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Title: Shinto - The Way of the Gods
Author: Aston, W. G. (William George)
Language: English
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(The Way Of The Gods)


W. G. ASTON, C.M.G, D.Lit.

Author of
'A Grammar of the Japanese Spoken Language,' 'A Grammar of the
Japanese Written Language,' 'The Nihongi' (Translation),
'A History of Japanese Literature,' &c.

Longmans, Green, and Co.
39 Paternoster Row, London
New York and Bombay
All rights reserved


    CHAP.                                          PAGE.
       V. MYTH                                       75
      VI. THE MYTHICAL NARRATIVE                     84
     VII. THE PANTHEON--NATURE-DEITIES              121
    VIII. THE PANTHEON--MAN-DEITIES                 177
      IX. THE PRIESTHOOD                            200
       X. WORSHIP                                   208
      XI. MORALS, LAW, AND PURITY                   241
     XII. CEREMONIAL                                268
     XIV. DECAY OF SHINTO. MODERN SECTS             359


  _Ohonamochi and his Double_                                28-29
  _The Sun-Goddess issuing from the Rock-Cave of Heaven_     98-99
  _Sun Worship at the Twin-Rocks of Ise_                    130-31
  _Hohodemi at the Court of Toyotama-hiko_                     149
  _Kedzurikake_. The one on the right is the ordinary form,
        the other a special kind called _ihaigi_               192
           (From Dr. Florenz's paper in the _T.A.S.J._)        214
  _Gohei_                                                      215
  _Ema_ (Horse-picture)                                        222
  _Mikoshi_                                                 224-25
  _Himorogi_. (From the _T.A.S.J._)                            226
  _Shrines of Ise_                                          229-30
  _Toriwi_                                                     233
  _Chi no wa_                                               266-67
  _Misogi, or Purification Ceremony_                        298-99
  _Tsuina, or Expulsion of Devils_                          310-11
  _Wayside Shrines_                                            366


Ch. K.--Mr. B. H. Chamberlain's translation of the _Kojiki_.

_Nihongi_.--Translation of the _Nihongi_ by W. G. Aston.

_T.A.S.J._--Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan.


For "Welhausen," note to p. 113, read _Wellhausen_.

For "of," p. 12, l. 18, read _on_.

P. 335, l. 24, read _to do her behests_.


Add, bottom of p. 60, "St. Augustine says, in his 'Civitas Dei,' that
funeral observances are rather solace to the living than help to the

P. 41, line 25, after "deities" insert "a phrase which closely
resembles the 'Zembla Bogh' used of the Czar by Russians."

P. 31, add to first note, "The Romans had an evil counterpart of
Jupiter, viz., Vediovis or Vejovis."


As compared with the great religions of the world, Shinto, the old
_Kami_ cult of Japan, is decidedly rudimentary in its character. Its
polytheism, the want of a Supreme Deity, the comparative absence of
images and of a moral code, its feeble personifications and hesitating
grasp of the conception of spirit, the practical non-recognition of a
future state, and the general absence of a deep, earnest faith--all
stamp it as perhaps the least developed of religions which have an
adequate literary record. Still, it is not a primitive cult. It had an
organized priesthood and an elaborate ritual. The general civilization
of the Japanese when Shinto assumed the form in which we know it had
left the primitive stage far behind. They were already an agricultural
nation, a circumstance by which Shinto has been deeply influenced. They
had a settled government, and possessed the arts of brewing, making
pottery, building ships and bridges, and working in metals. It is not
among such surroundings that we can expect to find a primitive form of

The present treatise has two objects. It is intended, primarily and
chiefly, as a repertory of the more significant facts of Shinto for the
use of scientific students of religion. It also comprises an outline
theory of the origin and earlier stages of the development of religion,
prepared with special reference to the Shinto evidence. The subject is
treated from a positive, not from a negative or agnostic standpoint,
Religion being regarded as a normal function, not a disease, of
humanity. This element of the work owes much to the continental
scholars Réville, Goblet D'Alviella, and Pfleiderer.

In anthropological matters, I have been much indebted to Dr. Tylor's
'Primitive Culture' and Mr. J. G. Frazer's 'Golden Bough.' I should not
omit to express my obligations to my friend Mr. J. Troup for assistance
with the proofs and for a number of useful corrections and suggestions.



=Prehistoric Shinto=.--Ethnologists are agreed that the predominant
element of the Japanese race came to Japan by way of Korea from that
part of Asia which lies north of China, probably by a succession of
immigrations which extended over many centuries. It is useless to
speculate as to what rudiments of religious belief the ancestors of the
Japanese race may have brought with them from their continental home.
Sun-worship has long been a central feature of Tartar religions, as it
is of Shinto; but such a coincidence proves nothing, as this cult is
universal among nations in the barbaric stage of civilization. It is
impossible to say whether or not an acquaintance with the old State
religion of China--essentially a nature-worship--had an influence on
the prehistoric development of Shinto. The circumstance that the Sun
was the chief deity of the latter and Heaven of the former is adverse
to this supposition. Nor is there anything in Japan which corresponds
with the Shangti of the ancient Chinese.

There are definite traces of a Korean element in Shinto. A Kara no Kami
(God of Kara in Korea) was worshipped in the Imperial Palace. There
were numerous shrines in honour of Kara-Kuni Idate no Kami. Susa no wo
and Futsunushi have Korean associations.

Until the beginning of the fifth century of our era, writing was
practically unknown in Japan. It is certain, however, that a
considerable body of myth, together with formal rituals, was already in
existence, having been transmitted from generation to generation by the
_Nakatomi_ and _Imbe_, two hereditary priestly corporations attached
to the Mikado's Court. We hear also of _Kataribe_, or corporations of
reciters, who were established in various provinces, especially in
Idzumo, a primaeval centre of Shinto worship. They are mentioned in the
_Nihongi_ under the date A.D. 465, and were still in existence in the
fifteenth century. Unfortunately we know little about them beyond the
circumstance that they attended at the capital, and delivered their
recitals of "ancient words" on the occasion of the Mikado's coronation.
These must have helped to furnish material for the written mythical and
quasi-historical narratives which have come down to us.

=Kojiki=.--The oldest of these is a work entitled the _Kojiki_, or
'Records of Ancient Matters.' It was compiled by Imperial order, and
completed in A.D. 712. The preface states that it was taken down from
the lips of one Hiyeda no Are, who had so wonderful a memory that he
could "repeat with his mouth whatever was placed before his eyes and
record in his heart whatever struck his ears." English readers may
study this work in an accurate translation contributed by Mr. B. H.
Chamberlain to the _Transactions_ of the Asiatic Society of Japan in
1882. It is preceded by a valuable introduction.

=Nihongi=.--The mythical narrative of the _Nihongi_, or 'Chronicles of
Japan,' also an official compilation (A.D. 720), is not quite so full
as that of the _Kojiki_, and it has the disadvantage of being composed
in the Chinese language. But it has one feature of great interest. The
author, or some nearly contemporary writer, has added to the original
text a number of variants of the current myths, thus enabling us to
correct any impression of uniformity or consistency which might be
left by the perusal of the _Kojiki_ or _Nihongi_ alone. These addenda
show that there was then in existence a large body of frequently
irreconcilable mythical material, which these works are attempts to
harmonize. A translation of the _Nihongi_ by the present writer forms
Supplement I. of the _Transactions_ of the Japan Society (1896). Dr.
Florenz's excellent German version of the mythical part of this work
may also be consulted with advantage. It has copious notes.

=Kiujiki=.--A third source of information respecting the mythical lore
of Japan is the _Kiujiki_. A work with this name was compiled A.D. 620,
_i.e._, one hundred years before the _Nihongi_, but the book now known
by that title has been condemned as a forgery by native critics. Their
arguments, however, are not quite convincing. The _Kiujiki_ is in any
case a very old book, and we may accept it provisionally as of equal
authority with the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_. It contains little which is
not also to be found in these two works. Unlike them, the _Kiujiki_
makes no attempt to be consistent. It is a mere jumble of mythical
material, distinct and conflicting versions of the same narrative being
often dovetailed into one another in the most clumsy fashion. It has
not been translated.

=Idzumo Fudoki=.--This work, a topography of the province of Idzumo,
was compiled about A.D. 733. It contains a few mythical passages.

=The Kogoshiui= was written in 807. It adds a very little to the
information contained in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_.

=Shôjiroku=.--In this work, which is a sort of peerage of Japan (815),
the descent of many of the noble families is traced from the deities of
the Shinto Pantheon.

=Yengishiki=.--Our principal source of information for the ceremonial
of Shinto is the _Yengishiki_, or 'Institutes of the Period Yengi'
(901-923). It gives a minute description of the official Shinto ritual
as then practised, together with Red Snow Algatwenty-seven of the principal prayers
used in worship. These prayers, called _norito_, were now, so far as we
know, for the first time reduced to writing, but many of them must be
in substance several hundreds of years older. Some have been translated
by Sir Ernest Satow for the Asiatic Society of Japan (1879-81), and the
series is now being continued by Dr. Karl Florenz, whose translation of
the _Ohoharahi_ (1899) is a notable addition to the English reader's
means of studying Shinto.

=Moto[:o]ri and Hirata=.--The writings of the native scholars Moto[:o]ri,
Hirata, and others during the second half of the eighteenth century
and the first half of the nineteenth are an indispensable source of
information. No part of this voluminous literature has been, or is
likely to be, translated. The English reader will find a good account
of it in Sir Ernest Satow's 'Revival of Pure Shinto,' contributed
to the _Transactions_ of the Asiatic Society of Japan in 1875. By
"Pure Shinto" is meant the Shinto of the _Kojiki_, _Nihongi_, and
_Yengishiki_, as opposed to the corrupt forms of this religion which
sprang up under Buddhist influence in later times.

The above-named works contain fairly ample materials for the study of
the older Shinto. They have the advantage of showing us this religion
as seen by the Japanese themselves, thus leaving no room for the
introduction of those errors which so often arise from the unconscious
importation of modern European and Christian ideas into the accounts
of other rudimentary cults. It should be observed that it is the State
religion to which these records chiefly relate. Of the popular beliefs
and practices at this time we are told but little.

The _Nihongi_, and, to a lesser extent, the _Kojiki_, are somewhat
influenced by Chinese ideas; but this element is generally
recognizable. Buddhism was introduced into Japan towards the middle
of the sixth century, and was widely propagated under the regency of
Shôtoku Daishi, who died A.D. 621; but there is little or no trace of
it in the older Shinto. For a long time there was a marked antagonism
between the two religions which served to protect the latter from such

=The Fūzoku Gwahō=, a modern illustrated magazine, is a rich store
of information respecting modern Shinto and the folk-lore and
superstitions which are associated with it.



=Religion=.--Religion, a general term which includes all our relations
to the Divine, is a cord of three strands, namely, Emotion, Thought,
and Conduct. Emotion comprises gratitude, hope, and fear. Thought
yields conceptions and beliefs. Religious conduct consists in doing
that which is pleasing to the superior powers, and in refraining from
acts which are thought to be offensive to them. It includes worship,
purity, and morality.

These elements of religion are inseparable. Emotion stimulates and
sharpens the intellectual faculties, which in turn provide fresh food
for emotion. Each without the other is evanescent and barren. Nothing
worthy of the name of religion is possible without a long succession of
alternate moods of thought and feeling.

Emotion and thought lead in all healthy minds to action of some sort.
Man is impelled by his very nature to testify his gratitude to the
powers on which he feels himself dependent, to express his hopes of
future blessings from them, and to avoid acts which might offend
them. Moreover, as a social animal, he is prompted to communicate
his religious thoughts and feelings to his fellow men. Without such
intercommunication, no religion is possible. No individual man ever
evolved a religion out of his own inner consciousness alone.

=Emotional Source of Religion=.--The emotional basis of religion
is gratitude, love, and hope, rather than fear. If life is worth
living--and what sane man doubts it?--there are necessarily far more
frequent occasions for the former than for the latter. The statement of
the old Roman poet that "Primus in orbe Deus fecit timor" is untrue
even of the Greek and Roman mythology to which he more particularly
referred. Zeus, the Shining One, the Father of Gods and Men, though
he may occasionally destroy a wicked man with his thunder, is loved
rather than feared. "Alma Venus, hominum divomque voluptas," is not the
offspring of our terrors. Nor is Ceres, Bacchus, Here Eileithuia, or
Kora. In Mars, by an exception the malignant quality predominates.

Shinto is essentially a religion of gratitude and love. The great Gods,
such as the Sun-Goddess and the Deity of Food, are beneficent beings.
They are addressed as parents, or dear divine ancestors, and their
festivals have a joyous character.[1] An eighth-century poet says,
"Every living man may feast his eyes with tokens of their love." The
_Kogoshiui_ tells us that when the Sun-Goddess emerged from her cave,
"Heaven above at length became clear, and all people could see each
other's faces distinctly. They stretched forth their hands and danced
and sang together, exclaiming, 'Oh! how delightful! how pleasant! how
clear!'" The _Nihongi_ says that on the same occasion all the Gods
rejoiced greatly. Have we not here a rudiment of the beatific vision
which in its higher developments embraces not only the sunlight but all
things in Heaven and earth, and hell itself, founded, as Dante says,
by the _primo Amore_? Even the boisterous Rain-Storm God, who of the
_Dii Majores_ most nearly approaches the type of an evil deity, has his
good points. The demons of disease and calamity are for the most part
obscure and nameless personages.

=Intellectual Basis of Religion. The Idea of God=.--A God may be
defined as a sentient being possessed of superhuman power. The phrase
"supernatural being," which is sometimes used as equivalent to God, is
open to objection The word "supernatural" belongs to the vocabulary
of a comparatively scientific age. To the savage, phenomena are
ordinary or strange, not natural or supernatural. Moreover, there are
many objects of worship which are not at all supernatural, as, for
instance, the sun. "Spiritual being" is insufficiently comprehensive
as an equivalent for God. The Lama of Tibet is a God; but he is not a
spiritual being. Neither is the Wind nor the Moon. The assumption that
Gods are always spirits has been the source of much confusion.

=Kami=.--The most common and comprehensive word for deity in the
Japanese language is _Kami_. It is probably connected with _kaburu_, to
cover, and has the general meaning of "above," "superior." _Kami_ is
the part of Japan which lies near the capital, as opposed to _Shimo_,
the lower country or provinces. _Kaha-kami_ means the upper waters of a
river. _Kami no ke_, or simply _kami_, is the hair of the head. _Kami_
is applied not only to Gods, but to Mikados and nobles. The heads of
State Departments were at one time called _Kami_, and in later times
this word became equivalent to our "Lord" in territorial titles. _O
Kami_ is frequently said vaguely of "the authorities," while _O Kami
San_ is the domestic authority, namely, "the mistress." Whether _Kami_
is used of Gods or men, it is in both cases a secondary application of
the general meaning "upper." The Gods are _Kami_ because they reside
in Heaven (_superi, caelicoli_, Ὁνρανίωνες, Most High, Father in
Heaven); men are _Kami_ on account of their higher rank. No doubt both
gain prestige by their association under the same title--the Gods by a
reflection from the pomp and ceremony which attend on mortal _Kami_;
and men by assimilation with the transcendent power and glory of the
great nature-deities.

Why should height come to be everywhere associated with excellence and
rank? Herbert Spencer's characteristic contribution[2] to the solution
of this problem is as follows: "In battle it is important to get the
force of gravity to fight on your side, and hence the anxiety to seize
a position above that of the foe. Conversely the combatant who is
thrown down cannot further resist without struggling against his own
weight as well as against his antagonist's strength. Hence being below
is so habitually associated with defeat as to have made maintainance of
this relation (literally expressed by the words superior and inferior)
a leading element in ceremony at large." To this it may be added that
the upper part of the human body--namely, the head--is also the most
important and honourable. "Chief" is derived from _caput_: "capital,"
as an adjective, means excellent. "Headman," "head-centre," "head
and front of my offending," are familiar phrases which involve the
assumption of the superior importance of the head. A Japanese raises to
his head a present or other object to which he wishes to show respect.
A further and decisive consideration is the circumstance that the most
incomparably glorious, excellent, and majestic thing with which we
are acquainted is also immeasurably the highest. Even pre-religious
man cannot have been wholly insensible to the glory of the sky--"hoc
sublime candens"--with its sun and moon, its dawns and sunsets, its
clouds, thunders, and storms. No wonder that the words heavenly and
celestial have come to convey the idea of supreme excellence.

The following quotations will help us to realize more fully what the
Japanese mean by the word _Kami_. Motoöri says:--

"The term _Kami_ is applied in the first place to the various deities
of Heaven and Earth who are mentioned in the ancient records as well as
to their spirits (_mi-tama_) which reside in the shrines where they are
worshipped. Moreover, not only human beings, but birds, beasts, plants
and trees, seas and mountains, and all other things whatsoever which
deserve to be dreaded and revered for the extraordinary and pre-eminent
powers which they possess, are called _Kami_. They need not be eminent
for surpassing nobleness, goodness, or serviceableness alone. Malignant
and uncanny beings are also called _Kami_ if only they are the objects
of general dread.[3] Among _Kami_ who are human beings I need hardly
mention first of all the successive Mikados--with reverence be it
spoken.... Then there have been numerous examples of divine human
beings, both in ancient and modern times, who, although not accepted by
the nation generally, are treated as gods, each of his several dignity,
in a single province, village, or family.... Amongst _Kami_ who are not
human beings I need hardly mention Thunder [in Japanese _Naru kami_
or the Sounding God]. There are also the Dragon, the Echo [called in
Japanese _Ko-dama_ or the Tree Spirit], and the Fox, who are _Kami_ by
reason of their uncanny and fearful natures. The term _Kami_ is applied
in the _Nihongi_ and _Manyōshiu_ to the tiger and wolf. Izanagi gave
to the fruit of the peach and to the jewels round his neck names which
implied that they were _Kami_.... There are many cases of seas and
mountains being called _Kami_. It is not their spirits which are meant.
The word was applied directly to the seas[4] or mountains themselves as
being very awful things."

Hirata defines _kami_ as a term which comprises all things strange,
wondrous, and possessing _isao_ or virtue. A recent dictionary gives
the following essentially modern definitions of this word :--

_Kami_. 1. Something which has no form but is only spirit, has
unlimited supernatural power, dispenses calamity and good fortune,
punishes crime and rewards virtue. 2. Sovereigns of all times, wise and
virtuous men, valorous and heroic persons whose spirits are prayed to
after their death. 3. Divine things which transcend human intellect. 4.
The Christian God, Creator, Supreme Lord.

=Double Current of Religious Thought=.--If we accept the definition of
a God as a sentient being possessed of superhuman power, it follows
that the idea of God may be arrived at in two ways. We may ascribe
sense to those superhuman elemental powers of whose action we are
daily witnesses, or we may reverse this process and endow sentient
beings, especially men, with powers which they do not actually
possess. In other words, the idea of God may be arrived at either by
personification or by deification.

Strictly speaking, the first of these processes is the only legitimate
one. The second involves the assumption that man may be or may become
God. But without questioning the reality of an intimate union of the
human with the divine, both in this world and the next, it is better to
maintain a clear distinction between these two terms. Ultimately, after
the errors of anthropomorphism, polytheism, and spiritism have been
eliminated, the two methods of arriving at the idea of God yield the
substantially identical formulas:--

  A.  God = infinite power + absolute humanity.
  B.  God = absolute humanity + infinite power.

But in the stage of religious progress represented by Shinto, we are
far indeed from such a result.

The priority of the second of these two processes has been assumed or
contended for by many writers, notably by Herbert Spencer. Others argue
that there can be no deification until the idea of deity has somehow
been arrived at previously, as for example, by the personification of
natural powers. It appears to me impossible to say which of the two
comes first in order of time. The germs of both may be observed at a
stage of intellectual development prior to all religion. Children,
as we have all observed, sometimes personify inanimate objects. I
have known a boy of three years of age complain that, "Bad mustard
did bite my tongue." The baby who cries for the moon credits his
nurse--ignorantly, of course--with powers far transcending those
of humanity. The argument that there can be no deification without
a previous acquaintance with the idea of deity loses sight of the
circumstance that deity is a compound conception, which combines
the ideas of great power and sense. Of these two a man has sense
already. To make him a God all that is necessary is to ascribe to him
transcendent power. Deification, therefore, does not necessarily imply
a previous knowledge of the conception of deity. In practice, however,
men are usually deified by being raised to the level of already known

Each of these two processes rests on a basis of truth. The
personification of natural objects and powers springs from some
glimmering notion that the so-called inanimate world is really alive.
Everything physical has its metaphysical counterpart. There is no
motion without something akin to sensation, and no sensation without
motion. As all our sensations, emotions, and thoughts are accompanied
by corresponding disturbances of the molecules of our brain and nervous
system, so all natural phenomena have associated with them something
varying in quality and intensity, for which our human language has no
better word than sensation, while along with the sum of the infinitely
interwoven physical energies of the universe there goes what we, in our
imperfect speech, must call emotion, purpose, thought.

Ordinarily the lower animal, the child, the savage, and the primitive
man do not realize this truth. Under the pressure of imperious
practical necessities they recognize with sufficient accuracy the
difference between the animate and the inanimate. They do not take
the further step of seeing that there is animation in the so-called
inanimate. Sense and volition are not habitually attributed by them to
inanimate objects. Much less do they assume, as we are sometimes told,
the presence in them of a conscious agent not visible to the senses.
There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Some of these are simple
mistakes. I have known a dog take a doll for a living person, and only
discover his error after close examination and long consideration. A
large stone-ware image of the Buddhist Saint Daruma, of stern aspect,
which stood in my garden in Tōkiō, caused unmistakable alarm to stray
dogs who unexpectedly found themselves face to face with it. Children
sometimes beat inanimate objects by which they have been hurt, and
savages have been known to regard a watch as a living being.

A second exception is the case of conscious make-believe, of which we
may observe instances in the play of children, and even of the lower
animals. Errors and fancies of this kind do not constitute religion,
though they may prepare the way for it. A time comes, however, when
some savage or primitive man, gifted beyond his fellows, arrives
at a partial and hesitating recognition of the truth that with the
energies of nature there really goes something of the same kind that
he is conscious of in himself, and has learned to recognize in his
fellow beings--namely, sense and will. He sees the sun move across
the heavens, diffusing light and warmth, and says to himself, "He is
alive." With the intellectual perception there is associated emotion.
He feels that the sun is kind to him, and bows his head as he would to
his chief, partly to express his thanks and partly in order that others
may share his thoughts and feelings. This is religion. It comprises the
three elements of thought, emotion, and action. Religion is at first
exceptional. Every primitive man is not a seer or maker of religious
myth. His ordinary attitude towards the powers of nature is that of the
Chinaman, who thought that the moon was "all the same lamp pigeon."
He is an unconscious Agnostic, and knows nothing of volition in the
inanimate world.

The deification of men, although involving a contradiction in terms,
has yet a substantial and most important truth associated with it.
Great captains, wise rulers, inspired poets, sages and seers, whether
alive or dead, deserve honour to which it is not easy to place a limit.
Napoleon said that one of his generals was worth an army division. Who
shall estimate the value to their respective races, and, indeed, to
humanity, of such men as Shakespeare, Confucius, Mahomet, or Buddha?
Nor are they dead. They live in their works, and subjectively in
the hearts and minds of their countrymen. And may we not go a step
further? Our actions, even the most insignificant, do not remain
locked up in ourselves. As by sensation the whole universe affects us,
so does every impulse of our ego react upon the universe, leaving an
impression which is indelible. The physical world is different for the
most trifling act of the meanest human being that ever lived. All our
emotions and thoughts have a counterpart in our physical constitution,
which is resolvable into motion, and is therefore indestructible. The
doctrine of the conservation of energy is the physical counterpart of
the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Each involves the other.
Assuming, therefore, that all motion is accompanied by something
akin to sensation, it will be seen that dead men may continue to have
perhaps even a sentient existence equal to the sum of the reactions of
their ego upon its environment, animate or inanimate, during life. It
is the remembered total energies of the man which, I take it, form the
object of honour and worship after he is dead, and not his corpse or
ghost. The latter is a mere accident, of secondary origin, and is by no
means universally recognized.

In justification of man-worship, it may also be pleaded that if the
nature-deity is truer, the man-deity is nearer to us and more capable
of vivid realization. And as it is from the sympathetic recognition
of life in our fellow men that we proceed to the recognition of life
in the so-called inanimate universe, so it is by the contemplation of
the highest types of humanity that we are able to refine and exalt our
conception of divinity.

The two great sources of religious thought, personification and
deification, are constantly intermingling their streams and reacting
upon each other. A deity who begins his career as a Nature-God often in
course of time loses this quality, and becomes hardly distinguishable
from a magnified man. The Zeus of Homer is an example. He is much
more the Father of Gods and men than a Sky or Weather-God. In Japan
it is only the scholar who recognizes in Susa no wo the deity of the
Rain-storm. To the people even Tenshōdaijin (the Sun Goddess) is
nothing more than the great providential deity who resides at Ise. Her
solar quality is practically forgotten. Men, on the other hand, may be
exalted to such a height by the ascription to them of nature-powers
that their original humanity is much obscured.

It is sometimes difficult to determine to which of the two currents
of religious thought a particular deity belongs. For example, we find
a sword worshipped as a deity. Is it on account of its wonderful
cutting property, or because it was once an offering to a nature or a
man-deity, and had therefore at length absorbed to itself a portion
of his divinity? Or is it the Excalibur of some forgotten deified
chieftain? There is no general answer to such questions. They must be
decided, if at all, by the evidence in each case. To call objects of
this kind "fetishes" helps us nothing. In the _Yengishiki_ we find
mention of a shrine to Iha no hime (the lady of the rock). At first
sight this looks like a Nature-God. But when we find that an Iha no
hime was the mother of the Mikado Richiu (end of fourth century) it
seems more probable that the Iha no hime of this shrine was a deified

In Shinto it is the first of the two great currents of religious
thought with which we are chiefly concerned. It is based much more on
the conception--fragmentary, shallow, and imperfect as it is--of the
universe as sentient than on the recognition of pre-eminent qualities
in human beings, alive or dead. It springs primarily from gratitude
to--and, though in a less degree, fear of--the great natural powers
on which our existence depends. The desire to commemorate the virtues
and services of great men and to perpetuate a loving remembrance of
departed parents and forefathers takes a secondary place.

=Classification of Deities=.--Both Nature-Gods and Man-Gods may be
deities of individuals, of classes, or of abstract qualities. We have,
therefore, six classes of Gods, as follows:--


    Individuals, as the Sun.
    Classes, as the God of Trees.
    Properties, as the God of Growth.


    Individuals, as Temmangu.
    Classes, as Koyane.
    Properties, as Ta-jikara no wo (Hand-strength-male).

This is the logical sequence; but it by no means follows that all Gods
of individuals precede all Gods of classes, or that there were no
deities of abstractions before some of the later individual or class
deities were evolved.

The distinction between individual objects deified and deities of
classes is not always well maintained in Shinto. It is doubtful, for
example, whether Kamado no Kami is the God of all cooking furnaces, or
whether there is a separate God for each. Different worshippers might
give different answers. The habitual neglect by the Japanese nation of
the grammatical distinction between singular and plural is a potent
obstacle to clearness in such matters.

=Phases of Conception=.--The conception of individual parts of the
universe as deities passes through the phases represented in the
following formulas:--

I. The Sun (Moon, Wind, Sea, &c.) is alive.

II. The Sun is a man, a father, a chief or a king--first rhetorically,
and then literally.

III. The Sun is a material object, ruled by an unseen but not
incorporeal being with human form and passions.

IV. The Sun is (_a_) a material object ruled by an anthropomorphic
being which has a spiritual double, or (_b_)is animated by a spiritual

These formulas exhibit the logical sequence of development. In practice
the various phases are found to overlap one another considerably. Even
in the latest Shinto the direct conception of the natural object as
alive is not forgotten.

The first stage,[6] in which we have the religious conception before
it is clothed in myth or metaphor, is abundantly exemplified in
Shinto. A well, for example, is, like Horace's "Fons Bandusiæ,"
worshipped without name or myth attached to it, or anything to show
whether it is regarded as male or female. The same is the case with
sites, buildings, provinces, trees, all of which are deified and have
religious rites in their honour without any very definite personality
being attributed to them. They are simply thought of as in some sort
of way living things. Mud and sand are dubbed _Kami_, and there the
personification ends. There are a good many colourless deities of
this kind in Shinto. Motoöri declares explicitly that when a sea or a
mountain is called _Kami_, it is not the spirit of the sea or mountain
which is meant, but the sea or mountain itself. A poet of the Manyoshiu
says of Fujiyama:--

    Of Yamato, the Land of Sunrise,
    It is the peace-giver, it is the God,
    It is the treasure.

When a kitchen wench at the present day speaks of the
_Hettsui-sama_--_sama_ is a honorific and personifying word--she means
the cooking-furnace itself regarded as a God, not a spirit inhabiting
it. She will even speak of the plasterer making a _Hettsui-sama_.

The second or anthropomorphic stage of the development of the idea
of God arises out of the rhetorical necessity of rendering more
vivid, even at the expense of exact truth, the presentation of the
conception of the powers of nature as living things. Finding that the
bare assertion that they are alive produces little impression, the
poet or seer goes a step further, and boldly ascribes to them human
form, passions, actions, and character. Myth and metaphor are his
instruments. The God has bodily parts, parents, sex, and children. He
eats, drinks, is angry or alarmed, loves, fights, weaves, cultivates
the ground, fishes, hunts, and dies. With the advance of social
organization he is a chief or a king. Sometimes in these metaphors
we can trace a special application to the deity's natural functions.
Sometimes they are introduced merely for general effect. The results
of this process for good and for evil are written large in the pages
of human history. It is, on the one hand, the indispensable means
by which the high intuitions of the seer are brought home, more or
less imperfectly, to the multitude. On the other hand, the true
original nature divinity is often lost sight of in a profusion of
anthropomorphic fancies, and nothing is left but a magnified man,
whose ultimate fate it is to be disavowed by advancing knowledge and

It has been said that the primitive man knows no distinction between
fancy and reality. In truth, life would be impossible for such a
simpleton. However primitive he may be, he cannot hold a fire in
his hand by thinking of the frosty Caucasus. The difference between
a real dinner and an imaginary one is palpable even to his limited
intelligence. The hunter who could not distinguish between the game of
his imagination and the reality could never earn a living. He would be
fit only for an imbecile asylum. The child is well aware that his mud
pies are not fit to eat. The savage woman who pretends to herself that
a stone is her lost baby, knows in her heart that this is nothing more
than make-believe. Even a dog appreciates the distinction between a
real rat and the object which it pleases him to fancy one, and worries
accordingly. The seer is conscious that his anthropomorphic language is
only metaphorical. Dante felt this when he said:--

    Per questo la Scrittura condescende
    A nostra facultate e piedi e mano
    Attribuisce a Dio ed altro intende.

Metaphor is of the very essence of myth. But the literal-minded vulgar
are at all times prone to confound the _altro_ which is clothed in myth
and metaphor with its outward husk, and the literal-minded scholar
or scientific man is often little better. Hirata says that "what we
call _kami_ are all men. Even among men those who are excellent are
called _kami_. The natural difference between men and Gods is that the
Gods are high and men are low, owing to the greater care taken by the
creator deities in producing the former." He thinks that the Shinto
deities are about ten feet high.

The humanization of the nature deities is reflected in the vocabulary
of Shinto. The term _mioya_, or "august parent," is frequently used of
them. _Tsuchi_ or _tsutsu_, old forms of _chichi_, father, occurs in
the names of several. It is primarily by no means physical fatherhood
which is meant in such cases, although there are no doubt vulgar minds
who are unable to rise above this conception and have thereby done much
to corrupt religion.

In Western religions a God must be either male or female. The
grammatical structure of their languages compels Europeans to say
either he or she in speaking of deities. In Japan this necessity does
not exist. The forms of Japanese speech take little account of sex.
Many Shinto deities have no sex at all. In others sex is indicated by
the incidents of the myth or by the additions of such terminations as
_wo_ male, _me_ female. There are several pairs of married deities. In
art, sex is comparatively little distinguished in Japan.

The reason for attributing one sex to a deity rather than the other
is not always evident. Provinces and mountains are sometimes male
and sometimes female. The Food Goddess is naturally feminine, as
representing the productive principle of nature, and perhaps also
because cooking is the business of women. The male sex is more suitable
to Susa no wo's violent character as the Rain-storm. Warlike gods like
Hachiman are naturally masculine.

The "chieftain" conception of divinity is represented by the use of
the word _wo_, male, _i.e._, virile or valiant one, in many of the
names of deities, and by the ascription to some of warlike qualities.
There is nothing to show that these are deified chieftains. On the
contrary, the term _wo_ is applied, like _tsuchi_, father, to what
are unmistakably nature deities, such as the Sea-Gods Soko-tsutsu-wo
(bottom-father-male) Naka-tsutsu-wo (middle-father-male), and
Uwa-tsutsu-wo (upper-father-male), produced by the lustrations of
Izanagi in the sea after his return from Yomi.

_Tohe_, another word for chieftain, occurs in the name of the Wind-God,
Shina tsu tohe.

_Nushi_, master, is found in the names of several deities.

The application to the Shinto deities of words implying sovereignty
is illustrated by _sube_ or _sume_, which enters into a number of
compounds relating to the Gods or Mikados. This word means "to collect
together into one," and hence "to hold general rule over." _Sumera_ or
_sumeragi no mikoto_ is the Mikado. Several deities enjoy the honorary
epithet of _Sume-gami_, or _Subera-gami_.

_Mi-koto_, august thing, is also applied equally to Gods and Mikados,
and in ancient times even to parents. It is nearly equivalent to our

_Wake_, a branch, that is to say, a branch of the imperial family, a
prince, is applied to deities.

_Hiko_ and _hime_ occur frequently in the names of gods. These words
mean literally sun-child and sun-female, but in practice they are
equivalent to prince and princess, or lord and lady. In the history
of these words one may observe the operation of both of the great
currents of deity-forming thought. _Hi_, sun, is used as an epithet for
the glorification of human personages, and the compounds _hiko_ and
_hime_ are in turn applied to nature powers as a personifying term. The
Wind-God is a _hiko_.

The rhetorical impulse to realize in its various phases the human
character of the nature deities of Shinto has produced a number of
subsidiary personages, who are attached to them as wives, children,
ministers, or attendants. Some of these are also nature deities. In
others we find a union of the two deity-making tendencies. Thus Koyane,
by the circumstance of his descent from Musubi, the God of Growth, and
by his position of high-priest to the Sun-Goddess, belongs to the
category of nature deities, while as an embodiment of the collective
humanity of the Nakatomi sacerdotal corporation, whose ancestor he is
feigned to be, he belongs to the class of deified human beings.

In Japan, the myth and metaphor-making faculty--in other words the
imagination--though prolific enough, is comparatively feeble. The
ancient Japanese especially were appreciably more neglectful than
Western races of the distinction between the animate and the inanimate,
and there was therefore less scope for the play of fancy in which
religious personification consists. Like other Far-Eastern peoples,
they realized the personal conception of deity with less intensity
than the Aryan or Semitic nations. In this respect Homer and the
Bible stand at the opposite pole from Confucius, whose _Tien_ has as
little about it of humanity as is possible for a being who is said
to know, to command, to reward, and to punish. Shinto approaches
Confucianism in this respect. There is, no doubt, a profuse creation of
personified nature-deities, but we find on examination that they are
shadowy personages with ill-defined functions and characters wanting
in consistency. Moreover, owing to the neglect by the Japanese of
grammatical forms indicating number, it is frequently hard to tell
whether a given name is that of one deity or of several. Musubi, the
God of Growth, is sometimes one God, sometimes two, while at a later
period he became split up into five or more deities. The Wind-God is at
one time a single deity, at another a married couple. Susa no wo has in
recent times been made into a trinity. Such fissiparous reproduction
of deities is characteristic of a low degree of organization.[7] To
meet the difficulties arising from this state of things Motoöri,
in the eighteenth century, propounded his theory of _bun-shin_, or
"fractional bodies," which may remind us of the "three persons and one
substance" of Christian theology. Hirata, his pupil, speaking of the
three Sea-deities, Uha tsutsu no wo, Naka tsutsu no wo, and Soko tsutsu
no wo, says: "This deity, although, strictly speaking, born as three
deities, is described as though one deity were present. This is to be
understood of the God dividing his person and again uniting it. The
descent of the _Adzumi no Muraji_ (a noble family) from him shows that
in this respect he is to be regarded as one."

The circumstance that many of the Gods, like the Japanese themselves,
have numerous aliases, adds to the uncertainty. The nomina and the
numina do not invariably go together. There is sometimes reason to
suspect that it is the same God who appears under different names,
while, on the other hand, the same name may cover what are in reality
two or more different deities.

There were no arts of sculpture or painting in Japan before their
introduction from China in historical times, and the consequent want
of images and pictures for which Shinto has been commended must have
contributed materially to prevent the Gods from acquiring distinct
personalities like those of ancient Greece.

The feeble grasp of personality indicated by the above facts is
profoundly characteristic of the Japanese genius. It is illustrated
by their unimaginative literature, which makes but sparing use of
personification, allegory, and metaphor, by their drama, with its
late and imperfect development, and by their art, which has produced
little monumental sculpture or portrait painting of importance. It may
also be traced in the grammar, which has practically no gender, thus
showing that the Japanese mind is comparatively careless of marking the
distinction between animate and inanimate and male and female. The law
takes far less cognizance of the individual and more of the family than
with us. Another fact of the same order is the neglect of distinctions
of person shown by the sparing use of personal and other pronouns. In
a passage translated from Japanese into English, without any intention
of illustrating this fact, there occur only six pronouns in the former
against nearly one hundred in the latter. The verb has no person.
_Yuku_ for example, means equally I go, thou goest, he goes, we go, you
go, and they go. It is true that person may be indicated by the use of
honorifics to mark the second person and humble forms for the first,
but even when these are taken into account, the absence from Japanese
of indications of person is very remarkable.

Herbert Spencer, in his 'Principles of Sociology,' suggests that the
comparative fewness of personal pronouns in the languages of the
Far East is owing to the circumstance that they "establish with the
individual addressed a relation too immediate to be allowed where
distance is to be maintained." Now, not only is it possible, and even
common, for pronouns to be used for the express purpose of magnifying
the distance between the speaker and the person whom he addresses, as
in the case of the German _er_ when used as a pronoun of the second
person, but Spencer's explanation does not meet the case of pronouns of
the third person, which are just as rare in these languages as those of
the first and second. Nor is there anything in the relations between
men of high and low degree in these countries which is so radically
different from those which have prevailed in Europe as to produce such
a far-reaching difference in the language of all classes of society.
The truth is that these nations do not _avoid_ pronouns. Their minds
are still in a stage of development in which they have not yet realized
the advantages in clearness of expression which are to be gained by a
more systematic distribution of their ideas into the three categories
of first, second, and third person. It is with them not a matter of
etiquette, but of poverty of imagination, that power which, as Mr. P.
Lowell has remarked, is to the mental development what spontaneous
variation is to organic development.[8]

In Stages I. and II. of the evolution of nature-deities, it is
the nature power or object itself which is the deity. Stage II.
(Anthropomorphism), so long as it is not meant literally, is not
inconsistent with a direct worship of natural objects and phenomena.
But the vulgar are always prone to mistake metaphor for reality. When
they are told that the Sun is a goddess, who walks, weaves, wears
armour, sows rice, and so on, they take these statements literally,
combining an implicit belief in them with the worship of the Sun
itself. Even Motoöri says that it is the actual Sun in Heaven which
we worship as Amaterasu no Oho-Kami (the Heaven-shining-great Deity),
while he believes at the same time that the Sun-myth of the _Kojiki_
is real history. A time comes when it is objected that the Sun has no
arms or legs necessary for the performance of the actions attributed to
her. It is pointed out that the wind has no bodily form at all. Instead
of going back to the true explanation--that these things are only
metaphorical, the literal-minded man prefers to accept the suggestion
(which brings us to Stage III.) that the deity is not the actual sun,
or wind, or sea, or mountain, but a powerful being who rules it.
Such beings, however, are not at first conceived of as in any way

There is considerable confusion observable in Shinto between Stages I.
and II. and Stage III. We have seen that Motoöri identified Ama-terasu
with the Sun. His pupil Hirata, on the other hand, says that the
Sun-Goddess was born on earth, and was sent up to Heaven as "Ruler
of the Sun." And while it is true that a sea may be directly called
_Kami_, we have also a Sea-God, Toyotama-hiko, who is as clearly
distinguished from the physical ocean as Neptune is. This fluctuation
is common to all mythologies. Greek literature is full of examples
of reverence paid at one time to natural objects and phenomena, and
at another to deities which rule them. They adored Apollo as well as
Helios. Muir, in the introduction to vol. v. of his 'Sanskrit Texts,'
says:--"The same visible object was at different times regarded
diversely as being either a portion of the inanimate universe, or
an animated being and a cosmical power. Thus in the Vedic hymns,
the sun, the sky, and the earth are severally considered, sometimes
as natural objects governed by particular gods, and sometimes as
themselves gods who generate and control other beings." Our own poets
are not a whit disturbed by such inconsistencies. In 'Paradise Lost'
the Sun is apostrophized in one place as the "God of this new world,"
while in another passage of the same poem we have a "Uriel, Regent of
the Sun." Shakespeare, in the 'Tempest,' puts into the mouth of an
anthropomorphic Iris the words:--

                  The Queen of the Sky,
    Whose watery arch and messenger am I.

=Spiritism=.--We now come to Stage IV., or spiritism. The great and
obvious difficulties connected with the anthropomorphic conception
of deity, even in the modified form of a belief in corporeal beings
detached from natural phenomena, led to spiritism, which may be defined
as a partial or complete negation of the material properties of the
Gods. Spiritism is therefore far from being a "primitive" religious
development, as is so often supposed. "Primitive man," it has been
said, "thinks that the world is pervaded by spiritual forces." I
would rather describe his mental attitude as a piecemeal conception
of the universe as alive, just as he looks on his fellow man as alive
without analyzing him into the two distinct entities of body and soul.
A dog knows quite well the difference between alive and dead; but
the distinction between body and soul is far beyond his intellectual

In Japan the process of spiritualizing the Gods has not gone very far.
Like the Gods of the Homeric Olympus,[9] the Shinto deities are, on the
whole, unspiritual beings.

The doctrine of spiritism is associated in Shinto with the word
_Mitama_, for which "spirit" is the nearest English equivalent.
Strictly speaking, the _Mitama_ is not the God, but an emanation or
effluence from him, which inhabits his temple, and is the vehicle of
his action at a distance from the place where he himself resides.
It therefore corresponds to the Shekinah (that which dwells) of the
Jews, and, though in a less marked degree, to the Roman _numen_. The
Shekinah, like the _Mitama_, is a later development. Where Habakkuk,
ii. 20, says, "The Lord is in his holy temple," the Targums have,
"Jehovah was pleased to cause his Shekinah to dwell in his holy
temple." I cannot see that the Shekinah and _Mitama_ owe anything to
the analogous doctrine of the separability of the human soul and body.
The ghost is not the parent of either.[10]

The unavoidable assumption that an anthropomorphic God can act at a
distance from his own abode in Heaven or elsewhere really involves the
doctrine of spiritism, though time and thought are required for its
development. It is clearly not the Sun-Goddess herself who lives in
Ise. Her true place is in Heaven; but she is present in some way on
earth, as is proved by her answering the prayers which are addressed to
her at her shrine. The explanation which is ultimately forthcoming is
that it is the _Mitama_, or spirit, of the Goddess which resides there.
We have here a foreshadowing of the doctrine of the omnipresence of

The etymology of the word _Mitama_ will repay examination. _Mi_ is
simply a honorific prefix. _Tama_ contains the root of the verb _tabu_,
to give, more often met with in its lengthened form _tamafu_. _Tama_
retains its original signification in _tama-mono_, a gift thing,
and _toshi-dama_, a new year's present. _Tama_ next means something
valuable, as a jewel. Then, as jewels are mostly globular in shape,
it has come to mean anything round. At the same time, owing to its
precious quality, it is used symbolically for the sacred emanation from
the God which dwells in his shrine, and also for that most precious
thing, the human life or soul.[11]

The meaning of _tama_ is illustrated by the following story, which is
related in the _Nihongi_ of Ohonamochi, the Creator or Kosmos-deity of
Idzumo myth:--

"_Coming at last to the province of Idzumo, he spake and said; 'This
Central Land of Reed-plains had been always waste and wild. The very
rocks, trees, and herbs were all given to violence. But I have now
reduced them to submission, and there is none that is not compliant!'
Therefore he said finally: 'It is I, and I alone, who now govern this
land. Is there perchance any one who could join with me in governing
the world?' Upon this a divine radiance_[12] _illuminated the sea, and
of a sudden there was something which floated towards him and said:
'Were I not here, how couldst thou subdue this land? It is because of
my presence that thou hast been able to accomplish this mighty task!
'Who art thou?' asked Ohonamochi. It replied and said: 'I am thy spirit
(tama) of good luck, the wondrous spirit.' Then said Ohonamochi:
'True; I know, therefore, that thou art my spirit (tama) of good luck,
the wondrous spirit. Where dost thou now wish to dwell?' The spirit
answered and said: 'I wish to dwell on Mount Mimoro, in the province
of Yamato.' Accordingly he built a shrine in that place and made the
spirit to go and dwell there. This is the God of Oho-miwa."_



The distinction between the God and his spiritual double so clearly
indicated in this extract is often neglected and the deity of Miwa
spoken of simply as Ohonamochi. The same uncertainty as to the
spiritual character of the God is reflected in his names Oho-kuni-nushi
(great-country-master) and Oho-kuni-dama (great-country-spirit), and in
a legend told of him in the _Kojiki_, where he is corporeal enough to
have a child by a mortal woman and yet sufficiently spiritual to pass
through a keyhole.

In the _Idzumo Fudoki_, Susa no wo speaks of the village of Susa as the
place where his _mitama_ was settled, that is to say, where a shrine
was dedicated to him. The _Nihongi_ states that Izanami's _mitama_ was
worshipped at Kumano with music and offerings of flowers. In a modern
book the Hi no mitama (spirit of the Sun) is not the Sun-Goddess, but a
separate deity of a lower class.

The element _tama_ enters into the names of several deities. The
Food-Goddess is called either Ukemochi no Kami or Uka no mitama.[13]
But the meaning "spirit" is not applicable in every case in which a
God's name contains this element. Futo-dama, for example, the name of
the supposed ancestor of the Imbe priestly corporation, probably means
"great gift or offering." Yorodzu-dama no Kami is not the God of ten
thousand spirits, but the God of ten thousand offerings.

It is a curious circumstance that in later times the _mitama_ par
excellence were the phallic Sahe no Kami. Their festival was formerly
called the _mitama matsuri_. It is now known by the Chinese equivalent

In a few cases the _mitama_ is in duplicate, a _nigi-mitama_, or gentle
spirit, and an _ara-mitama_, or rough spirit.[14] In the _Idzumo
Fudoki_ a man who is praying for revenge calls upon the _nigi-tama_ of
the _Oho-kami_ (great deity) to remain quiet, and asks the _ara-tama_
to attend to his petition. The legendary Empress Jingo was attended
on her expedition to Korea by two such sea-god _mitama_, one to guard
her person, the other to lead the van of her army. But we hear little
of this distinction in the older records. The _aragami-matsuri_
(rough-God-festival) of later days was a sort of saturnalia when
license was permitted to servants.

The _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ do not theorize about the _mitama_. Hirata's
statement that they do not distinguish between the _utsushi-mi-mi_
(real-august-body)[15] and the _mitama_ of the Gods is, as the case
of Ohonamochi shows, not quite correct. But there is much foundation
for it. In one myth, for example, the Sun-Goddess in handing over the
divine mirror to Ninigi, enjoins on him to regard it as her _mitama_,
and in another version of the story to look upon it as herself.

Another indication of an advance towards spirituality in the older
Shinto literature is the distinction which is made between _araha-goto_
(public things) and _kakure-goto_ (hidden things), the former term
being applied to temporal and the latter to spiritual matters, namely,
the service of the unseen Gods. Mystery is not the vital element of
religion. It depends on what we know, not on what we do not know.
Still, there perhaps never was a religion which did not betray some
feeling that what we know is only an infinitesimal portion of that
infinite sum of knowledge for which mankind is possessed with an
eternal yearning. Religion, though not based in mystery, must always
proceed, like other knowledge, from the known towards the unknown.
A good deal, however, that is mysterious in religion is of our own
making. Hirata, when he can find no way out of the difficulties arising
from his crude, literal-minded anthropomorphism, constantly resorts to
the time-honoured expedient of declaring his problems mysteries which
transcend human intelligence, exclaiming, "Oh! how wonderful! Oh! how
strange! Oh! how strange! Oh! how wonderful!"

Motoöri and Hirata account for the invisibility of such Gods as Musubi,
the God of Growth, by the theory that since the Age of the Gods they
have removed further from the earth, so that they are now beyond the
scope of human vision. In other respects, however, they have, under
unacknowledged Chinese influence, greatly developed the hints of the
spiritual nature of the Gods which are found in the _Kojiki_ and
_Nihongi_. Of the _mitama_, Motoöri says[16]:--

_"In general, when such or such a God is mentioned in the old
scriptures, we must distinguish between the real God and his mitama.
The real God is his actual body; the mitama is his divine spirit: the
mitama-shiro (spirit-token) is the thing, be it a mirror or aught else,
to which the divine spirit attaches itself. It is commonly called the
Shintai (God-body). Now both the real body and the spirit are spoken
of simply as the God. Thus when we are told that Amaterasu no Ohokami
was entrusted to Toyo-suki-iri-bime and Yamato no Oho-kuni-dama to
Nunaki-iri-bime, it is not to be supposed that the real bodies of these
two deities were in the Imperial Palace. It is unquestionably their
mitama-shiro which are spoken of as if they were the real bodies....
Again, when we are told in the history of the same reign that the
Mikado assembled the eighty myriads of Gods on the plain of Kami-asachi
and inquired of them by divination, this is not like the assembly
in the divine age of the real Gods in the Plain of High Heaven. The
invitation is to their mitama."_

The same writer says that of the attendant deities who came down from
Heaven with Ninigi, some came in their real bodies, some as _mitama_.
Among the former he naturally classes all those who are represented as
having human descendants. Hirata regards this as a discovery which will
endure to all ages.

The following quotation from Hirata's _Koshiden_ (vi. 9) illustrates
further the ideas of this school of theology regarding the spiritual
nature of the Gods:--

_"Both this God(Chigaheshi) and Kunado[17] were produced by the great
mitama of the great God Izanagi applying itself earnestly to preventing
the entrance into this world of the things coming furiously from the
Land of Yomi, and which accordingly became separated from him and
adhered to a staff and a stone. Remaining there, it (the mitama) did
good service in both cases. These Gods, moreover, sometimes reveal
their real bodies and dispense blessings. This may not be doubted. We
find below that Kunado no Kami acted as a guide to Futsunushi; and that
Chigaheshi no Oho-Kami was two deities distinguished as hiko and hime
(prince and princess)."_

Hirata thinks that Gods (and men too) have two doubles, the _nigi-tama_
and an _aratama_ mentioned above. These he distinguishes from the
_Zentai no mitama_, or "spirit of the entire body." But he admits
that these distinctions are not recognized in the old Shinto. There
is no limit to the subdivision of the _mitama_. Hirata explains that
the deity is like a fire, which may be communicated to a lamp or to
firewood while the original fire remains the same. "But the world knows
not this." In other words, this is a philosophic refinement too subtle
for the popular taste.

While the old records rarely distinguish between the God's real body
and his _mitama_, in later times the _mitama_ is often confounded
with the _mitama-shiro_ (spirit-token), or _shintai_ (god-body)
as the concrete representative of the God is called. Even in the
_Nihongi_ there is a case in which a sword is called Futsu no mitama.
The _Kiujiki_ calls the mirror of the Sun-Goddess her _mitama_. The
_Shinto Miōmoku_ (1699) says that Futsu no mitama is the sword of the
great deity of Kashima, and speaks of the Toyo-uka no mitama (the
Food-spirit) as being, or residing in, a stone. Hirata himself calls
a stone idol the _mitama_ of the God, and speaks of the Sun-Goddess's
_mitama_ as going backward and forward between Ise and the sky. The
unspiritual vulgar naturally find it hard to distinguish between the
spirit of the God and its concrete representative.

The doctrine of the separability of the human body and soul, and of the
continued existence of the latter after death, whether in a material
or semi-material form, or as a pure spirit, may have been a factor in
the spiritualizing of the cruder anthropomorphic conceptions of deity.
But there is little or no evidence to this effect in the old Shinto
scriptures, and the above pages show that other important influences
were at work in producing this result. Whether the idea of God had its
origin in the doctrine of separable human souls is a question which may
be left to the discerning reader's judgment.

=Gods of Classes and Qualities=.--No language is possible without some
exercise of the powers of generalization and abstraction. In Japanese,
however, we miss many of the more general, and especially of the more
abstract, conceptions embodied in European languages, a circumstance
which limits the scope of the personifying faculty, none too vigorous
in itself. Supposing that we take the series of conceptions beginning
with the concrete individual tree, and passing through evergreen
oak, oak, tree, and vegetable, to the definitive generalization of
the universe. The Japanese language has no word for vegetable except
_sōmoku_, a recent compound of Chinese origin. The word for universe is
_Ame-tsuchi_ (Heaven + earth) which is almost certainly a translation
of the Chinese _ten-chi_. The consequence is that neither the class
of vegetables nor the universe is recognized in the Japanese scheme
of nature-deities. Individual trees are deified, and there is a God
of trees, but that is all. The neglect of grammatical number in the
Japanese language often obscures the distinction between the Gods of
individual objects and of classes. _Ki no Kami_ means equally the God
of the tree and the God of trees.[18]

There is a marked poverty of abstract terms in the Japanese language,
and the personification of abstract qualities is correspondingly
restricted. There is scarcely anything in Shinto to compare with the
numerous personified abstractions of Greek and Roman mythology. Izanagi
and Izanami, embodiments of the creative or generative powers of
nature, are probably not originally Japanese, but an echo of the _Yin_
and _Yang_ of Chinese philosophy. I have a suspicion that Musubi, the
God of Growth, may yet be traced to a Chinese source.


[1] At the festival of Nifu Miōjin in Kiī, when the procession bearing
offerings arrives before the shrine, the village chief calls out in
a loud voice, "According to our annual custom, let us all laugh." To
which a hearty response is given. This is because this God does not go
to Idzumo for an annual visit like the others.

[2] 'Sociology,' p. 153.

[3] Compare with this the following description of the _huacas_ of
the ancient Peruvians. "All those things which from their beauty and
excellence are superior to other things of a like kind; things that are
ugly and monstrous or that cause horror and fright; things out of the
usual course of nature."

[4] In the spirit of Wordsworth's

    "Listen, the mighty being is awake
    And doth with his eternal motion make
    A noise like thunder everlastingly."

[5] M. Goblet d'Alviella says: "I maintain that neither of these two
forms of worship necessarily presupposes the other; but that man having
been led by different roads to personify the souls of the dead on the
one hand and natural objects and phenomena on the other, subsequently
attributed to both alike the character of mysterious superhuman beings.
Let us add that this must have taken place everywhere, for there is not
a people on earth in which we do not come upon these forms of belief
side by side and intermingled." Dr. Pfleiderer's view is substantially

[6] Max Müller speaks of "that ancient stratum of thought which
postulated an agent in the sky, the sun, &c." This is really a
secondary conception.

[7] It was not unknown in ancient Greece and Rome. Zeus, Hercules, and
other deities became divided up in this way.

[8] "Mr. Tyler has justly observed that the true lesson of the new
science of Comparative Mythology is the barrenness in primitive times
of the faculty which we most associate with mental fertility, the
imagination.... Among these multitudes (the millions of men who fill
what we vaguely call the East) Literature, Religion, and Art--or what
correspond to them--move always within a distinctly drawn circle of
unchanging notions.... This condition of thought is rather the infancy
of the human mind prolonged than a different maturity from that most
familiar to us."--Maine, 'Early History of Institutions,' pp. 225-6.
This characteristic of the mental development of the races of the Far
East is discussed in 'A Comparative Study of the Japanese and Korean
Languages,' by W. G. Aston, in the _Transactions_ of the Royal Asiatic
Society, August, 1879, and more fully by Mr. Percival Lowell, in
his 'Soul of the Far East,' 1888. See also Mr. B. H. Chamberlain's'
Kojiki,' Introd., lxvi.

[9] Homer implicitly denies the spirituality of his Gods when he
says that the Hercules which was summoned up by Ulysses was only his
_eidolon_, or phantom, the real man being in Olympus among the happy

[10] See an instructive article on 'Shekinah' in Dr. Hastings's
'Dictionary of the Bible'.

[11] "And mine eternal jewel given to the common enemy of
man."--'Macbeth,' Act III. scene i.

[12] The Shekinah was also associated with a divine radiance, or glory.

[13] _Mi mi_ (august body) in the names of others involves a more
material conception of deity.

[14] Corresponding to the _mo acha_, uncle of peace, and _ski acha_,
rough uncle, of the Ainus.

[15] Homer's άντός

[16] _Sakitake no Ben, 21_.

[17] See Index.

[18] For deities of classes consult Dr. Tylor's 'Primitive Culture,'
ii. 242.



The importance of the deification of human beings in Shinto has been
grossly exaggerated both by European scholars and by modern Japanese
writers. Grant Allen, for example, says, in his 'Evolution of the
Idea of God': "We know that some whole great national creeds, like
the Shinto of Japan, recognize no deities at all, save living kings
and dead ancestral spirits." He was probably misled by the old writer
Kaempfer, whose ignorance of the subject is stupendous. The truth
is that Shinto is derived in a much less degree from the second of
the two great currents of religious thought than from the first. It
has comparatively little worship of human beings. In the _Kojiki_,
_Nihongi_, and _Yengishiki_ we meet with hardly anything of this
element. None of their great Gods are individual human beings, though
at a later period a few deities of this class attained to considerable
eminence and popularity. An analysis of a list of "Greater Shrines,"
prepared in the tenth century, yields the following results: Of the
Gods comprised in it, seventeen are nature deities, one is a sword,
which probably represented a nature deity, two are more or less
legendary deceased Mikados, one is the deified type and supposed
ancestor of a priestly corporation, one is the ancestor of an empress,
and one a deceased statesman.

=Deified Individual Men=.--Like Nature-Gods, Man-Gods may be divided
into three classes--namely, deified individual men, deified classes of
men, and deified human qualities. The first of these classes comprises
the Mikados, living or dead, and numerous heroes, of whom Yamato-dake,
the legendary conqueror of the eastern part of Japan, and Sugahara
(Tenjin), the god of learning, may be quoted as examples.

=Phases of Conception=.--They are variously conceived of, as follow:--

I. X, alive or dead, is a great man, worthy of our love, reverence,
gratitude, or fear.

II. X, sometimes when alive, more frequently when dead, is possessed of
superhuman powers, usually borrowed from those of nature, such as the
control of the weather and the seasons, and of diseases.

III. X's powers reside not in his body but in a more or less spiritual
emanation from it.

In the first of these three phases, man-worship is not religion. So
long as a man is honoured for those qualities only which he really
possesses or possessed, he cannot be called a God. But although
rational man-worship is not in itself religion, it is a necessary
factor in its development. Our sentiments of gratitude and awe towards
the great nature-powers spring up in hearts already prepared by the
feelings which we entertain towards our parents, superiors, and other
fellow-men. Whether individually or collectively, a man loves his
parents before he loves God. The outward signs of divine worship are
almost exclusively in the first place acts of reverence towards men. A
man bows his head or makes presents to his superiors before he worships
or sacrifices to a deity.

There is a tendency to restrict the word worship to the adoration of
deity. Thus, when we speak of ancestor-worship, we are apt to think of
it as implying deification. But there is much worship of living and
dead men which is perfectly rational, and implies no ascription to them
of superhuman powers.

The second, or religious, phase of man-worship involves the assumption
that some men are possessed of powers of a kind different from those
of ordinary mortals. The mere exaggeration of the human faculties
may produce an inferior sort of deity, but no really great man-God
can be produced without borrowing some of the transcendent powers of
Nature, or in some way identifying him with that increasing cosmic
purpose, which from one point of view is tendency and evolution, and
from another is a loving Providence. Until this is done a deified
king, ancestor, or ghost (if there be such a thing) is a poor specimen
of a God. To become a deity of any consequence, the man-God must
make rain, avert floods, control the seasons, send and stay plagues,
wield thunderbolts, ride upon the storm, or even act as Creator of
the world.[19] When the practice of deifying men was once established
it was enough to entitle them Gods, the term itself implying the
possession of those powers which we call supernatural, but which are
only so when predicated of men.

=Deification of Mikados=.--The misunderstanding of metaphorical
language is a fertile source of apotheosis. The deification of the
Mikados is a case in point. The Mikado is called "the Heavenly
Grandchild," his courtiers are "men above the clouds," rural districts
are spoken of as "distant from Heaven," that is, from the Imperial
Palace. The heir to the throne was styled _hi no miko_, or "august
child of the Sun," and his residence _hi no miya_, "the august house of
the Sun." The native names of many of the Mikados contain the element
_hiko_, or "Sun-child." The appearance in Court of the Empress Suiko
(A.D. 612) is compared to the sun issuing from the clouds. _Tenshi_, or
"Son of Heaven," a Chinese term freely applied to the Mikado in later
times, is a variant of the same idea, which, it need hardly be said,
is known in other countries besides Japan. The Chinese Emperor is said
to call the sun his elder brother, and the moon his sister. Images of
the sun and moon were depicted on the banners which were borne before
him on State occasions. The same practice had been adopted in Japan as
early as A.D. 700, and there is a relic of it at the present day in the
Japanese national flag, which is a red sun on a white ground.[20] The
ancient kings of Egypt called themselves earthly suns. Our own poet
Waller, addressing James II., says:--

                To your great merrit given,
    A title to be called the sonne of Heaven.

Let us not pass by these metaphors with a disdainful smile, as mere
unsubstantial poetic fancies. They are more or less rude attempts to
give expression to the very important truth that the benefits which
a nation derives from the rule of a wise and good sovereign are
comparable to the blessings of the sun's warmth and light. As Browning,
in 'Saul,' has well said:--

                              Each deed thou hast done
    Dies, revives, goes to work in the world, and is as the sun
    Looking down on the earth, though clouds spoil him,
        though tempests efface,
    Can find nothing his own deed produced not, must everywhere trace
    The results of his past summer prime--so each ray of thy will,
    Every flash of thy passion and prowess long over, shall thrill
    Thy whole people, the countless, with ardour till they too give forth
    A like cheer to their sons, who in turn fill the south and the north
    With the radiance thy deed was the germ of----.

It may be objected that it is contrary to the general law of human
development to make the higher metaphorical conception precede the
lower physical one. It is no doubt true that the physical idea of
fatherhood must come before the metaphorical use of this relationship.
But it does not follow that when once the metaphor is arrived at, it
may not relapse into its original physical acceptation. The forces
which produce religious progress act by waves, with intervals of
stagnation or retrogression. Even when the general religious condition
of a country is advancing it will be found that the lower popular
stratum of thought consists less of undeveloped germs of future
progress than of a breccia of the debased or imperfectly assimilated
ideas of the wise men of preceding generations. In this retrograde
movement a large part is played by the invincible tendency of the
vulgar to give metaphors their literal signification. This, I take it,
is the source of the numerous actual children or descendants of the Sun
and other deities who are found all over the world, in Greece, Peru,
Japan, and elsewhere. The sequence of ideas may be thus represented:--

I. The King or sage is like the Sun.

II. He is (rhetorically) a Sun, or the Sun's brother or offspring.

III. He is actually descended from the Sun in the _n_th generation, the
intermediate links of the genealogy being _a_, _b_, _c_, _d_, &c., and
he is therefore himself a divinity.

Herbert Spencer, in his 'Sociology,' says:--

"There are proofs that like confusion of metaphor with fact leads to
Sun-worship. Complimentary naming after the sun occurs everywhere, and
where it is associated with power, becomes inherited. The chiefs of
the Hurons bore the name of the Sun; and Humboldt remarks that 'the
"Sun-Kings" among the Natches recall to mind the Heliades of the first
eastern colony of Rhodes.' Out of numerous illustrations from Egypt may
be quoted an inscription from Silsilis--'Hail to thee! King of Egypt!
Sun of the foreign peoples ... Life, salvation, health to him! he is
a shining Sun.' In such cases, then, worship of the ancestor readily
becomes worship of the Sun.... Personalization of the wind had an
origin of this kind."

"Nature-worship, then, is but an aberrant form of ghost-worship."

Surely this is an inversion of the true order of things. Why do
kings bear the name of Sun, or child of the Sun? Is it not because
the Sun is already looked upon as a glorious being (a God?) with whom
it is an honour to be associated? Herbert Spencer himself speaks of
"_complimentary_ naming after the Sun." The Chinese call deification
_hai-ten_, or "matching with Heaven," showing that with them at least
it is the man who acquires his divinity by being placed on a level with
Heaven, not _vice versâ_. Worship of the Sun must be anterior to the
very existence of Mikados, and there are certainly more substantial
reasons for it than the transfer to him, suggested by metaphorical
language, of the reverence paid to human sovereigns or ancestors.

The deification of living Mikados was titular rather than real.
I am not aware that any specific so-called miraculous powers[21]
were authoritatively claimed for them. In 645 a Japanese minister,
addressing some envoys from Korea, described his sovereign as "the
Emperor of Japan, who rules the world as a manifest deity." The same
official recognized the Korean princes as "Sons of the Gods." The
Mikado Keikō, admiring the strength and courage of his son Yamatodake,
says to him: "Whereas in outward form thou art our child, in reality
thou art a God." The Mikados called themselves, in notifications and
elsewhere, _Akitsu Kami_, that is, manifest or incarnate deities, and
claimed a general authority over the Gods of Japan. Yūriaku conversed
on equal terms with the God Hito-koto-nushi. He expected obedience from
the Thunder-God, but speedily had cause to repent his audacity.[22]

The honours paid to deceased Mikados stand on a somewhat different
footing. There is little, however, in the earlier period of Shinto to
distinguish the respect shown to deceased Mikados from the customary
observances towards the undeified dead. The _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ have
hardly a trace of any practical recognition of their divinity. We are
told in the _Nihongi_ (A.D. 679) that the Mikado Temmu did reverence
to the tomb of his mother who had died eighteen years before. In 681
worship was paid (no doubt by the Mikado) to the august spirit of the
Mikado's grandfather (or ancestor). There is nothing in these notices
to show that divine worship is intended. An oath made by Yemishi or
Ainus, when tendering their submission in 581, is more to the point.
They pray that "if we break this oath, may all the Gods of Heaven and
Earth, and also the spirits of the Mikados destroy our race." Still
it must be remembered that the author of the _Nihongi_ was a profound
Chinese scholar, and that his work is deeply tinctured with Chinese
ideas. I should not be surprised to find that the above oath was simply
copied from some Chinese book.

In the time of the _Yengishiki_ (tenth century) the honours paid to
deceased Mikados had become regularized, and offerings similar to those
made to nature-deities were tendered to them periodically. It is,
however, a significant circumstance that of the twenty-seven _norito_
contained in that work not one relates to their worship, and that the
care of their tombs did not belong to the Department of Shinto. Hirata
protests vigorously against a modern practice of using a Chinese word
meaning Imperial Mausoleum for the shrines of Ise and Kamo.

As early as the ninth century there are several cases of prayers
addressed to deceased Mikados for rain, to stay a curse sent by them
for disrespect to their tombs, for the restoration of the Mikado's
health, for preservation from calamity, &c. In more recent times
shrines were erected to them, and prayers put up for blessings which it
is far beyond the power of man to grant. Under the name of Hachiman,
the Mikado Ojin, visibly owing to Chinese and Buddhist influences,
became an important deity in later Shinto. The same may be said of the
Empress Jingo. The _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ treat both as mere mortals.

The honours paid to deceased Mikados were much neglected before the
Restoration of 1868. At present they consist in four solemn mourning
services held in the Palace, one on the anniversary of the death of
the late Emperor, the second on that of the death of Jimmu Tennō, the
third and fourth in spring and autumn, in memory of all the Imperial
ancestors.[23] Embassies are also despatched to the Imperial tombs
(_misasagi_), which now have _toriwi_ (the distinctive Shinto honorary
gateway) erected in front of them. Two of the Mikados, namely, Ojin and
Kwammu, have special State shrines dedicated to them. Concurrent with
the enhancement of the political prestige of the Crown there has been
a strong tendency in the present reign to increase the respect paid to
the Imperial House, so that it now amounts to something like religious
worship. The ceremony of the _naishi dokoro_,[24] which in ancient
times was in honour of the sacred sun-mirror, now includes the tablets
of the deceased Mikados.

=Other Deifications=.--Even in the case of the deification of living
and dead Mikados there is much room for suspicion of foreign influence.
Of the deification of other men I find no clear evidence in the older
records. It is probable, however, that some of the numerous obscure
deities mentioned in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ are deified men. A
number of the legendary and historical personages named in these works
were deified at a subsequent period. Others have been added from time
to time. The case of the God of Suha has a special interest. Here the
God's living descendant, real or supposed, is regarded as a God, and
a cave (probably a tomb) occupies the place of the shrine. A fuller
account of this cult is given below.[25] The high-priest of the Great
Shrine of Idzumo is called an _iki-gami_, or living deity. Not only
good but bad men might be deified or canonized, as in the case of the
archrebel Masakado, the robber Kumasaka Chohan, and in our own day,
Nishitaro Buntarō, the murderer of Mori, the Minister for Education.

Lafcadio Hearn, in his 'Gleanings in Buddha Fields,' tells a typical
story of the deification of a living man. A certain Hamaguchi Gohei,
head man of his village, saved the lives of his fellow villagers from
destruction by a tidal wave, at the sacrifice of his crop of rice,
which he set fire to in order to attract them away from the sea-shore
to the higher ground. "So they declared him a God, and thereafter
called him Hamaguchi Daimyōjin, and when they rebuilt their village,
they built a temple to the spirit of him, and fixed above the front
of it a tablet bearing his name in Chinese text of gold; and they
worshipped him there, with prayer and with offerings.... He continued
to live in his old thatched home upon the hill, while his soul was
being worshipped in the shrine below. A hundred years and more he has
been dead; but his temple, they tell me, still stands, and the people
still pray to the ghost of the good old farmer to help them in time of
fear or trouble."

=Ancestor-Worship=.--If we restrict this term to the religious cult
of one's own ancestors, as in China, this form of religion has hardly
any place in Shinto. The only case of it, except in modern times
and under foreign influences, is that of the Mikados, and even then
there is no evidence of its existence before the sixth century. The
term ancestor-worship is often used more generally of the worship of
dead men of former generations. There is no good reason, however,
for distinguishing between the cult of dead and that of living men.
If the former is the more common, it is because absence and lapse of
time are usually necessary to allow their obviously human character to
be forgotten and to raise the popular imagination to the height of
attributing to them superhuman powers. Deification is the result of
an exaggerated appreciation of what the man was during life, though
there is often associated with this primary reason the ascription of
imaginary powers to his corpse or ghost.

It is often assumed by English writers that Shinto is substantially,
or at least is based on, ancestor-worship. The modern Japanese, imbued
with Chinese ideas, throw them back into the old Shinto, and have
persuaded themselves that it contains a far more important element
of this kind than is actually the case. A recent Japanese writer
says: "Ancestor-worship was the basis of Shinto. The divinities,
whether celestial or terrestrial, were the progenitors of the nation,
from the sovereign and the princes surrounding the throne to the
nobles who discharged the services of the State and the soldiers
who fought its battles." Hirata, notwithstanding his anti-Chinese
prejudices, was unable to resist the influence of Chinese ideas as
regards ancestor-worship. He devotes vol. x. of his 'Tamadasuki' to
the inculcation of an ancestor-worship which is plainly nothing but
the well-known Chinese cult. His _tama-ya_ (spirit-house, or domestic
ancestral shrine) is a Chinese institution under a Japanese name, and
the _tama-shiro_, or spirit-token, is the Chinese _ihai_ (ancestral
tablet). He would have his followers address their prayers, as in
China, to their ancestors of every generation, from the parents of
the worshipper up to the "Great Ancestor," the founder of the family.
Their spirits (_mitama_) are to be adjured to avert evil from their
descendants, to keep watch over them by night and day, and to grant
them prosperity and long life. This is genuine ancestor-worship, but it
is not Shinto. It was to meet the case of a failure of direct heirs to
continue such ancestor-worship that the practice of adoption, unknown
in ancient Japan, was introduced from China. The truth is that only
a very small part of the Japanese nation knew, or pretended to know,
anything about their ancestors. Even of those who had genealogies, many
traced their descent from mere undeified mortals, some being Koreans or
Chinese. There remain in the _Shōjiroku_ and elsewhere a good number of
genealogies in which the descent of noble families from Shinto deities
is recorded. To what class do these deities belong? It is impossible to
assert that some may not be genuine deified ancestors, though I cannot
point to any undoubted case of this kind. Many are nature-deities.
The descent of the imperial family from the Sun-Goddess is a typical
example. The God of Growth, Kuni-toko-tachi, the Yatagarasu or
Sun-Crow, the sword Futsunushi, and many other nature-deities appear
among the ancestors of the _Shōjiroku_. In the 'Ideals of the East,' a
work recently published in English by Mr. Takakura Okasu, the author
speaks of the "immaculate ancestrism of Ise and Idzumo." The so-called
ancestral Gods worshipped at these places are the Sun-Goddess, the
Food-Goddess, Ohonamochi (an Earth-God) and Susa no wo (the Rainstorm).
Dr. E. Caird's observation that "in the majority of cases it is not
that the being worshipped is conceived of by his worshipper as a God
because he is an ancestor, but rather that he is conceived as an
ancestor because he is believed to be their God,"[26] obviously applies
to this feature of Shinto.

Other nobles traced their lineage from, and paid a special worship
to, personages who never existed as individual human beings. Such is
Koyane, the reputed ancestor, but really only a personified type of the
Nakatomi priestly corporation.

If we have any regard for correct terminology we must call this
recognition of nature-deities and class-types as ancestors not
ancestor-worship, but pseudo-ancestor-worship. When Britain's sons
declare, as they do with sufficient emphasis, that "Britannia rules
the waves," is this ancestor-worship? Or supposing that Macaulay's
New Zealander found a remnant of the English people worshipping John
Bull as their reputed ancestor, would he be right to conclude that
ancestor-worship was an English institution?

=Uji-Gami=.--These pseudo-ancestors are called in Japanese _uji-gami_,
or surname gods. The _uji_ were originally official designations,
whether of Court officials or of local officials or chieftains, which,
as these offices became hereditary, took the character of hereditary
titles, and eventually became mere surnames. They may be compared with
such titles as Duke of Wellington or with surnames like Chamberlain,
Constable, or Baillie. In ancient times the common people had no
surnames, and therefore no ancestor-worship, pseudo or real.

The word _uji_ is also used collectively of the noble house of persons
bearing the same surname. It does not seem a very ancient institution,
and must date from a time when an organized Government had already been
established. Of the cult of the _Uji-gami_ as such we know very little.
The _Kojiki_ mentions the fact of various deities being worshipped by
certain noble families. A modern authority says: "All descendants of
deities had _uji_. Every _uji_ consisted of members called _ukara_. The
chief of the _uji_ was termed the _uji no kami_ (the superior of the
_uji_). It was his duty, on festival occasions, to convene the _ukara_
for the worship of the ancestral God." In later times the _Uji-gami_
became simply the tutelary deity of one's birthplace, and was also
called _ubusuna_ (birth-sand). Infants born in his jurisdiction are
presented to him soon after birth, and parturient women pray to him
for relief. They also procure earth from the site of his shrine, in
the belief that it has a magical power to assist their delivery. The
same earth is credited with the property of relaxing the rigidity
of a corpse.

The modern _Uji-gami_ are taken indiscriminately from all classes
of deities, perhaps including even a few genuine ancestors. One or
two Indian deities have been made _Uji-gami_. The Nakatomi had three
_Uji-gami_--namely, Take-mika-dzuchi, Futsunushi, and Koyane. Noble
families have been known to change their _Uji-gami_,

The _Uji-gami_ correspond in some respects to the Greek άρχηγός.[Greek: archêghos]

=Biso=.--Analogous to the _Uji-gami_ are the trades-deities of modern
times. They are called _biso_ (author or inventor), and may be either
nature-deities, deceased men, or merely the deified type of the
particular trade or profession. Wrestlers worship Nomi no Sukune,
who was probably a real person, and Chinese doctors the legendary
Chinese Emperor Shinnung. Confucian pundits worship Confucius, poets
honour Hitomaro, and Haikwai poets Bashô. Professors of the art
of tea-drinking show reverence to the founder of that particular
branch of it which they practise. Soothsayers, _miko_, football
players, flower-arrangers, and actors worship the so-called ancestral
gods of their several professions. There is a _Kaji-so-sha_, or
blacksmith-ancestor-shrine. Carpenters, for some reason, have adopted
Shōtoku Daishi, an Imperial Prince who lived in the seventh century,
as their patron. Merchants worship Yebisu. They also pay some sort of
respect to Fukusuke,[27] a dwarfish figure with a large head, attired
in the ceremonial _kami-shimo_, and seated in a squatting position,
which may often be seen in the larger shops. A figure of a cat with
uplifted paw, called the _maneki-neko_, or "beckoning cat," and a
recumbent cow covered with rugs are also objects of respect with them.
It is in many cases a question whether the honour shown amounts really
to divine worship.

