shintoist priests (bonzes or Kamushi) have no share in the celebration of marriage. The Christians marry according to the rites of their religion. Politeness demands that the newly wedded pair pay a visit in the course of a month to all who assisted at the ceremony.


The Japanese law allows divorce, and this divorce annuls all the effects of marriage except the impediment of affinity. Divorce may be granted in to ways, privately, or by court sentence. The chief causes for divorce are: (1) bigamy; (2) adultery (for a woman); (3) notorious adultery for a man; (4) crimes of forgery, petty larceny, robbery with violence, fraudulent possession, receiving a bribe, obscene acts, and all crimes involving a prison sentence of three years; (5) ill-treatment or grievous injury of the other party or of his father or mother; (6) ill-treatment or grievous injury received from the relations of the other party; (7) abandonment of one of the parties by the other with evil intent; (8) ignorance for three years of whether the other party is living or dead.


Every one may dispose of his possessions by will, provide the will is submitted to certain conditions. Those only are incapacitated of making a will who are of unsound mind or who have not attained the age of fifteen. Japanese law recognizes natural heirs and every clause injurious to their rights is null. As to form, Japanese law recognizes three kinds of wills, olographic, authentic, and secret. An olographic will (Jihitsu-shosho) is one which the testator writes, dates, and signs with his own hand, and to which he affixes his seal. An authentic will (Kosei-shosho) is dictated by the testator with formalities prescribed by law in the presence of at least two witnesses, written by a notary (Kosho-nin), who reads the will to the testator and the witnesses. If it is approved the testator and the witnesses should then sign it and affix their seal. The secret will (Himitsu-shosho) is signed and sealed by a testator and presented by him to a notary in the presence of at least two witnesses. The testator declares that it is his will and gives the name and address of him who drew it up. The notary records on the envelope the report of this presentation, whereupon the testator, the witnesses, and the notary sign and affix their seals. Besides these wills Japanese law recognizes other which have only a temporary existence and cease with the circumstances that gave rise to them, e.g., military wills, naval wills, wills made in a time of contagious disease or at the point of death, if the sick person recovers. To make an act legal every Japanese must affix his seal (jitsun-in) to that act. A copy (in-kan) should be deposited at the surrogate's office. For foreigners the signature is sufficient. The will goes into effect immediately on the death of the testator; if it is conditional, as soon as the conditions are realized. But to put it into execution, the executor must have it signed by the court. The testator may always revoke his will in whole or in part. When the same person has made two wills the second prevails. Anyone is free to reject a will made in his favour. The share reserved to the natural heirs in the direct line is one-half of the property, that of the other heirs, one-third.

Prisons (Kangoku)

In the present penal system, prisons are divided into two chief classes, civil and military. Civil prisons comprise six categories: (1) criminal or convict prisons for those sentenced to deportation or banishment (three); (2) temporary prisons in which are confined those sentenced to deportation or banishment until such a time as they shall be transferred to their final destination (three); (3) departmental prisons for those sentenced to simple detention and compulsory labour (at least one for each department); (4) detentive prisons, destined to receive prisoners who have been indicted and accused persons until the law has decided their case; (5) houses of correction reserved for minors under twenty and for deaf-mutes; (6) jails, for those sentenced to thirty days' imprisonment by police magistrates. These jails are annexed to the police station. The prisons are under the jurisdiction of the minister of justice, who appoints the general inspectors and all the employés. Number of civil prisons in the year 1908, 56; bridewells, 92; general inspectors, 56; wardens, 620; engineers and interpreters, 29; physicians, 198; chaplains and instructors, 232; pharmacists, 42; keepers of the first class 7907; of the second class, 300; women servants, 383; employés of various kinds, 230. Total, 9997. Inmates of the penitentiary establishments at the end of 1907: detentive prisons, men, 4008; women, 203; houses of detention, men, 46,175; women, 2550; houses of correction, men, 738. women, 69. Total, 53,743. the total number of persons sentenced in 1907, men, 114,236; women, 16,748.

Police (Kaisatsu)

The police service as it exists to-day was organized at the beginning of the present reign according to the English system. It is divided into two main sections, the administrative police (Gyosie Kaisatsu), and the judiciary police (Shiho Kaisatsu). In the department it is subject to the prefect, at Tokio to the prefecture of police (Keishicho). It has its courts, which have the power to judge offenses for which the penalty does not exceed thirty days' imprisonment. On 31 March, 1908, the police department numbered: chief police stations or bureaus, 713; branch stations, 618; city station houses, 1841; rural station houses, 12,648; inspectors or superintendents (Keibu), 1861; police agents (Junsa) 33,885. Crimes, offenses, and cases in which the police have had to intervene in 1907: robberies accompanied by violence, 1239; without violence 267,030; swindlings, 28,876; total number of robberies, 297, 145. Violent deaths: suicides, 8906; murders, 1236; sudden deaths, 1387; victims of accidents and others, 14,015. Total, 25,544. Fires, involuntary, 12,462; incendiary, 858; caused by lightning or by unknown causes, 2174. Total, 15,494. Number of houses burned, 36,669. Public reunions, indoors, 587; numbers of orators, 1863; in the open air, 87; orators, 55. Total numbers of arrests made by police for crimes, offenses, or infractions of the law, 707,261.


The organization of the hygienic service dates from 1872. It began with the organization of a medical bureau, which was suspended in 1875 and replaced by a bureau of health. In 1879 a central board and local boards of public health were established and the service was extended to all the departments. In 1899 it was extended to all towns and villages and private committees were formed. The chief regulations relative to hygiene are: the cleaning of houses and drains, which should be done twice yearly under police supervision; the building and improvement of hospitals, prisons, schools, and all public institutions; the locations of cemeteries; burial; vaccination, etc. The hygiene service is within the jurisdiction of the police who are charged with enforcing its regulations.

Hospitals and Medical Bodies

Before the Restoration Japan had five hospitals located at Nagasaki, Saga, Fukui, Kanazawa, and Osaka. The first in point of time was Nagasaki, founded in 1861. On 31 March, 1908, the number of hospitals was 870, 5 founded by the government, 205 by the departments, and 660 by private citizens. To all these hospitals, private as well as public, is attached a force of women-nurses, who must be at least eighteen years of age and provided with a diploma. Throughout the empire there are: doctors, 38,776; midwives, 26,387; druggists, 29,318; chemists, 2370. In 1907 the number of persons inflicted with contagious disease was 71,532; typhus, 27,988; dysentery, 24,942; deaths from contagious diseases, 19,536.


Until the Shogunate of the Tokugawa education was left entirely to the Buddhist priests. Under the Tokugawa (1603-1868) it was confided to lay teachers and during this period of 265 years the Chinese classics were the basis of instruction. But in this aristocratic country knowledge was a privilege together with nobility, and there were no public schools save for the sons of the Samurai. However, the lower classes were no wholly abandoned to ignorance. Farmers, mechanics, and merchants received an education befitting their condition in the schools connected with the temples, known as Teragoya, and in private schools. To-day freedom to learn is granted in Japan to all degrees of the social scale. Instruction is compulsory for six to twelve years, and non-religious. At the head of public instruction is a minister assisted by a board and corps of inspectors. Schools are divided into primary schools in which classes are included the infant schools and the schools for deaf-mutes and the blind, secondary schools, high schools, universities, ordinary normal schools, higher normal schools, special schools, technical schools, and various.

Primary Schools

Primary schools are divided into two classes, common and high schools. The duration of the first is six years, and as the instruction is compulsory, attendance at this school is required from six to twelve years. The certificate of completion of this term secures admittance into the secondary schools. The higher course lasts two years and is optional. Number of primary schools, 27,269; teachers, 116,070; pupils, 6,601,620; average number of children receiving instruction, 96.5%. Private schools, only 249. Infant schools, 361. Women attendants, 984; children, 32,885. Deaf-mute and blind institutions, 31; teachers, 168; pupils, 1532. The secondary schools for boys were founded as a preparation for the high schools. Graduates of these schools are qualified to obtain position under the Government, according to their abilities, without passing a preliminary examination. The duration of the course is six years. Number of schools, 281; founded by the Government and the municipalities, 228; private, 58; teachers 5336; pupils, 108,531.

Secondary Schools for Girls

The duration of the course is from four to five years at choice. To the regular courses may be added special courses for the study of foreign languages or some womanly art, and supplementary courses for pupils desiring to perfect themselves in a particular branch. These courses should not exceed two or three years. Number of schools, 114; public, 98; private, 16; teachers, 1770; pupils, 35,876.

The higher schools are a preparation for the university. The course lasts three years and is divided into three classes which differ among themselves. the instruction in each class corresponds to the career to which the pupil is destined. Number of schools, 7, all founded by the government and under its supervision. They are located at Tokio, Sendai, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Okayama. Kumamoto, and Kagoshima; teachers, 272; pupils 4888.

Imperial Universities

There are two of these, one at Tokio, and one at Kyoto. The University of Tokio comprises besides the University Hall the faculties of law, medicine, literature, science, agriculture and engineering. Japanese professors, 166; foreigners, 15; Japanese students, 5050; foreigners, 39. The University of Kyoto comprises besides the University Hall, the faculties of law, medicine, literature, science and engineering. Japanese professors, 166; foreign professors, 4; students, 1507. Besides these universities there are about forty public or private schools which assume the name of universities, but for entrance to which it is not necessary to have a diploma from the higher schools. The two most important are the university of Waseda, from 5000 to 6000 students, and that of Kei-o-gijiku, 1100 students. The former was founded by Okuma in 1882, and the second by Fukuzawa in 1865.

Normal Schools

Each department is obliged to have at least one normal school. The course is four years for boys, and three for girls. Preparatory courses and courses of pedagogy may be added according to circumstances to the regular courses. The expenses of education are defrayed by the departments, but graduates are obliged to teach for eight years. Number of normal schools, 67; teaching staff, 1112 (men, 980, women, 132); students 18,928 (boys, 14,176, girls 4752). higher normal schools: for boys, 2; teachers 212; students 2456; for girls 1; teachers, 95; students, 858.

Special Schools

Medicine and pharmacy, 10; statistics, law, political economy, 12; literature and religion, 26; other schools, 2. Total: schools, 50; professors 1537; students, 27,573.

Technical Schools, and Schools Preparatory thereto

Schools of agriculture, 142; professors, 1151; students, 17,390; preparatory schools, 3785; professors, 1162; students, 149,225. Fishery schools, 11; professors, 64; students, 811; preparatory schools, 103; professors, 48; students, 3344. Schools of arts and crafts, 35; professors 599; students, 6398; supplementary schools, 155; professors, 240; students, 8365. Schools of commerce, 70; professors, 1087; students, 20,685; supplementaries, 167; professors, 225; students, 10,541. Merchant marine, 9; professors, 127; students, 2008; supplementaries, 1; professor, 1; students, 27. Schools of apprenticeship or of foremen, 326; professors, 3402; students, 51,929. Total: schools, 4804; professors, 8106; students 270,723. In 1899 the number of technical schools was 227; professors, 1245; students, 23,095. miscellaneous schools, 2092; professors, 7619; students 142,695.

Establishments Founded and Maintained by the Government

Under the jurisdiction of the minister of public instruction are: the two universities of Tokio and Kyoto, the seven high schools, the two higher normal schools for boys, and that for girls. There are besides one high school of agriculture and aboriculture (professors, 32; students, 244); five high schools of arts and crafts (professors, 139; students, 1502); four high schools of commerce (professors, 109; students, 2477); five high schools of medicine (professors 116, students, 2693); one school of foreign languages in which are taught English, French, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Corean, Hindustani, Malayan, and Mongolian (Japanese professors, 32; foreign, 12; students, 648); 1 school of fine arts (professors, 52; students 440); 1 school of music (Japanese professors, 49; foreign, 9; pupils, 540); 1 school for deaf mutes and the blind (professors, 20; students, 320); 4 schools of pedagogy (professors, 15; students, 87).

Under the Jurisdiction of the Imperial Household

Schools for the nobility, 1 for boys (professors, 86, students, 531); 1 for girls (professors, 60; students, 618). Dependent on the minister of communications, 1 naval school of commerce (professors, 48; students, 495). Dependent on the ministry of war: 1 high school of war; one school of practical artillery and engineering; one military school; one central military public school at Tokio; five other public schools outside of Tokio; school for scouts; cavalry school; school of sharpshooting; commissariat school; school of military music (professors, 624; students, 4111). Dependent on the ministry of marine: high school of marine; naval school; school of mechanics; medical school; school of accountants; school of naval construction, etc. (professors, 213; students, 902). Total number of professors in schools under Government supervision, 2748; students, 32,879. In 1907 the expenditure for schools under the supervision of the departments and districts reached 44,855,568 yen. The receipts equalled 9,888, 543 yen. Deficit, 35,080,543 yen. The property of the public schools (grounds, buildings, books, instruments, etc) represent a sum of 122,563,491 yen; special funds a sum of 21,516,652 yen. The number of libraries (1907) equalled 127, containing 1,464,717 volumes. Number of visitors, 949,798. Books issued within the year, 28,319; journals and reviews, 1988. An academy (Gakushi-kwai-in) was founded at Tokio by imperial decree in 1890. Placed under the jurisdiction of the minister of public instruction, it is composed of forty members, chosen from among the most learned of the country. Fifteen are appointed by the emperor, the remaining twenty-five by the minister at the nomination of the former. They discuss the questions proposed by the minister of public instruction and give their advice. They meet once a month and treat scientific questions. The hall is open to the public.


From the beginning of the feudal system until its abolition (1192-1868), that is, for a period of nearly 700 years, military service was the exclusive privilege of the Samurai. This privilege was abolished after the Restoration. To-day every Japanese without distinction of caste is liable to be called upon to bear arms. Japan has adopted the European system for its armies. Conscription was inaugurated in 1872. The drawing of lots takes place at the age of twenty. The average annual number of recruits is 120,000 men; infantry, 68,000; cavalry 3900; artillery, 7500; siege artillery, 3000; field artillery, 600 (divisions and imperial guard). Sappers and miners, 2600; commissariat, 2000; railroad and telegraph corps, 700; train, 20,000. Adding to this those who are assigned to special services, we reach the figure of 120,000 men.


