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There are three forms of religion prevalent in Japan- the Sinto religion, that of Buddha, and the doctrine of Confucius. Sintoism, while acknowledging a Supreme Being, is founded on the worship, in connection with him, of genii, saints, or subordinate gods, from whom the dairi is supposed to be descended. The genii, or kami, are the souls of the virtuous who have ascended to heaven; in their honor are erected temples, in which are placed the symbols of the deity, consisting of strips of paper attached to a piece of wood; these symbols are also kept in the houses, and before these are offered the daily prayers to the kamis. The domestic chapels are also adorned with flowers and green branches; and two lamps, a cup of tea and another of wine, are placed before them. Some animals are also venerated as sacred to the kamis. Festivals and pilgrimages form the chief part of the cheerful rites. The sacrifices, offered at certain seasons, consist of rice-cakes, eggs, &c. The centre of pilgrimages is the temple at Isje, where is seen no image, but simply a looking-glass. Buddhism was introduced into Japan from Corea, and in many cases

Female Bonze.

is so far mingled with the religion of Sinto, that the same temples serve for both, and accommodate the


images of the kamis, together with those of the Buddhist gods. The priests of Buddha in Japan are called bonzes; they are numerous, comprising both males and females. They are under a vow of celibacy, and there are here, as in other Buddhist countries, large convents for both sexes. The doctrine of Confucius has also been brought into the country, and has many followers. Beside these, there are philosophers, who reject the absurdities of the popular creed, and seem to possess a refined system of metaphysics, containing exalted notions of the Deity and of ethics.

There is much that is masculine and original in the Japanese character, of which pride and cruelty in punishments- relics of barbarism seem to be the worst features. Though, when loaded with injuries, the Japanese utters no reproachful or vehement expression in return, yet his pride is deep, rancorous, and invincible; and the poniard, inseparable from his person, is the instrument of vengeance, when the offender least expects it; or is sheathed in his own bosom, in case vengeance is beyond his reach. This pride runs through all classes, but rises to the highest pitch among the great, leading them to display an extravagant pomp in their retinue and establishment, and to despise every thing in the nature of industry and mercantile employment. Forced often to bend beneath a stern, uncompromising, and powerful government, they are impelled to suicide-the refuge of fallen and vanquished pride. Self-murder here, like duelling among the Western nations, seems to be the point of honor among the great.

The national character is indeed strongly contrasted with that which generally prevails in Asia. Instead of a tame, quiet, orderly, servile disposition, making them the prepared and ready subjects of despotism, the people have a character marked by energy, independence, and a lofty sense of honor. Although said to make good subjects, even to the severe government under which they live, they yet retain an impatience of control, and a force of public opinion, which renders it impossible for any ruler wantonly to tyrannize over them. Instead of that mean, artful, and truckling disposition, so general among Asiatics, their manners are distinguished by a manly frankness, and all their proceedings by honor and good faith. The prominent feature of their character, indeed, is good sense. They are habitually kind and good humored, and carry their ideas of the ties of friendship to what the trading nations of the West would deem a romantic extreme. To serve and defend a friend in every peril, and to meet torture and death rather than betray him, is considered a duty from which nothing can dispense.



CHAPTER CCXL. General Description - Historical Sketch. COREA is a large peninsula on the eastern coast of Asia, surrounded on the east by the Sea of Japan, on the south by the Straits of Corea,- which divide it from the Japanese island Kiou-Siou, and on the west by the Hoang-Hai, or Yellow Sea, which separates it from China Proper. It extends from south to north, from 34° to 40° north latitude, or about four hundred and twenty miles; but the countries north of the peninsula, as far as 43°, are also subject to the sovereign


of Corea-so that the whole country from south to north may be seven hundred and sixty miles. width, lying between 124° and 134° east longitude, varies from one hundred to two hundred miles. Its area may be about ninety thousand square miles, or somewhat more than the Island of Great Britain. The seas around Corea are dotted with islands, with high, rocky shores: some of them are inhabited.

Corea is a very cold country for its latitude. For four months, the northern rivers are covered with ice, and barley alone is cultivated along their banks. Even the river near King-ki-tao freezes so hard that car



riages pass over the ice. In summer, the heat appears | not to be great. On the eastern coasts, fogs are frequent; La Pérouse compared them in density with those along the coasts of Labrador.

