5. Chapter 5
The Occidentalizing of Japan from 1858 to 1894
History contains many examples of the violent imposition on, or the peaceful absorption by, one nation of the customs, habits, institutions, laws, arts, and sciences of another. For example, the Romans forced upon the peoples south of the Danube and Rhine their composite civilization, which was introduced into our own islands during the first century a. d. Again, from the reign of Elizabeth onwards, the British and French have been carrying their culture into all corners of the globe, while, at the end of the seventeenth century, Peter the Great acquired for the Russians a large part of western knowledge. The transformation of Japan since 1853 has not, therefore, been a wholly novel phenomenon in the annals of the human race.
Nevertheless, though not wholly novel, it has been one of the most singular and memorable events ever witnessed. We have seen that the Japanese in historic times had never been conquered, and that only twice had their islands been seriously invaded. Imagine that the inhabitants of the British Isles had, after the second and final departure of Julius Caesar, been left untouched by alien enemies ; that they had been permitted up to 1853 to accept or reject what they chose of European civilization ; that the British Army and Navy had since 1500 engaged in but two campaigns on the continent of Europe ; and that from 1 641 to 1853 the British had been almost entirely isolated from other peoples.
Suppose, further, that after Great Britain's two centuries of internal peace our grandfathers and grandmothers had. been living contented with their lot, and that in June 1853, when Great Britain's fleet was composed of fishing-smacks, a squadron of men-of-war, manned by sailors from a Japanized North America, had appeared in the mouth of the Thames and that its commander had ordered the British to change their manners and customs. In 1853 the most important statesman in the British Cabinet was Lord Palmerston, a nobleman whose character was not unlike that of a Japanese baron under the Tokugawa Shogunate. What would have been the sensations of Lord Palmerston on reading an ultimatum to his sovereign couched in language similar to that used by President Fillmore? By the exercise of the imagination alone can one appreciate the self-restraint of the Japanese, the tremendous difficulties with which their rulers in 1853 and after years were confronted, the no less extraordinary wisdom exercised by them in overcoming those difficulties, and the even stiU more extraordinary conduct of the lords and commoners of Japan who, with rare exceptions, unquestioningly obeyed the behests of their far-sighted leaders.
In 1853, from a military and naval standpoint, Japan was in the position of a naked man faced by ten armed adversaries. She had no allies. Only a handful of the samurai who formed her army possessed modern weapons. Her warfleet was non-existent. There was little metallic money in the island and but a small quantity of the precious metals. Her exportable goods were as yet insignificant in value. She could not at once buy for herself from European or American armament firms a complete military and naval outfit, and hardly any of her citizens knew how to construct the complicated machinery for destruction designed by Occidental scientists.
Japan was neither actually nor, it seemed, potentially in a position to resist European or American aggression. Had the Ironsides of Cromwell, convoyed by the fleet of Blake, attacked Japan, it is arguable that they would have met with a bloody reverse. A British seaman who fought with Japanese pirates near Singapore, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, made this significant remark : "The Japanese are not allowed to land inany part of India with weapons, being a people so desperate and daring that they are feared in all places where they come.' But in 1853 the British Army, which the next year was to be disembarked in the Crimea, badly equipped and badly led as it was, would have made short work of the Japanese samurai. Compared with the tasks set to Bismarck and Cavour at the same date, those before the Japanese ministers were immeasurably the more arduous. That the Yoritomos, Nobunagas, Hideyoshis, lyeyasus, and Yoshimunes of the nineteenth century did in fact steer safely the Japanese ship of state into harbour is among the most amazing feats of statecraft known to history.
In the last chapter we traced the progress of Japan from 1 641 to the arrival of Lord Elgin at Yedo in 1858. The next ten years were the period of gestation of the Japan with which our own generation is acquainted. Already Perry's visit had borne fruit. Military instructors had been imported by the Japanese from Holland, a naval college organized at Yedo, and an iron foundry erected at Nagasaki. In 1854 Holland had presented Japan with her first steamship, the Kanko Maru. An attempt was being made by the Japanese to build vessels on Occidental lines. Generally speaking, the Shogun and his advisers were in favour of, the Mikado and his courtiers opposed to, the introduction of foreign ideas.
