The Catalpa Bow: A Study in Shamanistic Practices in Japan

By Carmen Blacker | Go to book overview

Abbreviations

AFS—

Asian Folklore Studies

FS—

Folklore Studies

HR—

History of Religions

NBT—

Nihon Bungaku Taikei

NKBT—

Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei

NMK—

Nihon Minzokugaku Kaihō

SPTK—

Ssu pu ts'ung k'an

TASJ—

Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan

WK—

Hori Ichirō's Waga kuni minkan shinkōshi no kenkyū, vol. 2

YKS—

Teihon Yanagita Kunio Shū


Notes

Chapter 1

1
The play is translated by Arthur Waley in his Nō Plays of Japan; text in Yōkyoku Taikan, vol. 1, p. 155. The spell is a celebrated one, which Yanagita believes to have been in widespread use in ancient times as a summoner of spirits: see 'Yorimasa no haka', YKS, vol. 9, p. 280.
2
To take a random example, the religious group called Gedatsukai, whose premises in Kyoto I visited in 1969, are convinced that the cause of all human misfortune lies in the spiritual world, sickness and disaster of every kind being laid at the door of discontented ancestral spirits and Shinto numina. According to an investigation carried out by the Japanese Ministry of Education in 1956 into 'superstitions in daily life', 15.52% of the sample believed divine chastisements to be 'definitely true', and 31.73% to be 'possibly true'. See Japanese Religion, published 1972 by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, p. 142.
3
To designate the shaman's altered state of consciousness I prefer to use the word 'trance' to the 'ecstasy' favoured by so many authorities, simply because it is less easily confused with states of emotional rapture, exaltation or even madness. Memories of Drydon's 'mad prophet in an ecstasy', Milton's dim religious light and pealing organ which 'dissolve me in ecstasies', George Crabbe's 'muddy ecstasies of beer', and the vision of Ophelia 'blasted with ecstasy' all tend to obscure the fact that the shaman's state of consciousness is neither emotional nor insane.
4
Concerning the derivation of the word 'shaman', Professor Sir Harold Bailey has kindly furnished me with the following information. From the Vedic śram, meaning to heat oneself or practise austerities, we get śramaná, one who practises austerities, an

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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
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