The Religions of Japan From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji
William Elliot Griffis author
CONFUCIANISM IN ITS PHILOSOPHICAL FORM
Japan's Millennium of Simple Confucianism.
Having seen the practical working of the ethics of Confucianism, especially in the old and simple system, let us now glance at the developed and philosophical forms, which, by giving the educated man of Japan a creed, made him break away from Buddhism and despise it, while becoming often fanatically Confucian.
For a thousand years (from 600 to 1600 A.D.) the Buddhist religious teachers assisted in promulgating the ethics of Confucius; for during all this time there was harmony between the various Buddhisms imported from India, Tibet, China and Korea, and the simple undeveloped system of Chinese Confucianism. Slight modifications were made by individual teachers, and emphasis was laid upon this or that feature, while out of the soil of Japanese feudalism were growths of certain virtues as phases of loyalty, phenomenal beyond those in China. Nevertheless, during all this time, the Japanese teachers of the Chinese ethic were as students who did but recite what they learned. They simply transmitted, without attempting to expand or improve.
Though the apparatus of distribution was early known, block printing having been borrowed from the Chinese after the ninth century, and movable types learned from the Koreans and made use of in the sixteenth century,1 the Chinese classics were not printed as a body until after the great peace of Genna (1615). Nor during this period were translations made of the classics or commentaries, into the Japanese vernacular. Indeed, between the tenth and sixteenth centuries there was little direct intercourse, commercial, diplomatic or intellectual, between Japan and China, as compared with the previous eras, or the decades since 1870.
Suddenly in the seventeenth century the intellect of Japan, all ready for new surprises in the profound peace inaugurated by Iyéyas[)u], received, as it were, an electric thrill. The great warrior, becoming first a unifier by arms and statecraft, determined also to become the architect of the national culture. Gathering up, from all parts of the country, books, manuscripts, and the appliances of intellectual discipline, he encouraged scholars and stimulated education. Under his supervision the Chinese classics were printed, and were soon widely circulated. A college was established in Yedo, and immediately there began a critical study of the texts and principal commentaries. The fall of the Ming dynasty in China, and the accession of the Manchiu Tartars, became the signal for a great exodus of learned Chinese, who fled to Japan. These received a warm welcome, both at the capital and in Yedo, as well as in some of the castle towns of the Daimi[=o]s, among whom stand illustrious those of the province of Mito.2
These men from the west brought not only ethics but philosophy; and the fertilizing influences of these scholars of the Dispersion, may be likened to those of the exodus of the Greek learned men after the capture of Constantinople by the Turks. Confucian schools were established in most of the chief provincial cities. For over two hundred years this discipline in the Chinese ethics, literature and history constituted the education of the boys and men of Japan. Almost every member of the Samurai classes was thoroughly drilled in this curriculum. All Japanese social, official, intellectual and literary life was permeated with the new spirit. Their "world" was that of the Chinese, and all outside of it belonged to "barbarians." The matrices of thought became so fixed and the Japanese language has been so moulded, that even now, despite the intense and prolonged efforts of thirty years of acute and laborious scholarship, it is impossible, as we have said, to find English equivalents for terms which were used for a century or two past in every-day Japanese speech. Those who know most about these facts, are most modest in attempting with English words to do justice to Japanese thought; while those who know the least seem to be most glib, fluent and voluminous in showing to their own satisfaction, that there is little difference between the ethics of Chinese Asia and those of Christendom.
Survey of the Intellectual History of China.
