Ohio History Journal

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312 Ohio Arch

312       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications





Mr. President and Members of the Society:

I had a story to tell this afternoon but in view of the late

hour I have begged the Chairman to let me off. As he insists

on not doing so I will put off my story for a future day and

speak very briefly of a thought that has been in my mind while

listening to the extremely interesting paper of Dr. Sparks and

the very impressive address of General Keifer.

Dr. Sparks has emphasized and illustrated the irresistible

march of civilization towards the west, a sometimes temporarily

halted, but never completely arrested movement, which crossed

the continent of Europe, then the Atlantic Ocean, and in our

own time has reached our western border, the shores of the


The thought which came to me grew out of a personal

incident which threatened to prevent my hearing these two most

interesting addresses because of an expected visit (now post-

poned for a day) from Dr. R. Fujisawa, retired professor of

the Imperial University of Japan, in which institution he was

my pupil more than forty years ago. He has just completed

a course of lectures at the International Political Institute which

has been in session at Williams College, Williamstown. Massa-


As many of you know, the Institute is of recent founda-

tion. holding its meetings annually for a few weeks, for the

study of important international questions. Distinguished men

are called from foreign countries to give courses of lectures,

each upon some phase of the political institutions of his own

land which may just now be of special interest.

Dr. Fujisawa very kindly sent me typewritten copies of

his lectures as given from day to day and the leading note

which he has sounded rang in my ears this afternoon as I heard

it repeated in the notable addresses to which we have listened.

I recalled the fact that when I first saw him he was a

typical youth of high rank in a nation which at that time was

practically unknown among the people of the, so-called, civilized

world. He belonged to the "sword-bearing" caste of a people

ruled by what we would consider the most autocratic govern-

ment known to man.

But a few years earlier this mighty westerly movement of

democratic civilization had crossed the broadest of the oceans

and planted its seed in this land, which for centuries had neither

given to nor received from the other nations of the earth.