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But when many of them were seen to die with emotions of
joy and pleasure, some even to go singing to the place of execution;
and when although thirty and sometimes one hundred were put to death
at a time, and it was found that their numbers did not appear to
diminish, it was then determined to use every exertion to change
their joy into grief and their songs into tears and groans of misery.
To effect this they were tied to stakes and burned alive; were
broiled on wooden gridirons, and thousands were thus wretchedly
destroyed. But as the number of Christians was not perceptibly
lessened by these cruel punishments, they became tired of putting
them to death, and attempts were then made to make the Christians
abandon their faith by the infliction of the most dreadful torments
which the most diabolical invention could suggest. The Japanese
Christians, however, endured these persecutions with a great deal of
steadiness and courage; very few, in comparison with those who
remained steadfast in the faith, were the number of those who fainted
under the trials and abjured their religion. It is true that these
people possess, on such occasions, a stoicism and an intrepidity of
which no examples are to be met with in the bulk of other nations.
Neither men nor women are afraid of death. Yet an uncommon
steadfastness in the faith must, at the same time, be requisite to
continue in these trying circumstances.

The intrepidity of the native converts was rivalled by the courage of
their foreign teachers. Again and again these latter defied the
Japanese authorities by visiting Japan--not for the first time but
occasionally even after having been deported. Contrary to the orders
of the governors of Macao and Manila, nay of the King of Spain
himself, the priests arrived, year after year, with the certainty of
being apprehended and sent to the stake after brief periods of
propagandism. In 1626, when the campaign of persecution was at its
height, more than three thousand converts were baptized by these
brave priests, of whom none is known to have escaped death except
those that apostatized under torture, and they were very few,
although not only could life be saved by abandoning the faith but
also ample allowances of money could be obtained from the
authorities. Anyone denouncing a propagandist received large reward,
and the people were required to prove their orthodoxy by trampling
upon a picture of Christ.

CONTINUATION OF THE FEUDS BETWEEN THE DUTCH AND THE PORTUGUESE

While the above events were in progress, the disputes between the
Dutch, the Portuguese, and the Spaniards went on without cessation.
In 1636, the Dutch discovered in a captured Portuguese vessel a
report written by the governor of Macao, describing a festival which
had just been held there in honour of Vieyra, who had been martyred
in Japan. The Dutch transmitted this document to the Japanese "in
order that his Majesty may see more clearly what great honour the
Portuguese pay to those he had forbidden his realm as traitors to the
State and to his crown." It does not appear that this accusation
added much to the resentment and distrust against the Portuguese. At
any rate, the Bakufu in Yedo took no step distinctly hostile to
Portuguese laymen until the following year (1637), when an edict was
issued forbidding "any foreigners to travel in the empire lest
Portuguese with passports bearing Dutch names might enter."

THE SHIMABARA REVOLT

At the close of 1637, there occurred a rebellion, historically known
as the "Christian Revolt of Shimabara," which put an end to Japan's
foreign intercourse for over two hundred years. The Gulf of Nagasaki
is bounded on the west by the island of Amakusa and by the promontory
of Shimabara. In the early years of Jesuit propagandism in Japan,
Shimabara and Amakusa had been the two most thoroughly Christianized
regions, and in later days they were naturally the scene of the
severest persecutions. Nevertheless, the people might have suffered
in silence, as did their fellow believers elsewhere, had they not
been taxed beyond endurance to supply funds for an extravagant
feudatory. Japanese annalists, however, relegate the taxation
grievance to an altogether secondary place, and attribute the revolt
solely to the instigation of five samurai who led a roving life to
avoid persecution for their adherence to Christianity. Whichever
version be correct, it is certain that the outbreak attracted all the
Christians from the surrounding regions, and was officially regarded
as a Christian rising. The Amakusa insurgents passed over from that
island to Shimabara, and on the 27th of January, 1638, the whole
body--numbering, according to some authorities, twenty thousand
fighting men with thirteen thousand women and children; according to
others, little more than one-half of these figures--took possession
of the dilapidated castle of Kara, which stood on a plateau with
three sides descending one hundred feet perpendicularly to the sea
and with a swamp on the fourth side.

