Home > Full text of "Myths & legends of Japan"

Full text of "Myths & legends of Japan"


handle this volume

with care.

The University of Connecticut
Libraries, Storrs

» » » " »�� » » » » » ^

BOOK 398.0952.D292M c 1



3 T1S3 OOlSMDOfl b ^^'




The Lovers who exchanged Fans.
(See page 24 5 j













Printed by



Tavistock Street Covent Gardek



IN writing Myths and Legends of 'Japan I have
been much indebted to numerous authorities on
Japanese subjects, and most especially to Lafcadio
Hearn, who first revealed to me the Land of the Gods.
It is impossible to enumerate all the writers who have
assisted me in preparing this volume. I have borrowed
from their work as persistently as Japan has borrowed
from other countries, and I sincerely hope that, like
Japan herself, I have made good use of the material 1
have obtained from so many sources.

I am indebted to Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain
for placing his work at my disposal, and I have found
his encyclopaedic volume, Things Japanese^ his transla-
tion of the Kojikiy his Murray's Hand-book for Japan (in
collaboration with W. B. Mason), and his Japanese
Poetry^ of great value. I thank the Executors of the
late Dr. W. G. Aston for permission to quote from
this learned authority's work. I have made use of his
translation of the Nihongi {Transactions of the Japan
Society, 1896) and have gathered much useful material
from A History of Japanese Literature. I am indebted
to Mr. F. Victor Dickins for allowing me to make use
of his translation of the Taf^tori Monogatari and the
Hd-p-ki. My friend Mrs. C. M. Salwey has taken a
sympathetic interest in my work, which has been
invaluable to me. Her book. Fans of Japan, has
supplied me with an exquisite legend, and many of her
articles have yielded a rich harvest. I warmly thank
Mr. Yone Noguchi for allowing me to quote from his
poetry, and also Miss Clara A. Walsh for so kindly
putting at my disposal her fascinating volume. The
Master-Singers of Japan, published by Mr. John Murray
in the " Wisdom of the East " series. My thanks are




due to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin Company, for allowing
me to quote from Lafcadio Hearn's Glimpses oj
Unfamiliar Japan and The Japanese Letters of Lafcadio
Hearn ; to Messrs. George Allen & Sons, for giving me
permission to quote from Sir F. T. Piggott's Garden of
Japan ; to the Editor of the Academy^ for permitting me
to reprint my article on " Japanese Poetry," and to
Messrs. Cassell and Co. Ltd., for allowing me to
reproduce " The Garden of Japan," which I originally
contributed to Cassell' s Magazine. The works of Dr.
William Anderson, Sir Ernest Satow, Lord Redesdale,
Madame Ozaki, Mr. R. Gordon Smith, Captain
F. Brinkley, the late Rev. Arthur Lloyd, Mr. Henri
L. Joly, Mr. K. Okakura, the Rev. W. E. Griffis,
and others, have been of immense value to me, and in
addition I very warmly thank all those writers I have
left unnamed, through want of space, whose works have
assisted me in the preparation of this volume.



Introduction xi

I. The Period of the Gods 2i

II. Heroes and Warriors 38

III. The Bamboo-cutter and the Moon-maiden 65

IV. Buddha Legends 80
* V. Fox Legends 93

VI. Jizo, the God of Children 104

VII. Legend in Japanese Art ii2

VIII. The Star Lovers and the Robe of Feathers 126

IX. Legends of Mount Fuji 130

X. Bells 140

XI. Yuki-onna, the Lady of the Snow 149

XII. Flowers and Gardens 154

XIII. Trees 174

XIV. Mirrors 190
XV. KwANNON and Benten. Daikoku, Ebisu, and


\XVI. Dolls and Butterflies 214

XVII. Festivals 220

XVIII. The Peony-lantern 228

XIX. KoBo Daishi, Nichiren, and Shodo Shonin 234

XX. Fans 243

XXI. Thunder 250




��""^-XXII. Animal Legends 255

XXIII. Bird and Insect Legends 276

XXIV. Concerning Tea 290
XXV. Legends of the Weird 300

(^XVI?)rrHREK Maidens 313

XXVII. Legends of the Sea 323

XXVIII. Superstitions 342

XXIX. Supernatural Beings 350

XXX. The Transformation of Issunboshi and Kin-

taro, The Golden Boy 364

XXXI, Miscellaneous Legends 370
A Note on Japanese Poetry 380
Gods and Goddesses 387
Genealogy of the Age of the Gods 393
Bibliography 397
Index of Poetical Quotations 402
Glossary and Index 403

VI 11



The Lovers who exchanged Fans Frontispiece

Uzume awakens the Curiosity of Ama-terasu 28

Susa-no-o and Kushi-nada-hime 3��

Hoori and the Sea God's Daughter 34

Yorimasa slays the Vampire 38
Yorimasa and Benkei attacked by a ghostly company of the

Taira Clan 42

Raiko and the Enchanted Maiden 4^

Raiko slays the Goblin of Oyeyama 5��

Prince Yamato and Takeru 52

Momotaro and the Pheasant 5^

Hidesato and the Centipede ^2

The Moonfolk demand the Lady Kaguya 7^

Buddha and the Dragon 80

The Mikado and the Jewel Maiden 9^

Jizo 108

A Kakemono Ghost 124

Sengen, the Goddess of Mount Fuji 134

Visu on Mount Fuji-Yama 138

Kiyo and the Priest 146

Yuki-Onna, the Lady of the Snow 150

Shing6 and Yoshisawa by the Violet Well 166

Matsu rescues Teoj'o 188

Shinzaburo recognised Tsuyu and her maid Yone 228

The Jelly-Fish and the Monkey 272

The Firefly Battle 286

H5'ichi-the- Earless 304

The Maiden of Unai 314

Urashima and the Sea King's Daughter 326

Tokoyo and the Sea Serpent 334

The Kappa and his Victim 350

Kato Sayemon in his Palace ot the Shogun Ashikaga 370

Totaro and Samebito 376


PIERRE LOTI in Madame ChrysantMme, Gilbert
and Sullivan in The Mikado, and Sir Edwin
Arnold in Seas and Lands, gave us the im-
pression that Japan was a real fairyland in the Far East.
We were delighted with the prettiness and quaintness
of that country, and still more with the prettiness and
quaintness of the Japanese people. We laughed at
their topsyturvy ways, regarded the Japanese woman,
in her rich-coloured kimono, as altogether charming and
fascinating, and had a vague notion that the principal
features of Nippon were the tea-houses, cherry-blossom,
and geisha. Twenty years ago we did not take Japan
very seriously. We still listen to the melodious music
of The Mikado, but now we no longer regard Japan as
a sort of glorified willow-pattern plate. The Land of
the Rising Sun has become the Land of the Risen Sun,
for we have learnt that her quaintness and prettiness,
her fairy-like manners and customs, were but the outer
signs of a great and progressive nation. To-day we
recognise Japan as a power in the East, and her victory
over the Russian has made her army and navy famous
throughout the world.

The Japanese have always been an imitative nation,
quick to absorb and utilise the religion, art, and social
life of China, and, having set their own national seal
upon what they have borrowed from the Celestial
Kingdom, to look elsewhere for material that should
strengthen and advance their position. This imitative
quality is one of Japan's most marked characteristics.
She has ever been loath to impart information to others,
but ready at all times to gain access to any form of
knowledge likely to make for her advancement. In
the fourteenth century Kenko wrote in his Tsure-dzure-



gusa : " Nothing opens one's eyes so much as travel,
no matter where," and the twentieth-century Japanese
has put this excellent advice into practice. He has
travelled far and wide, and has made good use of his
varied observations. Japan's power of imitation
amounts to genius. East and West have contributed to
her greatness, and it is a matter of surprise to many of
us that a country so long isolated and for so many years
bound by feudalism should, within a comparatively short
space of time, master our Western system of warfare, as
well as many of our ethical and social ideas, and become
a great world-power. But Japan's success has not been
due entirely to clever imitation, neither has her place
among the foremost nations been accomplished with such
meteor-like rapidity as some would have us suppose.

We hear a good deal about the New Japan to-day,
and are too prone to forget the significance of the Old
upon which the present regime has been founded.
Japan learnt from England, Germany and America all
the tactics of modern warfare. She established an
efficient army and navy on Western lines ; but it must
be remembered that Japan's great heroes of to-day,
Togo and Gyama, still have in their veins something of
the old samurai spirit, still reflect through their
modernity something of the meaning of Bushido. The
Japanese character is still Japanese and not Western.
Her greatness is to be found in her patriotism, in her
loyalty and whole-hearted love of her country.
Shintoism has taught her to revere the mighty dead ;
Buddhism, besides adding to her religious ideals, has
contributed to her literature and art, and Christianity
has had its effect in introducing all manner of beneficent
social reforms.

There are many conflicting theories in regard to the
racial origin of the Japanese people, and we have no


definite knowledge on the subject. \The first inhabitants
of Japan were probably the Ainu, an Aryan people who
possibly came from North-Eastern Asia at a time when
the distance separating the Islands from the mainland
was not so great as it is to-day. The Ainu were
followed by two distinct Mongol invasions, and these
invaders had no difficulty in subduing their predecessors ;
but in course of time the Mongols were driven north-
ward by Malays from the Philippines. " By the year
A.D. 500 the Ainu, the Mongol, and the Malay elements
in the population had become one nation by much the
same process as took place in England after the Norman
Conquest. To the national characteristics it may be
inferred that the Ainu contributed the power of
resistance, the Mongol the intellectual qualities, and the
Malay that handiness and adaptability which are the
heritage of sailor-men." 1 Such authorities as Baelz
and Rein are of the opinion that the Japanese are
Mongols, and although they have intermarried with
the Ainu, " the two nations," writes Professor
B. H. Chamberlain, " are as distinct as the whites and
reds in North America." In spite of the fact that the
Ainu is looked down upon in Japan, and regarded as a
hairy aboriginal of interest to the anthropologist and
the showman, a poor despised creature, who worships
the bear as the emblem of strength and fierceness, he
has, nevertheless, left his mark upon Japan. Fuji was
possibly a corruption of Huchi, or Fuchi, the Ainu
Goddess of Fire, and there is no doubt that these
aborigines originated a vast number of geographical
names, particularly in the north of the main island, that
are recognisable to this day. We can also trace Ainu
influence in regard to certain Japanese superstitions, such
as the belief in the Kappa^ or river monster.

i The Full T^ecognition ofjapatiy by Robert P. Porter.


The Chinese called Japan Jih-pen, " the place the
sun comes from," because the archipelago was situated
on the east of their own kingdom, and our word Japan
and Nippon are corruptions of Jih-pen. Marco Polo
called the country Zipangu, and one ancient name
describes it as " The-Luxuriant-Reed-Plains-the-land-
Five-Hundred- Autumns." We are not surprised to
find that such a very lengthy and descriptive title is not
used by the Japanese to-day ; but it is of interest to
know that the old word for Japan, Yamato, is still
frequently employed, Yamato Damashii signifying "The
Spirit of Unconquerable Japan." Then, again, we still
hear Japan referred to as The Island of the Dragon-fly.
We are told in the old Japanese Chronicles that the
Emperor, in 630 B.C., ascended a hill called Waki Kamu
no Hatsuma, from which he was able to view the land
on all sides. He was much impressed by the beauty of
the country, and said that it resembled "a dragon-fly
licking its hinder parts," and the Island received the
name of Akitsu-Shima ("Island of the Dragon-fly ").

The Kojiki, or " Records of Ancient Matters," com-
pleted A.D. 712, deals with the early traditions of the
Japanese race, commencing with the myths, the basis of
Shintoism, and gradually becoming more historical until
it terminates in a.d. 628. Dr. W. G. Aston writes in
A History of Japanese Literature : " The Kojiki, however
valuable it may be for research into the mythology, the
manners, the language, and the legends of early Japan,
is a very poor production, whether we consider it as
literature or as a record of facts. As history it cannot
be compared with the Nihongi,^ a contemporary work

1 Chronicles of Japan, completed a.d. 720, deals, in an interesting
manner, with the myths, legends, poetry and history from the earliest
times down to a.d. 697.


In Chinese ; while the language is a strange mixture of
Chinese and Japanese, which there has been little
attempt to endue with artistic quality. The circum-
stances under which it was composed are a partial
explanation of the very curious style in which it is
written. We are told that a man named Yasumaro,
learned in Chinese, took it down from the lips of a
certain Hiyeda no Are, who had such a wonderful
memory that he 'could repeat with his mouth whatever
was placed before his eyes, and record in his heart
whatever struck his ears.' " It is possible that Hiyeda
no Are was one of the Kataribe or " Reciters," whose
duty it was to recite "ancient words" before the
Mikado at the Court ot Nara on certain State occasions.
The Kojiki and the Nihongi are the sources from
which we learn the early myths and legends of Japan.
In their pages we are introduced to Izanagi and
Izanami, Ama-terasu, Susa-no-o, and numerous other
divinities, and these august beings provide us with
stories that are quaint, beautiful, quasi-humorous, and
sometimes a little horrible. What could be more naive
than the love-making of Izanagi and Izanami, who con-
ceived the idea of marrying each other after seeing the
mating of two wagtails ? In this ancient myth we
trace the ascendency of the male over the female, an
ascendency maintained in Japan until recent times,
fostered, no doubt, by Kaibara's Onna Daigaku^ " The
Greater Learning for Women." But in the protracted
quarrel between the Sun Goddess and her brother, the
Impetuous Male, the old chroniclers lay emphasis upon
the villainy of Susa-no-o ; and Ama-terasu, a curious
mingling of the divine and the feminine, is portrayed
as an ideal type of Goddess. She is revealed
preparing for warfare, making fortifications by
stamping upon the ground, and she is also depicted


peeping out of her rock-cavern and gazing in the
w Sacred Mirror. Ama-terasu is the central figure in
Japanese mythology, for it is from the Sun Goddess
that the Mikados are descended. In the cycle of
legends known as the Period of the Gods, we are
introduced to the Sacred Treasures, we discover the
origin of the Japanese dance, and in imagination
wander through the High Plain of Heaven, set foot
upon the Floating Bridge, enter the Central Land of
Reed-Plains, peep into the Land of Yomi, and follow
Prince Fire-Fade into the Palace of the Sea King.

Early heroes and warriors are always regarded as
minor divinities, and the very nature of Shintoism,
associated with ancestor worship, has enriched those of
Japan with many a fascinating legend. For strength,
skill, endurance, and a happy knack of overcoming all
manner of difficulties by a subtle form of quick-witted
enterprise, the Japanese hero must necessarily take a
high position among the famous warriors of other
countries. There is something eminently chivalrous
about the heroes of Japan that calls for special notice.
The most valiant men are those who champion the
cause of the weak or redress evil and tyranny of every
kind, and we trace in the Japanese hero, who is very far
from being a crude swashbuckler, these most excellent
qualities. He is not always above criticism, and
sometimes we find in him a touch of cunning, but such
a characteristic is extremely rare, and very far from
being a national trait. An innate love of poetry and
the beautiful has had its refining influence upon the
Japanese hero, with the result that his strength is com-
bined with gentleness.

Benkei is one of the most lovable of Japanese heroes.
He possessed the strength of many men, his tact
amounted to genius, his sense of humour was strongly


developed, and the most loving of Japanese mothers
could not have shown more gentleness when his
master's wife gave birth to a child. When Yoshitsune
and Benkei, at the head of the Minamoto host, had
finally vanquished the Taira at the sea-fight of Dan-
no-ura, their success awakened the jealousy of the
Shogun, and the two great warriors were forced to fly the
country. We follow them across the sea, over moun-
tains, outwitting again and again their numerous
enemies. At Matsue a great army was sent out
against these unfortunate warriors. Camp-fires
stretched in a glittering line about the last resting-place
of Yoshitsune and Benkei. In an apartment were
Yoshitsune with his wife and little child. Death stood
in the room, too, and it was better that Death should
come at the order of Yoshitsune than at the command
of the enemy without the gate. His child was killed
by an attendant, and, holding his beloved wife's head
under his left arm, he plunged his sword deep into her
throat. Having accomplished these things, Yoshitsune
committed hara-kiri. Benkei, however, faced the
enemy. He stood with his great legs apart, his back
pressed against a rock. When the dawn came he was
still standing with his legs apart, a thousand arrows in
that brave body of his. Benkei was dead, but his was
a death too strong to fall. The sun shone on a man
who was a true hero, who had ever made good his
words : '* Where my lord goes, to victory or to death,
I shall follow him."

Japan is a mountainous country, and in such
countries we expect to find a race of hardy, brave men,
and certainly the Land of the Rising Sun has given us
many a warrior worthy to rank with the Knights of
King Arthur. More than one legend deals with the
destruction of devils and goblins, and of the rescue of



maidens who had the misfortune to be their captives.
One hero slays a great monster that crouched upon the
roof of the Emperor's palace, another despatches the
Goblin of Oyeyama, another thrusts his sword through
a gigantic spider, and another slays a serpent. All the
Japanese heroes, whatever enterprise they may be
engaged in, reveal the spirit of high adventure, and
that loyalty of purpose, that cool disregard for danger
and death which are still characteristic of the Japanese
people to-day.

" The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moon-Maiden "
(Chapter III) is adapted from a tenth-century story
called Taketori Monogatari^ and is the earliest example
of the Japanese romance. The author is unknown, but
he must have had an intimate knowledge of court life
in Kyoto. All the characters in this very charming
legend are Japanese, but most of the incidents have
been borrowed from China, a country so rich in
picturesque fairy-lore. Mr. F. V. Dickins writes con-
cerning the Taketori Monogatari : " The art and grace
of the story of the Lady Kaguya are native, its
unstrained pathos, its natural sweetness, are its own,
and in simple charm and purity of thought and language
it has no rival in the fiction of either the Middle
Kingdom or of the Dragon-fly Land."

In studying Japanese legend one is particularly struck
by its universality and also by its very sharp contrasts.
Most nations have deified the sun and moon, the stars
and mountains, and all the greatest works of Nature ;
but the Japanese have described the red blossoms of
azaleas as the fires of the Gods, and the white snow of
Fuji as the garments of Divine Beings. Their legend,
on the one hand at any rate, is essentially poetical, and
those who worshipped Mount Fuji also had ghostly
tales to tell about the smallest insect. Too much stress



cannot be laid upon Japan's love of Nature. The early-
myths recorded in the KoJiJ^i and Nihongi are of con-
siderable interest, but they cannot be compared with
the later legends that have given souls to trees and
flowers and butterflies, or with those pious traditions
that have revealed so tenderly and yet so forcibly the
divine sisfnificance of Nature. The Festival of the
Dead could only have originated among a people to
whom the beautiful is the mainstay and joy of life, for
that festival is nothing less than a call to the departed
dead to return to their old earthly haunts in the summer-
time, to cross green hills dotted with pine-trees, to
wander down winding ways, by lake and seashore, to
linger in old, well-loved gardens, and to pass into
homes where, without being seen, they see so much.
To the Japanese mind, to those who still preserve the
spirit of Old Yamato, the most glowing account of a
Buddhist Paradise is not so fair as Japan in the summer-

Perhaps it is as well that Japanese myth, legend,
fairy tale, and folk-lore are not exclusively poetical, or
we should be in danger of becoming satiated with too
much sweetness. It may be that we admire the arches
of a Gothic cathedral none the less for having gazed
upon the hideous gargoyles on the outside of the
sacred edifice, and in the legends of Japan we find
many grotesques in sharp contrast with the traditions
associated with the gentle and loving Jizo. There is
plenty of crude realism in Japanese legend. We are
repelled by the Thunder God's favourite repast, amazed
by the magical power of foxes and cats ; and the story of
" Hoichi-the-Earless " and of the corpse-eating priest
afford striking examples of the combination of the
weird and the horrible. In one story we laugh over
the antics of a performing kettle, and in another we are



almost moved to tears when we read about a little
Japanese quilt that murmured : " Elder Brother
probably is cold ? Nay, thou probably art cold ? "

We have had numerous volumes of Japanese fairy
tales, but hitherto no book has appeared giving a com-
prehensive study of the myths and legends of a country
so rich in quaint and beautiful traditions, and it is
hoped that the present volume, the result of much
pleasant labour, will be a real contribution to the
subject. I have made no attempt to make a complete
collection of Japanese myths and legends because their
number is legion ; but I have endeavoured to make a
judicious selection that shall at any rate be representa-
tive, and many of the stories contained in this volume
will be new to the general reader.

Lafcadio Hearn wrote in one of his letters : " The
fairy world seized my soul again, very softly and
sweetly — as a child might a butterfly," and if we too
would adopt a similar spirit, we shall journey to the
Land of the Gods, where the great Kobo Daishi will
write upon the sky and running water, upon our very
hearts, something of the glamour and magic of Old
Japan. With Kobo Daishi for guide we shall witness
the coming of Mount Fuji, wander in the Palace of the
Sea King and in the Land of Perpetual Youth, watch
the combats of mighty heroes, listen to the wisdom of
saints, cross the Celestial River on a bridge of birds,
and when we are weary nestle in the long sleeve of the
ever-smiling Jizo.




In the Beginning

WE are told that in the very beginning " Heaven
and Earth were not yet separated, and the
In and To not yet divided." This reminds
us of other cosmogony stories. The In and To, corre-
sponding to the Chinese Tang and Tin, were the male
and female principles. It was more convenient for the
old Japanese writers to imagine the coming into being
of creation in terms not very remote from their own
manner of birth. In Polynesian mythology we find
pretty much the same conception, where Rangi and Papa
represented Heaven and Earth, and further parallels
maybe found in Egyptian and other cosmogony stories.
In nearly all we find the male and female principles
taking a prominent, and after all very rational, place.
We are told in the Nihongi that these male and female
principles " formed a chaotic mass like an tgg which
was of obscurely defined limits and contained germs."
Eventually this Qgg was quickened into life, and the
purer and clearer part was drawn out and formed
Heaven, while the heavier element settled down and
became Earth, which was "compared to the floating of
a fish sporting on the surface of the water." A
mysterious form resembling a reed-shoot suddenly
appeared between Heaven and Earth, and as suddenly
became transformed into a God called Kuni-toko-tachi,
(" Land-eternal-stand-of-august-thing "). We may pass
over the other divine births until we come to the
important deities known as Izanagi and Izanami
(" Male-who-invites " and " Female-who-invites ").
About these beings has been woven an entrancing



Izanagi and Izanami

Izanagi and Izanami stood on the Floating Bridge
of Heaven and looked down into the abyss. They
inquired of each other if there were a country far, far
below the great Floating Bridge. They were determined
to find out. In order to do so they thrust down a jewel-
spear, and found the ocean. Raising the spear a little,
water dripped from it, coagulated, and became the island
of Onogoro-jima (" Spontaneously-congeal-island ").

Upon this island the two deities descended. Shortly
afterwards they desired to become husband and wife,
though as a matter of fact they were brother and sister ;
but such a relationship in the East has never precluded
marriage. These deities accordingly set up a pillar on
the island. Izanagi walked round one way, and
Izanami the other. When they met, Izanami said :
"How delightful ! I have met with a lovely youth."
One would have thought that this naive remark would
have pleased Izanagi ; but it made him extremely
angry, and he retorted : " I am a man, and by that
right should have spoken first. How is it that on the
contrary thou, a woman, shouldst have been the first to
speak ? This is unlucky. Let us go round again."
So it happened that the two deities started afresh.
Once again they met, and this time Izanagi remarked :
"How delightful! I have met a lovely maiden."
Shortly after this very ingenuous proposal Izanagi and
Izanami were married.

When Izanami had given birth to islands, seas, rivers,
herbs, and trees, she and her lord consulted together,
saying : " We have now produced the Great-Eight-
Island country, with the mountains, rivers, herbs, and
trees. Why should we not produce some one who
shall be the Lord of the Universe .?"


The wish of these deities was fulfilled, for in due
season Ama-terasu, the Sun Goddess, was born. She
was known as " Heaven-IUumine-of-Great-Deity," and
was so extremely beautiful that her parents determined
to send her up the Ladder of Heaven, and in the high
sky above to cast for ever her glorious sunshine upon
the earth.

Their next child was the Moon God, Tsuki-yumi.
His silver radiance was not so fair as the golden
effulgence of his sister, the Sun Goddess, but he was,
nevertheless, deemed worthy to be her consort. So up
the Ladder of Heaven climbed the Moon God. They
soon quarrelled, and Ama-terasu said : " Thou art a
wicked deity. I must not see thee face to face."
They were therefore separated by a day and night, and
dwelt apart.

The next child of Izanagi and Izanami was Susa-no-o
(" The Impetuous Male "). We shall return to Susa-no-o
and his doings later on, and content ourselves for the
present with confining our attention to his parents.

Izanami gave birth to the Fire God, Kagu-tsuchi.
The birth of this child made her extremely ill. Izanagi
knelt on the ground, bitterly weeping and lamenting.
But his sorrow availed nothing, and Izanami crept away
into the Land of Yomi (Hades).

Her lord, however, could not live without her, and
he too went into the Land of Yomi. When he dis-
covered her, she said regretfully : " My lord and
husband, why is thy coming so late ? 1 have already
eaten of the cooking-furnace of Yomi. Nevertheless,
I am about to lie down to rest. I pray thee do not
look at me."

Izanagi, moved by curiosity, refused to fulfil her
wish. It was dark in the Land of Yomi, so he secretly
took out his many-toothed comb, broke off a piece, and



lighted it. The sight that greeted him was ghastly
and horrible in the extreme. His once beautiful wife
had now become a swollen and festering creature.
Eight varieties of Thunder Gods rested upon her.
The Thunder of the Fire, Earth, and Mountain were
all there leering upon him, and roaring with their great

Izanagi grew frightened and disgusted, saying : " I
have come unawares to a hideous and polluted land."
His wife retorted : " Why didst thou not observe that
which I charged thee ? Now am I put to shame."

Izanami was so angry with her lord for ignoring her
wish and breaking in upon her privacy that she sent
the Eight Ugly Females of Yomi to pursue him.
Izanagi drew his sword and fled down the dark regions
of the Underworld. As he ran he took off his head-
dress, and flung it to the ground. It immediately be-
came a bunch of grapes. When the Ugly Females
saw it, they bent down and ate the luscious fruit.
Izanami saw them pause, and deemed it wise to pursue
her lord herself.

By this time Izanagi had reached the Even Pass of
Yomi. Here he placed a huge rock, and eventually
came face to face with Izanami. One would scarcely
have thought that amid such exciting adventures
Izanagi would have solemnly declared a divorce. But
this is just what he did do. To this proposal his wife
replied : " My dear lord and husband, if thou sayest
so, I will strangle to death the people in one day."
This plaintive and threatening speech in no way in-
fluenced Izanagi, who readily replied that he would
cause to be born in one day no less than fifteen

The above remark must have proved conclusive, for
when we next hear of Izanagi he had escaped from the


Land of Yomi, from an angry wife, and from the Eight
Ugly Females. After his escape he was engaged in
copious ablutions, by way of purification, from which
numerous deities were born. We read in the Nihongi :
" After this, Izanagi, his divine task having been ac-
complished, and his spirit-career about to suffer a change,
built himself an abode of gloom in the island of Ahaji,
where he dwelt for ever in silence and concealment."

Ama'terasu and Susa'no'O

Susa-no-o,or "The Impetuous Male," was the brother
of Ama-terasu, the Sun Goddess. Now Susa-no-o was a
very undesirable deity indeed, and he figured in the Realm
of the Japanese Gods as a decidedly disturbing element.
His character has been clearly drawn in the Nihongi^ more
clearly perhaps than that of any other deity mentioned in
these ancient records. Susa-no-o had a very bad tempe*-,
which often resulted in many cruel and ungenerous acts.
Moreover, in spite of his long beard, he had a habit of
continually weeping and wailing. Where a child in a
tantrum would crush a toy to pieces, the Impetuous Male,
when in a towering rage, and without a moment's warning,
would wither the once fair greenery of mountains, and in
addition bring many people to an untimely end.

His parents, Izanagi and Izanami, were much troubled
by his doings, and, after consulting together, they decided
to banish their unruly son to the Land of Yomi.
Susa, however, had a word to say in the matter. He
made the following petition, saying : " I will now obey
thy instructions and proceed to the Nether-Land
(Yomi). Therefore I wish for a short time to go
to the Plain of High Heaven and meet with my
elder sister (Ama-terasu), after which I will go away for
ever." This apparently harmless request was granted,
and Susa-no-o ascended to Heaven. His departure



occasioned a great commotion of the sea, and the hills
and mountains groaned aloud.

Now Ama-terasu heard these noises, and perceiving
that they denoted the near approach of her wicked
brother Susa-no-o, she said to herself : " Is my younger
brother coming with good intentions ? I think it must
be his purpose to rob me of my kingdom. By the
charge which our parents gave to their children, each
of us has his own allotted limits. Why, therefore,
does he reject the kingdom to which he should proceed,
and make bold to come spying here ^ "

Ama-terasu then prepared for warfare. She tied her
hair into knots and hung jewels upon it, and round
her wrists " an august string of five hundred Yasaka
jewels." She presented a very formidable appearance
when in addition she slung over her back " a thou-
sand-arrow quiver and a five-hundred-arrow quiver,"
and protected her arms with pads to deaden the
recoil of the bowstring. Having arrayed herself
for deadly combat, she brandished her bow, grasped
her sword-hilt, and stamped on the ground till
she had made a hole sufficiently large to serve as a

All this elaborate and ingenious preparation was in
vain. The Impetuous Male adopted the manner of a
penitent. "From the beginning," he said, "my heart
has not been black. But as, in obedience to the stern
behest of our parents, I am about to depart for ever
to the Nether-Land, how could I bear to depart
without having seen face to face thee my elder sister ?
It is for this reason that I have traversed on foot the
clouds and mists and have come hither from afar. I
am surprised that my elder sister should, on the
contrary, put on so stern a countenance."

Ama-terasu regarded these remarks with a certain


amount ot suspicion. Susa-no-o's filial piety and
Susa-no-o's cruelty were not easily to be reconciled. She
thereupon resolved to test his sincerity by a remarkable
proceeding we need not describe. Suffice it to say that
for the time being the test proved the Impetuous Male's
purity of heart and general sincerity towards his sister.

But Susa-no-o's good behaviour was a very short-lived
affair indeed. It happened that Ama-terasu had made
a number of excellent rice-fields in Heaven. Some were
narrow and some were long, and Ama-terasu was justly
proud of these rice-fields. No sooner had she sown
the seed in the spring than Susa-no-o broke down the
divisions between the plots, and in the autumn let
loose a number of piebald colts.

One day when he saw his sister in the sacred
Weaving Hall, weaving the garments of the Gods, he
made a hole through the roof and flung down a flayed
horse. Ama-terasu was so frightened that she acci-
dentally wounded herself with the shuttle. Extremely
angry, she determined to leave her abode ; so, gathering
her shining robes about her, she crept down the blue
sky, entered a cave, fastened it securely, and there
dwelt in seclusion.

Now the world was in darkness, and the alternation
of night and day was unknown. When this dreadful
catastrophe had taken place the Eighty Myriads of
Gods assembled together on the bank of the River of
Heaven and discussed how they might best persuade
Ama-terasu to grace Heaven once more with her
shining glory. No less a God than " Thought-com-
bining," after much profound reasoning, gathered
together a number of singing-birds from the Eternal
Land. After sundry divinations with a deer's leg-bone,
over a fire of cherry-bark, the Gods made a number of
tools, bellows, and forges. Stars were welded together



to form a mirror, and jewellery and musical instruments
were eventually fashioned.

When all these things had been duly accomplished
the Eighty Myriads of Gods came down to the rock-
cavern where the Sun Goddess lay concealed, and gave
an elaborate entertainment. On the upper branches of
the True Sakaki Tree they hung the precious jewels,
and on the middle branches the mirror. From every
side there was a great singing of birds, which was
only the prelude to what followed. Now Uzume
("Heavenly-alarming-female") took in her hand a
spear wreathed with Eulalia grass, and made a head-
dress of the True Sakaki Tree. Then she placed a
tub upside down, and proceeded to dance in a very
immodest manner, till the Eighty Myriad Gods began
to roar with laughter.

Such extraordinary proceedings naturally awakened
the curiosity of Ama-terasu, and she peeped forth.
Once more the world became golden with her presence.
Once more she dwelt in the Plain of High Heaven,
and Susa-no-o was duly chastised and banished to the
Yomi Land.

Susa-no-o and the Serpent

With the usual inconsistency of myths and legends,
we are not surprised to find that all reference to Susa
dwelling in the Land of Yomi is entirely omitted.
When we next see him it is apart from his usual mis-
chievous disposition. Indeed, we find him in a role
worthy of one of the Knights of the Round Table.
Whether the sudden display of knight-errantry was a
cunning move on his part for some ulterior motive, or
whether his sister's sudden withdrawal from Heaven
had made him permanently reform his ways, we are
left in entire ignorance.

Uzume awakens the curiosity of Ama-terasu.



Susa-no-o, having descended from Heaven, arrived at
the river Hi, in the province of Idzumo. Here he was
disturbed by a sound of weeping. It was so unusual
to hear any other than himself weep that he went in
search of the cause of the sorrow. He discovered an
old man and an old woman. Between them was a young
girl, whom they fondly caressed and gazed at with pitiful
eyes, as if they were reluctantly bidding her a last fare-
well. When Susa-no-o asked the old couple who they
were and why they lamented, the old man replied : " I
am an Earthly Deity, and my name is Ashi-nadzuchi
(" Foot-stroke-elder "). My wife's name is Te-
nadzuchi ("Hand-stroke-elder"). This girl is our
daughter, and her name is Kushi-nada-hime (" Won-
drous-Inada-Princess "). The reason of our weeping
is that formerly we had eight children, daughters ;
but they have been devoured year by year by an eight-
forked serpent, and now the time approaches for this
girl to be devoured. There is no means of escape for
her, and therefore do we grieve exceedingly."

The Impetuous Male listened to this painful recital
with profound attention, and, perceiving that the maiden
was extremely beautiful, he offered to slay the eight-
forked serpent if her parents would give her to him
in marriage as a fitting reward for his services. This
request was readily granted.

Susa-no-o now changed Kushi-nada-hime into a many-
toothed comb and stuck it in his hair. Then he bade
the old couple brew a quantity of sake. When the sake
was rea.dy, he poured it into eight tubs, and awaited
the coming of the dreadful monster.

Eventually the serpent came. It had eight heads,
and the eyes were red, " like winter-cherry." More-
over it had eight tails, and firs and cypress-trees grew
on its back. It was in length the space of eight hills



and eight valleys. Its lumbering progress was neces-
sarily slow, but finding the sake^ each head eagerly
drank the tempting beverage till the serpent became ex-
tremely drunk, and fell asleep. Then Susa-no-o, having
little to fear, drew his ten-span sword and chopped the
great monster into little pieces. When he struck one
of the tails his weapon became notched, and bending
down he discovered a sword called the Murakumo-no-
Tsurugi. Perceiving it to be a divine sword, he gave
it to the Gods of Heaven.

Having successfully accomplished his task, Susa-no-o
converted the many-toothed comb into Kushi-nada-
hime again, and at length came to Suga, in the pro-
vince of Idzumo, in order that he might celebrate his
marriage. Here he composed the following verse :

" Many clouds arise,
On all sides a manifold fence,
To receive within it the spouses,
They form a manifold fence —
Ah ! that manifold fence ! "

Nihngi, trans, by W. G. Aston.

The Divine Messengers

Now at that time the Gods assembled in the High
Plain of Heaven were aware of continual disturbances
in the Central Land of Reed-Plains (Idzumo). We
are told that " Plains, the rocks, tree-stems, and herb-
age have still the power of speech. At night they
make a clamour like that of flames of fire ; in the
day-time they swarm up like flies in the fifth month."
In addition certain deities made themselves objection-
able. The Gods determined to put an end to these
disturbances, and after a consultation Taka-mi-musubi
decided to send his grandchild Ninigi to govern the
Central Land of Reed-Plains, to wipe out insurrection,
and to bring peace and prosperity to the country. It

Susa-no-o and Kushi-nada-hime.



was deemed necessary to send messengers to prepare
the way in advance. The first envoy was Ama-no-ho ;
but as he spent three years in the country without
reporting to the Gods, his son was sent in his place.
He adopted the same course as his father, and defied
the orders of the Heavenly Ones. The third messenger
was Ame-waka (" Heaven-young-Prince "). He, too,
was disloyal, in spite of his noble weapons, and instead
of ofoinor about his duties he fell in love and took to wife
Shita-teru-hime (" Lower-shine-Princess ").

Now the assembled Gods grew angry at the long
delay, and sent a pheasant down to ascertain what was
going on in Idzumo. The pheasant perched on the
top of a cassia-tree before Ame-waka's gate. When
Ame-waka saw the bird he immediately shot it. The
arrow went through the bird, rose into the Place of
Gods, and was hurled back again, so that it killed the
disloyal and idle Ame-waka.

The weeping of Lower-shine-Princess reached
Heaven, for she loved her lord and failed to recognise
in his sudden death the just vengeance of the Gods.
She wept so loud and so pitifully that the Heavenly
Ones heard her. A swift wind descended, and the
body of Ame-waka floated up into the High Plain of
Heaven. A mortuary house was made, in which the
deceased was laid. Mr. Frank Kinder writes : " For
eight days and eight nights there was wailing and
lamentation. The wild goose of the river, the heron, '
the kingfisher, the sparrow, and the pheasant mourned
with a great mourning."

Now it happened that a friend of Ame-waka, Aji-shi-
ki by name, heard the sad dirges proceeding from
Heaven. He therefore offered his condolence. He
so resembled the deceased that when Ame-waka's
parents, relations, wife, and children saw him, they


exclaimed: "Our lord is still alive!" This greatly
angered Aji-shi-ki, and he drew his sword and cut
down the mortuary house, so that it fell to the Earth
and became the mountain of Moyama.

We are told that the glory of Aji-shi-ki was so
effulgent that it illuminated the space of two hills and
two valleys. Those assembled for the mourning cele-
brations uttered the following song :

" Like the string of jewels
Worn on the neck
Of the Weaving-maiden,
That dwells in Heaven —
Oh ! the lustre of the jewels
Flung across two valleys
From Aji-suki-taka-hiko-ne !

" To the side-pool —
The side-pool
Of the rocky stream
Whose narrows are crossed
By the country wenches
Afar from Heaven,
Come hither, come hither !
(The women are fair)
And spread across thy net
In the side-pool
Of the rocky stream."

Nihongi, trans, by W. G. Aston.

Two more Gods were sent to the Central Land of
Reed-Plains, and these Gods were successful in their
mission. They returned to Heaven with a favourable
report, saying that all was now ready for the coming of
the August Grandchild.

The Coming of the August Grandchild

Ama-terasu presented her grandson Ninigi, or Prince
Rice-Ear-Ruddy-Plenty, with many gifts. She gave
him precious stones from the mountain-steps of Heaven,


white crystal balls, and, most valuable gift of all, the
divine sword that Susa-no-o had discovered in the
serpent. She also gave him the star-mirror into which
she had gazed when peeping out of her cave. Several
deities accompanied Ninigi, including that lively maiden
of mirth and dance Uzume, whose dancing, it will be
remembered, so amused the Gods.

Ninigi and his companions had hardly broken through
the clouds and arrived at the eight- forked road of
Heaven, when they discovered, much to their alarm, a
gigantic creature with large and brightly shining eyes.
So formidable was his aspect that Ninigi and all his
companions, except the merry and bewitching Uzume,
started to turn back with intent to abandon their
mission. But Uzume went up to the giant and de-
manded who it was that dared to impede their progress.
The giant replied : " I am the Deity of the Field-paths.
I come to pay my homage to Ninigi, and beg to have
the honour to be his guide. Return to your master,
O fair Uzume, and give him this message."

So Uzume returned and gave her message to the
Gods, who had so ignominiously retreated. When
they heard the good news they greatly rejoiced, burst
once more through the clouds, rested on the Floating
Bridge of Heaven, and finally reached the summit of

The August Grandchild, with the Deity of the Field-
paths for guide, travelled from end to end of the
kingdom over which he was to rule. When he had
reached a particularly charming spot, he built a palace.

Ninigi was so pleased with the service the Deity
of the Field-paths had rendered him that he gave that
giant the merry Uzume to wife.

Ninigi, after having romantically rewarded his faith-
ful guide, began to feel the stirring of love himself,

c 33


when one day, while walking along the shore, he saw
an extremely lovely maiden. "Who are you, most
beautiful lady ? " inquired Ninigi. She replied : " I
am the daughter or the Great-Mountain-Possessor.
My name is Ko-no-Hana, the Princess who makes the
Flowers of the Trees to Blossom."

Ninigi fell in love with Ko-no-Hana. He went
with all haste to her father, Oho-yama, and begged
that he would favour him with his daughter's hand.

Oho-yama had an elder daughter, Iha-naga, Princess
Long-as-the-Rocks. As her name implies, she was not
at all beautiful ; but her father desired that Ninigi's
children should have life as eternal as the life of rocks.
He therefore presented both his daughters to Ninigi,
expressing the hope that the suitor's choice would fall
upon Iha-naga. Just as Cinderella, and not her ugly
sisters, is dear to children of our own country, so did
Ninigi remain true to his choice, and would not even
look upon Iha-naga. This neglect made Princess Long-
as-the-Rocks extremely angry. She cried out, with more
vehemence than modesty : " Had you chosen me, you
and your children would have lived long in the land.
Now that you have chosen my sister, you and yours
will perish as quickly as the blossom of trees, as quickly
as the bloom on my sister's cheek."

However, Ninigi and Ko-no-Hana lived happily
together for some time ; but one day jealousy came to
Ninigi and robbed him of his peace or mind. He had
no cause to be jealous, and Ko-no-Hana much resented
his treatment. She retired to a little wooden hut, and
set it on fire. From the flames came three baby boys.
We need only concern ourselves with two of them —
Hoderi ("Fire-shine") and Hoori ("Fire-fade").
Hoori, as we shall see later on, was the grandfather of
the first Mikado of Japan.

Hoori and the Sea God's Daughter.



In the Palace of the Sea God

Hoderi was a great fisherman, while his younger
brother, Hoori, was an accompHshed hunter. One day
they exclaimed: "Let us for a trial exchange gifts,"
This they did, but the elder brother, who could catch
fish to some purpose, came home without any spoil
when he went a-hunting. He therefore returned the
bow and arrows, and asked his younger brother for the
fish-hook. Now it so happened that Hoori had lost
his brother's fish-hook. The generous offer of a new
hook to take the place of the old one was scornfully
refused. He also refused to accept a heaped-up tray
of fish-hooks. To this offer the elder brother replied :
"These are not my old fish-hook : though they are
many, I will not take them,"

Now Hoori was sore troubled by his brother's
harshness, so he went down to the sea-shore and there
gave way to his grief. A kind old man by the name
of Shiko-tsutsu no Oji (" Salt-sea-elder ") said : " Why
dost thou grieve here ? " When the sad tale was told,
the old man replied : " Grieve no more. I will arrange
this matter for thee."

True to his word, the old man made a basket, set
Hoori in it, and then sank it in the sea. After
descending deep down in the water Hoori came to a
pleasant strand rich with all manner of fantastic sea-
weed. Here he abandoned the basket and eventually
arrived at the Palace of the Sea God.

Now this palace was extremely imposing. It had
battlements and turrets and stately towers. A well
stood at the gate, and over the well there was a cassia-
tree. Here Hoori loitered in the pleasant shade. He
had not stood there long before a beautiful woman
appeared. As she was about to draw water, she raised



her eyes, saw the stranger, and immediately returned,
with much alarm, to tell her mother and father what she
had seen.

The God of the Sea, when he had heard the news,
"prepared an eightfold cushion" and led the stranger
in, asking his visitor why he had been honoured by his
presence. When Hoori explained the sad loss of his
brother's fish-hook the Sea God assembled all the fishes
of his kingdom, " broad of fin and narrow of fin."
And when the thousands upon thousands of fishes were
assembled, the Sea God asked them if they knew
anything about the missing fish-hook. "We know
not," answered the fishes. " Only the Red-woman
(the tai) has had a sore mouth for some time past, and
has not come." She was accordingly summoned, and
on her mouth being opened the lost fish-hook was

Hoori then took to wife the Sea God's daughter,
Toyo-tama (" Rich-jewel "), and they dwelt together in
the palace under the sea. For three years all went
well, but after a time Hoori hungered for a sight of his
own country, and possibly he may have remembered
that he had yet to restore the fish-hook to his elder
brother. These not unnatural feelings troubled the
heart of the loving Toyo-tama, and she went to her
father and told him of her sorrow. But the Sea God,
who was always urbane and courteous, in no way
resented his son-in-law's behaviour. On the contrary
he gave him the fish-hook, saying : " When thou givest
this fish-hook to thy elder brother, before giving it to
him, call to it secretly, and say, ' A poor hook ! ' " He
also presented Hoori with the Jewel of the Flowing
Tide and the Jewel of the Ebbing Tide, saying : " If
thou dost dip the Tide-flowing Jewel, the tide will
suddenly flow, and therewithal thou shalt drown thine


elder brother. But in case thy elder brother should
repent and beg forgiveness, if, on the contrary, thou dip
the Tide-ebbing Jewel, the tide will spontaneously ebb,
and therewithal thou shalt save him. If thou harass
him in this way thy elder brother will of his own accord
render submission."

Just before Hoori was about to depart his wife came
to him and told him that she was soon to give him a
child. Said she : " On a day when the winds and
waves are raging I will surely come forth to the sea-
shore. Build for me a house, and await me there."

Hoderi and Hoori Reconciled

When Hoori reached his own home he found his
elder brother, who admitted his offence and begged for
forgiveness, which was readily granted.

Toyo-tama and her younger sister bravely confronted
the winds and waves, and came to the sea-shore. There
Hoori had built a hut roofed with cormorant feathers,
and there in due season she gave birth to a son. When
Toyo-tama had blessed her lord with offspring, she
turned into a dragon and slipped back into the sea.
Hoori's son married his aunt, and was the father of
four children, one of whom was Kamu-Yamato-lware-
Biko, who is said to have been the first human Emperor
of Japan, and is now known as Jimmu Tenno.




ALONG time ago a certain Emperor became
seriously ill. He was unable to sleep at night
owing to a most horrible and unaccountable
noise he heard proceeding from the roof of the palace,
called the Purple Hall of the North Star. A number
of his courtiers decided to lie in wait for this strange
nocturnal visitor. As soon as the sun set they noticed
that a dark cloud crept from the eastern horizon, and
alighted on the roof of the august palace. Those who
waited in the imperial bed-chamber heard extraordinary
scratching sounds, as if what had at first appeared to be
a cloud had suddenly changed into a beast with gigantic
and powerful claws.

Night after night this terrible visitant came, and
night after night the Emperor grew worse. He at last
became so ill that it was obvious to all those in
attendance upon him that unless something could be
done to destroy this monster the Emperor would
certainly die.

At last it was decided that Yorimasa was the one
knight in the kingdom valiant enough to relieve his
JMajesty of these terrible hauntings. Yorimasa ac-
cordingly made elaborate preparations for the fray.
He took his best bow and steel-headed arrows, donned
his armour, over which he wore a hunting-dress, and a
ceremonial cap instead of his usual helmet.

At sunset he lay in concealment outside the palace.
While he thus waited thunder crashed overhead, light-
ning blazed in the sky, and the wind shrieked like a
pack of wild demons. But Yorimasa was a brave man,
and the fury of the elements in no way daunted him.
When midnight came he saw a black cloud rush through

Yorimasa slays the Vampire.


the sky and rest upon the roof of the palace. At the
north-east corner it stopped. Once more the light-
ning flashed in the sky, and this time he saw the
gleaming eyes of a large animal. Noting the exact
position of this strange monster, he pulled at his bow
till it became as round as the full moon. In another
moment his steel-headed arrow hit its mark. There
was an awful roar of anger, and then a heavy thud as
the huge monster rolled from the palace roof to the

Yorimasa and his retainer ran forward and despatched
the fearful creature they saw before them. This evil
monster of the night was as large as a horse. It had
the head of an ape, and the body and claws were like
those of a tiger, with a serpent's tail, wings of a bird,
and the scales of a dragon.

It was no wonder that the Emperor gave orders that
the skin of this monster should be kept for all time as
a^ curiosity in the Imperial treasure-house. From the
very moment the creature died the Emperor's health
rapidly improved, and Yorimasa was rewarded for his
services by being presented with a sword called Shishi-
wo, which means "the King of Lions." He was also
promoted at Court, and finally married the Lady
Ayame, the most beautiful of ladies-in-waiting at the
Imperial Court.

Yoshitsune and Benkei

We may compare Yoshitsune with the Black Prince or
Henry V., and Benkei with " Little John, Will Scarlet,
and Friar Tuck rolled in one." Yoshitsune would
have seemed a very remarkable hero had not his faith-
ful henchman, Benkei, also figured in Japanese history
and legend. As it is we are forced to admit that
Benkei was far and away the greater man. He not



only towered in stature above his companions, but he
rose above his brethren in courage, wit, resource, and a
wonderful tenderness. Here was a man who could
slay a hundred men with absolute ease, and with the
same quiet assurance expound the Buddhist Scriptures.
He could weep over Yoshitsune when, by way of
strategy, he found it necessary to severely beat him,
and with infinite gentleness render assistance when his
lord's wife gave birth to a son. There was yet another
side to Benkei's versatile character — his love of a practical
joke. The bell incident, referred to elsewhere, is a
case in point, and his enormous feast at the expense of
a number of priests another; but if he had his joke he
never failed to pay for the laugh to the full. Benkei
remarked on one occasion : " When there is an un-
lucky lot to draw my lord sees to it that I am the one
to get it." This was certainly true. Benkei always
made a point of doing the dirty work, and when his
master asked him to do anything Benkei's only com-
plaint was that the task was not sufficiently difficult,
though as a matter of fact it was often so dangerous
that it would have frightened a dozen less gifted

We are told that when Benkei was born he had long
hair, a complete set of teeth, and, moreover, that he
could run as swiftly as the wind. Benkei was too big
for a modest Japanese home. When he struck Jin-
saku's anvil that useful object sank deep into the earth,
and for firewood he would bring a great pine-tree.
When Benkei was seventeen years old he became a
priest in a Buddhist temple ; but that did not prevent
him from having a thrilling escapade with a beautiful
young girl called Tamamushi. We soon find our hero
breaking away from love and priestcraft, and entirely
devoting his attention to the exciting adventures of a


lawless warrior. Here, for the moment, we must leave
him, and give the story of Yoshitsune, and how he had
the good fortune to meet and retain the service and
friendship of Benkei till his dying day.

Yoshitsune and the Taira

Yoshitsune's father, Yoshitomo, had been killed in
a great battle with the Taira. At that time the Taira
clan was all-powerful, and its cruel leader, Kiyomori,
did all he could to destroy Yoshitomo's children. But
the mother of these children, Tokiwa, fled into hiding,
taking her little ones with her. With characteristic
Japanese fortitude, she finally consented to become the
wife of the hated Kiyomori. She did so because it was
the only way to save the lives of her children. She
was allowed to keep Yoshitsune with her, and she
daily whispered to him : " Remember thy father,
Minamoto Yoshitomo ! Grow strong and avenge his
death, for he died at the hands of the Taira ! "

When Yoshitsune was seven years of age he was sent
to a monastery to be brought up as a monk. Though
diligent in his studies, the young boy ever treasured in
his heart the dauntless words of his brave, self-sacrificing
mother. They stirred and quickened him to action. He
used to go to a certain valley, where he would flourish
his little wooden sword, and, singing fragments of war-
songs, hit out at rocks and stones, desiring that he might
one day become a great warrior, and right the wrongs
so heavily heaped upon his family by the Taira clan.

One night, while thus engaged, he was startled by a
great thunderstorm, and saw before him a mighty giant
with a long red nose and enormous glaring eyes, bird-
like claws, and feathered wings. Bravely standing his
ground, Yoshitsune inquired who this giant might be,
and was informed that he was King of the Tengu — that



is, King of the elves of the mountains, sprightly little
beings who were frequently engaged in all manner of
fantastic tricks.

The King of the Tengu was very kindly disposed
towards Yoshitsune. He explained that he admired
his perseverance, and told him that he had appeared
upon the scene with the meritorious intention of teaching
him all that was to be learnt in the art of swordsmanship.
The lessons progressed in a most satisfactory manner,
and it was not long before Yoshitsune could vanquish
as many as twenty small tengu, and this extreme agility
stood Yoshitsune in very good stead, as we shall see
later on in the story.

Now when Yoshitsune was fifteen years old he heard
that there lived on Mount Hiei a very wild bonze
(priest) by the name of Benkei. Benkei had for some
time waylaid knights who happened to cross the Gojo
Bridge of Kyoto. His idea was to obtain a thousand
swords, and he was so brave, although such a rascal,
that he had won from knights no less than nine hundred
and ninety-nine swords by his lawless behaviour. When
the news of these doings reached the ears of Yoshitsune
he determined to put the teaching of the King of the
Tengu to good use and slay this Benkei, and so put
an end to one who had become a terror in the land.

One evening Yoshitsune started out, and, in order to
establish the manner and bearing of absolute indiffer-
ence, he played upon his flute till he came to the Gojo
Bridge. Presently he saw coming towards him a
gigantic man clad in black armour, who was none other
than Benkei. When Benkei saw the youth he considered
it to be beneath his dignity to attack what appeared to
him to be a mere weakling, a dreamer who could play
excellently, and no doubt write a pretty poem about
the moon, which was then shining in the sky, but one

Yoshitsune and Benkei attacked by a ghostly company

of the Taira Clan. 42


who was in no way a warrior. This affront naturally-
angered Yoshitsune, and he suddenly kicked Benkei's
halberd out of his hand.

Yoshitsune and Benkei Fight

Benkei gave a growl of rage, and cut about indis-
criminately with his weapon. But the sprightliness
of the tengu teaching favoured Yoshitsune. He j umped
from side to side, from the front to the rear, and
from the rear to the front again, mocking the giant
with many a jest and many a peal of ringing laughter.
Round and round went Benkei's weapon, always strik-
ing either the air or the ground, and ever missing its

At last Benkei grew weary, and once again Yoshitsune
knocked the halberd out of the giant's hand. In trying
to regain his weapon Yoshitsune tripped him up, so
that he stumbled upon his hands and knees, and the
hero, with a cry of triumph, mounted upon the now
four-legged Benkei. The giant was utterly amazed at
his defeat, and when he was told that the victor was
none other than the son of Lord Yoshitomo he not
only took his defeat in a manly fashion, but begged
that he might henceforth become a retainer of the
young conqueror.

From this time we find the names of Yoshitsune and
Benkei linked together, and in all the stories of warriors,
whether in Japan or elsewhere, never was there a more
valiant and harmonious union of strength and friend-
ship. We hear of them winning numerous victories
over the Taira, finally driving them to the sea, where
they perished at Dan-no-ura.

We get one more glimpse of Dan-no-ura from a
legendary point of view. Yoshitsune and his faithful
henchman arranged to cross in a ship from the province



of Settsu to Saikoku. When they reached Dan-no-ura
a great storm arose. Mysterious noises came from the
towering waves, a far-away echo of the din of battle, of
the rushing of ships and the whirling of arrows, of the
footfall of a thousand men. Louder and louder the
noise grew, and from the lashing crests of the waves
there arose a ghostly company of the Taira clan. Their
armour was torn and blood-stained, and they thrust
out their vaporous arms and tried to stop the boat in
which Yoshitsune and Benkei sailed. It was a ghostly
reminiscence of the battle of Dan-no-ura, when the
Taira had suffered a terrible and permanent defeat.
Yoshitsune, when he saw this great phantom host, cried
out for revenge even upon the ghosts of the Taira
dead ; but Benkei, always shrewd and circumspect, bade
his master lay aside the sword, and took out a rosary
and recited a number of Buddhist prayers. Peace came
to the great company of ghosts, the wailing ceased, and
gradually they faded into the sea which now became calm.
Legend tells us that fishermen still see from time to
time ghostly armies come out of the sea and wail and
shake their long arms. They explain that the crabs
with dorsal markings are the wraiths of the Taira
warriors. Later on we shall introduce another legend
relating to these unfortunate ghosts, who seem never to
tire of haunting the scene of their defeat.

The Goblin of Oyeyama

In the reign of the Emperor Ichijo many dreadful
stories were current in Kyoto in regard to a demon
that lived on Mount Oye. This demon could assume
many forms. Sometimes appearing as a human being,
he would steal into Kyoto, and leave many a home
destitute of well-loveci sons and daughters. These
young men and women he took back to his mountain


stronghold, and, sad to narrate, after making sport of
them, he and his goblin companions made a great feast
and devoured these poor young people. Even the
sacred Court was not exempt from these awful happen-
ings, and one day Kimitaka lost his beautiful daughter.
She had been snatched away by the Goblin King,

When this sad news reached the ears of the Emperor
he called his council together and consulted how they
might slay this dreadful creature. His ministers in-
formed his Majesty that Raiko was a doughty knight,
and advised that he should be sent with certain com-
panions on this perilous but worthy adventure.

Raiko accordingly chose five companions and told
them what had been ordained, and how they were to
set out upon an adventurous journey, and finally to
slay the King- of the Goblins. He explained that
subtlety of action was most essential if they wished for
success in their enterprise, and that it would be well to
go disguised as mountain priests, and to carry their
armour and weapons on their backs, carefully concealed
in unsuspicious-looking knapsacks. Before starting
upon their journey two of the knights went to pray at
the temple of Hachiman, the God of War, two at the
shrine of Kwannon, the Goddess of Mercy, and two at
the temple of Gongen.

When these knights had prayed for a blessing upon
their undertaking they set out upon their journey, and
in due time reached the province of Tamba, and saw
immediately in front of them Mount Oye. The
Goblin had certainly chosen the most formidable of
mountains. Mighty rocks and great dark forests
obstructed their path in every direction, while almost
bottomless chasms appeared when least expected.

Just when these brave knights were beginning to



feel just a little disheartened, three old men suddenly
appeared before them. At first these newcomers were
regarded with suspicion, but later on with the utmost
friendliness and thankfulness. These old men were
none other than the deities to whom the knights had
prayed before setting out upon their journey. The
old men presented Raiko with a jar of magical sake
called Shimben-Kidoku-Shu ("a cordial for men, but
poison for goblins "), advising him that he should by
strategy get Shutendoji to drink it, whereupon he
would immediately become paralysed and prove an easy
victim for the final despatch. No sooner had these old
men given the magical sake and proffered their valuable
advice than a miraculous light shone round them, and
they vanished into the clouds.

Once again Raiko and his knights, much cheered by
what had happened, continued to ascend the mountain.
Coming to a stream, they noticed a beautiful woman
washing a blood-stained garment in the running water.
She was weeping bitterly, and wiped away her tears
with the long sleeve of her kimono. Upon Raiko asking
who she was, she informed him that she was a princess,
and one of the miserable captives of the Goblin King.
When she was told that it was none other than the
great Raiko who stood before her, and that he and his
knights had come to kill the vile creature of that
mountain, she was overcome with joy, and finally led
the little band to a great palace of black iron, satisfying
the sentinels by telling them that her followers were
poor mountain priests who sought temporary shelter.

After passing through long corridors Raiko and his
knights found themselves in a mighty hall. At one
end sat the awful Goblin King. He was of gigantic
stature, with bright red skin and a mass of white hair.
When Raiko meekly informed him who they were,

Raiko and the Enchanted Maiden.



the Goblin King, concealing his mirth, bade them be
seated and join the feast that was about to be set before
them. Thereupon he clapped his red hands together,
and immediately many beautiful damsels came running
in with an abundance of food and drink, and as Raiko
watched these women he knew that they had once lived
in happy homes in Kyoto.

When the feast was in full progress Raiko took out
the jar of magic saki^ and politely begged the Goblin
King to try it. The monster, without demur or
suspicion, drank some of the sake^ and found it so
good that he asked for a second cup. All the goblins
partook of the magic wine, and while they were
drinking Raiko and his companions danced.

The power of this magical drink soon began to work.
The Goblin King became drowsy, till finally he and his
fellow goblins fell fast asleep. Then Raiko sprang to
his feet, and he and his knights rapidly donned their
armour and prepared for war. Once more the three
deities appeared before them, and said to Raiko : " We
have tied the hands and feet of the Demon fast, so you
have nothing to fear. While your knights cut off his
limbs do you cut off his head : then kill the rest of the
oni (evil spirits) and your work will be done." Then
these divine beings suddenly disappeared.

Raiko Slays the Goblin

Raiko and his knights, with their swords drawn,
cautiously approached the sleeping Goblin King. With
a mighty sweep Raiko's weapon came crashing down on
the Goblin's neck. No sooner was the head severed
than it shot up into the air, and smoke and fire poured
out from the nostrils, scorching the valiant Raiko.
Once more he struck out with his sword, and this time
the horrible head fell to the floor, and never moved



again. It was not long before these brave knights
despatched the Demon's followers also.

There was a joyful exit from the great iron palace.
Raiko's five knights carried the monster head of the
Goblin King, and this grim spectacle was followed by a
company of happy maidens released at last from their
horrible confinement, and eager to walk once again in
the streets of Kyoto.

The Goblin Spider

Some time after the incident mentioned in the
previous legend had taken place the brave Raiko
became seriously ill, and was obliged to keep to his
room. At about midnight a little boy always brought
him some medicine. This boy was unknown to Raiko,
but as he kept so many servants it did not at first
awaken suspicion. Raiko grew worse instead of better,
and always worse immediately after he had taken the
medicine, so he began to think that some supernatural
force was the cause of his illness.

At last Raiko asked his head servant if he knew any-
thing about the boy who came to him at midnight.
Neither the head servant nor any one else seemed to
know anything about him. By this time Raiko's sus-
picions were fully awakened, and he determined to go
carefully into the matter.

When the small boy came again at midnight, instead
of taking the medicine, Raiko threw the cup at his head,
and drawing his sword attempted to kill him. A sharp
cry of pain rang through the room, but as the boy was
flying from the apartment he threw something at
Raiko. It spread outward into a huge white sticky
web, which clung so tightly to Raiko that he could hardly
move. No sooner had he cut the web through
with his sword than another enveloped him. Raiko


then called for assistance, and his chief retainer met the
miscreant in one of the corridors and stopped his
further progress with extended sword. The Goblin
threw a web over him too. When he at last managed
to extricate himself and was able to run into his master's
room, he saw that Raiko had also been the victim of
the Goblin Spider.

The Goblin Spider was eventually discovered in a
cave writhing with pain, blood flowing from a sword-
cut on the head. He was instantly killed, and with his
death there passed away the evil influence that had
caused Raiko's serious illness. From that hour the
hero regained his health and strength, and a sump-
tuous banquet was prepared in honour of the happy

Another Version

There is another version of this legend, written by
Kenko Hoshi, which differs so widely in many of its
details from the one we have already given that it
almost amounts to a new story altogether. To dispense
with this version would be to rob the legend of its most
sinister aspect, which has not hitherto been accessible
to the general reader.^

On one occasion Raiko left Kyoto with Tsuna, the
most worthy of his retainers. As they were crossing
the plain of Rendai they saw a skull rise in the air, and
fly before them as if driven by the wind, until it finally
disappeared at a place called Kagura ga Oka.

Raiko and his retainer had no sooner noticed the
disappearance of the skull than they perceived before
them a mansion in ruins. Raiko entered this dilapi-
dated building, and saw an old woman of strange aspect.

* This version appears in the Catalogue of Japanese and Chinese
Paintings in the British Museum, by Dr. William Anderson.

D 49


" She was dressed in white, and had white hair ; she
opened her eyes with a small stick, and the upper eye-
lids fell back over her head like a hat ; then she used
the rod to open her mouth, and let her breast fall
forward upon her knees." Thus she addressed the
astonished Raiko :

" I am two hundred and ninety years old. I serve
nine masters, and the house in which you stand is
haunted by demons."

Having listened to these words, Raiko walked into
the kitchen, and, catching a glimpse of the sky, he per-
ceived that a great storm was brewing. As he stood
watching the dark clouds gather he heard a sound of
ghostly footsteps, and there crowded into the room a
great company of goblins. Nor were these the only
supernatural creatures which Raiko encountered, for
presently he saw a being dressed like a nun. Her very
small body was naked to the waist, her face was two
feet in length, and her arms " were white as snow
and thin as threads." For a moment this dreadful
creature laughed, and then vanished like a mist.

Raiko heard the welcome sound of a cock crowing,
and imagined that the ghostly visitors would trouble
him no more ; but once again he heard footsteps, and
this time he saw no hideous hag, but a lovely woman,
" more graceful than the willow branches as they wave
in the breeze." As he gazed upon this lovely maiden
his eyes became blinded for a moment on account of
her radiant beauty. Before he could recover his sight
he found himself enveloped in countless cobwebs.
He struck at her with his sword, when she disappeared,
and he found that he had but cut through the planks of
the floor, and broken the foundation-stone beneath.

At this moment Tsuna joined his master, and they
perceived that the sword was covered with white

Raiko slays the Goblin of 0)'eyama.


blood, and that the point had been broken in the

After much search Raiko and his retainer discovered
a den in which they saw a monster with many legs and
a head of enormous size covered with downy hair. Its
mighty eyes shone like the sun and moon, as it groaned
aloud : " I am sick and in pain ! "

As Raiko and Tsuna drew near they recognised the
broken sword-point projecting from the monster. The
heroes then dragged the creature out of its den and cut
off its head. Out of the deep wound in the creature's
stomach gushed nineteen hundred and ninety skulls,
and in addition many spiders as large as children.
Raiko and his follower realised that the monster before
them was none other than the Mountain Spider.
When they cut open the great carcass they discovered,
within the entrails, the ghostly remains of many human

The Adventures of Prince Yamato Take

King Keiko bade his youngest son, Prince Yamato,
go forth and slay a number of brigands. Before his
departure the Prince prayed at the shrines of Ise, and
begged that Ama-terasu, the Sun Goddess, would bless
his enterprise. Prince Yamato's aunt was high-
priestess of one of the Ise temples, and he told her
about the task his father had entrusted to him. This
good lady was much pleased to hear the news, and
presented her nephew with a rich silk robe, saying that
it would bring him luck, and perhaps be of service to
him later on.

When Prince Yamato had returned to the palace and
taken leave of his father, he left the court accompanied
by his wife, the Princess Ototachibana, and a number
of staunch followers, and proceeded to the Southern



Island of Kiushlu, which was infested by brigands.
The country was so rough and impassable that Prince
Yamato saw at once that he must devise some cunning
scheme by which he might take the enemy unawares.

Having come to this conclusion, he bade the Princess
Ototachibana bring him the rich silk robe his aunt had
given him. This he put on under the direction, no
doubt, of his wife. He let down his hair, stuck a comb
in it, and adorned himself with jewels. When he
looked into a mirror he saw that the disguise was per-
fect, and that he made quite a handsome woman.

Thus gorgeously apparelled, he entered the enemy's
tent, where Kumaso and Takeru were sitting. It hap-
pened that they were discussing the King's son and his
efforts to exterminate their band. When they chanced
to look up they saw a fair woman coming towards

Kumaso was so delighted that he beckoned to the
disguised Prince and bade him serve wine as quickly as
possible. Yamato was only too delighted to do so.
He affected feminine shyness. He walked with very
minute steps, and glanced out of the corner of his eyes
with all the timidity of a bashful maiden.

Kumaso drank far more wine than was good for
him. He still went on drinking just to have the
pleasure of seeing this lovely creature pouring it out
for him.

When Kumaso became drunk Prince Yamato flung
down the wine-jar, whipped out his dagger, and stabbed
him to death.

Takeru, when he saw what had happened to his
brother, attempted to escape, but Prince Yamato leapt
upon him. Once more his dagger gleamed in the air,
and Takeru fell to the earth.

"Stay your hand a moment," gasped the dying

Prince Yamato and Takcru.


brigand. " I would fain know who you are and whence
you have come. Hitherto 1 thought that my brother
and 1 were the strongest men in the kingdom. I am
indeed mistaken."

"I am Yamato," said the Prince, "and son of the
King who bade me kill such rebels as you ! "

" Permit me to give you a new name," said the
brigand politely. " From henceforth you shall be
called Yamato Take, because you are the bravest man
in the land."

Having thus spoken Takeru fell back dead.

The Wooden Sword

When the Prince was on his way to the capital he
encountered another outlaw named Idzumo Takeru.
Again resorting to strategy, he professed to be extremely
friendly with this fellow. He cut a sword of wood and
rammed it tightly into the sheath of his own steel
weapon. He wore this whenever he expected to meet

On one occasion Prince Yamato invited Takeru to
swim with him in the river Hinokawa. While the
brigand was swimming down-stream the Prince secretly
landed, and, going to Takeru's clothes, lying on the bank,
he managed to change swords, putting his wooden
one in place of the keen steel sword of Takeru.

When Takeru came out of the water and put on his
clothes the Prince asked him to show his skill with the
sword. "We will prove," said he, "which is the
better swordsman of the two."

Nothing loath, Takeru tried to unsheath his sword.
It stuck fast, and as it happened to be of wood it was,
of course, useless in any case. While the brigand was
thus struggling Yamato cut off his head. Once again
cunning had served him, and when he had returned to



the palace he was feasted, and received many costly
gifts from the King his father.

The " Grass'Cleaving'Swofd **

Prince Yamato did not long remain idle in the palace,
for his father commanded him to go forth and quell an
Ainu rising in the eastern provinces.

When the Prince was ready to depart the King gave
him a spear made from a holly-tree called the " Eight-
Arms-Length-Spear." With this precious gift Prince
Yamato visited the temples of Ise. His aunt, the
high-priestess, again greeted him. She listened with
interest to all her nephew told her, and was especially
delighted to know how well the robe she had given
him had served in his adventures.

When she had listened to his story she went into the
temple and brought forth a sword and a bag containing
flints. These she gave to Yamato as a parting gift.

The sword was the sword of Murakumo, belonging
to the insignia of the Imperial House of Japan. The
Prince could not have received a more auspicious gift.
This sword, it will be remembered, once belonged to
the Gods, and was discovered by Susa-no-o.

After a long march Prince Yamato and his men
found themselves in the province of Suruga. The
governor hospitably received him, and by way of
entertainment organised a deer-hunt. Our hero for
once in a way was utterly deceived, and joined the hunt
without the least misgiving.

The Prince was taken to a great and wild plain
covered with high grass. While he was engaged in
hunting down the deer he suddenly became aware of
fire. In another moment he saw flames and clouds of
smoke shooting up in every direction. He was sur-
rounded by fire, from which there was, apparently, no


escape. Too late the guileless warrior realised that he
had fallen into a trap, and a very warm trap too 1

Our hero opened the bag his aunt had given him,
set fire to the grass near him, and with the sword of
Murakumo he cut down the tall green blades on either
side as quickly as possible. No sooner had he done so
than the wind suddenly changed and blew the flames
away from him, so that eventually the Prince made
good his escape without the slightest burn of any kind.
And thus it was that the sword of Murakumo came
to be known as the "Grass-Cleaving-Sword."

The Sacrifice of Ototachibana

In all these adventures the Prince had been followed
by his faithful wife, the Princess Ototachibana. Sad to
say, our hero, so praiseworthy in battle, was not nearly
so estimable in his love. He looked down on his
wife and treated her with indifference. She, poor loyal
soul, had lost her beauty in serving her lord. Her
skin was burnt with the sun, and her garments were
soiled and torn. Yet she never complained, and though
her face became sad she made a brave effort to maintain
her usual sweetness of manner.

Now Prince Yamato happened to meet the fascinat-
ing Princess Miyadzu. Her robes were charming, her
skin delicate as cherry-blossom. It was not long before
he fell desperately in love with her. When the time
came for him to depart he swore that he would return
again and make the beautiful Princess Miyadzu his wife.
He had scarcely made this promise when he looked up
and saw Ototachibana, and on her face was a look of
intense sadness. But Prince Yamato hardened his heart,
and rode away, secretly determined to keep his promise.

When Prince Yamato, his wife and men, reached the
sea-shore of Idzu, his followers desired to secure a



number of boats in order that they might cross the
Straits of Kadzusa.

The Prince cried haughtily : " Bah ! this is only
a brook ! Why so many boats ? I could jump
across it ! "

When they had all embarked and started on their
journey a great storm arose. The waves turned into
water-mountains, the wind shrieked, the lightning
blazed in the dark clouds, and the thunder roared. It
seemed that the boat that carried the Prince and his
wife must needs sink, for this storm was the work of
Rin-Jin, King of the Sea, who was angry with the proud
and foolish words of Prince Yamato.

When the crew had taken down the sails in the hope
of steadying the vessel the storm grew worse instead
of better. At last Ototachibana arose, and, forgiving
all the sorrow her lord had caused her, she resolved
to sacrifice her life in order to save her much-loved

Thus spoke the loyal Ototachibana : " Oh, Rin-Jin,
the Prince, my husband, has angered you with his
boasting. I, Ototachibana, give you my poor life in
the place of Yamato Take. I now cast myself into
your great surging kingdom, and do you in return
bring my lord safely to the shore."

Having uttered these words, Ototachibana leapt into
the seething waves, and in a moment they dragged that
brave woman out of sight. No sooner had this sacrifice
been made than the storm abated and the sun shone
forth in a cloudless sky.

Yamato Take safely reached his destination, and
succeeded in quelling the Ainu rising.

Our hero had certainly erred in his treatment of his
faithful wife. Too late he learnt to appreciate her
goodness ; but let it be said to his credit that she


remained a loving memory till his death, while the
Princess Miyadzu was entirely forgotten.

The Slaying of the Serpent

Now that Yamato Take had carried out his father's
instructions, he passed through the province of Owari
until he came to the province of Omi.

The province of Omi was afflicted with a great
trouble. Many were in mourning, and many wept and
cried aloud in their sorrow. The Prince, on making
inquiries, was informed that a great serpent every day
came down from the mountains and entered the villages,
making a meal of many of the unfortunate inhabitants.

Prince Yamato at once started to climb up Mount
Ibaki, whe^e the great serpent was said to live. About
half-way up he encountered the awful creature. The
Prince was so strong that he killed the serpent by twist-
ing his bare arms about it. He had no sooner done
so than sudden darkness came over the land, and
rain fell heavily. However, eventually the weather
improved, and our hero was able to climb down the

When he reached home he found that his feet burned
with a strange pain, and, moreover, that he felt very ill.
He realised that the serpent had stung him, and, as he
was too ill to move, he was carried to a famous mineral
spring. Here he finally regained his accustomed health
and strength, and for these blessings gave thanks to
Ama-terasu, the Sun Goddess.

The Adventures of Momotaro

One day, while an old woman stood by a stream
washing her clothes, she chanced to see an enormous
peach floating on the water. It was quite the largest
she had ever seen, and as this old woman and her



husband were extremely poor she immediately thought
what an excellent meal this extraordinary peach would
make. As she could find no stick with which to draw
the fruit to the bank, she suddenly remembered the
following verse :

" Distant water is bitter,
The near water is sweet ;
Pass by the distant water
And come into the sweet."

This little song had the desired effect. The peach
came nearer and nearer till it stopped at the old woman's
feet. She stooped down and picked it up. So delighted
was she with her discovery that she could not stay to
do any more washing, but hurried home as quickly as
possible. ,

When her husband arrived in the evening, with a
bundle of grass upon his back, the old woman excitedly
took the peach out of a cupboard and showed it to him.

The old man, who was tired and hungry, was equally
delighted at the thought of so delicious a meal. He
speedily brought a knife and was about to cut the
fruit open, when it suddenly opened of its own accord,
and the prettiest child imaginable tumbled out with a
merry laugh.

"Don't be afraid," said the little fellow. "The
Gods have heard how much you desired a child, and
have sent me to be a solace and a comfort in your old

The old couple were so overcome with joy that they
scarcely knew what to do with themselves. Each in
turn nursed the child, caressed him, and murmured
many sweet and affectionate words. They called him
Momotaro, or "Son of a Peach."

When Momotaro was fifteen years old he was a lad
far taller and stronger than boys of his own age. The

Momotaro and the Pheasant.



making of a great hero stirred in his veins, and it was
a knightly heroism that desired to right the wrong.

One day Momotaro came to his foster-father and
asked him if he would allow him to take a long journey
to a certain island in the North-Eastern Sea where
dwelt a number of devils, who had captured a great
company of innocent people, many of whom they
ate. Their wickedness was beyond description, and
Momotaro desired to kill them, rescue the unfortunate
captives, and bring back the plunder of the island that
he might share it with his foster-parents.

The old man was not a little surprised to hear this
daring scheme. He knew that Momotaro was no
common child. He had been sent from heaven, and
he believed that all the devils in the world could not
harm him. So at length the old man gave his consent,
saying : " Go, Momotaro, slay the devils and bring
peace to the land."

When the old woman had given Momotaro a number
of rice-cakes the youth bade his foster-parents farewell,
and started out upon his journey.

The Triumph of Momotaro

While Momotaro was resting under a hedge eating
one of the rice-cakes, a great dog came up to him,
growled, and showed his teeth. The dog, moreover,
could speak, and threateningly begged that Momotaro
would give him a cake. " Either you give me a cake,"
said he, " or I will kill you ! "

When, however, the dog heard that the famous
Momotaro stood before him, his tail dropped between
his legs and he bowed with his head to the ground,
requesting that he might follow " Son of a Peach," and
render to him all the service that lay in his power.

Momotaro readily accepted the offer, and after



throwing the dog half a cake they proceeded on their

They had not gone far when they encountered a
monkey, who also begged to be admitted to Momotaro's
service. This was granted, but it was some time before
the dog and the monkey ceased snapping at each other
and became good friends.

Proceeding upon their journey, they came across a
pheasant. Now the innate jealousy of the dog was
again awakened, and he ran forward and tried to kill
the bright-plumed creature. Momotaro separated the
combatants, and in the end the pheasant was also
admitted to the little band, walking decorously in the

At length Momotaro and his followers reached the
shore of the North-Eastern Sea. Here our hero dis-
covered a boat, and after a good deal of timidity on the
part of the dog, monkey, and pheasant, they all got
aboard, and soon the little vessel was spinning away
over the blue sea.

After many days upon the ocean they sighted an
island. Momotaro bade the bird fly off, a winged
herald to announce his coming, and bid the devils

The pheasant flew over the sea and alighted on the
roof of a great castle and shouted his stirring message,
adding that the devils, as a sign of submission, should
break their horns.

The devils only laughed and shook their horns and
shaggy red hair. Then they brought forth iron bars
and hurled them furiously at the bird. The pheasant
cleverly evaded the missiles, and flew at the heads of
many devils.

In the meantime Momotaro had landed with his two
companions. He had no sooner done so than he saw


two beautiful damsels weeping by a stream, as they
wrung out blood-soaked garments.

" Oh ! " said they pitifully, " we are daughters of
daimyos, and are now the captives of the Demon King
of this dreadful island. Soon he will kill us, and alas !
there is no one to come to our aid." Having made
these remarks the women wept anew.

"Ladies," said Momotaro, "I have come for the
purpose of slaying your wicked enemies. Show me a
way into yonder castle."

So Momotaro, the dog, and the monkey entered
through a small door in the castle. Once inside this
fortification they fought tenaciously. Many of the
devils were so frightened that they fell off the parapets
and were dashed to pieces, while others were speedily
killed by Momotaro and his companions. All were
destroyed except the Demon King himself, and he
wisely resolved to surrender, and begged that his life
might be spared.

" No," said Momotaro fiercely. " I will not spare
your wicked life. You have tortured many innocent
people and robbed the country for many years."

Having said these words he gave the Demon King
into the monkey's keeping, and then proceeded through
all the rooms of the castle, and set free the numerous
prisoners he found there. He also gathered together
much treasure.

