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ordinary people, from the pen of Dr. Siebold; who, like Captain Galownin, was for some time a prisoner among them.
In the mean time we can only depend on the information which we now have. M. Klaproth states—
"There are three principle religions in Japan: that denominated Sinto, or Sinsion, is the most ancient, and the primitive faith of the empire. It is founded on the worship of spirits, or divinities presiding over all things visible and invisible, and who are called Sin, or Kami. The Dairi, whose family is regarded as descended from the divinities that anciently reigned in the empire, was originally the head of this religion, which holds in higher reverence than any other divine being the goddess Ten-sio-dae-sin (great spirit of celestial light), from whom the family of the Dairis is derived, and whose chief temple, called Nae-koo (interior temple), or Dae-sinkoo, is situated near Oozi, in the district of Watarabeh, province of Izeh. It was founded by the eleventh Dairi. It is a very plain edifice, surrounded by seven other temples dedicated to various deities and genii. In its vicinity are twenty-four other altars, or chapels, where sacrifices are offered to different tutelary spirits. The Ghekoo (exterior temple), or Ghe-daisin-koo, is in the same district, at Takawara, on Mount Nuki-noku Yama. Here is invoked the god Toyo-ke-o-dae-sin, who is regarded as the creator of heaven and earth, and who is at the same time the tutelary divinity of the Dairi; wherefore, this is the temple in which the reigning Dairi offers sacrifice and performs his devotions.
"The date of the Ghekoo, like that of the other temple, is B. C. 4; it is encircled with four other temples, amongst which are those of the earth, the wind, and the moon. Sixteen altars and chapels belonging to different deities are near it, and eight others further off. Generally speaking, the whole province of Izeh is filled with temples and places of sacrifices, and it is regarded as a holy place. The brother of the goddess Ten-siodae-sin was Fatsman, commonly called Oosa Fatsman, from his chief temple being at Oosa, in the province of Bunzen: its date is A. D. 570. Fatsman is the Japanese god of war, and the deity who takes most interest in the fate of the empire: hence the emperors often send embassies to consuit him in important matters. The Japanese regard Ten-sio-dae-sin as the founder of their empire, and she is on that account the object of their most profound veneration; in fact, the pure Sinto worship recognizes no being superior to her. The Diiiris who descend from this goddess, bear, for that reason, the epithet of Ten-si, or " son of heaven." The stock of this celestial family is imperishable, for the people believe that when a Dairi has no child, heaven procures him one. At the present day, when an emperor of Japan has no heir, he finds one beneath a tree, near his palace: this is a child secretly selected by himself from an illustrious family, and placed there. The souls of the Diiiris, as well as those of other men, are considered immortal; for the Sintos acknowledge a state of existence after death. All souls are judged by heavenly judges; those of virtuous men are admitted into paradise Taka-ama-kawara, or exalted platform of heaven, where they become Kamis, or beneficent genii: whilst those of the wicked depart for the hell Ne-no-kooni, or kingdom of roots. In honour of the Kamis, meas or wooden temples are raised to them: in the midst of them is placed the symbol of the divinity, which consists of strips of paper* attached to sticks of the wood of the finoki (thurya Japonica); these symbols, termed gofei, are found in all Japanese houses, where they are kept in little meas.
"Every day, or at certain periods, prayers and sacrifices are offered to the founder of the empire, to good emperors, and to other persons who have deserved well of their country, and whose souls have become Kamis. Festivals are also celebrated in their name, termed Matsuri. No person, however, can address himself directly to Ten-sio-dae-sin: he must transmit his prayers to her through the medium of the Sin-go-zins, or tutelary and guardian deities.
"The sacrifices offered to the Kamis and tutelary divinities, chiefly at the beginning and end of the month, consist of various articles of food, such as rice, cakes, fish, deer, &c. In ancient times human sacrifices were offered to the tutelary deities; for instance, to Kosu-rio, or the dragon with nine heads, of Mount To-kakoosi, in the province of Sinano, and other
* These strips of paper accord with Finlayson's account of the Cochin Chinese.
Kamis in Yamato. The object was to conciliate these malevolent deities, who were regarded as servants of the gods, and the dearest members of the family were sacrificed to them, commonly damsels of great beauty.
"The votaries of the Sinto religion are not forbidden to kill living beings; the priests suffer their hair to grow, like the laity, and may marry. The dead are buried in a bier (kwan or fitsuki), like a mea in shape. Anciently, when a great personage died, a number of his servants and friends were buried alive with him, In later times, these persons on such occasions ripped up their bellies. This custom was prohibited by the thirty-third Dairi, A. D. 3, but it was still continued till the time of Taeko, towards the close of the sixteenth century; instead of living men, however, statues of clay were substituted, which are still frequently found buried in the earth.
"The second religion, and that which is now most prevalent in Japan, since it has become the popular creed, is Buddhism. This religion which, previous to the commencement of our era, had spread from India to central Asia, penetrated soon after into China, and at a later period into Corea.
