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E-text prepared by Geoffrey Berg from digital material generously made
available by Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org)



Note: Images of the original pages are available through
Internet Archive. See
http://www.archive.org/details/historyofjapanes00briniala





A HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE

From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era

by

CAPT. F. BRINKLEY, R. A.

Editor of the "Japan Mail"

With the Collaboration of BARON KIKUCHI

Former President of the Imperial University at Kyoto

With 150 Illustrations Engraved on Wood by Japanese Artists;
Half-Tone Plates, and Maps







DEDICATED BY GRACIOUS PERMISSION TO HIS MAJESTY MEIJI TENNO, THE LATE
EMPEROR OF JAPAN




FOREWORD

It is trite to remark that if you wish to know really any people, it
is necessary to have a thorough knowledge of their history, including
their mythology, legends and folk-lore: customs, habits and traits of
character, which to a superficial observer of a different nationality
or race may seem odd and strange, sometimes even utterly subversive
of ordinary ideas of morality, but which can be explained and will
appear quite reasonable when they are traced back to their origin.
The sudden rise of the Japanese nation from an insignificant position
to a foremost rank in the comity of nations has startled the world.
Except in the case of very few who had studied us intimately, we were
a people but little raised above barbarism trying to imitate Western
civilisation without any capacity for really assimilating or adapting
it. At first, it was supposed that we had somehow undergone a sudden
transformation, but it was gradually perceived that such could not be
and was not the case; and a crop of books on Japan and the Japanese,
deep and superficial, serious and fantastic, interesting and
otherwise, has been put forth for the benefit of those who were
curious to know the reason of this strange phenomenon. But among so
many books, there has not yet been, so far as I know, a history of
Japan, although a study of its history was most essential for the
proper understanding of many of the problems relating to the Japanese
people, such as the relation of the Imperial dynasty to the people,
the family system, the position of Buddhism, the influence of the
Chinese philosophy, etc. A history of Japan of moderate size has
indeed long been a desideratum; that it was not forthcoming was no
doubt due to the want of a proper person to undertake such a work.
Now just the right man has been found in the author of the present
work, who, an Englishman by birth, is almost Japanese in his
understanding of, and sympathy with, the Japanese people. It would
indeed be difficult to find any one better fitted for the task--by no
means an easy one--of presenting the general features of Japanese
history to Western readers, in a compact and intelligible form, and
at the same time in general harmony with the Japanese feeling. The
Western public and Japan are alike to be congratulated on the
production of the present work. I may say this without any fear of
reproach for self-praise, for although my name is mentioned in the
title-page, my share is very slight, consisting merely in general
advice and in a few suggestions on some special points.

DAIROKU KIKUCHI.

KYOTO, 1912.




AUTHOR'S PREFACE

During the past three decades Japanese students have devoted much
intelligent labour to collecting and collating the somewhat
disjointed fragments of their country's history. The task would have
been practically impossible for foreign historiographers alone, but
now that the materials have been brought to light there is no
insuperable difficulty in making them available for purposes of joint
interpretation. That is all I have attempted to do in these pages,
and I beg to solicit pardon for any defect they may be found to
contain.

F. BRINKLEY.

TOKYO, 1912.




CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. The Historiographer's Art in Old Japan

