More Gulick in Japan, 1871.

LETTER FROM JAPAN.—Part 3.

Kobe, Japan, July 18, 1871.

The “Alaula:” Aloha oe;

During this past month, that being June, I was caught up meeting with my youngest brother, John Gulick who lived as a missionary in China for seven years. He and his wife arrived on the 1st of June, and left for America and Britain to meet with their cousins, then they will go back to meet with the parents who are with you in Honolulu. Because of all the time I spent with them, my letter to you was not completed until the postal ship for June had already left.

On the persecution of our students.

I spoke to you earlier about the terrifying persecution of the Roman Catholic followers, by the government of Japan, and how the Japanese worship their ruler, the Mikado, as if he were a God. Now I will speak to you about our persecution by the government because of their anger at the name of Christ and the gospel. But this persecution has not fell upon us directly. They fear the haole and the warships, therefore they do not detain us, but persecute our followers. In this fashion:

I was about to hire a certain Japanese to teach me the language of this land on a regular basis. He stayed with me always, and returned home to his wife at nights to sleep. During school hours, he taught me, and when we were apart, he copied the books of the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, and John, which was translated into Japanese by one of the missionaries, but it was not published. This man named Einosuke lived with me for three months, and before this, he was a teacher for a fellow missionary, for one year or more.

This Einosuke had some learning from the word of God and from our teaching. We had hoped that he had become a devout believer. He always held family prayer at his home, and he came to the morning services of my fellow missionary.

In the evening of the 30th of June, this man and his wife were taken by the sheriff who was ordered by the governor of this city, and they were thrown into jail. Taken were the books of Mark and some other books which we left in the hands of this worker of ours. The other missionary and I sought hard for a means to get this follower and friend of freed from these people who were persecuting him. We asked government officials of the reason for our worker being jailed, but we were not told. We asked of the charges against him, but they did not answer in the least. It is clear to us what is his offense, that being his long association with us and his listening to the teachings of the kingdom of Christ. This is a major offense in the minds of the pagan officials, and to scare him and so that the people do not associate with us, this innocent man was taken and thrown in jail with his wife. This is the second week that they have been imprisoned, and it is not known when they will be released. Perhaps we will see their faces again; perhaps we will not see them again until they die. We pray fervently to God to give hope and to strengthen the faith of this man who is persecuted in His name, and to save him from the mouth of the lion.

There was an announcement by the government recently, saying: “Obey dearly the laws pertaining to religion; and if someone speaks to another about Christianity with perhaps the intent to convert them to that religion, they should bring charges immediately before the government officials and make known the name of the person who tried to convert them.” Christ is the stone left behind by the house builders, but he is who shall be made the cornerstone.

O. H. Gulick.

(Alaula, 11/1871, p. 30)

PALAPALA MAI IAPANA MAI.

Ke Alaula, Buke VI, Helu 8, Aoao 30. Novemaba, 1871.

Continuation of O. H. Gulicks letter from Japan, 1871.

LETTER FROM JAPAN.

(Continuation From Last Month.)

Ke Alauala:—Aloha oe:

There is a beautiful temple to Buddha on a hill inland of here. There are 125 nicely hewn stone steps leading to the grounds of the temple. There are fifty stone statues placed in pairs all about the temple, in small buildings. There are two in one structure, and two in the next, and two in the next, all around the great temple. The height of these stone figures are from one to four feet tall. Most are human figures, but there also some of foxes. One of the human statues was carved with ten hands, like the Buddha statues of India. There are two huge wooden statues maybe ten feet tall. It is said that these two huge figures possess mana. A person a piece of paper and chews it in his mouth until it is wadded up; then he spits it out, sticking it on to the body of the statue. According to the ignorant beliefs of the worshipers, the power of the statue comes out and enters the person. We saw paper that was chewed up and stuck to these two great statues; it looked like a case of rash from head to foot. Within the temple there are numerous metal lanterns and tiny bells, and coal burners and altars. Some of the metal objects are beautifully decorated in gold. There are some metal plates with perhaps the names of the gods and names of ancestors and perhaps prayers that were composed written upon them. All of the decorations within this Buddhist temple are very fine and beautiful. As for the priests caring for the Buddhist temple, their heads are shaved bald.

The second religion is totally different, that being Shinto. The Ruler of Japan is the head of this religion; he is called the Mikado, the child of God, the child of the Heavens.

Earlier, American and British diplomats were talking to those from Japan, and said that the teaching to their people of Christianity should be allowed. The Japanese diplomats said that the Ruler of Japan, the Mikado, was the son of God,  and therefore, it isn’t right to teach Christianity, for in that religion, it is said that Jesus Christ is the son of God. If Christianity is allowed amongst the Japanese people, then one son of God would end up opposing another. There should not be two sons of God in one nation, lest they fight each other. So the teaching of Christianity to the Japanese is strictly prohibited. The people fear the rulers, and do not associate with the Christian missionaries.

According to the words of David in Psalms 2: The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed. However, I am hopeful that in no time, the doors will open and the words of God will enter far and wide in this land.

In the city of Kobe, there is a deserted forest, and within it is a Shinto shrine; there is not carved god in the shrine of this religion, except a fox statue, a type of wild dog. There are hundreds of large lanterns on the grounds of this shrine, lanterns carved out of stone, and some metal ones as well. White horses are kept on the grounds of  Shinto shrines. These small white horses are always kept, and they are fed all the time. Perhaps these horses are gods; spirits perhaps live within the horses. Within the shrine, there are numerous beautiful things made of brass and gold.

How misguided are those who do not hear the word of God. When we learn the language of this land, we will teach them about Jehovah, the true God.

Much aloha to all the people of my homeland who are reading the Alaula. It is of them who i dreamt of some nights ago.  From me, O. H. Gulick.

Kobe, Japan, March 18, 1871.

(Alaula, 6/1871, p. 10)

PALAPALA MAI IAPANA MAI.

Ke Alaula, Buke VI, Helu 3, Aoao 10. Iune, 1871.