Page:Journal of American Folklore vol. 12.djvu/402

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jo Journal of American Folk-Lore.

of white stone, and the house was full of windows, as high as I could see. I could not see to the top of the house. All the windows were full of little children. I didn't see any grown folks there I expect, what I see and know in this world, they are powerful scarce up there in Heaven."

Roland Steiner. Grovetown, Ga.

The Ballad of Springfield Mountain. — In reply to the request for further information regarding this ballad, of which two verses were given in an article on " Early American Ballads," printed in No. 47 of this Journal (vol. xii. p. 242), a number of versions have been communicated the printing of which is of necessity deferred until the next number. Transcripts of the melody are particularly desired.

��LOCAL MEETINGS AND OTHER NOTICES.

Cincinnati. — December, 1899. The Cincinnati Branch of the American Folk-Lore Society met at the house of Prof. Charles L. Edwards on the evening of December 13. The secretary being absent, the President ap- pointed Mr. Hahn as secretary pro tern. The minutes of the previous meet- ing were read and accepted. The programme for the evening consisted in a presentation of Japanese melodies, ceremonies, and folk-lore.

Japanese airs were rendered on the violin by Miss Thral, with piano accompaniment by Mrs. Edwards. The consecration ceremony customarily performed over the hearth of a new home in Japan was carried out by Mrs. Sugimoto over the hearth of the house. The paper, also by Mrs. Sugimoto, was devoted to Japanese mythology.

In the ceremonies of house-consecration, the man of the house, whose place the celebrant took, kneels before a very low table, after the Japanese pattern, on which are placed three bowls, one of wine, two of salt. The wine is sprinkled on the hearth, the breath of the performer being purified by sacred paper. After this, the master of the house, followed by a priest of the temple and by the other members of the family, whose breath has been made pure in a similar manner, in succession throw a pinch of salt over each shoulder twice, clap their hands three times, and withdraw to another part of the room.

The paper on mythology set forth that, according to Japanese myth, there are in the highest heaven five gods. The first is called the Centre God ; the second, the High Spirit God ; the third, the Heavenly Spirit God ; the fourth, the Evermore God ; the fifth, the Beautiful Reed God. These seem to symbolize periods of time in the material development of the people.

There are seven gods of Heaven ; namely, the Beginning-Nature God, the Hammering-Nation God, the Marsh God, the Boiling-Earth-and-Sun God, the Great-Gateway God, the Reverent God, the Izanagi God and Izanini Goddess. The first three or four are thought to represent stages in the history of men ; the others are associated with conditions of the earth, or with mythical characters and events.

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