10. Chapter 10From the Treaty of Portsmouth to the opening of the Great War
The Russo-Japanese War, unlike the Chino-Japanese War, had drained the financial resources of the Japanese people, and Japan had received no war indemnity. Like Great Britain after Waterloo, she had immensely improved her status, but large sections of her population had not benefited pecuniarily by the struggle. The discontented elements, as in England betwreen 1815 and 1832, manifested their irritation by rioting. In September 1905 Tokyo had to be placed under martial law.
The position was further complicated by failures of crops. A famine threatened in the north-eastern section of Honshiu. In December the Katsura ministry which had conducted the war was forced to resign. Before Prince Katsura went out of office, he had concluded, on August 12, 1905, negotiations which resulted in the extension of the scope of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. The new alliance was for ten years, and under it Great Britain and Japan pledged themselves, not only to maintain peace in India and the Far East, but to preserve the independence and integrity of China.
The Entente Cordiale (concluded on April 8, 1904) enabled Great Britain to act as mediator between Japan and Russia. On June 10, 1907, a Franco-Japanese, and in the July of the same year a Russo-Japanese agreement, were signed. An Anglo-Russian agreement was also concluded on August 31, regulating the differences between Russia and Great Britain in the Middle East. The next year (1908) friendly Notes were exchanged between Japan and the United States. Free and peaceful development of Japanese and American commerce in the Pacific Ocean and equal opportunity for foreign commerce and industry in China were the principles affirmed by the Japanese Ambassador at Washington and Mr. Elihu Root. How different were the conditions under which these Notes were penned from those existing in 1853 when Commodore Perry delivered his ultimatum to the Shogun !
In 1909 the Manchurian battle-fields and Japan were visited by Lord Kitchener. At Port Arthur on October 23, the Japanese Admiral Tomioka, speaking in English, said that he ' could not help admiring such a distinguished guest as one of the type of Japanese bushido '. Kitchener replied that he was confident that the Anglo-Japanese Alliance would be long maintained. On October 27 he sent from Mukden to the Mikado a telegram of condolence on the assassination of Prince Ito, who had been murdered at Harbin by a Corean fanatic. Limitations of space have prevented details of the lives of the great men who helped Mutsuhito in his stupendous task from being given in this book, but an exception must be made in the case of Ito.
Ito has been wrongly compared with Bismarck - how wrongly may be gathered from his own words. ' Our work ', he said, ' we take it, is this : to do battle for the right and uphold the good, and to help make the world clean and fair, so that none may ever have cause to regret that Japan has taken her rightful place among the nations of the world.' His attitude towards his sovereign was far more loyal than Bismarck's towards his masters. ' The Imperial will ', wrote Ito, ' has ever been the guiding star of the nation. Whatever ', he continued, ' may have been the work done by those who, like myself, tried to assist him in his enlightened government, it could not have achieved such wonderful results had it not been for the "great, progressive, and wise influence of His Majesty the Emperor, ever behind each new measure of reform. From the Emperor Japan has learned that lesson which has made her what she is at present.' The reader who has perused Busch's works and Bismarck's own Reminiscences will note the gulf between the soul of Ito and that of the Man of Blood and Iron.
Ito was born on September 2, 1841. He was the only son of a petty samurai of the Choshu clan. Through the celebrated Yoshida Torajiro (better known as Shoin), who was his schoolmaster, he early became interested in Occidentalism. At the age of sixteen he entered the service of Kuruhara, a prominent adviser of the Choshu baron. This important personage was strongly impressed by the danger Japan ran from being isolated, and he studied Western tactics at Nagasaki under Dutch instructors. By Kuruhara the young Ito, then eighteen years old, was introduced to Koin Kido, another progressive leader in the, generally speaking, retrograde Choshu clan.
Koin Kido, recognizing the transcendent abilities of the youth, decided secretly to send Ito and three others - including him who was afterwards to be the Marquis Inouye - to Europe. The little party of adventurers at great danger to themselves embarked in 1863 at Yokohama on a British steamer, and reached London four months later. Lord Elgin, Kaempfer, and Will Adams had been astonished at what they saw in Japan, Marco Polo at what he saw in China. No less great was the astonishment of the Japanese strangers suddenly immersed in the atmosphere of Occidentalism at its central point. Our language, handwriting, printed characters, dress, religion, institutions, customs, laws, and ideas were almost wholly unfamiliar to them. Whether the Japanese brain could assimilate the Occidentalism of the nineteenth century had yet to be ascertained. Ito and his companions settled down to their colossal tasks with energy like that exhibited by Peter the Great when, in disguise, he worked in the Dutch shipyards. The future prince at once started to learn English and to study modern science.
One day he read in the columns of The Times a statement that the allied squadrons were about to bombard (as related in chapter 5) the batteries of the Lord of Choshu commanding the Shimonoseki Straits. With Inouye he immediately took ship for Japan. The two patriots landed at Yokohama and found the country in a ferment. Hastening to Yedo, they called at the British Legation and begged Sir Rutherford Alcock to let them see if they could persuade -the Choshu baron and his vassals to submit. Sir Rutherford agreed to the proposition. The daring couple were taken on a British ship to Shimonoseki, and running the greatest dangers - Inouye was wounded - argued with the heads of the clan. The latter were not amenable to reason ; the bombardment took place, and, at last convinced of the efficacy of modern weapons, the Japanese reactionaries were glad to avail themselves of the services of Ito. He negotiated for his lord, and the matter was, more or less, satisfactorily settled. Soon after, Ito was instrumental in reconciling the Satsuma and Choshu clans. Out of that reconciliation and the character of Mutsuhito sprang the Restoration of the Mikado. In 1868 Ito was appointed Councillor of State and interpreted for Mutsuhito at the first audience granted by the Emperor to the foreign representatives.
