The Catalpa Bow: A Study in Shamanistic Practices in Japan

By Carmen Blacker | Go to book overview

Glossary
This list comprises all Japanese terms used more than once.
oka—Buddhist libatory water, from the Sanscrit argha; one of the five officers in the Haguro autumn retreat.
akimine—the 'autumn peak' or autumn retreat; the most important of the four seasonal rituals of the Haguro sect of Shugendō.
aragyō—rough or severe austerities; especially those practised for a hundred days of the winter by the Nichiren sect on Mt Minobu and in the Hokekyōji temple in Chiba prefecture.
ayaigasa—a large straw hat, one of the items of the yamabushi's ritual costume; in the Haguro sect of Shugendō it is decorated with discs of white paper and represents the placenta which encases the embryo in the womb.
bikuni—a Buddhist nun; often, as with the Kumano bikuni, claiming powers of prophesy and divination.
bokken—a wooden instrument consisting of a small ball and board, which when correctly manipulated makes a sharp sound like castanets which is held by the Nichiren sect to be powerful in the process of exorcism.
bonden—a wand decorated with white paper streamers, often used as the vessel of the kami or the conductor through which the kami may enter the body of the medium. An especially large variety is used by the Haguro sect of Shugendō in their autumn retreat.
daimoku—the name given by the Nichiren sect to their sacred formula Namu myōhō rengekyō, hail to the Lotus of the Wonderful Law.
daimyōjin—a superior rank of kami.
dairi—the name given to the medium in the Nichiren method of exorcism.
daisendatsu—a superior rank in the Shugendō order, often indicating that nine periods of autumn retreat have been undergone; the leader of the five sendatsu in the Haguro autumn retreat.
dakini—in Tibetan Buddhism, the spirit woman who bestows secret knowledge on the neophyte and assists him in meditation; in Japan, a spiritual being identified with a fox.
dōshi—one of the five sendatsu officiating at the Haguro autumn retreat.
gaki—hungry ghosts or pretas, who inhabit the Gakidō or Realm of Hungry Ghosts, one of the Three Evil Realms on the Buddhist wheel of life.
gantsū—clairvoyant vision; one of the six miraculous powers which the ascetic acquires as a result of austerities.
gohei—a wand decorated with streamers of cut white paper, often used as a vessel for the kami, or a conductor through which a kami can enter a medium's body.
gohō-dōji—the guardian boy who appears in medieval Buddhism as an assistant spirit to a holy man.
gohōzane—local appellation for the medium at the Gohōtobi oracle.

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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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