A son whose father is sixty years of age is exempt from service, if the latter has no means of support. A reprieve is granted to students who have a diploma from the secondary schools and to students who reside in a foreign country (except those who are in the Asiatic countries near Japan). The term of service may be shortened by a year of voluntary service, and for this it is necessary to be provided with a diploma from the secondary schools. After their year of service the volunteers are passed into the reserves with the grade of non-commissioned officer. They are obliged to defray all the expenses of the barracks. Professors in the primary schools are bound only to six month's service, at the expiration of which they are passed into the territorial forces.


The army is divided into active army, army of reserve, and territorial army. The duration of service in the active army is two years; in the reserve, four and a half years; in the territorial army, ten years. The two years' service, inaugurated in 1908, necessitated a supplementary expenditure of 170,000,000 yen, to be assessed in ten years. The number of divisions during the Russo-Japanese war was raised from twelve to sixteen. At present there are eighteen, not counting the division of the imperial guard. In time of war Japan can put in the field an army of 1,000,000 men. Officers and officials affiliated with the active army: generals, 16; general of divisions, 33; brigadier-generals, 96; colonels, 233; lieutenant-colonels, 353; commandants, 1008; captains, 3426; lieutenants, 3976; sub-lieutenants, 3208; affiliated officers, 1710; total, 14,085; salaries, 9,402,576 yen. Councils of war are established in the army to judge the soldiers. Where a state of siege has been proclaimed their jurisdiction extends to all citizens without exception. There are eighteen of these, one to a division. Cases judged in 1907, 1993. To each division are attached a prison and a hospital. Soldiers committed to prison (1907), 2311; released, 2269. Sick persons cared for in the hospitals, 78,599; deaths, 357. In 1877 the constabulary (gendarmerie) was created according to the French system. It constitutes the police force of the armies of land and sea, and shares the duties of the administrative and judicial police. The constables wear a military uniform and carry a sword and a pistol. The constabulary forms eighteen companies, attached to the eighteen divisions of the army, and commanded by a brigadier-general. It numbers only 2500 men. In 1907 it intervened in 2082 cases, and assisted 66 sick or wounded persons.


Under the government of the Tokugawa the lack of stimulation and the complete rupture of relations with the outside world caused the navy to be completely neglected. In 1871 a vessel presented by the King of Holland and some ships purchased abroad by the Government of the shogun and the daimios of Tosa and Satsuma constituted the imperial fleet. Of all the services organized under the present reign none has undergone such rapid development as that of the navy, as is shown by the following table:

  • 1871 - 17 ships, 6,000 tons
  • 1894 - 33 ships, 61,000 tons
  • 1904 - 76 ships, 258,251 tons, 518,040 horsepower
  • 1907 - 126 ships, 506,093 tongs, 1,045,383 horsepower

This list does not include the 77 torpedoes weighing 7258 tons. This prodigious development of the Japanese navy in recent years is due to three projects of expansion voted successively by the Chambers, the first (1903) requiring an extraordinary expenditure of 115,000,000 yen; the second (1905) 175,000,000 yen; the third (1907), 76,000,000 yen. There are five maritime prefectures: Yoko-Suka, Kure, Sassebo, Maizuru, and Port Arthur; three naval stations, Takeshiki, the Pescadores, and Aminato. The fleet is divided into three squadrons. On 31 March, 1908, it was composed as follows: armoured battleships, 15, tonnage varying from 10,960 to 19,900 tons; armoured cruisers of the first class, 13, from 7700 to 14,600 tons; armoured cruisers of the second class, 10, from 3700 to 6630 tons; armoured cruisers of the third class, 8, from 2439 to 3420 tons; armoured coast-defense boats, 12; armoured gunboats, 6; torpedo gunboats, 2; dispatch boats, 5; destroyers, 55, from 350 to 381 tons; torpedoes, 77; total tonnage 7258 tons. The navy is recruited by conscription and volunteer services, more than half the naval forces being volunteers. The number of recruits varies greatly each year. In 1902 there were 4130; 1905, 9583; 1906, 5839; 1907, 8682.

There were more than 780 students; in all, 63,733 men. But in 1895 the force was 17,140; in 1899, 28,710; in 1904, 45,999. In 1907 the courts-martial judged 756 cases. Seamen committed to prison, 730; released, 562. Marine hospitals, 5; sick persons cared for during the year, 191.



Shintoism [literally, "way of the gods" (Kami)] is properly the religion of Japan, born on the very soil and without foreign admixture. It has neither dogmas, nor moral codes, nor sacred books, and is summed up in a rather confused mixture of nature-worship and veneration of ancestors. Philosophical analysis discovers a basis of pantheism. Shintoist mythology first speaks of five gods called Koto-Amatsu-Kami. The first three are the creators of heaven and earth, and they are Ame-no-minaka-nushi, who existed immobile at the time of the creation; Takami-misubi, and Kami-busubi, agents in the Creation. The other two, Umashi-ashrabi-Hikoji and Ami-no-Tokotachi, have no clearly determined rôle. After them come seven generations of heavenly spirits (Tenjin shichi-dai), namely, Kuni-Tokotachi, Kuni-Satsuchi, Toyokunnu; then the four couples, Uijini and Suijini, Otonoji and Otomabe, Omotaru and Kashikone; finally Izanagi and Izanami, the special creators of Japan and of a number of gods, the gods of water, wind, trees, mountains, rivers, roads, thunder, rain, etc. Of Izanagi and Izanami were born Amaterasu, Tsukiyomi, and Susano-o. Amaterasu became the god of the sun, Tsukiyomi that of the moon, and Susano-o, the god of the earth. Amaterasu sent her grandson, Ninigi-no-mikoto, to reign over Japan, and he was the great-grandfather of Jimmu Tenno, the first emperor. From Amaterasu to Jimmu Tenno there are five generations called terrestrial spirits (Chijui-go-dai), who succeeded the seven generations of heavenly spirits.

Hence, according to Shintoist mythology, the emperor is not only the high priest, he is the representative and direct descendant of divinity, and as such the duty devolves upon him of celebrating the worship of the gods who are his ancestors and of offering to heaven as supreme mediator the prayers and sacrifices of the subjects whom he governs. At first the only temple was the palace of the emperor, and the ceremonies consisted chiefly of ablutions and purifications. The temple of Ise was the first erected outside the palace, and an imperial princess was charged with the sacred treasures there contained. The treasures, which were transmitted by Amaterasu to her descendants, were the Mirror, the Sword, and the precious Stone.

Shintoism remained in this state of simplicity until the introduction of Buddhism in 552. It was soon supplanted by the new religion, which brought with it more profound metaphysics, a more exalted moral code, and more solemn ceremonies. A few conservatives attempted to resist, but the bonzes won the day by what they called Rio-bu-Shinto, a system according to which Shintoism and Buddhism should form one and the same religion. Thenceforth, save for a few private ceremonies at the palace and the grand temples of Ise and Izumo, the two religions were but one. This state of things lasted until the eighteenth century, when the works of Kamo Mabuchi and several others brought about a reaction in favour of the national religion against Buddhism and Confucianism, both foreign importations. The Restoration completed what had begun, and since 1868 Shintoism and Buddhism have been entirely separate from each other.

Together with the gods of its mythology Shintoism adores several of the emperor and famous men of Japan. It also pays honour to the spirits of soldiers who died for the imperial cause. In several towns temples called Shokon-sha (temples where souls are invoked) are erected in their honour. Shintoism is divided into ten branches which differ only in their ceremonial details, the moral code of all being reduced to the single principle: follow the inspiration of your own heart and obey the emperor. Number of temples (miya or jinja) 190,436; staff: administrative heads of sects, 12; heads or rectors of temples, 16,365; priests (preachers) 74,347; priestesses, 4428; seminary students (March, 1908) 259; boys, 250, girls, 9. Japanese especially professing Shintoism, about 19,000,000.

National Feasts

(1) Shihohai, a ceremony celebrated in the palace on the first day of the year, from 3 to 5 A. M. The emperor turns successively to each of the cardinal points, venerates the tomb of his ancestors and prays for the prosperity of his reign and preservation from every calamity during the year. (2) Genshi-sai. - On 3 January the emperor himself makes offerings to heaven and his ancestors, and adores in the three sanctuaries of the palace: Kashi-kodoko, in which is venerated the sacred mirror, one of the three emblems of the imperial dignity; Koreiden, in which are honoured the names of the emperor's ancestors; Shinden, in which the gods are adored. (3) Komei-tenno-sai, a feast celebrated in the palace on 31 January in honour of the names of the father of the reigning emperor. (4) Kigensetsu, 11 Feb., in memory of the enthronization of Jimmu Tenno, founder of the empire (660 B.C.). (5) Jimmu-tenno-sai (13 April), anniversary of the death of Jimmu Tenno. (6 and 7) Shunki-korei-si and Shuki-korei-si, equinoctial feats, celebrated in the palace in honour of the names of the emperors, the first on 22 March, the second on 24 September. (8) Kanname-sai (17 Oct.) offering of the new rice to the ancestors of the imperial family (feast of the palace). (9) Niiname-sai (23 Nov.), on which the emperor offers new rice to the gods, and afterwards eats it himself. (10) Tencho-setsu, the emperor's birthday. These ten feasts are observed throughout the country, and the Japanese subjects are commanded to display the national flag.


Buddhism was introduced into Japan in A.D. 552. The King of Kudara (Corea) sent Buddhist statutes and books as a present to the Emperor Kimmei. Two years later Tonei and Doshin, the two first bonzes Japan had seen, came from the same country. They found a powerful protector in Soga-no-Iname, who built in his own residence the first temple (Mukuhara or Kogen-ji), but they also encountered determined adversaries who claimed that the introduction of a new religion would be an injury to the gods of Shinto, who were the fathers and protectors of the country. Thenceforth there were two parties, the strife between whom lasted thirty-five years to end in 587 with the triumph of Buddhism. Upheld by Prince Shotoku Taishi (572-621), the new doctrine made rapid progress. Shortly after his death various sects arose in succession, viz: Jojitsu and Sauron (625), Hosso (653), Gusha (660), Kegon (739), and Ritsu (754). These are the six sects of the era of Nara. They were followed by the three sects of the era of Hei-ankyo (Kyoto): Tendai (806), Singon (806), and Yuzei-nembutsu (1124). Finally the period of Kamakura witnessed the rise of five others: Jodo (1174), Zen (1192), Shin or Montoshu (1224), Nichiren or Hokkeishu (1253), and Ji (1275). Three of these sects, Jojitsu, Sauron, and Gusha, no longer exist. The others are divided into several branches. There are at present twelve principle sects and thirty-nine branches. Owing to the cleverness of the bonzes and the spread of the doctrines of Rio-bu-Shinto, the Buddhist and Shintoist religions existed in harmony for centuries and the ministers of both religions officiated alternately in the same temples. But at the restoration, Buddhism, having ceased to be recognized as the national religion, was obliged to restore the Shintoist temples in its possession. Thenceforth the two religion, although more or less confused in practice, became officially strangers to each other, and Buddhism, despite efforts that have been made to restore its philosophical and theological teachings, is decadent in Japan. In 1908 there were in the whole empire 109,740 temples (tera); administrative heads of temples, 52; superiors of temples, 53,120; bonzes (preachers) 70,755; bonzesses, 1199. Various employés: men, 45,554; women, 3404; seminary students, boys, 9269; girls, 449. Japanese especially professing Buddhism, about 29,000,000.

Rio-bu-Shinto or Sinbutsu-kongo (fusion of Shintoism and Buddhism) practically ceasing to exist in 1868, this theory has also ceased to be believed. It consisted as follows; about the beginning of the ninth century, Buddhism had made great progress in Japan; nevertheless the people resigned themselves with difficulty to the worship of other gods than those of Shintoism, the gods of the country. Then the bonzes evolved the theory that the tutelary deities of Japan were but temporary manifestations (gongen), of the Buddhist divinities, whose fatherland (honchi) was India, but who had appeared in Japan, leaving there traces (suijaku) of their passage. The result of this theory was the fusion of the two religions.

Buddhist Feasts and Customs

Among all the sects are observed 8 April, the birthday of Shaka, the founder of Buddhism; 8 February, the day of his death; and the feasts of the two equinoxes. Among the Motoshu: in November, Ho-on Ko, the feast of thanksgiving, and the death of Shinran Shonin, founder of the sect. Among the Hokkeishu, E-shi-ki, the death of Nichiren, founder of the sect. In every Japanese house is a domestic altar, called by the Buddhists Butsudan, by the Shintoist, Kamidana. Many wealthy houses have a special room or a small temple built apart within the enclosure. In the Butsudan is placed by the Montoshu the statue of Amida, by the Jodoshu that of Shaka, by the Hokkeishu, that of Nichiren, by the Shingonshu, that of Fudo (the Immovable). In the Kamidana, the Shintoists place the statue of Amiterasu, to which they offer sacred wine (Miki) on the first, fifteenth, and eighteenth of each month. As flowers, the Buddhists use the water-lily, the Shintoists the branches of a pale-leaved tree called Sasaki. There are also in every house the I-hai, wooden tablets or shelves on which are written the posthumous names of the parents and ancestors of the family. A lamp is lit every day before this domestic altar, at least in the evening, frequently also in the morning. At Buddhist funerals is burned a sacred word (shikimi), a foreign tree brought from India with this custom, and whose flower is a violent poison. On returning from the cemetery, salt is sprinkled on the garments of those who took part in the ceremony, in order to purify them.


