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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 18, 1906)
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FEBRUARY 18, 1P0G.
AROUND THE WORLD WITH WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
Japan aa Shown by Its Institutions of Learning and the Religious Thought and Habits of the People as Indicated by Temples and Shrines
Advance of Education in
, ACK of Japan's astonishing progress along material lines lies
Its amazing educational development. Fifty years ago but
few of Us people could read or write, now considerably less
than 10 per cent would be classed as Illiterate. It Is diffi
cult to conceive of such a transformation taking place almost within
t generation. Jhe prompt adoption of western, methods and the
rapid assimilation of western Ideas gives Indubitable proof of the
pre-exlstence of a vital national germ. A pebble dropped Into Boll,
however rich, and cultivated no matter how carefully, gives back no
response to the rays of the springtime sun." Only the seed which
has life within can be awakened and developed by light and warmth
and care. Japan had within it the vital spark, and when the winter
of Its isolation was passed Its latent energy, burst forth into strong
and sturdy growth. ;..-
Its sons, ambitious to know the world, scattered themselves
throughout-Europe and America, and having laden themselves
with new ideas, returned like bees to the hive. In this way Japan
constantly gained from every quarter, and Its . educational system
is modeled after the best that the ages have produced. It has its
primary schools for boys and girls, attendance being compulsory,
and below these In many places there are kindergarten schools.
The middle schools, in which the boys and girls are separated, take
up the course of Instruction where the primary schools leave off.
Government Controls the Big Schools
Then follow the universities, of which there are seven under
the control of the government. Besides these there are in the
cities institutions known as higher commercial schools, which com
bine general instruction with such special studies as are taught in
our commercial colleges. There are also a number of normal
schools for the training of teachers. In addition to the schools and
colleges established and conducted by the government, there are a
number founded by Individuals and societies. The largest of these
la Wa8eda college, founded and still maintained by Count Okuma,
vthe leader of the progressive party. It Is adjoining the home of
the count and is built upon land which he donated. Dr. Hatoyama,
at one time speaker of the national house of representatives, who
holds a degree from Yale college, is the official head of this insti
tution; In all of Its departments It has some 5,000 students.
I have already referred In n former article to the Kelo Gijuku, the
college founded by Mr. Fukuzawa. Hie attendance here la not so
large as nt Wnseda, but the Institution has had nn illustrious career
niul exerts a wide iufluenqe upon the country. I visited both of these
colleges, and never addressed more attentive or responsive audiences.
As English Is taught in all the middle schools, colleges and universities,
the students are able to follow a speech In that language without an
The State university at Toklo Includes six departments, law, medi
cine and engineering courses being provided, as well as courses in
literature, science and agriculture. The total number of students en
rolled at this university Is about 3,500. The National university at
Kyoto has three faculties, law, medicine and science, the last nnmed
including engineering; the attendance at this university Is between
600 and 700. In the states of Choshue and Satsuma there are higher
schools, supported by funds given by former feudal lords of those
Education of Girls is Watched
The education of girls is not neglected, although as a rule they
do not go as fur in their studies as the boys. There are a number of
normal schools and seventy-nine high schools for girls, besides the
Peeresses' school and several private Institutions. The Woman's unl
jverslty atf okio, situated near Waseda college and under the patronage
pf Count Okuma, has bad. a phenomenal career. ' Established only live
years ago, It has now an enrollment of some 700, and is putting up sev
eral new buildings.
There are also a number of missionary schools and colleges. The
prenbyterlana support three boarding schools for boys and eleven for
girls, besides ten day schools; the total attendance at these schools la
The Congregattonalists have a number of schools, the largest,
Doshlsha college at Kyoto, being the largest and most Influential Chris
tian Institution In Japan. I had the pleasure of visiting both this col
lege and Kyoto university.
The Methodists have eighteen boarding schools and nineteen day
schools, with a total attendance of nearly 5,000. Their college at Kobe
Is a very promising institution.
The Baptists have a theological seminary, an academy, five board
ing schools for girls and eight day schools, with a total attendance of
nearly 1,000. The Episcopal church has also taken an important part
In educational work, while the Catholics (who were on the ground
first) have over sixty seminaries, schools and orphanages, with an at
tendance of some 6,000.
