The first introduction of Buddhism into China under the imperial auspices in the year a.d. 68 certainly leaves a most striking and unparalleled landmark in the history of humanity. For, on the one hand, unlike Christianity, to which pagan Europe was converted and on which was built a Judæo-Hellenic civilization, on the other hand, unlike the European civilization which, having taken root in America, annihilated its ancient culture, Buddhism brought into China exotic currents, intellectual and spiritual, that at once greatly enriched and strengthened, without dominating or being incompatible with, her old culture. In spite of the alleged persecution 1 in China, Buddhism has so far supplied the Chinese with a Weltanschanung that was half-forgotten, a philosophy that is at once fresh and highly intellectual, a metaphysic that is far more comprehensive and subtle than her sages had ever attempted, an ethics that supplements to 116a certain extent the teachings of Confucius, and rites and worship—a later development of Buddhism—in which the mass of the people find consolation. Mr. Joseph Edkins, in his learned work Chinese Buddhism, has indeed uttered such dogmatic and unverifiable judgments as “Buddhism has added to it (Confucian system) only idolatry, and a false view of the future state, but has not contributed to make the people more virtuous,” 1 or, “Indeed all the force of the moral teaching of the Chinese is in Confucianism, and not in Buddhism.” 2 Unfortunately, moral progress or retrogression in the character of human beings or in social relations does not invariably correspond with the lofty teachings of great moral philosophers, so it is a blame undeserved if all the evils among the Chinese, if evils there are, are attributed to Buddhism. Moreover, it is simply idleness to speculate upon the cases of “if nots” which are so abundant in the pages of history, since that Buddhism has implanted itself in China is a fact. Whether or no Buddhism has been a boon to China as a society can hardly be judged offhand. Thus much we do know, that with Buddhism not only metaphysic and philosophy, which are inherent in the teachings of Buddha and somewhat foreign to the Chinese mind, but philology, mathematics, and astronomy were also finding their way to fertilize the minds of the Chinese learned. Chinese books abound in 117Sanskrit words, transcribed or translated, and we find even the most illiterate people, being imbued with Buddhistic ideas, use in everyday parlance such words as Karma (act), Dharani (charms), Stupa or Tope (pagoda), or Bodhisattva. If Buddhism with its philosophy and metaphysic, mathematics and philology, has much enlightened the intellectuals of China, it has had no less—nay, much more—influence on the mass of the people. The present essay, though by no means pretending to be exhaustive, is an attempt to show how much Buddhism has modified Chinese society by a study of some of her customs and traditions that savour of Buddhism. It is of course assumed here that a man or a woman is justifiably called Buddhist if he or she conforms to Buddhist rites and conventions, just as a man who attends religious services regularly is considered a Christian in the West, no matter what his private life.