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THE SOUL OF THE FAR
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CHOSON: THE LAND OF THE MORNING CALM. A Sketch of Korea. Illustrated. 4to,
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OCCULT JAPAN: THE WAY OF THE GODS.
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A POSSESSION BY THE GODS UPON

ONTAKfe.

Page 6

MIFFLIN AND COMPANY (Cbc fiibcrsitic press".OCCULT JAPAN OR THE WAY OF THE GODS AN ESOTERIC STUDY OF JAPAXESE PERSONALITY AND POSSESSION BY PERCIVAL LOWELL BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON. <Cambriti£iE 1S95 .

By PERCIVAL LOWELL. 7 /9 i / Electrotyped and Priuted by The Riverside Press. S. U.Copyright. . O.A. Cambridge. All rights reserved. Mass. H. Houghton & Co.. 1894.

298 304 307 317 Mode of Motion Ideas A Force Individuality The Japanese Character Dreams Hypnotic Trances Possession Trances . 320 323 33^ 343 355 3^8 . 285 .The Shinto Gods . Will Self as Ideas Ideas a . : 278 Selfhood a Force Possession . PAGE Ontak6 Shinto Miracles Incarnations Pilgrimages and the Pilgrim Clubs The Gohei The Shrines of Ise I i6 36 97 .. . . .. ... 290 ' .Z'^r\ IL CONTENTS.193 230 270 Noumena Self ...

I .

Frontispiece 162 The Leader of a Pilgrim Band blessing the Holy Water 216 A Pilgrim Club ascending Ontak6 .LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. ... A A Ontak6 Possession by the Gods upon Buddhist Divine Possession . ..224 .

.

For upon its summit are the crumbling walls sky. It is of eight suc- cessive craters. amidst which it stands dignifiedly aloof.OCCULT JAPAN. Active once. Yet its form in lets its one divine what it must have been day. rises known It is as Ontake or the Honorable Peak. piled in parapet up into the not dead . it has been inactive now beyond the memory of man. slender filaments of vapor. a fine volcanic mass. iN the heart of Japan. For on its western face a single solfatara sends heaven- ward long. ONTAKE. sundered by deep valley-clefts from the great Hida-Shinshiu range. withdrawn alike by distance and by height from a mountain the commonplaces of the every-day world. faint . it slumbers.

For it is perhaps sacred tells a the most sacred it. it is well known peaks. of Japan's many Upon every summer. and we gazed into the beyond. found myself doing so with a friend gust. We as had reached. Some afar years ago this I chanced . Japan. it Regardless of the veil was unsuspected. as is prosaically possible in unprosaic feet. That the mountain held a mystery was undreamed of. 1 in AuBeyond the general fact of its sanctity. Almost unknown to foreigners. face to face with the gods. of its sides itself drew my eye up to where the peak stood hidden in a nimbus of it. now sleeps beneath . 89 1. faith rosary of ten thousand pilgrims. We stood . v/as thrown aside. a height of about nine thousand when we suddenly came upon tion as a manifesta- surprising as us. the sweep cloud. breath of what a vol- cano sunk in trance. had meant some day to climb Partly for this vision. to gaze from as upon holy mount and.2 OCCULT JAPAN. more because of of the I probable picturesqueness the route. to the Japanese. after various vicissitudes. nothing special was supposed to attach to the peak.

for thick view on the ascent. I By way of introduction cannot do more simply than to Set as the scene of of that it to them. passed stolidly out at the upper end hut close the path. . paths up all high sacred mountains in Japan being pleas- ingly pointed by rest-houses we were tar- rying there a moment. counting our heartbeats. and had reached the grotto-like hut at the eighth station — the . was upon the summit trance slumbering volcano sunk in itself. clad in pilgrim white. deaf the hut-keeper's importunities to : stop. The devout So. We first had plodded four fifths way up the pilgrim path. that not even the cetic the in- having been astutely contrived to most as- might escape temptation. and wondering how much more to of the mountain there might be cloud had cloaked all come. give my own.ONTAA'E 3 The fathoming of this unexpected revela- tion resulted in the discovery of a world of esoteric practices as significant as they were widespread. and. We had already passed the snow. leav- look of the trio struck our fancy. entered the hut from below. a presentation to the gods could hardly have been more dramatic. full when to three young men.

We had not climbed above a score of rods when we prayer cliff. we passed out after them.4 OCCULT JAPAN. . which seemed an ordinary one.. amid profuse acknowledgment from the hutkeeper. ing some coppers for our tea and cakes. drawing from his sleeve a goJiei-waxi^. seated himself upon one of the benches facing the shrine. and they interested us. overtook our young puritans lost in before a shrine cut into the face of the in front of which stood two or three benches in conspicuously out of place such a spot. But instead of one of them. At the same time another sat down on a second bench facing the first. The third reverently took post near by. We halted on general principles of curiosity. the most pious young men we had yet met. and closed his eyes. and certain other implements of religion. for we had no inkling of what They were simply was about to happen. to see the trio pack up and be this off again. soon came to an end upon which we expected . clasped his hands before his breast. mats. The three their hats. young men had already laid aside and staffs. and disclosed the white fillets that bound their shocks of jetblack hair. The prayer.

and taking the ^(?-^£'z-wand from him on the bench. he resolved into a second one. With a spas- modic jerk. 5 No sooner was the first launched into the most extraordinary performance I seated than he have ever beheld.ontakE. Startlingly uncouth as the action was. placed it between . Gazing raptly at his digital notonic chant. he prayed over it thus a moment it . throwing his whole body and soul into At the same time he began a mothe act. he suddenly tied his ten fingers into a knot. he grew momentarily more statuesque. the compelling intentness and sup- pressed power with which the paroxysmal pantomime was done. if anything. His strange action was matched only by the strange inaction of his vis-a-vis. And still the other's monotoned chant rolled on. The man did not move a muscle . then. was more so. pointed by a violent guttural grunt. with a second grunt. stringing his contortions all upon his chant with the vehemence of a string of oaths. At beside last the exorcist paused in his per- formance. and this into a third and a fourth and a fifth. startlingly emphasized by the contortion knots. knot.

It was as if the wand shook the man. and then slowly settled to a semi-rigid half-arm holding before his stiff. At the first sign of possession. The look of the man was unmistakable. It lashed the air maniacally here and there above his head. the motionless one as motionless as ever. clenched one above the his the other's hands.. 6 OCCULT JAPAN. When it the paroxysmal throes had settled into a steady quiver off to — much a top does when goes sleep — he leaned forward. put a hand as still on either side the possessed's knees. and bowed. other. brow quivers yet quivering. the exorcist had ceased incanting and sat bowed awaiting the coming presence. it So continued for some time. when all at once the hands holding the wand began to twitch convulsively . Unwittingly we had come to stand witnesses to a trance. not the man it. Then he resumed incantation. and sending his its through whole frame. He had gone com- pletely out of himself. asked in words archaically reverent . the twitching rapidly increased to a spasmodic throe which mo- mentarily grew more violent till suddenly it broke forth into the full fury of a seemingly superhuman paroxysm.

and then struck him on the back several times with increasing insistency. . 7 the name of the god who had thus deigned to descend. without being exactly artificial.ONTAKE. then rais- ing his look a preferred respectfully to what requests he had peak left at make . offered up an adoration prayer. he first touched the pos- sessed on the breast. Then leaning forward. body. set to The to a others then and kneaded his arms. cramped in catalepsy. and whether the loved ones home would all be guarded by the : god ? And the god made answer will " Till the morrow's afternoon clear. Then in a voice strangely unnatural. the entranced spake : " I am Hakkai. whether the w^ould be clear and the pilgrimage prove propitious. state. At first there was no reply. back normal No sooner was the ex-god himself again . Under this ungodly treatment the possessed opened his eyes like one awak- ing from profound sleep." The petitioner bent yet lower little. and legs." The man stayed bowed while the god spake. and when the god had finished speaking. the peak be and the pilgrimage shall be blessed.

We no had not been long upon the summit. the three friends offered up a concluding prayer. donning their outside accoutrements. faster been we too proceeded. This rotation in possession so this strange religiously observed was not the least strange detail of drama. and sooner had they arrived. a similar interview. and a similar awakening. however. the petitioner moved into the seat of the entranced. and then. than they sat down tip-top upon some other benches in the little similarly standing open space before the . Revolving so strangely in our minds what we had thus suffered to see. and. and the entranced retired to the post of lookeron. Then with this change of persons the to a ceremony was gone through with again similar possession. trio than the changed places . the looker-on took the place of the petitioner. When the cycle had been completed. being walkers.8 OCCULT JAPAN. started upward. when they appeared again. At the close of the second trance the three once more revolved cyclically and went through the performance for the third time. had soon distanced our god-acquaintances.

ically. they informed us somewhat pathetuninterrupted fog. nor did the rest of the company pay cists . and were almost as much astounded as at first. pilgrims as well seated caldron some native meteorologists in an annex. the slightest heed to the exor- all of which spoke volumes of the occurrence.ONTAKE. shrine. There were plenty round the of other fire. consisting. For on a turning to after climb round the crater rim. and again were we pleasurably . took no notice of them. and 9 to went through their cyclical pos- sessions as before. the our eyes amid sight of the its thing to catch dim religious gloom was the in the full pious trio once more throes of possession. nor of any of the other pilgrims. Up to the time we met them the weather had been dishearteningly same. for the commonplaceness We again thought we had seen our last of the gods. We had not thought see the thing a second time. however. of The exorcists. Our fear of parting with our young the summit-hut first godre- friends proved quite groundless. who had been exiled there for a month by a paternal government to study as the atmospheric conditions of this island in the clouds.

— an imported attitude of mind not destitute of caricature. but there were safely ten trances in the few hours that fringed their sleep's oblivion. one of the three much better at possession than the other two. after- And all this between four o'clock one next morning. who came out to fra- ternize with us. At five the next morning we had hardly finished a shivery preprandial peep at the sunrise. except us and meteorologists. to Truly the gods were gracious thus descend so many times Doubtless . And the nobody. apparently. all below us a surging sea of cloud. OCCULT JAPAN. took any cogni- zance of what was going on. and volunteered in a superior comments manner on the senselessness of the proceeding. and an hour later we came upon them before the breakfast. desire for an inordinate their .10 disappointed. and truly devout their devotees to crave so much communion. hard at it for the fifth time. noon and being six the The cycle was not always completed. when there were the three indefat- igables up and way of none other. — — and turned communing once more into again by the hut. for they took tip-top shrine. and one much worse.

their journey hundred and done miles. these estimable to a young men were equal tramp all over the place during the rest of the morning. home much of saw holy of three it to be That far night them not only off the mountain. even at that altitude. for to let another in- habit one's house always proves hard on the furniture. They ascended crater - religiously to all the craterall peaks. his devo- tees with comparative ease which was edify- ing but exhausting . society is 1 gratifying to the gods. and descended as piously to the pools — and fifty then started on their climb down and afoot. for the last we saw of them was a wave of farewell as they passed the inn where we But the most had put up for the night. though the young men's nor on the god's. The god possessed . but well on their way beyond.1 ONTAKE. In spite however. all this took place on top of a climb of ten thousand feet toward heaven. but the frequency of the talks it fairly took our breath had no perceptible effect on away. And of it. carried How their momentum them without stopping I know not. surprising part of the endurance lay in the fact that from the moment they began the .

12 OCCULT japan: they were ascent of the mountain on the early morn- ing of the one day. therefore. but simply to show that was every whit the company it purported to be. like more mundane I society dull. to the society it and this first glimpse of only piqued curiosity to more. the The tion fact of possession was confirmed readily was received at first enough. until. but of my desire for a private repetiitself the act with some mystery and more hesitation. with one man after another. than I No made sooner back inquiry •into acquaintanceship I had so strangely formed upon the mountain. . Such was my introduction of the gods . However. to receive the most convincing assurance of its divinity. offishterms of it was not long before was holding divine receptions in my own ness thawed. undeniably mention this not because did not find worth knowing. in town. Exalted and exclusive as this best of all society it unquestionably was. proved intellectually. I drawing-room. till off it on the late afternoon of the next. getting upon cordiality with deity. they ate nothing and drank only water. I it we agree well it to call the best.

The revelation thus strangely vouchsafed it me turned out to be as far-reaching as was sincere. There proved in the to exist a regular system of divine possession.ONTAKE. managed some years ago it get to the top of and then to the bottom anything. Other . Rein. That other foreigners should not previously have been admitted to this company of heaven may at first seem the strangest fact of all. an esoteric cult imbedded very heart and core of the Japanese character and instinct. contrived to do the like. again without seeing The old guide-book. that indefatigable collector of and statistics. has been facts to climbed by foreigners several times before. in the person of an enthusiastic pedestrian. peaks or preferments base ambition in either case — — an equally for Ontake. with all the strangeness of that to us enigmatical race. if I may judge by what my Nor can I friends credit me on that subject. 13 II. though not of every-day ascent. Certainly my introduction can- not be due to any special sanctity of my tell it own. to any desire on whether to my part to rise in the world.

expects to and what exists he would never dream of looking Japan is scientifically an undiscovered country even to the Japanese. the more he ceives the ideas in the two hemispheres to be fundamentally diverse. also ac- good locomotive powers complished this feat without penetrating the secret of the mountain. For they are as essentially Japanese as they are essentially genuine.14 visitors of OCCULT JAPAA'. find does not exist. and the one sense other. and who piloted these several gentle- men must have been well aware of the fact. What he for. this threshold acquaintance but that the per- farther the foreigner goes. It is not simply that the language proves so that but of difficult few foreigners pass . For their importance is twofold : archaeologic no less than psychic. That is. The fact is that Japan is still very much of an undiscovered country to us. The explanation is to be sought elsewhere. . as a study of these possessions will disclose. they are neither shams nor importations from China or India. festations in They are other-world mani- helps accentuate the two senses. And all yet the trances were certainly going on the guides the time.

the old native faith. with a short account Shinto in general. They are the hitherto unsuspected esoteric side of Shinto. We must begin. as I shall show later. of therefore. 1 but aboriginal originalities of the Japanese people.5 ONTAKE. That Japanese Buddhists is also practice them but appreciative Buddhist indorsement of their importance. .

I. largely lost local For Buddhism proceeded to appropriate its possessions. and was then first called Shinto. it thus acquired a name. belief itself indefinitely antedates its for it has come down to us from a time when sole possession of the field precluded denomi- nation. paying Shinto the compliment of incorporating. such as it fancied of . or the if it Way of Buddha. It knew no christening till Buddhism was adopted from China in the sixth century of our era.SHINTO. temporal and spiritual. the lief or the Way of the Gods. HINTO. and assumed habitation. to distinguish it from Butsudo. or the Way of the Gods. is name of of the oldest religious be- the Japanese people. Buddhism became the state. It had been both church and state. The name. the greater part of the churches . without acknowledgment.

. Under generous adoption on the one hand. a line of literati. who. little. turned men's thoughts to criticism. the history-bibles of the race. A long peace. the splendor of Buddhist show. devoted themselves to a study of the past. to comment. and started a chauvinistic movement. in the national pantheon ostensibly. outcome was immense. which overthrew the Shogunate and restored the . chiefly the commentators' but their are comic. was left — just enough to swear by. beginning with Mabuchi. in the early part of the eighteenth century. following the firm establishing of the Shogunate.7 SHINTO. however. as a twilight of popular At last. Criticism of the past begot criticism of the present. 1 and of kindly recognizing the more popular avatars of its Shinto gods this for lower own. Lost in Shint5 lay obscured thus for a millenium lingering chiefly superstition. a new era -dawned. for a tra- century and a upon the old Japanese ditions buried in the archaic language of the Kojiki and the Nihongi. and begot the commentators. and relegation to an inferior place on the other. the Shinto rites. very of Shinto. elucidations practical As science. and continued half.

A then Japanese cabinet minister found this out to In 1887. This was the restoration 1868. Mori Arinori. This happy state of things was not to western ideas. . proved filling Buddhism. The faith of the nation's springtime entered upon the Indian of its life. is. one of the new-lights. went on a certain occasion to the Shrines of Ise. and It studiously treated them with disrespect. Mikado — with all the irony of fate. classes had found a new its and Herbert Spencer was as prophet. The temples Buddhism had usurped were purified . then to a bureau. strong as ever. first to a department. summer last. since these litterateurs owed of their existence to the patronage of those they overthrew. Shinto came back as part and parcel that of the old.8 1 OCCULT JAPAN. spiritual affairs were degraded. From one half the government. But in the nation's heart the Shinto senti- ment throbbed on his cost. and especially the great wave of submerging. and handed over again to the Shinto priests. they were stripped of Buddhist ornament. and then to a sub-bureau. most advanced Japanese minister of state for education. The Japanese upper faith .

there were no two patriot dying for his country. with a prayer that a little to the gods lies of the spirit of him who : buried there may become theirs that spirit which they call so proudly the Yamato Ko- koro. the heart of old Japan. to and then Japan rose in a body not to the murdered man. his walking. alleged.e as curious were ever penned. by som. not of their adoption. to some to-day kept green still the singing-girls bring their branches of plum blossoms. to his murto Even the muzzled press it managed hint on which side editorials as was. and apparently on good author- that he trod with his boots on the mat outside the portal of the palisade. It is the faith of these people's Its folk- birthright. you had thought the murderer some great people. ' For in truth Shinto is so Japanese it will not down.X SHINTO. 19 was ity. and pilgrimages were shrine. do honor. It is still made it to it. but derer. Folk by thouas . He was assassinated in consequence the assassin was cut down by the guards. lore is what they learned at the knee of the . As for the ways about it. and then poked the curtain apart with stick. sands flocked with flowers to his grave.

of their parents. till it of not becoming became of filled not only the whole sphere of morals. Quite co- gently. to their minds. like individuals. Now. and by virtue more. the thunder and the . as children and savages But races. But is the character of the combination logically instructive. less. lief . comes the to fear of one's father. in point of primjtiveness.20 OCCULT JAPAN. Both. but expanded into the sphere cosmogony. show. is. the uni- verse itself took on the paternal look. Shinto cosmos. not what they were taught from abroad. are aboriginal in- Next to the fear of natural phe- nomena. stincts. To the Japanese eye. lent explanation nature. of course. of nature is the Japanese coTiception of the It is a combination of the worship and of their own ancestors. Filial respect lasted. Awe which these people could to comprehend. Buddhist they are by virtue of beShinto by virtue of being. ) race-mother. tend differentiate the two as they develop. ethno- For a lack of psychic development has enabled these seemingly diverse elements to fuse into a homogeneous whole. which dread of they could not. the suggestive thing about the Japanese that they did not do so.

but of beings ancestrally related to themselves. . subjective idea with objective Shinto is thus an adoration of family . Actual personal immortality the instant inevitable inference of the child-mind. For while simple Shinto regards the dead as spiritually living. or of imputed family wraiths first imin aginaries of the and the second order universeA is the analysis of the Buddhism a sense the with its ultimate Nirvana in antithesis of this. in parlive by the way thought which the dead on in the of the young is generally. 2 typhoon. The of the dead do thus survive living. :i wraiths. dilating with distance into That their dead should thus on to them alleled is definitely live It is nothing strange. were the work not only of anthropomorphic beings. in the memories and it is the natural deduction to clothe this existence. two aspects of the same shield.1 SHINTO. Shinto. the past. the sunshine and the earthquake. In short. philosophic Buddhism regards the living as spiritually dead . their explanais tion of things in general. simply the patri- archal principle projected without perspective into deity.

So is the attitude of the Japanese toward their gods filially familiar. an attitude which In shocks more teleologic the same life is faiths. Shinto little has seemed better than the ghost of a belief. the first God Emperor of Japan.22 OCCULT JAPAN. To foreign students in consequence. laid down . And the gods live in heaven much as men. Their Mikado they look upon as the lineal descendant of Niniginomikoto. injunctions as could well be framed. The Japanese thus conceive themselves own gods. but in which they themselves see nothing irreverent. far too insubstantial a body of faith to hold a heart." and otherwise "follow your own heart" is the sum of their commands as parental subject. The concrete quality of the Japthe direct descendants of their anese mind has barred abstractions on the The gods have never so much as " Obey the Mikaa moral code. hole To ticket its gods and pigeon- its folk-lore has appeared to be the end of a study of its cult. their descendants. do on earth. do. Nor is its outward appearance less unin- . way their conception of a future that of a definite immaterial extension of the present one.

For is in all save the religious idea craves Feeling the fuel of sensuous setting. . faith which sights. of religion. and perfumes fan into flame. vitingly skeleton-like. little It has as much has to worship with. sounds. in and heaven or catholic earth stand unrepresented in its pantheon." petency . its appearance certainly leaves something to be desired. From rice the Goddess of the Sun to the gods of agriculture. but in Jap- anese speech "eighty" and "myriad" are neither of them mathematical terms. the one being a mystic number and the other a conventional confession of arithmetical incom- both expressions being rigorously rendered in English by the phrase " no end. In but one thing is Shinto patently rich to worship as It it — in gods.SHINTO. has more gods to than its devotees know what few things do with. Sense may not be of the essence is. a scant set of deal paraphernalia. and so speak a deal of nothing else. 23 a deal barn of With to a building for temple. but incense II. Biblical biography puts the num- ber roundly at eighty myriads. good Puritan souls.

A at week after birth presented put under deity. beneath them to be in business. 24 OCCULT japan: to count the gods. Of course no merely finite man can pos- sibly worship so infinite a number of deities. death Any it one at may become a god. is For every branch of human specially superintended it by some Men may deem trade. the temple {miya niairi) and the protection of some special god's The preference . Nobody ever pretended for the roll is Indeed. is not con- sulted in the affair he becomes tutelary matter of course. and is of the entailed responsibilities of greatness that the very exalted must do so. Each has his and spends much time looking after his apprentices. to prevent accidents.. to do so would be pious labor lost being constantly increased by promotions from the ranks. as a in Next importance to the tutelary god the patron god. industry god. but the gods do not. is god on notification. But it is work with- . for His choice is made him by the babe his is parents. and clubs the rest in a general petition. first his choice of inti- mates. So each makes from time to time. limitless- though time be to him of oriental ness.

One sees at once how aboriginal all this . gracefully plain portals a simple here passes to a yet simpler one beyond it all and the solemn cryptomerea lend the natural grandeur that so fittingly canopies the old. So are the few Shinta effect. something Simple as such conceptions are. fat fisherman. very comfortably seated. out worry. inasmuch as such. the god of honest labor being portrayed as a jolly. too. befitting 25 the easy-going East . gods are very boon-companion patrons of the Furthermore. rites perfect in Finished fashionings from afar past. conception in the they are so beautifully complete. that one forgets the frailty of th'=" rounded perfection of the form.. genial guardianship all his life. there is fine in their sweet simplicity. chuckling at having just caught a carp. of the faith's buildings it The very barrenness has a beauty of its own. touched as is by Japanese taste. have their special gods with whom perforce their notaries are on peculiarly intimate terms.SHINTO. gods for a general compatibility of temper He thus lives under conwith himself. Through those life . every one chooses his sport. Pleasures.

26 is.faiths proclaim of themselves. But the mythologic evidence of soul. Childish conceptions embalmed . I opposed to its mere body mean all that informing spirit vouchsafed by direct communion between god and man which . in an exquisite etiquette so Shinto might have been ticketed. their revelations their gods show the same there- simple and attractive character. vouchsafed to him in trance. The in Japanese are not scientists. mummy showed no By the soul of a faith. artists. ni}' friend the high priest of the . fore. times incompatible with the gods them- selves are responsible. I. OCCULT JAPAN. And If. the Shinto scheme of things seem at itself. and pooh-pooh It of all the others. itself me upon We phy must now see what the Japanese con- ceive this soul to be. as of belief. was this soul that so to unexpectedly revealed Ontake. For is I from one whose authority of the god's nothing short own words. not sions on errors and omishave it all my part excepted. is Now Shinto philoso- not the faith's strong point. ' HI.

being made up entirely of body and mind. clarifies. on the other hand. Gods. As the spirit that blank. lit. Shinshiu sect. comes The one thing common. SJiinki. animals. same substance you can manage the conof these philosophic va- you will find no difficulty with the second. ception of the cuities. who is all soul. to all . Furthermore. except the supreme god. are bodiless and consist of spirit and soul. things in heaven and earth are composed of three elements. or karada) body. spirit and soul may coexist separately in one body. plants. Ame-no- minaka-nashi-no-mikoto. is related to tania- soul. much is as a substance with its attributes related to the If first without them. it it. Stocks some men have no soul. {sJiinki) mind or and and {taniashii) soul. therefore. becomes more and more approaches soul and finally beis. The behavior of some men seems to stones. To begin {gotai spirit.SHINTO. then. god-spirit. shii. is 27 of So that my knowledge I the subject but second-hand divine. and lend support to this theory. with. much can nearer the source of inspiration than ever hope in reason to come all again.

and depends upon the greatness or the funct. vive and be worshiped for Spirit is some time by no means necessarily good. may. . spirit. it When a man or animal its or plant dies spirit body duly decays. from gods to granite. sake of It is to be hoped for the Japan's beautiful brushmanship. goodness of the de- For example. has its and particular as it is Each spirit is as separate yet the body it inhabits . either lives res- to those two great the gods Takami-musubi- no-kami and Kami-musubi-no-kami. perhaps. of permeating matter and of going to laws of its and coming according It own. god-spirit. Whether a personality persists or not is kept spirit's a matter de- cided by the supreme god. that he will continue to suryet. the god of calligraphy. Spirit dies. capable of indefinite expansion or con- traction. both of this world and the next. Kan Shojo. Everything. be looked upon provisionnever only circulates. From is them a continual circulation of spirit up through the universe. is things. its ally as a gas.28 OCCULT JAPAN. but on alone or returns ervoirs of spirit. has persisted thus posthumously a for almost thousand years.

Usually it does not wander in this way. it may do so during life. Why ple. have got a bad name. . and that is cause enough. be observed that in this system of ethics man has no monopoly of original sin. They are given a It will bad name. viewed from the human some standpoint. certain inoffensive animals. and men. It is 29 manifest that. a certain evolutionary process is going on throughout the universe. and the . both among plants.SHINTO. Similarly the gods themselves are divided into the sheep ciful and the goats. the harmless ones The harmful ones are therefore bad may or may not be good. by which the bad spirits grow good and the good better. Indeed. but by a mer- dispensation of something or other the good gods are mightier than the bad. Spirit not only circulates after death . some things are harmful. simply because it is at home where it is and inertia keeps it there. animals. But in some cases it is not so wedded to the body with which it is associated. terminating in total blankness. or even a good the is as inscrutable as the cause of gender of Latin nouns. harmless. for exam- one. It is described as a continued clarification.

at the will of the gods. not a difficult matter. we ably consider it may profit- under the two aspects of gives rise to the mira- god-possession of things and god-possession of people. Possession of an- simply the entrance into one body spirit. cles . no matter what But for sake of psy- chology rather than religion. men the power to pray for them . becomes the more is it given to occasional volatilizing. and presumably so occur . It is accomplished through For the degree of purity deter- mines the degree is of possession.30 purer it OCCULT JAPAN. other body's and the simultaneous expulsion or subjugation of the spirit originally there. Now This is esoteric Shinto consists in compel- ling this spirit to circulate for particular ends. in olden at the pres- times. This shift of spirit may take place between any two bodies the bodies be. Nor does such the interchange differ in kind. The one the other to the incarnations. in nature. if it is properlyself- undertaken. ent day but the gods have also graciously granted pure acceptedly. Both kinds of possession occurred spontaneously. purification. that is.

and now only the gods and the godly. or it may down into the belly. the the divine. complete. 31 In the case of people the act of possession is nowadays known as kami-oroshi. kami- utsicshi. They because are called originally kamhvasa or god-arts. who Possession of things are in like manner possible through purity in the person would bring them about. all with others such as nori-uisuri." being used indifferently according to the speaker's preference. ." "the causing the god to transform " or "god transformation. actual possessions the chief distinction consists in the character of the god who comes. Possession may be is.SHINTO. point view. only the gods. is. " to change vehicles. that "the causing come down. that the alien spirit may drive share the head of the person with the native spirit. or intermediary. rary last from But of this is matter of the tempothree expressions." The first two names thus view the thing of the god to from the human standpoint. partial. can perform them. it or it may drive it out. or kami-tctsiiri. But such degrees of In tenancy are grades rather of the proficiency attained during novitiate into the cult.

but of tradition. is probable that originally they were the com- mon property of all Shintoists. That they do so while the others do not matter of creed.32 OCCULT JAPAN. Of the present ten sects that compose the Shinto church. For not by differently worshiping an identical god. though as we shall see it when we look later into their history. make pilgrimages to their shrine once or twice a year. These sects date only from since the time . and all but two. it is necessary to explain the present position of Shinto with regard to these esoteric practices generally. Before entering upon the miracles. all the oth- ers' gods. called sects. IV. but different gods. the not is Though they Shinto sects are not properly so differ much sects as sections. the Shinshiu and the Mitakd sects. only two practice the possession-cult. by identically worshiping of Each them likewise wor- though with less assiduity. For. Each looks specially to the great shrine dedicated to its special is gods . ships. one of which a sort of general bureau of church organism. they are not so to-day.

of the revival of 33 pure Shinto twenty years profes- ago. doubtit although the priests to-day assert that was always practiced by the pious Certain it is. and the divers deeds of one sort and another which he accomplished. But under another name the it sors of the cult hold in unbroken practice from the far past. if indeed there can be said to have at all.SHINTO. in secret. because it was indeed manu- factured of both creeds. was was known at was the founder of the Shingon sect all He seems to have of Buddhism in Japan. been singularly energetic. the pictures he painted. This worthy soul called — who Daishi by the way was never while Kobo . The great Kobo Daishi is the reputed father of Ryobu. however. Whether during the time of Shint5's long eclipse the possession cult was kept up by the few remaining pure Shintoists. is been any pure Shintoists then ful. would have kept Methusehe as was called anything he known Kukai — so long as he . The peak* he climbed. that during the lapse of Shinto from national regard practice of all the cult passed to intents and purposes to a hybrid of Shint5 and Buddhism known as Ryobu or Both.

because it let everybody in. It sect. is said. It was essentially an open its met reward. some of the Buddhist sects early saw the advantage of being intimate with deity. Ryobu apd incorporating it took it for his own Shingon sect of . when pure Shinto was revived at the time of the Restoration. all to His invention conHis diligence sisted in a judicious hodge-podge of Shinto and Buddhist popularities. Ry5bu has more than one ticed god-possession. trait it much given father. so inventing boldly by the Shinto Emnot satisfied with in that. he found time amid invent Ryobu. to mountaineering. after being taught the means to peror Sanga. and Kobo it it Daishi. a to might be supposed were it have inherited from its not instinctive in a Japanese to climb. for a thousand years. rial edict. again into the Shinto Besides Ry5bu. but it was only the Ontake sect of the belief that prac- kept the cult alive and then.34 lah on the nial it OCCULT JAPAN. The newly invented faith became very popular. Nevertheless. jump for the whole of his millen- life. instantly air faith. and hybrids were abolished by impethe Ontake Ryobuists came back fold.

. the Nichiren sect learned the it art and indulges now more than time either of the other two. Denkyo sect. 35 still And the Shingon sect prac- tices the cult to-day. Buddhism.SHINTO. We thus find at the present among the professors of the cult some Shintoists. each claiming it stoutly for its own. some Ryobuists. the founder of the Tendai captivated by belief. and some Buddhists. it was likewise it and incorporated in into his Lastly. Daishi.

.MIRACLES. Japanese piety are a kind. In fact. Kamiwaza but to or god-arts are of all many of sorts. ULLARDS cacy will always deem with deli- incompatible strength. and few religions in a sense more true. It is quite possible to see the comic side of things without losing sight of their serious aspect. is to get but a superficial its view of for the missing substance. So much it people. With this preface for life-preserver I plunge boldly into the miracles. not to see both sides life. is To touch them not to touch a subject lightly it for at all. As for the priests. Yet the phrase to " dead in earnest " might perhaps hint them that there is more virtue in liveliness than they suspect. is only neces- sary to say that few are more essentially sincere and lovable than the Shinto ones .

and for his great semi-annual festivals priest of the my friend the head Shinshiu sect has announce- ment So of a couple of them printed them regularly as special attractions on his invitation cards. may be read of in histories In Shinto the miracles are not so important matters as the incarnations .MIRACLES. for exthe ample. together with innuall merable like performances. in displaying Yet the them for Any fete-day of the possess- ing sects is more likely than not to have a miracle for central show. his self in the other. some merely useful. are in the category. since the god but shows his power the one case. and so forth. it . to say nothing of killing snakes and bringincluded ing them to life again. The fact without the explanation of Japan. church takes pleasure pious purposes. Nichiren. far as piety classifies at all. der-God calling down fire from Heaven rooting burglars to the spot. Causing the descent . and are two all simple enough affairs to the truly good. of the Thun. for good in reason. - 37 though some are spectacular. broke in blade of his would-be executioner by exorcism taught him of the Shint5 priests.

con- sisting solely in agreement very In consequence. they sub- very conveniently under two heads miracles jective and objective ones. Chief among called the subjective miracles are collectively the rites. apparently purely extrinsic. An account of the former since it may properly precede. it Hepburn's dictionary a dagger stabs Furthermore. on the whole. is archaic Japanese. however. The first and simplest is of these Three Great Rites the Kugadacki or Ordeal by Boiling Water.38 OCCULT JAPAN. includes those which. on important festivals lasting two or three days. From : does so according to their scenic effect or for the difficulty of doing them. the departed is given no character. a psychologic point of fall view. The word kugadacki In obsolete. they are performed in turn successively. being epitaphed solely in the Japanese sidescript. are considered the greater. II. what are the trio Sankei or the three great is The bond connecting in greatness. Such absence of ideograph implies for the expression an .

an inference fully is borne out by folk-lore. designed to keep out the undesir- able devils. The arrangements itively picturesque. are stuck into the feet apart. on which one side. . This makes an airy sort of palisade. and . ground some eight From frond to frond are hung hempen ropes.MIRACLES. historic times. for the rite are prim- A huge iron caldron. of which have much it to say later. as was in touchstone to actual guilt these more teleologic times merely as test of theoretic guilelessness. more deal boxes. About Four then built a magic at their cut bamboo. open on the consecrated pedestals for the gohei. tufted tops. pot. tioned For the ordeal in men- more than once to the Kojiki. make The I gohei are very important shall affairs. Just outside of the space thus inclosed or is placed a deal table. 39 age antedating the time when the Japanese learned to write . set in the it cere- midst of the garden or is square. as is it might be some witches' moniously court. For the mothey are zig- ment will suffice to state that zag strips of paper festooning a wand. and seems applied have been quite popular in pre In those direct days it .

Its Thuya Arbor vit(E. I my now very quite I to see why I desired to do so. simple to a degree. productive of much spiritual significance later on. where he had been purifying himself." appearance.40 OCCULT JAPAN.^ water is then brought in first and ocat poured into the caldron." the is is on account of is its lit. name sun-wood due to its said by some priestly exposi- tors to be having furnished the prehistoric two first sticks from whose rubbing came fire. was then kindled beneath. On my I casion of witnessing the miracle this little was fail point graciously permitted to dab finger into the water. obtusa. In front of table stands a saucer of salt. rise. 1 That the robe was white The wood I have here and elsewhere translated " deal. stood round fire A about the square. is. My request turned out a most discreet indiscretion. clad in a single white robe. while behind them bamboo fronds stuck Spring into stands rise into a background of plumes. them upon the are the outward and visible symbols of the gods. watching for the water to boil. professionals and amateurs. which " sun-wood. but am glad I did. . or the hinoki. When at last the steam started to the officiating acolyte emerged from the holy bathhouse near by. and we.

MIRACLES. The thorsuit realize it. practical effect is on the worker. its Like all good works. uncouth finger-twists and monotonic formulae pointed by expressive . basis of speech Now gods. It is worth noting here. each of an endlessly similar action. entering the mystic square he clapped the invariable Japanese method summoning anybody from gods to . On his this. Pantomime and prayer wove the double strand on which his more particular beads of rosary were told . simply has to be done in one's this one would succeed Shinto priests request. but with anthropomorphic it as with if ordinary mortals. it is all very well to preach against vain repetitions. theoretically . to circum- ambulate the kettle through a whole series of rites. and the oughly act upon too thoroughly to one who looks impatiently past rep- etitions to their result. hands of servants. 41 practically it was a post-dilu- vian gray. fact. that they should thus indifferently summon deities and The young priest then started made up and domestics. as instan- cing the familiar terms on which the Japanese stand with their gods. a hue which the rite soon sufficiently explained.

at least a half between each . it No sooner was it it completed. digitating did so. the square. All this was of fact most particular though as a matter the orientation of the points was hypothetical. . he tossed more salt into the air toward each of the four quarters of the heavens. This constituted the simple motif. as were. digitating as he did he faced the kettle and repeated his spell. after the manner of one enjoining After this implicit compliance with his act. facing the caldron then walking absorbedly round to the south. deposited a pinch of it at each of the compass points with the free hand as he in turn. Beginning at the north end he . the northwest. grunts. circuit at the west side . Upon this undercurrent of wellnigh automatic action the man was insensibly carried along through successive cycles of of rite. helped himself to a handful of and mak- ing circuits of the kettle as before. he went through the same performance the southwest. was salt. then at the east. the northeast. than he First it started on again with variations.42 guttural OCCULT JAPAN. Continuing as before. From the saucer on the stand he this. and making thus point. first made incantation so.

the to be carrying to on the rite . imprecatory viocircuit with lence. In the same a flint 43 way he made the rounds with scattering sparks at and steel. repeating the scalding douche at each with ever-grow- ing self-abandonment. on and on. in one continuous round. over again from the beginning. his exaltation rising with each fresh dip till he was as one possessed. which he liquid. To this boiling shower-bath there seemed the no end. the spray falling in a scaldins: shower-bath all over him. seemed be carrying him on. circuit after circuit he made. west. religiously Round and round compassing man went. one in each hand. them loaded with boiling water. and This then he did north. _ maniacally first the water and then the air scattering with the fronds. of the affair Up to rite this final phase he had seemed now. in like fash- by cuts in the Lastly. the scalding all douche not only over himself. but over . and exorcised the water ion. Still. Then he took air of the gohei- wand. dipped into the seething and then. his points. lashed the air above his head. lashing . he made the two bamboo lifting fronds. south. east. the proper places.MIRACLES.

is The moon. whatever the cause. the spirit of water resides in the moon . For that lunacy-inducing body of water . higher rose the pitch of his possession at last. the wilted semblance of a man. below at the moment . and from once col- the acme of his paroxysm he all at lapsed into a lump of limp rag upon the ground. The others rushed in and bore him away. the cause of it all step in elucidation. the spirit of cold water. inasmuch as it has none to speak of. While he was gone to prepare himself once more to for this world. it appears. them by the way. the most convincing proof the innocent bystanders as well. Higher and till.. 44 OCCULT JAPAN. the origin on the Incus a noii principle. a seems. is. cold water and dif- hot water being. we must suppose. to follow which requires less stretch of the western imagination than the next succeeding one. be it understood. giving thus. in Japanese eyes. rose to the water in the fire caldron from the the water boiled. spirit of The This hot water is the spirit of fire. of the genuineness of the feat. quite ferent substances with different names. nature could no farther go. the high priest explained me first the spirit of the it rite. But.

and so is rendered insensible just saw. manner on the is. clothed and in . amid the purity of the peaks. by its appropriate paths. This happy result fection w#rked to easier perIt is. it descends from abode. dispossesses fire. "Now. the spirit of water properly be- sought. for purely pious reasons. therefore. is When. an irrelevant detail that water at those altitudes should boil at a lower temperature." as the priest quaintly put "just as there are veins in man's body. The thin air of the peaks all is. A double nega- tive of the sort appears. so that we the second action might seem to savor of the superfluous. and. the moon. of course. as exist. conducive to of etherealization. And of course no longer is hot. the performer himself so the priest said. to make assurance doubly sure. and fissures in the earth. MIRACLES. In addition to the lunar action ^boiling water. so are there arteries in the air and to each spirit its own its arteries.. which. however. the spirit of which it sink's ' bark again to the charcoal whence the hot water is came. 45 it. When the man returned. does not to the heat. temporarily possessed by the lunar spirit.

and an adept. appeared. it at the time. the heat of the water during replied that He sometimes he . said he felt the water. He was a frail-looking youth. of ecstatic eye. a stages of his novitiate. For the dif- acolyte averred that he had perceived a ference between the two. but not the heat of it an interesting distinction. in the importance of it my dabble to the Though little had been but extent of a finger. par- the miracle on that side of the caldron. right mind once more. 46 his OCCULT JAPAN. But he had just had not felt the heat of any part distinc- He had therefore detected a tion without a difference. a degree of divinity quite transcending the simply not feeling at all. partially spoiling the miracle. Yet he was unconscious afterward. I would seem had considerably improved . evidently a good "subject. The head much always stronger man." though still in the early priest. said that he of it. Here came in the basin.. then. did and sometimes he did not in this in- stance he said he had felt nothing. and conscientious that By it. preventing as the as water there from becoming cold elsewhere. ligious permission. tially spoiled — — and it that by re- it had. he was asked felt whether he the ordeal.

but an exhibition by the whole company. grounds of the head temple itself. is To the faithful this one of the regular well stock miracles.MIRACLES. is not confined to the They indeed have the pas. and when you become known to the profession for a collector of such curios. There. they say. Even professionally is not a star performance. certainly con- duces to exaltation. worked up For in its at last to part participation itself. If also you be friend to the high-priest of the Shinshiu sect. you shall have offers of per- formance in your own back-yard. an intent multitude framing the walkers round about. adds It to the purity of the rite. 47 III. profes- performance sionals. working the miracle is eminently it democratic. you may have a chance sect's to witness it in spring and autumn in special glory in the in town. The second Rites is miracle of the Three Great the Hiwatari or the Walking Bare- foot over a Bed of Live Coals. Fellowship. but after they have thus broken the ice the pop- . beside the miracle its shall you see scarcely less curious setting. In the second place.

