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The Portuguese, as is well known, first brought an European prow into the Indian seas. In 1497, Vasco da Gama doubled the stormy Cape and landed at Calicut on the Malabar coast. The same improvements in shipbuilding and skill in navigation which enabled the Portuguese
•art. X.—1. jVipon 0 Dai Itsi Ran, 011 Annates des Empereurs dit Japan. Traduites par M. Isaac Titsingh, avec un Apereu de l'Histoirc mythologique du Japon par M. J. Klaproth. Paris, 1834.
2. Nippon: Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan und desscn Ncben- und Schutzlandern. Von Ph. Fr. von Siebold. Elberfcld, 1851.
3. Bibliographic japonaisc ou Catalogue des Ouvrages Relatifs all Japon qui out lie publies drpuis le XV'. Siicle Jusau'd nos Jours. Par M. Leon Pages. Paris, 1859.
4. The Missionary Life and Labors of Francis Xavicr, taken from his cnun Correspondence, ■with a Sketch of the General Results of Roman Catholic Mission! among the I Teat hen. By Henry Venn, B.D., Prebendary of St. Paul's. London, 1862.
5. Japan: being a Sketch of the History, Government, and Officers of the Empire. By Walter Dickson. Edinburgh, 1869.
New Series.—Vol. XIV., No. 1.
to reach, helped them to rule over, those distant seas. Their clumsy caracols, armed with a few rude pieces of artillery, destroyed! the frail barks of the timid navigators ol the Indian Ocean with almost as much ease as the English and the Dutch steamers, nowadays run down tEe piratical prahui of the Sunda Islanders. The Portuguese were the tyrants of the seas and the terror of the Mecca pilgrims. They seized upon a number of maritime stations, among others Ormuz, Diu, Malacca, and several of the Moluccas, whence they could command the trade of the East. They twice attempted to take Aden, but without success. Goa was their capital; from it they ruled over most of the towns on the Malabar coast. But the petty princes who then, shared the south of the Indian peninsula did not tamely submit to the sway of the Portuguese, whose cruelty and treachery they soon learned to detest. An incessant series of petty wars, although generally turning out to the advantage off Portugal, was still too heavy a drain oi» /
a country whose population was scarcely sufficient for the vast enterprises it had undertaken in India, Africa, and America. The rivalry of the Spaniards alarmed them, and they were getting more and more embroiled in hostilities with the nations of the northern coast of Africa. The Portuguese were, therefore, anxious that their dominions in India should be placed on a more secure and peaceable tenure, which might save a moiety of the large garrisons necessary to hold so many scattered posts along a permanently hostile coast. "After many deliberations at the Council of Portugal to find some measures which might in future conciliate the Indians, it was determined to try the assistance of religion in consideration of the fruit they had gained from it in the kingdom of Congo." * This was very much to the taste of the king, John III., and his brother, Cardinal Henry, who favored the new order of Loyola and introduced the Inquisition into Portugal (1533).
An application was made to the Pope for two Jesuit missionaries to go out to India: Francis Xavier and Simon Rodriguez were sent. Rodriguez was induced by the king to remain in Portugal, where he founded the Jesuit college of Coimbra, and as confessor to the court rendered important service to the mission: but Francis Xavier set sail for the Indies in the same ship with the viceroy, Don Martin Alphonse de Sousa. Xavier was a Spanish gentleman, whom Ignatius Loyola had gained over to his new order at Paris, where he was delivering lectures on the philosophy of Aristotle. When he left Lisbon, he was thirty-six years of age, seven of which he had spent in the order of Loyola, whose system, maxims, and policy he had thoroughly learned. The squadron that bore the Jesuit missionary, with two assistants, reached Goa on the •6th May, 1542, after a voyage of thirteen months.
Little had been done as yet to spread 'Christianity amongst the Indians. The Portuguese conquerors, according to the accounts of their own historians, lived after the most dissolute fashion, surrounded by their concubines and slaves. Justice was -sold in the tribunals, and the most hideous
* Osorius "Histoire de Portugal, contenant 'lcs Gestes memorables des Portugallois dans les Indes," Paris, 1588, liv. xx.
crimes were only punished when the criminals had not money enough wherewith to corrupt their judges. Even the bigotry which characterizes the inhabitants of the Spanish peninsula seemed for the time to slumber. Francis Xavier began by preaching a purification of manners amongst the Portuguese; and after converting a number of the slaves a.nd Pagan inhabitants of Goa, he set out for the southern coasts of India. Here the Franciscans had been before him. Twenty thousand of the pearl-fishers had submitted to the rite of baptism on the promise that they would be protected against the inroads of the Mahometans; but few of them understood the nature of the ceremony which they had undergone. Xavier never dreams of denying the share which the temporal power of the Portuguese bore in the triumphant success of his mission.
