Japanese imperial household, Humanities

"Eight million gods seemed to be listening with their ears erect for their Shinto prayers. Messengers ran off to order Sutra-reciting at various temples; thus the night was passed. On the east side of the screen [placed around the Queen's bed] there assembled the ladies of the court. On the west side there were lying the Queen's substitutes possessed with [or who were enticing] the evil spirits. Each was lying surrounded by a pair of folding screens." ("The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu")

            This passage from "The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu" is an example of court life at the height of Heian culture.  During this time period, Buddhism had been incorporated into Japanese culture; however, we can see traces of Shintoism assimilated into it.  The ladies of the court who acted as substitutes for the Queen are examples of the remnants of Shintoism in Japanese culture.  They were acting as substitutes to attract evil spirits to protect the Queen and the baby from malevolent kami spirits.  

This passage also demonstrates the establishment of the Japanese imperial household.

Posted Date: 2/28/2013 2:00:08 AM | Location : United States

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