The difficulty comes of in accurately estimating the degree one's own purity. fronded. The two go in. this — only it is increases pari passu with in geometrical first progres- Here not the step that costs. one be pure enough he if will cross rial unscathed understanding will It more matespeedily acquaint him not. making slender posts . stuck into the ground. Eight bamboo. And the purity needed to do the length sion. In their case. the length it that has to be walked over and grows tedious. to preis added after agony usually from The bed to six to be traversed is twelve to eighteen feet long and from three feet wide.48 iilace is OCCULT japan: permitted to indulge to satiety. If . together. In Ryobu the bed of state still is an eightare poster. his trial of his deficiency. vious anguish of spirit of sole. itself in the same way person cuticle For while the bed is possessed by the god any sufficiently pure may and tread great it with impunity to to his his gain good luck. proves a sad to doubting Thomases. The width is of the bed is not so vital to the miracle as the length of it . but the last one.

such . In practice one side conjust veniently assumed to be north. as the bamwater boo are generally. to 49 pyre. goJiei. and on this a sheet of seashore sand. rainmakers and drawers But if the ground be holy. Ordinarily the bed is made is as follows A be mattress of straw mats laid upon the ground. after the usual approved principle of laying wand. a palisade about the Between to frond them runs a hempen rope from frond about this five feet above the ground. . This is done in order that everything may as pure as possible. outer guarding becomes unnecessary and indeed it is a fundamental principle in eso- terics that the purer the performer the less paraphernalia he needs.: MIRACLES. From details hang forty-four These are important in ordinary cases. In the very centre of the pyre a its gohei is stood up on In theory the bed is laid compass as points. four-square to the is a fire. Pure Shint5 is more simple in its rites than Ry5bu. first On top of this sheet are laid twigs and then sticks criss-cross. who are sub- limely superior to such mere matters of fact. dedicated to the eight heavenly of dragons. which is good in the eyes of the gods.

To give it life to I will set it. for and has a spirit hard So long as a man is truly good he does not care. with the exception of the high-priest himself. while others staves. and arrived . The crowd had already collected by the time we the bed had been laid and fired. the the scene of where first saw in grounds sect. I and is dutifully observed. were at the fan- moment busied about the pyre.50 OCCULT JAPAN. But the least admixture of sin in his soul causes him to mind these resin lurks in the knots to quell. Sticks free from knots are preferred. Pine is still used in the country and in town when the authorities are not aware the fact. some ning the flames assiduously with open fans strapped to the end of long poles. the heart of the Shinshiu of Tokyo. the whole temple company. however. pine wood is the proper article. of conat the high-priest's functions from flying wood-ashes the law the drama. in of the head temple Kanda. pounded the coals in flat again with All were robed white and were . knotty spots acutely. owing to the flagration danger . charcoal is en- joined instead. For fuel. of Legally.

he faced the bed. Then he started slowly circumambulate the pyre. and then with energetic cabalistically finger- twistings sealed to the same. a and so on down ecstatic eye. stopping at the middle of each side to repeat his act. youth of who threw rite. As it was not incumbent on the exorcists. to travel at the same rate. 51 The thing made a fine pageant. once started. the march soon took on the look of a holy go-as-you-please race. framed by the eager faces of the multitude. . full of devoutness and dignity Proceeding solemnly to the north- ern end of the glowing charcoal. he was well under way. another in repetition .MIRACLES. himself of body and soul into the in all Seven in line it them were thus strung out walking digitally round about the pyre and sealing in purification. clapped his hands. clear light of a Septem- ber afternoon. and set in the cool. they began upon the in- vitation to the god to descend into it. A good old soul led off. When they judged the bed to have been sufficiently made. bowed his head in prayer. then a third and a to the youngest. barefooted. When followed fourth.

the others for still throwing on salt promiscuously general efficacy. a was thus scattered over the either mat at end of the bed was spread with salt . many grains of In this instance the salt was used unit stintedly. the head of the company struck sparks from a flint and steel in the same oriented way over the bed. and then proceeded to sow upon the coals.52 OCCULT JAPAN. The bed was circuited interminably. helped himit self to a fistful. salt After considerable from the cardinal points. as he came up. A large bowl filled with stood handily on one corner of the temple veranda. every Shint5 miracle has to be taken with a great it. be- yond the possibility of count. fury of the action it sounded ominously like it an imprecation. damaging as the statement may sound. In addition to what coals. and each priest. each throw being pointed by a violent grunt that so suited the hand with as he did so. finger-twisting with the free The sowing was done some vehemence. so riveting to one's attention was the pantomime. phatic But was only an emhad thus been sown command to the evil spirits to avaunt. For. At the conclusion of the dedicatory prayer the salt made its appearance.

I fancy. he piously clapped his hands. it It is only to the godless that suggests an inexpert whistler vainly tempting a favorite tune. a martyrdom. . and everybody watched intently for what was to follow. It consisted in breathhis pursed-up . He did this without the least or even of notice of his symptom of discomfort own act. who took no active nevertheless part in the rite himself. was engaged upon a private affair. being busied with his duties as host. for the enter- tainment partook of the characters of all a in mass.MIRACLES. original old gentleman once more led at the bed's Taking post northern end. he me afterward. and then salting his soles by a rub on the mat. • 53 During all this time the high-priest. with mixed emotion. muttered a few consecrated words. ing modulately in lips. The off. and a melodrama one. A pause in the rite now informed every- body that the god had come. stepped boldly on to the burning bed and strode with dignified unconcern the whole length of it. and out of is This action a great purifier as we at- shall see later. fur- therance of the told quite obliviously.

was now the turn and slow folk The passing of the priests had been a pageant. all It When all had gone went over again. not. not a few had privilege. others apparently upon a more skep- tical footing. lay brethren often fell ludicrously below Any foot at one who would was invited to try his it . rapt in revery. each crossing with as much indifference as if the bed were mother-earth. of the laymen. come there for the purpose. common was its The priests . dignified . cross in safety.54 OCCULT JAPAN. similar secular invitation the Xo deception whatever lay hidden behind the permit. I may add. . Some did so on the pious understanding that the fire could not longer burn . over. had seemed superior to the situation their it. in the spirit of at somewhat circus. the procession of the burlesque. substantial benefits accrue. Many bystanders availed themselves of the Indeed. So persuaded was he of the state of the charcoal that now harmless sauntered solemnly across. In their order the others followed. little One for the firm believer incurred no odium extreme character of his he con\ictions. and to For the pure are sure to him who crosses with impunity.

All sorts and conditions first of men. especially of such as did not dare venture themselves. the procession was as humorous as humanity. and. and finally in their desperation pushed him else. and began skipping from foot to foot in vain attempts at amelioration.MIRACLES. to the derision of the lookers-on. he thought better of it a little later. For he was somewhere unsuspicious of a sudden irreligious shove from behind. Another enough. individual found it hotter than he stolidly had hoped. Appar- ently. in spirit to his very near capsizing. and All were gain to religion. becoming majesty Indeed. after taking one step lost all sense of self-respect at the second. For soon after I noticed that he had adventured himself again. quite oblivious to a folk 55 of less string devout whom his want of feeling kept in mid- bed on tenterhooks behind him. utterly off at the last. and children went over last. undignifiedly In the ex- tremity of their woe they began hopping up and down. for nothing showed more conspicuous than the buoyant . or perhaps he found himself more scared than scarred. to his credit. and this time. women. with of march.

ligious. and lend the scene a glamour which. stripped of social cover- In the heat of the their fellow-men moment the walkers forgot and walked alone with their god. per- formed the feat vicariously. Now a sturdy jinrikisha man. hidden writing before the its Each contrasted oddly with on its neigh- bors. Characters came out vividly in the process. . unable to resist so ice. per- suaded that the crossing would bring him fares. in his went over as a matter of business. often treading close heels. bent by years to a question mark of life. and wake a small boy. notwithstanding straight and now a and slim as an admiration the arms of point. was not the sole.56 OCCULT JAPAN. like fire. of faith. Then a family in due order of etiquette venline. but the self that trod there. . in priests. fol- divine a variety of tittle-ties on thin lowed for doubtless a very different reason. tured successfully along in a Now a dear old grandam. its if not strictly re- very close of kin. opposite's juxta- jostling emotion itself by the position. hobbled bravely across fair little girl. but I doubt not as effectively. It power ing. one of the all A was touch of the fine in this that tended to film the eyes.

" the high-priest at a loss. Indeed. no one may cross unscathed attempted to do tainly cially so. But as the deity had comtitle manded of " it under the somewhat poetic of the first Flower at Waves. popular. -^ tomime closed the The tion. the embers were prodded by the poles into This airing of his bed causes the god not After he has gone . to comprehend the divine meaning. it was a salient fea- ture of the and had been enjoined by it no .MIRACLES. appeared. of the lay-folk. less a personage. had been so he said. When pi. espe- the latter have been well sprinkled with salt. A final prayer pointed with finger-panfunction. this flowery title. use of the salt deserves further menIn this instance rite. unnaturally to depart. Later the god had condescended to an explanation. Nevertheless. than the god himself. the last enthusiast had had enough. so I am . not content with one more the church kindly permitting any number of repetitions. and no one are cer- Under coals more if fiery than surface ones. « 57 Many crossing. the performance was exceedingly returned for .

be holier to work the miracle without is At times done quite fresh hills. is its unappeasable appetite for to caloric not unknown full rigor of the profession. use. however. freezing ice-cream. . depend its performance upon fire-walking use . however menial. having been instituted of the gods in the days in its when they alone is lived the land. is therefore quite in character This. town. The origin of the rite It mounts back to extreme antiquity. preferably amid the purity of the with whose freshness its own is then in keepBut it is occasionally so performed in ing. For salt a very glutton of and will do pretty much anything to get it. in common secular To the undevout mind the is salting of the bed would seem to conduce to the success of the feat. heat. is given to understand. only one has it. from melting snow to on horse-car tracks Cooling coals for it. peripatetic not of but a essence proof being . indeed. . dates from before there were men to walk. salt The priests nobly admitted that the the miracle. mitigated the The for to miracle does not. Walking.58 OCCULT JAPAN.

the goddess rejoices who the simple but somewhat protracted name It of Ko-no-hana-saka-ya-hime- no-mikoto. and then. as the She perhaps better known Goddess the of Fuji. She invented the of miracle in order to persuade her doubting spouse. lated : sounds better when trans- the Goddess who makes is the Flower- buds to open. much is as scorching herself or the This of course reassured Ninigi-nochiefly mikoto. after the babe was born. Walking over the former. the falsehood of certain suspicions which he had been ungallant enough to entertain about her. She built herself a house against her confinement.MIRACLES. god Ninigi-no-mikoto. coals with impunity is attributable only in part to virtue in the per- Immunity from harm is chiefly due . special fire. and noteworthy as an in- stance of a miracle converting a god himself. an invaluable work in fifteen volumes of archaic Japanese. 59 mode of showing one's immunity to The possibility of such immunity was in first demonstrated by a lady. Those who care to read all the evidence in it the case will find in the Nihonshoki. without so baby. burnt it to the ground over her head.

" is priest expounded that the popbe- ulace may while see that the god when duly body of it sought can take away the burning fire spirit of permitting the to remain. power to to the fact that the fire has lost its burn. the coldly critical eye of science two things conduce to the performance of this One sole. the veriest cross it may without a blister. it The spirit of water has descended to driven the spirit of fire from the moon and coals. For so can he do with the hearts of men . It has parted with fire it its spirit. the bad spirit its may be driven out and still the good put in place while the man continues to exist. is the toughness of the far eastfar Oriental inherits a ern less The much is sensitive nervous organization than the birthright of a European. and his cuticle . the ually speaking is still there." To feat. but spirit- is extinct." so the highto me. " The object of it the rite. out of the Any own skeptic might soon prove this to his satisfaction by just walking over the coals himself. Materially considered.60 OCCULT JAPAN. were true piety compatible with doubt. when tyro it has been once exorcised. This is why.

raised. By first firmly believ- ing that no pain will be felt and then in- ducing a state of ecstasy whose preoccupation the afferent sensation fails to pierce. this. burnt like cloth. The intervening step the result of exaltation. For there is a more or less complete absence of is blisters.1 MIRACLES. it The fact that in burns generally is the is cure that constitutes the complaint. and that good. Delboeuf showed this conclusively upon one of his hypnotized patients. no pain is perceived. the body's feverish It anxiety to repair the damage that causes all the trouble. is 6 further calloused to something not unlike leather by constant exposed use. More than followed the burn is probably not by the same after-effects. . the end of No inconvenience the truly whatever follows the act but is among In less devout folk small blisters are without noticeable annoyance. The is part burnt it. This leaves the distance to be traversed between the natural sensitiveness and the induced sensitiveness considerably less in- than it would is be with us. little Even it in the severest burns very of us is ever burnt up. but our own alarm that may be induces our consequent inflammation.

as it remain skeptical on the subject. vincing to learn that the thing one of the church. It great miracles of the Shint5 In dates from a dateless antiquity. does in very truth work which the miracle. if Nevertheless. Among least the incredible feats that we are asked to believe of Indian jugglers. IV. however. the bit same startling unnecessary of acrobatism may be Asakusa. or the Climbing the Ladder of Sword-blades. now come to the third miracle of the the Tsiirugi-watari. an ability which some are inclined to credit to the verb in other sense. the first human . seen every spring in Tokyo quite secularly done among the peep-shows about still To such. We three . not the astounding is their reputed power of treading and even of lying with impunity upon sword-blades of us its . is the Nihonshoki mention made of it older than Jiramu Tenn5 himself.62 OCCULT JAPAN. We little know this now that mir- acles have ceased to be miraculous. therefore. is perhaps a late for purely pious pur- poses. Faith. may is prove cona miracle.

into we are told that on coming his presence they imposingly planted in the ground. of Its first instance seems the been a case necessity. For shrines have their pet miracles as they have their patron gods. The walking was rumor about to be performed. their seats seemed have proved in that quite comfortable. 63 Emperor to have of Japan. so said. which it appeared was one of the habitats of the miracle. Futsu-nushi-no-kami Take- mika-tsuchi-no-kami were sent from heaven to request 0-ana-muchi-no-kami to resign the Japanese throne.MIRACLES. ful individual who sat down upon the spur of the moment only to to rise hastily again. arms akimbo. . at Hachioji. seated themselves Unlike the bashstolidly upon the points. ance of the miracle ern last September the mod- mode of doing the thing being to set the blades edge up and then walk over them. however. their swords hilt downwards and then. not in- This style of camp-stool had. When and two gods. gone out of fashion when I made the acquaint. for they delivered a long and somewhat tedious harangue effective attitude. Upon investigation ruall mor turned out to be correct in but date.

Such indul- gence being a necessity acle. well by ancient stood upon a spur overlooking the valley where the . They instantly expressed themselves as very will- ing to give it. the walking having unfortunately taken place the previous April. on for the spectacle was and some ten days later. having seen one miracle. little buildings. and Asa. ventured to suggest to the priests a private performance." in jinri- From Hachioji we were bowled as kisha some four miles out of the town to a small temple situate known Hachiman of the Jinja. including two globe- trotting friends of mine.64 OCCULT JAPAN. on the outskirts hamlet of Moto-Hachioji. stipulating merely for a week's prior mortification of the flesh. had developed a strong amateur interest in religion. my "boy. who. parasoled The temple trees. we by the morning train Tokyo for Hachioji to witness There were five of us. at the it annual festival specialty. until the April Seven months seeming long to I wait even for a miracle. the date fixed to any Shinto mir- set duly ahead. on a morning in early October. veritable left May it. of the shrine of which was the and would not be repeated following.

MIRACLES. ingly useless bit of bravado only paralleled at to tell by the pains some people are you how they doze in their dentist's chair. being the village occupation that it so much so had given its name to the local pil- grim-club under whose auspices the function was to be performed. but at times so far as a seem- upon the actually to go to sleep upon them. we had come went to He himself was wont not only to walk blades. Two dially . god of and Hachiman Daijin. . From the head priest's house we made our way up a hill to the temple. instinc- of so startling a scaffold that tively we all came it. 0-ana-muchi-no-kami was the patron god of the feat see. at the farther end of the grounds. silk-worm rearing . of An army files mulberry bushes in very orderly flanked them round about. to a point — of admiration — before Evidently this was the material it means to the miracle. the god of war. As we turned the corner of the outer buildings we caught sight. gods shared the temple very cor0-ana-muchi-no-kami. the right-hand the Ontake trio. for against a ladder. grass-grown roofs of 65 village the peeped domestically from amid the crops.

poles. The height of this upper story above the ground proved to be thirteen feet. with notches suggestively vacant of rungs. with sixteen goJiei. one at each corner of a square. and had not. evil spirits a bamboo railing below kept out small boys. which was simply a deal table. we found it to consist of four stout in planted securely the earth. and commandingly lined in a row. stood.66 OCCULT JAPAN. When we our first sufficiently recovered surprise to examine this startling structure. holding two thirds way up the above-mentioned platform. led to a frail ishingly high into the We had somehow- assumed that the sword-walking took place on the flat. and braced by cross-ties. Upon a secular ladder at the side some priests were giving a few finishing touches to the work. Upon the shrine above. as it appeared it was to from be done. four on a side. upon which stood a shrine. Inclosing the scaffold stood four fronded bamboo. dignifiedly straight. skyward. con- nected eight feet up by a straw rope. This poetic palisade kept out the . three gohei . up plank platform raised astonair. pendent from it.

At the corners of the platform four tufted bamboo. The other specified the various functions of the God-Arts themselves. challenged the eye. a certain Mr. and the names of those who bore This. the Vice-Purifier. Half way up the scaffold two paper pla- cards. tions The right-hand one gave the funcof the festival : and functionaries the Principal Purifier. the eastern elemental colors. Purifying Door. Konichi being down as Drawing the Bow. and the God-Arts the offices preceded. was to .MIRACLES. the sacred tree of Shinto. of The upper row represented the gods ing construction. palisade. the Chief of Offerings. made a second . it seemed. 67 In front of them. Flank- ing the gohei stood two branches of sakaki. one on either side the ladder. the names of the persons followed. upon a five others. five far and blue. colored respec- lower table. red. the lower. Earthly Gods. joined by a straw-rope hung with at the gohei. yellow. placed here to keep an eye on the scaftbld. upon their wands. black. the . white. draped with lacelike filaments of gohei. miniature of the one below while in- from a pole scribed : back floated a banner Heavenly Gods. them. the gods of the earth. stood tively.

filled with musicians. in the intrinsic purity of high places. with a ladder of sword-blades for sole means of approach.68 OCCULT JAPAN. the blades of which he was to stand while engaged dering in his act. They the kindly desisted to stage. on platform. because Cer- above the ordinary level of mankind. us lunch upon which we did while the other prepara- tions went on. We could not help won- how he was to get upon them. They had not been lashed in place . who were at moment engaged let in tuning up — not a highly melodious performance at best. be taken in a purely ceremonial sense. As soon as lunch was over the swords were brought out. being Mr. In- deed. tainly. the elevating nature of the whole per- formance was not the of it. to the open-mouthed enjoy- ment of many small villagers. On the the left stood the Kagura-do or dan- cing-stage. four short posts about four feet high had been planted directly under the ready to receive two swords. the real archer For his benefit. we were told. least impressive part The reason for this lay. Kobayashi. the platform above did not seem likely to prove overcrowded. who had already begun to collect for the occasion.

MIRACLES. all seem adapted to treadThere were twelve loans from the neighborhood. even tentatively. great and heirlooms. The blades themselves bore evidence. of having been possessed and probably used for quite an indefinite time this by their owners . before. old samurai blades. since an antiquity the middle ages were but twenty years ago. inspect them. The swords were then lashed to in place. But I should never have imagined so many retired knights or their heirs in so very retired a hamlet. and there were twelve sets in the ladder and but twelve blades in all. so from knightly as it times — not sounds. This we now did to our satisfaction. every one. those destined for first rungs were lashed its two lower upon the shooting- . in order that 69 first we might all. one and as sharp as one would care to handle the hilt — and — from much sharper than he would care to handle in any less legitimate manner. They were. But as the divine archery was of notches precede the divine climb. and touch of local domesticity imparted a certain sincerity to the act artistically con- vincing in itself. of them. however. They certainly did not ing on.

the former doing the serious dancing and the latter the jocose capital. doubt- such distance being found in practice the most comfortable. sometimes men. the priests departed to dress for the function. and is put in play on every possible occasion. the rungs being about a Japanese foot. mimes. The ladder measured fifteen feet in length. After securely tying on the swords. The altercation intermittent character owing to the necessity felt by the pudding-faced citizen • of taking the audience into his confidence side-splitting simpliin by elaborate asides of city. OCCULT JAPAN. are The performers sometimes girls. occasion think it the show Certainly proved in roars.70 Stand. at . Meanwhile a capital pantomime was in progress upon the dancing-stage. blades up. Both are always I and on outdid this itself. comic enough to keep the religious Three buffoons engaged of an in in fine pudding-faced masks was turn in an altercation with an impressive gray-beard. digressions which no wise prevented till the row's proper emotional increase. fifteen inches of less our feet. apart . A dance- hall is an invariable feature of every well- appointed Shinto temple.

All this. In been silently mean time the countryside had gathering. them come I only saw them And they made as modest a setting the mountings to to the miracle as do a Japanese painting. like that of oratorios. indeed. The ubiquitous familiars little girl first. did not see there. This to his god-like great- was due quite simply ness. invariably won. detracted not a whit from the sanctity of the performance. of course. fight with his scabbard in in- having with elaborate advertence drawn the one for the other. Her the in waifs growing I in stature as they grew . which. the ecstatic stupor of the cow. a little of There was about them. came the in with the historical characters the performers were supposed to represent. but the usual bovine stare of modern Japanese curiosity was here tempered by instinctive old-fashioned politeness. and not to the fact that his adversary went through the lieu of his sword. numbers.MIRACLES. a fine who did nothing but stalk round with woodeny walk. . last it 71 culminated in a fight which the gray- beard. with the pick-a-back baby appeared followed . a mistake at which he was subsequently proportionately surprised.

however. ese urchin for not. their I was much pleased conspicuous absence. I suppose. why the latter always turn up at such seasons. alone would convict the race of a lack of self-consciousness and very nearly of a lack of any consciousness whatsoever.72 OCCULT JAPAN. A one its . folk they When I first counted the fifty. And the concourse grew. and good-natured. Japanese street-crowd pleasingly lacks that brutality which distinguishes a western it on the other hand. it The whole countryside had turned or without the baby. there were two hundred and people on the spot. It Apparently it is never outgrown. but to all I love the Japan- that. an unobstrusively obstrusive which knows no outlawing has a vacancy in it limit of age. out. has a stare of stare. of all ages. as near as could fifty estimate. according as with existed to in- or not. and one would think past policemen. sizes. to note still Here. and conditions. whether staring or age in the starer Or- me advanced stales the infinite unvariety of his act. which is not. and that almost bars offense. Nobody's occupation seemed . however. derly. numbered one hundred and I Shortly after. a Japanese crowd is past praise. own.

case the aboriginal banquet was offered to the gohei of 0-ana-muchi-no-mikoto. he turned up. without our uninvited guest Just as — the He the in- evitable policeman. set out as the and was offered before an imThe altar was customary divine dinner-table and displayed the usual choice collection of indigestibles fortunately always to be taken . it soon turned out. and he had perforce to wait till it was over to put his official questions. chairs we had taken for- on the oratory platform.. and had gotten his existence. provised altar on the oratory. I trust favorably one I for. so did first inopportunely for himself. But though we had not reckoned without our host. 73 terfere with his presence there in the least. village ragamuffin to the village of Charming girls I noticed in the act commenting upon us. MIRACLES. . is For every In Shinto service nothing but a divine din- ner-party. in a strictly immaterial manner. we had reckoned. for prayer had begun. The prayer was the first of the puri- fication rites. would rather please the young than the old men. with the this god for sole guest. the patron god of the occasion. as of my friends puts it about his girls books. from the belle.

case he wished to salute me properly to which T I returned mine with the reply that noble.74 OCCULT JAPAN. and left part of him to figure out the respect due in so complicated a case. . was not a but an American. I simply to send request to me if humbled as with the modest far know were a noble. were busy with prayers and finger-charms on the mats at when enough of them had been restored there took place a solemn walk-round by the whole company the foot of the ladder. soon had a humanand ac- izing effect even upon his officialdom. for at the end he was so his card. as in that . as itself the part of bureaucratic au- tomatism. action were Stiffly lifting his hat. so he shortly grew quite tame cepted at the hands of the lay brother a seat upon the platform beside Meanwhile the priests us. however. The that occasion. he challenged a lay brother on the oratory steps and proceeded of the crowd. and about the staging. to interview him on the cause of the colloquy Apparently the lay brother worsted him. The adjournment made the policeman's if opportunity. and sixty-millionth therefore only the a sovereign.

he made semblance to shoot at the demons. When art. God-Arts was specially his Stretching bow at each corner of the square in turn. and Mr. the 75 Sacred Bow. Konichi. which had not yet been removed. Mr. and accentuated his performance by quite unearthly grimaces. which was not.MIRACLES. the was driv- extreme. the other to do like of below. quite capable of driving off devils. to the altar above. The Chief effective. The piety. this came to be further heightened by as enthusiastic performeffect ance of the rite demanded. Kobayashi. which was pious its object. even Nature had endowed him with a repose bordered perilously remarkably expressive physiognomy. and proceeded. where he went through much the pantomimic archery effigy-shooting . the Chief of God-Arts. which in upon caricature. the one to mount by the secular ladder. saw in it the most realistic I will What the children saw not pretend to . He knotted first his fingers and then his face in a truly startling manner. and very nearly of ing off the bystanders. then armed themselves with two beautiful bows beribboned at the end with a tangle of ored gohei of the five col- elemental colors.

of course. the catch of an assistant. This. merely showed home he notch. to have seen more secular performers the knife-edges. When off he had thus successfully frightened spirits without. and stood poised upon standing himself testing upon up them. but I OCCULT JAPAN. the big wonder how he was going to mount his drum was brought by somebody and set up beside the stand. an arrow into it due deliberation he fitted its raised the bow. He then discarded the pole. with the help of a pole. as do. he Not content with must needs tilt as and down one of does a in the breaking power plank. can conceive the nightmares in they may have had the evil consequence. This solved the enigma and enabled the Chief of God-Arts. he entered arrow- within the staging. and before the stand further scared the imps. and drew to his .^6 guess. to rise carefully to the ends of the posts and to place first one foot and then the other lengthwise upon the blades. felt upon the how much at Then with blades. As the exor- cism drew to an end and to we began once more hobby-horse. the forward edges coming out between his great and second I toes.

pole. at this point tomime and His pose was quite magnificent. We hand. and the Indeed. plant- one foot and then the other care- fully across both blades. however. Then discarding the he again went through the same panas before. and the suspense was be- coming positively painful.MIRACLES. ending in a second release. he de- released the arrow into the The mons had evidently taken the hint. for the itself arrow buried harmlessly in the bushes. yy pose In this effective he re- mained a long time. behold there it was ." The bent. the one was as bow stayed long drawn at last out as the other. when air. shoulder. With the changed ing first assistance of the pole he then his pose a quarter way round. For the exorcism continued. string. uttering what sounded uncommonly like an oath. still and. sister to this " — The God of the Bow bends down from on high. did not twang. his intentness such that as with his eye he followed audience failed the arrow's did his whole instinctively the same. but was in fact a : song. to see the shaft ! strike. turning in his back. flight. lo the demons fly. ! And at twang of the string.

Once he hit a tree. or the remains of original I Whether economy sin prompted this pious framd. . as he turned round quarter-wise upon his holy pedestal. the Chief of God-Arts as- cended the secular ladder. which still leaned against the platform. he called again for the pole and carefully descended from his pinnacle.. When he had finished the secular ladder was removed. and producing sheets of paper from his sleeve. quite by acci- dent. but he thus deceived us more than once. and the crowd applauded. I examined his soles and found them not only uncut. than the purification the ladder began climbing thread of the usual prayer knotted with finger-twists being front. and let the pieces flutter to the ground. After he had* thus revolved several times. that there might be no mistake minds of the populace as to the genuine- ness of the miracle. The of divine shooting was no sooner over rites for the . in the gone through with upon the mats in Then. know not. cut them elaborately into little bits upon each blade in succession. 78 OCCULT JAPAN. but barely lined an unhurt condition which he shortly pro- ceeded to demonstrate practically upon the ladder.

Posing on one foot.MIRACLES. The till higher he got the less he seemed to think of his footing and the more of effect. flaunting his foot before the rapt concourse of people in the most approved p7-wia assohita manner.xy a. this At the unexpected terpsichorean touch . and so on heavenward. of Nevertheless the Chief God-Arts. Then and did manner to the third rung. placed the other similarly on the blade above. this it He but deliberately. calling once more upon the to gods. drawing himself up he rose in like carefully to its level. Nothing now acrobatic led 79 this up to the goal of pilgrimage but the consecrated ladder of sword-blades. prepared loins mount. Girding up his in that his feet might not catch his tunic. he planted one foot lengthwise along the lowest sword-edge. the fourth. Evidently was merely a question of foot-placing with him. and then. and with the appropriate swing kicked out with the other high into the air. religious pas sent. Ad astra per aspera with a vengeance. in mid-ascent he was minded to \. he turned deftly to face the crowd. and grasping parts of the upper blades with his hands.

Instantly he shrine. the Chief of of God-Arts turned again to the ladder it swords and exorcised as he afresh. it. however. continued boldly up eral amid a gen- gasp of relief last from the crowd below he topped the rung and stepped out unsank in scathed upon the platform. he turned back and to our astonishment came I quietly down the secular ladder instead. for what purpose did not at first For." his taking to the back-stairs for the in- That ability descent was not due. was unavoidably reminded lady of the devout but inconsequent who told a friend that " She thought she should go to New York on Wednesday. v. . to any on his part to come down by the front ones was shortly evident by his mak- . D. turning and the Chief triumphantly to his till climb. reflecting a moment." but. as we thought. populace burst into applause of God-Arts. "that she should come back on Saturday anyway. his prayer finished.. Then it just was about to set foot on for the descent. prayer before the devotions the While he was at his second or secular ladder was brought round to another side of the scaffolding and tilted up against appear.80 OCCULT JAPAN.

with impunity. The at third blade from the top did the business. He stepped up boldly and. after due suspense on the part of the populace. performance was largely a repetition of the . The next himself. The truth was. to be as invisible a return to the original position as back-stairs As the Chief of God-Arts came down thus His incognito by the back way. since the ally to ascend was the head priest This was a special compliment to head priest no longer habitubeing well on in years. to be dis- consecrated by the ascent for subsequent What he carried made apparently no difference to him. climbs. us. except that before starting the others full of weighted him with some boxes charms.1 MIRACLES. and the secular ladder generally. a second priest made ready first's to go up by the front one. which they strapped upon tribution. however. save for a slight cut upon one palm. stepped out safely at the top. ticed that the others We it had noas if it had shied were very thin ice. and when it came to . 8 ing soon after the ascent of the sword-blades nonchalantly a second time. He got up. his back. the miracle was supposed to end at the top.

that for some cause They were after- wards able to prove their prognostication quite right. the blade was showed. After the head priest all up of in turn. amid the archaic . and presented himself as candidate for the climb.82 OCCULT japan: This mishap conclusively impure. suddenly pulled off his European boots and socks. to it the foot was put across the blade man up as in particular seemed To one make small jauntily set difference if how he trod. Inasmuch pleased imitation is sincerest flattery. the older skin of the head priest. the priests should have been greatly when at this point Asa. fired to emulation. but mode of pro- when more convenient instead. rolled up his European trousers. for on subsequent investigation the blade was found to have recently killed a dog and not since. including the lay-brother times. the priests stated. He jumped the blades were an every-day the of rungs and he as in a hurry. To my eye the outlandishness of his dress. my house- boy. to have been properly purified the others went . he simply went through. some them several Planting the feet lengthwise was the favorite cedure.

received him most kindly. and were suddenly electrified when. he needed it. We watched him with some vanity and more concern. knowing and then he too came down the regulation Exactly what happened after this is back-stairs. costume of the consecrated to priests. and after sprinkling him with a shower of sparks and properly finger-twisting over him. ever. half way to the top. tainly have had my doubts about the genI uineness of his inexperience had not known how- him for my own "boy. and. a mys- . He was to abbreviate the prayer. made." The priests. To my and started him up the surprise. with a triumphant smile. approved brought con- kick high into the It down the house but not the boy. from not it. and I think his own. he turned. the air. he went as well as the best of them. to purify and I doubt not him as much as possible. till who tinued on successfully at last he stepped obliged out triumphantly at the top. 83 gave him at once that unsuitable appearance to the deed so the supposed I countryman should cer- who volunteers at the circus.MIRACLES. — — showed him how to plant his feet on the rungs ladder. he corypliie too.

promptly fainted. during . while the priests did their best to stanch the blood. as he informed me later. unperceived. When duly swathed he was dispatched to the head priest's house. For by consent the episode closed the performance. for the first we knew. the boy was on the ground in the bleeding pretty freely from a gash top of his foot. where he underwent consider- able exorcism. OCCULT JAPAN. which. while a proper bandage theless. was being fetched. him a world of good. swords had ripped him as he passed. Several pleasing adjuncts to this had miraculously appeared. or whether in coming round the corner he priests. Evidently he possessed more latent piety than I had given him credit for. ended the fes- tivity. The point of one of the Neverhe shortly after hobbled to the oratory veranda and then. Whether in his exaltation and hurry to get back to his place he forgot the pro- jecting tips of the sword-blades. did How many this more enthusiasts might have it gone up the divine ladder had regrettable diversion tacit not been for will never be known. collided with one of the thing was not clear. It by no means.84 tery. however.

as being suited for to presentation some of the urchins who were standing interestedly about. Through this running fire we made our way safely to the head priest's house. Shinto rites of them are Of the three great the Ordeal by Boiling Water For most . the performance of the 85 itself.mats had suddenly- sprouted mushroom-like out of the ground beyond the oratory and was now attempting to beguile the crowd by every species of toy and gimcrack. The connected with the occasion. with the far eastern family of them of : a pachydermatous sole step- fathers the process. last caught our fancy. to explain the miracle is : — Doubtless credulity but doubtless. from which. . loaded with charms consecrated the miracle. the mother of mir- also. and who instantly put them to proper use by making us the objects of pantomimic attack as soon as ever our backs were turned. questions cuticle.MIRACLES. visibly connected or un- There were paper masks and clay foxes and baby bows and arrows and papier-mache swords. by we were bundled into our jinri- kisha and trundled regretfully toward home. And now acles. miracle A long hne of booth .

who simply picked up and walked. to the innocent manipulation of which by to wit. people realize how very will you press your finger upon the sharp edge of your knife. immense is difference in cutting power between a stationary and a moving is blade. By drawing its the blade along in at the the direction of that edge same time angle to but to grad- you press down. is That the average evident from the his Japanese sole equal to the feat without is preliminary purification success of skirts my boy. the skin. its any desired You have uate the horizontal motion to the vertical . it depend upon for easy performance. ever so gently. you but be surprised to find what it a pressure you can put upon nity . but few great it is. you draw the across knife -blade sinks in. Live Coals all . the Walking across and the Climbing upon Sword-blades. with impu- if.86 OCCULT JAPAN. fact enters But a certain other physical this last miracle not commonly is appreciated. the the priests the miracle due . you thin tenuity. it instantly The principle involved is the principle of the wedge. Everybody If aware that there a difference.

renders Japan a very paradise of There is thus a twofold reason . will be remembered that. we forget that the blade statically used. We unwit- tingly apply this principle whenever we cut state. lost and half lamenting the grandeur of that pious past whose childish . force. the priests took heed in placing their feet. pachyder- matous people over those scientific one. 8y As is the angle of the sharpens. A sympathetic populace miracles. not as cutting as we it think. of a thin-skinned. make miracle-working possible but a good audi- equally necessary. this Pondering in wise upon the great miracle-working advantages for successful possessed by priests of an artistic. and to be done by. Furthermore.MIRACLES. And as this is our normal is. as a rule. the force necessary wedge thus to make it enter lessened indefinitely. ple. it and a thicker skull in the peo- This double lack of penetration makes easier both to do. These are some ence is of the points that . Most of them were careful to minimize the impact. a it miracle than would be elsewhere. for a miracle's success a thicker skin in the priests. anything.

imaginings loomed so large and vanish so search. but of vital consequence as it regards the people. pure and simple. This quaintly begged by believers. For though be open to the looker-on to fire in doubt whether the water or the hot by having the less it two ordeals above be rendered any the parted with its spirit. To give a full account of Shinto we have now to consider quite a class of miracles. a distinction unimportant as regards the things.88 OCCULT JAPAN. and sadly before rolled our bull's-eyes of we were through the broad quiet twilight of tillage toward the growing twinkle of the town. by stating that the god withdraws the spirit of . different them . The nomenclature is not first mere kind matter of distinction. the miracle- performer himself the latter It is take place independently of him. is not open to him to doubt the difference of perception of that heat in the man's normal and abnormal states question is of consciousness. For the of are brought about by the unintentional but efficient subjective action . the objective ones. life-like.

originate. and a shamto sham. Thunder-God. according to the character of the tester. even Universal ne- an annihilating character. Charlatans ape but they do not A counterfeit To vined implies a genuine. A young acolyte then appeared the usual . gation of a sense distinction implies universal charlatanry . to have rice taste like thunder is For be said to peculiarly pleasing to the gods. But it is unscientific upon a noumenon unnecessarily. Skeptics settle the whole matter off-hand by denying the to call of fact." one of He scends into so plebeian a thing as a kettle of steaming rice. no psy- chic or divine side they are due to undimerely. the hd so on as to leave a on one in side. and men are both too simto ple and too astute for that be possible. The manner : of working this miracle is as follows — Upon upon set a small urn was placed a slit kettle and the kettle a rice steamer.MIRACLES. The Descent these. the rice being afterward of- fered in banquet to the temple deities. is mer something the objective miracles there . the fire 89 or permits it to return momentarily. of psychical or is principles " The the de- Odojigokushiki.

sat perfectly Then. Steam followed the roar then. In keeping with the good man's extreme purity. and at almost the same instant the priest's own body began to sway back and . They consisted of a soundless whistle his - which he kept up through and of certain bolic of pulling pursed lips archaic finger charms sym- some very heavy substance still toward him. to wait. and brandishing of \\\q. pilgrimage robe. still mutely whistling. forth. his finishing touches were very simple. scattering of salt. strik- ing of sparks. After the exorcism was well under way. the head priest came forward and sat down before the kettle in order to perfect the rite. a spark from some fire flint and proceeded to light the its and then to fin- encourage combustion by the usual ger-twisting.90 OCCULT JAPAN. shivering with cold. We did not have to of the be told that it was the voice Thunder- . his hair dank from the bath and his whole person and. after a couple of sec- onds. striking steel. the roar ceased. the acolyte falling back to the part of mute. he and watched. prayer. He had not long Suddenly a roar rose out of the body of the kettle. goJiei- wand.

the kettle is for something in the subsequent conversation. being otherwise occupied. but doubtalso. getting him to come at all. every accessory be not perfectly pure to he refuses come on conscientious grounds. if sides.MIRACLES. We now come to a miracle which might It is possibly be turned to practical account. It consists in bringing down fire from . 91 God . perhaps the most wonderful of the objective ones. it seemed. had seemed a less the less. Doubt- god can be so constrained. could it only talk as well as it can roar. trifle late for the purpose. The priest averred that at the felt moment of possession he always his stomach. The slit- in its lid has been suggested as capable of explaining the miracle. even for a moment. Press of business the priest gave as excuse for the shortness of the divine visit. But indeed in we were very fortunate. and when it ceased we knew the god had gone. a violent punch in He also said that the swaying trac- of his body was to induce by symbolic though it tion the presence of the god. VI. for often Be- the deity does not deign to descend.

Among even a cloudy day will do. the day the mountains should be sunshiny. it — — vile body is of my own freshly filled. witness its working upon the comparatively this miracle.92 OCCULT JAPAN. unlighted pipe. heaven by simple incantation. even when dreams. the prehistoric for purposes of two sticks preferably warmth At the time I was shown I was not in need of was seventy-five degrees Fahrencaloric. The spark thus obtained may be used to light anything. because my own investigations were confined to the ridge-pole of my house in town. to be generally taken up. may argue from in my own experience. so cost. so I was permitted to heit in the shade. so I am informed. This a very difficult miracle. it Indeed. if synonymous with the For it I not likely as yet. succeeds it is scarcely an eco- nomical method of firing one's tobacco day- But to epicureans much time and trouble does it who hunt new sen- sations and to whom is the one meaning of the other. To insure success the city. is word "dear" it may safely be recommended. . and to the turf immediately below it. I cannot speak confidently on this latter point.

between the plumps of water. it exhaustively. he prayed over it. said roof. and. and So and a ladder was brought and tilted against the up it he mounted to the tiles.MIRACLES. he thought he would go upon the eaves. when he suddenly stopped. dis- tressed. "93 The priest who performed the miracle be- gan by douching himself in the bathroom. one of which strikingly resembled an imaginary burning-glass. complaining that the ants tickled him by promenading over his bare skin. . In this attire he sallied forth into the garden. issued uncouth sounds. Cradling the pipe between his hands. squatted in the ordinary Japanese posture on its slope. Then he put tilted toward the sun. He emerged with nothing on but a blue pockethandkerchief for loin-cloth. sputterings of for- mulae and grunts as he finger-twisted. from which. the small blue and white rag with which the Japanese dab themselves in lieu of towel. howair. nothing between his fingers but fifteen He had spent minutes thus in digital contortions. and it exorcised very energetically by finger- charms. ever. hill and select- ing the side of a as a propitious spot. There was. in front of him.

True to his word. but nothing happened. he decided to ascend at once Before he did so. he later. also com- manding the ridge-pole. left. looking intently up into heaven for the advent of the god. much chagrined. sat beside Part of the time . and watched from our him for the better part of an hour vantage points. ined him to a certain extent. I examto the ridge-pole. with this pious resolve. days was there again two and remembering poignantly the disturbing ants. I him on the roof part of the time below upon the ground. for the expected divine visit was sublimely ill-timed. and came re- down but he signified his intention of till peating the rite he succeeded. the priest that it .94 OCCULT japan: In thence by easy slopes to the ridge-pole. informed us from the ridge-pole of was no use that day. Then two of us took post my own very smallest in the gar- den commanding the ridge-pole. this conspicuous yet solitary position he continued the incantation. At last. although he had on only one of towels. and we . In another part of the gar- den had been set the lunch table. and. Three quarters of an hour passed thus in momentary expectation of his descent.

to be able to com- bine god and mammon. We of instantly re- pented our forgetfulness the god. firmly purposing exorcist. But too as the miracle had been wrought. if 95 necessary. We till put the evil off as long as possible. To make the catalogue complete. said to be very commonly done a more common thing. at last nature could wait no longer. and threw the pipe the garden. repeat the He tried the trick after this time and time again. satisfied. and late. and we decided to sit down to to our delayed repast. went pient into him a Suddenly the forgot into incioff convulsions. So there in this miracle remains. very it much is the air. cursed our love of mammon. indeed. in Japan. we were not and he professed himself willing to act. Exactly how of the miracle was managed. than I can conceive burning-glasses to be. hoped hour thus. But I should say that . I ought . lighted. Naturally. but never succeeded more. I am unable to guess. keep one eye constantly on the did so religiously till We we moment for the vol-aii-vent. certainly had scant means concealment about his bare person. man on the roof uttered a cry.MIRACLES. The man however.

