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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 .

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

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

I .

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

.

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 withdrawn alike by distance and by height from a mountain the commonplaces of the every-day world.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

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

full when to three young men. a presentation to the gods could hardly have been more dramatic. counting our heartbeats. deaf the hut-keeper's importunities to : stop. was upon the summit trance slumbering volcano sunk in itself. and wondering how much more to of the mountain there might be cloud had cloaked all come. leav- look of the trio struck our fancy. 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. 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. passed stolidly out at the upper end hut close the path. We had already passed the snow. The devout So. give my own. and. entered the hut from below. . and had reached the grotto-like hut at the eighth station — the .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. paths up all high sacred mountains in Japan being pleas- ingly pointed by rest-houses we were tar- rying there a moment. clad in pilgrim white.

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

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

it So continued for some time. He had gone com- pletely out of himself. not the man it. other. At the first sign of possession. and bowed. the motionless one as motionless as ever. the exorcist had ceased incanting and sat bowed awaiting the coming presence. brow quivers yet quivering. Unwittingly we had come to stand witnesses to a trance. and then slowly settled to a semi-rigid half-arm holding before his stiff. clenched one above the his the other's hands. asked in words archaically reverent . when all at once the hands holding the wand began to twitch convulsively . 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. The look of the man was unmistakable. put a hand as still on either side the possessed's knees. Then he resumed incantation. It lashed the air maniacally here and there above his head. 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. It was as if the wand shook the man. and sending his its through whole frame.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by som. and apparently on good author- that he trod with his boots on the mat outside the portal of the palisade. you had thought the murderer some great people. sands flocked with flowers to his grave. and then poked the curtain apart with stick. It is still made it to it. It is the faith of these people's Its folk- birthright. and pilgrimages were shrine.X SHINTO. Folk by thouas . to and then Japan rose in a body not to the murdered man. but derer. to some to-day kept green still the singing-girls bring their branches of plum blossoms. As for the ways about it. the heart of old Japan.e as curious were ever penned. his walking. lore is what they learned at the knee of the . alleged. do honor. to his murto Even the muzzled press it managed hint on which side editorials as was. He was assassinated in consequence the assassin was cut down by the guards. ' For in truth Shinto is so Japanese it will not down. 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. 19 was ity. not of their adoption.

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

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

injunctions as could well be framed. the first God Emperor of Japan. Nor is its outward appearance less unin- . way their conception of a future that of a definite immaterial extension of the present one. do on earth. Their Mikado they look upon as the lineal descendant of Niniginomikoto. but in which they themselves see nothing irreverent. Shinto little has seemed better than the ghost of a belief.22 OCCULT JAPAN. And the gods live in heaven much as men. their descendants. So is the attitude of the Japanese toward their gods filially familiar. an attitude which In shocks more teleologic the same life is faiths. laid down ." and otherwise "follow your own heart" is the sum of their commands as parental subject. hole To ticket its gods and pigeon- its folk-lore has appeared to be the end of a study of its cult. do. To foreign students in consequence. The Japanese thus conceive themselves own gods. 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. far too insubstantial a body of faith to hold a heart.

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. has more gods to than its devotees know what few things do with.SHINTO. in and heaven or catholic earth stand unrepresented in its pantheon. . In but one thing is Shinto patently rich to worship as It it — in gods. 23 a deal barn of With to a building for temple. For is in all save the religious idea craves Feeling the fuel of sensuous setting. of religion. but incense II. its appearance certainly leaves something to be desired. a scant set of deal paraphernalia. but in Jap- anese speech "eighty" and "myriad" are neither of them mathematical terms. faith which sights. vitingly skeleton-like." petency . little It has as much has to worship with. sounds. From rice the Goddess of the Sun to the gods of agriculture. and perfumes fan into flame. and so speak a deal of nothing else. good Puritan souls. Biblical biography puts the num- ber roundly at eighty myriads. Sense may not be of the essence is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

his self in the other. it .MIRACLES. some merely useful. are in the category. since the god but shows his power the one case. far as piety classifies at all. may be read of in histories In Shinto the miracles are not so important matters as the incarnations . The fact without the explanation of Japan. together with innuall merable like performances. and so forth. broke in blade of his would-be executioner by exorcism taught him of the Shint5 priests. Nichiren. 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. to say nothing of killing snakes and bringincluded ing them to life again. der-God calling down fire from Heaven rooting burglars to the spot. for good in reason. and are two all simple enough affairs to the truly good. church takes pleasure pious purposes. Causing the descent . of the Thun. for exthe ample. - 37 though some are spectacular. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the length it that has to be walked over and grows tedious. In Ryobu the bed of state still is an eightare poster.48 iilace is OCCULT japan: permitted to indulge to satiety. his trial of his deficiency. vious anguish of spirit of sole. 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. stuck into the ground. The difficulty comes of in accurately estimating the degree one's own purity. this — only it is increases pari passu with in geometrical first progres- Here not the step that costs. proves a sad to doubting Thomases. fronded. one be pure enough he if will cross rial unscathed understanding will It more matespeedily acquaint him not. If . And the purity needed to do the length sion. Eight bamboo. 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. making slender posts . The width is of the bed is not so vital to the miracle as the length of it . The two go in. together. In their case. but the last one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Delboeuf showed this conclusively upon one of his hypnotized patients. More than followed the burn is probably not by the same after-effects. burnt like cloth. 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. The intervening step the result of exaltation. it The fact that in burns generally is the is cure that constitutes the complaint. the body's feverish It anxiety to repair the damage that causes all the trouble. 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. The is part burnt it. 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. .1 MIRACLES. For there is a more or less complete absence of is blisters. is 6 further calloused to something not unlike leather by constant exposed use. and that good. this. the end of No inconvenience the truly whatever follows the act but is among In less devout folk small blisters are without noticeable annoyance. no pain is perceived.

