中日間の蚕神の信仰についての対比 : 起源とその変遷を中心に
On the Comparison of Belief in the Silkworm God in China and Japan: focusing on the origin and the evolution
China, the world's largest sericulture country, has a long history of silk, which can be traced back to 7000 years ago. The early ancestors associated silkworms with sacrifice and used them to serve ghosts and gods. With the further increase in productivity, people began to domesticate silkworms and plant mulberry trees. During the Pre-Qin period (before 221 B.C. when the First Emperor of Qin united China), silk production has been throughout the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. Due to the prosperity of silkworm industry, the belief of silkworm god spread among the people and became a part of Chinese silkworm culture. Japan, a country close to China, has been raising silkworms for more than 1,700 years since the Yayoi Period (300 BC to 250 AD). After the opening of the Yokohama Port in 1859, sericulture developed rapidly and reached its peak in the 1930s, driven by the Meiji government's policy of "breeding silkworms to promote business". Along with the Chinese sericulture technology, the belief of sericulture god took root and sprouted in Japan. Meanwhile, Shinto and folk indigenous sericulture god belief also developed and has been passed on. By comparing the origin and evolution of sericulture belief in China and Japan, this paper explores the historical origins and respective characteristics of sericulture culture in China and Japan.
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