Imágenes de páginas

composite creation, for Japan has distinguished herself as an adapter rather than a creator of religions, and has been formed by the adoption, modification, and assimilation of practically all the religions and philosophies of Asiatic origin. In particular this faith has been molded, in addition to Shinto, the only indigenous religion, by Confucianism and Buddhism in all their various forms and Christianity, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. The result of this process shows itself in a statement by Kunitake Kume: “In what religion, then do I believe? I cannot answer that question directly. I turn to the Shinto priest in case of public festivals, while the Buddhist priest is my ministrant for funeral services. I regulate my conduct according to Confucian maxims and Christian morals. I care little for external forms, and doubt whether there are any essential differences, in the Kami's (Deity's) eyes, between any of the religions of the civilized world.”

Dr. Harada does not attempt to describe the various religions and sects which today possess adherents in Japan, but rather to analyze out the elements which these various religions have contributed to the growth of religious ideas and ideals among the Japanese. Dr. Harada in these elements presents the highest form that Japanese religious thought has reached and his purpose seems to be to show the points of contact between these beliefs and Christianity.

The first element in the faith of Japan is Kami, the conception of deity, based on Shinto modified by Chinese thought, always polytheistic, indefinite and with no tendency to objectify the deity. The use of Kami, however, as a translation of the English word “God," is fast filling it with the English content, so that Kami now to an educated Japanese means first of all a single Supreme Being. Michi, the way of humanity, is an Oriental indefinable, intangible element corresponding to the Greek Logos of John's Gospel and preparing the Japanese for a vivid interpretation of Christ's saying, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” So Christianity when it was first introduced into Japan, was called the “True Way." This conception of the "way of humanity" was largely modified by Confucianism and has sup-. plied the ethical content so largely lacking in Japanese religion. To Buddhism, Japan owes Satori, the law of enlightenment, which "led to a deeper insight into humanity at large," and to "a recognition of reality, though that reality lead to pessimism." To Pure-Land Buddhism Japan owes also Sukui, the doctrine of sal

vation which approaches very closely to the Christian conception and may have been Christian in origin. Most characteristic of all the elements is Chugi, the spirit of loyalty, which is the very heart of Bushido, the way of the Samurai. Its most striking illustration occurred at the time of the Restoration when “three hundred daimyo, owners of estates, many of them for generations, passed over their ancestral lands to the Imperial government. Millions of Samurai, all but a small minority, relinquished without a murmur' their hereditary honor, to live on the same plane with peasants, artisans and merchants.” Loyalty is “no longer the spirit of a class or of a portion of the people. It is Yamato Damashii, the soul of Japan.” It is in the belief in immortality that Japan is farthest away from Christian ideas; for while few of Japan's great thinkers have denied life after death, to most of them death is a matter of indifference and the continuity of the family is of much greater importance than the continuity of individual existence. In the last chapter, a discussion of Christianity in Japan, Dr. Harada notes among other objections to Christianity, the Japanese distrust of it because of its failure to emphasize loyalty and filial piety, the central pillars of Japanese morality.

Village Folk-T'ales of Ceylon. By H. PARKER. London: Luzac.

Vol. I, 1910, pp. vii, 396; vol. II, 1914, pp. viii, 466; vol.

III, 1914, pp. viii, 479. Mr. Parker has added two more volumes to the one published in 1910, containing altogether two hundred and twenty-five Sinhalese folk-tales, collected from the various castes. The second volume contains only stories from the Cultivating Caste, which thus furnishes, as might be expected, by far the largest portion of the collection. The third volume contains stories from the Potters and the Washermen, a larger number from the Tom 'Tom Beaters and also stories from the Western province and a few from Southern India. It also contains the Sinhalese texts of six of the stories chosen from different villages.

Mr. Parker has followed the plan of the first volume in the coltection and presentation of the tales. To guard against foreign influence, they have been collected in villages and districts into which western civilization has not penetrated, by natives and written out in the Sinhalese. The literal translation which Mr. Parker employs has certain advantages and certain disadvantages. It gives a more accurate conception of the style of the original though its lack of idiomatic expression makes difficult reading.

The variants referred to are confined in the main to Indian sources though certain West African parallels are also quoted and parallels from other sections of Asia. The collection is a valuable addition to the literature of folk-lore.

The Orient Question, Today and Tomorrow. By PRINCE LAZARO

VICH-HREBELANOVICH. New York: Duffield and Co. 1913.

Pp. 385. This book is based on lectures delivered by Prince LazarovichHrebelanovich in the fall of 1912 just before the outbreak of the Balkan War and was printed in the spring of 1913. In the last two years any book dealing with the Balkan situation is out of date before it comes from the press but there are many things of interest in this study of the various phases of the oriental question and especially of the Near Eastern problem from the Servian point of view.

