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THE JAPANESE

come. Nor do they know of any other devil, but that which they suppose to animate the fox ; a very mischievous animal in this country, and so much dreaded, that some are of opinion, that the impious after their death are transformed into foxes ; which their priests call Ma, that is, evil spirits.

The chief points of the Sintos religion are, 1. Inward purity of heart.

2. A religious abstinence from whatever makes a man impure.

3. A diligent observance of the solemn festivals and holy days.

4. Pilgrimages to the holy places at Isie. To these some very religious people add,

5. Chastising and mortifying their bodies.

Let us speak of these severally :-To begin, therefore, with inward purity of heart, which consists in doing, or omitting those things which they are ordered to do, or to ayoid ; either by the law of nature, the dictates of reason, or the more immediate and special command of civil magistrates,

As to external purity, the observance whereof, though less material in itself, has yet been more strictly commanded. It consists in abstaining from blood; from eating flesh, and from dead bodies. Those who have rendered themselves impure by any of these things are thereby disabled from going to the temples ; from visiting holy places, and in general from appearing in the presence of the gods. Whoever is stained with his own or other blood, is fusio for seven days, that is, impure and unfit to approach holy places. No woman must come to the temple during monthly terms. It is commonly believed, that in the holy pilgrimage to Isje, the monthly terms do for that time entirely cease: which, it true, must be owing either to the fatigues of a long and tedious journey, or to their taking great pains to conceal it, for fear their labour and expenses should thereby become useless. Whoev. er eats the flesh of any four footed beast, deer only excepted, is fusio for thirty days. On the contrary, whoever eats a fowl wild or tame, water fowls, pheasants, and cranes excepted, is fusio but a Japanese hour, which is equal to two of ours. Whoever kills a beast, or is present at an execution, or attends a dying person, or comes into a house where a dead body lies, is fusio that day.

But of all the things which make us impure, none is reckoned so very contagious as the death of parents and near relations. The nearer you are related to the dead person, so much the greater the impurity. All ceremonies to be ob: served on this occasion, the time of mourning, and the like, are determined by this rule. By not observing these precepts, people make themselves guilty of external impurity, which is detested by the gods, and become unfit to approach their temples.

The celebration of solemn festivals and holidays, which is the third essential point of the Sintos religion, consists in what they call Majiru; that i., in going to the mias and temples of the gods, and deceased great men. This may be done at any time, but ought not to be neglected on those days particularly consecrated to their worship, unless the faithful be in a state of impurity, and not duly qualified to appear in the presence of the immortal gods, who detest all uncleanness.

They perform their devotions at the temple in the following manner : the worshippers having first washed and cleaned themselves, put on the very best clothes they have, with a kamisijno, as they call it, or a garment of ceremony, every one according to his ability.

Thus clad, they walk with a composed and grave countenance to the temple-court, and, in the first place, to the basin of water, there to wash their hands, if needful, for which purpose a pail is hung by the side of it ; then casting down their eyes, they move on, with great reverence and submission towards the mia itself; and having got up the few step: which lead to the walk round the temple, and are placed opposite to the grated windows of the mia, and the looking glass within, they fall down upon their knees, bow the head quite to the ground, slowly, and with great humility ; then lift it up again, still kneeling, and turning their eyes towards the looking-glass, make a short prayer, wherein they expose to the gods their desires and necessities, or say a takamano farokami jodomari, and then throw some putjes, or small pieces of money, by way of an offering to the gods, and charity to the priests, either through the grates upon the floor of the mia, or into the alms-box, which stands close by ; all this being done, they strike the bell thrice, which is hung up over the door of the mai, for the diversion of the gods, whom they believe to be highly delighted with the sound of musical instruments; and so retire to divert themselves the remaining part of the day, with walking, exercises, eating or drinking, and treating one another in the very best manner they are able.

Their feasts, weddings, audiences, great entertainments, and in general all manner of public and private rejoicings, are made on these days in preference to others ; not only because they are then more at leisure, but cbiefly because they fancy

that their gods themselves are very much delighted, when men allow themselves reasonable pleasures and diversions. All their rebis, or holidays in general, are unmoveable, being fixed to certain days. Some are monthly, others yearly.

The merchants worship and devote themselves in a more peculiar manner to the four following gods, as gods of fortune and prosperity.

1. Jebisu was Tensio Dai Sin's brother, but by him disgraced and banished into an uninhabited island. It is said of him that he could live two or three days under water. He is, as it were, the Neptune of the country, and the protector of fishermen, and seafaring people. They represent him sitting on a rock, with an angling-rod in one hand, or the celebrated fish tai, in the other.

2. Daikoku, is said to have the power, that wherever he knocks with his hammer he can fetch out from thence any thing he wants, as for instance, rice, victuals, cloth, money, &c. He is commonly represented sitting on a bale of rice, with his fortunate hammer in his right hand, and a bag laid by him, in which he puts whatever he knocks out.

