|No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)
|Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
|Work of Catholic Missionaries in Asia
WORK OF CATHOLIC MISSWMS IN ASIA City of Osaka, Japan Its Streets, Mode ol Conveyance, Business, Rei!ro2ds, ' factories and Temples. ! 'Continued.) j "A day of advi rity at length dav- n-il i'o" j Ilideyoshi. A he was contemplating wiTh prido ihe ! magnificence of the works he bad p!.i:usc! aid executed, suddenly the earth trembled leneath his feet, the crashing of thunder v.a- heard and strange moaniugs came foilh a- trout the b.v'i- of inearth. in-earth. Osaka and Kioto were li ft a nia-r- o-' i:::!:-by i:::!:-by the earthquake. Within the hort sps-v ' half an hour the palace of the prince was laid iow. a shapeless heap of masonry. The haughty emperor fled for his life carrying his son in his urat.-; seven hundred of his concubines were buried beneath (he fallen stones. The number who perished throughout through-out Japan in this catastrophe was enormous. It is said, however, that not a single Christian wa killed. "It is certain," remarks Charlevoix, "thai while all the other houses upon one side of a street in Sakai were destroyed, that of a Christian in ' which the faithful were accustomed to gather for prayer, alone remained standing and received no damage." j 1 Ilideyoshi. who was obliged to live in a tent for . many days, cried out, it is said, that God has jusUy punished him for daring to attempt what was beyond be-yond mortal power to accomplish. But his remote carried him no further. His heart was hardened as that of Pharoah. When the earth became tranq.; I and the sea returned within its accu.-t'.'iued bounds he rebuilt his palace. ' Ilideyoshi had only one sou, named alo Hide. -oshi, six years of age. To secure the succession the father appointed a council of regency and at its head placed Dyeyasu. a powerful chief of Yedo, to whom he had already given the hand of his daughter. Hardly has the old emperor closed his eyes in death (l.V.tsi) when Dyeyasu withdrew from his colleagues and announced that he would reign alone in Japan. The bloody battle of Sekigahara established his ascendency over the country; he was lord of it all, save only Oaku which remained faithful faith-ful to Ilideyoshi. Fourteen years passed. The eaglet of Osaka longed to try his new-grown wings and sent word to all who were discontended with the new regime and they were many to rally round his standards. The Christians had little to hope for from the young prince who was superstitious and an ardent devotee de-votee of idol worship, but they had less to fear from him than Dyeyasu. They therefore supported Ilideyoshi. The usurper appeared suddenly before Osaka at the head of two hundred thousand men; so rapid had his movements been that the inhabi- I tants of the city scarcely had time to lay in a stock of provisions and prepare for a seige (21 December, lt!14'). The besiegers made many attacks, but were always repulsed; the fighting was so violent that in Jess than seven weeks thirty thousand men had perished. A truce was made and Dyeyasu withdrew, intending, however, to renew the contest whenever an opportunity favorable to him presented itself. When the Christians saw the man they dreaded in j retreat they supposed that he was completely conquered con-quered and permitted joy which such relief engendered engen-dered to become evident. This was sufficient to cause the promulgation of fresh edits, pitiless in their severity, which condemned to torture and death all followers of Christ without distinction of condition, age or sex. (February. 1(51 5.) The persecution per-secution continued unabated until there were no more of the faithful to be martyred. In the meanwhile Dyeyasu levied fresh troops in all parts of the country; Ilideyoshi. also, made preparations for. a final battle. On the third of June. 1615, the greatest military engagement in the history of Japan took place beneath the walls of Osaka. Fortune at first ravored Ilideyoshi and his battalions were successful in beating back the front ranke of the enemy. Victory seemed within his grasp, when suddenly the city in his rear was enveloped en-veloped in flames. Dyeyasu had caused these fires to be kindled by placing spies among the garrison of Osaka. Ilideyoshi, alarmed at the turn events had taken, hastened to carry his family and treasures treas-ures to a place of safety. Part of his troops followed fol-lowed him; the remainder became panic-stricken and fled in utter confusion. The conquerer ended the day by ordering a general massacre of the routed soldiers. The carnage was fearful; a hun-xdred hun-xdred thousand bodies lay scattered upon the plain when evening at length put a stop to the butchery. , I Ilideyoshi succeeded in escaping with a few f faithful Samurai and took refuge at ivyu.