Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/173

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169
SOUTHERNMOST JAPAN
The next year the foreign merchants came back to Kumano. . . . Fortunately there was a blacksmith among them. Tokiaki thought that to be a gift from heaven and ordered Kimbioe Kiyosada to learn the way to close the end. After awhile he learned how to do it by means of a screw. Thus in the course of a year they were able to make several tens, and after that they made the wooden parts and the other decorations.

This completes the main portion of the "Teppoki," but the family record of the smith Kimbioe Kiyosada which is also preserved forms an interesting addition. Here is a translation of part of this contemporaneous account:

Kiyosada brought about the relation of teacher and pupil between one of the strangers and himself with the purpose of learning the way to make the teppo. He thought that the barbarian would never tell the truth and that it would be better to give his daughter to him and let him marry her. Though he learned how to shape the teppo he did not understand how to close the end. After several months the ship went away, with the daughter, and many presents were left.

The record goes on in more detail and tells us the outcome. The daughter was seventeen years old and her name was Wakasa. After a year's time the ship returned, as the other records tell also, and Kiyosada found out how to complete the making of the firearms. Wakasa returned to her parents, and the family in order to keep her pretended to the strangers that she was dead and that the burial ceremony had taken place. The family of Kiyosada still lives on Tanegashima and is in possession of some porcelain ware presented at the time by the merchants.

The foregoing narrative is a history of the discovery of Japan by Europeans from the standpoint of the Japanese themselves. It is interesting to compare with this the story as written by one of the discoverers. The Portuguese navigator, Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, after returning home, described his many experiences in his book "Peregrinaçaō," and among them, his arrival at the island Tanegashima, or, as he called it, Tanixumaa.

He set out from Cochin China for a journey in the China seas, and after various wanderings through the Liu Kiu islands and elsewhere came by chance upon Tanegashima. This was the first time that any portion of Japan had been seen by Europeans. He was accompanied at this time by two other Portuguese, Diego Zeimoto and Christovano Borralho.[1] Later he went to other parts of Japan farther north. The


  1. The names in the Japanese account were Murashusha and Kirishita Demoto. As one Japanese writer says, foreign names are to their people "like cold water to the sleeping ear." The names must have been ill understood and imperfectly represented in the Japanese syllables and there may have been a still further departure from the original in the present retranslation. The former may stand for Mendez Pinto. The first name of the second doubtless stands for Christovano (Bolero), (the Japanese now say Kirish for Christ),