Henceforth Ito's life, up to his death, was interwoven with the main events of Japanese history. It was he who concluded the Treaties of Tientsin and Shimonoseki, and prevented Japan from throwing down the glove to Russia in 1895. Although opposed to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, once it was concluded he gave it his loyal support. The Constitution of Japan and a remarkable commentary on it were among the products of his sane and fertile intellect. For a time he acted as leader of one of the political parties which came into existence after the granting of the Constitution.
On the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War, Ito was appointed Residert-General in Corea, and, as will be related, performed there work analogous to that of Cromer and Kitchener in Egypt. His observations on Wilhelm II's hollow call to arms against a ' Yellow Peril ' are worth quoting. ' If ', he said, ' there be a Yellow Peril to be feared in China, then Europe should reckon upon Japan as their first outpost, since Japan would suifer first from such a peril.' As mentioned, by a curious accident Lord Kitchener, the • European who, perhaps, most nearly resembled Ito, was in Manchuria at the moment when, as Ito was conversing with the Russian Minister of Finance, six shots from a Browning pistol were fired at him. The first three struck, and mortally wounded the, prince. 'I am done for', he said, ' three bullets have hit me.'
Half an hour later he expired. He had obeyed the Japanese commandments ' to do nothing that is shameful, to live so as to become a good ancestor, and in nothing to degrade in any way the good name of one's ancestors '.
From Mukden Kitchener proceeded to Corea and thence to Japan itself. On November 2 he arrived at Tokyo, where his reception was almost regal. His carriage, was escorted by troops of cavalry, crowds of citizens greeting its passage with enthusiastic cheers. The Shiba Palace was placed at his disposal. On November 10 he was present with the Mikado at the Japanese manoeuvres, and on the 19th he sailed from Kobe for Shanghai en route for Australia and New Zealand, whose governments had asked him to advise them on military matters.
The hostile intentions of the Teutonic Powers and their allies being obvious, Japan began to prepare to take her part in the struggle. Though now she built men-of-war for herself, and her army did not need to go to Europe for its weapons and munitions, her position in 1910 was not over-satisfactory. Against Germany's fleet of thirtytwo battleships and cruisers she could oppose only twentyfive. The German intrigues in England, on the European Continent, in China and America, were well known. It might be the Kaiser's plan to pick a quarrel with the Japanese alone, before he embarked on his more grandiose undertakings. The Mikado's ministers increased expenditure on the navy. In 1909 Japan had commenced to build submarines. Closer relations with Russia *in view of the consolidation of peace in the Far East ' and for the improvement of the Manchurian railways, were entered into in 1910.
At home Japanese statesmen were faced with serious troubles. In 1910 an attempt was even made to murder the Mikado, to whom the Japanese people owed so largely their high position in the councils of the world. Several of the culprits were executed, and others imprisoned. The plot was one of a number of ugly symptoms pointing to the fact that the Japanese leaders, so wise and discriminating in other respects, had failed to solve many of the economic problems connected with the welfare of wage-earners.
To get rich quickly had been a necessity for Japan, if she was to remain independent, but in the haste to acquire wealth, many of the evils which disfigure Europe and America had made their appearance in her manufacturing centres.
To understand the situation it is necessary to have a clear idea of the radical changes in Japanese urban life effected by Occidentalism. The reader who has studied the descriptions of Japan written by foreigners who visited the islands soon after their opening in 1853 must not imagine that the Japan of 1910 answered to those descriptions. In some rural districts and old-world towns the transformation that had come over the face of the country might not be apparent. Elsewhere either everything was new or the new jostled with the old, as it does in London, Bristol, Norwich, and York. The writer's impressions of Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe, Osaka, and Kyoto in 1910 may help to explain the economic situation.
To begin with the capital : Tokyo, the ancient seat of the Tokugawa Shogunate bore as little resemblance in 1910 to the Yedo of the Shoguns as the Rome of to-day does to the Rome of Pio Nono. With the fall of the Shogunate and the disappearance of the fiefs, the mansions erected by the feudatories in Yedo had been demolished-, and the noble parks in which they stood - parks created by the combined eiforts of art and nature working through three centuries - had, according to one observer, been, with very few exceptions, ' literally torn to pieces, so that the places they adorned became vacant and desolate regions : blots breaking the continuity of the populous city'. All this destruction, says Captain Brinkley, who visited Tokyo in 1867, had been wrought with lightning rapidity. Captain Brinkley then found a metropolis thickly packed with buildings and parks, its streets resonant with the tramp of armed samurai entering or emerging from long low lines of solid barracks that flanked the gates of the feudal yashiki, and its markets thronged with busy tradesmen. Any one visiting it five years later would have received the impression of a town much too spacious for its citizens, ' a town populous in spots and desolate in spots, but wearing altogether an aspect of obvious decadence'. This apparent desolation had been but a temporary feature in Tokyo. The municipal census of 1908 gave the settled population of the city as 1,622,856. Tokyo in 1910, owing to its teeming streets and to the fact that most of its population lived in the streets, gave the impression of being an even greater city than it really was. The houses and shops were at the most but two storeys in height, and hence spread over a good deal of space. The majority of the streets were still narrow and without sidewalks. Parks and bathing-places and spacious drilling-grounds afforded elbow-room. The planting of cherry-trees along the streets and the river banks, in the parks and squares, embellished the thoroughfares and gave an attractiveness to their appearance during the cherryblossom season in April which could be found in no other large city of the world.