=Spirits=.--The older Shinto scriptures afford but scanty evidence of
the spiritualization of deified human beings. In the _Nihongi_ there
is one reference to the worship of a Mikado's _mitama_ (spirit). In
another case the _mitama_ of the Mikados are called upon to punish
oath-breakers. Yamato-dake's _mitama_ is in one place said to have
been changed into a white bird. Of the _mitama_ of ordinary undeified
human beings there is no mention in the _Kojiki_ or _Nihongi_; but,
of course, this may be owing to the imperfection of the record.
_Tamashiï_, a derivative of _tama_, is the ordinary word for soul at
the present day, and is undoubtedly of considerable antiquity. Still
there are cases where we should expect to find _mitama_ spoken of, but
where a more material conception--namely, that of metamorphosis--takes
its place. Among several instances of this kind may be quoted that of
Yamato-dake. He died, and was buried, upon which he took the form of a
white bird, which flew away leaving the tomb empty. The modern name for
ghost testifies to the prevalence of this conception in Japan. It is
_bake-mono_, or "transformation," and is applied to foxes which change
into human form as well as to the ghosts of the dead and to hobgoblins
of uncertain origin. _Bake-mono_ are not worshipped in Japan, any more
than ghosts are with ourselves, but there is a beginning of reverence
to them in the honorific particle _o_ which is frequently prefixed
to the word, especially by women. There are no proper ghosts in the
_Kojiki_ or _Nihongi_, although the writers of these works were fond
of recording strange and miraculous occurrences. The metamorphosed
appearances mentioned in them are never phantoms with a resemblance
to the human form, and possess no spiritual qualities. Even now the
_bakemono_, though differing little from our ghost, is quite distinct
from the human _mitama_ or _tamashiï_ (soul).

Tama, as we have seen above,[28] may mean either a jewel, a round
object, or the effluence of a deity or a spirit. Here literal-minded
Dullness, with whom the Gods themselves contend in vain, leaps to
the conclusion that the physical globular _tama_ is not merely a
symbol of the soul, but the soul itself. By the ignorant in modern
times it is conceived of as a small round black object, which has
the power of leaving the body during sleep. The popular name for the
will-of-the-wisp, namely, _hito-dama_ (man-ball-soul) enshrines a like
superstition.[29] It is asserted that the souls of the newly dead have
been seen to float away over the eaves and roof as a transparent globe
of impalpable essence.

We may compare with these Japanese notions the following cases, which I
quote from Herbert Spencer's 'Sociology': "According to Ximenes, when a
lord died in Vera Cruz, the first thing they did after his death was to
put a precious stone in his mouth. The object of it was that the stone
should receive his soul. The Mexicans along with a man's remains put
a gem of more or less value, which they said would serve him in place
of a heart in the other world." Such material conceptions of the soul
are to be found everywhere. Mr. Hartland, in his 'Legend of Perseus,'
observes: "To the savage, as to our own forefathers, and to the folk
of all civilized countries still, the idea of an incorporeal soul is
incomprehensible. It is everywhere in the lower culture conceived of as
material, though capable of changing its form and appearance without
losing its identity."[30] Hirata, after pointing out correctly that the
_mitama_ (jewel or spirit) is so called because there is nothing in the
body so precious as the soul, immediately relapses into a more material
conception when he proceeds to explain that, although we cannot discern
its shape, seen from the Gods it must have the shape of a jewel (that
is, spherical).[31]

The history of the _mitama_ suggests that the material, or partially
material, conceptions of the soul are a comparatively recent
development. Though religion is on the whole progressive, it by
no means follows that all movements of religious thought are in a
forward direction. The spiritual edifice which poets and seers build
up is being constantly reduced to ruin by the inept handling of the
material-minded vulgar, to be reared anew by others more splendid than
before. But let us not mistake the ruin for the first courses of a new
building, the dead husk for the living germ. Ghosts and ball-souls are
aberrant conceptions which belong to the former category. The dullards
to whom such notions are due are quite incapable of originating the
pregnant, though artificial, conception of body and soul as two
distinct entities.

Let me add a few more etymological facts which bear on the question of

_Mi-kage_, or "august shadow," is an ancient synonym for _mi-tama_. It
is unnecessary to suppose that anything but a metaphorical meaning was
originally intended. There is, however, a modern superstition that when
a man is near his death his shadow becomes thinner.

The ordinary Japanese word for "to die" is _shinuru_, that is to say,
"breath-depart." Death is also called concealment, long concealment,
body-concealment, rock-concealment (in allusion to the practice of
burial in dolmens), change, and ending. In the case of the Gods, death
is called divine departure or divine ascent.

_Iki_, "breath," one of the vital functions, is put by metonymy for
their sum, that is, life. It has not, like our word "spirit" and the
Greek "psyche," taken the further step of coming to mean the human
soul, except we identify it with the _ke_ of _hotoke_, which has been
plausibly derived from _hito_, "man," and _ke_, "spirit." It is now
the common Buddhist term for Buddha and his saints, and also for the
spirits of the sainted dead. The material-minded man, as usual, drags
it down to his own level. To him the corpse at a funeral is the
_hotoke_. It is not certain, however, that the element _ke_ of this
word is not of Chinese origin, China, always far in advance of Japan in
spirituality, has exercised a profound influence on the development of
Japanese ideas regarding spiritual matters.

Another material conception of the life or soul is contained in a poem
of the _Manyôshiu_, in which a fisherman named Urashima is related to
have found his way to the _Toko yo no kuni_, or "Eternal Land." When
about to return to earth he received from his wife a casket, with
the injunction that he must not open it. He does open it, upon which
his life or soul comes out and flies away like a white cloud to the
"Eternal Land." He dies soon after. But this is a poetic fancy, open to
strong suspicions of Chinese inspiration.

There is a ceremony called _iki-mitama_ (living soul), which consists
in paying respect to an absent parent, &c., as if he were present.
Another similar practice is that of _kage-zen_ (shadow-food), in which
a meal is set out for an absent member of the family, especially when
it is not known whether he is dead or alive. The term _iki-su-dama_
(living spirit) is applied to the angry spirit (double?) of a living
person, which is supposed to work a curse, sometimes unknown even to
himself. _Su-dama_ are defined as the essences of woods or mountains,
which assume a metamorphosed form--elves, as we should say. All these
are comparatively modern ideas.

The _Shinto Do-itsu_, a modern Shinto manual, frankly adopts the
Chinese views of the soul. A manual of this sect has the following:
"The _kom-paku_ are in China the animal and rational souls. When a man
dies, his _kon_ goes up to Heaven and his _haku_ returns to Earth.
Man at birth derives his breath (or life) from Heaven and Earth.
Therefore when he dies it returns to Heaven and Earth. The _kon_ is the
_yang_ or male, positive spirit; the _haku_ is the _yin_ or female,
negative spirit (_tama_). In everything there is the _yin_ and the
_yang_ heart. All men have _ki_ (breath), _kei_ (form), and _sei_
(life). The _kon_ rules the _ki_ and the _sei_. The _haku_ rules the
form and the body. _Ki_ means literally breath, on which man's life
depends. From the Buddhist point of view there are two functions of the
material body, namely, life and death, each of which has its soul. The
_saki-dama_ (spirit of luck) is the _kon_; the _kushi-dama_ (wondrous
spirit) is the _haku_.[32] Again the five viscera have each a God in
shape like a man."

=State of the Dead=.--Like the Old Testament, the ancient Japanese
records afford but few and uncertain glimpses of the condition of the
dead. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul is nowhere taught
explicitly. There are no prayers for the dead or for happiness in a
future life. There is a land of _yomi_ (darkness) which corresponds
to the Greek Hades and the Hebrew Sheöl. It is also termed _Ne no
kuni_ (root-land), _Soko no kuni_ (bottom-land), _Shita-tsu-kuni_
(lower-land), or the _Yaso-kumade_, that is to say, the eighty
road-windings, a euphemistic phrase resembling our "going on a long
journey." Yomi, however, does not seem to be peopled by human beings
or ghosts. Nor do we find any actual cases of their descending thither
at death, although the conception was no doubt originally a metaphor
for the grave. In the _Nihongi_ myth we find that where one version
speaks of Izanami in Yomi, another uses the expression "temporary
burying-place." The same work mentions an opinion that the "Even Pass
of Yomi" is not any place in particular, but means only the space of
time when the breath fails on the approach of death. The _Kojiki_,
after relating the death and burial of Izanami on Mount Hiba, at the
boundary of the Land of Idzumo, goes on to speak of her descent to Yomi
as if it were the same thing. From this it would appear that to many
persons, even in these early times, Yomi was a tolerably transparent
metaphor for the state of the dead. How difficult it is for even
learned and intelligent men to rise above the literal interpretation of
metaphor is illustrated by the fact that Motoöri treats this suggestion
with great scorn, pointing out that there is an actual entrance to Yomi
in the province of Idzumo.

Izanami went to Yomi when she died. She is called the Great Deity of
Yomi. It is also spoken of as the abode of Susa no wo, who, according
to one myth, was appointed to rule this region. We also hear of the
deities of Yomi, the armies of Yomi, the ugly females of Yomi, and the
Road-Wardens of Yomi. Thunder-Gods are said to have been generated
there from the dead body of Izanami. All these are probably various
personifications of death and disease.

In modern times Yomi has been identified with _Jigoku_, the inferno of
the Buddhists, which is a place of torture for the wicked. Our own word
hell has undergone a similar change of application.

In the _Manyōshiu_ heaven is mentioned as the destination of a deceased
Mikado, while in the very same poem a prince is spoken of as dwelling
in his tomb in silence and solitude. The _Toko-yo no kuni_, or Eternal
Land, is another home of the dead. The God Sukunabikona went thither
when he died. So did a brother of the first Mikado, Jimmu. The _Toko-yo
no kuni_ is identified by some with Hōrai-san, the Chinese island
paradise of the Eastern Sea, and by others with China itself. The
orange is said to have been introduced from the _Toko-yo no kuni_.
In the Manyōshiu poem of Urashima, the _Toko-yo no kuni_ is the same
as the submarine palace of the Sea-Gods, where death and old age
are unknown. _Toko-yo tachi_ (ye immortal ones!) is a complimentary
exclamation in a poem of the _Nihongi_.

The most definite statement regarding the continued existence of men
after death occurs in the _Nihongi_ under the legendary date A.D.

_"The Yemishi rebelled. Tamichi was sent to attack them. He was worsted
by the Yemishi, and slain at the harbour of Ishimi. Now one of his
followers obtained Tamichi's armlet and gave it to his wife, who
embraced the armlet and strangled herself. When the men of that time
heard of this they shed tears. After this the Yemishi again made an
incursion and dug up Tamichi's tomb, upon which a great serpent started
up with glaring eyes and came out of the tomb. It bit the Yemishi, who
were every one affected by the serpent's poison, so that many of them
died, and only one or two escaped. Therefore the men of that time said:
'Although dead Tamichi at last had his revenge. How can it be said that
the dead have no knowledge?'"_

Evidently at this time there were two opinions on the subject. Motoöri
says that this is a subject which transcends human comprehension. He
leans to the view of the old books, that men when they die go to the
Land of Yomi, in preference to the sceptical ratiocinations of the
Chinese sophists. Hirata takes a more decided attitude. He points to
the story just quoted as an example of dead men executing vengeance
upon those who were their enemies during life.

=Funeral Customs=.--Let us now inquire whether anything is to be
learned regarding the views of the ancient Japanese as to the condition
of the dead from their funeral customs. The bodies of nobles, princes,
and sovereigns were deposited in megalithic vaults which were covered
by huge mounds of earth.[33] Pending the construction of these, the
body was placed temporarily in a building called a _moya_, or mourning
house. It was enclosed in a wooden coffin and in some cases in a
sarcophagus of stone or earthenware. These sarcophagi have been found
to contain traces of cinnabar.[34] In all the more modern megalithic
tombs the entrance faces the south. This arrangement is connected with
the idea, common to the Japanese with the Chinese and other far-eastern
races, that the north is the most honourable quarter. The Mikado, on
state occasions, stands on the north side of the Hall of Audience. His
palace fronts the south. Immediately after death corpses are laid with
the head to the north, a position scrupulously avoided by many Japanese
for sleep. They say they are unworthy of so great honour.

With the more eminent dead there were buried food, weapons, ornaments,
vessels of pottery, and other valuables. Eulogies were pronounced over
them, and music was performed at the funeral. Posthumous honours--a
Chinese institution--were conferred on those who had merited them by
distinguished services. In the more ancient times human sacrifices Were
made at the tombs of deceased Mikados and princes. The _Nihongi_, under
the legendary date B.C. 2, states:--

_"10th month, 5th day. Yamato-hiko, the Mikado's younger brother by the
mother's side, died._

_"11th month, 2nd day. Yamato-hiko was buried at Tsuki-zaka in Musa.
Thereupon his personal attendants were assembled, and were all buried
alive upright in the precinct of the tomb. For several days they died
not, but wept and wailed day and night. At last they died and rotted.
Dogs and crows gathered and ate them._

_"The Emperor, hearing the sound of their weeping and wailing, was
grieved at heart, and commanded his high officers, saying 'It is a very
painful thing to force those whom one has loved in life to follow
him in death. Though it be an ancient custom, why follow it if it is
bad? From this time forward, take counsel so as to put a stop to the
following of the dead.'_

_"A.D. 3, 7th month, 6th day. The Empress Hibasu-hime no Mikoto died.
Some time before the burial, the Emperor commanded his Ministers,
saying: 'We have already recognized that the practice of following
the dead is not good. What should now be done in performing this
burial?' Thereupon Nomi no Sukune came forward and said: 'It is not
good to bury living men upright at the tumulus of a prince. How can
such a practice be handed down to posterity? I beg leave to propose an
expedient which I will submit to Your Majesty.' So he sent messengers
to summon up from the Land of Idzumo a hundred men of the clay-workers'
Be. He himself directed the men of the clay-workers' Be to take clay
and form therewith shapes of men, horses, and various objects, which
he presented to the Emperor, saying: 'Henceforward let it be the law
for future ages to substitute things of clay for living men, and to
set them up at tumuli.' Then the Emperor was greatly rejoiced, and
commanded Nomi no Sukune, saying: 'Thy expedient hath greatly pleased
Our heart.' So the things of clay were first set up at the tomb of
Hibasu-hime no Mikoto. And a name was given to these clay objects.[35]
They were called haniwa, or clay rings._

_"Then a decree was issued, saying: 'Henceforth these clay figures must
be set up at tumuli: let not men be harmed.' The Emperor bountifully
rewarded Nomi no Sukune for this service, and also bestowed on him
a kneading-place, and appointed him to the official charge of the
clay-workers' Be. His original title was therefore changed, and he was
called Hashi no Omi. This was how it came to pass that the Hashi no
Muraji superintend the burials of the Emperors."_

This narrative is too much in accordance with what we know of other
races in the barbaric stage of culture to allow us to doubt that we
have here a genuine bit of history, though perhaps the details may
be inaccurate, and the chronology is certainly wrong. In an ancient
Chinese notice of Japan we read that "at this time (A.D. 247) Queen
Himeko died. A great mound was raised over her, and more than a hundred
of her male and female attendants followed her in death."

Funeral human sacrifice is well known to have existed among the Manchu
Tartars and other races of North-Eastern Asia until modern times. The
Jesuit missionary Du Halde relates that the Emperor Shunchi, of the
T'sing dynasty (died 1662), inconsolable for the loss of his wife
and infant child, "signified by his will that thirty men should kill
themselves to appease her manes, which ceremony the Chinese look upon
with horror, and was abolished by the care of his successor"--the
famous Kanghi.

Another missionary, Alvarez Semedo, in his history of the Tartar
invasion, says: "It is the custome of the Tartars, when any man of
quality dieth, to cast into that fire which consumes the dead corpse as
many Servants, Women, and Horses with Bows and Arrows as may be fit to
atend and serve them in the next life."

This custom was also practised in China in the most ancient times,
though long condemned as barbarous. An ode in the 'Sheking' laments the
death of three brothers who were sacrificed at the funeral of Duke Muh,
B.C. 621. When the Emperor She Hwang-ti died, B.C. 209, his son Urh
said, "My father's palace-ladies who have no children must not leave
the tomb," and compelled them all to follow him in death. Their number
was very great.

A King of Kokuryö in Corea died A.D. 248. He was beloved for his
virtues, and many of his household wished to die with him. His
successor forbade them to do so, saying that it was not a proper
custom. Many of them, however, committed suicide at the tomb.
('Tongkam,' iii. 20.)

In A.D. 502, Silla prohibited the custom of burying people alive at the
funerals of the sovereigns. Before this time five men and five women
were put to death at the King's tomb. ('Tongkam,' v. 5.)

Cases of suicide at the tomb of a beloved lord or sovereign have not
been uncommon in Japan even in modern times. There was one in 1868.

The Japanese, like the Chinese, make no distinction between voluntary
deaths and human sacrifices. Both are called _jun-shi_, a term which
means "following in death." Indeed, as we may see by the Indian suttee,
it is often hard to draw the line between these two forms of what is
really the same custom.

In the case of common people, of course, no such costly form of burial
could have been practised. It was called _no-okuri_ (sending to a moor
or waste place), by which simple interment, or perhaps exposure at a
distance from human habitations, was probably meant. The offerings
consisted of a little rice and water.

It is often assumed as too obvious to require proof that such funeral
customs as these imply a belief in the continued sentient existence
of the dead. It is taken for granted that it is for their personal
comfort and gratification that wives and attendants are put to death
and offerings of food deposited at the tomb.[36] 'If we reflect,
however, on the reasons for our own funeral observances, which are less
different in principle from those of barbarous nations than we are
willing to admit, we shall see cause to doubt whether this is really
the ruling motive. Most of us have laid flowers on the coffin of some
dear one, or erected a tombstone to his memory, or subscribed for a
monument to a statesman who in life has deserved well of his country.
Were these things done for the physical gratification of the dead? We
cannot divide them in principle from more barbarous rites. We do not
suppose that the dead see or smell the wreaths laid upon the coffin.
Why should it be thought that in a more barbarous state of society it
is believed that they enjoy the society of the wife who is sacrificed
at the tomb?

The ruling motives for such rites are to be sought elsewhere. In
addition to the practical considerations which, as Sir Alfred Lyall
has shown, are potent in the case of the Indian suttee, it is to be
remembered that the memory of the great dead is a national asset of
the highest value (as the memory of our parents is in the domestic
circle), and that it is worth while going to great expense in order to
perpetuate it. In an age before writing or epic poems existed, cruel
sacrifices, pyramids, great tumuli, and other rude monuments were more
necessary for this purpose than they are in our day. And if barbarians
sacrificed human beings, do not we spend the financial equivalent of
many human lives in statues, memorials, and otherwise useless funeral
pageantry? The difference between them and us lies not so much in the
motive as in the lower value placed by them on human life.

The truth is that offerings to the dead, from a flower or a few grains
of rice to a human victim, are partly a symbolical language addressed
to the deceased, and partly constitute an appeal for sympathy by the
mourners and a response by their friends. They symbolize the union of
hearts among those who have suffered by a common bereavement. We must
also allow something for the despair which counts nothing that is left
of any value, and prompts the survivors to beating of breasts, tearing
of garments, cutting the flesh, sitting in sackcloth and ashes, lavish
expenditure, and even suicide.

Yet it must be admitted that there is a broad, though secondary and
lower, current of opinion, which holds that the dead benefit in some
more or less obscure physical sense by the offerings at their tombs.
Hirata believed that food offered to the dead loses its savour more
rapidly than other food. The ghosts summoned up by Ulysses from Erebus
eagerly lapped up the blood offered them. This, although poetry, no
doubt represents a real belief.

Mr. Andrew Lang mentions the case of an Irish peasant woman, who, when
her husband died, killed his horse, and, to some one who reproached
her for her folly, replied, "Would you have my man go about on foot
in the next world?" But may we not suspect that the real motive of my
countrywoman's action was to express dumbly to the world the love she
bore her husband by sacrificing something which she valued highly, and
that the answer quoted was nothing more than a consciously frivolous
reason, invented for the benefit of an unsympathetic, dull-minded

Whether or not the dead, apart from any physical benefit from funeral
offerings, are grateful for the affectionate remembrance which they
symbolize, it may be doubted whether the recognition of such a feeling
on their part enters very largely into our motives. Was it for the
gratification of Nelson's spirit that the column was erected in
Trafalgar Square? Or do those who annually deposit primroses before the
statue of Lord Beaconsfield think that his spirit is sensible of this

Funeral ceremonies were not recognized as having anything to do with
the older Shinto. It avoided everything connected with death, which was
regarded as a source of pollution. Not until the revolution of 1868 was
there instituted an authorized form of Shinto burial.[37]

=Deified Classes of Men=.--In the older Shinto this category of
deities had more importance than it has at present. Several of the
pseudo-ancestors are in reality deified types, analogous to such
conceptions as Tommy Atkins or Mrs. Grundy. As a general rule they
have two aspects, one as man-Gods, and another as satellites of the
Sun-Goddess, a nature deity. They are more particularly described in a
later chapter.

=Deities of Human Qualities=.--As might be expected, Shinto has
comparatively few deities of this class. It is represented by the Gods
of Pestilence, of Good and Ill Luck, the phallic deities, and the
_oni_, or demons of disease. Such deified abstractions as the Fates,
the Furies, Old Age, Time, Themis, Fear, Love, &c., are conspicuously

It will be observed that both of the two great currents of
religion-making thought are concerned in the evolution of the last
two categories of man-deities. They involve not only the exaltation
of human types and qualities to the rank of divinity, but the
personification of these general and abstract conceptions. This
complication indicates that they belong to a secondary stage of
development. Ta-jikara no wo (hand-strength-male), for example, is
not a primary deity of the Japanese Pantheon. He is little more than
an ornamental adjunct to the myth of the Sun-Goddess. It may be
gathered from the myths of the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ that the phallic
deities--personifications of lusty animal vigour--were at first mere
magical appliances, which were afterwards personified and raised to
divine rank. It was a personified human abstraction--namely, Psyche,
who was described by Keats as

    The latest born and loveliest by far
    Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy.

Mnemosyne, Styx, and all the numerous deified abstractions of humanity
in Greek mythology are obviously of later origin than Gaia and Ouranos,
or even Zeus and Here.

It is on the narrow basis of these two secondary classes of conceptions
that Comte strove to establish his Religion of Humanity. But it is
difficult to conceive how on Positivist principles Humanity, whether we
regard it as a class or as a quality, could have a sentient existence
or transcendent power, without a combination of which there can be no
deity and no religion, properly so called. His worship of deceased
individual men is open to the same objection. Comte's recognition of
nature-deities is brief and contemptuous. He allows a certain reverence
to the Sun and Earth as "fetishes."[38]

=Animals In Shinto=.--Animals may be worshipped for their own sakes,
as wonderful, terrible, or uncanny beings. The tiger, the serpent, and
the wolf are for this reason called Kami. But there are no shrines in
their honour, and they have no regular cult. A more common reason for
honouring animals is their association with some deity as his servants
or messengers. Thus the deer is sacred to Take-mika-tsuchi at Kasuga,
the monkey is sacred at Hiyoshi, the pigeon to the God Hachiman, the
white egret at the shrine of Kebi no Miya, the tortoise at Matsunoö,
and the crow at Kumano. The _wani_, or sea-monster, belongs to the
sea-God, and the dragon belongs to (or is) Taka okami (the rain-God).
There is also mention of a thunder-beast. In later times the rat is
sacred to Daikokusama. The pheasant is the messenger of the Gods
generally. The best-known case of the worship of an associated animal
is that of Inari, the rice-God, whose attendant foxes are mistaken by
the ignorant for the God himself, and whose effigies have offerings of
food made to them. The mythical _Yatagarasu_, or Sun-Crow, had formerly
a shrine in its honour. The stone _Koma-inu_ (Korean dogs), seen in
front of many Shinto shrines, are meant not as Gods, but as guardians,
like the Buddhist Niō. They are a later introduction.

The Gods are sometimes represented as assuming animal form. Kushiyatama
no Kami changes into a cormorant, Koto-shiro-nushi into a _wani_
(sea-monster or dragon) eight fathoms long. The God of Ohoyama takes
the form of a white deer. The most usual form assumed by deities is
that of a snake, serpent, or dragon. Ohonamochi, in his amours with
a mortal princess, showed himself to her as a small snake. In the
Yamato-dake legend, there is a mountain-deity who takes the shape of
a great serpent. At the command of the Mikado Yūriaku, the God of
Mimuro was brought to him by one of his courtiers. It was a serpent.
Water-Gods are usually serpents or dragons.

=Totemism=.--I find no distinct traces of totemism in ancient Japan.
Tattooing, which some have associated with this form of belief, existed
as a means of distinguishing rank and occupation. The most probable
derivation of the tribal name _Kumaso_ is from _kuma_, bear, and _oso_,
otter. A very few surnames are taken from names of animals. Dances, in
which the performers represented various animals, were common.

The piecemeal immigration of the Japanese race from the continent of
Asia must have done much to break up their original tribal system and
to destroy any institutions associated with it.

The law of exogamy, with which totemism is connected, was very narrow
in its operation in ancient Japan.[39]


[19] "Laotze finit par n'être plus que le principe vital universel
existant avant le ciel et la terre et qui s'est plu à chaque époque a
se montrer sous les traits d'un personnage quelconque souvent des plus
obscurs."--'Religion de la Chine,' De Harlez.

[20] See a paper on the _Hi no maru_ (sun-circle) in the _T. A. S. J._,
Nov. 8th, 1893.

[21] Such as touching for scrofula or the assurance of fine weather.

[22] The statements of Kaempfer, in his 'History of Japan,' regarding
the sacred character of the Mikado's person cannot be depended on. His
account of Shinto generally is grossly erroneous, or rather imaginary.

[23] 'Japan,' edited by Capt. Brinkley.

[24] See Index, _sub voce_.

[25] See Index--'Suha.'

[26] 'Evolution of Religion,' p. 239.

[27] Fuku means good fortune.

[28] See p. 27.

[29] In Teutonic mythology the will-of-the-wisps are souls which have
not attained heavenly peace.

[30] See also Mr. Frazer's 'Golden Bough,' ii. 297.

[31] The Stoics held that the world was not only animated and immortal,
but likewise happy and round, because Plato says that that is the most
perfect form.

[32] Hirata denies this.

[33] For full details of the construction of the Japanese dolmen, the
reader may consult two admirable papers by Mr. W. Gowland, in the Japan
Society's _Transactions_, 1897-8, and the _Journal_ of the Society of
Antiquaries, 1897.

[34] "Blood, which is the life, is the food frequently offered to the
dead.... By a substitution of similars, it is considered sufficient to
colour the corpse, or some part thereof, with some red substance taking
the place thereof."--Jevons, 'Introduction to the History of Religion,'
p. 52. But see Index--'Red.'

[35] Some of these figures are still in existence, and one may be
seen in the British Museum, where it constitutes the chief treasure
of the Gowland Collection. The Uyeno Museum, in Tokio, also possesses
specimens, both of men and horses.

[36] "Rites, performed at graves, becoming afterwards religious rites
performed at altars in temples, were at first acts done for the benefit
of the ghost."--Herbert Spencer's 'Sociology,' ii. 8.

[37] See an article by Mr. W. H. Lay in _T. A. S. J._, 1891.

[38] "Comte ramenait toutes les religions à l'adoration de l'homme
par l'homme. Comte, il est vrai, ne faisait pas de l'homme individuel
l'objet du culte normal: il proposait à nos adorations l'homme en tant
qu' espèce en tant qu' humanité et parvenait à deployer une véritable
mysticité sur cette étroite base."--Reville, 'Prolegomena,' p. 26.

[39] See Index--'Incest.'



=Functions of Gods=.--Nature deities seldom confine themselves to
their proper nature functions. Shinto exhibits an increasing tendency
to recognize in them a providence that influences human affairs.
Even in the older Shinto there are examples of the Gods exercising
a providential care for mankind outside of their proper spheres of
action. The Sun-Goddess not only bestows light on the world, but
preserves the seeds of grain for her beloved human beings. She watches
specially over the welfare of her descendants the Mikados. Susa no wo,
the Rain-storm personified, is the provider of all kinds of useful
trees. Practically, all the deities are prayed to for a good harvest,
or for rain. Even man-Gods, like Temmangu, may be appealed to for
this purpose. Any God may send an earthquake or a pestilence. In 853
there was a great epidemic of smallpox. An oracle from Tsukiyomi, the
Moon-God, indicated the means of obtaining relief from this plague,
and since then people of every class pray to him when it is prevalent.
The _Ujigami_ and _Chinju_, family and local protective Gods, might
be chosen from any class of deities. A modern Japanese writer[40]
says: "No one knows what spirit of heaven or earth is venerated at the
Suitengū,[41] in Tokyo. But despite the anonymity of the God, people
credit him with power to protect against all perils of sea and flood,
against burglary, and, by a strange juxtaposition of spheres of
influence, against the pains of parturition. The deity of Inari secures
efficacy for prayer and abundance of crops; the Taisha [great shrine of
Idzumo] presides over wedlock; the Kompira shares with the Suitengū the
privilege of guarding those that 'go down to the deep.' The rest confer
prosperity, avert sickness, cure sterility, bestow literary talent,
endow with warlike powers, and so on."

=Polytheistic Character of Shinto=.--A nature-worship, such as the
older Shinto was in substance, is inevitably polytheistic. The worship
of a single nature-God, as the Sun, is indeed conceivable. But in
practice, the same impulse which leads to the personification of one
nature object or phenomenon never rests there. The Living Universe is
a possible monotheistic nature-deity. But this conception requires
a greater amount of scientific knowledge than the ancient Japanese
possessed. They had necessarily only imperfect and fragmentary glimpses
of the vision splendid.

There is some evidence that Shinto took the place of a still grosser
and more indiscriminate polytheism. We are told that Take-mika-tsuchi
and Futsunushi prepared Japan for the advent of Ninigi by clearing it
of savage deities who in the daytime buzzed like summer flies and at
night shone like fire-pots, while even the rocks, trees, and foam of
water had all power of speech.

The number of Shinto deities is very great. The Yengishiki enumerates
3,132 officially recognized shrines, and although the same Gods are
reckoned more than once, as being worshipped in different places,
still their name is legion. They are popularly spoken of as eighty
myriads, eight hundred myriads, or fifteen hundred myriads. The number
of effective deities fluctuates greatly. Oblivion disposes of many.
The identification of distinct deities is another cause of depletion
in their ranks. This happens very readily in a country where, to
parody Pope's line, "most deities have no characters at all." On the
other hand their numbers are recruited from time to time by new Gods
produced by various processes. The same deity, worshipped at different
places, comes to be recognized as so many different deities. Horus
in ancient Egypt, the Virgin Mary in Italy, and many of the Greek
and Roman deities illustrate this principle. We may be sure that the
Ephesians would have resented any attempt to identify their Diana
with that of other cities. This process is facilitated in Japan by
the practice of speaking of the God, not by his name, but by that of
his place of residence--another illustration of the impersonal habit
of the Japanese mind already noticed. Indeed the Japanese care little
what God it is that is worshipped at any particular place. It is enough
for the average pilgrim to know that some powerful deity resides
there. A poem composed at the great shrine of Ise says: "What it is
that dwelleth here I know not, yet my heart is filled with gratitude
and the tears trickle down." Of one of the "Greater Shrines" of the
Yengishiki Murray's 'Handbook' informs us that "considerable divergence
exists among scholars as to the identity of the Gods to whom this
temple is dedicated." During the present reign Kompira was converted
by the Japanese Government from a Buddhist to a Shinto deity, without
detriment to the popularity of his shrine as a resort of pilgrims.
The same God may have greater credit for efficacy in one place than
another. Thus the Inari of a certain village has a high reputation for
the recovery of stolen property. Such specialties were recognized even
by the Government, which awarded different ranks to the same deity at
different places. Distinctions of this kind, of course, facilitate the
disruption of one deity into several. Another cause of multiplication
is the mistake of supposing the same deity with different epithets
to be different Gods. In modern times the Shinto Pantheon has been
recruited pretty largely from the ranks of human beings. Trees are
still deified, and we have sometimes a new deity making his appearance
from nobody knows where.

The polytheistic character of Shinto is intimately connected with
the weakness of the Central Government of Japan during the period of
its development. Or perhaps it may be more correct to say that it is
another manifestation of the same want of national cohesion.[42] The
ancient Mikados were anything but autocrats. Their authority was almost
always overshadowed by the influence of ministers who struggled among
themselves for the direction of the power nominally vested in the
sovereign. The Central Government had little effective jurisdiction
beyond the capital and the five home provinces. No wonder that under
these circumstances local deities retained their vitality and prestige.

Monotheism was an impossibility in ancient Japan. But we may trace
certain tendencies in this direction which are not without interest. A
nation may pass from polytheism to monotheism in three ways: Firstly,
by singling out one deity and causing him to absorb the functions and
the worship of the rest; secondly, by a fresh deification of a wider
conception of the universe; and thirdly, by the dethroning of the
native deities in favour of a single God of foreign origin. It is this
last, the most usual fate of polytheisms, which threatens the old Gods
of Japan. Weakened by the encroachments of Buddhism and the paralyzing
influence of Chinese sceptical philosophy, they already begin to feel

  The rays of Bethlehem blind their dusky eyne.

Our business, however, is with the past, not with the future. The
first of the three paths which lead to monotheism is illustrated by
the tendency to ascribe to several of the Shinto deities a certain
superiority over the others. The Sun-Goddess, Kuni-toko-tachi, the
first God in point of time according to the _Nihongi_, Ame no mi naka
nushi, and in Idzumo, Ohonamochi have been in turn exalted to a unique
position by their adherents. But, for reasons which will appear when
we come to examine these deities more closely, none of them really
deserves the title of Supreme Being. Max Müller's opinion that "the
belief in a Supreme Being is inevitable" is not borne out by the facts
of Shinto.

The second path, which leads to monotheism through a more comprehensive
conception of the universe, is exemplified by the Creator deities,
Izanagi and Izanami, personifications of the male and female principles
of Nature, and still more so by Musubi, the God of Growth, which might
conceivably have developed into a Pantheistic Supreme Being. But
philosophic abstractions of this kind are unfitted for human nature's
daily food. Musubi never acquired much hold on the people, though at
one time his worship held a very prominent place at the Court of the
Mikados. He eventually split up, first into two, then into a group of
deities, and finally became almost wholly neglected.

The _Nihongi_, under the date A.D. 644, gives the following account
of a blind and abortive movement towards a supreme monotheistic deity
which claims from us a measure of sympathy:--

_"A man of the neighbourhood of the River Fuji, in the East Country,
named Ohofube no Ohoshi, urged his fellow-villagers to worship an
insect, saying: 'This is the God of the Everlasting World. Those
who worship this God will have long life and riches.' At length the
wizards [kannagi] and witches [miko] pretending an inspiration of the
Gods, said: 'Those who worship the God of the Everlasting World will,
if poor, become rich, and, if old, will become young again.' So they
more and more persuaded the people to cast out the valuables of their
houses, and to set out by the roadside sake, vegetables, and the six
domestic animals. They also made them cry out: 'The new riches have
come!' Both in the country and in the metropolis people took the insect
of the Everlasting World and, placing it in a pure place, with song and
dance invoked happiness. They threw away their treasures, but to no
purpose whatever. The loss and waste was extreme. Hereupon Kahakatsu,
Kadono no Hada no Miyakko, was wroth that the people should be so much
deluded, and slew Ohofube no Ohoshi. The wizards and witches were
intimidated, and ceased to persuade people to this worship. The men of
that time made a song, saying:_

    Has executed
    The God of the Everlasting World
    Who we were told
    Was the very God of Gods._

_"This insect is usually bred on orange trees, and sometimes on
the hosoki. It is over four inches in length, and about as thick
as a thumb. It is of a grass-green colour with black spots, and in
appearance very much resembles the silkworm."_

We may note here the popular identification of the prophet with the
God whom he served, and the worship of a caterpillar, which apparently
played the part of the ear of corn in the Eleusinian mysteries.

=Shintai=.--Concurrent with the development of the spirituality of
Shinto there arose a greater necessity for some visible concrete token
of the presence of the God.[43] This is known as the _mitama-shiro_
(spirit representative, spirit-token), or more commonly as the
_shintai_ (god-body). The _shintai_ varies much in form. It is
frequently a mirror or a sword, but may also be a tablet with the
God's name, a sprig of sakaki, a gohei, a bow and arrows, a pillow,
a pot, a string of beads, a tree or river-bank, or even the shrine
itself. A stone is a very common _shintai_, doubtless because it is
inexpensive and imperishable. The _shintai_ is usually enclosed in a
box, which is opened so seldom that sometimes the priest himself does
not know what it contains. It is not always the same for the same God
worshipped in different places.

The _shintai_ in some respects resembles the Greek άγαλμά. Both were
originally offerings which became tokens of the God's presence, and by
virtue of immemorial association with the deities to whom they were
presented came at length to be regarded as sharing their divinity.
The άγαλμα, however, developed into the statue, while the _shintai_,
with a very few exceptions of later origin, did not take this form.
Broadly speaking, Shinto has no idols. There is usually no attempt to
give the _shintai_ any resemblance to the supposed form of the God
whom it represents. A few exceptions may be noted. The mirror of the
Sun-Goddess, which was in reality originally an offering, is stated in
one of the myths to have been made in imitation of the form of the sun.
The phallic Gods, Yachimata-hiko and Yachimata-hime, were represented
by human figures. The scarecrow God, Kuhe-biko, may be regarded as a
rude idol. In the province of Noto there are stone idols said to be the
images of the Gods Sukuna-bikona and Ohonamochi. The pictures of the
Gods sold at Shinto shrines in the present day are owing to Chinese or
Buddhist influence.

In the old language the word _hashira_, pillar, is added to the
numerals for deities and Mikados. For instance, "three Gods" is
_Kami mi-hashira_, that is to say, "three pillars of Gods." Now in
Korea, a country inhabited by a race closely allied to the Japanese,
there are seen by the roadsides posts carved at the top into a rude
semblance of the human form.[44] Some serve as milestones, and some
are erected at the outskirts of villages to keep away the demon
small-pox. These figures are called the Opang Chang-gun, or Generals
of the Five Quarters. The name is Chinese, but the deities themselves
may nevertheless be of Korean origin. If the ancient Japanese had rude
figures of this kind it would explain the use of _hashira_, pillar,
as a numeral for Gods. I am rather disposed, however, to surmise that
the use of this term was really owing to the fact that the symbols of
divinity most familiar to the ancient Japanese were the phallic emblems
set up everywhere by the roadsides. The term _wo-bashira_, applied to
the phallic end-post of the parapet of a bridge, contains the same

There is a tendency in Japan, as in other countries, for the token of
the God to become regarded, firstly, as the seat of his real presence,
and, secondly, as the God himself. Many persons do not distinguish
between the mitama and the shintai, and some go so far as to confound
the latter with the God's _utsushi-mi_, or real body. This is a form of
idolatry. The shintai may even be erected into an independent deity.
The mirror, which is the shintai of the Sun-Goddess, is the object
of a separate worship, under the name of Ame kakasu no kami. Even
at the present day religious honours are paid to this mirror or its
representative.[46] The sword Futsu no mitama has shrines dedicated to
it. Another sword, called Kusanagi, has been worshipped for centuries
at Atsuta, near Nagoya. It was this sword which Susa no wo found in
the tail of the great serpent slain by him to rescue the Japanese
Andromeda, and sent as an offering to his sister the Sun-Goddess.
Fetish worship of this kind is a later and degenerate form of religion;
and must not be confounded with the worship of the great nature-deities.

Some artificial inanimate objects of worship are not shintai, but are
worshipped for their own sakes as helpers of humanity. The fire-place
is honoured as a deity. Potters at the present day pay respect to their
bellows, which are allowed one day of rest annually, and have offerings
made them. The superstitious Japanese housewife still, on the 12th day
of the 2nd month, gives her needles a holiday, laying them down on
their side and making them little offerings of cakes, &c.[47]

The absence of idols from Shinto is not owing, as in Judaism and Islam,
to a reaction against the evils caused by the use of anthropomorphic
pictures and images, but to the low artistic development of the
Japanese nation before the awakening impulse was received from China.
It indicated weakness rather than strength. Much of the vagueness
which characterizes the Japanese conceptions of their Gods would
have been avoided by a freer use of images. In principle the image
and the metaphor are the same. There is no more harm in representing
a God, pictorially or in sculpture, as an old man than there is in
addressing him as Father, though practically a wide experience shows
that the common people do not stop here in either case. There is a
strong tendency to debase religion by attributing special virtue to the
particular physical object of devotion, or even to forget that there is
a God of which it is only a very imperfect symbol.

=The Infinite=.--Max Müller says that without the faculty of
apprehending the Infinite there can be no religion. In that case
Shinto is not a religion. The Gods are not conceived of as infinite.
They are superior, swift, brave, bright, rich, &c., but not immortal,
omnipresent, omniscient, or possessed of infinite power. Where the
word infinite is used it is said of infinite time. We hear of the
infinite succession of the Mikados, and of infinite or perpetual night
(_tokoyami_). Perhaps what Max Müller really meant was "transcendent,"
that is, beyond man's power to rival, or even fully to comprehend.


[40] In 'Japan,' edited by Capt. Brinkley.

[41] Dr. Florenz, in his 'Japanische Mythologie,' says that Sui-tengū
is a fusion of the Sumiyoshi Sea-Gods with the Indian Sea-God Sui-ten,
that is, Varuna, subsequently identified with the youthful Emperor
Antoku (who lost his life by drowning in 1185).

[42] "The different peoples conceived and developed this divine
hierarchy _pari passu_ with their own approximation to political unity"
(Goblet d'Alviella, Hibbert Lectures). Aristotle recognized the same

[43] "The symbol or permanent object, at and through which the
worshipper came into direct contact with the God, was not lacking
in any Semitic place of worship, but had not always the same
form, and was sometimes a natural object, sometimes an artificial
erection."--Robertson Smith, 'Religion of the Semites,' p. 160.


             simulacra que maesta deorum
    Arte carent, cæsis extant informia truncis.

Lucan, 'Pharsalia.'

[45] See Index--_Sake no kami_.

[46] See Index--_Naishidokoro_.

[47] In an official report by Mr. H. Risley he says that at the time of
the spring equinox there is a festival (in India) called Sri Panchami,
when it is incumbent on every religious-minded person to worship the
implements or insignia of the vocation by which he lives.



=Nature of Myth=.--Myth and religion have distinct sources. We have
seen above[48] that there is a phase of religion antecedent to
myth. On the other hand, the earliest form of myth has no religious
significance. It is the result of an idle play of fancy without any
definite purpose. I have known a child of two or three years of age,
who, when he saw a light cloud pass over the rising moon, exclaimed
"She is putting on her clothes." Not that he believed the moon to be an
animated being, or that he thought that clouds were really her clothes.
His childish imagination was stirred by an instinctive impulse, to
be compared with that which prompts the gambolling of a kitten who
rushes from one place to another without any definite object, or to
the butting of a young ruminant before his horns have grown. Closely
related to such spontaneous efforts is the myth invented solely for
the amusement of the hearer. May we not place in this category some of
the nature myths of savages which to all appearance have no worship
or belief associated with them, and belong to a pre-religious stage
of development. Then we have the myths which are explanatory of some
custom, rite, natural phenomenon, political institution, names of
places or persons, &c. With these we may associate the genealogical
myth. There is also the blunder myth, arising frequently from a
misunderstanding of language, and the lie--a myth framed with intent to
deceive. All these classes of fiction are abundantly exemplified in the
old Japanese books.

More important for our present purpose is the religious myth, that

    Mysterious veil, of brightness made,
    At once the lustre and the shade

of religious conceptions. Like the metaphor, of which it may be
regarded as an expansion, it suggests the True by means of the Untrue.
It is an acknowledged necessity of religious teaching. In the infancy
of language there is no other means of expressing spiritual verities
than by physical symbols--in other words by myth and metaphor. And even
when a language has acquired some capacity for the direct expression
of spiritual facts, it is found that the old methods must still be
resorted to in order to excite the interest and impress the imagination
of the ignorant multitude. It is not to be supposed that the makers
of such myths believed that they were true in their natural physical
acceptation. Take for example the parable of the prodigal son. There is
no reason to believe that the "far country," "the husks that the swine
did eat," "the fatted calf," and the prodigal himself were not figments
of Our Lord's imagination. Nor if the story had been true in all its
details would this circumstance have added one whit to the value of
the lesson taught by it. I believe that the author of the Mosaic story
of the Fall of Man would be much surprised to know that his drama,
which deals so forcibly in concrete form with temptation, sin, and
its punishment, had been taken by the world for many centuries as a
narrative of actual fact.

Some high authorities apply a different measure to pagan and savage
myth. Dr. Pfleiderer, in his 'Philosophy of Religion,' says that
"it must be carefully borne in mind that the religious phantasy, in
producing such poetic symbolical legends, is not in the habit of
distinguishing, nor can distinguish between the ideal truth and its
sensible investment." The late Mr. Fiske held substantially the same
view. He goes so far as to apply it to Dante, whose "Charon beating
the lagging shades with his oar," "Satan crushing in his monstrous
jaws the arch-traitors Judas, Brutus, and Cassius," "Bertrand de Born
looking at his own dissevered head," he regards as "in the minds of
Dante and his readers living, terrible realities." True it is that
a stern reality underlies these grotesque fancies. But it is not of
the physical order. No one knew better than Dante the virtue of the
_altro intende_ in such matters. We may be quite sure that he did not
believe in a real inscription over the gate of Hell, in Italian _terza
rima_, and composed by himself. It is a mistake, I submit, to imagine
him, "like Katerfelto, with his hair on end at his own wonders." When
Dickens tells us that he decidedly looked on his heroes as living
persons we must take this statement _cum grano salis_. We know what
would have happened if some one had offered him, by way of payment,
a cheque bearing the signature of Mr. Boffin, Dombey & Son, or the
Brothers Cheeryble.

Mere inferences are often taken for facts, but, under normal
conditions, the imaginative man is not the dupe of his own inventive
faculty. It may be said that, however true this may be of more modern
religious myth, the attitude of the "primitive man" towards the naive
creations of his fancy is different. Strictly speaking, there is no
such thing as a primitive man. However far we may go back, we shall
find men with parents, and preceded by an infinite line of ancestors.
Still there can be no harm in using this term to designate mankind
at some ill-defined stage of progress above the highest lower animal
and below the savage of our own days. Strange things are told us of
the primitive man. He is said to be unable to distinguish between his
imaginations and facts, and that he is in the habit of taking his
dreams[49] for real occurrences. Fiske says: "Our primitive ancestors
knew nothing about laws of nature, nothing about physical forces,
nothing about the relations of cause and effect, nothing about the
necessary regularity of things.... The only force they knew was the
force of which they were directly conscious--the force of will.
Accordingly, they imagined all the outward world to be endowed with
volition and to be directed by it." Of course our primitive ancestors
expressed themselves differently from ourselves. They did not talk
about laws of nature and the necessary regularity of things. But can
we conceive them ignorant of the law of the regular alternation of
night and day, of summer and winter, of the phases of the moon? Did
not the "primitive man" know just as well as Newton that when an
apple is detached from a tree it falls to the ground? He knew that
from a blow as cause we may expect pain, wounds, or even death as the
effect. He had sufficient acquaintance with dynamics to be aware that
he could not raise himself from the ground more than a few feet, and
with chemistry to have learnt that the savour of food is improved or
spoilt, according to circumstances, by the application of fire. Nor
is it true that he ascribed all forces to volition. It is only by
exception that the child, the savage, and the primitive man attribute
life to inanimate things. This requires imagination, a faculty which is
notoriously feebler with them than with the adult civilized man. The
progress of humanity is from a sporadic towards a general recognition
of will in or behind the material universe, from fitful and sportive
fancies involving this idea to an earnest and steady conviction of
its truth, and from the fragmentary personification of the part as
animated to the conception of a living, universal whole. Agnosticism,
which ignores volition in matter, belongs, therefore, to the lower end
of the scale of progress. Where it appears in civilized man, it is a
case of arrested development. The average savage is a materialist, who
associates volition with the energies of nature in a much less thorough
and systematic way than the Christian, who believes that a sparrow
cannot fall to the ground without the Father.

We must not confound the primitive maker of religious myth with the
primitive man. It would lead to error if we modelled our idea of the
average modern European on Bunyan, Milton, or Dante.

It is sometimes asserted that the impossible and miraculous occurrences
which we so often meet with in the narratives of the primæval
myth-maker are to him true. Why should he be limited to fact in this
way? No doubt his standard of truth is different from our own. He
would regard as possible many things which we know to be impossible.
But is it necessary to suppose that his knowledge that a thing was
impossible should prevent him, any more than our modern storytellers,
from utilizing it in his imaginative work? Jules Verne well knew that
a voyage round the moon is an impossibility. The unknown author or
authors of 'Cinderella' surely need not be credited with a belief
that pumpkins can be converted into coaches by the stroke of a fairy
wand; the inventor of the story of the birth of Minerva from the brain
of Jupiter knew quite well that such obstetrical operations were not
feasible; and it is unnecessary to believe that the myth-makers of
the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ thought that children could be produced by
crunching jewels in the mouth and spitting them out.

There is, however, an exception to the rule that a storyteller does not
believe in the truth of his own inventions. It is notoriously possible
for the author of a fictitious narrative to become, after a time,
unable to distinguish it from a statement of actual facts. There is a
case on record in which a learned judge communicated to the Psychical
Society in perfect good faith a ghost story, all the principal features
of which were proved to be imaginary. They had their origin in his own
talent as a distinguished raconteur. But this is a morbid phenomenon
which must not be confounded with the normal action of the imagination
in the child, the savage, or the primitive (or, indeed, any other)

The inability to distinguish between imagination and fact is really not
a special characteristic of the primitive man or savage, but of the
literal-minded of all ages, in presence of the creations of imaginative
genius. Some few primitive men may distinguish between the spiritual
kernel and its imaginative envelopment. But for the multitude this is
impossible. Unable to discriminate between these two elements, and
dimly conscious that the whole is a valuable possession, they wisely
accept it indiscriminately as actual fact.

De Gubernatis, in his 'Zoological Mythology,' relates a story which
illustrates the respective attitudes of the myth-maker and his hearers.
He tells us that "when he was four years old, as he was walking one
day with a brother, the latter pointed to a fantastical cloud on the
horizon, and cried, 'Look down there: that is a hungry wolf running
after the sheep.' He convinced me so entirely of that cloud being
really a hungry wolf that I instantly took to my heels and escaped
precipitately into the house." Take, again, the following sun-myth,
fresh coined from the mint of Mr. George Meredith:--

"The sun is coming down to earth, and the fields and the waters shout
to him golden shouts. He comes, and his heralds run before him, and
touch the leaves of oaks and planes and beeches lucid green and the
pine stems redder gold: leaving brightest footprints upon thickly
weeded banks, where the foxglove's last upper bells incline and bramble
shoots wander amid moist herbage," &c.

This myth, like the old Greek tales of Prometheus and Tantalus, which
Wordsworth calls

    Fictions in form, but in their substance truths,

has a spiritual significance of which Mr. Meredith cannot have been
unconscious. Though nobody at the present day supposes that the author
or his readers take it for a narrative of actual events, cannot we
fancy Macaulay's New Zealander, being told as a fact some traditional,
time-worn, corrupt, and ill-interpreted version of it, and, especially
if he is a literal-minded philosopher, wondering how it was possible
for the English to believe in such a concatenation of anthropomorphic

The literal acceptation of myth or metaphor is not confined to the
lower class of intellect. It was a "teacher of Israel" who could not
see how "a man could enter into his mother's womb and be born again."
Motoöri and Hirata, highly educated scholars, well versed in Chinese
and Indian religious literature, received the stories of the _Kojiki_
and _Nihongi_ as genuine history.

Even Dante and Milton, men of profound spiritual insight, probably
accepted in their most literal sense some of the imaginative figments
of their predecessors.

There have always been literal-minded unbelievers, who reject the myth
and its religious contents without discrimination, and simply value it,
if at all, for its aesthetic merits. Of them, as of the literal-minded
believer, "Si exempla requiris, circumspice."

The history of the religious myth may be summarized as follows: A,
a man of genius, creates it, clearly distinguishing in his own mind
between the kernel of religious truth and its imaginative embodiment.
His disciples B and C understand him thoroughly. In this stage a myth
is called a parable or allegory. Many myths proceed no further. D, F,
H, * * * T and V, unable to discriminate the true element from the
false, accept the whole confusedly as actual fact. E, G, * * S and U
are dense to its religious significance, and think it idle nonsense, or
at best, simply a good story. W and X have a glimmering notion that the
imaginative part cannot be literally true, but do not dare to question
it, lest they should sacrifice at the same time the valuable religious
kernel. Z is a philosophic inquirer who, not without difficulty,
regains the standpoint of B and C. But by this time the myth has been
superseded as a vehicle of religious truth by fuller and more exact
forms of expression.

The chief ideas underlying Japanese myth are, firstly, the
conception--piecemeal it is true, and inadequate--of the so-called
inanimate universe as being really instinct with sentient life, and
exercising a loving providential care over mankind;[50] and secondly,
the doctrine that honour and obedience are due to the sovereign whose
beneficent rule secures to the people blessings comparable to that of
the sun's light and warmth. For such, I take it, is the real meaning
of the story by which the Mikados are feigned to be descendants of the
Sun-Goddess. It is the Japanese version of the doctrine of the divine
right of kings. Without these and similar vital elements Japanese
myth would be nothing more than what some writers have supposed it, a
farrago of absurdities, and its examination would belong not to the
physiology, but to the pathology of the human mind.

It can hardly be maintained, however, that the poets and seers of
ancient Japan achieved much success in clothing their spiritual
conceptions in mythical form. There is little force or beauty in their
stories, and there is a plentiful admixture of matter which, to us at
least, is frivolous, revolting, or devoid of religious significance.

There is no summer and winter myth in the old Japanese books, no deluge
myth, and no eclipse myth. There is, strange to say, no earthquake
myth, and but one solitary mention of a God of Earthquakes. There are
no astral myths, no "Returning Saviour" myth, and no "Journey of the
Dead" beyond the bare mention of an "Even Pass of Yomi," or Hades. The
creation of mankind is not accounted for.

=Myth and Ritual=.--When a myth and a ceremony relate to the same
subject-matter, which comes first in order of time? Is the ceremony a
dramatic commemoration of the events related in the myth, or, _vice
versâ_, is the myth an attempt to explain the origin of the ceremony?
Some go so far as to say that ritual is the source of all religious
myth. The late Mr. D. G. Brinton, on the other hand, held that "every
rite is originally based on a myth." Robertson Smith's view was that
"in almost every case the myth was derived from the ritual, and not
the ritual from the myth." No general rule can be laid down in these
cases. Every such question must be decided according to the available
evidence. A myth is a narrative, and a ceremony a kind of dramatic
peformance. It will not be disputed that dramas have been founded on
narratives, and that narratives are sometimes taken from dramas, as
in the case of Lamb's 'Tales from Shakespeare.' Novels are every day
dramatized, and the reverse process, though not common with ourselves,
is familiar in Japan. Several of the Shinto deities are worshipped
for no other reason than because they are mentioned in the myths of
the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_. It was probably the mythical account of
the friendship of Ajisuki and Ame-waka-hiko which led to shrines
being erected to these deities side by side at Idzumo. A literal
interpretation of the obviously allegorical story of Iha-naga-hime
and Kono-saku-hime led, in later times, to an actual cult of these
personages. On the other hand, the ceremony of religious ablution is
certainly older than the myth which represents Izanagi as washing in
the sea in order to remove the pollutions of the land of Yomi. The
worship of the Sun is assuredly not the outcome, but the source, of the
Japanese solar myths, though it may owe to them some of its more modern

Many myths have no ceremonial associated with them, and there is much
ceremony for which the myth-makers have not attempted to account.


[48] P. 16.

[49] See above, p. 12, and Index--'Dreams,'

[50] See Dr. Tylor's 'Primitive Culture,' second edition, i. 285.



No really adequate idea of the old Japanese myths can be gained without
a direct study of the _Kojiki_, _Nihongi_, and _Kiujiki_, with all
their repetitions, inconsistencies, and obscurities. In the following
outline, taken mainly from the two first-named works, a selection has
been made of such incidents as have an interest and significance for
European students of mythology.

Both the _Nihongi_ and the _Kiujiki_ begin with a passage which is
justly repudiated by the modern school of Shinto theologians as in
reality belonging to the materialistic philosophy of China.[51] It runs
as follows:--

  _"Of old, Heaven and Earth were not yet separated, and the In and
  Yo[52] not yet divided. They formed a chaotic mass like an egg, which
  was of obscurely defined limits, and contained germs. The purer and
  clearer part was thinly diffused and formed Heaven, while the heavier
  and grosser element settled down and became Earth. The finer element
  easily became a united body, but the consolidation of the heavy and
  gross element was accomplished with difficulty. Heaven was therefore
  formed first, and Earth established subsequently. Thereafter divine
  beings were produced between them."_

Pfleiderer says:[53] "There is not unfrequently found in the mythology
of the nature-religions a combination of Theogony and a Divine
formation of matter in such a way that the Gods--whether one or all of
them--are the first products of chaos, but then they form the rest of
the world out of it. In the Indian mythology Prajapati proceeded out of
the golden world-egg and then became the creative former of the world.
Likewise in the Chaldæan mythology the great Gods arose at first out of
chaos, and they then created the other Gods and the living beings of
heaven and earth."

But are not such speculations later accretions on the original myth?
In Japan, at any rate, formation out of chaos is undoubtedly an

=First Gods=.--We have next what is called "the seven generations
of Gods," ending with the creator-deities, Izanagi and Izanami.
Of the first six of these generations the most confused and
contradictory accounts are given in the various authorities. There
is no agreement as to the name of the first God on the list. The
_Nihongi_ tells us that the first deity produced between Heaven and
Earth while still in a state of chaos sprang up like a reed-shoot,
which then changed into a God,[54] and was called Kuni-toko-tachi
no Mikoto,[55] or "Earth-eternal-stand augustness." The _Kojiki_
calls the first God Ame no mi-naka nushi no Kami, that is to say,
"Heaven-august-centre-master-deity," identified by some with the
Polar Star, a hypothesis for which there is no other ground than the
name itself. The same authority gives Kuni-toko-tachi a place lower
down in the genealogical table. The _Kiujiki_ has a first God called
Ame yudzuru hi ame no sagiri kuni yudzuru tsuki kuni no sagiri, and
describes him (or her, for there is no indication of sex) as the
"Heavenly Parent." It is impossible to translate this rigmarole; but as
it contains the words "earth," "sun," "moon," and "mist," a nature-deity is evidently
intended. Both the _Kojiki_ and _Kiujiki_ first Gods disappear at once
from the mythical record. There is little trace of their worship in
later times, and they must be pronounced mere abortive attempts at
deity-making. Two other first deities are mentioned in the various
myths quoted in the _Nihongi_, namely, Umashi-ashi-kabi-hiko-ji
(sweet-reed-shoot-prince-father) and Ama-toko-tachi
(Heaven-eternal-stand). The latter forms, along with Kuni-toko-tachi,
one of those pairs of deities, not necessarily male and female, which
are common in Japanese mythology. An enumeration of the Gods of the
five generations which follow would be tedious and unprofitable.
Some of them had probably no existence outside of the imagination of
individual writers. They were doubtless invented or collected in order
to provide a genealogy for Izanagi and Izanami. With one exception,
they have left no trace in myth or in ceremonial. There are no
shrines in their honour. Little is to be learnt from their names, the
derivation of which is often doubtful. Several of them, however, show
that the divinely mysterious process of growth, so all-important to an
agricultural nation, had attracted attention.[56]

Musubi no Kami (the God of Growth), who forms the sixth generation
of deities, is a genuine divinity, of whom more remains to be said

=Izanagi and Izanami=.--The seventh generation consisted of two
deities, Izanagi and Izanami. It is with them that Japanese myth really
begins, all that precedes being merely introductory and for the most
part of comparatively recent origin.

The _Nihongi_ tells us that--

_"Izanagi and Izanami stood on the floating bridge of Heaven, and held
counsel together, saying 'Is there not a country beneath?' Thereupon
they thrust down the 'Jewel-Spear of Heaven' (Ame no tama-boko) and
groping about with it, found the ocean. The brine which dripped from
the point of the spear coagulated and formed an island which received
the name of Onogoro-jima or the 'Self-Coagulating Island.' The two
deities thereupon descended and dwelt there. Accordingly they wished to
be united as husband and wife, and to produce countries. So they made
Onogoro-jima the pillar of the centre of the land."_

The _Kojiki_ says that Izanagi and Izanami were commanded by all the
heavenly deities "to regulate and fully consolidate" the floating
land beneath. But all the accounts, the _Kojiki_ included, proceed
to represent the islands of Japan as having been generated by them
in the ordinary manner. We have therefore three distinct conceptions
of creation in Japanese myth--first as generation in the most
literal sense, second, as reducing to order, and third, as growth

The "floating bridge of Heaven" is no doubt the rainbow. It is
represented on earth by the _Sori-bashi_ or _Taiko-bashi_ (drum-bridge)
a semi-circular bridge over a pond before some Shinto shrines. It has
too steep a slope for ordinary use, and is reserved for the Deity and
for the priest on solemn occasions, the custom having been in this
instance probably suggested by the myth.

The _Ame no tama-boko_ or Jewel-Spear of Heaven has been the subject of
much dissertation. Hirata, whose view is endorsed by several eminent
scholars, native and foreign, thinks that it is a phallus. Its use in
creating, which in Japanese myth is the same thing as begetting, the
first island, countenances this idea. The derivation of _tama-boko_
also lends itself to it. _Tama_ may be rendered ball or knob as well
as jewel, and the _tama-boko_ might therefore be a shaft surmounted
by a knob representing the glans, reminding us of the spears tipped
with pine cones which were carried by the Bacchantes in the Dionysia.
We have another Japanese case of a conventionalized phallus in the
_wo-bashira_.[58] Moreover, on the theory that the _tama-boko_ is a
phallus, we have a satisfactory explanation of the circumstance that
_tama-boko no_ is used as a standing epithet of _michi_, road, which
has puzzled Japanese scholars. The _tama-boko no michi_ would then mean
"the road where phallic symbols are set up." There is abundant evidence
that objects of this kind were a familiar sight by the roadsides near
the capital in ancient times. The poet Tsura-yuki (tenth century) has
left a short poem in which he expresses his intention of praying to the
Tamaboko no chiburi no kami when starting on a journey. The Chiburi
no kami were the phallic road deities, protectors of travellers.
Notwithstanding the Japanese poets' habit of using stock epithets
without much regard to their proper meaning, this juxtaposition is
highly suggestive. Another name for the phallic Sahe no kami[59] was
Chimata no kami, or road-fork-gods, because they had no temples and
were worshipped by the road-sides and at cross-ways. The road between
Utsu-nomiya and Nikkô, when I travelled along it in 1870, was still a
_tama-boko no michi_--in the phallic sense.[60] Another link between
the _hoko_ and the phallus is suggested by a statement in the _Shiki
Monogatari_ that the weapon which formed, and still forms, the central
object in the great _Goriōye_ festival procession at Kioto is known
as the _Sai no hoko_. Now the _Goriōye_ is a survival of the old
festival in honour of the phallic Sahe no kami.

But in mythology one explanation does not necessarily exclude another
and apparently contradictory one. Whether the myth-makers had in their
minds the phallus conception of the _tama-boko_--and I am persuaded
that they had--it is impossible in this connexion to ignore the
function of the _hoko_, or spear, as a symbol of authority. Herbert
Spencer[61] has shown how universally the spear has this meaning.
Britannia's trident is a familiar example. Theseus, in the 'Hippolytus'
of Euripides, speaks of "the land ruled by my spear." Lances or
arrows are emblems of authority in Korea. In Japan itself there is
an abundance of similar evidence. In the _Nihongi_ we hear of local
governors being granted shields and spears in token of authority. When
Ohonamochi abdicates in favour of Ninigi he delivers over the Kuni-muke
no hiro-boko, or land-subduing-broad-spear. The epithet Ya-chi-boko no
kami, or God of eight thousand spears, applied to the same deity, has a
similar symbolical meaning. The Empress Jingō set up her spear at the
palace gate of the King of Silla, in Korea, as a token of conquest. A
holly spear, eight fathoms long, was given to Prince Yamatodake when he
was despatched on his expedition to subdue Eastern Japan.

It will be observed that the _tama-boko_ as a phallus belongs to the
generative conception of creation, and as a spear to the idea of it as
a cosmic or regulating process:--

_"The two deities having descended on Onogoro-jima erected there
an eight fathom house with an august central pillar. Then Izanagi
addressed Izanami, saying: 'How is thy body formed?' Izanami replied,
'My body is completely formed except one part which is incomplete.'
Then Izanagi said, 'My body is completely formed and there is one
part which is superfluous. Suppose that we supplement that which is_
_incomplete in thee with that which is superfluous in me, and thereby
procreate lands.' Izanami replied, 'It is well.' Then Izanagi said,
'Let me and thee go round the heavenly august pillar, and having met at
the other side, let us become united in wedlock.' This being agreed to,
he said, 'Do thou go round from the left, and I will go round from the
right.' When they had gone round, Izanami spoke first and exclaimed,
'How delightful! I have met a lovely youth.' Izanagi then said, 'How
delightful! I have met a lovely maiden.' Afterwards he said, 'It was
unlucky for the woman to speak first.' The child which was the first
offspring of their union was the Hiruko (leech-child), which at the age
of three was still unable to stand upright, and was therefore placed in
a reed-boat and sent adrift."_

The "eight fathom house" built by Izanagi and Izanami as a preliminary
to their marriage is the _fuseya_, or nuptial hut, several times
referred to in the old records. It was erected less for practical
purposes than to avoid the ceremonial contamination of the ordinary
dwelling-house by the consummation of a marriage within it.

The number eight is often met with in Japanese myth. It would be a
mistake, however, to regard it as in any way sacred. The primary
meaning of _yatsu_ is "many," and it might be better to translate it so
in this passage.

The central pillar of a house (corresponding to our king-post) is
at the present day an object of honour in Japan as in many other
countries. In the case of Shinto shrines, it is called the _Nakago
no mibashira_ (central august pillar), and in ordinary houses the
_Daikoku-bashira_. The circumambulation of the central post by
Izanagi and Izanami reminds us of the Hindu _pradakchina_.[62]
Hirata's conjecture that we have here an ancient marriage rite is very
plausible. The circumambulation of the dwelling, the fire, a tree, or
an altar by the bride and bridegroom is a familiar feature of marriage
ritual. It does not follow that the Japanese rite had a religious
character. Nothing in the mythical record suggests that this is the
case, and at no time in Japanese history has the marriage ceremony
had the sanction of religion. Shinto neither consecrates wedlock nor
condemns adultery.

It must not be inferred from this narrative that unions between
brothers and sisters of the full blood were permitted by ancient
Japanese custom. Cain and Abel must have married their own sisters, but
this proves nothing against the morality of the Jews. The necessity
of the story is the compelling motive in both cases. It is true that
marriages were allowed between a man and his sister by the father's
side only, but we learn from the _Nihongi_[63] that in the case of full
brothers and sisters such connexions were considered criminal. The fact
that _imo_, younger sister, is also used in addressing a wife proves no
more than the "How fair is thy love, my sister, my bride!" of the Song
of Solomon. The author of the myth of the Sun-Goddess endeavours to
smooth over the difficulty of her conjugal relations with her brother
Susa no wo by giving them a miraculous character.

The story of the abandonment of Hiruko by his parents, like the similar
legends of Sargon and Moses, is evidence that the custom of casting
away weakly or deformed infants was known to the authors. The real
significance of the Hiruko myth will be shown hereafter.

The two deities next gave birth to the islands of Japan. Of the birth
of Tsukushi, now called Kiushiu, the _Kojiki_ says:--

_"Next they gave birth to the island of Tsukushi. This island
likewise has four faces, and each face has a name. So the
land of Tsukushi is called Shira-bi-wake (white-sun-youth);
the land of Toyo is called Toyo-bi-wake (rich-sun-youth);
the land of Hi is called Take-hi-mukahi-toyo-kuji-hine-wake
(brave-sun-confronting-rich-wondrous-lord-youth); the land of Kumaso is
called Take-bi-wake (brave-sun-youth)."_

At this point the _Nihongi_ inserts the rationalistic observation that
the islands of Tsushima and Iki with the small islands in various parts
were produced by the coagulation of the salt water.

Izanagi and Izanami then procreated a number of deities, among
whom were Iha-tsuchi-biko (rock-earth-prince), Oho-ya-biko
(great-house-prince), the Wind-Gods, a variety of marine deities,
Ame no Mikumari (the heavenly water distributor), the God of Moors
(who is also the God of Herbs and Grasses), the God of Trees, the
Gods of Mountains and Valleys, and the Goddess of Food. The last
deity to be produced was the God of Fire, Kagu-tsuchi, also called
Ho-musubi (fire-growth). In giving birth to him Izanami was burnt
so that she sickened and lay down. From her vomit, fæces, and urine
were born deities which personify the elements[64] of metal, water,
and clay, while from the tears which Izanagi shed when she died there
was produced a deity called Naki-saha-me, or the Weeping Female.
In his rage and grief, Izanagi drew his sword and cut Kagu-tsuchi
to pieces, generating thereby a number of deities. Of these two
were widely worshipped in later times. One, named Take-mika-tsuchi
(brave-awful-father), is the God of the famous shrine of Kashima in the
east of Japan. The other, named Futsunushi, is worshipped under the
form of a sword at Kadori in the same neighbourhood. Izanami, by one
account, was buried at the village of Arima at Kumano, in the province
of Kiï.

_"In the time of flowers the inhabitants worship her mitama by
offerings of flowers. They also worship her with drums, flutes, flags,
singing and dancing."_

When she died Izanami went to the land of Yomi, or darkness.

_"Thereafter Izanagi went after Izanami, and entered the land of Yomi.
When he rejoined her, they conversed together. Izanami said: 'My lord
and husband, why is thy coming so late? I have already eaten of the
cooking-furnace of Yomi. But I am about to lie down to rest. Do not
thou look on me.' Izanagi did not give ear to her, but secretly took
his many-toothed comb, and breaking off its end-tooth[65] made of
it a torch and looked at her. Her body was already putrid, maggots
swarmed over it, and the eight thunder-gods had been generated in her
various members. Izanagi, greatly shocked, exclaimed, 'What a hideous
and polluted land I have come to unawares!' So he speedily ran away.
Izanami was angry, and said, 'Why didst thou not observe that which I
charged thee? Now am I put to shame.' So she sent the Ugly Females of
Yomi to pursue and slay him. Izanagi, in his flight, threw down his
many-toothed comb, which forthwith became changed into bamboo-shoots.
The Ugly Females pulled them up and ate them. When they had done eating
them they again gave chase. He then threw down his headdress, which
became changed into grapes, and so once more delayed his pursuers.
On reaching the foot of the 'Even Pass of Yomi' he gathered three
peaches[66] that were growing there, and smote his pursuers with them,
so that they all fled back. Moreover, he said to the peaches, 'As ye
have helped me, so must ye help all living people in the Central Land
of Reed-plains when they are in trouble.' And he gave them the title
Oho-kamu-dzu-mi no mikoto (their augustness great-divine fruit). This
was the origin of the custom of exorcising evil spirits by means of

_"At the Even Pass of Yomi, Izanagi was overtaken by Izanami herself.
He took a great rock[67] and blocked up the pass with it, pronouncing
at the same time the formula of divorce--namely, 'Our relationship is
severed.' He also said, 'Come no further,' and threw down his staff,
which was called Funado no Kami (pass-not-place-deity), or Kunado
no Kami (come-not-place-deity). Moreover, he threw down his girdle,
which was called Nagachiha no Kami. Moreover, he threw down his
upper garment, which was called Wadzurahi no Kami (God of disease).
Moreover, he threw down his trowsers, which were called Aki-guhi no
Kami. Moreover, he threw down his shoes, which were called Chi-shiki no

The _Kojiki_ represents Izanami as assuming the position of the "Great
Deity of Yomi," a personification of death. In this character she says
to Izanagi, "If thou dost so (divorce me), I will in one day strangle
to death a thousand of the people of thy land." To which he replied
"If thou dost so, I will in one day build a thousand and five hundred
parturition houses."

The fatal consequences of tasting the food of the lower regions are
well known to mythologists. Proserpine's return to the upper world
became impossible when once

    Puniceum curvâ decerpserat arbore pomum
    Sumpta que pallenti septem de cortice grana
    Presserat ore suo.

The same principle is recognized in Indian myth:

    Three nights within his (Yama's) mansion stay,
    But taste not, though a guest, his food.[68]

The natural aversion of human beings from touching or even looking on
the dead is made a characteristic of the Gods in Greek mythology as
well as in Japanese myth. Artemis, in the 'Hippolytus' of Euripides,
says, "It is not _themis_ for me to look upon the dead."

The "Even Pass of Yomi" takes the place of the water to be crossed of
other mythologies. Grimm, in his 'Teutonic Mythology,' says that "to
Death is ascribed a highway levelled, smooth, and kept in repair, on
which the dead travel."

On returning from Yomi, Izanagi's first care was to bathe in the sea
in order to purify himself from the pollutions which he had contracted
by his visit to the Land of Yomi. A number of deities were generated
by this process, among whom were the Gods of Good and Ill Luck, and
certain ocean deities held to be the ancestors of some families of
local chieftains and worshipped by them. The Sun-Goddess was born from
the washing of his left eye, and the Moon-God from that of his right,
while a third deity, named Susa no wo, was generated from the washing
of his nose. To the Sun-Goddess Izanagi gave charge of the "Plain of
High Heaven," and to the Moon-God was allotted the realm of night. Susa
no wo was at first appointed to rule the sea, but he cried and wept
till his beard grew down to the pit of his stomach. He wept the green
mountains bare and the seas and rivers dry. Izanagi inquired of him,
"Why dost thou continually weep?" He answered, "I wish to follow my
mother to the Nether Land." Izanagi said, "Go, as thy heart bids thee,"
and drove him away.

Another account of the birth of these three deities says that they were
born to Izanagi and Izanami on earth before the descent to Yomi. The
Sun-Goddess was sent up to Heaven by the "Pillar of Heaven," which then
served as a means of communication. Heaven and earth were still "not
far separated." _Ame no mi-hashira_ (Heaven-august-pillar) is one of
the names of the Wind-God. An island is described as "Heaven's single
pillar." Other myths speak of the _Ama no iha-bune_, or Rock-boat
of Heaven, as used for communication by the deities. There is also
mention of an _Ama no hashidate_ (Heaven-bridge-erection) which is
distinguished by Hirata from the "Pillar of Heaven." He thinks the
former was a sort of pier used by the Rock-boat of Heaven. A spit of
land two miles long and 190 feet broad near Miyadzu in Tango is now
called by this name.[69]

_Ame_, or the firmament, where the Gods live, is to be distinguished
from _Oho-sora_, the Great Void, which is the space between heaven and

Izanagi's ablutions (_harahi_)[70] represent a wide-spread rite.
They remind us of Juno's lustration by Iris after a visit to Hades,
and of Dante's immersion in Lethe when he had completed his ascent
through Purgatory and was preparing for admission to the circles of
Paradise. Alcestis, after her rescue by Herakles from Thanatos, had
to be purified, and was not allowed to speak for three days. We have
in the Japanese myth the counterpart of a custom described by Chinese
travellers to Japan centuries before the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ were
written. It was then, we are informed, the practice, when the funeral
was over, for the whole family of the deceased to go into the water and
wash. Lustration is a wide-world practice,[71] and the myth was clearly
suggested by it, not _vice versâ_.

Izanagi's career having come to an end, he built himself an abode
of gloom in the island of Ahaji, where he dwelt in silence and
concealment. Another account says that he ascended to Heaven, where he
dwelt in the smaller Palace of the Sun.

It will be observed that Izanagi was not immortal, and that he did not
go to Yomi when he died.

=Susa no wo=.--The mythical narrative now turns to the doings of the
Sun-Goddess and her brother Susa no wo (the rainstorm personified).

Susa no wo, before proceeding to take up his charge as Ruler of
the Nether Region, ascended to Heaven to take leave of his elder
sister, the Sun-Goddess. By reason of the fierceness of his divine
nature there was a commotion in the sea, and the hills and mountains
groaned aloud as he passed upwards. The Sun-Goddess, in alarm,
arrayed herself in manly garb, and confronted her brother[72] wearing
her royal necklace of jewels, and armed with sword and bow and
arrows. The pair stood face to face on opposite sides of the River
of Heaven.[73] Susa no wo then assured his sister of the purity of
his intentions, and proposed to her that they should each produce
children by biting off and crunching parts of the jewels and swords
which they wore and blowing away the fragments.[74] Eight children
born in this way were worshipped in after times as the _Hachôji_,
or eight princely children. They figure largely in the Shôjiroku
genealogies of Japanese noble families. Through one of them, named
Masa-ya-a-katsu-kachi-haya-hi-ama-no-oshi-ho-mi-mi, the Mikados trace
their descent from the Sun-Goddess. _A-Katsu_ means I conquer. The
allusion is to Susa no wo's having triumphantly proved the purity of
his intentions by producing male children.[75]

Susa no wo's subsequent proceedings were very rude and unseemly. He
broke down the divisions between the rice-fields belonging to his
sister, sowed them over again, let loose in them the piebald colt of
Heaven, and committed nuisances in the hall where she was celebrating
the solemn festival of first-fruits. The climax to his misdeeds was
to flay a piebald colt of Heaven with a backward flaying and to fling
it into the sacred weaving-hall where the Sun-Goddess was engaged in
weaving the garments of the deities. She was so deeply indignant at
this last insult that she entered the Rock-cave of Heaven and left the
world to darkness.



The piebald colt of Heaven may be compared to Prisni, the speckled
cow of Indian myth, which is explained as a personification of the
variegated appearance of the starry heavens.

The retirement of the Sun-Goddess to the Rock-cave of Heaven produced
great consternation among the heavenly deities. They met on the dry
bed of the River of Heaven and took counsel how they should entice
her from her seclusion. By the advice of Omohi-kane no Mikoto (the
Thought-combiner or Counsellor deity) the long-singing birds of the
Eternal Land (cocks)[76] were made to utter their prolonged cry before
the door of the cave. Ame no Koyane no Mikoto, ancestor of the Nakatomi
and Futodama no Mikoto, ancestor of the Imbe, dug up by the roots a
five-hundred branched true _Sakaki_ tree of Heaven and hung on its
higher branches strings of jewels, on its middle branches a mirror, and
on its lower branches pieces of cloth. Then they recited their liturgy
in her honour. Moreover, Ame no Uzume (the Dread Female of Heaven)
arrayed herself in a fantastic manner, kindled a fire and standing on
a tub which resounded when she stamped upon it, performed a (not very
decent) mimic dance and gave forth an inspired utterance. The Plain
of High Heaven shook, and the eight hundred myriad deities laughed
together. The Sun-Goddess wondered how Ame no Uzume and the other gods
could be so jolly while the world was wrapped in complete darkness,
and peeped out from the half-opened door of the cave. She was at once
seized by Ta-jikara no wo (Hand-strength-male) and prevented by main
force from re-entering, to the great joy of all the deities.

