LETTER TO PRUDENTIAL COMMITTEE. 271 letter addressed at the same time to the Prudential Committee. To THE PRUDENTlAL CoMMITTEE oF THE .AMERICAN BoARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR FoREIGN MISSIONS. Dear Sirs, -Allow me to submit to you the fol­lowing statements to invite your attention to my hum­ble scheme for the speedy evangelization of Japan. Before I dwell upon the subject just mentioned, I first beg your attention to the past and present condi­tion of the country. Japan, as you well know, was once opened to for­eign intercourse, and also to Jesuit enterprise, in the sixteenth century. But for certain reasons the ports were closed to all western nations except the Dutch, and Roman Catholicism was checked by inhumanly persecuting and exterminating the devotees of the Cross, numbering probably more than 600,000. Japan thus became a hermit nation, so isolated and so exclusive. She would have nothing to do with the outside world. From that time it remained a rigid law of the country to fire upon every black vessel (as foreign vessels were then called by us) seen approach­ing our coasts, until we were compelled by your diplo­matists to make a treaty with the United States. This was the day dawn of our history. The people were suddenly awakened from their profound morning dreams. Party spirit at once displayed itself. The commotion of the country was fearful. Bloodshed and assassination occurred here and there. Soon the late Revolution burst forth, the result of which was most marvellous even to our eyes. The despotic gov­ernment of the Shogun was crushed, and the reigning power of the Mikado was restored in the sacred person