The return journey was a very joyous affair indeed.
The dog and the pheasant carried the treasure between
them, while Momotaro led the Demon King.

Momotaro restored the two daughters o\ daimyos to
their homes, and many others who had been made
captives in the island. The whole country rejoiced in
his victory, but no one more than Momotaro's foster-
parents, who ended their days in peace and plenty,



thanks to the great treasure of the devils which
Momotaro bestowed upon them.

"My Lord Bag of Rice**

One day the great Hidesato came to a bridge that
spanned the beautiful Lake Biwa. He was about to
cross it when he noticed a great serpent-dragon fast
asleep obstructing his progress. Hidesato, without a
moment's hesitation, climbed over the monster and
proceeded on his way.

He had not gone far when he heard some one calling
to him. He looked back and saw that in the place ot
the dragon a man stood bowing to him with much
ceremony. He was a strange-looking fellow with a
dragon-shaped crown resting upon his red hair.

" I am the Dragon King of Lake Biwa," explained
the red-haired man. " A moment ago I took the form
of a horrible monster in the hope of finding a mortal
who would not be afraid of me. You, my lord, showed
no fear, and I rejoice exceedingly. A great centipede
comes down from yonder mountain, enters my palace,
and destroys my children and grandchildren. One by
one they have become food for this dread creature, and
I fear soon that unless something can be done to slay
this centipede I myself shall become a victim. I have
waited long for a brave mortal. All men who have
hitherto seen me in my dragon-shape have run away.
You are a brave man, and I beg that you will kill my
bitter enemy."

Hidesato, who always welcomed an adventure, the
more so when it was a perilous one, readily consented
to see what he could do for the Dragon King.

When Hidesato reached the Dragon King's palace
he found it to be a very magnificent building indeed,
scarcely less beautiful than the Sea King's palace itself.

Hidesato and the Centipede.



He was feasted with crystallised lotus leaves and flowers,
and ate the delicacies spread before him with choice
ebony chopsticks. While he feasted ten little goldfish
danced, and just behind the goldfish ten carp made sweet
music on the koto and samisen. Hidesato was just
thinking how excellently he had been entertained, and
how particularly good was the wine, when they all
heard an awful noise like a dozen thunderclaps roaring

Hidesato and the Dragon King hastily rose and ran
to the balcony. They saw that Mount Mikami was
scarcely recognisable, for it was covered from top to
bottom with the great coils of the centipede. In its
head glowed two balls of fire, and its hundred feet were
like a long winding chain of lanterns.

Hidesato fitted an arrow to his bowstring and pulled
it back with all his might. The arrow sped forth into
the night and struck the centipede in the middle of the
head, but glanced off immediately without inflicting any
wound. Again Hidesato sent an arrow whirling into
the air, and again it struck the monster and fell harm-
lessly to the ground. Hidesato had only one arrow
left. Suddenly remembering the magical eff^ect of
human saliva, he put the remaining arrow-head into his
mouth for a moment, and then hastily adjusted it to his
bow and took careful aim.

The last arrow struck its mark and pierced the centi-
pede's brain. The creature stopped moving ; the light
in its eyes and legs darkened and then went out, and
Lake Biwa, with its palace beneath, was shrouded in
awful darkness. Thunder rolled, lightning flashed, and
it seemed for the moment that the Dragon King's palace
would topple to the ground.

The next day, however, all sign of storm had
vanished. The sky was clear. The sun shone brightly.



In the sparkling blue lake lay the body of the great

The Dragon King and those about him were over-
joyed when they knew that their dread enemy had been
destroyed. Hidesato was again feasted, even more
royally than before. When he finally departed he did
so with a retinue of fishes suddenly converted into men.
The Dragon King bestowed upon our hero five precious
gifts — two bells, a bag of rice, a roll of silk, and a

The Dragon King accompanied Hidesato as far as
the bridge, and then he reluctantly allowed the hero
and the procession of servants carrying the presents to
proceed on their way.

When Hidesato reached his home the Dragon
King's servants put down the presents and suddenly

The presents were no ordinary gifts. The rice-bag
was inexhaustible, there was no end to the roll of
silk, and the cooking-pot would cook without fire of
any kind. Only the bells were without magical pro-
perties, and these were presented to a temple in the
vicinity. Hidesato grew rich, and his fame spread far
and wide. People now no longer called him Hidesato,
but Tawara Toda, or " My Lord Bag of Rice."



The Coming of the Lady Kaguya

LONG ago there lived an old bamboo-cutter by the
name of Sanugi no Miyakko. One day, while
he was busy with his hatchet in a grove of bam-
boos, he suddenly perceived a miraculous light, and on
closer inspection discovered in the heart of a reed avery
small creature of exquisite beauty. He gently picked
up the tiny girl, only about four inches in height, and
carried her home to his wife. So delicate was this little
maiden that she had to be reared in a basket.

Now it happened that the Bamboo-cutter continued
to set about his business, and night and day, as he cut
down the reeds, he found gold, and, once poor, he now
amassed a considerable fortune.

The child, after she had been but three months with
these simple country folk, suddenly grew in stature to
that of a full-grown maid ; and in order that she should
be in keeping with such a pleasing, if surprising, event,
her hair, hitherto allowed to flow in long tresses about
her shoulders, was now fastened in a knot on her head.
In due season the Bamboo-cutter named the girl the
Lady Kaguya, or " Precious- Slender-Bamboo-of-the-
Field-of-Autumn." When she had been named a great
feast was held, in which all the neighbours participated.

The Wooing of the ** Precious'Slender'Bamboo-
of'the'Field-of' Autumn "

" When a woman is somewhat fairer than the crowd
of women how greatly do men long to gaze upon her
beauty ! " — Taketori.

Now the Lady Kaguya was of all women the most
beautiful, and immediately after the feast the fame of

E 6i


her beauty spread throughout the land. Would-be
lovers gathered around the fence and lingered in the
porch with the hope of at least getting a glimpse of
this lovely maiden. Night and day these forlorn suitors
waited, but in vain. Those who were of humble origin
gradually began to recognise that their love-making
was useless. But five wealthy suitors still persisted,
and would not relax their efforts. They were Prince
Ishizukuri and Prince Kuramochi, the Sadaijin Dainagon
Abe no Miushi, the Chiunagon Otomo no Miyuki, and
Morotada, the Lord of Iso. These ardent lovers bore
" the ice and snow of winter and the thunderous heats
of midsummer with equal fortitude." When these lords
finally asked the Bamboo-cutter to bestow his daughter
upon one of them, the old man politely explained that
the maiden was not really his daughter, and as that was
so she could not be compelled to obey his own wishes
in the matter.

At last the lords returned to their mansions, but still
continued to make their supplications more persistently
than ever. Even the kindly Bamboo-cutter began to
remonstrate with the Lady Kaguya, and to point out
that it was becoming for so handsome a maid to marry,
and that among the five noble suitors she could surely
make a very good match. To this the wise Kaguya
replied : " Not so fair am I that 1 may be certain of a
man's faith, and were I to mate with one whose heart
proved fickle what a miserable fate were mine ! Noble
lords, without doubt, are these of whom thou speakest,
but I would not wed a man whose heart should be all
untried and unknown."

It was finally arranged that Kaguya should marry
the suitor who proved himself the most worthy.
This news brought momentary hope to the five great
lords, and when night came they assembled before the


house where the maiden dwelt "with flute music and
with singing, with chanting to accompaniments and
piping, with cadenced tap and clap of fan." Only
the Bamboo-cutter went out to thank the lords for
their serenading. When he had come into the house
again, Kaguya thus set forth her plan to test the
suitors :

"In Tenjiku (Northern India) is a beggar's bowl of
stone, which of old the Buddha himself bore, in quest
whereof let Prince Ishizukuri depart and bring me the
same. And on the mountain Horai, that towers over
the Eastern ocean, grows a tree with roots of silver
and trunk of gold and fruitage of pure white jade, and
1 bid Prince Kuramochi fare thither and break off and
bring me a branch thereof. Again, in the land of
Morokoshi men fashion fur-robes of the pelt of the
Flame-proof Rat, and I pray the Dainagon to find me
one such. Then of the Chiunagon I require the
rainbow-hued jewel that hides its sparkle deep in the
dragon's head ; and from the hands of the Lord Iso
would I fain receive the cowry-shell that the swallow
brings hither over the broad sea-plain."

The Begging'bowl of the Lord Buddha

The Prince Ishizukuri, after pondering over the
matter of going to distant Tenjiku in search of the
Lord Buddha's begging-bowl, came to the conclusion
that such a proceeding would be futile. He decided,
therefore, to counterfeit the bowl in question. He laid
his plans cunningly, and took good care that the Lady
Kaguya was informed that he had actually undertaken
the journey. As a matter of fact this artful suitor hid
in Yamato for three years, and after that time discovered
in a hill-monastery in Tochi a bowl of extreme age



resting upon an altar of Binzuru (the Succourer in
Sickness). This bowl he took away with him, and
wrapped it in brocade, and attached to the gift an
artificial branch of blossom.

When the Lady Kaguya looked upon the bowl she
found inside a scroll containing the following :

"Over seas, over hills
hath thy servant fared, and weary
and wayworn he perisheth :
O what tears hath cost this bowl of
what floods of streaming tears ! "

But when the Lady Kaguya perceived that no light
shone from the vessel she at once knew that it had
never belonged to the Lord Buddha. She accordingly
sent back the bowl with the following verse :

" Of the hanging dewdrop
not even the passing sheen
dwells herein :

On the Hill of Darkness, the Hill
of Ogura,
what couldest thou hope to find ?"

The Prince, having thrown away the bowl, sought to
turn the above remonstrance into a compliment to the
lady who wrote it.

" Nay, on the Hill of Brightness
what splendour
will not pale ?

Would that away from the light
of thy beauty

the sheen of yonder Bowl might
prove me true ! "

It was a prettily turned compliment by a suitor who
was an utter humbug. This latest poetical sally availed
nothing, and the Prince sadly departed.


The Jewel-bearing Branch of Mount Horai

Prince Kuramochi, like his predecessor, was equally-
wily, and made it generally known that he was setting
out on a journey to the land of Tsukushi in quest of
the Jewel-bearing Branch. What he actually did was
to employ six men of the Uchimaro family, celebrated
craftsmen, and secure for them a dwelling hidden from
the haunts of men, where he himself abode, for the
purpose of instructing the craftsmen as to how they
were to make a Jewel-bearing Branch identical with
the one described by the Lady Kaguya.

When the Jewel-bearing Branch was finished, he set
out to wait upon the Lady Kaguya, who read the
following verse attached to the gift :

" Though it were at the peril
of my very life,

without the Jewel-laden Branch
in my hands never again
would I have dared to return ! "

The Lady Kaguya looked sadly upon this glittering
branch, and listened without interest to the Prince's
purely imaginative story of his adventures. The Prince
dwelt upon the terrors of the sea, of strange monsters,
of acute hunger, of disease, which were their trials upon
the ocean. Then this incorrigible story-teller went on
to describe how they came to a high mountain rising
out of the sea, where they were greeted by a woman
bearing a silver vessel which she filled with water. On
the mountain were wonderful flowers and trees, and a
stream "rainbow-hued, yellow as gold, white as silver,
blue as precious ruri (lapis lazuli) ; and the stream was
spanned by bridges built up of divers gems, and by it
grew trees laden with dazzling jewels, and from one of



these I broke off the branch which I venture now to
offer to the Lady Kaguya."

No doubt the Lady Kaguya would have been forced
to believe this ingenious tale had not at that very
moment the six craftsmen appeared on the scene, and
by loudly demanding payment for the ready-made Jewel-
Branch, exposed the treachery of the Prince, who made
a hasty retreat. The Lady Kaguya herself rewarded
the craftsmen, happy, no doubt, to escape so easily.

The Flameproof Fur'Robc

The Sadaijin (Left Great Minister) Abe no Miushi
commissioned a merchant, by the name of Wokei, to
obtain for him a fur-robe made from the Flame-proof
Rat, and when the merchant's ship had returned from
the land of Morokoshi it bore a fur-robe, which the
sanguine Sadaijin imagined to be the very object of his
desire. The Fur-Robe rested in a casket, and the
Sadaijin, believing in the honesty of the merchant,
described it as being " of a sea-green colour, the hairs
tipped with shining gold, a treasure indeed of incom-
parable loveliness, more to be admired for its pure
excellence than even for its virtue in resisting the flame
of fire."

The Sadaijin, assured of success in his wooing, gaily
set out to present his gift to the Lady Kaguya, offering
in addition the following verse :

"Endless are the fires of love
that consume me, yet unconsuraed
is the Robe of Fur :
dry at last are my sleeves,
for shall I not see her face this day ! "

At last the Sadaijin was able to present his gift to the
Lady Kaguya. Thus she addressed the Bamboo-cutter,


who always seems to have been conveniently on the
scene at such times : " If this Robe be thrown amid
the flames and be not burnt up, I shall know it is in
very truth the Flame-proof Robe, and may no longer
refuse this lord's suit." A fire was lighted, and the Robe
thrown into the flames, where it perished immediately.
"When the Sadaijin saw this his face grew green as
grass, and he stood there astonished." But the Lady
Kaguya discreetly rejoiced, and returned the casket with
the following verse :

" Without a vestige even left
thus to burn utterly away,
had I dreamt it of this Robe of Fur.
Alas the pretty thing ! far otherwise
would I have dealt with it."

The Jewel in the Dragon's Head

The Chiunagon Otomo no Miyuki assembled his
household and informed his retainers that he desired
them to bring him the Jewel in the Dragon's head.

Aften some demur they pretended to set off on this
quest. In the meantime the Chiunagon was so sure
of his servants' success that he had his house lavishly
adorned throughout with exquisite lacquer-work, in gold
and silver. Every room was hung with brocade, the
panels rich with pictures, and over the roof were silken

Weary of waiting, the Chiunagon after a time journeyed
to Naniwa and questioned the inhabitants if any of his
servants had taken boat in quest of the Dragon. The
Chiunagon learnt that none of his men had come to
Naniwa, and, considerably displeased at the news, he
himself embarked with a helmsman.

Now it happened that the Thunder God was angry
and the sea ran high. After many days the storm



grew so severe and the boat was so near sinking
that the helmsman ventured to remark : " The howling
of the wind and the raging of the waves and the
mighty roar of the thunder are signs of the wrath of
the God whom my lord offends, who would slay the
Dragon of the deep, for through the Dragon is the
storm raised, and well it were if my lord offered a

As the Chiunagon had been seized with "a terrible
sickness," it is not surprising to find that he readily took
the helmsman's advice. He prayed no less than a
thousand times, enlarging on his folly in attempting to
slay the Dragon, and solemnly vowed that he would
leave the Ruler of the deep in peace.

The thunder ceased and the clouds dispersed, but
the wind was as fierce and strong as ever. The helms-
man, however, told his master that it was a fair wind
and blew towards their own land.

At last they reached the strand of Akashi, in
Harima. But the Chiunagon, still ill and mightily
frightened, vowed that they had been driven upon a
savage shore, and lay full length in the boat, panting
heavily, and refusing to rise when the governor of the
district presented himself.

When the Chiunagon at last realised that they had not
been blown upon some savage shore he consented to
land. No wonder the governor smiled when he saw
"the wretched appearance of the discomfited lord,
chilled to the very bone, with swollen belly and eyes
lustreless as sloes."

At length the Chiunagon was carried in a litter to his
own home. When he had arrived his cunning servants
humbly told their master how they had failed in the
quest. Thus the Chiunagon greeted them : " Ye have
done well to return empty-handed. Yonder Dragon,

assuredly, has kinship with the Thunder God, and
whoever shall lay hands on him to take the jewel that
gleams in his head shall find himself in peril. Myself
am sore spent with toil and hardship, and no guerdon
have I won. A thief of men's souls and a destroyer of
their bodies is the Lady Kaguya, nor ever will I seek
her abode again, nor ever bend ye your steps thither-

We are told, in conclusion, that when the women of
his household heard of their lord's adventure " they
laughed till their sides were sore, while the silken
cloths he had caused to be drawn over the roof of his
mansion were carried away, thread by thread, by the
crows to line their nests with."

The Royal Hunt^

Now the fame of the Lady Kaguya's beauty reached
the court, and the Mikado, anxious to gaze upon her,
sent one of his palace ladies, Fusago, to go and see the
Bamboo-cutter's daughter, and to report to his Majesty
of her excellences.

Hov/ever, when Fusago reached the Bamboo-cutter's
house the Lady Kaguya refused to see her. So the
palace lady returned to court and reported the matter
to the Mikado. His Majesty, not a little displeased,
sent for the Bamboo-cutter, and made him bring the
Lady Kaguya to court that he might see her, adding :
"A hat of nobility, perchance, shall be her father's

The old Bamboo-cutter was an admirable soul, and
mildly discountenanced his daughter's extraordinary
behaviour. Although he loved court favours and

^ The Fifth Quest, that of Lord Iso, is omitted. The story is
trivial and of no particular interest. Suffice it to say that Lord Iso's
search for the cowry-shell was in vain.


probably hankered after so distinguished a hat, it must
be said of him that he was first of all true to his duty
as a father.

When, on returning to his home, he discussed the
matter with the Lady Kaguya, she informed the old
man that if she were compelled to go to court it would
certainly cause her death, adding : " The price of my
father's hat of nobility will be the destruction of his

The Bamboo-cutter was deeply affected by these
words, and once more set out on a journey to the
court, where he humbly made known his daughter's

The Mikado, not to be denied even by an extra-
ordinarily beautiful woman, hit on the ingenious plan
of ordering a Royal Hunt, so arranged that he might
unexpectedly arrive at the Bamboo-cutter's dwelling,
and perchance see the lady who could set at defiance
the desires of an emperor.

On the day appointed for the Royal Hunt, therefore,
the Mikado entered the Bamboo-cutter's house. He
had no sooner done so than he was surprised to sec in
the room in which he stood a wonderful light, and in
the light none other than the Lady Kaguya.

His Majesty advanced and touched the maiden's
sleeve, whereupon she hid her face, but not before the
Mikado had caught a glimpse of her beauty. Amazed
by her extreme loveliness, and taking no notice of her
protests, he ordered a palace litter to be brought ; but
on its arrival the Lady Kaguya suddenly vanished. The
Emperor, perceiving that he was dealing with no mortal
maid, exclaimed: "It shall be as thou desirest, maiden ;
but 'tis prayed that thou resume thy form, that once
more thy beauty may be seen."

So the Lady Kaguya resumed her fair form again,


As his Majesty was about to be borne away he
composed the following verse :

" Mournful the return
of the Royal Hunt,
and full of sorrow the brooding
heart ;

for she resists and stays behind,
the Lady Kaguya ! "

The Lady Kaguya thus made answer :

" Under the roof o'ergrown with

long were the years
she passed.

How may she dare to look upon
The Palace of Precious Jade ? "

The Celestial Robe of Feathers

In the third year after the Royal Hunt, and in the
spring-time, the Lady Kaguya continually gazed at the
moon. On the seventh month, when the moon was
full, the Lady Kaguya's sorrow increased so that her
weeping distressed the maidens who served her. At
last they came to the Bamboo-cutter, and said : " Long
has the Lady Kaguya watched the moon, waxing in
melancholy with the waxing thereof, and her woe now
passes all measure, and sorely she weeps and wails ;
wherefore we counsel thee to speak with her."

When the Bamboo-cutter communed with his
daughter, he requested that she should tell him the
cause of her sorrow, and was informed that the sight of
the moon caused her to reflect upon the wretchedness
of the world.

During the eighth month the Lady Kaguya explained
to her maids that she was no ordinary mortal, but that
her birthplace was the Capital of Moonland, and that



the time was now at hand when she was destined to
leave the world and return to her old home.

Not only was the Bamboo-cutter heart-broken at this
sorrowful news, but the Mikado also was considerably
troubled when he heard of the proposed departure of
the Lady Kaguya. His Majesty was informed that at
the next full moon a company would be sent down
from that shining orb to take this beautiful lady away,
whereupon he determined to put a check upon this
celestial invasion. He ordered that a guard of soldiers
should be stationed about the Bamboo-cutter's house,
armed and prepared, if need be, to shoot their arrows
upon those Moonfolk, who would fain take the beautiful
Lady Kaguya away.

The old Bamboo-cutter naturally thought that with
such a guard to protect his daughter the invasion from
the moon would prove utterly futile. The Lady
Kaguya attempted to correct the old man's ideas on the
subject, saying : " Ye cannot prevail over the folk of
yonder land, nor will your artillery harm them nor
your defences avail against them, for every door will
fly open at their approach, nor may your valour help,
for be ye never so stout-hearted, when the Moonfolk
come vain will be your struggle with them." These
remarks made the Bamboo-cutter exceedingly angry.
He asserted that his nails would turn into talons — in
short, that he would completely annihilate such impudent
visitors from the moon.

Now while the royal guard was stationed about the
Bamboo-cutter's house, on the roof and in every direc-
tion, the night wore away. At the hour of the Rat ^ a great
glory, exceeding the splendour of the moon and stars,

1 Midnight until two in the morning. " Years, days, and hours,"
writes Professor B. H. Chamberlain, " were all accounted as belonging
to one of the signs of the zodiac."

The Moonfolk demand the Lady Kaguya.




shone around. While the light still continued a strange
cloud approached, bearing upon it a company of Moon-
folk. The cloud slowly descended until it came near
to the ground, and the Moonfolk assembled themselves
in order. When the royal guard perceived them
every soldier grew afraid at the strange spectacle ; but
at length some of their number summoned up sufficient
courage to bend their bows and send their arrows flying ;
but all their shafts went astray.

On the cloud there rested a canopied car, resplendent
with curtains of finest woollen fabric, and from out
the car a mighty voice sounded, saying : " Come thou
forth, Miyakko Maro ! "

The Bamboo-cutter tottered forth to obey the
summons, and received for his pains an address from
the chief of the Moonfolk commencing with, " Thou
fool," and ending up with a command that the Lady
Kaguya should be given up without further delay.

The car floated upward upon the cloud till it hovered
over the roof. Once again the same mighty voice
shouted : " Ho there, Kaguya ! How long wouldst
thou tarry in this sorry place ?''

Immediately the outer door of the storehouse and
the inner lattice-work were opened by the power of
the Moonfolk, and revealed the Lady Kaguya and her
women gathered about her.

The Lady Kaguya, before taking her departure,
greeted the prostrate Bamboo-cutter and gave him a
scroll bearing these words : " Had I been born in this
land, never should I have quitted it until the time came
for my father to suflTer no sorrow for his child ; but
now, on the contrary, must 1 pass beyond the boundaries
of this world, though sorely against my will. My silken
mantle I leave behind me as a memorial, and when the
moon lights up the night let my father gaze upon it.



Now my eyes must take their last look and I must
mount to yonder sky, whence I fain would fall, meteor-
wise, to earth."

Now the Moonfolk had brought with them, in a
coffer, a Celestial Feather Robe and a few drops of the
Elixir of Life. One of them said to the Lady Kaguya :
" Taste, I pray you, of this Elixir, for soiled has your
spirit become with the grossnesses of this filthy world."

The Lady Kaguya, after tasting the Elixir, was about
to wrap up some in the mantle she was leaving behind for
the benefit of the old Bamboo-cutter, who had loved
her so well, when one of the Moonfolk prevented her,
and attempted to throw over her shoulders the Celes-
tial Robe, when the Lady Kaguya exclaimed : " Have
patience yet awhile ; who dons yonder robe changes
his heart, and I have still somewhat to say ere I depart."
Then she proceeded to write the following to the
Mikado :

"Your Majesty deigned to send a host to protect
your servant, but it was not to be, and now is the
misery at hand of departing with those who have come
to bear her away with them. Not permitted was it to
her to serve your Majesty, and despite her will was it
that she yielded not obedience to the Royal command,
and wrung with grief is her heart thereat, and perchance
your Majesty may have thought the Royal will was
not understood, and was opposed by her, and so will
she appear to your Majesty lacking in good manners,
which she would not your Majesty deemed her to be,
and therefore humbly she lays this writing at the Royal
Feet. And now must she don the Feather Robe and
mournfully bid her lord farewell."

Having delivered this scroll into the hands of the
captain of the host, together with a bamboo joint con-


taining the Elixir, the Feather Robe was thrown over
her, and in a moment all memory of her earthly-
existence departed.

Then the Lady Kaguya entered the car, surrounded
by the company of Moonfolk, and the cloud rapidly
rose skyward till it was lost to sight.

The sorrow of the Bamboo-cutter and of the Mikado
knew no bounds. The latter held a Grand Council,
and inquired which was the highest mountain in the
land. One of the councillors answered : " In Suruga
stands a mountain, not remote from the capital, that
towers highest towards heaven among all the mountains
of the land." Whereupon his Majesty composed the
following verse :

" Never more to see her !
Tears of grief overwhelm me,
and as for me,
with the Elixir of Life
what have I to do ? "

Then the scroll, which the Lady Kaguya had written,
together with the Elixir, was given to Tsuki no Iwakasa.
These he was commanded to take to the summit of the
highest mountain in Suruga, and, standing upon the
highest peak, to burn the scroll and the Elixir of Life.

" So Tsuki no Iwakasa heard humbly the Royal
command, and took with him a company of warriors,
and climbed the mountain and did as he was bidden.
And it was from that time forth that the name of Fuji
{Jbuji-yama^ * Never Dying ') was given to yonder
mountain, and men say that the smoke of that burning
still curls from its high peak to mingle with the clouds
of heaven."



The Legend of the Golden Lotus

THE following legend is obviously not of Japanese
origin. The priests of Buddhism in Japan
knew that the success of their religion lay, not
in sweeping out the old gods of Shinto, but in adapting
them with infinite cleverness to the needs of their own
teaching. In this case Japan has borrowed trom India
and in a minor degree from China, if we may look
upon the dragon as originally belonging to the Celestial
Kingdom. We have followed closely Mr. Edward
Greey's version, and insert it here because it often
enters into a Nippon priest's discourse, and has a de-
cidedly Japanese setting. We might duplicate legends
of this kind, but one will be sufficient for our purpose.
The other two legends given in this chapter are strictly

The Lord Buddha, having concluded his holy medi-
tations upon Mount Dan-doku, slowly walked along
a rocky pathway on his way to the city. The dark
shadows of night crept over the country, and there was
profound stillness everywhere.

On nearing his destination the Lord Buddha heard
some one shout : ^^ Shio-giyo mu-jiyo ! " ("The outward
manner is not always an index to the natural disposi-

The Lord Buddha was delighted at these words, and
desired to learn who had spoken so wisely. Over and
over again he heard the same words, and, drawing to
the edge of a precipice, he looked down into the valley
beneath, and perceived an extremely ugly dragon gazing
up at him with angry eyes.

The Holy One then seated himself upon a rock, and
inquired of the dragon how he had come to learn one

Buddha and the Dragon.



of the highest mysteries of Buddhism. Such profound
wisdom suggested a store of spiritual truths yet to be
revealed, and the Lord Buddha, therefore, requested
that the dragon should give utterance to other wise

Then the dragon, having coiled himself round the
rock, shouted with a great voice : " Ze-shio metsu-po ! "
("All living things are antagonistic to the law of
Buddha ! ")

After uttering these words the dragon was silent for
some time. Then the Lord Buddha begged to hear
yet another sentence.

" Shio-metsu metsu-i I " (" All living things must die 1 ")
shouted the dragon.

At these words the dragon looked up at the Lord
Buddha, and upon his dreadful countenance there was
an expression of extreme hunger.

The dragon then informed the Lord Buddha that the
next truth was the last, and so precious that he could
not reveal it until his hunger had been appeased.

At this the Holy One remarked that he would deny
the dragon nothing so long as he heard the fourth truth
revealed, and inquired of the dragon what he demanded.
When the Lord Buddha heard that human flesh was what
the dragon required in exchange for his last precious
fragment of wisdom, the Master informed the dragon
that his religion forbade the destruction of life, but
that he would, for the welfare of his people, sacrifice
his own body.

The dragon opened his great mouth and said : " Jaku-
metsu I-raku ! " (" The greatest happiness is experienced
after the soul has left the body ! ")

The Lord Buddha bowed, and then sprang into the
gaping mouth of the dragon.

No sooner had the Holy One touched the jaws of

F 8i


the monster than they suddenly divided into eight
parts, and in a moment changed into the eight petals
of the Golden Lotus.

The Bronze Buddha of Kamakura and the "Whale ^

" Above the old songs turned to ashes and pain,
Under which Death enshrouds the idols and trees with mist of sigh,
(Where are Kamakura's rising days and life of old ?)
With heart heightened to hush, the Daibutsu forever sits."

Tone NogucH.

The great bronze Buddha of Kamakura, or the
Daibutsu, is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable
sights in Japan. At one time Kamakura was the capital
of Nippon. It was a great city of nearly a million in-
habitants, and was the seat of the Shoguns and of the
Regents of the Hojo family during the troublous
period of the Middle Ages. But Kamakura, for all its
devout worshippers of the Lord Buddha, was destroyed
by storm on two occasions, until it finally lost its im-
portance. To-day rice-fields and woods are to be seen
in place of the glory of old. Storm and fire, however,
have left untouched the temple of Hachiman (the God
of War) and the bronze image of Buddha. At one
time this gigantic figure reposed in a temple, but now
it stands high above the trees, with an inscrutable smile
upon its great face, with eyes full of a peace that cannot
be shaken by the petty storms of the world.

Legend is nearly always elemental. Divinities,
irrespective of their austerity, are brought down to a
very human level. It is a far cry from the complex
teaching of the Lord Buddha to the story of Amida
Butsu and the whale. One can trace in the following
legend an almost pathetic desire to veil the greatness of
Buddha. The gigantic size of the Daibutsu is not
1 Adapted from Fairy Tales of Old Japan, by W. E. Griffis.


really in keeping with that curious love of little things
which is so characteristic of the Japanese people. There
is a playful irony in this story, a desire to take down
the great Teacher a peg or two — if only to take him
down in stature a paltry two inches !

So many things appear to us to be done in a topsy-
turvy way in Japan that we are not surprised to find that
in measuring metal and soft goods the feet on the yard-
stick are not alike. For soft goods a whale measure is
used, for any hard material a metal foot. There are
two inches of difference in these measures, and the
following legend may possibly give us the reason for
this apparently rather confusing discrepancy.

The Bronze Buddha, in its sitting posture, is fifty
feet high, ninety-seven feet in circumference, the length
of its face eight feet, and as for its thumbs they are three
feet round. It is probably the tallest piece of bronze
in the world. Such an enormous image naturally
created a considerable sensation in the days when
Kamakura was a flourishing city, laid out by the great
General Yoritomo. The roads in and about the city
were densely packed with pilgrims, anxious to gaze upon
the latest marvel, and all agreed that this bronze image
was the biggest thing in the world.

Now it may be that certain sailors who had seen
this marvel chatted about it as they plied their nets.
Whether this was so or not, a mighty whale, who lived
in the Northern Sea, happened to hear about the Bronze
Buddha of Kamakura, and as he regarded himself as being
far bigger than anything on land, the idea of a possible
rival did not meet with his approval. He deemed it
impossible that little men could construct anything that
could vie with his enormous bulk, and laughed heartily
at the very absurdity of such a conception.

His laughter, however, did not last long. He was



inordinately jealous, and when he heard about the
numerous pilgrimages to Kamakura and the incessant
praise evoked from those who had seen the image he
grew exceedingly angry, lashed the sea into foam, and
blew down his nose with so much violence that the
other creatures of the deep gave him a very wide berth.
His loneliness only aggravated his trouble, and he was
unable to eat or sleep, and in consequence grew thin.
He at last decided to chat the matter over with a kindly

The shark answered the whale's heated questions with
quiet solicitude, and consented to go to the Southern
Sea in order that he might take the measurement of
the image, and bring back the result of his labour to
his agitated friend.

The shark set off upon his journey, until he came to
the shore, where he could see the image towering above
him, about half a mile inland. As he could not walk
on dry land he was about to renounce his quest, when
he had the good fortune to discover a rat enjoying a
scamper along a junk. He explained his mission to
the rat, and requested that much-flattered little creature
to take the measurement of the Bronze Buddha.

So the rat climbed down the junk, swam ashore, and
entered the dark temple where the Great Buddha stood.
At first he was so overcome by the magnificence he saw
about him that he was uncertain as to how to proceed
in carrying out the shark's request. He eventually
decided to walk round the image, counting his foot-
steps as he went. He discovered after he had per-
formed this task that he had walked exactly five
thousand paces, and on his return to the junk he told
the shark the measurement of the base of the Bronze

The shark, with profuse thanks to the rat, returned


to the Northern Sea, and informed the whale that the
reports concerning the size of this exasperating image
were only too true.

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" evidently
applies equally well to whales, for the whale of this
legend, after receiving the information, grew more
furious than ever. As in a story familiar to English
children, he put on magic boots in order to travel on
land as well as he had always done in the sea.

The whale reached the Kamakura temple at night.
He discovered that the priests had gone to bed, and
were apparently fast asleep. He knocked at the door.
Instead of the dismal murmur of a half-awake priest he
heard the Lord Buddha say, in a voice that rang like
the sound of a great bell : " Come in ! "

" I cannot," replied the whale, " because I am too big.
Will you please come out and see me ? "

When Buddha found out who his visitor was, and
what he wanted at so unearthly an hour, he con-
descendingly stepped down from his pedestal and came
outside the temple. There was utter amazement on
both sides. Had the whale possessed knees they would
assuredly have knocked together. He knocked his
head on the ground instead. For his part, Buddha
was surprised to find a creature of such gigantic

We can imagine the consternation of the chief priest
when he found that the pedestal did not bear the image
of his Master. Hearing a strange conversation going
on outside the temple, he went out to see what was
taking place. The much-frightened priest was invited
to join in the discussion, and was requested to take the
measurement of the image and the whale, and ac-
cordingly began to measure with his rosary. During
this proceeding the image and the whale awaited the



result with bated breath. When the measurements
had been taken the whale was found to be two inches
longer and taller than the image.

The whale went back to the Northern Sea more utterly-
vain than ever, while the image returned to its temple
and sat down again, and there it has remained to this
day, none the worse, perhaps, for finding that it was not
quite so big as it imagined. Dealers in dry goods and
dealers in wood and iron agreed from that day to this
to differ as to what was a foot — and the difference was
a matter of two inches.

The Crystal of Buddha'

In ancient days there lived in Japan a great State
Minister named Kamatari. Now Kamatari's only
daughter, Kohaku Jo, was extremely beautiful, and as
good as she was beautiful. She was the delight of her
father's heart, and he resolved that, if she married, no
one of less account than a king should be her husband.
With this idea continually in his mind, he steadfastly
refused the offers for her hand.

One day there was a great tumult in the palace
courtyard. Through the open gates streamed a number
of men bearing a banner on which was worked a silken
dragon on a yellow background. Kamatari learnt that
these men had come from the court of China with a
message from the Emperor Koso. The Emperor had
heard of the exceeding beauty and exquisite charm of
Kohaku Jo, and desired to marry her. As is usual in
the East on such occasions, the Emperor's offer was
accompanied with the promise that if Kohaku Jo should
become his bride he would allow her to choose from
his store of treasures whatever she liked to send to her
own country.

^ Adapted from Buddhds Crystal^ by Madame Yei Ozaki.


After Kamatari had received the envoys with due
pomp and ceremony, and put at their disposal a whole
wing of the palace, he returned to his own room and
bade his servant bring his daughter into his presence.

When Kohaku had entered her father's room she
bowed before him and sat patiently on the white mats
waiting for her august parent to speak to her.

Kamatari told her that he had chosen the Emperor
of China to be her husband, and the little maid wept
on hearing the news. She had been so happy in her
own home, and China seemed such a long way off.
When, however, her father foretold more happiness in
the future than she had ever had in the past, she dried
her eyes and listened to her parent's words, a little
amazed to hear, perhaps, that all China's treasures were
to be laid at her own small feet. She was glad when
her father told her that she would be able to send three
of these treasures to the temple of Kofukuji, where she
had received a blessing when a little babe.

So Kohaku obeyed her father with not a little mis-
giving, not a little heartache. Her girl companions
wept when they heard the news, but they were com-
forted when Kohaku's mother told them that some
of their number would be chosen to go with their

Before Kohaku sailed for China she wended her
way to the beloved temple of Kofukuji, and, arriving
at the sacred shrine, she prayed for protection in her
journey, vowing that if her prayers were answered she
would search China for its three most precious treasures,
and send them to the temple as a thank-offering.

Kohaku reached China in safety and was received
by the Emperor Koso with great magnificence. Her
childish fears were soon dispelled by the Emperor's
kindness. Indeed, he showed her considerably more



than kindness. He spoke to her in the language of a
lover : " After long, long days of weary waiting I have
gathered the ' azalea of the distant mountain,' and now
I plant it in my garden, and great is the gladness of my
heart 1 " ^

The Emperor Koso led her from palace to palace, and
she knew not which was the most beautiful, but her
royal husband was aware that she was far more lovely
than any of them. Because of her great loveliness he
desired that it should be ever remembered throughout
the length and breadth of China, even beyond the
bounds of his kingdom. " So he called together his
goldsmiths and gardeners," as Madame Ozaki writes
in describing this story, " and commanded them to
fashion a path for the Empress such as had never been
heard of in the wide world. The stepping-stones of
this path were to be lotus-flowers, carved out of silver
and gold, for her to walk on whenever she strolled
forth under the trees or by the lake, so that it might
be said that her beautiful feet were never soiled by
touching the earth ; and ever since then, in China and
Japan, poet-lovers and lover-poets in song and sonnet
and sweet conversation have called the feet of the
women they love * lotus feet.' "

But in spite of all the magnificence that surrounded

Kohaku she did not forget her native land or the vow

she had made in the temple of Kofukuji. One day

she timidly informed the Emperor of her promise,

and he, only too glad to have another opportunity of

pleasing her, set before her such a store of beautiful and

precious things that it seemed as if an exquisite phantom

world of gay colour and perfect form had suddenly

come into being at her very feet. There was such a

wealth of beautiful things that she found it very

^ Madame Ozaki.


difficult to make a choice. She finally decided upon
the following magical treasures : a musical instrument,
which if one struck would continue to play for ever,
an ink-stone box, which, on opening the lid, was found
to contain an inexhaustible supply of Indian ink, and,
last of all, " a beautiful Crystal, in whose clear depths
was to be seen, from whichever side you looked, an
image of Buddha riding on a white elephant. The
jewel was of transcendent glory and shone like a star,
and whoever gazed into its liquid depths and saw
the blessed vision of Buddha had peace of heart for
evermore." ^

After Kohaku had gazed for some time upon these
treasures she sent for Admiral Banko and bade him
safely convey them to the temple of Kofukuji.

Everything went well with Admiral Banko and his
ship until they were in Japanese waters, sailing into
the Bay of Shido-no-ura, when a mighty tempest
whirled the vessel hither and thither. The waves rolled
up with the fierceness of wild beasts, and lightning
continually blazed across the sky, to light up for a
moment a rolling ship, now flung high upon a mountain
of water, now swept into a green valley from which it
seemed it could never rise again.

Suddenly the storm abated with the same unex-
pectedness with which it had arisen. Some fairy hand
had brushed up all the clouds and laid a blue and
sparkling carpet across the sea. The admiral's first
thought was for the safety of the treasures entrusted to
him, and on going below he discovered the musical
instrument and ink-stone box just as he had left them,
but that the most precious of the treasures, Buddha's
Crystal, was missing. He contemplated taking his
life, so grieved was he at the loss ; but on reflection he
^ Madame Ozaki.



saw that it would be wiser to live so long as there
was anything he could do to find the jewel. He
accordingly hastened to land, and informed Kamatari
of his dreadful misfortune.

No sooner had Kamatari been told about the loss of
Buddha's Crystal than this wise minister perceived that
the Dragon King of the Sea had stolen it, and for that
purpose had caused the storm, which had enabled him
to steal the treasure unperceived.

Kamatari offered a large reward to a number of
fishermen he saw upon the shore of Shido-no-ura if
any of their number would venture into the sea and
bring back the Crystal. All the fishermen volunteered,
but after many attempts the precious jewel still remained
in the keeping of the Sea King.

Kamatari, much distressed, suddenly became aware
of a poor woman carrying an infant in her arms. She
begged the great minister that she might enter the sea
and search for the Crystal, and in spite of her frailty she
spoke with conviction. Her mother-heart seemed to
lend her courage. She made her request because, if she
succeeded in bringing back the Crystal, she desired that
as a reward Kamatari should bring up her little son as
a samurai in order that he might be something in life
other than a humble fisherman.

It will be remembered that Kamatari in his day had
been ambitious for his daughter's welfare. He readily
understood the poor woman's request, and solemnly
promised that if she carried out her part faithfully he
would gladly do his.

The woman withdrew, and taking off her upper
garments, and tying a rope round her waist, into which
she stuck a knife, she was prepared for her perilous
journey. Giving the end of the rope to a number of
fishermen, she plunged into the water.


At first the woman saw the dim outline of rocks, the
dart of a frightened fish, and the faint gold of the sand
beneath her. Then she suddenly became aware of the
roofs of the palace of the Sea King, a great and gorgeous
building of coral, relieved here and there with clusters
of many-coloured seaweed. The palace was like a huge
pagoda, rising tier upon tier. The woman swam nearer
in order to inspect it more closely, and she perceived a
bright light, more brilliant than the light of many moons,
so bright that it dazzled her eyes. It was the light of
Buddha's Crystal, placed on the pinnacle of this vast
abode, and on every side of the shining jewel were
guardian dragons fast asleep, appearing to watch even
in their slumber !

Up swam the woman, praying in her brave heart that
the dragons might sleep till she was out of harm's way
and in possession of the treasure. No sooner had she
snatched the Crystal from its resting-place than the
guardians awoke ; their great claws extended and their
tails furiously lashed the water, and in another moment
they were in hot pursuit. jRather than lose the Crystal,
which she had won at so much peril, the woman cut a
wound in her left breast and forced the jewel into the
bleeding cavity, pressing her hand, without a murmur
of pain, upon the poor torn flesh. When the dragons
perceived that the water was murky with the woman's
blood they turned back, for sea-dragons are afraid of
the very sight of blood.

Now the woman sharply pulled the rope, and the
fishermen, sitting upon the rocks far above, drew her to
land with ever-quickening speed. They gently laid her
upon the shore, and found that her eyes were closed
and her breast bleeding profusely. Kamatari at first
thought that the woman had risked her life in vain ; but
bending over her he noticed the wound in her breast.



At that moment she opened her eyes, and, taking the
jewel from its place of concealment, she murmured a
few words about Kamatari's promise, then fell back dead
with a smile of peace upon her face.

Kamatari took the woman's child home and looked
after him with all the loving care of a father. In due
time the boy grew to manhood and became a brave
samurai, and at Kamatari's death he, too, became a great
State minister. When in later years he learnt the
story of his mother's act of self-sacrifice he built a
temple in the Bay of Shido-no-ura, in memory of one
who was so brave and true. It is called Shidoji, and
pilgrims visit this temple and remember the nobility of
a poor shell-gatherer to this day.



Inari, the Fox God

THE fox takes an important place in Japanese
legend, and the subject is of a far-reaching and
complex kind.^ Inari was originally the God
of Rice, but in the eleventh century he became associated
with the Fox God, with attributes for good and evil,
mostly for evil, so profuse and so manifold in their
application that they cause no little confusion to the
English reader. All foxes possess supernatural powers
to an almost limitless degree. They have the power
of infinite vision ; they can hear everything and under-
stand the secret thoughts of mankind generally, and in
addition they possess the power of transformation and of
transmutation. The chief attribute of the bad fox is
the power to delude human beings, and for this pur-
pose it will take the form of a beautiful woman, and
many are the legends told in this connection.^ If the
shadow of a fox-woman chance to fall upon water, only
the fox, and not the fair woman, is revealed. It
is said that if a dog sees a fox-woman the femi-
nine form vanishes immediately, and the fox alone

Though the legends connected with the fox in Japan
are usually associated with evil, Inari sometimes poses
as a beneficent being, a being who can cure coughs and
colds, bring wealth to the needy, and answer a woman's
prayer for a child. Another kindly act on the part of

^ The strange supernatural powers of the fox do not belong
exclusively to Japan, Numerous examples of this animal's magical
attainments may be found in Chinese legend. Sec Strange 1 ales
fro'-i a Chinese Studio, by Professor H. A. Giles.

^ See my Land of the Yellow Spring, and other Japanese Stories,
p. 113.



Inari, which we might well have associated with JizO,
is to enable little boys and girls to bear with fortitude
the troublesome performance of being shaved with a
none too perfect razor, and also to help the little ones
to go through the painful process of a hot bath, never
less in Japan than i io�� F. !

Inari not infrequently rewards human beings for any
act of kindness to a fox. Only a part of his reward,
however, is real ; at least one tempting coin is bound to
turn very quickly into grass ! The little good done
by Inari — and we have tried to do him justice — is alto-
gether weighed down by his countless evil actions,
often of an extremely cruel nature, as will be seen later
on. The subject of the fox in Japan has been aptly
described by Lafcadio Hearn as "ghostly zoology,"
and this cunning and malignant animal is certainly
ghostly with a completeness far more horribly subtle
than our own stock-in-trade ghost with luminous garment
and clanking chain !

Demoniacal Possession

Demoniacal possession is frequently said to be due
to the evil influence of foxes. This form of possession
is known as kitsune-tsuki. The sufferer is usually a
woman of the poorer classes, one who is highly sensitive
and open to believe in all manner of superstitions. The
question of demoniacal possession is still an unsolved
problem, and the studies of Dr. Baelz, of the Imperial
University of Japan, seem to point to the fact that animal
possession in human beings is a very real and terrible truth
after all.^ He remarks that a fox usually enters a woman
either through the breast or between the finger-nails, and
that the fox lives a separate life of its own, frequently
speaking in a voice totally different from the human.

^ See Pastor S/r, one ofChina^s Questions^ by Mrs. Taylor.


The Death-Stone^

" The Death-Stone stands on Nasu's moor
Through winter snows and summer heat ;
The moss grows grey upon its sides,
But the foul demon haunts it yet.

" Chill blows the blast : the owl's sad choir
Hoots hoarsely through the moaning pines ;
Among the low chrysanthemums
The skulking fox, the jackal whines.
As o'er the moor the autumn light declines."

Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

The Buddhist priest Genno, after much weary travel,
came to the moor of Nasu, and was about to rest under
the shadow of a great stone, when a spirit suddenly-
appeared, and said : " Rest not under this stone. This
is the Death-Stone. Men, birds, and beasts have
perished by merely touching it ! "

These mysterious and warning remarks naturally
awakened Genno's curiosity, and he begged that the spirit
would favour him with the story of the Death-Stone.

Thus the spirit began : " Long ago there was a fair
girl living at the Japanese Court. She was so charming
that she was called the Jewel Maiden. Her wisdom
equalled her beauty, for she understood Buddhist lore
and the Confucian classics, science, and the poetry of

" So sweetly decked by nature and by art.
The monarch's self soon clasp'd her to his heart."

Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

" One night," went on the spirit, " the Mikado gave

1 " The Death-Stone " is certainly one of the most remarkable of
fox legends. It illustrates a malignant fox taking the form of a
leductive woman in more than one life. She is a coming and
vanishing creature of alluring but destructive power, a sort of
Japanese version of Fata Morgana. The legend has been adapted from
a No, or lyrical drama, translated by Professor B. H. Chamberlain.



a great feast in the Summer Palace, and there he
assembled the wit, wisdom, and beauty of the land. It
was a brilliant gathering ; but while the company ate
and drank, accompanied by the strains of sweet music,
darkness crept over the great apartment. Black clouds
raced across the sky, and there was not a star to be seen.
While the guests sat rigid with fear a mysterious wind
arose. It howled through the Summer Palace and
blew out all the lanterns. The complete darkness pro-
duced a state of panic, and during the uproar some one
cried out, ' A light ! A light ! '"

" And lo ! from out the Jewel Maiden's frame
There's seen to dart a weirdly lustrous flame !
It grows, it spreads, it fills th' imperial halls ;
The painted screens, the costly panell'd walls,
Erst the pale viewless damask of the night
Sparkling stand forth as in the moon's full light."

Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

"From that very hour the Mikado sickened," con-
tinued the spirit. "He grew so ill that the Court
Magician was sent for, and this worthy soul speedily
ascertained the cause of his Majesty's decline. He
stated, with much warmth of language, that the Jewel
Maiden was a harlot and a fiend, ' who, with insidious
art, the State to ravage, captivates thy heart ! '

" The Magician's words turned the Mikado's heart
against the Jewel Maiden. When this sorceress was
spurned she resumed her original shape, that of a fox,
and ran away to this very stone on Nasu moor."

The priest looked at the spirit critically. "Who are
you ? " he said at length.

" I am the demon that once dwelt in the breast ot
the Jewel Maiden ! Now I inhabit the Death-Stone for
evermore ! "

The good Genno was much horrified by this dreadful

The Mikado and the Jewel Maiden.



confession, but, remembering his duty as a priest, he
said : " Though you have sunk low in wickedness, you
shall rise to virtue again. Take this priestly robe and
begging-bowl, and reveal to me your fox form."
Then this wicked spirit cried pitifully :

" In the garish light of day
I hide myself away.
Like pale Asama's fires :
With the night I'll come again,
Confess my guilt with pain
And new-born pure desires."

Translated by B, H. Chamberlain.

With these words the spirit suddenly vanished.

Genno did not relinquish his good intentions. He
strove more ardently than ever for this erring soul's
salvation. In order that she might attain Nirvana, he
offered flowers, burnt incense, and recited the sacred
Scriptures in front of the stone.

"When Genno had performed these religious duties,
he said : " Spirit of the Death-Stone, I conjure thee !
what was it in a former world that did cause thee to
assume in this so foul a shape ?"

Suddenly the Death-Stone was rent and the spirit
once more appeared, crying :

" In stones there are spirits.
In the waters is a voice heard :
The winds sweep across the firmament ! "

Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

Genno saw a lurid glare about him and, in the
shining light, a fox that suddenly turned into a beautiful

Thus spoke the spirit of the Death-Stone : " I am
she who first, in Ind, was the demon to whom Prince
Hazoku paid homage. . . . In Great Cathay I took the
form of Hoji, consort of the Emperor luwao ; and at

G 97


the Court of the Rising Sun I became the Flawless
Jewel Maiden, concubine to the Emperor Toba."

The spirit confessed to Genno that in the form of the
Jewel Maiden she had desired to bring destruction to
the Imperial line. " Already," said the spirit, " I was
making my plans, already I was gloating over the
thought of the Mikado's death, and had it not been for
the power of the Court Magician I should have suc-
ceeded in my scheme. As I have told you, I was
driven from the Court. I was pursued by dogs and
arrows, and finally sank exhausted into the Death-
Stone. From time to time I haunted the moor. Now
the Lord Buddha has had compassion upon me, and he
has sent his priest to point out the way of true religion
and to bring peace."

The legend concludes with the following pious
utterances poured forth by the now contrite spirit :

** ' I swear, O man of God ! I swear,' she cries,
* To thee whose blessing wafts me to the skies,
I swear a solemn oath, that shall endure
Firm as the Death-Stone standing on the moor,
That from this hour I'm virtue's child alone ! '
Thus spake the ghoul, and vanished 'neath the Stone."

Translated by B. H. Chamberlain.

How Tokutaro was Deluded by Foxes

Tokutaro was a complete sceptic in regard to the
magical power of foxes. His scepticism exasperated a
number of his companions, who challenged him to go
to Maki moor. If nothing happened to him, Tokutaro
was to receive, writes A. B. Mitford (Lord Redesdale)
in Tales of Old Japan^ " five measures of wine and a
thousand copper cash ^ worth offish." If, on the other

^ The caihf now no longer in use, was roughly equivalent to one


hand, Tokutaro should suffer through the power of the
foxes, he was to present a similar gift to his companions.
Tokutaro jeeringly accepted the bet, and when night
had come he set out for the Maki moor.

Tokutaro was determined to be very cute and very
wary. On reaching his destination he happened to
meet a fox running through a bamboo grove. Im-
mediately afterwards he perceived the daughter of the
headman of Upper Horikane. On telling the woman
that he was going to this village, she explained that as
she was going there too they might journey together.

Tokutaro's suspicions were fully aroused. He walked
behind the woman, vainly searching for a fox's tail.
When they reached Upper Horikane the girl's parents
came out, and were much surprised to see their
daughter, who had married, and was living in another

Tokutaro, with a smile of superior wisdom, explained
that the maid before them was not really their daughter,
but a fox in disguise. The old people were at first
indignant, and refused to believe what Tokutaro had
told them. Eventually, however, he persuaded them
to leave the girl in his hands while they waited for the
result in the store-closet.

Tokutaro then seized the girl, and brutally knocked
her down, pouring abuse upon her. He stamped upon
her, and tortured her in every possible way, expecting
every moment to see the woman turn into a fox. But
she only wept and cried piteously for her parents to
come to her rescue.

This whole-hearted sceptic, finding his efforts so far
fruitless, piled wood upon the floor and burnt her to
death. At this juncture her parents came running in
and bound Tokutaro to a pillar, fiercely accusing him
of murder.



Now a priest happened to pass that way, and, hearing
the noise, requested an explanation. When the girl's
parents had told him all, and after he had listened to
Tokutaro's pleadings, he begged the old couple to spare
the man's life in order that he might become in time a
good and devout priest. This extraordinary request,
after some demur, was agreed to, and Tokutaro knelt
down to have his head shaved, happy, no doubt, to
be released from his predicament so easily.

No sooner had Tokutaro's wicked head been shaved
than he heard a loud peal of laughter, and he awoke
to find himself sitting on a large moor. He instinctively
raised his hand to his head, to discover that foxes had
shaved him and he had lost his bet 1

A Fox's Gratitude

After the preceding gruesome legend describing the
evil propensities of the fox, it is refreshing to come
across one that was capable of considerable self-sacrifice.

Now it happened, on a certain spring day, that two
little boys were caught in the act of trying to catch a
baby fox. The man who witnessed the performance
possessed a kind heart, and, on hearing that the boys
were anxious to sell the cub, gave them half a bu}

When the children had joyfully departed with the
money the man discovered that the little creature was
wounded in the foot. He immediately applied a
certain herb, and the pain speedily subsided. Perceiving
at a short distance a number of old foxes watching him,
he generously let the cub go, and it sprang with a
bound to its parents and licked them profusely.

Now this kind-hearted man had a son, who was
afflicted with a strange disease. A great physician at
last prescribed the liver of a live fox as being the only

1 About %d.


remedy likely to effect a cure. When the boy's
parents heard this they were much distressed, and
would only consent to accept a fox's liver from one who
made it his business to hunt foxes. They finally com-
missioned a neighbour to obtain the liver, for which
they promised to pay liberally.

The following night the fox's liver was brought by
a strange man totally unknown to the good people of
the house. The visitor professed to be a messenger
sent by the neighbour whom they had commissioned.
When, however, the neighbour himself arrived he
confessed that though he had tried his utmost to obtain
a fox's liver he had failed to do so, and had come to
make his apologies. He was utterly amazed to hear
the story the parents of the suffering boy told him.

The next day the fox's liver was made into a con-
coction by the great physician, and immediately restored
the little boy to his usual health again.

In the evening a beautiful young woman appeared at
the bedside of the happy parents. She explained that
she was the mother of the cub the master had saved,
and that in gratitude for his kindness she had killed
her offspring, and that her husband, in the guise of the
mysterious messenger, had brought the desired liver.^

Inari Answers a Woman's Prayer

Inari, as we have already found, is often extremely
benevolent. One legend informs us that a woman
who had been married many years and had not been
blessed with a child prayed at Inari's shrine. At the
conclusion of her supplication the stone foxes wagged
their tails, and snow began to fall. She regarded these
phenomena as favourable omens.

* The liver, both animal and human, frequently figures in
Japanese legend as a remedy for various ailments.



When the woman reached her home a yeta (beggar)
accosted her, and begged for something to eat. The
woman good-naturedly gave this unfortunate wayfarer
some red bean rice, the only food she had in the house,
and presented it to him in a dish.

The next day her husband discovered this dish lying
in front of the shrine where she had prayed. The
beggar was none other than Inari himself, and the
woman's generosity was rewarded in due season by the
birth of a child.

The Meanness of Raiko

Raiko was a wealthy man living in a certain village.
In spite of his enormous wealth, which he carried in
his ohi (girdle), he was extremely mean. As he grew
older his meanness increased till at last he contemplated
dismissing his faithful servants who had served him so

One day Raiko became very ill, so ill that he almost
wasted away, on account of a terrible fever. On the
tenth night of his illness a poorly dressed bozu (priest)
appeared by his pillow, inquired how he fared, and
added that he had expected the oni to carry him off
long ago.

These home truths, none too delicately expressed,
made Raiko very angry, and he indignantly demanded
that the priest should take his departure. But the bozu^
instead of departing, told him that there was only one
remedy for his illness. The remedy was that Raiko
should loosen his ohi and distribute his money to the

Raiko became still more angry at what he considered
the gross impertinence of the priest. He snatched a
dagger from his robe and tried to kill the kindly bo%u.
The priest, without the least fear, informed Raiko that



he had heard of his mean intention to dismiss his worthy
servants, and had nightly come to the old man to drain
his life-blood. " Now," said the priest, " my object is
attained ! " and with these words he blew out the

The now thoroughly frightened Raiko felt a ghostly
creature advance towards him. The old man struck
out blindly with his dagger, and made such a commotion
that his loyal servants ran into the room with lanterns,
and the light revealed the horrible claw of a monster
lying by the side of the old man's mat.

Carefully following the little spots of blood, Raiko's
servants came to a miniature mountain at the extreme
end of the garden, and in the mountain was a large
hole, from whence protruded the upper part of an
enormous spider. This creature begged the servants
to try to persuade their master not to attack the Gods,
and in future to refrain from meanness.

When Raiko heard these words from his servants he
repented, and gave large sums of money to the poor.
Inari had assumed the shape of a spider and priest in
order to teach the once mean old man a lesson.



The Significance of Jiz5

JIZO, the God of little children and the God who
makes calm the troubled sea, is certainly the
most lovable of the Buddhist divinities, though
Kwannon, the Goddess of Mercy, has somewhat similar
attributes. The most popular Gods, be they of the
East or West, are those Gods with the most human
qualities. Ji^^O, though of Buddhist origin, is
essentially Japanese, and we may best describe him
as being the creation of innumerable Japanese women
who have longed to project into the Infinite, into the
shrouded Beyond, a deity who should be a divine
Father and Mother to the souls of their little ones.
And this is just what JizO is, a God essentially of the
feminine heart, and not a being to be tossed about in
the hair-splitting debates of hoary theologians. A
study of the nature and characteristics of JizO will
reveal all that is best in the Japanese woman, for he
assuredly reveals her love, her sense of the beautiful,
and her infinite compassion. JizO has all the wisdom
of the Lord Buddha himself, with this important
difference, namely, that JizO has waived aside Nirvana,
and does not sit upon the Golden Lotus, but has
become, through an exquisitely beautiful self-sacrifice,
the divine playmate and protector of Japanese children.
He is the God of smiles and long sleeves, the enemy
of evil spirits, and the one being who can heal the
wound of a mother who has lost her child in death.
We have a saying that all rivers find their way to the
sea. To the Japanese woman who has laid her little
one in the cemetery all rivers wind their silver courses
into the place where the ever-waiting and ever-gentle


JlzO is. That is why mothers who have lost their
children in death write prayers on little slips of paper,
and watch them float down the rivers on their way to
the great spiritual Father and Mother who will answer
all their petitions with a loving smile.

At ]izo*s Shrine

" Fronting the kindly Jizo's shrine
The cherry- blooms are blowing now,
Pink cloud of flower on slender bough,
And hidden tracery of line.

" Rose-dawn against moss-mellowed grey,
Through which the wind-tost sprays allow
Glimpse of calm smile and placid brow.
Of carven face where sunbeams play.

" Dawn-time, I pluck a branch, and swift
Flutters a flight of petals fair ;
Through the fresh-scented morning air
Down to the waving grass they drift.

" Noon-tide my idle fingers stray.
Through the fair maze of bud and flower,
Sending a sudden blossom-shower
From the sweet fragance-haunted spray.

" Low in the west the red fire dies,
Vaguely I lift my hand, but now
Jizo is not — nor cherry bough —
Only the dark of starless skies ! "

Clara A. Walsh.

Jizo and Lafcadio Hcarn

Lafcadio Hearn, in one of his letters/ writes :
" There is a queer custom in Izumo which may interest
you. When a wedding takes place in the house of an

1 Ti£ Japanese Letters of Lafcadio Hearn^ edited by Elizabeth



unpopular man in the country the young men of the
village carry a roadside statue of Jizo into the Zashiki,
and announce the coming of the God. (This is especially
done with an avaricious farmer, or a stingy family.)
Food and wine are demanded by the God. The
members of the family must come in, salute the deity,
and give all the saki and food demanded while any
remains in the house. It is dangerous to refuse ; the
young peasants would probably wreck the house. After
this the statue is carried back again to its place. The
visit of JizO is much dreaded. It is never made to
persons who are liked."

On one occasion Lafcadio Hearn, who had a very
warm admiration for this God, desired to restore the
head and arms of a broken JizO image. His wife
remonstrated with him, and we quote his quaint reply
because it reminds us not a little of the last legend
mentioned in this chapter : " Gomen, gomen ! [" Forgive
me !•"] I thought only to give a little joy as I hoped.
The JizO I wrote you about is not the thing you will
find in the graveyards ; but it is JizO who shall guard
and pacify the seas. It is not a sad kind, but you do
not like my idea, so I have given up my project. It
was only papa's foolish thought. However, poor JizO-
sama wept bitterly when it heard of your answer to me.
I said to it, * I cannot help it, as Mamma San doubted
your real nature, and thinks that you are a graveyard-
keeper. I know that you are the saviour of seas and
sailors.' The JizO is crying even now."

" The Dry Bed of the River of Souls **

Under the earth there is the Sai-no-Kawara, or " the
Dry Bed of the River of Souls." This is the place
where all children go after death, children and those
who have never married. Here the little ones play
1 06


with the smiling JizO, and here it is that they build
small towers of stones, for there are many in this
river-bed. The mothers of these children, in the
world above them, also pile up stones around the
images of JizO, for these little towers represent
prayers ; they are charms against the oni, or wicked
spirits. Sometimes in the Dry Bed of the River of
Souls the oni for a moment gain a temporary victory,
and knock down the little towers which the ghosts of
children have built with so much laughter. When
such a misfortune takes place the laughter ceases, and
the little ones fly to JizO for protection. He hides
them in his long sleeves, and with his sacred staff
drives away the red-eyed oni.

The place where the souls of children dwell is a
shadowy and grey world of dim hills and vales through
which the Sai-no-Kawara winds its way. All the
children are clad in short white garments, and if
occasionally the evil spirits frighten them there is
always JizO to dry their tears, always one who sends
them back to their ghostly games again.

The following hymn of JizO, known as " The Legend
of the Humming of the Sai-no-Kawara," gives us a
beautiful and vivid conception of JizO and this ghostly
land where children play :

The Legend of the Humming of the Sai'ncKawafa

"Not of this world is the story of sorrow.
The story of the Sai-no-Kawara,
At the roots of the Mountain of Shide ; —
Not of this world is the tale; yet 'tis most pitiful to hear.
For together in the Sai-no-Kawara are assembled
Children of tender age in multitude, —
Infants but two or three years old,
Infants of four or five, infants of less than ten :
In the Sai-no-Kawara are they gathered together.
And the voice of their longing for their parents,



The voice of their crying for their mothers and their fathers —

Is never as the voice of the crying of children in this world,

But a crying so pitiful to hear

That the sound of it would pierce through flesh and bone.

And sorrowful indeed the task which they perform, —

Gathering the stones of the bed of the river,

Therewith to heap the tower of prayers.

Saying prayers for the happiness of father, they heap the first tower ;

Saying prayers for the happiness of mother, they heap the second

tower ;
Saying prayers for their brothers, their sisters, and all whom they

loved at home, they heap the third tower.
Such, by day, are their pitiful diversions.
But ever as the sun begins to sink below the horizon,
Then do the Oni, the demons of the hells, appear,
And say to them, — ' What is this that you do here ?
Lo ! your parents still living in the Shaba-world
Take no thought of pious offering or holy work :
They do nought but mourn for you from the morning unto the

Oh ! how pitiful ! alas ! how unmerciful !
Verily the cause of the pains that you suffer
Is only the mourning, the lamentation of your parents.'
And saying also, ' Blame never us ! *
The demons cast down the heaped-up towers.
They dash their stones down with their clubs of iron.
But lo ! the teacher JizO appears.

All gently he comes, and says to the weeping infants : —
* Be not afraid, dears ! be never fearful !
Poor little souls, your lives were brief indeed !

Too soon you were forced to make the weary journey to the Meido,
The long journey to the region of the dead !
Trust to me ! I am your father and mother in the Meido,
Father of all children in the region of the dead.'
And he folds the skirt of his shining robe about them ;
So graciously takes he pity on the infants.

To those who cannot walk he stretches forth his strong shakujs,'^
And he pets the little ones, caresses them, takes them to his loving

So graciously he takes pity on the infants.

Namu Amida Butsu ! " « Lafcadio Hearn.

* Sacred staff. * " Hail, omnipotent Buddha ! "





This abode of the souls of children is certainly not
an ideal land. It is JizO, and not his country, who
has sprung from the hearts of Japanese women. The
stern Buddhist teaching of cause and effect, of birth
and re-birth, applies to even gentle infants. But if the
great Wheel of Existence revolves with unerring force,
and only fails to move when the desire for not-being is
finally attained in Nirvana, JizO lovingly stands at the
foot of Destiny and makes easy the way where the feet
of little children so softly patter.

The Cave of the Children's Ghosts

There is a cave in Japan known as Kyu-Kukedo-
San, or Ancient Cavern, and far within its recess there
is to be found an image of JizO, with his mystic jewel
and sacred staff. Before JizO there is a little torii ^ and
a pair of gohei^ both symbols of the Shinto faith ; but,
as Lafcadio Hearn observes, " this gentle divinity has
no enemies ; at the feet of the lover of children's ghosts
both creeds unite in tender homage." Here it is that
the ghosts of little children meet, softly whispering
together as they stoop hither and thither in order to
build their towers of stones. At night they creep over
the sea from their Dry Bed of the River of Souls, and
cover the sand in the cavern with their ghostly footsteps,
building, ever building those prayers of stone, while
JizO smiles down upon their loving labour. They depart
before the rising of the sun, for it is said that the dead fear
to gaze upon the Sun Goddess, and most especially are
these infants afraid of her bright gold eyes.

^ A gateway.

' " A wand from which depend strips of white paper cut into
little angular bunches (go/iei), intended to represent the offerings of
cloth which were anciently tied to branches of the sacred cleycra
tree at festival time." — B. H. Chamberlain.



The Fountain of Jizo

Another beautiful sea-cave contains the Fountain of
Jizo. It is a fountain of flowing milk, at which the souls of
children quench their thirst. Mothers suffering from
want of milk come to this fountain and pray to Jizo, and
mothers having more milk than their infants require pray
to the same God that he may take some of their milk
and give it to the souls of children in his great shadowy
kingdom. And JizO is said to answer their prayers.

How Jiz5 Remembered

A woman named Soga Sadayoshi lived by feeding silk-
worms and gathering their silk. One day, on a visit to
the temple of Ken-cho-ji, she thought that an image of
JizO looked cold, and went home, made a cap, returned
with it, and set it upon Jizo's head, saying : " Would
I were rich enough to give thee a warm covering for
all thine august body ; but, alas ! I am poor, and even
this which I offer thee is unworthy of thy divine

In her fiftieth year the woman died, and as her body
remained warm for three days her relatives would not
consent to her burial. On the evening of the third day,
however, much to the surprise and joy of those about
her, she came to life once more.

Shortly after the woman had resumed her work again
she narrated how her soul had appeared before the
great and terrible Emma-O, Lord and Judge of the dead,
and how that dread being had been angry with her
because, contrary to Buddha's teacjiing, she had killed
innumerable silkworms. Emma-O was so angry that he
ordered her to be thrown into a pot filled with molten
metal. While she cried out in intense agony JizO
came and stood beside her, and immediately the metal


ceased to burn. After JizO had spoken kindly to the
woman he led her to Emma-O, and requested that she
who had once kept warm one of his images should
receive pardon. And Emma-O granted the request of
the ever-loving and compassionate God, and the woman
returned to the sunny world of Japan again.



The Significance of Japanese Art

SIR ALFRED EAST, in lecturing on the subject
of Japanese art, described it as " great in small
things, but small in great things," and this,
generally speaking, is very true. The Japanese artist
excels in depicting flowers and insects and birds. He
is triumphant in portraying the curl of a wave, a
branch of cherry-blossom against a full moon, a flight
of heron, a group of pine-trees, and carp swimming in
a stream ; but that genius for minute and accurate
detail seems to have prevented him from depicting what
we understand as a great subject-picture, an historical
scene crowded with many figures. This zest to portray
various fragments from Nature was no narrow and
academic affair. Art was not intended solely for the
kakemono^ or hanging scroll, to be suspended in the
alcove of a Japanese home, to be admired for a time,
and then to be replaced by another. Art in Japan was
universal to an extent not to be found in any other
country, where a cheap towel had a pleasing design
upon it, and where the playing cards, unlike our own,
were works of art.

It has been said that the woman in Japanese art is
wooden. This is not really so, if by wooden we mean
entirely without expression ; but it is necessary first of
all to know something about the Japanese woman in
actual life before we can understand her representation
in art. There is a wealth of old tradition behind that
apparently immobile face. It is a curious fact that until
we get accustomed to the various Japanese types one
face so closely resembles another that discrimination is
out of the question, and we are apt to run away with


the idea that Nature in Japan has been content to repeat
the same physiognomy over and over again, forgetting
that we in turn present no diversity of type to the
Japanese on first acquaintance. The Japanese face in
art is not without expression, only it happens to be an
expression rather different from that with which we are
familiar, and this is particularly true in regard to the
portrayal of Japanese women. Most of us have seen a
number of colour-prints devoted to this subject in which
we find no shading in the face. We are apt to exclaim
that this omission gives an extremely flat effect to the
face, and to observe in consequence that the work before
us must be very bad art. But it is not bad art, for the
Japanese face is flat, and the artists of that country
never fail to reflect this characteristic. Colour-prints
depicting Nipponese women do not reveal emotion — a
smile, a gesture of yearning, are absent ; but because we
find so much negation we should be very far from the
truth to suppose that a colour-print of this kind ex-
presses no feeling, that the general effect is doll-like and
uninteresting. We must take into consideration the
long period of suppression through which the Japanese
woman had to pass. A superficial study of that extra-
ordinary treatise by Kaibara known as Onna Daigaku,
or " The Greater Learning for Women," will help us to
realise that it was the duty of every Japanese woman to
be sweet, amiable, virtuous ; to obey those in authority
without demur, and above all to suppress her feelings.
When we have taken these points into consideration
we shall very slowly perceive that there is strength and
not weakness in a portrait of a Japanese woman ; a quiet
and dignified beauty in which impulse is held in check,
veiled, as it were, behind a cloud of rigid tradition.
The Japanese woman, though she has been surrounded
at every turn by severe discipline, has, nevertheless,

H 113


given us a type ot womanhood supreme in her true
sweetness of disposition, and the Japanese artist has
caught the glamour of her charm. In the curve of her
form he suggests the grace of a wind-blown willow,
in the designs upon her robe the promise of spring,
and behind the small red mouth a wealth of infinite

Japan owed her art to Buddhism, and it was quick-
ened and sustained by Chinese influence. Buddhism
gave Nippon her pictorial art, her mural decoration
and exquisite carving. Shinto temples were severe
and plain, those of Buddhism were replete with all
that art could give them ; and last, but not least, it
was Buddha's teaching that brought into Japan the
art of gardening, with all its elaborate and beautiful

A Japanese art critic wrote : " If in the midst of a
stroke a sword-cut had severed the brush it would have
bled." From this we may gather that the Japanese
artist put his whole heart into his work ; it was a part
of him, something vital, something akin to religion
itself. With this great force behind his brush it is
no wonder that he was able to give that extraordinary
life and movement to his work, so strikingly depicted
in portraits of actors.

Though we have so far only shown the Japanese
artist as a master of little things, he has, nevertheless,
faithfully and effectively represented the Gods and
Goddesses of his country, and many of the myths and
legends connected with them. If he excelled in the
beautiful, he no less excelled in depicting the horrible,
for no artists, excepting those of China, have succeeded
in portraying the supernatural to more effect. What a
contrast there is between an exquisite picture of JizO or
Buddha or Kwannon and the pictorial representation


of a Japanese goblin ! Extreme beauty and extreme
ugliness are to be found in Japanese art, and those
who love the many pictures of Mount Fuji and the
moth-like colouring of Utamaru's women will turn in
horror from the ghastly representations of supernatural

The Gods of Good Foftune

Many of the legendary stories given in this volume
have been portrayed by Japanese artists, and in the
present chapter we propose to deal with the legends in
Japanese art not hitherto mentioned. The favourite
theme of the Japanese artist is undoubtedly that of the
Seven Gods of Good Fortune, nearly always treated
with rollicking good-humour. There was Fukurokuju,
with a very long head, and attended by a crane, deer, or
tortoise ; Daikoku, who stood upon rice-bales and was
accompanied by a rat ; Ebisu, carrying a fish ; Hotei,
the merry God of Laughter, the very embodiment of our
phrase " Laugh and grow fat." There was Bishamon,
resplendent in armour, and bearing a spear and toy
pagoda ; Benten, the Goddess of Beauty, Wealth, Ferti-
lity, and Offspring ; while Jurojin was very similar to
Fukurokuju. These Seven Gods of Good Fortune, or,
to be more accurate, six Gods and one Goddess, seem to
have sprung from Shintoism, Taoism, Buddhism, and
Brahmanism, and apparently date from the seventeenth

The Treasure Ship

In connection with this theme the Japanese artist is
fond of portraying the Gods of Good Fortune as jovial
passengers on the Takara-bune^ or Treasure Ship, which
is said to come to port on New Year's Eve, with no less
a cargo than the Hat of Invisibility, the Lucky Rain-


coat, the Sacred Key, the Inexhaustible Purse, and other
curious and magical treasures. At this time of the
year pictures of the Treasure Ship are placed under
children's wooden pillows, and the practice is said to
bring a lucky dream.

'* Sleep, my own, till the bell of dusk
Bring the stars laden with a dream.
With that dream you shall awake
Between the laughters and the song."


The Miraculous in Japanese Art

Among other legends is the story of Hidari JingorO,
the famous sculptor, whose masterpiece came to life
when finished, which reminds us not a little of the story
of Pygmalion. There are other legendary stories con-
nected with the coming to life of Japanese works of art.
On a certain occasion a number of peasants were much
annoyed by the destruction of their gardens caused by
some wild animal. Eventually they discovered that
the intruder was a great black horse, and on giving
chase it suddenly disappeared into a temple. When
they entered the building they found Kanasoka's
painting of a black steed steaming with its recent
exertion ! The great artist at once painted in a rope
tethering the animal to a post, and from that day to
this the peasants' gardens have remained unmolested.

When the great artist Sesshiu was a little boy the
story goes that he was, by way of punishment, securely
bound in a Buddhist temple. Using his copious tears
for ink and his toe for a brush, the little fellow sketched
some rats upon the floor. Immediately they came to
life and gnawed through the rope that bound their
youthful creator.




There is something more than mere legend in these
stories, if we may believe the words of the famous
artist Hokusai, whose *' Hundred Views of Fuji " are
regarded as the finest examples of Japanese landscape-
painting. He wrote in his Preface to this work : " At
ninety I shall penetrate the mystery of things ; at a
hundred I shall certainly have reached a marvellous
stage ; and when I am a hundred and ten everything
I do, be it a dot or a line, will be alive." Needless to
say, Hokusai did not reach the age of a hundred and
ten. In his last hours he wrote the following lines,
which were afterwards inscribed upon his tomb :

" My soul, turned Will-o'-the-wisp,
Can come and go at ease over the summer fields."

With that strong poetic feeling so characteristic of the
Japanese, Eternity meant for Hokusai an infinite time
in which to carry on his beloved work — to perfect, to
make alive all the wonderful strokes of his brush. As
in ancient Egypt, so in Old Japan, the future life could
only mean real happiness with periodic visits to this
world again, and there is a subtle and almost pathetic
paradox in this conception, suggesting, as it were,
the continual loading of Eternity with fresh earthly
memories. In both countries we find the spirit hanker-
ing after old human haunts. In Egypt the soul re-
turned through the medium of its preserved body, and
in Japan the Festival of the Dead, described ej_sewhere,
afforded a joyous exit from the world of Emma-O, a three
days' visit in the middle of July to Japan, a land more
beautiful, more dear, it would seem, than any Japanese
conception of a future world. But Hokusai appears to
suggest that his visits would not be made merely in the



summer season — rather a frequent coming and going at
all times of the year.

A Japanese poet has written :

" It is an awesome thing
To meet a-wandering,

In the dark night,
The dark and rainy night,
A phantom greenish-grey,
Ghost of some wight,
Poor mortal wight !
The black

Translated by Clara A. Walsh.

Ghosts and Goblins

It is scarcely less awesome to come across ghosts,
goblins, and other supernatural beings in a Japanese
picture. We find ghosts with long necks supporting
horribly leering faces. Their necks are so long that it
would seem that the ghastly heads could look above
and into everything with a fiendish and dreadful relish.
The ghoul, though represented in Japanese art as a
three-year-old child, has reddish-brown hair, very long
ears, and is often depicted as eating the kidneys of dead
people. The horrible in this phase of Japanese art is
emphasised to an almost unbearable degree, and a living
Japanese artist's conception of a procession of ghosts ^
is so uncanny, so weird, that we certainly should not
like to meet them in broad daylight, much less "through
the dark night ! "

^ See Jncient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan, by R. Gordon


A Garden of Skulls

The Japanese artist's conception of a garden, with
its pine-trees, and stone lanterns, and azalea-bordered
lakes, is usually extremely beautiful. Hiroshige, like
so many Japanese artists, has painted a garden touched
with snow ; but in one of his pictures he portrays the
snow as turning into a number of skulls, and has
borrowed this fantastic conception from the Heike

It must not be thought that the Japanese artist,
when portraying some supernatural being, or in depict-
ing some scene from a legendary story, exclusively
catches the grim and horrible. The grim and horrible
are certainly portrayed with considerable spirit and
dramatic force, but many of the Japanese works of art
depict the Gods and Goddesses of Old Japan with much
grace and charm.

The Dream of Rosei ^

Japanese ornament frequently illustrates some ancient
legend. We may see on a certain tsuha (sword-guard)
a pine-tree with people sitting in the branches. One
man carries a banner, while two others are playing on
musical instruments. There is an exquisite legend con-
nected with this quaint design, and, though it is of
Chinese origin, it deserves to find a place in this volume
because it is one of those fantastic Chinese legends that
has been woven into Japanese literature and art — has
become, in short, one of the favourite themes of
Japanese artists, and of those who witness the No^ or
lyrical drama, of Nippon.

Rosei, in ancient times, reached the little inn of

1 Adapted from the 'No drama, translated by B. H. Chamberlain.



Kantan, so weary with his travel that he fell asleep as
soon as his head touched the pillow. It was no ordinary-
pillow, but might well be described as the Magic Pillow
of Dreams, for directly Rosei was asleep an envoy
approached him, and said : " I am sent by the Emperor
of Ibara to inform you that his Majesty wishes to
relinquish the throne and to install you in his place.
Be pleased to enter the palanquin that awaits you, and
the bearers will quickly carry you to the capital."