Introduced into Japan in 285, Confucianism was received without opposition owing to its resemblance to Shintoism, then the only religion practiced. But after the introduction of Buddhism it fell into disfavour and did not recover until the seventeenth century when Ieyasu caused the Chinese classics to be printed for the first time. Henceforth, being taught by learned masters such as Fujiwara Seikwa, Hayashi Doshun, etc., it became the code of the Samurai and exercised a profound influence in Japan during the shogunate of the Tokugawa. After the Restoration the European system of public instruction was adopted, Confucianism was again abandoned, as well as the Chinese classics which had been the basis of teaching for 250 years. But it cannot be denied that the origin of a number of ideas still in favour among the upper classes may be traced to Confucianism.

Bushido (Way of the Samurai, Knighthood)

The principles of loyalty and honour which the Samurai are obliged to obey are called Bushido. This code has borrowed from Buddhism stoical endurance, scorn of danger and death, from Shintoism the religious veneration of fatherland and sovereign, from Confucianism a certain literary and artistic culture and the social culture called "the five relations of men among themselves" (go rin). From this compound results the code of the perfect knight, which may be summed up in three sayings: the Samurai has not two words, he serves not two masters; he gives his blood for duty. The Bushido was born with the nation, it developed by degrees as the warrior class grew in influence, and it reached the most complete expansion at the beginning of the Shogunate of the Tokugawa. Then a change took place: hitherto illiterate and even glorifying in his ignorance, the Samurai turned to literary culture and neglected the military calling; decadence followed, and at the Restoration he had lost his ancient prestige. To-day the Samurai no longer form a class apart, but the spirit and influence of the Bushido are more or less preserved among the people.


There are two kinds of cemeteries, those connected with the temples and the public cemeteries, those which belong to the municipalities. In the first, the "parishioners" of the temples have the right to be interred, in the second, all persons without distinction of class or religion. The local administration grants permission to establish new cemeteries, to abolish or to change the old, etc., but their inspection and control belong to the police. Every cemetery must have a superintendent (Kanrisha), without whose permission no burial may take place. It is forbidden to bury the dead anywhere save in the cemeteries. Formerly it was necessary to enlist the services of a Shintoist or Buddhist priest (bonze or kannushi) for every burial, but this law was abolished in 1884, and the presence of a priest is no longer necessary. If he is summoned he should perform the ceremony according to the right of his religion. The formalities to be fulfilled are: the obtaining of a physician's certificate proving the death, the presentation of this certificate to the civil official, and the securing from the police authorization for burial. Internment may only take place twenty-four hours after the death; the grave must be six feet deep. Those who neglect to bury a dead person or who profane a tomb are liable to fine and imprisonment. Cemeteries are exempt from taxation.

Cremation is permitted in Japan, It takes place in a special oven called a Kwasoba. Persons dying of a contagious disease must be cremated, others being left free. As regards cemeteries and burials, the Christian communities are subject to the same laws and enjoy the same advantages as the pagan sects. They are allowed to have a separate cemetery, which most of them have. As to foreigners, according to Article ii of the treaty concluded with the different powers, "European persons dying in Japan enjoy the right to be buried according to their religious customs in conveniently located cemeteries, which should be established in case they do not exist, and carefully maintained".


Regulations concerning public relief were promulgated in 1899. They stipulated that each department should organize a minimum fund of 560,000 yen for relief in case of accidents (floods, typhoons, earthquakes, etc.). The Government in turn pledged itself to give yearly for ten years a sum proportionate to that collected in the departments. Besides this a sum is reserved each year to assist the poor and foundlings. At the end of March, 1908, the accident fund equalled a sum of 34,844,370 yen. Numbers of persons assisted in 1907, 13,894; number of children helped, 2086; cost, 47,016 yen.


The chief of these are: (1) the Tokio yoiku-in (asylum for the infirm and orphans) an establishment founded in 1872; number of infirm and orphans sheltered in 1907, 3376; receipts 121,875 yen; expenses, 122,227 yen; funds remaining at end of year, 378,908 yen; (2) the Tokio Sugamo byo-in (insane asylum), founded in 1879; physicians, 9; keepers, 145; inmates, 634; receipts, 30,700 yen; expenses, 78,830 yen; (3) the Tokio jikei byo-in (charity hospital) founded in 1182 [sic]; sick persons received at the hospital in 1907, 768; sick persons treated outside by the hospital; (4) Fukuden-kai Ikuji-in (orphanage), a private establishment; orphans assisted, 150; (5) Tokio Kankwai-in (house of correction) private establishment, founded in 1885; children received, 69. To these establishments, the only ones mentioned in the official statistics, must be added about 100 other charitable organizations (orphanages, asylums, leper hospitals, infant asylums, houses of refuge for those discharged from prison, etc.), founded by private citizens, the Buddhist sects, Catholic and Protestant missions. The Catholic and Protestant missionaries have been the promoters of these benevolent works in Japan, the Buddhist having merely followed their example. The last-named have founded in all 15 orphanages, 3 schools, and 8 asylums or hospitals. The Shintoists have not a single benevolent work to their credit.


In 1877 during the civil war of Satsuma, a society was founded in Japan on the model of the Red Cross under the name of Hakuaisha (philanthropic society). In 1886, Japan having given its adhesion to the convention of Geneva, the philanthropic society changed its name to that of the Red Cross of Japan (Nihon sekijujisha). The Red Cross Society is under the patronage of the royal household which gives to the work an annual contribution of 20,000 yen. Besides this the empress gives 5000 yen to the Red Cross hospital. The Society built two hospital ships for use in time of war. Every Japanese or foreigner who gives yearly from three to twelve yen, or twenty-five yen at a time, is an ordinary member of the Red Cross; anyone who gives 200 yen is a special member, and anyone who gives 1000 yen is an honorary member. Number of ordinary members, 1257; special members, 10,139; honorary members, 42; correspondents, 8090. At the beginning of 1908 the Red Cross was composed as follows: staff managers 5; physicians, 291; dispensers, 16; employés, 90; head nurses 262; nurses, 2071; pupil-nurses, 691; litter-bearers, 132; funds, 9,755,417 yen.



On 15 August, 1549, St. Francis Xavier arrived in Japan, at the port of Kagoshima in Kiusiu, with two companions and three neophytes. By the boldness of his preaching, his sanctity, and his miracles, he renewed the marvels of the Apostolic age. He preached at Hirado, Yamaguchi, Bungo, and Funai, but he was unable to see the emperor or enter Miako (Kyoto). He set out for China on 20 November, 1551. In Japan there were then 3000 faithful, the feudal regime being favourable to evangelization. Ordinarily, when a prince was converted a portion of his subjects followed him. The celebrated Nobunaga (1565), the terrible enemy of the bonzes, was kindly disposed towards the Christians and a friend of the missionaries. When he died (1582) there were 200,000 faithful and 250 churches. The three Christian princes of Bunga, Arima, and Omura sent an embassy to Europe, which was sent out, on 20 Feb., 1582, reached Lisbon on 10 May, 1584, and Rome 23 March, 1585. The ambassadors witnessed the coronation of Sixtus V and were created knights and patricians. Hideyoshi, the successor of Nobunaga, at first favoured the Christians, but being prejudiced by the bonzes, he later believed that the missionaries were spies and proscribed the Christian religion, but refrained from slaying the Christians (1587). The missionaries hid themselves and remained, and within ten years they baptized 65,000 persons (1587-97), making a total of 300,000 faithful, and 134 religious. In 1593 three Spanish Franciscans having been sent as ambassadors by the king of Spain, they were well-received by Hideyoshi. A Spanish vessel, the "San Felipe", having run aground within the province of Tosa, the captain was foolish enough to say that the missionaries had been sent to prepare for the conquest of the country. Thereupon Hideyoshi became afraid and angry, and on 9 December, 1596, nine religious were arrested and orders were given to draw up a list of Japanese Christians. All gladly made ready for death. On 5 February, 1597, twenty-six were crucified at Nagasaki, and died preaching and singing to the end. After the death of Hideyoshi in 1598 peace reigned for fifteen years. Christians multiplied and the Faith manifested itself in all manner of good works; 130 Jesuits, some secular priests, and about 30 religious of the orders of St. Francis, St. Dominic, and St. Augustine worked side by side. In 1609 and 1613 Dutch and English Protestants arrived who were envious of the Spanish and Portuguese Catholics. In 1613 persecution recommenced. In that year the prince of Sendai, Date Masamune, sent Asahura Roku-yemon on an embassy to Pope Paul V and the King of Spain, the Franciscan Sotelo accompanying him. In the following year (1614) the edict of destruction was published by the new master of the empire Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first shogun of that name. It was decreed that Catholicism be abolished, and this edict was renewed by Hidetada in 1616, the successor of Ieyasu. The result was horrible. In 1622 took place what was called the "great martyrdom", fifty-two chosen Christians being martyred on the same day (2 Sept.) at Nagasaki, twenty-seven being decapitated, and the remainder being burned alive. In the following year, under Iemitsu, the persecution waxed still more furious and extended throughout the empire. The cruelty and refinement of the tortures are unparalleled even in the early history of the Church. The exact number of the victims is unknown. In 1637 the province of Azima, 37,000 Christians, driven to extremities, revolted, shut themselves up within the fortress of Shimbara, and were slain to the last one. In 1640 four Portuguese ambassadors who had gone from Macao to Nagasaki were called upon to apostatize, and when they refused they were put to death without further trial. Thirteen of their followers were sent back to Macao with this warning: "While the sun warms the earth let no Christian be so bold as to enter into Japan. Let this be known to all men. Though it were the King of Spain in person or the God of the Christians or Shaka himself [Buddha], whosoever will disobey this prohibition will pay for it with his head." Thus Japan was closed, and remained so for two centuries, during which time the persecution did not cease. A price was set on the head of foreign and native Christians. Each year every Japanese was called upon to trample the cross under foot. Some Dutch merchants consented to separate themselves from the Christian population and allow themselves to be confined as prisoners in Nagasaki on the Island of Deshima, in order to carry on business with the Japanese. In 1642 five Jesuits embarked by stealth for Japan where they died after frightful tortures. They were followed in 1643 by five others who met the same fate, and an attempt on the part of the Dominicans of the Philippines (1647) was not more fortunate. If other attempts were made to enter this tomb it is not known. The last known is the Abbé Sidotti, an Italian missionary who in 1708, at the age of forty, landed unaccompanied on the Japanese coast. Delivered to the governor of Nagasaki by the Prince of Natsuma, he was first examined in that town, and then, at the command of the Shogun, conducted to Yedo and condemned to perpetual imprisonment in a place which is still called "Chirishitan Zaka" (Hill of the Christians). While there he baptized his two jailers and died after five years of captivity (1715). The learned Arai Hakuseki, government interpreter in the examination of Sidotti, wrote his history ("Sei yo Kibun", European history), which was reprinted in the "Missions Catholiques", 1884.

However, in spite of persecution some vague and infrequent signs seemed to indicate that all the Christians of Japan had not perished. The Corean missionaries several times attempted to assure themselves of this, but without success, for since 1838 it had been impossible to enter "the mysterious empire" from any side. Interest in the Japanese mission, however continued to increase, and in April, 1844, Père Forcade was sent to Japan as a missionary. He stayed at Okinawa in the Riu-kiu islands with the Chinese catechist Ko as a companion. He was followed by Pères Leturdu, Adnet, Furet, Murmet, Gerard and Mounicou of the Société des Missions Etrangères of Paris. They waited for fourteen years, on the Riu-kiu or at Hong-Kong, seeking by every means to gain entry into Japan. During fourteen years of labour and sufferings they baptized two Japanese. Finally a treaty was signed between France and Japan, 8 October, 1858, and ratified 22 September, 1859. The missionaries were free to reside in open ports, and have there a church for the service of foreigners. Père Girard was provisionally named superior of the mission, and for the ratification of the treaty he went as interpreter to Yedo with the Consul-general, de Bellecourt. The three ports of Hakodate, Kanagawa-Yokahama, and Nagasaki were soon occupied. The labour in these places was difficult and the sojourn there dangerous, for prejudice against foreigners and Christians had not disappeared. Père Mermet built a house and a church at Hakodate and Père Furet did the same at Nagasaki. At first they taught French in order to make friends and prepare for the future. In the new church at Nagasaki on 17 March, 1865, occurred an ever-memorable event, when fifteen Christians made themselves known to Père Petitjean, assuring him that there were a great many others, about 50,000 in all being known. It is easy to imagine the joy which greeted this discovery after more than two centuries of waiting and patience. There were three marks by which these descendants of martyrs recognized these new missionaries as the successors of their ancient fathers: the authority of the Pope of Rome, the veneration of the Blessed Virgin, and the celibacy of the clergy. In the following year (1866) Père Petitjean was named Vicar Apostolic of Japan.

The extreme ardour of the Christians attracted attention and aroused the old hatred. In July, 1867, persecution recommenced; 40,000 faithful of Urakami near Nagasaki were exiled to various provinces. The same proscription was extended to other towns; everywhere the choice was apostasy or exile, and the greater number courageously expressed their faith. There was no bloodshed, but the trials were severe. About a third of the exiles died or did not return. During this time they continued to labour in the seaports. In March, 1873, while the Japanese embassy was travelling through Europe, the exiles were restored to their homes, prosecution ceased in Japan, and the regime of tolerance began. Henceforth the Government was silent regarding religion and disturbed no one provided public order was not troubled. In May, 1876, Japan was divided into two vicariates Apostolic, South and North; Mgr. Petitjean was made Vicar Apostolic of the South, Mgr. Osouf, of the North. About 1878 the missionaries were permitted by means of an official passport to travel more than ten leagues from the port into the interior of the country. Then a certain number of them became itinerant, and by their means the Gospel was preached with admirable success in nearly all the towns and villages in the space of fifteen years. Prejudices diminished, conversions multiplied, and opinions inclined toward liberty. On 11 August, 1884, an official decree proclaimed that there was no longer a state religion. On 12 Sept., 1885, a letter written from Leo XIII to the Emperor of Japan was received with great honour, and on 18 December of the same year, a representative of the emperor assisted respectfully at the ceremony of the funeral service for Alphonso XII, King of Spain. In March, 1888, the Vicariate Apostolic of central Japan was created, with Mgr. Midon as Vicar Apostolic. Finally on 11 Feb., 1889, came the promulgation of the new Constitution of the empire and authentic recognition of religious liberty. In the following year (1890), on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the discovery of the Christians, the first synod of the bishops of Japan was held at Nagasaki. During six weeks occurred the incomparable festivals by which the Church of Japan celebrated in transports of joy and gratitude the miracle of her resurrection. In April, 1891, the vicariate Apostolic of Hakodate was created with Mgr. Berlioz as vicar Apostolic. On 15 June the same year the ecclesiastical hierarchy was established with an Archbishop of Tokio and three suffragans, namely, namely the bishops of Nagasaki, Osaka, and Hakodate.

