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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Having moved thither from Loh yang


commotions, numbers of emigrants

found their way from China to Korea and thence to Japan. The Eastern Tsin occupied virtually the same regions as those held by the Wu dynasty: they, too, had their capital at Nanking, having moved thither from Loh-yang, and thus the name Wu was perpetuated for the Japanese. In the year A.D. 283, according to Japanese chronology, Koreans and Chinese skilled in useful arts began to immigrate to Japan. The first to come was a girl called Maketsu. She is said to have been sent by the monarch of Kudara, the region corresponding to the metropolitan province of modern Korea. It may be inferred that she was Chinese, but as to her nationality history is silent. She settled permanently in Japan, and her descendants were known as the kinu-nui (silk-clothiers) of Kume in Yamato. In the same year (A.D. 283), Yuzu (called Yutsuki by some authorities), a Chinese Imperial prince, came from Korea and memorialized the Yamato Throne in the sense that he was a descendant of the first Tsin sovereign and that, having migrated to Korea at the head of the inhabitants of 120 districts, he had desired to conduct them to Japan, but was unable to accomplish his purpose owing to obstruction offered by the people of Sinra (Shiragi). Ojin sent two embassies--the second accompanied by troops--to procure the release of these people, and in A.D. 285 they reached Japan, where they received a hearty welcome, and for the sake of their skill in sericulture and silk weaving, they were honoured by organization into
an uji--Hata-uji (hata in modern Japanese signifies "loom," but in ancient days it designated silk fabrics of all kinds).

An idea of the dimensions of this Chinese addition to the population of Japan is furnished by the fact that, 175 years later, the Hata-uji having been dispersed and reduced to ninety-two groups, steps were taken to reassemble and reorganize them, with the result that 18,670 persons were brought together. Again, in A.D. 289, a sometime subject of the after-Han dynasty, accompanied by his son, emigrated to Japan. The names of these Chinese are given as Achi and Tsuka, and the former is described as a great-grandson of the Emperor Ling of the after-Han dynasty, who reigned from A.D. 168 to 190. Like Yuzu he had escaped to Korea during the troublous time at the close of the Han sway, and, like Yuzu, he had been followed to the peninsula by a large body of Chinese, who, at his request, were subsequently escorted by Japanese envoys to Japan. These immigrants also were allowed to assume the status of an uji, and in the fifth century the title of Aya no atae (suzerain of Aya) was given to Achi's descendants in consideration of the skill of their followers in designing and manufacturing figured fabrics (for which the general term was aya).

When Achi had resided seventeen years in Japan, he and his son were sent to Wu (China) for the purpose of engaging women versed in making dress materials. The title of omi (chief ambassador) seems to have been then conferred on the two men, as envoys sent abroad were habitually so designated. They did not attempt to go by sea. The state of navigation was still such that ocean-going voyages were not seriously thought of. Achi and his son proceeded in the first instance to Koma (the modern Pyong-yang) and there obtained guides for the overland journey round the shore of the Gulf of Pechili. They are said to have made their way to Loh-yang where the Tsin sovereigns then had their capital (A.D. 306). Four women were given to them, whom they carried back to Japan, there to become the ancestresses of an uji known as Kure no kinu-nui and Kaya no kinu-nui (clothiers of Kure and of Kaya), appellations which imply Korean origin, but were probably suggested by the fact that Korea had been the last continental station on their route. The journey to and from Loh-yang occupied four years. This page of history shows not only the beginning of Japan's useful intercourse with foreign countries, but also her readiness to learn what they had to teach and her liberal treatment of alien settlers.


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