Rosei, much amazed by what he had heard and seen,
entered the palanquin, " strewn with gems of radiant
hue," and was borne to a wonderful country, best
described in the following verse :

" For ne'er in those old vasty halls Imperial,
Bath'd in the moonbeams bright,
Or where the dragon soars on clouds ethereal,
Was ought like this to entrance the sight :
With golden sand and silvern pebbles white
Was strewn the floor ;
And at the corners four,
Through gates inlaid
With diamonds and jade,

Pass'd throngs whose vestments were of radiant light, —
So fair a scene,
That mortal eye might ween
It scann'd the very heav'ns' unknown delight.
Here countless gifts the folk came bearing,
Precious as myriad coins of finest gold ;
And there, the lesser with the greater sharing,
Advanc'd the vassals bold.
Their banners to display
That paint the sky with colours gay.
While rings the air as had a thunder roll'd."

Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.

Rosei found himself in a magical country where
Nature either forgot her natural laws or was led into
fresh wonders by the people of that land. In the east
there was a silver hill over which the gold sun shone,


and in the west there was a gold hill over which the
moon shone.

"No spring and autumn mark the time,
And o'er that deathless gate
The sun and moon their wonted speed forget."

Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.

The whole idea of this charming story seems to suggest
that this country was not only a land of eternal youth,
but a land, too, where Nature marshalled her seasons
together, where there were always colour and blossom,
and where no flower faded.

When Rosei had lived and reigned for fifty years
in this glorious country a minister came to him one
day and bade him drink of the Elixir of Life, in order
that he might, like his subjects, live for ever.

The monarch drank the Elixir, " 'Mid dazzling
pomp and joys more ravishing than e'er before were
shower'd on mortal siorht." Rosei believed that he
had cheated Death of his due, and lived the life of
poetic, if sensuous, ecstasy. He gave sumptuous feasts
to his courtiers, feasts which saw the sun and moon
without intermission, where lovely maidens danced, and
where there were endless music and song.

It so happened, however, that these joyous feasts,
these pageants of colour, were not endless after all, for
eventually Rosei awoke to find himself resting upon
" Kantan's pillow." The moralist steps in at this
juncture with the following :

"But he that ponders well
Will find all life the self-same story tell, —
That, when death comes, a century of bliss
Fades like a dream."

Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.

Rosei, after this fantastic experience, came to the
conclusion that " life is a dream," that ambition is



a dream too, and, having accepted this Buddhistic
teaching, he returned to his own home.

A Kakemono Ghost*

Sawara was a pupil in the house of the artist Tenko,
who was a kind and able master, while Sawara, even at
the commencement of his art studies, showed con-
siderable promise. Kimi, Tenko's niece, devoted her
time to her uncle and in directing the affairs of the
household generally. Kimi was beautiful, and it was
not long before she fell desperately in love with Sawara.
This young pupil regarded her as very charming, one
to die for if need be, and in his heart he secretly loved
her. His love, however, unlike Kimi's, was not demon-
strative, for he had his work to attend to, and so,
to be sure, had Kimi ; but work with Sawara came
before his love, and with Kimi it was only love that

One day, when Tenko was paying a visit, Kimi came
to Sawara, and, unable to restrain her feelings any longer,
told him of her love, and asked him if he would like to
marry her. Having made her request, she set tea before
her lover, and awaited his answer.

Sawara returned her affection, and said that he would
be delighted to marry her, adding, however, that
marriage was not possible until after two or three years,
when he had established a position for himself and had
become a famous artist.

Sawara, in order to add to his knowledge of art,
decided to study under a celebrated painter named
Myokei, and, everything having been arranged, he bade
farewell to his old master and Kimi, promising that he
would return as soon as he had made a name for himself
and become a great artist.

^ Jncient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan, by R. Gordon Smith.



Two years went by and Tenko and Kimi heard no
news of Sawara. Many admirers of Kimi came to her
uncle with offers of marriage, and Tenko was debating
as to what he should do in the matter, when he received
a letter from Myokei, saying that Sawara was doing
good work, and that he desired that his excellent pupil
should marry his daughter.

Tenko imagined, perhaps not without some reason,
that Sawara had forgotten all about Kimi, and that the
best thing he could do was to give her in marriage to
Yorozuya, a wealthy merchant, and also to fulfil
Miyokei's wish that Sawara should marry the great
painter's daughter. With these intentions Tenko
resolved to employ strategy, so he called Kimi to him,
and said :

" Kimi, I have had a letter from Myokei, and I am
afraid the sad news which it contains will distress you.
Myokei wishes Sawara to marry his daughter, and I
have told him that I fully approve of the union. 1 feel
sure that Sawara has neglected you, and I therefore
wish that you should marry Yorozuya, who will make,
T am sure, a very good husband."

When Kimi heard these words she wept bitterly, and
without a word went to her room.

In the morning Tenko entered Kimi's apartment,
but his niece had gone, and the protracted search that
followed failed to discover her whereabouts.

When Myokei had received Tenko's letter he told
the promising young artist that he wished him to
marry his daughter, and thus establish a family of
painters ; but Sawara was amazed to hear this extra-
ordinary news, and explained that he could not accept
the honour of becoming his son-in-law because he was
already engaged to Tenko's niece.

Sawara, all too late, sent letters to Kimi, and, receiving



no reply, he set out for his old home, shortly after the
death of Myokei.

When he reached the little house where he had
received his first lessons in the art of painting he learnt
with anger that Kimi had left her old uncle, and in
due time he married Kiku (" Chrysanthemum "), the
daughter of a wealthy farmer.

Shortly after Sawara's marriage the Lord of Aki bade
him paint the seven scenes of the Islands of Kabakari-
jima, which were to be mounted on gold screens. He
at once set out for these islands, and made a number
of rough sketches. While thus employed he met along
the shore a woman with a red cloth round her loins,
her hair loose and falling about her shoulders. She
carried shell-fish in her basket, and as soon as she saw
Sawara she recognised him.

"You are Sawara and I am Kimi," said she, "to
whom you are engaged. It was a false report about
your marriage with Myokei's daughter, and my heart
is full of joy, for now nothing prevents our union."

"Alas ! poor, much-wronged Kimi, that cannot be ! "
replied Sawara. " I thought that you deserted Tenko,
and that you had forgotten me, and believing these
things to be true I have married Kiku, a farmer's

Kimi, without a word, sprang forward like a hunted
animal, ran along the shore, and entered her little hut,
Sawara running after her and calling her name over and
over again. Before his very eyes he saw Kimi take a
knife and thrust it into her throat, and in another
moment she lay dead upon the ground. Sawara wept
as he gazed upon her still form, noticed the wistful
beauty of Death upon her cheek, and saw a new glory
in her wind-blown hair. So fair and wonderful was
her presence now that when he had controlled his

A Kakemono Ghost.

12 +


weeping he made a sketch of the woman who had loved
him so well, but so pitifully. Above the mark of the
tide he buried her, and when he reached his own home
he took out the rough sketch, painted a picture of
Kimi, and hung the kakemono on the wall.

Kimi Finds Peace

That very night he awoke to find that the figure
on the kakemono had come to life, that Kimi with the
wound in her throat, the dishevelled hair, stood beside
him. Night after night she came, a silent, pitiful
figure, until at last Sawara, unable to bear these visita-
tions any longer, presented the kakemono to the Korinji
Temple and sent his wife back to her parents. The
priests of the Korinji Temple prayed every day for the
soul of Kimi, and by and by Kimi found peace and
troubled Sawara no more.



The Star Lovers

ONE of the most romantic of the old Japanese
festivals is the Festival of Tanabata, the
Weaving Lady. It takes place on the seventh
day of the seventh month, and on this occasion it
was customary to place freshly cut bamboos either
on the roofs of houses or to fix them in the ground
close beside them. Coloured strips of paper were
attached to these bamboos, and upon every strip of
paper was a poem in praise of Tanabata and her husband
Hikoboshi, such as : " As Tanabata slumbers with her
long sleeves rolled up, until the reddening of the dawn,
do not, O storks of the river-shallows, awaken her by
your cries." This festival will more readily be under-
stood when we have described the legend in connection
with it.

The God of the Firmament had a lovely daughter,
Tanabata by name, and she spent her time in weaving
garments for her august father. One day, while she
sat at her loom, she chanced to see a handsome lad
leading an ox, and she immediately fell in love with
him. Tanabata's father, reading her secret thoughts,
speedily consented to their marriage. Unfortunately,
however, they loved " not wisely, but too well," with
the result that Tanabata neglected her weaving, and
Hikoboshi's ox was allowed to wander at large over
the High Plain of Heaven. The God of the Firma-
ment became extremely angry, and commanded that
these too ardent lovers should henceforth be separated
by the Celestial River. On the seventh night of the
seventh month, provided the weather was favourable,
a great company of birds formed a bridge across the


river, and by this means the lovers were able to meet.
Their all too brief visit was not even a certainty, for
if there were rain the Celestial River would become
too wide for even a great bridge of magpies to span,
and the lovers would be compelled to wait another
weary year before there was even a chance of meeting
each other again.

No wonder that on the Festival of the Weaving
Maiden little children should sing, ^^ Tenki ni nari'*
(" Oh, weather, be clear ! "). Love laughs at lock-
smiths in our own country, but the Celestial River in
flood is another matter. When the weather is fine and
the Star Lovers meet each other after a weary year's
waiting it is said that the stars, possibly Lyra and Aquila,
shine with five different colours — blue, green, red,
yellow, and white — and that is why the poems are
written on paper of these colours.

The Robe of Feathers ^

" Oh, magic strains that fill our ravish'd ears !
The fairy sings, and from the cloudy spheres,
Chiming in unison, the angels' lutes,
Tabrets, and cymbals, and sweet silv'ry flutes,
Ring through the heav'n that glows with purple hues.
As when Someiro's western slope endues
The tints of sunset, while the azure wave
From isle to isle the pine-clad shores doth lave.
From Yukishima's slope — a beauteous storm —
Whirl down the flow'rs : and still that magic form,
Those snowy pinions, flutt'ring in the light,
Ravish our souls with wonder and delight."

Ha-Goromo. (Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.)

It was spring-time, and along Mio's pine-clad shore
there came a sound of birds. The blue sea danced and

^ The subject of this story resembles a certain Norse legend. See
William Morris's T^e Land East of (he Sun and West of the Moon.



sparkled in the sunshine, and Hairukoo, a fisherman,
sat down to enjoy the scene. As he did so he chanced
to see, hanging on a pine-tree, a beautiful robe of pure
white feathers.

As Hairukoo was about to take down the robe he
saw coming toward him from the sea an extremely
lovely maiden, who requested that the fisherman would
restore the robe to her.

Hairukoo gazed upon the lady with considerable
admiration. Said he : " I found this robe, and I mean
to keep it, for it is a marvel to be placed among the
treasures of Japan. No, I cannot possibly give it to

"Oh," cried the maiden pitifully, "I cannot go
soaring into the sky without my robe of feathers, for if
you persist in keeping it I can never more return to my
celestial home. Oh, good fisherman, I beg of you to
restore my robe ! "

The fisherman, who must have been a hard-hearted
fellow, refused to relent. "The more you plead," said
he, " the more determined I am to keep what I have

Thus the maiden made answer :

" Speak not, dear fisherman ! speak not that word !
Ah ! know'st thou not that, like the hapless bird
Whose wings are broke, I seek, but seek in vain,
Reft of my wings, to soar to heav'n's blue plain ?"

Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.

After further argument on the subject the fisherman's
heart softened a little. " I will restore your robe of
feathers," said he, " if you will at once dance before me."

Then the maiden replied: "I will dance it here —
the dance that makes the Palace of the Moon turn
round, so that even poor transitory man may learn its
mysteries. But I cannot dance without my feathers."


" No," said the fisherman suspiciously. " If I give
you this robe you will fly away without dancing before

This remark made the maiden extremely angry.
" The pledge of mortals may be broken," said she, "but
there is no falsehood among the Heavenly Beings."

These words put the fisherman to shame, and, with-
out more ado, he gave the maiden her robe of feathers.

The MooDi'Lady's Song

When the maiden had put on her pure white garment
she struck a musical instrument and began to dance,
and while she danced and played she sang of many
strange and beautiful things concerning her far-away
home in the Moon. She sang of the mighty Palace of
the Moon, where thirty monarchs ruled, fifteen in robes
of white when that shining orb was full, and fifteen robed
in black when the Moon was waning. As she sang and
played and danced she blessed Japan, "that earth may
still her proper increase yield ! "

The fisherman did not long enjoy this kindly exhi-
bition of the Moon-Lady's skill, for very soon her
dainty feet ceased to tap upon the sand. She rose into
the air, the white feathers of her robe gleaming against
the pine-trees or against the blue sky itself. Up, up
she went, still playing and singing, past the summits
of the mountains, higher and higher, until her song was
hushed, until she reached the glorious Palace of the




The Mountain of the Lotus and the Fan

OUNT FUJI, or Fuji-yama ("The Never-
dying Mountain "), seems to be typically
Japanese. Its great snow-capped cone re-
sembles a huge inverted fan, the fine streaks down its
sides giving the appearance of fan-ribs. A native has
thus fittingly described it : " Fuji dominates life by its
silent beauty : sorrow is hushed, longing quieted, peace
seems to flow down from that changeless home of peace,
the peak of the white lotus." The reference here to a
white lotus is as appropriate as that of the wide-stretched
fan, for it refers to the sacred flower of the Lord
Buddha, and its eight points symbolise to the devout
Buddhist the Eight Intelligences of Perception, Purpose,
Speech, Conduct, Living, Effbrt, Mindfulness, and
Contemplation. The general eff^ect of Fuji, then,
suggests on the one hand religion, and on the other
a fan vast enough and fair enough to coquet with
stars and swift-moving clouds. Poets and artists alike
have paid their tributes of praise to this peerless moun-
tain, and we give the following exquisite poem on this
apparently inexhaustible theme :

" Fuji Yama,
Touched by thy divine breath,
We return to the shape of God.
Thy silence is Song,
Thy song is the song of Heaven :
Our land of fever and care
Turns to a home of mellow-eyed ease —
The home away from the land
Where mortals are born only to die.
We Japanese daughters and sons,
Chanting of thy fair majesty,


The pride of God,

Seal our shadows in thy bosom,

The balmiest place of eternity,

O white-faced wonder,

O matchless sight,

O sublimity, O Beauty !

The thousand rivers carry thy sacred image

On their brows ;

All the mountains raise their heads unto thee

Like the flowing tide,

As if to hear thy final command.

Behold! the seas surrounding Japan

Lose their hungry-toothed song and wolfish desire,

Kissed by lullaby-humming repose.

At sight of thy shadow.

As one in a dream of poem.

We being round thee forget to die :

Death is sweet,

Life is sweeter than Death.

We are mortals and also gods,

Innocent companions of thine,

O eternal Fuji ! "

Tone Noguchl.

Mount Fuji has been a place of pilgrimage for
hundreds of years, and Lafcadio Hearn has described
its peak as "the Supreme Altar of the Sun." Many-
pilgrims still cling to the old Shinto custom of ascend-
ing this sacred mountain, wearing white clothes and very
broad straw hats, and frequently ringing a bell and
chanting : " May our six senses be pure, and the
weather on the honourable mountain be fair."

Fuji was at one time an extremely active volcano.
Her final outbreak took place in 1707-8, and covered
Tokyo, sixty miles distant, with six inches of ash. The
very name Fuji is probably derived from Huchi, or
Fuchi, the Aino Goddess of Fire ; " for," writes Pro-
fessor Chamberlain, " down to times almost historical
the country round Fuji formed part of Aino-land, and
all Eastern Japan is strewn with names of Aino origin."



The Deities of Fuji

Sengen, the Goddess of Fuji, is also known as Ko-no-
hana-saku-ya-hime ^ (" Radiant-blooming-as-the-flowers-
of-the-trees "), and on the summit is her temple. In
ancient days it is said that this Goddess hovered in a
luminous cloud above the crater, tended by invisible
servants, who were prepared to throw down any pilgrims
who were not pure of heart. Another deity of this
mountain is O-ana-mochi (" Possessor of the Great
Hole," or " Crater"). In addition we have the Luminous
Maiden, who lured a certain emperor to his doom. At
the place of his vanishing a small shrine was erected,
where he is still worshipped. It is said that on one
occasion a shower of priceless jewels fell down from
this mountain, and that the sand which during the day
is disturbed by the feet of countless pilgrims falls to the
base and nightly rcascends to its former position.

Fuji, the Abode of the Elixir of Life

It is not surprising to find that legend has grown
round this venerable and venerated mountain. Like so
many mountains in Japan, and, indeed, in other Eastern
countries, it was associated with the Elixir of Life. The
Japanese poet's words, " We being round thee forget
to die," though written in recent years, seem to reflect the
old idea. We have already seen, in the legend of " The
Bamboo-cutter and the Moon-Maiden," that Tsuki was
commanded by the Lady Kaguya to ascend Fuji and
there burn the Elixir of Life, together with a certain

The fame of Fuji, so an old legend informs us,
reached the ears of an Emperor of China. When he
was told that this mountain had come into being in a

1 She married Ninigi, and is referred to in Chapter I.


single night ^ he conjectured that Mount Fuji must
needs yield the Elixir of Life itself. He accordingly-
collected about him a number of handsome youths and
maidens and set sail for the Land of the Rising Sun.
The junks rushed before the roaring wind like a shower
of gold petals ; but eventually the storm abated, and
the Emperor and his people saw the white splendour
of Fuji rise up before them. When the junks had run
in upon the shore the Emperor formed his company in
procession, and, walking very slowly, led the way up
the mountain. Hour after hour the procession climbed,
the gold-robed Emperor ever walking in advance, until
the sound of the sea was lost, and the thousand feet
trod softly on the snow where there was peace and life
eternal. Nearing the journey's end, the old Emperor
ran forward joyously, for he wanted to be the first to
drink of the Elixir of Life. And he was the first to
taste of that Life that never grows old ; but when the
company found him they saw their Emperor lying on
his back with a smile upon his face. He had indeed
found Life Eternal, but it was through the way of

Sentaro*s Visit to the Land of Perpetual Youth

The desire to wrest from Mount Fuji the secret of
perpetual life never seems to have met with success.
A Chinese, Jofuku by name, reached the sacred moun-
tain with this object in view. He failed, and never
lived to return to his own country ; but he is looked
upon as a saint, and those bound on the same quest
pray earnestly at his shrine.

Sentaro on one occasion prayed at this shrine, and
was presented with a small paper crane, which expanded
to a vast size directly it had reached his hands. On

1 See the last section of" this chapter.


the back of this great crane flew Sentaro to the Land of
Perpetual Youth, where, to his amazement, the people
ate poisons and longed in vain to die ! Sentaro soon
grew weary of this land, returned to his own country,
and resolved to be content with the ordinary span of
years allotted to mankind — as well he may have been,
considering that he had already spent three hundred
years in the country where there was no death and no

The Goddess of Fuji

Yosoji's mother, in common with many in the village
where she lived, was stricken down with smallpox.
Yosoji consulted the magician Kamo Yamakiko in the
matter, for his mother grew so ill that every hour he
expected her to be taken from him in death. Kamo
Yamakiko told Yosoji to go to a small stream that
flowed from the south-west side of Mount Fuji. " Near
the source of this stream," said the magician, " is a
shrine to the God of Long Breath. Go fetch this water,
and give it to your mother, for this alone will cure her."

Yosoji, full of hope, eagerly set forth upon his journey,
and when he had arrived at a spot where three paths
crossed each other he was in difficulty as to the right
one to take. Just as he was debating the matter a
lovely girl, clad in white, stepped out from the forest,
and bade him follow her to the place where the precious
stream flowed near the shrine of the God of Long Breath.

When they reached the stream Yosoji was told to
drink himself, as well as to fill the gourd with the
sparkling water for his mother. When he had done
these things the beautiful girl accompanied him to the
place where he had originally seen her, and said : " Meet
me again at this place in three days' time, for you will
require a further supply of this water."

Sciigen, the Goddess of Mount Fuji.



After five visits to this sacred shrine Yosoji rejoiced
to find that his mother was quite well again, and not
only his mother, but many of the villagers who had also
been privileged to drink the water. Yosoji's bravery
was loudly extolled, and presents were sent to the
magician for his timely advice ; but Yosoji, who was an
honest lad, knew in his heart that all praise was really
due to the beautiful girl who had been his guide. He
desired to thank her more fully than he had hitherto done,
and for this purpose he once more set out for the stream.

When Yosoji reached the shrine of the God of Long
Breath he found that the stream had dried up. With
much surprise and not a little sorrow he knelt down
and prayed that she who had been so good to his
mother would appear before him in order that he
might thank her as she so richly deserved. When
Yosoji arose he saw the maiden standing before him.

Yosoji expressed his gratitude in warm and elegant
language, and begged to be told the name of her who
had been his guide and restored his mother to health
and strength again. But the maiden, smiling sweetly
upon him, would not tell her name. Still smiling, she
swung a branch of camellia in the air, so that it seemed
that the fair blossom beckoned to some invisible spirit
far away. In answer to the floral summons a cloud
came down from Mount Fuji ; it enveloped the lovely
maiden, and carried her to the sacred mountain from
which she had come. Yosoji knew now that his guide
was none other than the Goddess of Fuji. He knelt
with rapture upon his face as he watched the departing
figure. As he gazed upon her he knew in his heart
that with his thanks love had mingled too. While he
yet knelt the Goddess of Fuji threw down the branch
of camellia, a remembrance, perhaps a token, of her
love for him.



The Rip van Winkle of Old Japan

We have already referred to the coming of Fuji in a
single night, and the following legend gives an account
of this remarkable event. We have added to this legend
another, which is probably of Chinese origin, because
the two fit in well together and furnish interesting
material in regard to this mountain.

Many years ago there lived on the then barren plain
of Suruga a woodman by the name of Visu. He was
a giant in stature, and lived in a hut with his wife and
children. One night, just as Visu was about to fall
asleep, he heard a most extraordinary sound coming
from under the earth, a sound louder and more terrible
than thunder. Visu, thinking that he and his family
were about to be destroyed by an earthquake, hastily
snatched up the younger children and rushed to the
door of the hut, where he saw a most wonderful sight.
Instead of the once desolate plain he perceived a great
mountain from whose head sprang tongues of flame
and dense clouds of smoke ! So glorious was the sight
of this mountain that had run under the earth for two
hundred miles and then suddenly sprung forth on the
plain of Suruga that Visu, his wife and family, sat down
on the ground as if under a spell. When the sun rose
the next morning Visu saw that the mountain had put
on robes of opal. It seemed so impressive to him that
he called it Fuji-yama ("The Never-dying Mountain "),
and so it is called to this day. Such perfect beauty
suggested to the woodman the eternal, an idea which
no doubt gave rise to the Elixir of Life so frequently
associated with this mountain.

Day after day Visu sat and gazed upon Fuji, and was
just conjecturing how nice it would be for so imposing
a mountain to be able to see her loveliness, when


a great lake suddenly stretched before him, shaped like
a lute, and so called Biwa/

The Adventures of Visu

One day Visu received a visit from an old priest,
who said to him : " Honourable woodman, I am afraid
you never pray." Visu replied : " If you had a wife
and a large family to keep you would never have time
to pray." This remark made the priest angry, and
the old man gave the woodcutter a vivid description
of the horror of being reborn as a toad, or a mouse,
or an insect for millions of years. Such lurid details
were not to Visu's liking, and he accordingly promised
the priest that in future he would pray. " Work and
pray," said the priest as he took his departure.

Unfortunately Visu did nothing but pray. He
prayed all day long and refused to do any work, so
that his rice crops withered and his wife and family
starved. Visu's wife, who had hitherto never said a
harsh or bitter word to her husband, now became
extremely angry, and, pointing to the poor thin bodies
of her children, she exclaimed : " Rise, Visu, take up
your axe and do something more helpful to us all
than the mere mumbling of prayers ! "

Visu was so utterly amazed at what his wife had
said that it was some time before he could think of a
fitting reply. When he did so his words came hot
and strong to the ears of his poor, much-wronged wife.

* There is some confusion here, for in actual fact Lake Biwa is a
hundred and forty miles distant from Fuji — too great a distance,
one would imagine, for even a miraculous mountain to look into.
Legend asserts that Fuji came from the earth in a single night, while
Lake Biwa sank simultaneously. Professor Chamberlain writes :
" May we not have here an echo of some early eruption, which
resulted in the formation, not indeed of Lake Biwa . . . but of
one of the numerous small lakes at the foot of the mountain ? "



" Woman," said he, " the Gods come first. You are
an impertinent creature to speak to me so, and I will
have nothing more to do with you ! " Visu snatched
up his axe and, without looking round to say farewell,
he left the hut, strode out of the wood, and climbed
up Fuji-yama, where a mist hid him from sight.

When Visu had seated himself upon the mountain
he heard a soft rustling sound, and immediately after-
ward saw a fox dart into a thicket. Now Visu deemed
it extremely lucky to see a fox, and, forgetting his
prayers, he sprang up, and ran hither and thither in
the hope or again finding this sharp-nosed little
creature. He was about to give up the chase when,
coming to an open space in a wood, he saw two
ladies sitting down by a brook playing go.^ The
woodman was so completely fascinated that he could
do nothing but sit down and watch them. There was
no sound except the soft click of pieces on the board
and the song of the running brook. The ladies took
no notice of Visu, for they seemed to be playing a
strange game that had no end, a game that entirely
absorbed their attention. Visu could not keep his
eyes off these fair women. He watched their long
black hair and the little quick hands that shot out
now and again from their big silk sleeves in order
to move the pieces. After he had been sitting there
for three hundred years, though to him it was but a
summer's afternoon, he saw that one of the players
had made a false move. " Wrongs most lovely lady ! "
he exclaimed excitedly. In a moment these women
turned into foxes ^ and ran away.

When Visu attempted to pursue them he found to

1 A game introduced from China resembling chess^ but a more
complicated variety than the game with which we are familiar.

- Fox legends have been fully described in Chapter V.

V'isii on Mount Fuji-yama.



his horror that his limbs were terribly stiff, that his
hair was very long, and that his beard touched the
ground. He discovered, moreover, that the handle
of his axe, though made of the hardest wood, had
crumbled away into a little heap of dust.

Visu*s Return

After many painful efforts Visu was able to stand on
his feet and proceed very slowly toward his little home.
When he reached the spot he was surprised to see
no hut, and, perceiving a very old woman, he said :
" Good lady, I am amazed to find that my little home
has disappeared. I went away this afternoon, and now
in the evening it has vanished ! "

The old woman, who believed that a madman was
addressing her, inquired his name. When she was
told, she exclaimed : " Bah ! you must indeed be mad !
Visu lived three hundred years ago ! He went away
one day, and he never came back again."

" Three hundred years I " murmured Visu. " It can-
not be possible. Where are my dear wife and children } "

" Buried ! " hissed the old woman, " and, if what
you say is true, your children's children too. The
Gods have prolonged your miserable life in punishment
for having neglected your wife and little children."

Big tears ran down Visu's withered cheeks as he
said in a husky voice : " I have lost my manhood.
I have prayed when my dear ones starved and needed
the labour of my once strong hands. Old woman,
remember my last words : if you pray^ work too I "

We do not know how long the poor but repentant
Visu lived after he returned from his strange adven-
tures. His white spirit is still said to haunt Fuji-
yama when the moon shines brightly.



The Bell of Enkakuji

JAPANESE bells are among the finest in the
world, for in their size, construction, and decora-
tion the bell-maker of Nippon has reached a high
level of efficiency. The largest bell in Japan belongs
to the Jodo temple of Chion, at Kyoto. It weighs
seventy-four tons, and requires seventy-five men to
ring it in order to get the full effect from this great
mass of metal. The bell of Enkakuji is the largest
bell in Kamakura. It dates from the beginning of the
thirteenth century, and is six inches thick, four feet
seven inches in diameter, and about eight feet high.
This bell, unlike our own, is the same diameter from
top to bottom, a feature common to all big Japanese
bells. It is rung by means of a beam suspended
from the roof, and from the beam hangs a rope.
When the beam is set swinging with sufficient velocity
it strikes a lotus-moulding on the side of the bell, and
a great note quivers forth, " deep as thunder, rich as
the bass of a mighty organ."

The Return of Ono-no-Kimi

When Ono-no-Kimi died he went before the Judg-
ment Seat of Emma-O, the Judge of Souls, and was told
by that dread deity that he had quitted earthly life too
soon, and that he must at once return. Ono-no-
Kimi pleaded that he could not retrace Jhis steps, as
he did not know the way. Then Emma-O said : "By
listening to the bell of Enkakuji you will be able to find
your way into the world again." And Ono-no-Kimi
went forth from the Judgment Seat, and, with the sound
of the bell for guidance, once more found himself in
his old home.


The Giant Priest

On one occasion it is said that a priest of giant stature
was seen in the country, and no one knew his name or
whence he had come. With unceasing zest he travelled
up and down the land, from village to village, from
town to town, exhorting the people to pray before the
bell of Enkakuji. It was eventually discovered that
this giant priest was none other than a personification
of the holy bell itself. This extraordinary news had its
effect, for numerous people now flocked to the bell of
Enkakuji, prayed, and returned with many a wish
fulfilled. On another occasion this sacred bell is said
to have sounded a deep note of its own accord. Those
who were incredulous and laughed at the miracle met
with calamity, and those who believed in the miraculous
power of the sacred bell were rewarded with much

A Woman and the Bell of Miidera

In the ancient monastery of Miidera there was a
great bronze bell. It rang out every morning and
evening, a clear, rich note, and its surface shone like
sparkling dew. The priests would not allow any woman
to strike it, because they thought that such an action
would pollute and dull the metal, as well as bring
calamity upon them.

When a certain pretty woman who lived in Kyoto
heard this she grew extremely inquisitive, and at last,
unable to restrain her curiosity, she said : " I will go
and see this wonderful bell of Miidera. I will make it
sound forth a soft note, and in its shining surface,
bigger and brighter than a thousand mirrors, I will
paint and powder my face and dress my hair."

At length this vain and irreverent woman reached



the belfry in which the great bell was suspended at a
time when all were absorbed in their sacred duties.
She looked into the gleaming bell and saw her pretty-
eyes, flushed cheeks, and laughing dimples. Presently
she stretched forth her little fingers, lightly touched the
shining metal, and prayed that she might have as great
and splendid a mirror for her own. When the bell felt
this woman's fingers, the bronze that she touched
shrank, leaving a little hollow, and losing at the same
time all its exquisite polish.

Benkei and the Bell

Benkei,^ the faithful retainer ot Yoshitsune, may be
fittingly described as the strong man of Old Japan. His
strength was prodigious, as will be seen in the following

When Benkei was a monk he very much desired
to steal the bell of Miidera, and bring it to his own
monastery. He accordingly visited Miidera, and, at an
opportune moment, unhooked the great bell. Benkei's
first thought was to roll it down the hill, and thus save
himself the trouble of carrying such a huge piece of
metal ; but, thinking that the monks would hear the
noise, he was forced to set about carrying it down the
steep incline. He accordingly pulled out the cross-
beam from the belfry, suspended the bell at one end,
and — humorous touch — his paper lantern at the other,^
and in this manner he carried his mighty burden for
nearly seven miles.

When Benkei reached his temple he at once de-
manded food. He managed to get through a concoc-
tion which filled an iron soup-pot five feet in diameter,

1 See Chapter II.

2 Hence the Japanese saying: "Lantern and bell, which is the
heavier ? "



and when he had finished he gave permission for a few
priests to strike the stolen bell of Miidera. The bell
was struck, but in its dying murmur it seemed to cry :
" I want to go back to Miidera ! I want to go back to
Miidera 1 "

When the priests heard this they were amazed. The
abbot, however, thought that if the bell were sprinkled
with holy water it would become reconciled to its new
abode ; but in spite of holy water the bell still sobbed
forth its plaintive and provoking cry. No one was
more displeased by the sound than Benkei himself. It
seemed that the bell mocked him and that arduous
journey of his. At last, exasperated beyond endurance,
he rushed to the rope, strained it till the beam was far
from the great piece of metal, then let it go, hoping
that the force of the swift-rushing beam would crack
such a peevish and ill-bred bell. The whirling wood
reached the bell with a terrific crash ; but it did not
break. Through the air rang again : " I want to go
back to Miidera ! " and whether the bell was struck
harshly or softly it always spoke the same words.

At last Benkei, now in a towering rage, shouldered
the bell and beam, and, coming to the top of a mountain,
he set down his burden, and, with a mighty kick, sent it
rolling into the valley beneath. Some time later the
Miidera priests found their precious bell, and joyfully
hung it in its accustomed place, and from that time it
failed to speak, and only rang like other temple bells.


The power of Karma is one of the great Buddhist
doctrines, and many are the stories, both true and
legendary, told in connection with this theme. Of the
former Lafcadio Hearn in " Kokoro " narrates the pitiful
tale of a priest who had the misfortune to attract the



love of many women. Rather than yield to their solicita-
tions he committed suicide by kneeling in the middle
of a railway track and allowing an express train to put
an end to his temptations.

The story of " The Bamboo-cutter and the Moon-
Maiden " gives us another representation of the work-
ing out of Karma. The Lady Kaguya was banished
from her home in the moon owing to indulgence in
some sensual passion. In her exile it will be re-
membered that her weakness was vanquished, and that
she steadfastly resisted this particular sin during her
earthly sojourn.

Karma by no means represents exclusively the power
of evil thought, though it is most commonly applied to
the human passions. In its fuller meaning it signifies
cause and effect — all thoughts, all actions that are not
spiritual, for by the working of Karma, according to
Buddhist teaching, is the world and all it contains
fashioned. The desire to be is Karma. The desire
not to be is the breaking of the great wheel of birth
and rebirth, and the attainment of Nirvana.

There are Japanese lovers who, owing to circum-
stance, are unable to marry ; but they do not blame
circumstance. They regard their misfortune as the re-
sult of an error in a previous existence, such as break-
ing their promise to wed, or because they were cruel to
each other. Such lovers believe that if they bind them-
selves together with an under-girdle and spring into a
river or lake they will become united in their next birth.
This suicide of Japanese lovers is called j^shi, which
means "love-death" or "passion-death." Buddhism
is strongly opposed to self-destruction, and no less to a
love of this kind, for mJDshi there is no desire to destroy,
but rather to foster, the power of Karma. Such lovers
may be united, but in the teaching of the Lord Buddha


a union of this kind is a delusion, while Nirvana alone
is worth striving for. We read in the Ratana Sutra :
"Their old Karma is exhausted, no new Karma is being
produced : their hearts are free from the longing after
future life ; the cause of their existence being destroyed,
and no new yearnings springing up within them, they,
the wise, are extinguished like this lamp."

A Bell and the Power of Karma

"There are various paths leading to the attainment of
complete happiness. When we find ourselves upon the
wrong one it is our duty to quit it."


Near the banks of the Hidaka there once stood a far-
famed tea-house nestling amid lovely scenery beside a
hill called the Dragon's Claw. The fairest girl in this
tea-house was Kiyo, for she was like "the fragrance of
white lilies, when the wind, sweeping down the mountain
heights, comes perfume-laden to the traveller."

Across the river stood a Buddhist temple where the
abbot and a number of priests lived a simple and devout
life. In the belfry of this temple reposed a great bell,
six inches thick and weighing several tons. It was one
of the monastery rules that none of the priests should
eat fish or meat or drink sake, and they were especially
forbidden to stop at tea-houses, lest they should lose
their spirituality and fall into the sinful ways of the flesh.

One of the priests, however, on returning from a
certain shrine, happened to see the pretty Kiyo, flitting
hither and thither in the tea-garden, like a large, bright-
winged butterfly. He stood and watched her for a
moment, sorely tempted to enter the garden and speak
to this beautiful creature, but, remembering his priestly
calling, he crossed the river and entered his temple.
That night, however, he could not sleep. The fever

K 145


of a violent love had come upon him. He fingered
his rosary and repeated passages from the Buddhist
Scriptures, but these things brought him no peace of
mind. Through all his pious thoughts there ever
shone the winsome face of Kiyo, and it seemed to him
that she was calling from that fair garden across the

His burning love grew so intense that it was not
long before he stifled his religious feelings, broke one
of the temple rules, and entered the forbidden tea-
house. Here he entirely forgot his religion, or found
a new one in contemplating the beautiful Kiyo, who
brought him refreshment. Night after night he crept
across the river and fell under the spell of this
woman. She returned his love with equal passion, so
that for the moment it appeared to this erring priest
that he had found in a woman's charms something far
sweeter than the possibility of attaining Nirvana.

After the priest had seen Kiyo on many nights
conscience began to stir within him and to do battle
with his unholy love. The power of Karma and the
teaching of the Lord Buddha struggled within his
breast. It was a fierce conflict, but in the end passion
was vanquished, though, as we shall learn, not its
awful consequences. The priest, having stamped out
his carnal love, deemed it wise to deal with Kiyo as
circumspectly as possible, lest his sudden change should
make her angry.

When Kiyo saw the priest after his victory over the
flesh she observed the far-away look in his eyes and
the ascetic calm that now rested upon his face. She
redoubled her feminine wiles, determined either to
make the priest love her again, or, failing that, to put
him to a cruel death by sorcery.

All Kiyo's blandishments failed to awaken love

Ki)o and the Priest.



within the priest's heart, and, thinkingonly of vengeance,
she set out, arrayed in a white robe, and went to a
certain mountain where there was a Fudo ^ shrine.
Fudo sat, surrounded by fire, a sword in one hand and
a small coil of rope in the other. Here Kiyo prayed
with fearful vehemence that this hideous-looking God
would show her how to kill the priest who had once
loved her.

From Fudo she went to the shrine of Kompira,'^
who has the knowledge of magic and is able to teach
sorcery. Here she begged that she might have the
power to turn herself at will into a dragon-serpent.
After many visits a long-nosed sprite (probably a
tengu)^ who waited upon Kompira, taught Kiyo all the
mysteries of magic and sorcery. He taught this once
sweet girl how to change herself into the awful creature
she desired to be for the purpose of a cruel vengeance.

Still the priest visited Kiyo ; but no longer was he
the lover. By many exhortations he tried to stay the
passion of this maiden he once loved ; but these priestly
discourses only made Kiyo more determined to win
the victory in the end. She wept, she pleaded, she
wound her fair arms about him ; but none of her
allurements had the slightest effect, except to drive
away the priest for the last time.

Just as the priest was about to take his departure
he was horrified to see Kiyo's eyes suddenly turn into

1 Fudo is not, as is generally supposed, the God of Fire, but is
identified, according to Sir Ernest Satow, with Dainichi, the God of
Wisdom. It is not quite clear why Kiyo visited Fudo, whose sacred
sword symbolises wisdom, while his fire represents power, and the
coil of rope that which binds the passions.

^ Kompira was originally an Indian God, which the mediaeval
Shintoists identified with Susa-no-o, brother of the Sun Goddess,
who, as we have already seen, would be only too pleased to lend
himself to mischief.


those of a serpent. With a shriek of fear he ran out
of the tea-garden, swam across the river, and hid
himself inside the great temple bell.

Kiyo raised her magic wand, murmured a certain
incantation, and in a moment the sweet face and form
of this lovely maiden became transformed into that of
a dragon-serpent, hissing and spirting fire. With eyes
as large and luminous as moons she crawled over the
garden, swam across the river, and entered the belfry.
Her weight broke down the supporting columns, and
the bell, with the priest inside, fell with a deafening
crash to the ground.

Kiyo embraced the bell with a terrible lust for
vengeance. Her coils held the metal as in a vice ;
tighter and tighter she hugged the bell, till the metal
became red-hot. All in vain was the prayer of the
captive priest ; all in vain, too, were the earnest
entreaties of his fellow brethren, who implored that
Buddha would destroy the demon. Hotter and hotter
grew the bell, and it rang with the piteous shrieks of
the priest within. Presently his voice was stilled, and
the bell melted and ran down into a pool of molten
metal. The great power of Karma had destroyed it,
and with it the priest and the dragon-serpent that was
once the beautiful Kiyo.



" Midwinter gloom the earth enshrouds,

Yet from the skies

The blossoms fall

A flutt'ring shower,

White petals all !

Can spring be come,
So soon beyond the clouds ? "
Kujohara No Fukayabu (Trans, by Clara A. Walsh).


SNOW-TIME in Japan has a beauty peculiarly
its own, and it is a favourite theme of Japanese
poets and artists. Both, for the most part,
treat it artistically, as well they may do, seeing that in
Nippon the white flakes fall upon the ornate roofs of
Buddhist temples, upon the fairy-like bridges, resem-
bling those we have seen on willow-pattern plates, and
upon the exquisitely shaped stone lanterns that adorn so
many Japanese gardens. The ideal snow-scene is to be
found in Japan, and because it is so particularly beautiful
it is surprising to find that Yuki-Onna,^ the Lady of the
Snow, is very far from being a benevolent and attractive
spirit. All the artistry and poetry of snow vanish in
her malignant presence, for she represents Death, with
attributes not unlike that of a vampire. But Japan is
full of sharp and surprising contrasts, and the delicate
and beautiful jostle with the ugly and horrible. There
is no promise of spring in the long white form of
Yuki-Onna, for her mouth is the mouth of Death,
and her ice-cold lips draw forth the life-blood of her
unfortunate victims.

1 See my Land of the Telloiv Spring, p. 39.



The Snow'Bride

Mosaku and his apprentice Minokichi journeyed to
a forest, some little distance from their village. It was
a bitterly cold night when they neared their destination,
and saw in front of them a cold sweep of water. They
desired to cross this river, but the ferryman had gone
away, leaving his boat on the other side of the water,
and as the weather was too inclement to admit of
swimming across the river they were glad to take shelter
in the ferryman's little hut.

Mosaku fell asleep almost immediately he entered
this humble but welcome shelter. Minokichi, however,
lay awake for a long time listening to the cry of the wind
and the hiss of the snow as it was blown against the door.

Minokichi at last fell asleep, to be soon awakened
by a shower of snow falling across his face. He found
that the door had been blown open, and that standing
in the room was a fair woman in dazzlingly white
garments. For a moment she stood thus ; then she
bent over Mosaku, her breath coming forth like white
smoke. After bending thus over the old man for a
minute or two she turned to Minokichi and hovered
over him. He tried to cry out, for the breath of this
woman was like a freezing blast of wind. She told him
that she had intended to treat him as she had done the
old man at his side, but forbore on account of his youth
and beauty. Threatening Minokichi with instant death
if he dared to mention to any one what he had seen, she
suddenly vanished.

Then Minokichi called out to his beloved master :
" Mosaku, Mosaku, wake ! Something very terrible has
happened ! " But there was no reply. He touched the
hand of his master in the dark, and found it was like a
piece of ice. Mosaku was dead !

Yuki-Onna, the Lady of the Snow,



During the next winter, while Minokichi was return-
ing home, he chanced to meet a pretty girl by the name
of Yuki. She informed him that she was going to
Yedo, where she desired to find a situation as a servant.
Minokichi was charmed with this maiden, and he went
so far as to ask if she were betrothed, and hearing that
she was not, he took her to his own home, and in due
time married her.

Yuki presented her husband with ten fine and hand-
some children, fairer of skin than the average. When
Minokichi's mother died her last words were in praise
of Yuki, and her eulogy was echoed by many of the
country folk in the district.

One night, while Yuki was sewing, the light of a
paper lamp shining upon her face, Minokichi recalled
the extraordinary experience he had had in the ferry-
man's hut. "Yuki," said he, "you remind me so
much of a beautiful white woman I saw when I was
eighteen years old. She killed my master with her
ice-cold breath. I am sure she was some strange spirit,
and ySt to-night she seems to resemble you ! "

Yuki flung down her sewing. There was a horrible
smile on her face as she bent close to her husband and
shrieked : " It was I, Yuki-Onna, who came to you
then, and silently killed your master ! Oh, faithless
wretch, you have broken your promise to keep the
matter secret, and if it were not for our sleeping children
I would kill you now ! Remember, if they have aught
to complain of at your hands I shall hear, I shall
know, and on a night when the snow falls I will kill
you !

Then Yuki-Onna, the Lady of the Snow, changed
into a white mist, and, shrieking and shuddering,
passed through the smoke-hole, never to return


Kyuzaemon*s Ghostly Visitor

According to Mr. R. Gordon Smith, in his " Ancient
Tales and Folk-lore of Japan," " all those who die by
the snow and cold become spirits of snow." That is to
say, all those who perish in this way become identified
with Yuki-Onna, the Lady of the Snow. The follow-
ing legend is adapted from Mr. Smith's book referred
to above*

Kyuzaemon, a poor farmer, had closed the shutters
of his humble dwelling and retired to rest. Shortly
before midnight he was awakened by loud tapping.
Going to the door, he exclaimed : " Who are you ?
What do you want ? "

The strange visitor made no attempt to answer these
questions, but persistently begged for food and shelter.
The cautious Kyuzaemon refused to allow the visitor
to enter, and, having seen that his dwelling was secure,
he was about to retire to bed again, when he saw
standing beside him a woman in white flowing garments,
her hair falling over her shoulders. "

"Where did you leave your geta F'' demanded the
frightened farmer.

The white woman informed him that she was the
visitor who had tapped upon his door. " I need no
gela,'' she said, "for I have no feet ! I fly over the
snow-capped trees, and should have proceeded to the
next village, but the wind was blowing strongly against
me, and I desired to rest awhile."

The farmer expressed his fear of spirits, whereupon
the woman inquired if her host had a butsudan (a family
altar). Finding that he had, she bade him open the
butsudan and light a lamp. When this was done the
woman prayed before the ancestral tablets, not forgetting
to add a prayer for the still much-agitated Kyuzaemon.


Having paid her respects at the butsudan, she informed
the farmer that her name was Oyasu, and that she had
lived with her parents and her husband, Isaburo. When
she died her husband left her parents, and it was her
intention to try to persuade him to go back again and
support the old people.

Kyuzaemon began to understand as he murmured to
himself : " Oyasu perished in the snow, and this is her
spirit I see before me." However, in spite of this
recollection he still felt much afraid. He sought the
family altar with trembling footsteps, repeating over
and over again : " Namu Amida Butsu ! " (" Hail,
Omnipotent Buddha ! ")

At last the farmer went to bed and fell asleep.
Once he woke up to hear the white creature murmur
farewell ; but before he could make answer she had

The following day Kyuzaemon went to the next
village, and called upon Isaburo, whom he now found
living with his father-in-law again. Isaburo informed
him that he had received numerous visits from the
spirit of his wife in the guise of Yuki-Onna. After
carefully considering the matter Kyuzaemon found that
this Lady of the Snow had appeared before Isaburo
almost immediately after she had paid him such a
mysterious visit. On that occasion Isaburo had promised
to fulfil her wish, and neither he nor Kyuzaemon were
again troubled with her who travels in the sky when the
snow is falling fast.



" All the joy of my existence is concentrated around the
pillow which giveth me nightly rest, all the hope of my
days I find in the beauties of Nature that ever please my

''Ho-jo-kV (Trans, by F. V. Dickins).

Japanese and English Gardens

THERE is nothing particularly aesthetic about the
average English garden. When the bedding-
out time comes a slow old gardener puts in his
plants. Later on we see a crude blaze of colour —
scarlet geraniums, yellow calceolarias, blue lobelias, the
green grass and the ochre-coloured paths. And this
is the colour effect of the average English garden, a
colour effect that makes the eyes ache and shames the
very flowers so unwisely set in this fashion. The truth
of the matter is that we do not understand the art of
flower arrangement. We buy flowers just to make the
garden look bright, under the impression that bright-
ness is an abstract quality with which we should like
to spend our summer days. An Englishman once
attempted to make a landscape garden after the
Japanese manner. He was extremely proud of the
result, and on one occasion he took a Japanese
gentleman round to see it. The Japanese gentleman
exclaimed, with extreme courtesy : " It is very beauti-
ful ; we have nothing at all like it in Japan !" The
Englishman failed in his attempt to imitate because
he considered gardening a hobby, while in Japan the
garden is something indelibly associated with Japanese
life itself. In Japan it is an ancient cult to which
poets and artists have given years of thought, a cult


in which emotion, memory, and religion play their

The Love of Flowers, its Growth and Symbolism

One of the most striking, and certainly one of the
most pleasing, characteristics of the Japanese is their
intense love of flowers and trees. Merry parties set
out to see the azaleas bloom, or the splendour of the
pink-white cherry-blossom, or the scarlet glory of the
maple-trees. This " flower-viewing " is an integral part
of their existence. The very kimono of the laughing
children look like little gardens of flowers themselves.
Take away their landscape, and you take away at once
their sense of poetry, and, we may almost add, the floral
side of their religion too, for the Japanese worship
flowers and trees in a way utterly impossible to the
more prosaic Westerner.

During a recent spring the magnolia-trees in Kew
Gardens afibrded a wonderfully beautiful spectacle.
But there were few to see these leafless trees with their
profusion of lotus-like blossom. The most appreciative
spectator was a child, who sat under the sweet-scented
branches, gathered the fallen petals in her little brown
hands, and made up a quaint story as she did so. But
in Japan, where magnolia-trees bloom too, a hundred
little poems would be threaded to the branches, and little
cakes made in imitation of the petals. Perhaps, too, a
branch of magnolia would be set in a vase, the object
of silent admiration of the members of some tea cere-
mony. And afterwards the spray of blossom would be
gently placed on a river or buried with joy and reverence
for the beauty it had exhibited in its brief hour of life.
The love of flowers is only a small part of the
Japanese love of Nature. There was an evolutionary
growth in this worship as in every other, and we are



inclined to think that the Japanese go very far back in
this matter, and learnt first of all to love rocks and
stones. To us rocks and stones are of interest only to
the geologist and metallurgist, merely from a scientific
point of view, and it seems almost incredible that rocks
and stones have a poetical meaning. But it is otherwise
to the Japanese. The Japanese garden is essentially a
landscape garden. The owner of a garden falls in love
with a certain view. It haunts him, and awakens in
him some primitive feelings of delight that cannot be
analysed. He brings that view perpetually before him
in his garden, in miniature, perhaps, but a miniature of
wonderful exactness. His garden thus becomes a place
of happy memory, and not a plot laid out with gaudy
flowers and terraces that can have no meaning, no poetry
to his mind. Without a doubt Japanese gardens, with
their gorgeous flowers, merry sunshine, and the sweet
tinkle of dainty fairy-bells suspended from the branches
of the trees, are the most delightful in the world.

Japanese Gardens

One thing that strikes us about Japanese gardens
that we do not find in England is the wonderful
economy displayed in their schemes. Suburbia often
makes the excuse that their pocket-handkerchief of a
garden is much too small to be made beautiful. Too
small to be made beautiful ? Why, the Japanese can
make a wonderful little garden in a space no bigger than
a soup-plate ! Necessity is the mother of invention, and
if we only loved Nature more we should soon find the
means to make our smallest gardens attractive. The
great Japanese designer of gardens, Kobori-Enshiu,
said that an ideal garden should be like "the sweet
solitude of a landscape clouded by moonlight, with a
half-gloom between the trees."


Miss Florence Du Cane has much to say concerning
Japanese rocks and stones. What poetry is suggested in
the names of some of these garden stones — for example,
"The Stone of Easy Rest." Then, among the lake
stones we have one called "Wild Wave Stone," that
at once suggests Matsushima, with its waves breaking
against innumerable rocks.

The stone or wooden lamps are very important
ornaments in a Japanese garden. The idea was borrowed
from Korea, and they are still sometimes known as
"Korean towers." They are seldom lit, except in
temple gardens, but they need no jewel of light to make
them beautiful. They are rich in amber and green moss,
and in the winter they catch the snow and make ghost
lanterns of exquisite beauty. Another feature of a
Japanese garden is the Torii^ a simple arch of wood
shaped like a huge Chinese character. Shinto in origin,
no one has as yet discovered what they were originally
intended to represent, though there have been many
diverse opinions on the subject. These gates to nowhere
are extremely fascinating, and to look at them with the
sea about their feet is to dream of a far-away fairy tale
of childhood.

The lakes, cascades, tiny bridges, the stepping-stones
over the winding ways of silver sand, form a place of
retreat indeed. And then the colour of the Japanese
garden ! Every month has some fresh colour scene as
the plum and cherry and peach-trees come into bloom.
Trailing over the ground among the pine-needles or
looking into the clear blue lake, one may see the
azaleas. If there were ever a flower that personified
colour then it is surely the azalea. It is the rainbow of
flowers, and there seems scarcely a shade of colour not
to be found in its blossoms. To look at the azaleas is
to look into the very paint-box of Nature herself. Then



at another season of the year we get the iris in purple
and lavender, yellow and white, or the beautiful rose-
coloured lotus that opens with a little explosion on the
placid waters, as if to herald its coming to perfection.
The last colour glory of the year is the splendour of the
maple-trees. We have a fine crimson effect in our
English blackberry leaves, but they lie hidden in the
wet autumn hedges. In Japan the maples do not hide.
They seem everywhere alive in a splendid flame. In
the autumn it appears as if the maple-trees had conjured
with the sunset, for at that time Japan is not the Land
of the Rising Sun, but the land of the sun going
down in a great pageant of red leaves. And is that the
end of Nature's work for the year ? No, indeed. Last
of all comes the snow, and the beauty of its effect lies
not so much in the soft flakes themselves, but in the
way they are caught and held upon the beautiful little
houses and temples and lanterns. See a Japanese
garden then, and you see the white seal of Nature's
approval upon it all. The snow scene is perhaps
Nature's supreme touch in Japan, after all ; and it is a
scene dear to the hearts of the Japanese. In midsummer
a Japanese emperor once had the miniature mountains
in his gardens covered with white silk to suggest snow,
and, no doubt, to give an imaginary coolness to the
scene. A slight acquaintance with Japanese art will
reveal the fact that snow affords a favourite theme for
the artist's brush.

Nature in Miniature

The Japanese, for the most part, are little in stature,
and have a love of things in miniature. Lafcadio Hearn
tells a charming story of a Japanese nun who used to
play with children and give them rice-cakes no bigger
than peas and tea in very minute cups. Her love of

very small things came as the result of a great sorrow,
but we see in this Japanese love of little objects some-
thing pathetic in the nation as a whole. Their love of
dwarf trees, hundreds of years old, seems to say : " Be
honourably pleased never to grow big. We are a little
people, and so we love little things." The ancient
pine, often less than a foot in height, does not render
its age oppressive, and is not a thing to fear just because
it is so very small. Westerners have been inclined to
describe the dwarf Japanese tree as unnatural. It is no
more unnatural than the Japanese smile, and reveals
that the nation, like the Greeks of old, is still closely
in touch with Natufe.

The Pine'tree

The pine-tree Is the emblem of good fortune and
longevity. That is why we see this tree at almost
every garden gate ; and it must be admitted that a pine-
tree is a more graceful talisman than a rusty old horse-
shoe. In a certain Japanese play we find the following :
" The emblem of unchangeableness — exalted is their
fame to the end of time — the fame of the two pine-trees
that have grown old together." This refers to the
famous pines of Takasago. Mr. Conder tells us that
at wedding feasts " a branch of the male pine is placed
in one vessel and a branch of the female pine in the
other. The general form of each design would be
similar, but the branch of the female pine facing the
opposite vase should stretch a little beneath the corre-
sponding branch of the male pine." In other words, it
shows that Woman's Suffrage exists not in Japan, and
that the Japanese wife is subject to her lord and master,
which is a very pretty way of suggesting what is in
England a very dangerous subject. The design referred
to above typifies "eternal union." The pine-tree really



symbolises the comradeship of love, the Darby and
Joan stage of old married people in Japan.

A Great Nature-lovcf

Kamo No Chomei was a Buddhist recluse of the
twelfth century, and he wrote a little book called
Ho-jo-ki (" Notes from a Ten-feet-square Hut "). In this
volume he describes how he left the ways of the world
and took up his abode in a hut on the mountain-side.
ChOmei used to sing and play and read his beloved
books in the very heart of the country. He writes :
" When the sixtieth year of my life, now vanishing as a
dewdrop, approached, anew I made me an abode, a sort
of last leap, as it were, just as a traveller might run
himself up a shelter for a single night, or a decrepit
silkworm weave its last cocoon." We see him, a happy
old man, slowly trudging along the hills, gathering
blossom as he went, ever watching with delighted eyes
the ways and secrets of Nature. With all his musings,
so full of poetry, his religious character plays a part.
He writes with dry humour : " I do not need to trouble
myself about the strict observance of the command-
ments, for, living as I do in complete solitude, how should
I be tempted to break them ? " Avery different experi-
ence to that of some of the Indian anchorites, who find
in solitude a veritable thunder-cloud of temptation !
But ChOmei was a happy soul, and we mention him here
to show that the mainstay of his life were not the things
of the world, but the workings of Nature on the hills
and in the valleys, in the flowers and in the trees, in the
running water and in the rising moon. To quote his
own words : " You have fled from the world to live
the life of a recluse amid the wild woods and hills, thus
to bring peace to your soul and walk in the way of the
J 60


The Festival of the Dead

We find the Festival of the Dead the greatest argu-
ment of all in support of Japan's love of Nature. It
was a woman's thought, this Festival of the Dead, and
there is something about it so tender, so plaintive, that
it could only have come from a woman. In July
the spirits of the dead return from their dark abode.
Little meals are prepared for this great company of
ghosts, and the lanterns hang in the cemeteries and on
the pine-trees of good fortune at the garden gates. The
Japanese used to commit hara-kiri^ but let us not forget
that their souls come back again to wander in a country
that seems to be one great garden. And why do they
come back } They come back with their soft footsteps
over the hills and far away from over the sea to look
at the flowers once more, to wander in the gardens where
they spent so many happy hours. They come, that
invisible host, when the sun shines brightly, when it
seems that blossoms floating in the breeze suddenly turn
into butterflies, when life is at its full, when Death and the
dark place where Emma-O reigns cannot be endured.
What a time to come back again ! What a silent com-
pliment to Nature that that great company of souls
should wander back to her arms in the summer-time !

The Japanese Flag and the Chrysanthemum

Most of us are familiar with the Japanese flag depict-
ing a red sun on a white ground, and we should naturally
suppose that such an emblem was originally connected
with the Sun Goddess. In this supposition, however,
we should be entirely wrong. Astrological designs in

^ Hara-kiri, or seppuku, is the term applied to suicide among the
samurai class. For detailed account see Tales of Old Japan, by
A. B. Mitford (Lord Redesdalc).

L i6i


ancient days figured upon the Chinese banners, and
Professor B. H. Chamberlain describes them thus :
" The Sun with the Three-legged Crow that inhabits it,
the Moon with its Hare ^ and Cassia-tree, the Red Bird
representing the seven constellations of the southern
quarter of the zodiac, the Dark Warrior (a Tortoise)
embracing the seven northern constellations, the Azure
Dragon embracing the seven eastern, the White Tiger
embracing the seven western, and a seventh banner
representing the Northern Bushel (Great Bear)." The
Chinese banners depicting the sun and moon were
particularly noteworthy, because the sun represented
the Emperor's elder brother and the moon his sister.
In the seventh century the Japanese adopted these
banners ; but as time went on they dropped many of
the quaint astrological designs so dear to the heart of the
Chinese. When in 1859 a national flag became neces-
sary the sun banner pure and simple was adopted ;
but a plain orb without rays was not sufficient, and a
more elaborate design was executed — the sixteen-petalled
chrysanthemum. We can only conjecture the connec-
tion between the sun and the chrysanthemum. Both
were venerated in ancient China, and we may assume
that the Japanese artist, in wishing to depict the sun's
rays, found excellent material in copying the flower of
a wild chrysanthemum.

The chrysanthemum is Japan's national flower, and
we owe to Nippon its culture in our own country.
Mythological scenes, particularly that of the Treasure
Ship with the Gods of Luck on board is a favourite

* To this day Japanese peasants still believe in the Hare in the
Moon. This animal employs its time in pounding rice in a mortar
and making it into cakes. The origin of this conception is probably
to be found in a pun, for " rice-cake " and " full moon " are both
described by the word moch't.


device, fashioned entirely with innumerable chrysanthe-
mums. Boats, castles, bridges, and various other objects
are designed from the same flower with wonderful
dexterity. Japan has always been happy in her use of
names, and to no greater advantage than in the naming
of her chrysanthemums. There is poetry in such names
as " Sleepy Head," " Golden Dew," " White Dragon,"
and "Starlit Night."

The chrysanthemum is certainly a fitting symbolism
for the Imperial standard. Once, like our English rose,
it figured as a badge in the War of the Chrysanthemums,
a protracted civil war that divided the nation into two
hostile factions. Now the chrysanthemum stands for a
united Empire.

Lady "White and Lady Yellow

Long ago there grew in a meadow a white and a yellow
chrysanthemum side by side. One day an old gardener
chanced to come across them, and took a great fancy to
Lady Yellow. He told her that if she would come
along with him he would make her far more attractive,
that he would give her delicate food and fine clothes to

Lady Yellow was so charmed with what the old man
said that she forgot all about her white sister and con-
sented to be lifted up, carried in the arms of the old
gardener, and to be placed in his garden.

When Lady Yellow and her master had departed
Lady White wept bitterly. Her own simple beauty
had been despised ; but, what was far worse, she was
forced to remain in the meadow alone, without the
converse of her sister, to whom she had been devoted.

Day by day Lady Yellow grew more fair in her
master's garden. No one would have recognised the
common flower of the field now ; but though her petals



were long and curled and her leaves so clean and well
cared for, she sometimes thought of Lady White alone
in the field, and wondered how she managed to make
the long and lonely hours pass by.

One day a village chief came to the old man's garden
in quest of a perfect chrysanthemum that he might take
to his lord for a crest design.^ He informed the old
man that he did not want a fine chrysanthemum with
many long petals. What he wanted was a simple white
chrysanthemum with sixteen petals. The old man took
the village chief to see Lady Yellow ; but this flower
did not please him, and, thanking the gardener, he took
his departure.

On his way home he happened to enter a field, where
he saw Lady White weeping. She told him the sad
story of her loneliness, and when she had finished her
tale of woe the village chief informed her that he had
seen Lady Yellow and did not consider her half as
beautiful as her own white self. At these cheering
words Lady White dried her eyes, and she nearly
jumped ofi her little feet when this kind man told her
that he wanted her for his lord's crest !

In another moment the happy Lady White was being
carried in a palanquin. When she reached the Daimyd^s
palace all warmly praised her remarkable perfection of
form. Great artists came from far and near, sat about
her, and sketched the flower with wonderful skill. She
soon needed no mirror, for ere long she saw her pretty

^ The sixteen-petalled chrysanthemum is one of the crests of the
Imperial family, while the other represents the flowers and leaves of
the paulownia. Crests in Japan are not confined to the wealthy
classes. The crest is still worn upon the upper part of the native
garment, to be seen on each breast and sleeve, and upon the back
of the neck. Favourite designs are derived from the bamboo, birds,
fans, Chinese characters, Sec.

white face on all the Daimyd's most precious belong-
ings. She saw it on his armour and lacquer boxes, on
his quilts and cushions and robes. When she looked
upward she could see her face in great carved panels.
She was painted floating down a stream, and in all
manner of quaint and beautiful ways. Every one
acknowledged that the white chrysanthemum, with her
sixteen petals, made the most wonderful crest in all

While Lady White's happy face lived for ever
designed upon the Daimyu's possessions. Lady Yellow
met with a sad fate. She had bloomed for herself
alone and drunk in the visitors' praise as eagerly as she
did the dew upon her finely curled petals. One day,
however, she felt a stiffness in her limbs and a cessation
of the exuberance of life. Her once proud head fell
forward, and when the old man found her he lifted her
up and threw her upon a rubbish heap.

" Chrysanthemum-OId-Man " '

Kikuo (" Chrysanthemum-Old-Man ") was the faith-
ful retainer of Tsugaru. One day his lord's force was
overthrown, and the castle and fine estates were taken
away by the enemy ; but fortunately Tsugaru and Kikuo
were able to escape to the mountains.

Kikuo, knowing his master's love of flowers, especially
that of the chrysanthemum, resolved to cultivate this
flower to the best of his ability, and in so doing to
lessen a little of his master's remorse and humiliation
in exile.

His efforts pleased Tsugaru, but unfortunately that
lord soon fell sick and died, and the faithful Kikuo
wept over his master's grave. Then once more he

^ This story and those that follow in this chapter have been
adapted from Jiicient Tales avd Folk-lore of Japan, by R, Gordon Smith,



returned to his work, and planted chrysanthemums about
his master's tomb till he had made a border thirty yards
broad, so that red, white, pink, yellow, and bronze
blossoms scented the air, to the wonder of all who
chanced to come that way.

When Kikuo was about eighty-two he caught cold
and was confined to his humble dwelling, where he
suffered considerable pain.

One autumn night, when he knew those beloved
flowers dedicated to his master were at their best, he
saw in the verandah a number of young children.
As he gazed upon them he realised that they were not
the children of this world.

Two of these little ones drew near to Kikuo, and
said : " We are the spirits of your chrysanthemums,
and have come to tell you how sorry we are to find you
ill. You have guarded and loved us with such care.
There was a man in China, Hozo by name, who lived
eight hundred years by drinking the dew from chry-
santhemum blossoms. Gladly would we lengthen out
your days, but, alas ! the Gods ordain otherwise.
Within thirty days you will die."

The old man expressed the wish that he might die in
peace, and the regret that he must needs leave behind
him all his chrysanthemums.

" Listen," said one of the ghostly children : " we have
all loved you, Kikuo, for what you have done for us.
When you die we shall die too." As soon as these words
were spoken a puff of wind blew against the dwelling,
and the spirits departed.

Kikuo grew worse instead of better, and on the thir-
tieth day he passed away. When visitors came to see the
chrysanthemums he had planted, all had vanished. The
villagers buried the old man near his master, and, thinking
to please Kikuo, they planted chrysanthemums near his

Shinge and Yoshisavva by the Violet Well. 166


grave ; but all died immediately they were put into the
ground. Only grasses grow over the tombs now. The
child-souls of the chrysanthemums chatter and sing and
play with the spirit of Kikuo.

The Violet Well

Shinge and her waiting-maids were picnicking in the
Valley of Shimizutani, that lies between the mountains
of Yoshino and Tsubosaka. Shinge, full of the joy of
spring, ran towards the Violet Well, where she discovered
great clumps of purple, sweet-scented violets. She was
about to pick the fragrant blossoms when a great snake
darted forth, and she immediately fainted.

When the maidens found her they saw that her lips
were purple, as purple as the violets that surrounded her,
and when they saw the snake, still lurking in the vicinity,
they feared that their mistress would die. Matsu, how-
ever, had sufficient presence of mind to throw her basket
of flowers at the snake, which at once crawled away.

Just at that moment a handsome youth appeared, and,
explaining to the maidens that he was a doctor, he gave
Matsu some medicine, in order that she might give it to
her mistress.

While Matsu forced the powder into Shinge's mouth
the doctor took up a stick, disappeared for a few moments,
and then returned with the dead snake in his hands.

By this time Shing6 had regained consciousness, and
asked the name of the physician to whom she was
indebted for saving her life. But he politely bowed,
evaded her question, and then took his departure.
Only Matsu knew that the name of her mistress's
rescuer was Yoshisawa.

When Shing6 had been taken to her home she grew
worse instead of better. All the cleverest doctors came to
her bedside, but could do nothing to restore her to health.



Matsu knew that her mistress was gradually fading
away for love of the handsome man who had saved her
life, and she therefore talked the matter over with her
master, Zembei. Matsu told him the story, and said
that although Yoshisawa was of a low birth, belonging
to the Eta, the lowest caste in Japan, who live by
killing and skinning animals, yet nevertheless he was
extremely courteous and had the manner and bearing of
a samurai. " Nothing," said Matsu, " will restore your
daughter to health unless she marries this handsome

Both Zembei and his wife were dismayed at these
words, for Zembei was a great daimyd^ and could not for
one moment tolerate the idea of his daughter marrying
one of the Eta class. However, he agreed to make
inquiries concerning Yoshisawa, and Matsu returned to
her mistress with something; like good news. When
Matsu had told Shinge what her father was doing on her
oehalf she rallied considerably, and was able to take

When Shinge was nearly well again Zembei called her
to him and said that he had made careful inquiries con-
cerning Yoshisawa, and could on no account agree to her
marrying him.

Shinge wept bitterly, and brooded long over her
sorrow with a weary heart. The next morning she was
not to be found in the house or in the garden. Search
was made in every direction ; even Yoshisawa himself
sought her everywhere ; but those who sought her found
her not. She had mysteriously disappeared, burdened
with a sorrow that now made her father realise the effect
of his harsh decree.

After three days she was found lying at the bottom of
the Violet Well, and shortly after Yoshisawa, overcome
with grief, sought a similar end to his troubles. It is
1 68


said that on stormy nights the ghost of Shinge is to be
seen floating over the well, while near by comes the
sound of the weeping of Yoshisawa.

The Ghost of the Lotus Lily

" O Resurrection, Resurrection of World and Life !
Lo, Sun ascend ! The lotus buds flash with hearts parted,
With one chant ' Namu, Amida ! ' "

Tone Noguchi.

The lotus is the sacred flower of Buddhism. Because
it grows out of mud, rears its stalk through water, and
from such dark and slimy beginnings yields a lovely
flower, it has been compared with a virtuous man dwell-
ing in this wicked world. Sir Monier Williams writes :
** Its constant use as an emblem seems to result from
the wheel-like form of the flower, the petals taking the
place of spokes, and thus typifying the doctrine of
perpetual cycles of existence." Buddha is frequently
portrayed as either standing or sitting upon a golden
lotus, and the flower reminds us of the Buddhist sutra,
known as the "Lotus of the Good Law."

Thus Lafcadio Hearn describes the lotus of Paradise :
*' They are gardening, these charming beings ! — they are
caressing the lotus buds, sprinkling their petals with
something celestial, helping them to blossom. And
what lotus-buds ! with colours not of this world. Some
have burst open ; and in their luminous hearts, in a
radiance like that of dawn, tiny naked infants are seated,
each with a tiny halo. These are Souls, new Buddhas,
hotoke born into bliss. Some are very, very small ;
others larger ; all seem to be growing visibly, for their
lovely nurses are feeding them with something ambrosial.
I see one which has left its lotus-cradle, being conducted
by a celestial Jizo toward the higher splendours far



So much, then, for the celestial lotus and "for its
intimate connection with Buddhism. In the following
legend we find this flower possessed with the magical
power of keeping away evil spirits.

A certain disease broke out in Kyoto from which
many thousands of people died. It spread to Idzumi,
where the Lord of Koriyama lived, and Koriyama, his
wife and child, were stricken down with the malady.

One day Tada Samon, a high official in Koriyama's
castle, received a visit from a yamabushi^ or mountain
recluse. This man was full of concern for the illness of
the Lord Koriyama, and, addressing Samon, he said : " All
this trouble has come about through the entrance of
evil spirits in the castle. They have come because the
moats about the abode are dry and contain no lotus. If
these moats were at once planted with this sacred flower
the evil spirits would depart, and your lord, his wife
and child, grow well again."

Samon was much impressed by these wise words, and
permission was given for this recluse to plant lotus
about the castle. When he had accomplished his task
he mysteriously disappeared.

Within a week the Lord Koriyama, his wife and son,
were able to get up and resume their respective duties,
for by this time the walls had been repaired, the moats
filled with pure water, which reflected the nodding heads
of countless lotus.

Many years later, and after the Lord Koriyama had
died, a young samurai chanced to pass by the castle
moats. He was gazing admiringly at these flowers
when he suddenly saw two extremely handsome boys
playing on the edge of the water. He was about to
lead them to a safer place when they sprang into the
air and, falling, disappeared beneath the water.

The astonished samuraiy believing that he had seen a


couple of kappas^ or river goblins, made a hasty retreat
to the castle, and there reported his strange adventure.
When he had told his story the moats were dragged
and cleaned, but nothing could be found of the supposed

A little later on another samurai^ Murata Ippai, saw
near the same lotus a number of beautiful little boys.
He drew his sword and cut them down, breathing in as
he did so the heavy perfume of this sacred flower with
every stroke of his weapon. When Ippai looked about
him to see how many of these strange beings he had
killed, there arose before him a cloud of many colours,
a cloud that fell upon his face with a fine spray.

As it was too dark to ascertain fully the extent and
nature of his onslaught, Ippai remained all night by the
spot. When he awoke in the morning he found to his
disgust that he had only struck off the heads of a
number of lotus. Knowing that this beneficent flower
had saved the life of the Lord Koriyama, and now pro-
tected that of his son, Ippai was filled with shame and
remorse. Saying a prayer by the water's edge, he com-
mitted hara-kiri.

The Spirit of the Peony

It had been arranged that the Princess Aya should
marry the second son of Lord Ako. The arrangements,
according to Japanese custom, had been made entirely
without the consent or approval of the actual parties

One night Princess Aya walked through the great
garden of her home, accompanied by her waiting-maids.
The moon shone brightly upon her favourite peony bed
near a pond, and covered the sweet-scented blooms In a

^ Referred to elsewhere in the chapter dealing with Supernatural



silver sheen. Here she lingered, and was stooping to
breathe the fragrance of these flowers when her foot
slipped, and she would have fallen had not a handsome
young man, clad in a robe of embroidered peonies,
rescued her just in time. He vanished as quickly and
mysteriously as he had come, before, indeed, she had
time to thank him.

It so happened that shortly after this event the
Princess Aya became very ill, and in consequence the
day for her marriage had to be postponed. All the
medical aid available was useless to restore the feverish
maiden to health again.

The Princess Aya's father asked his favourite
daughter's maid, Sadayo, if she could throw any
light upon this lamentable affair.

Sadayo, although hitherto bound to secrecy, felt that
the time had come when it was wise, indeed essential, to
communicate all she knew in the matter. She told her
master that the Princess Aya was deeply in love with
the young samurai wearing the robes embroidered with
peonies, adding that if he could not be found she feared
that her young mistress would die.

That night, while a celebrated player was performing
upon the biwa in the hope of entertaining the sick
Princess, there once more appeared behind the peonies
the same young man in the same silk robe.

The next night, too, while Yae and Yakumo were
playing on the flute and koto^ the young man appeared

The Princess Aya's father now resolved to get at the
root of the matter, and for this purpose he bade Maki
Hiogo dress in black and lie concealed in the peony bed
on the following night.

When the next night came Maki Hiogo lay hidden
among the peonies, while Yae and Yakumo made sweet


music. Not long after the music had sounded the
mysterious young j^wwr^i again appeared. Maki Hiogo
rose from his hiding-place with his arms tightly bound
round this strange visitor. A cloud seemed to emanate
from his captive. It made him dizzy, and he fell to the
ground still tightly holding the handsome samurai.

Just as a number of guards came hurrying to the spot
Maki Hiogo regained consciousness. He looked down
expecting to see his captive. But all that he held in his
arms was a large peony !

By this time Princess Aya and her father joined the
astonished group, and the Lord Naizen-no-jo at once
grasped the situation. " I see now," said he, " that the
spirit of the peony flower had a moment ago, and on
former occasions, taken the form of a young and hand-
some samurai. My daughter, you must take this flower
and treat it with all kindness."

The Princess Aya needed to be told no more. She
returned to the house, placed the peony in a vase, and
stood it by her bedside. Day by day she got better,
while the flower flourished exceedingly.

When the Princess Aya was quite well the Lord of
Ako arrived at the castle, bringing with him his second
son, whom she was to marry. In due time the wedding
took place, but at that hour the beautiful peony suddenly



** One day Kinto Fujiwara, Great Adviser of State, dis-
puted with the Minister of Uji which was the fairest of
spring and autumn flowers. Said the Minister : * The
Cherry is surely best among the flowers of spring, the
Chrysanthemum among those of autumn.' Then Kinto
said, 'How can the cherry-blossom be the best? You
have forgotten the Plum.' Their dispute came at length
to be confined to the superiority of the Cherry and Plum,
and of other flowers little notice was taken. At length
Kinto, not wishing to offend the Minister, did not argue
so vehemently as before, but said, ' Well, have it so ; the
Cherry may be the prettier of the two ; but when once
you have seen the red plum-blossom in the snow at the
dawn of a spring morning, you will no longer forget its
beauty.* This truly was a gentle saying."

" The Garden of Japan" by Sir F. T, Piggott.

Cherry and Plum

THE supreme floral glory of Japan takes place in
April with the coming of the cherry-blossom, and,
as we have seen in the above quotation, it is the
cherry and plum that are regarded with the most favour.
The poet Motoori wrote: " If one should ask you con-
cerning the heart of a true Japanese, point to the wild
cherry flower glowing in the sun," and Lafcadio Hearn,
without the least exaggeration, but with true poetic in-
sight, has compared Japan's cherry-blossom with a deli-
cate sunset that has, as it were, strayed from the sky
and lingered about the leafless branches.

The really great wonders of Nature, to those who are
sufficiently susceptible to the beautiful, are apt to leave
behind an indefinable yearning, a regret that so much
loveliness must needs pass away, and this gentle touch of
sorrow mingled with the ecstasy is easily discovered in
much of the Japanese poetry. It is a point worthy of
emphasis because it reveals a temperament charged with


a supreme love of the beautiful, this craving for a petal
that shall never wither, a colour that shall never fade.
Thus sang Korunushi :

** No man so callous but he heaves a sigh
When o'er his head the withered cherry flowers
Come fluttering down. Who knows ? the Spring's soft showers
May be but tears shed by the sorrowing sky."

Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.

One of the greatest tributes Japan has paid to the
cherry is as follows : " The cherry-trees in the far-away
mountain villages should keep back their blooms until
the flowers in the town have faded, for then the people
will go out to see them too." A Japanese woman's
beauty is frequently associated with the cherry-blossom,
while her virtue is compared with the flower of the

The Camellia

The Precious-Camellia of Yaegaki, with its double
trunk and immense head, is of great age, and is regarded
as so sacred that it is surrounded by a fence, and stone
lamps are placed about it. The tree's unique shape,
with the double trunk growing together in the middle,
has given rise to the belief that this extraordinary tree
symbolises a happy wedded life, and, moreover, that
good spirits inhabit it, ever ready to answer the ardent
prayers of lovers.

The camellia-tree is not always beneficent. A legend
is recorded of a tree of this species walking about at
night in a samurai s garden at Matsue. Its strange and
restless wanderings became so frequent that at last the
tree was cut down, and it is said that when it was struck
it shot forth a stream of blood.



The Cryptomeria

Another tree held in high veneration is the imposing
cryptomeria, and there is one avenue of these trees
stretching from Utsunomiya to Nikko, a distance of
twenty miles. One of these trees is seven feet in diameter,
and is said to have been planted " by a deputation
representing eight hundred Buddhist nuns of the pro-
vince of Wakasa." Later on in this chapter we give a
legend connected with this particular tree.

A Pine'tree and the God of Roads

In the grounds of the great hakaha (cemetery) of the
Kwannondera is a pine-tree standing upon four great
roots that have the appearance of gigantic legs. About
this tree is a fence,! shrine, and a number oi torli. Before
the shrine repose miniature horses made from straw.
These are offerings to Koshin, the God of Roads, en-
treaties that the real horses which they symbolise may be
preserved from death or sickness. The pine-tree, how-
ever, is not usually associated with Koshin. It may be
fittingly described as the most domestic of Japanese trees,
for it takes a conspicuous place in the New Year festival i
— a tree to plant at the garden gate, because it is said to
bring good luck and, especially, happy marriages.

