|Author||Marcelle Azra Hincks|
|Publication Date||December 11, 2010|
In one of the oldest legends of Japan we are told that theS un-G oddess A materasu, being angry, hid herself in a cave, so that the world was plunged in darkness, and life on earth became intolerable. And the eight million deities of the Japanese heaven, seeing the sorrow and destruction wrought by Amaterasu sabsence from the world, sought by every means possible to coax her from her retreat; but nothing could prevail on her to leave it, until one god, wiser than the others, devised a plan whereby the angered goddess might be lured from her hiding-place. A mongst the immortals was the beautiful A me-no-U zume; they sent her to dance and sing at the mouth of the cave, and the goddess, attracted by the unusual sound of music and dancing, and unable to withstand her curiosity, emerged from her concealment, to gaze upon the dancer. So that once more she gave the light of her smile to the world. The people never forgot that dancing had been the means of bringing back Amaterasu to Japan the land on which she still shines with incomparable radiance and softness and therefore, from time immemorial, the dance has been honoured as a religious ceremony and practised as a fine art throughout the land called of the rising sun. To find the origin of dancing in Japan we must, then, go back to that remote period when history merges into fable, and when the simplest occurrences of life are attributed to supernatural causes.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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