-hu where we will leave him. It is said that one of his children, chil-dren, a boy of seven, was captured and taken before Dyeyasu. Far from appearing disconcerted in the presence of his father's conquerer. the lad accused him of usurpation and reproached him bitterly, then, before it could be prevented, stabbed himself t death. As he fell to the floor, Dyeyasu. looking down upon him, said sneeringly: "Ilideyoshi was devoted tothe gods. What good has it done for him i I have never expended a penny pen-ny in the worship of any divinity and yet I am master of the Empire." t Xobunaga, Ilideyoshi and Dyeyasu are the three greatest names in Japanese history. The two first paved the way for the third. They unified and pacified paci-fied the country which had been distracted by the I jealou&ies of three centuries of feudalism. Dyeyasu I received their heritage and transmitted it to his f descendants, who held it in their possession for two hundred and sixty-eight years. Xobuuaga, endowed with clear vision, understood under-stood the true interests of Japan and wished to enter en-ter the concert of European nations. He would probably have done so and given to his courtry the advantage of Christian religion and civilization had not the hand of an assassin brought his career to a sudden close. Dyeyasu was undoubtedly a successful soldier, but his administration of affairs was detestable. He inaugurated ,thc retrograde I oilier nations and retired within herself, so to t Feak, as an oyster within its shell, lie is to be ' blamed for the fact that in progress the country i was until recently three centuries behind the f The castle of Osaka escaped the great conflag- ; ration of 1615. It was destroyed later, however, by I ' the troops of tShogan at the beginning of the War I of the Restoration (I860.) Only the third enclos- ure remains at the present cUy. Upon the the spot i where the lofty central tower need to stand is now placed the pumping station, and nearby is the can- l lion which is daily discharged exactly at noon. Evolution, of Ideas Social Eansformation. During the many years of rcace which followed the siege of Osaka, ihc genius of the nation was paralyzed. The vital force's of the country dwindled dwind-led in enforced idleness. The people of Osaka alone showed a little initiative. They became merchants and developed a utilitarian spirit absolutely opposed to that which the Samurai cherished.' The Samurai! What "remembrances are called up by this word so dear to the Japanese heart 1 The .Samurai was the chivalrous knight to whom honor was all in all, who regarded as sacred his given word, who opened his heart to none but the most generous sentiments, who despised money and held death in absolute disdain. His was the nature of fine potentialities, but uncultivated and almost savage; the Samurfti needed only to be influenced by divine grace to have become, like the Christian knight of European chivalry, the soldier of God, the apostle armed in defense of truth and virtue. Such was the heart of the Samurai; such the neophytes of St. Francis Xavier. The time has passed and the spirit of Oriental knighthood lives no longer in Japan. The revolu- Ition ot lbbb lias changed the lace ot the country. The customs of only forty years ago are now antiquated. anti-quated. Old men have become strangers in. their iown native country. The transformation of manners man-ners and the change of sentiment have occurred with extraordinary rapidity; everything is dierent from what it used to be, ideas, principles, laws, even I language. The Japanese have become eminently practical. Other times, other manners. They have developed a wonderful facility in imitation and I ' adaptation. When the progress which has been made in forty years is considered it is impossible to withhold admiration for the genius of a people capable of accomplishing so much. When the new ideas have been thoroughly assimilated Japan ought to take high rank in the intellectual world and con-tribute con-tribute to the discoveries and inventions of the future. Unfortunately, however, the Japanese have not learned to make haste slowly. They wish to do J , everything in a day. But lately an intelligent I . young man said that the found the German Ian- I guage difficult to acquire because after the first j ! lesson he could not read and write it readilj'. The j , Japanese of today may be said to resemble over- grown children in whom all sorts of qualities, both I good and bad, none of which however are well de- j , reloped. This is of course the character of every epoch of transition. It was the instability of the I Japanese people which brought forth from Bishop I Cousin, the oldest misionary in the country, the I following remark: "Here things arc never so bad or so good as they appear to be. Hence it is quite useless to be over- j anxious about the former or relv too much on the J latter' I Educational. 