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The nomenclature was
not less elaborate. In short, to become a master of polite
accomplishments and the cuisine in the military era of Japan demanded
patient and industrious study.

MODE OF TRAVELLING

The fashions of the Heian epoch in the manner of travelling underwent
little change during the military age. The principal conveyance
continued to be an ox-carriage or a palanquin. The only notable
addition made was the kago, a kind of palanquin slung on a single
pole instead of on two shafts. The kago accommodated one person and
was carried by two. Great pomp and elaborate organization attended
the outgoing of a nobleman, and to interrupt a procession was counted
a deadly crime, while all persons of lowly degree were required to
kneel with their hands on the ground and their heads resting on them
as a nobleman and his retinue passed.

LANDSCAPE GARDENING

Great progress was made in the art of landscape gardening during the
Muromachi epoch, but this is a subject requiring a volume to itself.
Here it will suffice to note that, although still trammelled by its
Chinese origin, the art received signal extension, and was converted
into something like an exact science, the pervading aim being to
produce landscapes and water-scapes within the limits of a
comparatively small park without conveying any sense of undue
restriction. Buddhist monks developed signal skill in this branch of
esthetics, and nothing could exceed the delightful harmony which they
achieved between nature and art. It may be mentioned that the first
treatise on the art of landscape gardening appeared from the pen of
Gokyogoku Yoshitsune in the beginning of the thirteenth century. It
has been well said that the chief difference between the parks of
Japan and the parks of Europe is that, whereas the latter are planned
solely with reference to a geometrical scale of comeliness or in pure
and faithful obedience to nature's indications, the former are
intended to appeal to some particular mood or to evoke special
emotion, while, at the same time, preserving a likeness to the
landscapes and water-scapes of the world about us.

MINIATURE LANDSCAPE GARDENING

By observing the principles and practical rules of landscape
gardening while reducing the scale of construction so that a
landscape or a water-scape, complete in all details and perfectly
balanced as to its parts, is produced within an area of two or three
square feet, the Japanese obtained a charming development of the
gardener's art. Admirable, however, as are these miniature
reproductions of natural scenery and consummate as is the skill
displayed in bringing all their parts into exact proportion with the
scale of the design, they are usually marred by a suggestion of
triviality. In this respect, greater beauty is achieved on an even
smaller scale by dwarfing trees and shrubs so that, in every respect
except in dimensions, they shall be an accurate facsimile of what
they would have been had they grown for cycles unrestrained in the
forest. The Japanese gardener "dwarfs trees so that they remain
measurable only by inches after their age has reached scores, even
hundreds, of years, and the proportions of leaf, branch and stem are
preserved with fidelity. The pots in which these wonders of patient
skill are grown have to be themselves fine specimens of the
keramist's craft, and as much as 200 is sometimes paid for a notably
well-trained tree."*

*Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, article "Japan," Brinkley.

TEA CEREMONIAL

The tea ceremonial (cha-no-yu) is essentially Japanese in its
developments though its origin came from China. It has been well
described as "a mirror in which the extraordinary elaborations of
Japanese social etiquette may be seen vividly reflected." In fact,
the use of tea as a beverage had very little to do with the refined
amusement to which it was ultimately elevated. The term "tasting"
would apply more accurately to the pastime than "drinking." But even
the two combined convey no idea of the labyrinth of observances which
constituted the ceremonial. The development of the cha-no-yu is
mainly due to Shuko, a priest of the Zen sect of Buddhism, who seems
to have conceived that tea drinking might be utilized to promote the
moral conditions which he associated with its practice. Prof. H. B.
Chamberlain notes that "It is still considered proper for tea
enthusiasts to join the Zen sect of Buddhism, and it is from
the abbot of Daitokuji at Kyoto that diplomas of proficiency
are obtained." The bases of Shuko's system were the four
virtues--urbanity, purity, courtesy, and imperturbability--and little
as such a cult seemed adapted to the practices of military men, it
nevertheless received its full elaboration under the feudal system.
But although this general description is easy enough to formulate,
the etiquette and the canons of the cha-no-yu would require a whole
volume for an exhaustive description.

