CONSERVATIVE REACTION. 185 The deep-seated hatred of foreigners to which this intercourse led, and the persecutions which followed, can occasion no surprise to the student o£ Japanese history during this period. On the other hand, the Japanese have always shown a readiness to adopt what is good from without, and the genius to adapt what they borrow to their own peculiar needs. In art, religion, and literature, the influence of their neighbors so predominates that examination o£ their civilization leaves little that can be called indigenous save those changes wrought in the transplanted ele­ments of Chinese and Indian civilization by the envi­roning conditions of their new home. Mr. Neesima returned to Japan at a time when the elements o£ conservatism were gathering in the storm which burst upon the country three years later in the Satsuma rebellion. It was in fact impossible for a feudal society to undergo a transformation so radical and so rapid without the throes incidental to the birth of a new order o£ thing3. The great majority of the people were unprepared for so sudden a change and too ignorant to appreciate the reasons which di~tated the policy of the liberal statesmen. Certain of the daimio found that the movement they themselves had inaugurated involved consequences unforeseen. The restoration of the Mik::tdo was no1V perceived to mean a centralization in which all local dignity and author­ity was lost. Customs of dress, habits of life, social privileges, all that was consecrated by the past and associated with the national greatness were passing away. The recruitment of an army by subscription from all ranks was the degradation of a class long accustomed only to military and ceremonial duties, and a life o£ comparative ease and pleasure, secure in