5 '-Hie city of Osaka appeared to be very little af- feeted by the movement which is agitating the rest I f the country. In reality it had no transformation f to undergo. It has always been given to trade and I i'Jw has only to continue in the accustomed way. I Up to the present it has led a separate existence, I so to speak, but now that the Empire of the Sun has I turned with avidity to commerce and industry Osaka by force of circumstances takes the lead in I the new movement. In order to succeed this city I will undergo any expense. In March, 1903, a great national industrial exposition was opened in which I llie whole world was invited to take part, ilanu- I facturers of all nations were requested to exhibit I machines and other objects which might be used 1 in h- development of Japan. By means of this ex- I position Osaka hopes to double its business, which is already great ; last year it amounted to 500 mil- liww of yen ($250,000,000). The commerce of the I city will be greatly increased by the vast improve- ; ments which are being made in the harbor. The I docks have not always been as they are at present, 1 nearly three miles from tho city. Three hundred ! .vcar9 apo nearly all the houses were built about tho castle of Hideyoshi; but as the sea receded Osaka .f followed. In a few years the Yodogawa will empty I into the ocean through a new outlet. j m Three things have prevented Osaka from becom- I jng a great seaport; the unprotected condition of , it barbor which is open to the ocean, the want of I ruggedness in the surrounding coast, and the lack I of depth of water due to sand continually washed i down by the Yodogawa. Two overcome these difii- j outies an immense breakwater nearly 10 miles in j length is to be constructed; it will enclose space I enough to contain the fleets of the world. Then I tnc harbor is to be dredged until a depth of about j 30 feet is obtained, finally a new channel is to be 1 dug for the Yodogawa, that it may flow into the i sea at a point upon the coast which will prevent it from carrying debris into the reconstructed port. ' The works which were commenced about four years ago are already well advanced. The new river-bed I is finished and is already spanned by two magnifi- cent iron bridges. " Tho great breakwater advances steadily every I day towards completion. In four years it will be S finished and the port open to the world's shipping, j The cost will amount to over twelve million dollars. But the city hopes to be more than reimbursed for tins outlay, as it will now attract to itself imports which formerly entered Japan by way of Kobe. Will these projects be as successful as is expected? ex-pected? If Osaka must rely upon the assistance tnd sympathy of the rest of the country tVy will ! hot- liightly or wrongly the people of this city bear I I10or reputation. They are said to be avaricious, J to be given to speculation and to be no better than I - thieves. A thoroughly honest employee is not I wanted ; when his honesty is detected he is liable to j ho promptly discharged, because when everyone is untrustworty there. is no danger of betrayal. They aie accused ot iaciung patriotism. It is true that they have little liking for military service. They detest war, and do not attempt to conceal the fact that the tranquility of peace is much more to their teste. These reproaches arise perhaps from jealousy jeal-ousy engendered by the wealth of the city, but it cannot be denied that some of the accusations are just. tr ill regard to education the citizens of Osaka have made little advance. Their primary schools, it . , is 1rue, arc good and well attended. Secondary or grammar schools are fair. A school for commercial commer-cial training was founded lost year. But this is all that can be said. The study of law and medicine cannot be pursued within, the bounds of the city: of a university in the proper sense of the term the people have never dreamed. For a rich and enterprising enter-prising community, made up of a million individuals, indiv-iduals, this is not sufficient. A word as 1o the instruction which is given in those schools. In those of the primary grade reading, writing and a little arithmetic are taii'-ht together with the geography of Japan. This isall y,p, -Hizens demand: it is good enough for our fathers and for us, they say, let it suffice for our children. A great difficulty to be met in Japanese education is the employment of Chinese characters it is one which the student finds hard to overcome' It takes ten years of study with four or five. hours of work a day to learn the characters which arc in common use in daily life. This fact places the Japanese student far behind' the young college man of the west. ! ' ' A university course in Japan can scarcely be completed before the age of thirty. It is useless to give way to these regrets, however. Owing to Buddhism, Chinese characters have become