The Imperial Japanese Mission to the United States, 1917
Mayor Mitchel's Proclamation
New York was determined to set its best foot forward in its reception of the Imperial Japanese Mission. Mayor John Purroy Mitchel, under date of September 26, issued a proclamation as follows:
The Island Empire, whose seclusion of three centuries was broken by the bearer of a letter from the President of the United States, sends us today a return message proclaiming its people as brothers in arms in the common cause of human freedom. One of the momentous events of the nineteenth century, the appearance of the fleet commanded by Commodore Perry in Japanese waters, finds thus its sequel in what will be reckoned not the least notable incident in the inspiring time in which we live.
This visit of the representatives of our great Pacific neighbor and ally gives to the citizens of New York the occasion and opportunity to manifest that open hearted and cordial appreciation they feel of the message that comes to them from the Far East, and to express in becoming form their sense of the nobility of spirit and purpose of the government of which our distinguished guests are the selected representatives.
WHEREFORE, I, John Purroy Mitchel, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby direct that the flag of our ally, Japan, be flown upon the public buildings of the city throughout the visit of its guests, and I call upon the people of the city to celebrate this occasion for the closer cementing of the traditional friendship between this nation and Japan by a befitting decoration and illumination of their buildings, displaying therefrom beside the flag of the United States the national colors of Japan and the nations with whom both are allied.
Vigorous were the efforts made to beautify Fifth Avenue and other principal streets with decorations pleasing and significant to the visitors. From every lamp post standard the Rising Sun flag of Japan flew beside the Stars and Stripes. The flags of France, Britain and Italy were grouped, too, on all sides. The effect of the red and white in the decorations was most inspiring. Transparencies bearing the American and Japanese colors were suspended about the avenue arc lights to be illuminated after dark. Decorators were at work on the City Hall, making the open space before it into a Court of Honor. A large and efficient reception committee under the chairmanship of Judge Elbert H. Gary, busied itself with preparations. The judge's residence, 856 Fifth Avenue, near 67th Street, was tendered to the visitors during their stay. A full and formidable program was arranged.
Parade and Reception at the City Hall
Promptly at the appointed hour, 3.45 p.m., the official barge---in this instance the trim police boat Patrol---gay with vari-colored bunting, bearing the Imperial Japanese Mission to New York, touched shore at the Battery, judge Gary and Theodore Rousseau, the Mayor's secretary, having previously joined the party from Washington at Communipaw.
Instantly the great crowd massed around Battery Park raised its salute of cheers. The band of the Recruit, the navy enlistment vessel in Union Square, played the Japanese national anthem. The Second Battalion of Naval Reserves, smart young fellows in their service duck, stood at attention. Two troops of Squadron A, commanded by Major William Wright, flashed out their sabres.
From the windows of the tall buildings overlooking the plaza Japanese flags, big and little, broke out and fluttered gayly. Some of these flags were of hasty manufacture. Girls with a knack for ready invention had pinned red disks in the center of office towels and were shaking them energetically. As the Naval Reserve band played the Japanese national anthem the civilians of the Mission stood with bared heads, the military officers with hands at precise salute.
Escorted by General Irons, General Appleton, Judge Gary and Dock Commissioner R. A. C. Smith, the members of the Mission reviewed the battalion of naval reserves and then entered motor cars for the parade north in Broadway to the City Hall. At 3.45 p.m. the procession moved, led by a detail of mounted policemen and by two companies of the Twenty-second Infantry.
For the ten minutes required to reach the City Hall plaza the air reverberated with cheers. Ticker tape in long, fluttering streamers snaked from the upper stories of the tall buildings. One such streamer caught and held upon a pinnacle of old Trinity. Confetti descended in colorful showers. The sidewalks were solidly jammed..
All Broadway was bright with the national colors of Japan, the crimson sun upon its field of white, or the man-of-war flag with the crimson sun and sunrays upon their white field. Wherever one glanced the sun flag swayed in the breeze alongside the colors of the Western Allies. A particularly beautiful display was made at the building of the American Express Company, where four gigantic flags of Great Britain, France, Russia and Japan showed their silken folds under an immense flag of the United States.
Smiling and bowing his appreciation of the cheering and of the decorations, Viscount Ishii, who led the motor car parade, accompanied by Mayor Mitchel, Judge Gary and Theodore Rousseau, arose from time to time and kept a neat footing in the rather jerkily moving car. Occasionally he glimpsed groups of his countrymen leaning from windows, and to these he waived special greetings.
In the second car were Aimaro Sato, Japanese Ambassador to the United I States; Breckinridge Long, Alton B. Parker, George T. Wilson, and H. A. Watkins. In the third car Vice Admiral Takeshita rode with August Belmont, Marcus M. Marks and Captain W. W. Phelps, U. S. N. In the fourth car was Major General Sugano of the Imperial Japanese Army, with Brigadier General Irons, Rear Admiral Usher, Adjutant General Sherrill and E. H. Outerbridge.
The fifth car accommodated Masanao Hanihara. Japanese consul general at San Francisco; T. Imai, vice consul at Honolulu; Donn Barber, and Lindsay Russell. In the sixth car were Matsuzo Nagai, secretary of the Japanese Foreign Office; Henry S. Thompson and Timothy Healy.
The following cars carried Commander M. Ando, Lieutenant Colonel S. Tanikawa, Samuel W. Fairchild, Franklin Q. Brown, William Fellowes Morgan, Lieutenant Colonel Mizumachi, A. B. Ruddock of the State Department, Martin W. Littleton, Commander Viscount Hotta, E. Nuida, Walter W. Price, C. Yada, consul general at New York; Oswald G. Villard, K. Owaku, secretary to the Mission; John Russell Kennedy, Hunter Wykes. and George Featherstone.
As the motor cars arrived on the west side of the City Hall plaza the Japanese guests found two troops of Squadron A drawn up at the west curb of Broadway, their sabres at salute. As the cars turned east into the plaza preparatory to stopping at the steps of the City Hall the commissioners fairly rose to the picturesque charm and vocal acclaim of the multitude before them.
The plaza was a picture. Outside the official participants and lines of police, every available inch was packed with shouting humanity. As part of the tableau were six thousand children from the public schools, mostly downtown, each waving a yellow chrysanthemum or a little Japanese flag. Opposite the steps of the portico a pyramid of Boy Scouts towered above the fountain, while one thousand members of the American junior Naval and Marine Scouts, commanded by Major Daniel M. Bedell, in their white uniforms and red dotted Japanese flags, made a striking picture on the City Hall steps. A solid background for all this parade of the joy of youth were six companies of the 22d Infantry from Governor's Island, three companies from the Electrical Naval School, and two companies from U. S. S. Recruit. It made, all told, a splendid living picture, and as the Imperial Japanese Mission reached the steps of the portico they were fain to turn and snatch a smiling glance at the enthusiastic kaleidoscopic scene. Nine Japanese boys belonging to the Boy Scouts greeted the envoy at the head of the steps.
