Page:Occult Japan - Lovell.djvu/267

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Now it was this gohei-wand that in conjuring up the god conjured up unexpectedly one day the spirit of the rite. Its exorcism was sorely needed, for in spite of boring the priests and even bothering the god on the subject, nothing but perplexity had come of the investigation, when one day it suddenly occurred to me that the gohei was always present at a possession; that in every instance this wand had been put into the hands of the man to be possessed preparatory to the possession, and that he had then held it through the trance. Other details had varied, but the wand was always there. I could recollect no exception to this rule. Having once been struck by the coincidence, I observed more closely, and to complete confirmation of my conjecture. At every function, whether at the hands of Ryōbuists, Shintōists, or Buddhists, there was the wand, constant as the trance itself.

Upon which I asked and got innocent admission from the Buddhists that it was a necessary detail of the rite, while from Shintō I learned the explanation of its presence.