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

For shrines have their pet miracles as they have their patron gods. gone out of fashion when I made the acquaint. of Its first instance seems the been a case necessity. ful individual who sat down upon the spur of the moment only to to rise hastily again. so said. seated themselves Unlike the bashstolidly upon the points. The walking was rumor about to be performed. not in- This style of camp-stool had. at Hachioji. 63 Emperor to have of Japan.MIRACLES. which it appeared was one of the habitats of the miracle. When and two gods. however. . into we are told that on coming his presence they imposingly planted in the ground. their seats seemed have proved in that quite comfortable. for they delivered a long and somewhat tedious harangue effective attitude. 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. their swords hilt downwards and then. Upon investigation ruall mor turned out to be correct in but date. 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. arms akimbo.

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

of An army files mulberry bushes in very orderly flanked them round about.MIRACLES. the right-hand the Ontake trio. Two dially . instinc- of so startling a scaffold that tively we all came it. the god of war. god of and Hachiman Daijin. gods shared the temple very cor0-ana-muchi-no-kami. silk-worm rearing . at the farther end of the grounds. to a point — of admiration — before Evidently this was the material it means to the miracle. but at times so far as a seem- upon the actually to go to sleep upon them. From the head priest's house we made our way up a hill to the temple. 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. we had come went to He himself was wont not only to walk blades. for against a ladder. . grass-grown roofs of 65 village the peeped domestically from amid the crops. 0-ana-muchi-no-kami was the patron god of the feat see. As we turned the corner of the outer buildings we caught sight.

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

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

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

MIRACLES. They were. so from knightly as it times — not sounds. however. 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. This we now did to our satisfaction. great and heirlooms. The blades themselves bore evidence. those destined for first rungs were lashed its two lower upon the shooting- . 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 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. They certainly did not ing on. all seem adapted to treadThere were twelve loans from the neighborhood. of them. in order that 69 first we might all. of having been possessed and probably used for quite an indefinite time this by their owners . every one. even tentatively. 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.

and is put in play on every possible occasion. mimes. the priests departed to dress for the function. blades up. After securely tying on the swords.70 Stand. occasion think it the show Certainly proved in roars. Meanwhile a capital pantomime was in progress upon the dancing-stage. sometimes men. 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. digressions which no wise prevented till the row's proper emotional increase. the former doing the serious dancing and the latter the jocose capital. at . doubt- such distance being found in practice the most comfortable. 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. apart . fifteen inches of less our feet. Both are always I and on outdid this itself. are The performers sometimes girls. A dance- hall is an invariable feature of every well- appointed Shinto temple. the rungs being about a Japanese foot. The ladder measured fifteen feet in length. OCCULT JAPAN.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"that she should come back on Saturday anyway. was unavoidably reminded lady of the devout but inconsequent who told a friend that " She thought she should go to New York on Wednesday. the Chief of of God-Arts turned again to the ladder it swords and exorcised as he afresh. however." but. his prayer finished. turning and the Chief triumphantly to his till climb. for what purpose did not at first For. . D. populace burst into applause of God-Arts. he turned back and to our astonishment came I quietly down the secular ladder instead. 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. v. it..80 OCCULT JAPAN. reflecting a moment. to any on his part to come down by the front ones was shortly evident by his mak- . 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. Instantly he shrine. as we thought. Then it just was about to set foot on for the descent." his taking to the back-stairs for the in- That ability descent was not due.

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

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

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

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. When duly swathed he was dispatched to the head priest's house. or whether in coming round the corner he priests. OCCULT JAPAN. Evidently he possessed more latent piety than I had given him credit for. however. promptly fainted. as he informed me later. which. The point of one of the Neverhe shortly after hobbled to the oratory veranda and then. ended the fes- tivity.84 tery. while a proper bandage theless. him a world of good. while the priests did their best to stanch the blood. collided with one of the thing was not clear. Several pleasing adjuncts to this had miraculously appeared. was being fetched. unperceived. Whether in his exaltation and hurry to get back to his place he forgot the pro- jecting tips of the sword-blades. where he underwent consider- able exorcism. the boy was on the ground in the bleeding pretty freely from a gash top of his foot. For by consent the episode closed the performance. during . It by no means. swords had ripped him as he passed. for the first we knew.

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

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

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

To give a full account of Shinto we have now to consider quite a class of miracles.88 OCCULT JAPAN. different them . For the of are brought about by the unintentional but efficient subjective action . but of vital consequence as it regards the people. 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. a distinction unimportant as regards the things. imaginings loomed so large and vanish so search. the objective ones. pure and simple. 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. The nomenclature is not first mere kind matter of distinction. life-like. the miracle- performer himself the latter It is take place independently of him. This quaintly begged by believers. by stating that the god withdraws the spirit of . 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.

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

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

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

92 OCCULT JAPAN. and to the turf immediately below it. I cannot speak confidently on this latter point. even when dreams. is word "dear" it may safely be recommended. so I was permitted to heit in the shade. This a very difficult miracle. it Indeed. may argue from in my own experience. so cost. to be generally taken up. heaven by simple incantation. 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. so I am informed. To insure success the city. . Among even a cloudy day will do. the day the mountains should be sunshiny. unlighted pipe. 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. 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. it — — vile body is of my own freshly filled. witness its working upon the comparatively this miracle. if synonymous with the For it I not likely as yet.