With liberty the zeal of the Japanese for religion decreased and conversions became less frequent. However, Catholic education, benevolent, and journalistic works developed and grew unmolested, and moreover, the numerical progress has never been interrupted. In 1860 there were two missionaries in Japan; in 1870, one vicar Apostolic, 40 missionaries, 27 religious (nuns), and 23,000 Christians; in 1890, 79 missionaries, 15 native priests, 27 Marianists, 59 nuns, and 42,387 Christians; in 1900, 1 archbishop and 3 bishops, 115 missionaries, 32 native priests, 62,694 Christians, 93 religious men, and 389 religious women (foreigners and natives).

Writing has joined to preaching by word of mouth. A Catholic review, "Kyoto Bambo", founded in 1881, continued under various names until the present time, explains religion, solves current objections, and gives news of interest to the Christians. Nearly everything relevant to Christian life, education, philosophy and theology has been treated in more than a hundred works. Several lesser works and two large dictionaries for the study of the Japanese language have also been issued by the missionaries (a French-Japanese dictionary by M. Raguet; a Japanese-French by Lemaréchal; a Japanese grammar by M. Balet. The "Mélanges", another review founded in 1904 and written in French, studies Japanese matters and gives a quarterly summary of the press. Two noteworthy benevolent works have also been established by the missionaries, the leper hospital of Gotemba, founded by M. Testewaide and that of Kumamoto by M. Corre. The missionaries were soon joined by numerous and valuable assistants. In 1873 came the Dames de St-Maur. They first founded an orphanage at Yokohama, and another at Tokyo in 1875; as many as 700 persons were assisted here at one time. At present they have an orphanage and three schools, one of them at Shizuoka, for the middle classes, and a course in foreign languages and arts for the higher classes, with 180 pupils. In 1877 came the Sisters of the Infant Jesus of Chauffailles. They have orphanages and private schools at Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagasaki, and Okayama. The Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres came in 1878; they have primary or boarding schools at Hakodate, Tokio, Sendai, Morioka, and Yatsushiro, with more than 800 pupils.

In 1888 the Marianist Fathers established themselves at Tokio. Their progress was slow and laborious, but uninterrupted. They have at present primary and secondary school with 802 pupils, of whom 71 are Catholic and 29 catechumens; and a foreign language course for adults with 100 pupils. Of these 802 pupils, 140 are sons of generals, admirals, superior officers, ambassadors, ministers, consuls, deputies, senators. There are 19 European teachers and 26 Japanese. Five Marianist fathers conducted courses at the university, the school for nobles, the school for man=CFvres, the school of cadets, and that of the military intendance. They have besides at Nagasaki a commercial school (1892) with 380 pupils; at Osaka (1898) a commercial school with 498 pupils; at Yokohama (1902) a higher primary school with commercial courses for foreigners or Eurasians of all nationalities, with 120 pupils. In all these schools student and graduate societies for piety, zeal, friendship, sport, etc. are flourishing. The native religious are recruited chiefly from among the ancient Christians of Kiusiu; a house for this purpose was opened in April, 1910, at Urakami.

In 1896 Trappists of four different nationalities came to Hokkaido. Within twelve years, despite difficulties of all sorts, of a total of about 1000 acres, comprising mountains and ravines, they had cleared and made valuable about 620 acres and formed a Christian colony of more than a hundred persons.

The Trappistines came from France in 1898. Their start was painful. But they now have no difficulty in securing recruits from among the ancient Christians of Nagasaki. They are engaged in the cheese industry, and development, at first despaired of, has been rapid.

In 1905 the whole of the Island of Shikoku was given to the Spanish Dominicans. This is the fifth ecclesiastical division of Japan, with 300 Christians.

The Franciscans returned in 1906. They are at Sapporo and Hakodate, and are 9 in number, 5 Germans, 2 Canadians, an Englishman, and a Frenchmen, engaged in teaching languages and in the ministry.

The Fathers of the Divine Word of Steyl came in 1907. They consisted of seven Germans and one Austrian. They teach German, English, French, and Chinese, and preach the Gospel.

On 1 January, 1908, the religious of the Scared Heart, 12 in number, English, Belgian, and French, opened a house for higher education at Tokio; on 1 July the servants of the Holy Ghost, five in number, from Germany and Austria came to Akita, where they have a kindergarten, boarding school, school of dress-making, and one of French and German languages. On 1 September 7 Franciscan sisters from France, Mexico, and Italy came to Sapporo, where they established sewing and embroidery classes, a school of housekeeping, and a dispensary. Sisters of the same congregation care for the lepers at Kumamoto. Finally on 17 October three Jesuit Fathers, English, German, and French, established themselves at Tokio for higher education and journalism. Thus the Catholic Church, one in faith, with its religious bodies of every country and name, has in Japan a truly universal character.


Protestantism appeared in Japan in 1859 at the opening of the country. The first arrivals were the American Episcopalians, the best known of whom was Channing Moore Williams. Shortly afterwards came the Presbyterians: James Curtis Hepburn followed by Mr. Werbeck (1861) and Mr. Thompson (1863). They halted first at Yokohama. Their religious reunions were called "prayer-meetings" (Kito-kwai). The first Japanese baptism took place in 1864. Protestant missionaries were also at Nagasaki prior to discovery of the old Christians (1865) and to them the Christians of Urakami addressed themselves before going to the Catholic Church. The first Japanese Protestant church was organized in 1872, after the last persecution, and inaugurated in 1875. Until that time only ten baptisms had been administered. During these early years the work of evangelization was almost impossible, and the time of the missionaries was chiefly employed in the translation of the Holy Scriptures. That of the New Testament was completed in 1880, and that of the Old Testament in 1887. A number of them were also employed in teaching either in schools founded by themselves or as professors in the Japanese schools. Their aim was to attack the pagan error at its very root by means of instruction, and also to have a right to live in the interior of the country, which was hitherto forbidden to foreigners. In 1876 a kind of university called Dashisha was founded at Kyoto, the ceded funds being founded by several American missions. The intention was to form Christians who would be solidly instructed in their religion and men capable of embracing any career. This celebrated school was very prosperous under the rector, Nijima Jo; it had as many as 1500 students, but having been declared independent several years since, has lost much of its importance.

An event of considerable importance in 1877 was the union of the hitherto divided forces of the American and Scotch Presbyterians; the Dutch Reformed Mission, the Presbyterian Mission, and the Scotch Presbyterian Mission. Their association formed the United Church of Christ in Japan (Nippon Cristo Ichi Kyokwai). They were afterwards joined by the German Reformed Mission (1886), the South Presbyterian Mission (1887), and the Cumberland Presbyterian Mission (1890). In a General Assembly held at Tokio in 1891 the Articles of Faith and the constitution of a new church were drawn up. Its new name was the Nihon Cristo Kyokwai (Church of Christ in Japan). The chief Protestant College in Tokio belongs to this United Church, and instruction is here given according to the spirit of Protestant Christian religion and morality.

During the period of religious tolerance the missionaries flocked to Japan and baptisms multiplied rapidly. The desire to learn English attracted to them many young Japanese. In December, 1889, the total number of Japanese converted to Protestantism was 31,181; foreign missionaries, 527; native ordained ministers, 135. There were 274 churches, more than half of which were self-supporting. The contributions for Japanese Christians for 1889 amounted to 53,503 yen. Several religious organizations, especially that of Christian Youth, were flourishing.

In the above number are included the Episcopalian church of America, governed for more than thirty years by Bishop Williams, and the Established Church of England, whose first bishop in Japan was Dr. Poole (1883). These two churches have agreed to work in concert and the constitution uniting them was drawn up in February, 1888. This was the foundation of a new church under the name Nihon-Sei-Ko-Kwai (The Holy Catholic Church of Japan). Hierarchically constituted, it has divided all of Japan, including Formosa, into six districts; it number 13,384 baptized Christians; 228 foreign missionaries, clerics, or laymen or women; and 295 Japanese assistants.

These are the chief denominations. The total number of missionaries given by Protestant statistics for 1908 is 789 foreigners, including women, and 1303 Japanese, ordained or not, men or women. The number of practical church members is 57,830; not practical, 10,554; churches, 408; young men in the schools, 3604; young women, 5226; Sunday schools, 1066, with 84,160 children; publishing houses, 7; volumes issued during the year, 1,974,881. The property of the different mission, schools, churches etc. is valued at 3,536,315 yen. Contributions of Christians for 1907 equalled 274,608 yen, and expenditures for the Japanese churches and the work of evangelization amounted to 448,878 yen, not including the salaries of the missionaries and their expenses. In the above are not included the Unitarians, who mingle with all denominations; the Independent Christians who are not attached to any church; the Methodist Episcopalians, who have a Japanese bishop, the Rev. Honda; several Japanese neo-Christian sects who are wholly independent either in government or in doctrine. They are eclectics who aim to adopt Christianity to the ideas and spirit of Japan, and thus to found a new and special Japanese religion. Up to the present time Protestantism in Japan has been chiefly American, but now it seems about to become Japanese. According as the Japanese churches become self-supporting, their tendency is to free themselves from the authority of foreigners. There is an evolution of religious ideas; many Christian works have been imitated by them, but faith in even the fundamental dogmas seems to disappear.

Russian Missions

The Russian Mission, or Orthodox Church of Russia in Japan, dates from 1861. A hospital had been previously built at Hakodate for Russians and Japanese. A Basilian monk, the Rev. Nicolai, was attached to it as chaplain with a church near the hospital. The hospital having been destroyed by fire, the church remained, and the Rev. Nicolai stayed as a missionary, at Hakodate, where he baptized a number of Japanese; this was the beginning. In 1870 the Russian minister to Japan obtained from the Japanese the grant of a special territory as a branch of the Russian legation, which territory was at Surugadai at the very centre of Tokio and one of the most advantageous sites in the capital. Here Fr. Nicolai established his residence and the centre of the Orthodox Church. He began by training well-instructed men and native assistants, for which purpose he had an ordinary college and a school of philosophy and theology; later on he also had a special school for young women. He preached his religion by means of carefully trained catechists and priests. Since 1881 he has also had a religious review, published twice monthly, and a publication committee installed at his house has published all the most necessary books. In 1886 Fr. Nicolai was consecrated bishop in Russia, and in 1890 he completed the erection of his cathedral, a truly magnificent monument, one of the sights of the capital.

Bishop Nicolai enjoys a great personal esteem; for the most part alone, he has founded and governed by himself everything pertaining to his mission. During the Russo-Japanese war the situation was very delicate, but the Christians, at least the greater number of them, did not abandon him. Even during this time he continued all his undertakings unmolested, his house being guarded without by Japanese soldiers. Previously he received from the Holy Synod 95,000 yen yearly, but since the Russo-Japanese War, these and other resources from Russia have greatly diminished, while on the other hand the price of everything in Japan has increased. The bishop was compelled to diminish also his expenses, to dismiss a part of his staff, and to exhort the Christians to contribute more generously to support their church.

But after the victories of the Japanese over the Russian armies it is not easy to conceive of even the Japanese, though Christians, as members of a church hitherto supported by the Russian Government. That is why the leaders among these Christians, after having agreed among themselves, declared to "Archbishop" Nicolai their intention of being supported entirely by themselves and being independent of Russia. And as Russia has its national church they wished to have also their Japanese National Church (June, 1909). Little has been written concerning the work of the Russians in Japan; even in Russia almost nothing has been published. According to one Protestant reckoning, the Orthodox church numbers 30,166 baptized Christians; according to another only 13,000 (the last figure denotes perhaps those who are practical). There are 37 native priests and 139 catechists. Expenses for church and evangelization in 1907 amounted to 55,279 yen; contributions of Christians, 10,711 yen; Churches or places of preaching, 265. Among the Russians, as among Protestants, and in fact everywhere throughout Japan, the tendency of mind is toward independence.

Laws Concerning Religion and Schools

(1) According to the constitution of the empire, every Japanese is free to believe and to profess the religion he prefers, provided he does not disturb the public order, and that he observes the other laws of the country. Religious manifestations and assemblies, ordinary and extraordinary are permitted, provided the police are informed and all disorder be avoided. In national ceremonies where Christians and pagans mingle, practical difficulties sometimes arise which are inevitable because of the mixture of religions. Local differences also occur, though somewhat rarely, owing to popular prejudice or the dispositions of a few, but in principle and before the law all religions are equal.

(2) Any Japanese or foreigner is free to found a school, provided he observes the laws and regulations laid down by the Japanese Board of Education concerning hygiene, qualifications of teachers, matters to be taught, etc. There are official schools for popular education, such as the primary and middle or high schools for boys and girls (shogakko, chugakko, and Koto-jogakko), and non-official or private schools, which may also be primary or others at choice. But the diplomas issued at private schools have no official value, at least no value equal to that of the schools which are formally recognized by the ministers of public instruction. A school for which this recognition is desired must conforms to the same regulations and control as the government schools and be in no way inferior to them. Public inspection regularly takes place only in official or recognized schools.

(3) In the so-called schools of "popular education" which are official or recognized, no religion is taught during hours of class. All religions are free, none is imposed. In private unrecognized schools religious instruction is permitted during hours of class. Each school may profess its own. However, popular instruction in Japan is not atheistic; it gives as the basis for private or social morality primitive history or Japanese mythology, which assigns the origin of all things to the gods or ancestors of the country. But higher education in general inclines strongly towards materialism.

