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Title: Flash-lights from the Seven Seas

Author: William L. Stidger

Commentator: Francis John McConnell

Release date: October 14, 2008 [eBook #26924]
Most recently updated: January 4, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Ronald Lee






Temple at Taishan












NEW logo of publisher YORK













The Rev. William L. Stidger is one of the most thoroughly alive men in the ministry today. He sees quickly, reacts instantaneously, and knows how to bring others to a like alertness of mental and spiritual seizure. If it be said of him that he is impressionistic it must be remembered that the impressions are made on a mind of sound purpose and communicated to others for the sake of the truth behind the impression. His narratives of travel do not belong in the guide-book category or in that of the scientific geography. But if you wish to know what it would be like to visit yourself the countries described, the reading of Mr. Stidger's sketches will help you. If it be said that what one after all is getting is the Stidger view, it must not be forgotten that the Stidger view is marvellously vital and enkindling. The Stidger vitality is bracing and health-giving. It is a tonic for all[viii] of us who are getting a little old and sluggish. The contagion of youth and energy are in this book: it will reach and stir all who read.

Francis J. McConnell

Pittsburgh, Pa.



That vast stretch of opal islands; jade continents; sapphire seas of strange sunsets; mysterious masses of brown-skinned humanity; brown-eyed, full-breasted, full-lipped and full-hipped women; which we call the Orient, can only be caught by the photographer's art in flash-light pictures.

It is like a photograph taken in the night. It cannot be clear cut. It cannot have clean outlines. It can only be a blurred mass of humanity with burdens on their shoulders; humanity bent to the ground; creaking carts; weary-eyed children and women; moving, moving, moving; like phantom shadow-shapes; in and out; one great maze through the majestic ages; one confused history of the ancient past; emerging; but not yet out into the sunlight!

Such masses of humanity; such dim, uncertain origins of unfathered races; these can only be caught and seen as through a glass darkly.

Paul Hutchinson, my friend, in "The Atlantic Monthly" says of China what is true of the whole Orient:


"In this vast stretch of country, with its poor communications, we can only know in part. When one sets out to generalize he does so at his own peril. The only consolation is that it is almost impossible to disprove any statement; for, however fantastical, it is probably in accord with the facts in some part of the land."

The facts, fancies, and fallacies of this book are gleaned from the rovings and ramblings of a solid year of over fifty-five thousand miles of travel; through ten separate countries: Japan, Korea, China, the Philippine Islands, French Indo-China, the Malay States, Borneo, Java, Sumatra and the Hawaiian Islands; across seven seas: the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the North China Sea, the Yellow Sea, the South China Sea, the Malacca Straits, and the Sea of Java; after visiting five wild and primitive tribes: the Ainu Indians of Japan, the Igorrotes of the Philippines, the Negritos of the same islands; the Dyaks of Borneo, and the Battaks of Sumatra; face to face by night and day with new races, new faces, new problems, new aspirations, new ways of doing things, new ways of living, new evils, new sins, new cruelties, new fears, new degradations; new hopes, new days, new ways, new nations arising; new gods, and a new God!

When one comes back from such a trip, having fortified himself with the reading of many books written about these far lands, in addition to his[xi] travel, one still has the profound conviction that, after all is said, done, and thought out, the only honest way to picture these vast stretches of land and humanity is to confess that all is in motion; like a great mass of bees in a hive, one on top of the other, busy at buzzing, buying, selling, living, dying, climbing, achieving; groping in the dark; moving upward by an unerring instinct toward the light.

At nights I cannot sleep for thinking about that weird, dim, misty panorama of fleeting, flashing pictures; those thousands of Javanese that I saw down in Sourabaya, who have never known what it means to have a home; who sleep in doorways by night, and along the river banks; where mothers give birth to children, who in turn live and die out under the open sky. Nor can I forget that animal-like beggar in Canton who dug into a gutter for his food; or those hideous beggars, by winter along the railway in Shantung; or the naked one-year-old child covered with sores which a beggar woman in the Chinese section of Shanghai held to her own naked breast. Those pictures and a thousand others abide.

One has the feeling that if he could go back, again, and again, and again to these far shores, and live with these peoples and die with them, then he would begin faintly to understand what it all means and where it is all headed.

[xii]And this author, for one, is honest in saying that, in spite of careful investigation, in spite of extensive travel and a sympathetic heart, he sees but dimly. The very glory of it all, the age of it all, the wonder of it all, the mysterious beauty and thrill of it all; the thrill of these masses of humanity, their infinite possibilities for future greatness; like a great blinding flash of glory, dims one's eyes for a time.

But, now, that he has, through quiet meditation and perspective, had a chance to develop the films of thought, he finds that he has brought back home pictures that one ought not to keep to one's self; especially in this day, when, what happens to Asia is so largely to determine what happens to America.

So, out of the dark room, where they have been developing for a year, and out of the dim shadows of that mysterious land whence they came, they are printed and at the bottom of each picture shall be written the humble words:

"Flash-Lights from the Seven Seas"

William L. Stidger.

Detroit, Michigan.



Introduction by Bishop Francis J. McConnellvii
IFlash-Lights of Flame19
IIFlash-Lights Physical33
IIIFlash-Lights of Faith49
IVFlash-Lights of Fear63
VFlash-Lights of Frightfulness79
VIFeminine Flash-lights101
VIIFlash-Lights of Fun123
VIIIFlash-Lights of Freedom145
IXFlash-Lights of Failure165
XFlash-Lights of Friendship189



Mt. Taishan, the Oldest Worshipping Place on EarthFrontispiece
The Walled City of Manila48
Beautiful Filipino Girls48
Korean Girls with American Ideals and Training49
Stepping Aside in Korea49
Confucius Tomb at Chufu, China64
Ruin of the Ming Tombs64
Grinding Rice in China65
A Camel Train Entering Peking65
The Temple of Heaven, Peking112
A Beautiful Thirteen-Story Pagoda Near Peking112
A Wayside Temple and Shrine113
A Sunrise Silhouette, Java113
Old Bromo Volcano, Java128
A Side View of Beautiful Boroboedoer, Java 128
Naked and Otherwise129
A Dog Market129




Fire! Fire! Fire everywhere!

Fire in the sky, fire on the sea, fire on the ships, fire in the flowers, fire in the trees of the forest; fire in the Poinsetta bushes which flash their red flames from every yard and jungle.

In the tropical lands flowers do not burst into blossom; they burst into flame. Great bushes of flaming Poinsetta, as large as American lilac bushes, burst into flame over night in Manila.

That great tree, as large as an Oak, which they call "The Flame of the Forest," looks like a tree on fire with flowers. One will roam the world over and see nothing more beautiful than this great tree which looks like a massive umbrella of solid flame.

Every flower in the Orient seems to be a crimson flower. The tropical heat of the Philippines, Java, Borneo, Sumatra, the Malay States and[20] India's far reaches; with beautiful Ceylon, and Burma; seems to give birth to crimson child-flowers.

The sunsets burst into bloom, as well as the flowers. There is no region on earth where sunsets flare into birth and die in a flash-light of glory and beauty like they do in the regions of the South China Sea. For months at a stretch, every night, without a break, the most wildly gorgeous, flaming, flaring, flashing crimson sunsets crown the glory of the days.

I have been interested in catching pictures of sunsets all over the world. I have caught hundreds of sunsets with the Graflex; and other hundreds have I captured with a Corona, just as they occurred; and I have never seen a spot on earth where the sunsets were such glorious outbursts of crimson and golden beauty as across the circling shores of Manila Bay.

Night after night I have sat in that ancient city and watched these tumultuous, tumbling, Turner-like flashes of color.

One night the sky was flame from sea to zenith across Manila Bay. It was like a great Flame of the Forest tree in full bloom. Against this sky of flaming sunset-clouds, hundreds of ships, anchored in the bay, lit their lesser crimson lights; while, now and then, a battleship which was signaling to another ship, flashed its message[21] of light against the fading glow of glory in the crimson sunset.

"It is light talking unto light; flash unto flash; crimson unto crimson!" said a friend who sat with me looking out across that beautiful bay.

The picture of that flaming sunset, with the great vessels silhouetted against it; with the little lights on the ships, running in parallel rows; and the flashing lights of signals from the masts of the battleship will never die in one's memory.

It was a quiet, peaceful scene.

But suddenly, like a mighty volcano a burst of flame swept into the air at the mouth of the Pasig River. It leapt into the sky and lighted up the entire harbor in a great conflagration. The little ships stood out, silhouetted against that great flaming oil tanker.

"It's a ship on fire!" Otto exclaimed.

"Let's go and see it!" I added.

Then we were off for the mouth of the Pasig which was not far away.

There we saw the most spectacular fire I have ever seen. A great oil tanker full of Cocoanut-oil had burst into flame, trapping thirty men in its awful furnace. Its gaunt masts stood out like toppling tree skeletons from a forest fire against the now deepening might; made vivid and livid by the bursting flames that leapt higher and higher[22] with each successive explosion from a tank of gasoline or oil.

I got out my Graflex and caught several pictures of this flash-light of flame, but none that will be as vivid, as lurid, or as lasting as the flash-light that was etched into the film of my memory.

The next flash-light of flame came bursting out of midnight darkness on the island of Java.

We were bound for old Bromo, that giant volcano of Java. We had started at midnight and it would take us until daylight to reach the crater-brink of this majestic mountain of fire.

White flashes of light, leapt from Bromo at frequent intervals all night long as we traveled on ponies through the tropical jungle trail, upward, and onward to the brink of that pit of hell.

White flashes of light leapt from Bromo at the narrow rail. They called them "Night-Blooming Lilies," and sure enough they blanketed the rugged pathway that night like so many tiny white Fairies. Indeed there was something beautifully weird in their white wonder against the night. They looked like frail, earth-angels playing in the star-light, sending out a sweet odor which mingled strangely with the odor of sulphur from the volcano.

And back of all this was the background of that awful, thundering, rumbling and grumbling[23] volcano as somber as suicide. Strangely weird flashes lighted the mountains for miles around.

"It looks like heat lightning back at home," said an American.

"Only the flashes are more vivid!" said another member of the party.

Those flashes of light from the inner fires of the earth, bursting from the fissures of restless volcano Bromo shall ever remain, like some strange glimpse of a new Inferno.

Volcanic Merapi, another belching furnace of Java, gave me a picture of a flash-light of flame.

The night that we stayed up on the old temple of Boroboedoer, Merapi was unusually active; and now and then its flashes of flame lighted up the whole beautiful valley between the temple and the mountain.

At each flash of fire, the tall Bamboo and Cocoanut trees loomed like graceful Javanese women in the midst of far-reaching, green, rice paddies; while two rivers that met below us, wound under that light like two silver threads in the night.

Once, when an unusually heavy flash came from Merapi, we saw below us a beautiful Javanese girl clasped in the arms of her brown lover. Each seemed to be stark naked as they stood under a Cocoanut tree like Rodin bronzes.

It was this beautiful girl's voice that we later[24] heard singing to her lover a Javanese love song in the tropical night.

This, I take it, was the Flame of Love; a flame which lights up the world forever; everywhere her devotees, clothed or naked, are the same; forever and a day; be it on the streets of Broadway; along the lanes of the Berkshire Hills of New England; up the rugged trails of the Sierras; or along the quiet, tree-lined streets of an American village. It is a flame; this business of love; a flame which, flashing by day and night, lights the world to a new glory.

* * * * * *

One night the missionaries in Korea saw flames bursting out against the hills.

"What is it?" they cried, filled with fear.

"The Japanese are burning the Korean villages!" said one who knew.

All night long the villages burned and all night long the people were murdered. Runners brought news to the hillsides of Seoul where anxious, broken-hearted American missionaries waited.

"One, two, three, four, five; ten, fifteen, twenty; thirty, forty, fifty; a hundred, two hundred, three hundred; villages are burning," so came the messages.

The entire peninsula was lighted as with a great holocaust.

[25]It is said that the light could be seen from Fusan itself, a hundred miles away.

"From our village it looked like a light over a great American steel-mill city," said a missionary to me.

And when the morning came, the flames were still leaping high against the crimson sky of dawn.

For days this burning of villages continued. Belgium never saw more ruthless flame and fire; set by sterner souls; or harder hearts!

That was two years ago.

The villages are charred ruins now. Some of them have never been rebuilt. The murdered people of these villages have gone back to dust.

The Japanese think that the fires are out. They thought, when the flames of those burning villages ceased leaping into the skies; and at last were but smouldering embers; that the flames had died. But the Japanese were wrong, for on that very day, the Flames of Freedom began to burn in Korean hearts and souls! And from that day to this; those flames have been rising higher and higher. These are Flash-Lights of Flame that, as the years go by; mount, like beacon lights of hope on Korean hills, to light the marching dawn of Korean Independence.

* * * * * *

[26]A beautiful Korean custom that used to be; flashes a flame of fire across the screen of history.

In the old days the Korean Emperor used to have signals of fire flashed from hill to hill running clear from the Chinese border to Seoul, the Korean capital. This signal indicated that all was well along the borders and that there was no danger of a Chinese invasion from the north.

Korea has always been a bone of contention between China, Russia and Japan. Consequently this little peninsula has always walked on uneasy paths, which is ever the fate of a buffer state.

Never did a Korean Emperor go to sleep in peace until he looked out and saw that the signal fires burned on the beautiful mountain peaks surrounding the city of Seoul; fires indicating that the borders were safe that night and that inmates of the palace might rest in peace and security.

"It must have been a beautiful sight to have seen the light flashing on the mountain peak there to the north," I said to an eighty-year old Korean patriarch.

"It meant peace for the night," he answered. "It was beautiful. I often long to see those fires of old burning again on yonder mountain."

He said this with a dramatic wave of his stately white robed arm.

"The sunsets still flame from that western[27] mountain peak, overlooking your city beautiful!" I said with a smile.

"Yes, the sunsets still flame behind that peak," he responded with a far-away look in his aged eyes.

"Perhaps the good Christian God is lighting the fires for you?" I suggested.

"Yes, He, the good Christian God; is still lighting the fires for us; but they are fires of freedom, fires of hope, and fires of Democracy!" the old man said with a new light in his own flashing eyes.

"And fires of peace," I added.

"Yes, fires of Peace when freedom comes!" he responded.

But whatever the political implications are; it is historically true that this old custom had existed for years until the Japanese took possession of Korea and stopped this beautiful tradition.

But behind that same mountain from which the bonfires used to flash in the olden days; indicating that the frontiers were safe for the night; that no enemy hosts were invading the peninsula; behind that mountain the fires of sunset still flame, flash, flare, and die away in the somber purple shadows of night.

* * * * * *

[28]Nor shall one forget an evening at Wanju; a hundred miles from Seoul; sitting in the Mission House looking down into that village of a hundred thousand souls; watching the fires of evening lighted; watching a blanket of gray-blue smoke slowly lift over that little village; watching the great round moon slowly rise above a jutting peak beyond the village to smile down on that quiet, peaceful scene in mid-December.

Koreans never light their fires until evening comes and then they light a fire at one end of the house, under the floor and the smoke and heat travel the entire length of the house warming the rooms. It is a poor heat maker but it is a picturesque custom.

Thousands of flames lighted up the sky that night. The little thatch houses, and the children in their quaint garbs moving against the flames composed a strange Oriental Rembrandt picture.

* * * * * *

Streets! Streets! Streets!

Lights! Lights! Lights!

Somehow streets and lights go together.

We think of our great Broadway. We smile at our superior ingenuity when we think of the "Great White Way."

But for sheer beauty; fascinating, captivating, alluring, beauty; give me the Ginza in Tokyo on a summer evening; with its millions of twinkling[29] little lights above the thousands of Oriental shops; with the sound of bells, the whistle of salesmen, the laughter of beautiful Japanese girls; the clacking of dainty feet in wooden shoes; and the indefinable essence of romance that hovers over a street of this Oriental type at night. I'll stake the romance, and beauty of the Ginza in Tokyo, against any street in the world. He who has looked upon the Ginza by night, has a Flash-Light of Flame; of tiny, myriad little flaming lights; burned into his memory; to live until he sees at last the lighted streets of Paradise itself.

* * * * * *

Nor are the clothes of the Orient without their flaming colors.

The beautiful kimonos of the Geisha girls of Japan; the crimson, gold, and rose glory of the Sing Song Girls of China; the flashing reds of the brown-skinned Spanish belles of the Philippines, as they glide, like wind-blown Bamboo trees through the streets; and the lurid, livid, robes which men and women alike wear in Borneo and Java. In fact all of the clothes of the Orient, are flame-clothes. There are no quiet colors woven into the gown of the Oriental. The Oriental does not know what soft browns are. Crimson is the favorite color for man or woman. They even make their sails red, blue, green and yellow. The beautiful colors of the sailboats in the[30] harbor of Yokohama is one of the first flashing touches of the Orient that a traveler gets. From Japanese Obies, which clasp the waists of Japanese girls, to Javanese Sarongs, the flame and flash of crimson predominates in the gowns of both men and women. Where an American man would blush to be caught in any sort of a gown with crimson predominating save a necktie, the Japanese gentlemen, the Filipino, the Malay, and the Javanese all wear high colors most of the time. And the women are like splendid flaming bushes of fire all the time.

A Javanese bride is all flame as far as her dress is concerned. Her face is powdered; her eyebrows are pencilled a coal black; her arms and shoulders daubed with a yellow grease. As to her dress, the sarong is a flaming robe that covers her body to the breasts; red being the dominant color; with a crown of metal which looks like a beehive on her head. Brass bracelets and ornaments on her graceful arms complete her costume.

* * * * * *

Even the Pagodas and Temples of the Oriental lands are flame.

The most beautiful Temples of Japan are the Nikko Temples.

"See Nikko and you have seen Japan" is the saying that is well said.

But when one has spent weeks or a week, days[31] or a day at Nikko; he comes away with an impression of beautiful, tall, terraced, red-lacquered Pagodas; beautiful, graceful red-gowned women; beautiful, architectural masterpieces of Oriental Temples; all finished in wonderful red lacquer; beautiful red-cheeked women in the village stores; beautiful red Kimonos for sale in the Curio shops; red berries burning against the wonderful green grass; and all set off, against and under, and crowned by wonderful green rows of great Cryptomaria trees. These red Temples and these Red Pagodas—red with a red that is flaming splendor of the last word in the lacquer artist's skill; are like beautiful crimson jewels set in a setting of emerald.

And back of all these Flash-Lights of Flame one remembers the path of a single star on the smooth surface of Manila Bay at night; and the phosphorescent beauty of Manila Bay where great ships cleave this lake of fire when the phosphorus is heavy of a Summer night; and every ripple is a ripple of flame. One remembers the continuous flash of heat lightning down in Borneo and on Equatorial Seas; and one remembers the Southern Cross; and the flash-lights of fire in a half-breed woman's eyes.



The red dawn of tropical Java was near. The shadows of night were still playing from millions of graceful Palm trees which swung gently in the winds before the dawn.

Three ancient volcanos, still rumbling in blatant activity, loomed like gigantic monsters of the underworld, bulging their black shoulders above the earth. Before us lay a valley of green rice paddies.

We had roved over ancient Boroboedoer all night, exploring its haunted crannies and corners, listening to its weird noises; dreaming through its centuries of age; climbing its seven terraces. But in the approaching dawn, the one outstanding thrill of the night was that of a half-naked Javanese girl, who stood for an hour, poised in her brown beauty on the top of one of the Bells of Buddha, with some weird Javanese musical instrument, singing to the dawn.

Then it came.

"What? Her lover?"

[34]No! The dawn! The dawn was her lover! Or, perhaps her lover was old Merapi.

For, there, as we too, climbed to her strategic pinnacle of glory on top of the Buddha Bell to watch the dawn that she had called up with her weird music and her subtle brown beauty; before us, stretched thousands of acres of green rice paddies, spread out like the Emerald lawn of an Emerald Springtime in Heaven. Below us two silver streams of water met and wedded, to go on as one.

As we stood there that morning on the top of Boroboedoer's highest bell, lines of Edna St. Vincent Millay swung into my soul:

"All I could see from where I stood
Was three tall mountains and a wood."

Only in this instance all I could see were three volcanos. And the one in the center, old Merapi was belching out a trail of black smoke. These three volcanos, take turns through the centuries. When one is working the other two rest. When one ceases its activity, one of the others takes up the thundering anthem and carries it on for a few years or centuries and then lapses into silence, having done its part. While we were there it was Merapi's turn to thunder and on this particular morning Merapi was busy before day-light.

[35]For fifty miles along the horizon, a trail of black smoke swept like the trail of black smoke which a train leaves in its wake on a still day. There was not another cloud in the eastern skies. Nothing but that trail of black smoke as we stood on the top of Boroboedoer at dawn and watched.

Then something happened. It was, as if some magician had waved a magic wand back of the mountain. The rising sun was the magician. We saw its heralds spreading out, like great golden fan-ribs with the cone of the volcano, its direct center of convergence. Then before our astonished, our utterly bewildered, and our fascinated eyes, that old volcanic cone was changed to a cone of gold. Then the golden cone commenced to belch forth golden smoke. And finally the trail of smoke for fifty miles along the horizon became a trail of golden smoke.

This was a Flash-Light that literally burned its way into our memories to remain forever.

There is another Flash-Light Physical which has to do with another volcano which I mentioned in the preceding chapter. Bromo is its name. It is still there, down on the extreme eastern end of Java, unless in the meantime the old rascal has taken it into his demoniacal head to blow himself to pieces as he threatened to do the day we lay on our stomachs, holding on to the earth, with the sides trembling beneath us.

[36]Old Bromo was well named. It reminds one of Bromo-Seltzer. I had heard of him long before I reached Java. I had heard of the Sand Plains down into the midst of whose silver whiteness he was set, like a great conical gem of dark purple by day and fire by night.

Travelers said "You must see Bromo! You must see Bromo! If you miss everything else see Bromo! It's the most completely satisfactory volcano in the world."

It was two o'clock in the morning when we started on little rugged Javanese ponies up Bromo's steep slopes.

At daybreak we reached the mile high cliff which looks down into the world-famous Sand Sea. It was a sea of white fog. I have seen the same thing at the Grand Canyon and in Yosemite looking down from the rims. I thought of these great American canyons as I looked down into the Bromo Sand Sea. By noon this was a great ten-mile long valley of silver sand which glittered in the sunlight like a great silver carpeted ballroom floor. Tourists from all over the world have thrilled to its strange beauty. Like the gown of some great and ancient queen this silver cloth lies there; or like some great silver rug of Oriental weaving it carpeted that valley floor at noon.

But at daybreak it was a sea of mist into which it looked as if one might plunge, naked to the skin[37] and wash his soul clean of its tropical sweat and dirt; a fit swimming pool for the gods of Java, of whom there are so many.

Then something happened as we stood looking down into that smooth sea of white fog, rolling in great billows below us. There was a sudden roar as if an entire Hindenburg line had let loose with its "Heavies." There was a sudden and terrific trembling of the earth under our feet which made us jump back from that precipice in terror.

Then slowly, as if it were on a great mechanical stage, the perfect cone of old rumbling Bromo, from which curled a thin wisp of black smoke, bulged its way out of the center of that sea of white fog, rising gradually higher and higher as though the stage of the morning had been set, the play had begun, and unseen stage hands behind the curtain of fog, with some mighty derrick and tremendous power were lifting a huge volcano as a stage piece.

