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Topic 3: The Sacred World of Salt and Spices (1)


First of all, for the topics that will be there, please also refer to my column introduction, the link is here to know the column

According to the convention in this column, it is time to update the Tanah part after updating the Greek part. But I decided to add some interesting content to the two components of the first topic, namely the topic three: the boundary between classics and popular. I am currently working on this topic [Vampires and Gothic Culture] [from the song of ice and fire] two construction sites, now about to dig another big hole in the world of salt and spices. If you can't fill the pit, just look at everyone's sincerity. [ Like it! Appreciate it! Comments and concerns? !

In addition to explain the topic three, some readers do not understand the direction of the topic three, it feels like a glove box. In fact, the main focus of the topic three is [ the collision and bridging of the edge and the center ], such as "The Song of Ice and Fire" is popular literature, while "War and Peace" is "classic." So what is the boundary between the former at the edge of the human spirit and the cultural world, and the latter as the center? Is there any common place, what kind of sparks will be rubbed at the nuances and details of the junction between the two? Understand this, the content of the topic three is easy to understand. The vampire pit, mainly from the elements of the popular culture of vampires, explores the elements of "not so popular, also in the classics", the former is the edge and the latter is the center. The song of ice and fire is a popular literature, but it contains some of the essence of the center of the cultural world of religion (the end of the world). This is the goal of the topic three, from the popular to the classic, then from the classic to the popular, movies, music, books, animation, comics... trying to be seen from the big, and trying to return to the daily from the grand, our The world has not been riddled with triviality. In fact, the fragments of life contain something that has eternal value. This is probably the reason for the existence of the topic three.

It seems that there is a bit more explanation for the topic three. Ok, return to the article. This time we are going to talk about [salt and spice]. Whether you see this question, you will think of Heluo, you will still think of "Salt and Refuge", or a more serious "Frankincense, Myrrh and pepper." These are all things that will be covered in this article. As for what is "the holy world", it literally means "a sacred and mundane world." The significance of salt and spice is not only reflected in the daily life of Russian women who sprinkle salt in the hot red soup, but also in the sacred world from the social culture of hospitality to the evil spirits.



Salt and spices, in the modern world, seem less important, but they are very important. But we often only think about the importance of cooking when we cook or cook. Modern people have forgotten how rare salt and spices have been, and they have carried some meaning beyond their own. This time, our perspective will first be removed from the West and explored in our neighboring Japan.

First of all, readers must be very clear that the Japanese religion is mainly Shinto and Buddhism. But what is particularly interesting is that the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology found that the number of Japanese Shinto beliefs plus the number of Buddhist beliefs is close to twice that of Japan. This means that in Japanese culture, people can believe in multiple religions at the same time. However, both Japanese Buddhism and Shintoism have a very special attitude towards salt.

If the reader has been to Ise Jingu Shrine in Mie Prefecture, Japan, in October, he will definitely encounter a very grand festival, that is, the "Yu Salt Temple Festival". This ritual is very interesting. In Mie Prefecture, there is a river called "Isuzukawa". On the "Yu Salt Temple Festival", the officials will come to the riverside of Isuzu River and hold a ceremony like this in Yantian, the river: boil the salt water. Salt is formed and piled up in a cone. Why is this ritual doing this?

Isuzu River

The priests of the Ise Jingu Shrine

Readers who are familiar with Japanese mythology will not be unfamiliar with the "Ancient History". In the "History of the Ancients", the story of the creation of land by the two men and women of Ignatius and Izunzun was recorded. With regard to the formation of Japan’s land, the "History of the Ancients" is recorded as such, saying that they are standing on the "Floating Bridge of Heaven", and the "Jingzhiqiu Spear" made of jade is stirred in the sea when they put "Tianzhi" When Joan Spear was brought up from the sea, the seawater dripping from the spear end of the "Heaven's Joan Spear" solidified into salt, and the salt continued to accumulate to form the "Israel Island", which is the Japanese island. We have seen that in the "History of the Ancients", the Japanese island is made up of salt. Such myths and legends are very special. The ceremonies of the Ise Jingu Shrine are a ritual that imitates the creation of land by two great gods. Salt is here given the status of “the foundation of creation”.