. as to the truly good. are orna- mental miracles — such as life killing snakes and bringing them to again. rooting burglars to the spot. to mention what. arresting the attempts of assassins in the act. spiritually viewed. and defending one's self against discourteous dogs. like some scientific inventions. But all such acts they need not be dwelt upon are very simple affairs at length. too ex- pensive for general use. and.96 OCCULT JAPAN.

esoteric ascension. one eye. The burning question whether the believer be pure enough to perform them pleasurably. The miracles. or possessions of people. as I have hinted. or possessions of follow. are perat least formed largely with an eye. the incarnations. To drench one's self with scalding water or to saunter unconcernedly across several yards of scorching coals are not in themselves feats that lead particularly to heaven. to the public. To establish such capability to one's isfaction in the first place. and to own satthe wonder . Esoterically regarded. difficult as they may be to do.INCARNATIONS. in order of things. FTER the miracles. they are rather tests of the proficiency already attained in of that the Way of the Gods than portions is way real needing actually to be traversed.

loss of self the necessary price of an instant part in the kingdom of heaven. For. an open-mouthed multitude in the second. the visitants from the spirit-world remind one of those ghost-like forms of ' clever cartoonists. the Japanese never thought to introduce their divine guests and their foreign ones to each other. are. are the objects the pious promoters have in view. in- deed. till. Not they so the incarnations. Perhaps the most startling thing about these Japanese divine possessions is their number known. unless it be that being so numerbe remembered that to reveal ous they should have remained so long un- But it is to what no one is interested may An- stay a long while hid. the two must have met at every turn. Indeed. by some chance .98 of OCCULT JAPAN. measures of the value of the purity of the man. serve a double purpose. like But whereas the miracles. . they are also practical mediums of exchange between the divine. Once intro- duced. latent in the outlines of more familiar shapes. with quite glican etiquette. human spirit and the Foregone is for directly profitable ends. They too.

Everybody is a de- scendant of the gods. and therefore intrinsically if no less holy than his neighbor. ease of intercourse be any proof of kin- ship. just as any plutocrat royalty. most conspicuous things in the Thoroughly not in religious. open to the sufficiently pure. They . they start to view. Any one who modern is pure may give lodgment to a god. may entertain The gods. in the older sense of that word. the Japanese people to certainly make For good their claim as divine descent. is The to be reason for this lack of exclusiveness sought in the essentially every-day family character of Shinto. profane. Indeed. they pass in and out of if it the world beyond were part is of this world below. For godIt possession is is no perquisite all of the priests. the possessions are the least hierarchic. and though to acquire sufficient purity be an art.^INCARNATIONS. In theory esoteric enough. Purity the one prerequisite to divine possession. to remain ever after the picture. are no respecters of persons. in practice they are. like latter day princes. it is an art patent rather in the older unindividualized sense of the w^ord. ' 99 divined.

to condescend ration is come wherever due prepafor them. For mere association is with the supernatural not in Japan neces- sarily a question of piety or even of impiety. Often it is pure accident. before the god it. The man's mind must have all been vacated of habit meaner lodgers. not the host that they the presence of the host himself being graciously dispensed with. say nothing of all mere animal spirits. But though the social standing of the social is man be immaterial.. on the other hand.lOO OCCULT JAPAN. is immaterial. includwill ing himself. the point in the matter. Religion claims no monopoly of intercourse with the unseen. Such humble are folk as barbers and fishmongers among the most favored entertainers of divinity. is What religion does claim the ability to admit one to the very best For. deign to but who the man is. To become may be pos- sessed by a devil. house. It is made the host's visit . standing of the a most material god. so purely an act of the devil that no blame beyond carelessness attaches to the unfortunate victim. of which bewitchment by a fox is the commonest form. to heavenly society. there are grades in .

in a most ubiquito in- Indeed. the globe-trotters in The gods resemble this. the curing of disease. good gods and bad gods. globe-trotters. Civilized cousins of the medicine-men of . great gods and little ones. in the people's eyes the gods are constantly visiting their temples and other favorite spots. after introduction to one is tempted clude them in the census and to consider of the population Japan as composed of natives. their Augustnesses. And to Japanese thought the gods are very close at hand. or infant damnation in others. tous manner. I O gods. is Access to the most desir- able divinities the privilege to which the church holds the keys. the Japanese early turned the count. much as salvation is held to be in some places. intimacy to practical acthese their relain They importuned tives for that of which men stand most need. that both are a source of profit to the people. For finding themselves in communi- cation with the superhuman. Out of this arose a national school of divinopathy.I INCARNA TIONS. Unsuspected as such pres- ence be by foreigners. Capability to commune is thus in a general way endemic. and gods.

the Japanese practitioners differ in the craft. above-mentioned barber. and to be temporarily a god is an easy exten- sion to being perpetually godlike. The lay brethren. practice such possession only as an outside calling. they are by no means in all Except for a difference degree. of the But he made no analogue of European barber . industriously shaving man. of the North America. bfe have no other business than to pious. The child. men. No particular pursuit has privi- lege of the divine practice. tribes the world over.surgeon times gone by. — was able on a very lucrative business as a popular other- world physician. The priests. each having his more mundane trade to boot.102 OCCULT JAPAN. on the other hand. shamans of savage and of Christian sciof entists generally. besides — woman. for example. and this detail of the toilet in. the distinction between the priests who practice and the practicing lay brethren lies in the of their professional or avocational character performance. being universally to carry indulged in Japan. from most members the profession widespread popular character of their For though all the practitioners are religious priests. of course. barbers being no .

but that the government imagines them to be barbarous because not in keeping with foreign manners and customs. diplomas. which comprehensive phrase covers a multitude of saintly acts. the same time.IXCARNATIONS. scribe them. of divinity receive regular These doctors to practice. At is. A divinopathist's earthly trade may be any- thing under heaven. IO3 better than other folk in the eyes of the god. ing in a Plastering and clerk- wine-shop are among the latest I specimen occupations have met with of men this thus engaged in business both with world and the next. anese to be suppressed so the authorities wink at their practice. pro- the paternal powers-that-be dare not The fact they are both too Japanese to be countenanced and too Jap. for in the certificates no mention for is made of the special object which the certificates are issued. The Japanese gov- . without which they are not allowed Nominally they are not allowed to practice with them. The reason fully the certificates read so beautinot that religion conceives her vague is esoteric cults to be profoundly secret. permis- sion being granted merely to perform prayer.

After an to account of the rigid self-discipline be undergone before a diploma be possible.104 OCCULT JAPAN. Of course his . many life an invalid will that makes worth living for the sake of living the undesirable residue longer. ernment in much the same more matters than this one. men who lead this Yet there are plenty of life of daily hardship and just as renunciation for the explicit purpose of en- joying the life they renounce give up all . itself a preventive to earthly much as vaccination not worse than precludes small-pox." Divinopathy has one great advantage over other schools of medicine : by the very prep- aration for healing others the physician heals himself. The only question might be whether the cure be the complaint. the god practically always descends on application. titioner For mere is qualification to be a pracills . But if the self-martyrdom be duly per- formed. is. who declared himself to be its "for the bill and agin enforcement. and then in largely kept it up will for it to continue force. and vouchsafes to his opinion as the cure of the complaint. I think seem uncommonly open to the doubt. in awkward state of mind as the Irish legislator.

and sequently quite as con- much in demand. Any and all diseases are thus cured on presentation. and told me. For gods of high rank stand as much on their dignity as men both in the matter of coming and in the matter of talking after they I have remember once a most superior person. descended on purpose to impart information. subject only to the willingness of the god. quite up and down. to grade know is Due care the thus inquired only must be importance of the question to the importance of the gods. with an unusually large percentage of success. to go to the . and report speak truth. From the nature of the gods themselves to the weather of the coming month. anything a to man may exercised w'ant about of deity. This proviso the few unfortunate Divine possession is not limited in its applications to the curing of disease.INCARNA TIONS. rally the divine opinion is quite as Natuvaluable is on other subjects as on medicine. as gods go. satisfactorily explains failures. who grew very angry because I asked him a question he deemed it beneath him to answer. 1 05 if prescriptions are religiously followed. although he had come.

II. of inanity is whom he To of reach this state the austerities the object In the days of Ry5bu there were two . or trance-diviners. but with the rank of the god by desires to be possessed. Inferior gods permit intimacy on much easier terms. though secularly they often seem tional vacuity so. thing needful to insure divine is purity. Addi- must somehow be acquired. The character of the company sought is what renders excessive cessary. of agriculture (Inari-sama) for trivialities god of the kind. mild in The one possession is. the amount varying not only with the man. is go through a preparation which comparison. you can easily give habita- tion to a god. If you are pure. Now some men blanker than others. for instance.I06 OCCULT JAPAN. but none are by nature quite blank enough for religious purposes. that are born blank enough. Ordinary icJiiko. It is self-mortification ne- only to the very best heavenly society that introductions are so hard to get. whose deities rank much lower.

Shint5. can imagine few thornier paths to perfection." means "a man is and heaven witness that he I Short of actual martyrdom.— INCARNA TIONS. the past pure these names are natu- rally not popular. Though sJihija means simply "a works appall fore his faith is believer. that gyoja snd is. having rigueur. ities." the amount of this simple believer must perform be- enough to be accepted would most people. With pure the present resurrection of faith. this in The curriculum has more secular ones. classes of I O/ men who indulged in mortification of the flesh to the attainment of thus losing themselves. of austeris. remains still itself always been de substantially the same. the millennial lapse from But the course in practical piety pursued by the would-be pure. translated. would seem need a cast-iron constitution to stand the strain he cheerfully puts upon Even to be a sJiinja necessitates a regimen that strikes the unregenerate with awe. un- austerity upon him . skiiija. Gyoja. inasmuch as they savor of orthodoxy. in which case he quits in the middle. The fact . to He it. that common with whoso goes fall in at the one end usually comes out less protracted at the other.

I08 that so OCCULT JAPAN. many graduate shows is that no ex. fication the world over. being the two. we say. Nor do they hurry themselves in the act. traordinary capacity deed. But vidual specimens the in Japan cleanliness very nearly is godliness. Even secularly the Japanese are superof their lives naturally cleanly. bathing. next to godliness . Every day forty millions of folk parboil like one. To lies the purification of the spirit. The external of the treatment. Washing is is the most obvious kind of puriCleanliness. For the course is terrifically arduous and terribly long. with most limited meals such is the backbone of the regimen. To this end the two chief exercises are washing {suigyo) and fasting {danjiki). the road through the cleansing of the body. This charming compatibility is due possibly to the godliness being less. though at times in indi- two would seem not to have made each other's acquaintance. Plodding perseverance is what wins the day. The . it is required to do so inis the capacity for incapacity that necessary. Unlimited . claims notice more important first. but certainly chiefly to the cleanliness being more.

For. at that. from a pardonable pastime.INCA RNA TIONS. it would seem as this estimable quality were carried to its inevitable defect. but he should also bathe as often as he tween. beyond prejudice that he tub a good working minority of to When it comes if religious matters. . But he does nothing parboiling is of the kind. The would-be devotee at little else. as becomes pecuniarily apparent when you hire a stranger yet. at times to man by the day. or. may be- The more he bathes the if better he becomes. No gentle his portion perpetual goose- . he simply soaked in a hot water tub as his profane friends do. You are tempted toiler suppose your continuously either tubbing or teaing. this might be merely the ecstatic height of dissipation. 1 09 nation spends an inordinate amount of time in the national tub . by the job. but soaks in his his time. Now. spends his waking sleeps less than is it life most men and he Not only his bounden duty every to bathe six appointed times in twenty-four hours. Doubtless such totality is due to emotional exaggeration it is on your part. bathing here becomes an all-engrossing pursuit.

he takes the cold austerity. that they strove to become . a douche from a dipper will do. only to be had in the In default of a waterfall. This luxury hills. But on religious grounds it is not to be rec- ommended. which are the proper life. For in is his case no such amelioration of nature allowed. Whatever the season of the year. on the contrary. . his ablutions must be made in water of untempered temperature. then goes by the expressive name of kmigyo. fresh from the spring in the depth of winIt ter a thing of cold comfort indeed. Man-made methods are imperative owing one reason why the hills in town is to the lack of natural ones. who would reach correct thing is the height of holiness the to walk under a waterfall is. of course. his lot. or What is more. Esoterically there are grades in the clean- sing capabilities of shower-baths. not that men were less pure then. and be soused.no flesh is OCCULT JAPAN. this uncongenial application in the mode to produce the most poignant effect — with the For him shock of a shower-bath. but. habitat for novitiates into the higher In the good old days such habitat was a necessity.

yet purer. After they had beall come quite detached from that distin- guishes humanity. so far that a conscientious . and reducing themselves as nearly as might be to a state of nature . repair- ing again at suitable seasons to mountaineering meditation. They are far from being what they were. sacred summit.1 INCARNA TIONS. On- who first succeeded reaching a few of hills. there and at caves pointed out elsewhere. But gydja generally have deteriorated with the world at large. as the consecrated take. and have gazed with interest to me which they had once inhabited. after their return to society. they returned to the world to live hermitically in the midst of it. 1 1 pure Shint5 says it was because they had then lapsed from thodoxy. for. of the inoffensive kind. when gydja were the hills. opened. or- However that be. gydja they were anchorites pure and simple. Such were the men who phrase in is. they belonged rather to the herbivorous than to the carnivorous order of wild animal. There are still these estimable creatures at large in the I have myself met some of them. so gydja aver . They dwelt as hermits among seeing no man by the space of three years. as their diet will show. that its is.

there is at all events enough severity left it to satisfy any decent desire for self-martyr- dom. he said. they bility. for one usually finds the past not so superior the present as to report represents. till the man comes eventually land of trance. A modern gydja was little more austere than a shinja who made his summer pilgrimages when he could. Unjogged by suggestion. hardly feels that he has the right to call all. for to exist upon the border- But as it is not convenient hills everybody to retire to the for three . man himself a gydja at as one of the class humbly informed me. iarly is That mountains should be deemed peculgood points for entering another world not unnatural. do not conduce to socia- but enable the dweller there the more effectively to meditate himself into inanity.112 OCCULT JAPAN. when he thought of the austerities of the olden time. For whatever the regimen may have been. This was perhaps a gloomy view to take of the situation. With inclines incapable of cultivation. He blushed. the deterioration would seem a case only for professional sympathy. But even at its worst. the average mind lapses into a comatose condition.

This brings us back again for to the bath. A cold water douche begins the day. But the day does not Just before bring the douche to a close. and a third brings it to a close. it has been found possible to combine purity enough for vacuity with a tolerably secular existence. stagger half asleep must wake himself to the waterfall or bathroom. souse himself fall. 1 1 years at a time.3 INCARNA TIONS. after which it might indeed be thought that he should sleep in peace. m. the cnix piirificationis. even for this sublime purpose. he is outdoing but Diogenes by living not simply tubbing. it we are not half through with yet. would savor pandering to the The most vital ablution of all. If the neophyte be not taking the waterfall in all simplicity on his head. therefore. At this unearthly hour the poor creature up. of But such flesh. with a dipper or be soused by the his teeth while chatter a prayer and his fingers twist themselves into cabalistic knots. occurs at two A. turning in the neophyte must take another dip. another marks its meridian. in his tub. {yatsiigyo). he . The gyo in the two cases differ only as a state of nature differs from a condition of civilization.

in spite of their being very ings much engaged and are with their own spatterfor sputterings. plants. the gods them- selves then taking their baths. apparently human poor They hear.114 OCCULT JAPAN. With a optional. the this. and even the sleep. lie locked in gods can the better hear. try if he may to sleep again. they say. nevertheless. In Japan. that dead of night. And oddly enough. make of the bath a time of social reunion and merriment. his doze for may not be for long. shinja this nocturnal exercise It all is depends upon how pure he intends to become. Of course it is a great . with the dawn he must douche again. Even should he succeed. and reward the bather accordingly. when every sound hushed. himself shivering the while from top to toe then. {/li-no-de-gyo). relations. — the ofods of falls. . for for precisely such attribute that the time is chosen. and. the mountains under their waterin the riv- and the gods of the plain ers thereof. even the gods wash like their and are clean. the sunrise austerity Unearthly the midnight hour it is may At is ad- visedly be called. brought up standing in this manner.

of the holy. do no harm — unless is A little it more bathing can kill. The like skeptic may possibly to a different cause. be taken ad libitum by The rule is When nitely it. having per- chance seen the his around the shadow of he sat in the saddle. He do so when he perceives simthe heads of his godless character.- own head cast. are to all. as he stands beneath the the sunlight glanall cing through the spray rims a halo which men may ascribe it see and the reverent recognize as proof of sanctity. rigor under the waterfalls in the the gods graciously show signs of accepted favor. and not for the sake of the flesh to shirk what shall etherealize the soul. For round the head fall. Ben- halos about friends. lasts indefi- This extreme lavatory exercise — as in life. that baths at odd hours.: INCARNATIONS. II5 deal better to be thorough. Extras. Yet that abandoned Cellini. in doubt. long as the devotee can stand And diminishing doses it is kept up it through its To those who perform in all hills. which is beside the point. as upon the clipped grass will certainly ilar of a polo field. venuto on suddenly remarking one . douche.

day an aureole radiating from the reflection of his head in the water. The would-be pure must from fish. and.6 1 1 OCCULT JAPAN'. a beverage taste- and bodiless enough conscience specially to to escape proscription. as he leaned over once for sign the side of a boat. cure. Salt is be shunned (skhvodachi). It is worth noting . — adapting To sum to its gentler warfare with the spirits of evil Danton's celebrated one about war in general. is the next mortification brute of a body un- The poor equally yoked to so indomitable a spirit fares ill. Fasting {danjiki) to the flesh. For it is deprived at once both of super- ficial gratification and of solid nourishment. — we ! may in at it say that the three essentials to success are : " De I'eau douce " ! ! de I'eau douce encore de I'eau douce III. he should lead gastronomically an utterly insipid existence. took certain that his salvation it at was assured. So much for the fresh-water it up in a maxim. from things cooked. He may in all not even indulge in the national less tea. compre- hensively. abstain from meat. In short. from whatever has taste or smell.

that on the 11 way to a higher life the appar- ently harmless chloride of sodium should work as banefully within a man all as it works beneficially without him. it of weed rises superior seems indeed hard that only it. where the use even to sex. Nuts and berries form the staple of the gyqjds diet. those dedicate to deity should be debarred But the road to immaterial peace of mind knows it. the world. most sparingly of whatever One bowl of buckwheat and a dish of greens at noon is Breakfast sustenance enough for the day. He may also eat must eat vegetables and dried persimmons and grapes in their season . Greater deprivation than tobacco falls these. but it he be. if he be living a hermit among the hills buckwheat flour if. even under the ban. the Japanese Islands. he be still in it. After he has attained to a holy calm without the lay brother returns to moderate indulin this least gross gence form of gluttony. though not of . and supper are forbidden panderings to the .7 INCARNA TIONS. it The professed ascetic continues to abjure his life long. no material narcotic by the way. the In that earthly paradise of smokers.

Not unnaturally a diet of such subtraction speedily reduces him to his lowest mental terms. and yet it is so ineffably unin- . flesh. JAPAN.8 1 1 OCCULT. solitude complete or partial tends by wellto known laws latter it is convert him into either a maniac or a simpleton. start with. would be hard indeed to overestimate the of efificacy such process for producing utter blank- ness of mind. the general character of his To existence conduces to that end. To tary this end untold repetitions of elemenIt prayers admirably conduce. his external applications have not already given him enough of it. There is just enough mental action going on to keep the mind from thinking of anything else. he be living an actual anchorite Whether among the mountains or only a would-be one in town. his To a species of the ambition to attain. To wash is this next to nothing down if cold water allowed him. The subdued chanting by words to rote over and over again of which any thought has long since bade good-by tends in a twofold manner to mental vacuity. a state which he fies still further simpli- by purely mental means.

It is 1 1 do what it will. times. The chanter does not attain to this supreme it nirvana because is that is preaching the sermon but the soporific power of these rites in helping to a virtuous vacancy of mind is quite specific. of One own most effective these is the concentrating breathing. To this same intent.9 -. a mistake to sup- pose that the soothing effects of church are wholly due to sound sleep during the ser- mon. and partly accounts incidentally for the long-windedness of preachers. expiration his whole attention upon his Mentally.ITT 1 INCARNA TIOiVS. he scrutinizes each — the in- . nods. to Any auditory routine it. and in our own to case with the former when we conquer our counting of insomnia by methodically a hundred an indefinite number he himself . the more searching in- brother practices upon himself further of the genious devices. sleep of . Rhythmic monotone is as as more consecrated cradleof both The eventual end as we see with the in would be latter in the case an infant in his crib or of middle-aged gentlemen their pews. teresting inevitably that attention. is competent compel potent a lullaby song.

By giving his whole mind manner to the mere method of existence. One of the truly pious when weeks quantitively questioned told me he had thus kept watch on himself for three at a time. only pausing in the pursuit unavoidably to eat and sleep. For divine possession Japanese things. unlike the good sentinels. It is sadden- ing to think to what farther tenuities miofht not have attained he had he not been thus grossly shackled to the flesh. the virtue of the deed. sort. appear to be somewhat better able to look after themselves ular minuteness. though unsuspected of the doer. not a science but an The reason given by religion for this inspecis tion of one's breathing that by prayerful concentration upon the source of spirit one's evil spirit may be expelled and a good that afflatus drawn in. Ablutions and abstinence are thus the two . like other art.120 spirations OCCULT JAPAN. like at good sentinels. in which. is in Japan. nods her post lies . — with molecas it Each breath passes picket in this out is thus subjected to the spirit's challenge. he effectually prevents any ideas into that from stealing really mind unawares. After prolonged all duty of the consciousness.

mechan- ical finger-charms. in austerities. Then there a is the austerity of never look- woman's face. To be insensible to such charm were to have attained to complete insensibility already. there are several supererogatory ones. the gyo called tsumadachi. 121 which endless prayers. There is. austerities of For no man who is a man can take that absorbing interest in at all nothing which the rules require while a pair of piquant eyes and a petticoat lead his imagination their irresistible dance. which consists walking on the tips of one's toes wherever one has occasion to go. Compared with in this renunciation. the next It gyo must be a positive pleasure. and careful breathing help accentuate.INCARNATIONS. consists letting unlimited mosquitoes bite one to satiety for seven consecutive nights. great gyo. A species of pious ballet-dancing this. This martyrdom the ascetic who had practiced it spoke of But as a very severe self-infliction indeed. But besides the regular stock for example. I wrought even unconsciously by the should judge tial it to be one of the most essenall. . ing upon in view of the vast subjective disturbance sex.

How much modern hyp- quicker a like result can be obtained by the application of a little notism shows. some to dull the sense perceptions by persistent attention to what incapable of holding it. further paralleled by the position occupied by those who practiced them. is supported by . aptitude of is The all these artifices to the : end desired more or less apparent some tending to slow down the whole machine or by weakening the body. necessarily long The road un- because originally discovimproveis ered by chance. Now list there will have been noticed in the a steady departure from of austerities primitive simplicity. dependent from pure Shinto at the one end. rational An immense amount of labor thus in point of fact thrown away.. and then blindly followed by succeeding ages without ment. is essentially — all to reduce the is brain to an inactive state. though comparatively few poised on their The several vogue of the austerities is toes. science. or by tiring the mind. in that long chain of mixed belief which. strictly paralleled in their respective use. 122 OCCULT JAPAN. plicity is This decrease in sim- by the decrease Everybody washed.

who sufficiently expresses the type. Buddhism from the ordeal. He was at the time apprenticed to a dyer. he determined to seek out the holy man who by had effected the miraculous ficiency himself. following in his footsteps. will abnormal ablutions are of these The significance two parallelisms appear later on. is 1 23 The mosquito quite Buddhist. for example. Much impressed by what he heard on his return. other. One bowl of rice and a dish of greens a day are little enough to help one through such a course of ablutionary train- . to attain to pro- The gydja received him in and kindly indulged him his desire by putting him to the washing {siiigyo) and the fasting that time he {danjiki) austerities in all their rigor for three weeks. of his master's sick son. result. first The given individual was minded to become a practitioner in consequence of the surprising cure. What the Japanese sensations are during the process may be gathered from the per- sonally narrated experience of a certain believer. through god-possession. cordially. while not. and. At the end of was so used up that he could hardly stand.INCAKNA TIONS. and was away on a journey when the cure was wrought.

of it. ate. the exercise of the austerities. he feels it beforehand by a certain mental Finally he arrives at being light-heartedness. as is. fifty ing.4 1 2 OCCUL T JAPAJSr. or a corresponding oppression of spirit. that immoderately little which twenty and ameliorated treatment of himself he kept up for the next three years. novitiate. able to predict everything. show he itself Fortunately would seem to in a practical form. Whether he can always avert what he is able to foretell may this be open to doubt. Nevertheless. or a misfortune about to befall them. When his a bit of good luck coming to him or family. For consequent upon . he says. follows. For as he continues in the regimen he gets to know. good and evil is spontaneously. He was when he went through his sixty-three when he told me and douched daily. washing lavishly the while. he expressed it. for the intervening forty-three years he had dieted No very definite feels sensation. He simply an increase in virtue. for little days more he kept on with but addition to his mea- gre diet. says. in . At the moder- close of this second period he relaxed some- what and ation. it whatever that may mean.

exposure of his capabilities the poor 12$ man contracted a very bad cold. marriage itself. conflict. commit For gods to the themselves in the least to celibacy. in Shinto like proper. it appears. Indeed. certain it is that nowadays even gydja wed without detriment I am by no means sure their souls. a married man. as one of my married friends sugis gested to me. He was.INCARNATIONS. mere matrimony would seem intoxicating effect. and was confined for a couple of weeks to his house. mentioned above. innocuous. as the mention of his family showed. for so as commonplace a detail matrimony might of a far oriental's life well have escaped . In spite of the great advantage that accrues to piety from never looking upon a woman's face. In this he made no All lay brethren marry a matter of course. the priests wed Nor do such as follow the austerities anybody else. matrimony and self-consecration do not. that they did not in the olden time. doses loses Either femininity in repeated its sanctity renders the believer superior to Perhaps. sufficient austerity However to that may be. or acquired it. exception to the as rule.

again the rigors of the washing and the and keeps them up for a week if he be very thorough. do not and many a worthy soul forced to eke out a slender subsistence by Making toothpicks secular work in secret. even to the undevout. Thus. the On a case to be cured practitioner enters fast. as my gydja averred. these gratuities suffice. In the good old days they supported themselves in peace and plenty from the offerings alas. of grateful patients . upon the gravity of the case. two or three days if that will The amount of abstinence depends suffice. potentiahty of possession. however. is Even much evident. now is as he said pathetically. do the pious get themselves into a general Before possession becomes a a short renewal of extreme fact. when pressed to be more explicit.126 chronicling. was the industry he affectingly instanced. like the slight shake that notice the solution. There is some- thing highly satisfactory in this dieting of . OCCULT JAPAN. Still there is no doubt that pecuniarily so times have changed for the worse with gydja. then. austerities must of be undergone crystallizes . To be driven to such extremity must seem indeed pitiable.

We will first take up the which is the commonest one. But more constraining still are the energy and the sincerity with which the whole is done. imposing is.INCARNA TIONS. with which Ryobu has surrounded the finely in Ryobu form The ceremony act is keeping with the impressiveness of So sense-compelling a service hard to match in the masses you of any other church. indeed. should not the physician. paid for it. the physician in place of the patient. that is a sham. We have now That this is reached the function in the first itself. be expected to furnish ! all the elements of his cure IV. a supposition which the first view of one of these trances would suffice to dispel. if more thoroughly For well why. has it had on man sufficiently testifies that is. It is small wonthe act itself. it is all other pathies on earth. that impressive. sense of it that word. the patient's point of view it 1 27 From instantly raises divinopathy above Besides. . is imposing in the second sense. logical. the hold . shall find it der that the already susceptible subject feels its charm when even bystanders are stirred.

— for are most houses have what is called a gods'-shelf. the sacred tree of Shinto. public or private. These may be two kinds : temples. In front of the gohei is set out a feast for the god. only one spot holy by nature : sacred All of mountain Ontake or its affiliated others must be purified. . any form of uncooked human food may be offered to the god. rification For not only must a general puantecede the act. In these indispensables. and flanking these. Its central motif is gohei upon a wand. which does them for family shrine. is Now the peaks.128 OCCULT JAPAN. purification must immediately precede And first the spot must be holy. — and ordinary rooms. a saucer of salt. but a special it. a tempois rary one 2i constructed. with the gyo. and a cup of sak^. If there be no permanent shrine. purification is As of its essence. according to . The first kept perpetually purified the second are specially purified for the occasion. {kamidana). stood upright on a ped- estal. its principal dishes being a bowl of rice. By the side of the gohei are lighted candles. sprigs of sakaki. addition to the national wine. The feast varies in elaborateness according to the occasion.

tokonoma. or the part of it in by strings from which depend at intervals small gohei. seven of them being nearest the side. a flint goJiei- wand used After the purification of the place. is a porous earthenware bowl placed upon a stand. it is 1 29 desired The is shrine is set up in the tokonovia. is the purifica- For this purpose they . and in the bowl is built a pyre of incense sticks. of the room. by inclosing the room.INCARNATIONS. the next duty of the officiators tion of their persons. or recess of honor. by striking of sparks from and by brandishing of a as an exorcising air-broom. usually beginning as a log-hut and terminating as a wigwam.saji) pattern. the sumptuousness of the repast to give him. This is Then the place is purified. done front of the shrine. by finger-charms. by sprinkling of salt.go . all From space so inclosed evil spirits are out by prayer. At the the back placed a hanging-scroll of in gods of of Ontake. shrine. Some in five feet front the the centre of the sacred space. five on each the driven and three at the farther end. and steel. These are usually arranged after the so-called sevenfive-three {shichi .

or western side. the exorcist. the nambo. its full sists of complement the company conThere is.1 30 OCCUL T JAPAN. For. or northern side. as later. the hoppo. whether are enrolled in particularly priests or laymen. or side . or seat-in-front. The two front ones also have the charge of the paraphernalia. and with the signs of their ko or pilgrim club. Ontake all go out to the well or to the bathroom to in the pil- bathe. This In solitary some Ontake pilgrim club. called the viaeza. He is one of the shit en. and the nambo . and return clad grim dress. and the saiho. religious rank is Next in the ivakiza. He called the nakaza. spe- ciaHzed as the toho. garment is bound about the waist by a white girdle. in or seat-in-the-midst. all we shall see more Ryobu adepts. so to speak.seat. a single white garment stamped with the names of the Ontake gods. Their duty is to ward off evil influences from the four quarters. first. or southern side. or four heavens. or eastern side. is Equal to him consideration who presides over the function man and who is the to talk with deity. with the name of the mountain itself. the eight persons. the man whom is god is to possess.

into which the others instantly to begin with It is a is fall. and the eight are In this again together. very mentally suggestive of a mechanical dulling of the mind. separated by a pause and a rearrangement from the communion service itself. chant chiefly in monotone. the maeza starts one of the purification prayers {harai). not the person. the care of the patient. is the post. six there is 1 3 In addition to these a deputy niaeza and a sort of clerk of court. The impersonality It is of these names is worth noting. it in swing. Severally clapping their hands. the maeza starts another. or rather bridged by some the rest take off company. The one the last is an essential preface to launched upon the other. : This consists of two parts a general purifi- cation service. The prayer chosen usually the misogi no harai. manner prayer . The harai of the over. that designated.1 INCARNA TIONS. only occa- sionally lapsing for a note into the octave or the fifth. Every now and then a chanter if sinks into a guttural grunt as fatigued. When man is fairly the general incantation. the per- formers now enter upon the ceremony proper.

The paper is it in effigy of the disease. Shakings of the shakujo.132 after OCCULT JAPAN. prayer is intoned. a small crosier with metal rings. and the pilgrim rung at intervals point the swift pro- cessional chorus of the whole. Some is exorcists. the maeza an unlimited number of times yet do they not burn. . and. must to indeed be an unlucky wraith of tissue ash that fails of being well caught up with it heaven. the shriv- eled shape of its former self. leap into the prayers ascend with them Fud5-sama. Meanwhile. and uta or songs chanted in like cadence between. pieces of paper with characters inscribed on them are rapidly passed to and fro through the flame by . bells emphasize the rhythm. an immunity due to posThen he holds each session by the gods. its For since that the flame makes own draft. to float away. with more wisdom. upon for a which it catches fire and is caught upward by the air current. momept stationary in the flame. mark how pitying are the gods. say of its that the manner But ascension only significant. according as ascends or itself fails to do so. and as the flames air. The pyre to is then lighted. perhaps. will the disease depart or stay.

legs. the shiten seating themselves at the four corners. speaking. The maeza seats himself opposite and facing the shrine. ties it together from the sides and then brings the farther end up and ties it to his girdle. The men of the god. to and others ascribe Buddhist influence. 133 the purification ser- The bowl that held the pyre of is then re- moved. take their seats for the descent Up to this time they squat on Japanese fashion. gohei-\i2Sidi. and. their heels in the usual from now on they sit with folded which some say is the exalted seat of old Japan. This is the usual Japanese mode of tying up a bundle.INCARNA TIONS. and the deputy viaeza and clerk by the side of the maeza. More chanting brings vice to a close. drawing his dress over them. Then the wakiza . folds his legs in front of him. The others do the same. officially The nakaza is as yet unseated. first. is brought down from the shrine centre of the sacred space in the and stood up in the midst. and sheets paper are laid in the new places Then the the performers are to occupy. All face the gohei and go through a further short incantation.

man remains the till per- Then suddenly the quiver gains seized with wand all at begins to quiver . as we say . then reverently name of the god. the nakasa brings his hands together of in front him and the maeza. reverently removes the gohei-v^dca. god. and watch for the advent of the god. swers after which the maeza prefers his . Then the throe subsides again to a permaif nent quiver. the eyeballs being rolled up half out of sight in others the eyes remain shut. and the god an. places it between them. facing from the shrine. Then all the others join in chant. tucks himself in as the others did. the eyes. once the throe man is a convulsive — the throe. For a few minutes. In some trances the eyes then open. taking the gohei-v^-axi^ from the wakiza. of one possessed. trance look. bowed down. the time varying with the particular nakaza. open. and closes his eyes. After some private finger-twistings and prayer on the part of the nakaza and the maeza. in truth. fixed in the The man has now become the asks the The maeza.^ and holds it while the nakaza seats himself where it was. the fectly motionless.134 OCCULT JAPAN.

and one what the god may deign to say. so full many are not really vital to all its performance. with or Sanskrit one) there. viacza concludes with a prayer . have seen trances with number anywhere from two to One man alone would be sufficient. to 1 35 which the god makes reply. were it not a part of the rite that some one should hear the god's words for one man officiators in eight. without the ceremony of previously writing a cabalistic character (a the niaeza wakes him up.IaYCArisA tions. Two are that are absolutely essential to hear I one to be possessed. the nakaza forward on his face. . tically For at first it is prachis impossible to take the wand from unnatural grasp. can take the parts of both rnaeza and nakaza . . gives the One of the others man water from his a cup. The then striking the nakaza on the back. when he has been able to swallow to the rest set of their and rub arms and body out cataleptic contraction. and it. Although eight men are considered the proper number by Ryobu canons for a presentation of the function. will When falls he has finished asking what he and the god has finished replying. petitions.

and the naka::d s for the possession itself.6 occuL T japan: ' in turn. all The several twists typify manner of . Ordinarily. Of this kind was the posses- sion upon Ontake. With three men. and incidentally their appear- In form it is playing holy cat's-cradle it is with one's hands. From effective moment he claps his hands each begins upon a chain of finger-charms. in conse- quence of the performer's on much of the emotion exaltation. it is difficult to convey any idea Their uncanny character is distinctly the most impressive are called in- thing in the function.1 2. doing the inacza s part for the pre- liminary purification. seal-bindings. of the uncouthness of which in words. when two men take part. which describes their intent. the in the case of the three devotees. one is the maeza and the other the nakaza from the beginning to the end. and the tying timed to consecrated formulae that. however. take of a curse. They musubi or ance. the most The fingers are tied into impossible knots with a vehemence is which is almost maniacal . In this case the second man acts as wakiza. but in feeling intense action imaginable. the third is tvakiza.

INCARNA TIONS. and called cutting the kuji or the It consists in drawing in the air an imaginary five-barred gate. as a far-eastern proverb hath " — The cornered rat Will bite the cat. one hand. acts. For. is quite an esoteric library on the and so thoroughly defined is the system that the several finger-joints bear special names." . raising which above the head and then upsetting it souses one with holy water. The reason ten. 1 37 The position of the fingers in one symbolizes a well. spirits to A third compels evil avaunt . and so forth and so on. Another represents a very realwhich constrains a good spirit to enter the performer. it. istic pull. is due to the far-eastern practice of always providing an enemy with a possible way of escape. of five horizontal bars made posts. The seal-bindings are themselves sealed by a yet simpler digital device wrought with nine characters. There subject. If the Japanese devils could not thus run away it is said they would become dangerous. and four vertical This gate is to keep out the evil spirits. there are nine strokes and not is which the far-eastern dozen.

138 OCCULT JAPAN. the misogi no harai. and are shunned by pure Shintoists accordingly. toil slowly up the moun- Having thus sketched the possession cult. to believe these finger-charms But although the are. chanted by the pilgrims as they tain's slopes. they are professedly not Shinto. the tiakatomi no Jiarai. the great Ontake processional. upon one prayers : of the great purification Of these there are three chief ones Jiarai. On the other hand. and is have been com- posed by an ancestor of the present highpriest sJiojo of the Shinshiu is sect. and the rokkon shojo no no Jiarai I believe to The misogi be pure Shinto. I will now present some specimen trances These of the various Ryobu varieties of it. The finger-charms or other (Jiarai). I Ryobuists say that they seen a Buddhist have never practice them. . The roJiJzon It is no Jiarai of Ryobu origin. Their most devoted admirers are the are knotted Ryobuists themselves. first I At was inclined Buddhist. The is tiaJcatomi no Jiarai undoubtedly said to a native production.

to gaze for the first time his refor- His introductory scene-setting enabled me upon the faces of Ontake gods. will consider it we subjectively in the man. inasmuch as talking istic. His performance was a case of playing consecutively two parts in the function: that of first exorcist.INCARNATIONS. shall 139 be followed by the Buddhist possessions. priest. the possession objectively in the manner. I is their chief character- accepted unhesitatingly their portraits for speaking likenesses. There were nine . and then of entranced. — a parlor-pospriest of session in my own After very proper a coquetting with mystery. the Shinshiu sect consented to visit me for the purpose with a friend as side-seat {wakiza). and mation did not extend to the rite. list Heading the that I comes the house. Although he was a pure Shinto the for ceremony was according to Ryobu he was a reformed Ryobuist. and these in turn by the pure Shinto When we shall thus have looked at ones. first possession succeeded in obtaining. For he began by hanging the up in the room's recess of honor a scroll . depicting those deities whom as yet I knew But only as voices — voces et prcBtcrea nil. rite .

These peopled the Still lower down came three canonized saints of Ryobu.140 of their OCCULT JAPAN. they were humbly at now rewarded by being placed the bottom. popularly worshiped as the god of fire. The relative posiis tions of the three classes of gods notice. however. the men who had opened the mountain by first succeeding in getting to the top for which feat . which it is certain he was not. of This. course. Augustnesses respectively on in all. of The great god Ontake towered commandingly on the highest peak. Below these stood Fud5-saraa conglomerate god from nobody knows —a ex- actly where. was flanked by two companions on suitable inferior vantage points. mid-heaven of ascent. too. for such is worth their invariable ranking . mount They all wore the comfortable cast of countenance and generally immaculate get-up quite incompatible with ever getting up a mountain. proved their divinity. flanked by two lesser Shinto divinities perched on somewhat lower pinnacles. He. for some inscrutable cause a certain lien on the land. but possessing. standing pedpoints in con- estaled precipitous of the conventional tri-peaked ventionally inapt attitudes.

splendent for being thus mellowed by travelstain. in 1 4 Rydbu pictures . as imperative upon a palmer wash himself as it is not to wash his robe. Through the garment's present grimy gray the glimmered traces of red characters stamped certificates. shone all the more re. perhaps the seen .1 INCARNA TIONS. enhanced by being hidden in an ideographic tongue. in . of his ascents. After the priest had duly hung up this happy family and incense portrait and arranged the altar re- pyre. all events It it was the most dently convinced once of holiness in spite of the fact that all fortunately lacked it odor of sanctity. I think it was It showed this unmistakably. it For was was internally . Their glory. and times made the which was therefore correspondingly pure. turning clothed in his Ontake pilgrim robe. the very one in which he had himself several ascent of the mountain. as clean as externally dirty it being. dirtiest garment at it I have ever self-evi- at so. these. a grading in greatness which says something about the Shintd ancestry of the act. It was a pious thought that induced let the wearer later to his mantle fall. as we have to seen. he went and bathed.

slid- the glow of dying day stole through the ing screens. my most valued posses- The pale gray of his ascension robe took on a further tinge of glory from the glow of The seemingly the burning incense pyre. Through the flame the disease priest passed. and then leaped searchingly up into the void. yet without so much took as scorching it. silent and immov- delicious dream. sat the assistant. tinging the gloom within . written sheets . rolling up in surges of its own. to send of its soul in aromatic surges smoke in curling rise toward heaven. conscious flame lapped the pyre eagerly about. able. while pervading it all like a perfume rose the chant of the pilgrim-clad petitioner. emblematic of passed each deliberately to and fro an amazing number of times. From without. . After which he held it it there motionless for a moment and fire. one after the other. smothering sense to some Behind. for it now rests from its wanderings among sions. swiftly As it did so his chant swelled. a statue bowed in prayer. into every highest nook and cranny of the woodpaneled ceiling of the room. upon me . OCCULT JAPAN.142 gift.

After some minutes the hushed . took the ^^^^z'-wand in both. say "it." for in truth seemed rather the wand than the man that caused the shaking. The shriveled 1 43 shape wavered. rising. he seated himself upon them in the nakazas place. it went off again into another throe . and then rose with the chant toward the rafters Its prayer had been heard and of the room. When the last embers of the pyre had out. removed the bowl. facing out from the shrine and prefacing his act by a short his prayer. its Finally came back it still quivering to I former position before his face. spreading pieces of paper in a Greek cross upon the mats Vvhere the bowl had been. poised. and so the action continued till intermittently rising and falling. at last . striking the wand man on the fore- head with quite irresponsible violence. burned themselves and the orange was slowly fading to ash. suspense wand first suddenly twitched the the twitching grew to convulsions. and.INCARNA TIONS. the priest brought his chant to a close. and then with like frenzy on the it floor. Trembling there a few moments. granted. sort of Then. hands and shut of eyes.

