The Mikado's Empire

The Mikado's Empire

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by William Elliot Griffis

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Published in 1877, a detailed history of Japan, with an account of living there during a time of great change.See more details below


Published in 1877, a detailed history of Japan, with an account of living there during a time of great change.

Product Details

Harper & Brothers Publishers
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Griffis (1843-1928) travelled to Japan in 1870 to teach and soon became a leading educator in Tokyo. His work took him around the country meeting various prominent people. He wrote and lectured extensively on Japan upon his return home, becoming the West's most respected authority on Japanese culture. He received the Order of the Rising Sun in 1928.

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LL THE ABORIGINES In seeking the origin of the Japanese people, we must take into consideration the geographical position of their island chain, with reference to its proximity to the main-land, and its situation in the ocean currents. Japanese traditions and history may have much to tell us concerning the present people of Japan—whether they are exclusively an indigenous race, or the composite of several ethnic stocks. From a study, however imperfect, of the language, physiognomy, and bodily characteristics, survivals of ancient culture, historic geology, and the relics of man's struggle with nature in the early ages, and of the actual varieties of mankind now included within the mikado's dominions,! we may learn much of the ancestors of the present Japanese. The horns of the crescent - shaped chain of Dai Nippon approach the Asiatic continent at the southern end of Corea and at Siberia. Nearly the whole of Saghalin is within easy reach of the continent by canoe. At the point called Norato, a little north of the fifty-second parallel, the opposite shore, but five miles distant, is easily seen. The water is here so shallow that junks can not cross it at low tide. After long prevalent favorable winds, the ground is left dry, and the I use the term "aborigines" for the sake of convenience, being by no means absolutely sure that those I so designate were the first people in situ. It has been conjectured and held by some native scholars that there was in Japan a pre- A i ii. i civilization; though of this there is scarcely a shadow of proof, as there is proof for an ancient Malay civilization higher thun the present condition of the Malays. By the term "aborigines" I mean thepeople found on the soil at the dawn of history. t In compiling this chapter I have used, in a...

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