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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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Exlibris Puer Eternus

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SCULPTING IN TIME

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Pierre Bonnard Histoires Naturelles

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僕の視線の中のCaspar David Friedrich

  • 海辺の月の出(部分)
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    2010年8月1日~5日の知床旅情(2010年8月8日~16日のブログ「シリエトク日記」他全18篇を参照されたい)

氷國絶佳瀧篇

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僕の見た三丁目の夕日

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2016/12/18

小泉八雲 神國日本 戸川明三譯 附原文 附やぶちゃん注(22) 神道の發達(Ⅴ) / 神道の發達~了

 

 産業及び農業を主宰する神々――特に農夫の祈願する、蠶の女神、米の女神、風及び天氣の神の如き神々――の外に、國中殆ど到る處に、償贖和解の神社とでも云つたやうなのがある。この種の後代に出來た神社は、不幸、不正の爲めに苦しみを受けた人の靈の爲め、その贖ひを成す爲に建てられたものである。この場合、禮拜は、極めて異樣な形をとり、禮拜者は、その祭られて居る人が生存中に被つたやうな、災難及び困難に對して保護を求めるのである。たとへば出雲に於て、私は嘗て王侯の寵愛者であつた一婦人の靈の爲めに捧げられた神社を見た事がある。この婦人は嫉妬深い競爭者の術數にかかり、自殺したのであつた。その話は恁うである、この婦人は極めて美しい髮の毛をもつて居た。併しそれに黑さが足りなかつた、それでその敵どもは、その色を以つてこの婦人を排斥する手段としたのであつた。それで今や世間の赤毛の子供をもつて居る母親達は、その赤色の黑色にかはる事をその神に祈り、髮の毛の東と東京の錦繪とを供物として捧げる。それはこの婦人が錦繪を好んで居たと考へられて居るからである。同じ地方に、主人の留守を悲しんて死んだ若い妻の靈の爲めに建てられた神社がある。この婦人は、岡にのぼつて夫の歸りを待つて居たのであるが、神社はその待つて居た場所に建てられたのであつた、そして細君達はその留守の夫の無事に歸つて來るやうにと、この婦人に祈るのである……。これと同じやうな和解の禮拜は、普通の墓地でも行はれて居る。公衆の憐憫の心は、殘虐の爲めに自殺するの已むなきに至つた人々、若しくは法律は罪科にあたひするが、事實愛國心その他同情を得るやうな動機から爲された犯罪の爲めに、處刑された人々を祭らうと欲するのてある。さういふ人々の墓場の前には、供物が捧げられ、祈禱がささやかれる。不幸な戀人等の靈も、同じ事の爲めに苦しむ若い人々に依つて祈願される……。なほ償贖融和の禮拜のその他の形のうちに、私は動物――主として家畜であるが――靈の爲めに小さい社を建てる古い慣習のある事を言はなければならない、それは默つておとなしく用をなし、而もその報いを得なかつたその奉仕を認めてか、或は不當に被らされた苦痛の贖ひのためになされるのである。

[やぶちゃん注:「蠶の女神」代表的な東北地方の「おしらさま」などを考えると(「おしらさまの神体は男女一対・馬と娘一対・馬と男一対で祀られることが多い)、女神というのは少し腑に落ちなかったりするが、養蚕はその主体が專ら農家の女性の手で行われてきたこと、以下の「米の女神」でもある、食物起源神話の女神である「宜都比賣神」(おほげつひめ:「古事記」に登場。身体から出した食物を出したことを知って怒った「素戔嗚命」に殺害されてしまうが、その頭から蚕が、目から稲が生まれる)や「保食神」(うけもちのかみ:「日本書紀」の神産みの段の一書にのみ登場。素戔嗚の代わりにこちらでは同シチュエーションで「月讀命(つくよみのみこと)」が殺害、その屍体の眉から蚕が、腹から稲が生まれている)ことを考えれば、豊饒神は当然、子を産める女神でなくてはと腑に落ちる。

「償贖」「しやうとく」。「賠償」に同じい。償(つぐな)い贖(あがな)うこと。

「出雲に於て、私は嘗て王侯の寵愛者であつた一婦人の靈の爲めに捧げられた神社を見た事がある。この婦人は嫉妬深い競爭者の術數にかかり、自殺したのであつた」当該神社及び以下の話(かなり具体であるが、髪をめぐる嫉妬というのは汎世界的な古典的伝承の型ではある)を含め、不詳。典拠及び、錦絵を奉納するというその神社の所在地等、御存じの方は御教授を乞う。

「同じ地方に、主人の留守を悲しんて死んだ若い妻の靈の爲めに建てられた神社がある」望夫石伝承の一例と思われるが同じく、当該神社及び以下の話を含め、不詳。典拠及び、その神社の所在地等、御存じの方は御教授を乞う。]

 

 なほ別種の守護神の事も一言しなければならない――則ち人々の家々の内、若しくはまはりに住む神々の事である。その内の或るものは神話の内にも書いてあり、恐らくは日本の祖先禮拜から發展したものてあらう。また或るものは外國起原のものであり、或るものは神社をもつて居ないらしく、なほ成或るものは所謂萬物有靈説(アニミズム)と云つたやうなものを代表して居る。この種の神はギリシヤの δαίμονες よりもロオマのdii genitales (生々の神)に近い。井戸の神なる水神樣、食器の神なる荒神(殆ど孰れの家の臺所にも、この神に捧げた小さな神壇があるか、若しくは、其名を書いた護符がある)鍋類の神、曲突(くど)(竃)の神、戸部の神(昔は沖津彦、沖津姫と言はれて居た)蛇の姿て顯はれて來ると云はれて居た池の主、米壺(櫃?)の女神、お釜樣、始めて人間に地に肥料を施す事を教へた手洗ひ場の神(これは通例隔のない男女の形をした紙で拵へた小さな人の姿を以つて現はされて居る)木材、火、金屬の神々、竝びに庭園、原野、案山子、橋、丘陵、森林、河流の神々と、また樹木の靈(日本の神話にも dryads ――樹木のニンフ――があるので)等があつて、その多くは言ふまでもなく神道起原のものである。また一方に道路が主として佛教の神々の保護の下にあるのを見る。私は地方の境の神々(ラテンではそれを呼んで termes といふ)に關して、少しも知る事を得なかつた、そして吾々は村はづれの處に佛の姿を見るのみである。併し殆ど何處の庭にも其北の方に、鬼門則ち惡魔の門と稱する方に向つて神道の小さい社がある――鬼門とは、則ち支那の教に依ると、すべての惡事の來る方向である、そして各種の神道の神々に捧げられた、これ等の小さな社は、惡靈の來ないやうに家を護つてくれると考へられて居たのである。鬼門についての信仰は、明らかに支那から渡來したものである。

