Teuchedy
Posted: 15 October 2007 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]
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From Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, SECT. II, MEMB I, SUBSECT. I

At Japan in the East Indies, at this present (if we may believe the relation of travellers), there is an idol called Teuchedy, to whom one of the fairest virgins in the country is monthly brought, and left in a private room, in the fotoqui, or church, where she sits alone to be deflowered. At certain times the Teuchedy (which is thought to be the devil) appears to her, and knoweth her carnally. Every month a fair virgin is taken in; but what becomes of the old, no man can tell.

Alas, my Burton is sparsely annotated (the same edition as the one from which the cite is taken above) and gives nothing substantial for Teuchedy. I’m guessing it’s a stab at a Japanese name or term. Googling brings up only the Burton reference.

Nothing for fotoqui either, and again, nothing via Google.

Any bells rung out there?

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Posted: 15 October 2007 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Interesting!  I’m not so sure it has anything to do with an actual Japanese word, or indeed custom—it doesn’t sound like any aspect of Japanese culture I know about.  Remember that English knowledge of Japan would have been extremely meager in the 1620s (when Burton wrote); the prime English source of information was William Adams, whose letters were printed in Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625, too late for the first edition of Anatomy, but I don’t know the history of the text), and I glanced through them but didn’t see anything resembling this (Adams “had a high regard for Japan, its people, and its civilization,” according to the Wikipedia article, and such a custom would probably have diminished that regard).  I suspect it’s an altered version of some custom and name from some other part of the mysterious Far East.  But surely someone has done a carefully annotated edition of Burton and figured this out!

Edit: No, fotoqui is definitely a distortion of some Japanese word; it’s from John Saris’s description of Japan in that same Hakluyt text: “The chiefe Fotoqui or Temple of the whole Countrey is there, being built of free-stone, and is as long as the Westerne end of Saint Pauls in London...” Now I’m more curious than ever.

[ Edited: 15 October 2007 08:18 AM by languagehat ]
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Posted: 15 October 2007 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It seems the information came to Burton from Adams (via John Saris, who went to Japan in 1613) Spelled by Saris, Tencheday, the name may have been Tenshō-daijin, the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu (天照) (in a footnote here).

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Posted: 15 October 2007 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Good find!  So “teuchedy” is some sort of misread version or typo of tencheday, and it is indeed Japanese, and I was wrong about Adams (since he himself is the source of the story).  Now I’m wondering what truth there is to it; Adams certainly knew Japan well.

Edit: Edited typo “type” for typo. (Whee!)

[ Edited: 15 October 2007 02:18 PM by languagehat ]
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Posted: 15 October 2007 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Now I’m wondering what truth there is to it; Adams certainly knew Japan well.

Yes, I’m wondering, too. The confusion between cursive u and n in a non-English word makes perfect sense. I’m just wondering what kinds of local legends about the sun goddess there were.

[Edited: I see I confused about where the futoqui cum Tencheday was. Saris mentions passing by the Miyako-jima, but it seems the temple is in or around Edo / Tokyo.]

[ Edited: 15 October 2007 10:55 AM by jheem ]
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Posted: 15 October 2007 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Wonderfully informative answers! Thank you both.

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Posted: 15 October 2007 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’m wondering if fotoqui could have something to do with the Japanese Buddhist god of wisdom and fire Fudo (Sanskrit Acala ‘immutable’). Or futsu (butsu) ‘Buddha’.

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Posted: 15 October 2007 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Japanese Shinto shrines have important rituals that are conducted only by virgins (male and female).  I expect that the story is a misunderstanding or corruption of an actual ritual and the names are an English butchering of Japanese words.

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Posted: 15 October 2007 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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At certain times the Teuchedy (which is thought to be the devil) appears to her, and knoweth her carnally.

....It wasn’t the Almighty
That lifted her nightie,
‘Twas a monk standing in for his god.

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Posted: 15 October 2007 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I don’t know what “tencheday” is. I suppose historians must have interpreted this somehow or other.

“Fotoqui” seems likely to be “hotoke” = “Buddha” (also = “saint"/"deceased"/etc.) although apparently interpreted as “temple” or so here.

Miaco = Miyako = Kyoto. Edoo = Edo = Tokyo. Surunga = Suruga = [now approximately] Shizuoka. I think.

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