View Full Version : Bon Matsuri

14th August 2003, 05:41
Religious Space in the Village As Seen through Festival and Legend: An Example from Mukagata, Tenryű Village, Shimoina-Gun, Nagano PrefectureI
MOGI Sakae

The valleys found along the middle reaches of the Tenryű River are deep. In order to reach the community of Mukagata, one must journey about an hour by automobile from Hiraoka station on the Iida Line, climbing the valley road along the main tributary Hayakido River.

Folklorists call this mountainous region "Sanshin'en," reflecting its position overlapping the borders of the three old provinces Sanshű, Shinshű and EnshűII; the area has long been the subject of scholarly attention as a rich repository of old folk arts. On the Mikawa side, namely in T˘ei-ch˘ and the villages of Toyone-mura and Tsugu-mura (all located in present-day Kitashitara-gun), the well-known Flower Festival (hana matsuri; a local festival unrelated to the Buddhist Festival of the same name) is observed in seventeen locations, and sacred dances (kagura) are similarly dedicated in the ďtani section of Tomiyama Village.

On the side toward T˘t˘mi in Sakuma-ch˘ Iwata-gun, the "flower dance" (hana no mai) is still performed in two locales, while rice planting dances (dengaku) can be observed in the same area's Misakubo-ch˘.

On the Shinano side, a Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri) is held in Niino of Anan-machi, Shimoina-gun, while in Tenryű Village (within the same Anan-machi) one can find the Sakabe (or Sakanbe) Winter Festival, the ďk˘chi Festival, and Mukagata's Festival of Purification (Kiyome no Matsuri).

Finally, in the T˘yama Valley on the eastern side of the Tenryű River are the villages of Minami Shinano-mura and Kami-mura, and there, an Eleventh Month Festival (Shimotsuki Matsuri) is observed in about thirteen different locales. These are all winter festivals, but a variety of summer dances are also celebrated in numerous communities, typified by the Bon dances (bon odori) of Niino, and also including Kakeodori, nembutsu odori, and hanekomi.III And Mukagata is located roughly in the center of this region.

In terms of its visual appearance, the community of Mukagawa stands isolated from others, spreading out on a gentle mountain ridge at an elevation of around 750 or 800 meters, and about 150 meters up from the highway which parallels the Hayakido River. The community forms two plateaus, upper and lower, called respectively Ue no Taira and Shita no Taira (literally, "upper flat" and "lower flat"). Ue no Taira extends from southwest to northeast, with the section located furthest to northeast also going by the alternate name Oku no Taira ("remote flat"). The population of the respective areas is eleven households for Oku no Taira, twenty-two households for Ue no Taira, and fourteen households for Shita no Taira. When one adds the five recently established households bordering the highway below the settlement, the total comes to fifty-two families. Of this number, forty-three households (as of 1980) engage in farming, but only four full time. In contrast, forty-six households receive income from occupations related to the forestry industry. Local products include mostly rice and handicrafts, but some barley and other miscellaneous grains are also grown. Most of the people, however, seek employment in the factories of Niino and Hiraoka, or else make their way as day laborers. There has also been a recent increase in families raising beef cattle.

Similar to other mountain villages in many locales, Mukagata has lost thirty households over the last twenty years, thus shrinking to two-thirds its former population. There are few young families, and most of the population falls into the category of children or middle aged and elderly, giving the village a somewhat sleepy appearance. What makes Mukagata well known is its "Festival of Purification." At the time of the festival sons and daughters who have migrated outside the Prefecture return, and a number of tourists also visit the village as spectators.

It should be noted that traditionally, the Festival of Purification was not a regular observance, but a ritual performed only on special occasions, when some kind of important change or renewal had occurred in the world, the year of a natural disaster, or as an accompaniment to a prayer for some great boon made by one of the villagers. In contrast, the normal annual festival is called the "Eleventh Month Festival" (Shimotsuki Matsuri), or the "regular festival" (reisai), or simply "the festival" (o-matsuri), and it can be considered basically an abbreviated version of the Festival of Purification.

The local shrine Tensh˘ Daijinja is located in the "grove" of the Ue no Taira settlement, and represents the clan tutelary (ujigami) of the house known by the traditional house name of Okata (the Muramatsu family, no longer in residence), who were the legendary pioneer settlers of the area. Currently, the shrine has seven parishioner representatives (ujiko s˘dai), four from Mukagata, and one each from Nashibata, Mit˘, and Tok˘, with the result that the parishioner catchment area includes not just Mukagata, but other peripheral villages with the same lineage group pioneer legend.

The summer observance of kakeodori is also well known, the performances being held within the grounds of the S˘t˘ (Zen) sect temple Ch˘sh˘ji, located in Shimo no Taira. As noted earlier, there are many examples within the Sanshin'en region of both summer and winter observances being held within one and the same locality. But to date there has been no attempt to make a detailed examination and explanation of multiple festivals within an annual ritual calendar. I have attempted in a previous article to examine the relation between the Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri) and Bon Dance (Bon Odori) observed in Niino, Anan-machi, Shimoina-gun, on the level of festival and the annual ritual calendar.1 In the present article, I want to also attempt to consider the relationship between Buddhist objects of worship and Shinto deities (kami) within the village community. This simply because, after viewing Mukagata's winter and summer observances a number of times, I found the contrast of winter / summer and kami / buddhas too vivid to be ignored. In the same way that the area is geographically divided into two parts, the ceremonies likewise appear to form a mutual opposition. But according to local legend, the Buddhist temple Ch˘sh˘ji was established to offer memorials to the ancestors of the imperial house, and at the time of the Kake Odori, the multi-faceted Japanese lantern (Kiriko d˘r˘) which is lifted up at the head of the procession is emblazoned with a sixteen-petaled chrysanthemum.IV As a result, a clear impression is given of a relationship with the local tutelary Tensh˘ Daijinja as well. When one considers the rituals and ceremonies observed at the shrine and temple in one and the same community here, they appear on the one hand to be in conflict, while in fact forming a single significant whole. The question is, what is the explanatory principle which can account for this relationship?

1. The Role of Conflict between Buddhism and Shinto within "Communal Religion"
At the international symposium "Cultural Identity and Modernization in Asian Countries," sponsored by the Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics at Kokugakuin University in January 1983, a number of presentations were made which had great relevance for studies of folk cultures. Among those presentations, the one which I found most impressive, and which I have adopted as the theoretical perspective for the present article was the paper delivered by Sonoda Minoru entitled "Secularity and Profanation in Japanese Religion" ("Nihon shűky˘ ni okeru sezokusei to zokka").2

In his paper Sonoda defined traditional Japanese religion as a "religion of the community" (ky˘d˘tai no shűky˘)V established on the principles of "kinship" (shinzoku) and "common residence" or "neighborhood" (shűjű). He went on to say that religion either takes on systematic form from the womb of a community, or else is accepted by a community and thus becomes assimilated or nativized (dochakuka). Following Robert Redfield's theory of interaction between a "Great Tradition" and "Little Tradition," Sonoda then said that Shinto was produced within the process of interaction between the "Great Tradition" of clan rituals centered on the imperial court, and the "Little Tradition" of local clan and village rituals, and in the same way, the Buddhism transmitted from the Asian continent was first nativized by the central Great Tradition as a religion for national protection, and from that stage it also underwent interaction with the Little Tradition, thus becoming nativized as a form of clan or familial rite for deceased ancestors. This theory gives us a good overall account of the process whereby the Shinto-Buddhism syncretism characteristic of Japanese religion became nativized to the local village community. But it remains extremely hard to grasp the significance of the term "native" (dochaku) in this case.

