196 MISSIONARY WORK IN JAPAN. ital to Tokyo in 1868, this city had been the residence of the Mikado for nearly eleven centuries, and was still the literary and spiritual centre of the empire. Situated in the heart of the main island, in a fertile valley circled by motmtains, it was also the centre of the best tea-producing district, and had long been preeminent for its silk and pottery industries. As the home of the Mikado it had been the scene of many important political events. Here had been quartered the great officials of the land with their retinues, and as the dwelling-place of a heaven-de­scended sovereign the city had been for generations the resort of pilgrims, pleasure-seekers, and amateurs of antique lore and mysteries. Its material prosper­ity hacl suffered by the removal of the government, and several exhibitions of products from the various provinces of the empire had been held in the grounds and buildings of its temples to promote industrial activity and to offer some substitute for the van­ished attractions of the court. These expositions had been of great service in breaking down the bar­riers imposed by the feudal system, -a system which had checked the industrial growth of the nation by artificial constraints, and interfered with any gen­eral comparison or examination of the products of widely separated districts. The conversion of the sanctuary of the imperial residence, where the exhi­bition of 1872 was held, into a repository of trade and commerce, brought old and new Japan, the Past and the Present, face to face. The reverence at­tached to the person of the Mikado had been funda­mental in the thought of the people, to whom their sovereign was literally a god. His name could not be uttered nor his countenance seen even by tho,;e of the