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Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic Part 25

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The Shinto-Buddhistic was in truth a new religion, each of the old religions supplying an essential element.

One real reason, beside its accommodation to Shintoism, why Buddhism was so popular was that it brought an indispensable element into the national life. For the first time emphasis began to be laid on the individual. Introspection and deliberate meditation were brought into play. Arts demanding individual skill were fostered. A gorgeous ritual, elaborate architecture, complex religious organism, letters and literature, all gave play to individual activity and development whether in manual, in mental, or in aesthetic lines. The hitherto cramped and primitive life of the j.a.panese responded to these appeals and opportunities with profound joy. The upper cla.s.ses especially felt themselves growing in richness and fullness of life. They felt the stimulus in many directions. The reason, then, why Buddhism flourished so mightily, and at the same time caused the nation to bloom, was because it helped develop the individual. The reason, on the other hand, why it failed to carry the nation on from its first bloom into full fruitage was because it failed to develop individualism in the social order. Its religious individualism was, as we have seen, in reality defective. It was abstract and one-sided. It did not discover the whole of the individual. It did not know anything of personality, either human or divine. It accordingly could not recognize the individual's worth, but only his separateness and his weakness. It taught an abstract impoverished idea of self, and made, as the whole aim of the salvation it offered, the final annihilation of all separateness of this individual self. We can now see that its individualism was essentially defective in that it poured contempt on the self, and that if its individualizing salvation were consistently carried out, it was not only no help to the social order, but a positive injury to it. Its individualism was of a nature which could not become an integral part of any social order.

This character led to another inevitable difficulty. Although Buddhism ostensibly adopted Shinto deities and the Shinto sanctions for the social order, it could not wholeheartedly accept the sanctions nor take the deities into full and legitimate partnership. It found no place in its circle of doctrine to teach the important tenets of Shintoism.

It left them to survive or perish as chance would have it. In proportion as Buddhism absorbed the life and love of the people, Shinto fell into decay and with it its sanctions. Then came the centuries of civil war during which Imperial power and authority sank to a minimum, and j.a.pan's ignominy and disorder reached their maximum.

What the land now needed was the re-introduction, first, of social order, even though it must be by the hand of a dictator, and second, the development of religious sanctions for the order that should be established. The first was secured by those three great generals of j.a.pan, Oda n.o.bunaga, the Taiko Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. "The first conceived the idea of centralizing all the authority of the state in a single person; the second, who has been called the Napoleon of j.a.pan, actually put the idea into practice," but died before consolidating his work; the third, by his unsurpa.s.sed skill as a diplomat and administrator, carried the idea completely out, arranging the details of the new order so that, without special military genius or power on the part of his successors, the order maintained itself for 250 years.

Yet it is doubtful if this long maintenance of the social order introduced by Ieyasu would have been possible had he not found ready to hand a system of essentially religious sanctions for the social order he had established by force. Confucianism had lain for a thousand years a dormant germ, receiving some study from learned men, but having no special relation to the education of the day or to the political problems that became each century more pressing. In the Confucian doctrines of loyalty to ruler and piety to parents, a doctrine sanctioned by Heaven and by the customs of all the ancients, Ieyasu, with the insight of a master mind, found just the sanctions he desired. He had the Confucian cla.s.sics printed--it is said for the first time in j.a.pan--"and the whole intellect of the country became molded by Confucian ideas." The cla.s.sics, edited with diacritical marks for j.a.panese students, "formed the chief vehicle of every boy's education." These were interpreted by learned Chinese commentators.

The intelligence of the land drank of this stream as the European mind refreshed itself with the cla.s.sic waters of the Renaissance. The j.a.panese were weary of Buddhistic puerilities and transcendental doctrines that led nowhere. They demanded sanctions for the moral life and the social order; in response to this need Buddhism gave them Nirvana--absolute mental and moral vacuity. Confucianism gave them principles whose working and whose results they could see and understand. Its sanctions appealed both to the imagination and to the reason, antiquity and learning and piety being all in their favor. The sanctions were also seen to be wholly independent of puerile superst.i.tions and foolish fears. The Confucian ideals and sanctions, moreover, coincided with the essential elements of the old Shinto world-view and sanctions. In a true sense, the doctrines of Confucius were but the elaborated and succinctly stated implications of their primitive faith. Confucianism, therefore, swept the land. _It was _accepted as the groundwork and authority for the most flourishing feudal order the world has ever seen. j.a.pan bloomed again.[DF]