In order to explain such religious phenomena as "Shinto Buddhist syncretism" (shinbutsu shűg˘), and "Shinto-Buddhist separation" (shinbutsu kakuri), Nakamaki Hirochika has attempted to supplement Sonoda's thesis by suggesting a tri-polar model of religion, keyed on the term "assimilation" or "nativization" (dochaku). According to Nakamaki,

What is "native" is that culture which, almost unconsciously, is considered to be "tradition" within the society concerned. Simultaneously, it implies a negative attitude toward all that which is not traditional. For example, it would be the traditional culture sustained by the "folk" (j˘min) spoken of within Japanese ethnological circles. In turn, the conscious attempt to grasp such "native" elements as indicating the unique characteristics of a people is called "nativism."3

In concrete, Nakamaki considers Japanese "native religion" to be the ancient ceremonial worship of the gods (jingi) and the religion of kami in contrast to Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, which he calls universal religions. In addition to these he also adds what he calls "nativistic" religion, and states that the relationship between the three is that of a dialectic: one can postulate the Great Tradition and Little Tradition generating a third tradition as a product of their dialectical interaction. According to Nakamaki, this relationship can be seen within Japanese religious history as the conflict between "Shinto-Buddhist syncretism" and "Shinto-Buddhist separation."4

Hori Ichir˘ long ago described the interaction between Shinto and Buddhism not only from the perspective of syncretism, but of conflict and reaction as well. At the 1967 International Conference on Shinto Studies -- like the aforementioned International Symposium, also sponsored by Kokugakuin University's Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics -- one of the themes was "Modernization and Shinto." Hori, taking a hint from Robert N. Bellah's comments on the topic, later opined that

The Japanese attitude noted by Bellah, in which items of "foreign origin" are always distinguished from those considered indigenous, appears with special clarity in the case of Shinto and Buddhism. The Japanese showed a great inclination toward Buddhism in the ancient period, and it is said that Shinto and Buddhism underwent a complex, multifarious syncretism. But that experience should not in fact be called "syncretism".... This is the reason that the separation of the two could be enforced without particular confusion over doctrinal issues, and it is also likely the reason that the medieval period could produce Shinto theory and opposition to the earlier Buddhist doctrine of "original substance, manifest traces" (honji-suijaku), while in the Edo period, it could even become the driving ideology behind Japanese modernization.5

Here, Hori strongly emphasizes the aspect of separation between Shinto and Buddhism. In his "The nativization of Buddhism: history and popular culture" (Bukky˘ dochaku - sono rekishi to minzoku), Takatori Masao likewise demonstrates a strict sense of discrimination of Shinto and Buddhism.6

In traditional Japanese religion, Shinto-Buddhist syncretism and Shinto-Buddhist separation form the warp and woof of an intricate weave. As the communal religion spoken of by Sonoda, the shades and patterns of that weave are determined by elements including the community's historical tradition, ritual, climatic characteristics, natural features and social customs.

Most previous research on ritual worship has been engaged by stretching the ritual on the cutting board of analysis after dissecting it from its communal context. This method is limited, however, by its inability to shed light on the "community" involved in the rituals of "communal religion" which it sets out to analyze. And here I am not referring to the issue of communal organization, but rather to the elucidation of a world which produces multiple rituals in differing parts of the calendar as part of the community's view of time. And naturally, such elucidation should likely begin with an analysis of relationship between kami and buddhas visible in the worship, rituals, and ceremonials involved.

As a result, the remainder of my essay will be a documentary study, from both the synchronic and diachronic viewpoints, of the ritual and ceremonial relations between kami and buddhas within a village community.

2. The Festival of the Tensh˘ Daijinja
The deity worshiped at the shrine Tensh˘ Daijinja in Ue no Taira is Amaterasu ďmikami, and the shrine architecture is in the Ise style known as shinmei zukuri. At the left side of the hall of worship are found two small branch shrines called Nakayama-sama and Tsushima-sama, which are enshrined together. Before the shrine of Nakayama-sama are six unglazed pottery images of wild dogs (yamainu) in a box; it is said that if these images are placed in the corners of fields during the field harvest season, wild boars will not enter the fields and disturb the crops. As a result, even today the images are occasionally borrowed by people for use as magical protectors for burned fields.

According to the Nanshin Ina shiry˘ ("Historical documents from Ina in southern Shinano"),7 the shrine was first established in 1358. The Muramatsu-ke yuraiki ("Records of the origins of the Muramatsu house") claims that the pioneering settler of the area was Muramatsu Masauji (ancestor of the house traditionally called Okata), who moved to the area only in 1394, and it goes on to say that Muramatsu dedicated a branch of the Tensh˘ K˘tai Jingű from Ise (his original birthplace) in his new home some time after becoming settled there.8 At any rate, we can surmise that the shrine took shape around the year 1400 as the tutelary of the Muramatsu clan. The festival appears to have originally been observed on the twenty-first and second days of the eleventh lunar month, but at some point the date was changed to the same days of the twelfth month, and from around the 1926 it was changed to January 21. Then around 1955 it was revised to the first three days of the new year. In the pre-war period festivals continued for two successive nights, but at present they are limited to a single evening.

Festival Schedule
(based primarily on observations of the 1983 festival, with some additions from 1980 and 1977; times are approximate):

1. Onobori (procession): At around 1:00 P.M., the festival participants start from the site called the yado (this site changes each year) on the formal procession called onobori, meaning literally to "go up" [normally, to the shrine]. The parishioner representatives, senior priests (negi), and miy˘doVI proceed toward the small stream called Otaki. The yado is the home of one of the four parishioner representatives, who are selected annually.

2. Hamaori (literally, "going down to the beach"): The stream known as Otaki is located about 300 meters south-southwest from the shrine. The parishioner representatives, senior priests, and miy˘do undergo ritual purification and then ablutions with the water from the stream, also collecting water in a large (1.8 liter) bottle and carrying it back to the shrine. This water will later be used in the ritual of "boiling water divination" (yudate). At the stream, two sakaki branches are erected, linked by a sacred border rope (shime).

(Uwamiya no matsuri ["Worship at Upper Shrine"]):

The festival starts at the "upper shrine" (uwamiya), considered to be composed of the shrine's sanctuary (honden) and hall of worship (haiden).

3. Worship: (1:40 P.M.) Ceremonial worship begins at the upper shrine. Sacred liturgy is read, offerings are made, and purification is performed. During this time, the two senior priests go around to make ceremonial offerings of heisoku, (zig-zag paper streamers attached to small bamboo sticks), two each in six different places:

Heisoku: (1) At the base of the torii; (2) At the Tengu-sama beside the shrine's hall of worship; (3) at the deity Nakayama-sama; (4) at the deity Tsushima-sama; (5) at the Miy˘do no kami; and (6) at the corners of the fireplace in the hall of dance (kama no kuro).

Oshiromochi (white rice cakes made from normal glutinous rice) and rice with red beans are piled half and half onto small single-legged wooden stands; called goku, these offerings are placed at nine locations:

Goku: (1)-(5) Three locations in the sanctuary, and two small shrines; (6) The Miy˘do no kami; (7) Nakayama-sama; (8) Tsushima-sama; (9) Tengu-sama.

The ceremonial worship is concluded about 2:10 P.M.

4. Tengu Matsuri: Large heisoku and decorative swords are erected on the stump of a tree which is placed beside the shrine sanctuary and called Tengu-sama. At 2:13 P.M., water brought from Otaki is sprinkled at the four directions around Tengu-sama, and the senior priest makes a symbolic hand gesture (mudra), thus indicating the purification of the Tengu-sama. Also called the "festival to the god of dance" (mai no kami no matsuri), this ritual is performed by the shrine priests alone, without anyone else attending.

5. Distribution of goku: The previously noted goku are distributed to parishioners together with sacred rice wine. The rites at the upper shrine end around 2:15 P.M.

(Shitamiya no matsuri ["Worship at Lower Shrine"])

6. Kamado barai (purification of the fireplace): (3:25 P.M.) From the uwamiya shrine, the ritualist called the shish˘ (the chief priest, or guji of the shrine Niino Izu Jinja) arrives and sits facing the cauldron (kama) with the various shrine decorations at his back. Following the offering of sacred liturgy, salt and polished rice are scattered into the flames of the fire. One of the shrine's miy˘do pours Otaki water from one of the large bottles into the cauldron.