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

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

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

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

The miracles. one eye. To establish such capability to one's isfaction in the first place.INCARNATIONS. the incarnations. esoteric ascension. Esoterically regarded. The burning question whether the believer be pure enough to perform them pleasurably. FTER the miracles. or possessions of follow. or possessions of people. 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. and to own satthe wonder . are perat least formed largely with an eye. to the public. 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. as I have hinted. difficult as they may be to do. in order of things.

the visitants from the spirit-world remind one of those ghost-like forms of ' clever cartoonists. They too. like But whereas the miracles. Indeed. are. in- deed. the Japanese never thought to introduce their divine guests and their foreign ones to each other. human spirit and the Foregone is for directly profitable ends. For. an open-mouthed multitude in the second. are the objects the pious promoters have in view. measures of the value of the purity of the man. 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. by some chance . loss of self the necessary price of an instant part in the kingdom of heaven. .98 of OCCULT JAPAN. serve a double purpose. Perhaps the most startling thing about these Japanese divine possessions is their number known. latent in the outlines of more familiar shapes. Not they so the incarnations. Once intro- duced. the two must have met at every turn. with quite glican etiquette. till. they are also practical mediums of exchange between the divine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bathing here becomes an all-engrossing pursuit. it would seem as this estimable quality were carried to its inevitable defect. . from a pardonable pastime. at that. but he should also bathe as often as he tween. 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. may be- The more he bathes the if better he becomes. Doubtless such totality is due to emotional exaggeration it is on your part. he simply soaked in a hot water tub as his profane friends do. Now. this might be merely the ecstatic height of dissipation. No gentle his portion perpetual goose- . or. beyond prejudice that he tub a good working minority of to When it comes if religious matters. as becomes pecuniarily apparent when you hire a stranger yet. But he does nothing parboiling is of the kind. 1 09 nation spends an inordinate amount of time in the national tub .INCA RNA TIONS. The would-be devotee at little else. at times to man by the day. but soaks in his his time. For. by the job. You are tempted toiler suppose your continuously either tubbing or teaing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

from things cooked. So much for the fresh-water it up in a maxim. as he leaned over once for sign the side of a boat. day an aureole radiating from the reflection of his head in the water. — 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. Salt is be shunned (skhvodachi). He may in all not even indulge in the national less tea. The would-be pure must from fish. It is worth noting . — adapting To sum to its gentler warfare with the spirits of evil Danton's celebrated one about war in general. In short. For it is deprived at once both of super- ficial gratification and of solid nourishment. and. took certain that his salvation it at was assured.6 1 1 OCCULT JAPAN'. compre- hensively. 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. abstain from meat. cure. from whatever has taste or smell. a beverage taste- and bodiless enough conscience specially to to escape proscription. he should lead gastronomically an utterly insipid existence.

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

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

he scrutinizes each — the in- . teresting inevitably that attention. 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. the more searching in- brother practices upon himself further of the genious devices. 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. expiration his whole attention upon his Mentally.9 -. is competent compel potent a lullaby song. to Any auditory routine it. It is 1 1 do what it will. nods. sleep of . 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 . of One own most effective these is the concentrating breathing. To this same intent. a mistake to sup- pose that the soothing effects of church are wholly due to sound sleep during the ser- mon.ITT 1 INCARNA TIOiVS. and partly accounts incidentally for the long-windedness of preachers.

sort. After prolonged all duty of the consciousness. only pausing in the pursuit unavoidably to eat and sleep. in which. like other art. appear to be somewhat better able to look after themselves ular minuteness. he effectually prevents any ideas into that from stealing really mind unawares. nods her post lies . though unsuspected of the doer. unlike the good sentinels. For divine possession Japanese things. Ablutions and abstinence are thus the two . By giving his whole mind manner to the mere method of existence. 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.120 spirations OCCULT JAPAN. One of the truly pious when weeks quantitively questioned told me he had thus kept watch on himself for three at a time. is in Japan. 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. like at good sentinels. the virtue of the deed. — with molecas it Each breath passes picket in this out is thus subjected to the spirit's challenge.

Compared with in this renunciation. in austerities. There is. which consists walking on the tips of one's toes wherever one has occasion to go. consists letting unlimited mosquitoes bite one to satiety for seven consecutive nights. great gyo. To be insensible to such charm were to have attained to complete insensibility already. But besides the regular stock for example. ing upon in view of the vast subjective disturbance sex. the next It gyo must be a positive pleasure. mechan- ical finger-charms. 121 which endless prayers.INCARNATIONS. . A species of pious ballet-dancing this. the gyo called tsumadachi. there are several supererogatory ones. and careful breathing help accentuate. 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. Then there a is the austerity of never look- woman's face. I wrought even unconsciously by the should judge tial it to be one of the most essenall. This martyrdom the ascetic who had practiced it spoke of But as a very severe self-infliction indeed.

How much modern hyp- quicker a like result can be obtained by the application of a little notism shows. though comparatively few poised on their The several vogue of the austerities is toes. in that long chain of mixed belief which. strictly paralleled in their respective use. further paralleled by the position occupied by those who practiced them. dependent from pure Shinto at the one end. 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. plicity is This decrease in sim- by the decrease Everybody washed.. is supported by . or by tiring the mind. rational An immense amount of labor thus in point of fact thrown away. science. and then blindly followed by succeeding ages without ment. 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. some to dull the sense perceptions by persistent attention to what incapable of holding it. 122 OCCULT JAPAN. is essentially — all to reduce the is brain to an inactive state.