This difference, however, is to be noted between the Shinto ideal social order and the Confucian, or rather that development of Confucian ethics and civics which arose during the Tokugawa Shogunate; Shinto appears to have been, properly speaking, nationalistic, while feudal Confucianism was tribal. Although in Confucian theory the supreme loyalty may have been due the Emperor, in point of fact it was shown to the local daimyo. Confucian ethics was communal and might easily have turned in the direction of national communalism; it would then have coincided completely with Shinto in this respect. But for various reasons it did not so turn, but developed an intensely local, a tribal communalism, and pushed loyalty to the Emperor as a vital reality entirely into the background. This was one of the defects of feudal Confucianism which finally led to its own overthrow. Shinto, as we have seen, had long been pushed aside by Buddhism and was practically forgotten by the people. The zeal for Confucian doctrine brought, therefore, no immediate revival to the Shinto cultus, although it did revive the essential elements of the old communal religion. We might say that the old religion was revived under a new name; having a new name and a new body, the real and vital connection between the two was not recognized. We thus discern how the religious history of j.a.pan was not a series of cataclysms or of disconnected leaps in the dark, but an orderly development, one step naturally following the next, as the sun follows the dawn. The different stages of j.a.pan's religious progress have received different names, because due to specific stimuli brought from abroad; the religious life itself, however, has been a continuous development.

Another difference between Shinto and Confucianism as it existed in j.a.pan should not escape our attention, namely, in regard to their respective world-views. Shinto was confessedly a religion; it frankly believed in G.o.ds, whom it worshiped and on whose help it relied.

Confucianism, or to use the j.a.panese name, Bushido, was confessedly agnostic. It did not a.s.sume to understand the universe, as Buddhism a.s.sumed. Nor did it admit the practical existence of G.o.ds or their power in this world, as Shinto believed. It maintained that, "if only the heart follows the way of truth, the G.o.ds will protect one even though he does not pray." It laid stress on practical moralities, regardless of their philosophical presumptions, into which it would not probe. When pressed it would ascribe all to "Heaven," and, as we have seen, it had many implications that would lead the inquiring mind to a belief in the personal nature of "Heaven." Had it developed these implications, Bushido would have become a genuine religion. It was indeed a system of ethics touched with emotion, it was religious, but it failed to become the religion it might have become because it insisted on its agnosticism and refused to worship the highest and best it knew.

It is interesting to observe that the ideals and sanctions of Confucianism produced effects which proved its ruin. They did this in two ways; first, by developing the prolonged peace necessary for a high grade of scholarship which, turning its attention to ancient history, discovered that the Shogunate was a.s.suming powers not in accord with the primitive practice nor in accord with the theory of the divine descent of the Imperial house. Imperialistic patriots arose, whose aim was to overthrow the Shogunate and restore the Emperor. They felt that, doing this, they were right; that is to say, they became inspired by the Shinto sanctions for a national life. They thus discovered the defect of the disjointed feudal system sanctioned by feudal Confucianism. The second cause of its undoing grew out of the first. The scholarship which led the patriots against the usurper in political life led them also against all foreign innovations such as Buddhism and Confucianism, which they scorned as modern and anti-imperial. The Shinto cultus thus received a powerful revival.

With the overthrow of the Shogunate in 1868 Confucianism naturally went with it, and for a time Shinto was the state religion. But its poverty in every line, except the communal sanctions, caused it in a short time to lose its place.

The two causes just a.s.signed for the fall of Bushido, however, could hardly have wrought its ruin had it been more than a utilitarian and agnostic system of morality, calculated to maintain the social ascendency of a small fraction of the nation. As a religion, Bushido would have secured a conservative power enabling it to survive, by adapting itself to a changed social order. As it was, Bushido was snuffed out by a single breath of the breeze that began to blow from foreign lands. As an ethical system it has conferred a blessing on j.a.pan that should never be forgotten. But its identification with a cla.s.s and a clan social order rendered it too narrow for the national and international life into which the nation was forced by circ.u.mstances beyond its control, and its agnostic utilitarianism did not provide it with sufficient moral power to cope with the problems of the new individualistic age that had suddenly burst upon it. In all j.a.pan there remains to the present day only one of those old Confucian schools with its temple to Confucius. All the rest have fallen into ruins or have been used for other purposes, while the gold-covered statues of the once deified teacher have been sold to curio-dealers or for their bullion value. In the worship of Confucius, Bushido almost became a religion, but it worshiped the teacher instead of the Creator, maintaining its agnosticism as to the Creator, as to "Heaven," to the end, and thus lapsed from the path of religious evolution.