Yet much remained to be done before Tokyo could rank as a modern city. Perhaps nowhere else in Japan was the old life and the new to be seen in such close juxtaposition. In one street were visible only ' wooden houses of immemorial style, lowly, sombre, and unattractive, annexes of unshapely fireproof warehouses'; in the next ' handsome lofty edifices of brick and stone, such as would be called imposing anywhere '. Along the sides of one thoroughfare the shops had the open front and unallur.ing arrangement of mediaeval fashions ; those in the adjoining street were resplendent with plate-glass windows and glittering displays of foreign wares or native works of art. The factory chimney had begun ' to stain the crystalline purity of the atmosphere that enfolded Yedo in pre-Meiji times '. The town, excellently policed and fairly well lighted, had a sufficient water-supply, and a public school system that ranked -with those of most European cities. Three essentials, however, were still wanted : a good drainage system to fulfil the aim of its comprehensive sanitary regulations, a commodious station, better streets and side-walks. The surface tramways were admirable and the fares remarkably low. The new methods of travel had reduced the work of the jinrikishas during the last ten years. No one seemed to be idle in Tokyo. The general impression was that of a hive of busy humanity living in houses that looked into the street where most of the business seemed to be transacted. Moreover, Tokyo was a city of a single European hotel.
From Tokyo to its port, Yokohama, is but a distance of some eighteen miles. Until 1859 Yokohama was a fishing village, but in 1910 its population amounted to 400,000. At the latter date it presented most of the features we are accustomed to associate with a rising and important city - modern stores wherein the American window-dressing system prevailed, though modified fortunately by a leavening of Japanese taste, electric tramways, imposing government and public ofiic which were situated in the lower town adjoining the harbour, an energetic and progressive municipal council, whose attention was never distracted from the mainspring of Yokohama's prosperity, the organization of her commerce and the necessity of adapting her harbours to the ever-growing maritime trade. The approaching opening of the Panama Canal made dredging operations for the accommodation of larger vessels, additional quay accommodation, and other equipment of the port matters of most urgent necessity. These had been in progress for some time past.
In the export trade, Yokohama was likely to retain her position as principal port of Japan, but Kobe had become in recent years, especially in regard to her imports, perhaps the most important shipping and distributing centre of the Empire, and the increasing importance of Osaka was rapidly winning for Kobe the same position as Yokohama had held relative to Tokyo. The trade at Kobe in 19 lo amounted, to £36,124,382, not far short of that of Yokohama, and her imports exceeded those of Yokohama by about £8,000,000.
Kobe's proximity by rail to Tsuruga, and the position acquired by the latter since the completion of the TransSiberian railway, brought Kobe within fifteen or sixteen days of London. As regards sea communication with Europe and North and South America, there was very little to choose between Yokohama and Kobe, and the latter was also as much a port of call as the former for large and small sailing and coasting vessels. Its vicinity, too, to Kyoto, Kure, Himeji, Okayama, and Hiroshima, and many small but thriving towns in the Sanyo district, was an important feature of its position. Kobe's modern history only started from the opening to foreign trade in 1867 of Hyogo, her neighbour across the harbour, but she had been an important centre of distribution since the middle of the sixteenth century, when Hideyoshi built Osaka Castle. The growth of her modern trade is shown by the following table, which sets out the figures for every tenth year from 1878 to 1908 and those for 1909 and 1910 : -
Between the trade of Yokohama and that of Kobe there were certain differences, the chief being, in Kobe's case, the preponderance of imports over exports and the varied character of both, while the bulk of Yokohama's export trade was silk. A similar feature of both ports was the extent to which the import and the export trade was in foreign hands, British firms leading the way. Native feeling against such a condition of affairs was beginning to show itself.
Kobe, too, was unlike Yokohama, in that she was a manufacturing centre of some importance as well as a seaport and a centre of distribution. Her shipbuilding and repairing dockyards employed some 3,000 hands, and in the case of the Mitsubishi firm, was in connexion with shipbuilding establishments at Nagasaki. The Kanegafuchi spinning-works, boasting the most model organization in Japan, were here, also the Kobe steel-works and a variety of other important manufacturing and industrial undertakings. As in the case of Yokohama, the great expansion in Kobe's trade of recent years had necessitated the provision of extra harbour accommodation, and the reclamation scheme to effect this had been put in hand and was approaching completion. "
Less modern than Yokohama, more modern than Tokyo, was the Cottonopolis of Japan, Osaka, which had been ' the kitchen ' of Yedo under the Tokugawa Shogunate, In 1661, when the population of London was under 200,000, that of Osaka is said to have been twice as large. In 1910 the inhabitants numbered 1,250,000.
In appearance Osaka presented some striking contrasts. From the wdndows of the railway carriage it might be regarded as a foreign Manchester. Its innumerable tall chimneys sent forth the blackest of smoke, and its factories and mills were built of red brick after the plan of our ovm - except that, on account of earthquakes, they were not more than one or two storeys high. The immediately surrounding country was flat for miles, affording ample room for a city of five millions. It was on account of this open situation, and because all the roads of the Empire naturally extended to Osaka, that Hideyoshi built his castle there, and determined to make it the national capital. While the factories and mills suggested some of our own cities, the several branches of the river and the innumerable canals called to mind Amsterdam and Venice, and had obtained for it the name of the ' City of Water '. The canals, some of great width, ran through the busiest districts, and were interwoven among its streets. From the bay and river eastward there were at least ten of them, all communicating with the central one, which ran north and south through the heart of the city, and formed the boundary between the west and east end. The eastern district was again divided by a canal from the branch of the river running through the northern district of Osaka, and was connected by two arms with the north and south branch. This network of canals, laden with barges and boats of every sort and kind, relieved the streets of the pressure caused by the traffic, and transported the fabrics of the mills, shops, and factories, together with the provisions for the millions of people depending for their supplies upon the Osaka district. It was a city of boats and bridges, the latter numbering 444 in all, not little wooden structures, but many of them well-built, substantial erections of iron, stone, or timber. Projecting over the canals were thousands of closely packed dwelling-houses.
