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206                    CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
priests, the mikosi is the earthly dwelling place of the Kami; a sort of terrestrial throne, for occasional inhabitance; and each year it must undergo a thorough purification, in order to be acceptable to the hero. The reliquary is emptied and brought to the river; a certain number of priests carefully wash it, while others kindle a series of huge fires, to keep away the evil genii. The kagoura, or sacred choir, play soft and pleas­ant music, in order to appease the Kami, who is temporarily deprived of his earthly dwelling; they make as much haste as possible to restore it to him, which is done by placing the relics again in the reliquary.
The temple itself undergoes a purification lasting several days, at the same time. Sometimes the Buddhists send out collectors for their temples, who sing and play, quite musically, in front of the doors of persons from whom they expect to obtain a gratuity; they continue at each door until the heart of the proprietor is softened, or his patience gone, when the door is opened and the singers rewarded civilly.*
In order that the similarity of the Buddhist and Christian rites may be remarked, we give the description of the interior of a temple during worship, as seen by a European traveller.!
"A hundred kneeling devotees were present; a large shrine, with a gilt image in its recess; two Uige globular lamps, and two burning candles.
*S. Osborne, Japanese Fragments.
• Mr. OJiuhant, in Elgin's Mission to Japan.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III