The Confucianism of the last quarter-millennium in Japan is not that of her early centuries. While the Japanese for a thousand years only repeated and recited—merely talking aloud in their intellectual sleep but not reflecting—China was awake and thinking hard. Japan's continued civil wars, which caused the almost total destruction of books and manuscripts, secured also the triumph of Buddhism which meant the atrophy of the national intellect. When, after the long feuds and battles of the middle ages, Confucianism stepped the second time into the Land of Brave Scholars, it was no longer with the simple rules of conduct and ceremonial of the ancient days, nor was it as the ally of Buddhism. It came like an armed man in full panoply of harness and weapons. It entered to drive Buddhism out, and to defend the intellect of the educated against the wiles of priestcraft. It was a full-blown system of pantheistic rationalism, with a scheme of philosophy that to the far-Oriental mind seemed perfect as a rule both of faith and practice. It came in a form that was received as religion, for it was not only morality "touched" but infused with motion. Nor were the emotions kindled, those of the partisan only, but rather also those of the devotee and the martyr. Henceforth Buddhism, with its inventions, its fables, and its endless dogmatism, was for the common people, for women and children, but not for the Samurai. The new Confucianism came to Japan as the system of Chu Hi. For three centuries this system had already held sway over the intellect of China. For two centuries and a half it has dominated the minds of the Samurai so that the majority of them to-day, even with the new name Shizoku, are Confucianists so far as they are anything.
To understand the origin of Buddhism we must know something of the history and the previous religious and philosophical systems of India, and so, if we are to appreciate modern "orthodox" Confucianism, we must review the history of China, and see, in outline, at least, its literature, politics and philosophy during the middle ages.
"Four great stages of literary and national development may be pointed to as intervening (in the fifteen hundred years) between the great sage and the age called that of the Sung-Ju,"3 from the tenth to the fourteenth century, in which the Confucian system received its modern form. Each of them embraced the course of three or four centuries.
I. From the sixth to the third century before Christ the struggle was for Confucian and orthodox doctrine, led by Mencius against various speculators in morals and politics, with Taoist doctrine continually increasing in acceptance.
II. The Han age (from B.C. 206 to A.D. 190) was rich in critical expositors and commentators of the classics, but "the tone of speculation was predominantly Taoist."
III. The period of the Six Dynasties (from A.D. 221 to A.D. 618) was the golden age of Buddhism, when the science and philosophy of India enriched the Chinese mind, and the wealth of the country was lavished on Buddhist temples and monasteries. The faith of Shaka became nearly universal and the Buddhists led in philosophy and literature, founding a native school of Indian philosophy.
IV. The Tang period (from A.D. 618 to 905) marked by luxury and poetry, was an age of mental inaction and enervating prosperity.
V. The fifth epoch, beginning with the Sung Dynasty (from A.D. 960 to 1333) and lasting to our own time, was ushered in by a period of intense mental energy. Strange to say (and most interesting is the fact to Americans of this generation), the immediate occasion of the recension and expansion of the old Confucianism was a Populist movement.4 During the Tang era of national prosperity, Chinese socialists questioned the foundations of society and of government, and there grew up a new school of interpreters as well as of politicians. In the tenth century the contest between the old Confucianism and the new notions, broke out with a violence that threatened anarchy to the whole empire.
One set of politicians, led by Wang (1021-1086), urged an extension of administrative functions, including agricultural loans, while the brothers Cheng (1032-1085, 1033-1107) reaffirmed, with fresh intellectual power, the old orthodoxy.
The school of writers and party agitators, led by Szma Kwaug (1009-1086)5 the historian, contended that the ancient principles of the sages should be put in force. Others, the Populists of that age and land, demanded the entire overthrow of existing institutions.
In the bitter contest which ensued, the Radicals and Reformers temporarily won the day and held power. For a decade the experiment of innovation was tried. Men turned things social and political upside down to see how they looked in that position. So these stood or oscillated for thirteen years, when the people demanded the old order again. The Conservatives rose to power. There was no civil war, but the Radicals were banished beyond the frontier, and the country returned to normal government.
