Puslapio vaizdai

ness toward possibilities." Anybody can see that that is wrong,—anybody who has read the story of the Christian persecution in Japan and heard of the men and women who marked the blood-trail and charred trail (for there were many native converts who preferred to be burned at the stake rather than renounce their faith in Jesus Christ, their Saviour) which led to the horrible struggle of Shimabara and which made Pappenberg Rock in Nagasaki Har

bor forever famous in history, for it is the place from which thousands of the native converts were thrown into the sea. Oh, yes, the Japanese nature is highly religious. Both in the number of shrines and of gods, we beat the Athenians upon whom we have St. Paul's pronouncement. Christian missionary work did not deepen the religious nature of the people, but it gave a new star to which it might aspirethe life and character of Jesus.


MR. ADACHI KINNOSUKE bears the catchpole and jailer for the native

true witness to the Japanese mind of forty years ago and that of to-day concerning Jesus. Living in the far interior of feudal Japan, in 1871 I found the anti-Christian edicts everywhere in evidence. The very name of "Yaso" made a peasant's face blanch. Inquisition into family life was rigid. "On the true faith of a samurai," every householder must report annually that no kinsman or servant of his was of "the accursed sect called Christian." The ban lay also on the graveyard, controlled by Buddhist priests, and it was not until constitutional times (1889) that a Christian could be buried. as such. In old Japan tradition and custom made law, since no code for the common people was known until 1880. To us, in 1870, it was an awful revelation of the depths of tradition that even the government of Meiji (enlightened civilization) was republishing the ancient ban of 1614, intimating that Christianity was the black art and Jesus a devil of some sort. Deaf to all foreign pleas and warnings, they tore from their home four thousand peasants holding to the ancestral "Yaso" faith and imprisoned them in mountain craters and other isolated places. In 1871, in Echizen, I saw one party of these, men, women, children, and infants, dressed in the criminal robes of red, roped together by their wrists, and marched under guard northward. In the first Christian church formed at Yokohama, in 1872, I was present, expecting every moment


In the new hope kindled and new national outlook given, as Count Okuma acknowledges, through the teachings of the American missionaries, other bands beside that of Kumamoto (of 1874) went forth as torch-bearers. The pupils of Dr. S. R. Brown in religion, journalism, and literature, and of Dr. J. C. Hepburn in science, healing, and diplomacy (185876), took notable part in the making of the new Japan. Yet, however important the forces of intellect, these, after all, form only part of the potency of national renascence. Even Christianity has many forms, some more disturbing and yet reconstructive than others. No view of the potentially Christian Japan can overlook what the churches of the Roman and Greek order have accomplished. Entering after the Townsend Harris treaty of 1858, the Roman Catholics had the advantage of continuity of tradition and labor as well as the obstacle of prejudice to confront them. Quietly and with little observation, and not antagonizing the government administration, as in China, the Roman Catholics in Japan have ministered most effectively to the bodies and souls of the humbler classes. As for the work of the Russian priest Nicolai, dating from 1860, it is scarcely less wonderful than that done by a primitive apostle, his effort being to establish a truly Japanese church, of the Greek Catholic order, yet introducing no foreign element, and chang

ing no custom except as it pertains to universal Christianity to do. His success in vocal music in the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Tokio has been amazing.

Of the Protestant Christians to-day, nine tenths are away from home, from the village priest and the graveyard. Rural Japan is hardly touched. Yet apart from the church, a quiet and sure work is proceeding among the Japanese themselves, not by individuals, but by families. Harsh native critics of missionaries who refuse dogmatic Christianity declare that there are more Christians without than within the churches. My own view is that at least five million Japanese see in Jesus their Master and in pure Christianity the only hope for Japan, and they more


less earnestly strive to live after his example. The Japanese as a nation will never become Christians by multiplication of individuals, but rather of families; for Nippon's life and civilization, as all her history shows, is a matter of families, the units of society.

Is Japan becoming a Christian nation? If the answer must be given to mean the acceptance of the theology made in Europe, I reply, "Never." Christianity in Japan will develop without our traditions, classifications, and controversies. If answer must be by statistics, in terms of mustard-seed phenomena, I answer, "Perhaps." If in terms of leaven and transformation, there can be no other answer than an emphatic "Yes."