(4) For the possession and administration of their goods, churches and schools may, if they so desire, cause themselves to be recognized as juridical persons, and as such possess movable and immovable property. On this point Christian communities or establishments are subject to the same laws as the others. Each juridical person is represented by a responsible council who sends the Government an inventory of the goods, the annual accounts of administration, the amount of purchases or sales, the condition of the staff, if it be a mission, the number of priests and faithful, if a school, that of masters and students, the precise location of churches and residences, the names of the titulars and their charges if any. Churches, benevolent foundations, etc are dependent on the ministry of the interior; schools, on the ministry of public instruction. The aim of this legislation with these regulations is to place the juridical persons under the protection of the law.


Schools pay no taxes. churches and all houses serving as residents for those attached to these churches (priest's house, that of the catechists, that of the servants, etc.) are also exempt from taxation. These enjoy all the privileges granted to the pagan temples; houses of revenue, if there are any, are subject to the common law and pay the tax.

Days of Rest

Schools, government employés, and bank employés are free from Saturday (noon) until Monday. This custom has been introduced since the coming of the foreigners, but has not yet been adopted among the people. Labourers work on Sunday, their days of rest being the first and fifteenth of the month.



Much obscurity surrounds the origin of the Japanese people. The primitive population, besides being very sparse, appears to have belonged wholly to the people called Ainos. Beyond a doubt these came from the Asiatic continent by way of the North. They were conquered by other immigrants more powerful than themselves who came from the South. The best of these Ainos seemed to have accepted the civilization of their masters and became united with them,. and from the fusion of these two races are descended the Japanese of to-day. The most refractory tribes were driven farther and farther north, and in the end abandoned the Great Island, confining themselves in Yezo (Hokkaido) and Sakhalin, where they show a tendency to decrease and disappear. They are small and strong, with long hair and beards. Their language is quite different from that of the Japanese. Their garments, which are shorter than that of the Japanese, are made of the bark of trees. In general they are mild-natured and simple-manners. They live by the chase and fishing, making use of the harpoon to catch seals, and slaying bears with stakes and poison arrows. They adore the god of the mountain and the bear, whom they believe to be his son. Each year they sacrifice a bear with great solemnity. They believe also in good and evil geniuses and worship several of the divinities and personages of Japan.

General Division

The history of Japan is divided naturally into three chief periods. The first (autocratic period) which extends from the beginning to the shogunate of Kamakura, embraces eighteen centuries (660 B.C. - A.D. 1192), during which time the authority was in the hands of the emperors. The second begins with the shogunate of Minamoto (1192), and ends with that of the Tokugawa (1968). Lastly, the third, beginning with the imperial Restoration, witnessed Japan's complete modification of her secular institutions, the Europeanization of her administration, and saw the country take her place among the great nations of the world.

Autocratic Period (600 B.C.-A.D. 1192)

According to Japanese tradition, in the seventh century B.C., a tribe, probably of Malayan origin, which had landed and established itself at Kiusiu, advanced towards the north and after some years of warfare chose the region of Yamato as a place to settle. Hasamu-no-mikoto, the chief of these adventurers, became the first Emperor of Japan (Jimmu Tenno). His enthronization, assigned to 660 B.C., is considered as the foundation of the empire, and the beginning of a dynasty which was to reign for twenty-five centuries.

After a gap of 500 years in the national annals we find a rough sort of civilization during the reign of Sujin (97-30 B.C.) and Suinin (29 B.C. - 70 A.D.). Then comes the famous legend of the hero Yamatokakeru (131-190). His son merely ascended the throne (192-200). His widow, the Empress Jingo, ruled after him. The Japanese chronicles attribute to her the conquest of three small kingdoms which lay south of Corea. She was succeeded by her fourth son, Ojin (201-310). During his reign, two Corean scholars, Ajiki and Wani, came to Japan, bringing with them Chinese literature and Confucianism (285). Ojin's son, Nintoku, governed for eighty-seven years (313-399). During the whole of his reign the country was at peace, but after him bloody scenes were multiplied in the imperial family until direct descendants were wiped out. A branch laterally descended for Ojin ascended the throne. Under the fourth sovereign of this branch (Kimmei, 552) Buddhism was brought to Japan by bonzes from Corea. The introduction of Buddhism brought about radical changes in ideas and customs. Prince Shotoku (573-621) favoured its progress, but it was the Emperor Kotoku (645-54), who by his famous reform of the Taikwa era, accomplished the great political and religious revolution which transformed Japan. Everything was then modelled on the Chinese form of government, and save for a few modifications this system remained in force until the restoration (1868). In the following century the Empress Gemmei (708-14) transferred the capital to Nara, where it remained for seventy-five years (708-785). The fiftieth emperor, Kwammu (782-805), built the city of Kyoto (794), which was the residence of the court until the imperial Restoration. The Fujiwara then became powerful. They exercised the regency (sessho) during the minority of the sovereign, then, under the title Kwampaku, continued to govern even after he had attained his majority. However, the effeminate nobles of the palace neglected the career of arms and gave themselves up to frivolous pastimes. Because of this decadence of the imperial authority, frequent revolts took place which the court was powerless to repress, and for this purpose, called on military clans. Their power became more and more formidable, two families especially, the Taira and the Minamoto, acquiring great influence. Both wished to secure the preponderance of power, and for thirty-five years their rivalry filled the country with bloodshed. Finally the Minamoto overcame and completed annihilated their adversaries (1185). The victorious Minamoto, Yoritomo, then raised to the throne a four-year-old child and assumes the title of Sei-i Taishogun. A new era had begun in the history of Japan; feudalism was inaugurated.

Age of Feudalism

It is subdivided into three parts: the Kamakura period (1192-1338); the Ashikaga period (1338-1573); and the Tokugawa period (1603-1868).

Kamakura Period (1192-1338)

Having been named Shogun, Yoritomo installed himself at Kamakura, which he made his capital. After this he undertook the administrative reorganization, which was to concentrate all authority in his hands. Unfortunately for his plans, he died before this was accomplished (1199). His two sons, Yorii and Sanetomo, allowed the power to pass to their mother's clan, that of Hojo. These last, who were descended from the Taira, dared not assume the shogunal dignity, but they succeeded under the title of Shukken (regents) in retaining the power for a century which was the most prosperous in the history of Japan. About this time, the only invasion with which Japan had been threatened, that of the Mongols, was frustrated through the energy of Hojo Tokimune, and by a providential storm which destroyed the enemy's fleet (1281). However, decadence manifested itself among the Hojo, family dissensions increased, weakening the usurped authority and preparing the way for a restoration of the imperial power. The Emperor Go Daigo (1319-1339) was the instrument of this work of restoration. Assisted by faithful followers he began the struggle, and in less than two years the supremacy of Kamakura was at an end (1333). But rivalries arose among the generals. The clan of Ashihaga, descended from Minamoto, rose in revolt, its head, Takauji, assumed the title of shogun, raised to the throne an emperor of his own choosing, and thus founded a new dynasty of shoguns which retained its power for more than two centuries.

Ashikaga Period (1338-1573)

The dethroned emperor defended himself courageously. His son and grandsons continued the struggle, and for more than fifty-six years was seen the singular phenomenon of two emperors at one time. In 1392 a compromise was effected between the rival powers which put an end to the schism. The first Ashikaga shoguns knew how to restrain within reasonable limits their warlike spirit, developed by many years of war, but their weaker successors passed all bounds. From the civil war of the era of Onin (1467) the troubles never ceased, and for a century the empire was a prey to the horrors of intestinal strife. the shogun were henceforth no more than toys in the hands of their chief feudatories. When the shogunate of the Ashikagas was on the verge of ruin, a petty daimio of the province of Owari profited by the anarchy to increase his dominion. At his death (1549) his fifteen-year-old son, Oda Nobunaga, came into possession of his inheritance. It was about this time, during the reign of Go-Nara-tenno (1527-1557), that Europeans appeared for the first time in Japan. The honour of being the first to penetrate into the country was reserved for a Portuguese named Fern=8Bo Mendes Pinto (1542). Seven years later, 15 August, 1549, St. Francis Xavier landed at the port of Kagoshima.

Man of genius that he was, Nobunaga conceived his project of concentrating into the hands of a single master the power which the daimio disputed to the injury of the nation. Having defeated the most turbulent and subjugated the others to his will, he deposed the last Ashikaga shogun and seized the reins of government, but he was treacherously slain by a vassal who owed everything to him, and died leaving his work uncompleted. The succession fell to a soldier of fortune named Hideyoshi, who succeeded in removing the sons of his former master. Being incapable of aspiring to the dignity of a shogun, he assumed the highest of the titles of the civil hierarchy, that of Kwampaku. Later, in 1592, he took the title of Taiko (Sovereign Lord) under which name he is known in history. Blinded by ambition, he conceived the project of taking possession of Corea, but despite some successes, this campaign ended in disaster. Hideyoshi did not long survive his failure; he died in 1598. Before his death he had charged five chief daimios with the guardianship of his son, Hideyori, who was still a child. Among the five was one who could not be content with second rank. This was Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), a descendant of the Minamoto. After the death of Hideyoshi he withdrew from his colleagues and made war against them. The famous victory which he won in the plain of Sekigahara assured him a supremacy which his family retained for two centuries and a half. Three years after his triumph, Ieyasu received the title of shogun (1603).

Tokugawa Period (1603-1868)

Two years after this Ieyasu transmitted the shogunate to his son, withdrew to Sumpu (Shizuoka), and before his death, witnessed the annihilation at Osaka (1615) of the descendants of Hideyoshi. After a period of great troubles, Ieyasu inaugurated a powerful feudal regime, and gave to Japan a political and social constitution which was upheld almost till 1868. According to this constitution, the emperor was nominally master of all the territory, even the shogun asking investiture of him. But this investiture was a mere fiction. The office of the shogun being hereditary, the titular possessed effective power, and disposed at will of land and even of the posts of the emperor's court. Socially Japan was divided into eight hereditary and closed classes: kuge (court nobles), daimio, hatamoto, samurai, labourers, artisans, merchants, eta (a kind of pariah). Only the first four, the so-called privileged classes, had the right to bear arms. Before dying Ieyasu had assured the power of his family. His immediate successors, Hidetada (1605-22), and Iemitsu (1623-51), continued his work and made still heavier the iron yoke which he had imposed on his country. Hidetada forbade every Japanese under most severe penalties to leave his native land, and it was he who discontinued all intercourse with foreigners, except the Dutch, the Chinese, and the Corean. Iemitsu completely closed the country to foreign commerce, forbade the construction of boats which would allow of long trips (1636), caused to be put to death ambassadors who came to Macao to request liberty of travel (1640), restricted to the Island of Deshima (Nagasaki) the Dutch who were authorized to maintain relations with Japanese, and passed the law which required the daimio to reside part of the time at Yedo, and part on their estates, when they were to leave their wives and children at the capital as hostages. Ietsugu, Tsunayoshi, Ienobu, Ietsugu, Yoshimune, Ieshige, Iehara (1651-1786) merely continued the policies of their predecessors, namely the breaking off of all intercourse with the outside world, ferocious prosecution of Christians, strict watch of the slightest proceedings of the daimio and Samurai, skillful spying of the Court of Kyoto, Draconian laws concerning the press, teaching, Confucianism, etc., such were the principles of the shogun government. Nevertheless under the administration of Ienara (1786-1837) the foreign powers began to endeavour to enter into communication with Japan; but all their advances were repulsed, and the country remained more strictly closed than ever. At the age of forty-five Ieyoshi succeeded his father (1837-1858). Each year foreign vessels appeared in greater number ion sight of Japan, but order was given to fire on those which approached the shore. Ii Noasuke, who was then minister, confided the defense of the country to Tokugawa Nari-aki, Prince of Meto (1852), and the emperor ordered public prayers in the Buddhist and Shintoist temples. Finally on 8 July, 1853, a fleet from the United States cast anchor in the Bay of Uraga. Commodore Perry, who commanded it, delivered to the shogun (14 July) a message from President Fillmore, proposing friendly relations and a treaty of commerce with Japan. He returned 12 February, 1854, and after long conferences the Bakufu (government of the shogun) signed a provision treaty which opened the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to United States vessels (31 March, 1854). Mr. Townsend Harris, who was sent as minister plenipotentiary arrived at Shimoda in August, 1856, and concluded a definitive treaty (28 July, 1858) with the shogun Iesada (1853-58), who died shortly afterwards. His successor, Iemoshi (1958-66), signed similar treaties with Holland (Donker Curtius, 19 August, 1858), Russia (Poutiatiine, 20 August), England (Lord Elgin, 27 August), and France (Baron Gros, 9 October). These treaties opened to foreign commerce the ports of Hakodate, Yokohama, Nagasaki, Niigata, and Kobe, and the cities of Yedo and Osaka. However, the news that the shogun had concluded these treaties with the Powers caused a profound sensation at the court of Kyoto. Public opinion also showed itself much opposed to the opening up of the country. The prime minister of the shogun, Ii Noasuke Kamon no Kami, was assassinated (21 March, 1860) and plots against the foreigners multiplied. The Bakufu determined to send an embassy to the Powers to beg them to suspend their treaties (2 January, 1862). Meanwhile the emperor had confided the protection of Kyoto to the daimio of Tosa at Satsuma and had forbidden the shogun to come to the capital. The shogun pledged himself to take the field against the foreigners within a month. On a day fixed by the emperor, Mori Motonori, daimio of Chosa, opened fire on an American vessel which passed through the strait of Shimonoseki, and within a few days some French and Dutch ships met with the same treatment. The French squadron, under the command of Admiral Jaurès, bombarded the forts of Shimonoseki (15 July, 1863), and England sent Admiral Kuper to bombard the town of Kagoshima (15 August 1863). The following year (7 September, 1864), the combined fleets of France, England, and Holland took and destroyed all the forts and military magazines of Shimonoseki. The power of the shogun was on the decline. Nagato and Satsuma joined forces against him. In July, 1866, he commenced hostilities, but his forces were defeated. Shortly afterwards he died suddenly at Osaka. His death was followed almost immediately by that of Emperor Komei (13 Feb., 1867). Hitotsubashi succeeded Iemochi, and took the name of Keiki. He was the fifteenth and last Tokugawa shogun. Dismayed by the task which confronted him, Keiki gave in his resignation, 15 October, 1867, and the shogunate was suppressed, 5 January, 1868. The partisans of the shogun revolted and wished to restore his authority, but their troops were constantly defeated by those of the imperial army. After a brilliant defence Enomoto capitulated at Hakodate, 27 July, 1869. This was the end of the civil war. The imperial restoration was an accomplished fact.