This controversy raised a landmark in the intellectual history of China.6 The thoughts of men were turned toward deep and acute inquiry into the nature and use of things in general. This thinking resulted in a literature which to-day is the basis of the opinions of the educated men in all Chinese Asia. Instead of a sapling we now have a mighty tree. The chief of the Chinese writers, the Calvin of Asiatic orthodoxy, who may be said to have wrought Confucianism into a developed philosophy, and who may be called the greatest teacher of the mind, of modern China, Korea and Japan, is Chu Hi, who reverently adopted the criticisms on the Chinese classics of the brothers Cheng.7 It is evident that in Chu Hi's system, we have a body of thought which may be called the result of Chinese reflection during a millennium and a half. It is the ethics of Confucius transfused with the mystical elements of Taoism and the speculations of Buddhism. As the common people of China made an amalgam of the three religions and consider them one, so the philosophers have out of these three systems made one, calling that one Confucianism. The dominant philosophy in Japan to-day is based upon the writings of Chu Hi (in Japanese, Shu Shi) and called the system of Téi-Shu, which is the Japanese pronunciation of the names of the Cheng brothers and of Chu (Hi). It is a medley which the ancient sage could no more recognize than would Jesus know much of the Christianity that casts out devils in his name.
Contrast between the Chinese and Japanese Intellect.
Here we must draw a contrast between the Chinese and Japanese intellect to the credit of the former; China made, Japan borrowed. While history shows that the Chinese mind, once at least, possessed mental initiative, and the power of thinking out a system of philosophy which to-day satisfies largely, if not wholly, the needs of the educated Chinaman, there has been in the Japanese mind, as shown by its history, apparently no such vigor or fruitfulness. From the literary and philosophical points of view, Confucianism, as it entered Japan, in the sixth century, remained practically stationary for a thousand years. Modifications, indeed, were made upon the Chinese system, and these were striking and profound, but they were less developments of the intellect than necessities of the case. The modifications were made, as molten metal poured into a mould shaped by other hands than the artist's own, rather than as clay made plastic under the hand of a designer. Buddhism, being the dominant force in the thoughts of the Japanese for at least eight hundred years, furnished the food for the requirements of man on his intellectual and religious side.
Broadly speaking, it may be said that the Japanese, receiving passively the Chinese classics, were content simply to copy and to recite what they had learned. As compared with their audacity in not only going beyond the teachings of Buddha, but in inventing systems of Buddhism which neither Gautama nor his first disciples could recognize, the docile and almost slavish adherence to ancient Confucianism is one of the astonishing things in the history of religions in Japan. In the field of Buddhism we have a luxuriant growth of new and strange species of colossal weeds that overtower and seem to have choked out whatever furze of original Buddhism there was in Japan, while in the domain of Confucianism there is a barren heath. Whereas, in China, the voluminous literature created by commentators on Confucius and the commentaries on the commentators suggests the hyperbole used by the author of John's Gospel,8 yet there is probably nothing on Confucianism from the Japanese pen in the thousand years under our review which is worth the reading or the translation.9 In this respect the Japanese genius showed its vast capabilities of imitation, adoption and assimilation.
As of old, Confucianism again furnished a Chinese wall, within which the Japanese could move, and wherein they might find food for the mind in all the relations of life and along all the lines of achievement permitted them. The philosophy imported from China, as shown again and again in that land of oft-changing dynasties, harmonizing with arbitrary government, accorded perfectly with the despotism of the Tokugawas, the "Tycoons" who in Yedo ruled from 1603 to 1868. Nothing new was permitted, and any attempt at modification, enlargement, or improvement was not only frowned and hissed down as impious innovation, but usually brought upon the daring innovator the ban of the censor, imprisonment, banishment, or death by enforced suicide.10 In Yedo, the centre of Chinese learning, and in other parts of the country, there were, indeed, thinkers whose philosophy did not always tally with what was taught by the orthodox,11 but as a rule even when these men escaped the ban of the censor, or the sword of the executioner, they were but us voices crying in the wilderness. The great mass of the gentry was orthodox, according to the standards of the Séido College, while the common people remained faithful to Buddhism. In the conduct of daily life they followed the precepts which had for centuries been taught them by their fathers.