[やぶちゃん注:「δαίμονες」ギリシア語で「ダイモネス」と読む。「神的なる存在たち」の意。後にこの語からユダヤ・キリスト教の悪霊“demon”(デーモン・悪魔)」が派生したため、印象がすこぶる悪くなってしまったが、プラトンの「饗宴」などによれば、古代ギリシア及びヘレニズムに於いて、人間と神々の中間に位置するところの、或いは善性の或いは悪性を示すところの、超自然的存在を指し、下級格の神や死んだ英雄の霊などを指す。和訳例では「神霊」「精霊」など(ここは一部をウィキの「ダイモーン」に拠った)。

dii genitales (生々の神)」古典ラテン語らしい。発音は「ディイ・ジェナタエス」か(誤っていれば御指摘あれかし)。戸田の「生々の神」というのは半可通である。平井呈一氏の『性器の神』で腑に落ちる。

「食器の神なる荒神」「荒神」は「こうじん」と読む。ウィキの「荒神より引く。『民間信仰において、台所の神様として祀られる神格の一例』。『多くは仏教の尊格としての像容を備えているが、偽経を除けば本来の仏典には根拠がなく、核となったのは土着の信仰だったと思われる。現在では純粋に神道の神として説明されるケース(後述)もあるが、それらは江戸国学以降の思弁によって竈神を定めたものにすぎない。神道から解くにしても仏教から解くにしても、「荒神」という名称の由来も、民俗学が報告する様々な習俗や信仰形態、地方伝承なども、十分に説明できる説は存在しない。極めて複雑な形成史をもっていると考えられている』。『荒神信仰は、西日本、特に瀬戸内海沿岸地方で盛んであったようで』、『中国、四国等の瀬戸内海を中心とした地域が』圧倒的に多く、『県内に荒神社が一つもない県も多い』。『荒神信仰には後述するように大別すると二通りの系統がある。(三系統ともいう。)屋内に祀られるいわゆる「三宝(寶)荒神」』及び『屋外の「地荒神」である』。『屋内の神は、中世の神仏習合に際し』、『修験者や陰陽師などの関与により、火の神や竈の神の荒神信仰に、仏教、修験道の三宝荒神信仰が結びついたものである。地荒神は、山の神、屋敷神、氏神、村落神の性格もあり、集落や同族ごとに樹木や塚のようなものを荒神と呼んでいる場合もあり、また牛馬の守護神、牛荒神の信仰もある』。『御祭神は各県により若干の違いはあるが、道祖神、奥津彦命(おきつひこのみこと)、奥津姫命(おきつひめのみこと)、軻遇突智神』(かぐつちのかみ)(下線やぶちゃん)『の火の神様系を荒神として祀っている。神道系にもこれら火の神、竈の神の荒神信仰と、密教、道教、陰陽道等が習合した「牛頭天王(ごずてんのう)」のスサノオ信仰との両方があったものと考えられる。祇園社(八坂神社)では、三寶荒神は牛頭天王の眷属神だとしている』。『牛頭天王は、祇園会系の祭りにおいて祀られる神であり、インドの神が、中国で密教、道教、陰陽思想と習合し、日本に伝わってからさらに陰陽道と関わりを深めたものである。疫神の性格を持ち、スサノオ尊と同体になり、祇園会の系統の祭りの地方伝播を通して、鎮守神としても定着したものである』。『家庭の台所で祀る三宝荒神と、地域共同体で祭る地荒神とがある。地荒神の諸要素には三宝荒神にみられないものも多く、両者を異質とみる説もあるが、地荒神にみられる地域差はその成立に関与した者と受け入れ側の生活様式の差にあったとみて』、『本来は三宝荒神と同系とする説もある』が、『地域文化の多様性は単に信仰史の古さを反映しているにすぎないとも考えられるので、必ずしも文化の伝達者と現地人のギャップという観点を持ち出す必要はない』。三宝荒神は「无障礙経(むしょうげきょう)」の説くところでは、如来荒神(にょらいこうじん)・麁乱荒神(そらんこうじん)・忿怒荒神(ふんぬこうじん)なる神の三身を指すとするが、そもそもが、この「无障礙経」自体は『中国で作成された偽経である。後世、下級僧や陰陽師の類が、財産をもたない出家者の生活の援助をうけやすくするため、三宝荒神に帰依するように説いたことに由来している。像容としての荒神は、インド由来の仏教尊像ではなく、日本仏教の信仰の中で独自に発展した尊像であり、三宝荒神はその代表的な物である。不浄や災難を除去する火の神ともされ、最も清浄な場所である竈の神(台所の神)として祭られる。俗間の信仰である』。『竈荒神の験力によると、生まれたての幼児の額に荒神墨を塗る、あるいは「あやつこ」と書いておけば悪魔を払えると信ずる考え方がある。また荒神墨を塗ったおかげで河童(かっぱ)の難をのがれたという話も九州北西部には多い。荒神の神棚を荒神棚、毎月晦日(みそか)の祭りを荒神祓(はらい)、その時に供える松の小枝に胡粉(ごふん)をまぶしたものを荒神松、また竈を祓う箒(ほうき)を荒神箒とよんで、不浄の箒とは別に扱う』。『地荒神は、屋外に屋敷神・同族神・部落神などとして祀る荒神の総称である。 中国地方の山村や、瀬戸内の島々、四国の北西部、九州北部には、樹木とか、大樹の下の塚を荒神と呼んで、同族の株内ごとにまた小集落ごとにこれを祀る例が多い。山の神荒神・ウブスナ荒神・山王荒神といった習合関係を示す名称のほか、地名を冠したものが多い。祭祀の主体によりカブ荒神・部落荒神・総荒神などとも称される』。『旧家では屋敷かその周辺に屋敷荒神を祀る例があり、同族で祀る場合には塚や石のある森を聖域とみる傾向が強い。部落で祀るものは生活全般を守護する神として山麓に祀られることが多い。樹木の場合は、地主神、作神(さくがみ)であり、牛馬の安全を守るが、甚だ祟りやすいともいう。また祀る人たちの家の火難、窃盗を防ぐという』(中略)。「民間習俗における荒神信仰」の項の「あやつこ(綾子)」。『子供の「お宮参り」の時に、鍋墨(なべずみ)や紅などで、額に「×」、「犬」と書くこと言う。悪魔よけの印で、イヌの子は良く育つということに由来するとされ、全国的にでは無いが、地方によって行われる所がある』が、『古文献によると、この「あやつこ(綾子)」は紅で書いたとある』ものの、『紅は都の上流階級でのみ使われたことから、一般の庶民は「すみ」、それも「なべずみ」で書くのが決まりであったという。この「なべずみ」を額に付けることは、家の神としての荒神(こうじん)の庇護を受けていることの印であった。東北地方で、この印を書くことを「やすこ」を書くと言う。宮参りのみでなく、神事に参列する稚児(ちご)が同様の印を付ける例がある』。『「あやつこ(綾子)」を付けたものは、神の保護を受けたものであることを明示し、それに触れることを禁じたのであった。のちには子供の事故防止のおまじないとして汎用されている。柳田國男の『阿也都古考』によると、奈良時代の宮女には「あやつこ(綾子)」の影響を受けたと思われる化粧の絵も認められ、また物品にもこの印を付けることもされていたらしい』。「荒神」の語源は不明であるが、『日本の古典にある伝承には、和魂(にぎみたま)、荒魂(あらみたま)を対照的に信仰した様子が記されている。民間伝承でも、温和に福徳を保障する神と、極めて祟りやすく、これの畏敬(いけい)の誠を実現しないと危害や不幸にあうと思われた類の神があった。後者は害悪をなす悪神であるが祭ることによって荒魂が和魂に転じるという信仰があった。そこでこの「荒神」とはこの後者をさしたものではないかとの説もある』。但し、『同様な思想はインドでも、例えば夜叉・羅刹などの悪神を祀りこれを以って守護神とする風習があったり、またヒンドゥー教(仏教からすれば外道の宗教)の神が、仏教に帰依したとして守護神・護法善神(いわゆる天部)とされたことも有名であり、純粋に仏教の枠内でも悪神を祀って善神に転じるということはありうる。神仏習合の文化の中で、陰陽師』や、その流れを汲む祈禱師らが、『古典上の(神道の)荒ぶる神の類を、外来の仏典に基づく神のように説いたことから発したのではないかとの説、古来からいう荒魂を祀って荒神としたのではないかという説もある』とある。

