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bright moonshine, she reached a submarine cave wherein she found a wooden statue of Hojo Takatoki. As she was about to take it out of the cave, she saw coming out of the cavern, a horrible luminous creature of the shape of a snake, but with legs and small scales on its body and with fiery eyes and being about 26 feet long. Feeling sure that this was the evil god Yofuné-Nushi which annually required a girl as a sacrificial offering to him, she struck it with her dagger several times and killed it. Taking the monster's carcase and the wooden statue, she rose to the surface of the water and was pulled ashore by the priest. Thereafter Tokoyo was the heroine of the hour. The priest reported the whole affair to Lord Hojo Takatoki, the ruler of the province.
Takatoki was suffering from a peculiar disease quite unknown to the medical experts of the day. The recovery of the wooden statue representing himself made it clear that he was labouring under the curse of some one whom he had treated unjustly-someone who had carved his figure, cursed it, and sunk it in the sea. Now that it had been brought to the surface, he felt sure that the curse was over and that he would get better; and he did accordingly. On hearing that the heroine of the story was the daughter of his old enemy Oribe Shima, who had been banished to the Oki Islands, he ordered his immediate release. Thereafter Oribe Shima and his brave daughter 0 Tokoyo returned to their own
The curse on the image of Hojo Takatoki had brought with it the evil god, Yofuné-Nushi, who demanded the sacrifice of a virgin annually.
annually. YofunéNushi had now been slain, and the islanders feared no further troubles from storms.
Gordon Smith's Ancient Tales and Folklore of Japan, pp. 101–109.
Sympathetic Magic among the Japanese.—The incident, in the aforesaid tolktale, of an image of Takatoki having been made and cursed and sunk in the sea in the belief that Takatoki himself would thereby be afflicted with some unknown malady, illustrates the belief of the Japs in Sympathetic Magic. This belief in “Sympathetic Magic ” is based on the “ Association of Ideas.” Men in the lower plane of culture, having often associated in thought those objects which they find from their observation of physical phenomena to be connected in actuality, erroneously invert this process of reasoning, and conclude that this ideal connection must involve a similar connection in reality. As the result of this mistaken mode of thinking, they think that an enemy may be slain or injury done to him by making a waxen image of him and causing it to melt gradually before a fire, or by making an effigy of him and sticking nails or wooden pegs into it with the recital of suitable incantations. These practices are current among various races of people inhabiting different parts of the globe, namely, the Chaldæans, the Nabathæans dwelling on the Lower Euphrates, the ancient Egyptians, the Romans, the Peruvians, the Tibetans, the Cingalese, the Borneans, the people of the Straits Settle ments in the Malayan Peninsula, the peasants of Devonshire in England, the Highlanders of Scotland, and others. Sympathetic Magic among the Japs finds another expression in the Japanese custom of “ Ushi toki mairi” (or “Going to the shrine
· at the hour of the ox ") whereby some forsaken woman wreaks vengeance on her truant lover by impaling the latter's straw effigy with nails upon some sacred tree until the latter dies. “To do this, the woman makes a rude image of straw, which is to represent her victim. At the hour of two o'clock in the morning, Ushitoki (the hour of the ox), she proceeds (mairi) to the shrine of her patron god, usually the Uji-gami (family or local deity). Her feet are shod with high clogs, her limbs are lightly robed in a loose night-dress of white, her hair is dishevelled, and her eyes sparkle with the passion within her. Sometimes she wears a crown, made of an iron tripod reversed on which burn three candles, In her left hand she carries the straw effigy; in her right she grasps a hammer. On her bosom is suspended a mirror, She carries nails in her girdle or in her mouth. Reaching the sacred tree, which is encircled with a garland of rice-straw, before the shrine, and near the torii, she impales upon the tree with nails, after the manner of a Roman crucifier, the straw effigy of her recreant lover. While so engaged, she adjures the gods to save their tree, impute the guilt of desecration to the traitor, and punish him with their deadly vengeance. The visit is repeated nightly, several times in succession, until the object of her incantations sickens and dies."*
A Japanese Version of the Story about Bruce and the Spider.--Readers of Scottish history are well acquainted with the story related of the Scottish hero Bruce, who, after repeated reverses, was goaded on to make greater exertions by the sight of a spider having succeeded in making a web after several failures. This story, which is familiar to every school-boy from Eliza Cook's famous poem entitled “ Bruce and the Spider", has an analogue in Japanese folklore, which narrates that, between the years 1750 and 1760, there lived in Kyoto a great painter named Okyo whose paintings fetched high prices. He had many pupils, among whom
Griffis's The Mikado's Empire, p. 473.
was one named Rosetu. He was very dull and stupid and could make no progress for three years. Being discouraged by this, he gave up the hope of becoming a great painter and quietly left the school one evening, intending either to go home or to kill himself on the way. On the way, he became tired for want of sleep and food and Aung himself down on the snow under the pine trees. Some hours before dawn, Rosetu's attention was attracted by the sound of splashing water. When the day dawned, he saw that the noise was being made by a carp which was persistently jumping out of the water for full three hours, evidently trying to reach a piece of sembei (a kind of biscuit made of rice and salt) lying on the ice of a pond close by. By his long but unsuccessful efforts, the fish had cut himself, lost many scales and was bleeding. Rosetu watched its persistency with admiration. After trying every imaginable device, the fish at last succeeded in breaking the ice and getting at the biscuit, and then swam away with it.
Rosetu was much impressed by the carp's brave perseverance and ultimate success, and thus reflected:
“ Yes", he said to himself, this has been a moral lesson to I will be like this carp.
I will not go home until I have gained my object. I will labour harder than ever and will continue in my efforts until I attain my end or die."
die.” After visiting the neighbouring temple and praying for success to the local deity, Rosetu returned to Kyoto and told his master Okyo the story of the carp's determination. The master was much pleased and did his best for his backward pupil. This time Rosetu progressed, and ultimately became one of Japan's greatest painters. Rosetu took for his crest the leaping carp.
Smith's Ancient Tales and Folklore of Japan, pp. 44-46.
Similarity between a Japanese and a Mahomedan Legend about the Spider.—There is Mahomedan tradition to the effect that, while the great Prophet Mahomed was persecuted in Mecca, he hid himself in a cave in order to escape from his pursuers. When his enemies came, they found a pigeon sitting on its nest at the entrance to the cave and a spider's web woven across the mouth thereof-which state of things led them to believe that no one had entered the cave lately. Under this impression, they gave up the idea of searching the cave for the fugitive Mahomed who thereafter escaped. † This legend bears a striking similarity to another related of the Japanese ruler Yoritomo. In the earlier half of his time, Yoritomo, who was the founder of the Shogunate--the first Japanese Mayor of the Palace, and a scion of the great house of Minamoto, and lived from 1147 to 1199, was once severely defeated in a battle against Oba Kage-Chika. Yoritomo, with six of his most faithful followers, ran away to save their skins. and took to a large forest, where they concealed themselves in the hollow of a large tree. In the meantime Kagechika sent his cousin Kage-taki to search for Yoritomo. But Kage-taki was not pleased with his mission, for at one time he had known and been friendly with Yoritomo. However, he went off and, shortly afterwards, found his old friend Yoritomo and his six faithful attendants concealed within the hollow of the tree. But his heart softened and, returning to Kage-chika, falsely reported to him that he had been unable to find the enemy and that he thought that Yoritomo had escaped from the forest.
Not believing his cousin's words, Kage-chika, led by Kage-taki and followed by some twenty attendants,
+ Six Months in Meccah. By T. F. Keane (Haji Mahammad Amin). London: Tinsley Brothers. 1881. p. 82.