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English Language in Japan.

nothing could be done beyond continuing the committee, instructing it to seek and consider suggestions from the churches, and authorizing it to confer with any corresponding committee that might be appointed by the synod. But while no further official action was possible, informal meetings composed of members from both bodies were held; and at these meetings it appeared that, if certain changes could be made in the constitution, the document would probably be acceptable.

The committee of the General Conference immediately sent out circulars to the churches of the body inviting suggestions. These suggestions it considered and embodied in a series of amendments, and then invited the committee of the synod to a conference. The conference was held in the city of Tokyo in March of this year. The amendments proposed included all that were suggested at the informal meetings held in Osaka and also others. All of the amendments suggested at Osaka were accepted, and most of the others. The foreign members of the committee of the General Conference were quite satisfied with the result, and the Japanese members expressed themselves as confident that the document would be acceptable to the churches.

This hope, however, was not realized. When the General Conference met, still


ation by committees. The union depends now upon the ability of the friends of union among the Congregational churches to persuade the opponents that union is desirable.



The demand for an English education in Japan is, and has been for several years, so great that all the native and missionary schools combined are unable to meet it. The young men and women throughout the land, in the towns and cities not only, but also in the remotest mountain districts, are extremely eager to learn enough English to be able to read, and many are ambitious to speak the language as well as to read it. The Japanese government has done much to meet this great and ever-increasing demand. A first-class English education can be had at the Imperial University, in Tokyo, where many of the teachers are English and American gentlemen of first-rate scholarship. The university has several branches in different parts of the empire, where English is successfully taught. Then there are the numerous intermediate schools (corresponding to our high schools and academies) in which

other concessions were demanded, involving English is a part of the regular curriculum.

a virtual surrender of some of the distinctive principles of Presbyterianism, and, as if to defeat the possibility of immediate union even on the basis of these extravagant demands, the body made haste to adjourn after appointing a committee of conference, concerning whose powers there seems to be some difference of opinion. The synod, feeling that the limit of concession had been reached, declined in terms to accede to the new demands, and adjourned after taking the following action:

The moderator and the clerk were directed to communicate with the committee of the General Conference, to state what amendments to the proposed constitution the synod had accepted, and to inform the committee of the conference of their authority to call a meeting of the synod, in case the Congregational churches (as churches) definitely accept the constitution as adopted by the synod.

Dr. Imbrie adds:

The synod has done all in its power in the way of concession and in the way of negoti

The latest movement on the part of the government in this direction is the introduction of

English into the common schools. The Japanese have a good common school systein, modelled after the American system, and it is in good working order.. English is now being taught as far as possible in these schools. Of course, the instruction is in many instances very scanty and very imperfect for the want of competent teachers. So much in regard to what the government is doing.

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English Language in Japan.

those days necessary in most cases to give girls their tuition and board free in order to get pupils at all. All that is now completely changed. Our mission-schools for girls, as you know, are very numerous, and they are crowded to overflowing with girls whose parents or guardians pay all expenses gladly, even Buddhist priests being willing to take the risk of their daughters becoming Christians in order to have them get an English education. So hearty is the endorsement of the mission schools that natives have in a number of instances given liberally toward founding and maintaining them. By teaching English many missionaries get permission to live in the interior, a thing which they could not otherwise do. Many also who do not engage in regular school work teach private classes and thus get an influence over the young people who are willing to come to their houses and study.

Besides the government and mission-schools many Japanese who have some knowledge of English are teaching private schools. Nightschools are very common for those who cannot attend in day time. As intimated above, the demand is hardly met by these various schools, numerous as they are. The Japanese are quick to learn, and many of them learn to read English fairly well. Few, however, learn to speak or write it accurately. The whole genius of the language is so entirely different from their own that it is with difficulty they acquire an accurate knowledge of it.

