ancestor worship and japanese law

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: ANCESTOR-WORSHIP AND JAPANESE LAW. INTRODUCTION. In Europe and America, Ancestor-Worship has long since ceased to exist, even if it was ever practised at all on those continents. In Japan, where at the present time, a constitutional government is established, where codes of laws modelled upon those of Western countries are in operation, where, in short, almost every art of civilization has taken firm root, the worshipping of deceased ancestors still obtains and still exercises a powerful influence over the laws and customs of the people. The practice dates back to the earliest days of our history and has survived through hundreds of generations, in spite of the many political and social revolutions which have taken place since the foundation of the Empire. The introduction of Chinese civilization into the country was favourable to the growth of this custom, by reason of the fact that the morality, laws and institutions of China are also based upon the doctrine of Ancestor-worship. Buddhism, which isnot based upon this doctrine, but is, on the contrary, antagonistic to it, was compelled to yield to the deep- rooted belief of the people, and wisely adapted itself to the national practice; while the introduction of Western civilization, which has wrought so many social and political changes during the last thirty years, has had no influence whatever in the direction of modifying ;the custom. Thus, it will be seen that the three foreign elements, Confusianism, Buddhism, and Western Civilization, all of which have had immense influence upon our laws, manners and customs, and two of which were diametrically opposed to Ancestor- worship, could not make way against, nor put an end to, the wide-spread and persistent faith of the people. To Western eyes, the sight would appea... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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