The visitors were escorted to the Aldermanic Chamber, where the members of the Mayor's committee who had not gone to the Battery were assembled to receive them. They packed the gallery as well as the floor space, of the chamber. Viscount Ishii and Aimaro Sato, the Japanese Ambassador, took places on the dais, facing the Mayor and citizens of New York.
With a ring of earnestness in his voice Mayor Mitchel spoke the first public words of welcome to the Mission:
Your Excellency, Viscount Ishii, and gentlemen of the Commission:
In the name of the people of the city of New York I bid you welcome. To the salutation of the nation spoken at the capital by President Wilson, to the reception tendered you by each community of our broad land which you have honored by a visit, New York now adds her cordial greeting. The people of New York rejoice in this opportunity to honor you, the distinguished commissioners sent us by Japan, and through you to offer the tribute of our respect and the assurance of our cordial regard to the mighty nation which you represent. You have traveled across our continent from the far Pacific coast; you have seen the vast expanses of our country; you have visited our cities; you have met countless thousands of Americans; everywhere you have experienced the warm friendship of America for Japan; nowhere is that friendship stronger than here in the city of New York.
Vast in size, complex in her activities, democratic in her institutions, progressive in her government, alert, prosperous, constructive, drawing her population from every race and country of the earth, intensely loyal to the ideals of America, patriotic to the core, New York is in herself an epitome of American life. In the expression of American opinion, New York speaks with authority and in the tones of six million citizens. The greeting and the welcome which are yours today come from the hearts of the people of this mighty city and are spoken through us, their representatives, by six million Americans, who hail Japan as a trusted friend, whose friendship has remained unbroken, as a valued ally embarked with us in a common righteous cause.
Gentlemen of Japan, permit me to present to you the representatives of the city government, the members of the Board of Estimate, the governing body of the city, the president and members of the Board of Aldermen, the city's local legislature, the commissioners of the administrative departments, these distinguished guests who have come as a mark of their esteem for you, among whom are the Brigadier General Commanding the Department of the East, the Rear Admiral Commanding the United States Navy Yard, and many officers of the army and navy.
Permit me also to present to you this great and representative committee of citizens which I have appointed to greet you on behalf of all the people of New York. Here are represented the business, the commerce, the social life, the labor, and the learning of New York, all the elements of our population, all the factors of our progress and our life. They are here to evidence the esteem in which the people of New York hold the people of Japan, and you, their distinguished representatives.
Gentlemen of the Commission, Japan and the United States today are allies. Bound together by the ties of a common interest, inspired by a lofty ideal of international justice, actuated by the same purpose to secure for all nations, small and great, the opportunity to pursue their destiny and solve their own domestic problems under the genius of self-imposed institutions of government, imperial Japan and democratic America are federated in the brotherhood of allied nations to make safe the world not alone for democracy, but for all peace loving peoples, who, recognizing the sanctity of treaties, the authority of law, the principles of justice and of right, desire to live in amity with their neighbors, secure against the shocks of brutal force or the onslaughts of autocratic conquest.
America, sirs, rejoices in the progress and achievements of Japan. She looks back to the days of Perry, and reminds herself with keen satisfaction that her own enterprise, her own progress, her own science, crafts and learning gave no small impetus to the marvelous development of your great nation. The progress and achievements of Japan have sprung from the labor and the genius of the people of Japan, but America, as the friend and admirer of Japan, prides herself that she contributed something of the inspiration that stimulated that effect and that genius to their marvelous accomplishment.
Gentlemen of Japan, as allies we hail you; as historic friends we greet you; as brothers in arms we pledge you our cooperation in our common undertaking for the welfare of mankind.
Out of this visit of your distinguished Commission let there grow a still better understanding between our peoples, a warmer, deeper friendship, an unshakable, determination that our friendship shall remain forever unbroken, firm and cordial.
Mayor Mitchel then introduced Judge Gary as the chairman of the Citizens' Committee appointed to welcome the Mission. judge Gary said:
The citizens of this great metropolis associate themselves with the sentiments of esteem, amity and good wishes entertained generally by the people of these United States toward the people of Japan.
We extend to the honorable guests on this occasion a hearty and a cordial welcome. We tender a hospitality which is unlimited so far as disposition and desire control.
We offer assurance that every word of friendship and confidence uttered by these visitors since they have arrived as guests of the nation is appreciated; that every act of kindly regard on their part is prized and, so far as possible, will be reciprocated.
We salute them as typical representatives of a mighty Empire whose abiding good will and whose cooperation in every worthy cause of mutual concern we covet.
Gentlemen of Japan, you appear among us under the most distressing international conditions. The god of war, for the moment, controls and is shaping the destinies of nations. The atmosphere of the world is charged with the currents of animosity, of strife, of destruction, of greed. The leading nations are engaged in the bloodiest and in most destructive of all wars. Most of them have been forced into participation; they would have stood aloof if consistent with honor and with safety.
Both Japan and the United States have every reason to regret the commencement and the continuance of this horror of horrors. They ardently hope for the early establishment of peace on a basis honorable and lasting. Neither can obtain comfort from a consideration of the contest except in the thought that it is in no respect responsible for its precipitation and in the belief that it may be of substantial assistance in securing a speedy termination.
Your countrymen and ours are alike in respect to their love of peace, their abhorrence of war. They would endure much and they would suffer long before they would enter the arena of military conflict. But those who are possessed of this character and inclination are the most terrible when driven to the point of battle in defense of life, property, honor or other, sacred right. When fully aroused to the necessity of physical combat they are superlatively stubborn, vigorous and effective.
We insist our ideas are the antitheses of those entertained by the Imperial Government of Germany. If we may rely upon the writings of leading men and the reported performances of the soldiers, apparently approved by the government, the rulers of the German Empire advocate the doctrine that any aspiration may properly be realized by the exercise of physical power---that might makes right. On the contrary, we believe we are not justified in seeking to acquire anything we desire or need unless the same is supported by the fundamental principles of right and justice.
Germany proclaims that she is fighting for her life. This is true only in the sense that a bandit is fighting for his life when suddenly overtaken in the attempt to appropriate the property and destroy the life of a law abiding citizen. Late developments furnish evidence that the Imperial Government of Germany for a considerable period preceding the war, was conspiring to violate the rights of weak and inoffensive nations. The tyranny of this enemy of civilization is to be dreaded by the smaller nations; but we have no fears for we are right and we ate strong.
We do not overlook nor minimize the fact that we are confronted by a long, stubborn, systematized struggle, supported by years of study and preparation. The enemy is in possession of territory and property and routes which, if retained, would be more than satisfactory; and with existing equipment and strength these positions, or a substantial part, may be for some time successfully defended against a powerful offensive. However, if each one of the Allies exerts itself to the utmost, patiently but persistently and continuously, the opposing armies will, in due course, be overwhelmed and conquered.