Susa no wo was then tried by a council of Gods, who mulcted him in a
fine of a thousand tables of purification offerings. They also pulled
out the nails of his fingers and toes, and banished him to the land of
Yomi. Finally Ame no Koyane, the ancestor of the Nakatomi, recited his
Oho-harahi or "Great purification" liturgy.

The above episode is the kernel of the mythical lore of Japan.
Belonging to the class of light and darkness myths, it professes to
give the origin of some of the principal ceremonies of the Shinto
religion as they were practised at the Mikado's Court at the time
when they became current. In addition to the Nakatomi and Imbe,
some versions of the story show the Sun-Goddess surrounded by other
officials, such as jewel-makers, mirror-makers, &c., obviously borrowed
from the actual functionaries of the Court, and introduced with an eye
to genealogical requirements. By a curious coincidence, the Smith-God
attached to her train, like the Cyclops of Greek myth, has but one eye.

Ame no Uzume, the Dread Female of Heaven, who danced and gave forth
an inspired utterance before the Rock-cave where the Sun Goddess was
hidden, is the supposed ancestor of the Sarume (monkey-women) or
female mimes attached to the Mikado's Court, whose performances were
the origin of the pantomimic religious dances still kept up in Japan
and known as _Kagura_, while her divinely inspired utterance is the
prototype of the revelations of the Miko, or Shinto priestesses. One
version of the story gives us the actual words used by Uzume on this
occasion--namely, _Hi_, _fu_, _mi_, _yo_, _itsu_, _mu_, _nana_, _ya_,
_kokono_, _towo_. A Japanese baby knows that these are simply the
numerals from one to ten. But they have given much trouble to later
Shintoists, who have endeavoured to read into them a deep mythical

The fire kindled by her is the prototype of the _nihabi_, or "courtyard
fire," of Shinto ceremonial. It is plainly one of those numerous
imitative magic devices for making sunshine, of which Mr. Frazer has
given several examples.[77]

Modern Shinto explains the darkness produced by the Sun-Goddess's
retirement as emblematic of the darkness of sin. The renewal of light
typifies repentance. Of course, this was far from the thoughts of the
original myth-makers.

Susa no wo did not at once proceed to the land of Yomi. He went and
begged food of the Food-Goddess, who produced dainty things of all
kinds from various parts of her body, and offered them to him. But Susa
no wo took offence at her proceedings, which he considered filthy, and
at once slew her. Whereupon there were produced in her head silkworms,
in her eyes rice, in her ears millet, in her nose small beans, in her
genitals barley, and in her fundament large beans. These Musubi, the
God of Growth, took and caused to be used as seeds.

The above is the _Kojiki_ version of the story. The _Nihongi_ makes
the Moon-God the culprit, and gives it as the reason of his alienation
from the Sun-Goddess, who had sent him to visit the Food-Goddess. This
is not the only attempt of myth-makers to account for the aloofness
maintained by these two deities. The same variant of this episode makes
the Sun-Goddess the recipient of the various seeds produced in the body
of the Food-Goddess:--

_"She was rejoiced, and said, 'These are the things which the race of
visible men will eat and live.' So she made the millet, the panic, the
wheat and the beans the seed for the dry fields, and the rice she made
the seed for the water-fields. Therefore she appointed a Mura-gimi
(village-lord) of Heaven, and forthwith sowed for the first time the
rice-seed in the narrow fields and in the long fields of Heaven."_

Probably in the slaying of the Food-Goddess we have an echo of some
of those practices so fully examined by Mr. Frazer, in which the
Corn-maiden, or other representative of the corn, is slain--a tragedy
of perennial interest to mankind. Witness the rape of Persephone and
the death of John Barleycorn. Susa no wo then visited Corea, but not
finding that country to his liking, returned to Japan, and went to the
province of Idzumo.

_"Here he observed a chopstick floating down the river Hi, so thinking
that there must be people living further up the stream, he went in
quest of them, and found an old man and an old woman weeping, with a
young maiden set between them. He asked of them, 'Who are ye?' The
old man replied, 'Thy servant is a deity of earth, and his name is
Ashinadzuchi, son of the great God of the Mountain. My wife's name
is Tenadzuchi, and my daughter is called Kushinada hime.' He further
inquired, 'Why weep ye?' He answered, saying, 'I have had eight
children, girls; but the eight-forked serpent of Koshi came year after
year and devoured them. It is now the time of its coming, and therefore
do we weep.' 'Describe to me this serpent,' said Susa no wo. 'Its eyes
are as red as the winter cherry. It has one body with eight heads and
eight tails. Moreover, its body is overgrown with moss, pines and
cedars. Its length extends over eight valleys and eight hills. Its
belly is always all bloody and inflamed to look upon.' Then Susa no
wo said to the old man, 'If this be thy daughter, wilt thou give her
unto me?' 'With reverence be it said,' replied the old man, 'I know not
thy honourable name.' 'I am the elder brother of the Sun-Goddess, and
have now come down from heaven,' replied Susa no wo. Then the deities
Ashinadzuchi and Tenadzuchi said, 'In that case, with reverence we
offer her to thee.' Susa no wo straightway took that young maiden and
changed her into a many-toothed comb, which he stuck into his hair,
and said to the deities Ashinadzuchi and Tenadzuchi, 'Do ye brew some
saké of eight-fold strength. Also make a fence round about, and in
that fence let there be eight doors, at each door let there be eight
stands, on each stand let there be a saké-tub, and let each saké-tub
be filled with the saké of eight-fold strength. Then wait.' So having
prepared everything in accordance with his august bidding, they
waited. Then the eight-forked serpent came, indeed, as had been said,
and bending down one head into each of the tubs, lapped up the saké.
Hereupon it became drunken, and all the heads lay down to sleep, when
straightway Susa no wo drew his ten-span sword from his girdle and slew
the serpent, so that the river had its current changed to blood. Now,
when he cut the middle part of the tail the edge of his august sword
was broken. Wondering at this, he pierced it and split it open, when he
found that within there was a great sharp sword. He took this sword,
and thinking it a wonderful thing, reported his discovery to the Sun
Goddess. This is the great sword Kusanagi (Herb-queller)."_

On the occasion of his marriage to Kushinada hime, Susa no wo composed
the following verses:--

    _Many clouds arise,_
    _On all sides a manifold fence:_
    _To receive within it the spouses,_
    _They form a manifold fence,_
    _Ah! that manifold fence!_

Eventually he entered the Nether Land.

Few of my readers will require to have pointed out to them the striking
resemblance of this story to that of Perseus and Andromeda, or will
need to be referred to Mr. Sidney Hartland's 'Legend of Perseus,'
in which everything relating to its numerous variants has been so
thoroughly examined. I would direct special attention to chapter
xviii. of this work, where the hypothesis is offered, "that we have
in this incident a reminiscence of the abolition of human sacrifices
to deities in the shape of the lower animals.... In certain stages of
civilization, sacrifices of the kind are practised, and are frequently
offered to water-spirits conceived in animal form.... It may, of
course, be that the monster sent to devour Andromeda is to be regarded
simply as the personification of water, or of specific rivers in their
sinister aspect."[78]

The circumstance that the scene of this episode in Susa no wo's career
is the bank of a river is therefore by no means immaterial. Indeed,
we may plausibly conjecture that the description of the serpent with
its eight (or many) heads and eight tails, its length extending over
eight valleys and eight hills, its body overgrown with moss, pines,
and cedars, and its propensity for devouring human beings is nothing
more than a fanciful representation of the river, with its serpentine
course, its numerous tributaries and branches, its wooded banks, and
the danger by drowning in its pools or at its fords.

The poem ascribed to Susa no wo cannot be older than the sixth or
seventh century. The word translated "on all sides," is _idzumo_. There
is therefore a punning allusion to the province of that name. The
"manifold fence," is the "nuptial hut," already referred to.[79]

=Ohonamochi=.--Susa no wo had numerous children, among whom were
Oho-toshi (great harvest), and Uka no mitama[80] (food-spirit). The
most famous of his progeny was a God called Ohonamochi. This is the
Great Deity of Idzumo, a place second only to Ise for sanctity.

Ohonamochi's eighty brothers went to pay court to a female deity named
Yakami-hime, taking him with them as porter "to carry the bag." On
arriving at Cape Keta, they found a naked hare lying on the ground.
The brothers maliciously advised the hare to bathe in the sea, and
then expose himself to the wind on the slope of a high mountain. The
hare did so, with the result that when the sea-water dried, his skin
split, and he was weeping with pain, when Ohonamochi came up in the
rear of the party. He had pity on it, and taught it remedies which
gave relief. The grateful hare promised that he should have the lady
Yakami-hime in marriage, and not his brothers. When their suit was
accordingly rejected, they devised several plans for the destruction of
Ohonamochi, which were all unsuccessful. He was then advised to go to
the "Netherdistant land," the abode of Susa no wo.

"_In accordance with this counsel, he went to the dwelling of Susa
no wo. On arriving there he was met by his daughter Suseri-hime,
who married him, and then returning within told her father that a
very beautiful deity had arrived. The Great Deity came out, and
looking at him said, 'This is the deity called the Ugly-male-deity
of the Reed-Plain. Thereupon he invited him in, and made him sleep
in the snake-chamber. Now his wife Suseri-hime gave her husband a
snake-scarf, saying, 'When the snakes are about to bite thee, drive
them away by waving this scarf thrice.' He did as she had instructed
him, and the snakes were quieted, so that he came forth again after
a peaceful sleep. Again, on the night of the next day, he was put
into the centipede and wasp chamber; but as his wife again gave him a
centipede-and-wasp scarf, and instructed him as before, he came forth
unharmed. Again Susa no wo shot a whizzing arrow into the middle of
a great moor, and bid him fetch it. When Ohonamochi went out to the
moor, Susa no wo set fire to it all round. Ohonamochi could find no way
of escape until a rat appeared, and said, 'Within 'tis hollow-hollow,
without 'tis narrow-narrow.' Hearing this, Ohonamochi stamped upon the
place, and fell in, and hid himself until the fire had burnt past.
Then the rat came with the whizzing arrow in its mouth and presented
it to him. The feathers of the arrow had all been gnawed by the rat's
children. Hereupon his wife Suseri-hime came weeping and bringing the
funeral things. Her father, the Great Deity, thinking that Ohonamochi
was already dead, went out and stood on the moor. Ohonamochi brought
him the arrow and presented it to him. Susa no wo took him into the
house, and calling him into a large chamber of many mats, bid him
catch the lice on his head. Ohonamochi looked at his head, and saw
that it was swarming with centipedes. Then his wife gave him berries
of the muku tree and red earth. He chewed up the berries and took
the red earth into his mouth. Then he spat them out, and the Great
Deity thought that he had chewed up and spat out the centipedes, and
feeling fond of him in his heart, fell asleep. Ohonamochi then took
hold of the hair of the Great Deity and tied it to the rafters of the
chamber. Blocking up the door with a five-hundred-pull rock, he took
his wife Suseri-hime on his back and made his escape, carrying with
him the Great Deity's live-sword, live bow and arrows, and speaking
lute of Heaven. The speaking lute of Heaven brushed against a tree and
the earth resounded. The Great Deity was startled out of his sleep by
the sound and pulled down the chamber. But while he was unloosing his
hair from the rafters Ohonamochi fled a long way off. The Great Deity
pursued him to the Even Pass of Yomi, and looking at him from afar,
called to him and said, 'With the live sword and live bow and arrows
which thou bearest, pursue thy half-brethren till they lie down on the
lower slopes of the passes, pursue them till they are swept into the
river rapids. Be thou the deity Oho-kuni-nushi (great-land-master)
and the deity Utsushi-kuni-dama (real-land-spirit). Make my daughter
Suseri-hime thy consort, and basing thy stout palace-pillars on the
bottom rock at the foot of Mount Uka, and exalting thy crossbeams to
the Plain of High Heaven, dwell there, thou rogue.' When Ohonamochi had
driven away and dispersed the eighty deities, he pursued them till they
lay down on the lower slopes of every pass, and pursued them till they
were swept into the rapids of every river. Then did he begin to make
the land._"

He was assisted in doing so by a dwarf deity called Sukuna-bikona,
who wore garments of bird skins and came over the sea in a tiny boat.
There is probably some echo of real history in the myths of Susa no
wo, Ohonamochi, and Sukuna-bikona. Idzumo, the scene of their doings,
was one of the earliest centres of civilization and religion in
Japan, and its position over against Korea is significant in view of
the legends which connect Susa no wo with that country. The incident
of Sukuna-bikona's arrival by sea, clothed in bird skins, seems to
indicate an acquaintance with some northern tribes, who, like the
Kurile islanders at this day, wore garments of this material.

This Ohonamochi myth belongs to a class of stories the main features
of which have been thus outlined by Mr. A. Lang: "A young man is
brought to the home of a hostile animal, a giant, cannibal, wizard, or
malevolent king. He is put by his unfriendly host to various severe
trials, in which it is hoped that he will perish. In each trial he is
assisted by the daughter of his host. After achieving the adventures,
he elopes with the girl and is pursued by the father." Mr. Lang goes on
to speak of the articles thrown down by the runaways in their flight.
This part of the story belongs in Japanese myth to the history of
Izanagi and Izanami.[81]

=Ninigi=.--The dynasty of Susa no wo was not recognized by the Gods
of Heaven. They sent down several other deities to prepare the world
for the advent of Ninigi, a grandchild of the Sun-Goddess, as its
ruler. Some versions of the story make Taka-musubi the chief actor
in these proceedings, in others the Sun-Goddess is more prominent.
One of the deities sent down for this purpose was Ame-waka-hiko
(heaven-young-prince). The _Nihongi_ says:--

"_As soon as he arrived he took to wife Shita-teru-hime, the daughter
of Utsushi-kuni-dama. Accordingly he remained, and said: 'I, too,
wish to govern the Central Land of Reed-Plains.' He never reported
the result of his mission. At this time Taka-musubi, wondering why
he was so long in coming and making his report, sent the pheasant
Na-naki to observe. The pheasant flew down and perched on the top of a
many-branched cassia-tree which grew before Ame-waka-hiko's gate. Now
Ama-no Sagu-me (heaven-spying-woman) saw this, and told Ame-waka-hiko,
saying: 'A strange bird has come and is perched on the top of the
cassia-tree.' Then Ame-waka-hiko took the heavenly deer-bow and the
heavenly feathered arrows which had been given him by Taka-mi-musubi no
Mikoto, and shot the pheasant, so that it died. The arrow having passed
through the pheasant's breast, came before where Taka-mi-musubi no Kami
was sitting. Then Taka-mi-musubi no Kami, seeing this arrow, said:
'This arrow I formerly gave to Ame-waka-hiko. It is stained with blood,
it may be because he has been fighting with the Earthly Deities.'
Thereupon Taka-mi-musubi no Mikoto took up the arrow and flung it back
down (to earth). This arrow, when it fell, hit Ame-waka-hiko on the
top of his breast. At this time Ame-waka-hiko was lying down after the
feast of first-fruits, and when hit by the arrow died immediately._"

"_The sound of the weeping and mourning of Ame-waka-hiko's wife
Shita-teru-hime reached Heaven. At this time Ame no Kuni-dama, hearing
the voice of her crying, straightway knew that her son, Ame-waka-hiko,
was dead, and sent down a swift wind to bring the body up to Heaven.
Forthwith a mortuary house was made, in which it was temporarily
deposited. The river-geese were made head-hanging bearers and also
broom-bearers, the kingfisher was made the representative of the
deceased, the sparrows were made the pounding-women, and the wrens
the mourners. Altogether the assembled birds were entrusted with the

"_For eight days and eight nights they wept and sang dirges._"

=Futsunushi and Take-mika-tsuchi=.--Finally, the deities Futsunushi
and Take-mika-tsuchi[82] were sent down to prepare Japan for Ninigi's

"_The two deities descended and arrived at the Little Shore of Itasa
in Idzumo, and asked Ohonamochi, saying: 'Wilt thou deliver up this
country to the Heavenly Deity, or not?' He answered and said: 'I will
not allow it.' Thereupon Futsunushi returned upwards, and made his
report. Now Taka-mi-musubi sent the two Gods back again, and commanded
Ohonamochi, saying: 'Having now heard what thou hast said, I find
that there is profound reason in thy words. Therefore again I issue
my commands to thee more circumstantially, that is to say: Let the
public matters which thou hast charge of be conducted by my grandchild,
and do thou rule divine affairs. Moreover, if thou wilt dwell in the
palace of Ama no Hi-sumi, I will now build it for thee. I will take a
thousand fathom rope of the (bark of the) paper mulberry, and tie it
in 180 knots. As to the dimensions of the building of the palace, its
pillars shall be high and massy, and its planks broad and thick. I will
also cultivate thy rice-fields for thee, and, for thy provision when
thou goest to take pleasure on the sea, I will make for thee a high
bridge, a floating bridge, and also a Heavenly bird-boat. Moreover,
on the Tranquil River of Heaven I will make a flying bridge. I will
also make for thee white shields of 180 seams, and Ame no Ho-hi no
Mikoto shall be the president of the festivals in thy honour.' Hereupon
Ohonamochi answered and said: 'The instructions of the Heavenly Deity
are so courteous that I may not presume to disobey his commands. Let
the August Grandchild direct the public affairs of which I have charge.
I will retire and direct secret matters.' So he introduced Kunado no
Kami to the two Gods, saying: 'He will take my place and will yield
respectful obedience. I will withdraw and depart hence.' He forthwith
invested him with the pure Yasaka jewels, and then became concealed for
ever. Therefore Futsunushi no Kami appointed Kunado no Kami as guide,
and went on a circuit of pacification. Any who were rebellious to his
authority he put to death, while those who rendered obedience were
rewarded. The chiefs of those who at this time rendered obedience were
Oho-mono-nushi and Koto-shiro-nushi._"

Another version adds that--

"_He took the broad spear[83] which he had used as a staff when he
was pacifying the land, and gave it to the two Gods saying: 'By means
of this spear I was at last successful. If the Heavenly Grandchild
will use this spear to rule the land, he will undoubtedly subdue it
to tranquillity. I am now about to withdraw to the concealment of the
eighty road-windings.' Having said these words, he at length became
concealed.[84] Thereupon the two Gods put to death all the rebellious
spirits and Deities._"

When Ninigi was about to descend to earth, the Sun-Goddess addressed
him, saying:

"_'This Reed-plain-1500-autumns-fair-ears Land is the region which my
descendants shall be lords of. Do thou, my August Grandchild, proceed
thither and govern it. Go! and may prosperity attend thy dynasty, and
may it, like Heaven and Earth, endure for ever.' When he was about to
descend, one who had been sent in advance to clear the way, returned
and said: 'There is one God who dwells at the eight-crossroads of
Heaven, the length of whose nose is seven hands, and whose stature is
more than seven fathoms. Moreover, a light shines from his mouth and
from his posteriors. His eye-balls are like an eight-hand mirror, and
have a ruddy glow like the physalis.' Thereupon he sent one of his
attendant Deities to go and make inquiry. Now among all the eighty
myriads of Deities, there was not one who could confront him and make
inquiry. Therefore he specially commanded Ame no Uzume, saying: 'Thou
art superior to others in the power of thy looks. Thou hadst better go
and question him.' So Ame no Uzume forthwith bared her breasts, and,
pushing down the band of her garment below her navel, confronted him
with a mocking laugh. Then the God of the crossways asked her saying:
'Ame no Uzume! What meanest thou by this behaviour?' She answered
and said: 'I make bold to ask who art thou, that dost thus remain in
the road by which the child of Ama-terasu no Oho-kami is to make his
progress?' The God of the crossways answered and said: 'I have heard
that the child of Ama-terasu no Oho-kami is now about to descend, and
therefore I have come respectfully to meet and attend upon him. My
name is Saruta-hiko no Oho-kami.' Then Ame no Uzume again inquired of
him, saying: 'Wilt thou go before me, or shall I go before thee?' He
answered and said: 'I will go before and be his harbinger.' Ame no
Uzume returned and reported these circumstances. Thereupon the August
Grandchild, leaving the heavenly rock-seat, and thrusting apart the
eight-piled clouds of Heaven, clove his way with an awful way-cleaving,
and descended to earth._"

He alighted on a mountain in the western island of Kiushiu. He was
attended by the ancestors of the five _be_, or hereditary government
corporations, viz.: the Nakatomi, the Imbe, the Sarume, the
mirror-makers _be_, and the jewellers _be_, to which some accounts add
several others.

Ninigi took to wife Konohana-sakuyahime (the lady blooming like the
flowers of the trees). Her father Oho-yamatsu mi (great-mountain
person) had offered him both his daughters, but the elder was
rejected by Ninigi as being too ugly. Her name was Iha-naga-hime
(rock-long-lady). The consequences of this choice were disastrous to
his descendants. Iha-naga-hime, in her shame and resentment, uttered a
curse and said: "The race of visible men shall change swiftly like the
flowers of the trees and shall decay and pass away." This is the reason
why the life of man is so short.

When the time came for the younger sister's delivery, she shut herself
up in a doorless shed, which, on the birth of her three children,
she set fire to, with the object of clearing herself from certain
suspicions which her husband had entertained of her fidelity. "If,"
said she, "the children are really the offspring of the Heavenly
Grandchild, the fire cannot harm them." The children and their mother
came forth unhurt, and were thereupon recognized by Ninigi as his true
offspring and wife.

The "doorless shed" here mentioned, is a "parturition house."[85] It
was the custom in ancient Japan for women, when the time drew near for
their delivery, to retire to a shed specially constructed to receive
them, so that contamination to the dwelling-house might be avoided.
This was still the practice in the island of Hachijō in 1878, and even
in Japan no longer than a century ago.

The burning of the parturition house represents the ordeal by fire,
which, with the ordeal by boiling water or mud, is well known in Japan.

=Ho no Susori and Hohodemi=.--The story concerns itself no further with
the youngest of these three children. Of the others, the elder, named
Ho no Susori, became a fisherman, and the younger, Hohodemi, a hunter.

Ho no Susori once proposed to his brother to exchange their respective
callings. Hohodemi accordingly gave over to his elder brother his bow
and arrows and received a fishhook in return. But neither of them
profited by the exchange, so Ho no Susori gave back to his brother the
bow and arrows and demanded from him the fish-hook.

Hohodemi, however, had in the meantime lost it in the sea. He took
his sword and forged from it a number of new fish-hooks which he
piled up in a winnowing tray and offered to his brother by way of
compensation. But the latter would have none but his own, and demanded
it so vehemently of Hohodemi as to grieve him bitterly. Hohodemi went
down to the sea-shore and stood there lamenting, when there appeared to
him the Old Man of the Sea, by whose advice he descended into the sea
depths to the abode of the God of the Sea, a stately palace with lofty
towers and battlements. Before the gate there was a well, and over the
well grew a thick-branching cassia tree, into which Hohodemi climbed.
The Sea-God's daughter Toyo-tama-hime (rich jewel maiden) then came
out from the palace to draw water. She saw Hohodemi's face reflected
in the well, and returning within reported to her father that she had
seen a beautiful youth in the tree which grew by the well. Hohodemi was
courteously received by the Sea-God, Toyo-tama-hiko (rich jewel prince)
who when he heard his errand, summoned before him all the fishes of
the sea and made inquiry of them for the lost fish hook, which was
eventually discovered in the mouth of the Tai. Toyo-tama-hiko delivered
it to Hohodemi, telling him when he gave it back to his brother to say
"a hook of poverty, a hook of ruin, a hook of downfall," to spit twice
and to hand it over with averted face.

Hohodemi married the Sea-God's daughter Toyo-tama-hime and remained
with her for three years. He then became home-sick and returned to
the upper world. On the beach where he came to land, he built for his
wife, who was soon to follow, a parturition house which he thatched
with cormorant's feathers. The roofing was still unfinished when she
arrived, riding on a great tortoise. She went straight into the hut,
begging her husband not to look at her. But Hohodemi's curiosity was
too strong for him. He peeped in, and behold! his wife had become
changed into a _wani_ (sea-monster or dragon), eight fathoms long.
Deeply indignant at the disgrace put upon her, Toyo-tama-hime abandoned
her new-born child to the care of her sister, and barring behind her
the sea-path in such a way that from that day to this all communication
between the realms of land and sea has been cut off, returned hastily
to her father's palace.

The child thus born was the father of Jimmu Tenno, the first human
sovereign of Japan.

Hohodemi's troubles with his elder brother were renewed on his arrival
home. He was obliged to use against him two talismans given him by his
father-in-law. One of these had the virtue of making the tide flow and
submerge Ho no Susori and thus compel him to sue for mercy (another
account says that Hohodemi whistled and thereby raised the wind and the
sea). Then by a second talisman the tide was made to recede and Ho no
Susori's life was spared. He yielded complete submission to his younger
brother, and promised that he and his descendants to all generations
would serve Hohodemi and his successors as mimes and bondservants. The
_Nihongi_ adds that in that day it was still customary for the Hayato
(or Imperial guards), who were descended from Ho no Susori, to perform
a mimic dance before the Mikados, the descendants and successors of
Hohodemi, in which the drowning struggles of their ancestor were

The castle-gate and the tree before it, at the bottom of which is
a well which serves as a mirror, form a combination not unknown to
European folk-lore. We may also note the partiality evinced for the
younger of two brothers, the virtue of spitting and of set forms of
speech to bring good or ill luck, and of whistling to raise the wind.

There are several features in this story which betray a recent origin
and foreign influences. A comparatively advanced civilization is
indicated by the sword and fish-hooks forged of iron (the Homeric
fish-hook was of horn). The institution of the Hayato as Imperial
Guards belongs to a period not very long antecedent to the date of
the _Nihongi_ and _Kojiki_. The palace of the sea-depths and its
Dragon-king are of Chinese, and therefore of recent, origin. The
comparatively modern character of this important link in the genealogy
which traces back the descent of the Mikados to the Sun-Goddess
confirms the view that the so-called ancestor-worship of the ancient
Japanese is a later accretion upon what was in its origin a worship of
the powers of Nature.

=Jimmu Tennô=.--Though it is difficult to draw clearly a line which
shall divide religious myth from legend with an historical kernel, we
may conveniently assume that in Japan the latter begins with the story
of Jimmu, as it has in all probability a foundation in actual fact,
namely, the conquest of Central Japan by an invading army from the
western island of Kiushiu some centuries before the Christian epoch.

Jimmu Tennô is said to have been the youngest of four brothers, who
lived in the province of Hiuga.

When he reached the age of forty-five, he addressed his elder
brothers and his children, saying: "Of old, our Heavenly Deities,
Taka-mi-musubi, and Oho-hiru-me, gave this land of fair rice-ears of
the fertile reed-plain to our Heavenly ancestor, Hiko-ho no ninigi. Now
I have heard from the old sea-father that in the east there is a fair
land encircled by blue mountains. Let us make our capital there." So
on the fifth day of the tenth month of the year corresponding to B.C.
607[86] they sailed northwards, and passing through the Bungo Channel
arrived at Usa,[87] near the Strait of Shimonoseki.

At this time there appeared the ancestors of the local chieftains of
Usa, named Usa-tsu-hiko and Usa-tsu-hime, who built a palace raised on
one pillar on the bank of the River Usa, and offered them a banquet.
Then, by imperial command, Usa-tsu-hime was given in marriage to the
Emperor's attendant minister Ama no tane, the remote ancestor of the
Nakatomi House.

Proceeding on their voyage eastwards through the inland sea, Jimmu and
his brothers arrived at the entrance of the river which falls into
the sea near Ôsaka. Here they encountered a swift current, for which
reason that place was called _Nami-haya_ (wave-swift) or _Nami-hana_
(wave-flower) of which _Nani-ha_ (a later poetical name of Ôsaka) was
thought a corruption.[88]

The first encounter of Jimmu's forces with the inhabitants of this part
of Japan was not to their advantage:--

"_The Emperor was vexed, and said: 'I am the descendant of the
Sun-Goddess, and if I proceed against the Sun to attack the enemy, I
shall act contrary to the way of Heaven. Better to retreat and make a
show of weakness. Then sacrificing to the Gods of Heaven and Earth, and
bringing on our backs the might of the Sun-Goddess, let us follow her
rays and trample them down.'_"

Subsequently he proceeded southwards to Kumano, in the province of Kiï,
where he embarked with his army in the "Rock-boat of Heaven." In the
midst of the sea they suddenly met with a violent wind, and Jimmu's
ship was tossed about. Then Ina-ihi, one of Jimmu's elder brothers,
exclaimed, "Alas! my ancestors were Heavenly Deities and my mother was
a Goddess of the Sea. Why do they harass me by land, and why, moreover,
do they harass me by sea." So he drew his sword and plunged into the
sea, where he became changed into the God Sabimochi.[89] Another
brother of the Emperor, Mike Irino, also indignant at this, said: "My
mother and my aunt are both Sea-Goddesses: why do they raise great
billows to overwhelm us?" So treading upon the waves, he went to the
Eternal Land.

At this time the Gods belched up a poisonous vapour, which paralyzed
the energies of Jimmu's troops.

"_Then there was there a man by name Kumano no Takakuraji, who had
a dream, in which Ama-terasu no Ohokami spoke to Take-mika-tsuchi
no Kami, saying: 'I still hear a sound of disturbance from the
Central Land of Reed-Plains. Do thou again go and chastise it.'
Take-mika-tsuchi no Kami answered and said: 'Even if I go not, I can
send down my sword, with which I subdued the land, upon which the
country will of its own accord become peaceful.' To this Ama-terasu no
Kami assented. Thereupon Take-mika-tsuchi no Kami addressed Takakuraji,
saying: 'My sword, which is called Futsu no Mitama, I will now place
in thy storehouse. Do thou take it and present it to the Heavenly
Grandchild.' Takakuraji said: 'Yes,' and thereupon awoke. The next
morning, as instructed in his dream, he opened the storehouse, and
on looking in there was indeed there a sword which had fallen down
(from Heaven), and was standing point upwards on the plank floor of
the storehouse. So he took it and offered it to the Emperor. Then
Ama-terasu no Oho-kami instructed the Emperor in a dream of the night,
saying: 'I will now send thee the Yata-garasu,[90] make it thy guide
through the land.' Upon which the Yata-garasu came flying down from the
Void, and served as a guide to the army._"

The progress of the Imperial troops being again obstructed by the
enemy, the Emperor prayed and then fell asleep. The Heavenly Deity
appeared to him in a dream, and instructed him to take earth from
within the shrine of the Heavenly Mount Kagu, and of it to make eighty
heavenly platters. Moreover, he was to make sacred jars, and therewith
sacrifice to the Gods of Heaven and Earth, pronouncing at the same
time a solemn imprecation. This had the desired effect of dispersing
the enemy. The Emperor proceeded to utter a vow, saying: "I will now
make _ame_[91] in the eighty platters, using no water. If the _ame_
forms, then shall I assuredly, without effort and without recourse to
arms, reduce the Empire to peace." The _ame_ became formed of itself.

Again he made a vow, saying:--

"'_I will now take the sacred jars and sink them in the River Nifu. If
the fishes, great or small, become every one drunken and are carried
down the stream like floating leaves, then shall I assuredly succeed in
establishing the land.' So he sank the jars in the river, with their
mouths turned downward, and after a while the fish all came to the
surface, gaping and gasping as they floated down the stream._"

The Emperor then commanded Michi no Omi, saying:

"'_We are now in person[92] about to celebrate a festival to
Taka-mi-musubi. I appoint thee Ruler of the festival, and grant thee
the title of Idzu-hime.[93] The earthen jars which are set up shall
be called the Idzube, or sacred jars; the fire shall be called Idzu
no Kagu-tsuchi, or sacred-fire-father; the water shall be called Idzu
no Midzu-ha no me, or sacred-water-female; the food shall be called
Idzu-uka no me, or sacred-food-female; the firewood shall be called
Idzu no Yama-tsuchi, or sacred-mountain-father; and the grass shall be
called Idzu no No-tsuchi, or sacred-moor-father._'"

"_In Winter, the 10th month, on the 1st day,[94] the Emperor tasted
the food of the Idzube, and arraying his troops set forth upon his

Among those who made submission to Jimmu was Nigi-haya-hi, of whom it
is told that he was a child of the Heavenly Deity, who had come down
from Heaven riding in the "Rock-boat of Heaven," and married the sister
of a local chieftain named Naga-sune-hiko (Prince Long-shanks). His
name and that of his son appear very frequently in the _Shôjiroku_

Jimmu took to wife a daughter of the God Koto-shiro-nushi, or,
according to the _Kojiki_, Oho-mono-nushi, by a mortal woman, and
having established his capital at Kashi-habara, in Yamato, B.C.
660,[95] reigned there until his death, B.C. 585, at the age of 127.


[51] See 'Rig-veda,' x. 129, for a similar rationalistic dissertation
on the origin of the universe. Here and below the italics indicate

[52] In Chinese, _Yin_ and _Yang_. The _Yin_ is the dark, negative,
passive, feminine, and terrene principle; the _Yang_ is light,
positive, active, male, and celestial.

[53] 'Philosophy of Religion,' i. 269.

[54] "Into human shape" is another version.

[55] I shall usually omit this purely honorific addition to the names
of Japanese Gods and sovereigns.

[56] Hirata says that "the five generations of deities which in the
_Kojiki_ precede Izanagi and Izanami are only names descriptive of the
successive stages of formation of these deities. Their functions are
obscure, and they have no shrines or worship. They are unnecessary, as
all that are required are two Gods for the creation of Heaven, two of
Yomi and two of Earth."

[57] There is a close association in Hebrew between the ideas of
creation and begetting. _Bara_, create, and _jalad_, beget, are often

[58] See Index.

[59] See Index.

[60] It was deprived of this character soon after by order of the
Mikado's Government, the only monument of the old cult left standing
being Nantai (male form), a mountain which towers above Nikko to the
height of 8,500 feet.

[61] 'Sociology,' ii. 177.

[62] See Index, 'Circumambulation.' Also Simpson's 'Praying Wheel,' p.
285, and Jevons's 'Introduction to Religion,' p. 210. The corresponding
Highland ceremony, called Deasil, is described in Sir Walter Scott's
'Fair Maid of Perth.' See also Brand's 'British Antiquities.'

[63] I 324.

[64] A strong suspicion of Chinese origin attaches to these elemental

[65] The significance of the _wo-bashira_, or end-tooth, is explained
elsewhere. See Index.

[66] See Index--'Peach.'

[67] Deified as _Chi-gaheshi no Oho-kami_ (road-send-back-great-deity).

[68] Muir's 'Sanskrit Texts,' v. 320.

[69] See Murray's 'Japan,' fifth edition, p. 408.

[70] See Index.

[71] See Dr. Tylor's 'Primitive Culture,' ii. 435.

[72] As Horus, in Egyptian myth, confronts the powers of darkness.

[73] The Milky Way: a Chinese expression.

[74] This is one of several miraculous births and pregnancies in
Japanese myth. Mankind have a rooted propensity for imagining that
it is possible to improve on the means ordained for this purpose by
Divine Providence. See Mr. Hartland's 'Legend of Perseus' for numerous

[75] The _Kiujiki_ makes Masa-ya, &c., the son of the Sun-Goddess by

[76] Represented at Ise by dancers called _tonako_ (bird-cry).

[77] 'The Golden Bough,' second edition, i. 115.

[78] See index--'River-deities.'

[79] See above, p. 90.

[80] Another authority makes Uka no mitama a daughter of Izanagi and

[81] See above, p. 93.

[82] See Index--_Futsunushi_.

[83] Like Odin, who lends his spear Gungmir to heroes to win victories

[84] _I.e._, died.

[85] It was an Arab custom in certain places to build a hut outside the
camp, where the parturient woman had to stay for a time.--Welhausen.

[86] There was no official recognition of the art of writing in Japan
until A.D. 405, and no mention of calendars until A.D. 553. So much for
the authenticity of the above date.

[87] Usa is not on the direct route from Hiuga to Yamato. It was no
doubt introduced because this place was anciently a famous centre of
Shinto worship.

[88] This is a specimen of the numerous derivations of the Jimmu
narrative. The Idzumo Fudoki is also full of infantile etymologies,
which have usually a scrap of legend attached to them.

[89] Blade-holder.

[90] _Yata-garasu_ means eight-hand-crow. The guidance of conquerors
or colonists to their destination by a supernatural bird or beast is a
familiar feature of old-world story.

[91] _Ame_ is the name of a sweet substance made from millet, of the
same nature as our malt extract.

[92] The Mikado deputed most of his priestly functions to the Nakatomi.

[93] _Idzu-hime_ means dread or sacred princess. _Michi no Omi_
(minister of the way) seems therefore to have been given a feminine
title for the occasion, no doubt because the office was usually held by

[94] It was at this season of the year that the harvest festival,
or rather the festival of tasting the new rice, was celebrated. See

[95] Japanese history is said to begin from this date. In reality
nothing deserving the name existed for nearly one thousand years more.




The neglect of indications of number in the Japanese language often
renders it impossible to say whether a God belongs to an individual
natural object or phenomenon or to a class. I therefore take these two
classes of deities together, noting the distinction wherever it is
possible or desirable.

=The Sun-Goddess=.--The most eminent of the Shinto deities is the
Sun-Goddess. Nor is this surprising. If, as Scotus Erigena has
well said, "every visible and invisible creature is a theophany or
appearance of God," what more striking aspect of Him can there be to
the uncultured mind than the Sun? In a later stage of intellectual
development men find a fuller revelation of Him in the moral order
of the world, in the laws of human progress, and in the spiritual
experiences of saints and sages, culminating in a synthesis of all the
divine aspects of the universe in one harmonious whole. But, naturally
enough, there is little of this in Shinto. The ancient Japanese
recognized the divinity of the universe in a very imperfect, piecemeal
fashion, and almost exclusively in those physical aspects by which
they were more directly affected. Among these the light and warmth
of the Sun and the sources of their daily food held the chief place.
Sun-worship is specially natural to the Japanese as an agricultural
people. Almost all the peasant's doings are in some way dependent on,
or regulated by, the Sun.

The application of the term "fetish" to the Sun considered as an
object of adoration is to be deprecated. It implies a stigma which
is altogether out of place. Socrates prayed to the Sun; Æschylus's
Prometheus appeals to him against the tyranny of Zeus; in Sophocles's'
Œdipus Tyrannus' the Chorus swears by "the Sun, chief of all the Gods";
Plato says that "the soul of the Sun should be deemed a God by every
one who has the least particle of sense"; Goethe admitted his claims to
worship; Don Quixote swears by God and by the Sun in the same breath,
and Tristram Shandy "by the great God of Day." Milton, in the character
of Satan, it is true, addresses the Sun in terms of awe and wonder,
and Swinburne calls him "the living and visible God." The name of the
first day of the week still remains to show what an important place he
held in the religion of our forefathers. The association of the ideas
of light, splendour, and brightness with divinity has its origin in a
primæval sun-worship. William the Conqueror swore "by the splendour
of God." _Divine_ contains the root _div_, brightness. Milton calls
light "of the eternal co-eternal beam." No doubt so long as a nation is
hesitating between sun-worship and a higher form of religion there is
a reason for treating the former with contempt and aversion. No form
of faith is so odious--because of the danger of relapse--as that from
which we have emerged with painful effort to something higher. But
such intolerance is no longer needed. It is now unnecessary to punish
with death the worship of the sun, moon, and stars,[96] or even to
stigmatize it as fetish-worship.

The meaning of the word fetish has become so blurred by indiscriminate
use that there is a temptation to discard it altogether. It is
frequently applied to all concrete objects of devotion, including not
only great nature-gods, like the earth and sun, but their symbols,
images, and seats of their real presence, which have no intrinsic
divinity of their own, and are only worshipped by reason of their
association with genuine deities. The same objects, after their
association with the God has been forgotten and they are blindly adored
as if they were themselves Gods, form a third class of fetishes. The
sword of the shrine of Atsuta is an example. Probably originally an
offering and then a _shintai_, it is still worshipped, for no known
reason except, perhaps, an empiric belief in the efficacy of prayers
addressed to it. Implements of trade, honoured for the help which
they render to man, are a fourth class. To these we may add a fifth,
consisting of stones, sticks, feathers, &c., worshipped for their
imaginary virtues or for no definite reason at all.

The indiscriminate application of the term fetish to objects of all
these five classes is highly inconvenient, especially when we come to
discuss the question whether fetishism is a primitive form of religion.
The answer depends entirely on the kind of fetish which is intended. If
the word is used at all, it would be better to confine it to the last
three of these classes.

The Sun-Goddess is described as the Ruler of Heaven and as "unrivalled
in dignity." She wears royal insignia, is surrounded by ministers,
of whom the Court of the Mikado is the obvious prototype, and is
spoken of in terms appropriate to personages of sovereign rank. She is
selected as the ancestor from whom the Mikados derive their descent and
authority. Yet she is hardly what we understand by a Supreme Being. Her
power does not extend to the sea or to the Land of Yomi. Her charge as
Ruler even of Heaven was conferred on her by her parents, and did not
by any means involve absolute control. When grossly insulted by her
younger brother, instead of inflicting on him condign punishment, she
hid in a cave, from which she was partly enticed, partly dragged, by
the other deities. This is not the behaviour of a Supreme Being. The
punishment of the culprit and other important celestial matters are
determined, not by the fiat of the so-called Ruler of Heaven, but by
a Council of the Gods. The celestial constitution, like its earthly
counterpart, was far from being an absolute monarchy. The epithet
_sumera_, translated "sovran," and derived from a verb _sumeru_, which
means "to hold general rule," is applied not only to the Sun-Goddess
but to many other deities--the Wind-Gods, for example--and also to
the Mikados. The same is the case with _Mikoto_, which corresponds
roughly to our "majesty." Of course Japan is not the only country which
attributes royalty to the Sun. Milton speaks of the Sun's "sovran vital

In some parts of the Shinto mythical narrative it is the actual
Sun that the author has in view, as when he speaks of her radiance
illuminating the universe, or of the world being left to darkness when
she entered the Rock-cave. Elsewhere she is an anthropomorphic being,
with no specially solar characteristics. She wears armour, celebrates
the feast of first-fruits, cultivates rice, &c. Inconsistencies of this
kind are inherent in all nature myths, and trouble their authors not a
whit. Some of the modern theologians, however, are much perplexed by
them. Motoöri concludes that "this great deity actually is the Sun in
Heaven, which even now illuminates the world before our eyes, a fact
which is extremely clear from the divine writings." His pupil Hirata,
on the other hand, holds that the Sun-Goddess is not the Ruler of
Heaven but the Ruler of the Sun, a distinction which never occurred
to the myth-makers. Another modern writer attempts to smooth over
difficulties by the explanation that the Sun-Goddess is actually a
female goddess, but, owing to the radiance which flows from her, seen
from a distance she appears round.

The transparent character of the names by which the Sun-Goddess is
known is a formidable obstacle to the tendency to neglect her solar
quality and to give prominence to the anthropomorphic side of her
character. Her most usual appellation is Ama terasu no Oho-kami, or
the Heaven-shining-great-deity. She is also called Ama-terasu hiru-me,
or Heaven-shining sun-female--more briefly Hiru-me, Ama terasu mi
oya, or Heaven-shining august parent, and other variants. Of these
names European writers have generally adopted Ama-terasu, which, like
Phoibos, is in reality a mere epithet, and is applied to other deities.
Hirume, or sun-female, is more expressive, and probably older.

In modern times the appellation Ama-terasu no Oho-kami is little used,
its Chinese equivalent Tenshōdaijin being substituted. Partly under
cover of a name which is less clearly intelligible to the multitude,
the tendency has become accentuated to throw her solar functions into
the background and to conceive of her simply as a general Providence,
at the expense of other deities. In other words, she has made a
distinct advance towards the position of a supreme monotheistic deity.

Even in ancient times there was some recognition of the Sun-Goddess
as a Providence that watches over human affairs, more especially the
welfare of the Mikado and his Government. She provided Jimmu with
the _yatagarasu_, or Sun-crow, as a guide to his army. The following
prayer, addressed to her in 870 by envoys despatched to Ise with
offerings, illustrates this conception of her character:--

"_By order of the Mikado we declare with deepest reverence in the
spacious presence of (with awe be her name pronounced) the Sovran Great
Heaven-shining Deity, whose praises are fulfilled in the Great Shrine,
whose pillars are broad-based on the nethermost rocks, and whose
cross-beams rise aloft to the Plain of High Heaven on the bank of the
River Isuzu in Uji, of Watarahi in Ise, as follows_:--

"_Since the past sixth month reports have been received from the
Dazaifu[97] that two pirate-ships of Shiraki[98] appeared at Aratsu,
in the district of Naka, in the province of Chikuzen, and carried
off as plunder the silk of a tribute-ship of the province of Buzen.
Moreover, that there having been an omen of a crane which alighted on
the arsenal of the Government House, the diviners declared that it
presaged war with a neighbouring country. Also that there had been
earthquakes with storms and floods in the province of Hizen by which
all the houses had been overturned and many of the inhabitants swept
away. Even the old men affirmed that no such great calamity had ever
been heard of before._

_"Meanwhile news was received from the province of Michinoku of an
unusually disastrous earthquake, and from other provinces grave
calamities were reported._

_"The mutual enmity between those men of Shiraki and our Land of Yamato
has existed for long ages. Their present invasion of our territory,
however, and their plunder of tribute, show that they have no fear
of us. When we reflect on this, it seems possible that a germ of war
may spring from it. Our government has for a long time had no warlike
expeditions, the provision for defence has been wholly forgotten,
and we cannot but look forward to war with dread and caution. But
our Japan is known as the country of the Gods. If the Gods deign to
help and protect it, what foe will dare to approach it? Much more so,
seeing that the Great Deity in her capacity (with awe be it spoken)
as ancestress of the Mikado bestows light and protection on the
Under-Heaven which he governs. How, therefore, shall she not deign to
restrain and ward off outrages by strangers from foreign lands as soon
as she becomes aware of them?_

_"Under these circumstances, we (the names of the envoys follow)
present these great offerings by the hands of Komaye, Imbe no Sukune,
Vice-Minister of the Bureau of Imbe, who, hanging stout straps on weak
shoulders, has purely prepared and brought them hither. Be pleased
graciously to hearken to this memorial. But if unfortunately such
hostile acts as we have spoken of should be committed let the (with
awe be it spoken) Great Deity, placing herself at the head of all the
deities of the land, stay and ward off, sweep away and expel the enemy
before his first arrow is shot. Should his designs ripen so far that
his ships must come hither, let them not enter within our borders,
but send them back to drift and founder. Suffer not the solid reasons
for our country being feared as the Divine Country to be sodden and
destroyed. If, apart from these, there should be danger of rebellion
or riot by savages, or of disturbance by brigands at home, or again of
drought, flood or storm, of pestilence or famine such as would cause
great disaster to the State or deep sorrow to the people, deign to
sweep away and destroy it utterly before it takes form. Be pleased to
let the Under-Heaven be free from alarms and all the country enjoy
peace by thy help and protection. Grant thy gracious favour to the
Sovran Grandchild, guarding his august person by day and by night, firm
and enduring as Heaven and Earth, as the Sun and the Moon._

  _"Declared with deep reverence."_

The solar character of Ama-terasu or Tenshōdaijin having become
obscured, the people have personified the Sun afresh under the
names of Nichi-rin sama (sun-wheel-personage) and O tentō sama
(august-heaven-path-personage). To the lower class of Japanese at the
present day, and especially to women and children, O tentō sama is the
actual sun--sexless, mythless, and unencumbered by any formal cult,
but looked up to as a moral being who rewards the good, punishes the
wicked, and enforces oaths made in his name. In his 'Religions of
Japan,' Dr. Griffis says: "To the common people the Sun is actually
a God, as none can doubt who sees them worshipping it morning and
evening. The writer can never forget one of many similar scenes in
Tokio, when, late one afternoon, O tentō sama, which had been hidden
behind clouds for a fortnight, shone out on the muddy streets. In
a moment, as with the promptness of a military drill, scores of
people rushed out of their houses, and with faces westward, kneeling,
squatting, began prayer and worship before the great luminary."

I reproduce a drawing by a Japanese artist of a famous spot on the
coast of Ise to which pilgrims resort in order to worship the sun as
he rises over distant Fujiyama. The _tori-wi_, which in some prints of
this scene is seen in the foreground, fulfils the same function as the
great trilithon at Stonehenge, viz., to mark the direction of worship.
I have seen the eastern wall of a private courtyard which was pierced
with a round hole for the convenience of worshipping the morning sun.

There is a modern custom, called _himachi_ (sun-waiting), of keeping
awake the whole night of the 5th day of the 10th month in order to
worship the sun on his rising. The rules of religious purity must be
observed from the previous day. Many persons assemble at Takanaha,
Uheno, Atago, and other open places in Tokio to worship the rising Sun
on the first day of the year. This is called _hatsu no hi no de_ (the
first sunrise).

The myths mention several other deities which, although not identical
with Ama-terasu or Hirume, are plainly of solar origin. Such is
Waka-hirume (young-sun-female), who, according to Motoöri, is the
Morning Sun. The Ise shrine is sometimes called Asa-hi no Jinja,
that is to say, the shrine of the Morning Sun. One version of the
names of the three children of Ninigi calls them Ho no akari (fire or
sun-light), Ho no susori (fire or sun-advance), and Ho no wori (fire or
sun-subside), originally, it may be suspected, names for the rising,
noonday, and setting sun. Such a distinction is recognized in Egyptian
mythology. The mythical founder of the dynasty which preceded Jimmu
in Yamato was called Nigi-haya-hi--that is, gentle-swift-sun--and
he is said to have come flying down from Heaven. One myth gives him
the epithet _Ama-teru kuni-teru_ (Heaven-shining, earth-shining).
I am disposed to regard this personage as the Sun-deity of the
earlier Yamato Japanese, from whom their chieftains were feigned to
be descended. Even in _Shōjiroku_ times many noble families traced
their descent from him, as the Mikados did from Hirume. There are a
good many other names suggestive of solar deities. But here caution
is necessary, in view of the habit, common to the Japanese with other
nations, of borrowing solar epithets for the adornment of human beings.
There is a Take-hi (brave-sun) in the _Nihongi_ who is unquestionably
a mere mortal. And what could be more solar than Takama no hara hiro
nu hime (high-heaven-plain-broad-moor-princess), the last word meaning
etymologically "sun-female"? Yet this is indubitably the name of an
historical Empress who came to the throne A.D. 687. The Mikado Kōtoku's
Japanese name was Ame-yorodzu-toyo-hi (heaven-myriad-abundant-sun).

Although Shinto contains no formal system of ethics, moral elements
are not wanting in the character of the Sun-Goddess as delineated in
the ancient myths. She exhibits the virtues of courage and forbearance
in her dealings with her mischievous younger brother Susa no wo. She
is wroth with the Moon-God when he slays the Goddess of Food, and
banishes him from her presence. Her loving care for mankind is shown
by her preserving for their use the seeds of grain and other useful
vegetables, and by setting them the example of cultivating rice. There
is a recognition of her beneficent character in the joy of Gods and men
when she emerged from the Rock-cave.



The circumstance that, according to one story, the Sun-Goddess
was produced from the left and the Moon-God from the right eye of
Izanagi is suggestive of the influence of China, where the left takes
precedence of the right. Compare the Chinese myth of P'anku: "P'anku
came into being in the great waste; his beginning is unknown. In dying
he gave birth to the material universe. His breath was transmuted into
the wind and clouds, his voice into thunder, his left eye into the
sun, and his right eye into the moon." Hirata endeavours to combat
the obvious inference from this comparison by pointing out that the
sun is masculine in China and feminine in Japan. How little weight is
due to this objection appears from the fact that two so nearly allied
nations as the English and the Germans differ in the sex which they
attribute to the sun, as do also closely related tribes of Australian
aborigines and Ainus of Yezo. And does not Shakespeare make the sun
both masculine and feminine in the same sentence, when he says, "The
blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-coloured taffeta"? There
is, moreover, unsuspected by Hirata and his fellow-theologians, an
unmistakeable vestige in the old myths of an obsolete or abortive
masculine Sun-deity. We are told that the first child of Izanagi and
Izanami was Hiruko. Hiru-ko is written with Chinese characters, which
mean "leech-child"; and it is stated that when this God had completed
his third year he was still unable to stand upright. He was therefore
placed in a reed-boat and sent adrift. But the original author of the
Hiru-ko was never guilty of such a palpable absurdity as to make a
leech the first-born of creation, preceding even the Sun and the Moon.
Hiruko is in reality simply a masculine form of Hirume, the Sun-female,
just as _hiko_, prince, is of _hime_, princess; _musuko_, boy, of
_musume_, girl; and _otoko_, youth, of _otome_, maiden. Egypt had a
Sun-God Ra and a Sun-Goddess Rât.

No doubt with the greater development of the Sun-Goddess myth it was
felt that there was no room for a male Sun-God. The tag of story which
is appended to the leech derivation is one of those perversions of
true myth which arise from an ignorant misunderstanding or a wilful
misapplication of language.

The leech-child can hardly be reckoned among the effective deities of
Shinto. In modern times, however, he has, for some inscrutable reason,
been identified with a widely worshipped deity of unknown origin called
Ebisu. This God has to all appearance nothing in common either with
the sun or the leech. He is a favourite subject of the artist, and is
usually depicted with a smiling countenance (_emi_ or _ebi_ means to
smile), in ancient Japanese costume, and holding a fishing-rod while
a _tahi_ struggles at the end of his line. He is reckoned one of the
seven Gods of good fortune, and is a favourite deity to pray to for
success in trade. Merchants hold a great feast in his honour on the
20th day of the 10th month.

The ascription of the female sex to the most prominent among the Shinto
Gods is not owing merely to caprice. Myth-makers have often more
substantial reasons for their fancies than might be supposed. In the
present case there is evidence that women played a very important part
in the real world of ancient Japan as well as in that of imagination.
Women rulers were at this time a familiar phenomenon. Both Japanese
and Chinese history give us glimpses of a female Mikado who lived
about A.D. 200, and whose commanding ability and strong character have
not been wholly obscured by the mists of legend. Women chieftains
are frequently mentioned. Indeed the Chinese seem to have thought
that feminine government was the rule in Japan, for their historians
frequently refer to it as the "Queen-country." In more historical times
several of the Mikados were women. In some families descent was traced
by the female line. From the _Kojiki_ we learn that in Suinin's time it
was the custom for the mother to give children their names.

One might think that so obviously solar a Goddess as the
Heaven-shining-great-deity, or Sun-female, whose abode is the "Plain
of High Heaven," who fills the universe with her radiance and leaves
it to darkness when she conceals herself, and who is even spoken of
in so many words as the "Deity of the Sun," would have escaped the
temerarious touch of the Euhemerist. Yet I have before me a 'History of
the Empire of Japan,' compiled by doctors of the Imperial University,
and published in 1893 by order of the Japanese Government, which speaks
of the principles of rice-culture and the arts of weaving, mining,
and of making swords, hats, and pantaloons being known in the reign
of Ama-terasu. Other writers are even more precise. Much to Motoöri's
indignation, they say bluntly that she was a mortal empress who reigned
in a locality on earth called Takama no hara (the Plain of High Heaven).

=Yatakagami=.--The _shintai_ of the Sun-Goddess is a mirror,[99]
sometimes called the _yatakagami_, or eight-hand-mirror, probably
because it had a number of leaves or projections round it. It is
also called the _hi-kagami_ (sun-mirror) or _hi-gata no kagami_
(sun-form-mirror). It appears from the _Nihongi_ that similar mirrors
were honoured in Korea. Ama no hihoko is stated to have brought a
sun-mirror from that country in B.C. 27.

The mythical notices of the _yatakagami_ represent it in various
aspects. It is mentioned in the _Kojiki_ among the offerings made
to the Sun-Goddess to propitiate her after her retirement to the
Rock-cave of Heaven. In the same passage Uzume calls it "a deity more
illustrious than thine (the Sun-Goddess's) augustness." When the
Sun-Goddess and Musubi sent down Ninigi to rule the earth they gave him
the _yatakagami_, saying: "Regard this mirror exactly as our _mitama_,
and reverence it as if reverencing us." The _Nihongi_ adds: "Let it be
with thee on thy couch and in thy hall, and let it be to thee a holy
mirror." The _yatakagami_ is frequently spoken of as if it were the
Sun-Goddess herself, and is even called "the Great God of Ise." Another
sun-mirror received an independent worship at Kumano. The _Nihongi_
says, under the date B.C. 92:--

"_Before this the two Gods Ama-terasu no Oho-kami and Yamato no
Oho-kuni-dama were worshipped together within the Emperor's Great
Hall. He dreaded, however, the power of these Gods, and did not feel
secure in their dwelling together. Therefore he entrusted Ama-terasu
no Oho-kami to Toyo-suki-iri-bime no Mikoto to be worshipped at the
village of Kasanuhi, in Yamato._"

Here we must understand that it was the sun-mirror which was sent away
from the palace. It was subsequently (B.C. 5) enshrined at Ise, where
it is to this day preserved with the greatest care and reverence.[100]
It is about eight inches in diameter.

In ancient Peru, the Sun-God was represented by a golden disc, the
Moon-Goddess by one of silver.

We find, however, that in _A.D._ 507 a sacred mirror was still
preserved in the Imperial palace as one of the regalia. It was
destroyed by fire in the eleventh century, but its successor is
to this day transmitted from sovereign to sovereign as a token of
royal authority. The religious ceremony in its honour is described
below.[101] Associated with the mirror as regalia were a sword and a
jewel. These three objects are presented to the Mikado on his accession
with great ceremony. In ancient times there were probably only two
regalia, the mirror and the sword. The latter was lost in the sea at
the battle of Dannoüra. But such losses are not irreparable.

The Sun-Goddess in her capacity as sovereign is attended by a Court of
minor deities who belong to the class of man-deities, and will be dealt
with in the next chapter.

=Yatagarasu=.--Like the Greek Phoibos, who had his κίρκος,[102] the
Egyptian Ra, who was accompanied by a hawk, and the Peruvian Sun-God,
who was attended by a condor, the Sun-Goddess is provided with a
bird as her messenger and attendant. This bird is called in Japanese
_ya-ta-garasu_, which means "eight-hand-crow." It is not, however, a
Japanese invention, but is borrowed from China, where it is called the
Sun-crow or Golden Crow, and described as a bird with three claws and
of a red colour which roosts in the sun. It is mentioned in a Chinese
poem written B.C. 314. Possibly it may be traced even further back. A
three-legged bird was figured on coins of Pamphylia and Lycia in very
ancient times. In Japan the _yatagarasu_, as a symbol of the Sun, was
depicted on the banners set up in front of the Imperial Palace on State
occasions as a mark of sovereignty. This custom is known to go back to
A.D. 700, and is probably much older.

The Euhemerists have tried their hand on the _yatagarasu_. Mr.
Takahashi Gorô informs us in his dictionary that this was the name
of one of Jimmu Tennô's generals, and Klaproth thinks it probable
that the "corbeau à huit pattes designe la boussole dont Zimmu s'est
servi pour se guider dans son expedition." A Japanese noble family
claimed descent from it, and a shrine in its honour is mentioned in the

There is a God called Ame no hi-washi (heaven-sun-eagle), which,
although not to be identified with the _yatagarasu_, is no doubt a
product of the same tendency to associate birds with the Gods. Both are
inhabitants of the same celestial region.

=Susa no wo=.--The history of Susa no wo[104] illustrates the tendency
of Nature-Gods to have their original character obscured by the
anthropomorphic fancies of successive myth-makers. The _Kojiki_ and
_Nihongi_ accounts of him are extremely vague and contradictory. Later
Japanese, writers have identified him with the Moon-God, with an
Indian Hades deity named Godzu Tennô, and with Emma, the Rhadamanthus
of the Buddhist Hell. He has also been made a God of Pestilence, of
Love and Wedlock, or of War. European scholars have described him as a
"rotating-heavens God" or as "evidently a human being." Dr. Buckley,
of Chicago, was the first to suggest[105] that he is the Rain-storm.
We need not adopt every detail of this scholar's explanations, and
indeed no one theory can solve all the problems presented by the
mutually inconsistent stories related of this deity, but there can be
no hesitation in accepting Dr. Buckley's view as substantially correct.
It is as the Rain-storm that he is "continually weeping, wailing, and
fuming with rage"; that he "weeps the mountains bare and the seas and
rivers dry"; that he is a lover of destruction;[106] that "by reason of
the fierceness of his divine nature he causes a commotion in the sea
and makes the hills and mountains groan aloud" when he ascends through
cloud and mist to visit his elder sister the Sun-Goddess. Torrent
Goddesses are born from the fragments of his sword. He breaks down the
divisions between the rice-fields and defiles his sister's dwelling,
disgusting her so that she hides in a cave and leaves the world to
darkness. He is further represented as going down to earth at the
season of continuous rains, and as wearing a broad hat and a rain-coat.
When he marries, the nuptial hut to which he retires with his wife is
built of thick clouds. The sword which he takes from the serpent's tail
is called _ama no mura-kumo_, that is to say, "the gathering clouds of
Heaven." Another appropriate name for the weapon of a rain-storm deity
is _kusa-nagi_, "the herb-queller." His wife's name, Inada-hime (the
rice-field lady), is probably not without significance.

But mythology is rarely consistent. An explanation which suits one
episode of a story may fail altogether when applied to others. There is
nothing of the rain-storm about the Susa no wo who rescues a Japanese
Andromeda from the great serpent which comes to devour her, or in the
provider of timber and fruit-trees for mankind, or in the names and
attributes of his very numerous children. His visit to Korea can hardly
have a rain-storm significance. Moreover, it is impossible to pass over
the explicit statement of the _Nihongi_ that he was appointed to rule
the land of Yomi. A _Kojiki_ myth[107] gives an account of his abode
here in which no trace of his rain-storm quality is perceptible.

Dr. Florenz summarily rejects Hirata's theory that Susa no wo is
identical with the Moon-God Tsuki-yomi. It must be admitted that if
this deity ever had a lunar quality it had become forgotten in the
times of the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_. Both these works distinguish him
unmistakably from the Moon-God. Nor is the European student likely
to adopt the literal-minded Hirata's notion that the land of Yomi at
first situated at the bottom of the Earth, became detached after Susa
no wo was made its ruler, and was placed in the sky where we now see
it--as the moon. Yet there is something to be said for his contention
that the two deities were originally identical. The analogy of other
mythologies[108] suggests that a God whose relations with the Sun are
at one time marital and at another hostile must be the Moon. There
is nothing strange in the darkness of night and of the grave being
presided over by the same divinity. Persephone, Queen of Hades, was a
Moon-Goddess. The original identity of Susa no wo and Tsukiyomi would
account for both deities being severally described in different myths
as the slayer of the Food-Goddess and as the Ruler of the Sea-plain.
It would also explain why the diviners at Ise ascribed to a curse from
Tsukiyomi a storm of wind and rain which in 772 uprooted trees and
destroyed houses. In an old book quoted by Hirata, Susa no wo is called
Haya-Sasura no Kami, "swift-banishment-deity." His daughter while in
Yomi is called Suseri-hime, probably identical with the Sasura-hime of
the _norito_[109] who dwells in the Root-country, and whose business
it is to "banish" and get rid of the pollutions of the people. A
Manyōshiu poem calls the moon Sasurahe-otoko, that is to say, the
banished or vagabond youth. All this establishes a presumption that
Susa no wo was at one time a lunar deity. If so he would appear in
three closely related aspects, the darkness of the storm, of the grave,
and of night. Brinton, writing without any special reference to Japan,
observes[110]:--"Associated with the gloom of night was the darkness of
the storm, which in many mythologies is contrasted with the sunshine in
some divine struggle. Endless are the tales and rites which bear upon
this contest in early religions."

If we remember the attributes of our own "Prince of Darkness," we
shall not be surprised to find traces of a tendency to make of
Susa no wo a personification of the evil principle. He is the arch
offender of Japanese myth. The crimes committed by him against the
Sun-Goddess agree closely with the so-called "celestial offences"
of the Great Purification Ceremony. Hence his identification with
the horned Godzu Tennô, a minister of the Buddhist hell. The _Shinto
Miomoku_, which makes of him a Trinity under the name Sampô Kwôjin
(three-treasure-rough-god), consisting of Kami Susa no wo, Haya Susa
no wo, and plain Susa no wo, by the epithet "rough," recognizes the
sinister aspect of his character. We may note the same element _ara_,
rough, in the name of the Moon-god's shrine at Ise, namely, Aratama no

Several of Susa no wo's acts have an unmistakably beneficent character,
as his rescue of Inada hime, and his provision of useful trees for
man. The modern worship of him as (with his wife) a deity of love and
wedlock also recognizes a beneficent aspect of his nature. Hirata
explains this contradiction by the theory that he is beneficent when
his _nigi-tama_ (gentle spirit) is in the ascendant, and malignant when
his _ara-tama_ (rough-spirit) gets the upper hand, as in the leading
case of Jekyll and Hyde, reported by R. L. Stevenson. The female deity
of Yomi, Sasura-hime, is called by Hirata a _waki-dama_ (side spirit,
or double) of Susa no wo, forming with him a dual divinity, as in the
case of the Wind-Gods.

Etymology helps us little in determining Susa no wo's character. The
ordinary derivation connects his name with the verb _susamu_, to be
impetuous. Hence the "Impetuous Male" of English translators. It
agrees well with the rainstorm conception of this deity. There is at
the present day a festival celebrated in his honour at Onomachi in
Bingo, described as follows by a Japanese writer: "The procession is
a tumultuous trial of speed and strength. Bands of strong men seize
the sacred cars, race with them to the sea, and having plunged in
breast-deep, their burden held aloft, dash back at full speed to
the shrine. There refreshments are served out, and then the race is
resumed, the goal being the central flag among a number set up in a
large plain. Their feet beat time to a wildly shouted chorus, and they
sweep along wholly regardless of obstacles or collisions." The ceremony
here described is no doubt intended as a dramatic representation of
the impetuous character of the God. The _susamu_ etymology derives
some support from a comparison of that of Woden, from _vatha_ (the
modern German _wuthen_), to go violently, to rush, and of Hermes, from
δρμάω; but it is after all questionable. It implies a noun _susa_,
impetuosity, which does not exist. Moreover, one of Susa no wo's wife's
names was Susa no yatsu mimi, where it is not disputed that Susa is the
name of a town in Idzumo. There is a legend which represents Susa no
wo as giving his name to this place and allowing his _mitama_ to rest
here. Susa no wo would therefore be simply the male (God) of Susa, a
territorial title (of Tsukiyomi?) for which there are many parallels in
Japanese mythology.[111]

The _shintai_ of Susa no wo, or rather of his supposed modern
representative, Godzu Tennô, is a _naginata_, or halbert. But there is
some reason to think that the great festival of Goriōye, now held in
his honour at Kioto, was originally that of the Sahe no kami, and that
the _hoko_ or _naginata_ carried in procession on this occasion is a
substitute for an older phallus.

=Tsukl-yomi=.--This God, although worshipped in many places, Ise and
Kadono amongst others, is hardly one of the greater gods of Japan.
The usual derivation of his name is from _tsuki_, moon, and _yomi_,
darkness. It is to be observed, however, that this _yomi_ is often
written with a character which implies a derivation from _yomu_,
to reckon, a word which contains the same root as _yubi_, finger.
"Moon-reckoner" is not an inappropriate name for a luminary which is
recognized in so many countries as a measurer of time. Tsuki-yomi was
represented at Ise as a man riding on a horse, clad in purple and girt
with a golden sword. Another _shintai_ of his was a mirror. Live horses
were offered to him annually. The _Kiujiki_ mentions a Moon-God among
the suite of Ninigi when he descended to earth, and states that he
was the ancestor of the _agata-nushi_ (local chiefs) of Iki. This was
probably a local Moon-deity.

The phases of the Moon are not recognized in Japanese myth.

_Tsuki-machi_ (moon-waiting). On the 17th or 23rd of the lunar month,
people assemble to greet the rising moon. Ritual purity must be
observed beforehand. This custom illustrates the tendency to revert to
the direct worship of nature when the myths have become obscured by
time and no longer fulfil their original purpose.

=Star-God=.--There is only one mention of a Star-God in the _Nihongi_.
He is called Amatsu mika hoshi (dread star of Heaven), or Ame no Kagase
wo (scarecrow male of Heaven), and was one of the malignant deities
conquered by Futsunushi and Mika-tsuchi in preparation for Ninigi's
descent to earth. The scarecrow is regarded as a sort of deity. He is
said to know everything in the empire, though he cannot walk.

The worship of Tanabata (Vega) and of the North Star is also known in
Japan. But these cults have been introduced from China. They are not

=Ame no minaka-nushi=.--The Sky is not deified in Japan as it is
in China. _Ame_ is the region where the Gods dwell, not itself
a God. Possibly, however, we should regard Ame no mi-naka-nushi
(heaven-august-centre-master), as a personification of the sky, which
has already reached that secondary phase in which the God has become
distinct from the natural phenomenon. Some have endeavoured to make of
him a sort of Supreme Being. But his cult is recent. Motoöri says that
he was not worshipped in ancient times. In the _Shōjiroku_ he is the
ancestor of several noble families.

=Earth-Gods=.--Comte calls Earth a great fetish. There are the same
objections to calling the Earth a fetish as there are to applying
this epithet to the Sun. Æschylus's All-Mother Earth, and Swinburne's
Hertha, ought not to be so stigmatized. The Earth is not a factitious
(_feitiço_, fetish) object of adoration, but a real divinity. It
should not be discarded or neglected, but, along with other primary
objects of worship, merged in the supreme synthesis of all the glimpses
of the Divine which are vouchsafed to us.

Several phases of earth worship are exemplified in Shinto. The
simplest of all is the _ji-matsuri_, or _ji-chin-sai_ (earth-festival
or earth-calming-festival), which is the ceremony of propitiating
the site of a new building, or a piece of ground to be reclaimed for
cultivation. Here it is the ground itself that is worshipped, without
distinction of sex, or the adjunct of myth, metaphor, or personal name.
This practice is as old as the _Yengishiki_, and is not extinct at
the present day. Many peasants make sacrifice to the _ta no kami_, or
rice-field god, when preparing the ground for a crop, though here we
perhaps pass into the next stage, in which the God is something apart
from the rice-field itself. A similar phase of thought is implied
by the use of such terms as _Iku-kuni_[112] (living country), and
_Taru-kuni_ (perfect country), though here too the _norito_ of Praying
for Harvest, has already taken the further step of regarding this deity
as a God who "rules" the islands of Japan. _Ikushima_ (living island or
region), is also used both for the country regarded as a God and for
the God of the country.

We have seen above that several of the provinces had two names, one
geographical, the other when considered as a God or Goddess, like our
Britain and Britannia, Scotland and Caledonia.

A still further stage of progress is illustrated by the terms
_kuni-dama_ (country spirit), and _iku-dama_ (live spirit). _Kuni-dama_
is a general term for deified localities. _Iku-dama_, which has the
same meaning, is a contraction for _iku kuni-dama_. Motoöri says that
any God who has done service by "making" a country or province is
worshipped in that province as the Kuni-dama or Oho-kuni-dama. The
_Ichi no miya_ (No. 1 shrines) of later times represent the old Gods of

The Kunari no kami, or Kunari-hime, were also apparently local
earth-deities. Kunari is for _kuni-nari_ (earth-become).

=Ohonamochi=.--In the case of the great Earth-God of Japan, namely,
Ohonamochi, the direct worship and personification of the country have
already retired into the background. The myths speak of him not as the
land itself, but as the maker of the land. His functions are variously
described as constructing, measuring out, consolidating, subduing, and
ordering or governing. The _Idzumo Fudoki_ frequently calls him the
_ame no shita tsukurashishi Oho-kami_, that is to say, "the great God
who made the Under-Heaven." The spear which he carries is indicative of
warlike prowess and political sway, while the mattock given to him by
one myth points rather to agricultural development. He is also, along
with Sukuna-bikona, the instructor of mankind in the arts of medicine
and magic. The usual tendency to enlarge the sphere of nature deities
by attributing to them providential powers is illustrated by a poem in
the _Manyōshiu_ in which he is appealed to for the protection of the
ship of an envoy who was about to proceed to China.

He could assume the form of a snake or of a human being.

The name Ohonamochi tells us nothing. It means great-name-possessor,
and is simply honorific. An alternative title is Oho-kuni-nushi,
or great land-master, Kuni-nushi being perhaps an honorary epithet
equivalent to "king." Another name of this deity, Oho-kuni-dama
(great land spirit), is more significant. It shows that he was
regarded as one of the Kuni-dama or earth-deities mentioned above. His
Earth-God quality is also implied by the _alias_ Oho-toko-nushi, or

This God belongs mainly to the Idzumo group of myths. He is the son
of Susa no wo, also an Idzumo God. The great centre of his worship
to this day, and the holiest spot in Japan, next after Ise, is
Kidzuki, a town in that province. His shrine here[113] is known all
over Japan as the _Taisha_, or Great Shrine, and was formerly of
exceptional magnificence. There is a widespread belief that all the
Gods of Japan resort hither in the tenth month, which is therefore
called _Kami-na-dzuki_, or the godless month. But Hirata's suggestion
that _Kami-na-dzuki_ is really for _Kami-name-dzuki_, the divine
tasting-month, that is, the month of the harvest festival, is very
plausible. Kaempfer transfers this annual visit of the Gods from Idzumo
to the Mikado's palace, a blundering account of a myth which itself
rests on a blunder.

The story of his deposition[114] by Take-mika-dzuchi and Futsunushi is
probably an echo of a real historical event, when the rulers of Idzumo
were compelled to yield up their temporal power to the conquerors of
Yamato, retaining however, their control of spiritual matters.

Miwa, in Yamato, was another seat of this deity's worship. To be more
exact, it was his _nigi-tama_, or gentle spirit, which was worshipped
here. He is also associated with the numerous shrines called Sannō or
Hiye. The Sono no kami (garden deity), to whom there was a shrine in
the Palace, is also believed to be Ohomononushi, the _nigi-tama_ of
Ohonamochi. Along with Sukuna-bikona he is worshipped at Kanda, Tokio,
as showing special favour to the inhabitants of that city (_Yedokko no
mitama no kami_). These two deities are supposed to grant protection
against small-pox.

The _Kojiki_ story of Ohonamochi's adventures in Yomi[115] has no
apparent connexion with his status as an Earth-God. Dr. Buckley argues
that the Ohonamochi of this narrative is a Moon-God, and that his
eighty brothers are the stars. I think it will be found to contain
foreign and later elements, and that the introduction of Ohonamochi's
name is merely accidental. The _Nihongi_ passes it over in silence.
The _shintai_ of Ohonamochi is a necklace of jewels. His _nigi-tama_,
or gentle spirit, is represented by a mirror, the _shintai_ of the
_ara-tama_, or rough spirit, being a spear.

=Asuha=.--An obscure deity, called Asuha no kami, said to be the child
of Oho-toshi, the Harvest-God, is referred to in one of the _norito_.
Motoöri fails to identify him or her. Hirata thinks that Asuha is for
_ashiba_, that is, foot-place, and that it means the plot of ground
on which the dwelling stands. He mentions a practice by persons whose
friends were absent on pilgrimages of making a model of a house with a
thatched roof to which they offered tea and rice every morning. They
could not tell him what God it was whom they wished to propitiate.
Hirata had no doubt that it was Asuha. He quotes an old poem which
says: "Until he returns, I will pray to the God Asuha of the middle of
the courtyard." Sir E. Satow calls Asuha no kami the "guardian deity"
of the courtyard. I do not deny that this conception existed. But
we must not lose sight of the earlier phase of thought in which the
courtyard is itself the deity.

=Other Earth-Gods=.--Another obscure earth-deity is Haigi no kami, said
to be the God of the space between the door of the house and the outer
gate. The soil of the earth is deified under the names of Uhijini,
Suhijini, and Hani-yasu-hime, personifications of mud, sand, and clay
respectively. The two former are just mentioned in myth. _Hani-yasu_
means "clay easy," the latter adjective indicating its plastic quality.
Clay was probably deified because it forms the material for the Kamado,
or kitchen-furnace, and is therefore deserving of gratitude for its
service in restraining the unruly element fire. The water-gourd was
deified for the same reason.

=Earthquake-Gods=.--The old myths say nothing about earthquakes, and
although they are mentioned several times in the historical part of the
_Nihongi_, in only one case[116] is a God of Earthquakes spoken of.
In A.D. 684 there was a great earthquake, and a new island was formed
at Idzu. A drumming sound was heard, which was thought to be made by
the Gods in constructing it. The _Shoku-nihongi_, a continuation of
the _Nihongi_, states that in the reign of Shōmu (724-48), there were
shrines to the God of Earthquakes in all the provinces. But any God
might cause an earthquake. There is a legend that the God of Kashima
(Take-mika-dzuchi) sealed down the Earthquake-God--he has no particular
name--by placing over him the _Kaname-ishi_, or pivot-stone, which is
still to be seen near his shrine.

The comparative insignificance of this deity in a country so
notoriously subject to these convulsions as Japan is an instructive
commentary on Buckle's well-known views of their importance in
promoting superstition.

=Mountain-Gods=.--Most mountains of importance have their deity, who
sometimes belongs to the general pantheon and is at others a specific
mountain deity. The Mountain-God sometimes assumes the form of a

Though Japan has one hundred volcanoes, of which half are more or less
active, the feelings excited by volcanic phenomena have left little
trace in the religion. The _Kojiki_, _Nihongi_, and _Norito_ do not
recognize any worship of volcanoes. Perhaps the Aso-tsu-hiko and
Aso-tsu-hime of the _Nihongi_[117] are to be reckoned an exception.
These are no doubt personifications of Mount Aso, a remarkable volcano
in the province of Higo, which is frequently referred to in later
history. The drying up or overflowing of a lake within its crater was
supposed to portend famine, pestilence, drought, or the death of the
sovereign. A ninth-century notice states that the Mikado informed the
Sun-Goddess that "the miraculous pond in the district of Aso recently
dried up for about four hundred feet, and in the province of Idzu there
has been an earthquake. After divination I learnt that a drought,
plague, or war would ensue. In order that this land might be peacefully
ruled by the Sun-Goddess, I, having chosen a day of happy omen, send
out the messengers (named) and present offerings." On another similar
occasion, the God Hachiman was appealed to for help. The God (or Gods),
however, of Aso itself was not wholly neglected. There were shrines to
him on the mountain, with hereditary guardians to attend to them, and
we hear of an offering of a horse. But volcano gods were in no high
estimation. In 860 a Satsuma volcano received the junior branch of a
lower division of the fourth rank, which is much as if Vesuvius were
awarded the Italian equivalent for a D.S.O.

