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of the Japanese Embassy in America, as in the crude speculations of the youths who are being educated in the United States, a good deal must necessarily be allowed for American guidance and instruction. The first part or narrative of the progress of the Embassy through the States is avowedly composed by an American secretary. Even so, however, it affords some very interesting traits and details of the present movement in Japan and the future prospects of the country. The second part is exclusively devoted to the reproduction of a series of themes or essays by Japanese students now in America, most of them of a juvenile character. They have been written apparently to order in the course of their studies, and intended to show the views they were acquiring on various subjects in the course of their American education. Whether the subjects were suggested by others or selected according to their own tastes is not stated. But judging by the free expression of criticism on the institutions and people of America, there seems no reason to doubt the genuineness of the papers. The first of these is headed, “The Students in America;' the next, • The Practical Americans. These are followed by The • Chinese Ambassador in France, Oriental Civilisation,' the • History of Japan, Christianity in Japan,' • Expedition to a Romish Church,' 'Raid on the Missionaries, Japanese Poetry,' &c. The third part, we are told, was prepared under the direction of Jugoi Arinori Mori, the Japanese Chargé d'Affaires at Washington; and is intended to give a description of life and resources in America. This has been printed in a separate volume in that country for circulation exclusively in Japan, while a translation is in course of preparation. It must be difficult for a Japanese youth, suddenly transported from the oldest forms of Eastern civilisation to a country where all the newest types of modern life and thought are spread out before him, to think his own thoughts or be original in any sense. In despair of rendering to himself any clear account of much that he sees, he will naturally take to the habit of looking at everything through American glasses officiously placed to his hand, or borrowing thoughts, if not passages, from periodicals and newspapers. Our chief objection, therefore, to these essays is that they do not do justice to the Japanese themselves. They can both write and think better when they have any fair knowledge of their subject. Still to the general reader the students' essays cannot fail to be interesting, and to supply much that is both novel and amusing.

The history of the Japanese Embassy opens in a very dramatic and effective way with a banqueting scene in the palace of the Mikado, recently restored to active life and sovereign power from the depths of his monastic seclusion in Kioto, by the action of the chief Daimios and nobles of the Empire, weary apparently with the servitude imposed upon them and the tyranny of usurping Tycoons.

'In November, 1871, His Majesty " Montsohito," the Emperor of Japan, gave a dinner to the nobles of his empire, in his palace at Tokei, and made to them the following address, translated by Noriuki Gah :

66 After careful study and observation, I am deeply impressed with the belief that the most powerful and enlightened nations of the world are those who have made diligent effort to cultivate their minds, and sought to develope their country in the fullest and most perfect manner.

• “Thus convinced, it becomes my responsible duty as a sovereign to lead our people wisely in a way to attain for them results beneficial, and their

duty is to assist diligently and unitedly in all efforts to attain these ends. How otherwise can Japan advance and sustain herself upon an independent footing among the nations of the world ?” In this last passage we have apparently the key-note of the whole movement culminating in the despatch of the Embassy. Later, at San Francisco, one of the vice-ambassadors, Ito, in a speech completed what was here only shadowed out, when he said with laudable frankness and plainness :

"The object of our mission is to inspect and examine into the various mechanic arts and sciences, which have assisted your country in gaining the present high position she occupies before the world. We come to study your strength, that, by adopting wisely your better ways, we may hereafter be stronger ourselves. We shall require your mechanics to teach our people many things, and the more our intercourse increases the more we shall call upon you. We shall labour to place Japan on an equal basis, in the future, with those countries whose modern civilisation is now our guide.' The passages we have put in italics explain the whole. Such is the leading motive for all the recent desire evinced to possess railroads, telegraphs, steam ships, improved armies, and for the education of their youth by hundreds. “We hope

by adopting wisely your better ways we may hereafter be strong ourselves. Well said, and we join in the hope in all sincerity. We would fain see Japan strong in her independence and take a permanent place in the family of nations, able to maintain her rights and freely to follow the bent of her own genius. We are disposed very cordially to agree therefore with the sentiments expressed at San Francisco by Mr. de Long, the United States Minister in Japan, who accompanied the Mission to Washington, when, at a banquet to the Japanese Embassy, he said

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"The present situation of Japan appeals strongly to all well-wishers to the race, that no impediments nor difficulty, either social, moral, political, or religious, be placed in the way of her progress. We need only show her people the effects of Western civilisation, in a kindly and courteous spirit, without needlessly exciting prejudices in so doing. The natural intelligence of the Japanese, which has no superior, will satisfy itself, and work out the problem of what to introduce in their own country, to a conclusion satisfactory to all concerned.'

