THINGS JAPANESE, being Notes on various subjects connected with Japan

by Basil Hall Chamberlain

Reprint of the 1905 Fifth Edition Revised


Chamberlain's Things Japanese has now for nearly four decades been one of the indispensable books on Japan. The last, or 5th edition, went out of print in 1923. In that year Prof. Chamberlain sent out to Japan a carefully revised copy of the fifth edition, together two or three short new articles. Unfortunately they perished in the great earthquake of 1st Sept., 1923. As Prof. Chamberlain could not again undertake the work an attempt was made to get another person to make the revision, but that proved impossible. We then approached Prof. Chamberlain and asked him to allow us to reprint the 5th edition verbatim with the addition of appendices, to which he agreed. The reader has thus before him a verbatim reprint of the 5th edition and in reading must bear in mind that it was written in 1905, so that phrases in the body of the work such as "The present decade," "The last ten year," etc., refer to 1905 and not to 1927.
Needless to say during the intervening years great changes have been made and all statistics have become obsolete. In order to indicate this a few notes have been collected and appear as a second appendix. An asterisk has been affixed in the body of the work against any article which has so been treated. These notes were not written by Prof. Chamberlain and he is in no way responsible for any opinions that may be expressed in them.
The thanks of the publishers are due to the Rationalist Press Association of London for permission to reprint in this book the essay titled "The invention of a New Religion" written by Prof. Chamberlain. This essay gives a very clear and able account of the modern developments of Shinto. It is reprinted here as the first appendix. The Map at the end of the volume has had the plan of the railroads brought up to date.


September, 1927.