「竃」「かまど」。

「戸部の神」「こべのかみ」と読む。よく判らないが、前の「荒神」の引用部の下線を引いた箇所が、まさにこの直後で、この神は「昔は沖津彦、沖津姫と言はれて居た」とあることから見て、前の〈おくどの神さま〉=竈神と同等かその近縁の神と考えられ、すると、特に危険な火の気のある台所の出入りする戸口の守護神(ウィキの「かまど神」には、『オキツヒコ・オキツヒメが竈の神』とさえある)、或いはそこから逆に、外界・異界へと続く井戸(回禄時に火を消す役をも持つ)を守り、ひいては家(戸屋)を守る神としての〈戸辺(とべ)の神〉とは読めないだろうか? 単なる思い付きである。大方の御叱正を俟つ。

「米壺(櫃?)の女神」この「(櫃?)」は訳者戸田の附加。平井氏は普通に『米櫃の神』と訳しておられる。こうした戸田氏に訳は、少々、五月蠅いだけで、益がない。

「手洗ひ場の神」厠神(かわやがみ)。小学館「日本大百科全書」の井之口章次の解説によれば、『』男女一対の紙雛(かみびな)を神体とする例もあるが、多くは正月と盆に青柴(あおしば)を上げる程度である。陰陽道(おんみょうどう)の俗信で、井戸、便所など土に掘った穴を埋める』際には『人形や扇子を入れる作法があるが、神体とする紙雛は』、『その変化であろう。中国では紫姑(しこ)神、卜部(うらべ)の神道ではハニヤマヒメノカミ(土の神)とミズハノメノカミ(水の神)であるといい、密教や禅家ではウズサマ明王(みょうおう)とかウシッシャマ明王という。近世以降は』、『それらの俗信や信仰を統合して祖霊信仰体系に組み入れ、主として出産を守護する神と理解されている。福島県から関東地方に分布する「赤子の便所まいり」の習俗なども、厠神に健康を祈願するためと考える人が多い』とある。小泉八雲の「始めて人間に地に肥料を施す事を教へた」神とする定義もプラグマティクには判らぬではないが、どうも信仰のそれは、排泄と出産の類感呪術的なものが起原であるように私には思われるが、如何?

「案山子」「かかし」。ウィキの「かしによれば、『案山子は、民間習俗の中では田の神の依代(山の神の権現とも言われる)であり、霊を祓う効用が期待されていた。というのも、鳥獣害には悪い霊が関係していると考えられていたためである。人形としての案山子は、神の依り代として呪術的な需要から形成されていったものではないかとも推察できる。蓑や笠を着けていることは、神や異人などの他界からの来訪者であることを示している』。『見かけだけは立派だが、ただ突っ立っているだけで何もしない(=無能な)人物のことを案山子と評することがある。確かに案山子は物質的には立っているだけあり、積極的に鳥獣を駆逐することはしない』。だが、しかし、『農耕社会の構造からすると、農作物(生計の手段)を守る役割を与えられた案山子は、間接的には共同体の保護者であったと言えよう』。『古事記においては久延毘古(くえびこ)という名の神=案山子であるという。彼は知恵者であり、歩く力を持っていなかったとも言われる。立っている神 → 立っている人形、との関連は指摘するまでもないとも考えられるが、上記の通り語源との関係で、明確ではない』とある。

dryads」「ドライアズ」はギリシャ・ローマ神話で、精霊ニンフ(英語:nymph)の一種とされる木の精霊ドリュアス(Dryas:複数形:Dryades:ドリュアデス)のこと。

termes」「テルメス」。ラテン語の“terme”(テルメ)には「分岐した小枝」(村はずれには必ず分岐した辻がある)の外に「境界・限界・終局」の意があるから、境界神のことである。]

 併しながら家の各部――その一々の各部――また家庭の一々の道具が、目に見えざるその守護神をもつて居るといふ信仰は、支那の感化のみが發育さしたものであるか、それには疑問の餘地がある。兎に角この信仰を考へて見ると、家の建造が――その家が外國式でない限り――なほ宗教的行爲であり、また建築の頭領の仕事が、神官の仕事をも含んで居るといふ事も驚くには足らない事である。

[やぶちゃん注:「頭領」「棟梁」に同じい。]

 

