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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

In all her relations with Korea at this epoch


the space of a twelvemonth this rebel remained master of the situation, but, in A.D. 528, the o-muraji, Arakahi, crushed him after a desperate conflict in the province of Chikugo.* Iwai effected his escape to Buzen and died by his own hand in a secluded valley. Although, however, this formidable rebellion was thus successfully quelled, the great expedition did not mature. Keno, its intended leader, did indeed proceed to Mimana and assume there the duties of governor, but he proved at once arrogant and incompetent, employing to an extravagant degree the ordeal of boiling water, so that many innocent people suffered fatally, and putting to death children of mixed Korean and Japanese parentage instead of encouraging unions which would have tended to bring the two countries closer together.

*In the Chikugo Fudoki a minute description is given of Iwai's sepulchre, built during his lifetime but presumably never occupied by his body. The remarkable feature of the tomb was a number of stone images, several representing grave-guards, and one group being apparently designed to represent the judicial trial of a poacher.

In all her relations with Korea at this epoch, Japan showed more loyalty than sagacity. She was invariably ready to accede to proposals from her old friend, Kudara, and the latter, taking astute advantage of this mood, secured her endorsement of territorial transfers which brought to the Yamato Court nothing

but the enmity of Kudara's rivals. By these errors of statesmanship and by the misgovernment of officials like Keno, conditions were created which, as will be seen hereafter, proved ultimately fatal to Japan's sway in the peninsula. Meanwhile, every student of Japanese ancient annals cannot but be struck by the large space devoted to recording her relations with Korea. As the eminent historian, Rai Sanyo, said in later times, her soldiers were wearied by constant campaigns oversea, and her agriculturists were exhausted by frequent requisitions for supplies. During the epoch of Jingo and Ojin, Japan was palpably inferior to her peninsular neighbour in civilization, in wealth, and in population. But in one respect the superiority was largely on her side; namely, in the quality of her soldiers. Therefore, she utilized her military strength for campaigns which cost comparatively little and produced much. The peninsula, at that time, verified the term commonly applied to it, Uchi-tsurmiyake, or the "Granary of the Home-land." But as the material development of Japan and her civilization progressed, she stood constantly to lose more and gain less by despatching expeditions to a land which squandered much of its resources on internecine quarrels and was deteriorating by comparison. The task of maintaining Mimana and succouring Kudara then became an obligation of prestige which gradually ceased to interest the nation.


In the period now under consideration no system of land taxation had yet come into existence. The requirements of the Court were met by the produce of the mi-agata (Imperial domains), and rice for public use was grown in the miyake districts, being there stored and devoted to the administrative needs of the region. Occasionally the contents of several miyake were collected into one district, as, for example, when (A.D. 536) the Emperor Senkwa ordered a concentration of foodstuffs in Tsukushi. The miyake were the property of the Crown, as were also a number of hereditary corporations (be), whose members discharged duties, from building and repairing palaces--no light task, seeing that the site of the palace was changed with each change of occupant--to sericulture, weaving, tailoring, cooking, and arts and handicrafts of all descriptions, each be exercising its own function from generation to generation, and being superintended by its own head-man (obito or atae).

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