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218                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC
and with appropriate movements, in the disguite of birds or butterflies.
The court ladies had their private boxes at the theatre and at the circus of wrestleis; many of these customs still exist at the Japanese court but not with the spirit and life of former days.
Processional music is, in Japan, similar to that described in " Chinese Music," noisy and distress ing; but it is by no means so generally used as in China. In some processions it is not present at all. The emperor formerly appears to have had no music in his pompous cavalcades, for a descrip­tion of one of these pageants (written in the seventeenth century), thus concludes:
" It is at the same time in the utmost silence that the procession proceeds. No one is heard to speak a word. Neither the spectators in the streets, nor those who form the procession, make the least noise. It can only be perceived by the sound of men's footsteps, and the tramping of horses."*
At the ecclesiastical processions, which take place on days devoted to special Kami, (similar to the saints days of Europe), and called Matsouri, the music consists of the fifes, drums, and gongs Of the bonzery. Of course these processions vary in proportion to the popularity of the special Kami or saint. The greatest Matsouri which takes place at Yeddo, is that given in honor of Zinmou, the founder of the empire. Even those who do not believe in Kami-worship, attend this
•Cwon'« Account of Japan (Pinkerton s ed.j, p. oil, » 7.

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