Of the full part the Japanese are intending to contribute to the present war they alone are competent to declare. It is certain they will do their duty in accordance with the traditions of their race; and it is equally sure they will fight to the last dollar and to the last available man before they will submit to the arbitrary and cruel dominance of the Prussians.
As to the United States of America, she is keenly alive to the situation. She was compelled to take up arms as a matter of principle. She demands the freedom and safety of the high seas; the right on the part of all unprovoking people and countries to live in peace, unmolested and unafraid; and the firm establishment of a basis for a comprehensive, certain and speedy settlement of all international disputes in accordance with the rules of exact justice.
And the United States will measure up to all her obligations in this international crisis. She is mobilizing all the resources of the country for war purposes. She can, within three or four years, furnish fifteen million men, well trained and fully equipped for battle; and she can, within the same time, provide one hundred billion dollars without crippling her financial strength or interrupting her industrial progress. If necessary, she will do both. Yes, and more.
We do not boast of this. We have no lives to spare, no money to waste. We would conserve life and property whenever possible within the limits of duty and propriety. But we are happy that, at this particular time, we can be of substantial aid in defense of principles which lie at the foundation of civilization and moral progress. We are serious and sorrowful; yet we are determined and we are not despondent. And we are a united people, almost without exception supporting the President in the endeavor to administer the affairs of government creditably and impartially. If there are any Americans who, in these days of trouble and peril, are not entirely loyal to our country, or are failing to support the President and his administration, heart and soul, such recalcitrant individuals are and for all time will be, throughout the land, the objects of pity and contempt.
The citizens of New York promise that they will abundantly fulfil their duty to their country and her allies in the pending struggle for the recognition and permanent adoption of the principles involved.
These are eventful months in the history of Japan and of the United States. The visit of the eminent men, whom His Majesty the Emperor has commissioned to speak for his government, is fraught with possibilities no one can forecast. The Far East and the Far West have come together to consider their mutual welfare and obligations, to speak frankly and freely, to listen with attentive ears and receptive minds.
The questions of first importance relate to the war and the methods for securing the earliest victory for the Allies. A comprehensive consideration and the ultimate disposition of many other subjects necessarily must be postponed to another time and place; for there are involved many national and international problems and many interests. Still at present there have been and will be, naturally, conversations concerning the intimacy which exists and must continue to exist between the two countries. We are near neighbors and coming nearer by reason of increasing swiftness in the transfer of thought and person and property. We are separated only by the sea and that is free and open; and, practically speaking, the distance is growing shorter. As close companions every instinct prompts us to live and act in harmony, now and for all time.
We beg the commissioners to accept, without qualification, our expressions of confidence that the United States will, in the right spirit, whenever it is opportune, frankly discuss and properly adjust any matter of doubt or difference concerning the two countries. We will do our full share in cementing permanently the existing amicable relations between these two great nations. Our reputation for fair and liberal dealing is established and we shall not intentionally do, or for long leave undone, anything to forfeit the good opinion of mankind. We are sensitive to duty and moral obligation. All this is correspondingly true of the Japanese nation. Evidence of the feeling of genuine friendship of the Japanese for Americans is found in every one of the many able addresses delivered by Viscount Ishii during his brief sojourn in America.
Gentlemen, on this occasion we take you by the hand, in token of a sincere and solemn wish for a perpetual, intimate and uninterrupted fellowship which must result in no disadvantage to either country but of immeasurable benefit to both and also to others.
But the government of Germany would, if possible, take both the United States and Japan by the throat and deal with them in accordance with the methods practiced in other cases; and, so far as the opportunities for intrigue and chicanery might permit, would stir up and encourage ill feeling between them.
However, the relations existing between the two nations must never be permitted to become less intimate and cordial as the result of the secret machinations of their foes.
When peace is restored it is certain that the reciprocal interests of the two countries will grow rapidly in magnitude, and it is of the highest importance that every energy be used by both, in a spirit of comity and intelligent cooperation, to extend legitimate and successful enterprise. Every nation, after the war is ended, will seek avenues throughout the world for the development of new and the increase of old business operations, as they properly may. Whatever course is natural and right should be pursued by all. From our vast and rapidly increasing resources we shall offer to Japan multiplying benefits; and we note with satisfaction the fact that Japan is rapidly growing in wealth and influence. It is both reasonable and normal that the United States should draw largely upon Japan for its needs and that the latter in turn should supply its requirements from the former; and both countries will have business transactions with the same people of other countries.
And so, gentlemen of Japan, we hail you as envoys of a friendly nation whom we respect and admire, not alone because of what it has been and has done during the many centuries of the past; nor because it now stands in the front ranks of the greatest and most potential of all the nations; but more especially for the reason that it has in numberless ways demonstrated that it is the friend of the United States and in turn recognizes our friendship.
We realize that in order to be properly appreciated friendship must be practical. It must be tested by acts or omissions. Professions alone are not sufficient. It is quite common to read of or to hear expressed sentiments of friendship between Japan and the United States; and they are welcome and pleasant. But this feeling of amity between the peoples of our countries has been and in the long future will be demonstrated by decision and conduct.
The two great countries who, in citizenship, are represented here today felicitate themselves that they are comrades in arms with other leading governments in a combined effort to secure for the people of the world their right to liberty, justice and happiness.
Side by side, in the onward march of nations, the Allies, determinedly and triumphantly, are moving forward to victory.
After the stirring speech of Judge Gary, the Mayor arose and said:
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have the honor to present to you the, eminent statesman whom Japan has sent to head this Mission, His Excellency Viscount Ishii, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary on Special Mission.
Viscount Ishii, who had listened attentively to the eloquent periods of the Mayor so crisply and feelingly delivered, and to the plain but forcible remarks of Judge Gary, replied with very evident emotion as soon as the applause had quieted down. He said:
We are very proud indeed, Your Honor and gentlemen, to receive such a welcome at the hands of the representatives and people of this great city. The warmth and generosity of this reception, and at such a time, gives me the right to go back to my people, half a world away, and tell them that space is nothing; that the prejudices and the barriers built up and thrown across the path are myths; that the road from the heart of the East to the heart of the West is clear, and that one of the most wonderful miracles of all the world and of all time has been accomplished within a bare half century.
Science and invention have swept the word "distance" away as a matter of little concern. We come to you and you to us in less time than half a century ago it took to travel from New York to New Orleans. Your greatness has been the marvel of the earth. The story of this fabulous Island City of the western hemisphere has been almost impossible of belief. But, sir, it is not your stupendous enterprise, your lofty and beautiful structures, or your streets which teem with evidence of skill and the very essence of vitality that impress me most. All that is physical fades from before me and I see here the spirit of the greatest city of the western world meeting and giving friends'. greeting to the spirit of my beloved land on the open field of honest purpose. There is perhaps more in this welcome and in this response than in other greetings so recently exchanged in this historic place between the representatives of western nations and of your city.
