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But although Yamato-dake subsequently
entered Shinano, where he suffered much from the arduous nature of
the ground, and though he sent a general to explore Koshi, he
ultimately retired to Owari, where he died from the effects of
fatigue and exposure according to some authorities, of a wound from a
poisoned arrow according to others. His last act was to present as
slaves to the shrine of Ise the Yemishi who had originally
surrendered and who had subsequently attached themselves to his
person. They proved so noisy, however, that the priestess of the
shrine sent them to the Yamato Court, which assigned for them a
settlement on Mount Mimoro. Here, too, their conduct was so turbulent
that they received orders to divide and take up their abode at any
place throughout the five provinces of Harima, Sanuki, Iyo, Aki, and
Awa, where, in after ages, they constituted a hereditary corporation
of Saeki (Saekibe).

These details deserve to be recorded, for their sequel shows
historically that there is an Yemishi element in the Japanese race.
Thus, in later times we find the high rank of muraji borne by a
member of the Saekibe. Fifteen years (A.D. 125) after the death of
Yamato-dake, Prince Sajima was appointed governor-general of the
fifteen provinces of Tosan-do (the Eastern Mountain circuit); that is
to say, the provinces along the east coast. He died en route and his
son, Prince Mimoro, succeeded to the office. During his tenure of
power the Yemishi raised a disturbance, but no sooner was force
employed against them than they made obeisance and threw themselves
on the mercy of the Japanese, who pardoned all that submitted.

This orderly condition remained uninterrupted until A.D. 367, when
the Yemishi in Kazusa made one of the very few successful revolts on
record. They killed Tamichi, a Japanese general sent against them,
and they drove back his forces, who do not appear to have taken very
effective measures of retaliation. In 482 we find the Yemishi
rendering homage to the Emperor Kenso, a ceremony which was repeated
on the accession of the Emperor Kimmei (540).

But, though meek in the presence of peril, the Yemishi appear to have
been of a brawling temperament. Thus, in 561, several thousands of
them showed hostility on the frontier, yet no sooner were their
chiefs threatened with death than they submitted. At that time all
the provinces in the northeast and northwest--then included in Mutsu
and Dewa--were in Yemishi possession. They rebelled again in 637, and
at first gained a signal success, driving the Japanese general,
Katana, into a fortress where he was deserted by his troops. His wife
saved the situation. She upbraided her husband as he was scaling the
palisades to escape by night, fortified him with wine, girded his
sword on herself, and caused her female attendants--of whom there
were "several tens"--to twang bowstrings. Katana, taking heart of
grace, advanced single handed; the Yemishi, thinking that his troops
had rallied, gave way, and the Japanese soldiers, returning to their
duty, killed or captured all the insurgents.

No other instance of equally determined resistance is recorded on the
part of the Yemishi. In 642, several thousands made submission in
Koshi. Four years later (646), we find Yemishi doing homage to the
Emperor Kotoku. Yet in 645 it was deemed necessary to establish a
barrier settlement against them in Echigo; and whereas, in 655, when
the Empress Saimei ascended the throne, her Court at Naniwa
entertained ninety-nine of the northern Yemishi and forty-five of the
eastern, conferring cups of honour on fifteen, while at the same time
another numerous body came to render homage and offer gifts, barely
three years had elapsed when, in 655, a Japanese squadron of 180
vessels, under the command of Hirafu, omi of Abe, was engaged
attacking the Yemishi at Akita on the northwest coast of the main
island.

All this shows plainly that many districts were still peopled by
Yemishi and that their docility varied in different localities. In
the Akita campaign the usual surrender was rehearsed. The Yemishi
declared that their bows and arrows were for hunting, not for
fighting, and the affair ended in a great feast given by Hirafu, the
sequel being that two hundred Yemishi proceeded to Court, carrying
presents, and were appointed to various offices in the localities
represented, receiving also gifts of arms, armour, drums, and flags.*

*It is related that these flags had tops shaped like cuttlefish.

An interesting episode is recorded of this visit. One of the Yemishi,
having been appointed to a high post, was instructed to investigate
the Yemishi population and the captive population. Who were these
captives? They seem to have been Sushen, for at the feast given by
Hirafu his Yemishi guests came accompanied by thirty-five captives,
and it is incredible that Japanese prisoners would have been thus
humiliated in the sight of their armed countrymen. There will be
occasion to recur to this point presently. Here we have to note that
in spite of frequent contact, friendly or hostile, and in spite of so
many years of intercourse, the Yemishi seem to have been still
regarded by the Japanese as objects of curiosity. For, in the year
654, envoys from Yamato to the Tang Emperor of China took with them a
Yemishi man and woman to show to his Majesty.

