Japan Day by Day, 1877, 1878-79, 1882-83

Edward Sylvester Morse

Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 10,83 MB
  • EAN: 9780243801954
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Descrizione
WE were told by a servant of the house that just back of the town a dance, or ceremony, was going on in an Ainu hut. I had not entered an Ainu hut, though one meets Ainus in the street, so we all went to the place and were invited into the hut, which consisted of one large room. There were three Ainus in the room, all with heavy black beards and tangled mops of long hair, their faces strongly resembling those of our race. Not a trace of Mongolian was detected. These men were sitting cross-legged on the floor around _a large dish of saké. One of them was performing a monotonous dance, making a curious gesture of the hands as if bowing to the win dow, to a glint of sunlight on the floor, to everything about the room, and to the shrine outside, which consisted of a dozen bear skulls stuck on the ends of long poles. They were all really intelligent-looking men, with their long, dignified beards, and _it was impossible to realize that they were low, unlettered savages without moral courage, lazy, and strongly given to drunkenness, supporting themselves by hunting with bow and arrow and fishing. One of the Japanese with me asked them where I came from, and they answered that I was the same as the Japanese! One old fellow, who was very drunk, showed me a quiverful of their terrible poisoned arrows; another one told him to be careful, and I felt rather nervous as he walked behind me with an arrow in his hand, performing in curious gestures and sing ing a monotonous chant. One man strung his bow to show me how they shoot the arrow, and when he took the arrow from his quiver he first very carefully removed the poisoned point. This point consists of a blade of bamboo, and I noticed a white powder on it. The poison used is said to be aconite of some form, and so virulent is it that the Ainu bear is killed by it.