Mr. Bingham to Mr. Blaine.
Tokei, Japan, March 17, 1881. (Received April 14.)
Sir: On the 4th instant His Majesty the King of Hawaii reached Yokohama en route for Eastern Asia, Europe and the United States of America. Having been consulted by Mr. Wooyeno, assistant Japanese minister for foreign affairs, in anticipation of the arrival of the King, as to what action, if any, should be taken by His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s Government touching the King’s reception, I suggested that His Majesty should be received by this government and entertained in a manner befitting his rank, which, it gives me pleasure to say, was done, the Emperor having directed his ministers to receive the King and tender to His Majesty lodging and hospitality in the private palace Enrioknan in Tokei. The King having been conducted thither, on the same day was received in audience by the Emperor and every courtesy was extended to him during His Majesty’s stay, which terminated on the 16th instant, when His Majesty sailed for China.
Soon after his arrival I called on His Majesty, who received me cordially and thanked me for my good offices in communicating with this government on behalf of the Hawaiian Government, and especially for my letter to his excellency Mr. Inonye (a copy of which I have the honor to inclose), in which I transmitted a copy of the letter from His Hawaiian Majesty’s minister for foreign affairs to Mr. Irwin, the acting consul-general of Hawaii in Japan.
His Majesty did me the honor to call upon me in person with his suite, and also to invite me to dine with him at the palace, which invitation was accepted by me.
The Union Christian Church of Yokohama invited His Majesty to meet them on the 10th instant, which was the ninth anniversary of the organization of the native church of Christ in Japan. The church building was erected in 1875, and paid for largely by foreign contributions; among others, $1,000 contributed in 1853 by the Christian people of Hawaii. This money having been intrusted to the Reformed Church [Page 725]in America for its use, was, with, the increase thereof, applied to the erection of the edifice in Yokohama above named. The King upon entering the building found it filled with Japanese Christians and their friends, its walls adorned with the Japanese and Hawaiian flags, above which was the word in His Majesty’s own tongue “Aloha,” the Hawaiian expression for “Love to thee.” Upon the entrance of His Majesty the Japanese pastor of the church, the Reverend Okuno Masatsuna, made an address to His Majesty, in which, after saying “I extend to Your Majesty a most cordial welcome,” he added, “this house of God in which we meet owes its erection to the generous donation of a large sum of money from the Hawaiian Christians to build the first native church in Japan.”
Herewith I inclose the address of the reverend gentleman to His Majesty and the text of His Majesty’s reply, as published in the Japan Weekly Mail of the 12th instant.
His Majesty’s visit to this Empire cannot fail, in my opinion, of good results. Those who conversed with His Majesty, were, I have no doubt, impressed, as I was, with his large intelligence. It was apparent that His Majesty, to use his own words, seeks “to promote the health of his people.”
I have, &c.,