 ここまて來ると萬物有靈説(アニミズム)の問題に逢着する。(私は現代の學派に屬する進化論者にして、萬物有靈説は、祖先靈拜の前にあつたといふ舊式の考ヘ――無生物に靈ありとする信仰は、人間の亡靈に就いての考へが、まだ出て來なかつた前に發展したものであるといふ假定を包有して居る説、を持つて居るとは思はない)ここまで説いて見ると日本に於ては、萬物有靈説的の信仰と神道の最下級の形との間の撹界線を引く事は、植物界と動物界との間の區劃をつけると同樣困難である、併し最古の神道文學も、今日存在するやうな發達した萬物有靈説の證據は少しも與へては居ない、恐らくその發展は徐々たるもので、多くは支那の信仰に感化されたものであらう。それでも吾々は『古事記』の内に、『螢火の如く輝き、蜉蝣の如くに亂れて居た惡の神々』といふ事、竝びに『岩や木の切り株や綠の水の泡をして語らしめる惡魔』といふ事を見るが、これに依つて萬物有靈説乃至拜物教的(フェテイシステイツク)考への、支那の影響時代前に、或る程度まで行はれて居た事を覗ふに足りる。そして萬物有靈説が恆久の祀拜と結び合つた場合、(異樣な形をした石或は木に捧げられた崇敬の念に於けるが如き)禮拜の形は、大抵神道に依つて居るといふ事は注意すべき處である。斯樣な物の祭られて居る前には、通例神道の門が見られる――鳥居が……支那朝鮮の影響の下に於ける、萬物有靈説の發達と共に、昔の日本の人は、眞に自分が靈と惡魔の世界の内にあつたと考へたのである。靈と惡魔とは、潮の音、瀧の響き、風のうめき、木の葉の囁き、鳥のなく聲、蟲のすだく聲、その他自然のあらゆる聲の内に、人間に向つて語つて居たのであつた。人間に取つて、あらゆる運動、――波の運動でも、草の運動でも、または移る行く霧、飛び行く雲の運動でも、みな亡靈の如くであり、動く事のない岩石、――否、路傍の石すら、目に見えざる嚴かなるものに依つて魂を入れられて居たのである。

[やぶちゃん注:「私は現代の學派に屬する進化論者にして、萬物有靈説は、祖先靈拜の前にあつたといふ舊式の考ヘ――無生物に靈ありとする信仰は、人間の亡靈に就いての考へが、まだ出て來なかつた前に發展したものであるといふ假定を包有して居る説、を持つて居るとは思はない」非常に迂遠な謂い方であるが、要は小泉八雲は信仰や宗教の進化理論の段階的発達に於いて、そのステージよりも前に行われていた原始的な(多分に侮蔑的に下等な)信仰形態は見かけ上、消失するというような考え方を支持出来ないと言っているものと私は解釈する。

「螢火の如く輝き、蜉蝣の如くに亂れて居た惡の神々」「蜉蝣」は「かげらう」であるが、これを「古事記」とするのは誤りであり、この英訳(サトウか)も「蜉蝣」など、よくない。これは「日本書紀」「卷第二」の「神代下 (かみのよのしものまき)」で葦原中国(あしはらのなかつくに)の状態を述べた、

    *

然るに、彼の地、多(さは)に螢火(ほたるび)光る神、及(ま)た蠅聲(さばへな)す邪(よこし)まなる神有り、復た、草木(くさき)、有り、咸(みな)能く言語(ことかた)りき。

    *

が出典であろう。まさに生物・無機物を問わず、総てのものの中に霊が宿っているとするアニミズム(animism)に立脚した世界観である。

「岩や木の切り株や綠の水の泡をして語らしめる惡魔」これも「古事記」からの引用ではあるまい。恐らくは、古えの祝詞(のりと)の一つである「出雲国造神賀詞(いずものくにのみやつこのかんよごと)」(新任の出雲国造が天皇に対して奏上する寿詞で、「延喜式」に既にその章詞が記述されあるが、これは八世紀中期以後の内容と推定されている。内容は天穂日命以来の祖先神の活躍と歴代国造の天皇への忠誠の歴史とともに、天皇への献上物の差出と長寿を祈願する言葉が述べられている。以上はウィキの「出雲国造神賀詞に拠った)の一節である、

    *

豐葦原の水穗の國は、晝は五月蠅(さばへ)なす水、沸き、夜は火、瓫(ほとぎ)なす光(かかや)く、神あり、石(いは)ね・木立(こだち)・靑水沫(あをみなは)も事問(ことと)ひて荒ぶる國なり。しかれども鎭(しづ)め平(やすら)けて、皇御孫(すめみま)の命に安國と平らけく知ろしまさしめむ。

   *

の部分を抜いたものであろう(読みは私の推定)。「瓫(ほとぎ)なす」は溢れるの謂いであろう。より具体なアニミスティクな表現である。]

 

 

 

Developments Of Shintō

 

THE teaching of Herbert Spencer that the greater gods of a people—those figuring in popular imagination as creators, or as particularly directing certain elemental forces—represent a later development of ancestor-worship, is generally accepted to-day. Ancestral ghosts, considered as more or less alike in the time when primitive society had not yet developed class distinctions of any important character, subsequently become differentiated, as the society itself differentiates, into greater and lesser. Eventually the worship of some one ancestral spirit, or group of spirits, overshadows that of all the rest; and a supreme deity, or group of supreme deities, becomes evolved. But the differentiations of the ancestor-cult must be understood to proceed in a great variety of directions. Particular ancestors of families engaged in hereditary occupations may develop into tutelar deities presiding over those occupations—patron gods of crafts and guilds. Out of other ancestral cults, through various processes of mental association, may be evolved the worship of deities of strength, of health, of long life, of particular products, of particular localities. When more light shall have been thrown upon the question of Japanese origins, it will probably be found that many of the lesser tutelar or patron gods now worshipped in the country were originally the gods of Chinese or Korean craftsmen; but I think that Japanese mythology, as a whole, will prove to offer few important exceptions to the evolutional law. Indeed, Shintō presents us with a mythological hierarchy of which the development can be satisfactorily explained by that law alone. Besides the Ujigami, there are myriads of superior and of inferior deities. There are the primal deities, of whom only the names are mentioned,—apparitions of the period of chaos; and there are the gods of creation, who gave shape to the land. There are the gods of earth, and, sky, and the gods of the sun and moon. Also there are gods, beyond counting, supposed to preside over all things good or evil in human life,—birth and marriage and death, riches and poverty, strength and disease …. It can scarcely be supposed that all this mythology was developed out of the old ancestor-cult in Japan itself: more probably its evolution began on the Asiatic continent. But the evolution of the national cult—that form of Shintō which became the state religion—seems to have been Japanese, in the strict meaning of the word. This cult is the worship of the gods from whom the emperors claim descent,—the worship of the "imperial ancestors." It appears that the early emperors of Japan—the "heavenly sovereigns," as they are called in the old records—were not emperors at all in the true meaning of the term, and did not even exercise universal authority. They were only the chiefs of the most powerful clan, or Uji, and their special ancestor-cult had probably in that time no dominant influence. But eventually, when the chiefs of this great clan really became supreme rulers of the land, their clan-cult spread everywhere, and overshadowed, without abolishing, all the other cults. Then arose the national mythology.