A great eruption of a mountain in Deha in the ninth century was
attributed to the wrath of Oho-mono-imi (the Food-Goddess), on account
of a pollution of the mountain water by dead bodies.

Fuji no yama is worshipped under the name of Sengen or Asama. At the
present day nearly every volcano has its deity and a small shrine.

=Mountain Class-Deities=.--The _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ mention a
Mountain-God or Gods,[118] called Yama tsu mi (mountain-body), as
among the children of Izanagi and Izanami, or as born from the blood
of Kagutsuchi when slain by his father. We hear little more of him or
them. The Mountain-God was worshipped before cutting trees for shrines
or palaces.

=Sea-Gods=.--The chief sea-deities of Shinto are the three Gods
produced by Izanagi[119] when he washed in the sea after his
return from Yomi. They are named respectively Soko-tsu-wata-dzu-mi
(bottom-sea-body), Naka-tsu-wata-dzu-mi (middle-sea-body) and
Uha-tsu-wata-dz-umi (upper-sea-body). Their chief shrine is at
Sumiyoshi, near Sakai, and they are prayed to for rescue from shipwreck
and for fair winds.[120] These three Gods are frequently spoken of as
one. Hirata identifies them with Toyotama-hiko, whose legend is related


With Toyotama-hiko there is associated a fabulous animal called a
_wani_, usually written with the Chinese character for crocodile. There
can be little doubt that the _wani_ is really the Chinese dragon. It
is frequently so represented in Japanese pictures. I have before me a
print which shows Toyotama-hiko and his daughter with dragons' heads
appearing over their human ones. This shows that he was conceived of
not only as a Lord of Dragons, but as a dragon himself. His daughter,
who in one version of the story changes at the moment of child-bearing
into a _wani_ as her true form, in another is converted into a dragon.
In Japanese myth the serpent or dragon is almost always associated with
water in some of its forms.

We also hear of a Shiho-tsuchi, or brine-father, and of local harbour

=River-Gods=.--The River Gods have no individual names. They are
called generally _midzu-chi_, or water-father. Japanese dictionaries
describe the _midzu-chi_ as an animal of the dragon species with four
legs. Hepburn, in his 'Japanese-English Dictionary,' calls it a large
water-snake. The difference is not material. The dragon-kings of
Chinese myth (of whom Toyotama-hiko is an echo) are in India the Naga
Raja, or cobra-kings.

The conception of a stream as a snake, serpent, or dragon, or of one of
these animals as the embodiment of a water-deity is widespread. Dennys,
in his 'Folk-Lore of China,' quotes from the _North China Herald_
the following: "The River-God is in every case a small water-snake
which popular fancy has converted into a deity." Robertson-Smith,
in his 'Religion of the Semites,' says that "the living power that
inhabits sacred waters and gives them their miraculous or healing
quality is very often held to be a serpent, a huge dragon, or water
monster." Reville tells us that "Le serpent joue en effet un grand rôle
symbolique dans le culte de Tlaloc (the Mexican Rain and Water God) en
tant qu'il represente l'eau qui coule, les nuages, les cours d'eau."
It is easy to understand how a river, with its sinuous course and its
mysterious movement without legs, should come to be thought of as a
great serpent, especially if we remember the aquatic habits of some of
the ophidia. Rivers have their favourable and their maleficent aspects.
On the one hand they furnish water for irrigation, and on the other
they cause destruction and loss of life by their floods, metaphorically
expressed by the serpent's poison. The River-Gods are prayed to for
rain in time of drought. We hear oftener of their sinister aspect.
The Perseus and Andromeda incident related above is probably a trace
of former human sacrifices to rivers, of which further evidence is
afforded by the following extracts from the _Nihongi_:--

_"A.D. 379. This year, at a fork of the River Kahashima, in the central
division of the Province of Kibi, there was a great water-dragon which
harassed the people. Now when travellers were passing that place on
their journey, they were sure to be affected by its poison, so that
many died. Hereupon Agatamori, the ancestor of the Omi of Kasa, a man
of fierce temper and of great bodily strength, stood over the pool of
the river-fork and flung into the water three whole calabashes, saying:
'Thou art continually belching up poison and therewithal plaguing
travellers. I will kill thee, thou water-dragon. If thou canst sink
these calabashes, then will I take myself away, but if thou canst not
sink them, then will I cut thy body to pieces.' Now the water-dragon
changed itself into a deer and tried to draw down the calabashes,
but the calabashes would not sink. So with upraised sword he entered
the water and slew the water-dragon. He further sought out the
water-dragon's fellows. Now the tribe of all the water-dragons filled a
cave in the bottom of the pool. He slew them every one, and the water
of the river became changed to blood. Therefore that water was called
the pool of Agatamori."_

_"A.D. 323. In order to prevent the overflowing of the Northern river
the Mamuta embankment was constructed. At this time there were two
parts of the construction which gave way and could not be stopped
up. Then the Emperor had a dream, in which he was admonished by a
God, saying: 'There are a man of Musashi named Koha-kubi and a man of
Kahachi named Koromo no ko, the Muraji of Mamuta. Let these two men be
sacrificed to the River-God, and thou wilt surely be enabled to close
the gaps.' So he sought for these two men, and having found them,
offered them to the River-God. Hereupon Koha-kubi wept and lamented,
and plunging into the water, died. So that embankment was completed.
Koroma no ko, however, took two whole calabashes, and standing over
the water which could not be dammed, plunged the two calabashes into
the mid-stream and prayed, saying: 'O thou River-God, who hast sent
the curse [to remove which] I have now come hither as a sacrifice!
If thou dost persist in thy desire to have me, sink these calabashes
and let them not rise to the surface. Then shall I know that thou art
a true God, and will enter the water of my own accord. But if thou
canst not sink the calabashes, I shall, of course, know that thou art
a false God, for whom why should I spend my life in vain?' Hereupon a
whirlwind arose suddenly which drew with it the calabashes and tried to
submerge them in the water. But the calabashes, dancing on the waves,
would not sink, and floated far away over the wide waters. In this
way that embankment was completed, although Koromo no ko did not die.
Accordingly Koromo no ko's cleverness saved his life. Therefore the men
of that time gave a name to these two places, calling them 'Koha-kubi's
Gap' and 'Koromo no ko's Gap.'"_

These stories, like that of Perseus and Andromeda, and the Roman
legend that Hercules substituted images of straw for the living men
hurled into the Tiber from the Sublician bridge, belong to a period
when the belief in the efficacy of human sacrifice for propitiating
river-deities had been considerably shaken. The abolition of sacrifices
of living men at the tombs of deceased Mikados is part of the same
movement in the direction of a greater regard for human life. The
decay of the cult of rivers is also to be inferred from a statement
in the _Nihongi_ (A.D. 642) that prayers to the River-Gods for rain
were condemned by the Government as yielding no good result. Reading
Buddhist Sutras was equally ineffectual, but prayers by the Mikado to
the four quarters of Heaven in Chinese fashion were more successful.

There is a superstition at the present day that the mouths and pools
of rivers are haunted by monsters called _kappa_, which destroy human
beings and domestic animals.

=Rain-Gods=.--Two special Rain-Gods are mentioned in the
_Nihongi_, namely, Kura o Kami (valley-august-god) and Taka-o-Kami
(height-august-god). Both are often called simply O Kami, and are
conceived of as having dragon shape. But praying for rain was by no
means confined to them. The _Yengishiki_ gives a list of eighty-five
shrines to which messengers were despatched by the Court to pray
for rain. These included many river and water deities, such as the
Yamaguchi (mountain-mouth) and Mi-kumari (water-distributor) Gods;
but the Wind-God, the Rice-God, the Thunder-God, and many others were
added. Even deified men like Temmangū; might be prayed to for rain.
The following is a modern method of causing rain. A procession is
formed, a Shinto priest carrying _gohei_ at its head. Next to him
follows a conch-blower, and then some men carrying a dragon made of
straw, bamboo, &c. Two flags inscribed to the Dragon-kings come after.
Next follows a drum, then the people in disorderly rout, shouting,
"The black clouds of the honourable peak: from the west the rain comes
pouring." The ceremony ends by the straw dragon being plunged into a

Water from the sacred lake of Haruna is supposed to produce rain. It is
carried to the required place by relays of couriers, for if it stopped
on the way the rain would fall there instead.

=Well-Gods=.--Sacred wells are known in Japan. They are called _mi-wi_
(august well) or _mana-wi_ (true well). There is one at Kitsuki, in
Idzumo, called the _ama no manawi_ (heaven-true-well), whence sacred
water is drawn. Wells or well-gods are widely worshipped, usually in
association with such household deities as Ashiba no Kami (the site
deity) and Kamado no Kami (the furnace deity). We hear of an Iku-wi no
Kami (live-well-god) and a Fuku-wi no Kami (luck-well-god). Special
wells were sunk for the water used in the _ohonihe_ ceremony, and
worship paid to them.

Well-diggers (_idohori_) at the present day sometimes purify the ground
previously to beginning their operations and set up _gohei_. In fine
weather, at night, they apply their ears to the ground, when they can
hear the water-veins below. Old wells should not be wholly closed, or
blindness to one of the family will be the result. Hence to appease
the God of the well a bamboo is let down into it before filling it up.
Wells are worshipped at the New Year.

=Water-Gods=.--The element of water generally is deified under the name
of Midzuha no me (water-female). She is said to have been produced from
the urine of Izanami when dying, or, according to another account, from
the blood of Kagu-tsuchi when he was slain by Izanagi.[122] The Jimmu
legend says that the water used in sacrifice to Musubi was entitled
Idzu no Midzuha no me, that is to say, "sacred-water-female," thus
identifying the element with the deity to whom it belongs.

=Wind-Gods=.--The _Nihongi_ speaks of one Wind-God named Shinatsu-hiko
(wind-long-prince). He was produced from Izanagi's breath when he
puffed away the mists which surrounded the newly formed country of
Japan.[123] The conception of the wind as the breath of the Gods is
also found in the Vedas and elsewhere. In the latter part of the
_Nihongi_ frequent mention is made of embassies to Tatsuta, in Yamato,
to pray to the Wind-Gods for a good harvest. A _norito_ addressed to
them[124] makes two Wind-Gods--one masculine, named Shinatsu-hiko,
and one feminine, called Shinatobe. They are also referred to as Ame
no Mihashira (august-pillar[125] of Heaven) and Kuni no Mihashira
(august-pillar of Earth). Hirata supposes that it was by them that
communication was maintained between earth and sky in the Age of the
Gods, and that it is due to their agency that the prayers of men are
heard in Heaven. Their _shintai_ is a mirror.

Another Wind-God is Hayachi, that is, the swift father, or perhaps
swift wind. He is more especially the whirlwind. He acted as the
messenger of the Gods in bringing up to Heaven the body of Ame no
waka-hiko, who had died on earth.

=Take-mika-dzuchi and Futsunushi=.--There is much confusion as to the
character and functions of these two deities. They are associated in
myth and in worship.[126] Their two oldest shrines at Kashima and
Kadori are close to one another, and they are worshipped together at
Kasuga and other places. Indeed Hirata argues that they are one and
the same deity. He points out that Futsunushi is not mentioned in the
_Kojiki_ story of the pacification of Japan in preparation for the
advent of Ninigi, and that the same authority gives Toyo-futsu no Kami
and Take-futsu no Kami as alternative names of Take-mika-dzuchi. On the
other hand, the Jimmu legend calls Futsu no mitama,[127] apparently a
variant of Futsunushi, the sword of Take-mika-dzuchi, and ascribes a
different parentage to these two deities. There are other features in
the _Nihongi_ myths which are inconsistent with the theory that they
are identical.

Take-mika-dzuchi means "brave-dread-father." His name is frequently
written with Chinese characters which imply that he is identical with
Ika-dzuchi, or the Thunder-God. This is probably correct, although
it is to be remembered that Ika-dzuchi had in more ancient times the
more general signification "dread father," and is applied to other than
thunder deities.

In Futsu-nushi the latter element admittedly means "master." But I
cannot accept Motoöri's explanation of _futsu_ as an onomatopoetic word
expressing the sound made when a thing is cleanly cut or snapped off.

The following facts suggest a different derivation:--

1. The Sun-mirror (_hi-kagami_, which may also mean "fire-mirror") is
called in one writing[128] the Ma-futsu no kagami (true-fire-mirror).

2. Ama no hihoko is said to have brought over with him from Korea a

3. _Futsu_ is the regular Japanese phonetic equivalent of the Korean
_pul_, "fire." In Furu-no mitama and Furu-musubi (for Ho-musubi)
we have an intermediate form between _futsu_ and _pul_. There is a
God called Saji-futsu or Satsu-futsu, for which the Korean phonetic
equivalent would be _Sal-pul_. This would mean "living fire" (Cicero's
"ignis animal"). I have no doubt that Saji-futsu is an _alias_ of

4. Futsunushi was produced from the blood of Kagu-tsuchi, the God of
Fire, when the latter was slain by Izanagi.

The inference from these data is that Futsunushi is a Fire-God of
Korean origin.[129]

But while there is a strong probability that Take-mika-dzuchi and
Futsunushi were originally Thunder and Fire deities, by a tendency
which there is for nature-gods to become credited with providential
functions, to the neglect or oblivion of their proper natural powers,
these two deities have in historical times been universally recognized
as war-gods. The myth which represents them as subduing Ohonamochi and
makes Futsu no mitama a sword contains the germ of this view of their
character. A poet of the _Manyōshiu_ speaks of praying to the God
of Kashima when about to start on a warlike expedition. Fencing and
horsemanship were under Futsunushi's special protection. The _shintai_
of both Gods, to some worshippers the Gods themselves, were swords.
That of Take-mika-dzuchi was a sword, five feet long, which at the
annual Kashima festival was drawn from its sheath and worshipped by the
priests,[130] all the people present wearing swords and drawing them
before the shrine. It is probably as a war-god that he was constituted
the Ujigami of the arrow-makers, and that offerings of horses were made
to him. When savage tribes were subdued or foreign invaders repulsed
these Gods led the van and were followed by the other deities. They
were supposed to extend their special favour and protection to the
Mikado, who sent frequent embassies to their various shrines. They
were also prayed to for a calm passage for envoys to China, and for
children. Predictions of the quality of the harvest were recently,
and probably still are, hawked about by persons in the garb of Shinto
priests, called Kashima no koto-fure, that is to say, "notifications
from Kashima." Believers in the ghost and grave theory of the origin
of religion will be interested to learn that not far from Kashima
there is a large sepulchral mound called Kame-yama (pot-hill). On
the 8th day of the 1st month an Imperial envoy offers _gohei_ here
and recites a _norito_. There are dances and music, and the mound is
solemnly circumambulated. Traditions exist of a great battle in this
neighbourhood. Smaller sepulchral mounds are also met with here, as at
all ancient centres of authority in Japan.

=Ika-dzuchi=.--Take-mika-dzuchi having been converted into a war-deity
and general Providence, the Thunder itself continued to be worshipped
under the name of Ika-dzuchi, "dread father," which is short for Naru
ika-dzuchi, "the sounding dread father." He is also called Naru kami,
or "the sounding God." _Kami-nari_ (god-sound) is the modern word for
thunder. There are numerous shrines to this deity. By the Ika-dzuchi,
which were generated from the putrefying corpse of Izanami, we must
understand not thunders but personified diseases, the word being taken
in its etymological signification. The _Kojiki_, however, in this
passage does undoubtedly say "thunders." The distinction into "eight
thunders" is a fancy of the writer, little recognized in later ritual.
The _Nihongi_ ignores it.

The following story from the _Nihongi_ illustrates Japanese ideas
respecting the Thunder-God:--

_"A.D. 618. This year Kahabe no Omi was sent to the province of Aki
with orders to build ships. On arriving at the mountain, he sought
for ship timber. Having found good timber, he marked it and was about
to cut it, when a man appeared, and said: 'This is a thunder-tree,
and must not be cut.' Kahabe no Omi said: 'Shall even the Thunder-God
oppose the Imperial commands?' So having offered many mitegura, he sent
workmen to cut down the timber. Straightway a great rain fell, and it
thundered and lightened. Hereupon Kahabe no Omi drew his sword, and
said: 'O Thunder-God, harm not the workmen; it is my person that thou
shouldst injure.' So he looked up and waited. But although the God
thundered more than ten times, he could not harm Kahabe no Omi. Then
he changed himself into a small fish, which stuck between the branches
of the tree. Kahabe no Omi forthwith took the fish and burnt it. So at
last the ships were built."_

=Other Fire-Gods=.--Futsunushi's quality as a Fire-God had been
quite forgotten even in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ times. But there
are several other Fire-Gods, or perhaps we should rather say local
or occasional variants of the same deity. Kagu-tsuchi, or "radiant
father," is the name given to a Fire-God in the _Nihongi_, where he is
said to have caused the death of his mother Izanami. _Kagu_ contains
the same root as _kagayaku_, to shine. It also occurs in _Kaguyama_, a
sacred mountain in Yamato, from which the needful objects for sacrifice
were in early times provided. This God is worshipped under the name of
Ho-musubi or "fire-growth"[131] on the summit of Atago, a mountain near
Kiōto. There are many hill-shrines to this deity near other cities in
Japan. His business is to give protection against conflagrations.

The Jimmu legend speaks as if fire-worship arose from the deification
of the sacrificial fire. But there must have been other reasons. The
domestic fire renders important services to mankind, and its relation
to the sun is unmistakable. Indeed the Japanese call fire and sun
by the same name, _hi_. Fire has also its terrible aspect, which is
recognized in myth and _norito_.[132]

Hirata identifies the God with the element. He is obviously a class,
and not an individual God. There is a festival at the present day
called the Hi-taki-matsuri (fire-kindle-festival), when bonfires are
lit, and small offerings made to the flames.

=Furnace Gods=.--Along with the Gods of Fire we may place the deities
of the domestic cooking furnace, namely Kamado no Kami and Kudo no
Kami. They are barely mentioned in the _Kojiki_ and not at all in
the _Nihongi_. They have no myth, and although there is a _norito_
addressed to them it contains nothing characteristic. This worship
is nevertheless general, from the Mikado's palace to the home of
the peasant. Sometimes we find a single deity, sometimes a married
pair called Okitsu-hiko and Okitsu-hime, sometimes as many as eight
co-existing furnace-gods are met with. The vulgar call him an
_aragami_ (rough deity), and represent him with three heads, a notion
which, according to Hirata, is taken from Indian myth. Usually the
cooking furnace is the deity. The Japanese kitchen wench at the present
day calls her cooking range Hettsui-sama, the termination _sama_
implying personification and respect. She thinks it unlucky to lay
down an edge-tool on it. But the God is also conceived of as detached
from the furnace. Thus he is said to have taught the art of cooking to
mankind. In that case the _kama_, or pot, is his _shintai_, or material
representative. There was a Kama-matsuri (pot festival) at Kiōto before
the revolution. It was celebrated at the beginning of the year, when
Shinto priests read _harahi_. The pot was addressed in song and adjured
to bring plenty of customers, usually by dyers and others in whose
business caldrons were used.

=Ukemochi (the Food Goddess)=.--Cicero, in his treatise 'De Natura
Deorum,' asks whether any one is mad enough to believe that the food we
eat is actually a God. The modern student of religion has no difficulty
in answering this question in the affirmative. "Eating the God" is
a well-known institution, from the custom of the Ainus of Yezo, who
worship a bear,[133] caught and caged for the purpose, and wind up the
festival in his honour by eating him, up to the most solemn rite of
Roman Catholic Christianity. An Ainu prayer, quoted by Mr. Batchelor,
contains the following words: "O thou God! O thou divine cereal, do
thou nourish the people. I now partake of thee. I worship thee and give
thee thanks." Gratitude in the first place to, and then for, our daily
bread, is an important factor in the early growth of religion. Without
it we should have had no Roman Ceres, no Mexican Maize-God Centliotl,
and no Ukemochi. I do not find the direct worship of our daily food in
Shinto, though perhaps a trace of an older identification of the food
with the God is to be recognized in the myth which represents the
Food-Goddess as producing from her mouth and other parts of her body
viands for the entertainment of the Moon-God. Hirata is indignant at
the idea that there is anything metaphorical about this story.

It is usually the offerings of food which are deified. Jimmu is said
to have directed that the food-offerings to Taka-musubi should be
called Idzu-uka no me (sacred-food-female), which is another name for
Uke-mochi. In a work of the eighth century the Sun-Goddess is said to
have appeared to the Mikado Yūriaku in a dream. She complained to him
of her loneliness at Ise, and directed that "Aga mi ketsu no kami"
should be sent for to Tamba in order to keep her company. This was
the legendary origin of the worship of the Food-Goddess in the outer
shrine (Geku) of Ise. As Motoöri points out, Aga mi ketsu no kami means
"the deity of the food offered to me." But in this last instance the
offering and the deity of the offering are no longer identical.

It was usual for the participants in the ceremony to consume the food
offered to the Gods. We are told that Jimmu "tasted the food of the
sacred jars." The Mikado at all times followed this rule, notably
at the _Nihiname_, or harvest festival, when he partook of ordinary
food with, but after, the Gods. He does not "eat the God," but only
associates himself with the deity as his table-companion--a very simple
and intelligible form of communion. It is on the same principle that
in modern times pilgrims to Ise buy from the priests and eat the rice
which has been offered to the Gods.

There is some confusion in regard to Ukemochi. Her aliases are very
numerous, if, indeed, we ought not to reckon some of them as distinct
deities. No doubt food was deified over and over again in many places.
The etymology of most of her names is sufficiently transparent. They
contain the element _ke_ or _ka_, "food." One of these, namely Uka no
mitama, or the spirit of food, should be mentioned, as it embodies a
more advanced and spiritual conception of the nature of this deity.

The parentage of the Food-Goddess is variously given in different
myths. One story makes her the daughter of Izanagi and Izanami, and
another of Susa no wo. The latter is, perhaps, an expression of the
idea that the rainstorm fits the rice-fields for producing grain.

After the Sun-Goddess, Uke-mochi is, perhaps (especially if we identify
her with Inari), the most universally popular deity in Japan. She was
one of the eight deities of the Jingikwan, and was worshipped at four
of the twenty-two Greater Shrines, of which a list was made in 1039.
There is abundant evidence that her cult was not confined to the State
ceremonies. Hirata calls her an _ihe no kami_, or household deity.

The Sake (rice-beer) God is sometimes the same as the Food-Goddess, and
at others Sukuna-bikona.

=Inari=.--Notwithstanding the difference of sex, and to some extent of
function, the Rice-God Inari is generally recognized by the Japanese
as identical with Uke-mochi. Inari, it is explained, is only the name
of the locality of her best-known shrine near Kiôto, first established
in 711. It is not to be doubted that in Japan the name of the place of
his worship has frequently been converted into the name of the God. In
the present case, however, it may be suspected that the reverse process
has taken place. Might not Inari be _ine_, rice in a growing state, and
_ri_, a termination implying personality?

Naturally Inari is much prayed to for agricultural prosperity. But, as
so often happens, the functions of this God have been enlarged so as
to make him a sort of general Providence who watches over all human
concerns. In a recent Japanese novel he is supplicated by a wife to
make her husband faithful; by a mother to cause her son to divorce an
obnoxious daughter-in-law; by a wrestler for victory in his contests;
by a _geisha_ for a wealthy protector who will give her plenty of
money and rich clothes, and, getting tired of her within a month, will
dismiss her with a handsome present. He is also appealed to for the
restoration of stolen property, to avert pestilence, to cure colds,
to give wealth and prosperity, and to unite friends. The Kiôto Inari
is the special patron of swordsmiths and of _jōrōs_. Another Inari is
celebrated for his protection of children from small-pox and measles.
People who desire his help in this way offer at his shrine a red clay
monkey, and take away with them one which has been deposited there by a
previous worshipper.

The _shintai_ of Inari is a stone, or a wooden ticket with his name
inscribed on it. He is represented as an elderly man with a long beard
riding upright on a white fox. The fox is always associated with this
deity. A pair of these animals carved in wood or stone may usually be
seen in front of his shrines. According to the modern theologians,
the fox is properly his servant or messenger. But there is a more
ignorant current of opinion which takes the animal for the God himself.
Klaproth finds in Japanese books that "the people in Japan worship the
_inari_ (fox) as a tutelar God: little temples are dedicated to him in
many houses, especially of the commoner folk. They ask his advice in
difficulties, and set rice or beans for him at night. They take him to
be a _kami_, _i.e._, the soul of a good man deceased." Be it observed
that _inari_ does not mean fox, and that a _kami_ is something quite
different from "the soul of a good man deceased." It is just possible,
however, that in this case the ignorant multitude are right, and that
the fox is a duplicate representative of the rice or rice-deity. Mr.
Frazer, in his 'Golden Bough,' adduces many instances of the Corn-God
being represented by animals. "In Poitou, the spirit of the corn
appears to be conceived in the shape of a fox."

The festival of Inari is held on the first "horse" day of the second
month. The Shōguns celebrated it with great ceremony, of which dramatic
performances (_nō_) were a part.

=Harvest-Gods=.--The Harvest-Gods, of which there are several,
as Oho-toshi no Kami (Great-Harvest-God), Mitoshi no Kami
(August-Harvest-God), Waka-toshi no Kami (Young-Harvest-God), are not
very clearly distinguished from the food and grain deities. A myth
relating to one of these deities will be found below, p. 196.

The liturgy entitled 'Praying for Harvest' was addressed to all the
chief deities.[134]

The worship of the Sun and of Grain, Harvest and Growth deities,
which forms so important a part of Shinto, is characteristic of an
agricultural nation. It is emphasized by the ancient custom of the
Mikado tilling land in person, and by the Miko at Kasuga planting rice
annually with much ceremony.

=Tree-Gods=.--Individual trees of great age and size are everywhere
worshipped in Japan. An ancient example of this cult is mentioned
above, p. 158. At the present day the sacred trees are often to be seen
girt with _shimenaha_[135] and with tiny shrines at the bottom. The
novelist Bakin, writing in the early part of the nineteenth century,
tells of one which he visited near Uraga. It was a common-looking fir
which had been struck by lightning, no doubt, Bakin says, before the
spirit took up its abode there. This tree healed diseases of all kinds
and brought luck to fishermen. People with sore eyes carried away the
water which collected in a hollow part, and washed their eyes with it.
Incense was burned to it.

At the shrine of Kamo in Kiôto there are two _sakaki_ (sacred
evergreen) trees, which are joined together by a branch which has grown
from one trunk into that of the other. These trees are much visited by
women who desire to live in harmony with their husbands. A small red
_tori-wi_ in front of them shows that they are considered sacred.[136]
Here the emblem of unity has come to be regarded as having intrinsic

A Kami-gi (God-tree) was often planted in front of Shinto shrines. It
was sometimes set in a portable box, which could be carried about by
the devotees. A case is recorded in which this was done for the sake
of protection to the bearers. The sacred tree of Japan is the _cleyera
japonica_. It is an evergreen, as the name, derived from _sakayuru_, to
flourish, indicates.

There is a modern custom in places where fruit trees are grown for two
men to go out into the orchard. One climbs up a tree while the other
stands at the bottom with an axe. The latter asks whether it will have
a good crop the next season, and threatens to cut it down if it fails
to do so. Hereupon the man above answers for the tree, promising that
it will bear plentifully. In Hitachi at the time of the Sai (or Sahe)
no Kami feast (the first full moon of the year) a gruel is made of
rice coloured red[137] with _adzuki_ beans. This is sprinkled on the
fruit trees of the neighbourhood. The man who does so wears the straw
covering of a rice-bag by way of hat, and takes with him an axe and the
gruel vessel, saying to each tree, "Will you bear--will you bear, of
bags 1,000 bags, of sacks 1,000 sacks? Say that you will bear." "I will
bear, I will bear." Then he gives the tree three cuts with the axe, and
pours the gruel on it.

Similar customs are found all over the world. M. D'Alviella, in his
Hibbert Lectures, quotes as follows: "Ibn al Awam's agricultural
treatise recommends the intimidation of trees that refuse to produce
fruit. 'You are to flog them mildly and threaten to cut them down if
they go on bearing no fruit.'" The Bohemian Slavs used to say to the
garden trees, "Bud! ye trees, bud! or I will strip you of your bark."
Brand's 'Popular Antiquities of Britain' records several variants of
this custom. "On Christmas Eve," he says, "the farmers and their men
in Devonshire take a large bowl of cider, with a toast in it, and
carrying it in state to the orchard, they salute the apple-trees with
much ceremony, in order to make them bear well the next season." This
salutation consists in throwing some of the cider about the roots
of the tree, placing bits of the toast on the branches, and then,
"encircling one of the best bearing trees in the orchard, they drink
the following toast several times:--

        'Here's to thee, old apple-tree
    Whence thou mayst bud, and whence thou mayst blow,
    And whence thou mayst bear apples enow!
        Hats-full! caps-full!
        Bushel, bushel sacks-full!
      And my pockets full, too! Hurra!'"

Mr. J. G. Frazer has treated this subject with his usual fulness in
'The Golden Bough.'

I suspect that the pleasure we take in dramatic make-believe has more
to do with such practices than any belief in their practical efficacy,
and that they rather contain the germ of a religious cult of trees than
are a survival of a primitive tree-worship.

=Kukunochi=.--The older records mention a Kukunochi (trees-father),
a Ki no mi-oya no Kami (tree-august-parent-deity). There is
also a Ko-mata no Kami (tree-fork-deity) and a Ha-mori no Kami
(leaf-guardian-deity). These are class-deities.

=Kaya nu hime=.--The deity of herbs and grasses is called Kaya nu
hime (reed-lady), or Nu-dzuchi (moor-father) or Kaya no mi-oya no
Kami (reed-august-parent-deity). The chief reason for deifying trees
and reeds was that they furnish materials for house-building, and are
therefore deserving of our gratitude and worship.

=Ko-dama=.--The echo is called in Japan Ko-dama, or tree spirit.

=House-Gods=.--Our knowledge of these deities is chiefly derived from
a _norito_ in the _Yengishiki_.[138] One part of this ritual speaks
of Yabune, which may be either singular or plural; but further on in
the same document we find Yabune Kukunochi and Yabune Toyo-uke-hime.
Perhaps an original single deity has been split up into a wedded pair
by a process of which Shinto affords other examples. _Ya_ is "house,"
and _fune_, which usually means "ship," may also be applied to other
wooden vessels, such as troughs or tubs. The _ya-bune_ is therefore
the shell[139] of the house. Kukunochi, as we have just seen, is the
name of the Tree-God. Toyo-uke-hime, which means abundant-food-lady,
has been identified with the Food-Goddess; but it is more probable that
the prefix _yabune_ was intended to distinguish her from that deity,
as the same prefix made of Kukunochi a distinct God from the ordinary
Tree-God. The functions of these Gods was to guard the palace building
from harm of all kinds. No doubt each household had also its Yabune
no Kami. Hirata, in his _Tamadasuki_, gives a prayer to this deity
intended for general use.

The Oho-toma-hiko and Oho-toma-hime of the _Nihongi_ and the
Oho-ya-hiko of the _Kojiki_ are also House-Gods. Nothing is known of

A certain sanctity attached to the central pillar of the house, called
Daikoku-bashira or Imi-bashira (sacred pillar). The Daikoku-bashira is
worshipped in some places on the 14th of the 1st month by offerings of
rice-ears, flowers, rice bags, &c. The date indicates a connexion with
the phallic Sahe no Kami.[140]

=Privy-God=.--There is in modern times a God of the privy, who has no
particular name, sex, or mythic record. Hirata, in his _Tamadasuki_,
has provided a special form of prayer to him. He himself was his
devout worshipper. He saluted the God on entering and leaving, and,
that people might not forget this duty, recommends that a card be
nailed on the door, with the inscription "Ojigi," or "good manners."
According to him privies, as well as dunghills and all unclean places,
are a favourite resort of evil spirits. They are haunted by flies
and maggots, which are the fractional souls of bad men (a Buddhist
notion?). There is, therefore, all the greater need to put ourselves
under the protection of the presiding deity of the place. He deprecates
spitting into it (which causes ophthalmia) or defiling it, and says
that women who sweep it out daily and make offering to the God of a
light on the last day of each month will be free from diseases below
the girdle.

All this shows that the original identity of demons and diseases has
not yet been wholly lost sight of in Japan.

=Gate-Gods=.--Kushi-iha-mado (wondrous-rock-door) and Toyo-iha-mado
(rich-rock-door). These two Gods are known to us from the _norito_
entitled Mikado no matsuri.[141] They are obviously personifications of
the gates of the Palace. But the difficulty presents itself that these
Gods are (apparently) two in number, these two being differentiated
out of one original deity by the honorary epithets _kushi_ and _toyo_,
while the gates of the Palace were much more numerous. If it is the
gate itself, and not the spirit of the gate, which is worshipped, there
ought to be as many Gods as gates. Hirata would no doubt explain this
by saying that there are really only two Gods, but that each gate is
occupied by a _mitama_, or emanation from them. It seems more probable
that the ancient Japanese had no very definite ideas on the subject.
They conceived of the gates as in some way or another instinct with
life and exercising certain protective functions; but whether there
were two deities for each gate or two for all collectively was a
question which did not occur to them. It must be remembered that the
Japanese language seldom takes the trouble to distinguish between
singular and plural. This is merely another way of saying that the
nation is comparatively indifferent to number, whether of Gods or
gates. Whether the Gate-divinity is one or several does not trouble


=Izanagi and Izanami=.--The conspicuous position given by the mythical
narrative[142] to these personifications of the dual creative powers
of the universe has little to correspond with it in cult and ritual.
Although they are no doubt to be reckoned among the _Dii majores_ of
Japan, they occupy a much lower place than the Sun-Goddess and the

Izanagi and Izanami are evidently creations of subsequent date to the
Sun-Goddess and other concrete deities, for whose existence they were
intended to account. I have little doubt that they were suggested by
the _Yin_ and _Yang_,[143] or female and male principles of Chinese
philosophy. Indeed there is a passage in the _Nihongi_ in which these
terms are actually applied to them. It may be said, and Motoöri does
say, that the _Yin_ and _Yang_ are foreign ideas which have found
their way into a purely native myth. We must remember, however, that
the Japanese myths as we have them date from a period three centuries
after the introduction of Chinese learning into Japan, and that there
was communication with China hundreds of years earlier still. It
would, therefore, not be strange if some knowledge of the fundamental
principle of Chinese philosophy and science had reached the Japanese
long before the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ were written.

I conjecture that the early part of the _Nihongi_, taken in the order
of the original composition of the myths which it comprises, would
be somewhat as follows:--First the Sun-myth, which is the nucleus of
all, next that of the creation by Izanagi and Izanami, then the more
abstract Musubi and a number of ill-defined creations of some idle
fancy which precede him. Last of all was composed the philosophic proem
with which the book opens.

Izanagi and Izanami belong to that stage of religious progress in which
the conception has been reached of powerful sentient beings separate
from external nature. Untrue in itself, it has served a useful purpose.
It is obviously easier for nations with little scientific knowledge
to conceive of the same being as a ruler or parent of the Sun, Moon,
and Earth, with all its human concerns, than to recognize in these
phenomena a harmonious living whole. The common parentage of Izanagi
and Izanami formed a link of union between the different aspects of
nature which did not previously exist, and thus was in so far a step
towards monotheism.

The manner of creation is variously represented. In no case is anything
made out of nothing. The first act of creation was the formation
of an island out of the drippings of the brine of the chaos-ocean
from a spear. The other parts of Japan and many of the deities were
produced by the ordinary process of generation. The functions of
Izanagi and Izanami are elsewhere described as "putting in order and
fully consolidating" the floating land beneath. This is precisely what
Ohonamochi is represented as doing several generations of Gods later.
Deities were also produced from Izanagi's clothing and staff which he
threw down on his flight from Yomi, and from his eyes and nose when
he washed in the sea to remove the impurity contracted by his visit
thither. The Wind-God was his breath and the Gods of Water and Clay
were formed of the urine and fœces of Izanami when she was about to
die. These ideas, though not quite identical with, are closely related
to the legends of other countries which describe the creation of the
universe from the fragments of a fabulous anthropomorphic being. The
Chinese myth of P'anku has been already quoted.[144] Norse story tells
how "the vast frame of the world-giant Hymi was completely cut up by
the sons of Bor, with Woden at their head. From Hymi's flesh they made
the earth, from his bones the mountains, from his skull the heavens,
from his blood the sea."[145]

There is nothing spiritual about these two deities. All their actions
are modelled not on those of ghosts, but on those of living men. Even
when Izanami dies and goes down to the land of Yomi, she does not
become a ghost, but a putrefying corpse.

Their _shintai_ is a mirror.

A Japanese writer[146] says: "In the beginning of all sentient things
we have two Supreme Beings, Izanagi and Izanami." Even if we admit the
possible existence of two Supreme Beings, Izanagi and Izanami hardly
realize our conception of the Supreme. They acted by command of other
pre-existing deities, and their creation is limited. It does not
include all the Gods, and, as is only natural, is confined to Japan.
The creation of mankind is nowhere accounted for in Japanese myth.
There is, however, a modicum of truth in this writer's statement.
Though not the first sentient beings, Izanagi and Izanami are the first
who stand out with any distinct characterization, and, although not
supreme, they represent a movement, feeble and abortive it is true,
towards the co-ordination of all the aspects of divinity in one Supreme

Motoöri proposed, and most European scholars have accepted, a
derivation of Izanagi and Izanami from _izanafu_, a verb which means
to invite, to instigate, the terminations _gi_ and _mi_ meaning
respectively male deity and female deity. Hence the translation
"Male who invites" and "Female who invites." There are, however,
grave difficulties in the way of this interpretation. It is scarcely
appropriate in the case of the female deity. Moreover, we must take
into account the fact that these are not the only pairs of deities
in which the terminations _nagi_ and _nami_ occur. We have also
an Aha-nagi (foam-God) and Aha-nami (foam-Goddess), a Tsura-nagi
(bubble-God) and Tsura-nami (bubble-Goddess), and a Sa-nagi (rapid-God)
and Sa-nami (rapid-Goddess), in all of which _na_ does not belong to
the first part of the word, but is put for _no_, the genitive particle,
by a letter-change of which we have other examples. The first element
of Izanagi is, therefore, not _izana_ but _iza_, which is met with as
an exclamation of incitement. The harshness of making an interjection
followed by a genitive particle is obvious. I am disposed to prefer
the derivation which takes Iza as the name of a place. The _Nihongi_
mentions a "true well" of Isa or Iza. There are two places called Isa
in Hitachi, and an Isa no Jinja, or shrine of Isa, in Idzumo. It is
even possible that these Gods are simply the Gods of Ise (Ise no gi and
Ise no mi). A similar letter-change takes place in _manabuta_, eyelid,
for _me no futa_, and _tanasuye_ for _te no suye_. The difference
between _s_ and _z_ is of little consequence in Japanese.

=Musubi, the God of Growth=.--Musubi illustrates a different conception
of creation from that of the myths of Ohonamochi and Izanagi and
Izanami. This God is the abstract process of growth personified--that
is, a power immanent in nature and not external to it. The emotion
which prompts this personification--so natural to an agricultural
people--is well portrayed in the words of a Kafir to the French
traveller M. Arbrouseille: "Do I know how the corn sprouts? Yesterday
there was not a blade in my field: to-day I returned to the field
and found some. Who can have given the earth the wisdom and power
to produce it? Then I buried my head in both hands." But while the
emotion is the same, the Japanese conception differs. Musubi means
growth or production. It is connected with the word _umu_, to bear, to
bring forth, and with _musu_, to grow, to be born. _Musu_ is said of
moss growing on a stone and of ice forming on water. _Musuko_, a boy,
and _musume_, a girl, contain the same element. As a God's name, Musubi
is usually found with one of the laudatory adjectives, _taka_, high, or
_kamu_, divine, prefixed to it. To these the honorific particle _mi_
is commonly added, giving the forms Taka-mi-musubi and Kamu-mi-musubi.
Even in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ these are recognized as two distinct
deities. The _Yengishiki_ (901-922) enumerates three more Musubi
deities, and to these still others might be added. In poetry a single
God Musubi is alone met with, and the _Wamiōshō_ recognizes but one
such deity. Probably the division into several persons was an esoteric
refinement of which the people took little heed.

Whether we have regard to his name or to the somewhat meagre notices
in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_, there is nothing spiritual in the
Japanese conception of Musubi. But the scribes learned in Chinese who
committed the old myths to writing sometimes use characters which imply
a spiritual view of his nature. They mean "producing-spirit."

He is also called _mi oya_, or august parent. Hirata thinks that
Taka-musubi and Kamu-musubi are husband and wife, the Kamurogi
(progenitor) and Kamuromi (progenitrix) of the _norito_, and condemns
his master Motoöri for holding that we have in these deities a unity
in duality and a duality in unity. But his reasons are not quite
convincing, and there is a passage in the _Kojiki_ which cannot be
reconciled with his view. The same author points out the resemblance of
this God to the Hindu Siva, who represents the fructifying principle,
the generating power that pervades the universe, producing sun, moon,
stars, animals, and plants. Siva is represented in his temples by a
phallus, and Hirata conjectures that this was likewise the _shintai_
of Musubi.

Musubi is sometimes called the Inochi no Kami, or God of life. The
creation of mankind is attributed to him in a poem of the _Jiu-i-shiu_,
where a rejected lover exclaims:--

    "I hate not thee,
    It is the God I hate,
    Great Musubi:--
    Why did he men create
    Unto so hard a fate?"

The _Kojik_i speaks of the two deities Taka-musubi and Kamu-musubi as
forming the second and third generations of Gods. The original text of
the _Nihongi_ omits all mention of them in this part of the narrative,
but in a note there is a quotation from "one writing" in which they are
named. In the various accounts of the measures taken to prepare the
earth for occupation by Ninigi sometimes the Sun-Goddess is represented
as giving instructions, sometimes Taka-musubi, sometimes both together,
and sometimes Taka-musubi alone. Jimmu, in making mention of the two
deities, gives precedence to Taka-musubi. This discordance in the
various myths seems to indicate a struggle for ascendancy between the
respective adherents of Musubi and the Sun-Goddess. The _Nihongi_
states that in A.D. 487 (a fairly trustworthy date), by request of the
Moon-God and the Sun-Goddess, the worship of Taka-mi-musubi, whom these
two deities call their ancestor and the Creator of Heaven and Earth,
was established in two places, and grants of lands and of peasants made
for the maintenance of the shrines. This is possibly the beginning of
the official worship of this God. In 859 several Musubi deities were
raised to the first grade of the first rank. In the tenth century eight
shrines to various Musubi deities existed within the Palace. With the
official classes Musubi was a dangerous rival to the Sun-Goddess, more
especially during the Augustan age of Japanese literature. But he
was too philosophical for popular favour. His worship is now greatly
neglected. The Musubu no Kami of the present day is identified with the
Chinese Gekka-rōjin (moon-under-old-man), who presides over the fates
of lovers. The strips of cloth frequently seen hung on bushes by the
roadsides are offerings to him. The second meaning of Musubi, namely,
"to tie," has no doubt something to do with this new view of the God's

The _Shōjiroku_ traces the descent of a large number of the noble
families of Japan from the various forms of Musubi. This is a literal
rendering of a statement which, in one sense, is true of everybody. We
all resemble Topsy.

=Kuni-toko-tachi=.--I place this deity provisionally among the
personifications of abstractions. The name means literally
"earth-eternal-stand." He is, therefore, apparently a deification of
the durability of earth. Motoöri and Hirata take _toko_ as for _soko_,
bottom or limit. This would make this deity a personification of the
horizon, or perhaps more accurately Lucretius's "flammantia mænia
mundi." He has no sex and no special characteristics. He is barely
mentioned in myth, and his cult, which is comparatively modern, was no
doubt, as Hirata suggests, a result of the prominent position given
him in the _Nihongi_ as the first God in point of time, and as the
ancestor of the Sun-Goddess, before whom he was therefore entitled to
precedence. He was identified with the Taikyoku, or "Great Absolute,"
of the Chinese philosophers, was said to be immortal, and to comprise
all the Gods in himself, was called "the name of the nameless, the
form of that which has no form," and, in short, erected into a Supreme
Being. In the fourteenth century an unsuccessful attempt was made to
substitute him for the Food-Goddess as the deity of the outer shrine
of Ise. At the present day he is worshipped at Mount Ontake, in the
province of Shinano, a place much resorted to by pilgrims.

O tentō-sama (august-heaven-way-personage) was probably originally
a personification of the natural order of things--Laotze's _tao_, or
Pindar's Νὀμος, the βασιλενς of Gods and men. But this is too abstract
for the common Japanese. To them O tentō-sama is the Sun itself,
endowed, it is true, with certain moral attributes.

Drought and Famine deities belong to this class. None of these is of
much importance.


[96] Deuteronomy iv. 19; xvii. 3.

[97] The Vice-Royalty of Kiushiu.

[98] In Korea.

[99] See above, p. 70; also Index--'Mirror.'

[100] "The mirror is kept in a box of chamaecyparis wood, which rests
on a low stand covered with a piece of white silk. It is wrapped in a
bag of brocade, which is never opened or renewed, but when it begins
to fall to pieces from age another bag is put on, so that the actual
covering consists of many layers. Over the whole is placed a sort
of wooden cage, with ornaments said to be of pure gold, over which
again is thrown a cloth of coarse silk falling to the floor on all
sides."--Murray's 'Japan,' fifth edition, p. 308.

[101] See Index--_Naishidokoro_.

[102] A kind of hawk. 'Odyssey,' xv. 525.

[103] _Vide_ 'The _Hinomaru_' in the _T. A. S. J._, vol. xxii. p. 27.

[104] See above, p. 65.

[105] 'In the Shinto Pantheon,' in the _New World_, December, 1896.

[106] Japan is annually visited by destructive typhoons, accompanied by
great darkness and a terrific downpour of rain.

[107] See above, p. 106.

[108] Egyptian is one.

[109] See Index--'Sasura-hime.'

[110] 'Religions of Primitive Peoples,' p. 80.

[111] I offer, for consideration only, two conjectures: first, that
Tsuki-yomi was the Ise Moon-God, and Susa no wo the Idzumo lunar deity;
and second, that _Susa_ may possibly be an allotropic form of _sasura_,

[112] "The large, deep love of living sea and land."--Swinburne,
'Kynance Cove.'

[113] Graphically described in Lafcadio Hearn's 'Glimpses of Unfamiliar

[114] See above, p. 108.

[115] See above, p. 106.

[116] _Nihongi_, ii. 366.

[117] I. 198.

[118] See 'Ch. K.,' p. 33.

[119] See above, p. 95.

[120] See Index--'Sumiyoshi.'

[121] See p. 114.

[122] See above, p. 92.

[123] _Nihongi_, i. 22.

[124] See Index--'Wind-Gods.'

[125] In Yucatan there were four Wind-Gods, who upheld the four corners
of Heaven.

[126] See above, p. 109.

[127] _Nihongi_, i. 115.

[128] _Nihongi_, i. 44.

[129] Is it possible that Fuji no yama is really for Futsu no yama, the
mountain of fire?

[130] The sword was deified in Teutonic myth.

[131] "So called," says Hirata, "because heat makes things grow."

[132] See Index--_Ho-shidzume_, Fire-drill.

[133] As a source of food?

[134] See Index--_Toshi-gohi_.

[135] See Index.

[136] Murray's 'Japan,' fifth edit., p. 383.

[137] See Index--'Red.'

[138] See Index--_Yabune_.

[139] Compare our "nave," from the Latin _navis_.

[140] See below, p. 186.

[141] See Index, _s.v._

[142] See above, p. 86.

[143] In Japanese _In_ and _Yō_.

[144] See above, p. 129.

[145] Rhys, 'Celtic Heathendom,' p. 115.

[146] 'In Japan,' edited by Capt. Brinkley.




None of the _Dii majores_ of the more ancient Shinto are deified
individual men, and although it is highly probable that some of the
inferior mythical personages were originally human beings, I am unable
to point to a case of this kind which rests on anything more than

=Take-minakata=, the deity of Suha in Shinano, may be a real ancestral
deity. He is very popular at the present day. This God is not mentioned
in the _Nihongi_, but his legend is given in the _Kojiki_[147] and
_Kiujiki_. He was a son of Ohonamochi, who, after his father's
submission, refused allegiance to the Sun-Goddess and fled to Suha,
where he was obliged to surrender, his life being spared. Tradition
says that the present Oho-hafuri, or chief priests of Suha, are direct
descendants of this deity. The inhabitants hold that the God _is_ the
Oho-hafuri, and that the Oho-hafuri _is_ the God. An oracle of the
God is quoted to this effect: "I have no body, the _hafuri_ is my
body." His house is called the _shinden_ or divine dwelling. He never
leaves the neighbourhood, and takes precedence of the chief local
official. At every change of office the newly appointed high priest
formerly received a cap of honour and robes from the Palace of Kiôto.
He takes no active part in the ceremonies of the annual festival,
but sits on a chair in the middle of the sacred plot of ground and
receives the obeisances of the people. This festival is called the
_mi-hashira-matsuri_ or "festival of the august pillars." It is so
called because instead of a shrine there is only a plot of ground
containing a "rock-cave"[148] with a great wooden post at each of the
four corners.

=Hachiman=.--The War-God Hachiman is one of the most conspicuous of
the later Shinto deities. His origin is really unknown, but he is
placed provisionally among deified human beings in accordance with the
accepted tradition which makes him identical with the very legendary
Mikado Ôjin. The ultimate authority for this statement is an oracle of
the God himself delivered hundreds of years after Ôjin's death. There
is no mention of his worship in the _Kojiki_ or _Nihongi_, and the
legends which carry it back to A.D. 570 are unworthy of credence. The
original seat of this cult was Usa, in the province of Buzen, an old
Shinto centre. Hachiman seems to have first come into notice in 720,
when he rendered efficient assistance in repelling a descent of Koreans
on Japan. Forty years later Kiyomaro, the founder of the great Minamoto
family, made use of his oracles to thwart the ambitious projects of a
priest named Dôkiô, the Wolsey of Japanese history. The rise of the
Minamoto family carried with it that of the God who had been so useful
to them. In Seiwa's reign (859-880) a temple was erected to him at
Ihashimidzu near Kiôto, where he received Imperial presents, and even
visits. In 1039 he was given a high place in the State religion.

Hachiman is nominally a Shinto God. His Shinto quality is recognized
in various ways, notably by the erection of the distinctive Shinto
gateways known as _torii_, before his shrines. But his cult is deeply
tinctured with Buddhism. The numerous inspired utterances ascribed to
him are thoroughly Buddhist in character. In several of these he calls
himself Bosatsu (Bodhisattwa), which is a Buddhist term something
like our saint. He is also credited with giving instructions for the
celebration of an annual festival for the release of living things,
which is, of course, a humanitarian Buddhist institution, wholly
foreign to the _rôle_ of a Japanese War-God.

The _shintai_ of Hachiman may be a pillow, a fly-brush, an arm-rest, or
a white stone.

Other legendary mortals, who in later times were honoured as War-Gods,
are Jimmu, the founder of the Imperial dynasty, Jingō, the conqueror
of Korea, Takechi no Sakune, her counsellor, and Prince Yamato-dake,
the hero who subdued the east of Japan. None of these are treated as
deities in the older Shinto books.

=Temmangu=, the God of Learning and Calligraphy, is undoubtedly a
deified human being.

"_There is nobody in the world, high or low, old or young, man or
woman, who does not look up with reverence to the Divine power of
Temmangu. More especially children who are learning to read and write,
and their teachers, all without exception, enjoy his blessings. Every
one is therefore desirous of knowing the exact truth concerning him.
But there are many false notions handed down by vulgar tradition.
Chinese scholars have wantonly done violence to the history of an awful
deity by introducing Chinese ideas, while the Buddhists, on the other
hand, have been guilty of disfiguring the story by all manner of forced
analogies. Sad to say, there is no book in which the real facts have
been set down after investigation._"

The above is the exordium of a preface to a short life of Temmangu,
prepared by Shintoists of the Hirata school. Of the work itself the
following is a brief summary. The main facts of the story are beyond
question. But the reader will see that, notwithstanding the claims put
forward in the preface, this work must be taken with not a few grains
of salt.

Temmangu's name as a mortal man was Sugahara Michizane. He was born
in 845, and came of a family which had a hereditary reputation for
learning. Nomi no Sukune, deified as the patron of wrestlers and
potters, was one of his ancestors. Through him Michizane traced his
descent up to the Sun-Goddess herself. As a child he was fond of study,
and at an early age his knowledge of Chinese was such that he was
appointed to entertain an ambassador from China. Being ordered by the
Mikado to pray for rain, he observed the rules of ritual purity for
several days, and then prepared a form of prayer to the God of Hakusan
(Izanagi), which had the desired effect. He established a system of
national education, and therefore became known as the "Father of
letters." On reaching his fiftieth year he received congratulations and
a present of gold dust from a genie. Soon afterwards he was made Prime
Minister. In 901, owing to the calumnies of a rival statesman, he fell
into unmerited disgrace and was banished to Kiushiu. On his departure
he addressed the following lines to a plum tree in his garden:--

    When the east wind[149] blows,
    Emit thy perfume
    Oh thou plum-blossom;
    Forget not the spring,
    Because thy master is away.

A branch of this tree broke off spontaneously and followed him into
exile. There it planted itself in the ground and took root. Two years
after, Michizane climbed a high mountain and, standing on tiptoe on
the summit, prayed with all his heart and all his body for seven days
and seven nights to Tentei (the Supreme Lord of Heaven). Whilst doing
so his hair and beard turned white. The Tentō (way of Heaven) had
doubtless pity on an innocent man, for a cloud overspread the sky and
bore up his petition into the Great Void. Michizane, overjoyed that
his prayers were answered, made nine obeisances and retired. He died
soon after, in his fifty-ninth year, to the great grief of the whole
nation. Two years later, in accordance with a divine inspiration, a
small shrine was erected to him under the title of Tem-man-ten-jin
(the heavenly Kami who fills the heavens). In a few years Michizane's
calumniator died by a curse from him. Other members of his family
had the same fate. From the ears of one of his enemies small snakes
issued who declared themselves the messengers of Michizane. When Prince
Yasuaki died, in 923, everybody said that his death was owing to a
curse sent by Michizane's spirit. Then the Minister of State Kintada
died suddenly. Three days after, he came alive again, and informed the
Mikado that he had been to the Court of the King of Hades, where he saw
Michizane, ten feet high, present a petition for an inquiry into the
crime committed by the Mikado in banishing him unjustly. Influenced
by Kintada's report, the Mikado burnt the decree of exile, recalled
Michizane's children, and conferred posthumous honours upon him. But
the angry ghost was still unappeased. In 929 it came down from Heaven
and appeared to a former friend of his. Terrible storms, inundations,
and other portents ensued. Ministers who tried to stay him from further
ravages were burnt or kicked to death. Ultimately the ghost appeared
before the Mikado and protested his innocence, after which the Kami, as
he is called, ascended. From this day forth the Mikado suffered from a
poison which, in spite of prayers of all kinds, grew worse and worse.
He abdicated in 930, and died a few days later.

Michizane's ghost continued to plague the nation. In 943 he appeared to
a mean woman of Kiôto, and directed that a shrine should be erected to
him in that city. In 947 a boy of six years of age delivered an oracle
from him to the following effect: "All the Thunder-Gods and Demons to
the number of 168,000 have become my servants. If any one does evil
I have him trampled to death by them. Pestilence, eruptive diseases,
and other calamities have been placed in my hands by the Supreme Lord
of Heaven, and no Kami, however powerful, can control me. But I will
give help to those who piously express their sorrow." Eight persons
who were present took down this revelation in writing. At this time
the shrine of Kitano at Kiôto was erected to him. But his wrath was
not yet wholly stayed. Further honours were therefore awarded and
gifts made to him. In 1004 the Mikado visited Kitano in person. At the
present day Temmangu is one of the most widely worshipped of Shinto
deities. In 1820 there were twenty-five shrines to him in Yedo and the

_"He still hates the wicked, who do not keep the way of filial
piety, and withholds his favour from those who dislike learning. You
must therefore attend strictly to the commands of your parents and
the instructions of your teachers. You must serve your chief with
diligence, be upright of heart, eschew falsehood, and be diligent in
study so that you may conform to the wishes of Temmangu. If you fail to
do so, you will be cursed by him, and sooner or later incur calamity.
For although the Kami cannot be seen by men, they will know whether
their conduct is good or bad, and whether their hearts are upright or

Although the life of Temmangu, from which the above account is taken,
was compiled by men of the "Pure Shinto" school, and though in the
preface the importation of Buddhist and Chinese ideas is stigmatized,
it is itself penetrated with elements of this very kind. The "Supreme
Lord of Heaven" is Chinese, and the Hades to which Michizane descended
is not the Shinto Yomi, but the Buddhist Jigoku. No doubt the authors
found these things in their materials, and were loth to excise edifying
incidents, however badly they fitted in with Shinto theology.

The acquaintance of the Japanese with the Chinese cult of Confucius
must have greatly promoted, if it did not originate the worship of a
native God of Learning. It will be observed that the attribution of
nature-powers to Michizane was a substantial part of the process of
deification, which was based on the alternate influence of the emotions
of gratitude and fear.

Nomi no Sukune, the Patron-God of wrestlers, was probably a real human
being. Hitomaro, the Poet-God, was undoubtedly so. Another muse of
poetry, Sotoöri-hime, belongs to more legendary times, but was probably
likewise a real person. Iyeyasu, the founder of the last dynasty of
Shöguns, was deified under the title of Töshö Gongen, but this, like
many other similar apotheoses, is, in reality, Buddhist rather than


=Ministers and Attendants of the Sun-Goddess=.--The application of the
hereditary principle to Government offices has had many vicissitudes in
Japan. When the country emerges into the light of history, both Court
offices and local chieftaincies were usually transmitted from father
to son. Among the hereditary institutions of this kind were the Be.
The Be were Government corporations charged with some special branch
of service. There were Be of weavers, of farmers, of potters, &c., a
Be for the supply of necessaries to the Palace, an executioner's Be,
and others. If we imagine a dockyard staff in which the director and
officials belonged to a governing caste, the artisans being serfs, and
the whole having a more or less hereditary character, we shall have a
tolerably correct idea of a Be.

The Gods of five Be are represented as in attendance on the
Sun-Goddess, and as accompanying Ninigi to Earth when he was sent down
to be its ruler. These were:--

=Koyane=, ancestor of the Nakatomi[150] House. The etymology of Koyane
is uncertain. The worship of this deity had a special importance, from
the fact that he was the Ujigami[151] of the Fujihara family, a branch
of the Nakatomi, which for many centuries supplied a large proportion
of the Empresses and Ministers of State. It would hardly be too much
to say that the Fujiharas _were_ the Imperial House. The _shintai_ of
Koyane was a jewel or _shaku_, that is, a tablet borne by Ministers as
an emblem of office. Hirata identifies with him a deity named Koto no
machi no Kami, or God of Divination. The corresponding deity in the
Idzumo myth of Ohonamochi was Ama no hohi. The supposed descendants of
this deity had charge of the sacred fire which was handed over by one
generation to another with great ceremony.

=Futodama=.--Futodama means great gift or offering. The Imi-be,[152]
his reputed descendants, discharged a number of duties connected with
the State religious ceremonies, including the provision of sacrificial

=Uzume= means "dread female." She was the ancestress of the Sarume, or
"monkey female," who performed religious dances (_kagura_) at Court
and delivered inspired utterances. Hirata identifies this deity with
Oho-miya no me (great-palace-female), worshipped as one of the eight
Gods of the Jingikwan, or Department of Religion. She represents the
chief lady officials of the Palace as a class. Uzume, in announcing
to the Sun-Goddess the approach of Susa no wo, discharged one of
their duties. From another point of view she is a type of the wise
woman, sorceress, or prophetess. She was prayed to for long life,
for protection from evil by night and by day, for honours, and for
posterity. One of the _norito_ splits up Oho-miya no me into five
separate deities.

=Ishikoridome= means apparently "the stonecutter." Why should the
supposed ancestor of the mirror-makers have received this name? The
circumstance that stone moulds for casting bronze objects have been
found in Japan suggests a possible answer.

=Toyo-tama=, "rich jewel," the ancestor of the jewel-makers' Be,
requires no explanation.

The _Kiujiki_ gives a list of thirty-two deities as forming the
Court of Ninigi on his descent to Earth, and adds the names of the
noble families who were descended from them. A few of these are
nature-deities. Of the remainder some _may_ be deified real men, but I
prefer to reckon them provisionally along with such class conceptions
as Tommy Atkins, John Bull, Brother Jonathan, and Mrs. Grundy.

=Koto-shiro-nushi= is one of those secondary formations in which the
personification of nature and the deification of man meet and mingle.
As the son and counsellor of the Earth-God and Creator Ohonamochi he
is related to the class of nature-deities, while as an individualized
type of a class of human beings and as the supposed ancestor of certain
noble families he belongs to the current of thought which exalts man to

_Shiro_ in this God's name is for _shiru_, "to know," and so to
attend to, to manage, to govern. Koto-shiro-nushi is, therefore,
"thing-govern-master." The character and functions of this deity
are not well defined. He was one of the Gods who advised Jingô's
famous expedition against Korea, on which occasion he described
himself as "the Deity who rules in Heaven, who rules in the Void,
the gem-casket-entering-prince, the awful Koto-shiro-nushi." In the
Ohonamochi myth he is represented as his father's chief counsellor.
Owing to his services in persuading him to transfer the Government of
Japan to Ninigi without resistance, he was held in great honour at
the Mikado's Court, of which he was considered one of the principal
protectors. The Jingikwan included him among the eight Gods specially
worshipped by them to the neglect of many more important deities,
including even his father, Ohonamochi. In the _Manyôshiu_ he is called
upon by a lover to punish him if he is insincere in his protestations.
In modern times the cult of Koto-shiro-nushi has fallen into decay,
while that of his rebellious younger brother, the God of Suha,
flourishes greatly. The pious Motoöri is much perplexed and grieved by
this state of things.

=Sukuna-bikona=.--Another God who is associated with Ohonamochi in myth
and worship is the dwarf deity,[153] Sukuna-bikona (little-prince). He
is said to have taught mankind the arts of brewing, magic and medicine,
and to have provided medicinal thermal springs, where he is still
worshipped. But in modern times his cult has been greatly superseded by
that of Yakushi the Indian Esculapius, whose avatar he is supposed to

I take Sukuna-bikona to be a deified type of medicine man, a "Father of
medicine" in the abstract. But the story related of him[154] may have
some foundation in the history of a real person.


=Sahe no kami=.--The Sahe no kami are phallic deities. In approaching
this subject, it behoves me to walk warily. For, to some writers so
repulsive that they shirk even its necessary elucidation, it exercises
a fascination upon others which is not conducive to sound reasoning.
Has not a President of the Anthropological Institute declared that
"so soon as a man begins to study phallicism he goes crazy"? With
phallicism we may conveniently associate the corresponding cult of the

In Japan, the phallus symbolizes two distinct, although not unrelated,
principles. Primarily, it represents the generative or procreative
power, and is recognized in this capacity by myth and custom. By a
natural transition it has become the symbol of the more abstract
conception of lusty animal life, the foe to death and disease. Hence
its use as a magical prophylactic appliance. In Shinto, this latter
principle is much the more prominent. It is embodied in the name Sahe
no kami, which means "preventive deities." The application of this
epithet is clear from the circumstance that in a _norito_ they are
invoked for protection against the "unfriendly and savage beings of
the Root Country," that is to say Yomi or Hades. These by no means
imaginary personages are the same as the Ugly Females, the thunders
generated from Izanami's dead body and the armies of Yomi of myth.[155]
They represent, or rather are identical with, diseases and other
evils associated with death and the grave. Epidemic and contagious
diseases are specially intended. Hence the Sahe no kami are also
called Yakushin, or "Pestilence Deities," meaning the Gods who ward
off pestilence, a phrase wrongly taken in later times to signify the
Gods who produce pestilence. The use of the _phallus_ and _kteis_ for
this purpose is primarily magical, and rests on the wellknown principle
that a symbol possesses something of the virtue of the thing which it
represents. The deification of these symbols came later.

In the _norito_ entitled Michiahe[156] there are three Sahe
no kami, namely, Yachimata-hiko, Yachimata-hime, and Kunado.
The first two of these names mean "eight-road-fork-prince" and
"eight-road-fork-princess." Kunado is the "come-not-place," and is,
therefore, an equivalent to a notice of "no thoroughfare" addressed to
any evil beings who might attempt to pass that way. An alternative form
of this word is Funado, or "pass-not-place."

There is a good deal of confusion about the Sahe no kami.
Yachimata-hiko and Yachimata-hime are not mentioned in the _Kojiki_ or
_Nihongi_. The _Kiujiki_ has a Chimata no kami (God of the Crossways),
which it says is also termed Kunado no kami, and adds two others named
Naga-chiha no kami and Michijiki no kami, both of which names imply a
connexion with highways. The _Nihongi_ makes five of these deities,
adding two to the three of the _Kiujiki_. All are associated in some
way or another with Izanagi's descent to Yomi, having been produced
either from the articles flung down by him during his flight thence,
or when he washed in the sea in order to purify himself from the
pollutions contracted during his visit.

These deities had no temples. The festivals in their honour took place
at crossways on the four sides of the capital, or at the frontier of
the metropolitan province, regularly at the close of the sixth and
twelfth months, and at other times upon occasions of emergency. Thus
in 735, during an epidemic, the Governor of Dazaifu in Kiushiu was
ordered to celebrate a _michi-ahe_, or Road festival, and in 839 the
Mikado directed that honours should be paid to the Gods of Pestilence.
A ceremony in honour of the Sahe no kami was also performed two days
before the arrival of foreign envoys in the capital, in order to
guard against the danger of their bringing with them infection, evil
influences, or demons from abroad.[157]

A work entitled 'Fusô Ryakki' states that in 938 Gods were carved in
wood and set up face to face along the highways and byways, or female
forms were made and set up opposite to males. Children worshipped
them boisterously, and made reverent offerings of pieces of cloth and
fragrant flowers. They were called Chimata no kami, that is to say
"Gods of the Crossways," or Mitama (august spirits), a term which in
its Chinese form Goryō is still preserved in the name of the great
festival (Goryōye) of Gion at Kiôto. The Chimata no kami can be no
other than Yachimata-hiko and Yachimata-hime. A later notice speaks of
the worship of wooden figures, male and female, provided with sexual
organs. Similar figures in stone may still, Hirata says, be seen in
the eastern provinces, where they are sometimes mistaken for Jizō, the
Buddhist children's God, and honoured in the temples.

The third of the Sahe no kami of the _norito_, namely, Kunado, can be
nothing but a simple phallus. Its shape, formed of Izanagi's staff, is
consistent with this view. In the Tsujiura, or Cross Roads divination,
this God was represented by a staff. The same inference is suggested
by its association with Yachimata-hiko and Yachimata-hime, who, as
we have seen, were unquestionably phallic deities; and also with
the peach, which, like Kunado himself, was used by Izanagi for his
protection against the evil beings of Yomi. Like the apricot in India
and the pomegranate in ancient Greece, the peach is in China and Japan
the acknowledged representative of the _kteis_, as the pestle and
the mushroom are of the phallus. Peach-wood staves were used in the
_oni-yarahi_ (demon-expelling) ceremony on the last day of the year.
A similar interpretation is, perhaps, applicable to the horseshoes
nailed over doors in England which, intended at first to keep out
evil spirits, are now meant simply "for luck," in accordance with the
tendency for the more special functions of Gods and magical appliances
to become obscured and merged in a hazy, general notion of their
beneficence or usefulness. Peach-shaped charms from China figure in a
London tradesman's catalogue which has just reached me.

There is a custom, called _sammai_, of scattering rice, which was
formerly observed at purification ceremonies, and is kept up at the
present day in rooms where there is a new-born child. Hirata tells
of a case in which the rice so scattered was found marked with
blood-stains, showing, as he infers, that the object of this practice
was to drive off demons, not to conciliate them by an offering. I have
more than a suspicion that the efficacy of rice for this purpose, and
also of the beans used to drive off demons on the last day of the
year,[158] is due to a resemblance of this kind.[159]

The _wo-bashira_ (male-pillar) is doubtless only a modified Kunado.
This term is applied to the end-post of the railing of a bridge or of
the balustrade of a staircase, and is so called from its obviously
phallic shape and function. It is a post surmounted by a large knob,
and its position commanding the thoroughfare shows that it is intended
to arrest the passage of evil beings or influences. It is still to
be seen everywhere in Japan, but its meaning is now forgotten. The
end-tooth of a comb was also called _wo-bashira_. We now see the
significance of Izanagi's selection of this object for converting into
a torch in order to light up the darkness of Yomi. In Italy even at the
present day the phallus fulfils a similar function.

The phallus appears in another form at the festival held in honour of
the Sahe no Kami on the first full moon in every year. The _Makura no
Sōshi_, written about A.D. 1000, tells us that it was then the custom
for the boys in the Imperial Palace to go about striking the younger
women with the potsticks used for making gruel on this occasion. This
was supposed to ensure fertility. It reminds us of the Roman practice
at the spring festival of Lupercalia, alluded to by Shakespeare in his
'Julius Cæsar':--

    "Forget not in your speed, Antonius,
    To touch Calphurnia; for our elders say
    The barren touched in this holy chase
    Shake off their steril curse."

The Japanese novelist and antiquary Kiōden, writing about a century
ago, informs us that a similar custom was at that time still practised
in the province of Echigo. He gives a drawing of the sticks used for
the purpose, of the phallic character of which there can be no doubt.
They were called _kedzurikake_ (part-shaved), and consisted of wands
whittled near the top into a mass of adherent shavings, as in the

_Kedzurikake_ of elder or willow are still made in some places. In
Harima, on the 14th day of the 1st month, _kedzurikake_ are hung up
under the eaves in substitution for the _kadomatsu_, or fir trees
placed by the entrance gate at the New Year. In Suwo, _kedzurikake_,
made of a thorny tree called _tara_, are placed on each side of the
front and back doors at this season, no doubt with the object of
averting evil influences. When the _kadomatsu_ and other New Year's
decorations are removed on the 15th day of the 1st month, they are
in many places collected by the boys as material for a bonfire. This
is called _dondo_ or _sagichō_, and the burning of the _kedzurikake_
is a feature of it. In the Yamagata ken, wherever there are stone
images of Dōsōjin, the phallic God of Roads,[160] the boys at this
time make a bonfire of fir trees and straw, and build for themselves
a hut beside it. When the people assemble, they come out and fire it.
If the dumplings made on the 14th are roasted in this fire and eaten,
malignant diseases need not be feared during the ensuing half year. In
Hitachi this hut is called the "Hall of the Sai no Kami." The embers
are used for re-lighting the domestic fires or kept as charms against


Fire, kindled from _kedzurikake_ after prayer, was given out to
the people by the priests of Gion in Kiōto on the last day of the
year. It was transferred to a slow match, and used for rekindling
the household fires, the object being to prevent pestilence during
the coming year.[161] The mythical burning of a _wobashira_ (also a
phallic emblem) by Izanagi in Yomi was probably suggested by some such
custom.[162] It will be observed that the prophylactic virtue of the
phallus has not been forgotten in the _kedzurikake_.

The _kedzurikake_ are sometimes described as the _shintai_ of
Dōsōjin, and are placed on the domestic altar to be worshipped as
his representative. They are also, by a known confusion of ideas,
presented to the Gods as offerings. The Ainus of Yezo, who have adopted
the _kedzurikake_ as the general form of offering to their Gods at
all times, and attach to it no phallic signification, were no doubt
familiar with this use of it by their Japanese neighbours. It is by
them called _inao_ or _nusa_, the latter being the old Japanese word
for offering. The facility with which such offerings could be prepared
by savages must have been a recommendation.

The two cylindrical _shingi_, or "divine sticks," eight or nine inches
in circumference and one foot long, thrown to the crowd by the priests
of Seidaiji, near Okayama, on the night of the 14th day of the 1st
month, and called _o fuku_ (luck), to keep off pestilence and bring
prosperity, are probably of phallic origin.

The gruel partaken of at the Sahe no Kami festival on the 15th of
the 1st month was made of rice, and was coloured with an admixture
of the small red bean called _adzuki_.[163] The bean is a well-known
synonym in Japan for the _kteis_. The colour red is also significant.
It suggests the ruddy complexion of health caused by an abundance of
life-giving blood in the lips and cheeks. Children love this colour.
Max Nordau says: "As a feeling of pleasure is always connected with
dynamogeny or the production of force, every living thing instinctively
seeks for dynamogenous sense impressions. Now red is especially
dynamogenous." In 'Œdipus Tyrannus,' the Chorus invoke the aid of
ruddy-faced Bacchus against pestilence. In Korea red is a terror to
devils. A modern Japanese writer says that red is obnoxious to devils
on account of its cheerful appearance.

Small-pox being a _Kijin biō_, or demon-sent disease, the colour red is
freely employed in combating it. The candles at the bedside are red,
and the clothing of the patient and nurse. The God of Small-pox is
worshipped with offerings of red _gohei_ (there is here some confusion
of ideas) and of red _adzuki_ beans. Red paper is hung round the necks
of the bottles of _sake_ offered to him. Red _papier maché_ figures of
Daruma are placed near the sick-bed. It is explained that red, being
a _yô_ (male, bright, positive) colour, is fitted to counteract dark,
wintry, negative influences. The potency of red as a charm against
small-pox is not unknown to European folk-lore.

Phalli are coloured a bright red, or, what comes to the same thing,
gilt. Saruta-hiko, a phallic deity, has a bright red complexion. Torii
are painted red. Demons and stage villains have red faces, probably as
an indication of great animal vigour.

Griffis, in his 'Mikado's Empire,' tells us that "when by reason of
good fortune or a lucky course of events there is great joy in a
family it is customary to make _kowameshi_, or red rice, and give
an entertainment to friends and neighbours. The rice is coloured by
boiling red beans with it. If for any cause the colour is not a fine
red, it is a bad omen for the family." There is a modern superstition
that if, on the 7th day of the 1st month, a male swallows seven, and
a female fourteen red beans, they will be free from sickness all their

The _Tō-yū-ki_, a work published in 1795, has the following:--

_"In many places along the highway at Atsumi, in the province of
Deha, where the cliffs stand up steeply on both sides, shime-naha are
stretched across from one cliff to another. Below these shime-naha
there are placed skilfully carved wooden phalli fronting the road.
They are very large, being seven or eight feet in length and perhaps
three or four feet in circumference. I thought this too shocking, and
questioned the inhabitants why they did so. Their answer was that it
was a very ancient custom. They were called Sai no kami,[164] and were
made afresh every year on the 15th day of the 1st month. As they were
local Gods, they were by no means neglectful of them, allowing them
to remain even when high officials passed that way. They were not at
all, I was told, put up for the amusement of the young folks. Moreover,
seeing a number of slips of paper attached to the shime-naha, I
inquired what they might be. It appeared that they were fastened there
secretly by the women of the place as a prayer for handsome lovers.
Truly this is one of those old customs which linger in remote parts.
Phalli and ktenes of stone are worshipped by the country-folks in many
places as the shintai of their ujigami."_

The selection of a rocky pass for the erection of these objects,
and the association with them of _shime-naha_,[165] show that their
original function, namely, to prevent the passage of evil beings or
influences, was not forgotten. The prayers of the women betray a
misconception of the proper object of this cult.

Near the end of the _Kogojiui_ there is a passage which makes mention
of the phallus as a magical appliance. As it has some anthropological
interest, I quote it at length:

_"Of yore, in the age of the Gods, Oho-toko-nushi no Kami
(great-earth-master-deity), on a day that he was cultivating a
rice-field, gave his labourers the flesh of oxen to eat. At this
time the child of Mi-toshi no Kami (august-harvest-god) went to
that rice-field and spat upon the food, after which he returned and
reported the matter to his father. Mi-toshi no Kami was wroth and let
loose locusts on that field, so that the leaves of the young rice
suddenly withered away and it became like dwarf bamboos. Upon this
Oho-toko-nushi no Kami caused the diviners to ascertain by their art
the reason of this. They replied that it was owing to a curse sent by
Mi-toshi no Kami, and advised him to offer a white pig, a white horse,
and a white cock in order to dispel his anger. When amends had been
made to Mi-toshi no Kami in the manner directed, the latter replied,
saying: 'Truly it was my doing. Take bare stalks of hemp, and make
of them a reel with which to reel it, take the leaves and sweep it
therewith, take "push-grass"[166] of Heaven and push it therewith.
Take, moreover, crow-fan[167] and fan it, and if then the locusts do
not depart, take ox-flesh and place it in the runnels, adding to it
shapes of the male stem (phalli). Moreover, strew the banks of earth
between the fields with water-lily seeds, ginger, walnut leaves and
salt.' When these instructions were carried out the leaves of the young
rice became thick again, and the harvest was a plentiful one. This is
the reason why at the present day the Department of Religion worships
Mi-toshi no Kami with offerings of a white pig, a white horse, and a
white cock."_

The facts quoted in the preceding pages show that there was some
confusion between the use of the male and female emblems as
non-religious magical appliances and their cult as deities. Primarily
they were symbols, next objects of magic. Finally Religion intervened,
and by her handmaids Personification and Myth raised them to the
rank of deities, consecrating this step still further by devoting a
formal ritual to their service. The _kteis_ has received somewhat less
attention than the phallus. It is no doubt identical with the Yachimata
hime of the Michiahe _norito_, and in the _Kojiki_, its representative
the peach is dubbed _kami_. But the _Nihongi_ in the parallel passage
merely speaks of its efficacy in repelling evil spirits, and refrains
from deifying or even personifying it.

The circumstance that the Sahe no Kami were worshipped by the roadsides
and at crossways[168] led to their being looked upon as guide-Gods
and the special friends of travellers. Saruta-hiko, a phallic deity,
represented as dwelling at the eight crossways of Heaven, is said to
have acted as guide to Ninigi on his descent to earth. He is popularly
called Dōsōjin, or Road-ancestor-deity, and is depicted as of gigantic
stature, with a portentously long nose, which (the suggestion is not
mine) may perhaps have a phallic morphological signification.