We have passed through the Golden Gate out yonder on your western shores to find a great American welcome. In hall a dozen cities and in every home our welcome has been the same---hearty, kindly and sincere. And now we have come through your eastern gateway and we find the hand clasp is the same, the welcome just as hearty and the pledges for a better future even more encouraging.
Your great Goddess of Liberty has given us the challenge and has passed us as friends; and now the city of our dreams which has trained our youngsters into students and scientists, or taught our men the wonders of finance and trade---the city which today is the very core of the created world---has paused for a precious hour to welcome us and do us honor.,
Sir, we are very proud and deeply conscious of the meaning of this reception and this welcome. We shall use the freedom you have given us with care, and we shall hope to hold its rights and privileges always to commemorate this day of great rejoicing and of vast importance in the history of our two nations.
You, sir, and the people of your city have our most sincere congratulations upon your wonderful achievements and our deepest gratitude for this reception.
Up Fifth Avenue. The Sixty-ninth Regiment
Leaving the City Hall, the procession of automobiles proceeded between unbroken masses of cheering people to Washington Square, where the Wanamaker battalion of women, armed for battle, stood at attention. A brief stop was made while Colonel Ernest presented Viscount Ishii and Ambassador Sato with medals of the Order of the Bronze Star and flags of the nation and city.
Seldom has Fifth Avenue been so gorgeously arrayed. The possibilities of the Japanese flag as a decoration had been developed, and the scene amazed even New Yorkers. A great Japanese flag, with red rays radiating from the flaming disk in the center, covered one side of the Washington Arch, and the official flag of Japan hung over the avenue at every cross street. Replacing the regular street lamp globes were the triangular frames bearing the flags of Japan, of the United States, and of the city of New York. The mass of Japanese flags waved by those packing the sidewalks gave the illusion of a field of gracefully swaying red flowers.
But the center of attraction in the avenue despite all of this wonder of color was the camp hardened members of New York's own Sixty-ninth Regiment, now styled the 165th U. S. A. The men were lined up on the east side of the avenue from Twentieth Street to Thirty-fourth, standing rigid at "present arms," as the Mission passed. The members of the Mission were impressed by the Sixty-ninth and commented to each other and those accompanying them upon the appearance of the men. As Viscount Ishii stood beside the Mayor in the re-viewing stand at the Union League Club while the regiment, to a volley of Irish tunes, marched by, he turned and said: "Fine men, fine men. They are real soldiers. They can fight."
The regiment came from Camp Mills for its part in the day's program and returned to camp at night. And it was their farewell to the city. In a fortnight they were on their way to France.
From the Union League Club, where Charles Evans Hughes, Lord Aberdeen, and members of the Mayor's committee were among those on the reviewing stand, the Mission went to the home of Judge Gary, at Fifth Avenue and 67th Street, their residence while in the city. Before leaving the club Viscount Ishii told reporters that he had been impressed by the sincerity of the popular greeting and repeated the praise of the men of the "Sixty-ninth."
After a leisurely parade northward in Fifth Avenue to the home of Judge Gary, the members of the Mission retired from the public gaze to prepare themselves for the dinner which Judge Gary was giving in their honor.
In addition to the members of the Mission and the Mayor's reception committee, there were also at the dinner Governor Whitman, Mayor Mitchel, Jacob H. Schiff, George W. Perkins, Admiral Gleaves, Robert Adamson, Lindsay Russell, Ambassador Sato, George S. Baker, A. P. Hepburn, R. A. C. Smith and Melville E. Stone.
After the dinner a reception was given for the wives of those who attended the dinner in the earlier part of the evening.
A musical program was provided. The artists included Mischa Elman and Mme. Alda.
The second day of the Imperial Japanese Mission in New York, Friday, September 28, was full of events. At ten o'clock the party left the Gary residence for a sightseeing trip, in the course of which they visited the Woolworth Building. They were piloted by Mr. George T. Wilson, chairman of the executive committee of the Mayor's reception committee, and other members of the committee. Whisked up to the tower top they were much impressed by the view therefrom, though the morning was dull and a drizzling rain was falling. The jagged sky-line of tall buildings certainly surprised them, but gray mist curtained in the distances revealed on clear days. For ten minutes they visited the Stock Exchange, and then dropped in the Bankers Club in the Equitable Building. It was now time to go to the Chamber of Commerce, where the first formal function of the day was to take place.
Chamber of Commerce Reception and Luncheon
At half an hour after twelve Viscount Ishii and the Mission were met in the vestibule of the Chamber of Commerce by a reception committee of its prominent members, headed by President Outerbridge, and including Alfred E. Marling, Welding Ring, T. De Witt Cuyler, Eugene Delano, A. Barton Hepburn, Darwin P. Kingsley, Samuel W. Fairchild, Jacob H. Schiff, Herbert L. Satterlee, John Claflin, Isaac N. Seligman, John I. Waterbury, Dallas B. Pratt, Anson W. Burchard and A. C. Bedford.
The visiting party were Viscount K. Ishii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary; I. Takeshita, Vice Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy; Major General H. Sugano, Imperial Japanese Army; the Hon. M. Hanihara, Consul General at San Francisco; the Hon. M. Nagai, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs; Commander M. Ando, of the Imperial Japanese Navy; Lieutenant Colonel S. Tanikawa, of the Imperial Japanese Army; the Hon. T. Imai, Vice Consul at Honolulu, and K. Owaku, private secretary to Viscount Ishii.
They were escorted to the platform by members of the reception committee and the other guests of the chamber, who included Aimaro Sato, Japanese Ambassador to the United States; Mayor Mitchel, C. Yada, Japanese Consul General in New York; Breckinridge Long, Third Assistant Secretary of State; Rear Admiral Nathaniel R. Usher, U. S. N.; Brigadier General James A. Irons, U. S. A.; Brigadier General Eli D. Hoyle, U. S. A.; Captain W. W. Phelps, U. S. N.; A. B. Ruddock, Secretary of the Embassy; Lieutenant Colonel Mizumachi, Military Attaché of the Japanese Embassy; Commander Viscount Hotta, Assistant Naval Attaché of the Embassy; E. Nuida, Third Secretary of the Embassy; Elbert H. Gary, chairman of the mayor's committee for the reception of the Mission; Major General Daniel Appleton, William Fellowes Morgan, president of the Merchants' Association; Lindsay Russell, president of the Japan Society; Colonel William A. Simpson, U. S. A.; Lieutenant Commander Wilcox, U. S. N.; Captain Gerald Stratton, R. A. C. Smith, George T . Wilson, Franklin Q. Brown, Henry S. Thompson, Arthur Woods, Leon G. Godley, Hunter Wykes, Donn Barber and William C. Breed.
