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Anyone who reads Japanese will soon be aware of the immense debt lowe in this study of aspects of Japanese folk practices to Yanagida Kunio, the Institute he founded and the work he inspired . He was ever ready to discuss and to assist both in broad outline and fine detail : he had a truly remarkable knowledge of the bibliography of and the specialists in his subject and he would introduce you to both with an infectious eagerness. While fully acknowledging its unworthiness and inadequacies, I dedicate this work to Professor Yanagida's memory in token of this debt .