This brings us down to modern times--into the seventies. Already in the sixties j.a.pan had discovered herself in a totally new environment.

She found that foreign nations had made great progress in every direction since she shut them out two hundred and fifty years before.

She discovered her helplessness, she discovered, too, that the social order of Western peoples was totally distinct from hers. These discoveries served to break down all the remaining sanctions for her particular type of social order--Confucianistic feudalism. The whole nation was eager to know the political systems of the West. So long as the Shinto ideal of nationalism was not interfered with, the nation was free to adopt any new social order. j.a.pan's political and commercial intercourse being with England and America, the social order of the Anglo-Saxon had the greatest influence on the j.a.panese mind. j.a.pan accordingly has become predominantly Anglo-Saxon in its social ideas. Much has been made of the fact that the new social order has come in so easily; that the people have gained rights without fighting for them; and this has been attributed to the peculiarity of j.a.panese human nature. This is an error. The real reason for the ease with which the individualistic Anglo-Saxon social order has been introduced has been the collapse of the sanctions for the Confucian order. No one had any ground of duty on which to stand and fight. The national mind was open to any newcomer that might have appeared. I am referring, of course, to the thinking cla.s.ses. All the rest, accustomed to submissive obedience, never thought of any other course than to accept the will of superiors.

Furthermore, the new social order in one important respect fell in with and helped to re-establish the old Shinto ideal, that, namely, of nationalism. In the treaty negotiations, the West would deal with no intermediaries, only with the responsible national head. Western ideals, too, demanded a strong national unity. In this respect, then, the foreign ideals and foreign social order were powerful influences in building up the new patriotism, in re-enforcing the old Shinto social sanctions.

Thus has j.a.pan come to the parting of the ways. What j.a.pan needs to-day is a religion satisfying the intellect as to its world-view, and thus justifying the sanctions it holds out. These must be neither exclusively communal, like those of Shinto, nor exclusively individual, like those of Buddhism. While maintaining at their full value the sanctions for the social life, it must add thereto the sanctions for the individual. It must not look upon the individual as a being whose salvation depends on his being isolated from, taken out of the community, as Buddhism did and does, nor yet as a mere fraction of the community, as Confucianism did, but as a complete, imperishable unit of infinite worth, necessarily living a double life, partly inseparable from the social order and partly superior to it. This religion must provide not only sanctions, but ideals, for a perfect social order in which, while the most complex organization of society shall be possible, the freedom and the high development of the individual's personality shall also be secured.

The fulfillment of such conditions would at first thought seem to be impossible. How can a religion give sanctions which at the very time that they authorize the fullest development and organization of society, apparently making society its chief end, also a.s.sume the fullest liberty and development of the individual, making him and his salvation its chief end? Are not these ends incompatible? What has been said already along this general line of thought has prepared us to see that they are not. The great, though unconscious, need of the ages, and the unconscious effort of all religious evolution has been the development of just such a religion. As the "cake" of social custom was at first the great need for, and afterwards the great obstacle in the way of, social evolution, so the sanctions of a communal religion were at first the great need for, and afterwards the great obstacle in the way of, religious evolution and of personal development. Through its sanctions religion is the most powerful of all the factors of the higher human evolution, either helping it onward or holding it back.

Has, then, any religion secured such a dual development as we have just seen to be necessary? As a matter of fact, one and only one has done so, Christianity. This religion clearly attains and maintains the apparently impossible combination of individualism and communalism by the nature of its conception of the method of individual salvation.

Its communalism is guaranteed by, because it rests on, its individualism. At the very moment that it p.r.o.nounces the individual of inestimable worth,--a son of G.o.d,--it commands him to show that sonship by loving all G.o.d's other sons, and by serving them to the extent of self-sacrifice, and of death if need be. Its communalism is thus inseparable from its individualism and its individualism from its communalism.

Christian individualism embraces and includes thoroughgoing communalism. True and full Christians are the most devoted patriots.

As the acorn sends forth far-reaching; roots into the soil for moisture and nourishment, and a mighty trunk and spreading branches upward for air and sunlight, so the seed of Christian life develops in two directions, individualism as the root and communalism as the beautiful tree. They are not contradictory, but supplementary principles. While his own final gain is a real aim of the individual, it is only a part of his aim; he also desires and labors for the gain of all; and even the individual gain, he well knows, can be secured only through the communal principle, through service to his fellow-men. His own welfare, whether temporal or eternal, is inseparably bound up with that of his fellows.