The streets and canals of Osaka were thronged with busy multitudes of people. The stores and shops were also workshops and warehouses. Clerks, designers, artisans, packers, carters, sellers, anjl buyers were so mixed up that the wonder was how they managed to unravel themselves and evolve order out of the chaos which seemed to reign supreme. In this respect one was reminded of the descriptions of the cities of the ancient world before the days of capitalization and centralization of industrial energy, when every man had a handicraft of his own. The inhabitants plied their various trades alongside the avenues of traffic, and even in boats on the canals. Now you passed through a long street given over to pottery and porcelain, next through one devoted to umbrellas and fans. Methods and implements were as varied as were the occupations. Here were men with their bronze skin bare, save for a breechcloth round their loins, pounding rice with a long wooden pole. Next door a dozen operatives were making garments with the latest American sewing-machines. Over the Rice Exchange they were waving the quotations from hill to hill and peak to peak by means of flags. Within a stone's throw in the imposing modern post-office building might be heard the click of the telegraph instrument, and the ' Are you there ? ' of the telephone. You might within a few minutes view in operation the oldest and most primitive spinningwheel and the most intricate modern Jacquard machine.
A delirium of work seemed to pervade the people. In their eagerbess to take part in the conflict, the Osaka industrial army had simply caught up every implement at hand, and with surprising deftness was producing an infinite variety of excellentarticles. Poorly equipped some of the labourers might be, but nevertheless they worked. The industrial army was not waiting for the last man to be fully furnished with the latest modern device, but it was pushing to the front with what it had, discarding the old implements only when better were obtainable. Those who have gazed at the Pyramids and wondered how they were built without modern appliances should walk the streets of Osaka and see the obstacles encountered and overcome by hand labour. A few ancient-looking bulls with great rings in their noses were the only beasts of burden visible here. All else was moved by human muscle, except, of course, the machinery of the cotton mills, and the recently installed electric tramways, which were taking the place of thousands of jinrikishas.
Before resuming the narrative, let us glance at a very different place - Kyoto, the Mecca of Japan. It would be difficult to imagine a more superbly situated city. Guarded on three sides by well-wooded mountains, one range of which separates it from the famous Lake Biwa, it is built upon a fertile plain, which, beginning with Kyoto, extends southwards to the Bay of Osaka.
A glance at an illuminated map of Kyoto suggested that fully half of the area occupied by the city was given over to palaces, pleasure-grounds, and temples of all iinds. The Japanese delight to build their temples in the groves and clumps of trees on the hill-sides, and in the nooks and corners of mountain ranges. Upon the scene of busy commercial and industrial life in Kyoto these red, gold, copper, and burnished temples and shrines, surrounded by the dark green cryptomerias, and enlivened with rich foliage of flowering shrubs, looked down with contempt. A statistician could hardly pursue his studies in the mountain-side hotel of Kyoto. From its bridges, lantern-hung verandahs, and sliding windows, the outlook was indescribably lovely. Below the gables and spires and corrugated roofs of the oriental city, the swift-running silvery waters of the Kamo, the canal from Lake Biwa, and the numerous picturesque bridges were discernible. Then the palace grounds, the once powerful Shogun's palace, the temple, the castle, and the foliage met the view. Beyond all these the mighty walls of well-wooded mountains, decked with gay shrines and temple gates, closed in the scene. The Kamo river, running from north to south at the base of a chain of hills studded with temples, passed through the city. On the west ran the Katsura, while the Takase river flowed between.
There was in 1910 a population within the city of 440,000, the number having nearly doubled in the last quarter of a century. Kyoto retained its former delightful attractions, not even marred by hotels on ' the European plan '. The old and picturesque Yaami Hotel had been partially destroyed by fire, but the Miyako Hotel, similarly situated on hilly ground in a park of 25 acres and surrounded by a tastefully arranged Japanese garden, had taken its place. The style of architecture was Japanese, and lent itself agreeably to the surrounding scenery as well as to Kyoto itself. There was another good hotel - the Kyoto Hotel - in the centre of the town. ' This is Japan at last ! ' was the expression heard on reaching Kyoto, when it was found that Japanese girls in their native costume were employed as waiters and attendants, instead of Japanese men, as in the hotels of other large cities. Kyoto was practically unchanged. The railway station was still on the outskirts of the town, and it took forty minutes in a jinrikisha to climb the hill to the hotel.
It was not, however, with cities like the old capital of Japan that Mutsuhito and his ministers had now to reckon. They had principally to busy themselves with the regulation of industrial centres such as Osaka, Kobe, and Yokohama. On July 30, 1912, the remarkable monarch, during whose lifetime Yokohama and so many other cities had sprung up, passed away. The scenes which attended his death and funeral were, perhaps, unparalleled in human history. No Pharaoh, Caesar, or Caliph was ever so sincerely lamented. General Nogi, the captor of Port Arthur, and his vsdfe committed suicide on the day of the funeral. Nogi had predicted the Great War of 1914. His death and the death of his wife were protests against the tendency in Japan slavishly to imitate European and American customs.
During the later years of Mutsuhito's reign and the first years of his successor, the present Mikado, two other matters of external policy (besides the Teutonic Peril question) had greatly exercised the minds of Japanese statesmen. One was the prpbleni how to protect Japanese immigrants in America ; the other concerned the administration of Formosa, Corea, the Liao-tung peninsula, and Sakhalien.
The former problem, which has not yet been entirely solved, produced serious friction between Japan and the Pacific States of the great North American Republic. The Americans, despite Japan's giant strides since 1853, were still inclined to patronize or coerce such of the Mikado's subjects as landed, chiefly from Hawaii, on their shores.