 

   We therefore see that the course of Japanese ancestor-worship, like that of Aryan ancestor-worship, exhibits those three successive stages of development before mentioned. It may be assumed that on coming from the continent to their present island home, the race brought with them a rude form of ancestor-worship, consisting of little more than rites and sacrifices performed at the graves of the dead. When the land had been portioned out among the various clans, each of which had its own ancestor cult, all the people of the district belonging to any particular clan would eventually adopt the religion of the clan ancestor; and thus arose the thousand cults of the Ujigami. Still later, the special cult of the most powerful clan developed into a national religion,—the worship of the goddess of the sun, from whom the supreme ruler claimed descent. Then, under Chinese influence, the domestic form of ancestor-worship was established in lieu of the primitive family-cult: thereafter offerings and prayers were made regularly in the home, where the ancestral tablets represented the tombs of the family dead. But offerings were still made, on special occasions, at the graves; and the three Shintō forms of the cult, together with later forms of Buddhist introduction, continued to exist; and they rule the life of the nation to-day.

 

   It was the cult of the supreme ruler that first gave to the people a written account of traditional beliefs. The mythology of the reigning house furnished the scriptures of Shintō, and established ideas linking together all the existing forms of ancestor-worship. All Shintō traditions were by these writings blended into one mythological history,—explained upon the basis of one legend. The whole mythology is contained in two books, of which English translations have been made. The oldest is entitled Ko-ji-ki, or "Records of Ancient Matters"; and it is supposed to have been compiled in the year 712 A.D. The other and much larger work is called Nihongi, "Chronicles of Nihon [Japan]," and dates from about 720 A.D. Both works profess to be histories; but a large portion of them is mythological, and either begins with a story of creation. They were compiled, mostly, from oral tradition we are told, by imperial order. It is said that a yet earlier work, dating from the seventh century, may have been drawn upon; but this has been lost. No great antiquity can, therefore, be claimed for the texts as they stand; but they contain traditions which must be very much older,—possibly thousands of years older. The Ko-ji-ki is said to have been written from the dictation of an old man of marvellous memory; and the Shintō theologian Hirata would have us believe that traditions thus preserved are especially trustworthy. "It is probable," he wrote, "that those ancient traditions, preserved for us by exercise of memory, have for that very reason come down to us in greater detail than if they had been recorded in documents. Besides, men must have had much stronger memories in the days before they acquired the habit of trusting to written characters for facts which they wished to remember,—as is shown at the present time in the case of the illiterate, who have to depend on memory alone." We must smile at Hirata's good faith in the changelessness of oral tradition; but I believe that folk-lorists would discover in the character of the older myths, intrinsic evidence of immense antiquity.—Chinese influence is discernible in both works; yet certain parts have a particular quality not to be found, I imagine, in anything Chinese,—a primeval artlessness, a weirdness, and a strangeness having nothing in common with other mythical literature. For example, we have, in the story of Izanagi, the world-maker, visiting the shades to recall his dead spouse, a myth that seems to be purely Japanese. The archaic naivete of the recital must impress anybody who studies the literal translation. I shall present only the substance of the legend, which has been recorded in a number of different versions:1

 

   1 See for these different versions Aston's translation of the Nihongi, Vol I.

 

   When the time came for the Fire-god, Kagu-Tsuchi, to be born, his mother, Izanami-no-Mikoto, was burnt, and suffered change, and departed. Then Izanagi-no-Mikoto, was wroth and said, "Oh! that I should have given my loved younger sister in exchange for a single child!" He crawled at her head and he crawled at her feet, weeping and lamenting; and the tears which he shed fell down and became a deity …. Thereafter Izanagi-no-Mikoto went after Izanami-no-Mikoto into the Land of Yomi, the world of the dead. Then Izanami-no-Mikoto, appearing still as she was when alive, lifted the curtain of the palace (of the dead), and came forth to meet him; and they talked together. And Izanagi-no-Mikoto said to her: "I have come because I sorrowed for thee, my lovely younger sister. O my lovely younger sister, the lands that I and thou were making together are not yet finished; therefore come back!" Then Izanami-no-Mikoto made answer, saying, "My august lord and husband, lamentable it is that thou didst not come sooner,—for now I have eaten of the cooking-range of Yomi. Nevertheless, as I am thus delightfully honoured by thine entry here, my lovely elder brother, I wish to return with thee to the living world. Now I go to discuss the matter with the gods of Yomi. Wait thou here, and look not upon me." So having spoken, she went back; and Izanagi waited for her. But she tarried so long within that he became impatient. Then, taking the wooden comb that he wore in the left bunch of his hair, he broke off a tooth from one end of the comb and lighted it, and went in to look for Izanami-no-Mikoto. But he saw her lying swollen and festering among worms; and eight kinds of Thunder-Gods sat upon her …. And Izanagi, being overawed by that sight, would have fled away; but Izanami rose up, crying: "Thou hast put me to shame! Why didst thou not observe that which I charged thee?… Thou hast seen my nakedness; now I will see thine!" And she bade the Ugly Females of Yomi to follow after him, and slay him; and the eight Thunders also pursued him, and Izanami herself pursued him …. Then Izanagi-no-Mikoto drew his sword, and flourished it behind him as he ran. But they followed close upon him. He took off his black headdress and flung it down; and it became changed into grapes; and while the Ugly Ones were eating the grapes, he gained upon them. But they followed quickly; and he then took his comb and cast it down, and it became changed into bamboo sprouts; and while the Ugly Ones were devouring the sprouts, he fled on until he reached the mouth of Yomi. Then taking a rock which it would have required the strength of a thousand men to lift, he blocked therewith the entrance as Izanami came up. And standing behind the rock, he began to pronounce the words of divorce. Then, from the other side of the rock, Izanami cried out to him, "My dear lord and master, if thou dost so, in one day will I strangle to death a thousand of thy people!" And Izanagi-no-Mikoto answered her, saying, "My beloved younger sister, if thou dost so, I will cause in one day to be born fifteen hundred …." But the deity Kukuri-hime-no-Kami then came, and spake to Izanami some word which she seemed to approve, and thereafter she vanished away ….