Imperial Restoration

On his ascension to the throne, the emperor transferred the seat of his government to Yedo, which received the name Tokio (capital of the East) and became the capital of the empire. The whole government system was completely changed. Even as formerly the Japanese had copied china, so now they set themselves to imitate Europe. Foreign specialists, engineers, soldiers, seamen, professors, priests, business men, bankers, etc. were summoned, and thanks to their co-operation all branches of services received an organization similar to that established among the European nations. The chief events of this period may be summarized as follows: In 1868, abolition of the shogunate and restoration of the imperial authority; 1869, Yedo became the capital of the Empire under the name Tokio; end of the resistance of the partisans of the shogun; 1871, abolition of the fiefs of the daimio and division of Japan into departments; 1872, law establishing conscription; first national exposition at Tokio; 1873, adoption of the Gregorian calendar; abolition of the edicts of persecution against Christianity; creation of primary schools; 1974, insurrection of Saga; Formosa expedition; 1875, Japan cedes to Russia its rights over the Island of Sakhalin (Karafuto) in exchange for the Kurile or Kourile Islands (Chishima); 1876, treaty with Corea; Samurai forbidden to carry two swords; riots of Kumamoto (Higo) and at Hagi (Nagato); 1877, insurrection of Satsuma; Japan's entrance into the Universal Postal Union; 1879, annexation of Riu-kiu Islands; adhesion of Japan to International Telegraphic Union; 1880, creation of provisional assemblies; 1881, promise of a constitution for 1890; organization of political parties; 1883, first tramways; creation of an official journal (Kwampo); 1884, creation of the five titles of nobility. viz., Ko, Ko, Haku, Shi, Dan (duke, marquess, count, viscount, baron); 1885, establishment of the council of ministers (Naikaku); foundation of the navigation company, Yusen Kwaisha; Treaty of Tien-tsin with China; 1888, creation of privy council (sumit-suin); 1889, promulgation of the Constitution; prohibition of dueling; 1890, first session of Parliament; foundation of an academy (Tokio Gakushikwai-in); 1891, plot of Tsuda Sanzo against the Csarevitch Nicholas III; 1894, war with China; 1895, treaty of Shimonoseki, 18 April, ratified at Che-fu, 8 May; intervention of Russia, France, Germany; withdraw from Liao-tung peninsula; China cedes Formosa and the Pescadores, pays an indemnity of 200,000,000 taels, and opens several ports to Japanese commerce; 1896, civil and commercial codes put into operation; 1897, adoption of the gold standard; 1899, treaties concluded with the Powers carried into effect; suppression of the consular jurisdiction; liberty granted for foreigners to traverse and settle in the country, but the right of possessing private estates was denied to them; 1900, promulgation of the law concerning co-operative societies; co-operation of Japan in the suppression of the Boxers; 1902, treaty of alliance with England (12 August); 1904, war with Russia (8 Feb.); 1905, new treaty of alliance with England (12 August); Peace of Portsmouth, trouble in Tokio on this occasion, burning of police stations and of ten Christian churches; by Treaty of Portsmouth, Russia ceded to Japan the southern part of the Sakhalin and the adjacent islands; the lease of Port Arthur, Talien Wan, and the adjacent territory, and the railroad between Chang-chun and Port Arthur, with all its branches. It is recognized at the same time by anticipation the protection of Japan over Corea; treaty with China; 1907, treaty with France (June); deposition of the King of Corea (8 July); Corea placed under the protection of Japan; a president general sent by the Japanese government administers the affairs of the country; agreement with Russia (30 July); trouble with the United States; 1908, United States squadron visits Japan.



Archaic Period, previous to A.D. 700

The only work composed during this period is the "Kyujiki" (Annals of Antiquity), which has been lost.

Nara Period (710-784)

The chief works which appeared during this period are: the "Kojiki" (712), record of ancient matters; "Nihonki" (Chronicles of Japan) stories and legends of the early times; "Manyoshu" (collection of a myriad leaves), a collection of ancient poems, composed about 750; it contains more than 4000 pieces, the greater number being tanka (poems of 31 syllables); held in great esteem by connoisseurs, it constitutes at present a valuable source of philological, historical, and archeological information.

Classic Period (Hei-an, 800-1186)

This period is the golden age of Japanese literature. A remarkable fact is that the two greatest works were written by women; they were "Genji monogatari", composed in the tenth century by Murasaki Shikibu, maid of honour at the court, and "Makura No Soshi" (Tales of a Vigil), a classical work in twelve volumes, composed by Sei Shonagon, a lady of the imperial court. After these two works the most celebrated are "Kokinshu" (a collection of ancient and modern poems); "Tosa nikki", an account of a journey; "Taketori monogatari", tales of a bamboo-gatherer; "Ise monogatari", Story of Ise. The period of Hei-an witnessed important progress in the art of writing, the invention of phonetic writing called kana, and the alphabet as it is at present, in forty-eight syllables.

Kamakura Period (1192-1338)

Principal works: "Gempei seisui ki" (history of the grandeur and decline of the Minamoto and the Taira); "Heiki monogatari" (account of the Taira family); "Hogen monogatari" (history relating the war of Hogen), a classic work, and may other less important books. This epoch produced an anthology entitled "Hyakunin isshu" (the hundred-bodied head); this is a collection of a hundred tanka (poems of 31 syllables) by a hundred different men, and was very popular. The time between 1332 and 1603 was singularly barren of literary productions. Three principal works belong to this period: "Jinkoshoto-ki" (history of the true succession of the divine emperors) "Taihei-ki" (tale of peace); "Tsurezure kusa", a collection of sketches and anecdotes, a classic work composed in the fourteenth century, which occupies a very high place in Japanese literature. To this period belong the No, lyrical dramas, and the Kyogen, comedies. In ancient times the only public representations were the sacred dances called the kagura, at the gate of the temples, in honour of the gods. To these in the fourteenth century was added a spoken dialogue which was the origin of the No. The Kyogen was a sort of comic piece performed between the No.

Yedo or Tokugawa Period

This period embraces a greater number of subjects than the others. One of the earliest works of the time is the "Taiko-ki" (History of Taiko Hideyoshi), 1625. The study of Chinese books was then given the place of honour. The chief promoter of this movement was Fujiwara Seikwa, who founded a school of Confucianism, and left a number of disciples, the most famous of whom is Hayashi Razan, also called Doshun (1583-1657). Arai Hakuseki (1656-1725) is also numbered among the most learned in Chinese (Kangakusha). Then came Ibara Seikwaku, founder of a school of popular literature; Chikamatsu Monzaemeon, Japan's most famous dramatic writer, who composed ninety-seven joruri (dramas); Basho (1644-94); and Keuchu (1640-1701); Kado Azumamaro (1669-1736) opened at Kyoto a school in which he combatted the Chinese ideas then in favour; the most distinguished of his disciples was Mabuchi, who left numerous works which are now indispensable to those who study the ancient Japanese language; Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801), the greatest of the Wagakusha (scholars of Japanese literature) and one of the most remarkable men Japan has produced; he published fifty-five works in more than 180 volumes; Hirata Atsutane, one of the most learned writers of Japan (1776-1843). Kyokutei, Bakin, Tanehiko, Jippensha, Ikku, and Tmenaga Shusui are renowned as romance writers. Rai Sanyo (1780-1832) is distinguished as a historian, his two chief works being the "Nihongwai-shi" and the "Nihon seiki" which are of great value for the study of Japanese history. Another important work of the Yedo period is the "Dainihonshi", a great history in 243 volumes, written by a commission of scholars.

Restoration Period (1868-1909)

During this period a veritable passion for European learning took possession of the nation. Many young men went to Europe and America to study. Soon a group of writers gave translations and original works in response to a general demand for ideas concerning European learning, customs, law, and institutions. The most distinguished of these authors was Fukuzawa Yukichi, founder of the School of Keio-gijiku. The most noteworthy works are: "Kaikoku shimatsu" (1888) by Shimada Saburo, a collection of documents treating of the opening of the country; "Shorai no Nihon" (Japan of the Future) by Tokutomi Ichiro; commentary on the constitution by the Marquis Ito; the "Kyoikkugaku" (The Science of Education), by Nose Ei. The best known novelists are: Tsubuchi Yuzo, Sudo Nansui, Osaka Tokutaro, and, the most celebrated of all, Koda Nariyuki. Among poetic works is the "Shintaishiho", or reform of Japanese versification, in imitation of European poetry, published by Toyama Masakatsu, in collaboration with Yatabe Ryokichi and Inoue Tetsujiro.


Among the arts painting has always held the first place in Japan. In the beginning, when relations with Corea and China were not yet established, the fine arts were wholly in a state of infancy. During the reign of Kimmei Tenno (A.D. 540) the Chinese arts were introduced. Painting and sculpture entered Japan with Buddhism and Confucianism, and the cultivation of the fine arts began. The oldest extant picture was made during the reign of the Empress Suiko (593-628) and is preserved in the temple of Horyuji, near Nara. Several pictures of the Nara period (710-784) are in the temples of Yakushiji and at Nara. The most celebrated painters of the Hei-an period (800-1186) are: Kudara no Kwanari (853) of Corean descent; the bonze Kukai of Kobo daishi a religious painter; Kose Kanoaka (885-897), founder of the most ancient Japanese school. Koseryu (Kose genre), also called the primitive or Buddhist school; Fujiwara Motomitsu (1097) founder of the Yamatoru School (Japanese genre); Toba Sojo (1053-1114), a bonze, author of the humorous genre which is called after him Toba-e.

During the Kamakura Period (1192-1338), in the thirteenth century, appeared a celebrated painter, a descendant of the powerful family of Fujiwara, Fujiwara Tsunetaka, who founded the Tosa School, derived from the Japanese Yamatoryu School, of which it became the principal branch. This school avoided Chinese influence, and applied itself to representing the scenes of the legends and history of Japan. In the beginning of the fifteenth century (Ashakaga Period, 1332-1603) Josetsu founded a school of painting according to the Chinese principles. Among his pupils were Sesshu, Shubun, and Kano Masanobu. Sesshu (1420-1503) is regarded as one of the greatest painters of the Chinese school. Kano Masanobu (1453-1490) gave his name to the school of Kanoryu, which proceeded from the Chinese school of Josetsu, and is subdivided into several branches. Kano Masanobu is the most famous representative of this school. At the end of the fifteenth century all Japanese painting belonged more or less to these two artistic sources, Tosa and Kano. The Tosu school represents Japanese art almost without foreign admixture; that of Kano belongs to Chinese influence.

Yedo Period (1603-1868)

Ogata Korin (1661-1716) created a manner a painting which was, so to speak, intermediary between the two schools of Kano and Tosa, uniting the decorative principles of both. The school which he founded is called by his name, Korin-ha. It was the first to employ gold and silver powder in painting. Sakai Hoitsu is the best known representative of the Korin School. Maruyama Okyo, founder of the school of this name, rejected the hitherto received principles and undertook a reform based on the observation of nature. With him idealism tended to disappear, and realism began. His principal disciples were Sosen, Rasetsu, Genki and Sojun. About the middle of the seventeenth century, Iwasa Matabei inaugurated a new style of painting. He aimed above all at reproducing the scenes of ordinary life. It is called the popular and realistic school (Ukiyo-e). The most celebrated painter of this school was Hokusai (1760-1849), who marks the end of the evolution of Japanese independence of every school, system, and convention. Except for Kikuchi Yosai (1788-1878), who completes the list of great stylists, everything centres around Hokusai, everything is inspired by his manner and his genius. At his death an irreparable decadence began. Japan imitated, it no longer created. To-day it is in a period of transition in art as in all other things. The classic school is disappearing by degrees, and popular art is without character or brilliancy. The struggle continues between Japanese and European art. In the interest of the arts and with a view to promoting them there are three societies and five special reviews.


Japanese pottery dates from the remotest antiquity, but the progress of ceramics compared with the other arts was very slow. The primitive pottery of Japan had for many centuries an embryonic and barbaric character. In the thirteen century, Karo Shirozaemon, known by the name of Toshiro, introduced the processes used in China, and introduced the first Seto workshops. The productions of Seto dominated the industry until the seventeenth century. Then appeared Ninsei, an artist of genius who was the real creator of national ceramics, and who even to-day is regarded as the greatest ceramist Japan ever produced. Through him the Chinese, Corean, and Japanese elements were blended, and from their mixture emerged a national art. In recent years the making of porcelain has undergone considerable development owing to the demand from abroad. The chief species of porcelain are: Seto (Owari), 4300 workmen, annual output 1,300,000 yen; Mino, 3800 workmen, annual output 1,000,000 yen; Arita (Saga), workmen 2000; Kutani (Kaga), 1200 workmen, output 220,000 yen; Kyomizu (Kyoto) one of the most important manufactories of Japan; Tokonami (Owari), output 320,000 yen; Tobi (Iyo), output 150,000 yen; Fujina or Izumo, output 120,000 yen; Hasami (Nagasaki), output 100,000 yen; Satsuma, output 40,000 yen, much esteemed by foreigners.