In i860, the Shogun's Prime Minister, the enlightened Kamon No Kami, was assassinated by reactionaries. The next year (1861) Russia seized the Island of Tsushima, in the Corean Straits. The Shogun, with the assistance of Great Britain, induced the Russians to withdraw from that most important strategical point. The action of Russia stimulated the party of progress to fresh exertions. Among the progressive leaders was one of the two chief barons of Japan, the Lord of Satsuma, in Kiushiu. An unfortunate accident in 1862 caused him to become inimical to foreigners. He was returning from Yedo when a British citizen, Mr. Richardson, two other gentlemen, and a lady tried, in their ignorance of Japanese etiquette, to ride through the Satsuma chieftain's escort. One of his samurai immediately attacked the party. Richardson was kUled and two of his companions wounded. The British government promptly demanded the surrender of the samurai implicated in the afltair. The demand was refused, and a British squadron in 1863 bombarded Kagoshima, the Satsuma capital.'' Just previously the Mikado Komei or his advisers had issued an anti-foreign edict. May 1 1, 1863, was fixed for the opening of a campaign to expel Japan's undesirable aliens. Without waiting for the day to arrive, the Lord of Choshu,a province in Honshiu, bordering on the Straits of Shimonoseki, fired from his batteries on American, French, and Dutch merchantmen passing the straits. The Shogun refusing reparation, the Choshu forts were demolished by a British, French, Dutch, and American fleet.
1 The Japanese gvinners fought well and inflicted damage on our ships. The bomhardment took place in a typhoon. See ' The Days of Kagoshima ', by James Murdoch, in The Times Japanese Section, October 14, 1916.
The Campbells and Grahams of Japan had been taught the efiicacy of modern weapons. As the Lord of Choshu had been one of the Mikado's adherents, tlje monarch began to waver in his attitude towards foreigners. In 1866 Sir Harry Parkes, the British Envoy in Japan, offered to remit part of the fine which had been imposed by the Allied Powers upon Choshu, provided that the Mikado ratified the treaties signed on his behalf, but against his wishes, by the Shogun. To this Komei finally consented. It was also in 1866 that ' the last of the Shoguns ', Yoshinobu (better known as Keiki), succeeded to the office which had been created by Yoritomo in the twelfth century. Keiki strongly favoured progress. He sent for French experts to remodel the army, British experts to organize the navy.
The accession of the last of the Shoguns was speedily followed by that of the greatest of the Mikados. On February 13, 1867, Komei died, and the mirror, sword, and gem passed into the hands of a youth of fifteen. Born in 1852, the year of the birth of General Joffrc, the Mikado Mutsuhito, who died on July 30, 19IZ, lived to see his kingdom converted into an empire, and the Japanese one of the most powerful nations on the earth. Austere, upright, calm, judicious, far-sighted, and benevolent, Mutsuhito was what Plato had sighed for and Voltaire Vainly sought - a philosopher on the throne. During his. reign, and largely owing to his influence, the most farreaching political and social changes were introduced.
Those changes were preceded by an act of self-abnegation. Yodo, the Lord of Tosa, in October 1867 presented the Shogun with a memorial. In it he asserted that, owing to the dual nature of the Japanese government, the kingdom's eyes and ears were turned in opposite directions. ' You should ', said Yodo, ' restore the governing power into the hands of the sovereign, and so lay a foundation on which Japan may take its stand as the equal of all other countries.' On October 14 the Shogun Keiki handed in his resignation to the Mikado. The Shogunate was at an end. Once more the government of Japan was, in fact and not in political fiction, a theocracy.
The policy of the GodKing was at once manifested, and the Meiji (' Enlightened Government ') era began. On January i, 1868, the ports of Kobe and Osaka were thrown open to foreign trade A few weeks later - on February 3 - the Mikado formally announced to the sovereigns of all nations and their subjects the news and nature of the revolution which had occurred. On March 23 he took the hitherto unprecedented step of granting an audience to the foreign representatives.
From Kyoto the Mikado transferred his throne to Yedo, the name of which was changed to Tokyo ('Eastern Capital'). In the spring of 1869 he took the famous Charter Oath, by which he promised to create a deliberative assembly, and that all the old absurd usages of former times should be disregarded, and the impartiality and justice displayed in the workings of Nature adopted as a basis of action. Most of the feudal barons had already offered to surrender to the Mikado their estates and to transfer to him the allegiance of their vassals. By the edicts of 1871, 1873, and 1875, feudalism was finally abolished, the nobles and their samurai being pensioned oflE or bought out.
