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Japan

1 THE hair of the younger daughter of the family is very long; and it is a spectacle of no small interest to see it dressed. It is dressed once in every three days; and the operation, which costs four sen, is acknowledged to require one hour. As a matter of fact it requires nearly two. The hairdresser (kamiyui) first sends her maiden apprentice, who cleans the hair, washes it, perfumes it, and combs it with extraordinary combs of at least five different kinds.

1 ''Eight clouds arise. The eightfold [or, manifold] fence of Idzumo makes an eightfold [or, manifold] fence for the spouses to retire within. Oh! that eightfold fence!' This is said to be the oldest song in the Japanese language. It has been differently translated by the great scholars and commentators. The above version and text are from Professor B. H. Chamberlain's translation of the Kojiki (pp.60-64).

1 Toyo-uke-bime-no-Kami, or Uka-no-mi-tana ('who has also eight other names), is a female divinity, according to the Kojiki and its commentators. Moreover, the greatest of all Shinto scholars, Hirata, as cited by Satow, says there is really no such god as Inari-San at all - that the very name is an error. But the common people have created the God Inari: therefore he must be presumed to exist - if only for folklorists; and I speak of him as a male deity because I see him so represented in pictures and carvings.

In the Introduction to his charming Tales of Old Japan, Mr. Mitford wrote in 1871:

'The books which have been written of late years about Japan have either been compiled from official records, or have contained the sketchy impressions of passing travellers. Of the inner life of the Japanese the world at large knows but little: their religion, their superstitions, their ways of thought, the hidden springs by which they move - all these are as yet mysteries.'

'Do not fail to write down your first impressions as soon as possible,' said a kind English professor [Basil Hall Chamberlain: PREPARATOR'S NOTE] whom I had the pleasure of meeting soon after my arrival in Japan: 'they are evanescent, you know; they will never come to you again, once they have faded out; and yet of all the strange sensations you may receive in this country you will feel none so charming as these.' I am trying now to reproduce them from the hasty notes of the time, and find that they were even more fugitive than charming; something has evaporated from all my recollections of

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