Yamaguchi-Emperor

Yamaguchi-Emperor - 951"1 EXT AND CONTEXT I The Social...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–20. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 4
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 6
Background image of page 7

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 8
Background image of page 9

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 10
Background image of page 11

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 12
Background image of page 13

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 14
Background image of page 15

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 16
Background image of page 17

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 18
Background image of page 19

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 20
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: 951 "1 EXT AND CONTEXT I The Social Anthropology of Tradition edited by Ravindra K. Jain Hegrinted. with permission, from? Text and Context: The-Social Anm (apology of Tradirmn © Inslikule [or the Study of Human issues All Rights Reserved. “LL14 m Phiiadelphia ' E A Publication of the Institute for the Study of Human Issues i781 Kingship, Theatrical‘ity, _ _ and Marginal Reality in japan MASAO YAMAGUCHI WHY KINGSHIPAS A SYSTEM OF MYTH? The institution of kingship can be viewed not oniy as a political institution, but as ‘a mythical system through which a people can experience the world as a totality; that is; peOple can enrich everday lifewith a sense 'of reaiity that can be experi— enced .oniy by getting in touch with the myth and symbolism of kingship (Beideiman 1965: 103). It is for this reason that kingship can sometimes survive as a part of culture even after its disappearance as a poiitical institution (Yamagachi 1972), remaining as a model of a world view in the popular imagina- tion. If kingship cannot be ignored even today, it is because it is deepiy em- bedded within the most fundamental eiements of the way of thinking of a people and hassupplied them vvith arbasic modei for understanding the world in their own terms. Furthermore, recent interest in phenomenological approaches to the problem of social reality seems to be calling kingship back again, as an object of the study of marginal reality. For example, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckrnann seek to integrate kingship in the‘syinbolic universe of the social world. The symbolic universe is Conceived of as the matrix of all socially objectivatcd and subjectiveiy reai meanings;.the entire historic society and the entire biography of the individual are seen as events taking piacc within this universe. What is particulariy important, the marginal situations of the iife of the individnai (marginal, that is, in not being included in the reaiity of everyday existence in society) are also encom- passed hy the symbolic universe. Such situations are experienced in dreams and fantasies as provinces of meaning detached from everyday life, and endowed with a pecnliar reaiity of their own. Within the symbolic universe these detached realms of reality are integrated within a meaningful totality that “explains,” perhaps also justifies them. . .. This integration of the realities of marginal situations within the paramount reaiity of everyday life .is of great importance, because these situations constitute the most acute threat to taken—for-granted, routinized existence in society. If one conceives of the latter as the “ciayiight side” of human life, then the marginai situations consti- .tnte a “night side" that keeps iuricing ominousiy on the periphery of everyday consciousness. Jtist because the “night side” has its own reality, often enough of a sinister kind, it is a constant threat to the taken—for-grantcd, matter-of~fact, “sane” reaiity of iife in society... [Berger and Luckmana 1967: .96]. ' lfi! S‘El 152 ' I MASAO YAMAGUCHI What is said of the individual worldof the symbolic universe can also be said of the social world. Kingshlp in archaic societies is referred to as a case in point: the symbolic universe provides a comprehensive integration of all discrete institu- tional processes. The entire society now makes sense. Particular institutions and roles are legitimated by locating them in a comprehensively meaningful world. For example, the political order is legitimated by reference to a cosmic order of power . and justice, and political roles are legitimated as representations of these cosmic principles. The institution of divine kingship in archaic civilizations is an excellent illustration of the manner in which this kind of ultimate legitimation operates [ibid.: 103]. What we are concerned with in this study of kingship is the problem of the interplay between the reality of everyday experience and that of marginality. Social anthropologists so far have not been sufficiently interested in the problem of the multiplicities of social reality. 'The fact that the; institutional process coexists with the submerged level of reality that could be called the symbolic r universe, following Berger and Luckmann, has been largely ignored. Instead of paying attention to the hidden dimension of reality and explaining it in its own right, scholars have provided explanations more or less in terms of a single level of reality, that of the utilitarian and functional theory of solidarity. Although we _ are going to deal with the position of kingship in a particular country of East Asia, the methodological issues that are raised are relevant beyond this cir- cumscribed space and‘time. I To start the discussion, we have first to present an ideal picture of the tra~ ditional village world as seen from within,a picture such as is now generally accepted by folklorists as well as anthropologists in Japan. The following model is thought of as typical of the village from the ancient days of the sixth century down to the late nineteenth century. In fact, this model has survived the ages and continues to supply the framework of a world view for the Japanese.1 THE IMAGE OF THE STRANGER IN TRADITIONAL VILLAGE LIFE In the typical village until a hundred years ago, there existed in the eyes of the villagers only two major categories of people: the insider and the outsider. The outsider is a person who visits the village occasionally. In the seventh century, the picture was somewhat complicated by the introduction of a military regime and the appearance, occasionally, of Buddhist priests or military officials. When these people arrived they always seemed to the villagers to be outsiders. To the village-dwellers, who lived in an isolated and coherent world, the boundary of the village marked the limit of their world. Although there were some areas, as in ' the central part of Japan, where the population density was so high that villages were found side by side, in most areas they were separated from each other by forest or by hills. It was therefore considered that the territory beyond the bound- Kingship, Theatricality, and Marginal Reality in Japan 153 ary was space belonging to a power that could menace the order of village societywnarnely, the demonic forces which do not find expression in the every~ day life of the villagers. It is the part of the world from which appear masked - Spirits, the gods, sometimes an epidemic,_bandits, and finally the itinerant mer- chants and priests; the boundary was identified with various elements, with the bridge over the river, with the entrance to the hills, with the stone statue called jizo often built to mark the limit of the village. Jizo is the patron deity of dead children. He is said to save innocent children who might be tortured by the demon on the bank of the river that separates this world from that of beyond. Perhaps it is for this reason that this deity is associated with the boundary of the village. _ As well as the jtzo figure another statue, which represents a married couple, is sometimes found. The husband and wife. are usually shown embracing. This union of the male and the female could be interpreted as the integration of the yin and ya (yang) principles. It is also of some interest that the male deity is iden— tified with the god Saruta-hiito of Japanese mythology. He is known as the patron of the crossroads. Although he is a grotesque figure, he is believed to protect the village world from the invasion of evil powers. Like the Hermes of Greek myth, who is also the deity of the crossroads, and Eshu, the equivalent of Hennes in the Yoruba myth of Nigeria, he is represented as a comical figure (Wescot 1962: 728). Saruta-hiko is considered to be the founding ancestor of the semi~legendary subclan of Japanese troubadours called samme, who are also said to belong to a more comprehensive clan called rumba from which the craft of troubadour is thought to have originated. The name of the clan atnabe is found only in records from the seventh century, and no lineal descendants of this clan seem to exist. They are said to have had their center in central Japan (Yamashiro district) and to have travelled throughout the year as itinerant traders as well as troubadours. It seems that the amabe disintegrated in about the tenth century. The amqbe, however, was not the only group which travelled reund Japan between the sixth and ninth centuries. There were groups of itinerant priests who went around the countryside along with the amabe. They included the priests of the cults of lse, Kurnano, Izumo, Kashima, and so on. Unlike the amnbe, they Were an associated body of voluntary priests, and had well‘established cult- centers after which their groups were named. - , Although these cult«groups need some explanation, the details are not espe- cially relevant to our discussion. In the eyes of the villagers they fell into the category of the mysterious outsider. We shall refer to them here as “itinerant priests” although the scope of their profession is not at all clear. Sometimes they were singers of tales, or dancers, or puppeteers, but at other times they were traders. Thus they were visiting gods as well as the bearers of evil.2 The attitude to these itinerant priests was ambiguous. The Japanese have always believed that the gods should visit each village community only at a certain seasonal time. If a god’s visit is at the proper season, then he can act in a benevolent way. However, if he visits the village at an 991 154 MASAO YAMAGUCHI unexpected period, he is thought to be out of place and a source of evil. These observations can also be applied to all itinerant priests. They did not belong to the ordinary community. Their origin was not known. From another viewpoint, - however, they were welcome, because their visit broke the monotonous peace of village life, and stirred up the stale air of the community. They introduced energy into the village world. Their presence and performance were sometimes iden- tified with those of the deity whose image they carried. They would recite prayers at the request of villagers, or sing songs telling the story of the founding father of the sect, or songs about the heroes related to the sect. In any case, their behavior was of a kind that could not be observed in the everyday world. They thus were the image of a world that did not belong to ordinary life. This explains why their image was ominous and benevolent at the same time. They came from a place where the villagers’ ideas of right and wrong were not held in honor. Their costume, behavior, and actions were charged with elements that did not conform to the norm of everyday life. In this sense, they were like the jesters and jugglers of the medieval Western world. ' " I . ‘ ' Although their presence was not always welcome, the‘community could not do without the influence of the alien and exotic element in its life. Here the ideas of ‘ Mircea Eliade (1959: 76—77) and Edmund Leach (1961: 135) about the time concept of the archaic world seem to be valid. Eliade considers that time evolves I in a cyclic way in archaic societies. At the outset of time everything is filled with divine energy, whereas things are thought to become polluted or dissipated if they remain intact or unchanged for too long a period. ' In rural and archaic Japan this pollution was thought to find expression in many different forms: for example, in epidemics, in the vermin and pests that attacked agricultural crops, and in all kinds of disaster and misfortune. People used to believe that calamity that attacked the community had its origin in an alien factor inside the community as well as outside it. The malevolent factor accumulated in the community. it was related also to the sins committed wit- tingly or unwittingly by members of the'community. In order to avoid the , disastrous influence of the polluted element, it was necessary for the community to give the element form and to send it away beyond the limits of the village. However, the introduction of the alien element, which could turn into calamity at any time, was absolutely necessary for the growth of the crops. Thus the need for the alien factor had two facets which appear contradictory to each other on the surface: that is, the introduction of the negative element of expiation as well as the positive element of crop fertility. . . The Japanese in the countryside conducted a ritual in which they invited the god who could bring calamity to manifest himself so that they could appease him. They called god in this state ara—tama (violent spirit) in opposition to nigi—mma (peaceful spirit). The Japanese do not consider god as being always the same. For them, god is in a state. either of peace or of violence. Whether he is violent or peaceful depends on the situation in which he finds himself. In other Kingshlp, Theatricaltgr, and Marginal Reality in Japan l55 words, he is thought to be ambigudus. Specialists in Japanese folk religion have come to agree that the dialectics of the era-tame and nigi—tama can be identified with the very basis of Japanese religion.3 Toward the end of the tenth century, the violent aspect of the ambiguous deity was formulated as the goryo (demonic being) cult. There were several ways 'of giving form to the Violent deity. He could some- times be represented by the villagers when they danced on the occasion of the seasonal festival. The violent deity was potentially ,incarnated inevery dancer. Toward the end of the dance, they led the spirit to the edge of the village, believing that the god wasthereby sent outside the village. They did this some" times carrying symbols, withoutthem at other times. The dance festival was celebrated in August, when the first half of the agricultural cycle was completed and people were turning their thoughts to a good harvest. Great care must be taken in tending the crops. They were anxious lest a typhoon should attack their fields to destroy the plants; they had to watch for various pests that might come from other villages. They looked upon these sources of calamity as something like unwelcome visitors. However, insofar as lightning seemed essential for a good rice harvest, and pests usually attacked their fields in the years when a good crop was expected, their feelings about the sources of evil and calamity were ambivalent. They believed that good and evil were already associated in the nature of the god himself-He was benevolent as well as malicious. In the eyes oi the Japanese, feelings of this kind were aptly symbolized by the flower (hand) because of the uncertainty of its lasting. Flowers, particularly cherry blossoms, which typify this kind of uncertainty, were used to predict the annual harvest. For this reason the villagers might carry flowers as symbols of the ambiguous deity. On bther occasions the villagers constructed a figure of straw, reminiscent oi the manilrin or puppet used during Mardi Gras. it was named Sanemori-sama, after a warrior of the twelfth-century who took part in a battle in his old age. The fact that he knowingly joined the side that had no hope of winning, and that he fought in old age even though no one expected him to do so, impressed the rural people, and they looked upon him as the symbol of the incarnation of the goryc (demonic spirit). in general, the goryo is thbiight to be the incarnation of the soul of a person who died a tragic death and had no chance of redemption. The soul that has not expiated its resentment can remain around this world as an evil spirit and threaten men. The reason that Sanemori-sama was chosen as the symbol 0! the Japanese Mardi Gras is complicated. However, an analysis of the images 01 goryo clustered around him throws light on the background from which he has emerged. 