The worship of these deities was extremely popular in ancient Japan.
They were much appealed to in divination,[169] and were prayed to by
most travellers when starting on a journey. The phrase _chi buri no
Kami_ (Gods along the road) means the Sahe no Kami. The Sahe no Kami
were the _mitama par excellence_. They were also called _tamuke no
Kami_ (Gods of offerings) because travellers were in the habit of
carrying a _nusa-bukuro_ (offering-bag) containing hemp leaves and
rice, of which a little was offered to each of them when passing. All
unforeseen disasters or illnesses on a journey were attributed to a
neglect of the worship of these deities.

But a very little advance in enlightenment shows that the sexual
instincts need restraint[170] rather than the stimulus which they must
derive from such a cult. So early as A.D. 939 a deity of this kind
which stood in a conspicuous position in Kiōto, and was worshipped by
all travellers, was removed to a less prominent situation. Phallicism
ultimately disappeared from official Shinto. But it lingered long in
popular customs, and is not quite extinct even at the present day,
especially in eastern Japan. I have myself witnessed a procession
in which a phallus, several feet high and painted a bright red, was
carried on a bier by a crowd of coolies in festal uniform, shouting,
laughing, and zig-zagging tumultuously from one side of the street
to another. In the lupanars they are honoured by having a lamp of
simple construction kept burning before them, and are prayed to by the
proprietor for numerous clients. The boys' festival of _dondo_, on the
15th of the 1st month, still retains traces of its phallic origin.[171]

=Oni=.--_Oni_, or demons, have no individual names. It is clear from
the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ mythical narratives that the _oni_ exorcised
by means of the peach[172] are the same as the "thunders" and the
"armies of Yomi." In other words, they are primarily personified
diseases.[173] They afterwards lost this specific character. Motoöri
defines _oni_ as _ashiki kami_, or "evil deity." He condemns their
identification by the _Wamiôshô_ with the spirits of the dead. There
is a story of a tenth-century hero who cut off the arm of an _oni_ and
brought it home with him, but was tricked out of it by the owner, who
came to his house in the disguise of an old woman.

The _oni_ have red faces, hairy persons, horns, and sometimes only one
eye. They are said to devour men. The modern ideas respecting them are
mostly borrowed from Buddhist sources.

=Gods of Good and Ill Luck=.--Among deified human properties we may
reckon the Gods of Good and Ill Luck produced when Izanagi washed in
the sea after his return from Yomi. Their names, Naobi and Magatsubi,
contain the elements _nao_, straight, and _maga_, crooked.

Naki-sahame, the Goddess of weeping, Ta-jikara-wo (hand-strength-male),
whose _shintai_ is a bow, and Omohi-kane, the thought combiner, are
rather mythical personages than deities on the effective list. It is
doubtful whether Mari no kami, the foot-ball God, who has three faces,
is a personification of skill or a hazy, imaginative recollection of
some distinguished player.

The very terrible deity known as Bimbō-gami, the God of Poverty, is of
later origin.


[147] See Ch. K., p. 102.

[148] Probably a sepulchral dolmen. There are many in this district,
said to be the tombs of Minakata's descendants.

[149] The east is in Japan the soft wind--our zephyr.

[150] See Index, _Nakatomi_.

[151] See Index, _Ujigami_.

[152] See Index, _Imibe_.

[153] "There lies in dwarfs a special acquaintance with the healing
virtues hidden in herbs."--Grimm, 'Teutonic Mythology.'

[154] See above, p. 107.

[155] See above, p. 93.

[156] See Index, _Michiahe_.

[157] "Before strangers are allowed to enter a district certain
ceremonies are often performed by the natives of the country for the
purpose of disarming them of their magical powers, of counteracting
the baleful influence which is believed to emanate from them, or of
disinfecting, so to speak, the tainted atmosphere with which they are
supposed to be surrounded."--Frazer's 'Golden Bough,' i. 150.

[158] See Index, _Tsuina_.

[159] Eustathius, the commentator on Homer, points out that the
barley-corn denoted the vulva with the writers upon the Bacchic Komuses.

[160] I have before me a picture of a Dōsōjin. It stands at
cross-roads, and is a phalloid natural boulder over which depends a
_shimenaha_ supported by two bamboos. In front of it are little piles
of stones, of which the similar offerings to the Buddhist children's
God Jizōsama are doubtless a survival. The modern practice of bringing
the Jizō of the neighbourhood and dumping them down before the lodging
of a newly-married couple is no doubt a similar case of survival. A
custom which began with the Dōsōjin is continued with the Jizō, which
now occupy their place at crossways.

[161] We may compare with this an old English custom mentioned by Brand
of the priests blessing candles at Candlemas and distributing them to
the people, "so that the Divil may fly out of the habitation."

[162] See above, p. 93.

[163] _Phaseolus radiatus_.

[164] The modern spelling _sai_ implies an altered conception of the
function of these objects. It means good luck, a vaguer and more
general idea than _sahe_, which means prevention (of disease).

[165] See Index.

[166] The names of plants.

[167] The names of plants.

[168] Crossways had a special sanctity in many countries. The Hermæ of
ancient Greece stood at crossways.

[169] See Index, _Tsuji-ura_.

[170] Measures were taken in ancient Greece to check the excesses of
the Bacchanalian rites.

[171] For further evidence on this subject, Dr. Buckley's 'Phallicism
in Japan' (Chicago, 1895), the _Nihongi_, i. 11, and Dr. Griffis's
'Religions of Japan' may be consulted.

[172] Nihongi, i. 30.

[173] According to St. Augustine, the devils of Scripture are our
passions and unbridled appetites.



Shinto illustrates the principle enunciated by Herbert Spencer, that
"in early stages of social evolution the secular and the sacred are
but little distinguished." The Mikado was at the same time high priest
and king. There was no well-marked distinction between secular and
religious ceremonies. The functionaries who performed the latter
had no specially sacerdotal character and no distinctive costume.
The Jingikwan, or Department of Religion, was simply a Government
bureau, and the rites celebrated in its chapel were as much Government
proceedings as the issuing of decrees or the collection of taxes.
Almost any official might be called upon to discharge religious
functions. The local governors on their appointment made a round of
visits for worship to all the shrines in their jurisdiction. All the
principal shrines had State endowments. The word _matsuri-goto_,
government, is simply _matsuri_, a religious festival, with the
termination _koto_, thing, which adds nothing to its etymological
significance. Hirata says that the worship of the Gods is the source of
Government--nay, it is Government. The same word _miya_ (august-house)
was in common use both for shrines and palaces. There was, however,
a beginning of a differentiation of sacred and secular functions.
The Mikado delegated some of his religious duties to the Nakatomi
House, and, as we shall see, other religious duties were hereditary in
other families. Thus a Sun-worship Be, or hereditary corporation, was
established in 577. One version of the myth of Ohonamochi represents
him as giving up his authority with the words, "Let the august
grandchild direct the public affairs of which I have charge: I will
retire and direct secret matters." Evidently we have here an echo of
some actual separation of civil and religious authority. Far on into
historical times the guardians of the "Great Shrine" of Ohonamochi
in Idzumo retained a title (_kuni no miyakko_) which, like that of
pontifex at Rome, implied the performance of secular duties. In the
reign of Kwammu (782-806) it was found that the local nobility (_kuni
no miyakko_), many of whom still acted as governors, neglected their
civil functions, on the pretence that their time was occupied by
religious duties. A decree was therefore issued that in future no local
nobles should hold the office of civil governor.

=The Mikado=.--The chief priest of Shinto is the Mikado himself. Jimmu,
the legendary founder of the dynasty, is represented as performing
sacrifice in person. Jingō is said to have acted on one occasion as
_kannushi_. In historical times Mikados presided personally over the
ceremonies of Nihiname, Shinkonjiki, Kanname, and other festivals. Even
at the present day the Mikado's priestly functions are not entirely

=Nakatomi=.--For many centuries most of the Mikado's sacerdotal
functions have been delegated. In the Jimmu legend there is mention of
the appointment of a Michi no Omi (minister of the way) as ruler of a
festival in honour of Taka-musubi. At the dawn of history we find the
Nakatomi hereditary corporation the recognized vicars of the Mikado.
Tradition traces their descent from the God Koyane. The most probable
etymology of Nakatomi explains it as put for _Naka-tsu-omi_, that is
to say, the minister of the middle. Hirata understands by this that
the Nakatomi were mediators between the Gods and the Mikado, reciting
the Mikado's _norito_ to the Gods, and communicating to him their
instructions received by divination. In Shinto, however, there was no
indispensable sacerdotal mediator. There was nothing to prevent the
Mikado, or any one, from holding direct communication with the deities.

A branch of the Nakatomi House, which in the seventh century took
the name of Fujihara, was famous in later history. Up to 1868 the
nominal Prime Ministers and Regents were invariably taken from it.
The officials of the Jingikwan, or Department of Religion, were
largely Nakatomi, as were also the Chokushi, or Imperial envoys to
the local shrines. Yet the Nakatomi were hardly what we should call
a priestly caste, like the Levites or Brahmins. The local priesthood
were not ordinarily Nakatomi, and many of this House held purely civil

The Jingikwan took precedence even of the Dajōkwan, or Grand Council
of State. It was presided over by an official called Haku. He had the
supreme control of all the Shinto State ceremonies, and authority over
the local priesthood. He was assisted by a vice-president, and had
a staff of Imbe, Urabe, and clerks. The Haku took the place of the
Mikado when the latter was prevented by illness from offering his daily
prayers. From the eleventh century up till quite recently the Haku was
one of the Shirakaha family, who trace their descent from the Mikado
Kwazan (985-6), and enjoyed the title of _Ô_, or prince. As explained
above, the Nakatomi were practically the Imperial family.

=Imbe=.--The Imbe were another hereditary corporation, descended, it
was said, from the God Futodama (great-gift). Their chief business was
to prepare the offerings, and their name Imi-be (_imi_ means avoidance,
or religious abstinence) has reference to the care with which they
avoided all sources of impurity in doing so. The Imbe, after praying to
the Mountain-God, cut down with a sacred (_imi_) axe the trees required
for shrines, or at least began the work, leaving it to be completed by
ordinary workmen. They also dug the foundations with a sacred (_imi_)
mattock. Two of the _norito_, namely, the Ohotono and the Mikado,
were read by them. It was also their duty, at least at one period, to
deliver the regalia to the Mikado at his coronation.

A Chinese description of Japan, written long before the _Kojiki_ or
_Nihongi_, gives the following account of what were in all probability
the predecessors of the Imbe:--

"_They (the Japanese) appoint a man whom they call an 'abstainer.' He
is not allowed to comb his hair, to wash, to eat flesh, or to approach
women. When they are fortunate, they make him presents, but if they are
ill, or meet with disaster, they set it down to the abstainer's failure
to keep his vows, and unite to put him to death._"[174]

This is a description of a typical ascetic. In the Imbe of historical
times we have the closely allied idea of scrupulous attention to
religious purity. But they were not celibates or vegetarians except _ad
hoc_ when a festival was impending, and so far from neglecting the care
of their persons, strict cleanliness was incumbent upon them.

=Urabe=.--A third hereditary religious corporation in ancient Japan
was that of the diviners or Urabe. They are mentioned in the _Nihongi_
under the date A.D. 585. They were divided at a later period into four
branches, belonging respectively to the provinces of Iki, Tsushima,
Idzu, and Hitachi. Twenty of these diviners were attached to the
Jingikwan. It was their duty to decide by the deer's shoulder-blade
or tortoise-shell divination such matters as were referred to them
by the superior officials of the department. Urabe were despatched
to the provinces to fetch the rice which was used in the Ohonihe
ceremony. It was also their duty to take away and throw into a river
the _harahe-tsu-mono_, or offerings of purification. For many centuries
this office has been in the hands of the Yoshida family, whose
exorbitant pretensions fill Hirata with indignation.

The Nakatomi, Imbe, Urabe, and Ô (princes of the Shirakaha House),
constitute what are called the Shi-sei, or four surnames of the

=Saishu=.--The high-priest at Ise was called Saishu, or worship-master.
This office was hereditary in the Fujinami family, a branch of the

=Daigūji=.--The high-priests of Atsuta, Kashima, Usa, and Aso were
termed Daigūji, or great-shrine-functionaries. There was a Dai-gū-ji at
Ise, subordinate to the Saishu. This office was also hereditary.

=Kannushi=.--Kannushi is for _kami-nushi_, that is, deity-master. It is
the most general word for Shinto priest. Properly it is only the chief
priest of the shrine who is so designated. The Kannushi are appointed
by the State. In early times their duties were performed by officials
who already held secular posts. In 820 a decree was made prohibiting
this practice, as it was found that such Kannushi neglected the care of
the shrines of which they had charge. At the present time many Kannushi
combine other avocations with their sacerdotal functions. The title
may even be conferred on a layman by way of honour. The late famous
actor Danjuro was an example. Kannushi are not exempted from military
service. They are not celibates, and may return to the laity whenever
they please. It is only when engaged in worship that they wear the
distinctive dress of their office, which consists of a loose gown,
fastened at the waist with a girdle, and a black cap called _eboshi_,
bound round the head with a broad white fillet. Even this is not really
a sacerdotal costume, but simply one of the old official dresses of the
Mikado's Court. No special education is necessary for the discharge of
the duties of a Kannushi, which consist in the recital of the annual
prayers and in attending to the repair of the shrine.

=Hafuri or Hōri=.--The hafuri are priests of an inferior grade.
This word, though now written with Chinese characters which mean
"prayer-official," is connected with the verb _hoburu_ or _hafuru_,
to slaughter, to throw away. _Hōmuru_, to bury, is another form of
the same word. The _Nihongi_ says that in 642, at the bidding of the
village hafuri, horses and cattle were killed as a sacrifice in order
to procure rain. The high-priest of the God Minagata at Suha is styled
Oho-hafuri (great hafuri). At the festival of this God the heads of
seventy-five deer are presented as offerings, while the flesh is eaten
by the priests. If others than the priests wish to partake of it
without pollution, they get chopsticks from the priests which answer
this purpose. These facts point to the conclusion that the hafuri were
originally sacrificers. Offerings of animal food were common in ancient

The term _hafuri-tsu-mono_ (flung-away-things) is used as equivalent to
_harahi-tsu-mono_ (expiatory offerings), and is also applied to funeral

=Negi=.--This was another name for priests of lower rank. The word is
probably connected with _negafu_, to pray. The negi of Miha and Mikami
are called imi-bi (fire-avoid) because they are specially careful to
avoid impurity in respect to fire. They will not use the same fire for
cooking as other people.

=Miyakko=.--The hereditary chief priests of Kitsuki in Idzumo and the
affiliated shrine of Hinokuma in Kir were called _miyakko_, a term
which originally meant "local governor."

=Priestesses.=--There are several categories of priestesses attached
to Shinto shrines. Their mythical prototype is Uzume, the Goddess who
danced before the cave into which the Sun-Goddess retired when insulted
by her brother Susa no wo.

=Saiwö=.--At the beginning of every reign, an unmarried princess
of the Imperial blood was chosen by divination and consecrated to
the service of the Sun-Goddess at Ise. For three years previous to
taking up her duties she went every first day of the month to an
_imi-dono_ (sacred-hall) and worshipped towards the Great Shrine
of Ise. This was called the _mi-tose no mono-imi_, or "three years'
purity." The Saiwö is also called Itsuki no miya or Saigū, sacred or
worship-palace--properly the name of her residence. There was a similar
appointment to the shrine of Kamo, where the Ujigami of the Mikados
was worshipped. She was also called Saiwö, and both herself and her
residence were termed Sai-in, that is, "sacred hall." These offices
were discontinued early in the thirteenth century.

=Kamu no ko= (God-child).--The Kamu no ko were also called _miko_,
august child, or sometimes _mono-imi_, that is, avoiders of (impure)
things. They were young girls attached to all the principal shrines
for the performance of the kagura dances, and cooking the food for
offerings. They also occasionally became the medium of divinely
inspired utterances. From the _Yengishiki_ we learn that at that time
there were a number of kamuko in the palace for the service of the
numerous shrines there. They were appointed at the age of seven or
upwards from the families of the local nobles (miyakko). Their places
were supplied by others when they got married.

At Kumano in Tango there are certain families whose female children
are devoted to the service of the Shrine of Susa no wo. When a girl
is born, a divine arrow flies down and sticks in the roof-tree of the
house. At the age of four or five, the child thus designated is sent to
wait on the God. Though the place is among the mountains, such children
are never harmed by wild beasts. When they begin to show signs of
puberty, a great dragon comes and glares fiercely at them. Thereupon
they return home.[175]

=Ichi-ko=.--The ichi-ko or agata-miko are parish mediums who are called
in when communication is desired with the spirits of the dead. They are
sometimes called adzusa miko, from their use of a bow of adzusa wood
in their conjurations. There are also strolling ichiko of indifferent
character, who for a trifling consideration will throw open the gates
of the spirit world. These are modern institutions.

=Kamube=.--The peasants who tilled the glebe lands of the shrine and
their place of residence were alike termed kamu-be (God-corporation).
The present city of Kōbe takes its name from one of these. In the times
when slavery was a Japanese institution there were slaves attached to
some of the shrines.

Recent statistics give the number of Shinto priests as 14,766. Their
maximum salary is about £20 per month.


[174] For an account of similar priests or medicine men in many other
countries, see 'The Golden Bough.' The Nazirite (Numbers vi.) is their
Jewish counterpart.

[175] See Hirata's _Koshiden_, xviii. 23.



Religious conduct includes worship, morality in so far as it has
obtained the sanction of religion, and ceremonial purity.

The term worship applies both to the forms of courtesy and respect
towards human beings and of reverence for the Gods. Indeed the latter
is not a separate kind of worship, but is composed almost exclusively
of the same elements in a new application. Nearly everything in the
worship of the Gods is borrowed from the forms of social respect. It
is sometimes maintained that these forms, before they become a part
of religious ritual, pass through an intermediate stage, namely,
the worship of the dead, whether as ghosts or dead ancestors. This
view is based on the hypothesis that Gods were originally deceased
men. It cannot well apply to Shinto, where all the Great Gods are
nature-deities. When a Japanese greets the rising Sun by bowing his
head, he does so because that is already with him an habitual form
of respect. No doubt he honours the dead in this way as well as
the living. But the occasions for the worship of the living so far
outnumber those of paying respect to the dead that the latter may be
regarded as a negligible quantity in the formation of the habit. There
is surely nothing to prevent a man who had never worshipped ghosts or
ancestors from transferring direct to nature-deities forms of respect
arising out of the relations of living men.

Several practices of worship, such as clapping the hands for joy and
the avoidance of contamination by touching a dead body, have no meaning
in the case of the cult of the dead.

Worship has a secondary but most important function. It is addressed
not only to the Gods but to our fellow-men. It is a means of
communicating religious thoughts and emotions from man to man and from
one generation to another.

=Obeisance=.--The simplest and most universal mode of showing reverence
to the Gods is by bowing. In Shinto it is the custom to bow twice
before and after praying or making an offering. The word _ogamu_, to
pray or worship, means to bend. Kneeling is also practised--one of the
_norito_ has the phrase "bending the knee like a deer"--but is less
common. Squatting (_kashikomaru_) is another form of obeisance.

=Clapping Hands=.--Clapping hands (_kashihade_), primarily a sign of
joy, as it still is in our nurseries, was in ancient times in Japan a
general token of respect. The _Nihongi_[176] states that the Ministers
clapped hands in honour of the Empress when she ascended the throne.
More recently, this form was confined to divine worship. One of the
_norito_ has the rubric, "Offer three cups of sake, clap hands, and
retire." The number of hand-clappings was minutely prescribed in the
old ritual. In some ceremonies it was done thirty-two times. A silent
hand-clapping (_shinobi-te_) was sometimes directed. It seems possible
that in Shinto at least this was the origin of the simple folding
of the hands in prayer, common to so many nations, and explained by
anthropologists as the attitude of an unresisting suppliant holding out
his hands for the cord.

=Other Gestures=.--Respect may also be shown by raising objects to
the forehead or placing them on the head (_ita-daku_), as the most
honourable and important part of the body. This is done in the case
of the implements used in the greater divination. Among less formal
gestures used in worship are reverent upward looks (_awogu_), an
almost instinctive practice, which has its root in the idea that
Heaven is the dwelling-place of the Gods, and has certainly nothing to
do with ghost-worship.

I cannot point to any case of prostration or of uncovering the feet as
a form of Shinto worship. Uncovering the head is known in modern times,
but I do not find it mentioned in the older ritual.

=Offerings=.--As the attitude of devotees towards myth varies according
to their intelligence and culture, some distinguishing, more or less
clearly, between the truth which it adumbrates and its fictitious
embroidery, and others accepting it indiscriminately as absolute
fact, as the image is by some regarded simply as an aid to devotion
and by others as a true representation of the God, or even as the God
himself, so in the case of offerings, a double current of opinion is
to be traced. There are always worshippers who well know that the God
does not eat the food, drink the wine, or wear the clothing which is
laid upon his altar; but there are also more literal-minded people who
cling, in the face of cogent evidence to the contrary, to the idea that
in some ill-defined way he does benefit physically by such offerings.
A story in the _Konjaku Monogatari_ tells how a boy, possessed of
superior insight, could see the devils carrying away the offerings of
the purification ceremony. Even Hirata, a highly educated man, thought
that food-offerings lost their savour in a way that is inexplicable by
natural causes. Incense and burnt-offerings are adapted to the mental
capacity of worshippers of this class.[177] The true reason for making
offerings, whether to Gods or to the dead, is to be sought elsewhere.
Men feel impelled to do something to show their gratitude for the great
benefits which they are daily receiving, and to conciliate the future
favour of the powers from whom they proceed. Offerings are part of
the language by which the intention of the worshipper is manifested to
Gods and men. It is in this rather than in any supposed actual benefit
that their chief value consists. The _norito_ state explicitly that the
offerings were symbolical. They are called _iya-jiro no mitegura_, or
offerings in token of respect. There is frequent mention of "fulfilling
the praises" of the Gods by plenteous offerings. Symbolic gifts are, of
course, not confined to religion. In ancient Greece a gift of earth and
water indicated a surrender of political independence.

It is on the recognition of the symbolical value of offerings that the
practice of substituting humaner, cheaper, or more convenient articles
rests. Shinto has many illustrations of this principle.

I shall only mention Herbert Spencer's view that "the origin of the
practice of making offerings is to be found in the custom of leaving
food and drink at the graves of the dead, and as the ancestral spirit
rose to divine rank, the refreshments placed for the dead developed
into sacrifices." It must stand or fall with his general theory of the
origin of religion, of which the reader will form his own judgment. I
would suggest that the earliest offering was rather a portion of the
ordinary meal set apart in grateful recognition of the source from
which it came.

I find little or nothing in Shinto to bear out Jevons's opinion that
"the core of worship is communion. Offerings in the sense of gifts are
a comparatively modern institution both in ancestor-worship and in the
worship of the Gods." Communion is, of course, out of the question in
the case of the various offerings of clothing and implements. Even in
the case of food-offerings there is no evidence in Shinto of a "joint
participation in the living flesh and blood of a sacred victim."[178]

The general object of making offerings is to propitiate the God. There
are several cases in the _norito_ where they are made by way of reward
for their services or in bargain for future blessings.[179] Some are
expiatory, and are made with the object of absolving the worshipper
from ritual impurity. These are called _aga-mono_, or "ransom things."

Offerings were frequently duplicated, no doubt in order that one set at
least of the things offered should be free from chance pollution.

Offerings were sometimes personified, and even deified, as in the
Jimmu legend,[180] where the food-offering is styled Idzu-uka no me,
sacred-food-female. Most of the _shintai_ were originally nothing more
than offerings.

Shinto offerings are of the most varied description. The Gods being
conceived of as beings animated by human sentiments, it is inferred
that anything which would give pleasure to men is suitable for offering
to a God.

_Food and Drink_.--The primary and most important form of offering is
food and drink. The Jimmu legend, a very ancient document, speaks of
none but food-offerings. The word _nihe_, an element in the names of
some of the great festivals, means food-offerings. The central feature
of the most solemn rite of Shinto, namely, the _oho-nihe_, was the
offering of rice and sake to the Gods by the Mikado on his accession
to the throne. The _norito_ add clothing, and the _Yengishiki_ a great
variety of other articles. There are several instances in history of
the substitution of cloth for an older food-offering. Under food are
included rice, in ear and in grain, hulled and in husk, rice cakes,
fruit, sea-ear, shell-fish, vegetables, edible seaweed, salt, sake,
water, deer, pigs, hare, wild boar, and birds of various kinds. In
642 horses and cattle were sacrificed in order to produce rain. But
even at this early period such sacrifices were condemned. They were no
doubt a revival in a case of national emergency of a practice which
under Buddhist influence had become more or less obsolete. There are
numerous indications that animal sacrifices were very common in the
most ancient times. In the _Yengishiki_ period offerings of four-footed
animals or their flesh were confined to four services, namely, that
of the Food-Goddess, of the Wind-Gods, of the Road-Gods, and that for
driving away maleficent deities.

There is no evidence in the older Shinto records of the use of incense
or of burnt-offerings, nor is any special importance attached to the
blood of slaughtered animals.

White being considered an auspicious colour, white animals were
frequently selected for sacrifice.

At the present time the daily offerings made to the Sun-Goddess and the
Food-Goddess at Ise consist of four cups of _sake_, sixteen saucers
of rice and four of salt, besides fish, birds, fruits, seaweed, and
vegetables. The annual offerings at the tomb of the first Mikado,
Jimmu, are products of mountain, river, and sea, including _tahi_ (a
fish), carp, edible sea-weed, salt, water, _sake_, _mochi_ (rice-cake),
fern-flour, pheasants, and wild ducks.


_Clothing_.--The clothing of the ancient Japanese consisted of hemp,
_yuju_ (a fibre made of the inner bark of the paper mulberry), and
silk. All these materials are represented in the Shinto offerings
enumerated in the _Yengishiki_. Silk, however, was at this time still
somewhat of a novelty, and, therefore, religion being conservative,
it takes a less conspicuous place. But hemp and bark-fibre, with the
textiles woven from them, are very common offerings. They were more
convenient than perishable articles of food for sending to shrines
at a distance from the capital, and as cloth was the currency of the
day, it was a convenient substitute for unprocurable or objectionable
articles. In the _Yengishiki_ so many ounces of fibre or so many pieces
of cloth are prescribed, but at a later period a more specialized and
conventional form, called _oho-nusa_ (great-offering), came into use.
The _oho-nusa_ (p. 214) consists of two wands placed side by side, from
the ends of which depend a quantity of hempen fibre and a number of
strips of paper.[181] One of the wands is of the _cleyera japonica_, or
evergreen sacred tree. The other is a bamboo of a particular species.
Their use is connected with an old Japanese rule of etiquette that
presents to a superior should be delivered attached to a branch of a
tree, the object being doubtless to mark a respectful aloofness of
the giver from the receiver. The paper slips represent the _yufu_,
or mulberry-bark fibre. The use of _yufu_ for clothing having become
more or less obsolete, owing to the introduction of cotton, paper,
which in Japan is made of the same material, was substituted for it.
The _oho-nusa_ are still employed on important occasions, but for
general use they are now replaced by the well-known _gohei_ (p. 215),
in which the hemp and one of the wands are omitted. Another form of
_nusa_, called _ko-nusa_ (little _nusa_) or _kiri-nusa_ (cut-_nusa_),
consists of paper with leaves of the sacred tree chopped up and mixed
with rice. Travellers in ancient times carried this mixture with
them in a bag and made offerings of it to the phallic deities along
their way. It was also used when in danger of shipwreck. The same
system of "accommodements avec le ciel" is further illustrated by the
substitution of the still more inexpensive hemp leaves for the original
hempen fibre or fabric. If, it is argued, the God does not really eat
the food or wear the clothing placed on his altar, a few grains of
rice or a few leaves of hemp will answer the purpose of expressing the
sentiments of the worshipper just as well as more costly gifts.


There were sometimes sets of coloured _gohei_--blue, yellow, red,
white, and black. The _awo-nigi-te_ (blue-soft-articles) and
_shira-nigi-te_ (white-soft-articles) consisted of hemp and bark fibre

_Tama-gushi_ are often mentioned. I take it that in this combination
_tama_ means gift or offering, not spirit or jewel, as is taught
by some modern Japanese authorities. _Kushi_ means skewer. The
_tama-gushi_ are twigs of the sacred evergreen tree (_sakaki_) or of
bamboo, with tufts of _yufu_ attached. They are, in short, a simple
form of _nusa_ or _gohei_. They have a striking resemblance to the
ἰκτηρἰοις κλάδοισιν (suppliant branches) mentioned in the opening lines
of 'Œdipus Tyrannus' and explained by Jebb as "olive branches wreathed
with fillets of wool." In one _Nihongi_ myth, Susa no wo is said to
have planted _kushi_ in the rice-fields of his sister, the Sun-Goddess,
"by way of claiming ownership," says a commentator. Compare with this
the following quotation from Hakluyt's 'Historie of the West Indies':
"Every one [of the Caribs] encloseth his portion [of ground] onely
with a little cotton line, and they account it a matter of sacriledge
if any pass over the cord and treade on the possession of his
neighbour, and hold it for certayne that whoso violateth this sacred
thing shall shortly perish."

Along with the alteration in the form of the _nusa_ to the present
_gohei_ there came a change in the mental attitude of the worshipper.
Originally mere offerings, they were at length, by virtue of long
association, looked upon as representatives of the deity. Scholars like
Motoöri and Hirata denounce this view as a corruption of later times,
but it is no doubt at present the prevailing conception. Hepburn's
Japanese dictionary knows no other. It is illustrated by the fact that
instead of the worshipper bringing _gohei_ to the shrine, these objects
are now given out by the priest to the worshipper, who takes them home
and sets them up in his private _Kami-dana_ (God-shelf) or domestic

A further step is taken when it is believed that on festival occasions
the God, on a certain formula, called the _Kami-oroshi_, or "bringing
down the God," being pronounced, descends into the _gohei_ and remains
there during the ceremony, taking his departure at its close. In the
vulgar Shinto of the present day this belief in a real presence of
the God is associated with hypnotism.[182] Akin to the belief in an
actual presence of a deity in the _gohei_ is their modern use in the
purification ceremony, when they are flourished over or rubbed against
the person to be absolved of ritual uncleanness or to dispel any evil
influences which may have attached themselves to his person. Like
the Homeric στέμμα and the host, they were occasionally used for the
protection of the bearer. At the present time a _gohei-katsugi_, or
_gohei_ bearer, is synonymous with a superstitious person.

Skins of oxen, boar, deer, and bear were sometimes offered to the Gods.

_Jewels (tama)_ were much worn by the ancient Japanese nobility as
ornaments for the head or as necklaces and bracelets. They consisted
of round beads, tubes (_kuda-tama_), and comma-shaped objects
(_maga-tama_) of chalcedony, jasper, nephrite, chrysoprase, serpentine,
steatite or crystal. Jewels occur sometimes in the lists of Shinto

_Mirrors_.--The ancient Japanese mirrors did not greatly differ from
those in use at the present day. They were made of a mixed metal, which
is described in the myths as "white copper," and were sometimes round
and sometimes eight-cornered. The mirror figures frequently in the old
records. Mirrors are among the presents made by a female chieftain to a
Mikado, and from a King of Korea to another Mikado.[183] The mirror was
primarily an offering, and not to the Sun-Goddess only.[184] Mirrors
were presented to, and even constituted the _shintai_ of other Gods as
well. In the _Tosa Nikki_ (A.D. 935) the author relates that during a
storm, an offering of _nusa_ having proved unavailing, he bethought him
of some more acceptable gift. "Of eyes I have a pair," said he, "then,
let me give the God my mirror of which I have only one. The mirror was
accordingly flung into the sea, to my very great regret. But no sooner
had I done so than the sea itself became as smooth as a mirror."

Mirrors do not appear among the periodical offerings enumerated in the
_Yengishiki_, which consisted chiefly of perishable articles. They
belonged to a separate class called _shimpō_, or divine treasures,
which were not set out on the altar but stored in the treasury of the

_Weapons_.--Swords were also among the permanent treasures of the
shrine. Wonderful stories are related of them. One which was stolen by
a thief is said to have left him and returned to the treasury of its
own accord. Swords were made _shintai_, and even deified.[185] The God
worshipped at Atsuta was the sword Kusanagi, found by Susa no wo in the
great serpent's tail, and the God of Isonokami was the sword called
Futsu no Mitama (spirit of fire?) given by the Sun-Goddess to Jimmu. I
have no doubt that these were originally "divine treasures," which owed
their deification to long association with the God. A sword is one of
the regalia at the present day.

The principle of substitution is illustrated by the models of swords
prescribed as offerings in the _Yengishiki_. I have seen on the top
of Ohoyama, sacred to a Goddess named Sekison (Iha-naga-hime?), a pit
containing many hundreds of tiny wooden swords which had been deposited
there as offerings.

Other weapons which figure as offerings are spears, spear-heads,
shields, and bows and arrows.

Agricultural implements, bells, pottery, reels for reeling yarn, are
also mentioned. It was the custom, in the case of these and other
durable offerings, to offer the same objects again and again.

_Human sacrifices_ formed no part of the State Shinto religion as
described in the ancient records. But there are several indications of
the existence of this practice in still older times. Human sacrifices
to river-Gods have been already mentioned. We have seen that when a
Mikado died a number of his attendants were buried alive round his
tomb, from which it may be inferred that considerations of humanity
would not have prevented similar sacrifices to the Gods. Cases are also
recorded of men being buried alive in the foundations of a bridge, a
castle, or an artificial island. These were called _hito-bashira_, or
human pillars. The offerings of _kane-hito-gata_ (metal-man-form),
so often mentioned in the _Yengishiki_, were perhaps by way of
substitution for human victims. It is significant that the Gods of
water-distribution (_mikumari_), that is, the river-Gods, are specially
distinguished as their recipients. Similar human effigies, gilt or
silvered, formed part of the _oho-harahi_, or absolution offerings.
In this case they were intended as ransom for the offenders whose
ritual guilt was to be expiated. They were touched with the lips or
breathed upon before being offered. Peachwood or paper effigies might
be substituted, and in later times articles of clothing or anything
which had been in contact with the person to be absolved. These last
were called _nade-mono_ (rub-thing) or _aga-mono_ (ransom-thing). When
in danger of shipwreck the hair might be cut off and offered, on the
principle of a part for the whole, as ransom to the Dragon-God. The
_Kogo-jiui_ applies the term _aga-mono_ to the hair and nails of Susa
no wo, which were cut off by the other Gods. The principle of ransom
is also illustrated by the following extract from the _Shinto Miōmoku_

_"At the festival of Nawoye, held at the shrine of Kokubu in the
province of Owari on the 11th day of the 1st month, the Shinto priests
go out to the highway with banners and seize a passer-by. They wash
and purify him, and make him put on pure clothing. He is then brought
before the God. A block, a wooden butcher's knife, and chopsticks for
eating flesh are provided. Separately a figure is made to represent the
captive. It is placed on the block with the captured man beside it, and
both are offered before the God. They are left there for one night. The
next morning the priests come and remove the man and the effigy. Then
they take clay, and, making it into the shape of a rice-cake, place it
on the captive's back, hang a string of copper cash about his neck, and
drive him away. As he runs off, he is sure to fall down in a faint.
But he soon comes to his senses. A mound is erected at the place where
he falls down, and the clay rice-cake deposited on it with ceremonies
which are kept a profound mystery by the priestly house. Of late
years couriers have been caught and subjected to purification. This
was put a stop to. The custom is celebrated yearly, so that nowadays
everybody is aware of it, and there are no passersby. Therefore the
priests go to a neighbouring village and seize a man. If they catch
nobody on the 11th, they bring in a man on the 12th."_

The _Nawoye_ (rectification) festival had probably the same intention
as the _Harahi_, namely, to obtain absolution from ritual impurity,
and the captive is therefore apparently a scape-goat. As readers of
Mr. Frazer's 'Golden Bough' need not be told, the custom has numerous
parallels in European folk-lore. There is some difficulty in applying
the principle of substitution for an actual human sacrifice to a custom
which was in force so recently. It does not appear probable that it
could have descended from such a remote antiquity as the time when real
human sacrifice was known in Japan. Might not the instinct of dramatic
make-believe alone account for it? Confucius condemned the practice of
offering effigies of men on funeral occasions because he thought it led
to the substitution of living victims.

_Slaves_.--Another form of human offerings was the dedication of slaves
to the service of a shrine. Such slaves were called _kami-tsu-ko_, and
are to be distinguished from the _kamube_, who were freemen. The gift
by the legendary Yamatodake to a shrine of a number of Yemishi (eastern
savages) whom he had captured is to be understood in this sense. There
is a more historical instance in the _Nihongi_, under the date A.D.
469, when a seamstress was presented to the shrine of Ohonamochi. In
562 a man was allowed to be given over to the _hafuri_ as a slave for
the service of the Gods instead of being burnt alive for a criminal
offence committed by his father.

_Horses_.--Presents of horses to shrines are often mentioned. They
were let loose in the precinct. At the present day albinos are selected
for this purpose, white being considered an auspicious colour. Wooden
figures might be substituted by those who could not afford real horses.
At the festivals of Gion and Hachiman men riding on hobby-horses
(_koma-gata_) or with a wooden horse's head attached to their breasts
formed part of the procession. They no doubt represented riding-horses
for the deity. In more recent times the further step was taken of
offering pictures of horses. This practice became so common that
special buildings, called _emadō_ (horse-picture-gallery) were erected
for their accommodation. But they contained many other pictures as
well. The _emadō_ of Kiyomidzu in Kiōto and of Itsukushima in the
Inland Sea are very curious collections of this kind. They correspond
to the _ex-voto_ churches of Roman Catholic countries.


_Carriages_.--The Mikoshi, or carriage of the God (pp. 224, 225), in
which his _shintai_ is promenaded on festival occasions, is usually
a very elaborate and costly construction. It is carried on men's
shoulders to a _tabi no miya_ (travel-shrine) or _reposoir_ and back
again to the shrine. The confusion in many minds between the _shintai_
and the _mitama_ is illustrated by the fact that a standard modern
dictionary speaks of the Mikoshi as containing the God's _mitama_.

_Shrines_.--A shrine is a species of offering. Whatever may be the
case in other countries, in Japan the shrine is not a development of
the tomb. They have no resemblance to each other. The tomb is a partly
subterranean megalithic vault enclosed in a huge mound of earth, while
the shrine is a wooden structure raised on posts some feet above the
ground. The Japanese words for shrine indicate that it is intended
as a house for the God. _Miya_, august house, is used equally of a
shrine and of a palace, but not of a tomb, except poetically, as when
the _Manyōshiu_ speaks of one as a _toko no miya_, or "long home."
_Araka_, another word for shrine, probably means "dwelling-place."
In _yashiro_, a very common word for shrine, _ya_ means house and
_shiro_ representative or equivalent. There is evidence[186] that this
word comes to us from a time when the _yashiro_ was a plot of ground
consecrated for the occasion to represent a place of abode for the
deity. The analogy of the Roman _templum_ will occur to the classical
scholar. The _himorogi_ (p. 226), a term which has been the subject
of some controversy, was probably, as Hirata suggests, at first an
enclosure of _sakaki_ twigs stuck in the ground so as to represent a
house. It is probable that in all these cases the make-believe preceded
any actual edifice, and was not a substitute for it.

There is a somewhat rare word, namely _oki-tsuki_, properly a mound,
which is applied to both tombs and shrines. Old sepulchral mounds have
frequently a small shrine on their summit.




The Shinto shrine is by no means so costly an edifice as its Buddhist
counterpart. The _hokora_,[187] as the smaller shrines are called,
are in many cases so small as to be easily transportable in a cart.
Even the great shrines of Ise (pp. 228, 229) are of no great size and
of purposely plain and simple construction. In 771 a "greater shrine"
had only eighteen feet frontage. Some of the more important _yashiro_
have smaller buildings attached to them, such as an _emadō_, or
gallery of votive pictures; a _haiden_, or oratory, where the official
representative of the Mikado performed his devotions, and a stage for
the sacred pantomimic dance. A number of smaller shrines (_sessha_ or
_massha_) dedicated to other Gods are usually to be seen within the
enclosure. No accommodation is provided for the joint worship of the
congregation of believers, which is indeed exceptional. The individual
worshipper stands outside in front of the shrine, calls the attention
of the deity by ringing a gong provided for the purpose, bows his head,
claps or folds his hands, puts up his petition, and retires. A large
box stands conveniently for receiving such small contributions of
copper cash as he may make.

In many shrines more than one deity is worshipped. These are called
_ahi-dono no kami_, that is to say, deities of a joint shrine. They
may, like Izanagi and Izanami, have some mythical connexion with each
other or they may not. The _Yengishiki_ enumerates 3,132 officially
recognized shrines. Of these 737 were maintained at the cost of
the Central Government. Some had permanent endowments of lands and
peasants. Many minor shrines existed in all parts of the country. The
shrines are classed as great and small, the respective numbers being
492 and 2,640. They differed in the quantity of offerings and in the
circumstance that in the former case the offerings were placed on an
altar and in the latter on the ground. Thirty-six shrines were situated
in the palace itself. The most important deities worshipped here were
eight in number, comprising five obscurely differentiated Musubi, the
Goddess of Food, Oho-miya-no me, and Koto-shiro-nushi. There were
also several Well-Gods, a Sono no Kami, a Kara no Kami (Korean God),
a Thunder-God, a pair of _sake_ deities, and others of whom little is



In enumerating the officially recognized shrines throughout the rest
of the country the _Yengishiki_ unfortunately, in the great majority
of cases, does not name the God, but only the locality where the
shrine was situated, as when we speak of Downing Street, meaning the
collective officialdom of the place. This is in accordance with the
impersonal habit of the Japanese mind already referred to. Strange to
say, in some even of the most popular shrines, the identity of the God
is doubtful or unknown. Kompira is a conspicuous example. According
to some he is a demon, the alligator of the Ganges. Others say that
Buddha himself became "the boy Kompira" in order to overcome the
heretics and enemies of religion who pressed upon him one day as he was
preaching. The mediæval Shintoists identified him with Susa no wo. More
recently it has been declared officially that he is really Kotohira,
an obscure Shinto deity, whose name has a resemblance in sound to that
of the Indian God. His popularity has been little affected by these

In 965 a selection of sixteen of the more important shrines was made to
which special offerings were sent. These were as follows:--

 _Name of Shrine_.  _Province_.  _God or Gods Worshipped_.

   Ise.             Ise.         Sun-Goddess and Food-Goddess.
   Ihashimidzu.     Yamashiro.   Hachiman, Jingō.
   Kamo.              Do.              ?
   Matsunowo.         Do.        Thunder-God.
   Hirano.            Do.        Probably Gods of the Cooking
                                    Furnace and New Rice.
   Inari.             Do.        Food-Goddess.
   Kasuga.          Yamato.      Koyane and his wife, Take mika-dzuchi,
   Ohoharano.       Yamashiro.        Do.
   Miha.            Yamato.      Ohonamochi.
   Oho-yamato.        Do.             Do.
   Isonokami.         Do.        Futsu no mitama (a deified sword).
   Hirose.            Do.        Food-Goddess.
   Tatsuta.           Do.        Wind-Gods.
   Sumiyoshi.         Settsu.    Sea-deities.
   Nifu.               --        Doubtful.
   Kibune.          Yamashiro.   Rain-dragon-God.


[176] II. 395.

[177] The old Hebrew idea (Genesis viii. 21) was that the food actually
reached God in the form of the fragrant fire-distilled essence, and
thus gratified him as an agreeable gift. Hastings, 'Dict. of the Bible.'

[178] Robertson Smith, 'Religion of the Semites,' p. 345.

[179] See Index, _Toshigohi_.

[180] See above, p. 119.

[181] Reminding us of Homer's στἐμμαα θεοἶο, which consisted of tufted
wool attached to a wand (σκῆπτρον). The ancient Jews made offerings of

[182] See Index, 'Inspiration.'

[183] _Nihongi_, i. 193, 251.

[184] See above, p. 70.

[185] Agamemnon's sword was worshipped in Greece in the time of

[186] _Nihongi_, ii. 293.

[187] See illustration in Chapter XIV.

[188] Murray's 'Japan,' fifth edition, p. 50.

In 991 there were added the three following:--

  _Name of Shrine._        _Province._     _God or Gods Worshipped._
    Yoshida.                Yamashiro.      Same as Kasuga.
    Hirota.                 Settsu.         Sun-Goddess's aratama.
    Kitano.                 Yamashiro.      Temmangū.

In 994 there was added

  _Name of Shrine._        _Province._     _God or Gods Worshipped._
    Mume no Miya.           Yamashiro.      Ancestor of Tachibana family.

The next to be added was

  _Name of Shrine._        _Province._         _God or Gods Worshipped._
    Gion.                   Yamashiro.          Susa no wo.

The number was finally raised to twenty-two in 1039 by the addition of

  _Name of Shrine._        _Province._         _God or Gods Worshipped._
    Hiye or Hiyoshi.        Yamashiro.          Ohonamochi.

Proximity to the capital no doubt influenced this selection. Idzumo,
Kashima, Katori, Usa, Suha, and other important shrines are omitted.
All the principal deities, however, are included in this list.

At the present day there are 193,476 Shinto shrines in Japan. Of these
the great majority are very small and have no priests or revenues.
Capt. Brinkley, in his 'Japan and China,' gives the following list of
the ten most popular shrines in Japan at the present day: "Ise, Idzumo,
Hachiman (Kyōto), Temmangū (Hakata), Inari (Kyōto), Kasuga (Nara),
Atago (Kyōto), Kompira (Sanuki), Suitengū (Tōkyō), and Suwa (Shinano)."

Very many houses have their _kamidana_ or domestic shrine, where the
ujigami, the ancestor, and the trade-God, with any others whom there is
some special reason for honouring, are worshipped.

_Tori-wi_.--The approach to a Shinto shrine is marked by one or more
gateways or arches of the special form shown in the illustration (p.
233) and known as _tori-wi_. This word means literally "bird-perch,"
in the sense of a henroost. By analogy it was applied to anything of
the same shape, as a clothes-horse, or the lintel of a door or gateway.
As an honorary gateway, the _tori-wi_ is a continental institution
identical in purpose and resembling in form the _turan_ of India, the
_pailoo_ of China, and the _hong-sal-mun_ of Korea. When introduced
into Japan at some unknown date (the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ do not
mention them) the Japanese called them _tori-wi_, which then meant
simply gateway, but subsequently acquired its present more specific
application. It sometimes serves the purpose of marking the direction
of a distant object of worship.[189]

_Hyaku-do ishi_.--Near the front of the shrine may sometimes be seen
a _hyaku-do ishi_, or hundred-time-stone, from which the worshipper
may go back and forward to the door of the shrine a hundred times,
repeating a prayer each time.

A _sori-bashi_ or _taiko-bashi_, representing the mythical floating
bridge of Heaven (the rainbow), is also to be seen at the approach to
some shrines.

=Prayer=.--Private individual prayer is seldom mentioned in the old
Shinto records, but of the official liturgies or _norito_ we have
abundant examples in the _Yengishiki_ and later works. The authors are
mostly unknown, but they were no doubt members of the Nakatomi House.
Their literary quality is good. Motoöri observes that the elegance of
their language is an offering acceptable to the Gods. The Sun-Goddess
is represented in the _Nihongi_ as expressing her satisfaction with the
beauty of the _norito_ recited in her honour.


The _norito_ are addressed sometimes to individual deities, sometimes
to categories of deities, as "the celebrated Gods" or "the Gods
of Nankaido," and sometimes to all the Gods without exception.
They contain petitions for rain in time of drought, good harvests,
preservation from earthquake and conflagration, children, health
and long life to the sovereign and enduring peace and prosperity to
his rule, the safety of his ambassadors to foreign countries, the
suppression of rebellion, the repulse of invasion, success to the
Imperial arms, and general prosperity to the Empire. Sometimes the
Mikado deprecates the wrath of deities whose services had been vitiated
by ritual impurity, or whose shrines had suffered from neglect or

The phrase "fulfilling of praises," which occurs frequently in the
_norito_, must not be taken literally. It is really equivalent to
"show all due honour to," and usually applies to the offerings which
were made in token of respect. There is very little of praise in the
ordinary meaning of the word. The language of the _norito_ presents a
striking contrast to the profusion of laudatory epithets and images of
the Vedas, or the sublime eulogies of the Psalms of David. The only
element of this kind is a few adjectival prefixes to the names of the
Gods, such as _oho_, great; _take_, brave; _taka_, high; _haya_, swift;
_toyo_, rich; _iku_, live; _yori_, good, and perhaps one or two more.

The _do ut des_ principle of offerings is plainly avowed in some of the

Besides petitions we find also announcements to the Gods, as of the
appointment of a priestess, the bestowal on the deity of a degree
of rank, and the beginning of a new reign. The Mongol invasion was
notified to Ise in 1277 with the happiest results.

The _Yengishiki_ contains no _norito_ addressed to deceased Mikados,
but several examples of this class, due no doubt to Chinese influence,
have come down to us from the ninth century. In 850 Jimmu was prayed
to for the Mikado, who was dangerously ill, and who died soon after.
In the same year, "evil influences" (the Mikado's illness?) were
attributed to his wrath, and envoys despatched to his tomb, in order to
ascertain whether he might not have been offended by some pollution to
it. The Empress Jingō was prayed to in 866 under similar circumstances.
Other _norito_ announce to the preceding Mikado the accession of a new
sovereign or the appointment of a Prince Imperial.

The _norito_ contain few petitions for which we might not easily find
parallels in modern Europe, but a comparison with Christian, Jewish,
or even Mohammedan and Buddhist formulæ reveals enormous lacunæ in the
ancient Japanese conception of the scope of prayer. Moral and spiritual
blessings are not even dreamt of. Such prayers as "that we may live a
godly, righteous, and sober life," "to grant us true repentance and
His Holy Spirit," are foreign to its character. "Lead us not into
temptation" and "Thy will be done" are conspicuously absent. No Shinto
God is petitioned to "endue the Sovereign with heavenly gifts," nor
that "after this life he may attain everlasting joy and felicity."
Indeed, there is no reference anywhere to a future life--a significant
fact, in view of the circumstance that human sacrifices at the tombs of
great men were at one time common. The commonly received opinion that
the latter indicate a belief in a future state is, perhaps, after all,
erroneous. Nor does any one beseech a Shinto deity to send down on the
priesthood the healthful spirit of his grace.

Numerous specimens of _norito_ will be found in Chap. XII.

In connexion with the attempted revival early in the last century of
the pure Shinto of ancient times, Hirata composed a book of prayer
entitled _Tamadasuki_, not for official or temple use, but as an aid to
private devotion. It was not printed until some years after his death,
and I doubt whether it was ever much used even by Shinto devotees.
Notwithstanding the author's professed abhorrence of Buddhism and
his condemnation of Chinese religious notions, the _Tamadasuki_ owes
much to these sources. He instructs his followers to "get up early,
wash the face and hands, rinse the mouth, and cleanse the body. Then
turn towards Yamato, clap hands twice, and bow down the head" before
offering their petitions.

Prayers to the Shinto Gods, even at the present day, are mostly for
material blessings. Anything more which they contain may be confidently
set down to Buddhist influence. There are prayers on reclaiming a
new piece of ground, building a house, sowing a rice-field, prayers
for prosperity in trade and domestic happiness, prayers promising to
give up _sake_, gambling, or profligacy (Buddhist), thanks for escape
from shipwreck or other danger, &c. Sometimes the prayer is written
out on paper and deposited in the shrine, perhaps accompanied by the
petitioner's hair or a picture having some reference to the subject
of his prayer. When it is answered, small paper _nobori_ (flags) are
set up at the shrine or its approaches. A common prayer at the present
day is for "Peace to the country, safety to the family, and plentiful

=Oaths and Curses=.--The _Nihongi_ mentions several cases of Heaven or
the Gods being appealed to for the sanction of an oath. Thus in 562
an accused person declares: "This is false and not true. If this is
true, let calamity from Heaven befall me." In 581 tribes of Yemishi
promised submission to the Mikado, saying: "If we break this oath, may
all the Gods of Heaven and Earth and also the spirits of the Emperors
destroy our race." In 644 the Mikado made an oath appealing to the Gods
of Heaven and Earth, and saying: "On those who break this oath Heaven
will send a curse and Earth a plague, demons will slay them, and men
will smite them." The author of the _Nihongi_, however, is grievously
open to the suspicion of adorning his narrative liberally with
rhetorical ornaments of Chinese origin. The following is an example of
a nonreligious oath said to have been made by a Korean king in 249:
"If I spread grass for us to sit on, it might be burnt with fire; if
I took wood for a seat, it might be washed away by water. Therefore,
sitting on a rock, I make this solemn declaration of alliance." A curse
pronounced over a well in 456 has likewise no religious quality. It is
simply "This water may be drunk by the people only: royal persons alone
may not drink of it." The instructions of the Sea-God to Hohodemi,
"When thou givest this fishhook back to thy brother, say, 'A hook of
poverty, a hook of ruin, a hook of downfall,'" are a kind of curse.
On the whole, oaths and curses of a religious character are rare in
Japanese literature. Profanity is almost unknown. A mild appeal to the
"three holy things" (of Buddhism) or to the Sun, or a wish that divine
punishment (_bachi_) may strike one's enemy, are almost the only things
of the kind. And they are infrequent. Probably this is due to the
want of a deep-seated sentiment of piety in the Japanese nation. Such
expressions as "Thank God," "Good-bye," "Adieu," "God forbid," are also
rare, whether in speech or in literature. The Mohammedans, with their
continual use of the name of Allah, are the antipodes of the Japanese
in this respect.

=Rank of Deities=.--A system of official ranks, borrowed from China,
was introduced into Japan in the seventh century. There were at one
time forty-eight different grades, each with its distinct costume,
insignia, and privileges. The first notice of deities being granted
such ranks occurs in 672, when we are told that three deities were
"raised in quality" on account of useful military information supplied
by their oracles. This practice became systematized in the period
749-757, and was very prevalent for several centuries longer. A rain
of volcanic ashes which fell in many of the eastern provinces in 838
was attributed by the diviners to the jealousy of a Goddess, the
true wife of a God, and mother by him of five children, at a step of
official rank granted by the Mikado to a younger rival. Tantæ ne animis
cælestibus iræ! In 851 Susa no wo and Oho-kuni-nushi received the
lower third rank and in 859 were promoted to the upper third rank. The
Mikado Daigo, on his accession in 898, raised the rank of 340 shrines.
In 1076 and 1172 wholesale promotions of deities took place. After this
time the custom fell into neglect, owing partly to the circumstance
that many of the Gods had reached the highest class and could not be
promoted any further. Several of the most important deities were not
honoured in this way. The Sun-Goddess and the Food-Goddess were among
this number. The same deity might have different ranks in different
places. The lowness of the ranks with which the inferior deities were
thought to be gratified is rather surprising. It throws a light on
the mental attitude of the Japanese towards them. Beings who could be
supposed to take pleasure in a D.S.O. or a brevet majority must have
seemed to them not very far exalted above humanity.

=Kagura=.--This word is written with two Chinese characters which
mean "God-pleasure." It is a pantomimic dance with music, usually
representing some incident of the mythical narrative. Uzume's dance
before the cave to which the Sun-Goddess had retired is supposed to be
its prototype. Important shrines have a stage and a corps of trained
girl-dancers (_miko_), for the purpose of these representations. Kagura
was also performed in the Naishidokoro (the chamber in the Palace where
the Regalia were kept), and under Chinese influences became a very
solemn function, in which numerous officials were concerned. Many kinds
of music, song, and dance are included in this term. It was the parent
in the fourteenth century of the No, a sort of religious lyrical drama,
and less directly of the modern popular drama.

Some authorities say that the music of the Kagura consisted at first
of flutes made by opening holes between the joints of a bamboo, of
wooden castanets, and of a stringed instrument made by placing six bows

=Pilgrimages=.--Paying visits is a recognized mode of showing respect
to Gods as it is to men. The Mikado himself formerly paid frequent
visits to the shrines of Kiōto and the vicinity, and in all periods
of history embassies were continually despatched by him to the great
shrines of the Empire. The private worshipper, besides visiting the
shrine of his local deity, generally makes it his business, at least
once in his lifetime, to pay his respects to more distant Gods, such
as those of Ise, Miha, Ontake, Nantai (at Nikko), Kompira, Fujiyama,
Miyajima, &c. Intending pilgrims associate themselves in clubs called
_Kō_, whose members each contribute five sen a month to the pilgrimage
fund. When the proper time of year comes round, a certain number of
members are chosen by lot to represent the club at the shrine of
their devotion, all expenses being defrayed out of the common fund.
One of the number who has made the pilgrimage before acts as leader
and cicerone. As a general rule the pilgrims wear no special garb,
but those bound for Fuji, Ontake, or other high mountains may be
distinguished by their white clothes and sloping broad hats. While
making an ascent, they often ring a bell and chant the prayer,
"May our six senses be pure and the weather fair on the honourable
mountain."[190] Many thousand pilgrims annually ascend Fuji, and over
11,000 paid their devotions at Ise on a recent New Year's day. Almost
all Japanese cherish the hope of visiting this shrine at least once
in their lives, and many a Tokio merchant thinks that his success in
business depends largely on his doing so. Pilgrimages are an ancient
institution in Japan. It is recorded that in the ninth month of 934,
10,000,000 pilgrims of all classes visited the shrines of Ise.

Boys and even girls often run away from their homes and beg their way
to Ise. This is regarded as a pardonable escapade.

When an actual visit to a shrine is inconvenient or impossible, the
worshipper may offer his devotions from a distance. This is called
_em-pai_, or distant worship. Special shrines are provided in some
places where the God will accept such substituted service. Processions
may be joint formal visits of the worshippers to the God's shrine,
but they oftener consist in attending him on an excursion from it to
some place in the neighbourhood and back again. They much resemble in
character the carnival processions of Southern Europe.

=Circumambulation=.--The Brahmanic and Buddhist ceremony of
_pradakchina_, that is, going round a holy object with one's right
side turned to it, is not found in Shinto. The principle, however,
on which it rests--namely, that of following or imitating the course
of the Sun--is recognized in the Jimmu legend. Jimmu says:[191] "If
I should proceed against the Sun to attack the enemy, I should act
contrary to the way of Heaven.... Bringing on our backs the might of
the Sun-Goddess, let us follow her rays and trample them down." It is
difficult to reconcile with this a passage in the _Kojiki_[192] where
it is counted unlucky for the Mikado to travel from East to West,
because in so doing he must turn his back upon the Sun.

Horses presented to shrines were led round them eight times.


[189] See a contribution by Mr. S. Tuke to the Japan Society's
_Transactions_, vol. iv., 1896-7, and a paper by the present writer
in the _T.A.S.J._ for December, 1899. Mr. B. H. Chamberlain holds a
different view, which is stated in the _Journal_ of the Anthropological
Institute, 1895, and in 'Things Japanese,' fourth edition.

[190] See Index, _Rokkon Shōjō_.

[191] _Nihongi_, i. 113.

[192] Chamberlain's _Kojiki_, p. 312.



In the previous chapter we dealt with the positive side of religious
conduct. We have now to examine its negative aspect, namely, those
prohibitions which fall under the general description of morality and
ceremonial purity.

=Morals=.--Before proceeding to examine the relation of morals to
religion in Shinto, let us note some general considerations. Right
conduct has three motives: first, selfish prudence; second, altruism,
in the various forms of domestic affection, sympathy with others and
respect for their rights, public spirit, patriotism and philanthropy;
and third, the love of God. Conduct which is opposed to these three
sanctions is called in the case of the first folly, of the second
crime, and of the third sin; to which are opposed prudence, morality,
and holiness. With the infant and the savage the first motive
predominates. With advancing age in the individual, and civilization in
the race, the second and third assume more and more importance. All but
the lowest grades of animals have some idea of prudential restraint.
Many are influenced by the domestic affections, while the higher, and
especially the gregarious species, have some rudiments of the feeling
of obligation towards the community, on which altruistic morality and
eventually law are based. But in the lower animals, and even in many
men, the religious sanction is wanting.

Right conduct may usually be easily referred to an origin in one or
other of these three classes of motives. The duty of refraining from
excess in eating and drinking belongs primarily to the first, the care
of children and the avoidance of theft, murder, or adultery to the
second, acts of worship and abstinence from impiety and blasphemy to
the third. There is, however, a tendency for these motives to encroach
on each other's provinces without relinquishing their own. Acts which
belong at first to one category end by receiving the sanction of
the other motives. Drunkenness, at first thought harmless, is soon
recognized as folly, though harming nobody but the drunkard himself.
It is eventually seen to be also a crime against the community, and
last of all a sin in the eyes of God. Criminal Law is a systematic
enforcement of the rights of others by adding prudential motives for
respecting them. It also punishes blasphemy and heresy, no doubt for
the protection of the interests of the community against the curse
which such offences bring down. With ourselves religion condemns
not only direct offences against the Deity as in the first three
commandments, but selfish folly, and throws its ægis over the rights
of our neighbour, by prohibiting theft, murder, adultery, lying,
disrespect to parents, &c. Can it be doubted that these were already
offences before the ten commandments were delivered from Mount Sinai?

There is no stronger proof of the rudimentary character of Shinto than
the exceedingly casual and imperfect sanction which it extends to
altruistic morality. It has scarcely anything in the nature of a code
of ethics. Zeus had not yet wedded Themis. There is no direct moral
teaching in its sacred books. A schedule of offences against the Gods,
to absolve which the ceremony of Great Purification was performed
twice a year,[193] contains no one of the sins of the Decalogue.[194]
Incest, bestiality, wounding, witchcraft, and certain interferences
with agricultural operations are the only offences against the moral
law which it enumerates. The _Kojiki_ speaks of a case of homicide
being followed by a purification of the actor in it. But the homicide
is represented as justifiable, and the offence was therefore not so
much moral as ritual.[195] Modern Japanese boldly claim this feature of
their religion as a merit. Motoöri thought that moral codes were good
for Chinese, whose inferior natures required such artificial means of
restraint. His pupil Hirata denounced systems of morality as a disgrace
to the country which produced them. In 'Japan,' a recent work published
in English by Japanese authors, we are told that "Shinto provides no
moral code, and relies solely on the promptings of conscience for
ethical guidance. If man derives the first principles of his duties
from intuition, a schedule of rules and regulations for the direction
of everyday conduct becomes not only superfluous but illogical."

But although there was little religious sanction of morality in ancient
Japan, it by no means follows that there was no morality. We have seen
that there are moral elements in the character of the Sun-Goddess as
delineated in myth.[196] Law, which is the enforcement by penalties of
a minimum altruistic morality, certainly existed. A Chinese author,
in a description of Japan as it was in the later Han period (A.D.
25-220), says that "the wives and children of those who break the
laws are confiscated, and for grave crimes the offender's family is
extirpated.... The laws and customs are strict." In 490 we hear of two
men being thrown into prison for crimes. The Mikado Muretsu (488-506)
is said to have been fond of criminal investigation. The _Nihongi_
condemns theft, robbery, rebellion, and non-payment of taxes, none
of which matters is taken formal cognizance of by Shinto. Without
some law, unwritten and ill-defined though it was, and unequal and
fluctuating in its application as it must have been, the Japanese
could not possibly have reached even the moderate degree of organized
government which we find them enjoying at the dawn of their history.

The earliest so-called legislation which we meet with is embodied in
a proclamation issued by the Regent Shōtoku Taishi in A.D. 604. On
examination these "laws" prove to be a sort of homily addressed to
Government officials, recommending harmony, good faith, a respect for
Buddhism, obedience to the Imperial command, early rising, decorum,
disinterestedness in deciding legal cases, fidelity to one's lord, and
benevolence to the people. In 645 a "beginning of regulations" was
promulgated. It relates to the status of slaves and their children.
In the following year a set of rules was issued regulating the
construction of tombs forbidding human sacrifice in honour of the dead,
&c. In the same year laws were promulgated dealing with dishonesty,
retaining slaves belonging to other people, bringing plaints of
adultery before the authorities without having the evidence of three
credible witnesses, &c. "Severe penalties" are threatened in case of
their infraction. In 681 a sumptuary law in ninety-two articles was
enacted. In 682 flogging was limited to 100 blows: in 689 a book of
laws was distributed to all the local authorities; and in 701 the
code known as the Taihōriō was promulgated. The latter was borrowed
from China, and no doubt Chinese influences had much to do with the
more partial legislation which preceded. Shōtoku Taishi's advice to
officials is thoroughly Chinese. But the examples quoted show that such
enactments were not made without reference to the wants of Japan. It
may be inferred from Shōtoku Taishi's mention of "legal cases," and
from the regulation of procedure in cases of adultery, that there was
already in existence a body of unwritten common law by which a rude
sort of justice was administered. Prisons are mentioned more than once
in the seventh-century records.

Dr. Weipert says:[197] "There are in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_
numerous instances of arbitrary punishment inflicted by rulers,
chieftains, &c., or of private revenge, but nothing shows the existence
of fixed punitive laws or conventions.... If we confine ourselves
to the prehistoric times of Japan, we find in them no other traces
of conceptions of a binding law than those handed down to us in the
rituals dedicated to the Gods. It was indeed the power of the ruler
which held the community together, but the idea of the society being
subject to lawful restraint was to be found only in the religious
sentiments of the people. To the extent of these sentiments alone can
it be said that a lawfully regulated community and a consciousness of
such existed in those days. Now since we take criminal law to be the
publicly regulated reaction of a community against all acts of its
members which are detrimental to the common interest, we can scarcely
hesitate to describe the Ohoharahi[198] as the first source of Japanese
criminal law." This is a special application to Shinto of the principle
laid down in general terms by Dr. Pfleiderer that "the beginnings of
all social customs and legal ordinances are directly derived from
religion." Max Müller has expressed himself nearly to the same effect.

I hardly think that the Japanese facts bear out these views. It may be
admitted that before the seventh century there were no "fixed punitive
laws or conventions in Japan." But between this and mere "arbitrary
punishment" or "private revenge" there is a middle term, and I submit
that it was precisely to this stage that the Japanese nation had
arrived at this time. A common law was in existence, unwritten and ill
defined, leaving much room for arbitrary procedure and punishments, but
yet a reality. It dealt, as there is evidence to show, with matters
so essential to the welfare of the community as treason, rebellion,
and robbery, none of which is so much as mentioned in the Ohoharahi.
Indeed we could scarcely expect to find such offences noticed in it, as
the application of the criminal law in these cases places the guilty
persons far beyond the reach of a purifying process.

In an organized community like the ancient Japanese there must have
been many torts recognized by public opinion. We know that adultery
and dishonesty were punishable. Yet Shinto takes no notice of them.
The only civil wrongs singled out for religious denunciation relate to
agriculture. The ancient authorities enumerate, among the misdeeds of
Susa no wo, "breaking down the divisions of rice fields," "filling up
irrigation ditches,"[199] "sowing seed over again," with one or two
other offences of a similar kind, and the Ohoharahi includes them in
its schedule of sins which require absolution. But surely rights of
property (we can recognize germs of them in the lower animals) are long
antecedent to religion, and offences against them are recognized as
offences against man before they became sins against God.

Moreover, the Ohoharahi is wanting in the first essential of a
criminal law. It provides no fixed punitive sanction. It is true
that the culprit was in some cases obliged to supply at his own cost
the necessary offerings for the ceremony, and that practically this
amounted to a fine. The original intention, however, was not to punish
the offender, but to avert the wrath of the Gods. And it must be
remembered that individual cases of purification were exceptional. For
the offences of the nation generally, which it was the main object of
the Ohoharahi to absolve, no punishment was practicable, or indeed
dreamt of. The Ohoharahi fines of purificatory offerings may have
contributed to a system of criminal law, but they were certainly not
its main source. The case of Japan seems to prove that, in many cases
at least, altruistic morality, even in the crystallized form of law,
is in advance of religion. And may we not point to cases in our own
country where religion withholds its sanction until the law has become
well established? The following extract from the _Nihongi_ shows that
the distinction between criminal law and offences against the Gods,
with their respective punishments, was recognized at an early period:--

"_A.D. 404 Winter, 10th month, 11th day. The Imperial concubine was
buried. After this the Emperor, vexed with himself that he had not
appeased the divine curse, and had so caused the death of the Imperial
concubine, again sought to ascertain where the fault lay. Some one
said: 'The Kimi of the Cart-keepers went to the Land of Tsukushi, where
he held a review of all the Cart-keepers' Be, and he took along with
them the men allotted to the service of the Deities. This must surely
be the offence.' The Emperor straightway summoned to him the Kimi of
the Cart-keepers and questioned him. The facts having been ascertained,
the Emperor enumerated his offences, saying: 'Thou, although only Kimi
of the Cart-keepers, hast arbitrarily appropriated the subjects of the
Son of Heaven. This is one offence. Thou didst wrongfully take them,
comprising them in the Cart-keepers' Be after they had been allotted
to the service of the Gods of Heaven and Earth. This is a second
offence.' So he imposed on him the expiation of evil and the expiation
of good, and sent him away to Cape Nagasa, there to perform the rites
of expiation. After he had done so, the Emperor commanded him, saying:
'Henceforward thou mayest not have charge of the Cart-keepers' Be of
Tsukushi.' So he confiscated them all, and allotted them anew, giving
them to the three Deities._"

=Ceremonial Purity=.--Things displeasing to the Gods are called by
the Japanese _tsumi_ (guilt), and the avoidance of such things by
their worshippers is called _imi_ (avoidance). As Motoöri points
out, the _tsumi_ of Shinto comprises three distinct things, namely,
uncleanness, sin or crime, and calamity. The distinction between
ceremonial impurity and moral guilt (of certain specific kinds) was
probably obscure to the ancient Japanese. Certain calamities are
included among _tsumi_ because they were looked upon as tokens of the
displeasure of the Gods for some offence, known or unknown. All _tsumi_
involved religious disabilities or punishments.

Uncleanness holds a far more important place in Shinto than moral
guilt. As in the Mosaic law, it assumes various forms. Actual personal
dirt was considered disrespectful to the Gods, as we see by the
frequent mention of bathing and putting on fresh garments before
the performance of religious functions. The Ohoharahi includes the
committing of nuisances among the offences to be absolved by it.

=Sexual Immorality and Uncleanness=.--It was probably because the
consummation of a marriage was thought to defile the house in which
it took place that a special nuptial hut was in the most ancient
times provided for this purpose. The same idea is illustrated by the
custom which existed until quite recently of sousing with buckets of
water on New Year's Day young men who had been married during the
preceding year. According to a novel called 'Hino-deshima' it is
now the bride who is thus saluted while on her way to her husband's
house. The bridegroom is treated by the boys of the neighbourhood
to volleys of stones which break his paper windows. In later times
sexual intercourse generally caused temporary uncleanness. Virgins
were selected as priestesses and as dancers before the Gods. But there
were no vows of perpetual chastity, and they married in due time just
like other girls. The _Nihongi_ mentions a case of the appointment
of a princess as priestess having been cancelled on account of her
unchastity. A modern Japanese writer says: "At Ise to-day Laïs opens
her doors to the pilgrim almost within sight of the sacred groves. To
accept her invitation does not disqualify him in his own eyes nor in
the eyes of any one else for the subsequent achievement of his pious
purpose. A single act of lustration restores his moral as well as his
physical purity." Perhaps this puts the matter too strongly. Those
shameless wights Yajirō and Kidahachi, the heroes of the _Hizakurige_,
were troubled with scruples in this matter, which were not, however,

With such ideas of uncleanness it is not surprising that Shinto never
had a marriage ceremony. No Shinto or other priest is present. We
must, therefore, take with some reserve Max Müller's statement that
marriage had a religious character from the very beginning of history.
It is to be noted, however, that in modern times Susa no wo and his
wife Inadahime are thought to preside over connubial happiness, and
that something of a religious flavour is contributed to the marriage
ceremony by setting out on a stand (_shimadai_) figures of the old man
and old woman of Takasago, spirits of two ancient fir-trees, who are
the Darby and Joan of Japanese legend.

Uncleanness includes bestiality, incest of parent and child, of a
man with his mother-in-law or stepdaughter,[200] but not of brothers
and half-sisters by the father's side. Unions with a sister by the
mother's side were unlawful and offensive to the Gods, but they are not
specially enumerated in the Ohoharahi schedule.

In 434 Prince Karu, then Heir to the Throne, fell in love with his
younger sister by the same mother. At first he dreaded the guilt
and was silent. But after a time he yielded to his passion. The
next year, in the height of summer, the soup for the Mikado's meal
froze and became ice. The diviner said, "There is domestic disorder
(incest)." This led to the discovery of Prince Karu's crime, but, as
he was successor to the Throne, he was not punished, and his sister
only was sent into banishment. After his father's death, however, the
ministers and people refused him their allegiance, and he ultimately
committed suicide, or, according to another version of the story,
went into exile. It is difficult to say whether the religious or the
merely moral element predominates in such a case. The portent by which
the Prince's crime was followed and the application to the diviners
indicate that the crime was thought offensive to the Gods. On the
other hand, banishment is a civil form of punishment, and the idea
that the offence might bring disaster on the community was probably at
the root of the indignation which it caused. Nor is it to be forgotten
that there is another non-religious reason for the law against incest.
Consanguineous unions are notoriously unfavourable to the propagation
of a numerous and healthy progeny, and therefore to the welfare of
the community. The 'Chüen,' a Chinese work written several centuries
before the Christian era, says: "When the man and woman are of the same
surname, the race does not continue." But in China too, the religious
sanction of the prohibition of incest is not absent. It is one of
those primarily non-religious sexual taboos, having for their object
to place a check on masculine tyranny over the weaker sex and the
premature, promiscuous, and excessive indulgence of the sexual passion
which even savages find to be fatal to the welfare of the individual
and the community, and whose transcendent importance and the difficulty
of enforcing them by law lead to be reinforced everywhere by religious
terrors. The prohibition of unions between brothers and sisters by
the mother's side--that is, practically of the full blood--and not of
those of the half-blood by the father's side, may be partly due to the
circumstance that the former are more commonly brought up together, and
a check on immature and consanguineous intercourse was more necessary
in their case. This taboo very likely dates from a period when
parentage was reckoned chiefly by maternity.

Vulgar licentiousness is not mentioned in the more ancient books as
causing ceremonial impurity.

Interference with the virgin priestesses was not only a source of
uncleanness, but was in some cases severely punished. The _Nihongi_
states that in A.D. 465

"_Katabu and an Uneme were sent to sacrifice to the Deity of Munagata.
Katabu and the Uneme, having arrived at the altar-place, were about to
perform the rites, when Katabu debauched the Uneme. When the Emperor
heard this, he said, 'When we sacrifice to the Gods and invoke from
them blessings, should we not be watchful over our conduct?' So he sent
Naniha no Hidaka no Kishi to put him to death. But Katabu straightway
took to flight and was not to be found. The Emperor again sent Toyoho,
Yuge no Muraji, who searched the districts of that province far and
wide, and at length caught and slew him at Awi no hara in the district
of Mishima._"

Here it is primarily the offence against the Gods which is reprobated.

As in the Mosaic law, menstruation and child-birth were regarded as
sources of uncleanness.[201] The custom of providing a special hut for
parturient women has been already noted.[202] In 811 the wife of a
Kannushi was delivered of a child close to the enclosure of the Shrine
of the Goddess of Food at Ise. Both husband and wife had to perform
an Ohoharahi. After that time no pregnant woman was admitted within
the _tori-wi_ of this shrine. In 882 a Prince was sent as Envoy to Ise
because a bitch had had puppies within the precincts of the Imperial
Palace. Several days' religious abstinence had to be observed in
consequence. Until recently births and deaths were prohibited on the
sacred island of Itsukushima in the Inland Sea.

=Disease, Wounds, and Death= caused uncleanness.[203]

The death of a relation, attending a funeral, pronouncing or executing
a capital sentence, touching the dead body of a man or beast, even
eating food prepared in a house of mourning, all involved various
degrees of ritual impurity.

Before the Nara period of Japanese history it was the custom on the
death of a sovereign to remove the capital to a fresh site, no doubt
for the sake of purity. The Ainus of Yezo destroy huts in which a
death has taken place. The modern Japanese custom of turning upside
down the screen which is placed round a corpse is perhaps a much
attenuated survival of the same idea. In 801 a Great Purification
ceremony was performed, because a dead dog had been discovered under
one of the palace buildings. The same ritual was celebrated in times
of pestilence, when a death took place close to the palace and on the
Mikado's putting off mourning. If any one died within the precincts
of a shrine, no festival could be held there for thirty days. A
disability of five days was prescribed in the case of a dog or other
beast dying there. At the present day lucifer matches are advertised
as "fit for sacred purposes"; that is, they contain no phosphorus
which is made of bones, and therefore unclean. Leprosy, owing to
its reputed contagious character, is specially mentioned as a cause
of uncleanness.[204] Wounds, whether inflicted or received, were
objectionable, not so much on grounds of humanity, as because of their
offensiveness. The _Nihongi_ relates that in A.D. 404 the God Izanagi
expressed by the mouth of one of his priests his dislike for the stench
of blood caused by branding some of the Mikado's escort. The striking
of a Shinto priest while on duty was a cause of uncleanness. In grave
cases, however, the offender was handed over to the civil authorities.
According to the strict Shinto of a later period, a man must abstain
from worship at a shrine for thirty days if he has wounded somebody,
or, if he has accidentally hurt himself, so that more than three drops
of blood have flowed, for that day. If he has vomited or passed blood,
he must not worship for two days, if he has an abscess, until it is
cured, for seven days after moxa is applied, and for three days in the
case of the operator. At the present day the common word for wound is
_kega_, that is to say, defilement.

Baldness and emaciation were regarded as disqualifications for the
position of Imperial Princess consecrated to the service of the

It was no doubt the fear of contagion and an instinctive feeling of
horror and repulsion which inspired this class of taboos. Contact with
death, disease, and wounds are displeasing to living human beings, and
therefore to the Gods. In ancient Greece it was not _themis_ for the
Gods to look on death. There is an obvious absurdity in referring such
incidents of religious ritual to the principle that we must seek for
the origin of forms of divine worship in observances towards the dead.