Then came the quick, burning tropical sun, shooting above the eastern horizon as suddenly as the volcanic cone had been lifted above the fog. This hot sun burned away the mists in a few minutes and there, stretching below us, in all its oriental beauty was the sinewy, voluptuous form of the silver sand sea—Bromo's subtle mistress.

* * * * * *

[38]There is another Physical Flash-light that will never die.

Coming out of the Singapore Straits one evening at sunset, bound for the island of Borneo across the South China Sea, I was sitting on the upper deck of a small Dutch ship. The canvas flapped in the winds. A cool, tropical breeze fanned our faces. Back of us in our direct wake a splashing, tumbling, tumultuous tropical sunset flared across the sky. It was crimson glory. In the direct path of the crimson sun a lighthouse flashed its blinking eyes like a musical director with his baton beating time.

I watched this flashing, lesser, light against the crimson sunset and was becoming fascinated by it.

Then great black clouds began to roll down over that crimson background as if they were huge curtains, rolled down from above, to change the setting of the western stage for another act.

But as they rolled they formed strange and beautiful Doric columns against the crimson skies and before I knew it, I was looking at the ruins of an old Greek temple in the sky. Then the black clouds formed a perfect hour-glass reaching from the sea to the sky, with its background of crimson glory, and the little lighthouse seemed to be flashing off the minutes in the arteries of that hour[39]-glass.

And then it was night a deep, dense, tropical night; heavy with darkness; rich with perfume; weird with mystery. But the sunset of crimson; the Doric temple in ruins; the hour-glass; and the flashing lighthouse still remained.

* * * * * *

And who shall ever forget the sunsets of gold across Manila Bay night after night; with great warships and majestic steamers, sleek and slender cutters, white sails, long reaching docks, and graceful Filipino women, silhouetted against the gold? And who shall forget the domes, towers, and pinnacles of the Cathedrals; and the old fort within the city walls as they too were silhouetted against the gold of the evening?

* * * * * *

Mt. Taishan, the oldest worshiping place on earth, not far from the birthplace of Confucius; in Shantung; is one of the most sacred shrines of the Orient. There, countless millions, for hundreds of centuries, have climbed over six thousand granite steps, up its mile high slope to pay their vows; to catch a view of the blue sea from its imminence; to feel the sweep, wonder and glory of its sublime height, knowing that Confucius himself gloried in this climb. The exaltation of that glorious view; shall live, side by side, with the view from the top of the Black Diamond range in Korea one winter's night as we caught[40] the full sweep of the Japan Sea by sunset. In fact these all shall live as great mountain top Physical Flash-Lights etched with the acid of a burning wonder into one's soul!

Nor shall one ever forget a month's communion with Fujiyama, that solitary, great and worshiped mountain of Japan; sacred as a shrine; beautiful with snow; graceful as a Japanese woman's curving cheek; bronzed by summer; belted with crimson clouds by sunset like a Japanese woman's Obie. It, too, presented its unforgettable Physical Flash-Lights.

The first glimpse was one of untold spun-gold glory. There it stood.

"There it is! There it is! Look!" a fellow traveler cried.

"There is what?" I called. We were on top of a great American College building in Tokyo.

"It's Fuji!"

I had given up hope. We had been there two weeks and Fujiyama was not to be seen. The mists, fogs, and clouds of winter had kept it hidden from our wistful, wondering, waiting eyes.

But there it stood, like a naked man, unashamed; proud of its white form; without a single cloud; burning in the white sunlight. Its huge shoulders were thrown back as with suppressed strength. Its white chest, a Walt Whitman[41] hairy with age; gray-breasted with snow; bulged out like some mighty wrestler, challenging the world. No wonder they worship it!

I had gloried in Fujiyama from many a varied viewpoint. I had caught this great shrine of Japanese devotion in many of its numberless moods. I had seen it outlined against a clear-cut morning sunlight, bathed in the glory of a broadside of light fired from the open muzzle of the sun. I had seen it shrouded in white clouds; and also with black clouds breeding a storm, at even-time. I had seen it with a crown of white upon its brow, and I had seen it with a necklace of white cloud pearls about its neck.

Once I saw this great mountain looking like some ominous volcano through a misty gray winter evening. And one mid-afternoon I saw it almost circled by a misty rainbow, a sight never to be forgotten on earth or in heaven by one whose soul considers a banquet of beauty more worth shouting over than an invitation to feast with a King.

But the last sight I caught of Fuji was the last night that I was in Tokyo, as I rode up from the Ginza on New Year's eve out toward Aoyama Gakuin, straight into a sunset, unsung, unseen by mortal eye.

Before me loomed the great mountain like a[42] monstrous mass of mighty ebony carved by some delicate and yet gigantic artist's hand.

I soon discovered where the artist got the ebony from which to carve this pointed mountain of ebony with its flat top; for far above this black silhouetted mountain was a mass of ebony clouds that seemed to spread from the western horizon clear to the rim of the eastern horizon and beyond into the unseen Sea of Japan in the back yard of the island. It was from this mass of coal-black midnight-black clouds that the giant artist carved his ebony Fuji that night.

But not all was black. Perhaps the giant forged that mountain rather than carved it, for there was a blazing furnace behind Fuji. And this furnace was belching fire. It was not crimson. It was not gold. It was not red. It was fire.

It was furnace fire. It was a Pittsburgh blast-furnace ten thousand times as big as all of Pittsburgh itself, belching fire and flames of sparks. These sparks were flung against the evening skies. Some folks, I fancy, on that memorable night called them stars; but I know better. They were giant sparks flung from that blast-furnace which was booming and roaring behind Fuji. I could not hear it roar; that is true; but I could feel it roar. I could not hear it because even so great a sound as that furnace must have been[43] making will not travel sixty miles, even though it was as still up there in the old theological tower as a country cemetery by winter down in Rhode Island when the snow covers the graves.

Then suddenly a flare of fire shot up directly behind the cone of Fuji, flaming into the coal-bank of clouds above the mountain, as if the old shaggy seer had forgotten his age and was dreaming of youth again when the earth was young and he was a volcano.

Above that streak of fire and mingled with it, black smoke seemed to pour until it formed a flat cloud of black smoke directly above the cone, and spread out like a fan across the sky to give the giant artist further ebony to shape his mountain monument.

Then Fuji suddenly belched its volcano of color and lava; of rose and gold, amber, salmon, primrose, sapphire, marigold; and in a stream these poured over Fuji's sides and down along the ridge-line of the lesser hills until they too were covered with a layer of molten glory a mile thick.

The clouds above Fuji forgot to be black. In fact, their mood of sullenness departed as by magic, and a smile swept over their massive mood of moroseness, and glory swept the skies. It was as if that furnace behind Fuji had suddenly burst, throwing its molten fire over the hills, the mountains, the sky, the world.

[44]And "mine eyes" had "seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." And that was enough for any man for one lifetime.

* * * * * *

Then there is beautiful Boroboedoer down in Java. It is a Physical Flash-Light that looms with its huge and mysterious historical architectural beauty like some remnant of the age when the gods of Greece roamed the earth. A sunrise from its pinnacled height I have already described, but the temple itself is unforgettable. There is nothing like it on the earth.

Boroboedoer is one of the wonders of the world, although little known. It is in the general shape of the pyramid of Egypt, but more beautiful. One writer says, "Boroboedoer represents more human labor and artistic skill than the great pyramids." Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace says: "The human labor and skill expended on Boroboedoer is so great that the labor expended on the great pyramid sinks into significance beside it."

Boroboedoer was built in the seventh century A.D., by the Javanese under Hindu culture. Then came the Mohammedan invasion, destroying all such works of art in its pathway.

It is said that the priests so loved this beautiful Buddha temple that they covered it over with earth and then planted trees and tropical vegetation[45] on it. In six months it was so overgrown that it looked like a hill. This is one explanation of why it lay for a thousand years unknown.

The volcanic ashes undoubtedly helped in this secretion, for old Merapi even now belches its ashes, rocks and dust out over the beautiful valley down upon which Merapi looks.

From Djodjakarta you go to the temples.

This great temple has, instead of the plain surfaces of the great pyramid, one mile of beautifully carved decorations, with 2141 separate panels depicting the life of Buddha from the time he descended from the skies until he arrived at Nirvana, or perfect isolation from the world. A history of more than a thousand years is told in its stone tablets by the sculptor's chisel, told beautifully, told enduringly, told magnificently.

One writer says: "This temple is the work of a master-builder whose illuminated brain conceived the idea of this temple wherein he writes in sculpture the history of a religion."

And again one says architecturally speaking of it:

"It is a polygonous pyramid of dark trachyte, with gray cupulas on jutting walls and projecting cornices, a forest of pinnacles."

There are four ledges to this hill temple and above each ledge or stone path are rows of Buddhas hidden in great 5-foot stone bells, and at the[46] top crowning the temple a great 50-foot bell in which Buddha is completely hidden from the world, symbol of the desired Nirvana that all Buddhists seek.

Mysterious with weird echoes of a past age it stands, silhouetted against a flaming sky to-night as I see it for the first time. It is late evening and all day long we have been climbing the ancient ruins of that magnificent age of Hindu culture on the island of Java. This temple of Boroboedoer was to be the climax of the day, and surely it is all of that.

The fire dies out of the sky. The seven terraces of the stone temple begin to blur into one great and beautiful pyramid. Only the innumerable stone bells stand out against the starlit night; stone bells with the little peepholes in them, through which the stolid countenances and the stone eyes of many Buddhas, in calm repose, look out upon the four points of the compass.

Night has fallen. We have seen the great Temple by crimson sunset and now we shall see it by night.

The shadows seem to wrap its two thousand exquisite carvings, and its Bells of Buddha in loving and warm tropical embrace. But no warmer, is the embrace of the shadows about the Temple than the naked embrace of a score of Javanese boys who hold to their hearts naked[47] Javanese beauties who sit along the terraces looking into the skies of night utterly oblivious to the passing of time or of the presence of curious American strangers.

Love is such a natural thing to these Javanese equatorial brown brawn and beauties that unabashed they lie, on Buddha's silent bells, breast to breast, cheek to cheek, and limb to limb; as if they have swooned away in the warmth of the tropical night.

The Southern Cross looks down upon lover and tourist as we all foregather on the topmost terrace of that gigantic shadow-pyramid of granite.

The sound of the innumerable naked footsteps of all past ages seems to patter along the stone terraces. Now and then the twang of the Javanese angklong and the beautiful notes of a flute sweep sweetly into the shadowed air.

Then comes the dancing of a half dozen Javanese dancing girls, naked to the waist, their crimson and yellow sarongs flying in the winds of night, as, in slow, graceful movements, facing one of the Bells of Buddha they pay their vows and offer their bodies and their souls to Buddha; and evidently, also to the Javanese youths who accompany them in their dances.

The sound of the voices of these Javanese girls—who in the shadows look for all the world like figures that Rodin might have dreamed[48]—mingling their laughter with the weird music; shall linger long in one's memory of beautiful things.

Their very nakedness seemed to fit in with the spirit of the night; a spirit of complete abandonment to beauty and worship. In their attitudes there seemed to be a mingling of religion and earthly passion; but it was so touched with reverence that we felt no shock to our American sensibilities.

All night long we wandered about the terraces of the old Temple.

We wondered how long the Javanese girls would remain.

At dawn when we arose to see Boroboedoer by daylight they were still there as fresh as the dawn itself in their brown beauty, the dew of night glistening in their black hair and wetting their full breasts.

And across, from Boroboedoer the sun, in its dawning splendor, was transforming belching and rumbling old volcanic Merapi into a cone of gold.

Manila city walls


Filipino Girls


Korean Girls


Korean peasant and ox




He was an old man; gray-haired, gray-bearded; gray-gowned; and he knew that the Japanese Gendarmes would just as soon take his life as light a cigarette. They do each with inhumane impunity. One means as much to them as the other.

He was under arrest for conspiracy in the Independence Movement.

"Do you know about the Independence Movement?" he was asked.

"Yes, I know all about it," was his fearless reply; though he knew that that reply in itself might mean his death; even without trial or further evidence. Just the fact that he had admitted that he knew anything at all about the movement was enough to throw him into prison. He was like an old Prophet in his demeanor. Something about the very dignity and sublime Faith of the man awed the souls of these crude barbarians from the Island Empire.

"Since when was it begun?" asked the [50]Gendarmes.

"Since ten years ago when you Japanese first came to Korea," was the dignified reply.

"From whence did it spring?" he was asked next.

"From the hearts of twenty million people!"

"Did twenty millions of people all get together then, and plan?"

"Not together in body but in spirit!"

"But there must have been some men to start it?" the Japanese Gendarme said.

"They all started it!" was the old man's reply.

"Is there no one who had charge of this movement from the beginning?"

"Yes, there is one!"

"Do you know him?"

"I know him well!"

"What is his name?"

"His name is God!" said this seventy-year old, fearless Christian Korean Patriot.

Such faith as I have indicated in the paragraphs above is a common thing in Korea. Never in the history of the world have Christian people been subjected to the same tortures, the same cruelties, the same terrors, for their Faith as the early Christian martyrs; save these; the Koreans.

We had thought that the world had gotten past that day when men would be tortured, crushed, persecuted, and killed because they were[51] Christians but that day is not yet past as almost any American Missionary in Korea will testify.

The Japanese officials will say that there is no persecution because of Christianity; but missionaries in Korea know better. They will point to countless incidents when men, women and children have been hounded, and persecuted for no other reason than that they were Christians.

"And when Jesus heard it, He marveled greatly and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel!" might well be said of the Korean Christians every hour, every minute, every second. They know what it means to die for their Faith.

The story of Pak Suk Han is one of the most thrilling illustrations of Faith that I have ever heard in Oriental lands. He had been a Christian since he was seven years of age. He was a brilliant speaker and the Assistant Pastor of the First Methodist Church at Pyeng Yang, where, even the non-Christians loved him. He was arrested on Independence Day and sent to prison where a barbarous Japanese officer, whom the natives called "The Brute" kicked him in the side because he would not give up his Christ. From that kick and further inhuman treatment running over a period of six months; a disease developed which a most reliable missionary doctor told me ended Pak Suk Han's life.

[52]When he knew that he was about to die he said, "I have been a Christian and have served the church since I was seven years old. I have given my life to Christ, all but the last six months in prison which I have given to my country. I have no regrets. I might have lived had I been willing to deny my nation's rights and give up my Christ. I am going home to my Father's house. Good-by!" No Christian martyrs in the early centuries of the persecutions by Rome ever died with greater glory in their souls; or with deeper Faith!

* * * * * *

The temperature was zero.

The cold had swept down over night from the Siberian and Manchurian plains across the city of Seoul. The capital city of Korea was shivering with cold. But it was vibrant with something else. It was vibrant with a great sense of something impending.

There were those who said that the restlessness in the souls of the Koreans had died down with the terrible days of the March Independence Movement; but I knew that the faith of the people was deeper than that. I knew that the flame of faith was just smouldering.

I sensed this from the conversation of old-time missionaries who had been in Korea from the very beginning. I sensed it in the conversation[53] of young Koreans who had graduated from American schools. It was there; a vibrant, living, pulsing, faith in God and in the justice of their hopes: the Independence of Korea.

The whole thing was summed up for me in a flash. It was a flash of the light of a tremendous faith that blinded mine eyes for a day; but my soul it lighted as with a great eternal light.

A Korean boy stepped into the home of a missionary friend of mine, whose name I dare not use. If I did he would likely be sent home by the Japanese. Men have been sent home for less.

The snow crunched under his feet as he walked up across the yard and the porch. He knocked at the door.

"Come in," said the missionary, kindly.

The boy stepped in. The missionary had never seen him before. The boy was moved deeply as with a great emotion. He seemed to have carried into that quiet missionary home with him some of the tenseness of the outside air and some of the tenseness of the political situation.

"What do you want?" asked the missionary.

"I want to talk with you about something very important," he replied in Korean.

"All right! Go ahead! Do not be afraid. I am your friend!"

"So I know. All missionaries are our friends."

"Then you need not be afraid to talk."

[54]"No!" said the boy. But he did not talk. His agitation was growing more marked.

"Go on, my boy! Tell me what you came for."

The Korean boy looked at the half open door which led into the kitchen. The missionary, without a word, stepped over and closed that door, because he understood.

The boy himself closed a door which led into the missionary's study. For in Korea in these days no home; not even a missionary's home, is free from spies.

The boy started to talk hurriedly. The missionary soon saw that he was not talking about the thing that he had come for.

"Come to the point! Come to the point! You did not come to me, in such secrecy, to talk commonplace things like that!" said the missionary a bit sharply.

Then the boy suddenly dropped to his knees behind the missionary's desk and whipped out a big knife. Then he took from his white gown a long piece of white cloth. This he laid out on the floor. Then he opened his sharp knife with a quick motion and before the missionary knew it, he had ripped the index finger of his right hand, from, the tip to the palm, clear to the bone, until the blood spurted all over the floor.

"What are you doing, my boy?" cried the [55]missionary.

The boy smiled a sublime smile and then knelt on his knees over the white cloth and before the missionary's tear-misty eyes wrote across the immaculate cloth in his own blood the words: "Mansei! Mansei! Mansei! Korean Independence Forever! Self-determination!"

Then underneath these words in a few swift strokes in his own blood he drew a picture of the Korean flag. And as he drew, now and then the blood would not flow fast enough; and he took his knife, as one primes a fountain pen; and cut a bit deeper to open new veins in order that the flag of his country and the declaration of his faith might be written in the deepest colors that his own veins could furnish.

Finally, after what seemed hours he jumped to his feet and handed the missionary that flag; crying as he did so: "That is our faith! That is the way we Koreans feel! You are going back to America! We want America to know that our faith in the Independence of Korea has not died! The fire burns higher to-day than ever. The Japanese cruelties are worse! The need is greater! The oppression is more terrible! Our determination is deeper than ever before! I have come here this day, knowing that you are going back to America; I came to write these words in my own blood that you may know; and that America may know; that our faith is a flame [56]which burns out like the beacon lights on the Korean hills, never to die!"

* * * * * *

The most scintillating Flash-light of Faith that I saw in the Orient was in the Philippine Islands. We were traveling the jungle trail to visit a tribe of naked Negritos. These are diminutive people who look like American negroes only they are much smaller; much more underfed, and who live in trees very much like the Orangutans of Borneo. They eat roots and nuts. They hunt with bows and arrows.

They are the lowest tribe in mentality on the Islands.

It was a terribly hot, tropical day and I had a sunstroke on the way up the mountainside to this Negrito village.

I did not expect to get back alive.

For three solid hours under a killing tropical sun, without the proper cork helmet and protection, a pile driver kept hammering down on my head. I felt it at every step I took. Finally I dropped unconscious on the trail. After several hours I was able to proceed to the top of the mountain, where the Negritos were camped.

We got there about two o'clock and had lunch. As we ate about fifty Negritos swarmed about us.

They were a horrible looking crowd; stark[57] naked, filthy with dirt; starved to skin and bones; and animal-like in every look and move.

I was so sick that I was not able to eat the lunch which had been provided in baskets. I lay on my back trying to get back my strength.

As the rest of the expedition ate, the Negritos with hungry eyes, crowded closer.

One hideous old man was in the forefront of the natives. He was so hideous looking that he was sickeningly repulsive to me as I looked at him crouched as he was like an animal with a streak of sunlight playing on his face.

This streak of sunlight, with ruthless severity, made the ugly scabs of dirt stand out on his old wrinkled face. That face had not felt the touch of water in years. His whole body was covered with dirt and sores. Wherever the sunlight struck on that black body it revealed scales like those on a mangy dog. His body was also covered with gray hairs matted into the dirt.

"That old codger represents the nearest thing to an animal that the human being can reach," said McLaughlin, one of the oldest missionaries on the island.

"You're right!" I said. "He looks as much like a Borneo Orangutan as any human being I ever saw."

"And he lives like one, too; up in a tree in a nest of matted limbs and grass," said another.

[58]"I've traveled among the wild tribes of the world all my life and I have seen the lowest human beings on earth; in Africa, South America, Malaysia, Borneo, Java—Australia—everywhere," said a widely traveled man in the crowd, "and I never saw a type as low in the scale as that old fellow!"

So we discussed him as the lunch proceeded. He did not know, of course, that we had consigned him to the lowest rung on the ladder of humanity, so he just sat looking at us with his animal-like eyes as we ate; and at me as I lay under a tree trying to recover my strength for the trip back.

"He is not a human being!" added a philosopher in the crowd. "He is lower than that stage. He doesn't seem to have a single spark of humanity left in him!"

Then the meal over; the missionaries started to hand out what was left of the food to these starving Negritos. The old man whom we had decided was the lowest type of a human being on earth seemed, after all, to be the leader of the tribe; no doubt because of his age; perhaps because of something else which we were later to discover.

McLaughlin handed out a sandwich to the old man.

"Did he eat it himself?"

"He did not! He handed it to a child near by."

[59]McLaughlin handed out another sandwich which was left.

"Did the old man, whom we had decided was more of an animal than a human being, eat that one?"

"He did not. He took it over behind a tree where another old man was timidly hiding and gave it to him."

McLaughlin handed out another sandwich.

"Did the old man eat that one?"

"He did not. He took it over and gave it to an old woman near by."

And so it continued, until every last piece of food was disposed of. That old man; whom we had decided was an animal; saw to it, that every man, woman, and child in that crowd was fed before he took a single bite himself.

Then he suddenly disappeared. In half an hour he came back with an armful of great, broad, palm leaves. He spread these out on the ground in the shade of a tree; did this old man; this hideous looking monster; and then motioned for me to lie down on the bed he had made for me. He saw that I was sick.

Then he disappeared once again, and when he returned he was carrying a long Bamboo-tube full of clear, cool water which he had gotten from a mountain spring. He brought it to where I was lying on the bed he had made for me and with this[60] water he cooled my fevered, burning head; and from this water he gave me to drink; he whom we had decided was the lowest type of a human being on earth.

And I am writing here to say; that I have never seen a "cup of cold water given in His name" that was given with a higher, or a deeper sense of the Divine spark of God in humanity than I saw that tropical summer afternoon, and this water was given by the naked Negrito whom we had decided was the lowest human being on the earth. Yet even in this animal-man; even in this naked savage; there was a spark of the Divine that made us forever have a deeper and a more abiding faith that God never did and never shall make a man to live on this old earth that He did not have some purpose in making him.

A few days before I took this trip up into the jungles of Luzon to visit this Negrito tribe I had received a copy of a slender volume of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay. In the cool beauty of the tropical evening preceding this trip I had read the last lines of its introductory poem called "Interim"; and these lines came flashing into my mind, even as I lay on the hot earth on that Luzon hillside. I can still remember the honey dripping like rain from the Cocoanut trees, and I can still hear the ceaseless and maddening cry of millions of Locusts that hot day; but suddenly came this[61] beautiful outpouring of faith from, the cool depths of a woman's woodland soul:

"Not Truth but Faith, it is
That keeps the world alive! If, all at once
Faith were to slacken,—that unconscious faith
Which must, I know, yet be the corner-stone
Of all believing—birds now flying fearless
Across would drop in terror to the earth;
Fishes would drown; and the all-governing reins
Would tangle in the frantic hands of God
And the worlds gallop headlong to destruction!"

That day bred new faith into my soul!