7. Shitamiya Tengu Matsuri (Tengu festival at the lower shrine): Next, nutmegs, chestnuts, and mountain tubers (tokoro roots) are offered before the fire. The priest makes two bows and claps his hands twice, and writes mantric gestures in the air with his finger (kuji o kiru). The ritual ends at 3:30 P.M.

8. Uchihayashi (music): The miy˘do assemble in a circle and chant ritual songs by the shrine decorations, to the accompaniment of the senior priest's beating of the drum. (From 3:32 to 3:42 P.M.)

9. Mikibiraki (opening the offertory wine): The sacred rice wine and goku brought from the upper shrine are distributed by parishioner representatives one each to all present, and these food items are then eaten. At the upper shrine, a local shrine priest (shash˘) and three senior priests keep watch while sitting at the foot-warmer (kotatsu); no other persons are allowed entry to the shrine.

10. Kami seigi: (Performed only on occasion of Okiyome Matsuri) Beneath a canopy called the boden,VII the deity's presence is invoked in a ceremony of chanted song called kami seigi ("divine righteousness").

11. Ichi no mai ("first dance" or "woman's dance"): (4:00 P.M.) One person dances, holding bells (suzu) and a closed fan (˘gi). The dance continues about five minutes.

12. Miyanarashi, jun no mai: Next, a dance called the miyanarashi is performed by individual dancers " in succession" (jun); the dancer holds bells in his right hand and an open fan in the left, and each dancer performs about five minutes of dance. Characteristic of this dance is the fact that the sleeves of the dancing costume (called yuhagi) are turned out while dancing. In terms of procedure, the dance goes through one turn, left to right, then two turns, left to right, then seven turns left to right, three turns left to right, and completion. Originally the dance was performed by one person at a time, although in some cases it has been done three at a time as well. This dance is also performed when making special request to the deity for some favor.

13. Ubusuna no y˘tome no mai ("dance of the eight maidens"): (5:10 P.M.) Danced by four persons. (1) Dance holding the yuhagi (about ten minutes); (2) Dance without holding any props, but with fan and bells inserted in belt at waist, and wearing yuhagi (about ten minutes); (3) dance wearing yuhagi, and holding fan (closed) and bells (about ten minutes); (4) dance wearing yuhagi, and holding open fan and bells (about ten minutes); dance ends.

14. Kiyome no yudate ("boiling water purification"). The senior priests and miy˘do representative perform divination by boiling water. This ceremony is omitted during the regular annual festival.

15. Yubayashi no mai (5:45 P.M.); dance performed in four parts, by four persons: (1) ďgi no te ("the fan hand"); wearing the yuhagi, the dancer holds a fan and bells (about twenty minutes); (2) yachigo (wooden sword): dancer holds bells and wooden sword, and wears a red sleeve restrainer called a tasuki (forty minutes); (3) tsurugi; dancer holds bells and double-edged sword (tsurugi) and wears red tasuki; after about twenty minutes of dancing, dancer places bells in waist, and dances another twenty minutes while holding the sword in right hand, bringing dance to close (about forty minutes total).

16. Ubusuna no yudate (7:30 P.M.): Holding heisoku and bells, the senior priests dance the jun no mai. When the dancing is completed, the heisoku are used to stir the hot water in the cauldron, then the wetted heisoku are held in bamboo grass and shaken. Then more singing (utagura) begins; during the singing of "song of winter, song of spring," and "song of autumn," one of the miy˘do dances the jun no mai.

17. Hana no y˘tome no mai (7:50 P.M.) (danced by four people): (1) Dance holding bells and a headpiece decorated with flowers (hanagasa); (2) hanagasa is placed on the head, and a fan is held while dancing; (3) hanagasa is worn and a ceremonial tray (oshiki) is held; (4) a hot-water ladle is held while dancing.

Performed by four children, each section of this dance lasts about five minutes. Originally, this dance was performed immediately after the miyanarashi (see no. 12 above), but the order has been changed through time.

18. Kotei no asobi ("old play") (8:30 P.M.): Performed by two people, this dance originally seems to have been followed the kaid˘ kudari (see no. 19). As its name implies, it is an old dance and considered very important; only persons acceding to headship of their families are allowed to perform the dance: (1) dance begins; (2) the "bow-holder" dances holding a tasuki, and the "arrow-holder" dances while holding a quiver (here, called a sashie); (3) tasuki dance; (4) dance of water ladle (hishaku); (5) bow dance; (6) arrow dance; (7) both dancers wear yuhagi while dancing (total about twenty minutes).

19. Kaid˘ kudari (9:00 P.M ) Two men dressed as an old man and old woman mimic a scene of "going from the capital to the countryside." The "old man" holds heisoku and bells, inserts a wooden pestle in his belt at the waist, and wears a long pointed headdress made of straw, with a towel wrapped around the head and under his chin.

The "old woman," on the other hand, wears a kimono with red sleeves, and bears on her back some baggage for a journey. While comically asking and responding to questions, the couple make one circuit around the cauldron. The "old man" wears the costume of a senior priest; in conclusion, the man mimics the pounding of rice cake for the entire year from New Years to December, and the dance ends (about fifteen minutes).

20. Yotsumai: The dance includes segments of fan, yachigo (wooden sword) and double-edged sword (tsurugi). The form of the dance in the case of yachigo and sword are the same; danced by four people, segments are called the following: (A) gently swaying together (yuriawase); (B) bow to the four directions (shih˘hai); (C) sway together; (D) ihajiki (meaning unclear); (E) putting on the sword (minitsuke); (F) sword under the arm (wakigome); (G) holding the sword in the middle (nakatori); (H) exorcising the evil spirits (ged˘); (I) the sword's point (kissaki); (J) waving the sword around like a waterwheel (mizuguruma); (K) lid of the pot (kamabuta); (L) exorcising the devils (akuma). These segments alone require about forty minutes. When each of the three sections (fan: twenty minutes; yachigo: forty minutes; sword: forty minutes) are completed, a full hour and forty minutes has elapsed.

21. Ni no Suwa ďkami no yudate (10:50 P.M.): Each of the divinations by boiling water (yudate) involve the same procedure. The senior priest holds heisoku, bells, and bamboo grass, and dances in rhythm to the chanted songs. The shrine miy˘do sit in a circle and shake hand-held bells. Then, the stem of the heisoku is used to stir the water in the cauldron, and the water is shaken on the bamboo grass. One of the miy˘do takes the dancer's place and dances the jun no mai (about twenty minutes).

22. Mitsumai (11:10 P.M.): Three person dance: (1) Fan dance (ten minutes); (2) yachigo (four-five minutes); (3) tsurugi (four-five minutes). The yachigo and tsurugi dances proceed as follows: (A) sway together (yuriawase); (B) bow to the four directions (shih˘hai); (C) sway together; (D) ihajiki (meaning unclear); (E) putting on the sword (minitsuke); (F) sword's point and bells (kissakisuzu); (G) come to standing position (tate) (H) putting away the bells (suzuosame); (I) kneel on knees (hizagoshi); (J) stand up; a exorcising evil (ged˘); (L) holding the sword by the middle (nakatori); sword's point (kissaki); (N) circling the sword like a waterwheel (mizuguruma); (O) holding the bells; (P) putting on the sword; (Q) exorcising the devils.

Between the segments called yachigo (wooden sword) and tsurugi (double-edged sword), the "fan" portion of ďk˘chi's mitsumai dance is performed by residents of ďk˘chi (about twenty minutes). By the time the "sword" part of the mitsumai is completed, it is already about 1:00 A.M.