After his senses had fully returned and his arms had been well kneaded. a tongue . There they had to be violently rubbed and jerked into a natural state again.144 the OCCULT JAPAN. his legs still rigid in catalepsy. By good luck he neither cut himself nor swallowed any of the pieces. He had hoped. and to thump- wake him. This energetic treatment brought him sufficiently to himself to ing him on the back and chest to be able to articulate for water. his question was whether he had spoken in the trance. The assistant advanced. man himself fell face forward upon the floor. raised the posfell sessed to a sitting posture. and on returning. his lips efforts But when the glass was put to bit it he to pieces in his frenzied to drink. said. On being told that he had not uttered a syllable. he was much chagrined. time when he began upon self again. his incantation it was one hundred and twenty as he came to him- When sufficiently recovered he went and first bathed. he to have astounded us by speaking English when possessed. we carried him out upon the veranda. His pulse had been eighty-four at the .

or August Dancing Pilgrim Club. and the clerk of court. nakaza. I will next present a function with the It full force of the dramatis persoiice. in the hypnotic trance. is A parallel to this to be found in the illiterate ser- ving-girl of the German professor. Such suwere often pernatural powers. of which. the parts maeza. the four shiten. it turned out. the of deputy maeza. being taken respectively by a plasterer. a lumber dealer. vouchsafed by the gods and he mentioned an Englishman (the only trace I have come had been . 1 45 normal state. while she casually came in and out to tend his fire. who. astounded the bystanders by repeating whole pages of Greek. There were eight performers. he assured us. across of a previous foreigner in this other- world) who had been thus possessed twenty before in years Kobe. and who. . though knowing no Japanese spoke it in his natural state. also was Mi- performed in my own house. fluently in the trance. which.INCARNA TIONS. he knew noto do so That he might be permitted his petition as exorcist. in his thing. by the Kagura-ko. she must unconsciously have learned from simply hearing her master read Greek plays aloud.

a carpenter. but at aggravating national custom. and treasurer. a pawnbroker. On first the day appointed they turned up. with It the president and clerk. this ap- pearance of a guest considerably before the time for which he was invited. together with several properties provided by me beforehand at the request of the latter articles club. pre-punctually. any special recomto his mendation heavenly office. the great god of Ontake. those red and white paper strings with which the Japanese their gifts. and footed up picture of thirty-one cents and a third. and a maker of mizithiki. tie bow-knots about Quite a representative board of trade. a fishmonger. The exactly list of the was the better part to of a foot long. suitably pedestaled upon the mountain and flanked by his fol- . a pattern designer.146 OCCULT JAPAN. a rice shopman. the man's being. the pawnbroker This combination was a mere earthly calling not coincidence. so I was informed. in fact. more Japauico. A polite. The last plasterer was the presiits dent of the club. the baggage leading. A Kuni-to-ko-dachi-no-mikoto. in They came at detachments. was once set other up in scene.

INCARNATIONS. by striking of sparks from a flint and steel. two tiny wicks holy twinkles made In the middle of the sacred space. On Shint5's either side of its it stood a candle speared upon candlestick. and a sake bottle not innocent of real sake. ing. lowers. and by air-dusting with the gohei at each of the four corners. often publicly performed. in front of which stood a gohci. after which the eight officiators severally left for the bathroom to bathe. and returned one after the other clad in the pilgrim dress. in the face of the . floating in rape-seed oil of light. In front of the feast. was built the symbolic primeval sticks. On I the occasion of a fire-crossing {hi-watari). have seen the holy performers strip and bathe quite naturally at a convenient well. 147 was suspended in the recess. rice A modest repast flanking of salt it and raw lay below. house of in- cense The place was then purified by prayer. The bathis though in this case privately done. duly inclosed by a frieze of pendent gohei. in a pair of saucers. bosomed in sprigs of sacred tree. the dark green gloss of the leaves bringing out vividly the white paper flounces of the symbol of the god.

When the altar. Exceedingly ingly impressive these purification prayers are. it was pointed with pantomime. if one will but devoutly refrain I from under- standing them. And as it rolled alons: it touched a chord that waked again the vision of the mountain. lated. I digital contortions. As yet the chant swelled it sounded and some fine processional of the church of Rome. suppose to one looking on for the tion as first time nothing about the funcfar out of all his world would seem so these same finger-charms. Intoned in monotone. and the strange self-abandonment of . those strange the finger-twists.148 OCCULT JAPAN. the last man was back again before the eight launched in a body swing- upon one of the purification prayers. The semisuppressed vehemence with which the knots are tied. and I saw the long file of pil- grims tramping steadily up the slope. had sonie of them trans- and am a wiser and sadder man like. the uncanny look of the knots themselves. women. and dren. chil- waiting populace of men. and once more before me unlike. rose Ontake. the maeza as usual leading off. in consequence.

think. in energetic rhythm. About them there ness. indeed the height of inartistic art its very uncouthness has a certain grace. the performer to the that is 1 49 act. the force of the originals in these their effigies. signs.INCARNATIONS. Symbolic of bodily action. . telephone. he charm of the thing to consist. has yet. to whom is is they are ad- dressed grow too. the beings real. the grace of the ungraceful masterfully done. Like a talk at a heard conjures inaudible. of the it For it . done by a true magician. produce an effect weird in the extreme. is felt A whole drama takes place in them. If such be the force of the charm acting . the half that up of itself the half that And You their uncanniness clothes these conjurings with the character of the supernatural. something cadence of a dance is unlike a dance. It is not pleasing in itself. as he bids the devils avaunt and calls the good and so realistic are the spirits to his aid . almost think to see both the devils and the gods. If is a compelling fasci- nation in spite of their repellent uncouth- one seek to unravel in his sensation from the mesh will find the I which it lies caught.

the chant rose with the one carrying the of flame three other up with feet high it. Crest after crest swept all thus over thought. Tongues darted ceilingward to transform . in purifi- Prayer after prayer followed thus cation. swelled. suddenly the brass-ringed crosiers {shakiij'd) ring together in double time. drowning in a reflection fathomless feeling of its own. felt quite contentedly full of nothing at that semi-ecstatic state in when discrimination has lapsed into a supreme sense of satisfaction . simply upon the dispassionate. joinit ing with their jingle as of passing bells.150 quite OCCULT JAPAN. indefinitely vast. buoying one's senses to sensations as of the sea. as chant and charm roll on in their swift progreat hold ! cessional. One all . and the chant as charming as the charms. Each in turn rose. its how upon the believer. The portal this to the seventh heaven of vacuous content. set as it is by the mordant of faith And then. in long billows of sound. like a loud noise broke in upon our half-dream when the maeza stopped to light As the flame leaped ceilingward it. A lull the pyre. and sank only to rise again. when the charms seemed as enchanting as the chant.

All the the performers except the nakaza . sheets of paper were spread on the mats in the gohei-^dxi^ was its and taken from the shrine the ! and per ! set upright in midst. surging. Other things were likewise passed through the flame to gain like virtue purified his rosary. that. each man thus which he afterward to finally the rubbed what part of his body he wished be pure and strong itself. altar. floated and then slowly settled down. The stead. . in place. letting each stay still a moment there. cense altar was then removed. it caught and was carried up . . life Many ills of thus vanished into thin air. Through the flame the maeza passed the written sheets emblematic passed them as usual to and fro of disease unharmed till. first This finished the service. themselves 1 5 suddenly into clouds off.1 INCARNA TIONS. with . purified was and in- taken from the put back by the fire. of opal smoke. into the crannies of the room. and goJiei for quintessence of purification. near nothing as symbols can well show very apotheosis of vacancy. Plain pa! plain pine-wood plain pilgrim dresses Truly the neutral tints of self-eflacement as .

Folding his drew his robe carefully round them. solemnly seated himself where Xh^ gohei had been. re- After a short incantation the maeza moved the wand and gave it to the tdho. facing from legs under him. The the two differ in certain technical details of . and tied the ends of it to- gether as one would a bundle-handkerchief. man and ended arranged After he had thus himself the others did the same. he the altar. The result gave him the look of certain one's rubber toys of that began as a extreme childhood. took post for the possession. is merely the doubtful. Whether is this by no means easy pose is modeled after that of the contemplative Buddha. or exalted seat of old Japan. it. facing the goJiei . and the clerk and the deputy maeza flanking the maeza to the left and right." who held it ready The nakaza came forward and in his hand. the -maeza directly in front of the " four heavens " {shiteii) at the car- dinal points on the side. For such is the conventional Ryobu-Shinto attitude during possession.152 OCCULT JAPAN. seating now themselves in the prescribed places. in a bulb. the "eastern heaven.

and the chant increased ment by moment by fits and lulls. knot that one is 153 ties in one's legs.INCARNATIONS. his eyes. as may be imviolent in the trance. Mowand gathered motion when a storm gathers energy. near the holat the base of the nose. between the 7iakazas at The man it. once fell ward on low resting one end on the mat and the other against his forehead. The others took up in chorus the stirring processional chant known as the 7'okkon sJiojo no harai. on. After a little private finger-twisting and prayer. the others of course The maeza took it the wand from slowly for- the toho and put hands. As the measured cadence rolled suddenly the wand the as began in to quiver. Slowly. the nakaza folded his hands before him and closed incanting. I have seen a god hop round on this his pedestal with astounding agility. the pose is one from which it is next to impossible to rise. and the knot sometimes of the one kind and sometimes of the other. The tying is done to tether the possessed that he may not prove too For. it it reached his forehead. as it out of a clear sky. The par- . Nevertheless. rose till shook. agined.

The god had come. yet not exactly artificial voice. They were approaching about the health of those beyond the sea. and then asked what questions he had previously inquired of me my and preference to have put. the eyeballs so rolled back that the pupils were nearly out of sight.154 OCCULT JAPAN. Delphic oracularity after which the god spoke on of his own accord. At which divine encomium. but at He spoke to me . a suppressed quiver alone thrilling it still through. and reverently asked of the possessed typi- The eyes had already opened to the glassy stare cal of trances. " Matsuwo. forward. goJiei. . the god replied." at which the maeza bowed low again. he wished to thank of the me. In an unnatural. he said. for making the ascent mountain (Ontake) two years before. bent low before The maeza leaned the outstretched the god's name. All of which were answered with . the pious are convinced that may I scale the sacred peak and return was proportionately pleased. considering that no foreigner alive. settled oxysm came on and then the wand with a jerk to a rigid half-arm holding before his brow. the maeza. prognostications for my voyage.

he suddenly beat the air above his head. put it to his lips this and helped him to drink. after a sort of benedicite. had come in turn. incantation to fresh fury. Once more he relapsed into his lethargy. rise : could be loosed from his cataleptic grip. the moment he had come to enough. the maeza.INCARNA TIONS. spoke again. When he had fallen into his comatose con- dition for the third time. and proceeded to hop excitedly legs. Slowly raising the wand. it which accounted for the and fall in the character of the possession Matsuwo Sama. . and answered. Three gods. and. in reply to the maeza. and once more he was roused. 1 55 After delivering himself of this politeness he settled forward heavily into a lethargic From it he was roused by further swoon. round on his folded of stopping at each the four compass points to repeat his performance. it. sign of a San- on and slapped him energetically on top of One of the four "sides" stood by ready with a cup of water. Under but it treatment he gradually revived. previous Then he came back to his commanding pose. took some kneading before the wand appeared. skrit character made the his back. and.

and shall Hakkai San. last example of the Ryobu form participants be one typical of the average unpretentious the being all simple- minded farmers of the suburbs of Tokyo. or 0-yama-zumi-no-mikoto. as has been said. There were five of them. their finances having up to date only permitted them to travel so far in fancy. The trance. were as yet ascensionless. . No picture was hung in the recess. Purification prayers and purification songs tnisogi no harai. shrine was The so the simplest possible. and was the banquet offered the god. The maeza and nakaza had both been up Ontake more than once the other three . but hopeful the lot to go might soon fall upon them. the rokkon shojo no and the fiakatomi no harai — were duly intoned. all members of the Five Cardinal Virtues Pilgrim Club. spirit of because otherwise the leading All five were clad in the company. — the harai.156 OCCULT JAPAN-. their Ontake ascension robes. piously anticipating that event. although the greater number were simply. Fukan Gyoja. the nakaza in this case being specially active. and the pyre was not elaborate.

— sect with where. and was interesting only for the rise fall of its crises. The Buddhist trances introduce a new in fea- ture in the shape of femininity. the god spoke. the mouthpiece of the god was the mouth of a maiden. The sion first one I was shown was a possessect. settled before the face.INCARNA TIONS. and the man who parleyed with . no prototype or affiliations elseIt is the Buddhist sect that now In this instance chiefly affects possession. who had learned much of the a Shinto priests six hundred years ago. For the Buddhist variety of these divine possessions the god shows a preference for feminine lips. and then with an agaru." incan- the man fell forward collapsed. " ascend. gone through before the possession was brought to a close and the man waked up. by the Nichiren This is a sect of purely Japanese origin. Five separate gods had come in turn. I 5/ The and possession itself took place with open eyes. The tation began again. VI. The wand shook man's I fren- ziedly. and a second god came Five several times this cycle was down. having been founded by Nichiren.

To be Japan. The three all belonged to a certain pilgrim club of which the priest was president. who was about eighteen. vine audience. They appeared with an extra jinrikisha carrying a Saratoga trunk of indispensables. It too house. two large lumps of known as kagamimochi. There were three persons in the company.8 1 5 OCCUL T JAPAN. as interpreted by the Nichiren sect. her a mouse-like priest of a certain not un- popular temple. fair to it the sex. and was a parlor possession in my own I have since learned that in con- sequence of the temple company having been thus invited out to perform. The trunk rice-paste proved to contain several candles. as it shows itself in should instantly be said that in this case the it baggage was not chargeable to but to the god's delight in pageantry. or mirror-dough. For with the priest and the maiden. some sakaki. a go/iei. came a female friend of maturer years. not indeed to chaperone the fair one so soon to be more than metaphorbut merely to assist at the di- ically divine. the fame of the temple has gone abroad and its holy trade has amazingly increased. va- .

hand accompanying him- . and ecclesiastical trappings for the priest. be they. eight volumes of scripture. poor things.INCARNA TIONS. sence of finger-charms was the ingenious A regrettable abfor made up by to of which he managed read through the whole eight volumes in way more consecrated expression it may be known as the way of the concertina. to He. remained mod- estly clad in dull indigo blue. the ends only being fastened to the covers. folded for the sake of portability into pages. Like old Japanese of a single books generally. After all these articles had been unpacked and the priest had made a shrine of some of them and had put on the rest. he faced the altar and began to pray. an elaborate and beautiful chant in keeping with his clothes. vestments. and not the women. For want of a of binding the books. rious I 59 other objects of bigotry and virtue. rosary. and is as useful as it is artistic. each consisted piece about fifteen yards long. It was made possible by the mode scripture. Holding them from his farther apart at the top than at the bottom. He prayed a long time. was the object arrayed . he left let the pages slowly cascade into his right.

the priest repeated several rememit bered prayers. in all conscience. responsiveness of a All this lasted a long while. l6o self OCCULT JAPAN. First he sprinkled her all shower-bath of sparks from a after flint and steel which he repeated in a soporific way several effect. and beckoned ways. not on his rosary. to the She then over with a folded her hands and closed her eyes. he turned at right angles to former position. to it. When his the priest had prayed. contents by re- The fair ones chorused him at a spectful distance in the rear. paniment strokes As he it prays he soothingly it. and purrs with the gratified cat. For in the possession ceremony the Japanese Buddhist uses his rosary not as tally to his to prayer. and watched the When he judged her numb enough . enough. altar. After thus adroitly disposing of his chief devoir. side- therefore. to the maiden to approach and seat herself opposite to and facing him. monotonic chants. but. but the sights and the sounds beguiled the senses to the forgetting of time. thus on the holy harmonicon to the its chanting of a portion of heart. but as musical accomit. as were..

and on reaching began to shiver. their vagueness failing not commend itself. his own hands making musical monotone meanwhile on his amber rosary.1 . but It otherwise as usual. I thanked him for this information. The The would maiden's eyes stayed closed. subse- some gratuitous fulfilled. priest like to then asked what questions put to the god. Had been a Japanese the chances are overwhelming that most of my property would have been lent . Possession came on gradually . the gohei behaving in a becomingly lady-like way. quently He kindly foretold that a I week after my return to America should lose a large amount of money I had loaned. which is perhaps that why I never lost it. I Some doc- trinal points occurred to me. slowly rose to her it forehead. INCARNA TIONS. Then the god indulged prophecy. The god and . pleased with the answers conventionality veiled to in in I was not. But I I realize the fault was mine. thinking it unnecessary to inform him that I had no money out on loan at the moment. the priest acting the priest were as spokesman. he put the goJiei-y^zxiA 1 6 into her hands and continued intoning.

psychologically. At the close of the preliminary service the chief officiator beckoned to her to take . I am convinced. in that case I it. over- laid with rich brocade. And yet to divine would seem to be of the very essence of divinity. A hanging scroll of Kishibojin of was suspended it in the recess honor . due.1 62 OCCULT JAPAN. priests At another stance by the same sect. as to the sex of the subject. the only exception being the occasional divine subjects. In possessions by the Nichiren sect for the god prefers women embodiment . and the cotton surplice. employment of children as For in this sect men are never possessed. first woman a white she sat disinterest- edly to one side. Altogether the most interesting feature of the case. while below a small altar. stood flanked by two gohei-\^2iVi^%. four and a woman took part. and lost should undoubtedly have I This is about as near as ever came with the gods to successful prophecy. There were no finger-twistings. and the service generally was short and simple. was the great ease of possession. The At principal priest put on white silk robes.

2 O 00 <n U en En O Pn z 3 .

.

all till she had been assured that priest.INCARNATIONS. put one into each of her hands. in the midst with her . permission had been asked by the with the rest of god condescended to interviews Replies would have been us. the then interviewed him. 1 63 this she did. in was right by the than Her pulse proved a trifle faster her normal state (no as against 100). divine This duality of descent was the affair. her seat . most interesting al- feature of the Twitching ensued most instantly. the close of it At the priest asked the god's name. . taking the two ^^/^^z-wands. passing through the row of priests with the customary respectful and sat down altar. but objected at pulling her first to having her pulse if felt. but it would have been rude god not to have subject was obtained his consent. arm away as it annoyed. and after priest. but decidedly weaker. and then. and was kept up a long time while the officiator {sluigcnjd) prayed on. case. Then. made first in any the priest to the said. The quite insensible to pins stuck into her neck. symboHc scooping closed her eyes of the hand. back to the She the priest made the sign of a Sanskrit character on each of her palms.

priest and upon character of the god expected to deIf the god be of more importance it he sits ex cathedra as were . like a doll. discussed later. this is Although I my first I mention of pins. while he and the others finished the service.l64 OCCULT JAPAN. they were so irrev- cataleptically clenched. was pricked. tried hasten to add that like had already them with fense that that innocuous result upon the I sterner sex. not without difficulty. but could be roused by being addressed. simply This relative disrespect shown by the Buddhists to the possessing gods will be ex parte. not the woman. if not. and somewhat left erently rolled her over on her side. After speaking. where he her to wake. the subject lapsed into a comatose condition. into a corner. The altar or facing of the possessed simply sideways to it — — from is the a matter dependent on the particular the scend. By the time they were done she came to of herself. Such are the phenomena of god-possession . and it desire to add in self-de- was the god. When the priest had fin- ished with her he took the wands from her hands.

the other it Tendai practices the nite sects do not practice at all. Oldest of all and yet youngest of any of in the far past. as 1 65 practiced by the Nichiren in a sect. VII. Meditating one's is self into pro- toplasmic purity dhists consequent of their religion.INCARNATIONS. of somewhat which I I have been told by its priests. but which do not happen to have seen. ality into another's the second as the etheIn Japan the Zen realization of one's own. For they took place and then did not take place again other day. The cult but little. a specialty of the Bud- upon the essential tenets and has only a distant kinwith the purely Japanese I ship in common Buddhist trances have described. which also eventually lapses into trance. sect are the greatest adepts in thus losing themselves. These defi- possessions must be carefully distin- guished from Buddhist meditation. The first may be defined as a change of one's person. The similar Shingon sect indulges cult. till the Japanese possessions are the pure Shinto ones. the They form members the most interesting branch of the family. . because the most unconventional of it.

personal auxiliary rites are few and such being explained away on the score of purity. Being biblical in character. But they never lapsed. For there is no mention them during the middle ages. although now in insist that they were always practiced secret during Shinto's If this unfortunate unpopularity. For they survived in Ryobu from whose destruction of in a sense made — they have phoenix-like emerged. striking parallelism of this to the Shinto explanation of its lack of a — that need moral laws — moral code is it only immoral people Neverthefaith the instructive. they that are invested with a certain archaism imparts to them tity. that they do not need them. The finger -charms. The pure The Shintoists are so pure. the case. all the more seeming sanc- The simple . In virtue of being a part of pure Shint5 they are necessarily resurrections reckless believers . decidedly the most . it be really is a sad instance of keeping a secret too well. so they themselves say. as faithful reproductions of the prehistoric practices as is possible. less is quite true that the more less formulae.1 66 OCCULT JAPAN.

with the god himself is for after-dinner speaker. Of purification prayers only those of pure ShintS origin are recited. for any cause whatsoever. It has all the forit is mality of the usual state function. cation. One comes life to conceive Shint5 god's as one continuous induce an after- round dinner of dining out. On the other hand. affair. they are induced to de- scend by the prospect of a dinner. 1 6/ are reduced to such very low terras as hardly to appear. for nothing more nor less than a divine banquet. The dinner it all-essential to the rites. being carefully ignored. as is to all Shinto For the is Shinto practice of dining confined its deities not to the ceremony of possession. free-lunch counters for deity. A all repast Shinto shrines being. the impersonal part of is the service elaborate. To mood is in a god whom one wishes to propitiate doubtless judicious. Wherever the gods are invoked. such Those of Ryobu fabri- as the rokkon shbjd no harai.INCARNATIONS. stands perpetually prepared on altars . . to put it irreverently. while every is Shinto service but a special banquet given some of a particular god. weird of the Ryobu rites.

by the chief officiator. So far as records and traditions make is it possible. and so on it reaches the chief priest. at the lower end of the line hands from of the refectory behind the scenes. the divine dinner has. The of course. taken on a most tedious etiquette. each in the serving. the aboriginal cult reinstated. he passes up to the next line. how- ever. of everything is inedible as well. who are the waiters. which. considering much of the food is raw. Even the archaic instruments of miscalled . the first the holy platters. and stand properly impressive row. and. Wine especially always on the table. deep bow. the apotheosis of primitive hospitality. rite is.1 68 OCCULT JAPAN. with a long. till man in the who passes it to the third. like mere mortal It ones. altar. for the gods are anything but teetotalers. said After a sort of the priest in. all most drawn up in a which ceremoniously long The priests. consists of now is of six or seven courses. grace. are beautifully dressed. The dishes consist of almost everything edible. With civilization. who places it reverently upon the solemnly offered up to Each dish is thus the god and deposited upon the shrine that in turn.

stands. it in the high-priest's family. matter. speaks more spontaneously. In proportion able to elucidate the meagre accounts in the Shinto bibles.INCARNATIONS. does not. and generally behaves himself with more of the self-prompting a god might be expected to possess. that the unchangeable gods may the whole action it be pleased. are played upon by were by fact. He sits. It is more natural and more free. their his modern descendant as they still mythologic forbears. is in the believer's eyes of less consequence than the knowledge of the scriptures as he is he displays. In is as nearly as possi- ble as would appear could one be trans- ported a couple of millenniums into the past. rior does he prove his supe- divinity. The possessed is not fettered to the conventionality of the Ry5bu forms. That the subject has been a propter hoc in well trained in this old folk-lore. music. 1 69 is some of them. constitute the . This. said. The trance itself is likewise different from its Ry5bu relative. however. to the pious. actual heirlooms.

is The school composed of two classes. for con- in teaching nothing less than the art of temporarily becoming god. and closes After some subdued prayer the priest . To exercises was never permitted to bring another foreigner. The held first. Then he seats him- self on one side and nods to a boy to come for- ward. ficing to my own purity just suf- admit me. instruction sists is week-day The it eminently practical. Perhaps the most curious phenomenon of the pure Shinto possession-cult cho's kindergarten. held by the high-priest of Shinshiu sect every other the throughout theyear. VIII. made up of the most pious young people boys' class is of the parish. vacations excepted. while the highpriest faces the altar in and conducts a service which the pupils join. attitude before the altar. The pupils begin by taking post in a row at the farther end of the main temple room. rises. a boys' class and a girls' class. of a is the Kwan- This is a Sunday-school unique kind. The bOy advances. squats in a divine his eyes.I/O OCCULT JAPAN. It is the most esoteric of its all I the possession practices.

The boy goes it into convulsions.INCARNATIONS. raises the gohei to arms' length above his head. brandishes the air. and. its being done in the Kojiki which is not a suris prising coincidence. maniacally in feet and while still doing so rises to his and proceeds to dance madly about the room. The is table is then turned of on its side. and so forth and so on much every other position . since the action copied is from it. and he repeats his series tumbles. the possessed somersaults in every possible direction. resuming his seat. He then enters upon several gymnastic exercises. In the course of his divine antics he contrives to part with the gohei--^2cs\^. cuously is over the Then a low table brought out by set in the some of the other pupils and this. following in a definite the compass points. On advanced pupils the effect almost instantaneous. and over it directed by taps on from the Kwanorder cho. plays sweetly on the exactly as you shall read of . The same in pretty next done with the table turned bottom side up . First all he turns somersaults promisfloor. which he hurls inadvertently into a corner. 17I puts the gohei-yNdiXv^ into the boy's hands. sacred flute. middle of the room.

. descending again by the ladder. less cor- they do turn somersaults over the Their specialty. The waltzing they keep up indefi- nitely until stopped by the priest. and in another.1/2 of the OCCULT JAPAN. stands a ladder. character for will. his own performance it night after night. clinging to which he makes the circuit of the room. improving on through a gradual course of trance-develop- ment. until he has made the circuit interpolating between times somersaults at his own sweet with the pupil. The curriculum varies Though of the same general all. he performs upon a horizontal bar. stands on his head up against the wall. Or he then of it. it differs in detail for each. They do not journey along the nice. A pupil will sometimes turn thus some seventy somersaults in the the course of one trance. But each pupil repeats exactly. With the girls the action is fittingly violent. Against the wall next climbs to up which the entranced the cornice. first in one corner of the room. but floor. furniture. frequently he wanders by the same Not inmeans After round all the neighboring apartments. however. consists in dancing dervish-like round and round the room.

strictly they seem to regard each other as inanimate things. It is irresponsibility let loose. considering the violence of their actions. very decidedly peoples the apart- ment. is Before one pupil has finished. but as to the boys. . dancing dervdshes are orderly. Yet. one's Standing on head in the corner with one's legs straight up against the wall implies possesspirit of a sion by the climbing plant. it certain that they can hear the Kwancho. The girls are as decent as dervishes. while somersaulting to the over the table denotes visits paid upper and the under world. be careful. intelligent members of society by comparison. Somersault- ing over the floor represents the natural revolution of all things . I /3 mean some- The dance is the facsimile of the one that the goddess Uzume-no-mikoto performed in the first recorded possession. a second started on his career. who occasionally warns them to . though they often collide. All these actions of the pupil thing.INCARNA TIONS. and then sometimes a third. For they hurl themselves about the apartment with as utter a disregard of others as of themselves. Though is it is doubtful if they see at all. which.

IX. consists in shutting the eyes and thinking the nakaza of nothing. of tapping the table or the wall. takes practice to attain to pious profi- ciency. in the simplest possible manner. he his mukes mind as much of a blank as he can. quickly fall Though adepts it into the state. at which time be remembered he closes his eyes. the first point being the getting into the cause. now come to the subjective side of the trance. as distinguished is from its occasion. Entrance effected. that is. several sittings being necessary before the pupil is possessed at all. From will the moment takes the it ^<?//^/-wand into his hands.174 OCCULT japan: of thus occasionally ad- With the exception dressing them and in the least. he does not direct their movements Such half-way stage between is hypnotic and possessed action ing thing in itself. We it . so far as could discover by feel- immediately afterward. an interest- The ing it subject's pulse I is accelerated and weakened. The ability to think of nothing — not the simple matter even to the innately empty- . It in fact.

INCARNA TIONS.
headed
it

1

75

might

be

imagined

— has

been

increased by the previous etherealizing process of the austerities.

The

routine ritual
act,

indulged in just prior to the

or rather

the non-act, furthers this pious result.

The

repeating of the purification prayers has be-

come

so purely mechanical a process that
is

saying them

tantamount to not thinking.

Nakasa, quite unmindful of the doubtful propriety of the remark, have informed

me

that

the two are the same thing.

They do

not

think of anything, they say, after they have

once sat down
the prayers.

to the

ceremony, though they

are, patently, as
off

busy as they can be reeling

So true

is

this that a

nakaza

will at

times begin to go off inopportunely in

the midst of the preliminary rites and have to

be brought back from his divine digression

by a rousing

cuff

from the maeza.

Some

nakaza, in order the easier to enter
goJiei-v^'AXi^

the trance, rest one end of the

upon the ground, and, leaning forward, throw their weight upon the other, pressed against
the forehead at the base of the nose be-

tween the
teresting

eyes.

The
that

act

is

thought to be
It is

helpful to a speedy possession.
fact
this

an

in-

zone

hypnotiqiie

176

OCCULT JAPAN.

should have been discovered experimentally

by the Japanese long before the thing was scientifically known to Europe. Not all subjects,

however, make use of

it.

Some simply
floor

rest

one end of the wand on the
it
;

and
it

then lean upon

on the
air.

floor,

but hold

some do not even it before them

rest

in the

These various devices are matter

of tra-

ditional practice with particular pilgrim clubs.

Easy

as vacuity gets to be to those
it,

who

can give their whole mind to
sition of

the acqui-

such capacity
affair,

is

by no means an
one
first

instantaneous

as the history of

earnest applicant for inanity from his
failure
to his
first

success

vi^ill

suffice

to

show.

After having duly reduced himself by protracted austerities to sufficient abstraction,

he was set one evening in the nakaza's seat. Ranged round him sat the regular company
incanting.

He

closed his eyes and the gohei-

wand was put into his hands. From that moment he tried to make his mind as blank as possible. The result the first evening was
simple nausea.
It is not,

perhaps, to be won-

dered

at,

that his first dose of divinity should

disagree with a man.

;

INCARNA TIONS.
The man's second attempt
the unpleasant
acute.
effect

1

77

the following
result,

evening led to a like sickening

but
less

was a thought

So

it

was on the third evening and

the fourth, and in this half-seas-over state

between man and god he continued to remain for fifteen consecutive nights, the nausea less at each repetition of
last, at
its

cause.

At

the fifteenth sitting, his perseverance

was rewarded.
usual

He

entered the holy ring as
others

and remembers hearing the
like

repeating the prayers fainter and yet more
faint,

singers departing

into

the dis-

tance,

and then he was aware

of being rudely
rest.

and irrelevantly shaken by the

They

were bringing him
like the

to.

Possession had been

unconscious dropping off to sleep
to himself again like

coming

waking

in the

morning, only that he

He

felt dull and tired. was told by the company that he had

nodded, brandished the wand, and become
perfectly rigid.

Subjects,

when

catechized more curiously

as to the feeling of lapsing into the trance,

indulged

in

variously
it

opposite

analogies.

One

likened

to the sensation that creeps

over a

man

after long

immersion in the hon-

; ;

1/8

OCCULT JAPAN.

orable hot water, a luxurious soaking in a

bath of the parboiling temperature of one

hundred and ten degrees or more Fahrenheit
a simile by

some degrees too ardent
itself as

to con-

vey much idea of insensibility ro Europeans,
but which
Japanese.
like

commends

expressive to
said
it

Another individual

felt

going up in a balloon.

This daringly
appeared

inflated simile

turned out a pure flight of
it

fancy, as on further questioning
that the speaker had never

been up in one.

But, inasmuch as his audience had not either,
his definition

was considerably more

definite

than

if

he had made ever so

many
was

ascents.

A

third

man

averred that

it

like

being

drowned and then being brought to life again a clever hit, this, though I have no reason to suppose that he had had, any
;

more than the

other, personal experience of
Still

his comparison.

another described

all

sounds as seeming to go a long way off
while a last adept said that
into the

when he

lapsed

supreme

of meditation, a condition

akin to that of being possessed,

ordinary

noises ceased to be audible, and yet in winter he could hear the water freeze.

Of the trance

itself

most,

if

not

all,

of the

INCARNATIONS.
possessed

1

79

remember

afterwards
it

nothing.

One man indeed
ing,

said that

only more vague,

— the

was Hke dreamdream
of

a

dream, which certainly

is

very vague, indeed.

Even here
itself.

I

think he mistook the feelings

fringing the trance state for the trance state

For certainly the average good nais

kaza

quite emphatic on the point, and this

particular

man was

not a specially able spe-

cimen.
All agree in the sense of oppression which
is

their last bit of consciousness before going

off

and their

first

on coming
after the

to.

It is for

this the inaeza slaps the

nakaza repeatedly

on the back
ing.
this

at

and
is

moment

of wak-

The

throat

so throttled that unless

were done the water could not be swal-

for

As for the water itself, it is taken much the same reason that some people take it when about to swallow a pill, to overlowed.

come, that
the
glottis.

is,

the involuntary contraction of

Possession begins, they, say, at the gohei.

the

The hands that man to be
cases they are

hold

it

are the

first

parts of

possessed.
all

In the incipient

that are visibly afifected.

As

the control deepens the cataleptic condi-

l80
tion creeps,
all

OCCULT JAPAN.
on
like paralysis,
till
it

involves

of the

body not actually

in use

by the

god.

Possession ends
subject's

much

as

it

begins.

The
After

arms and hands are the
well

last part of

him
the

to lose their induced catalepsy.

man

is

waked and

to all intents
difficult to

and
take

purposes himself again,
the

it is

wand away from him.

Only

after

being

rubbed and kneaded
their hold.

will the fingers let

go

In the trance
ally

itself

the anaesthesia

is

usu-

marked.
the

I

have repeatedly stuck pins

into

entranced at favorably sensitive

spots without the god's being aware of the
pricks.

In

some
felt.

cases,

however, where
to suspect

I

had otherwise no reason
the pin was
of feeling is not invariably state
;

fraud,

So that apparently want
produced
in the

but
it.

it

is

certainly a

usual concomi-

tant of

The

pulse

is

quickened

to a varying extent.

This appears to be rather a symptom of the
entrance into the state than of the trance
self,
it-

and

is

doubtless due to the exertion and
rites.

excitement of the preliminary
significant

The

symptom

of the actual possession

INCARNATIONS.
is

l8l

the pulse's very decided weakening.
it

The
stops.

performers themselves state that
It

comes very near

it,

I

have explored the

wrist of an entranced during possession for a

long time only to find an occasional

flutter.

But the most important feature
of the pulse consists in the

of this failure
in

way

which

it

keeps step inversely with the rise in the
tivity of the possession.

ac-

The

pulse grows

feeble

in

proportion as
to

the trance action

grows strong, and tends

go out completely
height.

when possession
the subject
falls

attains

its

When
perform-

forward into his comatose

condition the pulse returns.
ers

The

themselves are perfectly aware of this

reciprocal relation between the man's vitality

and the god's.

When

the entranced's pulse

was being felt I have known a whole company to redouble the energy of their incantation in order thus to keep the possession at its height and so cause the pulse to go
out.

During the height
subject's

of the possession the

body

is

in constant

subdued quiver

;

evidence of the same nervous

thrill that protill

duces the

initial

spasm.

Not

the comathis

tose condition

comes on does

cease.

l82

OCCULT JAPAN.
it is

And

capable of being revived to greater

or less fury by reincantation, at any

moment.

At the time the

subject consigns himself

to vacating his bodily premises he shuts his eyes, thus closing the shutters of the house his spirit
is

so soon to leave
till

;

and the blinds

stay drawn

the spirit has passed away

and the coming on of the spasm indicates the advent of the god. At his entrance the eyelids are, in

some

cases, raised again {ganibi-

raki), revealing that glassy stare peculiar to

the trance

;

in others

they
is

still

remain drawn.
the eyes open

Which they

shall

do

matter of tradition in
If

the subject's pilgrim club.


By
so
is

as also doubtless

if

they do not

— the eyehalf out

balls are rolled

up so that the

iris is

of sight

;

the lids quiver but never wink.

those
is

who open

their eyes, the not doing to shams.
It

denounced as conducive
easier to

certainly
if

sham with the eyes
counterfeited
at
all.

shut,

indeed the peculiar look of an en-

tranced' s eye can be

Nevertheless, such as shut their eyes to the
act

deem

their

way

equally convincing.

Beside opening or not-opening his eyes in
the trance, dependent upon the habit of his
club, the

subsequent action of the possessed

first He is then invariably to asked his name. tell god-experts say they can which god has come by the manner alone in which Gods are as easily told apart as men. just as unconscious assimilation of precedent come stereotyped artless a thing as any everyrday of habit.INCARNATIONS. His actions are but the beinto trance habit. One might make a more serious mistake and take for necessary symptoms the Japanese it. Their general resemblance is due to he brandishes the gohei-^^zxid^. trance these mere adventitious adjuncts of due to auto-suggestion at first and then per- . Each begins by brandish- ing maniacally the ^^/^^/-vvand. their divinity their own. The behavior one god bears a striking family likeness to that of another. is 1 83 of Otherwise conventional. and after sufficient flourish brings it down to the commanding holding before the brow which is betokens that he ready to be interviewed. To mistake such for fraud to be one's own dupe. their slight individuality is The conventional of character of the actions of the entranced is course no sign of is shamming. when you know them. . which would seem since be a polite formality.

and formance degree. quite — those per- connected wuth the ^^//^/. universal nevertheless.wand. But such are pected pin in a easily An unex- tender part of the possessed's body instantly does the business. Shamming it is not so important a matter as of its ease of detecis might seem. indeed. lies not in detecting the counterfeit but in failing to . which scarcely surprising when we consider exploded. not being a detail the higher forms of pure Shinto possession nor of that of the women subjects of the Bud- dhists. is which Shint5.1 84 OCCULT JAPAN. this is treated The way in common to pure Buddhist Ry6bu-Shint5. the great vogue the act of possession enjoys. because tion. as the Salpetriere did with those its it first hypnotic patients. and then as innocently at marveled afterward. while a mere man invariably The difficulty. For a god is sublimely superior to being of. made a pin-cushion objects to it. alike. the action only differing in On the other hand. innocently induced in petuated unintentionally. are Some symptoms. Shams there are in plenty. the tying up of is the legs of the entranced essentially of a Ry5bu practice.

that he was then first set in the nakazd s seat. he has after birth to go through a natural process of development to reach his full capabilities. detect the reality. if successfully. while the genuine article. divinity at the time only to realize afterward that he has done the lady — is Though the god in these incarnations thus born. The history of a boy about ten and a half years old whom I was privileged to observe in the course of his divine education will give some idea cess. not made. at the end of August when the god It was at last . twice in the morning and three times at night. of the laboriousness of the pro- He began practicing to be possessed is on July 17. and the gohei-vizxi^ put into his hands while he shut his eyes to and five tried make his mind he as blank as possible. perfect. 1 85 ulous eye the To a sufficiently incredsham very rarely masquerades. This times performance went through every day from that time on. Especially the case with woman. His gradual self-education would be esting to witness did it inter- not take so long.INCARNA TIOXS. One doubts her an injustice. very often is seems too good this to be true.

When of first saw the boy the in the latter part far I September. the god did nothing wand. god had got 28. enough saw him along to grunt quite imposingly. asrain o on October The sounds had taken could then articulate so it on some form. is always possession preceding It the ability to converse in the trance. but a stilted. I but brandish the gohei- Gradually he learned to grunt. that fault He you thought he spoke what not to understand! I was your dis- By the middle of November. tinctly. cothurnus sort of voice. place they . he would speak the voice The development of an acquired art dumb . It would be It is were not sincere. At first descended and possessed him. was told. When It is he does do so the not the man's natu- tone peculiar. ral voice. and how commends itself artistically to the imagination. to one which a god might be supposed in use addressing theatrical mere it mortals. The possessory gods present certain interIn the first esting characteristics.1 86 OCCULT JAPAN. the man's unconscious conception of a god should talk. takes learn the god to is no inconsiderable time to talk.

who. as a parting injunction. " If you realized Shinto idea of the are in doubt. not excluding her son. She will help Woman of continued a power after she had ceased to be divine. the For in advanced woman's right's wife. pray to God. said to him. the Sun-Goddess Ama-terasu-o-miearth at kami. Goddesses are Practically is both numerous and influential. 1 8/ This follows from the fact that in Japan sex suffers no social restrictions among the gods. as in olden times it suffered none among men. be found to have a hand in In the olden . who was canonized it is as When fore it comes to possession there- not surprising that femininity should it. and you. the god of war. on sending her husband shopping one day to match a piece of ribbon. are of either sex. chivalry apart. The deity worshiped as the is principal god the second Ise shrine is also a goddess. several Japanese history boasts empresses who. the highest god in the Shinto pantheon a lady. most promiis The Empress Jingo perhaps the most striking figure in the imperial line.INCARNATIONS. its have played on the whole nent parts.

examine the Shinto bibles Still chiefly confined to there are plenty of exceptions in both parties to the business. we is time both possessors and possessees were notably of the sex. since otherwise it would not be per- sonal possession at all. come Nowadays possession males on both not sides. Male deities usu- descend upon both sexes indifferently. goddesses not being particularly partial to men. however. such event the voice of the entranced changes The sex of the subject does to suit the sex. Shinto possessions are remarkable for the multiplicity of gods that deign to descend in one and the same trance. nor particularly averse to their ally own sex. It is uncommon in for a goddess to lot of descend In sandwiched between a gods. is numerous is not surprising in divinity.1 88 OCCULT JAPAN. Such divine copartnership is of course successive. but a mere composite . as to shall see when we later. and in which they are certainly not specially feminine — in their willingness to share their subject. not seem to signify . they are more simply because than female ones. one point about these possessory But there gods in which they come much nearer being unique. Sex.

once. the same god very rarely. reTo have come turns in the same trance.INCARNATIONS. he sinks forward into a comatose condition from which the next god rouses him. 1 89 blur of divinity. which certainty shows a praiseworthy regard on the is part of the god not to monopolize his subject. three to a dozen descend in turn. Each god stays but five and this five-minute rule in speaking produces a wave-like rise and fall in the character of the possession. Then. As each descends. the activity of the possession rises from lethargy to somnambulistic action the possessed acts. The communistic is char- acter of the possession as singular as the constituents to it are many. speaks. minutes or so. by which it becomes possible to count the number of the divine visitors. if ever. Rarely does Usually from one god monopolize the trance. instead of being reason for coming again reason for the reverse. Although neither the subject nor any one else knows beforehand what particular gods . is the god. . quite unrecognizable for any- body in particular. Contrary to what might be thought probable. when the god departs.

that impersonality self that after his sense of has entirely left the man. a third's of the higher Shinto divinities. It reminds one in a serious way of the problem of the sand-bank with the hole in it. running in this manner through the trance. timates . the sand-bank does the hole remain ? Here . in will any one trance. Each is visited by his in- his pious proclivities determining with terms. shows how deep ingrained is. the essential lack of it. gods . its lingers behind. whom he may stand upon calling Such an impersonal thread of godhead upon which each particular god's personality is strung. of agriculture another's of defunct and dei- fied gydja. One man's will thus consist of the various Inari. and are iar particularly famil- with the peaks . pious hermits who lived much in the mountains. What upon what gods the man his intimate with in familiar spirits normal state. The sea comes up and washes away . reveals very strikingly the peculiar characteristic It of these people — their impersonality. a certain clique of gods usually frequents any one the divine set shall be depends is man. still quality of that self.1 90 descend OCCULT JAPAN.

the pilgrim clubs.1 INCARNA TIONS. to For filled though vacuity left be by deity. formal priesthood. of the in simple beauty of the Shint5 For so an emotional sense of it is the very essence life what makes outline of far -eastern fine. apparently alone is it 1 9 does. the form of that vacuity reappears in the god. on closer study it proves something little less than grand Truly it needs no in its very simplicity. Before passing on to interpret the them. comes the proof of But their I essentially cannot take my leave of the phenomena themselves without hoping there may linger with the reader some impression. however faint. erly Japanese character. there remains to noumena behind be given some ac- count of a custom intimately associated with After that propthem. first Mere sight to a faith as Shint5 at seems to be. no be costly shrine. for it has as visibly about all it something better than these — its very . faith. So closes my presentation of the pheno- mena of this strange possession-cult. The mould after is still there to shape the new tenant has crum- all that was moulded in it bled away. no elaborate service.

