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Title: Myths & Legends of Japan
Author: Davis, F. Hadland (Frederick Hadland)
Language: English
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Author of "The Land of the Yellow Spring and Other Japanese Stories"
"The Persian Mystics" etc.

With Thirty-Two Full-Page Illustrations by Evelyn Paul

George G. Harrap & Company
9, Portsmouth Street, Kingsway, W. C.

[Illustration: The Lovers who exchanged Fans.
_Fr_. (_See page_ 245)]




In writing _Myths and Legends of Japan_ I have been much indebted to
numerous authorities on Japanese subjects, and most especially to
Lafcadio Hearn, who first revealed to me the Land of the Gods. It
is impossible to enumerate all the writers who have assisted me in
preparing this volume. I have borrowed from their work as persistently
as Japan has borrowed from other countries, and I sincerely hope
that, like Japan herself, I have made good use of the material I have
obtained from so many sources.

I am indebted to Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain for placing his work
at my disposal, and I have found his encyclopædic volume, _Things
Japanese_, his translation of the _Kojiki_, his _Murray's Hand-book for
Japan_ (in collaboration with W. B. Mason), and his _Japanese Poetry_,
of great value. I thank the Executors of the late Dr. W. G. Aston for
permission to quote from this learned authority's work. I have made
use of his translation of the _Nihongi_ (_Transactions of the Japan
Society_, 1896) and have gathered much useful material from _A History
of Japanese Literature_. I am indebted to Mr. F. Victor Dickins for
allowing me to make use of his translation of the _Taketori Monogatari_
and the _Ho-jō-ki_. My friend Mrs. C. M. Salwey has taken a sympathetic
interest in my work, which has been invaluable to me. Her book, _Fans
of Japan_, has supplied me with an exquisite legend, and many of her
articles have yielded a rich harvest. I warmly thank Mr. Yone Noguchi
for allowing me to quote from his poetry, and also Miss Clara A. Walsh
for so kindly putting at my disposal her fascinating volume, _The
Master-Singers of Japan_, published by Mr. John Murray in the "Wisdom
of the East" series. My thanks are due to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin
Company, for allowing me to quote from Lafcadio Hearn's _Glimpses of
Unfamiliar Japan_ and _The Japanese Letters of Lafcadio Hearn_; to
Messrs. George Allen & Sons, for giving me permission to quote from
Sir F. T. Piggott's _Garden of Japan_; to the Editor of the _Academy_,
for permitting me to reprint my article on "Japanese Poetry," and to
Messrs. Cassell and Co. Ltd., for allowing me to reproduce "The Garden
of Japan," which I originally contributed to _Cassell's Magazine_. The
works of Dr. William Anderson, Sir Ernest Satow, Lord Redesdale, Madame
Ozaki, Mr. R. Gordon Smith, Captain F. Brinkley, the late Rev. Arthur
Lloyd, Mr. Henri L. Joly, Mr. K. Okakura, the Rev. W. E. Griffis, and
others, have been of immense value to me, and in addition I very warmly
thank all those writers I have left unnamed, through want of space,
whose works have assisted me in the preparation of this volume.


        I. The Period of the Gods
       II. Heroes and Warriors
      III. The Bamboo-cutter and the Moon-maiden
       IV. Buddha Legends
        V. Fox Legends
       VI. Jizō, the God of Children
      VII. Legend in Japanese Art
     VIII. The Star Lovers and the Robe of Feathers
       IX. Legends of Mount Fuji
        X. Bells
       XI. Yuki-onna, the Lady of the Snow
      XII. Flowers and Gardens
     XIII. Trees
      XIV. Mirrors
       XV. Kwannon and Benten. Daikoku, Ebisu, and Hotei
      XVI. Dolls and Butterflies
     XVII. Festivals
    XVIII. The Peony-lantern
      XIX. Kōbō Daishi, Nichiren, and Shōdō Shonin
       XX. Fans
      XXI. Thunder
     XXII. Animal Legends
    XXIII. Bird and Insect Legends
     XXIV. Concerning Tea
      XXV. Legends of the Weird
     XXVI. Three Maidens
    XXVII. Legends of the Sea
   XXVIII. Superstitions
     XXIX. Supernatural Beings
      XXX. The Transformation of Issunboshi and Kintaro, The Golden Boy
     XXXI. Miscellaneous Legends

    A Note on Japanese Poetry
    Gods and Goddesses
    Genealogy of the Age of the Gods
    Index of Poetical Quotations
    Glossary and Index


    The Lovers who exchanged Fans _Frontispiece_
    Uzume awakens the Curiosity of Ama-terasu
    Susa-no-o and Kushi-nada-hime
    Hoori and the Sea God's Daughter
    Yorimasa slays the Vampire
    Yorimasa and Benkei attacked by a ghostly company of the Taira Clan
    Raiko and the Enchanted Maiden
    Raiko slays the Goblin of Oyeyama
    Prince Yamato and Takeru
    Momotaro and the Pheasant
    Hidesato and the Centipede
    The Moonfolk demand the Lady Kaguya
    Buddha and the Dragon
    The Mikado and the Jewel Maiden
    A Kakemono Ghost
    Sengen, the Goddess of Mount Fuji
    Visu on Mount Fuji-Yama
    Kiyo and the Priest
    Yuki-Onna, the Lady of the Snow
    Shingé and Yoshisawa by the Violet Well
    Matsu rescues Teoyo
    Shinzaburō recognised Tsuyu and her maid Yoné
    The Jelly-Fish and the Monkey
    The Firefly Battle
    The Maiden of Unai
    Urashima and the Sea King's Daughter
    Tokoyo and the Sea Serpent
    The Kappa and his Victim
    Kato Sayemon in his Palace of the Shōgun Ashikaga
    Tōtarō and Samébito


Pierre Loti in _Madame Chrysanthème_, Gilbert and Sullivan in _The
Mikado_, and Sir Edwin Arnold in _Seas and Lands_, gave us the
impression that Japan was a real fairyland in the Far East. We were
delighted with the prettiness and quaintness of that country, and
still more with the prettiness and quaintness of the Japanese people.
We laughed at their topsy-turvy ways, regarded the Japanese woman, in
her rich-coloured _kimono_, as altogether charming and fascinating,
and had a vague notion that the principal features of Nippon were the
tea-houses, cherry-blossom, and _geisha_. Twenty years ago we did not
take Japan very seriously. We still listen to the melodious music of
_The Mikado_, but now we no longer regard Japan as a sort of glorified
willow-pattern plate. The Land of the Rising Sun has become the Land of
the Risen Sun, for we have learnt that her quaintness and prettiness,
her fairy-like manners and customs, were but the outer signs of a
great and progressive nation. To-day we recognise Japan as a power in
the East, and her victory over the Russian has made her army and navy
famous throughout the world.

The Japanese have always been an imitative nation, quick to absorb and
utilise the religion, art, and social life of China, and, having set
their own national seal upon what they have borrowed from the Celestial
Kingdom, to look elsewhere for material that should strengthen and
advance their position. This imitative quality is one of Japan's most
marked characteristics. She has ever been loath to impart information
to others, but ready at all times to gain access to any form of
knowledge likely to make for her advancement. In the fourteenth century
Kenkō wrote in his _Tsure-dzure-gusa_: "Nothing opens one's eyes so
much as travel, no matter where," and the twentieth-century Japanese
has put this excellent advice into practice. He has travelled far and
wide, and has made good use of his varied observations. Japan's power
of imitation amounts to genius. East and West have contributed to her
greatness, and it is a matter of surprise to many of us that a country
so long isolated and for so many years bound by feudalism should,
within a comparatively short space of time, master our Western system
of warfare, as well as many of our ethical and social ideas, and become
a great world-power. But Japan's success has not been due entirely to
clever imitation, neither has her place among the foremost nations
been accomplished with such meteor-like rapidity as some would have us

We hear a good deal about the New Japan to-day, and are too prone to
forget the significance of the Old upon which the present _régime_ has
been founded. Japan learnt from England, Germany and America all the
tactics of modern warfare. She established an efficient army and navy
on Western lines; but it must be remembered that Japan's great heroes
of to-day, Togo and Oyama, still have in their veins something of the
old _samurai_ spirit, still reflect through their modernity something
of the meaning of _Bushido_. The Japanese character is still Japanese
and not Western. Her greatness is to be found in her patriotism, in her
loyalty and whole-hearted love of her country. Shintōism has taught her
to revere the mighty dead; Buddhism, besides adding to her religious
ideals, has contributed to her literature and art, and Christianity has
had its effect in introducing all manner of beneficent social reforms.

There are many conflicting theories in regard to the racial origin of
the Japanese people, and we have no definite knowledge on the subject.
The first inhabitants of Japan were probably the Ainu, an Aryan people
who possibly came from North-Eastern Asia at a time when the distance
separating the Islands from the mainland was not so great as it is
to-day. The Ainu were followed by two distinct Mongol invasions, and
these invaders had no difficulty in subduing their predecessors; but
in course of time the Mongols were driven northward by Malays from
the Philippines. "By the year A.D. 500 the Ainu, the Mongol, and the
Malay elements in the population had become one nation by much the same
process as took place in England after the Norman Conquest. To the
national characteristics it may be inferred that the Ainu contributed
the power of resistance, the Mongol the intellectual qualities, and
the Malay that handiness and adaptability which are the heritage of
sailor-men."[1] Such authorities as Baelz and Rein are of the opinion
that the Japanese are Mongols, and although they have intermarried
with the Ainu, "the two nations," writes Professor B. H. Chamberlain,
"are as distinct as the whites and reds in North America." In spite of
the fact that the Ainu is looked down upon in Japan, and regarded as a
hairy aboriginal of interest to the anthropologist and the showman, a
poor despised creature, who worships the bear as the emblem of strength
and fierceness, he has, nevertheless, left his mark upon Japan. Fuji
was possibly a corruption of Huchi, or Fuchi, the Ainu Goddess of Fire,
and there is no doubt that these aborigines originated a vast number
of geographical names, particularly in the north of the main island,
that are recognisable to this day. We can also trace Ainu influence in
regard to certain Japanese superstitions, such as the belief in the
_Kappa_, or river monster.

The Chinese called Japan Jih-pén, "the place the sun comes
from," because the archipelago was situated on the east of their
own kingdom, and our word Japan and Nippon are corruptions of
Jih-pén. Marco Polo called the country Zipangu, and one ancient
name describes it as "The-Luxuriant-Reed-Plains-the-land-of-Fresh
-Rice-Ears-of-a-Thousand-Autumns-of-Long-Five-Hundred-Autumns." We are
not surprised to find that such a very lengthy and descriptive title
is not used by the Japanese to-day; but it is of interest to know that
the old word for Japan, Yamato, is still frequently employed, Yamato
Damashii signifying "The Spirit of Unconquerable Japan." Then, again,
we still hear Japan referred to as The Island of the Dragon-fly. We are
told in the old Japanese _Chronicles_ that the Emperor, in 630 B.C.,
ascended a hill called Waki Kamu no Hatsuma, from which he was able to
view the land on all sides. He was much impressed by the beauty of the
country, and said that it resembled "a dragon-fly licking its hinder
parts," and the Island received the name of Akitsu-Shima ("Island of
the Dragon-fly").

The _Kojiki_, or "Records of Ancient Matters," completed A.D. 712,
deals with the early traditions of the Japanese race, commencing
with the myths, the basis of Shintōism, and gradually becoming more
historical until it terminates in A.D. 628. Dr. W. G. Aston writes in
_A History of Japanese Literature_: "The _Kojiki_, however valuable
it may be for research into the mythology, the manners, the language,
and the legends of early Japan, is a very poor production, whether we
consider it as literature or as a record of facts. As history it cannot
be compared with the _Nihongi_,[2] a contemporary work in Chinese;
while the language is a strange mixture of Chinese and Japanese, which
there has been little attempt to endue with artistic quality. The
circumstances under which it was composed are a partial explanation of
the very curious style in which it is written. We are told that a man
named Yasumaro, learned in Chinese, took it down from the lips of a
certain Hiyeda no Are, who had such a wonderful memory that he 'could
repeat with his mouth whatever was placed before his eyes, and record
in his heart whatever struck his ears.'" It is possible that Hiyeda no
Are was one of the Kataribe or "Reciters," whose duty it was to recite
"ancient words" before the Mikado at the Court of Nara on certain State

The _Kojiki_ and the _Nihongi_ are the sources from which we learn the
early myths and legends of Japan. In their pages we are introduced
to Izanagi and Izanami, Ama-terasu, Susa-no-o, and numerous other
divinities, and these august beings provide us with stories that are
quaint, beautiful, quasi-humorous, and sometimes a little horrible.
What could be more naïve than the love-making of Izanagi and Izanami,
who conceived the idea of marrying each other after seeing the mating
of two wagtails? In this ancient myth we trace the ascendency of the
male over the female, an ascendency maintained in Japan until recent
times, fostered, no doubt, by Kaibara's _Onna Daigaku_, "The Greater
Learning for Women." But in the protracted quarrel between the Sun
Goddess and her brother, the Impetuous Male, the old chroniclers lay
emphasis upon the villainy of Susa-no-o; and Ama-terasu, a curious
mingling of the divine and the feminine, is portrayed as an ideal
type of Goddess. She is revealed preparing for warfare, making
fortifications by stamping upon the ground, and she is also depicted
peeping out of her rock-cavern and gazing in the Sacred Mirror.
Ama-terasu is the central figure in Japanese mythology, for it is
from the Sun Goddess that the Mikados are descended. In the cycle of
legends known as the Period of the Gods, we are introduced to the
Sacred Treasures, we discover the origin of the Japanese dance, and in
imagination wander through the High Plain of Heaven, set foot upon the
Floating Bridge, enter the Central Land of Reed-Plains, peep into the
Land of Yomi, and follow Prince Fire-Fade into the Palace of the Sea

Early heroes and warriors are always regarded as minor divinities, and
the very nature of Shintōism, associated with ancestor worship, has
enriched those of Japan with many a fascinating legend. For strength,
skill, endurance, and a happy knack of overcoming all manner of
difficulties by a subtle form of quick-witted enterprise, the Japanese
hero must necessarily take a high position among the famous warriors
of other countries. There is something eminently chivalrous about the
heroes of Japan that calls for special notice. The most valiant men are
those who champion the cause of the weak or redress evil and tyranny
of every kind, and we trace in the Japanese hero, who is very far from
being a crude swashbuckler, these most excellent qualities. He is
not always above criticism, and sometimes we find in him a touch of
cunning, but such a characteristic is extremely rare, and very far from
being a national trait. An innate love of poetry and the beautiful has
had its refining influence upon the Japanese hero, with the result that
his strength is combined with gentleness.

Benkei is one of the most lovable of Japanese heroes. He possessed
the strength of many men, his tact amounted to genius, his sense of
humour was strongly developed, and the most loving of Japanese mothers
could not have shown more gentleness when his master's wife gave birth
to a child. When Yoshitsune and Benkei, at the head of the Minamoto
host, had finally vanquished the Taira at the sea-fight of Dan-no-ura,
their success awakened the jealousy of the Shōgun, and the two great
warriors were forced to fly the country. We follow them across the sea,
over mountains, outwitting again and again their numerous enemies. At
Matsue a great army was sent out against these unfortunate warriors.
Camp-fires stretched in a glittering line about the last resting-place
of Yoshitsune and Benkei. In an apartment were Yoshitsune with his
wife and little child. Death stood in the room, too, and it was better
that Death should come at the order of Yoshitsune than at the command
of the enemy without the gate. His child was killed by an attendant,
and, holding his beloved wife's head under his left arm, he plunged
his sword deep into her throat. Having accomplished these things,
Yoshitsune committed _hara-kiri_. Benkei, however, faced the enemy. He
stood with his great legs apart, his back pressed against a rock. When
the dawn came he was still standing with his legs apart, a thousand
arrows in that brave body of his. Benkei was dead, but his was a death
too strong to fall. The sun shone on a man who was a true hero, who had
ever made good his words: "Where my lord goes, to victory or to death,
I shall follow him."

Japan is a mountainous country, and in such countries we expect to find
a race of hardy, brave men, and certainly the Land of the Rising Sun
has given us many a warrior worthy to rank with the Knights of King
Arthur. More than one legend deals with the destruction of devils and
goblins, and of the rescue of maidens who had the misfortune to be
their captives. One hero slays a great monster that crouched upon the
roof of the Emperor's palace, another despatches the Goblin of Oyeyama,
another thrusts his sword through a gigantic spider, and another slays
a serpent. All the Japanese heroes, whatever enterprise they may be
engaged in, reveal the spirit of high adventure, and that loyalty of
purpose, that cool disregard for danger and death which are still
characteristic of the Japanese people to-day.

"The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moon-Maiden" (Chapter III) is adapted
from a tenth-century story called _Taketori Monogatari_, and is the
earliest example of the Japanese romance. The author is unknown, but
he must have had an intimate knowledge of court life in Kyōto. All
the characters in this very charming legend are Japanese, but most
of the incidents have been borrowed from China, a country so rich
in picturesque fairy-lore. Mr. F. V. Dickins writes concerning the
_Taketori Monogatari_: "The art and grace of the story of the Lady
Kaguya are native, its unstrained pathos, its natural sweetness, are
its own, and in simple charm and purity of thought and language it
has no rival in the fiction of either the Middle Kingdom or of the
Dragon-fly Land."

In studying Japanese legend one is particularly struck by its
universality and also by its very sharp contrasts. Most nations have
deified the sun and moon, the stars and mountains, and all the greatest
works of Nature; but the Japanese have described the red blossoms of
azaleas as the fires of the Gods, and the white snow of Fuji as the
garments of Divine Beings. Their legend, on the one hand at any rate,
is essentially poetical, and those who worshipped Mount Fuji also had
ghostly tales to tell about the smallest insect. Too much stress
cannot be laid upon Japan's love of Nature. The early myths recorded
in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ are of considerable interest, but they
cannot be compared with the later legends that have given souls to
trees and flowers and butterflies, or with those pious traditions that
have revealed so tenderly and yet so forcibly the divine significance
of Nature. The Festival of the Dead could only have originated among a
people to whom the beautiful is the mainstay and joy of life, for that
festival is nothing less than a call to the departed dead to return to
their old earthly haunts in the summer-time, to cross green hills dotted
with pine-trees, to wander down winding ways, by lake and seashore,
to linger in old, well-loved gardens, and to pass into homes where,
without being seen, they see so much. To the Japanese mind, to those
who still preserve the spirit of Old Yamato, the most glowing account
of a Buddhist Paradise is not so fair as Japan in the summer-time.

Perhaps it is as well that Japanese myth, legend, fairy tale, and
folk-lore are not exclusively poetical, or we should be in danger of
becoming satiated with too much sweetness. It may be that we admire
the arches of a Gothic cathedral none the less for having gazed upon
the hideous gargoyles on the outside of the sacred edifice, and in the
legends of Japan we find many grotesques in sharp contrast with the
traditions associated with the gentle and loving Jizō. There is plenty
of crude realism in Japanese legend. We are repelled by the Thunder
God's favourite repast, amazed by the magical power of foxes and
cats; and the story of "Hōïchi-the-Earless" and of the corpse-eating
priest afford striking examples of the combination of the weird and
the horrible. In one story we laugh over the antics of a performing
kettle, and in another we are almost moved to tears when we read about
a little Japanese quilt that murmured: "Elder Brother probably is cold?
Nay, thou probably art cold?"

We have had numerous volumes of Japanese fairy tales, but hitherto no
book has appeared giving a comprehensive study of the myths and legends
of a country so rich in quaint and beautiful traditions, and it is
hoped that the present volume, the result of much pleasant labour, will
be a real contribution to the subject. I have made no attempt to make a
complete collection of Japanese myths and legends because their number
is legion; but I have endeavoured to make a judicious selection that
shall at any rate be representative, and many of the stories contained
in this volume will be new to the general reader.

Lafcadio Hearn wrote in one of his letters: "The fairy world seized my
soul again, very softly and sweetly--as a child might a butterfly," and
if we too would adopt a similar spirit, we shall journey to the Land
of the Gods, where the great Kōbō Daishi will write upon the sky and
running water, upon our very hearts, something of the glamour and magic
of Old Japan. With Kōbō Daishi for guide we shall witness the coming
of Mount Fuji, wander in the Palace of the Sea King and in the Land
of Perpetual Youth, watch the combats of mighty heroes, listen to the
wisdom of saints, cross the Celestial River on a bridge of birds, and
when we are weary nestle in the long sleeve of the ever-smiling Jizō.

                                      F. HADLAND DAVIS

[Footnote 1: _The Full Recognition of Japan_, by Robert P. Porter.]

[Footnote 2: _Chronicles of Japan_, completed A.D. 720, deals, in an
interesting manner, with the myths, legends, poetry and history from
the earliest times down to A.D. 697.]


In the Beginning

We are told that in the very beginning "Heaven and Earth were not
yet separated, and the _In_ and _Yo_ not yet divided." This reminds
us of other cosmogony stories. The _In_ and _Yo_, corresponding to
the Chinese _Yang_ and _Yin_, were the male and female principles.
It was more convenient for the old Japanese writers to imagine the
coming into being of creation in terms not very remote from their
own manner of birth. In Polynesian mythology we find pretty much the
same conception, where Rangi and Papa represented Heaven and Earth,
and further parallels may be found in Egyptian and other cosmogony
stories. In nearly all we find the male and female principles taking
a prominent, and after all very rational, place. We are told in the
_Nihongi_ that these male and female principles "formed a chaotic
mass like an egg which was of obscurely defined limits and contained
germs." Eventually this egg was quickened into life, and the purer and
clearer part was drawn out and formed Heaven, while the heavier element
settled down and became Earth, which was "compared to the floating
of a fish sporting on the surface of the water." A mysterious form
resembling a reed-shoot suddenly appeared between Heaven and Earth,
and as suddenly became transformed into a God called Kuni-toko-tachi,
("Land-eternal-stand-of-august-thing"). We may pass over the other
divine births until we come to the important deities known as Izanagi
and Izanami ("Male-who-invites" and "Female-who-invites"). About these
beings has been woven an entrancing myth.

Izanagi and Izanami

Izanagi and Izanami stood on the Floating Bridge of Heaven and
looked down into the abyss. They inquired of each other if there
were a country far, far below the great Floating Bridge. They
were determined to find out. In order to do so they thrust down a
jewel-spear, and found the ocean. Raising the spear a little, water
dripped from it, coagulated, and became the island of Onogoro-jima

Upon this island the two deities descended. Shortly afterwards they
desired to become husband and wife, though as a matter of fact they
were brother and sister; but such a relationship in the East has never
precluded marriage. These deities accordingly set up a pillar on the
island. Izanagi walked round one way, and Izanami the other. When they
met, Izanami said: "How delightful! I have met with a lovely youth."
One would have thought that this naïve remark would have pleased
Izanagi; but it made him, extremely angry, and he retorted: "I am a
man, and by that right should have spoken first. How is it that on the
contrary thou, a woman, shouldst have been the first to speak? This is
unlucky. Let us go round again." So it happened that the two deities
started afresh. Once again they met, and this time Izanagi remarked:
"How delightful! I have met a lovely maiden." Shortly after this very
ingenuous proposal Izanagi and Izanami were married.

When Izanami had given birth to islands, seas, rivers, herbs, and
trees, she and her lord consulted together, saying: "We have now
produced the Great-Eight-Island country, with the mountains, rivers,
herbs, and trees. Why should we not produce some one who shall be the
Lord of the Universe?"

The wish of these deities was fulfilled, for in due season
Ama-terasu, the Sun Goddess, was born. She was known as
"Heaven-Illumine-of-Great-Deity," and was so extremely beautiful that
her parents determined to send her up the Ladder of Heaven, and in the
high sky above to cast for ever her glorious sunshine upon the earth.

Their next child was the Moon God, Tsuki-yumi. His silver radiance was
not so fair as the golden effulgence of his sister, the Sun Goddess,
but he was, nevertheless, deemed worthy to be her consort. So up the
Ladder of Heaven climbed the Moon God. They soon quarrelled, and
Ama-terasu said: "Thou art a wicked deity. I must not see thee face
to face." They were therefore separated by a day and night, and dwelt

The next child of Izanagi and Izanami was Susa-no-o ("The Impetuous
Male"). We shall return to Susa-no-o and his doings later on, and
content ourselves for the present with confining our attention to his

Izanami gave birth to the Fire God, Kagu-tsuchi. The birth of this
child made her extremely ill. Izanagi knelt on the ground, bitterly
weeping and lamenting. But his sorrow availed nothing, and Izanami
crept away into the Land of Yomi (Hades).

Her lord, however, could not live without her, and he too went into the
Land of Yomi. When he discovered her, she said regretfully: "My lord
and husband, why is thy coming so late? I have already eaten of the
cooking-furnace of Yomi. Nevertheless, I am about to lie down to rest.
I pray thee do not look at me."

Izanagi, moved by curiosity, refused to fulfil her wish. It was dark in
the Land of Yomi, so he secretly took out his many-toothed comb, broke
off a piece, and lighted it. The sight that greeted him was ghastly
and horrible in the extreme. His once beautiful wife had now become a
swollen and festering creature. Eight varieties of Thunder Gods rested
upon her. The Thunder of the Fire, Earth, and Mountain were all there
leering upon him, and roaring with their great voices.

Izanagi grew frightened and disgusted, saying: "I have come unawares to
a hideous and polluted land." His wife retorted: "Why didst thou not
observe that which I charged thee? Now am I put to shame."

Izanami was so angry with her lord for ignoring her wish and breaking
in upon her privacy that she sent the Eight Ugly Females of Yomi to
pursue him. Izanagi drew his sword and fled down the dark regions of
the Underworld. As he ran he took off his headdress, and flung it to
the ground. It immediately became a bunch of grapes. When the Ugly
Females saw it, they bent down and ate the luscious fruit. Izanami saw
them pause, and deemed it wise to pursue her lord herself.

By this time Izanagi had reached the Even Pass of Yomi. Here he placed
a huge rock, and eventually came face to face with Izanami. One would
scarcely have thought that amid such exciting adventures Izanagi
would have solemnly declared a divorce. But this is just what he did
do. To this proposal his wife replied: "My dear lord and husband, if
thou sayest so, I will strangle to death the people in one day." This
plaintive and threatening speech in no way influenced Izanagi, who
readily replied that he would cause to be born in one day no less than
fifteen hundred.

The above remark must have proved conclusive, for when we next hear
of Izanagi he had escaped from the Land of Yomi, from an angry wife,
and from the Eight Ugly Females. After his escape he was engaged in
copious ablutions, by way of purification, from which numerous deities
were born. We read in the _Nihongi_: "After this, Izanagi, his divine
task having been accomplished, and his spirit-career about to suffer a
change, built himself an abode of gloom in the island of Ahaji, where
he dwelt for ever in silence and concealment."

Ama-terasu and Susa-no-o

Susa-no-o, or "The Impetuous Male," was the brother of Ama-terasu, the
Sun Goddess. Now Susa-no-o was a very undesirable deity indeed, and he
figured in the Realm of the Japanese Gods as a decidedly disturbing
element. His character has been clearly drawn in the _Nihongi_, more
clearly perhaps than that of any other deity mentioned in these ancient
records. Susa-no-o had a very bad temper, which often resulted in many
cruel and ungenerous acts. Moreover, in spite of his long beard, he had
a habit of continually weeping and wailing. Where a child in a tantrum
would crush a toy to pieces, the Impetuous Male, when in a towering
rage, and without a moment's warning, would wither the once fair
greenery of mountains, and in addition bring many people to an untimely

His parents, Izanagi and Izanami, were much troubled by his doings,
and, after consulting together, they decided to banish their unruly son
to the Land of Yomi. Susa, however, had a word to say in the matter. He
made the following petition, saying: "I will now obey thy instructions
and proceed to the Nether-Land (Yomi). Therefore I wish for a short
time to go to the Plain of High Heaven and meet with my elder sister
(Ama-terasu), after which I will go away for ever." This apparently
harmless request was granted, and Susa-no-o ascended to Heaven. His
departure occasioned a great commotion of the sea, and the hills and
mountains groaned aloud.

Now Ama-terasu heard these noises, and perceiving that they denoted the
near approach of her wicked brother Susa-no-o, she said to herself:
"Is my younger brother coming with good intentions? I think it must be
his purpose to rob me of my kingdom. By the charge which our parents
gave to their children, each of us has his own allotted limits. Why,
therefore, does he reject the kingdom to which he should proceed, and
make bold to come spying here?"

Ama-terasu then prepared for warfare. She tied her hair into knots and
hung jewels upon it, and round her wrists "an august string of five
hundred Yasaka jewels." She presented a very formidable appearance
when in addition she slung over her back "a thousand-arrow quiver and
a five-hundred-arrow quiver," and protected her arms with pads to
deaden the recoil of the bowstring. Having arrayed herself for deadly
combat, she brandished her bow, grasped her sword-hilt, and stamped on
the ground till she had made a hole sufficiently large to serve as a

All this elaborate and ingenious preparation was in vain. The Impetuous
Male adopted the manner of a penitent. "From the beginning," he said,
"my heart has not been black. But as, in obedience to the stern behest
of our parents, I am about to depart for ever to the Nether-Land, how
could I bear to depart without having seen face to face thee my elder
sister? It is for this reason that I have traversed on foot the clouds
and mists and have come hither from afar. I am surprised that my elder
sister should, on the contrary, put on so stern a countenance."

Ama-terasu regarded these remarks with a certain amount of suspicion.
Susa-no-o's filial piety and Susa-no-o's cruelty were not easily to
be reconciled. She thereupon resolved to test his sincerity by a
remarkable proceeding we need not describe. Suffice it to say that for
the time being the test proved the Impetuous Male's purity of heart and
general sincerity towards his sister.

But Susa-no-o's good behaviour was a very short-lived affair indeed. It
happened that Ama-terasu had made a number of excellent rice-fields in
Heaven. Some were narrow and some were long, and Ama-terasu was justly
proud of these rice-fields. No sooner had she sown the seed in the
spring than Susa-no-o broke down the divisions between the plots, and
in the autumn let loose a number of piebald colts.

One day when he saw his sister in the sacred Weaving Hall, weaving the
garments of the Gods, he made a hole through the roof and flung down
a flayed horse. Ama-terasu was so frightened that she accidentally
wounded herself with the shuttle. Extremely angry, she determined to
leave her abode; so, gathering her shining robes about her, she crept
down the blue sky, entered a cave, fastened it securely, and there
dwelt in seclusion.

Now the world was in darkness, and the alternation of night and day
was unknown. When this dreadful catastrophe had taken place the
Eighty Myriads of Gods assembled together on the bank of the River
of Heaven and discussed how they might best persuade Ama-terasu to
grace Heaven once more with her shining glory. No less a God than
"Thought-combining," after much profound reasoning, gathered together a
number of singing-birds from the Eternal Land. After sundry divinations
with a deer's leg-bone, over a fire of cherry-bark, the Gods made a
number of tools, bellows, and forges. Stars were welded together to
form a mirror, and jewellery and musical instruments were eventually

When all these things had been duly accomplished the Eighty Myriads
of Gods came down to the rock-cavern where the Sun Goddess lay
concealed, and gave an elaborate entertainment. On the upper branches
of the True Sakaki Tree they hung the precious jewels, and on the
middle branches the mirror. From every side there was a great singing
of birds, which was only the prelude to what followed. Now Uzume
("Heavenly-alarming-female") took in her hand a spear wreathed with
Eulalia grass, and made a headdress of the True Sakaki Tree. Then she
placed a tub upside down, and proceeded to dance in a very immodest
manner, till the Eighty Myriad Gods began to roar with laughter.

Such extraordinary proceedings naturally awakened the curiosity of
Ama-terasu, and she peeped forth. Once more the world became golden
with her presence. Once more she dwelt in the Plain of High Heaven, and
Susa-no-o was duly chastised and banished to the Yomi Land.

Susa-no-o and the Serpent

With the usual inconsistency of myths and legends, we are not surprised
to find that all reference to Susa dwelling in the Land of Yomi is
entirely omitted. When we next see him it is apart from his usual
mischievous disposition. Indeed, we find him in a _rôle_ worthy of
one of the Knights of the Round Table. Whether the sudden display
of knight-errantry was a cunning move on his part for some ulterior
motive, or whether his sister's sudden withdrawal from Heaven had made
him permanently reform his ways, we are left in entire ignorance.

[Illustration: Uzume Awakens the curiosity of Ama-terasu.--28]

Susa-no-o, having descended from Heaven, arrived at the river Hi, in
the province of Idzumo. Here he was disturbed by a sound of weeping.
It was so unusual to hear any other than himself weep that he went in
search of the cause of the sorrow. He discovered an old man and an old
woman. Between them was a young girl, whom they fondly caressed and
gazed at with pitiful eyes, as if they were reluctantly bidding her
a last farewell. When Susa-no-o asked the old couple who they were
and why they lamented, the old man replied: "I am an Earthly Deity,
and my name is Ashi-nadzuchi ("Foot-stroke-elder"). My wife's name is
Tenadzuchi ("Hand-stroke-elder"). This girl is our daughter, and her
name is Kushi-nada-hime ("Wondrous-Inada-Princess"). The reason of our
weeping is that formerly we had eight children, daughters; but they
have been devoured year by year by an eight-forked serpent, and now
the time approaches for this girl to be devoured. There is no means of
escape for her, and therefore do we grieve exceedingly."

The Impetuous Male listened to this painful recital with profound
attention, and, perceiving that the maiden was extremely beautiful, he
offered to slay the eight-forked serpent if her parents would give her
to him in marriage as a fitting reward for his services. This request
was readily granted.

Susa-no-o now changed Kushi-nada-hime into a many-toothed comb and
stuck it in his hair. Then he bade the old couple brew a quantity of
_saké_. When the _saké_ was ready, he poured it into eight tubs, and
awaited the coming of the dreadful monster.

Eventually the serpent came. It had eight heads, and the eyes were
red, "like winter-cherry." Moreover it had eight tails, and firs and
cypress-trees grew on its back. It was in length the space of eight
hills and eight valleys. Its lumbering progress was necessarily
slow, but finding the _saké_, each head eagerly drank the tempting
beverage till the serpent became extremely drunk, and fell asleep. Then
Susa-no-o, having little to fear, drew his ten-span sword and chopped
the great monster into little pieces. When he struck one of the tails
his weapon became notched, and bending down he discovered a sword
called the Murakumo-no-Tsurugi. Perceiving it to be a divine sword, he
gave it to the Gods of Heaven.

Having successfully accomplished his task, Susa-no-o converted the
many-toothed comb into Kushi-nada-hime again, and at length came to
Suga, in the province of Idzumo, in order that he might celebrate his
marriage. Here he composed the following verse:

     "Many clouds arise,
     On all sides a manifold fence,
     To receive within it the spouses,
     They form a manifold fence--
     Ah! that manifold fence!"
                     _Nihongiy_, trans. by W. G. Aston.

[Illustration: Susa-no-o and Kushi-nada-hime.--30]

The Divine Messengers

Now at that time the Gods assembled in the High Plain of Heaven were
aware of continual disturbances in the Central Land of Reed-Plains
(Idzumo). We are told that "Plains, the rocks, tree-stems, and
herbage have still the power of speech. At night they make a
clamour like that of flames of fire; in the day-time they swarm up
like flies in the fifth month." In addition certain deities made
themselves objectionable. The Gods determined to put an end to these
disturbances, and after a consultation Taka-mi-musubi decided to send
his grandchild Ninigi to govern the Central Land of Reed-Plains,
to wipe out insurrection, and to bring peace and prosperity to the
country. It was deemed necessary to send messengers to prepare the
way in advance. The first envoy was Ama-no-ho; but as he spent three
years in the country without reporting to the Gods, his son was sent
in his place. He adopted the same course as his father, and defied
the orders of the Heavenly Ones. The third messenger was Ame-waka
("Heaven-young-Prince"). He, too, was disloyal, in spite of his noble
weapons, and instead of going about his duties he fell in love and took
to wife Shita-teru-hime ("Lower-shine-Princess").

Now the assembled Gods grew angry at the long delay, and sent a
pheasant down to ascertain what was going on in Idzumo. The pheasant
perched on the top of a cassia-tree before Ame-waka's gate. When
Ame-waka saw the bird he immediately shot it. The arrow went through
the bird, rose into the Place of Gods, and was hurled back again, so
that it killed the disloyal and idle Ame-waka.

The weeping of Lower-shine-Princess reached Heaven, for she loved her
lord and failed to recognise in his sudden death the just vengeance
of the Gods. She wept so loud and so pitifully that the Heavenly Ones
heard her. A swift wind descended, and the body of Ame-waka floated up
into the High Plain of Heaven. A mortuary house was made, in which the
deceased was laid. Mr. Frank Rinder writes: "For eight days and eight
nights there was wailing and lamentation. The wild goose of the river,
the heron, the kingfisher, the sparrow, and the pheasant mourned with a
great mourning."

Now it happened that a friend of Ame-waka, Aji-shi-ki by name, heard
the sad dirges proceeding from Heaven. He therefore offered his
condolence. He so resembled the deceased that when Ame-waka's parents,
relations, wife, and children saw him, they exclaimed: "Our lord is
still alive!" This greatly angered Aji-shi-ki, and he drew his sword
and cut down the mortuary house, so that it fell to the Earth and
became the mountain of Moyama.

We are told that the glory of Aji-shi-ki was so effulgent that it
illuminated the space of two hills and two valleys. Those assembled for
the mourning celebrations uttered the following song:

     "Like the string of jewels
     Worn on the neck
     Of the Weaving-maiden,
     That dwells in Heaven--
     Oh! the lustre of the jewels
     Flung across two valleys
     From Aji-suki-taka-hiko-ne!

     "To the side-pool--
     The side-pool
     Of the rocky stream
     Whose narrows are crossed
     By the country wenches
     Afar from Heaven,
     Come hither, come hither!
     (The women are fair)
     And spread across thy net
     In the side-pool
     Of the rocky stream."
                      _Nihongi_, trans. by W. G. Aston.

Two more Gods were sent to the Central Land of Reed-Plains, and these
Gods were successful in their mission. They returned to Heaven with a
favourable report, saying that all was now ready for the coming of the
August Grandchild.

The Coming of the August Grandchild

Ama-terasu presented her grandson Ninigi, or Prince
Rice-Ear-Ruddy-Plenty, with many gifts. She gave him precious stones
from the mountain-steps of Heaven, white crystal balls, and, most
valuable gift of all, the divine sword that Susa-no-o had discovered
in the serpent. She also gave him the star-mirror into which she had
gazed when peeping out of her cave. Several deities accompanied Ninigi,
including that lively maiden of mirth and dance Uzume, whose dancing,
it will be remembered, so amused the Gods.

Ninigi and his companions had hardly broken through the clouds and
arrived at the eight-forked road of Heaven, when they discovered, much
to their alarm, a gigantic creature with large and brightly shining
eyes. So formidable was his aspect that Ninigi and all his companions,
except the merry and bewitching Uzume, started to turn back with intent
to abandon their mission. But Uzume went up to the giant and demanded
who it was that dared to impede their progress. The giant replied: "I
am the Deity of the Field-paths. I come to pay my homage to Ninigi, and
beg to have the honour to be his guide. Return to your master, O fair
Uzume, and give him this message."

So Uzume returned and gave her message to the Gods, who had so
ignominiously retreated. When they heard the good news they greatly
rejoiced, burst once more through the clouds, rested on the Floating
Bridge of Heaven, and finally reached the summit of Takachihi.

The August Grandchild, with the Deity of the Field-paths for guide,
travelled from end to end of the kingdom over which he was to rule.
When he had reached a particularly charming spot, he built a palace.

Ninigi was so pleased with the service the Deity of the Field-paths had
rendered him that he gave that giant the merry Uzume to wife.

Ninigi, after having romantically rewarded his faithful guide, began
to feel the stirring of love himself, when one day, while walking
along the shore, he saw an extremely lovely maiden. "Who are you, most
beautiful lady?" inquired Ninigi. She replied: "I am the daughter of
the Great-Mountain-Possessor. My name is Ko-no-Hana, the Princess who
makes the Flowers of the Trees to Blossom."

Ninigi fell in love with Ko-no-Hana. He went with all haste to her
father, Oho-yama, and begged that he would favour him with his
daughter's hand.

Oho-yama had an elder daughter, Iha-naga, Princess Long-as-the-Rocks.
As her name implies, she was not at all beautiful; but her father
desired that Ninigi's children should have life as eternal as the
life of rocks. He therefore presented both his daughters to Ninigi,
expressing the hope that the suitor's choice would fall upon Iha-naga.
Just as Cinderella, and not her ugly sisters, is dear to children of
our own country, so did Ninigi remain true to his choice, and would not
even look upon Iha-naga. This neglect made Princess Long-as-the-Rocks
extremely angry. She cried out, with more vehemence than modesty: "Had
you chosen me, you and your children would have lived long in the
land. Now that you have chosen my sister, you and yours will perish as
quickly as the blossom of trees, as quickly as the bloom on my sister's

However, Ninigi and Ko-no-Hana lived happily together for some time;
but one day jealousy came to Ninigi and robbed him of his peace of
mind. He had no cause to be jealous, and Ko-no-Hana much resented his
treatment. She retired to a little wooden hut, and set it on fire. From
the flames came three baby boys. We need only concern ourselves with
two of them--Hoderi ("Fire-shine") and Hoori ("Fire-fade"). Hoori, as
we shall see later on, was the grandfather of the first Mikado of Japan.

[Illustration: Hoori and the Sea God's Daughter.--34]

In the Palace of the Sea God

Hoderi was a great fisherman, while his younger brother, Hoori, was
an accomplished hunter. One day they exclaimed: "Let us for a trial
exchange gifts." This they did, but the elder brother, who could
catch fish to some purpose, came home without any spoil when he went
a-hunting. He therefore returned the bow and arrows, and asked his
younger brother for the fish-hook. Now it so happened that Hoori had
lost his brother's fish-hook. The generous offer of a new hook to take
the place of the old one was scornfully refused. He also refused to
accept a heaped-up tray of fish-hooks. To this offer the elder brother
replied: "These are not my old fish-hook: though they are many, I will
not take them."

Now Hoori was sore troubled by his brother's harshness, so he went down
to the sea-shore and there gave way to his grief. A kind old man by the
name of Shiko-tsutsu no Oji ("Salt-sea-elder") said: "Why dost thou
grieve here?" When the sad tale was told, the old man replied: "Grieve
no more. I will arrange this matter for thee."

True to his word, the old man made a basket, set Hoori in it, and then
sank it in the sea. After descending deep down in the water Hoori came
to a pleasant strand rich with all manner of fantastic seaweed. Here he
abandoned the basket and eventually arrived at the Palace of the Sea

Now this palace was extremely imposing. It had battlements and turrets
and stately towers. A well stood at the gate, and over the well there
was a cassia-tree. Here Hoori loitered in the pleasant shade. He had
not stood there long before a beautiful woman appeared. As she was
about to draw water, she raised her eyes, saw the stranger, and
immediately returned, with much alarm, to tell her mother and father
what she had seen.

The God of the Sea, when he had heard the news, "prepared an eightfold
cushion" and led the stranger in, asking his visitor why he had
been honoured by his presence. When Hoori explained the sad loss of
his brother's fish-hook the Sea God assembled all the fishes of his
kingdom, "broad of fin and narrow of fin." And when the thousands upon
thousands of fishes were assembled, the Sea God asked them if they
knew anything about the missing fish-hook. "We know not," answered the
fishes. "Only the Red-woman (the _tai_) has had a sore mouth for some
time past, and has not come." She was accordingly summoned, and on her
mouth being opened the lost fish-hook was discovered.

Hoori then took to wife the Sea God's daughter, Toyo-tama
("Rich-jewel"), and they dwelt together in the palace under the sea.
For three years all went well, but after a time Hoori hungered for a
sight of his own country, and possibly he may have remembered that
he had yet to restore the fish-hook to his elder brother. These not
unnatural feelings troubled the heart of the loving Toyo-tama, and she
went to her father and told him of her sorrow. But the Sea God, who
was always urbane and courteous, in no way resented his son-in-law's
behaviour. On the contrary he gave him the fish-hook, saying: "When
thou givest this fish-hook to thy elder brother, before giving it to
him, call to it secretly, and say, 'A poor hook!'" He also presented
Hoori with the Jewel of the Flowing Tide and the Jewel of the Ebbing
Tide, saying: "If thou dost dip the Tide-flowing Jewel, the tide will
suddenly flow, and therewithal thou shalt drown thine elder brother.
But in case thy elder brother should repent and beg forgiveness,
if, on the contrary, thou dip the Tide-ebbing Jewel, the tide will
spontaneously ebb, and therewithal thou shalt save him. If thou harass
him in this way thy elder brother will of his own accord render

Just before Hoori was about to depart his wife came to him and told him
that she was soon to give him a child. Said she: "On a day when the
winds and waves are raging I will surely come forth to the seashore.
Build for me a house, and await me there."

Hoderi and Hoori Reconciled

When Hoori reached his own home he found his elder brother, who
admitted his offence and begged for forgiveness, which was readily

Toyo-tama and her younger sister bravely confronted the winds and
waves, and came to the sea-shore. There Hoori had built a hut roofed
with cormorant feathers, and there in due season she gave birth
to a son. When Toyo-tama had blessed her lord with offspring, she
turned into a dragon and slipped back into the sea. Hoori's son
married his aunt, and was the father of four children, one of whom
was Kamu-Yamato-Iware-Biko, who is said to have been the first human
Emperor of Japan, and is now known as Jimmu Tennō.



A long time ago a certain Emperor became seriously ill. He was unable
to sleep at night owing to a most horrible and unaccountable noise he
heard proceeding from the roof of the palace, called the Purple Hall of
the North Star. A number of his courtiers decided to lie in wait for
this strange nocturnal visitor. As soon as the sun set they noticed
that a dark cloud crept from the eastern horizon, and alighted on the
roof of the august palace. Those who waited in the imperial bed-chamber
heard extraordinary scratching sounds, as if what had at first appeared
to be a cloud had suddenly changed into a beast with gigantic and
powerful claws.

Night after night this terrible visitant came, and night after night
the Emperor grew worse. He at last became so ill that it was obvious to
all those in attendance upon him that unless something could be done to
destroy this monster the Emperor would certainly die.

At last it was decided that Yorimasa was the one knight in the kingdom
valiant enough to relieve his Majesty of these terrible hauntings.
Yorimasa accordingly made elaborate preparations for the fray. He took
his best bow and steel-headed arrows, donned his armour, over which he
wore a hunting-dress, and a ceremonial cap instead of his usual helmet.

[Illustration: Yorimasa slays the Vampire.--38]

At sunset he lay in concealment outside the palace. While he thus
waited thunder crashed overhead, lightning blazed in the sky, and the
wind shrieked like a pack of wild demons. But Yorimasa was a brave
man, and the fury of the elements in no way daunted him. When midnight
came he saw a black cloud rush through the sky and rest upon the
roof of the palace. At the north-east corner it stopped. Once more the
lightning flashed in the sky, and this time he saw the gleaming eyes of
a large animal. Noting the exact position of this strange monster, he
pulled at his bow till it became as round as the full moon. In another
moment his steel-headed arrow hit its mark. There was an awful roar of
anger, and then a heavy thud as the huge monster rolled from the palace
roof to the ground.

Yorimasa and his retainer ran forward and despatched the fearful
creature they saw before them. This evil monster of the night was as
large as a horse. It had the head of an ape, and the body and claws
were like those of a tiger, with a serpent's tail, wings of a bird, and
the scales of a dragon.

It was no wonder that the Emperor gave orders that the skin of this
monster should be kept for all time as a curiosity in the Imperial
treasure-house. From the very moment the creature died the Emperor's
health rapidly improved, and Yorimasa was rewarded for his services by
being presented with a sword called Shishi-wo, which means "the King
of Lions." He was also promoted at Court, and finally married the Lady
Ayame, the most beautiful of ladies-in-waiting at the Imperial Court.

Yoshitsune and Benkei

We may compare Yoshitsune with the Black Prince or Henry V., and
Benkei with "Little John, Will Scarlet, and Friar Tuck rolled in
one." Yoshitsune would have seemed a very remarkable hero had not
his faithful henchman, Benkei, also figured in Japanese history and
legend. As it is we are forced to admit that Benkei was far and away
the greater man. He not only towered in stature above his companions,
but he rose above his brethren in courage, wit, resource, and a
wonderful tenderness. Here was a man who could slay a hundred men with
absolute ease, and with the same quiet assurance expound the Buddhist
Scriptures. He could weep over Yoshitsune when, by way of strategy, he
found it necessary to severely beat him, and with infinite gentleness
render assistance when his lord's wife gave birth to a son. There
was yet another side to Benkei's versatile character--his love of a
practical joke. The bell incident, referred to elsewhere, is a case in
point, and his enormous feast at the expense of a number of priests
another; but if he had his joke he never failed to pay for the laugh to
the full. Benkei remarked on one occasion: "When there is an unlucky
lot to draw my lord sees to it that I am the one to get it." This was
certainly true. Benkei always made a point of doing the dirty work, and
when his master asked him to do anything Benkei's only complaint was
that the task was not sufficiently difficult, though as a matter of
fact it was often so dangerous that it would have frightened a dozen
less gifted heroes.

We are told that when Benkei was born he had long hair, a complete
set of teeth, and, moreover, that he could run as swiftly as the
wind. Benkei was too big for a modest Japanese home. When he struck
Jin-saku's anvil that useful object sank deep into the earth, and for
firewood he would bring a great pine-tree. When Benkei was seventeen
years old he became a priest in a Buddhist temple; but that did not
prevent him from having a thrilling escapade with a beautiful young
girl called Tamamushi. We soon find our hero breaking away from love
and priestcraft, and entirely devoting his attention to the exciting
adventures of a lawless warrior. Here, for the moment, we must leave
him, and give the story of Yoshitsune, and how he had the good fortune
to meet and retain the service and friendship of Benkei till his dying

Yoshitsune and the Taira

Yoshitsune's father, Yoshitomo, had been killed in a great battle with
the Taira. At that time the Taira clan was all-powerful, and its cruel
leader, Kiyomori, did all he could to destroy Yoshitomo's children.
But the mother of these children, Tokiwa, fled into hiding, taking
her little ones with her. With characteristic Japanese fortitude, she
finally consented to become the wife of the hated Kiyomori. She did so
because it was the only way to save the lives of her children. She was
allowed to keep Yoshitsune with her, and she daily whispered to him:
"Remember thy father, Minamoto Yoshitomo! Grow strong and avenge his
death, for he died at the hands of the Taira!"

When Yoshitsune was seven years of age he was sent to a monastery to
be brought up as a monk. Though diligent in his studies, the young
boy ever treasured in his heart the dauntless words of his brave,
self-sacrificing mother. They stirred and quickened him to action. He
used to go to a certain valley, where he would flourish his little
wooden sword, and, singing fragments of war-songs, hit out at rocks
and stones, desiring that he might one day become a great warrior, and
right the wrongs so heavily heaped upon his family by the Taira clan.

One night, while thus engaged, he was startled by a great thunderstorm,
and saw before him a mighty giant with a long red nose and enormous
glaring eyes, bird-like claws, and feathered wings. Bravely standing
his ground, Yoshitsune inquired who this giant might be, and was
informed that he was King of the Tengu--that is, King of the elves of
the mountains, sprightly little beings who were frequently engaged in
all manner of fantastic tricks.

The King of the Tengu was very kindly disposed towards Yoshitsune. He
explained that he admired his perseverance, and told him that he had
appeared upon the scene with the meritorious intention of teaching him
all that was to be learnt in the art of swordsmanship. The lessons
progressed in a most satisfactory manner, and it was not long before
Yoshitsune could vanquish as many as twenty small _tengu_, and this
extreme agility stood Yoshitsune in very good stead, as we shall see
later on in the story.

Now when Yoshitsune was fifteen years old he heard that there lived on
Mount Hiei a very wild _bonze_ (priest) by the name of Benkei. Benkei
had for some time waylaid knights who happened to cross the Gojo Bridge
of Kyōto. His idea was to obtain a thousand swords, and he was so
brave, although such a rascal, that he had won from knights no less
than nine hundred and ninety-nine swords by his lawless behaviour. When
the news of these doings reached the ears of Yoshitsune he determined
to put the teaching of the King of the Tengu to good use and slay this
Benkei, and so put an end to one who had become a terror in the land.

One evening Yoshitsune started out, and, in order to establish the
manner and bearing of absolute indifference, he played upon his flute
till he came to the Gojo Bridge. Presently he saw coming towards him
a gigantic man clad in black armour, who was none other than Benkei.
When Benkei saw the youth he considered it to be beneath his dignity
to attack what appeared to him to be a mere weakling, a dreamer who
could play excellently, and no doubt write a pretty poem about the
moon, which was then shining in the sky, but one who was in no way a
warrior. This affront naturally angered Yoshitsune, and he suddenly
kicked Benkei's halberd out of his hand.

[Illustration: Yoshitsune and Benkei attacked by a ghostly company of
the Taira Clan.--42]

Yoshitsune and Benkei Fight

Benkei gave a growl of rage, and cut about indiscriminately with
his weapon. But the sprightliness of the _tengu_ teaching favoured
Yoshitsune. He jumped from side to side, from the front to the rear,
and from the rear to the front again, mocking the giant with many a
jest and many a peal of ringing laughter. Round and round went Benkei's
weapon, always striking either the air or the ground, and ever missing
its adversary.

At last Benkei grew weary, and once again Yoshitsune knocked the
halberd out of the giant's hand. In trying to regain his weapon
Yoshitsune tripped him up, so that he stumbled upon his hands and
knees, and the hero, with a cry of triumph, mounted upon the now
four-legged Benkei. The giant was utterly amazed at his defeat, and
when he was told that the victor was none other than the son of Lord
Yoshitomo he not only took his defeat in a manly fashion, but begged
that he might henceforth become a retainer of the young conqueror.

From this time we find the names of Yoshitsune and Benkei linked
together, and in all the stories of warriors, whether in Japan or
elsewhere, never was there a more valiant and harmonious union of
strength and friendship. We hear of them winning numerous victories
over the Taira, finally driving them to the sea, where they perished at

We get one more glimpse of Dan-no-ura from a legendary point of view.
Yoshitsune and his faithful henchman arranged to cross in a ship from
the province of Settsu to Saikoku. When they reached Dan-no-ura a
great storm arose. Mysterious noises came from the towering waves, a
far-away echo of the din of battle, of the rushing of ships and the
whirling of arrows, of the footfall of a thousand men. Louder and
louder the noise grew, and from the lashing crests of the waves there
arose a ghostly company of the Taira clan. Their armour was torn and
blood-stained, and they thrust out their vaporous arms and tried to
stop the boat in which Yoshitsune and Benkei sailed. It was a ghostly
reminiscence of the battle of Dan-no-ura, when the Taira had suffered
a terrible and permanent defeat. Yoshitsune, when he saw this great
phantom host, cried out for revenge even upon the ghosts of the Taira
dead; but Benkei, always shrewd and circumspect, bade his master lay
aside the sword, and took out a rosary and recited a number of Buddhist
prayers. Peace came to the great company of ghosts, the wailing ceased,
and gradually they faded into the sea which now became calm.

Legend tells us that fishermen still see from time to time ghostly
armies come out of the sea and wail and shake their long arms. They
explain that the crabs with dorsal markings are the wraiths of the
Taira warriors. Later on we shall introduce another legend relating to
these unfortunate ghosts, who seem never to tire of haunting the scene
of their defeat.

The Goblin of Oyeyama

In the reign of the Emperor Ichijo many dreadful stories were current
in Kyōto in regard to a demon that lived on Mount Oye. This demon could
assume many forms. Sometimes appearing as a human being, he would
steal into Kyōto, and leave many a home destitute of well-loved sons
and daughters. These young men and women he took back to his mountain
stronghold, and, sad to narrate, after making sport of them, he and
his goblin companions made a great feast and devoured these poor
young people. Even the sacred Court was not exempt from these awful
happenings, and one day Kimitaka lost his beautiful daughter. She had
been snatched away by the Goblin King, Shutendoji.

When this sad news reached the ears of the Emperor he called his
council together and consulted how they might slay this dreadful
creature. His ministers informed his Majesty that Raiko was a doughty
knight, and advised that he should be sent with certain companions on
this perilous but worthy adventure.

Raiko accordingly chose five companions and told them what had been
ordained, and how they were to set out upon an adventurous journey, and
finally to slay the King of the Goblins. He explained that subtlety
of action was most essential if they wished for success in their
enterprise, and that it would be well to go disguised as mountain
priests, and to carry their armour and weapons on their backs,
carefully concealed in unsuspicious-looking knapsacks. Before starting
upon their journey two of the knights went to pray at the temple of
Hachiman, the God of War, two at the shrine of Kwannon, the Goddess of
Mercy, and two at the temple of Gongen.

When these knights had prayed for a blessing upon their undertaking
they set out upon their journey, and in due time reached the province
of Tamba, and saw immediately in front of them Mount Oye. The Goblin
had certainly chosen the most formidable of mountains. Mighty rocks
and great dark forests obstructed their path in every direction, while
almost bottomless chasms appeared when least expected.

Just when these brave knights were beginning to feel just a little
disheartened, three old men suddenly appeared before them. At first
these newcomers were regarded with suspicion, but later on with the
utmost friendliness and thankfulness. These old men were none other
than the deities to whom the knights had prayed before setting out
upon their journey. The old men presented Raiko with a jar of magical
_saké_ called Shimben-Kidoku-Shu ("a cordial for men, but poison for
goblins"), advising him that he should by strategy get Shutendoji to
drink it, whereupon he would immediately become paralysed and prove
an easy victim for the final despatch. No sooner had these old men
given the magical _saké_ and proffered their valuable advice than a
miraculous light shone round them, and they vanished into the clouds.

Once again Raiko and his knights, much cheered by what had happened,
continued to ascend the mountain. Coming to a stream, they noticed a
beautiful woman washing a blood-stained garment in the running water.
She was weeping bitterly, and wiped away her tears with the long sleeve
of her _kimono_. Upon Raiko asking who she was, she informed him that
she was a princess, and one of the miserable captives of the Goblin
King. When she was told that it was none other than the great Raiko
who stood before her, and that he and his knights had come to kill the
vile creature of that mountain, she was overcome with joy, and finally
led the little band to a great palace of black iron, satisfying the
sentinels by telling them that her followers were poor mountain priests
who sought temporary shelter.

After passing through long corridors Raiko and his knights found
themselves in a mighty hall. At one end sat the awful Goblin King.
He was of gigantic stature, with bright red skin and a mass of white
hair. When Raiko meekly informed him who they were, the Goblin King,
concealing his mirth, bade them be seated and join the feast that
was about to be set before them. Thereupon he clapped his red hands
together, and immediately many beautiful damsels came running in with
an abundance of food and drink, and as Raiko watched these women he
knew that they had once lived in happy homes in Kyōto.

[Illustration: Raiko and the Enchanted Maiden.--46]

When the feast was in full progress Raiko took out the jar of magic
_saké_, and politely begged the Goblin King to try it. The monster,
without demur or suspicion, drank some of the _saké_, and found it
so good that he asked for a second cup. All the goblins partook of
the magic wine, and while they were drinking Raiko and his companions

The power of this magical drink soon began to work. The Goblin King
became drowsy, till finally he and his fellow goblins fell fast asleep.
Then Raiko sprang to his feet, and he and his knights rapidly donned
their armour and prepared for war. Once more the three deities appeared
before them, and said to Raiko: "We have tied the hands and feet of the
Demon fast, so you have nothing to fear. While your knights cut off his
limbs do you cut off his head: then kill the rest of the _oni_ (evil
spirits) and your work will be done." Then these divine beings suddenly

Raiko Slays the Goblin

Raiko and his knights, with their swords drawn, cautiously approached
the sleeping Goblin King. With a mighty sweep Raiko's weapon came
crashing down on the Goblin's neck. No sooner was the head severed
than it shot up into the air, and smoke and fire poured out from the
nostrils, scorching the valiant Raiko. Once more he struck out with his
sword, and this time the horrible head fell to the floor, and never
moved again. It was not long before these brave knights despatched the
Demon's followers also.

There was a joyful exit from the great iron palace. Raiko's five
knights carried the monster head of the Goblin King, and this grim
spectacle was followed by a company of happy maidens released at last
from their horrible confinement, and eager to walk once again in the
streets of Kyōto.

The Goblin Spider

Some time after the incident mentioned in the previous legend had
taken place the brave Raiko became seriously ill, and was obliged
to keep to his room. At about midnight a little boy always brought
him some medicine. This boy was unknown to Raiko, but as he kept so
many servants it did not at first awaken suspicion. Raiko grew worse
instead of better, and always worse immediately after he had taken the
medicine, so he began to think that some supernatural force was the
cause of his illness.

At last Raiko asked his head servant if he knew anything about the boy
who came to him at midnight. Neither the head servant nor any one else
seemed to know anything about him. By this time Raiko's suspicions were
fully awakened, and he determined to go carefully into the matter.

When the small boy came again at midnight, instead of taking the
medicine, Raiko threw the cup at his head, and drawing his sword
attempted to kill him. A sharp cry of pain rang through the room, but
as the boy was flying from the apartment he threw something at Raiko.
It spread outward into a huge white sticky web, which clung so tightly
to Raiko that he could hardly move. No sooner had he cut the web
through with his sword than another enveloped him. Raiko then called
for assistance, and his chief retainer met the miscreant in one of the
corridors and stopped his further progress with extended sword. The
Goblin threw a web over him too. When he at last managed to extricate
himself and was able to run into his master's room, he saw that Raiko
had also been the victim of the Goblin Spider.

The Goblin Spider was eventually discovered in a cave writhing with
pain, blood flowing from a sword-cut on the head. He was instantly
killed, and with his death there passed away the evil influence that
had caused Raiko's serious illness. From that hour the hero regained
his health and strength, and a sumptuous banquet was prepared in honour
of the happy event.

Another Version

There is another version of this legend, written by Kenkō Hōshi, which
differs so widely in many of its details from the one we have already
given that it almost amounts to a new story altogether. To dispense
with this version would be to rob the legend of its most sinister
aspect, which has not hitherto been accessible to the general reader.[1]

On one occasion Raiko left Kyōto with Tsuna, the most worthy of his
retainers. As they were crossing the plain of Rendai they saw a skull
rise in the air, and fly before them as if driven by the wind, until it
finally disappeared at a place called Kagura ga Oka.

Raiko and his retainer had no sooner noticed the disappearance of the
skull than they perceived before them a mansion in ruins. Raiko entered
this dilapidated building, and saw an old woman of strange aspect.
"She was dressed in white, and had white hair; she opened her eyes with
a small stick, and the upper eyelids fell back over her head like a
hat; then she used the rod to open her mouth, and let her breast fall
forward upon her knees." Thus she addressed the astonished Raiko:

"I am two hundred and ninety years old. I serve nine masters, and the
house in which you stand is haunted by demons."

Having listened to these words, Raiko walked into the kitchen, and,
catching a glimpse of the sky, he perceived that a great storm was
brewing. As he stood watching the dark clouds gather he heard a sound
of ghostly footsteps, and there crowded into the room a great company
of goblins. Nor were these the only supernatural creatures which Raiko
encountered, for presently he saw a being dressed like a nun. Her very
small body was naked to the waist, her face was two feet in length, and
her arms "were white as snow and thin as threads." For a moment this
dreadful creature laughed, and then vanished like a mist.

Raiko heard the welcome sound of a cock crowing, and imagined that the
ghostly visitors would trouble him no more; but once again he heard
footsteps, and this time he saw no hideous hag, but a lovely woman,
"more graceful than the willow branches as they wave in the breeze." As
he gazed upon this lovely maiden his eyes became blinded for a moment
on account of her radiant beauty. Before he could recover his sight he
found himself enveloped in countless cobwebs. He struck at her with his
sword, when she disappeared, and he found that he had but cut through
the planks of the floor, and broken the foundation-stone beneath.

At this moment Tsuna joined his master, and they perceived that the
sword was covered with _white_ blood, and that the point had been
broken in the conflict.

[Illustration: Raiko slays the Goblin of Oyeyama.--50]

After much search Raiko and his retainer discovered a den in which they
saw a monster with many legs and a head of enormous size covered with
downy hair. Its mighty eyes shone like the sun and moon, as it groaned
aloud: "I am sick and in pain!"

As Raiko and Tsuna drew near they recognised the broken sword-point
projecting from the monster. The heroes then dragged the creature
out of its den and cut off its head. Out of the deep wound in the
creature's stomach gushed nineteen hundred and ninety skulls, and in
addition many spiders as large as children. Raiko and his follower
realised that the monster before them was none other than the Mountain
Spider. When they cut open the great carcass they discovered, within
the entrails, the ghostly remains of many human corpses.

The Adventures of Prince Yamato Take

King Keiko bade his youngest son, Prince Yamato, go forth and slay
a number of brigands. Before his departure the Prince prayed at the
shrines of Ise, and begged that Ama-terasu, the Sun Goddess, would
bless his enterprise. Prince Yamato's aunt was high-priestess of one
of the Ise temples, and he told her about the task his father had
entrusted to him. This good lady was much pleased to hear the news, and
presented her nephew with a rich silk robe, saying that it would bring
him luck, and perhaps be of service to him later on.

When Prince Yamato had returned to the palace and taken leave of
his father, he left the court accompanied by his wife, the Princess
Ototachibana, and a number of staunch followers, and proceeded to
the Southern Island of Kiushiu, which was infested by brigands. The
country was so rough and impassable that Prince Yamato saw at once that
he must devise some cunning scheme by which he might take the enemy

Having come to this conclusion, he bade the Princess Ototachibana bring
him the rich silk robe his aunt had given him. This he put on under the
direction, no doubt, of his wife. He let down his hair, stuck a comb in
it, and adorned himself with jewels. When he looked into a mirror he
saw that the disguise was perfect, and that he made quite a handsome

Thus gorgeously apparelled, he entered the enemy's tent, where Kumaso
and Takeru were sitting. It happened that they were discussing the
King's son and his efforts to exterminate their band. When they chanced
to look up they saw a fair woman coming towards them.

Kumaso was so delighted that he beckoned to the disguised Prince
and bade him serve wine as quickly as possible. Yamato was only too
delighted to do so. He affected feminine shyness. He walked with very
minute steps, and glanced out of the corner of his eyes with all the
timidity of a bashful maiden.

Kumaso drank far more wine than was good for him. He still went on
drinking just to have the pleasure of seeing this lovely creature
pouring it out for him.

When Kumaso became drunk Prince Yamato flung down the wine-jar, whipped
out his dagger, and stabbed him to death.

Takeru, when he saw what had happened to his brother, attempted to
escape, but Prince Yamato leapt upon him. Once more his dagger gleamed
in the air, and Takeru fell to the earth.

[Illustration: Prince Yamato and Takeru.--52]

"Stay your hand a moment," gasped the dying brigand. "I would fain
know who you are and whence you have come. Hitherto I thought that
my brother and I were the strongest men in the kingdom. I am indeed

"I am Yamato," said the Prince, "and son of the King who bade me kill
such rebels as you!"

"Permit me to give you a new name," said the brigand politely. "From
henceforth you shall be called Yamato Take, because you are the bravest
man in the land."

Having thus spoken Takeru fell back dead.

The Wooden Sword

When the Prince was on his way to the capital he encountered another
outlaw named Idzumo Takeru. Again resorting to strategy, he professed
to be extremely friendly with this fellow. He cut a sword of wood and
rammed it tightly into the sheath of his own steel weapon. He wore this
whenever he expected to meet Takeru.

On one occasion Prince Yamato invited Takeru to swim with him in the
river Hinokawa. While the brigand was swimming down-stream the Prince
secretly landed, and, going to Takeru's clothes, lying on the bank, he
managed to change swords, putting his wooden one in place of the keen
steel sword of Takeru.

When Takeru came out of the water and put on his clothes the Prince
asked him to show his skill with the sword. "We will prove," said he,
"which is the better swordsman of the two."

Nothing loath, Takeru tried to unsheath his sword. It stuck fast, and
as it happened to be of wood it was, of course, useless in any case.
While the brigand was thus struggling Yamato cut off his head. Once
again cunning had served him, and when he had returned to the palace
he was feasted, and received many costly gifts from the King his father.

The "Grass-Cleaving-Sword"

Prince Yamato did not long remain idle in the palace, for his father
commanded him to go forth and quell an Ainu rising in the eastern

When the Prince was ready to depart the King gave him a spear made
from a holly-tree called the "Eight-Arms-Length-Spear." With this
precious gift Prince Yamato visited the temples of Ise. His aunt, the
high-priestess, again greeted him. She listened with interest to all
her nephew told her, and was especially delighted to know how well the
robe she had given him had served in his adventures.

When she had listened to his story she went into the temple and brought
forth a sword and a bag containing flints. These she gave to Yamato as
a parting gift.

The sword was the sword of Murakumo, belonging to the insignia of the
Imperial House of Japan. The Prince could not have received a more
auspicious gift. This sword, it will be remembered, once belonged to
the Gods, and was discovered by Susa-no-o.

After a long march Prince Yamato and his men found themselves in the
province of Suruga. The governor hospitably received him, and by way
of entertainment organised a deer-hunt. Our hero for once in a way was
utterly deceived, and joined the hunt without the least misgiving.

The Prince was taken to a great and wild plain covered with high grass.
While he was engaged in hunting down the deer he suddenly became aware
of fire. In another moment he saw flames and clouds of smoke shooting
up in every direction. He was surrounded by fire, from which there was,
apparently, no escape. Too late the guileless warrior realised that he
had fallen into a trap, and a very warm trap too!

Our hero opened the bag his aunt had given him, set fire to the grass
near him, and with the sword of Murakumo he cut down the tall green
blades on either side as quickly as possible. No sooner had he done so
than the wind suddenly changed and blew the flames away from him, so
that eventually the Prince made good his escape without the slightest
burn of any kind. And thus it was that the sword of Murakumo came to be
known as the "Grass-Cleaving-Sword."

The Sacrifice of Ototachibana

In all these adventures the Prince had been followed by his faithful
wife, the Princess Ototachibana. Sad to say, our hero, so praiseworthy
in battle, was not nearly so estimable in his love. He looked down on
his wife and treated her with indifference. She, poor loyal soul, had
lost her beauty in serving her lord. Her skin was burnt with the sun,
and her garments were soiled and torn. Yet she never complained, and
though her face became sad she made a brave effort to maintain her
usual sweetness of manner.

Now Prince Yamato happened to meet the fascinating Princess Miyadzu.
Her robes were charming, her skin delicate as cherry-blossom. It was
not long before he fell desperately in love with her. When the time
came for him to depart he swore that he would return again and make the
beautiful Princess Miyadzu his wife. He had scarcely made this promise
when he looked up and saw Ototachibana, and on her face was a look of
intense sadness. But Prince Yamato hardened his heart, and rode away,
secretly determined to keep his promise.

When Prince Yamato, his wife and men, reached the sea-shore of Idzu,
his followers desired to secure a number of boats in order that they
might cross the Straits of Kadzusa.

The Prince cried haughtily: "Bah! this is only a brook! Why so many
boats? I could jump across it!"

When they had all embarked and started on their journey a great storm
arose. The waves turned into water-mountains, the wind shrieked, the
lightning blazed in the dark clouds, and the thunder roared. It seemed
that the boat that carried the Prince and his wife must needs sink, for
this storm was the work of Rin-Jin, King of the Sea, who was angry with
the proud and foolish words of Prince Yamato.

When the crew had taken down the sails in the hope of steadying the
vessel the storm grew worse instead of better. At last Ototachibana
arose, and, forgiving all the sorrow her lord had caused her, she
resolved to sacrifice her life in order to save her much-loved husband.

Thus spoke the loyal Ototachibana: "Oh, Rin-Jin, the Prince, my
husband, has angered you with his boasting. I, Ototachibana, give you
my poor life in the place of Yamato Take. I now cast myself into your
great surging kingdom, and do you in return bring my lord safely to the

Having uttered these words, Ototachibana leapt into the seething waves,
and in a moment they dragged that brave woman out of sight. No sooner
had this sacrifice been made than the storm abated and the sun shone
forth in a cloudless sky.

Yamato Take safely reached his destination, and succeeded in quelling
the Ainu rising.

Our hero had certainly erred in his treatment of his faithful wife. Too
late he learnt to appreciate her goodness; but let it be said to his
credit that she remained a loving memory till his death, while the
Princess Miyadzu was entirely forgotten.

The Slaying of the Serpent

Now that Yamato Take had carried out his father's instructions, he
passed through the province of Owari until he came to the province of

The province of Omi was afflicted with a great trouble. Many were in
mourning, and many wept and cried aloud in their sorrow. The Prince, on
making inquiries, was informed that a great serpent every day came down
from the mountains and entered the villages, making a meal of many of
the unfortunate inhabitants.

Prince Yamato at once started to climb up Mount Ibaki, where the great
serpent was said to live. About half-way up he encountered the awful
creature. The Prince was so strong that he killed the serpent by
twisting his bare arms about it. He had no sooner done so than sudden
darkness came over the land, and rain fell heavily. However, eventually
the weather improved, and our hero was able to climb down the mountain.

When he reached home he found that his feet burned with a strange pain,
and, moreover, that he felt very ill. He realised that the serpent had
stung him, and, as he was too ill to move, he was carried to a famous
mineral spring. Here he finally regained his accustomed health and
strength, and for these blessings gave thanks to Ama-terasu, the Sun

The Adventures of Momotaro

One day, while an old woman stood by a stream washing her clothes, she
chanced to see an enormous peach floating on the water. It was quite
the largest she had ever seen, and as this old woman and her husband
were extremely poor she immediately thought what an excellent meal this
extraordinary peach would make. As she could find no stick with which
to draw the fruit to the bank, she suddenly remembered the following

     "Distant water is bitter,
     The near water is sweet;
     Pass by the distant water
     And come into the sweet."

This little song had the desired effect. The peach came nearer and
nearer till it stopped at the old woman's feet. She stooped down
and picked it up. So delighted was she with her discovery that she
could not stay to do any more washing, but hurried home as quickly as

When her husband arrived in the evening, with a bundle of grass upon
his back, the old woman excitedly took the peach out of a cupboard and
showed it to him.

The old man, who was tired and hungry, was equally delighted at the
thought of so delicious a meal. He speedily brought a knife and was
about to cut the fruit open, when it suddenly opened of its own accord,
and the prettiest child imaginable tumbled out with a merry laugh.

"Don't be afraid," said the little fellow. "The Gods have heard how
much you desired a child, and have sent me to be a solace and a comfort
in your old age."

The old couple were so overcome with joy that they scarcely knew what
to do with themselves. Each in turn nursed the child, caressed him, and
murmured many sweet and affectionate words. They called him Momotaro,
or "Son of a Peach."

When Momotaro was fifteen years old he was a lad far taller and
stronger than boys of his own age. The making of a great hero stirred
in his veins, and it was a knightly heroism that desired to right the

[Illustration: Momotaro and the Pheasant.--58]

One day Momotaro came to his foster-father and asked him if he
would allow him to take a long journey to a certain island in the
North-Eastern Sea where dwelt a number of devils, who had captured
a great company of innocent people, many of whom they ate. Their
wickedness was beyond description, and Momotaro desired to kill them,
rescue the unfortunate captives, and bring back the plunder of the
island that he might share it with his foster-parents.

The old man was not a little surprised to hear this daring scheme. He
knew that Momotaro was no common child. He had been sent from heaven,
and he believed that all the devils in the world could not harm him. So
at length the old man gave his consent, saying: "Go, Momotaro, slay the
devils and bring peace to the land."

When the old woman had given Momotaro a number of rice-cakes the youth
bade his foster-parents farewell, and started out upon his journey.

The Triumph of Momotaro

While Momotaro was resting under a hedge eating one of the rice-cakes,
a great dog came up to him, growled, and showed his teeth. The dog,
moreover, could speak, and threateningly begged that Momotaro would
give him a cake. "Either you give me a cake," said he, "or I will kill

When, however, the dog heard that the famous Momotaro stood before him,
his tail dropped between his legs and he bowed with his head to the
ground, requesting that he might follow "Son of a Peach," and render to
him all the service that lay in his power.

Momotaro readily accepted the offer, and after throwing the dog half a
cake they proceeded on their way.

They had not gone far when they encountered a monkey, who also begged
to be admitted to Momotaro's service. This was granted, but it was some
time before the dog and the monkey ceased snapping at each other and
became good friends.

Proceeding upon their journey, they came across a pheasant. Now the
innate jealousy of the dog was again awakened, and he ran forward
and tried to kill the bright-plumed creature. Momotaro separated the
combatants, and in the end the pheasant was also admitted to the little
band, walking decorously in the rear.

At length Momotaro and his followers reached the shore of the
North-Eastern Sea. Here our hero discovered a boat, and after a good
deal of timidity on the part of the dog, monkey, and pheasant, they all
got aboard, and soon the little vessel was spinning away over the blue

After many days upon the ocean they sighted an island. Momotaro bade
the bird fly off, a winged herald to announce his coming, and bid the
devils surrender.

The pheasant flew over the sea and alighted on the roof of a great
castle and shouted his stirring message, adding that the devils, as a
sign of submission, should break their horns.

The devils only laughed and shook their horns and shaggy red hair. Then
they brought forth iron bars and hurled them furiously at the bird. The
pheasant cleverly evaded the missiles, and flew at the heads of many

In the meantime Momotaro had landed with his two companions. He had no
sooner done so than he saw two beautiful damsels weeping by a stream,
as they wrung out blood-soaked garments.

"Oh!" said they pitifully, "we are daughters of _daimyōs_, and are now
the captives of the Demon King of this dreadful island. Soon he will
kill us, and alas! there is no one to come to our aid." Having made
these remarks the women wept anew.

"Ladies," said Momotaro, "I have come for the purpose of slaying your
wicked enemies. Show me a way into yonder castle."

So Momotaro, the dog, and the monkey entered through a small door in
the castle. Once inside this fortification they fought tenaciously.
Many of the devils were so frightened that they fell off the parapets
and were dashed to pieces, while others were speedily killed by
Momotaro and his companions. All were destroyed except the Demon King
himself, and he wisely resolved to surrender, and begged that his life
might be spared.

"No," said Momotaro fiercely. "I will not spare your wicked life. You
have tortured many innocent people and robbed the country for many

Having said these words he gave the Demon King into the monkey's
keeping, and then proceeded through all the rooms of the castle, and
set free the numerous prisoners he found there. He also gathered
together much treasure.