The subject of the lectures as originally given was “Servian Unification a Factor in World Peace” and the main thesis of the book is summed up in the statement: “Only when a state is the expression of the entity and totality of one nation, capable of formulating the genius of that nation, can it guarantee true liberty to its citizens, and progress on a sound basis. The completing of a national state to include all the members of its race is a necessary and constructive step towards the attainment of world-peace on a righteous foundation.” That there may be some difficulty in carrying out this program of racial unification is evidenced by a further statement that “in the present war (the first Balkan War) Bulgaria alone, of all the allied states, has extended her borders entirely over the lands inhabited by her co-nationals and consummates the building of her nation.” The Bulgars seem not to agree to this limitation of their boundaries and Prince Lazarovich nowhere discusses the problems arising where racial and territorial boundaries cannot be made to take the same line by reason of racial mixtures. The separation of Austro-Hungary into its racial elements and their union with the various mother-states which is so frequently suggested as it is here, is a task, if anything, more difficult than the preservation of that agglomeration. To be sure, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which Prince Lazarovich has particularly in mind, could be restored to Servia, but the problem of the whole empire is not so easily settled. That Austro-Hungarian aggression in the Balkans is the greatest source of danger for the future, has been only too well borne out by the origin of the present war.

In the Far East, the problem is found in the relation of Japan to America. Japan is an island state and, just as England has a vital interest in Belgium and the whole western European coast, so Japan's boundaries are the shores of the ocean in which she lies. The Monroe doctrine has put the United States too in the position of an island state and it is from that fact that the American-Japanese conflict arises. The United States holds the Hawaian Islands and needs to hold them for the defense of her own coasts and her retention of the Philippines is necessary if she wishes to compete in the markets of the Far East. But to Japan the possession of these two island groups is even more imperatively necessary, not only for strategic purposes, but because of her inability to compete with western manufactures, she needs markets whose doors she can close to competition.

Home Life in China. By Isaac TAYLOR HEADLAND. New York:

Macmillan. 1914. Pp. xii, 319. Dr. Headland's latest book pictures the external features of everyday Chinese life and, while it makes no pretense to depth, it is exceedingly interesting and readable.

The education of children under the old régime is discussed at length because to it is due the Chinese stability and strength of character. As an aid in understanding the old education Dr. Headland summarizes the Twenty-four Patterns of Filial Piety, caricatures of that virtue we would call them, which have been held up to generations of Chinese children as models for them to imitate; and he translates entire the Rules of Behaviour for Children and the Classic for Girls. The new régime is introducing many changes in the home life of the people. Houses are being more and more often built in European style. Chinese dress is being gradually affected by foreign influence, beginning with hat and shoes. The western calendar has been adopted. All the elaborate system of ceremonies of the old Confucian régime has been replaced by five simple rules regulating etiquette. The suppression of opium is bound to have a revolutionary effect upon the home life; while the tide of western civilization has already resulted in the raising of wages and the standard of living.

[ocr errors]

Asia at the Door. A Study of the Japanese Question in Conti

nental United States, Hawaii and Canada. By Kiyoshi K. KAWAKAMI. New York: Fleming H. Revell. 1914. Pp.

269. The most important question of the Pacific is the relation of the two nations that dominate it and the tension in that relation which is fast making, if it has not already made the United States the "most hated nation" in Japan. It is well to view the problem from all points of view and the contribution of a Japanese who is at the same time an American ought to be of value.

Mr. Kawakami insists, as do all writers who have studied the question from the Japanese angle that discriminations against the Japanese on account of race and color ought to be done away with and they should be admitted on the same terms as the immigrants of other nations; and he considers that even if the bars were let down that the Japanese government would continue the restriction on emigration just as long as Japanese immigrants were considered undesirable in the United States. In regard to that suggestion, it is interesting to note that the Japanese leaders in Hawaii attempted to stop the steady flow of Japanese emigragration from the islands to the mainland of the United States, which resulted in the prohibition in 1907 of such emigration. As a solution of the Californian problem, he proposes the naturalization of the Japanese, who as a general rule show an unusual desire to learn the English language and to become American citizens. And on the other hand their restriction from becoming citizens is a menace because they constitute a floating, unstable element in our body politic. It was the threat of naturalization that enabled President Roosevelt to control the California situation and so far has been the only solution proposed that would bring under national control this question of international importance.

Considerable space is given to the Japanese schools in order to refute the charge that they tend to make the children disloyal to their new country. In the United States these schools are merely supplementary to the public school system, “established to instruct Japanese children in the language, history, and ethics of the Mikado's Empire.” The same holds true of the Japanese schools in Hawaii, though there the problem is complicated by the more pronounced activity of the Buddhists whose tendency is to propagate loyalty to Japan along with faith in Buddha.

« AnteriorContinuar »