II. Japanese Mythology

III. Japanese Mythology (Continued)

IV. Rationalization

V. Origin of the Japanese Nation: Historical Evidences

VI. Origin of the Nation: Geographical and Archaeological
Relics

VII. Language and Physical Characteristics

VIII. Manners and Customs in Remote Antiquity

IX. The Prehistoric Sovereigns

X. The Prehistoric Sovereigns (Continued)

XI. The Prehistoric Sovereigns (Continued)

XII. The Protohistoric Sovereigns

XIII. The Protohistoric Sovereigns (Continued)

XIV. From the 29th to the 35th Sovereign

XV. The Daika Reforms

XVI. The Daiho Laws and the Yoro Laws

XVII. The Nara Epoch

XVIII. The Heian Epoch

XIX. The Heian Epoch (Continued)

XX. The Heian Epoch (Continued)

XXI. The Capital and the Provinces

XXII. Recovery of Administrative Authority by the Throne

XXIII. Manners and Customs of the Heian Epoch

XXIV. The Epoch of the Gen (Minamoto) and the Hei (Taira)

XXV. The Epoch of the Gen and the Hei (Continued)

XXVI. The Kamakura Bakufu

XXVII. The Hojo

XXVIII. Art, Religion, Literature, Customs, and Commerce in the
Kamakura Period

XXIX. Fall of the Hojo and Rise of the Ashikaga

XXX. The War of the Dynasties

XXXI. The Fall of the Ashikaga

XXXII. Foreign Intercourse, Literature, Art, Religion, Manners,
and Customs in the Muromachi Epoch

XXXIII. The Epoch of Wars (Sengoku Jidai)

XXXIV. Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu

XXXV. The Invasion of Korea

XXXVI. The Momo-Yama Epoch

XXXVII. Christianity in Japan

XXXVIII. The Tokugawa Shogunate

XXXIX. First Period of the Tokugawa Bakufu; from the First
Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu, to the Fourth, Ietsuna
(1603-1680)

XL. Middle Period of the Tokugawa Bakufu; from the Fifth
Shogun, Tsunayoshi, to the Tenth Shogun, Ieharu
(1680-1786)

XLI. The Late Period of the Tokugawa Bakufu. The Eleventh
Shogun,Ienari (1786-1838)

XLII. Organization, Central and Local; Currency and the
Laws of the Tokugawa Bakufu

XLIII. Revival of the Shinto Cult

XLIV. Foreign Relations and the Decline of the Tokugawa

XLV. Foreign Relations and the Decline of the Tokugawa (Continued)

XLVI. The Meiji Government

XLVII. Wars with China and Russia


APPENDIX

1. Constitution of Japan, 1889

2. Anglo-Japanese Agreement, 1905

3. Treaty of Portsmouth, 1905


INDEX


HISTORICAL MAPS

Japan about 1337: Northern and Southern Courts

Japan in Era of Wars, 1577: Distribution of Fiefs

Japan in 1615: Feudatories

Japan, Korea and the Mainland of Asia


FULL PAGE HALF-TONES

Capt. F. Brinkley, R. A.

The Emperor Jimmu

The Shrine of Ise

Prehistoric Remains: Plate A

Prehistoric Remains: Plate B

Prince Shotoku

Kaigen Ceremony of the Nara Daibutsu

Thirty-six Versifiers (Painting by Korin)

Cherry-Viewing Festival at Mukojima

Kamakura Daibutsu

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

Court Costumes

Tokugawa Shrine at Nikko

The Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito)

Sinking of the Russian Battleship Osliabya

Admiral Togo


WORKS CONSULTED



ENGRAVING: MT. FUJI SEEN FROM THE FUJI-GAWA




CHAPTER I

THE HISTORIOGRAPHER'S ART IN OLD JAPAN

MATERIALS FOR HISTORY

IN the earliest eras of historic Japan there existed a hereditary
corporation of raconteurs (Katari-be) who, from generation to
generation, performed the function of reciting the exploits of the
sovereigns and the deeds of heroes. They accompanied themselves on
musical instruments, and naturally, as time went by, each set of
raconteurs embellished the language of their predecessors, adding
supernatural elements, and introducing details which belonged to the
realm of romance rather than to that of ordinary history. These
Katari-be would seem to have been the sole repository of their
country's annals until the sixth century of the Christian era. Their
repertories of recitation included records of the great families as
well as of the sovereigns, and it is easy to conceive that the favour
and patronage of these high personages were earned by ornamenting the
traditions of their households and exalting their pedigrees. But when
the art of writing was introduced towards the close of the fourth
century, or at the beginning of the fifth, and it was seen that in
China, then the centre of learning and civilization, the art had been
applied to the compilation of a national history as well as of other
volumes possessing great ethical value, the Japanese conceived the
ambition of similarly utilizing their new attainment. For reasons
which will be understood by and by, the application of the
ideographic script to the language of Japan was a task of immense
difficulty, and long years must have passed before the attainment of
any degree of proficiency.

Thus it was not until the time of the Empress Suiko (593-628) that
the historical project took practical shape. Her Majesty, at the
instance, doubtless, of Prince Shotoku, one of the greatest names in
all Japan's annals, instructed the prince himself and her chief
minister, Soga no Umako, to undertake the task of compiling
historical documents, and there resulted a Record of the Emperors
(Tennoki), a Record of the Country (Koki), and Original Records
(Hongi) of the Free People (i.e., the Japanese proper as
distinguished from aliens, captives, and aborigines), of the great
families and of the 180 Hereditary Corporations (Be). This work was
commenced in the year 620, but nothing is known as to the date of its
completion. It represents the first Japanese history. A shortlived
compilation it proved, for in the year 645, the Soga chiefs,
custodians of the documents, threw them into the fire on the eve of
their own execution for treason.



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