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But the prince deemed that the course
of progress still claimed his undivided attention, and therefore the
Empress Kogyoku was again raised to the throne under the name of*
Saimei--the first instance of a second accession in Japanese history.
She reigned nearly seven years, and the era is remarkable chiefly for
expeditions against the Yemishi and for complications with Korea. To
the former chapter of history sufficient reference had already been
made, but the latter claims a moment's attention.

*It is scarcely necessary to remind the reader that all
the names given in these pages to Japanese sovereigns are
posthumous. Thus Saimei, during her lifetime, was called
Ame-toyo-takara-ikashi-hi-tarashi-hime.

RELATIONS WITH KOREA

It has been shown how, in A.D. 562, the Japanese settlement in Mimana
was exterminated; how the Emperor Kimmei's dying behest to his
successor was that this disgrace must be removed; how subsequent
attempts to carry out his testament ended in failure, owing largely
to Japan's weak habit of trusting the promises of Shiragi, and how,
in 618, the Sui Emperor, Yang, at the head of a great army, failed to
make any impression on Korea.

Thereafter, intercourse between Japan and the peninsula was of a
fitful character unmarked by any noteworthy event until, in the
second year (651) of the "White Pheasant" era, the Yamato Court
essayed to assert itself in a futile fashion by refusing to give
audience to Shiragi envoys because they wore costumes after the Tang
fashion without offering any excuse for such a caprice. Kotoku was
then upon the Japanese throne, and Japan herself was busily occupied
importing and assimilating Tang institutions. That she should have
taken umbrage at similar imitation on Shiragi's part seems
capricious. Shiragi sent no more envoys, and presently (655), finding
herself seriously menaced by a coalition between Koma and Kudara, she
applied to the Tang Court for assistance. The application produced no
practical response, but Shiragi, who for some time had been able to
defy the other two principalities, now saw and seized an opportunity
offered by the debauchery and misrule of the King of Kudara. She
collected an army to attack her neighbour and once more supplicated
Tang's aid. This was in the year 660. The second appeal produced a
powerful response. Kao-sung, then the Tang Emperor, despatched a
general, Su Ting-fang, at the head of an army of two hundred thousand
men. There was now no long and tedious overland march round the
littoral of the Gulf of Pechili and across Liaotung. Su embarked his
forces at Chengshan, on the east of the Shantung promontory, and
crossed direct to Mishi-no-tsu--the modern Chemulpo--thus attacking
Kudara from the west while Shiragi moved against it from the east.
Kudara was crushed. It lost ten thousand men, and all its prominent
personages, from the debauched King downwards, were sent as prisoners
to Tang. But one great captain, Pok-sin, saved the situation.
Collecting the fugitive troops of Kudara he fell suddenly on Shiragi
and drove her back, thereafter appealing for Japanese aid.

At the Yamato Court Shiragi was now regarded as a traditional enemy.
It had played fast and loose again and again about Mimana, and in the
year 657 it had refused safe conduct for a Japanese embassy to the
Tang Court. The Empress Saimei decided that Kudara must be succoured.
Living in Japan at that time was Phung-chang,* a younger brother of
the deposed King of Kudara. It was resolved that he should be sent to
the peninsula accompanied by a sufficient force to place him on the
throne. But Saimei died before the necessary preparations were
completed, and the task of carrying out a design which had already
received his endorsement devolved upon Prince Naka, the great
reformer. A fleet of 170 ships carrying an army of thirty-seven
thousand men escorted Phung-chang from Tsukushi, and the kingdom of
Kudara was restored. But the conclusive battle had still to be
fought. It took place in September, 662, at Paik-chhon-ku (Ung-jin),
between the Chinese under Liu Jen-kuei, a Tang general, and the
Japanese under Atsumi no Hirafu. The forces were about equal on each
side, and it was the first signal trial of strength between Chinese
and Japanese. No particulars have been handed down by history.
Nothing is known except that the Japanese squadron drove straight
ahead, and that the Chinese attacked from both flanks. The result was
a crushing defeat for the Japanese. They were shattered beyond the
power of rallying, and only a remnant found its way back to Tsukushi.
Kudara and Koma fell, and Japan lost her last footing in a region
where her prestige had stood so high for centuries.

*He was a hostage. The constant residence of Korean hostages in Japan
speaks eloquently of the relations existing between the two
countries. There were no Japanese hostages in Korea.