an integral in-tegral part of the Japanese literary language. And indeed they render a certain service which may explain the fondness of the nation for them. They have given to the language a precision which those of Europe lack. As years are devoted to committing com-mitting them to memory this- faculty is developed to a marvelous degree. The study of them constitutes con-stitutes an excellent mental gymnastic for the finding find-ing of different ways to express the same idea ; it is a good training for oratory, and in this department the Japanese show themselves the equal of the peoples of tlie West. If they do not excel in depth of thought, they are more proficient in the use of words. Finally the Chinese characters have contributed not a little to give the Japanese that finesse in little things which they possess, that quickness in grasping grasp-ing all bides of a question as soon as presented, keenness in detecting the slightest flaw in an argument argu-ment as well as their marvelous abilijy to observe the smallest details of an object, an ability which has enabled thein to put forth masterpieces of min-iature min-iature art. However, let it be understood, it is not necessary to know the Chinese characters in order to live in Japan. They are written only, and not spoken. The spoken language, the language of the people, is easily learned, very sonorous and harmonious. In fact, after a year's residence, missionaries speak, preach and hear confessions in Japanese. In brief, education in Japan has not reached a high level ; its schools are far below those of Europe or the United States; nevertheless the prospectus of any one of those of secondary grade reads like the catalogue of a university. Instruction is given in many branches, but tho treatment is not thorough. The Japanese aim at the curious, the eccentric, and pay little .attention to the serious. They attach an exaggerated importance import-ance to the natural sciences, especially mathematics. mathe-matics. History with them is only a collection of falsehoods which have been directed by Protestants against the Catholic Church. These defects which are common to the whole of Japan arc more notic-able notic-able in Osaka than elsewhere. While students flock-in flock-in crowds to Tokio, Kioto and even to the little village vil-lage of Yamaguclnv which is hidden away iu the mountains and is vithout communication with the rest of the country, few como to Osaka in spite of the fact that many lines of railroad lead there. However, Osaka shows signs of an awakening in the future. The sympathetic welcome which the Little Brothers of Mary have been given by the people and officials of the city proves that they appreciate the benefits of science and education. The personnel of the Catholic mission of Osaka is as follows: One bishop, twenty-five European missionaries, two native priests, four Brothers of Mary (of the College of St. Stanislaus of Paris), four seminarians, forty native catechists, sixteen Sisters of the Holy Infant Jesus, three novices and threo postulants. The diocese comprises thirty-four thirty-four parishes, eight churches or chapels and twenty-four twenty-four oratories in Japanese houses; four schools, of which one. is for boys and three arc for girls; the number of pupils in these is four hundred and nineteen. nine-teen. The Brothers have one high school with one hundred students, five orphanages with two hundred hun-dred and eighty-eight inmates, one hundred and forty-nine children in the workshops, and thirtv-two thirtv-two nurses in the hospital. Here are the results of last years labors: Baptisms of adults - jr. Conversion from heresy .... . ... ............. 2 Baptisms of children born of Pagan Parents .. 25S Baptisms of children born of Christian Par- ,. CTlts. 100 I Confirmations jfrj. Easter Confessions 2374 Easter Communions 1397 Holy Viaticum '. 4 34 Extreme Unction 55 Marriages ...... 40 Deaths and Emigrations 779 Twelve months of bard labor have brought results re-sults which, it must be confessed, are not brilliant. However, the missionaries are content to work on without losing courage, and their zeal is commensurate commen-surate with the great task which the church has confided to them. They do their duty and do not reckon the cost. It is unfohunate that the good which they so earnestly desire to do cannot be accomplished on account of their poverty. Everything has doubled and even quadrupled in price. The money which the Society for the Propogation of the Faith is en- aDiea 10 apportion to us is not sufficient for our needs. It is impssible to undertake new enterprises and we may even be forced to abandon those which have been for some time under way. In view of these facts we are emboldened to appeal ap-peal to the Catholic world for assistance to enable us to carry on effectually the, work of preaching the Gospel to Japanese people.