Tales of Old Japan eBook

Algernon Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 481 pages of information about Tales of Old Japan.

“But what made you think she must be a goblin because her clothes were dry?”

“The beast evidently thought that, if she could bewitch us with her beauty, she might get at the fish my retainer was carrying; but she forgot that, as it was raining, it would not do for her clothes not to be wet; so I detected and killed her.”

When the old prince heard his son speak thus, he was filled with admiration for the youth’s sagacity; so, conceiving that Kadzutoyo had given reliable proof of wisdom and prudence, he resolved to abdicate;[83] and Kadzutoyo was proclaimed Prince of Tosa in his stead.

[Footnote 83:  Inkiyo, abdication.  The custom of abdication is common among all classes, from the Emperor down to his meanest subject.  The Emperor abdicates after consultation with his ministers:  the Shogun has to obtain the permission of the Emperor; the Daimios, that of the Shogun.  The abdication of the Emperor was called Sento; that of the Shogun, Oyosho; in all other ranks it is called Inkiyo.  It must be remembered that the princes of Japan, in becoming Inkiyo, resign the semblance and the name, but not the reality of power.  Both in their own provinces and in the country at large they play a most important part.  The ex-Princes of Tosa, Uwajima and Owari, are far more notable men in Japan than the actual holders of the titles.]


[Illustration:  A JAPANESE SERMON.]


“Sermons preached here on 8th, 18th, and 28th days of every month.”  Such was the purport of a placard, which used to tempt me daily, as I passed the temple Cho-o-ji.  Having ascertained that neither the preacher nor his congregation would have any objection to my hearing one of these sermons, I made arrangements to attend the service, accompanied by two friends, my artist, and a scribe to take notes.

We were shown into an apartment adjoining a small chapel—­a room opening on to a tastily arranged garden, wealthy in stone lanterns and dwarfed trees.  In the portion of the room reserved for the priest stood a high table, covered with a cloth of white and scarlet silk, richly embroidered with flowers and arabesques; upon this stood a bell, a tray containing the rolls of the sacred books, and a small incense-burner of ancient Chinese porcelain.  Before the table was a hanging drum, and behind it was one of those high, back-breaking arm-chairs which adorn every Buddhist temple.  In one corner of the space destined for the accommodation of the faithful was a low writing-desk, at which sat, or rather squatted, a lay clerk, armed with a huge pair of horn spectacles, through which he glared, goblin-like, at the people, as they came to have their names and the amount of their offerings to the temple registered.  These latter must have been small things, for the congregation seemed poor

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Tales of Old Japan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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