A Tree Spirit

As we shall see in the legends that follow, more than
one variety of Japanese trees is endowed with super-
natural power. There is a tree spirit known as
Ki-no-o-bake that is capable of walking about and
assuming various guises. The spirit of the tree speaks
but little, and if disturbed disappears into the trunk or
among the leaves. The spirit of the God Kojin^ resides

1 See Chapter XVII. ^ See Chapter XVI.



in the enoki tree, the God to whom very old dolls are

The Miraculous Chestnut

The Princess Hinako-Nai-ShinnO begged that chest-
nuts should be brought to her ; but she took but one,
bit it, and threw it away. It took root, and upon all
the chestnuts thati it eventually bore there were the
marks of the Princess's small teeth. In honouring her
death the chestnut had expressed its devotion in this
strange way.

The Silent Pine

The Emperor Go-Toba, who strongly objected to the
croaking of frogs, was on one occasion disturbed by
a wind-blown pine-tree. When his Majesty loudly
commanded it to be still, the pine-tree never for a
moment moved again. So greatly impressed was this
obedient tree that the fiercest wind failed to stir its
branches, or even its myriad pine-needles.

Willow Wife*

" 1 have heard of the magical incense that summons the souls of the
absent ;
Would I had some to burn, in the nights when I wait alone."

From the Japanese.

In a certain Japanese village there grew a great willow-
tree. For many generations the people loved it. In
the summer it was a resting-place, a place where the
villagers might meet after the work and heat of the day
were over, and there talk till the moonlight streamed
through the branches. In winter it was like a great
half-opened umbrella covered with sparkling snow.

^ This story and the one that follows have been adapted from
Ancient Tqles and Folk-lore of Japan, by R, Gordon Smith.

M 177


Heitaro, a young farmer, lived quite near this tree,
and he, more than any of his companions, had entered
into a deep communion with the imposing willow. It
was almost the first object he saw upon waking, and
upon his return from work in the fields he looked out
eagerly for its familiar form. Sometimes he would
burn a joss-stick beneath its branches and kneel down
and pray.

One day an old man of the village came to Heitaro
and explained to him that the villagers were anxious to
build a bridge over the river, and that they particularly
wanted the great willow-tree for timber.

"For timber ? " said Heitaro, hiding his face in his
hands. " My dear willow-tree for a bridge, one to bear
the incessant patter of feet ? Never, never, old man 1 "

When Heitaro had somewhat recovered himself, he
offered to give the old man some of his own trees, if
he and the villagers would accept them for timber and
spare the ancient willow.

The old man readily accepted this offer, and the
willow-tree continued to stand in the village as it had
stood for so many years.

One night while Heitaro sat under the great willow
he suddenly saw a beautiful woman standing close beside
him, looking at him shyly, as if wanting to speak.

" Honourable lady," said he, " I will go home. 1
see you wait for some one. Heitaro is not without
kindness towards those who love."

" He will not come now," said the woman, smiling.

" Can he have grown cold .'' Oh, how terrible when
a mock love comes and leaves ashes and a grave
behind ! "

"He has not grown cold, dear lord."

" And yet he does not come ! What strange mystery
is this ? "


" He has come ! His heart has been always here,
here under this willow-tree." And with a radiant smile
the woman disappeared.

Night after night they met under the old willow-
tree. The woman's shyness had entirely disappeared,
and it seemed that she could not hear too much from
Heitaro's lips in praise of the willow under which they

One night he said to her : " Little one, will you be my
wife — you who seem to come from the very tree itself .'' "

" Yes," said the woman. "Call me Higo ("Willow")
and ask no questions, for love of me. I have no father
or mother, and some day you will understand."

Heitaro and Higo were married, and in due time they
were blessed with a child, whom they called Chiyodo.
Simple was their dwelling, but those it contained were
the happiest people in all Japan.

While this happy couple went about their respective
duties great news came to the village. The villagers
were full of it, and it was not long before it reached
Heitaro's ears. The ex-Emperor Toba wished to build
a temple to Kwannon ^ in Kyoto, and those in authority
sent far and wide for timber. The villagers said that
they must contribute towards building the sacred edifice
by presenting their great willow-tree. All Heitaro's
argument and persuasion and promise of other trees
were ineffectual, for neither he nor any one else could
give as large and handsome a tree as the great willow.

Heitaro went home and told his wife. " Oh, wife,"
said he, " they are about to cut down our dear willow-
tree ! Before I married you I could not have borne it.
Having you, little one, perhaps I shall get over it some

That night Heitaro was aroused by hearing a piercing
^ See Chapter XV.



cry. " Heltaro," said his wife, " it grows dark ! The
room is full of whispers. Are you there, Heitaro ? Hark !
They are cutting down the willow-tree. Look how its
shadow trembles in the moonlight. I am the soul of the
willow-tree 1 The villagers are killing me. Oh, how
they cut and tear me to pieces ! Dear Heitaro, the
pain, the pain 1 Put your hands here, and here. Surely
the blows cannot fall now ^ "

" My Willow Wife ! My Willow Wife ! " sobbed

" Husband," said Higo, very faintly, pressing her
wet, agonised face close to his, " I am going now.
Such a love as ours cannot be cut down, however fierce

the blows. I shall wait for you and Chiyodo My hair

is falling through the sky ! My body is breaking ! "

There was a loud crash outside. The great willow-
tree lay green and dishevelled upon the ground.
Heitaro looked round for her he loved more than any-
thing else in the world. Willow Wife had gone 1

The Tree of the Onc'eyed Priest

In ancient days there stood on the summit of Oki-
yama a temple dedicated to Fudo, a god surrounded
by fire, with sword in one hand and rope in the other.
For twenty years Yenoki had performed his office, and
one of his duties was to guard Fudo, who sat in a shrine,
only accessible to the high-priest himself. During the
whole of this period Yenoki had rendered faithful
service and resisted the temptation to take a peep at
this extremely ugly god. One morning, finding that
the door of the shrine was not quite closed, his curiosity
overcame him and he peeped within. No sooner had
he done so than he became stone-blind in one eye and
suffered the humiliation of being turned into a tengu}

* A long-nosed creature referred to elsewhere.


He lived for a year after these deplorable happen-
ings, and then died. His spirit passed into a great
cryptomeria-tree standing on the east side of the moun-
tain, and from that day Yenoki's spirit was invoked by
sailors who were harassed by storms on the Chinese
Sea. If a light blazed from the tree in answer to their
prayers, it was a sure sign that the storm would abate.

At the foot of Oki-yama there was a village, where,
sad to relate, the young people were very lax in their
morals. During the Festival of the Dead they per-
formed a dance known as the Bon Odori. These
dances were very wild affairs indeed, and were accom-
panied by flirtations of a violent and wicked nature.
The dances became more unrestrained as years went by,
and the village got a- bad name for immoral practices
among the young people.

After a particularly wild celebration of the Bon a
young maiden named Kimi set out to find her lover,
Kurosuke. Instead of finding him she saw an ex-
tremely good-looking youth, who smiled upon her and
continually beckoned. Kimi forgot all about Kurosuke ;
indeed, from that moment she hated him and eagerly
followed the enticing youth. Nine fair but wicked
maidens disappeared from the village in a similar way,
and always it was the same youth who lured them
astray in this mysterious manner.

The elders of the village consulted together, and
came to the conclusion that the spirit of Yenoki was
angry with the excesses connected with the Bon festival,
and had assumed the form of a handsome youth for
the purpose of administering severe admonition. The
Lord of Kishiwada accordingly summoned Sonob6 to
his presence, and bade him journey to the great crypto-
meria-tree on Oki-yama.

When Sonobe reached his destination he thus



addressed the ancient tree : " Oh, home of Yenoki's
spirit, I upbraid you for carrying away 6ur daughters.
If this continues I shall cut down the tree, so that you
will be compelled to seek lodging elsewhere."

Sonobe had no sooner spoken than rain began to fall,
and he heard the rumblings of a mighty earthquake.
Then from out of the tree Yenoki's spirit suddenly
appeared. He explained that many of the young people
of Sonobe's village had offended against the Gods by
their misconduct, and that he had, as conjectured,
assumed the form of a handsome youth in order to take
away the principal offenders. " You will find them,"
added the spirit of Yenoki, "bound to trees on the
second summit of this mountain. Go, release them,
and allow them to return to the village. They have
not only repented of their follies, but will now persuade
others to live nobler and purer lives." And with these
words Yenoki disappeared into his tree.

Sonobe set off to the second summit and released the
maidens. They returned to their homes, good and
dutiful daughters, and from that day to this the Gods
have been well satisfied with the general behaviour of
the village that nestles at the foot of Oki-yama.

The Burning of Three Dwarf Trees

In the reign of the Emperor Go-Fukakusa there lived
a celebrated Regent, Saimyoji Tokiyori. When thirty
years of age this Regent retired to a monastery for
several years, and not infrequently his peace of mind
was sadly disturbed by stories of peasants who suffered
at the hands of tyrannical officials. Now Tokiyori
loved above everything the welfare of his people, and
after giving the matter careful consideration he deter-
mined to disguise himself, travel from place to place,
and discover in an intimate way the heart of the poorer


people, and later on to do all in his power to suppress
malpractice on the part of various officials.

Tokiyori accordingly set out upon his excellent
mission, and finally came to Sano, in the province of
Kozuki. Now it was the time of winter, and a heavy
snowstorm caused the royal wanderer to lose his way.
After wearily tramping about for several hours in the
hope of finding shelter, he was about to make the best
of the matter by sleeping under a tree when, to his joy,
he noticed a small thatched cottage nestling under a
hill at no great distance. To this cottage he went,
and explained to the woman who greeted him that he
had lost his way and would be much indebted to her
if she would afford him shelter for the night. The
good woman explained that as her husband was away
from home, it would be disloyal as his wife to give
shelter to a stranger. Tokiyori not only took this reply
in good part, but he greatly rejoiced, in spite of a night
in the snow, to find such a virtuous woman. But he
had not gone far from the cottage when he heard a man
calling to him. Tokiyori stood still, and presently he
saw some one beckoning him. The man explained that
he was the husband of the woman the ex-Regent had
just left, and cordially invited one whom he took to be
a wandering priest to return with him and accept such
humble hospitality as was available.

When Tokiyori was sitting in the little cottage
simple fare was spread before him, and as he had eaten
nothing since the morning he did full justice to the
meal. But the fact that millet and not rice was provided
clearly conveyed to the observant Tokiyori that here
was poverty indeed, but with it all a generosity that
went straight to his heart. Nor was this all, for, the
meal finished, they gathered round the fire that was fast
dying out for want of fuel. The good man of the house



turned to the fuel-box. Alas ! it was empty. Without
a moment's hesitation he went out into the garden,
heavily covered with snow, and brought back with him
three pots of dwarf trees, pine, plum, and cherry. Now
in Japan dwarf trees are held in high esteem ; much time
and care is bestowed upon them, and their age and
unique beauty have made them dear to the people of
Nippon. In spite of Tokiyori's remonstrance his host
broke up these little trees, and thus made a cheerful blaze.
It was this incident, scarcely to be fully appreciated
by a Westerner, that caused Tokiyori to question his
host, whose very possession of these valuable trees
strongly suggested that this generous man was not a
farmer by birth, but had taken to this calling by force of
circumstance. The ex-Regent's conjecture proved to
be correct, and his host, with some reluctance, finally
explained that he was a samurai by the name of Sano
Genzalmon Tsuneyo. He had been forced to take up
farming owing to the dishonesty of one of his relatives.
Tokiyori readily recalled the name of this samurai
before him, and suggested that he should make an
appeal for redress. Sano explained that as the good
and just Regent had died (so he thought), and as his
successor was very young, he considered it was worse
than useless to present a petition. But, nevertheless,
he went on to explain to his interested listener that
should there come a call to arms he would be the first
to make an appearance at Kamakura. It was this
thought of some day being of use to his country that
had sweetened the days of his poverty.

The conversation, so rapidly suggested in this story,
was in reality a lengthy one, and by the time it was con-
cluded already a new day had begun. And when the
storm-doors had been opened it was to reveal sunlight
streaming over a world of snow. Before taking his


departure Tokiyori warmly thanked his host and hostess
for their hospitality. When this kindly visitor had gone
Sano suddenly remembered that he had forgotten to
inquire the name of his guest.

Now it happened that in the following spring a call
to arms was instituted by the Government at Kamakura.
No sooner had Sano heard the joyful news than he set
out to obey the summons. His armour was shabby in
the extreme, his halberd covered with rust, and his
horse was in a very poor condition. He presented a
sorry figure among the resplendent knights he found in
Kamakura. Many of these knights made uncompli-
mentary remarks concerning him, but Sano bore this
insolence without a word. While he stood, a forlorn
figure, among the sparkling ranks of samurai about him,
a herald approached riding on a magnificent horse, and
carrying a banner bearing the house-crest of the Regent.
With a loud, clear voice he bade the knight wearing the
shabbiest armour to appear before his master. Sano
obeyed the summons with a heavy heart. He thought
that the Regent was about to rebuke him for appearing
in such a gaily decked company clad in such miserable

This humble knight was surprised by the cordial
welcome he received, and still more surprised when a
servant pushed aside the screens of an adjoining room
and revealed the Regent Saimyoji Tokiyori, who was
none other than the priest who had taken shelter in his
little home. Nor had Tokiyori forgotten the burning
of the dwarf pine, plum, and cherry-trees. Out of that
sacrifice, readily given without a thought of gain, came
the thirty villages of which Sano had been robbed. This
was only Sano's due, and in addition the grateful
Tokiyori had the happy idea of presenting this faithful
knight with the village of Matsu-idu, Umeda, and



Sakurai, matsu^ unie^ and sakura being the Japanese names
for pine, plum, and cherry.

The Pine'trec Lovers

" The dawn is near.
And the hoar-frost falls
On the fir-tree twigs ;
But its leaves' dark green
Suffer no change.
Morning and evening
Beneath its shade
The leaves are swept away,
Yet they never fail.
True it is
That these fir-trees
Shed not all their leaves ;
Their verdure remains fresh
For ages long.

As the Masaka trailing vine ;
Even amongst evergreen trees —
The emblem of unchangeableness —
Exalted is their fame
As a symbol to the end of time —
The fame of the fir-trees that have grown
old together,"

" Takasago^ (Trans, by W. G. Aston.)

The Takasago is generally considered one of the finest
of the Nd, or classical dramas. The Nd was performed
by statuesque players who chanted in an ancient dialect.
It belonged to that period of Japanese formality fittingly
described as " Heav'n to hear tell about, but Hell to
see." The theme of the Takasago seems to be a relic of a
phallic cult common enough in the history of primitive
nations. The pine-tree of Takasago symbolises longe-
vity, and in the following chorus from this drama we
may gather the potency of this evergreen tree :

" And now, world without end.
The extended arms of the dancing maidens


In sacerdotal robes

Will expel noxious influences;

Their hands folded to rest in their bosoms

Will embrace all good fortune ;

The hymn of a thousand autumns

Will draw down blessings on the people,

And the song of ten thousand years

Prolong our sovereign's life.

And all the while

The voice of the breeze,

As it blows through the firs

That grow old together,

Will yield us delight,"

The efficacy of the pine-tree is still believed in to this
day. It is conspicuous in the festival of the San-ga-nichi,
when pine branches decorate the gateways during the
New Year festivities. Both this use of the pine-tree and
that of this particular Nu drama owe their origin to the
great pine-tree of Takasago, about which we narrate the
following legend.

In ancient days there lived at Takasago a fisherman,
his wife, and little daughter Matsue. There was
nothing that Matsue loved to do more than to sit
under the great pine-tree. She was particularly fond of
the pine-needles that never seemed tired of falling to
the ground. With these she fashioned a beautiful dress
and sash, saying : ** I will not wear these pine-clothes
until my wedding-day."

One day, while Matsue was sitting under the pine-
tree, she sang the following song :

" No man so callous but he heaves a sigh
When o'er his head the withered cherry flowers
Come fluttering down. Who knows ? the Spring's soft showers
May be but tears shed by the sorrowing sky."

While she thus sang Teoyo stood on the steep shore
of Sumiyoshi watching the flight of a heron. Up, up



it went into the blue sky, and Teoyo saw it fly over the
village where the fisherfolk and their daughter lived.

Now Teoyo was a youth who dearly loved adventure,
and he thought it would be very delightful to swim
across the sea and discover the land over which the
heron had flown. So one morning he dived into the
sea and swam so hard and so long that the poor fellow
found the waves spinning and dancing, and saw the
great sky bend down and try to touch him. Then he
lay unconscious on the water ; but the waves were kind
to him after all, for they pressed him on and on till he
was washed up at the very place where Matsue sat
under the pine-tree.

Matsue carefully dragged Teoyo underneath the
sheltering branches, and then set him down upon a
couch of pine-needles, where he soon regained conscious-
ness, and warmly thanked Matsue for her kindness.

Teoyo did not go back to his own country, for after
a few happy months had gone by he married Matsue,
and on her wedding morn she wore her dress and sash
of pine-needles.

When Matsue's parents died her loss only seemed
to make her love Teoyo the more. The older they
grew the more they loved each other. Every night,
when the moon shone, they went hand in hand to the
pine-tree, and with their little rakes they made a couch
for the morrow.

One night the great silver face of the moon peered
through the branches of the pine-tree and looked in
vain for the old lovers sitting together on a couch of
pine-needles. Their little rakes lay side by side, and
still the moon waited for the slow and stumbling steps
of the Pine-Tree Lovers. But that night they did not
come. They had gone home to an everlasting resting-
place on the River of Souls. They had loved so well

Matsue rescues Teovo.



and so splendidly, in old age as well as in youth,
that the Gods allowed their souls to come back again
and wander round the pine-tree that had listened to
their love for so many years. When the moon is full
they whisper and laugh and sing and draw the pine-
needles together, while the sea sings softly upon the



" As the sword is the soul of a samurai, so is the mirror
the soul of a woman."

"When the mirror is dim the soul is unclean."

Japanese Proverbs.

The Significance of Japanese Mirrors

OLD Japanese metal mirrors are circular, the
surface convex, and the back adorned with
elaborate designs in relief of flowers, birds, and
other scenes from Nature. Professor B. H. Chamber-
lain writes : " An extraordinary peculiarity characterises
some of these Japanese mirrors : sunlight reflected from
their face displays a luminous image' of the design on
their l^ack I So strange a phenomenon has naturally
attracted the attention of men of science. After much
speculation, it has been clearly proved by Professors
Ayrton and Perry to arise from the fact that the curva-
ture of the face of the mirror over the plain part of
the back is greater than over the design." It is the
phenomenon rather than the possible explanation of it
that interests us, and no doubt this strange occurrence
accounts in some measure for the magical significance
of Nipponese mirrors.

The great legendary idea underlying Japanese mirrors
is just this, that the mirror, through constant reflection
of its owner's face, draws to itself the very soul of its
possessor, and, as we shall see later on, something of
the same idea is to be traced in regard to old but much-
loved Japanese dolls.

Hidari Jingoro

The famous sculptor Hidari JingorO on one occasion
happened to fall in love with a very attractive woman
whom he met in the street on his return to his studio. He


was so fascinated by her rare beauty that as soon as he had
reached his destination he commenced to carve a statue
of her. Between the chiselled robes he placed a mirror,
the mirror which the lovely woman had dropped, and
which her eager lover had at once picked up. Because
this mirror had reflected a thousand thousand times
that fair face, it had taken to its shining surface the very
body and soul of its owner, and because of these strange
things the statue came to life, to the extreme happiness
of sculptor and maid.

The Divine Mirror

Long before the Japanese mirror was a familiar object
in the house it had a very deep religious significance in
connection with Shintoism. The Divine Mirror into
which the Sun Goddess gazed reposes at Ise. Other
mirrors are to be found in Shinto shrines ; indeed,
these mirrors are the essential part of a shrine remarkable
for its simplicity. The mirror " typifies the human
heart, which, when perfectly placid and clear, reflects
the very image of the deity." In the Kojiki we are told
that Izanagi presented his children with a polished silver
disc, and bade them kneel before it every morning and
evening and examine their reflections. He told them
to think of heavenly things, to stifle passion and all evil
thought, so that the disc should reveal a pure and
lovely soul.

The Soul of a Mirror

The shrine of Ogawachi-Myojin fell into decay, and
the Shinto priest in charge, Matsumura, journeyed to
Kyoto in the hope of successfully appealing to the
Shogun for a grant for the restoration of the temple.

Matsumura and his family resided in a house in
Kyoto, said to be extremely unlucky, and many tenants



had thrown themselves into the well on the north-east
side of the dwelling. But Matsumura took no notice
of these tales, and was not the least afraid of evil

During the summer of that year there was a great
drought in Kyoto. Though the river-beds dried up
and many wells failed for want of rain, the well in
jMatsumura's garden was full to overflowing. The
distress elsewhere, owing to want of water, forced many
poor people to beg for it, and for all their drawing the
water in this particular well did not diminish.

One day, however, a dead body was found lying in
the well, that of a servant who had come to fetch
water. In his case suicide was out of the question, and
it seemed impossible that he should have accidentally
fallen in. When Matsumura heard of the fatality he went
to inspect the well. To his surprise the water stirred
with a strange rocking movement. When the motion
lessened he saw reflected in the clear water the form
of a fair young woman. She was touching her lips
with beni. At length she smiled upon him. It was a
strange smile that made Matsumura feel dizzy, a smile
that blotted out everything else save the beautiful
woman's face. He felt an almost irresistible desire to
fling himself into the water in order that he might reach
and hold this enchanting woman. He struggled against
this strange feeling, however, and was able after a while
to enter the house, where he gave orders that a fence
should be built round the well, and that from thence-
forth no one, on any pretext whatever, should draw
water there.

Shortly afterwards the drought came to an end. For
three days and nights there was a continuous downpour
of rain, and the city shook with an earthquake. On
the third night of the storm there was a loud knocking


at Matsumura's door. The priest himself inquired
who his visitor might be. He half opened the door,
and saw once more the woman he had seen in
the well. He refused her admission, and asked why-
she had been guilty of taking the lives of so many
harmless and innocent people.

Thus the woman made answer : " Alas ! good priest,
I have never desired to lure human beings to their
death. It is the Poison Dragon, who lived in that
well, who forced me against my will to entice people to
death. But now the Gods have compelled the Poison
Dragon to live elsewhere, so that to-night I was able
to leave my place of captivity. Now there is but little
water in the well, and if you will search there you will
find my body. Take care of it for me, and I shall not
fail to reward your goodness." With these words she
vanished as suddenly as she had appeared.

Next day well-cleaners searched the well, and discovered
some ancient hair ornaments and an old metal mirror.

Matsumura, being a wise man, took the mirror and
cleaned it, believing that it might reveal a solution to
the mystery.

Upon the back of the mirror he discovered several
characters. Many of the ideographs were too blurred to
be legible, but he managed to make out "third month,
the third day." In ancient time the third month used
to be called Tayoi, or Month of Increase, and re-
membering that the woman had called herself Yayoi,
Matsumura realised that he had probably received a
visit from the Soul of the Mirror.

Matsumura took every care of the mirror. He
ordered it to be resilvered and polished, and when this
had been done he laid it in a box specially made for it,
and mirror and box were placed in a particular room in
the house.

N 193


One day, when Matsumura was sitting in the apart-
ment where the mirror reposed, he once more saw Yayoi
standing before him, looking more beautiful than ever,
and the refulgence of her beauty was like summer
moonlight. After she had saluted Matsurhura she
explained that she was indeed the Soul of the Mirror,
and narrated how she had fallen into the possession of
Lady Kamo, of the Imperial Court, and how she had
become an heirloom of the Fujiwara House, until
during the period of Hogen, when the Taira and
Minamoto clans were engaged in conflict, she was
thrown into a well, and there forgotten. Having
narrated these things, and all the horrors she had gone
through under the tyranny of the Poison Dragon,
Yayoi begged that Matsumura would present the
mirror to the Shogun, the Lord Yoshimasa, who was
a descendant of her former possessors, promising the
priest considerable good fortune if he did so. Before
Yayoi departed she advised Matsumura to leave his
home immediately, as it was about to be washed away
by a great storm.

On the following day Matsumura left the house, and,
as Yayoi had prophesied, almost immediately afterwards
his late dwelling was swept away.

At length Matsumura was able to present the mirror
to the Shogun Yoshimasa, together with a written
account of its strange history. The Shogun was so
pleased with the gift that he not only gave Matsumura
many personal presents, but he also presented the
priest with a considerable sum of money for the re-
building of his temple.

A Mirror and a Bell

When the priests of Mugenyama required a large bell
for their temple they asked the women in the vicinity


to contribute their old bronze mirrors for the purpose
of providing the necessary metal.

Hundreds of mirrors were given for this purpose,
afid all were offered gladly, except the mirror presented
by a certain farmer's wife. As soon as she had given
her mirror to the priests she began to regret having
parted with it. She remembered how old it was, how
it had reflected her mother's laughter and tears, and
even her great-grandmother's. Whenever this farmer's
wife went to the temple she saw her coveted mirror
lying in a great heap behind a railing. She recognised
it by the design on the back known as the Shd-Chiku-
Baij or the three emblems of the Pine, Bamboo, and
Plum-flower. She yearned to stretch forth her arm
between the railings and to snatch back her beloved
mirror. Her soul was in the shining surface, and it
mingled with the souls of those who had gazed into it
before she was born.

When the Mugenyama bell was in course of construc-
tion the bell-founders discovered that one mirror would
not melt. The workers said that it refused to melt
because the owner had afterwards regretted the gift,
which had made the metal hard, as hard as the woman's
selfish heart.

Soon every one knew the identity of the giver of the
mirror that would not melt, and, angry and ashamed,
the farmer's wife drowned herself, first having written
the following : " When I am dead you will be able to
melt my mirror, and so cast the bell. My soul will
come to him who breaks that bell by ringing it, and I
will give him great wealth."

When the woman died her old mirror melted imme-
diately, and the bell was cast and was suspended in its
customary place. Many people having heard of the
message written by the deceased farmer's wife, a great



multitude came to the temple, and one by one rang the
bell with the utmost violence in the hope of breaking
it and winning great wealth. Day after day the ringing
continued, till at last the noise became so unbearable
that the priests rolled the bell into a swamp, where it
lay hidden from sight.

The Mirror of Matsuyama

In ancient days there lived in a remote part of Japan
a man and his wife, and they were blessed with a little
girl, who was the pet and idol of her parents. On one
occasion the man was called away on business in distant
Kyoto. Before he went he told his daughter that if she
were good and dutiful to her mother he would bring her
back a present she would prize very highly. Then the
good man took his departure, mother and daughter
watching him go.

At last he returned to his home, and after his wife
and child had taken off his large hat and sandals he sat
down upon the white mats and opened a bamboo basket,
watching the eager gaze of his little child. He took
out a wonderful doll and a lacquer box of cakes and put
them into her outstretched hands. Once more he dived
into his basket, and presented his wife with a metal
mirror. Its convex surface shone brightly, while upon
its back there was a design of pine-trees and storks.

The good man's wife had never seen a mirror before,
and on gazing into it she was under the impression that
another woman looked out upon her as she gazed with
growing wonder. Her husband explained the mystery
and bade her take great care of the mirror.

Not long after this happy home-coming and distri-
bution of presents the woman became very ill. Just
before she died she called to her little daughter, and
said : " Dear child, when I am dead take every care of


your father. You will miss me when I have left you.
But take this mirror, and when you feel most lonely
look into it and you will always see me." Having said
these words she passed away.

In due time the man married again, and his wife was
not at all kind to her stepdaughter. But the little one,
remembering her mother's last words, would retire to a
corner and eagerly look into the mirror, where it seemed
to her that she saw her dear mother's face, not drawn
in pain as she had seen it on her death-bed, but young
and beautiful.

One day this child's stepmother chanced to see her
crouching in a corner over an object she could not quite
see, murmuring to herself. This ignorant woman, who
detested the child and believed that her stepdaughter
detested her in return, fancied that this little one was
performing some strange magical art — perhaps making
an image and sticking pins into it. Full of these
notions, the stepmother went to her husband and told
him that his wicked child was doing her best to kill her
by witchcraft.

When the master of the house had listened to this
extraordinary recital he went straight to his daughter's
room. He took her by surprise, and immediately the
girl saw him she slipped the mirror into her sleeve.
For the first time her doting father grew angry, and he
feared that there was, after all, truth in what his wife
had told him, and he repeated her tale forthwith.

When his daughter had heard this unjust accusation
she was amazed at her father's words, and she told him
that she loved him far too well ever to attempt or wish
to kill his wife, who she knew was dear to him.

"What have you hidden in your sleeve ? " said her
father, only half convinced and still much puzzled.

"The mirror you gave my mother, and which she on


her death-bed gave to me. Every time I look into its
shining surface I see the face of my dear mother, young
and beautiful. When my heart aches — and oh ! it has
ached so much lately — I take out. the mirror, and mother's
face, with sweet, kind smile, brings me peace, and helps
me to bear hard words and cross looks."

Then the man understood and loved his child the
more for her filial piety. Even the girl's stepmother,
when she knew what had really taken place, was ashamed
and asked forgiveness. And this child, who believed
she had seen her mother's face in the mirror, forgave,
and trouble for ever departed from the home.



" Adoration to the great merciful Kwannon, who looketh
down above the sound of prayer."

An Inscription.


KWANNON, the Goddess of Mercy, resembles
in many ways the no less merciful and gentle
JizO, for both renounced the joy of Nirvana
that they might bring peace and happiness to others.
Kwannon, however, is a much more complex divinity
than JizO, and though she is most frequently portrayed
as a very beautiful and saintly Japanese woman, she
nevertheless assumes a multitude of forms. We are
familiar with certain Indian gods and goddesses with
innumerable hands, and Kwannon is sometimes depicted
as Senjiu-Kwannon, or Kwannon-of-the-Thousand-
Hands.^ Each hand holds an object of some kind, as
if to suggest that here indeed was a goddess ready in
her love to give and to answer prayer to the uttermost.
Then there is Jiu-ichi-men-Kwannon, the Kwannon-
of-the-Eleven-Faces. The face of Kwannon is here
represented as " smiling with eternal youth and infinite
tenderness," and in her glowing presence the ideal of
the divine feminine is presented with infinite beauty of
conception. In the tiara of Jiu-ichi-men-Kwannon are
exquisite faces, a radiation, as it were, of miniature
Kwannons. Sometimes the tiara of Kwannon takes
another form, as in BatO-Kwannon, or Kwannon-with-
the-Horse's-Head. The title is a little misleading, for
such a graceful creature is very far from possessing a

^ The title is not accurate, for in reality this form of Kwannon
possesses only forty hands. No doubt the name is intended to
suggest munificence on the part of this Goddess.



horse's head in any of her manifestations. Images of
this particular Kwannon depict a horse cut out in the
tiara. BatO-Kwannon is the Goddess to whom peasants
pray for the safety and preservation of their horses and
cattle, and BatO-Kwannon is not only said to protect
dumb animals, particularly those who labour for man-
kind, but she extends her power to protecting their
spirits and bringing them ease and a happier life than
they experienced while on earth. In sharp contrast with
the Kwannons we have already described is Hito-koto-
Kwannon, the Kwannon who will only answer one
prayer. The Gods of Love and Wisdom are frequently
represented in conjunction with this Goddess, and the
" Twenty-eight Followers " are personifications of certain
constellations. But in all the variations of Kwannon she
preserves the same virgin beauty, and this Goddess of
Mercy has not inappropriately been called the Japanese

Kwannon in Chinese Myth

In China Kwannon is known as Kwanjin, and is the
spiritual son of Amitabha, but this divinity always
appears as a goddess, as her images in both China and
Japan testify. The Chinese claim that Kwanjin is of
native origin, and was originally the daughter of the
King of the Chow dynasty. She was sentenced to death
by her father because she refused to marry, but the
executioner's sword broke without inflicting a wound.
We are told that later on her spirit went to Hell. There
was something so radiantly beautiful about the spirit of
Kwanjin that her very presence turned Hell into Paradise.
The King of the Infernal Regions, in order to maintain
the gloomy aspect of his realm, sent Kwanjin back to
earth again, and he caused her to be miraculously
transported on a lotus flower to the Island of Pootoo.



An Incarnation of Kwannon

Chojo Hime, a Buddhist nun, is generally regarded
as the greatest early Japanese artist of embroidery, and,
according to legend, she was an incarnation of Kwannon.
Chojo Hime met with much cruel treatment from her
stepmother, until she finally retired to the temple of
Toema-dera, and there worked upon the wonderful
lotus thread embroidery depicting the Buddhist Paradise.
The design is so exquisite that we can easily understand
the Japanese belief that the Gods helped this great artist
in her work.

Kwannon the Mother

There is another remarkable embroidery, by Kano
Hogai, depicting Kwannon as the Divine Mother,
pouring forth from a crystal phial the water of creation.
As this holy water falls in a series of bubbles, each bubble
may be seen to contain a little babe with reverently
folded hands. It is altogether a wonderful piece of
work, and, turning from its pictorial beauty to study a
description of its technicalities, we find that it took three
years to execute, and that 12,100 different shades of
silk, and twelve of gold thread, were used.

The ** Thirty'three Places ** Sacred to Kwannon

There are thirty-three shrines sacred to Kwannon.
All are carefully numbered, and are to be found in
the provinces near Kyoto. The following legend may
possibly account for the reverence bestowed upon the
Saikoku Sanju-san Sho (the "Thirty-three Places").

When the great Buddhist abbot of the eighth century,
Tokudo Shonin, died, he was conducted into the presence
of Emm_a-0, the Lord of the Dead. The castle in which
Emma-O lived was resplendent with silver and gold,



rosy pearls, and all manner of sparkling jewels. A light
emanated from Emma-O too, and that dread God had
a smile upon his face. He received the distinguished
abbot with extreme courtesy, and thus addressed him :

" Tokudo Shonin, there are thirty-three places where
Kwannon reveals her special favour, for behold she has,
in her boundless love, divided herself into many bodies,
so that he who cries for aid shall not cry in vain. Alas !
men continue to go their evil ways, for they know not
of these sacred shrines. They live their sordid lives
and pass into Hell, a vast and countless number. Oh,
how blind they are, how wayward, and how full of
folly ! If they were to make but a single pilgrimage
to these thirty-three shrines sacred to our Lady of
Mercy, a pure and wonderful light would shine from
their feet, feet made spiritually strong to crush down
all evil, to scatter the hundred and thirty-six hells
into fragments. If, in spite of this pilgrimage, one
should chance to fall into Hell, I will take his place and
receive into myself all his suffering, for if this happened
my tale of peace would be false, and I should indeed
deserve to suffer. Here is a list of the thirty-and-three
sacred shrines of Kwannon. Take it into the troubled
world of men and women, and make known the ever-
lasting mercy of Kwannon." _

Tokudo, having carefully listened to all Emma-O had
told him, replied : " You have honoured me with such
a mission, but mortals are full of doubts and fears, and
they would ask for some sign that what I tell them is
indeed true."

Emma-O at once presented the abbot with his jewelled
seal, and, bidding him farewell, sent him on his way
accompanied by two attendants.

While these strange happenings were taking place
in the Underworld the disciples of Tokudo perceived



that though their master's body had lain for three days
and nights the flesh had not grown cold. The devoted
followers did not bury the body, believing that their
master was not dead. And such was indeed the case,
for eventually Tokudo awakened from his trance, and
in his right hand he held the jewelled seal of Emma-O.
Tokudo lost no time in narrating his strange adven-
tures, and when he had concluded his story he and his
disciples set off on a pilgrimage to the thirty-three holy
places ^ over which the Goddess of Mercy presides.

List of the ** Thirty-three Places"

The following is a complete list of the " Thirty-
three Places " sacred to Kwannon :

1. Fudaraku-ji, at Nachi, in KishQ.

2. Kimii-dera, near Wakayama, in KishQ.

3. Kokawa-dera, in KishQ.

4. Sefuku-ji, in Izumi.

5. Fujii-dera, in Kawachi.

6. Tsubosaka-dera, in Yamato.

7. Oka-dera, in Yamato.

8. Hase-dera, in Yamato.

9. Nan-endo, at Nara, in Yamato.

10. Mimuroto-dera, at Uji, in Yamashiro.

11. Kami Daigo-dera, at Uji, in Yamashiro.

12. Iwama-dera, in Omi._ _

13. Ishiyama-dera,_near Otsu, in Omi.

14. Miidera, near Otsu, in Omi.

15. Ima-Gumano, at Kyoto, in Yamashiro.

16. Kiyomizu-dera, at Kyoto.

17. Rokuhara-dera, at Kyoto.

* " In imitation of the original Thirty-three Holy Places, thirty-
three other places have been established in Eastern Japan, and also
in the district of Chichibu." — Murray's Handbook for Japan, by
Basil Hall Chamberlain and W. B. Mason.



1 8. Rokkaku-do, at Kyoto.

19. Kodo, at Kyoto.

20. Yoshimine-dera," at Kyoto.

21. Anoji, in Tamba.

22. Sojiji, in Settsu.

23. Katsuo-dera, in Settsu.

24. Nakayama-dera, near Kobe, in Settsu.

25. Shin Kiyomizu-dera, in Harima.

26. Hokkeji, in Harima.

27. Shosha-san, in Harima.

28. Nareai-ji, in Tango.

29. Matsunoo-dera, in Wakasa. _

30. Chikubu-shirna, island in Lake Biwa, in Omi.

31. Chomeiji, in Omi.

32. Kwannonji, in Omi.

33. Tanigumi-dera, near Tarui, in Mino.^

The **HaIl of the Second Moon**

The Buddhist temple of Ni-gwarsu-do (" Hall of the
Second Moon ") contains a small copper image of Kwan-
non. It has the miraculous power of being warm like
living flesh, and since the image was enshrined special
services in honour of Kwannon take place in February,
and on the i8th of each month the sacred image is
exposed for worship.

Kwannon and the Deer

An old hermit named Saion Zenji took up his abode
on Mount Nariai in order that he might be able to gaze
upon the beauty of Ama-no-Hashidate, a narrow fir-clad
promontory dividing Lake Iwataki and Miyazu Bay.
Ama-no-Hashidate is still regarded as one of the Sankeiy
or "Three Great Sights," of Japan, and still Mount

^ Compiled from Murray's Handbook for "Japan.

Nariai is considered the best spot from which to view
this charming scene.

On Mount Nariai this gentle and holy recluse erected
a little shrine to Kwannon not far from a solitary pine-
tree. He spent his happy days in looking upon Ama-no-
Hashidate and in chanting the Buddhist Scriptures, and
his charming disposition and holy ways were much
appreciated by the people who came to pray at the little
shrine he had so lovingly erected for his own joy and for
the joy of others.

The hermit's abode, delightful enough in mild and
sunny weather, was dreary in the winter-time, for when
it snowed the good old man was cut off from human
intercourse. On one occasion the snow fell so heavily
that it was piled up in some places to a height of twenty
feet. Day after day the severe weather continued, and
at last the poor old hermit found that he had no food of
any kind. Chancing to look out one morning, he saw
that a deer was lying dead in the snow. As he gazed
upon the poor creature, which had been frozen to death,
he remembered that it was unlawful in the sight of
Kwannon to eat the flesh of animals ; but on thinking
over the matter more carefully it seemed to him that he
could do more good to his fellow creatures by partaking
of this deer than by observing the strict letter of the
law and allowing himself to starve in sight of plenty.

When Saion Zenji had come to this wise decision he
went out and cut off a piece of venison, cooked it, and ate
half, with many prayers of thanksgiving for his deliver-
ance. The rest of the venison he left in his cooking-pot.

Eventually the snow melted, and several folk
hastily wended their way from the neighbouring vil-
lage, and ascended Mount Nariai, expecting to see that
their good and much-loved hermit had forever passed
away from this world. As they approached the shrine,



however, they were rejoiced to hear the old man
chanting, in a clear and ringing voice, the sacred
Buddhist Scriptures.

The folk from the village gathered about the hermit
while he narrated the story of his deliverance. When,
out of curiosity, they chanced to peep into his cooking-
pot, they saw, to their utter amazement, that it contained
no venison, but a piece of wood covered with gold foil.
Still wondering what it all meant, they looked upon the
image of Kwannon in the little shrine, and found that
a piece had been cut from her loins, and when they
inserted the piece of wood the wound was healed. Then
it was that the old hermit and the folk gathered about
him realised that the deer had been none other than
Kwannon, who, in her boundless love and tender mercy,
had made a sacrifice of her own divine flesh.


" The wild flowers fade, the maple-leaves,
Touched by frost-fingers, float to earth ;
But on the bosom of the sea
The flowers to which her waves give birth
Fade not, like blossoms on the land,
Nor feel the chill of Autumn's hand."

Tasuhide. (Trans, by Clara A. Walsh.)

Benten, the Goddess of the Sea, is also one of the
Seven Divinities of Luck ; and she is romantically
referred to as the Goddess of Love, Beauty, and
Eloquence. She is represented in Japanese art as
riding on a dragon or serpent, which may account for
the fact that in certain localities snakes are regarded as
being sacred. Images of Benten depict her as having
eight arms. Six hands are extended above her head
and hold a bow, arrow, wheel, sword, key, and sacred
jewel, while her two remaining hands are reverently
crossed in prayer. She resembles Kwannon in many


ways, and images of the two goddesses are frequently
seen together, but the shrines of Benten are usually to
be found on islands.

Benten and the Dragon

We have already referred to Benten riding on a
dragon, and the following legend may possibly be con-
nected with this particular representation.

In a certain cave there lived a formidable dragon,
which devoured the children of the village of Koshigoe.
In the sixth century Benten was determined to put a
stop to this monster's unseemly behaviour, and having
caused a great earthquake she hovered in the clouds
over the cave where the dread dragon had taken up
his abode. Benten then descended from the clouds,
entered the cavern, married the dragon, and was thus
able, through her good influence, to put an end to
the slaughter of little children. With the coming of
Benten there arose from the sea the famous Island of
Enoshima,'^ which has remained to this day sacred to
the Goddess of the Sea.


Hanagaki Baisha, a young poet and scholar, attended
a great festival to celebrate the rebuilding of the
Amadera temple. He wandered about the beautiful
grounds, and eventually reached the place of a spring
from which he had often quenched his thirst. He
found that what had originally been a spring was
now a pond, and, moreover, that at one corner of the
pond there was a tablet bearing the words Tanjd-Sui
(" Birth- Water "), and also a small but attractive temple
dedicated to Benten. While Baisha was noting the

* See Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, by Lafcadio Hearn, vol. i.
pp. 62-104.



changes in the temple grounds the wind blew to his
feet a charmingly written love-poem. He picked it up,
and discovered that it had been inscribed by a female
hand, that the characters were exquisitely formed, and
that the ink was fresh.

BaishQ went home and read and re-read the poem.
It was not long before he fell in love with the writer,
and finally he resolved to make her his wife. At length
he went to the temple of Benten-of-the-Birth- Water,
and cried : " Oh, Goddess, come,' to my aid, and help
me to find the woman who wrote these wind-blown
verses ! " Having thus prayed, he promised to perform
a seven days' religious service, and to devote the seventh
night in ceaseless worship before the sacred shrine of
Benten, in the grounds of the Amadera.

On the seventh night of the vigil BaishQ heard a voice
calling for admittance at the main gateway of the temple
grounds. The gate was opened, and an old man, clad
in ceremonial robes and with a black cap upon his
head, advanced and silently knelt before the temple of
Benten. Then the outer door of the temple mys-
teriously opened, and a bamboo curtain was partially
raised, revealing a handsome boy, who thus addressed the
old man : " We have taken pity on a young man who
desires a certain love-union, and have called you to
inquire into the matter, and to see if you can bring the
young people together."

The old man bowed, and then drew from his sleeve
a cord which he wound round Baishu's body, igniting
one end in a temple-lantern, and waving his hand the
while, as if beckoning some spirit to appear out of the
dark night. In a moment a young girl entered the
temple grounds, and, with her fan half concealing her
pretty face, she knelt beside Baisho.

Then the beautiful boy thus addressed BaishQ : " We


have heard your prayer, and we have known that
recently you have suffered much. The woman you
love is now beside you." And having uttered these
words the divine youth departed, and the old man left
the temple grounds.

When Baishu had given thanks to Benten-of-the-
Birth-Water he proceeded homeward. On reaching
the street outside the temple grounds he saw a young
girl, and at once recognised her as the woman he loved.
BaishQ spoke to her, and when she replied the gentle-
ness and sweetness of her voice filled the youth with
joy. Together they walked through the silent streets
until at last they came to the house where Baisha lived.
There was a moment's pause, and then the maiden
said : " Benten has made me your wife," and the lovers
entered the house together.

The marriage was an extremely fortunate one, and
the happy Baisha discovered that his wife, apart from her
excellent domestic qualities, was accomplished in the art
of arranging flowers and in the art of embroidery, and
that her delicate writing was not less pleasing than
her charming pictures. BaishQ knew nothing about her
family, but as she had been presented to him by the
Goddess Benten he considered that it was unnecessary to
question her in the matter. There was only one thing
that puzzled the loving BaishQ, and that was that the
neighbours seemed to be totally unaware of his wife's

One day, while BaishQ was walking in a remote
quarter of Kyoto, he saw a servant beckoning to him
from the gateway of a private house. The man came
forward, bowed respectfully, and said : "Will you deign
to enter this house ? My master is anxious to have
the honour of speaking to you." BaishQ, who knew
nothing of the servant or his master, was not a little

o 209


surprised by this strange greeting, but he allowed him-
self to be conducted to the guest-room, and thus his
host addressed him :

** I most humbly apologise for the very informal
manner of my invitation, but I believe that I have
acted in compliance with a message I received from the
Goddess Benten. I have a daughter, and, as I am
anxious to find a good husband for her, I sent her
written poems to all the temples of Benten in Kyoto.
In a dream the Goddess came to me, and told me that
she had secured an excellent husband for my daughter,
and that he would visit me during the coming winter.
I was not inclined to attach very much importance to
this dream ; but last night Benten again revealed her-
self to me in a vision, and said that to-morrow the
husband she had chosen for my daughter would call
upon me, and that I could then arrange the marriage.
The Goddess described the appearance of the young
man so minutely that I am assured that you are my
daughter's future husband."

These strange words filled Baisho with sorrow, and
when his courteous host proposed to present him
to the lady he was unable to summon up sufficient
courage to tell his would-be father-in-law that he already
had a wife. BaishQ followed his host into another
apartment, and to his amazement and joy he discovered
that the daughter of the house was none other than
his own wife ! And yet there was a subtle difference,
for the woman who now smiled upon him was the body
of his wife, and she who had appeared before the temple
of Benten-of-the-Birth-Water was her soul. We are
told that Benten performed this miracle for the sake of
her worshippers, and thus it came to pass that BaishQ
had a strange dual marriage with the woman he




Daikoku, the God of Wealth, Ebisu, his son, the
God of Labour, and Hotel, the God of Laughter and
Contentment, belong to that cycle of deities known as
the Gods of Luck. Daikoku is represented with a
Magic Mallet, which bears the sign of the Jewel,
embodying the male and female spirit, and signifies a
creative deity. A stroke of his Mallet confers wealth,
and his second attribute is the Rat. Daikoku is, as we
should suppose, an extremely popular deity, and he is
frequently portrayed as a prosperous Chinese gentle-
man, richly apparelled, and is usually shown standing
on bales of rice, with a bag of precious things on his
shoulder. This genial and beneficent God is also
depicted as seated on bales of rice, or showing his
treasures to some eager and expectant child, or holding
the Red Sun against his breast with one hand and
grasping the Magic Mallet with the other.

Daikoku's Rat

Daikoku's attribute, a Rat, has an emblematic and
moral meaning in connection with the wealth hidden in
the God's bag. The Rat is frequently portrayed either
in the bale of rice with its head peeping out, or in it,
or playing with the Mallet, and sometimes a large
number of rats are shown.

According to a certain old legend, the Buddhist Gods
grew jealous of Daikoku. They consulted together,
and finally decided that they would get rid of the too
popular Daikoku, to whom the Japanese offered prayers
and incense. Emma-O, the Lord of the Dead, promised
to send his most cunning and clever oni, Shiro, who, he
said, would have no difficulty in conquering the God
of Wealth. Shiro, guided by a sparrow, went to



Daikoku's castle, but though he hunted high and low
he could not find its owner. Finally Shiro discovered
a large storehouse, in which he saw the God of Wealth
seated. Daikoku called his Rat and bade him find out
who it was who dared to disturb him. When the Rat
saw Shiro he ran into the garden and brought back a
branch of holly, with which he drove the oni away, and
Daikoku remains to this day one of the most popular
of the Japanese Gods. This incident is said to be the
origin of the New Year's Eve charm, consisting of a
holly leaf and a skewer, or a sprig of holly fixed in the
lintel of the door of a house to prevent the return of
the oni.

The Six Daikoku

1. Makura Daikoku, ordinary form with Mallet on
lotus leaf.

2. Ojikara Daikoku, with sword and vajra.

3. Bika Daikoku, a priest, with Mallet in right hand,
'u^V^-hilted sword in left.

4. Yasha Daikoku, with Wheel of the Law in his
right hand.

5. Shinda Daikoku, a boy seated with a crystal in
his left hand.

6. Mahakara Daikoku, seated female, with small
bale of rice on her head.


Ebisu and his father Daikoku are usually pictured
together : the God of Wealth seated upon bales of rice,
pressing the Red Sun against his breast with one hand,
and with the other holding the wealth-giving Mallet,
while Ebisu is depicted with a fishing-rod and a great
tai fish under his arm.



Hotei, the God of Laughter and Contentment, is one
of the most whimsical of the Japanese Gods. He is
represented as extremely fat, carrying on his back a
linen bag {ho-tei), from which he derives his name. In
this bag he stows the Precious Things, but when in a
particularly playful mood he uses it as a receptacle for
merry and inquisitive children. Sometimes Hotei is
represented in a broken-down and extremely shabby
carriage drawn by boys, and is then known as the
Waggon Priest. Again he is portrayed as carrying in
one hand a Chinese fan and in the other his bag, or
balancing at either end of a pole the bag of Precious
Things and a boy.



" I asked a charming Japanese girl : * How can a doll
live ? ' ' Why,' she answered, ' if you love It enough, it will

Lafcadio Hearn.

The English and Japanese Doll

OUR English dolls, with their flaxen hair, blue
eyes, and simpering faces, are certainly not a
credit to the toy-maker's art if they are to be
regarded as bearing even a remote likeness to living
children. Put in a horizonal position, something will
click in their little heads and their blue eyes will close,
or more correctly roll backward ; a pinch will make
them emit a tolerable imitation of the words "Papa ! "
" Mamma ! " and yet in spite of these mechanical devices
they have nothing more to their credit than a child's
short-lived love. They are speedily broken, or liable
at any moment to be decapitated by a little brother who
has learnt too well the story of Lady Jane Grey !

In Japan, however, the doll is not merely a play-
thing by which little children may become make-believe
mothers, but in earlier days it was regarded as a means
to make a wife a mother. Lafcadio Hearn writes :
" And if you see such a doll, though held quite close to
you, being made by a Japanese mother to reach out its
hands, to move its little bare feet, and to turn its head,
you would be almost afraid to venture a heavy wager
that it was only a doll." It is this startling likeness
that is perhaps accountable for the quaint and beautiful
love connected with Japanese dolls.



Live Dolls

At one time certain dolls were actually said to become
alive, to take to their small bodies a human soul, and
the belief is merely an echo of the old idea that much
love will quicken to life the image of a living thing.
In Old Japan the doll was handed down from one
generation to another, and sometimes remained in an
excellent condition for over a hundred years. A
hundred years spent in little children's arms, served
with food, put to bed regularly every night, and the
object of constant endearments, will no doubt work
wonders in the poetic imagination of a happy and child-
like people.

The tiny doll known as O-Hina-San does not come
within the region of our present study ; it was simply a
toy and nothing more. It is the life-size dolls we must
deal with, those dolls so cunningly representing little
children two or three years old. The girl doll of this
class is known as O-Toku-San and the boy doll as
TokutarO-San. It was believed that if these dolls were
ill-treated or neglected in any way they would weep,
become angry, and bring misfortune upon their pos-
sessors. They had in addition many other supernatural

In a certain old family there was a TokutarO-San
which received a reverence almost equal to that shown
to Kishibojin, the Goddess to whom Japanese wives
pray for offspring. This TokutarO-San was borrowed
by childless couples. They gave it new clothes and
tended it with loving care, assured that such a doll which
had a soul would make them happy by answering their
prayers for a child. TokutarO-San, according to legend,
was very much alive, for when the house caught fire it
speedily ran into the garden for safety !


A Doll's Last Resting-place

What happens to a Japanese doll when after a very
long and happy life it eventually gets broken ? Though
finally regarded as dead, its remains are treated with the
utmost respect. It is not thrown away with rubbish, or
burned, or even reverently laid upon running water, as
is often the case with dead Japanese flowers. It is not
buried, but dedicated to Kojin, frequently represented
as a deity with many arms. Kojin is supposed to reside
in the enoki tree, and in front of this tree there is a
small shrine and torii. Here, then, the remains of a
very old Japanese doll are reverently laid. Its little
face may be scratched, its silk dress torn and faded and
its arms and legs broken, but it once had a soul, once
had the mysterious desire to give maternity to those
who longed for it.

On March 3 the Girls' Festival takes place. It is
known as Jumi no Sekku, or Hina Matsuri^ the Feast or


" Where the soft drifts lie
Of fallen blossoms, dying,
Did one flutter now,
From earth to its brown bough ?
Ah, no ! 'twas a butterfly,
Like fragile blossom flying ! "

Arakida Mortttake.
(Trans, by Clara A. Walsh.)

It is in China rather than in Japan that the butterfly
is connected with legend and folk-lore. The Chinese
scholar Rosan is said to have received visits from two
spirit maidens who regaled him with ghostly stories
about these bright-winged insects.

It is more than probable that the legends concerning


butterflies in Japan have been borrowed from China.
Japanese poets and artists were fond of choosing for
their professional appellation such names as "Butterfly-
Dream," " Solitary Butterfly," " Butterfly-Help," and
so on. Though probably of Chinese origin, such ideas
naturally appealed to the aesthetic taste of the Japanese
people, and no doubt they played in early days the
romantic game of butterflies. The Emperor GensO
used to make butterflies choose his loves for him. At
a wine-party in his garden fair ladies would set caged
butterflies free. These bright-coloured insects would
fly and settle upon the fairest damsels, and those maidens
immediately received royal favours.

Butterflies of Good and Evil Omen

In Japan the butterfly was at one time considered to
be the soul of a living man or woman. If it entered a
guest-room and pitched behind the bamboo screen it
was a sure sign that the person whom it represented
would shortly appear in the house. The presence of a
butterfly in the house was regarded as a good omen,
though of course everything depended on the indi-
vidual typified by the butterfly.

The butterfly was not always the harbinger of good.
When Taira-no-Masakado was secretly preparing for a
revolt Kyoto was the scene of a swarm of butterflies,
and the people who saw them were much frightened.
Lafcadio Hearn suggests that these butterflies may have
been the spirits of those fated to fall in battle, the
spirits of the living who were stirred by a premonition
of the near approach of death. Butterflies may also be
the souls of the dead, and they often appear in this
form in order to announce their final leave-taking from
the body.



** The Flying Hairpin of Kocho **

The Japanese drama contains reference to the ghostly-
significance of butterflies. In the play known as The
Flying Hairpin of t^ochd, the heroine, Kocho, kills her-
self on account of false accusations and cruel treat-
ment. Her lover seeks to discover who has been the
cause of her untimely death. Eventually Kocho's hair-
pin turns into a butterfly and hovers over the hiding-
place of the villain who has caused all the trouble.

The "White Butterfly

There is a quaint and touching Japanese legend
connected with the butterfly. An old man named
Takahama lived in a little house behind the cemetery
of the temple of Sozanji. He was extremely amiable
and generally liked by his neighbours, though most of
them considered him to be a little mad. His madness,
it would appear, entirely rested upon the fact that he
had never married or evinced desire for intimate com-
panionship with women.

One summer day he became very ill, so ill, in fact,
that he sent for his sister-in-law and her son. They
both came and did all they could to bring comfort
during his last hours. While they watched Takahama
fell asleep ; but he had no sooner done so than a
large white butterfly flew into the room, and rested on
the old man's pillow. The young man tried to drive
it away with a fan ; but it came back three times, as if
loth to leave the sufferer.

At last Takahama's nephew chased it out into the
garden, through the gate, and into the cemetery beyond,
where it lingered over a woman's tomb, and then
mysteriously disappeared. On examining the tomb the
young man found the name " Akiko " written upon it,


together with a description narrating how Akiko died
when she was eighteen. Though the tomb was covered
with moss and must have been erected fifty years
previously, the boy saw that it was surrounded with
flowers, and that the little water-tank had been recently

When the young man returned to the house he found
that Takahama had passed away, and he returned to his
mother and told her what he had seen in the cemetery.

"Akiko.?" murmured his mother. "When your
uncle was young he was betrothed to Akiko. She died
of consumption shortly before her wedding-day. When
Akiko left this world your uncle resolved never to marry
and to live ever near her grave. For all these years he
has remained faithful to his vow, and kept in his heart
all the sweet memories of his one and only love. Every
day Takahama went to the cemetery, whether the air
was fragrant with summer breeze or thick with falling
snow. Every day he went to her grave and prayed for
her happiness, swept the tomb and set flowers there.
When Takahama was dying, and he could no longer
perform his loving task, Akiko came for him. That
white butterfly was her sweet and loving soul."

Just before Takahama passed away into the Land of
the Yellow Spring he may have murmured words like
those of Yone Noguchi :

" Where the flowers sleep,
Thank God ! I shall sleep to-night.
Oh, come, butterfly ! " ^

* Legends concerning other insects will be found in Chapter XXIIL



The New Yeaf

THE San-ga-nichiy or " three days " of the New
Year, is one of the most important of the
Japanese festivals, for the Japanese [make far
more of the New Year than we do in this country.
They regard the first three days of the year as a fitting
occasion when it is most important to insure good luck
and happiness for the days that follow, and in order to
bring this about many quaint and ancient observances
take place. Before the houses are decorated a thorough
winter cleaning is carried out. "In ancient times,"
writes Mrs. C. M. Salwey, " from the Court of the
Emperor to the hut of the peasant, this attention was
observed to such an extent that the Shogrun's Court
provided overseers, who visited with ornamented dust-
ing poles, to overhaul the labour of the servants, passing
their official brooms over ledges and crevices, and in
so doing flourishing in a certain manner their mystic
wands to demonstrate the Chinese ideograph which
signified water." Not only is the house thoroughly
cleaned and everything put in order, but evil spirits
are got rid of by throwing out peas and beans from the
open shojiy or paper slides.

On the festival of the New Year the houses and gate-
posts are adorned with straw ropes, and these are often
made to represent such lucky Chinese numbers as three,
five, and seven. The food chiefly eaten on this occasion
comprises lobsters (their bent and ancient appearance
suggesting long life), oranges, and certain varieties of
edible seaweeds. In addition there are mirror cakes,
associated with the Sun Goddess, and these cakes, com-
posed of rice, are eaten with the oranges and lobster,
and served on pure white trays. One other important
2 20


decoration must not be overlooked, and that is the
branches of the pine-tree. These branches symbolise
long life, and for some unknown reason they are burnt
when the festival is over.

One of the most picturesque customs associated with
this festival, and one particularly appealing to children,
is the Treasure Ship with the Seven Gods of Good Luck
on board, to which we have referred elsewhere.^

The Boys* Festival

The Tango no Sekku^ or Boys' Festival, takes place on
May 5, and is intended to inspire the youth of Japan
with warlike qualities. It is the day when flags are to
be seen in every direction, when the roofs of the houses
are decorated with the leaves of iris, so that Nature's
flag and the flag made by human hands are both con-
spicuous on this joyous festival, which is popularly
known as the Feast of Flags. Boys are presented with
small figures representing certain great heroes of the
past, while ancient swords, bows, arrows, spears, &:c., are
handed down from one generation of children to another.

Perhaps the dominant feature of this festival is the
paper flag shaped like a carp. It is hollow, and when
inflated with wind has the appearance of vigorously
flying through the air. The carp symbolises something
more than the crude spirit of warfare, for it typifies
tenacity of purpose and indomitable courage. As the
carp swims against the stream, so is the Japanese youth
expected to fight against all the fierce currents of adver-
sity. This idea is probably derived from the fascinating
Chinese legend of the Dragon Carp which, after a long
struggle, succeeded in swimming past the Dragon Gate
rapids, lived a thousand years, and finally rose into the

^ Chapter VII. : "Legend in Japanese Art."



The Festival of the Dead

The Festival of the Dead, or Bommatsuri, deserves
mention here because it contains much that is legendary.
The Japanese peasant's conception of a future life is not
a very delightful one. At death the body is washed
and shaven and then arrayed in a pure white garment —
indeed, in the garment of a pilgrim. Round the neck
is hung a wallet containing three or six rin, according
to the custom of the place in which the death occurs,
and these rin are buried with the deceased. The idea of
burying coin with the dead is to be found in the belief
that all who die, children alone excepted, must journey
to the Sanzu-no-Kawa, or "The River of the Three
Roads," On the bank of this dismal river Sodzu-Baba,
the Old Woman of the Three Roads, awaits the coming
of souls, together with her husband. Ten Datsu-Ba. If
three rin are not paid to the Old Woman she takes
away the white garments of the dead and, regardless
of entreaties, hangs them oii^trees. Then there is the
no less formidable Emma-O, the Lord of the Dead ;
and when we add to these dread figures some of the
terrors of the Buddhist hells it is not surprising that
the gentle and poetical Japanese should have founded a
festival that will afford a pleasant, if all too brief, respite
from the horrors of Hades.

The festival takes place from July 13 to 15. At
such a time most of the houses are mere skeletons,
being open to the summer breeze on all sides.
People saunter about in the lightest of garments.
Butterflies and dragon-flies disport in countless numbers,
flying over a cool stretch of lotus or settling on the
purple petal of an iris. Fuji rears her great head into
the clear blue sky, bearing like a white scarf a patch of
fast-fading snow.



When the morning ot the 13 th arrives new mats ot
rice straw are spread upon all Buddhist altars and on the
little household shrines. Every Japanese home on that
day is provided with a quaint, minute meal in readiness
for the great company of ghosts.

At sunset the streets are bright with the flames of
torches, and the entrances of houses gay with brightly
coloured lanterns. Those to whom this festival applies
in a particular sense and not in a general one — that is to
say, those who have recently lost some dear one — go out
on this night to the cemeteries, and there pray, make
offerings, burn incense, and pour out water. Lanterns
are lit and bamboo vases filled with flowers.

On the evening of the 1 5th the ghosts of the Circle
of Penance or Gakido are fed, and in addition those
ghosts who have no friends among the living to care for
them. There is a legend bearing upon this particular
phase of the Festival of the Dead. Dai-Mokenren, a
great disciple of Buddha, was once permitted to see the
soul of his mother in the Gakido. He grieved so
much on account of intense suffering that he gave her a
bowl containing choice food. Every time she tried to
eat the food would suddenly turn into fire, and finally
to ashes. Then Mokenren asked Buddha to tell him
what he could do to ease his mother's suffering. He
was told to feed the ghosts of the great priests of all
countries "on the fifteenth day of the seventh month,"
When this had been done Mokenren returned, to find
his mother dancing for joy. In this happy dance after
much tribulation we trace the origin of the Bon-odori^
which takes place on the third night of the festival.

When the evening of the third day arrives prepara-
tions are made for the departure of the ghosts.
Thousands of little boats are packed with food and
loving messages of farewell. Into these boats step the



departing ghosts. Loving hands set these frail craft upon
river, lake, or sea. A small lantern glows at the prow,
while pale blue clouds of incense float up from the stern.
Hearn writes : " Down all the creeks and rivers and
canals the phantom fleets go glimmering to the sea ;
and all the sea sparkles to the horizon with the lights
of the dead, and the sea wind is fragrant with incense."
There is a pathetic charm about this festival. It is
by no means unique, for it corresponds to the Indian
Sraddha ; but in Japan it is touched with a more
delicate and haunting beauty. No one has been able
to solve conclusively the origin of the Torii, that
wonderful gateway that leads nowhere. What a
charming entrance or exit for a company of wandering
souls ! What a place for ghosts to play and dream
awhile is a Japanese garden, with its lake and moon-
shaped bridge, its stone lantern, its paths of silver sand !
And what a street for ghosts to wander in is the Street
Everlasting that is so near to the Street of Aged Men !
Thus Yone Noguchi sums up the magic of a Japanese
night, one of those three nights when souls come in
touch with old earthly memories :

" The scented purple breezes of the Japanese night !
The old moon like a fairy ship of gold
Softly through the dream sea begins to rock on :
(I hear the unheard song of Beauty in the moon ship,
I hear even the whisper of her golden dress.)
The hundred lanterns burning in love and prayer,
Float on the streets like haunting memories.
The silvery music of wooden clogs of the Japanese girls !
Are they not little ghosts out of the bosom of ancient age ?
Are they returning to fulfil their thousand fancies forgotten ?
O the fancy world of the Japanese night
Born out of the old love and unfulfilled desires !
The crying love-song of the Japanese night.
The satnisen music of hungry passion and tears !
O the long wail of heart through the darkness and love ! "


The Laughing Festival of Wasa

Numerous other Japanese festivities take place
during the year, and two, the Festival of Dolls and
the Festival of Tanabata, the Weaving Maiden, have
been referred to elsewhere. Perhaps in some way
the Laughing Festival of Wasa is the most quaint
of all the Japanese festivities. During the month of
October a number of old men form a procession
carrying two boxes full of oranges and persimmons
spitted on sticks. These old men are followed by
children with similar fruit on bamboo rods. Just as
the leader reaches the shrine he turns round and makes
a most ludicrous grimace, which is immediately followed
by a merry peal of laughter, and this irresistible merri-
ment has its origin in the following legend.

In the month of October the Gods used to assemble
in a great temple at Izumo, and they met for the
purpose of arranging the love-affairs of the people.
When the Gods were sitting in the temple one of them
said : "Where is Miwa DaimyO-jin .'' " All the Gods
looked everywhere for him, but he was not to be
found. Now Miwa DaimyO-jin was extremely deaf,
and, owing to this defect, he had mistaken the great
day when the Gods met together. When he reached
Izumo the meeting had been dissolved, and all the Gods
laughed very much when they heard about it, a laughter
that is imitated year by year in the Laughing festival
to which we have referred.

The Torii

We have referred in this chapter and elsewhere to
the torii^ and though authorities agree to differ in
regard to its use and origin, the theme is a fascinating
one and well worthy of study. According to a popular

p 225


account the word /om means "fowl-dwelling" or "bird-
rest." On the top beam of this imposing gateway the
fowls heralded the approach of dawn, and in their cry-
bade the priests attend to their early morning prayers.
In one legend we are informed that the sun descends
to earth in the form of the Ho-Ho Bird, messenger of
love, peace, and goodwill, and rests upon one of the

Professor B. H. Chamberlain regards the "bird-rest"
etymology and the theories derived from it as erroneous,
and believes that the torii came originally from Asia.
He writes, in Things Japanese : " The Koreans erect
somewhat similar gateways at the approach of their royal
palaces ; the Chinese p'ai lou^ serving to record the vir-
tues of male or female worthies, seem related in shape
as well as in use ; and the occurrence of the word turan
in Northern India and of the word tori in Central India,
to denote gateways of strikingly cognate appearance,
gives matter for reflection." Dr. W. G. Aston also
believes that the torii came from abroad, " but holds
that it was fitted with a pre-existing name, which would
have originally designated ' a lintel ' before it came to
have its present sacred associations." ^

In regard to the construction of these gateways,
Mrs. C. M. Salwey writes : "The oldest torii of Japan
. . . were constructed of plain unvarnished wood. In
fact, they were built of straight, upright trunks of trees
in their natural state, though sometimes bereft of the
outer bark. Later on the wood was painted a deep, rich
vermilion, possibly to heighten the effect when the
background was densely wooded." Though the torii
was originally associated with Shintoism, it was later
on adopted by the Buddhists, who considerably altered
its simple but beautiful construction by turning up the

^ Things Japanese, by Professor B. H. Chamberlain.


corners of the horizontal beams, supplying inscriptions
and ornaments of various kinds.

"The Footstool of the King"

Whatever the origin and significance of the Shinto
torii may be, no one will deny its exquisite beauty, and
many will agree in believing it to be the most perfect
gateway in the world. Perhaps the most wonderful torii
is the one that stands before the Itsukushima shrine on
the Island of Myajima, and it is called " The Footstool
of the King," "The Gateway of Light," or "The
Water Gate of the Sacred Island."

Mrs. Salwey writes : " Is not this Gateway the
symbol of the Right Direction, according to the dogmas
of the Shinto Cult, the Goal towards which the face
should be turned — *The Way of the Gods.' Are
they not monitors writing their mystic message as an
ideographic sign over the Lord of the Gods before the
rising and setting sun, enhancing by their presence the
dense luxuriance of cryptomerian avenue, reflecting
within dark, still rivers or the silver ripples of the In-
land Sea.''" We must be content with this pleasing
interpretation of the symbolism of the torii, for it takes
us through the gate of conflicting theories, and gives
us something more satisfying than the ramifications of



** Morning Dew **

TSUYU ("Morning Dew") was the only daughter
of lijima. When her father married again she
found she could not live happily with her
stepmother, and a separate house was built for her,
where she lived with her servant-maid Yone.

One day Tsuyu received a visit from the family
physician, Yamamoto Shijo, accompanied by a handsome
young samurai named Hagiwara ShinzaburO. These
young people fell in love with each other, and at part-
ing Tsuyu whispered to ShinzaburO: ^^ Remember ! if
you do not come to see me again I shall certainly die ! "

ShinzaburO had every intention of seeing the fair
Tsuyu as frequently as possible. Etiquette, however,
would not allow him to visit her alone, so that he was
compelled to rely on the old doctor's promise to take
him to the villa where his loved one lived. The old
doctor, however, having seen more than the young
people had supposed, purposely refrained from keeping
his promise.

Tsuyu, believing that the handsome young samurai
had proved unfaithful, slowly pined away and died.
Her faithful servant Yone also died soon afterwards,
being unable to live without her mistress, and they
were buried side by side in the cemetery of Shin-

Shortly after this sad event had taken place the old

* This story, though inspired by a Chinese tale, is Japanese in
local colour, and serves to illustrate, in an extremely weird way, the
power of Karma, or human desire, referred to in Chapter X. We
have closely followed Lafcadio Hearn's rendering, to be found in
In Ghostly Japan.

Shinzaburo recognised Tsu)'u and her maid Yone. 228

doctor called upon Shinzaburo and gave him full par-
ticulars of the death of Tsuyu and her maid.

Shinzaburo felt the blow keenly. Night and day
the girl was in his thoughts. He inscribed her name
upon a mortuary tablet, placed offerings before it, and
repeated many prayers.

The Dead Return

When the first day of the Festival of the Dead*
arrived he set food on the Shelf of Souls and hung out
lanterns lO guide the spirits during their brief earthly
sojourn. As the night was warm and the moon at her
full, he sat in his verandah and waited. He felt that all
these preparations would not be in vain, and in his heart
he believed that the soul of Tsuyu would come to him.

Suddenly the stillness was broken by the sound of
kara-koriy kara-kon, the soft patter of women's geta.
There was something strange and haunting about the
sound. Shinzaburo rose and peeped over the hedge.
He saw two women. One was carrying a long-shaped
lantern with silk peonies stuck in at the upper end ;
the other wore a lovely robe covered with designs of
autumnal blossom. In another moment he recognised
the sweet figure of Tsuyu and her maid Yon6.

When Yone had explained that the wicked old doctor
had told them that Shinzaburo was dead, and the young
samurai had likewise informed his visitors that he, too,
had learnt from the same source that his loved one and
her maid had departed this life, the two women entered
the house, and remained there that night, returning
home a little before sunrise. Night after night they
came in this mysterious manner, and always Yone
carried the shining peony-lantern, always she and her
mistress departed at the same hour.

1 See Chapter XVII.



A Spy

One night TomozO, one of Shinzaburo's servants,
who lived next door to his master, chanced to hear the
sound of a woman's voice in his lord's apartment. He
peeped through a crack in one of the sliding doors, and
perceived by the night-lantern within the room that his
master was talking with a strange woman under the
mosquito-net. Their conversation was so extraordinary
that TomozO was determined to see the woman's face.
When he succeeded in doing so his hair stood on end
and he trembled violently, for he saw the face of a dead
woman, a woman long dead. There was no flesh on
her fingers, for what had once been fingers were now a
bunch of jangling bones. Only the upper part of her
body had substance ; below her waist there was but a
dim, moving shadow. While TomozO gazed with
horror upon such a revolting scene a second woman's
figure sprang up from within the room. She made
for the chink and for Tomozo's eye behind it. With
a shriek of terror the spying TomozO fled to the house
of Hakuodo Yusai.

Yusai's Advice

Now Yusai was a man well versed in all manner of
mysteries ; but nevertheless Tomozo's story made
considerable impression upon him, and he listened to
every detail with the utmost amazement. When the
servant had finished his account of the affair Yusai in-
formed him that his master was a doomed man if the
woman proved to be a ghost, that love between the
living and the dead ended in the destruction of the

However, apart from critically examining this strange
event, Yusai took practical steps to rescue this young


samurai from so horrible a fate. The next morning he
discussed the matter with Shinzaburo, and told him
pretty clearly that he had been loving a ghost, and that
the sooner he got rid of that ghost the better it would
be for him. He ended his discourse by advising the
youth to go to the district of Shitaya, in Yanaka-no-
Sasaki, the place where these women had said they

The Mystery is Revealed

Shinzaburo carried out Yusai's advice, but nowhere
in the quarter of Yanaka-no-Sasaki could he find the
dwelling-place of Tsuyu. On his return home he
happened to pass through the temple Shin-Banzui-In.
There he saw two tombs placed side by side, one of no
distinction, and the other large and handsome, adorned
with a peony-lantern swinging gently in the breeze.
Shinzaburo remembered that this lantern and the one
carried by Yone were identical, and an acolyte informed
him that the tombs were those of Tsuyu and Yone.
Then it was that he realised the strange meaning of
Yone's words : " We went away, and found a very
small house in Tanaka-no-Sasaki. There we are now just
barely able to live by doing a little private work J" Their
house, then, was a grave. The ghost of Yone carried
the peony-lantern, and the ghost of Tsuyu wound
her fleshless arms about the neck of the young

Holy Charms

Shinzaburo, now fully aware of the horror of the
situation, hastily retraced his steps and sought counsel
from the wise, far-seeing Yusai. This learned man
confessed his inability to help him further in the matter,
but advised him to go to th^ high-priest RyOseki, of


Shin-Banzui-In, and gave him a letter explaining what
had taken place.

RyOseki listened unmoved to Shinzaburo's story, for
he had heard so many bearing on the same theme, the
evil power of Karma. He gave the young man a
small gold image of Buddha, which he instructed him
to wear next his skin, telling him that it would protect
the living from the dead. He also gave him a holy
sutra^ called "Treasure-Raining Sutra," which he was
commended to recite in his house every night ; and
lastly he gave him a bundle of sacred texts. Each
holy strip he was to paste over an opening in his

By nightfall everything was in order in Shinzaburo's
house. All the apertures were covered with sacred
texts, and the air resounded with the recitation of the
"Treasure-Raining Sutra," while the little gold Buddha
swayed upon the samurai s breast. But somehow or
other peace did not come to ShinzaburO that night.
Sleep refused to close his weary eyes, and just as a
temple bell ceased booming he heard the old karan-
koron^ karan-koron — the patter of ghostly geta I Then
the sound ceased. Fear and joy battled within Shinza-
buro's heart. He stopped reciting the holy sutra and
looked forth into the night. Once more he sawTsuyu
and her maid with the peony-lantern. Never before
had Tsuyu looked so beautiful or so alluring ; but a
nameless terror held him back. He heard with bitter
anguish the women speaking together. He heard Yone
tell her mistress that his love had changed because his
doors had been made fast against them, followed by the
plaintive weeping of Tsuyu. At last the women wan-
dered round to the back of the house. But back and
front alike prevented their entry, so potent were the
sacred words of the Lord Buddha.


The Betrayal

As all the efforts of Yone to enter Shinzaburo's house
were of no avail, she went night after night to TomozO
and begged him to remove the sacred texts from his
master's dwelling. Over and over again, out of intense
fear, TomozO promised to do so, but with the coming
of daylight he grew brave and decided not to betray one
to whom he owed so much. One night, however, Yone
refused to be trifled with. She threatened TomozO with
awful hatred if he did not take away one of the sacred
texts, and in addition she pulled such a terrible face that
TomozO nearly died of fright.

TomozO's wife Mine happened to awake and hear
the voice of a strange woman speaking to her husband.
When the ghost-woman had vanished Min6 gave her
lord cunning counsel to the effect that he should con-
sent to carry out Yone's request provided that she
would reward him with a hundred ryd.

Two nights later, when this wicked servant had re-
ceived his reward, he gave Yone the little gold image
of Buddha, took down from his master's house one of
the sacred texts, and buried in a field the siitra which
his master used to recite. This enabled Yone and her
mistress to enter the house of ShinzaburO once more,
and with their entry began again this horrible love of the
dead, presided over by the mysterious power of Karma.

When TomozO came the next morning to call his
master as usual, he obtained no response to his knock-
ing. At last he entered the apartment, and there, under
the mosquito-net, lay his master dead, and beside him
were the white bones of a woman. The bones of
"Morning Dew" were twined round the neck of one
who had loved her too well, of one who had loved her
with a fierce passion that at the last had been his undoing,



"When he died it was as though a bright light had
gone out in the midst of a blacic night."

*'^ Namudaishi." (Trans, by Arthur Lloyd.)

The "Namudaishi*'

KOBO DAISHP (" Glory to the Great Teacher "),
who was born a.d. 774, was the most holy and
most famous of the Japanese Buddhist saints.
He founded the Shingon-shu, a Buddhist sect remark-
able for its magical formulae and for its abstruse and
esoteric teachings, and he is also said to have invented
the Hiragana syllabary, a form of running script. In
the ISlamudaishiy which is a Japanese poem on the life
of this great saint, we are informed that Kobo Daishi
brought back with him from China a millstone and
some seeds of the tea-plant, and thus revived the drink-
ing of this beverage, which had fallen into disuse. We
are also told in the same poem that it was Kobo Daishi
who " demonstrated to the world the use of coal." He
was renowned as a great preacher, but was not less
famous as a calligraphist, painter, sculptor, and traveller.

** A Divine Prodigy **

Kobo Daishi, however, is essentially famous for the
extraordinary miracles which he performed, and nume-
rous are the legends associated with him. His concep-
tion was miraculous, for when he was born in the
Baron's Hall, on the shore of Byobu, a bright light shone,
and he came into the world with his hands folded as if
in prayer. When but five years of age he would sit

^ The saint's name when living was Kukai. Kobo Daishi was a
posthumous title, and it is by this title that he is generally known.


among the lotuses and Converse with Buddhas, and he
kept secret all the wisdom he thus obtained. His heart
was troubled by the sorrow and pain of humanity.
While on Mount Shashin he sought to sacrifice his own
life by way of propitiation, but he was prevented from
doing so by a number of angels who would not allow
this ardent soul to suffer death until he had fulfilled his
destiny. His very games were of a religious nature.
On one occasion he built a clay pagoda, and he was
immediately surrounded by the Four Heavenly Kings
(originally Hindu deities). The Imperial Messenger,
who happened to pass by when this miracle took place,
was utterly amazed, and described the young Kobo
Daishi as "a divine prodigy." While at Muroto, in
Tosa, performing his devotions, we are told in the Namu-
daishi that a bright star fell from Heaven and entered
his mouth, while at midnight an evil dragon came
forth against him, " but he spat upon it, and with his
saliva he killed it."

