God-Given Gold in Japan and The Americas
Before 1492, when Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas, a total amount of gold possessed by Europeans was only less than "20 tons."
With gold in the Central and South Americas falling into hands of Europeans, the global output of gold significantly increased, specifically, to about "5,000 tons" between the end of the 15th century to the middle of the 19th century.
Japan produced "255 tons" of gold between the 8th century and the 16th century; "100 tons" between the 17th century and the middle of the 19th century; and "1,250 tons" between the end of the 19th century and the end of the 20th century.
The total amount of gold mankind has ever mined is about 100,000 tons, 1.6% of which has been produced in Japan.
As you see, till Europeans got gold in the Americas, Japan had produced or possessed ten times or more gold than all Europe had.
Therefore, the report by Marco Polo about gold-rich Japan around the 13th century was not so inaccurate, since Japan actually exported gold to China in those years.
Japan had gold enough to buy any necessary cultural products from Western countries when it opened the door to the world in the late 19th century.
However, almost no elites in the U.S. and Europe, including prominent economists and politicians, seem to know this fact and its significance.
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Kunio Yanagita (http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp/glossary/def_Y.html), a prominent literary person in Japan, reported a "folk story" like the following in his book published in 1930:
"Once upon a time, there lived a poor, honest, but hardworking young man deep in a mountain. He was living on making and selling charcoal.
One day, a beautiful young lady of a noble family in Kyoto came to his humble house.
She said to the poor charcoal burner that she had received a revelation from the statue of the Goddess of Kannon in the prominent Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto; the Goddess of Kannon told her to marry the poor, honest, but hardworking charcoal burner living deep in the mountain.
Then, the noble young lady asked the poor charcoal burner to allow her to live together in his house.
The poor charcoal burner replied that though he was happy to marry her, he had not enough rice, namely staple diet, for the decent dinner of the day for himself and his new wife
The noble young wife understood it and took out two gold coins from her purse, saying that he only had to go down to a town and buy rice for them with these coins.
So, the poor charcoal burner went out, walking down the mountain along a mountain current. When he came to a deep pool of the current, he found two mandarin ducks on water surface. He stopped and threw the gold coins at the birds that narrowly avoided the attack and flew away. The two gold coins sank deep in water.
The poor charcoal burner, knowing not what to do, came back to his house where his noble young wife was waiting.
When the poor husband told her that he had tried to get two mandarin ducks for her by throwing the two gold coins at them in vain, she got startled especially as she found that her poor husband did not understand what value those gold coins had.
So, the noble young wife kindly and politely explained to her poor husband that a gold coin was treasure in this world and he had done a matter of regret, since the two gold coins could have bought a lot of rice, fish, and birds for the two.
On the contrary, her poor husband got startled, saying that he had never come to think that the two gold coins were so valuable, since such coin-like stones were lying about all over a valley behind his humble house.
The noble young wife again got startled; then the couple went out to the valley to see if those stones were truly gold. They were all gold.
Anyhow, they collected all of the gold stones and piled them up all around their humble house, knowing not what to do with them specifically.
Thenafter many people came to sell goods to and also to work for the couple. Their house got prosperous. The couple built a temple for the Goddess of Kannon in the mountain. Later on, the couple had the sweetest baby girl who grew up and came up to Kyoto and married a noble man. Hence, the once-poor husband came to be called "Charcoal Burner Millionaire."
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Without gold Europeans exploited from Central and South Americas, they could not develop their society and build infrastructure for future progress that led to the Industrial Revolution.
In an extreme explanation, Europeans success depended on gold from Central and South Americas in addition to slaves from Africa.
But, in another extreme explanation, Japan's success depended only on its gold and its hardworking people in addition to natural piety and modesty the so-called Christians have traditionally so coveted.
Being European or European American might mean feeling conviction of the said sin.
But, being Japanese might mean being proud of the said justice.
Truly Gold reveals truth about the peoples and their civilizations as God wishes.
(So, good girls and golden girls, you don't have to be a beautiful young lady of a noble family. But, you have to find a kind of poor charcoal burner who has accumulated a great amount of gold in Heaven, for God might throw some of the gold down to the world, especially, at his humble residence.
Then have a nice weekend; take a good rest; and be poor or noble!)
"...And If Anyone Says Anything, Tell Him, 'Master Needs Them'..."