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

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

exception to the as rule. as one of my married friends sugis gested to me. Indeed. mere matrimony would seem intoxicating effect. it appears. commit For gods to the themselves in the least to celibacy. certain it is that nowadays even gydja wed without detriment I am by no means sure their souls. mentioned above. and was confined for a couple of weeks to his house. marriage itself. the priests wed Nor do such as follow the austerities anybody else. He was. a married man. doses loses Either femininity in repeated its sanctity renders the believer superior to Perhaps. In this he made no All lay brethren marry a matter of course. as the mention of his family showed.INCARNATIONS. or acquired it. 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. that they did not in the olden time. sufficient austerity However to that may be. innocuous. exposure of his capabilities the poor 12$ man contracted a very bad cold. conflict. in Shinto like proper. matrimony and self-consecration do not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

chil- waiting populace of men. and once more before me unlike. it was pointed with pantomime. in consequence. if one will but devoutly refrain I from under- standing them. and dren. the uncanny look of the knots themselves. 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 . The semisuppressed vehemence with which the knots are tied. And as it rolled alons: it touched a chord that waked again the vision of the mountain. the maeza as usual leading off. women. the last man was back again before the eight launched in a body swing- upon one of the purification prayers. Exceedingly ingly impressive these purification prayers are. When the altar. lated. rose Ontake. As yet the chant swelled it sounded and some fine processional of the church of Rome. those strange the finger-twists. had sonie of them trans- and am a wiser and sadder man like.148 OCCULT JAPAN. and I saw the long file of pil- grims tramping steadily up the slope. I digital contortions.

something cadence of a dance is unlike a dance. the performer to the that is 1 49 act. to whom is is they are ad- dressed grow too. the force of the originals in these their effigies. Symbolic of bodily action. . he charm of the thing to consist.INCARNATIONS. If such be the force of the charm acting . is felt A whole drama takes place in them. indeed the height of inartistic art its very uncouthness has a certain grace. done by a true magician. the beings real. the grace of the ungraceful masterfully done. telephone. produce an effect weird in the extreme. signs. has yet. 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. Like a talk at a heard conjures inaudible. of the it For it . think. It is not pleasing in itself. the half that up of itself the half that And You their uncanniness clothes these conjurings with the character of the supernatural. 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. in energetic rhythm. About them there ness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. piously anticipating that event. and was the banquet offered the god. The trance. No picture was hung in the recess. and shall Hakkai San. Purification prayers and purification songs tnisogi no harai. the rokkon shojo no and the fiakatomi no harai — were duly intoned. — the harai. spirit of because otherwise the leading All five were clad in the company.156 OCCULT JAPAN-. as has been said. shrine was The so the simplest possible. or 0-yama-zumi-no-mikoto. 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. were as yet ascensionless. all members of the Five Cardinal Virtues Pilgrim Club. and the pyre was not elaborate. Fukan Gyoja. . the nakaza in this case being specially active. although the greater number were simply. their Ontake ascension robes. their finances having up to date only permitted them to travel so far in fancy. There were five of them.

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

There were three persons in the company. vine audience. The three all belonged to a certain pilgrim club of which the priest was president.8 1 5 OCCUL T JAPAN. fair to it the sex. as interpreted by the Nichiren sect. va- . some sakaki. the fame of the temple has gone abroad and its holy trade has amazingly increased. For with the priest and the maiden. 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. To be Japan. a go/iei. They appeared with an extra jinrikisha carrying a Saratoga trunk of indispensables. 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. It too house. or mirror-dough. two large lumps of known as kagamimochi. The trunk rice-paste proved to contain several candles. her a mouse-like priest of a certain not un- popular temple. 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. who was about eighteen.

an elaborate and beautiful chant in keeping with his clothes. he left let the pages slowly cascade into his right. rosary. 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. be they. folded for the sake of portability into pages. each consisted piece about fifteen yards long.INCARNA TIONS. and not the women. rious I 59 other objects of bigotry and virtue. the ends only being fastened to the covers. vestments. For want of a of binding the books. and is as useful as it is artistic. to He. was the object arrayed . he faced the altar and began to pray. remained mod- estly clad in dull indigo blue. He prayed a long time. poor things. Holding them from his farther apart at the top than at the bottom. eight volumes of scripture. It was made possible by the mode scripture. 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. and ecclesiastical trappings for the priest. hand accompanying him- .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the case. Being biblical in character. it be really is a sad instance of keeping a secret too well. decidedly the most . For there is no mention them during the middle ages. 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. less is quite true that the more less formulae.1 66 OCCULT JAPAN. so they themselves say. The pure The Shintoists are so pure. that they do not need them. But they never lapsed. all the more seeming sanc- The simple . personal auxiliary rites are few and such being explained away on the score of purity. although now in insist that they were always practiced secret during Shinto's If this unfortunate unpopularity. as faithful reproductions of the prehistoric practices as is possible. In virtue of being a part of pure Shint5 they are necessarily resurrections reckless believers . The finger -charms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One doubts her an injustice. His gradual self-education would be esting to witness did it inter- not take so long. while the genuine article. he has after birth to go through a natural process of development to reach his full capabilities. 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. not made. twice in the morning and three times at night. that he was then first set in the nakazd s seat. perfect. of the laboriousness of the pro- He began practicing to be possessed is on July 17. detect the reality. very often is seems too good this to be true. at the end of August when the god It was at last . 1 85 ulous eye the To a sufficiently incredsham very rarely masquerades. Especially the case with woman. This times performance went through every day from that time on. 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. if successfully.INCARNA TIOXS.

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

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

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

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

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

The mould after is still there to shape the new tenant has crum- all that was moulded in it bled away. no be costly shrine. for it has as visibly about all it something better than these — its very . no elaborate service. 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. the pilgrim clubs. however faint. 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. the form of that vacuity reappears in the god. to For filled though vacuity left be by deity. 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. erly Japanese character.1 INCARNA TIONS. apparently alone is it 1 9 does. formal priesthood. faith. So closes my presentation of the pheno- mena of this strange possession-cult. 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.

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

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. a permanent part the real estate of the establishment. Unlike as they otherwise far -eastern are. the towels of the guests hung out innocence to dry. though their inordinate slightly tax the credit of number even Japan- ese tubability. . From for all their general shape. will shortly dispel this illusion by showof ing them to be fixtures. the stranger will take them. I. Sojourn at the inn. ing. at first blush.PILGRIMAGES AND THE PILGRIM CLUBS. how- ever. the greater part agree in displaying at the top the conventional symbol that and stampin passes for a peak. size.