1. lie was a hero of distinguished origin. 2. He died an unnatural death. - 3. He was disguised as a young person through the use of make-up. (The spirit of youth was considered to be the strongest goryo.) LEI 156 . M'Asao YAMAGUCHI 4. He dyed his white hair dark because otherwise‘his enemy would know he was old and would not fight with him seriously. lie was absolutely oriented to death, and died tragically. However, when he is associated with the spirit of goryo, he inherits the ambiguous character ascribed to it. Thus, at the time of the summer festival, when they carried the Sanemori manikin around the village, the villagers danced violently as if possessed by the Spirit of Sanemori. This was to show that he was an alien spirit who was himself violent and charged with the evil elements inside the village. Toward the end of the festival the villagers took him to the boundary of the village where they demolished or burned the manikin. 'l‘his closely resem— bles the practice of Mardi Gras in Western Europe“ The same atmosphere that could be observed during the carnival dominated the village on the day of Sanemori-sama. l’eopie behaved rudely and were allowed to be outspoken. The kind of behavior discouraged on other days was followed to enter village life at that time. One can give a thousand explanations for this phenomenon. we can, however, limit ourselves to saying that the reversal of the life principle was realized; and the negative principle of life was released and given form through the manikin and then taken to the edge of the village and cast forth. In addition to the festival of the scapegoat organized by the village,'there were nonseasonal cults organized by the itinerant priests. These people had their heyday during the Middle Ages, between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries, when they were called yngyo shom’n (“itinerant priests“). it was a time when the central authority was not yet well~enough established to control their religious activities. After the seventeenth century their activity as priests declined, partly because of the policy imposed on them by the hierarchically organized central government. ' Their earlier activities ranged widely: they had acted as intermediaries betWeen certain well-l<nown cult-centers such as the capitals Kumano and Ise; they trans- ported trade goods such as salt and medicines which were hard to obtain in the isolated villages; they carried the news with them; they transmitted the songs and stories that refreshed the village community. They were thus important media of noninstitutionaliaed communication. It is clear that some kinds of communica- tion could be organized only by a government-controlled system, but there was also a kind of communication which would have been carried on only through such people as the itinerant priest—traders.5 Transmissions of goods, of religious messages, and of news, as well as dramatic enactments of historical tales, were inseparable from each other in medieval Japan. What was the role of the itinerant priests? In an archaic sense, they represented the gods who visited the village from time to time. Since the villagers believed that the priests incarnated the god they served, they were objects of both veneration and horror. Besides chanting prayers to their god, they performed the ritual drama enacting stories of the god whose teaching they carried with them. In most cases these related the suffering, death, and revival of the god. The stories varied from age to age, influenced by Kingship, Theatricalliy, and Marginal Reality in Japan 157 changes brought about by contemporary events. However, they were based es» sentially on the mythical model of the tragic hero, usually a person of noble descent who suffered either because of his origins or because of exceptional character or deeds which were the signs of an extraordinary descent. He was suitable to be the hero, the bearer of the sin and impurity of the community, because of his unusual origin. ‘ . ‘ In fact, the villagers believed that the pollution and the danger that threatened the community were incorporated in the protagonist of the drama or epic. When the priests related the tragedy'they gave form to its negative force and abnormal- ity. For this reason the singers of the tales had to be charged with the negative element, the pollution, and expelled from the village. We can say that a close relationship between the singer of the tale and its hero existed in the imagination of the people. In the temporal sense these artist-priests were specialists in the redemptionfrom sin of all the members of the community. ' They were charged with the evil and pollution of the year that had passed. By being associated with sinful conditions, by beingexpelled from the villages, and by wandering over the countryside, they lived not only their own way of exis- tence but also that of the hero they represented.: The king of ancient Japan filled on a national level a role equivalent to that of the itinerant priests, insofar as he was a stranger to the society that he ruled. Although the king had the duty of integrating the whole nation, by establishing the political order, he could not manifest his. force directly, because it could be antisocial if it were manifested without modification. Herein lies the dilemma of kingship: to be integral it has-to represent negative elements as well as positive ones. But as a lay authority, the king can express only that which is morally acceptable. The mythical dimension is introduced to solve this type of dilemma.6 it is thus that some specialists find the folkloric model of the itinerant priest behind the attitude of the Japanese toward kingship. We shall see that it is on the level of mythical thought that the ambiguous aspect of Japanese kingship is expressed. KINGSHIP AND MYTH IN ANCIENT JAPAN in Japanese mythology, the god Susana—o provides us with a key to understand ing the hidden dimension of the idea of kingship. Susano-o is a younger brother of the goddess Amaterasu, the founding ancestress of the royal family, according to the theogony. He is one of the three distinguished children of the god Izanarni. Let us follow the narration chojiki.(The Chronicle ofAncr'em Matters), the first book of Japanese history, written in the eighth century.7 - l. The story starts with a description of Susano-o, who had been deserted by his mother at her death and did not stop crying, although he had been ordered by his father to leave for the subterranean country that had been allocated to him to SEE 158 masao transducer rule. His father allocated the realm of heaven to Amaterasn, his elder sister, and the realm of the heaven at night to Tsukiyomi, his elder brother.. 2. While th'e other deities ruled their realms in obedience to the command imposed on them, Susano«o did not rule the land entrusted to him. Instead, he wept and howled until his beard became eight hands long and extended down over his chest. His weeping was such that it caused the verdant mountain to wither and all the rivers and seas to dry up. At this the cries of malevolent deities were everywhere as abundant as summer flies; and all kinds of calamities arose in all things. i 7 3. Izanami said to Susano-o: “Why is it that you do not rule the land entrusted to you, but instead weep and howl?” Then Susano—o replied, “I wish to go to the land of my mother, that is why I weep." Then Izanarni, greatly enraged, said, “In that case you may not live in this land!” 4. Thus he expelled him with a divine expulsion. Susanne went up to heaven to bid farewell to Amaterasu. '. 5. When he ascended to heaven, the mountain and rivers ail roared and the lands all shook. Amaterasu was suspicious of the intention of Susanoto in com-‘ ing up to heaven. Therefore she asked Susano-o to prove to her the purity of his intentions. Susano-o passed the test. I a 6. As a result of his success, Susano~o became arrogant. He raged with victory, breaking down the ridges between the rice paddies of Amaterasu and covering up the ditches; He also defecated and strewed the feces about the hall where the first fruits were tasted. But Amaterasu was patient. 7. White Amaterasu wasinside the sacred weaving—hall seeing to the weaving of the divine garments, Susano-o made a hole in its roof and dropped down a heavenly dappled pony which he had skinned. A heavenly maiden was so alarmed on seeing this that she struck her genitals against the shuttle and died. 8. Amaterasu, being enraged, opened the heavenly rock-cave door, went in, and shut herself inside. Then the heavenly world became entirely dark. Because of this, constant night reigned, the cries of the myriad deities were everywhere abundant like summer flies, and all manner of calamities arose. 9. After succeeding at persuading Amaterasn to come out of the cave, the deities decided to punish Susano-o and expel him from heaven. They imposed on him a fine of a thousand tables of restitutive gifts, and also, after cutting off his beard and the nails of his hands and feet, they had him exercised and expelled with a divine expulsion. iO. Nihongf, another chronicle of ancient Japan which was also published in the eighth century, gives an interesting variant of his account. According to it, when the deities expelled Susano-o there was a rainstorm. Susano-o then bound up grass and made a braided hat and straw coat or cloak, and went around asking the various deities for shelter; they answered that they would not provide shelter for one who had been exiled for his evil doings. In spite of the fierce wind and rain he was unable to find anywhere to shelter himself and rest, and he descended in great pain. Ktngshrp, Theatricality, and Marginal Reality in Japan 159 II. Susano~o descended to a place calted Tori—kami, near the river iii in the land of Izumo, where he encountered anyold couple crying over their daughter who was to be dedicated to the eight—headed water dragon that came every year demanding a maiden-whom it could devour as a sacrifice. ' 12. Deciding to rescue them from their trouble, Susana-o saidto the old couple: “Distilt thick wine of eightwfoid'brewing; build a fence, and make eight doors in the fence. A-teach door, tie together eight platforms [Sazuki}, and on each of these platforms place a wine barrel. Fill each barrel with thick wine of eight-fold brewing and wait." 13. When everything was ready, the dragon with eight heads and tails came. Putting one head into each of the barrels, he drank the wine; then,'becorning drunk, he lay down and slept. 14. Then Susanne unsheathed his shout and hacked the dragon to pieces; when he cut the dragon’s middle tail, the blade of his sword broke. Thinking this strange, he thrust deeper with his hilt until a great sharp sword appeared. is. He took this second sword out and, thinking it an extraordinary thing, reported the matter and presented the sword to Amaterasu. 16. Thereupon Susano-o sought for a place in the land of Izutno where he _ built his palace and founded the dynasty of Izumo. We have dwelt on the myth of Susano—o at some length, because it throws light on the ambiguous nature of Japanese kingship. We can render the myth of Susano-o into four parts: ' (i) Susano—o as a crying child (L4). (ii) Susanoos visit to the realm of'heav’en, his violence and expulsion from heaven (5-40}. (iii) The fight of Snsano-o against the serpent~demon (l 1—14). (iv) The founding of a dynasty (15—46). . _ There have been many interpretations of the god Susanowo, because his arri- biguous character has attracted the attention of specialists in Japanese mythol- ogy. However, it can hardly be said that these interpretations have been success- ful, except for a few, because most of them were based on a theory that the god Susanowo was the incarnation of a natural phenomenon (for example, thunder or storms). in fact, Susano-o should be understood as a symbolic expression of the creation that foliows-deStruction. Susanowo is the protagonist of the contradictory phases of a single process; he is a character with two faces which are opposed to each other: the trickster and the hero-prince. He first introduced chaos, then he re—created order by establishing a kingdom. These two phases, contrasted and , ambiguous, reflect the essential character of Japanese kingship, as we shall see. It is generaliy accepted that ambiguity can best be represented in myths by the figure of the divine trickster, as was shown by Levi-Strauss.8 It remains for us to examine the multiple faces of Susano—o, and trace his connections with the figure of the trickster and also with the royal personage. It is not difficult to establish the relation that exists between the myth of Susanoio and that of kingship. For 6£i 160 ' ‘ MASAO YAMAGUCHi example, in phase iv the magical sword that Susano-o takes out and dedicates to the goddess Amaterasu is part of the royal regalia transmitted to the new king of Japan at his installation ceremony. in the same way, all the procedures from the expulsion of Susano-oup to his sacred marriage with Suseri-hime after his combat against the eight-headed dragon correspond to the mythical passage from death to resurrection found in initiation rites for young n‘ien.9 If we remember that the ritual death and resurrection of the novice after 'his combat with the dragon express clearly the eSSenceof the shaman initiation ceremony in North- east Asia, then we can understand that the Susano-o myth corresponds exactly to this model. However, we find that in the case of Susano-o the model acquires a more cosmic dimension. It is this same model that is observed in the New Year ritual in Babylonia, in which the king plays the role of the mythical god Marduk who goes to the realm of the dead and then, on coming again to this world, defeats the demon-god ’i‘iamat.m ' A similar example occurs in the Egyptian ritual of Heb Sed, a New Year festival in which the victory of Yahweh over the forces of chaos is celebrated. We can also find the same model in the Greek ritual of kingship. Vernant and Vidal-Naquet (1972: 116417) have recently analyzed the myth of Oedipus in terms of the scapegoat theory. Thus the myth of Susano-o, with his violation of order, his exile or even death, his struggle against the devil, and finally his re—establishment of order and accession to the throne, corresponds to a well- known pattern in the ritual of kingship in archaic societies. This narrative, which appears to lack consistency. and coherence, acquires additional significance if we interpret the person of Susano-o as the hero- trickster, who can be found everywhere in the creation myths of archaic society. We shall attempt, briefly, to define the essential traits that are common to trickster-gods, although these cannot be completely clear unless they are con« nected with a particular mythology (of. Radio et ai. 1963; Kerényi l966). (a) The trickster is a god closely related to the Creator God. (b) He is often one of twin brothers. (c) He represents the negative aspect of the divine couple. (d) Therefore his behavior is