Part 5 out of 5
part of their Christian homes apart for the diseased outcasts of the
Yoshiwara to conduct their foul business, made them resent having the trade
of the opium seller or the morphia agent introduced among them.
Your teaching has brought them floggings, tortures unspeakable, death. I do
not mourn for them, for they have found something to which the blows of the
lashed twin bamboos and the sizzling of the hot iron as it sears their
flesh are small indeed. But I would mourn for you, if you were willing to
leave them unhelped, to shut your ears to their calls, to deny them your
What can we do? you ask. You can exercise the powers that democratic
government has given you to translate your indignation into action. You can
hold public meetings, towns meetings and church meetings, and declare,
formally and with all the weight of your communities behind you, where you
stand in this matter. You can make your sentiments known to your own
Government and to the Imperial Japanese Government.
Then you can extend practical support to the victims of this outbreak of
cruelty. There could be no more effective rebuke than for the Churches of
the English-speaking nations to say to their fellow Christians of Korea,
"We are standing by you. We cannot share your bodily sufferings, but we
will try to show our sympathy in other ways. We will rebuild some of your
churches that have been burned down; we will support the widows or orphans
of Christians who have been unjustly slain, or will help to support the
families of those now imprisoned for their faith and for freedom. We will
show, by deeds, not words, that Christian brotherhood is a reality and not
In doing so, you will supply an example that will not be forgotten so long
as Asia endures. Men say--and say rightly--that Korea is the key-land of
Northeastern Asia, so far as domination of that part of the lands of the
Pacific is concerned. Korea is still more the key-land of Asia for Western
civilization and Christian ideals. Let Christianity be throttled here, and
it will have received a set-back in Asia from which it will take
generations to recover.
"The Koreans are a degenerate people, not fit for self-government," says
the man whose mind has been poisoned by subtle Japanese propaganda. Korea
has only been a very few years in contact with Western civilization, but it
has already indicated that this charge is a lie. Its old Government was
corrupt, and deserved to fall. But its people, wherever they have had a
chance, have demonstrated their capacity. In Manchuria hundreds of
thousands of them, mostly fled from Japanese oppression, are industrious
and prosperous farmers. In the Hawaiian Islands, there are five thousand
Koreans, mainly labourers, and their families, working on the sugar
plantations. They have built twenty-eight schools for their children, and
raise among themselves $20 a head a year for the education of their
children; they have sixteen churches; they bought $80,000 worth of Liberty
bonds during the war, and subscribed liberally to the Red Cross. Some of
these Hawaiian Koreans--210 in all--volunteered to serve in the war. A
large number of Manchurian Koreans--their total has been placed as high as
thirty thousand--joined the Russian forces, fought under General Lin, and
later, in conjunction with the Czecho-Slovak prisoners, fought the rearmed
German prisoners and the Bolsheviks.
In America the Koreans who were fortunate enough to escape have brought the
culture of rice into California, and are a prosperous community there.
Young Koreans have won prominent place in American colleges and in American
business. One big business in Philadelphia was created and is conducted by
a Korean. Give these people a chance, and they soon show what they can do.
A word with the statesmen.
Japan is a young country, so far as Western civilization is concerned. She
is the youngest of the Great Powers. She desires the good will of the
world, and is willing to do much to win it. Be frank with her. You owe it
to her to deal faithfully with her.
When you ask me if I would risk a war over Korea, I answer this: Firm
action to-day might provoke conflict, but the risk is very small. Act
weakly now, however, and you make a great war in the Far East almost
certain within a generation. The main burden of the Western nations in such
a war will be borne by America.
To the Japanese themselves, I venture to repeat words that I wrote over
eleven years ago. They are even more true now than when they were written:
"The future of Japan, the future of the East, and, to some extent, the
future of the world, lies in the answer to the question whether the
militarists or the party of peaceful expansion gain the upper hand in the
immediate future (in Japan). If the one, then we shall have harsher rule in
Korea, steadily increasing aggression in Manchuria, growing interference
with China, and, in the end, a titanic conflict, the end of which none can
see. Under the other, Japan will enter into an inheritance, wider, more
glorious and more assured than any Asiatic Power has attained for many
centuries.... Japan has it in her to be, not the Mistress of the East,
reigning, sword in hand, over subject races--for that she can never
permanently be--but the bringer of peace to, and the teacher of, the East.
Will she choose the nobler end?"