As the visitors entered smiling, the company, a thousand strong, gave them a rousing welcome. As soon as they were seated President Outerbridge came forward and said:
Gentlemen of the Chamber, Your Excellency, and members of the Imperial Japanese Mission, Mr. Mayor and guests: This assemblage of men, representative of the great business, commercial and financial interests of this city, which is the business and financial capital of the United States, is gathered here today for the especial purpose of extending the hand of welcome and of warm friendship to these our distinguished guests, the representatives of our great ally in the Far East, Japan.
We appreciate the courtesy and the honor that that nation has done us in sending these distinguished gentlemen on this long voyage across the Pacific and the American continent to confer with our government as to how we may better cooperate in our efforts to bring to a speedy and successful conclusion this great war in which we are now both engaged.
In this stupendous conflict which shakes the world to its foundations; which has arrested the progress of civilization and threatens to destroy its past achievements; which divides the whole world into two camps of diametrically opposite philosophies and conceptions of national and international relations and political liberties, we are indeed proud to find that this ancient nation of the Far East, which accepted the hand of friendship from the western world, first from us through our great Commodore Perry, is now arrayed with us and on our side.
Viscount Ishii, we have seen your nation engaged in great wars of its own. We know that the men of your navy and armies fight with unsurpassed valor, with unbounded devotion and patriotism to their country and their Emperor, and always with that chivalry which marks the man of true courage. We know that they scorn the brutalities that are perpetrated by those who hold to the belief that might is supreme over right. Then, too, we have seen the marvelous advances that your nation has made in peaceful industrial arts. Your initiative, ingenuity and perseverence have challenged our admiration.
We have seen your nation in scarcely more than half a century, in the span of one human life as it were, emerge from its ancient exclusiveness in the Orient and take a position among the progressive and predominant powers of the western world.
We believe that this visit that you have now paid us will result in a great deal more than merely a better cooperation. in the prosecution of this war; we believe that it will cement and perpetuate the friendship which has really existed from all time; we believe that it will demonstrate to all those, whether foes abroad or alien foes within, or disloyal people masquerading under our own citizenship, who have tried by propaganda of innuendo and suspicion, to raise up, as it were, a "chilling mist" between us, that their efforts have completely failed. We believe that your visit and the reception which you have had will result in the representative people of our two nations determining upon whatever steps may be necessary to see that this friendship shall not be disturbed in the future but that it shall continue to grow and to glow with increasing warmth.
In the great era of reconstruction and commercial expansion which must follow this war, we realize that in the Far East your nation must play a most prominent part.
In the great republic of China which lies close to your shores, where, notwithstanding its ancient civilization, culture, philosophy, religion and art nevertheless there remain great masses of its people who are as yet only children in their knowledge of western industrial art, as you and we have conceived and developed it, we know that you will certainly be a leading factor in bringing to them the knowledge and the products of western civilization. We feel that you and we should be allies in that work as we are now allies in the prosecution of this war. We believe that you and we should approach that work in the same mutual confidence and with the same lofty purposes which we now have in prosecuting this war. We feel that we should each carry into that great republic the benefits of western industrial products and processes, but that in so doing, their people should benefit thereby quite as much at least as we ourselves do.
Indeed, Sir, should it not be that in joining your energy, productive efficiency and propinquity with our material resources and our capital, that their people may say of our efforts, and posterity may write down of what we have done, what Shakespeare said of the quality of mercy, that, "It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."
Gentlemen of the Japanese Commission, we believe fully in the sincerity of your purposes. We extend to you the heartiest of welcome, we offer you the warmest spirit of cooperation and we pledge you sympathy and support if it is ever needed.
Gentlemen of the Chamber, I have the great honor to present to you, Viscount Ishii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Empire and of the Emperor of Japan.
Viscount Ishii arose and said:
Mr. President and gentlemen: To but few men comes such opportunity. I can only hope that it may be in my power to impress you with some small sense of my own appreciation and of the obligation under which you have placed my associates and my countrymen. I would be a proud man indeed if some power could give to me the gift of speech to make reply in kind to your gracious and eloquent words, but I am comforted by the thought that no words coined or strung together could in any language convey even a small sense of our appreciation.
Before a body of such men, at a time like this, it would be a poor compliment and bad manners to be silent, and yet it seems to me that the value of silence has gone up since it came my time to speak and perhaps you, gentlemen, are quite capable of telling me that with the present price of silver you would prefer to have speech because you would gain so little by choosing silence. I am sorry that from my point of view I can not agree with you.
I am, however, glad of the opportunity to say some things to you on an occasion which demands and ensures frank speech and sincerity. I am speaking to the men who represent the whole world of business in a business day of such vast intricacies and considerations that we who stand outside understand but little of the movement. Least of all, perhaps, do we who come from a small island some ten thousand miles away whose total business falls something short of what the records show for this island of Manhattan. But, gentlemen, every little helps, and little Japan is here to help. We are here to say that Japan will make herself as unpleasant to the enemy as her physical make-up will permit or her ingenuity conceive. This wonderful welcome we have had in New York, your presence and your words today, make us feel proud. Since our arrival in America we have not only been impressed but compressed by the gigantic measure of your resources and your preparations to stop the war by providing the only means by which it can be stopped---the complete, utter, physical defeat and humiliation of Germany. But I assure you that we are with you as your allies, your comrades and your partners in the winning of this war which means so much to all the world.
You will be satisfied that Japan has done, is doing and will do her share in such manner as to justify her in claiming a place in the company of honest men.
We have been friends, sir, for some fifty years. We propose to strengthen that friendship. We have earned a right to it by the true history of the past and we propose to hold it through all the years that are to come, for we value it far too highly to risk its loss. In these fifty years of great development for you and for us we have met in the market place, and, as time went by, the understanding grew. We have tasted of your gracious hospitality on other occasions. We have learned from you the ways of the West and of the Street; but, sir, those were different times and different inducements. Hitherto we have come to you, as you have come to us, with something to sell or something to buy; something to give and something to take. Hitherto it has been the cry that trade and commerce, exchange and mart would bring us to a better understanding and it has; but today there is something more, East meets West on common ground. "That Royal Hawk, the sun, has flown from the Orient's hand and lighted in the West." The same sun glorifies the stars and is blazoned on the snow white field of "your flag and my flag as they fly today; on your land and my land half a world away." This is the day of the gathering of the clans of the East and of the West. The day has dawned in which the yesterday is forgotten; when old prejudices, old misunderstandings fade ---and you greet us as we greet you---old friends, and new made brothers in the struggle for human liberty, human freedom and national existence.