3. Tossitoku ; and by some called Kurokusi. The Japanese worship him at the beginning of the new year, in order to obtain from him subsistence, success and prosperity in their undertakings. He is represented standing clad in a large gown with long sleeves, a long beard, a huge monstrous fore. head, and large ears, and a fan in his right hand.

4. Fottei, by some called Miroku, is represented with a great huge belly. His worshippers expect from his benevolent assistance, among other good things, health, riches, and · children.

These are the greatest of the Japanese gods, and the festival days sacred to them. There are many more saints and great men, whose memory is celebrated on particular days, because of their noble actions, and great services done to their country.

Of the Jammabos, or Mountuin Priests.- Jammabos signifies, properly speaking, a mountain soldier. They are a sort of hermits, who pretend to abandon the temporal for the sake of the spiritual and eternal ; to exchange an easy and com. modious way of life for an austere and rigorous one ; pleasures for mortifications ; spending most of their time in going up and down holy mountains, and frequently washing them. selves with water, even in the midst of the winter. The richer among them, who are more at their ease, live in their own houses. The poorer go strolling and begging about the

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country, particularly in the province of Syriga, in the neighbourhood of the high mountain Fusi Jamma ; to the top whereof they are by the rules of their order obliged to climb every year, in the sixth month. Some few have mias, or temples, but, generally speaking, so ill provided for, that they can scarce get a livelihood by them.

The founder of this order was one Gienno Giossa, who lived about 1100 years ago. They can give no manner of account of his birth, parents and relations. Nor had he any issue. He was the first that chose this solitary way of life for the mortification of his body. He spent all his time wandering through desert, wild, and uninhabited places, which in the end proved no inconsiderable service to bis country, insomuch, as thereby he discovered the situation and nature of such places, which nobody before him ventured to view, or to pass through, because of their roughness and wild aspect. By these means he found out new, easier, and shorter roads, from places to places, to the great advantage of travellers. His followers, in process of time, split into two different orders. One is called Tosanfa. Those who embrace this, must once a year climb up to the top of Fikoosan, a very high mountain in the province Cusen, upon the confines of Tsikusen, a journey of no small difficulty and danger, by reason of the height and steepness of this mountain, and the many precipices all around it, but much more, because, as they pretend, it hath this singular quality, that all those who presume to ascend it, when fusios, that is, labouring under any degree of impurity, are by way of punishment for their impious rash. ness possessed with the fox (others would say, the devil,) and turn stark mad. The second order is called Fonsanfa.“ Those who enter into this, must visit in pilgrimage, once a year, the grave of their founder at the top of a bigh mountain in the province Jostsijno, which by reason of its height is called Omine, that is, the top of the high mountain.

Should any one presume to undertake this journey, with. out having first duly purified and prepared himself for it, he would run the hazard of being thrown down the horrid pre: cipices, and dashed to pieces, or, at least, by a lingering sick. ness, or some other considerable misfortune, pay for his folly, and the contempt of the just anger of the gods. And yet notwithstanding all these dangers and difficulties, all persons, who enter into any of these two orders, must undertake this journey once a year. In order to this they qualify them. selves by a previous mortification, by virtue whereof they must for sometime abstain from their wives, from impure

food, and other things, by the use of which they might contract any degree of impurity, though never so small, not for. getting frequently to bathe and to wash themselves in cold water. As long as they are upon the journey, they must live only upon what roots and plants they find on the inountain.

If they return safe home from this hazardous pilgrimage, they repair forthwith, each to the general of his order, who resides at Miaco, make him a small present in money, which if poor, they must get by begging, and receive from him a more honourable title and higher dignity, which occasions some alteration in their dress, and increases the respect that must be shown them by their brethren of the same order. So far is ambition from being banished out of these religious societies.

Of the Budsdo, or Foreign Pagan Worship, and its Founder. --Budsdo, in the literal sense, signifies the way of foreign idols, that is, the way of worshipping foreign idols. The origin of this religion, which quickly spread through most Asiatic countries to the very extremities of the East, must be looked for among the Brahmins. There are strong reasons 10 believe, both from the affinity of the name, and the very nature of this religion, that its author and founder is the very same person, whom the Brahmins call Budha, and believe to be an essential part of Vishnon, or their Deity, who made its ninth appearance in the world under this naine, and in the shape of man. The Chinese and Japanese call him Siaka.

He lived seventy-nine years, and died on the fifteenth day of the second month in the year before Christ 950.

The most essential points of his doctrine are as follows:--

The souls of men and animals are immortal : both are of the same substance, and differ only according to the different objects they are placed in.

The souls of men, after their departure from their bodies, are rewarded in a place of happiness or misery, according to their behaviour in this life,

The place of happiness is called Gokurakf, that is, a place of eternal pleasures. As the gods differ in their nature, and the souls of men in the merit of their past actions, so do like. wise the degrees of pleasure and happiness in their Elysian fields, that every one may be rewarded as he deserves. However the whole place is so thoroughly filled with bliss and pleasure, that each happy inhabitant thinks his portion the best, and far from envying the happier state of others, wishes only for ever to enjoy his own.

Amida is the sovereign commander of these heavenly sta

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