The return journey was a very joyous affair indeed. The dog and the
pheasant carried the treasure between them, while Momotaro led the
Demon King.

Momotaro restored the two daughters or _daimyōs_ to their homes,
and many others who had been made captives in the island. The whole
country rejoiced in his victory, but no one more than Momotaro's
foster-parents, who ended their days in peace and plenty, thanks to
the great treasure of the devils which Momotaro bestowed upon them.

"My Lord Bag of Rice"

One day the great Hidesato came to a bridge that spanned the
beautiful Lake Biwa. He was about to cross it when he noticed a great
serpent-dragon fast asleep obstructing his progress. Hidesato, without
a moment's hesitation, climbed over the monster and proceeded on his

He had not gone far when he heard some one calling to him. He looked
back and saw that in the place of the dragon a man stood bowing
to him with much ceremony. He was a strange-looking fellow with a
dragon-shaped crown resting upon his red hair.

"I am the Dragon King of Lake Biwa," explained the red-haired man. "A
moment ago I took the form of a horrible monster in the hope of finding
a mortal who would not be afraid of me. You, my lord, showed no fear,
and I rejoice exceedingly. A great centipede comes down from yonder
mountain, enters my palace, and destroys my children and grandchildren.
One by one they have become food for this dread creature, and I fear
soon that unless something can be done to slay this centipede I myself
shall become a victim. I have waited long for a brave mortal. All men
who have hitherto seen me in my dragon-shape have run away. You are a
brave man, and I beg that you will kill my bitter enemy."

Hidesato, who always welcomed an adventure, the more so when it was a
perilous one, readily consented to see what he could do for the Dragon

When Hidesato reached the Dragon King's palace he found it to be a
very magnificent building indeed, scarcely less beautiful than the
Sea King's palace itself. He was feasted with crystallised lotus
leaves and flowers, and ate the delicacies spread before him with
choice ebony chopsticks. While he feasted ten little goldfish danced,
and just behind the goldfish ten carp made sweet music on the _koto_
and _samisen_. Hidesato was just thinking how excellently he had been
entertained, and how particularly good was the wine, when they all
heard an awful noise like a dozen thunderclaps roaring together.

Hidesato and the Dragon King hastily rose and ran to the balcony. They
saw that Mount Mikami was scarcely recognisable, for it was covered
from top to bottom with the great coils of the centipede. In its head
glowed two balls of fire, and its hundred feet were like a long winding
chain of lanterns.

Hidesato fitted an arrow to his bowstring and pulled it back with all
his might. The arrow sped forth into the night and struck the centipede
in the middle of the head, but glanced off immediately without
inflicting any wound. Again Hidesato sent an arrow whirling into the
air, and again it struck the monster and fell harmlessly to the ground.
Hidesato had only one arrow left. Suddenly remembering the magical
effect of human saliva, he put the remaining arrow-head into his mouth
for a moment, and then hastily adjusted it to his bow and took careful

The last arrow struck its mark and pierced the centipede's brain. The
creature stopped moving; the light in its eyes and legs darkened and
then went out, and Lake Biwa, with its palace beneath, was shrouded in
awful darkness. Thunder rolled, lightning flashed, and it seemed for
the moment that the Dragon King's palace would topple to the ground.

The next day, however, all sign of storm had vanished. The sky was
clear. The sun shone brightly. In the sparkling blue lake lay the body
of the great centipede.

The Dragon King and those about him were overjoyed when they knew that
their dread enemy had been destroyed. Hidesato was again feasted, even
more royally than before. When he finally departed he did so with a
retinue of fishes suddenly converted into men. The Dragon King bestowed
upon our hero five precious gifts--two bells, a bag of rice, a roll of
silk, and a cooking-pot.

The Dragon King accompanied Hidesato as far as the bridge, and then he
reluctantly allowed the hero and the procession of servants carrying
the presents to proceed on their way.

When Hidesato reached his home the Dragon King's servants put down the
presents and suddenly disappeared.

The presents were no ordinary gifts. The rice-bag was inexhaustible,
there was no end to the roll of silk, and the cooking-pot would
cook without fire of any kind. Only the bells were without magical
properties, and these were presented to a temple in the vicinity.
Hidesato grew rich, and his fame spread far and wide. People now no
longer called him Hidesato, but Tawara Toda, or "My Lord Bag of Rice."

[Footnote 1: This version appears in the _Catalogue of Japanese and
Chinese Paintings in the British Museum_, by Dr. William Anderson.]


The Coming of the Lady Kaguya

Long ago there lived an old bamboo-cutter by the name of Sanugi no
Miyakko. One day, while he was busy with his hatchet in a grove of
bamboos, he suddenly perceived a miraculous light, and on closer
inspection discovered in the heart of a reed a very small creature of
exquisite beauty. He gently picked up the tiny girl, only about four
inches in height, and carried her home to his wife. So delicate was
this little maiden that she had to be reared in a basket.

Now it happened that the Bamboo-cutter continued to set about his
business, and night and day, as he cut down the reeds, he found gold,
and, once poor, he now amassed a considerable fortune.

The child, after she had been but three months with these simple
country folk, suddenly grew in stature to that of a full-grown maid;
and in order that she should be in keeping with such a pleasing,
if surprising, event, her hair, hitherto allowed to flow in long
tresses about her shoulders, was now fastened in a knot on her head.
In due season the Bamboo-cutter named the girl the Lady Kaguya, or
"Precious-Slender-Bamboo-of-the-Field-of-Autumn." When she had been
named a great feast was held, in which all the neighbours participated.

The Wooing of the "Precious-Slender-Bamboo-of-the-Field-of-Autumn"

        "When a woman is somewhat fairer than the crowd
        of women how greatly do men long to gaze upon her

Now the Lady Kaguya was of all women the most beautiful, and
immediately after the feast the fame of her beauty spread throughout
the land. Would-be lovers gathered around the fence and lingered in
the porch with the hope of at least getting a glimpse of this lovely
maiden. Night and day these forlorn suitors waited, but in vain. Those
who were of humble origin gradually began to recognise that their
love-making was useless. But five wealthy suitors still persisted, and
would not relax their efforts. They were Prince Ishizukuri and Prince
Kuramochi, the Sadaijin Dainagon Abe no Miushi, the Chiunagon Otomo no
Miyuki, and Morotada, the Lord of Iso. These ardent lovers bore "the
ice and snow of winter and the thunderous heats of midsummer with equal
fortitude." When these lords finally asked the Bamboo-cutter to bestow
his daughter upon one of them, the old man politely explained that the
maiden was not really his daughter, and as that was so she could not be
compelled to obey his own wishes in the matter.

At last the lords returned to their mansions, but still continued
to make their supplications more persistently than ever. Even the
kindly Bamboo-cutter began to remonstrate with the Lady Kaguya, and to
point out that it was becoming for so handsome a maid to marry, and
that among the five noble suitors she could surely make a very good
match. To this the wise Kaguya replied: "Not so fair am I that I may
be certain of a man's faith, and were I to mate with one whose heart
proved fickle what a miserable fate were mine! Noble lords, without
doubt, are these of whom thou speakest, but I would not wed a man whose
heart should be all untried and unknown."

It was finally arranged that Kaguya should marry the suitor who proved
himself the most worthy. This news brought momentary hope to the five
great lords, and when night came they assembled before the house where
the maiden dwelt "with flute music and with singing, with chanting to
accompaniments and piping, with cadenced tap and clap of fan." Only the
Bamboo-cutter went out to thank the lords for their serenading. When he
had come into the house again, Kaguya thus set forth her plan to test
the suitors:

"In Tenjiku (Northern India) is a beggar's bowl of stone, which of old
the Buddha himself bore, in quest whereof let Prince Ishizukuri depart
and bring me the same. And on the mountain Horai, that towers over the
Eastern ocean, grows a tree with roots of silver and trunk of gold and
fruitage of pure white jade, and I bid Prince Kuramochi fare thither
and break off and bring me a branch thereof. Again, in the land of
Morokoshi men fashion fur-robes of the pelt of the Flame-proof Rat,
and I pray the Dainagon to find me one such. Then of the Chiunagon
I require the rainbow-hued jewel that hides its sparkle deep in
the dragon's head; and from the hands of the Lord Iso would I fain
receive the cowry-shell that the swallow brings hither over the broad

The Begging-bowl of the Lord Buddha

The Prince Ishizukuri, after pondering over the matter of going to
distant Tenjiku in search of the Lord Buddha's begging-bowl, came to
the conclusion that such a proceeding would be futile. He decided,
therefore, to counterfeit the bowl in question. He laid his plans
cunningly, and took good care that the Lady Kaguya was informed that he
had actually undertaken the journey. As a matter of fact this artful
suitor hid in Yamato for three years, and after that time discovered in
a hill-monastery in Tochi a bowl of extreme age resting upon an altar
of Binzuru (the Succourer in Sickness). This bowl he took away with
him, and wrapped it in brocade, and attached to the gift an artificial
branch of blossom.

When the Lady Kaguya looked upon the bowl she found inside a scroll
containing the following:

     "Over seas, over hills
     hath thy servant fared, and weary
     and wayworn he perisheth:
     O what tears hath cost this bowl of
     what floods of streaming tears!"

But when the Lady Kaguya perceived that no light shone from the vessel
she at once knew that it had never belonged to the Lord Buddha. She
accordingly sent back the bowl with the following verse:

     "Of the hanging dewdrop
     not even the passing sheen
     dwells herein:
     On the Hill of Darkness, the Hill
     of Ogura,
     what couldest thou hope to find?"

The Prince, having thrown away the bowl, sought to turn the above
remonstrance into a compliment to the lady who wrote it.

     "Nay, on the Hill of Brightness
     what splendour
     will not pale?
     Would that away from the light
     of thy beauty
     the sheen of yonder Bowl might
     prove me true!"

It was a prettily turned compliment by a suitor who was an utter
humbug. This latest poetical sally availed nothing, and the Prince
sadly departed.

The Jewel-bearing Branch of Mount Horai

Prince Kuramochi, like his predecessor, was equally wily, and made it
generally known that he was setting out on a journey to the land of
Tsukushi in quest of the Jewel-bearing Branch. What he actually did
was to employ six men of the Uchimaro family, celebrated craftsmen,
and secure for them a dwelling hidden from the haunts of men, where
he himself abode, for the purpose of instructing the craftsmen as to
how they were to make a Jewel-bearing Branch identical with the one
described by the Lady Kaguya.

When the Jewel-bearing Branch was finished, he set out to wait upon the
Lady Kaguya, who read the following verse attached to the gift:

     "Though it were at the peril
     of my very life,
     without the Jewel-laden Branch
     in my hands never again
     would I have dared to return!"

The Lady Kaguya looked sadly upon this glittering branch, and listened
without interest to the Prince's purely imaginative story of his
adventures. The Prince dwelt upon the terrors of the sea, of strange
monsters, of acute hunger, of disease, which were their trials upon the
ocean. Then this incorrigible story-teller went on to describe how they
came to a high mountain rising out of the sea, where they were greeted
by a woman bearing a silver vessel which she filled with water. On the
mountain were wonderful flowers and trees, and a stream "rainbow-hued,
yellow as gold, white as silver, blue as precious _ruri_ (lapis
lazuli); and the stream was spanned by bridges built up of divers gems,
and by it grew trees laden with dazzling jewels, and from one of these
I broke off the branch which I venture now to offer to the Lady Kaguya."

No doubt the Lady Kaguya would have been forced to believe this
ingenious tale had not at that very moment the six craftsmen appeared
on the scene, and by loudly demanding payment for the ready-made
Jewel-Branch, exposed the treachery of the Prince, who made a hasty
retreat. The Lady Kaguya herself rewarded the craftsmen, happy, no
doubt, to escape so easily.

The Flameproof Fur-Robe

The Sadaijin (Left Great Minister) Abe no Miushi commissioned a
merchant, by the name of Wokei, to obtain for him a fur-robe made from
the Flame-proof Rat, and when the merchant's ship had returned from
the land of Morokoshi it bore a fur-robe, which the sanguine Sadaijin
imagined to be the very object of his desire. The Fur-Robe rested in
a casket, and the Sadaijin, believing in the honesty of the merchant,
described it as being "of a sea-green colour, the hairs tipped with
shining gold, a treasure indeed of incomparable loveliness, more to be
admired for its pure excellence than even for its virtue in resisting
the flame of fire."

The Sadaijin, assured of success in his wooing, gaily set out to
present his gift to the Lady Kaguya, offering in addition the following

     "Endless are the fires of love
     that consume me, yet unconsumed
     is the Robe of Fur:
     dry at last are my sleeves,
     for shall I not see her face this day!"

At last the Sadaijin was able to present his gift to the Lady Kaguya.
Thus she addressed the Bamboo-cutter, who always seems to have been
conveniently on the scene at such times: "If this Robe be thrown amid
the flames and be not burnt up, I shall know it is in very truth the
Flame-proof Robe, and may no longer refuse this lord's suit." A fire
was lighted, and the Robe thrown into the flames, where it perished
immediately. "When the Sadaijin saw this his face grew green as
grass, and he stood there astonished." But the Lady Kaguya discreetly
rejoiced, and returned the casket with the following verse:

     "Without a vestige even left
     thus to burn utterly away,
     had I dreamt it of this Robe of Fur.
     Alas the pretty thing! far otherwise
     would I have dealt with it."

The Jewel in the Dragon's Head

The Chiunagon Otomo no Miyuki assembled his household and informed his
retainers that he desired them to bring him the Jewel in the Dragon's

After some demur they pretended to set off on this quest. In the
meantime the Chiunagon was so sure of his servants' success that he had
his house lavishly adorned throughout with exquisite lacquer-work, in
gold and silver. Every room was hung with brocade, the panels rich with
pictures, and over the roof were silken cloths.

Weary of waiting, the Chiunagon after a time journeyed to Naniwa and
questioned the inhabitants if any of his servants had taken boat in
quest of the Dragon. The Chiunagon learnt that none of his men had
come to Naniwa, and, considerably displeased at the news, he himself
embarked with a helmsman.

Now it happened that the Thunder God was angry and the sea ran high.
After many days the storm grew so severe and the boat was so near
sinking that the helmsman ventured to remark: "The howling of the wind
and the raging of the waves and the mighty roar of the thunder are
signs of the wrath of the God whom my lord offends, who would slay the
Dragon of the deep, for through the Dragon is the storm raised, and
well it were if my lord offered a prayer."

As the Chiunagon had been seized with "a terrible sickness," it is
not surprising to find that he readily took the helmsman's advice.
He prayed no less than a thousand times, enlarging on his folly in
attempting to slay the Dragon, and solemnly vowed that he would leave
the Ruler of the deep in peace.

The thunder ceased and the clouds dispersed, but the wind was as fierce
and strong as ever. The helmsman, however, told his master that it was
a fair wind and blew towards their own land.

At last they reached the strand of Akashi, in Harima. But the
Chiunagon, still ill and mightily frightened, vowed that they had
been driven upon a savage shore, and lay full length in the boat,
panting heavily, and refusing to rise when the governor of the district
presented himself.

When the Chiunagon at last realised that they had not been blown upon
some savage shore he consented to land. No wonder the governor smiled
when he saw "the wretched appearance of the discomfited lord, chilled
to the very bone, with swollen belly and eyes lustreless as sloes."

At length the Chiunagon was carried in a litter to his own home. When
he had arrived his cunning servants humbly told their master how they
had failed in the quest. Thus the Chiunagon greeted them: "Ye have done
well to return empty-handed. Yonder Dragon, assuredly, has kinship
with the Thunder God, and whoever shall lay hands on him to take the
jewel that gleams in his head shall find himself in peril. Myself am
sore spent with toil and hardship, and no guerdon have I won. A thief
of men's souls and a destroyer of their bodies is the Lady Kaguya,
nor ever will I seek her abode again, nor ever bend ye your steps

We are told, in conclusion, that when the women of his household heard
of their lord's adventure "they laughed till their sides were sore,
while the silken cloths he had caused to be drawn over the roof of his
mansion were carried away, thread by thread, by the crows to line their
nests with."

The Royal Hunt[1]

Now the fame of the Lady Kaguya's beauty reached the court, and the
Mikado, anxious to gaze upon her, sent one of his palace ladies,
Fusago, to go and see the Bamboo-cutter's daughter, and to report to
his Majesty of her excellences.

However, when Fusago reached the Bamboo-cutter's house the Lady Kaguya
refused to see her. So the palace lady returned to court and reported
the matter to the Mikado. His Majesty, not a little displeased, sent
for the Bamboo-cutter, and made him bring the Lady Kaguya to court that
he might see her, adding: "A hat of nobility, perchance, shall be her
father's reward."

The old Bamboo-cutter was an admirable soul, and mildly discountenanced
his daughter's extraordinary behaviour. Although he loved court favours
and probably hankered after so distinguished a hat, it must be said of
him that he was first of all true to his duty as a father.

When, on returning to his home, he discussed the matter with the Lady
Kaguya, she informed the old man that if she were compelled to go to
court it would certainly cause her death, adding: "The price of my
father's hat of nobility will be the destruction of his child."

The Bamboo-cutter was deeply affected by these words, and once more
set out on a journey to the court, where he humbly made known his
daughter's decision.

The Mikado, not to be denied even by an extraordinarily beautiful
woman, hit on the ingenious plan of ordering a Royal Hunt, so arranged
that he might unexpectedly arrive at the Bamboo-cutter's dwelling, and
perchance see the lady who could set at defiance the desires of an

On the day appointed for the Royal Hunt, therefore, the Mikado entered
the Bamboo-cutter's house. He had no sooner done so than he was
surprised to see in the room in which he stood a wonderful light, and
in the light none other than the Lady Kaguya.

His Majesty advanced and touched the maiden's sleeve, whereupon she hid
her face, but not before the Mikado had caught a glimpse of her beauty.
Amazed by her extreme loveliness, and taking no notice of her protests,
he ordered a palace litter to be brought; but on its arrival the Lady
Kaguya suddenly vanished. The Emperor, perceiving that he was dealing
with no mortal maid, exclaimed: "It shall be as thou desirest, maiden;
but 'tis prayed that thou resume thy form, that once more thy beauty
may be seen."

So the Lady Kaguya resumed her fair form again. As his Majesty was
about to be borne away he composed the following verse:

     "Mournful the return
     of the Royal Hunt,
     and full of sorrow the brooding
     for she resists and stays behind,
     the Lady Kaguya!"

The Lady Kaguya thus made answer:

     "Under the roof o'ergrown with
     long were the years
     she passed.
     How may she dare to look upon
     The Palace of Precious Jade?"

The Celestial Robe of Feathers

In the third year after the Royal Hunt, and in the spring-time, the
Lady Kaguya continually gazed at the moon. On the seventh month, when
the moon was full, the Lady Kaguya's sorrow increased so that her
weeping distressed the maidens who served her. At last they came to the
Bamboo-cutter, and said: "Long has the Lady Kaguya watched the moon,
waxing in melancholy with the waxing thereof, and her woe now passes
all measure, and sorely she weeps and wails; wherefore we counsel thee
to speak with her."

When the Bamboo-cutter communed with his daughter, he requested that
she should tell him the cause of her sorrow, and was informed that the
sight of the moon caused her to reflect upon the wretchedness of the

During the eighth month the Lady Kaguya explained to her maids that
she was no ordinary mortal, but that her birthplace was the Capital of
Moonland, and that the time was now at hand when she was destined to
leave the world and return to her old home.

Not only was the Bamboo-cutter heart-broken at this sorrowful news, but
the Mikado also was considerably troubled when he heard of the proposed
departure of the Lady Kaguya. His Majesty was informed that at the next
full moon a company would be sent down from that shining orb to take
this beautiful lady away, whereupon he determined to put a check upon
this celestial invasion. He ordered that a guard of soldiers should be
stationed about the Bamboo-cutter's house, armed and prepared, if need
be, to shoot their arrows upon those Moonfolk, who would fain take the
beautiful Lady Kaguya away.

The old Bamboo-cutter naturally thought that with such a guard to
protect his daughter the invasion from the moon would prove utterly
futile. The Lady Kaguya attempted to correct the old man's ideas on the
subject, saying: "Ye cannot prevail over the folk of yonder land, nor
will your artillery harm them nor your defences avail against them,
for every door will fly open at their approach, nor may your valour
help, for be ye never so stout-hearted, when the Moonfolk come vain
will be your struggle with them." These remarks made the Bamboo-cutter
exceedingly angry. He asserted that his nails would turn into
talons--in short, that he would completely annihilate such impudent
visitors from the moon.

[Illustration: The Moonfolk demand the Lady Kaguya.--76]

Now while the royal guard was stationed about the Bamboo-cutter's
house, on the roof and in every direction, the night wore away. At the
hour of the Rat[2] a great glory, exceeding the splendour of the moon
and stars, shone around. While the light still continued a strange
cloud approached, bearing upon it a company of Moonfolk. The cloud
slowly descended until it came near to the ground, and the Moonfolk
assembled themselves in order. When the royal guard perceived them
every soldier grew afraid at the strange spectacle; but at length some
of their number summoned up sufficient courage to bend their bows and
send their arrows flying; but all their shafts went astray.

On the cloud there rested a canopied car, resplendent with curtains of
finest woollen fabric, and from out the car a mighty voice sounded,
saying: "Come thou forth, Miyakko Maro!"

The Bamboo-cutter tottered forth to obey the summons, and received for
his pains an address from the chief of the Moonfolk commencing with,
"Thou fool," and ending up with a command that the Lady Kaguya should
be given up without further delay.

The car floated upward upon the cloud till it hovered over the roof.
Once again the same mighty voice shouted: "Ho there, Kaguya! How long
wouldst thou tarry in this sorry place?"

Immediately the outer door of the storehouse and the inner lattice-work
were opened by the power of the Moonfolk, and revealed the Lady Kaguya
and her women gathered about her.

The Lady Kaguya, before taking her departure, greeted the prostrate
Bamboo-cutter and gave him a scroll bearing these words: "Had I been
born in this land, never should I have quitted it until the time came
for my father to suffer no sorrow for his child; but now, on the
contrary, must I pass beyond the boundaries of this world, though
sorely against my will. My silken mantle I leave behind me as a
memorial, and when the moon lights up the night let my father gaze upon
it. Now my eyes must take their last look and I must mount to yonder
sky, whence I fain would fall, meteorwise, to earth."

Now the Moonfolk had brought with them, in a coffer, a Celestial
Feather Robe and a few drops of the Elixir of Life. One of them said
to the Lady Kaguya: "Taste, I pray you, of this Elixir, for soiled has
your spirit become with the grossnesses of this filthy world."

The Lady Kaguya, after tasting the Elixir, was about to wrap up some
in the mantle she was leaving behind for the benefit of the old
Bamboo-cutter, who had loved her so well, when one of the Moonfolk
prevented her, and attempted to throw over her shoulders the Celestial
Robe, when the Lady Kaguya exclaimed: "Have patience yet awhile; who
dons yonder robe changes his heart, and I have still somewhat to say
ere I depart." Then she proceeded to write the following to the Mikado:

        "Your Majesty deigned to send a host to protect your
        servant, but it was not to be, and now is the misery
        at hand of departing with those who have come to bear
        her away with them. Not permitted was it to her to
        serve your Majesty, and despite her will was it that
        she yielded not obedience to the Royal command, and
        wrung with grief is her heart thereat, and perchance
        your Majesty may have thought the Royal will was
        not understood, and was opposed by her, and so will
        she appear to your Majesty lacking in good manners,
        which she would not your Majesty deemed her to be,
        and therefore humbly she lays this writing at the
        Royal Feet. And now must she don the Feather Robe and
        mournfully bid her lord farewell."

Having delivered this scroll into the hands of the captain of the
host, together with a bamboo joint containing the Elixir, the Feather
Robe was thrown over her, and in a moment all memory of her earthly
existence departed.

Then the Lady Kaguya entered the car, surrounded by the company of
Moonfolk, and the cloud rapidly rose skyward till it was lost to sight.

The sorrow of the Bamboo-cutter and of the Mikado knew no bounds.
The latter held a Grand Council, and inquired which was the highest
mountain in the land. One of the councillors answered: "In Suruga
stands a mountain, not remote from the capital, that towers highest
towards heaven among all the mountains of the land." Whereupon his
Majesty composed the following verse:

     "Never more to see her!
     Tears of grief overwhelm me,
     and as for me,
     with the Elixir of Life
     what have I to do?"

Then the scroll, which the Lady Kaguya had written, together with the
Elixir, was given to Tsuki no Iwakasa. These he was commanded to take
to the summit of the highest mountain in Suruga, and, standing upon the
highest peak, to burn the scroll and the Elixir of Life.

So Tsuki no Iwakasa heard humbly the Royal command, and took with him a
company of warriors, and climbed the mountain and did as he was bidden.
And it was from that time forth that the name of Fuji (_Fuji-yama_,
'Never Dying') was given to yonder mountain, and men say that the smoke
of that burning still curls from its high peak to mingle with the
clouds of heaven.

[Footnote 1: The Fifth Quest, that of Lord Iso, is omitted. The story
is trivial and of no particular interest. Suffice it to say that Lord
Iso's search for the cowry-shell was in vain.]

[Footnote 2: Midnight until two in the morning. "Years, days, and
hours," writes Professor B. H. Chamberlain, "were all accounted as
belonging to one of the signs of the zodiac."]


The Legend of the Golden Lotus

The following legend is obviously not of Japanese origin. The priests
of Buddhism in Japan knew that the success of their religion lay, not
in sweeping out the old gods of Shintō, but in adapting them with
infinite cleverness to the needs of their own teaching. In this case
Japan has borrowed from India and in a minor degree from China, if
we may look upon the dragon as originally belonging to the Celestial
Kingdom. We have followed closely Mr. Edward Greey's version, and
insert it here because it often enters into a Nippon priest's
discourse, and has a decidedly Japanese setting. We might duplicate
legends of this kind, but one will be sufficient for our purpose. The
other two legends given in this chapter are strictly Japanese.

The Lord Buddha, having concluded his holy meditations upon Mount
Dan-doku, slowly walked along a rocky pathway on his way to the city.
The dark shadows of night crept over the country, and there was
profound stillness everywhere.

On nearing his destination the Lord Buddha heard some one shout:
"_Shio-giyo mu-jiyo_!" ("The outward manner is not always an index to
the natural disposition.")

The Lord Buddha was delighted at these words, and desired to learn who
had spoken so wisely. Over and over again he heard the same words, and,
drawing to the edge of a precipice, he looked down into the valley
beneath, and perceived an extremely ugly dragon gazing up at him with
angry eyes.

[Illustration: Buddha and the Dragon.--80]

The Holy One then seated himself upon a rock, and inquired of the
dragon how he had come to learn one of the highest mysteries of
Buddhism. Such profound wisdom suggested a store of spiritual truths
yet to be revealed, and the Lord Buddha, therefore, requested that the
dragon should give utterance to other wise sayings.

Then the dragon, having coiled himself round the rock, shouted with a
great voice: "_Ze-shio metsu-po_!" ("All living things are antagonistic
to the law of Buddha!")

After uttering these words the dragon was silent for some time. Then
the Lord Buddha begged to hear yet another sentence.

"_Shio-metsu metsu-i_!" ("All living things must die!") shouted the

At these words the dragon looked up at the Lord Buddha, and upon his
dreadful countenance there was an expression of extreme hunger.

The dragon then informed the Lord Buddha that the next truth was the
last, and so precious that he could not reveal it until his hunger had
been appeased.

At this the Holy One remarked that he would deny the dragon nothing so
long as he heard the fourth truth revealed, and inquired of the dragon
what he demanded. When the Lord Buddha heard that human flesh was what
the dragon required in exchange for his last precious fragment of
wisdom, the Master informed the dragon that his religion forbade the
destruction of life, but that he would, for the welfare of his people,
sacrifice his own body.

The dragon opened his great mouth and said: "_Jaku-metsu I-raku_!"
("The greatest happiness is experienced after the soul has left the

The Lord Buddha bowed, and then sprang into the gaping mouth of the

No sooner had the Holy One touched the jaws of the monster than they
suddenly divided into eight parts, and in a moment changed into the
eight petals of the Golden Lotus.

The Bronze Buddha of Kamakura and the Whale[1]

    "Above the old songs turned to ashes and pain,
     Under which Death enshrouds the idols and trees with mist of sigh,
     (Where are Kamakura's rising days and life of old?)
     With heart heightened to hush, the Daibutsu forever sits."
                                                  _Yone Noguchi_.

The great bronze Buddha of Kamakura, or the Daibutsu, is undoubtedly
one of the most remarkable sights in Japan. At one time Kamakura
was the capital of Nippon. It was a great city of nearly a million
inhabitants, and was the seat of the Shōguns and of the Regents of
the Hōjō family during the troublous period of the Middle Ages.
But Kamakura, for all its devout worshippers of the Lord Buddha,
was destroyed by storm on two occasions, until it finally lost its
importance. To-day rice-fields and woods are to be seen in place of the
glory of old. Storm and fire, however, have left untouched the temple
of Hachiman (the God of War) and the bronze image of Buddha. At one
time this gigantic figure reposed in a temple, but now it stands high
above the trees, with an inscrutable smile upon its great face, with
eyes full of a peace that cannot be shaken by the petty storms of the

Legend is nearly always elemental. Divinities, irrespective of their
austerity, are brought down to a very human level. It is a far cry
from the complex teaching of the Lord Buddha to the story of Amida
Butsu and the whale. One can trace in the following legend an almost
pathetic desire to veil the greatness of Buddha. The gigantic size of
the Daibutsu is not really in keeping with that curious love of little
things which is so characteristic of the Japanese people. There is a
playful irony in this story, a desire to take down the great Teacher a
peg or two--if only to take him down in stature a paltry two inches!

So many things appear to us to be done in a topsy-turvy way in Japan
that we are not surprised to find that in measuring metal and soft
goods the feet on the yardstick are not alike. For soft goods a whale
measure is used, for any hard material a metal foot. There are two
inches of difference in these measures, and the following legend may
possibly give us the reason for this apparently rather confusing

The Bronze Buddha, in its sitting posture, is fifty feet high,
ninety-seven feet in circumference, the length of its face eight feet,
and as for its thumbs they are three feet round. It is probably the
tallest piece of bronze in the world. Such an enormous image naturally
created a considerable sensation in the days when Kamakura was a
flourishing city, laid out by the great General Yoritomo. The roads in
and about the city were densely packed with pilgrims, anxious to gaze
upon the latest marvel, and all agreed that this bronze image was the
biggest thing in the world.

Now it may be that certain sailors who had seen this marvel chatted
about it as they plied their nets. Whether this was so or not, a mighty
whale, who lived in the Northern Sea, happened to hear about the Bronze
Buddha of Kamakura, and as he regarded himself as being far bigger
than anything on land, the idea of a possible rival did not meet with
his approval. He deemed it impossible that little men could construct
anything that could vie with his enormous bulk, and laughed heartily at
the very absurdity of such a conception.

His laughter, however, did not last long. He was inordinately jealous,
and when he heard about the numerous pilgrimages to Kamakura and the
incessant praise evoked from those who had seen the image he grew
exceedingly angry, lashed the sea into foam, and blew down his nose
with so much violence that the other creatures of the deep gave him a
very wide berth. His loneliness only aggravated his trouble, and he
was unable to eat or sleep, and in consequence grew thin. He at last
decided to chat the matter over with a kindly shark.

The shark answered the whale's heated questions with quiet solicitude,
and consented to go to the Southern Sea in order that he might take the
measurement of the image, and bring back the result of his labour to
his agitated friend.

The shark set off upon his journey, until he came to the shore, where
he could see the image towering above him, about half a mile inland.
As he could not walk on dry land he was about to renounce his quest,
when he had the good fortune to discover a rat enjoying a scamper
along a junk. He explained his mission to the rat, and requested that
much-flattered little creature to take the measurement of the Bronze

So the rat climbed down the junk, swam ashore, and entered the dark
temple where the Great Buddha stood. At first he was so overcome by
the magnificence he saw about him that he was uncertain as to how to
proceed in carrying out the shark's request. He eventually decided to
walk round the image, counting his footsteps as he went. He discovered
after he had performed this task that he had walked exactly five
thousand paces, and on his return to the junk he told the shark the
measurement of the base of the Bronze Buddha.

The shark, with profuse thanks to the rat, returned to the Northern
Sea, and informed the whale that the reports concerning the size of
this exasperating image were only too true.

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" evidently applies equally
well to whales, for the whale of this legend, after receiving the
information, grew more furious than ever. As in a story familiar to
English children, he put on magic boots in order to travel on land as
well as he had always done in the sea.

The whale reached the Kamakura temple at night. He discovered that the
priests had gone to bed, and were apparently fast asleep. He knocked at
the door. Instead of the dismal murmur of a half-awake priest he heard
the Lord Buddha say, in a voice that rang like the sound of a great
bell: "Come in!"

"I cannot," replied the whale, "because I am too big. Will you please
come out and see me?"

When Buddha found out who his visitor was, and what he wanted at so
unearthly an hour, he condescendingly stepped down from his pedestal
and came outside the temple. There was utter amazement on both sides.
Had the whale possessed knees they would assuredly have knocked
together. He knocked his head on the ground instead. For his part,
Buddha was surprised to find a creature of such gigantic proportions.

We can imagine the consternation of the chief priest when he found that
the pedestal did not bear the image of his Master. Hearing a strange
conversation going on outside the temple, he went out to see what was
taking place. The much-frightened priest was invited to join in the
discussion, and was requested to take the measurement of the image and
the whale, and accordingly began to measure with his rosary. During
this proceeding the image and the whale awaited the result with bated
breath. When the measurements had been taken the whale was found to be
two inches longer and taller than the image.

The whale went back to the Northern Sea more utterly vain than ever,
while the image returned to its temple and sat down again, and there it
has remained to this day, none the worse, perhaps, for finding that it
was not quite so big as it imagined. Dealers in dry goods and dealers
in wood and iron agreed from that day to this to differ as to what was
a foot--and the difference was a matter of two inches.

The Crystal of Buddha[2]

In ancient days there lived in Japan a great State Minister named
Kamatari. Now Kamatari's only daughter, Kohaku Jo, extremely beautiful,
and as good as she was beautiful. She was the delight of her father's
heart, and he resolved that, if she married, no one of less account
than a king should be her husband. With this idea continually in his
mind, he steadfastly refused the offers for her hand.

One day there was a great tumult in the palace courtyard. Through
the open gates streamed a number of men bearing a banner on which
was worked a silken dragon on a yellow background. Kamatari learnt
that these men had come from the court of China with a message from
the Emperor Koso. The Emperor had heard of the exceeding beauty and
exquisite charm of Kohaku Jo, and desired to marry her. As is usual in
the East on such occasions, the Emperor's offer was accompanied with
the promise that if Kohaku Jo should become his bride he would allow
her to choose from his store of treasures whatever she liked to send to
her own country.

After Kamatari had received the envoys with due pomp and ceremony, and
put at their disposal a whole wing of the palace, he returned to his
own room and bade his servant bring his daughter into his presence.

When Kohaku had entered her father's room she bowed before him and sat
patiently on the white mats waiting for her august parent to speak to

Kamatari told her that he had chosen the Emperor of China to be her
husband, and the little maid wept on hearing the news. She had been
so happy in her own home, and China seemed such a long way off. When,
however, her father foretold more happiness in the future than she had
ever had in the past, she dried her eyes and listened to her parent's
words, a little amazed to hear, perhaps, that all China's treasures
were to be laid at her own small feet. She was glad when her father
told her that she would be able to send three of these treasures to the
temple of Kofukuji, where she had received a blessing when a little

So Kohaku obeyed her father with not a little misgiving, not a little
heartache. Her girl companions wept when they heard the news, but they
were comforted when Kohaku's mother told them that some of their number
would be chosen to go with their mistress.

Before Kohaku sailed for China she wended her way to the beloved
temple of Kofukuji, and, arriving at the sacred shrine, she prayed for
protection in her journey, vowing that if her prayers were answered she
would search China for its three most precious treasures, and send them
to the temple as a thank-offering.

Kohaku reached China in safety and was received by the Emperor Koso
with great magnificence. Her childish fears were soon dispelled by
the Emperor's kindness. Indeed, he showed her considerably more than
kindness. He spoke to her in the language of a lover: "After long,
long days of weary waiting I have gathered the 'azalea of the distant
mountain,' and now I plant it in my garden, and great is the gladness
of my heart!"[3]

The Emperor Koso led her from palace to palace, and she knew not which
was the most beautiful, but her royal husband was aware that she was
far more lovely than any of them. Because of her great loveliness
he desired that it should be ever remembered throughout the length
and breadth of China, even beyond the bounds of his kingdom. "So he
called together his goldsmiths and gardeners," as Madame Ozaki writes
in describing this story, "and commanded them to fashion a path for
the Empress such as had never been heard of in the wide world. The
stepping-stones of this path were to be lotus-flowers, carved out of
silver and gold, for her to walk on whenever she strolled forth under
the trees or by the lake, so that it might be said that her beautiful
feet were never soiled by touching the earth; and ever since then, in
China and Japan, poet-lovers and lover-poets in song and sonnet and
sweet conversation have called the feet of the women they love 'lotus

But in spite of all the magnificence that surrounded Kohaku she did
not forget her native land or the vow she had made in the temple of
Kofukuji. One day she timidly informed the Emperor of her promise,
and he, only too glad to have another opportunity of pleasing her,
set before her such a store of beautiful and precious things that it
seemed as if an exquisite phantom world of gay colour and perfect
form had suddenly come into being at her very feet. There was such a
wealth of beautiful things that she found it very difficult to make
a choice. She finally decided upon the following magical treasures:
a musical instrument, which if one struck would continue to play for
ever, an ink-stone box, which, on opening the lid, was found to contain
an inexhaustible supply of Indian ink, and, last of all, "a beautiful
Crystal, in whose clear depths was to be seen, from whichever side you
looked, an image of Buddha riding on a white elephant. The jewel was of
transcendent glory and shone like a star, and whoever gazed into its
liquid depths and saw the blessed vision of Buddha had peace of heart
for evermore."[4]

After Kohaku had gazed for some time upon these treasures she sent for
Admiral Banko and bade him safely convey them to the temple of Kofukuji.

Everything went well with Admiral Banko and his ship until they were in
Japanese waters, sailing into the Bay of Shido-no-ura, when a mighty
tempest whirled the vessel hither and thither. The waves rolled up with
the fierceness of wild beasts, and lightning continually blazed across
the sky, to light up for a moment a rolling ship, now flung high upon a
mountain of water, now swept into a green valley from which it seemed
it could never rise again.

Suddenly the storm abated with the same unexpectedness with which it
had arisen. Some fairy hand had brushed up all the clouds and laid a
blue and sparkling carpet across the sea. The admiral's first thought
was for the safety of the treasures entrusted to him, and on going
below he discovered the musical instrument and ink-stone box just as he
had left them, but that the most precious of the treasures, Buddha's
Crystal, was missing. He contemplated taking his life, so grieved was
he at the loss; but on reflection he saw that it would be wiser to
live so long as there was anything he could do to find the jewel. He
accordingly hastened to land, and informed Kamatari of his dreadful

No sooner had Kamatari been told about the loss of Buddha's Crystal
than this wise minister perceived that the Dragon King of the Sea had
stolen it, and for that purpose had caused the storm, which had enabled
him to steal the treasure unperceived.

Kamatari offered a large reward to a number of fishermen he saw upon
the shore of Shido-no-ura if any of their number would venture into
the sea and bring back the Crystal. All the fishermen volunteered, but
after many attempts the precious jewel still remained in the keeping of
the Sea King.

Kamatari, much distressed, suddenly became aware of a poor woman
carrying an infant in her arms. She begged the great minister that she
might enter the sea and search for the Crystal, and in spite of her
frailty she spoke with conviction. Her mother-heart seemed to lend her
courage. She made her request because, if she succeeded in bringing
back the Crystal, she desired that as a reward Kamatari should bring up
her little son as a _samurai_ in order that he might be something in
life other than a humble fisherman.

It will be remembered that Kamatari in his day had been ambitious for
his daughter's welfare. He readily understood the poor woman's request,
and solemnly promised that if she carried out her part faithfully he
would gladly do his.

The woman withdrew, and taking off her upper garments, and tying a rope
round her waist, into which she stuck a knife, she was prepared for her
perilous journey. Giving the end of the rope to a number of fishermen,
she plunged into the water.

At first the woman saw the dim outline of rocks, the dart of a
frightened fish, and the faint gold of the sand beneath her. Then she
suddenly became aware of the roofs of the palace of the Sea King, a
great and gorgeous building of coral, relieved here and there with
clusters of many-coloured seaweed. The palace was like a huge pagoda,
rising tier upon tier. The woman swam nearer in order to inspect it
more closely, and she perceived a bright light, more brilliant than the
light of many moons, so bright that it dazzled her eyes. It was the
light of Buddha's Crystal, placed on the pinnacle of this vast abode,
and on every side of the shining jewel were guardian dragons fast
asleep, appearing to watch even in their slumber!

Up swam the woman, praying in her brave heart that the dragons might
sleep till she was out of harm's way and in possession of the treasure.
No sooner had she snatched the Crystal from its resting-place than the
guardians awoke; their great claws extended and their tails furiously
lashed the water, and in another moment they were in hot pursuit.
Rather than lose the Crystal, which she had won at so much peril, the
woman cut a wound in her left breast and forced the jewel into the
bleeding cavity, pressing her hand, without a murmur of pain, upon the
poor torn flesh. When the dragons perceived that the water was murky
with the woman's blood they turned back, for sea-dragons are afraid of
the very sight of blood.

Now the woman sharply pulled the rope, and the fishermen, sitting upon
the rocks far above, drew her to land with ever-quickening speed. They
gently laid her upon the shore, and found that her eyes were closed
and her breast bleeding profusely. Kamatari at first thought that the
woman had risked her life in vain; but bending over her he noticed the
wound in her breast. At that moment she opened her eyes, and, taking
the jewel from its place of concealment, she murmured a few words about
Kamatari's promise, then fell back dead with a smile of peace upon her

Kamatari took the woman's child home and looked after him with all the
loving care of a father. In due time the boy grew to manhood and became
a brave _samurai_, and at Kamatari's death he, too, became a great
State minister. When in later years he learnt the story of his mother's
act of self-sacrifice he built a temple in the Bay of Shido-no-ura,
in memory of one who was so brave and true. It is called Shidoji,
and pilgrims visit this temple and remember the nobility of a poor
shell-gatherer to this day.

[Footnote 1: Adapted from _Fairy Tales of Old Japan_, by W. E. Griffis.]

[Footnote 2: Adapted from _Buddha's Crystal_, by Madame Yei Ozaki.]

[Footnote 3: Madame Ozaki.]

[Footnote 4: Madame Ozaki.]


Inari, the Fox God

The fox takes an important place in Japanese legend, and the subject
is of a far-reaching and complex kind.[1] Inari was originally the
God of Rice, but in the eleventh century he became associated with
the Fox God, with attributes for good and evil, mostly for evil, so
profuse and so manifold in their application that they cause no little
confusion to the English reader. All foxes possess supernatural powers
to an almost limitless degree. They have the power of infinite vision;
they can hear everything and understand the secret thoughts of mankind
generally, and in addition they possess the power of transformation and
of transmutation. The chief attribute of the bad fox is the power to
delude human beings, and for this purpose it will take the form of a
beautiful woman, and many are the legends told in this connection.[2]
If the shadow of a fox-woman chance to fall upon water, only the fox,
and not the fair woman, is revealed. It is said that if a dog sees a
fox-woman the feminine form vanishes immediately, and the fox alone

Though the legends connected with the fox in Japan are usually
associated with evil, Inari sometimes poses as a beneficent being,
a being who can cure coughs and colds, bring wealth to the needy,
and answer a woman's prayer for a child. Another kindly act on the
part of Inari, which we might well have associated with Jizō, is to
enable little boys and girls to bear with fortitude the troublesome
performance of being shaved with a none too perfect razor, and also to
help the little ones to go through the painful process of a hot bath,
never less in Japan than 110° F.!

Inari not infrequently rewards human beings for any act of kindness
to a fox. Only a part of his reward, however, is real; at least one
tempting coin is bound to turn very quickly into grass! The little
good done by Inari--and we have tried to do him justice--is altogether
weighed down by his countless evil actions, often of an extremely cruel
nature, as will be seen later on. The subject of the fox in Japan has
been aptly described by Lafcadio Hearn as "ghostly zoology," and this
cunning and malignant animal is certainly ghostly with a completeness
far more horribly subtle than our own stock-in-trade ghost with
luminous garment and clanking chain!

Demoniacal Possession

Demoniacal possession is frequently said to be due to the
evil influence of foxes. This form of possession is known as
_kitsune-tsuki_. The sufferer is usually a woman of the poorer
classes, one who is highly sensitive and open to believe in all manner
of superstitions. The question of demoniacal possession is still
an unsolved problem, and the studies of Dr. Baelz, of the Imperial
University of Japan, seem to point to the fact that animal possession
in human beings is a very real and terrible truth after all.[3] He
remarks that a fox usually enters a woman either through the breast or
between the finger-nails, and that the fox lives a separate life of its
own, frequently speaking in a voice totally different from the human.

The Death-Stone[4]

     "The Death-Stone stands on Nasu's moor
     Through winter snows and summer heat;
     The moss grows grey upon its sides,
     But the foul demon haunts it yet.

     "Chill blows the blast: the owl's sad choir
     Hoots hoarsely through the moaning pines;
     Among the low chrysanthemums
     The skulking fox, the jackal whines,
     As o'er the moor the autumn light declines."
                       Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

The Buddhist priest Genno, after much weary travel, came to the moor
of Nasu, and was about to rest under the shadow of a great stone, when
a spirit suddenly appeared, and said: "Rest not under this stone. This
is the Death-Stone. Men, birds, and beasts have perished by merely
touching it!"

These mysterious and warning remarks naturally awakened Genno's
curiosity, and he begged that the spirit would favour him with the
story of the Death-Stone.

Thus the spirit began: "Long ago there was a fair girl living at the
Japanese Court. She was so charming that she was called the Jewel
Maiden. Her wisdom equalled her beauty, for she understood Buddhist
lore and the Confucian classics, science, and the poetry of China."

     "So sweetly decked by nature and by art,
     The monarch's self soon clasp'd her to his heart."
                             Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

"One night," went on the spirit, "the Mikado gave a great feast in
the Summer Palace, and there he assembled the wit, wisdom, and beauty
of the land. It was a brilliant gathering; but while the company ate
and drank, accompanied by the strains of sweet music, darkness crept
over the great apartment. Black clouds raced across the sky, and there
was not a star to be seen. While the guests sat rigid with fear a
mysterious wind arose. It howled through the Summer Palace and blew out
all the lanterns. The complete darkness produced a state of panic, and
during the uproar some one cried out, 'A light! A light!'"

     "And lo! from out the Jewel Maiden's frame
     There's seen to dart a weirdly lustrous flame!
     It grows, it spreads, it fills th' imperial halls;
     The painted screens, the costly panell'd walls,
     Erst the pale viewless damask of the night
     Sparkling stand forth as in the moon's full light."
                                Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

"From that very hour the Mikado sickened," continued the spirit. "He
grew so ill that the Court Magician was sent for, and this worthy soul
speedily ascertained the cause of his Majesty's decline. He stated,
with much warmth of language, that the Jewel Maiden was a harlot and a
fiend, 'who, with insidious art, the State to ravage, captivates thy

"The Magician's words turned the Mikado's heart against the Jewel
Maiden. When this sorceress was spurned she resumed her original shape,
that of a fox, and ran away to this very stone on Nasu moor."

The priest looked at the spirit critically. "Who are you?" he said at

"I am the demon that once dwelt in the breast of the Jewel Maiden! Now
I inhabit the Death-Stone for evermore!"

[Illustration: The Mikado and the Jewel Maiden.--96]

The good Genno was much horrified by this dreadful confession, but,
remembering his duty as a priest, he said: "Though you have sunk low in
wickedness, you shall rise to virtue again. Take this priestly robe and
begging-bowl, and reveal to me your fox form."

Then this wicked spirit cried pitifully:

     "In the garish light of day
     I hide myself away,
     Like pale Asama's fires:
     With the night I'll come again,
     Confess my guilt with pain
     And new-born pure desires."
               Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

With these words the spirit suddenly vanished.

Genno did not relinquish his good intentions. He strove more ardently
than ever for this erring soul's salvation. In order that she might
attain Nirvana, he offered flowers, burnt incense, and recited the
sacred Scriptures in front of the stone.

When Genno had performed these religious duties, he said: "Spirit of
the Death-Stone, I conjure thee! what was it in a former world that did
cause thee to assume in this so foul a shape?"

Suddenly the Death-Stone was rent and the spirit once more appeared,

     "In stones there are spirits,
     In the waters is a voice heard:
     The winds sweep across the firmament!"
                  Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

Genno saw a lurid glare about him and, in the shining light, a fox that
suddenly turned into a beautiful maiden.

Thus spoke the spirit of the Death-Stone: "I am she who first, in Ind,
was the demon to whom Prince Hazoku paid homage.... In Great Cathay I
took the form of Hōji, consort of the Emperor Iuwao; and at the Court
of the Rising Sun I became the Flawless Jewel Maiden, concubine to the
Emperor Toba."

The spirit confessed to Genno that in the form of the Jewel Maiden she
had desired to bring destruction to the Imperial line. "Already," said
the spirit, "I was making my plans, already I was gloating over the
thought of the Mikado's death, and had it not been for the power of the
Court Magician I should have succeeded in my scheme. As I have told
you, I was driven from the Court. I was pursued by dogs and arrows,
and finally sank exhausted into the Death-Stone. From time to time I
haunted the moor. Now the Lord Buddha has had compassion upon me, and
he has sent his priest to point out the way of true religion and to
bring peace."

The legend concludes with the following pious utterances poured forth
by the now contrite spirit:

    "'I swear, O man of God! I swear,' she cries,
     'To thee whose blessing wafts me to the skies,
     I swear a solemn oath, that shall endure
     Firm as the Death-Stone standing on the moor,
     That from this hour I'm virtue's child alone!'
     Thus spake the ghoul, and vanished 'neath the Stone."
                               Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

How Tokutaro was Deluded by Foxes

Tokutaro was a complete sceptic in regard to the magical power of
foxes. His scepticism exasperated a number of his companions, who
challenged him to go to Maki moor. If nothing happened to him, Tokutaro
was to receive, writes A. B. Mitford (Lord Redesdale) in _Tales of Old
Japan_, "five measures of wine and a thousand copper cash[5] worth
of fish." If, on the other hand, Tokutaro should suffer through the
power of the foxes, he was to present a similar gift to his companions.
Tokutaro jeeringly accepted the bet, and when night had come he set out
for the Maki moor.

Tokutaro was determined to be very cute and very wary. On reaching his
destination he happened to meet a fox running through a bamboo grove.
Immediately afterwards he perceived the daughter of the headman of
Upper Horikané. On telling the woman that he was going to this village,
she explained that as she was going there too they might journey

Tokutaro's suspicions were fully aroused. He walked behind the woman,
vainly searching for a fox's tail. When they reached Upper Horikané the
girl's parents came out, and were much surprised to see their daughter,
who had married, and was living in another village.

Tokutaro, with a smile of superior wisdom, explained that the maid
before them was not really their daughter, but a fox in disguise.
The old people were at first indignant, and refused to believe what
Tokutaro had told them. Eventually, however, he persuaded them to
leave the girl in his hands while they waited for the result in the

Tokutaro then seized the girl, and brutally knocked her down, pouring
abuse upon her. He stamped upon her, and tortured her in every possible
way, expecting every moment to see the woman turn into a fox. But she
only wept and cried piteously for her parents to come to her rescue.

This whole-hearted sceptic, finding his efforts so far fruitless,
piled wood upon the floor and burnt her to death. At this juncture
her parents came running in and bound Tokutaro to a pillar, fiercely
accusing him of murder.

Now a priest happened to pass that way, and, hearing the noise,
requested an explanation. When the girl's parents had told him all, and
after he had listened to Tokutaro's pleadings, he begged the old couple
to spare the man's life in order that he might become in time a good
and devout priest. This extraordinary request, after some demur, was
agreed to, and Tokutaro knelt down to have his head shaved, happy, no
doubt, to be released from his predicament so easily.

No sooner had Tokutaro's wicked head been shaved than he heard a loud
peal of laughter, and he awoke to find himself sitting on a large moor.
He instinctively raised his hand to his head, to discover that foxes
had shaved him and he had lost his bet!

A Fox's Gratitude

After the preceding gruesome legend describing the evil propensities
of the fox, it is refreshing to come across one that was capable of
considerable self-sacrifice.

Now it happened, on a certain spring day, that two little boys were
caught in the act of trying to catch a baby fox. The man who witnessed
the performance possessed a kind heart, and, on hearing that the boys
were anxious to sell the cub, gave them half a _bu_.[6] When the
children had joyfully departed with the money the man discovered that
the little creature was wounded in the foot. He immediately applied a
certain herb, and the pain speedily subsided. Perceiving at a short
distance a number of old foxes watching him, he generously let the cub
go, and it sprang with a bound to its parents and licked them profusely.

Now this kind-hearted man had a son, who was afflicted with a strange
disease. A great physician at last prescribed the liver of a live fox
as being the only remedy likely to effect a cure. When the boy's
parents heard this they were much distressed, and would only consent to
accept a fox's liver from one who made it his business to hunt foxes.
They finally commissioned a neighbour to obtain the liver, for which
they promised to pay liberally.

The following night the fox's liver was brought by a strange man
totally unknown to the good people of the house. The visitor professed
to be a messenger sent by the neighbour whom they had commissioned.
When, however, the neighbour himself arrived he confessed that though
he had tried his utmost to obtain a fox's liver he had failed to do so,
and had come to make his apologies. He was utterly amazed to hear the
story the parents of the suffering boy told him.

The next day the fox's liver was made into a concoction by the great
physician, and immediately restored the little boy to his usual health

In the evening a beautiful young woman appeared at the bedside of the
happy parents. She explained that she was the mother of the cub the
master had saved, and that in gratitude for his kindness she had killed
her offspring, and that her husband, in the guise of the mysterious
messenger, had brought the desired liver.[7]

Inari Answers a Woman's Prayer

Inari, as we have already found, is often extremely benevolent. One
legend informs us that a woman who had been married many years and
had not been blessed with a child prayed at Inari's shrine. At the
conclusion of her supplication the stone foxes wagged their tails, and
snow began to fall. She regarded these phenomena as favourable omens.

When the woman reached her home a _yeta_ (beggar) accosted her, and
begged for something to eat. The woman good-naturedly gave this
unfortunate wayfarer some red bean rice, the only food she had in the
house, and presented it to him in a dish.

The next day her husband discovered this dish lying in front of the
shrine where she had prayed. The beggar was none other than Inari
himself, and the woman's generosity was rewarded in due season by the
birth of a child.

The Meanness of Raiko

Raiko was a wealthy man living in a certain village. In spite of
his enormous wealth, which he carried in his _obi_ (girdle), he was
extremely mean. As he grew older his meanness increased till at last
he contemplated dismissing his faithful servants who had served him so

One day Raiko became very ill, so ill that he almost wasted away, on
account of a terrible fever. On the tenth night of his illness a poorly
dressed _bozu_ (priest) appeared by his pillow, inquired how he fared,
and added that he had expected the _oni_ to carry him off long ago.

These home truths, none too delicately expressed, made Raiko very
angry, and he indignantly demanded that the priest should take his
departure. But the _bozu_, instead of departing, told him that there
was only one remedy for his illness. The remedy was that Raiko should
loosen his _obi_ and distribute his money to the poor.

Raiko became still more angry at what he considered the gross
impertinence of the priest. He snatched a dagger from his robe and
tried to kill the kindly _bozu_. The priest, without the least fear,
informed Raiko that he had heard of his mean intention to dismiss
his worthy servants, and had nightly come to the old man to drain his
life-blood. "Now," said the priest, "my object is attained!" and with
these words he blew out the light.

The now thoroughly frightened Raiko felt a ghostly creature advance
towards him. The old man struck out blindly with his dagger, and made
such a commotion that his loyal servants ran, into the room with
lanterns, and the light revealed the horrible claw of a monster lying
by the side of the old man's mat.

Carefully following the little spots of blood, Raiko's servants came
to a miniature mountain at the extreme end of the garden, and in the
mountain was a large hole, from whence protruded the upper part of an
enormous spider. This creature begged the servants to try to persuade
their master not to attack the Gods, and in future to refrain from

When Raiko heard these words from his servants he repented, and gave
large sums of money to the poor. Inari had assumed the shape of a
spider and priest in order to teach the once mean old man a lesson.

[Footnote 1: The strange supernatural powers of the fox do not belong
exclusively to Japan. Numerous examples of this animal's magical
attainments may be found in Chinese legend. See _Strange Tales from a
Chinese Studio_, by Professor H. A. Giles.]

[Footnote 2: See my _Land of the Yellow Spring, and other Japanese
Stories_, p. 113.]

[Footnote 3: See _Pastor Shi, one of China's Questions_, by Mrs.

[Footnote 4: "The Death-Stone" is certainly one of the most remarkable
of fox legends. It illustrates a malignant fox taking the form of a
seductive woman in more than one life. She is a coming and vanishing
creature of alluring but destructive power, a sort of Japanese version
of Fata Morgana. The legend has been adapted from a _No_, or lyrical
drama, translated by Professor B. H. Chamberlain.]

[Footnote 5: The _cash_, now no longer in use, was roughly equivalent
to one penny.]

[Footnote 6: About 8_d_.]

[Footnote 7: The liver, both animal and human, frequently figures in,
Japanese legend as a remedy for various ailments.]


The Significance of Jizō

Jizō, the God of little children and the God who makes calm the
troubled sea, is certainly the most lovable of the Buddhist divinities,
though Kwannon, the Goddess of Mercy, has somewhat similar attributes.
The most popular Gods, be they of the East or West, are those Gods
with the most human qualities. Jizō, though of Buddhist origin, is
essentially Japanese, and we may best describe him as being the
creation of innumerable Japanese women who have longed to project
into the Infinite, into the shrouded Beyond, a deity who should be a
divine Father and Mother to the souls of their little ones. And this
is just what Jizō is, a God essentially of the feminine heart, and
not a being to be tossed about in the hair-splitting debates of hoary
theologians. A study of the nature and characteristics of Jizō will
reveal all that is best in the Japanese woman, for he assuredly reveals
her love, her sense of the beautiful, and her infinite compassion. Jizō
has all the wisdom of the Lord Buddha himself, with this important
difference, namely, that Jizō has waived aside Nirvana, and does not
sit upon the Golden Lotus, but has become, through an exquisitely
beautiful self-sacrifice, the divine playmate and protector of Japanese
children. He is the God of smiles and long sleeves, the enemy of evil
spirits, and the one being who can heal the wound of a mother who has
lost her child in death. We have a saying that all rivers find their
way to the sea. To the Japanese woman who has laid her little one in
the cemetery all rivers wind their silver courses into the place where
the ever-waiting and ever-gentle Jizō is. That is why mothers who
have lost their children in death write prayers on little slips of
paper, and watch them float down the rivers on their way to the great
spiritual Father and Mother who will answer all their petitions with a
loving smile.

At Jizō's Shrine

     "Fronting the kindly Jizō's shrine
     The cherry-blooms are blowing now,
     Pink cloud of flower on slender bough,
     And hidden tracery of line.

     "Rose-dawn against moss-mellowed grey,
     Through which the wind-tost sprays allow
     Glimpse of calm smile and placid brow,
     Of carven face where sunbeams play.

     "Dawn-time, I pluck a branch, and swift
     Flutters a flight of petals fair;
     Through the fresh-scented morning air
     Down to the waving grass they drift.

     "Noon-tide my idle fingers stray,
     Through the fair maze of bud and flower,
     Sending a sudden blossom-shower
     From the sweet fragance-haunted spray.

     "Low in the west the red fire dies,
     Vaguely I lift my hand, but now
     Jizō is not--nor cherry bough--
     Only the dark of starless skies!"
                                    Clara A. Walsh.

Jizō and Lafcadio Hearn

Lafcadio Hearn, in one of his letters,[1] writes: "There is a queer
custom in Izumo which may interest you. When a wedding takes place in
the house of an unpopular man in the country the young men of the
village carry a roadside statue of Jizō into the Zashiki, and announce
the coming of the God. (This is especially done with an avaricious
farmer, or a stingy family.) Food and wine are demanded by the God.
The members of the family must come in, salute the deity, and give all
the _saké_ and food demanded while any remains in the house. It is
dangerous to refuse; the young peasants would probably wreck the house.
After this the statue is carried back again to its place. The visit of
Jizō is much dreaded. It is never made to persons who are liked."

On one occasion Lafcadio Hearn, who had a very warm admiration for this
God, desired to restore the head and arms of a broken Jizō image. His
wife remonstrated with him, and we quote his quaint reply because it
reminds us not a little of the last legend mentioned in this chapter:
"_Gomen_, _gomen!_ ["Forgive me!"] I thought only to give a little joy
as I hoped. The Jizō I wrote you about is not the thing you will find
in the graveyards; but it is Jizō who shall guard and pacify the seas.
It is not a sad kind, but you do not like my idea, so I have given up
my project. It was only papa's foolish thought. However, poor Jizō-sama
wept bitterly when it heard of your answer to me. I said to it, 'I
cannot help it, as Mamma San doubted your real nature, and thinks that
you are a graveyard-keeper. I know that you are the saviour of seas and
sailors.' The Jizō is crying even now."

"The Dry Bed of the River of Souls"

Under the earth there is the Sai-no-Kawara, or "the Dry Bed of the
River of Souls." This is the place where all children go after death,
children and those who have never married. Here the little ones play
with the smiling Jizō, and here it is that they build small towers of
stones, for there are many in this river-bed. The mothers of these
children, in the world above them, also pile up stones around the
images of Jizō, for these little towers represent prayers; they are
charms against the _oni_ or wicked spirits. Sometimes in the Dry Bed of
the River of Souls the _oni_ for a moment gain a temporary victory, and
knock down the little towers which the ghosts of children have built
with so much laughter. When such a misfortune takes place the laughter
ceases, and the little ones fly to Jizō for protection. He hides them
in his long sleeves, and with his sacred staff drives away the red-eyed

The place where the souls of children dwell is a shadowy and grey world
of dim hills and vales through which the Sai-no-Kawara winds its way.
All the children are clad in short white garments, and if occasionally
the evil spirits frighten them there is always Jizō to dry their tears,
always one who sends them back to their ghostly games again.

The following hymn of Jizō, known as "The Legend of the Humming of the
Sai-no-Kawara," gives us a beautiful and vivid conception of Jizō and
this ghostly land where children play:

The Legend of the Humming of the Sai-no-Kawara

   "Not of this world is the story of sorrow.
   The story of the Sai-no-Kawara,
   At the roots of the Mountain of Shide;--
   Not of this world is the tale; yet 'tis most pitiful to hear.
   For together in the Sai-no-Kawara are assembled
   Children of tender age in multitude,--
   Infants but two or three years old,
   Infants of four or five, infants of less than ten:
   In the Sai-no-Kawara are they gathered together.
   And the voice of their longing for their parents,
   The voice of their crying for their mothers and their fathers--
   Is never as the voice of the crying of children in this world,
   But a crying so pitiful to hear
   That the sound of it would pierce through flesh and bone.
   And sorrowful indeed the task which they perform,--
   Gathering the stones of the bed of the river,
   Therewith to heap the tower of prayers.
   Saying prayers for the happiness of father, they heap the first tower;
   Saying prayers for the happiness of mother, they heap the second
   Saying prayers for their brothers, their sisters, and all whom they
     loved at home, they heap the third tower.
   Such, by day, are their pitiful diversions.
   But ever as the sun begins to sink below the horizon,
   Then do the _Oni_, the demons of the hells, appear,
   And say to them,--'What is this that you do here?
   Lo! your parents still living in the Shaba-world
   Take no thought of pious offering or holy work:
   They do nought but mourn for you from the morning unto the
   Oh! how pitiful! alas! how unmerciful!
   Verily the cause of the pains that you suffer
   Is only the mourning, the lamentation of your parents.'
   And saying also, 'Blame never us!'
   The demons cast down the heaped-up towers,
   They dash their stones down with their clubs of iron.
   But lo! the teacher Jizō appears.
   All gently he comes, and says to the weeping infants:--
   'Be not afraid, dears! be never fearful!
   Poor little souls, your lives were brief indeed!
   Too soon you were forced to make the weary journey to the Meido,
   The long journey to the region of the dead!
   Trust to me! I am your father and mother in the Meido,
   Father of all children in the region of the dead.'
   And he folds the skirt of his shining robe about them;
   So graciously takes he pity on the infants.
   To those who cannot walk he stretches forth his strong _shakujō_,[2]
   And he pets the little ones, caresses them, takes them to his loving
   So graciously he takes pity on the infants.
   _Namu Amida Butsu_!"[3]
                                               Lafcadio Hearn.

[Illustration: Jizō--108]

This abode of the souls of children is certainly not an ideal land.
It is Jizō, and not his country, who has sprung from the hearts of
Japanese women. The stern Buddhist teaching of cause and effect, of
birth and re-birth, applies to even gentle infants. But if the great
Wheel of Existence revolves with unerring force, and only fails to move
when the desire for not-being is finally attained in Nirvana, Jizō
lovingly stands at the foot of Destiny and makes easy the way where the
feet of little children so softly patter.

The Cave of the Children's Ghosts

There is a cave in Japan known as Kyu-Kukedo-San, or Ancient Cavern,
and far within its recess there is to be found an image of Jizō, with
his mystic jewel and sacred staff. Before Jizō there is a little
_torii_[4] and a pair of _gohei_,[5] both symbols of the Shintō faith;
but, as Lafcadio Hearn observes, "this gentle divinity has no enemies;
at the feet of the lover of children's ghosts both creeds unite in
tender homage." Here it is that the ghosts of little children meet,
softly whispering together as they stoop hither and thither in order
to build their towers of stones. At night they creep over the sea from
their Dry Bed of the River of Souls, and cover the sand in the cavern
with their ghostly footsteps, building, ever building those prayers of
stone, while Jizō smiles down upon their loving labour. They depart
before the rising of the sun, for it is said that the dead fear to gaze
upon the Sun Goddess, and most especially are these infants afraid of
her bright gold eyes.

The Fountain of Jizō

Another beautiful sea-cave contains the Fountain of Jizō. It is a
fountain of flowing milk, at which the souls of children quench their
thirst. Mothers suffering from want of milk come to this fountain and
pray to Jizō, and mothers having more milk than their infants require
pray to the same God that he may take some of their milk and give it to
the souls of children in his great shadowy kingdom. And Jizō is said to
answer their prayers.

How Jizō Remembered

A woman named Soga Sadayoshi lived by feeding silkworms and gathering
their silk. One day, on a visit to the temple of Ken-cho-ji, she
thought that an image of Jizō looked cold, and went home, made a cap,
returned with it, and set it upon Jizō's head, saying: "Would I were
rich enough to give thee a warm covering for all thine august body;
but, alas! I am poor, and even this which I offer thee is unworthy of
thy divine acceptance."

In her fiftieth year the woman died, and as her body remained warm
for three days her relatives would not consent to her burial. On the
evening of the third day, however, much to the surprise and joy of
those about her, she came to life once more.

Shortly after the woman had resumed her work again she narrated how her
soul had appeared before the great and terrible Emma-Ō, Lord and Judge
of the dead, and how that dread being had been angry with her because,
contrary to Buddha's teaching, she had killed innumerable silkworms.
Emma-Ō was so angry that he ordered her to be thrown into a pot filled
with molten metal. While she cried out in intense agony Jizō came and
stood beside her, and immediately the metal ceased to burn. After Jizō
had spoken kindly to the woman he led her to Emma-Ō, and requested that
she who had once kept warm one of his images should receive pardon. And
Emma-Ō granted the request of the ever-loving and compassionate God,
and the woman returned to the sunny world of Japan again.

[Footnote 1: _The Japanese Letters of Lafcadio Hearn_, edited by
Elizabeth Bisland.]

[Footnote 2: Sacred staff.]

[Footnote 3: "Hail, omnipotent Buddha!"]

[Footnote 4: A gateway.]

[Footnote 5: "A wand from which depend strips of white paper cut into
little angular bunches (_gohei_), intended to represent the offerings
of cloth which were anciently tied to branches of the sacred cleyera
tree at festival time."--B. H. Chamberlain.]


The Significance of Japanese Art

Sir Alfred East, in lecturing on the subject of Japanese art, described
it as "great in small things, but small in great things," and this,
generally speaking, is very true. The Japanese artist excels in
depicting flowers and insects and birds. He is triumphant in portraying
the curl of a wave, a branch of cherry-blossom against a full moon, a
flight of heron, a group of pine-trees, and carp swimming in a stream;
but that genius for minute and accurate detail seems to have prevented
him from depicting what we understand as a great subject-picture,
an historical scene crowded with many figures. This zest to portray
various fragments from Nature was no narrow and academic affair. Art
was not intended solely for the _kakemono_, or hanging scroll, to be
suspended in the alcove of a Japanese home, to be admired for a time,
and then to be replaced by another. Art in Japan was universal to an
extent not to be found in any other country, where a cheap towel had a
pleasing design upon it, and where the playing cards, unlike our own,
were works of art.

It has been said that the woman in Japanese art is wooden. This is not
really so, if by wooden we mean entirely without expression; but it is
necessary first of all to know something about the Japanese woman in
actual life before we can understand her representation in art. There
is a wealth of old tradition behind that apparently immobile face. It
is a curious fact that until we get accustomed to the various Japanese
types one face so closely resembles another that discrimination is out
of the question, and we are apt to run away with the idea that Nature
in Japan has been content to repeat the same physiognomy over and over
again, forgetting that we in turn present no diversity of type to the
Japanese on first acquaintance. The Japanese face in art is not without
expression, only it happens to be an expression rather different
from that with which we are familiar, and this is particularly true
in regard to the portrayal of Japanese women. Most of us have seen a
number of colour-prints devoted to this subject in which we find no
shading in the face. We are apt to exclaim that this omission gives an
extremely flat effect to the face, and to observe in consequence that
the work before us must be very bad art. But it is not bad art, for the
Japanese face _is_ flat, and the artists of that country never fail to
reflect this characteristic. Colour-prints depicting Nipponese women
do not reveal emotion--a smile, a gesture of yearning, are absent; but
because we find so much negation we should be very far from the truth
to suppose that a colour-print of this kind expresses no feeling,
that the general effect is doll-like and uninteresting. We must take
into consideration the long period of suppression through which the
Japanese woman had to pass. A superficial study of that extraordinary
treatise by Kaibara known as _Onna Daigaku_, or "The Greater Learning
for Women," will help us to realise that it was the duty of every
Japanese woman to be sweet, amiable, virtuous; to obey those in
authority without demur, and above all to suppress her feelings. When
we have taken these points into consideration we shall very slowly
perceive that there is strength and not weakness in a portrait of a
Japanese woman; a quiet and dignified beauty in which impulse is held
in check, veiled, as it were, behind a cloud of rigid tradition. The
Japanese woman, though she has been surrounded at every turn by severe
discipline, has, nevertheless, given us a type of womanhood supreme
in her true sweetness of disposition, and the Japanese artist has
caught the glamour of her charm. In the curve of her form he suggests
the grace of a wind-blown willow, in the designs upon her robe the
promise of spring, and behind the small red mouth a wealth of infinite

Japan owed her art to Buddhism, and it was quickened and sustained by
Chinese influence. Buddhism gave Nippon her pictorial art, her mural
decoration and exquisite carving. Shintō temples were severe and plain,
those of Buddhism were replete with all that art could give them; and
last, but not least, it was Buddha's teaching that brought into Japan
the art of gardening, with all its elaborate and beautiful symbolism.

A Japanese art critic wrote: "If in the midst of a stroke a sword-cut
had severed the brush it would have bled." From this we may gather
that the Japanese artist put his whole heart into his work; it was a
part of him, something vital, something akin to religion itself. With
this great force behind his brush it is no wonder that he was able to
give that extraordinary life and movement to his work, so strikingly
depicted in portraits of actors.

Though we have so far only shown the Japanese artist as a master
of little things, he has, nevertheless, faithfully and effectively
represented the Gods and Goddesses of his country, and many of the
myths and legends connected with them. If he excelled in the beautiful,
he no less excelled in depicting the horrible, for no artists,
excepting those of China, have succeeded in portraying the supernatural
to more effect. What a contrast there is between an exquisite picture
of Jizō or Buddha or Kwannon and the pictorial representation of a
Japanese goblin! Extreme beauty and extreme ugliness are to be found in
Japanese art, and those who love the many pictures of Mount Fuji and
the moth-like colouring of Utamaru's women will turn in horror from the
ghastly representations of supernatural beings.

The Gods of Good Fortune

Many of the legendary stories given in this volume have been portrayed
by Japanese artists, and in the present chapter we propose to deal
with the legends in Japanese art not hitherto mentioned. The favourite
theme of the Japanese artist is undoubtedly that of the Seven Gods of
Good Fortune, nearly always treated with rollicking good-humour. There
was Fukurokuju, with a very long head, and attended by a crane, deer,
or tortoise; Daikoku, who stood upon rice-bales and was accompanied by
a rat; Ebisu, carrying a fish; Hotei, the merry God of Laughter, the
very embodiment of our phrase "Laugh and grow fat." There was Bishamon,
resplendent in armour, and bearing a spear and toy pagoda; Benten, the
Goddess of Beauty, Wealth, Fertility, and Offspring; while Jurōjin was
very similar to Fukurokuju. These Seven Gods of Good Fortune, or, to
be more accurate, six Gods and one Goddess, seem to have sprung from
Shintōism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Brahmanism, and apparently date from
the seventeenth century.

The Treasure Ship

In connection with this theme the Japanese artist is fond of portraying
the Gods of Good Fortune as jovial passengers on the _Takara-bune_, or
Treasure Ship, which is said to come to port on New Year's Eve, with no
less a cargo than the Hat of Invisibility, the Lucky Raincoat, coat,
the Sacred Key, the Inexhaustible Purse, and other curious and magical
treasures. At this time of the year pictures of the Treasure Ship are
placed under children's wooden pillows, and the practice is said to
bring a lucky dream.

     "Sleep, my own, till the bell of dusk
     Bring the stars laden with a dream.
     With that dream you shall awake
     Between the laughters and the song."

Yone Noguchi.

The Miraculous in Japanese Art

Among other legends is the story of Hidari Jingorō, the famous
sculptor, whose masterpiece came to life when finished, which reminds
us not a little of the story of Pygmalion. There are other legendary
stories connected with the coming to life of Japanese works of art.
On a certain occasion a number of peasants were much annoyed by the
destruction of their gardens caused by some wild animal. Eventually
they discovered that the intruder was a great black horse, and on
giving chase it suddenly disappeared into a temple. When they entered
the building they found Kanasoka's painting of a black steed steaming
with its recent exertion! The great artist at once painted in a rope
tethering the animal to a post, and from that day to this the peasants'
gardens have remained unmolested.

When the great artist Sesshiu was a little boy the story goes that he
was, by way of punishment, securely bound in a Buddhist temple. Using
his copious tears for ink and his toe for a brush, the little fellow
sketched some rats upon the floor. Immediately they came to life and
gnawed through the rope that bound their youthful creator.


There is something more than mere legend in these stories, if we
may believe the words of the famous artist Hokusai, whose "Hundred
Views of Fuji" are regarded as the finest examples of Japanese
landscape-painting. He wrote in his Preface to this work: "At ninety I
shall penetrate the mystery of things; at a hundred I shall certainly
have reached a marvellous stage; and when I am a hundred and ten
everything I do, be it a dot or a line, will be alive." Needless to
say, Hokusai did not reach the age of a hundred and ten. In his last
hours he wrote the following lines, which were afterwards inscribed
upon his tomb:

     "My soul, turned Will-o'-the-wisp,
     Can come and go at ease over the summer fields."

With that strong poetic feeling so characteristic of the Japanese,
Eternity meant for Hokusai an infinite time in which to carry on his
beloved work--to perfect, to make alive all the wonderful strokes of
his brush. As in ancient Egypt, so in Old Japan, the future life could
only mean real happiness with periodic visits to this world again,
and there is a subtle and almost pathetic paradox in this conception,
suggesting, as it were, the continual loading of Eternity with fresh
earthly memories. In both countries we find the spirit hankering after
old human haunts. In Egypt the soul returned through the medium of
its preserved body, and in Japan the Festival of the Dead, described
elsewhere, afforded a joyous exit from the world of Emma-Ō, a three
days' visit in the middle of July to Japan, a land more beautiful, more
dear, it would seem, than any Japanese conception of a future world.
But Hokusai appears to suggest that his visits would not be made merely
in the summer season--rather a frequent coming and going at all times
of the year.

A Japanese poet has written:

     "It is an awesome thing
     To meet a-wandering,
     In the dark night,
     The dark and rainy night,
     A phantom greenish-grey,
     Ghost of some wight,
     Poor mortal wight!
     The black

Translated by Clara A. Walsh.

Ghosts and Goblins

It is scarcely less awesome to come across ghosts, goblins, and
other supernatural beings in a Japanese picture. We find ghosts
with long necks supporting horribly leering faces. Their necks are
so long that it would seem that the ghastly heads could look above
and into everything with a fiendish and dreadful relish. The ghoul,
though represented in Japanese art as a three-year-old child, has
reddish-brown hair, very long ears, and is often depicted as eating
the kidneys of dead people. The horrible in this phase of Japanese art
is emphasised to an almost unbearable degree, and a living Japanese
artist's conception of a procession of ghosts[1] is so uncanny,
so weird, that we certainly should not like to meet them in broad
daylight, much less "through the dark night!"

A Garden of Skulls

The Japanese artist's conception of a garden, with its pine-trees,
and stone lanterns, and azalea-bordered lakes, is usually extremely
beautiful. Hiroshige, like so many Japanese artists, has painted a
garden touched with snow; but in one of his pictures he portrays
the snow as turning into a number of skulls, and has borrowed this
fantastic conception from the _Heike Monogatari_.

It must not be thought that the Japanese artist, when portraying some
supernatural being, or in depicting some scene from a legendary story,
exclusively catches the grim and horrible. The grim and horrible are
certainly portrayed with considerable spirit and dramatic force, but
many of the Japanese works of art depict the Gods and Goddesses of Old
Japan with much grace and charm.