23. Sanb˘ Daijin no yudate: In the same way as the other boiling water divinations performed until now, the senior priests stir the hot water with the stem of the heisoku, and while reciting an invocation, sprinkle the water behind themselves. The stem of the heisoku is wrapped in bamboo grass stems and the latter is dipped in the hot water. More songs are chanted. With their backs to the shrine decorations, the priests arrange themselves to the right and left of the cauldron and bend their upper bodies gently in a dance (about twenty minutes).

24. Kirichigai no mai (1:20A.M.): A four-person dance performed the same way as the yachigo portion of the yotsumai, holding heisoku and bells, and wearing a red tasuki (about twenty minutes).

25. "One-Thousand Cauldron" (Senkama): The senior priests, together with all the miy˘do, hold heisoku and perform yudate while surrounding the cauldron. While chanting songs (utagura), they stir the water with the handle of the heisoku numerous times. This action is said to indicate that they have performed the yudate one-thousand times, thus the name "one-thousand cauldron" (about five minutes).

26. "Water to the king of the sacred border" (Shime no go˘ e ageru) (performed only at time of festival of purification): Yudate is performed and the sacred border rope (shimenawa) and heisoku emblems are gathered up.

27. Yonabune ("Rice ship"; performed only at time of Festival of Purification): The sacred border rope and heisoku are taken to the shrine's torii.

28. "Exorcism of evil spirits" (ged˘barai) (performed only for festival of purification): The senior priest swings the sword in the air to symbolically cut the four directions, and ends by making mantric signs in the air (kuji o kiru).

29. "Dance for protection from fire" (Hibuse no mai) (performed only at time of Festival of Purification): The embers are removed from the fireplace and spread on the floor, and the jun no mai is danced over the embers as an invocation of protection from fire.

30. Greeting from the parishioner representative (2:00 A.M.): With the greeting from the ujiko s˘dai, the sacred dances come to an end.

The next day, decorations are put away and a festival repast (naorai) is held from around noon.

The items noted in the above constitute the observances of the regular festival called the Shimotsuki Matsuri (Festival of the Eleventh Month). Points in which it differs from the Festival of Purification (Okiyome matsuri) include some differences in the order of the observances, the fact that the yudate is performed several times less, and the fact that rites of invoking the presence of the deity at the beginning of the ceremonies (kami oroshi) and returning the deity to its realm at the end of the observance (kami kaeshi) are not performed so distinctly as in the Festival of Purification. Since these points may be of some importance, let me discuss them in some further detail.

The Annual Festival (Reisai) and the Festival of Purification (Okiyome Matsuri)
With the exception of the observances held at the "upper shrine," the composition of the regular annual festival is somewhat unusual in that no ceremonies can be found invoking the presence of the deity at the start of the festival, or returning it to its abode following the end of the rites. As noted earlier, however (see item 10 above), the Festival of Purification involves the ceremony of "Kami Seigi," which is performed under the object called the boden in order to invoke the deity's presence. And at the close of the festival, the rites of Yonabune, Ged˘ barai, and Hibuse no mai are likewise performed, thus returning the deity to its abode in the other world. Does this mean, then, that during the regular annual festival no deity is present in the hall of sacred dance?

It should also be noted that no effort was made to replace the boden hanging inside the hall of dance, even though it was becoming rather old. At first, I almost thought that the people might have forgotten how to cut the boden's paper decorations, but when I asked about it, they told me "it is replaced at the time of a Festival of Purification; otherwise it is simply left hanging from the ceiling." During the regular festival, the boden does not appear to serve any particular function, but merely remains as it has been throughout the year. (The boden, by the way, corresponds to the byakke of the Flower Festival in other locales, a device serving as a symbolic instrument to receive the deity.)

Since no symbolic instrument is prepared for the greeting of the deity, and no rites of kamioroshi or kamikaeshi are performed, it would appear that the deity is not present during the annual festival. Accordingly, the regular festival refers only to the "rites of the upper shrine" (uwamiya no saiten; see above, item 3); religiously speaking, the observances held at the hall of dance are no more than a mimicking of those performed during the Festival of Purification. As a result, it would seem we can say that "the festival" of Mukagata's Tensh˘ Daijinja is in fact one and the same as the Okiyome Matsuri.

The miy˘do who perform the various dances have a unique relationship to the shrine deity. They are called not merely "parishioners" (literally, "children of the clan": ujiko), but "children of the deity" (kamiko) as well. Traditionally, the miy˘do was a local-born individual who experienced a life-threatening childhood illness. Faced with such a crisis, the child's parents made a vow to dedicate the child to the service to the deity if his life was spared. In the event of a full recovery, such children underwent an initiatory ritual called "birth of the child" (umarekko) upon reaching the age of thirteen. Following that ritual, the children were considered kamiko and entered the ranks of the miy˘do. An adult might also make a vow for healing and thus become a kamiko for that year's festival. There have also been occasions on which a person requested the umarekko ritual out of a sense of personal faith alone, but persons who entered the ranks of miy˘do in that way were viewed somewhat inferior to the others in prestige, and in contrast to kamiko were called mamako.9

It was also possible in former times for women to become miy˘do; called onnamy˘do, it is said that they had the role of dancing the ichi no mai. In any case, all miy˘do had to observe the following two taboos throughout their lives, both relating to life-cycle rites:

Never to taste the rice cakes eaten just before returning to one's home at the close of a wedding;
In the case of a funeral, never to taste the rice wine drunk at the time the coffin sets out on its final journey to the graveyard.
So long as one lived in the local area, there was the possibility that virtually anyone could become a miy˘do, but it is said that at present people no longer desire the status. As a result a "Purification Festival Preservation Society" has been formed, and allowances made to permit anyone to dance at the festival, whether a miy˘do or not. At present there are nine miy˘do three in Oku no Taira, five from Ue no Taira, and one from Shita no Taira. This trend is reflected as well in the number of "Preservation Society" members who also dance; when those are added to the number of miy˘do noted above, we find nine from Oku no Taira, thirteen from Ue no Taira, but only three from Shita no Taira. The reason for the scarcity of miy˘do from Shita no Taira is unclear, although it may have something to do with the fact that the shrine itself is located in Ue no Taira.

As a small shrine near the border separating the "upper shrine" from the "lower shrine" within the overall shrine precincts, the "deity of the miy˘do" is worshiped. At times of festival, the miy˘do pray before this small shrine. The container used to fill the goku offered to the miy˘do no kami bears the inscription "Meiji 10 [1877], 7th [lunar] month; woodworker ďkura Gor˘bee." Oral legend has already grown hazy regarding the nature of this particular deity, and I was unable to learn much about it. The one point that continues to draw one's attention is the fact that the deity's small shrine rests on the border between the upper and lower shrines.

Upper Shrine (Uwamiya) and Lower Shrine (Shitamiya)
Somewhat lower than the other shrine buildings, and located on the left facing the shrine stands the Hall of Dance (Maid˘), with a frontage of about eight meters and a depth of about four and one-half meters. It is this building which is referred to as the "lower shrine." Facing the front of this building and occupying two-thirds of the right side is the dance platform, the other one-third on the left serving as a waiting room. The area separating the two sides serves as a room for musicians, and is demarcated by a sakaki branch. In the time of the folklorist Hayakawa K˘tar˘, the lower shrine was called Shimo no Mori ("lower grove"). According to Hayakawa,10 the Shimo no Mori building was divided into two sections, the side on the right called the "main room" (honbeya) and the one on the left called the "women's room" (onnabeya). The entire area was designed as a dancing platform, and a hearth was cut in the center of the floor of each "room." The honbeya was thus formally meant for the men's dances and the onnabeya for the women's, but in point of fact, all the dancing was carried out in the honbeya, while the onnabeya served merely as a dressing room for the female dancers. In the two-meter space which separated the two room sections, however, a sakaki branch was set up, and the space was used for the musicians who accompanied the dances. The present-day dance platform is no different, although there is no longer any "women's room," and in fact women's participation in the festival has virtually ceased. According to Hayakawa, the female miy˘do began to entrust their dances to their male counterparts, and even in the case of a umare kiyomari -- the overall process leading to miy˘do status -- such women would be represented by men. As a result, the ichi no mai -- originally a feminine dance -- is now danced entirely by men in the Flower Festival, and Hayakawa thus states that it is reasonable to assume the same process has been at work here in Mukagata.