The Japanese government supports more than 25,000 primary
schools, attended by more than 5,0(10,000 boys and girls; it supports
more than 250 middle schools, with an attendance of nearly 100,000.
While less than 2 per cent of the primary students enter the middle
school, more than 10 per cent of the middle school students enter the
Figures Do Not Show Enthusiasm
J Although the figures given above give some Idea of the Interest
taken In education, they do not furnish an adequate conception of the
enthusiasm with which a large number of these students pursue their
studies. Nearly fifty young men called upon me or wrote to me asking
to be taken to America that they might continue their studies. Many
of the leading men in Japan today are graduates of American or Eu
ropean colleges. The physicians have shown a preference for German
schools, while to engineers and politicians our universities have been
more attractive. A part of the friendliness felt toward foreigners can
be traced to the favors shown Japanese boys who left home In search
of knowledge. Marquis Ito, one of the first of these, owes much to an
elder of the Presbyterian church in England, In whose home he lived
as a student, and the marquis has ever since been, making returns In
kindness to foreigners and Christians.
Marquis Ito's case Is not exceptional; all over Japan are men who
hold In grateful remembrance Americans and Europeans to whom they
are indebted for assistance. I met a man, now a publisher of an In
fluential paper, who twenty years ago, at the age of 10, went to sea
and in a shipwreck was cast upon one of the islands in the South Pa
cific. He became a retainer of the king of the islunds and as such
wore the scanty native dress, consisting of a loin cloth. He went with
his king to Honolulu to pay a visit to the Hawaiian queen and, finding
a Japanese settlement there, remained for two or three years. He
then went to the United States and, niuktng a friend of a professor In
one of the universities, attended school there for several years. He
now visits the United States every year or so on busluess, and one
seeing him wear a silk hat aud a Prince Albert coat would hardly
guess the experiences by which he has risen to his present position. If
Japan, beginning fifty years ago with an educational system and
scarcely any educated men or women, could accomplish what she has
accomplished In half a century, what will she accomplish in the twen
tieth ceutury with the start which she now has aud with the educa
tional advantages which her people now enjoy?
Shintoism, Buddhism and the State
, Japan has several religions, although Shintoism has been, since
1S08, the state religion. As a matter of fact, however, Shintoism can
hardly be called a religion, for It has no creed, no priesthood aud no
code of morals. It is really ancestor worship aud comes down from
time immemorial It implies a belief In Immortality, for the ancestral
spirits are Invoked and vows are paid to them at numberless shrines
that dot the country. These shrines are not usually in temples, al
though sometimes Shintoism and Buddhism have been mixed to
. gether and one temple employed for both shrines; as a rule, however,
I the Shinto shrine is in some secluded spot on the top of a hill or on a
, inountaiuslde, where a bit of natural scenery awakens a spirit of rev-
Sixth of This Notable Series of Letters Seventh
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SHINTO SHRINE, WITH STONE STEPS ASCENDING FROM PATHWAY.
erence. A gate of simple but beautiful design is placed at the point
where the pathway to the shrine departs from the main road. We had
read of these Shinto gutes and had seen pictures of them, but we first
saw one at Honolulu, itself the gateway to the Orient Np description
can convey to the reader the Impression which this gate makes upon
the traveler; its outlines are so graceful and yet so strong that it seems
an appropriate portal to a holy place.
The moral code of Confucius has also influenced the thought of .'
: One of the Oldest of Buddha's Temples
About 1,400 years ago the Buddhist religion was introduced into,
Japan by Chinese priests, and it spread rapidly throughout the islands. -Its
temples were imposing, Its ceremonies impfesSive and the garb of
its priests costly and elaborate. It did not root out Shintoism, it" sim
ply overwhelmed and absorbed it. The Buddhist temples, though not
as popular as they ouce were, are still visited by millions of faithful '
believers and are objects of Interest to the tourist. Most of them are
old, one at Nara having been built about the year 7K). It Is In such
nn excellent state of preservation that one can hardly believe that It
hus stood the storms of twelve centuries.