"It sometimes happens," he writes,* "that I baptize a whole town in one day. This is in a great measure to be attributed to the Governor of India, both because he is a singular friend and favorer of our Society, and because he spares neither expense nor labor to promote the propagation of the faith. By his assistance we have on this coast thirty Christian towns."
A little after Xavier despatches a messenger to Portugal to complain of the slackness of the Portuguese officials; and
* The Latin edition of " Xavier's Letters" generally used is that printed at Mayence, a reprint of that of Rome, 1596. There are several French translations. In an able and not entirely undeserved criticism of Mr. Venn's "Life and Labors of St. Francis Xavier," in the "Dublin Review," July, 1S64, the reviewer denies that Francis Xavier used the assistance of the secular power of the Portuguese to help his conversions. There is no space here to quote from authorities. Let the reader who wishes to find proof for himself compare pp. 38-42 of the article in the " Dublin Review" with the original letter of Xavier there cited, and with Lucena, "Vidado Padre S. Francisco de Xavier," tomo i. livro ii. cap. xxii.; and with "La Vie de Saint-Francois Xavier," par D. Bouhours, Paris, 17S3, liv. iii. pp. 133-6; and "L'Histoire des Clioscs plus momorablcs en Indcs orientales," &c., par Jarric, Bourdeaux, 1608, liv. ii. chap. ii.
In the "Epistola: Indioe," pp. 261-2SS, and in the work of Jarric (see liv. ii. chap. iii. and iv., and also liv. v.), there are accounts written by the Jesuits themselves of the violent and reckless manner in which the inhabitants of the islands round about Goa as well as those of the mainland of Salsette were forced to become Christians by Xavier's immediate successors at the College of the Holy Faith.
the king in reply sends out a new viceroy and grants Xavier the most ample inquisitorial powers. Idolatry was suppressed in the Portuguese possessions; and both threats and promises were used to gain the natives to Christianity. Certainly these were not the only means employed by Xavier in his missionary enterprise. Neither could he without the Portuguese, nor the Portuguese without him, have worked out the extraordinary results which have been the boast of Catholicism ever since. Nothing could be more fitted to strike the mind of the Indian than the character, appearance, and manner of life of the apostle. In person he was tall and rather spare, but well proportioned, with brown hair, fair complexion, and blue eyes. The expression of his face was lively and cheerful ; his address affable and winning. He made the same garment do for frock and mantle, and lived on a morsel of bread. He rarely slept more than four hours a day, and his rest was often broken by extatic visions and pious exclamations. He went about on foot under the burning sun of India; and his whole time was employed in preaching, instructing, and directing his subordinates. His missionary labors on the coast of India occupied three years, and extended from Goa to Meliapur on the opposite coast of the peninsula. Leaving his converts to his assistants andcatechists, Xavier then set out for Malacca, from which place he sailed amongst the Moluccas and the adjacent islands, returning to India two years afterwards.
It must be borne in mind that the Apostle of the Indies was both the leader and director of a widely spread missionary movement, conducted by a rapidly increasing staff, not only of Jesuits,* but also of priests and missionaries of other orders, as well as of native preachers and catechists. Xavier reserved for himself the arduous task of travelling to regions as yet unvisited by any preachers of Christianity; and his bold and impatient imagination was carried away by the idea of bearing the Cross to the countries of the farthest East. The islands of Japan, already known to Europe through the
• In a letter, dated Cochin, 14th January, 1549, Xavier enumerates twenty Jesuit missionaries already in the Indies; four of whom were at the Moluccas, two at Malacca, ten in India, and four at Socotora.
travels of Marco Polo, had been reached by the Portuguese only eight years before, namely, in 1541, and Xavier, while at Malacca, had conversed with navigators and traders who had visited that remote coast. A Japanese, named Angero (Hansiro), pursued for homicide, had tied to Malacca in a Portuguese ship. He professed a real or feigned desire to be baptized, and was presented to Xavier at Malacca, who sent him to Goa. There he learned Portuguese quickly, and was baptized under the name of Paul of the Holy Faith. One of the most curious documents in the " Epistolce Indica; " * is a short account of Japan, written from the information furnished by this man.