Shiragi continued during more than a hundred years to maintain a
semblance of deferential intercourse, but her conduct became
ultimately so unruly that, in the reign of Nimmyo (834-850), her
people were prohibited from visiting Japan. From Kudara, however,
after its overthrow by China, there migrated almost continuously for
some time a number of inhabitants who became naturalized in Japan.
They were distributed chiefly in the provinces of Omi and Musashi,
Son-Kwang, a brother of the former King of Kudara, being required to
live in Naniwa (Osaka) for the purpose of controlling them. Koma,
also, when it fell into Chinese hands, sent many settlers to Japan,
and during the reign of the Empress Gemmyo (708-715), they were
transferred from the six provinces of Suruga, Kai, Sagami, Kazusa,
Shimosa, and Hitachi to Musashi, where the district inhabited by them
was thenceforth called Koma-gori. Thus, Japan extended her
hospitality to the men whose independence she had not been able to
assert. Her relations with her peninsular neighbour ended humanely
though not gloriously. They had cost her heavily in life and
treasure, but she had been repaid fully with the civilization which
Korea helped her to import.

THE THIRTY-EIGHTH SOVEREIGN, THE EMPEROR TENCHI (A.D. 668-671)

It will be observed that although the thirty-seventh sovereign, the
Empress Saimei, died in the year 661, the reign of her successor,
Tenchi, did not commence historically until 668. There thus appears
to have been an interregnum of seven years. The explanation is that
the Crown Prince, Naka, while taking the sceptre, did not actually
wield it. He entrusted the administrative functions to his younger
brother, Oama, and continued to devote himself to the great work of
reform. He had stood aside in favour of Kotoku sixteen years
previously and in favour of the Empress Saimei six years previously,
and now, for seven years longer, he refrained from identifying
himself with the Throne until the fate of his innovations was known.
Having assumed the task of eradicating abuses which, for a thousand
years, had been growing unchecked, he shrank from associating the
Crown directly with risks of failure. But in the year 668, judging
that his reforms had been sufficiently assimilated to warrant
confidence, he formally ascended the throne and is known in history
as Tenchi (Heavenly Intelligence).

Only four years of life remained to him, and almost immediately after
his accession he lost his great coadjutor, Kamatari. Of the four men
who had worked out the "Daika restoration," Kuromaro, the student,
died in China a year (654) after the demise of the illustrious
priest, Bin; Kamatari barely survived until success came in sight,
and Prince Naka (Tenchi) was taken two years later (671). It is
related that in the days when the prince and Kamatari planned the
outlines of their great scheme, they were accustomed to meet for
purposes of conference in a remote valley on the east of the capital,
where an aged wistaria happened to be in bloom at the most critical
of their consultations. Kamatari therefore desired to change his uji
name from Nakatomi to Fujiwara (wistaria), and the prince, on
ascending the throne, gave effect to this request. There thus came
into existence a family, the most famous in Japanese history. The
secluded valley where the momentous meetings took place received the
name of Tamu* no Mine, and a shrine stands there now in memory of
Kamatari. The Emperor would fain have attended Kamatari's obsequies
in person, but his ministers dissuaded him on the ground that such a
course would be unprecedented. His Majesty confined himself therefore
to conferring on the deceased statesman posthumous official rank, the
first instance of a practice destined to became habitual in Japan.

*"Tamu" signifies to converse about military affairs.

THE OMI STATUES AND THE CENSUS REGISTER

During the reign of Tenchi no rescript embodying signal
administrative changes was issued, though the reforms previously
inaugurated seem to have made steady progress. But by a legislative
office specially organized for the purpose there was enacted a body
of twenty-two laws called the Omi Ritsu-ryo (the Omi Statutes), Omi,
on the shore of Lake Biwa, being then the seat of the Imperial Court.
Shotoku Taishi's Jushichi Kempo, though often spoken of as a
legislative ordinance, was really an ethical code, but the Omi
Ritsu-ryo had the character of genuine laws, the first of their kind
in Japan. Unfortunately this valuable document did not survive. Our
knowledge of it is confined to a statement in the Memoirs of Kamatari
that it was compiled in the year 667. Two years later--that is to
say, in the year after Tenchi's actual accession--the census
register, which had formed an important feature of the Daika reforms,
became an accomplished fact. Thenceforth there was no further
occasion to appeal to the barbarous ordeal of boiling water
(kuga-dachi) when questions of lineage had to be determined.

THE THIRTY-NINTH SOVEREIGN, THE EMPEROR KOBUN (A.D. 672-672)

Among four "palace ladies" (uneme) upon whom the Emperor Tenchi
looked with favour, one, Yaka of Iga province, bore him a son known
in his boyhood days as Prince Iga but afterwards called Prince Otomo.
For this lad his father conceived a strong affection, and would
doubtless have named him heir apparent had he not been deterred by
the consideration that during his own abstention from actually
occupying the throne, administrative duties would have to be
entrusted mainly to the hands of a Prince Imperial, and Otomo, being
only thirteen years of age, could not undertake such a task.



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