The Christian religion finds the sanctions for any and every social order that history knows, in the fact that all physical and social laws and organisms are part of the divine plan. Because any particular social order is the a.s.sociation of imperfect men and women, it must be more or less imperfect. But the Christian, even while he is seeking to reform the social order and to bring it up to his ideal, must be loyal to it. And for this loyalty to fellow-men and to G.o.d, the highest conceivable sanctions are held out, namely, an endless and infinite life of conscious, joyous fellowship with souls made perfect in the Kingdom of G.o.d, and with G.o.d himself.

A comprehensive study, therefore, of the real nature and the true function of religion in relation to man's development, whether individual or communal, shows that Christianity fulfills the conditions. A comparative study would show that, of all the existing religions, Christianity alone does this. It alone combines in perfect proportion the individual and the communal elements, and the requisite sanctions.

An expansion of communal religion is taking place in modern times. The community now arising is international in scope, interracial and universal in character. Cultivated men and women the world around are beginning to talk of national rights and national duties. Europe is thought to be justified in suppressing the slave trade and its accompanying horrors in Africa, and condemned for not preventing the Turk from carrying on his wholesale slaughter of innocent Armenians.

The Spaniard is despised and condemned for his prolonged inhumanities in Cuba and the Philippines, and the American is approved in warring for humanity and justified in interfering with Spain's sovereignty.

The conscience of the world is beginning to discover that no nation, though sovereign, has an absolute right over its people. Right is only measured by righteousness. International righteousness, duty and rights, regardless of military power, are coming to the forefront of the thinking of advanced nations.

Looked at closely, and studied in its implications, what is this but a developing form of communal religion? No nation is conceived as existing apart; each exists as but one fraction of the world-wide community; in its relations it has both rights and duties. Does this not mean that appeal has been made from the communal sanctions of might to the supra-communal sanctions of right? We do not simply ask what do other nations think of this or that national act, but what is right, in view of the whole order of the nature which has brought man into being and set him in families and nations. In other words, national rights and duties are felt to flow from the supra-mundane source, G.o.d the Creator of heaven and earth and all that in them is.

The sanctions for national rights and duties are religious sanctions and rest on a religious world-view.

Now the point, of interest for us is the fact that j.a.pan has entered into this universal community and is feeling the sanctions of this universal communal religion. The international rights and duties of j.a.pan are a theme of frequent discourse and conversation. j.a.pan stoutly maintained that the war with China was a "gi-sen," a righteous war, waged primarily for the sake of Korea. Many a j.a.panese waxes indignant over the cruelty of the Turk, the savage barbarity of the Spaniard, and the impotence and supineness of England and Europe. I have already spoken of the young man who became so indignant at England's compelling China to take Indian opium, that he proposed to go to England to preach an anti-opium crusade. j.a.pan is beginning to enter into the larger communal life of the world, although, of course, she has as yet little perception of its varied implications.

Many a student of New j.a.pan perceives that she is abandoning her old religious conceptions, and that many moral and social evils are entering the land, who yet does not see that the wide acceptance of some new religion by the people is important for the maintenance of the nation. Some earnest j.a.panese thinkers are beginning to realize that religion is, indeed, needful to steady the national life, but they fail to see that Christianity alone fulfills the condition. Many are saying that a religion scientifically constructed must be manufactured especially for j.a.pan.

The reason why individualistic religion takes such an important part in the higher evolution of man is, in a word, because the religious sanctions are so much more powerful than all others, either legal or social. For the legal sanctions are chiefly negative; they are also partial and uncertain, and easily evaded by the selfish individual.

The social sanctions, too, are often far from just or impartial or wise. Furthermore, the rise of individualism in the social order secures privacy for the individual, and so far forth removes him from the restraints and stimuli of the social sanctions. It is the religious sanctions alone that follow the man in every waking moment.

Not one of all his acts escapes the eye of the religious judgment. He is his own judge, and he cannot escape bearing witness against himself.

