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One of these is an
abnormally large head. In the typical European the height of the head
is less than one-seventh of the stature and in Englishmen it is often
one-eighth. In the Japanese is it appreciably more than one-seventh.
Something of this may be attributed to smallness of stature, but such
an explanation is only partial.

Shortness of legs in relation to the trunk is another marked feature.
"Long or short legs are mainly racial in origin. Thus, in Europe, the
northern, or Teutonic race--namely Anglo-Saxons, North Germans,
Swedes, and Danes--are tail; long-legged, and small-headed, while the
Alpine, or central European race are short of stature, have short
legs and large heads with short necks, thus resembling the Mongolian
race in general, with which it was probably originally connected."
[Baelz.]

In the Japanese face, too, there are some striking points. The first
is in the osseous cavity of the eyeball and in the skin round the
eye. "The socket of the Japanese eye is comparatively small and
shallow, and the osseous ridges at the brows being little marked, the
eye is less deeply set than in the European. Seen in profile,
forehead and upper lid often form one unbroken line." Then "the shape
of the eye proper, as modelled by the lids, shows a most striking
difference between the European and the Mongolian races; the open eye
being almost invariably horizontal in the former but very often
oblique in the latter on account of the higher level of the outer
corner. But even apart from obliqueness the shape of the corner is
peculiar in the Mongolian eye. The inner corner is partly or entirely
covered by a fold of the upper lid continuing more or less into the
lower lid. This fold, which has been called the Mongolian fold, often
also covers the whole free rim of the upper lid, so that the
insertion of the eyelashes is hidden. When the fold takes an upward
direction towards the outer corner, the latter is a good deal higher
than the inner corner, and the result is the obliqueness mentioned
above. The eyelashes are shorter and sparser than in the European,
and whereas in the European the lashes of the upper and the lower lid
diverge, so that their free ends are farther distant than their
roots, in the Japanese eye they converge, the free ends being nearer
together than the insertions. Then again in the lower class the
cheek-bones are large and prominent, making the face look flat and
broad, while in the higher classes narrow and elongated faces are
quite common. Finally, the Japanese is less hairy than the European,
and the hair of the beard is usually straight." [Baelz.]

VIEWS OF JAPANESE ETHNOLOGISTS

It may well be supposed that the problem of their nation's origin has
occupied much attention among the Japanese, and that their
ethnologists have arrived at more or less definite conclusions. The
outlines of their ideas are that one of the great waves of emigration
which, in a remote age, emerged from the cradle of the human race in
central Asia, made its way eastward with a constantly expanding
front, and, sweeping up the Tarim basin, emerged in the region of the
Yellow River and in Manchuria. These wanderers, being an
agricultural, not a maritime, race, did not contribute much to the
peopling of the oversea islands of Japan. But in a later--or an
earlier--era, another exodus took place from the interior of Asia. It
turned in a southerly direction through India, and coasting along the
southern seaboard, reached the southeastern region of China; whence,
using as stepping-stones the chain of islands that festoon eastern
Asia, it made its way ultimately to Korea and Japan.

Anterior to both of these movements another race, the neolithic
Yemishi of the shell-heaps, had pushed down from the northeastern
regions of Korea or from the Amur valley, and peopled the northern
half of Japan. The Korean peninsula, known in Chinese records as Han,
appears in the form of three kingdoms at the earliest date of its
historical mention: they were Sin-Han and Pyon-Han on the east and
Ma-Han on the West. The northeastern portion, from the present
Won-san to Vladivostok, bore the name of Yoso, which is supposed to
have been the original of Yezo, the Yoso region thus constituting the
cradle of the Yemishi race.

Japanese ethnologists interpret the ancient annals as pointing to
very close intercourse between Japan and Korea in early days,* and
regard this as confirming the theory stated above as to the
provenance of the Yamato race. Connexion with the colonists of
northern China was soon established via Manchuria, and this fact may
account for some of the similarities between the civilization as well
as the legends of the Yamato and those of Europe, since there is
evidence that the Greeks and Romans had some hazy knowledge of China,
and that the Chinese had a similarly vague knowledge of the Roman
Empire,** possibly through commercial relations in the second century
B.C.

