IN compressing into the space of a few pages the history of Japan, which covers a period of twenty centuries, I shall try to make you acquainted with those larger landmarks in the genetic development of my people which may be of general interest to students of Culturgeschichte. Though I shall try to be chronological in my presentation, I despair of any narration of concrete events in successive order. I shall endeavour to make a continuous story of our political and social evolution, but I shall not afflict you with long, outlandish names, however great and glorious they may sound in our own ears, unless they stand for something that is still concerned with living issues. I may have to recount some anecdotes which, trifling in themselves, typify the spirit of an age. My idea is to cast a cursory glance at the past in its vital relations with the present, and with this end in view I must beg of my audience to borrow the hat of Fortunatus, or the more fashionable cap of Monsieur Maeterlinck's Tyltyl and turn its diamond, so that time

Our history may be roug~ly divided into five periods, namely:

1. The Ancient-(inc1uding the legendary age, which is strictly pre-historic) from the founding of the Empire down to the middle of the seventh century, and including the introduction of Buddhism.