Philosophical Confucianism the Religion of the Samurai.
What were the features of this modern Confucian philosophy, which the Japanese Samurai exalted to a religion?12 We say philosophy and religion, because while the teachings of the great sage lay at the bottom of the system, yet it is not true since the early seventeenth century, that the thinking men of Japan have been satisfied with only the original simple ethical rules of the ancient master. Though they have craved a richer mental pabulum, yet they have enjoyed less the study of the original text, than acquaintance with the commentaries and communion with the great philosophical exponents, of the master. What, then, we ask, are the features of the developed philosophy, which, imported from China, served the Japanese Samurai not only as morals but for such religion as he possessed or professed?
We answer: The system was not agnostic, as many modern and western writers assert that it is, and as Confucius, transmitting and probably modifying the old religion, had made the body of his teachings to be. Agnostic, indeed, in regard to many things wherein a Christian has faith, modern Confucianism, besides being bitterly polemic and hostile to Buddhism, is pantheistic.
Certain it is that during the revival of Pure Shint[=o] in the eighteenth century, the scholars of the Shint[=o] school, and those of its great rival, the Chinese, agreed in making loyalty13 take the place of filial duty in the Confucian system. To serve the cause of the Emperor became the most essential duty to those with cultivated minds. The newer Chinese philosophy mightily influenced the historians, Rai Sanyo and those of the Mito school, whose works, now classic, really began the revolution of 1868. By forming and setting in motion the public opinion, which finally overthrew the Sh[=o]gun and feudalism, restored the Emperor to supreme power, and unified the nation, they helped, with modern ideas, to make the New Japan of our day. The Shint[=o] and the Chinese teachings became amalgamated in a common cause, and thus the philosophy of Chu Hi, mingling with the nationalism and patriotism inculcated by Shint[=o], brought about a remarkable result. As a native scholar and philosopher observes, "It certainly is strange to see the Tokugawa rule much shaken, if not actually overthrown, by that doctrine which generations of able Sh[=o]guns and their ministers had earnestly encouraged and protected. It is perhaps still more remarkable to see the Mito clan, under many able and active chiefs, become the centre of the Kinno14 movement, which was to result in the overthrow of the Tokugawa family, of which it was itself a branch."
A Medley of Pantheism.
The philosophy of modern Confucianism is wholly pantheistic. There is in it no such thing or being as God. The orthodox pantheism of Old Japan means that everything in general is god, but nothing in particular is God; that All is god, but not that God is all. It is a "pantheistic medley."15
Chu Hi and his Japanese successors, especially Ky[=u]-so, argue finely and discourse volubly about Ki16 or spirit; but it is not Spirit, or spiritual in the sense of Him who taught even a woman at the well-curb at Sychar. It is in the air. It is in the earth, the trees, the flowers. It comes to consciousness in man. His Ri is the Tao of Lao Tsze, the Way, Reason, Law. It is formless, invisible.
"Ri is not separate from Ki, for then it were an empty abstract thing. It is joined to Ki, and may be called, by nature, one decreed, changeless Norm. It is the rule of Ki, the very centre, the reason why Ki is Ki."
Ten or Heaven is not God or the abode of God, but an abstraction, a sort of Unknowable, or Primordial Necessity.
"The doctrine of the Sages knows and worships Heaven, and without faith in it there is no truth. For men and things, the universe, are born and nourished by Heaven, and the 'Way,' the 'ri,' that is in all, is the 'Way,' the 'ri' of Heaven. Distinguishing root and branch, the heart is the root of Heaven and the appearance, the revolution of the sun and moon, the order of the stars, is the branch. The books of the sages teach us to conform to the heart of Heaven and deal not with appearances."