We wish very heartily indeed that it may be so; but are not quite so well assured as Mr. de Long seems to be, that the natural intelligence of the Japanese will satisfy itself, and work out the problem of what to introduce into their own country with satisfaction to themselves and permanent benefit to the nation. The Japanese are the only nation in the history of the world that has ever taken five centuries at a stride, and devoured in a decade all the space dividing feudalism and despotism from constitutional government and the other developments, commercial and municipal, of modern life. Lord Derby's “ leap in the dark' was a very small move compared with this. No other nation ever had the courage or the temerity to try such a Curtius' leap as this. But it has been well observed that the elements of civilisation which are most readily assimilated are not always the most beneficial. A country situated as Japan was, with absolute power vested in a sovereign traditionally descended from the gods, possesses, no doubt, exceptional facilities for effecting any changes in its political institutions. Whether it is ever wise or safe, however, to rush suddenly from the order of ideas and institutions military, political, and social, with which we are familiar as those of the twelfth century in Europe, into the heart of the nineteenth, with its democratic tendencies, its social theories leading to communism, and political thoughts veering to Republicanism—with its railroads, telegraphy, and high-pressure steam life ever pressing on the limits of human power and endurance—is a grave question, and one not to be answered without much reflection.

In an article which appeared in our January number of 1871, on the . Foreign Relations of China,' it was remarked that 'progress and civilisation,' so often invoked as a plea for a policy of compulsion and dictation in dealing with Eastern nations, are words of great potency sometimes and of very wide scope, but most frequently of evil omen when a superior Power conceives the idea of grafting something new upon an old civilisation, and imposing it by main strength upon men of another race. And we adhere to this opinion as applied to

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Japan, a comparatively weak and insignificant State when pitted against the Great Western Powers, but a nation not the less strong in patriotic feeling-all of one race, speaking the same language and obeying the same laws--a people, moreover, rarely gifted among Eastern races, of singular aptitude for receiving and acting upon new ideas-full of courage as well as devotion to their country, willing to be taught and eager to improve. For any Western Power to override a spirit of independence, by thrusting upon them either men or measures for the sudden development of a nineteenth century civilisation, as it is worked in America or Europe at railroad speed by steam and electricity, and for which they are wholly unprepared if not otherwise unfit, would be worse than a crime. It would be a political blunder of the first magnitude, fraught with indefinite mischief, both to those who lead and those who follow. Yet we cannot help fearing this is a danger actually menacing Japan. Their agents in foreign countries are usually too young and inexperienced, being Japanese students, to make a proper selection of competent professors, engineers, instructors of all kinds-scientific, naval, and military. They are not always in good or disinterested hands, and appointments rashly made or under bad advice are apt to be costly to the Japanese Government in a double sense.

Alexis de Tocqueville in his correspondence has left us some observations on the effects of forced contact between a superior and inferior race, and of different kinds of civilisation, which have a direct bearing upon the present aspect of affairs in Japan—not the less applicable, perhaps, because so shrewd an observer and profound a thinker had made the conflict of races and different grades or kinds of civilisation his chief study in America ; and was writing at the time to English correspondents in a critical spirit, while referring to our own dealings with subject or inferior races. He says in one letter :

'I have always remarked that wherever there was introduced—not leaders of European race, but a European population in the heart of populations imperfectly civilised, the real and pretended superiority of the first over the second made itself felt in a way so disadvantageous for individual interests, and so mortifying to the amour propre of the natives, that there resulted a greater feeling of indignation than any political oppression would produce.'

And to another correspondent, Lord Hatherton, he wrote :

. Ao inferior race_inferior either by its constitution or education, may very well endure the government of one that is superior. It only feels the good effects of that superiority; and, if the government is clever, it may be preferred to that of its own princes. But the close vicinity of an individual, more civilised, richer and more clever, can never fail to be the object of hatred and envy to the native of inferior race, as one sure to abuse his superiority and profit by it at the expense of the latter. And from the accumulative effect of these small individual hatreds a national hatred grows up.'

We believe this is quite true, and in great part applicable to the Japanese in their relations with foreigners, which, in the first instance at least, when Commander Perry made the American treaty (1853) with them, was a forced relationship, and during the succeeding years until the recent revolution, continued to be imposed upon the rulers against their inclination. We have heard a good deal of the pacific policy of the United States in its first approaches to Japan, and the absence of any but conciliatory means. Something to this effect was repeated quite lately in newspaper articles in our own journals, though promptly contradicted by the assertion that in no instance had any foreign Power to boast of a treaty with Japan in which there was any good will or spontaneity on the part of the Japanese. And such is the plain truth beyond all question. In a work on ‘Japan as it was and Is,' written by Arthur Hildreth, himself an American, we believe, and the author of a History of the United States, in 1856, he gives the following account, while the ink of the first American treaty was scarcely dry : “Shortly after the visit of the “ Preble the American Government resolved to send an envoy thither, backed by such a naval force as would insure a respectful hearing.' And adds : The mission was to be of a pacific • character, as the President had no power to declare war; yet * the show of force was evidently relied upon, as more likely • than anything else to weigh with the Japanese.' And with their steam-frigates and smaller vessels they did unquestionably rely very much upon it, and took care that it should weigh with the Japanese as heavily as their position would admit. When an American, therefore, puts forward in the present work these often-renewed and very absurd pretensions to have dealt with the Japanese in a spirit different from that shown by other foreign Powers, and to have employed exceptionally conciliatory means in all their negotiations, we must deny alike the premiss and the conclusion as a ground for greater confidence being placed in them by the Japanese. And when it is alleged that this exclusively pacific policy has led the Japanese to regard the United States as pre-eminently their friends, and to feel a greater preference for Americans, they must either give the Japanese credit for very short memo

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