abnormal; he is often rude and violent, but he is intelligent; he often plays tricks. (e) He brings chaos into the community because he represents the principle of chance. Since his behavior does not conform to the norms of the society, his deeds are unpredictable. . (t) Although he starts as a malevolent provoke-r, he transforms himself into a hero who defeats the demon that also represents disorder. In many cases, the demon is the extension and the double of the trickster-hero. (g) Thanks both to his tricks and tolhis heroic conduct, he is linked with order in the eyes oflhumanity, but he is also connected with new artifacts hitherto unknown to the community. it is for this reason that he is iden- tified as a culture hero. Kingship, Theatricality, and Marginal Reality in Japan 161 (h) The trickster-hero is often associated with the dualistic principle of clas- sification, becatise he is thought to he an intermediary between two opposing aspects of the world—for example, culture and nature. It would be possible to extend this list of the trickster-hero’s roles or meanings. However, what is important to note is that the figure of the trickster-hero is nothing but the mythical representation of the ironic principle of the conjunction of opposites (coincidentic:oppositorum), For this reason it may be said that all the traits cited above are simply variations of the same mythical nucleus. It was Levi-Strauss who showed that the story of Susano~o relates to the mythical theme of the crying baby. Hecompared the myth of Susano—o with an Amazonian myth, defining the character of the personages in the following way: Boththe Japanese and {South} American myths remain surprisingly faithful to the same scheme: the crying child is either. a baby abandoned by his mother or left alone because she died at his birth, which only advances the time of the abandonment; or else he considers himself unduly neglected even though he has already reached the age when a normal child no longer demands the. continual attention of his parents. This immoderate desire for-family protection that the myths intentionally place on the horizontal level (when it results from separationirom the mother) involves everywhere a cosmic and vertical type of separation. The crying child goes up to heaven where he generates adisordered world (rain, pollution, the rainbow, cause of diseases, short life). . . {Devi-Strauss 1966; my translation]. ' Lévi—Strauss characterizes Susano-o. as follows: He is the asocial hero, in the sense that he refuses to let himself he socialized, stubbornly clinging to nature and to the feminine world; although he has attained the age to join the men‘s group, he commits incest in his desire to return to the maternal womb, and he stays timidiy in the family hut libid: 323M329]. Although Levi-Strauss does not state it explicitly, it is evident that this theme of the crying child belongs with that of the naughty trickster. We have another parallel in an African myth from the republic of Chad. The story of Sou, trickster—hero of the Sala, shows a remarkable similarity to that of Susano—o. Because he was too naughty, his brother, Lea, abandoned him and left for heaven. To. pursue his'brother Sou went up to heaven where he provoked trouble by causing a storm (Fortier i968: 79m81). _ ' _ The abnormality of the god Susanop is also expressed in his desire for incest and its fulfilment, as Levi-Strauss has pointed out. There is an inconsistency between Susano-o’s desire and its fulfilment, because he transferred his desire for his mother Izanami (who was only nominally his mother) to his sister Amaterasu. it might have been enough if Siisano-o had merely expressed primordial promiscuity, as transcending the prohibitions of everyday life, but the psychoanalyst Geza Roheim has an even bolder interpretation in this regard. He {Wt 162 MASAO YAMAGUCHI interprets the myth to mean that Susana—o turned his incestuous desire toward his sister and produced children in collaboration with her. Roheirn further insists that this event was realized in the very hut where the women were secluded during their menstrual periods. Thus the behavior of Susanomo was simply the symbolic expression of his phallic aggresSiveness toward Amaterasu (Rdheim 1930: 371). Nihongi gives a variant versidn, as we have seen, of the oral tradition of Susanomo as expelled from heaven and forced to make along journey. While he wandered about the earth, a great storm raged. Since he had no refuge he protected himself by making a wide-brimmed hat and a cloak from rice-straw. Here, Susano-o’s appearance matches that of the sinister demon-god who visits the village community from season to season. in still another version, Susana-o is shown as the god»ancestor who visits the village during a festival similar to the Anthesteria of ancient Greece or to Mardi Gras. Since hells associated with the force of the dead, he is summoned to assume the negative elements unacceptable in daiiy life which the community wishes to expel in the person of someone charged with them. This is exactly what is carried out on the occasion of the March Gras. , C. L. Barber, a specialist in Shakespearean studies, describes the Mardi Gras in these terms: ' After such figures as the Mardi Gras or Carnival have presided over a revel, they are frequently turned on by their followers, tried in some sort of court, convicted of sins notorious in the village during the last year, and burned or buried in effigy to signify a new start. In other ceremonies, . . . mockery kings appear as recognizable snbsth totes for real kings, stand trial in their stead, and carry away the evils of their realms into exile or death. - This is exactly the role‘ that Susano-o plays. It is in this way-that the mythical structure of Susano-o corresponds to the ritual structure and status of the itinerant priests described above. Further, we can state that Susano-o shows clearly the latent image of the icing as the victim of the national community. The king, in fact, suffers because of the sin committed by the mythical royal ancestor. King- ship continues to exist because it integrates order with chaos, which is expressed under the countless forms of incest, rebellion, epidemics, wars, contamination, monsters, and all the incomprehensibie things that defy explanation. Kingship becomes the cause as well as the remedy for all this disorder. The enthronement ritual for ancient Japanese kings, which is only partially known, shows, in effect, a dualistic structure and a very marked contrast between the patterns of death and rebirth. Although there is no reference to Susano—o in the actual ritual procedure of the installation ceremony, it is clearly evident that there is a structural parallel between these two levels of cultural expression of kingship in Japan: that is, mythical and ritual patterns of death and rebirth. In the Kojt‘kt’ chronicle the mythical pattern of Susano-o is repeated by a hero called Yamato—takeru. (Note that Yamatodakeru was called Ousu before he changed his name.) The facts of the story are as follows: Kingship, Theatricalfty. and Marginal Reality in Japan 163 l. The emperor Keiko heard that Yehime and Oto-hime, the daughters of Ohneno-mikoto, were beautiful, and he dispatched his son Oho-usu to summon them. 2. But Oho-usu, instead of summoning them, made the two maidens his wives. He sought for other women and, deceitfully addressing them as maidens, presented them to the emperor. " l 3. As Oho—usu did not present himself to the court in the morning ceremony, the emperor asked Ousu (Yamato-takeru) to go and bring him to the presence of the king. Ousu was a younger brother of Oho-usu. “ 4. Five days passed, but Oho-usu still did not come. The emperor then asked Ousu what had-happened. Ousu replied, “Early in the morning when he went into the privy, I waited'and captured him, crushed him, then pulled off his limbs, and wrapping them in a straw mat, threw them away.” 5. At this, the emperor was terrified at the fearless, wild disposition of this prince and ordered Ousu to leave the capital and undertake a campaign to subdue Kumaso-takeru, an unsubmissive, disrespectful chief in the west.. 6. The Ousu, who had received from his aunt Yamato-hime an upper garment and a skirt, set out for the country of Kumaso-takertt, armed with a small sword. 7. When he arrived in the country of Kumaso-takeru, he disguised himself in the female garments given him by his aunt and was employed as a stewardess during abanquet held at the house of Kumasodalteru. 8. Taking advantage of the feast, Ousu approached Kumaso—takeru and ate tacked him with his sword. When he was about to die, Kumaso-takeru asked Ousu to assume the name Yamato-‘takeru. Part of this name comes from the name of Kumaso—takeru. From that time he was called Yamato~takeru. 9. Then, as he returned to the capital, he was given an order by the emperor to leave for the country of Izumomtakeru to subdue him. He vanquished Izumo~ takeru by exrihanging his sword for another, an imitation in fact, while they were bathing in the river, thus defeating his enemy by an ungentlemanly method. 10. Since the emperor did not want Yamato-takeru to stay in the capital, he gave him orders to go to the cast for another military expedition. Yamato-takeru then went to see his aunt Yamato-hime, the priestess of the Izu-jingu, the na- tional shrine, and lamented and cried, saying, “Is it because the emperor wishes the to die soon? Why did he dispatch me to attack the-evil people of the west? Then, when I came back, why did he dispatch me once more after only a short while, without giving the troops, to subdue the evil people of the twelve regions to the east? In view of all this, he must wish me todie soon.” 11. Yamato-hime then gave him the sword that was said to have been taken 7 out of the water dragon by Susano-o. 12. Yamato—takeru went away. iiowever, this time he did suffer many diffi- cuities. I-le diedlwhile still young during his exile. In its origin, the theme of Prince Yamato—talteru is closely related to the mythology and symbolism of Japanese. kingship. Although it is not certain whether Prince Yamato-talteru really existed in the fourth century, as it is as- [H 164 MASAO vnuaoucm sinned, it is ciear that he has certain traits that make him akin to the god": Susano-o. First of aii, he is introduced, as a young prinCe who was extremely rude and violent in his initial stages. Because of his violenco, he is identified as the unwelcome element in the realm of an ordered kingdom, and he must endure the destiny of being expelled and of wandering around the country just as Susano-o did because of the crime he committed. Both, moreover, passed a certain time in wandering, confronted with demonic forces that could be the extension of their own identities, Thus they could be identified with their adversaries, completing the totality of kingship'. Yamato-takeru, for example, was asked by a demonic antagonist called Kumaso—takeru to assume a part of his name—sakeru (“violent”). Susano-o took a magical sword from the body of thedemomdragon. It may be useful to refer to the explanation given by Cornelius Ouwehand, a Dutch folitlorist, on the ambiguity of Susano-o. Susanono shows definite ambiguous and equivocal characteristics as the good and bad god, brother of the “Sun goddess” Amaterasu Omikami, but at the same time her adversary and bitter opponent. He is the heavenly god and god of the waters and underworld; he destroys, even inflicts death, but‘he is also the culture hero and bestower of life. . . . V Susano—o holds an identical mediating position. He is at home in both spheres, upper world and underworld; he is ancestor god as well as trickster. From both sides he retains his ambivalent and equivocal character [Ouwehand 1958—1959: 140, i603. - Ouwehand relies on the observation of Matsumoto, a Japanese historian, in suggesting that the dragon or serpent is a projection of a part of the identity of Susano-o. “Le serpent n’était pas tout a fait étranger au dieu Susano’o et le Grand Serpent ne seraient qu’un sort de dédoubiement mythologique d’un seui étre divin” (Matsumoto 1928, cited in Ouwehand 1958—1959: 148). These examples of Susano—o and Yamato~takeru prove the'continuity of a link between demonic force and the authority of kingship. Just as Susano-o opposed Amaterasu, who symbolized central authority, so Yamato-takerul was: always thought of as opposing the central authority symbolized by the emperor, Keiko. Susano-o and Yamato~takeru were the negative expressions of their seniors. We should also discuss the relationship of Yamato—takeru with Yamato—hirne, his mother’s sister. It was thought to be an expression of great intimacy to give clothes to a person of the opposite sex in ancient Japan. This was what Yamato- hime did to Yamatq-takeru. The fact that Yamatowtakertl had an incestuous relationship with the priestess of the national shrine could be taken as an ex- tremely aggressive assault on central authority. Moreover, it was at the time of the assassination of Kumaso-takeru that Yamato-takeru wore the feminine clothes presented to him by Yamato-hime. This story reminds us of what Susano-o didwin one of the versions of the storymwhen he was confronted with the ,. dragon—demon. He transformed the maiden Kushi—inada, the intended victim of Kingshr‘p, Theatricalz'ty, and Marginal Reality in Japan I _ 165 the dragon—demon, into a comb and put it in his hair. This act could be inter- preted as the andmgyniaation of the hero at a critical moment of his career. One of the heroes, Yamato-taireru, put on feminine clothes, whereas the other put a comb, a feminine symbol, in his hair. ' Although we can distinguish differences in the causes of their exile, the similar patterns of their conduct and destiny attract us. We are left with the impression that Yamato—talceru is-in epic what Susano~o is in myth. The second repeats the acts of the first, chronologically speaking. In another way, we can say that they were based on the same structural model, in terms both of central authority and of marginal reality. It is rather strange that this paraliei was never pointed out in spite of the number of essays dedicated to this subject. The similarities between the two stories are set out in Table l. g- - The two opposing principles in the table show what is signified by kingship in its totaiity. Kingship incorporates marginality as well as centrality. Since it cannot embody marginality in the profane world, this is expressed in the form of myth, in the role that Susano-o and Yamato-takeru bore. The elements that characterize the sovereign represent order in the reality of everyday life, and those that pertain to the prince (either Susano-o or Yamato~takeru) express the sense of non-everyday reality. The sense of ambiguity is expressed in the sover- eign’s allowing the prince to move away from centrality. in the actual life of ancient Japan, princes were often executed for conspiracy and for incest. The Kojiki chronicle tells us of the internai wars carried on between the fifth and seventh centuries, almost in a ritual way, every time a king died. Although Kojt'ki is a legendary record, it reminds us of the succession wars that were fought in the iacustrine kingdoms of East Africa, as welt as of the ritual of rebeiiion of the Bantu kingdoms of Southeast Africa, discussed by Max Gluckman (1963). The legendary Japanese clashes were not dissimilar structurally even from the in- TABLE 1 Parallels Between the Surname and Yamaro-rakeru Stories AmaterasulKeiko Susano-olYamatowtaiteru Senior person Central power Junior person Complementary function The capital 7 The frontier Static element Dynamic element Normality Abnormality Peace Violence Sedentary life Nomadic life Government by ruie Attack by means of tricks Order 2 Chaos The sacred ‘ Sacriiege Centrality ' Marginaiity lel £66 