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Thus, this imperious noble had controlled the
administration for thirty years; had given his daughters to three
Emperors; had appointed his son to be regent in his place, and had
the Crown Prince for grandson. Truly, as his historians say, he held
the empire in the hollow of his hand. His estates far exceeded those
of the Crown; the presents offered to him by all ranks reached an
enormous total; he built for himself a splendid mansion (Jotomon)
with forced labour requisitioned from the provinces, and for his wife
a scarcely less magnificent residence (Kyogoku) was erected at the
charges of the Emperor Go-Ichijo. At the approach of illness he took
refuge in Buddhism, but even here the gorgeous ostentation of his
life was not abated. He planned the building of a monastery which
should prove a worthy retreat for his declining years, and it is on
record that his order to the provincial governor was, "though you
neglect your official duties, do not neglect to furnish materials and
labour for the building of Hojo-ji." Even from the palace itself
stones were taken for this monastery, and the sums lavished upon it
were so enormous that they dwarfed Michinaga's previous
extravagances. Michinaga retired there to die, and on his death-bed
he received a visit from the Emperor, who ordered three months' Court
mourning on his decease. There is a celebrated work entitled Eigwa
Monogatari (Tales of Splendour), wherein is depicted the fortunes and
the foibles of the Fujiwara family from the days (889) of the Emperor
Uda to those (1092) of the Emperor Horikawa. Specially minute is the
chronicle when it treats of the Mido kwampaku, as Michinaga was
called after he set himself to build the monastery Hojo-ji.

Loyal Japanese historians shrink from describing this era, when the
occupants of the throne were virtually puppets in the hands of the
Fujiwara. There was, however, one redeeming feature: amid this luxury
and refinement literature flourished vigorously, so that the era of
Tenryaku (947-957) lives in the memory of the nation as vividly as
that of Engi (901-923). Oye Tomotsuna, Sugawara Fumitoki, Minamoto
Shitago--these were famous littérateurs, and Minamoto Hiromasa,
grandson of the Emperor Uda, attained celebrity as a musical genius.
Coming to the reigns of Kwazan, Enyu, and Ichijo (985-1011), we find
the immortal group of female writers, Murasaki Shikibu, Izumi
Shikibu, Sei Shonagon, and Akazome Emon; we find also in the Imperial
family, Princes Kaneakira and Tomohira; we find three famous scribes,
Fujiwara Yukinari, Fujiwara Sari, and Ono no Tofu, and, finally the
"Four Nagon" (Shi-nagori), Fujiwara Yukinari, Fujiwara Kinto.
Minamoto Narinobu, and Minamoto Toshikata.

It is observable that in this necessarily brief summary the name
"Minamoto" occurs several times, as does that of "Fujiwara" also. But
that the scions of either family confined themselves to the arts of
peace, is not to be inferred. There were Fujiwara among the military
magnates in the provinces, and we shall presently see the Minamoto
taking the lead in the science of war. Already, indeed, the Fujiwara
in the capital were beginning to recognize the power of the Minamoto.
It has been related above that one of the rebel Masakado's earliest
opponents was a Minamoto, vice-governor of Musashi. His son,
Mitsunaka, a redoubtable warrior, assisted the Fujiwara in Kyoto, and
Mitsunaka's sons, Yorimitsu and Yorinobu, contributed materially to
the autocracy of the regent Michinaga. Yorimitsu was appointed by the
regent to command the cavalry of the guard, and he is said to have
brought that corps to a state of great efficiency.

There was, indeed, much need of a strong hand. One had only to emerge
from the palace gates to find oneself among the haunts of bandits.
The names of such robber chiefs as Hakamadare no Yasusuke, Kidomaru,
Oeyama Shutendoji, and Ibaraki-doji have been handed down as the
heroes in many a strange adventure and the perpetrators of many
heinous crimes. Even the Fujiwara residences were not secure against
the torches of these plunderers, and during the reign of Ichijo the
palace itself was frequently fired by them. In Go-Ichijo's tune, an
edict was issued forbidding men to carry bows and arrows in the
streets, but had there been power to enforce such a veto, its
enactment would not have been necessary. Its immediate sequel was
that the bandits broke into Government offices and murdered officials
there.

THE INVASION OF JAPAN BY THE TOI

In the spring of 1019, when Go-Ichijo occupied the throne, a large
host of invaders suddenly poured into the island of Tsushima. There
had not been any warning. Tsushima lies half-way between the south of
Korea and the northeast of Kyushu, distant about sixty miles from
either coast. Since the earliest times, its fine harbours had served
as a military station for ships plying between Japan and Korea, but
such intercourse had long been interrupted when this invasion took
place.