As to the final adoption of the English language by the Japanese people, I can only give my own opinion, which may be taken for what it is worth. I believe, however, that many of the older missionaries hold the same view. I do not think the Japanese will ever adopt the English language. It is highly probable that it may become the commercial medium. Indeed, it is now practically, though not formally, adopted as such to some extent. It may also be made the court language. Both the emperor and empress have adopted European dress, and at receptions given by the empress no ladies are admitted who are not dressed in the same. It may be that in the course of time the English language will be adopted in the same way. But that English will ever rule out and


take the place of the vernacular with the people does not seem likely, unless it may be in that Utopian age to which some men look forward, when English shall be universally adopted.

The Japanese have a wonderful language of their own, with a most copious vocabulary and with an idiom that admits of the greatest variety and accuracy of expression. It is an extremely difficult language to acquire; but once acquired it becomes even in the mouth of a foreigner a most beautiful and powerful instrument. It is not probable that such a language will be pushed to the wall by English, at any rate for a long time to come. In olden times Japan borrowed almost everything, literature included, from China, and for a time it seemed as if the Chinese language would supplant the Japanese. No man was thought worthy of the name of a scholar unless he knew Chinese, and the more Chinese he knew the better scholar he was supposed to be. If he could speak and write so that not one person in a hundred could understand him, he was regarded as very learned indeed. And so it was that Chinese words and idioms came to be used not only by scholars but by every ignorant old woman in the country and by every child. But Chinese could not root out the vernacular. The Japanese language not only survived but came out of the ordeal greatly enriched and beautified. It absorbed all that it could get from the Chinese and still preserved its identity. It will be much the same in the struggle with the English. Many words have already. been taken from the English and added to the Japanese. Perhaps the idiom may be modified to some extent; but it will remain Japanese all the same. I think the best Japanese scholars, both native and foreign, look upon the matter in this light. The rage for learning English now so prevalent will subside after awhile, and English will be studied simply as a foreign language for the sake of its literature and other advantages that may be gained from it. Perhaps one of the most desirable results of the introduction of English into Japan will be the adoption of our alphabet instead of the very cumbersome system of Chinese ideographs now in use. These ideographs are so numerous


United Church of Christ.

and so difficult for the average student that many years must be largely given to the study of them alone, years that might better be given to the study of the more important branches of a liberal education. A society has already been organized in Tokyo composed of both natives and foreigners, called the "Romaji Romaji Kwai," or Roman-letter society, the object of which is to introduce the Roman letters instead of the Chinese characters. The society publishes monthly a paper in the Japanese language printed in our alphabet. It has demonstrated the fact that the Roman letters are sufficient for giving almost, if not all, Japanese sounds correctly. The society is growing in favor with scholars generally. An edition of the New Testament in Japanese has been published in Roman letters. Many Japanese are beginning to write letters to their native friends using our alphabet. If the Chinese characters can be utterly ruled out, it will be a great boon to students of the Japanese language.


The twelfth report of the "Council of the Missions co-operating with the United Church of Christ, in Japan," is before us. Of the six co-operating missions our own occupies an important place, furnishing a large proportion of the missionaries and funds employed. As the history of the United Church for the past year is at the same time the history of the fostering missions, the following extracts from the report referred to will be of value for the monthly con


The United Church of Christ, in Japan, has enjoyed a year of constant growth. There has been no excitement and no extraordinary efforts have been put forth; but almost every part of the Church has been blessed, and the whole increase is beyond our expectations. In no previous years have the additions been so many. The adult members of the church number 7551. The infant members number 1139. The total membership is 8690. The increase during the year is 1831. The churches are sixty-one, an increase of three. The ministers number thirty-six, a gain of two. The


contributions for church purposes were yen 20,315.82, an increase of yen 1761.99 over the gifts of 1887. A comparison with longer periods is instructive. The United Church of eight churches and 623 Christians, including Christ was formed in 1877 by the union of

the children. In 1882 there were twenty-five churches, with 1728 members. Three years later, in 1885, the churches were fifty and the members were 3922. In the past the church has doubled in membership in each three years, and in eleven years the increase has been from 600 to 9000. A like progression for the remaining twelve years of the century will make the membership in the year 1900, 144,000. Such a hope should not be too great for our faith. The future may well be richer in blessing than the past.

