It is well known among Japanese historians that Shinto-festivals in a temporary form may commemorate historical events. Doubtless the festival described from the aspect of fire has preserved considerable traits of those martial times of the unification of Japan. [24] On the other hand it cannot be overlooked that the cult and its semantic buildings clearly express well defined orders at the basis of the cults. Not only do the forms of the signs still retain their value. They are constructed very carefully, their forms are part of the rich symbolism of the region (see Egenter 1980, 1981, 1982). Official Shinto also offers them not only ceremonies (Egenter 1980: 99), but superposes its paper-signs on the forms, showing that they are important. We can assume that they were once the most sacred objects of these villages, possibly considered for a long time as territorial protector gods.

Certainly today we have some difficulties with such assumptions. But this is related to their devaluation by the loss of their proper function when wooden shrines were introduced. Further, the transfer of sacrality to the inventory of the central shrine (go-shintai) and the final introduction of concepts developed under Chinese influence brought not only new elements to the cult (norito-prayers, invoking the godly spirit and sending it back) but also a kind of Shinto-theology. The ancient gods were reduced to the function of a merely temporary seat of a spiritually conceived deity in the absolute sense.

If, on the other hand, the cult signs are seen from their territorial aspect, the cult with its orders reveals a clear meaning. On the part of the farmers of the surrounding villages, it shows a forced or voluntary declaration of loyality towards the martial deity of the warriors, based on relatively intact ritual structures. The farmers bring their traditional settlement gods, ie their cult signs, which are representative of the continuity of their territoriality and society, to the front of the central urban shrine.This is a spatial and formal meta-language which we still can understand from categories of modern public ceremonies. The decisive difference consists in the fact that this is done with primitive cult signs in an environment defined by medieval urban culture. It thus gives us an insight into genetic conditions of spatial value-hierarchies.

Seen from the active side of this synthetic process, ie from the central shrine af the warriors, it shows an attitude of respect for tradition. It was not just discarded, replaced by something else. The village cult was fully preserved. This may be related to the fact that the village cults at the time of the foundation of the town still might have had their original meaning.

Socially remarkable is the creation af two social bodies (upper and lower) which participate in the ritual, acting simultaneously both together and against each other. Above the level of the villages an easily controlled body is formed which, in its polar differentiation also forms a complementary unity. This may be a rare example of how political units were formed in Japan in medieval time.

The order concept in front of the shrine is clearly developed from the ritual structure of the villages. The fact that the newly formed associations each build one of the most important fixed signs in front of the central shrine implies in the local meta-language that the villages may consider the urban territory represented by the central shrine as theirs. The farmers are territorially integrated, take part at the urban property. The importance of the mobile part of the festival structure shows the same tendency towards integration.

On the other hand the cultural difference between the central shrine and the primitive cult signs is reduced in regard to its original request. The signs are only temporary. This simultaneous devaluation of its territorial significance is the precondition far the development of the warlike fire festival.

We have tried to illustrate the history of the foundation of a warrior town. The most remarkable aspect is that the designed reconstruction basically has no need for written history. Using mehods of architectural theory, a semantic metalanguage was distilled from ritual phenomena. The language fits into its milieu: a historically dark field between farmers' traditions and urban history. Architecture, not written chronicals, tells us a story. It is a story about the foundation of a town, a story which includes earliest history in its designed picture. Maybe this non-written territorio-cultic complex, presented here as a model, might prove useful in other similarly dark fields between tradition and history.

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