In his nineteenth year he wore the black silk robes of
a Buddhist priest, and with a zeal that never failed him
sought for enlightenment. " Many are the ways," he
said ;', "but Buddhism is the best of all." During his
mystical studies he came across a book containing the
Shingon doctrine, a doctrine that closely resembles the
old Egyptian speculations. The book was so abstruse
that even Kobo Daishi failed to master it ; but, nothing
daunted, he received permission from the Emperor to
visit China, where he ultimately unravelled its profound
mysteries, and attained to that degree of saintship asso-
ciated with the miraculous.


When Kobo Daishi was in China the Emperor, hear-
ing of his fame, sent for him and bade him rewrite the



name of a certain room in the royal palace, a name that
had become obliterated by the effacing finger of Time.
Kobo Daishi, with a brush in each hand, another in his
mouth, and two others between the toes, wrote the
characters required upon the wall, and for this extra-
ordinary performance the Emperor named him Gohitsu-
Osho ("The Priest who writes with Five Brushes").

"Writing on Sky and Water

While still in China Kobo Daishi met a boy standing
by the side of a river. " If you be Kobo Daishi," said
he, " be honourably pleased to write upon the sky, for I
have heard that no wonder is beyond your power."

Kobo Daishi raised his brush ; it moved quickly in the
air, and writing appeared in the blue sky, characters
that were perfectly formed and wonderfully beautiful.

When the boy had also written upon the sky with no
less skill, he said to Kobo Daishi : " We have both
written upon the sky. Now I beg that you will write
upon this flowing river."

Kobo Daishi readily complied. Once again his brush
moved, and this time a poem appeared on the water, a
poem written in praise of that particular river. The
letters lingered for a moment, and then were carried
away by the swift current.

There seems to have been a contest in magical power
between these two workers of marvels, for no sooner had
the letters passed out of sight than the boy also wrote
upon the running water the character of the Dragon, and
it remained stationary.

Kobo Daishi, who was a great scholar, at once per-
ceived that the boy had omitted the ten^ a dot which
rightly belonged to this character. When Kobo Daishi
pointed out the error, the boy told him that he had for-
gotten to insert the ten, and begged that the famous


saint would put it in for him. No sooner had Kobo
Daishi done so than the Dragon character became a
Dragon. Its tail lashed the waters, thunder-clouds
sped across the sky, and lightning flashed. In another
moment the Dragon arose from the water and ascended
to heaven.

Though Kobo Daishi's powers of magic excelled
those of the boy, he inquired who this youth might be,
and the boy replied: " 1 am Monju Bosatsu, the Lord of
Wisdom." Having spoken these words, he became
illumined by a radiant light ; the beauty of the Gods
shone upon his countenance, and, like the Dragon, he
ascended into heaven.

How Kobo Daishi Painted the Ten

On one occasion Kobo Daishi omitted the ten on a
tablet placed above one of the gates of the Emperor's
palace.^ The Emperor commanded that ladders should
be brought; but Kobo Daishi, without making use of
them, stood upon the ground, and threw up his brush,
which, after making the ten^ fell into his hand.

Kino Momoye and Onomo Toku

Kino Momoye once ridiculed some of Kobo Daishi's
characters, and said that one of them resembled a con-
ceited wrestler. On the night he made this foolish jest
Momoye dreamed that a wrestler struck him blow upon
blow — moreover, that his antagonist leapt upon his body,
causing him considerable pain. Momoye awoke, and
cried aloud in his agony, and as he cried he saw the
wrestler suddenly change into the character he had so
unwisely jeered at. It rose into the air, and went back
to the tablet from whence it had come.

^ Hence the Japanese proverb : '* Even Kobo Daishi sometimes
wrote wrong."



Momoye was not the only man who imprudently
scoffed at the great Kobo Daishi's work. Legend
records that one named Onomo Toku said that the
saint's character Shu was far more like the character
" rice." That night Onomo Toku had good reason to
regret his folly, for in a dream the character Shu took
bodily form and became a rice-cleaner, who moved up
and down the offender's body after the manner of
hammers that were used in beating this grain. When
Onomo Toku awoke it was to find that his body was
covered with bruises and that his flesh was bleeding in
many places.

Kobo Daishi's Return

When Kobo Daishi was about to leave China and
return to his own country he went down to the seashore
and threw his vajra ^ across the ocean waves, and it was
afterwards found hanging on the branch of a pine-tree at
Takano, in Japan.

We are not told anything about Kobo Daishi's voyage
to his own land ; but directly he arrived in Japan he
gave thanks for the divine protection he had received
during his travels. On the Naked Mountain he offered
incantations of so powerful a nature that the once barren
mountain became covered with flowers and trees.

Kobo Daishi, as time advanced, became still more
holy. During a religious discussion the Divine Light
streamed from him, and he continued to perform many
great marvels. He made brackish water pure, raised the
dead to life, and continued to commune with certain
gods. On one occasion Inari,^ the God of Rice,

* An instrument of incantation somewhat resembling a thunder-

2 At a later period Inari was known as the Fox God. See
Chapter V,


appeared on Mount Fushim6 and took from the great
saint the sacrifice he offered. "Together, you and I,"
said Kobo Daishi, "we will protect this people."

The Death of Kobo Daishi

In A.D. 834 this remarkable saint died, and we are told
that a very great gathering, both lay and priestly, wept at
the graveyard of Okunoin, in Koya, where he was buried.
His death, however, by no means meant a sudden cessa-
tion of miracles on his part, for when the Emperor Saga
died " his coffin was mysteriously borne through the air to
Koya, and Kobo himself, coming forth from his grave,
performed the funeral obsequies." Nor did the wonders
cease with this incident, for the Emperor Uda received
from Kobo Daishi the sacred Baptism. When the
Imperial Messenger to the temple where Kobo Daishi
was worshipped was unable to see the face of this
great saint, Kobo " guided the worshipper's hand to
touch his knee. Never, as long as he lived, did the
Messenger forget that feeling ! "

A Miraculous Image

At Kawasaki there is a temple dedicated to Kobo
Daishi. " Local legend attributes the sanctity of this
place to an image of Kobo Daishi carved by that saint
himself while in China, and consigned by him to the
waves. It floated to this coast, where it was caught in
a fisherman's net, and, being conveyed ashore, performed
numerous miracles. The trees in the temple grounds,
trained in the shape of junks under sail, attest the
devotion paid to this holy image by the seafaring
folk." '

* Murray's Handbook for Japan, by B. H. Chamberlain and W. B.




Nichiren was the founder of the Buddhist sect which
bears his name. His name means Sun Lotus, and was
given to him because his mother dreamt that the sun
rested on a lotus when she conceived him. Nichiren
was an iconoclast of very marked character. He received,
by revelation, a complete knowledge of Buddhist mys-
teries, though in reading the story of his life one would
have supposed that he acquired his remarkable religious
wisdom through arduous study. During his lifetime
Japan was visited by a terrible earthquake, followed by
a destructive hurricane, pestilence, and famine. So great
were these calamities that men prayed to die rather than
live amidst such universal misery. Nichiren saw in these
great disasters the hand of Fate. He saw that religion
and politics had become corrupt, and that Nature had
rebelled against the numerous evils that existed at that
time. Nichiren realised that Buddhism was no longer
the simple teaching of the Lord Buddha. In the various
Buddhist sects he had studied so diligently he found
that the priests had neglected Shaka Muni (the Buddha),
and worshipped Amida, a manifestation of the Lord
Buddha, instead. Nor did their heresy end there, for
he found that priests and people also worshipped Kwan-
non and other divinities, Nichiren desired to sweep
these deities aside and to restore Buddhism to its old
purity and singleness of purpose. He cried in one of
his sermons : " Awake, men, awake 1 Awake and look
around you. No man is born with two fathers or two
mothers. Look at the heavens above you : there are
no two suns in the sky. Look at the earth at your
feet : no two kings can rule a country." In other
words, he implied that no one can serve two masters,
and the only master he found to be worthy of service


and worship was Buddha himself. With this belief he
sought to replace the ordinary mantra, Namu Amida Butsu,
by Namu Myuhu Renge Kyo (" Oh, the Scripture of the
Lotus of the Wonderful Law ! ").

Nichiren wrote Rissho Ankdku Ron (" Book to Tran-
quillise the Country "), which contained the prediction
of a Mongol invasion and many bitter attacks against
the other Buddhist sects. At length Hojo Tokiyori
was compelled to exile him to Ito for thirty years. He
escaped, however, and renewed his heated attacks upon
the rival sects. Nichiren's enemies sought assistance
from the Regent Tokimune, who decided to have the
monk beheaded, and the vindictive Nichiren was finally
sent to the beach of Koshigoye to be executed. While
awaiting the fatal stroke Nichiren prayed to Buddha,
and the sword broke as it touched his neck. Nor was
this the only miracle, for immediately after the breaking
of the sword a flash of lightning struck the palace at
Kamakura, and a heavenly light surrounded the saintly
Nichiren. The official entrusted with the deed of exe-
cution was considerably impressed by these supernatural
events, and he sent a messenger to the Regent for a
reprieve. Tokimune, however, had sent a horseman
bearing a pardon, and the two men met at a river now
called Yukiai ("Place of Meeting.")

Nichiren's miraculous escape was followed by an even
more vigorous attack on those whom he considered
were not of the true religion. He was again exiled,
and finally took up his abode on Mount Minobu.
It is said that a beautiful woman came to this mountain
whilst Nichiren was praying. When the great saint
saw her, he said : " Resume your natural state." After
the woman had drunk water she changed into a snake
nearly twenty feet long, with iron teeth and golden

Q 241


Shodo Shonin

Shodo Shonin was the founder of the first Buddhist
temple at Nikko, and the following legend is supposed
to have led to the construction of the sacred bridge
of Nikko. One day, while Shodo Shonin was on a
journey, he saw four strange-looking clouds rise from
the earth to the sky. He pressed forward in order to
see them more clearly, but could not go far, for he
found that his road was barred by a wild torrent.
While he was praying for some means to continue his
journey a gigantic figure appeared before him, clad
in blue and black robes, with a necklace of skulls.
The mysterious being cried to him from the opposite
bank, saying : " I will help you as I once helped
Hiuen." Having uttered these words, the Deity threw
two blue and green snakes across the river, and on this
bridge of snakes the priest was able to cross the torrent.
When Shodo Shonin had reached the other bank the
God and his blue and green snakes disappeared.



The Significance of the Japanese Fan

HER weapons are a smile and a little fan."
This quotation from Mr. Yone Noguchi only
illustrates one phase of the Japanese fan, the
phase with which we are familiar in our own country.
The Japanese fan is not merely a dainty feminine trifle
to be used in conjunction with a smile or with eyes
peeping behind some exquisite floral design. Nippon's
fan has a fascinating history quite outside the gentle
art of coquetry, and those who are interested in this
subject would do well to consult Mrs. C. M. Salwey's
Fans of Japan. Here the reader will find that the fan
of the Land of the Rising Sun has performed many
important offices. It has been used by ancient warriors
on the battlefield as a means of giving emphasis to
their commands. On one occasion it was the mark of
Nasu no Yoichi's bow, and although the sun-marked
fan was whirling in the wind, tied to a staff in the gunwale
of one of the Taira ships, Yoichi brought it down :

" Alas ! the fan !
Now driftwood on the sea.
The lord Nasu,
Skilful with the bow,
Yoichi's fame is spread."

A certain Japanese fan, of gigantic size, is used in the
festival of the Sun Goddess in Ise, and there is a pretty
story told of the widow of Atsumori becoming a nun
and curing a priest by fanning him with the first folding
fan, which is said to have been her own invention.

One of the most important parts of the Japanese
fan, as of any other, is the rivet, and concerning the
rivet there is the following legend. Kashima on
one occasion stuck his sword through the earth, with



the idea of steadying the world and thus preventing
earthquakes, phenomena still prevalent in Japan.
Eventually the sword turned into stones, and it was
called Kaname ishiy or the Rivet Rock, and this was
the origin of the name kaname as applied to Japanese

Mrs. C. M. Salwey tells us in an article entitled
On Symbolism and Symbolic Ceremonies of the Japanese'^
that the folding fan symbolises life itself. She writes :
" The rivet end typifies the starting-point, the radiating
limbs the road of life. . . . The outside frame-sticks
specify the parents, the inside limbs the children, to
show that children must be under control all their life
long." On the frame there is often a cat's eye, sug-
gesting the rapid passing of time, or, again, there is
a series of circles, one linked into the other — an incom-
plete design, showing that " life and wisdom can never
be exhausted."

There is a legend concerning the Japanese fan that
is extremely pleasing, and neither war nor philosophy
figures in it. Though the story of the Japanese fan is
wide and varied, it appeals to us most in its more tender
aspect. The Japanese fan that has a love-poem upon
it and a love-story behind it is the fan that will always
be the most precious to those who still keep a place
for romance in their hearts. The following legend is
from The Diary of a Convolvulus.

The Love of Asagao

" The morning glory
Her leaves and bells has bound
My bucket-handle round.
I would not break the bands
Of those soft hands.


^ Jsiatic Quarterly Review, October 1894.


The bucket and the well to her I left :
Lend me some water, for I come bereft."

From the Japanese. (Trans, by Sir Edwin Arnold.)

Komagawa Miyagi, a retainer of one of the daimyds^
came to a suburb of Kyoto. As it happened to be a
warm summer evening he hired a boat, and, forgetting
all his worries, he watched many bright-robed little
ladies catching fireflies. In the air and on the grass
these bright insects shone, so that the laughing
ladies had many opportunities of catching these living
jewels and placing them for a moment in their hair,
upon poised finger, or against a silk flower on a

While Komagawa watched this pretty scene he saw
that one of the ladies was in difiiculty with her boat.
Komagawa at once came to her assistance, and there and
then fell desperately in love with her. They lingered
together in a cool recess on the river, and no longer
troubled about fireflies, for both were eager to express
their love.

In order to pledge their vows these two lovers,
according to an ancient custom, exchanged fans. On
Miyuki's fan there was a painting of a convolvulus.
Komagawa wrote a poem about this lovely flower upon
his own fan before presenting it to the woman he loved.
So it was that their fans and their vows were exchanged,
and the convovulus, in picture and in verse, became
the pledge of their troth.

Eventually the lovers separated, to meet again a few
days later at Akasha, where it chanced that their ships
touched each other. When they had exchanged many
a fair and loving word they returned to their respective

When Miyuki reached her home, radiant with thoughts
of her true love, she discovered that her parents had



already arranged a marriage for her with some one the
poor little woman had never seen.

Miyuki heard this piece of news with an aching
heart. She knew that children must obey their parents,
and when she was lying down on her fu ion she did her
utmost to comply with her parents' wish. But the
struggle proved useless, for the form of her lover kept
on coming back to her, and the river and the gleaming
fireflies. So she arose, crept out of the house, and
walked towards a certain town, hoping to find Koma-
gawa, only to discover on her arrival that he had
departed, no one knew whither.

This bitter disappointment much affected Miyuki,
and she wept for many days; Her salt tears flowed so
persistently that she soon became quite blind, as helpless
a creature as " a bird without feathers or a fish without

Miyuki, after she had given way to grief for some
time, discovered that if she did not wish to starve she
must do something to earn a living. She made up her
mind to make use of her excellent voice and to sing in
streets or in tea-houses; Her voice, combined with
her beautiful and pathetic face, won instant recognition.
People wept over her plaintive |singing without know-
ing why; She loved to sing the' little poem about the
convolvulus Komagawa had written on his fan, so the
people who heard her called her Asagao (" Convolvulus").

The blind maiden was led from place to place by her
friend Asaka (" Slight Fragrance "), till some one killed
her, and Asagao was left alone to tap out her dark journeys
without a loving hand to guide her. There was only
one thought that consoled Asagao, and that was that she
might, in her wanderings, eventually meet her lover.

When a few years had passed by it chanced that
Komagawa, accompanied by Iwashiro Takita, was sent


on business by his DaimyD. While on their journey
they happened to enter a certain tea-house. Iwashiro
Takita was sullen and morose, and sat in gloomy silence,
not deigning to notice his surroundings. Komagawa,
on the other hand, looked about him, and saw on a
screen the very poem he had written about the convol-
vulus, the poem he had so lovingly inscribed for Asagao.
While pondering the matter in his mind the master
of the tea-house entered the apartment. Komagawa
questioned him concerning this little love-poem, and
the master of the tea-house told the following story :

" It is a very sad story," said he. " The poem was
sung by a poor blind lady. She ran away from her
home because she could not marry the man her parents
had chosen for her. She was unable to consent to the
union because she already had a lover, and this lover she
sought up and down the country, ever singing this little
poem about the convolvulus, in the hope that some day
she might have the good fortune to meet him. Honour-
able sir, at this very moment she is in my tea-garden ! "

Komagawa could scarcely conceal his joy when he
requested that the master of the tea-house would bring
in the blind woman.

In another moment Asagao stood before him. He
saw in her delicate face an added beauty, the beauty of
a hope, of a love kept bright and clear through the long,
sorrowful years of waiting.

Asagao touched the samisen.^ Very gently she sang :

" Down fell the shower of silver rain and wet the poor Convolvulus,
The sweet dew on the leaves and flowers being taken away by the
jealous sun."

' " The samisen, or * three strings,' now the favourite instrument
of the singing-girls and of the lower classes generally, seems to have
been introduced from Manila as recently as the year 1700." — Things
Ja^anae, by B. H. Chamberlain.



Komagawa listened intently, longing to speak, longing
to reveal his love, yet keeping silent because his ill-bred
companion still remained in the room. He watched her
dark eyes fixed upon him, but they were without ex-
pression, for they could not see. Still the samisen tinkled,
and still the voice sounded sweet and low and un-
speakably pathetic in the apartment. With an aching
heart and without a word of love he dismissed her with
the usual fee. She walked out of the room as if conscious
of a new, acute sorrow. There was something in her
patron's voice that was extremely tender, something that
moved her deeply, and it made her heart ache and yearn
without knowing why.

The next day Komagawa gave the master of the tea-
house a fan, saying : " Give this fan and money to
Asagao. She will understand." With these words
Komagawa and his companion proceeded on their

When Asagao had received the fan she felt it eagerly
with her small white fingers. " Who has given me this
fan and money ? " she inquired. " Oh, tell me what
the fan is like. Has it a drawing of a convolvulus V

The master of the tea-house looked at her gently.
" He to whom you sang last night gave you this fan,"
said he. " There is a drawing of a convolvulus upon it."

Asagao gave a cry of joy. "Last night," she said
softly, " I was with my lover again ! And now, and
now . . ."

At this very moment a servant from Asagao's old
home arrived, asserting that he had been sent by her
parents to bring her back again. But Asagao, true to
her old love, determined to fight down all opposition.

Now it happened that the master of this tea-house
had once been employed by Asagao's father. He had
committed a great wrong in that capacity, a wrong


worthy of death ; but Asagao's father had taken pity
upon him. He had dismissed him with money, which
had enabled the wrongdoer to set up in business for
himself. During this crisis the master of the tea-house
thought over the kindness that had been shown him,
and resolved to commit seppuku in order that his old
master's child might receive her sight again by means
of this brave man's liver,^

So the master of the tea-house killed himself, and
Asagao received her sight. That very night, though
there was a fierce tempest raging, she set out in search
of her lover, accompanied by a faithful little band of
servants. AH night the maiden journeyed over rough
and rugged roads. She scarcely noticed the heavy rain
or her bleeding feet. She was urged on by a joyous
love, by the fond hope of finding her lover again.

As she climbed a mountain, now bathed in sunlight,
she fancied she heard a voice calling her name. She
looked about her and discovered Komagawa. Peace
came to her then. All the weariness of long search and
almost endless waiting were over for ever, and in a little
while the lovers were married. The convolvulus, or
morning glory, is a flower that only blooms for a few
hours ; but Asagao's love had the beauty of the con-
volvulus combined with the strength and long life of
the pine. In their happy union they had remained true
to the pledge of love upon their fans, and out of blind-
ness and much suffering Asagao could hold up her fair
head to the dew and sunshine of her lover's sheltering

^ The liver, both of man and animal, was supposed to have

remarkable medicinal properties. It frequently occurs in Japanese

legends, but the idea was probably borrowed from the strangest
pharmacopoeia in the world, that of the Chinese.



"The earth is full of saltpetre and sulphur, which rise
in the form of mist, and, uniting in the sky, become a
vapour that possesses the properties of gunpowder. When
this nears the intense heat of the sun it explodes, like a
natural gas ; and the terrible sound is heard by all the
world. The shock, striking animals and birds wandering
in the clouds, hurls them to the ground. Therefore
thunder, and lightning, and the creatures that tumble
from the clouds during a storm, are not one and the same

" Shin-rai-ki " {Record of Thunder).


THERE are many quaint legends in regard to
thunder, and in Bakin's Kumono Tayema Ama
To No Tsuki ^ (" The Moon, shining through a
Cloud-rift, on a Rainy Night ") the famous Japanese
novelist, who is an ardent believer in many of the
superstitions of his country, has much to say in regard
to Raiden, the God of Thunder, and the supernatural
beings associated with him. Raiden is usually depicted
as having red skin, the face of a demon, with two claws
on each foot, and carrying on his back a great wheel or
arc of drums. He is often found in company with Fugin,
or with his son, Raitaro. When the Mongols attempted
to invade Japan they were prevented from doing so by
a great storm, and, according to legend, only three men
escaped to tell the tale. Raiden's assistance in favour of
Japan is often portrayed in Japanese art. He is de-
picted sitting on the clouds emitting lightning, and
sending forth a shower of arrows upon the invaders.
In China the Thunder God is regarded as a being ever
on the look-out for wicked people. When he finds

1 See translation, entitled J Captive of Love, by Edward Greey.

them, the Goddess of Lightning flashes a mirror upon
those whom the God wishes to strike.

The Thunder Animal

Raiju, or Thunder Animal, appears to be more
closely associated with lightning than with thunder.
He is seen in forms resembling a weasel, badger, or
monkey. In the Shin-rai-ki (" Thunder Record ") we
read the following : " On the twenty-second day of the
sixth month of the second year of Meiwa [July 1766]
a Thunder Animal fell at Oyama [Great Mountain], in
the province of Sagami. It was captured by a farmer,
who brought it to Yedo, and exhibited it for money on
the Riyo-goku Bridge. The creature was a little larger
than a cat, and resembled a weasel : it had black hair,
and five claws on each paw. During fine weather it
was very tame and gentle ; but, before and during a
storm, exceedingly savage and unmanageable." In
China the Thunder Animal is described as having
" the head of a monkey, with crimson lips, eyes like
mirrors, and two sharp claws on each paw." During a
storm the Thunder Animal of Japan springs from tree
to tree, and if any of the trees are found to have been
struck by lightning it is believed to be the savage
work of the Thunder Animal's claws. This being, in
common with the Thunder God himself, is said to have
a weakness for human navels, so that for this reason
many superstitious people endeavour, if possible, to lie
flat on their stomachs during a thunderstorm. Bark
torn by the Thunder Animal is carefully preserved, and
is supposed to be an excellent remedy for toothache.

The Thunder Bird and Thunder Woman

Raicho, Thunder Bird, resembles a rook, but it has
spurs of flesh, which, when struck together, produce a



horrible sound. This is the bird to which the Emperor
of Goto-bain referred in the following poem :

*' In the shadow of the pine-tree of Shiro-yama
Thunder-birds rest, and spend the night."

These birds feed upon the tree-frog named rat
(thunder), and are always seen flying about in the sky
during a thunderstorm.

Little is known concerning Kaminari (Thunder
Woman), except that on one occasion she is said to have
appeared in the guise of a Chinese Empress.

A Strange Belief

Bakin remarks that those who are afraid of thunder
have the /«, or female principle, predominating, while
those who are not afraid have the To^ or the male
principle, in the ascendency. The same writer gives the
following custom in regard to those who have suffered
as the result of a thunderstorm, and we must note that
emphasis is laid upon thunder as the destructive power —
noise rather than light : " When any one is struck by
thunder make him lie upon his back, and place a live
carp in his bosom. If the carp jumps and moves the
patient will recover. This is infallible. When thunder
scorches the flesh burn Ko (incense) under the sufi^erer's
nose. This will cause him to cough, and break the spell
of the Thunder God."

The Child of the Thunder God

Most of the legends relating to Raiden and his
kindred spirits are of a malevolent nature ; but in the
following story we learn that the Thunder God's child
brought considerable prosperity.

Near Mount Hakuzan there once lived a very poor
farmer named Bimbo. His plot of land was extremely
small, and though he worked upon it from dawn till sun-


set he had great difficulty in growing sufficient rice for
himself and his wife.

One day, after a protracted drought, Bimbo dismally
surveyed his dried-up rice sprouts. As he thus stood fear-
ing starvation in the near future, rain suddenly descended,
accompanied by loud claps of thunder. Just as Bimbo
was about to take shelter from the storm he was nearly
blinded by a vivid flash of lightning, and he prayed fer-
vently to Buddha for protection. When he had done so
he looked about him, and to his amazement saw a little
baby boy laughing and crooning as he lay in the grass.

Bimbo took the infant in his arms, and gently carried
him to his humble dwelling, where his wife greeted him
with surprise and pleasure. The child was called
Raitaro, the Child of Thunder, and lived with his foster-
parents a happy and dutiful boy. He never played with
other children, for he loved to roam in the fields, to
watch the stream and the swift flight of clouds overhead.

With the coming of Raitaro there came prosperity to
Bimbo, for Raitaro could beckon to clouds and bid them
throw down their rain-drops only on his foster-father's

When Raitaro had grown into a handsome youth of
eighteen he once again thanked Bimbo and his wife for
all they had done for him, and told them that he must
now bid farewell to his benefactors.

Almost before the youth had finished speaking, he
suddenly turned into a small white dragon, lingered a
moment, and then flew away.

The old couple ran to the door. As the white dragon
ascended into the sky it grew bigger and bigger, till it
was hidden behind a great cloud.

When Bimbo and his wife died a white dragon was
carved upon their tomb in memory of Raitaro, the Child
of Thunder.



Shokuro and the Thunder God

Shokuro, in order to stand well with TorQ, the magis-
trate of his district, promised him that he would catch
the Thunder God. "If," said Shokuro, "I were to tie
a human navel to the end of a kite, and fly it during a
stormy day, I should be sure to catch Raiden, for the
Thunder God would not be able to resist such a repast.
The most difficult part of the whole business is to secure
the meal."

With this scheme in view Shokuro set out upon a
journey in quest of food for the Thunder God. On
reaching a wood he chanced to see a beautiful woman
named Chiyo. The ambitious Shokuro, without the least
compunction, killed the maid, and, having secured his
object, flung her corpse into a deep ditch. He then
proceeded on his way with a light heart.

Raiden, while sitting on a cloud, happened to notice
the woman's body lying in a ditch. He descended
quickly, and, being fascinated by the beauty of Chiyo, he
took from his mouth a navel, restored her to life, and
together they flew away into the sky.

Some days later Shokuro was out hunting for the
Thunder God, his kite, with its gruesome relic, soaring
high over the trees as it flew hither and thither in a
strong wind. Chiyo saw the kite, and descended nearer
and nearer to the earth. At last she held it in her hands
and saw what was attached. Filled with indignation,
she looked down in order to see who was flying the
kite, and was much astonished to recognise her mur-
derer. At this juncture Raiden descended in a rage,
only to receive severe chastisement at the hands of
Shokuro, who then made his peace with Chiyo, and
afterwards became a famous man in the village. Truly
an astonishing story !



Magical Animals

ANY of the following stories are the tales a
Japanese mother narrates to her child, for
animal stories make a universal appeal to the
child-mind. They are generally regarded as fairy stories,
but they contain so much legendary material that it is
necessary to include them in a book of this kind, for
they tend to illustrate our subject in a lighter vein, where
the miraculous is mingled with the humorous. We
have devoted a separate chapter to fox legends on
account of the importance of the subject, but it must be
borne in mind that the supernatural characteristics of
this animal apply also to the badger and cat, for in
Japanese legend all three animals have been associated
with an incalculable amount of mischief.

The Hare

The hare is supposed to attain, like the fox, tortoise,
crane, and tiger, a fabulous age, extending to no less
than a thousand years. In Taoist legends the hare is
said to live in the moon, and is occupied in pounding,
with pestle and mortar, the drugs that compose the
Elixir of Life, while in other legends, as we have seen
elsewhere, this animal is represented as pounding rice.
Shaka Muni (the Lord Buddha), according to legend, is
said to have sacrificed himself as a hare in order that he
might appease the hunger of Indra, who drew the animal
upon the moon by way of showing his admiration. The
fur of the hare becomes white when it has lived for five
hundred years, and we give below the famous legend
from the Kojiki known as " The White Hare of



The White Hare of Inaba

In ancient days there were eighty-one brothers, who
were Princes in Japan. With the exception of one
brother they were quarrelsome fellows, and spent their
time in showing all manner of petty jealousy, one
toward the other. Each wanted to reign over the whole
kingdom, and, in addition, each had the misfortune to
wish to marry the Princess of Yakami, in Inaba. Al-
though these eighty Princes were at variance in most
things, they were at one in persistently hating the
brother who was gentle and peaceful in all his ways.

At length, after many angry words, the eighty brothers
decided to go to Inaba in order to visit the Princess of
Yakami, each brother fully resolved that he and he alone
should be the successful suitor. The kind and gentle
brother accompanied them, not, indeed, as a wooer of
the fair Princess, but as a servant who carried a large
and heavy bag upon his back.

At last the eighty Princes, who had left their much-
wronged brother far behind, arrived at Cape Keta.
They were about to continue their journey when they
saw a white hare lying on the ground looking very
miserable and entirely divested of fur.

The eighty Princes, who were much amused by the
sorry plight of the hare, said : " If you want your fur
to grow again, bathe in the sea, and, when you have
done so, run to the summit of a high mountain and
allow the wind to blow upon you." With these words
the eighty heartless Princes proceeded on their way.

The hare at once went down to the sea, delighted at
the prospect of regaining his handsome white fur. Hav-
ing bathed, he ran up to the top of a mountain and lay
down upon it ; but he quickly perceived that the cold
wind blowing on a skin recently immersed in salt water


was beginning to crack and split. In addition to the
humiliation of having no fur he now suffered consider-
able physical pain, and he realised that the eighty-
Princes had shamefully deceived him.

While the hare was lying in pain upon the mountain
the kind and gentle brother approached, slowly and
laboriously, owing to the heavy bag he carried. When
he saw the weeping hare he inquired how it was that
the poor animal had met with such a misfortune.

" Please stop a moment," said the hare, " and I will
tell you how it all happened. I wanted to cross from
the Island of Oki to Cape Keta, so 1 said to the croco-
diles : ' I should very much like to know how many
crocodiles there are in the sea, and how many hares on
land. Allow me first of all to count you.' And hav-
ing said these words the crocodiles formed themselves
into a long line, stretching from the Island of Oki to
Cape Keta. I ran across their horny bodies, counting
each as I passed. When I reached the last crocodile,
I said : * O foolish crocodiles, it doesn't matter to me
how many there are of you in the sea, or how many
hares on land ! I only wanted you for a bridge in order
that I might reach my destination.' Alas ! my miserable
boast cost me dear, for the last crocodile raised his head
and snapped off all my fur ! "

" Well," said the gentle brother, " I must say you
were in the wrong and deserved to suffer for your
folly. Is that the end of your story ?"

" No," continued the hare. "I had no sooner suffered
this indignity than the eighty Princes came by, and
lyingly told me that I might be cured by salt water and
wind. Alas ! not knowing that they deceived me, I
carried out their instructions, with the result that my
body is cracked and extremely sore."

" Bathe in fresh water, my poor friend," said the

R 257


good brother, " and when you have done so scatter the
pollen of sedges upon the ground and roll yourself in
it. This will indeed heal your sores and cause your
fur to grow again."

The hare walked slowly to the river, bathed himself,
and then rolled about in sedge pollen. He had no
sooner done so than his skin healed and he was covered
once more with a thick coat of fur.

The grateful hare ran back to his benefactor. "Those
eighty wicked and cruel brothers of yours," said he,
" shall never win the Princess of Inaba. It is you who
shall marry her and reign over the country."

The hare's prophecy came true, for the eighty Princes
failed in their mission, while the brother who was good
and kind to the white hare married the fair Princess
and became King of the country.

The Crackling Mountain

An old man and his wife kept a white hare. One
day a badger came and ate the food provided for the
pet. The mischievous animal was about to scamper
away when the old man, seeing what had taken place,
tied the badger to a tree, and then went to a neigh-
bouring mountain to cut wood.

When the old man had gone on his journey the
badger began to weep and to beg that the old woman
would untie the rope. She had no sooner done so than
the badger proclaimed vengeance and ran away.

When the good white hare heard what had taken
place he set out to warn his master ; but during his
absence the badger returned, killed the old woman,
assumed her form, and converted her corpse into

" I have made such excellent broth," said the badger,
when the old man returned from the mountain. "You


must be hungry and tired : pray sit down and make a
good meal ! "

The old man, not suspecting treachery of any kind,
consumed the broth and pronounced it excellent.

" Excellent ? " sneered the badger. " You have
eaten your wife ! Her bones lie over there in that
corner," and with these words he disappeared.

While the old man was overcome with sorrow, and
while he wept and bewailed his fate, the hare returned,
grasped the situation, and scampered off to the moun-
tain fully resolved to avenge the death of his poor old

When the hare reached the mountain he saw the
badger carrying a bundle of sticks on his back. Softly
the hare crept up, and, unobserved, set light to the
sticks, which began to crackle immediately.

" This is a strange noise," said the badger. " What
is it.?"

"The Crackling Mountain," replied the hare.

The fire began to burn the badger, so he sprang into
a river and extinguished the flames ; but on getting out
again he found that his back was severely burnt, and
the pain he suffered was increased by a cayenne poultice
which the delighted hare provided for that purpose.

When the badger was well again he chanced to see
the hare standing by a boat he had made.

"Where are you going in that vessel .?" inquired the

"To the moon," replied the hare. "Perhaps you
would like to come with me ? "

"Not in your boat!" said the badger. "I know
too well your tricks on the Crackling Mountain. But I
will build a boat of clay for myself, and we will journey
to the moon."

Down the river went the wooden boat of the hare



and the clay boat of the badger. Presently the badger's
vessel began to come to pieces. The hare laughed
derisively, and killed his enemy with his oar. Later
on, when the loyal animal returned to the old man, he
justly received much praise and loving care from his
grateful master.

The Badger

The badger in legend has much in common with the
fox. It can adopt human form and assume the shape
of the moon ; but in many legends it is described as a
humorous creature, an animal intensely fond of a
practical joke. The badger is frequently depicted in
legend and art as playing a tattoo on its protuberant
and drum-like stomach, and it is for this reason that
Japanese jesters are sometimes called badgers.

Kadzutoyo and the Badger

On one occasion Kadzutoyo and his retainer went
fishing. They had had excellent sport, and were about
to return home, when a violent shower came on, and
they were forced to take shelter under a willow-tree.
After waiting for some time the rain showed no sign
of abating, and as it was already growing dark they
decided to continue their journey in spite of the in-
clement weather. They had not proceeded far when
they perceived a young girl weeping bitterly. Kadzu-
toyo regarded her with suspicion, but his retainer was
charmed by the maiden's great beauty, and inquired
who she was and why she lingered on such a stormy

" Alas ! good sir," said the maiden, still weeping,
" my tale is a sad one. I have long endured the taunts
and cruelties of my wicked stepmother, who hates me.
To-night she spat upon me and beat me. I could bear


the bitter humiliation no longer, and I was on the way
to my aunt, who lives in yonder village, there to receive
peace and shelter, when I was stricken down with a
strange malady, and compelled to remain here until the
pain subsided."

These words much afFected the kind-hearted retainer,
and he fell desperately in love with this fair maiden ;
but Kadzutoyo, after carefully considering the matter,
drew his sword and cut off her head.

" Oh 1 my lord," said the retainer, " what awful deed
is this ? How can you kill a harmless girl ? Believe
me, you will have to pay for your folly."

" You do not understand," replied Kadzutoyo, " but
all I ask is that you keep silence in the matter."

When they reached home Kadzutoyo soon fell asleep ;
but his retainer, after brooding over the murder of the
fair maiden, went to his lord's parents and told them
the whole pitiful story.

Kadzutoyo's father was stricken with anger when he
heard the dreadful tale. He at once went to his son's
room, roused him, and said : " Oh, miserable murderer !
How could you slay an innocent girl without the least
provocation ? You have shamed the honourable name
of samurai^ a name that stands for true chivalry and
for the defence of the weak and helpless. You have
brought dishonour upon our house, and it is my duty
to take your life." Having said these words, he drew
his sword.

" Sir," replied Kadzutoyo, without flinching at the
shining weapon, " you, like my retainer, do not under-
stand. It has been given me to solve certain mysteries,
and with that knowledge I assure you that I have not
been guilty of so foul a crime as you suppose, but have
been loyal to the fair calling of a samurai. The girl I
cut down with my sword was no mortal. Be pleased



to go to-morrow with your retainers to the spot where
this scene occurred. If you find the corpse of a girl
you will have no need to take my life, for I will
disembowel myself."

Early next day, when the sun had scarce risen in the
sky, Kadzutoyo's father, together with his retainers, set
out upon the journey. When they reached the place
where the tragedy had taken place the father saw lying
by the roadside, not the corpse of a fair maiden as he
had feared, but the body of a great headless badger.

When the father reached home again he questioned
his son; " How is it," said he, " that what appeared
to be a girl to your retainer seemed to you to be a
badger ? "

" Sir," replied Kadzutoyo, " the creature 1 saw last
night appeared to me as a girl ; but her beauty was
strange, and not like the beauty of earthly women.
Moreover, although it was raining hard, I observed
that the garments of this being did not get wet, and
having noticed this weird occurrence, I knew at once
that the woman was none other than some wicked
goblin. The creature took the form of a lovely maiden
with the idea of bewitching us with her many charms,
in the hope that she might get our fish."

The old Prince was filled with admiration for his
son's cleverness. Having discovered so much foresight
and prudence, he resolved to abdicate, and proclaim
Kadzutoyo Prince of Tosa in his stead.

The Miraculous Tea-kettle

One day a priest of the Morinji temple put his old
tea-kettle on the fire in order that he might make him-
self a cup of tea. No sooner had the kettle touched
the fire than it suddenly changed into the head, tail,
and legs of a badger. The novices of the temple were


called in to see the extraordinary sight. While they
gazed in utter astonishment, the badger, with the body
of a kettle, rushed nimbly about the room, and finally
flew into the air: Round and round the room went the
merry badger, and the priests, after many efforts, suc-
ceeded in capturing the animal and thrusting it into a

Shortly after this event had taken place a tinker
called at the temple, and the priest thought it would be
an excellent idea if he could induce the good man to
buy his extraordinary tea-kettle. He therefore took
the kettle out of its box, for it had now resumed its
ordinary form, and commenced to bargain, with the
result that the unsuspecting tinker purchased the kettle,
and took it away with him, assured that he had done a
good day's work in buying such a useful article at so
reasonable a price.

That night the tinker was awakened by hearing a
curious sound close to his pillow. He looked out
from behind his quilts and saw that the kettle he
had purchased was not a kettle at all, but a very lively
and clever badger:

When the tinker told his friends about his remarkable
companion, they said : " You are a fortunate fellow,
and we advise you to take this badger on show, for it is
clever enough to dance and walk on the tight-rope.
With song and music you certainly have in this very
strange creature a series of novel entertainments which
will attract considerable notice, and bring you far more
money than you would earn by all the tinkering in the
world. "

The tinker accordingly acted upon this excellent
advice, and the fame of his performing badger spread
far and wide. Princes and princesses came to see the
show, and from royal patronage and the delight of the



common people he amassed a great fortune. When
the tinker had made his money he restored the kettle
to the Morinji temple, where it was worshipped as a
precious treasure.

The Cat

" Feed a dog for three days and he will remember your
kindness for three years ; feed a cat for three years and she
will forget your kindness in three days."

A "Japanese Proverb.

The Japanese cat, with or without a tail, is very far
from being popular, for this animal and the venomous
serpent were the only two creatures that did not weep
when the Lord Buddha died. Nipponese cats seem to
be under a curse, and for the most part they are left
to their own resources, resources frequently associated
with supernatural powers. Like foxes and badgers,
they are able to bewitch human beings. Professor
B. H. Chamberlain writes in Things Japanese : " Among
Europeans an irreverent person may somtimes be heard
to describe an ugly, cross old woman as a cat. In
Japan, the land of topsy-turvydom, that nickname is
colloquially applied to the youngest and most attractive
— the singing-girls. " The comparison seems strange to
us, but the allusion no doubt refers to the power of
witchery common alike to the singing-girl and the cat.

The Japanese cat, however, is regarded with favour
among sailors, and the mike-neko, or cat of three colours,
is most highly prized. Sailors the world over are
said to be superstitious, and those of Japan do their
utmost to secure a ship's cat, in the belief that this
animal will keep off the spirits of the deep. Many
sailors believe that those who are drowned at sea never
find spiritual repose ; they believe that they everlastingly
lurk in the waves and shout and wail as junks pass by.


To such men the breakers beating on the seashore are
the white, ejrasping hands of innumerable spirits, and
they believe that the sea is crowded with 0-baki^
honourable ghosts. The Japanese cat is said to have
control over the dead.

The Vampire Cat

The Prince of Hizen, a distinguished member of the
Nabeshima family, lingered in the garden with O Toyo,
the favourite among his ladies. When the sun set they
retired to the palace, but failed to notice that they were
being followed by a large cat.

O Toyo went to her room and fell asleep. At mid-
night she awoke and gazed about her, as if suddenly
aware of some dreadful presence in the apartment. At
length she saw, crouching close beside her, a gigantic
cat, and before she could cry out for assistance the
animal sprang upon her and strangled her. The animal
then made a hole under the verandah, buried the corpse,
and assumed the form of the beautiful O Toyo.

The Prince, who knew nothing of what had happened,
continued to love the false O Toyo, unaware that in
reality he was caressing a foul beast. He noticed, little
by little, that his strength failed, and it was not long
before he became dangerously ill. Physicians were
summoned, but they could do nothing to restore the
royal patient. It was observed that he suffered most
during the night, and was troubled by horrible dreams.
This being so his councillors arranged that a hundred
retainers should sit with their lord and keep watch
while he slept.

The watch went into the sick-room, but just before
X.tn o'clock it was overcome by a mysterious drowsi-
ness. When all the men were asleep the false O Toyo
crept into the apartment and disturbed the Prince until



sunrise. Night after night the retainers came to guard
their master, but' always they fell asleep at the same
hour, and even three loyal councillors had a similar

During this time the Prince grew worse, and at length
a priest named Ruiten was appointed to pray on his
behalf. One night, while he was engaged in his suppli-
cations, he heard a strange noise proceeding from the
garden. On looking out of the window he saw a young
soldier washing himself. When he had finished his ab-
lutions he stood before an image of Buddha, and prayed
most ardently for the recovery of the Prince.

Ruiten, delighted to find such zeal and loyalty, invited
the young man to enter his house, and when he had
done so inquired his name,

" I am Ito Soda," said the young man, " and serve in
the infantry of Nabeshima, I have heard of my lord's
sickness and long to have the honour of nursing him ;
but beinor of low rank it is not meet that I should


come into his presence, I have, nevertheless, prayed
to the Buddha that my lord's life may be spared, I
believe that the Prince of Hizen is bewitched, and if I
might remain with him I would do my utmost to find
and crush the evil power that is the cause of his illness,"

Ruiten was so favourably impressed with these words
that he went the next day to consult with one of the
councillors, and after much discussion it was arranged
that Ito Soda should keep watch with the hundred

When Ito Soda entered the royal apartment he saw
that his master slept in the middle of the room, and
he also observed the hundred retainers sitting in the
chamber quietly chatting together in the hope that they
would be able to keep off approaching drowsiness. By
ten o'clock all the retainers, in spite of their efforts, had


fallen asleep. Ito Soda tried to keep his eyes open, but
a heaviness was gradually overcoming him, and he
realised that if he wished to keep awake he must resort
to extreme measures. When he had carefully spread
oil-paper over the mats he stuck his dirk into his thigh.
The sharp pain he experienced warded off sleep for a
time, but eventually he felt his eyes closing once more.
Resolved to outwit the spell which had proved too
much for the retainers, he twisted the knife in his thigh,
and thus increased the pain and kept his loyal watch,
while blood continually dripped upon the oil-paper.

While Ito Soda watched he saw the sliding doors
drawn open and a beautiful woman creep softly into the
apartment. With a smile she noticed the sleeping re-
tainers, and was about to approach the Prince when she
observed Ito Soda. After she had spoken curtly to him
she approached the Prince and inquired how he fared, but
the Prince was too ill to make a reply. Ito Soda watched
every movement, and believed she tried to bewitch the
Prince, but she was always frustrated in her evil purpose
by the dauntless eyes of Ito Soda, and at last she was
compelled to retire.

In the morning the retainers awoke, and were filled
with shame when they learnt how Ito Soda had kept his
vigil. The councillors loudly praised the young soldier
for his loyalty and enterprise, and he was commanded
to keep watch again that night. He did so, and once
more the false O Toyo entered the sick-room, and, as
on the previous night, she was compelled to retreat
without being able to cast her spell over the Prince.

It was discovered that immediately the faithful Soda
had kept guard the Prince was able to obtain peaceful
slumber, and, moreover, that he began to get better,
for the false O Toyo, having been frustrated on two
occasions, now kept away altogether, and the guard was



not troubled with mysterious drowsiness. Soda, im-
pressed by these strange circumstances, went to one
of the councillors and informed him that the so-called
O Toyo was a goblin of some kind.

That night Soda planned to go to the creature's room
and try to kill her, arranging that in case she should
escape there should be eight retainers outside waiting
to capture her and despatch her immediately.

At the appointed hour Soda went to the creature's
apartment, pretending that he bore a message from the

" What is your message ? " inquired the woman.

" Kindly read this letter," replied Soda, and with
these words he drew his dirk and tried to kill her.

The false O Toyo seized a halberd and endeavoured
to strike her adversary. Blow followed blow, but at last
perceiving that flight would serve her better than battle
she threw away her weapon, and in a moment the lovely
maiden turned into a cat and sprang on to the roof.
The eight men waiting outside in case of emergency
shot at the animal, but the creature succeeded in eluding

The cat made all speed for the mountains, and caused
trouble among the people who lived in the vicinity, but
was finally killed during a hunt ordered by the Prince
Hizen. The Prince became well again, and Ito Soda
received the honour and reward he so richly deserved.

The Dog

Generally speaking the dog in Japan is looked upon
as a friendly animal, and in most legends he acquits him-
self well ; but in the Oki Islands many of the inhabi-
tants believe that all dogs have supernatural power,
attributed to the fox elsewhere. Professor B. H.
Chamberlain writes : "The human beings in league


with them are termed inu-gami-mochi — that is, * dog-god
owners.' When the spirit of such a magic dog goes forth
on an errand of mischief its body remains behind, grow-
ing gradually weaker, and sometimes dying and falling
to decay. When this happens the spirit on its return
takes up its abode in the body of a wizard, who there-
upon becomes more powerful than ever."

Shippeitaro and the Phantom Cats

A certain knight took shelter in a lonely and dilapi-
dated mountain temple. Towards midnight he was
awakened by hearing a strange noise. Gazing about
him, he saw a number of cats dancing and yelling and
shrieking, and over and over again he heard these words :
" Tell it not to Shippeitaru I "

At midnight the cats suddenly disappeared, stillness
reigned in the ruined temple, and our warrior was able
to resume his slumber.

The next morning the young knight left the haunted
building, and came to one or two small dwellings near a
village. As he passed one of these houses he heard
great wailing and lamentation, and inquired the cause
of the trouble.

" Alas 1 " said those who thronged about the knight,
" well may you ask why we are so sorely troubled. This
very night the mountain spirit will take away our fairest
maiden in a great cage to the ruined temple where you
have spent the night, and in the morning she will be
devoured by the wicked spirit of the mountain. Every
year we lose a girl in this way, and there is none to
help us."

The knight, greatly moved by these pitiful words,
and anxious to be of service, said: "Who or what is
Shippeitaro } The evil spirits in the ruined temple

used the name several times."



" ShippeitarO," said one of the people, " is a brave and
very fine dog, and belongs to the head man of our Prince."

The knight hastened off, was successful in securing
ShippeitarO for one night, and took the dog back with
him to the house of the weeping parents. Already the
cage was prepared for the damsel, and into this cage he
put ShippeitarO, and, with several young men to assist
him, they reached the haunted temple. But the young
men would not remain on the mountain, for they were full
of fear, and, having performed their task, they took their
departure, so that the knight and the dog were left alone.

At midnight the phantom cats again appeared, this
time surrounding a tomcat of immense size and of great
fierceness. When the monster cat saw the cage he
sprang round it with screams of delight, accompanied
by his companions.

The warrior, choosing a suitable opportunity, opened
the cage, and ShippeitarO sprang out and held the great
cat in his teeth. In another moment his master drew
forth his sword and slew the wicked creature. The
other cats were too amazed at what they had seen to
make good their escape, and the valiant ShippeitarO
soon made short work of them. Thus the village
was no longer troubled with ravages of the mountain
spirit, and the knight, in true courtly fashion, gave all
the praise to the brave ShippeitarO.

The Old Man Who Made the Trees to Blossom

One day, while an old man and his wife were in the
garden, their dog suddenly became very excited as he
lowered his head and sniffed the ground in one particular
place. The old people, believing that their pet had
detected something good to eat, brought a spade and
commenced to dig, and to their amazement they dug up
a great number or gold and silver pieces and a variety of


precious treasures as well. With this newly acquired
wealth the old couple lost no time in distributing alms
among the poor.

When the people next door heard about their neigh-
bours' good fortune they borrowed the dog, and spread
before him all manner of delicacies in the hope that the
animal would do them a good turn too. But the dog,
who had been on previous occasions ill-treated by his
hosts, refused to eat, and at length the angry couple
dragged him into the garden. Immediately the dog
began to sniff, and exactly where he sniffed the greedy
couple began to dig; but they dug up no treasure, and
all they could find was very objectionable refuse. The
old couple, angry and disappointed, killed the dog and
buried him under a pine-tree.

The good old man eventually learnt what had befallen
his faithful dog, and, full of sorrow, he went to the place
where his pet was buried, and arranged food and flowers
on the grave, weeping as he did so.

That night the spirit of the dog came to his master,
and said : " Cut down the tree where I am buried, and
from the wood fashion a mortar, and think of me when-
ever you use it."

The old man carried out these instructions, and he
found that when he ground the grains of rice in the pine
mortar every grain turned into a precious treasure.

The wicked old couple, having borrowed the dog,
had no compunction in borrowing the mortar too, but
with these wicked people the rice immediately turned
into filth, so that in their anger they broke and burnt
the precious vessel.

Once again the spirit of the dog appeared before his
master, and informed him what had taken place, adding:
" If you will sprinkle the ashes of the mortar over
withered trees they will immediately become full of



blossom," and having uttered these words the spirit

The kind-hearted old man secured the ashes, and,
placing them in a basket, journeyed from village to
village and from town to town, and over withered trees
he threw the ashes, and, as the dog had promised, they
suddenly came into flower. A prince heard of these
wonders, and commanded the old man to appear before
him, requesting that he would give an exhibition of his
miraculous power. The old man did so, and joyfully
departed with the many royal gifts bestowed upon him.

The old man's neighbours, hearing of these miracles,
collected together the remaining ashes of the wonderful
mortar, and the wicked fellow went about the country
claiming to be able to revive withered or dead trees.
Like the original worker of wonders, the greedy old man
appeared in the palace, and was commanded to restore a
withered tree. The old man climbed up into a tree
and scattered the ashes, but the tree still remained
withered, and the ashes almost blinded and suffocated the
Prince. Upon this the old impostor was almost beaten to
death, and he went away in a very miserable state indeed.

The kind old man and his wife, after rebuking their
neiorhbours for their wickedness, allowed them to share
in their wealth, and the once mean, cruel, and crafty
couple led good and virtuous lives.

The Jellyfish and the Monkey '

Rin-Jin, the King of the Sea, took to wife a young
and beautiful Dragon Princess. They had not been

^ The Three Mystic Apes figure in Japanese legend. Mizaru is
represented with his hands over his eyes, Kikazaru with his hands
covering his ears, and Iwazaru with his hands laid upon his mouth.
These mystic apes symbolise (i) He who sees no evil, (2) He who
hears no evil, (3) He who speaks no evil.

The Jelly Fish and the Monkey,


married long when the fair Queen fell ill, and all the
advice and attention of the great physicians availed

" Oh," sobbed the Queen, " there is only one thing
that will cure me of my illness ! "

" What is that ? " inquired Rin-Jin.

" If I eat the liver of a live monkey I shall imme-
diately recover. Pray get me a monkey's liver, for I
know that nothing else will save my life."

So Rin-Jin called a jelly-fish to his side, and said :
" I want you to swim to the land and return with a live
monkey on your back, for I wish to use his liver that
our Queen may be restored to health again. You are
the only creature who can perform this task, for you
alone have legs and are able to walk about on shore.
In order to induce the monkey to come you must tell
him of the wonders of the deep and of the rare beauties
of my great palace, with its floor of pearl and its walls
of coral."

The jelly-fish, delighted to think that the health and
happiness of his mistress depended upon the success of
his enterprise, lost no time in swimming to an island.
He had no sooner stepped on shore than he observed a
fine-looking monkey playing about in the branches of a

" Hello ! " said the jelly-fish, " I don't think much
of this island. What a dull and miserable life you
must lead here ! I come from the Kingdom of the Sea,
where Rin-Jin reigns in a palace of great size and beauty.
It may be that you would like to see a new country
where there is plenty of fruit and where the weather is
always fine. If so, get on my back, and I shall have
much pleasure in taking you to the Kingdom of the

" I shall be delighted to accept your invitation," said

s 273


the monkey, as he got down from the tree and comfort-
ably seated himself on the thick shell of the jelly-fish.

" By the way," said the jelly-fish, when he had accom-
plished about half of the return journey, "I suppose
you have brought your liver with you, haven't you ? "

"What a personal question!" replied the monkey.
" Why do you ask ^ "

" Our Sea Queen is dangerously ill," said the foolish
jelly-fish, "and only the liver of a live monkey will save
her life. When we reach the palace a doctor will make
use of your liver and my mistress will be restored to
health again."

" Dear me ! " exclaimed the monkey, " I wish you
had mentioned this matter to me before we left the

" If I had done so," replied the jelly-fish, " you would
most certainly have refused my invitation."

"Believe me, you are quite mistaken, my dear jelly-
fish. I have several livers hanging up on a pine-tree,
and I would gladly have spared one in order to save
the life of your Queen. If you will bring me back to
the island again I will get it. It was most unfortunate
that I should have forgotten to bring a liver with me."

So the credulous jelly-fish turned round and swam
back to the island. Directly the jelly-fish reached the
shore the monkey sprang from his back and danced
about on the branches of a tree.

" Liver j'' said the monkey, chuckling, "did you say
/iver ? You silly old jelly-fish, you'll certainly never
get mine ! "

The jelly-fish at length reached the palace, and told
Rin-Jin his dismal tale. The Sea King fell into a great
passion. " Beat him to a jelly ! " he cried to those
about him. "Beat this stupid fellow till he hasn't a
bone left in his body ! "


So the jelly-fish lost his shell from that unfortunate
hour, and all the jelly-fishes that were born in the
sea after his death were also without shells, and have
remained nothing but jelly to this day.

The Horse of Bronze

Upon the festival of the Minige, or "The Body-
escaping," the Deity of Kitzuki, Oho-kuninushi, is
said to ride through the streets on the Bronze Horse.
The rite connected with the festival is of so mysterious
a kind that the officiating priest can only impart the
secret after his death to his son through the medium
of the deceased man's spirit. The great carved dragon
of Kitzuki was supposed at one time to crawl over the
roofs of many houses, but when his wooden throat was
cut he remained simply a work of art and no longer
troubled the inhabitants. Bronze deer of Matsue, a
stag and a doe, also had miraculous power and were
able to run about the streets at night. These visitations
were so frequent and so disturbing that eventually their
heads were cut and their escapades came to an end.
The gigantic tortoise of the Gesshoji temple, a stone
colossus very nearly sixteen feet in height, was on many
occasions seen endeavouring to swim across a pond
covered with lotus. This creature, like those we
have just mentioned, was mutilated, and his midnight
wanderings permanently checked.




WE have already noticed certain birds mentioned
in Japanese legend, the pheasant in the story
of Momotaro, the Ho-Ho Bird, the Bridge of
Magpies in the account of Tanabata, the mysterious light
said to shine from the blue heron, the Thunder Bird,
&c. The sekireiy or wagtails, are sacred to Izanagi and
Izanami, for it was through these birds that these divi-
nities first learnt the art of love, and not even the God
of Scarecrows can frighten them. When the great hero
Yamato-take died he was supposed to have been trans-
formed into a white bird, and we read in the Hd-ju-ki *
that Chomei fancied he heard in the note of a copper
pheasant the cry of his mother. Mythical creatures
such as the Tengu possess certain bird-like qualities,
but they cannot be classed under the heading of birds,
and for this reason they are dealt with elsewhere.

The Cock

The God of Mionoseki detests cocks and hens and
everything pertaining to these birds, and the inhabitants
respect his very marked dislike. On one occasion a
certain steamer, shortly after making for the open sea,
encountered a severe storm, and it was thought that the
God of Mionoseki, who is the God of Mariners, must
have been seriously offended. At length the captain
discovered that one of his passengers was smoking a pipe
adorned with the figure of a crowing cock. The pipe
was immediately thrown into the sea, and the storm

* Translated by F. Victor Dickins.

We are able to gather the reason for the hatred of
the cock from the following legend. In the Koji^i we
are informed that the son of the Deity of Kitsuki spent
many an hour at Mionoseki in catching birds and fish.
At that time the cock was his trusted friend, and it
was the duty of this bird to crow lustily when it was time
for the God to return from his sport. On one occasion,
however, the cock forgot to crow, and in consequence,
in the God's hurry to go back in his boat he lost his
oars, and was compelled to propel the vessel with his
hands, which were severely bitten by fishes.

How Yoritomo was Saved by Two Doves

Yoritomo, having been defeated in a battle against
Oba Kage-chika, was forced to retreat with six of his
followers. They ran with all speed through a forest,
and, finding a large hollow tree, crept inside for shelter.

In the meantime Oba Kage-chika said to his cousin,
Oba Kagetoki : " Go and search for Yoritomo, for I
have good reason to believe that he lies hidden in this
forest. I will so arrange my men that the flight of our
enemy will be impossible."

Oba Kagetoki departed, none too pleased with the
mission, for he had once been on friendly terms with
Yoritomo. When he reached the hollow tree and saw
through a hole in the trunk that his old friend lay con-
cealed within, he took pity on him, and returned to his
cousin, saying : " I believe that Yoritomo, our enemy,
is not in this wood."

When Oba Kage-chika heard these words he cried
fiercely : " You lie ! How could Yoritomo make his
escape so soon and with my men standing on guard
about the forest ? Lead the way, and I and some of my
men will follow you. No cunning this time, cousin, or
you shall severely suffer for it."



In due time the party reached the hollow tree, and
Kage-chika was about to enter it, when his cousin cried :
" Stay ! What folly is this ? Cannot you see that there
is a spider's web spun across the opening ? How could
any one enter this tree without breaking it ? Let us
spend our time more profitably elsewhere."

Kage-chika, however, was still suspicious concerning
his cousin, and he thrust his bow into the hollow trunk.
It almost touched the crouching Yoritomo, when two
white doves suddenly flew out of the cavity.

"Alas ! " exclaimed Kage-chika, " you are right, our
enemy cannot lie concealed here, for doves and a cob-
web would not admit of such a thing."

By the timely aid of two doves and a spider's web the
great hero Yoritomo made good his escape, and when,
in later years, he became Shogun he caused shrines to
be erected to Hachiman, the God of War, in recognition
of his deliverance, for the doves of Japan are recognised
as the messengers of war, and not of peace, as is the case
in our own country.

The Hototogisu

" A solitary voice !
Did the Moon cry ?
'Twas but the hototogisu.''''

From the Japanese.

There is a mysterious bird called the hototogisu which
plaintively cries its own name, dividing it into syllables
thus: '��^ ho-to-to-gi-suy According to legend it is no
earthly bird, but wanders from the Realm of the Dead
at the end of May, and warns all peasants who see it
that it is time to sow the rice. Some interpret the
bird's note as meaning, " Has the l^^emono been sus-
pended .'' " others that it gently repeats : " Surely it is
better to return home." The latter intrepretation is


characteristically Japanese, for if it is believed that souls
return in the summer-time, it is reasonable to suppose
that at least one of the birds should fly back to the old
woods and streams and hills of Nippon.

The Tongue'CUt Sparrow

A cross old woman was at her wash-tub when her
neighbour's pet sparrow ate up all the starch, mistaking
it for ordinary food. The old woman was so angry at
what had happened that she cut out the sparrow's tongue,
and the unfortunate bird flew away to a mountain.

When the old couple to whom the sparrow belonged
heard what had taken place they left their home and
journeyed a great distance until they had the good
fortune to find their pet again.

The sparrow was no less delighted to meet his master
and mistress, and begged them to enter his house.
When they had done so they were feasted with an
abundance of fish and sal^^ were waited upon by the
sparrow's wife, children, and grandchildren, and, not
content with these deeds of hospitality, the feathered
host danced a jig called the Sparrow's Dance.

When it was time for the old couple to return home
the sparrow brought forth two wicker baskets, saying :
" One is heavy, and the other is light. Which would
you rather have } "

" Oh, the light one," replied the old couple, "for we
are aged and the journey is a long one."

When the old people reached their home they opened
the basket, and to their delight and amazement dis-
covered gold and silver, jewels and silk. As fast as
they took the precious things out an inexhaustible
supply came to their place, so that the wonderful basket
of treasure could not be emptied, and the happy old
couple grew rich and prosperous.



It was rtot long before the old woman who had cut
out the sparrow's tongue heard about the good fortune
of her neighbours, and she hastened to inquire where
this wonderful sparrow was to be seen.

Having gained the information, she had no difficulty
in finding the sparrow. When the bird saw her he asked
which of two baskets she would prefer to take away
with her, the heavy or light one .'' The cruel and greedy
old woman chose the heavy one, believing that this
basket would contain more treasure than the light one ;
but when, after much labour, she reached home and
opened it, devils sprang upon her and tore her to pieces.

A Noble Sacrifice

There was once a man who was extremely fond of
shooting birds. He had two daughters, good Bud-
dhists, and each in turn pointed out the folly of their
father's cruel sport, and begged him not to destroy
life wantonly. However, the man was obstinate and
would not listen to his daughters' entreaties. One
day a neighbour asked him to shoot two storks, and
he promised to do so. When the women heard what
their father was about to do, they said : " Let us
dress in pure white garments and go down upon the
shore to-night, for it is a place much frequented by
storks. If our father should kill either of us in mis-
take for the birds, it will teach him a lesson, and he
will surely repent his evil ways, which are contrary to
the gentle teaching of the Lord Buddha."

That night the man went to the shore, and the
cloudy sky made it difficult for him to discover any
storks. At last, however, he saw two white objects in
the distance. He fired ; the bodies fell immediately,
and he ran to where they lay, only to discover that he
had shot both his noble, self-sacrificing daughters.


Stricken with sorrow, the man erected a funeral pyre
and burnt the bodies of his poor children. Having
done these things, he shaved his head, went into the
woods, and became a hermit.

A Pair of Phoenix

A clever woman named Saijosen was engaged in
embroidery. One day an old man called upon her,
and said : " Work for me on a piece of cloth a pair of
phoenix." Saijosen readily complied, and when the
birds were worked the old man closed his eyes and
pointed at the phoenix with his finger. Immediately
the birds became alive, and the girl and the old man
mounted upon their backs and disappeared into the


Much has been written about the Japanese semi,
or tree-crickets, and it seems strange to us that these
little creatures should be bought and placed in minute
cages, where they sing with extraordinary sweetness.
Lafcadio Hearn in Kotw gives us a pathetic story
concerning one of these insects. He tells us that his
servant forgot to feed it, and that gradually it ceased
to sing, being forced at last to eat its own minute

The minminzemt 5 singing resembles the chanting of
a Buddhist priest, while the green semiy or higurashi,
makes a sound like the trilling of a tiny bell. The
carrying of a dried beetle is said to increase one's ward-
robe. It must be remembered in the legends that
follow that according to Buddhist teaching all life is
sacred, and, moreover, that on account of some sin
the Buddhists believe that the soul of a man or woman
can enter even the minute form of an insect.




" The gold sun shimmering in noontide skies
Shines down, where the red-burnished dragon-flies
Flit to and fro in the translucent haze
Over the village of eventless days ! "

Trans, by Clara A. Walsh.

The dragon-fly is frequently mentioned in Japanese
poetry, but nowhere more pathetically than in the follow-
ing lines written by Chiyo after the death of her little
son :

" How far, I wonder, did he stray,
Chasing the burnished dragon-fly to-day ? "

Chiyo, in this exquisite fragment, suggests a very great
deal, for in her mother-love there is no dismal concep-
tion of Death. She regards the future life of her little
one as the happiest hour of playtime. Once more in
these lines there is the Japanese idea of the soul coming
back again.

The most charming Japanese dragon-fly is called
Tenshi-tombd^ " the Emperor's dragon-fly." There is a
larger variety particularly sought after by children, and
of this species there are many more females than males.
Boys tie a female to a tree, and sing : " Thou, the
male. King of Korea, dost thou not feel shame to flee
away from the Queen of the East } " This quaint song
is an allusion to the legendary conquest of Korea, to
which we shall refer later on, and it succeeds in attract-
ing the male dragon-fly. It is also believed that if a
certain ideograph is traced in the air it has the power to
paralyse the dragon-fly one wishes to catch.

Tama*s Return

Kazariya Kyubei, a merchant, had a maid-servant
called Tama. Tama worked well and cheerfully, but


she was negligent in regard to her dress. One day,
when she had been five years in KyQbei's house, her
master said to her: "Tama, how is it that, unlike
most girls, you seem to have no desire to look your
best r When you go out you wear your working
dress. Surely you should put on a pretty robe on
such occasions."

"Good master," said Tama, "you do well to rebuke
me, for you do not know why, during all these years,
I have worn old clothes and have made no attempt to
wear pretty ones. When my father and mother died I
was but a child, and as I had no brothers or sisters it
rested upon me to have Buddhist services performed
on behalf of my parents. In order that this might
come to pass I have saved the money you have given
me, and spent as little upon myself as possible. Now
my parents' mortuary tablets are placed in the Jorakuji
temple, and, having given my money to the priests, the
sacred rites have now been performed. I have fulfilled
my wish, and, begging for your forgiveness, I will in
future dress more becomingly."

Before Tama died she asked her mistress to keep
the remaining money she had saved. Shortly after her
death a large fly entered Kyubei's house. Now at that
time of the year, the Period of the Greatest Cold, it
was unusual for flies to appear, and the master of the
house was considerably puzzled. He carefully put the
insect outside the house ; but it flew back immediately,
and every time it was ejected it came back again.
" This fly," said Kyubei's wife, " may be Tama."
Kyubei cut a small piece out of the insect's wings, and
this time carried it some distance from his abode. But
the next day it returned once more, and this time the
master painted the fly's wings and body with rouge, and
took it even further away from his dwelling. Two



days later the fly returned, and the nick in its wings and
the rouge with which it was covered left no doubt in the
minds of Kyabei and his wife that this persistent insect
was indeed Tama.

" I believe," said Kyabei's wife, " that Tama has
returned to us because she wants us to do something
for her. I have the money she asked me to keep.
Let us give it to the priests in order that they may pray
for her soul." When these words had been spoken
the fly fell dead upon the floor.

Kyabei and his wife placed the fly in a box, and
with the girl's money they went to the priests. A sutra
was recited over the body of the insect, and it was duly
buried in the temple grounds.

Sanemori and Shiwan

Sanemori, who was a great warrior, was on one
occasion, while riding on a horse, engaged in fighting
an enemy. During the conflict his horse slipped and
rolled into a rice-field. As the result of this mishap
his antagonist was able to slay him, and from that hour
Sanemori became a rice-devouring insect, known by the
peasantry of Izumo as Sanemori-San. During certain
summer nights the peasants light fires in their rice-fields
in order to attract the insect, play upon flutes and beat
gongs, crying : " O Sanemori, augustly deign to come
hither ! " A religious rite is then performed, and a
straw representation of a rider upon a horse is either
burnt or thrown into water. It is believed that this
ceremony will successfully free the fields from the rice-
devouring insect.

The shiwariy a small yellow insect that feeds upon
cucumbers, is said to have once been a physician. This
physician, guilty of some intrigue, was forced to leave
his home, but in attempting to make his escape his foot


caught in the sinuous coils of a cucumber vine, and
he was killed by his pursuers. His angry ghost
became a shiwan^ and from that day to this the
insect feeds upon cucumbers.


" For this willow-tree the season of budding would seem
to have returned in the dark — look at the fireflies."

In ancient days firefly-hunting was one of the amuse-
ments of great nobles, but to-day it is the pastime of
children only. These hunting parties, however, have
lost none of their picturesqueness, and the flashing
insect has been the theme of many an exquisite poem,
such as : " Ah, the cunning fireflies ! being chased, they
hide themselves in the moonlight ! "

Grown-up people, however, go out to see the fire-
flies with the same ardour with which they indulge in
flower-viewing. To the minds of these great Nature-
lovers the fireflies resemble dazzling petals of some
strange fire-flower or a host of wondering stars that
has left the sky to wander upon the earth. During
the summer thousands of people visit Uji in order to
see the Hotam-Kassen^ or Firefly Battle. From the
river-bank dart myriads of these flashing insects, and in
a moment they form a great silver-shining cloud. The
cloud breaks and the flowing river, once dark as black
velvet, becomes a winding stretch of gleaming jewels.
No wonder the Japanese poet cries: "Do I see only
fireflies drifting with the current ? Or is the Night
itself drifting, with its swarming of stars } "

There is a legend connected with this fascinating
spectacle. It is believed that the Minamoto-Fireflyand
the Taira-Firefly are the ghosts of the old warriors of
the Minamoto and Taira clans. On the night of the



twentieth day of the fourth month they fight a great
battle on the Uji River. On that night all caged fire-
flies are set free in order that they may fight again the
old clan battles of the twelfth century. The ghostly
significance of fireflies is further strengthened by the fact
that these insects are fond of swarming: round willow-
trees — the most eerie trees in Japan. Fireflies in
ancient days were supposed to possess medicinal pro-
perties. Firefly ointment was said to render all poisons
harmless, and, moreover, it had the power to drive away
evil spirits and to preserve a house from the attacks of

A Strange Dream

A young man of Matsue was returning home from a
wedding-party when he saw, just in front of his house,
a firefly. He paused a moment, surprised to see such
an insect on a cold winter's night with snow on the
ground. While he stood and meditated the firefly flew
toward him, and the young man struck at it with his
stick, but the insect flew away and entered the garden
adjoining his own.

The next day he called at his neighbour's house, and
was about to relate the experience of the previous night
when the eldest daughter of the family entered the
room, and exclaimed : " I had no idea you were here,
and yet a moment ago you were in my mind. Last
night 1 dreamt that 1 became a firefly. It was all very
real and very beautiful, and while I was darting hither
and thither I saw you, and flew toward you, intending
to tell you that I had learnt to fly, but you thrust me
aside with your stick, and the incident still frightens

The young man, having heard these words from the
lips of his betrothed, held his peace.

The Firefly Battle.



The Vengeance of Kanshiro'

In the village of Funakami there lived a devout old
farmer called Kanshiro. Every year the old man made
various pilgrimages to certain shrines, where he prayed
and asked the blessings of the deities. At last, how-
ever, he became so infirm that he realised that his earthly
ciays were numbered, and that he would probably only
have strength to pay one more visit to the great shrines
at Ise. When the people of the village heard this noble
resolution they generously gave him a sum of money
in order that the respected old farmer might present it
to the sacred shrines.

Kanshiro set off upon his pilgrimage carrying the
money in a bag, which he hung round his neck. The
weather was extremely hot, and the heat and fatigue of
the journey made the old man so ill that he was forced
to remain for a few days in the village of Myojo. He
went to a small inn and asked Jimpachi, the innkeeper,
to take care of his money, explaining that it was an
offering to the Gods at Ise. Jimpachi took the money,
and assured the old man that he would take great care
of it, and, moreover, that he himself would attend upon

On the sixth day the old man, though still far from
well, paid his bill, took the bag from the innkeeper, and
proceeded on his journey. As Kanshiro observed many
pilgrims in the vicinity he did not look into the bag,
but carefully concealed it in the sack containing spare
raiment and food.

When Kanshiro at length rested under a pine-tree
he took out the bag and looked inside. Alas ! the money
had been stolen, and stones of the same weight inserted

^ Adapted from Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan, by R. Gordon



in its place. The old man hastily returned to the inn-
keeper and begged him to restore the money. Jimpachi
grew extremely angry, and gave him a severe beating.

The poor old man crawled away from the village, and
three days later, with indomitable courage, he succeeded
in reaching the sacred shrines at Ise. He sold his pro-
perty in order to refund the money his good neighbours
had given him, and with what remained he continued
his pilgrimage, till at last he was forced to beg for food.

Three years later Kanshiro went to the village of
Myoto, and found that the innkeeper who had treated
him so badly was now comparatively well off, and lived
in a large house. The old man went to him, and said :
" You have stolen sacred money from me, and I have
sold my little property in order that I might refund it to
those who had given it to me. Ever since that time I
have been a beggar, but be assured vengeance shall fall
upon you 1 "

Jimpachi cursed the old man and told him that he
had not stolen his money. During the heated dispute
a watchman seized Kanshiro, dragged him away from
the house, and told him that he would be arrested if he
dared to return. At the end of the village the old man
died, and a kindly priest took his body to a temple,
respectfully burnt it, and offered up many holy prayers
for his good and loyal soul.

Immediately after Kanshiro's death Jimpachi grew
afraid of what he had done, and became so ill that he
was forced to take to his bed. When he had lost all
power of movement a great company of fireflies flew
out of the farmer's tomb and surrounded Jimpachi's
mosquito-curtain, and tried to break it down. Many of
the villagers came to Jimpachi's assistance and killed a
number of fireflies, but the stream of shining insects
that flew from Kanshiro's tomb never lessened. Hun-


dreds were killed, but thousands came to take their
place. The room was ablaze with firefly light, and
the mosquito-curtain sank beneath their ever-increasing
weight. At this remarkable sight some of the villagers
murmured : "Jimpachi stole the old man's money after
all. This is the vengeance of Kanshiro."

Even while they spoke the curtain broke and the fire-
flies rushed into the eyes, ears, mouth, and nose of the
terrified Jimpachi. For twenty days he screamed aloud
for mercy ; but no mercy came. Thicker and thicker
grew the stream of flashing, angry insects, till at last
they killed the wicked Jimpachi, when from that hour
they completely disappeared.



" The first cup moistens my lips and throat, the second
cup breaks my loneliness, the third cup searches my inmost
being. . . . The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration — all
the wrong of life passes away through my pores. At the
fifth cup I am purified ; the sixth cup calls me to the realms
of immortals. The seventh cup — ah, but I could take no
more ! I only feel the breath of cool wind that rises in
my sleeves. Where is Horaisan ? ^ Let me ride on this
sweet breeze and waft away thither."


Tea'drinking in England and Japan

IN England we regard tea simply as a beverage, a
refreshing and mild stimulant over which ladies are
wont to gossip with their neighbours. There is
nothing romantic about our tea-pots and kettles and
spoons ; they come from the kitchen and are returned to
the kitchen with prescribed regularity. We have a few
stock comments on the subject of tea, and can quote the
exact price our grandmothers paid for this beverage.
We have our opinions as to whether it is best taken
with or without sugar, and have sometimes found it
efficacious in driving away a headache.

When tea reached our own country in 1650 it was
referred to as " that excellent and by all physicians
approved China drink, called by the Chineans Tcha, and
by other nations Tay, alias Tee." In 171 1 the Spectator
remarked : " I would therefore in a particular manner
recommend these my speculations to all well-regulated
families that set apart an hour every morning for tea,
bread and butter ; and would earnestly advise them for

^ We have derived most of the material for this chapter from The
Book of Tea, by Okakura-Kakuzo, and we warmly commend this very
charming volume to those who are interested in the subject.

2 The Chinese Paradise.


their good to order this paper to be punctually served
up and to be looked upon as a part of the tea-equipage."
Dr. Johnson described himself as " a hardened and
shameless tea-drinker, who for twenty years diluted his
meals with only the infusion of the fascinating plant ;
who with tea amused the evening, with tea solaced the
midnight, and with tea welcomed the morning." But
there is no romance, no old tradition associated with our
tea-drinking in this country. Perhaps it is as well
that the ladies sitting in our fashionable drawing-rooms
are unacquainted with the grim and pathetic legend
that narrates how a Buddhist priest fell asleep during
his meditations. When he awoke he cut off his
offending eyelids and flung them on the ground,
where they were immediately transformed into the first

In Japan tea-drinking has become a ritual. It is not
so much a social function as a time for peaceful medi-
tation. The elaborate tea ceremonies, cha~no-yu, have
their tea-masters, etiquette, and numerous observances.
A cup of Japanese tea is combined with spiritual and
artistic enlightenment. But before discussing these very
interesting ceremonies we must learn something about
the significance of tea in China, for it was the drinking
of this beverage in the Celestial Kingdom, associated
with the rarest porcelain and aesthetic and religious
thought, that inspired the tea cult in the Land of
the Gods.

Tea in China

The tea-plant, a native of Southern China, was origi-
nally regarded as a medicine. It was referred to in the
classics by such names as Tou^ Tseh, Chungs Kha, and
Ming^ and was much esteemed on account of its medi-
cinal properties. It was regarded as an excellent lotion



for strengthening the eyes, and, moreover, had the power
to banish fatigue, strengthen the will, and delight the
soul. It was sometimes made in the form of a paste,
and was believed to be efficacious in reducing rheumatic
pain. The Taoists went so far as to claim that tea was
one of the ingredients of the Elixir of Life, while the
Buddhist priests drank it whenever it was necessary for
them to meditate during the long hours of the night.

Luwuh and the "Chaking**

In the fourth and fifth centuries we find that tea
became a highly favoured beverage among the people
of the Yangtse-Kiang valley. At this time, too, poets
waxed eloquent in its praise, and described it as the
" froth of the liquid jade." But tea at that time was a
very horrible concoction indeed, for it was boiled with
rice, salt, ginger, orange-peel, and not infrequently with
onions ! However, Luwuh, who lived in the eighth
century, discountenanced the strange mixture we have
just referred to. He was the first Chinese tea-master,
and not only did he idealize tea, but he saw, with keen
poetic insight, that the ceremony of drinking it made
for harmony and order in daily life.