The Dream of Rose[2]

Japanese ornament frequently illustrates some ancient legend. We may
see on a certain _tsuba_ (sword-guard) a pine-tree with people sitting
in the branches. One man carries a banner, while two others are playing
on musical instruments. There is an exquisite legend connected with
this quaint design, and, though it is of Chinese origin, it deserves
to find a place in this volume because it is one of those fantastic
Chinese legends that has been woven into Japanese literature and
art--has become, in short, one of the favourite themes of Japanese
artists, and of those who witness the _No_, or lyrical drama, of Nippon.

Rosei, in ancient times, reached the little inn of Kantan, so weary
with his travel that he fell asleep as soon as his head touched the
pillow. It was no ordinary pillow, but might well be described as
the Magic Pillow of Dreams, for directly Rosei was asleep an envoy
approached him, and said: "I am sent by the Emperor of Ibara to inform
you that his Majesty wishes to relinquish the throne and to install you
in his place. Be pleased to enter the palanquin that awaits you, and
the bearers will quickly carry you to the capital."

Rosei, much amazed by what he had heard and seen, entered the
palanquin, "strewn with gems of radiant hue," and was borne to a
wonderful country, best described in the following verse:

     "For ne'er in those old vasty halls Imperial,
     Bath'd in the moonbeams bright,
     Or where the dragon soars on clouds ethereal,
     Was ought like this to entrance the sight:
     With golden sand and silvern pebbles white
     Was strewn the floor;
     And at the corners four,
     Through gates inlaid
     With diamonds and jade,
     Pass'd throngs whose vestments were of radiant light,--
     So fair a scene,
     That mortal eye might ween
     It scann'd the very heav'ns' unknown delight.
     Here countless gifts the folk came bearing,
     Precious as myriad coins of finest gold;
     And there, the lesser with the greater sharing,
     Advanc'd the vassals bold,
     Their banners to display
     That paint the sky with colours gay,
     While rings the air as had a thunder roll'd."
                               Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.

Rosei found himself in a magical country where Nature either forgot her
natural laws or was led into fresh wonders by the people of that land.
In the east there was a silver hill over which the gold sun shone, and
in the west there was a gold hill over which the moon shone.

     "No spring and autumn mark the time,
     And o'er that deathless gate
     The sun and moon their wonted speed forget."
                              Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.

The whole idea of this charming story seems to suggest that this
country was not only a land of eternal youth, but a land, too, where
Nature marshalled her seasons together, where there were always colour
and blossom, and where no flower faded.

When Rosei had lived and reigned for fifty years in this glorious
country a minister came to him one day and bade him drink of the Elixir
of Life, in order that he might, like his subjects, live for ever.

The monarch drank the Elixir, "'Mid dazzling pomp and joys more
ravishing than e'er before were shower'd on mortal sight." Rosei
believed that he had cheated Death of his due, and lived the life
of poetic, if sensuous, ecstasy. He gave sumptuous feasts to his
courtiers, feasts which saw the sun and moon without intermission,
where lovely maidens danced, and where there were endless music and

It so happened, however, that these joyous feasts, these pageants of
colour, were not endless after all, for eventually Rosei awoke to find
himself resting upon "Kantan's pillow." The moralist steps in at this
juncture with the following:

     "But he that ponders well
     Will find all life the self-same story tell,--
     That, when death comes, a century of bliss
     Fades like a dream."
                        Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.

Rosei, after this fantastic experience, came to the conclusion that
"life is a dream," that ambition is a dream too, and, having accepted
this Buddhistic teaching, he returned to his own home.

A Kakemono Ghost[3]

Sawara was a pupil in the house of the artist Tenko, who was a kind and
able master, while Sawara, even at the commencement of his art studies,
showed considerable promise. Kimi, Tenko's niece, devoted her time to
her uncle and in directing the affairs of the household generally. Kimi
was beautiful, and it was not long before she fell desperately in love
with Sawara. This young pupil regarded her as very charming, one to
die for if need be, and in his heart he secretly loved her. His love,
however, unlike Kimi's, was not demonstrative, for he had his work to
attend to, and so, to be sure, had Kimi; but work with Sawara came
before his love, and with Kimi it was only love that mattered.

One day, when Tenko was paying a visit, Kimi came to Sawara, and,
unable to restrain her feelings any longer, told him of her love, and
asked him if he would like to marry her. Having made her request, she
set tea before her lover, and awaited his answer.

Sawara returned her affection, and said that he would be delighted to
marry her, adding, however, that marriage was not possible until after
two or three years, when he had established a position for himself and
had become a famous artist.

Sawara, in order to add to his knowledge of art, decided to study
under a celebrated painter named Myokei, and, everything having been
arranged, he bade farewell to his old master and Kimi, promising that
he would return as soon as he had made a name for himself and become a
great artist.

Two years went by and Tenko and Kimi heard no news of Sawara. Many
admirers of Kimi came to her uncle with offers of marriage, and Tenko
was debating as to what he should do in the matter, when he received a
letter from Myokei, saying that Sawara was doing good work, and that he
desired that his excellent pupil should marry his daughter.

Tenko imagined, perhaps not without some reason, that Sawara had
forgotten all about Kimi, and that the best thing he could do was to
give her in marriage to Yorozuya, a wealthy merchant, and also to
fulfil Miyokei's wish that Sawara should marry the great painter's
daughter. With these intentions Tenko resolved to employ strategy, so
he called Kimi to him, and said:

"Kimi, I have had a letter from Myokei, and I am afraid the sad news
which it contains will distress you. Myokei wishes Sawara to marry his
daughter, and I have told him that I fully approve of the union. I
feel sure that Sawara has neglected you, and I therefore wish that you
should marry Yorozuya, who will make, I am sure, a very good husband."

When Kimi heard these words she wept bitterly, and without a word went
to her room.

In the morning Tenko entered Kimi's apartment, but his niece had
gone, and the protracted search that followed failed to discover her

When Myokei had received Tenko's letter he told the promising young
artist that he wished him to marry his daughter, and thus establish a
family of painters; but Sawara was amazed to hear this extraordinary
news, and explained that he could not accept the honour of becoming his
son-in-law because he was already engaged to Tenko's niece.

Sawara, all too late, sent letters to Kimi, and, receiving no reply,
he set out for his old home, shortly after the death of Myokei.

When he reached the little house where he had received his first
lessons in the art of painting he learnt with anger that Kimi had left
her old uncle, and in due time he married Kiku ("Chrysanthemum"), the
daughter of a wealthy farmer.

Shortly after Sawara's marriage the Lord of Aki bade him paint the
seven scenes of the Islands of Kabakari-jima, which were to be mounted
on gold screens. He at once set out for these islands, and made a
number of rough sketches. While thus employed he met along the shore
a woman with a red cloth round her loins, her hair loose and falling
about her shoulders. She carried shell-fish in her basket, and as soon
as she saw Sawara she recognised him.

"You are Sawara and I am Kimi," said she, "to whom you are engaged. It
was a false report about your marriage with Myokei's daughter, and my
heart is full of joy, for now nothing prevents our union."

"Alas! poor, much-wronged Kimi, that cannot be!" replied Sawara. "I
thought that you deserted Tenko, and that you had forgotten me, and
believing these things to be true I have married Kiku, a farmer's

[Illustration: A Kakemono Ghost.--124]

Kimi, without a word, sprang forward like a hunted animal, ran along
the shore, and entered her little hut, Sawara running after her and
calling her name over and over again. Before his very eyes he saw Kimi
take a knife and thrust it into her throat, and in another moment she
lay dead upon the ground. Sawara wept as he gazed upon her still form,
noticed the wistful beauty of Death upon her cheek, and saw a new glory
in her wind-blown hair. So fair and wonderful was her presence now that
when he had controlled his weeping he made a sketch of the woman who
had loved him so well, but so pitifully. Above the mark of the tide
he buried her, and when he reached his own home he took out the rough
sketch, painted a picture of Kimi, and hung the _kakemono_ on the wall.

Kimi Finds Peace

That very night he awoke to find that the figure on the _kakemono_ had
come to life, that Kimi with the wound in her throat, the dishevelled
hair, stood beside him. Night after night she came, a silent, pitiful
figure, until at last Sawara, unable to bear these visitations any
longer, presented the _kakemono_ to the Korinji Temple and sent his
wife back to her parents. The priests of the Korinji Temple prayed
every day for the soul of Kimi, and by and by Kimi found peace and
troubled Sawara no more.

[Footnote 1: See _Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan_, by R. Gordon

[Footnote 2: Adapted from the _No_ drama, translated by B. H.

[Footnote 3: _Ancient Tales and folk-lore of Japan_, by R. Gordon


The Star Lovers

One of the most romantic of the old Japanese festivals is the Festival
of Tanabata, the Weaving Lady. It takes place on the seventh day of the
seventh month, and on this occasion it was customary to place freshly
cut bamboos either on the roofs of houses or to fix them in the ground
close beside them. Coloured strips of paper were attached to these
bamboos, and upon every strip of paper was a poem in praise of Tanabata
and her husband Hikoboshi, such as: "As Tanabata slumbers with her long
sleeves rolled up, until the reddening of the dawn, do not, O storks of
the river-shallows, awaken her by your cries." This festival will more
readily be understood when we have described the legend in connection
with it.

The God of the Firmament had a lovely daughter, by name, and she spent
her time in weaving for her august father. One day, while she sat at
her loom, she chanced to see a handsome lad leading an ox, and she
immediately fell in love with him. Tanabata's father, reading her
secret thoughts, speedily consented to their marriage. Unfortunately,
however, they loved "not wisely, but too well," with the result that
Tanabata neglected her weaving, and Hikoboshi's ox was allowed to
wander at large over the High Plain of Heaven. The God of the Firmament
became extremely angry, and commanded that these too ardent lovers
should henceforth be separated by the Celestial River. On the seventh
night of the seventh month, provided the weather was favourable, a
great company of birds formed a bridge across the river, and by this
means the lovers were able to meet. Their all too brief visit was not
even a certainty, for if there were rain the Celestial River would
become too wide for even a great bridge of magpies to span, and the
lovers would be compelled to wait another weary year before there was
even a chance of meeting each other again.

No wonder that on the Festival of the Weaving Maiden little children
should sing, "_Tenki ni nari_" ("Oh, weather, be clear!"). Love laughs
at locksmiths in our own country, but the Celestial River in flood is
another matter. When the weather is fine and the Star Lovers meet each
other after a weary year's waiting it is said that the stars, possibly
Lyra and Aquila, shine with five different colours--blue, green, red,
yellow, and white--and that is why the poems are written on paper of
these colours.

The Robe of Feathers[1]

     "Oh, magic strains that fill our ravish'd ears!
     The fairy sings, and from the cloudy spheres,
     Chiming in unison, the angels' lutes,
     Tabrets, and cymbals, and sweet silv'ry flutes,
     Ring through the heav'n that glows with purple hues,
     As when Someiro's western slope endues
     The tints of sunset, while the azure wave
     From isle to isle the pine-clad shores doth lave.
     From Yukishima's slope--a beauteous storm--
     Whirl down the flow'rs: and still that magic form,
     Those snowy pinions, flutt'ring in the light,
     Ravish our souls with wonder and delight."
            _Ha-Goromo_. (Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.)

It was spring-time, and along Mio's pine-clad shore there came a sound
of birds. The blue sea danced and sparkled in the sunshine, and
Hairukoo, a fisherman, sat down to enjoy the scene. As he did so he
chanced to see, hanging on a pine-tree, a beautiful robe of pure white

As Hairukoo was about to take down the robe he saw coming toward
him from the sea an extremely lovely maiden, who requested that the
fisherman would restore the robe to her.

Hairukoo gazed upon the lady with considerable admiration. Said he: "I
found this robe, and I mean to keep it, for it is a marvel to be placed
among the treasures of Japan. No, I cannot possibly give it to you."

"Oh," cried the maiden pitifully, "I cannot go soaring into the sky
without my robe of feathers, for if you persist in keeping it I can
never more return to my celestial home. Oh, good fisherman, I beg of
you to restore my robe!"

The fisherman, who must have been a hard-hearted fellow, refused to
relent. "The more you plead," said he, "the more determined I am to
keep what I have found."

Thus the maiden made answer:

     "Speak not, dear fisherman! speak not that word!
     Ah! know'st thou not that, like the hapless bird
     Whose wings are broke, I seek, but seek in vain,
     Reft of my wings, to soar to heav'n's blue plain?"
                               Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.

After further argument on the subject the fisherman's heart softened a
little. "I will restore your robe of feathers," said he, "if you will
at once dance before me."

Then the maiden replied: "I will dance it here--the dance that makes
the Palace of the Moon turn round, so that even poor transitory man may
learn its mysteries. But I cannot dance without my feathers."

"No," said the fisherman suspiciously. "If I give you this robe you
will fly away without dancing before me."

This remark made the maiden extremely angry. "The pledge of mortals may
be broken," said she, "but there is no falsehood among the Heavenly

These words put the fisherman to shame, and, without more ado, he gave
the maiden her robe of feathers.

The Moon-Lady's Song

When the maiden had put on her pure white garment she struck a musical
instrument and began to dance, and while she danced and played she
sang of many strange and beautiful things concerning her far-away home
in the Moon. She sang of the mighty Palace of the Moon, where thirty
monarchs ruled, fifteen in robes of white when that shining orb was
full, and fifteen robed in black when the Moon was waning. As she sang
and played and danced she blessed Japan, "that earth may still her
proper increase yield!"

The fisherman did not long enjoy this kindly exhibition of the
Moon-Lady's skill, for very soon her dainty feet ceased to tap upon the
sand. She rose into the air, the white feathers of her robe gleaming
against the pine-trees or against the blue sky itself. Up, up she went,
still playing and singing, past the summits of the mountains, higher
and higher, until her song was hushed, until she reached the glorious
Palace of the Moon.

[Footnote 1: The subject of this story resembles a certain Norse
legend. See William Morris's _The Land East of the Sun and West of the


The Mountain of the Lotus and the Fan

Mount Fuji, or Fuji-yama ("The Never-dying Mountain"), seems to be
typically Japanese. Its great snow-capped cone resembles a huge
inverted fan, the fine streaks down its sides giving the appearance of
fan-ribs. A native has thus fittingly described it: "Fuji dominates
life by its silent beauty: sorrow is hushed, longing quieted, peace
seems to flow down from that changeless home of peace, the peak of the
white lotus." The reference here to a white lotus is as appropriate as
that of the wide-stretched fan, for it refers to the sacred flower of
the Lord Buddha, and its eight points symbolise to the devout Buddhist
the Eight Intelligences of Perception, Purpose, Speech, Conduct,
Living, Effort, Mindfulness, and Contemplation. The general effect
of Fuji, then, suggests on the one hand religion, and on the other a
fan vast enough and fair enough to coquet with stars and swift-moving
clouds. Poets and artists alike have paid their tributes of praise to
this peerless mountain, and we give the following exquisite poem on
this apparently inexhaustible theme:

     "Fuji Yama,
     Touched by thy divine breath,
     We return to the shape of God.
     Thy silence is Song,
     Thy song is the song of Heaven:
     Our land of fever and care
     Turns to a home of mellow-eyed ease--
     The home away from the land
     Where mortals are born only to die.
     We Japanese daughters and sons,
     Chanting of thy fair majesty,
     The pride of God,
     Seal our shadows in thy bosom,
     The balmiest place of eternity,
     O white-faced wonder,
     O matchless sight,
     O sublimity, O Beauty!
     The thousand rivers carry thy sacred image
     On their brows;
     All the mountains raise their heads unto thee
     Like the flowing tide,
     As if to hear thy final command.
     Behold! the seas surrounding Japan
     Lose their hungry-toothed song and wolfish desire,
     Kissed by lullaby-humming repose,
     At sight of thy shadow,
     As one in a dream of poem.
     We being round thee forget to die:
     Death is sweet,
     Life is sweeter than Death.
     We are mortals and also gods,
     Innocent companions of thine,
     O eternal Fuji!"
                                   _Yone Noguchi_.

Mount Fuji has been a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of years, and
Lafcadio Hearn has described its peak as "the Supreme Altar of the
Sun." Many pilgrims still cling to the old Shinto custom of ascending
this sacred mountain, wearing white clothes and very broad straw hats,
and frequently ringing a bell and chanting: "May our six senses be
pure, and the weather on the honourable mountain be fair."

Fuji was at one time an extremely active volcano. Her final outbreak
took place in 1707-8, and covered Tōkyō, sixty miles distant, with six
inches of ash. The very name Fuji is probably derived from Huchi, or
Fuchi, the Aino Goddess of Fire; "for," writes Professor Chamberlain,
"down to times almost historical the country round Fuji formed part of
Aino-land, and all Eastern Japan is strewn with names of Aino origin."

The Deities of Fuji

Sengen, the Goddess of Fuji, is also
known as Ko-no-hana-saku-ya-hime[1]
("Radiant-blooming-as-the-flowers-of-the-trees"), and on the summit is
her temple. In ancient days it is said that this Goddess hovered in
a luminous cloud above the crater, tended by invisible servants, who
were prepared to throw down any pilgrims who were not pure of heart.
Another deity of this mountain is O-ana-mochi ("Possessor of the Great
Hole," or "Crater"). In addition we have the Luminous Maiden, who lured
a certain emperor to his doom. At the place of his vanishing a small
shrine was erected, where he is still worshipped. It is said that on
one occasion a shower of priceless jewels fell down from this mountain,
and that the sand which during the day is disturbed by the feet of
countless pilgrims falls to the base and nightly reascends to its
former position.

Fuji, the Abode of the Elixir of Life

It is not surprising to find that legend has grown round this venerable
and venerated mountain. Like so many mountains in Japan, and, indeed,
in other Eastern countries, it was associated with the Elixir of Life.
The Japanese poet's words, "We being round thee forget to die," though
written in recent years, seem to reflect the old idea. We have already
seen, in the legend of "The Bamboo-cutter and the Moon-Maiden," that
Tsuki was commanded by the Lady Kaguya to ascend Fuji and there burn
the Elixir of Life, together with a certain scroll.

The fame of Fuji, so an old legend informs us, reached the ears of an
Emperor of China. When he was told that this mountain had come into
being in a single night[2] he conjectured that Mount Fuji must needs
yield the Elixir of Life itself. He accordingly collected about him
a number of handsome youths and maidens and set sail for the Land of
the Rising Sun. The junks rushed before the roaring wind like a shower
of gold petals; but eventually the storm abated, and the Emperor and
his people saw the white splendour of Fuji rise up before them. When
the junks had run in upon the shore the Emperor formed his company in
procession, and, walking very slowly, led the way up the mountain. Hour
after hour the procession climbed, the gold-robed Emperor ever walking
in advance, until the sound of the sea was lost, and the thousand feet
trod softly on the snow where there was peace and life eternal. Nearing
the journey's end, the old Emperor ran forward joyously, for he wanted
to be the first to drink of the Elixir of Life. And he was the first to
taste of that Life that never grows old; but when the company found him
they saw their Emperor lying on his back with a smile upon his face. He
had indeed found Life Eternal, but it was through the way of Death.

Sentaro's Visit to the Land of Perpetual Youth

The desire to wrest from Mount Fuji the secret of perpetual life never
seems to have met with success. A Chinese, Jofuku by name, reached the
sacred mountain with this object in view. He failed, and never lived to
return to his own country; but he is looked upon as a saint, and those
bound on the same quest pray earnestly at his shrine.

Sentaro on one occasion prayed at this shrine, and was presented with
a small paper crane, which expanded to a vast size directly it had
reached his hands. On the back of this great crane flew Sentaro to
the Land of Perpetual Youth, where, to his amazement, the people ate
poisons and longed in vain to die! Sentaro soon grew weary of this
land, returned to his own country, and resolved to be content with
the ordinary span of years allotted to mankind--as well he may have
been, considering that he had already spent three hundred years in the
country where there was no death and no birth.

The Goddess of Fuji

Yosoji's mother, in common with many in the village where she lived,
was stricken down with smallpox. Yosoji consulted the magician Kamo
Yamakiko in the matter, for his mother grew so ill that every hour he
expected her to be taken from him in death. Kamo Yamakiko told Yosoji
to go to a small stream that flowed from the south-west side of Mount
Fuji. "Near the source of this stream," said the magician, "is a shrine
to the God of Long Breath. Go fetch this water, and give it to your
mother, for this alone will cure her."

Yosoji, full of hope, eagerly set forth upon his journey, and when he
had arrived at a spot where three paths crossed each other he was in
difficulty as to the right one to take. Just as he was debating the
matter a lovely girl, clad in white, stepped out from the forest, and
bade him follow her to the place where the precious stream flowed near
the shrine of the God of Long Breath.

[Illustration: Sengen, the Goddess of Mount Fuji.--134]

When they reached the stream Yosoji was told to drink himself, as well
as to fill the gourd with the sparkling water for his mother. When he
had done these things the beautiful girl accompanied him to the place
where he had originally seen her, and said: "Meet me again at this
place in three days' time, for you will require a further supply of
this water."

After five visits to this sacred shrine Yosoji rejoiced to find that
his mother was quite well again, and not only his mother, but many of
the villagers who had also been privileged to drink the water. Yosoji's
bravery was loudly extolled, and presents were sent to the magician for
his timely advice; but Yosoji, who was an honest lad, knew in his heart
that all praise was really due to the beautiful girl who had been his
guide. He desired to thank her more fully than he had hitherto done,
and for this purpose he once more set out for the stream.

When Yosoji reached the shrine of the God of Long Breath he found that
the stream had dried up. With much surprise and not a little sorrow he
knelt down and prayed that she who had been so good to his mother would
appear before him in order that he might thank her as she so richly
deserved. When Yosoji arose he saw the maiden standing before him.

Yosoji expressed his gratitude in warm and elegant language, and begged
to be told the name of her who had been his guide and restored his
mother to health and strength again. But the maiden, smiling sweetly
upon him, would not tell her name. Still smiling, she swung a branch of
camellia in the air, so that it seemed that the fair blossom beckoned
to some invisible spirit far away. In answer to the floral summons a
cloud came down from Mount Fuji; it enveloped the lovely maiden, and
carried her to the sacred mountain from which she had come. Yosoji
knew now that his guide was none other than the Goddess of Fuji. He
knelt with rapture upon his face as he watched the departing figure.
As he gazed upon her he knew in his heart that with his thanks love
had mingled too. While he yet knelt the Goddess of Fuji threw down the
branch of camellia, a remembrance, perhaps a token, of her love for

The Rip van Winkle of Old Japan

We have already referred to the coming of Fuji in a single night, and
the following legend gives an account of this remarkable event. We have
added to this legend another, which is probably of Chinese origin,
because the two fit in well together and furnish interesting material
in regard to this mountain.

Many years ago there lived on the then barren plain of Suruga a woodman
by the name of Visu. He was a giant in stature, and lived in a hut
with his wife and children. One night, just as Visu was about to fall
asleep, he heard a most extraordinary sound coming from under the
earth, a sound louder and more terrible than thunder. Visu, thinking
that he and his family were about to be destroyed by an earthquake,
hastily snatched up the younger children and rushed to the door of
the hut, where he saw a most wonderful sight. Instead of the once
desolate plain he perceived a great mountain from whose head sprang
tongues of flame and dense clouds of smoke! So glorious was the sight
of this mountain that had run under the earth for two hundred miles and
then suddenly sprung forth on the plain of Suruga that Visu, his wife
and family, sat down on the ground as if under a spell. When the sun
rose the next morning Visu saw that the mountain had put on robes of
opal. It seemed so impressive to him that he called it Fuji-yama ("The
Never-dying Mountain"), and so it is called to this day. Such perfect
beauty suggested to the woodman the eternal, an idea which no doubt
gave rise to the Elixir of Life so frequently associated with this

Day after day Visu sat and gazed upon Fuji, and was just conjecturing
how nice it would be for so imposing a mountain to be able to see her
loveliness, when a great lake suddenly stretched before him, shaped
like a lute, and so called Biwa.[3]

The Adventures of Visu

One day Visu received a visit from an old priest, who said to him:
"Honourable woodman, I am afraid you never pray." Visu replied: "If
you had a wife and a large family to keep you would never have time
to pray." This remark made the priest angry, and the old man gave the
woodcutter a vivid description of the horror of being reborn as a toad,
or a mouse, or an insect for millions of years. Such lurid details were
not to Visu's liking, and he accordingly promised the priest that in
future he would pray. "Work and pray," said the priest as he took his

Unfortunately Visu did nothing but pray. He prayed all day long and
refused to do any work, so that his rice crops withered and his wife
and family starved. Visu's wife, who had hitherto never said a harsh or
bitter word to her husband, now became extremely angry, and, pointing
to the poor thin bodies of her children, she exclaimed: "Rise, Visu,
take up your axe and do something more helpful to us all than the mere
mumbling of prayers!"

Visu was so utterly amazed at what his wife had said that it was some
time before he could think of a fitting reply. When he did so his words
came hot and strong to the ears of his poor, much-wronged wife.

"Woman," said he, "the Gods come first. You are an impertinent creature
to speak to me so, and I will have nothing more to do with you!" Visu
snatched up his axe and, without looking round to say farewell, he left
the hut, strode out of the wood, and climbed up Fuji-yama, where a mist
hid him from sight.

When Visu had seated himself upon the mountain he heard a soft rustling
sound, and immediately afterward saw a fox dart into a thicket. Now
Visu deemed it extremely lucky to see a fox, and, forgetting his
prayers, he sprang up, and ran hither and thither in the hope of again
finding this sharp-nosed little creature. He was about to give up
the chase when, coming to an open space in a wood, he saw two ladies
sitting down by a brook playing _go_.[4] The woodman was so completely
fascinated that he could do nothing but sit down and watch them.
There was no sound except the soft click of pieces on the board and
the song of the running brook. The ladies took no notice of Visu, for
they seemed to be playing a strange game that had no end, a game that
entirely absorbed their attention. Visu could not keep his eyes off
these fair women. He watched their long black hair and the little quick
hands that shot out now and again from their big silk sleeves in order
to move the pieces. After he had been sitting there for three hundred
years, though to him it was but a summer's afternoon, he saw that one
of the players had made a false move. "_Wrongs_ most lovely lady!" he
exclaimed excitedly. In a moment these women turned into foxes[5] and
ran away.

[Illustration: Visu on Mount Fuji-yama.--138]

When Visu attempted to pursue them he found to his horror that his
limbs were terribly stiff, that his hair was very long, and that his
beard touched the ground. He discovered, moreover, that the handle of
his axe, though made of the hardest wood, had crumbled away into a
little heap of dust.

Visu's Return

After many painful efforts Visu was able to stand on his feet and
proceed very slowly toward his little home. When he reached the spot he
was surprised to see no hut, and, perceiving a very old woman, he said:
"Good lady, I am amazed to find that my little home has disappeared. I
went away this afternoon, and now in the evening it has vanished!"

The old woman, who believed that a madman was addressing her, inquired
his name. When she was told, she exclaimed: "Bah! you must indeed be
mad! Visu lived three hundred years ago! He went away one day, and he
never came back again."

"_Three hundred years_!" murmured Visu. "It cannot be possible. Where
are my dear wife and children?"

"Buried!" hissed the old woman, "and, if what you say is true, your
children's children too. The Gods have prolonged your miserable life in
punishment for having neglected your wife and little children."

Big tears ran down Visu's withered cheeks as he said in a husky voice:
"I have lost my manhood. I have prayed when my dear ones starved and
needed the labour of my once strong hands. Old woman, remember my last
words: _if you pray, work too_!"

We do not know how long the poor but repentant Visu lived after he
returned from his strange adventures. His white spirit is still said to
haunt Fuji-yama when the moon shines brightly.

[Footnote 1: She married Ninigi, and is referred to in Chapter I.]

[Footnote 2: See the last section of this chapter.]

[Footnote 3: There is some confusion here, for in actual fact Lake
Biwa is a hundred and forty miles distant from Fuji--too great a
distance, one would imagine, for even a miraculous mountain to look
into. Legend asserts that Fuji came from the earth in a single night,
while Lake Biwa sank simultaneously. Professor Chamberlain writes: "May
we not have here an echo of some early eruption, which resulted in the
formation, not indeed of Lake Biwa....but of one of the numerous small
lakes at the foot of the mountain?"]

[Footnote 4: A game introduced from China resembling chess, but a more
complicated variety than the game with which we are familiar.]

[Footnote 5: Fox legends have been fully described in Chapter V.]


The Bell of Enkakuji

Japanese bells are among the finest in the world, for in their size,
construction, and decoration the bell-maker of Nippon has reached a
high level of efficiency. The largest bell in Japan belongs to the Jodo
temple of Chion, at Kyōtō. It weighs seventy-four tons, and requires
seventy-five men to ring it in order to get the full effect from this
great mass of metal. The bell of Enkakuji is the largest bell in
Kamakura. It dates from the beginning of the thirteenth century, and is
six inches thick, four feet seven inches in diameter, and about eight
feet high. This bell, unlike our own, is the same diameter from top to
bottom, a feature common to all big Japanese bells. It is rung by means
of a beam suspended from the roof, and from the beam hangs a rope.
When the beam is set swinging with sufficient velocity it strikes a
lotus-moulding on the side of the bell, and a great note quivers forth,
"deep as thunder, rich as the bass of a mighty organ."

The Return of Ono-no-Kimi

When Ono-no-Kimi died he went before the Judgment Seat of Emma-Ō, the
Judge of Souls, and was told by that dread deity that he had quitted
earthly life too soon, and that he must at once return. Ono-no-Kimi
pleaded that he could not retrace his steps, as he did not know the
way. Then Emma-Ō said: "By listening to the bell of Enkakuji you will
be able to find your way into the world again." And Ono-no-Kimi went
forth from the Judgment Seat, and, with the sound of the bell for
guidance, once more found himself in his old home.

The Giant Priest

On one occasion it is said that a priest of giant stature was seen
in the country, and no one knew his name or whence he had come. With
unceasing zest he travelled up and down the land, from village to
village, from town to town, exhorting the people to pray before the
bell of Enkakuji. It was eventually discovered that this giant priest
was none other than a personification of the holy bell itself. This
extraordinary news had its effect, for numerous people now flocked to
the bell of Enkakuji, prayed, and returned with many a wish fulfilled.
On another occasion this sacred bell is said to have sounded a deep
note of its own accord. Those who were incredulous and laughed at the
miracle met with calamity, and those who believed in the miraculous
power of the sacred bell were rewarded with much prosperity.

A Woman and the Bell of Miidera

In the ancient monastery of Miidera there was a great bronze bell. It
rang out every morning and evening, a clear, rich note, and its surface
shone like sparkling dew. The priests would not allow any woman to
strike it, because they thought that such an action would pollute and
dull the metal, as well as bring calamity upon them.

When a certain pretty woman who lived in Kyōto heard this she grew
extremely inquisitive, and at last, unable to restrain her curiosity,
she said: "I will go and see this wonderful bell of Miidera. I will
make it sound forth a soft note, and in its shining surface, bigger and
brighter than a thousand mirrors, I will paint and powder, my face and
dress my hair."

At length this vain and irreverent woman reached the belfry in which
the great bell was suspended at a time when all were absorbed in their
sacred duties. She looked into the gleaming bell and saw her pretty
eyes, flushed cheeks, and laughing dimples. Presently she stretched
forth her little fingers, lightly touched the shining metal, and prayed
that she might have as great and splendid a mirror for her own. When
the bell felt this woman's fingers, the bronze that she touched shrank,
leaving a little hollow, and losing at the same time all its exquisite

Benkei and the Bell

Benkei,[1] the faithful retainer of Yoshitsune, may be fittingly
described as the strong man of Old Japan. His strength was prodigious,
as will be seen in the following legend.

When Benkei was a monk he very much desired to steal the bell of
Miidera, and bring it to his own monastery. He accordingly visited
Miidera, and, at an opportune moment, unhooked the great bell. Benkei's
first thought was to roll it down the hill, and thus save himself the
trouble of carrying such a huge piece of metal; but, thinking that the
monks would hear the noise, he was forced to set about carrying it
down the steep incline. He accordingly pulled out the crossbeam from
the belfry, suspended the bell at one end, and--humorous touch--his
paper lantern at the other,[2] and in this manner he carried his mighty
burden for nearly seven miles.

When Benkei reached his temple he at once demanded food. He managed
to get through a concoction which filled an iron soup-pot five feet
in diameter, and when he had finished he gave permission for a few
priests to strike the stolen bell of Miidera. The bell was struck, but
in its dying murmur it seemed to cry: "I want to go back to Miidera! I
want to go back to Miidera!"

When the priests heard this they were amazed. The abbot, however,
thought that if the bell were sprinkled with holy water it would become
reconciled to its new abode; but in spite of holy water the bell
still sobbed forth its plaintive and provoking cry. No one was more
displeased by the sound than Benkei himself. It seemed that the bell
mocked him and that arduous journey of his. At last, exasperated beyond
endurance, he rushed to the rope, strained it till the beam was far
from the great piece of metal, then let it go, hoping that the force of
the swift-rushing beam would crack such a peevish and ill-bred bell.
The whirling wood reached the bell with a terrific crash; but it did
not break. Through the air rang again: "I want to go back to Miidera!"
and whether the bell was struck harshly or softly it always spoke the
same words.

At last Benkei, now in a towering rage, shouldered the bell and beam,
and, coming to the top of a mountain, he set down his burden, and, with
a mighty kick, sent it rolling into the valley beneath. Some time later
the Miidera priests found their precious bell, and joyfully hung it in
its accustomed place, and from that time it failed to speak, and only
rang like other temple bells.


The power of Karma is one of the great Buddhist doctrines, and many
are the stories, both true and legendary, told in connection with this
theme. Of the former Lafcadio Hearn in "Kokoro" narrates the pitiful
tale of a priest who had the misfortune to attract the love of many
women. Rather than yield to their solicitations he committed suicide by
kneeling in the middle of a railway track and allowing an express train
to put an end to his temptations.

The story of "The Bamboo-cutter and the Moon-Maiden" gives us another
representation of the working out of Karma. The Lady Kaguya was
banished from her home in the moon owing to indulgence in some sensual
passion. In her exile it will be remembered that her weakness was
vanquished, and that she steadfastly resisted this particular sin
during her earthly sojourn.

Karma by no means represents exclusively the power of evil thought,
though it is most commonly applied to the human passions. In its fuller
meaning it signifies cause and effect--all thoughts, all actions that
are not spiritual, for by the working of Karma, according to Buddhist
teaching, is the world and all it contains fashioned. The desire to be
is Karma. The desire not to be is the breaking of the great wheel of
birth and re-birth, and the attainment of Nirvana.

There are Japanese lovers who, owing to circumstance, are unable to
marry; but they do not blame circumstance. They regard their misfortune
as the result of an error in a previous existence, such as breaking
their promise to wed, or because they were cruel to each other.
Such lovers believe that if they bind themselves together with an
under-girdle and spring into a river or lake they will become united in
their next birth. This suicide of Japanese lovers is called _jōshi_,
which means "love-death" or "passion-death." Buddhism is strongly
opposed to self-destruction, and no less to a love of this kind, for
in _jōshi_ there is no desire to destroy, but rather to foster, the
power of Karma. Such lovers may be united, but in the teaching of the
Lord Buddha a union of this kind is a delusion, while Nirvana alone
is worth striving for. We read in the _Ratana Sutra_: "Their old Karma
is exhausted, no new Karma is being produced: their hearts are free
from the longing after future life; the cause of their existence being
destroyed, and no new yearnings springing up within them, they, the
wise, are extinguished like this lamp."

A Bell and the Power of Karma

     "There are various paths leading to the attainment of
     complete happiness. When we find ourselves upon the
     wrong one it is our duty to quit it."

Near the banks of the Hidaka there once stood a far-famed tea-house
nestling amid lovely scenery beside a hill called the Dragon's Claw.
The fairest girl in this tea-house was Kiyo, for she was like "the
fragrance of white lilies, when the wind, sweeping down the mountain
heights, comes perfume-laden to the traveller."

Across the river stood a Buddhist temple where the abbot and a number
of priests lived a simple and devout life. In the belfry of this temple
reposed a great bell, six inches thick and weighing several tons. It
was one of the monastery rules that none of the priests should eat fish
or meat or drink _saké_, and they were especially forbidden to stop at
tea-houses, lest they should lose their spirituality and fall into the
sinful ways of the flesh.

One of the priests, however, on returning from a certain shrine,
happened to see the pretty Kiyo, flitting hither and thither in the
tea-garden, like a large, brightwinged butterfly. He stood and watched
her for a moment, sorely tempted to enter the garden and speak to this
beautiful creature, but, remembering his priestly calling, he crossed
the river and entered his temple. That night, however, he could not
sleep. The fever of a violent love had come upon him. He fingered his
rosary and repeated passages from the Buddhist Scriptures, but these
things brought him no peace of mind. Through all his pious thoughts
there ever shone the winsome face of Kiyo, and it seemed to him that
she was calling from that fair garden across the river.

His burning love grew so intense that it was not long before he stifled
his religious feelings, broke one of the temple rules, and entered
the forbidden tea-house. Here he entirely forgot his religion, or
found a new one in contemplating the beautiful Kiyo, who brought him
refreshment. Night after night he crept across the river and fell under
the spell of this woman. She returned his love with equal passion,
so that for the moment it appeared to this erring priest that he had
found in a woman's charms something far sweeter than the possibility of
attaining Nirvana.

After the priest had seen Kiyo on many nights conscience began to stir
within him and to do battle with his unholy love. The power of Karma
and the teaching of the Lord Buddha struggled within his breast. It was
a fierce conflict, but in the end passion was vanquished, though, as we
shall learn, not its awful consequences. The priest, having stamped out
his carnal love, deemed it wise to deal with Kiyo as circumspectly as
possible, lest his sudden change should make her angry.

When Kiyo saw the priest after his victory over the flesh she observed
the far-away look in his eyes and the ascetic calm that now rested upon
his face. She redoubled her feminine wiles, determined either to make
the priest love her again, or, failing that, to put him to a cruel
death by sorcery.

[Illustration: Kiyo and the Priest.--146]

All Kiyo's blandishments failed to awaken love within the priest's
heart, and, thinking only of vengeance, she set out, arrayed in a white
robe, and went to a certain mountain where there was a Fudo[3] shrine.
Fudo sat, surrounded by fire, a sword in one hand and a small coil of
rope in the other. Here Kiyo prayed with fearful vehemence that this
hideous-looking God would show her how to kill the priest who had once
loved her.

From Fudo she went to the shrine of Kompira,[4] who has the knowledge
of magic and is able to teach sorcery. Here she begged that she might
have the power to turn herself at will into a dragon-serpent. After
many visits a long-nosed sprite (probably a _tengu_), who waited upon
Kompira, taught Kiyo all the mysteries of magic and sorcery. He taught
this once sweet girl how to change herself into the awful creature she
desired to be for the purpose of a cruel vengeance.

Still the priest visited Kiyo; but no longer was he the lover. By many
exhortations he tried to stay the passion of this maiden he once loved;
but these priestly discourses only made Kiyo more determined to win
the victory in the end. She wept, she pleaded, she wound her fair arms
about him; but none of her allurements had the slightest effect, except
to drive away the priest for the last time.

Just as the priest was about to take his departure he was horrified to
see Kiyo's eyes suddenly turn into those of a serpent. With a shriek
of fear he ran out of the tea-garden, swam across the river, and hid
himself inside the great temple bell.

Kiyo raised her magic wand, murmured a certain incantation, and in a
moment the sweet face and form of this lovely maiden became transformed
into that of a dragon-serpent, hissing and spirting fire. With eyes as
large and luminous as moons she crawled over the garden, swam across
the river, and entered the belfry. Her weight broke down the supporting
columns, and the bell, with the priest inside, fell with a deafening
crash to the ground.

Kiyo embraced the bell with a terrible lust for vengeance. Her coils
held the metal as in a vice; tighter and tighter she hugged the bell,
till the metal became red-hot. All in vain was the prayer of the
captive priest; all in vain, too, were the earnest entreaties of his
fellow brethren, who implored that Buddha would destroy the demon.
Hotter and hotter grew the bell, and it rang with the piteous shrieks
of the priest within. Presently his voice was stilled, and the bell
melted and ran down into a pool of molten metal. The great power of
Karma had destroyed it, and with it the priest and the dragon-serpent
that was once the beautiful Kiyo.

[Footnote 1: See Chapter II.]

[Footnote 2: Hence the Japanese saying: "Lantern and bell, which is the

[Footnote 3: Fudo is not, as is generally supposed, the God of Fire,
but is identified, according to Sir Ernest Satow, with Dainichi, the
God of Wisdom. It is not quite clear why Kiyo visited Fudo, whose
sacred sword symbolises wisdom, while his fire represents power, and
the coil of rope that which binds the passions.]

[Footnote 4: Kompira was originally an Indian God, which the mediæval
Shintōists identified with Susa-no-o, brother of the Sun Goddess, who,
as we have already seen, would be only too pleased to lend himself to


     "Midwinter gloom the earth enshrouds,
     Yet from the skies
     The blossoms fall
     A flutt'ring shower,
     White petals all!
     Can spring be come,
     So soon beyond the clouds?"
      _Kujohara No Fukayabu_ (Trans, by Clara A. Walsh).


Snow-Time in Japan has a beauty peculiarly its own, and it is a
favourite theme of Japanese poets and artists. Both, for the most part,
treat it artistically, as well they may do, seeing that in Nippon the
white flakes fall upon the ornate roofs of Buddhist temples, upon the
fairy-like bridges, resembling those we have seen on willow-pattern
plates, and upon the exquisitely shaped stone lanterns that adorn so
many Japanese gardens. The ideal snow-scene is to be found in Japan,
and because it is so particularly beautiful it is surprising to find
that Yuki-Onna,[1] the Lady of the Snow, is very far from being a
benevolent and attractive spirit. All the artistry and poetry of snow
vanish in her malignant presence, for she represents Death, with
attributes not unlike that of a vampire. But Japan is full of sharp and
surprising contrasts, and the delicate and beautiful jostle with the
ugly and horrible. There is no promise of spring in the long white form
of Yuki-Onna, for her mouth is the mouth of Death, and her ice-cold
lips draw forth the life-blood of her unfortunate victims.

The Snow-Bride

Mosaku and his apprentice Minokichi journeyed to a forest, some little
distance from their village. It was a bitterly cold night when they
neared their destination, and saw in front of them a cold sweep of
water. They desired to cross this river, but the ferryman had gone
away, leaving his boat on the other side of the water, and as the
weather was too inclement to admit of swimming across the river they
were glad to take shelter in the ferryman's little hut.

Mosaku fell asleep almost immediately he entered this humble but
welcome shelter. Minokichi, however, lay awake for a long time
listening to the cry of the wind and the hiss of the snow as it was
blown against the door.

Minokichi at last fell asleep, to be soon awakened by a shower of snow
falling across his face. He found that the door had been blown open,
and that standing in the room was a fair woman in dazzlingly white
garments. For a moment she stood thus; then she bent over Mosaku, her
breath coming forth like white smoke. After bending thus over the old
man for a minute or two she turned to Minokichi and hovered over him.
He tried to cry out, for the breath of this woman was like a freezing
blast of wind. She told him that she had intended to treat him as she
had done the old man at his side, but forbore on account of his youth
and beauty. Threatening Minokichi with instant death if he dared to
mention to any one what he had seen, she suddenly vanished.

Then Minokichi called out to his beloved master: "Mosaku, Mosaku,
wake! Something very terrible has happened!" But there was no reply.
He touched the hand of his master in the dark, and found it was like a
piece of ice. Mosaku was dead!

During the next winter, while Minokichi was returning home, he chanced
to meet a pretty girl by the name of Yuki. She informed him that she
was going to Yedo, where she desired to find a situation as a servant.
Minokichi was charmed with this maiden, and he went so far as to ask if
she were betrothed, and hearing that she was not, he took her to his
own home, and in due time married her.

Yuki presented her husband with ten fine and handsome children, fairer
of skin than the average. When Minokichi's mother died her last words
were in praise of Yuki, and her eulogy was echoed by many of the
country folk in the district.

One night, while Yuki was sewing, the light of a paper lamp shining
upon her face, Minokichi recalled the extraordinary experience he had
had in the ferryman's hut. "Yuki," said he, "you remind me so much of a
beautiful white woman I saw when I was eighteen years old. She killed
my master with her ice-cold breath. I am sure she was some strange
spirit, and yet to-night she seems to resemble you!"

Yuki flung down her sewing. There was a horrible smile on her face
as she bent close to her husband and shrieked: "It was I, Yuki-Onna,
who came to you then, and silently killed your master! Oh, faithless
wretch, you have broken your promise to keep the matter secret, and if
it were not for our sleeping children I would kill you now! Remember,
if they have aught to complain of at your hands I shall hear, I shall
know, and on a night when the snow falls I _will_ kill you!"

Then Yuki-Onna, the Lady of the Snow, changed into a white mist, and,
shrieking and shuddering, passed through the smoke-hole, never to
return again.

Kyuzaemon's Ghostly Visitor

According to Mr. R. Gordon Smith, in his "Ancient Tales and Folk-lore
of Japan," "all those who die by the snow and cold become spirits
of snow." That is to say, all those who perish in this way become
identified with Yuki-Onna, the Lady of the Snow. The following legend
is adapted from Mr. Smith's book referred to above.

Kyuzaemon, a poor farmer, had closed the shutters of his humble
dwelling and retired to rest. Shortly before midnight he was awakened
by loud tapping. Going to the door, he exclaimed: "Who are you? What do
you want?"

The strange visitor made no attempt to answer these questions, but
persistently begged for food and shelter. The cautious Kyuzaemon
refused to allow the visitor to enter, and, having seen that his
dwelling was secure, he was about to retire to bed again, when he saw
standing beside him a woman in white flowing garments, her hair falling
over her shoulders.

"Where did you leave your _geta_?" demanded the frightened farmer.

The white woman informed him that she was the visitor who had tapped
upon his door. "I need no _geta_," she said, "for I have no feet! I
fly over the snow-capped trees, and should have proceeded to the next
village, but the wind was blowing strongly against me, and I desired to
rest awhile."

The farmer expressed his fear of spirits, whereupon the woman inquired
if her host had a _butsudan_ (a family altar). Finding that he had,
she bade him open the _butsudan_ and light a lamp. When this was done
the woman prayed before the ancestral tablets, not forgetting to add a
prayer for the still much-agitated Kyuzaemon.

Having paid her respects at the _butsudan_, she informed the farmer
that her name was Oyasu, and that she had lived with her parents and
her husband, Isaburo. When she died her husband left her parents,
and it was her intention to try to persuade him to go back again and
support the old people.

Kyuzaemon began to understand as he murmured to himself: "Oyasu
perished in the snow, and this is her spirit I see before me." However,
in spite of this recollection he still felt much afraid. He sought the
family altar with trembling footsteps, repeating over and over again:
"Namu Amida Butsu!" ("Hail, Omnipotent Buddha!")

At last the farmer went to bed and fell asleep. Once he woke up to hear
the white creature murmur farewell; but before he could make answer she
had disappeared.

The following day Kyuzaemon went to the next village, and called upon
Isaburo, whom he now found living with his father-in-law again. Isaburo
informed him that he had received numerous visits from the spirit of
his wife in the guise of Yuki-Onna. After carefully considering the
matter Kyuzaemon found that this Lady of the Snow had appeared before
Isaburo almost immediately after she had paid him such a mysterious
visit. On that occasion Isaburo had promised to fulfil her wish, and
neither he nor Kyuzaemon were again troubled with her who travels in
the sky when the snow is falling fast.

[Footnote 1: See my _Land of the Yellow Spring_, p. 39.]


     "All the joy of my existence is concentrated around the
     pillow which giveth me nightly rest, all the hope of my
     days I find in the beauties of Nature that ever please my
                         "_Hō-jō-ki_" (Trans. by F. V. Dickins).

Japanese and English Gardens

There is nothing particularly æsthetic about the average English
garden. When the bedding-out time comes a slow old gardener puts
in his plants. Later on we see a crude blaze of colour--scarlet
geraniums, yellow calceolarias, blue lobelias, the green grass and the
ochre-coloured paths. And this is the colour effect of the average
English garden, a colour effect that makes the eyes ache and shames
the very flowers so unwisely set in this fashion. The truth of the
matter is that we do not understand the art of flower arrangement. We
buy flowers just to make the garden look bright, under the impression
that brightness is an abstract quality with which we should like to
spend our summer days. An Englishman once attempted to make a landscape
garden after the Japanese manner. He was extremely proud of the result,
and on one occasion he took a Japanese gentleman round to see it.
The Japanese gentleman exclaimed, with extreme courtesy: "It is very
beautiful; we have nothing at all like it in Japan!" The Englishman
failed in his attempt to imitate because he considered gardening a
hobby, while in Japan the garden is something indelibly associated with
Japanese life itself. In Japan it is an ancient cult to which poets and
artists have given years of thought, a cult in which emotion, memory,
and religion play their part.

The Love of Flowers, its Growth and Symbolism

One of the most striking, and certainly one of the most pleasing,
characteristics of the Japanese is their intense love of flowers
and trees. Merry parties set out to see the azaleas bloom, or the
splendour of the pink-white cherry-blossom, or the scarlet glory of
the maple-trees. This "flower-viewing" is an integral part of their
existence. The very _kimono_ of the laughing children look like little
gardens of flowers themselves. Take away their landscape, and you take
away at once their sense of poetry, and, we may almost add, the floral
side of their religion too, for the Japanese worship flowers and trees
in a way utterly impossible to the more prosaic Westerner.

During a recent spring the magnolia-trees in Kew Gardens afforded
a wonderfully beautiful spectacle. But there were few to see these
leafless trees with their profusion of lotus-like blossom. The most
appreciative spectator was a child, who sat under the sweet-scented
branches, gathered the fallen petals in her little brown hands,
and made up a quaint story as she did so. But in Japan, where
magnolia-trees bloom too, a hundred little poems would be threaded
to the branches, and little cakes made in imitation of the petals.
Perhaps, too, a branch of magnolia would be set in a vase, the
object of silent admiration of the members of some tea ceremony. And
afterwards the spray of blossom would be gently placed on a river or
buried with joy and reverence for the beauty it had exhibited in its
brief hour of life.

The love of flowers is only a small part of the Japanese love of
Nature. There was an evolutionary growth in this worship as in every
other, and we are inclined to think that the Japanese go very far
back in this matter, and learnt first of all to love rocks and stones.
To us rocks and stones are of interest only to the geologist and
metallurgist, merely from a scientific point of view, and it seems
almost incredible that rocks and stones have a poetical meaning. But
it is otherwise to the Japanese. The Japanese garden is essentially a
landscape garden. The owner of a garden falls in love with a certain
view. It haunts him, and awakens in him some primitive feelings of
delight that cannot be analysed. He brings that view perpetually before
him in his garden, in miniature, perhaps, but a miniature of wonderful
exactness. His garden thus becomes a place of happy memory, and not
a plot laid out with gaudy flowers and terraces that can have no
meaning, no poetry to his mind. Without a doubt Japanese gardens, with
their gorgeous flowers, merry sunshine, and the sweet tinkle of dainty
fairy-bells suspended from the branches of the trees, are the most
delightful in the world.

Japanese Gardens

One thing that strikes us about Japanese gardens that we do not find in
England is the wonderful economy displayed in their schemes. Suburbia
often makes the excuse that their pocket-handkerchief of a garden is
much too small to be made beautiful. Too small to be made beautiful?
Why, the Japanese can make a wonderful little garden in a space no
bigger than a soup-plate! Necessity is the mother of invention, and if
we only loved Nature more we should soon find the means to make our
smallest gardens attractive. The great Japanese designer of gardens,
Kobori-Enshiu, said that an ideal garden should be like "the sweet
solitude of a landscape clouded by moonlight, with a half-gloom between
the trees."

Miss Florence Du Cane has much to say concerning Japanese rocks and
stones. What poetry is suggested in the names of some of these garden
stones--for example, "The Stone of Easy Rest." Then, among the lake
stones we have one called "Wild Wave Stone," that at once suggests
Matsushima, with its waves breaking against innumerable rocks.

The stone or wooden lamps are very important ornaments in a Japanese
garden. The idea was borrowed from Korea, and they are still sometimes
known as "Korean towers." They are seldom lit, except in temple
gardens, but they need no jewel of light to make them beautiful. They
are rich in amber and green moss, and in the winter they catch the
snow and make ghost lanterns of exquisite beauty. Another feature of
a Japanese garden is the _Torii_, a simple arch of wood shaped like a
huge Chinese character. Shintō in origin, no one has as yet discovered
what they were originally intended to represent, though there have
been many diverse opinions on the subject. These gates to nowhere are
extremely fascinating, and to look at them with the sea about their
feet is to dream of a far-away fairy tale of childhood.

The lakes, cascades, tiny bridges, the stepping-stones over the winding
ways of silver sand, form a place of retreat indeed. And then the
colour of the Japanese garden! Every month has some fresh colour scene
as the plum and cherry and peach-trees come into bloom. Trailing over
the ground among the pine-needles or looking into the clear blue lake,
one may see the azaleas. If there were ever a flower that personified
colour then it is surely the azalea. It is the rainbow of flowers,
and there seems scarcely a shade of colour not to be found in its
blossoms. To look at the azaleas is to look into the very paint-box of
Nature herself. Then at another season of the year we get the iris in
purple and lavender, yellow and white, or the beautiful rose-coloured
lotus that opens with a little explosion on the placid waters, as if
to herald its coming to perfection. The last colour glory of the year
is the splendour of the maple-trees. We have a fine crimson effect in
our English blackberry leaves, but they lie hidden in the wet autumn
hedges. In Japan the maples do not hide. They seem everywhere alive
in a splendid flame. In the autumn it appears as if the maple-trees
had conjured with the sunset, for at that time Japan is not the Land
of the Rising Sun, but the land of the sun going down in a great
pageant of red leaves. And is that the end of Nature's work for the
year? No, indeed. Last of all comes the snow, and the beauty of its
effect lies not so much in the soft flakes themselves, but in the way
they are caught and held upon the beautiful little houses and temples
and lanterns. See a Japanese garden then, and you see the white seal
of Nature's approval upon it all. The snow scene is perhaps Nature's
supreme touch in Japan, after all; and it is a scene dear to the hearts
of the Japanese. In midsummer a Japanese emperor once had the miniature
mountains in his gardens covered with white silk to suggest snow,
and, no doubt, to give an imaginary coolness to the scene. A slight
acquaintance with Japanese art will reveal the fact that snow affords a
favourite theme for the artist's brush.

Nature in Miniature

The Japanese, for the most part, are little in stature, and have a
love of things in miniature. Lafcadio Hearn tells a charming story of
a Japanese nun who used to play with children and give them rice-cakes
no bigger than peas and tea in very minute cups. Her love of very
small things came as the result of a great sorrow, but we see in this
Japanese love of little objects something pathetic in the nation as a
whole. Their love of dwarf trees, hundreds of years old, seems to say:
"Be honourably pleased never to grow big. We are a little people, and
so we love little things." The ancient pine, often less than a foot
in height, does not render its age oppressive, and is not a thing to
fear just because it is so very small. Westerners have been inclined to
describe the dwarf Japanese tree as unnatural. It is no more unnatural
than the Japanese smile, and reveals that the nation, like the Greeks
of old, is still closely in touch with Nature.

The Pine-tree

The pine-tree is the emblem of good fortune and longevity. That is
why we see this tree at almost every garden gate; and it must be
admitted that a pine-tree is a more graceful talisman than a rusty
old horse-shoe. In a certain Japanese play we find the following:
"The emblem of unchangeableness--exalted is their fame to the end of
time--the fame of the two pine-trees that have grown old together."
This refers to the famous pines of Takasago. Mr. Conder tells us
that at wedding feasts "a branch of the _male_ pine is placed in one
vessel and a branch of the _female_ pine in the other. The general
form of each design would be similar, but the branch of the _female_
pine facing the opposite vase should stretch a little beneath the
corresponding branch of the _male_ pine." In other words, it shows
that Woman's Suffrage exists not in Japan, and that the Japanese wife
is subject to her lord and master, which is a very pretty way of
suggesting, what is in England a very dangerous subject. The design
referred to above typifies "eternal union." The pine-tree really
symbolises the comradeship of love, the Darby and Joan stage of old
married people in Japan.

A Great Nature-lover

Kamo No Chōmei was a Buddhist recluse of the twelfth century, and he
wrote a little book called Hō-jō-ki ("Notes from a Ten-feet-square
Hut"). In this volume he describes how he left the ways of the world
and took up his abode in a hut on the mountain-side. Chōmei used to
sing and play and read his beloved books in the very heart of the
country. He writes: "When the sixtieth year of my life, now vanishing
as a dewdrop, approached, anew I made me an abode, a sort of last
leap, as it were, just as a traveller might run himself up a shelter
for a single night, or a decrepit silkworm weave its last cocoon." We
see him, a happy old man, slowly trudging along the hills, gathering
blossom as he went, ever watching with delighted eyes the ways and
secrets of Nature. With all his musings, so full of poetry, his
religious character plays a part. He writes with dry humour: "I do not
need to trouble myself about the strict observance of the commandments,
for, living as I do in complete solitude, how should I be tempted
to break them?" A very different experience to that of some of the
Indian anchorites, who find in solitude a veritable thunder-cloud of
temptation! But Chōmei was a happy soul, and we mention him here to
show that the mainstay of his life were not the things of the world,
but the workings of Nature on the hills and in the valleys, in the
flowers and in the trees, in the running water and in the rising moon.
To quote his own words: "You have fled from the world to live the life
of a recluse amid the wild woods and hills, thus to bring peace to your
soul and walk in the way of the Buddha."

The Festival of the Dead

We find the Festival of the Dead the greatest argument of all in
support of Japan's love of Nature. It was a woman's thought, this
Festival of the Dead, and there is something about it so tender, so
plaintive, that it could only have come from a woman. In July the
spirits of the dead return from their dark abode. Little meals are
prepared for this great company of ghosts, and the lanterns hang in the
cemeteries and on the pine-trees of good fortune at the garden gates.
The Japanese used to commit _hara-kiri_,[1] but let us not forget that
their souls come back again to wander in a country that seems to be
one great garden. And why do they come back? They come back with their
soft footsteps over the hills and far away from over the sea to look
at the flowers once more, to wander in the gardens where they spent so
many happy hours. They come, that invisible host, when the sun shines
brightly, when it seems that blossoms floating in the breeze suddenly
turn into butterflies, when life is at its full, when Death and the
dark place where Emma-Ō reigns cannot be endured. What a time to come
back again! What a silent compliment to Nature that that great company
of souls should wander back to her arms in the summer-time!

The Japanese Flag and the Chrysanthemum

Most of us are familiar with the Japanese flag depicting a red sun on
a white ground, and we should naturally suppose that such an emblem
was originally connected with the Sun Goddess. In this supposition,
however, we should be entirely wrong. Astrological designs in
ancient days figured upon the Chinese banners, and Professor B. H.
Chamberlain describes them thus: "The Sun with the Three-legged Crow
that inhabits it, the Moon with its Hare[2] and Cassia-tree, the Red
Bird representing the seven constellations of the southern quarter of
the zodiac, the Dark Warrior (a Tortoise) embracing the seven northern
constellations, the Azure Dragon embracing the seven eastern, the White
Tiger embracing the seven western, and a seventh banner representing
the Northern Bushel (Great Bear)." The Chinese banners depicting the
sun and moon were particularly noteworthy, because the sun represented
the Emperor's elder brother and the moon his sister. In the seventh
century the Japanese adopted these banners; but as time went on they
dropped many of the quaint astrological designs so dear to the heart
of the Chinese. When in 1859 a national flag became necessary the
sun banner pure and simple was adopted; but a plain orb without rays
was not sufficient, and a more elaborate design was executed--the
sixteen-petalled chrysanthemum. We can only conjecture the connection
between the sun and the chrysanthemum. Both were venerated in ancient
China, and we may assume that the Japanese artist, in wishing to depict
the sun's rays, found excellent material in copying the flower of a
wild chrysanthemum.

The chrysanthemum is Japan's national flower, and we owe to Nippon its
culture in our own country. Mythological scenes, particularly that
of the Treasure Ship with the Gods of Luck on board is a favourite
device, fashioned entirely with innumerable chrysanthemums. Boats,
castles, bridges, and various other objects are designed from the same
flower with wonderful dexterity. Japan has always been happy in her
use of names, and to no greater advantage than in the naming of her
chrysanthemums. There is poetry in such names as "Sleepy Head," "Golden
Dew," "White Dragon," and "Starlit Night."

The chrysanthemum is certainly a fitting symbolism for the Imperial
standard. Once, like our English rose, it figured as a badge in the War
of the Chrysanthemums, a protracted civil war that divided the nation
into two hostile factions. Now the chrysanthemum stands for a united

Lady White and Lady Yellow

Long ago there grew in a meadow a white and a yellow chrysanthemum side
by side. One day an old gardener chanced to come across them, and took
a great fancy to Lady Yellow. He told her that if she would come along
with him he would make her far more attractive, that he would give her
delicate food and fine clothes to wear.

Lady Yellow was so charmed with what the old man said that she forgot
all about her white sister and consented to be lifted up, carried in
the arms of the old gardener, and to be placed in his garden.

When Lady Yellow and her master had departed Lady White wept bitterly.
Her own simple beauty had been despised; but, what was far worse, she
was forced to remain in the meadow alone, without the converse of her
sister, to whom she had been devoted.

Day by day Lady Yellow grew more fair, in her master's garden. No one
would have recognised the common flower of the field now; but though
her petals were long and curled and her leaves so clean and well
cared for, she sometimes thought of Lady White alone in the field, and
wondered how she managed to make the long and lonely hours pass by.

One day a village chief came to the old man's garden in quest of a
perfect chrysanthemum that he might take to his lord for a crest
design.[3] He informed the old man that he did not want a fine
chrysanthemum with many long petals. What he wanted was a simple white
chrysanthemum with sixteen petals. The old man took the village chief
to see Lady Yellow; but this flower did not please him, and, thanking
the gardener, he took his departure.

On his way home he happened to enter a field, where he saw Lady White
weeping. She told him the sad story of her loneliness, and when she had
finished her tale of woe the village chief informed her that he had
seen Lady Yellow and did not consider her half as beautiful as her own
white self. At these cheering words Lady White dried her eyes, and she
nearly jumped off her little feet when this kind man told her that he
wanted her for his lord's crest!

In another moment the happy Lady White was being carried in a
palanquin. When she reached the _Daimyō's_ palace all warmly praised
her remarkable perfection of form. Great artists came from far and
near, sat about her, and sketched the flower with wonderful skill. She
soon needed no mirror, for ere long she saw her pretty white face
on all the _Daimyō's_ most precious belongings. She saw it on his
armour and lacquer boxes, on his quilts and cushions and robes. When
she looked upward she could see her face in great carved panels. She
was painted floating down a stream, and in all manner of quaint and
beautiful ways. Every one acknowledged that the white chrysanthemum,
with her sixteen petals, made the most wonderful crest in all Japan.

While Lady White's happy face lived for ever designed upon the
_Daimyō's_ possessions, Lady Yellow met with a sad fate. She had
bloomed for herself alone and drunk in the visitors' praise as eagerly
as she did the dew upon her finely curled petals. One day, however,
she felt a stiffness in her limbs and a cessation of the exuberance of
life. Her once proud head fell forward, and when the old man found her
he lifted her up and threw her upon a rubbish heap.


Kikuo ("Chrysanthemum-Old-Man") was the faithful retainer of Tsugaru.
One day his lord's force was overthrown, and the castle and fine
estates were taken away by the enemy; but fortunately Tsugaru and Kikuo
were able to escape to the mountains.

Kikuo, knowing his master's love of flowers, especially that of the
chrysanthemum, resolved to cultivate this flower to the best of his
ability, and in so doing to lessen a little of his master's remorse and
humiliation in exile.

His efforts pleased Tsugaru, but unfortunately that lord soon fell sick
and died, and the faithful Kikuo wept over his master's grave. Then
once more he returned to his work, and planted chrysanthemums about
his master's tomb till he had made a border thirty yards broad, so that
red, white, pink, yellow, and bronze blossoms scented the air, to the
wonder of all who chanced to come that way.

When Kikuo was about eighty-two he caught cold and was confined to his
humble dwelling, where he suffered considerable pain.

One autumn night, when he knew those beloved flowers dedicated to his
master were at their best, he saw in the verandah a number of young
children. As he gazed upon them he realised that they were not the
children of this world.

Two of these little ones drew near to Kikuo, and said: "We are the
spirits of your chrysanthemums, and have come to tell you how sorry
we are to find you ill. You have guarded and loved us with such care.
There was a man in China, Hozo by name, who lived eight hundred years
by drinking the dew from chrysanthemum blossoms. Gladly would we
lengthen out your days, but, alas! the Gods ordain otherwise. Within
thirty days you will die."

The old man expressed the wish that he might die in peace, and the
regret that he must needs leave behind him all his chrysanthemums.

"Listen," said one of the ghostly children: "we have all loved you,
Kikuo, for what you have done for us. When you die we shall die too."
As soon as these words were spoken a puff of wind blew against the
dwelling, and the spirits departed.

Kikuo grew worse instead of better, and on the thirtieth day he passed
away. When visitors came to see the chrysanthemums he had planted, all
had vanished. The villagers buried the old man near his master, and,
thinking to please Kikuo, they planted chrysanthemums near his grave;
but all died immediately they were put into the ground. Only grasses
grow over the tombs now. The child-souls of the chrysanthemums chatter
and sing and play with the spirit of Kikuo.

[Illustration: Shingé and Yoshisawa by the Violet Well.--166]

The Violet Well

Shingé and her waiting-maids were picnicking in the Valley of
Shimizutani, that lies between the mountains of Yoshino and Tsubosaka.
Shingé, full of the joy of spring, ran towards the Violet Well, where
she discovered great clumps of purple, sweet-scented violets. She was
about to pick the fragrant blossoms when a great snake darted forth,
and she immediately fainted.

When the maidens found her they saw that her lips were purple, as
purple as the violets that surrounded her, and when they saw the snake,
still lurking in the vicinity, they feared that their mistress would
die. Matsu, however, had sufficient presence of mind to throw her
basket of flowers at the snake, which at once crawled away.

Just at that moment a handsome youth appeared, and, explaining to the
maidens that he was a doctor, he gave Matsu some medicine, in order
that she might give it to her mistress.

While Matsu forced the powder into Shingé's mouth the doctor took up a
stick, disappeared for a few moments, and then returned with the dead
snake in his hands.

By this time Shingé had regained consciousness, and asked the name of
the physician to whom she was indebted for saving her life. But he
politely bowed, evaded her question, and then took his departure. Only
Matsu knew that the name of her mistress's rescuer was Yoshisawa.

When Shingé had been taken to her home she grew worse instead of
better. All the cleverest doctors came to her bedside, but could do
nothing to restore her to health.

Matsu knew that her mistress was gradually fading away for love of
the handsome man who had saved her life, and she therefore talked the
matter over with her master, Zembei. Matsu told him the story, and said
that although Yoshisawa was of a low birth, belonging to the Eta, the
lowest caste in Japan, who live by killing and skinning animals, yet
nevertheless he was extremely courteous and had the manner and bearing
of a _samurai_. "Nothing," said Matsu, "will restore your daughter to
health unless she marries this handsome physician."

Both Zembei and his wife were dismayed at these words, for Zembei was
a great _daimyō_, and could not for one moment tolerate the idea of
his daughter marrying one of the Eta class. However, he agreed to make
inquiries concerning Yoshisawa, and Matsu returned to her mistress with
something like good news. When Matsu had told Shingé what her father
was doing on her behalf she rallied considerably, and was able to take

When Shingé was nearly well again Zembei called her to him and said
that he had made careful inquiries concerning Yoshisawa, and could on
no account agree to her marrying him.

Shingé wept bitterly, and brooded long over her sorrow with a weary
heart. The next morning she was not to be found in the house or in the
garden. Search was made in every direction; even Yoshisawa himself
sought her everywhere; but those who sought her found her not. She had
mysteriously disappeared, burdened with a sorrow that now made her
father realise the effect of his harsh decree.

After three days she was found lying at the bottom of the Violet Well,
and shortly after Yoshisawa, overcome with grief, sought a similar end
to his troubles. It is said that on stormy nights the ghost of Shingé
is to be seen floating over the well, while near by comes the sound of
the weeping of Yoshisawa.

The Ghost of the Lotus Lily

     "O Resurrection, Resurrection of World and Life!
     Lo, Sun ascend! The lotus buds flash with hearts parted,
     With one chant 'Namu, Amida!'"
                                       _Yone Noguchi_.

The lotus is the sacred flower of Buddhism. Because it grows out of
mud, rears its stalk through water, and from such dark and slimy
beginnings yields a lovely flower, it has been compared with a virtuous
man dwelling in this wicked world. Sir Monier Williams writes: "Its
constant use as an emblem seems to result from the wheel-like form of
the flower, the petals taking the place of spokes, and thus typifying
the doctrine of perpetual cycles of existence." Buddha is frequently
portrayed as either standing or sitting upon a golden lotus, and the
flower reminds us of the Buddhist _sutra_, known as the "Lotus of the
Good Law."

Thus Lafcadio Hearn describes the lotus of Paradise: "They are
gardening, these charming beings!--they are caressing the lotus buds,
sprinkling their petals with something celestial, helping them to
blossom. And what lotus-buds! with colours not of this world. Some
have burst open; and in their luminous hearts, in a radiance like that
of dawn, tiny naked infants are seated, each with a tiny halo. These
are Souls, new Buddhas, _hotoke_ born into bliss! Some are very, very
small; others larger; all seem to be growing visibly, for their lovely
nurses are feeding them with something ambrosial. I see one which has
left its lotus-cradle, being conducted by a celestial Jizō toward the
higher splendours far away."

So much, then, for the celestial lotus and for its intimate connection
with Buddhism. In the following legend we find this flower possessed
with the magical power of keeping away evil spirits.

A certain disease broke out in Kyōto from which many thousands of
people died. It spread to Idzumi, where the Lord of Koriyama lived, and
Koriyama, his wife and child, were stricken down with the malady.

One day Tada Samon, a high official in Koriyama's castle, received a
visit from a _yamabushi_, or mountain recluse. This man was full of
concern for the illness of the Lord Koriyama, and, addressing Samon,
he said: "All this trouble has come about through the entrance of evil
spirits in the castle. They have come because the moats about the abode
are dry and contain no lotus. If these moats were at once planted with
this sacred flower the evil spirits would depart, and your lord, his
wife and child, grow well again."

Samon was much impressed by these wise words, and permission was
given for this recluse to plant lotus about the castle. When he had
accomplished his task he mysteriously disappeared.

Within a week the Lord Koriyama, his wife and son, were able to get up
and resume their respective duties, for by this time the walls had been
repaired, the moats filled with pure water, which reflected the nodding
heads of countless lotus.

Many years later, and after the Lord Koriyama had died, a young
_samurai_ chanced to pass by the castle moats. He was gazing admiringly
at these flowers when he suddenly saw two extremely handsome boys
playing on the edge of the water. He was about to lead them to a safer
place when they sprang into the air and, falling, disappeared beneath
the water.

The astonished _samurai_, believing that he had seen a couple of
_kappas_,[5] or river goblins, made a hasty retreat to the castle,
and there reported his strange adventure. When he had told his story
the moats were dragged and cleaned, but nothing could be found of the
supposed _kappas_.

A little later on another _samurai_, Murata Ippai, saw near the same
lotus a number of beautiful little boys. He drew his sword and cut them
down, breathing in as he did so the heavy perfume of this sacred flower
with every stroke of his weapon. When Ippai looked about him to see
how many of these strange beings he had killed, there arose before him
a cloud of many colours, a cloud that fell upon his face with a fine

As it was too dark to ascertain fully the extent and nature of his
onslaught, Ippai remained all night by the spot. When he awoke in the
morning he found to his disgust that he had only struck off the heads
of a number of lotus. Knowing that this beneficent flower had saved the
life of the Lord Koriyama, and now protected that of his son, Ippai was
filled with shame and remorse. Saying a prayer by the water's edge, he
committed _hara-kiri_.

The Spirit of the Peony

It had been arranged that the Princess Aya should marry the second son
of Lord Ako. The arrangements, according to Japanese custom, had been
made entirely without the consent or approval of the actual parties

One night Princess Aya walked through the great garden of her home,
accompanied by her waiting-maids. The moon shone brightly upon her
favourite peony bed near a pond, and covered the sweet-scented blooms
in a silver sheen. Here she lingered, and was stooping to breathe the
fragrance of these flowers when her foot slipped, and she would have
fallen had not a handsome young man, clad in a robe of embroidered
peonies, rescued her just in time. He vanished as quickly and
mysteriously as he had come, before, indeed, she had time to thank him.

It so happened that shortly after this event the Princess Aya became
very ill, and in consequence the day for her marriage had to be
postponed. All the medical aid available was useless to restore the
feverish maiden to health again.

The Princess Aya's father asked his favourite daughter's maid, Sadayo,
if she could throw any light upon this lamentable affair.

Sadayo, although hitherto bound to secrecy, felt that the time had come
when it was wise, indeed essential, to communicate all she knew in the
matter. She told her master that the Princess Aya was deeply in love
with the young _samurai_ wearing the robes embroidered with peonies,
adding that if he could not be found she feared that her young mistress
would die.

That night, while a celebrated player was performing upon the _biwa_ in
the hope of entertaining the sick Princess, there once more appeared
behind the peonies the same young man in the same silk robe.

The next night, too, while Yae and Yakumo were playing on the flute and
_koto_, the young man appeared again.

The Princess Aya's father now resolved to get at the root of the
matter, and for this purpose he bade Maki Hiogo dress in black and lie
concealed in the peony bed on the following night.

When the next night came Maki Hiogo lay hidden among the peonies, while
Yae and Yakumo made sweet music. Not long after the music had sounded
the mysterious young _samurai_ again appeared. Maki Hiogo rose from his
hiding-place with his arms tightly bound round this strange visitor.
A cloud seemed to emanate from his captive. It made him dizzy, and he
fell to the ground still tightly holding the handsome _samurai_.

Just as a number of guards came hurrying to the spot Maki Hiogo
regained consciousness. He looked down expecting to see his captive.
But all that he held in his arms was a large peony!

By this time Princess Aya and her father joined the astonished group,
and the Lord Naizen-no-jo at once grasped the situation. "I see now,"
said he, "that the spirit of the peony flower had a moment ago, and on
former occasions, taken the form of a young and handsome _samurai_. My
daughter, you must take this flower and treat it with all kindness."

The Princess Aya needed to be told no more. She returned to the house,
placed the peony in a vase, and stood it by her bedside. Day by day she
got better, while the flower flourished exceedingly.

When the Princess Aya was quite well the Lord of Ako arrived at the
castle, bringing with him his second son, whom she was to marry. In
due time the wedding took place, but at that hour the beautiful peony
suddenly died.

[Footnote 1: _Hara-kiri_, or _seppuku_, is the term applied to suicide
among the _samurai_ class. For detailed account see _Tales of Old
Japan_, by A. B. Mitford (Lord Redesdale).]

[Footnote 2: To this day Japanese peasants still believe in the Hare in
the Moon. This animal employs its time in pounding rice in a mortar and
making it into cakes. The origin of this conception is probably to be
found in a pun, for "rice-cake" and "full moon" are both described by
the word _mochi_.]

[Footnote 3: The sixteen-petalled chrysanthemum is one of the crests of
the Imperial family, while the other represents the flowers and leaves
of the paulownia. Crests in Japan are not confined to the wealthy
classes. The crest is still worn upon the upper part of the native
garment, to be seen on each breast and sleeve, and upon the back of
the neck. Favourite designs are derived from the bamboo, birds, fans,
Chinese characters, &c.]

[Footnote 4: This story and those that follow in this chapter have
been adapted from _Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan_, by R. Gordon

[Footnote 5: Referred to elsewhere in the chapter dealing with
Supernatural Beings.]


        "One day Kinto Fujiwara, Great Adviser of State,
        disputed with the Minister of Uji which was the fairest
        of spring and autumn flowers. Said the Minister: 'The
        Cherry is surely best among the flowers of spring,
        the Chrysanthemum among those of autumn.' Then Kinto
        said, 'How can the cherry-blossom be the best? You have
        forgotten the Plum.' Their dispute came at length to
        be confined to the superiority of the Cherry and Plum,
        and of other flowers little notice was taken. At length
        Kinto, not wishing to offend the Minister, did not argue
        so vehemently as before, but said, 'Well, have it so;
        the Cherry may be the prettier of the two; but when once
        you have seen the red plum-blossom in the snow at the
        dawn of a spring morning, you will no longer forget its
        beauty.' This truly was a gentle saying."

                   "_The Garden of Japan," by_ Sir F. T. Piggott.

Cherry and Plum

The supreme floral glory of Japan takes place in April with the coming
of the cherry-blossom, and, as we have seen in the above quotation,
it is the cherry and plum that are regarded with the most favour. The
poet Motoöri wrote: "If one should ask you concerning the heart of a
true Japanese, point to the wild cherry flower glowing in the sun," and
Lafcadio Hearn, without the least exaggeration, but with true poetic
insight, has compared Japan's cherry-blossom with a delicate sunset
that has, as it were, strayed from the sky and lingered about the
leafless branches.

The really great wonders of Nature, to those who are sufficiently
susceptible to the beautiful, are apt to leave behind an indefinable
yearning, a regret that so much loveliness must needs pass away,
and this gentle touch of sorrow mingled with the ecstasy is easily
discovered in much of the Japanese poetry. It is a point worthy of
emphasis because it reveals a temperament charged with a supreme love
of the beautiful, this craving for a petal that shall never wither, a
colour that shall never fade. Thus sang Korunushi:

     "No man so callous but he heaves a sigh
     When o'er his head the withered cherry flowers
     Come fluttering down. Who knows? the Spring's soft showers
     May be but tears shed by the sorrowing sky."
                                 Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.

One of the greatest tributes Japan has paid to the cherry is as
follows: "The cherry-trees in the far-away mountain villages should
keep back their blooms until the flowers in the town have faded, for
then the people will go out to see them too." A Japanese woman's beauty
is frequently associated with the cherry-blossom, while her virtue is
compared with the flower of the plum.

The Camellia

The Precious-Camellia of Yaegaki, with its double trunk and immense
head, is of great age, and is regarded as so sacred that it is
surrounded by a fence, and stone lamps are placed about it. The tree's
unique shape, with the double trunk growing together in the middle,
has given rise to the belief that this extraordinary tree symbolises a
happy wedded life, and, moreover, that good spirits inhabit it, ever
ready to answer the ardent prayers of lovers.