1 The next year there was an abortive rising of the eX-Shogun's followers. They were defeated at Fushimi and in other actions.
Together with the abolition of the Shogunate and of feudalism, Occidental institutions and customs were adopted. The central government was organized in seven departments - Religion, Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Army and Navy, Finance, Justice, and Law. The local government was entrusted to prefects. ' The clans ', ran the Mikado's decree, ' are abolished and prefectures are established in their places.' In 1874 i arranged that an Assembly of Prefects should meet each year to confer with the central government, and in 1875 a Senate consisting of official nominees, charged with the duty of discussing' and revising laws and ordinances, came into being. It was, however, a Senate of the Napoleonic type, and had no power of initiation.
In 1873 - three years after short service was introduced into the British professional army - another decree instituted universal military service in Japan, and, in effect, disestablished the samurai. The year before, in 1872, the foundations of universal compulsory education were laid. The Elementary Education Act, establishing board schools in England, had been passed in 1870.
Consequent on the visit to Europe and America, in 1871, of Prince Iwakura, of Okubo, Kido, Ito, Yamaguchi, and five Japanese ladies, one of whom, after graduating at Vassar, became later the wife of Marshal Oyama, the antiChristian edicts were removed from the public bulletinboards, and the Gregorian calendar introduced. A little later, each Sunday was set aside as a day of rest. The New Testament appeared in Japanese in 1880. Four years afterwards Buddhism and Shintoism were disestablished.
Coincident with these changes, Japanese economic life was revolutionized. On Ito's return from America, banks, based on the American plan, were created. In 1882 the Bank of Japan was founded, and thenceforward it alone was permitted to issue notes. Joint-stock companies dealing with every phase of industry were incorporated, and before Japan received a constitution she had become, to all intents and purposes, an Occidentalized country. Further particulars of the political, social, and industrial revolution in Japan will be found in part ii of this work, in Marquis Okuma's Fifty Years of New Japan, and in my Japan, the New World-Power. Every politician, sociologist, and economist ought to study attentively the measures of the Japanese statesmen, who did not merely imitate, but examined and often improved upon the models selected. The results of their labours represent the best and most independent practical criticism of Occidental civilization.
As the re-education of the Japanese people has been one of the principal causes of their wonderful successes in the last three decades of the nineteenth and the opening years of the twentieth century, the reader may like to take a bird's-eye view of the educational reforms of the Meiji era.
When Baron Dairoku Kikuchi, in 1907, gave, in a series of lectures delivered to the University of London, a detailed survey of the Japanese educational system, he prefaced them with a translation of the Imperial rescript on education, dated October 30, 1890, which is an exhortation to loyalty, filial piety, and the pursuit of learning as a means to perfect morality and civic behaviour. The rescript ran as follows :
' Know ye. Our Subjects :
' Our Imperial ancestors have founded Our Empire on a basis broad and everlasting and have deeply and firmly implanted virtue ; Our Subjects ever united in loyalty and filial piety have from generation to generation illustrated the beauty thereof. This is the glory of the fundamental character of Our Empire and herein also lies the source of Our education. Ye, Our Subjects, be filial to your parents, affectionate to your brothers and sisters ; as husbands and wives be harmonious, as friends, true ; bear yourselves in modesty and moderation ; extend your benevolence to all ; pursue learning and cultivate arts, and thereby develop intellectual faculties and perfect moral powders ; furthermore, advance public good and promote common interests ; always respect the Constitution and observe the laws ; should emergency arise offer yourselves courageously to the State ; and thus guard and maintain the prosperity of Our Imperial Throne coeval with heaven and earth. So shall ye not only be Our good and faithful Subjects, but render illustrious the best traditions of your forefathers.
' The Way here set forth is indeed the teaching bequeathed by Our Imperial Ancestors, to be observed alike by Their Descendants and their Subjects, infallible for all ages and true in all places. It is Our wish to lay it to heart in all reverence, in common with you Our Subjects, that we may all attain to the same virtue.'
