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MUSIC OF JAPAN.
205
of worship is exceedingly simple, and in the main, joyous; there is no thought of supplication to their deities; for as they regard these as being in a state of bliss, they deem that the sight of any person in distress, must be painful to them, and therefore, when in trouble, they avoid going to religious exercises. In fact on the days of relig­ious festivals, they behave in a manner which we should call decidedly immoral, but they do it with the best of motives, for they argue that nothing can please the gods more than to see mortals enjoying themselves heartily; and on this plea, both Buddhists and Sintuists indulge in all kinds of excesses on holidays.
Music does not play a verv important part in the religious ceremonies of Japan. The Sintuists, who worship the Kami, or demi-gods, employ choirs on some occasions, and bear in all their ceremonies, some resemblance to the Catholic rites; this resemblance is yet more striking in the Buddhist religion; so much so, that a pious divine* on beholding their customs, came to the conclusion that the whole was a parody by Satan, upon the Catholic church.
The annual fetes instituted in honor of the chief Kami, consist almost wholly in ceremonies of purification. On the day before the chief solemnity, the priests march in procession, with tapers, to the temple where the arms and other objects which belonged to the demi-god, are kept in a reliquary called mikosi. According to the
• Abbe Hue, Tirol* in Thibet.






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