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HE cremation of the remains of the

THE late King of Siam took place at

Bangkok on March 16, amid circumstances of pomp and splendor that were probably without precedent in a land that is accustomed to pageants of semibarbaric magnificence.

In Siam, as the reader may or may not know, cremation is general, the interment of the dead taking place only when certain diseases are responsible for the demise. The higher the rank of the deceased, the more impressive are the appointments and the mise en scène of the cremation. Where royalty furnishes the silent principal to the solemn function, the incidentals are as elaborate as they are costly. So it was in the present instance.

The death of King Chulalongkorn took place just a year ago. In accordance with the etiquette of the Siamese court, the embalmed body has been kept in the palace in the interval, surrounded day and night by a guard of honor. Incidentally it may be remarked that the elapsing period between the deaths of royal personages and the lighting of their funeral-pyres has been gradually reduced within recent years. The remains of the grandfather of the present king were kept nearly two years before being consigned to the flames. Those of the then crown prince, who died in 1895, were not cremated until 1901.

The preparations for a royal cremation

are as follows: a crematorium, or phra moro, or premane, as it is sometimes called, is erected, and decorated in lavish fashion. The site of the phra moro is a large plot of land in front of the palace at Bangkok that is known as the Premane Grounds. Ordinarily the ground is used by foreigners as golf-links, cricket-grounds, and for other sports. Around the crematorium, which is of wood, are built other wooden structures, to be used by the priests and for the shows and festivities, secular and religious, that form an important part of the total function.

The ceremonies last several days. Each morning begins with religious rites, hundreds of priests conducting the services. Following these come theatrical shows, the Siamese equivalent for vaudeville, wrestling-matches, and so forth; and at night there are fireworks in profusion. The new king, the royal family, the nobles, and the court officials are among the spec tators from the beginning to the end of the daily functions.

On the last day of the religious observances, usually lasting a week or ten days, the remains of the deceased are placed in a jeweled urn, which is placed on a pyre of dried fagots. The king starts the fire, specially invited spectators throw holy candles and sandalwood on the flames, and the priests chant prayers meanwhile until the body is consumed.

After the pyre has burned itself out, the ashes of the body are collected amid further ceremonies, put in an urn, and placed in a building in the palace in which are kept the urns of the reigning family.

With the dawn of the morning appointed for the recent royal cremation, minute-guns began booming in various parts of Bangkok. All else was still, traffic being stopped, and the usually chatting, laughing Siamese for once were hushed and subdued. From a very early hour of the day the streets presented a unique aspect. White being the Siamese

from a semibarbaric state to an independent kingdom, he abolished slavery, and, more wonderful still, by his energy and constant devotion to duty, he inspired his people with an enthusiasm which has had an effect on the national character; for the Siamese of to-day are not the indolent, pleasure-loving people we knew them to be thirty years ago.

The Siamese people somewhat resemble the Japanese in their love of artistic effect and display. There is the same minute attention to detail, the same harmonizing of bright colors, and an equally fervent de

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mourning color, the spectacle of several thousand people so dressed, and packed closely together, wending their way slowly and reverently to the Premane Grounds, gave one the impression, when viewed from above, of a river of white on which floated the heads of the people.

What made the ceremonies specially interesting was the remarkable enthusiasm shown both by Siamese and foreigners to make the event a testimonial to the worth, and a fitting close to the remarkable career, of a great monarch. King Chulalongkorn was generally loved and respected; he took a great and personal interest in the welfare of his people, and was by natural gifts eminently qualified to rule his people. He saw his country emerge

votion to national style and conventions. In the construction of the royal crematorium they showed that the Siamese style of architecture-which may be described as ornate, for everything is sacrificed for the sake of elaborate ornamentation-is capable of much dignity and grandeur.

For several months many hundred skilled artisans, working under the directions of the king's architect, had been busy night and day at the construction of the meru, or central building, and the pavilions surrounding it. The meru was designed to carry the large golden and bejeweled urn in which was placed, in a kneeling posture, the body of the king. It stood 110 feet high, rising from a base ninety feet broad, and consisted of three

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