The Chamber then adjourned and the guests and members proceeded to the library where luncheon was served. At the close of the luncheon, President Outerbridge said:
Members of the Chamber especially, and also our distinguished guests: I certainly should be derelict in my duty if I brought this function to a conclusion without giving you an opportunity to testify that at this moment we want to look at and stand beside our young Mayor. I am going to ask him to say just a word on our behalf to our guests.
Mayor Mitchel in response said:
Mr. Outerbridge, Your Excellency, gentlemen of the Commission, and gentlemen: I fear that the members of the Imperial Japanese War Mission will almost become tired of the repeated welcomes extended to them by me on behalf of the city, but gentlemen, let me assure you that though they come often, they are all sincere. The city delights to honor these distinguished representatives of our great ally in the East, and our friend, Japan.
The people of New York recognize the deep significance of this meeting, a significance that has to do not only with the past friendship that has existed between the two peoples, the cementing of that friendship and the promise that it will continue for all time, but the significance of this visit to our country in the present state of the war means that Japan extends to us, through it today, the assurance that she is with us as she has been with the other allies since the beginning of this war, and that she is prepared to cooperate with us as we are prepared to cooperate with her, and we have to bring this war to a victorious issue. Gentlemen, our great nation is prepared. Every day the young men go to concentration and to training camps and every day, or almost every day, ships go out bearing troops across the Atlantic. There is no doubt of the truth of what Judge Gary said to you in the City Hall that the American people are prepared to put as many men into the field as may be necessary to win this war, and that they are ready to devote as many billions of the national treasure to the winning of this war as it may require. But beside those things, it is necessary that this great nation keep here at home as an inspiration to the fighting forces at the front, a public spirit that will know no division and that will know no sedition or at least will repudiate any utterance which may strike not only at our nation but at any one of our allies in cooperation with us.
Your great nation is indeed a lesson for the people of the United States in the wonderful spirit of individual devotion and self-sacrifice to the national cause that Japan knows among her people. There is perhaps no nation in the world where the individual is prepared so completely to sacrifice himself to the good of the country, to the good of his neighbors as the individual in your country, Japan. And when small groups here and there scattered through our people are discussing the effect of this war upon their community, upon the interests of other countries or places in which they take, no matter how deep and how honest and heartfelt an interest---when they are doing this and when they are discussing whether or not they owe to the United States an unquestioned and unswerving loyalty in this war, they may well take a lesson and an inspiration from the people of Japan who, when their country is at war, have nothing to ask but only to serve.
These are indeed days of remarkable happenings and of new things. We have received, one after another, the great war commissions from the Allied nations. Now comes this Commission from the Far East.
It seems to me that this year is seeing a parallel drawn between the history of Japan and the history of the United States. In 1853 Perry bore the message of friendship to Japan and the isolation of Japan, maintained for three centuries, was broken, and intercourse began between the East and the West.
This year sees a traditional isolation of the United States broken for all time. Our relations with the rest of the world from this day forward must be other than they have been in the past. We can no longer consider ourselves separate from the interests and from the happenings of the other nations of the world. We must take our place among them and we must champion with those on the side of right the same great principles of democracy and human liberty. There will be no complete isolation for America in the future. And so, gentlemen, the United States in this year stretches out her hands across the Atlantic to the East, and across the Pacific, westward, to the Far East, in friendship, in cooperation, cementing bonds that are not lightly to be broken in the future; bonds that we know never will be broken; and a brotherhood is formed among all the peoples of the earth who believe in permitting those who live within a country to live at peace, under institutions of their own choosing, and who believe in establishing safeguards for the small nations of the world against the aggression of autocracy and the brutality of barbarism.
At the Tomb of General Grant
After the luncheon came a trip on the police boat Patrol up the East River and through the Harlem Ship Canal. Viscount Ishii, Ambassador Sato, Vice Admiral Takeshita, Major General Sugano, and others were in the party.
The vessel docked at 129th Street at 5 o'clock and the party motored to Grant's Tomb. Here the Seventy-first Regiment formed a lane of honor. The Seventh Regiment band played the Japanese national anthem.
With simple touching ceremonial, Viscount Ishii, his footsteps lighted by a single torch through the dusk of the evening hour within the monument, laid a wreath of roses on the coffin of General Grant, followed by courtesies to the spirit of the dead Commander of the Union by all the other members of the Mission.
The party then witnessed a review of the Seventy-first Regiment. The Viscount, Ambassador Sato, Major General Sugano and the others complimented Colonel Bates upon the splendid showing of his men. Like the old Sixty-ninth of the day before, this was the Seventy-first's farewell to New York. That night it was on its way.
Dinner Given by Mayor Mitchel and Executive Committee
This was the truly decorative event of the Mission's visit to New York, and indeed in that respect fairly surpassed any of its long list of dinners in welcome to visiting war missions. It was given by Mayor Mitchel and the executive committee of the Mayor's reception committee in honor of Viscount Ishii and his associates at the Ritz-Carlton, and the coup d'oeil won exclamations of delight from all the guests.
With the devoted assistance of Japanese artists, who labored night and day to transform the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton, George T. Wilson and Herbert Swope of the committee and Manager Albert Keller of the Ritz-Carlton produced a dinner setting of incomparable loveliness. Nipponese painters created panels, splendid panels, afire with color and alive with movement, for the principal adornment of the four walls. They reproduced the familiar motifs of Japanese art, softened somewhat for western appreciation, and they brushed upon other spaces the ancient heraldic devices of the samurai. Set between these gorgeous panels were lovely lanterns of silk and paper, each showing a bright device pleasing to the initiated eye of the guests. At the east end of the ballroom was a display of the flags of all the allies against Germany, the Rising Sun flag draping emblematically behind the colors of Japan's national comrades ---their support, as the Mayor quickly noted, in the eastern world.
All the speakers commented upon the picture thus presented, and Viscount Ishii, who confined his remarks there to an appreciation of the reception accorded to him and the Mission, said he "never had seen anything quite so beautiful."
The table, with one hundred and two covers laid, was arranged in the form of a hollow square. It was spread with the dusky red bloom of the celocia. The deep and wide well of space in the square was massed with brilliant chrysanthemums---yellow, white, deep red---and over all was a gentle illumination of soft light, an effect shrewdly created by indirect devices and by silken screens. The general effect of the decorative triumph won instant praise from the Japanese guests and was alluded to more than once by the speakers of the evening, Mayor Mitchel, Governor Whitman, United States Senator Robert L. Owen of Oklahoma, and Viscount Ishii.
The gentlemen of Japan, with their American hosts of the Mayor's executive committee, arrived at the Ritz-Carlton at 7.30 p.m., and after a few minutes of conversation and a pledge or two of personal friendship were escorted to the glowing banquet room. Viscount Ishii was placed between the Mayor and the Governor, with Vice Admiral Takeshita, Major General Sugano and Aimaro, Sato, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, in other seats of honor near Senator Owen and prominent members of the executive committee.
