- スポーツ史研究 (ISSN:09151273)
- vol.23, pp.39-53, 2010-03-31 (Released:2017-03-18)
There are three traditional accounts as to where Kappa, one of the legendary Japanese folk creatures comes from. From a folkloristics perspective, however, Kunio Yanagita claimed it was a degraded form of a water god. Supposing that claim is true, degradation will be the origin. There is, however, no mention of it in those accounts. In Nihon Shoki, the oldest official chronicle of Japan, there are two mentions of Nomino-sukune. These mentions are part of the "Emperor Suinin Jyou," a collection of events during the reign of Emperor Suinin; one is about the origin of sumo and the other is about the origin of haniwa, earthenware figures. In the early eighth century, "Sumaino-sechie" one of the Imperial Court ceremonies was set on the seventh day of the seventh month and sumo was held on the same day along with the Star Festival. According to the chronicle, "a sumo match between Nomino-sukune and Taimano-kehaya," took place on the seventh day of the seventh month in the seventh year of Emperor Suinin's reign. This intentional setting shows a clear reason for having "Sumaino-sechie" on the seventh day of the seventh month and having a poem-composing ceremony for the Star Festival and sumo on the same day. There must have been some sound reasons, but no documents showing this have not been found. This paper starts examining the intention by assuming that the prototype of the Star Festival was disgrace. The prototype of the Star Festival is the act of sacrificing animals and humans to the water god. In the Jindaiki section of Nihon Shoki. there are some evil acts by Susanoo (a god) mentioned. One of them was the act of throwing a skinned cow into a place where weaving was in process and thus hurt a weaving girl. It can be said that the account was described with the prototype of the Star Festival in mind. The evil acts by Susanoo are the origin of amatsu-tsumi or sin and are regarded as a disgrace, something to be purified. Thus, the prototype of the Star Festival was set as a disgrace. A disgrace means events or acts which are not in compliance with social order and that order is set by the ones in power. In due course, those events or acts will become something that must be purified. This paper lists the outlying regions that don't obey the ruler and the insurrection within the government as these examples. Designating the acts of disgrace gives justification to ruling that region and epuration of the insurrection, solidifying the authenticity of power. The existence of the poem-composing ceremony for the Star Festival on the seventh day of the seventh month can be confirmed by "Manyo-shyu" the oldest collection of poems. Also, the recognition of the prototype of the Star Festival can be confirmed by the fact that it was described as a motif of evil acts by Susanoo. That is, sacrificing animals and humans, which are ceremonies for a water god, become disgraceful. The origin of a water god degrading into Kappa is found here. Originally, "Sumaino-sechie" has been thought to have started as "the rite for governing outlying regions." This paper, however, regards it as a disgrace from the correlations between the beginning of "Sumaino-sechie" and "a sumo match between Nomino-sukune and Taimano-kehaya." If the origin of "Sumaino-sechie" is regarded as disgrace, it can be viewed as "the rite to remain in power against insurrection within the government" in addition to the traditional assumption as "the rite to subject the outlying region." It can be said that the intention for setting the sumo match on the seventh day of the seventh month was to show legitimacy for governing the outlying region.