The missionaries appear struck for the first time with the external resemblancef between Buddhism and Catholicism; the anonymous author of the Epistle, which must have been written in 1549, finds in Japan most of the doctrines of the infallible church—one God, the Miraculous Conception, the Trinity, Hell, Purgatory, Heaven, Angels, the worship of the saints, and the existence of one living supreme Head of the Church. The doctrines of Xagua (Sankya) were, he says, brought through China to Japan above five hundred years before, from a kingdom to the west of China named Cegnico, which he evidently imagines to have been the Holy Land, little dreaming it was the country in which he then was. Christianity, the writer had just been informed by a bishop
* "Epistolce Indicre," Louvani, 1566, pp. 175— 198.
■)■ The resemblance between the Buddhist and Roman Catholic ritual was noticed by Xavier, though it does not appear to have struck him so forcibly as we might expect. See his letter, Kagosima, 3d Nov. 1549, and the note in the French translation, Brussels, 1838, vol. ii. p. 160. It is noticed by Bouhours, "Viede Saint-Francois Xavier," in his chapter on Japan, and by Bartoli, lib. iii. cap. vi. Seealso Alcock's " Japan," vol. i. p. 336, vol. ii. p. 309. The Catholic ritual has in like manner been mistaken for that of Buddhism. Jerome Xavier, while residing at the court of the great Akber, was informed by a traveller that the people of Cathay were Christians, which induced the father to send a missionary to China through Thibet. In the subsequent pages it has not been thought necessary to cite all the authorities consulted in writing this article. Most of the "Litera; Annuce," and other rare works of the Jesuit missionaries, are in the library of the Museum Calvet at Avignon, where we have consulted them. Some of them will be found with difficulty elsewhere.
of the Armenian Church, had once been preached in China. It might, he thinks, have been altered and disfigured by some impostor like Mahomet, and thus Xavier, whose intended voyage to Japan was announced, would only have to restore the true faith to its original purity. Some of the points of analogy mentioned in the little treatise were entirely fanciful, yet no two religions of independent origin can resemble one another more closely in exter
'nal ritual, and yet differ more thoroughly in spirit, than the Buddhist religion and the Roman Catholic Church. Every one who has been in a Buddhist temple cannot have failed to have remarked its resemblance to a Catholic chapel: the paintings, the use of bells and rosaries, the same veneration for relics, the shaven, celibate priests, with their long robes and wide sleeves, the prayers in a dead lan
'guage, the measured chant, the burning of incense, the orders of monks, nuns, and anchorites, and other institutions, characteristic of both religions, have for ages tempted Catholic missionaries to call Buddhism the devil's imitation of Christianity, and induced the learned to conclude that the ritual of the one has been borrowed from that of the other, though it has not been agreed which was the copyist.
Having carefully arranged the affairs of the Seminary of the Holy Faith at Goa and the entire machinery of the mission, Francis Xavier took ship for Malacca on the 14th April, 1549. On the 24th of June he sailed for Japan, along with Angero and his two companions, in a Chinese junk belonging to a famous pirate, an ally of the Portuguese, who left in their hands hostages for the safety of the apostle on the voyage.* After a dangerous voyage they reached Kagosima, the native town of Angero, under whose auspices Xavier was well received by the governor, magistrates, and other distinguished people. The apostle was unable to commence his mission at once, though, according to his biographers, he possessed the gift of tongues. "We are here," he writes, "like so many statues. They speak to us, and make signs to us, and we remain mute. We have again become children, and all our present
occupation is to learn the elements of the Japanese grammar." His first impressions of Japan were very favorable, and remind us of those of our own ambassador, Lord Elgin, when, after a long interval, those islands were again opened to European commerce. Japan was then, as now, under the nominal rule of the Dairi or Mikado, who resided at Miako, but his power was wellnigh reduced to the privilege of giving titles. The authority of the Cubo or Siogun had also become very much relaxed, and the islands were divided amongst fourteen kings,* who in their turn counted chieftains under them that pretended to a greater or less degree of independence, according to their strength or opportunity. Their power depended upon the number of their armed retainers, whose services they rewarded by grants in land. There were few merchants, and the laboring classes were little regarded. Japan was then celebrated for its gold and pearls, but owing to the smallness of trade the country still remained poor. The arts seemed to have made as much progress as in Europe. Xavier evidently considers the Japanese as a nation not behind any European one in civilization, and speaks of Miako as a greater city than Lisbon. He noticed the same strange customs as our travellers of to-day. Amongst them, the well-known practice of Hara-Kiri, or suicide, is not wanting.