I have told this story of the naked Negrito a hundred times since that eventful day and it kindles new flames of faith in human hearts every time it is repeated! Mr. Edmund Vance Cooke, the poet, heard it in Cleveland where I spoke in a Chautauqua programme and he said to me several months later in my home at Detroit, Michigan, "That was the most thrilling story of the Divine spark in a savage soul that I have ever heard! It gave me new faith in God and in humanity!"

These, and a thousand other Flashlights of Faith come flashing out of that Far Eastern background; the sublime faith of thousands of college men and women who are giving their lives because they believe that savages and barbarians, such as I have described in this Negrito; Do have that spark of the Divine in their souls; faith that[62] Christian civilization, and Christian education; and a Christian God, may awaken that spark.

And, indeed many a proof do they have of this miracle! Only the other day from an American School, a girl from darkest Africa graduated as a Phi Beta Kappa honor scholar. Bishop William A. Taylor picked up this girl as a naked child in the jungles of Africa less than a quarter of a century ago!



Quick, short, sharp signals shot down the speaking tube from the bridge.

The Chief Engineer of the Santa Cruz yelled across the boiler room.

The bell rang for reverse and the entire ship shivered.

A woman on deck screamed, and there was a rush to the railings, for the old boat had been slowly making its way up the winding, treacherous Saigon River out of the China Sea into French Indo-China.

"Those damned Chinks again, trying to escape the Devil!"

"What's the matter, Pop?" some one asked the captain.

"That sampan full of Chinks was trying to get away from the River Devil, so they shot across our bow to fool him and we nearly ran them down."

"Do they often indulge in that little friendly game with the Devil?" I asked him, smiling at his seriousness.

[64]"Every time we enter one of these rivers they do it. I killed six of them going up the river at Shanghai a year ago. It gives me the creeps every time I see them shoot across our bow. A ship like this will cut 'em in two like a knife!"

We looked over the green railing of the Santa Cruz. The big ship had almost come to a stop for the engines were still in reverse and the shallow river mud was churned up until the otherwise clear water looked like a muddy pond. The little sampan, full of grinning, naked Chinese coolies was fifty feet away from us, and our American sailors were swearing at them in every language they knew and shaking big, brawny, brown fists in their grinning direction.

It was considered a joke by the passengers but it was a very real thing to these poor ignorant Chinese. One sees this happen everywhere in the Orient. For the Chinaman starts out every morning in his sampan with the worst kind of a River Devil after him. He must rid himself of that Devil. So, when a big ship comes into sight, he waits until its bow is very close and then darts in front of its pathway. The idea is, that when a sampan full of Chinamen shoots in front of a big ship the Devil is supposed to follow the ship all that day, and let the Chinese junk or sampan alone.

Tomb of Confucius


Ming Tombs


The turtle, the symbol of long life, is almost as common in China as the dragon.

Peasant grinding rice


A camel caravan


It is the pest of an American seaman's life, for [65]even a seaman hates to see a human being drowned.

To an American mind this seems ridiculous. It even seems humorous. I shall never forget how the passengers laughed when the captain told them why he had had to reverse his engines to keep from crushing the frail Chinese sampan. But suddenly the thought came to one of the passengers; that to the poor Chinaman the fear which made him do that foolish thing and the fear which made him take that awful risk was very real.

"Under God, the poor Devils must have an awful life if they have such a fear as that in their souls day and night!" said an Englishman.

"They never start out for a day's work that they are not haunted every minute of that day by a thousand devils, ill-omens, and bad spirits which are constantly hovering about to leap on them and kill them!" said a missionary. "The whole Orient is full of the thought of fear!"

This missionary was right. Paul Hutchinson, Editor of the Chinese Christian Advocate and one of the real literary men of the Americans who are permanent residents of Shanghai, told me of a Chinese boy who was graduating from a Christian College in Nanking. The boy had been for four years under the influence of Americans. He could speak good English. He was about[66] ready to go to America to school when he had completed his work at Nanking.

He, with a younger brother, was at home for the Christmas vacation. On the way back to college the younger brother fell overboard into the river. The older brother was not a coward. Everybody will testify to that. In fact he was unusually courageous. But in spite of the fact that his puny brother was able to swim to the side of the small boat, and in spite of the fact that he begged his older and stronger brother to pull him back into the boat, that older brother refused to do so.


Mr. Hutchinson says that the English teacher heard the tale in terror, but that the brother took it as a matter of course, explaining that the River Devil would most certainly have caught and dragged into the water, any person who should have dared to attempt a rescue of his brother.

It is an established thing in China; that if a native falls into the river, he never gets out unless he pulls himself out. Nobody will help him, for if they do, that will incur the wrath of the River God and the rescuer also will be dragged down to his death.

It is assumed that if a person falls into the river that is the River God pulling him in.

[67]The constant fear of this River God is so deeply intrenched in these poor souls that they take no pleasure on the water and they carry their sense of fear to such an extent that they will not even attempt a rescue of their own babies or loved ones if these happen to fall into the water.

Mr. Hutchinson calls attention to Dr. E. D. Soper's book "The Faiths of Mankind" in which there is an entire chapter called "Where Fear Holds Sway."

"Where is it that fear holds sway?" the reader asks.

The answer is, "In the Orient"!

Yes, the whole Orient is one great gallery of dim, uncertain, weird, mysterious Flash-lights of Fear.

Paul Hutchinson says:

"It is impossible for the Westerner to conceive such an atmosphere until he has lived in it. In fact he may live in it for years and never realize the hold which it has upon his native neighbors. But it is no exaggeration to say that, to the average Chinese, the air is peopled with countless spirits, most of them malignant, all attempting to do him harm. Even a catalogue of the devils, such as have been named by the scholarly Jesuit, Father Dore, is too long for the limits of this article. But there they are, millions of them. They hover around every motion of every waking hour, and they enter the sanctity of sleep. An intricate system of circumnavigating them, that makes the streets twist in a fashion to daze Boston's legendary cow and puts walls in front of doors to belie the hospitality within, runs through the social order."

[68]This fear is even expressed in Chinese architecture.

"Why is that strange wall built in front of every household door and even before the Temples?" I asked a friend in China.

"It is put there to fool the devils. They will see that wall and think that there is no door and then will go away and not bother that house any more," I was told.

The very architecture of the Chinese home is to keep the devils out. The strange curves with the graceful upward sweep that makes the roofs so beautiful to American eyes is for the purpose of throwing devils of the air off the track. They will come down from the skies and start down the curve of the roofs but will be turned back into the skies again by the upward slant of the twisted roofs.

It was this same terrible sense of fear which developed the old surgical system that the Koreans and Chinese used before the arrival of the missionaries.

"Do you see these needles?" an American surgeon in Korea asked me one day, as he pointed to about a hundred of the most horrible looking copper and brass needles lying on a stand.

"Yes," I admitted, mystified.

"I have taken every one of them out of the[69] bodies of human beings on whom I have operated here in the hospital."

"Where did you find them?"

"In between the bowels, in the muscles, in the organs of the body, and one in the heart of a man who came to me because he couldn't breathe very well."

"No wonder the fellow couldn't breathe. I don't think I could myself if I had a needle in my blood-pump!" I said with a smile.

"These fancy needles that the old Korean doctors thought a good deal of they put a handle on," he continued.

"What was that for?"

"So they wouldn't lose their needles in a body. The other, or common needles, they just stuck into the body wherever the wound or sore place was and left them there."

"And what, may I ask, was the idea of this playful Korean surgery! Was it something like our 'button, button, whose got the button?'"

"No, the idea was that there were devils in the wound. If it was a swelling there was a devil in that swelling. If it was typhoid fever, and there was pain in the bowels, there was a devil in the inward parts affected, and so, after carefully sterilizing the needle by running it through his long, black, greasy hair, the native doctor would[70] run it into the affected part of the body to kill the devil or let it escape from the body."

"The old idea of a fear religion, a fear social life, a fear family life and a fear surgery prevails in Korea as it does in China?" I said by way of a question.

"It prevails everywhere in the Orient. To me it is the most awful thing about working out here. The awful sense of constant fear that is on the people always and everywhere."

Pounded-up claws of a tiger; the red horn of a deer; pulverized fish bones; roots of trees, pigs' eyes; and a thousand poisons and fear-remedies make up the medical history of the Oriental doctor.

"Why do they kill girl babies?"


"Fear of what?"

"Fear of devils! The devils will be displeased if a girl baby is born. Therefore kill the baby.

"Throw the babies out on the ground in the graveyards. Let the dogs eat the babies."

I heard the dogs howling in a cemetery one night about two o'clock in the morning as I was coming through the thousands of little conical mounds, with here and there an unburied coffin.

"The dogs are having a baby feast to-night," said an old missionary.


[71]"To appease the devils."

"My God man; you don't mean that they let the dogs eat their babies because they are afraid of the devil?" I cried.

"I mean just that," replied the missionary.

"Fear! Fear! Fear! Everywhere. Fear by night and fear by day. They never escape it. It is fear that makes them worship their ancestors. It is fear that makes them worship idols. It is fear that makes them kill their girl babies. It is fear that makes them build their little narrow winding streets, which after a while must become so filthy; fear that if they do not, the devils will find them; and if they do build their streets narrow and winding the devils will get lost searching for them. Oh, God, fear, fear, everywhere! The Orient is full of a terrible and a constant fear!"

I looked at my friend astonished. He seldom went into such emotional outbursts. He was judicial, calm, poised; some said, cold. But this constant sense of fear that was upon the people had finally broken down his reserve of poise.

"The chimneys are beautiful. See that beautiful upward dip in the architecture. They are like the roofs," I said.

"But that beautiful, symmetrical development did not come out of a sense of beauty. It came to fool the devils just as we have said of the roofs. The devils will glide off into space and will never[72] be able to get down the chimneys." It is so in other Oriental countries.

* * * * * *

The same is true in the Philippine Islands. The whole fabric of human life is permeated with the black thread of fear.

It is true of China and Korea; it is true of Borneo to a marked degree; and it is true of that great mass of conglomerate humanity that we think of as India.

These and other flash-lights of fear remain, and shall remain forever in my mind. But of a fifty thousand mile trip among hundreds of millions of human beings; pictures of fear stand out, blurred here and there; but clear enough in outline so that I can still see the human faces against a background of midnight darkness.

Three pictures are clearer than the others. Perhaps it was because the flash that focused them on the plate of my mind was stronger. Perhaps it was, that the plate of my soul was more sensitive the days these impressions were focused. But they stand out; three flash-lights of fear above all:

One was told me by Zela Wiltsie Worley, a college girl, now a missionary's wife, who has known what it means to lie on the floor of her home an entire morning with machine gun bullets[73] crashing through her home, between the fire of two revolutionary armies.

"I was talking with my Amah—she is the girl who cares for our children," said Mrs. Worley.

I nodded that I understood that.

"We were bathing the baby—our first wee kiddie—and the Amah seemed to have an unusual inclination to talk. I had been joking with her and asked her if she did not want to buy Clara Gene. In fun we started the characteristic Chinese haggling over price, she trying to 'jew' me up and I trying to 'jew' her down.

"'Oh!' she said, 'girl babies are very expensive the last two or three years. Now you have to pay over ten dollars to get a nice fat one! Before that, if you did not drown them, you had an awfully hard time to get rid of them. There was a man in our town to whom we took the babies—the girl babies I mean. He would go up and down the streets with them and sell them to any one who would give him a chicken and a bowl of rice in return.'

"'But do they drown the girl babies now?' I asked the Amah.

"'Oh, yes, of course, if you already have one or two boys. You know, in my village I am the only Christian. My own family and the rest of the village worship idols. They are afraid of their gods. They do not know any better. Why[74] my sister almost drowned my second little boy by mistake. He had just arrived and she thought that he was a girl, and had already stuck his head down in a pail of water when I rescued him.'

"'But who usually kills the girl babies?' I asked. 'Surely not the mother?'

"'Yes, she does. She is so afraid when she finds it is only a girl, afraid that the gods will be angry because she has brought another girl into the world, that she kills it!'

"'Do they bury it then?'

"'Sometimes they wrap it up, and throw it under a pile of rubbish. You know, we do not have coffins made for any of our babies who die before they have had their first teeth! I have seen so many babies drowned, Mrs. Worley. I never did like it. They cry so!'

"Then I inquired of our Chinese teacher's wife if she knew of girl baby killing still going on in China.

"'Just last week,' this teacher's wife said in answer to my inquiry, 'the woman next door went back to her village two miles from here and she saw her own sister drown a baby while she was there.'

"I asked an English missionary if she knew that this fearful custom was still prevalent over most of China with its more than four hundred million souls.

[75]"She told me that it was the custom in Ning-daik for the women just to throw the girl babies under their beds, and they would 'be gone in a day or two.'

"And it is all because of their awful fear that the gods will be displeased if they give birth to a girl baby!"

The second outstanding flash-light of fear comes from Java.

In the chapter on Physical Flash-lights I have described the old volcano of Bromo. It is a terrible thing to look into. Great fissures in the earth, belch thunder, sulphur, fire, and lava. Great rocks as large as wagons shoot into the air to the rim of the two hundred-foot crater, and then drop back with a crash.

For centuries, and even in these days, clandestinely; I am told by men whom I trust; the most beautiful maiden of a certain tribe among the Javanese; and some of the most beautiful women I saw in the Orient were those soft-skinned, soft-voiced, easy-moving, graceful-limbed, swaying-bodied; brown skinned women of Java; she, the fairest of the tribe is taken; and with her the strongest limbed youth; he of the fibered muscles; he of the iron biceps; he of the clean skin; and the two of them are tossed into the belching fiery crater of old Bromo.

"Why?" I asked.

[76]"They think that in that way, they may propitiate the gods of the volcano. Their hearts are constantly filled with fear lest the gods of the volcano become angry and destroy them," said the missionary.

Then he told me of a trip that they made a year before to the top of one of the most inaccessible volcanoes which was then in constant eruption.

"We had a hard time getting native guides. Finally we succeeded. We had to travel fifty miles before we reached the mountain. Then we climbed five miles up its steep side, cutting our own trail as we made our way through the tropical jungle. At last we reached the timber. But before we entered the forest one of the guides came to me and, with the most pitiable and trembling fear in his voice and face, begged us white people not to say anything disrespectful of the mountain; not to joke and laugh, and not to sing; for that would make the mountain angry, and we would all be killed.

"I saw that he was in deadly earnest, and, while I wanted to laugh I looked as solemn as I could, for there was such terror in his face, I knew that if I laughed he would turn and run back to civilization.

"An hour later we reached the timber line. Before we entered it the first boy fell flat on his face and prayed to the god of the mountain asking[77] that god not to hurt them. Then the next boy did likewise; then the third and the fourth and the fifth!

"Their faces were almost white with fear when we missionaries did not pray. It filled them with terror!"

* * * * * *

And the last Flash-light of Fear is that of the baby in Medan. The Priest lived across the way in a temple.

The baby was sick with whooping-cough. It was the usual, simple case of baby sickness that American babies all have, and which is not taken seriously here by either doctor or mother.

The mother took the baby to the priest.

The priest took a red hot iron; laid the baby on the church altar and ran the iron across its neck, and then across its breast and then across its little stomach. Then he laid it on the front steps of the temple.

The baby died after a few hours spent in terrible pain.

Hate the Priest?


Despise the mother?


Pity them!

The priest was honest and the mother was honest. They were doing the best thing for the baby[78] that either of them knew. They knew that the baby had a devil in its little body and they were merely trying to drive that devil out of its body.

Fear! Fear! Fear! Fear of devils in the home, lurking in the shadows of night and in the light of day; lurking in the bodies of babies; devils everywhere—always.

These are the Flash-lights of Fear!

And like unto them are the pictures of Frightfulness which I have set down in the next chapter.



"The Jap is the slant-eyed Hun of the Orient. He has a slant-eyed ethics, a slant-eyed morality, a slant-eyed honesty, a slant-eyed social consciousness; a slant-eyed ambition, a slant-eyed military system; and a slant-eyed mind!" said Peter Clarke Macfarlane, the well-known author and lecturer, one day when I was interviewing him on the Japanese question.

"That's pretty strong, Mr. Macfarlane, in the light of your usual conservatism," I commented.

"I say it carefully and after much thought. It is said to stay said so far, as I am concerned," he added with finality.

This was also my own opinion, after spending three months in Japan and Korea, another month in China; and another month or two in Manila; catching the angle of Japanese leadership from every slant.

And after due consideration, and after a year to think it over carefully, I am here to say, that I never saw, or heard of anything worse happening in Belgium under German rule than that[80] which I saw and heard of happening under Japanese rule in Korea, Siberia and Formosa, while I was in the Orient.

Suffice it is to say, at this point, that the Japanese is hated by the whole Orient. I do not believe that the German Hun in his worst day was ever hated more unanimously for his inhuman practices than is the Jap Hun hated by the whole Orient to-day.

"Is it getting better or worse?" I am asked constantly.

"Worse!" I reply, and this reply is backed up by interviews I have had with returned Korean missionaries.

I found the Japanese scorned and hated from one end of the Orient to the other. As far south as Java, as far east as the Suez; as far north as the uttermost reaches of Manchuria and Siberia; as far this direction as Hawaii.

For instance, after I had been away from Korea for six months and had come back to America I met a most conservative missionary in the Romona Hotel in San Francisco. The last time previous to that meeting that I had seen him was in Korea itself.

I said to him "Are things better or worse in Korea?"

His reply was, "Worse than they have ever been; generally speaking!" I have no intention[81] and no desire to further augment ill feeling between America and Japan. In fact I do not fear anything like war in that direction; but I do have an intense feeling of responsibility about telling my readers the plain and simple truth that the whole Far Eastern world hates Japan.

If that thought itself can get into the mind of America, this country will understand, at least, that there is some fault that lies back in the Japanese military policy and character itself. It hardly seems possible, with ten races and five different countries hating Japan; that Japan herself is not mostly to blame. When a matter of hatred is so unanimous among all races in that part of the world, it is likely that the fault lies with the race and nation which has the hatred of so many types of people focused on its actions.

While I was in Java some high dignitaries in the Japanese Navy arrived in Batavia. The Chinese Coolies who live in Batavia absolutely refused to carry any Japanese officers or sailors in their Rickshas. It was a striking indictment of the Japanese nation.

In Singapore the distrust and hatred of the Japanese is unanimous. In the Philippines it is the same. In Hongkong you see few Japanese. They are not wanted and they are not trusted. In Shanghai, and Peking it is the same. The Student Movement, one of the most powerful[82] weapons that has ever arisen in any nation in the world, has focused the Chinese sentiment against selfish Japanese aggression in China.

The Japanese officials laughed at the Student Boycott of Japanese goods when it first started. But in a year they were trembling in the face of that boycott. I was in Tientsin, and Peking during the days of the Student Street Demonstrations. They were like American demonstrations.

Keen, alert, intelligent Chinese boys addressed the crowds admonishing them not to buy Japanese goods in Chinese shops. The pressure became so strong that all Chinese merchants from the lowest shopkeeper up to the owner of the great chain stores, like our Woolworth institutions, put away Japanese-made goods and refused to sell them.

I took dinner in Shanghai with one of the foremost merchant princes of China and said, "Are you selling any Japanese-made goods?"

"I certainly am not. I am not powerful enough with all my millions of money and all of my chain of stores to take such a chance as that. I have put all of my Japanese goods in the cellar."

The Boycott against Japanese goods in China became so powerful that in Tientsin, while I was there, the Japanese Consul complained bitterly to the Governor of the Province and the Governor who was said to be under the influence of Japanese money, arrested a lot of students. There was[83] one of the most determined and terrible riots that I have ever seen. It was war. It was not like any mild American riot. It was war to the death. Several students were killed and finally the pressure was so strong that even this Japanese Agent was compelled to release the imprisoned students. I shall quote from an editorial that I was asked to write for the Peking Leader during my stay in China:

The weapon which most worries the Japanese I should say, is the boycott that the Students Movement has inaugurated. The Japanese Government never had anything that quite worried it so much. It is a weapon that is worth a thousand battleships, or fifty divisions of soldiers. It is a weapon that will, if continuously, and consistently and faithfully used, bring a money-loving nation, like Japan to her knees, and send her finally, scurrying like a whipped cur, with her tail between her legs back home where she belongs.

I talked with a ragged Chinese boy through an interpreter just to find what his reactions to the Japanese were. He was a beggar. He said, "The Japanese has a heart like a dog and a liver like a wolf."

I quote again from the editorial in the Peking Leader:

All day I have been on the streets of Peking listening to groups of students discussing the all [84]absorbing-question of the Boycott. I have not understood the characters printed on their banners, but I have understood the light in Young China's eyes. I can understand that language and that light, for it is the language and the light of freedom, justice, liberty! I am an American. I understand that light when I see it; and I know also; that it is a light that can never be snuffed out. It is a light that prison walls cannot hide and that the brute hand of the invader cannot dim.

"And what are they protesting against?" is the question asked.

Primarily against the Japanese control of Shantung. Secondarily, against a type of civilization which Japan represents; a civilization that uses the weapons of frightfulness to accomplish its ends; a civilization that steals a nation like Korea, compelling the abdication of a weak Emperor at the point of the bayonet; and then using the avowed method of extermination to deplete a subjected nation. The whole Orient knows Japan and knows the methods that Japan has used and is using in conquered territory. It is a continuous and continual policy of extermination, frightfulness, and assimilation. This is the underlying cause of the hatred of the whole Orient and the Far and Near East against Japan; and this is the fundamental reason for the Students' Boycott of Japanese goods in China.

[85]One might devote an entire book to narrations of frightful cruelties perpetrated by Japanese on Koreans, Siberians and Formosans; but that would not be so strong as the setting forth of the underlying ethical reasons for this universal hatred in which Japan is held.

However it might be quite honest and fair for this writer to set down here several acts of frightfulness that came under his own personal observation merely as casual illustrations of that which is going on all the time.

One day I was walking with a missionary's wife through the streets of Seoul. There was an excavation being made and a little railroad track was being run along this excavation. A Korean boy had been set to guard this track to keep folks from getting hurt when the dump car came down its steep grade. He had been ordered by his Japanese employers to stop all passage when the signal was given.

We were walking along when this Korean stopped an ordinary Japanese civilian. He was of the low-browed type; mentally deficient I should say; but quite the average type that is used by Japan to settle these conquered countries.

The Korean held up his hands in warning.

The Japanese stooped over, picked up a stone as large as a cabbage head and, with only a space[86] of two feet between himself and the Korean, threw it with all his force against the cheek of the Korean and smashed his jaw in, tearing his ear off, breaking his jaw bone, and lacerating his face fearfully. It was one of the most inhuman things that I have ever seen done.

The missionary woman said to the Korean when the Jap ran; "Why do you not report this to the Japanese police?"

"It would do no good. They would give no justice to me, and I would be hounded to my death for reporting it."

One evening with a friend I had been speaking in Pyeng Yang. It was midnight one Sunday and we were waiting for a train down to Seoul. As we stood on the platform waiting; a north-bound train came in. It stopped. As it stopped several Japanese train boys got off of the train. An old white-haired Korean gentleman, about seventy-five years of age, stood on the platform waiting for the train. He was intelligent looking; poised; and well-dressed in the usual immaculately white robes.

A fifteen-year old Japanese train boy, seeing him standing there, deliberately ran out of his way, lowered his shoulders like a football charger and ran squarely into the old man, knocking him down to the platform and ran on with a laugh and some muttered Japanese words.