OCCULT JAPAN. and the great cryptomeria groves no longer seem untenanted.192 gods. To Shinto they are always there . . bare longer lack a host for at buildings no any instant they may be pervaded by a presence. the presence of the incarnate spirit of the god. the plain. .

Unlike as they otherwise far -eastern are. the stranger will take them. will shortly dispel this illusion by showof ing them to be fixtures. the greater part agree in displaying at the top the conventional symbol that and stampin passes for a peak. Sojourn at the inn. how- ever. From for all their general shape. size. .PILGRIMAGES AND THE PILGRIM CLUBS. a permanent part the real estate of the establishment. at first blush. ing. JIVERY nigh : traveler in Japan will have been struck by a singular yet well- universal appendage to the a motley collection of cloths country inn dangling from short fishing-poles stuck into the eaves in one long line before the entire inn-front. I. though their inordinate slightly tax the credit of number even Japan- ese tubability. the towels of the guests hung out innocence to dry.

but not of landlord invention. and are bait. a sort of landlord ingenuity. the more romantic souvenir of the two. bears conspicuously the club dress. For they were towels. be- stowed ingenuously upon the inn as tokens favor by clubs that it chanced to put up in tour- and be pleased. just as ladies ney times cast their hand-kerchiefs to their knightly choice. are now a sort of club advertisement and But towels they are no longer. the change his idea as to their char- unenlightened will next conceive them to be some novel inn allurement. For though they are presented to the inn. They are the ho-no- temigiii or gift towels of the pilgrim clubs. Sec- ularly speaking. Each name and adbrethren and is left with the landlord to be to subsequent displayed for sign . of preposterous bait dangled thus to catch the public eye. Once they were of at quite simply towels. Time has They raised them above domestic service. to Forced acter.194 OCCULT JAPAN. both inferences are correct. they are presented for the benefit of those presenting them. guide-book combined. Not having handkerchiefs. rather the Japanese presented as keepsakes their towels instead.

equally striking spectacle of itinerants dis- tinguished by — and well-nigh extinguished under — huge caused him to walking.PILGRIMAGES. Landlords spare no pains patronage to display them. Now some to play a sion. and stout poles planted in the street in front fly the overplus. for they form a regular part of the scenery. unless the . On any fairly good inn you shall count from fifty to an hundred of them. germane to our subject. Some general account of them becomes. role in god-posses- clubs for the purpose. and with hostelries to of exfail ceptional entertainment the inn's eaves accommodate all its pious indorsements. . of these pilgrim clubs turn out most important in fact. toad-stool hats have already as mark such plants men Once recognized. being. The pilgrims are very free with these cer- tificates of club satisfaction. for the pilgrim is is individually not unlavish. he will find both phenomena everywhere. therefore. that this is I95 up. and collectively enormously large. It is where the club puts the inn asterisk in the pilgrim Baedeker. The will sight of such banner-bedizened inns first probably be the foreigner's to intro- duction Japanese pilgrims.

though every sumto find mer fail him actually on the march. in the Want way of funds alone seems to stand of the nation's taking the road in first of a body from the middle of July to the September. Probably at no time and among no people in this have pilgrimages been so popular as same nineteenth century in Japan. at Poverty compels him to do his plodding home.196 OCCULT JAPAN. the "way" its here being as un vividly viewed the thousand and by one other ways of the world by those who pursue them. not- Now there are three points worth . ese is Every Japan- a pilgrim at heart. pilgrimages are more than foot-notes to its creed. after all profane. very To one of a poetic turn of thought the name Shinto or the " Way of the Gods " But such poesy followers as are is pictures one long pilgrimage from earth to heaven. temporary excitements like the crusades excepted. Nevertheless. Even Mahometan world dis- though it draw from greater tances and be invested with more pomp. fares As it is. the yearly caravan of the to Mecca. does not imply so complete a habit. the country's thorough- at that season are beaded with folk their wending way to some shrine or other.

ing about these pilgrimages. no con- tingent ever crosses from China or Korea to visit On the other hand. is naturally Regard for the smaller bounded by a narrower till But considering that within ten years the means of conveyance were one's own feet. shrines horizon. it is who go on sufificiently pilgrimages. since socially it is journey- ing the whole length of the land by only going part way. of the people. the attraction of even these lesser is felt load-stars surprisingly far. that 197 The first is the impulse to them is emphatically traits. the gentle not being given to walking. Their patronage quite insular. but the chiefly birthright of everybody. of be. to the more flock famous Japan. and from in the which eyes of the pilgrims adds greatly to the pleasure of the pilgrimage. Their goals draw no devotees from outre Buddhist though some of them them. .PILGRIMAGES. 7ner. other. is The next feature their purely national is character. them pilgrims from all over ]\Ien from one end a fact of the empire all meet there men from the points in between . Like so many Japanese the art for instance. the pilgrim spirit is not an endowment the simple of upper classes. Indeed.

They are far more . when confronted by stition : a strong popular super- Baptize it at once. But in spite of the very catholic character of the pretension. and to put up at an inn in their neighborhood is to seem bidden to a ball.198 OCCULT JAPAN. The third peculiarity about these pilgrimtheir being in ages consists in probably the most unreligious the world. thus in a twofold the sense of sense wholly national. have been. — first in and then in the sense of all. just a sufficient suspicion of it to render them acceptable to the easy-going gods. faintly flavored with piety. they assert they first all of which to made accessible mankind. we scrutinize it. Speaking profanely. spirit is That the pilgrim only. For a more mundanely merry company than one of these same pilgrim bands it would be hard to meet. The Buddhist seems to like the early Christian. they are peripatetic picnic parties. the fact : that Japan- ese pilgrimages are not of Buddhist but of It is first hint of the ground- lessness of the Buddhist claims to spiritual ownership in the mountain-tops. — implies one important fundamental Shint5 origin. the right to such eminent domain grows closer airier and airier the idea.

His personal proponly matched by the erty of impersonality is impersonality of his personal property. He in short.PILGRIMAGES. For is. is To it.ply relieving them from compunction Sociability is at having so good a time. but a transition stage in one long shift We talk of our far-reaching It is financial system mercantile credits. To these states of mind and money are due the founding of the pilgrim clubs. the piety incident to the act sim. as a matter of course Everybody there upon somebody lives else. of to a neighbor. what a Japanese appears to possess to one. owns pledged of loan. and v\diat he is. self-sufficiency beside the every-day state of far-eastern affairs. really ten borrowed of a friend. For a Japanese is not only poor. pleasure the keynote of the affair from start to finish. the " joly tells 199 compagnie" of "fayerie " Chaucer " us of than the joyless "lymytours it. that displaced The Japanese go upon pilgrimages because they thoroughly enjoy themselves in the process. pool one's always to increase and for a Japanese to pool his purse is matter of as much account. but impecunious. The pilgrim clubs {kosha or ko) are great .

Their membership consists on the average of from one hundred to five hundred persons apiece. the largest I know sands. Some clubs are smaller than this. belief. who collects about him a few friends and incidentally appoints himself to the club pres- . Collectively they are said Indeed they are numerous beyond to comaccept only individual prise eighty per cent. Ladies are quite eligible for election and chiefly even for office in these clubs. of. men enrolled in from That these are drawn the small tradesman and artisan class speaks for the hold the habit has on the people.200 institutions in OCCULT JAPAN. has about twelve thousand it. numbers as well as in other things. is is The constitution of the clubs delight- fully simple. a statement at I a popular discount. and of some the membership mounts into the thouThe Tomeye kd. The club charter obtained from the head of the sect by some energetic individual of the society-founding propensity. which comprises several clubs and the husband in is an enthusiastic club-man one of them. of the entire population of the empire. The wife of is a tobacconist with whom . I am acquainted actually the head of a sub-sect.

1. Besides their simplicity. which another name for the same thing. idency. and the dues from two thirds of a cent to a cent and a third (one club. receipts. When is not thus self-appointed. PIL GRIMA GES. appeared. 20 becoming what is called its sendaisji. For the initiation fee is from three to five cents (five to ten sen). to two sen) a yet the month. fifth of amounted. the president elected is by the brethren for his piety. When his have finally been discharged. one great charm about these clubs ever is their cheapness. But for it indeed was it matter. according to the And president of one of them once told me that the principal item in his club's running ex- penses was the cost of dunning the members for their dues. Whatthe may be argued by domestically inclined generally on individuals against clubs score of expense. to a the gross His club consisted of of five hundred members each which sum it whom was supposed to pay eight cents a year into the club treasury took eight dollars to club obligations collect. these at least would hardly seem open to the charge. the member receives a . its So lamentably a serious lax in paying debts it is humanity the world over.

the lots are drawn. of which the ticket a slip. journey apiece. Forgetfulness to discharge one's club dues is the less excusable in the face of their being of the nature of gambling debts. For after the cost of collection and the other running expenses have been deducted. for pilgrimage purposes.202 OCCULT JAPAN. The ticket constitutes a certificate of all mem- bership to whom it may concern. the remainder is raffled for by the members. They are barred. inn- keepers principally. Once and in a year. about three is weeks before the pilgrim band to start. The other half remains in the is registry books. the percentage . name it ticket {kansatsii) with the of the club and of the sub-sect to its which belongs of in- scribed on face. to give the unlucky a chance. and the name the member and on its half the stamp of the club seal back. The dues being so modest. and pocketed through the by the lucky winners club treasurer. fate corrected till each shall have had his are the inequalities of Thus all and eventually made happy at the club expense. the drawing everybody who has paid up participates except the winners of previous pools.

On at the day appointed for the start. though it and even rotation in eligibility. the god-chosen and the self-invited rendezvous what stands to the club for club-house. The fortunate winners are held to be espe- cially invited of the gods to visit them. be. be- their revered president. per- sonally unprofitable. of prizes is 20$ . supposed through the lots to For though show self- a pleasing preference for the winner's com- pany. he is not considered averse to invited visitors. Any one who wishes to join himself to the pilgrim at company may do so his own expense. The club fund for is turned over to the club treasurer their benefit. recipients the Paucity of prizes doubtless conduces to remissness in paying up just . necessarily in a small only about three members of hundred being annually club fund. disbursement. and the others heartily envy them the god their is lot. and very many avail themselves of the privilege. ing presumably the holiest man in the club.PIL GRIMA GES. does not add to the desire to of past beneficiaries make present. The envy is chiefly pecuniary. and thence sally forth under the guidance of This individual. .

to That he does not have is pay reminds one of directors' cars at home. like less spellbound audience at home. made Indeed.204 if OCCULT JAPAN. and paternally expounds the wonders of the way to the brethren. start with a certain fatherly is His importance heightened by the pilgrimage the fact of his having several times before. month of March. wise superior to money considerations the purse being carried by the tori-sJiimari-nin or treasurer. of very small affairs indeed. so holy a person other. its not the actual author of being. The worthy man pays no scot. The are treasurer is the club's man-of-affairs. The Japanese not above a monetary system which in descends decimals to the thousandth part . However. though in another way. they come in like lions who went out like lambs. is not only the head but the only dead-head of the party. he goes usually every year. who listen agape and the retail it all in their turn to a no For. He alone There are thus more sub- stantial benefits accruing to the post of club president than simply a cicerone's gratified sense of importance. is clothed from the prestige.

from a fresh pair of straw sandals at a cent and a half a pair to a pickle or two at next to nothing. In spite of the infinitesimal values of the separate items of the expense. the invariably causes the club fund to sum fall total short. this does seem be begrudged. the fact being that a pilgrimage is altogether too delectable a thing not to render those cost. 205 what to is more surprising. bill for To the which.PILGRIMAGES. ofBcers known as sewanhi whose principal duty would seem to be helping the president dun members for their dues. the innkeeper with due solemnity affixes his seal. Nothing is too minute to fig- ure in his cash-book. there are other officials or help-men. they fig- keep accounts ures. . and. of a cent. To such is microscopic quantities the club treasurer no stranger. of the the deficit having to be made up out not individual pockets of the pilgrims. the like infinitesimal Small wonder that neither arithmetic nor trade have charms for them. who indulge in it blind to its In addition to the president and treasurer. lilliputian in all but length. Unlike to the club dues.

the For though some pilgrimages are Buddhist. Japanese pilgrimages are of two kinds. for it has pilgrim clubs which. it Half a million is estimated. goal. some Shinto. pilgrim clubs find no counterpart in The China. first. pil- but two are addicted to going upon special grimages. Of the two sects without goals. measuring importance by patronfolk. a much more fundamental point about them is the character of the country distinction being matter of topography. one is a sort of government bureau. They are therefore not an imported institution. to Japan.206 OCCULT JAPAN. These goals are the spots dedicate to their special gods. and is consequently sedentary. The other would seem to be in the act of evolving the pilgrimage habit. all Of the ten modern Shinto and each has as its sects. concerned In — whether they are the made to the lowland shrines or to the sacred summits. but a custom indigenous II. make the journey spring. great as well innumerable minor ones. Shinto pilgrimages come age. importance. . to the shrines at Ise every and ten thousand climb Fuji every summer.

quarters stop .PILGRIMAGES. but quite permissible for in- dividuals to mix sects. Woman was altogether too godless a creature to tread such holy ground as the peaks. Of the other three are devoted to Ontake. 20/ eight. and one it to is Izumo. however. all the pro- was debarred the This was no matter of physique. two to Fuji. For femiand. But the other side It world thinks otherwise. to begin with. So that persons of advanced pilgrimage proclivities can indulge them to any extent without too tiresome repetition. until western ideas prieties. go no whither. however. woman is with when not superficially godlike. pretty of the sure to be godly. ninity has always flocked to the one. Pilgrimages to the lowland shrines and to the sacred peaks differ in several important respects . was considered favor enough to permit her to climb three where she was obliged to which must have been considerably up. since us. that this was an invidious . in sex. have been Proof. Sects do not mix goals. but of piety. to way more aggravating than not allowed to climb at all. an odd assumption. to our thinking. two to Ise. broke down other.

But she is always perfectly happy tired. does one good like a gleam of sunshine. in the way which she tramps to the lowland it shrines. and has a radiant time of the whole distance. To see her trudging stur- beaming at the least provocation. and apparently never nerves. of the very impersonation vacant good-hu- mor. dily along.208 distinction. girls of eleven or twelve will surrep- titiously club together and slip off some fine morning shrine. bands of from fifty who make the journey to in a hundred. taking with to them only one . and that woman is by nature no is devout in Japan than elsewhere. maidens of Kyoto and Osaka. or two. Stranger little do the heavy work girls. along in the exclusive society of her chattering continuously upon own sex. less OCCULT JAPAN. nothing at all. to our notions of propriety. She knows no it is To the great Shrines of Ise the fashion for pilgrim clubs to go composed entirely of pilgrimesses. veritable bouquets of pretty still. of her lord fles Sometimes she dutifully follows in the wake and master sometimes she shuf. man. all by themselves on a tramp is at first to the There some slight alarm .

their Long . little girls disembarking at another saw them at the Ise inn. forward and own up. among Then the financial accomplices to the deed. But religion covers a multitude of sins. which one as perhaps parental heart till strikes illogical. kind- hearted neighbors. On the contrary. But very inquiry it raises anxiety soon by revealing similar bereavements the parents' particular friends. the shrine bring word of the waifs one has YokkaiAll if met the chi. as ever otherwise. with palpitations of pride. great preparations against their return. however. there would of seem the is be no thought fetching back act fugitives. wheedled by the children into loaning them the necessary funds. now that the borrowers are beyond to But. 209 when the lulls the disappearance that is discovered. the parents make ently. The is not set quite at rest. their deemed eminently praiseworthy. so soon as is the cause of the flight known. Elaborate these are. come recall. Then. appar- cannot be done the young scapegraces. before they can possibly arrive.PIL GRIMA GES. other pilgrims returning from . for honor enough. indeed. mischief were report the truants quite well children at and happy.

amid great rejoicings escorted into town the escapade. and . At the end of it there is some- . a reception which conduces to recurrence of Each lowland shrine has val season. The girls are praise instead of blame. down the and then wait sometimes till several days at a convenient village the re- band heaves ceived with in sight.2IO relatives OCCULT JAPAN. which instantly beit. runners are dispatched ahead to notify the place of its coming. A feast fol- lows in the evening quite as spirituous as spiritual. comes all bustle to receive Hastily don- ning their best clothes. go out to meet them many miles road. Then the great highways that lead thither are as gay with pilgrim folk beneath as their flower aisles are bright with blossom overhead. although it its special festi- may made also be visited advantageously at other times. As it nears an inn where purposes to spend the night. is Pilgrimage to the shrines at Ise at the time the cherries blow. pointed with pious song right secu- larly sung. The it progress of each band is one long triumphal march. the maids and other servants scamper out to meet the band and escort it in with festival pomp.

pilgrim estimation. is In this unpuritanical fashion to a close. and then throw good wishes after it till it disappears down the in But the supreme moment when the its company reenters town. For not to scatter such mementos of in themselves along their route would be.1 . while the maids join lustily in the chorus.-^^' \ 9 P A^ ( PIL GRIMA GES. Especially this is the president to the attention. attend the maids. and distributed unstint- edly. The pilgrims rising. make a ring about the maids in the middle and then walk round and round chanting the Ise hymn. to travel in vain. fore with charming Both kinds of keepsakes are carried in large quantities by the band. each evening brought Upon the their departure the next morning sou- pilgrims present everybody with : venirs of themselves the inn with the club visit- banner and the maids with their club ing-cards. all band some road. is tance out. 21 thing very like a break-down by the whole company. and the smiles. landlord The dis- beams on the threshold. its triumph has native Careful account been kept of it whereabouts... and just before is due horses strangely and gorgeously caparisoned . maids and all.

the pious pilgrims make their entry That evening a banquet is given them by their relatives and friends. beside cakes hats made of and gayly embroidered and coppers for scatterrollick- ing to the crowd. ing along and strewing the largess as they pass. from which hang scarfs of crape. and two asquat in the baskets on the sides.212 OCCULT JAPAN. gay middle ages. personal adornments for the pilgrims flowers coats. one on either hand three each steed thus seating persons apiece. however. meet it. without stint. one astride in the middle. Thus accoutred. Sake and merriment flow till and not the next day do the pilgrims sink life . saddle. like to some coming of age in the home. .. are sent out to On either side the horses' necks are stuck long bamboo a rich fronds. . With the {hanagasa) steeds are sent . regardless of expense. back again into private holier folk. ever after. gayly colored riding Each horse to carries which are fastened two paniers.

therefore. effacing to begin with. the character of the costume worn For by according to the character of the pilgrimage is the pilgrim. It begins with a huge mushroom hat made on by Natural deal-color of wood-shavings cleverly plaited. Theoretically. the travel stains being its part of acquired sanctity. . since both are attempts at colorlessness. be- comes. Under this hat. More serious matters are the pilgrimages to the peaks. is the thing to wear attire . doubly expressive of a proper blankness within. umbrella. held a complication of straps.PILGRIMAGES. For self- never washed. the height of holiday for the peaks. The seriousness shows itself on the surface in the matter of dress. thus further renIt dered by nature self-obliterating. ing to their sect or pilgrim club it it practically is is a grimy dirt-color in both cases. is on the other hand. the costume of sionists is pure white or pearl-gray. the the ascen- consecrated dress as plain as possible. To the shrines in the plain. is deemed in this connection as holy as pure white. 213 III. or parasol. accord. is Its hue.

Girdling this is round which often runs a wearer or to any one else. The gai- is sometimes lavender for the ladies. A long white is tunic comes next. most serviceably round all of them as occa- sion requires. thoroughly stamped with ideographs some names of the gods of them being the the mountain. has on something beneath of a shirt first in the shape and then of tight-fitting trouseris drawers. quite to the illegible so caricatured have they been by successive ignorant transmission. row of transmogrified Sanskrit letters. and straw sandals complete the more intimate part ters are of the costume. white cloven socks." White gaiters. . the pilgrim wears a handkerchief in fillet his brow. The tunic . Practically he usually it. a long belt-sash. which theoretically the pilgrim's only garment. course enhances their religious effect just as the word " amen " sounds incomparably holier than "so be it. some of those of the pilgrim club. Their illegibility. except of course the ubiquitous loin-cloth.214 for it is OCCULT JAPAN. But the most peculiar portion of the dress the wing-like mat {goza) which the pilgrim wears over his shoulders by a strap across As it extends beyond his arms the breast. of .

someis times octagonal. very conveniently. The all staves are counter. Quite as inseparable a part is of the pilgrim his staff. being sim- ply a combination waterproof-coat and linenduster. both a carpet and a bed. it flaps in the wind as he gives a distance. The imprint pil- further takes pains to state whether the grim came in by the front door or by the back one. him an and what ostrich-like effect at I conceive to be a seraphic one nearer the nearest resentation. stamped again at the summit the holy seals effectually silencing skepticism on the pilgrim's return. and branded with the in name ascent of the peak. mundane attempt at angelic repWhat is even more saintly. it is quite without vainglorious intent. and permitting his imagination freer play in the domestic circle. mountains usually having both entrances. At all events. Somewhere about his person each man carries a kerosene-looking tin can in which . 215 on either side and walks. This is sometimes round. the original path being considered the front approach. It is also. and stamped red with the sign of the shrine at the place where the is supposed to begin. it is to.PIL GRIMA GES.

Up their sleeves or tucked into their gir- dles the pilgrims carry ^^/^^/-wands. Of earthly reason for to ingratiate pil- baggage they have none. he walks The tinkle of this all together with the chanting in which join. bell. a reason kin to that the gave for omitting that she her prayers in the morning. superiority to irrespective of their character. and the club's visiting cards. detail it With sublime all ills. rosaries. posed to have a fancy for such ascetic and to protect themselves against the dangers of the ascent the pilgrims take particular pains to propitiate the gods little girl . because of the greater peril of grimages to the peaks. The gods are supattire. very impressive to less pious wayfarers. and other tools of their trade . together with the indispensable pilgrim banners. badges. It is The done the gods. though she said them scrupulously at night . home cures the holy water. this has a moral. In his right hand the leader of the party holds a bell which he rings as others often do the same.. 2l6 to take OCCULT JAPAN. a specialty of sacred peaks. imparts a fine processional effect to the march. needed .

'< X c z III a Q < ca I. o HI < X H .

.

. If to protect her while she was asleep. and was thought a particularly meritorious thing to do. but that she could look after herself in the day- the costume seem somewhat destitute- of comfort. 21/ God time. indeed. thoughtintervals beaded with rest-houses at suited to the weakness of the flesh. the mountain itself is not. which certainly sounds Its difficult. But the moun- no more. PIL GRIMA GES. The parts go . A care- taker inhabits each of these hostelries and dispenses tea. climbers. cakes. The traditional ascetics are described. water. besides providing futon and such-like necessaries for spending the night. of Nominally there are always ten them on every path from base to summit one at the end of each section into which the path is fictitiously divided. merit lay in thus avoiding crushit is ing stray beetles. as having made the ascent on single-toothed clogs. In the season the huts are crowded with pilgrims. knows such rigorous single-mindedness Nowadays the ascent is specially Every sacred peak is convenienced for the comfort of the pious well rib- boned with paths which are fully all . and other fare to the exhausted. tain said.

of " gills by the rather surprising name {go) \ the first "gill" being just within the mountain's portal. path. and often others between." 2l8 OCCULT JAPAN. but the path itself with what. quite irrespective of size. each gill. or three pints. which becomes a Shrines beside the path are almost as nu- merous as rest-houses. all is of in- stand open to Untenanted by priests. one at the top. not wanting. called a quart and a of and then divided into tenths. for though there be few on the flanks themselves. tains In explanation said that mounrice. this startlingly liquid measure for a painfully waterless slope is perhaps the strangest . Temples also are There are several at the bot- tom. The is length of the by an easy extension. half. and the tenth welcoming the pilgrim at the top. they the public. for it is not the rest-houses that are so designated. its distressingly dry ill-placed must be thought very it is humor. are likened to heaps of spilled rice the measure being one for both and reckoned and liquids. Amid much that is passing strange in the Japanese method of mountaineering. at a sJio. and the cords of . considering condition. the foot of a mountain definite length.

seen over intervening ranges of miles away. Japan. the outermost placed at a seemingly quite disconnected distance away from what it heralds. catches his view of Ontake. On the descent. first as he tops the pass. holiness conquers humility. . for every shrine. holy summit ity prevents Distrust of his own pur- the pious from actually passing under them on the ascent. the outer portal of after this the pilgrim finds gateway after gateway across his path. and he modestly goes round them instead. But most peculiar and picturesque of the call features of the way are the torii or skeleton- archways that straddle the path. till the last ushers him on to the itself. toge. through whose arch the pilgrim. were he not This is practically extinct all . One of most important is the Torii toge on the the Nakasendo. thirty-five flies. are so called from such portals erected on their summits to sacred peaks visible from them in clear weather. Japanese There are many of them colossi of roads.9 PIL GRIMA GES. a long snow-streaked summit. The several passes all known as Torii all scattered over Japan. as the crane hills. or would in fly. their bells 21 grim to hang in mute invitation to the pilupon the god.

silk- such as a propagation of one's worms . . manufactured by the milcharms. sales are enormous. for no pil- grim passes on his charm. which the church instantly turns to business account. lintel of their they pin them upon the doors. for the church is not above trade. and sometimes lithographed with rude portraits of the same. disease. Charms are religion's epigrams packet essences of truth. In its hands. protectors. others are cure-alls and universal .220 Shrines. it In return for ready salvation in money of barters its the shape These are usually small pieces of paper stamped with the names of the gods. way without buying his guard one Some . potent for being portably put. OCCULT JAPAN. lion and sold for a cent. or mis- fortune some bring prolific particular good luck. of these {niamori) against special catastrophe. and booths under the charge of holy salesmen do a continuous business from morning to night. and portals make breathing spots for the pilgrims. rest-houses. faith very properly becomes a marketable commodity. With such popular prices. When the pilgrims get home. outer street and few doors in any Tokyo but are placarded with them.

the second a part of a prayer for fine weather.. the second about a fifth higher than first. mist. The Ise bands go rollThe pilgrims are they march. simply invaluable in dispelling Unlike the gods of the lowland shrines. The chants consecrated to the peaks are to all more truly processionals. to is and to many more special odes will passes for music. which have each their special all reception of days. a caterpillar stage in the art of melody. the weather on the honorable peak be But the words are mystic to most of those who repeat them. It is. Common of them is the stirring refrain Rokkoii Oyania the kaisei. The first half is a portion of one of the purification prayers. the meaning of the re- frain is : May our six parts be pure. and may fine. lacking as yet transformation to the winged thing. PIL GKIMA GES. the rokkon shojo no harai. shojo chanted antiphonally in two tones. Literally. the gods of the peaks are them . ing along to the enlivening cadence of the Ise ondd. set It what with good rhythm on the road to song. 221 ais much given to chanting They do it as naturally as some people whistle. so I am informed.

2 22
at

OCCULT JAPAN:
to

home

mankind
This
is

at the

same season
at

midsummer.

very considerate on

their part, since to visit

them

any other

time would be troublesome.
in

In consequence,
is

Japanese eyes, an ascent out of season
year, about
is

not only impious, but actually impossible.

Every
ing.

the 20th of July, takes
as the mountain-open-

place what

known
all

At

that time,

over Japan, the

moun-

tain-paths

are repaired, the

huts unbarred

and put
great

in order,

and the peaks climbed with
of the season.
till

pomp for the first ascent The peaks then remain open 5th of September, when they
serted
till

about the

are again de-

the next July.

In this manner the "Goddess
the Flower Buds to blossom

who makes

" receives her

worshipers upon Fuji's crater-crest, to which
a temple just without,

known as the Goddess' Welcome, ushers them up. Other gods and
goddesses are similarly visited upon their
special peaks.

But on

all

but one the eye
;

of faith alone perceives

them

only on one

are they incarnate in the flesh.

PILGRIMAGES.
IV.

223

For there
bourne

is

one mountain that makes
journey than any possiis

to a farther

ble to the feet.

Ontak6

goal to the soul's

pilgrimage into the other world.
is

For Ontake
its

the mountain of trance.

To

summit

pilgrims ascend,

not simply to adore but

to be there actually incarnate of the gods.

Through the
deign
to

six

weeks

in

which the gods
possessions
it is

receive

man, divine
it.

daily take place

upon

Furthermore,

the only peak in Japan where, of the spot's

own

instance, such
It is

communion

is

thought to
the great

occur.

what the Japanese
;

call

original {hon vioto) of trance

other peaks,

such as

Omanago

near Nikko, getting their
it.

power by
is

direct spiritual descent from

In keeping with the character of the peak,
the character of the pilgrim clubs that
it.

climb

The Ontak6
entranced
is

clubs differ from

all

their fellows in being divine-possession clubs.

To become

the club occupation.

Instead of simple prayer-meetings in their

dead season, these clubs hold regular seances
for the purpose of being possessed, seances

which they turn to very practical ends.

For

224
they direct
lives
all

OCCULT JAPAN.
the important affairs of their

they hold

Once a month communion of the sort, and every midsummer as many of them as may travel
by such revelation.
to

Ontake
thin,

for a yet

higher spiritual

flight.

The

pure

air of the

peaks
is

is

conducive

to ethereality,

and Ontake

furthermore inspell.
If to

vested with faith's most potent

have faith as a grain of mustard seed can

re-

move mountains,
to

it

is

not easy to set bounds
it

what a mountain

of

might not be able

to do.

Each club
in itself,

is

a divine dramatic
all

company

containing

the performers neces-

sary to a possession.

Only

in

very small

clubs

is

such organization lacking.

But as

in this case their president is often president

of

some

larger club, the loan of a nakaza

is

easily

managed.

For the president borrows
one capacity what he needs

of himself in the
in the other.

Very
panies.

large clubs contain several such com-

There may be as many as fifteen nakaza in a club, and twice that number of maeza. There is no rule in the matter. But
except for exceptional cases of esprit de corps,

many maeza,

or nakaza, in one club do not

a
< z o u z

3

PILGRIMAGES.
apparently

225
it,

make

a happy family of

find-

ing divided prestige disagreeable.

So, like

queen bees, they swarm with their followSuch fission is ing and found a new club. one mode of club generation. Another is by
the spontaneous generation from the
brain of
fertile

some energetic

individual spoken of

above.

Once
unto

started, each club

is

a spiritual law
per-

itself

—a

possession

Salpetriere

petuating

own pecuhar practices. For it own nakaza under the tuition of educates its The its maeza and the previous nakaza.
its

tuition is

one long process

in

purification.

A man
if

begins as a simple

member, gradua godare of
initia-

ally rises to a

lower part in the function, and,

proficient,

possessed.

may eventually rise to be The outward ceremonies
conformed
to.

course consciously copied, the inward
tive quite unconsciously

When

one subject has thus educated his
called an inkyo-nakaza.
is

successor he retires from active practice, be-

coming what
inkyo,
lit.

is

An
a sin-

a dweller in retirement,
conception.
all

gular Japanese

It

denotes a
cares,

man who
duties,

has abdicated

earthly

and

responsibilities in favor of

his

226
son
;

OCCULT JAPAN.
a

man

professedly gone from the world
it.

while

still

patently in

This

is

a state of

existence immaterial
retired potential

enough, but to be a
a doubly

god would seem

etherealized
exists,

idea.
in

Nevertheless the thing

and

case of sickness or other in-

capacity on the part of the nakaza, the

man

who
of

represents this

abdicated embodiment
in

immateriality

performs

the

other's

place.

The

chief difference

between the various

schools of divinity consists in the opening
or non-opening of the eyes of the possessed

during the height of the trance.

But

all

the

other actions of the possessed during the
trance are likewise stereotyped.

His whole
less

behavior in

it

is

no more nor

than a

bundle of hypnotic habits.

The mechanical
it,

raising of the gohei-\^zxidi to his forehead,

the peculiar frenzied shake he gives
settling of
it

the

again to a statesque imperative
all

before his brow, are

but so

many
is

cases of
particu-

unintentional

artificiality.

This

larly discernible

in

the difference between

the simpler attitudes of the

Ryobu trances
fash-

and the more elaborate poses of the pure
Shinto ones.

The Buddhist feminine
from
either.

ions, again, are different

PILGRIMAGES.

22/

To

be a club nakaza

is

pretty hard work.

He must

be possessed at least two or three

times a month, and

may be

called

upon

to

be somebody beside himself much oftener.
It

depends upon how much divination work
is

there
kinds.

to be done.

This work

is

of

two

There

is

first

the regular routine

business of the club in the
the
foretelling
of

way

of

prophecy

:

drought,

storms,

earthaf-

quakes, and other general
fecting

catastrophes
club.

the interest

of

the

Some
to

clubs

have to interview the gods once a
;

month on such matters
two great
suffices

others

manage
This

get along on two questionings a year, at the

semi-annual

festivals.

is

probably due to club-temperament, just as
it

some people
all,
it

to

ask a question

once for

while others have to be per-

petually putting
different forms.

under indistinguishably
inevitable

In addition to this routine
extras
:

work there are the
prescription,

the

unavoidable illnesses, to be cured by divine

and incidentally any other misis

fortunes to which flesh

heir, all of

which

the god

is

expected to relieve on application.

Between these various duties the god, and
incidentally the poor nakaza,
is

kept pretty

though I know no cases of a very startling nature. The god's conversation. Even no in all the club diseases. month by month in the The prophecies enough are laconic and indefi- nite to figure in the predictions of the "New lack of England Farmer's Almanac. though not super- ficially brilliant. is to be both doctor it and patient. and certainly suggests intuition at times. or should have been. They are religiously recorded filed in on slips of paper and the club archives. from their chance of . which slight strain what amounts to.228 busy. past. OCCULT JAPAN. there was no visible to unknown by no clue." a precision which does not detract verification. Except for his succh d'estime. since the man was fact him and betrayed the outward sign. to which. a nakaza must wish at times that he were merely mortal. The prophecies quite are not striking. is on the poor man's constitution. though satisfactory to the club. To be so frequently divine has its drawbacks. find there So that one may what the club's history was. is tolerably to the point. The best instance I witnessed was the divin- ing by the god of the pain in the leg of a friend of mine.

In addition to all of which he works like is anybody else at his regfel- and a strong. hearty young low in spite of his being a god so goodly a fraction of his time. callings. humble though their active mem- bers be. but gods. if Indeed. princely figureheads.PILGRIMAGES. Thus. He then comes in for a series of possession engagements. honorary members not distinguished For the Ontake pilgrim clubs are the only clubs in the world are. the Ontake pilgrim clubs furnish society not to be found in any other clubs on earth : the company of heaven is to be had for the asking. foreigners. His club communes once a month and his duties special friends. work One of my of the August Dance Pilgrim Club is a case in point. find his you apply for a sitting you will time taken up ahead in a way to suggest more earthly ular trade. Other-world work patible with hard is 229 apparently quite comin this. whose not naval not officers. the nakaza begin as soon as ever the monthly business accounts are settled. .

to show that it is To prove this initially it was anything but seem. is ing seen that esoteric Shinto esoteric. and I promised later to justify the assertion. prettily At glance the latter was as intellectual lawsuit as mixed up an one could buy into. fulfill The Havit time has come to that promise. becomes pertinent now Shinto. THE GOHEI. the forthright matter establishing of the of possession may For the genuineness of the act child's play beside estab- was first lishing the genuineness of the possession of the act.. Nobody really anything about the case. and those knew who con- fidently ventured a verdict did so in suspi- cious accordance with their special interest . N the beginning of this account of Japanese divine possession I stated that it was of Shinto origin.

Direct inquiry elicited worse than igno- . called. it is but another bit of it foreign importation. 231 while as for general principles. if purely Jap- anese Buddhist. dumbly of the inquiry quite tran- refused to confess further on the subject. . they turned out to prove what was not true. the thing be Shinto. In the one case pos- sesses the importance that attaches to being of the soil. question of religion But . it is simply a it is a question of race. having its illegitimacy. point thus possesses ethnic consequence. scends the question of creed. it is For if . — matThe ter of much less archseologic account. with a certain pious duplicity of meaning. illegit- but by a third party well known to be imate.THE GOHEI. Did not it not do we might safely leave it to the zeal of church polemics. That the cult was chiefly practiced by neither. Two claimants presented themselves for cult. — such being the literal rendering of the plify matters. — did not sim- candidly confessed For the hybrid Ryobu. so far as they proved anything. term Ry5bu. The importance so. in the other ficial merely such super- interest as attaches to soiling. Both. possession of the Shinto and Buddhism.

For the priestly evidence was bit- terly baffling. No sooner had one man con- vincingly told his tale than another came along with an upsettingly opposite story.. but more commonly to the other. Under such weighty counter-assertions one's own opinion swung balance-wise to settle at last to the lowest . 232 ranee . it evolved a peculiarly mystifying doubt. from but as to which of these rep- utable parties was the reprehensible robber. The sole point in which the in ascribing tellers substanit tially agreed lay pretty unan- imously each to his own particular faith. The Shintoists asserted that it the Buddhists that it was Shinto was Buddhist while . OCCULT JAPAN. and which cover. A few humble brethren modestly admitted did not know. the poor investigator was left sadly at a loss to dis- Where doctors alarming manner. his unfortunate victim. the Ryobuists ascribed it at times to the one. to decide of divinity disagreed in this it seemed hopeless to try between them. that they The evident only fact that emerged tolerably self- from this bundle of contradiction cult was somebody that somebody had stolen the else.

caught unawares by some chance. At tion. for it was wan- not through the deposition of either contending party that it came into court. so far as looks go. its damaging testimony in evidence was crucial. of among The startling zigzags that strange strip of white paper. pendent at intervals from a straw rope lining the lintel of some templereal- front. Indeed. the thing flash of that might very well be a hasty but undecided visitant of the skies. of the gohei is The acquaintance the first that one makes in Japan. say presented itself. For striking .THE GOHEI. instantly catch the istic eye with the suggestion of lightning. it mere human help could go. might have stayed forever in indeterminate suspension. It dered in one day unexpectedly. and miraculously paper-fied. circumstantial Oddly enough. a bit of circumstanitself to evidence suddenly presented I turn the scale. 233 so far as And there. and proceeded Indeed quietly to give most the case. this critical dead-point in the investiga- when any advance toward conviction seemed an tial impossibility. this witness appeared in the shape of what stands to Shinto for crucifix — the gohei. level of equi-doLibt.

the central object of regard upon the altar. Almost every house has its kami-dana or Shintorecess. he see. The paths that lead so . the glorification of some cupboard or And there in the half-light stands the gohei again. till one has actually seen the sheet cut and sure to folded into shape before his eyes. there in the heart of each Japanese home. It is no more confined to an indoor himself. As it drapes the entrance. enough And all that its discontinuities of direction can be fashioned out of one construction continuous sheet remains one of those hopeless mysteries of kin to the introduction of the apple into the dumpling. appearing at tunity. in the most unexpected nooks and corners. a tiny household shrine. however. every possible finally. shrine. But it is by no means confined to the temples.234 OCCULT JAPAN. first is without and then within the tem- ple so it building. till. it still is. life than man all You shall meet it abroad over the land. at the very heart of the it stands upright upon a wand. the iniya and the jinja. Specimens enough. hangs in holy frieze around the holiest oppor- rooms. god's shelf. plentifully as these are dotted over the land.

