Page:Occult Japan - Lovell.djvu/390

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368
OCCULT JAPAN.

XIII.

Certain differences between the Japanese possession trances and others of their kind are significant. To begin with, one peculiarity of the Shintō trance is the maeza's connection with it. This man is the official intermediary of the god, and he holds a curious intermediary position between the person spoken to in the mediumistic trance and the operator in the hypnotic one. He is the nakōdo, or go-between, of the whole transaction. He is the only part of humanity whom the god deigns spontaneously to recognize. He alone may speak to the god, and him alone the god condescends to answer. Any one else, however pious, who desires to converse with the god, must first be brought in rapport with him by the maeza. Until such rapport be established, the god pays the outsider's remarks no attention. That he is not quite so deaf as he seems, however, is shown by his occasionally scolding the maeza for irreverential conduct on the part of such outsider. I blush to say that I never knew this to happen except in my own case, when engaged in testing the reality of the god by