[87]The dignified Korean gentleman got up, brushed the dirt from his clothes; did not even deign to glance at the offending boy; and walked on as if nothing had happened.

This scene illustrates two things: First, the superiority of the Korean mind and character to that of the Japanese. This is one of the causes of the extreme frightfulness pursued by the Japanese. They instinctively feel the superiority of their captives. It is not the first time in history that a lesser nation has conquered a superior people.

This superiority in soul-stuff that the Korean has over that of the Japanese is recognized immediately by all Europeans and Americans who become, even in the least bit, familiar with the two peoples. The sympathy of Christian civilizations is with the Koreans immediately.

The other thing that this simple scene illustrates, is the spirit of ruthless cruelty and frightfulness that is bred in the very soul of the youth of Japan toward the Koreans. Even the train boys can do a thing like that without fear of punishment.

The first day that we were in Seoul, the capital city of Korea, Pat McConnell and myself were walking down the main street of this interesting city toward the depot. Parallel with us marched a squad of Japanese soldiers. In front[88] of them, going the same direction, was a poor Korean workman pushing a small cart that looked like our American wheelbarrow.

The Japanese soldiers were in formation and marching in the middle of a wide street. But deliberately; evidently with orders from their officer in charge; they edged over to that side of the street where the Korean was walking and pushed him into the curb stone, kicking his barrow as they passed, although this meant a useless swerving of, at least, fifteen feet out of their course to do so. It was a case of deliberate brutality.

"Korea is a land of trails and terraces," said a prominent missionary in that fair spot to me one day as we were riding from Fusan to Seoul.

"And terror," added another traveler from America. "It is a land of trails, terraces, and terror!"

One day a friend of mine was begging Baron Saito, the present Governor-General of Korea, to stop the cruelties of the Japanese gendarmes in villages in northern Korea. The Baron asked for the names of those who had given the missionary his information about the cruelties and he refused to give them.

"Why should you not give them?" asked Baron Saito.

"Because they would be killed for complaining," said the missionary.

[89]Then he told Governor-General Saito how he had once complained to the police department when a father and son were cruelly beaten in prison.

"Give me their names," said the gendarme.

"I will if you will give me a promise that they will be protected."

"No! I cannot do that! The gendarmes are very revengeful!"

I know personally of a Korean preacher who has done no greater crime than to attend a meeting at a dinner given for released Korean prisoners. He was arrested and kept in jail for three days, just for attending that dinner.

Another preacher with whom I talked was suspected of collecting money eight months after the March Independence Movement. When he heard that the Japanese police were coming for him he fled. This angered the police. They appeared the next morning at three o'clock at his home. There were only the mother and a twelve-year-old daughter left. First the gendarmes burst in the frail doors with the butts of their rifles, and then from three o'clock in the morning until daylight, they beat and tortured those two helpless Christian Korean women; kicking them all over the house until they were unconscious. These two Korean women were in bed for two weeks because of that night's experience and[90] were not able to walk for a much longer period than that.

And these women were educated, cultured women. They had committed no crime. It was simply because they did not know where the father was.

Later the father and son were arrested. They were beaten cruelly in the process of arrest although they offered no resistance. The son later said to me, "I could stand it to be beaten myself and even to see my father beaten but the unbearably cruel thing was to know that they had beaten my innocent mother and sister when no man was there to protect them."

I cite this instance because it happened eight months after the Independence Movement, and three months after the so-called reform Government of Baron Saito had been in effect and after the Japanese Press had said to the world that all cruelties had ceased.

A case of frightfulness that was called to my attention; which seemed to me to be the very essence of cruelty was that of the moral terrorizing of an educated Korean Pastor, whom the police merely suspected of having had something to do with the Independence Movement. They had no direct evidence but submitted him to months of moral terrorizing which was the worst I have ever heard of.

[91]For months at a stretch they would suddenly appear outside of his home and thrust their bayonets through his doors. Then they would go away without saying a word. He had absolutely no redress. If he had complained, he would have been thrown into prison.

One of the most reliable missionaries that I met in Korea told me of how one morning the policemen came to a church in northern Korea during the hour of service. They broke eighty windows, arrested fourteen men, smashed the little organ with their gun butts, smashed a beautiful lamp, tore up the mat seats from the floors, and burned them in front of the church.

At the funeral service of another young Korean preacher, Pak Suk Han in Pyeng Yang, hundreds of Japanese soldiers appeared with drawn bayonets just to terrorize the people. The church was full of Japanese officers with drawn swords.

"What would have happened if somebody in a fit of patriotism had shouted 'Mansei'?" I asked.

"We would have been killed instantly!" said the missionary soberly. "I was afraid of that!"

A prominent, educated and English-speaking Korean official, told me that in a conversation with a high Japanese official that that particular Japanese had said "Our plan will be to assimilate the Korean people!"

"But that will be impossible. There are twenty[92] million of us. You will find that a hard thing to do!" said this Korean.

The Japanese official smiled and said significantly, "We know the way!"

The Korean knew what that meant. It meant extermination; extermination in every way possible. It meant extermination by introducing prostitution in Korea. This has been done. Korea never had any legalized prostitution. Korea never knew what the Red Light Section meant. Japan's first move was to introduce that. She sent her diseased women to Korea. She made prostitution ridiculously cheap; fifty sen; which is twenty-five cents in American money.


It is one of her ways of assimilation which means extermination and she has already shot venereal disease rates up to an alarming state in Korea.

Her next step in frightfulness was to introduce opium. Japanese Agents raise thousands of acres of Opium in Korea and sell it. This is another one of her steps in the process of assimilation or extermination.

Japan has stolen from poor Koreans their rice lands and their coal beds. The process is for a Japanese company to buy the water sources of the rice paddies below and then refuse to let the Koreans have water for his rice fields. This is[93] another step in frightfulness that will finally exterminate the Korean if it keeps up long enough.

The recent massacre of Koreans in Manchuria by Japanese soldiers illustrate the Japanese spirit.

This same policy of frightfulness is carried on in Formosa and in Siberia and wherever the Japanese army and gendarme system has authority. It is worse than anything that the Germans ever did in France or Belgium. It has its only parallel in the dark ages.

I told Baron Saito, Governor-General of Korea this in an interview. He wanted to know what America thought of Japan's rule in Korea. I said: "America and the whole civilized world is stirred with indignation at the Japanese rule in Korea. There has been nothing like it since the dark ages." Then I read him a quotation from an editorial in Zion's Herald, a church paper published in Boston with virtually those words in it.

* * * * * *

My friend, whom I met first in France, when he came back from. France was sent to Siberia as a Captain in the American Army.

I met him in Manila just after he had returned from Siberia. He, in common with all Americans who had seen the Japanese methods of frightfulness in Siberia, was filled with hatred.

"One night," he said, "a company of Japanese[94] soldiers entered the little village six hundred miles north of Vladivostok where we were located. They announced that they were hunting for Bolsheviks.

"They did not find any in the little village, although they ruthlessly broke down every door of every home in that village. Then they went out to a sawmill about three miles from town and brought in five boys between the ages of twelve and eighteen.

"After torturing these boys in an old box car for two days, hanging them up by the thumbs with their arms behind their backs until they were unconscious; and then forcing salt water, hot water, cold water, and water with pepper in it down their nostrils, alternately; and other added cruelties; they announced to the village that they would release them that night on the public square."

"Did they do it?" I asked anxiously, for I was stirred to my soul's depths with his narration of cruelties in Siberia.

"Yes, they released them; in this way:

"They called all the friends and families of the prisoners together on the public square. Then they dug five graves. Then five Japanese officers came stalking across the public square, whisking at the thistle-tops with swords as they came; and[95] then walked up to these innocent Russian boys, and whacked off their heads.

"Had they been tried?" I asked indignantly.

"They had been given no trial. They were mere boys, who, probably, didn't even know what the word Bolshevik meant. It was the worst illustration of frightfulness that I ever saw, although it was a common thing for the Japanese troops to go through the country upsetting the barrels of honey that the poor peasants were saving up for the long winters; rooting up their young potatoes; cutting the throats of their colts and cattle, and ravishing the land."

"How could you stand it?"

"We couldn't stand it. I had to fight to keep my company of Americans from sailing into them with fists and bayonets. It would have meant war. So I sent word back to headquarters that we were out of provisions and we were called back to Vladivostok."

Can this scene be duplicated in Formosa and Korea, where the Japanese hold sway?

It can.

During the Independence Movement in Korea this thing happened: All of the Korean Christians had been asked to assemble in a church for a meeting. When they were all in the church, the Japanese gendarme set fire to the church and then fired into it, killing every man.

[96]A woman, big with child, came running toward the church having heard the shooting and knowing that her husband was within.

A big, burly Japanese pushed her back.

"What do you want?" he cried in Korean.

"I want to go in there. My husband is there," she cried in terror.

"But you will be killed if you go in there!"

"I don't care! I want to die if he is to die!"

"All right! You shall have your wish!" said the Japanese, and pulling out his sword, cut off her head, killing her instantly. She fell at his feet with her unborn child; and he laughed aloud at the spectacle.

This is Japanese frightfulness and it can be duplicated by many missionaries in Korea if they dared to speak.

But the minute they speak and tell the truth that minute they are sent home from their life work. They realize that this leaves the Koreans to the utter and awful cruelties of the barbarous Japanese, and because of this, in spite of their indignation they hold their tongues for the larger good. But they eagerly give the facts to those of us who are coming back to America so that America in turn may know what is going on in Korea. That is the only hope; that the indignation of a righteous world, without war, may bring pressure to bear on Japan to stop these terrible[97] cruelties and tortures; this unutterable frightfulness. This is the hope of the missionaries; this is the only hope of the Koreans!

* * * * * *

I don't know whether or not it was because I had been listening for so long to the most brutal stories of Japanese treatment of Korean men, women and children; with murder, rapine, burning of homes, especially Christian homes; beating of a mother and her twelve-year-old girl from three in the morning until eight to make them reveal the hiding-place of their preacher daddy, that the crimson, blood-red sunset I witnessed on my last night in Korea seemed to me like a "sunset of crimson wounds." All I know is that it happened in Korea while I was there, and that my soul had been, for a solid month, stirred to the depths of its righteous wrath over the things that I had heard first-hand from human lips.

But there it was. The sky was blood-red. At first it was black, a somber black. Not a coal-black but a slate black. Then suddenly just at the edge of the horizon a crack began to appear. It was a slit of blood. It looked more like a wound than anything else I ever saw. The slit of blood grew larger and larger in the slate-black clouds.

Then suddenly all over the horizon these wounds began to break through the mass of black[98] clouds. Some of these slits were horizontal slits, and some of them ran in graceful curves. Some of them looked as if a bayonet had been lunged into the body of that somber cloud and a great crimson gash was made with ragged edges as big as a house. Then it looked as if some ruthless Japanese gendarme had taken his sword and slashed a rip in the abdomen of that sky; and from side to side like a crescent moon appeared this great crimson wound.

I had never seen a sunset just like it. But there it was. It seemed that there was back of that great black cloud a blood-red planet, pouring its crimson tides like a great waterfall down back of that slate-black mass until finally the curtain of black began to tear, and the blood poured through to run along the horizon, and splash against the clouds, and slit its way like wounds through the clouds of night.

And I thought of something else. I thought how a Man once was crucified. I thought how dark the skies were on that afternoon. I thought how slate-colored and somber all life seemed, especially to that little group of disciples. I thought of the wounds in His hands and feet and side. I thought of the wounds the thorns in His crown made, and of the blood that ran over His face. I could see Him there back of that cloud in Korea. I could see His Christian people being[99] crucified again because of their religion. I could see Japanese bayonets thrust into His side and Japanese nails through His feet and His hands. I could see a Japanese crown of thorns on His head because He said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me." And I could see the blood of his wounds breaking through that nation's clouds on that wonder evening of the "sunset of wounds" back of the Korean mountains in December.



"Oriental women are fascinating to Occidental men," said a newspaper reporter in a Shanghai hotel lobby, a year ago.

"All women are fascinating to Occidental men. Take the French girls and the way they captured our American soldiers; of course, these brown-eyed, brown-skinned, graceful, mysterious——"

"It's just as I said," replied the first speaker interrupting the second speaker, "Oriental girls are more fascinating to Occidental men than white girls."

"Yes—I guess you are right, when we get down to the honest to goodness truth of the thing," said an American oil man. "Take that Javanese girl who knocked at the door of my room; or take that half-breed Malay girl we met on the ship between Singapore and Batavia; or that little red-cheeked Japanese girl in Tokyo; or that Spanish brunette in Manila; or—Oh, Boy! Do you remember that Chinese half-breed, with English blood in her veins and an English education in her brain and Paris clothes on her back,[102] and American pep in her eyes, and Japanese silk stockings on her——"

"Come on! Come on! We didn't call on you for a lecture on Oriental girls whom you have met," said the first speaker.

Then a bell boy paged me and I lost the rest of the conversation.

But this dialogue set me to thinking on the various types of fascinating Oriental women; the standing they have in the world; and the status of their living.

There were the Japanese women; beautiful, graceful, red-cheeked, small of stature, wistful-eyed, colorfully dressed; always smiling slaves to their men.

The well-trained Geisha girl has, for centuries, because of her superior education, received the confidences of Japanese men; while a Japanese man would scorn to talk things over with his wife.

There was the banquet we attended at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Mr. Uchida, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and many of the high officials of Japan were present with their wives. Several members of the House of Parliament were present as well as the Secretary to Mr. Hara, the Prime Minister. Each of these great leaders of Japan had his wife by his side at the banquet table.

[103]It was a small group.

One of the speakers of the evening said: "Perhaps you Americans do not realize that this banquet is an unusual occasion in Japan. I think that it is the first time that I have ever attended a banquet in all my life, when so many Japanese gentlemen had their own wives with them at that banquet. It is a very unusual thing to do, but I hope that, in time, it will become more common in Japan, as it is in America."

This speech was met with amused laughter on the part of the Japanese gentlemen present; but laughter that was kindly; and it was met with applause on the part of the Americans present.

It was typical of the attitude of even the educated Japanese man toward the matter of appearing in public with his wife at his side.

Up in Sapporo, on the island of Hokkaido, we were entertained by a beautiful Japanese woman. We had been away from America for several months and were tired of eating Japanese food, so when we were invited to this Japanese home for a dinner we groaned.

But much to our delight, when we sat down we had as fine an American dinner as any of us had ever eaten.

I turned to our hostess, a most beautiful Japanese woman; the wife of the Dean of the College[104] at Sapporo; and said: "Do you have servants who know how to cook American food?"

"No, I cooked it all myself!" she said much to my surprise with a bow and a smile.

And there she sat, cool and poised after having cooked food enough for fifteen people that morning; and arranging for it to be served in the finest style; with place cards, salted almonds, Turkey, pudding, vegetables and everything that makes an American dinner good; including a fine salad. There she sat; as cool, calm and collected as if servants had done all of the work that morning instead of she herself.

And never in all of my life have I seen a more gracious hostess. She watched the wants of every guest. She noted which guests liked a special food, and saw to it that they had plenty of that particular food; and, in addition to this she kept a fascinating line of conversation going constantly during the meal.

"Do you live in American fashion or Japanese fashion?" I asked her, knowing that she had been educated in America.

"Both!" was her reply. "We have Japanese rooms for our Japanese guests and American rooms for our European and American guests."

"But how do you live yourselves; how are you training your children?" I asked her.

"We are training our daughters to live in[105] American style; on a common ground with the men. That is the better way. That is the fairer way! That is the way out of our feminine darkness!"

She said it quietly, with poise, and with a fine assurance which was thrilling. It sounded like a call to battle, like a trumpet note in the new freedom for women.

A missionary friend told me at the conclusion of that meal that this beautiful young Japanese hostess whispered to her Mother-in-law during the dinner a phrase that sounded strangely like American slang, when she noted that her mother-in-law was not carrying on much of a conversation with the man beside her, "Start something! He can speak Japanese as well as English!"

At that, dear Mrs. Mother-in-law started an animated conversation in Japanese with her silent guest on her left. This was illustrative of the care with which our hostess was watching that we be kept happy at her table. It was a Feminine Flash-light that I do not care to forget; an illustration of the possible efficiency, poise, grace, beauty and sweetness of the Japanese woman of the future when she shall have won her rights of freedom from the slavery of an inferior position to man in the social scale.

To an American, the position of woman in regard to prostitution in Japan is a terrible thing,[106] but when we consider the light in which the Ethical thought of Japan sees it, we do not blame the women any more than Jesus blamed the woman taken in adultery in his day.

The system of prostitution is run by the Government and the largest income that the Government has, comes from the sale of Sake, the national drink, and its houses of prostitution.

A woman who becomes a Prostitute is looked upon as a heroine. This is for the simple reason that she is given a matter of several hundred yen, it depending upon her form, beauty and qualifications for her position; and that money goes to her poor parents. When she leaves her little village to give a certain number of the years of her life to the Yoshiwara in order to free her parents from debt she is lauded and fêted by the people of her village and sent off as one who goes on a crusade of service.

Prostitution is so much a part of the acknowledged life of Japan that Temples for prostitutes exist where they may go and pray. In one Temple we saw large numbers of photographs put up by certain girls of the Yoshiwara to advertise their wares.

Consequently there is no fine tradition of ethical values established in Japan and the poor girl herself is not to blame. Nor is she blamed; for it is not at all an uncommon thing for a[107] Japanese girl to marry out of a house of prostitution into a fine family.

One of the terrible Feminine Flash-lights that every careful traveler discovers in the Orient is the presence of Japanese girls in the segregated sections of Shanghai, Seoul, Peking, Nanking; and even so far away as Singapore. I understand however that a recent order from the Emperor has called all these girls back to Japan, which is an upward step not only for Japan as a nation; but for the womankind of Japan.

* * * * * *

It was in a Japanese Hotel in northern China that Pat McConnell and I had our experience with the strange ways and customs of Japan. Pat was taking the pictures and I was writing the stories.

We thought it would be an unusual experience to stay all night at a regular Japanese Inn. We stayed.

That night, much to the amusement, of the missionaries who stayed with us, three beautiful Japanese girls came gracefully into the cold room where we had started to take our clothes off.

They bowed several times as they came with cups of hot tea.

They seemed to pay particular attention to me.

All three of them bowed to me first and then each proceeded to select an individual man to whom they served tea.

[108]I took it for granted that they had paid this particular attention to me because of some special characteristic of masculine beauty or intellectual appearance; or atmosphere of greatness that must have hovered about me in some unknown fashion.

I made the mistake of swelling up with pride and bragging about this attention that I had received.

"Ah, that's because of your bald head. They think that you are the old man of the party. They have great respect for old age!" the missionary said with a roar of laughter.

The truth of the matter was that I was the youngest of the party, but those girls had selected me as the venerable member of the group of Americans.

But the climax came when these young ladies decided to stay with us "To the bitter end" as Pat called it.

After filling us with tea they still remained; bowing and smiling; even though they could not understand a word we were saying nor we a word that they were saying.

"It's one o'clock now! I'd like to get to bed," said Pat.

"How long will they stay with us?" I asked.

The missionaries only grinned in reply.

[109]"By George, I'm going to take my shirt off and see if they won't go!" said Pat.

He took it off. The young girl who was serving him took his shirt and after neatly folding it, laid it carefully away.

"So that's what they're waiting for; to undress us?" queried Pat and the missionaries laughed again, waiting to see what would happen.

"They can go as far as they like. If they can stand it, I can!" said Pat.

Then he took off his shoes.

A young lady took the shoes, carefully brushed them off, and put them away. Then he took off socks, followed by his trousers.

It looked as they would stay until Pat got into his Pajamas. He was in a corner.

"It seems as if this young lady wants to put me to bed right!" said Pat, with a grin.

"That's exactly what she is here for. It's a hotel custom in Japanese hotels and we get so that we don't think anything of it. They bathe in the same pool; men and women alike; and think nothing of it. After all, modesty is not entirely a matter of clothes, as the Japanese prove."

"Anyhow, that's what I call service!" said Pat with a grin.

* * * * * *

It was a cold winter night in Seoul, Korea. I had been invited to dinner at a Korean home;[110] the home of a former Governor under the Korean regime; and now, a respected official under the Japanese rule.

I had looked forward to this dinner with unusual interest.

We took Rickshas to get there and nearly froze on the way.

We took both our shoes and our coats off on the back porch and left them to the tender mercies of the zero weather which prevailed on that night.

We were ushered into this beautiful home.

A room was full of men; stately sons of the family; the gray-bearded, dignified father; but no women, not a single woman. I wondered about this, for I knew that this household was noted for its beautiful daughters and a wonderful mother. The missionaries had told me that.

I wondered why no women came to welcome me.

Finally we sat down to one of those interminable Oriental dinners, with thirty or forty courses; squatted on our haunches, on the cold floor; half-frozen, cramped and uncomfortable.

Then in came a beautiful girl. She was beautiful in every sense of the word; physically and spiritually. There was a touch of refinement about her which made me know that she had received an English education.

[111]But she was not there for any part of the dinner. Not at all. She was there merely to serve.

I found that she could speak English and every time she came to serve me, I took the opportunity of talking with her; taking a chance on whether it was diplomatic for me to do so or not. I was after information.

"You speak good English?" I said. "Why do you not sit down and eat with us?"

She laughed aloud.

"My father would drop over dead if I did. It is not the custom in Korea for the women of the family to dine with the men on an occasion like this. We eat alone in the kitchen."

"Have you a mother?"

"Yes, but she is in the kitchen."

"Will I not get to meet her before I go?"

"Perhaps? Perhaps not. If you meet her at all it will be just at the close, of the evening, providing my father thinks to call her. It is not important; so our Korean men think."

"But you; you know better? You have been in an American School?" I said, as she came in for the fifteenth course and paused a moment to talk with me.

"Yes, I know better! I know the American way of treating women is the Christian way," she said sadly.

"And what do you think of that way? Do[112] you not like that way better than the Korean way?" I asked.

"The American way is much better." Then she paused and much to my delight used a typical American girl's phrase, with an appealing touch of pathos in her voice and a blush of crimson in her brown cheeks, "Why, I just love the American way!" she said and then fled, blushing with shame, as if she had said something immodest.

I did not see her again that evening. Nor did I see any of the other women of that household. Nor did I see the mother of the home at all.

* * * * * *

It was in a Shanghai hospital. I was sitting beside an American newspaper friend who was at the head of the Chinese Information Bureau. He was a world-vagabond. Beside his bed sat a beautiful Chinese girl, who had been educated in England and whose mother was a Scotch woman. Her father was a full-blooded Chinese.

"I love her but she won't marry me!" said my friend suddenly looking up toward the Chinese girl.

Temple of Heaven


Long before a single cathedral had been built in Europe this beautiful structure was erected.

A Pagoda


A wayside shrine


Silhouette of Boroboedoer


She was a beautiful girl and could play a piano as few American women I have met. She would have graced any social room in America with her dark beauty, her brown eyes, and her Oriental fire. She was rich. Her father was worth several millions; being one of many shrewd [113]Chinese business men. She was dressed like a Parisian model, in the latest European styles. She was in China for the first time in her life. Her father had brought her back to marry a Chinese boy. She did not love him. She did love my American friend.

"Why will you not marry James?" I asked her.

"My father would kill me," she said quietly.

"Does he say so?"

"He does. He went to America a week ago; and the last thing he said was, 'If you marry anything but a Chinese I will kill you!'"

