# 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Japan/03 Language and Literature

JAPAN

III.—Language and Literature

Language.—Since the year 1820, when Klaproth concluded that the Japanese language had sprung from the Ural-Altaic stock, philologists have busied themselves in tracing its affinities. If the theories hitherto held with regard to the origin of the Japanese people be correct, close relationship should exist between the Japanese and the Korean tongues, and possibly between the Japanese and the Chinese. Aston devoted much study to the former question, but although he proved that in construction the two have a striking similarity, he could not find any corresponding likeness in their vocabularies. As far back as the beginning of the Christian era the Japanese and the Koreans could not hold intercourse without the aid of interpreters. If then the languages of Korea and Japan had a common stock, they must have branched off from it at a date exceedingly remote. As for the languages of Japan and China, they have remained essentially different throughout some twenty centuries in spite of the fact that Japan adopted Chinese calligraphy and assimilated Chinese literature. Mr K. Hirai has done much to establish his theory that Japanese and Aryan had a common parent. But nothing has yet been substantiated. Meanwhile an inquirer is confronted by the strange fact that of three neighbouring countries between which frequent communication existed, one (China) never deviated from an ideographic script; another (Korea) invented an alphabet, and the third (Japan) devised a syllabary. Antiquaries have sought to show that Japan possessed some form of script before her first contact with either Korea or China. But such traces of prehistoric letters as are supposed to have been found seem to be corruptions of the Korean alphabet rather than independent symbols. It is commonly believed that the two Japanese syllabaries—which, though distinct in form, have identical sounds—were invented by Kukai (790) and Kibi Daijin (760) respectively. But the evidence of old documents seems to show that these syllabaries had a gradual evolution and that neither was the outcome of a single scholar’s inventive genius.

The sequence of events appears to have been this:—Japan’s earliest contact with an over-sea people was with the Koreans, and she made some tentative efforts to adapt their alphabet to the expression of her own language. Traces of these efforts survived, and inspired the idea that the art of writing was practised by the Japanese before the opening of intercourse with their continental neighbours. Korea, however, had neither a literary nor an ethical message to deliver, and thus her script failed to attract much attention. Very different was the case when China presented her noble code of Confucian philosophy and the literature embodying it. The Japanese then recognized a lofty civilization and placed themselves as pupils at its feet, learning its script and deciphering its books. Their veneration extended to ideographs. At first they adapted them frankly to their own tongue. For example, the ideographs signifying rice or metal or water in Chinese were used to convey the same ideas in Japanese. Each ideograph thus came to have two sounds, one Japanese, the other Chinese—e.g. the ideograph for rice had for Japanese sound kome and for Chinese sound bei. Nor was this the whole story. There were two epochs in Japan’s study of the Chinese language: first, the epoch when she received Confucianism through Korea; and, secondly, the epoch when she began to study Buddhism direct from China. Whether the sounds that came by Korea were corrupt, or whether the interval separating these epochs had sufficed to produce a sensible difference of pronunciation in China itself, it would seem that the students of Buddhism who flocked from Japan to the Middle Kingdom during the Sui era (A.D. 589–619) insisted on the accuracy of the pronunciation acquired there, although it diverged perceptibly from the pronunciation already recognized in Japan. Thus, in fine, each word came to have three sounds—two Chinese, known as the kan and the go, and one Japanese, known as the kun. For example:—

 “KAN”SOUND. ⁠ “GO”SOUND. ⁠ JAPANESESOUND. ⁠ MEANING. Sei Jo Koe Voice Nen Zen Toshi Year Jinkan Ningen Hito no aida Human being.

As to which of the first two methods of pronunciation had chronological precedence, the weight of opinion is that the kan came later than the go. Evidently this triplication of sounds had many disadvantages, but, on the other hand, the whole Chinese language may be said to have been grafted on the Japanese. Chinese has the widest capacity of any tongue ever invented. It consists of thousands of monosyllabic roots, each having a definite meaning. These monosyllables may be used singly or combined, two, three or four at a time, so that the resulting combinations convey almost any conceivable shades of meaning. Take, for example, the word “electricity.” The very idea conveyed was wholly novel in Japan. But scholars were immediately able to construct the following:—

 Lightning. ⁠ Den. Exhalation. Ki. Electricity. Denki. Telegram. Dempō. ⁠ Hō = tidings. Electric light. Dentō. Tō = lamp. Negative electricity. Indenki. In = the negative principle. Positive electricity. Yodenki. Yo = the positive principle. Thermo-electricity. Netsudenki. Netsu = heat. Dynamic-electricity. Ryūdo-denki. Ryūdo = fluid. Telephone. Denwa. Wa= conversation.