In the center of the temple is an linage of Buddha and on either .
side the figure of a huge warrior. There Is also In this temple a god
of war, td which the Japanese were wont to pay their vows before
going to battle. The devout Buddhist, approaching the image of the
founder of bis religion, bows and mutters a prayer half audibly and,
throwing his mite in a box on the floor before the shrine, departs.
There Is usually a bell, or sometimes only a chain, hanging above the
place where the prayers are said and the suppliant swings a rope
against the bell or shakes the chain before his prayer and claps his
hunds two or three times nt its clone. We inquired about the bell and
reeclved two answers; one, that It was to attract the attention of the
god, and the other, that It was to awaken the conscience of the one
about to present his petition. '
Queer Images and Queerer Customs
Near the temple at Nara stands an ugly image which never falls to
attract the attention of the visitor. It is literally covered with paper
wads which have been thrown against It by worshipers at the temple,
in the belief that their prayers would be answered if the wads adhered
to the image. There is also at Nara a huge bell, almost as old as the
temple. This bell Is about thirteen feet high, nine feet in diameter
and eight inches thick. It hangs In a pagoda quite near the ground '
and when struck upon the side by a swinging log gives forth a sound
of wonderful depth and richness. It was rung for -us. and as Its mel
low tones reverberated along the hills we were awed by the thought
that a thousand years before our Declaration of Independence was
written, 800 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, yes,
even 700 years before America was discovered, this old bell was calling
people to worship.
There is at Nara an immense bronze image of Buddha, even
larger than the famous one at Kamokura, though not considered so
finely proportioned. .The smaller one Is forty-nine feet In height and
nearly 100 feet in circumference (both represent Buddha seated tailor
fashion on a lotus flower) and the larger one is almost twice as large
as the smaller one. The lantern of stone or bronze seems to be as
necessary an adjunct to a Buddhist temple as the Shinto gate is to that
form of religion. At Nara there are 2,900 stone lanterns of various
sixes along the walk that lead from one temple, to another, and the
Vl'y" "' .V"'-!
DEER IN TEMPLE PARK AT NARA.
Some Oddest Bets Ever Made
Curious Propositions Banked on by Partisans and Sane People
rt SHORT time ago there died in New York state an undertaker
wo during the Cleveland-Harrison campaign bet bis hearse
01 Cleveland. Tht winner found he had no use for the vehi
cle, so he sold it back to Its original owner for a mere song.
Many other winners In that election rode gayly in wheelbarrows
at the expense of the losers brawn and serenity of mind. Still other
men shaved off their imperials and sideboards;" other men ahaved
only one side; men appeared in public with half hair cuts; other men,
proud of the fine lines of their smooth-shaven faces, grew bushy whis
kers; other men climbed telegraph poles and' fell off and broke their
bones. Other men went without their drinks for a year; other men
abstained from vegetables for a year.
Again, during the Bryan-McKlnley excitement many freak bets
were made by strong partisans and by others. When Bryan was nomi
nated General J. Madison Drake of Elizabeth, N. J., took a solemn vow
that he wouldn't have bis locks shorn until the Nebraska candidate sat
in the presidential chair. He made great preparations to celebrate
the Bryan victory, invited the public to Join him In the demonstration
and proposed to lead all good Bryan men through the streets In parade.
He proposed to ride on a snow-white charger, with the stars and
stripes wrapped around bis shoulders. His hair Is still growing.
South Dakota furnished a romantic bet on the Bryan-McKlnley
election. John H. Chase and T. F. Mcllheny loved the same widow
and the widow indicated no preference. Davis was a Bryan man and
Mcllheny was an advocate of McKlnley. Bo they agreed to let the
result of the election decide their claims. Mcllheny won the wager,
but the perverse widow made Chase break faith with his rival.
Perhaps the strangest wager of the '00 campaign was made by
William Corbus and George BarneU of Elkhart, Ind. Corbus, over-
heated with faith in McKlnley, offered to bet his wife on his Judgment.
Burnell snapped him up at ouce and the two men went to a lawyer's
office and drew up a formal agreement.