=Eating Flesh=.--Eating flesh is not included among the causes of
uncleanness enumerated in the _Kojiki_[206] or in the Ohoharahi. A
Chinese notice of Japan written centuries before the dawn of Japanese
history says that the "abstainers" (medicine men) of Japan were not
allowed to comb their hair, to wash, to eat flesh meat, or to approach
women. But this was perhaps asceticism rather than religion. A
prohibition of the eating of the flesh of the ox, the horse, the dog,
the monkey, and the fowl in A.D. 647 was certainly due to Buddhist
influences. The first hint that it was offensive to the Shinto Gods to
eat flesh is found in the _Kogo-jiuï_, where it is stated that when
the son of Mitoshi no Kami saw that Ohotokonushi no Kami had given
beef to his field labourers he spat upon their offering and reported
the matter to his father, who was angry and sent a blight upon the
rice. But this very passage speaks of a horse, a pig, and a cock as
acceptable offerings. In the _norito_ things coarse of hair and things
soft of hair occur frequently in the lists of offerings. Hirata points
out that in sacrifices to the Sun-Goddess no flesh was used. In the
most ancient times there was no prejudice against eating the flesh of
animals. The Food-Goddess entertained Tsuki-yomi with things soft of
hair and things coarse of hair. Hohodemi was a hunter by profession.
The ancient Mikados frequently went hunting, and had no scruple in
partaking of the products of the chase. Under Buddhist influences,
however, there came a change. In the _Jōgwan-shiki_ (859-877) we
find that persons who ate flesh were unclean for one day. In the
_Yengishiki_ three days are the limit. As time went on the prohibition
was extended, until in 1683 we find that to eat the flesh of horse,
cow, pig, goat, wild boar, deer, monkey, bear, or antelope caused
uncleanness for one hundred days. Birds and fish, it will be observed,
are not included in this schedule. Whereas in ancient times the Mikados
ate the flesh of deer and wild boar as _ha-gatame_ (hardening the
teeth) on the third day of the year, from which a person's age was
reckoned, fish, fowl, and rice-cake were substituted at a later period.

Persons who are unclean for any cause must have nothing to do with the
preparation or serving of the Mikado's food.

Intoxicating liquors are not tabooed in Shinto. There is, however,
mention of an embassy to Ise in 749, the members of which were not
allowed to take animal life, to eat flesh, or to drink _sake_.

Impure food communicated its uncleanness to the fire with which it had
been cooked. Persons who used such a fire (_kegare-bi_) for cooking
were unclean for seven days. Hirata suggests that the reason why
Izanami was unable to return to the upper world after partaking of the
food of Yomi was because of the unclean fire with which it had been

On the first day of the sixth month, the Mikado was served with food
specially prepared with pure fire (_imu-bi no zen_).

=Buddhist Rites=.--The performance of Buddhist rites incapacitated a
man from the service of the Shinto Gods until he had been subjected to
purification. For an infringement of this rule, Shinto functionaries
might be fined or dismissed. The use of Buddhist terms was forbidden to
every one concerned in the Shinto ceremonies at Ise and Kamo. A Sutra
was called "tinted paper," Buddha the "middle child," a Buddhist temple
a "tile roof." Buddhist priests and nuns were ironically styled the
"long-haired ones." At Ise Buddhist priests were not admitted to the
sacred precincts beyond a certain cryptomeria tree. A separate place
was assigned them for their prayers.

Other words of ill omen were "death," for which "recovery" was used;
for "disease" the participant in a Shinto festival said "rest"; for
"weeping," "brine-dripping"; for "blood," "sweat"; for "strike,"
"stroke"; for "flesh," "mushroom"; for "tomb," "clod," &c. These are
later inventions.

=Calamities=.--We learn from the Ohoharahi that snakebite, being struck
by lightning, and other accidents were regarded as _tsumi_, or sources
of impurity. At a later time, a fire which destroyed a man's house made
him unclean for seven days.

Any neglect or irregularity in the divine services, any interference
with the treasures, priests, or slaves of the shrine, or with the
sacred grove around it, or failure to repair it whenever necessary,
aroused the anger of the God and involved the uncleanness of the

Magic or witchcraft (_majinahi_) is one of the sources of impurity
enumerated by the Ohoharahi.[207]

The above account of Shinto offences must be taken with some
qualifications. It is drawn from various sources and different
periods of history. Some applied to the whole people, but in most
cases it was only the priests and other persons concerned on whom the
prohibitions were binding. The _Shintō Miōmoku_ has an enumeration
of the "six prohibited things" which includes only "mourning for a
relative, visiting the sick, eating flesh of quadrupeds, condemnation
of criminals, execution of criminals, music, and contact with impure

=Imi=.--The avoidance of impurity in preparation for a festival was
called _imi_ (avoidance). The intending officiator or worshipper
remained indoors (_i-gomori_), abstained from speech and noise, and ate
food cooked at a pure fire. For six days previous to the celebration
of a festival at the Great Shrine of Idzumo there was no singing or
dancing, no musical performances, the shrine was not swept out, no
building operations were carried on, and no rice pounded. Everything
was done in stillness. A special _imi_ of one month was observed by the
priests before participating in the greater festivals. This was called
_araimi_. For middle-class festivals three days' _imi_ were sufficient,
and for those of the third class one day. At the present time _imi_ is
usually confined to abstinence from meat and from vegetables of the
onion class.

By a natural transition _imi_ is also used in the sense of sacred,
holy. An _imi-dono_ is a building in which purity is observed. Sacred
(_imi_) axes and mattocks were used in some ceremonies. The Sun-Goddess
was in her sacred weaving-hall when Susa no wo outraged her by flinging
the hide of a horse into it. A modern derivative of _imi_, namely,
_imeimashī_, is the nearest Japanese equivalent for "Hang it!" Compare
the two meanings of the French _sacré_.

Mourning is also called _imi_, perhaps in the passive sense of
something to be avoided in connexion with the service of the Gods.

The following story illustrates the danger of appearing before the Gods
while in a state of impurity. In 463 the Mikado Yūriaku desired to
see the form of the deity of Mimuro, and ordered one of his Ministers
to fetch the God. The Minister brought him before the Mikado in the
form of a great serpent. But the Mikado had not practised religious
abstinence, and when the God showed his displeasure by rolling his
thunder and showing his fiery eyeballs, the Mikado covered his eyes and
fled into the interior of the palace.

=Fire-drill=.--In order to avoid the risk of using unclean fire in the
great Shinto ceremonies, it was the custom at the shrines of Idzumo,
Ise, Kasuga, Kamo, and perhaps other places, to make fire afresh on
each occasion by means of the fire-drill. Even when not produced in
this way, the sacrificial fire was called _kiri-bi_ or drill-fire. A
description of the Japanese form of the fire-drill will be found in a
paper by Sir Ernest Satow, _T. A. S. J._, vol. vi. pt. ii. p. 223, and
a good specimen from Idzumo itself may be seen in the Oxford University
Museum. Dr. Tylor, in his 'Early History of Mankind,' has shown how
universally this method of producing fire has been employed. It is a
natural development of the savage plan of rubbing two sticks together,
and no doubt originated independently in many places. It is therefore
unnecessary to assume that the Japanese fire-drill was borrowed from
India, where it is used for sacred purposes, or even from nearer
China, where it is also known. It is frequently mentioned in the old
Japanese traditions. The _Kojiki_ says that the God Kushiyadama was
appointed steward for the service of Ohonamochi (the God of Idzumo),
in which capacity he recited prayers, made a fire-drill, and drilled
out fire wherewith to cook the heavenly august banquet of fish for the
deity.[208] The priests of Idzumo have always used pure fire produced
in this way, and pure water from a special well called the Ama no
mana-wi (true well of Heaven). At the present day, when the office is
transmitted from one high priest to his successor, they proceed to the
"Shrine of the Great Precinct," where the ceremony of "divine fire" and
"divine water" is held. The original fire-drill, given by Amaterasu
to Ame no hohi and preserved as the chief treasure of the shrine, is
carried in a bag slung round the neck of the chief priest, who solemnly
delivers it over to his successor. This ceremony is called _hi-tsugi_
(fire-continuance). It is curious that the same term (_hitsugi_) is
constantly used of the succession to the Mikado's throne, and that the
delivery of the sun-mirror formed part of the ceremony used on his
accession. _Hi_ means either sun or fire.

The old fire-drill was worshipped every New Year's day at Idzumo at a
festival called _hi no matsuri_ (fire or sun-festival). A fire-drill
was among the objects carried in procession at the _Ohonihe_, or
coronation ceremony, and was used to produce the fire used for cooking
the sacred rice offered on this occasion.

A modern Japanese writer, describing a festival celebrated at Gion in
Kiôto on the last day of the year, says: "A big bonfire burns within
the precincts of the shrine. It has been kindled from a year-old flame
tended in a lamp under the eaves of the sacred building, and people
come there to light a taper, which, burning before the household altar,
shall be the beacon of domestic prosperity. At 2 A.M. the Festival
of Pine Shavings takes place. A Shinto priest reads a ritual. His
colleagues obtain a spark by the friction of two pieces of wood, and
set fire to a quantity of shavings packed into a large iron lamp. These
charred fragments of pine wood the worshippers receive and carry away
as amulets against plague and pestilence."

A Japanese book written two centuries ago informs us that sticks
resembling the wands used for offerings at the purification ceremony
were part shaven and set up in bundles at the four corners of the Gion
shrine on the last day of the year. The priests, after prayers were
recited, broke up the bundles and set fire to the sticks, which the
people then carried home to light their household fires with for the
New Year.[209] The object of this ceremony was to avert pestilence.
There is here a striking resemblance to the Christian practice
mentioned by M. D'Alviella: "The fire which the clergy, on the dawn
of Easter, had struck from the flint and steel, served to rekindle
the fires of individuals which had all been previously extinguished."
The use of such fire to prevent pestilence may also be illustrated
from European customs. The need-fire, made by striking flints or by
the fire-drill, and used to rekindle all household fires, is one of
numerous examples.[210]

=Removal of Impurity. Lustration=.--With every precaution, it is not
always possible to avoid the pollution of dirt, disease, and sin. In
order, therefore, to do away with the offence to the Gods arising from
such impure conditions, various expedients are resorted to. The most
natural and universal of these is washing or lustration.[211] The
Chinese notices of ancient Japan already quoted from inform us that the
Japanese, after the ten days' mourning was concluded, all went into
the river and washed. Hirata says that even at the present day, when
mourning is over, people go to the bank of a stream or to the sea-beach
and cleanse themselves. The mythical account of Izanagi's washing
in the sea in order to remove the pollutions of Yomi has been given
above. In a fourteenth-century work entitled _Kemmu nenchiu giōgi_, the
ablutions of the Mikado previous to the ceremony of Shingonjiki are
described with great minuteness; and if this preliminary is usually
passed over in descriptions of Shinto ceremonies, the reason no doubt
is that it was too well known to require special mention.

Clean garments were put on at the same time. Both the Japanese words
for the purification ceremony show by their derivation that washing was
originally its cardinal feature. _Misogi_ means "body-sprinkling," and
_harahi_ is probably the same word as _arahi_, "wash."[212] Penitence
is not one of the old Shinto means of purification.

=Salt=.--In Japan, as in other countries, the antiseptic quality of
salt has led to its religious use as a symbol for, and means of,
purification. In a modern _harahi_ ceremony the priest purifies the
_himorogi_ with salt water. At the entrances to theatres at the present
day a saucer of salt is placed on a table in order to keep out evil
influences. The _kaname-ishi_, or pivot stones of the earth,[213] are
covered with salt, which is then rubbed on a diseased part in order to
obtain relief. "A housewife will not buy salt at night. When obtained
in the daytime, a portion of it must first be thrown into the fire
to ward off all danger, and especially to prevent quarrelling in the
family. It is also used to scatter round the threshold and in the house
after a funeral for purificatory purposes."[214]

=Spitting=.--Spitting, or the ejection from the mouth of any
disagreeable substance, is naturally used by analogy as a symbol of
dislike and disgust when other senses or feelings than that of taste
are offended. The modern writer Fukuzawa tells us that when he left
his home for the first time he spat in order to show his disgust
with the narrowness and poverty of his life there.[215] Spitting as
a means of symbolical purification is a further corollary from the
natural function of this act. In the Izanagi myth a God of the Spittle
(Haya-tama no wo) is the result of that deity's spitting during the
ceremony of divorce. The "spittle" deity is here associated with
another God, who is styled a God of Purification. A commentator on
this passage says that "at the present day spitting is essential in
the purification ceremony." The ritual, however, does not mention it.
Another writer adds that "this is the reason why at the present day
people spit when they see anything impure." In the myth of Susa no wo
spittle is mentioned along with the nails of the fingers and toes and
nose-mucus among the materials for expiatory offerings. When Hohodemi
is recommended to "spit thrice" before giving back the lost fish-hook
to his brother, a magical effect is probably intended, such as to
convey to him any impurity which may have become attached to his own
person. Rinsing the mouth as a purifying ceremony before pronouncing an
oath is mentioned in the _Nihongi_.[216]

=Breathing on=.--Ritual impurity may also be conveyed away by the
breath. The origin of this practice is the sudden expulsion of air from
the mouth when some offensive odour or vapour has found an entrance.
This instinctive action[217] is represented onomatopoetically in
English by Pooh! Faugh! Pshaw! and in other languages by similar words,
which have come to express not only physical repulsion, but dislike and
contempt generally.

As a religious practice, breathing away impurity is exemplified by the
custom of the Mikado breathing on certain _aga mono_ (ransom-objects)
of the _harahi_ ceremony, thus communicating to them the pollutions
of his own person. It is in order to avoid polluting the offerings
by their breath that in some ceremonies the assistant priests cover
their mouths with a white fillet and hold their arms outstretched.
Even at the present day the stewards who prepare the Mikado's food
cover their mouths with a white paper mask. The _Nihongi_ states that
when Izanagi washed in the sea in order to remove the pollutions of
Yomi, he "blew out" and produced a number of deities, among which were
the Great God of Remedy and the Great God of Offences. But the action
of the Sun-Goddess and Susa no wo in producing children by crunching
various objects and then "blowing away" the fragments, and of Izanagi's
creation of the Wind-God by puffing away the mists, requires further
explanation. These myths were probably the work of a person who had
only a vague idea of the precise nature of the efficacy of this act,
and regarded it simply as attended with some magical power. Spitting,
primarily a mark of disgust, then practised with the object of
purification, is finally done simply "for luck."

=Ransom=.--The notion of expiating ritual guilt by giving ransom
(_aga-mono_) is familiar to the Japanese. The more intimately the
objects offered are connected with the person of the offender, the more
effectual is the sacrifice. Susa no wo is said to have expiated his
offences by the loss of his hair and of his finger and toe nails. Among
objects of ransom presented by the Mikado at purification ceremonies
clothing is the most important. The Mikado was measured with great
ceremony for suits of garments. Bamboo sticks were used for this
purpose, which were broken to the required lengths. Hence the ceremony
was called _yo-ori_ (joint-break). The clothing when made was placed
in a vase, and set before the Mikado by a Nakatomi woman. He breathed
on it thrice, and then returned it to be taken away by the Urahe
(diviners) and thrown into a stream. Other ransom offerings were human
figures of iron, wood, or leather, and swords, which were similarly

A special _mi-aganahi no matsuri_ (august-ransom-celebration) was
inaugurated in 814 for the sake of the Mikado, who was then ill.
It was continued annually every sixth and twelfth month, the _miko_

In the thirteenth century the Onyōshi (diviners of the Chinese school)
presented to the Mikado human figures in a box, inscribed with the
place and name. The Mikado breathed on them, rubbed them on his person,
and then returned them to the box.

The principle of ransom is illustrated in the present day by the custom
of _kata-shiro_ (form-token) or _nade-mono_ (rub-thing). At a shrine
of the Sea-Gods in Tokio a purification ceremony is performed twice
a year. A few days before, the parishioners and other believers who
wish to be purified go to the shrine and obtain from its official a
_katashiro_, that is, a white paper cut into the shape of a garment. On
this the person to be purified writes the year and month of his birth
and his or her sex, and rubs it over his whole body. When he has thus
transferred his impurities to the paper he returns it to the shrine.
All the _katashiro_ which are brought back are packed into two sheaths
of reed and placed on a table of unbarked wood. They are then called
_harahi tsu mono_, or things of purification. Finally they are put
into a boat which is rowed out into the sea, and they are thrown away
there.[218] The bundles of reeds or rushes which are thrown into the
sea at the shrine of Gion at Tsushima in Owari, to avert pestilence,
probably represent human figures. It is said that wherever they float
to, pestilence breaks out.

A more expeditious form of the same custom is when the _katashiro_ or
_nademono_ are simply bought from the _Kashima-fure_, strolling vendors
belonging to the shrine of Kashima, rubbed over the body, and cast into
a stream. The object, however, is not so much the removal of ritual
pollution as protection against disease. At the present day paper
figures, called Ama-gatsu, are made to avert calamity from children.
They are prepared before the birth of the child, and are worn up to
the age of three. It is thought that evil spirits are diverted into
these images from the infant. It is an obvious degradation of these
practices when they are used merely to procure good luck instead of to
remove impurities offensive to the Gods.

=Chi no wa (Reed-ring)=.--In a modern form of the _harahi_ ceremony
there is a kind of purification which consists in passing three times
through a large ring made of reeds (pp. 266, 267), holding in the hands
hemp leaves and reeds, and repeating the verse:--

    The sixth month's
    Who ever doeth
    Is said to extend his life
    To one thousand years.

Or, according to another version:--

    To the end that
    My impure thoughts
    May be annihilated,
    These hemp leaves,
    Cutting with many a cut,
    I have performed purification.

The _Shinto Miōmoku_ (1699) says that this ring represents the round
of the universe. The same work adds that the object of the ceremony is
to avert the dangers connected with the change of summer influences
to those of autumn. But these explanations have a tincture of Chinese
philosophy. The purification of the heart from evil thoughts is also a
conception foreign to the older Shinto. The injunction to cleanse the
inside of the cup and the platter belongs to a later stage of religious

The _chi no wa_ is subsequently flung into the water.

Another means of purification was to shake a _gohei_ over the person or
thing to be purified.

The virtue of set forms of speech in absolving from uncleanness is
fully recognized in Shinto, as will be seen in the next chapter.

There were various forms of purification at various places
for consecrating a new shrine, or new utensils for it, or for
reconsecrating a place which had become unclean.




[193] See Index, _Ohoharahi_.

[194] I quote here, not from any religious document, but from a poem
of the _Manyōshiu_, a solitary instance of a religious stigma being
attached to lying:

    "If, while not loving,
    I said that I loved thee,
    The God who dwells
    In the grove of Uneda in Matori
    Will take note of it."

[195] Ch. K. 291.

[196] See above, p. 129.

[197] Quoted by Dr. Florenz in _T.A.S.J._, xxvii. p. 56.

[198] See Index, _s.v._

[199] In ancient Egypt, which presents numerous analogies with Japan,
interference with the irrigation channels was deemed an offence against
the deity.

[200] Compare Leviticus xviii. 17.

[201] Leviticus xii. 1; xv. 19.

[202] See above, p. 113. The _couvade_ was unknown.

[203] Compare Leviticus xiii. 2; Numbers xix. 11. See also above, p. 93.

[204] Numbers v. 2.

[205] Compare Leviticus xxi. 17 _et seqq_.

[206] Ch. K. 230.

[207] Deuteronomy xvii. 11. See Index, 'Magic.'

[208] Ch. K., p. 104. See also Ch. K., p. 211, and _Nihongi_, i. 205.

[209] See a paper on the Japanese _gohei_ in the _Journal_ of the
Anthropological Institute, vol. xxxi., 1901. Also a note in _Man_,
October, 1892.

[210] See Grimm's 'Teutonic Mythology,' ii. 603, Stallybrass's

[211] See Dr. Tylor's 'Primitive Culture,' ii. 434.

[212] "Sprinkle the water of expiation on them ... and let them wash
their clothes."--Numbers vii. 7.

[213] The "earth-fast" stones of our own folk-lore.

[214] Griffis, 'Mikado's Empire,' p. 470.

[215] We have a good illustration of the transition from the physical
to the metaphorical use of spitting in Revelation iii. 16: "Because
thou art lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my

[216] II. 96.

[217] Hirata says that in books on magic _ibukite harafu_ (clearing
away by puffing) is a means adopted by men naturally, without teaching,
for cleansing away evil influences. See also Darwin's 'Expression of
the Emotions', pp. 258, 261.

[218] Dr. Florenz, in _T. A. S. J._, December, 1899.



Ceremonies are combinations for some specific purpose of the elements
of worship described in the two preceding chapters.[219]

The _Yengishiki_ is the chief authority for the following account of
some of the more important ceremonies of Shinto. I have also availed
myself freely of the results of Sir E. Satow's researches contained in
vols. vii. and ix. of the _T. A. S. J._

=Ohonihe or Daijowe=.--The _Yengishiki_ places the Ohonihe in a class
by itself, as much the most solemn and important festival of the
Shinto religion. _Oho_ means great, and _nihe_ food offering. It was
substantially a more elaborate and sumptuous Nihi-name (new-tasting),
or festival of first fruits, performed soon after the accession of a
Mikado to the throne, and, like our coronation ceremony, constituting
the formal religious sanction of his sovereignty.

A modern Japanese writer explains its object as follows:

"_Anciently the Mikado received the auspicious grain from the Gods
of Heaven, and therewithal nourished the people. In the Daijowe (or
Ohonihe) the Mikado, when the grain became ripe, joined unto him the
people in sincere veneration, and, as in duty bound, made return to the
Gods of Heaven. He thereafter partook of it along with the nation. Thus
the people learnt that the grain which they eat is no other than the
seed bestowed on them by the Gods of Heaven._"

In so far as the motive of the Japanese worshipper is concerned, this
is, I think, nearer the mark than Mr. Frazer's: "Primitive peoples
are, as a rule, reluctant to taste the annual first-fruits of any crop
until some ceremony has been performed which makes it safe and pious
for them to do so. The reason of this reluctance appears to be that
the first-fruits either are the property of, or actually contain, a
divinity." It is gratitude rather than fear which animates the Japanese.

The preparations for the Ohonihe began months in advance. The first
step was to designate by divination two provinces from which the rice
used in the ceremony was to be provided. These were called respectively
_yuki_ and _suki_. The most probable meaning of the former term is
"religious purity." _Suki_ is said to mean next or subsidiary. The
object of thus duplicating the offerings was, no doubt, that if any
unnoticed irregularity or impurity occurred in one case, the error
might not vitiate the whole proceedings. Officers called _nuki-ho no
tsukahi_ (messengers of the plucked-up ears) were then selected by
divination. One of these was called the Inami no Urabe, or rice-fruit
diviner, the other the Negi no Urabe, or prayer-diviner. These
officers on arriving at the _yuki_ or _suki_ district performed a
purification ceremony in presence of the local officials and people.
The site of the _inami-dono_, or rice-fruit-hall, was then chosen
by divination and marked out at the four corners by twigs of the
sacred evergreen tree (_sakaki_) hung with tree-fibre.[220] It was
160 feet square. Somewhat more than an acre of rice-field was next
set apart, the owner being compensated by the authorities. Here two
_sakaki_ twigs hung with tree-fibre were planted, and a guard of four
labourers was set over it. Divination was also used for the selection
of a local staff of religious functionaries. It consisted of one
Saka-tsu-ko, that is, sake-child or brewer-maiden, an unmarried girl
of good family, with several other girls as assistants, an Inami no
kimi, or rice-fruit-lord,[221] a charcoal-burner, wood-cutters, &c.
A choir of twenty male and female singers was also provided. Then
the site of the Inami-dono was propitiated by prayer and offerings.
A pure mattock and sickle were used in clearing the ground for the
buildings, which comprised a shrine to the eight Gods Mi-toshi
no Kami (august harvest deity), Taka mi musubi, Niha-taka-hi no
Kami (courtyard-high-sun-deity), Mi ketsu no Kami (food-Goddess),
Ohomiyanome no Kami, Koto-shiro-nushi, Asuha, and Hahigi.[222] A
"rice-fruit-store," an office for the envoys from Kiōto, and lodgings
for the rice-fruit-lord and for the brewer-maiden and her assistants
were built of unbarked wood and grass. The surrounding fence was made
of brushwood and the gates consisted of hurdles.

Offerings having been made to the eight Gods above mentioned, the
diviners from Kiōto, accompanied by the local authorities and by the
special staff of the inami-dono proceeded to the rice-field. The
brewer-maiden plucked up the first ears. She was followed by the
rice-fruit-lord and the people. Songs were sung during the operation.
The first four sheaves were reserved for the offering of boiled rice
to be made by the Mikado to the Gods. When all the rice was pulled up,
it was carried in procession to the capital, with the four reserved
sheaves in the place of honour and the rice-fruit-lord acting as guide.
It arrived at Kiōto in the last decade of the ninth month.

Meanwhile a general purification of the whole country had been
performed, and to prevent all possibility of error, repeated at a short
interval. As soon as this formality was completed, offerings of cloth
and of material for wearing apparel were sent to all the Gods. The
following _norito_[223] was read on this occasion:--

"_He says: 'Hearken! all ye assembled kannushi and hafuri. I humbly
declare in the presence of the sovran Gods, who, according to the
command of the dear divine ancestor and dear divine ancestress who
dwell in the Plain of High Heaven, bear sway as Heavenly Shrines and
Earthly Shrines.'

"He says: 'To the end that on the middle day of the Hare of the 11th
month of this year, the Sovran Grandchild[224] may partake of the
Great Food (ohonihe) as Heavenly Food, as Long Food, as Distant Food,
I pray that ye sovran Gods will jointly undertake to bless his reign,
to be firm and enduring, and give it happiness as a prosperous reign.
Therefore, on behalf of the Sovran Grandchild, who will rule peacefully
and serenely for one thousand autumns and five hundred autumns with
festive ruddy countenance, do I set forth these fair offerings, namely,
bright cloth, shining cloth, soft cloth, and rough cloth.

"'Hearken! all of you to this fulfilling of praises as the morning sun
rises in glory.'

"He says: 'More especially would I enjoin on the kannushi and hafuri
with all due ceremony to receive, take up, and present the offerings
purely provided by the Imbe, hanging stout straps on weak shoulders.'_"

A special embassy was sent to Ise, consisting of one Prince, one
Nakatomi, one Imbe, and one Urabe.

In the third decade of the tenth month the Mikado went in state to a
river-bank near Kioto and performed a ceremonial ablution (_misogi_).

For one month before the Ohonihe lesser abstinence (_ara-imi_) was
enjoined, and for three days greater abstinence (_ma-imi_). Buddhist
ceremonies, and the eating of impure food, were interdicted throughout
the five home provinces. Purity of language[225] was also necessary.
During the three days of _ma-imi_, no official was allowed to do any
work except that connected with the ceremony.

Special buildings were erected for the Ohonihe at Kitano, a suburb of
Kiōto. After a purification ceremony, a site 480 feet square was marked
out by twigs of _sakaki_ hung with tree-fibre. On the arrival of the
_yuki_ and _suki_ rice from the provinces, this site was propitiated.
The Brewer-maidens then with a pure mattock turned the first sod
and dug the holes for the four corner posts. The Urabe went to the
mountain where the timber was to be cut, and worshipped the God of the
mountain. The Brewer-maiden struck the first blow with a pure axe, and
wood-cutters completed the work. Similar formalities were practised in
cutting the grass for thatch and in digging wells.

The sacred enclosure (_yu-niha_) was divided into two sections, an
inner and an outer, and contained numerous buildings, such as shrines
to the eight Gods already mentioned, storehouses for the rice and other
necessaries, lodgings for the Brewer-maidens and their assistants,
kitchens, &c.

The site of the principal building, or Ohonihe no Miya, measured 214
feet by 150 feet. It was erected after the others and was in duplicate,
one being for the _yuki_, the other for the _suki_. Each was forty
feet long by sixteen feet wide. The roof-tree ran north and south.
Undressed wood was used for the erection, which was covered by a roof
of thatch. The floor was strewn with bundles of grass over which bamboo
mats were placed. In the centre of the sleeping-chamber (the sanctum)
several white _tatami_ (thick mats) were laid down and upon them the
_Saka-makura_, which was a cushion three feet broad by four feet long,
for the use of the God or Gods.[226] This was called the "Deity seat."
The Mikado's seat was placed to the south of it.

The preparation of the _sake_ for the ceremony was preceded by worship
of the Well-God, the Furnace-God, and the Sake-God. The first fire was
produced by a fire-drill. The Brewer-maiden began to turn it and the
Rice-fruit-lord continued the work. A third official blew the fire and
the attendants then kindled a torch with it. All the utensils had been
provided by the Imbe with great care, performing _harahi_ and worship
at every step.

The Mikado himself practised lesser abstinence for a month and
greater abstinence for three days before the ceremony. The procedure
at the Ohonihe is too elaborate to describe in detail. It included
the recitation before the Mikado of "old words" (myths and legends?)
by the Kataribe, or corporation of reciters, and songs by the women
who pounded the rice for the offerings, wishing him long life and
prosperity. The rice was presented to him by the Nukiho no tsukahi,
with the words, "We bring a thousand and five hundred auspicious ears
which we offer as divine food of a million loads." Old-fashioned music
was performed and the regalia were delivered to him by the Urabe.

The cardinal feature of the Ohonihe was the offering of food to the
God (or Gods) by the Mikado in person. With his own hands he sprinkled
rice with _sake_ which he then placed before the "Deity-seat." No one
else was present but the Uneme, or ladies-in-waiting, who repeated the
formula, "Let that which ye should clip first be clipped afterwards.
Moreover, whatever faults there be, receive these offerings with
divine amendment, with great amendment." The Mikado then bowed his
head slightly, clapped his hands, and said _Ô_ (amen), after which he
joined the God in partaking of the food. When the _yuki_ ceremony was
completed the Mikado went to his retiring-room, washed and changed his
clothes, after which he proceeded to the _suki_ chamber and repeated
the same ceremonial.

It is not quite certain what God or Gods were worshipped. Some say that
the offerings were to the Sun-Goddess, others think that all the Gods
were included. The haziness on this point is highly characteristic of

The following _norito_, No. 27 of the _Yengishiki_, was pronounced
by the Idzumo no miyakko on this occasion. They were the reputed
descendants of Ama no hohi, who holds the same position in the
Ohonamochi myth that Koyane does in that of the Sun-Goddess. They
were originally the hereditary Governors--perhaps even kings--of the
province and had also sacerdotal functions. They retained the latter
after all lay jurisdiction had been taken from them.

"_The words of blessing of the Miyakko of Idzumo_.

"_Among the many tens of days that be, on this day, this living day,
this perfect day, do I [here insert name], Miyakko of the Land of
Idzumo, humbly declare with deepest reverence, to wit: 'With the object
of pronouncing a blessing on the great august reign of our Sovran Lord,
who rules the Great-eight-island country as--with fear be it said--a
wise manifest deity, and blessing it as a long and great reign, did I,
hanging stout straps on weak shoulders,[227] fastening the cords of the
sacred offerings, wearing the celestial cap, shearing and spreading
the coarse grass as a sacred mat in the sacred house, blackening the
sacred vessels, dwelling in pure retirement by the celestial sake-jars,
calming the deities in their calm shrines by the avoidance of impurity,
did service first to the Great God of Kumano, Kushi mikenu,[228] our
divine ancestor, the Great-Grandchild of Izanagi, and to Ohonamochi,
the maker of the land, for whom within the blue hill-confines of the
province of Idzumo the temple pillars have been stoutly planted on
the rock-roots below, while the projecting crossbeams of the roof are
exalted to the Plain of High Heaven. Thereafter I did worship to the
Sovran Gods who dwell in the one hundred and eighty-six shrines.'_

"_Then, as the morning sun went up in glory, there came these good
words of divine blessing, to wit: 'When Taka-mi-musubi and Kami
mi-musubi, the High-Heaven divine ancestors, bestowed upon the Sovran
Grandchild this sub-celestial Great-eight-island country, Ama no hohi,
the remote divine ancestor of the Omi[229] of Idzumo, was sent by
them to view the condition of the land. Forcing his way through the
eight-fold clouds of Heaven, soaring across the sky, soaring over the
earth, he surveyed the Under-Heaven on all sides, and made report that
the Fair-Ear-Land of the Rich-Reed-Plain was a savage land where there
were Gods who in the daytime swarmed like flies in the fifth month, and
at night shone like fire pots, and where the rocks, trees, and blue
water foam had power of speech. However, he promised that it should
be subdued so that the Sovran Grandchild might rule it serenely as a
peaceful land. Therefore his son Ame-hina-dori, and with him Futsunushi
were sent down from Heaven. They drove out and subdued the savage
deities, and persuaded the Great God who made the Land[230] to divide
off the visible outward things[231] of the Great-eight-island Country.'_

"_Then Ohonamochi said: 'In the land to be governed by the Sovran
Grandchild and called Great Yamato I will make my own gentle spirit
(nigi-tama) to be attached to an eight-hand mirror, and enshrined in
Miha, under the title of Yamato no Oho-mono-nushi kushi-mika-tama
no mikoto (great-thing-master-wondrous-awful-spirit), the spirit of
my son Ajisuki-taka-hikone to be enshrined at Kamo in Katsuraki,
that of Kotoshironushi at Unade, and that of Kaya-narumi at Asuka,
dedicating them to dwell there divinely as near guardian deities of
the Sovran Grandchild.' He then went to rest in the shrine of fertile
Kitsuki.[232] Thereupon the Sovran dear divine ancestor and ancestress
(of the Mikado?) gave command, saying: 'Do thou Hohi no Mikoto bless
the Sovran's long age so that it may be firm and enduring, and make it
happy as a prosperous age.'_

"_In accordance with this injunction, I (his successor) perform this
service of blessing, and as the morning sun rises in glory, bring
tribute of congratulatory divine treasures in token of the God's (Hohi)
regard and in token of the Omi's (his own) regard._

"_(These) white jewels are (a prognostic of) the great august white
hairs (to which your majesty will reach). The red jewels are the
august, healthful, ruddy countenance, and the green-estuary jewels
are the harmonious fitness with which your Majesty will establish far
and wide, as with a broad sword-blade, his lasting great august reign
over the Great-eight-island-country which he governs. As (this) white
horse plants firmly his fore hoofs and his hind-hoofs, so will the
pillars of the Great Palace be set firmly on the upper rocks and frozen
firmly on the lower rocks. The pricking up of his ears is a sign that
Your Majesty will, with ears ever more erect, rule the Under-Heaven.
[Here follows a passage too corrupt for translation. It continues to
allude to the emblematic character of the offerings.] As a token that
the visible deity (the Mikado) shall peacefully and serenely rule the
Great-eight-island-country as long as Heaven and Earth, the Sun and
Moon endure, I offer these congratulatory divine treasures by way of
respect from the God, and by way of respect from the Omi, with profound
awe, and pronounce these auspicious words of divine congratulation
delivered to me from Heaven._"

The offerings were sixty jewels, white, red, and green, a sword with
mountings of gold and silver, a mirror, two pieces of cloth, a horse, a
swan, and fifty trays of eatables.

The similar formula used by the Nakatomi in 1142, invoking the blessing
of the Gods on the new sovereign, is given in Dr. Florenz's German
translation of the _Nihongi_, Book xxx., Appendix.

The above is the merest outline of a ceremony to a description of which
Hirata devotes 480 pages of his _Koshiden_. It varied a good deal at
different times, and was altogether discontinued for eight reigns
(1465-1687) no doubt because it was found too heavy a burden on the

=Nihi-name=.--The Nihi-name or new tasting, when the rice of the new
harvest was first partaken of, was the same as the Ohonihe, except that
it was simpler and was celebrated annually. The festival is frequently
referred to in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_. The Sun-Goddess is said to
have celebrated a Nihi-name in a New Palace. It was accompanied by
songs and dances and was followed by feasting in holiday dress and
presents to the Court and officials.

At shrines not officially recognized, the local official in
charge conducted this ceremony. It was then called _o-hi-taki_
(august-fire-kindling) because a courtyard fire (_nihabi_) was made,
the ceremony taking place at night. Strict Shinto devotees would not
eat the new season's rice until it had been performed.

It appears from allusions in poetry and legend that there was also a
household Nihi-name. It was celebrated with closed doors, no stranger
being admitted, apparently in order to prevent pollution by impure
persons. The following legend from the _Hitachi Fudoki_ illustrates
this point.

"_When the God called the 'Divine Ancestor' went to the places of the
various deities, he came to the Peak of Fuji in Suruga. The sun went
down and he asked for a lodging, but the God of Fuji refused, saying
that he was that day performing the Nihi-name, and his household were
therefore practising abstinence. So he ascended the Peak of Tsukuba,
and asked for a lodging. The God of Tsukuba said: 'Although I am this
night celebrating the Nihi-name, why should that prevent me from
acceding to your august behest?'_"

=Nanakusa=.--There was in later times a corresponding spring festival
called Nana-kusa (seven herbs), in which wild potherbs of seven
different kinds were gathered and eaten.

=Ahi-name or Ahimbe=.--This word means "joint-tasting." It was a
harvest festival not essentially differing from the Nihi-name, and
was so called because the Mikado joined the Gods with himself in
tasting the new season's rice and _sake_. Hirata thinks, however, that
the expression "joint-tasting" refers to the association of certain
inferior Gods with the greater Gods directly worshipped at this time.
It was celebrated on the first Hare day of the eleventh month, and was
in honour of the deities of seventy-one shrines.

=Kan-name= (divine-tasting).--This was another harvest festival,
distinguished from the preceding by being celebrated in the ninth
month, and being confined to the deities of the Ise shrines. An embassy
of high officials was specially dispatched to Ise for the purpose,
after an elaborate ceremonial in the Palace, in which the Mikado
himself took part.

The _norito_ (Nos. 20, 21, and 22) used on this occasion are preserved
in the _Yengishiki_. They contain nothing of interest.

When a princess was dedicated to the service of the shrines, the
following formula (No. 23) was added:--

"_More especially do I humbly declare: 'The offering of a Sacred
Princess of the Blood Imperial to serve as the Deities' staff, having
first, according to custom, observed the rules of religious purity for
three years, is to the end that thou mayst cause the Sovran Grandchild
to live peacefully and firmly as long as Heaven and Earth, the Sun and
Moon, may last. I, the Great Nakatomi, holding the dread spear by the
middle,[233] with deepest awe pronounce this dedication of her by the
Mikado to the end that she may serve as an august staff.'_"

=Kamu-ima-ge or Shingonjiki=.--This festival was celebrated in
the palace at night after the Tsukinami. The name means literally
God-new-food. It consisted in the Mikado in person or by deputy making
an offering of food to the Sun-Goddess. The forms resembled those in
use for the Ohonihe or Nihi-name, and included laying down a cushion
(_saka-makura_) to represent the Deity, the use of a firedrill, &c.

=Hirano no Matsuri=.--Festival of Hirano, a village in the province
of Settsu. There is much doubt as to the deities in whose honour
this service (No. 5 of the _Yengishiki_) was first instituted. It is
believed that it was originally celebrated in honour of Image no Kami
(the God of New Food) and of Kudo no Kami and Kobe no Kami, the Gods of
the kitchen-boiler and of the cooking-pan. The _Image_ was probably, as
explained by Sir E. Satow, freshly hulled rice offered monthly to the

After the Mikado Kwammu founded the shrine of Hirano, about the end of
the eighth century, it became the custom for all the branches of the
Imperial family to be represented at the two annual celebrations. It
was Kitabatake Chika-fusa (1293-1359) who first invented the popular
account of the Gods worshipped here. Knowing that they were in some
manner family deities, he proceeded to allot as _uji-gami_ to the
Tahira, Minamoto, Ohoye and Takashina families, ancient members of
the Imperial line taken here and there at random, and comprising the
Sun-Goddess, Yamato-dake, and the Mikados Chiuai and Nintoku. This is
an instructive example of the intrusion of ancestor-worship so-called
into the older Shinto.

The _norito_ read at this festival affords no clue to the identity
of the Gods worshipped. It mentions the founding of the shrine at
the behest of the Sovran Great God (or Gods) and makes offerings in
acknowledgment of his (or their) preserving the Mikado's life and
prospering his reign.[234]

=Kudo and Kobe no Matsuri=.--This service (No. 6 of the _Yengishiki_)
is practically identical with the last, which is natural, if, as is
probable, the Gods worshipped are really the same.

=Toshigohi no Matsuri= (harvest-praying service).--This festival (No.
1 of the _Yengishiki_) was in honour of the deities of the 3,132
official shrines, in other words, the entire Shinto Pantheon. It was
celebrated on the 4th day of the 2nd month (when the seed rice is
sown) in the _Sai-in_, or sacred precinct, a courtyard in the Palace
measuring 230 feet by 370 feet, with offices opening on to it on all
sides. On the west were the shrines of the eight deities[235] in a row,
surrounded by a fence to the interior of which three sacred archways
gave access. In the centre of the court a temporary shed was erected
in which the altars were placed. Early on the morning of the festival
day, the offerings, prepared by the Imbe, were set out here. They are
minutely described in the _Yengishiki_, and consisted of silk and cloth
of various kinds, some of the raw materials for the same, models of
swords, shields, spear-heads, bows, quivers, stags' horns, mattocks,
sake, fish of various kinds, edible seaweed, salt, and matting. In the
case of the Ise temples, a horse was added. A white horse, cock, and
boar were sent to Mitoshi no Kami, the special deity of Harvest, and a
horse to each of nineteen others, including the God of Growth and the
water-deities of Yamato.

When everything was ready, the officials of the _Jingikwan_,
accompanied by the _miko_, or virgin priestesses, entered by the middle
gate and took their places in the western offices with their faces
to the east, the north being the upper (or more honourable) end. The
Ministers of State and their subordinates entered by the north gate
and took their places in the north office, the Ministers facing the
south, the others east or west. The priestesses occupied seats below
the office. The other officials entered by the south gate and sat
facing the north. The subordinate Shinto functionaries and _hafuri_
stood in the courtyard south of the west office.

Then the Jingikwan officials came down and took their places in front
of their office. They were followed by the Ministers of State. A
Nakatomi read the _norito_, the _hafuri_ responding with _Ô_ ("Yes" or
"Amen") at the end of every paragraph. It is as follows:--

"_He[236] says: 'Hearken all ye assembled Kannushi and Hafuri.'_

"_He says: 'I humbly declare in the presence of the Sovran Gods, whose
praises are fulfilled as Heavenly Deities and as Earthly Deities,
by command of the Sovran, dear, divine ancestor and ancestress who
divinely dwell in the Plain of High-Heaven._

"_'In the second month of this year the Sovran Grandchild is graciously
pleased to pray for harvest, and I, therefore, as the morning sun
rises in glory, offer up his plenteous offerings, thus fulfilling your
praise.'_ [_Here the Kannushi and Hafuri of the shrines concerned
remove this set of offerings.]_

"_He says: 'I humbly declare in the presence of the Sovran Gods of the

"_'If the Sovran Gods will bestow in ears many a hand's breadth long
and ears abundant the latter harvest which they will bestow, the latter
harvest produced by the labour of men from whose arms the foam drips
down, on whose opposing thighs the mud is gathered, I will fulfil their
praises by humbly offering first fruits, of ears a thousand, of ears
many a hundred, raising up the tops of the sake-jars, and setting in
rows the bellies of the sake-jars, in juice and in ear will I present
them, of things growing in the great moor-plain, sweet herbs and bitter
herbs, of things that dwell in the blue sea-plain, the broad of fin and
the narrow of fin, edible seaweed, too, from the offing and seaweed
from the shore, of clothing, bright stuffs and shining stuffs, soft
stuffs and coarse stuffs--with these I will fulfil your praises._ [_In
the meantime_] _having furnished a white horse, a white boar, and a
white cock, with things of various kinds before the Sovran Gods of the
Harvest, I fulfil their praises by humbly presenting these plenteous
offerings of the Sovran Grandchild.'_

"_He says: 'I humbly declare in the presence of the Sovran Gods whose
praises the chief priestess fulfils, and I fulfil your praises,
namely, Kami-musubi, Taka-mi-musubi, Iku-musubi, Taru-musubi,
Tama-tsume-musubi, Oho-miya no me, Oho-mi-ketsu no kami, and
Kotoshironushi. Because you bless the Sovran Grandchild's reign as a
long reign, firm and enduring, and render it a happy and prosperous
reign, I fulfil your praises as our Sovran's dear, divine ancestor and
ancestress by making these plenteous offerings on his behalf.'_

"_He says: 'I humbly declare in the presence of the Sovran Gods, whose
praises the priestess of Wigasuri fulfils. I fulfil your praises,
repeating your names, to wit, Live Well, Blessing Well, Long-rope Well,
Asuha, and Hahigi.[237] Whereas, on the nethermost rock-roots ruled
by the Sovran Gods (just named) the palace pillars have been raised
stout and high, and the projecting cross-beams exalted to the Plain
of High-Heaven, furnishing a fair abode for the Sovran Grandchild,
wherein, finding shelter from the rain and shelter from the sun, he
serenely governs in peace the world on all sides, I fulfil your praises
by making these plenteous offerings on his behalf.'_

"_He says: 'I humbly declare in the presence of the Sovran Gods, whose
praises are fulfilled by the priestess of the Gate. Repeating your
names, to wit, Kushi-iha-mado (wondrous-rock-gate) and Toyo-iha-mado
(rich-rock-gate), I fulfil your praises. Whereas you guard the gates
of the four quarters by night and day, obstructing the passage like
manifold piles of rock, and whether you open them in the morning or
close them in the evening, guard below against unfriendly things coming
from below, and guard above against unfriendly things coming from
above, I fulfil your praises by making these offerings on behalf of the
Sovran Grandchild.'_

"_He says: 'I humbly declare in the presence of the Sovran Gods,
whose praises the priestess of Ikushima (live-island or region)
fulfils. Repeating your names, to wit, Iku-kuni (live country) and
Taru-kuni[238] (perfect country), I fulfil your praises. Because you
the Sovran Gods, who rule the islands many tens in number wherever the
frog of the valley finds his way, wherever the ocean foam extends,
making wide the narrow regions and the steep regions level, have
granted these many islands to him every one, I fulfil your praises by
making these plenteous offerings on behalf of the Sovran Grandchild.'_

"_He says: 'More especially do I humbly declare in the mighty presence
of the Great Heaven-shining Deity who dwells in Ise. Because the Great
Deity has bestowed on him the lands of the four quarters over which
her glance extends as far as where the wall of Heaven rises, as far
as where the bounds of Earth stand up, as far as the blue clouds are
diffused, as far as where the white clouds settle down opposite, by the
blue sea-plain, as far as the prows of ships can go without letting
dry their poles and oars; by land, as far as the hoofs of horses can
go, with tightened baggage-cords, treading their way among rock-roots
and tree-roots where the long road extends, continuously widening the
narrow regions and making the steep regions level, drawing together,
as it were, the distant regions by throwing over them (a net of) many
ropes,--therefore will the first-fruits for the Sovran Great Deity be
piled up in her mighty presence like a range of hills, leaving the
remainder for him tranquilly to partake of.'_

"_'Moreover, whereas you bless the Sovran Grandchild's reign as a long
reign, firm and enduring, and render it a happy and prosperous reign, I
plunge down my neck cormorant-wise in reverence to you asour Sovran's
dear, divine ancestress, and fulfil your praises by making these
plenteous offerings on his behalf.'_

"_He says: 'I humbly declare in the presence of the Sovran Gods who
dwell in the Crown lands and name your august names, to wit--Takechi,
Katsuraki, Tohochi, Shiki, Yamanobe and Sofu.[239] Whereas the Sovran
Grandchild partakes of, as his long food, his distant food, the sweet
herbs and bitter herbs which grow in and are brought from the six
Crown lands aforesaid, I fulfil your praises by making these plenteous
offerings on his behalf.'_

"'I humbly declare in the presence of the Sovran Gods who dwell in
the mountain-mouths and name your august names, to wit--Asuka, Ihare,
Osaka, Hatsuse, Unebi, and Miminashi.[240] Whereas the great trees
and the small trees which grow on the near mountains and on the far
mountains are cut at the root and at the top, and brought to furnish a
fair abode for the Sovran Grandchild, wherein, sheltered from the rain
and sun, he serenely governs in peace the lands of the four quarters, I
fulfil your praises by making these plenteous offerings on his behalf.'

"_He says: 'I humbly declare in the presence of the Gods who dwell in
the water-partings, and, naming your august names, to wit--Yoshinu,
Uda, Tsuge, and Katsuraki, fulfil your praises. If you, the Sovran
Gods, will bestow in ears many a handsbreadth long, and ears abundant
the latter harvest which you will bestow, I will fulfil your praises
by offering first-fruits in ear and in juice, raising up the tops
of the sake-jars and filling and setting in a row the bellies of
the sake-jars. The Sovran Grandchild will then partake with ruddy
countenance of that which remains as the corn of his august morning
meals and his august evening meals, for his long food, and for his
distant food. Therefore do I now fulfil your praises by making these
plenteous offerings on his behalf._

"_'Lend ear, all of you.'_

"_He says: 'More especially, let the Kannushi and Hafuri, having
received the offerings which the Imbe, hanging stout straps on weak
shoulders, have prepared with purity, take them away and offer them in
all due form.'_"

It will be observed that this _norito_ contains paragraphs--possibly
later accretions--which have nothing to do with the harvest. In some of
the petitions the _do ut des_ principle is very thinly disguised.

=Tsukinami no Matsuri=.--This festival was in honour of the Gods of
the "Greater Shrines." The name means monthly festival, but it was
really celebrated only twice a year, on the eleventh day of the sixth
and twelfth months. The _norito_ (No. 7 of the _Yengishiki_) is almost
identical with the Toshigohi. The _Jingishiriō_, a modern history of
Shinto, describes it as a thanksgiving service for the protecting care
of the Gods.

Another Tsukinami ceremony was performed at Ise by a Nakatomi
despatched thither as special envoy in connexion with the Toshigohi and
also in the sixth and twelfth months of every year. The _norito_ (No.
16) read on these occasions was as follows:--

"_He says: 'By the great command of the Mikado, I humbly declare in the
mighty presence of the Great Deity whose praises are fulfilled (in the
shrine built) upon the nethermost rock-roots on the bank of the River
Isuzu in Watarahi. I, of such a rank, of such a name, humbly repeat
his commands, as his envoy to convey hither and make offering of the
customary great offerings of Praying-for-Harvest in the second month
(or as the case may be).'_"

A similar service (No. 17) was performed at the same time in honour of
the Goddess of Food. The phraseology is somewhat less honorific.

On the two latter occasions, the Chief Priest of Ise read the following
_norito_ (No. 19).

_"He says: 'Hearken, all ye kannushi and mono-imi to this celestial,
this great norito, which I humbly pronounce in the mighty presence of
the Heaven-Shining Great Deity, whose praises are fulfilled in Uji of
Watarahi, where on the bank of the River Isuzu the pillars of the Great
Shrine are stoutly erected, and the projecting cross-beams are exalted
to the Plain of High-Heaven. (Here the Negi and Uchi-bito, priests of
lower rank, answer "Ô," that is, "Yes," or "Amen.") Bless the life of
our Sovereign as a long life, let his reign be prosperous, firm and
enduring as a pile of multitudinous rocks, and show thy favour to the
princes born of him. As to the functionaries of every rank, down to the
peasants of the four quarters of the Under-Heaven, make the five grains
which they long and peacefully cultivate to flourish abundantly. Favour
them with thy protection, and grant them thy blessing._

_"'On this seventeenth day of the sixth month (or as the case may be)
as the morning sun rises in glory, I fulfil thy praises, setting before
thee in ample measure, like seas and mountains, the tribute yarn and
the great food-offerings of holy rice and sake, provided according to
custom by the consecrated peasants of the three districts, and the
various localities of the various provinces, while the Great Nakatomi
himself is hidden in offering-branches._

_"'Hearken, all ye kannushi and mono-imi.'_

_"He says: 'This service is likewise addressed to the Aramatsuri shrine
and to the Tsukiyomi (Moon-God) shrine.' (The kannushi again answer

=Ki-u no Matsuri= (praying for rain). No _norito_ of this ceremony is
given in the _Yengishiki_. It was performed in honour of the Gods of
eighty-five shrines, and was accompanied by the usual offerings of
cloth-stuffs. To a few out of the number a black horse was offered in
addition. The choice of a black animal for this purpose belongs to the
magical pre-religious stage of thought. Black is the colour of the
rain-clouds, and therefore, on the principle that what suggests a thing
will actually produce it, the exhibition of a black horse is thought
likely to make the clouds collect and rain to fall. A white horse was
offered when fine weather was desired.

Mr. Weston, in his 'Mountaineering in the Japanese Alps,' describes the
sacrifice of a black dog "symbolical of the wished-for storm-clouds" in
order to cause rain.

=Kama miso no matsuri= (divine-clothing-service).--This ceremony
consisted in presenting offerings of clothing to the Sun-Goddess at
Ise. It was celebrated twice a year, in the fourth and ninth months.
The _norito_ (No. 18) is very short and uninteresting.

=Service for the Removal of the Ise Shrine=.--The _norito_ (No. 24) is
a very short formula. It announces to the Sun-Goddess the rebuilding of
her shrine, which took place every twentieth year. A similar form was
used in the case of the Food-Goddess.

=Oho-tono hogahi= (luck-wishing or blessing of the Great Palace).--This
ceremony was performed on the morning after the Kamu image and the
Nihi-name. It was in honour of three deities, namely, the two Yabune
no Kami, or House deities, and Oho-miya no me, a personified Lady

I quote from Sir Ernest Satow's 'Ancient Japanese Rituals' in the
_T. A. S. J._, vol. ix. pt. ii., a ninth-century description of this

"The Jingikwan took four boxes containing precious stones, cut
paper-mulberry bark, rice and sake in bottles, and placed them on two
eight-legged tables, which were then borne by four attendants, preceded
by Nakatomi and Imbe functionaries, all wearing wreaths and scarfs of
paper-mulberry bark, walking in double line, the rear being brought
up by virgin priestesses. On the procession arriving in front of the
Palace gate, the tables were deposited under the arcade which ran along
the outside of the wall. A servant called out for admittance, and the
porter having announced the procession by saying that an officer of the
Imperial Household had asked for admission in order to pronounce the
Luck-wishing of the Great Palace, the order, 'Let him pronounce it,'
was transmitted back from the Mikado. The porter thereupon called out
'Let him declare his name and surname,' in reply to which the officer
advanced to a spot previously marked out by a wooden ticket with his
name on it, and said: 'It is so and so, of the Jingikwan, who wish to
perform the Luck-wishing of the Great Palace.' To this the Mikado's
answer was 'Call them.' The officer of the household replied 'Ô,'
and retiring called the functionaries of the Jingikwan, who in their
turn replied 'Ô.' The Nakatomi and Imbe then put on their wreaths of
paper-mulberry, to which the latter added straps of the same material,
and advanced ahead of the tables up to the 'Hall of Benevolence and
Long Life.' The virgin priestesses had meanwhile entered by another
gate, and were waiting in the Palace enclosure. They now followed the
tables, and came up to the verandah on the east side of the building,
where they took charge of the boxes of offerings. The procession then
entered the building. One virgin priestess went to the Hall of Audience
and scattered rice about it, while another proceeded to the gate on its
south side and performed the same ceremony there. The Imbe took out the
precious stones and hung them at the four corners of the Hall, and the
priestesses withdrew, after sprinkling sake and scattering rice and cut
paper-mulberry fibre at the four corners of the interior. The Nakatomi
stood on the south side of the building while the Imbe turned to the
south-east, and in a low voice read the ritual. The whole company next
went to the Mikado's bath-room, and hung precious stones at its four
angles, and the same at his privy, while the priestesses scattered rice
and sprinkled sake as before."

The _norito_ (No. 8) of this ceremony, as appears from the archaic
forms of language which it contains, is probably very ancient. It is
quoted in the _Kogojiui_; and the _Nihongi_ describes as "an ancient
saying" a sentence which forms part of it.

The reader will note the confusion--of a kind inherent in all
mythologies--between the house considered as a deity and the protecting
deity of the house.

_"When by command of the dear, divine ancestor and ancestress who
divinely dwell in the Plain of High Heaven, the Sovran Grandchild[241]
was made to take his seat on the high august throne of Heaven,
and the Heavenly Emblems, namely, the mirror and the sword, were
delivered to him, these words of blessing were pronounced: 'Let our
sovran great offspring, the Sovran Grandchild, receiving over the
celestial Sun-succession on this high throne of Heaven, rule tranquilly
for myriads of thousands of autumns, for long autumns, over the
Great-Eight-islands, the Rich Reed-plain, Land of fair rice-ears, as a
peaceful country.' With these words they delivered it unto him. Then,
celestial counsel having been held, they put to silence the rock-roots
and tree-roots, even to the smallest blades of grass, that previously
had power of speech._

_"And for the Sovran Grandchild who in Heavenly Sun-succession rules
the Under-Heaven, to which he had descended, trees are now cut down
with the sacred axes of the Imbe in the great valleys and the small
valleys of the secluded mountains, and sacrifice having been made of
their tops and bottoms to the God of the mountains, the middle parts
are brought forth and set up as sacred pillars with sacred mattocks to
form a fair Palace wherein the Sovran Grandchild finds shelter from
the sky and shelter from the sun. To thee, therefore, Ya-bune no Mikoto
[the Palace treated as a God] I address these heavenly, wondrous,
auspicious words of calm and blessing._

_"He says: 'I humbly declare the names of the Gods who calmly and
peacefully watch so that this Great Palace where he holds rule, as far
downwards as the lowermost rock-roots, suffer no harm from reptiles
among its bottom-ropes,[242] as far upwards as the blue clouds are
diffused in the Plain of High Heaven, may suffer no harm from flying
birds in the celestial smoke-hole,[243] that the joinings of the firmly
planted pillars, and of the crossbeams, rafters, doors, and windows may
not move or make a noise, that there may be no slackening of the tied
rope-knots and no dishevelment of the roof-thatch, no creaking of the
floor-joints or alarms by night. I humbly praise your honoured names,
to wit, Yabune Kukunochi no Mikoto and Yabune Toyo-uke hime no Mikoto
[House-tree God and House-food Goddess].[244] And inasmuch as you
humbly preserve the Sovran Grandchild's reign to be firm and enduring,
and humbly bless it as a lasting, prosperous, and perfect reign,
the Imbe no Sukune [name], adding shining cloth and lustrous fine
cloth to the countless strings of fair jewels prepared by the sacred
jewel-makers with observance of purity and avoidance of pollution, and
hanging stout straps on weak shoulders [will offer them to you], with
words of blessing and calm. And let the Gods Kamu-nahobi and Oho-nahobi
peacefully and tranquilly exercise their office, correcting, whether in
things heard or in things seen, any omission which he may make in so

"_More especially does he humbly declare: 'Naming her as Oho-miya-no-me
I humbly fulfil her praises because, within the same Palace as the
Sovran Grandchild, she blocks the way and takes cognizance and makes
choice of the persons who go in and out, with words amends and
mollifies the hurry and roughness of the Gods, keeps from error the
hands and feet of the scarf-wearing attendants and the strap-wearing
attendants[245] who serve the morning meal and the evening meal of
the Sovran Grandchild, preventing the Imperial Princes, Princes,
Ministers of State, and all the functionaries from indulging their
several inclinations and causing them, pure of evil intents and base
hearts, to attend in the Palace with a Palace-attendance, and to serve
in the Palace with a Palace-service, and amending to eye and ear all
faults and errors, so that their duties may be performed peacefully and

=Naishi-dokoro or Kashiko-dokoro=.--Every new moon offerings were
presented in the _naishi-dokoro_ (_naishi_-place) or _kashiko-dokoro_
(place of reverence[246]) by the _naishi_ or female attendants of the
Palace to the sacred mirror which represented the Sun-Goddess. They
consisted of rice, cakes, paper, cloth, egg-plant, fish, shellfish,
&c. Twice a year _Kagura_ was performed. The ceremonies used on these
occasions were regulated in Uda's reign (889-898) and closely resembled
those of the Great Shrine of Ise. The _Yengishiki_ has not preserved
the _norito_ belonging to it.

A Japanese writer thus describes the modern form of this ceremony:--

"Within the palace there is a large hall, the _kashiko-dokoro_, or
place of reverence, constructed of milk-white, knotless timbers,
exquisitely joined and smooth as mirrors, but absolutely devoid of
decoration. At one end stands a large shrine, also of snow-pure wood,
with delicately chased mountings of silver gilt. It encloses models
of the divine insignia, and a number of long, narrow tablets of pine,
on which are inscribed the posthumous titles of all the Emperors
since the days of Jimmu. Within the folding doors of the shrine hangs
a curtain woven of bamboo threads. At the appointed hour, generally
the grey of morning, _sakaki_ boughs are laid beside the shrine
and provision of incense is made; after which the officials of the
Bureau of Rites and those of the Imperial Household file in and seat
themselves on either side of the hall. The doors of the shrine are then
opened and offerings of various kinds--vegetables, fish, cloth, and so
forth--are carried in and ranged before it, solemn music in Japanese
style being performed the while. Thereafter the princes of the blood
and all officials of the two highest ranks as well as the peers of the
'musk-chamber' and the 'golden-pheasant chamber' enter, and when they
are seated the Emperor himself appears and, proceeding slowly to the
shrine, bows his head, takes a branch of _sakaki_ with pendant _gohei_,
and having waved it in token of the purification of sins, ignites a
stick of incense[247] and places it upright in the censer, thereafter
repeating a ritual (_norito_). So long as his Majesty is present in the
hall, all the officials remain standing. His Majesty then retires, and,
on his departure, worship of the same kind, but without any prayer, is
performed by a representative of the Prince Imperial," and subsequently
by the other members of the Court.

=Mitama Shidzumuru no matsuri= (ceremony for settling or calming the
august spirit).

There was an ancient ceremony called _mitama furishiki_ that is,
shaking the august jewels, which is referred to in the _Kiujiki_. We
are there told that when the Sun-Goddess sent down Ninigi to rule the
world, she gave him "ten auspicious treasures, namely, one mirror of
the offing, one mirror of the shore, one eight-hands-breadth sword,
one jewel (_tama_) of birth, one jewel of return from death, one
perfect jewel, one road-returning jewel (that is, a jewel which has
the property of making evil things return by the road they came),
one serpent-scarf (a scarf which has power when waved to keep away
serpents), one bee-scarf, and one scarf of various things," saying: "In
case of illness shake these treasures and repeat to them the words,
'One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.' If thou
doest so the dead will certainly return to life."

The _Nihongi_ states that in A.D. 685 the ceremony of calling on the
spirit (_mitama_) was performed for the Mikado's sake. An ancient
gloss identifies this ceremony with that of the _mitama furishiki_
just described. The object of the two ceremonies was, no doubt, the
same, but it is to be noted that _mitama_, which in the one case means
jewel or talisman, in the other means spirit--a rare case in the
older Shinto records of this word being applied to the human soul.
The phrases "calling on the spirit" and "settling the spirit" are of
Chinese origin, _mitama_ being in this connexion simply a translation
of the Chinese _hun_ (pronounced _kon_ in Japanese). The same ceremony
is known in China, and some features of its Japanese form were probably
borrowed from that country. Its object, according to a modern writer,
was to summon back to and settle in the body the volatile _kon_. It
was performed every year in the eleventh month in the Chapel of the
Jingikwan, and also at one time in connexion with the coronation

The _norito_ (No. 15 of the _Yengishiki_) begins with a recital of
the Mikado's divine claims to sovereignty. Then the offerings are
enumerated. It concludes with a prayer to the eight Gods of the
Jingikwan to grant the Mikado a long and prosperous reign, and that
he may dwell peacefully in his Palace during the ensuing year. It
says nothing of the Mikado's spirit, an expression found only in the
heading, which may be supposed to be a later addition.

A performance by the Miko resembling that of Uzume before the Rock-cave
of Heaven, and comprising the repetition of the magic words one, two,
three, &c., formed part, no doubt the oldest part, of the ceremony. It
is now usually called by the Chinese name _Chinkonsai_.

There is a story of a thief having stolen the clothing presented on
this occasion, and also the string which tied the Mikado's _mitama_,
whatever that may mean.

=Oho-harahi= (Great Purification).[248]--This ceremony includes a
preliminary lustration, expiatory offerings, and the recital of a
_norito_ or formula--not a prayer, as it is sometimes called--in
which the Mikado, by virtue of the authority transmitted to him from
the Sun-Goddess, declares to his ministers and people the absolution
of their sins and impurities. This formula is often referred to as
if it constituted the whole ceremony. It is known as the _Nakatomi
no Oho-harahi_, because in ancient times it was usually read by the
Nakatomi as representatives of the Mikado.

The myths which represent Izanagi as flinging down his garments during
his flight from Yomi, and washing away in the sea the pollution
contracted by his visit there, and describe the expiatory offerings
exacted from Susa no wo, presume an acquaintance with the ceremony
of which the Oho-harahi _norito_ forms a chief part. The _Nihongi_
informs us, under the legendary date A.D. 200, that after the sudden
death of the Mikado Chiuai, his widow and successor Jingō commanded her
ministers "to purge offences and to rectify transgressions," while in
the parallel passage of the _Kojiki_[249] details are given of these
offences, which, as far as they go, are identical with those enumerated
in the Oho-harahi itself. Great Purifications are mentioned as having
been performed in 676, 678, and 686. The Japanese scholar Mabuchi
ascribes the present Oho-harahi _norito_ to this last-named period. In
substance it must be very much older.

The chief ceremony was performed in the capital twice yearly, on the
last days of the sixth and twelfth months. These dates are not chosen
arbitrarily. There is a natural impulse at the close of the year to
wipe out old scores and to make a fresh start with good resolutions.
The _tsuina_,[250] or demon-expelling ceremonies, of the last day of
the year, described below, are prompted by a similar motive. Tennyson
gives expression to this feeling in his 'In Memoriam':--

    "The year is dying in the night,
    Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Ring out the false, ring in the true,

       *       *       *       *       *

    Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

       *       *       *       *       *

    Ring out old shapes of foul disease."

The summer celebration of the Oho-harahi is analogous to the custom
of lustration, or bathing on St. John's Eve, formerly practised in
Germany, Italy, and other countries.

The Chinese had an Oho-harahi, defined by Mr. Giles in his 'Chinese
Dictionary' as "a religious ceremony of purification performed in
spring and autumn, with a view to secure divine protection for
agricultural interests." The Ainus of Yezo have a similar ceremony.[251]

The Oho-harahi was not confined to the last days of the sixth and
twelfth months. It was performed as a preliminary to several of the
great Shinto ceremonies, notably the Ohonihe, and on other emergencies,
such as an outbreak of pestilence,[252] the finding of a dead body
in the Palace (865), the officiating of a Nakatomi who had performed
Buddhist rites (816), &c.

We learn from the regulations of the period Jōgwan (859-876) that at
that time the ceremony was performed at the southern gate of the Kioto
Palace, in front of which there was a canal. The purification offerings
were set out before this gate. The officials took their seats in due
order, the women being separated off by a curtain. The officials of the
Jingikwan then distributed _kiri-nusa_[253] among the audience, upon
which the Nakatomi took his place and recited the ritual, the officials
responding _Ô_ after every paragraph. When the purification was
finished, the Oho-nusa ceremony was performed. It had also a purifying
influence, and consisted, according to Dr. Florenz, in brandishing the
Oho-nusa over the assembly, first to left, then to right, and then
again to left.

The _norito_ (No. 10 of the _Yengishiki_) is as follows:--

_"He[254] says: 'Give ear, all ye Imperial Princes, Princes, Ministers
of State, and functionaries who are here assembled, and hearken every
one to the Great Purification by which at this year's interlune of the
sixth (or twelfth) month he deigns to purge and absolve all manner
of faults and transgressions which may have been committed by those
who serve in the Imperial Court, whether they wear the scarf or the
shoulder-strap, whether they bear on their back the quiver or gird on
them the sword, the eighty attendants of the attendants, including,
moreover, all those who do duty in the various offices of State.'_

_"He says: 'Hearken, all of you. The Sovran dear ancestors,[255] who
divinely dwell in the Plain of High Heaven, having summoned to an
assembly the eight hundred myriads of deities, held divine counsel with
them, and then gave command, saying: "Let our August Grandchild[256]
hold serene rule over the fertile reed-plain, the region of fair
rice-ears,[257] as a land of peace."_

_"'But in the realm thus assigned to him there were savage deities.
These were called to a divine account and expelled with a divine
expulsion. Moreover, the rocks, trees, and smallest leaves of grass
which had power of speech were put to silence. Then they despatched
him downward from his celestial everlasting throne, cleaving as he
went with an awful way-cleaving the many-piled clouds of Heaven, and
delivered to him the Land. At the middle point of the lands of the
four quarters thus entrusted to him, Yamato, the High-Sun-Land, was
established as a peaceful land, and there was built here for the Sovran
Grandchild a fair Palace wherewithal to shelter him from sun and
sky,[258] with massy pillars based deep on the nethermost rocks and
upraising to the Plain of High Heaven the cross-timbers of its roof._

_"'Now of the various faults and transgressions to be committed
by the celestial race destined more and more to people this land
of his peaceful rule, some are of Heaven, to wit, the breaking
down of divisions between rice-fields, filling up of irrigation
channels, removing water-pipes, sowing seed over again,[259] planting
skewers,[260] flaying alive,_


[Illustration] _flaying backwards. These are distinguished as Heavenly

_"'Earthly offences which will be committed are the cutting of living
bodies, the cutting of dead bodies, leprosy, kokumi,[262] incest
of a man with his mother or daughter, with his mother-in-law or
step-daughter, bestiality, calamities from creeping things, from the
high Gods[263] and from high birds, killing animals, bewitchments._[264]

_"'Whensoever they may be committed, let the Great Nakatomi, in
accordance with the custom of the Heavenly Palace, cut Heavenly
saplings at the top and cut them at the bottom, and make thereof a
complete array of one thousand stands for offerings._[265]

_"'Having trimmed rushes of heaven at the top and trimmed them at the
bottom, let him split them into manifold slivers._[266]

_"'Then let him recite the mighty ritual words of the celestial

_"'When he does so, the Gods of Heaven, thrusting open the adamantine
door of Heaven and cleaving the many-piled clouds of Heaven with an
awful way-cleaving will lend ear. The Gods of Earth, climbing to the
tops of the high mountains and to the tops of the low mountains,
sweeping apart the mists of the high mountains and the mists of the low
mountains, will lend ear._

_"'When they have thus lent ear, all offences whatsoever will be
annulled, from the Court of the Sovran Grandchild to the provinces of
the four quarters of the Under-Heaven._

_"'As the many-piled clouds of Heaven are scattered by the breath
of the Wind-Gods; as the morning breezes and the evening breezes
dissipate the dense morning vapours and the dense evening vapours;
as a huge ship, moored in a great harbour, casting off its stern
moorings, casting off its bow moorings, drives forth into the great
sea-plain; as yonder thick brushwood is smitten and cleared away by
the sharp sickle forged in the fire, so shall all offences be utterly
annulled. Therefore he (the Mikado) is graciously pleased to purify
and cleanse them away. The Goddess called Se-ori-tsu-hime who dwells
in the rapids of the swift streams whose cataracts tumble headlong
from the tops of the high mountains and from the tops of the low
mountains will bear them out into the great sea-plain. Thereupon the
Goddess called Haya-aki-tsu-hime, who dwells in the myriad meetings
of the tides of the myriad brine-paths of the myriad ways of the
currents of the boisterous sea will swallow them up. And the God
Ibuki-do nushi, who dwells in the Breath-blowing-place,[268] will
puff them away to the Root-country, the Bottom Country.[269] Then the
Goddess Haya-sasura-hime,[270] who dwells in the Root-country, the
Bottom-country, will banish and abolish them. When they have been so
destroyed, every one, from the servants of the Imperial Court to the
four quarters of the Under-Heaven, will remain void of all offences

_"'Attend, therefore, all of you to this Great Purification, by which
he is graciously pleased at sunset on this interlunar day of the sixth
(or twelfth) month of this year to purify and cleanse you, having led
hither a horse as an animal that pricks up its ears to the Plain of

_"He says: 'Ye diviners (Urabe) of the four provinces, remove them to
the great river-way and abolish them.'"_[272]

In addition to the Oho-harahi, or National Purifications, there
were local and individual celebrations. In the latter case, of which
Susa no wo's punishment is the mythical type, the _harahi-tsu-mono_
were naturally furnished by the person for whose benefit they were
performed, and so amounted practically to a fine on the offender. The
_Nihongi_ (A.D. 646) mentions a number of cases in which travellers and
others were compelled by the country people to do _harahi_, that is, to
pay a fine, under various pretences. For example, when a man returning
from forced labour fell down by the roadside and died, the villagers of
the place said, "Why should a man be allowed to die on our road?" and
detained the companions of the deceased until they had done _harahi_.
Cases of drowning were followed by similar claims, and even the cooking
of rice by the roadside or the upsetting of a borrowed pot. An Imperial
decree was issued prohibiting these extortions, which are described as
habitual with the unenlightened vulgar.

The application of the _harahi_ to the purpose of a fine was regulated
by an ordinance which was issued in 801. Those who were guilty of
neglect in connexion with the celebration of the Ohonihe, or who,
during the month of special avoidance of impurity, contracted mourning,
visited the sick, were concerned with capital sentences, ate flesh, or
touched anything impure were mulcted in an _oho-harahi_, which in this
case meant simply a heavy fine. It consisted of one horse, two swords,
two bows, and a long list of other sundries. Other offences of the same
classes were fined in a _naka-harahi_, or medium _harahi_.

Dr. Florenz describes a more modern form of _harahi_ as follows: "As
a third species of _harahi_ we may mention the purification preceding
every greater festival of a Shinto shrine, through which the priests
and others taking part in the Matsuri are purified. This ceremony
takes place in a hall or open place specially prepared for the purpose,
called _harahi-dokoro_ (purification-place). It consists in the
_Kami-oroshi_ (bringing down the spirits of the purifying deities) into
the _himorogi_, which stands on an eight-legged table in the middle of
the _harahi-dokoro_, the recitation of the purification prayer, various
subsequent symbolic ceremonies, and the _Kami-age_, or sending back the
Gods to their abodes. Thereupon the priests are considered to be pure,
and the Matsuri proper can begin. The prayer addressed to the Gods is
as follows:--

_"In reverence and awe: The great gods of the purification place who
came into existence when the Great God Izanagi deigned to wash and
purify himself on the plain of Ahagi [east] of Tachibana [near] the
River Wotō in Himuka in Tsukushi, shall deign to purify and deign
to cleanse whatever there may be of sins and pollutions committed
inadvertently or deliberately by the officials serving here to-day.
Listen ye to these my words. Thus I say reverentially."_

In later times there were many abuses and perversions of the _harahi_,
due mainly to Buddhist influence. The formula was much modified, and
is found in numerous versions. Some of these are wholly Buddhist,
such as the well-known "Rokkon shōjō" (may the six senses be pure),
so constantly in the mouths of pilgrims at this day. Others include
a prayer for purity of heart, which is an idea quite foreign to the
ancient Shinto. _Harahi-bako_ (_harahi_-boxes) were sold at Ise with
inscriptions half Buddhist and half Shinto. In imitation of a similar
Buddhist practice, these boxes contained a certificate that the
_harahi_ had been recited one thousand or ten thousand times for the
purchaser's benefit. Pieces of the _gohei_ wand used by the priests at
the Oho-harahi of the sixth and twelfth months were enclosed with these
certificates. Sometimes a small fragment of the old shrine, which was
broken up every twentieth year and a new one erected, was compressed
between two thin boards and called an _o-harahi_. Pilgrims received
these in return for their offerings. The devout could even purchase
them from hawkers, who went about the country (like the sellers of
indulgences in Luther's time) disposing of them for the benefit of the
shrine. This practice is now prohibited.[273]

The ideas associated with the _harahi_ ceremony also underwent a
change. Some writers speak of it as intended "to propitiate evil
deities." The _harahi_ sold by the priests of Ise were set up in the
_Kami-dana_, or domestic shrine, and worshipped as the _shintai_ of
the deity. They were supposed to be indestructible by fire or water,
to keep away robbers, to heal diseases, to make the old young, and to
protect against calamity of every kind.

In some later forms of the _harahi_ the purifying Gods are besought to
cleanse from evil, sin, and pollution. This marks a different attitude
from that of the Nakatomi no Oho-harahi, where they are merely a part
of the machinery of purification.

=Invocation by the Hereditary Corporation of Scholars of Yamato and
Kahachi=.--This _norito_ (No. 11 of the _Yengishiki_) was read previous
to the performance of the Oho-harahi. The two corporations named
were descendants, or, at least, successors of the Korean scholars
who in the fifth century introduced Chinese learning into Japan. The
language, thought, and sentiment of this _norito_ are Chinese. The
Sun, Moon (not Hirume and Tsukiyomi) and stars, the High Emperor of
Supreme Heaven (Shangti), the five Emperors of the five cardinal
points, the King-father of the East, the King-mother of the West, the
four influences of the four seasons, and other Chinese divinities are
invoked to grant prosperity to the Mikado. An offering was made of
a silver man in order that calamity might be averted from him, and
of a golden sword so that his reign might be lengthened. The sword,
really of wood gilt, was called the _harahi-tsu-tachi_, or sword
of purification, and was breathed upon by the Mikado before being
taken away. The silver man was also for use as an _aga-mono_, or

=Michi-ahe no Matsuri=.--The object of this ceremony was to invoke the
aid of the Sahe no Kami in preventing evil spirits, that is to say,
pestilences, from entering Kioto.[274] The _norito_ (No. 13 of the
_Yengishiki_) read on this occasion is as follows:--

_"I humbly declare in the presence of the Sovran Gods whose functions
first began in the Plain of High Heaven, when they fulfilled
the praises[275] of the Sovran Grandchild by guarding the great
eight-road-forks like a multitudinous assemblage of rocks._[276]

_"Naming your honoured names, to wit, Yachimata-hiko, Yachimata-hime,
and Kunado, I fulfil your praises. Whenever from the Root-country the
Bottom-country there may come savage and unfriendly beings, consort not
and parley not with them, but if they go below, keep watch below, if
they go above, keep watch above, protecting us against pollution with a
night guarding and with a day guarding._

_"The offerings I furnish in your honour are bright cloth, shining
cloth, soft cloth, and rough cloth. Of sake I raise up the tops of the
jars and fill and range in order the bellies of the jars. [Grain] in
juice and in ear I offer you. Of things that dwell in the mountains
and on the moors I offer the soft of hair and the coarse of hair. Of
things that dwell in the blue sea-plain, the broad of fin and the
narrow of fin, even to the weeds of the offing and the weeds of the
shore. Peacefully partaking of these plenteous offerings, which I lay
before you in full measure like a cross range of hills, hold guard on
the highways like a multitudinous assemblage of rocks, preserving from
pollution the Sovran Grandchild firmly and enduringly, and bless his
reign to be a prosperous reign._

_"Also be pleased peacefully to preserve from pollution the
Imperial Princes, the Princes, the Ministers of State, and all the
functionaries, including, moreover, the people of the Under-Heaven._

_"I, as official of the Department of Religion, humbly fulfil your
praises by this celestial, this great pronouncement."_

The offerings included hides of oxen, boar, deer, and bear, in addition
to those above enumerated.