Izunuo Zun and Yi Yuzun created the land with the Joan Pong

Ise Jingu Shrine is not the only shrine in Japan that has a similar ritual. In Yankuk City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, there is a salt pot shrine. The god worshipped by this shrine is called "Salt Weng". Every July, in Yancheng City, a ceremony of “casting algae and burning salt” is held. The officers go into the sea to harvest seaweed, then soak the seaweed with sea water, so the salt on the seaweed dissolves and is burned by high temperature. Algae salt. These algae salts have the mysterious power to protect reproduction. It will be packed in a special amulet bag and given to a pregnant woman who visits the door. Here, the salt has the magic to protect the reproduction. Readers who have read "Golden Branch" must know that the witchcraft of fecundity is the most important category in witchcraft. Salt has such an attribute in Japan, which means that the meaning of salt is very important.

The Ise Jingu Shrine and the Yasukuni Shrine are not examples. For Japan, the close relationship between sea and salt and life is difficult for us to understand as a mainland nation. Therefore, whether in the Shinto or Buddhism in Japan, there is a very similar view on the role of salt: exorcism and refuge, eliminating uncleanness, and blessing peace. Salt, this magical substance is endowed with more and more rich meanings, and thus has sacredness.

First of all, let's talk about [exorcism and refuge, and eliminate uncleanness]. Because of the sacred meaning of salt, it has the ability to drive out the unknown. In the traditional customs of Japan, if a person comes back from a funeral, then the demon that might bring home is expelled through a ritual of salting on the body. If the weapon comes to an unwelcome guest at home, then such a guest may also invite devils to do evil, so after the guests leave, they must spread salt and exorcise in the house. Another example is the example of Japanese Buddhism. At the Xixinjing Masters in Adachi, Tokyo, there is a Buddhist statue called the Salt Land. This Tibetan Buddha statue is inserted in the salt from the foot to the knee. middle. The salt here is dedicated to the Tibetan Bodhisattva. If you take the salt from the salt reservoir, you may cure the skin disease. In fact, the Bodhisattva of the Dizang Bodhisattva itself has the power to seduce the evil spirits, and the salt is considered to have the power to dispel the evil spirits of the epidemic because of its own attributes and the blessing of the Bodhisattva. This is not unique to Japan. In the West, the folklore that salt can cure is also widespread, but it does illustrate the significance of salt, not just the condiment.

Before the Japanese national skill sumo competition, it is necessary to spread salt on the ground to exorcise evil. The white on the ground is salt.

In Frye's "Golden Branch", there are two kinds of witchcraft. One is active witchcraft, that is, "If you do this, what you hope will be realized", and the other is negative witchcraft. It is taboo, which means "If you don't do something, things you don't want to happen will not happen." Since salt has "positive power", it also has "negative power." There are also negative examples in the direction of [Blessing Peace]. That is [塩 ち ち], that is, [salt salt]. Salt in Japan also has the property of "character", which is a certain power with a curse of casting spells. In the practice of Shintoism, [塩 ち] is to eat food that is completely salt-free for a certain period of time. Through this ritual, you can protect the gods and receive special blessings to achieve the goal of "blessing peace."

No matter what kind of magic and attributes the salt has, we can understand one thing. Salt is not only a kind of condiment in Japan. In secular life, it can bless the fishermen who produce and bless the sea, and at the sacred level. On the other hand, it can drive away evil spirits and purify the space. Just because it is so important from the physical to the spiritual life, it is a hard way to practice by abolishing it for a while, in this way to obtain greater blessings, which is seen by modern people who advocate a low-salt diet. There is an inexplicable sense of inversion. But in any case, salt is by no means an ordinary thing. So, apart from salt, do other spices have the same properties? Is it only Japan that pays so much attention to salt? What is the history of the world of salt and spices? What is the status of salt and spices in literary and artistic works? Stay tuned for the next article!