But here Is the most gorgeous wager on record. Henry Hurley,
the oil man, once won $500,000 by a simple wager with a friend named
Phillips on the "nigger up or nigger down" game. This was a favorite
sport among the clubmen of Fifth avenue. Frequently they bet 110,
I'O or as high as SKJO that the first negro passing would go up or go
down the avenue. Harley bet "nigger up" at ?100 a heud. The Judges
and referee went to the window aud .begun "to count. Strangely
enough, there seemtnl to be an unusual number of colored men and
women on the avenue aud In twos aud threes were strolling down town.
By 11 o'clock 870 men, women aud 'children had gone downtown.
Phillips was highly elated aud Harley was thunderstruck. Phillips,
IS7.000 ahead of the game, began to order up the champagne. Be
tween 11 and 1 o'clock the downtown movement of colored people
ended, but at 2 o'clock tliere came the strains of a baud from far down
the street and presently a negro druinuiajor. followed by an army of
colored organizations, paraded past the club. The counters worked
desperately to keep tabs on the numbers and. although they missed
many persons, they agreed that at leust 0.000 had gone up the avenue
aud only 870 ha gone down. Consequently Hurley's winnings
amounted to $513,000. rhilllps paid without a murmur, but he never
look part in a "nigger" gamble again.
An Englishman named Whalley once made a unique wager of
several thousand pounds. He bet that in twelve months be could
walk from Calais to Jerusalem, play at fives against the walls of the
holy city and walk back to Calais. He won Ids Ut, and ever after
bore the nickname of "Jerusalem" Whalley.
are found In abundance in other cities. The Coram Hons are also iden
tified with Buddhistic worship, these animals wrought in bronze or
carved In stone, guarding all temple doors. They are not us ferocious
In appeurauce as the Numldlim lion uiiti they Illustrate an Idea. Olio
has his mouth open and the other has his mouth tightly shut und
they together represent the affirmative and the negative, or, in other
words, the eternal conflict between truth and error.
Beautiful Temple Park at Nara
Nara has an adldtional attraction In the form of a beautiful purk
containing some 700 deer, which are here regarded as sacred auiuiaU.
They are so gentle thut they will come, old und young, aud cut froui
Next to. Nara, in our opinion aud in the opinion of many even be
fore Nara, comes Mkko In beauty and interest. The spot was wisely
chosen for a temple, a foaming stream, rugged mountains and stately
trees adding to the attractiveness of the place. There is a shaded
avenue twenty-live miles long leading from the lowlands to the tem
ple and it is said that when other feudal lords were briugiug Mono
lanterns one poor dalmlo, unable to muke so large a gift, offered to
plant llttlo trees along the way; these, now 300 years old, furnish a
grateful shade for the pilgrims who visit this Mecca and the poor tree
planter Is now known as "The Wise Dalmlo who went Into partnership
The temple at Nikko Is only about three centuries old and Its deco
rations are the richest and most costly to bo found In Japan. As tho
Buddhists and Shlntoists worship together here, the temple is kept in
repair by the government and one can see the best In architecture and
ornamentation that the temples exhibit. So famous is this temple and '
lis environment that the Japanese have a phrase which, when trans
lated, means, "You cannot say beautiful (kekko) until you have seen
The most modern of the largo temples is that at Kyoto. It was
erected about thirty years ago on the site of one which hud burned. It
Is not so large as the original, but Is a reproduction In other respects
and is one of the thirty-three temples to which pilgrimages are made.
Some estimate can be formed of the ardor of those who worship here
when It Is known that the Immense timbers used In the construction of
the building were dragged through the streets and lifted Into place by
cables made of human hnlr contributed by Japanese women for that
purpose. One of these cables, nearly throe Inches in diameter nnd
several hundred feet long, Is still kept In a room adjacent to tho tem
)le. the others having been destroyed by fire. Japanese women pride
themselves upon their hair and arrange it with great care what a
poem of piety what a strong sacrifice in those myriad strands of
mingled black and gray!