In brief, the precincts of the Tensh˘ Daijinja are divided into the upper shrine (the shrine buildings proper), and the lower shrine (the dance platform). In former times, the lower shrine had separate rooms for men and women, and the rooms were for their respective dances. Of course, no one could enter the upper shrine except the shrine priest (kannushi), senior priest (negi), and parishioner representatives (ujiko s˘dai). In contrast to the upper shrine with its heightened sense of the holy, the lower shrine apparently did not require such a strict degree of sacred separation.

3. The Kake Odori and Bon Odori, of the Temple Ch˘sh˘ji
The temple Ch˘sh˘ji is located in the Shita no Taira section of Mukagata, but its parishioners include the entire population of Mukagata, and extend to Mit˘, Tok˘, Nashibata, Fukushima, and Kura no Taira, all of which can be considered branch villages started by former residents of Mukagata. The temple is a branch temple (matsuji) of the larger temple Zuik˘in found in Niino, and displays a central image of the Tathagata Amida (Amida Nyorai); it has been without an intendant priest since about 1955, however. According to the Kumagaya family history (Kumagaya-ke denki), the temple was established in 1574, while local legend gives the date as 1570, so both sources largely agree.

Two dancing festivals, the Kake OdoriVIII and Bon Odori are held at Ch˘sh˘ji each year between August 8 and 14. The Kake Odori is observed before the Bon Odori on August 14, and as a closing dance following the observance of "returning fires" (okuribi) on August 16. Between August 14 and 16 the festival of Bon is celebrated, a month after its traditional date in the lunar calendar, and on this occasion each house observes various rites relating to the festival of "returning souls." On the first afternoon, "welcoming fires" (mukaebi) are lighted before the tomb of each respective family in order to greet the souls of the family's ancestors.

Ritual Schedule
On the afternoon of August 14, pennant streamers are erected within the grounds of the temple. From seven o'clock P.M., people begin gathering at the temple and take turns worshiping before the Buddha image.

Kake Odori
At around 8:00 P.M. on the fourteenth, the procession for the Kake Odori sets out from around the main gate of the elementary school located about one-hundred meters from the temple. At the forked road called jű˘d˘,IX four young men await the procession while playing flutes. When the procession arrives at this point it forms itself into a ring, and a dance is performed (about ten minutes). This dance is called the "dance of preparation" (renshű odori), and when it is completed, the procession once again returns to its starting point at the school.

Around 8:20 P.M., the procession sets out toward the gate of the temple, this time the participants dancing along to the sound of flute and drum playing a musical accompaniment known as Gion bayashi.

According to traditional custom, the procession of festival participants must not enter through the temple gate unless they see a torch burning at the end of a tall pole about ten meters high inside the temple grounds.

The order of the procession is as follows:

(1) Large lantern (emblazoned with sixteen-petaled chrysanthemumX); (2) Ichiban yanagi (a man bears a pole decorated with numerous artificial flowers made of a kind of paper known as yanagi ["willow"]) (3) Ichiban daiko ("first drum": a type of drum known as shime daiko is carried at the waist and struck with a long plectrum); (4) Niban daiko ("second drum") (5) Ichiban yakko ("first servant": a man carries a large parasol); (6) bell (kane); (7) Goban daiko ("fifth drum"); (8) Niban yanagi ("second willow"); (9) Rokuban daiko ("sixth drum"); (10) Shichiban daiko ("seventh drum") (11) Niban yakko ("second servant") (12) Yonban daiko ("fourth drum") (13) Sanban daiko ("third drum"); (14) small lantern.

With the exception of the yanagi, all participants wear wide-brimmed straw headgear. It remains unclear why the "fourth drum" and "third drum" are placed after their numerical order.

To the Temple Grounds
When the procession passes through the gate and enters the temple precincts (about 8:25 P.M.), the musical accompaniment switches to a style of music known as "processional" (waiari by˘shi).XI The procession forms itself into a line before the temple hall, and the participants turn sidewise to face the temple in a single row. Here, an introductory dance is performed, and when it is completed the lanterns are placed on display in the corners of the grounds. The dancers then begin dancing the Kake Odori, forming a ring which rotates in a counterclockwise direction. Four flutists accompany the dancers, aligned in a row to the left of the temple gate.

Niwahome Odori
(about 8:30 P.M.)

The dance danced in the form of a circle is known as the Niwahome Odori ("dance in praise of the garden"), a slow dance based mostly on turning motions. Accompaniment includes flute, bell, and drum. In addition, a chorus of about fifteen persons at the left side of the temple gate accompanies the dance with the following song in praise of the temple (about fifteen minutes):

Let us enter into the temple without stopping,
Looking far beyond the fence,
Hichiko is planted among the plums, If the hichiko bends, the plum will be begin to open,
Looking far away through the temple gate,
We see the five seven halls surrounded by the Rasshamon Gate.
Looking far away over the garden,
The end is still afar off, but
This is the end of the niwahome dance.

Kabarai Odori
When the Niwahome Odori is completed, the dancers switch to a clockwise movement, accompanied by bell and drums alone. As the dancers perform this Kabarai Odori ("mosquito exorcism dance"), they intone "Namu Amidaaa, namu Amida, namu Amidaaa butsu, namu Amida" ("Hail to Amida, hail to the buddha Amida"). During the dance, the group at the left of the temple gate accompany the dancers with the following song (about fifteen minutes):

This evening is cloudy and the mosquitos bite, saying
The musicians have grown hot and tired,
The musicians do not fan,
they do not look up,
Grow tired, you musicians,
The upper tomb is the Tathagata Shaka,
The middle tomb is Amida,
and the lower tomb is the cuckoo.
Although the future is long,
The Kabarai Odori lasts only this long.

(ten minutes)

Originally, the regular Bon Odori would begin at this point, but in recent years the young men who dance the Kake Odori find it difficult to remain in the village until the sixteenth, with the result that the closing dance which was formerly performed on the sixteenth is danced early at this time on the fourteenth.

Closing Dance (Hike Odori)
(9:10 P.M.)

The dancers form a broad horizontal line heading toward the temple's main gate and led by the large lantern. At that point a song begins:

Going out to the little river,
We set adrift plantain leaves with plum branches and hichiko,
And these float or sink as they are carried away,
But they will be found and taken up,
...The falling leaves of Tachibana.
The end is still afar off, but
The dances of the world must come to an end here.

When the dance is completed, the dancers reverse their direction toward the garden, and while moving their feet away backwards, circle around the temple grounds in a clockwise direction, heading out of the temple gate (about five minutes) to the accompaniment of the "processional" music When the procession arrives at the intersection called jű˘d˘, the flutes change their sound, and the dancers face toward the west in a single line and send off the departed spirits once again to their spirit world homes. They then once again perform the Kake Odori in conclusion (9:25 P.M.).

The Kake Odori is always danced by the young men, and it is said that in former times there were so many volunteers that they had to be divided into two groups and each group allowed to dance only during alternate years. It is also said that the miy˘do of the shrine were formerly not allowed to join in the Kake Odori.

Bon Odori
After a brief intermission (around 9:30 P.M.), people gather as individuals within the temple grounds and begin dancing the Bon dance in small groups of about ten each. The dancers wear light summer yukata and carry fans. The five dances which they perform are called (1) "high mountain" (takai yama); (2) "the lord" (osama); (3) "sixteen" (jűroku); (4) "aid for others" (sukuisa); (5) "a tune" (ondo). The dances are virtually the same as those performed at the famous Bon Odori of Niino, and crowds are drawn from both the immediate vicinity and nearby settlements. The dances continue for three days beginning on the fourteenth, from 8:00 to about 11:00 P.M. each evening.