 

   The strange mingling of pathos with nightmare-terror in this myth, of which I have not ventured to present all the startling naiveti, sufficiently proves its primitive character. It is a dream that some one really dreamed,—one of those bad dreams in which the figure of a person beloved becomes horribly transformed; and it has a particular interest as expressing that fear of death and of the dead informing all primitive ancestor-worship. The whole pathos and weirdness of the myth, the vague monstrosity of the fancies, the formal use of terms of endearment in the moment of uttermost loathing and fear,—all impress one as unmistakably Japanese. Several other myths scarcely less remarkable are to be found in the Ko-ji-ki and Nihongi; but they are mingled with legends of so light and graceful a kind that it is scarcely possible to believe these latter to have been imagined by the same race. The story of the magical jewels and the visit to the sea-god's palace, for example, in the second book of the Nihongi, sounds oddly like an Indian fairy-tale; and it is not unlikely that the Ko-ji-ki and Nihongi both contain myths derived from various alien sources. At all events their mythical chapters present us with some curious problems which yet remain unsolved. Otherwise the books are dull reading, in spite of the light which they shed upon ancient customs and beliefs; and, generally speaking, Japanese mythology is unattractive. But to dwell here upon the mythology, at any length, is unnecessary; for its relation to Shintō can be summed up in the space of a single brief paragraph—

 

   In the beginning neither force nor form was manifest; and the world was a shapeless mass that floated like a jelly-fish upon water. Then, in some way—we are not told how—earth and heaven became separated; dim gods appeared and disappeared; and at last there came into existence a male and a female deity, who gave birth and shape to things. By this pair, Izanagi and Izanami, were produced the islands of Japan, and the generations of the gods, and the deities of the Sun and Moon. The descendants of these creating deities, and of the gods whom they brought into being, were the eight thousand (or eighty thousand) myriads of gods worshipped by Shintō. Some went to dwell in the blue Plain of High Heaven; others remained on earth and became the ancestors of the Japanese race.

   Such is the mythology of the Ko-ji-ki and the Nihongi, stated in the briefest possible way. At first it appears that there were two classes of gods recognized: Celestial and Terrestrial; and the old Shintō rituals (norito) maintain this distinction. But it is a curious fact that the celestial gods of this mythology do not represent celestial forces; and that the gods who are really identified with celestial phenomena are classed as terrestrial gods,—having been born or "produced" upon earth. The Sun and Moon, for example, are said to have been born in Japan,—though afterwards placed in heaven; the Sun-goddess, Ama-terasu-no-oho-Kami, having been produced from the left eye of Izanagi, and the Moon-god, Tsuki-yomi-no-Mikoto, having been produced from the right eye of Izanagi when, after his visit to the under-world, he washed himself at the mouth of a river in the island of Tsukushi. The Shintō scholars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries established some order in this chaos of fancies by denying all distinction between the Celestial and Terrestrial gods, except as regarded the accident of birth. They also denied the old distinction between the so-called Age of the Gods (Kami-yo), and the subsequent period of the Emperors. It was true, they said, that the early rulers of Japan were gods; but so were also the later rulers. The whole Imperial line, the "Sun's Succession," represented one unbroken descent from the Goddess of the Sun. Hirata wrote: "There exists no hard and fast line between the Age of the Gods and the present age—and there exists no justification whatever for drawing one, as the Nihongi does." Of course this position involved the doctrine of a divine descent for the whole race,—inasmuch as, according to the old mythology, the first Japanese were all descendants of gods,—and that doctrine Hirata boldly accepted. All the Japanese, he averred, were of divine origin, and for that reason superior to the people of all other countries. He even held that their divine descent could be proved without difficulty. These are his words: "The descendants of the gods who accompanied Ninigi-no-Mikoto [grandson of the Sun-goddess, and supposed founder of the Imperial house,]—as well as the offspring of the successive Mikados, who entered the ranks of the subjects of the Mikados, with the names of Taira, Minamoto, and so forth,—have gradually increased and multiplied. Although numbers of Japanese cannot state with certainty from what gods they are descended, all of them have tribal names (kabane), which were originally bestowed on them by the Mikados; and those who make it their province to study genealogies can tell from a man's ordinary surname, who his remotest ancestor must have been." All the Japanese were gods in this sense; and their country was properly called the Land of the Gods,—Shinkoku or Kami-no-kuni. Are we to understand Hirata literally? I think so—but we must remember that there existed in feudal times large classes of people, outside of the classes officially recognized as forming the nation, who were not counted as Japanese, nor even as human beings: these were pariahs, and reckoned as little better than animals. Hirata probably referred to the four great classes only—samurai, farmers, artizans, and merchants. But even in that case what are we to think of his ascription of divinity to the race, in view of the moral and physical feebleness of human nature? The moral side of the question is answered by the Shintō theory of evil deities, "gods of crookedness," who were alleged to have "originated from the impurities contracted by Izanagi during his visit to the under-world." As for the physical weakness of men, that is explained by a legend of Ninigi-no-Mikoto, divine founder of the imperial house. The Goddess of Long Life, Iha-naga-hime (Rock-long-princess), was sent to him for wife; but he rejected her because of her ugliness; and that unwise proceeding brought about "the present shortness of the lives of men." Most mythologies ascribe vast duration to the lives of early patriarchs or rulers: the farther we go back into mythological history, the longer-lived are the sovereigns. To this general rule Japanese mythology presents no exception. The son of Ninigi-no-Mikoto is said to have lived five hundred and eighty years at his palace of Takachiho; but that, remarks Hirata, "was a short life compared with the lives of those who lived before him." Thereafter men's bodies declined in force; life gradually became shorter and shorter; yet in spite of all degeneration the Japanese still show traces of their divine origin. After death they enter into a higher divine condition, without, however, abandoning this world …. Such were Hirata's views. Accepting the Shintō theory of origins, this ascription of divinity to human nature proves less inconsistent than it appears at first sight; and the modern Shintōist may discover a germ of scientific truth in the doctrine which traces back the beginnings of life to the Sun.

 

More than any other Japanese writer, Hirata has enabled us to understand the hierarchy of Shintō mythology,—corresponding closely, as we might have expected, to the ancient ordination of Japanese society. In the lowermost ranks are the spirits of common people, worshipped only at the household shrine or at graves. Above these are the gentile gods or Ujigami,—ghosts of old rulers now worshipped as tutelar gods. All Ujigami, Hirata tells us, are under the control of the Great God of Izumo,—Oho-kuni-nushi-no-Kami,—and, "acting as his agents, they rule the fortunes of human beings before their birth, during their life, and after their death." This means that the ordinary ghosts obey, in the world invisible, the commands of the clan-gods or tutelar deities; that the conditions of communal worship during life continue after death. The following extract from Hirata will be found of interest,—not only as showing the supposed relation of the individual to the Ujigami, but also as suggesting how the act of abandoning one's birthplace was formerly judged by common opinion:—

 

   "When a person removes his residence, his original Ujigami has to make arrangements with the Ujigami of the place whither he transfers his abode. On such occasions it is proper to take leave of the old god, and to pay a visit to the temple of the new god as soon as possible after coming within his jurisdiction. The apparent reasons which a man imagines to have induced him to change his abode may be many; but the real reasons cannot be otherwise than that either he has offended his Ujigami, and is therefore expelled, or that the Ujigami of another place has negotiated his transfer …."1

 

   1 Translated by Satow. The italics are mine.

 

It would thus appear that every person was supposed to be the subject, servant, or retainer of some Ujigami, both during life and after death.

