The Catalpa Bow: A Study in Shamanistic Practices in Japan

By Carmen Blacker | Go to book overview

12

The Ascetic's Power

The powers which the ascetic attains through his initiation and subsequent austerities fall at once into two distinct groups. First there are those which are put to some practical use, either in the service of the community or in his own daily life. These are found practised by ascetics of all kinds, whether Buddhist priests, yamabushi or solitary professional healers. They consist principally of the powers necessary for the accomplishment of exorcism, but also include the power to 'open' a holy place, the founding of temples and shrines on holy spots and the sacralising of mountains for pilgrimage. Also in this category we may include the orphic power to fascinate animals and to communicate with them.

The second group of powers is practised only by yamabushi and consists not so much of practical accomplishments as of demonstrations of the magic art, undertaken to convince the community that the disciple has indeed risen above the ordinary human state. Until the end of the last century a fair number of these feats could still be witnessed in various parts of Japan. Today the repertory seems to have been reduced to three: hi-watari or fire-walking, yudate or sousing oneself in boiling water, and more rarely katana-watari or climbing up a ladder of swords. All these three feats, when closely examined, will be seen to point to the two characteristically shamanic accomplishments of mastery of fire and the magical flight to heaven.

First let us deal with the various methods whereby the ascetic overcomes the discontented ghosts and foxes which cause demoniacal possession, and the particular powers which he needs to carry them out. We will deal here only with those cases where the ascetic accomplishes this task alone and unaided by a medium. The techniques whereby the skills of both practitioners are combined will be examined in a later chapter.

Confronted by a sufferer complaining of aches, pains

-235-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Catalpa Bow: A Study in Shamanistic Practices in Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface to the Third Edition 5
  • Preface to the Second Edition 7
  • Preface to the First Edition and Acknowledgements 9
  • Contents 15
  • Illustrations 17
  • 1 - The Bridge 19
  • 2 - The Sacred Beings 34
  • 3 - Witch Animals 51
  • 4 - The Other World 69
  • 5 - Ascesis 85
  • 6 - The Ancient Sibyl 104
  • 7 - The Living Goddess 127
  • 8 - The Blind Medium 140
  • 9 - The Ascetic's Initiation 164
  • 10 - The Visionary Journey 186
  • 11 - The Symbolic Journey 208
  • 12 - The Ascetic's Power 235
  • 13 - Village Oracles 252
  • 14 - Mountain Oracles 279
  • 15 - Exorcism 298
  • 16 - Conclusion 315
  • Appendix 317
  • Abbreviations 321
  • Select Bibliography 354
  • Additional Bibliography (Third Edition) 366
  • Glossary 368
  • Index 375
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 384

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.