Japan and the foreigners.
We took occasion, a week or two ago, to express the belief that the relations between this country and Japan
were not altogether so promising as they appeared to be on the surface; and that the Japanese, a people remarkable for shrewdness, attention to their own interests, and the imitative faculty, had sent their embassy here more to obtain information, which might enable them to resist the intercourse of foreigners, than for any other purpose.
It seems they design to send an embassy to England
, next summer, and have applied to Mr.Harris
to know if American officers can be obtained to navigate a steamer there and back.
Probably, they are desirous to learn all they can about the Armstrong
gun, of which they have already a specimen, made at home, from a description found in some newspaper.
When they shall have completed their armament to their own satisfaction, it would not be matter of surprise if they at once shut their ports, and expelled all foreigners.
They seem to know no difference between the subjects of different nations, or at least not to recognize any.
An occurrence which lately took place at Kangawa, seems to have produced almost a civil war among the English
, whose father is a Jewish merchant of great wealth and respectability, and a friend of theRothschild
's,went with an attendant through the town to shoot wild geese, at a spot the other side of it. As he was returning, his attendant carrying a goose which he had killed, he was overhauled by the Japanese authorities on a charge of violating the game laws.
He paid no attention to a summons made by the officer, but that functionary soon summoned a posse, and attempted to arrest him. In the scuffle, the gun went off — and either killed, or wounded very severely, one of the Japanese.
He was finally arrested, and thrown into prison by the Japanese authorities.
The English Consul, Mr.Vyre,Demanded him, that he might be tried in the Consular Court
The Governor professed not to know anything about the matter.
The Consul told him that if Moss
was not forth coming by a certain hour, he would blow up the palace.
As there was no English vessel in port, the Consul
obtained the assistance of a Prussian frigate.
The preparations for decisive measures had the desired effect — Moss
was given up, and stood his trial before three assessors.
He was defended by a lawyer from Hong Kong
, but very foolishly undertook to sum up his own case, and, in doing so, attacked the British Consul
, and Mr.Alcock
,the British Minister
After a trial of three days he was declared guilty, by the Consul
, but the assessors disagreeing, the case was referred to Mr.Alcock
, who confirmed the verdict and sentence, which was three months imprisonment.
As it was perfectly plain that the gun had gone off accidentally — that the man did not know there was any law against shooting wild fowl — and was ignorant of the official character of the persons sent to arrest him — as, moreover, he asseverated most vehemently that the Japanese witnesses, thirteen in number, had perjured themselves, the English
took part with him to a man.--Curses both loud and deep were showered upon the Consul
and the Minister
An order issued by the former, forbidding them to wear arms in the day-time, was contemptuously and ostentatiously disregarded, and they all went to the trial with their revolvers buckled around them.
In the meantime the state of feeling between them and the natives was daily growing worse.
paid the fine ($1,000) under protest, intending to appeal to the Queen
He was escorted by marines on board a steamer, to be carried to Hong Kong
It was said he intended to prosecute the Minister
before the Court
of Hong Kong
, for adding to the penalty inflicted by the Consular Court
The case will be brought before Parliament.
Other causes of quarrel are springing up every day between the Japanese and the foreigners.
, for instance, demand $10,000 for the murder of one of their countrymen, and are determined to have it. In the meantime the Japanese are making anxious inquiries about the cost of building a man-of-war steamer of 2,000 tons.