"Did he really mean it?" I asked her, astonished.

"He meant it more than anything he ever meant in his life. It would be considered a disgrace to my entire family if I married anybody but a Chinese boy."

"Even though your father married a Scotch woman?" I said.

"For that very reason it is imperative that I marry my own blood," she said.

"That is terrible!" I replied catching my first glimpse of the strange and terrible social position in which a girl of mixed blood is placed in China.

"You see," she said in a quiet, refined voice, with a marked English accent, "I have an English education but I have Chinese blood. I can never[114] be happy marrying a Chinese after I have been educated in England. I can never be happy with Chinese clothes, Chinese customs, and Chinese people. And yet if I marry the man I love, it will break my father's heart. He would kill me to be sure; for if he says he will, that means that he will keep his word. But that would not be the worst of it. To die would be easy."

"What would be the worst of it?" I asked, my heart stirred with a strangely deep sympathy at this beautiful Chinese girl's dilemma.

"The worst thing would be that it would break my father's heart!"

Then she wept.

That was my first glimpse of the life of tragedy through which a half-breed woman of the Orient has to go.

I met them in the Philippines, with Spanish and American blood running in their veins; I met Malay girls whose fathers had been German or English; I met Dyak girls whose fathers had been Dutch; and Javanese girls whose fathers had been either American, English or Dutch.

I stayed with such a woman in a home in Borneo. She had been a Dyak girl. Yet she did not look it. She had a beautiful home with beautiful English speaking children. I met her in the interior of Borneo a hundred miles from a single white woman. And yet in this far interior; living[115] with her English husband who was the head of a mining project; she was keeping intact the English education of her children. There was a piano and the children played beautifully while the mother, in a rich contralto voice sang.

She was graceful, accomplished, beautiful, poised and sweet.

One night as we walked alone under the moonlight the Englishman opened his heart to me and said, "You are going to visit the Head-Hunting Dyaks to-morrow. You will see their abject squalor and filth. You will be surprised when I tell you that my wife was a Dyak girl and that I took her out of a Kampong fifteen years ago and took her to England."

"That's a lie!" I exclaimed.

"It is the truth!" he added.

Somehow his statement angered me. I don't know why. Perhaps it was the unusual heat of the tropics. We were directly on the Equator. I would have fought him for that statement.

But it was true.

"And the hell of it was that when I took her to England she was not happy and my people would not receive her. So we have had to come back to Borneo and live our lives in this fashion, far from civilization."

He was silent for a few minutes.

"That is the fate of mixing bloods in these[116] tropical lands," he said with a shudder. "And the woman always suffers more than the man!"

I met another Malay-English girl on the ship going from Singapore to Batavia, Java.

She too was an educated, English-speaking girl of a strange beauty and fascination. She started to talk with me as I sat alone on the Dutch ship. We were the only English-speaking people on board and we felt a certain comradeship. We sat an entire evening talking about the problem of a girl of mixed blood in the Malay States.

"White men always assume that we are bad girls. They come into the offices where we work as stenographers and insult us. It is that taint of mixed blood. We have the longings and the ideals of the best blood that is in our veins; but the skin and the color and the passions of the worst. We try to be good; some of us; but everything is against us. We can never marry white men; though we frequently fall in love with them for we work side by side with them in the offices. But when it comes to marrying us they fear the social ban. It is a terrible thing. There is no way out! It is a thing that has been imposed upon us from the generations that have gone. We pay!"

I shall never forget her brown eyes, her brown skin, her heaving breast, as the great Dutch ship[117] cut the waves of the South China Sea bound for Java.

"Why are you leaving a good position and going to Java?" I asked her.

"They say things are better for us girls in Java; that the Dutch are not so particular. I shall no doubt be homesick for Singapore but I am going to try Java for a while. My sister is there!"

* * * * * *

A Feminine-Flash light that has its humorous side was one that I experienced in Borneo.

We had gone out to a Dyak village to take pictures.

It was a miserably hot morning. That night I stayed in Pontianak which is bisected by the Equator. It was so cold in the middle of the night that I had to get up and put on a night shirt!

The next day we tramped ten miles through the Jungle to a Head-hunting Dyak village.

I had been taking pictures for an hour in this Kampong when six of the most beautiful Dyak girls came in, with great Bamboo water tubes flung over their gracefully strong shoulders. Their skin looked like that of a red banana from toe to chin. They were stark naked save for a girdle about their loins. They had been five miles away for water.

[118]Their skin was flushed with exercise. There they stood, mystified at seeing white men in the village Kampong.

In fact they were terrified.

Their big brown eyes bulged out.

Their breasts heaved with fear.

I said to the missionary, "Dyak Madonnas! What a painting they would make?"

"Yes, there are no more beautiful women anywhere. They look like bronze statues. A Rodin, or a St. Gaudens would go wild over their limbs and bodies."

I asked the missionary to tell them that I wanted to take a picture of them just as they were, standing with their water vessels poised on their shoulders; in their naked splendor and beauty.

He told them.

They squealed for all the world like American girls and ran for dear life, disappearing in the flash of an eye.

He tried to coax them to come out to get a picture taken. The Missionary could speak their language but they would only peek through the doors with grinning faces.

Finally they agreed that we could take their pictures if I would let them put dresses on.

I didn't want to do this; for I wanted them just[119] as they were; but saw that they were adamant in their souls even if their brown bodies did look as soft as ripening mangos; and as beautiful and brown.

I pictured all sorts of ugly dresses; discarded by the white folks and given to them. But much to my surprise, when they appeared all dressed up for the picture, every last one of them had on a white woman's discarded night gown.

I wanted to laugh. It destroyed their picturesqueness but those gowns could not destroy their symmetrical beauty of limb and body.

"That's a quick way to dress up!" I said to my missionary friend.

We smiled but I got the picture.

And back of these Flash-lights Feminine; is the black page of the history of womankind in all the Far East; with footbinding still rampant over nine-tenths of China; baby-killing, baby-selling, and baby-slavery which I saw with my own eyes time and time again; with slavery of womankind, from Japan down to Ceylon the regular thing. But there is still hope in the woman-heart of the Far East; and the hope is the American woman and her religion. That and that alone will break down prejudices, break off shackles, and tear to bits the traditions of the past.

* * * * * *

[120]"The women suffer! Yes, the women always suffer!" said a big fellow to me up in the northern part of Luzon in the Philippines one evening.

"What do you mean?" I asked him, scenting a story.

Then the man told me of a cholera epidemic that he had passed through; of how he had tried to care for the sick, even though he was not a physician; told me of their poor superstitious methods of driving away the "evil spirits."

He told of how he had gone into homes where he found seven inmates dead and four dying; of how he tried to care for them with nothing medicinal at hand.

Then he told me of how the poor people went down to a dirty inland river and had killed a hog, taken its heart; killed a dog, taken its heart; and then after putting them on a little raft, floated them off down the river to drive the cholera away. Then he told me of how the natives had, in their desperation, tied tight bands about their ankles to keep the evil spirits from coming up out of the earth into their bodies.

"But what do you yourself do about a doctor. You say that you are 400 miles from a doctor, even here. What about your children, when they take sick?" I asked him, and then was sorry that I had asked the question because of a terribly hurt and unutterably sorrowful look in his eyes.

[121]"Mother and I don't like to talk about that or to think about it!" he said simply, and I knew that I had torn open an old wound which was just over his heart.

His voice broke as he spoke, and he looked at the woman who was his brave helpmate and said again: "Mother and I don't like to think about that!" The tears ran down over his cheeks and "Mother's" too, and mine also.

"I am sorry! I am sorry if I have opened an old wound!" I said, quite helpless to remedy the damage I had done. I felt as one who had unwittingly trodden on a flower bed and crushed some violets. They bleed, even though you see no blood. I saw that their hearts were bleeding. But he spoke.

"We were 400 miles from a doctor. Baby took sick. If we could have had a doctor she would have been saved."

"Now Daddy, we do not know for certain about that," said the ever-conservative woman in her.

"There was not a Filipino doctor. She died in mother's arms!"

It was oppressively silent in that far-off mission home for a few minutes. I thought some one would sob aloud. It might have been any one of us, the way we all felt. I took hold of my cane chair with a grip that numbed my hands for a half hour afterwards.



All the "Peck's Bad Boys" of the world are not confined to American soil.

I found them all over the Far East; especially in China.

I was annexed by one of them who became a sort of a guide de luxe when we were going through the ruined Palaces of the romantic regions of Peking.

He annexed himself to us in somewhat the same fashion as a thistle or a burr annexes itself to you as you walk through the field where thistles are thick.

He was an acquired asset of questionable value. With him were a lot of followers but it was plain to be seen that he was the leader of the gang; which was, for all the world, like a typical street gang in an American city.

Who could pass up that group of a dozen little rascals who followed us through the ruins of the old Summer Palace? Who could resist their imitations of everything one did? I sneezed and the little rascals sneezed also. I counted one,[124] two, three, four, as I adjusted my Graflex for a picture and I heard a chorus of laughing "One, two, three, fours." I yelled ahead to an American member of the party and said "Wait!" and a dozen boys yelled "Wait!"

We fell in love with the dirty-faced rascals. They looked to be a nuisance when we started and I wanted them driven back, but before we were through they had become the most interesting part of the whole trip. Sure enough we emptied our purses of pennies and some white money. The little fellow who was in his bare feet and who said, with a real touch of seven year old Chinese humor, "These are leather shoes that I have on and they will last all my life," won our hearts. That was humor with a vengeance.

This lad was happy. No wonder then that when one of the party passed him an extra penny early in the morning he winked knowingly as one who had been taken into the inner councils of affection.

And no wonder that he followed the man who gave him that penny to the end of the morning, and no wonder when we told him through the interpreter that we liked the boys because they were good boys; he said in return, "Some boys would have followed you around, pulling your coats and being rude and yelling at you."

The nonchalant way in which they admitted[125] that they were good boys won our hearts and we came back penniless.

Then who can forget the little rascals who smiled and winked back in the midst of the dignified Lama ceremonies over at the Lama Temple, proving that they were, after all, real human boys with a laugh and the spirit of fun in their little souls in spite of their having to take part in this dignified chanting service.

It was fun when the service was over to see them tumble out of the Temple so fast that one boy fell and about six fell on top of him just as American boys do pouring out of school. I even saw one lad whack another one on the back of his little bald head and a scuffle ensued. They laughed, fought, tumbled pell-mell, got up again grinning, winked and laughed back at the good natured Americans for all the world like American boys.

The Chinese have a distinct sense of humor and it is very much like that which is found in our own America. Indeed the Chinese are like us in many respects.

The Filipino enjoys a good joke but his humor is more cruel than is American humor.

The Dyak of Borneo has a sense of play and fun that would not exactly appeal to an American mind; although there are those who claim that American football is a near kin to the delightful[126] game of Head-hunting indulged in by the Dyaks of Borneo.

The Dyaks have for centuries been known as the head-hunters of the Far East. They, in common with the Igorotes of the Philippines, have had the playful custom of going out when the mood took them and bringing in a few heads just as our Indians used to get scalps. When a Dyak youth wanted to marry a nice young Dyak girl to whom he had taken a fancy (and I can assure the reader that some of them are as beautiful as Rodin's bronze statues), he didn't even dare mention his desire for that young bronze beauty until he had brought in five or six heads. After that he had some standing in the lady's sight. Without the heads he had no more chance of winning either the girl herself or her pa or ma or any of the Dyak family than the proverbial snowball has of getting through Borneo without melting. It just simply couldn't be done according to Dyak etiquette.

Head-hunting was a game between tribes also. When two tribes of Dyaks felt a playful mood coming on, they would challenge each other to a head-hunting game. The game would last for a week or so and the tribe that took the most heads won. It was nothing like "Tag you're it." If so, some of the skulls that I have seen at Dyak Compounds would not be grinning so hideously these[127] days as they ornament the poles of certain vain and proud Dyak hunters.

The Battaks of Sumatra also have a playful custom of getting rid of their old men. When a man gets so old that they think it is about time for him to tell his last tale, they put him up a Cocoanut tree. Then all of the young bucks of the village get together and try to shake him down. If he is too feeble to hold on, and comes down, that is a sign of heaven that his days are through and they cook him and eat him.

* * * * * *

The Japanese claim to have a great sense of humor. Japanese students speaking in America, insist that this is true. But travelers in Japan do not find it so. Indeed if Japan had a sense of humor, it would keep her out of many an international tangle. She does not know how to laugh. Her sense of dignity is so exaggerated that she does not know the fine art of smiling and laughing at herself.

"What does Japan most need to learn?" a student asked me.

"To laugh," I replied.

"I think that you are right! Your Lincoln knew how to laugh!" was his response as he went off thoughtfully.

I was advertised to speak in a northern college in Japan. The Dean of the school wanted to [128]advertise me so that the students would all come out to hear me. This is the way he did it:

"Dr. Stidger is a college student who played with the foot-ball in America. He is a man with the bigness of the head! He reaches the six feet tall; the four feet around; has an arm like an ox and a head like a board!"

I was not certain as to just what he meant by many of those references, but I was assured that they were intended to be highly complimentary to me. I am not yet sure of that but I had a good laugh just the same.

The story is told of a ruthless American humorist Hotel-keeper in Singapore who was entertaining a group of Japanese Officers from the Japanese Navy. This American had no love for Japan. He also knew of their lack of humor; so when the Japanese Captain arrived at the hotel the American Manager made quite an extended speech of welcome, as his American friends listened, greatly amused.

He said in part: "The hotel is yours! During your stay the entire force of servants is at your disposal. If there is anything that you want that you do not see, please ask for it."

Bromo volcano


"The way it effervesces Bromo is a fitting name," said the author when he saw it in action.

View of Boroboedoer


Said by travelers to make the Pyramids look like child's play as a tremendous piece of construction; and as a work of art to have no rival in the whole world.

A group of children


This curious conglomeration of Mongrel children watching the photographer in Borneo where Dyaks, Chinese, Malay and others mix indiscriminately.

A group of dogs


The Japanese Captain bowed continuously and smiled; sucking in his breath with a characteristic national custom; the same sound they made as they eat fried eggs in a Japanese dining car; a sound similar to the old-fashioned but now [129]obsolete method of drinking coffee from a saucer.

"There is just one request however that we will have to make of you, while you are here with us in the hotel," continued the American hotel manager.

"And what is that may I ask?" inquired the Japanese Captain, still bowing and sucking in air through his teeth.

"That you do not climb around in the trees!"

The Japanese officers did not see the joke and did not even smile but the Americans in the Far East have laughed over it for years.

Which reminds one of the night on the Sambas River when a hundred little monkeys were silhouetted against a crimson sunset.

Red, brown, yellow, golden, blue orchids flashed in the sunlight; and flowers of every hue under God's blue skies made brilliant the river banks. At times the ship went so close that I could reach out and grab a limb of a tree, much to the indignation of the monkeys who chattered at me as if I had stolen something. Now and then a big lazy alligator slid into the water from the muddy banks as the wave-wash from our propeller frightened him.

Coming back down the Sambas River, along its winding, beautiful way we sat one evening and watched a crimson sunset from the deck of the[130] ship. At one point in the river there was a row of dead, bare trees. There were no leaves on the branches—only monkeys: big red monkeys, which they call "Beroks," and little gray fellows, which they call "Wahwahs." These monkeys were strikingly silhouetted against the crimson sunset in strange tropical fashion. From the tips of those dead trees down to the lowest branches dozens of monkeys stood like sentinels, or romped like children, or chattered like magpies. Their long curling tails silhouetted below the branches against the light of evening.

* * * * * *

Most Americans who go in and out of Japan get disgusted with the regulations that policemen impose upon them.

This is especially true of those Americans living in China who are compelled, for business reasons, to go in and out of Japan, for at every trip they are required to answer the same list of questions. I traveled from Korea into Japan with the Military Attaché of the Spanish Legation. When we landed a Japanese officer who had known him for many years insisted upon his answering the usual questions.

"I've been in this country for ten years and yet I never go out or in that they do not compel me to go through the same foolish police regulations[131] which they have copied from Germany and haven't sense enough to give up!" he said indignantly.

I also traveled with a party in which there was a Methodist Bishop's wife. This Bishop's wife absolutely refused to give the Japanese policeman her age. Not that she had any reason to be ashamed of her age. In fact she could easily have passed for twenty years younger than she probably was, but she just had the average American woman's spunk and refused to give it.

For a few minutes it looked as if diplomatic relations between Japan and America might be seriously cracked, if not broken; for the Japanese officer had no sense of humor. That is one of the chief defects of the Japanese police and military system. It has no sense of humor. It takes itself too seriously. It does not know how to laugh.

To the eight or ten Americans in the party the whole matter was a huge joke and we admired the spunk of the Bishop's wife, but the poor Japanese police officer was facing what he thought was an international problem.

Need it be said that the whole matter was finally settled to the entire satisfaction; not of the Japanese officer, but to the entire satisfaction of the Bishop's wife.

* * * * * *

[132]A friend of mine who happens to be in business in the Orient got so tried of being interviewed, trailed, and made to answer innumerable questions about his mother, grandmother, etc., that one day on landing in Yokohama, in a spirit of fun, he answered the officer's questions in this manner:

"How old are you?"


"Have you a family?"


"How many children?"


"How old are they?"

"One is thirty-eight, one forty, and one forty-five."

"What is your occupation?"

"Commander-in-Chief of the Greenland Navy."

"What are you doing in Japan?"

"Getting a cargo of ice to take back to Greenland."

After satisfying his appetite for information, the Japanese police officer departed to make his reports, while the young American went to his hotel with a grin all over his face.

While he was eating his dinner that evening suddenly the Japanese officer appeared in the dining room with a big smile on his face and walked[133] over to where the American sat with a group of friends.

As he approached the American's table he said with a grin, "You American! I know! You American!"

"How did you guess it, my friend?"

"You make me one tam fool!" he said holding out the report.

* * * * * *

Some of the most laughable things that one sees in the Orient are the Japanese signs translated into English by some Japanese merchant who has picked up a dash of English here and there.

One such sign which caused a lot of amusement was that of a tailor who was trying to cater to American Tourist trade. He had, evidently, also had some contact with the spiritual phraseology of the missionaries. He had painted on a big sign:


Perhaps the most exhilaratingly humorous thing that the Japanese have perpetrated on the Koreans was a list of advices printed and posted all over Korea by the Police Department as to the regulation of Fords:



1. At the rise of hand of policeman, stop rapidly. Do not pass him by or otherwise disrespect him.

2. When a passenger of the foot hove in sight, tootle the horn trumpet to him melodiously at first. If he still obstacles your passage, tootle him with vigor and express by word of the mouth the warning, "hi, hi."

3. Beware of the wandering horse that he shall not take fright as you pass him. Do not explode the exhaust box at him. Go soothingly by, or stop by the roadside till he gently pass away.

4. Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with your wheel spokes.

5. Go soothingly on the grease-mud, as there lurk the skid-demon. Press the brake of the foot as you roll around the corners to save the collapse and tie-up.

6. Number of people you put in the Ford: You put two in the front house and three in the back house.

There were other rules but this list will be sufficient as a Flash-light of Fun to give some idea of the ridiculous way in which the average Japanese twists the ideas and phraseology of English in the translations.

I saw one great sign which brought a smile. It was up on the island of Hokkaido. It had printed in large English letters:


Below that sentence there was a picture of a cow which looked as much like a combination of[135] an Elephant and a Camel as anything I know. The artist must have been a wonder. Attached to each of the cow's udders were long lines of hose that ran for about ten feet across a big bill-board. At the end of each line of hose was a nipple, like our American baby-nipples. At the end of each nipple there was a man-sized baby pulling away at the nipple. It was one of the funniest advertising signs I ever saw. I watched several Americans look up at it and every one of them laughed aloud. And the funny thing about it was that it was intended to be a serious advertising sign.

* * * * * *

At a banquet given in the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo one of the most side-splitting incidents happened unintentionally that ever happened at any banquet anywhere.

One of the sons of a great Japanese business man was speaking. The banquet was in honor of a well-known College President from America who had come to take up work in the Orient. This banquet was to welcome him officially to Japan.

One of the speakers, sitting beside Mr. Uchida, the Foreign Minister, had been a student in America where this man was formerly the college president and he was trying to make the crowd see how happy he was to welcome the president[136] to Japan. He did it in the following language as nearly as I can remember it:

"I feel like a cartoon I see in your peculiar paper—what you call him—Puck? Judge? No—he bin in that peculiar paper, Life? That was he.

"This picture; he shows two dogs talking to each other.

"One dog he a great, what you call him—Coolie? Pug? Yes, he was a Scottish Coolie. The other was a little wee dog; a Pugnacious Dog, I think you call him.

"The little dog he have his tail all done up in the bandages.

"The big dog say, 'Little dog, for why you have your tail all bandaged up like that? You have an accident?'

"'No,' say the little dog, 'but my master, he just come home from France, and I am so glad to see him I bin wagging my tail all day long until it get broke and I have to have him wrapped up like this.'"

Then the speaker turned dramatically—with the deepest sense of seriousness; without a trace of a smile on his face, without a glimmer of consciousness of the fact that the Americans at that banquet were biting their teeth to keep from bursting into laughter; and with a grand flourish, pointed to the American dignitary and said, "I[137] feel just like that little dog. I so glad to see Dr. —— come to Japan that I have been wagging my tail all day long."

But he got no further. The American crowd; full-dressed, and full of dignity as it was; exploded. That speech was too much, even for the sake of international courtesy, to expect such a crowd to hold in. Fortunately most of the educated Japanese there saw the joke and joined in the laugh.

* * * * * *

We had a funny experience in a dining car on a Japanese train coming from northern Japan down to Tokyo one evening.

A well-dressed Japanese in a rich Kimono sat drinking heavily at a table a few feet from us.

Suddenly he looked up and yelled "Silence!" looking directly at us.

It was so sudden and so funny that I laughed. This made the Japanese gentleman angry.

Then he let forth a more extended English sentence. Later we figured that it was the only sentence in English that he knew, and that he had learned that sentence by sitting at the feet of some stern, English teacher who had occasion to reiterate that sentence frequently.

This drunken Japanese looked at me sternly for laughing and said, "Silence! All gentlemen must be silent!"

[138]This was too much for my sense of humor and I laughed again.

"Silence! All gentlemen must be silent!" he yelled a third time.

"We must get away from him; or we'll get into trouble. I can't keep from laughing when he repeats that," I said to Dr. Goucher.

We all moved back to another table, but Dr. Goucher sat by himself at a little table. This moving, insulted the drunken Japanese and he came back to where Dr. Goucher sat and leered into his face yelling once again, "All gentlemen must be silent!"

At this one of the party jumped to the side of Dr. Goucher and took the Japanese by the shoulder and turned him around and said, "Go! Sit down, fool!"

The train was whirling through the night. There were mutterings and imprecations among the Japanese and we thought that they were directed toward us; but a missionary who could understand the language, said that the whole crowd of Japanese was severely reprimanding the drunken Japanese for insulting foreigners. They told him in Japanese phrases that he ought to be ashamed of insulting foreigners in his own country.

About five minutes after this he suddenly left his seat, came staggering down the aisle of[139] the car with a plate full of big red apples and offered an apple to each one of us as a peace offering.

We got to calling him, in our party "Old Mr. 'All gentlemen must be silent!'" and he came to be a real character in our fun.

