Page:Occult Japan - Lovell.djvu/285

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note, the word saniwa. The characters with which it is written mean "sand-court."

What that means has nonplused the commentators, as Mr. Chamberlain tells us. It has not foiled the priests. They explain it satisfactorily, if perhaps ex-post-factorily, as the god-interviewer, what is now commonly called the maeza. The explanation of the priests is at least explicable. For "sand-court" has the same impersonality about it, the designation of the place in lieu of the person, which is so curiously conspicuous in maeza, the seat-in-front. That it appears to make nonsense in personal English does not imply that it makes nonsense in impersonal Japanese.

I will now give, from the Nihonshoki, two or three accounts of Kugadachi or the Ordeal by Boiling Water, which will show that the miracles are as old as the incarnations, and as purely Shintō. The first of these ordeals was undergone in the reign of the Emperor Ōjin, son to the Empress Jingō.

"In the ninth year (of his reign), in the spring, in the fourth month, the Emperor sent Take-no-uchi-no-sukune to Kyūshiū to take account of the people. Now at that