   There were, of course, various grades of these clan-gods, just as there were various grades of living rulers, lords of the soil. Above ordinary Ujigami ranked the deities worshipped in the chief Shintō temples of the various provinces, which temples were termed Ichi-no-miya, or temples of the first grade. These deities appear to have been in many cases spirits of princes or greater daimyo, formerly, ruling extensive districts; but all were not of this category. Among them were deities of elements or elemental forces,—Wind, Fire, and Sea,—deities also of longevity, of destiny, and of harvests,—clan-gods, perhaps, originally, though their real history had been long forgotten. But above all other Shintō divinities ranked the gods of the Imperial Cult,—the supposed ancestors of the Mikados.

 

   Of the higher forms of Shintō worship, that of the imperial ancestors proper is the most important, being the State cult; but it is not the oldest. There are two supreme cults: that of the Sun-goddess, represented by the famous shrines of Isé; and the Izumo cult, represented by the great temple of Kitzuki. This Izumo temple is the centre of the more ancient cult. It is dedicated to Oho-kuni-nushi-no-Kami, first ruler of the Province of the Gods, and offspring of the brother of the Sun-goddess. Dispossessed of his realm in favour of the founder of the imperial dynasty, Oho-kuni-nushi-no-Kami became the ruler of the Unseen World,—that is to say the World of Ghosts. Unto his shadowy dominion the spirits of all men proceed after death; and he rules over all of the Ujigami. We may therefore term him the Emperor of the Dead. "You cannot hope," Hirata says, "to live more than a hundred years, under the most favourable circumstances; but as you will go to the Unseen Realm of Oho-kuni-nushi-no-Kami after death, and be subject to him, learn betimes to bow down before him." … That weird fancy expressed in the wonderful fragment by Coleridge, "The Wanderings of Cain," would therefore seem to have actually formed an article of ancient Shintō faith: "The Lord is God of the living only: the dead have another God." …

 

   The God of the Living in Old Japan was, of course, the Mikado,—the deity incarnate, Arahito-gami,—and his palace was the national sanctuary, the Holy of Holies. Within the precincts of that palace was the Kashiko-Dokoro ("Place of Awe"), the private shrine of the Imperial Ancestors, where only the court could worship,—the public form of the same cult being maintained at Isé. But the Imperial House worshipped also by deputy (and still so worships) both at Kitzuki and Isé, and likewise at various other great sanctuaries. Formerly a great number of temples were maintained, or partly maintained, from the imperial revenues. All Shintō temples of importance used to be classed as greater and lesser shrines. There were 304 of the first rank, and 2828 of the second rank. But multitudes of temples were not included in this official classification, and depended upon local support. The recorded total of Shintō shrines to-day is upwards of 195,000.

 

   We have thus—without counting the great Izumo cult of Oho-kuni-nushi-no-Kami—four classes of ancestor-worship: the domestic religion, the religion of the Ujigami, the worship at the chief shrines [Ichi-no-miya] of the several provinces, and the national cult at Isé. All these cults are now linked together by tradition; and the devout Shintōist worships the divinities of all, collectively, in his daily morning prayer. Occasionally he visits the chief shrine of his province; and he makes a pilgrimage to Isé if he can. Every Japanese is expected to visit the shrines of Isé once in his lifetime, or to send thither a deputy. Inhabitants of remote districts are not all able, of course, to make the pilgrimage; but there is no village which does not, at certain intervals, send pilgrims either to Kitzuki or to Isé on behalf of the community, the expense of such representation being defrayed by local subscription. And, furthermore, every Japanese can worship the supreme divinities of Shintō in his own house, where upon a "god-shelf" (Kamidana) are tablets inscribed with the assurance of their divine protection,—holy charms obtained from the priests of Isé or of Kitzuki. In the case of the Isé cult, such tablets are commonly made from the wood of the holy shrines themselves, which, according to primal custom, must be rebuilt every twenty years,—the timber of the demolished structures being then cut into tablets for distribution throughout the country.

 

   Another development of ancestor-worship—the cult of gods presiding over crafts and callings—deserves special study. Unfortunately we are as yet little informed upon the subject. Anciently this worship must have been more definitely ordered and maintained than it is now. Occupations were hereditary; artizans were grouped into guilds—perhaps we might even say castes;—and each guild or caste then probably had in patron-deity. In some cases the craft-gods may have been ancestors of Japanese craftsmen; in other cases they were perhaps of Korean or Chinese origin,—ancestral gods of immigrant artizans, who brought their cults with them to Japan. Not much is known about them. But it is tolerably safe to assume that most, if not all of the guilds, were at one time religiously organized, and that apprentices were adopted not only in a craft, but into a cult. There were corporations of weavers, potters, carpenters, arrow-makers, bow-makers, smiths, boat-builders, and other tradesmen; and the past religious organization of these is suggested by the fact that certain occupations assume a religious character even to-day. For example, the carpenter still builds according to Shintō tradition: he dons a priestly costume at a certain stage of the work, performs rites, and chants invocations, and places the new house under the protection of the gods. But the occupation of the swordsmith was in old days the most sacred of crafts: he worked in priestly garb, and practised Shintō) rites of purification while engaged in the making of a good blade. Before his smithy was then suspended the sacred rope of rice-straw (shime-nawa), which is the oldest symbol of Shintō: none even of his family might enter there, or speak to him; and he ate only of food cooked with holy fire.

 