Every branch of learning can thus be equipped with a vocabulary. Potent, however, as such a vehicle is for expressing thought, its ideographic script constitutes a great obstacle to general acquisition, and the Japanese soon applied themselves to minimizing the difficulty by substituting a phonetic system. Analysis showed that all the required sounds could be conveyed with 47 syllables, and having selected the ideographs that corresponded to those sounds, they reduced them, first, to forms called hiragana, and, secondly, to still more simplified forms called katakana.

Such, in brief, is the story of the Japanese language. When we come to dissect it, we find several striking characteristics. First, the construction is unlike that of any European tongue: all qualifiers precede the words they qualify, except prepositions which become postpositions. Thus instead of saying “the house of Mr Smith is in that street,” a Japanese says “Smith Mr of house that street in is.” Then there is no relative pronoun, and the resulting complication seems great to an English-speaking person, as the following illustration will show:—

 Japanese. ⁠ English. Zenaku wo saiban suru tame noVirtue   vice-judging  sake ofmochiitaru yūitsu no hyojun waused      unique standardjiai   no ⁠kōi    tadabenevolence of conduct   onlykore nomi.this alone. The unique standard whichis used for judging virtue orvice is benevolent conductsolely.

It will be observed that in the above sentence there are two untranslated words, wo and wa. These belong to a group of four auxiliary particles called te ni wo ha (or wa), which serve to mark the cases of nouns, te (or de) being the sign of the instrumental ablative; ni that of the dative; wo that of the objective, and wa that of the nominative. These exist in the Korean language also, but not in any other tongue. There are also polite and ordinary forms of expression, often so different as to constitute distinct languages; and there are a number of honorifics which frequently discharge the duty of pronouns. Another marked peculiarity is that active agency is never attributed to neuter nouns. A Japanese does not say “the poison killed him” but “he died on account of the poison;” nor does he say “the war has caused commodities to appreciate,” but “commodities have appreciated in consequence of the war.” That the language loses much force owing to this limitation cannot be denied: metaphor and allegory are almost completely banished.

The difficulties that confront an Occidental who attempts to learn Japanese are enormous. There are three languages to be acquired: first, the ordinary colloquial; second, the polite colloquial; and, third, the written. The ordinary colloquial differs materially from its polite form, and both are as unlike the written form as modern Italian is unlike ancient Latin. “Add to this,” writes Professor B. H. Chamberlain, “the necessity of committing to memory two syllabaries, one of which has many variant forms, and at least two or three thousand Chinese ideographs, in forms standard and cursive—ideographs, too, most of which are susceptible of three or four different readings according to circumstance,—add, further, that all these kinds of written symbols are apt to be encountered pell mell on the same page, and the task of mastering Japanese becomes almost Herculean.” In view of all this there is a strong movement in favour of romanizing the Japanese script: that is to say, abolishing the ideograph and adopting in its place the Roman alphabet. But while every one appreciates the magnitude of the relief that would thus be afforded, there has as yet been little substantial progress. A language which has been adapted from its infancy to ideographic transmission cannot easily be fitted to phonetic uses.

Dictionaries.—F. Brinkley, An Unabridged Japanese-English Dictionary (Tōkyō, 1896); Y. Shimada, English-Japanese Dictionary, (Tōkyō, 1897); Webster’s Dictionary, trans. into Japanese, (Tōkyō, 1899); J. H. Gubbins, Dictionary of Chinese-Japanese Words (3 vols., London, 1889); J. C. Hepburn, Japanese-English and English-Japanese Dictionary (London, 1903); E. M. Satow and I. Masakata, English-Japanese Dictionary (London, 1904).