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

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

Nevertheless. the country's thorough- at that season are beaded with folk their wending way to some shrine or other. 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. the yearly caravan of the to Mecca. the "way" its here being as un vividly viewed the thousand and by one other ways of the world by those who pursue them. Even Mahometan world dis- though it draw from greater tances and be invested with more pomp. at Poverty compels him to do his plodding home. 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. after all profane.196 OCCULT JAPAN. pilgrimages are more than foot-notes to its creed. does not imply so complete a habit. temporary excitements like the crusades excepted. ese is Every Japan- a pilgrim at heart. though every sumto find mer fail him actually on the march. not- Now there are three points worth . fares As it is. Probably at no time and among no people in this have pilgrimages been so popular as same nineteenth century in Japan.

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

198 OCCULT JAPAN. thus in a twofold the sense of sense wholly national. spirit is That the pilgrim only. and to put up at an inn in their neighborhood is to seem bidden to a ball. 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. they are peripatetic picnic parties. when confronted by stition : a strong popular super- Baptize it at once. just a sufficient suspicion of it to render them acceptable to the easy-going gods. they assert they first all of which to made accessible mankind. The Buddhist seems to like the early Christian. For a more mundanely merry company than one of these same pilgrim bands it would be hard to meet. Speaking profanely. we scrutinize it. — implies one important fundamental Shint5 origin. They are far more . have been. — first in and then in the sense of all. But in spite of the very catholic character of the pretension. The third peculiarity about these pilgrimtheir being in ages consists in probably the most unreligious the world. the right to such eminent domain grows closer airier and airier the idea. faintly flavored with piety.

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

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

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. its So lamentably a serious lax in paying debts it is humanity the world over. idency. these at least would hardly seem open to the charge. PIL GRIMA GES. When his have finally been discharged.1. the member receives a . which another name for the same thing. 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. When is not thus self-appointed. to two sen) a yet the month. one great charm about these clubs ever is their cheapness. Whatthe may be argued by domestically inclined generally on individuals against clubs score of expense. receipts. Besides their simplicity. 20 becoming what is called its sendaisji. appeared. fifth of amounted. the president elected is by the brethren for his piety. and the dues from two thirds of a cent to a cent and a third (one club. But for it indeed was it matter. For the initiation fee is from three to five cents (five to ten sen).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

water. The traditional ascetics are described. and was thought a particularly meritorious thing to do. But the moun- no more. In the season the huts are crowded with pilgrims. 21/ God time. thoughtintervals beaded with rest-houses at suited to the weakness of the flesh. 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 . which certainly sounds Its difficult. The parts go . indeed. A care- taker inhabits each of these hostelries and dispenses tea. merit lay in thus avoiding crushit is ing stray beetles. as having made the ascent on single-toothed clogs. cakes. climbers. If to protect her while she was asleep.. but that she could look after herself in the day- the costume seem somewhat destitute- of comfort. and other fare to the exhausted. PIL GRIMA GES. 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. tain said. the mountain itself is not. besides providing futon and such-like necessaries for spending the night.

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

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

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

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

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

foreigners. 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. 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. honorary members not distinguished For the Ontake pilgrim clubs are the only clubs in the world are. Other-world work patible with hard is 229 apparently quite comin this. Thus. find his you apply for a sitting you will time taken up ahead in a way to suggest more earthly ular trade. whose not naval not officers. but gods. He then comes in for a series of possession engagements. . princely figureheads.PILGRIMAGES. the nakaza begin as soon as ever the monthly business accounts are settled. if Indeed. 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. humble though their active mem- bers be.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and sanctify short. not be- cause they are permanently god.THE GOHEI. for one of the purification kind. The little that we know is at any of the evolution of the gohei will help explain what supposed to take place. 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. For the gohei is the direct de- scendant of the hempen cloth hung on the . 237 act inclose the place of the god's descent it to his brief is habiting. all Last but most imclenched in the hands these vicarious emblems of is that which called of the possessed during the possession trance. and amid the portant of deity is paddy-fields. with in the mart. In wherever a gohei it hung up you may know To wand. on the mountain-top. Its name signifies cloth. gohei meaning august cloth or present. They they are the god's body. but because may become his embodiment moment. 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.

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

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

so that one worshiper bids the other would strictly clear. is not J ping times upon one and the same god. in an occult sense. it is not their looks which the locusts do not disposition. is the god's . they appear do as effective police duty in frightening off insects as those about the temple do in frightening off imps. especially when their worshipers are on intimate terms with them. farmer.240 OCCULT JAPAN. those pests of the paddy-field They are scarecrows. like. 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. usually an albino. I merely suggest it here as a problem in higher esoterics. or rather scare-locusts. still have him But such complications conall front the too curious in theories of an- thropomorphic gods. to judge from their general to employment. but their And. him be gone while stay. 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. These are divine scarecrows. however. 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,

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. and then. they permitted these people. a concession which must speedily have induced complete oblivion that the cult had ever been a gift . believing Were matter I I merely making an argument should here rest this in the my case. 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. as I it is But an exposition on which I am engaged. go on to some more facts.THE GOHEL than its 249 predecessor. their proselytes' bol. to cap the climax to their kind self-effacement. Next. they actually adopted this. First. once taught. . And they ask the world to credit the account. all in the same line. for exclusive symthen use themselves. to substitute their own sacred symbol preme itself as conjurer in the su- act. One does not know whether tale. the conof vincing character of bit evidence alone rendering any other superfluous.

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

the account gradually assumes consistency. as a matter of courtesy. d. Then having got primeval chaos into somemos. 251 So much evidence of shall suffice here for the acts. d. III. of a far-oriental kind. were. the one in a. thing approaching order. mute But language has a word or two to say on the subject which. of much the same facts and fictions about the national past. till at last it becomes substantially history. Compiled. are the oldest written records of the Japanese people. it may be well to admit. the other they together constitute the Shinto being different gospels. 720. 712. And first in the way of records. As it begins with gods and ends with is men. as it bible. though exactly how and even it inexactly when.THE GOHEI. Many of the fictions are doubtless founded on fact. in a. 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. The Kojiki and the Nihonshoki. the evolution not of the strictly sci- . itself would outwit mythology is to state. known also as the Nihongi.

