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inferior to the work of the Christian Association, whose expenditure amounts only to a few thousand Yen. Their quarters are regarded as a paradise for the soldiers, and they are welcome everywhere.
The work of the Christians has attained such success that it has reached the emperor's ear; while that of the Buddhists is always attended by debts and disturbances.
When Prince Arthur of Connaught visited Japan in February of this year, the emperor went out to meet him. On the way back to the palace, the imperial carriage passed by where an old man "from the back woods" was standing in the front row of the crowd. Reverently he bowed himself upon the ground and put his face to the dust, as his majesty passed. The paper the next morning reported the old man's act with words of praise. But while he and an infinitely small number of others followed the old custom, thousands stood on their tip toes and stretched their necks to the limit to get a glimpse at their emperor; and those who witnessed the old man's act smiled at his ignorance and antiquity. Because the paper praised his act, shall we conclude that the Japanese are going back to such ancient modes of showing respect to his majesty? The action of the thousands answers negatively. It is customary for Tokyo papers to mention these returns to the old customs, because they are so rare. Therefore, I believe that all that Dr. Tanner quotes from some of these papers about the emperor's going to the shrine at Ise, is simply gush over his acts. At any rate, the actual conditions, as we observe them here, do not bear out Dr. Tanner's conclusion, drawn from the newspaper extracts, to the effect that it does not look as if any considerable number of the Japanese were ready to accept Christianity. The truth is that, due partly to the opportunities the war has afforded, and to the natural evolution of thought in commercial and educational circles, the Christian name is being boomed in Japan.
What effect will this boom have upon the Japan mission? This is a question the ERA readers would, no doubt, like to have answered; and the answer is what I would like the Saints in Zion to know. For I infer, from reports that have reached me, that some of the Latter-day Saints consider the Japan mission a failure, or, at least, a premature movement.
Sentiment favorable to Christianity will enable those who
have become dissatisfied with the traditions of Buddhism and Shinto to study the Bible openly, without any fear of ridicule. It will not be unpopular to attend a Christian church. Studying the Bible or attending Christian services paves the way for belief in Christ (even that fostered by man-made systems) and is a good thing, because it, at least, creates reverence for the Savior and places man in a better position to receive the testimony of divinely appointed messengers. "Mormonism," though the best, is the most unpopular form of Christianity, hence, not so attractive as the sects. Popularity is the Japanese love. "Mormonism" is commonly ridiculed and misrepresented, hence it requires courage to be a "Mormon." This courage is at present lacking with the Japanese. Ridicule goes hard with them. It is not so easy to be a "Mormon" as it is to be a sectarian. People like tea, beer, tobacco and wines. Ten per cent of one's annual income is a little larger sacrifice than a copper thrown now and then into the subscription plate. It is easier to confess to a Presbyterian, Methodist or Congregationalist preacher than to a "Mormon" elder, because there is much to learn in "Mormonism" that requires longer study and more humble research than do the doctrines of men. Therefore, while tho sands are following the course of least resistance, and joining with sectarianism, converts to "Mormonism" are few, very few. Japan at present is in a mad race for worldly glory, and the Christianity which makes the best material showing is the catchy one. Nor can we justly criticise the Japanese for being attracted, at first, by the outside ornaments, rather than the inner virtues; for, generally speaking, this is the case all over the world..
But remember that the immediate results of a religious boom are not its only results. After the people have had enough experience in following Christ according to Calvin, Knox, Luther, Wesley and modern commentaries, many will recognize a real hungering and thirsting after righteousness. And the "Mormon" elders, having been in Japan long enough to understand the conditions and prepare implements for the work and acquire ability in the language, will stand ready to provide the honest in heart with spiritual food and drink direct from the fountain of Christ. After experience has taught the true-hearted that the soul of man can
not find lasting satisfaction in a spiritless form of godliness, no matter how attractively ornamented, they will heed the voice of the true servants of God.
The prospects for the Japan mission are certainly brightening every hour.
Is the Japan mission a failure? Is it premature? The shortest answer to both these questions is an emphatic "No." It is the mission of "Mormonism" to preach the gospel to all the world for a witness before the end shall come. Therefore, counting its success or failure by the number of converts made, is a gross mistake. The aim of the Japanese mission is to preach the everlasting gospel and bear witness of Jesus Christ, that the people of this land, like those of all other lands, may be left without excuse. Our success or failure, then, must be determined by the answer to the question, "What has the Japan mission done, and what is it doing, for the spread of truth?"
