1670. For further reference: Beasley, W.G. and Blacker, Carmen, Japanese historical writing in the Tokugawa period (1603–1868), in: Historical Writing on the Peoples of Asia. Historians of China and Japan , ed. by Beasley, W.G. and Pulleyblank, E
Authors:Christopher I. Beckwith and Gisaburo N. Kiyose
of Japan’s Continental Relatives: An Introduction to the Historical-comparative Study of the Japanese-Koguryoic Languages, with a Preliminary Description of Archaic Northeastern Middle Chinese . Revised Second Edition. Leiden , Brill . First Edition
Among old Dutch proverbs and those in Japanese there are many similar views of life, wisdom and moral lessons, even though the phrasing may differ. The present author discusses twelve proverbs from Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Netherlandish Proverbs (1559) in Berlin and corresponding old Japanese proverbs and sayings in Japanese art to compare expressions, items of each proverb, meaning, degree of morality and other concerns. The present author also refers to some literary (Erasmus, Anna Bijns, Donaes Idinau and Carolus Tuiman and other literati) as well as visual background (misericords, engravings by Frans Hogenberg, Nicolaes Clock and other artists) before and after Bruegel's time as parallel examples. Proverbs in Ukiyoe, illustrations of proverb books, and cartoons by Japanese artists, such as those by Utagawa Toyokuni the Elder, Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Kawanabe Kyôsai, make good comparisons of Bruegel's work. Bruegel's representation of “Casting roses before swine”corresponds to Kuniyoshi's “Gold coins to a cat.”Both indicate almost the same meaning to give valuable advice or things to those who are unable to appreciate them. However, Bruegel's “He falls from the ox onto the ass”is meant to denote falling from a higher position to a lower one, while Kyôsai's “To jump from a cow to a horse”signifies the opposite situation; that is, a man exchanges his old wife for a young wife. In general, Japanese proverbial images give us the impression of a more comic and humorous sentiment than we find in Bruegel's didactic world.
There are two basic types of Japanese female shamans, representing two different categories regarding their social position and their musical activities. (1) The medium type shamaness, the itako comes from a stratum of the rural society which lives in relative modesty and whose musical activities belong to folk art. The ceremony takes place in the itako’s house, in front of the house altar, kneeling on tatami. She improvises dialogs with previously living persons who speak through her mouth, or recites stories, ballads to “entertain” the deities. Among her musical instruments, the weapon-like catalpa bow holds an outstanding place. (2) The other type of shamaness, the miko is connected with the functions of shrines, their social position is basically on par with that of priests active in Shintô shrines. The miko’s main musical activity is to perform ceremonial dances in front of the shrine. Their dances are accompanied by chant and/or small instrumental groups (flute, drum). The third, indispensable instrument is the sistrum, held by the dancers themselves. The paper is based on the author’s personal field research conducted in 1988 and 1994.