Long before the above rescript was issued, European systems, first the French, and later the German, had been studied and adapted to Japanese conditions with the usual division of schools into elementary, secondary and higher schools, universities, technical and special schools. Soon after 1868 many foreigners had been engaged as teachers for most of the higher schools and colleges, and the wave of * practical ' methods which then swamped Japan had been so powerful that the foreigners themselves had often to put a stop to the exaggerations of their pupils. People were ready to adopt foreign methods wholesale, a typical example being that of Mori Yurei, vsho suggested the adoption of simplified English as the everyday language.
The first code of education (1872) followed the lines of the French scheme of public instruction ; it was rendered more elastic in 1873 and in 1879. A further change, due to Mori Yurei, took place in 1886. The universities and normal and middle schools were reformed, and at the same time a German, Hausknecht, was engaged to train teachers for the higher schools. French influence declined in the eighties, and German took the place of the French language, particularly with medical and engineering students. English, however, remained the one compulsory language for students.
The whole system of education was controlled by the Emperor, the Privy Council, and the Minister for Education, the directors of sch.ools having only limited powers. At the present day there are four Imperial Universities, the oldest ones in Tokyo and Kyoto, one in Sendai (191 1), and one in Kiushiu (191 1). The students are recruited from eight * higher schools ', in which boys from the middle classes receive a preparatory training lasting three years. Besides the universities, there are six special schools of medicine, two higher schools of forestry and agriculture, a school of sericulture and filature, a school of mining, five higher commercial schools, seven higher technical schools, four higher normal schools, and fifty-five schools for the deaf and dumb (two public, two government, and fifty-one private). Elementary and higher elementary schools for boys and girls between the ages of six and fourteen educate the rank and file of the nation.
The salaries and stipends of the teachers are extremely low when judged by western standards. But the system is remarkably thorough, the schools well equipped, and the curriculum in each case calculated to impart much practical knowledge. The great development of technical and commercial schools is an outstanding feature of Japanese education. From time to time the professors and lecturers are sent abroad or given facilities to travel with a view to ensuring that they keep abreast of Occidental research, both in science and in literature.
Physical exercises are an important item in the curriculum, the German and Swedish drill being practised side by side with the purely Japanese ju-jutsu, fencing (ken-jutsu), &c., while western games of football, baseball, and the like, have become so popular that university matches have taken place between Japanese and American teams.
Moral instruction is purely secular, inasmuch as it is free from religious teaching, but it is based upon loyalty to the Imperial house, and that may be construed as a form of religion. School teachers have been known to rescue from the flames at great personal risk the photograph of the sovereign. The lectures delivered in all schools, when the Imperial portraits are exhibited, are comments upon Mutsuhito's educational rescript, and are intended to foster loyalty, application to work and study, and general use of individual exertions for the national good.
Besides Imperial universities, there are two great institutions which have had a large part in shaping the trend of national thought and of national politics - the Keiogijuku founded at Mita by Fukuzawa Yukichi, and the Waseda University founded by Marquis Okuma.
The Keiogijuku received its present name in 1868. It was removed to the heights of Mita in 1871, and its founder is still known and revered as the ' Sage of Mita '. At first established for the teaching of Dutch and English, it has kept well abreast of the times and takes high rank as a seat of learning. In 1890 a university department, with courses in economics, law, and literature, was established, to which seven years later a course in politics was added. The two words ' independence ' and ' self-respect ', embodying the moral teaching of its founder, have been chosen as the motto bf the institution. Many of its students, eminent in learning and in mental endowments, now occupy important positions in the State and in society.
The Keiogijuku's aim is to make clear by precept and practice those principles which should govern the domestic, social, and national life. The institution embraces a primary boarding-school, in which 300 boys enter at the age of six ; physical culture is here placed before the training of the mind, and later the boys pass on to the middle school without examination. The middle school course covers five years, and ranks on an equality with those of the government. In the university, which forms the main body of the institution, there are now 2,500 students, following a course of five years. Many of the professors are old students who have completed their specialized education abroad.
Another important feature of the Keiogijuku is the Shokogakko, a commercial and technical school, established in April 1903, the course of which covers four years, with two years of preparatory work. There is also an evening commercial school for apprentices of fifteen years of age or more. In 1909 the numbers attending the Keiogijuku were as follows : university, 2,293 ; middle school, 803 ; primary school, 384 ; commercial and technical school, 449 ; evening school, 581 ; making a total of 4,510. The institution is governed by a board of thirty councillors, elected by the alumni for a term of four years, with five directors elected from among the councillors. The Keiogijuku grants degrees in political science, economic science, law, and arts.