Rice is extensively cultivated on the peninsula, as well as cotton and silk, which are employed in the fabrics of the country, and exported in the manufactured state. Hemp is also cultivated, and, in the northern district, ginseng is gathered. Tobacco is raised all over the country.

Horses and cattle are plentiful on the mountain pastures. The former, which are small, are exported to China. In the northern districts, the sable and other animals furnish furs. The royal tiger, which is a native of the country, is covered with a longer and closer hair than in Bengal. On the eastern coast, whales are numerous. It seems that Corea is rich in minerals gold, silver, iron, salt, and coals are noticed in the Chinese geographies.


The inhabitants, who are of the Mongol race, resemble the Chinese and Japanese; but they are taller and stouter. Among them are some whose appearance seems to indicate a different origin. They speak a language different from the Chinese and Manchoo, though it contains many Chinese words. They have also, a different mode of writing; though the Chinese characters are in general use among the upper classes. In manner and civilization, they much resemble the Chinese, and are likewise Buddhists. Education is highly valued, especially among the upper classes. They seem to have a rich literature of their own; but their language is very imperfectly known in Europe. The valleys appear to be well peopled; we are, however, so little acquainted with the interior, that hitherto no one has ventured to give an estimate of the population.

King-ki-tao, the capital, which is a few miles north of a considerable river, Han-Kiang, appears to be a large place, and is said to possess a respectable library, of which one of the brothers of the king is chief librarian. The mouth of the River Tsing-Kiang, between 34° and 35°,· on the western coast, is said to have a very spacious harbor.

Fushan, or Chosan, is a bay on the south-eastern extremity of the peninsula, opposite the Japanese island of Tsu-sima, at the innermost recess of which the town of King-tsheou is built, which carries on an active trade with Japan, and is the only place to which the Japanese are permitted to come.

In industry, the Coreans do not appear to be much inferior to the Chinese and Japanese. They mainly excel in the manufacture of cotton cloth and cotton paper; both of which are brought, in great quantities, to Pekin. Other manufactured articles, which are exported, are silk goods, plain and embroidered, and mats. They have attained considerable skill in working iron, as swords are sent, with other articles, to the emperor of China as tribute.

No country is less accessible to Europeans than Corea. They are not permitted to remain, even a few days, on any part of the coast. It is not well known what is the reason of this policy; but it seems that the mutual jealousy of the neighboring Chinese and Japanese holds the king in great subjection. The commerce of the country is accordingly limited to China and Japan; and even with these countries it is restricted in a very strange way. No maritime intercourse is allowed between China and Corea, but all

commerce is carried on by means of the narrow road which leads along the sea to the town of Fang-hoan, in Leao-tong But as this road traverses the wide district which, by order of the Chinese emperor must remain uninhabited, and has hence become the haunt of numberless ferocious animals — the passage is much dreaded by travellers. Commerce, therefore, is principally carried on in winter, when the shallow HoangHai is covered with ice along its shores, which are more favorable to the transport of goods than the bad mountain roads. Beside the above-mentioned manufactured goods, gold, silver, iron, rice, fruits, oil, and some other articles are brought by this road to Pekin. We do not know what the Coreans take in return to their country. The commercial intercourse between Corea and Japan is limited to that between the Island of Tsu-sima and the Bay of Chosan, and is carried on by Japanese merchants, who have their warehouses at each place. They import sapan-wood, pepper, alum, and the skins of deer, buffaloes, and goats, with the manufactured articles of Japan, and those brought by the Dutch from Europe: they take, in return, the manufactures of Corea, and a few other articles, especially ginseng.

The earliest people of Corea were the Sianpi, a race some of whose branches were very powerful about the middle of the third century B. C. Four centuries after, one of their chiefs united the tribes, polished them, and became master of an empire fourteen hundred leagues in extent. In A. D. 200 to 400 the race had founded four petty kingdoms in Northern China. But all the western Sianpi became lost through the preponderance of the Turkish race.

The Sianpi of Corea lived in North Corea, 1100 B. C.; and became amalgamated with another population, in the south part of the peninsula, who were probably of Japanese origin, as they resembled that people in mode of life, manners, and dress.