Five hundred years before, the religion of Buddha had been introduced from China, and the ancient idols broken (idolis comminutis). This primitive form of devotion, the worship of the Camis or Sintos, which Buddhism has not yet entirely supplanted, seems to have consisted in the adoration of the powers of nature, and the apotheosis of great kings and heroes, f We learn from some of Xavier"s successors that Buddhism was divided into two great sects, the most numerous of which was called Xodoxins, who devoted themselves to the worship of Amida. The second was called Foquexus from the book Foque, which contained their revelation written in a foreign language. They were the followers of Xaca or Xagua (Sankya). Mr. Dickson thinks that the Bonzes Or Buddhist priests were now at the height of their power, but it was the opinion of the early Jesuit fathers that the Bonzes had already lost much of their influence and most of their revenues, which were originally large. They now subsisted principally upon alms, and upon the sums received from their religious ministrations and attendance upon funerals. We are told, however, by Xavier that most of the learning of the country and the education of the youth were still in their hands.
* Tursellinus, "De Vita Francisci Xaverii," 1596,11b. iii. cap. xix.; Lucena, "Vida," livro vi. capituloxiv. p. 413.
* Solier, "Histoire ecclesiastique des Isles et Royaumes du Japon," Paris, 1627, enumerates sixty-six independent kings, over whom the Dairi was nominally paramount. But what extensive knowledge would it demand to prove such a proposition? We have taken the number given by Angero in "Epistolis Indicis," tit at. The Jesuit chroniclers always call the Mikado the Dairi, a name now used for the court of the Mikado; in the same way they call the Siogun the Cubo, or Cubosama. The word Tycoon, unfortunately adopted in the recent commercial treaties, is neither Japanese nor European, and has now little chance of coming into use since the office of the Siogun has been lately suppressed.
f See an interesting article of Father Mounicou,
There was also in Japan a materialistic school of philosophy, as in India and China. It was confined to the upper classes, and only taught in secret. The Japanese, writes Xavier, suqjassed in probity all the nations he had ever met with. They were ingenious, frank, faithful, fond of honor and of dignity. They had a passion for bearing arms, were poor, and lived on rice and a spirituous liquor distilled from it, but they were contented, and the nobility despised plebeian opulence. He notices again and again, with admiration, that almost every Japanese can read, and the defective ideographic characters strike him as better than our phonetic symbols, for he observes that people who use different languages, such as the Chinese and Japanese, are equally able to understand the same signs. He also remarks that the people are of an inquiring turn, candid, and ready to yield to the force of argument. When he had learned enough of the language to speak a little of it, he commenced his mission. Angero had already made some converts among his household relations and friends, but these attempts do not seem to have attracted much opposition, and even Xavier's first preachings excited more attention than contradiction. For the first time in Japan, he preached a personal
a Catholic missionary, now or lately in Japan, on "Mythoiogie japonaise" "Revue de I'Orient," Feb. 1863; also the introduction of M. Klaproth, cit
God, the Creator of the Universe, and showed the materialistic tendency of the Buddhist religion. His old lectures at the College of St. Barbe in Paris no doubt stood him in good stead. He had already had an interview with the King of Satsuma, who had forgiven Angero for his crime, and who now granted to Xavier an edict allowing his subjects the liberty of embracing the Christian religion. On the 3d of November, 1549, Xavier again writes, directing three of the best missionaries to come out to join him, finding the disposition of the Japanese very favorable to the Gospel. He also mentions that two bonzes intended to proceed to Goa to be educated at the College of the Holy Faith. His next letter is dated nearly a year after; he had passed the time in studying Japanese, into which language he had translated the principal articles of the Creed, and a short account of the Creation. He had made about a hundred converts, but the King of Satsuma began to look coldly on Xavier and his companions, because the Portuguese vessels,which had at first always come to Kagosima, now sailed to Firando,* enriching his enemy. Mr. Dickson informs us that Kagosima is not a plape well fitted for a large trade, being too far out at sea, and cut off by high ranges of hills from the interior. Nevertheless, this desertion made the king disposed to listen to the representa-! tions of the Bonzes as to the danger of the people renouncing the religion of their ancestors, and he ordered that any one who received baptism should be put to death. This intolerant decree compelled Xavier to leave Kagosima for Firando, but as he and his companions could not yet speak the language fluently, they did not make more than a hundred converts. They then left for Amanguchi, the residence of a powerful native prince, and afterwards went to Miako, but finally took up their abode at Amanguchi. The ruler of this place gave Xavier permission to preach the Gospel within the bounds of his principality, and assigned him and his companions an unoccupied monastery for their residence. Here Xavier lectured twice a day upon the Japanese religion. His discourses were numerously attended by the Bonzes, the nobility, and the common people. At the end of every lecture
* Solier. liv. ii. chap. iv.