In their poetry above everything the Japanese have remained impervious to alien influences. It owes this conservation to its prosody. Without rhyme, without variety of metre, without elasticity of dimensions, it is also without known counterpart. To alter it in any way would be to deprive Poetry. it of all distinguishing characteristics. At some remote date a Japanese maker of songs seems to have discovered that a peculiar and very fascinating rhythm is produced by lines containing 5 syllables and 7 syllables alternately. That is Japanese poetry (uta or tanka). There are generally five lines: the first and third consisting of 5 syllables, the second, fourth and fifth of 7, making a total of 31 in all. The number of lines is not compulsory: sometimes they may reach to thirty, forty or even more, but the alternation of 5 and 7 syllables is compulsory. The most attenuated form of all is the hokku (or haikai) which consists of only three lines, namely, 17 syllables. Necessarily the ideas embodied in such a narrow vehicle must be fragmentary. Thus it results that Japanese poems are, for the most part, impressionist; they suggest a great deal more than they actually express. Here is an example:—

 Momiji-ha wo ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ More fleeting than the glint of withered leaf wind-blown, the thing called life. Kaze ni makasete Miru yori mo Hakanaki mono wa Inochi nari keri

There is no English metre with this peculiar cadence.

It is not to be inferred that the writers of Japan, enamoured as they were of Chinese ideographs and Chinese style, deliberately excluded everything Chinese from the realm of poetry. On the contrary, many of them took pleasure in composing versicles to which Chinese words were admitted and which showed something of the “parallelism” peculiar to Chinese poetry, since the first ideograph of the last line was required to be identical with the final ideograph. But rhyme was not attempted, and the syllabic metre of Japan was preserved, the alternation of 5 and 7 being, however, dispensed with. Such couplets were called shi to distinguish them from the pure Japanese uta or tanka. The two greatest masters of Japanese poetry were Hitomaro and Akahito, both of the early 8th century, and next to them stands Tsurayuki, who flourished at the beginning of the 10th century, and is not supposed to have transmitted his mantle to any successor. The choicest productions of the former two with those of many other poets were brought together in 756 and embodied in a book called the Manyōshū (Collection of a Myriad Leaves). The volume remained unique until the beginning of the 10th century, when (A.D. 905) Tsurayuki and three coadjutors compiled the Kokinshū (Collection of Odes Ancient and Modern), the first of twenty-one similar anthologies between the 11th and the 15th centuries, which constitute the Niju-ichi Dai-shū (Anthologies of the One-and-Twenty Reigns). If to these we add the Hyaku-ninshū (Hundred Odes by a Hundred Poets) brought together by Teika Kyō in the 13th century, we have all the classics of Japanese poetry. For the composition of the uta gradually deteriorated from the end of the 9th century, when a game called uta-awase became a fashionable pastime, and aristocratic men and women tried to string together versicles of 31 syllables, careful of the form and careless of the thought. The uta-awase, in its later developments, may not unjustly be compared to the Occidental game of bouts-rimés. The poetry of the nation remained immovable in the ancient groove until very modern times, when, either by direct access to the originals or through the medium of very defective translations, the nation became acquainted with the masters of Occidental song. A small coterie of authors, headed by Professor Toyama, then attempted to revolutionize Japanese poetry by recasting it on European lines. But the project failed signally, and indeed it may well be doubted whether the Japanese language can be adapted to such uses.

It was under the auspices of an empress (Suiko) that the first historical manuscript is said to have been compiled in 620. It was under the auspices of an empress (Gemmyō) that the Record of Ancient Matters was transcribed (712) from the lips of a court lady. And it was under the auspices of an Influence of Women in Japanese Literature. empress that the Chronicles of Japan were composed (720). To women, indeed, from the 8th century onwards may be said to have been entrusted the guardianship of the pure Japanese language, the classical, or Chinese, form being adopted by men. The distinction continued throughout the ages. To this day the spoken language of Japanese women is appreciably simpler and softer than that of the men, and to this day while the educated woman uses the hiragana syllabary in writing, eschews Chinese words and rarely pens an ideograph, the educated man employs the ideograph entirely, and translates his thoughts as far as possible into the mispronounced Chinese words without recourse to which it would be impossible for him to discuss any scientific subject, or even to refer to the details of his daily business. Japan was thus enriched with two works of very high merit, the Genji Monogatari (c. 1004) and the Makura no Zōshi (about the same date). The former, by Murasaki no Shikibu—probably a pseudonym—was the first novel composed in Japan. Before her time there had been many monogatari (narratives), but all consisted merely of short stories, mythical or quasi-historical, whereas Murasaki no Shikibu did for Japan what Fielding and Richardson did for England. Her work was “a prose epic of real life,” the life of her hero, Genji. Her language is graceful and natural, her sentiments are refined and sober; and, as Mr Aston well says, her “story flows on easily from one scene of real life to another, giving us a varied and minutely detailed picture of life and society in Kiōto, such as we possess for no other country at the same period.” The Makura no Zōshi (Pillow Sketches), like the Genji Monogatari, was by a noble lady—Sei Shōnagon—but it is simply a record of daily events and fugitive thoughts, though not in the form of a diary. The book is one of the most natural and unaffected compositions ever written. Undesignedly it conveys a wonderfully realistic picture of aristocratic life and social ethics in Kiōto at the beginning of the 11th century. “If we compare it with anything that Europe has to show at this period, it must be admitted that it is indeed a remarkable work. What a revelation it would be if we had the court life of Alfred’s or Canute’s reign depicted to us in a similar way?”

