LIFE AND LETTERS OF JOSEPH HARDY NEESIMA
184 liUSSIONARY WORK IN JAPAN. elusion, transferred the capital from Kyoto to Tokyo, and solemnly promised a deliberative assembly and repre3entative institutions. When Mr. N eesima landed at Yokohama, December 6, 187 4, the railway connecting Tokyo and Kyoto had been commenced and was in operation between Yokohama and the capital; a national line of steamships plied between the pl'incipal ports, and the important points of the coast were provided with lighthouses; a general telegraphic system had been inaugurated, and a postal service modeled on that of the United States had been extended over the entire empire, excepting only the island of Y ezo; the imperial mint had been opened at Osaka; the navy had been reorganized under English guidance, and the creation of an army on European models had been begun; the dockyards and machine shops of the naval station at Y okosuka had been established, and the arsenal founded at Tokyo ; European dress had been adopted by government officials, the .European calendar introduced; Japanese journalism was already a factor in the formation of public opinion, and the foundations of a comprehensive educational system had been laid. The rate at which these changes were effected is astonishing, but the fact of this wholesale adoption of western institutions is not in itself inconsistent with the Japanese character. Their experience with foreigners had not, it is true, been a happy one. Early contact with the Jesuits, who brought the spirit of the Inquisition, with the Dutch and Portuguese traders, who introduced the slave-trade, new forms of disease, gunpowder, and tobacco, was the beginning of an aggressive policy dictated by commercial and selfish interests whose results were fatal to the peace of society.