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we have erected in our midst against the Orient. The sense of human brotherhood is no less needed by men whose profession is the propagation of the Gospel than by men of the lay world. We send missionaries to Japan and tell the “heathen” natives of love and universal brotherhood; but when Japanese, converted to the teachings of the great Nazarene, come to these shores they are denied admission into the greatest fraternal institution to which those great teachings have given birth-I refer to the Young Men's Christian Association. It was, I presume, this sort of proselytizing which the Master sternly rebuked in these words, “Woe unto you, hypocrites, ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte.”
The world is troubled and the age is critical. Perhaps we are, like the Greek of old,
“Wandering between two worlds-one dead,
How soon that other world will see the light God alone knows. We are souls loosed the sunless seas of doubt and wearily scanning the dark horizon for a haven for which our forefathers have striven these many centuries but which is not yet even in sight. The hour is full of anxieties and forebodings. And yet in such an hour “it is bliss to be alive," and be able to contribute a widow's mite towards the solution of the great problem that confronts us.
HAVE often wondered why I can never bring myself to feel indignant at the American censor of the
Japanese. Considering the vituperations and slanders which he heaps upon the Japanese, I ought to be able sometimes to let myself go and accept the challenge like a man, if I had a grain of pride in the race to which I belong. For the life of me I cannot. Am I cowardly or indifferent?
The truth is that I can never fully grasp his point of view, and, failing to comprehend him, I also fail to take him seriously. As George Meredith says of Mrs. Caroline Grandison, he “ runs ahead of my thoughts like nimble fire." I follow him with panting eagerness, but the moment I seem to be catching up with him he suddenly disappears or shifts his position, only to crop up again, God knows in what direction.
The American censor is so versatile and flexible that he appears at times whimsical. His line of argument is tortuous, full of sharp curves and backward bends. Only a short while ago he harped upon the popular notion of the inferiority of the Japanese. The Japanese strove might and main to vindicate their ability. Now he holds out the bogie of Japanese domination, and argues that the “ brown men must be excluded and even expelled because of their superior abilities. He complains that the Japanese are clannish and cannot understand the hailfellow-well-met manner of the Occident, but when the Japanese try to mingle freely with Americans, why they are accused of being “too eager to push socially." He tells the Japanese to learn something of the amenities of conventional society; woe betide the Japanese if they take him at his word and don black frock coats and high silk hats. “ The Japs are cocky and like to put on airs' is the immediate rebuke. He blames the Japanese for sending money out of his country, but when they begin to invest their hard-earned dollars in real property instead of sending them home, he calls them a “menace.” What does he want them to do with their savings? He used to argue that the Japanese must be kept away because they lower the economic standards of the American labourer; now he charges them with demanding exorbitant wages. For some time he has diligently exploited the old theory of the unassimilability of the Orientals; now he admits that the Japanese show a capacity for assimilation much greater than that of the Chinese, Mexicans, and some of the South and East European races, and yet he concludes that, inasmuch as some native inhabitants of the Pacific Coast cherish prejudice against the Orientals, the Japanese should neither be admitted nor allowed to own land in this country.
I have followed him far enough, and I must pause to save my breath. Such a dull mind as mine has but little craving for such intellectual gymnastics. I can see only the comical side of his strategy. He snatches weapons from the hands of his opponents and utilizes them to strengthen his own position. As frequently he forges his own weapons, which to my untrained eyes appear so bizarre that I think they should remain in fairyland, there to be put in the hands of imps and clowns.
And yet such grotesque missiles seem to be effective
in beguiling an unthinking public. “The Japanese are so dishonest that most Japanese banks have to employ Chinese cashiers,” says one critic, and another adds: “Unblushing lying is so universal among the Japanese as to be one of the leading national traits.” The third informs that "the Japanese are so unmoral that indulgence sexually before marriage is a common practice of both sexes." And the fourth corroborates the idea in these words: “There is no word in Japanese corresponding to sin, because there is in the ordinary Japanese mind no conception of its meaning. There is no word corresponding to the word home, because there is nothing in the Japanese domestic life corresponding to the home as we know it."
Such fairy tales are unessential, for we are dealing with this prosaic, matter-of-fact world. What is essential is the state of mind which causes the public to listen to such stories with avidity and without discrimination. What created such a state of mind? The question is pertinent, considering the generosity and indulgence with which America up to a decade ago viewed Japan and the Japanese. The Americans are not naturally addicted to fault-finding, and I find the average American remarkably tolerant. How comes it that of late his innate leniency seems to have made way for censoriousness? I do not pretend to possess any magical power enabling me to unveil the mysteries which have shrouded the alienation of American sympathy from Japan, but the following few facts may furnish a clue to this enigma:
During the Russo-Japanese War many American and European newspaper correspondents came to Tokyo, all eager to proceed to the front. The Japanese Government, much as it was anxious to accommodate them, could illafford to expose its plan of campaign to the outside
world, for the stake it was playing for was the very existence of the empire. To the impatient correspondents, however, the life or death of Japan was of no greater consequence than the rise or decline of their fame as writers, and when they found themselves virtual prisoners in luxurious hotels attended by courteous officers, they were in no mood to compliment Japan. That was quite natural, and it is unreasonable to blame them. Nor is it reasonable to censure the Japanese General Staff.
When the plenipotentiaries of Japan and Russia met at Portsmouth to negotiate peace, the tide of public opinion began to flow against the Japanese. By the time the conference came to a close Russia had been virtually substituted for Japan in the sympathies and good-wishes of the American newspapers. Not only had Witte defeated Komura within the walls of the historic "storehouse” utilized for the conference, but he had outwitted the Mikado's envoy by befriending the press of the world, whose representatives were gathered at the Hotel Wentworth. The late Marquis Komura, with all his shrewdness and foresight, never fully realized the power wielded by the press. He was always so cocksure of the justness of his stand that in adhering to it he never recognized the necessity of having editorial sympathy on his side. Most of all, he disliked the corrupt means so frequently employed by those statesmen who with Robert Walpole believe that “every man has his price.” What wonder that almost simultaneously with the triumphant exit of Count Witte from the great diplomatic stage at Portsmouth, American newspapers began to publish all manner of insinuations with regard to Japan ?
This new turn of public sentiment was at once seized upon by those great interests whose business was and is to make capital out of the war scare often created by