The period from the early part of the 14th century to the opening of the 17th is generally regarded as the dark age of Japanese literature. The constant wars of the time left their impress upon everything. To them is due the fact that the two principal works compiled during this epoch were, The Dark Age. one political, the other quasi-historical. In the former, Jinkōshōtō-ki (History of the True Succession of the Divine Monarchs), Kitabatake Chikafusa (1340) undertook to prove that of the two sovereigns then disputing for supremacy in Japan, Go-Daigo was the rightful monarch; in the latter, Taihei-ki (History of Great Peace), Kojima (1370) devoted his pages to describing the events of contemporaneous history. Neither work can be said to possess signal literary merit, but both had memorable consequences. For the Jinkōshōtō-ki, by its strong advocacy of the mikado’s administrative rights as against the usurpations of military feudalism, may be said to have sowed the seeds of Japan’s modern polity; and the Taihei-ki, by its erudite diction, skilful rhetoric, simplification of old grammatical constructions and copious interpolation of Chinese words, furnished a model for many imitators and laid the foundations of Japan’s 19th-century style. The Taihei-ki produced another notable effect; it inspired public readers who soon developed into historical raconteurs; a class of professionals who are almost as much in vogue to-day as they were 500 years ago. Belonging to about the same period as the Jinkōshōtō-ki, another classic occupies a leading place in Japanese esteem. It is the Tsure-zure-gusa (Materials for Dispelling Ennui), by Kenkō-bōshi, described by Mr Aston as “one of the most delightful oases in Japanese literature; a collection of short sketches, anecdotes and essays on all imaginable subjects, something in the manner of Selden’s Table Talk.”

The so-called dark age of Japanese literature was not entirely unproductive: it gave the drama () to Japan. Tradition ascribes the origin of the drama to a religious dance of a pantomimic character, called Kagura and associated with Shintō ceremonials. The Nō, however, owed its development The Drama. mainly to Buddhist influence. During the medieval era of internecine strife the Buddhist priests were the sole depositaries of literary talent, and seeing that, from the close of the 14th century, the Shintō mime (Kagura) was largely employed by the military class to invoke or acknowledge the assistance of the gods, the monks of Buddha set themselves to compose librettos for this mime, and the performance, thus modified, received the name of Nō. Briefly speaking, the Nō was a dance of the most stately character, adapted to the incidents of dramas “which embrace within their scope a world of legendary lore, of quaint fancies and of religious sentiment.” Their motives were chiefly confined to such themes as the law of retribution to which all human beings are subjected, the transitoriness of life and the advisability of shaking off from one’s feet the dust of this sinful world. But some were of a purely martial nature. This difference is probably explained by the fact that the idea of thus modifying the Kagura had its origin in musical recitations from the semi-romantic semi-historical narratives of the 14th century. Such recitations were given by itinerant Bonzes, and it is easy to understand the connexion between them and the Nō. Very soon the Nō came to occupy in the estimation of the military class a position similar to that held by the tanka as a literary pursuit, and the gagaku as a musical, in the Imperial court. All the great aristocrats not only patronized the Nō but were themselves ready to take part in it. Costumes of the utmost magnificence were worn, and the chiselling of masks for the use of the performers occupied scores of artists and ranked as a high glyptic accomplishment. There are 335 classical dramas of this kind in a compendium called the Yōkyoka Tsūge, and many of them are inseparably connected with the names of Kwanami Kiyotsugu (1406) and his son Motokiyo (1455), who are counted the fathers of the art. For a moment, when the tide of Western civilization swept over Japan, the Nō seemed likely to be permanently submerged. But the renaissance of nationalism (kokusui hoson) saved the venerable drama, and owing to the exertions of Prince Iwakura, the artist Hōsho Kuro and Umewaka Minoru, it stands as high as ever in popular favour. Concerning the five schools into which the Nō is divided, their characteristics and their differences—these are matters of interest to the initiated alone.