In his illuminating work, When I was a Child, the distinguished Japanese artist and writer, Yoshio Markino, has graphically described his experiences on landing at San Francisco in July 1893, and his subsequent adventures in America. The stories told by Markino, by birth a samurai, help one to understand the bitter feelings of resentment felt by the Japanese towards certain Occidentals. ' I went ', he writes, ' to the Golden Gate Park with another Japanese. Whenever we passed before the crowds, they shouted " Jap ! " and " Sukebei ! " (the latter word is too rude to translate). Then some of them even spat on us. When we came out to the corner of Geary Street, pebbles were showered upon us.'
Fortunately the government at Washington contains highly cultivated gentlemen. By their tact and the efforts of President Roosevelt, war between Japan and the United States over the immigration question was never imminent.
It remains to be considered how Japan has administered the provinces acquired by her as a result of the Chino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars. The events attending the expansion of Japan have taken place concurrently with her elevation to the status of a world-Power ; it has, therefore, been rapid, 3nd geographical conditions have compelled each successive step to be enacted in full view of a critical audience. There had been ho new continents for Japan to occupy ; she has had to extend her Empire over lands immediately adjacent and already populated. These have presented widely divergent problems in colonization, which might well have taxed the capacity of a more experienced nation.
As the necessity of expansion is accepted in the case of other countries, there is no call to labour it here on behalf of Japan. But a special factor inherent in the situation in the Far East was also present to force her hand. It was the ultra-conservatism of China, who made a point of asserting herself in a particularly aggressive manner as though in protest against the progressive ideas which Japan had adopted. The latter ernbarked upon a career of progress on Occidental lines from a deliberate conviction of its utility and advantages. It was not to be expected, therefore, that she would prove more tolerant of disorder and unrest on her borders than a European Power. The Chinese government, however, had always been handicapped by the weakness of its control over the outlying portions of the vast territories nominally under its sway, and this weakness was the circumstance that provided the immediate cause of Japan's expansion.
As the growth of Japan has had to take place at the expense of her neighbours, it is inevitable that it should be resented in many quarters. When to this circumstance have to be added mistakes such as no country has been able to avoid entirely in its colonial history, we need not be surprised that criticism, by laying emphasis on details, has been able to create considerable, prejudice against the Japanese. The verdict of history will accord to these considerations their true value, and its estimate of Japan as a colonizing power will be largely guided by the use to which she has put her opportunities - in other words, by the fruits of her expansion. This is the standard by which Japan would elect to be judged, and the one to which consciously she adjusts her policy. Whatever may have been the shortcomings which have evoked criticism, there can be no doubt that alike in Formosa and Corea the advent of Japanese rule has made for order and progress. These two experiments in colonization - the first made since centuries by an independent Asiatic race - are of peculiar interest to the historian and sociologist. Though Japanese immigrants were in Corea long before any Japanese settled in Formosa, the island of Formosa was the first to come under Japanese rule.
When the Japanese proposed to include the cession of Formosa in the terms of peace to be imposed upon China by the Treaty of Shimonoseki (April 1895), the Chinese plenipotentiary was mildly surprised. Immigration from the mainland had extended Chinese sovereignty over the island, but China had consistently evaded the task of governing the rebellious inhabitants ; consequently the Peking authorities experienced little or no regret in seeing their difficulties in regard to Formosa transferred to the Japanese.
The action of the French in storming and occupying Keelung in 1884-5 had served to remind the Japanese of the possibility of Formosa falling into the hands of another Power. Fear of such an eventuality, as well as the natural desire for expansion, prompted Japan to claim Formosa at the first opportunity. There was little to attract her in the actual conditions of the island, and she lacked the stimulus of any close commercial relationship.
Twenty years' government has wrought striking changes in Taiwan (the Japanese name of the island). The pacification of the aborigines has been completed, conditions of life have become normal, and the productive capacity of the island has been increased until it has been launched on its career as a profitable colony, independent of the Imperial exchequer.
The Japanese have been accused of ruthlessness in overcoming the opposition of the aborigines. The latter were not, however, an amiable and peaceful folk, but a race whose favourite pursuit was the collection of human skulls. It is not very likely that the Formosan head-hunters brought into contact with the Chinese had become less cruel than they naturally were. The hideous tortures inflicted by the Chinese on native and foreign victims are notorious. If the Japanese had at first to be severe, that severity was, doubtless, necessary. At first the Japanese Formosan government, at the instance, it is said, of the Emperor himself, refrained from any aggressive policy directed to bringing about the wholesale submission of the aborigines. Japanese rule was extended gradually over the island ; a cordon of troops or gendarmes virtually indicated the limits of the new jurisdiction. In 1910 it was decided that the time had arrived for the systematic subjugation of the whole island. The undertaking was to be spread over a period of five years, and a certain sum was set aside to defray the cost. It was actually completed in 1914, a feature of the campaign being the surrounding of the region occupied by the aborigines with electrically charged wire entanglements, which were pushed forward until the savages were completely caged. The Japanese were too business-like to leave the natives, even when they had finally subjugated them by force, without an opportunity to make themselves useful citizens. Means of earning a legitimate livelihood were put in their way, and special attention given to the work of educating and civilizing the rising generation.
One of the earliest problems confronting the Japanese was the sanitary condition of the island, the climate of which is hot, damp, and malarious ; for, until the evils of long years of Chinese neglect and to some extent the natural drawbacks had been remedied, there could be no question of encouraging immigration. As a preliminary measure artesian wells were sunk in enormous numbers to procure an untainted water-supply ; the capital Taihoku (Taipeh) received a drainage system, and, subsequently, waterworks ; sewers and conduits were built in the chief towns. Nearly 4,000 miles of roads have been reconstructed or built. A railway line (247 miles), running down the western side of the island, now connects the two ports of Keelung in the extreme north and Takao on the southwest coast. Branch lines bring the total mileage to 320 miles on the State system. The sugar industry has given rise to a number of private light railways, no fewer than 929 miles of lines being used for this purpose. A special feature of Taiwan is the tracks for hand-pushed cars ; some 485 miles of these tracks have been constructed. Harbour works were also undertaken on a large scale, nearly j£i,ooo,ooo being spent on those at Keelung. Takao has become a good second-class port, and Tamsui, handicapped by a bar at the river's mouth, has been improved.
