- 民族學研究 (ISSN:00215023)
- vol.38, no.3, pp.230-256, 1974-03-31
The purposes of the thesis are to analize Japanese folk belief with three basic concepts, hare, kegare and ke, and to discuss the structure of the folk belief. The concept of hare is concerned with the sacred, the pure, the clean, the good and the happy. The concept of kegare is concerned with the filthy, the bad, the ominous and sin. The concept of ke is concerned with the common, the usual, the profane, the neutral, not hare and not kegare. Generally speaking, Japanese religious activities are separated into two parts : one is concerned with the concept of hare and the other is with the concept of kegare. New Year ceremony, ceremonies concerning with farming and fiahing, rites of passage and any kind of ceremonies held have in a Shinto shrine are considered hare events. Death, child birth, menstruation, illness, injury and sexual intercourses are in the concept of kegare. Therefore, a funeral ceremony, a graveyard, a situation of child birth, woman in menstruation and a deformed person are kegare matters. In Chapter I, I discuss thess concepts in detail and set a model. In Chapter II, I mention abundant data concerning the religious life on community level. The case of Section (1) is an agricultural mountain village. The village looks like being full of evil spirits and petulant gods. Futhermore, more than forty per cents of the households in the village are considered having predisposition to witches. The spirits and gods easily find kegare matters and cause illness and unhappiness. Therefore, the villagers are very sensitive to kegare and this concept is emphasized in their religious life. The case of Section (2) is a prosperous fishing village. The villagers often have Shinto ceremonies and bless good fishing in the ceremonies. Most parts of their religious activities are concerned with the concepts of hare. The concept of kegare is repressed in their life. The case of Section (3) is another agricultural mountain village. The villagers get their livelihood from agriculture and forestry half-and-half. The villagers have very complex and unstable religious ideas. They have replusion towards Buddhism more or less, although the village has Buddhist temples as a custom lasting several centuries. Some households cut their ties with those Buddhist temple and they hold Shintoist funeral ceremonies handled by a Shinto priest. In their religious life, Buddhism is sharply opposied to folk beliefs and Shintoism. The opposition can be considered a conflict between the concepts of hare and kegare. In Chapter III I discuss the models of hare, kegare and ke and the structure of Japanese folk belief.