Temples Approached Through Gorgeous Gates
All of the Buddhist temples stand within a walled lnclosure, en
tered through a gorgeous gate, which contrasts sharply with the sim
plicity of the Shinto gate. The Buddhist gate has a roof rcsembliug
a temple roof and is often ornamented with animals, birds and fan
tastic figures carved In wood. As an Illustration of the superstition
to be found among the ignorant, the following Incident is given: An
American, Mr. Frederick W. Home, who lives at Yokohama and who
has built up a large importing business in American machinery, has a
handsome new home modeled after a Buddhist temple. At one gable
he put a devil's head. The servants of the man living next door
threatened to leave because the devil looked over Into that yard. But
they were quieted when the neighbor put two brass cannon on his
roof and pointed them at the devil's bead. The story seems too ab
surd to believe, but we were shown the cannons when we called at
But Buddhism is losing its hold upon the Japanese; its temples
are not crowded as they once were; its ceremonies do not Interest and
its teachings do not satisfy the new generation. Christianity will ap
peal more and more to the educated element of the Japanese popula
tion. Already favor is taking the place of toleration, as toleration
thirty years ago supplanted persecution.
Christianity's Early Experience
The Catholics, who have leen the pioneers of the cross in so many
lands, brought Christianity to Japan through Portuguese missionaries
about the middle of the sixteenth century. The success of the Jesuits
was so pronounced thnt in thirty years they estimated their converts
at 150,000. In fact, theadherents to Christianity became so numerous
and so Influential that the Shogun, Hideyoshl, began to fear for his
temporal power and, having absolute authority, he expelled the,for-
, elgners, closed the ports and established the policy of nonlntercourse
with other nations a policy which was followed until 1858. When the
country was again opened to Christian missionaries it was found that
some 10.000 men nnd women were still worshiping according to the
forms of the Catholic church, although for two and a half centuries
there had been no communication between them and the church out
side. Even after the opening of the country to foreign commerce
there was some persecution of Christians and several thousand were
imprisoned. But in 1813 the prisoners were set at liberty and the exiles
allowed to return; since that time there has been absolute religious
freedom and many men prominent in official life have been devoted
Christians. The most noted of these native Christians was Mr. Kat
aoka, who was four times chosen speaker of the popular branch of the
Japanese congress or diet. He was an elder in the Presbyterlnn
church and when it was suggested that it would advance his political
chances to resign his eldership, he replied that if compelled to choose
between them be would rather be an elder than speaker.
Communicants Now Number Thousands
The Catholic population of Japan numbered 68,000 in 1903n at the
last report the Protestant communicants numbered nearly 51,000.
There are among the nntlves 442 ordained ministers, 559 unordaiued
ministers and helpers aud 180 theological students. I met a number of
Japanese Christians and was profoundly impressed by their earnest
ness and devotion. There Is a large Young Men's Christian associa
tion at Toklo and a smaller one at Kyoto; at Kogoshlma I round a
Woman's Christian association. While I have met American mission
aries everywhere, I have tried to gather information from Japanese'
sources as well and have been gratified to find such cordlul co-operation
between foreign nnd native Christians. A physician in the nuvy
introduced himself and volunteered the information that one American
woman had undertaken the establishment of Christian clubs at the
various naval stations and within five years had gathered together
more than 5o0 members. He suld thut she met with opposition from
the authorities at first, but now had their hearty support The war
with Russia, while retarding the work of the (In-ek church among the
Japanese, hns leen utilized by other denominations to reach a lurge
number of sailors with Bibles and pamphlets.
Jupan uels the Christian religion, a nation muRt have some
religion and it has outgrown Buddhism. The idoals presented by
these two systems are In many respects dlumetrlcally opposed to each
other. One looks forward, the other backward; one regards life as a
blessing to be enjoyed and an opportunity to be improved, the other
sees rn It only evil from which escape should be sought; one crowns
this life with immortality, the other udds to a gloomy existence the
darker night of annihilation; one offers faith as the Inspiration to. noble
deeds, the other presents a plan for the perfecting of self, with no sense
of responsibility to God to prompt it or promise of reward to encourage
It; one enlarges the sympathies and links each Indivdual with all other
human beings, the other turns the thought luwurd in search of per
petual calm. v.
Christianity dominates Europe and the Western hemisphere, while
Buddhism still holds the Orient under Its drowsy spell. On the Islauds
of Japan a struggle is now going on between these two great religious
systems, and the triumph of the gospel of love and of consecrafd ac
tivity In the Land of the Rising Sun will open the way to a still larger
triumph la Asia. w j. jjKVAN.
(Copyright, 1906.). '
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