There had been little commercial contact between Japan and Formosa before the cession took place, and settlement by Japanese progressed slowly at first. The Taiwan government, under the direction of a governor-general, found itself, therefore, compelled to adopt an extremely parental and protectionist policy towards trade and industry. Government monopolies, the encouragement of industries by means of subsidies, and the establishment of model industrial institutions, have formed the key-note of Japanese policy in Taiwan.
As among the habits introduced by the Chinese into Formosa was that of the smoking and eating of opium - vices strictly prohibited in Japan - the first monopoly to be started was that of opium ; the system was subsequently extended to salt, camphor, and tobacco. It was decided that in view of the hold which the first-named drug had obtained in Formosa under the Chinese administration, absolute prohibition could not be enforced at once, and that a system of gradual prohibition would have to be introduced. Unofficial importation of opium was forbidden in February 1896, and in April 1897 the production, sale, and smoking of opium were all subjected to government regulations. Licences to smoke were to be issued only to those who were regarded as confirmed smokers. Whether these measures will prove effective, time alone will show. The habits sought to be eradicated are far more tenacious than the habits of drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco, and the effoits of the Japanese in the comparatively short space of twenty years should be compared with those of the legislators and administrators of States where attempts have been made to stamp but drunkenness.
In regard to both salt and camphor the monopoly system has been attended by marked progress in the industries. A salt monopoly existed under the Chinese regime, but was abandoned when the island was ceded to Japan. Four years later the unsatisfactory condition of the trade and the fluctuations in price caused a monopoly to be proclaimed. To-day Taiwan is not only able to supply its own salt needs, dispensing with imports from China, but it exports salt to other parts of the Japanese Empire and to Asiatic Russia. But for the intervention of the government it is probable that the camphor industry would have shared the fate that bids fair to overtake it on the Chinese mainland, where reckless felling of trees must sooner or later drive it out of existence. The production of camphor and camphoroil fluctuates from year to year ; but the industry has made considerable strides, and is now in a flourishing condition'. Tobacco forms a fourth monopoly, established chiefly for the purpose of raising revenue. The plant is grown in the island, but neither in quantity nor in quality is the local product sufficient to meet the demands. Greater attention, however, is now being given to methods of cultivation, with a view to reducing the importation.
Nothing is more typical of the thoroughness with which Japan approached her first effort at colonization than the minute trigonometrical survey of the island that was among the earliest undertakings of the colonial government. Such a survey not only enabled the resources of the island to be ascertained and benefited the revenue, but it was a service rendered to agriculture, as it prepared the way for the settlement of the question of land-ownership. Minerals are found in Taiwan, and mining has been considerably developed. But agriculture is the chief asset, and it is to the development of this and the attendant industries that the efforts of the authorities have been mainly directed. To this end ah extensive programme of irrigation has been carried out. Rice, the most valuable product in the time of the Chinese, has accordingly become less dependent on weather conditions, and the Japanese, finding sugar more profitable, now aim at regulating the cultivation of rice to the needs of the population, in order to be able to increase the area under sugar.
The sugar industry has been the object of the government's special solicitude. New factories fitted with American machinery were erected and experiments made in introducing new cane shoots from abroad. The formation of companies who undertake the cultivation of sugar-cane on a large scale was encouraged, with tfie result that within five years the acreage was quadrupled. Tea is another product that enjoys the active support of the government, which has its own experimental plantation and a model tea factory. Closer attention to the conditions of cultivation has been the means of increasing the popularity of what are still known as Formosa teas.
The material result of Japan's stewardship over Taiwan is shown in the financial position of the island. Two years after the Japanese took possession, the revenue was in the neighbourhood of i, 000,000, and the Imperial government was called upon to grant an annual subsidy of about jf 700,000 to meet the balance of the expenditure. By 1909 the need for a subvention had ceased to exist, and Taiwan is now financially independent, with a revenue amounting to between four and five millions sterling. That the Japanese have at the same time improved the condition of the inhabitants is beyond dispute. The island presented special difficulties to its new rulers ; but a policy of moderation allowed time for the marked efficiency of the government to become appreciated, and simplified the task of taming the wilder section of the population.
In their dealings with Corea (Chosen) the Japanese were confronted with a different problem from that presented by Formosa. Here an ancient people, rendered effete bycenturies of incompetent and corrupt administration, was a prey to every form of unrest. Unable to govern herself, Corea could not hope to escape the intervention of a more powerful State. China claimed to supply what the Coreans needed, but had conspicuously failed in the task of rehabilitating the peninsula. Japan, the new power in the Far East, was constrained to try her hand.
Japan went to war with China for the purpose of eliminating Chinese interference with Corea. Her victory was followed by an attempt to maintain the independence of the latter country, while effecting its reformation. Russia, however, in her steady expansion eastwards, had by this time appeared on the scene, and took up the role that China had been forced to abandon. A fresh era of intrigue and counter-intrigue ensued. But Japan had not fought China in order to prepare the way for the domination over Corea of a far more dangerous rival. When the Russians obtained the lease of the Liao-tung peninsula from China, the Japanese decided that the steady encroachment of the northern Power had to be resisted, at whatever cost. The Russo-Japanese War (1904) followed, and, as we have seen, Russia, by the Treaty of Portsmouth, acknowledged that Japan possessed in Corea paramount political, military, and economic interests, and engaged neither to obstruct nor to interfere with the measures of guidance, protection, and control which Japan might find it necessary to, take.