In short. this Shinto symbol. perched in solitary grandeur upon the saddle of a richly caparisoned horse. marks a quiet eddy in the and now. field. it makes its appearance in the paddy-lields. When the growing rice begins to dream of the ear. keeping an overseer eye upon them from the top of a tall stick. it and before many of gohei on its stick. In fact it is peculiarly addicted to agriculture. upon But strangest post of all. Its religious significance it would be hard what the to overestimate. stationed here and there among the crops. It is to Shinto .THE GOMEL prettily over 235 set Japanese hill and valley are with wayside oratories them stands 2i quite humanly housed under a tiny shed. it is omnipresent. sometimes alike. and forest know stars. you it some fine day riding in shall chance festival pro- cession. it the long year through. points the bleak some lonely peak that only in midsummer knows the foot of man. Now it tide of traffic of a bustling town. Welcoming anchorite to the mountaineer. summit of it is no less the farmer's friend. sometimes canopied only by the sky and the Thoroughfare.

of the temple door . Christianity and a great deal more . the universal Shinto symbol of conse- cration. the shintai or god's body. and they are the gohei that festoon the building's make frieze to the holier rooms It is they also that in the possession . are the gohei that greet the devo- pendent from the sacred straw rope lintel upon the eaves and within. As Shintoists are not so much distressed to harmonize their beliefs with science. they make all. and no pains whatever to prevent the people from worshiping as a god. first They tee. The first has for analogue in Christianity the It is crucifix. cate to the god and specimens of it may be seen in profusion about any Shinto temple. and the other.236 crucifix is to OCCULT JAPAN. the harai-bei or purification present. many cases they make none at For there are two kinds of gohei . small distinction between the gohei and the god. the one. Wherever you meet it you may know the spot at once for holy ground dedi. being as yet unfired by the burning desire to know In the reasons of things. one of those symbols which modern defenders of the faith take assure you is much pains to only a symbol.

for one of the purification kind. on the mountain-top. with in the mart. They they are the god's body. For the gohei is the direct de- scendant of the hempen cloth hung on the . not be- cause they are permanently god. gohei meaning august cloth or present. Its name signifies cloth. and amid the portant of deity is paddy-fields. the second or the god's body variety all belong such as are stood upright upon a that The gohei is makes cynosure upon and so is the temple altar of this kind the one so daintily domesticated in the family So also are those met cupboard at home. but because may become his embodiment moment. and sanctify short. The little that we know is at any of the evolution of the gohei will help explain what supposed to take place. 237 act inclose the place of the god's descent it to his brief is habiting. In wherever a gohei it hung up you may know To wand. the former meaning having in course of time developed through a whole gamut of gifts in the concrete into the latter meaning in the abstract. all Last but most imclenched in the hands these vicarious emblems of is that which called of the possessed during the possession trance.THE GOHEI.

then to finally to its and present modest paper. black. a transformation of substance quite in step economically with the progress of the arts. water. one plain dark blue. it As to its color. red. white. fire. recorded therefore as early as anything in Japan — tells of two kinds. From changed silk. and blue. Cloth in it was. Nowadays it is almost always the white of ordinary paper. wood. gohei of the far-oriental But occasionally elemental colors. a cosmic quinquenity of the five elements. used together.238 OCCULT JAPAN. For form it now symbolizes the vesture of the god. hemp its material constitution successively first to cotton. metal. the earliest mention of — in the Kojiki. suggests. Falling in spotless folds that spread it out on either side about the wand. earth. clothes it has become. yellow. cestor A relative of this its anin may still be seen cloth Korea in the shreds of colored . the other white. attached there to the devil trees a shift of devotion which need distress no one. . since devils and gods are always first cousins in any faith. may be and seen in a row. sacred sakaki (the CUycra Japoiiicd) in present to the gods.

form the top piece is bent down over the rest. At any popular shrine there is thus a continual coming and going on the part of the god which seems understandable enough until . variety the central connecting link is raised upright in the midst. summons to the god descend a like signal bids him depart. owing to its cut. . symbolic of a more perfect pose. To say that it takes place is at the god's pleasure. volves incarnation of the gohei by the god. to put it flatteringly to the god for it really happens at the will of the worshiper. in- even the merest momentary mumble. indeed. one attempts to understand it.THE GONE I. however. 239 even to the undevout. Every prayer. For what at overlap- happens when two persons call . which does for the diIn the purer Shint5 vine neck and head. it flanges out a toward the top. call. is graciously taking place every day at any Shinto temple. occasion the god deigns to inhabit this his. the starched flounces In the Ryobu of some ceremonial dress. clothes-pinned upon the stick little . On habit of Such embodiment. and gins at a his moment's is For before he behis to prayer the worshiper claps a hands. This .

Cases of incarnation where the god be supposed more nearly to suit his may own convenience are those of the goJici of the paddy-fields.240 OCCULT JAPAN. those pests of the paddy-field They are scarecrows. but their And. especially when their worshipers are on intimate terms with them. These are divine scarecrows. in an occult sense. like. to judge from their general to employment. him be gone while stay. is not J ping times upon one and the same god. however. they appear do as effective police duty in frightening off insects as those about the temple do in frightening off imps. or rather scare-locusts. is the god's . so that one worshiper bids the other would strictly clear. Another instance of the goJiei incarnated of the god is where it is borne in festival procession sitting upon the sacred horse. for in spite of resembling gods as monstrously as the more secular monstrosities do man. farmer. still have him But such complications conall front the too curious in theories of an- thropomorphic gods. I merely suggest it here as a problem in higher esoterics. usually an albino. it is not their looks which the locusts do not disposition. This animal.

THE GO HE I.
sacred stable, an adjunct to
shrines.

241

Steed of state, kept for the divine use in the
all

well-appointed
it is

For
;

in these festivals

no stick
the sad-

that rides
dle.
It is

the god himself

sits

in

the god's chosen

way

of

appearing

in public.

In no other way, indeed, does the

god ever leave the temple.

The

prurient

may

possibly detect
this

tween

statement

some inconsistency beand the one made
is

above to the effect that the god

always

coming and going
expected of
state

;

but

it

should be rememis

bered that in no cosmogony
spirits.

consistency

Besides, to go out in

and to go out incognito are two very

different things, even in the case of royalty.

All these are examples of quite invisible
possessions.

Though

the god be there, the
it.

undevout would never know

But there

are sensible possessions of the gohei; cases

where the incarnation both seen and felt. It
that the
first

of the
will

god may be
of the
is

be remembered

sign of the

coming on

possession in the possession trance

the

shaking of the ^^//^z'-wand.
does this
it

So spontaneous shaking seem, that it is no wonder
fact.

should be thought so in

The gohei

shakes, believers say, because the god de-

242
scends into

OCCULT
it,

JAPAN-.
quivers yet as passing
of the

and
slips

it

through

it

he

on into the body
mediation

man.

Without

its

possession
is

would not take
sort

place.

The gohei
to

thus a

of spirit lightning-rod

conduct the
It
is

divine spirit into the
therefore,

human

one.

not,

without a certain poetic fitness

that

it

should look so like lightning.

Another case of its visible possessions, one where it plays a more autonomous part,
is

its

christening power.
this,

A

very curious

know one quite unknown to foreigners; so much so that more than one of my acquaintance who has
custom and so
far as I

had children by a Japanese wife have stoutly
maintained that no such custom
is

exists.

It

a

fact,

nevertheless.
of

There are three methods
dren
in

naming

chil-

vogue among Shintdists.

One, the

most obvious and the
father to
in

least devout, is for the

name

the child himself.

The next
is

an ascending scale of piety

for the

father to select several suitable

names and

then submit the choice among them to the
god.
as

The way the god shows follows The father brings
:

his choice is

the

child to

the temple, and with

him

slips of

paper

in-

THE GOHEL
scribed with possible names.
is

243
Tliree or five

the usual number.
separately,

The

priest rolls

them

up

puts them into a bowl, and

after

due incarnation angles
out
is

a gohei upon a wand.
fishes
first
;

them with Whichever the gohei
for

is

the god-given

child

to bear
is

a convenient custom

name the when

a father

in

doubt between the far-eastern

Tom, Dick, or Harry. This ceremony takes place when the infant is a week old. It is not to be confounded with the miya mairi, which takes place a month
equivalents of
after birth

and

is

not our christening at

all,

but akin to the Hebraic presentation of the
child at the temple.

For

at the niiya jnairi

the child,

named some weeks
its

before,

is

pre-

sented to

guardian god and formally put

under his protection.
tening
is

This style of chris-

also largely

performed by the

pil-

grim

clubs.

The third method of getting the babe a name is by possession pure and simple. The nakaza goes into his trance, the god
descending through the gohei, and the maeza
asks
the

god what he

will

have the baby
reply.
is

called, to

which the god makes

This

method

of christening one's child

reputed

or T«s

HNIVERSITT

244

OCCULT JAPAN.
is

the most holy of the three, and
ticed

duly prac-

by the

ultra devout.

Of the population
cent.,
it

of Japan, about

twenty per

is

esti-

mated, are
god,

— about ten per
it

named thus by
cent,

the gohei or the

by each.

From such many and various capacities inherent in the gohei may be gathered the
part
plays in the thoughts of the Japanese
people.

Indeed,

it is all

that

is

most Shint5,
all

and reversely Shinto
It is,

is

mostly

gohei.

therefore, not surprising that in the

wholesale Buddhist spoliation of Shintd the

gohei should have been one of the few possessions which Shintd was able
to
retain.

Not that some
Nichiren
find
it

of

the Buddhist sects did
it.

not flatteringly adopt
sects have

The Shingon and
it

both been pleased to
to suit

useful,

and have adapted
it,

themselves,

transforming

for

example,

from unpretentious paper into
Nevertheless,
tioned.
It is
its

solid brass.

ownership

is

quite unques-

not only of Shint5 creation, but

admittedly

so.

THE GOHEI.
II.

245

Now

it

was

this ^c'//(!?/-wand that in conjur-

ing up the god

conjured up unexpectedly
the
rite.

one day the

spirit of

Its

exorcism

was sorely needed, for in spite of boring the priests and even bothering the god on the subject, nothing but perplexity had come of
the investigation,

when one day
that the gohei
;

it

suddenly

occurred to
present at

me

was always
in every in-

a possession

that

stance this

wand had been put

into the

hands of the
held

man

to

be possessed prepara-

tory to the possession, and that he had then
it

through the trance.

Other

details

had varied, but the wand was always there.
I

could recollect no exception to this rule.

Having once been struck by the coincidence, I observed more closely, and to complete At every confirmation of my conjecture.
function, whether at the hands of Ryobuists,
Shintaists, or Buddhists, there

was the wand,

constant as the trance

itself.

Upon which

I

asked and got innocent adit

mission from the Buddhists that
necessar}^ detail of the rite, while
I

was a

from Shinto
presence.

learned the explanation of

its

246

OCCULT JAPAN.
fact

The

and
:

gether thus

its reason may be formulated toThe gohei-wand is used in every

diviiie possession in

yapan, without exception,
Shint5,

as a necessary vehicle for the god's descent.

Whether the possession take place by
Ryobu, or Buddhist
the gohei-^dXidi
is

rite,

in every instance

put into the hands of the
at

man

to

be possessed
to the
it is

the time the invi-

tation

god

to

descend begins, and
It
is

"through
'\s

the god believed to come.

post hoc because propter hoc.
rite.

The gohei

thus the very soul of the

To add argument
its

to

this fact

savors of

supererogation, for the crucial character of
circumstantial evidence
is

patent.
its

As

if,

however, gratuitously to emphasize

impor-

tance, both faiths festoon the place

where
Both

the descent

is

to be made with other gohei,

pendent

overhead,

for

purification.

haraibei and sJiintai are thus present at the
function.

Before the waving of this

little

wand,

all

the Buddhist pretensions to the cult pale to

impalpable

phantoms.
vain.
if

Further

discussion
argue,

becomes suddenly

One cannot
one think

with a wraith; and

to strike

insubstantiality, he is aware only of the void.

THE GOHEL
But as some good souls

24/

will still persist in

believing in spooks, in spite of the failure
of the not over-incredulous Society for Psy-

chical

Research to find a single really
it

trust-

worthy specimen,

may

be well to lay this
rite or two.
it

ghost by a funeral logical

To begin
remember
mystery
is

with, then,

is

important to

that to behevers the

addicted to
as sciences,
ited the act

means to a For those the mystery itself. such things do not follow them but as arts. They have inherin certain actions,
it

embodied
in

and

the symbols

which

stands enshrined

are to them essentials

to its

performance.

From being
fact.
in

so in act, they
is faith,

become
an end

so in

For so potent

that to believe
is,

a

means

as

essential

to

by
in

virtue of that belief alone^, to

make

it so.

Now
man
the
it

a mystery

is

not a thing a faith

is

the habit of

naively imparting

to the first

may chance

to buttonhole for pious

purposes, especially

when

it

is

a mystery of
itself.

utmost

significance

to

Every

well-organized

hierarchy has
of
celestial

to

keep up
Just be-

a certain

amount

exclusiveness

for purposes of self-preservation.

cause by prolonged devotion

it

has secured

248
3.

OCCULT JAPAN.
divine

distant
it

recognition

is

no reason

why
ers.

should minimize this intimacy to oth-

Anteroom admission
is

to

the favor of

the gods

surely as valuable a privilege as

a like reception at the hands of the great

ones of the earth
lustre in their

and we all know what own eyes such threshold inti;

macy

casts

upon the favored few, even

to the
it

extent of pretending to
others.

make

light of
is

to

Now

this divine intimacy
all

imposit

ing enough in

conscience

when

rests

simply on the word of the admitted.
infinitely

How
visible

more so when confirmed by

action on the part of the gods themselves.

An

introduction to such peculiar privilege

is

not thoughtlessly to be given to everybody.
It will

not do to present profane outsiders to
;

one's gods

still

less thus to present one's

bosom

foe.

Such an
still

act

is

nothing short of

sacerdotal suicide.

more improbable the For they admit getting the £^o/iei from Shinto, and at the same time they assert that they taught
Buddhists would have us believe.
that faith the possession cult.
If so,

Yet something

then

they took three steps to their own destruction,

each more trance-like, to say the

least,

as I it is But an exposition on which I am engaged. a concession which must speedily have induced complete oblivion that the cult had ever been a gift . First. all in the same line. . and then. once taught.THE GOHEL than its 249 predecessor. they permitted these people. to cap the climax to their kind self-effacement. to be the more astounded at the colossal coolness which can of put forth such a plicity or at the amazing sim- which can suppose others capable it. One does not know whether tale. their proselytes' bol. And they ask the world to credit the account. the conof vincing character of bit evidence alone rendering any other superfluous. they parted for no consideration whatever with a most able possession valufor purposes of — simply inestimably so conversion — the very folk to whom they were at the moment doing their utmost to convert. Next. believing Were matter I I merely making an argument should here rest this in the my case. go on to some more facts. to substitute their own sacred symbol preme itself as conjurer in the su- act. for exclusive symthen use themselves. they actually adopted this.

tecting flatness of flavor in their If own fruit. . combined with a relative disregard for the company of their own. even this lame admission halts at summoning the Shint5 gods. second only this : surprise to the It is the very gods the gohei-sN2SvdL its summons it. members. but the Buddhists deities. would seem quite an inexplicable credulity on the part of the Buddhists to do so. Doubtless it is most flat- tering to the Shinto deities thus to be called on for their opinion by professing outsiders. comparative unimporcult. never the higher. a pro-Buddhist prejudice in the matter. to them. the Buddhists allege the. of these in To the first must prove a revelation last.250 OCCULT JAPAN. and of their own pantheon only the lower. turn in hands state's evidence against For only it is the Shinto gods that descend. an why indulge in it at all } Besides. To ex- plain this unusual fancy for their neighbors' gods. it Not is its own gods alone that Shint5 also call Shinto summons. but it even among the politest people in the world. the practice be to them so unimportant affair. tance of the perilously Such indifferentism is abandonment of their prenear People are not given to de- vious claims.

mute But language has a word or two to say on the subject which. Many of the fictions are doubtless founded on fact. the other they together constitute the Shinto being different gospels. 720.THE GOHEI. as it bible. known also as the Nihongi. Then having got primeval chaos into somemos. the account gradually assumes consistency. the one in a. it may be well to admit. d. are the oldest written records of the Japanese people. thing approaching order. Compiled. There at the beginning out the usual attempt to make something of nothing in order to account for the cos- much of which is probably Chinese. of much the same facts and fictions about the national past. And first in the way of records. in a. 712. till at last it becomes substantially history. the evolution not of the strictly sci- . itself would outwit mythology is to state. d. of a far-oriental kind. 251 So much evidence of shall suffice here for the acts. As it begins with gods and ends with is men. III. though exactly how and even it inexactly when. The Kojiki and the Nihonshoki. were. as a matter of courtesy.

some irrelevant. these are described with almost the exact detail which distinguishes the possessions day . are to trust the histories. OCCULT japan: but rather a general devolution sin. and their presence can generally be dispensed with. in keeping with the doctrine of original this During abnormal development various improbable events occur. they are continually popping and be sure no mistakes are made. of to- which makes the accounts peculiarly interesting ethnologically. on the scene to possess Such if manifestations of themselves were not. Of course the gods . One of their favorite is methods of appearing people. and even after the world itself. very we uncommon. what peculiarly to the point. . some necessary to it. just to left the field to their descend- ants. never wholly takes place. indeed. is going along well enough of and the gods in have formally out. This dispensation.252 entific kind. We seem to be looking down that long vista of the past to trances similar to any taking place about us at the present time. are it the dei ex inachina in the matter and takes a long time before the universe gets into fairly passable running order. at least three is recorded instances. There are and.

reads as follows " : — They hung : all manner to of things upon an the tree five hundred jewel-strings of bril- liant bent beads the top branches. when the gods The occasion was the unfortunate withdrawal of the Sun-Goddess into a cave in consequence of the un- seemly conduct the of her brother. is This rude individual first recorded instance of the enfant is terrible. and not unhappily named.Goddess was the company of itself heaven. and dark blue and white goJiei to the lowest. I think.THE GOMEL The first made took 253 is incarnation of which mention place in the purely heavenly half of the history. Susunao. the execution of which. at the time alone lived in the land. to express the fact. as given in the Kojiki. eight-sided looking-glass to the middle ones. The displeasure of peculiarly distressing Sun . They accordingly set about concocting a scheme to lure her out. Then Augustness Jewel August Thing took an z. He the to was subsequently banished to the moon for his improprieties. and Heavenly Small Roof August Thing made repetihis . because her withdrawal of plunged them into utter darkness. or the Impetuous Male.M'gM'&t gohei in his hand.

she let her dress down to her hips. e. The next mention in of divine possession It is the Nihonshoki. with whom most everything went Sujin. hearing the sound. a . turned a cask bottom up before the door of the heavenly rock-house. to hide beside the heavenly vine from the Heavenly Incense Mountain sleeves. she herself soon followed. tion of some august {i. and pushing girdle of down the fall her skirt. as shoulder-cord to tuck up her of and making herself a wig the heavenly masa-tree. recorded in the reign of the Emperor unlucky monarch. Thereupon the Heavenly Shining Great August Goddess.2 54 OCCULT JAPAN. while Heavenly Hand Power Male God was sent Thereupon Heavenly Ugly Face August Thing. using a august door. kari And clutching the clothes from about her breast. And the Plain of High Heaven resounded as the eight hundred myriad deities with one accord laughed. and treading and stamping upon it with her feet became possessed {kaimi-gashite). since her curi- osity once caught. cried out" — what occurs is now immaterial. Shinto) prayers. and tying up a bunch of bamboo-grass from the Heavenly Incense Mountain to hold in her hand.

hundred myriad immaterially speaking." A little after this. asked to have his fortune Upon which : "At koto. doubtless. the land of Yamato. is this time a god descended upon the princess Yamato-totohi-momoso-hime-no-mi: ' and said {kami-gakarite-iwakii) Why the Emperor troubled is in spirit is because the in the country land . in the next reign. wrong.' ' rest Then the Emperor ' inquired and said.' THE GO HE I. } What god is it that thus instructs me And the god answered. and told.' my name is Omono- Then receiving reverently the instructions of the god. 255 He naturally attributed this to the gods. So going out into a certain plain he collected the eight deities. the reign of the Emperor Suinin. and determined finally to question them on the subject.^ vexed and there no law If he diligently worship the land me and shall follow in my commandments peace. and nushi-no-kami. we are told of an image that was suddenly possessed by the god whose image it was. This also is out of the Nihonshoki : — . the Emperor worshiped diligently according to his com- mandments. I am the god that dwelleth within the boundaries of this land.

And of from thence she journeyed to the land Omi.256 OCCULT japan: " In the third month. the Emperor. being the day of the monkey. went by way of the land of Mino. In this land will I dwell. . till she came to the country of Ise. ' Princess Yamato-hime-no-mikoto. I Search me out a place where may set up this image. turning eastward. hime-no-mikoto. and instructed the ing. sayIse. and. on the first day. in the second year of the boar. But perhaps the most interesting of all the possessions mentioned in either of these books are the possessions of the Empress Jing5.' according to the built words of the goddess. Then the Heavenly Shining Great August Goddess spake. So. is a delectable land. this land of ever-curling waves. this This land of land of heavenly breezes." In this way were founded the famous shrines of Ise. recorded more or less in both. this sea-girt shore. was a shrine there to her in the land of Ise.' So the princess took the it image and carried first to Totanosasahata. gave it to the Princess Yamatosaying. and charged * her. taking an image of the Heavenly Shining Great August Goddess from the Princess Toyosuki-himeno-mikoto.

and ended by being quite intimate with deity. who conquered Korea. Masculine in character. The Nihonshoki. She was simply Empress-coneventually succeeding her hus- band. She it was least. after- wards canonized as Hachiman. The Nihon- shoki speaks of her as exceedingly pretty and her father's pet. sort at first. which latter fact proves to my mind that she was a woman of will. fairly complete between the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki. for I have observed that fathers are usually proud of daughters of decision. who died from want of faith. the God of War. she in was most feminine looks. Her chronicle is a curious patch- work.THE GO HE I. with- us any excuse the deed . pieced out. however. after some Almanack de a Gotha work introducing out offering few rather dry for domesticities. Apparently she was prone to being possessed. as will appear later. besides giving birth to the Emperor Ojin. though she was only his second wife. She was a great deal more of a man than her husband. in the histories at and did many other manly acts. simply kills her husband. The Empress Jing5 was a • 257 of a good deal man.

saying. when the Emperor. lit. dwelling in the Oak Temple in Kyushiu. upon which he was promptly tempt of court. of which places in the world to Korea. beshite). life. sand-court).. referred of It is perhaps not matter for wonder that the Emperor proved skeptical on the subject.258 ' OCCULT JAPAN. killed by the gods for contells After which the Nihonshoki us that the takes up the narrative. and . and made light of the divine information . inquired of them. got-god-approached). was about to make war upon the land of Kumaso.' This glowing description. however. the Emperor played upon the august harp. and Then the Empress. were all needless here to quote more. the time At lit. and Take-nouchi-no-sukune went into the place of inquiring of the gods {saniwa. in- ing divinely possessed {kan-gakari formed and instructed him. 'To the west lieth a land full of all manner of precious etc. etc. except the apparent unimportance of his The how Kojiki. it things from gold and silver upward. condescends to tell us it happened : — " Before that (referring to a digression about a certain posthumous name of her son) the Empress was divinely possessed {kaini- yori tamaeriki.

shrine and naritamo). for reply to further questionings of the saniwa. and then what in was his name. doubting the divine to and resolved. was to 259 have been a pious much off grieved at the Emperor's for sudden taking word. know about those jewels.THE GO HE I. and besought the god. Nakatomi. Empress. and then. and . Whereupon he placed tendant. saying" — first what abode was. woman-like. the August At- made him the inquirer of the god {saniwa to sii).' Then when seven days and seven his nights had passed the god answered. she caused him to play upon the august harp. which had been his object from the beginning. she a thousand cloths and rich cloths upon the top and bottom of the harp. who seems person. she went into the purification to it : became possessed {kannnshi And this was the manner of Giving or- ders to Take-no-uchi-no-sukune. gave instructions conquering Korea. The Empress being a very devout body. and calling Nakatomi-on-ikatsu. what god was I would fain know his name. a resolve she carried out as follows : " Choosing a lucky day. saying ' : The god it ? that spake on a former day to the Emperor. instructing him .

and with complete success. acted his instructions. For we may be sure the gods would not have been behind their people tional trick of imitation. In these old Shintd biblical narratives you see the same features that you mark in the Ryobu-Shinto trances now. Besides. being practically pre-Buddhist themselves. which is another proof. but that the Buddhists brought wnth them from China nothing akin to it. written less For the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki were than one hundred and forty Buddhism came to Japan. as if What is they read. is In skeleton the modern procedure all there. to-day. not only that the thing Shinto. sions long pre-Buddhist Here.26o possibly glitter OCCULT JAPAN. tism is is The conserva- quite far-orientally complete. more. barring a few recorded of archaisms. there it not the slightest suspicion that ever tried to do so. being influenced slightly by the on of the prospective jewels. we have accounts of possestheir very accounts . in the great na- and had there been . istically The accounts read as real- Shinto as one could have them do. then. too years after short a time for it to have draped old lesrends with its is own detail.

men learned to lassoo deity at The modern term kami-oroshi. this Indeed. means godfixed-on. and not as now because importuned of the fact. which Kami-gakari. being to the modern terms. it shows the In it spontaneity of the deity is This spontaneity of further dwelt on by tradition. of man. Such seems a true mirror first For at the act must have been fortuitive and It sporadic. Many in a of way grandfathers of them are yet comprehensible. of is not the least peculiar attribute the far-eastern branch of the subject. kanm-gakari and kan-gakavi are euphonic forms. The words all describ- ing the possessions are pure Japanese. tication of deity. and not have stayed starchedly Shinto to the present day. is piously taught.THE GO HE I. marks the subsequent business stage of the practice. 261 any foreigners to copy they would assuredly have copied them. . records is the verbal evidence of these interesting. act. An intransitive verb. of their own initiative. this domes- taming of once wild trances. those good old days the gods descended. In addition to the interest of the records themselves. causing the god to descend. could only have been later that will.

Shinto gods Buddhist gods being always known and as Jiotoke. shows a degree with the subject peculiarly Japanese. is highly For kami refers exclusively to . every people divine trances have Among taken place. say " . your wife. " top. figures in It is the same kavii that kami the hair of the head or top- knot. lit. Upper. to develop the casual communion of into a sysfamiliarity tematic cult. The word kami." and therefore was applied to the supreme beings. a Buddhist god. means simply lies " not man. in certain uses means. Kami still originally meant. and that appears in the expression o kami sail. Mrs. The two characteristics of which it is composed mean its " declare." is another matter. Another word in the bibles is worth a . whereas the character for hotoke. Even sinico-Japanese equivalent shin shows the same significance. which appears both ancient and suggestive." or "above. in the modern expressions. used when addressing the middle classes.262 OCCULT JAPAN. say. For it never referred in China to the Buddhist gods." Whether trance-revelation hidden in this "declare. but to make of the accidental and fortuitous the certain and the regular.

mentators. what called now commonly For " the inaeza. from the Nihonshoki. Now that . as Mr. That it appears to make nonsense in personal English does not imply that it makes nonsense in impersonal Japanese. in the spring. satisfactorily. and as purely Shinto. Chamberlain It it has not foiled the priests. I will now give. which is so curiously conspicuous in inaeza.THE GOHEI. " In the ninth year (of his reign). note. sandit. as the god-interviewer. or the Ordeal by Boiling Water. is which it written The mean sand . the 263 characters with " word sanhva. the seat-in-front. two or three accounts of KiigadacJii. son to the Empress Jingo. The first these ordeals was undergone in the reign of the Emperor Ojin.court. if They is explain perhaps ex-post-factorily. in the fourth month. is The explanation of the priests at least explicable. which will show of that the miracles are as old as the incarnations." What that means has nonplused the comtells us. court " has the same impersonality about the designation of the place in lieu of the person. the Emperor at sent Take-no-uchi-no-sukune to Kyushiu to take account of the people.

Then. Take-no-uchi-no-sukune made answer to the seize the messenger. then. saying has come to our ears. This man greatly resembled Take-no-uchi-no-sukune. the crime of which am I ac- And if guiltless. saying but true to : * I am not double-minded. wishing to rid himself of his brother. and goeth about secretly to stir up the people of Kyushiu against the shall Emperor. when he have es- tranged the land of Kyushiu and called in the Three States (Korea). he purposeth to upon Japan. in spirit that And being troubled Take-no- uchi-no-sukune should be put to death without just cause. What cused death " } ? is. to put him to death.' Hearing these words. why should suffer Now there was living in Iki a certain man named Ataeno-maneko.' : 264 time OCCULT japan: Umashi-uchi-no-sukune. O Emperor. he said unto him : 'All Japan knoweth thee to be a true man and a faithful . I I the Emperor whom serve. laid against * It him before the Emperor. the younger charge brother of Take-no-uchi-no-sukune. that is Take-no-uchi-no-sukune desirous of pos- sessing Japan. Emperor sent a messenger to Take-noThen uchi-no-sukune.

called both Take-no-uchi-no- sukune and Umashi-uchi-no-sukune before Thereupon each false. And from thence he came. perceiving some evil thing had been him. will die. in place of thee. after much trouble. to the court of the Emperor. I So. fore. and. secretly Kyushiu. told his own story. done. one to our Lord the Emperor. and told the Emperor concerning his innocence. And furthermore men say that greatly resemble thee. there- hence secretly. to the port of Kii. get thee to our Lord the Emperor and fore I justify thyself be- him.THE GO HE I. and there was no way the to tell the true from Then the Emperor commanded that prayer should be offered to the Heav- Gods and to the Earthly Gods. took came round by the southern ocean and landed there. "Then ship and Take-no-uchi-no-sukune was sad at leaving heart. sukune and Umashi-uchi-no-sukune went enly .' Whereupon he slew with his sword. Then the Emperor. is and thus show all men that thy heart pure before our Lord himself the Emperor. and an ordeal by boiling water made {k7igadaWhereupon Take-no-uchi-nocJii seshinm). fleeing 265 Now. therefore.

taking struck down Umashi-uchi-no- sukune. sn) together to the banks of the river Shiki and performed the ordeal {ktigadachi Take-no-uchi-no-sukune was o-ods. have they lost their proper family names. or else. Then Take-no-uchi-no-sukune. taking of forethought names above their station. either. but now our reign. . making mistake. the fourth year of founded. and would have slain him. Now." to the Arae family The next example occurred in the reign of "In the fourth year. on the day of the month. say: 'Anciently were the people ruled in family peace. in the ninth month. they have turned them to their own use . being the day of the ing bull. and names were never conin this. the Emperor Inkya in the autumn. peradventure. being the first year of the snake. do the lower and the higher among the people contend with one another in the matter. the Em- peror gave instructions and commanded. and justified by the his sword.266 OCCULT JAPAN. perchance. and the people know no peace . is we who are lacking in wis- . but the Emperor commanded that he should be par- doned and handed over in Kii. and there it is no law in the land.

will tell the Emperor the ' truth. and other officers. peror and the generations of his people are both likewise descended from heaven. with one voice. the Emperor settles this matter of family names. in the year of Emperor The Lords. High Dignitaries. when the three bodies (heaven. have together made answer.' Then the attendants. and let each take oath before the gods to per- form the ordeal by boiling water {kiigadacJd So the priest gave orders. and from one name now many descendants have spread abroad and taken many family names. many years have passed. then. and humanity) were one. su). let of the hill called the {kiigae) Amakashi let an iron pot be placed. it is not easy to let tell the true from the Therefore.' 'At the end hill. even risking death.' So. we. may we Do you. down to the governors. and false. all the people bathe and purify themselves. the : gave instructions. saying. and the monkey. attendants. answered: 'O Em- peror ! if pointing out the mistakes and cor- recting the wrong. taking counsel together. saying said : Verily the generations of the EmYet. since the day earth. advise us in the matter. dom. take? 267 correct our mis- How. and .THE GOHEI.

' Thereupon all the people tying up their clothes by shoulder-cords and going to the iron pot performed su). we find both possession of things and possession of per- sons already a part of the nation's mythologic heritage. Therefore did the rest of the liars greatly to and run away before ever they came hill. the people be collected and gathered -together there. and there was not one result liar left in the land. but they that speak " lies shall surely suffer." A which doubtless satisfactorily accounts for the present almost painful veracity of the Japanese people.268 all OCCULT JAPAN. Then shall they that speak the truth pass through the ordeal unharmed. . Then visit so soon as their earthly descendants appeared upon the scene they proceeded to them. At the dawn of history. then. but those that spake lies suffered. Almost as soon as the gods visit were they began thus to one another. the ordeal by boiling water {kugadachi And those that spake the truth were by virtue of their verity un- harmed fear . the And from that time family names settled themselves of their own accord. Deity and humanity have con- tinued on calling terms ever since.

THE GOMEL Thus we see. not one into which we shall ever relapse. It way the seal of their pains me to prick this Bud- dhist bubble. men. and that is all the Buddhists have done to set upon it in the most conclusive appreciation. the proof that this divine possession cult purely Shinto. Emotionally its tenets do not flirt bottom satisfy us occidentals. and does other people harm. is is 269 how crucial. blown of filching other people's But I feel the less compunction about doins: so for the fact that enough beautiful ones of its round and perfect philosophic films that catch and reflect the eternal light in iridescent hues sufficient to charm many millions of at Buddhism has own fashioning. Scientifically pessimism is foolishness and impersonality a stage in de- velopment from which we are emerging. doing devotee in it the deeper sense no good. but positively faulty becomes when it leads to practical ignoring of the mine and thine. and then how exhaustive. . soap. first. its As a dogma it is unfortunate. as with them sion. we may. it Passivity is not our pas- preach as we are prone to do each to his neighbor.

chanting as they go. delay. and children journey gayly along. first stir with dreams of If. had been strangely unexpected my last sign from them first . and disappointment to a certain province of what is still old Japan. was destined to be no less so. great Shinto pilgrimage to the Shrines of . It is the beneath the canopy of blossom. while upon all the country roads hills carnival crowds of men. he would find himself in what spirited he would take for fairyland. upon the top of Ontak^. It took place an utterly dissimilar yet even more im- probable place — the Shrines of Ise.THE SHRINES OF ISE. Over the whole countryside and far up its background of glow cloud-like masses of pink-white bloom. when buds blossom amid the forbidding April of our New England year. women. a man could quietly be away from doubt. Y ^ in meeting with the gods.

At the farther end of the open an odd sort of skeleton arch makes portal to a carefully kept primeval forest. and then a third. to the foot of a flight of broad stone steps. enters a strangely neat park in the centre of a valley shut in little by thickly wooded slopes. and. sides Down half light on the of show here and there the shapes in plain unpainted buildings. crossing a curved parapeted bridge. jecting rafters while under the great still trees the path winds solemnly on through a second portal. up which it ascends to a gateway in the centre of one . made every spring by three hundred thousand folk at the time when the cherries blow. Through this ghost of a gateway the pilgrims pass by a broad gravelly path into a natural nave of cryptomeria. 2/1 Ise that he is gazing on. Up long the winding street of the town of Yathe mada. the house-eaves on either hand one line of fluttering pilgrim flags.THE SHRINES OF ISE. and curiously curved pro. with roofs feet- deep thatch. the huge trunks that to straight as itself columns and so to tall distance seems of taper them where their tops touch in arch far overaisles head. gay throng wends its rollicking way.

a second gateway. by pale re- within pale of palisades. Before it each pilgrim pauses. with the mind's eye the pilgrim pene . In front of the curtain lies a mat sprinkled with pennies. The gate- way's doors stand open. and. hides view beyond. hanging from the all in their stead. his adoration done. takes off his travel robes. Beyond the veil none but the Mikado and the spe- may ever go. puted counterparts of the primeval dwellings of the race. to his long pilgrimage. lays aside his staff. For this is the goal That curtain marks cial priests his bourne. he slowly staff. and tossing his mite to fellows. chief Mecca If of the Shinto faith. lie there beside its and bows his head in prayer. gives the faithful glimpse of a pebbly court.2/2 OCCULT JAPAN. Then. claps his hands. more plain wooden buildings with strangely raftered roofs. but a white curtain. turns. takes up again his robe and and goes the way he came. And this is all that man may ever see of the great Shrines of Ise. wooden lintel side of a plain palisade. Yet every now and and for an instant screened then a gracious breeze gently wafts the curtain a little to one side.

in warning to such as would : these shrines There is nothing to see and they won't you see II. there is little within save the eight petaled mirror. of the was properly accred- The of Shrines. accordingly. 2/3 pass. ited to the priests. is But there something there not yet down . One is known the . consist two congeries of temples inclosed by elaborate series of palisades and bosomed as in grand old parks. emblem of the Goddess of the Sun. known by Great tradition to be there. after my inti- macy with deity. to and.THE SHRINES OF trates ISE. It chanced to me in this wise. no farther than his feet may the he may well say with the disappointed tourist in whom Chamberlain quotes " let guidevisit . technically so called. it. materially. high-priest under the kind auspices of the Shinshiu sect. Never having made the pilgrimage to these comes only famous shrines. book. in the guide-book not even fully appreciated by the priests themselves." Indeed. to those For revelation who stand ready to perceive it. I was minded. do so .

An immemorial tradition requires that rebuilt again once every this all the more sacred buildings shall be torn down and exactly years. . merly the Geku was dedicate. There are three such to smaller sites at each shrine one belonging to the main temple and two temples a short way off through the woods. that the Naiku to Ama-terasu-o-mi-kami.. strong-hand-great-god. who made a study of non-esoteric Shinto. twenty For purpose each site is provided with an alternate which. Temple the other as the Naiku or Inner Temple in ordinary parlance. he who pulled the Sun-Goddess out of the . similar to and at the by the side of the one occupied its mo- ment. Geku . turn to be used. awaits. di- At the Naikusan these the are : Ta- jikara-o-no-kami. the goddess of food. The two main temples at are dedicate. as Satow. to Kuni-toko-tachi-no-mikoto both the for- mer and the present incumbent being deities connected with the earth. the Gekusan and Naikusan. With these chief gods are associated several subordinate vinities. tells us. and that Geku to ToyoFor- ake-bime-no-kami. vacant. the at the Sun-Goddess. 274 OCCULT japan: or Outer .

THE SHRINES OF ISE. Ara-mi-tama-no-miya. we came through it under the guidance of the priests. is Of the lesser temples nothing said in the guide-book. was not suspected. At the Gekusan they are Ninigi-no-mikoto. the Temple of the Rough-AugustSoul. though they know Even the custodians all themselves are not aware of they guard. that is. but her spirit when . Having some acquaintance with the of the gods. and two deities who accompanied him when he descended from heaven erandson to the to rule over the earth. — not her usual they . Japan. the wood upon one of the I two smaller temples. 2/5 cave whither she had retired displeased and a divine ancestress of the Imperial house. it seen. and asked them what they was called. .explained. Sun-Goddess and ancestor of the Mikado. because next to nothing was known about them. only have my suspicions verified. turned out to be rough of the Sun-goddess. answered. teric side upon the discovery. in happened the course of my visit that. I ways to began to suspect. The Roughthe August-Soul spirit spirit. sufficient to have put any one who had had knowledge of Shinto's esoBut this side. as we have Now.

and nothing seem to bring them home more closely testify Nothing could well to their devotees than this fashioning of an . upon this very Here. Once. she had possessed a daughter house. save for another I at of the Gekusan. spot. and not as of certain sects. To the Ise priests all this was but a their sect is half-understood tradition.216 OCCULT JAPAN. All the greater their unwitting witness to the fact . and which this in early more important fact For it proves that days the possession cult was comto the still one proves. For They know nothing per- sonally of the practice of possession. erected spirits. a temple dedicated to a possessory indeed spirit. centuries ago. these temples the possessory more deeply to belief in their existence. now the heir- loom only integral So completely was possession part of once an that it the Shinto to faith. she possesses people. mon to all Shinto. the Imperial many . possibly something without a counlike it terpart on earth. esoteric no longer. which found in the course the same day. they of said. then. was a strange temple.

this. perhaps. the strangest to possessing spirits. Among all the strange details of this godis — these temples possession cult. .THE SHRINES OF ISE. 2^7 earthly pavilion for their temporarj^ sojourn.

. AVING thing seen these if spirits. and. the next is. NOUMENA.. the personality of last. to see after through first them. every one has a is pri- vate conviction that his sense of self as pri- strong as any one else's. religiously soul or spirit. secondly. as a feeling about others independ- ently of ourselves. just as he is . their identity. The first we call the sense of self the second. I. . For establishing their existence. know their essence. : presents itself to us under three aspects as a feeling about ourselves as a feeling about others as affecting ourselves . possible. another uality. to begin with. the simply a man's individ- Now. The idea of self. it becomes interesting to In order to discover this. we may best begin known as one's by considering our own spirit or self.

seems largely sufficient unto In short. his equally infallible estimate of others this is may hint to him that possibly a pleasing personal delusion. fect Some 'men as of him instantly and indescribably personality . while the himself. Just as thus men of any one community differ among themselves. say. He notices that the feeble brother unconsciously plays chameleon to positive person all he meets. he finds able signs that their behavior unmistakis founded on fact. so whole communiwith one another in the same the Anglo-Saxons ties contrast way. offer The French and us is an instance at our very elbow.NOUMENA. Nevertheless. it becomes perfectly ap- parent that as they do men differ as much in selfhood in. as of strong one. both sides to the antithesis recognize the difference perfectly. since in those about clearly him he perceives very of that in strength selfhood man af- varies markedly from man. What more. and apply . artistic taste. 279 vately persuaded that his feelings generally are as praiseworthily poignant as his neighbor's. others a feeble Scanning them in it critically for objective proof of this subjective feeling of his toward them.

be trusted to do But woman is is altogether too valuable as she to be thus disposed that and it is precisely in her relative lack of self lies. man may of. woman Ego. even more We For do not have to go found world-wide abroad to find it. that her value This it is makes . and so bound up with the question of trances. peculiarly distinguishes the sexes. psychiIn cally. it is in femininity. the awful sansculottism of their institutions or the shocking manner in which they unbosom themselves to the first comer. it scientifically recogself is — that what. not recall having seen nized. there is a comparative absence of With regard to a want of it in woman. all doubtless there are persons who will promptly fact . that it deserves mention here especially as I do . it derogatory epithets to in the other. and indignantly deny the those certainly who of are trying their best to-day to inferior kind of make woman an so. Ce grajid origuial d' Anglais heartily despises those monkeys the French. and knows not at which he stands the more aghast. So universal is it.280 OCCULT JAPAN. is Another generic instance ready to our hand. It is this.

Change name. occur what an upsetting sensation would be to change one's name write at marriage. hear. Nevertheless. did ever as wife. To change that would.1 NOUMENA. in the is that stick. and then as mother. to which . hear read it. very telling things. seem dangerously with a part of himself. write. first remembered one's years lized. good-will. not that pay us the most poignant it just as is insults. after-calls . case of one's more that word which of All the words most self. all not injuries. Such metamorphosis would certainly give self-centered fair man a shock. presto to be known by. words are compliments. so. it. to speak it. through all those when habits are formed and crystal! and then. I it it To how many men. then. Precursor of change it parting actually proves to of be with woman. read. another one after. to hardlike ened man. ever speak. in her direct 28 is. her the almost unmitigated blessing she it is relations with man that this quality of hers first comes out conspicwonder. be known by one name. To it. from the time one self. Yet the sex take their maiden It is electrocution without a quiver. For uous.

offset. self in her husband's. simply is. in them as naturally as his all centres in himself. It is also simply normal that man should appear a very selfish animal by comparison. self-obliteration as mother.282 OCCULT JAPAN. echoes his In the usual case. As a small doubtless. Thus in both of the two most important relations of her life a woman shows a disre- gard and a sacrifice of herself which finds no corresponding counterpart in man. which is tantamount to praising her for being a woman. to these acquisitions. in short. becomes hers. For in her it the action is neither noble nor ignoble. . thought in her the maiden takes so kindly. A woman way lives for and in her off- spring in a quite impossible for a man. his intellectual property. acquires his dislikes. She adopts his interests. turns out but exponent of the change that follows it. as A father may care thought centres much for his children. but he cannot sink his own personality in Her theirs as a mother may and does. her material property became She shows the same his. with a Hke absence of intention in the process. of To a great extent the wife merges her opinions. Man praises her for it.

the less trite one that Japan is the femdelicacy. The this. more direct. will Just make even fine men her blush. can hear some one phrase Certainly in emotion both go through the world gloved. Its indirect manifesta- tions are so striking that they have found embodiment of the far also. she go pretty as a much any fine woman lengths in the new. in aphorism. original mind something I of the fair An etiquette of soul. well-worn epigram that the Japanese are the French East really rests on So does. there strangely self. more sex. enough Japan in is both a relative absence of at present engaged in in making the if resemblance evident jectionable manner. it. 283 self they are as nothing compared with the contrast that confronts an Anglo-Saxon in the Japanese race. For her dignity her daintiness. Very different as are femininity and faris orientalism in most things. so a low one will stagger even . Noticeable as these differences in the are. and her instantly suggest to our more coarse.NOUMENA. inine half of the world. but the resemblance rests on something below the surface. lets an interesting a ob- When woman once will go her old rules of conduct.

self. Lady Macbeth. young Japan.! 284 OCCULT JAPAN. That it that though politeness has gone. once started. woman. outdoes my She knows no hindering in crime.* Decorous as was old inoculated of foreign Japan. Indeed. A greater contrast could scarcely be offered than that between the pageant of an old- time Japanese setting out upon a journey and a modern Japanese train . There to in her a capacity for self- abandonment lord an idea impossible to man. so rudeness incarnate jostles you in his son. would cause several free fights on the spot. personality has not yet come. male its Impulse possesses her for is own. associates. where man. the impersonal . fancy. arrival from one by the polite eternity of self-deprecatory of the one. and child their bump and indifferent hustle rudeness that. regard for " ! no ghostly shapes of other thoughts to rise and cry to this one " Halt enough So Japan. in any more perdoes not do so here shows sonal land. the bows scramble for the wicket neighbors with an of the other. personified in a — one may almost say Just as politeness stood — Japanese gentleman of the old school. will cause even the rough and ready petrified foreigner to start.

