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Three Masks of the Japanese Mountain God

358 pages5 hours


The three masks of the Japanese mountain god developed in myth-telling & myth-acting in festivals. They became models of character for adherents. The oldest form of the three models, referred to in the book as masks, pertains to passage into the land of the nature gods (kami) in the local mountains for purposes of hunting; the second mask is associated with sacred space, protection and ancestors; the third mask is linked to the social environment of rice farming, which came to help model behaviour associated with rice and human fertility as well as what it means to be a good member of the extended kinship group. This book is about these ancient Japanese myths. It is about their meaning, their history and their fate in the modern world. It is a book intended for non-specialists who are interested in Japanese religion and culture and those who may have an interest in how myth is occasionally applied to solving problems in our times of the crisis of modernity.

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