The camellia-tree is not always beneficent. A legend is recorded of a
tree of this species walking about at night in a _samurai's_ garden at
Matsue. Its strange and restless wanderings became so frequent that at
last the tree was cut down, and it is said that when it was struck it
shot forth a stream of blood.

The Cryptomeria

Another tree held in high veneration is the imposing cryptomeria,
and there is one avenue of these trees stretching from Utsunomiya
to Nikkō, a distance of twenty miles. One of these trees is seven
feet in diameter, and is said to have been planted "by a deputation
representing eight hundred Buddhist nuns of the province of Wakasa."
Later on in this chapter we give a legend connected with this
particular tree.

A Pine-tree and the God of Roads

In the grounds of the great _hakaba_ (cemetery) of the Kwannondera is
a pine-tree standing upon four great roots that have the appearance
of gigantic legs. About this tree is a fence, shrine, and a number of
_torii_. Before the shrine repose miniature horses made from straw.
These are offerings to Kōshin, the God of Roads, entreaties that
the real horses which they symbolise may be preserved from death or
sickness. The pine-tree, however, is not usually associated with
Kōshin. It may be fittingly described as the most domestic of Japanese
trees, for it takes a conspicuous place in the New Year festival[1]--a
tree to plant at the garden gate, because it is said to bring good luck
and, especially, happy marriages.

A Tree Spirit

As we shall see in the legends that follow, more than one variety of
Japanese trees is endowed with supernatural power. There is a tree
spirit known as Ki-no-o-baké that is capable of walking about and
assuming various guises. The spirit of the tree speaks but little, and
if disturbed disappears into the trunk or among the leaves. The spirit
of the God Kōjin[2] resides in the _enoki_ tree, the God to whom very
old dolls are dedicated.

The Miraculous Chestnut

The Princess Hinako-Nai-Shinnō begged that chestnuts should be brought
to her; but she took but one, bit it, and threw it away. It took root,
and upon all the chestnuts that it eventually bore there were the marks
of the Princess's small teeth. In honouring her death the chestnut had
expressed its devotion in this strange way.

The Silent Pine

The Emperor Go-Toba, who strongly objected to the croaking of frogs,
was on one occasion disturbed by a wind-blown pine-tree. When his
Majesty loudly commanded it to be still, the pine-tree never for a
moment moved again. So greatly impressed was this obedient tree that
the fiercest wind failed to stir its branches, or even its myriad

Willow Wife[3]

     "I have heard of the magical incense that summons the souls of the
     Would I had some to burn, in the nights when I wait alone."
                                             _From the Japanese_.

In a certain Japanese village there grew a great willow-tree. For many
generations the people loved it. In the summer it was a resting-place,
a place where the villagers might meet after the work and heat of the
day were over, and there talk till the moonlight streamed through the
branches. In winter it was like a great half-opened umbrella covered
with sparkling snow.

Heitaro, a young farmer, lived quite near this tree, and he, more than
any of his companions, had entered into a deep communion with the
imposing willow. It was almost the first object he saw upon waking,
and upon his return from work in the fields he looked out eagerly for
its familiar form. Sometimes he would burn a joss-stick beneath its
branches and kneel down and pray.

One day an old man of the village came to Heitaro and explained to him
that the villagers were anxious to build a bridge over the river, and
that they particularly wanted the great willow-tree for timber.

"For timber?" said Heitaro, hiding his face in his hands. "My dear
willow-tree for a bridge, one to bear the incessant patter of feet?
Never, never, old man!"

When Heitaro had somewhat recovered himself, he offered to give the old
man some of his own trees, if he and the villagers would accept them
for timber and spare the ancient willow.

The old man readily accepted this offer, and the willow-tree continued
to stand in the village as it had stood for so many years.

One night while Heitaro sat under the great willow he suddenly saw a
beautiful woman standing close beside him, looking at him shyly, as if
wanting to speak.

"Honourable lady," said he, "I will go home. I see you wait for some
one. Heitaro is not without kindness towards those who love."

"He will not come now," said the woman, smiling.

"Can he have grown cold? Oh, how terrible when a mock love comes and
leaves ashes and a grave behind!"

"He has not grown cold, dear lord."

"And yet he does not come! What strange mystery is this?"

"He has come! His heart has been always here, here under this
willow-tree." And with a radiant smile the woman disappeared.

Night after night they met under the old willow-tree. The woman's
shyness had entirely disappeared, and it seemed that she could not hear
too much from Heitaro's lips in praise of the willow under which they

One night he said to her: "Little one, will you be my wife--you who
seem to come from the very tree itself?"

"Yes," said the woman. "Call me Higo ("Willow") and ask no questions,
for love of me. I have no father or mother, and some day you will

Heitaro and Higo were married, and in due time they were blessed with a
child, whom they called Chiyodō. Simple was their dwelling, but those
it contained were the happiest people in all Japan.

While this happy couple went about their respective duties great news
came to the village. The villagers were full of it, and it was not long
before it reached Heitaro's ears. The ex-Emperor Toba wished to build
a temple to Kwannon[4] in Kyōto, and those in authority sent far and
wide for timber. The villagers said that they must contribute towards
building the sacred edifice by presenting their great willow-tree.
All Heitaro's argument and persuasion and promise of other trees were
ineffectual, for neither he nor any one else could give as large and
handsome a tree as the great willow.

Heitaro went home and told his wife. "Oh, wife," said he, "they are
about to cut down our dear willow-tree! Before I married you I could
not have borne it. Having you, little one, perhaps I shall get over it
some day."

That night Heitaro was aroused by hearing a piercing cry. "Heitaro,"
said his wife, "it grows dark! The room is full of whispers. Are you
there, Heitaro? Hark! They are cutting down the willow-tree. Look how
its shadow trembles in the moonlight. I am the soul of the willow-tree!
The villagers are killing me. Oh, how they cut and tear me to pieces!
Dear Heitaro, the pain, the pain! Put your hands here, and here. Surely
the blows cannot fall now?"

"My Willow Wife! My Willow Wife!" sobbed Heitaro.

"Husband," said Higo, very faintly, pressing her wet, agonised face
close to his, "I am going now. Such a love as ours cannot be cut down,
however fierce the blows. I shall wait for you and Chiyodo---- My hair
is falling through the sky! My body is breaking!"

There was a loud crash outside. The great willow-tree lay green and
dishevelled upon the ground. Heitaro looked round for her he loved more
than anything else in the world. Willow Wife had gone!

The Tree of the One-eyed Priest

In ancient days there stood on the summit of Oki-yama a temple
dedicated to Fudo, a god surrounded by fire, with sword in one hand and
rope in the other. For twenty years Yenoki had performed his office,
and one of his duties was to guard Fudo, who sat in a shrine, only
accessible to the high-priest himself. During the whole of this period
Yenoki had rendered faithful service and resisted the temptation to
take a peep at this extremely ugly god. One morning, finding that the
door of the shrine was not quite closed, his curiosity overcame him and
he peeped within. No sooner had he done so than he became stone-blind
in one eye and suffered the humiliation of being turned into a

He lived for a year after these deplorable happenings, and then died.
His spirit passed into a great cryptomeria-tree standing on the east
side of the mountain, and from that day Yenoki's spirit was invoked
by sailors who were harassed by storms on the Chinese Sea. If a light
blazed from the tree in answer to their prayers, it was a sure sign
that the storm would abate.

At the foot of Oki-yama there was a village, where, sad to relate, the
young people were very lax in their morals. During the Festival of the
Dead they performed a dance known as the Bon Odori. These dances were
very wild affairs indeed, and were accompanied by flirtations of a
violent and wicked nature. The dances became more unrestrained as years
went by, and the village got a bad name for immoral practices among the
young people.

After a particularly wild celebration of the Bon a young maiden
named Kimi set out to find her lover, Kurosuke. Instead of finding
him she saw an extremely good-looking youth, who smiled upon her and
continually beckoned. Kimi forgot all about Kurosuke; indeed, from that
moment she hated him and eagerly followed the enticing youth. Nine fair
but wicked maidens disappeared from the village in a similar way, and
always it was the same youth who lured them astray in this mysterious

The elders of the village consulted together, and came to the
conclusion that the spirit of Yenoki was angry with the excesses
connected with the Bon festival, and had assumed the form of a handsome
youth for the purpose of administering severe admonition. The Lord of
Kishiwada accordingly summoned Sonobé to his presence, and bade him
journey to the great cryptomeria-tree on Oki-yama.

When Sonobé reached his destination he thus addressed the ancient
tree: "Oh, home of Yenoki's spirit, I upbraid you for carrying away our
daughters. If this continues I shall cut down the tree, so that you
will be compelled to seek lodging elsewhere."

Sonobé had no sooner spoken than rain began to fall, and he heard the
rumblings of a mighty earthquake. Then from out of the tree Yenoki's
spirit suddenly appeared. He explained that many of the young people of
Sonobé's village had offended against the Gods by their misconduct, and
that he had, as conjectured, assumed the form of a handsome youth in
order to take away the principal offenders. "You will find them," added
the spirit of Yenoki, "bound to trees on the second summit of this
mountain. Go, release them, and allow them to return to the village.
They have not only repented of their follies, but will now persuade
others to live nobler and purer lives." And with these words Yenoki
disappeared into his tree.

Sonobé set off to the second summit and released the maidens. They
returned to their homes, good and dutiful daughters, and from that day
to this the Gods have been well satisfied with the general behaviour of
the village that nestles at the foot of Oki-yama.

The Burning of Three Dwarf Trees

In the reign of the Emperor Go-Fukakusa there lived a celebrated
Regent, Saimyoji Tokiyori. When thirty years of age this Regent retired
to a monastery for several years, and not infrequently his peace of
mind was sadly disturbed by stories of peasants who suffered at the
hands of tyrannical officials. Now Tokiyori loved above everything
the welfare of his people, and after giving the matter careful
consideration he determined to disguise himself, travel from place to
place, and discover in an intimate way the heart of the poorer people,
and later on to do all in his power to suppress malpractice on the part
of various officials.

Tokiyori accordingly set out upon his excellent mission, and finally
came to Sano, in the province of Kozuki. Now it was the time of
winter, and a heavy snowstorm caused the royal wanderer to lose his
way. After wearily tramping about for several hours in the hope of
finding shelter, he was about to make the best of the matter by
sleeping under a tree when, to his joy, he noticed a small thatched
cottage nestling under a hill at no great distance. To this cottage
he went, and explained to the woman who greeted him that he had lost
his way and would be much indebted to her if she would afford him
shelter for the night. The good woman explained that as her husband
was away from home, it would be disloyal as his wife to give shelter
to a stranger. Tokiyori not only took this reply in good part, but
he greatly rejoiced, in spite of a night in the snow, to find such a
virtuous woman. But he had not gone far from the cottage when he heard
a man calling to him. Tokiyori stood still, and presently he saw some
one beckoning him. The man explained that he was the husband of the
woman the ex-Regent had just left, and cordially invited one whom he
took to be a wandering priest to return with him and accept such humble
hospitality as was available.

When Tokiyori was sitting in the little cottage simple fare was
spread before him, and as he had eaten nothing since the morning he
did full justice to the meal. But the fact that millet and not rice
was provided clearly conveyed to the observant Tokiyori that here was
poverty indeed, but with it all a generosity that went straight to his
heart. Nor was this all, for, the meal finished, they gathered round
the fire that was fast dying out for want of fuel. The good man of the
house turned to the fuel-box. Alas! it was empty. Without a moment's
hesitation he went out into the garden, heavily covered with snow,
and brought back with him three pots of dwarf trees, pine, plum, and
cherry. Now in Japan dwarf trees are held in high esteem; much time and
care is bestowed upon them, and their age and unique beauty have made
them dear to the people of Nippon. In spite of Tokiyori's remonstrance
his host broke up these little trees, and thus made a cheerful blaze.

It was this incident, scarcely to be fully appreciated by a Westerner,
that caused Tokiyori to question his host, whose very possession of
these valuable trees strongly suggested that this generous man was
not a farmer by birth, but had taken to this calling by force of
circumstance. The ex-Regent's conjecture proved to be correct, and his
host, with some reluctance, finally explained that he was a _samurai_
by the name of Sano Genzalmon Tsuneyo. He had been forced to take up
farming owing to the dishonesty of one of his relatives.

Tokiyori readily recalled the name of this _samurai_ before him, and
suggested that he should make an appeal for redress. Sano explained
that as the good and just Regent had died (so he thought), and as his
successor was very young, he considered it was worse than useless to
present a petition. But, nevertheless, he went on to explain to his
interested listener that should there come a call to arms he would be
the first to make an appearance at Kamakura. It was this thought of
some day being of use to his country that had sweetened the days of his

The conversation, so rapidly suggested in this story, was in reality
a lengthy one, and by the time it was concluded already a new day
had begun. And when the storm-doors had been opened it was to reveal
sunlight streaming over a world of snow. Before taking his departure
Tokiyori warmly thanked his host and hostess for their hospitality.
When this kindly visitor had gone Sano suddenly remembered that he had
forgotten to inquire the name of his guest.

Now it happened that in the following spring a call to arms was
instituted by the Government at Kamakura. No sooner had Sano heard
the joyful news than he set out to obey the summons. His armour was
shabby in the extreme, his halberd covered with rust, and his horse
was in a very poor condition. He presented a sorry figure among the
resplendent knights he found in Kamakura. Many of these knights made
uncomplimentary remarks concerning him, but Sano bore this insolence
without a word. While he stood, a forlorn figure, among the sparkling
ranks of _samurai_ about him, a herald approached riding on a
magnificent horse, and carrying a banner bearing the house-crest of
the Regent. With a loud, clear voice he bade the knight wearing the
shabbiest armour to appear before his master. Sano obeyed the summons
with a heavy heart. He thought that the Regent was about to rebuke him
for appearing in such a gaily decked company clad in such miserable

This humble knight was surprised by the cordial welcome he received,
and still more surprised when a servant pushed aside the screens of
an adjoining room and revealed the Regent Saimyoji Tokiyori, who was
none other than the priest who had taken shelter in his little home.
Nor had Tokiyori forgotten the burning of the dwarf pine, plum, and
cherry-trees. Out of that sacrifice, readily given without a thought of
gain, came the thirty villages of which Sano had been robbed. This was
only Sano's due, and in addition the grateful Tokiyori had the happy
idea of presenting this faithful knight with the village of Matsu-idu,
Umeda, and Sakurai, _matsu_, _ume_, and _sakura_ being the Japanese
names for pine, plum, and cherry.

The Pine-tree Lovers

     "The dawn is near,
     And the hoar-frost falls
     On the fir-tree twigs;
     But its leaves' dark green
     Suffer no change.
     Morning and evening
     Beneath its shade
     The leaves are swept away,
     Yet they never fail.
     True it is
     That these fir-trees
     Shed not all their leaves;
     Their verdure remains fresh
     For ages long,
     As the Masaka trailing vine;
     Even amongst evergreen trees--
     The emblem of unchangeableness--
     Exalted is their fame
     As a symbol to the end of time--
     The fame of the fir-trees that have grown
       old together."
          "_Takasago_." (Trans. by W. G. Aston.)

The _Takasago_ is generally considered one of the finest of the _Nō_,
or classical dramas. The _Nō_ was performed by statuesque players who
chanted in an ancient dialect. It belonged to that period of Japanese
formality fittingly described as "Heav'n to hear tell about, but Hell
to see." The theme of the _Takasago_ seems to be a relic of a phallic
cult common enough in the history of primitive nations. The pine-tree
of Takasago symbolises longevity, and in the following chorus from this
drama we may gather the potency of this evergreen tree:

     "And now, world without end,
     The extended arms of the dancing maidens
     In sacerdotal robes
     Will expel noxious influences;
     Their hands folded to rest in their bosoms
     Will embrace all good fortune;
     The hymn of a thousand autumns
     Will draw down blessings on the people,
     And the song of ten thousand years
     Prolong our sovereign's life.
     And all the while
     The voice of the breeze,
     As it blows through the firs
     That grow old together,
     Will yield us delight."

The efficacy of the pine-tree is still believed in to this day. It is
conspicuous in the festival of the San-ga-nichi, when pine branches
decorate the gateways during the New Year festivities. Both this use
of the pine-tree and that of this particular _Nō_ drama owe their
origin to the great pine-tree of Takasago, about which we narrate the
following legend.

In ancient days there lived at Takasago a fisherman, his wife, and
little daughter Matsue. There was nothing that Matsue loved to do more
than to sit under the great pine-tree. She was particularly fond of the
pine-needles that never seemed tired of falling to the ground. With
these she fashioned a beautiful dress and sash, saying: "I will not
wear these pine-clothes until my wedding-day."

One day, while Matsue was sitting under the pine-tree, she sang the
following song:

     "No man so callous but he heaves a sigh
     When o'er his head the withered cherry flowers
     Come fluttering down. Who knows? the Spring's soft showers
     May be but tears shed by the sorrowing sky."

While she thus sang Teoyo stood on the steep shore of Sumiyoshi
watching the flight of a heron. Up, up it went into the blue sky,
and Teoyo saw it fly over the village where the fisherfolk and their
daughter lived.

Now Teoyo was a youth who dearly loved adventure, and he thought it
would be very delightful to swim across the sea and discover the land
over which the heron had flown. So one morning he dived into the sea
and swam so hard and so long that the poor fellow found the waves
spinning and dancing, and saw the great sky bend down and try to touch
him. Then he lay unconscious on the water; but the waves were kind to
him after all, for they pressed him on and on till he was washed up at
the very place where Matsue sat under the pine-tree.

Matsue carefully dragged Teoyo underneath the sheltering branches, and
then set him down upon a couch of pine-needles, where he soon regained
consciousness, and warmly thanked Matsue for her kindness.

Teoyo did not go back to his own country, for after a few happy months
had gone by he married Matsue, and on her wedding morn she wore her
dress and sash of pine-needles.

When Matsue's parents died her loss only seemed to make her love Teoyo
the more. The older they grew the more they loved each other. Every
night, when the moon shone, they went hand in hand to the pine-tree,
and with their little rakes they made a couch for the morrow.

One night the great silver face of the moon peered through the branches
of the pine-tree and looked in vain for the old lovers sitting
together on a couch of pine-needles. Their little rakes lay side by
side, and still the moon waited for the slow and stumbling steps of
the Pine-Tree Lovers. But that night they did not come. They had gone
home to an everlasting resting-place on the River of Souls. They had
loved so well and so splendidly, in old age as well as in youth, that
the Gods allowed their souls to come back again and wander round the
pine-tree that had listened to their love for so many years. When the
moon is full they whisper and laugh and sing and draw the pine-needles
together, while the sea sings softly upon the shore.

[Footnote 1: See Chapter XVII.]

[Footnote 2: See Chapter XVI.]

[Footnote 3: This story and the one that follows have been adapted from
_Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan_, by R. Gordon Smith.]

[Footnote 4: See Chapter XV.]

[Footnote 5: A long-nosed creature referred to elsewhere.]


        "As the sword is the soul of a _samurai_, so is the
        mirror the soul of a woman."

        "When the mirror is dim the soul is unclean."

                                                 _Japanese Proverbs_.

The Significance of Japanese Mirrors

Old Japanese metal mirrors are circular, the surface convex, and the
back adorned with elaborate designs in relief of flowers, birds, and
other scenes from Nature. Professor B. H. Chamberlain writes: "An
extraordinary peculiarity characterises some of these Japanese mirrors:
sunlight reflected from their _face_ displays a luminous image of the
design on their _back_! So strange a phenomenon has naturally attracted
the attention of men of science. After much speculation, it has been
clearly proved by Professors Ayrton and Perry to arise from the fact
that the curvature of the face of the mirror over the plain part of
the back is greater than over the design." It is the phenomenon rather
than the possible explanation of it that interests us, and no doubt
this strange occurrence accounts in some measure for the magical
significance of Nipponese mirrors.

The great legendary idea underlying Japanese mirrors is just this, that
the mirror, through constant reflection of its owner's face, draws
to itself the very soul of its possessor, and, as we shall see later
on, something of the same idea is to be traced in regard to old but
much-loved Japanese dolls.

Hidari Jingorō

The famous sculptor Hidari Jingorō on one occasion happened to fall
in love with a very attractive woman whom he met in the street on his
return to his studio. He was so fascinated by her rare beauty that as
soon as he had reached his destination he commenced to carve a statue
of her. Between the chiselled robes he placed a mirror, the mirror
which the lovely woman had dropped, and which her eager lover had at
once picked up. Because this mirror had reflected a thousand thousand
times that fair face, it had taken to its shining surface the very body
and soul of its owner, and because of these strange things the statue
came to life, to the extreme happiness of sculptor and maid.

The Divine Mirror

Long before the Japanese mirror was a familiar object in the house it
had a very deep religious significance in connection with Shintōism.
The Divine Mirror into which the Sun Goddess gazed reposes at Ise.
Other mirrors are to be found in Shintō shrines; indeed, these mirrors
are the essential part of a shrine remarkable for its simplicity. The
mirror "typifies the human heart, which, when perfectly placid and
clear, reflects the very image of the deity." In the _Kojiki_ we are
told that Izanagi presented his children with a polished silver disc,
and bade them kneel before it every morning and evening and examine
their reflections. He told them to think of heavenly things, to stifle
passion and all evil thought, so that the disc should reveal a pure and
lovely soul.

The Soul of a Mirror

The shrine of Ogawachi-Myōjin fell into decay, and the Shintō priest
in charge, Matsumura, journeyed to Kyōto in the hope of successfully
appealing to the Shōgun for a grant for the restoration of the temple.

Matsumura and his family resided in a house in Kyōto, said to be
extremely unlucky, and many tenants had thrown themselves into the
well on the north-east side of the dwelling. But Matsumura took no
notice of these tales, and was not the least afraid of evil spirits.

During the summer of that year there was a great drought in Kyōto.
Though the river-beds dried up and many wells failed for want of rain,
the well in Matsumura's garden was full to overflowing. The distress
elsewhere, owing to want of water, forced many poor people to beg for
it, and for all their drawing the water in this particular well did not

One day, however, a dead body was found lying in the well, that of a
servant who had come to fetch water. In his case suicide was out of the
question, and it seemed impossible that he should have accidentally
fallen in. When Matsumura heard of the fatality he went to inspect
the well. To his surprise the water stirred with a strange rocking
movement. When the motion lessened he saw reflected in the clear
water the form of a fair young woman. She was touching her lips with
_beni_. At length she smiled upon him. It was a strange smile that made
Matsumura feel dizzy, a smile that blotted out everything else save
the beautiful woman's face. He felt an almost irresistible desire to
fling himself into the water in order that he might reach and hold this
enchanting woman. He struggled against this strange feeling, however,
and was able after a while to enter the house, where he gave orders
that a fence should be built round the well, and that from thenceforth
no one, on any pretext whatever, should draw water there.

Shortly afterwards the drought came to an end. For three days and
nights there was a continuous downpour of rain, and the city shook
with an earthquake. On the third night of the storm there was a loud
knocking at Matsumura's door. The priest himself inquired who his
visitor might be. He half opened the door, and saw once more the woman
he had seen in the well. He refused her admission, and asked why she
had been guilty of taking the lives of so many harmless and innocent

Thus the woman made answer: "Alas! good priest, I have never desired to
lure human beings to their death. It is the Poison Dragon, who lived
in that well, who forced me against my will to entice people to death.
But now the Gods have compelled the Poison Dragon to live elsewhere,
so that to-night I was able to leave my place of captivity. Now there
is but little water in the well, and if you will search there you will
find my body. Take care of it for me, and I shall not fail to reward
your goodness." With these words she vanished as suddenly as she had

Next day well-cleaners searched the well, and discovered some ancient
hair ornaments and an old metal mirror.

Matsumura, being a wise man, took the mirror and cleaned it, believing
that it might reveal a solution to the mystery.

Upon the back of the mirror he discovered several characters. Many of
the ideographs were too blurred to be legible, but he managed to make
out "third month, the third day." In ancient time the third month used
to be called _Yayoi_, or Month of Increase, and remembering that the
woman had called herself Yayoi, Matsumura realised that he had probably
received a visit from the Soul of the Mirror.

Matsumura took every care of the mirror. He ordered it to be resilvered
and polished, and when this had been done he laid it in a box specially
made for it, and mirror and box were placed in a particular room in the

One day, when Matsumura was sitting in the apartment where the mirror
reposed, he once more saw Yayoi standing before him, looking more
beautiful than ever, and the refulgence of her beauty was like summer
moonlight. After she had saluted Matsumura she explained that she was
indeed the Soul of the Mirror, and narrated how she had fallen into
the possession of Lady Kamo, of the Imperial Court, and how she had
become an heirloom of the Fujiwara House, until during the period of
Hōgen, when the Taira and Minamoto clans were engaged in conflict, she
was thrown into a well, and there forgotten. Having narrated these
things, and all the horrors she had gone through under the tyranny
of the Poison Dragon, Yayoi begged that Matsumura would present the
mirror to the Shōgun, the Lord Yoshimasa, who was a descendant of her
former possessors, promising the priest considerable good fortune if he
did so. Before Yayoi departed she advised Matsumura to leave his home
immediately, as it was about to be washed away by a great storm.

On the following day Matsumura left the house, and, as Yayoi had
prophesied, almost immediately afterwards his late dwelling was swept

At length Matsumura was able to present, the mirror to the Shōgun
Yoshimasa, together with a written account of its strange history. The
Shōgun was so pleased with the gift that he not only gave Matsumura
many personal presents, but he also presented the priest with a
considerable sum of money for the rebuilding of his temple.

A Mirror and a Bell

When the priests of Mugenyama required a large bell for their temple
they asked the women in the vicinity to contribute their old bronze
mirrors for the purpose of providing the necessary metal.

Hundreds of mirrors were given for this purpose, and all were offered
gladly, except the mirror presented by a certain farmer's wife. As soon
as she had given her mirror to the priests she began to regret having
parted with it. She remembered how old it was, how it had reflected her
mother's laughter and tears, and even her great-grandmother's. Whenever
this farmer's wife went to the temple she saw her coveted mirror lying
in a great heap behind a railing. She recognised it by the design on
the back known as the _Shō-Chiku-Bai_, or the three emblems of the
Pine, Bamboo, and Plum-flower. She yearned to stretch forth her arm
between the railings and to snatch back her beloved mirror. Her soul
was in the shining surface, and it mingled with the souls of those who
had gazed into it before she was born.

When the Mugenyama bell was in course of construction the bell-founders
discovered that one mirror would not melt. The workers said that it
refused to melt because the owner had afterwards regretted the gift,
which had made the metal hard, as hard as the woman's selfish heart.

Soon every one knew the identity of the giver of the mirror that would
not melt, and, angry and ashamed, the farmer's wife drowned herself,
first having written the following: "When I am dead you will be able
to melt my mirror, and so cast the bell. My soul will come to him who
breaks that bell by ringing it, and I will give him great wealth."

When the woman died her old mirror melted immediately, and the bell
was cast and was suspended in its customary place. Many people having
heard of the message written by the deceased farmer's wife, a great
multitude came to the temple, and one by one rang the bell with the
utmost violence in the hope of breaking it and winning great wealth.
Day after day the ringing continued, till at last the noise became so
unbearable that the priests rolled the bell into a swamp, where it lay
hidden from sight.

The Mirror of Matsuyama

In ancient days there lived in a remote part of Japan a man and his
wife, and they were blessed with a little girl, who was the pet and
idol of her parents. On one occasion the man was called away on
business in distant Kyōto. Before he went he told his daughter that
if she were good and dutiful to her mother he would bring her back
a present she would prize very highly. Then the good man took his
departure, mother and daughter watching him go.

At last he returned to his home, and after his wife and child had
taken off his large hat and sandals he sat down upon the white mats
and opened a bamboo basket, watching the eager gaze of his little
child. He took out a wonderful doll and a lacquer box of cakes and put
them into her outstretched hands. Once more he dived into his basket,
and presented his wife with a metal mirror. Its convex surface shone
brightly, while upon its back there was a design of pine-trees and

The good man's wife had never seen a mirror before, and on gazing into
it she was under the impression that another woman looked out upon her
as she gazed with growing wonder. Her husband explained the mystery and
bade her take great care of the mirror.

Not long after this happy home-coming and distribution of presents the
woman became very ill. Just before she died she called to her little
daughter, and said: "Dear child, when I am dead take every care of
your father. You will miss me when I have left you. But take this
mirror, and when you feel most lonely look into it and you will always
see me." Having said these words she passed away.

In due time the man married again, and his wife was not at all kind to
her stepdaughter. But the little one, remembering her mother's last
words, would retire to a corner and eagerly look into the mirror, where
it seemed to her that she saw her dear mother's face, not drawn in pain
as she had seen it on her death-bed, but young and beautiful.

One day this child's stepmother chanced to see her crouching in a
corner over an object she could not quite see, murmuring to herself.
This ignorant woman, who detested the child and believed that her
stepdaughter detested her in return, fancied that this little one
was performing some strange magical art--perhaps making an image and
sticking pins into it. Full of these notions, the stepmother went to
her husband and told him that his wicked child was doing her best to
kill her by witchcraft.

When the master of the house had listened to this extraordinary recital
he went straight to his daughter's room. He took her by surprise, and
immediately the girl saw him she slipped the mirror into her sleeve.
For the first time her doting father grew angry, and he feared that
there was, after all, truth in what his wife had told him, and he
repeated her tale forthwith.

When his daughter had heard this unjust accusation she was amazed at
her father's words, and she told him that she loved him far too well
ever to attempt or wish to kill his wife, who she knew was dear to him.

"What have you hidden in your sleeve?" said her father, only hair
convinced and still much puzzled.

"The mirror you gave my mother, and which she on her death-bed gave
to me. Every time I look into its shining surface I see the face of my
dear mother, young and beautiful. When my heart aches--and oh! it has
ached so much lately--I take out the mirror, and mother's face, with
sweet, kind smile, brings me peace, and helps me to bear hard words and
cross looks."

Then the man understood and loved his child the more for her filial
piety. Even the girl's stepmother, when she knew what had really taken
place, was ashamed and asked forgiveness. And this child, who believed
she had seen her mother's face in the mirror, forgave, and trouble for
ever departed from the home.



        "Adoration to the great merciful Kwannon, who looketh
        down above the sound of prayer."

                                     _An Inscription_.


Kwannon, the Goddess of Mercy, resembles in many ways the no less
merciful and gentle Jizō, for both renounced the joy of Nirvana
that they might bring peace and happiness to others. Kwannon,
however, is a much more complex divinity than Jizō, and though
she is most frequently portrayed as a very beautiful and saintly
Japanese woman, she nevertheless assumes a multitude of forms. We
are familiar with certain Indian gods and goddesses with innumerable
hands, and Kwannon is sometimes depicted as Senjiu-Kwannon, or
Kwannon-of-the-Thousand-Hands.[1] Each hand holds an object of some
kind, as if to suggest that here indeed was a goddess ready in her love
to give and to answer prayer to the uttermost.

Then there is Jiu-ichi-men-Kwannon, the Kwannon-of-the-Eleven-Faces.
The face of Kwannon is here represented as "smiling with eternal youth
and infinite tenderness," and in her glowing presence the ideal of the
divine feminine is presented with infinite beauty of conception. In
the tiara of Jiu-ichi-men-Kwannon are exquisite faces, a radiation, as
it were, of miniature Kwannons. Sometimes the tiara of Kwannon takes
another form, as in Batō-Kwannon, or Kwannon-with-the-Horse's-Head.
The title is a little misleading, for such a graceful creature is very
far from possessing a horse's head in any of her manifestations.
Images of this particular Kwannon depict a horse cut out in the tiara.
Batō-Kwannon is the Goddess to whom peasants pray for the safety and
preservation of their horses and cattle, and Batō-Kwannon is not
only said to protect dumb animals, particularly those who labour for
mankind, but she extends her power to protecting their spirits and
bringing them ease and a happier life than they experienced while on
earth. In sharp contrast with the Kwannons we have already described
is Hito-koto-Kwannon, the Kwannon who will only answer one prayer. The
Gods of Love and Wisdom are frequently represented in conjunction with
this Goddess, and the "Twenty-eight Followers" are personifications
of certain constellations. But in all the variations of Kwannon she
preserves the same virgin beauty, and this Goddess of Mercy has not
inappropriately been called the Japanese Madonna.

Kwannon in Chinese Myth

In China Kwannon is known as Kwanjin, and is the spiritual son of
Amitâbha, but this divinity always appears as a goddess, as her images
in both China and Japan testify. The Chinese claim that Kwanjin is of
native origin, and was originally the daughter of the King of the Chow
dynasty. She was sentenced to death by her father because she refused
to marry, but the executioner's sword broke without inflicting a wound.
We are told that later on her spirit went to Hell. There was something
so radiantly beautiful about the spirit of Kwanjin that her very
presence turned Hell into Paradise. The King of the Infernal Regions,
in order to maintain the gloomy aspect of his realm, sent Kwanjin back
to earth again, and he caused her to be miraculously transported on a
lotus flower to the Island of Pootoo.

An Incarnation of Kwannon

Chūjo Hime, a Buddhist nun, is generally regarded as the greatest early
Japanese artist of embroidery, and, according to legend, she was an
incarnation of Kwannon. Chūjō Hime met with much cruel treatment from
her stepmother, until she finally retired to the temple of Toema-dera,
and there worked upon the wonderful lotus thread embroidery depicting
the Buddhist Paradise. The design is so exquisite that we can easily
understand the Japanese belief that the Gods helped this great artist
in her work.

Kwannon the Mother

There is another remarkable embroidery, by Kano Hogai, depicting
Kwannon as the Divine Mother, pouring forth from a crystal phial the
water of creation. As this holy water falls in a series of bubbles,
each bubble may be seen to contain a little babe with reverently folded
hands. It is altogether a wonderful piece of work, and, turning from
its pictorial beauty to study a description of its technicalities, we
find that it took three years to execute, and that 12,100 different
shades of silk, and twelve of gold thread, were used.

The "Thirty-three Places" Sacred to Kwannon

There are thirty-three shrines sacred to Kwannon. All are carefully
numbered, and are to be found in the provinces near Kyōto. The
following legend may possibly account for the reverence bestowed upon
the _Saikoku Sanjū-san Sho_ (the "Thirty-three Places").

When the great Buddhist abbot of the eighth century, Tokudō Shōnin,
died, he was conducted into the presence of Emma-Ō, the Lord of the
Dead. The castle in which Emma-Ō lived was resplendent with silver
and gold, rosy pearls, and all manner of sparkling jewels. A light
emanated from Emma-Ō too, and that dread God had a smile upon his face.
He received the distinguished abbot with extreme courtesy, and thus
addressed him:

"Tokudō Shōnin, there are thirty-three places where Kwannon reveals
her special favour, for behold she has, in her boundless love, divided
herself into many bodies, so that he who cries for aid shall not cry
in vain. Alas! men continue to go their evil ways, for they know
not of these sacred shrines. They live their sordid lives and pass
into Hell, a vast and countless number. Oh, how blind they are, how
wayward, and how full of folly! If they were to make but a single
pilgrimage to these thirty-three shrines sacred to our Lady of Mercy,
a pure and wonderful light would shine from their feet, feet made
spiritually strong to crush down all evil, to scatter the hundred and
thirty-six hells into fragments. If, in spite of this pilgrimage, one
should chance to fall into Hell, I will take his place and receive
into myself all his suffering, for if this happened my tale of peace
would be false, and I should indeed deserve to suffer. Here is a list
of the thirty-and-three sacred shrines of Kwannon. Take it into the
troubled world of men and women, and make known the everlasting mercy
of Kwannon."

Tokudō, having carefully listened to all Emma-Ō had told him, replied:
"You have honoured me with such a mission, but mortals are full of
doubts and fears, and they would ask for some sign that what I tell
them is indeed true."

Emma-Ō at once presented the abbot with his jewelled seal, and, bidding
him farewell, sent him on his way accompanied by two attendants.

While these strange happenings were taking place in the Underworld the
disciples of Tokudō perceived that though their master's body had lain
for three days and nights the flesh had not grown cold. The devoted
followers did not bury the body, believing that their master was not
dead. And such was indeed the case, for eventually Tokudō awakened from
his trance, and in his right hand he held the jewelled seal of Emma-Ō.

Tokudō lost no time in narrating his strange adventures, and when he
had concluded his story he and his disciples set off on a pilgrimage
to the thirty-three holy places[2] over which the Goddess of Mercy

List of the "Thirty-three Places"

The following is a complete list of the "Thirty-three Places" sacred to

   1.  Fudaraku-ji, at Nachi, in Kishū.
   2.  Kimii-dera, near Wakayama, in Kishū.
   3.  Kokawa-dera, in Kishū.
   4.  Sefuku-ji, in Izumi.
   5.  Fujii-dera, in Kawachi.
   6.  Tsubosaka-dera, in Yamato.
   7.  Oka-dera, in Yamato.
   8.  Hase-dera, in Yamato.
   9.  Nan-enō, at Nara, in Yamato.
  10.  Mimuroto-dera, at Uji, in Yamashiro.
  11.  Kami Daigo-dera, at Uji, in Yamashiro.
  12.  Iwama-dera, in Ōmi.
  13.  Ishiyama-dera, near Ōtsu, in Ōmi.
  14.  Miidera, near Ōtsu, in Ōmi.
  15.  Ima-Gumano, at Kyōto, in Yamashiro.
  16.  Kiyomizu-dera, at Kyōto.
  17.  Rokuhara-dera, at Kyōto.
  18.  Rokkaku-dō, at Kyōto.
  19.  Kōdō, at Kyōto.
  20.  Yoshimine-dera, at Kyōto.
  21.  Anōji, in Tamba.
  22.  Sōjiji, in Settsu.
  23.  Katsuo-dera, in Settsu.
  24.  Nakayama-dera, near Kōbe, in Settsu.
  25.  Shin Kiyomizu-dera, in Harima.
  26.  Hokkeji, in Harima.
  27.  Shosha-san, in Harima.
  28.  Nareai-ji, in Tango.
  29.  Matsunoo-dera, in Wakasa.
  30.  Chikubu-shima, island in Lake Biwa, in Ōmi.
  31.  Chōmeiji, in Ōmi.
  32.  Kwannonji, in Ōmi.
  33.  Tanigumi-dera, near Tarui, in Mino.[3]

The "Hall of the Second Moon"

The Buddhist temple of Ni-gwarsu-dō ("Hall of the Second Moon")
contains a small copper image of Kwannon. It has the miraculous power
of being warm like living flesh, and since the image was enshrined
special services in honour of Kwannon take place in February, and on
the 18th of each month the sacred image is exposed for worship.

Kwannon and the Deer

An old hermit named Saion Zenji took up his abode on Mount
Nariai in order that he might be able to gaze upon the beauty of
Ama-no-Hashidate, a narrow fir-clad promontory dividing Lake Iwataki
and Miyazu Bay. Ama-no-Hashidate is still regarded as one of the
_Sankei_, or "Three Great Sights," of Japan, and still Mount Nariai is
considered the best spot from which to view this charming scene.

On Mount Nariai this gentle and holy recluse erected a little shrine to
Kwannon not far from a solitary pine-tree. He spent his happy days in
looking upon Ama-no-Hashidate and in chanting the Buddhist Scriptures,
and his charming disposition and holy ways were much appreciated by the
people who came to pray at the little shrine he had so lovingly erected
for his own joy and for the joy of others.

The hermit's abode, delightful enough in mild and sunny weather, was
dreary in the winter-time, for when it snowed the good old man was cut
off from human intercourse. On one occasion the snow fell so heavily
that it was piled up in some places to a height of twenty feet. Day
after day the severe weather continued, and at last the poor old
hermit found that he had no food of any kind. Chancing to look out one
morning, he saw that a deer was lying dead in the snow. As he gazed
upon the poor creature, which had been frozen to death, he remembered
that it was unlawful in the sight of Kwannon to eat the flesh of
animals; but on thinking over the matter more carefully it seemed to
him that he could do more good to his fellow creatures by partaking of
this deer than by observing the strict letter of the law and allowing
himself to starve in sight of plenty.

When Saion Zenji had come to this wise decision he went out and cut
off a piece of venison, cooked it, and ate half, with many prayers of
thanksgiving for his deliverance. The rest of the venison he left in
his cooking-pot.

Eventually the snow melted, and several folk hastily wended their way
from the neighbouring village, and ascended Mount Nariai, expecting to
see that their good and much-loved hermit had forever passed away from
this world. As they approached the shrine, however, they were rejoiced
to hear the old man chanting, in a clear and ringing voice, the sacred
Buddhist Scriptures.

The folk from the village gathered about the hermit while he narrated
the story of his deliverance. When, out of curiosity, they chanced to
peep into his cooking-pot, they saw, to their utter amazement, that it
contained no venison, but a piece of wood covered with gold foil. Still
wondering what it all meant, they looked upon the image of Kwannon in
the little shrine, and found that a piece had been cut from her loins,
and when they inserted the piece of wood the wound was healed. Then it
was that the old hermit and the folk gathered about him realised that
the deer had been none other than Kwannon, who, in her boundless love
and tender mercy, had made a sacrifice of her own divine flesh.


     "The wild flowers fade, the maple-leaves,
     Touched by frost-fingers, float to earth;
     But on the bosom of the sea
     The flowers to which her waves give birth
     Fade not, like blossoms on the land,
     Nor feel the chill of Autumn's hand."
                          _Yasuhide_. (Trans. by Clara A. Walsh.)

Benten, the Goddess of the Sea, is also one of the Seven Divinities
of Luck; and she is romantically referred to as the Goddess of Love,
Beauty, and Eloquence. She is represented in Japanese art as riding on
a dragon or serpent, which may account for the fact that in certain
localities snakes are regarded as being sacred. Images of Benten depict
her as having eight arms. Six hands are extended above her head and
hold a bow, arrow, wheel, sword, key, and sacred jewel, while her two
remaining hands are reverently crossed in prayer. She resembles Kwannon
in many ways, and images of the two goddesses are frequently seen
together, but the shrines of Benten are usually to be found on islands.

Benten and the Dragon

We have already referred to Benten riding on a dragon, and the
following legend may possibly be connected with this particular

In a certain cave there lived a formidable dragon, which devoured
the children of the village of Koshigoe. In the sixth century Benten
was determined to put a stop to this monster's unseemly behaviour,
and having caused a great earthquake she hovered in the clouds over
the cave where the dread dragon had taken up his abode. Benten then
descended from the clouds, entered the cavern, married the dragon,
and was thus able, through her good influence, to put an end to the
slaughter of little children. With the coming of Benten there arose
from the sea the famous Island of Enoshima,[4] which has remained to
this day sacred to the Goddess of the Sea.


Hanagaki Baishū, a young poet and scholar, attended a great festival
to celebrate the rebuilding of the Amadera temple. He wandered about
the beautiful grounds, and eventually reached the place of a spring
from which he had often quenched his thirst. He found that what had
originally been a spring was now a pond, and, moreover, that at one
corner of the pond there was a tablet bearing the words _Tanjō-Sui_
("Birth-Water"), and also a small but attractive temple dedicated to
Benten. While Baishū was noting the changes in the temple grounds the
wind blew to his feet a charmingly written love-poem. He picked it up,
and discovered that it had been inscribed by a female hand, that the
characters were exquisitely formed, and that the ink was fresh.

Baishū went home and read and re-read the poem. It was not long before
he fell in love with the writer, and finally he resolved to make her
his wife. At length he went to the temple of Benten-of-the-Birth-Water,
and cried: "Oh, Goddess, come to my aid, and help me to find the woman
who wrote these wind-blown verses!" Having thus prayed, he promised
to perform a seven days' religious service, and to devote the seventh
night in ceaseless worship before the sacred shrine of Benten, in the
grounds of the Amadera.

On the seventh night of the vigil Baishū heard a voice calling for
admittance at the main gateway of the temple grounds. The gate was
opened, and an old man, clad in ceremonial robes and with a black
cap upon his head, advanced and silently knelt before the temple of
Benten. Then the outer door of the temple mysteriously opened, and a
bamboo curtain was partially raised, revealing a handsome boy, who thus
addressed the old man: "We have taken pity on a young man who desires a
certain love-union, and have called you to inquire into the matter, and
to see if you can bring the young people together."

The old man bowed, and then drew from his sleeve a cord which he wound
round Baishū's body, igniting one end in a temple-lantern, and waving
his hand the while, as if beckoning some spirit to appear out of the
dark night. In a moment a young girl entered the temple grounds, and,
with her fan half concealing her pretty face, she knelt beside Baishū.

Then the beautiful boy thus addressed Baishū: "We have heard your
prayer, and we have known that recently you have suffered much. The
woman you love is now beside you." And having uttered these words the
divine youth departed, and the old man left the temple grounds.

When Baishū had given thanks to Benten-of-the-Birth-Water he proceeded
homeward. On reaching the street outside the temple grounds he saw a
young girl, and at once recognised her as the woman he loved. Baishū
spoke to her, and when she replied the gentleness and sweetness of
her voice filled the youth with joy. Together they walked through the
silent streets until at last they came to the house where Baishū lived.
There was a moment's pause, and then the maiden said: "Benten has made
me your wife," and the lovers entered the house together.

The marriage was an extremely fortunate one, and the happy Baishū
discovered that his wife, apart from her excellent domestic qualities,
was accomplished in the art of arranging flowers and in the art of
embroidery, and that her delicate writing was not less pleasing than
her charming pictures. Baishū knew nothing about her family, but as she
had been presented to him by the Goddess Benten he considered that it
was unnecessary to question her in the matter. There was only one thing
that puzzled the loving Baishū, and that was that the neighbours seemed
to be totally unaware of his wife's presence.

One day, while Baishū was walking in a remote quarter of Kyōto, he saw
a servant beckoning to him from the gateway of a private house. The man
came forward, bowed respectfully, and said: "Will you deign to enter
this house? My master is anxious to have the honour of speaking to
you." Baishū, who knew nothing of the servant or his master, was not a
little surprised by this strange greeting, but he allowed himself to
be conducted to the guest-room, and thus his host addressed him:

"I most humbly apologise for the very informal manner of my invitation,
but I believe that I have acted in compliance with a message I received
from the Goddess Benten. I have a daughter, and, as I am anxious to
find a good husband for her, I sent her written poems to all the
temples of Benten in Kyōto. In a dream the Goddess came to me, and
told me that she had secured an excellent husband for my daughter, and
that he would visit me during the coming winter. I was not inclined to
attach very much importance to this dream; but last night Benten again
revealed herself to me in a vision, and said that to-morrow the husband
she had chosen for my daughter would call upon me, and that I could
then arrange the marriage. The Goddess described the appearance of the
young man so minutely that I am assured that you are my daughter's
future husband."

These strange words filled Baishū with sorrow, and when his courteous
host proposed to present him to the lady he was unable to summon up
sufficient courage to tell his would-be father-in-law that he already
had a wife. Baishū followed his host into another apartment, and to his
amazement and joy he discovered that the daughter of the house was none
other than his own wife! And yet there was a subtle difference, for the
woman who now smiled upon him was the body of his wife, and she who had
appeared before the temple of Benten-of-the-Birth-Water was her soul.
We are told that Benten performed this miracle for the sake of her
worshippers, and thus it came to pass that Baishū had a strange dual
marriage with the woman he loved.


Daikoku, the God of Wealth, Ebisu, his son, the God of Labour, and
Hotei, the God of Laughter and Contentment, belong to that cycle of
deities known as the Gods of Luck. Daikoku is represented with a Magic
Mallet, which bears the sign of the Jewel, embodying the male and
female spirit, and signifies a creative deity. A stroke of his Mallet
confers wealth, and his second attribute is the Rat. Daikoku is, as
we should suppose, an extremely popular deity, and he is frequently
portrayed as a prosperous Chinese gentleman, richly apparelled, and is
usually shown standing on bales of rice, with a bag of precious things
on his shoulder. This genial and beneficent God is also depicted as
seated on bales of rice, or showing his treasures to some eager and
expectant child, or holding the Red Sun against his breast with one
hand and grasping the Magic Mallet with the other.

Daikoku's Rat

Daikoku's attribute, a Rat, has an emblematic and moral meaning
in connection with the wealth hidden in the God's bag. The Rat is
frequently portrayed either in the bale of rice with its head peeping
out, or in it, or playing with the Mallet, and sometimes a large number
of rats are shown.

According to a certain old legend, the Buddhist Gods grew jealous of
Daikoku. They consulted together, and finally decided that they would
get rid of the too popular Daikoku, to whom the Japanese offered
prayers and incense. Emma-Ō, the Lord of the Dead, promised to send
his most cunning and clever _oni_, Shiro, who, he said, would have no
difficulty in conquering the God of Wealth. Shiro, guided by a sparrow,
went to Daikoku's castle, but though he hunted high and low he could
not find its owner. Finally Shiro discovered a large storehouse, in
which he saw the God of Wealth seated. Daikoku called his Rat and bade
him find out who it was who dared to disturb him. When the Rat saw
Shiro he ran into the garden and brought back a branch of holly, with
which he drove the _oni_ away, and Daikoku remains to this day one of
the most popular of the Japanese Gods. This incident is said to be the
origin of the New Year's Eve charm, consisting of a holly leaf and a
skewer, or a sprig of holly fixed in the lintel of the door of a house
to prevent the return of the _oni_.

The Six Daikoku

1. Makura Daikoku, ordinary form with Mallet on lotus leaf.

2. Ojikara Daikoku, with sword and _vajra_.

3. Bika Daikoku, a priest, with Mallet in right hand, _vajra_-hilted
sword in left.

4. Yasha Daikoku, with Wheel of the Law in his right hand.

5. Shinda Daikoku, a boy seated with a crystal in his left hand.

6. Mahakara Daikoku, seated female, with small bale of rice on her head.


Ebisu and his father Daikoku are usually pictured together: the God
of Wealth seated upon bales of rice, pressing the Red Sun against his
breast with one hand, and with the other holding the wealth-giving
Mallet, while Ebisu is depicted with a fishing-rod and a great _tai_
fish under his arm.


Hotei, the God of Laughter and Contentment, is one of the most
whimsical of the Japanese Gods. He is represented as extremely fat,
carrying on his back a linen bag (_ho-tei_), from which he derives
his name. In this bag he stows the Precious Things, but when in a
particularly playful mood he uses it as a receptacle for merry and
inquisitive children. Sometimes Hotei is represented in a broken-down
and extremely shabby carriage drawn by boys, and is then known as the
Waggon Priest. Again he is portrayed as carrying in one hand a Chinese
fan and in the other his bag, or balancing at either end of a pole the
bag of Precious Things and a boy.

[Footnote 1: The title is not accurate, for in reality this form of
Kwannon possesses only forty hands. No doubt the name is intended to
suggest munificence on the part of this Goddess.]

[Footnote 2: "In imitation of the original Thirty-three Holy Places,
thirty-three other places have been established in Eastern Japan, and
also in the district of Chichibu."--_Murray's Handbook for Japan_, by
Basil Hall Chamberlain and W. B. Mason.]

[Footnote 3: Compiled from _Murray's Handbook for Japan._]

[Footnote 4: See _Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan_, by Lafcadio Hearn,
vol. i. pp. 62-104.]


        "I asked a charming Japanese girl: 'How can a doll
        live?' 'Why,' she answered, '_if you love it enough_, it
        will live!'"

                                                Lafcadio Hearn.

The English and Japanese Doll

Our English dolls, with their flaxen hair, blue eyes, and simpering
faces, are certainly not a credit to the toy-maker's art if they are
to be regarded as bearing even a remote likeness to living children.
Put in a horizontal position, something will click in their little
heads and their blue eyes will close, or more correctly roll backward;
a pinch will make them emit a tolerable imitation of the words "Papa!"
"Mamma!" and yet in spite of these mechanical devices they have nothing
more to their credit than a child's short-lived love. They are speedily
broken, or liable at any moment to be decapitated by a little brother
who has learnt too well the story of Lady Jane Grey!

In Japan, however, the doll is not merely a play-thing by which little
children may become make-believe mothers, but in earlier days it was
regarded as a means to make a wife a mother. Lafcadio Hearn writes:
"And if you see such a doll, though held quite close to you, being
made by a Japanese mother to reach out its hands, to move its little
bare feet, and to turn its head, you would be almost afraid to venture
a heavy wager that it was only a doll." It is this startling likeness
that is perhaps accountable for the quaint and beautiful love connected
with Japanese dolls.

Live Dolls

At one time certain dolls were actually said to become alive, to take
to their small bodies a human soul, and the belief is merely an echo of
the old idea that much love will quicken to life the image of a living
thing. In Old Japan the doll was handed down from one generation to
another, and sometimes remained in an excellent condition for over a
hundred years. A hundred years spent in little children's arms, served
with food, put to bed regularly every night, and the object of constant
endearments, will no doubt work wonders in the poetic imagination of a
happy and childlike people.

The tiny doll known as O-Hina-San does not come within the region
of our present study; it was simply a toy and nothing more. It is
the life-size dolls we must deal with, those dolls so cunningly
representing little children two or three years old. The girl doll of
this class is known as O-Toku-San and the boy doll as Tokutarō-San.
It was believed that if these dolls were ill-treated or neglected in
any way they would weep, become angry, and bring misfortune upon their
possessors. They had in addition many other supernatural powers.

In a certain old family there was a Tokutarō-San which received a
reverence almost equal to that shown to Kishibōjin, the Goddess to whom
Japanese wives pray for offspring. This Tokutarō-San was borrowed by
childless couples. They gave it new clothes and tended it with loving
care, assured that such a doll which had a soul would make them happy
by answering their prayers for a child. Tokutarō-San, according to
legend, was very much alive, for when the house caught fire it speedily
ran into the garden for safety!

A Doll's Last Resting-place

What happens to a Japanese doll when after a very long and happy
life it eventually gets broken? Though finally regarded as dead, its
remains are treated with the utmost respect. It is not thrown away
with rubbish, or burned, or even reverently laid upon running water,
as is often the case with dead Japanese flowers. It is not buried, but
dedicated to Kōjin, frequently represented as a deity with many arms.
Kōjin is supposed to reside in the _enoki_ tree, and in front of this
tree there is a small shrine and _torii_. Here, then, the remains of
a very old Japanese doll are reverently laid. Its little face may be
scratched, its silk dress torn and faded and its arms and legs broken,
but it once had a soul, once had the mysterious _desire_ to give
maternity to those who longed for it.

On March 3 the Girls' Festival takes place. It is known as _Jōmi no
Sekku_, or _Hina Matsuri_, the Feast or Dolls.


     "Where the soft drifts lie
     Of fallen blossoms, dying,
     Did one flutter now,
     From earth to its brown bough?
     Ah, no! 'twas a butterfly,
     Like fragile blossom flying!"
                    _Arakida Mortitake_.
                    (Trans. by Clara A. Walsh.)

It is in China rather than in Japan that the butterfly is connected
with legend and folk-lore. The Chinese scholar Rōsan is said to have
received visits from two spirit maidens who regaled him with ghostly
stories about these bright-winged insects.

It is more than probable that the legends concerning butterflies in
Japan have been borrowed from China. Japanese poets and artists were
fond of choosing for their professional appellation such names as
"Butterfly-Dream," "Solitary Butterfly," "Butterfly-Help," and so on.
Though probably of Chinese origin, such ideas naturally appealed to
the æsthetic taste of the Japanese people, and no doubt they played
in early days the romantic game of butterflies. The Emperor Gensō
used to make butterflies choose his loves for him. At a wine-party
in his garden fair ladies would set caged butterflies free. These
bright-coloured insects would fly and settle upon the fairest damsels,
and those maidens immediately received royal favours.

Butterflies of Good and Evil Omen

In Japan the butterfly was at one time considered to be the soul of a
living man or woman. If it entered a guest-room and pitched behind the
bamboo screen it was a sure sign that the person whom it represented
would shortly appear in the house. The presence of a butterfly in the
house was regarded as a good omen, though of course everything depended
on the individual typified by the butterfly.

The butterfly was not always the harbinger of good. When
Taira-no-Masakado was secretly preparing for a revolt Kyōto was the
scene of a swarm of butterflies, and the people who saw them were much
frightened. Lafcadio Hearn suggests that these butterflies may have
been the spirits of those fated to fall in battle, the spirits of the
living who were stirred by a premonition of the near approach of death.
Butterflies may also be the souls of the dead, and they often appear in
this form in order to announce their final leave-taking from the body.

"The Flying Hairpin of Kochō"

The Japanese drama contains reference to the ghostly significance of
butterflies. In the play known as _The Flying Hairpin of Kochō_, the
heroine, Kochō, kills herself on account of false accusations and cruel
treatment. Her lover seeks to discover who has been the cause of her
untimely death. Eventually Kochō's hairpin turns into a butterfly and
hovers over the hiding-place of the villain who has caused all the

The White Butterfly

There is a quaint and touching Japanese legend connected with the
butterfly. An old man named Takahama lived in a little house behind
the cemetery of the temple of Sōzanji. He was extremely amiable and
generally liked by his neighbours, though most of them considered him
to be a little mad. His madness, it would appear, entirely rested upon
the fact that he had never married or evinced desire for intimate
companionship with women.

One summer day he became very ill, so ill, in fact, that he sent for
his sister-in-law and her son. They both came and did all they could to
bring comfort during his last hours. While they watched Takahama fell
asleep; but he had no sooner done so than a large white butterfly flew
into the room, and rested on the old man's pillow. The young man tried
to drive it away with a fan; but it came back three times, as if loth
to leave the sufferer.

At last Takahama's nephew chased it out into the garden, through the
gate, and into the cemetery beyond, where it lingered over a woman's
tomb, and then mysteriously disappeared. On examining the tomb the
young man found the name "Akiko" written upon it, together with a
description narrating how Akiko died when she was eighteen. Though
the tomb was covered with moss and must have been erected fifty years
previously, the boy saw that it was surrounded with flowers, and that
the little water-tank had been recently filled.

When the young man returned to the house he found that Takahama had
passed away, and he returned to his mother and told her what he had
seen in the cemetery.

"Akiko?" murmured his mother. "When your uncle was young he was
betrothed to Akiko. She died of consumption shortly before her
wedding-day. When Akiko left this world your uncle resolved never to
marry and to live ever near her grave. For all these years he has
remained faithful to his vow, and kept in his heart all the sweet
memories of his one and only love. Every day Takahama went to the
cemetery, whether the air was fragrant with summer breeze or thick
with falling, snow. Every day he went to her grave and prayed for her
happiness, swept the tomb and set flowers there. When Takahama was
dying, and he could no longer perform his loving task, Akiko came for
him. That white butterfly was her sweet and loving soul."

Just before Takahama passed away into the Land of the Yellow Spring he
may have murmured words like those of Yone Noguchi:

     "Where the flowers sleep,
     Thank God! I shall sleep to-night.
     Oh, come, butterfly!"[1]

[Footnote 1: Legends concerning other insects will be found in Chapter


The New Year

The _San-ga-nichi_, or "three days" of the New Year, is one of the most
important of the Japanese festivals, for the Japanese make far more of
the New Year than we do in this country. They regard the first three
days of the year as a fitting occasion when it is most important to
insure good luck and happiness for the days that follow, and in order
to bring this about many quaint and ancient observances take place.
Before the houses are decorated a thorough winter cleaning is carried
out. "In ancient times," writes Mrs. C. M. Salwey, "from the Court of
the Emperor to the hut of the peasant, this attention was observed to
such an extent that the Shōgun's Court provided overseers, who visited
with ornamented dusting poles, to overhaul the labour of the servants,
passing their official brooms over ledges and crevices, and in so doing
flourishing in a certain manner their mystic wands to demonstrate
the Chinese ideograph which signified water." Not only is the house
thoroughly cleaned and everything put in order, but evil spirits are
got rid of by throwing out peas and beans from the open _shoji_, or
paper slides.

On the festival of the New Year the houses and gate-posts are adorned
with straw ropes, and these are often made to represent such lucky
Chinese numbers as three, five, and seven. The food chiefly eaten on
this occasion comprises lobsters (their bent and ancient appearance
suggesting long life), oranges, and certain varieties of edible
seaweeds. In addition there are mirror cakes, associated with the Sun
Goddess, and these cakes, composed of rice, are eaten with the oranges
and lobster, and served on pure white trays. One other important
decoration must not be overlooked, and that is the branches of the
pine-tree. These branches symbolise long life, and for some unknown
reason they are burnt when the festival is over.

One of the most picturesque customs associated with this festival,
and one particularly appealing to children, is the Treasure Ship
with the Seven Gods of Good Luck on board, to which we have referred

The Boys' Festival

The _Tango no Sekku_, or Boys' Festival, takes place on May 5, and is
intended to inspire the youth of Japan with warlike qualities. It is
the day when flags are to be seen in every direction, when the roofs of
the houses are decorated with the leaves of iris, so that Nature's flag
and the flag made by human hands are both conspicuous on this joyous
festival, which is popularly known as the Feast of Flags. Boys are
presented with small figures representing certain great heroes of the
past, while ancient swords, bows, arrows, spears, &c., are handed down
from one generation of children to another.

Perhaps the dominant feature of this festival is the paper flag
shaped like a carp. It is hollow, and when inflated with wind has the
appearance of vigorously flying through the air. The carp symbolises
something more than the crude spirit of warfare, for it typifies
tenacity of purpose and indomitable courage. As the carp swims against
the stream, so is the Japanese youth expected to fight against all
the fierce currents of adversity. This idea is probably derived from
the fascinating Chinese legend of the Dragon Carp which, after a long
struggle, succeeded in swimming past the Dragon Gate rapids, lived a
thousand years, and finally rose into the sky.

The Festival of the Dead

The Festival of the Dead, or _Bommatsuri_, deserves mention here
because it contains much that is legendary. The Japanese peasant's
conception of a future life is not a very delightful one. At death
the body is washed and shaven and then arrayed in a pure white
garment--indeed, in the garment of a pilgrim. Round the neck is hung a
wallet containing three or six _rin_, according to the custom of the
place in which the death occurs, and these _rin_ are buried with the
deceased. The idea of burying coin with the dead is to be found in the
belief that all who die, children alone excepted, must journey to the
Sanzu-no-Kawa, or "The River of the Three Roads." On the bank of this
dismal river Sodzu-Baba, the Old Woman of the Three Roads, awaits the
coming of souls, together with her husband, Ten Datsu-Ba. If three
_rin_ are not paid to the Old Woman she takes away the white garments
of the dead and, regardless of entreaties, hangs them on trees. Then
there is the no less formidable Emma-Ō, the Lord of the Dead; and when
we add to these dread figures some of the terrors of the Buddhist hells
it is not surprising that the gentle and poetical Japanese should have
founded a festival that will afford a pleasant, if all too brief,
respite from the horrors of Hades.

The festival takes place from July 13 to 15. At such a time most of
the houses are mere skeletons, being open to the summer breeze on all
sides. People saunter about in the lightest of garments. Butterflies
and dragon-flies disport in countless numbers, flying over a cool
stretch of lotus or settling on the purple petal of an iris. Fuji rears
her great head into the clear blue sky, bearing like a white scarf a
patch of fast-fading snow.

When the morning of the 13th arrives new mats of rice straw are spread
upon all Buddhist altars and on the little household shrines. Every
Japanese home on that day is provided with a quaint, minute meal in
readiness for the great company of ghosts.

At sunset the streets are bright with the flames of torches, and the
entrances of houses gay with brightly coloured lanterns. Those to
whom this festival applies in a particular sense and not in a general
one--that is to say, those who have recently lost some dear one--go out
on this night to the cemeteries, and there pray, make offerings, burn
incense, and pour out water. Lanterns are lit and bamboo vases filled
with flowers.

On the evening of the 15th the ghosts of the Circle of Penance or
Gakidō are fed, and in addition those ghosts who have no friends among
the living to care for them. There is a legend bearing upon this
particular phase of the Festival of the Dead. Dai-Mokenren, a great
disciple of Buddha, was once permitted to see the soul of his mother
in the Gakidō. He grieved so much on account of intense suffering that
he gave her a bowl containing choice food. Every time she tried to eat
the food would suddenly turn into fire, and finally to ashes. Then
Mokenren asked Buddha to tell him what he could do to ease his mother's
suffering. He was told to feed the ghosts of the great priests of all
countries "on the fifteenth day of the seventh month." When this had
been done Mokenren returned, to find his mother dancing for joy. In
this happy dance after much tribulation we trace the origin of the
_Bon-odori_, which takes place on the third night of the festival.

When the evening of the third day arrives preparations are made for the
departure of the ghosts. Thousands of little boats are packed with food
and loving messages of farewell. Into these boats step the departing
ghosts. Loving hands set these frail craft upon river, lake, or sea.
A small lantern glows at the prow, while pale blue clouds of incense
float up from the stern. Hearn writes: "Down all the creeks and rivers
and canals the phantom fleets go glimmering to the sea; and all the sea
sparkles to the horizon with the lights of the dead, and the sea wind
is fragrant with incense."

There is a pathetic charm about this festival. It is by no means
unique, for it corresponds to the Indian _Sraddha_; but in Japan it
is touched with a more delicate and haunting beauty. No one has been
able to solve conclusively the origin of the _Torii_, that wonderful
gateway that leads nowhere. What a charming entrance or exit for a
company of wandering souls! What a place for ghosts to play and dream
awhile is a Japanese garden, with its lake and moon-shaped bridge, its
stone lantern, its paths of silver sand! And what a street for ghosts
to wander in is the Street Everlasting that is so near to the Street
of Aged Men! Thus Yone Noguchi sums up the magic of a Japanese night,
one of those three nights when souls come in touch with old earthly

     "The scented purple breezes of the Japanese night!
     The old moon like a fairy ship of gold
     Softly through the dream sea begins to rock on:
     (I hear the unheard song of Beauty in the moon ship,
     I hear even the whisper of her golden dress.)
     The hundred lanterns burning in love and prayer,
     Float on the streets like haunting memories.
     The silvery music of wooden clogs of the Japanese girls!
     Are they not little ghosts out of the bosom of ancient age?
     Are they returning to fulfil their thousand fancies forgotten?
     O the fancy world of the Japanese night
     Born out of the old love and unfulfilled desires!
     The crying love-song of the Japanese night,
     The _samisen_ music of hungry passion and tears!
     O the long wail of heart through the darkness and love!"

The Laughing Festival of Wasa

Numerous other Japanese festivities take place during the year, and
two, the Festival of Dolls and the Festival of Tanabata, the Weaving
Maiden, have been referred to elsewhere. Perhaps in some way the
Laughing Festival of Wasa is the most quaint of all the Japanese
festivities. During the month of October a number of old men form a
procession carrying two boxes full of oranges and persimmons spitted
on sticks. These old men are followed by children with similar fruit
on bamboo rods. Just as the leader reaches the shrine he turns round
and makes a most ludicrous grimace, which is immediately followed by a
merry peal of laughter, and this irresistible merriment has its origin
in the following legend.

In the month of October the Gods used to assemble in a great temple at
Izumo, and they met for the purpose of arranging the love-affairs of
the people. When the Gods were sitting in the temple one of them said:
"Where is Miwa Daimyō-jin?" All the Gods looked everywhere for him, but
he was not to be found. Now Miwa Daimyō-jin was extremely deaf, and,
owing to this defect, he had mistaken the great day when the Gods met
together. When he reached Izumo the meeting had been dissolved, and
all the Gods laughed very much when they heard about it, a laughter
that is imitated year by year in the Laughing festival to which we have

The Torii

We have referred in this chapter and elsewhere to the _torii_, and
though authorities agree to differ in regard to its use and origin, the
theme is a fascinating one and well worthy of study. According to a
popular account the word _torii_ means "fowl-dwelling" or "bird-rest."
On the top beam of this imposing gateway the fowls heralded the
approach of dawn, and in their cry bade the priests attend to their
early morning prayers. In one legend we are informed that the sun
descends to earth in the form of the Ho-Ho Bird, messenger of love,
peace, and goodwill, and rests upon one of the _torii_.

Professor B. H. Chamberlain regards the "bird-rest" etymology and
the theories derived from it as erroneous, and believes that the
_torii_ came originally from Asia. He writes, in _Things Japanese_:
"The Koreans erect somewhat similar gateways at the approach of their
royal palaces; the Chinese _p'ai lou_, serving to record the virtues
of male or female worthies, seem related in shape as well as in use;
and the occurrence of the word _turan_ in Northern India and of the
word _tori_ in Central India, to denote gateways of strikingly cognate
appearance, gives matter for reflection." Dr. W. G. Aston also believes
that the _torii_ came from abroad, "but holds that it was fitted with
a pre-existing name, which would have originally designated 'a lintel'
before it came to have its present sacred associations."[2]

In regard to the construction of these gateways, Mrs. C. M. Salwey
writes: "The oldest _torii_ of Japan ... were constructed of plain
unvarnished wood. In fact, they were built of straight, upright trunks
of trees in their natural state, though sometimes bereft of the outer
bark. Later on the wood was painted a deep, rich vermilion, possibly
to heighten the effect when the background was densely wooded." Though
the _torii_ was originally associated with Shintōism, it was later
on adopted by the Buddhists, who considerably altered its simple but
beautiful construction by turning up the corners of the horizontal
beams, supplying inscriptions and ornaments of various kinds.

"The Footstool of the King"

Whatever the origin and significance of the Shintō _torii_ may be, no
one will deny its exquisite beauty, and many will agree in believing it
to be the most perfect gateway in the world. Perhaps the most wonderful
_torii_ is the one that stands before the Itsukushima shrine on the
Island of Myajima, and it is called "The Footstool of the King," "The
Gateway of Light," or "The Water Gate of the Sacred Island."

Mrs. Salwey writes: "Is not this Gateway the symbol of the Right
Direction, according to the dogmas of the Shintō Cult, the Goal towards
which the face should be turned--'The Way of the Gods.' Are they not
monitors writing their mystic message as an ideographic sign over the
Lord of the Gods before the rising and setting sun, enhancing by their
presence the dense luxuriance of cryptomerian avenue, reflecting within
dark, still rivers or the silver ripples of the Inland Sea?" We must
be content with this pleasing interpretation of the symbolism of the
_torii_, for it takes us through the gate of conflicting theories, and
gives us something more satisfying than the ramifications of etymology.

[Footnote 1: Chapter VII.: "Legend in Japanese Art."]

[Footnote 2: _Things Japanese_, by Professor B. H. Chamberlain.]



Tsuyu ("Morning Dew") was the only daughter of Iijima. When her father
married again she found she could not live happily with her stepmother,
and a separate house was built for her, where she lived with her
servant-maid Yoné.

One day Tsuyu received a visit from the family physician, Yamamoto
Shijō accompanied by a handsome young _samurai_ named Hagiwara
Shinzaburō. These young people fell in love with each other, and at
parting Tsuyu whispered to Shinzaburō: "_Remember! if you do not come
to see me again I shall certainly die_!"

Shinzaburō had every intention of seeing the fair Tsuyu as frequently
as possible. Etiquette, however, would not allow him to visit her
alone, so that he was compelled to rely on the old doctor's promise
to take him to the villa where his loved one lived. The old doctor,
however, having seen more than the young people had supposed, purposely
refrained from keeping his promise.

Tsuyu, believing that the handsome young _samurai_ had proved
unfaithful, slowly pined away and died. Her faithful servant Yoné also
died soon afterwards, being unable to live without her mistress, and
they were buried side by side in the cemetery of Shin-Banzui-In.

Shortly after this sad event had taken place the old doctor called
upon Shinzaburō and gave him full particulars of the death of Tsuyu and
her maid.

[Illustration: Shinzaburō recognised Tsuyu and her maid Yoné--228]

Shinzaburō felt the blow keenly. Night and day the girl was in his
thoughts. He inscribed her name upon a mortuary tablet, placed
offerings before it, and repeated many prayers.

The Dead Return

When the first day of the Festival of the Dead[2] arrived he set food
on the Shelf of Souls and hung out lanterns to guide the spirits during
their brief earthly sojourn. As the night was warm and the moon at
her full, he sat in his verandah and waited. He felt that all these
preparations would not be in vain, and in his heart he believed that
the soul of Tsuyu would come to him.

Suddenly the stillness was broken by the sound of _kara-kon_,
_kara-kon_, the soft patter of women's _geta_. There was something
strange and haunting about the sound. Shinzaburō rose and peeped over
the hedge. He saw two women. One was carrying a long-shaped lantern
with silk peonies stuck in at the upper end; the other wore a lovely
robe covered with designs of autumnal blossom. In another moment he
recognised the sweet figure of Tsuyu and her maid Yoné.

When Yoné had explained that the wicked old doctor had told them that
Shinzaburō was dead, and the young _samurai_ had likewise informed his
visitors that he, too, had learnt from the same source that his loved
one and her maid had departed this life, the two women entered the
house, and remained there that night, returning home a little before
sunrise. Night after night they came in this mysterious manner, and
always Yoné carried the shining peony-lantern, always she and her
mistress departed at the same hour.

A Spy

One night Tomozō, one of Shinzaburō's servants, who lived next door to
his master, chanced to hear the sound of a woman's voice in his lord's
apartment. He peeped through a crack in one of the sliding doors, and
perceived by the night-lantern within the room that his master was
talking with a strange woman under the mosquito-net. Their conversation
was so extraordinary that Tomozō was determined to see the woman's
face. When he succeeded in doing so his hair stood on end and he
trembled violently, for he saw the face of a dead woman, a woman long
dead. There was no flesh on her fingers, for what had once been fingers
were now a bunch of jangling bones. Only the upper part of her body had
substance; below her waist there was but a dim, moving shadow. While
Tomozō gazed with horror upon such a revolting scene a second woman's
figure sprang up from within the room. She made for the chink and for
Tomozō's eye behind it. With a shriek of terror the spying Tomozō fled
to the house of Hakuōdō Yusai.

Yusai's Advice

Now Yusai was a man well versed in all manner of mysteries; but
nevertheless Tomozō's story made considerable impression upon him, and
he listened to every detail with the utmost amazement. When the servant
had finished his account of the affair Yusai informed him that his
master was a doomed man if the woman proved to be a ghost, that love
between the living and the dead ended in the destruction of the living.

However, apart from critically examining this strange event, Yusai
took practical steps to rescue this young _samurai_ from so horrible
a fate. The next morning he discussed the matter with Shinzaburō, and
told him pretty clearly that he had been loving a ghost, and that the
sooner he got rid of that ghost the better it would be for him. He
ended his discourse by advising the youth to go to the district of
Shitaya, in Yanaka-no-Sasaki, the place where these women had said they

The Mystery is Revealed

Shinzaburō carried out Yusai's advice, but nowhere in the quarter of
Yanaka-no-Sasaki could he find the dwelling-place of Tsuyu. On his
return home he happened to pass through the temple Shin-Banzui-In.
There he saw two tombs placed side by side, one of no distinction, and
the other large and handsome, adorned with a peony-lantern swinging
gently in the breeze. Shinzaburō remembered that this lantern and the
one carried by Yoné were identical, and an acolyte informed him that
the tombs were those of Tsuyu and Yoné. Then it was that he realised
the strange meaning of Yoné's words: "_We went away, and found a very
small house in Yanaka-no-Sasaki. There we are now just barely able to
live by doing a little private work_." Their house, then, was a grave.
The ghost of Yoné carried the peony-lantern, and the ghost of Tsuyu
wound her fleshless arms about the neck of the young _samurai_.

Holy Charms

Shinzaburō, now fully aware of the horror of the situation, hastily
retraced his steps and sought counsel from the wise, far-seeing
Yusai. This learned man confessed his inability to help him further
in the matter, but advised him to go to the high-priest Ryōseki, of
Shin-Banzui-In, and gave him a letter explaining what had taken place.

Ryōseki listened unmoved to Shinzaburō's story, for he had heard so
many bearing on the same theme, the evil power of Karma. He gave the
young man a small gold image of Buddha, which he instructed him to wear
next his skin, telling him that it would protect the living from the
dead. He also gave him a holy _sutra_, called "Treasure-Raining Sutra,"
which he was commended to recite in his house every night; and lastly
he gave him a bundle of sacred texts. Each holy strip he was to paste
over an opening in his house.

By nightfall everything was in order in Shinzaburō's house. All the
apertures were covered with sacred texts, and the air resounded with
the recitation of the "Treasure-Raining Sutra," while the little
gold Buddha swayed upon the _samurai's_ breast. But somehow or other
peace did not come to Shinzaburō that night. Sleep refused to close
his weary eyes, and just as a temple bell ceased booming he heard the
old _karan-koron, karan-koron_--the patter of ghostly _geta_! Then
the sound ceased. Fear and joy battled within Shinzaburō's heart. He
stopped reciting the holy _sutra_ and looked forth into the night. Once
more he saw Tsuyu and her maid with the peony-lantern. Never before had
Tsuyu looked so beautiful or so alluring; but a nameless terror held
him back. He heard with bitter anguish the women speaking together.
He heard Yoné tell her mistress that his love had changed because
his doors had been made fast against them, followed by the plaintive
weeping of Tsuyu. At last the women wandered round to the back of the
house. But back and front alike prevented their entry, so potent were
the sacred words of the Lord Buddha.

The Betrayal

As all the efforts of Yoné to enter Shinzaburō's house were of no
avail, she went night after night to Tomozō and begged him to remove
the sacred texts from his master's dwelling. Over and over again, out
of intense fear, Tomozō promised to do so, but with the coming of
daylight he grew brave and decided not to betray one to whom he owed
so much. One night, however, Yoné refused to be trifled with. She
threatened Tomozō with awful hatred if he did not take away one of the
sacred texts, and in addition she pulled such a terrible face that
Tomozō nearly died of fright.

Tomozō's wife Miné happened to awake and hear the voice of a strange
woman speaking to her husband. When the ghost-woman had vanished Miné
gave her lord cunning counsel to the effect that he should consent to
carry out Yoné's request provided that she would reward him with a
hundred _ryō_.

Two nights later, when this wicked servant had received his reward, he
gave Yoné the little gold image of Buddha, took down from his master's
house one of the sacred texts, and buried in a field the _sutra_ which
his master used to recite. This enabled Yoné and her mistress to enter
the house of Shinzaburō once more, and with their entry began again
this horrible love of the dead, presided over by the mysterious power
of Karma.

When Tomozō came the next morning to call his master as usual, he
obtained no response to his knocking. At last he entered the apartment,
and there, under the mosquito-net, lay his master dead, and beside him
were the white bones of a woman. The bones of "Morning Dew" were twined
round the neck of one who had loved her too well, of one who had loved
her with a fierce passion that at the last had been his undoing.

[Footnote 1: This story, though inspired by a Chinese tale, is Japanese
in local colour, and serves to illustrate, in an extremely weird way,
the power of Karma, or human desire, referred to in Chapter X. We have
closely followed Lafcadio Hearn's rendering, to be found in _In Ghostly

[Footnote 2: See Chapter XVII.]