"The teaching of the sages is the original truth and, given to men, it forms both their nature and their relationships. With it complete, naught else is needed for the perfect following of the 'Way.' Let then the child make its parents Heaven, the retainer, his Lord, the wife her husband, and let each give up life for righteousness. Thus will each serve for Heaven. But if we exalt Heaven above parent or Lord, we shall come to think we can serve it though they be disobeyed and like tiger or wolf shall rejoice to kill them. To such fearful end does the Western learning lead.... Let each one die for duty, there is naught else we can do."
Thus wrote Ohashi Junzo, as late as 1857 A.D., the same year in which Townsend Harris entered Yedo to teach the practical philosophy of Christendom, and the brotherhood of man as expressed in diplomacy. Ohashi Junzo bitterly opposed the opening of Japan to modern civilization and the ideas of Christendom. His book was the swan-song of the dying Japanese Confucianism. Slow as is the dying, and hard as its death may be, the mind of new Japan has laid away to dust and oblivion the Téi-shu philosophy. "At present they (the Chinese classics) have fallen into almost total neglect, though phrases and allusions borrowed from them still pass current in literature, and even to some extent in the language of every-day life." Séido, the great temple of Confucius in Tokyo, is now utilized as an educational Museum.17
A study of this subject and of comparative religion, is of immediate practical benefit to the Christian teacher. The preacher, addressing an audience made up of educated Japanese, who speaks of God without describing his personality, character, or attributes as illustrated in Revelation, will find that his hearers receive his term as the expression for a bundle of abstract principles, or a system of laws, or some kind of regulated force. They do, indeed, make some reference to a "creator" by using a rare word. Occasionally, their language seems to touch the boundary line on the other side of which is conscious intelligence, but nothing approaching the clearness and definiteness of the early Chinese monotheism of the pre-Confucian classics is to be distinguished.18 The modern Japanese long ago heard joyfully the words, "Honor the gods, but keep them far from you," and he has done it.
To love God would no more occur to a Japanese gentleman than to have his child embrace and kiss him. Whether the source and fountain of life of which they speak has any Divine Spirit, is very uncertain, but whether it has, or has not, man need not obey, much less worship him. The universe is one, the essence is the same. Man must seek to know his place in the universe; he is but one in an endless chain; let him find his part and fulfil that part; all else is vanity. One need not inquire into the origins or the ultimates. Man is moved by a power greater than himself; he has no real independence of his own; everything has its rank and place; indeed, its rank and place is its sole title to a separate existence. If a man mistakes his place he is a fool, he deserves punishment.
The Ideals of a Samurai.
Out of his place, man is not man. Duty is more important than being. Nearly everything in our life is fixed by fate; there may seem to be exceptions, because some wicked men are prosperous and some righteous men are wretched, but these are not real exceptions to the general rule that we are made for our environment and fitted to it. And then, again, it may be that our judgments are not correct. Let the heart be right and all is well. Let man be obedient and his outward circumstance is nothing, having no relation to his joy or happiness. Even when as to his earthly body man passes away, he is not destroyed; the drop again becomes part of the sea, the spark re-enters the flame, and his life continues, though it be not a conscious life. In this way man is in harmony with the original principle of all things. He outlasts the universe itself.
Hence to a conscientious Samurai there is nothing in this world better than obedience, in the ideal of a true man. What he fears most and hates most is that his memory may perish, that he shall have no seed, that he shall be forgotten or die under a cloud and be thought treacherous or cowardly or base, when in reality his life was pure and his motives high. "Better," sang Yoshida Shoin, the dying martyr for his principles, "to be a crystal and to be broken, than to be a tile upon the housetop and remain."
So, indeed, on a hundred curtained execution grounds, with the dirk of the suicide firmly grasped and about to shed their own life-blood, have sung the martyrs who died willingly for their faith in their idea of Yamato Damashii.19 In untold instances in the national history, men have died willingly and cheerfully, and women also by thousands, as brave, as unflinching as the men, so that the story of Japanese chivalry is almost incredible in its awful suicides. History reveals a state of society in which cool determination, desperate courage and fearlessness of death in the face of duty were quite unique, and which must have had their base in some powerful though abnormal code of ethics.