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

and Heavenly Small Roof August Thing made repetihis . Susunao.M'gM'&t gohei in his hand. 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. I think. and dark blue and white goJiei to the lowest. The displeasure of peculiarly distressing Sun .Goddess was the company of itself heaven. is This rude individual first recorded instance of the enfant is terrible. to express the fact. eight-sided looking-glass to the middle ones. as given in the Kojiki. because her withdrawal of plunged them into utter darkness.THE GOMEL The first made took 253 is incarnation of which mention place in the purely heavenly half of the history. or the Impetuous Male. They accordingly set about concocting a scheme to lure her out. the execution of which. Then Augustness Jewel August Thing took an z. and not unhappily named. He the to was subsequently banished to the moon for his improprieties. 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. at the time alone lived in the land.

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

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

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

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

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

was to 259 have been a pious much off grieved at the Emperor's for sudden taking word. she caused him to play upon the august harp. Nakatomi. doubting the divine to and resolved. know about those jewels. Empress. saying ' : The god it ? that spake on a former day to the Emperor. saying" — first what abode was. and calling Nakatomi-on-ikatsu. a resolve she carried out as follows : " Choosing a lucky day. gave instructions conquering Korea. the August At- made him the inquirer of the god {saniwa to sii). instructing him . and then. and then what in was his name. what god was I would fain know his name. and besought the god.' Then when seven days and seven his nights had passed the god answered. for reply to further questionings of the saniwa.THE GO HE I. which had been his object from the beginning. and . 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. Whereupon he placed tendant. who seems person. woman-like. she a thousand cloths and rich cloths upon the top and bottom of the harp. The Empress being a very devout body. shrine and naritamo).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and then how exhaustive. Scientifically pessimism is foolishness and impersonality a stage in de- velopment from which we are emerging. . the proof that this divine possession cult purely Shinto. It way the seal of their pains me to prick this Bud- dhist bubble. Emotionally its tenets do not flirt bottom satisfy us occidentals. and that is all the Buddhists have done to set upon it in the most conclusive appreciation. but positively faulty becomes when it leads to practical ignoring of the mine and thine. not one into which we shall ever relapse.THE GOMEL Thus we see. and does other people harm. its As a dogma it is unfortunate. soap. first. we may. it Passivity is not our pas- preach as we are prone to do each to his neighbor. men. as with them sion. 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. is is 269 how crucial. doing devotee in it the deeper sense no good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

with a Hke absence of intention in the process. of To a great extent the wife merges her opinions. which is tantamount to praising her for being a woman. his intellectual property. As a small doubtless. turns out but exponent of the change that follows it. in them as naturally as his all centres in himself. becomes hers. A woman way lives for and in her off- spring in a quite impossible for a man. as A father may care thought centres much for his children. For in her it the action is neither noble nor ignoble. thought in her the maiden takes so kindly.282 OCCULT JAPAN. acquires his dislikes. to these acquisitions. simply is. in short. self-obliteration as mother. her material property became She shows the same his. . It is also simply normal that man should appear a very selfish animal by comparison. 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. but he cannot sink his own personality in Her theirs as a mother may and does. self in her husband's. offset. She adopts his interests. echoes his In the usual case. Man praises her for it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

with costume. The action may be toe. 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. are at large on 289 hypnotized subject can be induced to adopt its streets. . Hypnotoidal imitation these people.NOUMENA. are said to begin. 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. same motive. to Customs. undergoing the same foreign-motived transmogrification. Susceptibility to suggestion lies at the root of the race. Nor do the it other subjects see anything ludicrous in all. as the western world the operator now. then. unreasoned rewhence . but by no means from top itation to stop. worn in the two cases from the sponse to stimulus from without the irrationality of the result.

from the earliest ages down present day. In a simple society that favored the idea. . the visitant has boldly pro- claimed himself a god . in these latter days. or disembodied spirit — embodits ied spirits being apparently less eager to leave their quarters. character. finally. varied with singular complacency sons it to suit the opinions of the per- possessed. 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. The character of the possess- ing spirit has. oust another and act in sessing self The dispos- has been variously deemed a deity. in communities where gant. and others. with being the spirit of an Indian brave or other worthy too insignificant to dispute. devil. however. III. instances cropping up all over the to the world. goblins. this assumption was considered arro- he has contented himself with the more modest role of devil while. but from prehistoric times that men have actually be- one self its could stead. he has been fain to put up .290 OCCULT JAPAN.

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

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

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

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

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

more or unwittingly. no one may be hypnotized against so in all cases the subject really hypnotizes himself. to less do The greater the natural aptitude of the subject. "his prentice hand" he tries on woman.296 than OCCULT JAPAN. 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. Indeed." not " man. the less the art necessary in the operator. much as may be the latter's The tyro of an hypnotist thus the man . Woman's superior capacity for being pos- sessed shows itself even among the Japanese." because thus he stands the greater chance of succeeding. is made unconsciously to own suppression. men. The this. To get the best experiments. therefore. unlike the original crea- it. whose experiments are and every tyro sonality tor of " really to the point in this art of recreating per- knows that. art of the operator simply consists in getting him. . 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. inate as we is should elimskill.

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

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

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

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

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

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. Nor will I yet say that we are not so. find myself left grasping a palpable idea. Further yet. therefore. in these will- less yet conscious times. we are quite aware Will. and would necessarily. or a mere dynamic outcome of the idea. it is Whatever will dependent for its existence in con- sciousness upon the existence of ideas. . think to have I closed upon that elusive force. ideas we are never conscious of will without ideas. not. be. the will.302 of OCCULT JAPAN. This is palpably instanced every day of our of lives. there- of ourselves as being ourselves. it would in either case be determined from within free. seem But we may go further. For we are constantly conscious without will . 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. Yet we call ourselves conscious of the autonomy of our will.

