It is the object of this book to trace the story of Japan from its beginnings to the establishment of constitutional government. Concerned as this story is with the period of vague and legendary antiquity as well as with the disorders of mediŠval time and with centuries of seclusion, it is plain that it is not an easy task to present a trustworthy and connected account of the momentous changes through which the empire has been called to pass.
no. The last time it was in action was in 1707, when in connection with a series of severe earthquake shocks, an eruption took place on the south side of the mountain, and its symmetrical form was destroyed by the production of the new crater, Hoye-san.
Among the mountainous districts many small lakes are found, a few of which are large enough to be navigated. In Yezo there are six considerable lakes. In the Main island the largest lake is Biwa, in the beautiful mountain region north of Kyoto. It received its name from its fancied resemblance to the shape of a musical instrument called a biwa. There is a legend that this lake came into existence in a single night, when the volcanic mountain Fuji-san 300 miles distant was raised to its present height. It is about fifty miles long and about twenty miles broad at its greatest width. It is said to be not less than 330 feet at its greatest depth. It is navigated by steamboats and smaller craft. It is situated about 350 feet above the ocean. Lake Su
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