The Chinese sovereign was much struck by the unwonted appearance of
these people. He asked several questions, which are recorded verbatim
in the Chronicles; and the envoys informed him that there were three
tribes of Yemishi; namely, the Tsugaru* Yemishi, who were the most
distant; next, the Ara Yemishi (rough or only partially subdued), and
lastly, the Nigi Yemishi (quiet or docile); that they sustained life
by eating, not cereals, but flesh, and that they dispensed with
houses, preferring to live under trees and in the recesses of
mountains. The Chinese Emperor finally remarked, "When we look at the
unusual bodily appearance of these Yemishi, it is strange in the
extreme."

*The Story of Korea, by Longford.

Evidently whatever the original provenance of the Yemishi, they had
never been among the numerous peoples who observed the custom of
paying visits of ceremony to the Chinese capital. They were
apparently not included in the family of Far Eastern nations. From
the second half of the seventh century they are constantly found
carrying tribute to the Japanese Court and receiving presents or
being entertained in return. But these evidences of docility and
friendship were not indicative of the universal mood. The Yemishi
located in the northeastern section of the main island continued to
give trouble up to the beginning of the ninth century, and throughout
this region as well as along the west coast from the thirty-eighth
parallel of latitude northward the Japanese were obliged to build six
castles and ten barrier posts between A.D. 647 and 800.

These facts, however, have no concern with the immediate purpose of
this historical reference further than to show that from the earliest
times the Yamato immigrants found no opponents in the northern half
of the island except the Yemishi and the Sushen. One more episode,
however, is germane. In the time (682) of the Emperor Temmu, the
Yemishi of Koshi, who had by that time become quite docile, asked for
and received seven thousand families of captives to found a district.
A Japanese writing alleges that these captives were subjects of the
Crown who had been seized and enslaved by the savages. But that is
inconsistent with all probabilities. The Yamato might sentence these
people to serfdom among men of their own race, but they never would
have condemned Japanese to such a position among the Yemishi.
Evidently these "captives" were prisoners taken by the Yamato from
the Koreans, the Sushen, or some other hostile nation.

THE KUMASO

There has been some dispute about the appellation "Kumaso." One high
authority thinks that Kuma and So were the names of two tribes
inhabiting the extreme south of Japan; that is to say, the provinces
now called Hyuga, Osumi, and Satsuma. Others regard the term as
denoting one tribe only. The question is not very material. Among all
the theories formed about the Kumaso, the most plausible is that they
belonged to the Sow race of Borneo and that they found their way to
Japan on the breast of the "Black Tide." Many similarities of custom
have been traced between the two peoples. Both resorted freely to
ornamental tattooing; both used shields decorated with hair; both
were skilled in making articles of bamboo, especially hats; both were
fond of dancing with accompaniment of singing and hand-clapping; and
both dressed their hair alike. Japanese annals use the word "Kumaso"
for the first time in connexion with the annexation of Tsukushi
(Kyushu) by the Izanagi expedition, when one of the four faces of the
island is called the "land of Kumaso." Plainly if this nomenclature
may be taken as evidence, the Kumaso must have arrived in Japan at a
date prior to the advent of the immigrants represented by Izanagi and
Izanami; and it would further follow that they did not penetrate far
into the interior, but remained in the vicinity of the place of
landing, which may be supposed to have been some point on the
southern coast of Kyushu. Nor does there appear to have been any
collision between the two tides of immigrants, for the first
appearance of the Kumaso in a truculent role was in A.D. 81 when they
are said to have rebelled.

The incident, though remote from the capital, was sufficiently
formidable to induce the Emperor Keiko to lead a force against them
in person from Yamato. En route he had to deal with "brigands"
infesting Suwo and Buzen, provinces separated by the Inland Sea and
situated respectively on the south of the main island and the north
of Kyushu. These provinces were ruled by chieftainesses, who declared
themselves loyal to the Imperial cause, and gave information about
the haunts and habits of the "brigands," who in Suwo had no special
appellation but in Buzen were known as Tsuchi-gumo, a name to be
spoken of presently.



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