was a wide rambling bungalow of wood and paper, roofed with tile and surrounded by a garden of trees trimmed with fantastic artificiality, of flowers and wild growth. Here lived the present member of the ancient noble Tanegashima family that previously ruled the island. My brother called on him one day, and was cordially received, and from him we obtained accounts of the first coming of Europeans to Japan and of the introduction of firearms. It was the custom to keep a family record, and the contemporary account of this episode of the history of the island is most interesting. In addition to the account set down at the time in the family records a complete narrative of the events was written by a priest of the island named Monshi about 1606, or sixty-three years after they occurred, when, as he says, there were still living some old men, with hair as white as the Japanese crane, who remembered the arrival of the foreigners. This narrative he called "Teppoki," or "gun-record." In recent years a history of the Tanegashima family has been written in Japanese by Tokihito Nishimura, and these original accounts are included in it. During some long rainy days on the island our friend Kiyoshi Kanai translated the family records and the "Teppoki," and we studied out their meaning and interpreted them in English as well and as closely as we could. They were written in old-fashioned Japanese and many passages are obscure in meaning and difficult to render.
As the "Teppoki" tells the whole story well and as it incorporates the account given in the family records, I shall give our translation of it, leaving out the other, which would be largely duplication.
- The southern province of Kiushiu, now called Osumi.
- Tanegashima means literally "Island of seed," from Tane—seed, ga—of, shima—island.
- The meaning of the written characters in Chinese and Japanese is much the same whereas the spoken languages are mutually incomprehensible.