restricted access Tama no Mihashira
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499 TAMA NO MIHASHIRA Hirata Atsutane | 1812 [Atsutane was greatly influenced by “Sandaikō,” found in Kojiki-­den, and reuses those diagrams to tweak the theory of Norinaga and Nakatsune, thus creating his own theology. While he accepted the overall framework, he pushed back against the idea of Yomi as the afterlife as framed by Norinaga and Nakatsune. Instead of seeing the dead spirits journeying to a separate realm, Atsutane argued that the spirits remained here on earth, though in a different dimension. Thus, those dead spirits were still near and could offer assistance and protection to the living.] PART ONE The pillar I thrust into the ground here is what supports the [true] Yamato Heart (yamato gokoro) of the students who study ancient learning. And this pillar is thrust down and erected upon the deep bedrock at the bottom of the earth. If this foundation is not built upon an unmoveable rock, then all our words, all our works, whether they are words or works—will be without support—having no pillar. If there are no pillars, then the beams and crossbeams, doors and windows creak, the anchor ropes loosen, the roof thatch becomes disturbed, and noises in the night along with a multitude of other disasters occur. But that is not all. A person’s spirit does not know which way to go, and that person begins to follow theories that have come bounding over the seas from foreign countries, and we find it difficult to watch people blindly following these theories. Because we strongly desire to make the pillar of one’s heart thick and sturdy, planted upon a large rock so that one will not be swayed by foreign ideas, we have obtained the power from the kami Yabune,1 and this is the pillar we wish to set erect. This pillar [figuratively] opens and elucidates the true Way for each spirit after death, causing each to be at ease, making it such that the Japanese soul is not swayed by other forces.   makibasira   A pillar of black pine— futoki kokoro wo it is said he will protect   tifafemu to   your stout heart, 1. The kami who protects a person’s roof. The name of this entity appears in the Ōtonosai liturgy. 500 Views on Japan/Religion sosoru kokoro fa combining protection and comfort sizume kanetu mo in the heart that progresses. The first thing that a student of ancient learning must do is make his Yamato spirit unshakeable. My master, Motoori, generously taught me that if a person is not firmly grounded, he will not be able to comprehend the Way.2 These teachings are like an immoveable, solemn pillar erected upon bedrock. Nevertheless, when one desires to make his Yamato spirit firm and unshakeable, the most important point is to know where one’s spirit goes and resides after death. Now, in order to know where the spirit goes to settles down, I will teach you about the origin of the three places of heaven, earth, and the afterworld.3 I will explain about the conditions of heaven, earth, and the afterworld in detail, and then you will for the first time know sufficiently about the merits of the kami of these three places, how superior Japan is, it being the origin of all the various countries and everything which is in them, and how truly venerable is our emperor, who is the ruler of all nations. The student will first comprehend these things when he realizes where the spirit goes. (The reader should look at the following illustrations.) Now, in order to know about the state of heaven, earth, and the afterworld , our elder scholar, Hattori Nakatsune, has written about them in his work Sandaikō …4 [NST 50.12–13]. * * * * Now, the countries had all been created, but before time had passed a mist clung to part of an area that was still fresh, and this is as it should be. That is the place where the wind kami was born. The ancient tradition states, “Hereupon, Izanami gave birth to her adorable , last son, Ho Musubi, and then hid her form, proclaiming to Izanagi, ‘Do not look upon me for seven nights and seven days.’ But before the seven-­ day period had expired, Izanagi looked in upon the mysterious place where Izanami had hidden herself. Izanami had given birth to the fire kami, scorched her pubic area, and she lay ill on the ground.5 When the 2. It must be noted that Atsutane...


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