But one morning a month later as we were all boarding a train in Fusan, Korea, bound for Seoul, who should be sitting in the car but "Old Mr. 'All gentlemen must be silent.'"

This time he was in American clothes. We had a Japanese friend with us. We told this friend about the incident on the train in northern Japan and asked him who the man was.

"Why that is a member of the House of Lords and he is going up to Korea representing the Diet to make a report on the Korean outrages," we were told.

Another month passed and I was coming back from Seoul, Korea, to Tokio, Japan, when I suddenly ran into our old friend "All gentlemen must be silent!" This time he was drunk again, and sitting in a Japanese dining car with the same Kimono on that he had worn the first time we saw him. He saw me enter the car.

I tried to avoid him, but he was not to let this opportunity for international courtesy go by unnoticed and unimproved. So, much to my delight and surprise, he arose, and made a low bow.

[140]I bowed back. He made another bow until his nose almost touched the car. I made a return bow. He made a third one. I followed suit. He made a fourth. I made a fourth, although I was beginning to feel dizzy and my insides were beginning to complain.

I wondered when the thing would stop. I thought of a hundred fat men I had seen on a Gymnasium floor trying to do the same thing and touch the floor with their hands. I knew that there was a limit to my endurance in a test of this kind. He bowed five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten times, and I bowed back. I could see things whirling around me.

"Blame it, why doesn't he stop some time!" I said to myself.

I was desperate. Then suddenly I looked at him and he looked at me and he said, with great dignity, "All gentlemen must be silent!" and sat down, with his friends and his wines.

I don't know whether he realized how funny it was or not. I don't know whether he even knew what he was saying in his drunken condition, but I do know that when I got out of that car into the vestibule I had the laugh of my life. A Japanese woman came by, smiled at me and I am sure said to herself:

"Ah, these Americans they are all crazy!"

* * * * * *

[141]The last Flash-light of Fun is a picture from the Philippines.

I have spoken in the chapter on "Flash-lights of Faith" of the trip to the Negrito tribe, but in that chapter I did not speak of the desperate adventure of the trip back down the jungle trail to civilization after the experience with the old man.

For the second time on that memorable day I dropped in my tracks with a sunstroke. My legs refused to move. My muscles were congested with waste matter and evidently my brain was also. When I returned to consciousness I saw lying beside me Mr. Huddleston, an old missionary who had been in the Philippines for many years. Across from, him was a naked Negrito who was acting as our guide.

I looked up in a tree above us and saw what I thought was a group of monkeys.

"Look at the monkeys!" I said to the missionary.

"There are no monkeys in that tree!" he said.

That made me angry. My mind was affected by the sun to such an extent that I had an insane desire to grab the Bolo of the Negrito guide out of his belt and run it through the missionary. I made a determined mental effort to do so, but my arm would not work. I strove as one strives in a dream when he is trying to run away from some imagined danger and his feet are tied down.[142] If I could have gotten my hands on that bolo I would have run it through the missionary without a minute's hesitation.

But my mind was detracted from this thought by two large elephants which I suddenly saw running down the path on which we were lying. I yelled aloud!

"The elephants! They will trample us man! Look! There they come!" I cried pointing up the trail on which we were lying.

"Why you're plumb crazy man! You've missed too many boats! That sun's got you! There are no elephants on this trail!"

"But I know elephants when I see them!" I cried and tried to roll out of the trail but again found it impossible to make my brain and my muscles coordinate. It was a terrible moment to me.

"My God man! Are you crazy! I know elephants when I see them. They're right on us now! Help me out of here! I can't move!"

"I tell you there are no elephants and there are no monkeys in these islands. I've been here twenty years or more!"

"But I know elephants when I see them!"

But just at that moment a much greater danger confronted us, for I saw three tigers leap out of the jungle and start after the two [143]elephants; right down the trail toward us. Then I knew that we were as good as dead.

I yelled: "Tigers! Tigers! They are running after the elephants! They are on top of us!"

The fool of a missionary laughed aloud, as he lay on the trail and said, "Plumb crazy! Plumb crazy! Sun's got him! Sun's got him!"

"Sun's got who, fool? The elephants and tigers will kill us in about a minute!"

But just then something happened which upset my calculations and made me have a feeling that—after all—perhaps the old missionary was right—for suddenly those two elephants; being too closely pursued by the tigers; nonchalantly flew into the air like two great birds, and lighted in the tree over our heads where I thought the monkeys were. If those elephants hadn't started to fly; I should still be arguing with the missionary; but as it turned out; I shut my fool mouth and decided that the missionary was right and that I had "Missed too many boats."



"Self-determination!" That phrase has set the whole world on fire!

"Independence!" That word somehow has awakened the Oriental world; awakened that mass of humanity as it has never been awakened before.

Korea perhaps has thrilled to this awakening as no other section of the Orient or the Near and Far East. India's millions are restless; the Filipino is hungry for Independence although he is loyal to the United States; but Korea has the matter set in its heart like adamant. This determination will never be broken; Korea will never be conquered by Japan!

This dream of complete and full independence is buried in the souls of the children, as well as in the souls of the brave women, and of the old men of Korea.

"It is one of the most thrilling things I have ever seen in the Orient!" said a man on the Editorial staff of Millard's Weekly. "It is the most significant outcome of the war; Korea's passion[146] for independence, and the Student Movement in China!"

I said to a business man of California who had traveled all over the Orient and who had been sent as part of the Commission that prepared the way for the abandonment of the Picture Bride custom, "What is the most significant thing you have seen in the Orient?"

"The determination of the Koreans for Self-determination!" was his quick reply.

"Will they get it?"

"It is inevitable in time!" he responded, and then he added: "Why the little rascals; the children, I mean; paint the Korean flags on their brown bellies, because the Japanese gendarmes will not allow them to display the Korean flag in public!" and he laughed aloud at the memory.

"Have you seen Korean kiddies with flags painted on their stomachs?"

"Dozens of them. They like to show them to Americans," he said.

A week later I was walking with a Korean missionary and asked him if what the business man from California had told me about the children was true and he said, "Wait until we find a group of them."

We waited for only a few minutes when we ran into a crowd coming home from school. A[147] friendly smile and a low-voiced "Mansei" got attention.

Then we pointed to our own stomachs.

In a flash they caught on to what we wanted and, looking around cautiously, each little rascal untied his robe and there, sure enough was the flag of his country painted on his stomach.

"That is one of the most thrilling sights I have seen in the Orient!" I said with tears in my eyes. "If the children of the land feel that way, Korea will never be conquered!"

"The American understands! The American understands!" one of the little bright-eyed boys said to the missionary in Korean.

* * * * * *

A missionary was teaching a class of Koreans about Heaven.

A little hand shot up.

The missionary nodded that the child could speak.

"Will there be any Japs in Heaven?"

This was a baffling question; for diplomatic destinies were at stake. But missionaries are usually honest, so she said, "Yes, if they are good Japs!"

"Then I don't want to go!" said the little eight-year-old Korean with emphasis.

Another teacher was telling a class in Geography to draw a map of the Orient.

[148]One Korean child said, "Do we have to put in that little group of islands east of the coast of China?"

I met one Korean whom I had known in America. He was educated in the American universities. He was in every sense of the word a gentleman and an intellectual.

He told me that the older children of his family had taught the nine-months-old baby to raise its hands in the air above its head whenever the word "Mansei" was spoken.

I got an electrical shock of patriotism the day I saw that tiny child lift its little arms above its head when that sacred word was spoken. It was like a benediction of freedom!

"This posture of the child is more significant," said Mr. ——, "when you know that the most cruel method of torture that the Japanese use is that of stretching a man, woman or child up by the thumbs to the ceiling with his toes just touching the floor."

In that same posture of torture Koreans rise to their toes when they give their national cry of "Mansei" for all the world like an American student giving his college yell.

"It means life and death to give that cry as you know," said this intelligent Korean.

"Then what will your children do when they[149] grow a bit older and go out on the streets and yell this cry?" I asked this intelligent father.

"Be killed, no doubt, by some ignorant, ruthless Japanese gendarme!" he said with finality.

"Then you should not allow them to teach its tiny lips that word!" I said.

"I would rather my child were dead than to have it forget that cry!"

In this same family one Sunday afternoon a two-year-old child was sleeping on a mat. The father and mother were reading some American papers sent them by their old college friends in the United States.

Suddenly that little two-year-old sat straight up in its mat bed, lifted its arms in the air and shouted "Mansei! Mansei! Mansei!" three times and then dropped back to sleep as if nothing had happened.

"How did you feel?" I asked my Korean friend.

"It made me cry. I said to my wife 'As long as Korea has babies with that in their little souls before they are two years of age, Korea will never be assimilated by Japan!'"

The children of Korea look up at the ceiling when a Japanese teacher enters a room. They are compelled to have Japanese teachers; even in the mission schools. The children refuse to do anything for a Japanese teacher.

[150]One day a Japanese teacher thought that he would break that mood by telling a funny story. He told it with skill.

But not a child laughed, although one of them said to her father that night, "It was hard not to laugh for it was a very funny story!"

"Who tells you to do these things; you students? Who teaches you to treat your Japanese teachers in that manner?" my Korean friend asked his six-year-old child.

"Nobody tells us; we just do it ourselves! All the children hate the Japanese!" he replied with the wisdom of a grown man.

All over Korea we saw Korean flags cut in walls, carved on stones, and against excavations where the sand was impressionable to little fingers and sticks. I took many photographs of these unconventional flags.

There is one instance where Korean children went on a strike just at Commencement time. It meant that they would not get their diplomas but that was just the reason they did it: to show their contempt for Japanese diplomas.

Japanese authorities begged them to return to school.

Finally on Commencement Day they decided to return.

Something had happened.

It was a day of rejoicing among the Japanese[151] so they invited a lot of Japanese officers to the Commencement exercises.

The diplomas were given, to each boy; the Japanese teachers bowing, and smiling in their peculiar way.

Then a thirteen-year-old Korean boy stepped to the front to make the address of thanks. He made a beautiful speech of thanks. The Japanese teachers were bowing with delight.

But the boy's speech was not finished. He paused toward the end, threw back his blouse, lifted his proud head and said, "I have only this one thing further to add."

He knew the seriousness of what he was about to do. He knew that it would possibly mean death to him and his relatives.

"We want but one thing of you Japanese. You have given us education, and you have given us these diplomas. The teachers have been good to us."

Then he reached in his blouse and pulled out a Korean flag. To have one in one's possession is a crime in Korea in the judgment of the Japanese.

Waving it above his little head he cried, "Give us back our country! May Korea live a thousand years! Mansei! Mansei! Mansei!"

At that signal every boy in that school jumped to his feet, whipped out a Korean flag and frantically waved it in the air, weeping and yelling in[152] wild abandonment to the faith and courage of freedom in their hearts!

Then they tore their diplomas up before the horrified and angered Japanese teachers.

The result was a great student demonstration for freedom; which was broken up by a force of Japanese gendarmes with drawn swords; but not before the shooting of many boys and girls; and not before over four hundred girls and boys were thrown into prison; some of them never to emerge.

In the chapter on "Flash-lights of Faith" I told the story of the seventy-five-year-old Korean who unflinchingly faced the Japanese gendarmes and admitted that he knew the source from which the Independence Movement had come; and knew the signers of the Declaration personally; every one of them. This spirit burns in the heart of, not only the babies of Korea but also in the souls of the white haired stately patriarchs.

One old man who was dumb had his own way of expressing his patriotism when "Mansei" was yelled. He always lifted his arms above his head. He could not speak but he could yell with his arms!

This placed the Japanese authorities in the ridiculous position of arresting a dumb man for yelling "Mansei!"

They tortured him for months. He was told[153] that he would be released if he would promise never to lift his hands above his head again.

He could not speak in answer to their demands. They waited.

Suddenly he caught their meaning. They were trying to frighten him from giving vent to his only method of showing his patriotism.

His eyes flashed fire. He leapt to his feet with a contemptuous look at his Japanese captors.

Then like flashing piston rods of steel his arms shot into the air above his head three times, shouting in their mute patriotism, "Mansei! Mansei! Mansei!"

Nor are the women void of this determination for freedom. It beats in their brave hearts. It is a great flame in their souls as well as in the hearts of the children and men of the peninsula.

"The soul's armor is never set well to heart unless a woman's hand has braced it, and it is only when she braces it loosely that the honor of manhood fails!" says Robert McKenna in "The Adventure of Life."

If that is a true definition of the strength of honor and the desire for freedom then the armor of the Korean men is well set.

Sauci, a young Korean girl was under arrest. She was just a school girl and very beautiful; with dark brown eyes; skin the color of a walnut; and a form, bred of the grace of her much walking[154] race. She had walked the innumerable trails of her native land from babyhood and the rhythmic swing of her supple body would have made any race, save that of her conquerors, reverent with admiration.

Sauci was too much for her Japanese captors.

The Japanese guard struck her across the mouth with a whip.

"That doesn't hurt me. That is the grace of God. I don't hate you for that blow!" said Sauci.

This angered the Jap and he struck her again. This stroke left a streak of blood across her face.

Sauci said again, "That doesn't hurt me. That is the grace of God. I do not hate you for striking me!"

The gendarme was furious. His anger was like that of a beast. He flew at her blindly, and struck, struck, struck her woman's body until he was exhausted.

A few days later when she was recovering from that brutal beating, a high official of the Japanese gendarme force came to see her.

"Sauci," said he to her, recognizing her for an intelligent Korean girl, "why do not the Koreans like us?"

She replied, "I had a dream last night here in the cell. That will tell you why. In my dream a visitor came to our home and stayed for dinner.[155] Then instead of going home, the visitor stayed all night. Then the visitor stayed two or three days. Then two or three months. Then two or three years. We were surprised but were too polite to say anything.

"But finally the visitor got to telling us how to run our house."

"How?" asked the Japanese official, "Did the visitor tell you how to run your house?"

"The visitor," replied Sauci, "told us that he didn't like our wall paper. 'I think you had better get new paper!' he said. 'I do not like your clothes and your schools. Wear clothes like mine, and have schools like mine. I do not like your way of talking. Learn my language!'

"So finally we got tired of our visitor and said, 'Please go home! WE do not like you! We do not want you! Please go home!'"

"But what has that to do with us?" said the Japanese official.

"Why in a few days the visitor in my dream went home!" said Sauci simply. "And in a few years the Japanese will go back home also!" Such is the courageous spirit of the Korean women.

* * * * * *

One day an American friend of mine had gone to the Police Station with a young Korean girl who had been summoned to appear on what was called a "rearrest charge."

[156]For the Japanese feel perfectly free to rearrest a person even after that person has been proven innocent of a charge. A Korean may be rearrested any time. He can never feel free.

This young, educated girl had been subjected to such indignities on her previous arrest as I would not be able to describe in this book; so she begged the woman friend to go with her.

As she entered the station a rough, ignorant Japanese officer snarled at her as she passed, "Hello! Are you here again? I thought you were still in prison!"

When he had gone from the room the Korean girl said to the American woman, "That man beat me for ten hours one day the last time I was in prison!"

"Why did he beat you?" asked the missionary.

"He was trying to compel me to give him the names of those girls who belonged to the 'Woman's League'."

"And you would not tell him their names?"

"I would rather have been beaten to death than give him their names!"

"Thank God for your courage!" said the missionary, for she had seen the girl's body when she had gotten out of prison; the burns of cigarette stumps all over her beautiful skin; the scars, the whip marks; the desecrations.

When I was told this story, amid the tears of[157] the narrator, an American college woman, she concluded with fire in her soul: "I have never seen such courage on the part of women in all my life! Even mere girls and children have it. Most of those who are arrested come out of our American Missionary schools. There isn't a one of them who doesn't have in her soul the spirit of Joan of Arc. If France had one Joan of Arc, Korea has ten thousand!"

One young girl of whom I heard was kept in prison under constant torture for six months. And a cruel imprisonment it is. I visited this prison myself one winter day when I was in Korea. The thermometer was at zero; the snow covered the ground, and there wasn't a fire in a single room in that prison save where the Japanese guards were staying, and they were huddled around a roaring coal stove.

And this is the show prison of the whole Peninsula. The Japanese take visitors through it. But to an American even it is fit only for the darkness of the Middle Ages.

In its limited quarters I saw ten and fifteen young girls, sweet faced, cultured, educated school girls, huddled together in narrow rooms, without a single chair, so closely packed that they were seated on the floor like bees in a hive.

After six months of this awful life the girl of whom I speak was about to be released.

[158]The guard questioned her. "Now what are you going to do?"

Her answer came, quick as a shot, although she knew that it would send her back to the hell from which she was about to be released.

"It is either liberty for Korea or we die!" she said.

And in three minutes, beaten, and dragged on the ground by the hair she was thrown into the cell from which she had been taken; to rot and die as far as the Japanese were concerned.

Another girl who had been kept in jail 135 days without even a charge having been preferred against her was released. Her old mother came to meet her and while in Seoul the mother attended an Independence Meeting for women. The whole crowd of women then went to the Police Station and shouted "Mansei"!

The mother was arrested and cruelly beaten in spite of her seventy-five years of age.

When they were through beating her they said, "Now will you refrain from yelling, 'Mansei!'"

"Never!" said this old woman.

Then they took a bar of iron and beat her over the legs until she dropped.

"Now will you refrain from yelling 'Mansei?'"

The old woman was weak, but in a low, painful whisper said, "The next time the women come to yell, if I am able to walk I will be with them!"

[159]Another old woman was brought to prison for yelling "Mansei!" When they asked her why she yelled "Mansei" she answered in a sentence that sums up the entire spirit that is in the woman-heart of Korea.

"I have only one word in my head and that is 'Mansei!'"

I personally, one day in Korea, saw the Japanese gendarmes come for a Korean girl. She was one of the most popular girls in the American Methodist Missionary School.

It was the common custom for Japanese officials to come and take Korean girls out of these schools, without warning, without warrants, without words, and carry them off to prison.

Often the girl was not even permitted to say good-by to her American teachers or to write a word to her parents.

"They are not even permitted to supply themselves with toilet articles," said the matron to me that day.

On this day, six big, brutal, ugly faced, animal-like Japanese officers came for this beautiful girl.

The missionary women wept as the girl was dragged away. The girl waved good-by.

It was a sight never to be forgotten; one of those Flash-lights of Freedom, which burned its way into my soul with the hot acid of indignation. This injustice and indecency in the treatment[160] of a pure girl made my blood run hot in my veins.

The look on her face I shall never forget. It was such a look as the martyrs of old must have had when they died for their faith.

"Good-by! Good-by! Give my love to Mary and Elizabeth!" she cried to the missionary woman standing by, helpless to assist her. These two names were children of the missionary home; children whom this Korean girl had learned to love as she lived in this American home.

"And the awful thing about it all, is," said the missionary to me as they took the girl away, "that, as pure as that girl is, as pure as a flower, she will be taken to a prison fifty miles from Seoul, kept there under torture for six months, and she will not be allowed to see her friends. They will not even allow us to visit her. She may be undressed and spat upon by men who are lower than animals. She may suffer even worse than that——"

Then the American missionary woman fainted.

That flash-light may be duplicated a hundred times in Korea.

"The woman of Korea suffers as much as the man. But thank God they do not flinch!" said an American missionary.

The Japanese Gendarmes have forbidden the singing of several of the great church hymns in[161] mission churches because they insist that these are hymns of Freedom; that they foment what the Japanese call "Dangerous Ideas." Japanese spies have reported certain Seoul Methodist churches for singing hymns that, to their way of thinking, were directed against the Japanese Government. This particular illustration of the peculiar workings of the Japanese mind might have been included in the chapter on Flash-lights of Fun; were it not for the fact that the Japanese officers themselves call these old church hymns "Hymns of Freedom."

The Japanese are just as much afraid of these "Dangerous Thoughts" in Japan as they are in Korea. A good illustration of this fear is the fact that a certain picture corporation of America called "The Liberty Film Company" sent several films to Japan. The Government would not allow these pictures to be shown until that word "Liberty" was cut from the film.

Certain Japanese spies reported a Mission church in Seoul for singing "Rock of Ages."

"But why may we not sing 'Rock of Ages'?" asked the American preacher in charge.

"Because it starts off with 'Mansei!'" replied the officer.

He interpreted the thought of "Rock of Ages" to be a direct imputation that the Japanese Government was not able to take care of the Koreans[162] and that they were flying to some other protecting power.

"It would be funny if it were not so serious!" said a missionary to me one day in Seoul.

Later they stopped the churches from singing "Nearer My God to Thee," because there seemed to be an implication in that, that those who sang that hymn, were swearing allegiance to a higher power than that of Japan.

"Ridiculous! Absolutely ridiculous!" I said in disgust.

"Yes, ridiculous, but serious," replied the missionary, "when you have to live with it year in and year out."

"Crown Him Lord of All," insisted the Japanese spies, when they seriously reported a certain church for singing that old hymn was "Dangerous Thought." It seemed to this ignorant spy that "Crowning Him" was putting some other power before that of the Japanese Government.

"All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" has been put under the ban and when a certain missionary woman was asked to sing at the Korean Y.M.C.A. and announced that she was going to sing "Oh, Rest in the Lord" she was advised not to sing it because it was considered by the gendarmes to be "Dangerous Thought" and to suggest "Liberty," "Freedom" and such dangerous words and ideas.

[163]When one Protestant preacher prayed about "Casting Out Devils" he was reported by Japanese spies, who insisted that he was talking about Japanese in Korea and meant that these should be cast out of the land.

"'It is to laugh!' as the French say!" I responded to this story.

"No! It is to weep!" said the American missionary.

When Dr. Frank W. Schoefield spoke against Prostitution the Japanese papers declared that he had made a virulent attack on the Government.

One Korean preacher who preached on a theme from Luke 4:18, which reads "Setting the captives free," was arrested and kept in jail for four days.

"It is very foolish to yell 'Mansei' when you know you will be killed," I said to a Korean preacher. I wanted to see how he would take that suggestion.

"We Koreans would rather be under the ground than on top of it if we do not get our liberty!" he said with a thrill in his quiet voice.

One day a Korean preacher was arrested for preaching on the theme, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you," because that was, without doubt, disloyal to Japan and meant rebellion.

Another day a speaker in the Y.M.C.A. said,[164] "Arise and let us build for the new age!" He was asked to report to Police Headquarters just what he meant by that kind of "Dangerous" talk about Freedom.



Three great Flash-lights of Failure stand out in the Far East and the Oriental world to-day; one being the failure of a race to survive, another being the failure of the world to understand that Shantung is the Holy Land and not the appendix of China; this sacred shrine of the Chinese which has so carelessly and listlessly been given over to Japan; and the third being Japan's failure to understand that methods of barbarism from the Dark Ages will not work in a modern civilization.

"Why are they making all this fuss over Shantung?" an acquaintance of mine said to me just before I left America. "Isn't it just a sort of an appendix of China, after all? If I were the Chinese, I'd forget Shantung and go on to centralize and develop what I had."

That was glibly said, but the fact which the statement leaves out of reckoning is that Shantung is the very heart and soul of China instead of being the appendix.

The average American has so often thought of[166] China just as China; a great, big, indefinite, far-off nation of four hundred million people, always stated in round numbers, that Shantung doesn't mean much to us. Yes, but it means much to China.

It means about the same as if some nation should come along and take New England from us; New England, the seat of all our most sacred history, the beginning of our national life, the oldest of our traditions, the burial-place of our early founders, the seat of our religious genesis. I don't believe that many folks in New England would desire to be called an appendix of the United States.