   The 195,000 shrines of Shintō represent, however, more than clan-cults or guild-cults or national-cults …. Many are dedicated to different spirits of the same god; for Shintō holds that the spirit of either a man or a god may divide itself into several spirits, each with a different character. Such separated spirits are called waka-mi-tama ("august-divided-spirits"). Thus the spirit of the Goddess of Food, Toyo-ué-bime, separated itself into the God of Trees, Kukunochi-no-Kami, and into the Goddess of Grasses, Kayanu-himé-no-Kami. Gods and men were supposed to have also a Rough Spirit and a Gentle Spirit; and Hirata remarks that the Rough Spirit of Oho-kuni-nushi-no-Kami was worshipped at one temple, and his Gentle Spirit at another.1… Also we have to remember that great numbers of Ujigami temples are dedicated to the same divinity. These duplications or multiplications are again offset by the fact that in some of the principal temples a multitude of different deities are enshrined. Thus the number of Shintō temples in actual existence affords no indication whatever of the actual number of gods worshipped, nor of the variety of their cults. Almost every deity mentioned in the Ko-ji-ki or Nihongi has a shrine somewhere; and hundreds of others—including many later apotheoses—have their temples. Numbers of temples have been dedicated, for example, to historical personages,—to spirits of great ministers, captains, rulers, scholars, heroes, and statesmen. The famous minister of the Empress Jingo, Takeno-uji-no-Sukune,—who served under six successive sovereigns, and lived to the age of three hundred years,—is now invoked in many a temple as a giver of long life and great wisdom. The spirit of Sugiwara-no-Michizané, once minister to the Emperor Daigo, is worshipped as the god of calligraphy, under the name of Tenjin, or Temmangu: children everywhere offer to him the first examples of their handwriting, and deposit in receptacles, placed before his shrine, their worn-out writing-brushes. The Soga brothers, victims and heroes of a famous twelfth-century tragedy, have become gods to whom people pray for the maintenance of fraternal harmony. Kato Kiyomasa, the determined enemy of Jesuit Christianity, and Hideyoshi's greatest captain, has been apotheosized both by Buddhism and by Shintō. Iyeyasu is worshipped under the appellation of Toshogu. In fact most of the great men of Japanese history have had temples erected to them; and the spirits of the daimyo were, in former years, regularly worshipped by the subjects of their descendants and successors.

 

   1 Even men had the Rough and the Gentle Spirit; but a god had three distinct spirits,—the Rough, the Gentle, and the Bestowing,—respectively termed Ara-mi-tama, Nigi-mi-tama, and Saki-mi-tama.—[See Satow's Revival of Pure Shintau.]

 

   Besides temples to deities presiding over industries and agriculture,—or deities especially invoked by the peasants, such as the goddess of silkworms, the goddess of rice, the gods of wind and weather,—there are to be found in almost every part of the country what I may call propitiatory temples. These latter Shintō shrines have been erected by way of compensation to spirits of persons who suffered great injustice or misfortune. In these cases the worship assumes a very curious character, the worshipper always appealing for protection against the same kind of calamity or trouble as that from which the apotheosized person suffered during life. In Izumo, for example, I found a temple dedicated to the spirit of a woman, once a prince's favourite. She had been driven to suicide by the intrigues of jealous rivals. The story is that she had very beautiful hair; but it was not quite black, and her enemies used to reproach her with its color. Now mothers having children with brownish hair pray to her that the brown may be changed to black; and offerings are made to her of tresses of hair and Tokyo coloured prints, for it is still remembered that she was fond of such prints. In the same province there is a shrine erected to the spirit of a young wife, who pined away for grief at the absence of her lord. She used to climb a hill to watch for his return, and the shrine was built upon the place where she waited; and wives pray there to her for the safe return of absent husbands …. An almost similar kind of propitiatory worship is practised in cemeteries. Public pity seeks to apotheosize those urged to suicide by cruelty, or those executed for offences which, although legally criminal, were inspired by patriotic or other motives commanding sympathy. Before their graves offerings are laid and prayers are murmured. Spirits of unhappy lovers are commonly invoked by young people who suffer from the same cause …. And, among other forms of propitiatory worship I must mention the old custom of erecting small shrines to spirits of animals,—chiefly domestic animals,—either in recognition of dumb service rendered and ill-rewarded, or as a compensation for pain unjustly inflicted.

 

   Yet another class of tutelar divinities remains to be noticed,—those who dwell within or about the houses of men. Some are mentioned in the old mythology, and are probably developments of Japanese ancestor-worship; some are of alien origin; some do not appear to have any temples; and some represent little more than what is called Animism. This class of divinities corresponds rather to the Roman dii genitales than to the Greek δαίμονες. Suijin-Sarna, the God of Wells; Kojin, the God of the Cooking-range (in almost every kitchen there is either a tiny shrine for him, or a written charm bearing his name); the gods of the Cauldron and Saucepan, Kudo-no-Kami and Kobe-no-Kami (anciently called Okitsuhiko and Okitsuhime); the Master of Ponds, Ike-no-Nushi, supposed to make apparition in the form of a serpent; the Goddess of the Rice-pot, O-Kama-Sama; the Gods of the Latrina, who first taught men how to fertilize their fields (these are commonly represented by little figures of paper, having the forms of a man and a woman, but faceless); the Gods of Wood and Fire and Metal; the Gods likewise of Gardens, Fields, Scarecrows, Bridges, Hills, Woods, and Streams; and also the Spirits of Trees (for Japanese mythology has its dryads): most of these are undoubtedly of Shintō. On the other hand, we find the roads under the protection of Buddhist deities chiefly. I have not been able to learn anything regarding gods of boundaries,—termes, as the Latins called them; and one sees only images of the Buddhas at the limits of village territories. But in almost every garden, on the north side, there is a little Shintō shrine, facing what is called the Ki-Mon, or "Demon-Gate,"—that is to say, the direction from which, according to Chinese teaching, all evils come; and these little shrines, dedicated to various Shintō deities, are supposed to protect the home from evil spirits. The belief in the Ki-Mon is obviously a Chinese importation. One may doubt, however, if Chinese influence alone developed the belief that every part of a house,—every beam of it,—and every domestic utensil has its invisible guardian. Considering this belief, it is not surprising that the building of a house—unless the house be in foreign style—is still a religious act, and that the functions of a master-builder include those of a priest.

 

   This brings us to the subject of Animism. (I doubt whether any evolutionist of the contemporary school holds to the old-fashioned notion that animism preceded ancestor-worship,—a theory involving the assumption that belief in the spirits of inanimate objects was evolved before the idea of a human ghost had yet been developed.) In Japan it is now as difficult to draw the line between animistic beliefs and the lowest forms of Shintō, as to establish a demarcation between the vegetable and the animal worlds; but the earliest Shintō literature gives no evidence of such a developed animism as that now existing. Probably the development was gradual, and largely influenced by Chinese beliefs. Still, we read in the Ko-ji-ki of "evil gods who glittered like fireflies or were disorderly as mayflies," and of "demons who made rocks, and stumps of trees, and the foam of the green waters to speak,"—showing that animistic or fetichistic notions were prevalent to some extent before the period of Chinese influence. And it is significant that where animism is associated with persistent worship (as in the matter of the reverence paid to strangely shaped stones or trees), the form of the worship is, in most cases, Shintō. Before such objects there is usually to be seen the model of a Shintō gateway,—torii…. With the development of animism, under Chinese and Korean influence, the man of Old Japan found himself truly in a world of spirits and demons. They spoke to him in the sound of tides and of cataracts in the moaning of wind and the whispers of leafage, in the crying of birds, and the trilling of insects, in all the voices of nature. For him all visible motion—whether of waves or grasses or shifting mist or drifting cloud—was ghostly; and the never moving rocks—nay, the very stones by the wayside—were informed with viewless and awful being.

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