Page:Occult Japan - Lovell.djvu/78

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62
OCCULT JAPAN.

Faith, therefore, does in very truth work the miracle. We know this now that miracles have ceased to be miraculous; which is perhaps a little late for purely pious purposes.

IV.

We now come to the third miracle of the three; the Tsurugi-watari or the Climbing the Ladder of Sword-blades.

Among the incredible feats that we are asked to believe of Indian jugglers, not the least astounding is their reputed power of treading and even of lying with impunity upon sword-blades; an ability which some of us are inclined to credit to the verb in its other sense. Nevertheless, the same startling if unnecessary bit of acrobatism may be seen every spring in Tōkyō quite secularly done among the peep-shows about Asakusa. To such, however, as still remain skeptical on the subject, it may prove convincing to learn that the thing is a miracle, one of the great miracles of the Shinto church.

It dates from a dateless antiquity. In the Nihonshoki mention is made of it older than Jimmu Tennō himself, the first human