INCENSE COMPARING

The Muromachi epoch contributed to aristocratic pastimes the growth
of another amusement known as ko-awase, "comparing of incense," a
contest which tested both the player's ability to recognize from
their odour different varieties of incense and his knowledge of
ancient literature. As early as the seventh century the use of
incense had attained a wide vogue in Japan. But it was not until the
beginning of the sixteenth century that Shino Soshin converted the
pastime into something like a philosophy. From his days no less than
sixty-six distinct kinds of incense were recognized and distinguished
by names derived from literary allusions. This pastime is not so
elaborate as the cha-no-yu, nor does it furnish, like the latter, a
series of criteria of art-objects. But it shows abundant evidence of
the elaborate care bestowed upon it by generation after generation of
Japanese dilettanti.

IKE-BANA

The English language furnishes no accurate equivalent for what the
Japanese call ike-bana. The literal meaning of the term is "living
flower," and this name well explains the fundamental principle of the
art, namely, the arrangement of flowers so as to suggest natural
life. In fact, the blossoms must look as though they were actually
growing and not as though they were cut from the stems. It is here
that the fundamental difference between the Occidental and the
Japanese method of flower arrangement becomes apparent; the former
appeals solely to the sense of colour, whereas the latter holds that
the beauty of a plant is not derived from the colour of its blossoms
more than from the manner of their growth. In fact, harmony of colour
rather than symmetry of outline was the thing desired in a Japanese
floral composition. It might be said that Western art, in general,
and more particularly the decorative art of India, Persia and
Greece--the last coming to Japan through India and with certain Hindu
modifications--all aim at symmetry of poise; but that Japanese floral
arrangement and decorative art in general have for their fundamental
aim a symmetry by suggestion,--a balance, but a balance of
inequalities. The ike-bana as conceived and practised in Japan is a
science to which ladies, and gentlemen also, devote absorbing
attention.

OTHER PASTIMES

It will be understood that to the pastimes mentioned above as
originating in military times must be added others bequeathed from
previous eras. Principal among these was "flower viewing" at all
seasons; couplet composing; chess; draughts; football; mushroom
picking, and maple-gathering parties, as well as other minor
pursuits. Gambling, also, prevailed widely during the Muromachi epoch
and was carried sometimes to great excesses, so that samurai actually
staked their arms and armour on a cast of the dice. It is said that
this vice had the effect of encouraging robbery, for a gambler staked
things not in his possession, pledging himself to steal the articles
if the dice went against him.

SINGING AND DANCING

One of the chief contributions of the military era to the art of
singing was a musical recitative performed by blind men using the
four-stringed Chinese lute, the libretto being based on some episode
of military history. The performers were known as biwa-bozu, the name
"bozu" (Buddhist priest) being derived from the fact that they shaved
their heads after the manner of bonzes. These musicians developed
remarkable skill of elocution, and simulated passion so that in
succeeding ages they never lost their popularity. Sharing the vogue
of the biwa-bozu, but differing from it in the nature of the story
recited as well as in that of the instrument employed, was the
joruri, which derived its name from the fact that it was originally
founded on the tragedy of Yoshitsune's favourite mistress, Joruri. In
this the performer was generally a woman, and the instrument on which
she accompanied herself was the samisen. These two dances may be
called pre-eminently the martial music of Japan, both by reason of
the subject and the nature of the musical movement.

The most aristocratic performance of all, however, was the yokyoku,
which ultimately grew into the no. This was largely of dramatic
character and it owed its gravity and softness of tone to priestly
influence, for the monopoly of learning possessed in those ages by
the Buddhist friars necessarily made them pre-eminent in all literary
accomplishments. The no, which is held in just as high esteem to-day
as it was in medieval times, was performed on a stage in the open air
and its theme was largely historical. At the back of the stage was
seated a row of musicians who served as chorus, accompanying the
performance with various instruments, chiefly the flute and the drum,
and from time to time intoning the words of the drama. An adjunct of
the no was the kyogen. The no was solemn and stately; the kyogen
comic and sprightly. In fact, the latter was designed to relieve the
heaviness of the former, just as on modern stages the drama is often
relieved by the farce. It is a fact of sober history that the shogun
Yoshimasa officially invested the no dance with the character of a
ceremonious accomplishment of military men and that Hideyoshi himself
often joined the dancers on the stage.

ENGRAVING: FLOWER POTS AND DWARF TREE

ENGRAVING: SWORDS PRESERVED AT SHOSO-IN TEMPLE, AT NARA



CHAPTER XXXIII

THE EPOCH OF WARS (Sengoku Jidai)

LIST OF EMPERORS

Order of Succession Name Date

97th Sovereign Go-Murakami A.D.



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