Far Off eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about Far Off.

He asked the Japanese to sell him a supply of fruit and vegetables for his crew, and a supply was brought; but the Japanese would take no money in return.  He wanted to buy bullocks, that his crew might have beef, but the Japanese replied, “You cannot have them; for they work hard, and are tired, they draw the plough; they do their duty, and they ought not to be eaten; but the hogs are lazy; they do no work, you may have them to eat, if you wish it.”  The Japanese will not even milk their cows, but they allow the calves to have all the milk.

If you wish to know why the Japanese will not allow strangers to land, I must relate some events which happened three hundred years ago.

Some Roman Catholic priests from Spain and Portugal settled in the land, and taught the people about Christ, but they taught them also to worship the cross, and the Virgin Mary.  Thousands of the Japanese were baptized, and were called Christians.  After some years had passed away, the emperor began to fear that the kings of Spain and Portugal would come, and take away his country from him, as they had taken away other countries; so the emperor began to persecute the priests, and all who followed their words.  One emperor after another persecuted the Christians.  There is a burning mountain in Japan, and down its terrible yawning mouth many Christians were thrown.  One emperor commanded his people instead of worshipping the cross, to trample upon it.  To do either—­is wicked; to do either is to insult Christ.

All Christians are now hated in Japan.  The Dutch tried to persuade the emperors to trust them; but they could only get leave to buy and sell at one place, but not to settle in the land.

There are many beautiful things in Japan, especially boxes, and screens, and cabinets, varnished and ornamented in a curious manner, and these are much admired by great people in Europe.  There is silk, too, and tea, and porcelain in Japan; but they are not nearly as fine as China.  There is gold also.

There are as many people in Japan, as there are in Britain; for the Japanese are very industrious, and cultivate abundance of rice, and wheat.  Oh! how sad to think that so many millions should be living and dying in darkness; for the chief religion is the false, and foolish religion of Buddha, or, as he is called in Japan, “Budso.”  How many names are given to that deceiver!  Buddha in Ceylon; Fo, in China; Gaudama, in Burmah; Codom, in Siam—­and Budso in Japan!

What sort of people are the Japanese?

They are a very polite people—­much politer than the Chinese, but very proud.  They are a learned nation, for they can read and write, and they understand geography, arithmetic, and astronomy.  There is a college where many languages are taught, even English.  The dress of the gentlemen is elegant;—­the loose tunic and trowsers, the sash, and jacket, are made of a kind of fine linen, adorned with various

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Far Off from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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