The Chinese historians relate that Kitsu, a relative of the last emperor of the Chang dynasty, had been shut up in prison by that prince, whose conduct he did not approve. Wouwang, who had usurped the throne of Chang, and who knew the merit of Kitsu, wished to make him his prime minister. But Kitsu answered him courageously, that having up to this time served the dynasty of Chang, from whom his family had received all its lustre, he could never pass into the service of him who had destroyed it, notwithstanding his great qualities. Wouwang, far from disapproving these generous sentiments, thought himself much obliged, and made Kitsu king of North-western Corea, in 1122 B. C.

Kitsu went over to this country, gave laws to his new subjects, and civilized them. The names and deeds of his successors are unknown: they reigned till the petty kings of Yan subjugated them. On the destruction of the Tsin dynasty, many Chinese emigrated to Corea; the emperor subjugated the northern half in A. D. 110, and again in 668. Several petty kingdoms existed in Corea, sometimes independent, sometimes subject to Japan or to China. One of these lasted till 934. As the Coreans were civilized by the Chinese, they adopted the Chinese character; and it was not till A. D. 374, that a syllabary was invented for the sounds of the Corean language. The Buddhist religion was introduced in most of the kingdoms, from 372 to 384; in one, not till A. D. 528.

Without going into further details, we may remark



that Corea has been subdued by the Japanese, Man- | seraglio. Beside large revenues, and three months' choos, and the Chinese, in succession; the last alone labor, annually, from his subjects, he has a tenth of have maintained their ascendency. The kings of all produce, taken in kind. The nobles, in their Corea, like the other vassals of the empire, send to feudal districts, exercise a very oppressive power. Pekin an annual tribute and ambassadors, who are The numerous soldiery are armed with muskets, not received with much distinction. It is said tribute bows, and whips. The ships of war are better than is also paid to Japan; but, if so, it is probably for the those of the Chinese; they have cannon and firesouthern provinces only. pots. It is said the army amounts to half a million of men, and the navy to over two hundred vessels of war.

The Corean king appears to be absolute in his own country. He has a splendid court, and a numerous




A. D. 682 to 1708.

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Origin of the Afghans-The Persian and Hindoo Dominion. AFGHANISTAN, or the country of the Afghans, a part of the ancient Aria or Ariana, is bounded north by the Hindoo Koosh Mountains and Independent Tartary, east by Hindostan, south by Beloochistan, and west by Persia. It is a mountainous country, intersected by valleys and wide plains. Many parts are covered with thick forests of pine and wild olive-trees. Others are bare and sterile, or merely afford a scanty pasture to the flocks which are reared on them. The great chain of the Hindoo Koosh forms the characteristic feature of this country. It rises from the lower regions in four distinct ranges. The lowest is clothed with forests of oak, pine, wild olive, and a variety of other trees, including almost every species of fruit, and many of the most valuable herbs and flowers in the richest profusion. The sides are furrowed with multitudes of glens and valleys, each watered by its own little stream. The lower parts of this ridge are carefully cultivated. The second range is still more densely wooded, except toward the top. The third is comparatively naked. The fourth constitutes a range of the stupendous Himmaleh system, and soars aloft in bold masses or spire-like peaks, crowned with perpetual snow. Such is the clearness of the atmosphere, that the ridges and hollows of these mountains may be discerned at the distance of two hundred and fifty miles. The extent of Afghanistan is three hundred thousand square miles; the population | a Persian history, they are said to owe their name to six millions. The political divisions of Afghanistan Afghan, the son of Eremia, the son of Saul, king of are uncertain and variable. Afghanistan proper is Israel, whose posterity, being carried away at the time said to be divided into seven provinces. Seistan, of the captivity, was settled by the conqueror in the or Segistan, is an extensive territory, but is mostly a Mountains of Ghori, Cabul, Candahar, and Ghizni. desert, and the towns are small. The provinces are There is no sufficient proof, however, of the truth of governed by khans, or chiefs. The king of Afgha- this genealogy. The Greek writers gave to this counnistan has but a limited authority. try the names Paropamisus, Aria, Arachosia, and Drangiana. Of the early inhabitants they knew very little, and of their history nothing. It is probable that Alexander passed through the northern part of the

The Afghans are a very ancient and peculiar people. Their origin is obscure, though they believe themselves descended from the ancient Hebrews. In