The history of the arts of Japan would fill a large volume. Sculpture, engraving, carving, bronze, lacquer-work, enamels, metal-work, alloy, are the principle branches in which the Japanese have excelled and produced truly remarkable work.


From the earliest times large storehouses (okura) were built to receive the objects sent as presents or taxes to the court. At the reform of Taikwa (645) a ministry was constituted having at its head an Okura-kyo (minister of finance). He was charged with the collection of duties, the distribution of pensions, the verification of measurements, etc. In 1885 the name Okura-sho was given to the ministry of finance. The minister of finance is charged with the resources of the State. He has under his jurisdiction three bureaus, that of accounts (Shukeikyoku), that of taxes (Shuzeikyoku), and that of administration of finances (Rizaiktoku). The budget of receipts and expenses is drawn up yearly. Each minister prepares his own according to the needs of his department. These private budgets are arranged by the minister of finance, while at the same time means are devised to meet the expenses. This project is discussed at a council of the ministers, afterwards submitted to the Chamber of Deputies, who discuss it and give a decision, then to the Chamber of Peers who reject or approve it. If the new budget is rejected, that of the previous year is adhered to. Lastly, the budget must always be submitted to the sanction of the emperor.

The annual average of the ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the Japanese army and navy in 1894-95, and during the years which followed the Treaty of Shomonoseki, was 104,524,000 yen; in 1908-09 they rose to 188,537,365 yen.

Public Debt

The amount of the public debt on 31 December, 1907, was 2,276,346,452 yen; interior debt, 1,110,645,228 yen; foreign debt 1,165,701,224 yen. The annual interest of the interior debt is 5%, that of the foreign debt 4%, 4 1/2%, and 5%.

Money and Bank Bills

The ingots of gold, silver, and brass received at the treasury since the foundation in 1870 equal the sum of 1,058,550,262 yen. Money put in circulation since that time, 707,810,261 yen. Amount of money in country, 31 December, 1907, 167,551,001 yen; amount of paper money, 369,984,111 yen.


Before the Restoration in 1868 there did not exist a single Japanese bank properly so called. The new Government soon grasped the importance of this institution for the development of commerce and industry. Commissions were sent sent abroad to study the various banking systems in use and to adopt that best suited to the country. Consequently a law of November,1872, inaugurated in Japan the system of the plurality of banks of issue. But the results obtained having been purely negative, the system was modified in a more liberal sense (August,1897 [sic; 1879?]). A large number of new banks were then founded, but this time there resulted such a fever of speculation, such a decline in paper money and government revenues, that the banks of issue had to be radically changed. In 1882 it was decided that in the future there should be no more banks of issue and that a central bank, the Bank of Japan, should alone have the privilege. The Bank of Japan was then charged with withdrawing from circulation by degrees the notes issue by the State and the 143 national banks in existence in 1882. The latter were transformed by degrees into ordinary banks, and in 1889 only one national bank remained, that of Japan, which to-day centralizes all Japanese fiduciary circulation. Founded in 1882 with a capital of 10,000,000 yen, it has increased this to 30,000,000 and has a reserve fund of 21,500,000 yen. It is authorized to issue notes whose value it holds in reserve in gold and silver money and in ingots; moreover, it has the privilege of putting into circulation as much as 120,000,000 yen.

Japanese fiduciary circulation by decennial periods: 1879, 55,500,000; 1880, 159,366,000; 1890, 162,015,000; 1900, 228,570,000; 1907, 369,884,000 yen. The number of special banks, ordinary banks, and savings banks at present equals 2194, with 2367 branches. Together they have paid-up capital of 444,204,000 yen; reserve funds, 139,630,000 yen; net benefits, 86,712,000; dividends, 34,893 yen. The most important ordinary banks are Mitsui, Mitsubishi, the Third, the Fifteenth, and the One Hundredth bank. In 1893 there were in Japan only 732 establishments of credit, possessing a paid-up capital of 84,512,848 yen. In the space of fourteen years the number of these establishments has increased by 1432, and their paid-up capital equals 2,601,392,000 yen. In 1907 deposits alone reached 80,484,648,000 yen, and sums withdrawn, 80,555,844,000 yen. In fourteen years business has increased 39 times. Finally, in the course of 1907, the amount of sums deposited in banks, by the State and private individuals, equalled 27,237,717,000 yen.

Bank Interest

In 1900 the interest on fixed deposits varied from 5% to 6%. For ten years it has oscillated between 5% and 7%. Banks lend only at 12%. The discount is 3%.


Until 1892 there was no law regulating the establishment and workings of companies collective in action and name. In 1893 the chapter of the new business code concerning companies was rendered obligatory. In consequence every business association had to secure from the Government the necessary authorization to form and commence operations. The code having been modified in 1899, necessary authorization was suppressed and companies might be freely formed under condition of conformity with the revised code. At the end of 1894 the nominal capital of all the companies formed since 1875 did not exceed 245,251,624 yen. Immediately after the war with China, and in the single year of 1896, 1178 new companies were formed representing a capital of 334,421,463 yen.

On 31 Dec., 1907, the reserve funds of all these companies equalled 254,992,738 yen. In fourteen years the number of companies has doubled, and their capital has been trebled.

Insurance Companies

In 1881 there was not a single insurance company in Japan constituted after the European model. An attempt at maritime insurance in 1881 was without success, as there was no law regulating this sort of enterprise. But the publication of a new code definitively fixed the legislation in this respect. Since that time (1893) the insurance companies have greatly developed.

Electric Light Companies (31 Dec., 1907)

Number of Companies, 84; stockholders, 14,105; length of lines, 1016 ri (2468 miles); length of wires, 3750 ri; private houses lighted with electricity, 207,587; electric lamps, 836,640; public lamps in cities, 18,650; receipts, 8,308,061 yen; expenses, 4,928,383 yen; net profit, 3,894,200 yen. In 1897 there were 41 companies; 29,701 private houses lighted; public lamps, 2335; net profit, 614,999 yen.


In 1896 there were two clearing-houses organized according to the principles operating in the United States, one at Tokio, the other at Osaka. During that year (1896) the two establishments liquidated 647,239 notes, representing a value of 538,834,000 yen. In 1907, four new clearing-houses were in operation at Kyoto, Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagasaki. The liquidation operations dealt with 6,948,485 notes, representing a value of 7,124,059,761 yen. On 31 March, 1908, the number of exchanges, 50; stockholders, 8448; brokers, 971; authorized capital, 12,851,456 yen; paid-up capital, 10,291,000 yen. Receipts 7,015,388 yen; expenses, 4,448,531 yen. Net profit, 2,566,857 yen.



In 1907 the foreign commerce of Japan was twenty times greater than in 1875, and since the Russo-Japanese war, three years ago, it has increased one-third. Average per person: 1875, 1.43 yen; in 1907, 18 yen.

Japan also maintains commercial relations with the following countries: the French colonies of India, the Russian colonies of Asia, Siam, Switzerland, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Dutch Indies, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Turkey, Denmark, Portugal, Mexico, Peru, Egypt, the Philippines, Hawaii, etc.

The greatest amount of Japanese merchandise has been exported to China and the United States, while British India, England, and Germany have profited most by the new order of things in Japan. Within thirty-four years, that is since 1873, Japan's export trade has increased 23 times.

Chief Exports and Imports with Their Value in Yen

Exports: raw silk, silk waste, handkerchiefs, pongees, 158,876,000 yen; cottons, cloths, napkins, 48,986,000 yen; chemical matches, 9,446,000 yen; fancy floor mattings, 5,743,000 yen; porcelains and crockery, 7,216,000 yen; lacquered articles, 1,643,000 yen; plaited work, 5,001,000 yen; umbrellas (European shape), 1,613,000 yen; cigarettes, 2,055,000 yen; tea, 12,618,000 yen; rice, 3,664,000 yen; dried cuttle fish, 2,401,000 yen; sea-weed, 709,000 yen; fish oil, 2,975,000 yen; camphor, 5,026,000 yen; crude and refined copper, 29,262,000 yen; oil, 19,052,000 yen; vegetable wax, 1,070,000 yen. Imports: raw and spun cotton, prints, velvets, 131,718,000 yen; woolens, muslin, cloth, 24,878,000 yen; hemp, 3,569,000 yen; machines, 27,699,000 yen; locomotives and wagons, 29,933,000 yen; iron bars, 26,445,000 yen; rails, 3,828,000 yen; iron nails, iron, and steel, 11,172,000 yen; dry indigo, 5.876,000 yen; paper, 7,436,000 yen; sole leather, 3,933,000 yen; brown and white sugar, 19,864,000 yen; rice, 30,931,000 yen; beans, lentils, 10,405,000 yen; meal, 6,212,000 yen; petroleum, 14,324,000 yen; tortoise shell, 21,042,000 yen.

The chief markets for silk are the United States, France, and Italy; for cotton and copper, China. In 1907 there entered the Japanese ports 10,932 steam ships, tonnage, 19,801,425 tons; Japanese steamships, 6734 (8,770,491 tons); Chinese steamers, 52 (57,659 tins); English steamers, 2269 (6,267,638 tons); German steamers, 673 (1,840,000 tons); United States steamers, 377 (1,618,462 tons); Norwegian steamers, 348 (386,311 tons); Russian steamers, 172 (324,050 tons); Austrian steamers, 140 (154,425 tons); Danish steamers, 24 (64,753 tons); other nationalities, 143 (317,636 tons).

Domestic Commerce

Museums. Japan possesses eleven commercial museums, two of which (those of the Government and the industrial association) are at Tokio; the others are at Sapporo, Osaka, Kobe, Nagasaki, Miye, Nagoya, Gifu, Kanazawa, and Toyama. At the end of March, 1906, the Government Museum at Tokio contained 61,670 specimens, 31,674 of which were of foreign origin.Visitors in 1907, 57,111, of whom 1625 were foreigners.

Chambers of Commerce

On 31 March, 1908, there were 386 chambers of commerce. Ordinary councillors, 1589; special councillors, 250; number of matters regulated during the year, 11,651; expenses 231,200 yen. Two commercial agencies have been founded, one at Tokio in 1896, the other at Osaka in 1901. The number of adherents (banks, firms, etc.) is 1395 for the first; 1308 for the second. There are also four large merchandise warehouses, two at Tokio, one at Osaka, and one at Yokohama. Number of invention patents issued in 1907, 3155; number of designs patented, 614; competitions, 262; objects exhibited, 310,362; contestants, 261,396; awards 55,741; expenses 149,924 yen.



Under the Tokugawa there were four chief roads (go-kaido); they went from Nihon-bashi (Bridge of Japan) to Yedo, and linked all the provonces with the capital of the shogun. These ancient roads are still in existence, but since the Restoration, the roads have been divided into national, departmental, and parochial. The State defrays the expense of the construction and maintenance of a national road, the departments that of the departmental roads, and the departments and towns that of the parochial roads. All the chief towns of the prefectures, the cities, and the villages are connected by roads, generally in good condition, and suitable for carriages.

Rivers, Canals

The rivers are numerous, but for the most part are only torrents, little suited for navigation; they are used chiefly for rafting. Numerous irrigation canals have been dug, some of which are reserved for the transportation of merchandise. The amount of the expenses for means of communication, roads, rivers, canals, highways of all kinds, construction or repair of bridges, harbours, bays, piers, damns, ponds, viaducts, in 1907 was 28,872,333 yen; 3,231,791 yen being borne by the state, the rest, 25,640,542 yen, by the local bodies. Damage caused by floods, 21,473,359; by typhoons, 303,622; by tidal waves, 80,867 yen.


In 1872, the first railroad line was begun by the government, between Tokio and Yokohama, a distance of eighteen miles; in 1882, the length of the lines established was 114 miles. As early as 1883, companies were founded to exploit this industry; in 1906 the government lines had been extended by 1531 miles, those of the companies, 3253 miles. In the same year (1906) the Government decreed national ownership of the railways, since which time the lines of eighteen large private companies have been purchased, while twenty smaller companies have gone out of existence. On 31 March, 1909, the total length of the Government lines was 4712 miles; that of independent companies, 446 miles. Lines at present in course of construction, 1037 miles. The railways have cost the State: old lines, 168,250,000 yen; purchased lines, 476,318,800 yen; lines building, 18,500,000 yen; in all, 663,068,800 yen. Receipts, 81,995,171 yen; expenses 45,262,927 yen; net profit, 36,732,244 yen. Locomotives, 2074; passenger carriages, 5780; number of travellers, 143,260,792; tons of merchandise, 24,092,066. railways accidents, dead, 1664; injured 2321. In 1883 the net railway profit equalled 943,846; in 1893, 5,073,929 yen.

Electric Car Companies

Electric tramways appeared in Japan in 1895. On 31 March, 1908, there were eighteen companies. Two of these have not made public their accounts. The statements of the sixteen others are as follows: authorized capital, 77,824,673; net profit, 4,130,593 yen. Vehicles drawn by men, for passengers (jinricksha), 161,858; for merchandise, 1,488,494. Total of all vehicles in the country, 1,951,892. The chief transportation company (Naikaku Tsuun Kwaisha) in the interior of the country has transported 208,447,901 kwan; receipts, 6,181,277 yen.

Postal Service, Telegraph, and Telephone

Postal Service

There was a postal service under the shogun, but it was defective, costly, and slow. In 1872 the government adopted the system in use in the United States. At first established between Tokio, Osaka, Kyoto, and Yokohama, the next year it was extended throughout the country. The tax varied according to the distance, but later it was made uniform. However, England maintained its three stations at Yokohama, Nagasaki, and Kobe until 1879. Since then both foreign and domestic postal service is carried on by Japanese. In 1908 there were 670 post-office stations; 55,197 post-boxes; postal employés, 35,409; postal articles received and distributed within the country, 1,377,635,468; sent abroad, 25,792,382; received from a broad, 24,552,407. International money orders sent, 15,517; value, 563,215 yen. International money orders received, 148,742; value, 11,615,851 yen.