NOUMENA. ality We also notice similar third inter-effects between two persons. . As the world constituted. may be felt . for of it is as devoid of subjective sensibility as altruistic Imper- sonality stands patent in the very touch of it. character of the hustle is 285 something which regard. although the effect is more marked is on the woman. and we perceive and. this selfhood is a force. even feel the effect of our personothers. striking Married couples give us every-day The each happy other. just shove. a duplicate of his wife. this force acts inevit- ably. and the husband. The wife be- comes a replica of her husband. to a certain extent. pair grow monotonously like even to the extent of acquiring a certain family resemblance. We in feel other people's personality in direct effect upon ourselves. II. Like other forces. and fatally produces its results when not opposed by instances of it. counter forces. upon all a way. "Don't push. It seems subtly to embody the distinc- tion hinted at in the injunction of the topical refrain. often quite unconsciously ." Furthermore.

others in proportion to the strength of our respective selves. contract effective admirations. extent we all chameleons in . pathologic as but an ag- gravated instance of what parallel about us every day. men go through others. are To such an mind. Whence the importance choosing one's friends. not without a Plenty of men they life. is is Johnson. since otherwise if may be doubted But such the divorce court would be the exception. fortunate for domesticity that mutual is transformation it the rule. both good and bad. which or less through carry with them more And we none of carefully of us wholly escape contagion. practical immunity from another. Originality marks the height of the one. The fact action is commonly unconscious is at the time. inter-affection is no monopoly of matrimony. more or less inoculated thus of Boswell's very it acute case of Dr. and only recognized afterwards. or being impressed by. imitation the depth of the other. for the time being. was. Each one of us is continually impressing. is The All that character life contagious.286 it is OCCULT JAPAN. attack For of to have a sufficiently violent one person insures.

our neighbors. we even gauge its amount. The one the other receptive is original and forceful . or a man's mental force his fellows. the Personality. conscious of personality as such in some sort. NOUMENA. other adopts. is such mutual influence beit tween men. is upon also in a way measure of the mental energy of the man. We are. comIt is for- munistic character for the soul. and that they do affect. and friendship itself be put out of doors. even. suggests one great imperson- ality of spirit underlying our several personal of it. in Minds differ greatly their pov\-er of is thus impregnating other minds. .. That one lows hints self 287 its has this effect on fel- at a It common essence pervading them all. and self-adapting. therefore. that do not affect us beyond a recognition that they are. Were not so. The one imitates. this isolated globe would be a still more isolated spot love would instantly fly out of the window. For we meet personalities that repel us well as ones that attract . . embodiments tunate there a certain cosmic. as personalities. But it especially a quality of the male mind as compared with the female one.

giving an exhiin cos- Combinations tume as beautifully incompatible as any the . in which nature bition of ideal force.288 OCCULT the faculty of JAPAN-. The new is adopted with little or no attempt at adaptation. Tokyo is it received. and gives to both their cousinly touch of caricature. Now being influenced by other people the Japanese possess to a marvelous degree. but the instant unassimilated character of the invitation that stamps the tional state of na- mind idea as kin to hypnosis. It is at this moment is affording the rest of the world the spectacle of the most stupendous hypnotic act ever seen. in They are at present engaged exemplifying their capacity upon a wholehardly exaggeration to say that Japan sale national scale. nothing less than the hypnotization of a whole nation. In now one is vast public platform. Such sublime is disregard of congruity shows the hypnotic completeness with which consequence. of now innocent It is not simply the imitating foreign customs. self- they have always shown a genius for adaptation. Fundamentally unoriginal. with its eyes open. Forty million of folk there are freaks of foreign suggestion.

. with costume. as the western world the operator now. are said to begin. Hypnotoidal imitation these people. pot-hat The im- and accompanying aura of billycockism sit no less comically upon a kimono and cloven socks than does a modern Tokyo court of justice upon an old- fashioned Japanese case. clivity in just is no new trait of They showed the same prothe same way more than a China was the operator is millennium ago. unreasoned rewhence . undergoing the same foreign-motived transmogrification. same motive. but by no means from top itation to stop. The action may be toe. Susceptibility to suggestion lies at the root of the race. are at large on 289 hypnotized subject can be induced to adopt its streets.NOUMENA. then. worn in the two cases from the sponse to stimulus from without the irrationality of the result. Nor do the it other subjects see anything ludicrous in all. to Customs.

in these latter days. character. the visitant has boldly pro- claimed himself a god . it But whatever moral has been held to be every whit it as existent as the poor devil dispossessed. Not only can one lieved self thus sway another. Among all peoples we have instances of per- sons thus possessed by gods. and others. goblins. or disembodied spirit — embodits ied spirits being apparently less eager to leave their quarters.290 OCCULT JAPAN. from the earliest ages down present day. devil. III. varied with singular complacency sons it to suit the opinions of the per- possessed. however. he has been fain to put up . In a simple society that favored the idea. . in communities where gant. but from prehistoric times that men have actually be- one self its could stead. instances cropping up all over the to the world. with being the spirit of an Indian brave or other worthy too insignificant to dispute. oust another and act in sessing self The dispos- has been variously deemed a deity. finally. this assumption was considered arro- he has contented himself with the more modest role of devil while. The character of the possess- ing spirit has.

these possessing spirits should have seemed actual beings. not only denies that is he . in whose body included. It .NOUMENA. as being own. that scarcely surprising. and memories. they do the like when are gauged by apply. we For how do we know all the criteria wont to people about } us for distinct individualities We that know each them psychically by the fact seems conscious of himself and his of his own emotions. which it not it his. the distinction between other selves. and as not being anybody is else's. inasmuch as they rigorously pass all the tests by which we cognize personality and know one man from his neigh- bor. which are not its own memories. seeing that to common sense they are such. It is 291 perhaps. superficial eye do the manifestations comport themselves like distinct personalities . has its its own emotions which are are not his his It . really . Not only to the simple. itself. Each and it evidently conscious of and conscious itself all is. just as rigorously as the unfortunates they dispossess. is The same of true of these spirits. own thoughts. the man. thoughts. statement is This seemingly astounding easily shown to be undeniable.

god does not invalidate the spirit. It is safe to be some- say that no other nation of forty millions of people has . of course. nor he does not. Their quantity we have seen thing enormous. They do this. Except as it. and to secondly. may considerably imperil the exist- ence of Jones. Japanese very easily possessed. The reconciliation of these two separate selves consists. in a certain denial of self altogether. follow from the its distinct undeniable fact of istence that it is psychical exdevil. of all knows nothing an outsider. actuality of the so-called Smith though may it erroneously be called does not jeopardize the existence of Smith.292 OCCULT JAPAN. place. to all besides revealing so much. veal first they disclose the fact that the race is first. teriality of the But the immaBecause Jones. neither knows him. common In the manifestations. these Shinto ones reindirectly considerably more. by their character. It it those states of con- sciousness which alone are he. as significantly. by their amount. as we shall see later. Now. either a god or a To jump to this conclusion is a quite unwarrant- able assumption of divinity.

There intentional possession. is As collateral evidence of the fact that mesmerism. is This omission highly significant. and the sent. but there number of forms. and posses. and possession immedi- ately by the devil beneficent possession by dead men. except by it other living men. sion unintentional possession by the media- tion of the church. like. possession by beasts. at in god-possession Japan has passed from the spontaneous into the systematic . 293 For not only is each form are surprisingly such is a surprising common. it. but from subtly significant dearth of hypnotizers. hypnotism. but to a lack of this.NOUMENA. Even more first. of course. pretty much every kind of creature. Fortuitous. . till introduced there by the western world ab- from dearth of subjects. from which it instantly follows that the great extent possession has reached in Japan is not due to an excess of personality. For shows that no Japanese personality of itself has proved potent enough thus to affect its fellows . is the quality of the possession. and malevolent possession by live There is. not were unknown in Japan . in short. ever produced its parallel.

trance itself tells the same story. Deity has been domesticated. spirits OCCULT JAPAN. and the more seemingly tered. mediumistic trances. has been turned into viceable electricity. when en- Now compared with affairs. indeed. possession has become practically an involuntary divine acquiescence to human constrainment. but is the one not an epileptic portal to a gen- eral epileptic appearance throughout. This constrainment of deity thing there. the possessing have become tame. From being wild. the throe and the subsequent quiver. It is no new had already come about in prehistoric times. Originally a voluntary act of god upon involuntary. gentlemanly initial There is. Since then it has been more has and more systematized into a regular business. which . the less the wrench in natural the latter passing from the one to the other. The ser- lightning. as the Kojiki and Nihon- shoki show. course.294 Stage.man. in is the ease with which the possession ef- to For the closer the normal state lies the abnormal one. the Shint5 possessions are decent. till it now grown done as a matter of Comment on this is needless. in short. The fected.

For that the female monopoly of the business is due to natural capacity. women are naturally more hypnotizable. . Hypnotism tells the same In spite of authoritative statements to the contrary. to be easily controlled abnormally is a characteristic of much woman as to be influenced normally. From the earliest times they have shown a pardonable preference for possess- ing her. SO disgusts a 295 possessions by dull. whereas the mediumistic are most undesirable spite of company. that in And this in the fact America the subjects are usually women. And that the is spirits are still as partial to shown by the present preponderance of female mediums. of is hinted at by the host shams which the apparently lucrative is character of the business able to support. from whom one would expect more For as easily ladylike behavior. and not simply to surher as ever plusage of the sex. The Shinto gods may be spirits but they are at least decorous. Spirits appar- ently have always been perfectly aware of this. looker-on in mediums. story. The divinely inspired prophetess of ancient re- was a regular appurtenance ligions.NOUMENA.

That the opposite has been stated to be the case would to the not seem to be due uncommon fallacy of not suffi- ciently simplifying the experiments. much as may be the latter's The tyro of an hypnotist thus the man . art of the operator simply consists in getting him. Woman's superior capacity for being pos- sessed shows itself even among the Japanese. no one may be hypnotized against so in all cases the subject really hypnotizes himself." because thus he stands the greater chance of succeeding. whose experiments are and every tyro sonality tor of " really to the point in this art of recreating per- knows that. Indeed. more or unwittingly. To get the best experiments. The this. unlike the original crea- it. men. ." not " man. to less do The greater the natural aptitude of the subject. the less the art necessary in the operator. "his prentice hand" he tries on woman. is made unconsciously to own suppression. therefore. inate as we is should elimskill. For the there are two factors that enter into the result beside the skill of the operator : natural capacity of the subject and the de- gree to which he cooperate to his just as his will.296 than OCCULT JAPAN.

have failed of a livelihood in come the rage in Paris nor would Charcot and Nancy have been the pioneer names of modern hypnotism. this world and of the next would seem to in their posses- have a reciprocatory action sion of the less god. human body . practice is it thus the best proof of fitness. Had they not been relaMesmer would not Vienna to be. different as they otherwise vire are. the more man the in This suggests that the qualitative is difference between selves some sort a . display a like proneness to tively easily influenced. then. with praiseworthy as vehicles for the employ women is divine descent for this very reason. the feminine and the French. the far-oriental.NOUMENA. Per- sonality. For an art does not become the vogue among those who have no natural aptitude for it. and the resulting trance so easily entered as some- times to pass counterfeit for a sham. 297 Buddhists. The French altro-possession. that saw to be relatively so impersonal. The Nichiren astuteness. Nature divorces Priority of such incompatibility of temper. is Now these same three classes of mind. appears to be the opposite Spirits of pole to proneness to possession.

introduce motion.298 OCCULT JAPAN. as I shall hope to show. facile to become some one to on occasion that an instance of the general is principle it easier introduce a substance into a comparative void than into space already occupied . a something capable as a finds more or less . IV. we must again have recourse to and diagnose. we do. if we may. cessive dissolving views of mine to These suc- seem to me have about as much inter-connection as kaleidoscopic combinations generally. For though we do not introduce matter. this in fact is what here I conceive happens not materially. our own Now aware } on looking into ourselves to see what ourselves may For be. and I seem of to have about as much influence over I their appearance as should have over those that delightful but unpredicable instru- . this ourselves. but kinematically. To do spirit. Self would appear to be of quantitative one. of I what are we made my part am conscious of a kaleidoscopic series of thoughts. inas- much most else man who it is not much himself at more . and .

is All can do hold on or let go. what my stream of thought kind enough to preto attend to sent me with. avails itself. and have I my being in the firm belief that if could do almost anything I pleased.NOUMENA. to evolve along some slightly definite In other words. and limited effect latter has a certain upon the My my erty next discovery is that this power of all. And this is absolutely can do. others after kind an opportunity of which If I instantly to it. I new I idea by direct exercise of recall is nor can please. call ideas and will. move. I am conscious at first sight of that the what we former. By choosing any particular idea that chances to I come it along. Will then. if 299 it by attention I could induce line. prop- by simply willing would. its allow that idea to beget . will is not a directly creative force at I Not only can even lay acquire no to new mental have is it . I directly a memory when to. In this pitifully feeble fashion I manage to live. consists in the exercise of . ment. I cannot my hand on what I already my own. when a For I can neither think will. pay no attention it promptly goes all I out.

whether it we is and we are quite aware that thus at work involuntarily. is Indeed. in this On we the live we feel very poignantly that itself pageant that unrolls before the mind's eye. of will at Yet we are not conscious being our own on-lookers merely. is We busy feel this all because selective the while. I selective attention.300 OCCULT JAPAN. often catch ourselves led pleased captive thus to some fascinating thought. For on further scrutiny of ray stream of thought I am made aware meddles with it rather startiingly that will little. and then do attend to thus all it. is selective at- tention not will. But though will in action is all selective attention. we attend to in spite of ourselves. the greater part of of will-less our lives made up action. the power behind the throne seems to be quite simply the interest the particular idea possesses for us. it If the idea appeals to us. choose to attend to I one thought rather than another. contrary. attention will or no. of it simply thinking the without any exercise of act and then doing all. We can. In the case of this involuntary attention. . uncommonly that the like Observation shows me is true of all my fellows. indeed.

NOUMENA. involuntary attention simply idea the dynamic outcome of the idea. the consequent pressure proving quite similar in both. our will. is In short. In our search for the noumenal. remonstrating impotently as it. 301 it drags us after It rivets. as we say. Why am I willing to write these words. We seem latter case to choose which idea we shall press upon. our attention. we find in- variably that we have caught I — an to idea. in what we call will. then. voluntary attention appears to differ least in in the from the involuntary kind not the but only in intent. Whenever we succeed own and triumphantly clutch it. when lie as a matter of fact am tempted on the grass and gaze into the drifting islands . or as the per- cussion of the cap does in the discharge of the gun. Now attent. in overtaking that will-o'-the-wisp. results as fatalistically in turning The and fasten- ing our attention as a bright object does in rotating the fovea upon itself. we are driven back upon the act of choice alone. Now when we choice search for the cause of our bring up against some de- we always termining thought.

in these will- less yet conscious times. For we are constantly conscious without will . it would in either case be determined from within free. think to have I closed upon that elusive force. find myself left grasping a palpable idea. What I will say is that we should is be just as conscious of the fact were the fact For that only is not free which determined from without. will Now whether the were a noumenistic priniinn mobile. and would necessarily. or a mere dynamic outcome of the idea. we are quite aware Will. not. . Further yet. it is Whatever will dependent for its existence in con- sciousness upon the existence of ideas. there- of ourselves as being ourselves. seem But we may go further. cloud? Because I decided yesterday that I would — an idea to — or because it will be pleasurable later idea have done so — an I — or simply to prove to myself that have a will — an idea again sarcastically bobEvery time that I bing up.302 of OCCULT JAPAN. Nor will I yet say that we are not so. Yet we call ourselves conscious of the autonomy of our will. ideas we are never conscious of will without ideas. the will. therefore. be. This is palpably instanced every day of our of lives.

the in I is is only as included in the Idea. visits 303 fore. in another. better yet. or I no personal sense the at all. upon nothing . essence of the Ego. itself.NOUMENA. By keeping the attention fixed long enough on a or. from his neighbor's. It differs in its applicaIt but not in . therefore. like any other Either. For the enlies trance to that peculiar condition through an abnormal use of selective attention. that tion. works in one man : on one thing that which in both. will can inadvertently bring about own extinction when intent upon the extinction . will appears to be quite uncomplex- Nobody pretends in that his will difin strength. fers calls "I. very insipid idea. on another but works seems essentially the same Will acts." Lastly. Now the state has method of getting into the trance something very apposite and imall portant to say about this. in short. amount. at all. is not of the For this a thing which only pays us in manner and is distinctly recognized as doing so can be no indispensable part of that innermost something each of us ioned. will it impersonal force. except is. except as included in the ideas. out go both ideas and will that its is.

self indirectly compelled to go Baron Munchausen his pig-tail is lifting him- up by child's play to this if self-extinction of the will. our will only seeming with them. Having thus eliminated trinsic will from any in- participation in the self except as self to ? included in the idea. or any other chain of single thoughts. In lapsing it into our nightly unconsciousness. But one's train of wholly composed of beef- steaks or philosophy.304 of OCCULT JAPAN. an idea. it. then. something namely. else. we have reduced it Of what ideas. Take the sim- . will be in any sense the self. is our ideas that to go out directly. ideas. become astonished of us fact. But of this truly astounding performance on the to trances to part of the will we need not go witness. fact For first it is a palpable of consciousness is that the object of consciousness complex. is made up Clearly not of the simple main idea of the moment. For each one as a matter of has experience of whenever he seem falls asleep. thought is No one not ever mistook his idea of a beefsteak for himself.

the last grows ghostly as the next takes shape. For it is no less a palpable fact that ideas take time to develop into distinctness. limning the central idea of the that gives that idea its setting. attached to and secondly. and even more Dissolving time to fade again into oblivion. But the momentary me is more complex There are. views upon our cortical screen.NOUMENA. and lingers some seconds ere this it vanishes quite. there are the fading forms and the brightening forms of previous ideas of coming ones. up. present. however brilliant may have been. It is corona of past. and nascent thought. host of fainter ideas or suggestions of them. is often subsequently rec- . self. a than this. in the first place. unwittingly hit the psychologic bull's-eye. which the main idea drags it. side by side with the cul- minating thought of the moment. The Irishman who said he could tell two brothers apart when he saw them together. example. an idea of our own which came to us unhaloed. moment and us our sense of As it a proof of this. For the only conceivable way of telling two things apart is by thinking them together. plest 305 for act of discrimination.

that gram had been previously Another's seal consists by Jones. perhaps. and we insensibly took for one of own. concomitant details in which its the foreign idea comes setting in short. to us fringed. almost in those. they sometimes have little or none. little for our own that at times we ing feel conscientious scruples about claimit. For though our own differ- thoughts come to us as a rule quite ently fringed by a halo of their own. only of hearing this but of Jicaring afterwards acoustic aura faded out. At the time own selfwe heard so sadly we subsequently conscious it we were it. often indescribable. This differs entirely from the setting that surrounds our suggested thoughts. For an assumption of probability induces us instantly to appropriate it whatever has not upon another. the stamp of Nor is awake suddenly to the knowthrough some casually resurrected our yesterday's self-imputed epitold us there a more poignant cha- detail. Such self-abnegation fortunately. which mistook. the epigram. is rare.306 ognized so OCCULT JAPAN. not . and the in- . grin than to ledge. and thereit fore when the our idea reappeared bore no it identifying tag.

or so-called instinct or impulse. and an inadvertent gnat runs full tilt into my eye. VI. apparently. of molecular motion. there in the present state of our knowledge. another form of that fundamental. But to see this we must idea. I am walking other. and hold ourselves largely irresponsible in conse- quence. difficulty in little conceiving to be a mere mode of motion from one end of the chain to the Suppose. along the street.NOUMEXA. Now of what do ideas consist ? They consist. We even speak often of having acted from impulse as opposed to having acted from thought. action. is a An mode of motion . stinct of possession causes us to 307 impute all such to ourselves — until increasing exacti- tude teaches us distrust. A mere we do not associate with any idea. is. idea. The eye instantly . Now whether all it such unconscious brain be so-called reflex action. seemingly protean thing. for example. first be sure just what we mean by an in ordinary parlance Now we mean reflex action by an idea a conscious pulse of thought. in short.

am annoyed persisting if it at stupidity of the eye in so obstinately to stay closed when. the difficulty comes in with consciousness. Indeed. . Now this seems a perfectly clear case of machinery. On the contrary. the performance of I my eye will be also perfectly reproduced. still OCCULT japan: and proceeds to weep I copiously. in their turn. all unconscious cerebration can be thus explained on general mechanical laws. I could soon get the insect out. one that works inev- itably and certainly. while remaining tenaciously. have considerable trouble in opening the eye enough to get the insect out. shut. If I can manage to induce another gnat to repeat the thoughtlessness of his predecessor. would but open. And the stupid eyelid obeys its immediate message to my great annoyance. much too tena- ciously. In similarly explaining other brain processes. Indeed. from which it wakes other ganglia that send word down to the eyelid to close. instinct In like manner. starts Here the in the collision of the insect motion nerves that convey their wave of it to specialized ganglia. recognize this action for a bit of machinery I so thoroughly that do not identify myself I with the it. and impulse. start trains of automatic action.3o8 closes.

did directly was remove him . really denied What So were special creatures. we it find it to be due man's desire for distinction. was it thought to deny a special creator. of nothing but part snobbery. Consciousness to be a is 309 still noumenon or held by most people noumenal phenomenon to . all it far as to God was concerned. The justice of such recognition has now nearly universally been conceded. and It is so held by a few of them. and this in face of the self-evident concomitance of the two. as as it is instinct that opposed it still bound to survive so long we remain . to a proper height above his handicraft it was man whom it treated with scant respect by linking him with the brutes. Darwin committed the unpardon- able sin of recognizing his own poor relations. is To put it unflatteringly. and to-day practically nobody disputes the living things. Now when we solely to scan this distinction for an underlying difference.NOUMENA. and parcel our innate human Darwin's doctrine was held for many years by most still religious folk to be impious. mind being conceived by them be some- thing quite apart from brain. essential kin- ship of all But the snobbish survives.

For under a largely creatures of instinct. do we hold to our supposed superiority to the rest of the universe. while chemical action strikes us as ignoble. that we refuse to recognize the relationship. though unconsciously. Whether we sup- pose mind to be matter or matter mind. we become in either case part and parcel of the material world . For not to have them two makes us one with all the rest of the universe. is still prejudice in favor of ourselves now con- ceded to be misleading immaterially. We are very loath to admit that we are kin to stocks less things. and stones and other reputed senseThis is the gist of the whole to be matter. better name this instinct is nothing but a subtler part of the instinct of self-preservation. although the one is every whit as It is inscrutably potent as the other. and so tenaciously. be- cause we really sence of either that know nothing about we dare decide the esso defi- . the instinctive holding to all that makes this for our individuality and the it. like antagonism to all that threatens Materially. that ural divorce is .3IO OCCULT JAPAN. in our unnat- between brain and mind. Thought we deem something grand. yet it survives psychically.

The nerves. some mode of motion. in short. Now the nerve-cells have this particular often thrown into wave-motion that they vibrate with great ease. what happens inside us the neural probably something like this current of molecular change passes up the nerves. truth is its own disproof. dualistic asscientifi- sumption thus carries with cally both and sentimentally. and through the ganglia reaches at last the cortical cells and excites a change been so form of there. an idea. When we : as is we say.NOUMENA. but when it it reaches the cortical cells. and the current passes swiftly along them. finds a set of molecules which are not so . nitely 311 of between the evolutionary merits the two. supposed religious For what warrant has omnipotent creaat man tor to prescribe laws to an and of up his human nose one be mode creative action as unworthy to iised in his construction. The one is . that the only logical explana- tion of matter and mind is that the two are and that the life-principle of the whole have. Incidentally tice it is somewhat amusing irreligious this to no- how thoroughly view to turn is. are good con- ductors. The it.

probably nerve-glow. Further- more. The current encounters resistance. in short. we is cease to be to say. . as I shall now try to make evi- dent. we have reason to think that the mol- ecular action of the cortical cells must be of the same nature as that which takes place in the nerves. this accustomed to special change.312 OCCULT JAPAN. and does not rise to the same degree when processes of more reflex action are taking place in them. call is this resistance it causes the cells to cells This white-heating of the we consciousness. repetition of of it For at each any brain less. Phenomena is of both normal and abnormal states of consciousness hint that this theory correct. Consciousness. consciousness grows finally . since by mere repetition of the action the one develops into something in- distinguishable from the other. Now we know by of the experiment that the heat rises while conscious pro- hemispheres cesses are going on. conscious of at all that the molecular change occurs with ever-increasing ease till at last it comes to be performed quite automatically and quite unconsciously. and in over- coming glow. till it action.

Lotze im- proved upon this by showing that the phe- nomenon occurred with much more commonness than was supposed. scarcely second to any in this age of discoveries. we know. That an idea as a with. and secondly. first. not apparent.NOUMENA. It was this that at times the mere thought of a bodily move: ment was able of to bring that its own instance actually movement about. is 313 a force that shows itself is mode of all of motion borne out. at all. ideas. sonal. that this startling phenomenon was no abnormality the normal function in dity . that of every idea a bodily movement. Finally the discovery was made. to begin by the fact that its action conforms to in that the other forces inevitable. when not inhibited by . but all its primitive nuis. being. Some years ago. as my mind or your mind. Carpenter came across what he regarded as an astonishing abnormal mental phenomenon. and consider them. that every motor-idea. so long as we regard ideas only is in bundles. imper- This. but becomes evident so soon as we analyze mind into its successive simple parts. instantly pro- duces that movement other ideas.

The bed was So he all cosy. tells William James that first us that the instance convinced him of this general law in was the way of a which he eventually got up In due course after waking. the thought came "I must get up. lie when suddenly the idea that he must instant. to him. impossible. One cannot simply stalk out into his thought preserves and pot his instance the fugitive character of the action obliges him to take it on the wing. then. namely. So soon he is. his thinking.. the world too cold. the thought of thinking. morning. lay where ." too But this idea instantly suggested the inadof visability doing so. as one thinks about ipso facto. he never got up at the first thing he knew. he was up. Introspection will soon yield any one . engaged upon a different thought. Consciously. before there no longer popped up again. How. by its very nature. into a He had fallen revery upon the day's doings. had started him. and at that lucky it could start objection. countless instances of the same thing it but is introspection of the second order of difficulty. is. For to catch it stationary. did he ever get up . . 3 14 OCCUL T JAPAN.'* he was.

and he must needs set or. one would another into being unsuspiciously natural. Each new idea instantly produces in him its fatal- istic effect. to become aware of what one seeks by a with process akin to the optical trick of detecting a very faint star. NOUMENA. his eye will fall table. upon a paper-cutter his and out goes hand to or. he perceive is it in others. to look a the mind's eye. and so forth and so on. The expression is nothing but an un- appreciated recognition of these very things. . right he sees his pipe. He will then detect instances by the gross. and the second idea inhibits first.. After thus recognizing will it in one's self. the thought 315 a very different thing from simply thinking . All his impulsive actions will give him more or less complete examples of " to go off at half cock " it. or even talking himself. a book strikes him as being it misplaced. While he upon the play with listening to you. and forthwith proceeds fill to it . the action of the The only way is. to fool one's self. it . little off it One sly has to play detective on one's fool self . by as show of inattention. Any of nervous man a is perfect museum specimens.

If thoughts did not thus run their own trains. by spontaneously call- ing up the consciousness of his cosiness. we should be simple automata. But motor-ideas. instead of rousing him. plicating the problem.3l6 OCCULT JAPAN. there are other ideas not con- cerned with action at as such . and this. prompted the happy thought of a like find in snug inclosing of his last psychic some pithy phrase. reason The we are not directly conscious is of this force of our ideas that one idea rarely has free play. but with thoughts call ideo-ideas. we may them. doubtless. A second idea starts to act before the first has finished and more thus com- or less inhibits the first's action. and incapable of reasoning. the idea of ing. . and up he got. no would be beside to unravel them. So much for motor-ideas. roused first the idea of not doing so. na- ture's puppets at sensation's string. and that brought subject of up the embalming generally. which reminded him that life was fleeting. In ris- James's matutinal experience. If motions generally science were not needed complex. all. void of memory. whereupon it flashed upon him that he would better be up and doing.

There are grees of such inter-individual action. The impersonality of on scrutiny. Some motion happens were it inev- itably in every case. a person will . who. But the same effect. no less apparent. Not only in the is an idea competent quite alone to himself. only the inevin itable dissipation of its energy the form of fatigue or general bodily excitement. and the circle be complete. Its most startling examples are afforded by hypnotic subjects. for the inevitable character of it is. such association turns out to be purely fortuitous. at a word from the operator. from the most partial persuasion to the most complete control. act with even more wit- than normal energy. may be nessed in every-day life. institute another idea or a bodily man in — movement all it will do precisely the de- same another person. In certain heavy or preoccupied states of mind. so ideo-idea it thus gives rise to an- may rouse a motor-idea which generates bodily movement. So much the action. less extravagantly accomplished. For. personal as an idea seems to be in its manifestation. 317 As one other.NOUMENA. VII.

automatically. while the action is scious as conscious. the ideas themselves prove catch- ing enough. We can no more escape hav- . is The so-called personality of a man nothing but the inter-individual action of his ideas upon other people. At times he all startles himself by tones and gestures which he recognizes as hers. A like effect. and preeminently so when that person is the woman he loves. is all taking place between of us all the time. Insensibly a man finds himself reproducing the ideas of those about him. that ideas are as catching as scarlet fever. a word from another. The fact is. in the other. With corresponding annoyance despises. the background ideas help as a mordant to set the dye . to be astonished the next instant at having done so. in a partial form. Especially is this the case where fun- damental sympathy exists between him and his causative. and then glows over at the reflection. In its least complicated forms we are quite aware that it is merely the idea as often uncon- that acts. obey.3l8 OCCULT JAPAN. will he catch himself reproducing the tricks of manner of some one he cordially In the one case.

accustomed to at home. editorials impress a simple public for their apparent imperson- For the idea of another's personality . the possibly baleful effects to the host of such indiscriminate hospitality being tempered by the simple choking upon the premises of disagreeable outsiders after admission. open any action from without any foreign idea finds instant access through the usual sensational channels. the more the stranger has own sweet way. lies And the only preventive against instant and indisis constitutional mental For. the to mind . by the way in which a newspaper's ality. and at once pro- ceeds to work. receives actually more it is honor than kind.NOUMENA. this. if once introduced. In hypnotic subjects. where the mind is otherwise blank. A consideration. any idea. The measure is it of success which the intruder achieves determined by the arouses. of the proverbial prophet paralleled by the greater respect a in policeman inspires unacquainted with small or boys who are him. in normal states. ing them enter our minds than 319 we can escape having material germs enter our bodies. amount his of opposition The more vacuous the host. criminate imitation energy.

that of one's while. when " themselves. and asked of what they are : thinking. Ideo-ideal activity is a higher and later stage in the progress of mind evolution than to motor -ideal action. usually reply Of nothing. For. in the hypnotized to its when abandoned is nil. is His mind a process of nervous pepsia. both But with the hypnotized.320 OCCULT JAPAN. the development from amoeba rudimentary his to man testifies. so essentially modest man. personality phases mind. has unfortunately become nervous dyspepsia their thoughts follow the is it in such men . instinctively rouses opposition riwise. thanks to evolution. Although the protozoon doubtless has consciousness of a sort. his brain his his belly. as let same line so true that what is one creature's meat proves . own devices. and one idea a kind of conscious digestion. lies in dormant. response stimuli preceding objective the subjective action of as the mind upon itself. which. left activity to Hypnotic subjects. by which he differentiates his own absorbing person from is no less engrossing food. contra- own inspires one's self is with distrust." VIII. .

finally. cated reaction upon stimuli from without then. fall and into which not pricked to they contentedly action when spur. find that When we come that little to man we even as so-called reasoning animal thinks as he may to until pretty well up in the line of development.— NOUMENA. a when person becomes weak from some system. . theirs so betrays the vacuity which is much of the time. make to snap-shots at thinking. empty the The stall. let He is for the most part content circumstances pull the sensational trigger and life. is thinking for things' sake that he usually indulges is Thinking for thinking's sake-^^ ^"' the employment of the highest few As a side light upon this we notice how. — Nirvana. another's poison. idyllic stupefaction of cow in the or of the dog upon the hearth-rug. he grows less and drain upon the . 321 As we rise in the scale of animal life we find more and more complirudimentary reasoning. But even animals gifted with this last capacity usually prefer to keep their minds as as possible. is by sensational This beatific inanity of the brutes close of kin to the Buddhist height of holiness. it Even when he takes in.

For chance if. gether. its and the undoubtedly normal result. The more individual of individual a is man already. nature gives with the gift of selfhood the means of of guarding it. why has nature departed.322 OCCULT JAPAN. the more he bound to become. the propagation of the species. Less another. from the good old protoplasmic practice of identical fission. individuals apart. Now activity clearly the amount of of inly initiated measures the individuality of the man. but last is it may also accelerate it. inner diversity have a hand in the matter. and as the rate change change depends on the already effected. therefore to found And is be noticed that as development proceeds. self and greater should it facility in becoming to to- impersonality and proneness be possession. must grow ever logarithmically Marriage may retard this. in Otherwise. For the same increase that mental activity constitutes the increased individuality in- enables the individual to maintain that . and more and more autoboth sensations and foreign sugges- less self-controlled matic to tions. change is greatly in- creased in addition to outer impressive diversity.

dividuality struction. Now when we look for them we epigram- find such signs to be numerous. lack of originality leading off the but as ab- instead of beginning at the top. 323 from disastrous attack and de- Before applying these principles to an explanation of the trance. begin at the top. signs of that lesser activity should otherwise be patent. he well begin at the bottom and may mark the hail a sence of reasoning there. the cab-driver be- fore setting out will ask you where you wish . he really hit their state of cific mind on the head. with list. a Jap- anese does not think. it As a friend of mine once put Allowing matically in the heat of the moment. the uncommon mind. Spe- evidence of the fact confronts one at every turn. if he will. IX. One may. If in any western land you cab and jump in without a word. let us see whether they explain that seeming inexplicability.NOUMENA. If impersonality of a lesser mental the Japanese the activity be cause of a less differentiated individuality. for pardon- able exaggeration due the occasion.

turns. Five to two goes your man a dog-trot for a couple of hundred yards then he suddenly slackens. stops. though not yours. JAPA/V. rushes from behind the counter. that it sounds supererogatory to of the treaty ports if chronicle in Japan. of course. and gets a couple of steps . the afterthought of whither had not occurred to him. the world it could over. into a jinrikisha as in a hurry. go . it. inquires to where you wish his destination. off and say nothing. did the idea strike be taken. self- Indeed. girl to Witness the adventure of the shop- whom darts in through the door an urchin with the announcement : " Marm ! your little ! boy has just been run over in the street " The poor shop-girl drops everybolts thing. Instances of this in more complicated form are to be met with. out of the door. But attempt the same thing At any jump at . Not till then him that he did not know He to had at first acted on the impulse your jumping into the jinrikisha had given him. His first idea had instantly translated itself into action before wake a second thought.324 to be OCCULT taken. this seems so evident a preliminary to driving you any- where at all. and to his surprise.

To carry . The of next occasion afforded the stranger of reason- remarking the Japanese want ing will wait upon him the his eyes nities moment he gets open to the numberless opportu- he offers the natives to cheat him opportunities of which they naturally avail themselves. and the idea had passed into the act before the rest of the brain was roused to inhibit the impulse. NOUMENA. and with a laugh " What a fool I am I have n't blurts out : ! any little boy ! I'm not even married had sprung ! " The rascally urchin his mischievously it explosive idea by hinging upon the great instinct of maternity latent in every woman. when she suddenly throws back her head. For the the essence of successful deceit lies in apparent truthfulness of the false. a kind Providence having pro- vided strangers for that special purpose.. otherwise it is useless. down the sidewalk. 325 stops. The one should be a good counterfeit presentment of the other . inadequate manner which doubtless with an eye to humor. But he for all will find some in slight of compensation he may be eased by noting the Providence. has fitted these folk to such god-given avocation.

When caught and arraigned. a story must be above conviction itself. a non-committal "Don't know" keeps their counsel. would make a good motto for true. sistency. Their tale holds together. P'or the art of lying consists in con- conviction. but lying. " Be not if consistent.326 OCCULT JAPAN. therefore. But so soon as ever they adventure themselves upon a story. this But these brachycephalic people never do. The Autocrat's dictum. because never carefully con- cocted beforehand to do so. but be simply true. and lack of self-consciousness keeps their face. it was at One's facile is satisfaction thus exposing the culprit marred only by the culprit's entire lack of discomfiture upon exposure. as facts conspire against the it is the part of a long-headed man to think out his whole story in advance. " Be not liar." Inasmuch. which sooner or later is bound never to happen. and consequently comes apart as easily as put together. But will daily intercourse with these people instances of furnish many pleasanter the same artistic thoughtlessness. they are gone." reversed. be simply consistent. It is suc^srested piecemeal on the spur of the moment. Servants .

Now when we coveries to a rise from these daily dis- more bird's-eye view of the Japanese character. but upon ones of broadly human intent. But pure forgetfulness duty and subsequent at sight of its unassumed contrition object. the pathetic repentance turning the tragedy of your wrath into its own farce. arises that calls for reasoning foreign occasion consequent not upon semi-domesticated ideas. try. conse- quence instant habits. "boy" to put the buttons in your shirt regularly outside-in every morning. and then routine set lessly lost when occasion . For that turvy tored European customs should be taken topsyFor your untuis matter of course. we observe the same quality of first mind otherwise is patent. In the place. will follow 327 fidelity any become hope- with most exemplary them. is simply the inevitable. a not uncommon episode in far-eastparticular coun- ern housekeeping. the lack of originality of the Japanese very striking after one has got first over one's dazzle at strange antipodal . or to hand you your waistcoat invariably insideout. knows no and yet seems peculiarly at home in Japan. of generally antipodal of a if sad.NOUMENA.

modi- fication always artistic. adapted. first OCCULT japan: The student finds that what he at took without question for the product of construction. A general incapacity for abstract ideas trait of is another marked the Japanese mind. and then of these delightful doing Modification of foreign motif. is Now absence of originality but another term for absence of innate activity of mind. in proportion to the of the mind. degree of development is So that a superior mind is . This. things. not only ahead in the race. has made would-be went to far-eastern science as funny is as far-eastern art fine. They were adopted. and at times delight- marks the extent of Japan- ese originality. more evolved minds do and they do so just I ideas bud in profusion. For the one is father to is the other. fully ingenious. joined to a limited reasoning power. action continues in the easier round of routine. But when energy Only in to coruscate lacking.328 sights. Before the nation its Dame Europe's school. criticism . but a proportionally rapid rate offers small advancing at a fact which hap- consolation to those who pen already to be behindhand. in truth home came ways originally from abroad.

You Indeed. shall soon be given plenty of instances of this proclivity.NOUMENA. admirable instances of this : one of them gravely explaining Shinto' s lack of a moral code by the conclusive statement that only while immoral people need moral laws ." which is much as if one should assert " poet " to have been etymology. a by a kind of protoplasmic fission and subsequent amalgamation from the first syllables of neziimi konomo." evolved by a sort of shorthand from "potential Indirect evidence of the activity is same lack to of ideal shown by the uncommon For imita- tiveness of the race. this sincerest kind of flattery eventually grows just a trifle flat from mere excess of . all seriousness derives neko. signify " fond of rats. point of view 329 Far-oriental treatises read ex- cellently well in spots. from such antipodal the very dry desert of thought being occasionally relieved by unintentional The commentators give us oases of humor. . was comic. have a foreign native idea act with the imperative instancy observable in Japan argues a to dispute it dearth of incumbents possession. another in cat. words which translated. of a personal nature.

" so soon as ever he contrives to get into the coveted foreign garb. Not only do last purchase. not simply in reproduc- . "how of like This will sound of course the simple po- quintescence liteness. " It very odd. hats. It begins at home and to spreads out into the farthest suburbs of your polite acquaintance. exquisite far-oriental that will it is But observation will show you You in truth something deeper. but even your momentary tastes wake instant echo in the crania is underneath. your peculiarities subtly through it diffuse themselves to be reproduced some fine morning in ingly incongruous settings." me I as he suited the action whatever you like to the word. appears before you strangely appareled." one of my very nicest far-eastern familiars tired of saying to was never like. be convinced of the genuineness of the appreciation after you have been sufficiently its victim.330 expression. As for your household. OCCULT JAPAN. You begin be aware that you are setting the fashion as well as in things below upon the surface. the facsimile of your own suddenly make their appearance upon the heads of your friends. surpris- Your " boy.

Never had you full conception of how peculiar your peculiarities you saw them donned by another. No energetic mind could be bound by so exquisitely exacting an etiquette. but to that innate tranquillity of mind that . but himself would have no desire to do. left to save as motived to foreign ways. but character that makes the rules. tions of your habiliments. stately quietism of all The is classes of old Japan due. It must inevitably kick over the traces now and then till little or nothing of them were left. This a Japanese not only does not do. the decorous demeanor the whole nation betrays the lack of activity mental beneath. you begin to question whether in some an- tipodally ex post facto fashion you have not of become its father in fact. but clothed 331 upon with your mannerisms and fitted with your very gait . is Indeed. For it is not rules that make the character. not to forms that make for tranquillity.NOUMENA. his evident innocence of intent is alone convincing you that this not all some put-up were till caricature. Lastly. the reproduction of yourself ried so far that car- from being putative father of your whole household by patriarchal custom.