In his Chaking (" The Holy Scripture of Tea ") he
describes the nature of the tea-plant, and how its leaves
should be gathered and selected. He was of the
opinion that the best leaves should have " creases like
the leathern boot of Tartar horsemen, curl like the
dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like a mist rising
out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr,
and be wet and soft like fine earth newly swept by rain."
Luwuh describes the various utensils connected with
the tea ceremony, and asserts that the green beverage
should be drunk from blue porcelain cups. He dis-
courses on the subject of the choice of water and the


manner of boiling it. In poetical language he describes
the three stages of boiling. He compares the little
bubbles of the first boil with the eyes of fishes, the
bubbles of the second boil with a fountain crowned
with clustering crystal beads, and the final boil is
described as resembling the surge of miniature billows.
The concluding chapters of the Chaking deal with the
vulgar and unorthodox methods of drinking tea, and
the ardent master gives a list of celebrated tea-drinkers,
and enumerates the famous Chinese tea plantations.
Luwuh's fascinating book was regarded as a master-
piece. He was sought after by the Emperor Taisung,
attracted many disciples, and was regarded as the
greatest authority on tea and tea-drinking. His fame
did not die with him, for since his death Chinese tea-
merchants have worshipped him as a tutelary god.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony

It is believed that the great Buddhist saint, DengyO
Daishi, introduced tea into Japan from China in
A.D. 805. In any case tea-drinking in Nippon was
associated with Buddhism, and most particularly with
the Zen sect, which had incorporated so many of the
Taoist doctrines. The priests of this order drank tea
from a single bowl before the image of Bodhi Dharma
(Daruma). They did so in the spirit of reverence,
and regarded the tea-drinking as a holy sacrament. It
was this Zen observance, strictly of a religious nature,
which finally developed into the Japanese tea ceremony.

"The tea ceremonies," writes Professor B. H.
Chamberlain, " have undergone three transformations
during the six or seven hundred years of their existence.
They have passed through a medico-religious stage,
a luxurious stage, and, lastly, an aesthetic stage." In
the religious stage the Buddhist priest Eisai wrote a



pamphlet entitled The Salutary Influence of Tea-drinking^
in which he asserted that this beverage had the
power to drive away evil spirits. He introduced a
religious ceremonial in regard to the worship of
ancestors, accompanied by the beating of drums and
the burning of incense. Eisai wrote his tract with the
intention of converting Minamoto-no-Sanetomo from
his vicious love of the wine-cup, and endeavoured to
show the superiority of the tea-plant over the juice of
the grape.

We find that the tea ceremonies for the time being
lost their religious significance: "The DaimyOs,"
writes Professor Chamberlain, " who daily took part in
them reclined on couches spread with tiger-skins and
leopard-skins. The walls of the spacious apartments
in which the guests assembled were hung, not only with
Buddhist pictures, but with damask and brocade, with
gold and silver vessels, and swords in splendid sheaths.
Precious perfumes were burnt, rare fishes and strange
birds were served up with sweetmeats and wine, and the
point of the entertainment consisted in guessing where
the material for each cup of tea had been produced ; for
as many brands as possible were brought in, to serve as a
puzzle or Jeu de societe. . . . Every right guess procured
for him who made it the gift of one of the treasures that
were hung round the room. But he was not allowed
to carry it away himself. The rules of the tea cere-
monies, as then practised, ordained that all the things
rich and rare that were exhibited must be given by their
winners to the singing- and dancing-girls, troupes of
whom were present to help the company in their

This variety of tea ceremony, which appears to have
been more of an orgy than anything else, reflected the
luxurious and dissolute age in which it was practised.


The tea ceremony, in its more enduring and characteristic
form, was destined to abandon all vulgar display, to
embrace a certain amount of religion and philosophy,
and above all to afford a means of studying art and the
beauty of Nature. The tea-room became, not a place of
carousal, but a place where the wayfarer might find peace
in solemn meditation. Even the garden path leading to
the tea-room had its symbolic meaning, for it signified
the first stage of self-illumination. The following was
Kobori-Enshiu's idea of the path leading to the tea-room :

" A cluster of summer trees,
A bit of the sea,
A pale evening moon."

Such a scene was intended to convey to the wayfarer
a sense of spiritual light. The trees, sea, and moon
awakened old dreams, and their presence made the guest
eager to pass into the greater joys of the tea-room. No
samurai was allowed to take his sword into the fragrant
sanctuary of peace, and in many tea-rooms there was a
low door through which the guests entered with bowed
head, as a sign of humility. In silence the guests made
obeisance before a kakemono, or some simple and beautiful
flower on the tokonoma (alcove), and then seated them-
selves upon the mats. When they had done so the host
entered and the water was heard to boil in the kettle with
a musical sound, because of some pieces of iron which it
contained. Even the boiling of the kettle was associated
with poetical ideas, for the song of water and metal was
intended to suggest " the echoes of a cataract muffled
by clouds, of a distant sea breaking among the rocks, a
rainstorm sweeping through a bamboo forest, or of the
soughing of pines on some far-away hill." There was a
sense of harmony in the tea-room. The light was like
the mellow light of evening, and the garments of the



company were as quiet and unobtrusive as the grey
wings of a moth. In this peaceful apartment the guests
drank their tea and meditated, and went forth into the
world again better and stronger for having contemplated
in silence the beautiful and the noble in religion, art,
and nature. " Seeking always to be in harmony with the
great rhythm of the universe, they were ever prepared
to enter the unknown."

The Passing of Rikiu

Rikiuwas one of the greatest of tea-masters, and for
long he remained the friend of Taiko-Hideyoshi ; but the
age in which he lived was full of treachery. There were
many who were jealous of Rikiu, many who sought his
death. When a coldness sprang up between Hideyoshi
and Rikiu, the enemies of the great tea-master made use
of this breach of friendship by spreading the report that
Rikiu intended to add poison to a cup of tea and present
it to his distinguished patron. Hideyoshi soon heard of
the rumour, and without troubling to examine the matter
he condemned Rikiu to die by his own hand.

On the last day of the famous tea-master's life he in-
vited many of his disciples to join with him in his final tea
ceremony. As they walked up the garden path it seemed
that ghosts whispered in the rustling leaves. When the
disciples entered the tea-room they saw a kakemono hang-
ing in the tokonoma, and when they raised their sorrowful
eyes they saw that the writing described the passing of
all earthly things. There was poetry in the singing of the
tea-kettle, but it was a sad song like the plaintive cry of an
insect. Rikiu came into the tea-room calm and dignified,
and, according to custom, he allowed the chief guest to
admire the various articles associated with the tea cere
mony. When all the guests had gazed upon them,
noting their beauty with a heavy heart, Rikiu presented


each disciple with a souvenir. He took his own cup in his
hand, and said : " Never again shall this cup, polluted
by the lips of misfortune, be used by man." Having
spoken these words, he broke the cup as a sign that the
tea ceremony was over, and the guests bade a sad fare-
well and departed. Only one remained to witness, not
the drinking of another cup of tea, but the passing of
Rikiu. The great master took off his outer garment,
and revealed the pure white robe of Death. Still calm
and dignified, he looked upon his dagger, and then
recited the following verse with unfaltering voice :

" Welcome to thee,
O sword of eternity !
Through Buddha
And through Daruma alike
Thou hast cleft thy way."

He who loved to quote the old poem, "To those
who long only for flowers fain would I show the
full-blown spring which abides in the toiling buds of
snow-covered hills," has crowned the Japanese tea
ceremony with an immortal flower.

The Legend of the Tea'plant^

Daruma was an Indian sage, whose image, as we have
already seen, was associated with the ritualistic drinking
of tea by the Zen sect in Japan. He is said to have
been the son of a Hindu king, and received instruction
from Panyatara. When he had completed his studies
he retired to Lo Yang, where he remained seated in
meditation for nine years. During this period the sa^e
was tempted after the manner of St. Anthony. He
wrestled with these temptations by continually reciting
sacred scriptures ; but the frequent repetition of the

1 A full account of this beautiful legend will be found in Lafcadio
Ream's Some Chivese Ghosts.



word "jewel " lost its spiritual significance, and became
associated with the precious stone worn in the ear of a
certain lovely woman. Even the word " lotus," so
sacred to all true Buddhists, ceased to be the symbol of
the Lord Buddha and suggested to Daruma the opening
of a girl's fair mouth. His temptations increased,
and he was transported to an Indian city, where he
found himself among a vast crowd of worshippers. He
saw strange deities with horrible symbols upon their
foreheads, and Rajahs and Princes riding upon elephants,
surrounded by a great company of dancing-girls. The
great crowd of people surged forward, and Daruma with
them, till they came to a temple with innumerable pin-
nacles, a temple covered with a multitude of foul forms,
and it seemed to Daruma that he met and kissed the
woman who had changed the meaning of jewel and
lotus. Then suddenly the vision departed, and Daruma
awoke to find himself sitting under the Chinese sky.
The sage, who had fallen asleep during his meditation,
was truly penitent for the neglect of his devotions, and,
taking a knife from his girdle, he cut off his eyelids and
cast them upon the ground, saying : " O Thou Perfectly
Awakened ! " The eyelids were transformed into the
tea-plant, from which was made a beverage that would
repel slumber and allow good Buddhist priests to keep
their vigils.


Daruma is generally represented without legs, for
according to one version of the legend we have just
given he lost his limbs as the result of the nine-year
meditation. Netsu^'^-czxYtrs depict him in a full, bag-

' " Originally a kind of toggle for the medicine-box or tobacco-
pouch, carved out of wood or ivory." — Things Japanese, by B. H.


like garment, with a scowling face and lidless eyes.
He is sometimes presented in Japanese art as being
surrounded with cobwebs, and there is a very subtle
variation of the saint portrayed as a female Daruma,
which is nothing less than a playful jest against Japanese
women, who could not be expected to remain silent
for nine years ! An owl is frequently associated with
Daruma, and in his journey to Japan he is pictured as
standing on waves, supported by a millet stalk. Three
years after Darum^a's death he was seen walking across
the western mountains of China, and it was observed
that he carried one shoe in his right hand. When
Daruma's tomb was opened by the order of the
Emperor it was found only to contain a shoe, which
the saint had forgotten to take away with him.^

^ Reference to Yuki-Daruma, or Snow-Daruma, and toy-Daruma,
called Okiagar'i-koboshi (" The Getting-up Little Priest "), will be
found in Lafcadio Hearn's A Japanese Miscellany.



** Hoichi'the-Eapless **

IN the stories concerning Yoshitsune and his loyal
retainer Benkei we have already referred to the
battle of Dan-no-ura, the last conflict between the
Taira and Minamoto clans.^ In this great sea-fight the
Taira perished, including their infant Emperor, Antoku
Tenno. Thus is the memorable scene described in the
Heike Monogatari^ translated by Dr. W. G. Aston :

" * This world is the region of sorrow, a remote spot
small as a grain of millet. But beneath the waves there
is a fair city called the Pure Land of Perfect Happiness.
Thither it is that I am taking you.' With such words
she soothed him. The child then tied his top-knot to
the Imperial robe of the colour of a mountain-dove, and
tearfully joined together his lovely little hands. First
he turned to the East, and bade adieu to the shrine of
the great God of Ise and the shrine of Hachiman.
Next he turned to the West, and called upon the name
of Buddha. When he had done so, Niidono made
bold to take him in her arms, and, soothing him with
the words, * There is a city away below the waves,'
sank down to the bottom one thousand fathoms deep."
It is said that for seven hundred years after this
great battle the sea and coast in the vicinity have been
haunted by the ghosts of the Taira clan. Mysterious
fires shone on the waves, and the air was filled with the
noise of warfare. In order to pacify the unfortunate
spirits the temple of Amidaji was built at Akamagaseki,
and a cemetery was made close by, in which were various

1 The legends in this chapter are adapted from stories in Lafcadio
Hearn's Kwaldan and Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan.

^ See Chapter II.

monuments inscribed with the names of the drowned
Emperor and his principal followers. This temple and
cemetery pacified the ghostly visitants to a certain extent,
but from time to time many strange things happened, as
we shall gather from the following legend.

There once lived at the Amidaji temple a blind
priest named Hoichi. He was famous for his recitation
and for his marvellous skill in playing upon the biwa
(a four-stringed lute), and he was particularly fond of
reciting stories in connection with the protracted war
between the Taira and Minamoto clans.

One night Hoichi was left alone in the temple, and as
it was a very warm evening he sat out on the verandah,
playing now and again upon his biwa. While thus
occupied he heard some one approaching, some one
stepping across the little back garden of the temple.
Then a deep voice cried out from below the verandah :
" Hoichi ! " Yet a^ain the voice sounded : " Hoichi ! "

Ho'fchi, now very much alarmed, replied that he
was blind, and would be glad to know who his visitor
might be.

" My lord," began the stranger, " is now staying at
Akamagaseki with many noble followers, and he has
come for the purpose of viewing the scene of the battle
of Dan-no-ura. He has heard how excellently you
recite the story of the conflict, and has commanded me
to escort you to him in order that you may show him
your skill. Bring your biwa and follow me. My lord
and his august assembly now await your honourable

HoTchi, deeming that the stranger was some noble
samurai^ obeyed immediately. He donned his sandals
and took his biwa. The stranger guided him with
an iron hand, and they marched along very quickly.
Hoifchi heard the clank of armour at his side ; but all



fear left him, and he looked forward to the honour of
showing his skill before a distinguished company.

Arriving at a gate, the stranger shouted : " Kaimon ! "
Immediately the gate was unbarred and opened, and the
two men passed in. Then came the sound of many
hurrying ieet, and a rustling noise as of screens being
opened. Hoichi was assisted in mounting a number of
steps, and, arriving at the top, he was commanded to
leave his sandals. A woman then led him forward by
the hand till he found himself in a vast apartment,
where he judged that a great company of people were
assembled. He heard the subdued murmur of voices
and the soft movement of silken garments. When
Ho'fchi had seated himself on a cushion the woman
who had led him bade him recite the story of the great
battle of Dan-no-ura.

HoYchi began to chant to the accompaniment of his
biwa. His skill was so great that the strings of his
instrument seemed to imitate the sound of oars, the
movement of ships, the shouting of men, the noise
of surging waves, and the whirring of arrows. A low
murmur of applause greeted Ho'fchi's wonderful per-
formance. Thus encouraged, he continued to sing and
play with even greater skill. When he came to chant of
the perishing of the women and children, the plunge
of Niidono into the sea with the infant Emperor in
her arms, the company began to weep and wail.

When the performance was over the woman who had
led Ho'ichi told him that her lord was well pleased with
his skill, and that he desired him to play before him for
the six following nights. " The retainer," added she,
"who brought you to-night will visit your temple at
the same hour to-morrow. You must keep these visits
secret, and may now return to your abode."

Once more the woman led Hoichi through the apart-


ment, and having reached the steps the same retainer
led him back to the verandah at the back of the temple
where he lived.

The next night Ho'fchi was again led forth to enter-
tain the assembly, and he met with the same success.
But this time his absence was detected, and upon his
return his fellow priest questioned him in regard to the
matter. Hoichi evaded his friend's question, and told
him that he had merely been out to attend some private

His questioner was by no means satisfied. He
regretted Hoichi's reticence and feared that there was
something wrong, possibly that, the blind priest had
been bewitched by evil spirits. He bade the men-
servants keep a strict watch upon Hoi'chi, and to follow
him if he should again leave the temple during the

Once more Ho'lchi left his abode. The men-ser-
vants hastily lit their lanterns and followed him with all
speed ; but though they walked quickly, looked every-
where, and made numerous inquiries, they failed to
discover Hoi'chi, or learn anything concerning him. On
their return, however, they were alarmed to hear the
sound of a biwa in the cemetery of the temple, and on
entering this gloomy place they discovered the blind
priest. He sat at the tomb of Antoku Tenno, the infant
Emperor, where he twanged his biwa loudly, and as
loudly chanted the story of the battle of Dan-no-ura.
About him on every side mysterious fires glowed, like
a great gathering of lighted candles.

" Ho'fchi ! Ho'fchi ! " shouted the men. " Stop your
playing at once ! You are bewitched, Ho"fchi 1 " But
the blind priest continued to play and sing, rapt, it
seemed, in a strange and awful dream.

The men-servants now resorted to more extreme



measures. They shook him, and shouted in his ear :
" HoTchi, come back with us at once ! "

The blind priest rebuked them, and said that such an
interruption would not be tolerated by the noble assembly
about him.

The men now dragged Hoichi away by force. When
he reached the temple his wet clothes were taken off
and food and drink set before him.

By this time HoYchi's fellow priest was extremely
angry, and he not unjustly insisted upon a full explana-
tion of his extraordinary behaviour. Hoichi, after much
hesitation, told his friend all that had happened to him.
When he had narrated his strange adventures, the priest
said :

" My poor fellow ! You ought to have told me this
before. You have not been visiting a great house of a
noble lord, but you have been sitting in yonder ceme-
tery before the tomb of Antoku Ten no. Your great
skill has called forth the ghosts of the Taira clan.
Hoichi, you are in great danger, for by obeying these
spirits you have assuredly put yourself in their power,
and sooner or later they will kill you. Unfortunately
1 am called away to-night to perform a service, but
before I go I will see that your body is covered with
sacred texts."

Before night approached Hoichi was stripped, and
upon his body an acolyte inscribed, with writing-brushes,
the text of the sutra known as Hannya-Shin-KyTi. These
texts were written upon Hoichi's breast, head, back,
face, neck, legs, arms, and feet, even upon the soles

Then the priest said : " Hoichi, you will be called
again to-night. Remain silent, sit very still, and con-
tinually meditate. If you do these things no harm will
befall you."

HoTchi-t he-Earless.



That night Ho!chi sat alone in the verandah, scarcely
moving a muscle and breathing very softly.

Once more he heard the sound of footsteps.
"Ho'fchi!" cried a deep voice. But the blind priest
made no answer. He sat very still, full of a great

His name was called over and over again, but to no
effect. " This won't do," growled the stranger. "I
must see where the fellow is." The stranger sprang
into the verandah and stood beside HoTchi, who was now
shaking all over with the horror of the situation.

'* Ah ! " said the stranger. "This is the biwa^ but in
place of the player I see — only two ears ! Now I under-
stand why he did not answer. He has no mouth, only
his two ears ! Those ears I will take to my lord ! "

In another moment Hoichi's ears were torn off, but in
spite of the fearful pain the blind priest remained mute.
Then the stranger departed, and when his footsteps had
died away the only sound Ho"fchi heard was the trickling
of blood upon the verandah, and thus the priest found
the unfortunate man upon his return.

" Poor Hoichi ! " cried the priest. " It is all my
fault. I trusted my acolyte to write sacred texts on
every part of your body. He failed to do so on your
ears. I ought to have seen that he carried out my
instructions properly. However, you will never be
troubled with those spirits in future." From that day
the blind priest was known as CMimi-nashi-HMchi^
" Hofchi-the-Earless."

The Corpse'eater

MusO Kokushi, a priest, lost his way while travelling
through the province of Mino. Despairing of finding a
human abode, he was about to sleep out in the open, when
he chanced to discover a little hermitage, called anjitsu.

u 305


An aged priest greeted him, and Muso requested that he
would give him shelter for the night. " No," replied the
old priest angrily, " I never give shelter to any one. In
yonder valley you will find a certain hamlet ; seek a
night's repose there."

With these rather uncivil words, MusO took his
departure, and reaching the hamlet indicated he was
hospitably received at the headman's dwelling. On
entering the principal apartment, the priest saw a number
of people assembled together. He was shown into a
separate room, and was about to fall asleep, when he
heard the sound of lamentation, and shortly afterwards a
young man appeared before him, holding a lantern in
his hand.

"Good priest," said he, "I must tell you that my
father has recently died. We did not like to explain the
matter upon your arrival, because you were tired and
much needed rest. The number of people you saw in
the principal apartment had come to pay their respects to
the dead. Now we must all go away, for that is the
custom in our village when any one dies, because strange
and terrible things happen to corpses when they are left
alone ; but perhaps, being a priest, you will not be afraid
to remain with my poor father's body."

MusO replied that he was in no way afraid, and told
the young man that he would perform a service, and
watch by the deceased during the company's absence.
Then the young man, together with the other mourners,
left the house, and MusO remained to perform his
solitary night vigil.

After MusO had undertaken the funeral ceremonies,
he sat meditating for several hours. When the night
had far advanced, he was aware of the presence of a
strange Shape, so terrible in aspect that the priest could
neither move nor speak. The Shape advanced, raised


the corpse, and quickly devoured it. Not content with
this horrible meal, the mysterious form also ate the
offerings, and then vanished.

The next morning the villagers returned, and they
expressed no surprise on hearing that the corpse had
disappeared. After MusO had narrated his strange
adventure he inquired if the priest on the hill did not
sometimes perform the funeral service. " 1 visited him
last night at his anjiisu, and though he refused me
shelter, he told me where I might rest."

The villagers were amazed at these words, and
informed MusO that there was certainly no priest and
no anjitsu on yonder hill. They were positive in
their assertion, and assured MusO that he had been
deluded in the matter by some evil spirit. MusO did
not reply, and shortly afterwards he took his departure,
determined if possible to unravel the mystery.

MusO had no difficulty in finding the anjitsu again.
The old priest came out to him, bowed, and exclaimed
that he was sorry for his former rudeness. " I am
ashamed," added he, " not only because 1 gave you no
shelter, but because you have seen my real shape.
You have seen me devour a corpse and the funeral
offerings. Alas ! good sir, I am 2ijikininki [man-eating
goblin], and if you will bear with me I will explain my
wretched condition.

" Many years ago I used to be a priest in this district,
and I performed a great number of burial services ; but
I was not a good priest, for I was not influenced by true
religion in performing my tasks, and thought only of
the good and fine clothes I could get out of my calling.
For that reason I was reborn zjikiniftkij and have ever
since devoured the corpses of all those who died in this
district. I beg that you will have pity on my miserable
plight, and repeat certain prayers on my behalf, that I



may speedily find peace and make an end of my great

Immediately after these words had been spoken, the
recluse and his hermitage suddenly vanished, and MusO
found himself kneeling beside a moss-covered tomb,
which was probably the tomb of the unfortunate

The Ghost Mothef

A pale-faced woman crept down a street called
Nakabaramachi, entered a certain shop, and purchased
a small quantity of midzu-ame} Every night, at a late
hour, she came, always haggard of countenance and
always silent. The shopkeeper, who took a kindly
interest in her, followed her one night, but seeing that
she entered a cemetery, he turned back, puzzled and

Once again the mysterious woman came to the little
shop, and this time she did not buy midzu-ame^ but
beckoned the shopkeeper to follow her. Down the
street went the pale-faced woman, followed by the seller
of amber syrup and some of his friends. When they
reached the cemetery the woman disappeared into a
tomb, and those without heard the weeping of a child.
When the tomb was opened they saw the corpse of the
woman they had followed, and by her side a living
child, laughing at the lantern-light and stretching forth
its little hands towards a cup of midzu-ame. The
woman had been prematurely buried and her babe born
in the tomb. Every night the silent mother went forth
from the cemetery in order that she might bring back
nourishment for her child.

^ A syrup made from malt and given to children when millc is not


The Futon of Tottori

In Tottori there was a small and modest inn. It was
a new inn, and as the landlord was poor he had been
compelled to furnish it with goods purchased from a
second-hand shop in the vicinity. His first guest was
a merchant, who was treated with extreme courtesy and
given much warm sake. When the merchant had drunk
the refreshing rice wine he retired to rest and soon fell
asleep. He had not slumbered long when he heard the
sound of children's voices in his room, crying pitifully :
" Elder Brother probably is cold .''" " Nay, thou prob-
ably art cold ? " Over and over again the children
repeated these plaintive words. The merchant, thinking
that children had strayed into his room by mistake,
mildly rebuked them and prepared to go to sleep again.
After a moment's silence the children again cried :
" Elder Brother probably is cold }'' " Nay, thou prob-
ably art cold ? "

The guest arose, lit the andon (night-light), and pro-
ceeded to examine the room. But there was no one in
the apartment ; the cupboards were empty, and all the
sh^ji (paper-screens) were closed. The merchant lay
down again, puzzled and amazed. Once more he heard
the cry, close to his pillow : " Elder Brother probably
is cold .'' " " Nay, thou probably art cold ^ " The
cries were repeated, and the guest, cold with horror,
found that the voices proceeded from his futon (quilt).

He hurriedly descended the stairs and told the inn-
keeper what had happened. The landlord was angry.
" You have drunk too much warm saki,^ said he.
"Warm sake has brought you evil dreams." But the
guest paid his bill and sought lodging elsewhere.

On the following night another guest slept in the
haunted room, and he, too, heard the same mysterious



voices, rated the innkeeper, and hastily took his de-
parture. The landlord then entered the apartment
himself. He heard the pitiful cries of children coming
from one futon^ and now was forced to believe the
strange story his two guests had told him.

The next day the landlord went to the second-hand
shop where he had purchased the futon, and made
inquiries. After going from one shop to another, he
finally heard the following story of the mysterious
futon :

There once lived in Tottori a poor man and his wife,
with two children, boys of six and eight years respec-
tively. The parents died, and the poor children were
forced to sell their few belongings, until one day they
were left with only a thin and much-worn futon to cover
them at night. At last they had no money to pay the
rent, and not even the wherewithal to purchase food of
any kind.

When the period of the greatest cold came, the snow
gathered so thickly about the humble dwelling that the
children could do nothing but wrap the futon about
them, and murmur to each other in their sweet, pathetic
way : "Elder Brother probably is cold ?" " Nay, thou
probably art cold ? " And sobbing forth these words
they clung together, afraid of the darkness and of the
bitter, shrieking wind.

While their poor little bodies nestled together,
striving to keep each other warm, the hard-hearted
landlord entered, and finding that there was no one
to pay the rent, he turned the children out of the
house, each clad only in one thin kimono. They tried
to reach a temple of Kwannon, but the snow was too
heavy, and they hid behind their old home. A futon
of snow covered them and they fell asleep on the
merciful bosom of the Gods, and were finally buried in


the cemetery of the Temple of Kwannon-of-the-Thou-

When the innkeeper heard this sad story he gave the
futon to the priests of the Kwannon temple, prayers
were recited for the children's souls, and from that hour
tht futon ceased to murmur its plaintive cries.

The Return

In the village of Mochida-no-ura there lived a peasant.
He was extremely poor, but, notwithstanding, his wife
bore him six children. Directly a child was born, the
cruel father flung it into a river and pretended that it
had died at birth, so that his six children were murdered
in this horrible way.

At length, as years went by, the peasant found himself
in a more prosperous position, and when a seventh child
was born, a boy, he was much gratified and loved him

One night the father took the child in his arms, and
wandered out into the garden, murmuring ecstatically :
"What a beautiful summer night ! "

The babe, then only five months old, for a moment
assumed the speech of a man, saying : " The moon looks
just as it did when you last threw me in the river ! "

When the infant had uttered these words he became
like other children ; but the peasant, now truly realising
the enormity of his crime, from that day became a priest.

A Test of Love

There was once a certain fair maiden who, con-
trary to Japanese custom, was permitted to choose her
own husband. Many suitors sought her hand, and they
brought her gifts and fair poems, and said many loving
words to her. She spoke kindly to each suitor, saying :
" 1 will marry the man who is brave enough to bear a



certain test I shall impose upon him, and whatever that
test of love may be, I expect him, on the sacred honour
of a samurai^ not to divulge it." The suitors readily
complied with these conditions, but one by one they left
her, with horror upon their faces, ceased their wooing,
but breathed never a word concerning the mysterious
and awful secret.

At length a poor samurai^ whose sword was his only
wealth, came to the maiden, and informed her that he was
prepared to go through any test, however severe, in order
that he might make her his wife.

When they had supped together the maiden left
the apartment, and long after midnight returned clad
in a white garment. They went out of the house
together, through innumerable streets where dogs
howled, and beyond the city, till they came to a great
cemetery. Here the maiden led the way while the samurai
followed, his hand upon his sword.

When the wooer was able to penetrate the darkness he
saw that the maiden was digging the ground with a spade.
She dug with extreme haste, and eventually tore off
the lid of a coffin. In another moment she snatched up
the corpse of a child, tore off an arm, broke it, and com-
menced to eat one piece, flinging the other to her wooer,
crying : " If you love me, eat what I eat ! "

Without a moment's hesitation the samurai sat down by
the grave and began to eat one half of the arm. " Excel-
lent ! " he cried, " I pray you give me more ! " At this
point of the legend the horror happily disappears, for
neither the samurai nor the maiden ate a corpse — the arm
was made of delicious confectionery !

The maiden, with a cry of joy, sprang to her feet, and
said : " At last I have found a brave man ! I will marry
you, for you are the husband I have ever longed for, and
until this night have never found."


The Maiden of Unai

THE Maiden of Unai dwelt with her parents In
the village of Ashin6ya. She was extremely
beautiful, and it so happened that she had two
most ardent and persistent lovers — Mubara, who was a
native of the same countryside, and Chinu, who came from
Izumi. These two lovers might very well have been
twins, for they resembled each other in age, face, figure,
and stature. Unfortunately, however, they both loved
her with an equal passion, so that it was impossible to dis-
tinguish between them. Their gifts were the same, and
there appeared to be no difference in their manner of
courting. We get a good idea of the formidable aspect
of these two lovers in the following, taken from Mushi-
maro's poem on the subject :

" With jealous love these champions twain
The beauteous girl did woo ;
Each had his hand on the hilt of his sword,
And a full-charged quiver, too,

" Was slung o'er the back of each champion fierce,
And a bow of snow-white wood
Did rest in the sinewy hand of each ;
And the twain defiant stood."

Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain,

In the meantime, the Maiden of Unai grew sick at
heart. She never accepted the gifts of either Mubara
or Chinu, and yet it distressed her to see them standing
at the gate month after month, never relaxing for a
moment the ardent expression of their feeling toward her.

The Maiden of Unai's parents do not seem to have
appreciated the complexity of the situation, for they said
to her : " Sad it is for us to have to bear the burden of
thine unseemly conduct in thus carelessly from month to



month, and from year to year, causing others to sorrow.
If thou wilt accept the one, after a little time the other's
love will cease."

These well-meant words brought no consolation or
assistance to the poor Maiden of Unai, so her parents
sent for the lovers, explained the pitiful situation, and
decided that he who should shoot a water-bird swimming
in the river Ikuta, which flowed by the platform on
which the house was built, should have their daughter
in marriage.

The lovers were delighted at this decision, and
anxious to put an end to this cruel suspense. They
pulled their bow-strings at the same instant, and
together their arrows struck the bird, one in the head
and the other in the tail, so that neither could claim to
be the better marksman. When the Maiden of Unai
saw how entirely hopeless the whole affair was, she
exclaimed :

" Enough, enough ! yon swiftly flowing wave
Shall free my soul from her long anxious strife:
Men call fair Settsu's stream the stream of life,
But in that stream shall be the maiden's grave ! "

Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.

With these melodramatic words she flung herself from
the platform into the surging water beneath.

The maid's parents, who witnessed the scene, shouted
and raved on the platform, while the devoted lovers
sprang into the river. One held the maiden's foot, and
the other her hand, and in a moment the three sank
and perished. In due time the maiden was buried with
her lovers on either side, and to this day the spot is
known as the *' Maiden's Grave." In the grave of
Mubara there was a hollow bamboo-cane, together
with a bow, a quiver, and a long sword ; but nothing
had been placed in the grave of Chinu.


The Maiden of Unai.



Some time afterwards a stranger happened to pass
one night in the neighbourhood of the grave, and he
was suddenly disturbed by hearing the sound of
fighting. He sent his retainers to inquire into the
matter, but they returned to him saying they could
hear or see nothing of an unusual nature. While the
stranger pondered over the love-story of the Maiden of
Unai he fell asleep. He had no sooner done so than
he saw before him, kneeling on the ground, a blood-
stained man, who told him that he was much harassed
by the persecutions of an enemy, and begged that the
stranger would lend him his sword. This request was
reluctantly granted. When the stranger awoke he was
inclined to think the whole affair a dream ; but it was no
passing fantasy of the night, for not only was his sword
missing, but he heard near at hand the sound of a great
combat. Then the clash of weapons suddenly ceased,
and once more the blood-stained man stood before him,
saying : " By thine honourable assistance have I slain
the foe that had oppressed me during these many
years." So we may infer that in the spirit world Chinu
fought and slew his rival, and after many years of bitter
jealousy was finally able to call the Maiden of Unai
his own.

The Grave of the Maiden of Unai

" I stand by the grave where they buried
The Maiden of Unai,
Whom of old the rival champions
Did woo so jealously.

The grave should hand down through the ages

Her story for evermore,
That men yet unborn might love her.

And think on the days of yore.


" And so beside the causeway

They piled up the boulders high ;
Nor e'er, till the clouds that o'ershadow us
Shall vanish from the sky,

" May the pilgrim along the causeway
Forget to turn aside,
And mourn o'er the grave of the Maiden ;
And the village folk, beside,

" Ne'er cease from their bitter weeping,
But cluster around her tomb;
And the ages repeat her story,
And bewail the Maiden's doom.

" Till at last e'en I stand gazing

On the grave where she lies low,
And muse with unspeakable sadness
On the old days long ago."

Sakimaro. (Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.)

The Maiden of Katsushika

" Where in the far-off eastern land
The cock first crows at dawn,
The people still hand down a tale
Of days long dead and gone.

" They tell of Katsushika's maid,
Whose sash of country blue
Bound but a frock of home-spun hemp,
And kirtle coarse to view ;

" Whose feet no shoe had e'er confined,
Nor comb passed through her hair ;
Yet all the queens in damask robes
Might nevermore compare

" With this dear child, who smiling stood,
A flow'ret of the spring —
In beauty perfect and complete.
Like to the full moon's ring.


" And, as the summer moths that fly
Towards the flame so bright,
Or as the boats that seek the port
When fall the shades of night,

" So came the suitors ; but she said :
' Why take me for your wife ?
Full well I know my humble lor,
I know how short my life.'

" So where the dashing billows beat
On the loud-sounding shore.
Hath Katsushika's tender maid
Her home for evermore.

" Yes ! 'tis a tale of days long past;
But, list'ning to the lay,
It seems as I had gazed upon
Her face but yesterday."

Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.

To the translation of this Japanese ballad Professor
B. H. Chamberlain adds the following note : " To the
slight, but undoubtedly very ancient, tradition preserved
in the foregoing ballad, there is nothing to add from
any authentic source. Popular fancy, however, has
been busy filling up the gaps, and introduces a cruel
stepmother, who, untouched by the piety of the maiden
in drawing water for her every day from the only well
whose water she cares to drink, is so angry with her for,
by her radiant beauty, attracting suitors to the house,
that the poor girl ends by drowning herself, upon which
the neighbours declare her to be a goddess, and erect a
temple in her honour. Both the temple and the well
are still among the show-places in the environs of

The Maiden with the Wooden Bowl

In ancient days there lived an old couple with their
only child, a girl of remarkable charm and beauty.



When the old man fell sick and died his widow became
more and more concerned for her daughter's future

One day she called her child to her, and said :
" Little one, your father lies in yonder cemetery, and I,
being old and feeble, must needs follow him soon. The
thought of leaving you alone in the world troubles me
much, for you are beautiful, and beauty is a temptation
and a snare to men. Not all the purity of a white
flower can prevent it from being plucked and dragged
down in the mire. My child, your face is all too fair.
It must be hidden from the eager eyes of men, lest it
cause you to fall from your good and simple life to one
of shame."

Llaving said these words, she placed a lacquered bowl
upon the maiden's head, so that it veiled her attractions.
" Always wear it, little one," said the mother, " for it
will protect you when I am gone."

Shortly after this loving deed had been performed the
old woman died, and the maiden was forced to earn her
living by working in the rice-fields. It was hard, weary
work, but the girl kept a brave heart and toiled from
dawn to sunset without a murmur. Over and over
again her strange appearance created considerable com-
ment, and she was known throughout the country as
the "iVIaiden with the Bowl on her Head." Young
men laughed at her and tried to peep under the vessel,
and not a few endeavoured to pull off the wooden
covering ; but it could not be removed, and laughing and
jesting, the young men had to be content with a glimpse
of the lower part of the fair maiden's face. The
poor girl bore this rude treatment with a patient but
heavy heart, believing that out of her mother's love and
wisdom would come some day a joy that would more
than compensate for all her sorrow.


One day a rich farmer watched the maiden working
in his rice-fields. He was struck by her diligence and
the quick and excellent way she performed her tasks.
He was pleased with that bent and busy little figure, and
did not laugh at the wooden bowl on her head. After
observing her for some time, he came to the maiden,
and said : " You work well and do not chatter to your
companions. I wish you to labour in my rice-fields
until the end of the harvest."

When the rice harvest had been gathered and winter
had come the wealthy farmer, still more favourably
impressed with the maiden, and anxious to do her a
service, bade her become an inmate of his house. " My
wife is ill," he added, " and I should like you to nurse
her for me."

The maiden gratefully accepted this welcome offer.
She tended the sick woman with every care, for the same
quiet diligence she displayed in the rice-fields was
characteristic of her gentle labour in the sick-room. As
the farmer and his wife had no daughter they took very
kindly to this orphan and regarded her as a child of
their own.

At length the farmer's eldest son returned to his old
home. He was a wise young man who had studied
much in gay Kyoto, and was weary of a merry life of
feasting and frivolous pleasure. His father and mother
expected that their son would soon grow tired of his
father's house and its quiet surroundings, and every day
they feared that he would come to them, bid farewell,
and return once more to the city of the Mikado. But
to the surprise of all the farmer's son expressed no
desire to leave his old home.

One day the young man came to his father, and
said : " Who is this maiden in our house, and why does
she wear an ugly black bowl upon her head .'' ' '



When the farmer had told the sad story of the
maiden his son was deeply moved ; but, nevertheless,
he could not refrain from laughing a little at the bowl.
The young man's laughter, however, did not last long.
Day by day the maiden became more fascinating to
him. Now and again he peeped at the girl's half-hidden
face, and became more and more impressed by her
gentleness of manner and her nobility of nature. It
was not long before his admiration turned into
love, and he resolved that he would marry the Maiden
with the Bowl on her Head. Most of his relations
were opposed to the union. They said : " She is all
very-well in her way, but she is only a common servant.
She wears that bowl in order to captivate the unwary,
and we do not think it hides beauty, but rather ugliness.
Seek a wife elsewhere, for we will not tolerate this
ambitious and scheming maiden."

From that hour the maiden suffered much. Bitter
and spiteful things were said to her, and even her
mistress, once so good and kind, turned against her.
But the farmer did not change his opinion. He still
liked the girl, and was quite willing that she should
become his son's wife, but, owing to the heated remarks
of his wife and relations, he dared not reveal his wishes
in the matter.

All the opposition, none too kindly expressed, only
made the young man more desirous to achieve
his purpose. At length his mother and relations,
seeing that their wishes were useless, consented to the
marriage, but with a very bad grace.

The young man, believing that all difficulties had
been removed, joyfully went to the Maiden with the
Bowl on her Head, and said : " All troublesome opposi-
tion iis at an end, and now nothing prevents us from
getting married."


" No," replied the poor maiden, weeping bitterly,
" I cannot marry you. I am only a servant in your
father's house, and therefore it would be unseemly for
me to become your bride."

The young man spoke gently to her. He expressed
his ardent love over and over again, he argued, he
begged ; but the maiden would not change her mind.
Her attitude made the relations extremely angry. They
said that the woman had made fools of them all, little
knowing that she dearly loved the farmer's son, and
believed, in her loyal heart, that marriage could only
bring discord in the home that had sheltered her in her

That night the poor girl cried herself to sleep, and
in a dream her mother came to her, and said : " My
dear child, let your good heart be troubled no more.
Marry the farmer's son and all will be well again."
The maiden woke next morning full of joy, and when
her lover came to her and asked once more if she would
become his bride, she yielded with a gracious smile.

Great preparations were made for the wedding, and
when the company assembled, it was deemed high time
to remove the maiden's wooden bowl. She herself
tried to take it oiF, but it remained firmly fixed to her
head. When some of the relations, with not a few
unkind remarks, came to her assistance, the bowl uttered
strange cries and groans. At length the bridegroom
approached the maiden, and said : " Do not let this
treatment distress you. You are just as dear to me
with or without the bowl," and having said these words,
he commanded that the ceremony should proceed.

Then the wine-cups were brought into the crowded
apartment and, according to custom, the bride and
bridegroom were expected to drink together the " Three
times three" in token of their union. Just as the

X 321


maiden put the wine-cup to her lips the bowl on her
head broke with a great noise, and from it fell gold and
silver and all manner of precious stones, so that the
maiden who had once been a beggar now had her
marriage portion. The guests were amazed as they
looked upon the heap of shining jewels and gold and
silver, but they were still more surprised when they
chanced to look up and see that the bride was the most
beautiful woman in all Japan.



" Oh ! that the white waves far out
On the sea of Ise
Were but flowers,
That I might gather them
And bring them as a gift to my love."

Prince Aki. (Trans, by W. G. Aston.)

The Tide of the Returning Ghosts

ON the last day of the Festival of the Dead the sea
is covered with countless shdrydbune (soul-ships),
for on that day, called Hotoke-umi^ which means
Buddha-Flood, or the Tide of the Returning Ghosts,
the souls go back to their spirit world again. The sea
shines with the light of the departed, and from over the
waves comes the sound of ghosts whispering together.
No human being would dream of putting out to sea
amid such sacred company, for the sea that night
belongs to the dead ; _it is their long pathway to the
realm where Emma-O reigns supreme.

It sometimes happens, however, that a vessel fails to
come to port before the departure of the soul-ships,
and on such occasions the dead arise from the deep,
stretch forth their arms, and implore that buckets may
be given them. Sailors comply with this request, but
present the ghosts with one that has no bottom, for if
they gave the dead sound buckets, the angry spirits
would use them for the purpose of sinking the vessel.


" 'Tis Spring, and the mists come stealing
O'er Suminoye's shore,
And I stand by the seaside musing
On the days that are no more.



" I muse on the old-world story,
As the boats glide to and fro.
Of the fisher-boy Urashima,
Who a-fishing lov'd to go."

Trans, by B. H. Chamberlain.

" The legend of Urashima," writes Professor B. H.
Chamberlain in Japanese Poetry, " is one of the oldest in
the language, and traces of it may even be found in
the official annals." In the popular version, which we
give below, " the Evergreen Land," recorded in the
Japanese ballad, "The Fisher Boy Urashima," appears
as the Dragon Palace. Professor Chamberlain writes :
" The word Dragon Palace is in Japanese ryugu, or, more
properly, ryukyu, which is likewise the Japanese pronun-
ciation of the name of the islands we call Luchu, and
the Chinese Liu-kiu ; and it has been suggested that
the Dragon Palace may be but a fanciful name given by
some shipwrecked voyager to those sunny southern
isles, whose inhabitants still distinguish themselves,
even above their Chinese and Japanese neighbours, by
their fondness for the dragon as an artistic and archi-
tectural adornment. There is one ode in the Man-ydshu
which would favour this idea, speaking as it does of the
orange having first been brought to Japan from the
' Evergreen Land ' lying to the south."

Urashima and the Toftoise

One day Urashima, who lived in a little fishing village
called Midzunoe, in the province of Tango, went out to
fish. It so happened that he caught a tortoise, and as
tortoises are said to live many thousands of years, the
thoughtful Urashima allowed the creature to return to
the sea, rebaited his hook, and once more waited for
the bite of a fish. Only the sea gently waved his line


to and fro. The sun beat down upon his head till at
last Urashima fell asleep.

He had not been sleeping long when he heard some
one calling his name : " Urashima, Urashima ! "

It was such a sweet, haunting voice that the fisher-
lad stood up in his boat and looked around in every
direction, till he chanced to see the very tortoise he had
been kind enough to restore to its watery home. The
tortoise, which was able to speak quite fluently, profusely
thanked Urashima for his kindness, and ofi^ered to take
him to the ryukyu^ or Palace of the Dragon King.

The invitation was readily accepted, and getting on
the tortoise's back, Urashima found himself gliding
through the sea at a tremendous speed, and the curious
part about it was he discovered that his clothes remained
perfectly dry.

In the Sea King's Palace

Arriving at the Sea King's Palace, red bream, flounder,
sole, and cuttlefish came out to give Urashima a hearty
welcome. Having expressed their pleasure, these
vassals of the Dragon King escorted the fisher-lad to
an inner apartment, where the beautiful Princess
Otohime and her maidens were seated. The Princess
was arrayed in gorgeous garments of red and gold, all
the colours of a wave with the sunlight upon it.

This Princess explained that she had taken the form
of a tortoise by way of testing his kindness of heart.
The test had happily proved successful, and as a
reward for his virtue she off^ered to become his bride in
a land where there was eternal youth and everlasting

Urashima bashfully accepted the high honour be-
stowed upon him. He had no sooner spoken than a
great company of fishes appeared, robed in long cere-



monial garments, their fins supporting great coral trays
loaded with rare delicacies. Then the happy couple
drank the wedding cup of sakS^ and while they drank,
some of the fishes played soft music, others sang, and
not a few, with scales of silver and golden tails, stepped
out a strange measure on the white sand.

After the festivities were over, Otohime showed her
husband all the wonders of her father's palace. The
greatest marvel of all was to see a country where all the
seasons lingered together.^ Looking to the east,
Urashima saw plum- and cherry-trees in full bloom,
with bright-winged butterflies skimming over the
blossom, and away in the distance it seemed that the
pink petals and butterflies had suddenly been converted
into the song of a wondrous nightingale. In the south
he saw trees in their summer glory, and heard the gentle
note of the cricket. Looking to the west, the autumn
maples made a fire in the branches, so that if Urashima
had been other than a humble fisher-lad he mio:ht have
recalled the following poem :

" Fair goddess of the paling Autumn skies,
Fain would I know how many looms she plies,
Wherein through skilful tapestry she weaves
Her fine brocade of fiery maple leaves —
Since on each hill, with every gust that blows,
In varied hues her vast embroidery glows ? "

Trans, by Clara A. Walsh.

It was, indeed, a " vast embroidery," for when
Urashima looked toward the north he saw a great stretch
of snow and a mighty pond covered with ice. All the
seasons lingered together in that fair country where
Nature had yielded to the full her infinite variety of

After Urashima had been in the Sea King's Palace for

1 Compare " The Dream of Rosei " in Chapter VII.

Urashima and the Sea King's Daughter



three days, and seen many wonderful things, he suddenly
remembered his old parents, and felt a strong desire to
go and see them. When he went to his wife, and told
her of his longing to return home, Otohime began to
weep, and tried to persuade him to stop another day.
But Urashima refused to be influenced in the matter.
" I must go," said he, " but I will leave you only for
a day. I will return again, dear wife of mine."

The Home'coming of Urashima

Then Otohime gave her husband a keepsake in re-
membrance of their love. It was called the Tamate-Bako
(" Box of the Jewel Hand)." She explained that he was
on no account to open the box, and Urashima, promis-
ing to fulfil her wish, said farewell, mounted a large
tortoise, and soon found himself in his own country. He
looked in vain for his father's home. Not a sign of it
was to be seen. The cottage had vanished, only the
little stream remained.

Still much perplexed, Urashima questioned a passer-
by, and he learnt from him that a fisher-lad, named
Urashima, had gone to sea three hundred years ago and
was drowned, and that his parents, brothers, and their
grandchildren had been laid to rest for a long time.
Then Urashima suddenly remembered that the country
of the Sea King was a divine land, where a day, accord-
ing to mortal reckoning, was a hundred years.

Urashima's reflections were gloomy in the extreme,
for all whom he had loved on earth were dead. Then
he heard the murmur of the sea, and recalled the lovely
Otohime, as well as the country where the seasons
joined hands and made a fourfold pageant of their
beauty — the land where trees had emeralds for leaves
and rubies for berries, where the fishes wore long robes
and sang and danced and played. Louder the sea



sounded in Urashima's ears. Surely Otohime called
him ? But no path opened out before him, no obliging
tortoise appeared on the scene to carry him to where his
wife waited for him. "The box! the box!" said
Urashima softly, " if I open my wife's mysterious gift,
it may reveal the way."

Urashima untied the red silk thread and slowly,
fearfully opened the lid of the box. Suddenly there
rushed out a little white cloud ; it lingered a moment,
and then rolled away far over the sea. But a sacred
promise had been broken, and Urashima from a hand-
some youth became old and wrinkled. He staggered
forward, his white hair and beard blowing in the wind.
He looked out to sea, and then fell dead upon the

Professor Chamberlain writes : " Urashima's tomb,
together with his fishing-line, the casket given him by
the maiden, and two stones said to be precious, are
still shown at one of the temples in Kanagawa."

The Land of the Morning Calm

Chosen, the Land of the Morning Calm, was the old
name for Korea,-^ and however poetical the phrase may
be, it was, nevertheless, totally inapplicable to actual
fact. In its early history it was a country divided
against itself, and later on it was troubled with the
invading armies of China and Japan, to say nothing of
minor skirmishes with other countries. There is cer-
tainly a pathetic calm in Korea to-day, but it is the calm
of a long-vanquished and persecuted nation. It now rests
with Japan whether or not the Koreans rise from
serfdom and regain something of that old hardihood
that was at one time so prominent a feature of her
northern men.

1 See The Story of Korea, by Joseph H. Longford.

Long ago Korea came under the glamour of the
Chinese civilisation, and it haunts her people to this
day. Japan borrowed from Korea what Korea had bor-
rowed from China. It was because Japan went on
borrowing from the West when she had exhausted all
that Korea and China could teach her that she even-
tually became, with the progressive stream of thought
and action flowing vigorously through her, a world-
power, while Korea remained a forlorn example of an
almost stagnant country.

When Japan had succeeded in convincing Korea
that she alone could be her faithful guide, Russia
came, like a thief in the night, and established a
military outpost at Wiju. The Russo-Japanese War
resulted, and Korea became a Japanese colony, an
experimental ground for social and political reform.
Japan has waited long for Korea. May she find it at
last, not a turbulent and rebellious country, but in very
deed the Land of the Morning Calm. Korea in the
past has contributed to the making of Japan's greatness
in handing on the religion, art, and literature of China.
Now it is Japan's turn to succour an impoverished
country, and if the Morning Calm is united with the
Rising Sun, there should be peace and prosperity in
her new possession.

Professor J. H. Longford, in The Story ofKorea, writes
in regard to the invasion of the Empress Jingo : " Dr.
Aston. . . contemptuously dismisses the whole as a myth
founded on two very distinct historical facts — that there
was, at the time of the alleged invasion, an Empress
of Japan, a woman of real determination and ability,
and that not one, but several Japanese invasions of
Korea did occur, though at later periods, in which the
Japanese did not invariably meet with the triumphant
success that they claim for the Empress." We give



below the picturesque legend of Japan's first invasion
of Korea.

The Tide Jewels

One night the Empress Jingo, as she lay asleep in
her tent, had a strange dream. She dreamt that a spirit
came to her and told her of a wonderful land, a land in
the West, full of treasures of gold and silver, a dazzling
land, fair to look upon as a beautiful woman. The
spirit informed her that the name of this country was
Chosen (Korea), and that it might belong to Japan if
she would set out and conquer this wealthy land.

The next day the Empress Jingo informed her hus-
band about her dream ; but the Emperor, a stolid,
matter-of-fact man, did not believe in dreams. How-
ever, as his wife persisted in thrusting upon him what
he deemed to be a foolish scheme, he climbed a high
mountain, and looking toward the setting sun saw no
land in the West. When the Emperor had come down
from the mountain, he informed his wife that he would
on no account give his consent to invade and conquer a
country which simply owed its existence to a disordered
dream. But the Gods were angry with the Emperor,
and shortly after he had uttered his prohibition he
died in battle.

The Gift of the Dragon King

When the Empress Jingo became sole ruler she was
determined to go to this country she had heard about
in a dream ; but as she was resolved to make her
expedition no puny and tame affair, she called upon the
Spirit of the Mountain to give her timber and iron for
her ships. The Spirit of Fields gave her rice and other
grain for her army, while the Spirit of Grass pre-
sented her with hemp for rope. The Wind God looked


favourably upon her scheme, and promised to blow her
ships towards Korea. All the spirits appeared in com-
pliance with the Empress Jingo's wishes except Isora,
the Spirit of the Seashore.

Isora was a lazy fellow, and when he finally appeared
above the waves of the sea, he did so without gorgeous
apparel, for he was covered with slime and shells, and
seaweed adorned his unkempt person. When the
Empress saw him she bade him go to his master, the
Dragon King, and ask him to give her the Tide Jewels.

Isora obeyed, dived down into the water, and presently
stood before the Dragon King and made his request.

The Dragon King took out the Tide Jewels from a
casket, placed them on a great shell, and bade Isora
promptly return to the Empress Jingo with this precious

Isora sprang from his master's palace to the surface
of the sea, and the Empress Jingo placed the Tide
Jewels in her girdle.

The Voyage

Now that the Empress had obtained the Jewel of
the Flood-Tide and the Jewel of the Ebb-Tide she
had three thousand ships built and launched, and during
the tenth month she started on her great expedition.
Her fleet had not proceeded far when a mighty storm
arose, so that the vessels crashed together and were
likely to sink to the bottom of the sea. The Dragon
King, however, commanded great sea-monsters to go to
the rescue ; some bore up the ships with their great
bodies, others pushed their heads against the sterns of
many vessels, thus propelling them through a heavy sea
which had very nearly driven them back whence they
came. Powerful dragon-fishes lent their aid to those
pushing and snorting in the rear by holding the ships'



cables in their mouths and towing the vessels forward at
a surprising speed. Directly the storm ceased, the sea-
monsters and dragon-fishes disappeared.

The Throwing of the Tide Jewels

At last the Empress Jingo and her army saw the
distant mountains of Korea loom out on the horizon.
On Hearing the coast they perceived that the whole of
the Korean army stood upon the shore with their ships
ready to be launched at the word of command. As soon
as the Korean sentinels perceived the Japanese fleet,
they gave the signal for embarking, and immediately a
great line of war-vessels shot out over the water.

The Empress stood watching these proceedings with
unruffled calm. She knew that the victory or defeat
of her army lay in her power. When the Korean
vessels drew near to her fleet she threw into the sea
the Jewel of the Ebb-Tide. Directly it touched the
water it caused the tide to recede from under the very
keels of the Korean ships, so that they were left
stranded upon dry land. The Koreans, suspecting
no magic and believing their stranded condition to
have been the result of a tidal wave and, moreover,
that the Japanese vessels would succumb to the back-
wash, sprang from their vessels and rushed over the
sand. Now the Japanese bowmen twanged their bow-
strings, and a great cloud of arrows flew into the air,
killing many hundreds of the enemy. When the
Koreans were quite near the Japanese vessels, the
Empress flung forth the Jewel of the Flood-Tide.
Immediately a great wave rushed over and destroyed
nearly the whole of the Korean army. It was now an
easy matter for the Japanese to land and capture the
country. The King of Korea surrendered, and the
Empress returned to her own kingdom laden with silk


and jewels, books and pictures, tiger-skins and precious

When the Tide Jewels had been thrown by the
Empress, they did not lie long on the bed of the ocean.
Isora speedily rescued them and carried them back
to the Dragon King.

Prince Ojin

Soon after the Empress Jingo's return she gave
birth to a son named Ojin. When Ojin had grown
into a fair and wise little boy, his mother told him
about the wonderful Tide Jewels, and expressed a wish
that he, too, should possess them in order that he might
bring honour and glory to Japan.

One day the Prime Minister, who was said to be
three hundred and sixty years old, and the counsellor
of no less than five Mikados, took Ojin with him in a
royal war-barge. The vessel skimmed over the sea
with its gold silk sails. The Prime Minister in a loud
voice called on the Dragon King to give young Ojin
the Tide Jewels.

Immediately the waves about the vessel were
churned into foam, and amid a great thunderous roar
the Dragon King himself appeared with a living
creature of dreadful countenance for a helmet. Then
out of the water arose a mighty shell, in the recess of
which glittered the Tide Jewels. After presenting
these jewels, and making a pretty little speech, he
returned to his great green kingdom.

The Slaughter of the Sea Serpent ^

Oribe Shima had offended the great ruler Hojo
Takatoki, and was in consequence banished to Kami-

^ This legend, and those that follow in this chapter, are adapted
from Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan, by R. Gordon Smith.



shima, one of the Oki Islands, and forced to leave his
beautiful daughter Tokoyo, whom he deeply loved.

At last Tokoyo was unable to bear the separation
any longer, and she was determined to find her father.
She therefore set out upon a long journey, and arriving
at Akasaki, in the province of Hoki, from which coast
town the Oki Islands are visible on a fine day, she
besought many a fisherman to row her to her destina-
tion. But the fisher-folk laughed at Tokoyo, and bade
her relinquish her foolish plan and return home. The
maiden, however, would not listen to their advice, and
at nightfall she got into the lightest vessel she could
find, and by dint of a fair wind and persistent rowing
the brave girl came to one of the rocky bays of the
Oki Islands.

That night Tokoyo slept soundly, and in the morn-
ing partook of food. When she had finished her meal
she questioned a fisherman as to where she might find
her father. " I have never heard of Oribe Shima,"
replied the fisherman, " and if he has been banished, I
beg that you will desist from further search, lest it lead
to the death of you both."

That night the sorrowful Tokoyo slept beneath a
shrine dedicated to Buddha. Her sleep was soon
disturbed by the clapping of hands, and looking up she
saw a weeping maiden clad in a white garment with a
priest standing beside her. Just as the priest was
about to push the maiden over the rocks into the
roaring sea, Tokoyo sprang up and held the maiden's

The priest explained that on that night, the
thirteenth of June, the Serpent God, known as
Yofun6-Nushi, demanded the sacrifice of a young girl,
and that unless this annual sacrifice was made the God
became angry and caused terrible storms,

Tokoyo and the Sea Serpent.



" Good sir," said Tokoyo, " 1 am glad that I have
been able to save this poor girl's life. I gladly offer
myself in her place, for I am sad of heart because
I have been unable to find my father. Give him this
letter, for my last words of love and farewell go to

Having thus spoken, Tokoyo took the maiden's
white robe and clad herself in it, and having prayed to
the image of Buddha, she placed a small dagger
between her teeth and plunged into the tempestuous
sea. Down she went through the moonlit water till
she came to a mighty cave where she saw a statue
of Hojo Takatoki, who had sent her poor father into
exile. She was about to tie the image on her back
when a great white serpent crept out from the cave
with eyes gleaming angrily. Tokoyo, realising that
this creature was none other than Yofun6-Nushi, drew
her dagger and thrust it through the right eye of the
God. This unexpected attack caused the serpent to
retire into the cave, but the brave Tokoyo followed and
struck another blow, this time at the creature's heart.
For a moment Yofune-Nushi blindly stumbled forward,
then with a shriek of pain fell dead upon the floor
of the cavern.

During this adventure the priest and the maiden
stood on the rocks watching the spot where Tokoyo
had disappeared, praying fervently for the peace of her
sorrowful soul. As they watched and prayed they saw
Tokoyo come to the surface of the water carrying an
image and a mighty fish-like creature. The priest
hastily came to the girl's assistance, dragged her upon
the shore, placed the image on a high rock, and
secured the body of the White Sea Serpent.

In due time the remarkable story was reported to
Tameyoshi, lord of the island, who in turn reported the



strange adventure to Hojo Takatoki. Now Takatoki
had for some time been sufFerinp- from a disease which
defied the skill of the most learned doctors ; but it was
observed that he regained his health precisely at the
hour when his image, which had been cursed and
thrown into the sea by some exile, had been restored.
When Hojo Takatoki heard that the brave girl was the
daughter of the exiled Oribe Shima, he sent him back
with all speed to his own home, where he and his
daughter lived in peace and happiness.

The Spirit of the Sword

One night a junk anchored off Fudo's Cape, and
when various preparations had been made, the Captain,
Tarada by name, and his crew fell asleep on deck. At
about midnight Tarada was awakened by hearing an
extraordinary rumbling sound that seemed to proceed
from the bottom of the sea. Chancing to look in the
direction of the bow of the vessel, he saw a fair girl
clad in white and illumined by a dazzling light.

When Tarada had awakened his crew he approached
the maiden, who said : " My only wish is to be back
in the world again." Having uttered these words, she
disappeared among the waves.

The next day Tarada went on shore and asked many
who lived in Amakura if they had ever heard of a
wondrous maiden bathed, as it were, in a phospho-
rescent light. One of the villagers thus made answer :
" We have never seen the maiden you describe, but for
some time past we have been disturbed by rumbling
noises that seem to come from Fudo's Cape, and ever
since, these mysterious sounds have prevented fish
from entering our bay. It may be that the girl you
saw was the ghost of some poor maiden drowned at
sea, and the noise we hear none other than the anger


of the Sea God on account of a corpse or human bones
polluting the water."

It was eventually decided that the dumb Sankichi
should dive into the sea and bring up any corpse he
might find there. So Sankichi went on board Tarada's
junk, and having said farewell to his friends, he plunged
into the water. He searched diligently, but could see
no trace of corpse or human bones. At length, how-
ever, he perceived what looked like a sword wrapped
in silk, and on untying the wrapping he found that it
was indeed a sword, of great brightness and without a
flaw of any kind. Sankichi came to the surface and
was quickly taken aboard. The poor fellow was gently
laid on the deck, but he fainted from exhaustion. His
cold body was rubbed vigorously and fires were lit. In
a very short time Sankichi became conscious and was
able to show the sword and give particulars of his

An official, by the name of Naruse Tsushimanokami,
was of the opinion that the sword was a sacred treasure,
and on his recommendation it was placed in a shrine
and dedicated to Fudo. Sankichi faithfully guarded
the precious weapon, and Fudo's Cape became known
as the Cape of tJie Woman's Sword. To the delight of
the fisher-folk, the spirit of the weapon now being
satisfied, the fish came back into the bay again.

The Love of O Cho San

" To-day is the tenth of June. May the rain fall in torrents !
For I long to see my dearest O Cho San."

Trans, by R. Gordon Smith.

In the isolated. Hatsushima Island, celebrated for its
suisenn (jonquils), there once lived a beautiful maiden
called Cho, and all the young men on the island were
.eager to marry fi^r. One day the handsome Shinsaku,

Y 337


who was bolder than the rest, went to Gisuke, the
brother of Cho, and told him that he much desired to
marry his fair sister. Gisuke offered no objections,
and calling Cho to him, when the suitor had gone, he
said : " Shinsaku wishes to become your husband. I
like the fisherman, and think that in him you will make
an excellent match. You are now eighteen, and it is
quite time that you got married."

O Cho San fully approved of what her brother had
said, and the marriage was arranged to take place in
three days' time. Unfortunately, those days were days
of discord on the island, for when the other fishermen
lovers heard the news they began to hate the once
popular Shinsaku, and, moreover, they neglected their
work and were continually fighting each other. These
lamentable scenes cast such a gloom upon the once
happy Hatsushima Island that O Cho San and her
lover decided that for the peace of the many they
would not marry after all.

This noble sacrifice, however, did not bring about the
desired effect, for the thirty lovers still fought each
other and still neglected their fishing. O Cho San
determined to perform a still greater sacrifice. She
wrote loving letters of farewell to her brother and
Shinsaku, and having left them by the sleeping Gisuke,
she softly crept out of the house on a stormy night oi
the loth of June. She dropped big stones into her
pretty sleeves, and then flung herself into the sea.

The next day Gisuke and Shinsaku read their letters
from O Cho San, and, overcome by grief, they searched
the shore, whore they found the strav^ sandals of Cho.
The two men realised that the fair maid had indeed
taken her precious life, and shortly after her body was
taken from the sea and buried, and over her tomb
Shinsaku placed many flowers and wept continually,


One evening, Shinsaku, unable to bear his sorrow
any longer, decided to take his life, believing that by-
doing so he would meet the spirit of O Cho San. As
he lingered by the girl's grave, he seemed to see her
white ghost, and, murmuring her name over and over
again, he rushed toward her. At this moment Gisuke,
awakened by the noise, came out of his house, and
found Shinsaku clinging to his lover's gravestone.

When Shinsaku told his friend that he had seen the
spirit of O Cho San, and intended to take his life in
order to be with her for ever, Gisuke made answer
thus : " Shinsaku, great is your love for my poor
sister, but you can love her best by serving her in this
world. When the great Gods call, you will meet her,
but await with hope and courage till that hour comes,
for only a brave, as well as a loving, heart is worthy
of O Cho San. Let us together build a shrine and
dedicate it to my sister, and keep your love strong and
pure by never marrying any one else."

The thirty lovers who had shown such unmanly
feeling now fully realised the sorrow they had caused,
and in order to show their contrition they too helped
to build the shrine of the unfortunate maiden, where to
this day a ceremony takes place on the loth of June,
and it is said that the spirit of O Cho San comes
in the rain.

The Spirit of the Great Awabi

The morning after a great earthquake had devas-
tated the fishing village of Nanao, it was observed that
about two miles from the shore a rock had sprung up
as the result of the seismic disturbance and, moreover,
that the sea had become muddy. One night a number
of fishermen were passing by the rock, when they
observed, near at hand, a most extraordinary light that



appeared to float up from the bottom of the sea with a
glory as bright as the sun. The fishermen shipped
their oars and gazed upon the wonderful spectacle with
considerable surprise, but when the light was suddenly
accompanied by a deep rumbling sound, the sailors
feared another earthquake and made all speed for

On the third day the wondrous rays from the deep
increased in brilliance, so that folk standing on the shore
of Nanao could see them distinctly, and the super-
stitious fishermen became more and more frightened.
Only Kansuke and his son Matakichi had sufficient
courage to go fishing. On their return journey they
reached the Rock Island, and were drawing in their line
when Kansuke lost his balance and fell into the sea.

Though old Kansuke was a good swimmer, he went
down like a stone and did not rise to the surface.
Matakichi, deeming this strange, dived into the water,
almost blinded by the mysterious rays we have already
described. When he at length reached the bottom he
discovered innumerable awabi (ear-shells), and in the
middle of the group one of vast size. From all these
shells there poured forth a brilliant light, and though
it was like day under the water, Matakichi could find
no trace of his father. Eventually he was forced to rise
to the surface, only to find that the rough sea had
broken his boat. However, scrambling upon a piece
of wreckage, with the aid of a favourable wind and
current he at last reached the shore of Nanao, and gave
the villagers an account of his remarkable adventure,
and of the loss of his old father.

Matakichi, grieving sorely over the death of his
parent, went to the old village priest and begged that
worthy that he would make him one of his disciples in
order that he might pray the more efficaciously for the


spirit of his father. The priest readily consented, and
about three weeks later they took boat to the Rock
Island, where both prayed ardently for the soul of

That night the old priest awoke with a start and saw
an ancient man standing by his bedside. With a pro-
found bow the stranger thus spoke : " I am the Spirit
of the Great Awabi, and I am more than one thousand
years old. I live in the sea near the Rock Island, and
this morning I heard you praying for the soul of Kan-
suke. Alas ! good priest, your prayers have deeply
moved me, but in shame and sorrow I confess that I ate
Kansuke. I have bade my followers depart elsewhere,
and in order to atone for my sin 1 shall take my own
wretched life, so that the pearl that is within me may
be given to Matakichi." And having uttered these
words, the Spirit of the Great Awabi suddenly dis-

When Matakichi awoke next morning and opened
the shutters he discovered the enormous awabi he had
seen near the Rock Island. He took it to the old priest,
who, after listening to his disciple's story, gave an
account of his own experience. The great pearl and
shell of the awabi were placed in the temple, and the
body was reverently buried.



Japanese Superstition

THE subject of Japanese superstition is of special
importance, because it serves to indicate the
channel by which many myths and legends, but
more particularly folk-lore, have evolved. Superstition
is, as it were, the raw material out of which innumerable
strange beliefs are gradually fashioned into stories, and
an inquiry into the subject will show us the peasant
mind striving to counteract certain supernatural forces,
or to turn them to advantage in every-day life. Many
superstitions have already been recorded in these pages,
and in the present chapter we shall deal with those that
have not been treated elsewhere. It is scarcely necessary
to point out that these superstitions, selected from a
vast store of quaint beliefs, are necessarily of a primitive
kind and must be regarded, excluding, perhaps, those
associated with the classic art of divination, as peculiar
to the more ignorant classes in Japan.

Human Sacrifice

In prehistoric times the bow was believed to possess
supernatural power. It would miraculously appear on
the roof of a man's house as a sign that the eldest
unmarried daughter must be sacrificed. She was accord-
ingly buried alive in order that her flesh might be
consumed by the Deity of Wild Beasts. Later on,
however, the bow was no longer the message of a cruel
divinity, for it gradually lost its horrible significance,
and has now become a symbol of security. To this
day it may be seen fixed to the ridge-pole of a roof, and
is regarded as a lucky charm.

We have another example of human sacrifice in the
old repulsive custom of burying a man alive with the

idea of giving stability to a bridge or castle. In the
early days, when forced labour existed, there was un-
fortunately scant regard for the sacredness of human
life. Those who laboured without reward were under
the control of a merciless superintendent, who empha-
sised his orders by means of a spear. He was ready
to kill all those who were idle or in any way rebellious,
and many corpses were flung into the masonry. When
a river had to be dammed, or a fortification constructed
with the utmost despatch, this deplorable deed was not

When a new bridge was built its utility and long life
were assured, not always by human sacrifice or sorrow,
but sometimes by happiness. The first persons allowed
to walk over a new bridge were those of a particularly
happy disposition. We are told that two genial old
men, who each had a family of twelve children, first
crossed the Matsue bridge, accompanied by their
wives, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
This joyous procession took place amid much re-
joicing and a display of fireworks. The idea of
happiness contributing to the success of a Japanese
bridge is a pretty conception, but, unfortunately,
the old bridge of Matsue, now replaced by one far
less picturesque, is associated with a very unpleasant

When Horio Yoshiharu became DaimyD of Izumo he
arranged to build a bridge over the turbulent river at
Matsue. Many laboured to carry out his wishes, but
the work did not prosper. Countless great stones
were flung into the rushing water with the idea of
making a solid base on which to construct the pillars,
but many of the stones were washed away, and as soon
as the bridge took tangible form it was wrecked by the
fierce torrent. It was believed that the spirits of the



flood were angry, and in order to appease them it was
deemed necessary to offer a human sacrifice. A man
was accordingly buried alive below the central pillar
where the water was most turbulent. When this had
been done the work prospered, and the bridge remained
intact for three hundred years. Gensuke was the un-
fortunate victim, and this was the name given to the
central pillar. It is said that on moonless nights a
mysterious red fire shines from this pillar — the ghostly
emanations of poor Gensuke.

Classical Divination

One of the most popular forms of Japanese super-
stition is associated with divination, and Confucianism
has no doubt contributed much to its popularity. The
Tih-Kingy or " Book of Changes," is the main source of
the art, and Confucius devoted so much time to the
study of this mysterious work that it is said that the
leathern thongs used to hold the leaves together were
replaced three times during his lifetime. The Tih-King
was commenced by Fu Hsi two thousand years before
the birth of Christ, and Confucius added much fresh
material. A more complicated method of reading the
future than by means of eight trigrams and sixty-four
diagrams cannot be imagined. So involved a system
of divination naturally became the art of the learned
few, but in course of time it underwent various modifi-
cations. It lost, to a certain extent, its most classic
aspect, and many Japanese diviners sprang up in the
country professing to read the future for a small fee,
and without the qualification of having deeply pondered
over the instruction to be found in the Tih-King. A
comparatively simple form of divination is with fifty
divining rods, shuffled in a particular way, and the final
position of the rods is supposed to answer the various


questions of the inquirer. Many diviners in Japan
to-day are mere charlatans working upon the credulity
of their patrons, without fully understanding the art they
practise. But in ancient times divination was associated
with a sacred ritual. It was necessary for the diviner,
like the old swordsmith, to prepare and fit himself
for his task. It was required of him that he should
thoroughly cleanse his body, seat himself in a private
apartment, and go through the elaborate process of
holding the rods in the spirit of reverence. At a
certain moment he was instructed to close his eyes,
suspend breathing for a time, and concentrate his
thoughts on his work of divination, for the old diviner,
like the old Shinto priest, believed that he was calling
the supernatural to his aid.

Other Forms of Divination

In other forms of divination, requiring no expert
interpretation, we find that the future is supposed to
be revealed in the cracks and lines of a slightly burnt
shoulder-bone of a deer, a method which closely
resembles the old English custom of " reading the
speal-bone." It was not always easy to secure a
deer's shoulder-bone, and as the markings were of
more importance than the bone itself, in course of time
burnt tortoise-shell took its place. As hair-combs
were usually made of this material, a woman, by
charring it, was able to read the lines and ascertain the
constancy or otherwise of her lover, &c. Girls used to
read the riddle of the future and see what it had
in store for them by going out at night and stringing
together the fragmentary remarks of passers-by. This
method is known as tsuji-ura^ but it is by no means
peculiar to Japan, for it is still frequently practised by
superstitious people in our own country. A love-sick


maiden tried to discover whether or not her love would
be requited by placing a rod in the ground, surrounding
it with various offerings, and listening to the conversa-
tion of wayfarers who chanced to come that way.^ A
later and more elaborate development of this form
of divination required three maidens, and the method
employed is as follows. The young women went to
where roads crossed each other, and thrice repeated an
invocation to the God of Roads. When they had
supplicated this Deity, they flung rice on the ground,
for- rice has the power of driving away evil spirits.
The maidens then rubbed their fingers against the
teeth of a boxwood comb, because tsuge, the Japanese
name for this wood, also means " to tell." After these
preparations they each stood in a different position
and pieced together the remarks of passers-by.
Occasionally some message from the future was
received while the inquirer stood under a bridge and
listened to the clatter of feet, and sometimes a priest
whistling by inhalation was supposed to reveal an
omen of some kind.

Unlucky Years and Days

It is believed that certain periods of life are extremely
unlucky. The twenty-fifth, forty-second, and sixty-
first years of a man's life are considered unfortunate,
while the unlucky years of a woman's life are the
nineteenth, thirty-third, and thirty-seventh. In order
to prevent calamity during these periods, it is necessary
to devote much time to religious exercises. Men and
women are advised not to take a journey during the

1 This variety of divination is of particular interest, for the rod
symbolises the God of Roads, the Deity created from Izanagi's staff,
which, it will be remembered, he flung behind him when pursued in
the Under-world by the Eight Ugly Females.


sixteenth, twenty-fifth, thirty-fourth, forty-third, fifty-
second, and sixty-first year. When superstitious
women wish to make a new garment, they utter an
invocation, and later on sprinkle three pinches of
salt on the shoulder gusset. No woman should use
her needle on a " monkey " day, but rather on a
" bird " day. If the work is undertaken on the
former day, the garment is in danger of being burnt or
rent ; but if the apparel is made on the latter day, it
will have the beauty and durability of the feathers of a


When a child's tooth falls out, it is thrown away
under the eaves, with the wish that it may be replaced
by the tooth of a demon. Sometimes the tooth of
a little boy or girl is thrown on the floor with the
request that it may be replaced by the tooth of a rat.
Children may be immune from nightmare if the word
"puppy " is written on their foreheads ; and if to this
precaution is added a sketch of the Baku, Eater of
Dreams, the little one's slumber will be sure to be of a
peaceful kind. The word " dog " inscribed on a child's
forehead is a protection against the magic of foxes and

Some of the nostrums that are supposed to cure
children's ailments are very curious. Blood extracted
from a cock's comb cures indigestion, while an eruption
on the head may be driven away by repeating these
words : " In the long days of spring weeds may be
removed, but those in the garden must be cut down at
once." Even a Japanese baby cries occasionally, but if
a red bag containing dog's hair is fastened on its back,
it will immediately cease to cry, and the plaintive
wailing will give place to smiles. Blindness is fre-



quently the result of smallpox, but this calamity may
be prevented by throwing seven peas into a well,
reciting seven prayers, and then drawing off all the
water from the well.


Many Japanese charms are pieces of paper bearing
an inscription designed to avert evil. Another variety
is inscribed with the name of a god. It takes the form
of a long strip which the poor fasten on the outside of
their houses, while those who have not to contend with
poverty regard it as a part of their domestic altar.
The imprint of a child's hand, "obtained," writes
Professor Chamberlain, " by first wetting the hand with
ink and then applying it to a sheet of paper, is believed
to avert malign influences." Fragments of temples,
rice-grains carved to represent the Gods of Luck,
minute sutras, copies of Buddha's footprint, and
many other quaint conceits are among the multitudinous
charms of Japan.

The Beckoning Leaf

There is a certain Japanese tree, called tegashiwa, and
its leaves in shape are not unlike a hand. In ancient
days, when it was necessary for a samurai to leave his
home, he received just before his departure a tai (perch),
which was served on the leaf of a tegashiwa tree. This
was his farewell repast, and when the samurai had eaten
the fish the leaf was hung over the door, in the belief
that it would guard him on his journey, and bring him
safely back to his home again. It was not the shape,
but the movement of the tegashiwa leaf that gave rise
to this pleasing fancy, for the leaf, when blown by the
wind, appeared to beckon after the graceful Japanese



Dry peas are usually found to be efficacious in driving
away evil spirits, but Bimbogami, the God of Poverty,
is not so easily overcome. There is something pathetic
in the idea that poverty should be regarded as an
obstinate and most unwelcome fellow, for at this point
we touch reality. However, though Bimbogami takes
no notice of dry peas, he may be vanquished by other

The charcoal fire in a Japanese kitchen is blown into
a cheerful glow by means of a utensil called hifukidake,
a bamboo tube — a more artistic and simple form of
bellows, where the inflated cheeks take the place of
our hand-moved leather bag. Before long the bamboo
tube cracks with the intense heat. When this takes
place a copper coin is put inside the tube, an incantation
is uttered, and then the " fire-blow-tube " is thrown
either into the street or into a stream. This throwing
away of the useless bamboo of the kitchen is always
supposed to signify the forced departure of Bimbogami.
Most of us are familiar with what is known as the
Death-spider that ticks like a watch in our walls. In
Japan it is called Bimbomushi^ " Poverty-Insect." Its
ticking does not foretell the coming of Death, as is the
belief in our own country, but it denotes the unwelcome
presence of the God of Poverty in the Japanese home.



The Kappa

THE Kappa is a river goblin, a hairy creature
with the body of a tortoise and scaly limbs.
His head somewhat resembles that of an ape,
in the top of which there is a cavity containing a mys-
terious fluid, said to be the source of the creature's
power. The chief delight of the Kappa is to challenge
human beings to single combat, and the unfortunate
man who receives an invitation of this kind cannot
refuse. Though the Kappa is fierce and quarrelsome,
he is, nevertheless, extremely polite. The wayfarer
who receives his peremptory summons gives the goblin
a profound bow. The courteous Kappa acknowledges
the obeisance, and in inclining his head the strength-
giving liquid runs out from the hollow in his cranium,
and becoming feeble, his warlike characteristics imme-
diately disappear. To defeat the Kappa ^ however, is
just as unfortunate as to receive a beating at his hands,
for the momentary glory of the conquest is rapidly
followed by a wasting away of the unfortunate wayfarer.
The Kappa possesses the propensities of a vampire, for
he strikes people in the water, as they bathe in lake
or river, and sucks their blood. In a certain part of
Japan the Kappa is said to claim two victims every year.
When they emerge from the water their skin becomes
blanched, and they gradually pine away as the result of
a terrible disease.

In Izumo the village people refer to the Kappa as
Kawako ("The Child of the River"). Near Matsue
there is a little hamlet called Kawachi-mura, and on the
bank of the river Kawachi there is a small temple known
as Kawako-no-miya, that is, the temple oit]\Q Kawako or

The Kappa and his Victim.

3 5��


Kappa^ said to contain a document signed by this river
goblin. Concerning this document the following legend
is recorded.

The Kappa*s Promise

In ancient days a Kappa dwelt in the river Kawachi,
and he made a practice of seizing and destroying a
number of villagers, and in addition many of their
domestic animals. On one occasion a horse went into
the river, and the Kappa^ in trying to capture it, in some
way twisted his neck, but in spite of considerable pain
he refused to let his victim go. The frightened horse
sprang up the river bank and ran into a neighbouring
field with the Kappa still holding on to the terrified
animal. The owner of the horse, together with many
villagers, securely bound the Child of the River. " Let
us kill this horrible creature," said the peasants, "for
he has assuredly committed many horrible crimes, and
we should do well to be rid of such a dreadful monster."
" No," replied the owner of the horse, "we will not kill
him. We will make him swear never to destroy any
of the inhabitants or the domestic animals of this
village." A document was accordingly prepared, and
the Kappa was asked to peruse it, and when he had
done so to sign his name. " I cannot write," replied the
penitent Kappa, " but I will dip my hand in ink and
press it upon the document." When the creature had
made his inky mark, he was released and allowed to
return to the river, and from that day to this the Kappa
has remained true to his promise.