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

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

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

little for our own that at times we ing feel conscientious scruples about claimit. only of hearing this but of Jicaring afterwards acoustic aura faded out. to us fringed. which mistook. almost in those. and the in- . 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. concomitant details in which its the foreign idea comes setting in short. the epigram. they sometimes have little or none. not . Such self-abnegation fortunately. and we insensibly took for one of own. For an assumption of probability induces us instantly to appropriate it whatever has not upon another. For though our own differ- thoughts come to us as a rule quite ently fringed by a halo of their own. At the time own selfwe heard so sadly we subsequently conscious it we were it. is rare. perhaps. that gram had been previously Another's seal consists by Jones. and thereit fore when the our idea reappeared bore no it identifying tag. grin than to ledge. This differs entirely from the setting that surrounds our suggested thoughts.306 ognized so OCCULT JAPAN. often indescribable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

then. to him. 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. lay where ." too But this idea instantly suggested the inadof visability doing so. is. For to catch it stationary.'* he was.. he never got up at the first thing he knew. namely. the world too cold. by its very nature. morning. before there no longer popped up again. he was up. had started him. as one thinks about ipso facto. Introspection will soon yield any one . into a He had fallen revery upon the day's doings. the thought of thinking. impossible. The bed was So he all cosy. . countless instances of the same thing it but is introspection of the second order of difficulty. the thought came "I must get up. and at that lucky it could start objection. engaged upon a different thought. did he ever get up . his thinking. So soon he is. How. Consciously. 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. 3 14 OCCUL T JAPAN. lie when suddenly the idea that he must instant.

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

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

personal as an idea seems to be in its manifestation. such association turns out to be purely fortuitous. only the inevin itable dissipation of its energy the form of fatigue or general bodily excitement. 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. act with even more wit- than normal energy. For. There are grees of such inter-individual action. 317 As one other. 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. and the circle be complete. from the most partial persuasion to the most complete control. no less apparent. VII.NOUMENA. The impersonality of on scrutiny. Some motion happens were it inev- itably in every case. Its most startling examples are afforded by hypnotic subjects. But the same effect. less extravagantly accomplished. who. a person will . So much the action. for the inevitable character of it is. at a word from the operator. Not only in the is an idea competent quite alone to himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

off and say nothing. the world it could over. rushes from behind the counter. Instances of this in more complicated form are to be met with. and to his surprise. into a jinrikisha as in a hurry. turns. Five to two goes your man a dog-trot for a couple of hundred yards then he suddenly slackens. it. of course. go .324 to be OCCULT taken. and gets a couple of steps . 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. self- Indeed. His first idea had instantly translated itself into action before wake a second thought. that it sounds supererogatory to of the treaty ports if chronicle in Japan. did the idea strike be taken. out of the door. inquires to where you wish his destination. this seems so evident a preliminary to driving you any- where at all. the afterthought of whither had not occurred to him. though not yours. JAPA/V. But attempt the same thing At any jump at . stops. 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.

The one should be a good counterfeit presentment of the other . when she suddenly throws back her head.. To carry . For the the essence of successful deceit lies in apparent truthfulness of the false. But he for all will find some in slight of compensation he may be eased by noting the Providence. 325 stops. and the idea had passed into the act before the rest of the brain was roused to inhibit the impulse. inadequate manner which doubtless with an eye to humor. down the sidewalk. otherwise it is useless. 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. has fitted these folk to such god-given avocation. a kind Providence having pro- vided strangers for that special purpose. NOUMENA. 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.

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

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

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

NOUMENA. another in cat. signify " fond of rats. from such antipodal the very dry desert of thought being occasionally relieved by unintentional The commentators give us oases of humor. of a personal nature." 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. a by a kind of protoplasmic fission and subsequent amalgamation from the first syllables of neziimi konomo. shall soon be given plenty of instances of this proclivity. have a foreign native idea act with the imperative instancy observable in Japan argues a to dispute it dearth of incumbents possession." which is much as if one should assert " poet " to have been etymology. You Indeed. all seriousness derives neko. words which translated. 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 . . point of view 329 Far-oriental treatises read ex- cellently well in spots. was comic. this sincerest kind of flattery eventually grows just a trifle flat from mere excess of .

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

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

now come to a consideration of the To this sleep and dreams may make word of introduction. There life of is is a curious rhythm in our conscious which both the occasion and the cause cosmic. made up is whose conditioning emphatically of the earth. Our spiritual life. It is in- deed worth noting. in contradisis tinction to our bodily existence. He inherits with the rest of his constitution. fashioned the forms. of disconnected bits. In Japan the very babies are unconscionably good. 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. earthy. 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 . shows fore long-continued habit can have seal set its it upon the man himself. people there is Among It this stately less activity of mind needing itself be- constantly to be curbed. that our minds should thus in a sense bodies.332 OCCULT JAPAN.

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

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

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

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

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

idea exists it For where only one for It must inevitably seem true contradiction. For dream inconsequence too really means absolute ideal consequence. is For it our side-thoughts that cause us to upon our leading ones. and only the next. to recognize are. That we believe everything that comes along. a la lobster. This makes us fall easy dupes to the deception. rouse in the same way such simple dream them trains that. and see nothing odd in so doing. destitute of their accustomed fringe. As we get nearer . want is of possible simply till it is contradicted.338 OCCULT japan: result is The tion. 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. shows that side considerations are not roused. Purely sensa- tional starting-points. Each idea fires the next. with the usual monomaniacal result. for the In dreams comment we are moment men of one idea. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

345 to the For though he responds if hypnotist as to do so. His seem merely the effect of moimpressed from without as if the mentum hypnotist had given his mental machinery a . dis- and whose impetus had then been This gradually dissipated by the friction of the parts. What . bulists His action kin to the somnam- who walk on ridge-poles and the edges of precipices without fear and without falling. the suggestion And the hint needed to start him is at times inconceivably slight. He own. the at hypnotic subject does so of another. his he had been simply waiting immediate response made. only that whereas the sleepof walker does so his own motion. 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. phase of it. but not by conscious man. momentum gone. shove which had carried him a certain tance. What he state. he becomes as before — inert. possesses apparently no initiative of his While the foreign momentum ized in lasts he acts with a perfection of performance real- some machines. he sinks back once action would more into passivity.