In addition to the Japanese party the guests included Robert Adamson, General Daniel Appleton, August Belmont, Emory R. Buckner, Nicholas Murray Butler, Edward H. Blashfield, Nicholas F. Brady, Frederic R. Coudert, Judge Elbert H. Gary, Hugh Frayne, Samuel Gompers, Charles E. Hughes, Hamilton Holt, Dr. J. Takamine, T. Iyenaga, Brigadier General James A. Irons, Alexander Konta, Otto H. Kahn, Dr. George F. Kunz, Thomas W. Lamont, Martin W. Littleton, George McAneny, Clarence H. Mackay, Henry Morgenthau, William Fellowes Morgan, Byron Newton, Morgan J. O'Brien, E. H. Outerbridge, Ogden M. Reid, Elihu Root, Theodore Rousseau, Herbert B. Swope, Don C. Seitz, John B. Stanchfield, George R. Sheldon, Jacob H. Schiff, Charles M. Schwab, Oscar S. Straus, George T. Wilson, George W. Wickersham and Police Commissioner Arthur Woods.
At a few minutes past 9 p.m. Mayor Mitchel opened the informal speech making by assuring the Japanese visitors how gladly the people of New York seized another opportunity to honor them. After he had proposed the healths of the President and of the Emperor of Japan, which were drunk standing while the orchestra played the national anthem, he said:
When the Italian Mission was here I told them New York was the greatest Italian city in the world, having 800,000 of the people of that nation in its population. We can not speak in such numbers to our present visitors, as we only have about 1,500 Japanese in our city; but we can assure them they are among the most respected, law abiding and substantial of our citizens.
He recalled the visits of General Kuroki and of Admiral Togo, and introduced Governor Whitman with the compliment that "New York State's readiness to help the Union is due in large measure to the work of her Governor in the past two or three years."
Governor Whitman informed the Mission of the sincerity of the welcome by the state, and added:
It has taken a great struggle to convince us of just what the friendship of Japan means to us. Now we are convinced that they have joined us, not only in hands, but in hearts We are joined now in a holy cause and are bound to win. The Commission has come to find a united people, from coast to coast, from top to bottom, with every soul solidly behind the President.
We are for America to the last drop. There is nothing small or mean about that remark. We are for our allies, for England and Russia and Belgium and all the others, and for France, whose men sing as they live and smile as they die. We are glad that Japan is with us and we are in every sense with Japan, and we hope that this friendship, made in this time of shadow, shall live forever in the sunshiny days to come.
We are for America, but in no narrow, petty way. We are for England, Japan, all the Allies, because they represent now, the things that America stands for. We are against pacifism, anti-conscriptionism, and anti-militarism, and against any "ism" that tends to divide our people. We are for the war to the limit and to the finish.
United States Senator Owen of Oklahoma, introduced by Mayor Mitchel as "One who shone all the more by contrast with certain others," testified to the admiration that the American people have for the rise of the Japanese nation, an advance incomparable in history.
It gives us the great opportunity [said Senator Owen] to remove the seeds of doubt and suspicion which enemies of the United States and Japan have been so busy sowing in the last decade.
He recalled that no representative of the Allies had made a more profound impression in speaking before the Senate than Viscount Ishii of Japan, because the Viscount's words were so truly the sentiments of humanity, liberty, equality and justice. He was elated that America and Japan stand together to crush Hohenzollernism.
How deplorable it is [said the Senator] that a great people, the Germans, should have been subjected from the cradle to the education which taught them that might is right. They have heard it from pulpit and press and teacher. But it must be stamped out of the world.
The Senator assured the visitors that Americans hold them equal in every way to the people of any nation on earth.
The closing talk was made by Viscount Ishii; just a few words in acknowledgment of the heaped up bouquets of compliments.
Since we left the pier on our arrival we have had constant evidence of the genuine friendship of America for my country. If there was any need for proofs of friendship, the people of New York have abundantly furnished them. I beg to propose the healths of the Governor and the Mayor.
Japan Society's Reception
The chief function of the evening, however, was the reception and supper tendered by the Japan Society at the Astor Hotel. For that society indeed the function was in the nature of a fruition. For years past its thousand members, American and Japanese, have striven to implant a belief throughout the United States in the good faith of Japan, and the moral and material advisability of warm and cordial relations between the two countries in the name of an old friendship, and later because of the new condition in the governments of the world imposed by the great world war.
A very large gathering of men in uniform or evening dress, and women in fashionable attire---many of the ladies indeed in the Japanese costume to which they were native---was waiting in the large ballroom of the Astor when at something after nine o'clock the Imperial Japanese Mission, headed by Viscount Ishii, arrived. A note of cheerfulness dominated, and their reception was as cordial as any they had met during a day of emotions. It was, in truth, one of the most brilliant bodies of notables ever assembled in New York City, and included state and city officials, generals and admirals of America and Japan, numerous diplomats and others of equal prominence in the official, political, literary and social world.
Lindsay Russell, president of the Japan Society, made the address of welcome:
We salute Viscount Ishii as an old friend of this society. We greet Mr. Nagai as one of its founders. We welcome Mr. Hanihara as an ardent supporter, and to Vice Admiral Takeshita, Major General Sugano and the other members of the Mission, one and all, we extend our heartiest appreciation of the splendid service they are rendering in bringing about a clearer understanding and better relations between our two countries.
You need no welcome from the Japan Society. So far as its hospitality is concerned the doctrine of extraterritoriality applies. It is difficult to believe that you have traveled nearly 8,000 miles to pay us this visit; but that distance has been immeasurably reduced by the friendliness revealed in all of your utterances and the frankness with which you have spoken.
It was just prior to the civil war when the first Imperial Mission from Japan visited the United States. But it has remained for you and the members of your distinguished Mission to open the door of America; that is, the door to the minds and hearts of the American people, as no other Japanese visitors have done. Thus will your visit be recorded in history. Your Mission has stimulated the international mind of the American people. Your keynote, like that of the Mayor of our great city, has been "Be right and speak out." The grace and ease with which you have overcome the barrier of language has lifted the imaginary veil of inscrutability. You have aroused the envy and despair of all who hear you speak. You have captivated Washington, our political center. You have established an intellectual entente with Boston, our center of culture. You have fraternized with the City of Brotherly Love. Bostonians and Philadelphians have a point in common with the Orient in that they firmly believe in and faithfully practice ancestor worship. And now New York, the embodiment and inspiration of them all, is yours.
It is a happy augury for the success of your Mission in New York that so many ladies are interested. With or without the ballot the American woman is becoming a great factor in international relations. American women consume more than three-fourths of all Japan's exports to the United States. Sixty per cent of all travelers to Japan for pleasure are women. It is safe to say that the remaining forty per cent are largely influenced to go by the ladies. All lectures on Japan and most of the literature on Japan should appeal primarily to American women to win a wide audience in the United States. One of Japan's best friends today is the American woman.
