This is not pure imagination. In spite of fast changes, the population in Japan still
has a high cultural identity. This may to a great extent be related to the following
fact. Towns and cities (as well the megalopolitan areas of Tokyo and Osaka) are structured according to this principle. Shinto shrines with their territorial implications
and their yearly festival calendar provide a toposemantic grid of orientation as
well as a basically temporal structure of festive activities expressing high continuity
in which the inhabitants take part. Note that Japanese Shinto and traditional Hinduism
of India are both still to a great extent autochthonous types of religion. They are
not based on imported historic texts, but evolved as local cult traditions into which
the local population grows. These local forms cannot easily be manipulated by historical
The temples were surveyed on the occasion of short stopovers in Singapore in September
1977, 1979, 1981 and 1985. On these occasions meetings with informants were arranged,
mainly with A. Palaniappan, Cultus commissioner at the Supreme Court, and P.S.S.
Maniyer, Priest at the Krishna Temple, both in Singapore. With apologies for the delay,
we would like to thank them for the information obtained.
We work with this idea in another study related to the "anthropology of aesthetics".
Materially related concepts like "pro-portion" (in the Latin sense, that is ,protruding'
over a portion) , "vertical polarity scheme" and "horizontal polarity scheme" play a fundamental role. See also Dagobert Frey 1949.
One would have to compare it to the Japanese suzuki-grass [reed type of grass] which
indicates mythical contexts, resp. primordial settlement conditions.
In case 2 it is said that the grass taken off at the end of the festival on Sept.
16th is preserved in the sanctuary for 3 years. After this period it is thrown into
the ocean at a particular point on the Singapore coast. At this place part of the
harvested grass is also used for incense. The figures of the deities are provided with bracelets
of grasses and incense around their wrists. Part of the incense is also given to
the worshippers. In the case of temple (3) the grass is taken off on March 24th and
burnt outside the temple precinct.
We can assume that in Neolithic and Metal periods, territory and its organisation
by a specific fibroconstructive toposemantic demarcation system became existential
in agrarian sedentary societies and that the formal, structural and ontological principles
of these demarcations had impacts on later cultures, particularly early cities and
states. In these cultures we find them formally as pro-portion, access place scheme
and vertical polarity scheme and structurally and ontologically as polarity (e.g.
Daoism, Yenning in China).
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