The insurgents fought under flags inscribed with red crosses and
their battle cries were "Jesus," "Maria," and "St. Iago." They
defended the castle successfully against repeated assaults until the
12th of April, when, their provisions and their ammunition alike
being exhausted, they were overwhelmed and put to the sword, with the
exception of 105 prisoners. During this siege the Dutch gave
practical proof of their enmity to the Christianity of the Spaniards
and Portuguese. For, the guns in the possession of the besiegers
being too light to accomplish anything effective, application was
made to Koeckebacker, the Dutch factor at Hirado, to lend ships
carrying heavier metal. He complied by despatching the De Ryp, and
her twenty guns threw 426 shots into the castle in fifteen days.
There has been handed down a letter carried by an arrow from the
castle to the besiegers. It was not an appeal for mercy but a simple
enumeration of reasons:--

"For the sake of our people we have now resorted to this castle. You
will no doubt think that we have done this with the hope of taking
lands and houses. Such is by no means the case. It is simply because
Christianity is not tolerated as a distinct sect, which is well known
to you. Frequent prohibitions have been published by the shogun, to
our great distress. Some among us there are who consider the hope of
future life as of the highest importance. For these there is no
escape. Because they will not change their religion they incur
various kinds of severe punishments, being inhumanly subjected to
shame and extensive suffering, till at last for their devotion to the
Lord of Heaven, they are tortured to death. Others, even men of
resolution, solicitous for the sensitive body and dreading the
torture, have, while hiding their grief, obeyed the royal will and
recanted. Things continuing in this state, all the people have united
in an uprising in an unaccountable and miraculous manner. Should we
continue to live as heretofore and the above laws not be repealed, we
must incur all sorts of punishments hard to be endured; we must, our
bodies being weak and sensitive, sin against the infinite Lord of
Heaven and from solicitude for our brief lives incur the loss of what
we highly esteem. These things fill us with grief beyond endurance.
Hence we are in our present condition. It is not the result of a
corrupt doctrine."

It seems probable that of the remaining Japanese Christians the great
bulk perished at the massacre of Kara. Thenceforth there were few
martyrs, and though Christianity was not entirely extirpated in
Japan, it survived only in remote places and by stealth.

ENGRAVING: NANBAN BELL

ENGRAVING: THE "KAIYO KWAN," THE FIRST WARSHIP OF JAPAN (Built in
Holland for the Tokugawa Feudal Government)



CHAPTER XXXVIII

THE TOKUGAWA SHOGUNATE

THE Tokugawa family traced its descent from Nitta Yoshishige of the
Minamoto sept (the Seiwa Genji) who flourished at the beginning of
the thirteenth century. His son's place of residence was at the
village of Tokugawa in Kotsuke province: hence the name, Tokugawa.
After a few generations, Chikauji, the then representative of the
family, had to fly to the village of Matsudaira in Mikawa province,
taking the name of Matsudaira. Gradually the family acquired
possession of about one-half of Mikawa province, and in the seventh
generation from Chikauji, the head of the house, Hirotada, crossing
swords with Oda Nobuhide, father of Nobunaga, sought succour from the
Imagawa family, to which he sent his son, Ieyasu, with fifty other
young samurai as hostages. This was in 1547, Ieyasu being then in his
fifth year.

On the way from Okazaki, which was the stronghold of Hirotada, the
party fell into the hands of Nobuhide's officers, and Ieyasu was
confined in a temple where he remained until 1559, when he obtained
permission to return to Okazaki, being then a vassal of the Imagawa
family. But when (1569) the Imagawa suffered defeat in the battle of
Okehazama, at the hands of Oda Nobunaga, Ieyasu allied himself with
the latter. In 1570, he removed to Hamamatsu, having subjugated the
provinces of Mikawa and Totomi. He was forty years old at the time of
Nobunaga's murder, and it has been shown above that he espoused the
cause of the Oda family in the campaign of Komak-yama. At forty-nine
he became master of the Kwanto and was in his fifty-sixth year when
Hideyoshi died. Ieyasu had nine sons: (1) Nobuyasu; (2) Hideyasu
(daimyo of Echizen); (3) Hidetada (second shoguri); (4) Tadayoshi
(daimyo of Kiyosu); (5) Nobuyoshi (daimyo of Mito); (6) Tadateru
(daimyo of Echigo); (7) Yoshinao (daimyo of Owari); (8) Yorinobu
(daimyo of Kii), and (9) Yorifusa (daimyo of Mito). He had also three
daughters; the first married to Okudaira Masanobu; the second to
Ikeda Terumasa, and the third to Asano Nagaakira.

EVENTS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE BATTLE OF SEKIGAHARA

The political complications that followed the death of the Taiko are
extremely difficult to unravel, and the result is not commensurate
with the trouble. Several annalists have sought to prove that Ieyasu
strenuously endeavoured to observe faithfully the oath of loyalty
made by him to Hideyoshi on the latter's death-bed.



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