MASAO YA l’leGUCI-II Cuivala ritual of the Swazi kingdom, analyzed by T. O. Beidelman, since they are‘related to the time concept, being deeply associated with the sense of regen- oration. it may sound strange to suggest that the position of the prince visua-vis the king when'analyzed in these terms corresponds to the king-clown relationship as explored in Western thought. In a study of the clown, William Willef‘ord, a psychoanalyst, has stated that the fundamental cosmology of a society can be . expressed by the fool in his opposition to the symbol of the center of that society. in the cultural milieu of the Western world, particularly in the medieval age and the Renaissance, in which the fool was closely related to the king, it is clear that there existed a feeling of intimacy between them {Welsford 1968; Wyndham Lewis 1966). The dramatic expression of this relationship is well knownmfor example, Shakespearefs treatment of the fool in such a work as King Lear. Willeford { 1969) explains this relationship in the following way: in his immediate relation to the centre and to the authority he derives from it, he {the ‘ fool] has similarities with a symbolic figure of fundamental importance, that of the King. There is, moreover, a deep and long-standing connection betwaen the two. That connection, which has been amply borne out in the interplay between countless actual kings and their jesters, is a fundamental imaginative form, The form is that of a fool king, divided within himself for the purposes of his self—manifestation as the fool is into knave and butt. The king has his kingdom, based on an eternal order; the space and time of the fool are based on a queer relationship between, on the one hand,.a different eternity, that of the accidental and fortuitous, and, on the other, whatever conventional space and time he can wheeciie from the hands of those who wield social power. The fool begins, socially, as the outcast, the parasite, the tramp, though he may prove himself, in the course of his show, more powerful than the king and in a fuller relation than the king is to the intelligence and vitality of the world that embraces the microcosmic kingdom in a larger whole. In such. a situation, it may be said that the foolnjester is almost equivalent to the hero-trickster of mythology, and also to the prince in his revolt against the authority of the king. The fool-jester is charged with all the traits that‘are opposed to the virtue of the king; he is exactly the counterpart of the king, because he expresses characteristics which are impossible for the king to represent on ac- count of the moral restrictions with which he is burdened. Just as the fool is the counterpart of the king, so the prince, the young king, has a character com- plementary to that of the reigning king in the cosmic totality of the kingdom; According to Philippe Wolff~Windegg, while the old king concantrates on main- taining legal institutions and often plays the roles of the chief priest, the prince, the young king, is engaged in military campaigns. While the king is responsible for the order of observable things, the prince keeps a close relation with acciden- tal aspects of the everyday world. This is why the latter is occupied with‘the frontier or the marginal territory {Wolff—Windegg 1958: 76). Susano-o and Yamato-takeru play the roles for Japanese mythology which are . Kingship, Theatricality. and Marginal Reality in Japan 167 played by the trickster—hero, the prince, and the fool in the cosmologies of other cultures. The consolidation of the center is the ultimate concern of the king, and the political movement of the people organized by the authority of the king is directed toward that center. On the other hand, the actiOn of the trickster—hero is Oriented in the other direction, away from the center toward the periphery. In emphasizing the importance of the marginal situation in a phenomenologi- cal sense, Berger and Luckmann have shown that it constitutes the ultimate legitimation of authority. For them, established political institutions cannot be explored in their full significance except when they are examined in the symbolic universe, because it is there that the latent aspect of the political institution is integrated. They define the symbolic universe in the following way: The symbolic universe provides a comprehensive integration of all discrete institu« tional processes. The entire society now .makes‘ sense. Particular institutions and roles are legitimated by locating them in a: comprehensively meaningqu world. For example, the political order is legitimaled by reference to a cosmic order of power and justice and political roles are le‘gitimared as representations of this order which is also faced with the ongoing necessity of keeping chaos at bay. All social reality is precarious. All societies are constructions in the face of chaos [Berger and Luckmann £967: 103]. The explanation that Berger and Luckrnann provide makes it possible to understand why the image of the trickster is included as a necassary part of kingship. To be the most ideal institution, kingship must have a trickster as the counterpart of the king in myth, or at least a fool in the court, the actual stage of the mythical background of the institution, which Shakespeare understood so well. If the court is not provided with a fool, the king himself must play this role. Thus the myth of Susano-o and the history onarnato-takeru have centered the historical as well as the folkloric imagination of the Japanese upon the institution of kingship. Susana-o was the patron deity of the gorij cult, the cult of the scapegoat. The mythical legend of Yamatomtakeru provided the archaic model of Japanese tragedy; it is the story of the prince who has to suffer persecution, expulsion from his natal borne, and wandering round the country in order to purify himself or the community of the sin committed by himself or by the royal ancestor. As is also the case with African kingship, incest is always the sin committed by the members of the royal family or by the legendary heroes of royal birth (de Heusch 1958). Princes are always inclined to, break away from the norm of the society in history or in literary tradition. The case of the Tale of Genji (the shining prince) is well knowri. it is the story of a prince who had to spend a life of penance for committing incest with one of his father’s wives, whom he adored because she looked like his dead mother. Here again, we perceive the theme of regression to the mother’s womb, which was the source of ‘ Susana—0’s sin. This model is repeated in diverse forms throughout the course of Japanese history. The royal family of the heir put themselves in a sinful situation Eli'i 168 ’ MASAO ramaoucm by the simple refusal to accept the norm of social rank. The actual sin ascribed to them is simply its material extension. I ' The story of Semimaru and Sakagami, from a fourteenth—century Nob play (the ritual drama of medieval Japan), provides an excellent example of the ‘ cosmological situation of the prince as understood in the Middle Ages. It con- cerns a prince called Semimaru and a princess called Sakagami. The story, which is simple enough, tells of the encounter of these two people of royal descent in exile at a hill called Ausaka (the Hill of Encounter). Both of them had been expelled from theroyal court because of physical and mental deformity. Since Prince Semimaru was blind, the emperor ordered that the child be abandoned in an uninhabited area, leaving him only a hat and a cloak made of straw, and a biwn, a lute.- ‘ l The biwo attracts our attention because it was the musical instrument carried by wandering priests who were blind. The hat and the cloak remind us of Susano-o, who used them when he was expelled from heaven and wandered round the country. Here it is not difficult to establish the symbolic connection between the wandering priest, physical deformity, the prince, kingshipgand the cult of the scapegoat. Princess Sakagami was the third child of Emperor Engi, who ruled Japan in the tenth century, and she was feeble-minded from childhood. To add to this, she also had hair that stood straight up and could never be combed. She wandered in a remote part of the country and was despised by the people wherever she went. She sings in the play: it is strange that you the ordinary people mock at me who am‘of noble descent. The situation is much stranger than my hair itself. It's funny; it reflects the human situation. The plant seeks to grow upwards, when its seed is buried in the earth. Although the moon stays in heaven, its image sinks deep in the water. It is difficult to say which is more real. Even though a princess, i find myself below the people. My hair reaches up to heaven, whereas it starts from my head. These are examples of the upsidewdown conditions in the world. Princess Sakagami is the artistic expression of the folly associated with the image of kingship. Although the name of Sakagami means hair that stands straight up, the sound of the word also signifies a deity who resides on the path of the slope. The path of the slope was identified generally with the frontier or the border. Thus an association is established between the conjunction of opposites, folly, exile, princely status, kingship, and the frontier. As we learn from the meaning of the name, the femininity of Sakagami is not all-important, because such a name can be either male or female or androgynous. It seems, after all, that she is the dramatic extension of the identity of Princess Semimaru. The two royal children deplore their destiny in exile. What interests us is the association of kingship with exile. Although the story is short and simple, this play when perfectly acted in the Noh theater brings about the same tremendous Kingshlp, Theatriicalt'ty, and Marginal Reality in Japan l69 effect as does King Lear, expressing the image, of cosmic totality in terms of kingship. Herein we see the possibility that anthropological insights into litera~ ture may help to deepen our understanding of the mythical and symbolic dimen— sion of kingship, at least in Japan. SACRIFICE. THEATER, AND KINGSHIP One of the most effective ways of understanding the model of Japanese kingship will be to examine in detail the structure and form of the Japanese theater. This may seem an odd proposal, but the theater in many societies has always at- tempted to depict the most condensed and central point of the political space. In its essence, the theater aims at the re-creatlon of the mythical age. As for political institutions, they have a tendency to find in the theater a setting and a type of , behavior close to that of myth. Thus it is not surprising to find a similarity between these two ways of expressing the relations between society and reality. It is clear that the Japanese theater has sometimes pictured aspects of sacrifice. One is dumbfounded by the blOody scenes of the Kabuki theater: the father kills his son in order to save his master, the girl is crucified because of her responsibil- ity for a fire, and so on—mu_rder,'suicide, and crucifixion are always part of Kabuki themes. This trend is to-he fobnd even more clearly in the itinerant puppet shows of the Middle Ages and in the loruri, their heir, which is the very root of Kabuki: the symbolism of death‘shows itself in a very cruel way. This sacrifi» cial cruelty seems to originate in prehistoric penal customs. On the stage, the word which indicates the balcony or altar of sacrifice is sajiki.12 It was Origuchi, the folklorist, who noted the political or legal origin of this word. According to Origuchi, the sajt'ki is a pillar planted in the ground and completely surrounded by a small platform; this platform was a privileged place since it was there that the sacrifice was offered to the god coming down from heaven. The people or animals sacrificed on this platform were called hora» mono. They were also, at the same time, holy creatures, in that they were dedicated to the god, because they had been chosen by him. Also sacrificed were those who, so to speak, were carriers of signs pointing beyond the limits of normal life. The sacrificed were looked upon as those especially marked by god with a sign: a mark from birth, or from a special illness, or from the commission of grave sins. The victims were identified with pollution (kegare). To be polluted was to be apart from the trivialities of everyday life. Sacrifice is a part of human behavior creating privileged space where both divine being and human being, nonueveryday reality and everyday reality, can mingle, thus giving the community a new way of communication. . - The Kabuki theater has inherited those essential forms of sacrifice, as is shown by the adoption of the word sajt'ki. Indeed, the audience was also in a non» everyday .mood, and so able to receive the deity. To create theater means to create a space more dense than that of daily life; to go to the theater means to WE 170 MASAO YAMAGUCHI share this space, which extends beyond ordinary space. To set the stage of the theater is to attempt'to give shape to the spirit of the place.13 But all those who have a part in the creation of this privileged place are polluted in some way, the audience included. To be polluted means that a person has accepted a reality forbidden in ordinary life. When pollution is most dense, it transforms itself into the sacred. There is no boundary between the polluted and the sacred: both are clearly recognized by the conscience of daily life. The word horn-mono, which designates the persons to be sacrificed, means “the flag,” “the thing." - The flag was an indication which marked the sacrifice, since it offered an invita~ tion to the god, according to Origuchi’s explanation (cf. Shack 1966: 8—»12). Therefore we can say that the harammono is a person who is able, byI-this mark, to create reality wherever he meets the strange or unusual. The idea of the theater as a privileged place in sacrificial terms, which charac- terizes Kabuki, is met with again in the loruri puppet-show tradition. The art of the puppet preceded Kabuki and transmitted to it many essential features. The puppet in this theater, according to Origuchi, was considered a scapegoat, above all in the northeastern part of Japan where this custom was more common. In fact, the special puppet called hima was kept inside the house,‘since it was burdened, people thought, with every sin. It should be noticed here that the Japanese puppet is not much different from the big manikin led about on the day of seasonal feasts. In the village there was a priestess who came at specific times to visit each house in order to make the puppet dance, giving it a new dress. Origuchi suggests that every year people used to burn the puppet ceremonially before they replaced this custom by changing its dress as a sign of renewing its identity. He also points out that there was in the past a kind of showman who visited the towns and villages carrying on his shoulders at box containing the puppets; he used the box as a stage when he presented the puppet show. This travelling puppeteer was considered as the specialist who could free the individual; the family, and the community from pollution and sin. The showman with their puppets were part of the itinerant artist troupes that travelled about in traditional Japan. The popula- tion, however, was frightened by these people, because they were burdened with a dangerous power which was the product of pollution itself. The fact that they were able to be burdened with such a maiefic power was looked upon as the symptom of a force extending beyond simple daily life. Hence the itinerant artists were usually kept segregated. Moreover, it is significant that with the establish- ment of political order under the Tokugawa, these troupes lost their rightful social position. They