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BookReview: Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Vol 1
by Lafcadio Hearn, Feedbooks.com, May 1894, 978-0804811453

[k331] lotus-leaf; and I am invited to partake of some little sugar-cakes (kwashi), stamped with a figure which I recognise as the Swastika, the ancient Indian symbol of the Wheel of the Law.

[k424] Prayers are addressed to the Ni-O, especially by pilgrims. Most of their statues are disfigured by little pellets of white paper, which people chew into a pulp and then spit at them. There is a curious superstition that if the pellet sticks to the statue the prayer is heard; if, on the other hand, it falls to the ground, the prayer will not be answered.)

[k522] The people take their religion lightly and cheerfully: they drop their cash in the great alms-box, clap their hands, murmur a very brief prayer, then turn to laugh and talk and smoke their little pipes before the temple entrance. Into some shrines, I have noticed the worshippers do not enter at all; they merely stand before the doors and pray for a few seconds, and make their small offerings. Blessed are they who do not too much fear the gods which they have made!

Via Rob 01/08/2009