The Japanese are essentially a laughter-loving people. They are highly susceptible of tragic emotions, but they turn gladly to the brighter phases of life. Hence a need was soon felt of something to dispel the pessimism of the Nō, and that something took the form of comedies played in the interludes The Farce. of the Nō and called Kyōgen (mad words). The Kyōgen needs no elaborate description: it is a pure farce, never immodest or vulgar.

The classic drama Nō and its companion the Kyōgen had two children, the Jōruri and the Kabuki. They were born at the close of the 16th century and they owed their origin to the growing influence of the commercial class, who asserted The Theatre. a right to be amused but were excluded from enjoyment of the aristocratic Nō and the Kyōgen. The Jōruri is a dramatic ballad, sung or recited to the accompaniment of the samisen and in unison with the movements of puppets. It came into existence in Kiōto and was thence transferred to Yedo (Tōkyō), where the greatest of Japanese playwrights, Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653–1724), and a musician of exceptional talent, Takemoto Gidayū, collaborated to render this puppet drama a highly popular entertainment. It flourished for nearly 200 years in Yedo, and is still occasionally performed in Osaka. Like the Nō the Jōruri dealt always with sombre themes, and was supplemented by the Kabuki (farce). This last owed its inception to a priestess who, having abandoned her holy vocation at the call of love, espoused dancing as a means of livelihood and trained a number of girls for the purpose. The law presently interdicted these female comedians (onna-kabuki) in the interests of public morality, and they were succeeded by “boy comedians” (wakashu-kabuki) who simulated women’s ways and were vetoed in their turn, giving place to yaro-kabuki (comedians with queues). Gradually the Kabuki developed the features of a genuine theatre; the actor and the playwright were discriminated, and, the performances taking the form of domestic drama (Wagoto and Sewamono) or historical drama (Aragoto or Jidaimono), actors of perpetual fame sprang up, as Sakata Tōjurō and Ichikawa Danjinrō (1660–1704). Mimetic posture-dances (Shosagoto) were always introduced as interludes; past and present indiscriminately contributed to the playwright’s subjects; realism was carried to extremes; a revolving stage and all mechanical accessories were supplied; female parts were invariably taken by males, who attained almost incredible skill in these simulations; a chorus—relic of the Nō—chanted expositions of profound sentiments or thrilling incidents; and histrionic talent of the very highest order was often displayed. But the Kabuki-za and its yakusha (actors) remained always a plebeian institution. No samurai frequented the former or associated with the latter. With the introduction of Western civilization in modern times, however, the theatre ceased to be tabooed by the aristocracy. Men and women of all ranks began to visit it; the emperor himself consented (1887) to witness a performance by the great stars of the stage at the private residence of Marquis Inouye; a dramatic reform association was organized by a number of prominent noblemen and scholars; drastic efforts were made to purge the old historical dramas of anachronisms and inconsistencies, and at length a theatre (the Yuraku-za) was built on purely European lines, where instead of sitting from morning to night witnessing one long-drawn-out drama with interludes of whole farces, a visitor may devote only a few evening-hours to the pastime. The Shosagoto has not been abolished, nor is there any reason why it should be. It has graces and beauties of its own. There remains to be noted the incursion of amateurs into the histrionic realm. In former times the actor’s profession was absolutely exclusive in Japan. Children were trained to wear their fathers’ mantles, and the idea that a non-professional could tread the hallowed ground of the stage did not enter any imagination. But with the advent of the new regimen in Meiji days there arose a desire for social plays depicting the life of the modern generation, and as these “croppy dramas” (zampatsu-mono)—so called in allusion to the European method of cutting the hair close—were not included in the repertoire of the orthodox theatre, amateur troupes (known as sōshi-yakusha) were organized to fill the void. Even Shakespeare has been played by these amateurs, and the abundant wit of the Japanese is on the way to enrich the stage with modern farces of unquestionable merit.