This leads us to consider again the things emphasized by Japanese as distinct from Chinese and Korean20 Confucianism, and to call attention to its fruits, while at the same time we note its defects, and show wherein it failed. We shall then show how this old system has already waxed old and is passing away. Christ has come to Japan, and behold a new heaven and a new earth!
New Japan Makes Revision.
First. For sovereign and minister, there are coming into vogue new interpretations. This relation, if it is to remain as the first, will become that of the ruler and the ruled. Constitutional government has begun; and codes of law have been framed which are recognizing the rights of the individual and of the people. Even a woman has rights before the law, in relation to husband, parents, brothers, sisters and children. It is even beginning to be thought that children have rights. Let us hope that as the rights are better understood the duties will be equally clear.
It is coming to pass in Japan that even in government, the sovereign must consult with his people on all questions pertaining to their welfare. Although, thus far the constitutional government makes the ministers responsible to the Sovereign instead of to the Diet, yet the contention of the enlightened men and the liberal parties is, that the ministers shall be responsible to the Diet. The time seems at hand when the sovereign's power over his people will not rest on traditions more or less uncertain, on history manufactured by governmental order, on mythological claims based upon the so-called "eternal ages," on prerogatives upheld by the sword, or on the supposed grace of the gods, but will be "broad-based upon the people's will." The power of the rulers will be derived from the consent of the governed. The Emperor will become the first and chief servant of the nation.
Revision and improvement of the Second Relation will make filial piety something more real than that unto which China has attained, or Japan has yet seen, or which is yet universally known in Christendom. The tyranny of the father and of the older brother, and the sale of daughters to shame, will pass away; and there will arise in the Japanese house, the Christian home.
It would be hard to say what Confucianism has done for woman. It is probable that all civilizations, and systems of philosophy, ethics and religion, can be well tested by this criterion—the position of woman. Confucianism virtually admits two standards of morality, one for man, another for woman.21 In Chinese Asia adultery is indeed branded as one of the vilest of crimes, but in common idea and parlance it is a woman's crime, not man's. So, on the other hand, chastity is a female virtue, it is part of womanly duty, it has little or no relation to man personally. Right revision and improvement of the Third Relation will abolish concubinage. It will reform divorce. It will make love the basis of marriage. It will change the state of things truthfully pictured in such books as the Genji Monogatari, or Romance of Prince Genji, with its examples of horrible lust and incests; the Kojiki or Ethnic scripture, with its naïve accounts of filthiness among the gods; the Onna Dai Gaku, Woman's Great Study, with its amazing subordination and moral slavery of wife and daughter; and The Japanese Bride, of yesterday—all truthful pictures of Japanese life, for the epoch in which each was written. These books will become the forgotten curiosities of literature, known only to the archæologist.
Improvement and revision of the Fourth Relation, will bring into the Japanese home more justice, righteousness, love and enjoyment of life. It will make possible, also, the cheerful acceptance and glad practice of those codes of law common in Christendom, which are based upon the rights of the individual and upon the idea of the greatest good to the greatest number. It will help to abolish the evils which come from primogeniture and to release the clutch of the dead hand upon the living. It will decrease the power of the graveyard, and make thought and care for the living the rule of life. It will abolish sham and fiction, and promote the cause of truth. It will hasten the reign of righteousness and love, and beneath propriety and etiquette lay the basis of "charity toward all, malice toward none."
Revision with improvement of the Fifth Relation hastens the reign of universal brotherhood. It lifts up the fallen, the down-trodden and the outcast. It says to the slave "be free," and after having said "be free," educates, trains, and lifts up the brother once in servitude, and helps him to forget his old estate and to know his rights as well as his duties, and develops in him the image of God. It says to the hinin or not-human, "be a man, be a citizen, accept the protection of the law." It says to the eta, "come into humanity and society, receive the protection of law, and the welcome of your fellows; let memory forget the past and charity make a new future." It will bring Japan into the fraternity of nations, making her people one with the peoples of Christendom, not through the empty forms of diplomacy, or by the craft of her envoys, or by the power of her armies and navies reconstructed on modern principles, but by patient education and unflinching loyalty to high ideals. Thus will Japan become worthy of all the honors, which the highest humanity on this planet can bestow.