Boynton's Stylography Boston



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The name of Afghan is not recognized by the natives of this country, but is applied to them by their Persian neighbors. Their proper name is Pooshtana, in the plural Pushtanneh. By the Hindoos they are denominated Paitans, Patans, or Patans. They are perhaps of Arabian parentage, and, like those people, are divided into tribes. Those of Soor and Lodi, from both of whom kings have issued, are mentioned in the Eastern histories as owing their extraction to the union of an Arab chief with the daughter of an Afghan leader, A. D. 682. Ferishta, the Persian historian, mentions the Afghans as having withstood the progress of the Saracens in the early ages of Mahometan conquest. In the ninth century, they were subject to the Persian rulers of the house of Saman; and though Sultan Mahmood of Ghizni sprang from another race, his power, and the mighty empire of which his capital was the centre, were undoubtedly maintained in a great measure by the hardy troops of the Afghan



The dynasty of Mahmood was crushed by the victorious invasions of the Mongols, under Zingis Khan and Timour, and this country was comprehended, with Hindostan, in what was called the Mogul empire. The city of Cabul, in Afghanistan, became a Mogul capital, and was a favorite residence of Baber, one of the greatest monarchs of that race. When the Mogul empire fell to pieces, the hardy Afghan mountaineers were not slow in reasserting their independBut although the Afghan tribes have given birth to the founders of many powerful dynasties, the individual sovereigns have seldom been contented to fix their residence in their native land. Thus the Ghonees, the Ghiljees, and Lodees, as they rose into power, turned their arms to the eastward, and erected their thrones in the capital of Hindostan. Accordingly, Afghanistan has seldom been more than a province or appendage to some neighboring empire, and though the mountainous nature of the country, and the brave and independent spirit of the people, have often opposed formidable obstacles in the way of the most powerful invaders, yet there has not been a conqueror of Central Asia, by whom the country has not been overrun and reduced at least to a nominal and temporary obedience.

Afghanistan was long divided between the monarchs of Persia and Hindostan; but the inhabitants were always turbulent and dangerous subjects. The tribes of Ghiljee and Abdallee became subjects of Persia in the time of Abbas the Great, in the early part of the seventeenth century. The tranquillity established by the liberal policy of Abbas was of short duration, and his successors were involved in constant disputes and wars with the sovereigns of Hindostan respecting the Afghans. These people were generally able to maintain a considerable degree of independence by balancing between these two powerful states. At last, provoked by the tyranny of the Persian viceroy Georgeen Khan, they broke out into open rebellion, and, under the guidance of a brave and artful chief, named Meer Vaiz, they put the hated viceroy to death, and gained possession of the fortress of Candahar, before any suspicion of insurrection had gone abroad.


A. D. 1708 to 1842.

Afghan Independence- The British Invasion. THE independence of the Afghans being thus once more asserted, Meer Vaiz proceeded to strengthen himself by every means, while the feeble and imbecile Persian court attempted to restore their authority by negotiation. But the insurgents were emboldened by a series of military successes, and Meer Vaiz, having made himself master of his native province of Candahar, assumed the ensigns of royalty, A. D. 1708. cherished hopes of attaining to still greater power, he died before his plans could be carried into execution. He left two sons, the elder of whom was but the government was placed in the hands of their uncle, eighteen years of age. In consequence of their youth, Meer Abdollah. He was a man of timid and irresoVaiz, possessed that fierce spirit which is suitable to a lute character; but Mahmood, the elder son of Meer

leader of barbarians.



Mahmood soon discovered that a general feeling of disaffection toward his uncle prevailed throughout the country, and he could not help regarding him as the usurper of his birthright. Trusting to this feeling for his justification, he collected a band of his adherents, seized the palace, entered the chamber of Meer Abdollah, and with his own hand put him to death. His friends immediately hailed him as king. The royal music sounded, and the assembled chiefs, after deliberating on the conduct of the deceased, acknowledged the justice of his fate, and proclaimed Mahmood sovereign of Candahar.

The troubles which afflicted Persia gave Mahmood ample leisure, not only to secure himself in power, but to mature the plans of his father; and accordingly he determined to invade Persia. In the history of that country, we have given an account of the success of the invasion, and of the subsequent death of Mahmood. He was succeeded by his cousin Ashruff, the son of Meer Abdollah. Under him, the Afghans were expelled from Persia by Nadir Shah, as we have already related. When that monarch was assassinated, in 1747, an opportunity was offered for throwing off the yoke, which had been imposed upon the Afghans by the conquests

of Nadir.

