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Interpretation. The object of hunting in the south is in a large measure realized.
Negative IV. Enters the left side of the abdomen ; gets hold of the heart of Mei-i; and goes out of the gate.
Interpretation. To enter the left side of the abdomen is to get hold of one's thoughts.
Negative V. Is the Mei-i of Ki-shi. Advantageous to be constant.
Interpretation. With the constancy of Ki-shi, brilliancy can never be extinguished.
Negative VI. Loses brilliancy and is dark. At first he ascends the Heaven and finally he enters the earth
Interpretation. That [Negative VI] “at first ascends into the Heaven,” implies that he shines over the four countries. That he “ finally enters the earth,” implies that he loses regularity.
It is my custom to divine the important affairs of the next year on every Winter Solstice. On the 22nd. of December, 18th of Meiji, I divined the taxation of the 19th, of Meiji, one of the most important affairs, and obtained the “Positive I” of “Mei-i (33)” which says, "Positive. I gets his brilliancy injured in flying and drops his wings. On retiring from service, honourable men do not take food for three days. They [have cause toj advance, but the master murmurs." The following was the interpretation :
This hexagram is so called, as it represents a fire, sinking underground, and losing its brilliancy. It has “Ri (13)” for its inner complement which is naturally bright, but which can not illumine as it is under the control of an external agency.
In short, it represents the incapability of a thing's performance of illumination. Applying this to human affairs, it represents the time in which some bright personages among the people are covered in their brightness, and can not perform their functions. In such a time, they can not utilise their brightness of intellect, but are obliged to interfere with small affairs only. This hexagram is also that of the two brothers Hakui and Shuku-sei, who, avoiding their dangers, retired into a mountain; hence it says “It will be advantageous to undergo hardship and to be constant." But the spirit of the hexagram is that we are bright and they are submitting to us, so that we may be able to be auspicious after a long time.
Now the country is advancing daily in civilization under the reign of an excellent Emperor, and under the Government filled up with honourable personages. Everything in the country is civilized and refined, and there is undoubtedly no such an unluckiness as this hexagram represents. But the Almighty presents this in my divination: why? It is certainly inconsistent, but not in this particular point of taxation. I shall now give the reason.
At present, we are all incessantly yearning after the civilization of Europe and America ; but that civilization is merely external and not intrinsic. Hence, although we have woven out a new Japan, splendid indeed in her external virtues, but we are really no better than the old Japanese. If this is true, our payments are being increased while the incomes remain constant. Our disposition is something of a nature of seeing our means exhausted, while we are not yet satisfied in fine food and clothing. It is true that in the tenth year of Meiji, a special reduction was decreed which reduced a
tenth from the normal rate percent of land tax. But thence forward, local taxes, consultation expenses, taxes on employments, and others have been always being increased, and now the duty of people is rather too heavy.
It is an important subject to be studied by those who have concerns for the nation, how the people who are suffering under the aforesaid effect of luxury could have been able to bear such a heavy duty. I shall now explain it.
During the time of the Feudal System, the taxation was especially severe and unlenient, and as the percentage was different under different feudal lords, that which was too severe and cruel was not few. This led the people to the custom of caring more for this duty than for their own living, and this custom is inherited
In addition to this, the currency of money was very smooth through the establishment of banks, so that they must have been barely able to pay their taxes, by borrowing money from banks or from their relatives. Since the years, fifteenth and sixteenth of Meiji, however, the currency became suddenly stopped and the market price of rice lowered, and the incomes of the people very small. People are not thus able to pay their debts, and what is still worse, the banks demand them of their payment, and their relatives, themselves pushed up, can not help them. The urgence for taxes is still more severe than that for their duty to the banks, and the people are in a condition of not knowing how to proceed. They are thus unabled to use sufficient manure for their fields, and the crop consequently diminishing yearly. We now see the reasou of the farmers' being in the time of “Mei-i," whose land can not be utilised properly.
Thus pressed externally by their creditors and internally by the insufficient productiveness of the land, they
are being gradually increased in their difficulties, and will at last be forced to live on natural food only. The reason of my obtaining this hexagram is established now, and it is now in the time of its “Positive I” which says, “Positive I gets his brilliancy injured in flying, and drops his wings,” means that they are trying to move but not able even to flutter their wings. As the people are in such a condition, it is probable that it will hereafter be accompanied by an awful delay of duties. If so, the Government will not be able to afford its expenses, which is the meaning of the expression, "Honourable men do not take food for three days.” We are shown the hexagram of “Mei-i” so that we shall sooner or later fall into this condition. The way of administering to this state is given by the expression, “They have cause to advance, but the master mur
Perhaps an Imperial decree will be published to this effect.
The cause of the difficulty of our “Mei-i” is, as already discussed, is the impetuous desire for a showy civilisation of the people. The titledeeds of the lands of people are in the hands of the banks and other capitalists as securities, and as the currency of money is stopped, the capitalists are very busy in demanding their loans, and the debtors are in utter perplexity, being pressed hard by the demands of their creditors and of taxes. At such a time, it is probable that an Imperial decree will be passed, to save the people from their distress, in accordance with the sentence "They have cause
I shall now try to make out what that decree will order, from my divination.
The “Interpretation” says, “A luminary concealed beneath the earth is [the emblem of ] Mei-i. Honourable men accordingly use darkness, yet it will become clear." From this I think that, any common way will not do, and the Emperor will lay down an extraordinal
way. “Use darkness etc” refers to the healing of a disease with poisons. Just as serious diseases require serious medicaments, an uncommon way must be applied here, A great and exceedingly benevolent policy is here required, as to the details of which I shall not enter. In short, a law for lending and borrowing of money is desirable to be enacted, by which the Government is to interfere with the money affairs, and to make the transaction fair and easy, for the convenience
of the poor.
Such a view might bring upon me a sarcasm of being mad and foolish. I am well aware of it, but I can not help it, as it is the only means of relieving the distress. If this be noticed, the effect will be exceedingly beautiful. The creditors will then quit the useless toils of demanding, and pursue a new course of work. The debtors will be freed of the fear of being pressed, and be enabled to attend their own professions. The industry and production will become greatly improved. The Government will become to pursuie everything simply and accurately. The expenses for army and navy can be obtained through a taxation on incomes. This taxing may seem rather partial to some eyes, but it is not. Those who earn greatly must be under a special protection of the Government, and then it is a matter of fact that they shall contribute for the expenses of the militaries.
Those who read the “Eki” must be aware of the connection between its beginning and end. This “Mei-i,' if it be not practiced to-day, perhaps it will lead into an unretrievable grievance at the time corresponding to the "Negative VI,” or six years since. The "Interpretation” says, "That [Negative VI]'at first ascends into heavens,' implies that he shines over the four countries.' That'he finally enters the earth'implies that he loses regularity.” We who are the subjects of this