"This exotic doctrine not only maintained its footing in the palaces of the great, but made considerable progress among the vulgar, who were captivated by the pomp of its ceremonies, so much more imposing and splendid than the pure and simple worship of the ancient religion of the country. From this period Buddhist priests flocked into Japan from Corea and China; and, as the latter country was regarded as the second birthplace of Buddhism in eastern Asia, a vast number of Japanese, who dedicated themselves to the ecclesiastical profession, proceeded thither, in order to perfect themselves in the study of the law in Chinese convents. Even the Dairis, who had been previously regarded as the heads of the Sinto religion, often deserted it to follow the precepts of Buddhism, and many princes of the imperial family, whose reputed descent was from the ancient gods of the country, shaved their heads, and became priests in the convents of the new faith. A.D. 805, the fiftieth Dairi caused images of the Buddhist divinities to be even placed in the imperial palace, and the sacred books procured from India to be read and explained; and he received the Kivantsio of Buddhist baptism." Buddhism in Japan was always on the increase until the period when it was declared, by the Japanese government, the religion of the state: a circumstance which has occasioned the ancient worship of Sinto, although differing essentially from Buddhism, to be almost completely identified with it, at least amongst the vulgar; for the learned are perfectly well aware of the distinction between the two doctrines. This fusion of the two religions is now carried so far, that the Sinto divinities are often worshipped in the Buddist temples, and vice verse.
"Japan is every where crowded with Buddhist temples, called Zi. One of the chief is the T6-k6-zi, in the south-east quarter of Keo or Meyako. Its enclosure contains several religious edifices, the most considerable of which is the Dae-Boots-den, or saloon of the great Buddha, surnamed Roosiana, a term corrupted from the Sanscrit roshana or ' the resplendent.' The image was first set up in the year 1576, by the military emperor Takeo, or Fide-yosi. The saloon in which it is placed was destroyed in 1596, by a terrible earthquake. Fide-yeo, son of Taeko, rebuilt it in 1602. But the colossus, which was of brass gilt, having been materially injured by another earthquake, in 1662, the statue was melted down, and the metal used in coining copper money, and a substitute of wood covered with gilt paper was completed in 1667. This is still in existence; it represents Buddha seated in the Indian mode, upon a lotus flower; the body of the god is 77 feet 51 inches high, Rhenish measure; and the entire statue with the lotus 89 feet 8i inches. The head of the collossus protrudes through the roof of the saloon. At a little distance from hence is a chapel called Mimitsuka, or ' tomb of ears,' in which are buried the ears and noses of the Coreans who fell in their battles with Taeko. He had them salted and conveyed to Japan in barrels. The grand portico of the external wall of the temple is called Ni-wo-mon, or 'gate of the two kings.' On entering this vast portico, which is 83i feet high, on each side appears a collossal figure 22 feet in height, representing the two celestial kings, Ardoon and Inyo, who are the usual parties at the Buddhic temples. Another edifice, placed before the apartment of the great Buddha, contains the largest bell known in the world. It is 17 feet 2* inches high, and weighs 1,700,000 Japanese pounds, equal to 2,040,000 pounds Dutch. Its weight is consequently five times greater than that of the Irvan Weliki, at Moscow.
"On the south side of the enclosure of the temple is the grand apartment named that of the thirty-three arcades. It was built in the reign of the seventy-fourth Dairi (between 1108 and 1123), who placed there images of the divinity Kwan-roon, with eleven faces, which was not consecrated till the year 1131, by his successor, after he had abdicated. The seventyseventh Dairi, Gozira Kawa-no-in, having likewise abdicated and embraced the ecclesiastical profession, placed there in 1164 a vast number of images of the same deity. The length of this apartment is upwards of 491 feet. On each side of the great altar are ten ranges of stools, one nearly a foot higher than the other. On each range are fifty statues, each about five feet high, of superior execution, according to the taste of the country, and covered with gilt paper. From the number of small idols upon the heads, shoulders, arms, and hands of the greater ones, amounting to forty or fifty on some of them, it would appear that the number of 33,333 idols, which the Japanese assert are to be found in this temple, is not exaggerated. The military daily exercise, near the saloon of Kwan-won, with the bow. It is recorded in the register of the temple, that in 1686, Sacara Daifats of Ketsin discharged in that place 13,053 arrows in one day, whereof 8,133 hit the mark.
"The third creed prevailing in Japan is the Sin-do, or philosophical doctrine of Confucius. The first official intercourse which took place between Japan and China was an embassy dispatched A.D. 57, by the Dairi Seu-nin-teno to the emperor Kwang-woo-te, of theHeu-han dynasty; but we are not told whether the Chinese literature and philosophy were imported by that medium into Japan It would appear that this did not happen till 284, in the reign of Dairi Ozin-teno, when this prince sent an embassy to the kingdom of Fiak-sae (Pe-tse, in Corea) in quest of educated men, who were capable of diffusing Chinese civilization and literature throughout his empire. This embassy returned with the celebrated Wonin, descended from the imperial family of the Hans, who brought with him the