Notes for Chapter Fourteen

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).

2 Professor Chamberlain disputes this etymology for excellent reasons. But in Izumo itself the etymology is still accepted, and will be accepted, doubtless, until the results of foreign scholarship in the study of the archaic texts is more generally known.

3 Planeca Japonica.

4 So absolutely has Shinto in Izumo monopolised the Karashishi, or stone lions, of Buddhist origin, that it is rare in the province to find a pair before any Buddhist temple. There is even a Shinto myth about their introduction into Japan from India, by the Fox-God!

5 Such offerings are called Gwan-hodoki. Gwan wo hodoki, 'to make a vow.'

6 A pilgrim whose prayer has been heard usually plants a single nobori as a token. Sometimes you may see nobori of five colours (goshiki), - black, yellow, red, blue, and white - of which one hundred or one thousand have been planted by one person. But this is done only in pursuance of some very special vow.

7 'On being asked if there were any other love charm, the Newt replied, making a ring with two of his toes - "Only this." The sign signifies, "Money."'

8 There are no less than eleven principal kinds of Japanese names. The jitsumyo, or 'true name,' corresponds to our Christian name. On this intricate and interesting topic the reader should consult Professor B. H. Chamberlain's excellent little book, Things Japanese, pp. 250-5.

9 That I may be wedded to Takaki-Toki, I humbly pray. - A youth of eighteen.'

10 The gengebana (also called renge-so, and in Izumo miakobana) is an herb planted only for fertilizing purposes. Its flowers are extremely small, but so numerous that in their blossoming season miles of fields are coloured by them a beautiful lilaceous blue. A gentleman who wished to marry a joro despite the advice of his friends, was gently chided by them with the above little verse, which, freely translated, signifies: 'Take it not into thy hand: the flowers of the gengebans are fair to view only when left all together in the field.'