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Takenouchi,
the sukune (noble) who had served Ojin's mother so ably, and who had
saved Ojin's life in the latter's childhood, was despatched to
Tsukushi (Kyushu) on State business. During his absence his younger
brother accused him of designs upon the Emperor. At once, without
further inquiry, Ojin sent men to kill the illustrious minister. But
Maneko, suzerain (atae) of Iki, who bore a strong resemblance to
Takenouchi, personified him, and committing suicide, deceived the
soldiers who would have taken the sukune's life, so that the latter
was enabled to return to Yamato. Arriving at Court, he protested his
innocence and the ordeal of boiling water was employed. It took place
on the bank of the Shiki River. Takenouchi proving victorious; his
brother with all his family were condemned to become tomo-be of the
suzerain of Kii.

THE GRACE OF LIFE

Side by side with these primitive conditions stands a romantic story
of Ojin's self-denial in ceding to his son, Osazaki, a beautiful girl
whom the sovereign has destined to be his own consort. Discovering
that the prince loved her, Ojin invited him to a banquet in the
palace, and, summoning the girl, made known by the aid of poetry his
intention of surrendering her to his son, who, in turn, expressed his
gratitude in verse. It is true that the character of this act of
renunciation is marred when we observe that Ojin was eighty years old
at the time; nevertheless the graces of life were evidently not
wanting in old-time Japan, nor did her historians deem them unworthy
of prominent place in their pages. If at one moment they tell us of
slanders and cruelty, at another they describe how a favourite
consort of Ojin, gazing with him at a fair landscape from a high
tower, was moved to tears by the memory of her parents whom she had
not seen for years, and how the Emperor, sympathizing with her filial
affection, made provision for her return home and took leave of her
in verse:

"Thou Island of Awaji
"With thy double ranges;
"Thou Island of Azuki
"With thy double ranges
"Ye good islands,
"Ye have seen face to face
"My spouse of Kibi."

FOREIGN INTERCOURSE

The most important feature of the Ojin era was the intercourse then
inaugurated with China. It may be that after the establishment of the
Yamato race in Japan, emigrants from the neighbouring continent
settled, from early times, in islands so favoured by nature. If so,
they probably belonged to the lowest orders, for it was not until the
third and fourth centuries that men of erudition and skilled artisans
began to arrive. Modern Japanese historians seem disposed to
attribute this movement to the benign administration of the Emperor
Ojin and to the repute thus earned by Japan abroad. Without
altogether questioning that theory, it may be pointed out that much
probably depended on the conditions existing in China herself. Liu
Fang, founder of the Han dynasty (202 B.C.), inaugurated the system
of competitive examinations for civil appointments, and his
successors, Wen-Ti, Wu-Ti, and Kwang-wu, "developed literature,
commerce, arts, and good government to a degree unknown before
anywhere in Asia." It was Wu-Ti (140-86 B.C.) who conquered Korea,
and unquestionably the Koreans then received many object lessons in
civilization. The Han dynasty fell in A.D. 190, and there ensued one
of the most troubled periods of Chinese history. Many fugitives from
the evils of that epoch probably made their way to Korea and even to
Japan. Then followed the after-Han dynasty (A.D. 211-265) when China
was divided into three principalities; one of which, since it ruled
the littoral regions directly opposite to Japan, represented China in
Japanese eyes, and its name, Wu, came to be synonymous with China in
Japanese years.

It was, however, in the days of the Tsin dynasty (A.D. 265-317) and
in those of the Eastern Tsin (A.D. 317-420) that under the pressure
of the Hun inroads and of domestic commotions, numbers of emigrants
found their way from China to Korea and thence to Japan. The Eastern
Tsin occupied virtually the same regions as those held by the Wu
dynasty: they, too, had their capital at Nanking, having moved
thither from Loh-yang, and thus the name Wu was perpetuated for the
Japanese. In the year A.D. 283, according to Japanese chronology,
Koreans and Chinese skilled in useful arts began to immigrate to
Japan. The first to come was a girl called Maketsu. She is said to
have been sent by the monarch of Kudara, the region corresponding to
the metropolitan province of modern Korea. It may be inferred that
she was Chinese, but as to her nationality history is silent. She
settled permanently in Japan, and her descendants were known as the
kinu-nui (silk-clothiers) of Kume in Yamato. In the same year (A.D.
283), Yuzu (called Yutsuki by some authorities), a Chinese Imperial
prince, came from Korea and memorialized the Yamato Throne in the
sense that he was a descendant of the first Tsin sovereign and that,
having migrated to Korea at the head of the inhabitants of 120
districts, he had desired to conduct them to Japan, but was unable to
accomplish his purpose owing to obstruction offered by the people of
Sinra (Shiragi). Ojin sent two embassies--the second accompanied by
troops--to procure the release of these people, and in A.D. 285 they
reached Japan, where they received a hearty welcome, and for the sake
of their skill in sericulture and silk weaving, they were honoured by
organization into an uji--Hata-uji (hata in modern Japanese signifies
"loom," but in ancient days it designated silk fabrics of all kinds).