From this brief sketch it will be gathered that the Japanese have not slavishly followed Occidental systems of education. Just as their scientists have invented new explosives and their bacteriologists have discovered microorganisms which escaped the notice of European and American researchers, so their educationalists have not been satisfied with imitating the universities and schools of Europe and America. A British citizen reading Baron Kikuchi's illuminating lectures on Japanese education is unpleasantly reminded that in many respects Japan is ahead of Great Britain. For example, in the middle schools, which boys usually enter at the age of thirteen and leave at eighteen, scholars can learn law. It is their own fault if they choose to go out into the world ignorant of the rules which govern society and at the mercy of those who know those rules.
The reforms of the French statesmen in the period of the Great Revolution had been accompanied by violent reactions - the rising in La Vendee and the like. It was not to be expected that a metamorphosis so radical in its nature as that which had taken place under Mutsuhito would meet with no opposition. In time of peace 400,000 professional soldiers, who regarded themselves as belonging to a caste of superior beings, had been merged in a universal military service army. Of the samurai, the most discontented were those in the Satsuma province of Kiushiu. To find them employment, the government took advantage of the brutal conduct of the savages in Formosa, who in 1872 murdered the crew of a Loo-Choo junk. The Loo-Choans were claimed to be Japanese subjects, but Formosa was nominally part of the Chinese Empire. The Japanese authorities appealed to China for redress. The Chinese refused, and a force of Satsuma samurai was in 1874 landed on the island. The samurai inflicted punishment on the natives. China protested, and a Chino-Japanese War seemed imminent. The British Minister at Peking, however, interposed, and an agreement was come to under which Japan withdrew her samurai and China consented to pay an indemnity.
The Formosan was soon followed by a Corean question. In 1868 Mutsuhito had announced to the King of Corea the abdication of the Shogun and his own resumption of full sovereignty. Five years later (1873) the Corean monarch served the Mikado with an insolent notice that he intended to cease all relations with a renegade from Oriental civilization. In Corea, as in China, the corrupt vested interests viewed with alarm the revolution in Japan. So impertinent a message was naturally resented by the Japanese statesmen, and Saigo Takamori, of Satsuma, one of the chief reforming leaders, urged the Mikado to declare war on Corea. Saigo appears to have hoped to restore the position of the samurai, who would have to bear the brunt of the campaign. On the Mikado siding with the more prudent ministers, who objected that a foreign war at this moment would be a bad blunder, Saigo resigned and retired to Satsuma, where he trained the samurai in European tactics and armed them with European weapons.
Two years later (1875) a Corean fort opened fire on a Japanese warship surveying the coast. A flotilla was promptly dispatched by the Mikado to avenge this fresh insult. The intimidated King of Corea concluded a treaty of amity and commerce, and opened certain ports to foreign trade. Japan had accomplished in Corea what the United States in 1853 had accomplished in Japan. Still the samurai were not satisfied. In 1876 those of them who still retained their old-fashioned swords were deprived by the government of the visible insignia of their rank. As a consequence, local risings occurred, but were easily put down.
Another grievance of the samurai against the Mikado's ministers was that in 1875 they ceded to Russia the whole Island of Sakhalien in exchange for the Kurile Islands. The surrender of the Japanese portion of Sakhalien was not counterbalanced, in the eyes of the hereditary warriors, by the successful issues of the Formosan and Corean negotiations and by the strong measures taken in 1872 by the Japanese government towards Peru. A Peruvian ship had been seized at Yokohama and 200 Chinese slaves released. Nor was the recognition in 1875 by the United States of Japan's claim to the Ogasawara Archipelago, colonized by Japanese in 1592 and situated on the sea route from America to South China, sufficient to calm the feelings of the caste. The samurai - or rather the Satsuriia samurai - disliked and despised the soldiers of the conscript army, and were anxious to try conclusions with them.
In January 1877 things came to a head. Satsuma rose under Saigo and pitted its 40,000 samurai, equipped with rifles and field-guns, against the Mikado's new model army. After a number of bloody battles, in which the casualties on both sides totalled 33 per cent, of the forces engaged, Saigo's troops were completely defeated by the 66,000 conscripts and ex-samurai who had been sent to subdue them. The rebellion ended on September 24. It proved conclusively that in Japan democratic were equal to aristocratic soldiers, and that the Japanese nation-in-arms was a reality and not a sham. Japan, united under Mutsuhito as it had been under Hideyoshi, would, it was obvious, quickly insist on obtaining a place in the sun.