On the afternoon of August 15, the intendant priest from Zuik˘in comes to Ch˘sh˘ji to perform a mass for the souls of persons who have passed away during the preceding year.

Okuribi ("returning fire")
Following the conclusion of the Bon dance around midnight of the sixteenth, individuals begin placing lighted incense sticks in the ground to the left of the temple gate, in the corner of the temple compound where a stone lantern and images of the bodhisattva Jiz˘ are found. While doing this they sing the song of the closing dance (see above) to send the departed spirits on their way back to the spirit world. After completing the song, they pick up the faceted lanterns which have been hanging in the corner of the garden, and while intoning a Buddhist hymn (wasan), make their way to an area called Mat˘sanba on the western outskirts of the settlement. There, the faceted paper lanterns are placed in a pile and set on fire, thus forming the "fire of returning" (okuribi) which sends the spirits on their way. While watching the fire, the people sing the song of the closing dance once again, and at the last line, conclude with the phrase, "Come again next year in the seventh month; visit us again next year in the seventh month."

Legend of the Kake Odori
An oral legend exists with regard to the origins of the kake odori, according to which the dance was transmitted to Mukagata from the Kakegawa region of T˘t˘mi Province (present-day Shizuoka Prefecture); according to the legend's folk etymology, the dance was originally called the Kakegawa Odori ("Kake River dance"), but its name was later shortened to simply Kake Odori. The legend is accompanied by an explanation to the effect that residents of Kakegawa, T˘t˘mi moved to the Mukagata area, and started the dance in memory of their former homes.

It is certainly true that residents of the Kakegawa, Iwata and Hamakita areas [all within Shizuoka Prefecture] observe forms of Nembutsu Odori such as the "Dai Nembutsu" and "Kasanbuku". These dances are said to have begun during the Sengoku period [ca. 1482-1558], performed by local people as memorials to the spirits of the warriors of Takeda Shingen who died at Mikatagahara in their battle with Tokugawa Ieyasu. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way at present to confirm whether the Dai-Nembutsu of the T˘kai region is indeed related to the local Kake Odori in the way claimed by the legend.

In order to ascertain the nature of the place called Mat˘sanba where the "returning fire" is lighted, I first tried to collect local legendary material. This area forms the western border of the village. Further, a family bearing the traditional "house name" (yag˘) of Kuromame ("black bean") can be found to the immediate north of this area. According to legend, this name finds its origin in a battle which occurred long ago; following the fighting, the heads of slain warriors were scattered about the area "like black beans." The matron of the house told me that "since I knew about the legend, I felt a bit of resistance to the idea of marrying into the family."

At the foot of a cliff just to the west of Mat˘sanba, Mukagata's sole communal graveyard is found where it was established by several homes of the Shita no Taira area. This graveyard is also said to contain the remains of "unrelated spirits" (muenbotoke) including unknown travelers who died in Mukagata during their journeys, and drowning victims whose bodies were washed down the river to this area. Both Mat˘sanba and the common graveyard are within the grounds owned by the Kuromame house.

It is also said that the ancestors of the Kuromame house were magical folk priests (kit˘shi) who simultaneously served as "minor priests" (konegi) at the time of the Festival of Purification. There was a temple hall dedicated to the bodhisattva Yakushi, and the priests observed a festival on the eighth day of the fourth month. And in earlier times a ritual called matouchi was performed in this locale. It seems that mat˘ likely referred to a "target" (mato), while sanba came from a more common expression sanmaiba for a grave where someone is buried (umebaka); as a result, the place is thought to have a rich sense of the otherworldly. In sum, the observances of the Buddhist temple (Kake Odori, Bon Odori) take place in several locales of Shita no Taira which are linked spatially.

4. The Festival of Purification and Kake Odori, Bon Odori
The Kake Odori and Purification Festival (Okiyome Matsuri) can both be considered basically "folk observances" (minzoku gy˘ji). The reason for so saying is the fact that not only Shinto and Buddhist clergy, but the villagers themselves, participate in virtually the entirety of the ceremonies. As a result, I want to reconfirm that what we are trying to examine here is not the direct relation between Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple, but rather the relationship of shrine and temple as conceptualized by the people ("the folk").

As might be expected, we see that the winter festival and summer festival display considerable symmetry. This fact is a result of the symmetry between the respective images of summer and winter, and also the contrast in conceptions of deity (kami) and Buddha (butsu or hotoke).XII But what common features are possessed by the deities and buddhas forming the objects of worship?

It would appear that these festivals embody the fact that the relationship between deities and buddhas is one of opposition, but also characterized by harmony, a fact which is likely a central feature of "communal religion." And from the fact that these two ritual observances symbolize birth and death, respectively, they can be considered to form a pair, in spite of the fact that they have opposing orientations. In contrast to the kind of Shinto-Buddhist syncretism which would attempt to treat both kami and buddhas on the same level or dimension, it makes the observer sense rather the presence of a binary concept involving the pairs purity and pollution, or sacred and profane.

The Arrangement of Kami and Buddhas in Religious Space
For a moment let me set aside our investigation into the relation of kami and buddhas at the village level, and focus on the home.

It might be noted, by the way, that the shrine is not the only ritual site for the performance of the Festival of Purification; in fact, it was formerly performed more often at the individual homes of families which had made serious religious supplications to the deity in time of crisis. And that fact indicates that the spatial relationship of kami and buddhas within the home is not unrelated to their relationship within the space of the village.

When considering the relationship of kami and buddhas within the space of the home, it may be relevant to recall the "deity of the living room" (zashiki no kami) and "god of the dirt-floor entryway" (doma no kami) spoken of by Takatori Masao and Hashimoto Mineo.11 The god enshrined in the entryway was a nature deity worshiped since primitive times as a private deity of the family. On the other hand, the deity enshrined on the living room god shelf (kamidana) was a publicly worshiped deity representing the unifying principle of the community; as a result, a composite structure can be discerned in the god of the Japanese home involving powerful central or local deities superimposed on the local village tutelary (ujigami).

For a general treatment of the worship performed within the home, one can consult the article "Kamidana to butsudan" ("The Shinto god shelf and the Buddhist family altar") by Hirayama Binjir˘.12 Hirayama's article considers the subject of religious space in the home from the standpoint of Shinto-Buddhist syncretism. According to Hirayama, the kamidana and butsudan can be found either aligned together along one wall of the drawing room (called variously dei or zashiki), or arranged separately in an above-and-below relationship in the living room, kitchen, and back room. In any event, Hirayama states that in most cases, both kamidana and butsudan are found within one and the same room, although in some areas they are placed separately.

Nakamaki Hirochika has considered this problem in further detail; as a result of his study of the spatial arrangement of Buddhist and Shinto deities in more than three-hundred examples of folk houses, Nakamaki determined that examples of kamidana and butsudan arranged within the same room are most commonly found in the Kant˘ (Tokyo and environs) and northeastern areas of Japan, while the two are more commonly placed in separate rooms from the Kansai (Osaka environs) area westward.13

In short, it can be asserted that there are differences in the spatial arrangement of kami and buddhas within the home depending on the geographical area, another way of saying that the interpretation of the relation between kami and buddhas in the home was not uniform on a nationwide level.

In almost all the homes of Mukagata, the butsudan is placed in the front living room, while the kamidana is found in the alcove (tokonoma) of an interior room (kami no dei).XIII In short, the custom within this village is for kami and buddhas to be worshiped separately. It might also be noted that the arrangement of the former Okata home (no longer in existence; see Figure 1) was also the same.