were generally looked upon as foes of the general order: people lost the ambivalent feeling they had experienced toward these itinerant artist- priests, and they Were no longer received by the community with as much worship, respect, and fear as before. Soon they were treated as subcaste people or vagabonds, whose existence merely threatened the community. It was during this period of history, in the early seventeenth century, that the Kabuki theater took shape with all the characteristics it inherited from the art of the itinerant priests. Generally speaking, people were inclined to think that Kingsth, Theatricaliry, and Marginal Reality in Japan 171 'Kabuki was the result'of a vulgarization of classical theater such as Nob. How- ever, just like theNoh theatre, Kabuki took its basic elements from the very essence of the popular dramatic tradition. The study of Kabuki has deepened considerably during the last twenty/years, and we can now see that Kabuki inherited such elements from the itinerant artist's repertory as the return of the deceased, the appearance of demons on the stage, cruel murders, and rebellion. In some measure, like the puppet, the Kabuki actor on the Istage is the scapegoat who takes upon himself all the supernatural shapes that cannot manifest them selves in ordinary existence. He plays the role of characters who go beyond the usual rules of the game of everyday life. Yet Kabuki art appeared just at the time when the great current of the travelling puppeteer's art was disappearing. Kabuki was soon established in such large urban areas as Osaka and Ede, while in the early sixteenth century its-center had been in the town of Kyoto. The implantation of Kabukiin large cities conformed to the policy of the military government of the Tokugawa. This government, based on the principle of a hierarchy of social ’classes, sought to create a subcaste able to represent more ' obviously the evil elements and the pollutionwhich could contaminate society. The Kabuki quarter, like that of the geisha, became one of the two quarters of evil in every Japanese town. The actors were designated by words meaning “beggar.” The Tokugawa government created three orders separated from general society: the king, the subcastc eta (“impure”), and the people of the Kabuki theater together with the geishas. it was forbidden for these three groups to move away from-their respective quarters. in principle, eta could be opposed to the other social castes, and it is sometimes said that era are descendants of Korean slaves who were brought to Japan in the fifth century. However, recent historical research allows us to state that they were actually descendants either of the itinerant showmen or of the craftsmen who had belonged to the various sections of the royal palace and to the great Buddhist temples, before the economic decline of about the fifteenth century. ,One could say that if the Kabuki people were the gypsies or Japan, then the etc were the lews of Japan. The symbolic relation between the social classes in feudal Japan of the seven» ‘ teenth to the nineteenth centuries can be represented by Figure l . it shotvs the four categories which were excommunicated by society but which share some similar features, even though they are opposed to each other in a structural sense. _ Kingship and subcaste (em) make up, so to speak, the two poles of sooial values, the former being the highest realization of the sacred, the latter of pollution. Both the king and the era are remote from the rest of the population; people are frightened of them because they can bring harm to society. The Kabuki group and the Kurawa or ynkaku (geishas‘ quarter) have a status intermediate between kingship and eta; they are at the same time sacred and polluted. The Kabuki actor, because he plays many characters, is thought of as god as well as a king or a demon. The geishas take their origin from the itinerant priestesses who played the role of divine prostitutes. There was, moreover, a peculiar relation between I the geisha and her client. Whereas'the client took the role of the god or the Spirit SM 172 MASAO YAMAGUCHI FIGURE 1 ‘ Symbolic Relations Between the Social Classes in Feudal Japan @ Military Government A. Warriorctass B. Peasant C. Artisan D. Merchant Eta (untouchable) (~) coming to visit the community, the geisha, on her side, served him as a priestess. Just as men sometimes play the role of god visiting the community for some rustic festival, so the geisha‘s client took up this role toward her. In some way, the ynkaku was a theatrical place where bodily communication between the personage of god and that of the priestess took place-'~the house being a palace and the geishas decorated and clothed as if they lived in a palace. 'A strictly prescribed ceremony regulated the place and specified the respective roles of each one. The word “geisha” actually means “showman,” and theactors ‘were called yakusa (yoke meaning the sacred role in the ritual}. Although the world of Kabuki and that of the yukoku are opposed in sexual terms, there was a noticeable intimacy between their inhabitants on several levels. In the first place, both were ambiguous social beings, at one and the same time sacred on the stage and polluted in life. Kabuki and yukoiku were both places of evil. [n a book published in the nineteenth century, yukaku is defined as “a place where animals live”; furthermore, kawora-kojiki, “the riverside beggar” (the beggars lived on the sandbanks along the rivers), was used as a designation for the Kabuki actors. This is most interesting since the actors of the Noh theater, on the contrary, had a relatively honorable status in society and were sponsored by the lords. Besides, the origin of the subcaste of the Noh corporation is better Kittgship, Theatricaliol, and Marginal Reality in Japan ' 173 known than that of the Kabuki actors, since the latter were not authorized to reside in the same quarter as the common people. Moreover, the Kabuki players had to cover their faces with linen‘when they walked in the street; this phenome- non reminds us of similar customs in some African kingdoms and of the fact that comedians in France could not be buried in ordinary cemeteries until the early nineteenth century. The Kabuki theater and the yukaku quarter were two artistic centers where the I inarveilous world of theater and that of painting could mingle. The greater part of the imaginative works created during three centuries in Japanese cities issued from these places, whose inhabitants were looked on as outcastes and nonhuman. This is reminiscent of cases known in Northeast African societies, where the ‘subcastes that engage in professions regarded as sacred (for instance, that of blacksmith) are ill‘treated and despised (Besancon 1967). These observations show a fear that chaos will break into daily life. The Kabuki and yukalcu quarters were places where everyday life and the rules of morality were abolished. Im~ 'morality and all kinds of .excess were found there. Just like their itinerant forerunners before the concentration of population in permanent towns, the Kabuki actors and the geishas were, so to Speak, regarded as priests and priest- esses. Yet the priests, the gods, the sacrificial victims were interchangeable to the audience in the folkloric religion of Japan, since the art of theater is based on the division of roles. . Recalling that sojikz’ designates the platformof a Kabuki theater and means “sacrifice balcony,” we can understand that those who performed had been selected by the gods because they bore marks on their bodies. Actors (yakuso) and geishas‘ dressed in sumptuous garments to separate themselves deliberately from daily life. Being clothed in this manner, they were automatically excom- municated by society, just as the manikin of the Mardi Gras must be molested and demolished the day after the carnival. There was always an exchange of slang, moreover, between the two worlds of the theater and the geisha: theyhad their own form of speech as well as their own clothing. We have noted that the function of the Kabuki actors and the geishas paralleled that of the itinerant priestszlthey were gods and sacrificial victims, sacred and ‘ polluted, visitors from a greater world and at the same time bearers of the sins of the community. The actors of the theater were therefore well suited to express the mythical notion of kingship, which as we have seen in the myth _of Susanoho and thelegend of Prince Yarhato-takeru was tied up with the same sacred—evil ambiw guity and the same theme of exclusion or expulsion from everyday society. It is important to realize that the Japanese monarchy was never actually in possession of political power. ,The royal clan‘ was never to escapefrom its precarious situation: it was the master of the nation from a purely nominal point of view. From the tenth century up to the Restoration in the nineteenth century, there was a long series-of kings who spent their lives in exile, who revolted against the'inilitary government, who were deported by that government, or who were imprisoned. These historical facts are consistent with the popular image of a 9‘l?l 174 . MASAO YAMAGUCHI god suffering because he is sent into exile. We could say that in losing political power kingship was set up again, to some extent, in its original form as the guardian of non~everyday utterance. Being forced to lead a rather humble life under the supervision and constant intervention of the military government, the kings of Japan became a symbol of resentment against the instituted order; this image was thoroughly consistent with the image of redemption that characterized the people’s view of the kingship. in fact, redemption was possible precisely because kingship charged itself with sin by threatening transgression against the established order. - From king to king, tradition and poetry ‘of course continued. A great intimacy grew up between kings and the groups of itinerant showmen who were the only ones able to enter freely into the court. Hence it is not surprising that in the repertory of the theater we constantly come across kings. Chikamatsu, the most respected Kabuki dramatist of the seventeenth century, wrote thirty-three plays for the puppet theater and nearly always kings appear among the characters. In these plays, through the images of god and the royal clan, certain constant themes are expressed: the birth of a grotesque prince, his violence, parricide, incest, redemption, madness. Thus the mythical theme of kingship in archaic Japan achieved its rebirth on the very stage of the puppet theater. The same was true of the Kabuki theater, which was the privileged place where the gap between culture and nature became manifest. As a result, kingship was still the most powerful symbol of the intrusion of strangeness into ordinary daily life. Although feudal Japan is known to have had an extremely oppressive government, the internal dialectic of this political world was ordered in such a way as to allow society to rejuvenate itself seasonally at the expense of the ordered structural framework. Yet today it is not difficult to overtook the full meaning of kingship, because we believe it to be an anachronistic institution. Many historians have analyzed Japanese kingship since the Restoration of the nineteenth century as being the active power behind the exploitation of neighboring countries. However, these studies have the grow defect of ignoring the fact that ltiugship represents the reality actually experienced by the people. It forms the basis of a cosmology that orders both time and space. We have just examined how kingship persists as a model embedded in all the cultural levels of Japanese society, through the agency of myth, aesthetic expression, an intensity of experience. Today these various levels have found their equivalents in a period which is technologically on the move. Thus kingship, both as an ideal symbol for political centrality and as a realization of the mythical scene and of the marginal situation, continues to serve - equally well as a model, Though the restoration of hingship took the form of an absolute monarchy in the early twentieth century, and excluded all aspects of relations with the fringe; the frontier, nevertheless it was still this situation of hingshlp (looked at as “on the fringe” and finding its expression in the story of the prince in exile) that aroused the passions of young fanatics. They sought to identify kingship with the symbol of extreme sublimation, but in fact they offered Kingship, Theatricality, and Marginal Reality in Japan I 175 it a role it had already completely given up. Mishima, in his youth, belonged to this category of young fanatics. if we examine world history for a model of kingship having a structure similar to that of Japan, we must look to Russia. In his study of Russian kingship, Alain Besangon provides a historical-psychological model for the sacrifice of the great princes by the tsars—of Ivan by Ivan'the Terrible, of Dmitri by Boris Godunov, of Alexis by Peter the Great, of Ivan by Catherine (Besancon 1967). The great princes take their place as rebels against the power of their fathers. To safeguard his contested might, the father remestablishes his relation with the god he repre— sents on earth; hence the role of the tsar as high priest, as father. Thus the prince, the son, must step onto the sajiki (the sacrificial platform) just as the horo‘mono (the object of sacrifice) does. The following passage by M. Chemiavsky, quoted by Besancon, clearly shows the logic of a hingship of which the prince is an essential part on the mythical level: The passion of the holyRussian princes expresses in the most dramatic way the holiness of power in a Christian society. . . . Princes who die for princely reasons express, even more clearly, their princely status. Insofar as kingship is located in'th‘e center of the political universe, the prince must undertake a responsibility which belongs to the fringe. So cultural works have celebrated in kingship this very am- biguity in various forms, historically, ritually, by myth, etc. . . . From this perspective, it is not'difficult to understand an ambiguous character such as Shakespeare‘s Prince Hamlet. Hamlet has long been interpreted as a man at grips with melancholy. However, it is possible to see Hamlet as the mythical expression of the logic of kingship‘, and at the same time to escape the dilemma produced by the identification of Hamlet with the modern intellectual (Burke l971). One can take a similar position with Prince Hal in Henry IV, Part 1. Thus, before the crowning, the prince created chaos in association with Falstaff, who symbolizes the principle of timelessness and anarchy; but after the installation of the prince all his sins must be attributed to Falstaff, who is the Mardi Gras manikin, and who must soon die. Just as Shakespeare recognized chaos on the mythical level as part of the kingship, so also Japanese kingship has always kept within itself the living image of revolt, as Mishima stressed in “Defense of Culture.” in referring to the statement, “The two great moments of the Christian religion are original shroud redemption, the first being the basis and the second the infrastructure of our Faith,” Kenneth Burke pointed out that the logical consequence of the symbolization of original sin is the compensatory sacrifice of a ritually perfect victim. We have suggested above that any order whatsoever gives birth to a feeling of pollution if it goes on endlessly. The blot in archaic society has always been looked upon as sin and error, ever since the time of the primordial paradise. The temporal order cannot be established without straying from this primordial point. Thus sin is the logical consequence of the establishment of the temporal and L171 176‘ “ -' masso YAMAGUCHI