Accordingly, an Afghan chief, named Ahmed Khan, took possession of Čandahar, and having the good fortune to intercept an escort of treasure which was proceeding from Hindostan to the Persian coast, he was enabled to strengthen himself sufficiently to assume the ensigns of royalty, in October, 1747. He proved an able sovereign. The most effectual means which he employed for consolidating the discordant mass of the Afghan tribes, was foreign conquest, thereby at once giving employment to their military genius, and gratifying their love of plunder. Hindostan, at once rich and weak, was the most attractive object, and Ahmed immediately invaded that country. At the battle of Paniput, he broke the power of the Mahrattas, who were about to seize the fallen sceptre

The privilege of having certain kinds of music is, in most Asiatic countries, carefully preserved. Different high ranks are designated by the instruments and the number of musicians which they are permitted to have. A royal band is a peculiar body, and is called upon to perform on all great occasions. The loss of an instrument belonging to such a band, in battle, is deemed of as much importance as the loss of a royal standard would be in Europe.



of the Mogul. His successes enabled him to become | Afghanistan ; and an army of twenty-six thousand men master of the finest provinces of Western India, and soon made their way into the heart of the country by he established his dominion over Lahore, Mooltan, the route of Candahar. The British crowned their Cashmere, and Balkh. The kingdom of Cabul, as successes by placing on the throne Shah Soojah, the his empire was called, thus became one of the most former sovereign, who had been expelled by Dost powerful monarchies in Asia. Ahmed died in 1773. Mohammed. They left garrisons in some of the large He was succeeded by his son Timur, an indolent towns; but in 1841 the Afghans rose in insurrection, prince, who, after a reign of twenty years, marked put the British Resident, Sir William M'Naghten, to chiefly by rebellions and conspiracies, which greatly death, and drove all the British troops out of the counreduced the power of the crown, died in 1793, and try, with terrible slaughter. In requital for this indigwas succeeded by Shah Zeman. He was dethroned nity, a British army made a second invasion in 1842, by Mahmood, a prince of the blood royal, who put out and committed many barbarous ravages, destroying the eyes of Shah Zeman, but was himself dethroned the greater part of the city of Cabul, together with by the brother of the unfortunate sufferer, Soojah ul many other towns. These acts of vengeance were Mulk. But these revolutions only made way for the only advantages reaped by the invaders, except others, and the kingdom was distracted with factions the release of the British prisoners, who had been reand conspiracies for many years. tained in the country. The invading army was withdrawn, and the Afghans were left to their original independence, which they have since continued to maintain.

In 1838, Dost Mohammed, the reigning sovereign, became involved in hostilities with Runjeet Sing, a Hindoo prince of the Punjaub, then in alliance with the British. That nation seized this occasion to invade

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THE Afghans consist of a multitude of tribes, who claim a common origin, and form a nation differing widely in character, appearance, and manners, from all the states by whom they are surrounded. At the same time, the diversity that exists among them is not less remarkable. They are distinguished by a general division into two great classes-the dwellers in tents and the dwellers in houses. The former, in the west

Among the high mountains and narrow, elevated valleys which lie west of the Afghans, exists a people of whom little is known beyond their names: these are the Kaffers, or infidels, so called by their Mahomedan neighbors, the Dards, Tibet-baltai, Chitral, Kwyaras, and Aimaks. These people are described as remarkable for their fairness; the possession, occasionally, of light hair and blue eyes, and great personal beauty. They speak many languages which are absolutely unknown to Europeans. According to a most judicious writer, Mr. Erskine, they constitute "a series of nations, who never appear to have attained the arts, the ease, or the

ern part of the kingdom, are supposed to constitute one half the population; in the eastern part, they are fewer, but still very numerous. The Afghans have generally a strong attachment to a pastoral life, and are with difficulty induced to quit it. Contrary to the taste which prevails in Europe, they hold in disdain a residence in towns and cities, together with occupations there practised, and leave them to inferior and foreign races.

In person, the Afghans are mostly of a robust frame, lean, muscular, and bony, with high cheekbones and long faces. Their hair is commonly black, civilization of the southern states, but who, at the same time, unlike those to the north, have, in general, settled in some particular spot, built villages and towns, and cultivated the soil." Letters seem to be unknown to these people: they cultivate small quantities of wheat and millet, but their principal wealth consists in oxen and goats. The mountain barriers, which surround them, have protected them from invasion; and the narrow valleys, which comprise their country, divide them into numerous tribes, which hinders their civilization. For want of a better name, they may be called the Dard family. - McCulloch.

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