Fig. 1 Muramatsu ("Okata") house (no longer extant)

Fig. 2 Sakaguchi Chisako ("Kuroame") house (no longer extant; note that Butsudan and Kamidana were aligned in one room)

Fig. 3 Muramatsu Haruo house (Oku no Taira)

Fig. 4 Muramatsu Haruo house (Ue no Taira)

A: Kamidei ("upper living room") B: Heya ("room") C: Shimodei ("lower living room") D: Ima ("living room") E: Kaminodei ("upper living room") F: Nakaoma("middle room") G: Hikanbeya ("servants' room") H: Bath, kitchen I: Inoma ("living room") J: Doma (entryway) K: Hall L: Kamibeya ("upper room") M: "young people's room" N: Storeroom O: Niwa ("entry/garden") P: Shimo zashiki ("lower drawing room") Q: Kami zashiki ("upper drawing room") R: Kami no ma ("upper room") b: Butsudan k: Kamidana o: Outhouse

(NOTE) Numbers refer to size of room in units of tatami mats. One mat is roughly 1 x 2 meters. The terminology adopted here is that used by the residents themselves. The rather literal translations given here do not necessarily coincide with the current uses to which the rooms are put. - Trans.

One reason for this arrangement may be related to the fact that, as noted earlier, the Festival of Purification was performed within the homes of families who had made supplications in time of crisis. Amaterasu ďmikami was enshrined in the kamidana, and the tatami mats in front of the kamidana were removed so as to allow the bare floor to be used for dancing. A fireplace was opened in the middle of the floor and used to heat the cauldron for the ritual of boiling water (yudate), while the neighboring room was used as a backstage area. In turn, the audience sat in the "lower drawing room" (shimo no dei) during the performance of the rituals. In short, the spatial arrangement of kami and buddhas within the traditional setting of old homes was determined on the basis of a consideration for the Festival of Purification, the most important festival observance within this village. There have been exceptions, however, to this general principle, for example, the Kuromame house in Shimo no Taira which was destroyed in the great Ise typhoon of 1959.

Spatial Arrangement of Kami and Buddhas within the Village
If a principle of separation is found in the spatial arrangement of kami and buddhas on the individual family level, what about the case within the village as a whole? The following is a tabulation of religious symbols in the village, based on the map found at the conclusion of the article:

Symbols relating to kami
Tensh˘ Daijinja (shrine to Amaterasu ďmikami); this is the tutelary (ujigami) for both the Okata house and the village as a whole.
Common ujigami for the families of Oku no Taira and about half those of Ue no Taira.
Yama no kami (god of the mountain). This is a shrine dedicated to the enshrined skull of the mountain dog (yamainu) which acted as guide to the village's founding pioneer Okata; also called the "Taishi Pavilion" (Taishi D˘).
Common ujigami for the families of Shita no Taira and half those of Ue no Taira.
O-Tengu-sama (several hundred metal swords erected at the base of a fallen tree up on the mountain; no shrine building).
Symbols relating to buddhas
Temple Ch˘sh˘ji.
Amida Pavilion (Amida D˘). In former times the village had a Buddhist confraternity whose members paid regular dues which were used to hold a large festival; these observances, however, are no longer extant.
Mat˘sanba (site for burning of "returning fire").
Yakushi Pavilion (Yakushi D˘). This is maintained by the Kuromame house.
Communal graveyard.
A comparison of this list with the map makes it apparent that religious symbols relating to native deities (kami) are spread throughout Ue no Taira and Oku no Taira, while those relating to buddhist objects of worship are concentrated within the Shita no Taira area. Moreover, kami-related symbols stretch out in a roughly south-southwest direction centering on the Tensh˘ Daijin Shrine, while Buddhist-related symbols are located at gradually descending elevations (respective to the shrine), oriented toward the west-southwest.

The spatial arrangement of deities and buddhas in this village is linear; if item "D" is excluded, rough lines drawn through the various symbolic points form a right angle meeting at the shrine. On the basis of this kind of religious layout, it appears that one can clearly discern the principle of separation in effect in the arrangement of deities and buddhas in this village. In short, the religious space within the home and that within the village are directly linked through the fact that the Festival of Purification -- the center of village cohesion -- can potentially be performed independently by any family within the village. In that sense, it may be only natural that the principle of "separation" runs through the spatial configuration of deities and buddhas at both the family and village levels.

But as I noted earlier, this kind of conceptual discrimination of upper and lower is apparent within the village shrine as well, as expressed in the terms "upper shrine" (uwamiya) and "lower shrine" (shitamiya). More than that, it would appear that religious concepts in effect at the time the village was first established resulted in the formation of a village tutelary involving an "upper grove" (ue no mori) and "lower grove" (shita no mori), and this design thus became the guiding principle of village layout.

The differentiation of upper and lower can be discerned as well in Mukagata's nearby branch villages. And it also should not be forgotten that the "upper grove-lower grove" relationship was also the axis of village design in locations like Sakabe, which for a long time experienced relationships of alternate cooperation and conflict. In this sense, they may well have shared some common religious concepts.

It is probably safe to say that the kind of relationship between deities and buddhas found in Mukagata is connected to the founding legends of the village. According to the Muramatsu-shi yurai no ki ("Founding records of the Muramatsu family") and the Kumagaya-ke denki ("Records of the Kumagaya house"), the village was founded in 1394 by Muramatsu Hy˘e no J˘ Masauji (patriarch of the house traditionally called "Okata") who came from the village Seki-g˘ in Ise Province.

A reading of these documents provides a vague, but discernible history of the deities and buddhas of Mukagata. According to the records, since Masauji was from Ise (location of the imperial house's tutelary Tensh˘ K˘tai Jingu), he established the shrine Tensh˘ Daijinja as his family tutelary immediately after the founding of the village. During the time of the second generation Muramatsu Rokuzaemon Masazumi, a figure named Kaneda Tajima (later to become the adopted son-in-law to Okata) arrived as a guest to the village. At some time, Kaneda performed a valuable service, in reward for which he was given the rank of regional village head (g˘gashira) equivalent to Muramatsu Masamori. Kaneda settled in Shita no Taira, with the result that village heads existed at that point in both Ue no Taira and Shita no Taira. From that time on, the Muramatsu and Kaneda families maintained a close relationship through intermarriage, and in 1574 the two houses cooperated in the construction of the temple Kaneda-san Ch˘sh˘ji. It goes without saying that the temple's "mountain name" Kaneda-san was taken from the Kaneda family.

In other words, the Muramatsu family's tutelary in Ue no Taira and the temple named after the Kaneda family in Shita no Taira were both constructed through the cooperation of the Muramatsu family. And while numerous minor episodes had occurred up to that point, from the time both shrine and temple were in existence, the situation was pregnant with the potential for both conflict and harmony, separation and union.

On the basis of the typology of villages proposed by Yanagita Kunio in his Ky˘do shiron,14 Mukagata can be classified as the second of Yanagita's types, namely "a kind of village which is typified by both the motifs of 'pioneering farmer' and of 'hidden field farmer."XIV Yanagita describes such settlements in the following way:

Such villages were founded by defeated warriors from the Sengoku to the early Edo period. Since such men were trying to avoid battles or to escape from their enemies, their villages were established as isolated communities in deep valleys or plains, far from surrounding communities. Even when they were later recognized by domainal lords and joined by new villages established nearby based on newly developed fields, these original villages alone occupied the best and most expansive of the available land. Further, since the residents of such villages shared common interests from the beginning, they demonstrated strong unity, and were thus able to continue their independent way of life without feeling any sense of need for commerce with the outside world.

In this way, Yanagita explains that the original founding conditions were responsible for determining the later characteristics of such villages. Or to put it the other way around, the present nature of the village is deeply related to the circumstances surrounding its original founding.

If so, then we can assume that the religio-spatial design of the village of Mukagata was basically produced as a result of its founding history and the ideals held by the founder Okata. The passage in the "Founding records of the Muramatsu family" which tells of Okata's move from Ise may thus be an encapsulated explanation for the characteristic arrangement of deities and buddhas in both house and village within Mukagata. And in turn, it is this kind of circumstance that likely produces the characteristic relations between deity and buddha found within Japanese "communal religion."