332 OCCULT JAPAN. now come to a consideration of the To this sleep and dreams may make word of introduction. Our spiritual life. It is in- deed worth noting. people there is Among It this stately less activity of mind needing itself be- constantly to be curbed. fashioned the forms. of disconnected bits. that our minds should thus in a sense bodies. a fitting For the pheto entitle this nomenon of sleep and dreams are kin enough to those of the trance state night side of our nature to be called the normal trance. We trance. In Japan the very babies are unconscionably good. be more mortal than our For once during every rotation of is the earth consciousness the candle snuffed out like we extinguish to help us to the . made up is whose conditioning emphatically of the earth. earthy. He inherits with the rest of his constitution. shows fore long-continued habit can have seal set its it upon the man himself. There life of is is a curious rhythm in our conscious which both the occasion and the cause cosmic. in contradisis tinction to our bodily existence.

the potential begins to rise. but usu- ally to sleep every night. and we are sound Deasleep. As it is. and compose what hypnotize left of our minds to absolute inaction. Indeed. they cannot continue to do so for together. So soon as mental activity has thus been reduced to a minimum. 333 and though some men be so strong that sit they can up all night occasionally. our minds grow less of us find active with years. For that the force is has the power to store itself up again proved by the fact that we ever wake. many nights This nightly good-by to a thought self and surroundit ings would certainly prove startling were more rare. act . some no diffi- culty in performing this feat in the daytime. so little are we disturbed at the idea of it that we actu- ally assist at our own apparent annihilation. the stream of thought . All of which shows that the force which runs the brain machinery is regularly ex- hausted by action. We help nature is close our eyes. barred from flowing.NOUMENA. and has to be as regularly recruited by rest. tain To a cer- extent we thus as ourselves nightly. We not only put ourselves to bed.

ceases approximately together. A in knock that would have passed unnoticed the middle of the night easily rouses us in the morning. that character so com- fortable to himself. All of us. and starts again together.334 OCCULT JAPAM. more enthusiastic In ideal equi- poise the whole mental energy. in At what happens fectly balanced mind. because sensations of sort some our or other are always knocking at mind's door. however. have probably been are interesting things for abnormal enough at times to have dreamed dreams. rarely happens. the full machinthe per- ery is not long in getting into least this is swing. but far more inter- . Once started. ally Doubtless wake of our we should eventuown motion if we lay in a Practically this event sensational vacuum. Now dreams interesting not only what they show us. potential or actual. And that in this till manner the it potential con- tinues to rise has reached so high a point a tap from some sensational stimulus suffices to start action once more. . his and so disappointing to fellows. But a less and less obstreper- ous one suffices to call us as time wears on. proceeds to accumulate a head for the next day. and we wake.

The next peculiarity idiosyncratic of dreams consists tionality. we are not aware. Dreams betray mental activity. and find ourselves unharmed.NOUMENA. This little mind throws not a on clearer states of consciousness by a comparison. in their seemingly irrational irra- In our dreams the most unlikely in people do the most impossible things. 335 For they are twilights of thought. the dawn glim- merings of inner light before that full be risen above the horizon of half-way state of light sensibility. credible manner. for it Whence we it only take cognizance of after it has donned a transformation to suit the mental scene finds there. upon is which any outer sensation the visitant came enter only under some disguise. esting for what they intrinsically are. A thread of apparent causation connects one act with the . the most easy. fully float Our body may perchance turn but in consequence we graceof a precipice to the from the top bottom. life Our dreampermitted to takes place in an ideal world within. discharge. midway condition of where action has reached the point of conscious internal. over in bed. but not yet of conscious external.

credi- Such action brain is as this shows that the whole not yet roused to that pitch of po- tential where motion takes place with normal ease. is who doubts without exactly all We have a dim sense that not right without quite realizing that anyis thing wrong. In our deeper dream states the whole real . OCCULT JAPAN. and in place of spreading into side tracts is confined to the easiest path of dis- .336 next . disbelieving. each idea starts the next. the one most easily associated with it at the moment. its the dramatic unities in passage. but a simple one. in the most natural way in the world. is Motion line. As passes along. seems it is only in our less dense ones to mingle with the show. a the mind confined largely to one very crooked the current line. The current encounters inertia in its passage. without rousing much of side in the way ideas to play critic to its creations its and throw unpleasant doubts upon bility. and the phantasmagoria breaking all rolls cheer-* fully on. that wonder begins as a looker-on. the explanation of this seems to be Now that in dreams our thread of thought in is com- paratively fringeless.

is from having just been set in action again. the scientist of his discoveries. and why them. to be due to the play either of very habitual ideas or of ideas that had last preoccupied us before we fell asleep. t we consider the motifs of our dreams we shall find when not directly trace- able to boiled lobster. Now what part has done If so. . 337 cur- But that there should be any all rent at proves that some part of the brain possi- has risen to the necessary pitch of bility before the rest of it. the idea that preoccupied we fell asleep in is the one which. charge.NOUMENA. offer least resistance to passage. as a whole. in because the habitual idea action so much of the time that its train of cells has become specially permeable to the current slight provocation. still its is But as the brain. action. the current rouses no side motion speak of in the process. The lover dreams of his mistress. Each dreams is after his kind. under the then conditions. easiest The motion once started passes out along those associated channels which. and vibrates upon the same us before For reason. the mer- chant of his transactions. to sluggishly inert.

we fail for the sensations they In our deeper dreams we have not even those adumbrations of other thoughts which so commonly give us ghostly warnings in our waking state. This makes us fall easy dupes to the deception. is For it our side-thoughts that cause us to upon our leading ones. to recognize are. For dream inconsequence too really means absolute ideal consequence. want is of possible simply till it is contradicted. Each idea fires the next. a la lobster. shows that side considerations are not roused. for the In dreams comment we are moment men of one idea. Purely sensa- tional starting-points. As we get nearer . and only the next. That we believe everything that comes along. destitute of their accustomed fringe. rather a lightning-like zigzag through the mind than a general illumina- This accounts for what we call in- consequently enough the inconsequence of dreams. idea exists it For where only one for It must inevitably seem true contradiction. and see nothing odd in so doing.338 OCCULT japan: result is The tion. rouse in the same way such simple dream them trains that. with the usual monomaniacal result.

and certainly is inexplicable of on the ordinary thins: dualistic theories It is the — their vividness. and pro tanto .NOUMENA. have a loader of vice in the game in of she shows herself here to be an utterly unprincipled gambler . handmaid. according to the neither of them can account for if For life. Now the is dualistic theories that consciousness its a thing apart from brain processes. this. the inertia grows less side 339 till motion starts and summons obscure shapes of thoughts to hint dimly at delusion. This theory as to what consciousness is affords explanation of another pecuharity about dreams which seems at first to defy comprehension. and complaisant materialists. as William James would it. consciousness be. vividness like events of waking and commonly exceed in That life. inasmuch as delusions in dreams she actively abets the most seemingly ingenuous manner. the waking point. directing power. matter of every-day notoriety that dreams are often extremely vivid. they quickly fade out does not detract from the fact of their vividness at the time of their occurrence. accordits ing to the spiritualists.

things . brain processes. Extremes here emphatically meet. and if we have not if a case of it.340 OCCULT JAPAN. consciousness be the effect of brain . They stand confronted by : question Why should consciousness be rea- present as markedly both when we have son to suspect the current to be strong. as when we have reason to believe torpor? it weak. is a worse dilemma yet for the this dualists. in times of passionate excitement. but that our waking one dreams should usu- seem more vivid than our every-day waking experiences. ? why are the ideas that are roused more is vivid That the dream current might occasionally be stronger than a possible. In times of excitement. for can consciousness be mere concomitant of a case of increased current. we so strangely recall forgotten we do But if in times the opposite of excited. in times of For of both these phenomena we and have instances. Nor. is to credit nature with a strange lack of economy But there in the running of our psychic affairs. rest of the brain we have here simply why is not the roused. which is certainly the ally case. on the other hand. makes us go mad.

Though the stream dream-states has probably less head to it the increased resistance enables to proparallel duce as much commotion. that both an unusually strong current and an usually feeble one may alike produce an unusually vivid consciousness. friction. and feeble. when a con- ductor of slight resistance glow. will when the same. we see once that this should develop both when the cur- rent is increased. to find great vividness of impression side by side with no impression find. The theory here advanced the at first explains. this is merely a suganalogy but it may turn out truer . the heat. there- fore. great. We ought. will which. gestive make one of great resistance do At present. as tial it 341 were.KOUMENA. the current continuing as before. in dreams. strange anomaly. than we imagine. which is just of what we do thought in it. the resistance remaining the same. For vividness follows either an increase in the current or an in- crease in the resistance. at all . therefore. and when the resistance is in- creased. evolved by parat stoppage of the current. the action We may make even by that of an electric current. .

under the influence of wine. as torpor about. at least. therefore. for examfor the poignancy not more for the peculiar ideas it gives a man than all of them. all than a consciousness of one's This chiaroscuro of consciousness has the unreal reality of the lights and shadows thrown by a carbon ple. Opium. if it along particular be no more emotions. by observation. is For a general only way. Chloroform. tiring of the brain not the we know. loving or quarrelsome men grow in proportion they grow unreasonable. And we how as know. of bringing brain will Many drugs do it. of brain torpor other similar than dream . Some dreams we remember after waking. we should not know that we had ever If had them. laughing-gas. point. will a man out of the world- — to the every-day effect of wine. we did not do so. probof ably by directly numbing the molecules all the cortical cells. to a minimal extent at least. temporarily take say nothing of flowers at a funeral. is delectable. Possibly. goes heightened lines. some vanish .342 Conditions OCCULT JAPAN.states display phenomena. side with But side by consciousness the general torpor these things a induce.

or if 343 afterward partially for strange. possible to bring brain action a dead point by a simple exercise of will. is For their train of association not one likely to recur under normal conditions. we may distinguish two kinds . in- recalled. to a strangely brain activity may be brought sudden stand-still. Of trances. By shutting one's bodily eyes. or by keeping them fixed upon some uninteresting thing. common if in part to it both Were it not for such link. or keeping it similarly fixed upon some It is insipid thought. XL But besides the daily running down of the whole brain machinery to sleep. pass unrecognized explicable impressions. due to the using up of the potential energy of the or its cells. slowing down to artificially it is through the effect of certain drugs. while at the same time shutting one's mind's eye. by this portal that the subject passes into the trance state.: NOUMENA. with the fashioning. shall Those that we do of remember we our waking find are hinged on to life by the continuance an outer sensation states. would be mere haphazard we struck them again.

344 the OCCULT JAPAN. but as soon appears to a most peculiar . and the possession trance. while in the midst of he be addressed by the operator. the same time bearing to strong family resemblance each other. a passing over as indistinline. however. To an unsympathetic of the bystander. simply was the one and is the other. it at last he comes to of If. the subject one seems an idiotic automaton. hypnotic trance. If left alone the subject remains in his state till mummified himself. We will take up the hypnotic variety first. both in their physical in their psychic sympa toms . he suddenly responds the operator's word with the instantaneity of mechanism. To point an outsider nothing marks that critical when the subject's statuesque immov- ability passes from the voluntary into the It involuntary state. guishable as the traveler's crossing the known only by the change which all of pole round things seem to turn. Out any to of a lethargy seemingly too deep for stimulus to stir. The two and while at differ markedly. while the subject of the other appears raving mad. He not only wakes to life again. instantly striking certain phenomena follow.

does he does far better than is the best of which he capable in his norat little mal And will he hesitates is or nothing.NOUMENA. but not by conscious man. What . What he state. 345 to the For though he responds if hypnotist as to do so. phase of it. His seem merely the effect of moimpressed from without as if the mentum hypnotist had given his mental machinery a . he becomes as before — inert. bulists His action kin to the somnam- who walk on ridge-poles and the edges of precipices without fear and without falling. momentum gone. he sinks back once action would more into passivity. his he had been simply waiting immediate response made. possesses apparently no initiative of his While the foreign momentum ized in lasts he acts with a perfection of performance real- some machines. only that whereas the sleepof walker does so his own motion. dis- and whose impetus had then been This gradually dissipated by the friction of the parts. the at hypnotic subject does so of another. shove which had carried him a certain tance. He own. the suggestion And the hint needed to start him is at times inconceivably slight.

imaginary the same process. the initial cases everything and everybody For him nothing exists but his hypnotizer. to in stupor. a bystander on the alert quite the hypnotic subject. either when directly pointed out or indirectly involved in itself. Through it. for exist. and only through may At a anything enter the subject's world. this person's fiat.346 OCCULT JAPAN. the execution of the suggestion They can also be made to remain incognito by Still further. word from this man when other things and other people are perceived. to their existence in his If conscious- the operator says they exist. and acts upon Side by side in the hypnotized with such trigger-like action in toward his hypnotist goes an utter deadness to else. things subject can be made to seem real to the . Now abnormal action of the mind in . showing that to him they are thorough-going this realities. fails to notice. their non-existence in fact forming no bar ness. perceives all appearance sunk at once. on to detail their their the subject will go characteristics and retail subsequent actions without further prompting. him they do state this for is In the full hypnotic no mere nominal acquiescence.

while the rest of the brain. this state of lethargy would at the continue the whole brain eventually all woke same up. being inactive already off and being shut inert. not initial potential some are nearer the activity point than others. to the awaking to action of one of this latter class still while yet the rest of the brain torpid that the peculiar stays of the phenomena . remains Furthermore. But the cells are . in from outward stimulus. whole brain to the which is logical since apparently only these cells that are vibrating at the moment. the stopping of action cells acting at the the time seems to bring the dead-point it is . the enforced inaction or induced tiring of the brain cells in action at the time of lapsing into unconsciousness. Especially are two kinds of their fellows : cells at a higher potential than those connected with habitual ideas and those connected with ideas peIt is culiarly poignant at the time.NOUMENA. By 347 the trance state seems most explicable as follows. in all activity those cells ceases. Now till if all the cells were at the same potential. After the stoppage a time is necessary to raise the potential to the point of overcoming the inertia.

as the whole potential rises. The initiation idea thus resurrected is the idea in the subject's mind that the operator will have a certain indefinite but all-effective power over him trance. The . that neces- Now such idea the last poignant idea in the subject's mind before he comConsequently. Now the the fact that this idea alone to at necessary potential of be stirred exall plains the insentience the brain to cells other stimuli. passes over first. trance are probably due. That the mere idea is is all should be is present to the person sary. it poses himself for the trance. brain connected with it alone are in a condition to be affected all from without others are affected only as they are connected with them. sion should reach the level of full belief a is bare fear that he may be thus controlled of it enough. Thus it is the idea which the subject carries with him into the trance that becomes the dominant is idea of the trance itself. after he has entered the trance state is this idea that is nearest the point of pass- ing over into action and that. Nor are .348 hypnotic OCCULT JAPAN. when he It is shall have lapsed into the not necessary that this impres.

but impossible to get him to do things which are abhorrent to it. practically commit murder. they would be in normal all 349 these secondary ones as easily stirred by the first as life. the grooves of temperament are followed by the thought. To is induce a subject who is not essentially depraved to example. and.NOUMENA. of complex normal state The force the habitual ideas makes itself felt by hindering and even preventing character. as the motion passes along them very little side action is roused. for beyond even the oper- ator's power. consequence. train of Less force motion. as it is the ramifying side-thoughts that parison possible * make comjudgment. is necessary to is set them in Not only it the subject's in action under a suggested idea is keeping with his character. The In brain cells are abnormally torpid. and constitute the hypnotic subject sees no incongruity in his actions and performs each with a to it self- abandonment of that insures a perfection in his performance unattainable of mind. . In- the performance of a suggested idea that conflicts with the subject's deed. other things equal.

suddenly found himself in bed. but to wake to find ourselves doing not the thing the habitual one.changing crowd of other thoughts. late I we started to knew a man and gone up* who. amid the ever . the politician. clothes had started the machinery. which he proceeded off of his in to do mechanically. having come home stairs to dress for a ball. which. are alive to actions related to their quest which to other . lover. The preparatory taking of supervision. the burglar.350 OCCULT JAPAN. have parallels to We such semi-spontaneity of action of an habitual idea in every-day In a preoccupied state of mind we life. It paralleled in waking by the exceeding sensitiveness of any acute The idea to anything connected with itself. Of in peculiarly poignant ideas we all countless examples of the persistent know manner which they turn up in season and out of They are forever showing their faces it. That the hypnotic subject seems his hypnotizer is to be on the lookout for everything connected with of course a purely is unconlife scious one. default had run then itself and fatally done the habitual thing. engage upon some act only do.

NOUMENA.
mortals would pass unnoticed.

351

We

all

catch

our
all

own name

uttered in a conversation to

the rest of which

quite oblivious.

we have been apparently The exceeding sensibility

of the entranced to the acts of the operator,

joined to absolute insentience, so far as appears, to irrelevant matter, need not surprise
us, since
thing-.

we

are

all

hourly doing the same

It is

only the degree of completeness
it is

with which

done that

differs sufficiently

to startle us.

The
toward

relative sensibility of the

hypnotized
his

his hypnotizer, side

by side with
all

complete insensibility toward

else,
is

may

thus be accounted for; but there

a further

exhibition of sensibility that he shows which
is

as startling as

it

is

inexplicable on the
of the

generally received theories

subject.

This

is

the surprising vividness of his con-

sciousness of things of which he comes to

have any consciousness
in the case of the

at

all.

We

have

seen an adumbration of this in dreams, but

hypnotized

it

fairly rises

into

the
it

region of
is

the marvelous.

Like
but

dreams,

evidenced by the general vivid
subject's experiences,

character of the
unlike

them

it is

further borne direct witness

352
to

OCCULT JAPAN.
acts so out of every-day experi-

by mental

ence as to lead hastily credulous persons to
attribute

power.

them to some sort of supernatural For the hypnotic subject will display an amount of knowledge of which in
his

norm^

state

he

is

known not
Sometimes

to possess

even the rudiments.

his appar-

ently supernatural insight can be traced to

the resurrection of memories faint at the

time of their experiencing and long since
lapsed
;

but sometimes

it is

due

to the actual

ex post facto creation of consciousness out of
brain processes of which there was no con-

sciousness at the time of their occurrence.

Now

our

present

theory, whatever

its

merits or demerits

may

be, is at least able

to give an explanation of this
If

phenomenon.

consciousness be nerve-glow, a local mo-

lecular

change

of

the cells due to a forced

arrest of the neural current from temporary

or

permanent impermeability

of path,

it

is

precisely in the generally torpid brain of the

hypnotic subject that
acute.

it

should be

most

That his brain generally is torpid is shown by the fact that action does not sponWhen, however, taneously take place in it. a current is induced from the only starting-

NOUMENA.

353

point possible, the suggestion of the operator,

and turned into the desired channel,

it

traverses a path

whose resistance
Instead,
it

is

much
of
itself

above the normal.
gliding rapidly along,
in

therefore,

soon expends
it

overcoming the
call

friction

meets, causing

in the process a

glow

of the successive cells

which we
tends,

consciousness.

The

current

of course, to

make

the molecules of

the cells vibrate as they did before rather

than
it

in

finds

some perfectly new combination, but unwonted difficulty in making them
all.

vibrate at

The
of
cell

result

is

that
is

the old

combination

action

resurrected
;

with accompaniment of consciousness
is,

that

we have an

idea where before

we had

only

its

latent possibility.

revival of
of
is

Whether this be the a lapsed memory, or the evoking
bit of

an actual

brand-new consciousness,
of degree.

mere question

The

greater

the resistance, short of stopping the current, the greater the current's, so to speak, creative power.

That
current,

this is

due to the increased

resist-

ance, and not to an hypothetically increased
is

further evident on considering the

alternative.

For

if

the current were greater

354

OCCULT JAPAN.
should both
continue longer and
its

than under normal conditions would be the
case,
it

rouse greater side action along
But, as

course.

we know,

it

does the contrary of both
It

these suppositions.
self,

speedily expends

it-

and

starts next to
It

no side-thoughts in

the process.

thus completely negatives

an imputation of increased force.

sis

Another general phenomenon of hypnoproves the same relation of increased

resistance to increased consciousness.
is

As

well known, the events of the subject's
life

normal

are both possible of recall and

spontaneously remembered in the hypnotic
state
is
;

while, contrariwise, the hypnotic life

entirely hid

from the man's normal conthis fact, instead of imply-

sciousness.

Now

ing greater powers in the hypnotic state, as
superficially

viewed

it

seems
It
is

to do, implies

exactly

the

opposite.

indeed but a

more general instance of what we have just considered. For the permeability of a path depends, cceteris paribus, on the number
of

times

it

has been traversed.

Now

the

hypnotic or possession paths, having been

comparately

little

used, are

relatively

less

permeable than the normal ones.

Conse-

NOUMENA.
quently an hypnotic path
is

355 not likely to be

entered in the waking state, the current preferring
its

more habitual

routes.
it

Even

if

the

hypnotic idea should reappear,
ably
fail of

would prob-

recognition in the broad glare of
state, since in the twilight of the

the normal trance
its

associations
it

were too

few and
suggestion

feeble to give
cation.

fringe

enough

for identifi-

For

like

reasons, even

will fail to resurrect
tify

hypnotic ideas, or iden-

them

if

resurrected.

The normal

ideas,

on the contrary, can be recalled in the hypnotic state, because, unless blocked by suggestion, their paths are the

most permeable

paths there.
life

Consequently that the hypnotic
cannot be

can be made to include the waking one,
life

while reversely the waking

made
is

to include the hypnotic one, instead of
in

being proof of greater powers

the

latter,

simply proof of less permeability of path.
XII.

From
So

hypnotic trances

we now

pass to

possession ones.
far as the subject is aware, the portal
is

to both

the same.

In
to

a

quite uncon-

sciously

similar

manner

that

purposely

356

OCCULT JAPAN.

taken by the hypnotic subject, the person to

be possessed either shuts his eyes or keeps

them
his

fixed,

while at the same time he fixes
If

thought on nothing.

he thus prophe soon

erly focuses both kinds of attention,

goes

off.

In spite, however, of the apparent sameness of method employed in both cases, the
subject's
trance,

symptoms

as

he lapses into his
in
it,

and his subsequent actions

differ radically in the two.

A

throe marks the entrance into the pos-

session trance, and a suppressed quiver ac-

companies
is

it

throughout

;

the hypnotic trance

entered imperceptibly, and the subject
till

continues apathetic

instigated to action

by a word or sign from the operator. Perhaps the most peculiar physical feature of
the possession trance
is

the rolled-up condi-

tion of the eyeballs, so rolled
is

up that the

iris

half out of sight.

This position they hold
constantly
suffi-

throughout the trance, and the eye never
winks,

though

the

eyelids

are

twitching.

For the

rest, their

names

ciently describe the

two

states,

— the

one

subject seeming in truth possessed by a devil,

while the other,

if

left

alone, appearing to

NOUMENA.
sleep as he stands.
It

357

requires, indeed,

no

faith in the onlooker to see in the

alien spirit acting

one an and speaking through the

man. from
said

Such

is

the instant natural inference

his looks

and behavior.

On

the other

hand, the hypnotic subject can hardly be
to

have either looks or behavior
to

till

commanded
hypnotist.

have them to order by the

The one
accord.

subject thus acts from spontane;

ous impulse

the

other only of derivative
is

The

next point of dissimilarity

that the sense of self differs entirely in the two.

The possessed

believes himself to be
spirit.

another person, the possessing

The

hypnotized continues to think himself himself unless told

some one

else,

by the hypnotist that he is upon which he promptly cononly as
enter-

ceives himself that other person.

In both trances such sensations

are compatible with the hypothesis

tained by the entranced are allowed to enter
consciousness.

abnormal
ance.

alacrity,

These are perceived with so abnormal as to have

suggested a possible explanation of clairvoyAll irrelevant sensations are simply
It
is

ignored.

as

if

telegrams were con-

358

OCCULT JAPAN. man from
his desk.
all

stantly arriving to a

parts of

the world, and he should leave

all

but those

from Chili unopened on
perfectly,

That the

senses and the lower centres do their work

and that

it

is

in the

hemispheres

that the messages are laid aside unscanned,
is

proved clearly by hypnotic experiments.
in

For

certain
to

cases

the

subject

can

be

shown
things

have carefully distinguished two
in order

first,

subsequently to ignore
last

one of them.

These

sensations

may

afterward be recovered.

The same thing
possessed.

occurs in the case of the

Violent sensations unconnected
spirit

with

the

of

the
it,

trance,

and even
Pins

wounds
at
all,

inflicted in

pass unnoticed.

stuck into the

man

are not felt

by the god
felt

though the pain of the prick continues

sharp enough to be very disagreeably
the

by

man on coming back

again to himself.
of
it

Yet when he does thus become aware
he remains quite unable to assign
its

cause.

On

the other

hand, sensations appropriate
to be divined

to the

god may almost be said
is

rather than ordinarily perceived, so alert to

them

the entranced.
is,

In neither trance, under natural, that

NOUMENA. in each its own consciousness is The hypnotic subject remem- kind of trances continuous. however. I shall Some curious details of this ently. The man knows nothing sciousness is Discontinuous. becomes the more singular that they should differ so in others. ? In what. So does the god. unsuggested. entered. waking done. does the It difference consist consists. a suggestion by the operator during the trance that he shall re- member As so. a little To explain it. so I con- ceive. of the god. in the idea that dominates the trance. as the trance con- from the normal one. does the 359 man re- member anything of what happened trance after he has in the waked up. then. it afterwards. as they both seemed to be. In the case of the hypnotic trance. bers in subsequent trances what happened in former ones. it am in not aware that is ever remembered I is the state. though it believe this could be Certainly not done in Japan. will enable him to do I to the possession trance. conditions. we must look back . consider pres- Asrreeins: thus as the two kinds it of trances all do in so many respects. by the same gate.

360 of OCCULT JAPAN. — that from a in the comirre- ing trance the hypnotizer wall have an sistible power over him. We it have followed this out in the case of the hypnotic trance. Now in both trances is the general state of the brain the same. Let us see what the dominant idea case is. or to stir of acts. and idea that both action eventually takes place along certain isolated lines. for it is the power behind the throne of thought that does the business. in In both it is as a whole torpid. is stimulus. in each The hypnotic subject enters the to deadening processes leading with the idea full belief to — more or a bare fear the trance less definite. We shall now see that applies equally to the possession trance. no part of this thought. and that the intrinsic differences in of each the dominant idea account for the differ- ent phenomena. will cease to be himself. That he will then is lose his identity. the immediate phenomena. The first reaches sufficient potential to respond to an outside itself. except as unconsciously included in the power the operator . the idea that This idea is the dominant idea of the trance.

ris- That ing less this is due to the dominant idea phenomenally. or whatever else the possessing spirit is to be. the subject acts like a mind-mechanism worked operator . at the will of the the com- in the other. as munity considers. the idea of the eventual influence over him of the operator. is and passes into action only on com- mand. In the hypnotic subject. he acts. is more or the demonstrable possession trance increasing effect we can of this actually see the rise. The statuis esque immovability preceding the trance eventually shaken gains till it by a slight quiver. enters his is trance under the firm conviction that he about to become the god or the devil. The character of the this. like a god. Now of each of these ideas proves exponent in their respective trances.NOUMENA. may be able to exert. and culminates in the throe of posis session. 361 to The person be possessed. what happens In the one trance. on the other hand. latent. His dominant idea never thus quite J . dominant idea accounts for notic subject is The hyp- possessed by a purely pas- sive idea. the rise not directly evident. which. as yet. In first to potential possibility.

If the energy of the idea be not kept up by appropriate stimulation. But the aptitude of the idea to act remains relatively the same. . also. tion. on renewed incanta- the dominant idea again rises to a point of action before the rest of the brain. explains the apathy of the general the hypnotic state on the one hand. as is shown by the lapsing of the subject. is spirit-possessed. is much the greater of the two. when left alone. For to initiate action of itself shows than more This activity inherent in the idea merely to respond to a shove from without. It gives them be their pass.362 OCCULT JAPAN. Its energy. but merely stands by to usher other ideas in. and throe and subsequent quiver of the possess- ory trance on the other. it gradually falls. passes over of itself from the potential kinetic form. ness with Its energy. the dominant idea actually takes possession of the otherwise vacated apartments of the its mind and runs the establishment of idea to own motion. spontaneous. peeps over the threshold of consciousness. There. without which In they the would refused action admittance. into a state of coma. For. therefore. incidentally permitting no come in that has not somehow busiit.

There it nothing but to act. unless some fixed idea chance for the time partially to have closed the avenues of approach. all-powerful. incoming ideas as all v^^ell as sen- sations. from meeting little or no opposition. Only when clashes with another . motionless mind. there are no counter-forces present to oppose nor are any such roused by after it its action is to check it it has started. In the perfectly hypnotized person. in the normal state. quietly and then after admission chokes such as on inspection it does not happen to In the entranced state.NOUMENA. in that practically it. the slightest hint from the operator produces instanFor. but in its dififer 363 from the to in the mind's being first one is tempted being curiously shut. therefore. no idea is admitted at all unless per- sonally related to the possessing idea. on the other fancy. For. Both entranced states thus normal condition. hand. and when once introduced in the premises. as at think. not curiously open. of whom it eagerly welcomes. the mind lies open to all comers. taneous and complete action. is permitted full play Whatever thus gains admittance through the dominant idea is.

hav- ing any definite conception of what that compulsion consists. OCCULT JAPAN. often in a very way. The subject then becomes dimly of compulsion. nosis is is no conscious- It is only when the hyp- imperfect that side-ideas are roused to suggest the possibility of acting enough aware otherwise. and the remonstrance of which we are conis scious due to such its action. as we say. In perfect subjects there ness of constraint. it is the idea that for the moment is the I . We feel mask that we must trivial act in a certain way.364 visitor does sult. because not a part of the dominant idea that it should. and he does a fixed idea will often the same manner. yet it without questioning for an instant that is we who faint act. however. He . faint side-ideas as are roused by But in the possession trance the dominant idea consists consciously in a change of iden- . As a matter of fact. When by suggestion an idea of such change enters his mind. must do so and so In waking itself in life. against our will. without. simply feels that he it. any hesitation or difficulty re- But the man's sense of his it is own iden- tity does not change. identity changes at once.

His is anything but a case of acting of identity. . he his the spirit or the god. and actions conform to none that do not finding foothold in his mind. its in so far as in him lies. of things as they really are takes because of the current's failure to rouse side-thoughts. Especially is this so in the possession trance. But in the trance the dominant idea as a is much stronger than in the it dream. inac- except along a particular is In both in both the illumination lightning-like. and no general illumination resulting in a general judgment place. life does with the sense all Consequently. with In both the mind line. is tain divergences. but it new ego being the man's congod. responds in performance. And the . and persists through the whole of ground for all other ideas. Such may not be the man. the possessed's it thoughts. and mechanism. 365 The consciousness in the entranced state throbs with the sense of this new per- sonahty as waking of self. the The man god. does not simulate the is spirit or Mentally. tity. words. NOUMENA. we perceive a certain paralcer- between trances and dreams.. tive. the it is an absolute change ception of the god. also is not the From lelism all this.

is probable that is much deeper we to asleep the trance than in the dream. is im- mensely. A trance for the first .366 OCCULT japan: is reason for this idea that causes the more or less patent. In both lives a self- educatory process goes on. any action gaining proficiency by practice. seen. generally. divine development is As we have as duly marked . the brain. The fact that of our own motion are so close to waking and up. Habit is just as potent in the trance state as in the normal one. the possessing idea in the trance repeated and realized again and again it in successive trances. This strengthens so. time is usually very embryonic but by repetition that rivals that the idea acquires momentum waking of single-purposed action. in Secondly. entertained. The dream is much less conpos- sciously absorbing than the idea that sessed ardly the possessed. is when we begin dream implies this. How much that occurs evident from the great development observable in trances. it The one other is is haphaz- the purposed. the easy consequence of one idea upon an- other in the dream state goes to back it Lastly.

Whence his honesty in denying that he that does and the natural In conclusion belief of others in its su- pernatural origin. no transcenitself Self. supposed divinatory power is Much of the of the possessed attributable to the same of cause that makes the hypnotic subject so supernaturally omniscient. or by the mere idea it god in possession trance. The its brain any one is a register of sense impressions to a degree unsuspected by owner.NOUMENA. to be . . It is none too get at at much to say that everything is we or have ever experienced it ! there. would seem and the bundle of ideas in that mass of machinery. get at some of and surprises himself quite as much it as others by having done it is so. indeed. could we only it. in 367 the Shinto trances as human development in every-day man. betrays dental thing. self thus be snuffed out at a word from the operator. alone to constitute the I. it may be noted That of here how can the ill the self fares under these illusions and of disillusions the trance. the brain. The possessed does it.

one pecuharity is of the Shinto trance the is maezas connecthe official inter- tion with it. or go-between. who first desires to con- verse with the god. That he is is not quite so deaf as he seems. To begin with. He one may speak however to the god. He alone is the only part of humanity whom the god deigns spontaneously to recognize. XIII. rapport be established. and him alone the god condescends to answer. This man mediary of the god. Any pious. however. of the whole transaction. operator in the He is the nakodo. this to happen except in testing my own when engaged the reality of the god by . his occasionally scolding the maeza for irreverential conduct I on the part of such I blush to say that in never knew case. Certain differences between the Japanese possession trances and others of their kind are significant. must be brought in Until such rapport with him by the maeza. else. the god pays the outsider's remarks no attention. and he holds a curious intermediary position between the person spoken to in the mediumistic trance and the hypnotic one.368 OCCULT JAPAN. shown by outsider.

too openly. or otherwise treating him with what he took for disrespect. and who There is. We and all now come others. 369 making.NOUMENA. a very suggestive dis- similarity between the Shint5 possessions of Of trances the possessory sort there are manifold varieties to be found scattered over the surface of our globe. unlike The maeza thus. the operator in the hypnotic trance. but it. not supposed to open his mouth except his upon own business. but the responsible for the replies. But the maesa does not actions. particularly pure as the latter than between the sitter and the informing to spirit. affect the god's and only incidentally suggests by the his questions current of the divine thought precisely as one person does that of another in every-day conversation. not the power behind the throne. merely the master of ceremonies before In this he differs again from a person has a sitting with a is who trance-medium. Believers grade them after the ethics of the possessing . a pin-cushion of him. maesa. however. The god is maesa usually is starts the topic. the a greater gulf between the god and is.

hints that between the orthodox and the true divine comedy. while in America pos- sessing spirits are valued for their proficiency in a certain milk-and-water philosophy.370 spirits. meta- physically tinctured of religion. as a race advances in its conception of con- duct the moral development of deity keeps pace with the moral development of the devotee. The more information it milk-and-water their well of is proves. a OCCULT JAPAN. the purer proof-spirit to be. As it is. is In Japan. so remarkable a resemblance in ethical stand- ards between the immutable gods and ever- evolving man. esteemed To science the spirits' morals would be of more consequence did they not so singularly mirror the morals of the race which the spirits are kind enough to possess. observable at all times and among all peoples. for example. the parts of creature and creator have unfortunately got reversed. pious if not over-profitable criterion. further the striking manner in which emphasized by popular deity. proves too much for Such concordance. the rank of the god gauged by the knowledge he displays of his own family mythology. The more abstract the conceptions of a .

artistic. Especially is agreement of gods and men conspicuous in that most interesting of traits Japanese — the race's unindividuality. of the most exceptional deportment. They is are dignified. and in consequence the less they deign temporarily to inhabit mankind. In Japan the gods are eminently Japanese. gods deign to share one Now when this copartnership is closely scru- .NOUMENA. Their life ornamental. simple souls. race its 371 grow to be. growing incapacity concrete to conceive how a more and more abstracted god would act is in indirectly responsible for Among selves aboriginal peoples the gods them- descend to embodiment in man . As we several saw. one of the strangest features of is Japanese possession the way in which trance. if made up of one long chain of somewhat conventional. But it spirits of de- is not simply in their morals that the gods show themselves in sympathy with their people. the more abstract become gods. mothis ments. In their characters generally reflected the race character- you shall see istics. among more evolved races the parted men take their place. A the this.

is The first of these capabilities - of course the usual trance memory. for such superficial re- semblance common It is to every race in the in the eyes of others.372 tinized it OCCULT JAPAN. and heard in the same trance. It is not that to one unacquainted with first the gods there appears at sight to be a very strong family likeness between them. But different gods differ- do not remember about each other in ent trances. nite idea of god underlies the several manifestations of extent of this The third indicates the common bond. That in is. so strong as to imply dividuality in is no very marked in- any. character of the divine consciousness that the peculiarity consists. . while perfectly differentiating themselves from those others. said. did. said. The second shows it. as self-identifying a one as the man's normal that an indefispecial memory. is and con- the consciousness of successive gods tinuous in any one trance. in the person of the same man the god remembers different what he trances. will be found to afford proof of a curiously conceived impersonal kind of deity. For the consciousness of any one god is continuous in successive trances. and heard and different gods remember what the others did.

recognize as constituting an individual It is therefore only natural for to instantly and irrevocably have been taken for such. hand what gods party. unindividual self. and then or divine matter. or other desired mundane quite apart from the personality of the god. and there to is no reason to doubt it. Nor is the change due god. the official interviewer of the For the maeza asks no leading queson the subject he confines himself to . to questionings about the cure of the disease. tions any suggestion on the part of the niaesa. asking after the fact who has come. and remembers previous acts and sensations in successive trances. The change of god evidently comes about Certainly by unconscious auto-suggestion. in the of 373 his own acts every other his same trance. . fulfills all the phenomena it that we self.NOUMENA. if the subject himself has no inkling beforewill constitute his surprise his is seemingly honest profession to to that effect really be believed. that one god should have of any idea the actions of his predecessor hints at a ground-work of when embodied. On the other hand. That each god thus knows and sensations from those god.

. — the Sal- general of change. The lirst like the uninten- tionally induced hypnotic habits of the petriere. that he is A say himself unable to answer a ques- tion put to him. initially is That they did so due undoubtedly to the underlythis general predisposition ing impersonality of the race. The gods have to learned that chey are expected come in Indian file. and kindly do so accordingly. That there to rotation in is office is proved by the earliIt ness with which the change shows itself. and is its particular performance. I The boy whose divine development talk as any. instanced before was already several gods in turn. to and will report the matter some higher god for solution. after which an attendant of the higher god descends. conand then evoked in the tracted either in the normal or the entranced state. is appears long before the possession perfect enough for words. auto-suggestion idea is The of two parts. while as yet unable to The particular change comes about from associations between the idea of one god and the idea of the other.374 OCCUL T JAPAN. Sometimes god will the link becomes visible. course of the entranced's heavenly thinking.

Somewhat analogous to this. A god may thus present his successor.A'OUMENA. but rather prognostication of possession by deity in general. On . Indifferentism to individuality crops out thus in the - curious thread of impersonal god head. upon which the several particular personalities are strung. mere god -head as such. has rarely happened the midst of any one trance. The sists subject's dominant idea evidently conof not of the possession by any particular the god. is the But this. a tolerably stable spirit. because it is so fundamental a qualit ity of the race that forms of necessity part of their every idea. so far as in I am aware. similar. it would not of possession of the premises to another. For were itself yield the idea of the individuality of the possessory god strong. though not way in which the control of a trance medium has been known to change. 375 This would seem to show that a sufficiently connective thought in one trance will pass over to become a part of the dominant idea in the next. The spirits spoken to change with kaleidobut the control itself is scopic activity.

For the race characteristics are the ones most deeply graven into the character of the dividual. but rather a vaguely concrete general idea. but just the idea man. The dominant curious state of idea thus betrays a very mind in the possessed. the idea neither : man nor of mankind. Such a result. in- They are the great arteries of thought. in hasty succession. The individual has vanished but the race is left. the Japanese idea of . Though the man's self has quite departed. it the other hand. but unites lease. So through them . the well-worn channels through which the stream flows most easily does the current pass easily. self survives. indeed. as it shows of a itself in their speech. In all fact. all subsequent ten- them by a sort of common . upon by their par- For the gods are successively spite of individual enough. accidentally clothed ticularity. for example. is what we should expect from our theory on the subject. god is kin to the other Japanese ideas like their idea of man. the mere lessness of that and not only characterizes ants.376 OCCULT JAPAN. is no mere abstract idea of god.

Thus the activity wakes the race. that the thoughts it 377 rouses there mingle un- consciously with a man's thinking most of the time. Could is. that it is atavistic The easy transition from one idea to another in the hypnotic in it. that could we have the perfectly . only to be thrown over the next with a completeness which is caricatural. the want of reasoning shown the intentness and energy with which will any given idea be pursued one moment. ori. They constitute what habitual ones in the normal state. the brain lies clogged in the general lethargy of the trance. these still remain relatively more permeable than less the pervious veins of more recently wake the man evolved sensations peculiar to the individual. does so in But we have evidence generally. that cannot This brings us to confront the atavistic character of the general trance state. all fixes be eradi- cated. channels therefore. we know as When. A pri- we have just seen that the state should it hark back.NOUMENA. and a posteriori that this particular case. state. a sort of grotesque ide'es The man has become again. are states of mind boy that recall childhood for comparison.

see in any whose mild obtain. nothing could ever just as \^^thout irregularity have developed. The spirit of the cosmos is itself one great idee fixe working itself out. as the it. ones survived. as the trance lost himself. till deepened and the man him clan. — we should probably. Roman expression had smooth and round. Indeed. purity of experiment practically unat- tainable. impossible to of evolution For the very essence consists in the survival of the slightly ab- normal. . and return of-the-century man. The normality of the whole depends upon the abnormality of each part. man The undo what evolution has done. normal man. us a primeval savage in the body of an end- But fortunately that the most insipid individual. then his family then the habits of his only the broadly hutrance state would to and so down. lose first his individual characteristics. then to the operator could suggest some action colorless enough let only native activity —a state come into play. portrait you it shall is composite photograph. To be to a trifle one- sided gives each of us our chance.3/8 OCCULT japan: if normal man for subject. see traits. that were nothing is easier than show everything.

Thus in idiosyncracies are a necessa''y part of us.. gods they are that descend to embodiment to-day. In Shinto god-possession we are viewing the actual incarnation of the ancestral spirit of the race. . these his ancestors were gods in the past.NOUMENA. but they are numerous and diverse proportion to the height the individual development has attained. than among Ar}-an The average anese more nearly approaches his own national norm. to that these gods really are what they claim to be. If if ever there was one. less They are in much Japan Jap- marked between man and man folk. This lands us in our investigation at an \<\X. 379 no motion could have existed in the solar system except one vast self-crushing in the sun. It is has temporarily become indefinitely great great- a veridic incarnation. The man once more his own grandfather. unexpected conclusion.

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