When the first company of elders arrived in Yokohama, August 12, 1901, they stood alone at the very bottom of the ladder. They knew no one; everything was strange to them. The language they had was simply a jargon to the natives, and the natives spoke with a jargon in return. They had no book nor pamphlet to take the place of their speechlessness. They knew nothing of the Japanese character, nothing of the laws of the country, and were ignorant of the customs and manners of the people. They hardly knew how to proceed, and when they did get started, everything was like an experiment. They had to feel their way cautiously, and study diligently, with implicit faith in God. The first company of missionaries consisted of three men and a youth. The following year President Heber J. Grant returned to America, and brought, on his second trip to Japan, his daughter, three lady missionaries, and five young men. The next missionaries (a company of three elders) arrived three years later, two arrived one month after these; the next and newest laborer arrived in August, this year. So, from the beginning of the Japan mission, five years ago, there have been nineteen workers in the field. But note the time of their sojourn. Three returned after being here in the neighborhood of one year; two returned after a two years' stay; two were here only two years and six months; one
was here three years; two a little less than four years. There are at present nine elders in the mission. One has been here two weeks, two have been connected with the mission one year and two months; three have been here one year and three months; two have been here four years and two months, and one has been here as long as the mission. From these figures the reader will learn that, of the nineteen laborers, one has completed a five years' service; two a four years and two months' service; two not quite a four years' service; one a three years' service; two a two-and-ahalf years' service; two a two years' service; and nine less than a two years' service. Now take into consideration the Japanese language and the characteristics of the people, their manner of living and the conditions surrounding both them and the mission. aries, and I think any one can readily understand that, while everyone has had a part to play in the work done, the blunt of the labor has been on the shoulders of a few, for only a few have been here long enough to know much about the language.
In the beginning, we could not speak, let alone write. Now we converse about, teach and preach, the gospel. Five years ago there was not a single written word for our use outside of the Bible. We can use the Bible now, but, sad to say, it is not the help we had hoped to find it; for it is translated in a peculiar and difficult style of language with which the people generally are not familiar, and many passages most precious to us are badly disfigured. By our own efforts, and by the assistance of native friends, together with divine aid, we have been able to publish eight tracts, seven of which are now in use. These tracts explain briefly the rise of the Church in the latter days; give the reason for our coming to Japan, and state our attitude towards the Japanese; advance arguments in favor of God's existence, and teach his character, power, attributes and relationship to man; point out the purposes of life and the final destiny of both the wicked and the righteous; declare the Messiahship of Christ, give a brief outline of his life, and expound the atonement which he wrought, as well as teaching the foundation principles and ordinances of the gospel. In these tracts the necessity of prayer is urged, and the essential features of acceptable prayer made plain; also the striking differences between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and
the professed Christian sects are referred to, and, at every opportunity, a faithful testimony is borne. If the seven tracts were bound into one volume, they would make a book of nearly three hundred pages.
The translation of A Brief History of the Church will be ready for the printer by the time this article appears in the ERA. This translation will make a book of considerably over three hundred pages. In order that the reader may get an idea of the labor and time required to make a translation of this size, I will state that one elder has already devoted all of his spare time, and many whole weeks of his time, during two years and two months to work on this one translation. Two years ago, a fifty-page tract (the third in the mission) was published. In making and correcting the translation, three rewritings were necessary, covering two sixty-two full pages of hieroglyphic-like characters.
The Book of Mormon translation has been made, but is now being carefully read, revised, corrected and compared with the original. The English text fills six hundred and twenty-three pages. The uncorrected translation is a manuscript of, at least, two thousand four hundred pages. Practically the whole time of one elder for the last two years and six months has been devoted to this translation.
Five years ago the songs of Zion were not known in Japanese. Today we have a psalmody containing sixty-six "Mormon” songs with new music to each.
From April 22, 1903, the date on which active missionary work was commenced, to July 1, 1906, our little band of missionaries walked 7,367 miles, rode 16,435 miles, visited 18,636 homes, revisited 14,281 homes, distributed 29,354 tracts, sold 167 books, and otherwise distributed 909 books, held 3,251 gospel conversations and held 844 meetings.
Sunday School work has been going on for nearly three years, and many Japanese children are being taught how to worship the true God.
This, then, is what has been accomplished in the Japan mission since it was formally opened, Sept. 1, 1901. Compare the work with the number and ability of the workers, take into consideration the language and what has had to be learned about the