The direct gathering of converts has been, for the most part, the work of the Japanese pastors and evangelists. The native ministry is the key to the situation. Devoted and godly men soon gather strong churches. The Kaigan church, in Yokohama, is still at the head with 621 members, only two less than the entire membership of the United Church in 1877. Sendai is next with 563 members. Kochi and Shiba have more than 400 each, Ushigome has 398, Shinsakae has over 300, four churches have more than 200 each, and twenty-four have more than 100 members each.

The educational work grows rapidly. Much more than half of the strength of the united missions is given to it. Twenty-three men and thirty-five women give their chief attention to teaching. Some of these do evangelistic work also, but on the other hand some of the others teach a portion of their time as a means of residence in the interior. Four schools for young men and boys teach over 400 students. In eight primary schools for both boys and girls there are 800 pupils, and in the twelve schools for girls and young women there are more than a thousand students. The total number in all is 2260.

The baptisms during the year have been more than a hundred. The total number of professing Christians is 452, and several schools have failed to give the number of Christians in their reports. Excepting the children who are too young to make a public profession, we find that about half of the more mature students are Christians, and in the highest classes the proportion is still larger. In some of the schools every graduate has been a Christian. For the most part the students enter with no knowledge of Christianity, but they become


Alleged Martyrdom in Korea.

Christians if they remain long under the influence of the schools.

Two years ago the Council asked the churches in Scotland and the United States for more missionaries. In response we have perhaps as large a reinforcement as we can expect. We have now to seek the best disposition of our force, that we may accomplish the largest work in the coming years. We have twelve stations admirably located. One might be added on the west coast at Toyama or Takata. The southern Presbyterians propose establishing another at Yamaguchi. It is not good policy, perhaps, to add to the stations beyond these. A few more men and women are needed to strengthen some of the weaker stations, but our present force is enough to reach every part of Japan. With the trunk lines of railway complete, with the new treaty in operation, and with the younger men well on with the study of the language, we may seek to preach regularly in every considerable town. Twentythree men are engaged in the educational work, leaving twenty-one for the evangelistic. We should establish wide circuits, and, with the efficient aid of the Board of Home Missions (Japanese) and of the pastors, seek the immediate establishment of the Church in every city.



The late Mr. Matthew Arnold was not far from the truth when he passed his well-known censure upon certain portions of the American press. His charges of reckless untruth and indelicacy are too often verified.

A year ago a story was extensively circulated that a terrible mob had occurred in Canton, and that among those killed was a young female missionary whose name was mentioned.

After the statement had been copied by newspapers in all parts of the land, it was found to have originated in Portland, Oregon, where the mother and sisters of the young lady were residing. It was a pure fabrication, and should have been met with just legal penalties. Equally malicious and equally unfounded was the recently-published canard that Mrs. Dr. Heron, missionary of the Presbyterian Board in Korea, had been sentenced to be hung for preaching the gospel. This, too, was traced to


the region of country in which the relatives of Mrs. Heron reside, and where such a rumor would be likely to produce the greatest dis


The State Department at Washington was called upon to ascertain the facts and if need be to exert its influence in the case. To the officers of the Board the statement seemed false on its face. It was a very bungling piece of mischief in the fact that it mixed up Dr. Heron, M.D., of Korea, with Rev. David Herron, of India, and it selected as the offending preacher a lady who has been an invalid for months and unable to do missionary work of any kind.

What can be done to suppress the nuisance of ignorant and unscrupulous scribblers who thus tamper with high and important subjects and with sacred affections of kindred for the sake of a sensational item that shall bring to them a little misapplied money?