spatial. Burke showed this principle as being not only that of the Christian community vis-a-vis the Jewish community, as a visualization of the principle of victimization, but also that of Greek society with its tragedies. Japanese kingship survived feudal society by becoming itself the victim of the principle of society, and this in order to efface sin in a ceaseless and imaginary act of redemption. We find the equivalent of kingship in the secular context in the form of the Kabuki theater, the Kurawa quarter, and the subcaste, which make up the negative ‘ framework threatening everyday order. Then, after the nineteenth~century Restoration, kingship ceased to play the role of victim of the military government. it modified its character completely and moved progressively to the very center of the political scene, becoming absolute monarchy. It became the agent of coercive power with patriarchal characteristics. On the mythical stage, the personage of Jimmu (the first king in the myth, , according to the ancient chronicle) began to be deliberately used, but with heavy emphasis on his roles as conqueror and founder of the drama. Naturally, the roles of scapegoat and of victim were seculariz'ed and distributed to the leaders of other social groups created during the course of the colonial expansion of Japan: hence the Chinese, the Koreans, the socialists—~the “reds,” generally speaking—~have been labelled in this way.’lt is noteworthy that, during the “pogrom” which put an end to the lives of 50,000 Koreans after the Great Tokyo Earthquake of 1923, I anarchists were killed at thesame time. But we do not intend here to trace the process of secularization which has allowed the image of strangeness to persist in contrast to the order of daily life. The passive aspect of kingship (that of victim) was taken into account by royalist ideologists influenced by German Romanticism during the decade of the thirties. They idealized an aspect completely relinquished by royalty’s contempo- rary representatives: the wandering life of historical kings. This political aesthet- ic proved highly attractive to young people like Mishima, who thought they could escape the ordinariness of suburban life by identifying themselves with the destiny of Prince Yamaro-taiteru. After the defeat of Japan and the modifications in the image of kingship in the direction of humanizatlon (of course, after the Restoration and the imperialist expansion, it had been decided that the king was “emperor”), it seemed that everything about the monarchy had changed. Recent years, however, have shown that Japanese kingship can still attract men alienated from society, by means of underlying forces which are occult and completely unexplainable by ordinary thought alone. As we have shown on the folkloric and mythical as well as on the theatrical level, the image of the wandering god is deeply rooted in the Japanese mentality. Traditional and peasant society was sedentary; the people were locked in their villages and were apprehensive of everything beyond. In the new Japan, on the contrary, the image of exile was a means of idealizing a spiritual state for men, removed from their rural lands and suddenly transplanted to an urban sphere. So the wanderers, the outlaws, the sailors always remained the most cherished popular heroes during the last half—century; today it is the radical students. Kingship, Theda-leaflet. and Marginal Reality in Japan 177 Since there is always, at the very center of Iapanese culture, this nostalgia for exile, kingship and its myths can retain the power and fascination they exert by bringing to people this secret consolation. Abolish kingship? But in what way could the people replace its sociocultural institutions? NOTES 1. I have omitted references to lapanese sources except in cases where they are new and cannot otherwise be identified by readers of the vernacular. 2. With some reluctance I use the word “priest” because no other word can be found to replace it. It should not be associated with “priest” in the Catholic sense. The itinerant priests were entertainers as well as religious specialists in the ritual of redemption.‘ 3. Cornelius Ouwehand explains the duality of the concept of god in the following way, making use of the study of N. Matsutlaira, a sociologist. “Still more interesting are Matsudaira's' arguments when he declares that both elements, arn(«mi-)rnma and nigi— (—mi-it‘ama, independently developing and manifesting themselves in separate deities, ap- pear to be once more ambivalent. In this way a rough god, for instance, exterminates harmful insects, thanks to the m‘girama element contained in his intrinsic nmmr'rama” (Ouwehand 19584959: 156-457). 4. The scapegoatfestival must be paid the attention it deserves in terms of the time concept, which it renews on the occasion of the carnival. Materials compiled by Frazer and Réheim still await analysis by social anthropologists. On the semiotic analysis of the carnival, see Mikhail Bakhtine (1963: 169—474). , 5. The word “communication” is used‘here in terms of the transmission of a message, . not only human but also divine; Messages of this kind were thought to be exchanged for goods that the villagers could offer to itinerant priests. Messages from the outside world as well as the divine world were thought to be contained in any forms of expression that were brought by itinerant priests—din the prayers they recited, in the stories they told, in the songs they sang, in the plays they perfumed, in the news they brought from the capital, and even in the commercial goods they sometimes carried. 6. The cruelty'ot‘ certain historical kings has always been emphasized in the kinglist of many countries. In the case of ancient iapan, Buretsu (a legendary king of the fifth ‘ century) and Yuryaku supply examples of this kind. 7. The present narration is .based essentially on the translation by Donald l... Philipi (1968), with free-modification of the narries and of some passages where necessary to avoid confusion; this is at the expense of orthographic and textual exactness. 8. Levi-Strauss explains the nature of the trickster, the mythical figure, in the following way: “like Ash~Boy and Cinderella, the trickster is a, mediator. Since his mediating function occupies a positionhalfway between two polar terms, he must retain something of that duality-namely an ambiguous and equivocal character. . . . Not only can 'we account for the ambiguous character of the trickster, but we can also understand another property of mythical figures the world over, namely, that the same god is endowed with contradie tory attributes—tor instance, he may be good and bad at the same time” (£967: 224—227). 9. The obsorvation of Hocart (1969) on the parallel between the initiation ceremony and the installation ritual of kings, insofar as the death and rebirth experience is concerned, seems to be a valid explanation of the structural totality of the Susanovo myth. In passing we should also note that it was Hocart who pointed out that the symbolic dimension of kingship in archaic societies is understood much better when it is analyzed in terms of a 8171 178 MASAO YAMAGUCHE dualistic cosmology. if one anaiyzes the mediating role of kings in the political cosmos of archaic societies, it can be acted that kings are acting as mediators between two polar terms in the societies concerraed. 10. The most recent summary of the myth of kingship in relation to ritual enactment in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome is given in Versael {1970). Ii. This is based primariiy or: the translation of Philipi (1968}. 12. Sojiki is identical with sazuki, which we mentioned above in connection vvith the Susano-o myth. 13. Nitrategeinoshimoto (Tokyo, 1956), 229—235. REFERENCES Bakhtine, M. 1963. Lo poétique o'e Dostoievski. Paris: Editions (in Seuii. Beideiman, T. 0. 1965. Swazi royal ritual. Africa, 36 (4). _. Berger, P. L, and T. Luckmann. 1967. The Social Construction of Reality. New York: Doubleday Anchor; London: Aiien Lane. - Besancon, A. 1967. Le Tsorevich immolé. Paris: Piotr. A Berke, K. 197 i. On human behaviour considered dramatically. In R. W.‘ Smith, ed., Guilt: Man and Society. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor. de Heusch, L. 1958. Esrai sur le symbolisme dc l’inceste royal en Afi-ique. Brussels: Institute do Socioiogie Solvay. Eiiade, M. 1959. Cosmos and History. New York: Harper Torchbooks. Fortier, }. i968. Le mythe et les corttes dc Sou en pays Mbai-Moissolo. Paris: Juiiiard. Glockmaa, M. 1963. Bemha succession war. In Order and Rebellion in Tribal Africa. London: Cohort and West. : Hocart, A. M. 1936. Kings and Councillors. Cairo: Printing Office Paui Barbey. . 1969.1(ingship. London: Oxford University Press. Originally pobiished'ia 1927. Kerényi, K. 1966. Hermes. Zurich: Die Scelcnfuehrer. . Leach, E. R. I96!. Rethinking Anthropology. London: Athlone. Lévi~Strauss, C. 1966. Mytltoiogiquer I]: do miel our cendres. Paris: Plon.‘ ' . 1967. Structural Anthropology. New York: Doubleday Anchor. Matsnmoto, N_. 1928. Essot' sur la mythologie japonaise. Paris: P. Genthner. _ Ouwehand, C. 1958—1959. Some notes on the god Susano-o. Monumenta Nip'pooica, 14 (3—4)- - Philipi, D. L., trans. 1968. Kojiki. Tokyo: Tokoyo University Press. _ Radio, P., K. Kerényi. and C. G. hing. 1963. The Trickster. Bloomingtoa: Indiana University Press. ‘ Roheim, G. 1936. Animism, Magic, and the Divine King. London: Routledge and Kegan Patti. Shack, W. A. 1966. The Garage: People of the Ensete Culture. Iberian: Oxford Univer- sity Press. , Vernant, J. P., and P. Vidal-Naqaet. i972. Mythe et tragéa‘ie en Gréce ancietme. Paris: F. Maspero. , ' Versncl, H. S. 1970. Triumphtts.‘ An Inquiry into the Origin, Development, and Meaning of the Rottzcm Triumph. Leideri: Brili. . Welsford, E. l968. The Fool: His Social and Literary History. London: Faber and Faber. Kingshz‘p, Theqtricolity, and Marginal Reality in Japan 179. Wescot, J. 1962. The sculpture arid myth of Esho-Eiegba, the Yoruba trickster. Africa, 32 (4)- _ Willeford, W. 1969. The Fool arid Hts Sceptre: A Study in Clowns and Jesters and Their Audience. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press. Wolff«Windegg, P. 1958. Die Gekroetttetz: Sim: w‘ld Sinnbilder o'es Koenigtums. Stuttgart: Klett. . ‘ Wyndham Lewis, D. B. 1966. Lion and Fox. London: Methuen. Yamaguchi, M. 1972. Kingship as system of myth. Diogenes. 74 (Spring). 6171 A staff selling bottle .95 x ‘(F -. . dares {hagoitnl for th 9 children's game played at the New Year. (Photo courtesy of N. Miyrtta} Cumumr Anrnnosomcv Volume 28, Number .3, Augusleclober 1987 o 1987 by The Wanner-Gran foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved out: '32041'97I2804-001531.50 The Dual St’flicture of Iapanese Emperorship by Masao Yamaguchi Hegrinted. with permission, from: CurranrAnmropology (Journal) v. 23, (e 1987 University of Chicago Press All Rights Reserved. 'tem of the Tang dynasty. Although The origins of Japanese cmperorship (tennfi-sei] are shrouded in the mists of history. Chinese chronicles from the Later Han Dynasty say that iapan in the 2d century no. was divided politically into many tiny states and lacked any form of centralized power. In the course at the 1d century no, the state known as Yamatai began to exert conttol over others, thus paving the way for centralization. it is recorded that the country was governed by twd rulers, Himilto, who appears to have been a shamanistic figure, and hen nominal "brother," who ruled in accordance with the oracles she provided. in this one may observe the dual sovereignty that has been basic to iapanese emperorship thzoughout history. The location of this dominant state is controversial. One camp places it in northern Kyushu. the other in Yamato, in the area around modem Nara. According to the accounts given in the earliest historical records, such as the Kojr'ltf and the Nr‘honshokr‘, the first human ruler {tar-ind] Set out eastward from Kyushu on a military cam- paign, eventually establishing sovereignty in the Nara region after conquering autochthonous groups such as the Tsuchigumo [Earthly Spiders? and the Kuzu [autocla— thonous inhabitantsl. Most historians, however, con- sider these accounts mere legend. in any case, Yamatai appears to have disintegrated after the death of Himlko and disappeared from history. Archaeological evidence indicates that the original in" habitants of inpan were hunter-gatherers until the 2d century eat. Although root plants had been cultivated since the distant past, the cultivation oi rice appears to have become dominant about; this time. Many histoxians see centralization as closely connected with this change in mode of production, since rice, in contrast to roots, can be stored for long periods and thus allow the an cumulation of wealth. A striking change in the con- struction of tombs during the 4th century, with many lavish tombs, suggests that it was at this time that class stratification became :1 feature of Japanese society. Prom among these ascendant powers appear to have emerged the "five successive sovereigns of We UspanV' to whom reference is made in sth—ecntury Chinese chzouicles. These kings are said to have sent ambassa- dam to China to solicit recognition of their authority as sovereigns of far eastern Asia, including Korea. The K0: it“ and the Nihonsltokr' list 36 legendary emperors be- ginning with [int-nu, the conqueror ol Japan. It is only with the appearance of the 35th, Tannin. in the 6th cen- tury that actual historical events can be authenticated. The 36th, Tommi, established the ancient despotic sys- tem known as titsn-ryfi, based on the Chinese legal sys‘ the position of the emperor was thereby legally defined, the image of the emperor that stretched back to prehistoric times con- tinued to exert an influence upon the manner in which he displayed his symbolic and cosmological powers. 