=Sagi-chō=.--This is a modern ceremony, which was also intended
to repel evil influences. The Wakan-Sansai-dzuye (1713) gives the
following description of it as practised in the Imperial Palace:--

_"On the fifteenth day of the first month[277] green bamboos are burnt
in the courtyard of the Seiryōden, and happy reports[278] sent up to
Heaven therewith. On the eighteenth also bamboos are dressed up with
fans attached to them, which are burnt at the same place. There is a
reader of spells called Daikoku Matsudaiyu, who has four followers,
two old men and two old women. These wear devil-masks and 'red-bear'
wigs. The two old women carry drums, and the two old men run after them
trying to beat the drums. There are two boys without masks, but with
'red-bear' wigs, who beat double cymbals. Moreover, there are five
men in dress of ceremony who stand in a row and join in with cries of
'dondoya,' while one costumed somewhat differently calls out 'Ha!'"_

The Wakan Sansai does not know the origin of this ceremony, which is
said to expel demons. There is a similar Chinese practice, though on a
different date, namely, the first day of the year. Its object is said
to be to drive away mountain elves.

=Mikado matsuri=.--This ceremony was in honour of two Gate Gods
named Kushi-iha-mado (wondrous-rock-gate) and Toyo-iha-mado
(rich-rock-gate).[279] The _Yengishiki_ contains a _norito_ (No. 9) in
which their praises are fulfilled, because they prevent the entrance to
the Palace of noxious things and exercise a superintendence over the
persons who come in and go out.

=Tsuina= or =Oni-yarahi=, that is to say, demon expelling, is a sort of
drama in which disease, or more generally ill-luck, is personified, and
driven away with threats and a show of violence. Like the Oho-harahi,
it was performed on the last day of the year. This association is only
natural. The demons of the _tsuina_ are personified wintry influences,
with the diseases which they bring with them, while the Oho-harahi is
intended to cleanse the people from sin and uncleanness, things closely
related to disease, as well as from disease itself. Though probably
of Chinese origin, the _tsuina_ is a tolerably ancient rite. It is
alluded to in the _Nihongi_ under the date A.D. 689. It was at one time
performed at Court on an imposing scale. Four bands of twenty youths,
each wearing a four-eyed mask, and each carrying a halberd in the left
hand, marched simultaneously from the four gates of the Palace, driving
the devils before them. Another account of this ceremony says that a
man disguised himself as the demon of pestilence, in which garb he was
shot at and driven off by the courtiers armed with peach-wood bows and
arrows of reed. (See illustration, p. 310.) Peach-wood staves were
used for the same purpose. There was formerly a practice at Asa-kusa
in Tokio on the last day of the year for a man got up as a devil to be
chased round the pagoda there by another wearing a mask. After this
3,000 tickets were scrambled for by the spectators. These were carried
away and pasted up over the doors as a charm against pestilence. At
the present day, the popular form of _tsuina_ consists in scattering
parched beans with the cry, "_Oni ha soto: fuku ha uchi_," that is,
"Out with the devils and in with the luck." The former phrase is
uttered in a loud voice, the latter in a low tone. This office should
properly be discharged by the head of the family, but it is frequently
delegated to a servant. The performer is called the _toshi-otoko_, or
year-man. In the Shōgun's palace a specially appointed _toshi-otoko_
sprinkled parched beans in all the principal rooms. These beans were
picked up by the women of the palace, who wrapped them in paper in
number equal to the years of their age, and then flung them backwards
out of doors. Sometimes _tsuina_ beans were gathered by people who had
reached an unlucky year (_yaku-toshi_), one for each year of their age
and one over, and wrapped in paper with a small copper coin, which
had been rubbed over their body to transfer the ill-luck. These were
placed in a bamboo tube and flung away at crossroads. This was called
_yaku-sute_ (flinging away ill-luck). Other people pass under seven
_tori-wi_ as an antidote.

The significance of the peach and bean in this ceremony has been
already explained.[280] The vulgar notion is that the beans hit the
devils in the eye and blind them. A more philosophical theory is
that the beans dispel the _in-aku no ki_, or female evil influences,
and welcome in the _sei-yō_, green male influences. By the female
influences are here meant wintry influences; by male influences those
of spring.

Mr. J. G. Frazer, in 'The Golden Bough,' iii. 67, second edition, gives
an interesting account of another Japanese form of this custom.



The _tsuina_ is only a special form of a world-wide ceremony. We may
compare with it the Roman Lemuria, a festival for the souls of the
dead, in which the celebrators threw black beans nine times behind
their backs, believing by this ceremony to secure themselves against
the Lemures. Some of my readers may have witnessed the Scotch Hogmanay,
when the house is thrice circumambulated on the last day of the year
in order to frighten away devils. In Lady Burton's life of her husband
she tells us that at Trieste on St. Sylvester's Eve, the servants went
through a very usual ceremony of forming procession and chevying the
evil spirits with sticks and brooms out of the house, inviting the good
spirits and good luck to come and dwell there. This is curiously like
the Japanese formula just quoted. At Chæronea, in Bœotia, the chief
magistrate at the town hall and every householder in his own house, as
we learn from Plutarch, had on a certain day to beat a slave with rods
of _agnus castus_, and turn him out of doors, with the formula, "Out
hunger! in health and wealth." The "expulsion of winter" of Teutonic
and Slavonic folklore belongs to the same class of customs. It should
be remembered that the Japanese New Year was later than our own, and
was recognized as the beginning of spring.

I must not quote further from the extensive literature of this subject.
The reader is referred to 'The Golden Bough,' second edition, vol. iii.
pp. 39 _et seqq_., for a rich collection of evidence relating to it.

=New Year in Modern Japan=.--Although most of the New Year's
observances in modern Japan belong to the province of popular magic
rather than of Shinto, some general account of them may not be out of
place here. The preparations begin on the thirteenth day of the last
month, which is therefore called _koto-hajime_ (beginning of things).
On this day people eat _okotojiru_, a kind of stew, whose ingredients
are generally red beans, potatoes, mushrooms, sliced fish, and a root
called _konnyaku_. Presents of money are made to servants at this
time. About the same date there is a partly real, partly ceremonial
house-cleaning called _susu-harahi_ (soot-sweeping). The other
preparations for the New Year consist in decorating the front entrance
by planting at each side of it small fir-trees, with which bamboos are
frequently joined. Both of these symbolize an ever-green prosperity. A
_shimenaha_ is hung over the door or gate, attached to which are fern
leaves, and _yudzuri-ha_ (_Daphniphyllum macropodum_) with _daidai_ (a
kind of bitter orange). _Daidai_ also means ages, generations, so that
this is a sort of punning prayer for long life and the continuance of
the family. The prawn, which forms part of the decorations, is supposed
by its curved back to suggest old age. Sometimes holly leaves, of which
the prickles are thought, as in Europe, obnoxious to demons, bean pods,
and a head of a salt sardine (_ihashi_) are added. On the domestic
shrine is placed an offering of unleavened cakes of glutinous pounded
rice, the preparation of which is a matter for much fun and excitement.
These cakes are called _kagami-mochi_, or mirror-cakes, on account of
their shape, which is that of a flattened sphere. There are two of
them. One is said to represent the sun, the _yō_, or male principle
of Chinese philosophy, the parent and the husband, while the other is
put for the moon, the female principle, the child and the wife. The
_kagami-mochi_ is also called the _ha-gatame mochi_ (tooth-hardening
cake) because it fortifies the constitution. The explanation given is
that the Chinese character for _ha_, "tooth," also means "age."

The _tsuina_ on the last day of the year is described above.

The first act of the New Year is for the _toshi-otoko_ to proceed at
dawn to the well or stream whence the household water is supplied. He
throws into it a small offering of rice, and draws water in a new pail
crowned with _shime-naha_. To drink this water, called _waka-midzu_ or
young water, brings luck and exemption from disease during the year.

On New Year's day _zōni_, a stew of various kinds of vegetables
is eaten and a spiced sake called _toso_ is drunk and offered to
visitors. No work is done. Visits are exchanged between friends,
and formal calls made on superiors. The phrase _Shinnen o medetô
gozarimasu_ (New Year's congratulations to you) is in everybody's
mouth. The _ujigami_ are visited and also the Shinto temples which
lie in the direction (_ehô_) indicated by the cyclic name of the
year. Thus the year of the Hare is associated with the East. The Gods
who preside over this particular year are called the Toshi-toku-jin

In some places a lamp, consisting of a coarse earthenware saucer with
a wick, is lighted at the New Year in honour of the God of the Privy.
Sick people at this time throw away their stockings or drawers on a
frequented road, and if any one picks them up they expect to recover.
Samurai boys receive presents of _hamayumi_ (devil-quelling bows).

The seventh of the first month is called Nanakusa, or seven herbs,
because in ancient times people went out into the country to gather
wild pot-herbs which were made into a mess with rice and eaten on this

The New Year's celebrations end with the Sahe no Kami festival (now
called _dondo_ or _sagichô_) on the fourteenth or fifteenth of the
first month, when the decorations above described are made the material
for a bonfire.[281]

=Tatari-gami wo utsushi-tatematsuru norito= (service for the respectful
removal of deities who send a curse).--This _norito_ (No. 25) is long,
but it contains nothing worthy of special notice. The mischievous
deities are reminded of the divine right of the Mikado, and of the
quelling by Futsunushi and Takemika-dzuchi of the evil beings who
plagued Japan before the descent of Ninigi. Offerings of cloth, a
mirror, jewels, bows and arrows, swords, a horse, sake, rice in ear and
in grain, and various kinds of flesh and vegetables, are set before
them, with the request that they should retire to enjoy these good
things in some pure spot among the hills and streams and remain there,
rather than work curses and violence in the Palace.

It is to be distinguished from the Michiahe ritual, which was addressed
to the Protective Road-deities in order to keep off pestilence. The
present formula is a direct appeal to the evil deities themselves. It
is not quite clear who they were. Perhaps all possibly harmful Gods
were meant to be included.

=Ceremony when Envoys were despatched to Foreign Countries=.--On such
occasions the Gods of Heaven and Earth, with the phallic Chiburi no
Kami, or Road-Gods, were worshipped outside the city, the envoys
taking part in the ceremony and reading a _norito_. The wood-Gods and
mountain-Gods were worshipped before cutting the timber for building
their ship.

The _Yengishiki_ preserves a _norito_ (No. 26) used on one of these
occasions. It is addressed to the Sea-Gods of Sumiyoshi, and presents
thank-offerings to them for providing a harbour there more convenient
for the envoys to sail from than a more distant port in Harima.

=Ho-shidzume no Matsuri= (fire-calming-service).--This ceremony was
performed on the last days of the sixth and twelfth months by the
Urabe, or diviners, at the four outer corners of the Imperial Palace,
in order to prevent its destruction by fire. The Urabe kindled a fire
by means of the fire-drill and worshipped it. The following _norito_
(No. 12) was read on the occasion:--

_"I humbly declare according to the celestial the great pronouncement
(norito) delivered to the Sovran Grandchild by his Sovran, dear, divine
ancestor and ancestress when they granted to him the Under-Heaven,
commanding him to rule tranquilly as a peaceful realm the fair
Rice-ear-land of the Rich-reed-plain, as follows: 'The two Gods Izanagi
and Izanami, having become united as husband and wife, procreated
the eighty countries and the eighty islands and gave birth to
the eight hundred myriads of deities. When Izanami's last son, the
God Homusubi (fire-growth), was born her pudenda were burnt and she
became rock-concealed.[282] She said, "For nights seven and for days
seven look not on me, oh my husband." But before the seven days were
fulfilled, Izanagi, wondering at her concealment, viewed her, and
behold, her pudenda had been burnt in giving birth to the Fire.[283]
"Oh, my honoured husband," said Izanami, "thou hast insulted me by
looking on me despite my having besought thee to refrain from doing
so at such a time. Therefore thou must govern the upper world and I
the lower world." So saying, she was rock-concealed. When she had
reached the Even Pass of Yomi, she bethought herself: "I gave birth to,
and left behind me in the upper world ruled by my honoured husband,
an evil-hearted child." So she went back and gave birth to other
children, namely, the God of Water, the Gourd, the River-weed, and
the Clay-mountain-lady, four kinds in all. Moreover, she taught him,
saying, "When the temper of this evil-hearted child becomes violent, do
thou assuage it with the Water-God, the Gourd, the River-weed, and the

_"'Therefore do I fulfil thy praises as follows: To the end that thou
mayest deign to control thy transports against the Palace of the Sovran
Grandchild, I offer thee bright cloth, shining cloth, smooth cloth,
and rough cloth, of various colours. Of things which dwell in the blue
sea-plain, I offer the broad of fin and the narrow of fin, even unto
the weeds of the offing and the weeds of the shore. Of sake, I raise up
the tops of the jars, and fill and range in order the bellies of the
jars. Nor do I omit rice, cleaned and in the husk. Heaping up these
things like a cross-range of hills, I fulfil thy praises according to
the Celestial, the Great pronouncement.'"_

It will be observed that the tone of this _norito_ is not particularly
reverent. It reads more like an offer to pay blackmail than a prayer.
The phraseology implies that the Mikado is the God's superior. And
surely there is a malicious humour in the reminder that the God was a
bad boy, to provide the means for whose control and chastisement his
mother came back expressly from Hades.

_Kasuga no Matsuri_.--This service is comparatively modern, having
been first used in 859. It is in honour of the Gods worshipped at
Kasuga, near Nara, namely, Take-mika-dzuchi, Futsunushi, Koyane, and
a Goddess who is supposed to be the wife of the last-named deity. It
was celebrated twice annually by a priestess despatched from Kiōto to
Nara for the purpose. I take from Sir Ernest Satow's 'Ancient Japanese
Rituals' in the _T.A.S.J._ the following account of the ceremonies used
on this occasion. They may serve as an example of the elaborate ritual
of Shinto at this period, and to illustrate the intimate association of
government with religion.

Before the celebration of the service, orders were given to the
Divination Office to fix a day, hour, and locality for a purification
(_harahi_) to be performed. On the day preceding the purification
a sort of tent was erected near the river (_i.e._, the Kamogaha
at Kiōto), and at the hour appointed the priestess who had been
selected for the occasion proceeded to the place of purification
in a bullock-car. The procession was magnificent, and was ordered
with extreme precision. It consisted of nearly one hundred and forty
persons, besides porters. First went two municipal men-at-arms,
followed by two citizens and eight officials of rank. They were
succeeded by the bailiff of the priestess's official residence with
four attendants, after whom came ten corporals of the Guard of the
Palace Gates, and a few men from the other four Imperial Guards.
Next came the car of the priestess herself, with eight attendants in
brown hempen mantles, two young boys in brown, and four running foot
pages in white dresses with purple skirts. A silk umbrella and a huge
long-handled fan were borne on either side of the car by four men in
scarlet coats. Ten more servants completed her immediate retinue. Then
came a chest full of sacrificial utensils, and two carriages containing
a lady, who seems to have acted as a sort of duenna to the priestess,
and the Mikado's messengers, surrounded by attendants in number
suited to their rank. Close behind them were borne two chests full of
food-offerings, and four containing gifts from the Mikado intended for
those members of the Fujihara family who attended on the occasion.
Seven carriages carried the female servants of the priestess, each of
them being a lady of rank, and therefore accompanied by half-a-dozen
followers of both sexes. Two high officials of the provincial
government of Yamashiro awaited the procession at a convenient point,
and conducted it to the spot chosen for the ceremony of purification.
A member of the Nakatomi tribe presented the _nusa_, consisting of
a white wand with hemp-fibre hanging from its upper end, the symbol
of the primitive offerings of greater value, and a diviner read the
purification ritual. After the ceremony was over, refreshments were
served out, and the Mikado's gifts distributed. The priestess then
returned to her official residence.

On her journey to the temple of Kasuga, the priestess was preceded by
various priests, diviners, musicians, cooks, and other functionaries
of inferior grade, who set out one day earlier in the charge of an
officer of the Ministry of Religion. At the boundary of the province of
Yamato she was received by officers of the Provincial Government, who
accompanied her to the temporary building erected for her accommodation
on the bank of the Saho-gaha. During the day the rite of purification
was performed on the western side of the temple, and the offerings
placed in readiness for the final ceremony. At dawn on the following
day officials of the Ministry of Religion superintended the cleaning of
the shrine by a young girl (_mono imi_) who had been carefully guarded
for some time previous from contracting any ceremonial uncleanness,
while other officials decorated the buildings and set out the sacred
treasures close to the shrines and by the side of the arcade round
the innermost enclosure. Everything being now in readiness, the high
officers of State who had come down from the capital for the service
entered by the gate assigned to them, and took their seats in the outer
court, followed by members of the Fujihara family of the sixth rank
and under. The priestess now arrived in a palanquin, with a numerous
retinue of local functionaries, infantry and cavalry soldiers, and
followed by porters carrying the offerings of the Mikado, his consort,
the heir-apparent, and of the priestess herself. Next came race-horses
sent by the Mikado's consort, by the heir-apparent, and from the Six
Guards of the Palace, the rear of the procession being brought up by
a crowd of lesser officials and men-at-arms. The palanquin of the
priestess was surrounded by a large body of guards, torch-bearers,
and running pages, umbrella and screen-bearers, and women and girls
on horseback. After them came the chest of sacrificial vessels, a
number of servants, three chests full of food-offerings, six chests
of clothing for the Gods, with carriages containing some of the
Mikado's female attendants, the priestess's duenna, and some young
girls. On arriving at the north gate, on the west side of the temple
enclosure, the men got off their horses and the women descended from
their carriages. The priestess then alighted from her palanquin, and
passing between curtains held by her attendants in such a way as to
render her invisible to the crowd, entered the waiting-room prepared
for her inside the courtyard, followed by the women of the Mikado's
household. The Mikado's offerings were now brought forward by the
Keeper of the Privy Purse and laid on a table outside the gate, while
the women of the Household entered the inner enclosure, and took their
places in readiness to inspect the offerings. In a few minutes they
were joined by the priestess, who had changed her travelling dress
for sacrificial robes. The Keeper of the Privy Purse now brought the
Mikado's presents in through the gate, and placing them on a table
in front of the _midzu-gaki_, or inner fence, saluted the chapels by
clapping his hands four times, alternately standing upright and bowing
down to the ground. On his retiring, the same ceremony was performed
by the persons charged with the offerings of the Mikado's consort and
heir-apparent, after which the offerings of the Fujihara and other
noble families were deposited on lower tables, with similar ceremonies.
The _kandomo_, or subordinate officials of the Ministry of Religion,
next carried up the Mikado's offerings and delivered them to the
_mono-imi_, who carried them into the chapel. The _kandomo_ then spread
matting on the ground in front of each of the four chapels, and members
of the Fujihara clan[284] who held a sufficiently high rank carried in
and arranged the tables destined to receive the food-offerings. Two
barrels of _sake_ were then brought in and placed between the first
and second and third and fourth chapels, in a line with the tables, a
jar of _sake_ brewed by the priests being also placed in front of each
chapel. This over, every one quitted the enclosure, making way for the
women of the Household, who uncovered the food-offerings and poured out
two cups of _sake_ for each deity. The liquor appears to have been of
the turbid sort called _nigori-zake_. All the preparations being thus
complete, the high officers of State and the messengers sent by the
Court entered the enclosure and took their seats. Four saddle-horses
intended as offerings to the Gods and eight race-horses were now led
up in front of the temple, preceded by a major-general of the Guards
and a Master of the Horse. A superior priest, with his brows bound
with a fillet of paper mulberry fibre (_yufu-kadzura_) then advanced
and read the ritual, bowed twice, clapped his hands four times, and
retired. The congregation afterwards withdrew to the refectory, where
the food-offerings were consumed by the participants in the solemn act
of worship, and the _sansai_, or thanksgiving service, was conducted by
the _kandomo_ of the Ministry of Religion.

The sacred horses were then led eight times round the temple by the
grooms of the Mikado's stables, who received a draught of consecrated
_sake_ as their reward. The general of the body-guard next directed
some of his men to perform the dance called _Adzuma-mahi_, and when
they had finished a meal of rice was served to them with much ceremony
by the Mikado's cooks. At the command of the Vice-Minister of Religion,
the harpists and flute-players were summoned to perform a piece of
music, called _mi koto fuwe ahase_ (the concert of harp and flute);
the flutes played a short movement alone, and were then joined by the
harps, whereupon the singers struck in. An officer of the Ministry of
Religion sang the first few bars, and the official singers finished the
piece. This was followed by one of the dances called _Yamato-mahi_,
performed in turn by the principal priests of the temple, by members
of the Fujihara family and by the Vice-Minister of Religion himself.
After the _sake_-cup had been passed round three times, the company
clapped their hands once and separated. Then everybody adjourned to the
race-course, and the day was wound up with galloping matches.

The _norito_ (No. 2 of the _Yengishiki_) read on this occasion has been
translated by Sir Ernest Satow. It is of minor interest.

=Hirose Oho-imi no Matsuri= (service in honour of the Food-Goddess of
Hirose).--The _norito_ of this ceremony (No. 3 of the _Yengishiki_)
announces offerings to the Food-Goddess and makes promise of more if
good harvests are granted by her. The Gods of the ravines which supply
water for irrigating the Crown-farms are joined with her in this
service. Sir E. Satow has translated this _norito_. It contains nothing
of special interest.

=Tatsuta kaze no kami no Matsuri= (service of the Wind-Gods at
Tatsuta).--The _norito_ (No. 4 of the _Yengishiki_) of this service has
been translated by Sir E. Satow. It contains a legend which professes
to account for its first institution and for the founding of the
shrine at which it was celebrated. For several years in succession
violent storms had destroyed the crops. The diviners having in vain
endeavoured to discover the cause of this calamity, the Wind-Gods
revealed themselves to the Mikado in a dream and proposed to him
a bargain, namely, that if he built them a shrine, and made them
certain offerings, they would in future bless and ripen the grain and
vegetables. The "golden thread-box," "golden shuttle," and "golden
reel" enumerated in this _norito_ as offerings to the Goddess were
in reality of painted wood, one of the numerous cases of cheaper
substitutes in Shinto ritual.

The _Nihongi_ mentions very frequent embassies from the Mikado to this
shrine in the seventh century. Princes were selected for the office of

In addition to the above, the _Yengishiki_ has brief mention of
ceremonies for "calming" the roaring of the kitchen-furnace, calming
(or propitiating?) the God of Water, the August Abiding-place (of the
Mikado), the Earth-Prince, the site of a new palace, in honour of the
kitchen-furnace, of the august well (such as that from which water was
taken for the Ohonihe ceremony), of the birth-well (from which water
was drawn for washing a new-born prince), of the water of a privy, and
a ceremony performed when the Mikado went out from the Palace. The same
work contains schedules of offerings to various local deities, of whom
we know little or nothing.

=More recent norito=.--In addition to the old _norito_ of the
_Yengishiki_, a good number have come down to us of more recent date,
chiefly from the ninth century. We find among them for the first time
_norito_ addressed to deceased Mikados, a practice which was, no
doubt, introduced from China. I give the substance of some selected
examples.[285] They exhibit numerous traits of Chinese origin.

A.D. 733. The protection of the Sea-Gods of Suminoye was invoked for
ships sailing to China.

805. The wrath of the God of Iso no kami was deprecated. He was
supposed to have sent an illness upon the Mikado because his "divine
treasures" had been removed for convenience to a place nearer the

825. Envoys were sent to the tomb of a deceased Mikado to promise that
it should be removed elsewhere the Urabe having discovered that he was
dissatisfied with its site.

827. The Sun-Goddess was besought to stay a pestilence, and a member of
the Imperial family promised her as priestess.

827. The diviners having attributed the Mikado's illness to the cutting
down of the trees of the shrine of Inari, envoys were sent to recite a
_norito_ asking for pardon, and that he should be restored to health.

836. Degrees of rank were conferred on Futsunushi (lower third),
Mikatsuchi (upper second), and Koyane (upper third), with the lower
fourth rank for the Himegami (lady-deity). Prayer was made that the
envoys should have a safe journey.

839. Trees on the Empress Jingō's tomb having been cut down, the Mikado
feared that a drought might be the consequence, and sent envoys to
deprecate her wrath.

840. The Mikado being affected by an evil influence (_mono no ke_), the
diviners attributed it to a curse from the Great Abstinence (_oho-imi_)
deity of Deha.[286] At the same time envoys to China were cast away
among southern savages. The savages were many and they were few, but
by the help of some God, they had the victory over them. A report was
received from Deha that on the same date a noise of fighting was heard
in the clouds of the Great God and a rain of missile stones fell.
The Mikado in a _norito_ expressed his gratitude and wonder at the
far-reaching power of the God, and conferred on him the lower fourth
rank with two households of peasants to serve him.

841. The Mikados Jimmu and Jingō were prayed to for rain, and apology
made for previous neglect.

850. The Mikado Mondoku announced to his predecessor his accession to
the throne in the following _norito_, which was read at his tomb by a
high official commissioned for the purpose:--

"_I humbly make representation: 'He [the Mikado] with profound
reverence declares--with respect be it spoken--to Your Sovran Majesty.
In accordance with the commands bequeathed by Your Majesty the Court
nobles repeatedly besought him to take over the celestial succession,
but as the date [of his predecessor's death] was still fresh and his
heart distracted by grief, he twice and three times humbly declared his
inability to accede to this request. But when they strongly insisted,
saying that it was the wish of Your Majesty, he felt that he ought not
to indulge his own inclination. After considering the matter in all its
bearings, he therefore purified the Great Abiding place, and reverently
assumed the celestial succession, which he now with reverence announces
to Your Majesty his intention to maintain.'_

"_Furthermore he says, with profoundest reverence, 'That he hopes Your
(with respect be it spoken) Sovran Majesty will deign to bestow on him
your gracious loving favour, so that he may continue peacefully to
maintain the government of the celestial succession as long as Heaven
and Earth, the Sun and Moon endure.'_"

850. The Wind-Gods of Tatsuta were thanked for their protection,
awarded the lower fifth rank, and begged to continue their guardianship.

850. The Mikado Jimmu was prayed to on behalf of the reigning Mikado,
who was dangerously ill.

851. Floods having been caused by pollution, prayer was made for fine
weather to the Gods of Ise, Kamo, Matsu no wo, and Otokuni.

857. The Mikado Mondoku despatched envoys to all the famous shrines
to announce the change of the year-name (_nengō_) to Tenan (celestial
tranquillity) which had been made in consequence of the good omens of
trees whose branches had grown together and of the appearance of a
white deer. He sent offerings with prayers for abundance and immunity
from storms and floods. He further petitioned the Gods to guard him by
day and by night and to grant him a long reign.

864. Envoys were sent to Yahata (Hachiman) Daibo-satsu[287] in Buzen
to give thanks for preservation from calamity. But as a boiling of the
Lake of Aso (a volcano in Kiushiu) was held by the diviners to portend
war and pestilence, and numerous other portents occurred, a lucky day
had been chosen and offerings (which would have been sent sooner only
for pollution) made.

866. Envoys were sent to all the Gods of Nankaido asking their
protection against rebellion, for a good harvest &c., and apologizing
for a delay caused by pollution.

866. An envoy was sent to Ihashimidzu with an offering of shields,
spears, and saddles to the God Hachiman Bosatsu. It is explained that
of three saddles two only have been sent; the third is to be despatched
by a later opportunity. He is asked to guard the Mikado by day and by
night and to watch over the affairs of the Empire.

866. A fire having destroyed one of the gates of the Palace, the
diviners said that it portended sickness to the Imperial person with
disasters by conflagration and battle. After some delay, caused by
various pollutions, the Mikado sent an envoy to the shrine of the
Sun-Goddess at Ise with prayer to avert these calamities, and more
especially to send down a sweet rain on the land which was then
suffering from drought.

868. Envoys were sent to Hirota and Ikuta praying the Gods of these
places that earthquake shocks attributed to them should cease. A patent
of rank was sent to them, and they were besought to bless the Mikado
and the country. Thanks were also given for a good harvest.

874. Inari was raised in rank and prayed to for many blessings, of
which some do not apparently belong to the province of a Rice-God.

For an account of Shinto festivals at the present day, Mr. B. H.
Chamberlain's 'Things Japanese' or Capt. Brinkley's 'Japan and
China' may be consulted. Their nearest counterpart is the carnival
of Southern Europe. The Chinjiu Matsuri, or annual festival of the
local patron deity, is everywhere a great event, with processions,
dramatic performances, wrestling, fireworks, races, new clothes for the
children, &c.


[219] "Un rite est un assemblage de symboles groupés autour d'une idée
religieuse ou d'un acte religieux, destiné à en rehausser le caractère
solennel ou bien à en développer le sens."--Reville, 'Prolegomènes.'

[220] See Index, _Yufu_.

[221] Have we here one of those human representatives of the grain so
familiar to us in European folk-lore? See Mr. Frazer's 'Golden Bough.'

[222] See Index for these deities.

[223] No. 14 of the _Yengishiki_.

[224] The Mikado.

[225] See above, p. 255.

[226] Sir Ernest Satow says that sleeping in a house being regarded
as the sign of ownership, a pillow (_makura_) is often placed in the
shrine as a symbol of the God's presence.

[227] That is, wearing the garb of a priest who makes offerings.

[228] Probably the same as Ame no hohi, from whom the Miyakko claimed

[229] The same as the Miyakko.

[230] Ohonamochi.

[231] That is, to surrender the civil jurisdiction.

[232] It is to be understood that after he had enshrined his
_nigi-tama_, or gentle spirit, in Yamato, Ohonamochi himself, or
perhaps his _aratama_, or rough spirit, retired to Idzumo.

[233] Explained to mean "in the discharge of my mediatory function."

[234] For a more detailed discussion of this ritual, see Sir E. Satow
in _T. A. S. J._, vol. ix. pt. ii. p. 183.

[235] See above, p. 270.

[236] The Nakatomi.

[237] See Index for these two deities.

[238] See Index.

[239] These are names of places. The Gods seem to have had no others.

[240] These are names of mountains.

[241] Ninigi. Below the same term means the Mikado.

[242] The ancient Japanese houses had their timbers lashed together
with ropes.

[243] The translation is doubtful.

[244] See above, p. 167.

[245] Male and female attendants.

[246] These terms are often used as synonymous with the regalia, of
which the Sun-mirror was the chief.

[247] The incense is Buddhist.

[248] I am much indebted to Dr. Florenz's exhaustive monograph on this
rite in vol. xxvii. of the _T. A. S. J._

[249] Ch. K., p. 230.

[250] See Index, _sub voce_.

[251] See Mr. Batchelor in _T. A. S. J_., xxiv. 46.

[252] It will be remembered that it was on an occasion of this kind
that Agamemnon ordered an Oho-harahi to be performed:--

               ... λαὸνς άπολνμαἰνεσθαι άνωγεν,
    Οιδ άπελνμάινοντοο καί εἰς άλα λνματ έβαλλον

                                'Iliad,' I. 313.

[253] See Index.

[254] "He" is the officiating Nakatomi, speaking on behalf of the

[255] Usually said to be Taka-musubi, Kamu-musubi, and the Sun-Goddess.

[256] Ninigi.

[257] Poetical expressions for Japan.

[258] That is, rain.

[259] Sowing wild oats was one of the misdeeds of Loki, the
Scandinavian mischief-God. Compare also Matthew xiii. 24: "The kingdom
of Heaven is likened unto a man that sowed good seed in his field: but
while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat."
See above, p. 97.

[260] Motoöri says that this is with the malicious intention of
injuring the feet of the owner of the ground. I prefer the explanation
suggested by the _Shiki_, an ancient commentary on the _Nihongi_. It
says: "Planting rods (or skewers) in the rice-fields with words of
incantation is called 'skewer-planting.' The object is the destruction
of any one who should wrongly claim that field. The present custom of
planting skewers in a field whose ownership is disputed is probably a
survival of this." _Kushi_, or skewer, is the word used for the wand to
which offerings are attached. See Florenz's 'Ancient Japanese Rituals'
in _T. A. S. J._, p. 32.

[261] The native commentators point out that the "Heavenly Offences"
are so called because they were first committed by Susa no wo in
Heaven. This passage of the _norito_ was therefore suggested by the
myth. (See above, p. 83.) The object of the myth-maker, however, was
simply to enhance the dramatic quality of his story by attributing
to the boisterous Rain-storm God misdeeds whose odious character
would forcibly strike his audience, a nation of agriculturists. In
the _norito_ the further step is taken of recognizing the same acts,
committed on earth, as offences not only against men, but as sins
before the Gods. He may have argued that the Sun-Goddess has a tender
care for the rice-fields of her beloved race of men as well as for
her own, and that any interference with them is therefore hateful to
her. The "skewer-planting" above mentioned points to a still earlier
attempt to bring agriculture under religious protection. There
is no substantial basis for the distinction between Heavenly and
Earthly offences. The author's real object in making it was no doubt
rhetorical. He wished to break up the long list of offences into two
balanced sentences, after a fashion common in Japanese poetry and
poetical prose composition. I suspect that the "flaying alive" and
"flaying backwards" were magical practices of the same class as the
"witchcraft" condemned just below. The flaying was objected to, not for
its cruelty, but on account of the malicious use to which the skins so
procured were put. See Index, _Inugami_.

[262] A disease which has not been clearly identified. Dr. Florenz
renders "afflicted with excrescences."

[263] Especially being struck by lightning.

[264] Another rendering is "killing animals by bewitchments." The
Chinese character used implies that it is for an evil purpose.

[265] Dr. Florenz, following Motoöri, renders "and deposit [upon them]
in abundance [the purification offerings]." The character of these
offerings is indicated by a passage in the _Nihongi_ (A.D. 676): "The
Mikado commanded, saying: 'Let a Great Purification (Oho-harahi) be
held in all quarters. The articles needed for this purpose are to be
forwarded to the shrines of purification by the governors of each
province, to wit, one horse and one piece of cloth. The other things
are to be supplied by the governors of districts, namely, each one
sword, one deerskin, one mattock, one smaller sword, one sickle,
one set of arrows, and one sheaf of rice in the ear. Further, let
each house provide a bundle of hemp.'" This Oho-harahi was doubtless
celebrated in consequence of the appearance of a comet at this time.
On another occasion (681) each local governor supplied a slave as
a purification offering. In later times the Harahi-tsu-mono, or
purification offerings, were furnished by the central Government.

[266] The meaning of this clause is doubtful. The object seems to be
to provide a brush for brushing away (_harahi_) offences. Sir E. Satow
says, with regard to a different ceremony: "The high priest waves
before the company a sort of broom made of grass, to symbolize the
sweeping away of their offences."

[267] In later times it was thought, without sufficient reason, that
the "ritual words" here spoken of were a special form of incantation
distinct from the _norito_ itself.

[268] See above, p. 261.

[269] Yomi or Hades.

[270] Swift-banishment-lady.

[271] A horse was one of the expiatory offerings. It seems here to
typify the attentive attitude of the audience, or perhaps of the
deities concerned.

[272] _Harahi-zare_. There is some confusion here between the offences
and the expiatory offerings. The _harahi-tsu-mono_ were then taken
away and thrown into some convenient river. I suspect, however, that
most of them were not thrown away, but went to provide a fund for the
expenses of the ceremony. It is not clear what became of the horse or
of the slaves. The _harahi-tsu-mono_ were not gifts to any particular
Gods, but rather, like the scape-goat of the Mosaic law, vehicles by
which the transgressions of the people were conveyed away. But it is
better not to put this too sweepingly. There is reason to think that by
some they were thought to be offerings to Se-ori-tsu-hime and the other
deities mentioned. At the present day they consist of a few pieces of

[273] See 'Notes of some Minor Japanese Religious Practices,' by Mr. B.
H. Chamberlain, in the _Journal_ of the Anthropological Institute, May,
1893, and Sir E. Satow's 'Visit to the Shrines of Ise,' _T. A. S. J._,

[274] See above, p. 187.

[275] That is, "did honour to."

[276] These deities were worshipped at cross-roads, and were called the
eight-cross-road deities.

[277] The date of one Sahe no Kami festival.

[278] Written on paper and thrown into the flames.

[279] See above, p. 168.

[280] See above, pp. 189, 190.

[281] See above, p. 313.

[282] That is, died.

[283] What was the God of Fire in the previous sentence is here simply

[284] A branch of the Nakatomi, who claimed descent from Koyane, one of
the four Gods worshipped.

[285] From a modern collection entitled _Norito Bunrei_.

[286] In the north of Japan.

[287] A Buddhist title.



The reader will find few traces of normal religious development in the
practices to be described in this chapter. The pathological element is
decidedly predominant.

=Magic=.--The older view of magic is that of Prof. Zimmern, who defines
it as "the attempt on man's part to influence, persuade, or compel
spiritual beings to comply with certain requests or demands." With
this the view of the modern Japanese lexicographer Yamada, who calls
magic (in Japanese _majinahi_) "the keeping off of calamity by the
aid of the supernatural power of Kami and Buddhas," is in substantial
agreement. Prof. Zimmern's definition is open to several objections.
It is too wide, as it would include prayer and sacrifice; it assumes
that all the sentient beings appealed to are spiritual, and it excludes
the numerous cases of magic in which Gods and spirits are in no wise
concerned. It is, however, impossible to leave out of consideration
the last-mentioned class of magic, though it might be convenient to
distinguish it by a different name, as "charms." Sir Alfred Lyall
and Mr. J. G. Frazer have shown that magic of this kind has preceded
religion, and that it is in principle the same as science, although
based on wrong premises.

=Magic and Medicine=.--Magic is the bastard brother of medicine.
The two arts are associated in many countries. Hirata says that in
China medicine had its origin in magic. In Japan, in Kōtoku's reign
(645-654), we find State departments of medicine and of magic organized
on a similar footing. A _Nihongi_ myth states that mankind owes both
arts to the teaching of the Gods Ohonamochi and Sukunabikona. Evidently
the myth by which these institutions are referred to a divine origin
is of later growth than the institutions themselves. The same is
plainly the case with the deification of the phallic emblems used to
repel disease,[288] and with the various magical appliances described
on p. 196. The object of the myth-maker in these cases was to lend a
religious sanction to what was in its origin a non-religious magical
procedure. The same principle might be copiously illustrated from
non-Japanese sources. On the other hand, there are cases in which a
practice based on religion has its original character obliterated, so
that it might easily be mistaken for a charm of no religious import.

=Bakin on Magic=.--I have before me a collection of "vulgar magical
practices" (_majinahi_) made early in the last century by the famous
novelist Bakin.[289] It illustrates the confusion, even with highly
educated men, between science and magic on the one hand, and between
non-religious and religious magic on the other. A good many of Bakin's
so-called _majinahi_ turn out to be merely recipes, such as how to
remove oil stains from books by an application of lime; to cure
costiveness in fowls by doses of saltpetre; to kill the parasites of
gold-fish by means of a preparation of human excrement; to keep away
bookworms by exposing the books in the sun: "If a pot-tree withers
in the middle and seems likely to die, take it out, shake the earth
from its roots, and expose it to the sun for one day. Then steep its
roots in a drain for one night. When replanted it will thrive." The
scrapings of a copper ladle mixed with fish will cure disease in cats.
We approach true magic more nearly in the following: "When stung by a
wasp, take up a pebble which is half sunk in the ground, turn it over,
and replace it, when the pain will at once leave you." The cure of
illness from eating poisonous fish by swallowing the ashes of an old
almanac seems also to belong rather to magic than to medicine. There
are traces of a religious element in the following: "To cure toothache,
apply to the tooth the ashes of a sardine which has been set up over
the door on the last day of the year."[290] Another plan is: "Inscribe
on a slip of wood certain incantations (given) in the ordinary
Chinese character, in the seal character, and in Sanskrit. Beside the
inscription make two circles. If the toothache is in the upper jaw,
knock a new nail with a purified hammer into the upper circle; if in
the lower jaw, into the lower circle. If the pain does not go away,
continue knocking the nail with the hammer. The slip of wood should be
afterwards thrown away into a stream."[291] Bakin tried this plan and
found it effectual. He attributes his immunity from conflagration to
his respect for fire. He always avoided stamping it out with his foot,
and enjoins on his descendants to follow his example. If the master
of a house before going to bed goes round calling out, "Be careful of
fire: fasten well the doors," the spirit (of his words) will fill the
house, and it will be preserved against fire and robbery. On the last
night of the year, and on other festival occasions, water should be
drawn from the well at sunset, placed in a clean vessel, and offered
without a drop being spilled to the God of the kitchen furnace. It
should be returned to the well the next morning. This will prevent
danger of fire.

A Korean book of household recipes contains, along with instructions
for making cakes, spiced wine, &c., such magical, but non-religious
devices as the following: "To make a runaway slave come back of his own
accord. Take a garment which he has worn and put it down the well, or
hang some of his hair on a wheel and turn it round. He will then not
know where to go and will come back to you."

=Imitative or Sympathetic Magic=.--These Korean examples illustrate the
principle of imitative or sympathetic magic thus described by Mr. J. G.

"Manifold as are the applications of this crude philosophy--for a
philosophy it is as well as an art--the fundamental principles on
which it is based would seem to be reducible to two; first, that like
produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and second,
that things which have once been in contact, but have ceased to be
so, continue to act on each other as if the contact still persisted.
From the first of these principles the savage infers that he can
produce any desired effect merely by imitating it; from the second he
concludes that he can influence at pleasure and at any distance any
person of whom, or anything of which, he possesses a particle. Magic of
the latter sort, resting as it does on the belief in a certain secret
sympathy which unites indissolubly things that have once been connected
with each other, may appropriately be termed sympathetic in the strict
sense of the term. Magic of the former kind, in which the supposed
cause resembles or simulates the supposed effect, may conveniently be
described as imitative or mimetic."

The sympathetic or imitative principle is not very conspicuous in
the instances of vulgar (that is, non-professional) magic quoted by
Bakin. It is, however, illustrated by other Japanese customs. There
is a round stone in a shrine in Sagami which brings rain when water
is poured over it. The stone is supposed to be the _shintai_ of an
Aburi no Kami (rain-fall-God), to whom the shrine is dedicated. Here
we have a combination of religion with magic.[293] Whistling in order
to raise the wind[294] is a purely non-religious piece of imitative
magic, but in the _Nihongi_ myth it is associated with religion by
being represented as taught by a God. We should probably regard as a
form of sympathetic magic the modern practice of devout visitors to the
shrine of Tenjin, near Kiôto, who, in order to obtain relief from their
ailments, rub the corresponding part of a bronze bull which stands
before the shrine. A characteristic example of non-religious imitative
magic is the custom of _kasedori_. When a marriage is unfruitful, the
old women of the neighbourhood come to the house and go through the
form of delivering the wife of a child. The infant is represented by
a doll. The date selected for this ceremony is not immaterial. It
is that of the festival of Sahe no kami. This, no doubt, gives it a
quasi-religious flavour. To this class we may also refer the New Year's
practice of going to sleep with a picture of a boat under the pillow.
If lucky dreams follow an anchor is painted to it, if unlucky dreams a

The _Nihongi_[295] records a case in which a woman took earth from
Mount Kako in Yamato, which she wrapped in her neckerchief and prayed,
saying: "'This earth represents the country of Yamato.' Then she turned
it upside down." The common witchcraft of ill-treating a figure of the
intended victim in order to make him suffer in a corresponding manner
is well known in Japan. The _Nihongi_ (A.D. 587) speaks of a rebellious
Minister preparing figures of the Heir to the Throne and loathing them.
Dr. Griffis[296] gives the following description of a magical ceremony
performed by a woman in revenge for her lover's desertion of her:--

"At two o'clock in the morning she proceeds to the shrine of her
patron-God, usually the _Ujigami_. Sometimes she wears a crown, made
of an iron tripod reversed, on which burn three candles. In her left
hand she carries a straw effigy of her victim; in her right she grasps
a hammer. On her bosom is suspended a mirror. Reaching the sacred
tree before the shrine, she impales the effigy upon it with nails,
adjuring the Gods to save their tree, impute the guilt of desecration
to the traitor, and visit him with their deadly vengeance. The visit
is repeated nightly until the object of her sorcery sickens and dies.
At Sabae, before a shrine of Kompira, stood a pine tree about a foot
thick, plentifully studded with such nails."[297]

The possession by the operator of the hair or nails of his victim adds
greatly to the potency of his devices. Hence they are carefully kept by
the proper owners and thrown away together in the twelfth month.

Another form of witchcraft is represented by the later custom of
Inu-gami (dog-deity) thus described by Motoöri: "A hungry dog is tied
up in sight of food which he is not allowed to eat. When his desire is
keenest, his head is cut off and at once flies to seize the food. This
head is put into a vessel and worshipped. A serpent or a weasel will
do as well." It constitutes a mighty charm, which evidently owes its
power to the keenness of the animal's sufferings.[298] The Fūzoku Gwaho
tells a story which was probably invented in order to account for this
custom. "An old woman buried her pet dog, leaving only the head above
ground. Then she cut him about with a bamboo saw, saying, 'If thou hast
a soul, kill such a one, and I will make thee a God.' The man really
did die afterwards in strange fashion. From that time the dog-deity
dwelt in the old woman's house and wrought many wonderful curses." In
Tosa each village has several Inugami-mochi (dog-deity-owners). They
are shunned by their neighbours. A matchmaker's very first inquiry
is whether there is such a person in the family. Leprosy is the next
subject of his questions, sudden death (supposed to be hereditary),
riches or poverty, wisdom or foolishness, are of subsidiary importance.

The same idea of a materialized emotion is illustrated by a practice
common near Yamaguchi. In order to drive away certain destructive
insects from the rice-fields a straw figure, made to resemble a cavalry
soldier, is led round in stately procession, and finally flung into the
sea. This figure represents the leader of some fugitives from a battle
who hid in these fields, but were pursued and slain there. The noxious
insects are their materialized resentment at this fate.

The principles of sympathetic and imitative magic, so copiously
illustrated in 'The Golden Bough,' are not applicable to all magical
procedures. Many defy specific explanation, and are possibly the
result of some chance association of ideas no longer traceable, or of
a mistaken empiricism. _Post hoc, ergo propter hoc_ is responsible for
much that is called magic.

The description of magic in Hastings's 'Dictionary of the Bible' as
a "means of binding superhuman powers, either to restrain them from
injuring oneself, or to constrain them to injure others and put them
under a spell, or to reveal what to mortal man was unknown," scarcely
applies at all to Japanese magic. I have not met with any mention in
the older literature of pacts with demons or the coercion of spirits.

=The Symbol in Magic=.--In Japan, as in other countries, magic makes
great use of the Symbol, the Talisman, and the Formula, spoken or
written. This seems to depend on the more general notion that things
which are associated in thought must have also a direct physical
influence on each other, of which a familiar example among ourselves
is the objection to receive a knife as a present, because it might
cut the friendship between the giver and receiver. Possibly this
association of the subjective with the objective (in Dr. Tylor's words
"mistaking an ideal for a real connexion")[299] was in Hirata's mind
when he used the somewhat cryptic phrase, "Magic (_majinahi_, or magic,
means etymologically mixture) is so called because it mixes the spirit
(_tama_) of that which is here with the body of that which is there."
We have seen[300] that the phallus, as a symbol of robust animal
life, was used to exorcise evil things, whether demons or diseases.
Roof-tiles impressed with a symbol (bubbles) which is indicative of
water, are used at the present day as a charm to protect houses from
fire. The deification of the gourd, the clay and the water-plant,
no doubt, points to a previous magical use as preventives of
conflagration. Rice, perhaps as a representative of the kteis, is used
for several magical purposes. In one of the _Fudoki_, unhulled rice is
scattered broadcast by Tsuchigumo,[301] to disperse a strange darkness
which turned day into night.

=The Talisman=.--When the meaning of the symbol is altogether
obliterated or unknown, we have the Talisman. It is not clear what
was meant by the "tide-ebbing" and "tide-flowing" jewels given by the
Sea-God to Hohodemi,[302] or even that they had any meaning at all. A
sort of scarf (_hire_) was much used as a talisman. In the _Kojiki_ we
are told of a scarf, which, when waved thrice, quieted snakes. Another
kind gave protection against wasps and centipedes.[303] The _Nihongi_
has the following account of magical practices, suggested apparently by
some acquaintance with the art of acupuncture:--

_"Summer, 4th month, 1st day. The Koryö student-priests said that
their fellow-student Kura-tsukuri no Tokushi had made friends with
a tiger, and had learnt from him his arts, such as to make a barren
mountain change into a green mountain, or to cause yellow earth to
become clear water, and all manner of wonderful arts too many to
enumerate. Moreover, the tiger bestowed on him his needle, saying: 'Be
watchful! be watchful, and let no one know! Treated with this, there is
no disease which may not be cured.' Truly, as the tiger had said, there
was no disease which was not cured when treated by it. Tokushi always
kept the needle concealed in a pillar. Afterwards the tiger broke the
pillar and ran away, taking the needle with him._"

Shaking or jingling talismans or other objects is supposed to have a
magical virtue. Izanagi shakes the jewels which he takes from his neck
to bestow on the Sun-Goddess. The Sun-Goddess and Susa no wo shook
the jewels from which their children were produced. Shaking a number
of talismans was part of the ceremony of _Mitama furishiki_, above

Part of the outfit of a district wise-woman or sorceress in recent
times was a small bow, called _adzusa-yumi_, by twanging which she
could call from the vasty deep the spirits of the dead, or even
summon deities to her behests. Another small bow, called _ha-ma-yumi_
(break-demon-bow) is given to boys at the New Year. I conjecture that
both of these had something to do with the bows used in the ceremony of
_tsuina_ described above.

Another magical appliance for the restraint of demoniac or evil
influences is the _shime-naha_, or close-rope. It is made of
rice-straw plucked up by the roots, the ends being allowed to dangle
down at regular intervals. A rope of this kind was used to prevent
the Sun-Goddess from returning into the Rock-cave of Heaven. At the
present day it is hung in front of shrines, and at the New Year
before ordinary dwellings. Sacred trees are girt with it, or it may
be suspended across a road to prevent the passage of evil spirits.
Some people wear _shime-naha_ on their person. The twin rocks at
Ise, between which there is a view of Fuji and the rising sun, are
connected by an immense _shime-naha_, with which a legend is associated
to the effect that Susa no wo, in return for hospitality, taught
his host how to keep out the God of Pestilence by stretching such a
rope across the door. The _shime-naha_ is sometimes called _Hi no mi
tsuna_ (sun-august-rope). The _shime-naha_ is the counterpart of the
consecrated rope which in Siam is fastened on the last day of the year
round the city walls to prevent the banished demons from returning.

Garlic has the same power over evil spirits in Japan that it has in

=The Formula in Magic=.--The magic power of set forms of speech, quite
distinct from any meaning which they may possess, is well illustrated
by the use of the numerals from one to ten as a magic formula for the
cure of disease. But in the instructions of the Sea-God to Hohodemi to
return the lost fish-hook to his brother with the words, "A hook of
poverty, a hook of ruin, a hook of downfall," the proper meaning of the
words is retained, though they are evidently supposed to be accompanied
by some mysterious potency, independent of it. Beyond the circumstance
that they were taught by Gods, these incantations do not seem to have
had any religious character. Nor, when a judge[305] is about to execute
some criminals by casting them into the fire, and uses the charm, "Not
by my hands are they cast," is there apparently any God invoked. The
words themselves avert any evil result. There is no hint of a religious
origin in the passage of the _Nihongi_ which states that the first
Mikado, Jimmu, invented magical formulæ for the dissipation of evil
influences. Of course, there are many formulæ of this kind which stand
on a different footing. When, at the present day, a Japanese calls out
_Kuhabara! Kuhabara!_ (mulberry-grove) during a thunderstorm, it
is no doubt with the idea of suggesting to the Thunder-God that the
place is a mulberry grove, which, it is believed, is never struck by
lightning. Charms often consist of a ticket with the name of the God
(usually the _ubusuna_) and a statement that the bearer is under his

=Magic and Shinto=.--The treatment of magic by Shinto is not uniform.
We have seen that it lends its sanction to some practices of this
kind by affirming that they were taught or practised by Gods, or by
deifying the objects used in them. But there are others which it
condemns, including them in the offences against the Gods enumerated
in the Oho-harahi.[306] It is, however, for their malicious purpose
that they are reprobated. There is no trace in the old records of any
scepticism as to their efficacy. A scientific knowledge sufficient to
arouse doubts of the power of magic did not then exist, and would have
been equally fatal to much in Shinto itself. Even in modern times such
highly educated men as Bakin and Hirata had an implicit belief in the
efficacy of this art. The latter complains that there is a tendency
among physicians of the Chinese school to neglect it. Some diseases,
he says, are caused by evil spirits and some by minute insects
(microbes?). Magic and medicine should therefore, in his opinion, be

The decay of magic in modern Japan is not owing to religious but to
scientific progress. It is due to China, whose philosophy, imperfect as
it is, taught far truer views of the limitations of man's powers than
anything Japan was able to discover for herself.

=Divination=.--Divination (in Japanese _uranahi_) is magic which has
a special object, namely, the revelation of the unknown. This is
implied by the Japanese word, which is derived from _ura_, the rear,
heart, lining, obverse, and hence that which is concealed. Ordinary
experience, and, at a later stage of progress, science, enable us to
reason with more or less certainty from the known to the unknown; but
mankind, not satisfied with legitimate methods, have supplemented
them by divination, which comprises various irregular and ineffective
processes specially directed to discovering the will of the Gods,
ascertaining what will be lucky or unlucky, and predicting future

=Objects of Divination=.--In Japan we find divination practised to
ascertain whether an expedition would be successful or unsuccessful,
the reason of the disturbed state of the country and its remedy, the
best site for a temple, tomb, or dwelling-house, whether the Mikado
should make a progress to a certain place and perform sacrifices there,
what crops it is best to sow, what days will be lucky or unlucky, when
to expect a lover, the name of a future husband, &c. The priestess
of Ise was selected by divination, and the provinces from which the
rice for the Ohonihe ceremony should be taken. Ominous occurrences
were interpreted by the help of this art. The purity of persons about
to take part in a religious ceremony was tested in this manner. Or
divination might be applied to the baser use of recovering lost
property or discovering thieves. There was a special divination on the
10th day of the 12th month to ascertain what ill luck threatened the
Mikado during the ensuing six months, so that the Gods whose curse was
feared might be propitiated in advance.

=Religious and Non-religious Divination=.--Divination, like magic, does
not necessarily involve the intervention of superhuman sentient beings,
as we may see by our own palmistry, fortune-telling by cards, and
Shakespeare cryptograms. That the art passed through a non-religious
phase is highly probable. In Japan, however, the cases met with in the
oldest records are commonly associated, explicitly or implicitly,
with an appeal for divine guidance. Hirata defines divination as
"respectfully inquiring the heart (_ura_) of the Gods." Motoöri
takes the same view, though both writers admit that in modern times
divination which has no religious sanction is sometimes resorted to,
playfully, or in unimportant matters.

=The Greater Divination=.--The greater, or official, divination
consists in drawing conclusions according to certain conventional
rules from the cracks which appear in a deer's shoulder-blade when
exposed to fire. This practice is known not only to the Chinese,
Kalmucks, Cherkeses, and other races of North-Eastern Asia, but to
the ancient Germans and Greeks. Nearer home we have the "reading the
speal" (_épaule_), a sort of divination by examining the marks on a
shoulder-blade of mutton, practised not very long ago in the Highlands
of Scotland. The _Nihongi_ tells us that the Gods themselves made use
of the Greater Divination in order to learn the reason of Izanagi and
Izanami's abortive children the Hiruko and the Island of Ahaji. The
God Koyane, ancestor of the Nakatomi, was specially charged with this
form of divination. In the numerous passages of the _Nihongi_ where
divination is mentioned without further description, it is no doubt the
Greater Divination which is intended. Chinese methods of divination
were introduced into Japan from Korea at an early date. In 553 it seems
to have been an established practice that Koreans learned in medicine,
in divination, and in calendar-making should take turns of service
at the Court of Japan. It was no doubt owing to their influence that
the tortoise-shell was substituted for the deer's shoulder-blade in
this divination. A reference to the "divine Tortoise" in the _Nihongi_
under the legendary date B.C. 92 is merely an anachronism. But the
tortoise was really in use for this purpose in the eighth century. The
_Yengishiki_ recognizes no other, though in the country districts the
shoulder-blades of deer were long retained.

In an old book purporting to describe the practice of the Tsushima
college of diviners at a much later period than the _Yengishiki_,
we are told that the diviner, after practising religious abstinence
for seven days, took his place in the divination plot (_uraba_ or
_uraniha_), from which all other persons were rigorously excluded. He
was provided with the tortoise-shell, some _hahaka_ wood, and other
requisites. Having prayed to the God of the divination plot,[307]
who is besought to grant a true divination, the diviner recites the
_Kami-oroshi_ (formula which brings down the God), and kindles in a
blazing fire a stick of _hahaka_ about four or five inches long, and of
the thickness of a chopstick. When it has taken fire, he blows it out,
and with it pricks the tortoise-shell from the back. Divination is then
made from the lines thus produced. When the divination is over, the
_Kami-agari_ (ascent of the God) is recited, and the ceremony is at an

The _Shintō Miōmoku Ruijiu_ gives the following description of a form
of tortoise-shell divination practised at Kashima to select young girls
for the service of the God (_mono-imi_). Two candidates who have not
reached puberty perform rites to the God for 100 days. On the final
day a caldron is set up before the shrine and two tortoise-shells are
placed in it, each of which bears the name of one of the girls. These
are roasted from early morning till dusk. The tortoise-shell with the
name of the successful candidate is then found to be wholly uninjured
by the fire whilst the other is reduced to ashes. It is said that the
girl selected attains a great age and that she never menstruates.

=Tsuji-ura= (cross-roads divination).[308]--This form of divination
was much practised in ancient Japan, especially by women and lovers.
It consisted in going out to the road at dusk, planting a stick in the
ground to represent Kunado, the phallic God of roads, and interpreting
the fragmentary talk of passers-by as an answer to the question.[309]
Another account says that to perform _tsuji-ura_ you take a box-wood
comb in your hand, go to cross-roads and sound it three times by
drawing your finger along it (_tsuge_, "box-wood," also means "inform
me"). Then, with devotion to the Sahe no Kami, repeat this verse
three times: "Oh, thou God of the cross-roads-divination, grant me a
true response." Good or bad luck is to be inferred from the words of
the next (or the third) person who makes his appearance. Sometimes
a boundary line was marked out and rice sprinkled to keep away evil
influences. The words of the passer-by who first entered the charmed
limit constituted the response.

=Hashi-ura= (bridge-divination). Little is known of this kind of
divination. The procedure was the same as in _tsuji-ura_, and the Gods
concerned were probably the Sahe no Kami. The end-post of a bridge was,
and still is, a _wo-bashira_, that is, male pillar or phallus.

=Ishi-ura=, or stone-divination, is mentioned in the _Manyōshiu_ along
with _tsuji-ura_. The "stone" is probably the stone emblem of Kunado or
Sahe no Kami. It consisted in judging of future fortune by the apparent
weight of the stone when lifted. Such stones were called _Ishi-gami_
(stone-deities) and were no doubt phallic.

=Mikayu-ura= (divination by gruel). This kind of divination is also
associated with the Sahe no Kami. It was practised in various forms at
Kirawoka in Kahachi, Suha in Shinano, and other places, on the 15th
day of the 1st month[310] in order to ascertain what crops it would
be best to sow that year. A pot was set up before the God in which
adzuki beans[311] were boiled. Then tubes of reed, five or six inches
long, marked with the names of all manner of crops were plunged into
the gruel. The _negi_ (priests) stood by, and taking out the tubes with
chopsticks divined from the manner in which the grains of rice (mixed
with the gruel) entered them whether the crop in question would be good
or bad. At Haruna the priests published the results to the peasants in
a printed form.

Hirata mentions another form of divination in which beans are set in a
row round the hearth and fire brought close to them. Some are roasted
black while others remain white, and from this the weather and luck of
the ensuing year are divined.

=Koto-ura= (harp-divination) was formerly (11th century) practised at
Ise with the object of ascertaining whether the priests who were to
take part in the three great religious services of the year and the
utensils employed were pure or not. Prayer having been made to the
Sun-Goddess, the officiating priest struck a harp three times,[312]
uttering with each note a loud Hush! He then recited the following
_Kami-oroshi_ (bringing-down the Gods):--

    _"Ah! we protest that we are in earnest,_
    _To your pure seat deign to descend_
    _All ye Gods of Heaven and Earth,_

    _Ah! we protest that we are in earnest,_
    _To thy pure seat deign to descend_
    _Thou Thunder-God also._

    _Ah! we protest that we are in earnest,_
    _To your pure seat deign to descend_
    _Oh thou upper great brother and thou lower great brother."_[313]

The names of the priests were then called over and the question asked
in the case of each, "Is he clean or unclean?" The officiating priest
then struck the harp and tried to whistle by drawing in his breath. If
the whistle was audible it was a sign of purity, and _vice versâ_. The
same procedure was observed with regard to the persons who had prepared
the offerings, the offerings themselves, and the utensils required in
the service.

=Caldron-Divination=.--At the shrine of Kibitsu no miya in Bittchu
there is a mode of divining good and ill-luck from the sound made by a
caldron in boiling. The priests, on the application of a worshipper,
recite _norito_ and kindle a fire of brushwood under a caldron. If the
sound produced resembles the bellowing of a bull, the prognostic is
good, if otherwise, it is bad.

=Divination by Lots=.--Sticks with numbers inscribed on them, or slips
of paper, were much used for divination. The succession to the Imperial
throne has been decided in this way. Prayer to the Kami often preceded
their use. The following is a form of divination by lot which is used
by sailors when they have lost their reckoning. The names of the points
of the compass are written on slips of paper, placed in a measure of
rice, and the whole mixed up. A _harahi-bako_ of the Great Deity of
Ise is put on the top. Prayer is offered and the lot which is found to
adhere to the _harahi-bako_ is looked upon as the answer of the Deity.
Another form of divination by lots is thus described: "You place three
sticks, numbered one, two, three, in a bamboo tube and inquire of the
God as to good or ill luck, saying reverently, 'If the thing is lucky,
let it be such a number, if unlucky, such another number.'" In what
is called _harahi-kuji_ "you write lucky or unlucky, or whatever your
prayer may be, on papers which you fold up and roll into a ball. Then
having offered reverent prayer to the God, rub the lots with _harahi
ko-nusa_,[314] when that which adheres to them is concluded to be the
answer. This is common at all shrines."

Lots were, and still are, used for all manner of non-religious
purposes. If a solitary passenger appears at a jinriksha stand, he
is often cast lots for by means of a set of cords of various lengths
knotted together at one end which is kept for the purpose. The
'Yih-King,' a Chinese book which sets forth a non-religious system of
divination depending partly on drawing lots is much used in Japan.

=Divination by Means of the Stars= was first introduced in A.D. 675 by
the Korean teachers of Chinese arts.

=Kitsune-tsukahi=.--"Amongst the ordinary diviners is one called
_Kitsune-tsukahi_, _i.e._, a fox-possessor. The divination is carried
on by means of a small image of a fox, made in a very odd way. A fox
is buried alive in a hole with its head left free. Food of the sort
of which foxes are known to be most fond is placed just beyond the
animal's reach. As days pass by the poor beast in its dying agony of
hunger makes frantic efforts to reach the food; but in vain. At the
moment of death the spirit of the fox is supposed to pass into the
food, which is then mixed with a quantity of clay, and shaped into the
form of the animal. Armed with this extraordinary object, the _miko_ is
supposed to become an infallible guide to foretelling future events of
every kind."[315]

Augury by various kinds of birds was known. The geomancy practised to
some extent in Japan is of Chinese origin.

The _Nihongi_ mentions a number of isolated cases of divination
invented on the spur of the moment. The following is an example:--

"When the Emperor was about to attack the enemy, he made a station on
the great moor of Kashihawo. On this moor there was a stone six feet in
length, three feet in breadth, and one foot five inches in thickness.
The Emperor prayed, saying: 'If we are to succeed in destroying the
Tsuchi-gumo, when we kick this stone, may we make it mount up like a
_kashiha_ leaf.' Accordingly he kicked it, upon which, like a _kashiha_
leaf, it arose to the Great Void. Therefore that stone was called
Homishi. The Gods whom he prayed to at this time were the God of Shiga,
the God of the Mononobe of Nawori, and the God of the Nakatomi of
Nawori--these three Gods."[316]

=Omens= are frequently mentioned. A leg-rest breaking without apparent
cause was a bad omen. The migration of rats from the capital, the
movements of a swarm of flies, comets, a dog bringing in a dead man's
hand and depositing it in a shrine, prolonged darkness, to meet a
blind or a lame person are examples of evil omens. Earthquakes,
floods and storms were supposed to portend war. A wren's entering a
parturition-house is described as a favourable omen. White animals
of all kinds were good omens, and also three-legged crows or even
sparrows, no doubt because the Sun-crow had three legs.

=Dreams=.--At all stages of human progress, the rational, normal,
and usual attitude of mankind towards dreams is a disbelief in their
reality. The ivory gate is recognized to be their ordinary, every-day
thoroughfare. There are good reasons for this. Most dreams are so
palpably absurd that the common sense even of the primitive man,
enlightened by daily experience, rejects them as something not to be
depended on. A man dreams that he has partaken of a hearty meal and
wakes up hungry. The cogent logic of an empty belly leaves him no
choice but to reject unhesitatingly the proposition that his dream was
a reality. He dreams that he has broken his leg. Will he, therefore,
lie up for a month to give it time to heal? In his dreams he can fly.
Nature exacts a stern penalty if he is idiotic enough to act on the
belief that he can do so in reality. The practical necessities of
life prohibit a man who has to earn a living and support a family
from indulging in any such foolish imaginations. The analogy of his
own day-dreams, which he must know to be unreal, is too obvious to be

It is true that we do not find much evidence of this attitude of
mind in books of travel or history. Nobody thinks it worth while to
commit to paper instances of so very evident a fact. Most men are
comparatively uninterested in the normal and familiar. Travellers, and
sometimes even men of science, are prone to neglect the universal and
commonplace for the strange and unusual. Like Desdemona, they seriously
incline to hear of

    "The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
    Do grow beneath their shoulders."

Herbert Spencer[317] thinks that the primitive man accepts the events
dreamed as events that have actually occurred, and adduces evidence
which no doubt shows that there really is a current of thought to
that effect among savages and others. For the reasons above stated I
prefer to regard such cases as abnormal and exceptional. The _Kojiki_
and _Nihongi_ have many instances of Gods appearing to men in dreams
and giving them instructions. These are doubtless inventions of
some scribe, but they indicate a belief in the possibility of such
occurrences. Hirata thought it possible by witchcraft to cause people
to have dreams.

A more frequent view of dreams is that, although not in themselves
realities, it is possible by suitable interpretation to deduce truth
from them--usually in the form of predictions of the future. There are
cases of this kind in the old Japanese records. A deer, for example,
dreams that a white mist has come down and covered him. This portends
that he will be killed by hunters and his body covered with white salt.

There is evidence that some men occasionally attain in dreams to a
deeper spiritual insight and a keener emotional sensibility to divine
influences than in their waking moments. Those who have had such
experiences do not speak lightly of them. At the present time science
is not in a position to deal adequately with this matter. Shinto helps
us nothing.

=Ordeal= is a species of divination. Under the date A.D. 277 the
_Nihongi_ has the following:--

_"The Emperor forthwith questioned Takechi no Sukune along with Umashi
no Sukune, upon which these two men were each obstinate, and wrangled
with one another, so that it was impossible to ascertain the right and
the wrong. The Emperor then gave orders to ask of the Gods of Heaven
and Earth the ordeal by boiling water. Hereupon Takechi no Sukune and
Umashi no Sukune went out together to the bank of the Shiki river,
and underwent the ordeal of boiling water. Takechi no Sukune was
victorious. Taking his cross-sword, he threw down Umashi no Sukune, and
was at length about to slay him, when the Emperor ordered him to let
him go. So he gave him to the ancestor of the Atahe of Kiï."_

The same authority informs us that in A.D. 415 the Mikado, in
consequence of the great confusion caused by the assumption of false
names and titles, commanded the people of the various houses and
surnames to wash themselves and practise abstinence.

_"Then let them, each calling upon the Gods to witness, plunge their
hands in boiling water. Hereupon every one put on straps of tree-fibre,
and coming to the caldrons, plunged their hands in the boiling water,
when those who were true remained naturally uninjured, and all
those who were false were harmed. Therefore those who had falsified
[their titles] were afraid, and, slipping away beforehand, did not
come forward. From this time forward the Houses and surnames were
spontaneously ordered, and there was no longer any one who falsified

A note adds:--

_"This is called Kugadachi. Sometimes mud was put into a caldron and
made to boil up. Then the arms were bared and the boiling mud stirred
with them. Sometimes an axe was heated red-hot and placed on the palm
of the hand."_

In a case which occurred in A.D. 530, it is stated that a judge,
in order to save himself trouble, was too ready to resort to the
boiling-water ordeal and that many persons were scalded to death in

At the present day plunging the hand into boiling water, walking
barefoot over a bed of live coals and climbing a ladder formed of
sword-blades set edge upwards are practised, not by way of ordeal,
but to excite the awe and stimulate the piety of the ignorant

=Inspiration=.--Such knowledge as we possess of the divine will and
nature comes in the first place to the nobler individuals of our race,
men in whom high intellectual powers are harmoniously allied to keen
and healthy emotional susceptibilities and ripened by long years of
experience and reflection. They it is--the seers, inspired prophets,
men of genius, or by whatever name we may call them--who furnish the
material out of which religion is developed, not the vulgar, with their
superstitions which are only a product of its decay.

Inspiration is not an isolated phenomenon. Like all our thoughts and
doings, it is the resultant of three component factors--namely, our own
_ego_ and that of our fellow-men, and the all-pervading influence of
that divine environment in which we live, and move, and have our being.
Each of these may predominate according to circumstances. In what we
call inspiration, the two former are, as far as may be, in abeyance,
and the mind is left free to be acted on by such higher influences as
it is capable of receiving.

In the case of Shinto, we have, unfortunately, no record of the
conditions under which such truths as it contains became revealed. The
deification of the Sun and the recognition of the fact that there is
love for mankind in the warmth and light which proceed from him was a
truly magnificent idea in a world destitute of religion. The Izanagi
myth, by which so many of the Gods were assigned a common parentage,
was a brilliant conception, paving the way towards monotheism. Musubi,
the God of Growth, marks a further stage of progress in this direction.
To these may be added such few and vague glimpses as were caught of
the truth that offences against our neighbour are also displeasing
to the Gods. But we have no knowledge of the circumstances attending
these discoveries or of the persons who made them. The only true seer
of whom the old records tell us anything was an unfortunate man who
in A.D. 644 taught his countrymen to worship--albeit in the form of a
caterpillar--the God of the Everlasting World, the God of Gods, and
suffered death in consequence.

The seer is not equally clear sighted at all times. He has temporary
enhancements of lucidity due to conditions which are very imperfectly
understood. Some are of a physical nature. The moderate use of certain
drugs and stimulants is an acknowledged help towards producing such
exalted states of mind. Music, quiet, sympathy, voluntary concentration
of mind (lapsing sometimes into the hypnotic trance, or something
resembling it), general abstemiousness, and occasional fasting, are all
aids of recognized value which are not neglected by the individual,
compact of common clay, who vainly aspires to fill the high office of
interpreter between Gods and men.

The Japanese word for inspiration is _Kangakari_, which means
God-attachment, and is nearly equivalent to our "possession." It
is indicative of the passive attitude claimed by the seer in all
countries, with an earnestness which, however genuine, notoriously
does not exclude the possibility of error. The most transparent bodies
deflect or modify the light which passes through them. Other words for
inspiration are _takusen_ and _shintaku_. They are of Chinese origin,
and involve the idea of a divine message or commission.

In the notices of inspired communications recorded in the Shinto books
we seldom or never recognize the true prophet. Instead of revelations
of divine truth, we are given the fruits of hypnotism, imposture, and a
credulous interpretation of meaningless things. The reader will discern
few traces of genuine inspiration in the following examples, of which
the earlier are taken from the _Nihongi_.

The Goddess Uzume gave forth an "inspired utterance" as part of her
performance before the Rock-cave of Heaven into which the Sun Goddess
had retired. It consisted of the numerals from one to ten.

B.C. 5. The Sun-Goddess instructed the Princess-priestess Yamato-hime
that a shrine should be erected to her in the province of Ise.

B.C. 38. A young child pronounced an unintelligible speech which
sounded like the names of deities, and was thought to be inspired.
Worship was offered in consequence.

B.C. 91. A God inspired Yamato totohi momoso hime (a Princess) to say
as follows: "Why is the Emperor grieved at the disordered state of the
country? If he duly did us reverence it would assuredly become pacified
of itself."

A.D. 193. The Empress Jingo was inspired by a certain God to urge her
husband the Mikado to invade Korea.

_"200. 3rd month, 1st day. The same Empress, having selected a lucky
day, entered the Palace of worship, and discharged in person the office
of priest.[319] She commanded Takechi no Sukune to play on the lute,
and the Nakatomi, Igatsu no Omi, was designated as Saniha.[320] Then
placing one thousand pieces of cloth, high pieces of cloth, on the top
and bottom of the lute, she prayed, saying: 'Who is the God who on a
former day instructed the Emperor? I pray that I may know his name.'
After seven days and seven nights there came an answer, saying: 'I am
the Deity who dwells in the Shrine of Ise.'"_

_"487. A certain man, inspired by the Moon-God, said, 'My forefather
Taka-musubi had the merit of creating Heaven and Earth. Let him be
honoured by dedicating to him people and land. I am the Moon-God and I
shall rejoice if this my desire is complied with.'"_

555. Mention is made of a divine inspiration by which the _Hafuri_, a
century before, had advised humble prayer to the "Founder of the Land"
before going to the assistance of a Korean king.

_"672. Kome, Takechi no Agata-nushi, Governor of the district of
Takechi, suddenly had his mouth closed so that he could not speak.
After three days, a divine inspiration came upon him, and he said:
'I am the God who dwells in the Shrine of Takechi, and my name is
Koto-shiro-nushi no Kami.' Again, 'I am the God who dwells in the
Shrine of Musa, and my name is Iku-ikadzuchi no Kami.' This was their
revelation: 'Let offerings of horses and weapons of all kinds be made
at the misasagi (tomb) of the Emperor Kamu-yamato-ihare-biko.' Further
they said: 'We stood in front and rear of the Imperial descendant and
escorted him to Fuha, whence we returned. We have now again taken our
stand in the midst of the Imperial army for its protection.' Further
they said: 'An army is about to arrive by the Western road. Be on your
guard.' When he had done speaking, he awoke [from his trance]. For this
reason, therefore, Kome was sent to worship at the Imperial misasagi
and to make offerings of horses and weapons. He also made offerings of
cloth and worshipped the Gods of the Shrines of Takechi and Musa._

_"After this Karakuni, Iki no Fubito, arrived from Ohosaka. Therefore
the people of that day said: 'The words of the instructions of the
Gods of the two Shrines are in accordance with the fact.'_

_"Moreover the Goddess of Muraya said by the mouth of a priest: 'An
army is now about to arrive by the middle road of my shrine. Therefore
let the middle road of my shrine be blocked.' Accordingly, not many
days after, the army of Kujira, Ihoriwi no Miyakko, arrived by the
middle road. The men of that day said: 'So the words of the teaching
of the God were right.' When the war was over, the Generals reported
the monitions of these three Gods to the Emperor, who straightway
commanded that the three Gods should be raised in rank and worshipped

812. A decree was passed denouncing punishment on peasants who, without
reason, predicted good or bad fortune. The authorities were at the same
time enjoined to report any genuine predictions.

1031. While a service to the Sun-Goddess was being performed at Ise,
a storm of thunder and lightning came on. The Saiwō (virgin priestess
of Imperial blood) was inspired and said: "I am the Ara-matsuri no
miya, the first of the separate shrines of the Great Shrine, and I now
speak by command of the Great God. The Sātō [an official designation]
Sōdzu and his wife have for years past made absurd pretensions, such
as that the two great Deities have flown to and attached themselves
to them, the Ara-matsuri and the Takamiya to their children and
the [deities of] the five separate shrines to their domestic. Such
extraordinary assertions evince a want of loyalty both to the Gods and
to the Mikado. Their disregard of the ceremonial regulations and the
fewness of the offerings are not (in themselves) deserving of severe
blame, but they show a want of respect to the Gods. Iga no Kami reaped
the rice officially set apart for the service of the shrine and slew
the peasants of the Deity. Yet, by the remissness of the Government
officials, it was the third year before he was banished.... Let Sōdzu
be sent into exile at once." After delivering this message the Saiwō
drank several cups of the sacred sake. Nowadays, with ourselves,
recourse is had, under like circumstances, to a letter to the _Times_
or a question in the House of Commons.

1225-27. Though not an inspiration, I may mention here an oracle which
was delivered at Idzumo by wormholes in the wood of the old Temple
which took the form of Chinese characters. It intimated that the God
did not care for lofty buildings, but that the people should turn to
virtue. Motoöri strongly suspects its authenticity. No Shinto God, he
thinks, would be likely to use Chinese for his oracles.

1348. A Buddhist priest of the province of Ise, having made prayer for
1,000 days at the Shrine of the Great Deity, saw on the thousandth
day a bright object floating on the sea. This he found to be a sword
two feet five or six inches in length. At this time a boy of twelve
or thirteen, being divinely inspired, said: "This is one of the three
regalia, the precious sword sunk in the sea."[321] The matter was
reported to Kioto, where the authenticity of the sword was corroborated
by dreams, but ultimately not officially recognized.

The _Wa Rongo_, a work published in 1669, contains a number of oracles
(_Kangakari_) attributed to a great variety of Deities throughout
Japan. Some account of this work will be given in the next chapter.

