Festival and Sacred Transgression in rural Japan

Found : Festival and Sacred Transgression in rural Japan

[T]here is also generally an expectation of a thorough liberation of mind and body, a destruction of the existing order. Festival days involve a kind of public license for the casting away of everyday restraints and for the kind of behavior which in normal common sense would be disdainfully dismissed as vulgar. And this attitude, we might note, is not something which came to be prevalent only since the Edo period with its heightening of human emotions. In the ninth books of the Man'yôshû we find the following "long poem" (chôka):

On Mount Tsukuba where eagles dwell
By the founts of Mohakitsu,
Maidens and men, in troops assembling,
Hold a kagai, vying in poetry;
I will seek company with others' wives,
Let others woo my own;
The gods that dominate this mountain
Have allowed such freedom since of old;
This day regard us not
With reproachful eyes,
Nor say a word of blame.

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