Japan was at last left with a free hand in Corea. She was contest at first to establish a protectorate over the country. By the agreement of November 17, 1905, the Japanese government, through the Foreign Office at Tokyo, assumed control and directed the foreign relations and affairs of Corea, while undertaking to maintain the welfare and dignity of the Corean Imperial house. Prince Ito became the Resident-General at Seoul.
The dual administration thus initiated continued until 1910, with a notable modification in 1907, when a new treaty (July 24) transferred administrative authority to Japan. The Corean government, by this agreement, undertook, in effecting administrative reforms, to follow the guidance of the Japanese Resident-General, who was to appoint and dismiss high officials, and whose sanction had first to be obtained for all laws and important administrative measures.
In 1910 Japan formally annexed Corea. The Imperial Rescript stated that the efforts of the Japanese government to promote reforms in the administration of Corea had in a degree been attended with success. But the existing government in that country had shown itself hardly effective to preserve peace and stability, and in addition a spirit of suspicion and misgiving dominated the whole peninsula. The office of Governor-General of Corea was therefore to be established. The Governor-General would, under the direction of the Emperor of Japan, exercise the command of the Army and Navy as well as the general control over all administrative functions in Corea.
From the time when China renounced her claims over the country and the Japanese government made itself responsible for the work of reform, events in Corea had until this moment followed a course of normal and inevitable development. With unworthier motives impelling her, Japan might well have accelerated the absorption of the Hermit Kingdom ; but officially she showed the same degree of restraint in dealing with Corean incompetence and recalcitrancy up to the time of annexation as she had shown in challenging the intervention in turn of China and Russia. The fact that the direction of Corean affairs was placed in the hands of Ito was an earnest of Japan's beneficent intentions. Unfortunately, the unofficial acts of Japan in Corea did not always reflect the attitude of the government. There is no need to go beyond the ResidentGeneral's own statement : * There has been much to censure in the conduct of our nationals hitherto in Corea,' Prince Ito declared on a public occasion in Tokyo.- ' The greatest indignities have been put upon the Coreans, and they have been obliged to suffer them with tears in their eyes. Now that this Empire has taken upon itself the protection of Corea, this improper behaviour calls for the utmost correction.'
Both Corea and Manchuria have supplied instances of Japan's expansion failing to live up to the high purposes of the government. Prince Ito's words constitute an admission of grave Japanese excesses in Corea. Part of the trouble was due to a conflict of opinion between the military and the civil authorities. After two successful wars waged for the sake of Corea there was little inclination on the part of the military to be long-suffering towards Corean intransigeance. Their attitude was reflected in the conduct of many of the provincial officials and of the Japanese rank and file who overran the country. Outside the ResidencyGeneral in Seoul there was little of the suaviter in modo in Japan's dealings with the Coreans.
1 A Wandering Student in the Far East. The Earl of Ronaldshay, M.P.
As in Taiwan so in Chosen (as Corea was named after 1910) Japan's administrative activities have been supplemented by practical steps for the promotion of the material well-being of her new charge. It is unnecessary to enumerate here the measures taken to place the country on a sound footing. They include all the preliminary work required to open it up for a satisfactory development of its resources '■ - the reorganization of the whole financial system, the suppression of brigandage, the building of roads and railways. In this connexion mention must be made of the widening of the Antung-Mukden line, which has made the Chosen main railway part of the trunk line from Europe to the Far East, and allows well-appointed express trains of the South Manchuria railway to perform the journey from Fusan to the Russian system without a break.
In spite of the presence of a settled Corean population, the actual methods employed by the Japanese government in promoting the welfare of the peninsula have not differed greatly from those adopted in Formosa. The Coreans have proved amenable to Japan's rule, but their attitude has been essentially a passive one ; they were not conscious of any need for reforms and have shown no alacrity to assimilate those that the Japanese have introduced. While willing to help the Coreans to help themselves, the Tokyo government has not been slow to realize that the future of the country depends largely on Japanese immigration. Hence the efforts, but little successful at first, to encourage settlement. Such immigrants as went were not always of the right type. If the Corean showed little ability to understand the Japanese point of view, it has to be admitted that the Japanese, whether military, civilian, or subordinate official, took no pains to explain it to him. Since 1910 the population of Chosen has shown a steady annual increase of 5.49 per cent, (compared with 1-93 in the case of Taiwan) - an indication that the government's methods are meeting with success as far as the quantity of the immigration is concerned.
1 i. e. at Changchun until 1916. By an agreement ratified early ia that year, Russia disposed of the sixty ujileB of railway between Changchun and Harbin to Japan.
In so far as Chosen and Taiwan presented the same conditions of industrial and commercial backwardness, it was to be expected that there would be little difference in the principles of colonial policy applied by the Japanese government. There has been the same careful fostering of all enterprise, the same attention to improved methods of cultivation, particularly in regard to cotton and sericulture ; agricultural and industrial, model institutions have been established, afforestation has been taken in hand. The monopoly system is repeated in the case of ginseng and salt, and a company - the Oriental Development Company - in which the government holds shares, is charged with the interests of settlers. Such industries as there are, apart from peasant handiwork, are in Japanese hands. Much remains to be done before Japan can feel recouped for an outlay which was for some years between two and three millions sterling annually, and for 191 5-16 was still 800,000. The racial antipathy between Coreans and Japanese, as well as the ignorance of .the former, must retard the work of reform in Chosen.