091 56 j CURRENT AN'rHRorotoov Volume 28, Number 4, August—October 1987 Emperorship in Its Historical Context The emperor remained the supreme power until the end of the rozh century. Subsequent emperors attempted to augment their power by destroying rival princes in the manner of the Tudor succession. it was in this way that the reins of power were inherited by the Fujiwara clan, which provided the emperors with a regular supply oi wives who became mothers to successive emperors. The Fujiwaras had themselves appointed regents {scsshdl and set themselves up as protectors Ekanpakul to the em- eror. p A warrior [bushii also known as the Minamoto, whose members claimed to he descendants of the princes ex‘ cluded from the line of succession and who had estab- lished a firm base in the provinces, began to increase their influence in the capital, Kyoto. Taking advantage of the chaos created by the conspiratorial politics of the emperors and the Fujiwaras, the Minamotos took con- trol of the government, setting themselves up as mili“ tary governors throughout the country and transforming the emperor into a ngrchead. During the nth and .1 3th ' centuries, several emperors made unsuccessful attempts at coups d’etat, and at the beginning of the r4th century the emperor Godaigo, with the assistance of several- bands oi warriors from the Kyoto area, succeeded in es- tablishing a provisional government in opposition to the warrior regime headed by the Hfijo clan [which had by - then replaced the Minamoto}. His regime was over». thrown after several years, and he eventually died in exile. . The Ashékaga clan, which then assumed power, nominated puppet emperors opposed to Godaigo's dc» scendants, who remained in exile for half a century. The Ashlkega shogunate lost control towards the end of the I 5th century, and warriors from every corner of the country began vying for power by seeking the control of Kyoto that would allow them to obtain authorization from the emperor {who in fact existed solely for this purpose; to set up a new shogunate. The Tokugawa clan came out on top in this struggle and thereby established hegemony over the country at the beginning of the nth century. . The Tokugawas exerted military control for two ends hall centuries. They did not, however, abolish the em- perorship but used it, now deprived of any military in- fluence, as the emblem of a hierarchical system that as at once political, economic, symbolic, and cosmological {see fig. :1. in the latter half of the rpth century, its mismanagement in the wake of U3. pressure to open up the country caused the Tokugawa government to lose control. A group advocating the supremacy of the em- perorship took advantage of the situation to mount a Successful coop against the regime. Aitcr the so-called Meiji Restoration, the emperor emerged as leader of the military regime with the aim of reshaping the country along capitalist lines in accordance with the require- ments of the modern age. By the end of the rgth century, japan had successfully fought two wars against China and Russia in the name of the Meiji emperor. As a result Emperor Named 1 c (ln myth} Shogun 'nutsldallnnermost) Harriers Peasants Sedentary Craftsmen Ins Ids Traders Numadlc {by occupation} Ilenvpersorts Outside (lnsermst) FIG. 1. The Tokugawa hierarchy. of its attempt to invade China in the latter half oi the 19303, it clashed with the allied democratic powers in World War ll and was defeated. The emperorship sur- vived the defeat, and the emperor became a symbol of the unity of the country, which in a sense had been his function throughout history. Ritual Functions of the Emperor Although the emperor occasionally took military con- trol and headed the government, he at no time lost his position as supreme priest and mediator between the gods and the people. His ritual functions may be de— scribed as follows: _ ' _ : -. . ' r. Organizer of rituals based on the agricultural calen— dar, the most important of which were those of the New Year (Shihéhai, praying in the four cardinal directions) and the. harvest [Niinamcsaijt in the year of the lusteila~ rion of a new emperor, the harvast ritual was called Dai- josai. Two huts, representing the eastern and western halves of the country, were constructed for the occasion. The new emperor would undergo ritual death and res birth by means of ritual bathing and sharing the ceremo. uiai bed with a woman known as Mizu-tm—onria [woman by the waterside} in a ritual hut made of natural materi- als. Just as the Shilluk kings of Sudan were considered to he possessed by Nyiltang, the founding ancestor of king- ship in that country, it was believed that the emperor was imbued with the spirit of cmperorship.. . .' e. Protagonist in the ritual of cosmic marriage. One of the most important roles played by the emperor appears to have been participant in a cosmic marriage in a ritual hut constructed of natural materials and representing the primordial state of being. Ancient records indicate that the emperor performed this ceremony not only with his wife but also with the daughters of the provincial chieltains under his power. The principal daughter of a provincial chicftain was referred to as O-hirne (great princess] and considered the shamanic priestess of the province. Sexual intercourse seems to have been one of the most important ritual duties performed by the em- pcror. lie was thought to receive divine oracles while lying with the empress in the ritual but at certain times of the year, such as spring and autumn, when agricul’ tural activity was at its height. 3. Overseer oi the country. The emperor also per— iorntcd a ceremony known as Kunirni [gazing over the countryj, for which he would ascend a mountain such as Kaguyama to meditate on the state of his land. The ' mountaintop was thought to be the. point closest to the gods in heaven, and the “gazing” was regarded in folk tradition as having magical effect. It is in this context that we must interpret the gazing oVer the city of Edo [Tokyol performed by Danium of the Kabuki theatre as a New Year’s celebration of the city. Daniuro is thus the Kahulo’ equivalent of the emperor, and his name is handed down from generation to generation. 4. Visitor. Both in myth and in historical accounts, the emperor is reported as travelling frequently. His travels were looked upon as the visits of a god to the provinces, much as the visit of Queen Elizabeth I to a provincial English city was compared to a visit by the goddess Diana. The practice of Setting the emperor before the people was employed especially-in times of national diiflcuity such as during the Meiji period and alter the defeat in World War ll. Although the second and third of the emperor’s functions had to all intents and purposes disappeared by the roth century, this last function con- tinued to be important in strengthening the bonds be- tween the emperor and the people. The Cosmological Structure of Emperorship Throughout history, the emperor has been the centre oi gravity for Japanese culture. While he actually ruled the country only during the 8th and 9th centuries, at the be- ginning oi the reth century, and from the latter half of the 19th century until the end of World War 11, he has always been central to cultural values and the focus of political power. . Within a symbolic space in which people required as surance of their own cultural identity, emperorshlp has had to produce, maintain, and continually recreate a semiotic system that corresponded to the villager's in- terpretation of his world, a system in which centre and periphery were sharply polarized. The village of ancient times was isolated, and the world was divided between “inside” and “outside.” The boundaries of the village were marked by crossroads, bridges, and hills. There were two classes of people, sedentary lpcasants} and nomadic (itinerant priests, entertainers, and beggars}. Outsiders were considered the repositories of the sacred and of pollution and thus regarded as dangerous persons, contact with whom required supernatural qualification. The village needed the visits of such outsiders, since they could he made responsible for adversity and, through exorcism, thus remove negative elements aris- ing in the life of the village. Outsiders were sometimes identified with the evil spirits they were charged with cirpiating and were themselves persecuted. The villag- ers’ own seasonal rituals, based on the Shinto agricul- tural calendar, were directed towards strengthening the internal order rather than dealing with curses or the pol- lution caused by death. Buddhism infiltrated into village life in the 8th century as a way of handling pollution. The Buddhist monks known as abide-so were not nec— essarily the same as the itinerant monks, they were to M A t; trcmflDual Structure of Emperorship | 57 connected with authentic temples and led semi- lndependcnt lives in the vicinity of villages. Partly sedentary and partly nomadic and, being unmarried, not tied down by iamin life, they played the role of mediator between "inside" and "outside" of village life. The structure of domination of emperorship was based on a structure of cultural identity similar to that which we have seen in the above idealized description of village life. The population of ancient lapan was divided into three categories: rulers [non-productive, nomadic], peas- ants [productive, sedentary}, and miscellaneous [non— productive, nomadic]. The structure of the state was such that both rulers and miscellaneous people were "outsiders" to the peasants who constituted the major- ity of the population and upon whom they were depen- dent and, indeed, in a sense parasitic, exploiting their resources by threats of the exercise of supernatural power. The emperor was referred to in ancient lapan as Sumcmima—no-mikoto {divine messenger's sacred body]. He was believed to be charged with the spirit 0! ampere:- sitip, which entered his body in the inauguration cere- mony. This spirit ensured the timeless continuity of em- perorship, assumed to have existed since the creation of the world and to lie beyond the order oi everyday life, essentially wild and untamed. What was essential was the spirit, the emperor remained at the centre oi author ity as long as his body remained the receptacle of that spirit. if the spirit left him, he could be banished or killed. The peasant community looked upon the emperor with awe because the behaviour of the imperial family deviated from the norms of peasant life. The emperor and his entourage were similar to the descendants of the Germanic warriors deacribed by Georges Dumézil in his “Le malheur dcs guerrieurs“ and Gilles de Rais in 15th- century France as analysed by Georges Bataille. The chronicles of the imperial family before the 6th century are full of murder, conspiracy, civil war, incest, and las- civiousness so wild and mfinltibr'ted that one appears to be viewing the goingsvon‘of another world. This unbridled display fascinated as well as terrified the peasant popula- tion. The imperial iamin stood out in sharp relief as separate irom society. With the establishment oi a highly hierarchical soci- ety under the ritsn-ryd [legally controlled] system, the rulers created three vertically ordered social categories: the venerable lkr'j, consisting oi the imperial family and the aristocrats, the good [m3], consisting of the peasants, and the base {can}, comprising craftsmen, entertainers, diviners, grayediggers, and minor priests, in other words, persons engaged in Other~Woridly activities. The lease were counterparts of the venerable, there was funda- mentally no difference in behaviour between the two categories. Both possessed expertise in dealing with the Other World, they differed only in material background. The venerable were Essentially persons whose military power distinguished them from the common people. Whether or not they engaged in ritual activities, the base were outsiders inferior to the good. Their status was lSl 58 I CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 28. Number 4. Austin—October r987 Marked {4-} _l_ (venerable) ‘ Hon—producers Unmarked up: loom?) monocoiizing supernatural; Marked (—l 5931 (base) outsiders Etc. 2,. Social categories under ritsunryo. similar to that of the Fog: among the Gurage of southern Ethiopia, who were assigned ritual miss, the construc« tion of shrines, and gravedigging and were subjected to segregation because of the awe in which they were held by ordinary people. People of the base class engaged in occupations falling into the category labelled hafurim perforrning rituals, burying the dead, and disposing of waste, including the corpses of animals. These activities were related to communication with the Other World and therefore alien. The peasant community stood in need of persons who could be charged with the physical and spiritual purification of the places in which they lived, but their attitude towards these outsiders was arn- ' bivalent because the outsiders’ position as mediators be- tween the two worlds was ambiguous. I The relationships between the three classes Were as shown in figure 2.. The venerable needed the good as producers of their food and the base as supporters of their rcligious and ritual activities. The good were unable to liberate themselves from the potential menace of the other two categories and tool: satisfaction in their social superiority to the base. The base used the label hi to demonstrate their own identity. Thus the basic strut." cure reformulated in the nth century ifig. 1| had its foundations, semiotic and symbolic as well as political, in the 7th. The Mythico-Narrative Structure of Emperorship Because it had too much energy to be assimilated within the everyday life of the peasant community, japancse cmperorship was imbued with narrative structure [see Yamamtchi 1972]. The mirror image of the emperor in the mythical dimension shows the violent aspect of the emperor and the princes as inhabitants oi an untamed and uninhibited world. As guarantors of cosmological union, they were expected to be sexually vigorous and indeed promiscuous. The mores of the emperor were not those oi the ordinary man. With the establishment of centralized authority around the 5th century, however, it became necessary to eliminate the immoral asyects of cmperorship. This process would appear to correspond to that of the differentiation of experts in ritual as a dcbased class. The conduct of the imperial family, hitherto undifferentiated, came to be filtered through a structure opposing order and chaos, centre and periph- ery, justice and violence, formal marriage and incest. settled life and wandering, emperor and princes. i’rirtces were considered to constitute a potential danger and were consequently charged with the undesirable side of the structure; the conduct of princes was looked upon as sinful. The emperor thus set about estabiishing peace and order within the syntagmatic structure of the narra- tive, whereas the princes, the divergent elements, served to curve the narrative's linear structure. This is the background to the myth of Susanna, the younger brother of the principal goddess, Amaterasu. Susanoo threatened the peace of the heavenly realm ruied by Amaterasu and was therefore expelled to the lower world. His misbehaviour is a mythical example of primordiai sin. A simiiar narrative structure is seen in the heroic legend of Yamato Taketu, who murdered his brother and was sent away on a military campaign to the farthest limits of the country by the emperor Reiko, who feared him. The same pattern may he observed in the Tale of Gsnfr', in which Hikam Gcnji, the Shining Prince, commits adultery with his stepmother and is accordingly barred from succession to the cmpcrorship. He retires into exile and lives as a hermit, eventually rctuming to the capital and becoming an influential father figure to the emperor Reisei. The narrative theme of tragic primer was propagated throughout the country by itinerant priests-cum—cntertainers known as Arm and later took the form of the Kislru Roll-tan ("tales of knightiy wanderings"l. The Isa Monogntari, for ex- ample, is a collection of adventure stories featuring an amorous prince known as Ariwara no Narihira who travels the country far and wide in quest of romance. The statics are frequently told with a humorous touch but essentially relate to a prince who is branded with exciessive iasciviousness and consequently driven into ex: 6. The alienation of princes is backed up by historical evidence. As was mentioned earlier, the central power tended to alienate eminent princes, who would be blamed for disorderly conduct that was in fact consistent with the ethos of the imperial {an-Lily before its establish- ment as the political and moral nucleus of the country. The events of the mythical narrative thus came to he lived out in actual history. Between the 6th and the 9th centuries, at least ten princes were banished, executed, or deprived of their titles on the charge of having sided with s conspiratorial {action against the emperor. With the economic decline after the roth century, many princes were disinheritcd and sent into exile in the prov- inces, a development that might be called the marginali- zation of princely figures. From records dating from after the 13th century it would appear that itinerant religious entertainers made use of the historical accounts of wan- dering princes and sometimes went so far as to claim descent from them. One might say that s coalition‘was established between the two groups, both alienated by imperial power—between itinerant entertainers who as corned some of the tasks that had at one time fallen to the emperor and princes who had been alienated as sub versive elements. At the beginning oi the nth century, however, the emperor's powor was taken over by a