The year before the outbreak of the Satsuma rebellion m 1876, the Loo-Choo Islands had been annexed by Japan, the King of Ryukyu being pensioned off. China fulminated. In 1880 General Grant tried to effect a compromise under which the islands were to be divided between the two Oriental Powers. At the last moment China backed out, and the Loo-Choo archipelago remained in the possession of Japan.
The Formosan and Loo-Choo questions were not the only bones of contention between the Mikado and the Celestial Emperor. In 1880 a Japanese Legation was established at Seoul, the capital of Corea. Two years later (1882) the Legation was attacked by a mob of reactionaries, and the staff had to fight its way to Chemulpo, where it took refuge on a British gunboat. The Corean government paid an indemnity, and agreed that for the future Japanese troops might be stationed at the Legation. On December 4, 1884, there was a riot in Seoul, and Chinese troops, who had been sent into Corea to support the reactionaries, attacked and burned the Japanese Legation. China claimed to be suzerain of Corea, and war between China and Japan appeared to be inevitable. But again the Mikado and his ministers showed their wisdom, and in 1885 a treaty was concluded at Tientsin by Ito and Li Hung-Chang, under which it was arranged that China and Japan should mthdraw their troops from the peninsula and not send any more to Corea without previous notification to each other. From Corea the Japanese exacted an indemnity, but from then to 1894 (the date of the opening of the Chino-Japanese War) the Chinese resident at Seoul had the upper hand. The Russians in 1884 had concluded a commercial treaty with Corea, but neither the Russians nor the Japanese were so acceptable to the corrupt Coreans as the Celestials.
Meanwhile, the internal progress of Japan had been advancing at a geometrical ratio. There were, however, two main obstacles in her path. As already mentioned, Mutsuhito, at the beginning of his reign, found the Treasury bankrupt. To meet the heavy expenses entailed by the abolition of Feudalism and the adoption of Occidentalism, in 1870 £1,000,000 at 9 per cent., and in 1873 52,400,000 at 7 per cent, had been borrowed in London. These small sums were, naturally, inadequate, and recourse had been had to issues of inconvertible paper money. In 1871 Japan had adopted gold monometallism, and in 1878 bimetallism ; but in 1879 the system was really one of inconvertible paper money. The over-issue of paper caused much financial distress. In June 1885 it was announced that notes would be exchangeable for silver coins, and the system became silver monometallism. Not, however, until after the Chino-Japanese War did Japan revert to gold monometallism.
The other difficulty taxed to the utmost the skill of Japan's diplomatists and jurists. By the treaties which Japan had signed with foreign Powers, aliens were exempted from the jurisdiction of the Japanese law-courts, and Japan was permitted to impose only very low duties on imports. So long as these galling restrictions remained in force, Japan was the vassal of foreign capitalists. Several attempts were made to revise the treaties, but only in 1894, on the eve of the, Chino-Japanese War, did Great Britain consent to revision. Her example was followed by other Powers, and by 1899 Japan may be said to have shaken off most of her tariff and juristic shackles. She had already codified much of her law and organized her law courts after European models. Her victory over China forcibly demonstrated that she was a progressive State, entitled fully to regulate her own fiscal affairs.
Before Lord Rosebery, in 1894, took the step of revising the British commercial treaty with Japan, the Mikado had given further proof that he had no intention of being a mere Peter the Great or Napoleon. On February 11, 1889, a Constitution defining his powers, regulating the rights of his subjects, and creating representative government had been promulgated, while on April i of the same year local self-government was established. Under the Constitution, with its Upper and Lower House and Ministers of State, who, however, do not form a Cabinet, the Mikado retained very large powers. In 1889, when war with China or some European Power was on the horizon, this was, of course, necessary. Whether those powers will be gradually whittled away remains to be seen. During the years which have followed Mutsuhito's grant of a Constitution the force of public opinion has grown in strength, and the Japanese Ministers of State tend more and more to become Ministers of the People. Party government under the Constitution has made its appearance, but whether it will play the part, for good or evil, which it has played in our own country, is on the knees of the gods - and the God-King of Japan.