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THE ROUSING DRUM: Ritual Practice in a Japanese Community, by Scott Schnell. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, pp.364 with b/w photos xxvi and maps. $59.00 (cloth); $33.95 (paper).

Interpretations of that folk festival, the “matsuri,” vary. Kunio Yanagida, the founder of folklore studies in Japan, defined it as “man’s attending to and living in the company of the gods.” Though the word is variously translated as “rite” or “festival,” the sacred character of the gathering is seen as paramount.

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