As early as 1869 the government planned to adopt the telegraph. In did so in 1872. In 1879 Japan joined the International Telegraphic Union. At present a telegraphic network extends throughout the country and submarine cables connect Japan with all the great centres of the world. As early as 1900 experiments were made with a view to installing wireless telegraphy on all warships, and at present all the ships are so provided. Communications have been established between Nagasaki and Kelun (Formosa). On 31 March, 1908 the length of telegraph lines was 8692 ri; length of wires, 38,249 ri; public stations, 2815; telegraphs sent with the country, 26,113,174; abroad, 707,598; received from abroad, 873,639.


The telephone was brought to Japan in 1887, and in the same year all the government offices were thus connected. The telephone went into general use in 1896. At present 66 towns are provided with telephone connexions; 26 have an interurban connection. Public stations, 421; length of telephone lines, 2100 ri; length of wires, 27,270 ri; subscribers, 75,229. The Government has the monopoly of telephones, and bears the expense of constructing and extending all the lines.

Merchant Marine and Navigation

While the country was closed to foreigners, no Japanese could build or own a vessel capable of sailing the high seas. There was then no navigation except along the coast, and on the waters in the interior of the country. In 1868 liberty was granted to the Japanese to have vessels and navigate as they pleased. The formation of the three companies: the Mitsubishi Kison Kwaisha (steam navigation) in 1877; the Kyodo Unyu Kwaisha (united transports) and the Osaka Shosen Kwaisha (commercial navigation) in 1882, marks the beginning of the Japanese merchant service of Japan. In 1885, after a distressing occurrence, the Mitsubishi and the Kyodo Kaisha united to form one company, Nipon Yusen Kwaisha (Japanese Mail Packet Company), and started a new era in the merchant service. In the beginning of 1896 the Government decided to grant privileges for the construction and navigation of vessels. Twenty yen per ton capacity and five yen per horsepower unit are allowed to each ship of 700 tons and upward, built in Japanese yards and constructed of native materials. The navigation premiums vary according to the life and capacity of the vessels. The total value of grants and subsidies paid annually by the treasury to the companies and native ship owners is not less than 12,000,000 yen. At the end of 1903 there were 205 ship-yards and 32 docks. On 31 March, 1908, there were 216 ship-yards docks, building small war vessels and large merchant ships. During the war with Russia the com[anies furnished the Government 71 ships weighing 250,000 tons. Japan being a maritime country, it is natural that its merchant service and international trade should develop simultaneously and in proportion; nevertheless, the rapidity and importance of the progress made in the last fifteen years are truly extraordinary.

Japan has a great many important navigation companies. The Nippon Yushen Kwaisha has had regular service since 1896 for Europe, America, Australia, and the chief ports on the Sea of Japan. The Osaka Shosen serves the ports of China and Corea. The Toyo Kisen has a rapid service between Japan and San Francisco, the Oya Shosen between Tsuruga and Vladivostok. The chief docks and coaling stations are those of Hakodate, Uraga, Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe, and Nagasaki. Not including Formosa, there are twenty-eight ports of commerce, of which the most important are Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe, Moji, Nagasaki, Yokkaichi, Shimonoseki, Otura, Kuchinotsu, Wakamatsu, and Hakodate. For Yokohama and Kobe, the two chief ports of Japan, the maritime trade for 1895 equalled 242,293,844 yen; in 1907, 652,713,183 yen. Lighthouses, 140; signal lights, 19; buoys, 406; post indicators, 77; bell buoys, 4; boats, 624,728. Lawsuits, 433; ships lost, 196; salvages, 728; persons shipwrecked, 461; died at sea, 277; disappeared, 154.



The total area of Japan (not including Formosa and Sakhalin) is 38,555,229 cho, divided as follows: (1) land belonging to the Crown, the State, the commons, etc., 21,394,805 cho; (2) to private owners, 14,272,339 cho; (3) main roads, parks, swamps, etc, 2,888,085 cho. The total area of arable land is only 6,120,519 cho, classified as follows: rice fields, 2,748,575; drained lands, 2,296,698 cho; various crops, 1,075,246 cho; in all 15.7% of the total area of the country. The area of taxed land is 13,981,687 cho, estimated on survey as worth 1,406,267,827 yen. But at present their real value is far in excess of this estimate. According to the most recent census the total number of families is 8,725,544. Of these 3,776,416 are occupied solely with agriculture; 1,638,216 families join agriculture with other work. The nature of the soil is unfavourable for tillage, but the Japanese have improved it by careful cultivation. In the valleys there is not a grain of earth which has not been made use of, and even the mountain sides have, by the exercise of patience, been cleared, often to a great height.

Rice, which is the basis of Japanese diet, naturally holds the first place, but that produced by the country does not supply the demand, and even when the crop has been good it is necessary to import it. The wheat crop is also far from being sufficient. Tea is an important article of commerce; however, from 1897 to 1907 the area devoted to its cultivation decreased from 58,892 cho to 50,548, and the yield from 8,471,956 kwan to 7,047,193. Sugar cane has not found favourable soil in Japan, and each year this commodity has also to be purchased abroad for large sums. By a law of March, 1904, the Government reserves to itself the monopoly of tobacco. According to this law the peasant continues to cultivate the plant as formerly. The Government buys the leaves from the cultivator, and distributes them for preparation among the state manufacturers. The products of the soil are numerous and varied; nonetheless the processes of cultivation are still primitive. That is why the Government endeavours to popularize throughout the country the scientific principles in force in the agricultural countries in Europe and America, and with this object also it has founded a school of agriculture and institutions which award premiums for success in agriculture.

Live Stock

While labouring for the development of agriculture, the Government also encourages cattle breeding. With a view to improving the breeds of cows and horses it has established state pastures in which cows and bulls are raised and placed at the disposal of breeders. Number of bullocks and cows (31 March, 1908) 1,190,373; horses and mares, 1,465,466; goats, 78,251; swine, 284,708; sheep, 2769. Number of slaughter-houses, 1111; animals slaughtered: cows, 167,458; horses, 69,268; pigs, 138,858. Number of veterinary surgeons, 4500. Value of slaughtered animals: cows, 9,901,613 yen; horses, 1,531,000 yen; pigs, 1,875,000 yen. Quantity of milk, 173,540 koku; value, 5,080,471 yen.


Japan is rich in forests. They cover an area of 22,000,000 cho, that is six-tenths of the territory of the empire. Hitherto cultivation of the forests did not make great progress, ideas on this subject being very backward, but the Government carefully elaborated a plan of reform in the forest administration. According to a law passed in 1907 the Government may use its authority to prevent the destruction and to secure the re-wooding of forests belonging to the State, to private individuals, to the Shintoist and Buddhist temples. The law also supervises and regulates the periodic felling of trees. Forests are divided into four classes: forests belonging to the State, 7,222,518 cho; to the Crown, 2,109,098. cho; to the temples, 7,991,796 cho; to private owners 4,676,688 cho. Forest products in 1907: building wood 32,236,114 yen; firewood, 24,392,836 yen. The average annual of forest products varied for the past ten years between 50,000,000 and 60,000,000 yen.



From the earliest times the fishing industry has been in a flourishing condition in Japan. Formerly fish was the sole gift made. Together with rice it forms the basis of Japanese diet, for which reason the Japanese Government has not ceased to encourage the industry of deep-sea fishing. Fishery schools have been founded, and prizes granted for fishing on the high seas; laws for the protection of fish have been for some time in force.

In 1907, 3,200,000 persons (15% of the population) were engaged in fishing or some trade connected therewith. Number of fishing boats 420,000, of which a number did not exceed 30 feet in length. It is only recently that Japan had sought a market for its fish, salt, smoked, or preserved in oil. The Japanese prepare, chiefly from herrings and sardines, a fish oil, from which the exportation in 1907 had reached a figure of 2,975,235 yen. 20,727 fish ponds in which fish are fed produced the sum of 2,805,590 yen.

Salt Pits

The area occupied by salt-works equals 8,295 cho; 16,184 boilers are used in the manufacture of salt. Product in 1907, 5,578,142 koku, valued at about 10,000,000 yen for the jobbers. A law reserves to the Government the monopoly of the sale of salt. Salt is manufactured by private citizens, the Government purchases it, and sells it again to the merchants, all at a fixed rate. 122,132 persons labour at the manufacture of salt.


Before 1868 the working of the mines was in a most rudimentary condition and their output was very mediocre. In order to improve and develop this branch of industry the Government sent for foreign engineers and utilized the mineral resources. Later on most of these miners were sold to private owners. In 1890 a law was published regarding the regimen of mines, which was replaced by another law in July, 1905. According to this new legislation those who desire to work mines are obliged to have a permit either of investigation or of exploitation to be issued by the minister of agriculture and commerce. For the administration of mines the country is divided into five large districts, each having a bureau for the inspection of mines. Japanese subjects and every civilian may acquire mining privileges. Foreigners may be admitted as members or stockholders in mining companies.

The total product of the mines has more than trebled within eleven years. From 1805 to 1907 the copper output increased from 5,000,000 to 29,000,000 yen, and that of oil from 5,000,000 to 19,000,000 yen. Number of mine workers, 1898, was 132,731; in 1906, 187,922; accidents (1907): fatal, 765; serious, 426; slight, 6092.


Very early Japan had its industries and the traditions on this point have not been lost. Artistic bronzes, lacquers, porcelains, and paper are still among the riches and glories of this country. Nevertheless, subsequent to 1868 a transformation took place, and a new era began for Japanese industry. Formerly the work had been done by hand in the family, but now began the reign of the factory and the machine. In order to encourage private workers to use machinery, the Government itself built model workshop and manufactories. Besides, to hasten the development of the industry, the Government has often organized national expositions in the important cities of the empire, it has always taken part in foreign expositions, has instituted a bureau of industrial experiments, founded technical schools, encouraged the formation of industrial associations and sent students abroad to learn the operation of factories. It has also made special laws for the efficacious protection of industrial property.

Workshops, Factories, and Arsenals Founded by the State

Royal printing establishments, with typographical workshops and paper-mill; a mint with a branch; 5 tobacco factories; military arsenals at Tokio and Osaka; naval arsenals at Yokosuka, Kure, Sasebo, and Maizuru; marine arsenal at Tokio; powder factory at Shimose; marine preparatory schools at Takshiki, Ominato, and Mako; 1 steel foundry; two factories for the manufacture of material for telegraphs and lighthouses; 13 railroad workshops, etc. Number of machines for all Government manufactories, 1075; horse and steam power, 118,353; workers, men and women, 130,545 (men, 107,776; women, 22,769). Besides these, 62,324 day labourers are also employed; average daily wages: men, 55 sen. Japanese industry began to soar at the time of the war with China. The Japanese decided to add to their characteristic of being a warlike people that of being an industrial people.

The most properous inductries are those of silk and cotton. In 1907 the number of silk mills was 4758; besides, 392,581 families occupied with this industry. Thr quanmtity of silk thus obtained (insluding waste) equals 2,299,688 kwan. In1895 it amounted to 2,299,688 kwan. Silk is the chief article of export from Japan. The following is the progress within five years. In 1901, silk tissues smanufactuired in japan reprtesented a value of 68,988,381 yen; in 1906 they rose to 88,994,617. And within eleven years the export figures have risen from 48,000,000 to 158,000,000 yen.

Cotton Industry

This also has made notable progress. From 1894 to 1906, thenumber of spinning mills rose from 45 to 83, with an increase of capital of 27,304,500 yen (the capital rose from 13,001,000 yen to 40,000,000 yen). The average number of spindles rose from 476,123 to 1,441,934 yen. At the samew time the output of spun cotton rose from 14,000,000 yen to 53,000,000 yen; and that of woven cotton from 49,000,000 yen to 84,000,000 yen. In 1907 all the materials manufactured in Japan. silk cotton, hemp, and woollens represented a value of 222,549,995 yen.

The manufacture of sake (rice wine) equalled 4,405,860 koku; beer, 201,144 koku; shoyu (fish sauce), 2,074,008 koku.


In this branch, despite all the efforts of the Government, the results have not fulfilled expectations. However the increase in iron and steel imports which have risen from 7,695,000 yen (1895) to 32,269,000 yen (1906) is a proof of development.


In 1906 the daily salary of handworkers was, for men, maximum, 96 sen; minimum sen; average 68 sen; for women, the average is 25 sen.

On the history of Japan and the situation of the country:—GRIFFIS, The Mikado's Empire (New Tork, 1890); IMPERIAL JAPANESE COMMISSION, History of the Empire of Japan (Chicago, 1893); Japan Year Book (Tokio, 1907); BOSQUET, Le Japon de nos jours (Paris, 1877); DE LA MAZELIâRE, Essai sur l'histoire du Japon; PAPINOT, Dict. d'Histoire et de Géographie du Japon (Yokohama, 1906); ASTON, Littérature Japonaise (Paris, 1902); GONSE, L'Art Japonaise (Paris, 1885); TEISAN, Notes sur L'Art Japopnaise (Paris, 1906); Japanese Code (Tokio, 1908); THâRY, La situation économique et financière du Japon (Paris, 1907); SHIMODA, Nihon Katei hyakkwa (Japanese Enclyclopedia) (Tokio, 1906); HANABUSA, Nihon Teikoku nenkan (General Statistics of the Empire of Japan) (Tokio, 31 Dec., 1908); MINISTRY OF FINANCES. Financial and economic yearbook of Japan (Tokio, 1908).

On Catholicism, Protestantism, and the Russian Schism:— The Christian Movement in Japan (Tokio, 1908); DELPLACE, Le Catholicisme au Japon 1540-93 (Mechlin, 1908); CHARLEVOIX, Histoire du Japon (Paris, 1704); PAGâS, Histoire de la Religion chrétienne au Japon 1598-1651 (Paris, 1869); MARNAS, Le religion de Jésus ressuscitée au Japon (Lyons, 1896); Report of the Society of Foreign Missions (Paris, 1909); TAKAMATRU, Shukyo Horei (Ordinances concerning religion) (Tokio, 1895).