Numerous other cases of inspired utterances are recorded in Japanese
history. They have generally relation to the worship of the God
concerned, directing the erection of a new shrine, indicating religious
observances which will do him pleasure, or complaining that he is
neglected or insulted. The Buddhist priests, who converted Shinto to
their own purposes, made frequent use of this means of sanctioning
their encroachments, and it was also made to serve political purposes.

Some of the above notices are purely legendary, and of the rest many
are open to a suspicion of imposture. It is probable, however, that in
most cases the writers who recorded or invented them had in view the
hypnotic trance, a kind of condition which is well known in Japan at
the present day. The following description of a hypnotic _séance_ is
abridged from Mr. Percival Lowell's interesting book, 'Occult Japan.'

A place having been chosen, either holy or else purified _ad hoc_, a
_gohei_ is set up with lighted candles beside it and flanking these,
sprigs of _sakaki_, the sacred tree of Shinto. In front of the _gohei_
is set out a feast for the God. Some five feet in front a porous
earthenware bowl is placed on a stand, and in the bowl a pyre of
incense sticks. The purification of the place consists in enclosing
the spot with strings, from which depend at intervals small _gohei_,
and from the space so shut off driving out all evil spirits by prayer,
finger-charms,[322] sprinkling of salt, striking of sparks by flint and
steel, and brandishing a _gohei_.

The persons of the officiators are purified by bathing and putting on
fresh white garments.

In its full complement the company consists of eight persons, the
_naka-za_ (middle-seat) corresponding to the medium, the _mae-za_
(front-seat), who is the director of the proceedings, and puts the
necessary questions to the medium, and several others whose business it
is to ward off evil influences, &c.

A purification service having been chanted under the leadership of the
_mae-za_, and songs sung to the accompaniment of the _shaku-jō_,[323] a
sort of staff with metal rings attached to it, the pyre is lighted, and
as the flames ascend into the air prayers go up to Fudōsama.[324]

The _gohei_ having been removed and set up in the middle, the men take
their seats for the descent of the God. Facing the _gohei_, they go
through a further short incantation. Then one of the subordinates holds
the _gohei_ while the _naka-za_ seats himself where it had been and
closes his eyes. The _mae-za_ takes the _gohei_ and places it between
the hands of the _naka-za_. Then all the others join in chant, and
watch for the advent of the God.

For a few minutes, the time varying with the particular _naka-za_, the
man remains perfectly motionless. Then suddenly the _gohei_ begins
to quiver. The quiver gains till all at once the man is seized with
a convulsive throe. In some trances the eyes then open, the eyeballs
being rolled up half out of sight. In others the eyes remain half shut.
Then the throe subsides again to a permanent quiver, the eyes, if open,
fixed in the trance look. The man has now become the God.

The _mae-za_, bowed down, then reverently asks the name of the God,
and the God answers, after which the _mae-za_ prefers his petitions,
to which the God makes reply. When he has finished, the _naka-za_
falls forward on his face. The _mae-za_ concludes with a prayer, then,
striking the _naka-za_ on the back, wakes him up. One of the others
gives him water from a cup, and when he has been able to swallow it
the rest set to and rub his arms and body out of their cataleptic

The _Sankairi_, a work published in 1853, mentions a kind of inspired
medium known as _yori-dai_:--

_"There are numbers of these in Ôsaka who practise Kami-oroshi
(bringing down the God). An altar to Sho-ichi-i Inari Miōjin (first
of first rank illustrious God Inari) is consecrated within their
dwelling-house, before which the medium takes his seat. Some of these
bringers-down of the God are men, others women. They take a gohei in
each hand and repeat the Rokkon shōjō no harahi [a bastard Buddhist
form of harahi], muttering at the same time something or another so
that one might think they were veritable official bringers-down of the

_"At Tenōji there is a Miko-machi, or street of mediums who pretend
that it was established by Shōtoku Taishi. When the cries of these
mediums reach the street, people look in at the windows. They differ,
however, from the Inari-oroshi. Some there are who use the formula, 'Is
it a living mouth or a dead mouth?' so that they probably belong to
the Shinano mediums, who talk of [the God] being drawn by the adzusa
bow. There is also a kind of witchcraft called Inugami.[325] But the
Miōjin-oroshi [or yoridai] we speak of repeats over and over again the
phrase 'Be pleased to cleanse, be pleased to purify', so long as he
retains his senses. Then his complexion changes and he becomes pale,
while the gohei in his hands shake themselves erect. He will then
answer, one after another, by manifest inspiration, any questions which
the applicant may put to him."_

The _Sankairi_ is a Buddhist book, and goes on to tell a story of a
_Kami_ being brought down by _nembutsu_ (Buddhist prayers) and the
medium repeating a Buddhist hymn.[326]

It need hardly be said that, as in the case of our own spiritualistic
_séances_, the net value of the information obtained by this process
is _nil_. It is hardly fair to Shinto to call this sort of thing
"esoteric Shinto," as Mr. Lowell does. Spiritualism is not esoteric
Christianity, but a diseased excrescence on it. The higher Shinto
functionaries do not condescend to such practices, and, indeed, they
are commonly performed by laymen, or even by Buddhist priests. The
official Shinto mode of ascertaining the will of the Gods was by the
"Greater Divination," that is, by the deer's shoulder-blade or the
tortoise-shell. _Kangakari_, or inspiration, was, however, known at all
periods of Japanese history; and although no detailed accounts have
reached us of the methods used to produce it, there are indications
that they were of a similar character to those described by Mr. Lowell.
The _kannushi_ of the ceremony of the Empress Jingō's inspiration[327]
seems to be the same as Mr. Lowell's _naka-za_, and the _saniha_
corresponds to his _mae-za_. We may presume that his office sometimes
resembled that of the functionary at Delphi, whose business it was to
clarify the obscurities of the Pythian priestess's utterances. The
_miko_ of the shrine of Ise gave inspired utterances. The sprinkling of
boiling water is said to have been part of the process by which they
were induced.

True inspiration, such as that which touched Isaiah's hallowed lips
with fire, belongs chiefly to the male sex. The _kangakari_, or
hypnotic trance, on the other hand, has in Japan, as elsewhere, a
decided preference for women or boys.[328]

'Occult Japan' deals only with the hypnotic trance as a condition
in which communications are received from the Gods. But there are
also mediums, called _miko_ or _ichiko_, who when hypnotized deliver
messages from deceased relatives and others.[329] Hirata speaks of
the _miko_ and _hafuri_ providing _yori-bito_ (mediums), by whom
they brought near (_yoru_) by prayer the spirits of Gods or men and
questioned them. _Ichiko_ is defined in the dictionary, _Kotoba no
Idzumi_, as a woman who, as the representative of a God or living soul,
or dead man's soul, delivers their thoughts from her own mouth.

Possession by foxes, badgers, and other animals is a well-known
phenomenon in Japan, but as it has no special connexion with Shinto
I shall only refer the reader to Mr. B. H. Chamberlain's 'Things
Japanese,' which contains a scientific account of this form of disease
from the pen of Dr. Baelz.

There are in Japan families who are believed to own foxes, by whom they
are assisted and protected, and who watch over their fields and prevent
outsiders from doing damage. Such families are avoided, and none but
members of similar fox-owning families will intermarry with them.[330]


[288] See above, p. 197.

[289] 'Yenzeki Zasshi,' v. 1.

[290] When demons and evil influences are expelled. See above, p. 308.

[291] After the manner of the Oho-harahi offerings.

[292] 'The Golden Bough,' second edition, p. 9.

[293] I cannot offer any explanation of the magic used by women and
children in order to bring fine weather. They hang upside down to the
eaves or on the branch of a tree human figures cut in paper, and called
_Teri-teri-bōzu_ (shine-shine-priest).

[294] See above, p. 115.

[295] I. 157.

[296] 'The Mikado's Empire,' p. 474.

[297] See also Ch. K. 263.

[298] According to Van Helmont, the reason why bull's fat is so
powerful in a vulnerary ointment is that the bull at the time of
slaughter is full of secret reluctancy and vindictive murmurs, and
therefore dies with a higher flame of revenge about him than any other

[299] See 'Primitive Culture,' i. 116, where numerous examples of
symbolic magic are given.

[300] See above, p. 187.

[301] The _Tsuchigumo_ (earth-hiders) were men of a low class, who
lived in dwellings sunk in the earth, and gave much trouble to the
Japanese Government in ancient times. Dr. Tylor, in his 'Primitive
Culture,' i. 113, has noted the tendency to attribute magical powers to
pariahs and foreigners. Sukunabikona, the teacher of magic to Japan,
came from abroad.

[302] See above, p. 115.

[303] See above, p. 106.

[304] See p. 292.

[305] _Nihongi_, ii. 82.

[306] See above, p. 294.

[307] Koyane. Hirata speaks with scorn of the Chinese methods of
divining current in Japan in later times, in which no invocation of the
Gods was used. Sometimes other Gods, and even Buddhas, were invoked.

[308] "The King of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head
of the two ways, to perform divination."--Ezekiel xxi. 21.

[309] Pausanias says that in ancient Greece the inquirer, after asking
his question of the God and making his offering, took as the divine
answer the first words he might hear on quitting the sanctuary.

[310] The date of the festival of the Sahe no Kami.

[311] See above, p. 193.

[312] The _Kami-yori-ita_ (God-resort-board), struck in later times to
bring down the Gods, is believed to be a substitute for this harp.

[313] It is not known who these Gods were.

[314] Smaller _gohei_ used in the _harahi_ ceremony.

[315] Weston, 'Mountaineering in the Japanese Alps,' p. 307. See also
Index, _Inugami_; and Mr. Chamberlain's 'Things Japanese,' third
edition, p. 110.

[316] Compare the story of Gideon's fleece in Judges vi. 37. See also
_Nihongi_, I. 237, and Ch. K. 194.

[317] 'Sociology,' i. 154.

[318] See Mr. P. Lowell's 'Occult Japan,' p. 36.

[319] _Kannushi_.

[320] Saniha (pure court) is explained as the official who examines the
utterances prompted by the Deity.

[321] At the battle of Dannoüra, in 1184.

[322] _In-musubi_, a Chinese practice.

[323] A Buddhist religious implement.

[324] A Buddhist deity. The incense is also Buddhist.

[325] See above, p. 332.

[326] An excellent account of a Japanese hypnotic _séance_ is given in
Mr. Weston's 'Mountaineering in the Japanese Alps,' p. 282.

[327] See above, p. 350.

[328] "Antiquity regarded the soul of woman as more accessible to every
sort of inspiration, which also, according to ancient opinion, is a
πάσχεον."--Müller, 'Sc. Myth.,' p. 217.

[329] See above, p. 206.

[330] See above, p. 344.



=Rise of Buddhism=.--The later history of Shinto is one of neglect and
decay. Such vitality as it retained was owing mainly to the Buddhist
ideas which were engrafted upon it. The influence of Chinese systems
of ethics and philosophy was also very perceptible, especially in more
recent times. The Buddhism of Japan is not simply the doctrine of the
founder, described by some as atheistic. It is a real religion, and
besides the worship of other Buddhas, comprises that of an Infinite
Being--the Buddha Amida--having certain attributes which we should term
divine, and of his assessors, with doctrines far more abstruse and
profound than those which were taught by Sakyamuni himself. In the main
a form of the northern branch of Buddhism, it found its way originally
to Japan _viâ_ Tibet, Western China, and Korea.[331]

In A.D. 552 the King of Pèkché, in Korea, sent an embassy to Japan with
a present to the Mikado of an image of Shaka (Sakyamuni) and several
volumes of Sutras. They were gladly received, and were entrusted to the
charge of a Minister with instructions to practise the new faith. But
the jealousy of the adherents of the older religion was aroused. When
a pestilence broke out soon after, they attributed it to the wrath of
the native deities, and found means to have the Buddhist temple burnt
and the holy image thrown into a canal. Other attempts to propagate
Buddhism were little more successful, and it was not until the time of
the Regent Shōtoku Taishi that it made any substantial progress. At
his death in 621 there were in Japan 46 temples or monasteries and 1385
monastics, male and female. In 686 it was decreed that every household
should have its domestic Buddhist shrine.

When Buddhism, after Christianity the great religion of the world, had
once gained a foothold in Japan, its ultimate victory was certain.
There was nothing in Shinto which could rival in attraction the
sculpture, architecture, painting, costumes, and ritual of the foreign
faith. Its organization was more complete and effective. It presented
ideals of humanity, charity, self-abnegation, and purity, far higher
than any previously known to the Japanese nation. Its doctrines of
sin and repentance, of fate, of future bliss and woe, its profound
metaphysics, and, perhaps more than aught else, the satisfaction
which it offered to the yearnings of many a wounded spirit for a holy
contemplative life, detached from the toil and worry, the sorrow and
the disturbing passions of the world, were well calculated to find a
welcome in their hearts.

At first the two religions held aloof from one another. But while
Buddhism flourished more and more, Shinto was gradually weakened by
the diversion into another channel of material resources and religious
thought which might otherwise have been bestowed upon itself.

=Ryôbu Shinto=.--The two religions came into more direct contact in
the eighth century, when there began a process of pacific penetration
of the weaker by the stronger cult, which yielded some curious and
important results. Buddhism is not a militant religion in the sense
that Islam was. It owes little or nothing to the aid of the secular
arm, and avoids rather than seeks open conflicts with other faiths.
What the Japanese call _hōben_ (pious device) and to which we should
often apply the harsher terms "pious fraud" or "priestcraft," are more
congenial to it. A notable application of the _hōben_ method occurred
in the time of the Mikado Shōmu, who reigned at Nara from 724 to 756.
Wishing to celebrate his reign by the erection of a great Buddhist
temple and image, he took advice of Gyōgi, a priest renowned to this
day for many services to civilization, and despatched him to Ise
with a present for the Sun-Goddess of a relic of Buddha. Gyōgi spent
seven days and seven nights in prayer under a tree close to the gate
of the shrine, and was then vouchsafed an oracle in the form of some
couplets of Chinese verse couched in purely Buddhistic phraseology.
It spoke of the Sun of truth enlightening the long night of life and
death and of the Moon of eternal reality dispersing the clouds of
sin and ignorance. This was interpreted to mean that the Sun-Goddess
identified herself with Vairochana, called by the Japanese Birushana or
Dainichi (great Sun), a person of a Buddhist trinity and described as
the personification of essential _bodhi_ (enlightenment) and absolute
purity. The Sun-Goddess subsequently appeared to the Mikado in a dream
and confirmed this view of her character. The temple (Tōdaiji) founded
by Shōmu--though not the original building--is still in existence. It
contains the famous colossal statue of Birushana, which is at this day
one of the wonders of Japan.

The principle of recognizing the Kami as avatars or incarnations of
Buddhist deities, of which the case of the Sun-Goddess and Vairochana
was the first in Japan--it had been already applied in China to Laotze
and Confucius--was subsequently much extended, and, with a spice of
Chinese philosophy added, formed the basis of a new sect called Ryōbu
Shinto. Its Buddhist character is indicated by its name, which means
"two parts," the two parts being the two mystic worlds of Buddhism,
namely, the Kongôkai and the Taizōkai. The principal founder of Ryōbu
was the famous (and fabulous) Kōbō Daishi (died 835), to whom the
invention of the Hiragana syllabary and quite a miraculous number
of sculptures, writings, and paintings are ascribed. The sect of
Buddhism engrafted by him on Shinto is that known as Shingon (true
word). It is not one of its highest forms, and deals much in magic
finger-twistings, endless repetitions of mystic formulæ unintelligible
to the worshipper, and other superstitious practices.

Despite its professions of eclecticism, the soul of Ryōbu is
essentially Buddhist. It borrows little more from Shinto than the
names of a few deities, notably Kuni-toko-tachi, to whom it gives
an importance by no means justified by anything in the older Shinto
writings.[332] Ryōbu owed much of its success to forgeries and other
means, which were considered less objectionable in those days than they
would be at present. Great indulgence has always been shown in Japan
towards means of edification (_hōben_) that would hardly recommend
themselves to our more scrupulous minds. Yet there was something more
than priestcraft in the attempt to weld Buddhism, Confucianism, and
Shinto into one consistent whole. It is surely a true instinct which
leads mankind to recognize an essential unity in all religions, and
to reconcile, as far as possible, the outwardly conflicting forms in
which it is clothed. The religious history of Japan is full of such
endeavours.[333] But Shinto, Buddhism of various sects, Confucianism,
and Sung philosophy constituted a very refractory mass of material,
and the results obtained, while they testify to much industry and
ingenuity, are more curious than valuable.

=Yui-itsu=.--The Yui-itsu Shinto was a branch of Ryōbu. It was
invented about the end of the fifteenth century. Yui-itsu is short for
Ten-jin-yui-itsu (Heaven-man-only-one), a doctrine borrowed, according
to Hirata, by the Chinese philosophers from Buddhism. Of course in this
connexion Ten does not mean the visible sky. It is rather a conception
which fluctuates between Nature and God. It will be seen that the
fundamental problem which has so much occupied the minds of Western
theologians and philosophers--namely, that of the relation which exists
between the human and the divine--has not escaped the attention of Far
Eastern thinkers. Motoöri treats the doctrine of the identity of Ten
and man with much contempt. "How can there be anything in common," he
asks, "between Ten, the country where the Gods live, and man?"

To the people, a Ryōbu shrine was one where Buddhist priests
officiated, a Yui-itsu shrine one where none but Shinto functionaries
were seen.

Other sects, or rather schools, of Shinto were those of Deguchi and
Suwiga, both of which arose in the seventeenth century. The former
explains the phenomena of the Divine Age on principles derived from
the Yih-King, an ancient Chinese book of divination; the latter is a
combination of Yui-itsu Shinto with Sung philosophy.

All these sects were much given to strained analogies and fanciful
comparisons in support of their views. The conversion of Saruta-hiko
into a great moral teacher by the Deguchi Shinto is an example.
Saruta-hiko is worshipped at road sides. He therefore came to be
considered the God of roads and the guide and protector of travellers.
But the road or way may be used metaphorically for the path of duty or
virtue. Hence we have the astonishing result by which a phallic deity
figures as the chief Shinto apostle of morality.

Other instances are the symbolic meanings ascribed to the regalia and
the notion that the cross timbers of the roof of the typical Shinto
shrine represent the (Chinese) virtues of benevolence, justice,
courtesy, and wisdom.

These and many more of a similar character are argute scholastic
speculations in which the people take little concern.

The Ryōbu, which retained its predominance until the eighteenth
century, was by far the most important of these so-called Shinto sects.

It is impossible to trace here their somewhat complicated history. I
may, however, note a few facts which will illustrate the character and
extent of the encroachment of Buddhist and Chinese ideas on the native
faith and cult.

As early as the eighth century a Mikado began the custom, subsequently
continued during many centuries, of abdicating the throne after a
few years' reign and assuming the Buddhist tonsure. The mode of
imperial burial was modified in accordance with Buddhist ideas of
the worthlessness of these mortal frames of ours. Some Mikados were
cremated. One described himself as a slave of Buddha, and another in
an official ordinance spoke of the Kami as obeying the laws of Buddha.
After such an example was set by the high priests of Shinto, it could
not be expected that their Court should be more faithful to the older
cult. In the Heian period the nobles could not be induced to trouble
themselves about the Shinto ceremonies, which were either deputed
to subordinates or omitted altogether. The regular embassies to the
shrines were neglected, except on some great emergency, such as famine,
plague, or earthquake. Even the greatest Shinto rite of all--the
Ohonihe, or coronation ceremony--was in abeyance for eight reigns,
viz., from 1465 to 1687. What would have seemed even more shocking
to an old Shintoist was the circumstance that Buddhist priests were
allowed to take part in it.

Buddhist priests had the custody of nearly all the shrines, read
Sutras, and performed Buddhist ceremonies there, such as baptism and
_goma_ sprinkling. Relics of Buddha were deposited in them. Buddhist
temples had Shinto shrines of a Chinjiu, or protecting Kami, built in
their courtyards. Buddhist architecture and ornaments were used for the
Miya and _ni-wô_ (the two kings, guardians of the gate) or _shishi_
(lions) set up before them. The latter are an Indian conceit. They were
originally set up at cemeteries in order to frighten wild beasts and
prevent them from tearing up the dead. We are told that in the reign of
Horikawa (1099) nearly all the shrines were in ruin.

The Onyôshi, or official college of professors of the Yin and Yang
natural philosophy of China, who were equally prepared to compute an
almanac or to exorcise a demon, were for many centuries entrusted with
the performance of the _harahi_ (purification ceremonies), and other
Shinto functions.

The accompanying illustration shows another form of the admixture of
Buddhism with Shinto which prevailed until quite recently. Of the three
shrines here represented, the central only is dedicated to a Shinto
Deity, viz., Atago, or the Fire-God, who, moreover, has the Buddhist
epithet Daigongen affixed to his name. The other two are dedicated to
the Buddhist deities Benzaiten and Bishamon.

The myths of the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_ did not escape from admixture
with Indian cosmology and Chinese philosophy, a process which yielded
the strangest results. Thus a fourteenth-century writer described
the Yin and Yang as evolving by their mutual interaction Izanagi and
Izanami, the earlier generations of the _Nihongi_ story being omitted.
Their child, the Sun Goddess, proves to be a manifestation of Buddha,
one of whose services to humanity was at some far remote period to
subdue the "Evil Kings of the Six Heavens" of Indian myth, and compel
them to withdraw their opposition to the spread of the true doctrine
(that is, Buddhism) in Japan.


Still there were a few exceptions to the general decay. At the two
great shrines of Ise and Idzumo, the old cult was maintained in
tolerable purity, and doubtless many local shrines were preserved by
their insignificance from Buddhist encroachment. It should not be
forgotten, moreover, that, although the history of Shinto under foreign
influence was one of neglect and decay, in so far as its original
elements were concerned, it borrowed from Buddhism and Confucianism
germs of a higher thought, which under more favourable circumstances
might have borne precious fruit. I have before me a book entitled,
'Wa Rongo; or, Japanese (Confucian) Analects,' which shows the later
Shinto in a more favourable light. It was published in 1669. The
preface states that the original work belongs to the reign of Gotoba
no In (1184-1198), and gives a list of successive editors or compilers
from 1219 to 1628. It is a collection of oracles of Shinto gods and
wise utterances of mikados, princes, and others, of a tolerably
heterogeneous kind. Most of them, however, bear the stamp of the Ryōbu
Shinto. They are Buddhism, Confucianism, or Sung philosophy in a Shinto
dress. The first volume contains 108 (the number of beads in a Buddhist
rosary) oracles attributed to the Gods of various Shinto shrines
throughout Japan.

These oracles are by no means consistent with one another. Some are
frankly Buddhist in character, others inculcate the doctrine of the
identity of Kami and Buddhas, while others, again, denounce the
practice of alien religions. In some, Heaven-and-Earth is recognized as
a sort of pantheistic deity, distinct from the physical universe. Here
we have Chinese inspiration. Purity of heart, charity to the poor, and
the avoidance of vain repetitions are much insisted on. No moral code
is anywhere set forth. When virtue is spoken of, it is the Confucian
morality, or the observance of the Buddhist commandments, that must be

In the following examples the reader will find himself in a wholly
different and far higher moral and religious atmosphere from that of
the unadulterated older Shinto described in the preceding chapters.

=Shinto Oracles=.--The Sun-Goddess enjoins uprightness and truth, on
pain of being sent to Ne no kuni.[334] Men should make their hearts
like unto Heaven-and-Earth.[335] Wearisome ceremonies and repetitions
(of some Buddhist sects) should be abandoned, and reverence shown to
the Gods of the ancestral shrines.[336]

The Mikado Gotoba no In received the following inspiration in a dream
from the two shrines of Ise:--

_In the last days the world will be disturbed and all men troubled. The
sovereign house will show respect for the military house, and local
governors will make friends with wearisome fellows (Buddhist monks).
Buddhist priests will take to them wives, eat flesh, and propagate base
doctrines. The land of Ashihara of the fair rice-ears is the rightful
property of my descendants._

An oracle of Hachiman:--

_I refuse the offerings of the impure of heart. Some Gods are great,
some small, some good and others bad. My name is Dai jizai wō

An inspired poem (A.D. 1204):--

    _Loving-kindness is of the Buddhas:_
    _Uprightness of the Kami:_
    _Error of the sons of men._
    _Thus of the same heart there is a triple division._

The Gods of Kamo promise their divine help and the fulfilment of their
prayers to their worshippers, especially those who regularly visit the

Oracle of the Gods of Kasuga:--

_Even though men prepare for us a pure abode and offer there the rare
things of the land, though they hang up offerings of the seven precious
things, and with anxious hearts pray to us for hundreds of days, yet
will we refuse to enter the house of the depraved and miserly. But we
will surely visit the dwellings even of those in deep mourning[338]
without an invitation, if loving-kindness is there always. The reason
is that we make loving-kindness our shintai._

_Hear all men! If you desire to obtain help from the Gods, put away
pride. Even a hair of pride shuts you off from the Gods as it were by a
great cloud._

_Hear all men! The good Kami find their strength and their support in
piety. Therefore they love not the offerings of those who practise
tedious ceremonies._

The Deity of Matsunowo says:--

_Any one who makes a single obeisance to one Kami will receive infinite
help: much more so any one who makes pure his heart and enters the
great way of single-minded uprightness._

Oracle of _Temman tenjin_, the deified Minister Sugahara no

_All ye who come before me hoping to attain the accomplishment of
your desires, pray with hearts pure from falsehood, clean within and
without, reflecting the truth like a mirror. If those who are falsely
accused of crime[340] come to me for help, within seven days their
prayer will be granted, or else call me not a God._

An oracle of Mume no miya promises that if an offering of sand is made
help will be given to women in child-birth, and children to those who
have none.

An oracle of Atago (the Fire-God) denounces his vengeance on those
who pollute fire, and on the wealthy who do not assist their poorer

_Leave the things of this world and come to me daily and monthly with
pure bodies and pure hearts. You will then enjoy paradise in this world
and have all your desires accomplished._

Oracle of the God of Kashima[341]:--

_I am the protector of Japan against foreign violence and break the
spear-points of Heavenly demons and Earthly demons. All enjoy my divine
power. I derive strength from the multiplication of devout men in the
land. Then do the forces of demons melt away like snow in the sun. When
devout men are few, my powers dwindle, my heart is distressed and the
demon powers gain vigour while the divine power is weakened._

Oracle of the God of Atsuta:--

_All ye men who dwell under Heaven. Receive the just commands of the
Gods. Regard Heaven as your father, Earth as your mother, and all
things as your brothers and sisters. You will then enjoy this divine
country which excels all others, free from hate and sorrow. Obey the
instructions of the Heaven-shining Deity and honour the Mikado. If any
are rebellious, come before me and name their names. I will surely
crush the foe and yield you satisfaction._

An oracle of the God of Suha[342] promises to hear the prayers of all
true worshippers, even though they may have eaten flesh. No outward
purity avails a whit.

Oracle of Tatsuta (the Wind-God):--

_All ye of high and low degree, rather than pray to Heaven-and-Earth,
rather than pray to all the Kami, dutifully serve your parents. For
your parents are the Gods of without and within.[343] If that which
is within is not bright it is useless to pray only for that which is

An oracle of Inari, near Kioto, speaks of this polluted world (a
Buddhist phrase), and recommends the reading of Sutras and Dharani.

The following sentiments are ascribed to the God of Fujiyama:--

_Ye men of mine. Shun desire. If you shun desire you will ascend to a
level with the Gods. Every little yielding to anxiety is a step away
from the natural heart of man. If one leaves the natural heart of man,
he becomes a beast. That men should be made so, is to me intolerable
pain and unending sorrow._

A son of a Mikado received the following inspiration in a dream:--

_It is the upright heart of all men which is identical with the highest
of the high, and therefore the God of Gods. There is no room in
Heaven-and-Earth for the false and crooked person._

The following poem was revealed in a dream to the Mikado Seiwa:--

_If we keep unperverted the human heart, which is like unto Heaven and
received from Earth, that is God. The Gods have their abode in the
heart. Amongst the various ordinances none is more excellent than that
of religious meditation._

The God of a Tajima shrine says:--

_When the sky is clear, and the wind hums in the fir-trees, 'tis the
heart of a God who thus reveals himself._

An oracle of Hachiman (the War-God) enjoins on his worshippers to
be full of pity and mercy for beggars and lepers, and even for ants
and crickets. Those whose pity and charity are wide will have their
precious cord (of life) extended immeasurably; their posterity will be
spread abroad like the wings of a crane. They will become the upright
heart of the Gods of Heaven.

Another oracle of Hachiman:--

_All men's love of children and love of self are heinous crimes.
Nothing is more admirable than to sever, were it only for a time, all
earthly relations._

_If men will have upright hearts they must be neither foolish nor
clever, they must indulge neither in grief nor in hate, but be as the
flowers which unfold under the genial warmth of a vernal sun._

_If there be any who, having studied the books of China or practised
the teachings of India, despise the instructions of the Gods of our
own Japan, I will go to their houses and either slay their infant
children or visit them with sore disease, or turn away from them their
followers, or by the God of Fire destroy their dwellings. This is not
because I hate the doctrines of China or India, but because it is
rejecting the root for the branches._

Oracle of Itsukushima in Aki:--

_Of old the people of my country knew not my name. Therefore I was born
into the visible world and endured a base existence. In highest Heaven
I am the Deity of the Sun, in the mid-sky I show my doings. I hide
in the great Earth and produce all things: in the midst of the Ocean
I am the eight Dragon-kings, and my power pervades the four seas. If
the poorest of mankind come here once for worship, show me their faces
and declare their wishes, within seven days, fourteen days, twenty-one
days, or it may be three years or seven years, according to the person
and the importance of his prayer, I will surely grant their heart's
desire. But the wicked of heart must not apply to me. Those who do not
abandon mercy will not be abandoned by me._

=Revival of Pure Shinto=.--The seventeenth century witnessed a great
revival of Chinese learning in Japan. It embraced not only the renewed
study of the ancient classics of Confucius and Mencius, but the
philosophical writings of Chu-hi and other sceptical writers of the
Sung Dynasty (960-1278). The Samurai, or governing caste of the nation,
devoted themselves to these studies with amazing zeal and enthusiasm,
to the great neglect of Buddhism, which from this time forward was
left mainly to the common people. This movement reached a climax in
the eighteenth century, when a reaction set in. Kada, Mabuchi, and
other patriotic scholars, resenting the undue preponderance allowed
to Chinese thought, did their utmost, by commentaries and exegetical
treatises, to recall attention to the monuments of the ancient national
literature, such as the _Kojiki_, _Nihongi_, and _Manyōshiu_, which had
been so long neglected that they were in great part unintelligible even
to educated men. Under their pupil and successor Motoöri (1730-1801),
this movement assumed a religious character. His patriotic prejudices
were offended by the foreign elements which he found in the Ryōbu and
other prevailing forms of Shinto, while the Sung doctrine of a "Great
Absolute" was not only odious to him on account of its alien origin,
but failed to satisfy his soul-hunger for a more personal object of
worship. He therefore turned back to the older form of Shinto. To its
propagation by lectures and books he devoted many years of his life,
and not without success. He had numerous followers among the more
educated classes.

Motoöri's principal work is the _Kojiki den_, a commentary on the
_Kojiki_, in which he loses no opportunity of attacking everything
Chinese and of exalting the old Japanese customs, language, and
religion in a spirit of ardent and undiscriminating patriotism. He
seems to have been wholly blind to the fact that the exotic faiths and
philosophies, whose intrusion into Shinto he so bitterly resented,
contain elements far otherwise valuable to mankind than the ritual of
the _Yengishiki_ and the old-world myths of the _Kojiki_.

His pupil Hirata (1776-1843) was less of a literary man and more of a
theologian than his master. In a long life he wrote numbers of books,
amounting to hundreds of volumes, and delivered innumerable lectures
urging the claims of the old Shinto. His teaching was so successful
that it at last drew upon him the attention of the Shōgun's Government,
who, finding that their own authority was being undermined by the
prominence given to the _de jure_ sovereign rights of the Sun-Goddess's
descendants, forbade his lectures and banished him to his native
province of Dewa. Hirata's anti-foreign prejudices did not prevent him
from believing in the immortality of the soul--a doctrine of Buddhist
origin--or from borrowing from China a worship of ancestors quite
different from anything in the old Shinto. He adopts the Chinese duty
of "filial piety," and makes strenuous but unavailing efforts to find
countenance for it in the _Kojiki_ and _Nihongi_. Though he says that
the Kami detest Buddhism because it teaches us to abandon lord and
parent, wife and child, and is therefore destructive of morality, and
because its adherents are filthy beggars, who boast of wearing cast-off
rags and eating food given in charity, in another place he goes so far
as to admit Buddha to his Shinto Pantheon, on condition that he shall
be content with an inferior position. He tacitly accepts the moral code
of China, while protesting that such things are unnecessary, as we are
endowed by nature with an intuitive knowledge of right and wrong.

The agitation for the revival of Pure Shinto was a retrograde movement,
which could only end in failure. It contributed substantially, however,
to the success of the political revolution which in 1868 brought about
the restoration of the Mikado to the sovereign position which was
the logical outcome of Motoöri's and Hirata's teachings. The Shinto
reformation of the same date, when the Buddhist priests were removed
from the Ryōbu shrines, and a certain purification of ritual and
ornaments was effected, was also due to their influence.[344]

=Shingaku=.--A school of preachers who called their doctrine _shingaku_
or "heart-learning," and professed to combine Shinto with Buddhism
and Confucianism, had some vogue in the first half of the nineteenth
century. These men were in reality rationalists, who took the maxims
of Confucius and Mencius as the basis of their doctrines. Any Shinto
element which they may contain is quite inappreciable. Their sermons,
of which a good number have been printed, are in the colloquial
dialect. They are very entertaining and, despite an occasional bit of
indecency, not unedifying.

=Tenrikyô=,[345] or the "teaching of the Heavenly Reason," is a
modern sect. The founder was a woman named Omiki, who was born in
the province of Yamato in 1798, and died in 1887. Her religion
owes much to the Shingaku and Ryōbu doctrines. While professing to
worship Kunitokotachi, Izanagi, Izanami, and seven other Shinto
deities, practically Izanagi and Izanami are her only Gods. The
former (identified with the sun) is taken to represent the male, and
the latter the female principle, corresponding in nature to Heaven
and Earth, and in human society to husband and wife. These Gods are
spiritual beings, chiefly revealed in the heart of man, and are endowed
with personal attributes. Tenrikyô has high moral aims, and has made
rapid progress. In 1894 there were claimed for it 10,000 priests and
preachers, and 1,400,000 adherents.

=Remmonkyô=.[346]--The name of this sect implies that, like the
spotless lotus-flower, which has its roots in the mud, it attains to
purity in the midst of a wicked world. It is stated to have originated
with a certain Yanagita Ichibeimon, but its real founder was his
disciple, a woman named Shimamura Mitsuko, who was still alive and
preaching in 1901.

The Remmonkyô professes to be a reformed Shinto, but in reality it
owes little to this source beyond the names of the Gods Ame no minaka
nushi, Taka-musubi, and Kami-musubi, who are termed the three Creator
Deities. They are considered, however, to be only manifestations of
the Ji no Myôhô, or "Wonderful Law of Things," and the real God of the
sect is the personified Myôhô (wonderful law) a conception borrowed
from the Buddhist Nichiren sect. The followers of Shimamura call her an
_ikigami_ (live God), and regard her as identical with the Myôhô. How
often in Japanese religious history do we meet with this idea of the
incarnation of the God in his priest or prophet!

The _shintai,_ or material representative of the Myôhô, is a slip of
paper bearing the words "Ji no Myôhô," written by the founder herself.
It is sold as a charm against disease and danger. Faith-healing is a
practice of this sect, as it is of the Tenrikyô. Their moral code is of
the ordinary Confucian type.

The last-named two sects are not likely to play an important part in
religious history. The founders of both were ignorant women, and their
doctrines are a mere jumble of conflicting ideas borrowed from various
sources, and inspired by no great central thought. We may, perhaps,
compare their position in Japan to that of the Salvation Army or the
Plymouth Brethren in this country.

=Official Shinto=.--The official cult of the present day is
substantially the "Pure Shinto" of Motoöri and Hirata. But it has
little vitality. A rudimentary religion of this kind is quite
inadequate for the spiritual sustenance of a nation which in these
latter days has raised itself to so high a pitch of enlightenment and
civilization. No doubt some religious enthusiasm is excited by the
great festivals of Ise, Idzumo, and a few other shrines, and by the
annual pilgrimages--which, however, have other _raisons d'être_. The
reverence paid to the Mikado is not devoid of a religious quality which
has its source in Shinto. But the main stream of Japanese piety has cut
out for itself new channels. It has turned to Buddhism, which, at the
time of the Restoration in a languishing state, is now showing signs of
renewed life and activity. Another and still more formidable rival has
appeared, to whose progress, daily increasing in momentum, what limit
shall be prescribed?

As a national religion, Shinto is almost extinct. But it will long
continue to survive in folk-lore and custom, and in that lively
sensibility to the divine in its simpler and more material aspects
which characterizes the people of Japan.



[331] For an account of Japanese Buddhism, consult Murray's 'Japan,' or
the more comprehensive description in Griffis's 'Religions of Japan.'

[332] See above, p. 175.

[333] The novelist Bakin, who cannot be charged with priestcraft, says:
"Shinto reverences the way of the Sun; the Chinese philosophers honour
Heaven; the teaching of Shaka fails not to make the Sun a deity. Among
differences of doctrine the fundamental principle is the same."

[334] In the old Shinto, Ne no kuni, or Hades, is not a place of
punishment for the wicked. Here it stands for the Jigoku, or Hell, of
the Buddhists.

[335] That is, Nature--a Chinese idea.

[336] This is Chinese.

[337] A Buddhist designation.

[338] And therefore unclean.

[339] See above, p. 179.

[340] As Sugahara himself was.

[341] See above, p. 155.

[342] See above, p. 177.

[343] Alluding to the inner and outer shrines of Ise.

[344] For a full account of the Revival of Pure Shinto, see Sir E.
Satow's papers contributed to the _T. A. S. J._ in 1875. Our knowledge
of Shinto dates from this time.

[345] An interesting account of this sect is given in a paper by Dr.
Greene in the _T. A. S. J._, December, 1895.

[346] See papers by Dr. Greene and Rev. A. Lloyd in the _T. A. S. J._,


_N.B.--Where there are several references the most important is placed


 Ablution, 259, 83, 171
    See Lustration, misogi.
  Abstinence, 271, 273. See Imi.
  Abstractions, Gods of, 62, 169, 186
  Abstractions, few in Japanese, 35
  Accession announced to Gods, 324
  Acupuncture, 334
  Adoption, 45
  Adultery, 91, 244, 246
  Adzuki. See Bean.
  Adzusa bow, 206, 335
  Agamono, 261, 306. See Ransom.
  Agnostic, 13, 78
  Ahidono, 227
  Agriculture in Shinto, Preface, 86, 102, 121, 164, 172
  Ahiname or Ahimbe, 278
  Ainus, 160, 193, 252
  Akitsu Kami, 41
  Aliases of deities, 22
  Allen, Grant, 36
  Altar, 217, 218, 227. See Kamidana.
  Altro intende, 77
  Amagatsu, 263
  Ama no hohi, 110, 258, 274
  Ama no sagume, 109
  Amaterasu, 125
  Ame (heaven), 96, 142
  Ame no hashidate, 95
  Ame no hiwashi, 136
  Ame no kagase wo, 142
  Ame no minaka nushi, 69, 85, 142, 375
  Ame yudzuru, 85
  Ame waka hiko, 108
  Amulet, 258. See Talisman.
  Ancestor-worship, 44, 36, 95, 116, 177, 279, 374
  Ancestor and ancestress of the Mikado, 271, 296
  Animals, 63
  Animal sacrifices, 212, 213
  Animal food, offerings of, 196, 205, impure, 253
  Anthropomorphism, 17
  Ara-mitama, 31, 33, Addenda. See Nigitama.
  Ascetic, 203
  Ashinadzuchi, 103
  Aso, Mount, God of, 147
  Asuha no Kami, 146
  Atago, 159, 365, 369. See Fire-God.
  Augury, 344
  August Grandchild. See Sovran Grandchild.
  Augustine, St., Addenda, 198
  Avatar, 361, 186
  Avoidance of uncleanness. See Imi.
  Axe, sacred, 289

  Baelz, Dr., 358
  Bakemono (ghost), 49
  Bakin, 328, 362
  Baldness unclean, 253
  Bargain with Gods, 212. See also Do ut des.
  Bashô, 48
  Batchelor, 295
  Be (Government corporation), 112, 183
  Bean, 190, 165, 193, 309, 312, 313, 342
  Beneficent character of Gods, 6, 15, 129
  Bestiality, 300
  Bewitchment, 300
  Birushana, 361
  Biso, 48
  Black animals offered for rain, 287
  Blessing of the Palace, 287
  Blood, 213
  Bosatsu, 178, 325, 368
  Bow as offering, 314
  Bow as a stringed musical instrument, 238
  Bow in magic, 335, 206, 356. See Hama yumi, Adzusa yumi.
  Bowing, 209
  Breath put for life, 51
  Breathing on, 261-63
  Brewer-maiden, 269 _et seqq_.
  Bridge-divination, 341
  Brinkley, Capt., 326
  Brinton, Mr. D. G., 83, 139
  Browning's 'Saul,' 39
  Bubbles as a charm against fire, 333
  Buckley, Dr., 137, 149, 198
  Buddhism, 4, 354, 359, 364, 353, 178, 182, 183, 199, 212, 253, 254, 255, 304
  Bun-shin, 21
  Burial, 55-61, Addenda
  Burnt-offerings, 213, 210

  Caird, Dr. E., 46
  Calamities causing uncleanness, 255
  Caldron-divination, 343
  Carriage of God, 222
  Caterpillar worshipped, 70
  Ceremonial, 268
  Chamberlain, Mr. B. H., 2, 24, 232, 305, 326, 344, 357
  Chaos, 84
  Charm, 114, 189, 337. See Magic, Talisman.
  Chiburi no Kami, 197, 315
  Chieftain conception of Gods, 19
  Chimata no Kami, 188
  Childbirth as a source of uncleanness, 251
  Chinese philosophy, 92, 169, 234, 244, 264, 305, 323, 339, 342, 372
  Chinese religion, 1
  Chinese traits in myth, 92, 115
  Chinjiu, 65, 326, 364
  Chinkonsai, 294
  Chi no wa, 264-6
  Chronology, 116
  Church and State, 200, 274
  Circumambulation, 240, 90, 157, 312, 321
  Civilization of ancient Japanese, Preface.
  Clapping hands, 209, 320
  Classes, Gods of, 15, 34
  Classes, deified classes of men, 61
  Classification of Gods, 15
  Clay, God of, 92, 146, 316
  Cleyera japonica, 98, 215, 216, 269, 293
  Clothing, offerings of, 213, 237. See Yufu, 270, 287
  Cock, 100
  Communion, 120, 161, 211
  Comte, 62, 63, 142
  Conception of deity, phases of, 16
  Consanguineous unions, 250
  Confucius, 21, cult of, 182, 361
  Cooking furnace, 279, 16, 17, 280, 322, 329.
    See also Kamado and Hettsui.
  Corn Maiden, 102
  Coronation, 268
  Cosmogony, 144. See Creation.
  Council of Gods, 98, 124
  Couvade, 251
  Creation, various conceptions of, 84, 87, 89, 144, 170
  Creation of mankind, 82, 171, 174
  Creator-Gods, 27, 85, 351, 376. See also Izanagi, Ohonamochi, Musubi.
  Cremation, 364
  Criminal law, 245
  Crossways, deity of, 111, 188, 197. See also Sahe no Kami.
      "    , sanctity of, 197
      "    , divination, 340
  Curses, 236, 112, 181
  Cyclops, 101
  Czar deified, Addenda.

  Daidai, 313
  Daigūji, 204
  Daijowe, 268
  Daikoku-bashira, 90, 167
  D'Alviella, Preface, 11, 165
  Dances, sacred, 100, 321. See also Kagura.
  Dante, 18, 76
  Darwin, 261
  Deasil, 90. See also Circumambulation.
  Dead, state of, 53, 55. See Yomi.
   "  , worship of, 208
  Death, 51, 94, 252
  Definition of God, 7, 10
  De Harlez, 38
  Deification, 36, 10, 119
  Deified men, 9, 177, 179
  Deluge, 82
  Demon, 6, 308. See also Oni.
    "  , pacts with, 333
    "  , and diseases identical, 168, 187, 198
  Derivations in myth, 117
  Devil. See Demon, Oni.
  Diseases. See Smallpox, Leprosy, Pestilence.
    "    personified, 198
    "    unclean, 252
  Divination, 337, 119, 249, 269, 323, God of, 184
  Divine country, 126, 127
  Divine right of Mikado, 82, 111, 289, 297, 293, 314
  Diviner. See Urabe.
  Divorce, 94
  Dog-deity, 332
  Dolmen, 55, 178
  Dondo, 191, 198, 307, 314
  Dōsōjin, 191, 193, 197
  Double, 52, 140. See also Mitama.
  Double current of deity-making thought, 10, 185
  Do ut des, 212, 234, 285
  Dragon, 9, 114, 149, 151. See Serpent.
  Dragon-king, 115, 149, 153
  Drama, 238
  Drama and narrative, 83
  Dreams, 345, 346, 322, 118, 331
  Dual divinity, 140, 171. See also Aramitama.
  Duplication of offerings and ceremonies, 269, 273
  Dwarf-God, 107, 186

  Earth-fast stones, 147, 260
  Earth-Gods, 142, 283
  Earthquakes, 65, 82, 126, 147, 326
  Eating the God, 160, 102
  Ebisu, 133
  Echo personified, 9, 167
  Effigy in witchcraft, 331
  Ehē, 314
  Eight, 90, 103
  Eight Gods of Ohonihe, 270, of Jingikwan, 162, 174, 227, 282
  Eighty road-windings, 111
  Elements, Gods of, 92
  Emado, 222, 226
  Emotional basis of religion, 5
  Epidemics, 187
  Esoteric Shinto, 356
  Eternal Land, 98, 117
  Ethics. See Morals.
  Euhemerism, 134, 136
  Even pass of Yomi, 53, 93, 95, 107
  Evergreen trees, 313
  Everlasting world, 52, 70
  Evil deities, 6, 9, 139, 314. See Aratama.
  Exogamy. See Incest.
  Exorcism, 93
  Expiation. See Purification, Ransom.
  Expulsion of winter, 312

  Fatherhood of Gods, 6, 19, 173
  Festivals. See Ceremonial.
  Fetish, 122, 15, 63, 73, 142
  Figures of men as ransom objects, 262, 263
  Fillet, 215
  Fine for purification, 100, 246
  Fine weather, magic producing, 330
  Finger-charms, 354, 362
  Fire, worship of, 159, 315, 92, 156, 184.
    See also Nihabi, Kagutsuchi, Futsunushi, Homusubi.
  Fire, respect for, 329
  Fire, purity of, 257, 254, 369
  Fire-drill, 257, 273
  Fire-ordeal, 112, 113
  Firmament, 96
  First fruits. See Nihiname.
  First Gods, 85
  Fissiparous reproduction of deities, 21
  Flag of Japan, 39
  Flaying alive, 297
  Flesh-eating unclean, 253
  Floating bridge of Heaven, 87
  Florenz, Dr., 3, 65, 263, 294, 296, 297, 300, 303
  Folk-lore, 4
  Food-Goddess, 160, 19, 119, 102, 321
  Food-offerings, 212
  Foot-ball God, 199
  Foreign demons, measures against, 188
  Formula in magic, 336
  Fox attendant of Inari, 63, 163
  Fox divination, 344, 358
  Frazer, Mr. J. G., Preface, 99, 163, 166, 188, 269, 270, 309
  Fruit-trees ceremony, 165
  Fujihara family, 184, 320
  Fujiyama deified, 17, 148, 156, 371
  Fukusuke, 48
  Funado, 94, 187. See Kunado.
  Functions of Gods, 65
  Funerals, unclean, 252
  Funeral observances, 109, 55, 96, 43, 59, Addenda. See Burial.
  Furnace. See Kitchen furnace.
  Futami no ura, 130, 131
  Futodama, 184, 30, 98, 100, 202
  Futsu no mitama, 118, 155. See also Futsunushi.
  Futsunushi, 155, 1, 34, 92, 109, 317, 275
  Future life, Preface, 235. See also Yomi; Dead, state of

  Garlic, power against demons, 336
  Gate-Gods, 168, 282, 308
  Gateway, honorary. See Toriwi.
  Genealogy, 120
  Generative power personified, 186
  Gender neglected in Japanese Grammar, 22
  Geomancy, 344
  Ghost, 14, 49, 53, 171, 181, 208, 210
  Gideon's fleece, 345
  Gion, ceremonies at, 258
  Godzu Tennō, 137, 139
  Gohei, 216, 264, 304, 354. See Kushi.
  Gohei-katsugi, 217
  Good-luck, Gods of, 199
  Goriōye, 31, 88, 141, 189
  Gourd deified, 316
  Gowland, Mr. W., 55, 57
  Grain-Gods. See Ukemochi and Inari.
  Grain, worship of, 160
  Grass and herbs, God of. See Kaya nu hime.
  Gratitude a source of religion, 5, 183, 210, 268, 269, 285
  Great purification. See Ohoharahi.
  Greater Divination, 339
  Greene, Dr., 375
  Griffis, Dr., 127, 194, 198, 260, 331, 359
  Growth deified, 86. See Musubi
  Gruel-Divination, 341
  Guide-Gods, 197
  Gyōgi, 361

  Hachiman, 178, 19, 42, 325
  Hachōji (eight princes), 97
  Hades. See Yomi.
  Hafuri, 204. See Oho-hafuri
  Hafuri-tsu-mono, 205
  Haiden (oratory), 226
  Haigi or Hahiki no kami, 146, 282
  Hair and nails in witchcraft, 332
  Haiten (deification), 41
  Haku, 202
  Hamayumi, 314, 335
  Haniwa (clay rings), 57
  Haniyasu hime, 146
  Harahi (purification), mythic origin, 96;
    also 264, 303, 317, 365
  Harahi-bako, 304, 343
  Harahi-tsu-mono, 263, 203, 301, 302
  Harahi-tsu-tachi, 306
  Hare and Ohonamochi, 105
  Harp divination, 342
  Hartland, Mr. S., 50, 97
  Harvest Gods, 164
  Harvest festival. See Nihi-name.
  Harvest, praying for. See Toshi-gohi.
  Hashira (pillar), 71
  Hatsu no hinode, 128
  Hayato (Imperial Guards), 115
  Haya-aki-tsu-hime, 302
  Haya-sasura-hime, 302
  Haya-tama no wo, 260
  Hearn, Lafcadio, 44, 145
  Heaven. See Ame, Ten, Tien.
  Heaven-and-Earth, 35, 370, 371
  Height equivalent to excellence, 8
  Hell, Buddhist, 367, 181, 182
  Hemp, offerings of, 213, 264
  Hereditary offices, 183
  Hettsui. See Kitchen furnace.
  Hiko and hime, 20, 38, 132
  Himachi, 128
  Himorogi, 223, 226, 304, 260
  Hirano festival, 279
  Hirata, 373, 4, 22, 25, 168, 235
  Hirose, 321
  Hiruko, 90, 91, 132
  Hirume, 116, 125. See Sun-Goddess.
  Hito-bashira, 219
  Hito-dama, 50
  Hito-gata, human figures offered to Gods, 219
  Hito-koto-nushi, 41
  Hitomaro, 48, 183
  Hobby-horses, 222
  Hōben, 360
  Hogmanay, 312
  Hohodemi, 113
  Hokora, 223
  Holly, 313
  Homer, 215; purification in, 295
  Homusubi, 93, 159. See Fire-God.
  Horses as offerings, 310, 322
  House-Gods, 167, 287, 290. See Yabune.
  House-cleaning, 313
  Ho-shidzume, 315. See Fire.
  Huacas of Peru, 9
  Human sacrifice, 56, 151, 152, 219, 220
  Hyaku-do-ishi, 232
  Hypnotism, 354, 349

  Ichiko, 206, 357
  Ichi no miya, 144
  Idea of God, 6
  Idols, 71-3, 22
  Idzumo, 108, 105, 103
  Idzumo Fudoki, 3
  Iha-naga-hime, 112
  Ihashimidzu, 178. See Hachiman.
  Ikadzuchi, 157, 155
  Iki (breath, life), 51
  Ikigami (living deity), 44
  Iki mitama (living soul), 52
  Ikudama, 143
  Ikukuni, 143
  Iku-wi, 154
  Imagination, 18, 22, 24, 21, 23, 77
  Imbe, 202, 112, 1, 98, 184
  Imi, 256, 202, 246, 271, 273
  Imi-bashira, 167
  Imi-dono, 205
  Imitative magic, 101, 153, 330, 99
  Immortality, 13, 14
  Impersonal habit of Japanese mind, 67
  Impetuous male, 141. See Suma no wo.
  Implements worshipped, 73
  Impurity. See Uncleanness.
  In and Yō. See Yin and Yang.
  Inada hime, 138
  Inao, 193
  Inari, 162, 6, 34, 63, 67, 355
  Inauspicious words, 255
  Incantations, 329, 336
  Incarnation of the God in his prophet or priest, 376, 70, 177
  Incense, 213, 292, 354
  Incest, 300, 64, 91
  Individuals, Gods of, 15
  Individual men deified, 36, 177
  Infinite, 73
  Inspiration, 348, 98. See Oracle.
  Inugami, 332
  Invocation. See Kami-oroshi.
  Iron fish-hooks, 115
  Ishi-kori-dome, 184
  Ishigami, 341
  Ise shrines, 229, festival on removal of, 287
  Iyeyasu, 183
  Izanagi and Izanami, 86, 171, 69, 96

  Jevons, 24, 90
  Jewels as offerings, 218
  Jewel-makers, 185, 290
  Jewel-spear of Heaven, 87
  Ji-chin-sai, 143
  Jigoku, 54, 367
  Ji-matsuri, 143
  Jimmu Tenno, 116, 115
  Jingikwan, 200, 202, 162, 184
  Ji no myōhō, 376
  Jizō, 189, 191
  Junshi (self-sacrifice at tomb), 59

  Kadomatsu, 191
  Kadori, 92, 115
  Kaempfer, 36, 41
  Kagami-mochi, 313
  Kagase-wo, 71, 142
  Kage-zen, 52
  Kagura, 227, 238, 101, 184
  Kagutsuchi, 92, 159
  Kaji-so-sha, 48
  Kamado no Kami. See Kitchen furnace.
  Kama-naobi, 290
  Kami, 7-10
  Kami-agari, 340
  Kami-dana, 217, 231, 305
  Kami-gi, 165
  Kami-na-dzuki, 145
  Kami-oroshi, 342, 217, 304, 340
  Kamu-be, 207
  Kamu-image, 279
  Kamu-musubi, 173, 174
  Kamu-miso no matsuri, 287
  Kamunoko, 206
  Kamurogi and Kamuromi, 173, 275, 289, 296
  Kaname-ishi, 147, 260
  Kangakari, 349
  Kan-name, 278
  Kannushi, 204
  Kappa, 153
  Kasedori, 331
  Kashihade, 209
  Kashikodokoro, 291
  Kashima, 92, 155, 157, 370
  Kasuga no matsuri, 317
  Kataribe, 2, 273
  Katashiro, 263
  Kaya nu hime, 166
  Kedzurikake, 191, 192
  Kega (wound or uncleanness), 253
  Kidzuki, 145
  King-post, 90
  Kiri-bi (sacred fire), 257
  Kiri-nusa, 296
  Kitano, 182
  Kitsune-tsukahi, 344
  Kitchen furnace, God of, 159, 16, 17, 73, 146, 272, 280, 322, 329
    See Haniyasu.
  Kiu (festival for rain), 286
  Kiujiki, 3
  Kneeling, 209
  Kōbōdaishi, 361
  Kodama (echo), 9, 67
  Kogoshiui, 3
  Kojiki, 2, 84
  Kojikiden, 373
  Komagata, 222, 67
  Kompira, 230
  Konohana Sakuyahime, 112
  Ko-nusa, 343
  Korea, 1, 102, 156, 305
  Koto-shiro-nushi, 185, 111
  Kowameshi, 194
  Koyane, 183, 20, 46, 100, 101, 201, 317, 339
  Kteis, 186, 194, 197, 334
  Kugedachi, 348
  Kuhabara, 337
  Kuji. See Lots.
  Kukunochi, 166, 167, 290. See Tree-God.
  Kumaso, 64
  Kunado, 187, 189, 33, 40, 94, 110, 306, 341. See Phallic deities.
  Kunari no kami, 144
  Kunidama, 143, 144
  Kunitokotachi, 175, 85, 68, 362, 375
  Kusanagi (name of sword), 104
  Kushi, 216, 297
  Kushi-iha-mado, 168, 308
  Kushinada hime, 103
  Kuyebiko, 71

  Lang, Mr. A., 61, 108
  Language, myth arising from perversion of, 132
  Laotze, 38, 361
  Laughing festival, 6
  Law, 242, 243, 245
  Leanness unclean, 253
  Learning, God of. See Temmangu.
  Leech-child. See Hiruko.
  Left and right, precedence of, 129
  Legend and myth, 116
  Lemuria, 309
  Leprosy, 252, 300, 332
  Lite, God of, 174. See Breath.
  Light and darkness myth, 101
  Literal-minds, 18, 24, 50, 51, 80, 81
  Liturgy, 100. See Norito.
  Live bow, 107
  Lloyd, Rev. A., 375
  Lots, 343
  Lowell, Mr. P., 24, 354
  Luck, 309. See Tsuina.
  Luck, Gods of, 95
  Luck-wishing, 287
  Lupercalia, 190
  Lustration, 96, 259, 294, 295
  Lying stigmatized, 242

  Mabuchi, 373
  Mayeza. See Medium.
  Magic, 327, 99, 144, 187, 196, 255, 300, 357
  Maine, Sir H., 24
  Majinahi. See Magic.
  Make-believe, 12, 223
  Male who invites, 171
  Mamori. See Charms.
  Maneki-neko, 48
  Man-deities, 36, chap. viii.
  Manyōshiu, a collection of ancient poetry, 9, 17
  Mari no Kami, 199
  Marriage, 66, 90, 91, 137, 140, 248, 249. See Nuptial hut, Wedlock.
  Masaya a katsu, 97
  Massha, 227
  Material souls, 50, 51, 52
  Materialized feelings, 332, 333
  Materials for study of Shinto, 1-4
  Medicine, 144, 327
  Medicine men, 203
  Medium, 354, 355, 356. See Ichiko, Miko.
  Menstruation, 251, 340
  Meredith, Mr. Geo., 80
  Metal, God of, 92
  Metamorphosis, 49, 64
  Metaphor, 16-18, 38, 76
  Michiahe, 306, 187, 188
  Michi no Omi, 119
  Midzuchi, 150
  Mikado deified, 9, 38
    "    divine right of, 82, 293
    "    prayer to, 235, 324
    "    as high priest, 201, 292
  Mikado matsuri, 308
  Mikage, 51
  Miko, 206, 101, 357
  Mikoshi, 222, 225
  Mikoto, 20, 85
  Mimi, 30
  Minagata, 43, 177
  Mioya, 19
  Miraculous births, 97
  Mirror, 218, 31, 72, 134, 291
  Mirror-makers, 184
  Misasagi, 42, 43
  Misogi, 260, 271, 298
  Mitama (spirit), 26-31, 8, 9, 49, 188, 197, 293, 294
  Mitama furishiki, 292
    "    shidzumura no matsuri, 292
    "    shiro, 32. See Shintai.
  Mitegura (offerings), 158, 211
  Mitoshi no Kami, 196, 253
  Miwa, 145. See Ohonamochi.
  Miya, 200, 223. See Shrine.
  Miyakko, 205, 206
  Modern Shinto, 376
  Mono-imi, 206, 318, 340
  Monotheism, 66, 68, 69, 70, 125, 170, 171, 349
  Moon-God, 65, 95, 102, 138. See Tsukiyomi, Tsuki-machi.
  Moral code, 241, 129, 367, 374
  Mortuary house, 109
  Mosaic law, 122, 215, 248, 251, 252, 302
  Motion and sensation, 11
  Motoöri, 373, 4, 21, 24, 25
  Mountain-Gods, 147, 92, 284, 289
  Mourning. See Funeral.
  Muir, Dr. J., 94
  Müller, Max, 16, 25
  Multiplication of Gods, 67
  Mushroom, 189, 312
  Music, 56, 93, 238, 270, 273, 292, 321
  Musubi, 172, 20, 21, 35, 69, 102, 275
  Mystery, 31, 32
  Myth, 75, 17, 2, 16
    "   and legend, 116
    "   and ritual, 83
  Mythical narrative, 84

  Nademono, 220
  Naishidokoro, 291, 43, 135
  Nakatomi, 201, 1, 21, 46, 112, 183
  Nakatsutsu no wo, 20-22. See Sea-Gods.
  Nakatsu-wata-dzumi, 148. See Sea-Gods.
  Nakaza, 354
  Nakisahame, 92, 199
  Nanakusa, 277, 344
  Naru Kami, 9. See Thunder.
  Nature deities, 121
  Nature-Gods and Man-Gods, 15
  Need-fire, 259
  Needles worshipped, 73
  Negi (priest), 205
  Ne no kuni (root-country). See Yomi.
  Nether Land, 104. See Yomi.
  New Year in modern Japan, 312
  Nichirin (the sun), 127
  Nigi-hayahi, 120, 128
  Nigi-tama, 31, 33, 140, 145, 275
  Nihabi, 99, 101, 277
  Nihiname (festival of first-fruits), 277, 109, 119, 124, 161, 268, 269
  Nihongi, 2, 84, 169
  Ninigi, 108, 111, 112, 116, 185
  No dance, 238
  Nomi no Sukune, 48, 57, 183
  Norito, chap. xii. _passim_, 3, 42, 98, 99, 126, 232, 235, 270, 274, 322
  North the honourable quarter, 56
  North star, 142
  Number neglected in Japanese grammar, 16, 21, 121, 168, 169
  Number of Gods, 66, 98
  Numerals, magical use of, 99, 336
  Nuptial hut, 90, 104, 137, 248
  Nusa, 216, 218, 318. See Offerings, Kirinusa, Ohonusa.
  Nusa-bukuro, 197
  Nushi, 20

  Oaths, 236
  Obeisance, 209, 284, 320
  'Occult Japan,' 354
  Offences, 297
  Offerings, 210, 98, 193, 280
    "       deified, 119, 161, 212
    "       to dead, 60, 211
    "       consumed by worshippers, 321. See Communion.
  Offerings, symbolical, 211, 276
  Oharahi, 305
  Oho-hafuri, 205, 177
  Oho-harahi, 294, 4, 242, 245, 246, 270
  Oho-harahi offerings, 301
  Oho-kuni-dama. See Ohonamochi.
  Oho-kuni-nushi. See Ohonamochi.
  Oho-miya no me, 184, 287, 290
  Oho-mono-nushi, 111
  Oho-naobi, 290
  Ohonamochi, 144, 105, 110, 27-30, 46, 69, 200, 274
  Oho-nihe, 268, 364
  Oho-nusa, 213
  Oho-sora, 96
  Oho-toko-nushi, 144, 196, 253. See Ohonamochi.
  Oho-tono hogahi, 287
  Oho-toshi, 105
  Ōjin deified, 178. See Hachiman.
  Omens, 119, 126, 325, 345
  Omnipresence of Deity, 27
  Omohi-kane, 199, 98
  Oni (demon), 198
  Oni-yarahi, 189. See Tsuina.
  Onogorojima, 89
  Onyōshi, 365
  Oracles, 367, 178, 350, 361. See Inspiration.
  Ordeal, 347
  O tento sama (sun), 127, 175

  P'anku, myth of, 129
  Pantheon, 121
  Pairs of deities, 86
  Parturition house, 113, 112, 114, 251, 345
  Patron deity, 326
  Peach, 189, 9, 93, 308
  Penitence, 260
  Perseus and Andromeda, 103-105, 50, 151
  Personality of deities, 22
  Personification, 5
  Personal pronouns rare in Japanese, 23
  Pestilence deities, 187
  Pestle, a male symbol, 189
  Pfleiderer, Dr., Preface, 11, 76, 84
  Phallicism, 186, 72, 363.
     See Bean, Chiburi no kami, Chimata do kami, Dōsōjin, Goriōye,
      Ishigami, Kunado, Kteis, Kedzurikake, Mushroom, Peach, Pestle,
      Rice, Sahe no kami, Sarutahiko, Shingi, Tamaboko, Tamuke no kami,
      Tsuji-ura, Yachimata hiko, Yakushin, Wo-bashira.
      Pheasant as messenger of Gods, 108
  Pictures of Gods, 71
  Piebald colt of Heaven, 97, 98
  Pilgrimage, 239
  Pillar of Heaven, 95, 154
    "    of House, 89, 90
  Pious fraud, 360
  Plain of High Heaven, 98, 107, 134
  Poverty, Gods of. See Hitomaro, Sotoöri hime.
  Polar star, 85
  Polytheism, 66
  Positive and negative. See Yin and Yang.
  Possession, 340, 357
  Potsticks, striking women with, to produce pregnancy, 190
  Posthumous honours, 53
  Poverty, God of, 199
  Pradakchina. See Circumambulation.
  Praise, 234, 306
  Prayer, 232, 162. See Norito.
  Prehistoric Shinto, 1
  Priesthood, 200
  Priestess, 205
  Primitive man, 77, 12, 18, 26, 80, 345
  Primitive religion, 13, 26, 121, 160, 166, 211
  Primitive religion, Shinto not a, Preface
  Privy, God of, 167, 289, 314
  Processions, 240, 317
  Procreative power deified. See Phallicism.
  Prophet, 348, 350
  Propitiation of evil deities, 305, 315
  Prophylactic magic, 187
  Providential character of nature Gods, 65, 125, 156, 162
  Properties, Gods of, 15
  Profanity, 237
  Pseudo-ancestor worship, 46
  Pure Shinto, 4, 372
  Purification, 189
  Purity, 247, 343
    "    of heart, 264, 368, 369, 371
    "    of language, 271, 255

  Qualities, Gods of, 15, 34, 62

  Races, 321
  Rain, praying for, 43, 151, 152, 180, 286
  Rainbow, 87. See Taikobashi.
  Rain-Gods, 153
  Rain-storm. See Susa no wo.
  Ransom offerings, 262, 220. Se Agamono, Katashiro, Nademono, Scape-goat.
  Rank conferred on Gods, 237, 323, 324
  Rationalism, 92, 375
  Real presence, 217, 27, 72
  Red colour, 194, 56, 163, 165
  Regalia, 135, 202, 273, 289, 291, 353, 363
  Relic, Buddhist, 361
  Religion, nature and origin of, 5, 13
  Remmonkyō, 375
  Repentance, 102
  Réville, Preface, 268
  Revival of Pure Shinto, 4, 372
  Rice-God. See Inari.
  Rice in magic and ritual, 189, 288, 289, 334, 341
  Risley, Mr. H., 73
  Ritual, 1, 3, 268
  River of Heaven (milky way), 97, 98, 100, 110
  River-Gods, 115, 150. See Water, Rain.
  River-weed deified, 316
  Road-Gods.  See Sahe no Kami.
  Rock-boat of Heaven, 95, 117,
  Rock-cave of Heaven, 97, 101
  Rokkon shōjō, 239, 304, 355
  Rudimentary character of Shinto, Preface, 242
  Ryôbu, 360, 373

  Sacred.  See Imi.
  Sacred and Secular, 200
  Sacred tree, 165, 215. See Cleyera.
  Sacrifice, 118. See Human sacrifice, Offerings.
  Sagichô, 191, 307, 314
  Sagume, 109
  Sahe no Kami, 186, 14, 31, 165, 306, 314, 331
  Sai-in, 280
  Sai no Kami, 191, 195. See also Sahe no Kami.
  Saishu, 204
  Saiwō 205, 352
  Sakaki.  See Cleyera.
  Sakamakura, 272, 279
  Sakatsuko, 269
  Sake (rice-beer) not prohibited, 254, 272, 273, 320
  Sake God, 162, 227, 273
  Salt, 196, 260, 354
  Sammai.  See Rice.
  Saniha, 350
  Sannô, 145. See Ohonamochi.
  Sarume, 99, 101, 112, 184
  Saruta-hiko, 111, 197, 363
  Satow, Sir E., 3, 257, 268, 280, 305, 317
  Scape-goat, 302. See Ransom.
  Scare-crow God, 71, 142
  Scarf in magic, 334
  Scotus Erigena, 121
  Sea, direct worship of, 9
  Sea-Gods, 20, 92, 95, 114, 148, 315, 323.
    See Uhatsutsu no wo, Toyotama hiko, Sumiyoshi, Suitengu.
  Sea, old man of, 113
  Sects of Shinto, Chap. xiv.
  Secular and sacred little distinguished in early times, 200
  Sensation in inanimate nature, 11
  Seoritsu hime, 302
  Serpent-worship, 63, 64, 257. See Dragon.
  Serpent, eight-headed, 103
  Seven generations of Gods, 85
  Sex of Gods, 19, 132, 133
  Sexual uncleanness, 248
  Shadow.  See Mikage.
  Shaking in magic, 335
  Shakujō, 354
  Shangti, 1, 305
  Shekinah, 26, 27
  Shiho-tsuchi, 150
  Shimenaha, 335, 164, 195, 313
  Shimpô, 218
  Shinatsu tohe, 20
  Shinatsu hiko, 154. See Wind-Gods.
  Shingaku, 374
  Shingi, 193
  Shingonjiki, 279
  Shintai, 70, 32, 34, 123, 146, 163, 193, 212, 222, 305, 330, 376
  Shintaku (inspiration), 350
  Shitateru hime, 108, 109
  Shōjiroku, 3, 175
  Shoulder-blade, divination by, 203, 339
  Shōtoku Taishi, 244, 359
  Shrine, 223, 366
  Shrines of Ise, 226, 228
  Silk, 213
  Simpson's 'Praying Wheel,' 90
  Sin, 102
  Siva, 173
  Skins, offerings of, 217, 307
  Slaves, 207, 221
  Small-pox, 163, 194
  Smith-God, 99, 101
  Smith, Robertson, 211
  Sokotsutsu no wo, 20, 22
  Sokotsu wata-dzumi, 148
  Sono no Kami, 145
  Sori-bashi.  See Taiko-bashi.
  Sorceress.  See Uzume, Miko, Ichiko.
  Sotoöri hime, 183
  Soul, 26, 27, 374. See Mitama.
  Soul and body, 34
  Soul, Chinese views of, 52
  Sovran Grandchild, 111-13, 127, 289, 296, 306
  Speal, reading the, 339
  Spear as emblem of authority, 89, 111, 144, 278
  Spencer, Herbert, 8, 10, 23, 40, 50, 59, 89, 200, 211, 346
  Spherical souls, 49, 50
  Spirit, 48, 7. See Mitama, Soul.
  Spiritism, 25
  Spirituality of deities, 7, 171, 173
  Spitting, 114, 260
  Stars, 98
  Star-God, 142
  Stars, divination by, 344
  Stone as shintai, 71
  Substituted offerings, 211, 213, 216, 219, 221, 222, 240, 322
  Sugahara Michizane.  See Temmangu.
  Suha, God of, 43, 177, 186
  Suhijini, 146
  Suitengu, 65
  Sukuna-bikona, 186, 107, 124, 145
  Sumera, 20
  Sumiyoshi, Gods of, 149
  Sun-Goddess, 121, 24, 46, 68, 95, 283, 372
  Sun-Goddess's attendants, 183
    "           address to Ninigi, 111
    "           unlucky to proceed against, 117
  Sun-Goddess, an avatar of Buddha, 361
  Sun-birds, 136
  Sun-crow.  See Yatagarasu.
  Sun-children, 38, 40
  Sun-deities, sex of, 132, 133
  Sun-mirror.  See Yatakagami.
  Sun-myth, 80
  Sun worship, 1, 41, 83, 99, 128. See Nichirin, O tento sama.
  Supernatural, 38
  Supreme Being, 69, 70, 123, 142, 171, 175, 180, 182, 305
  Surnames, 47
  Susa no wo, 136, 96, 1, 14, 19, 21, 95, 106
  Suseri hime, 106
  Susu-harahi, 313
  Suttee, 59
  Sword, 72, 118, 157, 219
  Symbol.  See Shintai.
  Symbol in magic, 187, 333
  Sympathetic magic, 330

  Tabi no miya (reposoir), 222
  Taboos, sexual, 250
  Taikobashi, 87, 232
  Taikyoku (great absolute), 175
  Taisha (great shrine of Idzumo), 66, 145, 353
  Tajikara no wo, 98, 199
  Takama no hara.  See Plain of High Heaven.
  Taka-musubi, 108, 110, 116, 119, 173, 174, 275, 351, 375
  Take-mika-dzuchi, 155, 92, 109, 118, 317, 370. See Kashima.
  Take-minakata.  See Suha.
  Talisman, 334, 114, 292
  Tama, 27, 88, 218. See Mitama.
  Tama-boko, 87
  Tama-dasuki, 45, 235
  Tama-gushi, 216
  Tamashiï (soul), 49
  Tamashiro, 45
  Tamuke no Kami, 197
  Tanabata, 142
  Ta no Kami, 143
  Tartar religions, 1
  Tatsuta, 322, 370. See Wind-God.
  Temmangū, 179, 65, 153, 369
  Ten (Heaven), 362
  Tenrikyô, 375
  Tenjin.  See Temmangū.
  Tenshi (Son of Heaven), 38
  Tenshōdaijin, 14, 125. See Sun Goddess.
  Tentei, 180
  Teri-teri-bōzu, 330
  Textile offerings, 213
  Theogony, 85 _et seqq_.
  Thunder, charm against, 337
  Thunders of Yomi, 187
  Thunder-God, 157, 9, 41
  Tien (Heaven), 21
  Tiger deified, 63
    "   teaches acupuncture, 335
  Toko yo no Kuni, 52, 54, 70. See Yomi.
  Tomb and shrine, 42, 43
  Toothache, cure of, 328, 329
  Tori-wi, 231, 233, 43, 128, 165, 309
  Tortoise-shell in divination, 339, 340
  Toshi-gohi festival, 280
  Toshi-otoko, 309, 313
  Toshi-toku-jin, 314
  Toso, 313
  Totemism, 64
  Toyo-iha-mado, 168, 308
  Toyo-tama, 185
  Toyo-tama-hiko, 113, 149
  Toyo-tama-hime, 114
  Trade-Gods, 48
  Trance, 351. See Hypnotism
  Tree-Gods, 164, 92, 290
  Tree, sacred, 332. See Kami-gi.
  Trinity of Fire-Gods, 160
    "     of Susa no wo, 139
    "     of Sea-Gods, 148
    "     Buddhist, 361
  Troup, Mr. J., Preface
  Tsuchi, 19
  Tsuchigumo, 334, 345
  Tsuina, 308, 190, 295
  Tsuji-ura, 340, 189
  Tsuki-machi, 142
  Tsukinami festival, 285
  Tsukiyomi, 141
  Tsumi (guilt), 247
  Tsutsu, 19
  Tuke, Mr. S., 232
  Tumuli, 55, 57, 157, See Misasagi.
  Turan, 232
  Tylor, Dr., Preface, 24, 82, 96, 257, 259, 333
  Types deified, 61, 62, 183

  Ubusuna, 47, 337
  Ugly Females of Yomi, 93, 187
  Uhatsutsu-wata-dzumi, 149
  Uhatsutsu no wo, 20, 22
  Uhijini, 146
  Uji, 47
  Ujigami, 47, 65, 184, 231, 279, 314, 331
  Uka no mitama, 105
  Ukemochi, 160
  Umashi-ashi-hikoji, 86
  Unity of religions, 362
  Uncleanness, 248 _et seqq_.
  Urabe, 203, 269, 302
  Uranahi, 337
  Utsushi-mi, 31, 72
  Uzume, 184, 98, 99, 111, 134

  Vairochana, 361
  Van Helmont, 332
  Vejovis, Addenda
  Volcano Gods, 147
  Volition ascribed to inanimate objects, 78

  Waka-hirume, 128
  Waka-midzu, 313
  Wake (prince), 20
  Wani (sea-monster), 114, 149
  Wa Rongo, 353, 367
  War-God, 157. See Hachiman, Take-mika-dzuchi.
  Water deified, 119
  Water-Gods, 92, 104, 154, 284, 316, 321, 322
  Weapons as offerings, 218
  Wedlock, God of, 66
  Weeping Goddess.  See Naki-sahame.
  Weipert, Dr., 245
  Well, 322, 257
  Well-God, 153, 227, 272, 282, 313, 322
  Well-worship, 16, 313
  Weston, Mr., 287, 344, 356
  Whirlwind deified, 155
  Whistling, 115, 330
  White an auspicious colour, 196, 222
  Will-of-the-wisp, 50
  Wind-Gods, 154, 20, 92, 322
  Wintry Influences, 312
  Witchcraft, 255, 331, 346
  Wo-bashira (male pillar), 190, 193, 72, 93
  Wolf deified, 9, 63
  Women rulers, 133
  Wool, offerings of; 215
  Wordsworth, 9
  Worship, 208, 37
  Wounds unclean, 252
  Wrestling, God of.  See Nomi Sukune.
  Writing, introduction of, 1

  Yabune, 167, 287, 290
  Yachimata hiko, 187, 71, 306
  Yakami-hime, 105
  Yakushin, 187
  Yaku-sute, 309
  Yaku-toshi, 309
  Yamato-dake, 36, 49
  Yashiro, 223. See Shrine.
  Yatagarasu (sun-crow), 136, 118, 46
  Yatakagami, 134
  Yebisu, 48
  Yengishiki, 3, 268
  Yihking, 344, 363
  Yin and Yang, 35, 52, 84, 169, 313, 365
  Yomi (Hades), 53, 93, 96, 99, 106, 138, 302, 367.
    See Ne no kuni, Hades.
  Yo-ori ceremony, 263
  Yoridai, 355
  Yufu, 213, 215
  Yufu-kadzura, 320
  Yui-itsu, 362
  Yuki and suki, 269, 272
  Yu-niha (sacred enclosure), 272

  Zembla Bogh, Addenda.
  Zimmern's definition of magic, 327
  Zōni, 313


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