Now, it is manifest that where superior beings and man's relation to these and the corresponding religious sanctions are defectively conceived, as, for instance, quite apart either from the individual or the communal life, they are valueless to the higher evolution of man and have little interest for the student of social evolution. In proportion, however, as man advances in intellectual grasp of religious truths and in susceptibility to the moral ideas and religious sanctions they provide, conceiving of morality and religion as inseparable parts of the same system, the more powerfully does religion enter into and promote man's higher evolution. An individualistic social order demands the religious sanctions more imperatively than a communal social order; for, in proportion as it is individualistic, the social order is weak in compelling, through the legal and social sanctions alone, the communal or altruistic activity of the individual. Altruistic spirit and action, however, are essential to the maintenance even of that individualistic order. The more highly society develops, therefore, the more religious must each member of the society become.

The same truth may be stated from another standpoint. The higher man develops, the more impatient he becomes with illogical reasonings and defective conceptions; he thus becomes increasingly skeptical in regard to current traditional religions with their crude, primitive ideas; he is accordingly increasingly freed from the restraints they impose. But unless he finds some new religious sanctions for the communal life, for social conduct, and for the individual life,--ideals and sanctions that command his a.s.sent and direct his life,--he will drop back into a thoroughgoing atomic, individualistic, selfish life, which can be only a hindrance to the higher development both of society and of the individual. In order that men advancing in intellectual ability may remain useful members of society, they must remain subject to those ideals and sanctions which will actually secure social conduct. While disregarding the chaff of primitive religious superst.i.tions and ceremonials man must retain the wheat; he must feel the force of the religious spirit in a deeper and profounder, because more personal way than did his ancestors.

Increasing intellectual power and knowledge must be balanced by increasing individual experience of the religious motives and spirit.

This is the reason why each advancing age should study afresh the whole religious problem, and state in the terms of its own experience the prominent and permanent religious truths of all the ages and the sanctions that flow from them. Hence it is that a religion only traditional and ceremonial is quite unfitted for a developing life.

j.a.pan is no exception to the general laws of human evolution. As her intellectual abilities increase, the forms of her old religious life will become increasingly unacceptable to the people at large. If, in rejecting the obsolete forms of religious thought, she rejects religion and its sanctions altogether, atomistic individualism can be the only result, and with it wide moral corruption will eat out the vitality of the national life.

That Christianity alone, of all the religions of the world, fulfills the conditions will not need many words to prove. As a matter of fact Christianity alone has succeeded in surviving the criticism of the nineteenth century. In Christendom, all religions but Christianity have perished. This is a mere matter of fact. As for the reason, Christianity alone gives complete intellectually satisfactory sanctions for both the communal and the individualistic principles of social progress. Christianity, as we have sufficiently shown, has both principles not unrelated to each other, but vitally interrelated. For these reasons it is safe to maintain not only that j.a.pan needs to find a new religion, but that the religion must be Christianity in substance, whatever be the name given it.

The j.a.panese have been described as essentially irreligious in nature.

We have seen how defective such a description is. But have we not now traced one root of this seeming characteristic of New j.a.pan? The old religious conceptions have been largely outgrown by the educated. They have come to the conclusion that the old religious forms const.i.tute the whole of religion, and that consequently they are unworthy of attention. The spirit of New j.a.pan is indifferent to religion; but this is not due to an inherently non-religious or irreligious nature, but to the empty externalism and shallow puerilities of the only religions they know. How can they be zealous for them or recognize any authority in them? Those few j.a.panese who have come within the influence of the larger conception of religion brought to j.a.pan by Christianity are showing a religious zeal and power supporting the contention that the generally a.s.serted lack of a religious nature is only apparent and temporary. Preaching the right set of ideas, those which appeal to the national sense of communal needs, by supplying the demand for sanctions for the social order; ideas which appeal to intellects molded by modern thought, by supplying such an intellectual understanding of the universe as justifies the various supra-communal sanctions; and ideas which appeal to the heart, by supplying the personal demand of each individual for a larger life, for intercourse with the Father of all Spirits and for strength for the prolonged battle of life--preach these and kindred ideas, and the j.a.panese will again become as conspicuously a religious people as they were when Buddhism came to j.a.pan a thousand years ago.[DG]

But if the real nature of a full and perfect religion is to save not only the individual, providing sanctions for his conduct, but also to justify the social order, and to provide sanctions that shall secure its maintenance, any religion which fails to have both characteristics can hardly claim the name universal. We have seen that Buddhism lacks one of these elements. In my judgment it is not properly universal. So long as it exists in or goes to a land already provided with other religions securing the social order, it may continue to thrive. But, on the one hand, it can never become the exclusive religion of any land for it cannot do without and therefore it cannot depose the other religions; and, on the other hand, it must give way before the stronger religion which has both the individual and communal elements combined. Buddhism, therefore, lacks a vital characteristic of a universal religion. It may better be called a non-local, or an international religion. We now see another reason why Buddhism, although found in many Oriental lands, has never annihilated any of the pre-existing religions, but has only added one more to the many varieties already existing. It is so in Thibet, in China, in Burmah, and in j.a.pan. And in India, its home, it has utterly died out.