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

NOUMENA. in all activity those cells ceases. in from outward stimulus. whole brain to the which is logical since apparently only these cells that are vibrating at the moment. remains Furthermore. not initial potential some are nearer the activity point than others. the enforced inaction or induced tiring of the brain cells in action at the time of lapsing into unconsciousness. being inactive already off and being shut inert. Now till if all the cells were at the same potential. this state of lethargy would at the continue the whole brain eventually all woke same up. But the cells are . 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 . By 347 the trance state seems most explicable as follows. while the rest of the brain. the stopping of action cells acting at the the time seems to bring the dead-point it is . 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. After the stoppage a time is necessary to raise the potential to the point of overcoming the inertia.

passes over first. Thus it is the idea which the subject carries with him into the trance that becomes the dominant is idea of the trance itself. it poses himself for the trance. That the mere idea is is all should be is present to the person sary. 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. 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. 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. 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 . when he It is shall have lapsed into the not necessary that this impres. The . that neces- Now such idea the last poignant idea in the subject's mind before he comConsequently.348 hypnotic OCCULT JAPAN. trance are probably due. sion should reach the level of full belief a is bare fear that he may be thus controlled of it enough. as the whole potential rises.

other things equal. for beyond even the oper- ator's power. train of Less force motion. they would be in normal all 349 these secondary ones as easily stirred by the first as life. 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. 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. but impossible to get him to do things which are abhorrent to it. is necessary to is set them in Not only it the subject's in action under a suggested idea is keeping with his character.NOUMENA. The In brain cells are abnormally torpid. as it is the ramifying side-thoughts that parison possible * make comjudgment. consequence. and. To is induce a subject who is not essentially depraved to example. In- the performance of a suggested idea that conflicts with the subject's deed. . practically commit murder. the grooves of temperament are followed by the thought.

suddenly found himself in bed. the politician. the burglar. 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. which he proceeded off of his in to do mechanically.changing crowd of other thoughts. have parallels to We such semi-spontaneity of action of an habitual idea in every-day In a preoccupied state of mind we life. engage upon some act only do. amid the ever . default had run then itself and fatally done the habitual thing. late I we started to knew a man and gone up* who.350 OCCULT JAPAN. 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. are alive to actions related to their quest which to other . but to wake to find ourselves doing not the thing the habitual one. clothes had started the machinery. It paralleled in waking by the exceeding sensitiveness of any acute The idea to anything connected with itself. The preparatory taking of supervision. which. having come home stairs to dress for a ball. lover.

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

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

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

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

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

from meeting little or no opposition. and when once introduced in the premises. no idea is admitted at all unless per- sonally related to the possessing idea. in that practically it. In the perfectly hypnotized person. on the other fancy. unless some fixed idea chance for the time partially to have closed the avenues of approach. not curiously open. the mind lies open to all comers. quietly and then after admission chokes such as on inspection it does not happen to In the entranced state. but in its dififer 363 from the to in the mind's being first one is tempted being curiously shut. as at think. hand. incoming ideas as all v^^ell as sen- sations. all-powerful.NOUMENA. is permitted full play Whatever thus gains admittance through the dominant idea is. of whom it eagerly welcomes. in the normal state. taneous and complete action. Both entranced states thus normal condition. There it nothing but to act. the slightest hint from the operator produces instanFor. For. therefore. 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.

however.364 visitor does sult. must do so and so In waking itself in life. 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. faint side-ideas as are roused by But in the possession trance the dominant idea consists consciously in a change of iden- . OCCULT JAPAN. identity changes at once. yet it without questioning for an instant that is we who faint act. The subject then becomes dimly of compulsion. without. often in a very way. When by suggestion an idea of such change enters his mind. and he does a fixed idea will often the same manner. simply feels that he it. In perfect subjects there ness of constraint. because not a part of the dominant idea that it should. and the remonstrance of which we are conis scious due to such its action. We feel mask that we must trivial act in a certain way. any hesitation or difficulty re- But the man's sense of his it is own iden- tity does not change. against our will. as we say. As a matter of fact. He . hav- ing any definite conception of what that compulsion consists. it is the idea that for the moment is the I .

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

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

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

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

Believers grade them after the ethics of the possessing . particularly pure as the latter than between the sitter and the informing to spirit. 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. merely the master of ceremonies before In this he differs again from a person has a sitting with a is who trance-medium. and who There is. not supposed to open his mouth except his upon own business. too openly. But the maesa does not actions. a pin-cushion of him. unlike The maeza thus. 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. but it. the operator in the hypnotic trance. the a greater gulf between the god and is. 369 making. but the responsible for the replies. We and all now come others. The god is maesa usually is starts the topic. not the power behind the throne. or otherwise treating him with what he took for disrespect.NOUMENA. maesa. however.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 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. less They are in much Japan Jap- marked between man and man folk. but they are numerous and diverse proportion to the height the individual development has attained. Thus in idiosyncracies are a necessa''y part of us. these his ancestors were gods in the past. If if ever there was one.NOUMENA. to that these gods really are what they claim to be. .. than among Ar}-an The average anese more nearly approaches his own national norm. This lands us in our investigation at an \<\X. The man once more his own grandfather. unexpected conclusion.

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