Notes for Chapter Eight
1 The names Dozen or Tozen, and Dogo or Toga, signify 'the Before-Islands' and 'the Behind-Islands.'
2 'Dokoe, dokoel' 'This is only a woman's baby' (a very small package). 'Dokoe, dokoel' 'This is the daddy, this is the daddy' (a big package). 'Dokoe, dokoel' ''Tis very small, very small!' 'Dokoe, dokoel' 'This is for Matsue, this is for Matsue!' 'Dokoe, dokoel' 'This is for Koetsumo of Yonago,' etc.
3 These words seem to have no more meaning than our 'yo-heaveho.' Yan- yui is a cry used by all Izumo and Hoki sailors.
4 This curious meaning is not given in Japanese-English dictionaries, where the idiom is translated merely by the phrase 'as aforesaid.'
5 The floor of a Japanese dwelling might be compared to an immense but very shallow wooden tray, divided into compartments corresponding to the various rooms. These divisions are formed by grooved and polished woodwork, several inches above the level, and made for the accommodation of the fusurna, or sliding screens, separating room from room. The compartments are filled up level with the partitions with tatami, or mats about the thickness of light mattresses, covered with beautifully woven rice-straw. The squared edges of the mats fit exactly together, and as the mats are not made for the house, but the house for the mats, all tatami are exactly the same size. The fully finished floor of each roam is thus like a great soft bed. No shoes, of course, can be worn in a Japanese house. As soon as the mats become in the least soiled they are replaced by new ones.
6 See article on Art in his Things Japanese.
7 It seems to be a black, obsidian.
8 There are several other versions of this legend. In one, it is the mare, and not the foal, which was drowned.
9 There are two ponds not far from each other. The one I visited was called 0-ike, or 'The Male Pond,' and the other, Me-ike, or 'The Female Pond.'
10 Speaking of the supposed power of certain trees to cure toothache, I may mention a curious superstition about the yanagi, or willow-tree. Sufferers from toothache sometimes stick needles into the tree, believing that the pain caused to the tree-spirit will force it to exercise its power to cure. I could not, however, find any record of this practice in Oki.
11 Moxa, a corruption of the native name of the mugwort plant: moe-kusa, or mogusa, 'the burning weed.' Small cones of its fibre are used for cauterising, according to the old Chinese system of medicine - the little cones being placed upon the patient's skin, lighted, and left to smoulder until wholly consumed. The result is a profound scar. The moxa is not only used therapeutically, but also as a punishment for very naughty children. See the interesting note on this subject in Professor Chamberlain's Things Japanese.
12 Nure botoke, 'a wet god.' This term is applied to the statue of a deity left exposed to the open air.
13 According to popular legend, in each eye of the child of a god or a dragon two Buddhas are visible. The statement in some of the Japanese ballads, that the hero sung of had four Buddhas in his eyes, is equivalent to the declaration that each of his eyes had a double-pupil.
14 The idea of the Atman will perhaps occur to many readers.
15 In 1892 a Japanese newspaper, published in Tokyo stated upon the authority of a physician who had visited Shimane, that the people of Oki believe in ghostly dogs instead of ghostly foxes. This is a mistake caused by the literal rendering of a term often used in Shi-mane, especially in Iwami, namely, inu-gami-mochi. It is only a euphemism for kitsune-mochi; the inu-gami is only the hito-kitsune, which is supposed to make itself visible in various animal forms.
16 Which words signify something like this:
'Sleep, baby, sleep! Why are the honourable ears of the Child of the Hare of the honourable mountain so long? 'Tis because when he dwelt within her honoured womb, his mamma ate the leaves of the loquat, the leaves of the bamboo-grass, That is why his honourable ears are so long.'
17 The Japanese police are nearly all of the samurai class, now called shizoku. I think this force may be considered the most perfect police in the world; but whether it will retain those magnificent qualities which at present distinguish it, after the lapse of another generation, is doubtful. It is now the samurai blood that tells.