Many of the efforts made by students of comparative religion to cla.s.sify the various religions, seem to the writer defective through lack of the perception that social and religious evolution are vitally connected. From this point of view, the cla.s.sification of religions as communal, individual, and communo-individual, would seem to be the best.

x.x.xVI

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ORIENT?

We have now pa.s.sed in rather detailed review the emotional, aesthetic, intellectual, moral, and religious characteristics of the j.a.panese race. We have, furthermore, given considerable attention to the problem of personality. We have tried to understand the relation of each characteristic to the j.a.panese feudal system and social order.

The reader will perhaps feel some dissatisfaction with the results of this study. "Are there, then," he may say, "no distinctive j.a.panese psychical characteristics by which this Eastern race is radically differentiated from those of the Occident?" "Are there no peculiar features of an Oriental, mental and moral, which infallibly and always distinguish him from an Occidental?" The reply to this question given in the preceding chapters of this work is negative. For the sake, however, of the reader who may not yet be thoroughly satisfied, it may be well to examine this problem a little further, a.n.a.lyzing some of the current characterizations of the Orient.

That Oriental and Occidental peoples are each possessed of certain unique psychic characteristics, sharply and completely differentiating them from each other, is the opinion of scientific sociologists as well as of more popular writers. An Occidental entering the Orient is well-nigh overwhelmed with amus.e.m.e.nt and surprise at the antipodal characteristics of the two civilizations. Every visible expression of Oriental civilization, every mode of thought, art, architecture; conceptions of G.o.d, man, and nature; p.r.o.nunciation and structure of the language--all seem utterly different from their corresponding elements in the West. Furthermore, as he visits one Oriental country after another, although he discovers differences between j.a.panese, Koreans, Chinese, and Hindus, yet he is impressed with a strange, a baffling similarity.

The tourist naturally concludes that the unity characterizing the Orient is fundamental; that Oriental civilization is due to Oriental race brain, and Occidental civilization is due to Occidental race brain.

This impression and this conclusion of the tourist are not, however, limited to him. The "old resident" in the East becomes increasingly convinced with every added year that an Oriental is a different kind of human being from a Westerner. As he becomes accustomed to the externals of the Oriental civilization, he forgets its comical aspects, he even comes to appreciate many of its conveniences. But in proportion as he becomes familiar with its languages, its modes of thought and feeling, its business methods, its politics, its literature, its amus.e.m.e.nts, does he increasingly realize the gulf set between an Oriental and an Occidental. The inner life of the spirit of an Oriental would be utterly inane, spiritless to the average Occidental. The "old resident" accordingly knows from long experience what the tourist only guesses from a hasty glance, that the characteristic differences distinguishing the peoples of the East and the West are racial and ineradicable. An Oriental is an Oriental, and that is the ultimate, only thoroughgoing explanation of his nature.

The conception of the tourist and the "old resident" crops up in nearly every article and book touching on Far Eastern peoples.

Whatever the point of remark or criticism, if it strikes the writer as different from the custom of Occidentals, it is laid to the account of Orientalism.

This conception, however, of distinguishing Oriental characteristics, is not confined to popular writers and unscientific persons. Even professed and eminent sociologists advocate it. Prof. Le Bon, in his sophistic volume on the "Psychology of Peoples," advocates it strenuously. A few quotations from this interesting work may not be out of place.

"The object of this work is to describe the psychological characteristics which const.i.tute the soul of races, and to show how the history of a people and its civilization is determined by these characteristics."[DH] "The point that has remained most clearly fixed in mind, after long journeys through the most varied countries, is that each people possesses a mental const.i.tution as unaltering as its anatomical characteristics, a const.i.tution which is the source of its sentiments, thoughts, inst.i.tutions, beliefs, and arts."[DI]

"The life of a people, its inst.i.tutions, beliefs, and arts, are but the visible expression of its invisible soul. For a people to transform its inst.i.tutions, beliefs, and arts it must first transform its soul."[DJ]

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Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic Part 25 summary

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