The Tokugawa era (1603–1867), which popularized the drama, had other memorable effects upon Japanese literature. Yedo, the shōgun’s capital, displaced Kiōto as the centre of literary activity. Its population of more than a million, including all sorts and conditions of men—notably wealthy Literature of the Tokugawa Era. merchants and mechanics—constituted a new audience to which authors had to address themselves; and an unparalleled development of mental activity necessitated wholesale drafts upon the Chinese vocabulary. To this may be attributed the appearance of a group of men known as kangakusha (Chinese scholars). The most celebrated among them were: Fujiwara Seikwa (1560–1619), who introduced his countrymen to the philosophy of Chu-Hi; Hayashi Rasan (1583–1657), who wrote 170 treatises on scholastic and moral subjects; Kaibara Ekken (1630–1714), teacher of a fine system of ethics; Arai Hakuseki (1657–1725), historian, philosopher, statesman and financier: and Muro Kiusō, the second great exponent of Chu-Hi’s philosophy. “Japan owes a profound debt of gratitude to the kangakusha of that time. For their day and country they were emphatically the salt of earth.” But naturally not all were believers in the same philosophy. The fervour of the followers of Chu-Hi (the orthodox school) could not fail to provoke opposition. Thus some arose who declared allegiance to the idealistic intuitionalism of Wang Yang-ming, and others advocated direct study of the works of Confucius and Mencius. Connected with this rejection of Chu-Hi were such eminent names as those of Itō Junsai (1627–1718), Itō Tōgai (1617–1736), Ogyu Sōrai (1666–1728) and Dazai Shuntai (1679–1747). These Chinese scholars made no secret of their contempt for Buddhism, and in their turn they were held in aversion by the Buddhists and the Japanese scholars (wagakusha), so that the second half of the 18th century was a time of perpetual wrangling and controversy. The worshippers at the shrine of Chinese philosophy evoked a reactionary spirit of nationalism, just as the excessive worship of Occidental civilization was destined to do in the 19th century.

Apart from philosophical researches and the development of the drama, as above related, the Tokugawa era is remarkable for folk-lore, moral discourses, fiction and a peculiar form of poetry. This last does not demand much attention. Its principal variety is the haikai, which is nothing more than a tanka shorn of its concluding fourteen syllables, and therefore virtually identical with the hokku, already described. The name of Bashō is immemorially associated with this kind of lilliputian versicle, which reached the extreme of impressionism. A more important addition to Japanese literature was made in the 17th century in the form of children’s tales (Otogibanashi). They are charmingly simple and graceful, and they have been rendered into English again and again since the beginning of the Meiji era. But whether they are to be regarded as genuine folk-lore or merely as a branch of the fiction of the age when they first appeared in book form, remains uncertain. Of fiction proper there was an abundance. The pioneer of this kind of literature is considered to have been Saikaku (1641–1693), who wrote sketches of everyday life as he saw it, short tales of some merit and novels which deal with the most disreputable phases of human existence. His notable successors in the same line were two men of Kiōto, named Jishō (1675–1745) and Kiseki (1666–1716). They had their own publishing house, and its name Hachimonji-ya (figure-of-eight store) came to be indelibly associated with this kind of literature. But these men did little more than pave the way for the true romantic novel, which first took shape under the hand of Santō Kyōden (1761–1816), and culminated in the works of Bakin, Tanehiko, Samba, Ikku, Shunsui and their successors. Of nearly all the books in this class it may be said that they deal largely in sensationalism and pornography, though it does not follow that their language is either coarse or licentious. The life of the virtuous Japanese woman being essentially uneventful, these romancists not unnaturally sought their female types among dancing-girls and courtesans. The books were profusely illustrated with woodcuts and chromoxylographs from pictures of the ukiyoe masters, who, like the playwright, the actor and the romancer, ministered to the pleasure of the “man in the street.” Brief mention must also be made of two other kinds of books belonging to this epoch; namely, the Shingaku-sho (ethical essays) and the Jitsuroku-mono (true records). The latter were often little more than historical novels founded on facts; and the former, though nominally intended to engraft the doctrines of Buddhism and Shintō upon the philosophy of China, were really of rationalistic tendency.

Newspapers, as the term is understood in the West, did not exist in old Japan, though block-printed leaflets were occasionally issued to describe some specially stirring event. Yet the Japanese were not entirely unacquainted with journalism. During the last decades of the factory at Newspapers
and
Periodicals.