An idea of the dimensions of this Chinese addition to the population
of Japan is furnished by the fact that, 175 years later, the Hata-uji
having been dispersed and reduced to ninety-two groups, steps were
taken to reassemble and reorganize them, with the result that 18,670
persons were brought together. Again, in A.D. 289, a sometime subject
of the after-Han dynasty, accompanied by his son, emigrated to Japan.
The names of these Chinese are given as Achi and Tsuka, and the
former is described as a great-grandson of the Emperor Ling of the
after-Han dynasty, who reigned from A.D. 168 to 190. Like Yuzu he had
escaped to Korea during the troublous time at the close of the Han
sway, and, like Yuzu, he had been followed to the peninsula by a
large body of Chinese, who, at his request, were subsequently
escorted by Japanese envoys to Japan. These immigrants also were
allowed to assume the status of an uji, and in the fifth century the
title of Aya no atae (suzerain of Aya) was given to Achi's
descendants in consideration of the skill of their followers in
designing and manufacturing figured fabrics (for which the general
term was aya).

When Achi had resided seventeen years in Japan, he and his son were
sent to Wu (China) for the purpose of engaging women versed in making
dress materials. The title of omi (chief ambassador) seems to have
been then conferred on the two men, as envoys sent abroad were
habitually so designated. They did not attempt to go by sea. The
state of navigation was still such that ocean-going voyages were not
seriously thought of. Achi and his son proceeded in the first
instance to Koma (the modern Pyong-yang) and there obtained guides
for the overland journey round the shore of the Gulf of Pechili. They
are said to have made their way to Loh-yang where the Tsin sovereigns
then had their capital (A.D. 306). Four women were given to them,
whom they carried back to Japan, there to become the ancestresses of
an uji known as Kure no kinu-nui and Kaya no kinu-nui (clothiers of
Kure and of Kaya), appellations which imply Korean origin, but were
probably suggested by the fact that Korea had been the last
continental station on their route. The journey to and from Loh-yang
occupied four years. This page of history shows not only the
beginning of Japan's useful intercourse with foreign countries, but
also her readiness to learn what they had to teach and her liberal
treatment of alien settlers.

THE ART OF WRITING

It is not infrequently stated that a knowledge of Chinese ideographs
was acquired by the Japanese for the first time during the reign of
Ojin. The basis of this belief are that, in A.D. 284, according to
the Japanese chronology--a date to which must be added two sexagenary
cycles, bringing it to A.D. 404--the King of Kudara sent two fine
horses to the Yamato sovereign, and the man who accompanied them,
Atogi by name, showed himself a competent reader of the Chinese
classics and was appointed tutor to the Prince Imperial. By Atogi's
advice a still abler scholar, Wani (Wang-in), was subsequently
invited from Kudara to take Atogi's place, and it is added that the
latter received the title of fumi-bito (scribe), which he transmitted
to his descendants in Japan. But close scrutiny does not support the
inference that Chinese script had remained unknown to Japan until the
above incidents. What is proved is merely that the Chinese classics
then for the first time became an open book in Japan.

As for the ideographs themselves, they must have been long familiar,
though doubtless to a very limited circle. Chinese history affords
conclusive evidence. Thus, in the records of the later Han (A.D.
25-220) we read that from the time when Wu-Ti (140-86 B.C.) overthrew
Korea, the Japanese of thirty-two provinces communicated with the
Chinese authorities in the peninsula by means of a postal service.
The Wei annals (A.D. 220-265) state that in A.D. 238, the Chinese
sovereign sent a written reply to a communication from the "Queen of
Japan"--Jingo was then on the throne. In the same year, the Japanese
Court addressed a written answer to a Chinese rescript forwarded to
Yamato by the governor of Thepang--the modern Namwon in Chollado--and
in A.D. 247, a despatch was sent by the Chinese authorities
admonishing the Japanese to desist from internecine quarrels. These
references indicate that the use of the ideographs was known in Japan
long before the reign of Ojin, whether we take the Japanese or the
corrected date for the latter.



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