Japan: the country, people, traditions

The country is a mystery .Far from the East of Europe there is a country that holds many mysteries. It’s Japan. No one really can answer, where did its people, had its myths, as was its ancient traditions and why they are so sacred to this day. silkworms. They hunted and did fishing.

Haniwa depicting

Man. III– VI centuries.

Japan is a country consisting of Islands. Closest to Asia – Kyushu, up to 200 kilometers. In ancient times there was only accessible by ship. With him it and began the settlement of the Islands by the people of Mongoloid origin. People settled in small groups, mostly along the coast and along rivers. Most lived in simple shelters, even the rulers dwelt in thatched houses, where the posts and beams were fastened with ropes of vines. The main food was rice, which were able to produce vodka and sake. The Japanese knew spinning and weaving, cultivating mulberry trees for rearing

The largest island of Japan, Honshu. Since the beginning of our era, it gradually settled by immigrants of Korea and then China. They really enjoyed the mild climate of plains, abundance of flowers and trees, the fertility of the soil. They brought with them new skills, tools, crops, jewelry, writing. Gradually, more and less ancient settlers on the island mixed into one nation.

The ancient religion of the Japanese. The ancient Japanese worshiped the nature. They worshipped her and her phenomena, deified the sun, moon, storm, high tides, low tides. They worshipped and simple but vital things – wells, pots. But the most amazing thing – they just worshipped the beautiful in nature – the rocks and streams, trees and flowers. They especially felt and understood the beauty of nature and was grateful to her for everything. Many ancient ceremonies, songs and dance of praise and thanksgiving to the gods, and not just asking or pacify them.

Clay figurines –

Hanevy. III–IV centuries.

Their gods were called the Japanese “kami” is “Supreme”. Them, thought the Japanese, very much. After all, the sun kami, and sand – kami, and even worms, parasites – kami.

The main goddess of the Japanese was Amaterasu. Great and mighty Sun Goddess.

Rituals. Everything that was connected with the rituals in ancient Japan produced special people. They were called “keepers of luck.” They contacted the gods and told their will. Before committing to any ritual they fasted, abstained from food, the ablution of the body, put on clean clothes.

Clay models of houses of III–IV centuries.

The service consisted of worship, sacrifice and prayer. Originally the sacrifice was offered food and drink. Later gifts were added to the cloth and eventually began to use symbolic strips of paper.

The first Holy place (the sanctuary) were very different: a mountain, a tree standing alone, an unusual form of the stone. Such places are marked with a sprig of an evergreen tree Sakaki and was enclosed by a rope, his entourage of straw.

The rite of communion with kami consisted of his meetings, of feasting “with him” and its wires. The feast was the most important part of the ceremony: it was believed that eating the “together with God” brought him a gift of food, people communicate with kami. Most often the meeting occurred late at night. After wiring all the ritual objects were burnt or buried in the ground. Remained in place only a straw rope.

Clay figurine

Men. VI–VII centuries.

The Emperor. According to the beliefs of the Japanese, their ancestors emperors descended from the gods, or rather, the main goddess, Amaterasu, the sun goddess. She donated his descendants-the three emperors of the Holy things, possessing supernatural powers: a mirror, a jewel (or necklace), sword. They symbolize considered to be the sun, the moon, the flash of lightning. Three “Sacred Treasures” were placed in the most Holy places of the country as a symbol of Imperial power.

First God made man, was the Emperor Jimmu (“Divine warrior”). He became the founder of the Japanese government, established on the plain of Yamato after a seven-year campaign. It happened February 11, 660 BC Since then this day is celebrated as the day of Japan. Went from Jimmu all subsequent rulers up to the living Emperor.

“Kojiki” or “Records the deeds of antiquity”. This is one of the oldest Japanese Chronicles. In it were collected the myths of the Japanese people, including stories about the creation of the Universe, Japan, major gods and goddesses, the reign of the emperors. Written in “Kojiki” in 712 year in Chinese, because Japanese writing did not exist.

Beliefs of the Japanese got from the Chinese name “Shinto” – “way of the gods”. We will do some steps on this mythological journey. To go back to .

 

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