The Tengu

We have already referred to the Tengu in the story
of Yoshitsune and Benkei.^ In this legend it will
1 See Chapter II.



be remembered that Yoshitsune, one of the greatest
warriors of Old Japan, learnt the art of swordsmanship
from the King of the Tengu. Professor B. H. Chamber-
lain describes the Tengu as " a class of goblins or gnomes
that haunt the mountains and woodlands, and play
many pranks. They have an affinity to birds ; for they
are winged and beaked, sometimes clawed. But often
the beak becomes a large and enormously long human
nose, and the whole creature is conceived as human,
nothing bird-like remaining but the fan of feathers with
which it fans itself. It is often dressed in leaves, and
wears on its head a tiny cap." In brief, the Tengu are
minor divinities, and are supreme in the art of fencing,
and, indeed, in the use of weapons generally. The
ideographs with which the name is written signify
" heavenly dog," which is misleading, for the creature
bears no resemblance to a dog, and is, as we have
already described, partly human and partly bird-like in
appearance. There are other confusing traditions in
regard to the word Tengu^ for it is said that the Emperor
Jomei gave the name to a certain meteor " which whirled
from east to west with a loud detonation." Then, again,
a still more ancient belief informs us that the Tengu were
emanations from Susa-no-o, the Impetuous Male, and
again, that they were female demons with heads of beasts
and great ears and noses of such enormous length that
they could carry men on them and fly with their sus-
pended burden for thousands of miles without fatigue,
and in addition their teeth were so strong and so sharp
that these female demons could bite through swords and
spears. The Tengu is still believed to inhabit certain
forests and the recesses of high mountains. Generally
speaking, the Tengu is not a malevolent being, for
he possesses a keen sense of humour, and is fond of
a practical joke. Sometimes, however, the Tengu


mysteriously hides human beings, and when finally
they return to their homes they do so in a demented
condition. This strange occurrence is known as Tengu-
kakushij or hidden by a Tengu.

Tobikawa Imitates a Tengu

Tobikawa, an ex-wrestler who lived in Matsue, spent
his time in hunting and killing foxes. He did not
believe in the various superstitions concerning this
animal, and it was generally believed that his great
strength made him immune from the witchcraft of foxes.
However, there were some people of Matsue who pro-
phesied that Tobikawa would come to an untimely end
as the result of his daring deeds and disbelief in super-
natural powers. Tobikawa was extremely fond of prac-
tical jokes, and on one occasion he had the hardihood to
imitate the general appearance of a Tengu, feathers, long
nose, claws, and all. Having thus disguised himself^
he climbed up into a tree belonging to a sacred grove.
Presently the peasants observed him, and deeming the
creature they saw to be a Tengu, they began to worship
him and to place many offerings about the tree. Alas !
the dismal prophecy came true, for while the merry
Tobikawa was trying to imitate the acrobatic antics of a
Tengu, he slipped from a branch and was killed.

The Adventures of Kiuchi Heizayemon

We have already referred to the Tengu-kakushi, and
the following legend gives a graphic account of this
supernatural occurrence.

One evening, Kiuchi Heizayemon, a retainer, myste-
riously disappeared. Kiuchi's friends, when they heard
of what had taken place, searched for him in every
direction. Eventually they discovered the missing man's
clogs, scabbard, and sword ; but the sheath was bent

z 353


like the curved handle of a tea-kettle. They had no
sooner made this lamentable discovery than they also
perceived Kiuchi's girdle, which had been cut into three
pieces. At midnight, those who searched heard a strange
cry, a voice calling for help. Suzuki Shichiro, one of the
party, chanced to look up, and he saw a strange creature
with wings standing upon the roof of a temple. When
the rest of the band had joined their comrade, they
all looked upon the weird figure, and one said : " I
believe it is nothing but an umbrella flapping in the
wind." " Let us make quite sure," replied Suzuki
Shichiro, and with these words he lifted up his voice,
and cried loudly: " Are you the lost Kiuchi ?" " Yes,"
was the reply, "and I pray that you will take me
down from this temple as speedily as possible."

When Kiuchi had been brought down from the temple
roof, he fainted, and remained in a swoon for three days.
At length, gaining consciousness, he gave the following
account of his strange adventure :

" The evening when I disappeared I heard some one
shouting my name over and over again, and going out I
discovered a black-robed monk, bawling * Heizayemon ! '
Beside the monk stood a man of great stature ; his face
was red, and his dishevelled hair fell upon the ground.
* Climb up on yonder roof,' he shouted fiercely. I
refused to obey such an evil-faced villain, and drew my
sword, but in a moment he bent the blade and broke my
scabbard into fragments. Then my girdle was roughly
torn ofFand cut into three pieces. When these things
had been done, I was carried to a roof, and there
severely chastised. But this was not the end of my
trouble, for after I had been beaten, I was forced to seat
myself on a round tray. In a moment I was whirled
into the air, and the tray carried me with great speed to
many regions. When it appeared to me that I had

travelled through space for ten days, I prayed to the
Lord Buddha, and found myself on what appeared to
be the summit of a mountain, but in reality it was the
roof of the temple whence you, my comrades, rescued

A Modern Belief in the Tengu

Captain Brinkley, in Japan and China, informs us
that as late as i860 the officials of the Yedo Govern-
ment showed their belief in supernatural beings. Prior
to the visit of the Shdgun to Nikko, they caused the
following notice to be exhibited in the vicinity of the
mausolea :


" Whereas our Shogun intends to visit the Nikko Mausolea
next April, now therefore ye Tengu and other Demons
inhabiting these mountains must remove elsewhere until
the Shdgun's visit is concluded.

" (Signed) Mizuno, Lord of Dewa.
"Dated July i860."

The local officials were not content with a notice of
this kind. After duly notifying the Tengu and other
demons of the coming of the Shdgun, the exact moun-
tains were specified where these creatures might live
during the ruler's visit.

The Mountain Woman and the Mountain Man

The Mountain Woman's body is covered with long
white hair. She is looked upon as an ogre (/('//o), and, as
such, figures in Japanese romance. She has cannibalistic
tendencies, and is able to fly about like a moth and
traverse pathless mountains with ease.

The Mountain Man is said to resemble a great dark-



haired monkey. He is extremely strong, and thinks
nothing of stealing food from the villages. He is, how-
ever, always ready to assist woodcutters, and will gladly
carry their timber for them in exchange for a ball of rice.
It is useless to capture or kill him, for an attack of any
kind upon the Mountain Man brings misfortune, and
sometimes death, upon the assailants.


The Sennin are mountain recluses, and many are the
legends told in connection with them. Though they
have human form, they are, at the same time, immortal,
and adepts in the magical arts. The first great Japanese
sennin was Yosho, who was born at Noto a.d. 870.
Just before his birth his mother dreamt that she had
swallowed the sun, a dream that foretold the miraculous
power of her child. Yosho was studious and devout,
and spent most of his time in studying the " Lotus of
the Law." He lived very simply indeed, and at length
reduced his diet to a single grain of millet a day. He
departed from the earth a.d. 901, having attained
much supernatural power. He left his mantle hanging
on the branch of a tree, together with a scroll bearing
these words : " I bequeath my mantle to Emmei of
Dogen-ji." In due time Emmei became a sennin^ and,
like his master, was able to perform many marvels.
Shortly after Yosho's disappearance his father became
seriously ill, and he prayed most ardently that he might
see his well-loved son again. In reply to his prayers,
Yosho's voice was heard overhead reciting the " Lotus
of the Law." When he had concluded his recitations,
he said to his stricken father : "If flowers are offered
and incense burned on the i8th of every month, my
spirit will descend and greet you, drawn by the perfume
of the flowers and the blue smoke of incense."


Sennin in Art

Sennin are frequently depicted in Japanese art :
Chokoro releasing his magic horse from a gigantic
gourd ; Gama with his wizard toad ; Tekkai blowing
his soul into space ; Roko balancing himself on a
flying tortoise ; and Kum6, who fell from his chariot of
cloud because, contrary to his holy calling, he loved
the image of a fair girl reflected in a stream.

Miraculous Lights

There are many varieties of fire apparitions in Japan.
There is the ghost-fire, demon-light, fox-flame, flash-
pillar, badger-blaze, dragon-torch, and lamp of Buddha.
In addition supernatural fire is said to emanate from
certain birds, such as the blue heron, through the skin,
mouth, and eyes. There are also fire-wheels, or mes-
sengers from Hades, sea-fires, besides the flames that
spring from the cemetery.

A Globe of Fire

From the beginning of March to the end of June
there may be seen in the province of Settsu a globe of
fire resting on the top of a tree, and within this globe
there is a human face. In ancient days there once
lived in Nikaido district of Settsu province a priest
named Nikobo, famous for his power to exorcise evil
spirits and evil influences of every kind. When the
local governor's wife fell sick, Nikobo was requested to
attend and see what he could do to restore her to health
again. Nikobo willingly complied, and spent many days
by the bedside of the suffering lady. He diligently
practised his art of exorcism, and in due time the
governor's wife recovered. But the gentle and kind-
hearted Nikobo was not thanked for what he had done ;



on the contrary, the governor became jealous of him,
accused him of a foul crime, and caused him to be put
to death. The soul of Nikobo flashed forth in its
anger and took the form of a miraculous globe of fire,
which hovered over the murderer's house. The strange
light, with the justly angry face peering from it, had its
effect, for the governor was stricken with a fever that
finally killed him. Every year, at the time already
indicated, Nikobo's ghost pays a visit to the scene of
its suffering and revenge.

The Ghostly Wrestlers

In Omi province, at the base of the Katada hills, there
is a lake. During the cloudy nights of early autumn
a ball of fire emerges from the margin of the lake,
expanding and contracting as it floats toward the hills.
When it rises to the height of a man it reveals two
shining faces, to develop slowly into the torsos of two
naked wrestlers, locked together and struggling furi-
ously. The ball of fire, with its fierce comibatants, floats
slowly away to a recess in the Katada hills. It is harm-
less so long as no one interferes with it, but it resents
any effort to retard its progress. According to a legend
concerning this phenomenon, we are informed that a
certain wrestler, who had never suffered a defeat, waited
at midnight for the coming of this ball of fire. When
it reached him he attempted to drag it down by force,
but the luminous globe proceeded on its way, and hurled
the foolish wrestler to a considerable distance.


In Japan, among superstitious people, evil dreams
are believed to be the result of evil spirits, and the
supernatural creature called Baku is known as Eater of
Dreams. The Baku, like so many mythological beings,


is a curious mingling of various animals. It has the
face of a lion, the body of a horse, the tail of a cow, the
forelock of a rhinoceros, and the feet of a tiger. Several
evil dreams are mentioned in an old Japanese book,
such as two snakes twined together, a fox with the voice
of a man, blood-stained garments, a talking rice-pot,
and so on. When a Japanese peasant awakens from an
evil nightmare, he cries : " Devour, O Baku ! devour
my evil dream." At one time pictures of the Baku
were hung up in Japanese houses and its name written
upon pillows. It was believed that if the Baku could
be induced to eat a horrible dream, the creature had the
power to change it into good fortune.

The Shoj5*s White Sake ^

The ShoJD is a sea monster with bright red hair, and
is extremely fond of drinking large quantities of sacred
white sake. The following legend will give some
account of this creature and the nature of his favourite

We have already referred to the miraculous appear-
ance of Mount Fuji.^ On the day following this alleged
miracle a poor man named Yurine, who lived near this
mountain, became extremely ill, and feeling that his
days were numbered, he desired to drink a cup of sake
before he died. But there was no rice wine in the little
hut, and his boy, Koyuri, desiring if possible to fulfil
his father's dying wish, wandered along the shore with
a gourd in his hand. He had not gone far when he
heard some one calling his name. On looking about
him he discovered two strange-looking creatures with
long red hair and skin the colour of pink cherry-blossom,

1 Adapted from Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan, by R. Gordon

2 See Chapter IX.



wearing green seaweed girdles about their loins. Draw-
ing nearer, he perceived that these beings were drinking
white sake from large flat cups, which they continually
replenished from a great stone jar.

" My father is dying," said the boy, " and he much
desires to drink a cup of sake before he departs this life.
But alas ! we are poor, and I know not how to grant
him his last request."

" I will fill your gourd with this white sake,''' replied
one of the creatures, and when he had done so Koyuri
ran with haste to his father.

The old man drank the white sakS eagerly. " Bring
me more," he cried, " for this is no common wine. It
has given me strength, and already I feel new life flow-
ing through my old veins."

So Koyuri returned to the seashore, and the red-haired
creatures gladly gave him more of their wine ; indeed,
they supplied him with the beverage for five days, and
by the end of that time Yurine was restored to health

Now Yurine's neighbour was a man called Mamikiko,
and when he heard that Yurine had recently obtained a
copious supply of sake he grew jealous, for above all
things he loved a cup of rice wine. One day he called
Koyuri and questioned him in regard to the matter,
saying : " Let me taste the sakiJ" He roughly snatched
the gourd from the boy's hand and began to drink,
making a wry face as he did so. " This is not sake I "
he exclaimed fiercely ; " it is filthy water," and having
said these words, he began to beat the boy, crying :
" Take me to those red people you have told me about.
I will get from them fine sak^, and let the beating I have
given you warn you never again to play a trick upon

Koyuri and Mamikiko went along the shore together,


and presently they came to where the red-haired crea-
tures were drinking. When Koyuri saw them he
began to weep.

" Why are you crying ? " said one of the creatures.
" Surely your good father has not drunk all the sake
already ? "

"No," replied the boy, "but I have met with
misfortune. This man I bring with me, Mamikiko by
name, drank some of the sak^j spat it out immediately,
and threw the rest away, saying that I had played a trick
upon him and given him foul water to drink. Be so
good as to let me have some more sakS for my father."

The red-haired man filled the gourd, and chuckled
over Mamikiko's unpleasant experience.

" 1 should also like a cup of sake,'' said Mamikiko.
" Will you let me have some ? "

Permission having been granted, the greedy Mami-
kiko filled the largest cup he could find, smiling over
the delicious fragrance. But directly he tasted the sake
he felt sick, and angrily remonstrated with the red-
haired creature.

The red man thus made answer : " You are evidently
not aware that I am a ShojDy and that I live near the
Sea Dragon's Palace. When I heard of the sudden
appearance of Mount Fuji I came here to see it, assured
that such an event was a good omen and foretold of
the prosperity and perpetuity of Japan. While enjoy-
ing the beauty of this fair mountain I met Koyuri, and
had the good fortune to save his honest father's life by
giving him some of our sacred white sak(^ that restores
youth to human beings, together with an increase in
years, while to Shojs it vanquishes death. Koyuri's father
is a good man, and the sak^ was thus able to exert its
full and beneficent power upon him ; but you are greedy
and selfish, and to all such this sake is poison."



" Poison ? " groaned the now contrite Mamikiko.
" Good Shojd^ have mercy upon me and spare my life ! "

The Shoju gave him a powder, saying : " Swallow
this in sake and repent of your wickedness."

Mamikiko did so, and this time he found that the
white sake was delicious. He lost no time in making
friends with Yurine, and some years later these men
took up their abode on the southern side of Mount
Fuji, brewed the Shojd's white saki^ and lived for three
hundred years.

The Dragon

The Dragon is undoubtedly the most famous ot
mythical beasts, but, though Chinese in origin, it has
become intimately associated with Japanese mythology.
The creature lives for the most part in the ocean, river,
or lake, but it has the power of flight and rules over
clouds and tempests. The Dragon of China and
Japan resemble each other, with the exception that the
Japanese variety has three claws, while that of the
Celestial Kingdom has five. The Chinese Emperor
Yao was said to be the son of a dragon, and many
rulers of that country were metaphorically referred to
as " dragon-faced." The Dragon has the head of a
camel, horns of a deer, eyes of a hare, scales of a carp,
paws- of a tiger, and claws resembling those of an eagle.
In addition it has whiskers, a bright jewel under its
chin, and a measure on the top of its head which
enables it to ascend to Heaven at will. This is merely
a general description and does not apply to all dragons,
some of which have heads of so extraordinary a kind
that they cannot be compared with anything in the
animal kingdom. The breath of the Dragon changes
into clouds from which come either rain or fire. It is
able to expand or contract its body, and in addition it


has the power of transformation and invisibility. In
both Chinese and Japanese mythology the watery
principle is associated with the Dragon, as we have
already seen in the story of Urashima, the Empress
Jingo, and the adventures of Hoori, &c.

The Dragon ( Tatsu) is one of the signs of the zodiac,
and the four seas, which in the old Chinese conception
limited the habitable earth, were ruled over by four
Dragon Kings. The Celestial Dragon ruled over the
Mansions of the Gods, the Spiritual Dragon presided
over rain, the Earth Dragon marked the courses of
rivers, and the Dragon of Hidden Treasure guarded
precious metals and stones.

A white Dragon, which lived in a pond at Yamashiro,
transformed itself every fifty years into a bird called
0-Goncho^ with a voice resembling the howling of a
wolf. Whenever this bird appeared it brought with it
a great famine. On one occasion, while Fuk Hi was
standing by the Yellow River, the Yellow Dragon
presented him with a scroll inscribed with mystic
characters. This tradition is said to be the legendary
origin of the Chinese system of writing.



A Prayer to the Empress Jingo

AN old married couple went to the shrine of the
deified Empress Jingo,^ and prayed that they
might be blessed with a child, even if it were
no bigger than one of their fingers. A voice was
heard from behind the bamboo curtain of the shrine,
and the old people were informed that their wish would
be granted.

In due time the old woman gave birth to a child,
and when she and her husband discovered that this
miniature piece of humanity was no bigger than a little
finger, they became extremely angry, and thought that
the Empress Jingo had treated them very meanly
indeed, though, as a matter of fact, she had fulfilled
their prayer to the letter.

"One-Inch Priest**

The little fellow was called Issunboshi ("One-Inch
Priest"), and every day his parents expected to see him
suddenly grow up as other boys ; but at thirteen years
of age he still remained the same size as when he was
born. Gradually his parents became exasperated, for
it wounded their vanity to hear the neighbours describe
their son as Little Finger, or Grain-of-Corn. They
were so much annoyed that at last they determined to
send Issunboshi away.

The little fellow did not complain. He requested
his mother to give him a needle, a small soup-bowl,
and a chop-stick, and with these things he set off
on his adventures.

1 Deifying the mighty dead is one of the teachings of Shintoism.


Issunboshi becomes a Page

His soup-bowl served as a boat, which he propelled
along the river with his chop-stick. In this fashion he
finally reached Kyoto. Issunboshi wandered about
this city until he saw a large roofed gate. Without
the least hesitation he walked in, and having reached
the porch of a house, he cried out in a very minute
voice : " I beg an honourable inquiry ! "

Prince Sanjo himself heard the little voice, and it
was some time before he could discover where it came
from. When he did so he was delighted with his
discovery, and on the little fellow begging that he
might live in the Prince's house, his request was
readily granted. The boy became a great favourite,
and was at once made the Princess Sanjo's page. In
this capacity he accompanied his mistress everywhere,
and though so very small, he fully appreciated the
honour and dignity of his position.

An Encounter with Oni

One day the Princess Sanjo and her page went to the
Temple of Kwannon, the Goddess of Mercy, " under
whose feet are dragons of the elements and the lotuses
of Purity." As they were leaving the temple two
oni (evil spirits) sprang upon them. Issunboshi took
out his needle-sword from its hollow straw, and loudly
denouncing the oni^ he flourished his small weapon
.in their evil-looking faces.

One of the creatures laughed. " Why," said he scorn-
fully, " I could swallow you, as a cormorant swallows a
trout, and what is more, my funny little bean-seed, I
will do so ! "

The oni opened his mouth, and Issunboshi found him-
self slipping down a huge throat until he finally stood


in the creature's great dark stomach. Issunboshi, noth-
ing daunted, began boring away with his needle-sword.
This made the evil spirit cry out and give a great
cough, which sent the little fellow into the sunny
world again.

The second only who had witnessed his companion's
distress, was extremely angry, and tried to swallow the
remarkable little page, but was not successful. This
time Issunboshi climbed up the creature's nostril, and
when he had reached the end of what seemed to him to
be a very long and gloomy tunnel, he began piercing
the onfs eyes. The creature, savage with pain, ran off
as fast as he could, followed by his yelling companion.

Needless to say, the Princess was delighted "with her
page's bravery, and told him that she was sure her
father would reward him when he was told about the
terrible encounter.

The Magic Mallet

On their way home the Princess happened to pick
up a small wooden mallet. "Oh!" said she, "this
must have been dropped by the wicked oniy and it is
none other than a lucky mallet. You have only to
wish and then tap it upon the ground, and your wish,
no matter what, is always granted. My brave ^Issun-
boshi, tell me what you would most desire, and I will
tap the mallet on the ground."

After a pause the little fellow said : " Honourable
Princess, I should like to be as big as other people."

The Princess tapped the mallet on the ground, calling
aloud the wish of her page. In a moment Issunboshi
was transformed from a bijou creature to a lad just
like other youths of his age.

These wonderful happenings excited the curiosity
of the Emperor, and Issunboshi was summoned to his


presence. The Emperor was so delighted with the
youth that he gave him many gifts and made him a
high official. Finally, Issunboshi became a great lord
and married Prince Sanjo's youngest daughter.

Kintaro, the Golden Boy

Sakata Kurando was an officer of the Emperor's
bodyguard, and though he was a brave man, well versed
in the art of war, he had a gentle disposition, and
during his military career chanced to love a beautiful
lady named Yaegiri. Kurando eventually fell into
disgrace, and was forced to leave the Court and to
become a travelling tobacco merchant. Yaegiri, who
was much distressed by her lover's flight, succeeded
in escaping from her home, and wandered up and
down the country in the hope of meeting Kurando.
At length she found him, but the unfortunate man, who,
no doubt, felt deeply his disgrace and his humble
mode of living, put an end to his humiliation by
taking his miserable life.

Animal Companions

When Yaegiri had buried her lover she went to
the Ashigara Mountain, where she gave birth to a
child, called Kintaro, or the Golden Boy. Now Kintaro
was remarkable for his extreme strength. When only a
few years old his mother gave him an axe, with which
he felled trees as quickly and easily as an experienced
woodcutter. Ashigara Mountain was a lonely and
desolate spot, and as there were no children with
whom Kintaro could play, he made companions of
the bear, deer, hare, and monkey, and in a very short
time was able to speak their strange language.

One day, when Kintaro was sitting on the mountain,
with his favourites about him, he sought to amuse



himself by getting his companions to join in a friendly-
wrestling match. A kindly old bear was delighted with
the proposal, and at once set to work to dig up the
earth and arrange it in the form of a small da'fs. When
this had been made a hare and a monkey wrestled
together, while a deer stood by to give encouragement
and to see that the sport was conducted fairly. Both
animals proved themselves to be equally strong,
and Kintaro tactfully rewarded them with tempting

After spending a pleasant afternoon in this way,
Kintaro proceeded to return home, followed by his
devoted friends. At length they came to a river, and
the animals were wondering how they should cross
such a wide stretch of water, when Kintaro put his
strong arms round a tree which was growing on the
bank, and pulled it across the river so that it formed
a bridge. Now it happened that the famous hero,
Yorimitsu, and his retainers witnessed this extraordinary
feat of strength, and said to Watanab6 Isuna : " This
child is truly remarkable. Go and find out where he
lives and all about him."

A Famous Wairior

So Watanab6 Isuna followed Kintaro and entered
the house where he lived with his mother. " My
master," said he, " Lord Yorimitsu, bids me find out
who your wonderful son is." When Ya6giri had
narrated the story of her life and informed her visitor
that her little one was the son of Sakata Kurando, the
retainer departed and told Yorimitsu all he had heard.

Yorimitsu was so pleased with what Watanabe Isuna
told him that he went himself to Yaegiri, and said :
" If you will give me your child I will make him my
retainer." The woman gladly consented, and the

Golden Boy went away with the great hero, who
named him Sakata Kintoki. He eventually became a
famous warrior, and the stories of his wonderful deeds
are recited to this day. Children regard him as their
favourite hero, and little boys, who would fain emulate
the strength and bravery of Sakata Kintoki, carry his
portrait in their bosoms.

2 A 369


Kato Saycmon

KATO SAYEMON lived in the palace of the
Shogun Ashikaga, where he had his separate
apartments, and as there was no war at that
time, he remained contentedly with his wife and con-
cubines. Kato Sayemon was a man who loved luxury
and ease, and he regarded domestic peace as the greatest
of all earthly blessings. He honestly believed that
among all his smiling, courteous women there was
nothing but harmony, and this thought made life parti-
cularly sweet to him.

One evening Kato Sayemon went into the palace
garden and was enchanted by the ever-moving cloud of
fireflies, and he was scarcely less pleased with the gentle
song of certain insects. " What a charming scene,"
murmured Sayemon, " and what a charming world we
live in ! Bows and smiles and abject humility from my
women. Oh, it's all very wonderful and very delightful !
I would have life always so."

Thus voicing his thoughts in this self-satisfied
manner, he chanced to pass his wife's room, and peeped
in with a loving and benevolent eye. He observed that
his wife was playing go with one of his concubines.
" Such polite decorum," murmured Sayemon. " Surely
their words are as sweet as honey and as soft and fair
as finely spun silk. But stay ! What strange thing
is this ? The hair of my wife and the hair of my
concubine have turned into snakes that twist and
rear their heads in anger. All the time these women
smile and bow and move their pieces with well-ordered
charm and grace. Gentle words come from their
lips, but the snakes of their hair mock them, for

Kato Sayemon in his Palace of tlic Shugun Ashikaga. 370


these twisting reptiles tell of bitter jealousy in their

Sayemon's beautiful dream of domestic happiness was
for ever shattered. " I will go forth," said he, " and
become a Buddhist priest. I will leave behind the hot
malice and envy of my wife and concubines, and in the
teaching of the Blessed One I shall indeed find true

The next morning Sayemon left the palace secretly,
and though search was made for him, he could not be
found. About a week later Sayemon's wife reduced the
establishment and lived quietly with her little son,
Ishidomaro. Two years went by and still there came
no news of her husband.

At length Sayemon's wife and child went in search of
the missing man. For five years they wandered about
the country, till at length they came to a little village in
Kishu, where an old man informed the weary and travel-
stained wanderers that Sayemon was now a priest, and
that a year ago he lived in the temple of Kongobuji, on
Mount Koya.

The next day the woman and her son found that at
the temple of Kongobuji no women were permitted to
enter, so Ishidomaro, after carefully listening to his
mother's instructions, ascended the mountain alone.
When the boy, after a long and arduous climb, reached
the temple, he saw a monk, and said : "Does a priest
called Kato Sayemon live here ? I am his little son, and
my good mother awaits me in yonder valley. Five
years we have sought for him, and the love that is in
our hearts will surely find him."

The priest, who was none other than Sayemon him-
self, thus addressed his son : " I am sorry to think that
your journey has been in vain, for no one of the name of
Kato Sayemon lives in this temple."



Sayemon spoke with outward coldness, but within his
heart there was a struggle between his religion and love
for his son. Knowing, however, that he had left his wife
and child well provided for, he yielded to the teaching of
the Lord Buddha and crushed out his parental feelings.

Ishidomaro, however, was not satisfied, for he felt
instinctively that the man before him was in reality his
father, and once again he addressed the priest : " Good
sir, on my left eye there is a mole, and my mother told
me that on the left eye of my father there is a similar
mark, by which I might at once recognise him. You
have the very mark, and in my heart I know that you
are my father." And having said these words the boy
wept bitterly, longing for arms that never came to caress
and soothe the unhappy little fellow.

Sayemon's feelings were again stirred ; but with a
great effort to conceal his emotion, he said : " The mark
of which you speak is very common. I am certainly
not your father, and you had better dry your eyes and
seek him elsewhere." With these words the priest left
the boy in order to attend an evening service.

Sayemon continued to live in the temple. He had
found peace in serving the Lord Buddha, and he cared
not what became of his wife and child.

How an Old Man lost his "Wen

There was once an old man who had a wen on his
right cheek. This disfigurement caused him a good
deal of annoyance, and he had spent a considerable sum
of money in trying to get rid of it. He took various
medicines and applied many lotions, but instead of the
wen disappearing or even diminishing, it increased in size.

One night, while the old man was returning home
laden with firewood, he was overtaken by a terrible
thunderstorm, and was forced to seek shelter in a hollow


tree. When the storm had abated, and just as he was
about to proceed on his journey, he was surprised to
hear a sound of merriment close at hand. On peeping
out from his place of retreat, he was amazed to see a
number of demons dancing and singing ,and drinking.
Their dancing was so strange that the old man, forget-
ting caution, began to laugh, and eventually left the tree
in order that he might see the performance better. As
he stood watching, he saw that a demon was dancing by
himself, and, moreover, that the chief of the company was
none too pleased with his very clumsy antics. At length
the leader of the demons said : " Enough ! Is there
no one who can dance better than this fellow .'' "

When the old man heard these words, it seemed that
his youth returned to him again, and having at one time
been an expert dancer, he offered to show his skill. So
the old man danced before that strange gathering of
demons, who congratulated him on his performance,
offered him a cup oi sake^ and begged that he would give
them the pleasure of several other dances.

The old man was extremely gratified by the way he
had been received, and when the chief of the demons
asked him to dance before them on the following night,
he readily complied. "That is well," said the chief,
" but you must leave some pledge behind you. I see
that you have a wen on your right cheek, and that will
make an excellent pledge. Allow me to take it off for
you." Without inflicting any pain, the chief removed
the wen, and having accomplished this extraordinary feat,
he and his companions suddenly vanished.

The old man, as he walked towards his home, kept on
feeling his right cheek with his hand, and could scarcely
realise that after many years of disfigurement he had at
last the good fortune to lose his troublesome and un-
sightly wen. At length he entered his humble abode,



and his old wife was none the less pleased with what
had taken place.

A wicked and cantankerous old man lived ntxt door
to this good old couple. For many years he had been
afflicted with a wen on his left cheek, which had failed
to yield to all manner of medical treatment. When he
heard of his neighbour's good fortune, he called upon
him and listened to the strange adventures with the
demons. The good old man told his neighbour where
he might find the hollow tree, and advised him to hide
in it just before sunset.

The wicked old man found the hollow tree and entered
it. He had not remained concealed more than a few
minutes when he rejoiced to see the demons. Presently
one of the company said : " The old man is a long time
coming. I made sure he would keep his promise."

At these words the old man crept out of his hiding-
place, flourished his fan, and began to dance ; but,
unfortunately, he knew nothing about dancing, and his
extraordinary antics caused the demons to express con-
siderable dissatisfaction. "You dance extremely ill,"
said one of the company, " and the sooner you stop the
better we shall be pleased ; but before you depart we
will return the pledge you left with us last night."
Having uttered these words, the demon flung the wen
at the right cheek of the old man, where it remained
firmly fixed, and could not be removed. So the wicked
old man, who had tried to deceive the demons, went
away with a wen on either side of his face.

A Japanese Gullivci-^

Shikaiya Wasobioye was a man of Nagasaki, and
possessed considerable learning, but disliked visitors.

^ Adapted from Professor B. H. Chamberlain's translation in the
TransacHo7is of the Jsiatic Society of Japan, vol. vii.


On the eighth day of the eighth month, in order to
escape the admirers of the full moon, he set off in his
boat, and had proceeded some distance, when the sky-
looked threatening, and he attempted to return, but the
wind tore his sail and broke his mast. The poor man
was tossed for three months on the waves, until at last
he came to the Sea of Mud, where he nearly died of
hunger, for there were no fishes to be caught.

At length he reached a mountainous island, where
the air was sweet with the fragrance of many flowers,
and in this island he found a spring, the waters of which
revived him. At length Wasobioye met Jofuku, who
led him through the streets of the main city, where all
the inhabitants were spending their time in pursuit of
pleasure. There was no death or disease on this island ;
but the fact that here life was eternal was regarded by
many as a burden, which they tried to shake off by study-
ing the magic art of death and the power of poisonous
food, such as globe-fish sprinkled with soot and the
flesh of mermaids.

When twenty years had passed by Wasobioye grew
weary of the island, and as he had failed in his attempts
to take his life, he started upon a journey to the Three
Thousand Worlds mentioned in Buddhist Scriptures.
He then visited the Land of Endless Plenty, the Land
of Shams, the Land of the Followers of the Antique,
the Land of Paradoxes, and, finally, the Land of Giants.

After Wasobioye had spent five months riding on
the back of a stork through total darkness, he at length
reached a country where the sun shone again, where
trees were hundreds of feet in girth, where weeds were
as large as bamboos, and men sixty feet in height. In
this strange land a giant picked up Wasobioye, took
him to his house, and fed him from a single grain of
monster rice, with chopsticks the size of a small tree.



For a few weeks Wasobioye attempted to catechise his
host in regard to the doctrines of the old world whence
he came, but the giant laughed at him and told him
that such a small man could not be expected to under-
stand the ways of big people, for their intelligences were
in like proportion to their size.

The Jcwel'tears of Samebito

One day, while TotarO was crossing the Long Bridge
of Seta, he saw a strange-looking creature. It had the
body of a man, with a skin blacker than that of a negro ;
its eyes glowed like emeralds, and its beard was like
the beard of a dragon. Totaro was not a little startled


at seeing such an extraordinary being ; but there was
so much pathos in its green eyes that TotarO ventured
to ask questions, to which the strange fellow replied :

" I am Samebito [" A Shark-Person "], and quite
recently I was in the service of the Eight Great Dragon
Kings as a subordinate officer in the Dragon Palace. I
was dismissed from this glorious dwelling for a very
slight fault, and I was even banished from the sea.
Ever since I have been extremely miserable, without a
place of shelter, and unable to get food. Pity me, good
sir ! Find me shelter, and give me something to eat ! "

Totaro's heart was touched by Samebito's humility,
and he took him to a pond in his garden and there gave
him a liberal supply of food. In this quiet and secluded
spot this strange creature of the sea remained for nearly
half a year.

Now in the summer of that year there was a great
female pilgrimage to the temple called Miidera, situated
in the neighbouring town of Otsu; TotarO attended
the festival, and there saw an extremely charming girl.
" Her face was fair and pure as snow ; and the loveliness
of her lips assured the beholder that their very utterance

lotaiu and Saincbitu.



would sound ' as sweet as the voice of a nightingale
singing upon a plum-tree.' "

TotarO at once fell in love with this maiden. He
discovered that her name was Tamana, that she was
unmarried, and would remain so unless a young man
could present her with a betrothal gift of a casket con-
taining no fewer than ten thousand jewels.

When TotarO learnt that this fair girl was only to be
won by what seemed to him an impossible gift, he
returned home with a heavy heart. The more he
thought about the beautiful Tamana, the more he fell
in love with her. But alas ! no one less wealthy than
a prince could make such a betrothal gift — ten thousand
jewels !

TotarO worried himself into an illness, and when a
physician came to see him, he shook his head, and said :
" I can do nothing for you, for no medicine will cure the
sickness of love." And with these words he left him.

Now Samebito gained tidings of the sickness of his
master, and when the sad news reached him, he left the
garden pond and entered Totaro's chamber;

TotarO did not speak about his own troubles. He
was full of concern for the welfare of this creature of
the sea. " Who will feed you, Samebito, when I am
gone ? " said he mournfully.

When Samebito saw that his good master was dying,
he uttered a strange cry, and began to weep. He wept
great tears of blood, but when they touched the floor
they suddenly turned into glowing rubies.

When TotarO saw these jewel-tears he shouted for
joy, and new life came back to him from that hour. " I
shall live ! I shall live ! " he cried with great delight.
" My good friend, you have more than repaid me for
the food and shelter I have given you. Your wonderful
tears have brought me untold happiness."



Then Sam^bito stopped weeping, and asked his
master to be so good as to explain the nature of his
speedy recovery.

So TotarO told the Shark-Man of his love-affair and
of the marriage-gift demanded by the family of
Tamana. " I thought," added TotarO, " that I should
never be able to get ten thousand jewels, and it was
that thought that brought me so near to death. Now
your tears have turned into jewels, and with these the
maid will become my wife."

TotarO proceeded to count the jewels with great
eagerness, " Not enough ! Not enough ! " he ex-
claimed with considerable disappointment. " Oh,
Samebito, be so good as to weep a little more ! "

These words made Samebito angry. " Do you
think," said he, " I can weep at will like women ? My
tears come from the heart, the outward sign of true
and deep sorrow. I can weep no longer, for you are
well again. Surely the time has come for laughter and
merrymaking, and not for tears."

"Unless I get ten thousand jewels, I cannot marry
the fair Tamana," said TotarO. "What am I to do ?
Oh, good friend, weep, weep ! "

Samebito was a kindly creature. After a pause, he
said : " I can shed no more tears to-day. Let us go
to-morrow to the Long Bridge of S6ta, and take with
us a good supply of wine and fish. It may be that as
I sit on the bridge and gaze toward the Dragon Palace,
1 shall weep again, thinking of my lost home, and
longing to return once more."

On the morrow they went to the S6ta Bridge, and
after Samebito had taken a good deal of wine, he gazed
in the direction of the Dragon Kingdom. As he did
so his eyes filled with tears, red tears that turned into
rubies as soon as they touched the bridge. TotarO,


without very much concern for his friend's sorrow,
picked up the jewels, and found at last that he had ten
thousand lustrous rubies.

Just at that moment they heard a sound of sweet
music, and from the water there rose a cloud-like palace,
with all the colours of the setting sun shining upon it.
Samebito gave a shout of joy and sprang upon the
parapet of the bridge, saying : " Farewell, my master !
The Dragon Kings are calling ! " With these words
he leaped from the bridge and returned to his old
home again.

TotarO lost no time in presenting the casket contain-
ing ten thousand jewels to Tamana's parents, and in
due season he married their lovely daughter.



THERE is a subtle charm about Japanese poetry
peculiarly its own. I recall with pleasure the
unforgettable hours I spent in reading Mr.
Yone Noguchi's The Pilgrimage. I was compelled,
through sheer delight, to read the two volumes at a
sitting. It is true that Mr. Noguchi is very much
under the influence of Walt Whitman, and it has left
its impress upon his work ; but that only tends to
heighten the effect of the purely Japanese element.
A brief, haunting phrase of Mr. Noguchi has far more
charm than an imitation of his American master's
torrential manner. Japan has no need to imitate as
far as her poetry is concerned. In the old days one of
the characteristics of that country's poetry was its
almost entire freedom from outside influences, not
even excepting that of China, from whom, in other
directions, she borrowed so much. I have mentioned
Mr. Yone Noo-uchi because his work forms an excel-


lent starting-point for the study of Japanese poetry.
This charming poet, writing in English, has given us
for the first time an intimate knowledge of the very
spirit of Japanese poetry. When a book is written on
comparative poetry, that of Japan will take a very high

It is far easier to describe what Japanese poetry is
not than what it actually is. To begin with, there are
no Japanese epics, such as the Iliad and Odyssey, the
Kalevala, and the Mahabharata, and their phrase naga-
uta (" long poetry ") is to us a misnomer, for they have
no really long poems. Philosophy, religion, satire are
not themes for the Japanese poet ; he even goes so far
as to consider war no fit subject for a song.


The Tanka and Hokku

Where, then, are the charm and wonder of Japan's
Pegasus ? The real genius is to be found in the tanka,
a poem of five lines or phrases and thirty-one syllables.
In many ways the tanka shows far more limitation than
an English sonnet, and our verbose poets would do
well to practise a form that engenders suppression and
delicately gives suggestion the supreme place. It is
surprising what music and sentiment are expressed
within these limits. The tanka is certainly brief in
form, but it frequently suggests, with haunting insist-
ency, that the fragment really has no end, when
imagination seizes it and turns it into a thousand
thousand lines. The tanka belongs as much to Japan
as Mount Fuji itself. One cannot regard it without
thinking that a Japanese poet must essentially have all
the finer instincts of an artist. In him the two arts
seem inseparable. He must convey in five lines, in
the most felicitous language at his disposal, the idea he
wishes to express. That he does so with extraordinary
success is beyond dispute. These brief poems are
wonderfully characteristic of the Japanese people, for
they have such a love for little things. The same love
that delights in carving a netsuke, the small button
on a Japanese tobacco-pouch, or the fashioning of a
miniature garden in a space no bigger than a soup-plate
is part of the same subtle genius.

There is an even more Lilliputian form of verse. It
is called the hokku, and contains only seventeen
syllables, such as : " What I saw as a fallen blossom
returning to the branch, lo ! it was a butterfly."
Butterflies were no mere flying insects in Old Japan.
The sight of such a brightly coloured creature heralded
the approach of some dear friend. On one occasion



great clouds of butterflies were thought to be the souls
of an army.

The Hyaku'nin'isshiu

Those who are familiar with the Hyaku-nin-isshiu ^
("Single Verses by a Hundred People"), written
before the time of the Norman Conquest, will recognise
that much of the old Japanese poetry depended on
the dexterous punning and the use of "pivot" and
"pillow " words. The art was practised, not with the
idea of provoking laughter, which was the aim of
Thomas Hood, but rather with the idea of winning
quiet admiration for a clever and subtle verbal ornament.
No translation can do full justice to this phase of Japanese
poetry ; but the following tanka, by Yasuhide Bunya,
may perhaps give some idea of their word-play :

" The mountain wind in autumn time
Is well called * hurricane' ;
It hurries canes and twigs along,
And whirls them o'er the plain
To scatter them again."

The cleverness of this verse lies in the fact that
yama kaze (" mountain wind ") is written with two
characters. When these characters are combined they
form the word arashi (" hurricane "). Clever as these
"pillow" and "pivot" words were, they were used
but sparingly by the poets of the classical period, to be
revived again in a later age when their extravagant use
is to be condemned as a verbal display that quite
overshadowed the spirit of the poetry itself.

Love Poems

There are Japanese love poems, but they are very
different from those with which we are familiar. The

^ ^ee translation by William N. Porter.


tiresome habit of enumerating a woman's charms, either
briefly or at length, is happily an impossibility in the
tanka. There is nothing approaching the sensuousness
of a Swinburne or a D. G. Rossetti in Japanese poetry,
but the sentiments are gentle and pleasing nevertheless.
No doubt there were love-lorn poets in Japan, as in
every other country, poets who possibly felt quite pas-
sionately on the subject ; but in their poetry the fire
is ghostly rather than human, always polite and delicate.
What could be more naive and dainty than the following
song from the " Flower Dance " of Bingo province .''

" If you want to meet me, love,
Only we twain,
Come to the gate, love.
Sunshine or rain ;
And if people pry
Say that you came, love.
To watch who went by.

" If you want to meet me, love,
Only you and I,
Come to the pine-tree, love,
Clouds or clear slcy ;
Stand among the spikelets, love.
And if folks ask why,
Say that you came, love.
To catch a butterfly."

Or again, the following tanka by the eleventh-
century official, Michimasa :

" If we could meet in privacy.
Where no one else could see.
Softly I'd whisper in thy ear
This little word from me —
I'm dying, Love, for thee."

There is a good deal more ingenuity in this poem
than would appear on the surface. It was addressed
to the Princess Masako, and though omoi-taenamu may



be correctly translated, " I'm dying, Love, for thee," it
may also mean, " 1 shall forget about you." The poem
was purposely written with a double meaning, in case it
miscarried and fell into the hands of the palace guards.

Nature Poems

Charming as are many of the Japaneses love poems,
they are not so pleasing or so distinguished as those
describing some mood, some scene from Nature, for
the Japanese poets are essentially Nature poets. Our
National Anthem is very far from being poetry. Here
is Japan's, literally rendered into English : " May our
Lord's Empire live through a thousand ages, till tiny
pebbles grow into giant boulders covered with emerald
mosses." It is based on an ancient song mentioned in
the Kokinshiu, and, like all ancient songs in praise of
kingship, expresses a desire for an Emperor whose very
descent from the Sun shall baffle Death, one who shall
live and rule past mortal reckoning. There is a
symbolic meaning attached to Japanese rocks and
stones, closely associated with Buddhism. They
represent something more than mere stolidity ; they
represent prayers. It is the Nature poems of Japan
that are supremely beautiful, those describing plum- and
cherry-blossom, moonlight on a river, the flight of a
heron, the murmuring song of a blue pine, or the
white foam of a wave. The best of these poems are
touched with pathos. Here is one by Ise :

" Cold as the wind of early Spring,
Chilling the buds that still lie sheathed
In their brown armour with its sting,
And the bare branches withering —
So seems the human heart to me !
Cold as the March wind's bitterness ;
I am alone, none comes to see
Or cheer me in these days of stress."




I often think of that twelfth-century Japanese re-
cluse Chomei. He lived in a little mountain hut far
away from City Royal, and there he read and played
upon the biwa, went for walks in the vicinity, picking
flowers and fruit and branches of maple-leaves, which
he set before the Lord Buddha as thankofferings.
Chomei was a true lover of Nature, for he understood
all her many moods. In the spring he gazed upon " the
festoons of the wistaria, fine to see as purple clouds."
In the west wind he heard the song of birds, and when
autumn came he saw the gold colouring of the trees,
while the piling and vanishing of snow caused him to
think of " the ever waxing and waning volume of the
world's sinfulness." He wrote in his charming Hd-jd-ki,
the most tender and haunting autobiography in the
Japanese language : " All the joy of my existence is
concentrated around the pillow which giveth me
nightly rest ; all the hope of my days I find in the
beauties of Nature that ever please my eyes." He
loved Nature so well that he would fain have taken all
the colour and perfume of her flowers through death
into the life beyond. That is what he meant when
he wrote :

" Alas ! the moonlight
Behind the hill is hidden
In gloom and darkness !
Oh, would her radiance ever
My longing eyes rejoiced ! "

Here is a touching hokku, written by Chiyo, after the
death of her little son :

" How far, I wonder, did he stray.
Chasing the burnished dragon-fly to-day ? "

2 B 385


The souls of Japanese children are often pictured as
playing in a celestial garden with the same flowers and
butterflies they used to play with while on earth. It is
just this subtle element of the childlike disposition in
Japanese people that has helped them to discover the
secrets of flowers, and birds, and trees, has enabled
them to catch their timorous, fleeting shadows, and to
hold them, as if by magic, in a picture, on a vase, or in
a delicate and wistful poem.

"The Ah-neas of Things**

There is a Japanese phrase, mono no aware wo shiru
(" the Ah-ness of things "), which seems to describe
most accurately the whole significance of Japanese
poetry. There is a plaintive and intimate union
between the poet and the scene from Nature he is
writing about. Over and over again he suggests that
Spring, with all her wealth of cherry- and plum-
blossom, will continue to grace his country long after
he has departed. Nearly all Japan's people, from the
peasant to the Mikado himself, are poets. They write
poetry because they live poetry every day of their
lives — that is to say, before Japan dreamed of wearing
a bowler hat and frock-coat, or became a wholesale
buyer of everything Western. They live poetry,
always that poetry steeped in an intimate communion
with Nature. And when in July the Festival of the
Dead takes place, there comes a great company of poet
souls to see Nippon's blossom again, to wander down
old familiar gardens, through red torii^ or to lean upon
a stone lantern, and drink in the glory of a summer
day, which is sweeter to them than life beyond the



AlZEN MyO-0.








Dainichi Nyorai.






The God of Love.

A Shinto God who was mistaken for

his deceased friend Ame-waka.
The first of the Divine Messengers sent

to prepare the way for the coming

of Nimgi.
The Sun Goddess.
" Heaven-young-Prince," and one of

the Divine Messengers.
A Buddhist deity, originally an abstrac-
tion, the ideal of boundless light.

The Daibuisu at Kamakura represents

this God,
A cousin of Buddha, and, like Bishamon,

gifted with great knowledge and a

wonderful memory.
One of the Seven Deities of Luck.
The God of Poverty.
A disciple of Buddha, and worshipped

by the lower classes on account of

his miraculous power to cure all

human ailments.
The God of Wealth and also of War.
A term applied to Buddhist saints.
See Shaka.

The God of Wealth.
A personification of purity and wisdom.

One of the Buddhist Trinity.
"Great Teacher," a term applied to

many Buddhist saints.
A follower of Buddha.
The God of Roads.
A God of Luck and of Daily Food.

He is the patron of honest labour,

and is represented as a fisherman

carrying in his hand a /<7;-fish.

The God of Pestilence.




Fu Daishi





Go-CHI Nyorai.


GwakkO Bosatsu.




Ida Ten.





The Lord of Hell and Judge of the

A deified Chinese priest.

The God of Wisdom.

The divine patron of those who
practise a special kind of ecstatic
meditation. He is usually depicted
as sitting on the right hand of Shaka.

A God of Luck, and typifies longevity
and w^isdom.

Evil Gods.

The Five Buddhas of Contemplation,
viz. : Takushi, Tahd, Dainichi, Ashukuy
and SAaia.

A generic name for the Shinto incarna-
tions of Buddhas. It is also applied
to deified heroes.

A Buddhist moon-deity.

The God of War. He is the deified
Emperor Ojin, patron of the Mina-
moto clan.

" Fire Shine," and son of Ninigi.

*' Fire Fade," and son of Ninigi.

The God of Smallpox.

A God of Luck who typifies content-

The name of all Buddhas, and frequently
applied to the dead generally.

A protector of Buddhism.

" Princess Long-as-the-Rocks," eldest
daughter of the Spirit of Moun-

The Goddess of Rice, and also asso-
ciated with the Fox God.

The Spirit of the Seashore.

The Creator and Creatress of Japan,
and from them the deities of the
Shinto pantheon are descended.

The God of Children.








KObO Daishi.







Maya Bunin.


A God of Luck.

A general name for all ShintO deities.
One of the greatest disciples of Buddha.
The God of Wind and Bad Colds.
The Herdsman lover of the Weaving

The Earth God.
An Indian Goddess, worshipped by

the Japanese as the protectress of

A deified Buddhist sage.
The children's Fox God.
The God of the Kitchen. Worn-out

dolls are offered to this deity.
A female Buddhist saint.
A Buddhist deity of obscure origin,

identified with Susa-no-o and other

Shinto Gods.
The God of Roads. A deification of

the day of the Monkey, represented

by the Three Mystic Apes.

" The Earthly Eternally Standing
One." A self-created Shinto God.

The Goddess of Mercy, represented in
various forms :

1. Sho-Ktcannon (Kwannon the Wise).

2. J u-ichi-men Kwannon (Eleven-Faced).

3. Sen-ju Kwannon (Thousand-

4. Ba-to-Kwanncn (Horse-Headed).

5. Nyo-i-rin Kwannon (Omnipotent).

In Japanese and Chinese Buddhism she
is represented as the Queen of
Heaven. She has eight arms, two
of which hold the symbols of the
sun and moon. In Brahminical
theology she is the personification
of Light, and also a name of Krishna.

The mother of Buddha.






NikkO Bosatsu.






Oho-yama. _

Onamuji or Okuni-nushi.






Shaka Muni.


Buddha's successor, and known as the

Buddhist Messiah.
The deity associated with the Laughing

Festival of Wasa.
The Lord of Wisdom.
The God of Marriage.
A Buddhist solar deity.
The grandson of Amer-terasu, the Sun

Two gigantic and fierce kings who

guard the outer gates of temples.
Patron deity of wrestlers.

An honorific title applied to all

" Possessor of the Great Hole " of
Mount Fuji.

The Spirit of the Mountains.

Son of Susa-no-o. He ruled in Izumo,
but retired in favour of Ninigi.

A general name for evil spirits.

The daughter of the Dragon King.

The God of Thunder.

The son of the Thunder God.

A name used to designate the perfected
saint and also the immediate dis-
ciples of Buddha.

A collective name for the Buddhist
Gods Bonten, Taishaku, and the Shi-

The Dragon, or Sea, King,

A terrestrial deity who greeted Nbiigi.

The Goddess of Mount Fuji. She is
also known as Asama or Ko-no-Hana-
Saku-ya-HmCj " The Princess who
makes the Flowers of the Trees to

The founder of Buddhism, also called
Gautama, but most generally known
as the Buddha.


Shichi Fukujin.






Tanabata or Shokujo.








Yakushi Nyorai.




The wisest of Buddha's ten chief dis-

The Seven Gods of Luck, viz. : Ebisu,
Daikoku, Benten, Fukurokuju, Bishamon^
Jurojin, and Hoiei.

" Lower-shine-Princess," and wife of

The Four Heavenly Kings who protect
the earth from demons, each defend-
ing one quarter of the horizon. Their
names are Jikoku, East ; Komokuy
South ; Zochb, West ; and Tamorij
also called Biskamon, North. Their
images are placed at the inner gate
of the temple.

The Indian Ganesa, God of Wisdom.

The God of Scarecrows.

A deity sent from Heaven to assist
Onamuji in pacifying his realm.

"The Impetuous Male," brother of
the Sun Goddess.

The Brahminical God Indra.

The Weaving Maiden.

A title equivalent to the Sanskrit DSva.

The God of Calligraphy.

Female Buddhist Angels.

The deified name of the great ShOgun
leyasu or Gongen Sama.

The deified name of Hideyoshi.

The Dragon King's daughter.

The Shinto Goddess of Earth or Food.

The Moon God.

The Goddess of Dancing.

" The Healing Buddha."

The Serpent God.

The Lady of the Snow.



The Heavenly parent, Ame yudzuru hi ame no sa-giri kuni
yudzuru tsuki kuni no sa-giri Mikoto.


Companion-born heavenly Gods.

Ame no mi-naka-nushi no Mikoto.
Heaven middle master.

Umashi-ashi-kabi hikoji no Mikoto.
Sweet reed-shoot prince elder.


Companion-born heavenly Gods.

Kuni no toko tachi no Mikoto.
Land eternal stand.

Toyo-kuni-nushi no Mikoto.
Rich land master.

A Branch.

Ame-ya-kudari no Mikoto.
Heaven eight descend.


Heavenly Gods born as mates.

Tsuno-gui no Mikoto.
Horn stake.

Iku-gui no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.
Live stake.

A Branch.

Ame mi kudari no Mikoto.
Heaven three descend.




Heavenly Gods born as mates.

Uhiji-ni no Mikoto.
Mud earth (honorific affix).

Suhiji-ni no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.
^and earth.

A Branch.

Ama-ahi no Mikoto.
Heaven meet.


Heavenly Gods born as mates.

Oho-toma-hiko no Mikoto.
Great mat prince.

Oho-toma-he no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.
Great mat place.

A Branch.

Ame ya-wo-hi no Mikoto.
Heaven eight hundred days.


Heavenly Gods born as mates.

Awo-kashiki ne no Mikoto.
Green awful (honorific).

Aya-kashiki ne no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.
Ah! awful.

A Branch.

Ame no ya-$o-yorodzu-dama no Mikoto.
Eighty myriad spirits.


Heavenly Gods born as mates.

Izanagi no Mikoto.
Izanami no Mikoto, his younger sister or wife.



A Branch.

Taka mi-musubi no Mikoto.
High august growth.


Ama no omohi-game no Mikoto.
Heaven thought-compriser.

Ama no futo-dama no Mikoto.

Ama no woshi-hi no Mikoto.
Endure sun.

Ama no kamu-dachi no Mikoto.
God stand.

Next there was —

Kamu mi musubi no Mikoto.

Above growth.


Ame no mi ke mochi no Mikoto.
August food hold.

Ame no michi ne no Mikoto.
Road (honorific).

Ame no kami-dama no Mikoto.
God jewel.

Iku-dama no Mikoto.
Live jewel.

Next there was —

Tsu-haya-dama no Mikoto.
Port quick jewel.


Ichi-chi-dama no Mikoto.
Market thousand jewel.

Kogoto-dama no Mikoto.
Ama no ko-yane no Mikoto.



Takechi-nokori no Mikoto.
Brave milk remnant.

Next there was —

Furu-dama no Mikoto.
Shake jewel.


Saki-dama no Mikoto.
First jewel.

Ama no woshi-dachi no Mikoto.
Endure stand.

Next there was —

Yorodzu-dana no Mikoto.
Myriad jewei.


Ama no koha-kaha no Mikoto
Hard river.



Anderson, William.

The Pictorial Arts of Japan.

Descriptive and Historical Catalogue oj Japanese and Chinese
Paintings in the British Museum.

History of Japanese Art.
Aston, W. G.

A History of Japanese Literature.

A Grammar of the Japanese Written Language.

A Grammar of the Japanese Spoken Language.

The Nihongi. Transactions of the Japan Society, 1896.


Ornamental Arts of Japan.
AuDSLEY, G. A., and Tomkinson, M.

The Art Carvings of Japan.
Ayrton, W. E., and Perry, J.

On the Magic Mirrors of Japan, Proceedings of the Royal Society,
Vol. xxvii.
Bacok, a. M.

In the Land of the Gods.

Japanese Girls and Women,
Ballard, S.

Fairy-Tales from Par Japan,
Batchblor, Rev. J.

The Ainu of Japan.
BiNYON, Laurence.

The Flight of the Dragon.
Bishop, Mrs.

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan.
Brinkley, Captain F.

Japan and China.
Chamberlain, Basil Hall.

Things Japanese.

Japanese Poetry.

The Language, Mythology, and Geographical Nomenclature of Japan,
Viewed in the Light of Aino Studies.

Handbook of Colloquial Japanese.

Practical Introduction to Study of Japanese Writing.

Murray's Handbook for Japan, (In collaboration with W. B.



Chamberlain, Basil Hall [continued).

A Translation of the " Kojiki" or " Records of Ancient Matters"
zvith Introduction and Commentary . Published as Supplement
to Vol. X. of the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan.
The Japanese Fairy -Tales Series,


The Floral Art of Japan.

Flowers of Japan.

Landscape Gardening in Japan.
Davidson, J. W.

The Island oj Formosa, Past and Present: History, People, Resources,
and Commercial Prospects.
Davis, F. Hadland.

The Land of the Yellow Spring, and other Japanese Stories.
De Benneville, James S,

Saitd Musashi-Bs Benkei. Tales of the Wars ofGempei.
Denning, Walter.

Life of Hideyoshi.

Japan in Days of Tore.
Dick, Stewart.

Arts and Crafts of Old Japan.
DicKiNs, F. Victor.

The Old Bamboo-heuier's Story. (A translation of the Taketori

Primitive and Medieval Japanese Texts.

Ho-Jo-Ki (" Notes from a Ten Feet Square Hut "). From
the Japanese of Kamo No ChOmei.

The Chiushingura; or. The Loyal League. Translated with Notes
and an Appendix containing The Ballad o^Takas ago.

Du Cane, Florence.

Flowers and Gardens of Japan,

Edwards, Osman.

Japanese Plays and Playfellows.

Giles, H. A.

A History of Chinese Literature.
Strange Stories Jrom a Chinese Studio.

Gonse, Louis.

UArt Japonais.


Dolmens and Burial Mounds in Japan,


Griffis, Rev. W. E.

The Japanese Nation in Evolution.
The Mikado's Empire.
Japan in History, Folklore, and Art.
Fairy-Tales of Old Japan,

GuLic, Rev. S. L,

Evolution of the Japanese.
Hearn, Lafcadio.

Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan.

Out of the East.

In Ghostly Japan.


Gleanings in Buddha-Fields.

Kokoro : Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Lije.

A Japanese Miscellany.

Exotics and Retrospectives.



The Romance of the Milky Way.

Japan : An Interpretation.

The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn. By Elizabeth Bisland.

The Japanese Letters of Lafcadio Hearn, Edited by Elizabeth


The Japanese Dance.

HuisH, M. B.

Japan and its Art.

Inoue, Jukichi.

Sketches of Tokyo Life.

James, Grace.

Green Willow, and other Japanese Fairy-Tales.

JoLY, Henri L.

Legend in Japanese Art.

Kaempfer, E.

History of Japan.

Knapp, a. M.

Feudal and Modern Japan.

Lay, a. H.

Japanese Funeral Rites. Transactions of the Asiatic Society oj
Japan, Vol. xii.



Leech, J. H.

Butterflies from Japan.

Lloyd, Rev. Arthur.

The Creed oj HalJ Japan.

Longford, Joseph H.

The Story of Old Japan.
The Story of Korea.

Lowell, Percival.

The Soul of the Far East.
Occult Japan.

McClatchie, T. R. H.
Japanese Heraldry.

MiTFORD, A. B. (Lord Redesdale).
Tales of Old Japan.

Morrison, Arthur.

The Painters of Japan.

Munro, N. G.

Coins of Japan.

NiTOBE, Inazo.

Bushido : The Soul of Japan.


From the Eastern Sea.
The Pilgrimage.
Lafcadio Hearn in Japan.

Okakura, K.

The Book of Tea.
Ideals of the East.

Okakura, Y.

The Japanese Spirit.

Okuma, Count.

Fifty I ears of New Japan. English edition. Edited by Marcus
B. HuisH.

OzAKi, Y. T.

The Japanese Fairy Book,
Warriors of Old Japan.
Buddhds Crystal.

Pasteur, Violet M.

Gods and Heroes of Old Japan.


PicGOT, Sir F. T.

The Garden of 'Japan.

The Music and Musical Instruments of Japan.

Porter, Robert P.

The Full Recognition of Japan.
Porter, William N.

A Year of Japanese Epigrams.

A Hundred Verses from Old Japan. A translation of the Hyaku-
nin-isshiu, or " Single Verses by a Hundred People."

Rein, J. J-
The Industries of Japan.

Rinder, F.

Old-world Japan.

Salwey, C. M.

Fans of Japan.

Japanese Monographs. Asiatic Quarterly Review.
Sargent, C. S.

Forest Flora of Japan.
Satovv, Sir Ernest.

The Shinto Temples of Ise.

The Revival tfPure Shinto.

Ancient Japanese Rituals. See Vols, ii., iii., vli., and ix. of the
Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan.

Smith, R. Gordon,

Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan.

Strange, Edward F.

Japanese Colour Prints.
Tomita, K., and Lee, G. A.

Japanese Treasure Tales.


A Japanese Collection.
Walsh, Clara A.

The Master-Singers of Japan.


Bibliography of the Japanese Empire.
Wesion, Rev. Walter.
Japanese Alps.



Arnold, Sir Edwin, 244, 245 (trans-
lation )

Aston, W. G., 30, 32, 186 (trans-
lation), 323 (translation)

Chamberlain, B. H. (translations),
95.96, 97,98, 120, 121, 127, 128,
175. 313. 315, 316, 317, 323, 324

Chiyo, 385

Chomei, 385

Dickins, F. V., 154 (translation)

" Flower Dance " (of Bingo pro-
vince), 383

Hearn, Lafcadio, 108

Ise, 384

Japanese, From the, 177, 278

Nonguchi, Yone, 82, n6, 130, 131,
169, 224

Smith, R. Gordon, 337 (trans-

Walsh, Clara A., 105, (transla-
tions) 118, 149, 206, 216, 282,

Yasuhide Bunya, 382




" Remember, in pronouncing Japanese, that the consonants are to be
sounded approximately as in EngHsh, the vowels as in Spanish or
Italian ; that is to say,

a ao in ' father.'
e ,, ' pet.'
i ,, ' pin.'

as in pony.
u „ ' full.'

" There is scarcely any tonic accent ; in other words, all the syllables
are pronounced equally, or nearly so. But particular care must be
taken to distinguish long d and fe. The short vowels are pronounced
in a very light, staccato manner. Thus O tori nasai means ' Please
take this ' ; but tori nasai means ' Please come [or go ; lit., pass] in.*
Short i and u sometimes become almost inaudible. ... In diphthongs
each vowel retains its original force. Thus :

ai as in the English word ' sky.'
au ,, ,, ,, ' cow.'

ei ,, ,, ,, 'hay.'

" g is hard, as in ' give,' never soft, as in ' gin ' ; but in Tokyo
and Eastern Japan it sounds like ng when in the middle of a word,
exactly as in the EngHsh words ' singer,' ' springy ' {not ' sing-ger,'
' spring-gy '). s is always sharp, as in ' mouse.' w is often omitted
after k or g, as in kashi, ' cake,' for kwashi. Be very careful to pro-
nounce double consonants really double, as in English words ' shot-
<ower,' ' meanness,' ' cockcrow.' Thus kite with one t means ' coming ' ;
but kitte with two t's means ' a ticket ' ; ama is a nun, amnia a sham-
pooer." — Murray's Handbook for Japan, by B. H. Chamberlain and
W. B. Mason.

Abe no Miushi. The Sadaijin
Dainagon ; one of Kaguya's
five suitors, 66-71

AiNo Goddess of Fire. The
name of Mount Fuji prob-
ably derived from Fuchi, the,

AiNO-LAND. Professor B. H.

Chamberlain writes re, 131
Ainu, or Aino. Probably first

inhabitants of Japan, xiii ;

rising of, subdued by Prince

Yamato, 54-56
Aji-SHi-Ki. Friend of Ame-waka ;

forms mountain of Moyama, 31,


Akamagaseki. Temple of Ami-

daji built at, 300
Akasaki. Tokoyo arrives at, in

province of Hoki, 334
Ako, The Lord of. Princess

Aya marries the second son of,


Amadera Temple. Hanagaki
Baishii attends festival in, 207

Ama-no-Hashidate. a fir-clad
promontory dividing Lake Iwa-
taki and Miyazu Bay, 204 ;
one of the " Three Great
Sights " of Japan, 204 ; Saion
Zenji gazes on, 204-206

Ama-no-ho. Envoy sent out to
prepare way of Ninigi, 31

Ama-terasu. Daughter of

Izanagi and Izanami ; the


Sun Goddess, 23 ; ascends the
Ladder of Heaven, 23 ; perse-
cuted by Susa-no-o, 27 ; flees
to a dark cave, 27 ; tempted
by, to Heaven, 27, 28 ; Ninigi
grandson of, 32 ; her gifts
to Ninigi, 32, 33 ; Prince
Yamato craves the blessing
of, 51

Ame-waka. Envoy sent out
to prepare way of Ninigi,
3 1 ; weds Shita - teru - hime,
31 ; punished by the Gods, 31,

Amida Butsu. Story of, and the
whale, 82

Amidaji. Temple of, built at
Akamagaseki, 300

Amitabha. Kwanjin (Chinese
Kwannon) the spiritual son of,

Anderson, Dr. William. Legend
from the Catalogue of Japanese
and Chinese Paintings in the
British Museum, 49, footnote

Animals. Legends referring to,


Anoji. Place in Tarn ba ; one of
the thirty-three places sacred
to Kwannon, 204

Antoko Tenno. See Tenno, 300

Arnold, Sir Edwin. Reference
to his Seas and Lands, xi

Art, Japanese. Due to Bud-
dhism, 114; quickened by
Chinese influence, 114; extreme
beauty and ugliness found in,
114; woman in, 112-114; the
Treasure Ship in, 1 1 5-1 16 ; the
miraculous in, 116; ghosts
and goblins in, 118; sennin
in, 357

AsAGAO. Legend from The
Diary of a Convolvulus re-
garding the love of, 244-249 ;
otherwise Miyuki, 245, 246 ;
her love for Komagawa Mi-
yagi, 245-249

AsAKA (" Shght Fragrance").
Friend of Asagao, 246

AsHiGARA Mountain. Yaegiri
goes to, and gives birth to
Kintaro there, 367


AsHi - nadzuchi (Foot - stroke -
elder). An earthly deity, hus-
band of Tenadzuchi, and father
of Kushi-nada-hime, 29 ; gives
his daughter in marriage to
Susa-no-o, 29, 30

AsHiNOYA. Village in which
Maiden of Unai dwelt, 313-


Aston, Dr. W. G. Reference to
the torii, by, 226 ; descrip-
tion in the Heike Monogatari
of great sea-fight between Taira
and Minamoto clans translated
by, 300

Atsumori. Story regarding her
use of the fan, 243

AwABi, The Great. A group of,
340, 341 ; the Spirit of, appears
to Kansuke, 341

Aya, Princess. The Spirit of the
Peony and, 1 71-173 ; love for
the Spirit of the Peony in the
form of a young and handsome
samurai, 172, 173 ; Sadayo,
maid of, 172

Ayame, The Lady. Married to
Yorimasa, 39

Ayrton, Professor. Japanese
mirrors and, 190

Badger-s. Story of the hare and
the, on the Crackling Mountain,
258-260; description of, in
legend, 260 ; Kadzutoyo and
the, 260, 262

Baelz, Dr., of the Imperial
University of Japan. Opinion
of, re the Japanese and Mongols,
xiii ; reference to, 94

Baishu, Hanagaki. See Hana-
gaki Baishu, 207-209

Bakin. a famous Japanese
novelist ; his Kumono Tayema
Ama Yo No Tsuki and thun-
der legends, 250; the In
(female principle) and the
Yo (male principle) associated
with thunder, remarks on by,


Baku. A supernatural creature
known as the Eater of Dreams,
358, 359

Bato-Kwannon. See Kwannon,

Bell-s. Japanese, described, 140 ;
the largest in the Jodo temple
of Chion, at Kyoto, 140 ; the
bell of Enkakuji the largest in
Kamakura, 140 ; the bell of
Miidera, 141, 142

Bknkei. One of the most lovable
of Japanese heroes, xvi ; com-
pared with Little John, Will
Scarlet, and Friar Tuck com-
bined, 39 ; conflicting traits
in his character, 40 ; became
a Buddhist priest at age
of seventeen, 40 ; adventure
with Tamamushi, 40 ; breaks
from priestcraft and becomes
a lawless warrior, 41 ; his
doings at Mount Hiei, 42 ;
waylays knights crossing the
Gojo Bridge of Kyoto, 42 ;
conquered by Yoshitsune, 42,
43 ; assists Yoshitsune finally
to drive out the Taira, 43, 44 ;
carries off the bell of Miidera,
142, 143 ; reference to story
of, 351. 352

Benten. One of the Seven
Gods of Good Fortune-, 115,

206 ; variants, Goddess of the
Sea, of Love, of Beauty, and
Eloquence, 115, 206; resembles
Kwannon, 206 ; the Dragon
and, 207 ; famous Island of
Enoshima and the coming of,

207 ; temple of the " Birth
Water " sacred to, 207 ; Hana-
gaki Baishu and, 207-209

Bibliography. See 397-401

Bimbo. Raitaro (the Child of
Thunder) and, 252, 253

Bimbog.\mi. The God of Poverty ;
Japanese superstitions and, 349

Bimbomushi (" Poverty-Insect ").
Superstition re, 349

BiRD-s. Legends of, 276-280 ;
the hototogisu, a mysterious,
278 ; the Tongue-cut Sparrow,
279 ; kiUing of, contrary to

teaching of the Lord Buddha,

280 ; Saijosen and the PhcEnix,

281 ; called 0-Goncho, 363 ;
birds beloved of Chomei, 385

BiSHAMON. One of the Seven
Gods of Good Fortune, 1 1 5

BiwA, Lake. Hidesato's en-
counters with the Dragon King
of, 62-64 ; Visu sees lake
bearing name of, 137 ; Pro-
fessor Chamberlain's opinion re,

Banko, Admiral. Kohaku Jo

sends treasures by, to temple

of Kofukuji, 89
BoN Odori. a dance at the

Festival of the Dead, 181 ;

origin of, 223 ; corresponds to

the Indian sraddha, 224
Bowl. The Begging -bowl of

the Lord Buddha, see Buddha,

67-69 ; the Maiden with the, on

her head, 316-322
" Box OF THE Jewel Hand." See

Tamate-Bako, 327
Breath, God of Long. Yosoji

visits shrine of, 134
Brinkley, Captain. His refer-
ence in Japan and China to the

belief of Yedo Government

officials in Tengit, 355
Bronze Buddha. See Buddha,

Buddha Flood. Otherwise the

Tide of the Returning Ghosts,

Buddha, The Lord. Begging-
bowl of, 67 ; the legend of the
Golden Lotus and, 80-82 ;
the Bronze, of Kamakura, and
the whale, 82-86 ; the Crystal
of, 86 ; has compassion on
spirit of the Death-Stone, 98 ;
the White Lotus the sacred
flower of, 1 30 ; the eight
Intelhgences of — Perception,
Purpose, Speech, Conduct,
Living, Effort, Mindfulness,
Contemplation, 130; cat and
serpent only creatures that did
not weep at death of, 264 ;
copies of footprint of, as charms,
348 ; lamp of, 357



Buddhism. Its contribution to
Japanese religion and art, xii ;
success in Japan, secured not
by sweeping out Gods of Shinto
but in clever adaptations from
India and China, 80 ; Japan
owed art to, 114; pictorial
art given to Nippon by, 114;
the power of Karma one of the
great doctrines of, 143 ; the
lotus the sacred flower of,
169 ; the torii adopted by,
226 ; Nichiren attempts to re-
store to original purity, 240, 241

Buddhist. Shingon-shu, a sect
founded by Kobo Daishi, 234 ;
Nichiren sect founded by Ni-
chiren, 240 ; first temple at
Nikko, Shodo Shonin founder
of, 242 ; saint, Dengyo Daishi,
introduced tea into Japan, 293

Buddhist Divinities. Jizo the
most lovable of, 104 ; jealousy
of, toward Daikoku, 211, 212

Butterfly-ies. Connected with
folk-lore, 216; legends re, bor-
rowed by Japanese from China,
217 ; Japanese poets and
"butterfly names," 217; ro-
mantic game of, 217 ; Emperor
Genso and, 217 ; of good and
evil omen, 217 ; suggestion of
Lafcadio Hearn re, 217 ; refer-
encesin Japanese drama ye, 218 ;
legend of the White, 218-219 ;
significance in Old Japan, 381,

Carp. Legend of the Dragon, 221 ;
flag shaped like a, 221 ; sj'm-
bolism of the, 221 ; Bakin's
reference to, 252

Cathay, Great. Spirit of Death-
Stone took form of Hoji in, 97

Cat-s. The Japanese, not
popular, 264 ; the serpent and
the, did not weep when the
Lord Buddha died, 264 ; story
of the vampire, 265-268 ;
Shlppeitaro and the phantom,
269, 270


Celestial River. Hikoboshi and
Tanabata separated at the, 126,

Chamberlain, Professor Basil
Hall. Reference to his works.
Things Japanese, Kojiki (trans-
lation of), Handbook for Japan,
and Japanese Poetry, v ; legend
of the Death-Stone translated
by, 95 ; reference to his trans-
lation of Ha-Goromo, 127 ;
his reference to Mount Fuji,
131 ; designs on Chinese
banners described by, 162 ;
Japanese mirrors described by,
190 ; reference to the torii by,
226 ; reference to temple at
Kawasaki sacred to Kobo
Daishi, in Murray's Handbook
for Japan, by, 239 ; reference
to samisen, the favourite instru-
ment of the singing-girls, by,
247 ; reference to cats in Things
Japanese, 264 ; reference to
Japanese dogs, 268 ; on tea
ceremonies, 293 ; his transla-
tion of the ballad of " The
Maiden of Katsushika," 316,
317 ; the legend of Urashima
and, 324 ; his explanation re
the Japanese equivalent for
Dragon Palace, 324 ; his refer-
ence to Urashima' s tomb, 328 ;
reference to Japanese charms,
348 ; description of the Tengu
by, 352 ; story of Shikaiya
Wasobioye adapted from his
translation in the Transactions
of the Asiatic Society of Japan,


Charms. See Superstitions, 348

Chikubu-shima. Island in Lake
Biwa, in Omi, one of the
thirty-three places sacred to
Kwannon, 204

Children. Jizo the God of the,
104-1 1 1 ; the Cave of the
Ghosts of the, 109 ; super-
stitions relating to, 347, 348

China. Emperor Koso wooes and
weds Kohaku Jo, daughter of
Kamatari, 86-88 ; butterfly
connected with ^^ folk-lore in.


2i6; Thunder God in, 250;
thunder animal in, 251 ; tea-
drinking in, 291, 293 ; Dragon
of, 362

Chinu. Of Izumi, one of the
Maiden of Unai's lovers, 313-316

Chinese. Japan called Jih-p6n
by, xiv ; banners, described,
162 ; myth, Kwannon known
as Kwanjin in, 200

Chiyo. a beautiful wonian slain
by Shokuro, 2 54 ; restored to life
by Raiden, 254 ; Shokuro makes
peace with, 254; a poetess of
the same name makes pathetic
reference to a dragon-fly, 282 ;
a toucliing hokku by, 385

Chiyodo. Child of Heitaro and
Higo (Willow), 180

Chokoro. Depicted releasing his
magic horse from a gigantic
gourd, 357

Chomei. Twelfth-century Bud-
dhist recluse; reference to his
Hd-jd-ki, 160, 385 _

Chomeiji. Place in Omi ; one of
the thirty-three places sacred
to Kwannon, 204

Chosen. Otherwise the Land of
the Morning Calm, the old
name for Korea, 328

Chow Dynasty. Kwanjin origi-
nally the daughter of the King
of the, 200

Chronicles of Japan (" Ni-
HONGi "). Reference to, xv

Chrysanthemum. The Japanese
flag and the, 1 61-163 ; Japan's
national flower, the, 162; poeti-
cal naming of the, 163 ; Lady
White and Lady Yellow, story
of 163-165; Kikuo(" Chrysan-
themum - Old - Man " ), retainer
of Tsugaru, story of, 165-167

Chujo Hime. a Buddhist nun,
the greatest early Japanese
artist of embroidery, an in-
carnation of Kwannon, 201 ;
retires to temple of Toema-
dera, 201


connected with pine-trees at
wedding feasts, 1 59

Confucius. Added fresh material
to the Yih-King ("Book of
Changes "), 344

Contentment, The God of.
See Hotel, 211-213

Corpse-eater. See Muso Koku-
shi, 305-308 ; maiden who
tested the love of her suitors
as a, 311, 312

Crystal, The, of Buddha, 89-91


Daibutsu, The. See Buddha
(the Bronze), 82

Daikoku. One of the Seven
Gods of Good Fortune, 115;
associated with Ebisu (his son)
and Hotel, the God of Laughter,
211; his wonderful Mallet, 211;
a Rat the second attribute
of, 211 ; old legend regarding
jealousy of Buddhist Gods to-
ward, 211, 212; the sixfold
representation of, 212; usually
pictured with his son, Ebisu, 212

Dai-Mokenren. a great disciple
of Buddha; sees soul of his
mother in the Gakido, 223

Daimyo. Lady White reaches
palace of, 164, 165

Dan-doku, Mount. The Lord
Buddha's meditations upon, 80

Dan-no-ura. The Taira clan
finally driven into the sea by
Benkei and Yoshitsune, 43, 44 ;
Hoichi receives stranger, who
wishes to view scene of the
battle of, 301-304

Daruma. Son of a Hindu king,
297 ; tempted like St. Anthony,
297 ; Indian sage whose image
was associated with the ritual-
istic drinking of tea by the Zen
sect in Japan, 297-299 ; refer-
ence to, will be found in Some
Chinese Ghosts and A Japanese
Miscellany, by Lafcadio Hearn,
297, 299

Davis, F. Hadland. Reference
to Land of the Yellow Spring
(page 113), by, 93, 149



Dead, Lord of the. Emma-O,
the, no, 20I

Death -Spider. Japanese Bim-
bomushi ( ' ' Poverty - Insect ' ' )
equivalent to our, 349

Death-Stone. Warning remarks
of spirit of the, to the Buddhist
priest Genno, 95 ; legend of,
related, 95-98

J)emoniacal Possession. Attri-
buted to evil influence of foxes,


Dengyo Daishi. Buddhist saint
who first introduced tea into
Japan, 293

Destiny. Jizo at foot of, 109

Divination, Classical. Asso-
ciated with Japanese supersti-
tion, 344; Yih-King(" 'Book.oi
Changes") main source of the
art, 344 ; various forms of,

Dog. In Japan, looked on as a
friendly animal, 268

DoLL-s. Comparison of English
and Japanese, 214-216; last
resting-place, 216; dedicated
to Kojin when dead, 177, 216 ;
the Feast of, otherwise the
Girls' Festival, 216

Dragon. Intimately associated
with Japanese mythology, 362 ;
of Japan, and of China, 362 ; one
of the signs of the Zodiac, 363 ;
in old Chinese conception of
earth, four seas ruled over by
four Dragon Kings, the Celestial,
the Spiritual, the Earth, and
the Dragon of the Hidden
Treasure, 363 ; a bird called
0-Goiicho, transformation into
a white, 363

Dragon-flies. Mention of, in
Japanese poetry, 282 ; Chiyo
and her pathetic reference to,

Dragon King (of the Sea).
Steals Crystal of Buddha, 90 ;
Urashima at the palace of, 32 5-
328 ; Otohime the daughter
of 325 ; sends Tide Jewels to
Empress Jingo by Isora, 331 ;
presents Tide Jewels to Ojin,


SS3 ', Mamikiko meets a Shojd
who lives near palace of, 361

Dragon Kingdom. Samebito
and, 376-379

Dragon Palace. The Evergreen
Land appears in the ballad
" The Fisher Boy Urashima "
as, 324 ; Professor Chamber-
lain's explanation re the equiva-
lent in Japanese, 324 ; Same-
bito and the, 378

Dreams, Eater of. The Baku
known as the, 358, 359

Du Cane, Miss Florence. Her
descriptions concerning Japan-
ese rocks and stones, 1 57


Earth and Heaven. Elements
which comprised, 21

East, Sir Alfred. Japanese art
described by, 112

Ebb-Tide Jewel. See Jewels,
331, &c.