It is easier for reckless ignorance to deal with missionary subjects or whatever is at least afar off than with matters which are more immediately under the eye of the reading public. Harm has been done to the prestige and influence of America, and, of course, to the interests of American missions in Persia, by the foolish jests which have so seriously affronted the Persian ambassador at Washington, and have finally led him to leave the country in disgust.

Scarcely less injurious is this wild rumor about Korea. It is signally unjust to the government of that country, which from the date of our treaty has shown every consideration for Americans, and that amid peculiar complications raised by rivals jealous of our influence. Not only our official representatives but our missionaries have been dealt with most honorably from the start. A missionary has from the first been the confidential physician of the king, and a lady missionary has held the same relation to the queen. And when the legation was sent to Washington a missionary was asked to accompany it.

To make the late rumor more absurd, the husband of the very lady named is at this moment the trusted and esteemed physician to the king.


The Territory of New Mexico was conquered by the Spaniards about three centuries ago. At that time it was occupied by the Pueblo Indians, who dwelt in towns and cities. The Spaniards reduced these people to slavery, in which state they kept them until 1680, at which time they rebelled and resisted in almost continual wars until 1693, when the Indians were given their liberty. While in slavery they were treated in the most cruel manner by their conquerors and made to toil in the silver mines, which yielded great profits.

As a result of the Mexican war with our government, this country and people were ceded to the United States. They are now a part of our own land and people, and it is plainly our duty to see to it that they are given the gospel and the school.

The whole number of Mexicans in the United States is estimated at three hundred thousand. They are distributed through New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and California. About one half this number are located in New Mexico, and it is consequently the scene of most of the labors of our missionaries. They are scattered in villages and hamlets along the Rio Grande and mountain streams. They are small farmers generally, tilling or pretending to till the rich lands of the valleys. Some of them are stock raisers, owning in a few instances thousands of sheep and goats. They are mostly very poor, living in the most humble way in rude mud or adobe hovels, destitute of almost every comfort, their household and farming utensils being of the most primitive character. In some sections they still use the forked stick for a plow and cut their grain with a hand sickle. I have seen them threshing their wheat on a hard mud threshing-floor in the same manner described in the Bible in the time of Abraham. The cattle or goats tread it out on the floor. Then it is tossed into the air that the wind may drive away the chaff and the grain fall to the ground, when it is gathered up; and when it is washed, it is then dried in the sun, and then ground by

two women at an old-fashioned mill, with its upper and nether millstone.

Their home life is very demoralizing. They are crowded into sleeping-rooms in such numbers that there is no privacy. It is hard to understand how so many can live in such a small abode; but enter the house and see large families sleeping on the floor on quilts and blankets, which during the day are rolled up against the walls and serve as seats. Many of them have neither chairs nor tables, and of necessity eat from the floor. They live mostly on corn, beans and red peppers; and though mutton abounds, only at special times they eat it. Though there are many cattle, milk and butter are almost unknown to them. They are exceedingly fond of a sort of griddlecake called tortullas, of which they partake abundantly. It is easily seen that life under such conditions is little better than that of the brutes, and morality is at a very low standard. It has been said that until recently chastity was almost unknown.

They are intense fatalists. Instead of using such precautions as are usual in civilized society when small-pox, diphtheria and kindred diseases prevail, they will crowd around the sick, let the children run in and out at pleasure, will carry their babies about with them to church, school or any public place when broken out with small-pox. We well remember being one night in a neighborhood where the smallpox had been raging and many had died; but the disease had about run its course, and the people were passing the house toward evening in numbers to a great meeting, where they danced until late in the morning and grew festive and noisy with intoxicants and made merry over the goodness of God in taking from them their children and friends, for they believed, if it was God's will that they should die, not only should no effort be made to save them, but that they should be thankful he had taken them away from their misery. In saying no effort is made, we probably should have said that the only effort made is to bring

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