group of warriors descended from marginaiiaed and deposed princes. Minamoto no Yoritomo, the founder of the military re- gime, iabticated a conspiracy supposedly involving his younger brother Yoshitsuno, who had in fact contributed more than any other single person to the victory of the Minamoto clan. Yoshitsvne was arrested, sent into exile, and finaify killed in north-eastern Japan. This historical event served to strengthen in fresh guise the wandering-prince narrative. Thereafter, every time a once-distinguished family fell into decline and broke up, stories of noble Wanderers wouid circulate, and many itinerant groups turned these narratives to their own benefit as a pretext for settling in a particular area. After the failure of the Kenmu Restoration at the be- ginning of the 14th century, the emperor became a largely insignificant and marginal figure. Except that he continued to hold the supreme position in the spiritual world as mediator with the Shinto gods, his role was basically that of the marginalized-princes. it is of great interest here that the closeness of the emperor to the itinerant entertainers once again became evident with the demise of his political influence. The emperor may well have been the primus inter pares as political leader and also as the chief priest of the community. His func- tion as such was the delivery of the rituai incantations that served as the point of departure for most lower-class entertainers. The emperor became the central figure in ritual activities that were basically not much dilicrent from performanws oi other kinds. Entertainers of vari- ous types were permitted easy access to the emperor's court in Kyoto, and the emperor was able to confer upon them minor titles, of little value after the replacement of imperial power by the military regime. The Theatrical Structure of Emperorsbip Japanese emperozship has always maintained a peculiar interdependence with protecting powers generally cor- responding to councillors. This interdependmce is founded on a mythical model known as the Boshishiri [a mother goddess caring for her child in the. manner of a Plots). in myth, the daughter of a local chieltain is often referred to as "woman by the waterside" and given the role oi priestess in the service oi a god, who appears to he: and to whom she hears a child that she raises in the name of her own patrilineal family. This appears to have been a mythical reflection of the combination of pat— rilinesi succession with virilocal residence. Down to the 1 1th century, the father of a woman who gave birth to an emperor played the roie of protector. Thus the emperor- protector structure came into being on the mythical level and was subsequently reflected in the activities of itinerant entertainers and religious organizations, in the political structure, and even in the theatre. On, the mythical level one encounters the tale of the wandering prince accompanied by a strong, valiant follower who protects him. During mediaeval times this myth was linked with the myth of the prodigious infant, a divine cliiid raised deep in the mountains by a woman with demonic qualities. As I have said, groups of marginalized entertainers YAMAG ocnr Dual Structure of Emperorship | 39 adopted the wandering-prince taie and claimed to be the descendants of princes who had been forced into exile. Records from the r4th century indicate that these groups of itinerant and segregated entertainers were under the control oi a Chieftain known as a chord and, under the iabel hiyorno lpurifiersl, engaged in the clean» ing of cities such as Kyoto. They disposed of human and animal corpses and were subjected to discrimination as a result of their work. They also begged, singing and tell— ing epic tales of wandering princes. Biind or ieprous chilw dren who had been either abandoned or sold by their parents were used to frighten and elicit the sympathy of the common people. Art attempt was made to identify these handicapped children with the wandering princes and the other members of the group with the aristOcrats who followed-the prince and provided him with protec- tion. Thus, ironically, the structure of the relationship between the emperor and the aristocrats was repeated in the organization of these lower—class entertainers and beggars. it was on the No stage that the emperor actually made his appearance, usually in the form of an infant. The infant figure was eminently well suited to the expres- sion of the notion of a god guarded by protectors. A typi- cal example of this structure may be found in the play Kuzu. in this play, the emperor, witches been driven out of the capital by Prince Ohamu during the civil war known as the finshinno Ran, takes refuge in the country- side of the Yoshino area under the guard of the Waki. With the support of the Kuzu, people oi low status and subject to segregation, he finally gains victory in the war. Here we see the union of opposites [venerable and base} through the medium of the Wald. The emperor, who despite being the nominal centre. of Iapan was in fact removed from the central position of power and made marginal during the 14th century, was thus in. a favourable position to reestablish the affiliation that had existed between his ancestors and the itinerant enter- tainers, who occupied virtualiy the same position as marginal people such as the Kuzu. Another example of the popular image of the emperor is the play Genie, in which the ghost of an emperor suggests to an arrogant grit-century prime minister that he go to China to take lute lessons irorn the Chinese emperor. The prime minister goes and is so overwhelmed by the emperor’s art that he stays in China to become an artist of modest pretensions. Thus No depicts the emperor as an ally of the marginal and the weak in society. The emperor appears in the Kabuki theatre on several occasions. in Yomei 'i‘cnnci Shel-(unlit Kagami. by Chikamatsu Monzaemon, the emperor is portrayed as inciting rebellion in a festive and carnival-like manner. Here he appears to remain a marginal figure but at the same time is able to rescue people from misery as a kind of potential deity. This expectation corresponds to the popular belief in the emperor as a living god. Under the Tokugawa regime the emperor continued to serve as nominal head of the unified country, thereby maintaining a dual structure consisting of enfeebled figureheads and powerful lords or guards. The system ZSI Srol CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume. 23, Number 4, August—October 1937 remained virtually intact even after the Mciii Restora- tion, when the. emperor once again rose to prominence and became an absolute ruler. Heavily guarded and con- trolled by a hand of retainers known as inshin (eminent councillors], the emperor devoted much of his time to writing Wakfl, engaging in activities such as botanical research, and acting as the central figure in agricultural and other such rituals. Comment BRIAN MORE-AN School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London, England. This wide-ranging paper in many ways follows on from Yamag'uchi's {1977] highly provocative thesis that in Japan both the emperor and the bumkumin {outcasts} are symbolically descended item the marebitowdeitw strangers who are characterized by the dual powers of good and creation, on the one hand, and of evil and de- struction, on the other. in many respects, however, it suffers from the attempt to cover too much in too little space. This has led to a number of generalizations with which historians would almost certainly find fault and to elliptical passages that are bound to perplcx readers not conversant with Japanese society. It is easy, of course, to criticize, but l think that there should have been a greater effort to clarify and disentangle complex issues throughout the paper. Overall, i find the general discussion of the role of the emperor in Japanese history somewhat inconsistent. For example, we are informed that the emperor has acted as "a centre of gravity for Japanese culture" and has re- mained “central to cultural values and the Eocus of polit- ical power" and at the same time that he has been "a largely insignificant and marginal figure” since the r4th century. To suggest that "the imperial family stood out in sharp relief as separate from society” prior to the 6th century but that the emperor himself has been central to cultural values throughout Japanese history J's—to say the least—a slight gloss on the actual course of histor- ical events. Surely, the emperor has only been brought into the; centre when it has pleased those in power to do so. in other words, the emperor has boon a dispensable flgurc who has on occasion [as in Meigi times] been cen‘ tral to the government of the country but at other times has been extremely marginal thereto. At the same time, I think that we need to be careful in interpreting the role played by emperors during the course of their reigns. In this respect, 1 would tend to disagree with the suggestion that the Meiji emperor “emerged _as leader of the military regime.” it is much more likely that he was a figurehead trend by politicians to their own ends (Cluck I985). Moreover, although Yamaguchi is right to comment on the phenomenon of dual sovereignty, he might also perhaps have noted that this distinction betwacn authority and power may be observed not only in the separation of the emperor from the military lords during the Ipre-Jieodal period but in the separation of the Diet from the political factions of the Liberal Democratic party that rule the country today. in other words, it would appear that dual sover- eignty, together with the distinction between reigning and ruling, is-not limited to cmperorship as such; rather, §t is a more general characteristic of government in apart. - Yamagucbi outlines four ritual functions that seem to support the continued role of the emperor "as supreme priest and mediator between the gods and the people" but then points out that two of them had disappeared by the roth century. Surely this begs the question? All in all, it seems unlikely that any of the functions men- tioned is of importance in contemporary Japanese soci» ety, and one can only wonder how important they ever were to the people as a whole. ‘ I think that some of those apparent inconsistencies might have been erased if Yamaguchi had addressed himself more to the complicated but intricate relation ship hetwacn Shinto, Buddhist, and Confucian values. For example, it would have helped the reader to know precisely what were the ideas of purity and pollution that led to the discrimination of such groups as the sen- min. This would have clarified figure 1, in which it would seem that two systems of classification are in fact outlined—one based on caste and including the emperor and non-persons, the other based on the four-class sys- tem of Warriors, farmers, artisans, and merchants. A dis- tinction between emperor and non-persons on tire basis of concepts of purity and pollution would to my mind have been more useéui than the seemingly non-logical opposites of "myth" and "occupation." It might also have helped the reader understand precisely who was in what state of "insirle"-ness or “outside”-ness in relation to whom in the same diagram, To suggest that the peas‘ ants were the centre oi a system laid down by the Shogun and his warriors seems somewhat contradictory! Finally, I have certain reservations about Yamagucbi’s usage of the word tom-rd to refer to the Japanese emperor. While it is true that this is the word that is used today and that has been used for all of Japan’s own recorded history, we should realize that the Chinese characters that make up tanné have over the centuries been read in a number of dillerent ways. Moreover, the, characters were borrowed from the Chinese sometime during the 6th century, which makes it difficult to talk of the image of the ampere: as tennd stretching back into'prchistoric times. This smacks of the kind of imperial ideology with which one assumes that Yamaguchi would not wish to be associated. Are we really face to lace with a "su- perior“ imperial system (as some Japanese scholars like to suggest)? Or are we merely dealing with a fossilized system based on a word which the Chinese themselves discarded back in the 7th century? Banzai, indeed! Reply Masao vnmacucm ‘ inkyo. Japan. i am somewhat bewildered to find reference to my previ- ous paper on lapsnesc emperorship {1977} being made only to depreciate the present one. In writing this paper I was aiming at the trained anthropologist with rela— tively little knowledge of Iapanese history. This explains why it is more an exposition of the basic issues of em- pctorsllip in Japan than the sophisticated presentation that would hear the scrutiny of a specialist such as Moeran. l did not make any particular effort at consis- tency in the description of the personal power of the emperor throughout history because it varies with the context. Instead of addressing the complicated relation- ship between Shinto, Buddhist, and Confucian values as Moeran suggests, what I tried to do was to make clear the cultural structure that calls for the production and reproduction of the excluded element {see Yamaguchi 1983, 1985). Whereas Moeran tools that "to suggest that ‘ the peasants were the centre of a system laid down by the shogun and his warriors seems somewhat contradic- tory," I was trying to suggest that the peasants were given respect ideologically whether they really received it or not. I used the. word tennd simply because it is commonly usad in Japan today. 1 do not, however, see the point of identifying a word as being of Chinese origin every time we use it. Must we mention Old Germanic cynn, which had more oi the dcnotation of “kin” than “king,” every time we are talking about a king? And-wasn't it Leach {r964l who pointed out that the word "queen" also has the connotation "prostitute"? YAMAGUCfll I)qu Structure of Empororship | Sr: I have the impression that Mocmn considers my knowledge of Japanese history limited and lacking in comparative perspective. If so, I hope that he will con- ault my 1972 paper, in whichl discuss Japanese emperor- sl-rlp comparatively. For the record, I was trained in Japa- nese history as an undergraduate, although 1 failed to survive and turned to social anthropology. Finally, if he is inclined to consider my use of the vernacular evidence of ethnocentrism, I would remind him that i chose to avoid use of the word mikodo, though it might have pleased him. God save the Mikado as well as the Queen, indeed! References Cited BARRETT, T. 1986. The emperor in China and Japan. Paper presented at the lapan Research Seminar, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, November. t: Lu cs, c AROL. 1985. Japan's modern myths. Primer ton: E’rinccton University Press. LBACH, a; n. 1964. "Anthropological aspects of lan- guage: Animal categories and verbal abuse," in New directions in the study of language. Edited by Eric H. Lenueberg. Cambridge: MITP. Press. YAMAGUCHI,‘ masao. r971. La royauté comma sys— tems do mythc. Diogénc if? lianvicrravrill. . 1977. "Kingship, theatricality, and marginal re- ality in lspsu," in Text and context. Edited by Ravindra Jain, pp. 151—79; Philadelphia: Institute for the Study oi Human issues. . r983. Le prototype tics exclués dans l'histoirc japonaiso. Stanford French Review, Summer. ‘. 198 s. "Vera one poétique du bouc émissairc," in Violence at verité. Edited by Paul Dumoucbcl. Paris. ...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 10/20/2008 for the course ANTH 499 taught by Professor Joe during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

Page1 / 20

Yamaguchi-Emperor - 951"1 EXT AND CONTEXT I The Social...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 20. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online