Ebisu. One of the Seven Gods
of Good Fortune, 115; son of
Daikoku, 211 ; the God of
Labour, 211 ; usually pictured
with his father, Daikoku, 212

Egyptian. Cosmogony stories,
reference to, 21 ; conception of
the future life, 117

Eight - Arms - Length - Spear.
Given to Yamato, 54

Eighty Myriad Gods. Make
entertainment to tempt the
Sun Goddess (Ama-terasu) back
to Heaven, 28

EiSAi. A Buddhist priest who
wrote a pamphlet entitled T/ie
Salutary Influence of Tea-
drinking, 294 ; effort to con-
vert Minamoto-no-Sanetomo
from wine-cup, 294

Elixir of Life. Brought by
Moonfolk to Lady Kaguya, 78 ;
Rosei drinks of, 121 ; Mount
Fuji the abode of the, 132

Emma-O. The Lord and Judge
of the dead, no ; Jizo pleads
with, on behalf of Soga Sada-


yoshi, III; Festival of the
Dead and, 117; Ono-no-Kimi
appears before, 140 ; Tokudo
Shonin conducted into the
presence of, 201 ; Shiro sent
by, to conquer the God of
Wealth, 211, 212 ; Festival
of the Dead and, 222, 323

Emm EI OF DoGEN-ji. Becomes a
sennin, 356

England. Tea-drinking in Japan
and, 290, 291

Enkakuji. The great bell of, 140,

Enoshima. a famous island,
associated with the coming of
Benten, 207

Eternal Land. The God
" Thought-combining " brings
birds from, 27

Eternity. Its meaning to the
famous artist, Hokusai, 117

Evergreen Land. See Dragon
Palace, 324 ; orange first
brought from, to Japan, 324

Fan, Japanese. Significance of,

243 ; use of, 243 ; use at
festival of Sun Goddess in
Ise, 243 ; symbolism of, de-
scribed by Mrs. C. M. Salwey,

244 ; legend, " The Love of
Asagao," from The Diary of a
Convolvulus, 244-249

Festival-s. Of the Dead, 117,
161, 181 ; of Tanabata, 126;
New Year, 176, 220; the Girls',
216; the Dolls', 2 16; the Boys',
221 ; the Laughing, of Wasa,
225 ; of the Minige, and Oho-
kuninushi the Bronze Horse,
at, 275

Festival of Tanabata, Alter-
native, the Weaving Lady ;
most romantic of Japanese
festivals, 126

Festival of the Dead. Afforded
a joyous e_xit from the world
of Emma-O, 117; the greatest
argument for Japan's love of

Nature found in the, 161 ; Bon
Odori, a dance at the, i8i ;
customs and rites connected
with the, 222-224 ; the Tide
of the Returning Ghosts and,
323 ; poet souls and the, 386

Field-paths, Deity OF. Accosted
by Uzume, 33

Fields, The Spirit of the, 330

Fire Apparitions. Varieties in
Japan, 357, 358

Fireflies. Stories re, 28 5-289; the
MinamotoandtheTaira believed
to be the ghosts of the Minamoto
and Taira clans, 285, 286

Fire God. Kagu-tsuchi, child
of Izanagi and Izanami, the, 23

Firmament, God of the.
Tanabata daughter of, 126

Flag, Japanese. The chrysan-
themum and, 161-163

Floating Bridge of Heaven.
Uzume and her companions
rest on the, 33

Flood-Tide Jewel. See Jewels,
331, &c.

Flowers. The love of, its growth
and symbolism among J apanese ,
154-156; legends of, 163-173

Footstool of the King. Torii
before the Itsukushima shrine
on Island of Myajima ; alter-
natives, " The Gateway of
Light " and " The Water Gate
of the Sacred Island," 227

Fox God. See Inari

Fox Legends. " The Death-
Stone " one of the most re-
markable, 95

FuDARAKU-ji. Place at Nachi, in
Kishu ; one of the thirty-three
places sacred to Kwannon, 203

FuDO. I. God. Identified with
Dainichi, the God of Wisdom ;
Kiyo visits shrine of, 147 ;
temple on Oki-Yama dedicated
to, 180 ; the one-eyed priest
attemple of, 180-182. II. Cape.
Known as the Cape of the
Woman's Sword, 337

Fugin. Raiden, the Thunder
God, often found in company
with, 250



Fuji (Fuji-ynma — i.e.. Never
Dying). Name given to highest
mountain in Suruga, 79 (see
Suruga) ; seems to be typically
Japanese, 130; the mountain
of the Lotus and the Fan,
1 30 ; a place of pilgrimage for
hundreds of years, 131 ; its
peak described by Lafcadio
Hearn as " the Supreme Altar
of the Sun," 131 ; an extinct
volcano, 131 ; name derived
from Huchi, or Fuchi, the
Aino Goddess of Fire, 131 ;
the deities of, 132 ; the abode
of the Ehxir of Life, 132 ;
Jofuku at, 133 ; Sentaro visits,
133; the Goddess of, 1 34, 1 38 ;
Visu's adventures near, 136-
139 ; Yurine lived near, 359

Fujii-DKRA. Place in Kawachi ;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 203

FuKUROKUju. One of the Seven
Gods of Good Fortune, 115

FusAGO. Sent by the Mikado to
Kaguya, 7^

Futon (Quilt), The, of Tottori,

Gama. With his wizard toad, de-
picted as a sennin in Japanese
art, 357

Garden-s. Enghsh and Japanese
contrasted, 1 54 ; general de-
scription of Japanese, 156;
Kobori - Enshiii, the great
Japanese designer of, 1 56 ; the
torii, or arch, a characteristic
of Japanese, 157

Garden of Skulls. Idea of,
borrowed by Hiroshige from
Heike Monogatari, 119

Genealogy. Table showing the
Age of the Gods, 393-396

Genno. a Buddhist priest ;
warning of the Spirit of the
Death-stone to, 95 ; story of
the Jewel Maiden related to,


Gensuke. Victim at building of
bridge over river at Matsue,


Gesshoji Temple, The. The
gigantic tortoise of, 275

Ghost -s. Of the Circle of Penance,
fed in connection with the
Festival of the Dead, 223 ; the
ghost mother, 308 ; the Tide
of the Returning, and the
Festival of the Dead, 323

Gilbert and Sullivan. Refer-
ence to their The Mikado, xi

GisuKE. Brother of O Cho San,
338 ; favours suit of Shin-
saku, 338 ; builds shrine to
O Cho San, 339

Goblin King. Shutendoji, the ;
his doings on Mount Oye, 44-48

Goblins. Ghosts and, 118

God of Roads, The. The pine-
tree and, 176 ; love- test by
invoking the, 346

God of the Sea. Hoori visits
palace of, 35 ; father of Toyo-
tama ("Rich-jewel"), 2^', pre-
sents Hoori with the Jewels of
the Flowing Tide and the
Ebbing Tide, 36

Gods and Goddesses. A general
summary of, 387-391

Go-FuKAKUSA, Emperor. Saim-
yoji Tokiyori a celebrated
Regent during reign of, 182

Gohitsu-Osho. Name given to
Kobo Daishi by Chinese em-
peror, 236

Gojo Bridge OF Kyoto. Benkei's
lawless doings towards knights
happening to cross the, 42

Golden Lotus. Legend of, 80-

GoNGEN. Two of Raiko's knights
visit shrine of, 45

Go-ToBA. The silent pine and
the Emperor, 177

Grass, The Spirit of, 330

Grass-Cleaving-Sword. Given
to Yamato, 54 ; the origin of
its name, 55

Great - Mountain - Possessor.
Identical with Oho-yama, the
Spirit of the Mountains, 34


Greey, Edward. The legend

of the Golden Lotus, version of,

by, So
Gulliver. Shikaiya Wasobioye

of Nagasaki a Japanese, 374-



Hachiman. The God of War ;
two of Raiko's intending com-
panions visit the temple of,
45 ; temple of, still remains,
82 ; Yoritomo erects shrines to,
278 ; infant Emperor, Antoku
Tenno, at shrine of, 300

Hades {see Yomi), 23 ; messages
from, 357

Hanagaki Baishu. a young
poet ; and Benten-of-the-Birth-
Water, 207-210

Happiness, Land of Perfect.
See Land, 300

Hara-kiri, or Seppuku. Term
apphed to suicide among the
samurai class, 161

Hare. Legends re, 255-260 ;
Taoist legends and the, 255 ;
story of hare and badger on
the Crackhng Mountain, 258-

Hase-dera. Place in Yamato;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 203

Hat of Invisibility. Part of
cargo of the Treasure Ship, 115

H.\tsushima Island. Celebrated
for its jonquils, 337 ; Cho
dwells on, 337

Hazoku, Prince. Pays homage
to demon in Ind, 97

He.\rn, Lafcadio. Reference to,
as an authority on Japanese
subjects, V ; works referred to,
vi ; subject of fox in Japan
described by, 94 ; Jizo, the
God of the Children, and, 105 ;
reference to the Cave of the
Children's Ghosts and Jizo, 109 ;
describes peak of Mount Fuji
as " the Supreme Altar of the
Sun," 131 ; his narrative illus-
trating the power of Karma,

143 ; his story of a Japanese
nun with a love for things in
miniature, 158, 159; describes
the Lotus of Paradise, 169 ;
Japanese dolls described by,
214; the suggestion of, re
butterflies, 217 ; the Bon-
odori, reference to, by, 224 ;
story of Japanese semi (tree-
cricket) in Kott~\ 281 ; refer-
ence to Yuki-Daruma in A
Japanese Miscellany by, 299 ;
legends of the Weird adapted
from stories by, in Kwaidan
and Glimpses of Unfamiliar
Japan, 300

Heaven. Ladder of, 23 ; High
Plain of, 25 ; River of, 27 ;
Hikoboshi's ox wanders over
High Plain of, 126

Heaven and Earth. Elements
which comprised, 21

Heitaro. a fanner who married
Willow Wife, 178-180

Hell. Kwannon's concern fo_r
who pass into, told by Emma-O
to Tokudo Shonin, 202

Hi. River in province of Idzumo ;
Susa-no-o arrives at, 29

Hidaka. a river, on the bank
of which Kiyo lived, 145

Hidari Jingoro. The famous
sculptor ; legend of, reminds
us of story of Pygmalion, 116 ;
falls in love with a beautiful
woman, 190

Hides.\to. Variants : Tawara
Toda, " My Lord Bag of Rice " ;
his encounter with the Dragon
King of Lake Biwa, 62-64

Hiei, Mount. Yoshitsune hears
of priest Benkei as living at,

HiGO (" Willow "). Wife of
Heitaro, 177-180

HiKOBOSHi. Husband of Tana-
bata, 126

HiNAKo - Nai - Shinno. The
miraculous chestnut and the
Princess, 177

HiNOK.\-wA. River in which
Yamato swims with Idzumo
Takeru, 53



HiROSHiGE. Idea for one of his
pictures borrowed from the
Heikc Monogatari, 1 1 9

Kwannon, 200

HizEN, Prince of. Story of his
love for a cat in form of a
woman named O Toyo, 265-
268 ; the priest Ruiten prays
for, 266 ; Ito Soda discovers
cause of illness of, 266-269

HoDERi ("Fire-shine"). Son of
Ninigi and Ko-no-Hana, 34 ;
quarrels with his brother Hood,
35 ; reconciled to his brother,


Hoichi-the-Earless. A bhnd
priest who lived at the Amidaji
temple, 301 ; his recitals in
connection with the war be-
tween the Taira and Minamoto
clans, 301 ; unknowingly visits
tomb of Antoku Tenno, 304 ;
how he gained his name, 305

Hoji. Spirit of Death-Stone
takes form of, in Great Cathay,


Hojo. Kamakura, the seat of
Regents of family, 82

"H6-J0-KI." F. Victor Dickins's
translation of, v, 160, 385

Hojo Takatoki. a great ruler,
whom Oribe Shima offends, 333

Hojo Tokiyori. Nichiren exiled
to Ito by, 241

HoKKEji. Place in Harima ; one
of the thirty -three places sacred
to Kwannon, 204

" HoKKU." See Japanese Poetry,

HoKUSAi. A famous artist ; and
his " Hundred Views of Fuji,"
117; Eternity, and its meaning
to, 117

Holy One, The. Alternative
title for the Lord Buddha, 80

HooRi ("Fire-fade"). Son of Nin-
igi and Ko-no-Hana, 34 ; grand-
father of the first Mikado of
Japan, 34 ; conveyed to the
Palace of the Sea God by
Shiko-tsutsu no Oji (" Salt-sea-
elder"), 35; weds Toyo-tama


(" Rich-jewel"), daughter of the
Sea God, 36 ; presented with
jewels of the Flowing Tide and
Ebbing Tide, 36 ; departs from
Sea God's Palace, 37

HoRAi. Mountain ; Kuramochi
required to fare to, 67 ; the
Jewel-bearing Branch of, 69, 70

HoRio YosHiHARU. Daimyo of
Izumo ; builds bridge over river
at Matsue, 343

Horse. The Deity of Kitzuki
(Oho - kuninushi ) and the
Bronze, 275

Hotel One of the Seven Gods of
Good Fortune, 115; the God
of Laughter and Contentment,
211 ; known as the Waggon
Priest, &c., 213

HucHi. See Fuji and Aino
Goddess of Fire, 131

Hunt, Royal. The Mikado
orders, 74 ; the Mikado sur-
prises Kaguya by means of, 74

" Hyaku - nin - issHiu " (" Single
Verses by a Hundred People ").
Written before the time of
the Norman Conquest ; see
Japanese Poetry, 382

ICHijo, Emperor. Stories current
in Kyoto regarding the Goblin
of Oyeyama during reign of,
44 ; Raiko despatched by, to
seek out and slay the Goblin,


Iha-naga. Variant, Princess

Long-as -the -Rocks ; daughter
of Oho-yama, 34

IijiMA. Father of Tsuyu (" Morn-
ing Dew "), 228

Ima-Gumano. Place at Kyoto,
in Yamashiro; one of the
thirty-three places sacred to
Kwannon, 203

Impetuous Male. See Susa-no-o,
23, 352

'' In " AND " Yo." Male and
female principles, not yet
divided, 21 ; correspond to


the Chinese Yang and Yt)t,
21 ; associated with thunder,
according to Bakin, 252

IxABA. Legend of the White
Hare of, 256-260

Inari. Originally the God of Rice,
and later (eleventh century)
associated with the Fox God,
93. ^S'^ ', answers a woman's
prayer, loi ; appears to Kobo
Daishi, 238, 239

Increase, The Month of. Yayoi.
the, 193

Ind. Place where demon re-
ceived homage of Hazoku, 97

Indian Sraddha. Corresponds
to Japanese Festival of the
Dead, 223, 224

Inexhaustible Purse. Part of
the cargo of the Treasure Ship,
115, 116

Infernal Regions. Kwanjin
sent to, and from, the, 200

Insect-s. Legends re, 281-289 ;
Buddhists believe that soul
of a man or woman may enter
minute form of, 281 ; Sane-
mori, a rice-devouring, 284 ;
the shiwan described, 284, 285

Intelligences, The Eight, of
Buddhism, 130

Ippai, Murata. Unwittingly
destroys a number of lotus
and commits hara-kiri, iji

IsABURO. Kyuzaemon visits,
concerning the mysterious ap-
pearance of Oyasu, 153

Is6. Prince Yamato prays at
shrine of, 51 ; the Divine
Mirror into which the Sun
Goddess gazes reposes at, 191 ;
gigantic fan used in festival
of , 243 ; infant Emperor Antoku
Tenno at shrine of, 300 ; poem
by, 384

Ishidomaro, Son of Kato

Sayemon, 371-372

ISHiYAMA-DERA. Placc near Otsu,
in Omi ; one of the thirty -three
places sacred to Kwannon, 203

IsHizuKURi, Prince. One of
Kaguya's five suitors, 66-72

IsoRA. The Spirit of the Sea-

shore ; takes Tide Jewels to
Empress Jingo as a gift from
the Dragon King, 331

Issunboshi ("One-Inch Priest").
Otherwise Little Finger and
Grain-of -Corn, 364-367 ; marries
youngest daughter of Prince
Sanjo, 367

Itsukushima. Shrine on Island
of Myajima, 227 ; torii called
" The Footstool of the King "
before, 227

luwAo, Emperor. Spirit of
Death-Stone the consort of,
in Great Cathay, 97

Iwama-dera. Place in Omi ; one
of the thirty -three places sacred
to Kwannon, 203

IwAZARu. The three mystic Apes
which figure in Japanese legend
are Mizaru, Kikazaru, and, 272

Izanagi and Izanami ("Male-who-
invites" and " Female-who-in-
vites"). Two important deities,
21 ; island of Onogoro-jima
formed by spear of, 22 ; though
related as brother and sister,
desire to become husband and
wife, 22 ; their marriage, 22 ;
marriage produces islands, seas,
rivers, herbs, and trees, 22 ;
desire to produce a Lord of the
Universe, 22 ; the wish ful-
filled in birth of Ama-terasu,
the Sun Goddess, 23 ; send
Ama-terasu up Ladder of
Heaven, 23 ; parents of Tsuki-
yumi, the Moon God, who is
sent up Ladder of Heaven to be
consort of Ama-terasu, 2 3 ; Susa-
no-o (" The Impetuous Male "),
son of, 23 ; Kagu-tsuchi, the
Fire God, born to, 23 ; Izanami
creeps into the Land of Yomi
(Hades), 23 ; Izanagi follows
his wife into Land of Yomi
(Hades), 23 ; Izanami angry
with Izanagi for putting her
to shame, 24 ; Izanagi escapes
from the Underworld, 24 ;
pursuit by the Eight Ugly
Females, 24 ; he reaches the
Even Pass of Yomi, 24 ; is


divorced from Izanami, 24 ;
builds himself a perpetual home
in island of Ahaji, 25 ; wag-
tails sacred to, 276

IzuMi. Place from which Chinu
came, 313

IzuMO. Queer custom in, asso-
ciated with Jizo, 105, 106 ;
assembly of Gods in October
in temple at, 225 ; the Kappa
referred to as Kawako by
people of village of, 350


Japan. Equivalent, " Land of
the Rising Sun," xi ; reference
to her victory over Russia, xi ;
evolution of, how wrought,
xii ; first inhabitants of, xiii ;
Ainu, Mongol, and Malay ele-
ments formed one nation by
A.D. 500, xiii ; national cha-
racteristics of, xiii ; called
Jih-pen by Chinese, xiv ;
general equivalents, xiv ; Kama-
Yamato - Iware - Biko first
human Emperor of, 37 ;
Buddhism in, India and China
borrowed from, in regard to
rehgious teaching, 80 ; the
Bronze Buddha of Kamakura
one of the sights of, 82 ;
legends of fox in, 93 ; Ancient
Cavern in, in which image of
Jizo is seen, 109 ; art of, owed
to Buddhism, 114; Buddha's
teaching gave art of garden-
ing to, 114 ; art, quickened by
Cliinese influence, 114; happy
in naming chrysanthemums,
163; Ama-no-Hashidate, one of
the "Three Great Sights " of,
204 ; butterfly connected with
folklore in, 216; legend re
invasion by Mongols of, 250 ;
Thunder Animal of, 251 ; tea-
drinking in England and, con-
trasted, 290, 291 ; orange first
brought from the ' ' Evergreen
Land " to, 324 ; cause of be-
coming a world-Power, 329 ; her


influence on Korea when Russia
established a military outpost
at Wiju, 329 ; Korea a colony
of, 329; Dragon of, 362

Japanese. Character not Western,
xii ; patriotism, source of, xii ;
art and religion influenced
by Buddhism, xii ; influence
of Shintoism on, xii ; theories
regarding racial origin of
people, xiii ; superstition re-
garding the Kappa (river
monster), xiv ; divinities and
heroes, general reference to,
xvi-xx ; art, described by Sir
Alfred East, 112 ; artists,
work of, considered, 112 ; art,
the face in, 113; artist. Seven
Gods of Good Fortune favourite
theme of, 11 5; Festival of
Tanabata, 126; bells, general
description of, 140 ; woman,
cherry and plum blossoms
associated with beauty and
virtue of, 174 ; mirrors, sig-
nificance of, 190-198 ; English
dolls compared with, 214-216 ;
fan, significance of, 243 ; origin
of name kananie, applied to
fans, 244 ; cat, how regarded,
264-268 ; art, sennin in, 357 ;
poetry, note on, 380-386

"Japanese Literature, A His-
tory OF." Reference to, v

Jewel-s. Precious, 28 ; the
Tide-flowing and the Tide-
ebbing, 36 ; the Jewel-bearing
Branch of Mount Horai, 69-70 ;
the Jewel in the Dragon's Head,
7^-73 ; ths Flood-Tide and the
Ebb-Tide, given by Dragon
King to Empress Jingo, 331 ;
the Jewel-tears of Samebito,

Jewel Maiden. The story of, 95-

Jih-pen. Chinese equivalent for

Japan, xiv
JiMMU Tenno. Variant, Kamu-

Yamato - Iware - Biko; first

human Emperor of Japan, 37
JiMPACHi. Kanshiro and, 287-


Jingo, The Empress. Professor
J. H. Longford writes re, 329 ;
legend of first Japanese invasion
of Korea by, 330-333 ; birth
of her son Ojin, 333 ; old
couple's prayer for a child
offered to, 364

Jizo. The God of Children, 94,
104 ; compared to Kwannon,
Goddess of Mercy, 104 ; the
creation of Japanese mothers,
104 ; little children play in
the Sai-no-Kawara ("Dry Bed
of the River of Souls") with,
106 ; hymn of, 107, 108 ;
Cave of the Children's Ghosts
and, 109; Fountain of, iio;
Soga Sadayoshi remembered
by, no. III ; picture of,
contrasted with pictorial re-
presentation of a Japanese
gobhn, 114, 115

JoFUKU. Attempts to wrest the
secret of perpetual hfe from
Mount Fuji, 133 ; Shikaiya
Wasobioye meets, 375

JosHi. Term apphed to lovers'
suicide — variants, " love-
death " or " passion-death,"

JuROjiN. One of the Seven
Gods of Good Fortune, 1 1 5


Kaibara. Treatise by, known
as Onna Daigaku, 113

Kadzusa, Straits of. Princess
Ototachibana drowned in cross-
ing, 56

Kadzutoyo. Story of the badger
and, 260-262

Kagu-tsuchi. The Fire God,
child of Izanagi and Izanami,

Kaguya, Lady (" Precious-Slen-
der-Bamboo - of- the - Field - of -
Autumn"). Discovered and
reared by Sanugi no Miyakko,
65 ; Prince Ishizukuri, Prince
Kuramochi, the Sadaijin Dai-
nagon Abe no Miushi, the

Chiunagon Otomo no Miyuki,
and Morotada, the Lord of
Iso, suitors of, 66-72 ; her
plan to test the five suitors,
67 ; fame of, reaches the
Mikado, who sends Fusago to,
73 ; Moonland Capital the
birthplace of, 75 ; departs to
Moonland, 79

Kamakura. The one-time capi-
tal of Nippon, 82 ; seat of
the Shoguns, 82 ; the Bronze
Buddha of, and the Whale,
82-86 ; city of, laid out by
General Yoritomo, 83 ; the
beU of Enkakuji the largest in,

Kamatari. a State Minister of
Japan ; father of Kohaku Jo,

Kami Daigo-dera. Place at
Uji, in Yamashiro ; one of the
thirty-three places sacred to
Kwannon, 203

Kaminari. Thunder Woman,

Kamishama. One of the Oki
Islands, to which Oribe Shima
is banished, 333

Kamo, Lady. The Soul of the
Mirror (Yayoi) falls into pos-
session of, 194

Kamo no Chomei. A Buddhist
recluse of twelfth century ; his
book called Ho-fo-ki shows
him a great Nature-lover, 160

Kamo Yamakiko. A magician,
consulted by Yosoji, 134

Kamu - Yamato - Iware - Biko.
Descendant of Hoori ; present
equivalent, Jimmu Tenno ;
first human Emperor of Japan,

Kanagawa. Urashima's tomb

still shown in a temple in, 328
Kanasoka. a great artist ;

legend re the painted horse of,

Kano Hogai. Embroidery de-
picting Kwannon as the Divine

Mother by, 201
Kanshiro. The vengeance of,



Kansuke. Father of Matakichi,

Kantan's Pillow.

Rosei rests

upon, 121
Kappa, The. A river goblin ;

description of, 350 ; people in

village of Izumo refer to as

Kawako ("The Child of the

River "), 350 ; the story of the

pronaise of, 351
Karma. The power of, one of the

great Buddhist doctrines, 143 ;

signifies the desire to be — in

contrast to Nirvana, the desire

not to be, 144 ; reference to,

in the Ratana Sutra, 145 ;

Kiyo and the power of, 145-

148 ; power of, illustrated by

story of Tsuyu, 228, 233
K.\SHiMA. Origin of kaname,

name apphed to Japanese fans,

and, 244
Katsuo-dera. Place in Settsu;

one of the thirty-three places

sacred to Kwannon, 204
Katsushika, The Maiden of.

Ballad of, 316, 317
Kawachi. River, near which is

the temple known as Kawako -

no-miya, 350
Kawachi-mura. Hamlet near

Matsue, 350
Kawako (" The Child of the

River"). See Kappa, 350
Kawako-no-Miya. The temple

of the Kawako, or Kappa, 350
Ken-cho-ji. Visit of Soga

Sadayoshi to temple of, no
Kenko Hoshi. Another legend

of Raiko and the Goblin by,

KiKAZARU. The three mystic Apes

which figure in Japanese legend

are Mizaru, Iwazaru, and, 272
KiKu ("Chrysanthemum"). Sa-

wara weds, 124 ; Sawara sends

back to her parents, 125
KiKUO (" Chrysanthemum - Old -

Man"). Retainer of Tsugaru ;

story of, 165-167
KiMi. Story of her faithless

behaviour toward Kurosuke,


KiMii-DERA. Place near Waka-
yama, in Kishii ; one of the
thirty-three places sacred to
Kwannon, 203

KiMiTAKA. The GobUn of Oye
snatches away, 45

Ki-NO-o-BAKE. A true spirit, 176

KiNTARo. Otherwise the Golden
Boy, 367-369 ; named Sakata
Kurando by Yorimitsu,368, 369

KisHiWADA, TheLordof. Sends
Sonobe to great cryptomeria-
tree on Oki-yama, 181, 182

KiTZUKi. The Deity of (Oho-
kuninushi), and the Bronze
Horse, 275 ; the Deity of,
spends much time catching
birds and fish, 277

KiucHi Heizayemon. Adven-
tures of, which illustrate the
Tengu-kakushi, 353-355

Kiyo. The fairest girl in the
tea-house near the Dragon's
Claw hill, 145 ; her love for
a Buddhist priest and its fatal
ending, 145-148

KiYOMizu-DERA. Place at Kyoto ;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 203

KiYOMORi. Leader of the Taira
clan, 41 ; Tokiwa, widow of
Yoshitomo, weds, 41

KoBO Daishi (" Glory to the
Great Teacher"). The most
famous of Japanese Buddhist
saints, 234 ; Kiikai name
when living ; Kobo Daishi a
posthumous title, 234 ; founded
Buddhist sect called the Shin-
gon-shii, 234 ; named by
Chinese Emperor as Gohitsu-
Osho ("The Priest who writes
with Five Brushes"), 236;
Monju Bosatsu, the Lord of
Wisdom, and, 237; paints
the ten by flinging his brush,

237 ; work ridiculed by Kino
Momoye and Onomo Toku,
237, 238 ; his voyage to Japan,

238 ; Inari, the God of Rice,
and, 238, 239 ; his death,

239 ; temple at Kawasaki dedi-
cated to, 239


KoBORi - Enshiu. The great
Japanese designer of gardens,

Koch5. Reference to the play
called The Flying Hairpin of
Kocho, 218

KoDO. Place at Kyoto ; one of
the thirty-three places sacred
to Kwannon, 204

KoFUKujr, Temple of, 87-89

KoHAKU Jo. Daughter of Kama-
tari, 86 ; Emperor of China
hears of beauty of, 86 ; Em-
peror of China wooes, 86 ;
sails for China, 87 ; weds
Emperor of China, 87, 88 ;
sends treasures to temple of
Kofukuji, 89

KojiKi. " Records of Ancient
Matters" completed a.d. 712,
what it deals with, &c., xv ;
told in, that Izanagi presented
mirrors to his children, 191

KojiN, The God. Spirit of,
resides in the enoki tree ; the
God to whom very old dolls
are dedicated, 176, 177, 216

KoKAWA-DERA. Place in Kishu ;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 203

KoMAGAWA MiYAGi. _A retainer
of one of the daimyos ; his love
for Miyuki, 245-249

KoMPiRA. Originally an Indian
God, identified with Susa-no-o ;
the shrine of, visited by Kiyo,

Ko - NO - HANA - SAKU - YA - HIME.

" The Princess who makes the
Flowers of the Trees to Blos-
som " ; daughter of Oho-yama,
34 ; weds Ninigi, 34 ; mother
of Hoderi and Hoori, 34 ; see
Sengen, 132
Korea. Reference to legendary
conquest of, 282 ; Chosen, the
Land of the Morning Calm,
the old name for, 328 ; troubled
with armies of China and Japan,
328 ; under glamour of Chinese
civilisation, 329 ; becomes a
Japanese colony, 329 ; legend
of first invasion of, by Japan,

329-333 ; King of, surrenders
to Empress Jingo, 332

" Korean Towers." Lamps in
Japanese gardens sometimes
still known as, 157

Korinji. Kimi prayed for by
priests of temple, 125

Koriyama, The Lord. Idzumi,
place where lived, 170 ; he
and his wife and child stricken
down with a strange malady,
170 ; restored by planting
lotus about his castle, 170, 171

Koshin. The God of Roads, 176

Koso. Emperor of China ; wooes
and weds Kohaku Jo, 86-88

KoYURi. Son of Yurine, 359

KuMASo. Brigand, slain by
Yamato, 52

KuMfe. One of the sennin, who
falls from his chariot of cloud,
depicted in Japanese art, 357

KuNi-TOKO-TACHi. A Japanese
God; origin of, 21

KuRAMOCHi, Prince. One of
Kaguya's five suitors, 46-72

Kurando, Sakata. An officer of
the Emperor's bodyguard, 367 ;
falls in love with Yaegiri, 367 ;
see Kintaro, 368

Kurosuke. Story how he was
forsaken by Kimi, 181

Kushi-nada-hime ("Wondrous-
Inada-Princess " ). Daughter of
Ashi-nadzuchi and Te-nadzuchi,
29 ; wooed and wedded by
Susa-no-o, 29, 30

KwANjiN. Chinese equivalent
for Kwannon, 200

Kwannon. The Goddess of
Mercy ; two of Raiko's intend-
ing companions visit shrine of,
45 ; ex-Emperor Toba desires
to build a temple to, 179 ;
resemblance to Jizo, 199 ;
sometimes depicted as Senjiu-
Kwannon, or Kwannon-of-the-
Thousand - Hands, 199 ; de-
scription of Jiu - ichi - men -
Kwannon (the Kwannon-of-
the-Eleven-Faces), 199 ; the
tiara of, sometimes takes title
of Bato-Kwannon (Kwannon-

D 417


with - the - Horse's - Head),

199 ; Bato - Kwannon, the
Goddess who protects dumb
animals, 200 ; Hito - Koto -
Kwannon, the Kwannon who
will only answer one prayer,

200 ; the Gods of Love and
Wisdom are frequently repre-
sented in conjunction with,
200 ; not inappropriately
called the Japanese Madonna,
200 ; known in Chinese myth as
Kwanjin, 200 ; is the spiritual
son of Amitabha, in China, 200 ;
Chujo Hime, a Buddhist nun,
an incarnation of, 201 ; as the
Divine Mother, 201 ; thirty-
three shrines sacred to Kwan-
non, 201-204 ; the Lady of
Mercy, 202 ; the Goddess of
Mercy, 203 ; copper image of,
in temple of Ni-gwarsu-do, 204 ;
sacrifice of, in form of a deer,
on behalf of Saion Zenji, 204-
206 ; Princess Sanjo visits
temple of, 365

KwANNONji. Place in Omi; one
of the thirty-three places sacred
to Kwannon, 204

Kyoto. Stories current in, re-
garding the Goblin of Oyeyama,
44 ; Matsumura journeys to,
191 ; thirty-three shrines sacred
to Kwannon in, 201

Kyu - KuKEDO - San. An
Ancient Cavern in Japan asso-
ciated with Jizo, 109

Kyuzaemon. The Lady of the
Snow and, 152, 153

Ladder OF Heaven. Ama-terasii,
the Sun Goddess, climbs the,
23 ; Tsuki-yumi, the Moon
God, also climbs the, 23

Lady of Mercy. Kwannon called
the, 202

Land of Endless Plenty.
Shikaiya Wasobioye visits the,
37 5


" Land, The Evergreen." Ap-
pears in the Japanese ballad
"The Fisher Boy Urashima "
as the Dragon Palace, 324

Land of the Followers of
THE Antique. Shikaiya Waso-
bioye visits the, 375

Land of Giants. Shikaiya
Wasobioye visits the, 375

Land of the Morning Calm.
Chosen, the old name for
Korea, 328

Land of Paradoxes. Shikaiya
Wasobioye visits the, 375

Land of Perfect Happiness.
The infant Emperor, Antoku
Tenno, taken to, 300

Land of Shams. Shikaiya
Wasobioye visits the, 375

Laughter, God of. See Hotel,

Legend -s. Butterfly, 2 6-219;
from The Diary of a Con-
volvulus, 244-249 ; Thunder,
250-254; of Magical Animals
255-275; the Kojiki ("The
White Hare of Inaba"), 255-
260 ; the three mystic Apes
figure in, 272 ; birds in, 276-
281; of dragon-flies, 282 ; of fire
flies, 285-289; of the tea-plant,
297-299 ; of the Weird, 300-
304 ; of the sea, 323-341 ; of
Urashima, 323 ; Japanese super-
stitions the source of, 342 ; of
the sea monster Shojo, 359-
360 ; miscellaneous, 370-379

Lightning, The Goddess of, 251

Lights, Miraculous. Varieties
in Japan, 357, 358

Liu-Kiu Islands. Chinese equi-
valent for Japanese Luchu
Islands, 324

Long-as-the-Rocks, Princess.
Variant for Iha-naga, 34

Longford, Joseph H. Refer-
ence to The Story of Korea,
by, 328, 329

Lotus, The Golden. Legend of,
80-82 ; the sacred flower of
Buddhism, 169

��' Lotus of the Law." Yosho
studies, 356


Love. Maiden imposes test of,
as a corpse-eater, 311, 312;
poems, see Japanese Poetry,
380-386 ; the Goddess of,

LucHU Islands. The Japanese
pronunciation for the, 324 ;
Chinese equivalent, Liu-kiu,


Luck, Seven Divinities of.
Benten one of the, 206 ;
variants, the Goddess of the
Sea, of Love, of Beauty, of
Eloquence, 206 ; charms to
represent, 348

Lucky Rain-coat. Part of cargo
of the Treasure Ship, 115

LuwuH. The first Chinese tea-
master, 292 ; his Chaking (" The
Holy Scripture of Tea"), 292 ;
sought after by Emperor Tai-
sung, 293


Madonna, The Japanese. The
Goddess of Mercy not in-
appropriately called, 200

"Maiden's Grave, The." Burial-
place of the Maiden of Unai,

Maiden of Katsushika, The.

The tale of, as translated by

Professor B. H. Chamberlain,

316, 317
Maiden of Unai, The. And her

lovers, 313-316; the grave of,

315. 316
Maiden with the Wooden

Bowl. The strange story of,

Maki. Moor to which Tokutaro

was challenged to go, 98
Maki Hiogo. Attempts to cap-
ture the Spirit of the Peony,

172. 173

Malay Elements. Their con-
tribution to Japanese charac-
teristics, xiii

Mamikiko. Neighbour of Yurine;
his unkindness to Koyuri, 360-

"Master Singers of Japan."
Miss Clara A. Walsh's reference
to, V

Mason, W. B. Reference to
temple at Kawasaki sacred to
Kobo Daishi, in Murray's Hand-
book for Japan, by, 239

Matakichi. Son of Kansuke, 340

Matsu. Shinge's maid, 167

Matsue. I. Daughter of a

fisherman at Takasago, 187 ;
rescues Teoyo, their love, 188,
189. IL Bridge. Sacrifices
associated with, 343, 344 ; Horio
Yoshiharu and, 343. Ill; The
Bronze Deer of, 275

Matsumura. a Shinto priest in
charge of shrine of Ogawachi-
Myojin, 191 ; journey to Kyoto
to appeal to Shogun, 191 ;
his strange sight of a beautiful
woman's face in a well, 192 ;
the Poison Dragon and, 193 ;
the Soul of the Mirror and,

Matsunoo-dera. Place in Wa-
kasa ; one of the thirty-three
places sacred to Kwannon, 204

Matsuyama, The Mirror of,

Mercy, Goddess of. Kwannon,
the ; compared to Jizo, 104

Michimasa. An eleventh-century
official; tanka by, quoted, 383 ;
addressed tanka to the Princess
Masako, 383

Miidera. I. The Bell of, 141-143.
II. Place near Otsu, in Omi ;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 203

Midzunoe. Village in province
of Tango, in which Urashima
lived, 324

Mimuroto-dera. Place at Uji.in
Yamashiro; one of the thirty-
three places sacred to Kwannon,

MiNAMOTO Clan. Reference to
great sea-fight between Taira
clan and, 300

MiNfe. Wife of Tomozo, 233

Minokichi. Loved by the Lady
of the Snow, 150-151



Mio. Shore of, on which the
Moon Lady's Robe of Feathers
is found by Hairukoo, 128

MiONOSEKi. The God of, is the
God of Mariners, 276 ; detests
cocks and hens, 276

Mirrors. Significance of Japan-
ese, 190-198 ; the Divine, into
which Sun Goddess gazes, re-
poses at Ise, 191 ; the soul of
the, 193 ; old bronze mirrors
contributed to form a bell,
195 ; the mirror of Matsu-
yama, 196-198

MiTFORD, A. B. (Lord Redes-
dale). Reference to his Tales
of Old Japan, 98, 161

MiusHi. The Sadaijin Dainagon
Abe no, one of Kaguya's five
suitors, 66-70

MiwA Daimyojin. Japanese God,
in connection with whom the
Laughing Festival originated,

MiYADZu, Princess. Prince
Yamato meets and weds, 5 5

MiYUKi. The Chiunagon Otomo
no, one of Kaguya's five suitors,

MiZARU. The three mystic Apes
in Japanese legend are Kika-
zaru, Iwazaru, and, 272

MocHiDA-NO-URA. Peasant of
village of, who flung his children
into a river, 311

MoMOTARO ("Son of a Peach").
His romantic discovery, 58 ;
his adventures in the North-
Eastern Sea, 59-62

MoMOYE, Kino. Kobo Daishi's
work ridiculed by, 237-238

MoNGOL-s. Elements, their con-
tribution to Japanese cha-
racteristics, xiii ; legend re
invasion of Japan by, 2 50

MoNju BosATSu. The Lord of
Wisdom ; Kobo Daishi and, 237

Moon. Behef of Japanese peasants

! re the Hare in the, 162

MooNFOLK. The Lady Kaguya
and, 75-79

Moon God. Tsuki-yumi, son of
Izanagi and Izanami, the, 23


Moon Lady, The. The fisher-
man finds Robe of Feathers of,
128, 129

Moonland. The capital of,
the birthplace of Kaguya, 75 ;
Lady Kaguya departs to, 79

Moon, Palace of the. The
dance that makes, turn round,


Morning Calm, The Land of

the. Otherwise Chosen, the old

name for Korea, 328
Morris, William. Story of " The

Robe of Feathers " resembles

Norse legend — see The Land

East of the Sun and West of the

Moon, 127
MoROKOSHi, The Land of.

Miushi required to fare to, 67
Morotada. The Lord of Iso ;

one of Kaguya's five suitors,

MosAKU. His death by the Lady

of the Snow, 1 50
Mother, The Ghost, 308
Mountain. I. Woman, 355.

II. Man, 355
Mountain Spider. See Goblin

Mountain, The Crackling. The

story of the hare and badger on,

Mountain, The Spirit of the,

Mubara. One of the Maiden of

Unai's lovers, 313-316
Mud, Sea OF. Visited by Shikaiya

Wasobioye, 375
Mugenyama. The priests of,

require a bell, 194 ; one mirror

used in making bell of, refuses

to melt, 195


divine sword, discovered by

Susa-no-o and given by him

to the Gods of Heaven, 30 ;

sword of, given to Yamato, 54
Mushimaro. a poet, who wrote

re the lovers of the Maiden of

Unai, 313
Muso KoKUSHi. A priest ; his

gruesome experience with the

corpse-eater, 305-308


Myokei. a celebrated painter
under whom Sawara studies,


Mythot^ogy. The Dragon inti-
mately associated with Japan-
ese, 362 ; the Dragon in Chinese
and Japanese, 363


Naizen-no-jo, The Lord. Father
of the Princess Aya, 172, 173

Nakayama-dera. Place near
Kobe, in Settsu ; one of the
thirty-three places sacred to
Kwannon, 204

" Namudaishi." a Japanese
poem describing life of famous
saint K6b5 Daishi, 234

Nanao. Fishing village, de-
stroyed by earthquake, 339 ;
experience of Kansuke and his
son Matakichi while fishing
near, 340, 341

Nan-endo. Place at Nara, in
Yamato; one of the thirty-
three places sacred to Kwannon,

Nareai-ji. Place in Tango; one
of the thirty-three places sacred
to Kwannon, 204

Nariai, Mount. Saion Zenji and
Kwannon on, 204-206

Naruse Tsushimanokami. An
official who considers the sword
secured by Sankichi a sacred
treasure, 337

Nasu. Genno arrives at moor of,

Nasu no Yoichi. A fan, the mark

of bow of, 243
National Anthem. Enghsh

and Japanese compared, 384 ;

Japanese, based on an ancient

song mentioned in the Kokin-

shiu, 384
Nature. Japanese love for,

160, 161 ; Japanese poetry

and, 380-386
Nether World. See Yomi
New Year. Pine-tree and the

Festival of the, 176; Daikoku

and origin of charm connected
with, 212 ; quaint observances
at Festival of, 220, 221
Nichiren. The founder of the
Buddhist sect of that name,

240 ; name of, means Sun
Lotus, 240 ; his efforts to
restore Buddhism to its old
purity, 240, 241 ; exiled to
Ito for thirty years by Hojo
Tokiyori, 241 ; his escape from
execution, 241 ; again exiled,
and dwells on Mount Minobu,

241 ; attempts to replace the
ordinary mantra, 241 ; wrote
" Book to Tranquillise the
Country," 241

Ni-GWARSU-Do (" Hall of the
Second Moon "). The Buddhist
temple of, 204 ; small copper
image of Kwannon in temple
of, 204

"Nihongi" ("Chronicles of
Japan"). Written in Chinese
and completed a.d. 720, and
deals with the myths, legends,
&c., from early times to a.d.
697, XV ; male and female
principles, reference to, in, 21

NiiDONO. Takes infant Emperor,
Antoku Tenno, to the Pure
Land of Perfect Happiness, 300

NiKKO. First Buddhist temple
at, founded by Shodo Shonin,

242 ; notice to Tengu and other
demons prior to visit of Yedo
Shogun to, 355

NiKOBO. A priest, famous for
powers to exorcise evil spirits,

NiNiGi. Grandchild of Taka-mi-
musubi ; sent to govern Cen-
tral Land of Reed-Plains, 30 ;
presented with gifts by Ama-
terasu, 32 ; gives Uzume as wife
to the Deity of the Field -Paths,
33 ; meets and weds Ko-no-
hana, 34; Hoderi ("Fire-shine")
and Hoori ("Fire-fade"), sons

of, 34

Nippon. Kamakura at one time

capital of, 82 ; pictorial art

given to, by Buddhism, 114;



the No, or lyrical drama of,
119 ; bell-maker, skill of, 140 ;
fan of, 243 ; tea-drinking in,
associated with Buddhism, 293

Nipponese. Women, colour-prints
depicting, do not reveal emo-
tion, 113; mirrors, significance
of, 190

Nirvana. Genno prays that the
Jewel Maiden might attain,
97 ; desire for not-being finally
attained in, 109 ; signification
contrasted with Karma, 144

" No." The lyrical drama of
Nippon, 119 ; the Takasago one
of the finest of the, 186

NoGuCHi, YoNE. See Yone

NoTO. Yosho born at, 356


O-ANA-MOCHi. A deity of Mount
Fuji, 132

Oba Kage-chika. Yoritomo
saved from power of, by two
doves, 277-278

O Cho San. Dwells on Hatsu-
shima Island, 337 ; Gisuke the
brother of, 338 ; Shinsaku the
favoured suitor of, 338 ; death
of. 338 ', shrine raised to, 339

Ogawachi-myojin. Shrine of,
referred to, 191 ; Matsumura,
the Shinto priest in charge of
shrine of, 191

O-Hina-San. Tiny doll nained,2 15

Oho-Kuninushi. The Deity of
Kitzuki ; the Bronze Horse
and, 275

Oho-yama. Variants, Great-
Mountain-Possessor and Spirit
of the Mountains ; father of
Ko-no-hane and Iha-naga, 34 ;
presents his daughter to Ninigi,


Ojin, Son of Empress Jingo,
333 ; the Dragon King presents
the Tide Jewels to, 333

Oka-dera. Place in Yamato ;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 203


Okakura Kakuzo. The Book of
Tea by, 290

Oki Islands. Oribe Shima
banished to Kamishima, one
of the, 333, 334

Oki-yama. Sonobe sent to great
cryptomeria-tree on, 181, 182

Old Japan. Doll handed down
from generation to generation
in, 215

Omi, Province of. Yamato
Take slays serpent in, 57

'' Onna Daigaku " (" The Greater
Learning for Women"). A
treatise by Kaibara, 113

Onomo Toku. Kobo Daishi's
work ridiculed by, 238

Ono-no-Kimi. Appears before
the Judgment Seat of Emma-O,
the Judge of Souls, 140

Oribe Shima. Offends Hojo
Takatoki and is banished to
Kamishima, 333, 334; his grief
at leaving his daughter, Tokoyo,
334 ; sought after by Tokoyo,
334-336 ; set at liberty by
Hojo Takatoki, 336

Otohime, The Princess.
daughter of the Dragon (Sea)
King, 325 ; becomes the bride
of Urashima, 325 ; bestows gift
of the "Box of the Jewel
Hand " (Tamaie-Bako) on Ura-
shima, 327

O-Toku-San. Girl doll of life-
size class, 215

Ototachibana, Princess. Wife
of Prince Yamato, 51, 52 ;
drowned in crossing Straits of
Kadzusa, 56

O ToYO. Favourite among ladies
of the Prince of Hizen, 265 ;
a cat in form of a woman
causes grievous harm to Prince
of Hizen, 265-269

Owari, Province of. Yamato
Take passes through, 57

Oyama, General. A hero of
Japan, xii

Oyasu. Assumed name of the
Lady of the Snow, by which
she introduces herself to Kyu-
zaemon, 153


OvEYAMA, The Goblin of, 44-48
OzAKi, Madame. Reference to

story told by, regarding Koso

and Kohaku Jo, 88

Palace, Dragon. " Evergreen
Land" appears as, in ballad of
"The Fisher Boy Urashima,"


Paradise, The Buddhist.
Tapestry wrought by Kwannon
depicting, 201

Peony. The Spirit of the, 171 ;
the Princess Aya loves, in the
form of a young and handsome
samurai, 172, 173

Perry, Professor. Japanese
mirrors and, 190

Pierre Loti. Reference to his
Madame Chyysanthhne, xi

PiGGOTT, Sir F. T. Cherry and
plum blossoms, reference to, in
The Garden of Japan, by, 174

Plain of High Heaven. Susa-
no-o visits his sister, Ama-
terasu, in, 25-27

Poetry, Japanese. A note on,
380-386 ; Mr. Noguchi's The
Pilgrimage and, 380 ; the Tanka
and Hokku described, 381 ;
reference to the Hyaku-nin-
isshiu (" Single Verses by a
Hundred People "), 382 ; refer-
ence to a tanka by Yasuhide
Bunya, 382 ; quotation from
the " Flower Dance " of Bingo
province, 383 ; quotation from
tanka by the eleventh-century
official Michimasa, 383 ; refer-
ence to Nature poems, 384 ;
Enghsh National Anthem com-
pared with Japanese National
Anthem, 384 ; quotation from
Nature poem by Ise, 384 ;
quotation from the Ho-jo-ki
by twelfth-century recluse,
Chomei, 385 ; touching hokku
quoted, written by Chiyo after
the death of her little son,
385 ; mono no aware wo shiru

("the Ah-ness of things"), a
phrase which describes most
accurately the whole signifi-
cance of, 386

Poison Dragon, The. His evil
influence, 193

Polynesian Mythology. Rangi
(Heaven) and Papa (Earth)
correspond to Japanese In and
Yo, 21

Pootoo. Kwanjin transported
to Island of, 200

Poverty. Japanese superstitions
and Bimbogami, the God of,
349 ; insect, Bimbomushi the
Japanese name for, 349

Precious Things. See Hotel, 213

" Priest, One-Inch." Other-
wise Issunboshi ; also nick-
named Little Finger and Grain-
of-Corn, 364

Purple Hall of the North
Star. Emperor sick at, 38


Quilt {Futon), The, of Tottori,
309-3 n


Raiden. The God of Thunder,

250 ; often found in company
with Fugin or Raitaro, 250 ;
his favour toward Japan, 2 50

Raiju. The Thunder Animal,

251 •

Raiko. I. A doughty kmght
who seeks out and slays the
Goblin of Oye, 45-48 ; pre-
sented with a jar of magical
sak6 (Shimben-Kidoku-Shu) in-
tended by the Goblin King, 46 ;
gives sakS to the Goblin, 47 ;
slays Goblin, 48 ; returns to
Kyoto, 48 ; his illness, 48 ;
restored to health by slaying
of the Goblin Spider, 49 ;
another version of the legend,
49-51. II. A wealthy but
mean man, whose meanness is
cured by Inari, 102, 103



Raitaro. Raiden, the Thunder
God, often found in conapany
with, 250; Bimbo and, 252, 253
Rat. The hour of the, 76 ;

Daikoku's, 211, 212
" Ratana Sutra," The, Refer-
ence to Karma in, 145
Redesdale, Lord. See Mitford,

Rein. Opinion of, re Japanese

and Mongols, xiii
Rendai, Plain of, 49
Rice, God of. See Inari
RiKiu. The greatest of tea-
masters, 296 ; the friend of
Taiko-Hideyoshi, 296, 297
RiN-jiN. King of the Sea ;
Yamato raises anger of, 56 ;
anger of, appeased by Princess
Ototachibana, 56 ; takes to
wife a Dragon Princess, 272-
275; the jelly-fish, the
monkey, and, 272-275
Rip VAN Winkle. Visu the, of

Old Japan, 136
Rising Sun. Spirit of Death-
Stone in form of the Jewel
Maiden at Court of, 98
River, Child of the. See

Kappa, 350, 351

Rivet Rock. See Kashima, 244

Road-s. The pine-tree and the

God of, 176 ; reference to the

God of, 346

Robe, The Feather. Brought to

Kaguya by the Moonfolk, 78
Rock Island. Kansuke and
Matakichi behold Spirit of the
Great Awabi on, 341
Rokkaku-do. Place at Kyoto ;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 204
Roko. Depicted, on a flying
tortoise, as one of the sennin in
Japanese art, 357
RoKUHARA-DERA. Place at Kyoto;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 203
RdsAN. Chinese scholar, regaled
with ghostly stories re butter-
flies, 216
RoSEi. His Magic Pillow of

Dreams, 119- 122

Ruiten. a priest who prays for
the Prince of Hizen, 266

Russia. Estabhshment of mili-
tary outpost at Wiju leads to
war with Japan, 329

Ryoseki. High-priest of Shin-
Banzui-In ; Shinzaburo sent
by Yusai to, 231

Sacred Key. Part of the cargo
of the Treasure Ship, 115, 116

Sacrifice, Human. See Super-
stition, 342

Sadayo. Princess Aya's favourite
maid, 172

Saga, Emperor. Kobo Daishi per-
forms funeral obsequies of, 239

Saijosen. The Phoenix and, 281

Saikou Sanju-san Sho ("The
Thirty-three Places "). Rever-
ence bestowed upon the, 201

Sai-no-Kawara. "The Dry Bed
of the River of Souls," 106 ;
place where all children go at
death, 106 ; the legend of the
Humming of the, 107

Saion Zenji. Kwannon's sacri-
fice on behalf of, on Mount
Nariai, 204-206

Sakata Kurando. Name given
by Yorimitsu to Ivintaro, 368

Salwey, Mrs. C. M. New Year
Festival described by, 220 ;
reference to the torii by, 226,
227 ; reference to Fans of Japan,
by, 243 ; reference to On Sym-
bolism and Symbolic Ceremonies
of the Japanese, by, 244

Samebito ("A Shark-Person").
Totaro kindly succours, 376 ;
the jewel -tears of, 377-379

Sanemori. a great warrior ;
becomes a rice-devouring insect
called Sanemori -San, 284

San-ga-nichi. Pine-tree con-
spicuous at the Festival of,
Sanjo, Princess. Issunboushi
becomes page to, 365-367 ;
the magic mallet and, 366


Sankichi. Dives from Tarada's
junk and secures the Woman's
Sword, 337

Sano Genzalmon Tsuneyo.
Peasant who burns three dwarf
trees to give warmth to Toki-
yori, 183-186; goes to Kama-
Kura, 185 ; rewarded by Toki-
von by being presented with
the villages of Matsu-idu,
Umeda, and Sakurai, 185, 186

Sanugi no Miyakko. Discovers
Lady Kaguya ("Precious-
Slender - Bamboo - of - the -
Field-of-Autumn"), 65

Sanzu-no-Kawa. "The River
of the Three Roads " along
which the dead journey, 222

Sawara. Pupil of the artist
Tenko, 122 ; loves Kimi,
Tenko's niece, 122-125

Sayemon, Kato. a rich man who
lived in palace of the Shogun
Ashikaga, 370 ; Ishidomaro
son of, 371 ; becomes a priest
in the temple of Kongobuji,
on Mount Koya, 371

Sea. Legends of the, 323-341 ;
Urashima in the palace of the
Sea-King, 325, 328; of Mud,
visited by Shikaiya Wasobioye,

Sea God. See God of the Sea, 35
Seashore, The Spirit of the.

Is unfavourable to Empress

Jingo, 331
Sefukuji. Place in Izumi ; one

of the thirty-three places sacred

to Kwannon, 203
Sengen. Otherwise Ko-no-hana-

saku-ya-hime ; as Ko-no-hana,

the wife of Ninigi, 34; the God-
dess of Fuji, 132
Sennin = mountain recluses, 356,

357 ; Yosho, the first great

Japanese, 356 ; Emmei becomes

3'. 356 ; Japanese art and, 357 ;

Chokoro a, 357; Gama a, 357;

Tekkai a, 357 ; Kume a, 357;

Roko a, 357
Sentaro. His visit to the Land

of Perpetual Youth (Mount

Fuji), 133, 134

Serpent. Cat and the, did not
weep when the Lord Buddha
died, 264 ; the White Sea,
otherwise Yofune-Nushi, 334

Sesshiu. a great artist ; legend
re his liberation from imprison-
ment by painting rats, 116

SfcTA. Samebito and Totaro at
the Long Bridge of, 376-379

Seven Gods of Good Fortune.
The favourite theme of the
Japanese artist, 115; Shinto-
ism, Taoism, Buddhism, and
Brahmanism, the source of the,


Shaka Muni. The Lord Buddha ;
legend re his sacrifice as a
hare, 255

Shelf of Souls. Food placed on,
by Shinzaburo, 229

Shidoji. Temple called, built at
Shido-no-ura by Kamatari, 92

Shido-no-ura. Boy of, 89 ;
Kamatari builds temple called
Shidoji at, 92

Shiko-tsutsu no Oji ("Salt-sea-
elder"). Conveys Hoori to the
Palace of the Sea God, 3 5

Shin Kiyomizu-dera. Place in
Harima ; one of the thirty-three
places sacred to Kwannon, 204

Shing6. Bitten by a snake in
the Valley of Shimizutani, 167 ;
rescued by Yoshisawa, 167 ;
found dead at the bottom of the
Violet Well, 168

Shingon-shu. Buddhist sect
founded by Kobo Daishi, 234

Shinsaku. Favoured suitor for
hand of O Cho San, 338 ; raises
shrine to O Cho San, 339

Shinto. Temples, contrasted
with those of Buddhism, 114 ;
old custom associated with
Mount Fuji, 131 ; cult, "The
Way of the Gods" symbol of
the Right Direction, according
to the dogmas of the, 227

Shintoism. Reverence to dead
taught by, xii ; legends relating
to Japanese heroes enriched by,
xvi ; the torii originally asso-
ciated with, 226



Shinzaburo, Hagiwara. Falls
in love with Tsuyu, 228 ; the
sad story of the lovers' fate,
228-233 ; Tomozo, servant of,
230 ; Hakuodo Yusai advises,
230 ; goes to the high -priest
Ryoseki, 231

Shippeitaro. The phantom cats
and, 269, 270

Shiro. Sent by Emma-O to
conquer the God of Wealth,
211, 212

Shita-teru-hime (" Lower-shine -
Princess"). Wed by Ame-
waka, 31

Sho-Chiku-Bai. The name em-
bracing the three emblems of
the Pine, Bamboo, and Plum-
flower, 195

Shogun-s. Kamakura, seat of,
of the Hojo family, 82 ; Yedo
Government issues notice to
Tengu and other demons prior
to the visit to Nikko of the,


Shoj5. a sea monster fond of
sacred saki, 359 ; legend re
Yurine and, 359-362

Shokuro. The Thunder God,
Raiden, and, 254 ; Chiyo slain
by, 254 ; makes peace with
Chiyo after she has been
restored to life, 254

Shonin, Shodo. Founder of first
Buddhist temple at Nikko, 242 ;
legend re sacred bridge of
Nikko, 242

Shosha-san. Place in Harima ;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 204

Shutendoji. The Goblin King
of Oyeyama ; his doings on
Mount Oye, 44-48 ; Kimi-
taka's daughter snatched away
by, 45 ; Raiko at ball of, 47 ;
magic sak& drunk by, 47 ;
attacked and slain by Raiko,

Smith, R. Gordon. Legend
of the Lady of the Snow in
his Ancient Tales and Folk-
lore of Japan, 122, 152, 165,


Snow, The Lady of the.
Yuld-Onna is, 149 ; Mosaku
and, 149, 150; Minokichi and,
1 49-1 51 ; Mr. R. Gordon Smith
in his Ancient Tales and Folk-
lore of Japan describes, 152,
153; Kyuzaemon and, 152, 153

Soda, Ito. A young soldier who
discovers cause of illness of
Prince of Hizen, 266-268

SoDzu-BABA. The Old Woman of
the Three Roads, associated with
the Festival of the Dead, 222 ;
Ten Datsu-Ba, husband of, 222

SoGA Sadayoshi. Visits temple
of Ken-cho-ji,_ i lo ; appears
before Emma-O, no; remem-
bered by Jizo, no, iii

Sojiji. Place in Settsu; one of
the thirty-three places sacred to
Kwannon, 204

SoNOBfe. Sent by the Lord of
Kishiwada to cryptomeria-tree
on Oki-yama, 181, 182

Spirit. Of the Mountain, 330; of
the Fields, 330 ; of Grass, 330 ;
of the Seashore, 331 ; of the
Sword, 336

Star Lovers. Stars (possibly
Lyra and Aquila) shine with
five colours at yearly meeting
of the, 127

Street Everlasting. Place for
ghosts to wander in, 224

Street of Aged Men. Near
Street Everlasting, 224

Stones. Poetry suggested by
names given to, by the Japa-
nese, 157

Suicide. Of Japanese lovers, is
called joshi — i.e. , ' ' love-death ' '
or " passion-death," 144 ; see
also hara-kiri, or seppuku, i6i

Sullivan, Sir Arthur. Refer-
ence to The Mikado, by, xi

Sun Goddess. Ama-terasu,

daughter of Izanagi and Iza-
nami, the, 23 ; the dead fear
to gaze upon the, 109 ; the
mirror in which she gazes
reposes at Ise, 191 ; mirror
cakes associated with, at New
Year Festival, 220


Superstition. Japanese, various
forms of, 342-349 ; human
sacrifice associated with, 342-
344 ; forms of divination, 344-
346 ; unlucky years and days,
346, 347 ; strange, relating to
children, 347, 348 ; charms
associated with Japanese, 348 ;
the Beckoning Leaf, 348 ;
Bimbogami (the God of
Poverty) and, 349 ; Bimbo -
mushi(" Poverty-Insect") and,
349; the Baku, 358, 359

SuRUGA. The Ehxir of Life sent
to the highest mountain in,
by the Mikado, 79 ; {see Fuji) ;
Visu lived on plain of, 136

SusA-NO-o ("The Impetuous
Male"). Child of Izanagi and
Izanami, 23 ; brother of the
Sun Goddess, Ama-terasu, 25 ;
an undesirable and cruel deity,
25 ; banished by parents to
Yomi, 25 ; proposes to first
visit Plain of High Heaven,
25 ; his sister, Ama-terasu, pre-
pares to withstand him, 26 ; he
tricks her by guile, 26 ; Ama-
terasu flees from the cruelty
of, 27 ; finally banished to
Yomi, 28 ; arrives at River Hi,
29 ; seeks hand of Kushi-nada-
hime, 29 ; wins her by slaying
the eight-forked serpent, 29,
30 ; the Tengu = emanations
from, 352

" Sutra, Treasure - Raining."
A holy sutra given by Ryoseki
to Shinzaburo, 232

Suzuki Shichiro. Discovers
Kiuchi Heizayemon, 353

Sword. " The-Grass-Cleaving,"
a divine weapon discovered by
Susa-no-o, 30 ; given as a
gift to Prince Yamato, 54 ; the
Spirit of the, 336

Taiko-Hideyoshi. The friend of

Rikiu, 296, 297
Taira. Yoshitomo killed in a

battle with, 41 ; Kiyomori, the
cruel leader of the clan, 41 ;
finally conquered and driven
into the sea at Dan-no-ura by
Benkei and Yosliitsune, 43

Taira Clan. Great sea-fight re-
ferred to, between Minamoto
clan and, 300

Taira-no-Masakado. Swarm of
butterflies during preparation
for revolt by, 217

Takachihi. Uzume and com-
panions reach summit of, 33

Takahama. The White Butter-
fly and, 218, 219

Taka-mi-musubi. God who sends
Ninigi to govern the Central
Land of Reed-Plains, 30

"Takasago." I. The famous pines
of, referred to, 159; Matsue,
daughter of a fisherman at,
187-189. II. Considered one
of the finest of the No or clas-
sical dramas, 186

Takeru. Brigand, slain by
Yamato, 52

Takeru, Idzumo. Outlaw, slain
by Yamato, 53

" Taketori Monogatari." F.
Victor Dickins's translation
of, V

Tama. Maid-servant of Kazariya
Kyubei, 282 ; revisit to master
and mistress after her death, in
the form of a fly, 284

Tamana. Loved by Totaro, 377-
379 ; Totaro weds, 379

Tam.«lTE-Bako. Otherwise " The
Box of the Jewel Hand"; gift
bestowed by Princess Otohime
on Urashima, 327

Tamba, Province of. Raikoand
companions reach, 45

Tameyoshi. Death of Sea

Serpent, Yofune - Nushi, re-
ported to, 335

Tanabata. Alternative, The
Weaving Lady ; daughter of
the God of the Firmament,
126; wife of Hikoboshi, 126,

Tango. Village of Midzunoe, in
the province of, 324



Tanigumi-dera. Place near

Tarui, in Mino ; one of the
thirty-three places sacred to
Kwannon, 204

" Tanka." See Japanese Poetry,

Tarada, Captain. The Woman's
Sword and, 336, 337

Tawara Toda (" My Lord Bag of
Rice"). 5ec Hidesato, 62-64

Tea. Origin of first plant, 291 ;
in China, 290-293 ; Luwuh
the first Chinese tea-master,
292 ; Chaking the Holy Scrip-
ture of, 292 ; drunk by Zen
priests before image of Bodhi
Dharma (Daruma), 293 ; Pro-
fessor B. H. Chamberlain on
tea ceremonies, 293 ; pamphlet
on, by Buddhist priest Eisai,
293, 294 ; Rikiu the greatest
of tea-masters, 296, 297

Tea-drinking. In England and
Japan, contrasted, 290, 291 ;
the Spectator on, 290 ; Dr.
Johnson regarding his pro-
pensity to, 291 ; is a ritual in
Japan, 291

Tea-kettle. Story of the

miraculous, 262-264

Te-nadzuchi (" Hand - stroke -
elder"). Wifeof Ashi-nadzuchi,
and mother of Kushi-nada-
hime, 29

Ten Datsu-Ba, Husband of
Sodzu-Baba, 222

Tengu. King of the, his kind-
ness to Yoshitsune, 41, 42 ;
reference to story of the, 351 ;
Tobikawa imitates a, 353 ;
modern belief in the, 355 ;
officials of the Yedo Govern-
ment and their belief in the,

35 5

" Tengu-Kakushi " = " Hidden
by a Tengu," 353 ; legend giving
an account of the, 353-355

Tenjiku. Prince Ishizukuri re-
quired to journey to, in order
to procure the Begging Bowl
of the Lord Buddha, 67

Tenko. Art master to Sawara ;
Kimi's uncle, 122


Tenno, Antoku. Infant Emperor
who perished in the great sea-
fight between the Taira and
Minamoto clans, 300

Teoyo. Rescued by Matsue, and
loved by her, 188, 189

" Thought - Combining." A
God who brings birds from the
Eternal Land to tempt the
Sun Goddess back to Heaven,
27, 28

Thunder. Legends in regard to,
250-254; Bakin's Kumono
Tayema A ma Yo No Tsuki,
re the God of, 2 50 ; Animal ;
Raijii the, 251; Bird; Raicho
the, 251 ; Woman, Kaminari
the, 252; Child; Raitaro the,
253; Record; Shin-rai-ki the,


Thunder Gods. Eight varieties
rest on Izanami, 24 ; see
Raiden, 250 ; see legends,
250-254; Shokuro and the,

Tide Jewels. Sent by hand of
Isora as a gift from the Dragon
King to the Empress Jingo, 331

ToBA. I, Emperor. The Jewel
Maiden concubine to, 98. II.
Ex-Emperor. Wishes to build
temple to Kwannon in Kyoto,

Tobikawa. An ex-wrestler of
Matsue who imitates a Tengu,


Tochi. Ishizukuri discovers a
bowl in, which he offers to
Kaguya, 68, 69

Toema-dera. Chujo Hime, a
Buddhist nun, retires to temple
of, 201

Togo, Admiral. A hero of Japan,

ToKiMUNE, Regent. , Nichiren
sent to beach of Koshigoye to
be beheaded by, 241

ToKiWA. Wife of Yoshitomo,
mother of Yoshitsune ; at her
husband's death she weds
Kiyomori, 41 ; urges Yoshi-
tsune to avenge his father's
death, 41


ToKiYOEi, Saimyoji. a cele-
brated Regent during reign of
Emperor Go-Fukakusa, 182 ;
his mission to relieve peasants
from grasping officials and its
sequel, 182-184

ToKOYO. Daughter of Oribe
Shima, 334 ; her search after
her father, 334-336 ; slays
Yofune-Nushi (the White Sea
Serpent), 335

ToKUDO Shonin. The great
Buddhist abbot of the eighth
century, 201

ToKUTARO. His scepticism re-
garding foxes, and how he was
deluded by them, 98-100

ToKUTARO-SAN. The boy doll
of life-size, 215

Tokyo. Covered with ashes from
Fuji volcano, 131

ToMozo. One of Shinzaburo's
servants, 230 ; Mine wife of,

f ToRii," The. Meaning of =
" Fowl - dwelling " or " Bird -
rest," 226 ; reference to Pro-
fessor B. H. Chamberlain and,

226 ; reference to Dr. W. G.
Aston and, 226 ; " The Foot-
stool of the King " the most
perfect gateway in the world,

227 ; Mrs. Salwey's reference
to, 227

ToTARO. Samebito succoured by,
376, 377 ; falls in love with
Tamana, 377-379 ; weds
Tamana, 379

ToTTORi. Thol futon (quilt) of,
309-3 1 1

ToYO - TAMA (" Rich - jewel").
Daughter of the Sea God ; weds
Hoori, 36 ; gives birth to a
son, assumes form of a dragon,
and departs from Hoori, 37

Treasure Ship. The Takara-
bune ; Seven Gods of Good
Fortune as passengers on, 115

Trees. Reference to the Japanese
dwarf, 159; the pine, the
emblem of good fortune and
longevity, i 59 ; the cherry and
plum, association of Japanese

woman's beauty and virtue
with, 174, 175 ; the camelha,
legend regarding, 175 ; the
cryptomeria, 176 ; the God of
Roads and a pine, 176; Ki-
no-o-bake, a tree spirit, 176 ;
the spirit of the God Kojin
resides in the enoki tree, 177 ;
the silent pine, 177 ; the Willow
Wife, 1 77-1 80; Yenoki, the tree
of the One-eyed Priest, 1 80 ; the
burning of the Three Dwarfs,
182, 184; the pine-tree lovers,

True Sakaki Tree. Hung with
jewels and dressed by Uzume
to tempt Ama-terasu back to
Heaven, 28

Tsubosaka-dera. Place in Ya-
mato ; one of the thirty-three
places sacred to Kwannon, 203

Tsugaru. Kikuo, the retainer of,

Tsuki-yumi. The Moon God, son
of Izanagi and Izanami ; climbs
Ladder of Heaven to become
the consort of Sun Goddess,
Ama-terasu, 23

TsuRE-DzuRE-GusA. Record by
Kenko written in fourteenth
century, xi

TsuYU (" Morning Dew "). The
only daughter of lijima, 228 ;
the story of, illustrates the
power of Karma, 228-233 ; falls
in love with Hagiwara Slunza-
buro, 228 ; the story of their
sad fate, 228-233

TusKi NO IWAKSA. Scroll of the
EUxir of Life sent in charge of,
to highest mountain in Suruga,


TusNA. Most worthy of Raiko's
retainers, 49

" Twenty - eight Followers."
Personifications of certain con-
stellations, 200


Uda, Emperor. Baptized by
K6bo Daishi, 239



Uji River. People visit, to
witness the firefly battle, 286

Unai. The Maiden of, 313-315 ;
Mubara and Chinu lovers of
the Maiden of, 313-315

Underworld. Reference to, 202

Upper Horikan:&. Tokutaro at,


Urashima. The legend of, 323-
328; ballad of "The Fisher
Boy of," 324 ; the tortoise
and, 324, 325 ; at the Dragon
(Sea) King's palace, 325-328 ;
weds Otohime, the Dragon
King's daughter, 325 ; receives
from Otohime the gift of the
" Box of the Jewel Hand "
{Tamate-Bako), 327 ; the tomb
of, still shown at temple in
Kanagawa, 328

UzuME (" Heavenly - alarming -
female " ). Dances to tempt the
Sun Goddess (Ama-terasu) back
to Heaven, 28 ; accompanies
Ninigi, 33 ; accosts the Deity
of the Field-paths, 33 ; reaches
summit of Takachihi, 33 ; given
by Ninigi to Deity of the Field-
paths as wife, 33

Visu. The Rip Van Winkle of
Old Japan ; his adventures
beside Mount Fuji, 136-139


Waggon Priest. See Hotel, 213
Wasa. The Laughing Festival

of, 225
Wasobioye, Shikaiya. a man
of Nagasaki, a Japanese
Gulliver, 374-376 ; story of,
adapted from Professor B. H.
Chamberlain's translation in
the Transactions of the Asiatic
Society of Japan, 374 ; arrives
at Sea of Mud, 375 ; meets
Jofuku, 375 ; starts on journey
to the Three Thousand Worlds

mentioned in Buddhist Scrip-
tures, 375 ; visits Lands of
Endless Plenty, of Shams, of
the Followers of the Antique,
of Paradoxes, and of Giants,


WatanabS, Isuna. Finds out all
details of Kintaro's hfe, 368

Weaving Lady, The. Festival
of Tanabata, or, 126

Well, The Violet. See Shinge,

Wheel of Existence, The
Great, 109

Williams, Sir Monier. His de-
scription of the lotus flower,

Willow Wife, The. Story of,
adapted from Mr. R. Gordon
Smith's Ancient Tales and Folk-
lore of Japan, 177 ; Heitaro,
husband of Higo, the, 178-180

Wind God, The, 330

Woman. The, in Japanese art,
112, 113 ; the Mountain,


Worlds, Three Thousand. Men-
tioned in Buddhist Scriptures,
375 ; Shikaiya Wasobioye jour-
neys to, 375

Wrestlers, The Ghostly, in
Omi province, 358

Writing. Legendary origin of
the Chinese system of, 363

Yaegaki. The Precious-Camellia
of, 175

Ya^giri. a lady with whom
Sakata Kurando falls in love,
367 ; gives birth to Kintaro,
or the Golden Boy, ^Gy

Yakami, Princess of. Eighty-
one brothers, Princes in Japan,
who wish to marry, 2 56-2 58

Yama, Fujl See Fuji

Yamato Take, Prince. Youngest
son of King Keiko, 51 ; Princess
Ototachibana wife of, 51 ; his
expedition to the Southern
Island of Kiushiu, 51, 52;


disguised as a woman, en-
counters Kumaso and Takeru,
52 ; slays Kumaso and Takeru,
52 ; he encounters and slays
Idzumo Takeru, 53 ; " Eight-
Arms - Length - Spear " given
to, 54 ; the " Grass-Cleaving-
Sword " of Murakumo given to,
54 ; meets and weds Princess
Miyadzu, 55 ; Ainu rising
quelled by, 54-56 ; passes
through province of Owari, 57 ;
reaches the province of Omi,
57 ; slays serpent in, 57

" Yang " and " Yin." The
Chinese, correspond to In and
Yo, 21

Yao, Emperor. Reputed son of
a dragon, 362

Yayoi. The Month of Increase,
193 ; the Soul of the Mirror,

193. 194
Yedo Government. Officials of,
and their belief in the Tengu,


Yenoki. The One-eyed Priest
who served at temple of Fudo,
on Oki-yama, 180-182 ; spirit
of, passes into a great crypto-
meria-tree, 181 ; in form of a
handsome youth allures a num-
ber of maidens away from their
lovers, 181, 182

Yellow Dragon. See Yellow
River, 363

Yellow River. Fuk Hi present
by Yellow Dragon with mystic
scroll by the, $65

"Yih-king" ("Book of
Changes"). The main source
of Japanese divination, 344 ;
begun by Fu Hsi 2000 B.C.
and added to by Confucius, 344

YoFUNE-NusHi. The Serpent
God ; variant, the White Sea
Serpent, 334 ; slain by Tokoyo,

YoMi, Land of (Hades). Izanami
creeps away to, 23 ; Izanagi
goes to, 23 ; Eight Ugly
Females of, 24 ; the Even Pass
of, 24 ; Susa-no-o banished to,
25, 28

YoNfi. Faithful servant of Tsuyu,

YoNE NoGUCHi. Sums up magic
of a Japanese night associated
with the Festival of the Dead,
224 ; quotation re Japanese
fan from, 243 ; reference to
The Pilgrimage by, 380

Yorimasa. Knight ; encounters
and slays evil monsters outside
Emperor's palace, the Purple
Hall of the North Star, 38,
39 ; presented with sword
Shishi-wo as a reward, and
marries the Lady Ayame, 39

YoRiMiTSU. A famous hero who
makes Kintaro his retainer, 368,


YoRiTOMO. General, who laid out
city of Kamakura, 83 ; saved,
after defeat, from power of
Oba Kage-chika by two doves,
277, 278

YoRozuvA. Proposed husband
for Kimi, 123

YosHiMASA, The Lord. The
Shogun ; mirror presented to,

Yoshimine-dera. Place at Kyoto;
one of the thirty-three places
sacred to Kwannon, 204

YosHiSAWA. Rescues Shinge

from the snake, 168 ; drowns
himself in the Violet Well,

YosHiTOMO. Father of Yoshi-
tsune ; killed in battle with the
Taira clan, 41 ; Tokiwa wife
of, 41 ; reference to story of,

351. 352
YosHiTSUNE. Compared with the
Black Prince and Henry V., 39;
his father, Yoshitomo, killed in
battle with the Taira, 41 ;
his mother, Tokiwa, urges him
to avenge his father's death,
41 ; his intercourse with the
King of the Tengu, 42 ; news
of Benkei's lawless doings
reaches ears of, 42 ; seeks out
and conquers Benkei, 42, 43 ;
assisted by Benkei, drives out
the Taira, 43, 44



YosHo. The first great Japanese

sennin, 356, 357
Yosoji. Consults the magician

Kamo Yamakiko, 1 34 ; visits

Mount Fuji, 134, 135
Youth, The Land of Perpetual.

Visit of Sentaro to, 133, 134
YuKi-ONNA. The ' Lady of the

Snow, 149 ^

YuRiNE. A poor man who lived

near Mount Fuji ; story of, 359-

362 ; Koyuri, son of, 359

YusAi, Hakuodo. Gives advice
to Shinzaburo, 230-232

Zembei. Father of Shinge, 168

Zen. Sect ; tea-drinking asso-
ciated with Buddhism by, 293

Zodiac. The Dragon {Tatsu)
one of the signs of the, 363

Zoology. Lafcadio Hearn's refer-
ence to ghostly, 94


University of



Search more related documents:Full text of "Myths & legends of Japan"

Set Home | Add to Favorites

All Rights Reserved Powered by Free Document Search and Download

Copyright © 2011
This site does not host pdf,doc,ppt,xls,rtf,txt files all document are the property of their respective owners. complaint#nuokui.com