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people. It is probably true that the great mass of the Japanese care very little, if any, whether their government is an absolute or a constitutional monarchy; know scarcely anything about the cabinet, the Imperial Diet, the new codes, and such things; and are contented with the old customs, costumes, ceremonies, and religions. They are not like that Irishman who, when he was asked, immediately upon landing in New York, to which party he belonged, promptly replied, “I'm agin the government.” The common people of Japan go to the other extreme and are always "for the government”; that is, they favor the established order, whatever it may be, and do not want any distạrbance. Or it måy, perhaps, be nearer the truth to say that they keep “the noiseless tenor of their way,” regardless of what changes may be transpiring in social and political Japan. But, although they are natural conservatives, they are, nevertheless, able to adapt themselves gradually to the new order of things, as soon as these are firmly established. Now this disestablishment of Shinto has not come about, as idolatry has often been overthrown in the isles of the sea, in accordance with the demands of the people, who had learned better from the teachings of Christianity and modern science; but it has been carried out somewhat as a political measure by the government, and the people must still be educated up to an understanding of the new status of Shinto.
But, although Shinto will continue for some time
to be considered a religion by the mass of the people, and thus the full results of disestablishment cannot be immediately realized; yet this official removal of Shinto from the position of a religion is one of the most important reforms of this great reform era in Japan. When Constantine disestablished the religions of Greece and Rome by establishing Christianity as the religion of his empire, the worship of Zeus (or Jupiter), of Aphrodite (or Venus), and of the other deities of Olympus, did not cease at once; nor, on the other hand, did the efforts of Julian succeed in reviving the old idolatry. Shinto will linger and continue to attract thousands of worshippers to its shrines; but it is doomed to die as perished the Greek and Roman religions. Amaterasu, the sungoddess, will yet have her votaries in Japan as had Apollo in Greece and Rome; but the rays of the Sun of Righteousness will dispel the darkness of this myth. The farmers will continue to make their offerings and their petitions at the shrines of Inari Sama, the rice-god, and will attempt to propitiate the wrath of the god of thunder and lightning; but they will gradually learn of the Almighty, who sendeth seed-time and harvest, lightning and thunder, rain and sunshine. The sailors and fishermen will continue their worship at the shrines of their special deities, until they know of Him who maketh the seas to be calm and the winds to be still. Therefore, although the Japanese government has pronounced the sentence of death upon the Shinto religion, the exe
cution of that sentence will be a very gradual and prolonged affair. In the mean time it behooves the disciples of Jesus Christ to be unremitting in their labors of teaching the Japanese people to substitute for “the Way of the Gods” the religion of Him who said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
BIBLIOGRAPHY. See Rein’s “ Japan,” Peery's “Gist of Japan," Cary's “Japan and its Regeneration," Knapp's “ Feudal and Modern Japan," and Lowell's “ Soul of the Far East,” pp. 162–193. But especially valuable are “The Religions of Japan" (Griffis),“ Occult Japan" (Lowell), Hearn's works, and papers by Sir Ernest Satow and Dr. Florenz in Transactions Asiatic Society of Japan, vols. ii., iii. (App.), vii., ix., xxvii. These references are, of course, on the general subject of Shinto rather than the special topic of this chapter.
CONFUCIANISM, BUSHIDO, BUDDHISM
OUTLINE OF TOPICS: Confucianism; “Five Relations"; Bushido; influences of Confucianism and Bushido. - Buddhism; general view; chief sects; Tendai sect; Shingon sect; Zen sect; Jõdo sect; Shin sect; Nichiren sect; New Buddhism; influences of Buddhism; corruption of Buddhism; control of cemeteries ; mixed sects. – Relations of Shinto, Confucianism, and Buddhism. – Religious toleration. — Bibliography.
\HE philosophical teachings of Confucius were very popular in Japan among the edu
cated classes, who, caring little for religion, were content to supplement Shinto with Confucianism. Its moral code undoubtedly proved beneficial to Japan in many respects; but now it is practically superseded by the doctrines of Western atheistic, agnostic, and materialistic philosophy.
The “five relations ” (gorin), around which clustered the Confucian ethical code, were those of Father and Son, Ruler and Ruled, Husband and Wife, Elder and Younger Brothers, and Friends. In China, “ filial piety," the great virtue of the first relation, was the foundation of the whole system; but in Japanese Confucianism this was relegated to the second place, and “ loyalty,” the great virtue of the second relation, was put first. The scope of this relation, moreover, was quite wide; it included not only the relation between the sovereign and his subjects, but also that between a lord and his retainers, and even that between any master and servants. The virtue of the third relation was known as " distinction,” which practically meant that each should know and keep his or her own place; that of the fourth relation was “order,” which insisted upon the primacy of seniority in age; and between friends the typical virtue was “ faith,” or “trust,” or “confidence."
The word Bushido means, literally, “ The Warrior's Way," which was the code of ethics that prevailed in Feudal Japan, and whose influence is still felt, although waning, in Modern Japan. It was the moral code of Japanese chivalry, of the knight and of the gentleman. It has not inaptly been styled
Japonicized Confucianism,” for it was chiefly Confucian in its constitution. But it gathered elements from Shinto and Buddhism: from the latter it received fatalism (Stoicism); and from the former it received loyalty and patriotism, which meant practically the same thing. It ignored personal chastity (except in women); it encouraged suicide and revenge; but it emphasized justice, courage, benevolence, politeness, veracity, honor, and self-control. One of its most powerful principles was giri (right reason), which is difficult to translate or define, but comes pretty close to what we call “duty” or “the right.” This still maintains a potent influence