The Ideal of Yamato Damashii Enlarged.
In this our time it is not only the alien from Christendom, with his hostile eye and mordant criticism, who is helping to undermine that system of ethics which permitted the sale of the daughter to shame, the introduction of the concubine into the family and the reduction of woman, even though wife and mother, to nearly a cipher. It is not only the foreigner who assaults that philosophy which glorified the vendetta, kept alive private war, made revenge in murder the sweetest joy of the Samurai and suicide the gate to honor and fame, subordinated the family to the house, and suppressed individuality and personality. It is the native Japanese, no longer a hermit, a "frog in the well, that knows not the great ocean" but a student, an inquirer, and a critic, who assaults the old ethical and philosophical system, and calls for a new way between heaven and earth, and a new kind of Heaven in which shall be a Creator, a Father and a Saviour. The brain and pen of New Japan, as well as its heart, demand that the family shall be more than the house and that the living members shall have greater rights as well as duties, than the dead ancestors. They claim that the wife shall share responsibility with the husband, and that the relation of husband and wife shall take precedence of that of the father and son; that the mother shall possess equal authority with the father; that the wife, whether she be mother or not, shall not be compelled to share her home with the concubine; and that the child in Japan shall be born in the home and not in the herd. The sudden introduction of the Christian ideas of personality and individuality has undoubtedly wrought peril to the framework of a society which is built according to the Confucian principles; but faith in God, love in the home, and absolute equality before the law will bring about a reign of righteousness such as Japan has never known, but toward the realization of which Christian nations are ever advancing.
Even the old ideal of the Samurai embodied in the formula Yamato Damashii will be enlarged and improved from its narrow limits and ferocious aspects, when the tap-root of all progress is allowed to strike into deeper truth, and the Sixth Relation, or rather the first relation of all, is taught, namely, that of God to Man, and of Man to God. That this relation is understood, and that the Samurai ideal, purified and enlarged, is held by increasing numbers of Japan's brightest men and noblest women, is shown in that superb Christian literature which pours from the pens of the native men and women in the Japanese Christian churches. Under this flood of truth the old obstacles to a nobler society are washed away, while out of the enriched soil rises the new Japan which is to be a part of the better Christendom that is to come. Christ in Japan, as everywhere, means not destruction, but fulfilment.
"Life is a dream is what the pilgrim learns, Nor asks for more, but straightway home returns."
—Japanese medieval lyric drama.
"The purpose of Buddha's preaching was to bring into light the permanent truth, to reveal the root of all suffering and thus to lead all sentient beings into the perfect emancipation from all passions."—Outlines of the Mahayana.
"Buddhism will stand forth as the embodiment of the eternal verity that as a man sows he will reap, associated with the duties of mastery over self and kindness to all men, and quickened into a popular religion by the example of a noble and beautiful life."—Dharmapala of Ceylon.
"Buddhism teaches the right path of cause and effect, and nothing which can supersede the idea of cause and effect will be accepted and believed. Buddha himself cannot contradict this law which is the Buddha, of Buddhas, and no omnipotent power except this law is believed to be existent in the universe.
"Buddhism does not quarrel with other religions about the truth ... Buddhism is truth common to every religion regardless of the outside garment."—Horin Toki, of Japan.
"Death we can face; but knowing, as some of us do, what is human life, which of us is it that without shuddering could (if we were summoned) face the hour of birth?" -De Quinccy.
The prayer of Buddhism, "Deliver us from existence."
The prayer of the Christian, "Deliver us from evil."
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."—Genesis.
"I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly."—Jesus.