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governments have acted wisely in denying to such crafty and dangerous applicants, a privilege which has never yet been granted without injurious results to the concediug party.

The effect of this self-blockading system has been, to withhold from science, information which, if not of the highest value, it is at least desirable to obtain. The researches of Kæmpfer and Thunberg have exhausted but a small portion of the general subject; nor have the interesting Recollections of Golownin supplied the deficiency. M. Titsingh, whose official character as Dutch superintendant, gave him favourable opportunities of acquiring information, employed himself, during a residence of fourteen years, in collecting documents of all kinds with the view of illustrating the history, character, and manners of the Japanese. The present publication contains a selection from the papers which he left behind him at his recent decease. They appear to have been in some danger of dispersion; and it required no small diligence and dexterity to trace and to recover them.

The first part of these “ Illustrations" contains a sketch of the history of Japan during the reign of the present dynasty. These details are the more valuable from the extreme difficulty of procuring them, since it is expressly forbidden by the existing laws, to record the annals of the dominant line of monarchs; a prohibition which remains in force until the extinction, whether by violence or failure, of the reigning family. The descendants of Gongin have now held the throne from the beginning of the seventeenth century, and consequently; all the knowledge which has reached us respecting their personal and public history, could have been derived only from private and confidential sources. In this respect, M.Titsingh was extremely fortunate. He enjoyed the advantage of a literary intercourse with several intelligent natives of rank, and he obtained from them communications of considerable interest and importance, which enabled him to complete the series of militarý monarchs through the whole of the interdicted space.

Many of our readers will recollect, that the empire of Japan was primarily subjected to a spiritual head, and that the Dairi combined in his own person the dignity and power of king and priest. It happened in the present instance, as it has done' in similar cases, that the necessity for delegation of authority led to its diminution on the one side, and to usurpation on the other. The sacerdotal functions of the monarch incapacitating him for military service, the management of the army was committed to officers who abused their trust, and ultimately wrested the sceptre from the feeble grasp of its helpless possessors. Such, however, was the hold which the Daïries retained on the veneration of the people, that it was found expedient to leave them still in possession of a nominal supremacy ; so that while the Djogoun, or secular chief, regulates and directs the whole machinery of administration, he affects to hold his rank, and power from the immediate appointment of the legitimate sovereign. This revolution took place towards the close of the twelfth century; since which time, four dynasties have successively been masters of the kingdom. Gongin, the originator of the

present race of Djogouns, was a man of considerable abilities. His possession of the crown was warmly contested, and he died at an advanced age, from the effects of a wound received while fighting hand to hand with one of the generals of his competitor. In the reign of the fourth Djogoun, a formidable conspiracy was organized against him by certain individuals of considerable note and ability. It was discovered by the imprudence of the leader, and the principal agents were secured and put to the torture.

• All those who were known to have been intimately connected with Tchouya, were arrested. In this number were Ikiyemon and fatsiyemon. It was no difficult 'matter to obtain from either the one or the other an ayowal of the part which they had personally taken in the conspiracy. 'They were too noble-minded to think of excusing themselves by falsehoods, for being concerned in a project which they considered so honourable ; but nothing could induce them to name one of their accomplices. The ordinary counsellor of state, Matsdaïra-ize-no-kami, finding persuasion of no avail, ordered Izedi-tate-waki, the executioner, to put them to the species of torture called kama-boko-zeme, which consists in extending the body of the criminal, plastered with clay, upon hot ashes, till the heat dries the clay and bursts the flesh all over...... Tchouya and his two friends underwent this cruel punishment. None of them ever changed countenance; they seemed insensible to pain. I have come a great way,” said Fatsiyemon, " this warming will be good for my health ; my limbs will be but the more active for it.” As the kama-boko-zeme could not subdue the fortitude of these two intrepid friends, recourse was had to the nelo-zeme, as follows. The back was laid open for the space of eight inches, and melted copper poured into the incision. It was there left to cool, and then removed by means of a spade with such violence, that the flesh in contact with the metal was toru out along with it. The spectators shuddered with borror; the sufferers alone neither uttered a murmur, por betrayed the least sign of pain. Fatsiyemon still retaining all his composure, jocosely observed that he was not well; that this operation would be as serviceable to hin as that of the mora, and not fail to cure him.'

Threats of severer torture failed to shake the resolution of these determined men, and they were at length, with their wives, families, and dependants, ordered to execution.

In passing the bridge of Nipon-bas, Tchouya heard a man about forty years of age say to another, that it was a highly criminal and extravagant enterprise, to conspire against the emperor,

6 Well it belits

thee, miserable sparrow," cried Tchouya, with a look of iodignation, * 10 compare thyself with the eagle or the crane." The man rediened with shame, and buried bimself among the crowd.'

At the moment of reaching the place of execution, a man rushed from the crowd, and requesting from the officer who commanded, permission to take leave of his friend, obtained a last interview with Tchouya, who, though he had borne up against his personal sufferings and the fate of his kindred, melted into tears at this proof of devoted attachment. The heroic Sibata declared his resolution to share the fate of his associates; he expressed his conviction that they should meet again

in another world, and, producing a vessel of zakki, drank with Tchouya for the last time. The presiding officer, however, refused to accept the surrender of Sibata, and lavishing the highest praises on his generous intrepidity, permitted him to depart.

All the criminals were fastened to crosses, and the executioners armed themselves with their pikes. Tchouya was first pierced by two executioners, who opened his body in the form of a cross. It is stated, that those who follow that profession are so expert at this operation, that there is not one of them who cannot pierce the criminal sixteen times without touching the vital parts.'