        "When he died it was as though a bright light had gone
        out in the midst of a black night."

               "_Namudaishi_." (Trans. by Arthur Lloyd.)

The "Namudaishi"

Kōbō Daishi[1] ("Glory to the Great Teacher"), who was born A.D. 774,
was the most holy and most famous of the Japanese Buddhist saints. He
founded the Shingon-shū, a Buddhist sect remarkable for its magical
formulæ and for its abstruse and esoteric teachings, and he is also
said to have invented the _Hiragana_ syllabary, a form of running
script. In the _Namudaishi_, which is a Japanese poem on the life
of this great saint, we are informed that Kobo Daishi brought back
with him from China a millstone and some seeds of the tea-plant, and
thus revived the drinking of this beverage, which had fallen into
disuse. We are also told in the same poem that it was Kōbō Daishi who
"demonstrated to the world the use of coal." He was renowned as a
great preacher, but was not less famous as a calligraphist, painter,
sculptor, and traveller.

"A Divine Prodigy"

Kōbō Daishi, however, is essentially famous for the extraordinary
miracles which he performed, and numerous are the legends associated
with him. His conception was miraculous, for when he was born in the
Baron's Hall, on the shore of Byōbu, a bright light shone, and he came
into the world with his hands folded as if in prayer. When but five
years of age he would sit among the lotuses and converse with Buddhas,
and he kept secret all the wisdom he thus obtained. His heart was
troubled by the sorrow and pain of humanity. While on Mount Shashin he
sought to sacrifice his own life by way of propitiation, but he was
prevented from doing so by a number of angels who would not allow this
ardent soul to suffer death until he had fulfilled his destiny. His
very games were of a religious nature. On one occasion he built a clay
pagoda, and he was immediately surrounded by the Four Heavenly Kings
(originally Hindu deities). The Imperial Messenger, who happened to
pass by when this miracle took place, was utterly amazed, and described
the young Kōbō Daishi as "a divine prodigy." While at Muroto, in Tosa,
performing his devotions, we are told in the _Namu-daishi_ that a
bright star fell from Heaven and entered his mouth, while at midnight
an evil dragon came forth against him, "but he spat upon it, and with
his saliva he killed it."

In his nineteenth year he wore the black silk robes of a Buddhist
priest, and with a zeal that never failed him sought for enlightenment.
"Many are the ways," he said; "but Buddhism is the best of all."
During his mystical studies he came across a book containing the
Shingon doctrine, a doctrine that closely resembles the old Egyptian
speculations. The book was so abstruse that even Kōbō Daishi failed
to master it; but, nothing daunted, he received permission from the
Emperor to visit China, where he ultimately unravelled its profound
mysteries, and attained to that degree of saintship associated with the


When Kōbō Daishi was in China the Emperor, hearing of his fame, sent
for him and bade him rewrite the name of a certain room in the royal
palace, a name that had become obliterated by the effacing finger of
Time. Kōbō Daishi, with a brush in each hand, another in his mouth,
and two others between the toes, wrote the characters required upon
the wall, and for this extraordinary performance the Emperor named him
Gohitsu-Oshō ("The Priest who writes with Five Brushes").

Writing on Sky and Water

While still in China Kōbō Daishi met a boy standing by the side of a
river. "If you be Kōbō Daishi," said he, "be honourably pleased to
write upon the sky, for I have heard that no wonder is beyond your

Kōbō Daishi raised his brush; it moved quickly in the air, and writing
appeared in the blue sky, characters that were perfectly formed and
wonderfully beautiful.

When the boy had also written upon the sky with no less skill, he said
to Kōbō Daishi: "We have both written upon the sky. Now I beg that you
will write upon this flowing river."

Kōbō Daishi readily complied. Once again his brush moved, and this
time a poem appeared on the water, a poem written in praise of that
particular river. The letters lingered for a moment, and then were
carried away by the swift current.

There seems to have been a contest in magical power between these two
workers of marvels, for no sooner had the letters passed out of sight
than the boy also wrote upon the running water the character of the
Dragon, and it remained stationary.

Kōbō Daishi, who was a great scholar, at once perceived that the boy
had omitted the _ten_, a dot which rightly belonged to this character.
When Kōbō Daishi pointed out the error, the boy told him that he had
forgotten to insert the _ten_, and begged that the famous saint would
put it in for him. No sooner had Kōbō Daishi done so than the Dragon
character became a Dragon. Its tail lashed the waters, thunder-clouds
sped across the sky, and lightning flashed. In another moment the
Dragon arose from the water and ascended to heaven.

Though Kōbō Daishi's powers of magic excelled those of the boy, he
inquired who this youth might be, and the boy replied: "I am Monju
Bosatsu, the Lord of Wisdom." Having spoken these words, he became
illumined by a radiant light; the beauty of the Gods shone upon his
countenance, and, like the Dragon, he ascended into heaven.

How Kōbō Daishi Painted the Ten

On one occasion Kōbō Daishi omitted the _ten_ on a tablet placed above
one of the gates of the Emperor's palace.[2] The Emperor commanded that
ladders should be brought; but Kōbō Daishi, without making use of them,
stood upon the ground, and threw up his brush, which, after making the
_ten_, fell into his hand.

Kino Momoye and Onomo Toku

Kino Momoye once ridiculed some of Kōbō Daishi's characters, and said
that one of them resembled a conceited wrestler. On the night he made
this foolish jest Momoye dreamed that a wrestler struck him blow upon
blow--moreover, that his antagonist leapt upon his body, causing him
considerable pain. Momoye awoke, and cried aloud in his agony, and as
he cried he saw the wrestler suddenly change into the character he
had so unwisely jeered at. It rose into the air, and went back to the
tablet from whence it had come.

Momoye was not the only man who imprudently scoffed at the great Kōbō
Daishi's work. Legend records that one named Onomo Toku said that the
saint's character _Shu_ was far more like the character "rice." That
night Onomo Toku had good reason to regret his folly, for in a dream
the character _Shu_ took bodily form and became a rice-cleaner, who
moved up and down the offender's body after the manner of hammers that
were used in beating this grain. When Onomo Toku awoke it was to find
that his body was covered with bruises and that his flesh was bleeding
in many places.

Kōbō Daishi's Return

When Kōbō Daishi was about to leave China and return to his own country
he went down to the seashore and threw his _vajra_[3] across the ocean
waves, and it was afterwards found hanging on the branch of a pine-tree
at Takano, in Japan.

We are not told anything about Kōbō Daishi's voyage to his own land;
but directly he arrived in Japan he gave thanks for the divine
protection he had received during his travels. On the Naked Mountain
he offered incantations of so powerful a nature that the once barren
mountain became covered with flowers and trees.

Kōbō Daishi, as time advanced, became still more holy. During a
religious discussion the Divine Light streamed from him, and he
continued to perform many great marvels. He made brackish water pure,
raised the dead to life, and continued to commune with certain gods. On
one occasion Inari,[4] the God of Rice, appeared on Mount Fushimé and
took from the great saint the sacrifice he offered. "Together, you and
I," said Kōbō Daishi, "we will protect this people."

The Death of Kōbō Daishi

In A.D. 834 this remarkable saint died, and we are told that a very
great gathering, both lay and priestly, wept at the graveyard of
Okunoin, in Kōya, where he was buried. His death, however, by no
means meant a sudden cessation of miracles on his part, for when the
Emperor Saga died "his coffin was mysteriously borne through the air
to Kōya, and Kōbō himself, coming forth from his grave, performed the
funeral obsequies." Nor did the wonders cease with this incident, for
the Emperor Uda received from Kōbō Daishi the sacred Baptism. When
the Imperial Messenger to the temple where Kōbō Daishi was worshipped
was unable to see the face of this great saint, Kōbō "guided the
worshipper's hand to touch his knee. Never, as long as he lived, did
the Messenger forget that feeling!"

A Miraculous Image

At Kawasaki there is a temple dedicated to Kōbō Daishi. "Local legend
attributes the sanctity of this place to an image of Kōbō Daishi carved
by that saint himself while in China, and consigned by him to the
waves. It floated to this coast, where it was caught in a fisherman's
net, and, being conveyed ashore, performed numerous miracles. The trees
in the temple grounds, trained in the shape of junks under sail, attest
the devotion paid to this holy image by the seafaring folk."[5]


Nichiren was the founder of the Buddhist sect which bears his name. His
name means Sun Lotus, and was given to him because his mother dreamt
that the sun rested on a lotus when she conceived him. Nichiren was
an iconoclast of very marked character. He received, by revelation, a
complete knowledge of Buddhist mysteries, though in reading the story
of his life one would have supposed that he acquired his remarkable
religious wisdom through arduous study. During his lifetime Japan was
visited by a terrible earthquake, followed by a destructive hurricane,
pestilence, and famine. So great were these calamities that men prayed
to die rather than live amidst such universal misery. Nichiren saw
in these great disasters the hand of Fate. He saw that religion and
politics had become corrupt, and that Nature had rebelled against
the numerous evils that existed at that time. Nichiren realised that
Buddhism was no longer the simple teaching of the Lord Buddha. In the
various Buddhist sects he had studied so diligently he found that the
priests had neglected Shaka Muni (the Buddha), and worshipped Amida,
a manifestation of the Lord Buddha, instead. Nor did their heresy end
there, for he found that priests and people also worshipped Kwannon and
other divinities. Nichiren desired to sweep these deities aside and to
restore Buddhism to its old purity and singleness of purpose. He cried
in one of his sermons: "Awake, men, awake! Awake and look around you.
No man is born with two fathers or two mothers. Look at the heavens
above you: there are no two suns in the sky. Look at the earth at your
feet: no two kings can rule a country." In other words, he implied that
no one can serve two masters, and the only master he found to be worthy
of service and worship was Buddha himself. With this belief he sought
to replace the ordinary _mantra_, _Namu Amida Butsu_, by _Namu Myōhō
Renge Kyō_ ("Oh, the Scripture of the Lotus of the Wonderful Law!").

Nichiren wrote _Risshō Ankōku Ron_ ("Book to Tranquillise the
Country"), which contained the prediction of a Mongol invasion and
many bitter attacks against the other Buddhist sects. At length Hōjō
Tokiyori was compelled to exile him to Ito for thirty years. He
escaped, however, and renewed his heated attacks upon the rival sects.
Nichiren's enemies sought assistance from the Regent Tokimune, who
decided to have the monk beheaded, and the vindictive Nichiren was
finally sent to the beach of Koshigoye to be executed. While awaiting
the fatal stroke Nichiren prayed to Buddha, and the sword broke as
it touched his neck. Nor was this the only miracle, for immediately
after the breaking of the sword a flash of lightning struck the palace
at Kamakura, and a heavenly light surrounded the saintly Nichiren.
The official entrusted with the deed of execution was considerably
impressed by these supernatural events, and he sent a messenger, to the
Regent for a reprieve. Tokimune, however, had sent a horseman bearing
a pardon, and the two men met at a river now called Yukiai ("Place of

Nichiren's miraculous escape was followed by an even more vigorous
attack on those whom he considered were not of the true religion. He
was again exiled, and finally took up his abode on Mount Minobu. It is
said that a beautiful woman came to this mountain whilst Nichiren was
praying. When the great saint saw her, he said: "Resume your natural
state." After the woman had drunk water she changed into a snake nearly
twenty feet long, with iron teeth and golden scales.

Shōdō Shonin

Shōdō Shonin was the founder of the first Buddhist temple at Nikko, and
the following legend is supposed to have led to the construction of the
sacred bridge of Nikko. One day, while Shōdō Shonin was on a journey,
he saw four strange-looking clouds rise from the earth to the sky. He
pressed forward in order to see them more clearly, but could not go
far, for he found that his road was barred by a wild torrent. While he
was praying for some means to continue his journey a gigantic figure
appeared before him, clad in blue and black robes, with a necklace
of skulls. The mysterious being cried to him from the opposite bank,
saying: "I will help you as I once helped Hiuen." Having uttered these
words, the Deity threw two blue and green snakes across the river, and
on this bridge of snakes the priest was able to cross the torrent. When
Shōdō Shonin had reached the other bank the God and his blue and green
snakes disappeared.

[Footnote 1: The saint's name when living was Kūkai. Kōbō Daishi was a
posthumous title, and it is by this title that he is generally known.]

[Footnote 2: Hence the Japanese proverb: "Even Kōbō Daishi sometimes
wrote wrong."]

[Footnote 3: An instrument of incantation somewhat resembling a

[Footnote 4: At a later period Inari was known as the Fox God. See
Chapter V.]

[Footnote 5: _Murray's Handbook for Japan_, by B. H. Chamberlain and W.
B. Mason.]


The Significance of the Japanese Fan

"Her weapons are a smile and a little fan." This quotation from Mr.
Yone Noguchi only illustrates one phase of the Japanese fan, the phase
with which we are familiar in our own country. The Japanese fan is not
merely a dainty feminine trifle to be used in conjunction with a smile
or with eyes peeping behind some exquisite floral design. Nippon's fan
has a fascinating history quite outside the gentle art of coquetry, and
those who are interested in this subject would do well to consult Mrs.
C. M. Salwey's _Fans of Japan_. Here the reader will find that the fan
of the Land of the Rising Sun has performed many important offices.
It has been used by ancient warriors on the battlefield as a means of
giving emphasis to their commands. On one occasion it was the mark of
Nasu no Yoichi's bow, and although the sun-marked fan was whirling in
the wind, tied to a staff in the gunwale of one of the Taira ships,
Yoichi brought it down:

     "Alas! the fan!
     Now driftwood on the sea.
     The lord Nasu,
     Skilful with the bow,
     Yoichi's fame is spread."

A certain Japanese fan, of gigantic size, is used in the festival of
the Sun Goddess in Ise, and there is a pretty story told of the widow
of Atsumori becoming a nun and curing a priest by fanning him with the
first folding fan, which is said to have been her own invention.

One of the most important parts of the Japanese fan, as of any other,
is the rivet, and concerning the rivet there is the following legend.
Kashima on one occasion stuck his sword through the earth, with the
idea of steadying the world and thus preventing earthquakes, phenomena
still prevalent in Japan. Eventually the sword turned into stones, and
it was called _Kanamé ishi_, or the Rivet Rock, and this was the origin
of the name _kanamé_ as applied to Japanese fans.

Mrs. C. M. Salwey tells us in an article entitled _On Symbolism and
Symbolic Ceremonies of the Japanese_[1] that the folding fan symbolises
life itself. She writes: "The rivet end typifies the starting-point,
the radiating limbs the road of life.... The outside frame-sticks
specify the parents, the inside limbs the children, to show that
children must be under control all their life long." On the frame there
is often a cat's eye, suggesting the rapid passing of time, or, again,
there is a series of circles, one linked into the other--an incomplete
design, showing that "life and wisdom can never be exhausted."

There is a legend concerning the Japanese fan that is extremely
pleasing, and neither war nor philosophy figures in it. Though the
story of the Japanese fan is wide and varied, it appeals to us most
in its more tender aspect. The Japanese fan that has a love-poem upon
it and a love-story behind it is the fan that will always be the most
precious to those who still keep a place for romance in their hearts.
The following legend is from _The Diary of a Convolvulus_.

The Love of Asagao

     "The morning glory
     Her leaves and bells has bound
     My bucket-handle round.
     I would not break the bands
     Of those soft hands.

     The bucket and the well to her I left:
     Lend me some water, for I come bereft."
         _From the Japanese_. (Trans. by Sir Edwin Arnold.)

Komagawa Miyagi a retainer of one of the _daimyōs_, came to a suburb of
Kyōto. As it happened to be a warm summer evening he hired a boat, and,
forgetting all his worries, he watched many bright-robed little ladies
catching fireflies. In the air and on the grass these bright insects
shone, so that the laughing ladies had many opportunities of catching
these living jewels and placing them for a moment in their hair, upon
poised finger, or against a silk flower on a _kimono_.

While Komagawa watched this pretty scene he saw that one of the
ladies was in difficulty with her boat. Komagawa at once came to her
assistance, and there and then fell desperately in love with her. They
lingered together in a cool recess on the river, and no longer troubled
about fireflies, for both were eager to express their love.

In order to pledge their vows these two lovers, according to an ancient
custom, exchanged fans. On Miyuki's fan there was a painting of a
convolvulus. Komagawa wrote a poem about this lovely flower upon his
own fan before presenting it to the woman he loved. So it was that
their fans and their vows were exchanged, and the convolvulus, in
picture and in verse, became the pledge of their troth.

Eventually the lovers separated, to meet again a few days later at
Akasha, where it chanced that their ships touched each other. When
they had exchanged many a fair and loving word they returned to their
respective homes.

When Miyuki reached her home, radiant with thoughts of her true love,
she discovered that her parents had already arranged a marriage for
her with some one the poor little woman had never seen.

Miyuki heard this piece of news with an aching heart. She knew that
children must obey their parents, and when she was lying down on her
_futon_ she did her utmost to comply with her parents' wish. But the
struggle proved useless, for the form of her lover kept on coming back
to her, and the river and the gleaming fireflies. So she arose, crept
out of the house, and walked towards a certain town, hoping to find
Komagawa, only to discover on her arrival that he had departed, no one
knew whither.

This bitter disappointment much affected Miyuki, and she wept for many
days; Her salt tears flowed so persistently that she soon became quite
blind, as helpless a creature as "a bird without feathers or a fish
without fins."

Miyuki, after she had given way to grief for some time, discovered that
if she did not wish to starve she must do something to earn a living.
She made up her mind to make use of her excellent voice and to sing in
streets or in tea-houses. Her voice, combined with her beautiful and
pathetic face, won instant recognition. People wept over her plaintive
singing without knowing why. She loved to sing the little poem about
the convolvulus Komagawa had written on his fan, so the people who
heard her called her Asagao ("Convolvulus").

The blind maiden was led from place to place by her friend Asaka
("Slight Fragrance "), till some one killed her, and Asagao was left
alone to tap out her dark journeys without a loving hand to guide her.
There was only one thought that consoled Asagao, and that was that she
might, in her wanderings, eventually meet her lover.

When a few years had passed by it chanced that Komagawa, accompanied by
Iwashiro Takita, was sent on business by his _Daimyō_. While on their
journey they happened to enter a certain tea-house. Iwashiro Takita was
sullen and morose, and sat in gloomy silence, not deigning to notice
his surroundings. Komagawa, on the other hand, looked about him, and
saw on a screen the very poem he had written about the convolvulus,
the poem he had so lovingly inscribed for Asagao. While pondering the
matter in his mind the master of the tea-house entered the apartment.
Komagawa questioned him concerning this little love-poem, and the
master of the tea-house told the following story:

"It is a very sad story," said he. "The poem was sung by a poor blind
lady. She ran away from her home because she could not marry the man
her parents had chosen for her. She was unable to consent to the union
because she already had a lover, and this lover she sought up and down
the country, ever singing this little poem about the convolvulus, in
the hope that some day she might have the good fortune to meet him.
Honourable sir, at this very moment she is in my tea-garden!"

Komagawa could scarcely conceal his joy when he requested that the
master of the tea-house would bring in the blind woman.

In another moment Asagao stood before him. He saw in her delicate face
an added beauty, the beauty of a hope, of a love kept bright and clear
through the long, sorrowful years of waiting.

Asagao touched the _samisen_.[2] Very gently she sang:

     "Down fell the shower of silver rain and wet the poor Convolvulus,
     The sweet dew on the leaves and flowers being taken away by the
       jealous sun."

Komagawa listened intently, longing to speak, longing to reveal his
love, yet keeping silent because his ill-bred companion still remained
in the room. He watched her dark eyes fixed upon him, but they were
without expression, for they could not see. Still the _samisen_
tinkled, and still the voice sounded sweet and low and unspeakably
pathetic in the apartment. With an aching heart and without a word of
love he dismissed her with the usual fee. She walked out of the room
as if conscious of a new, acute sorrow. There was something in her
patron's voice that was extremely tender, something that moved her
deeply, and it made her heart ache and yearn without knowing why.

The next day Komagawa gave the master of the tea-house a fan, saying:
"Give this fan and money to Asagao. She will understand." With these
words Komagawa and his companion proceeded on their journey.

When Asagao had received the fan she felt it eagerly with her small
white fingers. "Who has given me this fan and money?" she inquired.
"Oh, tell me what the fan is like. Has it a drawing of a convolvulus?"

The master of the tea-house looked at her gently, "He to whom you
sang last night gave you this fan," said he. "There is a drawing of a
convolvulus upon it."

Asagao gave a cry of joy. "Last night," she said softly, "I was with my
lover again! And now, and now...."

At this very moment a servant from Asagao's old home arrived, asserting
that he had been sent by her parents to bring her back again. But
Asagao, true to her old love, determined to fight down all opposition.

Now it happened that the master of this tea-house had once been
employed by Asagao's father. He had committed a great wrong in that
capacity, a wrong worthy of death; but Asagao's father had taken
pity upon him. He had dismissed him with money, which had enabled the
wrongdoer to set up in business for himself. During this crisis the
master of the tea-house thought oven the kindness that had been shown
him, and resolved to commit _seppuku_ in order that his old master's
child might receive her sight again by means of this brave man's

So the master of the tea-house killed himself, and Asagao received
her sight. That very night, though there was a fierce tempest raging,
she set out in search of her lover, accompanied by a faithful little
band of servants. All night the maiden journeyed over rough and rugged
roads. She scarcely noticed the heavy rain or her bleeding feet. She
was urged on by a joyous love, by the fond hope of finding her lover

As she climbed a mountain, now bathed in sunlight, she fancied she
heard a voice calling her name. She looked about her and discovered
Komagawa. Peace came to her then. All the weariness of long search and
almost endless waiting were over for ever, and in a little while the
lovers were married. The convolvulus, or morning glory, is a flower
that only blooms for a few hours; but Asagao's love had the beauty of
the convolvulus combined with the strength and long life of the pine.
In their happy union they had remained true to the pledge of love upon
their fans, and out of blindness and much suffering Asagao could hold
up her fair head to the dew and sunshine of her lover's sheltering arms.

[Footnote 1: _Asiatic Quarterly Review_, October 1894.]

[Footnote 2: "The _samisen_, or 'three strings,' now the favourite
instrument of the singing-girls and of the lower classes generally,
seems to have been introduced from Manila as recently as the year
1700."--_Things Japanese_, by B. H. Chamberlain.]

[Footnote 3: The liver, both of man and animal, was supposed to have
remarkable medicinal properties. It frequently occurs in Japanese
legends, but the idea was probably borrowed from the strangest
pharmacopœia in the world, that of the Chinese.]


        "The earth is full of saltpetre and sulphur, which rise
        in the form of mist, and, uniting in the sky, become a
        vapour that possesses the properties of gunpowder. When
        this nears the intense heat of the sun it explodes,
        like a natural gas; and the terrible sound is heard by
        all the world. The shock, striking animals and birds
        wandering in the clouds, hurls them to the ground.
        Therefore thunder, and lightning, and the creatures that
        tumble from the clouds during a storm, are not one and
        the same thing."

                   "_Shin-rai-ki_" (_Record of Thunder_).


There are many quaint legends in regard to thunder, and in Bakin's
_Kumono Tayema Ama Yo No Tsuki_[1] ("The Moon, shining through a
Cloud-rift, on a Rainy Night") the famous Japanese novelist, who is an
ardent believer in many of the superstitions of his country, has much
to say in regard to Raiden, the God of Thunder, and the supernatural
beings associated with him. Raiden is usually depicted as having red
skin, the face of a demon, with two claws on each foot, and carrying on
his back a great wheel or arc of drums. He is often found in company
with Fugin, or with his son, Raitaro. When the Mongols attempted to
invade Japan they were prevented from doing so by a great storm, and,
according to legend, only three men escaped to tell the tale. Raiden's
assistance in favour of Japan is often portrayed in Japanese art. He
is depicted sitting on the clouds emitting lightnings and sending
forth a shower of arrows upon the invaders. In China the Thunder God
is regarded as a being ever on the look-out for wicked people. When he
finds them, the Goddess of Lightning flashes a mirror upon those whom
the God wishes to strike.

The Thunder Animal

Raijū, or Thunder Animal, appears to be more closely associated with
lightning than with thunder. He is seen in forms resembling a weasel,
badger, or monkey. In the _Shin-rai-ki_ ("Thunder Record") we read
the following: "On the twenty-second day of the sixth month of the
second year of Meiwa [July 1766] a Thunder Animal fell at Oyama [Great
Mountain], in the province of Sagami. It was captured by a farmer, who
brought it to Yedo, and exhibited it for money on the Riyo-goku Bridge.
The creature was a little larger than a cat, and resembled a weasel:
it had black hair, and five claws on each paw. During fine weather it
was very tame and gentle; but, before and during a storm, exceedingly
savage and unmanageable." In China the Thunder Animal is described as
having "the head of a monkey, with crimson lips, eyes like mirrors,
and two sharp claws on each paw." During a storm the Thunder Animal of
Japan springs from tree to tree, and if any of the trees are found to
have been struck by lightning it is believed to be the savage work of,
the Thunder Animal's claws. This being, in common with the Thunder God
himself, is said to have a weakness for human navels, so that for this
reason many superstitious people endeavour, if possible, to lie flat on
their stomachs during a thunderstorm. Bark torn by the Thunder Animal
is carefully preserved, and is supposed to be an excellent remedy for

The Thunder Bird and Thunder Woman

Raicho, Thunder Bird, resembles a rook, but it has spurs of flesh,
which, when struck together, produce a horrible sound. This is the
bird to which the Emperor of Goto-bain referred in the following poem:

     "In the shadow of the pine-tree of Shiro-yama
     Thunder-birds rest, and spend the night."

These birds feed upon the tree-frog named _rai_ (thunder), and are
always seen flying about in the sky during a thunderstorm.

Little is known concerning Kaminari (Thunder Woman), except that on one
occasion she is said to have appeared in the guise of a Chinese Empress.

A Strange Belief

Bakin remarks that those who are afraid of thunder have the _In_, or
female principle, predominating, while those who are not afraid have
the _Yo_, or the male principle, in the ascendency. The same writer
gives the following custom in regard to those who have suffered as the
result of a thunderstorm, and we must note that emphasis is laid upon
_thunder_ as the destructive power--noise rather than light: "When
any one is struck by thunder make him lie upon his back, and place a
live carp in his bosom. If the carp jumps and moves the patient will
recover. This is infallible. When thunder scorches the flesh burn _Ko_
(incense) under the sufferer's nose. This will cause him to cough, and
break the spell of the Thunder God."

The Child of the Thunder God

Most of the legends relating to Raiden and his kindred spirits are of a
malevolent nature; but in the following story we learn that the Thunder
God's child brought considerable prosperity.

Near Mount Hakuzan there once lived a very poor farmer named Bimbo. His
plot of land was extremely small, and though he worked upon it from
dawn till sunset he had great difficulty in growing sufficient rice
for himself and his wife.

One day, after a protracted drought, Bimbo dismally surveyed his
dried-up rice sprouts. As he thus stood fearing starvation in the near
future, rain suddenly descended, accompanied by loud claps of thunder.
Just as Bimbo was about to take shelter from the storm he was nearly
blinded by a vivid flash of lightning, and he prayed fervently to
Buddha for protection. When he had done so he looked about him, and to
his amazement saw a little baby boy laughing and crooning as he lay in
the grass.

Bimbo took the infant in his arms, and gently carried him to his humble
dwelling, where his wife greeted him with surprise and pleasure. The
child was called Raitaro, the Child of Thunder, and lived with his
foster-parents a happy and dutiful boy. He never played with other
children, for he loved to roam in the fields, to watch the stream and
the swift flight of clouds overhead.

With the coming of Raitaro there came prosperity to Bimbo, for Raitaro
could beckon to clouds and bid them throw down their rain-drops only on
his foster-father's field.

When Raitaro had grown into a handsome youth of eighteen he once again
thanked Bimbo and his wife for all they had done for him, and told them
that he must now bid farewell to his benefactors.

Almost before the youth had finished speaking, he suddenly turned into
a small white dragon, lingered a moment, and then flew away.

The old couple ran to the door. As the white dragon ascended into the
sky it grew bigger and bigger, till it was hidden behind a great cloud.

When Bimbo and his wife died a white dragon was carved upon their tomb
in memory of Raitaro, the Child of Thunder.

Shokuro and the Thunder God

Shokuro, in order to stand well with Tom, the magistrate of his
district, promised him that he would catch the Thunder God. "If," said
Shokuro, "I were to tie a human navel to the end of a kite, and fly it
during a stormy day, I should be sure to catch Raiden, for the Thunder
God would not be able to resist such a repast. The most difficult part
of the whole business is to secure the meal."

With this scheme in view Shokuro set out upon a journey in quest of
food for the Thunder God. On reaching a wood he chanced to see a
beautiful woman named Chiyo. The ambitious Shokuro, without the least
compunction, killed the maid, and, having secured his object, flung her
corpse into a deep ditch. He then proceeded on his way with a light

Raiden, while sitting on a cloud, happened to notice the woman's body
lying in a ditch. He descended quickly, and, being fascinated by the
beauty of Chiyo, he took from his mouth a navel, restored her to life,
and together they flew away into the sky.

Some days later Shokuro was out hunting for the Thunder God, his kite,
with its gruesome relic, soaring high over the trees as it flew hither
and thither in a strong wind. Chiyo saw the kite, and descended nearer
and nearer to the earth. At last she held it in her hands and saw what
was attached. Filled with indignation, she looked down in order to
see who was flying the kite, and was much astonished to recognise her
murderer. At this juncture Raiden descended in a rage, only to receive
severe chastisement at the hands of Shokuro, who then made his peace
with Chiyo, and afterwards became a famous man in the village. Truly an
astonishing story!

[Footnote 1: See translation, entitled _A Captive of Love_, by Edward


Magical Animals

Many of the following stories are the tales a Japanese mother narrates
to her child, for animal stories make a universal appeal to the
child-mind. They are generally regarded as fairy stories, but they
contain so much legendary material that it is necessary to include
them in a book of this kind, for they tend to illustrate our subject
in a lighter vein, where the miraculous is mingled with the humorous.
We have devoted a separate chapter to fox legends on account of the
importance of the subject, but it must be borne in mind that the
supernatural characteristics of this animal apply also to the badger
and cat, for in Japanese legend all three animals have been associated
with an incalculable amount of mischief.

The Hare

The hare is supposed to attain, like the fox, tortoise, crane, and
tiger, a fabulous age, extending to no less than a thousand years. In
Taoist legends the hare is said to live in the moon, and is occupied in
pounding, with pestle and mortar, the drugs that compose the Elixir of
Life, while in other legends, as we have seen elsewhere, this animal is
represented as pounding rice. Shaka Muni (the Lord Buddha), according
to legend, is said to have sacrificed himself as a hare in order that
he might appease the hunger of Indra, who drew the animal upon the moon
by way of showing his admiration. The fur of the hare becomes white
when it has lived for five hundred years, and we give below the famous
legend from the _Kojiki_ known as "The White Hare of Inaba."

The White Hare of Inaba

In ancient days there were eighty-one brothers, who were Princes in
Japan. With the exception of one brother they were quarrelsome fellows,
and spent their time in showing all manner of petty jealousy, one
toward the other. Each wanted to reign over the whole kingdom, and,
in addition, each had the misfortune to wish to marry the Princess of
Yakami, in Inaba. Although these eighty Princes were at variance in
most things, they were at one in persistently hating the brother who
was gentle and peaceful in all his ways.

At length, after many angry words, the eighty brothers decided to go
to Inaba in order to visit the Princess of Yakami, each brother fully
resolved that he and he alone should be the successful suitor. The kind
and gentle brother accompanied them, not, indeed, as a wooer of the
fair Princess, but as a servant who carried a large and heavy bag upon
his back.

At last the eighty Princes, who had left their much-wronged brother far
behind, arrived at Cape Keta. They were about to continue their journey
when they saw a white hare lying on the ground looking very miserable
and entirely divested of fur.

The eighty Princes, who were much amused by the sorry plight of the
hare, said: "If you want your fur to grow again, bathe in the sea,
and, when you have done so, run to the summit of a high mountain and
allow the wind to blow upon you." With these words the eighty heartless
Princes proceeded on their way.

The hare at once went down to the sea, delighted at the prospect of
regaining his handsome white fur. Having bathed, he ran up to the top
of a mountain and lay down upon it; but he quickly perceived that
the cold wind blowing on a skin recently immersed in salt water was
beginning to crack and split. In addition to the humiliation of having
no fur he now suffered considerable physical pain, and he realised that
the eighty Princes had shamefully deceived him.

While the hare was lying in pain upon the mountain the kind and gentle
brother approached, slowly and laboriously, owing to the heavy bag he
carried. When he saw the weeping hare he inquired how it was that the
poor animal had met with such a misfortune.

"Please stop a moment," said the hare, "and I will tell you how it
all happened. I wanted to cross from the Island of Oki to Cape Keta,
so I said to the crocodiles: 'I should very much like to know how
many crocodiles there are in the sea, and how many hares on land.
Allow me first of all to count you.' And having said these words the
crocodiles formed themselves into a long line, stretching from the
Island of Oki to Cape Keta. I ran across their horny bodies, counting
each as I passed. When I reached the last crocodile, I said: 'O foolish
crocodiles, it doesn't matter to me how many there are of you in the
sea, or how many hares on land! I only wanted you for a bridge in order
that I might reach my destination.' Alas! my miserable boast cost me
dear, for the last crocodile raised his head and snapped off all my

"Well," said the gentle brother, "I must say you were in the wrong and
deserved to suffer for your folly. Is that the end of your story?"

"No," continued the hare. "I had no sooner suffered this indignity than
the eighty Princes came by, and lyingly told me that I might be cured
by salt water and wind. Alas! not knowing that they deceived me, I
carried out their instructions, with the result that my body is cracked
and extremely sore."

"Bathe in fresh water, my poor friend," said the good brother, "and
when you have done so scatter the pollen of sedges upon the ground and
roll yourself in it. This will indeed heal your sores and cause your
fur to grow again."

The hare walked slowly to the river, bathed himself, and then rolled
about in sedge pollen. He had no sooner done so than his skin healed
and he was covered once more with a thick coat of fur.

The grateful hare ran back to his benefactor. "Those eighty wicked and
cruel brothers of yours," said he, "shall never win the Princess of
Inaba. It is you who shall marry her and reign over the country."

The hare's prophecy came true, for the eighty Princes failed in their
mission, while the brother who was good and kind to the white hare
married the fair Princess and became King of the country.

The Crackling Mountain

An old man and his wife kept a white hare. One day a badger came and
ate the food provided for the pet. The mischievous animal was about to
scamper away when the old man, seeing what had taken place, tied the
badger to a tree, and then went to a neighbouring mountain to cut wood.

When the old man had gone on his journey the badger began to weep and
to beg that the old woman would untie the rope. She had no sooner done
so than the badger proclaimed vengeance and ran away.

When the good white hare heard what had taken place he set out to warn
his master; but during his absence the badger returned, killed the old
woman, assumed her form, and converted her corpse into broth.

"I have made such excellent broth," said the badger, when the old man
returned from the mountain. "You must be hungry and tired: pray sit
down and make a good meal!"

The old man, not suspecting treachery of any kind, consumed the broth
and pronounced it excellent.

"Excellent?" sneered the badger. "You have eaten your wife! Her bones
lie over there in that corner," and with these words he disappeared.

While the old man was overcome with sorrow, and while he wept and
bewailed his fate, the hare returned, grasped the situation, and
scampered off to the mountain fully resolved to avenge the death of his
poor old mistress.

When the hare reached the mountain he saw the badger carrying a bundle
of sticks on his back. Softly the hare crept up, and, unobserved, set
light to the sticks, which began to crackle immediately.

"This is a strange noise," said the badger. "What is it?"

"The Crackling Mountain," replied the hare.

The fire began to burn the badger, so he sprang into a river and
extinguished the flames; but on getting out again he found that his
back was severely burnt, and the pain he suffered was increased by a
cayenne poultice which the delighted hare provided for that purpose.

When the badger was well again he chanced to see the hare standing by a
boat he had made.

"Where are you going in that vessel?" inquired the badger.

"To the moon," replied the hare. "Perhaps you would like to come with

"Not in your boat!" said the badger. "I know too well your tricks on
the Crackling Mountain. But I will build a boat of clay for myself, and
we will journey to the moon."

Down the river went the wooden boat of the hare and the clay boat of
the badger. Presently the badger's vessel began to come to pieces. The
hare laughed derisively, and killed his enemy with his oar. Later on,
when the loyal animal returned to the old man, he justly received much
praise and loving care from his grateful master.

The Badger

The badger in legend has much in common with the fox. It can adopt
human form and assume the shape of the moon; but in many legends it
is described as a humorous creature, an animal intensely fond of a
practical joke. The badger is frequently depicted in legend and art as
playing a tattoo on its protuberant and drum-like stomach, and it is
for this reason that Japanese jesters are sometimes called badgers.

Kadzutoyo and the Badger

On one occasion Kadzutoyo and his retainer went fishing. They had had
excellent sport, and were about to return home, when a violent shower
came on, and they were forced to take shelter under a willow-tree.
After waiting for some time the rain showed no sign of abating, and as
it was already growing dark they decided to continue their journey in
spite of the inclement weather. They had not proceeded far when they
perceived a young girl weeping bitterly. Kadzutoyo regarded her with
suspicion, but his retainer was charmed by the maiden's great beauty,
and inquired who she was and why she lingered on such a stormy night.

"Alas! good sir," said the maiden, still weeping, "my tale is a
sad one. I have long endured the taunts and cruelties of my wicked
stepmother, who hates me. To-night she spat upon me and beat me. I
could bear the bitter humiliation no longer, and I was on the way
to my aunt, who lives in yonder village, there to receive peace and
shelter, when I was stricken down with a strange malady, and compelled
to remain here until the pain subsided."

These words much affected the kind-hearted retainer, and he fell
desperately in love with this fair maiden; but Kadzutoyo, after
carefully considering the matter, drew his sword and cut off her head.

"Oh! my lord," said the retainer, "what awful deed is this? How can you
kill a harmless girl? Believe me, you will have to pay for your folly."

"You do not understand," replied Kadzutoyo, "but all I ask is that you
keep silence in the matter."

When they reached home Kadzutoyo soon fell asleep; but his retainer,
after brooding over the murder of the fair maiden, went to his lord's
parents and told them the whole pitiful story.

Kadzutoyo's father was stricken with anger when he heard the dreadful
tale. He at once went to his son's room, roused him, and said: "Oh,
miserable murderer! How could you slay an innocent girl without the
least provocation? You have shamed the honourable name of _samurai_, a
name that stands for true chivalry and for the defence of the weak and
helpless. You have brought dishonour upon our house, and it is my duty
to take your life." Having said these words, he drew his sword.

"Sir," replied Kadzutoyo, without flinching at the shining weapon,
"you, like my retainer, do not understand. It has been given me to
solve certain mysteries, and with that knowledge I assure you that I
have not been guilty of so foul a crime as you suppose, but have been
loyal to the fair calling of a _samurai_. The girl I cut down with my
sword was no mortal. Be pleased to go to-morrow with your retainers to
the spot where this scene occurred. If you find the corpse of a girl
you will have no need to take my life, for I will disembowel myself."

Early next day, when the sun had scarce risen in the sky, Kadzutoyo's
father, together with his retainers, set out upon the journey. When
they reached the place where the tragedy had taken place the father
saw lying by the roadside, not the corpse of a fair maiden as he had
feared, but the body of a great headless badger.

When the father reached home again he questioned his son: "How is it,"
said he, "that what appeared to be a girl to your retainer seemed to
you to be a badger?"

"Sir," replied Kadzutoyo, "the creature I saw last night appeared to
me as a girl; but her beauty was strange, and not like the beauty of
earthly women. Moreover, although it was raining hard, I observed that
the garments of this being did not get wet, and having noticed this
weird occurrence, I knew at once that the woman was none other than
some wicked goblin. The creature took the form of a lovely maiden with
the idea of bewitching us with her many charms, in the hope that she
might get our fish."

The old Prince was filled with admiration for his son's cleverness.
Having discovered so much foresight and prudence, he resolved to
abdicate, and proclaim Kadzutoyo Prince of Tosa in his stead.

The Miraculous Tea-kettle

One day a priest of the Morinji temple put his old tea-kettle on the
fire in order that he might make himself a cup of tea. No sooner had
the kettle touched the fire than it suddenly changed into the head,
tail, and legs of a badger. The novices of the temple were called in
to see the extraordinary sight. While they gazed in utter astonishment,
the badger, with the body of a kettle, rushed nimbly about the room,
and finally flew into the air. Round and round the room went the merry
badger, and the priests, after many efforts, succeeded in capturing the
animal and thrusting it into a box.

Shortly after this event had taken place a tinker called at the temple,
and the priest thought it would be an excellent idea if he could induce
the good man to buy his extraordinary tea-kettle. He therefore took
the kettle out of its box, for it had now resumed its ordinary form,
and commenced to bargain, with the result that the unsuspecting tinker
purchased the kettle, and took it away with him, assured that he had
done a good day's work in buying such a useful article at so reasonable
a price.

That night the tinker was awakened by hearing a curious sound close
to his pillow. He looked out from behind his quilts and saw that the
kettle he had purchased was not a kettle at all, but a very lively and
clever badger.

When the tinker told his friends about his remarkable companion,
they said: "You are a fortunate fellow, and we advise you to take
this badger on show, for it is clever enough to dance and walk on
the tight-rope. With song and music you certainly have in this very
strange creature a series of novel entertainments which will attract
considerable notice, and bring you far more money than you would earn
by all the tinkering in the world."

The tinker accordingly acted upon this excellent advice, and the fame
of his performing badger spread far and wide. Princes and princesses
came to see the show, and from royal patronage and the delight of the
common people he amassed a great fortune. When the tinker had made
his money he restored the kettle to the Morinji temple, where it was
worshipped as a precious treasure.

The Cat

        "Feed a dog for three days and he will remember your
        kindness for three years; feed a cat for three years and
        she will forget your kindness in three days."

                                           _A Japanese Proverb_.

The Japanese cat, with or without a tail, is very far from being
popular, for this animal and the venomous serpent were the only two
creatures that did not weep when the Lord Buddha died. Nipponese cats
seem to be under a curse, and for the most part they are left to their
own resources, resources frequently associated with supernatural
powers. Like foxes and badgers, they are able to bewitch human beings.
Professor B. H. Chamberlain writes in _Things Japanese_: "Among
Europeans an irreverent person may sometimes be heard to describe an
ugly, cross old woman as a cat. In Japan, the land of topsy-turvydom,
that nickname is colloquially applied to the youngest and most
attractive--the singing-girls." The comparison seems strange to us, but
the allusion no doubt refers to the power of witchery common alike to
the singing-girl and the cat.

The Japanese cat, however, is regarded with favour among sailors,
and the _mike-neko_, or cat of three colours, is most highly prized.
Sailors the world over are said to be superstitious, and those of Japan
do their utmost to secure a ship's cat, in the belief that this animal
will keep off the spirits of the deep. Many sailors believe that those
who are drowned at sea never find spiritual repose; they believe that
they everlastingly lurk in the waves and shout and wail as junks pass
by. To such men the breakers beating on the seashore are the white,
grasping hands of innumerable spirits, and they believe that the sea is
crowded with _O-baké_, honourable ghosts. The Japanese cat is said to
have control over the dead.

The Vampire Cat

The Prince of Hizen, a distinguished member of the Nabéshima family,
lingered in the garden with O Toyo, the favourite among his ladies.
When the sun set they retired to the palace, but failed to notice that
they were being followed by a large cat.

O Toyo went to her room and fell asleep. At midnight she awoke and
gazed about her, as if suddenly aware of some dreadful presence in the
apartment. At length she saw, crouching close beside her, a gigantic
cat, and before she could cry out for assistance the animal sprang upon
her and strangled her. The animal then made a hole under the verandah,
buried the corpse, and assumed the form of the beautiful O Toyo.

The Prince, who knew nothing of what had happened, continued to love
the false O Toyo, unaware that in reality he was caressing a foul
beast. He noticed, little by little, that his strength failed, and
it was not long before he became dangerously ill. Physicians were
summoned, but they could do nothing to restore the royal patient. It
was observed that he suffered most during the night, and was troubled
by horrible dreams. This being so his councillors arranged that a
hundred retainers should sit with their lord and keep watch while he

The watch went into the sick-room, but just before ten o'clock it was
overcome by a mysterious drowsiness. When all the men were asleep the
false O Toyo crept into the apartment and disturbed the Prince until
sunrise. Night after night the retainers came to guard their master,
but always they fell asleep at the same hour, and even three loyal
councillors had a similar experience.

During this time the Prince grew worse, and at length a priest named
Ruiten was appointed to pray on his behalf. One night, while he was
engaged in his supplications, he heard a strange noise proceeding from
the garden. On looking out of the window he saw a young soldier washing
himself. When he had finished his ablutions he stood before an image of
Buddha, and prayed most ardently for the recovery of the Prince.

Ruiten, delighted to find such zeal and loyalty, invited the young man
to enter his house, and when he had done so inquired his name.

"I am Ito Soda," said the young man, "and serve in the infantry of
Nabéshima. I have heard of my lord's sickness and long to have the
honour of nursing him; but being of low rank it is not meet that I
should come into his presence. I have, nevertheless, prayed to the
Buddha that my lord's life may be spared. I believe that the Prince of
Hizen is bewitched, and if I might remain with him I would do my utmost
to find and crush the evil power that is the cause of his illness."

Ruiten was so favourably impressed with these words that he went
the next day to consult with one of the councillors, and after much
discussion it was arranged that Ito Soda should keep watch with the
hundred retainers.

When Ito Soda entered the royal apartment he saw that his master slept
in the middle of the room, and he also observed the hundred retainers
sitting in the chamber quietly chatting together in the hope that they
would be able to keep off approaching drowsiness. By ten o'clock all
the retainers, in spite of their efforts, had fallen asleep. Ito Soda
tried to keep his eyes open, but a heaviness was gradually overcoming
him, and he realised that if he wished to keep awake he must resort to
extreme measures. When he had carefully spread oil-paper over the mats
he stuck his dirk into his thigh. The sharp pain he experienced warded
off sleep for a time, but eventually he felt his eyes closing once
more. Resolved to outwit the spell which had proved too much for the
retainers, he twisted the knife in his thigh, and thus increased the
pain and kept his loyal watch, while blood continually dripped upon the

While Ito Soda watched he saw the sliding doors drawn open and a
beautiful woman creep softly into the apartment. With a smile she
noticed the sleeping retainers, and was about to approach the Prince
when she observed Ito Soda. After she had spoken curtly to him she
approached the Prince and inquired how he fared, but the Prince was
too ill to make a reply. Ito Soda watched every movement, and believed
she tried to bewitch the Prince, but she was always frustrated in her
evil purpose by the dauntless eyes of Ito Soda, and at last she was
compelled to retire.

In the morning the retainers awoke, and were filled with shame when
they learnt how Ito Soda had kept his vigil. The councillors loudly
praised the young soldier for his loyalty and enterprise, and he was
commanded to keep watch again that night. He did so, and once more the
false O Toyo entered the sick-room, and, as on the previous night, she
was compelled to retreat without being able to cast her spell over the

It was discovered that immediately the faithful Soda had kept guard
the Prince was able to obtain peaceful slumber, and, moreover, that
he began to get better, for the false O Toyo, having been frustrated
on two occasions, now kept away altogether, and the guard was not
troubled with mysterious drowsiness. Soda, impressed by these strange
circumstances, went to one of the councillors and informed him that the
so-called O Toyo was a goblin of some kind.

That night Soda planned to go to the creature's room and try to kill
her, arranging that in case she should escape there should be eight
retainers outside waiting to capture her and despatch her immediately.

At the appointed hour Soda went to the creature's apartment, pretending
that he bore a message from the Prince.

"What is your message?" inquired the woman.

"Kindly read this letter," replied Soda, and with these words he drew
his dirk and tried to kill her.

The false O Toyo seized a halberd and endeavoured to strike her
adversary. Blow followed blow, but at last perceiving that flight would
serve her better than battle she threw away her weapon, and in a moment
the lovely maiden turned into a cat and sprang on to the roof. The
eight men waiting outside in case of emergency shot at the animal, but
the creature succeeded in eluding them.

The cat made all speed for the mountains, and caused trouble among the
people who lived in the vicinity, but was finally killed during a hunt
ordered by the Prince Hizen. The Prince became well again, and Ito Soda
received the honour and reward he so richly deserved.

The Dog

Generally speaking the dog in Japan is looked upon as a friendly
animal, and in most legends he acquits himself well; but in the
Oki Islands many of the inhabitants believe that all dogs have
supernatural power, attributed to the fox elsewhere. Professor B. H.
Chamberlain writes: "The human beings in league with them are termed
_inu-gami-mochi_--that is, 'dog-god owners.' When the spirit of such a
magic dog goes forth on an errand of mischief its body remains behind,
growing gradually weaker, and sometimes dying and falling to decay.
When this happens the spirit on its return takes up its abode in the
body of a wizard, who thereupon becomes more powerful than ever."

Shippeitarō and the Phantom Cats

A certain knight took shelter in a lonely and dilapidated mountain
temple. Towards midnight he was awakened by hearing a strange noise.
Gazing about him, he saw a number of cats dancing and yelling and
shrieking, and over and over again he heard these words: "_Tell it not
to Shippeitarō_!"

At midnight the cats suddenly disappeared, stillness reigned in the
ruined temple, and our warrior was able to resume his slumber.

The next morning the young knight left the haunted building, and came
to one or two small dwellings near a village. As he passed one of these
houses he heard great wailing and lamentation, and inquired the cause
of the trouble.

"Alas!" said those who thronged about the knight, "well may you ask why
we are so sorely troubled. This very night the mountain spirit will
take away our fairest maiden in a great cage to the ruined temple where
you have spent the night, and in the morning she will be devoured by
the wicked spirit of the mountain. Every year we lose a girl in this
way, and there is none to help us."

The knight, greatly moved by these pitiful words, and anxious to be of
service, said: "Who or what is Shippeitarō? The evil spirits in the
ruined temple used the name several times."

"Shippeitarō," said one of the people, "is a brave and very fine dog,
and belongs to the head man of our Prince." The knight hastened off,
was successful in securing Shippeitarō for one night, and took the dog
back with him to the house of the weeping parents. Already the cage was
prepared for the damsel, and into this cage he put Shippeitarō, and,
with several young men to assist him, they reached the haunted temple.
But the young men would not remain on the mountain, for they were full
of fear, and, having performed their task, they took their departure,
so that the knight and the dog were left alone.

At midnight the phantom cats again appeared, this time surrounding a
tomcat of immense size and of great fierceness. When the monster cat
saw the cage he sprang round it with screams of delight, accompanied by
his companions.

The warrior, choosing a suitable opportunity, opened the cage, and
Shippeitarō sprang out and held the great cat in his teeth. In another
moment his master drew forth his sword and slew the wicked creature.
The other cats were too amazed at what they had seen to make good their
escape, and the valiant Shippeitarō soon made short work of them. Thus
the village was no longer troubled with ravages of the mountain spirit,
and the knight, in true courtly fashion, gave all the praise to the
brave Shippeitarō.

The Old Man Who Made the Trees to Blossom

One day, while an old man and his wife were in the garden, their dog
suddenly became very excited as he lowered his head and sniffed the
ground in one particular place. The old people, believing that their
pet had detected something good to eat, brought a spade and commenced
to dig, and to their amazement they dug up a great number of gold and
silver pieces and a variety of precious treasures as well. With this
newly acquired wealth the old couple lost no time in distributing alms
among the poor.

When the people next door heard about their neighbours' good fortune
they borrowed the dog, and spread before him all manner of delicacies
in the hope that the animal would do them a good turn too. But the dog,
who had been on previous occasions ill-treated by his hosts, refused
to eat, and at length the angry couple dragged him into the garden.
Immediately the dog began to sniff, and exactly where he sniffed the
greedy couple began to dig; but they dug up no treasure, and all they
could find was very objectionable refuse. The old couple, angry and
disappointed, killed the dog and buried him under a pine-tree.

The good old man eventually learnt what had befallen his faithful dog,
and, full of sorrow, he went to the place where his pet was buried, and
arranged food and flowers on the grave, weeping as he did so.

That night the spirit of the dog came to his master, and said: "Cut
down the tree where I am buried, and from the wood fashion a mortar,
and think of me whenever you use it."

The old man carried out these instructions, and he found that when he
ground the grains of rice in the pine mortar every grain turned into a
precious treasure.

The wicked old couple, having borrowed the dog, had no compunction
in borrowing the mortar too, but with these wicked people the rice
immediately turned into filth, so that in their anger they broke and
burnt the precious vessel.

Once again the spirit of the dog appeared before his master, and
informed him what had taken place, adding: "If you will sprinkle the
ashes of the mortar over withered trees they will immediately become
full of blossom," and having uttered these words the spirit departed.

The kind-hearted old man secured the ashes, and, placing them in a
basket, journeyed from village to village and from town to town, and
over withered trees he threw the ashes, and, as the dog had promised,
they suddenly came into flower. A prince heard of these wonders, and
commanded the old man to appear before him, requesting that he would
give an exhibition of his miraculous power. The old man did so, and
joyfully departed with the many royal gifts bestowed upon him.

The old man's neighbours, hearing of these miracles, collected together
the remaining ashes of the wonderful mortar, and the wicked fellow
went about the country claiming to be able to revive withered or dead
trees. Like the original worker of wonders, the greedy old man appeared
in the palace, and was commanded to restore a withered tree. The old
man climbed up into a tree and scattered the ashes, but the tree still
remained withered, and the ashes almost blinded and suffocated the
Prince. Upon this the old impostor was almost beaten to death, and he
went away in a very miserable state indeed.

The kind old man and his wife, after rebuking their neighbours for
their wickedness, allowed them to share in their wealth, and the once
mean, cruel, and crafty couple led good and virtuous lives.

The Jelly-fish and the Monkey[1]

Rin-Jin, the King of the Sea, took to wife a young and beautiful Dragon
Princess. They had not been married long when the fair Queen fell
ill, and all the advice and attention of the great physicians availed

[Illustration: The Jelly Fish and the Monkey.--272]

"Oh," sobbed the Queen, "there is only one thing that will cure me of
my illness!"

"What is that?" inquired Rin-Jin.

"If I eat the liver of a live monkey I shall immediately recover. Pray
get me a monkey's liver, for I know that nothing else will save my

So Rin-Jin called a jelly-fish to his side, and said: "I want you to
swim to the land and return with a live monkey on your back, for I wish
to use his liver that our Queen may be restored to health again. You
are the only creature who can perform this task, for you alone have
legs and are able to walk about on shore. In order to induce the monkey
to come you must tell him of the wonders of the deep and of the rare
beauties of my great palace, with its floor of pearl and its walls of

The jelly-fish, delighted to think that the health and happiness of
his mistress depended upon the success of his enterprise, lost no
time in swimming to an island. He had no sooner stepped on shore than
he observed a fine-looking monkey playing about in the branches of a

"Hello!" said the jelly-fish, "I don't think much of this island. What
a dull and miserable life you must lead here! I come from the Kingdom
of the Sea, where Rin-Jin reigns in a palace of great size and beauty.
It may be that you would like to see a new country where there is
plenty of fruit and where the weather is always fine. If so, get on my
back, and I shall have much pleasure in taking you to the Kingdom of
the Sea."

"I shall be delighted to accept your invitation," said the monkey, as
he got down from the tree and comfortably seated himself on the thick
shell of the jelly-fish.

"By the way," said the jelly-fish, when he had accomplished about half
of the return journey, "I suppose you have brought your liver with you,
haven't you?"

"What a personal question!" replied the monkey. "Why do you ask?"

"Our Sea Queen is dangerously ill," said the foolish jelly-fish, "and
only the liver of a live monkey will save her life. When we reach the
palace a doctor will make use of your liver and my mistress will be
restored to health again."

"Dear me!" exclaimed the monkey, "I wish you had mentioned this matter
to me before we left the island."

"If I had done so," replied the jelly-fish, "you would most certainly
have refused my invitation."

"Believe me, you are quite mistaken, my dear jelly-fish. I have several
livers hanging up on a pine-tree, and I would gladly have spared one in
order to save the life of your Queen. If you will bring me back to the
island again I will get it. It was most unfortunate that I should have
forgotten to bring a liver with me."

So the credulous jelly-fish turned round and swam back to the island.
Directly the jelly-fish reached the shore the monkey sprang from his
back and danced about on the branches of a tree.

"_Liver_" said the monkey, chuckling, "did you say _liver_? You silly
old jelly-fish, you'll certainly never get mine!"

The jelly-fish at length reached the palace, and told Rin-Jin his
dismal tale. The Sea King fell into a great passion. "Beat him to a
jelly!" he cried to those about him. "Beat this stupid fellow till he
hasn't a bone left in his body!"

So the jelly-fish lost his shell from that unfortunate hour, and all
the jelly-fishes that were born in the sea after his death were also
without shells, and have remained nothing but jelly to this day.

The Horse of Bronze

Upon the festival of the _Minige_, or "The Body-escaping," the Deity
of Kitzuki, Oho-kuninushi, is said to ride through the streets on the
Bronze Horse. The rite connected with the festival is of so mysterious
a kind that the officiating priest can only impart the secret after
his death to his son through the medium of the deceased man's spirit.
The great carved dragon of Kitzuki was supposed at one time to crawl
over the roofs of many houses, but when his wooden throat was cut he
remained simply a work of art and no longer troubled the inhabitants.
Bronze deer of Matsue, a stag and a doe, also had miraculous power and
were able to run about the streets at night. These visitations were so
frequent and so disturbing that eventually their heads were cut and
their escapades came to an end. The gigantic tortoise of the Gesshōji
temple, a stone colossus very nearly sixteen feet in height, was on
many occasions seen endeavouring to swim across a pond covered with
lotus. This creature, like those we have just mentioned, was mutilated,
and his midnight wanderings permanently checked.

[Footnote 1: The Three Mystic Apes figure in Japanese legend. Mizaru
is represented with his hands over his eyes, Kikazaru with his hands
covering his ears, and Iwazaru with his hands laid upon his mouth.
These mystic apes symbolise (1) He who sees no evil, (2) He who hears
no evil, (3) He who speaks no evil.]



We have already noticed certain birds mentioned in Japanese legend,
the pheasant in the story of Momotaro, the _Ho-Ho_ Bird, the Bridge of
Magpies in the account of Tanabata, the mysterious light said to shine
from the blue heron, the Thunder Bird, &c. The _sekirei_, or wagtails,
are sacred to Izanagi and Izanami, for it was through these birds that
these divinities first learnt the art of love, and not even the God of
Scarecrows can frighten them. When the great hero Yamato-take died he
was supposed to have been transformed into a white bird, and we read in
the _Hō-jō-ki_[1] that Chōmei fancied he heard in the note of a copper
pheasant the cry of his mother. Mythical creatures such as the _Tengu_
possess certain bird-like qualities, but they cannot be classed under
the heading of birds, and for this reason they are dealt with elsewhere.

The Cock

The God of Mionoseki detests cocks and hens and everything pertaining
to these birds, and the inhabitants respect his very marked dislike.
On one occasion a certain steamer, shortly after making for the open
sea, encountered a severe storm, and it was thought that the God
of Mionoseki, who is the God of Mariners, must have been seriously
offended. At length the captain discovered that one of his passengers
was smoking a pipe adorned with the figure of a crowing cock. The pipe
was immediately thrown into the sea, and the storm abated.

We are able to gather the reason for the hatred of the cock from the
following legend. In the _Kojiki_ we are informed that the son of the
Deity of Kitsuki spent many an hour at Mionoseki in catching birds and
fish. At that time the cock was his trusted friend, and it was the duty
of this bird to crow lustily when it was time for the God to return
from his sport. On one occasion, however, the cock forgot to crow, and
in consequence, in the God's hurry to go back in his boat he lost his
oars, and was compelled to propel the vessel with his hands, which were
severely bitten by fishes.

How Yoritomo was Saved by Two Doves

Yoritomo, having been defeated in a battle against Oba Kage-chika, was
forced to retreat with six of his followers. They ran with all speed
through a forest, and, finding a large hollow tree, crept inside for

In the meantime Oba Kage-chika said to his cousin, Oba Kagetoki: "Go
and search for Yoritomo, for I have good reason to believe that he lies
hidden in this forest. I will so arrange my men that the flight of our
enemy will be impossible."

Oba Kagetoki departed, none too pleased with the mission, for he had
once been on friendly terms with Yoritomo. When he reached the hollow
tree and saw through a hole in the trunk that his old friend lay
concealed within, he took pity on him, and returned to his cousin,
saying: "I believe that Yoritomo, our enemy, is not in this wood."

When Oba Kage-chika heard these words he cried fiercely: "You lie! How
could Yoritomo make his escape so soon and with my men standing on
guard about the forest? Lead the way, and I and some of my men will
follow you. No cunning this time, cousin, or you shall severely suffer
for it."

In due time the party reached the hollow tree, and Kage-chika was about
to enter it, when his cousin cried: "Stay! What folly is this? Cannot
you see that there is a spider's web spun across the opening? How could
any one enter this tree without breaking it? Let us spend our time more
profitably elsewhere."

Kage-chika, however, was still suspicious concerning his cousin, and he
thrust his bow into the hollow trunk. It almost touched the crouching
Yoritomo, when two white doves suddenly flew out of the cavity.

"Alas!" exclaimed Kage-chika, "you are right, our enemy cannot lie
concealed here, for doves and a cobweb would not admit of such a thing."

By the timely aid of two doves and a spider's web the great hero
Yoritomo made good his escape, and when, in later years, he became
Shōgun he caused shrines to be erected to Hachiman, the God of War, in
recognition of his deliverance, for the doves of Japan are recognised
as the messengers of war, and not of peace, as is the case in our own

The Hototogisu

     "A solitary voice!
     Did the Moon cry?
     'Twas but the _hototogisu_."
                          _From the Japanese_.

There is a mysterious bird called the _hototogisu_ which
plaintively cries its own name, dividing it into syllables thus:
"_ho-to-to-gi-su_." According to legend it is no earthly bird, but
wanders from the Realm of the Dead at the end of May, and warns all
peasants who see it that it is time to sow the rice. Some interpret
the bird's note as meaning, "Has the _kakemono_ been suspended?"
others that it gently repeats: "Surely it is better to return home."
The latter interpretation is characteristically Japanese, for if it
is believed that souls return in the summer-time, it is reasonable to
suppose that at least one of the birds should fly back to the old woods
and streams and hills of Nippon.

The Tongue-cut Sparrow

A cross old woman was at her wash-tub when her neighbour's pet sparrow
ate up all the starch, mistaking it for ordinary food. The old woman
was so angry at what had happened that she cut out the sparrow's
tongue, and the unfortunate bird flew away to a mountain.

When the old couple to whom the sparrow belonged heard what had taken
place they left their home and journeyed a great distance until they
had the good fortune to find their pet again.

The sparrow was no less delighted to meet his master and mistress, and
begged them to enter his house. When they had done so they were feasted
with an abundance of fish and _saké_, were waited upon by the sparrow's
wife, children, and grandchildren, and, not content with these deeds of
hospitality, the feathered host danced a jig called the Sparrow's Dance.

When it was time for the old couple to return home the sparrow brought
forth two wicker baskets, saying: "One is heavy, and the other is
light. Which would you rather have?"

"Oh, the light one," replied the old couple, "for we are aged and the
journey is a long one."

When the old people reached their home they opened the basket, and to
their delight and amazement discovered gold and silver, jewels and
silk. As fast as they took the precious things out an inexhaustible
supply came to their place, so that the wonderful basket of treasure
could not be emptied, and the happy old couple grew rich and

It was not long before the old woman who had cut out the sparrow's
tongue heard about the good fortune of her neighbours, and she hastened
to inquire where this wonderful sparrow was to be seen.

Having gained the information, she had no difficulty in finding the
sparrow. When the bird saw her he asked which of two baskets she would
prefer to take away with her, the heavy or light one? The cruel and
greedy old woman chose the heavy one, believing that this basket would
contain more treasure than the light one; but when, after much labour,
she reached home and opened it, devils sprang upon her and tore her to

A Noble Sacrifice

There was once a man who was extremely fond of shooting birds. He
had two daughters, good Buddhists, and each in turn pointed out the
folly of their father's cruel sport, and begged him not to destroy
life wantonly. However, the man was obstinate and would not listen
to his daughters' entreaties. One day a neighbour asked him to shoot
two storks, and he promised to do so. When the women heard what their
father was about to do, they said: "Let us dress in pure white garments
and go down upon the shore to-night, for it is a place much frequented
by storks. If our father should kill either of us in mistake for the
birds, it will teach him a lesson, and he will surely repent his evil
ways, which are contrary to the gentle teaching of the Lord Buddha."

That night the man went to the shore, and the cloudy sky made it
difficult for him to discover any storks. At last, however, he saw two
white objects in the distance. He fired; the bodies fell immediately,
and he ran to where they lay, only to discover that he had shot both
his noble, self-sacrificing daughters. Stricken with sorrow, the man
erected a funeral pyre and burnt the bodies of his poor children.
Having done these things, he shaved his head, went into the woods, and
became a hermit.

A Pair of Phoenix

A clever woman named Saijosen was engaged in embroidery. One day an
old man called upon her, and said: "Work for me on a piece of cloth a
pair of phoenix." Saijosen readily complied, and when the birds were
worked the old man closed his eyes and pointed at the phoenix with his
finger. Immediately the birds became alive, and the girl and the old
man mounted upon their backs and disappeared into the sky.


Much has been written about the Japanese _semi_, or tree-crickets, and
it seems strange to us that these little creatures should be bought and
placed in minute cages, where they sing with extraordinary sweetness.
Lafcadio Hearn in _Kottō_ gives us a pathetic story concerning one of
these insects. He tells us that his servant forgot to feed it, and that
gradually it ceased to sing, being forced at last to eat its own minute

The _minminzemi's_ singing resembles the chanting of a Buddhist priest,
while the green _semi_, or _higurashi_, makes a sound like the trilling
of a tiny bell. The carrying of a dried beetle is said to increase
one's wardrobe. It must be remembered in the legends that follow that
according to Buddhist teaching all life is sacred, and, moreover, that
on account of some sin the Buddhists believe that the soul of a man or
woman can enter even the minute form of an insect.


     "The gold sun shimmering in noontide skies
     Shines down, where the red-burnished dragon-flies
     Flit to and fro in the translucent haze
     Over the village of eventless days!"
                                   Trans. by Clara A. Walsh.

The dragon-fly is frequently mentioned in Japanese poetry, but nowhere
more pathetically than in the following lines written by Chiyo after
the death of her little son:

     "How far, I wonder, did he stray,
     Chasing the burnished dragon-fly to-day?"

Chiyo, in this exquisite fragment, suggests a very great deal, for in
her mother-love there is no dismal conception of Death. She regards the
future life of her little one as the happiest hour of playtime. Once
more in these lines there is the Japanese idea of the soul coming back

The most charming Japanese dragon-fly is called _Tenshi-tombō_, "the
Emperor's dragon-fly." There is a larger variety particularly sought
after by children, and of this species there are many more females than
males. Boys tie a female to a tree, and sing: "Thou, the male, King
of Korea, dost thou not feel shame to flee away from the Queen of the
East?" This quaint song is an allusion to the legendary conquest of
Korea, to which we shall refer later on, and it succeeds in attracting
the male dragon-fly. It is also believed that if a certain ideograph
is traced in the air it has the power to paralyse the dragon-fly one
wishes to catch.

Tama's Return

Kazariya Kyūbei, a merchant, had a maid-servant called Tama. Tama
worked well and cheerfully, but she was negligent in regard to her
dress. One day, when she had been five years in Kyūbei's house, her
master said to her: "Tama, how is it that, unlike most girls, you
seem to have no desire to look your best? When you go out you wear
your working dress. Surely you should put on a pretty robe on such

"Good master," said Tama, "you do well to rebuke me, for you do not
know why, during all these years, I have worn old clothes and have
made no attempt to wear pretty ones. When my father and mother died I
was but a child, and as I had no brothers or sisters it rested upon me
to have Buddhist services performed on behalf of my parents. In order
that this might come to pass I have saved the money you have given me,
and spent as little upon myself as possible. Now my parents' mortuary
tablets are placed in the Jōrakuji temple, and, having given my money
to the priests, the sacred rites have now been performed. I have
fulfilled my wish, and, begging for your forgiveness, I will in future
dress more becomingly."

Before Tama died she asked her mistress to keep the remaining money
she had saved. Shortly after her death a large fly entered Kyūbei's
house. Now at that time of the year, the Period of the Greatest Cold,
it was unusual for flies to appear, and the master of the house was
considerably puzzled. He carefully put the insect outside the house;
but it flew back immediately, and every time it was ejected it came
back again. "This fly," said Kyūbei's wife, "may be Tama." Kyūbei cut
a small piece out of the insect's wings, and this time carried it some
distance from his abode. But the next day it returned once more, and
this time the master painted the fly's wings and body with rouge, and
took it even further away from his dwelling. Two days later the fly
returned, and the nick in its wings and the rouge with which it was
covered left no doubt in the minds of Kyūbei and his wife that this
persistent insect was indeed Tama.

"I believe," said Kyūbei's wife, "that Tama has returned to us because
she wants us to do something for her. I have the money she asked me to
keep. Let us give it to the priests in order that they may pray for
her soul." When these words had been spoken the fly fell dead upon the

Kyūbei and his wife placed the fly in a box, and with the girl's money
they went to the priests. A _sutra_ was recited over the body of the
insect, and it was duly buried in the temple grounds.

Sanemori and Shiwan

Sanemori, who was a great warrior, was on one occasion, while riding
on a horse, engaged in fighting an enemy. During the conflict his
horse slipped and rolled into a rice-field. As the result of this
mishap his antagonist was able to slay him, and from that hour Sanemori
became a rice-devouring insect, known by the peasantry of Izumo as
Sanemori-San. During certain summer nights the peasants light fires
in their rice-fields in order to attract the insect, play upon flutes
and beat gongs, crying: "O Sanemori, augustly deign to come hither!" A
religious rite is then performed, and a straw representation of a rider
upon a horse is either burnt or thrown into water. It is believed that
this ceremony will successfully free the fields from the rice-devouring

The _shiwan_, a small yellow insect that feeds upon cucumbers, is said
to have once been a physician. This physician, guilty of some intrigue,
was forced to leave his home, but in attempting to make his escape his
foot caught in the sinuous coils of a cucumber vine, and he was killed
by his pursuers. His angry ghost became a _shiwan_, and from that day
to this the insect feeds upon cucumbers.


        "For this willow-tree the season of budding would seem
        to have returned in the dark--look at the fireflies."

In ancient days firefly-hunting was one of the amusements of great
nobles, but to-day it is the pastime of children only. These hunting
parties, however, have lost none of their picturesqueness, and the
flashing insect has been the theme of many an exquisite poem, such as:
"Ah, the cunning fireflies! being chased, they hide themselves in the

Grown-up people, however, go out to see the fireflies with the same
ardour with which they indulge in flower-viewing. To the minds of these
great Nature-lovers the fireflies resemble dazzling petals of some
strange fire-flower or a host of wondering stars that has left the sky
to wander upon the earth. During the summer thousands of people visit
Uji in order to see the _Hotaru-Kassen_, or Firefly Battle. From the
river-bank dart myriads of these flashing insects, and in a moment they
form a great silver-shining cloud. The cloud breaks and the flowing
river, once dark as black velvet, becomes a winding stretch of gleaming
jewels. No wonder the Japanese poet cries: "Do I see only fireflies
drifting with the current? Or is the Night itself drifting, with its
swarming of stars?"

There is a legend connected with this fascinating spectacle. It is
believed that the Minamoto-Firefly and the Taira-Firefly are the ghosts
of the old warriors of the Minamoto and Taira clans. On the night of
the twentieth day of the fourth month they fight a great battle on
the Uji River. On that night all caged fireflies are set free in order
that they may fight again the old clan battles of the twelfth century.
The ghostly significance of fireflies is further strengthened by the
fact that these insects are fond of swarming round willow-trees--the
most eerie trees in Japan. Fireflies in ancient days were supposed to
possess medicinal properties. Firefly ointment was said to render all
poisons harmless, and, moreover, it had the power to drive away evil
spirits and to preserve a house from the attacks of robbers.

A Strange Dream

A young man of Matsue was returning home from a wedding-party when
he saw, just in front of his house, a firefly. He paused a moment,
surprised to see such an insect on a cold winter's night with snow on
the ground. While he stood and meditated the firefly flew toward him,
and the young man struck at it with his stick, but the insect flew away
and entered the garden adjoining his own.

The next day he called at his neighbour's house, and was about to
relate the experience of the previous night when the eldest daughter
of the family entered the room, and exclaimed: "I had no idea you were
here, and yet a moment ago you were in my mind. Last night I dreamt
that I became a firefly. It was all very real and very beautiful, and
while I was darting hither and thither I saw you, and flew toward you,
intending to tell you that I had learnt to fly, but you thrust me aside
with your stick, and the incident still frightens me."

[Illustration: The Firefly Battle.--286]

The young man, having heard these words from the lips of his betrothed,
held his peace.

The Vengeance of Kanshiro[2]

In the village of Funakami there lived a devout old farmer called
Kanshiro. Every year the old man made various pilgrimages to certain
shrines, where he prayed and asked the blessings of the deities. At
last, however, he became so infirm that he realised that his earthly
days were numbered, and that he would probably only have strength to
pay one more visit to the great shrines at Ise. When the people of the
village heard this noble resolution they generously gave him a sum of
money in order that the respected old farmer might present it to the
sacred shrines.

Kanshiro set off upon his pilgrimage carrying the money in a bag, which
he hung round his neck. The weather was extremely hot, and the heat
and fatigue of the journey made the old man so ill that he was forced
to remain for a few days in the village of Myojo. He went to a small
inn and asked Jimpachi, the innkeeper, to take care of his money,
explaining that it was an offering to the Gods at Ise. Jimpachi took
the money, and assured the old man that he would take great care of it,
and, moreover, that he himself would attend upon him.

On the sixth day the old man, though still far from well, paid his
bill, took the bag from the innkeeper, and proceeded on his journey.
As Kanshiro observed many pilgrims in the vicinity he did not look
into the bag, but carefully concealed it in the sack containing spare
raiment and food.

When Kanshiro at length rested under a pine-tree he took out the bag
and looked inside. Alas! the money had been stolen, and stones of the
same weight inserted in its place. The old man hastily returned to the
innkeeper and begged him to restore the money. Jimpachi grew extremely
angry, and gave him a severe beating.

The poor old man crawled away from the village, and three days later,
with indomitable courage, he succeeded in reaching the sacred shrines
at Ise. He sold his property in order to refund the money his good
neighbours had given him, and with what remained he continued his
pilgrimage, till at last he was forced to beg for food.

Three years later Kanshiro went to the village of Myoto, and found
that the innkeeper who had treated him so badly was now comparatively
well off, and lived in a large house. The old man went to him, and
said: "You have stolen sacred money from me, and I have sold my little
property in order that I might refund it to those who had given it to
me. Ever since that time I have been a beggar, but be assured vengeance
shall fall upon you!"

Jimpachi cursed the old man and told him that he had not stolen his
money. During the heated dispute a watchman seized Kanshiro, dragged
him away from the house, and told him that he would be arrested if he
dared to return. At the end of the village the old man died, and a
kindly priest took his body to a temple, respectfully burnt it, and
offered up many holy prayers for his good and loyal soul.

Immediately after Kanshiro's death Jimpachi grew afraid of what he had
done, and became so ill that he was forced to take to his bed. When
he had lost all power of movement a great company of fireflies flew
out of the farmer's tomb and surrounded Jimpachi's mosquito-curtain,
and tried to break it down. Many of the villagers came to Jimpachi's
assistance and killed a number of fireflies, but the stream of shining
insects that flew from Kanshiro's tomb never lessened. Hundreds were
killed, but thousands came to take their place. The room was ablaze
with firefly light, and the mosquito-curtain sank beneath their
ever-increasing weight. At this remarkable sight some of the villagers
murmured: "Jimpachi stole the old man's money after all. This is the
vengeance of Kanshiro."

Even while they spoke the curtain broke and the fireflies rushed
into the eyes, ears, mouth, and nose of the terrified Jimpachi. For
twenty days he screamed aloud for mercy; but no mercy came. Thicker
and thicker grew the stream of flashing, angry insects, till at last
they killed the wicked Jimpachi, when from that hour they completely

[Footnote 1: Translated by F. Victor Dickins.]

[Footnote 2: Adapted from _Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan_, by &
Gordon Smith.]


        "The first cup moistens my lips and throat, the second
        cup breaks my loneliness, the third cup searches
        my inmost being.... The fourth cup raises a slight
        perspiration--all the wrong of life passes away through
        my pores. At the fifth cup I am purified; the sixth
        cup calls me to the realms of immortals. The seventh
        cup--ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the
        breath of cool wind that rises in my sleeves. Where is
        Horaisan?[2] Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft
        away thither."


Tea-drinking in England and Japan

In England we regard tea simply as a beverage, a refreshing and mild
stimulant over which ladies are wont to gossip with their neighbours.
There is nothing romantic about our tea-pots and kettles and spoons;
they come from the kitchen and are returned to the kitchen with
prescribed regularity. We have a few stock comments on the subject
of tea, and can quote the exact price our grandmothers paid for this
beverage. We have our opinions as to whether it is best taken with or
without sugar, and have sometimes found it efficacious in driving away
a headache.

When tea reached our own country in 1650 it was referred to as "that
excellent and by all physicians approved China drink, called by the
Chineans Tcha, and by other nations Tay, alias Tee." In 1711 the
_Spectator_ remarked: "I would therefore in a particular manner
recommend these my speculations to all well-regulated families that
set apart an hour every morning for tea, bread and butter; and
would earnestly advise them for their good to order this paper
to be punctually served up and to be looked upon as a part of the
tea-equipage." Dr. Johnson described himself as "a hardened and
shameless tea-drinker, who for twenty years diluted his meals with only
the infusion of the fascinating plant; who with tea amused the evening,
with tea solaced the midnight, and with tea welcomed the morning." But
there is no romance, no old tradition associated with our tea-drinking
in this country. Perhaps it is as well that the ladies sitting in our
fashionable drawing-rooms are unacquainted with the grim and pathetic
legend that narrates how a Buddhist priest fell asleep during his
meditations. When he awoke he cut off his offending eyelids and flung
them on the ground, where they were immediately transformed into the
first tea-plant.

