Notes for Chapter Three
1 Derived from the Sanscrit stupa.
2 'The real origin of the custom of piling stones before the images of Jizo and other divinities is not now known to the people. The Custom is founded upon a passage in the famous Sutra, "The Lotus of the Good Law."
'Even the little hoys who, in playing, erected here and there heaps of sand, with the intention of dedicating them as Stupas to the Ginas,-they have all of them reached enlightenment.' - Saddharma Pundarika, c. II. v. 81 (Kern's translation), 'Sacred Books of the East,' vol. xxi.
3 The original Jizo has been identified by Orientalists with the Sanscrit Kshitegarbha; as Professor Chamberlain observes, the resemblance in sound between the names Jizo and Jesus 'is quite fortuitous.' But in Japan Jizo has become totally transformed: he may justly be called the most Japanese of all Japanese divinities. According to the curious old Buddhist book, Sai no Kawara Kuchi zu sams no den, the whole Sai-no-Kawara legend originated in Japan, and was first written by the priest Kuya Shonin, in the sixth year of the period called TenKei, in the reign of the Emperor Shuyaku, who died in the year 946. To Kuya was revealed, in the village of Sai-in, near Kyoto, during a night passed by the dry bed of the neighbouring river, Sai-no-Kawa (said to be the modern Serikawa), the condition of child-souls in the Meido. (Such is the legend in the book; but Professor Chamberlain has shown that the name Sai-no-Kawara, as now written, signifies 'The Dry Bed of the River of Souls,' and modern Japanese faith places that river in the Meido.) Whatever be the true history of the myth, it is certainly Japanese; and the conception of Jizo as the lover and playfellow of dead children belongs to Japan. There are many other popular forms of Jizo, one of the most common being that Koyasu-Jizo to whom pregnant women pray. There are but few roads in Japan upon which statues of Jizo may not be seen; for he is also the patron of pilgrims.
4 Except those who have never married.
5 In Sanscrit, 'Yama-Raja.' But the Indian conception has been totally transformed by Japanese Buddhism.
6 Funeral customs, as well as the beliefs connected with them, vary considerably in different parts of Japan. Those of the eastern provinces differ from those of the western and southern. The old practice of placing articles of value in the coffin - such as the metal mirror formerly buried with a woman, or the sword buried with a man of the Samurai caste - has become almost obsolete. But the custom of putting money in the coffin still prevails: in Izumo the amount is always six rin, and these are called Rokudo-kane, or 'The Money for the Six Roads.'
7 Literally 'Western Capital,' - modern name of Kyoto, ancient residence of the emperors. The name 'Tokyo,' on the other hand, signifies 'Eastern Capital.'
8 These first ten lines of the original will illustrate the measure of the wasan:
Kore wa konoyo no koto narazu, Shide no yamaji no suso no naru, Sai-no-Kawara no monogatari Kiku ni tsuketemo aware nari Futatsu-ya, mitsu-ya, yotsu, itsutsu,
To nimo taranu midorigo ga Sai-no-Kawara ni atsumari te, Chichi koishi! haha koishi! Koishi! koishi! to naku koe wa Konoyo no koe towa ko to kawari..