- vol.2009, pp.129-147, 2009
In the rituals of weddings and funerals, the central figure (the bride or the deceased) wears special headgear. In the case of a bride, it is the traditional Japanese tsunokakushi (literally, "horn concealer"), and wataboshi (cotton hood), and in the case of the deceased, the kamieboshi (paper hat), which in ancient times was often a mino-kasa (straw raincoat with hat). Figures wearing such gear include the princess in the story Hachikazuki (The Princess Who Wore a Bowl) in Otogizoshi, the girl wearing a skin in the folktale Ubakawa (Old Woman's Skin), the boy covered with a snail shell in Tanishi Musuko (The Mud-snail Son), and references to fukurogo (babies born with cauls) in indigenous folklore, and the girl wandering around with a bag in the folktale Komebuku Awabuku; and this sort of figure can also be seen in Okuninushi no Kami (The God, Great-Land-Master), who carries a bag on his back in an ancient myth. They are all going through rites of passage that represent rebirth, undergoing a transformation hin the object that covers them and waiting to be born. The bag, bowl, skin, snail shell, mino-kasa, tsunokakushi, wataboshi, kamieboshi, and the like, are "cauls" destined eventually to be cast off. The person who discards them, after the arduous journey of death in the mother's womb, is then born into this world as a baby, or as a mature adult, or as a wife in her husband's family, or is born into a new world as a god of the hereafter. The dead who become gods of that world will one day be born into this world, again wearing a caul.