In Japan tea-drinking has become a ritual. It is not so much a
social function as a time for peaceful meditation. The elaborate
tea ceremonies, _cha-no-yu_, have their tea-masters, etiquette,
and numerous observances. A cup of Japanese tea is combined with
spiritual and artistic enlightenment. But before discussing these very
interesting ceremonies we must learn something about the significance
of tea in China, for it was the drinking of this beverage in the
Celestial Kingdom, associated with the rarest porcelain and æsthetic
and religious thought, that inspired the tea cult in the Land of the

Tea in China

The tea-plant, a native of Southern China, was originally regarded as
a medicine. It was referred to in the classics by such names as _Tou,
Tseh, Chung, Kha_, and _Ming_, and was much esteemed on account of
its medicinal properties. It was regarded as an excellent lotion for
strengthening the eyes, and, moreover, had the power to banish fatigue,
strengthen the will, and delight the soul. It was sometimes made in
the form of a paste, and was believed to be efficacious in reducing
rheumatic pain. The Taoists went so far as to claim that tea was one of
the ingredients of the Elixir of Life, while the Buddhist priests drank
it whenever it was necessary for them to meditate during the long hours
of the night.

Luwuh and the "Chaking"

In the fourth and fifth centuries we find that tea became a highly
favoured beverage among the people of the Yangtse-Kiang valley. At
this time, too, poets waxed eloquent in its praise, and described it
as the "froth of the liquid jade." But tea at that time was a very
horrible concoction indeed, for it was boiled with rice, salt, ginger,
orange-peel, and not infrequently with onions! However, Luwuh, who
lived in the eighth century, discountenanced the strange mixture we
have just referred to. He was the first Chinese tea-master, and not
only did he idealize tea, but he saw, with keen poetic insight, that
the ceremony of drinking it made for harmony and order in daily life.

In his _Chaking_ ("The Holy Scripture of Tea") he describes the nature
of the tea-plant, and how its leaves should be gathered and selected.
He was of the opinion that the best leaves should have "creases like
the leathern boot of Tartar horsemen, curl like the dewlap of a mighty
bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake
touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like fine earth newly swept
by rain." Luwuh describes the various utensils connected with the tea
ceremony, and asserts that the green beverage should be drunk from blue
porcelain cups. He discourses on the subject of the choice of water
and the manner of boiling it. In poetical language he describes the
three stages of boiling. He compares the little bubbles of the first
boil with the eyes of fishes, the bubbles of the second boil with a
fountain crowned with clustering crystal beads, and the final boil is
described as resembling the surge of miniature billows. The concluding
chapters of the _Chaking_ deal with the vulgar and unorthodox methods
of drinking tea, and the ardent master gives a list of celebrated
tea-drinkers, and enumerates the famous Chinese tea plantations.
Luwuh's fascinating book was regarded as a masterpiece. He was sought
after by the Emperor Taisung, attracted many disciples, and was
regarded as the greatest authority on tea and tea-drinking. His fame
did not die with him, for since his death Chinese tea-merchants have
worshipped him as a tutelary god.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony

It is believed that the great Buddhist saint, Dengyō Daishi, introduced
tea into Japan from China in A.D. 805. In any case tea-drinking in
Nippon was associated with Buddhism, and most particularly with the
Zen sect, which had incorporated so many of the Taoist doctrines. The
priests of this order drank tea from a single bowl before the image
of Bodhi Dharma (Daruma). They did so in the spirit of reverence,
and regarded the tea-drinking as a holy sacrament. It was this Zen
observance, strictly of a religious nature, which finally developed
into the Japanese tea ceremony.

"The tea ceremonies," writes Professor B. H. Chamberlain, "have
undergone three transformations during the six or seven hundred years
of their existence. They have passed through a medico-religious stage,
a luxurious stage, and, lastly, an æsthetic stage." In the religious
stage the Buddhist priest Eisai wrote a pamphlet entitled _The
Salutary Influence of Tea-drinking_, in which he asserted that this
beverage had the power to drive away evil spirits. He introduced a
religious ceremonial in regard to the worship of ancestors, accompanied
by the beating of drums and the burning of incense. Eisai wrote his
tract with the intention of converting Minamoto-no-Sanetomo from his
vicious love of the wine-cup, and endeavoured to show the superiority
of the tea-plant over the juice of the grape.

We find that the tea ceremonies for the time being lost their religious
significance: "The Daimyōs," writes Professor Chamberlain, "who daily
took part in them reclined on couches spread with tiger-skins and
leopard-skins. The walls of the spacious apartments in which the
guests assembled were hung, not only with Buddhist pictures, but
with damask and brocade, with gold and silver vessels, and swords in
splendid sheaths. Precious perfumes were burnt, rare fishes and strange
birds were served up with sweetmeats and wine, and the point of the
entertainment consisted in guessing where the material for each cup of
tea had been produced; for as many brands as possible were brought in,
to serve as a puzzle or _jeu de société_.... Every right guess procured
for him who made it the gift of one of the treasures that were hung
round the room. But he was not allowed to carry it away himself. The
rules of the tea ceremonies, as then practised, ordained that all the
things rich and rare that were exhibited must be given by their winners
to the singing and dancing-girls, troupes of whom were present to help
the company in their carousal."

This variety of tea ceremony, which appears to have been more of an
orgy than anything else, reflected the luxurious and dissolute age in
which it was practised. The tea ceremony, in its more enduring and
characteristic form, was destined to abandon all vulgar display, to
embrace a certain amount of religion and philosophy, and above all to
afford a means of studying art and the beauty of Nature. The tea-room
became, not a place of carousal, but a place where the wayfarer might
find peace in solemn meditation. Even the garden path leading to the
tea-room had its symbolic meaning, for it signified the first stage of
self-illumination. The following was Kobori-Enshiu's idea of the path
leading to the tea-room:

     "A cluster of summer trees,
     A bit of the sea,
     A pale evening moon."

Such a scene was intended to convey to the wayfarer a sense of
spiritual light. The trees, sea, and moon awakened old dreams, and
their presence made the guest eager to pass into the greater joys of
the tea-room. No _samurai_ was allowed to take his sword into the
fragrant sanctuary of peace, and in many tea-rooms there was a low
door through which the guests entered with bowed head, as a sign of
humility. In silence the guests made obeisance before a _kakemono_, or
some simple and beautiful flower on the _tokonoma_ (alcove), and then
seated themselves upon the mats. When they had done so the host entered
and the water was heard to boil in the kettle with a musical sound,
because of some pieces of iron which it contained. Even the boiling of
the kettle was associated with poetical ideas, for the song of water
and metal was intended to suggest "the echoes of a cataract muffled by
clouds, of a distant sea breaking among the rocks, a rainstorm sweeping
through a bamboo forest, or of the soughing of pines on some far-away
hill." There was a sense of harmony in the tea-room. The light was like
the mellow light of evening, and the garments of the company were as
quiet and unobtrusive as the grey wings of a moth. In this peaceful
apartment the guests drank their tea and meditated, and went forth into
the world again better and stronger for having contemplated in silence
the beautiful and the noble in religion, art, and nature. "Seeking
always to be in harmony with the great rhythm of the universe, they
were ever prepared to enter the unknown."

The Passing of Rikiu

Rikiu was one of the greatest of tea-masters, and for long he remained
the friend of Taiko-Hideyoshi; but the age in which he lived was full
of treachery. There were many who were jealous of Rikiu, many who
sought his death. When a coldness sprang up between Hideyoshi and
Rikiu, the enemies of the great tea-master made use of this breach of
friendship by spreading the report that Rikiu intended to add poison to
a cup of tea and present it to his distinguished patron. Hideyoshi soon
heard of the rumour, and without troubling to examine the matter he
condemned Rikiu to die by his own hand.

On the last day of the famous tea-master's life he invited many of his
disciples to join with him in his final tea ceremony. As they walked up
the garden path it seemed that ghosts whispered in the rustling leaves.
When the disciples entered the tea-room they saw a _kakemono_ hanging
in the _tokonoma_, and when they raised their sorrowful eyes they saw
that the writing described the passing of all earthly things. There
was poetry in the singing of the tea-kettle, but it was a sad song
like the plaintive cry of an insect. Rikiu came into the tea-room calm
and dignified, and, according to custom, he allowed the chief guest to
admire the various articles associated with the tea ceremony. When all
the guests had gazed upon them, noting their beauty with a heavy heart,
Rikiu presented each disciple with a souvenir. He took his own cup in
his hand, and said: "Never again shall this cup, polluted by the lips
of misfortune, be used by man." Having spoken these words, he broke the
cup as a sign that the tea ceremony was over, and the guests bade a sad
farewell and departed. Only one remained to witness, not the drinking
of another cup of tea, but the passing of Rikiu. The great master took
off his outer garment, and revealed the pure white robe of Death. Still
calm and dignified, he looked upon his dagger, and then recited the
following verse with unfaltering voice:

     "Welcome to thee,
     O sword of eternity!
     Through Buddha
     And through Daruma alike
     Thou hast cleft thy way."

He who loved to quote the old poem, "To those who long only for flowers
fain would I show the full-blown spring which abides in the toiling
buds of snow-covered hills," has crowned the Japanese tea ceremony with
an immortal flower.

The Legend of the Tea-plant[3]

Daruma was an Indian sage, whose image, as we have already seen, was
associated with the ritualistic drinking of tea by the Zen sect in
Japan. He is said to have been the son of a Hindu king, and received
instruction from Panyatara. When he had completed his studies he
retired to Lo Yang, where he remained seated in meditation for nine
years. During this period the sage was tempted after the manner of St.
Anthony. He wrestled with these temptations by continually reciting
sacred scriptures; but the frequent repetition of the word "jewel"
lost its spiritual significance, and became associated with the
precious stone worn in the ear of a certain lovely woman. Even the word
"lotus," so sacred to all true Buddhists, ceased to be the symbol of
the Lord Buddha and suggested to Daruma the opening of a girl's fair
mouth. His temptations increased, and he was transported to an Indian
city, where he found himself among a vast crowd of worshippers. He saw
strange deities with horrible symbols upon their foreheads, and Rajahs
and Princes riding upon elephants, surrounded by a great company of
dancing-girls. The great crowd of people surged forward, and Daruma
with them, till they came to a temple with innumerable pinnacles, a
temple covered with a multitude of foul forms, and it seemed to Daruma
that he met and kissed the woman who had changed the meaning of jewel
and lotus. Then suddenly the vision departed, and Daruma awoke to
find himself sitting under the Chinese sky. The sage, who had fallen
asleep during his meditation, was truly penitent for the neglect of his
devotions, and, taking a knife from his girdle, he cut off his eyelids
and cast them upon the ground, saying: "O Thou Perfectly Awakened!"
The eyelids were transformed into the tea-plant, from which was made a
beverage that would repel slumber and allow good Buddhist priests to
their vigils.


Daruma is generally represented without legs, for according to one
version of the legend we have just given he lost his limbs as the
result of the nine-year meditation. _Netsuke_[4]-carvers depict him in
a full, bag-like like garment, with a scowling face and lidless eyes.
He is sometimes presented in Japanese art as being surrounded with
cobwebs, and there is a very subtle variation of the saint portrayed
as a female Daruma, which is nothing less than a playful jest against
Japanese women, who could not be expected to remain silent for nine
years! An owl is frequently associated with Daruma, and in his journey
to Japan he is pictured as standing on waves, supported by a millet
stalk. Three years after Daruma's death he was seen walking across the
western mountains of China, and it was observed that he carried one
shoe in his right hand. When Daruma's tomb was opened by the order of
the Emperor it was found only to contain a shoe, which the saint had
forgotten to take away with him.[5]

[Footnote 1: We have derived most of the material for this chapter from
_The Book of Tea_, by Okakura-Kakuzo, and we warmly commend this very
charming volume to those who are interested in the subject.]

[Footnote 2: The Chinese Paradise.]

[Footnote 3: A full account of this beautiful legend will be found in
Lafcadio Hearn's _Some Chinese Ghosts_.]

[Footnote 4: "Originally a kind of toggle for the medicine-box or
tobacco-pouch, carved out of wood or ivory."--_Things Japanese_, by B.
H. Chamberlain.]

[Footnote 5: Reference to Yuki-Daruma, or Snow-Daruma, and toy-Daruma,
called _Okiagari-koboshi_ ("The Getting-up Little Priest"), will be
found in Lafcadio Hearn's _A Japanese Miscellany_.]



In the stories concerning Yoshitsune and his loyal retainer Benkei we
have already referred to the battle of Dan-no-ura, the last conflict
between the Taira and Minamoto clans.[2] In this great sea-fight the
Taira perished, including their infant Emperor, Antoku Tenno. Thus is
the memorable scene described in the _Heike Monogatari_, translated by
Dr. W. G. Aston:

        "'This world is the region of sorrow, a remote spot
        small as a grain of millet. But beneath the waves
        there is a fair city called the Pure Land of Perfect
        Happiness. Thither it is that I am taking you.' With
        such words she soothed him. The child then tied his
        top-knot to the Imperial robe of the colour of a
        mountain-dove, and tearfully joined together his lovely
        little hands. First he turned to the East, and bade
        adieu to the shrine of the great God of Ise and the
        shrine of Hachiman. Next he turned to the West, and
        called upon the name of Buddha. When he had done so,
        Niidono made bold to take him in her arms, and, soothing
        him with the words, 'There is a city away below the
        waves,' sank down to the bottom one thousand fathoms

It is said that for seven hundred years after this great battle the sea
and coast in the vicinity have been haunted by the ghosts of the Taira
clan. Mysterious fires shone on the waves, and the air was filled with
the noise of warfare. In order to pacify the unfortunate spirits the
temple of Amidaji was built at Akamagaséki, and a cemetery was made
close by, in which were various monuments inscribed with the names
of the drowned Emperor and his principal followers. This temple and
cemetery pacified the ghostly visitants to a certain extent, but from
time to time many strange things happened, as we shall gather from the
following legend.

There once lived at the Amidaji temple a blind priest named Hōïchi. He
was famous for his recitation and for his marvellous skill in playing
upon the _biwa_ (a four-stringed lute), and he was particularly fond
of reciting stories in connection with the protracted war between the
Taira and Minamoto clans.

One night Hōïchi was left alone in the temple, and as it was a very
warm evening he sat out on the verandah, playing now and again upon
his _biwa_. While thus occupied he heard some one approaching, some
one stepping across the little back garden of the temple. Then a deep
voice cried out from below the verandah: "Hōïchi!" Yet again the voice
sounded: "Hōïchi!"

Hōïchi, now very much alarmed, replied that he was blind, and would be
glad to know who his visitor might be.

"My lord," began the stranger, "is now staying at Akamagaséki with many
noble followers, and he has come for the purpose of viewing the scene
of the battle of Dan-no-ura. He has heard how excellently you recite
the story of the conflict, and has commanded me to escort you to him in
order that you may show him your skill. Bring your _biwa_ and follow
me. My lord and his august assembly now await your honourable presence."

Hōïchi, deeming that the stranger was some noble _samurai_, obeyed
immediately. He donned his sandals and took his _biwa_. The stranger
guided him with an iron hand, and they marched along very quickly.
Hōïchi heard the clank of armour at his side; but all fear left him,
and he looked forward to the honour of showing his skill before a
distinguished company.

Arriving at a gate, the stranger shouted: "_Kaimon_!" Immediately the
gate was unbarred and opened, and the two men passed in. Then came
the sound of many hurrying feet, and a rustling noise as of screens
being opened. Hōïchi was assisted in mounting a number of steps,
and, arriving at the top, he was commanded to leave his sandals. A
woman then led him forward by the hand till he found himself in a
vast apartment, where he judged that a great company of people were
assembled. He heard the subdued murmur of voices and the soft movement
of silken garments. When Hōïchi had seated himself on a cushion the
woman who had led him bade him recite the story of the great battle of

Hōïchi began to chant to the accompaniment of his _biwa_. His skill
was so great that the strings of his instrument seemed to imitate the
sound of oars, the movement of ships, the shouting of men, the noise
of surging waves, and the whirring of arrows. A low murmur of applause
greeted Hōïchi's wonderful performance. Thus encouraged, he continued
to sing and play with even greater skill. When he came to chant of the
perishing of the women and children, the plunge of Niidono into the sea
with the infant Emperor in her arms, the company began to weep and wail.

When the performance was over the woman who had led Hōïchi told him
that her lord was well pleased with his skill, and that he desired him
to play before him for the six following nights. "The retainer," added
she, "who brought you to-night will visit your temple at the same hour
to-morrow. You must keep these visits secret, and may now return to
your abode."

Once more the woman led Hōïchi through the apartment, and having
reached the steps the same retainer led him back to the verandah at the
back of the temple where he lived.

The next night Hōïchi was again led forth to entertain the assembly,
and he met with the same success. But this time his absence was
detected, and upon his return his fellow priest questioned him in
regard to the matter. Hōïchi evaded his friend's question, and told him
that he had merely been out to attend some private business.

His questioner was by no means satisfied. He regretted Hōïchi's
reticence and feared that there was something wrong, possibly that,
the blind priest had been bewitched by evil spirits. He bade the
men-servants keep a strict watch upon Hōïchi, and to follow him if he
should again leave the temple during the night.

Once more Hōïchi left his abode. The men-servants hastily lit their
lanterns and followed him with all speed; but though they walked
quickly, looked everywhere, and made numerous inquiries, they failed
to discover Hōïchi, or learn anything concerning him. On their
return, however, they were alarmed to hear the sound of a _biwa_ in
the cemetery of the temple, and on entering this gloomy place they
discovered the blind priest. He sat at the tomb of Antoku Tenno, the
infant Emperor, where he twanged his _biwa_ loudly, and as loudly
chanted the story of the battle of Dan-no-ura. About him on every side
mysterious fires glowed, like a great gathering of lighted candles.

"Hōïchi! Hōïchi!" shouted the men. "Stop your playing at once! You are
bewitched, Hōïchi!" But the blind priest continued to play and sing,
rapt, it seemed, in a strange and awful dream.

The men-servants now resorted to more extreme measures. They shook
him, and shouted in his ear: "Hōïchi, come back with us at once!"

The blind priest rebuked them, and said that such an interruption would
not be tolerated by the noble assembly about him.

The men now dragged Hōïchi away by force. When he reached the temple
his wet clothes were taken off and food and drink set before him.

By this time Hōïchi's fellow priest was extremely angry, and he
not unjustly insisted upon a full explanation of his extraordinary
behaviour. Hōïchi, after much hesitation, told his friend all that
had happened to him. When he had narrated his strange adventures, the
priest said:

"My poor fellow! You ought to have told me this before. You have not
been visiting a great house of a noble lord, but you have been sitting
in yonder cemetery before the tomb of Antoku Tenno. Your great skill
has called forth the ghosts of the Taira clan. Hōïchi, you are in great
danger, for by obeying these spirits you have assuredly put yourself in
their power, and sooner or later they will kill you. Unfortunately I am
called away to-night to perform a service, but before I go I will see
that your body is covered with sacred texts."

Before night approached Hōïchi was stripped, and upon his body an
acolyte inscribed, with writing-brushes, the text of the _sutra_ known
as _Hannya-Shin-Kyō_. These texts were written upon Hōïchi's breast,
head, back, face, neck, legs, arms, and feet, even upon the soles

[Illustration: Hōïchi the Earless.--304]

Then the priest said: "Hōïchi, you will be called again to-night.
Remain silent, sit very still, and continually meditate. If you do
these things no harm will befall you."

That night Hōïchi sat alone in the verandah, scarcely moving a muscle
and breathing very softly.

Once more he heard the sound of footsteps. "Hōïchi!" cried a deep
voice. But the blind priest made no answer. He sat very still, full of
a great fear.

His name was called over and over again, but to no effect. "This won't
do," growled the stranger. "I must see where the fellow is." The
stranger sprang into the verandah and stood beside Hōïchi, who was now
shaking all over with the horror of the situation.

"Ah!" said the stranger. "This is the _biwa_, but in place of the
player I see--only two ears! Now I understand why he did not answer. He
has no mouth, only his two ears! Those ears I will take to my lord!"

In another moment Hōïchi's ears were torn off, but in spite of the
fearful pain the blind priest remained mute. Then the stranger
departed, and when his footsteps had died away the only sound Hōïchi
heard was the trickling of blood upon the verandah, and thus the priest
found the unfortunate man upon his return.

"Poor Hōïchi!" cried the priest. "It is all my fault. I trusted my
acolyte to write sacred texts on every part of your body. He failed
to do so on your ears. I ought to have seen that he carried out my
instructions properly. However, you will never be troubled with those
spirits in future." From that day the blind priest was known as
_Mimi-nashi-Hōïchi_, "Hōïchi-the-Earless."

The Corpse-eater

Musō Kokushi, a priest, lost his way while travelling through the
province of Mino. Despairing of finding a human abode, he was about to
sleep out in the open, when he chanced to discover a little hermitage,
called _anjitsu_. An aged priest greeted him, and Musō requested that
he would give him shelter for the night. "No," replied the old priest
angrily, "I never give shelter to any one. In yonder valley you will
find a certain hamlet; seek a night's repose there."

With these rather uncivil words, Musō took his departure, and reaching
the hamlet indicated he was hospitably received at the headman's
dwelling. On entering the principal apartment, the priest saw a number
of people assembled together. He was shown into a separate room, and
was about to fall asleep, when he heard the sound of lamentation, and
shortly afterwards a young man appeared before him, holding a lantern
in his hand.

"Good priest," said he, "I must tell you that my father has recently
died. We did not like to explain the matter upon your arrival, because
you were tired and much needed rest. The number of people you saw in
the principal apartment had come to pay their respects to the dead. Now
we must all go away, for that is the custom in our village when any one
dies, because strange and terrible things happen to corpses when they
are left alone; but perhaps, being a priest, you will not be afraid to
remain with my poor father's body."

Musō replied that he was in no way afraid, and told the young man
that he would perform a service, and watch by the deceased during
the company's absence. Then the young man, together with the other
mourners, left the house, and Musō remained to perform his solitary
night vigil.

After Musō had undertaken the funeral ceremonies, he sat meditating
for several hours. When the night had far advanced, he was aware of
the presence of a strange Shape, so terrible in aspect that the priest
could neither move nor speak. The Shape advanced, raised the corpse,
and quickly devoured it. Not content with this horrible meal, the
mysterious form also ate the offerings, and then vanished.

The next morning the villagers returned, and they expressed no
surprise, on hearing that the corpse had disappeared. After Musō had
narrated his strange adventure he inquired if the priest on the hill
did not sometimes perform the funeral service. "I visited him last
night at his _anjitsu_, and though he refused me shelter, he told me
where I might rest."

The villagers were amazed at these words, and informed Musō that there
was certainly no priest and no _anjitsu_ on yonder hill. They were
positive in their assertion, and assured Musō that he had been deluded
in the matter by some evil spirit. Musō did not reply, and shortly
afterwards he took his departure, determined if possible to unravel the

Musō had no difficulty in finding the _anjitsu_ again. The old priest
came out to him, bowed, and exclaimed that he was sorry for his former
rudeness. "I am ashamed," added he, "not only because I gave you no
shelter, but because you have seen my real shape. You have seen me
devour a corpse and the funeral offerings. Alas! good sir, I am a
_jikininki_ [man-eating goblin], and if you will bear with me I will
explain my wretched condition.

"Many years ago I used to be a priest in this district, and I performed
a great number of burial services; but I was not a good priest, for I
was not influenced by true religion in performing my tasks, and thought
only of the good and fine clothes I could get out of my calling. For
that reason I was reborn a _jikininki_, and have ever since devoured
the corpses of all those who died in this district. I beg that you
will have pity on my miserable plight, and repeat certain prayers on
my behalf, that I may speedily find peace and make an end of my great

Immediately after these words had been spoken, the recluse and his
hermitage suddenly vanished, and Musō found himself kneeling beside
a moss-covered tomb, which was probably the tomb of the unfortunate

The Ghost Mother

A pale-faced woman crept down a street called Nakabaramachi, entered
a certain shop, and purchased a small quantity of _midzu-ame_.[3]
Every night, at a late hour, she came, always haggard of countenance
and always silent. The shopkeeper, who took a kindly interest in her,
followed her one night, but seeing that she entered a cemetery, he
turned back, puzzled and afraid.

Once again the mysterious woman came to the little shop, and this time
she did not buy _midzu-ame_, but beckoned the shopkeeper to follow her.
Down the street went the pale-faced woman, followed by the seller of
amber syrup and some of his friends. When they reached the cemetery
the woman disappeared into a tomb, and those without heard the weeping
of a child. When the tomb was opened they saw the corpse of the woman
they had followed, and by her side a living child, laughing at the
lantern-light and stretching forth its little hands towards a cup of
_midzu-ame_. The woman had been prematurely buried and her babe born in
the tomb. Every night the silent mother went forth from the cemetery in
order that she might bring back nourishment for her child.

The Futon of Tottori

In Tottori there was a small and modest inn. It was a new inn, and as
the landlord was poor he had been compelled to furnish it with goods
purchased from a second-hand shop in the vicinity. His first guest was
a merchant, who was treated with extreme courtesy and given much warm
_saké_. When the merchant had drunk the refreshing rice wine he retired
to rest and soon fell asleep. He had not slumbered long when he heard
the sound of children's voices in his room, crying pitifully: "Elder
Brother probably is cold?" "Nay, thou probably art cold?" Over and
over again the children repeated these plaintive words. The merchant,
thinking that children had strayed into his room by mistake, mildly
rebuked them and prepared to go to sleep again. After a moment's
silence the children again cried: "Elder Brother probably is cold?"
"Nay, thou probably art cold?"

The guest arose, lit the _andon_ (night-light), and proceeded to
examine the room. But there was no one in the apartment; the cupboards
were empty, and all the _shōji_ (paper-screens) were closed. The
merchant, lay down again, puzzled and amazed. Once more he heard the
cry, close to his pillow: "Elder Brother probably is cold?" "Nay, thou
probably art cold?" The cries were repeated, and the guest, cold with
horror, found that the voices proceeded from his _futon_ (quilt).

He hurriedly descended the stairs and told the innkeeper what had
happened. The landlord was angry. "You have drunk too much warm
_saké_," said he. "Warm _saké_ has brought you evil dreams." But the
guest paid his bill and sought lodging elsewhere.

On the following night another guest, slept in the haunted room, and
he, too, heard the same mysterious voices, rated the innkeeper, and
hastily took his departure. The landlord then entered the apartment
himself. He heard the pitiful cries of children coming from one
_futon_, and now was forced to believe the strange story his two guests
had told him.

The next day the landlord went to the second-hand shop where he had
purchased the _futon_, and made inquiries. After going from one shop to
another, he finally heard the following story of the mysterious _futon_:

There once lived in Tottori a poor man and his wife, with two children,
boys of six and eight years respectively. The parents died, and the
poor children were forced to sell their few belongings, until one day
they were left with only a thin and much-worn _futon_ to cover them
at night. At last they had no money to pay the rent, and not even the
wherewithal to purchase food of any kind.

When the period of the greatest cold came, the snow gathered so thickly
about the humble dwelling that the children could do nothing but wrap
the _futon_ about them, and murmur to each other in their sweet,
pathetic way: "Elder Brother probably is cold?" "Nay, thou probably art
cold?" And sobbing forth these words they clung together, afraid of the
darkness and of the bitter, shrieking wind.

While their poor little bodies nestled together, striving to keep each
other warm, the hard-hearted landlord entered, and finding that there
was no one to pay the rent, he turned the children out of the house,
each clad only in one thin _kimono_. They tried to reach a temple
of Kwannon, but the snow was too heavy, and they hid behind their
old home. A _futon_ of snow covered them and they fell asleep on the
merciful bosom of the Gods, and were finally buried in the cemetery of
the Temple of Kwannon-of-the-Thousand-Arms.

When the innkeeper heard this sad story he gave the _futon_ to the
priests of the Kwannon temple, prayers were recited for the children's
souls, and from that hour the _futon_ ceased to murmur its plaintive

The Return

In the village of Mochida-no-ura there lived a peasant. He was
extremely poor, but, notwithstanding, his wife bore him six children.
Directly a child was born, the cruel father flung it into a river and
pretended that it had died at birth, so that his six children were
murdered in this horrible way.

At length, as years went by, the peasant found himself in a more
prosperous position, and when a seventh child was born, a boy, he was
much gratified and loved him dearly.

One night the father took the child in his arms, and wandered out into
the garden, murmuring ecstatically: "What a beautiful summer night!"

The babe, then only five months old, for a moment assumed the speech of
a man, saying: "The moon looks just as it did when you last threw me in
the river!"

When the infant had uttered these words he became like other children;
but the peasant, now truly realising the enormity of his crime, from
that day became a priest.

A Test of Love

There was once a certain fair maiden who, contrary to Japanese custom,
was permitted to choose her own husband. Many suitors sought her hand,
and they brought her gifts and fair poems, and said many loving words
to her. She spoke kindly to each suitor, saying: "I will marry the man
who is brave enough to bear a certain test I shall impose upon him,
and whatever that test of love may be, I expect him, on the sacred
honour of a _samurai_, not to divulge it." The suitors readily complied
with these conditions, but one by one they left her, with horror upon
their faces, ceased their wooing, but breathed never a word concerning
the mysterious and awful secret.

At length a poor _samurai_, whose sword was his only wealth, came to
the maiden, and informed her that he was prepared to go through any
test, however severe, in order that he might make her his wife.

When they had supped together the maiden left the apartment, and long
after midnight returned clad in a white garment. They went out of the
house together, through innumerable streets where dogs howled, and
beyond the city, till they came to a great cemetery. Here the maiden
led the way while the _samurai_ followed, his hand upon his sword.

When the wooer was able to penetrate the darkness he saw that the
maiden was digging the ground with a spade. She dug with extreme
haste, and eventually tore off the lid of a coffin. In another moment
she snatched up the corpse of a child, tore off an arm, broke it, and
commenced to eat one piece, flinging the other to her wooer, crying:
"If you love me, eat what I eat!"

Without a moment's hesitation the _samurai_ sat down by the grave
and began to eat one half of the arm. "Excellent!" he cried, "I pray
you give me more!" At this point of the legend the horror happily
disappears, for neither the _samurai_ nor the maiden ate a corpse--the
arm was made of delicious confectionery!

The maiden, with a cry of joy, sprang to her feet, and said: "At last
I have found a brave man! I will marry you, for you are the husband I
have ever longed for, and until this night have never found."

[Footnote 1: The legends in this chapter are adapted from stories in
Lafcadio Hearn's _Kwaidan_ and _Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan_.]

[Footnote 2: See Chapter II.]

[Footnote 3: A syrup made from malt and given to children when milk is
not available.]


The Maiden of Unai

The Maiden Unai dwelt with her parents in the village of Ashinóya.
She was extremely beautiful, and it so happened that she had two most
ardent and persistent lovers--Mubara, who was a native of the same
countryside, and Chinu; who came from Izumi. These two lovers might
very well have been twins, for they resembled each other in age, face,
figure, and stature. Unfortunately, however, they both loved her with
an equal passion, so that it was impossible to distinguish between
them. Their gifts were the same, and there appeared to be no difference
in their manner of courting. We get a good idea of the formidable
aspect of these two lovers in the following, taken from Mushimaro's
poem on the subject:

     "With jealous love these champions twain
       The beauteous girl did woo;
     Each had his hand on the hilt of his sword,
       And a full-charged quiver, too,

     "Was slung o'er the back of each champion fierce,
       And a bow of snow-white wood
     Did rest in the sinewy hand of each;
       And the twain defiant stood."
                           Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.

In the meantime, the Maiden of Unai grew sick at heart. She never
accepted the gifts of either Mubara or Chinu, and yet it distressed her
to see them standing at the gate month after month, never relaxing for
a moment the ardent expression of their feeling toward her.

The Maiden of Unai's parents do not seem to have appreciated the
complexity of the situation, for they said to her: "Sad it is for us to
have to bear the burden of thine unseemly conduct in thus carelessly
from month to month, and from year to year, causing others to sorrow.
If thou wilt accept the one, after a little time the other's love will

These well-meant words brought no consolation or assistance to the
poor Maiden of Unai, so her parents sent for the lovers, explained the
pitiful situation, and decided that he who should shoot a water-bird
swimming in the river Ikuta, which flowed by the platform on which the
house was built, should have their daughter in marriage. The lovers
were delighted at this decision, and anxious to put an end to this
cruel suspense. They pulled their bow-strings at the same instant, and
together their arrows struck the bird, one in the head and the other in
the tail, so that neither could claim to be the better marksman. When
the Maiden of Unai saw how entirely hopeless the whole affair was, she

     "Enough, enough! yon swiftly flowing wave
     Shall free my soul from her long anxious strife:
     Men call fair Settsu's stream the stream of life,
     But in that stream shall be the maiden's grave!"

Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.

With these melodramatic words she flung herself from the platform into
the surging water beneath.

[Illustration: The Maiden of Unai.--314]

The maid's parents, who witnessed the scene, shouted and raved on the
platform, while the devoted lovers sprang into the river. One held the
maiden's foot, and the other her hand, and in a moment the three sank
and perished. In due time the maiden was buried with her lovers on
either side, and to this day the spot is known as the "Maiden's Grave."
In the grave of Mubara there was a hollow bamboo-cane, together with
a bow, a quiver, and a long sword; but nothing had been placed in the
grave of Chinu.

Some time afterwards a stranger happened to pass one night in the
neighbourhood of the grave, and he was suddenly disturbed by hearing
the sound of fighting. He sent his retainers to inquire into the
matter, but they returned to him saying they could hear or see nothing
of an unusual nature. While the stranger pondered over the love-story
of the Maiden of Unai he fell asleep. He had no sooner done so than
he saw before him, kneeling on the ground, a blood-stained man, who
told him that he was much harassed by the persecutions of an enemy,
and begged that the stranger would lend him his sword. This request
was reluctantly granted. When the stranger awoke he was inclined to
think the whole affair a dream; but it was no passing fantasy of the
night, for not only was his sword missing, but he heard near at hand
the sound of a great combat. Then the clash of weapons suddenly ceased,
and once more the blood-stained man stood before him, saying: "By thine
honourable assistance have I slain the foe that had oppressed me during
these many years." So we may infer that in the spirit world Chinu
fought and slew his rival, and after many years of bitter jealousy was
finally able to call the Maiden of Unai his own.

The Grave of the Maiden of Unai

     "I stand by the grave where they buried
     The Maiden of Unai,
     Whom of old the rival champions
     Did woo so jealously.

     "The grave should hand down through the ages
     Her story for evermore,
     That men yet unborn might love her,
     And think on the days of yore.

     "And so beside the causeway
     They piled up the boulders high;
     Nor e'er, till the clouds that o'ershadow us
     Shall vanish from the sky,

     "May the pilgrim along the causeway
     Forget to turn aside,
     And mourn o'er the grave of the Maiden;
     And the village folk, beside,

     "Ne'er cease from their bitter weeping,
     But cluster around her tomb;
     And the ages repeat her story,
     And bewail the Maiden's doom.

     "Till at last e'en I stand gazing
     On the grave where she lies low,
     And muse with unspeakable sadness
     On the old days long ago."
         _Sakimaro_. (Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.)

The Maiden of Katsushika

     "Where in the far-off eastern land
     The cock first crows at dawn,
     The people still hand down a tale
     Of days long dead and gone.

     "They tell of Katsushika's maid,
     Whose sash of country blue
     Bound but a frock of home-spun hemp,
     And kirtle coarse to view;

     "Whose feet no shoe had e'er confined,
     Nor comb passed through her hair;
     Yet all the queens in damask robes
     Might nevermore compare

     "With this dear child, who smiling stood,
     A flow'ret of the spring--
     In beauty perfect and complete,
     Like to the full moon's ring.

     "And, as the summer moths that fly
     Towards the flame so bright,
     Or as the boats that seek the port
     When fall the shades of night,

     "So came the suitors; but she said:
     'Why take me for your wife?
     Full well I know my humble lot,
     I know how short my life.'

     "So where the dashing billows beat
     On the loud-sounding shore,
     Hath Katsushika's tender maid
     Her home for evermore.

     "Yes! 'tis a tale of days long past;
     But, list'ning to the lay,
     It seems as I had gazed upon
     Her face but yesterday."
                Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.

To the translation of this Japanese ballad Professor B. H. Chamberlain
adds the following note: "To the slight, but undoubtedly very ancient,
tradition preserved in the foregoing ballad, there is nothing to add
from any authentic source. Popular fancy, however, has been busy
filling up the gaps, and introduces a cruel stepmother, who, untouched
by the piety of the maiden in drawing water for her every day from the
only well whose water she cares to drink, is so angry with her for, by
her radiant beauty, attracting suitors to the house, that the poor girl
ends by drowning herself, upon which the neighbours declare her to be a
goddess, and erect a temple in her honour. Both the temple and the well
are still among the show-places in the environs of Tōkyō."

The Maiden with the Wooden Bowl

In ancient days there lived an old couple with their only child, a girl
of remarkable charm and beauty. When the old man fell sick and died
his widow became more and more concerned for her daughter's future

One day she called her child to her, and said: "Little one, your father
lies in yonder cemetery, and I, being old and feeble, must needs follow
him soon. The thought of leaving you alone in the world troubles me
much, for you are beautiful, and beauty is a temptation and a snare to
men. Not all the purity of a white flower can prevent it from being
plucked and dragged down in the mire. My child, your face is all too
fair. It must be hidden from the eager eyes of men, lest it cause you
to fall from your good and simple life to one of shame."

Having said these words, she placed a lacquered bowl upon the maiden's
head, so that it veiled her attractions. "Always wear it, little one,"
said the mother, "for it will protect you when I am gone."

Shortly after this loving deed had been performed the old woman
died, and the maiden was forced to earn her living by working in the
rice-fields. It was hard, weary work, but the girl kept a brave heart
and toiled from dawn to sunset without a murmur. Over and over again
her strange appearance created considerable comment, and she was known
throughout the country as the "Maiden with the Bowl on her Head."
Young men laughed at her and tried to peep under the vessel, and not
a few endeavoured to pull off the wooden covering; but it could not
be removed, and laughing and jesting, the young men had to be content
with a glimpse of the lower part of the fair maiden's face. The poor
girl bore this rude treatment with a patient but heavy heart, believing
that out of her mother's love and wisdom would come some day a joy that
would more than compensate for all her sorrow.

One day a rich farmer watched the maiden working in his rice-fields.
He was struck by her diligence and the quick and excellent way she
performed her tasks. He was pleased with that bent and busy little
figure, and did not laugh at the wooden bowl on her head. After
observing her for some time, he came to the maiden, and said: "You work
well and do not chatter to your companions. I wish you to labour in my
rice-fields until the end of the harvest."

When the rice harvest had been gathered and winter had come the wealthy
farmer, still more favourably impressed with the maiden, and anxious to
do her a service, bade her become an inmate of his house. "My wife is
ill," he added, "and I should like you to nurse her for me."

The maiden gratefully accepted this welcome offer. She tended the sick
woman with every care, for the same quiet diligence she displayed
in the rice-fields was characteristic of her gentle labour in the
sick-room. As the farmer and his wife had no daughter they took very
kindly to this orphan and regarded her as a child of their own.

At length the farmer's eldest son returned to his old home. He was a
wise young man who had studied much in gay Kyōto, and was weary of a
merry life of feasting and frivolous pleasure. His father and mother
expected that their son would soon grow tired of his father's house and
its quiet surroundings, and every day they feared that he would come to
them, bid farewell, and return once more to the city of the Mikado. But
to the surprise of all the farmer's son expressed no desire to leave
his old home.

One day the young man came to his father, and said: "Who is this maiden
in our house, and why does she wear an ugly black bowl upon her head?"

When the farmer had told the sad story of the maiden his son was deeply
moved; but, nevertheless, he could not refrain from laughing a little
at the bowl. The young man's laughter, however, did not last long.
Day by day the maiden became more fascinating to him. Now and again
he peeped at the girl's half-hidden face, and became more and more
impressed by her gentleness of manner and her nobility of nature. It
was not long before his admiration turned into love, and he resolved
that he would marry the Maiden with the Bowl on her Head. Most of his
relations were opposed to the union. They said: "She is all very well
in her way, but she is only a common servant. She wears that bowl in
order to captivate the unwary, and we do not think it hides beauty, but
rather ugliness. Seek a wife elsewhere, for we will not tolerate this
ambitious and scheming maiden."

From that hour the maiden suffered much. Bitter and spiteful things
were said to her, and even her mistress, once so good and kind, turned
against her. But the farmer did not change his opinion. He still liked
the girl, and was quite willing that she should become his son's wife,
but, owing to the heated remarks of his wife and relations, he dared
not reveal his wishes in the matter.

All the opposition, none too kindly expressed, only made the young
man more desirous to achieve his purpose. At length his mother and
relations, seeing that their wishes were useless, consented to the
marriage, but with a very bad grace.

The young man, believing that all difficulties had been removed,
joyfully went to the Maiden with the Bowl on her Head, and said: "All
troublesome opposition is at an end, and now nothing prevents us from
getting married."

"No," replied the poor maiden, weeping bitterly, "I cannot marry you.
I am only a servant in your father's house, and therefore it would be
unseemly for me to become your bride."

The young man spoke gently to her. He expressed his ardent love over
and over again, he argued, he begged; but the maiden would not change
her mind. Her attitude made the relations extremely angry. They said
that the woman had made fools of them all, little knowing that she
dearly loved the farmer's son, and believed, in her loyal heart, that
marriage could only bring discord in the home that had sheltered her in
her poverty.

That night the poor girl cried herself to sleep, and in a dream her
mother came to her, and said: "My dear child, let your good heart be
troubled no more. Marry the farmer's son and all will be well again."
The maiden woke next morning full of joy, and when her lover came to
her and asked once more if she would become his bride, she yielded with
a gracious smile.

Great preparations were made for the wedding, and when the company
assembled, it was deemed high time to remove the maiden's wooden bowl.
She herself tried to take it off, but it remained firmly fixed to
her head. When some of the relations, with not a few unkind remarks,
came to her assistance, the bowl uttered strange cries and groans. At
length the bridegroom approached the maiden, and said: "Do not let this
treatment distress you. You are just as dear to me with or without the
bowl," and having said these words, he commanded that the ceremony
should proceed.

Then the wine-cups were brought into the crowded apartment and,
according to custom, the bride and bridegroom were expected to drink
together the "Three times three" in token of their union. Just as the
maiden put the wine-cup to her lips the bowl on her head broke with
a great noise, and from it fell gold and silver and all manner of
precious stones, so that the maiden who had once been a beggar now had
her marriage portion. The guests were amazed as they looked upon the
heap of shining jewels and gold and silver, but they were still more
surprised when they chanced to look up and see that the bride was the
most beautiful woman in all Japan.


     "Oh! that the white waves far out
     On the sea of Ise
     Were but flowers,
     That I might gather them
     And bring them as a gift to my love."
                      _Prince Aki_. (Trans. by W. G. Aston.)

The Tide of the Returning Ghosts

On the last day of the Festival of the Dead the sea is covered
with countless _shōryōbune_ (soul-ships), for on that day, called
_Hotoke-umi_, which means Buddha-Flood, or the Tide of the Returning
Ghosts, the souls go back to their spirit world again. The sea shines
with the light of the departed, and from over the waves comes the sound
of ghosts whispering together. No human being would dream of putting
out to sea amid such sacred company, for the sea that night belongs to
the dead; it is their long pathway to the realm where Emma-Ō reigns

It sometimes happens, however, that a vessel fails to come to port
before the departure of the soul-ships, and on such occasions the dead
arise from the deep, stretch forth their arms, and implore that buckets
may be given them. Sailors comply with this request, but present the
ghosts with one that has no bottom, for if they gave the dead sound
buckets, the angry spirits would use them for the purpose of sinking
the vessel.


     "'Tis Spring, and the mists come stealing
     O'er Suminóye's shore,
     And I stand by the seaside musing
     On the days that are no more.

     "I muse on the old-world story,
     As the boats glide to and fro,
     Of the fisher-boy Urashima,
     Who a-fishing lov'd to go."
                     Trans. by B. H. Chamberlain.

"The legend of Urashima," writes Professor B. H. Chamberlain in
_Japanese Poetry_, "is one of the oldest in the language, and traces of
it may even be found in the official annals." In the popular version,
which we give below, "the Evergreen Land," recorded in the Japanese
ballad, "The Fisher Boy Urashima," appears as the Dragon Palace.
Professor Chamberlain writes: "The word Dragon Palace is in Japanese
_ryūgū_, or, more properly, _ryūkyū_, which is likewise the Japanese
pronunciation of the name of the islands we call Luchu, and the Chinese
Liu-kiu; and it has been suggested that the Dragon Palace may be but a
fanciful name given by some shipwrecked voyager to those sunny southern
isles, whose inhabitants still distinguish themselves, even above their
Chinese and Japanese neighbours, by their fondness for the dragon
as an artistic and architectural adornment. There is one ode in the
_Man-yōshū_ which would favour this idea, speaking as it does of the
orange having first been brought to Japan from the 'Evergreen Land'
lying to the south."

Urashima and the Tortoise

One day Urashima, who lived in a little fishing village called
Midzunoe, in the province of Tango, went out to fish. It so happened
that he caught a tortoise, and as tortoises are said to live many
thousands of years, the thoughtful Urashima allowed the creature to
return to the sea, rebaited his hook, and once more waited for the bite
of a fish. Only the sea gently waved his line to and fro. The sun beat
down upon his head till at last Urashima fell asleep.

He had not been sleeping long when he heard some one calling his name:
"Urashima, Urashima!"

It was such a sweet, haunting voice that the fisher-lad stood up in his
boat and looked around in every direction, till he chanced to see the
very tortoise he had been kind enough to restore to its watery home.
The tortoise, which was able to speak quite fluently, profusely thanked
Urashima for his kindness, and offered to take him to the _ryūkyū_, or
Palace of the Dragon King.

The invitation was readily accepted, and getting on the tortoise's
back, Urashima found himself gliding through the sea at a tremendous
speed, and the curious part about it was he discovered that his clothes
remained perfectly dry.

In the Sea King's Palace

Arriving at the Sea King's Palace, red bream, flounder, sole, and
cuttlefish came out to give Urashima a hearty welcome. Having expressed
their pleasure, these vassals of the Dragon King escorted the
fisher-lad to an inner apartment, where the beautiful Princess Otohime
and her maidens were seated. The Princess was arrayed in gorgeous
garments of red and gold, all the colours of a wave with the sunlight
upon it.

This Princess explained that she had taken the form of a tortoise by
way of testing his kindness of heart. The test had happily proved
successful, and as a reward for his virtue she offered to become his
bride in a land where there was eternal youth and everlasting summer.

Urashima bashfully accepted the high honour bestowed upon him. He had
no sooner spoken than a great company of fishes appeared, robed in long
ceremonial garments, their fins supporting great coral trays loaded
with rare delicacies. Then the happy couple drank the wedding cup of
_saké_, and while they drank, some of the fishes played soft music,
others sang, and not a few, with scales of silver and golden tails,
stepped out a strange measure on the white sand.

After the festivities were over, Otohime showed her husband all the
wonders of her father's palace. The greatest marvel of all was to
see a country where all the seasons lingered together.[1] Looking to
the east, Urashima saw plum- and cherry-trees in full bloom, with
bright-winged butterflies skimming over the blossom, and away in the
distance it seemed that the pink petals and butterflies had suddenly
been converted into the song of a wondrous nightingale. In the south
he saw trees in their summer glory, and heard the gentle note of the
cricket. Looking to the west, the autumn maples made a fire in the
branches, so that if Urashima had been other than a humble fisher-lad
he might have recalled the following poem:

     "Fair goddess of the paling Autumn skies,
     Fain would I know how many looms she plies,
     Wherein through skilful tapestry she weaves
     Her fine brocade of fiery maple leaves--
     Since on each hill, with every gust that blows,
     In varied hues her vast embroidery glows?"
                             Trans. by Clara A. Walsh.

It was, indeed, a "vast embroidery," for when Urashima looked toward
the north he saw a great stretch of snow and a mighty pond covered
with ice. All the seasons lingered together in that fair country where
Nature had yielded to the full her infinite variety of beauty.

After Urashima had been in the Sea King's Palace for three days, and
seen many wonderful things, he suddenly remembered his old parents,
and felt a strong desire to go and see them. When he went to his wife,
and told her of his longing to return home, Otohime began to weep, and
tried to persuade him to stop another day. But Urashima refused to be
influenced in the matter. "I must go," said he, "but I will leave you
only for a day. I will return again, dear wife of mine."

[Illustration: Urashima and the Sea King's Daughter--326]

The Home-coming of Urashima

Then Otohime gave her husband a keepsake in remembrance of their
love. It was called the _Tamate-Bako_ ("Box of the Jewel Hand"). She
explained that he was on no account to open the box, and Urashima,
promising to fulfil her wish, said farewell, mounted a large tortoise,
and soon found himself in his own country. He looked in vain for
his father's home. Not a sign of it was to be seen. The cottage had
vanished, only the little stream remained.

Still much perplexed, Urashima questioned a passer-by, and he learnt
from him that a fisher-lad, named Urashima, had gone to sea three
hundred years ago and was drowned, and that his parents, brothers,
and their grandchildren had been laid to rest for a long time. Then
Urashima suddenly remembered that the country of the Sea King was a
divine land, where a day, according to mortal reckoning, was a hundred

Urashima's reflections were gloomy in the extreme, for all whom he had
loved on earth were dead. Then he heard the murmur of the sea, and
recalled the lovely Otohime, as well as the country where the seasons
joined hands and made a fourfold pageant of their beauty--the land
where trees had emeralds for leaves and rubies for berries, where the
fishes wore long robes and sang and danced and played. Louder the sea
sounded in Urashima's ears. Surely Otohime called him? But no path
opened out before him, no obliging tortoise appeared on the scene to
carry him to where his wife waited for him. "The box! the box!" said
Urashima softly, "if I open my wife's mysterious gift, it may reveal
the way."

Urashima untied the red silk thread and slowly, fearfully opened the
lid of the box. Suddenly there rushed out a little white cloud; it
lingered a moment, and then rolled away far over the sea. But a sacred
promise had been broken, and Urashima from a handsome youth became old
and wrinkled. He staggered forward, his white hair and beard blowing in
the wind. He looked out to sea, and then fell dead upon the shore.

Professor Chamberlain writes: "Urashima's tomb, together with his
fishing-line, the casket given him by the maiden, and two stones said
to be precious, are still shown at one of the temples in Kanagawa."

The Land of the Morning Calm

Chosen, the Land of the Morning Calm, was the old name for Korea,[2]
and however poetical the phrase may be, it was, nevertheless, totally
inapplicable to actual fact. In its early history it was a country
divided against itself, and later on it was troubled with the invading
armies of China and Japan, to say nothing of minor skirmishes with
other countries. There is certainly a pathetic calm in Korea to-day,
but it is the calm of a long-vanquished and persecuted nation. It
now rests with Japan whether or not the Koreans rise from serfdom
and regain something of that old hardihood that was at one time so
prominent a feature of her northern men.

Long ago Korea came under the glamour of the Chinese civilisation, and
it haunts her people to this day. Japan borrowed from Korea what Korea
had borrowed from China. It was because Japan went on borrowing from
the West when she had exhausted all that Korea and China could teach
her that she eventually became, with the progressive stream of thought
and action flowing vigorously through her, a world-power, while Korea
remained a forlorn example of an almost stagnant country.

When Japan had succeeded in convincing Korea that she alone could
be her faithful guide, Russia came, like a thief in the night, and
established a military outpost at Wiju. The Russo-Japanese War
resulted, and Korea became a Japanese colony, an experimental ground
for social and political reform. Japan has waited long for Korea.
May she find it at last, not a turbulent and rebellious country, but
in very deed the Land of the Morning Calm. Korea in the past has
contributed to the making of Japan's greatness in handing on the
religion, art, and literature of China. Now it is Japan's turn to
succour an impoverished country, and if the Morning Calm is united
with the Rising Sun, there should be peace and prosperity in her new

Professor J. H. Longford, in _The Story of Korea_, writes in regard
to the invasion of the Empress Jingo: "Dr. Aston....contemptuously
dismisses the whole as a myth founded on two very distinct historical
facts--that there was, at the time of the alleged invasion, an Empress
of Japan, a woman of real determination and ability, and that not
one, but several Japanese invasions of Korea did occur, though at
later periods, in which the Japanese did not invariably meet with the
triumphant success that they claim for the Empress." We give below the
picturesque legend of Japan's first invasion of Korea.

The Tide Jewels

One night the Empress Jingo, as she lay asleep in her tent, had a
strange dream. She dreamt that a spirit came to her and told her of
a wonderful land, a land in the West, full of treasures of gold and
silver, a dazzling land, fair to look upon as a beautiful woman. The
spirit informed her that the name of this country was Chosen (Korea),
and that it might belong to Japan if she would set out and conquer this
wealthy land.

The next day the Empress Jingo informed her husband about her dream;
but the Emperor, a stolid, matter-of-fact man, did not believe in
dreams. However, as his wife persisted in thrusting upon him what he
deemed to be a foolish scheme, he climbed a high mountain, and looking
toward the setting sun saw no land in the West. When the Emperor had
come down from the mountain, he informed his wife that he would on no
account give his consent to invade and conquer a country which simply
owed its existence to a disordered dream. But the Gods were angry with
the Emperor, and shortly after he had uttered his prohibition he died
in battle.

The Gift of the Dragon King

When the Empress Jingo became sole ruler she was determined to go to
this country she had heard about in a dream; but as she was resolved
to make her expedition no puny and tame affair, she called upon the
Spirit of the Mountain to give her timber and iron for her ships. The
Spirit of Fields gave her rice and other grain for her army, while the
Spirit of Grass presented her with hemp for rope. The Wind God looked
favourably upon her scheme, and promised to blow her ships towards
Korea. All the spirits appeared in compliance with the Empress Jingo's
wishes except Isora, the Spirit of the Seashore.

Isora was a lazy fellow, and when he finally appeared above the waves
of the sea, he did so without gorgeous apparel, for he was covered with
slime and shells, and seaweed adorned his unkempt person. When the
Empress saw him she bade him go to his master, the Dragon King, and ask
him to give her the Tide Jewels.

Isora obeyed, dived down into the water, and presently stood before the
Dragon King and made his request.

The Dragon King took out the Tide Jewels from a casket, placed them on
a great shell, and bade Isora promptly return to the Empress Jingo with
this precious gift.

Isora sprang from his master's palace to the surface of the sea, and
the Empress Jingo placed the Tide Jewels in her girdle.

The Voyage

Now that the Empress had obtained the Jewel of the Flood-Tide and the
Jewel of the Ebb-Tide she had three thousand ships built and launched,
and during the tenth month she started on her great expedition. Her
fleet had not proceeded far when a mighty storm arose, so that the
vessels crashed together and were likely to sink to the bottom of the
sea. The Dragon King, however, commanded great sea-monsters to go to
the rescue; some bore up the ships with their great bodies, others
pushed their heads against the sterns of many vessels, thus propelling
them through a heavy sea which had very nearly driven them back whence
they came. Powerful dragon-fishes lent their aid to those pushing and
snorting in the rear by holding the ships' cables in their mouths and
towing the vessels forward at a surprising speed. Directly the storm
ceased, the sea-monsters and dragon-fishes disappeared.

The Throwing of the Tide Jewels

At last the Empress Jingo and her army saw the distant mountains of
Korea loom out on the horizon. On nearing the coast they perceived
that the whole of the Korean army stood upon the shore with their
ships ready to be launched at the word of command. As soon as the
Korean sentinels perceived the Japanese fleet, they gave the signal for
embarking, and immediately a great line of war-vessels shot out over
the water.

The Empress stood watching these proceedings with unruffled calm. She
knew that the victory or defeat of her army lay in her power. When the
Korean vessels drew near to her fleet she threw into the sea the Jewel
of the Ebb-Tide. Directly it touched the water it caused the tide to
recede from under the very keels of the Korean ships, so that they
were left stranded upon dry land. The Koreans, suspecting no magic and
believing their stranded condition to have been the result of a tidal
wave and, moreover, that the Japanese vessels would succumb to the
back-wash, sprang from their vessels and rushed over the sand. Now the
Japanese bowmen twanged their bow-strings, and a great cloud of arrows
flew into the air, killing many hundreds of the enemy. When the Koreans
were quite near the Japanese vessels, the Empress flung forth the Jewel
of the Flood-Tide. Immediately a great wave rushed over and destroyed
nearly the whole of the Korean army. It was now an easy matter for
the Japanese to land and capture the country. The King of Korea
surrendered, and the Empress returned to her own kingdom laden with
silk and jewels, books and pictures, tiger-skins and precious robes.

When the Tide Jewels had been thrown by the Empress, they did not lie
long on the bed of the ocean. Isora speedily rescued them and carried
them back to the Dragon King.

Prince Ojin

Soon after the Empress Jingo's return she gave birth to a son named
Ojin. When Ojin had grown into a fair and wise little boy, his mother
told him about the wonderful Tide Jewels, and expressed a wish that he,
too, should possess them in order that he might bring honour and glory
to Japan.

One day the Prime Minister, who was said to be three hundred and sixty
years old, and the counsellor of no less than five Mikados, took Ojin
with him in a royal war-barge. The vessel skimmed over the sea with
its gold silk sails. The Prime Minister in a loud voice called on the
Dragon King to give young Ojin the Tide Jewels.

Immediately the waves about the vessel were churned into foam, and amid
a great thunderous roar the Dragon King himself appeared with a living
creature of dreadful countenance for a helmet. Then out of the water
arose a mighty shell, in the recess of which glittered the Tide Jewels.
After presenting these jewels, and making a pretty little speech, he
returned to his great green kingdom.

The Slaughter of the Sea Serpent[3]

Oribe Shima had offended the great ruler Hojo Takatoki, and was in
consequence banished to Kamishima, one of the Oki Islands, and forced
to leave his beautiful daughter Tokoyo, whom he deeply loved.

At last Tokoyo was unable to bear the separation any longer, and she
was determined to find her father. She therefore set out upon a long
journey, and arriving at Akasaki, in the province of Hoki, from which
coast town the Oki Islands are visible on a fine day, she besought many
a fisherman to row her to her destination. But the fisher-folk laughed
at Tokoyo, and bade her relinquish her foolish plan and return home.
The maiden, however, would not listen to their advice, and at nightfall
she got into the lightest vessel she could find, and by dint of a fair
wind and persistent rowing the brave girl came to one of the rocky bays
of the Oki Islands.

That night Tokoyo slept soundly, and in the morning partook of food.
When she had finished her meal she questioned a fisherman as to where
she might find her father. "I have never heard of Oribe Shima," replied
the fisherman, "and if he has been banished, I beg that you will desist
from further search, lest it lead to the death of you both."

That night the sorrowful Tokoyo slept beneath a shrine dedicated to
Buddha. Her sleep was soon disturbed by the clapping of hands, and
looking up she saw a weeping maiden clad in a white garment with a
priest standing beside her. Just as the priest was about to push the
maiden over the rocks into the roaring sea, Tokoyo sprang up and held
the maiden's arm.

The priest explained that on that night, the thirteenth of June, the
Serpent God, known as Yofuné-Nushi, demanded the sacrifice of a young
girl, and that unless this annual sacrifice was made the God became
angry and caused terrible storms.

"Good sir," said Tokoyo, "I am glad that I have been able to save this
poor girl's life. I gladly offer myself in her place, for I am sad
of heart because I have been unable to find my father. Give him this
letter, for my last words of love and farewell go to him."

[Illustration: Tokoyo and the Sea Serpent.--334]

Having thus spoken, Tokoyo took the maiden's white robe and clad
herself in it, and having prayed to the image of Buddha, she placed a
small dagger between her teeth and plunged into the tempestuous sea.
Down she went through the moonlit water till she came to a mighty cave
where she saw a statue of Hojo Takatoki, who had sent her poor father
into exile. She was about to tie the image on her back when a great
white serpent crept out from the cave with eyes gleaming angrily.
Tokoyo, realising that this creature was none other than Yofuné-Nushi,
drew her dagger and thrust it through the right eye of the God. This
unexpected attack caused the serpent to retire into the cave, but
the brave Tokoyo followed and struck another blow, this time at the
creature's heart. For a moment Yofuné-Nushi blindly stumbled forward,
then with a shriek of pain fell dead upon the floor of the cavern.

During this adventure the priest and the maiden stood on the rocks
watching the spot where Tokoyo had disappeared, praying fervently for
the peace of her sorrowful soul. As they watched and prayed they saw
Tokoyo come to the surface of the water carrying an image and a mighty
fish-like creature. The priest hastily came to the girl's assistance,
dragged her upon the shore, placed the image on a high rock, and
secured the body of the White Sea Serpent.

In due time the remarkable story was reported to Tameyoshi, lord of the
island, who in turn reported the strange adventure to Hojo Takatoki.
Now Takatoki had for some time been suffering from a disease which
defied the skill of the most learned doctors; but it was observed that
he regained his health precisely at the hour when his image, which had
been cursed and thrown into the sea by some exile, had been restored.
When Hojo Takatoki heard that the brave girl was the daughter of the
exiled Oribe Shima, he sent him back with all speed to his own home,
where he and his daughter lived in peace and happiness.

The Spirit of the Sword

One night a junk anchored off Fudo's Cape, and when various
preparations had been made, the Captain, Tarada by name, and his crew
fell asleep on deck. At about midnight Tarada was awakened by hearing
an extraordinary rumbling sound that seemed to proceed from the bottom
of the sea. Chancing to look in the direction of the bow of the vessel,
he saw a fair girl clad in white and illumined by a dazzling light.

When Tarada had awakened his crew he approached the maiden, who said:
"My only wish is to be back in the world again." Having uttered these
words, she disappeared among the waves.

The next day Tarada went on shore and asked many who lived in Amakura
if they had ever heard of a wondrous maiden bathed, as it were, in a
phosphorescent light. One of the villagers thus made answer: "We have
never seen the maiden you describe, but for some time past we have been
disturbed by rumbling noises that seem to come from Fudo's Cape, and
ever since, these mysterious sounds have prevented fish from entering
our bay. It may be that the girl you saw was the ghost of some poor
maiden drowned at sea, and the noise we hear none other than the anger
of the Sea God on account of a corpse or human bones polluting the

It was eventually decided that the dumb Sankichi should dive into the
sea and bring up any corpse he might find there. So Sankichi went
on board Tarada's junk, and having said farewell to his friends, he
plunged into the water. He searched diligently, but could see no trace
of corpse or human bones. At length, however, he perceived what looked
like a sword wrapped in silk, and on untying the wrapping he found
that it was indeed a sword, of great brightness and without a flaw of
any kind. Sankichi came to the surface and was quickly taken aboard.
The poor fellow was gently laid on the deck, but he fainted from
exhaustion. His cold body was rubbed vigorously and fires were lit. In
a very short time Sankichi became conscious and was able to show the
sword and give particulars of his adventure.

An official, by the name of Naruse Tsushimanokami, was of the opinion
that the sword was a sacred treasure, and on his recommendation it was
placed in a shrine and dedicated to Fudo. Sankichi faithfully guarded
the precious weapon, and Fudo's Cape became known as the Cape of the
Woman's Sword. To the delight of the fisher-folk, the spirit of the
weapon now being satisfied, the fish came back into the bay again.

The Love of O Cho San

     "To-day is the tenth of June. May the rain fall in torrents!
     For I long to see my dearest O Cho San."
                                     Trans. by R. Gordon Smith.

In the isolated Hatsushima Island, celebrated for its _suisenn_
(jonquils), there once lived a beautiful maiden called Cho, and all the
young men on the island were eager to marry her. One day the handsome
Shinsaku, who was bolder than the rest, went to Gisuke, the brother
of Cho, and told him that he much desired to marry his fair sister.
Gisuke offered no objections, and calling Cho to him, when the suitor
had gone, he said: "Shinsaku wishes to become your husband. I like the
fisherman, and think that in him you will make an excellent match. You
are now eighteen, and it is quite time that you got married."

O Cho San fully approved of what her brother had said, and the marriage
was arranged to take place in three days' time. Unfortunately, those
days were days of discord on the island, for when the other fishermen
lovers heard the news they began to hate the once popular Shinsaku,
and, moreover, they neglected their work and were continually fighting
each other. These lamentable scenes cast such a gloom upon the once
happy Hatsushima Island that O Cho San and her lover decided that for
the peace of the many they would not marry after all.

This noble sacrifice, however, did not bring about the desired effect,
for the thirty lovers still fought each other and still neglected their
fishing. O Cho San determined to perform a still greater sacrifice.
She wrote loving letters of farewell to her brother and Shinsaku, and
having left them by the sleeping Gisuke, she softly crept out of the
house on a stormy night on the 10th of June. She dropped big stones
into her pretty sleeves, and then flung herself into the sea.

The next day Gisuke and Shinsaku read their letters from O Cho San,
and, overcome by grief, they searched the shore, where they found the
straw sandals of Cho. The two men realised that the fair maid had
indeed taken her precious life, and shortly after her body was taken
from the sea and buried, and over her tomb Shinsaku placed many flowers
and wept continually.

One evening, Shinsaku, unable to bear his sorrow any longer decided to
take his life, believing that by doing so he would meet the spirit of O
Cho San. As he lingered by the girl's grave, he seemed to see her white
ghost, and, murmuring her name over and over again, he rushed toward
her. At this moment Gisuke, awakened by the noise, came out of his
house, and found Shinsaku clinging to his lover's gravestone.

When Shinsaku told his friend that he had seen the spirit of O Cho San,
and intended to take his life in order to be with her for ever, Gisuke
made answer thus: "Shinsaku, great is your love for my poor sister, but
you can love her best by serving her in this world. When the great Gods
call, you will meet her, but await with hope and courage till that hour
comes, for only a brave, as well as a loving, heart is worthy of O Cho
San. Let us together build a shrine and dedicate it to my sister, and
keep your love strong and pure by never marrying any one else."

The thirty lovers who had shown such unmanly feeling now fully realised
the sorrow they had caused, and in order to show their contrition they
too helped to build the shrine of the unfortunate maiden, where to this
day a ceremony takes place on the 10th of June, and it is said that the
spirit of O Cho San comes in the rain.

The Spirit of the Great Awabi

The morning after a great earthquake had devastated the fishing village
of Nanao, it was observed that about two miles from the shore a rock
had sprung up as the result of the seismic disturbance and, moreover,
that the sea had become muddy. One night a number of fishermen
were passing by the rock, when they observed, near at hand, a most
extraordinary light that appeared to float up from the bottom of the
sea with a glory as bright as the sun. The fishermen shipped their oars
and gazed upon the wonderful spectacle with considerable surprise, but
when the light was suddenly accompanied by a deep rumbling sound, the
sailors feared another earthquake and made all speed for Nanao.

On the third day the wondrous rays from the deep increased in
brilliance, so that folk standing on the shore of Nanao could see
them distinctly, and the superstitious fishermen became more and more
frightened. Only Kansuke and his son Matakichi had sufficient courage
to go fishing. On their return journey they reached the Rock Island,
and were drawing in their line when Kansuke lost his balance and fell
into the sea.

Though old Kansuke was a good swimmer, he went down like a stone
and did not rise to the surface. Matakichi, deeming this strange,
dived into the water, almost blinded by the mysterious rays we have
already described. When he at length reached the bottom he discovered
innumerable _awabi_ (ear-shells), and in the middle of the group one
of vast size. From all these shells there poured forth a brilliant
light, and though it was like day under the water, Matakichi could
find no trace of his father. Eventually he was forced to rise to the
surface, only to find that the rough sea had broken his boat. However,
scrambling upon a piece of wreckage, with the aid of a favourable
wind and current he at last reached the shore of Nanao, and gave the
villagers an account of his remarkable adventure, and of the loss of
his old father.

Matakichi, grieving sorely over the death of his parent, went to the
old village priest and begged that worthy that he would make him one
of his disciples in order that he might pray the more efficaciously
for the spirit of his father. The priest readily consented, and about
three weeks later they took boat to the Rock Island, where both prayed
ardently for the soul of Kansuke.

That night the old priest awoke with a start and saw an ancient man
standing by his bedside. With a profound bow the stranger thus spoke:
"I am the Spirit of the Great Awabi, and I am more than one thousand
years old. I live in the sea near the Rock Island, and this morning
I heard you praying for the soul of Kansuke. Alas! good priest, your
prayers have deeply moved me, but in shame and sorrow I confess that I
ate Kansuke. I have bade my followers depart elsewhere, and in order to
atone for my sin I shall take my own wretched life, so that the pearl
that is within me may be given to Matakichi." And having uttered these
words, the Spirit of the Great Awabi suddenly disappeared.

When Matakichi awoke next morning and opened the shutters he discovered
the enormous _awabi_ he had seen near the Rock Island. He took it to
the old priest, who, after listening to his disciple's story, gave an
account of his own experience. The great pearl and shell of the _awabi_
were placed in the temple, and the body was reverently buried.

[Footnote 1: Compare "The Dream of Rosei" in Chapter VII.]

[Footnote 2: See _The Story of Korea_, by Joseph H. Longford.]

[Footnote 3: This legend, and those that follow in this chapter, are
adapted from _Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan_, by R. Gordon


Japanese Superstition

The subject of Japanese superstition is of special importance, because
it serves to indicate the channel by which many myths and legends, but
more particularly folk-lore, have evolved. Superstition is, as it were,
the raw material out of which innumerable strange beliefs are gradually
fashioned into stories, and an inquiry into the subject will show us
the peasant mind striving to counteract certain supernatural forces,
or to turn them to advantage in every-day life. Many superstitions
have already been recorded in these pages, and in the present chapter
we shall deal with those that have not been treated elsewhere. It is
scarcely necessary to point out that these superstitions, selected from
a vast store of quaint beliefs, are necessarily of a primitive kind and
must be regarded, excluding, perhaps, those associated with the classic
art of divination, as peculiar to the more ignorant classes in Japan.

Human Sacrifice

In prehistoric times the bow was believed to possess supernatural
power. It would miraculously appear on the roof of a man's house as a
sign that the eldest unmarried daughter must be sacrificed. She was
accordingly buried alive in order that her flesh might be consumed by
the Deity of Wild Beasts. Later on, however, the bow was no longer
the message of a cruel divinity, for it gradually lost its horrible
significance, and has now become a symbol of security. To this day it
may be seen fixed to the ridge-pole of a roof, and is regarded as a
lucky charm.

We have another example of human sacrifice in the old repulsive custom
of burying a man alive with the idea of giving stability to a bridge
or castle. In the early days, when forced labour existed, there was
unfortunately scant regard for the sacredness of human life. Those
who laboured without reward were under the control of a merciless
superintendent, who emphasised his orders by means of a spear. He
was ready to kill all those who were idle or in any way rebellious,
and many corpses were flung into the masonry. When a river had to be
dammed, or a fortification constructed with the utmost despatch, this
deplorable deed was not unusual.

When a new bridge was built its utility and long life were assured,
not always by human sacrifice or sorrow, but sometimes by happiness.
The first persons allowed to walk over a new bridge were those of
a particularly happy disposition. We are told, that two genial old
men, who each had a family of twelve children, first crossed the
Matsue bridge, accompanied by their wives, children, grandchildren,
and great-grandchildren. This joyous procession took place amid
much rejoicing and a display of fireworks. The idea of happiness
contributing to the success of a Japanese bridge is a pretty
conception, but, unfortunately, the old bridge of Matsue, now replaced
by one far less picturesque, is associated with a very unpleasant

When Horiō Yoshiharu became _Daimyō_ of Izumo he arranged to build a
bridge over the turbulent river at Matsue. Many laboured to carry out
his wishes, but the work did not prosper. Countless great stones were
flung into the rushing water with the idea of making a solid base on
which to construct the pillars, but many of the stones were washed
away, and as soon as the bridge took tangible form it was wrecked by
the fierce torrent. It was believed that the spirits of the flood were
angry, and in order to appease them it was deemed necessary to offer a
human sacrifice. A man was accordingly buried alive below the central
pillar where the water was most turbulent. When this had been done the
work prospered, and the bridge remained intact for three hundred years.
Gensuke was the unfortunate victim, and this was the name given to the
central pillar. It is said that on moonless nights a mysterious red
fire shines from this pillar--the ghostly emanations of poor Gensuke.

Classical Divination

One of the most popular forms of Japanese superstition is associated
with divination, and Confucianism has no doubt contributed much to
its popularity. The _Yih-King_, or "Book of Changes," is the main
source of the art, and Confucius devoted so much time to the study of
this mysterious work that it is said that the leathern thongs used
to hold the leaves together were replaced three times during his
lifetime. The _Yih-King_ was commenced by Fu Hsi two thousand years
before the birth of Christ, and Confucius added much fresh material. A
more complicated method of reading the future than by means of eight
trigrams and sixty-four diagrams cannot be imagined. So involved a
system of divination naturally became the art of the learned few, but
in course of time it underwent various modifications. It lost, to a
certain extent, its most classic aspect, and many Japanese diviners
sprang up in the country professing to read the future for a small
fee, and without the qualification of having deeply pondered over the
instruction to be found in the _Yih-King_. A comparatively simple form
of divination is with fifty divining rods, shuffled in a particular
way, and the final position of the rods is supposed to answer the
various questions of the inquirer. Many diviners in Japan to-day are
mere charlatans working upon the credulity of their patrons, without
fully understanding the art they practise. But in ancient times
divination was associated with a sacred ritual. It was necessary for
the diviner, like the old swordsmith, to prepare and fit himself for
his task. It was required of him that he should thoroughly cleanse his
body, seat himself in a private apartment, and go through the elaborate
process of holding the rods in the spirit of reverence. At a certain
moment he was instructed to close his eyes, suspend breathing for a
time, and concentrate his thoughts on his work of divination, for the
old diviner, like the old Shintō priest, believed that he was calling
the supernatural to his aid.

Other Forms of Divination

In other forms of divination, requiring no expert interpretation, we
find that the future is supposed to be revealed in the cracks and
lines of a slightly burnt shoulder-bone of a deer, a method which
closely resembles the old English custom of "reading the speal-bone."
It was not always easy to secure a deer's shoulder-bone, and as the
markings were of more importance than the bone itself, in course of
time burnt tortoise-shell took its place. As hair-combs were usually
made of this material, a woman, by charring it, was able to read the
lines and ascertain the constancy or otherwise of her lover, &c. Girls
used to read the riddle of the future and see what it had in store
for them by going out at night and stringing together the fragmentary
remarks of passers-by. This method is known as _tsuji-ura_, but it is
by no means peculiar to Japan, for it is still frequently practised by
superstitious people in our own country. A love-sick maiden tried to
discover whether or not her love would be requited by placing a rod in
the ground, surrounding it with various offerings, and listening to the
conversation of wayfarers who chanced to come that way.[1] A later and
more elaborate development of this form of divination required three
maidens, and the method employed is as follows. The young women went to
where roads crossed each other, and thrice repeated an invocation to
the God of Roads. When they had supplicated this Deity, they flung rice
on the ground, for rice has the power of driving away evil spirits. The
maidens then rubbed their fingers against the teeth of a boxwood comb,
because _tsuge_, the Japanese name for this wood, also means "to tell."
After these preparations they each stood in a different position and
pieced together the remarks of passers-by. Occasionally some message
from the future was received while the inquirer stood under a bridge
and listened to the clatter of feet, and sometimes a priest whistling
by inhalation was supposed to reveal an omen of some kind.

Unlucky Years and Days

It is believed that certain periods of life are extremely unlucky. The
twenty-fifth, forty-second, and sixty-first years of a man's life are
considered unfortunate, while the unlucky years of a woman's life are
the nineteenth, thirty-third, and thirty-seventh. In order to prevent
calamity during these periods, it is necessary to devote much time to
religious exercises. Men and women are advised not to take a journey
during the sixteenth, twenty-fifth, thirty-fourth, forty-third,
fifty-second, and sixty-first year. When superstitious women wish to
make a new garment, they utter an invocation, and later on sprinkle
three pinches of salt on the shoulder gusset. No woman should use her
needle on a "monkey" day, but rather on a "bird" day. If the work is
undertaken on the former day, the garment is in danger of being burnt
or rent; but if the apparel is made on the latter day, it will have the
beauty and durability of the feathers of a bird.


When a child's tooth falls out, it is thrown away under the eaves, with
the wish that it may be replaced by the tooth of a demon. Sometimes the
tooth of a little boy or girl is thrown on the floor with the request
that it may be replaced by the tooth of a rat. Children may be immune
from nightmare if the word "puppy" is written on their foreheads; and
if to this precaution is added a sketch of the _Baku_, Eater of Dreams,
the little one's slumber will be sure to be of a peaceful kind. The
word "dog" inscribed on a child's forehead is a protection against the
magic of foxes and badgers.

Some of the nostrums that are supposed to cure children's ailments are
very curious. Blood extracted from a cock's comb cures indigestion,
while an eruption on the head may be driven away by repeating these
words: "In the long days of spring weeds may be removed, but those
in the garden must be cut down at once." Even a Japanese baby cries
occasionally, but if a red bag containing dog's hair is fastened on its
back, it will immediately cease to cry, and the plaintive wailing will
give place to smiles. Blindness is frequently the result of smallpox,
but this calamity may be prevented by throwing seven peas into a well,
reciting seven prayers, and then drawing off all the water from the


Many Japanese charms are pieces of paper bearing an inscription
designed to avert evil. Another variety is inscribed with the name
of a god. It takes the form of a long strip which the poor fasten on
the outside of their houses, while those who have not to contend with
poverty regard it as a part of their domestic altar. The imprint of
a child's hand, "obtained," writes Professor Chamberlain, "by first
wetting the hand with ink and then applying it to a sheet of paper, is
believed to avert malign influences." Fragments of temples, rice-grains
carved to represent the Gods of Luck, minute _sutras_, copies of
Buddha's footprint, and many other quaint conceits are among the
multitudinous charms of Japan.

The Beckoning Leaf

There is a certain Japanese tree, called _tegashiwa_, and its leaves in
shape are not unlike a hand. In ancient days, when it was necessary for
a _samurai_ to leave his home, he received just before his departure a
_tai_ (perch), which was served on the leaf of a _tegashiwa_ tree. This
was his farewell repast, and when the _samurai_ had eaten the fish the
leaf was hung over the door, in the belief that it would guard him on
his journey, and bring him safely back to his home again. It was not
the shape, but the movement of the _tegashiwa_ leaf that gave rise to
this pleasing fancy, for the leaf, when blown by the wind, appeared to
beckon after the graceful Japanese manner.