*The annals state of Princes Mikeno and Inahi, elder brothers of
Prince Iware (afterwards Jimmu Tenno). that the former "crossed over
to the Eternal Land" (Tokoyo-no-kuni) and the latter went down to the
sea plain, it being his deceased mother's land. Japanese
archaeologists identify "mother's land" as Shiragi in Korea, and
Tokoyo-no-kuni as the western country where the sun sets, namely
China. They further point out that Susanoo with his son, Itakeru,
went to Shiragi and lived at Soshi-mori, for which reason Susanoo's
posthumous title was Gozu Tenno, gozu being the Japanese equivalent
for the Korean soshi-mori (ox head). Susanoo is also quoted as
saying, "there are gold and silver in Koma and it were well that
there should be a floating treasury;"* so he built a vessel of pine
and camphor-wood to export these treasures to Japan. The "Korea" here
spoken of is the present Kimhai in Kyongsan-do. It is further
recorded that Susanoo lived for a time at Kumanari-mine, which is the
present Kongju. Again, a Japanese book, compiled in the tenth century
A.D., enumerates six shrines in the province of Izumo which were
called Kara-kuni Itate Jinja, or shrine of Itakeru of Korea. A much
abler work, Izuma Fudoki, speaks of Cape Kitsuki in Izumo as a place
where cotton-stuffs were imported from Shiragi by Omitsu, son of
Susanoo. There are other evidences to the same effect, and taken in
conjunction with the remarkable similarity of the Korean and Japanese
languages, these facts are held to warrant the conclusion that the
most important element of the Japanese nation came via Korea, its Far
Eastern colony being the ultima thule of its long wanderings from
central Asia.

**See Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Vol. 6, p. 189 b.

The first mention of Japan in Chinese records is contained in a book
called Shan-hai-ching, which states that "the northern and southern
Wo* were subject to the kingdom of Yen." Yen was in the modern
province of Pechili. It existed as an independent kingdom from 1 122
to 265 B.C. That the inhabitants of Japan were at any time subject to
Yen is highly improbable, but that they were tributaries is not
unlikely. In other words, intercourse between Japan and northern
China was established in remote times via the Korean peninsula, and
people from Japan, travelling by this route, carried presents to the
Court of Yen, a procedure which, in Chinese eyes constituted an
acknowledgement of suzerainty. The "northern and southern Wo" were
probably the kingdom of Yamato and that set up in Kyushu by Ninigi, a
supposition which lends approximate confirmation to the date assigned
by Japanese historians for the expedition of Jimmu Tenno. It is also
recorded in the Chronicles of the Eastern Barbarians, a work of the
Han dynasty (A.D. 25-221), that Sin-Han, one of the three Korean
kingdoms, produced iron, and that Wo and Ma-Han, the western of these
Korean kingdoms, traded in it and used it as currency. It is very
possible that this was the iron used for manufacturing the ancient
double-edged swords (tsurugi) and halberds of the Yamato, a
hypothesis strengthened by the fact that the sword of Susanoo was
called Orochi no Kara-suki, Kara being a Japanese name for Korea.

*This word was originally pronounced Wa, and is written with the
ideograph signifying "dwarf." It was applied to the Japanese by
Chinese writers in earliest times, but on what ground such an epithet
was chosen there is no evidence.

ENGRAVING: JAPANESE SADDLE, BRIDLE, AND STIRRUPS



CHAPTER VIII

MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN REMOTE ANTIQUITY

If it be insisted that no credence attaches to traditions unsupported
by written annals, then what the Records and the Chronicles, compiled
in the eighth century, tell of the manners and customs of Japan
twelve or thirteen hundred years previously, must be dismissed as
romance. A view so extreme is scarcely justified. There must be a
foundation of truth in works which, for the most part, have received
the imprimatur of all subsequent generations of Japanese. Especially
does that hold as to indications of manners, customs, and
institutions. These, at least, are likely to be mirrored with a
certain measure of accuracy, though they may often reflect an age
later than that to which they are referred, and may even have been
partially moulded to suit the ideas of their narrators. In briefly
epitomizing this page of history, the plan here pursued is to adhere
as far as possible to Japanese interpretations, since these must of
necessity be most intelligent.

THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE

At the basis of the social structure stand the trinity of Kami,
mythologically called the Central Master (Naka-Nushi) and the two
Constructive Chiefs (Musubi no Kami). The Central Master was the
progenitor of the Imperial family; the Constructive Chiefs were the
nobility, the official class. What was originally involved in the
conception of official functions, we learn from incidents prefatory
to the expedition conducted by Ninigi for the subjugation of Japan.
Amaterasu (the Sun goddess) attached to the person of her grandson
four chiefs and one chieftainess. To two of the former (Koyane and
Futodama) she entrusted all matters relating to religious rites, and
they became respectively the ancestors of the Nakatomi and the Imibe
families.



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