So one of the things that I was determined to do when I went to China was to go from one end of Shantung to the other, talking with coolies, officials, old men and young men, students, and those who can neither read nor write; missionaries and soldiers; natives and foreigners; to see just what importance Shantung is to China as a whole.

The first thing I discovered was that it has about forty million people living within the limits of the peninsula, close to half the population of the United States. Does that sound as if it might be China's appendix? You wouldn't think so if you saw the cities, roads and fields of this great stretch of land literally swarming with human[167] beings, and every last one of them, as busy as ants.

I rode one whole day across the peninsula. I happened to be traveling with a man from Kansas. He was a man interested in farming and wheat-growing. For hundreds of miles we had been passing through land that was absolutely level and every inch of it cultivated. I had been saying to myself over and over again, "Why, it's exactly like our Middle West Country."

Then much to my astonishment this Kansas man turned to me, and said, "Did it ever occur to you that these fields of Shantung look just like Kansas?"

"Yes, it has just occurred to me this minute," I responded.

Then the wife of the Kansas man said, "I have been shutting my eyes and trying to imagine that I was in Kansas, it's so much like home."

"And say, man, but a tractor on those fields would work wonders," added a portion of William Allen White's reading constituency.

And that is exactly how Shantung strikes an American when he has ridden all day through its great stretches of level fields. He can easily imagine himself riding through Kansas for a day.

My first visit to Shantung was at Tsingtao, the headquarters of the German concession and now of the Japanese concession. I spent a day there,[168] and took photographs of the wharves and town. On the wharves were still standing hundreds of boxes marked with German names and the inevitable phrase "Made in Germany." Those boxes were mute reminders of the evacuation of one nation from a foreign soil. But standing side by side with these boxes were also other hundreds, already being shot into Shantung in a steady stream; and these boxes have a new trademark printed in every case in English and Japanese, "Made in Japan."

I spent several days in Tsinanfu and Tientsin, two great inland cities, and more than a week in cruising about through Shantung's little towns, its villages and its sacred spots.

I heard of its mines and of its physical wealth. But the world already knows of that. The world already knows that this physical wealth of mines and raw material was what made it look good to Germany and Japan. But the thing that impressed me was its spiritual wealth.

The thing that makes Shantung attractive to the Japanese, of course, is not the spiritual wealth, as the world well knows. Perhaps the Japanese have never considered the latter any more than the Germans did; but the one thing that makes it most sacred to the Chinese, who are, after all, a race of idealists, is its treasuries of spiritual memories and shrines.

[169]In the first place, many Chinese will tell you that it is the "cradle of the Chinese race." I am not sure that histories will confirm this statement. And I am also not sure that that makes any difference as long as the idea is buried in the heart of the Chinese people. A tradition often means as much to a race as a fact. And the tradition certainly is well established that Shantung is the birthplace of all Chinese history. So that is one of the deeply rooted spiritual facts that makes Shantung sacred to the Chinese.

The second spiritual gold mine is that one of its cities, Chufu, is the birthplace and the last resting-place of the sage Confucius. And China is literally impregnated with Confusian philosophy and Confucian sayings.

I took a trip to this shrine in order to catch some of the spiritual atmosphere of the Shantung loss. The trip made it necessary to tramp about fifteen miles coming and going through as dusty a desert as I ever saw, but that was a trifle compared with the thrill that I had as I stood at last before the little mound about as high as a California bungalow; the mound that held the dust of this great Chinese sage. During the war I stood before the grave of Napoleon in France. Before I went to France I visited Grant's tomb. I have also stood many times beside a little mound in West Virginia, the resting-place of my mother,[170] and I think that I know something of the sacredness of such experiences to a human heart, but somehow the thrill that came to me on that January morning, warm with sunlight, spicy with winter cold, produced a feeling too deep for mere printed words to convey.

"If we feel as we do standing here on this sacred spot, think of how the Chinese feel toward their own sage!" said an old missionary of the party.

"Yes," added another, "and remember that the Chinese revere their ancestors and their sages and their shrines more than we ever dream of doing. Any grave is a sacred spot to them, so much so that railroads have to run their trunk lines for miles in a detour to avoid graves. These Chinese are idealists of the first water. They live in the past, and they dream of the future."

"When you get these facts into your American heads," added a third member of the party, not without some bitterness, "then you will begin to know that the Chinese do not estimate the loss of Shantung in terms of mineral wealth."

At Chufu, the resting-place of Confucius, there is also the spot of his birth, and this too is most sacred to the Chinese nation. We visited both places. I think that I never before quite realized just what the loss of Shantung meant to these Chinese until that day, unless it was the next day,[171] when we climbed the sacred mountain Taishan, which is also in Shantung.

"It is the oldest worshiping-place in the world," said the historian of the party. "There is no other spot on earth where continuous worship has gone on so long. Here for more than twenty centuries before Christ was born men and women were worshiping. Emperors from the oldest history of China down to the present time have all visited this mountain to worship. Confucius himself climbed the more than six thousand steps to worship here."

"Yes," said another missionary historian, "and this mountain is referred to twelve separate times in the Chinese classics, and great pilgrimages were made here as long ago as two centuries before Christ."

That day we climbed the mountain up more than six thousand stone steps, which are in perfect condition and which were engineered thousands of years ago by early worshipers.

The only climb with which I can compare that of Mt. Taishan is that of Mt. Tamalpais overlooking San Francisco. The climb is about equal to that. The mountain itself is about a mile in height, and the climb is a hard one to those who are unaccustomed to mountain-climbing, and yet thousands upon thousands climb it every year after pilgrimages from all over China.

[172]We climbed to the top of Taishan, and saw the "No-Character Stone" erected by Emperor Chin, he who tried to drive learning out of China hundreds of years ago. We saw the spot on which Confucius stood, and glimpsed the Pacific Ocean, ninety miles away, on a clear day. It was a hard climb; but, when one stood on the top of this, the most sacred mountain of all China, he began to understand the spiritual loss that is China's when her worshiping-place is in the hands of aliens.

"And don't forget that Mencius, the first disciple of Confucius, was born and died in Shantung, too, when you are taking census of the spiritual values of Shantung to the Chinese," was a word of caution from the old missionary who was checking up on my facts for me. He had been laboring in China for a quarter of a century.

"And don't forget that the Boxer uprising originated in Shantung, and don't forget that it is called, and has been for centuries, 'the Sacred Province' by the Chinese. It is their 'Holy Land.' And don't forget that, from Shantung, coolies went to South Africa in the early part of this century and that the Chinese from Shantung were the first to get in touch with the western world. And don't forget that nine-tenths of the coolies who went to help in the war in France were from Shantung!" he added with emphasis. This was a thing that I well knew, for I had, only[173] a few weeks before this, seen two thousand coolies unloaded from the Empress of Asia at Tsingtao.

No, Shantung is not an appendix of China, as many Americans suppose; but it is the very heart and soul of China. It is China's "Holy Land." It is the "Cradle of China." It is the "Sacred Province of China." It is the shrine of her greatest sage. It is the home of "the oldest worshiping-place on earth." It is because of its spiritual values that China is unhappy about the loss of Shantung, and not because of its wealth of material things.

The failure of the world to understand what Shantung means to China and the failure of Japan to understand that they cannot for many years stand out against the indignation of the entire world in continuing to keep Shantung is one of the great spiritual failures of the Far East in our century.

The second great failure is the tragic failure of an entire race of people; that of the Ainu Indians of Japan.

It is a pathetic thing to see a human race dying out; coming to "The End of the Trail." But I was determined to see them, in spite of the fact that people told me I would have to travel from one end of Japan to the other; and then cross four hours of sea before I got to Hokkaido, the most[174] northern island of Japan, where lived the tattered remnants of this once noble race.

The name of this dying race is pronounced as if it were spelled I-new with a long I.

These are the people who inhabited Japan before the present Japanese entered the land from Korea and drove them, inch by inch, back and north and west across Japan. It was a stubborn fight, and it has lasted many centuries; but to-day they have been driven up on the island of Hokkaido, that northern frontier of Japan where the overflow of Japan is pouring at the rate of four thousand a year, making two million to date and only about fifty thousand of them Ainus.

"Are they like our American Indians in looks, since their history is so much like them?" I asked my missionary friend.

"Wait until you see them, and decide for yourself. I know very little about American Indians."

So one morning at three o'clock, after traveling for two days and nights from one end of Japan to the other, and then crossing a strait between the Japan Sea and the Pacific Ocean to the island, we climbed from our train, and landed in a little country railroad station.

It was blowing a blizzard, and the snow crashed into our faces with stinging, whip-like snaps.

I was appointed stoker for the small stove in[175] the station while the rest of the party tried to sleep on the benches arranged in a circle, huddled as close as they could get to the stove.

We were the first party of foreigners of this size that had ever honored the village with a visit. And in addition to that we had come at an unearthly hour.

Who but a group of insane foreigners would drop into a town at three o'clock in the morning with a blizzard blowing? Either we were insane, or we had some sinister motives. Perhaps we were making maps of the seacoast.

And before daylight half of the town was peeking in through the windows at us. Then the policemen came. They were Japanese policemen, and did not take any chances on us. Even after our interpreter had told them that we were a group of scientists who had come to visit the Ainus they still followed us around most of the morning, keeping polite track of our movements.

About five o'clock that morning, as I was trying to catch a cat-nap, the newsboys of the village came to get the morning papers which had come in on the train on which we had arrived. They unbundled the papers in the cold station; their breath forming clouds of vapor; laughing and joking as they unrolled, folded and counted the papers; and arranged their routes for morning delivery.

[176]It took me back to boyhood days down in West Virginia. I did the same thing as these Japanese boys were doing. I, too, arose before daylight, climbed out of bed, and went whistling through the dark streets to the station where the early morning trains dumped off the papers from the city. I, too, along with several other American boys of a winter morning, breathed clouds of vapor into the air, stamped my feet to keep them warm, and whipped my hands against my sides. I, too, unwrapped the big bundles of papers, and did it in the same way in which these Japanese boys did, by smashing the tightly bound wrappers on the floor until they burst. I, too, counted, folded, put in inserts, arranged my paper-route and darted out into the frosty air with the snow crunching under my feet. How universal some things are. The only difference was that these boys were dressed in a sort of buccaneer uniform. They had on high leather boots, and belts around their coats that made them look as if they had stepped out of a Richard Harding Davis novel. But otherwise they went through the same processes as an American boy in a small town.

When the vanguard of villagers had come to inspect us, they at first tried to talk Russian to us. They had never seen any other kind of foreigners.[177] They had never seen Americans in this far-off island.

When daylight came, we started out on a long tramp to the Ainu villages. They were a mile or two away on the ocean. These people always build near the sea if they can. Fishing is one of their main sources of food.

We spent the day in their huts. They live like animals. A big, square hut covered with rice straw and thatch, with a fence of the same kind of straw running around the house, forms the residence. The only fire is in the middle of the only room, and this consists of a pile of wood burning on a flat stone or piece of metal in the center. There is no chimney in the roof, and not even an opening such as the American Indians had in the tops of their tepees. I do not know how they live. The smoke finds its way gradually through cracks in the walls and roofs. One can hardly find a single Ainu whose eyes are not ruined. The smoke has done this damage.

The only opening in their houses besides the door is one north window, and it is never closed. In fact, there is no window. It is only an opening.

"Why is that? I'd think they would freeze on a day like this," I said to the guide.

"They keep it that way all winter, and it gets a good deal below zero here," he said.

[178]"But why do they do it?" old Shylock demanded.

"It is part of their religion. They believe that the god comes in that window. They want it open, so that he can come in whenever he wishes. It offends them greatly when you stick your head through that window."

Pat tried it just to see what would happen, just like a man who looks into the barrel of a gun, or a man who takes a watch apart, or wants to hit a "dud" with a hammer just to see whether it is a dud. The result was bad. There was a sudden series of outlandish yells from the household. I think that every man, woman and child, including the dogs, of which there were many, started at once. I wonder now how Pat escaped alive, and only under the assumption that "the good die young" can I explain his escape.

I wanted some arrows to take to America as souvenirs; and, when an old Indian pulled out a lot of metal arrows on long bows with which he had killed more than a hundred bears, I was not satisfied. They were not the kind of arrows I wanted.

"What kind are you looking for?" I was asked.

"Flint arrow-heads," I responded.

"Why, man, these Indians have known the use of metals for five hundred years. The stone[179] age with them is half a thousand years in the past."

"Have they a history?" I wanted to know.

My interpreter, who has much knowledge of these things, having worked among them for years, said, "All of the Japanese mythology is centered about the battles that took place when these Indians were driven out of Japan proper step by step."

I was surprised to find that they were white people compared with the Japanese who were their conquerors. There are other marked differences. The Ainus are broad between the eyes instead of narrow as are the Japanese. They are rather square-headed like Americans as compared with the oval of the Japanese face. They do not have markedly slant eyes, and they are white-skinned. They might feel at home in any place in America. I have seen many old men at home who look like them, old men with beards. This came as a distinct surprise to me.

At each house, just in front of the ever-open window of which I have spoken, there is a little crude shrine. It is more like a small fence than anything that I know, a most crude affair made of broken bamboo poles. Flowers and vines are planted here to beautify this shrine, and every pole has a bear-skull on it. The more bear-skulls[180] you have, the safer you are and the more religious you have become.

Pat was sacrilegious enough to steal a skull in order to get the teeth, which he wanted as souvenirs. I was chagrined and shocked at Pat's lack of religious propriety. However, I was enticed into accepting one of the teeth after Pat had knocked them out and stolen them.

"How do they worship bears and kill them at the same time?" I queried the guide.

"That's a part of the worship. They kill the bear, slowly singing and chanting as they kill him. They think that the spirit of every bear that they kill comes into their own souls. That's why they kill so many. That seventy-year-old rascal over there has killed a hundred. He is a great man in his tribe."

"If I was a bear," commented Pat, "I'd rather they wouldn't worship me. That's a funny way to show reverence to a god. I'd rather be their devil and live than be their god and die." Pat is sometimes loquacious. "They dance about the poor old bear as they kill him. One fellow will hurl an arrow into his side, and then cry out, 'O spirit of the great bear-god, come enter into me, and make me strong and brave like you! Come, take up thine abode in my house! Come, be a part of me! Let thy strength and thy courage be my strength and my courage!'[181]"

"Then," said the interpreter, "he hurls another arrow into him."

"And what is Mr. Bear doing all that time?"

"Mr. Bear is helpless. He is captured first in a trap, and then kept and fattened for the killing. He is tied to a tree during the killing ceremony."

"All I gotta say is that they're darned poor sports," said Flintlock with indignation. "They're poor sports not to give Mr. Bear a fighting chance."

And old Flintlock has voiced the sentiments of the entire party.

Everybody that was at the Panama Pacific International Exposition will remember the magnificent statue of an Indian there. This Indian was riding a horse, and both were worn out and drooping. A spear which dragged on the ground in front of the pony was further evidence of the weariness of the horse and rider. The title of this Fraser bronze was "The End of the Trail," and it was intended to tell the story of a vanishing race, the American Indians. But even more could that picture tell the story of the Ainus of Japan.

"They will be entirely extinct in a quarter of a century," our guide said. "They are going fast. They used to be vigorous and militant, as Japanese mythology shows. They were a fighting race. They built their houses by the sea. They[182] used to go out for miles to fish, but now they are so petered out that they go only to the mouths of the rivers to fish. They used to hunt in the mountains, but they do not take hunting-trips any more. Venereal diseases and rum (saki) have depleted them year by year, just as in the case of our American Indians. They are largely sterile now. They used to build their own boats, but they build no more. It is a biological old age. Their day is through."

"It is a sad thing to see a race dying out," said Pat.

"Especially a white race, as these Ainus seem to be," said another member of the party.

And back to the village we went silently, plodding through a driving blizzard that bore in upon us with terrific force. As we fought our way through this blizzard, I could not help feeling a great sense of depression. It is a fearful thing to see anything die, especially a race of human beings. That is a great epic tragedy worthy of a Shakespeare. That is enough to wring the soul of the gods. That a race has played the game, has been powerful and conquering and triumphant, and then step by step has petered out and become weak and senile until biological decay has set in—that is fearful.

Another illustration of the ignominious failure of a lower type of mind to understand a higher[183] type of mind is set forth in the following letter which was written at my request by a missionary whom I met in San Francisco just as the final chapters of this book were being written.

The first time I met this missionary was in Seoul, Korea.

I have been told so many times that the cruelties in Korea have been stopped. Certain men said that they had been stopped immediately after the Independence Movement, but they were not stopped. At frequent intervals the American press is flooded with statements which come from Japanese press sources that the outrages in Korea have ceased.

I said to this missionary, who had just arrived from Korea, "Is it true that the cruelties have stopped in Korea?"

"No! They have not stopped! They have not even diminished! They are getting worse, rather than better!"

"Would you be willing to write out, in your own handwriting, a few things that you know yourself which have occurred since I was in Korea so that the book which I am writing may be accurate and up to date in its facts?"

"I will be glad to do that for you! We who are missionaries dare not speak the truth!"


[184]"If we did the Japanese Government would never let us get back to our people!"

"Then you may talk through me, if you are willing to do it. I want the truth to get to the American people!"

"I am not only willing but I am eager to talk!" said this missionary and wrote out the following story of cruelty against an educated and cultured Korean, who was the Religious and Educational Director in the Seoul Y.M.C.A. This story of the latest Japanese barbarisms I pass on to the reader in this chapter to illustrate another ignominious Hun failure to understand that the practices of the Dark Ages will not work in this century:

"On May 26th, 1920, just as Mr. Choi was coming out of his class room he was met by two detectives, one Korean and one Japanese, who informed him that he was wanted at the Central Police Station. Here he was turned over to the Chief of Police and thrown into a room and kept all day. Mr. Brockman and Cynn both made several attempts to find out why he was arrested. Each time they were given an evasive answer. Finally Mr. Cynn insisted that they tell him the cause of the arrest. It was finally discovered that he was wanted in Pyengyang on certain charges. He was to leave Seoul that evening on the 11 p.m. train. Anxious to see how Mr. Choi was being treated, Mr. Cynn and several of the Y.M.C.A. men went down to the station. Mr. Choi with the other six students were standing on the platform. Apparently Mr. Choi was not bound as is the usual custom. Closer observation, however, revealed the fact that his hands[185] were bound with cords, but in his case the ropes were placed on the inside instead of the outside, of the clothes. He arrived in Pyengyang the next day, May 27, at 5 p.m. Instead of taking Mr. Choi first they called in one of the students whose name is Chai Pony Am. After the usual preliminary questions these inquisitors of the Dark Ages said, 'We know all about you everything you have done. There is no use for you to deny anything. You make a clean confession of everything.' Mr. Choi replied, 'I have done nothing. If I knew what you wanted, I would tell you.' More pressure was urged in the way of bombastic speech. Finally the police said, 'If you won't tell of your own free will we will make you tell!' Then the tortures, which the Government published broadcast had been done away with, began. They brought out a round stool with four legs and laid it down on its side with the sharp legs up and made him strip naked. Then they took the silken bands (about 2 in. wide) and placing his hands behind his back until the shoulder blades touched begun bending the arm from the wrist very tight. This completed, they made him kneel upon the sharp edge of the legs of the stool with his shins. Then they took the bamboo paddle (this is made of two strips of bamboo about 2 in. wide and 2 ft. long wound with cord) and begun beating him on the head, face, back, feet and thighs. Every time they struck him his body would move and the movement cause the shins to rub on the sharp edges of the stool. To further increase the pain they took lighted cigarettes and burnt his flesh. This was continued until the student fainted and fell off. They then would restore the patient by artificial respiration and when he refused to confess, continued the torture. This process was continued for 45 minutes and then the student was put into a dark cell and kept for three days. Upon the third day he was again brought before these just policemen and asked if he were ready to confess. Said they, 'If you do not tell us this time we will kill you. You see how the waters of the Tai Pong (the river at Pyengyang) wear smooth these stones. That is what we do with those who come in here. Many have been killed in here. Your life[186] is not worth as much as a fly.' He was tortured in the same manner as before and then put back into the cell for another three days. This process was continued every three days for two weeks.

"When Mr. Choi, the educational director of the Y.M.C.A. was called in the police said, 'You are an educated gentleman and we propose to give you the gentleman's treatment. We do not want to treat you like ordinary men. Now we want you to tell us what your thoughts have been and are. Make a confession of anything you have done since March 1st, 1919.' Mr. Choi said, 'What do you want me to confess? If you will give me a little time I will write you out something.' This they refused to do and said, 'Since you refuse to tell us we will make you tell. We will treat you like all other dogs.' Then they forcibly took off his clothes, and proceeded to bind him in the same manner as the previous student. After being bound he was placed on the stool and beaten. He did not lose his consciousness but fell off the stool, and then was placed back and the same process continued. When Mr. Choi fell off the stool the bands on his arms were loosened and they proceeded to unloosen and rewind his arms. This time they wound them tighter than before. At the ends of these bands are brass rings which are placed next to the flesh and made to press upon the nerves. This time Mr. Choi said as they wound his right arm he felt a sharp pain and at once noticed that he had lost the use of his arm. It was paralyzed. Mr. Choi was tortured five times in all—one every three days. The first torture lasted one hour and the succeeding ones were less severe than the first. At the end of two weeks, June 10th, Mr. Choi and the six students with him were called before a police captain who said to the students, 'There is nothing against you. Some bad Korean has testified falsely against you. We are sorry you have suffered but you can now go free.' However to Mr. Choi he said, 'You must remain here a week yet. You are still under police supervision. Go to —— hotel and stay.' On June 16th the police came to the hotel where he was staying and said, 'You may go down to Seoul tonight.' Mr. Choi arrived[187] in Seoul on the 17th and gave this testimony. His arm is still paralyzed."

And so it is that these great failures stand out: the failure of a race of people to survive; the failure of the American people to estimate the loss of Shantung at its proper valuation spiritually, and the failure of Japan to understand that Korea is still and ever shall be Korea the Unconquered; this Korea which I call "The Wild Boar at Bay."



We were running down the Samabs River in a small Dutch ship, the Merkeus. This river, running almost parallel to the Equator, and not more than fifty miles away from that well-known institution, cuts the western end of Borneo in two, and lends phenomenal fertility to its soil.

Shooting around a bend in the river, suddenly there loomed on the western shores, so close that we could throw a stone and hit it, a tree that was leafless, dead as a volcanic dump; but its dead branches literally swarmed with monkeys. The light in the west had so far gone that they appeared as silent silhouettes against the sunset Their tails, which seemed to be about three feet long, and were curled at the ends, hung below the dead branches. One big fellow had perched himself on the tiptop of the tree, and in the dim light he looked like a human sentinel as his black outline appeared against the evening light.

Then came Missionary Worthington's story about Kin Thung, the boy who, with characteristic[190] Oriental spirit, had quick murder in his heart:

"It was while I was the head of the Boys' School down in Batavia, Java, that it happened. One has experiences out here in dealing with youth that he does not get at home, for it is inflammable material, explosive to the highest degree."

I waited for his story to continue as the Dutch ship glided swiftly down the river toward the South China Sea, and night settled over us as we sat there on the upper deck, watching the crimson glory change into sudden purple.

"I heard a noise and I knew there was a fight on in the dormitory. I had seen the aftermath of such Malay and Chinese feuds in our schools before, and I knew that it was no trivial matter, as it often is with boy fights at home, so I hurried up.