Tsouna-yosi, the fifth Djogoun, was, in the earlier part of his reign, a close student and a liberal patron of science. He founded a university at Yedo, and celebrated its opening with great splendour. It was during his life that the following transaction, which affords a striking illustration of the ferocious habits of the nation, took place. In 1701, the prince of Ako, • who had been several times treated contemptuously by Kira-kotsoukino-ski, having received a fresh affront from him in the palace of the Djogoun, drew his sabre with the intention of revenging the insult. Some persons, on hearing the noise, ran up and separated them, and Kotsouki was but slightly wounded. It is an unpardonable crime to draw a sabre in the palace; the prince was therefore ordered to rip himself up, and his descendants were banished for ever. His adversary, who, out of respect for the palace, had abstained from drawing his sabre, was pardoned. This injustice exasperated the servants of the prince so much the more, since it was Kotsouki who, by his repeated insults, had caused the destruction of their master. Forty-seven of them, having agreed to revenge his death, forced their way in the night of the 14th of the 12th month of the following year, into the palace of Kotsouki; and, after a combat which lasted till day-light, they penetrated to his apartment, and despatched him. The Djogoun, on the first intelligence of this desperate attack, sent troops to the assistance of the unfortunate Kotsouki; but they arrived too late to save him. The assailants, not one of whom lost his life in the scuffle, were all taken and con

Hemned to rip up their bellies, which they did with the greatest firmness, satisfied with baying revenged their master. They were all interred in the temple of Singakousi, near the prince. The soldiers, in token of their respect for their fidelity, still visit their graves, and pray before bem. Kotsouki's son, who had been withheld by cowardice from base tening to the assistance of his father, though he was then in the palace, was deprived of his post, and banished, with all his kindred, to the island of Awasi.

Tsouna-yosi did not retain the high character which distinguished him in the early period of his reign. He abandoned himself to the most loathsome debauchery; and having lost all hope of posterity, he determined on adopting a youth utterly without pretensions to so signal an elevation. In vain did his first minister press upon him the impolicy of such a step, the probability that it would excite commotion, and the extreme dissatisfaction that would be felt by the princes of the empire. In vain did the wife of the Djogoun remonstrate with him on the folly of his scheme. He persisted in his wayward resolution, and mingled menace with his passionate reproach. But, as he turned to depart, she seized him by the sleeve, plunged a dagger twice into his breast, and then, sheathing it in her own, fell dead beside him. When the minister of state came to the palace, and witnessed this tragical scene, “This woman," said he,“ has rendered a most important service to the State. But for her, the whole empire would have been convulsed."

Yosi-moune, the eighth Djogoun, appears to have been a prince of great energy: he restored the discipline of the army, which had been greatly neglected; he patronised learning and the arts; he suppressed robbery, and distinguished himself by his humanity and beneficence. Among the anecdotes connected with his era, the following encounter of two poetical antagonists has found a place : we extract it as a sufficient specimen at once of the wit and the poetry of the Japanese.

• There was a considerable fire at Miyako while Toki-tango-no-kami held the office of grand judge there. On this occasion, a courtier named Kaze-faya made the following verses :

Toki-no-toki
Tango* no gogouats bani
Kouasi dasite
Yedo ye sire tara

Ogosiyo și sinban. “ Such is the time at present; a fire broke out in the fifth night of the fifth month. When the news shall have reached Yedo, there will be numberless applicants who will harass you without ceasing."

* Tango is one of the five complementary days. By toki tango, the author alluded to the name of the grand judge, and by ogosiyo, lo his office.

** A few years afterwards, there was another fire at the court of the Dairi, who was obliged to retire to Juakoura, accompanied by Kaze faya-deno and Simisou-dani-seicho. The latter made these verses ::.

Kaze faya to
Kikoumo ouramesi

Teyono fi o. « Whenever I hear a violent wind, I dread the breaking out of a fire while it blows." . His companion immediately replied in these verses :

Simisou dani tote

Yakemo no karesou. “ Were it even in a valley, watered by a running stream, every thing would be consumed."

• In this manner they mutually alluded to their names.

In 1783, while M. Titsingh was resident at Nangasaki, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions laid waste an extensive district. In 1788, a conflagration made tremendous havock among the wooden houses of Miyako. In 1793, another burning mountain emitted fire and lava, showers of stones, and torrents of boiling water. Of these volcanoes, and of their terrible phenomena, we are favoured with a couple of coloured misrepresentations : more complete specimens of unmeaning tawdriness, we do not recollect ever to have inspected. · The history of the Djogouns, though far from uninteresting, contains but little in the way of direct illustration of the laws, customs, and character of the Japanese : on these and on other points, it will be found, however, to supply incidental information. The authority of the chief, though to all appearance specifically unlimited, seems to be counteracted by the power of certain wealthy and influential magnates; and the administration of justice seems to be committed to the hands of qualified officers, and to be regulated by equitable laws. In the infliction of capital punishment, there are certain classes who possess the highly-rated privilege of being their own executioners, and of going out of the world by the aristocratical method of ripping up the belly.'

• All military men, the servants of the Djogoun, and persons holding civil offices under the government, are bound, when they have committed any crime, to rip themselves up, but not till they have received an order from the court to that effect; for, if they were to anticipate this order, their heirs would run the risk of being deprived of their places and property. For this reason, all the officers of government are provided, in addition to their usual dress, and that which they put on in case of fire, with a suit necessary on such an occasion, which they carry with them whenever they travel from home. It consists of a white robe

* Kaze-faya, a high wind. Simisou, fresh water.

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