From Formosa and Corea we move to Manchuria, most of which since the Russo-Japanese War has been within Japan's sphere of influence. Japan contends that the position she holds in Manchuria has been acquired for her own preservation and in the interests of peace in the Far East. She disclaims any desire for territorial expansion. Her point of view will, perhaps, be better understood if it is realized that for some time to come Japan's aim must be the possession of a commercial and industrial empire rather than mere territorial conquest. If she were to indulge in the latter at China's expense - both Formosa and Corea were too lightly attached to the Chinese Empire to affect the argument - she would run the risk of bringing about the international partition of China. Whatever might be her share in that eventuality (and no doubt she would be able to help herself liberally), the rest of China - that is to say, by far the greater part - would fall into other hands and be largely, if not entirely, closed to Japanese commercial penetration. The maintenance of the existing system in China affords Japan the best opportunities for the trade and industry upon which her future depends. Her peculiar position in Manchuria is the outcome of special circumstances. It is true that the cession of the Liaotung peninsula, stipulated for by the Treaty of Shimonoseki, possibly with a premonition of what the future had in store, contradicted this principle of territorial expansion. The slip, if so it may be regarded, was promptly atoned for, on the ' advice ' of Russia, France, and Germany. But the appearance of Russia at Port Arthur and Dairen (Dalny) opened up visions not only of a closed Manchuria, but also of other portions of China sharing the same fate. Japan, therefore, resolved to put the issue to the arbitrament of the sword. She gained her point. Manchuria, however, was not annexed, as Corea hand been. Amour propre demanded a lease of the territory which had once been Japanese for a few months and had been surrendered in the face of Russian pressure, but for the rest the necessary commercial and industrial expansion was to be secured by other means.
By the Treaty of Portsmouth, Russia handed over to Japan the section of the Manchurian railways south of Kuangchengtze (Changchun). The Japanese government, having in December 1905 obtained the formal assent of China to its new position in Manchuria, at once set to work to carry out the exploitation of this sphere of interest by the agency of a railway system. While the Kuan-tung Administration Office took charge of the government of the leased territory, as well as of the protection and control of the districts adjacent to the railway lines, the South Manchuria Railway Company was formed under an Imperial ordinance to operate the railways. At the same time the company - with a share capital of 20,000,000, half of which was subscribed by the government - undertook a number of subsidiary enterprises, such as the management of Dairen harbour, the working of the Fushun collieries, the laying out of new towns, the establishment of hotels, and the development of local resources, whether agricultural, industrial, or commercial. Japanese consuls in South Manchuria act as commissioners for the Kuan-tung government, and the responsibilities of the latter have grown until they comprise in separate departments aU the affairs of an ordinary State, e. g. Communications, Justice, Education, Public Health, and Marine Affairs. Under the direction of Baron Goto the railway administration has been able to surmount the many difficulties incidental to such an undertaking in its early stages. As a result of the purchase, under an agreement with Russia in July 1916, of the sixty miles of line north of Changchun, the South Manchuria railway now controls a system reaching from Fusan to Harbin, which stands comparison with European lines. An excellent train-service is supplemented by a number of first-class hotels, and both have done much to revolutionize travel in these parts.
At the conclusion of the war with Russia, Japanese interests in Manchuria were in the hands of the military, whose general bearing and actions were largely responsible for the ill-will engendered against Japan. An undesirable class of Japanese immigrant overran the country and lent itself in a variety of ways to conflicts with the Chinese authorities and populace. Without doubt there was often provocation on the other side ; but the fact remains that the peaceful intentions of the Japanese government and the solicitude it protested for good relations with China found little or no echo in the dealings of the Japanese army of occupation or of the civilian element in Manchuria.
That Japan remained dissatisfied with her position in Manchuria was shown by the demands which she presented to the Chinese government in December 1914, when, after the elimination of Germany from Shantung, she sought a comprehensive readjustment of her relations with China. It is unnecessary to enter here into the details of the controversy. The original demands were certainly stifler than the terms which Japan ultimately accepted, and in this connexion it may be noted in passing that a jingoistic school of expansionists is gradually acquiring more weight in the Empire's councils. China agreed to extend to ninetynine years the terms of the lease of Kuan-tung peninsula and of the South Manchuria and Antung-Mukden railway concessions. The whole ofSouth Manchuria was thrown open to Japanese residence, travel, and business enterprise, whether agricultural or industrial, and permission to lease land for any of these purposes was granted.
Russian action in Outer Mongolia had caused Japan to consider the situation in Inner Mongolia, which borders on her sphere of interest in Manchuria. Her first instinct was to demand the same privileges in Inner Mongolia as she insisted upon in Manchuria, but these claims were waived, and she contented herself, in the treaty of May 1915, with China's undertaking to open in the interest of trade and for the residence of foreigners certain suitable places in eastern Inner Mongolia. The whole treaty, which incorporated also an exchange of Notes regarding the non-alienation by China of territory in Fukien for military or naval purposes, was intended to obtain for Japan further freedom for commercial and industrial expansion. Her disclaimer against territorial aggrandizement thus holds good.
Sakhalien, the last of the Japanese outliers, has yet to be considered. In Karafuto, the portion of the island of Sakhalien lying south of the 50th degree of latitude ceded by the terms of the Treaty of Portsmouth, Japan has a task more straightforward than that offered by either Taiwan or Chosen. Few aliens are present to cause complications. At the time of the cession Japanese constituted the bulk of the inhabitants, and since 1910 others have migrated to the territory at the rate of from 5,000 to 6,000 annually. The same systematic efforts to promote industry and agriculture have been introduced. Fishery is the most important pursuit ; but tracts of land suitable for cultivation and pasturage have been placed under settlement ; mining, particularly coal, is being developed, and considerable wealth is likely to accrue from the forests, which cover an area of over 8,000,000 acres.
Karafuto appropriately rounds off the story of Japan's expansion. Even if it be not true that the Japanese elected to stop at the 50th parallel because the cherry-tree does not blossom north of that degree, the idea is worthy of the national instinct. It serves to remind us that the people whose valour and materialism have stood them in such good stead are also poetical and artistic, and to suggest that when the stress of the 'growing pains ' has in part subsided these other characteristics may come into their own and remove many of the anomalies that have attended Japan's earlier efforts in expansion.