Dry peas are usually found to be efficacious in driving away evil
spirits, but Bimbogami, the God of Poverty, is not so easily overcome.
There is something pathetic in the idea that poverty should be regarded
as an obstinate and most unwelcome fellow, for at this point we touch
reality. However, though Bimbogami takes no notice of dry peas, he may
be vanquished by other means.

The charcoal fire in a Japanese kitchen is blown into a cheerful
glow by means of a utensil called _hifukidake_, a bamboo tube--a
more artistic and simple form of bellows, where the inflated cheeks
take the place of our hand-moved leather bag. Before long the bamboo
tube cracks with the intense heat. When this takes place a copper
coin is put inside the tube, an incantation is uttered, and then the
"fire-blow-tube" is thrown either into the street or into a stream.
This throwing away of the useless bamboo of the kitchen is always
supposed to signify the forced departure of Bimbogami. Most of us are
familiar with what is known as the Death-spider that ticks like a watch
in our walls. In Japan it is called _Bimbomushi_, "Poverty-Insect."
Its ticking does not foretell the coming of Death, as is the belief in
our own country, but it denotes the unwelcome presence of the God of
Poverty in the Japanese home.

[Footnote 1: This variety of divination is of particular interest, for
the rod symbolises the God of Roads, the Deity created from Izanagi's
staff, which, it will be remembered, he flung behind him when pursued
in the Under-world by the Eight Ugly Females.]


The Kappa

The _Kappa_ is a river goblin, a hairy creature with the body of a
tortoise and scaly limbs. His head somewhat resembles that of an ape,
in the top of which there is a cavity containing a mysterious fluid,
said to be the source of the creature's power. The chief delight of
the _Kappa_ is to challenge human beings to single combat, and the
unfortunate man who receives an invitation of this kind cannot refuse.
Though the _Kappa_ is fierce and quarrelsome, he is, nevertheless,
extremely polite. The wayfarer who receives his peremptory summons
gives the goblin a profound bow. The courteous _Kappa_ acknowledges the
obeisance, and in inclining his head the strength-giving liquid runs
out from the hollow in his cranium, and becoming feeble, his warlike
characteristics immediately disappear. To defeat the _Kappa_, however,
is just as unfortunate as to receive a beating at his hands, for the
momentary glory of the conquest is rapidly followed by a wasting away
of the unfortunate wayfarer. The _Kappa_ possesses the propensities of
a vampire, for he strikes people in the water, as they bathe in lake or
river, and sucks their blood. In a certain part of Japan the _Kappa_ is
said to claim two victims every year. When they emerge from the water
their skin becomes blanched, and they gradually pine away as the result
of a terrible disease.

In Izumo the village people refer to the _Kappa_ as _Kawako_ ("The
Child of the River"). Near Matsue there is a little hamlet called
Kawachi-mura, and on the bank of the river Kawachi there is a small
temple known as Kawako-no-miya, that is, the temple of the _Kawako_
or _Kappa_, said to contain a document signed by this river goblin.
Concerning this document the following legend is recorded.

[Illustration: The Kappa and his Victim.--350]

The Kappa's Promise

In ancient days a _Kappa_ dwelt in the river Kawachi, and he made
a practice of seizing and destroying a number of villagers, and in
addition many of their domestic animals. On one occasion a horse went
into the river, and the _Kappa_, in trying to capture it, in some way
twisted his neck, but in spite of considerable pain he refused to
let his victim go. The frightened horse sprang up the river bank and
ran into a neighbouring field with the Kappa still holding on to the
terrified animal. The owner of the horse, together with many villagers,
securely bound the Child of the River. "Let us kill this horrible
creature," said the peasants, "for he has assuredly committed many
horrible crimes, and we should do well to be rid of such a dreadful
monster." "No," replied the owner of the horse, "we will not kill him.
We will make him swear never to destroy any of the inhabitants or the
domestic animals of this village." A document was accordingly prepared,
and the _Kappa_ was asked to peruse it, and when he had done so to sign
his name. "I cannot write," replied the penitent _Kappa_, "but I will
dip my hand in ink and press it upon the document." When the creature
had made his inky mark, he was released and allowed to return to the
river, and from that day to this the _Kappa_ has remained true to his

The Tengu

We have already referred to the _Tengu_ in the story of Yoshitsune and
Benkei.[1] In this legend it will be remembered that Yoshitsune, one
of the greatest warriors of Old Japan, learnt the art of swordsmanship
from the King of the _Tengu_. Professor B. H. Chamberlain describes
the _Tengu_ as "a class of goblins or gnomes that haunt the mountains
and woodlands, and play many pranks. They have an affinity to birds;
for they are winged and beaked, sometimes clawed. But often the beak
becomes a large and enormously long human nose, and the whole creature
is conceived as human, nothing bird-like remaining but the fan of
feathers with which it fans itself. It is often dressed in leaves,
and wears on its head a tiny cap." In brief, the _Tengu_ are minor
divinities, and are supreme in the art of fencing, and, indeed, in the
use of weapons generally. The ideographs with which the name is written
signify "heavenly dog," which is misleading, for the creature bears
no resemblance to a dog, and is, as we have already described, partly
human and partly bird-like in appearance. There are other confusing
traditions in regard to the word _Tengu_, for it is said that the
Emperor Jomei gave the name to a certain meteor "which whirled from
east to west with a loud detonation." Then, again, a still more ancient
belief informs us that the _Tengu_ were emanations from Susa-no-o, the
Impetuous Male, and again, that they were female demons with heads of
beasts and great ears and noses of such enormous length that they could
carry men on them and fly with their suspended burden for thousands
of miles without fatigue, and in addition their teeth were so strong
and so sharp that these female demons could bite through swords and
spears. The _Tengu_ is still believed to inhabit certain forests and
the recesses of high mountains. Generally speaking, the _Tengu_ is not
a malevolent being, for he possesses a keen sense of humour, and is
fond of a practical joke. Sometimes, however, the _Tengu_ mysteriously
hides human beings, and when finally they return to their homes they
do so in a demented condition. This strange occurrence is known as
_Tengu-kakushi_, or hidden by a _Tengu_.

Tobikawa Imitates a Tengu

Tobikawa, an ex-wrestler who lived in Matsue, spent his time in hunting
and killing foxes. He did not believe in the various superstitions
concerning this animal, and it was generally believed that his great
strength made him immune from the witchcraft of foxes. However, there
were some people of Matsue who prophesied that Tobikawa would come
to an untimely end as the result of his daring deeds and disbelief
in supernatural powers. Tobikawa was extremely fond of practical
jokes, and on one occasion he had the hardihood to imitate the general
appearance of a _Tengu_, feathers, long nose, claws, and all. Having
thus disguised himself he climbed up into a tree belonging to a sacred
grove. Presently the peasants observed him, and deeming the creature
they saw to be a _Tengu_, they began to worship him and to place many
offerings about the tree. Alas! the dismal prophecy came true, for
while the merry Tobikawa was trying to imitate the acrobatic antics of
a _Tengu_, he slipped from a branch and was killed.

The Adventures of Kiuchi Heizayemon

We have already referred to the _Tengu-kakushi_, and the following
legend gives a graphic account of this supernatural occurrence.

One evening, Kiuchi Heizayemon, a retainer, mysteriously disappeared.
Kiuchi's friends, when they heard of what had taken place, searched
for him in every direction. Eventually they discovered the missing
man's clogs, scabbard, and sword; but the sheath was bent like the
curved handle of a tea-kettle. They had no sooner made this lamentable
discovery than they also perceived Kiuchi's girdle, which had been cut
into three pieces. At midnight, those who searched heard a strange cry,
a voice calling for help. Suzuki Shichiro, one of the party, chanced
to look up, and he saw a strange creature with wings standing upon the
roof of a temple. When the rest of the band had joined their comrade,
they all looked upon the weird figure, and one said: "I believe it
is nothing but an umbrella flapping in the wind." "Let us make quite
sure," replied Suzuki Shichiro, and with these words he lifted up his
voice, and cried loudly: "Are you the lost Kiuchi?" "Yes," was the
reply, "and I pray that you will take me down from this temple as
speedily as possible."

When Kiuchi had been brought down from the temple roof, he fainted, and
remained in a swoon for three days. At length, gaining consciousness,
he gave the following account of his strange adventure:

"The evening when I disappeared I heard some one shouting my name over
and over again, and going out I discovered a black-robed monk, bawling
'Heizayemon!' Beside the monk stood a man of great stature; his face
was red, and his dishevelled hair fell upon the ground. 'Climb up on
yonder roof,' he shouted fiercely. I refused to obey such an evil-faced
villain, and drew my sword, but in a moment he bent the blade and broke
my scabbard into fragments. Then my girdle was roughly torn off and
cut into three pieces. When these things had been done, I was carried
to a roof, and there severely chastised. But this was not the end of
my trouble, for after I had been beaten, I was forced to seat myself
on a round tray. In a moment I was whirled into the air, and the tray
carried me with great speed to many regions. When it appeared to me
that I had travelled through space for ten days, I prayed to the
Lord Buddha, and found myself on what appeared to be the summit of a
mountain, but in reality it was the roof of the temple whence you, my
comrades, rescued me."

A Modern Belief in the Tengu

Captain Brinkley, in _Japan and China_, informs us that as late as
1860 the officials of the Yedo Government showed their belief in
supernatural beings. Prior to the visit of the _Shōgun_ to Nikko, they
caused the following notice to be exhibited in the vicinity of the


        "Whereas our _Shōgun_ intends to visit the Nikko
        Mausolea next April, now therefore ye _Tengu_ and other
        Demons inhabiting these mountains must remove elsewhere
        until the _Shōgun's_ visit is concluded.

                                "(Signed) Mizuno, Lord of Dewa.
                                     "Dated July 1860."

The local officials were not content with a notice of this kind. After
duly notifying the _Tengu_ and other demons of the coming of the
_Shōgun_, the exact mountains were specified where these creatures
might live during the ruler's visit.

The Mountain Woman and the Mountain Man

The Mountain Woman's body is covered with long white hair. She is
looked upon as an ogre (_kijo_), and, as such, figures in Japanese
romance. She has cannibalistic tendencies, and is able to fly about
like a moth and traverse pathless mountains with ease.

The Mountain Man is said to resemble a great darkhaired monkey. He
is extremely strong, and thinks nothing of stealing food from the
villages. He is, however, always ready to assist woodcutters, and will
gladly carry their timber for them in exchange for a ball of rice.
It is useless to capture or kill him, for an attack of any kind upon
the Mountain Man brings misfortune, and sometimes death, upon the


The _Sennin_ are mountain recluses, and many are the legends told in
connection with them. Though they have human form, they are, at the
same time, immortal, and adepts in the magical arts. The first great
Japanese _sennin_ was Yōshō, who was born at Noto A.D. 870. Just before
his birth his mother dreamt that she had swallowed the sun, a dream
that foretold the miraculous power of her child. Yōshō was studious
and devout, and spent most of his time in studying the "Lotus of the
Law." He lived very simply indeed, and at length reduced his diet to
a single grain of millet a day. He departed from the earth A.D. 901,
having attained much supernatural power. He left his mantle hanging
on the branch of a tree, together with a scroll bearing these words:
"I bequeath my mantle to Emmei of Dogen-ji." In due time Emmei became
a _sennin_, and, like his master, was able to perform many marvels.
Shortly after Yōshō's disappearance his father became seriously ill,
and he prayed most ardently that he might see his well-loved son again.
In reply to his prayers, Yōshō's voice was heard overhead reciting the
"Lotus of the Law." When he had concluded his recitations, he said to
his stricken father: "If flowers are offered and incense burned on the
18th of every month, my spirit will descend and greet you, drawn by the
perfume of the flowers and the blue smoke of incense."

Sennin in Art

_Sennin_ are frequently depicted in Japanese art: Chokoro releasing
his magic horse from a gigantic gourd; Gama with his wizard toad;
Tekkai blowing his soul into space; Roko balancing himself on a flying
tortoise; and Kumé, who fell from his chariot of cloud because,
contrary to his holy calling, he loved the image of a fair girl
reflected in a stream.

Miraculous Lights

There are many varieties of fire apparitions in Japan. There is the
ghost-fire, demon-light, fox-flame, flash-pillar, badger-blaze,
dragon-torch, and lamp of Buddha. In addition supernatural fire is said
to emanate from certain birds, such as the blue heron, through the
skin, mouth, and eyes. There are also fire-wheels, or messengers from
Hades, sea-fires, besides the flames that spring from the cemetery.

A Globe of Fire

From the beginning of March to the end of June there may be seen in the
province of Settsu a globe of fire resting on the top of a tree, and
within this globe there is a human face. In ancient days there once
lived in Nikaido district of Settsu province a priest named Nikōbō,
famous for his power to exorcise evil spirits and evil influences
of every kind. When the local governor's wife fell sick, Nikōbō was
requested to attend and see what he could do to restore her to health
again. Nikōbō willingly complied, and spent many days by the bedside of
the suffering lady. He diligently practised his art of exorcism, and in
due time the governor's wife recovered. But the gentle and kind-hearted
Nikōbō was not thanked for what he had done; on the contrary, the
governor became jealous of him, accused him or a foul crime, and caused
him to be put to death. The soul of Nikōbō flashed forth in its anger
and took the form of a miraculous globe of fire, which hovered over the
murderer's house. The strange light, with the justly angry face peering
from it, had its effect, for the governor was stricken with a fever
that finally killed him. Every year, at the time already indicated,
Nikōbō's ghost pays a visit to the scene of its suffering and revenge.

The Ghostly Wrestlers

In Omi province, at the base of the Katada hills, there is a lake.
During the cloudy nights of early autumn a ball of fire emerges from
the margin of the lake, expanding and contracting as it floats toward
the hills. When it rises to the height of a man it reveals two shining
faces, to develop slowly into the torsos of two naked wrestlers, locked
together and struggling furiously. The ball of fire, with its fierce
combatants, floats slowly away to a recess in the Katada hills. It
is harmless so long as no one interferes with it, but it resents any
effort to retard its progress. According to a legend concerning this
phenomenon, we are informed that a certain wrestler, who had never
suffered a defeat, waited at midnight for the coming of this ball
of fire. When it reached him he attempted to drag it down by force,
but the luminous globe proceeded on its way, and hurled the foolish
wrestler to a considerable distance.


In Japan, among superstitious people, evil dreams are believed to be
the result of evil spirits, and the supernatural creature called _Baku_
is known as Eater of Dreams. The _Baku_ like so many mythological
beings, is a curious mingling of various animals. It has the face
of a lion, the body of a horse, the tail of a cow, the forelock of a
rhinoceros, and the feet of a tiger. Several evil dreams are mentioned
in an old Japanese book, such as two snakes twined together, a fox
with the voice of a man, blood-stained garments, a talking rice-pot,
and so on. When a Japanese peasant awakens from an evil nightmare, he
cries: "Devour, O _Baku_! devour my evil dream." At one time pictures
of the _Baku_ were hung up in Japanese houses and its name written upon
pillows. It was believed that if the _Baku_ could be induced to eat
a horrible dream, the creature had the power to change it into good

The Shojō's White Saké[2]

The _Shojō_ is a sea monster with bright red hair, and is extremely
fond of drinking large quantities of sacred white _saké_. The following
legend will give some account of this creature and the nature of his
favourite beverage.

We have already referred to the miraculous appearance of Mount Fuji.[3]
On the day following this alleged miracle a poor man named Yurine, who
lived near this mountain, became extremely ill, and feeling that his
days were numbered, he desired to drink a cup of _saké_ before he died.
But there was no rice wine in the little hut, and his boy, Koyuri,
desiring if possible to fulfil his father's dying wish, wandered along
the shore with a gourd in his hand. He had not gone far when he heard
some one calling his name. On looking about him he discovered two
strange-looking creatures with long red hair and skin the colour of
pink cherry-blossom, wearing green seaweed girdles about their loins.
Drawing nearer, he perceived that these beings were drinking white
_saké_ from large flat cups, which they continually replenished from a
great stone jar.

"My father is dying," said the boy, "and he much desires to drink a cup
of _saké_ before he departs this life. But alas! we are poor, and I
know not how to grant him his last request."

"I will fill your gourd with this white _saké_," replied one of the
creatures, and when he had done so Koyuri ran with haste to his father.

The old man drank the white _saké_ eagerly. "Bring me more," he cried,
"for this is no common wine. It has given me strength, and already I
feel new life flowing through my old veins."

So Koyuri returned to the seashore, and the red-haired creatures
gladly gave him more of their wine; indeed, they supplied him with the
beverage for five days, and by the end of that time Yurine was restored
to health again.

Now Yurine's neighbour was a man called Mamikiko, and when he heard
that Yurine had recently obtained a copious supply of _saké_ he grew
jealous, for above all things he loved a cup of rice wine. One day he
called Koyuri and questioned him in regard to the matter, saying: "Let
me taste the _saké_." He roughly snatched the gourd from the boy's
hand and began to drink, making a wry face as he did so. "This is not
_saké_!" he exclaimed fiercely; "it is filthy water," and having said
these words, he began to beat the boy, crying: "Take me to those red
people you have told me about. I will get from them fine _saké_, and
let the beating I have given you warn you never again to play a trick
upon me."

Koyuri and Mamikiko went along the shore together, and presently they
came to where the red-haired creatures were drinking. When Koyuri saw
them he began to weep.

"Why are you crying?" said one of the creatures. "Surely your good
father has not drunk all the _saké_ already?"

"No," replied the boy, "but I have met with misfortune. This man I
bring with me, Mamikiko by name, drank some of the _saké_, spat it out
immediately, and threw the rest away, saying that I had played a trick
upon him and given him foul water to drink. Be so good as to let me
have some more _saké_ for my father."

The red-haired man filled the gourd, and chuckled over Mamikiko's
unpleasant experience.

"I should also like a cup or _saké_" said Mamikiko. "Will you let me
have some?"

Permission having been granted, the greedy Mamikiko filled the largest
cup he could find, smiling over the delicious fragrance. But directly
he tasted the _saké_ he felt sick, and angrily remonstrated with the
red-haired creature.

The red man thus made answer: "You are evidently not aware that I am
a _Shojō_, and that I live near the Sea Dragon's Palace. When I heard
of the sudden appearance of Mount Fuji I came here to see it, assured
that such an event was a good omen and foretold of the prosperity and
perpetuity of Japan. While enjoying the beauty of this fair mountain I
met Koyuri, and had the good fortune to save his honest father's life
by giving him some of our sacred white _saké_ that restores youth to
human beings, together with an increase in years, while to _Shojō_ it
vanquishes death. Koyuri's father is a good man, and the _saké_ was
thus able to exert its full and beneficent power upon him; but you are
greedy and selfish, and to all such this _saké_ is poison."

"_Poison_?" groaned the now contrite Mamikiko. "Good _Shojō_, have
mercy upon me and spare my life!"

The _Shojō_ gave him a powder, saying: "Swallow this in _saké_ and
repent of your wickedness."

Mamikiko did so, and this time he found that the white _saké_ was
delicious. He lost no time in making friends with Yurine, and some
years later these men took up their abode on the southern side of Mount
Fuji, brewed the _Shojō's_ white _saké_, and lived for three hundred

The Dragon

The Dragon is undoubtedly the most famous of mythical beasts, but,
though Chinese in origin, it has become intimately associated with
Japanese mythology. The creature lives for the most part in the ocean,
river, or lake, but it has the power of flight and rules over clouds
and tempests. The Dragon of China and Japan resemble each other,
with the exception that the Japanese variety has three claws, while
that of the Celestial Kingdom has five. The Chinese Emperor Yao was
said to be the son of a dragon, and many rulers of that country were
metaphorically referred to as "dragon-faced." The Dragon has the head
of a camel, horns of a deer, eyes of a hare, scales of a carp, paws of
a tiger, and claws resembling those of an eagle. In addition it has
whiskers, a bright jewel under its chin, and a measure on the top of
its head which enables it to ascend to Heaven at will. This is merely
a general description and does not apply to all dragons, some of which
have heads of so extraordinary a kind that they cannot be compared with
anything in the animal kingdom. The breath of the Dragon changes into
clouds from which come either rain or fire. It is able to expand or
contract its body, and in addition it has the power of transformation
and invisibility. In both Chinese and Japanese mythology the watery
principle is associated with the Dragon, as we have already seen in the
story of Urashima, the Empress Jingo, and the adventures of Hoori, &c.

The Dragon (_Tatsu_) is one of the signs of the zodiac, and the four
seas, which in the old Chinese conception limited the habitable earth,
were ruled over by four Dragon Kings. The Celestial Dragon ruled over
the Mansions of the Gods, the Spiritual Dragon presided over rain, the
Earth Dragon marked the courses of rivers, and the Dragon or Hidden
Treasure guarded precious metals and stones.

A white Dragon, which lived in a pond at Yamashiro, transformed
itself every fifty years into a bird called _O-Goncho_, with a voice
resembling the howling of a wolf. Whenever this bird appeared it
brought with it a great famine. On one occasion, while Fuk Hi was
standing by the Yellow River, the Yellow Dragon presented him with a
scroll inscribed with mystic characters. This tradition is said to be
the legendary origin of the Chinese system of writing.

[Footnote 1: _See_ Chapter II.]

[Footnote 2: Adapted from _Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan_, by R.
Gordon Smith.]

[Footnote 3: See Chapter IX.]


A Prayer to the Empress Jingo

An old married couple went to the shrine of the deified Empress
Jingo,[1] and prayed that they might be blessed with a child, even
if it were no bigger than one of their fingers. A voice was heard
from behind the bamboo curtain of the shrine, and the old people were
informed that their wish would be granted.

In due time the old woman gave birth to a child, and when she and her
husband discovered that this miniature piece of humanity was no bigger
than a little finger, they became extremely angry, and thought that the
Empress Jingo had treated them very meanly indeed, though, as a matter
of fact, she had fulfilled their prayer to the letter.

"One-Inch Priest"

The little fellow was called Issunboshi ("One-Inch Priest"), and every
day his parents expected to see him suddenly grow up as other boys; but
at thirteen years of age he still remained the same size as when he was
born. Gradually his parents became exasperated, for it wounded their
vanity to hear the neighbours describe their son as Little Finger, or
Grain-of-Corn. They were so much annoyed that at last they determined
to send Issunboshi away.

The little fellow did not complain. He requested his mother to give him
a needle, a small soup-bowl, and a chop-stick, and with these things he
set off on his adventures.

Issunboshi becomes a Page

His soup-bowl served as a boat, which he propelled along the river with
his chop-stick. In this fashion he finally reached Kyōto. Issunboshi
wandered about this city until he saw a large roofed gate. Without the
least hesitation he walked in, and having reached the porch of a house,
he cried out in a very minute voice: "I beg an honourable inquiry!"

Prince Sanjo himself heard the little voice, and it was some time
before he could discover where it came from. When he did so he was
delighted with his discovery, and on the little fellow begging that he
might live in the Prince's house, his request was readily granted. The
boy became a great favourite, and was at once made the Princess Sanjo's
page. In this capacity he accompanied his mistress everywhere, and
though so very small, he fully appreciated the honour and dignity of
his position.

An Encounter with Oni

One day the Princess Sanjo and her page went to the Temple of Kwannon,
the Goddess of Mercy, "under whose feet are dragons of the elements and
the lotuses of Purity." As they were leaving the temple two _oni_ (evil
spirits) sprang upon them. Issunboshi took out his needle-sword from
its hollow straw, and loudly denouncing the _oni_, he flourished his
small weapon in their evil-looking faces.

One of the creatures laughed. "Why," said he scornfully, "I could
swallow you, as a cormorant swallows a trout, and what is more, my
funny little bean-seed, I will do so!"

The _oni_ opened his mouth, and Issunboshi found himself slipping
down a huge throat until he finally stood in the creature's great
dark stomach. Issunboshi, nothing daunted, began boring away with his
needle-sword. This made the evil spirit cry out and give a great cough,
which sent the little fellow into the sunny world again.

The second _oni_, who had witnessed his companion's distress, was
extremely angry, and tried to swallow the remarkable little page, but
was not successful. This time Issunboshi climbed up the creature's
nostril, and when he had reached the end of what seemed to him to be a
very long and gloomy tunnel, he began piercing the _oni's_ eyes. The
creature, savage with pain, ran off as fast as he could, followed by
his yelling companion.

Needless to say, the Princess was delighted with her page's bravery,
and told him that she was sure her father would reward him when he was
told about the terrible encounter.

The Magic Mallet

On their way home the Princess happened to pick up a small wooden
mallet. "Oh!" said she, "this must have been dropped by the wicked
_oni_, and it is none other than a lucky mallet. You have only to
wish and then tap it upon the ground, and your wish, no matter what,
is always granted. My brave Issunboshi, tell me what you would most
desire, and I will tap the mallet on the ground."

After a pause the little fellow said: "Honourable Princess, I should
like to be as big as other people."

The Princess tapped the mallet on the ground, calling aloud the wish of
her page. In a moment Issunboshi was transformed from a bijou creature
to a lad just like other youths of his age.

These wonderful happenings excited the curiosity of the Emperor, and
Issunboshi was summoned to his presence. The Emperor was so delighted
with the youth that he gave him many gifts and made him a high
official. Finally, Issunboshi became a great lord and married Prince
Sanjo's youngest daughter.

Kintaro, the Golden Boy

Sakata Kurando was an officer of the Emperor's bodyguard, and though
he was a brave man, well versed in the art of war, he had a gentle
disposition, and during his military career chanced to love a beautiful
lady named Yaégiri. Kurando eventually fell into disgrace, and was
forced to leave the Court and to become a travelling tobacco merchant.
Yaégiri, who was much distressed by her lover's flight, succeeded in
escaping from her home, and wandered up and down the country in the
hope of meeting Kurando. At length she found him, but the unfortunate
man, who, no doubt, felt deeply his disgrace and his humble mode of
living, put an end to his humiliation by taking his miserable life.

Animal Companions

When Yaégiri had buried her lover she went to the Ashigara Mountain,
where she gave birth to a child, called Kintaro, or the Golden Boy. Now
Kintaro was remarkable for his extreme strength. When only a few years
old his mother gave him an axe, with which he felled trees as quickly
and easily as an experienced woodcutter. Ashigara Mountain was a lonely
and desolate spot, and as there were no children with whom Kintaro
could play, he made companions of the bear, deer, hare, and monkey, and
in a very short time was able to speak their strange language.

One day, when Kintaro was sitting on the mountain, with his favourites
about him, he sought to amuse himself by getting his companions to
join in a friendly wrestling match. A kindly old bear was delighted
with the proposal, and at once set to work to dig up the earth and
arrange it in the form of a small daïs. When this had been made a
hare and a monkey wrestled together, while a deer stood by to give
encouragement and to see that the sport was conducted fairly. Both
animals proved themselves to be equally strong, and Kintaro tactfully
rewarded them with tempting rice-cakes.

After spending a pleasant afternoon in this way, Kintaro proceeded to
return home, followed by his devoted friends. At length they came to
a river, and the animals were wondering how they should cross such a
wide stretch of water, when Kintaro put his strong arms round a tree
which was growing on the bank, and pulled it across the river so that
it formed a bridge. Now it happened that the famous hero, Yorimitsu,
and his retainers witnessed this extraordinary feat of strength, and
said to Watanaé Isuna: "This child is truly remarkable. Go and find out
where he lives and all about him."

A Famous Warrior

So Watanabé Isuna followed Kintaro and entered the house where he lived
with his mother. "My master," said he, "Lord Yorimitsu, bids me find
out who your wonderful son is." When Yaégiri had narrated the story of
her life and informed her visitor that her little one was the son of
Sakata Kurando, the retainer departed and told Yorimitsu all he had

Yorimitsu was so pleased with what Watanabé Isuna told him that he went
himself to Yaégiri, and said: "If you will give me your child I will
make him my retainer." The woman gladly consented, and the Golden
Boy went away with the great hero, who named him Sakata Kintoki. He
eventually became a famous warrior, and the stories of his wonderful
deeds are recited to this day. Children regard him as their favourite
hero, and little boys, who would fain emulate the strength and bravery
of Sakata Kintoki, carry his portrait in their bosoms.

[Footnote 1: Deifying the mighty dead is one of the teachings of


Kato Sayemon

Kato Sayemon lived in the palace of the Shōgun Ashikaga, where he had
his separate apartments, and as there was no war at that time, he
remained contentedly with his wife and concubines. Kato Sayemon was a
man who loved luxury and ease, and he regarded domestic peace as the
greatest of all earthly blessings. He honestly believed that among all
his smiling, courteous women there was nothing but harmony, and this
thought made life particularly sweet to him.

One evening Kato Sayemon went into the palace garden and was enchanted
by the ever-moving cloud of fireflies, and he was scarcely less pleased
with the gentle song of certain insects. "What a charming scene,"
murmured Sayemon, "and what a charming world we live in! Bows and
smiles and abject humility from my women. Oh, it's all very wonderful
and very delightful! I would have life always so."

Thus voicing his thoughts in this self-satisfied manner, he chanced to
pass his wife's room, and peeped in with a loving and benevolent eye.
He observed that his wife was playing _go_ with one of his concubines.
"Such polite decorum," murmured Sayemon. "Surely their words are as
sweet as honey and as soft and fair as finely spun silk. But stay! What
strange thing is this? The hair of my wife and the hair of my concubine
have turned into snakes that twist and rear their heads in anger.
All the time these women smile and bow and move their pieces with
well-ordered charm and grace. Gentle words come from their lips, but
the snakes of their hair mock them, for these twisting reptiles tell
of bitter jealousy in their hearts."

[Illustration: Kato Sayemon in his Palace of the Shōgun Ashikaga.--370]

Sayemon's beautiful dream of domestic happiness was for ever shattered.
"I will go forth," said he, "and become a Buddhist priest. I will leave
behind the hot malice and envy of my wife and concubines, and in the
teaching of the Blessed One I shall indeed find true peace."

The next morning Sayemon left the palace secretly, and though search
was made for him, he could not be found. About a week later Sayemon's
wife reduced the establishment and lived quietly with her little son,
Ishidomaro. Two years went by and still there came no news of her

At length Sayemon's wife and child went in search of the missing man.
For five years they wandered about the country, till at length they
came to a little village in Kishu, where an old man informed the weary
and travel-stained wanderers that Sayemon was now a priest, and that a
year ago he lived in the temple of Kongobuji, on Mount Koya.

The next day the woman and her son found that at the temple of
Kongobuji no women were permitted to enter, so Ishidomaro, after
carefully listening to his mother's instructions, ascended the mountain
alone. When the boy, after a long and arduous climb, reached the
temple, he saw a monk, and said: "Does a priest called Kato Sayemon
live here? I am his little son, and my good mother awaits me in yonder
valley. Five years we have sought for him, and the love that is in our
hearts will surely find him."

The priest, who was none other than Sayemon himself, thus addressed his
son: "I am sorry to think that your journey has been in vain, for no
one of the name of Kato Sayemon lives in this temple."

Sayemon spoke with outward coldness, but within his heart there was a
struggle between his religion and love for his son. Knowing, however,
that he had left his wife and child well provided for, he yielded to
the teaching of the Lord Buddha and crushed out his parental feelings.

Ishidomaro, however, was not satisfied, for he felt instinctively
that the man before him was in reality his father, and once again he
addressed the priest: "Good sir, on my left eye there is a mole, and
my mother told me that on the left eye of my father there is a similar
mark, by which I might at once recognise him. You have the very mark,
and in my heart I know that you are my father." And having said these
words the boy wept bitterly, longing for arms that never came to caress
and soothe the unhappy little fellow.

Sayemon's feelings were again stirred; but with a great effort to
conceal his emotion, he said: "The mark of which you speak is very
common. I am certainly not your father, and you had better dry your
eyes and seek him elsewhere." With these words the priest left the boy
in order to attend an evening service.

Sayemon continued to live in the temple. He had found peace in serving
the Lord Buddha, and he cared not what became of his wife and child.

How an Old Man lost his Wen

There was once an old man who had a wen on his right cheek. This
disfigurement caused him a good deal of annoyance, and he had spent a
considerable sum of money in trying to get rid of it. He took various
medicines and applied many lotions, but instead of the wen disappearing
or even diminishing, it increased in size.

One night, while the old man was returning home laden with firewood,
he was overtaken by a terrible thunderstorm, and was forced to seek
shelter in a hollow tree. When the storm had abated, and just as
he was about to proceed on his journey, he was surprised to hear a
sound of merriment close at hand. On peeping out from his place of
retreat, he was amazed to see a number of demons dancing and singing
and drinking. Their dancing was so strange that the old man, forgetting
caution, began to laugh, and eventually left the tree in order that he
might see the performance better. As he stood watching, he saw that
a demon was dancing by himself, and, moreover, that the chief of the
company was none too pleased with his very clumsy antics. At length
the leader of the demons said: "Enough! Is there no one who can dance
better than this fellow?"

When the old man heard these words, it seemed that his youth returned
to him again, and having at one time been an expert dancer, he offered
to show his skill. So the old man danced before that strange gathering
of demons, who congratulated him on his performance, offered him a cup
of _saké_, and begged that he would give them the pleasure of several
other dances.

The old man was extremely gratified by the way he had been received,
and when the chief of the demons asked him to dance before them on the
following night, he readily complied. "That is well," said the chief,
"but you must leave some pledge behind you. I see that you have a wen
on your right cheek, and that will make an excellent pledge. Allow me
to take it off for you." Without inflicting any pain, the chief removed
the wen, and having accomplished this extraordinary feat, he and his
companions suddenly vanished.

The old man, as he walked towards his home, kept on feeling his right
cheek with his hand, and could scarcely realise that after many
years of disfigurement he had at last the good fortune to lose his
troublesome and unsightly wen. At length he entered his humble abode,
and his old wife was none the less pleased with what had taken place.

A wicked and cantankerous old man lived next door to this good old
couple. For many years he had been afflicted with a wen on his left
cheek, which had failed to yield to all manner of medical treatment.
When he heard of his neighbour's good fortune, he called upon him and
listened to the strange adventures with the demons. The good old man
told his neighbour where he might find the hollow tree, and advised him
to hide in it just before sunset.

The wicked old man found the hollow tree and entered it. He had not
remained concealed more than a few minutes when he rejoiced to see the
demons. Presently one of the company said: "The old man is a long time
coming. I made sure he would keep his promise."

At these words the old man crept out of his hiding-place, flourished
his fan, and began to dance; but, unfortunately, he knew nothing about
dancing, and his extraordinary antics caused the demons to express
considerable dissatisfaction. "You dance extremely ill," said one of
the company, "and the sooner you stop the better we shall be pleased;
but before you depart we will return the pledge you left with us last
night." Having uttered these words, the demon flung the wen at the
right cheek of the old man, where it remained firmly fixed, and could
not be removed. So the wicked old man, who had tried to deceive the
demons, went away with a wen on either side of his face.

A Japanese Gulliver[1]

Shikaiya Wasōbiōye was a man of Nagasaki, and possessed considerable
learning, but disliked visitors. On the eighth day of the eighth
month, in order to escape the admirers of the full moon, he set off
in his boat, and had proceeded some distance, when the sky looked
threatening, and he attempted to return, but the wind tore his sail
and broke his mast. The poor man was tossed for three months on the
waves, until at last he came to the Sea of Mud, where he nearly died of
hunger, for there were no fishes to be caught.

At length he reached a mountainous island, where the air was sweet with
the fragrance of many flowers, and in this island he found a spring,
the waters of which revived him. At length Wasōbiōye met Jofuku, who
led him through the streets of the main city, where all the inhabitants
were spending their time in pursuit of pleasure. There was no death
or disease on this island; but the fact that here life was eternal
was regarded by many as a burden, which they tried to shake off by
studying the magic art of death and the power of poisonous food, such
as globe-fish sprinkled with soot and the flesh of mermaids.

When twenty years had passed by Wasōbiōye grew weary of the island, and
as he had failed in his attempts to take his life, he started upon a
journey to the Three Thousand Worlds mentioned in Buddhist Scriptures.
He then visited the Land of Endless Plenty, the Land of Shams, the Land
of the Followers of the Antique, the Land of Paradoxes, and, finally,
the Land of Giants.

After Wasōbiōye had spent five months riding on the back of a stork
through total darkness, he at length reached a country where the sun
shone again, where trees were hundreds of feet in girth, where weeds
were as large as bamboos, and men sixty feet in height. In this strange
land a giant picked up Wasōbiōye, took him to his house, and fed him
from a single grain of monster rice, with chopsticks the size of a
small tree. For a few weeks Wasōbiōye attempted to catechise his host
in regard to the doctrines of the old world whence he came, but the
giant laughed at him and told him that such a small man could not be
expected to understand the ways of big people, for their intelligences
were in like proportion to their size.

The Jewel-tears of Samébito

One day, while Tōtarō was crossing the Long Bridge of Séta, he saw a
strange-looking creature. It had the body of a man, with a skin blacker
than that of a negro; its eyes glowed like emeralds, and its beard was
like the beard of a dragon. Tōtarō was not a little startled at seeing
such an extraordinary being; but there was so much pathos in its green
eyes that Tōtarō ventured to ask questions, to which the strange fellow

"I am Samébito ["A Shark-Person"], and quite recently I was in the
service of the Eight Great Dragon Kings as a subordinate officer in the
Dragon Palace. I was dismissed from this glorious dwelling for a very
slight fault, and I was even banished from the sea. Ever since I have
been extremely miserable, without a place of shelter, and unable to get
food. Pity me, good sir! Find me shelter, and give me something to eat!"

Tōtarō's heart was touched by Samébito's humility, and he took him to a
pond in his garden and there gave him a liberal supply of food. In this
quiet and secluded spot this strange creature of the sea remained for
nearly half a year.

[Illustration: Tōtarō and Samébito.--376]

Now in the summer of that year there was a great female pilgrimage to
the temple called Miidera, situated in the neighbouring town of Ōtsu.
Tōtarō attended the festival, and there saw an extremely charming girl.
"Her face was fair and pure as snow; and the loveliness of her lips
assured the beholder that their very utterance would sound 'as sweet
as the voice of a nightingale singing upon a plum-tree.'"

Tōtarō at once fell in love with this maiden. He discovered that her
name was Tamana, that she was unmarried, and would remain so unless
a young man could present her with a betrothal gift of a casket
containing no fewer than ten thousand jewels.

When Tōtarō learnt that this fair girl was only to be won by what
seemed to him an impossible gift, he returned home with a heavy heart.
The more he thought about the beautiful Tamana, the more he fell in
love with her. But alas! no one less wealthy than a prince could make
such a betrothal gift--ten thousand jewels!

Tōtarō worried himself into an illness, and when a physician came to
see him, he shook his head, and said: "I can do nothing for you, for no
medicine will cure the sickness of love." And with these words he left

Now Samébito gained tidings of the sickness of his master, and when
the sad news reached him, he left the garden pond and entered Tōtarō's

Tōtarō did not speak about his own troubles. He was full of concern for
the welfare of this creature of the sea. "Who will feed you, Samébito,
when I am gone?" said he mournfully.

When Samébito saw that his good master was dying, he uttered a strange
cry, and began to weep. He wept great tears of blood, but when they
touched the floor they suddenly turned into glowing rubies.

When Tōtarō saw these jewel-tears he shouted for joy, and new life came
back to him from that hour. "I shall live! I shall live!" he cried with
great delight. "My good friend, you have more than repaid me for the
food and shelter I have given you. Your wonderful tears have brought me
untold happiness."

Then Samébito stopped weeping, and asked his master to be so good as to
explain the nature of his speedy recovery.

So Tōtarō told the Shark-Man of his love-affair and of the
marriage-gift demanded by the family of Tamana. "I thought," added
Tōtarō, "that I should never be able to get ten thousand jewels, and it
was that thought that brought me so near to death. Now your tears have
turned into jewels, and with these the maid will become my wife."

Tōtarō proceeded to count the jewels with great eagerness. "Not enough!
Not enough!" he exclaimed with considerable disappointment. "Oh,
Samébito, be so good as to weep a little more!"

These words made Samébito angry. "Do you think," said he, "I can weep
at will like women? My tears come from the heart, the outward sign of
true and deep sorrow. I can weep no longer, for you are well again.
Surely the time has come for laughter and merrymaking, and not for

"Unless I get ten thousand jewels, I cannot marry the fair Tamana,"
said Tōtarō. "What am I to do? Oh, good friend, weep, weep!"

Samébito was a kindly creature. After a pause, he said: "I can shed no
more tears to-day. Let us go to-morrow to the Long Bridge of Séta, and
take with us a good supply of wine and fish. It may be that as I sit
on the bridge and gaze toward the Dragon Palace, I shall weep again,
thinking of my lost home, and longing to return once more."

On the morrow they went to the Séta Bridge, and after Samébito had
taken a good deal of wine, he gazed in the direction of the Dragon
Kingdom. As he did so his eyes filled with tears, red tears that turned
into rubies as soon as they touched the bridge. Tōtarō, without very
much concern for his friend's sorrow, picked up the jewels, and found
at last that he had ten thousand lustrous rubies.

Just at that moment they heard a sound of sweet music, and from the
water there rose a cloud-like palace, with all the colours of the
setting sun shining upon it. Samébito gave a shout of joy and sprang
upon the parapet of the bridge, saying: "Farewell, my master! The
Dragon Kings are calling!" With these words he leaped from the bridge
and returned to his old home again.

Tōtarō lost no time in presenting the casket containing ten thousand
jewels to Tamana's parents, and in due season he married their lovely

[Footnote 1: Adapted from Professor B. H. Chamberlain's translation in
the _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. vii.]


There is a subtle charm about Japanese poetry peculiarly its own.
I recall with pleasure the unforgettable hours I spent in reading
Mr. Yone Noguchi's _The Pilgrimage_. I was compelled, through sheer
delight, to read the two volumes at a sitting. It is true that Mr.
Noguchi is very much under the influence of Walt Whitman, and it has
left its impress upon his work; but that only tends to heighten the
effect of the purely Japanese element. A brief, haunting phrase of Mr.
Noguchi has far more charm than an imitation of his American master's
torrential manner. Japan has no need to imitate as far as her poetry is
concerned. In the old days one of the characteristics of that country's
poetry was its almost entire freedom from outside influences, not even
excepting that of China, from whom, in other directions, she borrowed
so much. I have mentioned Mr. Yone Noguchi because his work forms
an excellent starting-point for the study of Japanese poetry. This
charming poet, writing in English, has given us for the first time an
intimate knowledge of the very spirit of Japanese poetry. When a book
is written on comparative poetry, that of Japan will take a very high

It is far easier to describe what Japanese poetry is not than what it
actually is. To begin with, there are no Japanese epics, such as the
_Iliad_ and _Odyssey_, the _Kalevala_, and the _Mahabharata_, and their
phrase _naga-uta_ ("long poetry") is to us a misnomer, for they have no
really long poems. Philosophy, religion, satire are not themes for the
Japanese poet; he even goes so far as to consider war no fit subject
for a song.

The Tanka and Hokku

Where, then, are the charm and wonder of Japan's Pegasus? The real
genius is to be found in the _tanka_, a poem of five lines or phrases
and thirty-one syllables. In many ways the _tanka_ shows far more
limitation than an English sonnet, and our verbose poets would do
well to practise a form that engenders suppression and delicately
gives suggestion the supreme place. It is surprising what music and
sentiment are expressed within these limits. The _tanka_ is certainly
brief in form, but it frequently suggests, with haunting insistency,
that the fragment really has no end, when imagination seizes it and
turns it into a thousand thousand lines. The _tanka_ belongs as much
to Japan as Mount Fuji itself. One cannot regard it without thinking
that a Japanese poet must essentially have all the finer instincts of
an artist. In him the two arts seem inseparable. He must convey in
five lines, in the most felicitous language at his disposal, the idea
he wishes to express. That he does so with extraordinary success is
beyond dispute. These brief poems are wonderfully characteristic of
the Japanese people, for they have such a love for little things. The
same love that delights in carving a _netsuke_, the small button on a
Japanese tobacco-pouch, or the fashioning of a miniature garden in a
space no bigger than a soup-plate is part of the same subtle genius.

There is an even more Lilliputian form of verse. It is called the
_hokku_, and contains only seventeen syllables, such as: "What I saw
as a fallen blossom returning to the branch, lo! it was a butterfly,"
Butterflies were no mere flying insects in Old Japan. The sight of such
a brightly coloured creature heralded the approach of some dear friend.
On one occasion great clouds of butterflies were thought to be the
souls of an army.

The Hyaku-nin-isshiu

Those who are familiar with the _Hyaku-nin-isshiu_[1] ("Single Verses
by a Hundred People"), written before the time of the Norman Conquest,
will recognise that much of the old Japanese poetry depended on the
dexterous punning and the use of "pivot" and "pillow" words. The art
was practised, not with the idea of provoking laughter, which was
the aim of Thomas Hood, but rather with the idea of winning quiet
admiration for a clever and subtle verbal ornament. No translation can
do full justice to this phase of Japanese poetry; but the following
_tanka_, by Yasuhide Bunya, may perhaps give some idea of their

     "The mountain wind in autumn time
     Is well called 'hurricane';
     It _hurries canes_ and twigs along,
     And whirls them o'er the plain
     To scatter them again."

The cleverness of this verse lies in the fact that _yama kaze_
("mountain wind") is written with two characters. When these characters
are combined they form the word _arashi_ ("hurricane"). Clever as these
"pillow" and "pivot" words were, they were used but sparingly by the
poets of the classical period, to be revived again in a later age when
their extravagant use is to be condemned as a verbal display that quite
overshadowed the spirit of the poetry itself.

Love Poems

There are Japanese love poems, but they are very different from
those with which we are familiar. The tiresome habit of enumerating
a woman's charms, either briefly or at length, is happily an
impossibility in the _tanka_. There is nothing approaching the
sensuousness of a Swinburne or a D. G. Rossetti in Japanese poetry, but
the sentiments are gentle and pleasing nevertheless. No doubt there
were love-lorn poets in Japan, as in every other country, poets who
possibly felt quite passionately on the subject; but in their poetry
the fire is ghostly rather than human, always polite and delicate. What
could be more naïve and dainty than the following song from the "Flower
Dance" of Bingo province?

     "If you want to meet me, love,
     Only we twain,
     Come to the gate, love,
     Sunshine or rain;
     And if people pry
     Say that you came, love,
     To watch who went by.

     "If you want to meet me, love,
     Only you and I,
     Come to the pine-tree, love,
     Clouds or clear sky;
     Stand among the spikelets, love,
     And if folks ask why,
     Say that you came, love,
     To catch a butterfly."

Or again, the following _tanka_ by the eleventh-century official,

     "If we could meet in privacy,
     Where no one else could see,
     Softly I'd whisper in thy ear
     This little word from me--
     I'm dying, Love, for thee."

There is a good deal more ingenuity in this poem than would appear
on the surface. It was addressed to the Princess Masako, and though
_omoi-taenamu_ may be correctly translated, "I'm dying, Love, for
thee," it may also mean, "I shall forget about you." The poem was
purposely written with a double meaning, in case it miscarried and fell
into the hands of the palace guards.

Nature Poems

Charming as are many of the Japaneses love poems, they are not so
pleasing or so distinguished as those describing some mood, some scene
from Nature, for the Japanese poets are essentially Nature poets.
Our National Anthem is very far from being poetry. Here is Japan's,
literally rendered into English: "May our Lord's Empire live through
a thousand ages, till tiny pebbles grow into giant boulders covered
with emerald mosses." It is based on an ancient song mentioned in
the _Kokinshiu_, and, like all ancient songs in praise of kingship,
expresses a desire for an Emperor whose very descent from the Sun shall
baffle Death, one who shall live and rule past mortal reckoning. There
is a symbolic meaning attached to Japanese rocks and stones, closely
associated with Buddhism. They represent something more than mere
stolidity; they represent prayers. It is the Nature poems of Japan that
are supremely beautiful, those describing plum- and cherry-blossom,
moonlight on a river, the flight of a heron, the murmuring song of a
blue pine, or the white foam of a wave. The best of these poems are
touched with pathos. Here is one by Isé:

     "Cold as the wind of early Spring,
     Chilling the buds that still lie sheathed
     In their brown armour with its sting,
     And the bare branches withering--
     So seems the human heart to me!
     Cold as the March wind's bitterness;
     I am alone, none comes to see
     Or cheer me in these days of stress."


I often think of that twelfth-century Japanese recluse Chōmei. He lived
in a little mountain hut far away from City Royal, and there he read
and played upon the _biwa_, went for walks in the vicinity, picking
flowers and fruit and branches of maple-leaves, which he set before
the Lord Buddha as thank-offerings. Chōmei was a true lover of Nature,
for he understood all her many moods. In the spring he gazed upon "the
festoons of the wistaria, fine to see as purple clouds." In the west
wind he heard the song of birds, and when autumn came he saw the gold
colouring of the trees, while the piling and vanishing of snow caused
him to think of "the ever waxing and waning volume of the world's
sinfulness." He wrote in his charming _Hō-jō-ki_, the most tender and
haunting autobiography in the Japanese language: "All the joy of my
existence is concentrated around the pillow which giveth me nightly
rest; all the hope of my days I find in the beauties of Nature that
ever please my eyes." He loved Nature so well that he would fain have
taken all the colour and perfume of her flowers through death into the
life beyond. That is what he meant when he wrote:

     "Alas! the moonlight
     Behind the hill is hidden
     In gloom and darkness!
     Oh, would her radiance ever
     My longing eyes rejoiced!"

Here is a touching _hokku_, written by Chiyo, after the death of her
little son:

     "How far, I wonder, did he stray,
     Chasing the burnished dragon-fly to-day?"

The souls of Japanese children are often pictured as playing in a
celestial garden with the same flowers and butterflies they used
to play with while on earth. It is just this subtle element of the
childlike disposition in Japanese people that has helped them to
discover the secrets of flowers, and birds, and trees, has enabled them
to catch their timorous, fleeting shadows, and to hold them, as if by
magic, in a picture, on a vase, or in a delicate and wistful poem.

"The Ah-ness of Things"

There is a Japanese phrase, _mono no aware wo shiru_ ("the Ah-ness
of things"), which seems to describe most accurately the whole
significance of Japanese poetry. There is a plaintive and intimate
union between the poet and the scene from Nature he is writing about.
Over and over again he suggests that Spring, with all her wealth of
cherry- and plum-blossom, will continue to grace his country long
after he has departed. Nearly all Japan's people, from the peasant to
the Mikado himself, are poets. They write poetry because they live
poetry every day of their lives--that is to say, before Japan dreamed
of wearing a bowler hat and frock-coat, or became a wholesale buyer of
everything Western. They live poetry, always that poetry steeped in
an intimate communion with Nature. And when in July the Festival of
the Dead takes place, there comes a great company of poet souls to see
Nippon's blossom again, to wander down old familiar gardens, through
red _torii_, or to lean upon a stone lantern, and drink in the glory of
a summer day, which is sweeter to them than life beyond the grave.

[Footnote 1: _See_ translation by William N. Porter.]


Aizen Myō-ō.              The God of Love.
Aji-shi-ki.               A Shintō God who was mistaken for
                            his deceased friends _Ame-wake_.
Ama-no-ho.                The first of the Divine Messengers sent
                            to prepare the way for the coming
Ama-terasu.               The Sun Goddess.
Ame-waka.                 "Heaven-young-Prince," and one of
                            the Divine Messengers.
Amida.                    A Buddhist Deity, originally an abstraction,
                            the ideal of boundless light.
                          The _Daibutsu_ at Kamakura represents
                            this God.
Anan.                     A cousin of Buddha, and, like Bishamon,
                            gifted with great knowledge and a
                            wonderful memory.
Benten.                   One of the Seven Deities of Luck.
Bimbogami.                The God of Poverty.
Binzuru.                  A disciple of Buddha, and worshipped
                            by the lower classes on account of
                            his miraculous power to cure all
                            human ailments.
Bishamon.                 The God of Wealth and also of War.
Bosatsu.                  A term applied to Buddhist saints.
Buddha.                   See _Shaka_.
Daikoku.                  The God of Wealth.
Dainichi Nyorai.          A personification of purity and wisdom.
                          One of the Buddhist Trinity.
Daishi.                   "Great Teacher," a term applied to
                            many Buddhist saints.
Daruma.                   A follower of Buddha.
Dōsojin.                  The God of Roads.
Ebisu.                    A God of Luck and of Daily Food.
                          He is the patron of honest labour,
                            and is represented as a fisherman
                            carrying in his hand a _tai_-fish.
Ekibiogami.               The God of Pestilence.
Emma-Ō.                   The Lord of Hell and Judge of the
Fu Daishi.                A deified Chinese priest.
Fudō.                     The God of Wisdom.
Fugen.                    The divine patron of those who
                            practise a special kind of ecstatic
                            meditation.  He is usually depicted
                            as sitting on the right hand of _Shaka_.
Fukurokuju.               A God of Luck, and typifies longevity
                            and wisdom.
Gaki.                     Evil Gods.
Go-chi Nyorai.            The Five Buddhas of Contemplation,
                            viz.: _Yakushi, Tahō, Dainichi, Ashuku_,
                            and _Shaka_.
Gongen.                   A generic name for the Shintō incarnations
                            of Buddhas. It is also applied
                            to deified heroes.
Gwakkō Bosatsu.           A Buddhist moon-deity.
Hachiman.                 The God of War. He is the deified
                          Emperor Ōjin, patron of the Minamoto
Hoderi.                   "Fire Shine," and son of _Ninigi_.
Hoori.                    "Fire Fade," and son of _Ninigi_.
Hoso-no-Kami.             The God of Smallpox.
Hotei.                    A God of Luck who typifies contentment.
Hotoke.                   The name of all Buddhas, and frequently
                            applied to the dead generally.
Ida Ten.                  A protector of Buddhism.
Iha-naga.                 "Princess Long-as-the-Rocks," eldest
                            daughter of the Spirit of Mountains.
Inari.                    The Goddess of Rice, and also associated
                            with the Fox God.
Isora.                    The Spirit of the Seashore.
Izanagi and Izanami.      The Creator and Creatress of Japan,
                            and from them the deities of the
                            Shintō pantheon are descended.
Jizō.                     The God of Children.
Jurōjin.                  A God of Luck.
Kami.                     A general name for all Shintō deities.
Kashō.                    One of the greatest disciples of Buddha.
Kaze-no-Kami.             The God of Wind and Bad Colds.
Kengyū.                   The Herdsman lover of the Weaving
Ken-ro-ji-jin.            The Earth God.
Kishi Bojin.              An Indian Goddess, worshipped by
                            the Japanese as the protectress of
Kōbō Daishi.              A deified Buddhist sage.
Kodomo-no-Inari.          The children's Fox God.
Kōjin.                    The God of the Kitchen. Worn-out
                            dolls are offered to this deity.
Kokuzō Bosatsu.           A female Buddhist saint.
Kompira.                  A Buddhist deity of obscure origin,
                            identified with _Susa-no-o_ and other
                            Shintō Gods.
Kōshin.                   The God of Roads. A deification of
                            the day of the Monkey, represented
                            by the Three Mystic Apes.
Kuni-toko-tachi.          "The Earthly Eternally Standing
                             One." A self-created Shintō God.
Kwannon.                  The Goddess of Mercy, represented in
                            various forms:
                          1. _Shō-Kwannon_ (Kwannon the Wise).
                          2. _Jū-ichi-men Kwannon_ (Eleven-Faced).
                          3. _Sen-ju Kwannon_ (Thousand-Handed).
                          4. _Ba-tō-Kwannon_ (Horse-Headed).
                          5. _Nyo-i-rin Kwannon_ (Omnipotent).
Marishiten.               In Japanese and Chinese Buddhism she
                            is represented as the Queen of
                            Heaven. She has eight arms, two
                            of which hold the symbols of the
                            sun and moon. In Brahminical
                            theology she is the personification
                            of Light, and also a name of Krishna.
Maya Bunin.               The mother of Buddha.
Miroku.                   Buddha's successor, and known as the
                            Buddhist Messiah.
Miwa-daimyō-jin.          The deity associated with the Laughing
                                 Festival of Wasa.
Monju Bosatu.             The Lord of Wisdom.
Musubi-no-Kami.           The God of Marriage.
Nikkō Bosatsu.            A Buddhist solar deity.
Ninigi.                   The grandson of Amer-terasu, the Sun
Ni-ō.                     Two gigantic and fierce kings who
                            guard the outer gates of temples.
Nominosukune.             Patron deity of wrestlers.
Nyorai.                   An honorific title applied to all
O-ana-mochi.              "Possessor of the Great Hole" of
                          Mount Fuji.
Oho-yama.                 The Spirit of the Mountains.
Ōnamuji or Ōkuni-nushi.   Son of _Susa-no-o_. He ruled in Izumo,
                            but retired in favour of _Ninigi_.
Oni.                      A general name for evil spirits.
Otohime.                  The daughter of the Dragon King.
Raiden.                   The God of Thunder.
Raitaro.                  The son of the Thunder God.
Rakan.                    A name used to designate the perfected
                            saint and also the immediate disciples
                            of Buddha.
Roku-bu-ten.              A collective name for the Buddhist
                            Gods _Bonten, Taishaku_, and the _Shi-Tennō_.
Rin-jin.                  The Dragon, or Sea King.
Saruta-hiko.              A terrestrial deity who greeted _Ninigi_.
Sengen.                   The Goddess of Mount Fuji. She is
                            also known as _Asama_ or
                            "The Princess who makes the Flowers
                            of the Trees to Blossom."
Shaka Muni.               The founder of Buddhism, also called
                            Gautama, but most generally knows
                            as the Buddha.
Sharihotsu.               The wisest of Buddha's ten chief disciples.
Shichi Fukujin.           The Seven Gods of Luck, viz.: _Ebisu,
                          Daikoku, Benten, Fukurokuju, Bishamon,
                          Jurōjin_, and _Hotei_.
Shita-teru-hime.          "Lower-shine-Princess," and wife of
Shi-Tennō.                The Four Heavenly Kings who protect
                            the earth from demons each defending
                            one quarter of the horizon. Their
                            names are _Jikoku_, East; _Kōmoku_,
                            South; _Kōchō_, West; and _Tamon_,
                            also called _Bishamon_, North. Their
                            images are placed at the inner gate
                            of the temple.
Shōden.                   The Indian Ganesa, God of Wisdom.
Sohodo-no-kami.           The God of Scarecrows.
Sukuna-Bikona.            A deity sent from Heaven to assist
                            _Ōnamuji_ in pacifying his realm.
Susa-no-o.                "The Impetuous Male," brother of
                            the Sun Goddess.
Taishaku.                 The Brahminical God Indra.
Tanabata or Shokujo.      The Weaving Maiden.
Ten.                      A title equivalent to the Sanskrit _Diva_.
Tenjin.                   The God of Calligraphy.
Tennin.                   Female Buddhist Angels.
Tōshōgū.                  The deified name of the great Shōgun
                            Ieyasu or Gongen Sama.
Toyokuni.                 The deified name of Hideyoshi.
Toyo-tama.                The Dragon King's daughter.
Toyo-uke-bime.            The Shintō Goddess of Earth or Food.
Tsuki-yumi.               The Moon God.
Uzume.                    The Goddess of Dancing.
Yakushi Nyorai.           "The Healing Buddha."
Yofuné-nushi.             The Serpent God.
Yuki-Onna.                The Lady of the Snow.


The Heavenly parent, Ame yudzuru hi ame no sa-giri kuni
yudzuru tsuki kuni no sa-giri Mikoto.


Companion-born heavenly Gods.

     Ame no mi-naka-nushi no Mikoto.
     _Heaven middle master_.

     Umashi-ashi-kabi hikoji no Mikoto.
     _Sweet reed-shoot prince elder_.


Companion-born heavenly Gods.

     Kuni no toko tachi no Mikoto.
     _Land eternal stand_.

     Toyo-kuni-nushi no Mikoto.
     _Rich land master_.

A Branch.

     Ame-ya-kudari no Mikoto.
     _Heaven eight descend_.


Heavenly Gods born as mates.

     Tsuno-gui no Mikoto.
     _Horn stake_.

  Iku-gui no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.
  _Live stake_.

A Branch.

     Ame mi kudari no Mikoto.
     _Heaven three descend_.


Heavenly Gods born as mates.

     Uhiji-ni no Mikoto.
     _Mud earth_ (honorific affix).

  Suhiji-ni no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.
  _Sand earth_.

A Branch.

     Ama-ahi no Mikoto.
     _Heaven meet_.


Heavenly Gods born as mates.

     Oho-toma-hiko no Mikoto.
     _Great mat prince_.

  Oho-toma-he no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.
  _Great mat place_.

A Branch.

     Ame ya-wo-hi no Mikoto.
     _Heaven eight hundred days_.


Heavenly Gods born as mates.

     Awo-kashiki ne no Mikoto.
     _Green awful_ (honorific).

  Aya-kashiki ne no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.
  _Ah! awful_.

A Branch.

     Ame no ya-so-yorodzu-dama no Mikoto.
     _Eighty myriad spirits_.


Heavenly Gods born as mates.

     Izanagi no Mikoto.
  Izanami no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.

A Branch.

     Taka mi-musubi no Mikoto.
     _High august growth_.


     Ama no omohi-game no Mikoto.
     _Heaven thought-compriser_.

     Ama no futo-dama no Mikoto.
     _Big jewel_.

     Ama no woshi-hi no Mikoto.
     _Endure sun_.

     Ama no kamu-dachi no Mikoto.
     _God stand_.

Next there was--

     Kamu mi musubi no Mikoto.
     _Above growth_.


     Ame no mi ke mochi no Mikoto.
     _August food hold_.

     Ame no michi ne no Mikoto.
     _Road_ (honorific).

     Ame no kami-dama no Mikoto.
     _God jewel_.

     Iku-dama no Mikoto.
     _Live jewel_.

Next there was--

     Tsu-haya-dama no Mikoto.
     _Port quick jewel_.


     Ichi-chi-dama no Mikoto.
     _Market thousandjewel_.

     Kogoto-dama no Mikoto.
     Ama no ko-yane no Mikoto.

     Takechi-nokori no Mikoto.
     _Brave milk remnant_.

Next there was--

     Furu-dama no Mikoto.
     _Shake jewel_.


     Saki-dama no Mikoto.
     _First jewel_.

     Ama no woshi-dachi no Mikoto.
     _Endure stand_.

Next there was--

     Yorodzu-dana no Mikoto.
     _Myriad jewel_.


     Ama no koha-kaha no Mikoto
     _Hard river_.


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  Arnold, Sir Edwin, 244, 245 (translation)
  Aston, W. G., 30, 32, 186 (translation), 323 (translation)
  Chamberlain, B.H. (translations), 95, 96, 97, 98, 120, 121, 127, 128,
   175, 313, 315, 316, 317, 323, 324
  Chiyo, 385
  Chōmei, 385
  Dickins, F. V., 154 (translation)
  "Flower Dance" (of Bingo province), 383
  Hearn, Lafcadio, 108
  Isé, 384
  Japanese, From the, 177, 278
  Nonguchi, Yone, 82, 116, 130, 131, 169, 224
  Smith, R. Gordon, 337 (translation)
  Walsh, Clara A., 105, (translations) 118, 149, 206, 216, 282, 326
  Yasuhide Bunya, 382



"Remember, in pronouncing Japanese, that the consonants are to be
sounded approximately as in English, the vowels as in Spanish or
Italian; that is to say,

     _a_ as in 'father.'          _o_ as in 'pony.'
     _e_  "    'pet.'             _u_   "   'full.'
     _i_  "    'pin.'

"There is scarcely any tonic accent; in other words, all the syllables
are pronounced equally, or nearly so. But particular care must be taken
to distinguish long _ō_ and _ū_. The short vowels are pronounced in a
very light, staccato manner. Thus _O tori nasai_ means 'Please take
this'; but _O tōri nasai_ means 'Please come [or go; lit., pass] in.'
Short _i_ and _u_ sometimes become almost inaudible.... In diphthongs
each vowel retains its original force. Thus:

     _ai_ as in the English word 'sky.'
     _au_      "       "      "  'cow.'
     _ei_      "       "      "  'hay.'

"_g_ is hard, as in 'give,' never soft, as in 'gin'; but in Tōkyō
and Eastern Japan it sounds like _ng_ when in the middle of a word,
exactly as in the English words 'singer,' 'springy' (_not_ 'sing-ger,'
'spring-gy'). _s_ is always sharp, as in 'mouse.' _w_ is often omitted
after _k_ or _g_, as in _kashi_, 'cake,' for _kwashi_. Be very careful
to pronounce double consonants really double, as in English words
'sho_t-t_ower,' 'mea_nn_ess,' 'coc_kc_row.' Thus _kite_ with one _t_
means 'coming'; but _kitte_ with two _t's_ means 'a ticket'; _ama_ is
a nun, _amma_ a shampooer."--_Murray's Handbook for Japan_, by B. H.
Chamberlain and W. B. Mason.


 Abe no Miushi. The Sadaijin Dainagon;
   one of Kaguya's five suitors, 66-71
 Aino Goddess of Fire. The name of Mount Fuji
   probably derived from Fuchi, the, 131
 Aino-land. Professor B. H. Chamberlain writes _re_, 131
 Ainu, or Aino. Probably first inhabitants of Japan, xiii;
   rising of, subdued by Prince Yamato, 54-56
 Aji-shi-ki. Friend of Ame-waka;
   forms mountain of Moyama, 31, 32
 Akamageséki. Temple of Amidaji built at, 300
 Akasaki. Tokoyo arrives at, in province of Hoki, 334
 Ako, The Lord of. Princess Aya marries the second son of, 173
 Amadera Temple. Hanagaki Baishū attends festival in, 207
 Ama-no-Hashidate. A fir-clad promontory dividing Lake Iwataki
   and Miyazu Bay, 204;
   one of the "Three Great Sights" of Japan, 204;
   Saion  Zenji gazes on, 204-206
 Ama-no-ho. Envoy sent out to prepare way of Ninigi, 31
 Ama-Terasu. Daughter of Izanagi and Izanami;
   the Sun Goddess, 23;
   ascends the Ladder of Heaven, 23;
   persecuted by Susa-no-o, 27;
   flees to a dark cave, 27;
   tempted by, to Heaven, 27, 28;
   Ninigi grandson of, 32;
   her gifts to Ninigi, 32, 33;
   Prince Yamato craves the blessing of, 51
 Ame-waka. Envoy sent out to prepare way of Ninigi, 31;
   weds Shita-teru-hime, 31; punished by the Gods, 31, 32
 Amida Butsu. Story of, and the whale, 82
 Amidaji. Temple of, built at Akamagaséki, 300
 Amitâbha. Kwanjin (Chinese Kwannon) the spiritual son of, 200
 Anderson, Dr. William. Legend from the _Catalogue of Japanese
   and Chinese Paintings in the British Museum_, 49, footnote
 Animals. Legends referring to, 255-275
 Anōji. Place in Tamba; one of the thirty-three places sacred
   to Kwannon, 204
 Antoko Tenno. _See_ Tenno, 300
 Arnold, Sir Edwin. Reference to his _Seas and Lands_, xi
 Art, Japanese. Due to Buddhism, 114;
   quickened by Chinese influence, 114;
   extreme beauty and ugliness found in, 114;
   woman in, 112-114;
   the Treasure Ship in, 115-116;
   the miraculous in, 116;
   ghosts and goblins in, 118;
   _sennin_ in, 357
 Asagao. Legend from _The Diary of a Convolvulus_
   regarding the love of, 244-249;
   otherwise Miyuki, 245, 246;
   her love for Komagawa Mi-yagi, 245-249
 Asaka ("Slight Fragrance"). Friend of Asagao, 246
 Ashigara Mountain. Yaégiri goes to, and gives birth to Kintaro there, 367
 Ashi-nadzuchi (Foot-stroke-elder). An earthly deity, husband
   of Tenadzuchi, and father of Kushi-nada-hime, 29;
   gives his daughter in marriage to Susa-no-o, 29, 30
 Ashinóya. Village in which Maiden of Unai dwelt, 313-315
 Aston, Dr. W. G. Reference to the _torii_, by, 226;
   description in the _Heike Monogatari_ of great sea-fight
   between Taira and Minamoto clans translated by, 300
 Atsumori. Story regarding her use of the fan, 243
 Awabi, The Great. A group of, 340, 341;
   the Spirit of, appears to Kansuke, 341
 Aya, Princess. The Spirit of the Peony and, 171-173;
   love for the Spirit of the Peony in the form of a young
   and handsome samurai, 172, 173;
   Sadayo, maid of, 172
 Ayame, The Lady. Married to Yorimasa, 39
 Ayrton, Professor. Japanese mirrors and, 190


 Badger-s. Story of the hare and the, on the Crackling Mountain, 258-260;
   description of, in legend, 260;
   Kadzutoyo and the, 260, 262
 Baelz, Dr., of the Imperial University of Japan. Opinion of,
   _re_ the Japanese and Mongols, xiii; reference to, 94
 Baishū, Hanagaki. _See_ Hanagaki Baishū, 207-209
 Bakin. A famous Japanese novelist;
   his _Kumono Tayema Ama Yo No Tsuki_ and thunder legends, 250;
   the _In_ (female principle) and the _Yo_ (male principle)
   associated with thunder, remarks on by, 252
 Baku. A supernatural creature known as the Eater of Dreams, 358, 359
 Batō-Kwannon. _See_ Kwannon, 200
 Bell-s. Japanese, described, 140;
   the largest in the Jodo temple of Chion, at Kyōto, 140;
   the bell of Enkakuji the largest in Kamakura, 140;
   the bell of Miidera, 141, 142
 Benkei. One of the most lovable of Japanese heroes, xvi;
   compared with Little John, Will Scarlet, and Friar Tuck combined, 39;
   conflicting traits in his character, 40;
   became a Buddhist priest at age of seventeen, 40;
   adventure with Tamamushi, 40;
   breaks from priestcraft and becomes a lawless warrior, 41;
   his doings at Mount Hiei, 42;
   waylays knights crossing the Gojo Bridge of Kyōto, 42;
   conquered by Yoshitsune, 42, 43;
   assists Yoshitsune finally to drive out the Taira, 43, 44;
   carries off the bell of Miidera, 142, 143;
   reference to story of, 351, 352
 Benten. One of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, 115, 206;
   variants, Goddess of the Sea, of Love, of Beauty,
   and Eloquence, 115, 206;
   resembles Kwannon, 206;
   the Dragon and, 207;
   famous Island of Enoshima and the coming of, 207;
   temple of the "Birth Water" sacred to, 207;
   Hanagaki Baishū and, 207-209
 Bibliography. _See_ 397-401
 Bimbo. Raitaro (the Child of Thunder) and, 252, 253
 Bimbogami. The God of Poverty;
   Japanese superstitions and, 349
 Bimbomushi ("Poverty-Insect").
   Superstition _re_, 349
 Bird-s. Legends of, 276-280;
   the _hototogisu_, a mysterious, 278;
   the Tongue-cut Sparrow, 279;
   killing of, contrary to teaching of the Lord Buddha, 280;
   Saijosen and the Phoenix, 281;
   called _O-Goncho_, 363;
   birds beloved of Chōmei, 385
 Bishamon. One of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, 115
 Biwa, Lake. Hidesato's encounters with the Dragon King of, 62-64;
   Visu sees lake bearing name of, 137;
   Professor Chamberlain's opinion _re_, 137
 Banko, Admiral. Kohaku Jo sends treasures by, to temple of Kofukuji, 89
 Bon Odori. A dance at the Festival of the Dead, 181;
   origin of, 223;
   corresponds to the Indian _sraddha_, 224
 Bowl. The Begging-bowl of the Lord Buddha, _see_ Buddha, 67-69;
   the Maiden with the, on her head, 316-322
 "Box of the Jewel Hand." See _Tamate-Bako_, 327
 Breath, God of Long. Yosoji visits shrine of, 134
 Brinkley, Captain. His reference in _Japan and China_ to the
   belief of Yedo Government officials in _Tengu_, 355
 Bronze Buddha. _See_ Buddha, 82
 Buddha Flood. Otherwise the Tide of the Returning Ghosts, 323
 Buddha, The Lord. Begging-bowl of, 67;
   the legend of the Golden Lotus and, 80-82;
   the Bronze, of Kamakura, and the whale, 82-86;
   the Crystal of, 86;
   has compassion on spirit of the Death-Stone, 98;
   the White Lotus the sacred flower of, 130;
   the eight Intelligences of--Perception, Purpose, Speech, Conduct,
   Living, Effort, Mindfulness, Contemplation, 130;
   cat and serpent only creatures that did not weep at death of, 264;
   copies of footprint of, as charms, 348; lamp of, 357
 Buddhism. Its contribution to Japanese religion and art, xii;
   success in Japan, secured not by sweeping out Gods of Shintō
   but in clever adaptations from India and China, 80;
   Japan owed art to, 114; pictorial art given to Nippon by, 114;
   the power of Karma one of the great doctrines of, 143;
   the lotus the sacred flower of, 169;
   the _torii_ adopted by, 226;
   Nichiren attempts to restore to original purity, 240, 241
 Buddhist. Shingon-shū, a sect founded by Kōbō Daishi, 234;
   Nichiren sect founded by Nichiren, 240;
   first temple at Nikko, Shōdō Shonin founder of, 242;
   saint, Dengyō Daishi, introduced tea into Japan, 293
 Buddhist Divinities. Jizō the most lovable of, 104;
   jealousy of, toward Daikoku, 211, 212
 Butterfly-ies. Connected with folk-lore, 216;
   legends _re_, borrowed by Japanese from China, 217;
   Japanese poets and "butterfly names," 217;
   romantic game of, 217;
   Emperor Gensō and, 217;
   of good and evil omen, 217;
   suggestion of Lafcadio Hearn _re_, 217;
   references in Japanese drama _re_, 218;
   legend of the White, 218-219;
   significance in Old Japan, 381, 382


 Carp. Legend of the Dragon, 221;
   flag shaped like a, 221;
   symbolism of the, 221;
   Bakin's reference to, 252
 Cathay, Great. Spirit of Death-Stone took form of Hōji in, 97
 Cat-s. The Japanese, not popular, 264;
   the serpent and the, did not weep when the Lord Buddha died, 264;
   story of the vampire, 265-268;
   Shippeitarō and the phantom, 269, 270
 Celestial River. Hikoboshi and
   Tanabata separated at the, 126, 127
 Chamberlain, Professor Basil Hall. Reference to his works,
   _Things Japanese, Kojiki_ (translation of), _Handbook for
   Japan_, and _Japanese Poetry_, v;
   legend of the Death-Stone translated by, 95;
   reference to his translation of _Ha-Goromo_, 127;
   his reference to Mount Fuji, 131;
   designs on Chinese banners described by, 162;
   Japanese mirrors described by, 190;
   reference to the _torii_ by, 226;
   reference to temple at Kawasaki sacred to Kōbō Daishi, in
   _Murray's Handbook for Japan_, by, 239;
   reference to _samisen_, the favourite instrument of the
   singing-girls, by, 247;
   reference to cats in _Things Japanese_, 264;
   reference to Japanese dogs, 268;
   on tea ceremonies, 293;
   his translation of the ballad of "The Maiden of Katsushika," 316, 317;
   the legend of Urashima and, 324;
   his explanation _re_ the Japanese equivalent for Dragon Palace, 324;
   his reference to Urashima's tomb, 328;
   reference to Japanese charms, 348;
   description of the _Tengu_ by, 352;
   story of Shikaiya Wasōbiōye adapted from his translation in the
   _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, 374
 Charms. _See_ Superstitions, 348
 Chikubu-shima. Island in Lake Biwa, in Ōmi, one of the thirty-three
   places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Children. Jizō the God of the, 104-111;
   the Cave of the Ghosts of the, 109;
   superstitions relating to, 347, 348
 China. Emperor Koso wooes and weds Kohaku Jo, daughter
   of Kamatari, 86-88;
   butterfly connected with folk-lore in, 216;
   Thunder God in, 250; thunder animal in, 251;
   tea-drinking in, 291, 292;
   Dragon of, 362
 Chinu. Of Izumi, one of the Maiden of Unai's lovers, 313-316
 Chinese. Japan called Jih-pén by, xiv;
   banners, described, 162;
   myth, Kwannon known as Kwanjin in, 200
 Chiyo. A beautiful woman slain by Shokuro, 254;
   restored to life by Raiden, 254;
   Shokuro makes peace with, 254;
   a poetess of the same name makes pathetic reference to
   a dragon-fly, 282;
   a touching _hokku_ by, 385
 Chiyodō. Child of Heitaro and Higo (Willow), 180
 Chokoro. Depicted releasing his magic horse from a gigantic gourd, 357
 Chōmei. Twelfth-century Buddhist recluse; reference to
   his _Hō-jō-ki_, 160, 385
 Chōmeiji. Place in Ōmi; one of the thirty-three places sacred
   to Kwannon, 204
 Chosen. Otherwise the Land of the Morning Calm, the old name
   for Korea, 328
 Chow Dynasty. Kwanjin originally the daughter of the King of the, 200
 Chronicles of Japan ("Ni-hongi"). Reference to, xv
 Chrysanthemum. The Japanese flag and the, 161-163;
   Japan's national flower, the, 162;
   poetical naming of the, 163;
   Lady White and Lady Yellow, story of, 163-165;
   Kikuo ("Chrysanthemum-Old-Man"), retainer of Tsugaru, story of, 165-167
 Chūjō Hime. A Buddhist nun, the greatest early Japanese artist
   of embroidery, an incarnation of Kwannon, 201;
   retires to temple of Toema-dera, 201
 Conder, Josiah. Tells of custom connected with pine-trees at
   wedding feasts, 159
 Confucius. Added fresh material to the _Yih-King_
   ("Book of Changes"), 344
 Contentment, The God of. _See_ Hotei, 211-213
 Corpse-eater. _See_ Musō Kokushi, 305-308;
   maiden who tested the love of her suitors as a, 311, 312
 Crystal, The, of Buddha, 89-91