"Tell the truth about Japan," has been the slogan of this society. For ten years we have combated the venomous gossip and vicious slander of Japan, and, more difficult still, ignorance and indifference on the part of many writers and speakers. On the other hand, Japan's friends have overpraised her. In taking a middle course, a service which I can perhaps render, is to testify that the Japanese have at least sufficient human failings to make them interesting to associate with.
One thing is essential to mutual friendship between our two peoples. That essential is understanding. Let Americans acquaint themselves with the Japanese point of view. They will find that Japan's problems do not grow out of sordid ambition or mere self-seeking. Japan, like America, is responsive to the innate demand for the preservation of self and ideals. This is our common instinct. It unites us as allies against the forces of ruthless aggression. Let us stand firm in the hour of trial. As leaders of civilization, each in a great hemisphere, may we soon cooperate in the work of reconstruction, in the healing of national wounds and in educational and humanitarian work in the Orient.
Governor Whitman was the first speaker Mr. Russell called upon. He praised the stand of the Japanese people in the world war and emphasized the fact that America stood solidly behind President Wilson He said:
I wish to express my admiration of the stand which the people of Japan have taken in the great world crisis. We are glad that the people of Japan are with us in this struggle. We are with them as we are with the people across the sea. We are with them because we and they are fighting for the cause of humanity, the cause of civilization, and the cause of right.
These representatives of Japan have been welcomed by the President of the United States and they have learned that today President Wilson is the ruler of a united people, ready to follow his leadership as they never have before and to show the world that the President meant what he said. Because of this we are with him with our lives, our hearts and our fortunes.
Dr. John H. Finley, State Commissioner of Education, said that Japan's flag typified the rising sun and that America's flag was similar to the stars in the heavens. He suggested that Japan might fly the Stars and Stripes as a reminder of the coming night and that America might decorate her houses with the Japanese flag as a reminder of the morrow.
Dr. Finley exhibited an American flag which was the first ever made by Japanese hands and which had been presented to Commodore Perry when he visited Japan and brought its isolation to an end.
When President Russell arose to introduce Viscount Ishii the applause was tumultuous. Repeatedly bowing, the visitor waited for a pause in the welcoming, and said:
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, members of the Japan Society of New York: It affords me the greatest pleasure to meet you here today and to have this opportunity of addressing you. I bring to you from your branch organization and the people of Japan a message of greeting, together with the assurance that we have watched with deep interest growth of this splendid organization, and the ever increasing good work you are doing in the cause of good understanding between the peoples of our two countries.
I thank you on behalf of my associates and for myself for your most gracious words of welcome; your allusion to what this Mission has accomplished and may accomplish for the future relations of Japan and America naturally is most gratifying to me. If we have made new friends, if we have succeeded in exposing to the American people the main causes of our mutual misunderstandings in the past, and if, as a result of this visit, the two peoples become aware of the fact that the distrust, suspicion and doubt are the result of careful German culture throughout the last ten years, we will have done much for ourselves and for you.
The strange thing about all this muddle of misunderstanding in the past years is that we have discovered a common characteristic in both. peoples. We have both been too confiding, and at the same time too suspicious and sensitive. We have harbored the German and we have received him as a mutual friend. His marvelous self-centered and ordered existence, his system, his organization and his all pervading self-assertion have appealed to us, until in a state of hypnotic sleep we have allowed him to bring us into mutual misunderstanding. The agent of Germany in this country and in ours has had as his own purpose the feeding of our passions, our prejudices and our distrust on a specially prepared German concoction. This is not a picture overdrawn. It is true.
The Americans must now understand the Japanese as the Japanese must now understand the Americans. True, our language differs, our standards are not quite the same, and our lives are cast on different lines; but the human heart all the world over is just the same, provided the great tenets of honor, right and justice have been instilled into a nation's or a people's mind through the centuries and the generations of time. The test of our relations comes in the sacrifices we are ready to make when interest and profit run counter to honor and right. That test has been applied in the past, as it must be applied in the future, and we of Japan have neither doubt nor fear but that when the sharpest test is put on this great country's friendship American honor will stand the heaviest strain.
Ladies and gentlemen, there are no differences between us save those differences which always arise and are easily settled between the best of friends, being without a thought of suspicion or distrust.
We shudder to look around us now at the menace we have so narrowly escaped; but in the ordering of this wonderful world in which we live, a common need in a world holocaust of horror has brought us close together, drawn by the swords of human sympathy, human love of justice and human love of liberty, and because of our mutual danger in the past, and because of our mutual needs in the future there need be no fear of the loosening of the golden cord that now and forever holds Japan to America.
A Trip to West Point
The members of the Japanese Mission left the home of their host, Elbert H. Gary, early on Saturday morning, September 29, for a trip to West Point. Viscount Ishii and his party were ready at the minute set for departure at ten o'clock on the yacht Alicia, which left from the foot of West 80th Street.
The visitors were accompanied by members of the executive committee of the Mayor's reception committee, including Judge Elbert H. Gary, Major General Daniel Appleton, Captain Burley of the Seventh Regiment, Deputy Police Commissioner Godley, George T. Wilson and Dock Commissioner R. A. C. Smith. The Alicia had a cheering convoy in the steamboat Washington Irving, which the Hudson River Day Line sent to West Point to carry the crowds that wanted to see the distinguished visitors.
A bright autumn day put the scenery at its best, and the bright colors of the changing foliage added the touches of the season. The Japanese, accustomed, as they were, to the views and vistas of Japan, still had eyes to appreciate the Hudson River country.
An incident of the trip which pleased the Japanese occurred opposite Ossining, where stone quarrying was in progress. The workmen, hearing of the approach of the Alicia, held back their blasting until the yacht was within sight and hearing. Then, with a great explosion that sent the earth and rock flying through the air, a big blast was set off as an impromptu salute.
Colonel Tillman, Superintendent of the Academy, Lieutenant Colonel Guy V. Henry, Commandant at the Point, and Captain D. H. Torrey, Adjutant, met the yacht at the West Point landing, with the crack negro troopers under command of Captain J. K. Brown. The visitors went direct to the parade ground and the review took place.
Viscount Ishii and the members of the Mission stood on the parade ground, visibly interested and impressed, while in three battalions the 748 cadets marched by in review. When the last line had passed the Viscount turned impulsively to Colonel Tillman and exclaimed: "What spirit they have! They March like men in earnest."
Other members of the Mission echoed their leader's sentiments, and Viscount Ishii repeated what he had said, and added to it many times before the day was over.
The return to New York was by motor along the west shore, through Bear Mountain Park, and so on down to Dyckman Street Ferry.
X. New York---II
Table of Contents