At the same time, it is said that residents' lifestyles and way of thinking have changed considerably since the Taish˘ period (1912-1926), when the powerful landowning family of Okata fell to ruin and left the village. This, too, is only natural, since there is no reason for thinking that the people's way of thinking should remain unchanged from the time of the village's founding anyway. In the same way, it is no less unlikely that the kind of conceptions which I have tried to uncover in this paper will also fade away in their own time.

1. Magi Sakae, "Densh˘ to shite no matsuri sekai: Shinshű Niino no Yuki Matsuri to Ichigami no Bon Matsuri" [The world of festivals as legend: The Snow Festival of Niino, Nagano Prefecture, and the Bon Festival of the Marketplace Deity]. Shűky˘ Shakaigaku Kenkyűkai, ed., Shűky˘ no imi sekai [The world of meaning in religion] (Tokyo: Yűzankaku, 1981).

2. Sonoda Minoru, "Nihon shűky˘ ni okeru sezokusei to zokka" [Secularity and profanation in Japanese religion], paper delivered before the Kokugakuin University International Symposium. January 11, 1983. [The English version of this paper can be found under the above title in Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, ed., Cultural Identity and Modernization in Asian Countries: Proceedings of Kokugakuin University Centennial Symposium (Tokyo: Kokugakuin University, Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, 1983), 75-85. See also below, note (V) - Trans.]

3. Nakamaki Hirochika, "Joron: Mumei no kami, fuhen no kami, kechien no kami" [preface: The nameless god, the universal god, the god of affinity], idem., ed., Kamigami no s˘koku: Bunka sesshoku to dochaku shugi [Conflict of the gods: culture contact and nativism] (Tokyo: Shinsen-sha, 1982), 78.

4. ibid., 5.

5. Hori Ichir˘, "Nihon bunka no senzai ishi to shite no Shint˘ - Bera ky˘ to Eriotto no shoken o megutte -" [Shinto as the latent consciousness in Japanese culture: remarks on opinions by Professors Bellah and Elliot], Sei to zoku no katt˘ [The conflict of sacred and profane] (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1975), 154.

6. Takatori Masao, Bukky˘ dochaku - sono rekishi to minzoku [The nativization of Buddhism: history and popular culture] (Tokyo: Nihon H˘s˘ Shuppan Ky˘kai, 1973), 22.

7. Sano Shigenao, ed., Nanshin Ina shiry˘ [Historical documents from Ina in southern Nagano] (1901), vol. 2.

8. I shall refer to this document tentatively in this way. The existence of this rare document remained an unconfirmed rumor for a long time. It was compiled by Kumagaya Naohira upon the request of the head of the Muramatsu family, who wanted to pass on his ancestors' traditions to his descendants. It was written in 1746, just twenty years earlier than the completion of the Kumagaya-ke denki. The existence of this document was rumored by both Hayakawa K˘tar˘ and Takeuchi Toshiyoshi, but neither man was able to discover its actual location; since it appears to be a new discovery, I have included here it as a supplementary document. [As noted above, Mogi includes the text of this document as an appendix to his original article; it has been omitted, however, in this translation. - Trans.]

9. Hayakawa K˘tar˘, "Matsuri no shinjin to shite no miy˘do" [The miy˘do as a divine person in festivals], Minzokugaku 2, No. 7 (1930); also in Hayakawa K˘tar˘ zenshű [Complete works of Hayakawa K˘tar˘], 3:45-47.

10. Idem, "Mukagata ujigami no kagura-den" [The kagura hall of Mukagata], Minzokugaku 2, No. 7; also in Hayakawa K˘tar˘ zenshű [Complete works of Hayakawa K˘tar˘], 3:61-62.

11. Takatori Masao and Hashimoto Mineo, Shűky˘ izen [Before religion], (Tokyo: Nihon H˘s˘ Shuppan Ky˘kai, 1968), 61-62.

12. Hirayama Binjir˘, "Kamidana to butsudan," [The Shinto god shelf and Buddhist family altar], Shirin 32, no.2 (1948).

13. Nakamaki Hirochika, "Yorishiro - kami to hotoke no sumiwake" [The site of the divine: different dwellings for kami and buddhas], Ueda Atsushi, Tada Michitar˘, and Nakaoka Yoshisuke, eds., Kűkan no genkei [The fundamental form of space] (Tokyo: Chikuma Shob˘, 1983).

14. Yanagita Kunio, Ky˘do shiron [On village documents], (Ky˘do Kenkyűsha, 1923). Teihon Yanagita Kunio-shű [The standard collection of works by Yanagita Kunio] (1923), 25:70.

Translator's Notes
I. This article was originally published in Japanese as "Matsuri to densh˘ kara mita mura no shűky˘ kűkan", Shint˘ shűky˘ No. 110 (March, 1983), 81-114.

II. These designations are abbreviations for the following provinces and presentday prefectures: Sanshű (Mikawa, present-day Aichi Prefecture); Shinshű (Shinano, present-day Nagano Prefecture); Enshű (T˘t˘mi, present-day Shizuoka prefecture).

III The nembutsu odori is a form of folk observance which involves dancing while chanting the "Nembutsu" or invocation to Amida Buddha ("Namu Amida Butsu" or "Hail to the Buddha Amida") which developed as part of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan's medieval period. According to Mogi, the name of the nembutsu odori called "Kasanbuku" finds its origin in the broad decorative headdresses (kasa) worn, together with a play on the words buku for "mourning" and hoko for "spear," thus referring to the large "floats" (yamahoko) used in many summer festivals throughout Japan. In contrast, the kakeodori appears to have originated from a kind of rural exorcistic procession (kamiokuri) meant to "dance away" evil spirits to beyond the borders of the local community. As Mogi notes, in the case of Mukagata, the villagers have their own local folk exegesis for the origin of this name. The Bon dances (bon odori) are of course the folk dances which accompany the summer festival of "all saints," observed in celebration of the annual return of ancestral spirits to this world.

IV. The sixteen-petaled chrysanthemum is the family crest of Japan's imperial house; as a result, its use here is an obvious reference to the villagers' consciousness of a relationship to the shrine Tensh˘ Daijinja, since the tutelary invokes the presence of the deity of the Grand Shrine of Ise (Ise no Daijingű), the ujigami of the imperial house.

V. For more regarding Sonoda's theories of "religion of the community" versus the "community of religion," see his article "The Religious Situation in Japan in Relation to Shinto," Acta Asiatica: Bulletin of the Institute of Eastern Culture (1987) 51 1-21. See also above, note 2.

VI. The literal meaning of miy˘do is "shrine person"; it obviously serves here as a referent for a lay person who experiences a particular relationship to the shrine or its deity.

VII. The boden is a local variant of the bonten, a religious object symbolizing the presence of the deity; in the case of the boden, the object is fanned from a wooden frame about 75cm square, upon which are affixed a large number of paper streamers; the completed "canopy" is hung from the ceiling of the shrine's hall of worship.

VIII. See above, note III.

IX. This local place name evidently has no established Chinese characters corresponding to it; as a possibility, Mogi suggests the characters jű˘d˘, meaning "ten kings pavilion."

X. See above, paragraph 10 (note IV).

XI. The watari by˘shi is a style of music used in festivals and sacred dance (kagura), in particular to signal the passing of a divine palanquin (mikoshi) or other sacred symbol.

XII. The character butsu is read both butsu and hotoke; The former reading tends to have associations with the objects of worship within institutional Buddhism, while the latter is often used to refer to a deceased human spirit (and thus the connection here with the summer festival of Bon). Both of these senses, however, tend to contrast with the vaguer sense of "numen" or "sacred power" implied by the Shinto term for divinity, kami.

XIII. The term kami no dei may involve an association with the homophones for "upper" (kami) and "deity" (kami). The sense of "upper" is evident from the fact that it exists in contrast to the "lower room" (shimo no dei; see Figure 1).

XIV. The term "hidden field" refers to the fact that such fields were disguised by farmers in an effort to prevent them from being registered for purposes of land taxation.