"When I got there I saw Kin Thung wiping his knife, and the boy he had been fighting lying on the floor, bleeding from a long wound."

"What had happened?"

"Kin Thung was a quick-tempered boy. In addition to that, he was of a sullen make-up, with, what I call, a criminal tendency in him. That, added to his already volatile spirit, made him a real problem in the school. For instance, he was the kind of a boy who, if a teacher called[191] on him without warning to recite, he would get uncontrollably angry, turn sullen and refuse to answer."

"Why didn't you fire him?" I said.

"That would have been the easy thing to do. I preferred to win him rather than to fire him!"

I felt ashamed of myself for my suggestion, and looked out into the night skies where the beautiful form of the southern cross loomed in the zenith.

"No, I didn't fire him."

"What did you do?"

"As I was dressing the boy's wound Kin Thung stood looking on, utterly expressionless and unrepentant, even sullen.

"I didn't say anything to Kin that night, save to ask him to come to the office the next day.

"The other boys were calling out to him as he entered, and I could hear them through the window, 'I wonder how many strokes of the rattan he will get?' for that is one of our forms of punishment.

"He was no doubt wondering himself when he entered, still sullen.

"I said to him, 'Kin, I could give you as punishment a hundred strokes of the rattan. I could put you on rice and water for a month, or I could put you to a room for a week in solitary [192]confinement. But I am not going to do either or any of them. I am going to pray for you!"

"'I don't want you to, sir!' he cried in alarm.

"'Kneel down!' I said to him.

"'I don't want to.'

"'Kneel down, I say!'

"'I won't!'

"'But this is your punishment. You would submit to the rattan if I imposed that. You must submit to this!' I said.

"'I hate prayer!'

"'Kneel down, boy!'

"He knelt. I prayed. He wept."

This was the cryptic way the missionary came to the climax of his story. Again the Southern Cross shot into view as we turned a curve in the river.

"The fountain broke. A boy's heart was won! I didn't have to fire him. I won him!"

"That lad came to me two years later as he started out from our school in Batavia, and said, 'Mr. Worthington, that moment when you called me into your office was the crucial moment of my life. If you had been unkind to me then; if you had punished me, even as much as I deserved it; if you had not been Christ-like, I should have killed you. I had my knife ready. There was a demon in me! Your kindness, your praying for me, broke something inside of me. I guess it was[193] my heart. I cried. I prayed. That morning saved my soul!'"

"That was a marvelous experience, Mr. Missionary! It was a marvelous way to meet the situation," I said in a low tone, looking up at the white outline of the Southern Cross, and remembering two thieves.

"It was Christ's way!" said the missionary.

But perhaps the outstanding Flash-light of national Friendship is that of America for the Philippines. I shall never forget the day we started southward from winter-bound China for sun-warmed Manila.

As the great ship swung about in the muddy waters of the Yangsti and turned southward, the bitter winds of winter were blowing across her deserted decks. But in two days one felt not only a breath of warm tropical winds on his face but he also felt a breath of warmer friendship blowing into his soul as he thought of the Philippines and America.

The first breath of warm winds from southern tropical seas gently kissed one's cheeks that afternoon. It was a soothing breath of romance, freighted with the scent of tropical trees. It was much of a contrast with the bitter winter winds that had blown the day before at Shanghai. There the snow was flying, and woolen suits were greatly needed.

[194]But to-night men and women alike walk the decks of this Manila-bound ship. They are all in white. One stands at the bow of the ship, glad to catch the salt spray on tanned cheeks, glad to feel the sea-touched winds playing with his hair, glad to see fair women of the Orient tanned with summer suns; for it is summer in the Philippines, while winter reigns in China and the rest of the Oriental lands further north.

Last night we passed the narrow straits leading out of Shanghai harbor directly south. Two lighthouses blinked through the dusk of evening, the one to the north in short sharp notes, like a musician of the sea singing coasts, rapidly beating time. The light to the south seemed to count four in blinks and then hold its last count like a note of music. In between the two lighthouses vague, dim, mist-belted mountains of the China coast loomed through the dusk.

This morning and all day long we have been sailing past the huge outlines of mountainous Formosa, that rich island off the coast of China, between Shanghai and Manila. It looks like some fairly island with its coves and caves, into which pours the purple sea, visible through the faint mists of morning and noontime. Its precipitous sides shoot down to the sea in great bare cliffs, save where, here and there, a beautiful[195] bay runs in from the southern sea to kiss the green lips of the land.

But now the sun is setting. I am watching it from my stateroom window.

* * * * * *

And now it is the rainy season in the Philippines.

It doesn't rain in Luzon; it opens up clouds, and oceans suddenly drop to the land. Lakes and rivers form overnight. Bridges wash out, fields are inundated, houses by thousands are swept away, and railroad tracks twisted and played with, as if they were grappled by gigantic fists.

Men will tell you of the great Typhoon that suddenly dropped out of the mountains at Baguio, sliced off a few sections of the mountains, rushed down through the great gorge, and left in its trail the iron ruins of eight or ten bridges, put in by American engineers, founded on solid granite; but swept away like playthings of wood, in an hour.

One night we were driving from Baguio to Manila.

A storm dropped suddenly out of the nowhere. We had no side curtains on, and in just three minutes we were soaked to the skin, and dripping streams of water. The artesian wells along the[196] way were but dribbling springs compared with us.

The storm came out of a clear, star-lit sky. Storms come that way in the Philippines. Only a few minutes before I had been looking up at the Southern Cross admiring its beauty. I looked again and there was no Southern Cross. A few great drops of rain fell and then came the deluge.

Candle lights flickered in innumerable thatched houses where brown and naked women fluttered about dodging the rain, looking strangely like great paintings in the night. At the edge of each side porch a Bamboo ladder reached up from the ground. A fire burned against the rain. This fire leapt up for two feet.

One could easily imagine on this stormy night, with every road a river, every field a flood, and every vacant space a sea, that the thatched houses raised on Bamboo poles were boats, afloat in a great ocean. The fires on the back porches looked for all the world like the fires that I have seen flaring against the night from Japanese fishing boats.

We had been warm, personal friends since college days, this driver and I. He had chosen the harder way of the mission fields to spend his life.

"After all," said he, "that was a dream worth dreaming!"

[197]"What do you mean?" I asked him, a bit startled.

"Why the American occupation of these islands; the dream that McKinley had, of teaching them to govern themselves; and then giving them their independence; an Imperial Dream such as the world never heard of before; a dream that, if it has done nothing else, has won for America the undying friendship of the intelligent Filipino."

"Right you are, man! But why such a thought at this ungodly hour? I should think rather that you would be sending out an S. O. S."

"Dunno! Just flashed over me that that was a dream worth dreaming; and, by gad, boy, we're seeing it come to pass. Look at those contented people living in peace and security; their home fires lighted; their children in school; plenty to eat; not afraid that to-morrow morning some Friar will sell their home from under them. No wonder they have given their undying friendship to America!"

He continued as we sped through the rain.

"England and Germany sneered at America's dream. Such a dream of friendship through serving its colony had never been born in any other national soul from the Genesis of colonization up to this day, save in the soul of America in the Philippines. We have set the ideals of the[198] world in many ways but never in a more marked way than this.

"The Phoenicians were the first colonizers and they swept the Mediterranean with a policy of exploitation and slavery which was selfish and sordid. Then came Greece which had some such ideal of colonization as America. Her ideal was, that colonies, like fruit from a tree, when ripe, should fall off of the mother tree. Or the ideal of Greece was that colonizing should come about like the swarming of bees."

I nodded my head. He went on as we slashed through the muddy ways, "Rome with her Imperial dream, her army to back it up, failed as have failed both Germany and Japan; three nations with kindred ideals as to colonization.

"Venice was cruel, adventurous and rapacious in her colonizing policy on the Black Sea and she left a record of exploitations which makes a black blotch on the world's pages.

"Modern colonization began with Spain in South America, Mexico and the Philippines. Spain has nothing over which to boast in that record. The Dutch in Java, the record of Belgium in the Congo; that of the Portuguese in the Far East; the French in Africa; the English in India; Germany in China and Africa, and Japan in Korea, have not been entirely for the service of the subjected people, for all of these Governments[199] have gone on the fundamental theory that the colony exists for the Mother States."

He paused a moment as we made a cautious way around a big caribou. "Then came the great dream of America that the Mother State exists for the benefit of the colony.

"Elihu Root said, 'We have declared a trust for the benefit of the people of the Philippine Islands!'

"President William McKinley said: The government is designed not for exploitation nor for our own satisfaction, or for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the happiness, peace and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Islands.'

"Ex-President Taft said when he was Governor-General of the Islands: The chief difference between the English policy and treatment of tropical peoples and ours, arises from the fact that we are seeking to prepare them under our guidance for popular self-government. We are attempting to do this, first by primary and secondary education offered freely to the Filipino people.'

"This spirit has won the undying friendship of the Filipino people. True enough, they will finally want their independence. That is natural, but there is a deep love for America buried in their hearts because America has been square with[200] them; has fulfilled her promises; has not exploited them, but has served them. That is why I call the colonization policy of America here in the Philippines a dream worth dreaming." My friend was right.

"We love America, because America is our friend!" said a humble fisherman to me one day on the banks of the Pasig.

"Yes, the United States; it is our own! You are our brothers!" said a Filipino boy who had been educated in a Mission school.

"We are no longer our own. We belong to America. You have bought us with a price! It cost the blood of American soldiers to buy us!" said an old Filipino, gray with years, but high in the councils of the Government.

* * * * * *

One night on the Lunetta the Filipino Band was playing. It was a beautiful evening with a sunset that lifted one into the very skies with its bewildering glory and ecstasy. I had been sitting there, drinking in the beautiful music made by the world-famous Constabulary Band, and watching the quicksilver-like changing colors of the sunset. Then the band started to play "The Star Spangled Banner." I was so lost in the sunset and the music that I did not notice.

I heard a sudden stirring. Brown bodies, half-naked Filipinos all about me, had leapt to their[201] feet at the playing of our national hymn. Beautiful Filipino women in their dainty and delicately winged gowns, bare brown shoulders heaving with pride and friendship, stood reverently. Filipino soldiers all over the Lunetta stood at attention facing the flag, the Stars and Stripes waving in the winds from the old walled city. Side by side with American soldiers who had just returned from Siberia stood Filipino Constabulary soldiers. Side by side with well-dressed American children stood half-naked Filipino children at reverent attention, paying a wholesome respect to the Stars and Stripes as the old hymn swept across the Lunetta.

"That is a thrilling thing to see!" I said to a friend.

"It could not have happened ten years ago! M he replied.


"They did not trust us, and they did not love us. They had seen too much of the selfish colonization policies of Spain. They expected the same things from America. It did not come. They have been won to us!"

This warm-hearted friendship is not true either of England's colonies anywhere in the Orient or of Japan's in Formosa or Korea. It is true alone in the Philippines.

* * * * * *

[202]While I was in the Philippines, down in San Fernando, a statue was erected to a well-known rebel. He was a man who had refused to take the oath of allegiance to America when we captured the islands. He escaped and carried on a propaganda against us. But when he died and a request was made that a statue be erected to his memory, the United States granted this permission.

At the dedication of this statue the Governor of this Province said that he doubted if any nation on the face of the earth, save the United States, would have permitted the erection of such a statue to a rebel against that government. "That act will bind our hearts closer to the heart of the United States!" he said in closing his address. The thrilling thing about it all was, that his address was met with prolonged cheering on the part of the thousands of Filipinos who had gathered for the dedication.

Another evidence of this beautiful friendship for America is the painting which adorns the walls of one of the Government buildings in Manila. It is called "The Welcome to America." It was purchased, paid for and erected by Filipinos; erected in good will, with laughter in their souls, and joy in their hearts.

It was painted by Hidalgo in Paris in 1904.

High colors; reds, browns, yellows, golds,[203] blues, purples; tell its story. It adorns the panel at the end of the Senate Chamber of the Filipino Government.

It has spirit in it and a great, deep sincerity.

The central figure is a beautiful woman, symbolic of America. She comes across the Pacific carrying the gifts of peace, prosperity, security and love to her colony, the Philippines.

She carries in one hand the American flag. At her side is Youth bearing a Harp, symbol of the music that America brings into the souls of the people whom she comes to serve. Singing angels hover about the scene.

Above the central figure of America, on angel wings, is a Youth carrying a lighted torch. To the left is a beautiful brown-skinned Filipino woman with eyes uplifted to this torch. She bears within her ample bosom the children of the islands. The torch is symbol of the fact that we are handing on the light of our Christian civilization to the children of our colonies.

I visited this painting many times, but I never visited it that I did not see many Filipinos, both young and old, standing before it, with reverent eyes.

I said to a high official of the Government, "Does that painting represent the way you Filipinos feel to-day?"

[204]"Hidalgo has spoken for us. He has voiced our feelings well!" was the reply.

* * * * * *

This friendship for the United States is a thrilling thing found all over the Far East. One finds it in Korea, as well as in the Philippines, like a burning light of glory. Korea says, "America is our only hope! We have always trusted and loved America!"

One finds it like a silver stream running through the life of China. Dr. Sun Yat Sen said to me in Shanghai: "America has always been China's staunch friend! America we trust! America we love! America is our hope! America is our model!"

Mr. Tang Shao-yi said, "America's hands and those of America alone are clean in her relations with China. This cannot be said of the other nations."

Then he told me a thrilling story of the Boxer Rebellion. He, with two thousand Chinese, who were Government officials, were barricaded in a compound behind the usual Chinese walls. The Boxers were firing on them every day. They had run out of food. In fact, they were starving.

But one morning a bright-faced American boy appeared at the gates of the wall. He was admitted because he was an American. He asked to be taken to Mr. Tang Shao-yi.

[205]"What do you most need?" this young American asked the rich Chinese merchant.

"We most need food," was the reply.

"All right, I'll get enough for you to-day!" said the young American.

"That night," said Mr. Tang Shao-yi, "that American boy returned with five hundred hams which the Boxers had thrown away, in addition to a thousand sacks of flour which he had gotten from the English legation."

"Wonderful!" I exclaimed.

"And that boyish American was——"

"Who?" I asked with tense interest, for the old man was smiling with a suggestive Oriental smile, as if he had a climax up his commodious sleeves.

"That man was Herbert Hoover!"

And from that interview henceforth and forever no human being need tell me that the Chinese have no sense of the dramatic.

"That's why we love and trust America," said this great Chinese statesman. "It is because America has always been our friend in time of need!"

I found this friendship for the United States true all over the Oriental world. It was to me a great miracle of national friendship. The peoples of the Orient trust us. They are not suspicious of our intentions in spite of what jingo papers[206] say. We have won their hearts. We have claimed their friendship.

The name "America," which stands in the Oriental mind for the United States, is a sacred passport and password. It is a magical word. It opens doors that are locked to all the rest of the world; it tears down barriers, century-old, that have been barricading certain places for ages past. That simple word opens hearts that would open with none other.

The eyes of the brown men of the Far East open wide at that word, and a new light appears in them. This is particularly true in Korea, in China, in the Malacca Straits, and in the Philippines.

It is enough to bring a flood of tears to the heart of an American, lonely for a sight of his own flag, homesick for his native shores, to see and feel and hear and know the pulse of this friendship for our country among millions of brown men.

"It is because we are like you, we Chinese," said Tang Shao-yi. "It is because we are both Democrats at heart!"

"It is because you have been our true friends!" said Dr. Sun Yat Sen.

"It is because your ideals are our ideals; your dreams our dreams and your friends our[207] friends," said Wu Ting-fang, one of China's greatest leaders, to me.

"It is because so many of our young men have been trained in your American schools, and because so many of us feel that the United States is our second home. It is because you have sent so many good men and women to China to help us; to teach us; to live with us; to love us; to serve us! It is because your missionaries from America have shown the real heart of the United States to us!" said Mr. Walter Busch, a Chinese American student who is now editor of the Peking Leader.

But whatever the cause, the glorious fact is enough to:

"Send a thrill of rapture through the framework of the heart
And warm the inner bein' till the tear drops want to start!"

But perhaps the highest and holiest Flash-lights of Friendship that one finds in the Far East is that of the friendship formed by the American missionaries for the people among whom they are working, and the friendship that these people give in return. These are holy things.

The average missionary comes home on his furlough, but before he is home three months he is homesick to go back to his people. So they[208] come and go across the seas of the world through the years, weaving like a great Shuttle of Service the fabric of friendship for themselves and for the United States.

This shuttle of service is being woven night and day across the Atlantic and across the Pacific by great ships bearing missionaries going and coming; furlough following furlough, after six years of service; term after term; leaving native land, children, memories; time after time until death ends that particular thread, crimson, gold, brown or white. The great Shuttle of Love weaves the fabric of friendship across the seas as the ships come and go, bearing outbound and homebound missionaries to foreign fields.

I am thinking particularly of the Pacific as I write this sketch sitting in a room overlooking the great harbor of Yokohama where three Japanese warship lie anchored and two great Pacific liners, one on its way to San Francisco and another bound for Vancouver. They come and go, these great ships. A few days ago the Empress of Asia made its twenty-eighth trip across and it soon will start on its twenty-eighth trip back to Vancouver again. Some of the ships out of San Francisco have made more than a hundred trips. So they weave the shuttle back and forward across this great sea. And never a ship sails this sea that it does not carry its passenger[209] list of missionaries. Our list was more than half a hundred.

As Mr. Forman, in a sympathetic and appreciative article that he has written for the Ladies' Home Journal, says, the common phrase on a Pacific liner is, "There are two hundred and fifty passengers and forty-five missionaries on board." Every Pacific passenger list immediately divides itself into two groups, the missionaries and the other passengers.

Then Mr. Forman proceeds to slay those shallow, narrow-minded, often ignorant and uneducated tourists and business men who dare to speak of this traveling missionary with derision. Mr. Forman has no particular interest in missions and he has no particular interest in the Church, but he started out to investigate this derogatory phrase, "and forty-five missionaries."

Mr. Forman starts his article with these striking paragraphs

"If ever you cross the Pacific you will find the passengers on the steamer quietly and automatically dividing themselves into two groups.

"'How many passengers have we on board?' you may lightly ask your neighbor.

"And your neighbor, traveled man no doubt (his twelfth crossing, he will mention), will smartly reply, with a suave, man-of-the-world smile: 'A hundred and two passengers and forty-five missionaries.'

"After that you will be initiated and you will be mentioning with an easy grace to some one else that there are[210] on board so many passengers and so many missionaries. It becomes a part of the jargon of Pacific crossing."

But Mr. Forman sees working that Shuttle of Service of which I am speaking. He sees, as any thinking man sees, as Roosevelt saw, as Bryan saw, and as Taft saw, that the greatest single influence for good in the Orient is the missionary. Mr. Forman was incensed at this careless phrase on the Pacific liners, and he investigated the work of our missionaries when he was in the Orient, and he came to the decision that they are worth more to America, even from that selfish standpoint, than all the ambassadors that we have sent over, because they are, in their crossing and recrossing, weaving a Fabric of Friendship between the Orient and the Occident; between the nations of the East and those of the West; between the white peoples and the brown peoples; in spite of the diplomatic differences and yellow newspapers in the United States and Japan.

Mr. Forman says about his conclusions:

"I concluded that any one of the large missions in those Oriental countries accomplished, so far as concerns American standing and prestige, more than all our diplomatic representation there put together. I do not believe it to be an exaggeration to say that for the Orient the missionaries are perhaps the only useful form of what is called diplomatic representation."

[211]And again in the same article he says:

"One good missionary in the right place, it seemed to me, can accomplish more than quite a number of ambassadors."

And again he wonderfully sums up that mission of love in a paragraph which I think ought to be passed on:

"But when a missionary establishes a clinic or a hospital, healing sores and diseases that their own medicine men have abandoned as hopeless; when he educates boys and girls that otherwise would have remained in darkness; when, with a whole-souled enthusiasm, he gives them counsel, aid and service and he asks nothing in return then the stolid and passive Chinese or Korean is genuinely impressed. Then America really becomes in his mind the synonym for kindness and service, and from mouth to mouth goes abroad the fame of the land that is aiming to do him good, without any menacing background of exploitation."

I talked with one bright-faced, twinkling-eyed, red-blooded, big-framed missionary who was crossing with his family of a wife and four children. He had spent fifteen years in the Orient as a missionary, and then because of illness he had been compelled to go to America. There he had taken a church and had preached for five years. His health came back, and as he told me, "The lure of the East got me and I had to come back. I never was so happy in my life as I am on this trip and the whole family feels the same way.[212] We are going back to our people!" And the way he pronounced those italicised words made me know that he, too, was weaving a thread in the Fabric of Friendship.

We met a woman who was traveling back to China with her three darling little tots. I made love to all three of them, and it wasn't long before I asked one where her Daddy was. I assumed, of course, that they had been home on a furlough and that Daddy was back there in China waiting anxiously for them to return to him. I pictured that meeting, for I have seen many such during war days, both on this side and in France.

"My Daddy is dead," the child said simply with a quiver of her little lips.

"All right, dear baby, we won't talk about it then," for I was afraid that those little trembling lips couldn't hold in much longer. But she wanted to tell me about it. I soon saw that. She liked to talk about her "dear dead Daddy."

"He went to France," she said simply.

"Ah, he was a soldier?" I questioned.

"No, he was better than a soldier, my Mamma says. He did not go to kill; he went to help." And back of that sentiment and that statement I saw a world of struggle and ideals in a missionary home where the man felt called across the seas to be "in it" with his country and at last the[213] refuge of the man who could go "not to kill but to help."

"He went to work with the coolies and he got the influenza and died last winter. We won't have any Daddy any more," and her little blue eyes were misty with tears. And so were mine, more misty than I dared let her see. And they are misty now as I write about it. And yours will be misty if you read about it, as they should be. That is something fine in you being called out.

Later I met the mother. She told me over again the story that little Doris had told me of the big Daddy who had felt the call to go to France in the Y.M.C.A. to help the poor "coolies," several hundred of whom were, by strange coincidence, going back to China on the same boat with us, and with that brave mother and those dear children. These "coolies" were going back alive, but he who went to serve them died. "Others he saved; Himself he could not save," echoed in my soul as that mother and I talked.

"I am going back to the Chinese to spend the rest of my life finishing Will's work. It is better so. I shall be happier."

"But the association there—everything—every turn you make—every place you go—will remind you of him," I protested.

[214]"It would be what Will would want most of all, that I go on with his work. I go gladly. It will be the best balm for my sorrow."

And far above national friendships there loom these snow-white peaks of the sacrificial friendship the missionaries bear in their hearts for the people with whom they live, and serve, and die.





Inconsistencies in hyphenation of words preserved. (flash-lights, flashlights; foot-ball, football; star-lit, starlit; to-day, today; to-night, tonight)

Inconsistencies in the spelling and transliteration of non-English words preserved. (Pyeng Yang, Pyengyang)

Pages 32, 100, 122, 144, 188 were blank pages in the original text and therefore their page number anchors have not been inserted into the html.

Pg. 25, "bacon" changed to "beacon". (like beacon lights of hope)

Pg. 26, inserted missing comma. (there to the north," I said)

Pgs. 79, 101, 145, inserted opening double quote mark to start of direct speech at top of chapter.

Pg. 153, "flashng" changed to "flashing" (like flashing piston rods of steel)