LIFE AND LETTERS OF JOSEPH HARDY NEESIMA
330 LAST YEARS AND DEATH. trasts, and as the procession, with its flowers and banners, files through the beautiful grove of the Buddhist temple on the slopes of San J o, where lies the body of Mr. Neesima's father, but where burial was refused the son because he was "the very head of Christianity in Japan," one is astonished to see in its ranks a delegation of priests, bearing a banner with the inscription, "From the Buddhists of Osaka." Among other banners was one from Tokyo, with the device, "Free education, self-governing churches; these, keeping equal step, will bring this nation to honor,"-one of Mr. Neesima's last utterances. No private citizen has ever died in Japan whose loss was so widely and so deeply felt as that of Mr. Neesima. "Who is this man," exclaimed a native of Oiso, "whose name I have never heard, with whom the rich and the great not only hold communication, but for whom, in his extremity, they also sorrow?" His death was deplored by the press throughout the country as a national loss. Hundreds of letters and telegrams were received from men of all ranks and classes, and no just estimate of the esteem and love in which he was held by his countrymen can be formed without some knowledge of the many touching tributes elicited by his death. For, under circumstances iu which one of his persistent purpose and firm conviction might well have created enemies as well as opponents, he retained the respect and even won the affection of all. Count Inouye had telegraphed to Oiso, "You must keep him alive." Viscount Aoki wrote, "I have lost a great and good friend." A letter from the governor of Shiga contained, with its message of sympathy, the sum which had been promised for the university fund.