 Daibutsu, The. _See_ Buddha (the Bronze), 82
 Daikoku. One of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, 115;
   associated with Ebisu (his son) and Hotei, the God of Laughter, 211;
   his wonderful Mallet, 211;
   a Rat the second attribute of, 211;
   old legend regarding jealousy of Buddhist Gods toward, 211, 212;
   the sixfold representation of, 212;
   usually pictured with his son, Ebisu, 212
 Dai-Mokenren. A great disciple of Buddha; sees soul of his mother
   in the Gakidō, 223
 Daimyō. Lady White reaches palace of, 164, 165
 Dan-doku, Mount. The Lord Buddha's meditations upon, 80
 Dan-no-ura. The Taira clan finally driven into the sea by Benkei
   and Yoshitsune, 43, 44;
   Hōïchi receives stranger, who wishes to view scene of the
   battle of, 301-304
 Daruma. Son of a Hindu king, 297;
   tempted like St. Anthony, 297;
   Indian sage whose image was associated with the ritualistic
   drinking of tea by the Zen sect in Japan, 297-299;
   reference to, will be found in _Some Chinese Ghosts_ and
   _A Japanese Miscellany_, by Lafcadio Hearn, 297, 299
 Davis, F. Hadland. Reference to _Land of the Yellow Spring_
   (page 113), by, 93, 149
 Dead, Lord of the. Emma-Ō, the, 110, 201
 Death-Spider. Japanese _Bimbomushi_ ("Poverty-Insect")
   equivalent to our, 349
 Death-Stone. Warning remarks of spirit of the, to the Buddhist
   priest Genno, 95;
   legend of, related, 95-98
 Demoniacal Possession. Attributed to evil influence of foxes, 94
 Dengyō Daishi. Buddhist saint who first introduced tea into Japan, 293
 Destiny. Jizō at foot of, 109
 Divination, Classical. Associated with Japanese superstition, 344;
   _Yih-King_ ("Book of Changes") main source of the art, 344;
   various forms of, 344-346
 Dog. In Japan, looked on as a friendly animal, 268
 Doll-s. Comparison of English and Japanese, 214-216;
   last resting-place, 216;
   dedicated to Kōjin when dead, 177, 216;
   the Feast of, otherwise the Girls' Festival, 216
 Dragon. Intimately associated with Japanese mythology, 362;
   of Japan, and of China, 362;
   one of the signs of the Zodiac, 363;
   in old Chinese conception of earth, four seas ruled over by four
   Dragon Kings, the Celestial, the Spiritual, the Earth, and the
   Dragon of the Hidden Treasure, 363;
   a bird called _O-Goucho_, transformation into a white, 363
 Dragon-flies. Mention of, in Japanese poetry, 282;
   Chiyo and her pathetic reference to, 282
 Dragon King (of the Sea).
   Steals Crystal of Buddha, 90;
   Urashima at the palace of, 325-328;
   Otohime the daughter of 325;
   sends Tide Jewels to Empress Jingo by Isora, 331;
   presents Tide Jewels to Ojin, 333;
   Mamikiko meets a _Shojō_ who lives near palace of, 361
 Dragon Kingdom. Samébito and, 376-379
 Dragon Palace. The Evergreen Land appears in the ballad
   "The Fisher Boy Urashima" as, 324;
   Professor Chamberlain's explanation _re_ the equivalent
   in Japanese, 324;
   Samébito and the, 378
 Dreams, Eater of. The _Baku_ known as the, 358, 359
 Du Cane, Miss Florence. Her descriptions concerning Japanese
   rocks and stones, 157


 Earth and Heaven. Elements which comprised, 21
 East, Sir Alfred. Japanese art described by, 112
 Ebb-Tide Jewel. _See_ Jewels, 331, &c.
 Ebisu. One of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, 115;
   son of Daikoku, 211;
   the God of Labour, 211;
   usually pictured with his father, Daikoku, 212
 Egyptian. Cosmogony stories, reference to, 21;
   conception of the future life, 117
 Eight-Arms-Length-Spear. Given to Yamato, 54
 Eighty Myriad Gods. Make entertainment to tempt the
   Sun Goddess (Ama-terasu) back to Heaven, 28
 Eisai. A Buddhist priest who wrote a pamphlet entitled
   _The Salutary Influence of Tea-drinking_, 294;
   effort to convert Minamoto-no-Sanetomo from wine-cup, 294
 Elixir of Life. Brought by Moonfolk to Lady Kaguya, 78;
   Rosei drinks of, 121;
   Mount Fuji the abode of the, 132
 Emma-Ō. The Lord and Judge of the dead, 110;
   Jizō pleads with, on behalf of Soga Sadayoshi, iii;
   Festival of the Dead and, 117;
   Ono-no-Kimi appears before, 140;
   Tokudō Shōnin conducted into the presence of, 201;
   Shiro sent by, to conquer the God of Wealth, 211, 212;
   Festival of the Dead and, 222, 323
 Emmei of Dogen-ji. Becomes a _sennin_, 356
 England. Tea-drinking in Japan and, 290, 291
 Enkakuji. The great bell of, 140, 141
 Enoshima. A famous island, associated with the coming of Benten, 207
 Eternal Land. The God "Thought-combining" brings birds from, 27
 Eternity. Its meaning to the famous artist, Hokusai, 117
 Evergreen Land. _See_ Dragon Palace, 324;
   orange first brought from, to Japan, 324


 Fan, Japanese. Significance of, 243; use of, 243;
   use at festival of Sun Goddess in Ise, 243;
   symbolism of, described by Mrs. C. M. Salwey, 244;
   legend, "The Love of Asagao," from _The Diary of a
   Convolvulus_, 244-249
 Festival-s. Of the Dead, 117, 161, 181;
   of Tanabata, 126;
   New Year, 176, 220;
   the Girls', 216; the Dolls', 216;
   the Boys', 221;
   the Laughing, of Wasa, 225;
   of the _Minige_, and Oho-kuninushi the Bronze Horse, at, 275
 Festival of Tanabata. Alternative, the Weaving Lady;
   most romantic of Japanese festivals, 126
 Festival of the Dead. Afforded a joyous exit from the world
   of Emma-Ō, 117;
   the greatest argument for Japan's love of Nature found in the, 161;
   Bon Odori, a dance at the, 181;
   customs and rites connected with the, 222-224;
   the Tide of the Returning Ghosts and, 323;
   poet souls and the, 386
 Field-paths, Deity of. Accosted by Uzume, 33
 Fields, The Spirit of the, 330
 Fire Apparitions. Varieties in Japan, 357, 358
 Fireflies. Stories _re_, 285-289; the Minamoto and the Taira
   believed to be the ghosts of the Minamoto and Taira clans, 285, 286
 Fire God. Kagu-tsuchi, child of Izanagi and Izanami, the, 23
 Firmament, God of the. Tanabata daughter of, 126
 Flag, Japanese. The chrysanthemum and, 161-163
 Floating Bridge of Heaven. Uzume and her companions rest on the, 33
 Flood-Tide Jewel. _See_ Jewels, 331, &c.
 Flowers. The love of, its growth and symbolism among Japanese, 154-156;
   legends of, 163-173
 Footstool of the King. _Torii_ before the Itsukushima shrine
   on Island of Myajima; alternatives, "The Gateway of Light" and
   "The Water Gate of the Sacred Island," 227
 Fox God. _See_ Inari
 Fox Legends. "The Death-Stone" one of the most remarkable, 95
 Fudaraku-ji. Place at Nachi, in Kishū; one of the thirty-three
   places sacred to Kwannon, 203
   I. God. Identified with Dainichi, the God of Wisdom;
   Kiyo visits shrine of, 147;
   temple on Oki-Yama dedicated to, 180;
   the one-eyed priest at temple of, 180-182.
   II. Cape. Known as the Cape of the Woman's Sword, 337
 Fugin. Raiden, the Thunder God, often found in company with, 250
 Fuji (_Fuji-yama_--i.e., Never Dying). Name given to highest
   mountain in Suruga, 79 (_see_ Suruga);
   seems to be typically Japanese, 130;
   the mountain of the Lotus and the Fan, 130;
   a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of years, 131;
   its peak described by Lafcadio Hearn as "the Supreme Altar
   of the Sun," 131;
   an extinct volcano, 131;
   name derived from Huchi, or Fuchi, the Aino Goddess of Fire, 131;
   the deities of, 132;
   the abode of the Elixir of Life, 132;
   Jofuku at, 133; Sentaro visits, 133;
   the Goddess of, 134, 138;
   Visu's adventures near, 136-139;
   Yurine lived near, 359
 Fujii-dera. Place in Kawachi; one of the thirty-three places
   sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Fukurokuju. One of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, 115
 Fusago. Sent by the Mikado to Kaguya, 73
 Futon (Quilt), The, of Tottori, 309-311


 Gama. With his wizard toad, depicted as a _sennin_ in Japanese art, 357
 Garden-s. English and Japanese contrasted, 154;
   general description of Japanese, 156;
   Kobori-Enshiū, the great Japanese designer of, 156;
   the _torii_, or arch, a characteristic of Japanese, 157
 Garden of Skulls. Idea of, borrowed by Hiroshige from
   _Heike Monogatari_, 119
 Genealogy. Table showing the Age of the Gods, 393-396
 Genno. A Buddhist priest; warning of the Spirit of the Death-stone to, 95;
   story of the Jewel Maiden related to, 95-98
 Gensuke. Victim at building of bridge over river at Matsue, 344
 Gesshōji Temple, The. The gigantic tortoise of, 275
 Ghost-s. Of the Circle of Penance, fed in connection with the
   Festival of the Dead, 223;
   the ghost mother, 308;
   the Tide of the Returning, and the Festival of the Dead, 323
 Gilbert and Sullivan. Reference to their _The Mikado_, xi
 Gisuke. Brother of O Cho San, 338;
   favours suit of Shinsaku, 338;
   builds shrine to O Cho San, 339
 Goblin King. Shutendoji, the; his doings on Mount Oye, 44-48
 Goblins. Ghosts and, 118
 God of Roads, The. The pine-tree and, 176;
   love-test by invoking the, 346
 God of the Sea. Hoori visits palace of, 35;
   father of Toyo-Tama ("Rich-jewel"), 36;
   presents Hoori with the Jewels of the Flowing Tide and the
   Ebbing Tide, 36
 Gods and Goddesses. A general summary of, 387-391
 Go-Fukakusa, Emperor. Saimyoji Tokiyori a celebrated
   Regent during reign of, 182
 Gohitsu-Oshō. Name given to Kōbō Daishi by Chinese emperor, 236
 Gojo Bridge of Kyōto. Benkei's lawless doings towards knights
   happening to cross the, 42
 Golden Lotus. Legend of, 80-82
 Gongen. Two of Raiko's knights visit shrine of, 45
 Go-Toba. The silent pine and the Emperor, 177
 Grass, The Spirit of, 330
 Grass-Cleaving-Sword. Given to Yamato, 54;
   the origin of its name, 55
   Identical with Oho-yama, the Spirit of the Mountains, 34
 Greey, Edward. The legend of the Golden Lotus, version of, by, 80
 Gulliver. Shikaiya Wasōbiōye of Nagasaki a Japanese, 374-376


 Hachiman. The God of War;
   two of Raiko's intending companions visit the temple of, 45;
   temple of, still remains, 82;
   Yoritomo erects shrines to, 278;
   infant Emperor, Antoku Tenno, at shrine of, 300
 Hades (_see_ Yomi), 23; messages from, 357
 Hanagaki Baishū. A young poet; and Benten-of-the-Birth-Water, 207-210
 Happiness, Land of Perfect. _See_ Land, 300
 Hara-kiri, or Seppuku. Term applied to suicide among the
   samurai class, 161
 Hare. Legends _re_, 255-260;
   Taoist legends and the, 255;
   story of hare and badger on the Crackling Mountain, 258-260
 Hase-dera. Place in Yamato; one of the thirty-three places
   sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Hat of Invisibility. Part of cargo of the Treasure Ship, 115
 Hatsushima Island. Celebrated for its jonquils, 337;
   Cho dwells on, 337
 Hazoku, Prince. Pays homage to demon in Ind, 97
 Hearn, Lafcadio. Reference to,
   as an authority on Japanese subjects, v;
   works referred to, vi;
   subject of fox in Japan described by, 94;
   Jizō, the God of the Children, and, 105;
   reference to the Cave of the Children's Ghosts and Jizō, 109;
   describes peak of Mount Fuji as "the Supreme Altar of the Sun," 131;
   his narrative illustrating the power of Karma, 143;
   his story of a Japanese nun with a love for things
   in miniature, 158, 159;
   describes the Lotus of Paradise, 169;
   Japanese dolls described by, 214;
   the suggestion of, _re_ butterflies, 217;
   the _Bon-odori_, reference to, by, 224;
   story of Japanese _semi_ (tree-cricket) in _Kottō_, 281;
   reference to Yuki-Daruma in _A Japanese Miscellany_ by, 299;
   legends of the Weird adapted from stories by, in _Kwaidan_
   and _Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan_, 300
 Heaven. Ladder of, 23;
   High Plain of, 25;
   River of, 27;
   Hikoboshi's ox wanders over High Plain of, 126
 Heaven and Earth. Elements which comprised, 21
 Heitaro. A farmer who married Willow Wife, 178-180
 Hell. Kwannon's concern for who pass into, told by Emma-Ō
   to Tokudō Shōnin, 202
 Hi. River in province of Idzumo; Susa-no-o arrives at, 29
 Hidaka. A river, on the bank of which Kiyo lived, 145
 Hidari Jingorō. The famous sculptor; legend of, reminds
   us of story of Pygmalion, 116;
   falls in love with a beautiful woman, 190
 Hidesato. Variants: Tawara Toda, "My Lord Bag of Rice";
   his encounter with the Dragon King of Lake Biwa, 62-64
 Hiei, Mount. Yoshitsune hears of priest Benkei as living at, 42
 Higo ("Willow"). Wife of Heitaro, 177-180
 Hikoboshi. Husband of Tanabata, 126
 Hinako-Nai-Shinnō. The miraculous chestnut and the Princess, 177
 Hinokawa. River in which Yamato swims with Idzumo Takeru, 53
 Hiroshige. Idea for one of his pictures borrowed from the
   _Heike Monogatari_, 119
 Hito-koto-Kwannon. _See_ Kwannon, 200
 Hizen, Prince of.
   Story of his love for a cat in form of a woman named O Toyo, 265-268;
   the priest Ruiten prays for, 266;
   Ito Soda discovers cause of illness of, 266-269
 Hoderi ("Fire-shine"). Son of Ninigi and Ko-no-Hana, 34;
   quarrels with his brother Hoori, 35;
   reconciled to his brother, 37
 Hōïchi-the-Earless. A blind priest who lived at the Amidaji temple, 301;
   his recitals in connection with the war between the Taira and Minamoto
   clans, 301;
   unknowingly visits tomb of Antoku Tenno, 304;
   how he gained his name, 305
 Hōji. Spirit of Death-Stone takes form of, in Great Cathay, 97
 Hōjō. Kamakura, the seat of Regents of family, 82
 "Hō-jō-ki." F. Victor Dickins's translation of, v, 160, 385
 Hōjō Takatoki. A great ruler, whom Oribe Shima offends, 333
 Hōjō Tokiyori. Nichiren exiled to Ito by, 241
 Hokkeji. Place in Harima;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 "Hokku." See Japanese Poetry, 380-386
 Hokusai. A famous artist;
   and his "Hundred Views of Fuji," 117;
   Eternity, and its meaning to, 117
 Holy One, The. Alternative title for the Lord Buddha, 80
 Hoori ("Fire-fade"). Son of Ninigi and Ko-no-Hana, 34;
   grandfather of the first Mikado of Japan, 34;
   conveyed to the Palace of the Sea God by Shiko-tsutsu no Oji
   ("Salt-sea-elder"), 35;
   weds Toyo-tama ("Rich-jewel"), daughter of the Sea God, 36;
   presented with jewels of the Flowing Tide and Ebbing Tide, 36;
   departs from Sea God's Palace, 37
 Horai. Mountain;
   Kuramochi required to fare to, 67;
   the Jewel-bearing Branch of, 69, 70
 Horiō Yoshiharu. _Daimyō_ of Izumo; builds bridge over river
   at Matsue, 343
 Horse. The Deity of Kitzuki (Oho-kuninushi) and the Bronze, 275
 Hotei. One of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, 115;
   the God of Laughter and Contentment, 211;
   known as the Waggon Priest, &c., 213
 Huchi. _See_ Fuji and Aino Goddess of Fire, 131
 Hunt, Royal. The Mikado orders, 74;
   the Mikado surprises Kaguya by means of, 74
 "Hyaku-nin-isshiu" ("Single Verses by a Hundred People").
   Written before the time of the Norman Conquest; _see_
   Japanese Poetry, 382


 Ichijo, Emperor.
   Stories current in Kyōto regarding the Goblin of Oyeyama during
   reign of, 44;
   Raiko despatched by, to seek out and slay the Goblin, 45
 Iha-naga. Variant, Princess Long-as-the-Rocks; daughter of Oho-yama, 34
 Iijima. Father of Tsuyu ("Morning Dew"), 228
 Ima-Gumano. Place at Kyōto, in Yamashiro;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Impetuous Male. _See_ Susa-no-o, 23, 352
 "In" and "Yo." Male and female principles, not yet divided, 21;
   correspond to the Chinese _Yang_ and _Yin_, 21;
   associated with thunder, according to Bakin, 252
 INABA. Legend of the White Hare of, 256-260
 INARI. Originally the God of Rice, and later (eleventh century)
   associated with the Fox God, 93, 238;
   answers a woman's prayer, 101;
   appears to Kōbō Daishi, 238, 239
 Increase, The Month of. _Yayoi_, the, 193
 Ind. Place where demon received homage of Hazoku, 97
 Indian _Sraddha_. Corresponds to Japanese Festival of the Dead, 223, 224
 Inexhaustible Purse. Part of the cargo of the Treasure Ship, 115, 116
 Infernal Regions. Kwanjin sent to, and from, the, 200
 Insect-S. Legends _re_, 281-289;
   Buddhists believe that soul of a man or woman may enter minute
   form of, 281;
   Sanemori, a rice-devouring, 284;
   the _shiwan_ described, 284, 285
 Intelligences, The Eight, of Buddhism, 130
 Ippai, Murata. Unwittingly destroys a number of lotus and commits
   _hara-kiri_, 171
 Isaburo. Kyuzaemon visits, concerning the mysterious appearance
   of Oyasu, 153
 Ise. Prince Yamato prays at  shrine of, 51;
   the Divine Mirror into which the Sun Goddess gazes reposes at, 191;
   gigantic fan used in festival of, 243;
   infant Emperor Antoku Tenno at shrine of, 300;
   poem by, 384
 Ishidomaro. Son of Kato Sayemon, 371-372
 Ishiyama-dera. Place near Otsu, in Ōmi;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Ishizukuri, Prince. One of Kaguya's five suitors, 66-72
 Isora. The Spirit of the Seashore; takes Tide Jewels to Empress Jingo
   as a gift from the Dragon King, 331
 Issunboshi ("One-Inch Priest").
   Otherwise Little Finger and Grain-of-Corn, 364-367;
   marries youngest daughter of Prince Sanjo, 367
 Itsukushima. Shrine on Island of Myajima, 227;
   _torii_ called "The Footstool of the King" before, 227
 Iuwao, Emperor.
   Spirit of Death-Stone the consort of, in Great Cathay, 97
 Iwama-Dera. Place in Omi;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Iwazaru. The three mystic Apes which figure in Japanese legend
   are Mizaru, Kikazaru, and, 272
 Izanagi and Izanami ("Male-who-invites" and "Female-who-invites").
   Two important deities, 21;
   island of Onogoro-jima formed by spear of, 22;
   though related as brother and sister, desire to become husband and
   wife, 22;
   their marriage, 22; marriage produces islands, seas, rivers, herbs,
   and trees, 22;
   desire to produce a Lord of the Universe, 22;
   the wish fulfilled in birth of Ama-terasu, the Sun Goddess, 23;
   send Ama-terasu up Ladder of Heaven, 23;
   parents of Tsukiyumi, the Moon God, who is sent up Ladder of Heaven
   to be consort of Ama-terasu, 23;
   Susa-no-o ("The Impetuous Male"), son of, 23;
   Kagu-tsuchi, the Fire God, born to, 23;
   Izanami creeps into the Land of Yomi (Hades), 23;
   Izanagi follows his wife into Land of Yomi (Hades), 23;
   Izanami angry with Izanagi for putting her to shame, 24;
   Izanagi escapes from the Underworld, 24;
   pursuit by the Eight Ugly Females, 24;
   he reaches the Even Pass of Yomi, 24;
   is divorced from Izanami, 24;
   builds himself a perpetual home in island of Ahaji, 25;
   wagtails sacred to, 276
 Izumi. Place from which Chinu came, 313
 Izumo. Queer custom in, associated with Jizō, 105, 106;
   assembly of Gods in October in temple at, 225;
   the _Kappa_ referred to as _Kawako_ by people
   of village of, 350


 Japan. Equivalent, "Land of the Rising Sun," xi;
   reference to her victory over Russia, xi;
   evolution of, how wrought, xii;
   first inhabitants of, xiii;
   Ainu, Mongol, and Malay elements formed one nation by A.D. 500, xiii;
   national characteristics of, xiii;
   called Jih-pén by Chinese, xiv;
   general equivalents, xiv;
   Kama-Yamato-Iware-Biko first human Emperor of, 37;
   Buddhism in, India and China borrowed from, in regard to religious
   teaching, 80;
   the Bronze Buddha of Kamakura one of the sights of, 82;
   legends of fox in, 93;
   Ancient Cavern in, in which image of Jizō is seen, 109;
   art of, owed to Buddhism, 114;
   Buddha's teaching gave art of gardening to, 114;
   art, quickened by Chinese influence, 114;
   happy in naming chrysanthemums, 163;
   Ama-no-Hashidate, one of the "Three Great Sights" of, 204;
   butterfly connected with folk-lore in, 216;
   legend _re_ invasion by Mongols of, 250;
   Thunder Animal of, 251;
   tea-drinking in England and, contrasted, 290, 291;
   orange first brought from the "Evergreen Land" to, 324;
   cause of becoming a world-Power, 329;
   her influence on Korea when Russia established a military outpost
   at Wiju, 329;
   Korea a colony of, 329;
   Dragon of, 362
 Japanese. Character not Western, xii;
   patriotism, source of, xii;
   art and religion influenced by Buddhism, xii;
   influence of Shintōism on, xii;
   theories regarding racial origin of people, xiii;
   superstition regarding the _Kappa_ (river monster), xiv;
   divinities and heroes, general reference to, xvi-xx;
   art, described by Sir Alfred East, 112;
   artists, work of, considered, 112;
   art, the face in, 113;
   artist, Seven Gods of Good Fortune favourite theme of, 115;
   Festival of Tanabata, 126;
   bells, general description of, 140;
   woman, cherry and plum blossoms associated with beauty and
   virtue of, 174;
   mirrors, significance of, 190-198;
   English dolls compared with, 214-216;
   fan, significance of, 243;
   origin of name _kanamé_, applied to fans, 244;
   cat, how regarded, 264-268;
   art, _sennin_ in, 357;
   poetry, note on, 380-386
 "Japanese Literature, A History of." Reference to, v
 Jewel-s. Precious, 28;
   the Tide-flowing and the Tide-ebbing, 36;
   the Jewel-bearing Branch of Mount Horai, 69-70;
   the Jewel in the Dragon's Head, 71-73;
   the Flood-Tide and the Ebb-Tide, given by Dragon  King
   to Empress Jingo, 331;
   the Jewel-tears of Samébito, 376-379
 Jewel Maiden. The story of, 95-98
 Jih-pén. Chinese equivalent for Japan, xiv
 Jimmu Tennō. Variant, Kamu-Yamato-Iware-Biko;
   first human Emperor of Japan, 37
 Jimpachi. Kanshiro and, 287-289
 Jingo, The Empress.
   Professor J. H. Longford writes _re_, 329;
   legend of first Japanese invasion of Korea by, 330-333;
   birth of her son Ojin, 333;
   old couple's prayer for a child offered to, 364
 Jizō. The God of Children, 94, 104;
   compared to Kwannon, Goddess of Mercy, 104;
   the creation of Japanese mothers, 104;
   little children play in the Sai-no-Kawara ("Dry Bed of the River of
   Souls") with, 106;
   hymn of, 107, 108;
   Cave of the Children's Ghosts and, 109;
   Fountain of, 110;
   Soga Sadayoshi remembered by, 110, 111;
   picture of, contrasted with pictorial representation  of a Japanese
   goblin, 114, 115
 Jofuku. Attempts to wrest the secret of perpetual life from
   Mount Fuji, 133;
   Shikaiya Wasōbiōye meets, 375
 Jōshi. Term applied to lovers' suicide--variants, "love-death,"
   or "passion-death," 144
 Jurōjin. One of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, 115


 Kaibara. Treatise by, known as _Onna Daigaku_, 113
 Kadzusa, Straits of.
   Princess Ototachibana drowned in crossing, 56
 Kadzutoyo. Story of the badger and, 260-262
 Kagu-Tsuchi. The Fire God, child of Izanagi and Izanami, 23
 Kaguya, Lady ("Precious-Slender-Bamboo-of-the-Field-of-Autumn").
   Discovered and reared by Sanugi no Miyakko, 65;
   Prince Ishizukuri, Prince Kuramochi, the Sadaijin Dainagon Abe
   no Miushi, the Chiunagon Otomo no Miyuki, and Morotada, the Lord of
   Iso, suitors of, 66-72;
   her plan to test the five suitors, 67;
   fame of, reaches the Mikado, who sends Fusago to, 73;
   Moonland Capital the birthplace of, 75;
   departs to Moonland, 79
 Kamakura. The one-time capital of Nippon, 82;
   seat of the Shōguns, 82;
   the Bronze Buddha of, and the Whale, 82-86;
   city of, laid out by General Yoritomo, 83;
   the bell of Enkakuji the largest in, 140
 Kamatari. A State Minister of Japan; father of Kohaku Jo, 86
 Kami Daigo-dera. Place at Uji, in Yamashiro;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Kaminari. Thunder Woman, 252
 Kamishama. One of the Oki Islands, to which Oribe Shima is banished, 333
 Kamo, Lady. The Soul of the Mirror (Yayoi) falls into possession of, 194
 Kamo no Chōmei. A Buddhist recluse of twelfth century;
   his book called _Hō-jō-ki_ shows him a great Nature-lover, 160
 Kamo Yamakiko. A magician, consulted by Yosoji, 134
 Kamu-Yamato-Iware-Biko. Descendant of Hoori;
   present equivalent, Jimmu Tennō; first human Emperor of Japan, 37
 Kanagawa. Urashima's tomb still shown in a temple in, 328
 Kanasoka. A great artist; legend _re_ the painted horse of, 116
 Kano Hogai. Embroidery depicting Kwannon as the Divine Mother by, 201
 Kanshiro. The vengeance of, 287-289
 Kansuke. Father of Matakichi, 340
 Kantan's Pillow. Rosei rests upon, 121
 Kappa, The. A river goblin; description of, 350;
   people in village of Izumo refer to as _Kawako_ ("The Child
   of the River"), 350;
   the story of the promise of, 351
 Karma. The power of, one of the great Buddhist doctrines, 143;
   signifies the desire to be--in contrast to Nirvana, the desire
   not to be, 144;
   reference to, in the _Ratana Sutra_, 145;
   Kiyo and the power of, 145-148;
   power of, illustrated by story of Tsuyu, 228, 233
 Kashima. Origin of _kanamé_, name applied to Japanese fans, and, 244
 Katsuo-dera. Place in Settsu; one of the thirty-three places
   sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Katsushika, The Maiden of. Ballad of, 316, 317
 Kawachi. River, near which is the temple known as Kawako-no-miya, 350
 Kawachi-mura. Hamlet near Matsue, 350
 Kawako ("The Child of the River"). _See_ Kappa, 350
 Kawako-no-Miya. The temple of the _Kawako_, or _Kappa_, 350
 Ken-cho-ji. Visit of Soga Sadayoshi to temple of, 110
 Kenkō Hōshi. Another legend of Raiko and the Goblin by, 49-51
 Kikazaru. The three mystic Apes which figure in Japanese legend
   are Mizaru, Iwazaru, and, 272
 Kiku ("Chrysanthemum"). Sawara weds, 124;
   Sawara sends back to her parents, 125
 Kikuo ("Chrysanthemum-Old-Man"). Retainer of Tsugaru;
   story of, 165-167
 Kimi. Story of her faithless behaviour toward Kurosuke, 181
 Kimii-dera. Place near Wakayama, in Kishū;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Kimitaka. The Goblin of Oye snatches away, 45
 Ki-no-o-baké. A true spirit, 176
 Kintaro. Otherwise the Golden Boy, 367-369;
   named Sakata Kurando by Yorimitsu,368, 369
 Kishiwada, The Lord of.
   Sends Sonobé to great cryptomeria-tree on Oki-yama, 181, 182
 Kitzuki. The Deity of (Oho-kuninushi), and the Bronze Horse, 275;
   the Deity of, spends much time catching birds and fish, 277
 Kiuchi Heizayemon. Adventures of, which illustrate the
   _Tengu-kakushi_, 353-355
 Kiyo. The fairest girl in the tea-house near the Dragon's
   Claw hill, 145;
   her love for a Buddhist priest and its fatal ending, 145-148
 Kiyomizu-dera. Place at Kyōto;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Kiyomori. Leader of the Taira clan, 41;
   Tokiwa, widow of Yoshitomo, weds, 41
 Kōbō Daishi ("Glory to the Great Teacher").
   The most famous of Japanese Buddhist saints, 234;
   Kūkai name when living; Kōbō Daishi a posthumous title, 234;
   founded Buddhist sect called the Shin-gon-shū, 234;
   named by Chinese Emperor as Gohitsu-Oshō ("The Priest who writes
   with Five Brushes"), 236;
   Monju Bosatsu, the Lord of Wisdom, and, 237;
   paints the _ten_ by flinging his brush, 237;
   work ridiculed by Kino Momoye and Onomo Toku, 237, 238;
   his voyage to Japan, 238;
   Inari, the God of Rice, and, 238, 239;
   his death, 239;
   temple at Kawasaki dedicated to, 239
 Kobori-Enshiu. The great Japanese designer of gardens, 156
 Kochō. Reference to the play called _The Flying Hairpin of Kochō_, 218
 Kōdō. Place at Kyōto; one of the thirty-three places sacred
   to Kwannon, 204
 Kofukuji, Temple of, 87-89
 Kohaku Jo. Daughter of Kamatari, 86;
   Emperor of China hears of beauty of, 86;
   Emperor of China wooes, 86;
   sails for China, 87;
   weds Emperor of China, 87, 88;
   sends treasures to temple of Kofukuji, 89
 Kojiki. "Records of Ancient Matters" completed A.D. 712,
   what it deals with, &c., xv;
   told in, that Izanagi presented mirrors to his children, 191
 Kōjin, The God. Spirit of, resides in the _enoki_ tree;
   the God to whom very old dolls are dedicated, 176, 177, 216
 Kokawa-dera. Place in Kishū; one of the thirty-three places
   sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Komagawa Miyagi. A retainer of one of the _daimyōs_;
   his love for Miyuki, 245-249
 Kompira. Originally an Indian God, identified with Susa-no-o;
   the shrine of, visited by Kiyo, 147
 Ko-no-hana-saku-ya-hime. "The Princess who makes the Flowers of the
   Trees to Blossom";
   daughter of Oho-yama, 34;
   weds Ninigi, 34;
   mother of Hoderi and Hoori, 34;
   _see_ Sengen, 132
 Korea. Reference to legendary conquest of, 282;
   Chosen, the Land of the Morning Calm, the old name for, 328;
   troubled with armies of China and Japan, 328;
   under glamour of Chinese civilisation, 329;
   becomes a Japanese colony, 329;
   legend of first invasion of, by Japan, 329-333;
   King of, surrenders to Empress Jingo, 332
 "Korean Towers." Lamps in Japanese gardens sometimes still known as, 157
 Korinji. Kimi prayed for by priests of temple, 125
 Koriyama, The Lord.
   Idzumi, place where lived, 170;
   he and his wife and child stricken down with a strange malady, 170;
   restored by planting lotus about his castle, 170, 171
 Kōshin. The God of Roads, 176
 Koso. Emperor of China; wooes and weds Kohaku Jo, 86-88
 Koyuri. Son of Yurine, 359
 Kumaso. Brigand, slain by Yamato, 52
 Kumé. One of the _sennin_, who falls from his chariot of cloud,
   depicted in Japanese art, 357
 Kuni-toko-tachi. A Japanese God; origin of, 21
 Kuramochi, Prince. One of Kaguya's five suitors, 46-72
 Kurando, Sakata. An officer of the Emperor's bodyguard, 367;
   falls in love with Yaégiri, 367;
   see Kintaro, 368
 Kurosuke. Story how he was forsaken by Kimi, 181
 Kushi-nada-hime ("Wondrous-Inada-Princess").
   Daughter of Ashi-nadzuchi and Te-nadzuchi, 29;
   wooed and wedded by Susa-no-o, 29, 30
 Kwanjin. Chinese equivalent for Kwannon, 200
 Kwannon. The Goddess of Mercy; two of Raiko's intending companions
   visit shrine of, 45;
   ex-Emperor Toba desires to build a temple to, 179;
   resemblance to Jizō, 199;
   sometimes depicted as Senjiu-Kwannon,
   or Kwannon-of-the-Thousand-Hands, 199;
   description of Jiu-ichi-men-Kwannon
   (the Kwannon-of-the-Eleven-Faces), 199;
   the tiara of, sometimes takes title of Batō-Kwannon
   (Kwannon-with-the-Horse's-Head), 199;
   Batō-Kwannon, the Goddess who protects dumb animals, 200;
   Hito-Koto-Kwannon, the Kwannon who will only answer one prayer, 200;
   the Gods of Love and Wisdom are frequently represented
   in conjunction with, 200;
   not inappropriately called the Japanese Madonna, 200;
   known in Chinese myth as Kwanjin, 200;
   is the spiritual son of Amitâlbha, in China, 200;
   Chūjō Hime, a Buddhist nun, an incarnation of, 201;
   as the Divine Mother, 201;
   thirty-three shrines sacred to Kwannon, 201-204;
   the Lady of Mercy, 202;
   the Goddess of Mercy, 203;
   copper image of, in temple of Ni-gwarsu-dō, 204;
   sacrifice of, in form of a deer, on behalf of Saion Zenji, 204-206;
   Princess Sanjo visits temple of, 365
 Kwannonji. Place in Omi;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Kyōto. Stories current in, regarding the Goblin of Oyeyama, 44;
   Matsumura journeys to, 191;
   thirty-three shrines sacred to Kwannon in, 201
 Kyu-Kukedo-San. An Ancient Cavern in Japan associated with Jizō, 109
 Kyuzaemon. The Lady of the Snow and, 152, 153


 Ladder of Heaven.
   Ama-terasu, the Sun Goddess, climbs the, 23;
   Tsuki-yumi, the Moon God, also climbs the, 23
 Lady of Mercy. Kwannon called the, 202
 Land of Endless Plenty.
   Shikaiya Wasōbiōye visits the, 375
 "Land, The Evergreen."
   Appears in the Japanese ballad "The Fisher Boy Urashima" as
   the Dragon Palace, 324
 Land of the Followers of the Antique.
   Shikaiya Wasōbiōye visits the, 375
 Land of Giants.
   Shikaiya Wasōbiōye visits the, 375
 Land of the Morning Calm. Chosen, the old name for Korea, 328
 Land of Paradoxes.
   Shikaiya Wasōbiōye visits the, 375
 Land of Perfect Happiness.
   The infant Emperor, Antoku Tenno, taken to, 300
 Land of Shams.
   Shikaiya Wasōbiōye visits the, 375
 Laughter, God of. _See_ Hotei, 211-213
 Legend-s. Butterfly, 216-219;
   from _The Diary of a Convolvulus_, 244-249;
   Thunder, 250-254;
   of Magical Animals 255-275;
   the _Kojiki_ ("The White Hare of Inaba"), 255-260;
   the three mystic Apes figure in, 272;
   birds in, 276-281;
   of dragon-flies, 282;
   of fire flies, 285-289;
   of the tea-plant, 297-299;
   of the Weird, 300-304;
   of the sea, 323-341;
   of Urashima, 323;
   Japanese superstitions the source of, 342;
   of the sea monster _Shōjō_, 359-360;
   miscellaneous, 370-379
 Lightning, The Goddess of, 251
 Lights, Miraculous. Varieties in Japan, 357, 358
 Liu-kiu Islands. Chinese equivalent for Japanese Luchu Islands, 324
 Long-as-the-Rocks, Princess. Variant for Iha-naga, 34
 Longford, Joseph H. Reference to _The Story of Korea_, by, 328, 329
 Lotus, The Golden. Legend of, 80-82; the sacred flower of Buddhism, 169
 "Lotus of the Law." Yōshō studies, 356
   Maiden imposes test of, as a corpse-eater, 311, 312;
   poems, _see_ Japanese Poetry, 380-386;
   the Goddess of, 206
 Luchu Islands. The Japanese pronunciation for the, 324;
   Chinese equivalent, Liu-kiu, 324
 Luck, Seven Divinities of.
   Benten one of the, 206;
   variants, the Goddess of the Sea, of Love, of Beauty,
   of Eloquence, 206;
   charms to represent, 348
 Lucky Raincoat. Part of cargo of the Treasure Ship, 115
 Luwuh. The first Chinese tea-master, 292;
   his _Chaking_ ("The Holy Scripture of Tea"), 292;
   sought after by Emperor Taisung, 293


 Madonna, The Japanese.
   The Goddess of Mercy not inappropriately called, 200
 "Maiden's Grave, The." Burial-place of the Maiden of Unai, 314
 Maiden of Katsushika, The.
   The tale of, as translated by Professor B. H. Chamberlain, 316, 317
 Maiden of Unai, The.
   And her lovers, 313-316;
   the grave of, 315, 316
 Maiden with the Wooden Bowl. The strange story of, 317-322
 Maki. Moor to which Tokutaro was challenged to go, 98
 Maki Hiogo. Attempts to capture the Spirit of the Peony, 172, 173
 Malay Elements. Their contribution to Japanese characteristics, xiii
 Mamikiko. Neighbour of Yurine; his unkindness to Koyuri, 360-362
 "Master Singers of Japan," Miss Clara A. Walsh's reference to, v
 Mason, W. B.
   Reference to temple at Kawasaki sacred to Kōbō Daishi, in _Murray's
   Handbook for Japan_, by, 239
 Matakichi. Son of Kansuke, 340
 Matsu. Shingé's maid, 167
   I. Daughter of a fisherman at Takasago, 187;
   rescues Teoyo, their love, 188, 189.
   II. Bridge. Sacrifices associated with, 343, 344;
   Horiō Yoshiharu and, 343.
   III. The Bronze Deer of, 275
 Matsumura. A Shintō priest in charge of shrine of Ogawachi-Myōjin, 191;
   journey to Kyōto to appeal to Shōgun, 191;
   his strange sight of a beautiful woman's face in a well, 192;
   the Poison Dragon and, 193;
   the Soul of the Mirror and, 193-196
 Matsunoo-dera. Place in Wakasa;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Matsuyama, The Mirror of, 196-198
 Mercy, Goddess of. Kwannon, the; compared to Jizō, 104
 Michimasa. An eleventh-century official; _tanka_ by, quoted, 383;
   addressed _tanka_ to the Princess Masako, 383
   I. The Bell of, 141-143.
   II. Place near Otsu, in Omi; one of the thirty-three places
   sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Midzunoe. Village in province of Tango, in which Urashima lived, 324
 Mimuroto-dera. Place at Uji, in Yamashiro;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Minamoto Clan. Reference to great sea-fight between Taira clan and, 300
 Miné. Wife of Tomozō, 233
 Minokichi. Loved by the Lady of the Snow, 150-151
 Mio. Shore of, on which the Moon Lady's Robe of Feathers is found
   by Hairukoo, 128
 Mionoseki. The God of, is the God of Mariners, 276;
   detests cocks and hens, 276
 Mirrors. Significance of Japanese, 190-198;
   the Divine, into which Sun Goddess gazes, reposes at Ise, 191;
   the soul of the, 193;
   old bronze mirrors contributed to form a bell, 195;
   the mirror of Matsuyama, 196-198
 Mitford, A. B. (Lord Redesdale).
   Reference to his _Tales of Old Japan_, 98, 161
 Miushi. The Sadaijin Dainagon Abe no, one of Kaguya's five suitors, 66-70
 Miwa Daimyōjin. Japanese God, in connection with whom the Laughing
   Festival originated, 225
 Miyadzu, Princess. Prince Yamato meets and weds, 55
 Miyuki. The Chiunagon Otomo no, one of Kaguya's five suitors, 66-70
   The three mystic Apes in Japanese legend are Kikazaru, Iwazaru,
   and, 272
 Mochida-no-ura. Peasant of village of, who flung his children
   into a river, 311
 Momotaro ("Son of a Peach").
   His romantic discovery, 58;
   his adventures in the North-Eastern Sea, 59-62
 Momoye, Kino. Kōbō Daishi's work ridiculed by, 237-238
 Mongol-s. Elements, their contribution to Japanese characteristics, xiii;
   legend _re_ invasion of Japan by, 250
 Monju Bosatsu. The Lord of Wisdom; Kōbō Daishi and, 237
 Moon. Belief of Japanese peasants _re_ the Hare in the, 162
 Moonfolk. The Lady Kaguya and, 75-79
 Moon God. Tsuki-yumi, son of Izanagi and Izanami, the, 23
 Moon Lady, The. The fisherman finds Robe of Feathers of, 128, 129
 Moonland. The capital of,
   the birthplace of Kaguya, 75;
   Lady Kaguya departs to, 79
 Moon, Palace of the. The dance that makes, turn round, 128
 Morning Calm, The Land of the. Otherwise Chosen, the old
   name for Korea, 328
 Morris, William. Story of "The Robe of Feathers" resembles Norse legend
   --see _The Land East of the Sun and West of the Moon_, 127
 Morokoshi, The Land of.
   Miushi required to fare to, 67
 Morotada. The Lord of Iso;
   one of Kaguya's five suitors 66-70
 Mosaku. His death by the Lady of the Snow, 150
 Mother, The Ghost, 308
   I. Woman, 355.
   II. Man, 355
 Mountain Spider. _See_ Goblin Spider
 Mountain, The Crackling. The story of the hare and badger on, 258-260
 Mountain, The Spirit of the, 330
 Mubara. One of the Maiden of Unai's lovers, 313-316
 Mud, Sea of. Visited by Shikaiya Wasōbiōye, 375
 Mugenyama. The priests of,
   require a bell, 194;
   one mirror used in making bell of, refuses to melt, 195
 Murakumo-no-Tsurugi. A divine sword, discovered by Susa-no-o and given
   by him to the Gods of Heaven, 30;
   sword of, given to Yamato, 54
 Mushimaro. A poet, who wrote _re_ the lovers of the Maiden of
   Unai, 313
 Musō Kokushi. A priest;
   his gruesome experience with the corpse-eater, 305-308
 Myokei. A celebrated painter under whom Sawara studies, 122
   The Dragon intimately associated with Japanese, 362;
   the Dragon in Chinese and Japanese, 363


 Naizen-no-jo, The Lord. Father of the Princess Aya, 172, 173
 Nakayama-dera. Place near Kōbe, in Settsu;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 "Namudaishi." A Japanese poem describing life of famous saint
   Kōbō Daishi, 234
 Nanao. Fishing village, destroyed by earthquake, 339;
   experience of Kansuke and his son Matakichi while fishing near, 340, 341
 Nan-endō. Place at Nara, in Yamato;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Nareai-ji. Place in Tango;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Nariai, Mount. Saion Zenji and Kwannon on, 204-206
 Naruse Tsushimanokami. An official who considers the sword secured
   by Sankichi a sacred treasure, 337
 Nasu. Genno arrives at moor of, 95
 Nasu no Yoichi. A fan, the mark of bow of, 243
 National Anthem. English and Japanese compared, 384;
   Japanese, based on an ancient song mentioned in the _Kokinshiu_, 384
 Nature. Japanese love for, 160, 161;
   Japanese poetry and, 380-386
 Nether World. _See_ Yomi
 New Year. Pine-tree and the Festival of the, 176;
   Daikoku and origin of charm connected with, 212;
   quaint observances at Festival of, 220, 221
 Nichiren. The founder of the Buddhist sect of that name, 240;
   name of, means Sun Lotus, 240;
   his efforts to  restore Buddhism to its old purity, 240, 241;
   exiled to Ito for thirty years by Hōjō Tokiyori, 241;
   his escape from execution, 241;
   again exiled, and dwells on Mount Minobu, 241;
   attempts to replace the ordinary _mantra_, 241;
   wrote "Book to Tranquillise the Country," 241
 Ni-gwarsu-dō ("Hall of the Second Moon").
   The Buddhist temple of, 204;
   small copper image of Kwannon in temple of, 204
 "Nihongi" ("Chronicles of Japan"). Written in Chinese and completed
   A.D. 720, and deals with the myths, legends, &c., from early times
   to A.D. 697, xv; male and female principles, reference to, in, 21
 Niidono. Takes infant Emperor, Antoku Tenno, to the Pure Land of
   Perfect Happiness, 300
 Nikko. First Buddhist temple at, founded by Shōdō Shonin, 242;
   notice to _Tengu_ and other demons prior to visit of Yedo
   Shōgun to, 355
 Nikōbō. A priest, famous for powers to exorcise evil spirits, 357, 358
 Ninigi. Grandchild of Taka-mi-musubi;
   sent to govern Central Land of Reed-Plains, 30;
   presented with gifts by Ama-terasu, 32;
   gives Uzume as wife to the Deity of the Field-Paths, 33;
   meets and weds Ko-no-hana, 34;
   Hoderi ("Fire-shine") and Hoori ("Fire-fade"), sons of, 34
 Nippon. Kamakura at one time capital of, 82;
   pictorial art given to, by Buddhism, 114;
   the _No_, or lyrical drama of, 119;
   bell-maker, skill of, 140;
   fan of, 243;
   tea-drinking in, associated with Buddhism, 293
 Nipponese. Women, colour-prints depicting, do not reveal emotion, 113;
   mirrors, significance of, 190
 Nirvana. Genno prays that the Jewel Maiden might attain, 97;
   desire for not-being finally attained in, 109;
   signification contrasted with Karma, 144
 "No." The lyrical drama of Nippon, 119;
   the _Takasago_ one
   of the finest of the, 186
 Noguchi, Yone. _See_ Yone Noguchi
 Noto. Yōshō born at, 356


 O-ana-mochi. A deity of Mount Fuji, 132
 Oba Kage-chika. Yoritomo saved from power of, by two doves, 277-278
 O Cho San. Dwells on Hatsushima Island, 337;
   Gisuke the brother of, 338;
   Shinsaku the favoured suitor of, 338;
   death of, 338; shrine raised to, 339
 Ogawachi-myōjin. Shrine of,
   referred to, 191;
   Matsumura, the Shintō priest in charge of shrine of, 191
 O-Hina-San. Tiny doll named, 215
 Oho-Kuninushi. The Deity of Kitzuki; the Bronze Horse and, 275
 Oho-yama. Variants, Great-Mountain-Possessor and Spirit of the
   Mountains; father of Ko-no-hane and Iha-naga, 34;
   presents his daughter to Ninigi, 34
 Ojin. Son of Empress Jingo, 333;
   the Dragon King presents the Tide Jewels to, 333
 Oka-dera. Place in Yamato;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Okakura Kakuzo. _The Book of Tea_ by, 290
 Oki Islands. Oribe Shima banished to Kamishima, one of the, 333, 334
 Oki-yama. Sonobé sent to great cryptomeria-tree on, 181, 182
 Old Japan. Doll handed down from generation to generation in, 215
 Omi, Province of. Yamato Take slays serpent in, 57
 "Onna Daigaku" ("The Greater Learning for Women"). A treatise
   by Kaibara, 113
 Onomo Toku. Kōbō Daishi's work ridiculed by, 238
 Ono-no-Kimi. Appears before the Judgment Seat of Emma-Ō, the Judge
   of Souls, 140
 Oribe Shima.
   Offends Hojo Takatoki and is banished to Kamishima, 333, 334;
   his grief at leaving his daughter, Tokoyo, 334;
   sought after by Tokoyo, 334-336;
   set at liberty by Hojo Takatoki, 336
 Otohime, The Princess,
   daughter of the Dragon (Sea) King, 325;
   becomes the bride of Urashima, 325;
   bestows gift of the "Box of the Jewel Hand" (_Tamate-Bako_)
   on Urashima, 327
 O-Toku-San. Girl doll of life-size class, 215
 Ototachibana, Princess. Wife of Prince Yamato, 51, 52;
   drowned in crossing Straits of Kadzusa, 56
 O Toyo. Favourite among ladies of the Prince of Hizen, 265;
   a cat in form of a woman causes grievous harm to Prince
   of Hizen, 265-269
 Owari, Province of. Yamato Take passes through, 57
 Oyama, General. A hero of Japan, xii
 Oyasu. Assumed name of the Lady of the Snow, by which she
   introduces herself to Kyuzaemon, 153
 Oyeyama, The Goblin of, 44-48
 Ozaki, Madame. Reference to story told by, regarding Koso
   and Kohaku Jo, 88


 Palace, Dragon. "Evergreen Land" appears as, in ballad of
   "The Fisher Boy Urashima," 324
 Paradise, The Buddhist.
   Tapestry wrought by Kwannon depicting, 201
 Peony. The Spirit of the, 171;
   the Princess Aya loves, in the form of a young and handsome
   samurai, 172, 173
 Perry, Professor. Japanese mirrors and, 190
 Pierre Loti. Reference to his _Madame Chrysanthème_, xi
 Piggott, Sir F. T. Cherry and plum blossoms, reference to, in
   _The Garden of Japan_, by, 174
 Plain of High Heaven. Susa-no-o visits his sister, Ama-terasu, in, 25-27
 Poetry, Japanese. A note on, 380-386;
   Mr. Noguchi's _The Pilgrimage_ and, 380;
   the _Tanka_ and _Hokku_ described, 381;
   reference to the _Hyaku-nin-isshiu_ ("Single Verses by a
   Hundred People"), 382;
   reference to a _tanka_ by Yasuhide Bunya, 382;
   quotation from the "Flower Dance" of Bingo province, 383;
   quotation from _tanka_ by the eleventh-century official
   Michimasa, 383;
   reference to Nature poems, 384;
   English National Anthem compared with Japanese National Anthem, 384;
   quotation from Nature poem by Isé, 384;
   quotation from the _Hō-jō-ki_ by twelfth-century recluse,
   Chōmei, 385;
   touching _hokku_ quoted, written by Chiyo after the death of
   her little son, 385;
   _mono no aware wo shiru_ ("the Ah-ness of things"), a phrase
   which describes most accurately the whole significance of, 386
 Poison Dragon, The. His evil influence, 193
 Polynesian Mythology. Rangi (Heaven) and Papa (Earth) correspond to
   Japanese _In_ and _Yo_, 21
 Pootoo. Kwanjin transported to Island of, 200
 Poverty. Japanese superstitions and Bimbogami, the God of, 349;
   insect, _Bimbomushi_ the Japanese name for, 349
 Precious Things. _See_ Hotei, 213
 "Priest, One-Inch." Otherwise Issunboshi; also nicknamed Little Finger
   and Grain-of-Corn, 364
 Purple Hall of the North Star. Emperor sick at, 38


 Quilt (_Futon_), The, of Tottori, 309-311


 Raiden. The God of Thunder, 250;
   often found in company with Fugin or Raitaro, 250;
   his favour toward Japan, 250
 Raijū. The Thunder Animal, 251
   I. A doughty knight who seeks out and slays the Goblin of Oye, 45-48;
   presented with a jar of magical _saké_ (Shimben-Kidoku-Shu)
   intended by the Goblin King, 46;
   gives _saké_ to the Goblin, 47;
   slays Goblin, 48;
   returns to Kyōto, 48;
   his illness, 48;
   restored to health by slaying of the Goblin Spider, 49;
   another version of the legend, 49-51.
   II. A wealthy but mean man, whose meanness is cured by Inari, 102, 103
 Raitaro. Raiden, the Thunder God, often found in company with, 250;
   Bimbo and, 252, 253
 Rat. The hour of the, 76;
   Daikoku's, 211, 212
 "Ratana Sutra," The. Reference to Karma in, 145
 Redesdale, Lord. See Mitford, 98
 Rein. Opinion of, _re_ Japanese and Mongols, xiii
 Rendai, Plain of, 49
 Rice, God of. _See_ Inari
 Rikiu. The greatest of tea-masters, 296;
   the friend of Taiko-Hideyoshi, 296, 297
 Rin-jin. King of the Sea;
   Yamato raises anger of, 56;
   anger of, appeased by Princess Ototachibana, 56;
   takes to wife a Dragon Princess, 272-275;
   the jelly-fish, the
   monkey, and, 272-275
 Rip van Winkle. Visu the, of Old Japan, 136
 Rising Sun. Spirit of Death-Stone
   in form of the Jewel
   Maiden at Court of, 98
 River, Child of the. _See_ Kappa, 350, 351
 Rivet Rock. _See_ Kashima, 244
 Road-s. The pine-tree and the God of, 176;
   reference to the God of, 346
 Robe, The Feather. Brought to Kaguya by the Moonfolk, 78
 Rock Island. Kansuke and Matakichi behold Spirit of the Great
   Awabi on, 341
 Rokkaku-dō. Place at Kyōto;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Roko. Depicted, on a flying tortoise, as one of the _sennin_
   in Japanese art, 357
 Rokuhara-dera. Place at Kyōto;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Rōsan. Chinese scholar, regaled with ghostly stories _re_
   butterflies, 216
 Rosei. His Magic Pillow of Dreams, 119-122
 Ruiten. A priest who prays for
   the Prince of Hizen, 266
 Russia. Establishment of military outpost at Wiju leads to war
   with Japan, 329
 Ryōseki. High-priest of Shin-Banzui-In; Shinzaburō sent by Yusai to, 231


 Sacred Key. Part of the cargo of the Treasure Ship, 115, 116
 Sacrifice, Human. _See_ Superstition, 342
 Sadayo. Princess Aya's favourite maid, 172
 Saga, Emperor. Kōbō Daishi performs funeral obsequies of, 239
 Saijosen. The Phoenix and, 281
 Saikou Sanjū-san Sho ("The Thirty-three Places").
   Reverence bestowed upon the, 201
 Sai-no-Kawara. "The Dry Bed of the River of Souls," 106;
   place where all children go at death, 106;
   the legend of the Humming of the, 107
 Saion Zenji. Kwannon's sacrifice on behalf of, on Mount Nariai, 204-206
 Sakata Kurando. Name given by Yorimitsu to Kintaro, 368
 Salwey, Mrs. C. M.
   New Year Festival described by, 220;
   reference to the _torii_ by, 226, 227;
   reference to _Fans of Japan_, by, 243;
   reference to _On Symbolism and Symbolic Ceremonies of the
   Japanese_, by, 244
 Samébito ("A Shark-Person").
   Tōtarō kindly succours, 376;
   the jewel-tears of, 377-379
 Sanemori. A great warrior;
   becomes a rice-devouring insect called Sanemori-San, 284
 San-ga-nichi. Pine-tree conspicuous at the Festival of, 187
 Sanjo, Princess. Issunboshi becomes page to, 365-367;
   the magic mallet and, 366
 Sankichi. Dives from Tarada's junk and secures the Woman's Sword, 337
 Sano Genzalmon Tsuneyo. Peasant who burns three dwarf trees to give
   warmth to Tokiyori, 183-186;
   goes to Kamakura, 185;
   rewarded by Tokiyori by being presented with the villages of
   Matsu-idu, Umeda, and Sakurai, 185, 186
 Sanugi no Miyakko. Discovers Lady Kaguya
  ("Precious-Slender-Bamboo-of-the-Field-of-Autumn"), 65
 Sanzu-no-Kawa. "The River of the Three Roads" along which the dead
   journey, 222
 Sawara. Pupil of the artist Tenko, 122;
   loves Kimi, Tenko's niece, 122-125
 Sayemon, Kato. A rich man who lived in palace of the Shōgun
   Ashikaga, 370;
   Ishidomaro son of, 371;
   becomes a priest in the temple of Kongobuji, on Mount Koya, 371
 Sea. Legends of the, 323-341;
   Urashima in the palace of the Sea-King, 325, 328;
   of Mud, visited by Shikaiya Wasōbiōye, 374
 Sea God. _See_ God of the Sea, 35
 Seashore, The Spirit of the.
   Is unfavourable to Empress Jingo, 331
 Sefuku-ji. Place in Izumi;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Sengen. Otherwise Ko-no-hana-saku-ya-hime;
   as Ko-no-hana, the wife of Ninigi, 34;
   the Goddess of Fuji, 132
 Sennin = mountain recluses, 356, 357;
   Yōshō, the first great Japanese, 356;
   Emmei becomes a, 356;
   Japanese art and, 357;
   Chokoro a, 357; Gama a, 357; Tekkai a, 357; Kumé a, 357; Roko a, 357
 Sentaro. His visit to the Land of Perpetual Youth (Mount Fuji), 133, 134
 Serpent. Cat and the, did not weep when the Lord Buddha died, 264;
   the White Sea, otherwise Yofuné-Nushi, 334
 Sesshiu. A great artist;
   legend _re_ his liberation from imprisonment by painting rats, 116
 Séta. Samébito and Tōtarō at the Long Bridge of, 376-379
 Seven Gods of Good Fortune.
   The favourite theme of the Japanese artist, 115;
   Shintōism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Brahmanism, the source of the, 115
 Shaka Muni. The Lord Buddha; legend _re_ his sacrifice as a hare, 255
 Shelf of Souls. Food placed on, by Shinzaburō, 229
 Shidoji. Temple called, built at Shido-no-ura by Kamatari,92
 Shido-no-ura. Boy of, 89;
   Kamatari builds temple called Shidoji at, 92
 Shiko-tsutsu no Oji ("Salt-sea-elder").
   Conveys Hoori to the Palace of the Sea God, 35
 Shin Kiyomizu-dera. Place in Harima;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Shingé. Bitten by a snake in the Valley of Shimizutani, 167;
   rescued by Yoshisawa, 167;
   found dead at the bottom of the Violet Well, 168
 Shingon-shū. Buddhist sect founded by Kōbō Daishi, 234
 Shinsaku. Favoured suitor for hand of O Cho San, 338;
   raises shrine to O Cho San, 339
 Shintō. Temples, contrasted with those of Buddhism, 114;
   old custom associated with Mount Fuji, 131;
   cult, "The Way of the Gods" symbol of the Right Direction,
   according to the dogmas of the, 227
 Shintōism. Reverence to dead taught by, xii;
   legends relating to Japanese heroes enriched by,  xvi;
   the _torii_ originally associated with, 226
 Shinzaburō, Hagiwara. Falls in love with Tsuyu, 228;
   the sad story of the lovers' fate, 228-233;
   Tomozō, servant of, 230;
   Hakuōdō Yusai advises, 230;
   goes to the high-priest Ryōseki, 231
 Shippeitarō. The phantom cats and, 269, 270
 Shiro. Sent by Emma-Ō to conquer the God of Wealth, 211, 212
 Shita-teru-hime ("Lower-shine-Princess"). Wed by Ame-waka, 31
 Shō-Chiku-Bai. The name embracing the three emblems of the Pine,
   Bamboo, and Plum-flower, 195
 Shōgun-s. Kamakura, seat of, of the Hōjō family, 82;
   Yedo Government issues notice to Tengu and other demons prior
   to the visit to Nikko of the, 355
 Shojō. A sea monster fond of sacred _saké_, 359;
   legend _re_ Yurine and, 359-362
 Shokuro. The Thunder God, Raiden, and, 254;
   Chiyo slain by, 254;
   makes peace with Chiyo after she has been restored to life, 254
 Shonin, Shōdō. Founder of first Buddhist temple at Nikko, 242;
   legend _re_ sacred bridge of Nikko, 242
 Shosha-san., Place in Harima;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Shutendoji. The Goblin King of Oyeyama;
   his doings on Mount Oye, 44-48;
   Kimitaka's daughter snatched away by, 45;
   Raiko at ball of, 47;
   magic _saké_ drunk by, 47;
   attacked and slain by Raiko, 47-48
 Smith, R. Gordon.
   Legend of the Lady of the Snow in his _Ancient Tales and Folk-lore
   of Japan_, 122, 152, 165, 177
 Snow, The Lady of the. Yuki-Onna is, 149;
   Mosaku and, 149, 150;
   Minokichi and, 149-151;
   Mr. R. Gordon Smith in his _Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan_
   describes, 152, 153;
   Kyuzaemon and, 152,153
 Soda, Ito. A young soldier who discovers cause of illness of Prince
   of Hizen, 266-268
 Sodzu-baba. The Old Woman of the Three Roads, associated with the
   Festival of the Dead, 222;
   Ten Datsu-Ba, husband of, 222
 Soga Sadayoshi. Visits temple of Ken-cho-ji, 110;
   appears before Emma-Ō, 110;
   remembered by Jizō, 110, 111
 Sōjiji. Place in Settsu;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Sonobé. Sent by the Lord of Kishiwada to cryptomeria-tree
   on Oki-yama, 181, 182
 Spirit. Of the Mountain, 330;
   of the Fields, 330;
   of Grass, 330;
   of the Seashore, 331;
   of the Sword, 336
 Star Lovers. Stars (possibly Lyra and Aquila) shine with five colours
   at yearly meeting of the, 127
 Street Everlasting. Place for ghosts to wander in, 224
 Street of Aged Men. Near Street Everlasting, 224
 Stones. Poetry suggested by names given to, by the Japanese, 157
 Suicide. Of Japanese lovers, is called _jōshi_--_i.e._,
  "love-death" or "passion-death," 144;
   _see_ also _hara-kiri_, or _seppuku_, 161
 Sullivan, Sir Arthur. Reference to _The Mikado_, by, xi
 Sun Goddess. Ama-terasu, daughter of Izanagi and Izanami, the, 23;
   the dead fear to gaze upon the, 109;
   the mirror in which she gazes reposes at Ise, 191;
   mirror cakes associated with, at New Year Festival, 220
 Superstition. Japanese, various forms of, 342-349;
   human sacrifice associated with, 342-344;
   forms of divination, 344-346;
   unlucky years and days, 346, 347;
   strange, relating to children, 347, 348;
   charms associated with Japanese, 348;
   the Beckoning Leaf, 348;
   Bimbogami (the God of Poverty) and, 349;
   _Bimbo-mushi_ ("Poverty-Insect") and, 349;
   the _Baku_, 358, 359
   The Elixir of Life sent  to the highest mountain in, by the Mikado, 79;
   (_see_ Fuji); Visu lived on plain of, 136
 Susa-no-o ("The Impetuous Male"). Child of Izanagi and Izanami, 23;
   brother of the Sun Goddess, Ama-terasu, 25;
   an undesirable and cruel deity, 25;
   banished by parents to Yomi, 25;
   proposes to first visit Plain of High Heaven, 25;
   his sister, Ama-terasu, prepares to withstand him, 26;
   he tricks her by guile, 26;
   Ama-terasu flees from the cruelty of, 27;
   finally banished to Yomi, 28;
   arrives at River Hi, 29;
   seeks hand of Kushi-nada-hime, 29;
   wins her by slaying the eight-forked serpent, 29, 30;
   the _Tengu_ = emanations from, 352
 "Sutra, Treasure-Raining."
   A holy _sutra_ given by Ryōseki to Shinzaburō, 232
 Suzuki Shichiro. Discovers Kiuchi Heizayemon, 353
 Sword. "The-Grass-Cleaving," a divine weapon discovered by Susa-no-o, 30;
   given as a gift to Prince Yamato, 54;
   the Spirit of the, 336


 Taiko-Hideyoshi. The friend of Rikiu, 296, 297
 Taira. Yoshitomo killed in a battle with, 41;
   Kiyomori, the cruel leader of the clan, 41;
   finally conquered and driven into the sea at Dan-no-ura by Benkei
   and Yoshitsune, 43
 Taira Clan. Great sea-fight referred to, between Minamoto clan and, 300
 Taira-no-Masakado. Swarm of butterflies during preparation for revolt
   by, 217
 Takachihi. Uzume and companions reach summit of, 33
 Takahama. The White Butterfly and, 218, 219
 Taka-mi-musubi. God who sends Ninigi to govern the Central Land
   of Reed-Plains, 30
   I. The famous pines of, referred to, 159;
   Matsue, daughter of a fisherman at, 187-189.
   II. Considered one of the finest of the _No_ or classical
   dramas, 186
 Takeru. Brigand, slain by Yamato, 52
 Takeru, Idzumo. Outlaw, slain by Yamato, 53
 "Taketori Monogatari." F. Victor Dickins's translation of, v
 Tama. Maid-servant of Kazariya Kyūbei, 282;
   revisit to master and mistress after her death, in the form of
   a fly, 284
 Tamana. Loved by Tōtarō, 377-379;
   Tōtarō weds, 379
 Tamate-Bako. Otherwise "The Box of the Jewel Hand"; gift bestowed by
   Princess Otohime on Urashima, 327
 Tamba, Province of. Raiko and companions reach, 45
 Tameyoshi. Death of Sea Serpent, Yofuné-Nushi, reported to, 335
 Tanabata. Alternative, The Weaving Lady; daughter of the God of
   the Firmament, 126;
   wife of Hikoboshi, 126, 127
 Tango. Village of Midzunoe, in the province of, 324
 Tanigumi-dera. Place near Tarui, in Mino;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 "Tanka." _See_ Japanese Poetry, 380-386
 Taranda, Captain. The Woman's Sword and, 336, 337
 Tawara Toda ("My Lord Bag of Rice"). _See_ Hidesato, 62-64
 Tea. Origin of first plant, 291; in China, 290-293;
   Luwuh the first Chinese tea-master,  292;
   _Chaking_ the Holy Scripture of, 292;
   drunk by Zen priests before image of Bodhi Dharma (Daruma), 293;
   Professor B. H. Chamberlain on tea ceremonies, 293;
   pamphlet on, by Buddhist priest Eisai, 293, 294;
   Rikiu the greatest of tea-masters, 296, 297
 Tea-drinking. In England and Japan, contrasted, 290, 291;
   the _Spectator_ on, 290;
   Dr. Johnson regarding his propensity to, 291;
   is a ritual in Japan, 291
 Tea-kettle. Story of the miraculous, 262-264
 Te-nadzuchi ("Hand-stroke-elder"). Wife of Ashi-nadzuchi,
   and mother of Kushi-nada-hime, 29
 Ten Datsu-Ba. Husband of Sodzu-Baba, 222
 Tengu. King of the, his kindness to Yoshitsune, 41, 42;
   reference to story of the, 351;
   Tobikawa imitates a, 353;
   modern belief in the, 355;
   officials of the Yedo Government and their belief in the, 355
 "Tengu-Kakushi" = "Hidden by a _Tengu_," 353;
   legend giving an account of the, 353-355
 Tenjiku. Prince Ishizukuri required to journey to, in order
   to procure the Begging Bowl of the Lord Buddha, 67
 Tenko. Art master to Sawara;
   Kimi's uncle, 122
 Tenno, Antoku. Infant Emperor who perished in the great sea-fight
   between the Taira and Minamoto clans, 300
 Teoyo. Rescued by Matsue, and loved by her, 188, 189
 "Thought-Combining." A God who brings birds from the Eternal Land
   to tempt the Sun Goddess back to Heaven, 27, 28
 Thunder. Legends in regard to, 250-254;
   Bakin's _Kumono Tayema Ama Yo No Tsuki, re_ the God of, 250;
   Animal; Raijū the, 251;
   Bird; Raicho the, 251;
   Woman, Kaminari the, 252;
   Child; Raitaro the, 253;
   Record; _Shin-rai-ki_ the, 251
 Thunder Gods. Eight varieties rest on Izanami, 24;
   _see_ Raiden, 250;
   _see_ legends, 250-254;
   Shokuro and the, 254
 Tide Jewels. Sent by hand of Isora as a gift from the Dragon King to
   the Empress Jingo, 331
   I. Emperor. The Jewel Maiden concubine to, 98.
   II. Ex-Emperor. Wishes to build temple to Kwannon in Kyōto, 179
 Tobikawa. An ex-wrestler of Matsue who imitates a _Tengu,_ 353
 Tochi. Ishizukuri discovers a bowl in, which he offers to Kaguya, 68, 69
 Toema-dera. Chūjo Hime, a Buddhist nun, retires to temple of, 201
 Togo, Admiral. A hero of Japan, xii
 Tokimune, Regent. Nichiren sent to beach of Koshigoye to be
   beheaded by, 241
 Tokiwa. Wife of Yoshitomo, mother of Yoshitsune;
   at her husband's death she weds  Kiyomori, 41;
   urges Yoshitsune to avenge his father's death, 41
 Tokiyori, Saimyoji. A celebrated Regent during reign of Emperor
   Go-Fukakusa, 182;
   his mission to relieve peasants from grasping officials and its
   sequel, 182-184
 Tokoyo. Daughter of Oribe Shima, 334;
   her search after her father, 334-336;
   slays Yofuné-Nushi (the White Sea Serpent), 335
 Tokudō Shōnin. The great Buddhist abbot of the eighth century, 201
 Tokutaro. His scepticism regarding foxes, and how he was deluded
   by them, 98-100
 Tokutarō-san. The boy doll of life-size, 215
 Tōkyō. Covered with ashes from Fuji volcano, 131
 Tomozō. One of Shinzaburō's servants, 230;
   Miné wife of, 233
 "Torii," The. Meaning of = "Fowl-dwelling" or "Bird-rest," 226;
   reference to Professor B. H. Chamberlain and, 226;
   reference to Dr. W. G. Aston and, 226; "The Footstool of the King"
   the most perfect gateway in the world, 227;
   Mrs. Salwey's reference to, 227
 Tōtarō. Samébito succoured by, 376, 377;
   falls in love with Tamana, 377-379;
   weds Tamana, 379
 Tottori. The _futon_ (quilt) of, 309-311
 Toyo-Tama ("Rich-jewel").
   Daughter of the Sea God; weds Hoori, 36;
   gives birth to a son, assumes form of a dragon, and departs
   from Hoori, 37
 Treasure Ship. The _Takara-bune_;
   Seven Gods of Good Fortune as passengers on, 115
 Trees. Reference to the Japanese dwarf, 159;
   the pine, the emblem of good fortune and longevity, 159;
   the cherry and plum, association of Japanese woman's beauty and
   virtue, with, 174, 175;
   the camellia, legend regarding, 175;
   the cryptomeria, 176;
   the God of Roads and a pine, 176;
   Ki-no-o-baké, a tree spirit, 176;
   the spirit of the God Kōjin resides in the _enoki_ tree, 177;
   the silent pine, 177;
   the Willow Wife, 177-180;
   Yenoki, the tree of the One-eyed Priest, 180;
   the burning of the Three Dwarfs, 182,184;
   the pine-tree lovers, 186-189
 True Sakaki Tree. Hung with jewels and dressed by Uzume to tempt
   Ama-terasu back to Heaven, 28
 Tsubosaka-dera. Place in Yamato;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 203
 Tsugaru. Kikuo, the retainer of, 165
 Tsuki-yumi. The Moon God, son of Izanagi and Izanami;
   climbs Ladder of Heaven to become the consort of Sun Goddess,
   Ama-terasu, 23
 Tsure-Dzure-Gusa. Record by Kenkō written in fourteenth century, xi
 Tsuyu ("Morning Dew"). The only daughter of Iijima, 228;
   the story of, illustrates the power of Karma, 228-233;
   falls in love with Hagiwara Shinzaburō, 228;
   the story of their sad fate, 228-233
 Tuski no Iwaksa. Scroll of the Elixir of Life sent in charge of,
   to highest mountain in Suruga, 79
 Tusna. Most worthy of Raiko's retainers, 49
 "Twenty-eight Followers."
   Personifications of certain constellations, 200


 Uda, Emperor. Baptized by Kōbō Daishi, 239
 Uji River. People visit, to witness the firefly battle, 286
 Unai. The Maiden of, 313-315;
   Mubara and Chinu lovers of the Maiden of, 313-315
 Underworld. Reference to, 202
 Upper Horikané. Tokutaro at, 99
 Urashima. The legend of, 323-328;
   ballad of "The Fisher Boy of," 324;
   the tortoise and, 324, 325;
   at the Dragon (Sea) King's palace, 325-328;
   weds Otohime, the Dragon King's daughter, 325;
   receives from Otohime the gift of the "Box of the Jewel Hand"
   (_Tamate-Bako_), 327;
   the tomb of, still shown at temple in Kanagawa, 328
 Uzume ("Heavenly-alarming-female").
   Dances to tempt the Sun Goddess (Ama-terasu) back to Heaven, 28;
   accompanies Ninigi, 33;
   accosts the Deity of the Field-paths, 33;
   reaches summit of Takachihi, 33;
   given by Ninigi to Deity of the Field-paths as wife, 33


 Visu. The Rip Van Winkle of Old Japan;
   his adventures beside Mount Fuji, 136-139


 Waggon Priest _See_ Hotei, 213
 Wasa. The Laughing Festival of, 225
 Wasōbiōye, Shikaiya. A man of Nagasaki, a Japanese Gulliver, 374-376;
   story of, adapted from Professor B. H. Chamberlain's translation in
   the _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, 374;
   arrives at Sea of Mud, 375;
   meets Jofuku, 375;
   starts on journey to the Three Thousand Worlds mentioned in Buddhist
   Scriptures, 375;
   visits Lands of Endless Plenty, of Shams, of the Followers of the
   Antique, of Paradoxes, and of Giants, 375
 Watanabé, Isuna. Finds out all details of Kintaro's life, 368
 Weaving Lady, The. Festival of Tanabata, or, 126
 Well, The Violet. _See_ Shingé, 167
 Wheel of Existence, The Great, 109
 Williams, Sir Monier. His description of the lotus flower, 169
 Willow Wife, The. Story of, adapted from Mr. R. Gordon Smith's
   _Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan_, 177;
   Heitaro, husband of Higo, the, 178-180
 Wind God, The, 330
 Woman. The, in Japanese art, 112, 113;
   the Mountain, 355
 Worlds, Three Thousand. Mentioned in Buddhist Scriptures, 375;
   Shikaiya Wasōbiōye journeys to, 375
 Wrestlers, The Ghostly, in Omi province, 358
 Writing. Legendary origin of the Chinese system of, 363


 Yaegaki. The Precious-Camellia of, 175
 Yaégiri. A lady with whom Sakata Kurando falls in love, 367;
   gives birth to Kintaro, or the Golden Boy, 367
 Yakami, Princess of. Eighty-one brothers, Princes in Japan,
   who wish to marry, 256-258
 Yama, Fuji. _See_ Fuji
 Yamato Take, Prince. Youngest son of King Keiko, 51;
   Princess Ototachibana wife of, 51;
   his expedition to the Southern Island of Kiushiu, 51, 52;
   disguised as a woman, encounters Kumaso and Takeru, 52;
   slays Kumaso and Takeru, 52;
   he encounters and slays Idzumo Takeru, 53;
   "Eight-Arms-Length-Spear" given to, 54;
   the "Grass-Cleaving-Sword" of Murakumo given to, 54;
   meets and weds Princess Miyadzu, 55;
   Ainu rising quelled by, 54-56;
   passes through province of Owari, 57;
   reaches the province of Omi, 57;
   slays serpent in, 57
 "Yang" and "Yin." The Chinese, correspond to _In_ and _Yo_, 21
 Yao, Emperor. Reputed son of a dragon, 362
 Yayoi. The Month of Increase, 193;
    the Soul of the Mirror, 193, 194
 Yedo Government. Officials of, and their belief in the _Tengu_, 355
 Yenoki. The One-eyed Priest who served at temple of Fudo,
   on Oki-yama, 180-182;
   spirit of, passes into a great cryptomeria-tree, 181;
   in form of a handsome youth allures a number of maidens away
   from their lovers, 181, 182
 Yellow Dragon. _See_ Yellow River, 363
 Yellow River. Fuk Hi present by Yellow Dragon with mystic scroll
   by the, 363
 "Yih-king" ("Book of Changes"). The main source of Japanese
   divination, 344;
   begun by Fu Hsi 2000 B.C. and added to by Confucius, 344
 Yofuné-Nushi. The Serpent God; variant, the White Sea Serpent, 334;
   slain by Tokoyo, 335
 Yomi, Land of (Hades).
   Izanami creeps away to, 23;
   Izanagi goes to, 23;
   Eight Ugly Females of, 24;
   the Even Pass of, 24;
   Susa-no-o banished to 25, 28
 Yoné. Faithful servant of Tsuyu, 228-233
 Yone Noguchi. Sums up magic of a Japanese night associated with the
   Festival of the Dead, 224;
   quotation _re_ Japanese fan from, 243;
   reference to _The Pilgrimage_ by, 380
 Yorimasa. Knight; encounters and slays evil monsters outside
   Emperor's palace, the Purple Hall of the North Star, 38, 39;
   presented with Sword Shishi-wo as a reward, and  marries
   the Lady Ayame, 39
 Yorimitsu. A famous hero who makes Kintaro his retainer, 368, 369
 Yoritomo. General, who laid out city of Kamakura, 83;
   saved, after defeat, from power of Oba Kage-chika by two
  doves, 277, 278
 Yorozuya. Proposed husband for Kimi, 123
 Yoshimasa, The Lord. The Shōgun; mirror presented to, 194
 Yoshimine-dera. Place at Kyōto;
   one of the thirty-three places sacred to Kwannon, 204
 Yoshisawa. Rescues Shingé from the snake, 168;
   drowns himself in the Violet Well, 168
 Yoshitomo. Father of Yoshitsune;
   killed in battle with the Taira clan, 41;
   Tokiwa wife  of, 41;
   reference to story of, 351, 352
 Yoshitsune. Compared with the Black Prince and Henry V., 39;
   his father, Yoshitōmo, killed in battle with the Taira, 41;
   his mother, Tokiwa, urges him to avenge his father's death, 41;
   his intercourse with the King of the Tengu, 42;
   news of Benkei's lawless doings reaches ears of, 42;
   seeks out and conquers Benkei, 42, 43;
   assisted by Benkei, drives out the Taira, 43, 440
 Yōshō. The first great Japanese _sennin_, 356, 357
 Yosoji. Consults the magician Kamo Yamakiko, 134;
   visits Mount Fuji, 134, 135
 Youth, The Land of Perpetual.
   Visit of Sentaro to, 133, 134
 Yuki-onna. The Lady of the Snow, 149
 Yurine. A poor man who lived near Mount Fuji; story of, 359-362;
   Koyuri, son of, 359
 Yusai, Hakuōdō. Gives advice to Shinzaburō, 230-232


 Zembei. Father of Shingé, 168
 Zen. Sect; tea-drinking associated with Buddhism by, 293
 Zodiac. The Dragon (_Tatsu_) one of the signs of the, 363
 Zoology. Lafcadio Hearn's reference to ghostly, 94

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