The invaders were the Toi, originally called Sushen or Moho, under
the former of which names they make their appearance in Japanese
history in the middle of the sixth century. They inhabited that part
of the Asiatic continent which lies opposite to the island of Ezo,
but there is nothing to show what impulse they obeyed in making this
sudden descent upon Japan. Their fleet comprised some fifty vessels
only, each from forty to sixty feet long and propelled by thirty or
forty oars, but of how many fighting men the whole force consisted,
no record has been preserved. As to arms, they carried swords, bows,
spears, and shields, and in their tactical formation spearmen
occupied the front rank, then came swordsmen, and finally bowmen.
Every man had a shield. Their arrows were short, measuring little
over a foot, but their bows were powerful, and they seem to have
fought with fierce courage.

At first they carried everything before them. The governor of
Tsushima, being without any means of defence, fled to the Dazai-fu in
Kyushu, and the inhabitants were left to the mercy of the invaders,
who then pushed on to the island of Iki. There the governor, Fujiwara
Masatada, made a desperate resistance, losing his own life in the
battle. It is said that of all the inhabitants, one only, a Buddhist
priest, escaped to tell the story.

Ten days after their first appearance off Tsushima, the Toi effected
a landing in Chikuzen and marched towards Hakata, plundering,
burning, massacring old folks and children, making prisoners of
adults, and slaughtering cattle and horses for food. It happened,
fortunately, that Takaiye, younger brother of Fujiwara Korechika, was
in command at the Dazai-fu, whither he had repaired partly out of
pique, partly to undergo treatment for eye disease at the hands of a
Chinese doctor. He met the crisis with the utmost coolness, and made
such skilful dispositions for defence that, after three days'
fighting, in which the Japanese lost heavily, Hakata remained
uncaptured.

High winds and rough seas now held the invaders at bay, and in that
interval the coast defences were repaired and garrisoned, and a fleet
of thirty-eight boats having been assembled, the Japanese assumed the
offensive, ultimately driving the Toi to put to sea. A final attempt
was made to effect a landing at Matsuura in the neighbouring province
of Hizen, but, after fierce fighting, the invaders had to withdraw
altogether. The whole affair had lasted sixteen days, and the
Japanese losses were 382 killed and 1280 taken prisoners. Two hundred
and eighty of the latter--60 men and 220 women--were subsequently
returned. They were brought over from Koma six months later by a Koma
envoy, Chong Cha-ryang, to whom the Court presented three hundred
pieces of gold.

Kyoto's attitude towards this incident was most instructive. When the
first tidings of the invasion reached the capital, the protection of
heaven was at once invoked by services at Ise and ten other shrines.
But when, on receipt of news that the danger had been averted, the
question of rewarding the victors came up for discussion, a majority
of the leading statesmen contended that, as the affair had been
settled before the arrival of an Imperial mandate at the Dazai-fu, no
official cognizance could be taken of it. This view was ultimately
overruled since the peril had been national, but the rewards
subsequently given were insignificant, and the event clearly
illustrates the policy of the Central Government--a policy already
noted in connexion with the revolt of Masakado--namely, that any
emergency dealt with prior to the receipt of an Imperial rescript
must be regarded as private, whatever its nature, and therefore
beyond the purview of the law.

A more effective method of decentralization could not have been
devised. It was inevitable that, under such a system, the provincial
magnates should settle matters to their own liking without reference
to Kyoto, and that, the better to enforce their will, they should
equip themselves with armed retinues. In truth, it is not too much to
say that, from the tenth century, Japan outside the capital became an
arena of excursions and alarms, the preservation of peace being
wholly dependent on the ambitions of local magnates.

A history of all these happenings would be intolerably long and
tedious. Therefore only those that have a national bearing will be
here set down. Prominent among such is the struggle between the Taira
and the Minamoto in the Kwanto. The origin of these two families has
already been recounted. Some historians have sought to differentiate
the metropolitan section of the Minamoto from the provincial
section--that is to say, the men of luxury and literature who
frequented the capital, from the men of sword and bow who ruled in
the provinces. Such differentiation is of little practical value.
Similar lines of demarcation might be drawn in the case of the Taira
and Fujiwara themselves. If there were great captains in each of
these famous families, there were also great courtiers. To the former
category belonged Taira Tadatsune. For generations his family had
ruled in the province of Shimosa and had commanded the allegiance of
all the bushi of the region.



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