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Kaneh Bosm = Cannabis = Ma

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  • Curtis Helmut Paul Thatcher/Jaron
    Kaneh Bosm = Cannabis = Ma See reports here, Please join us on our forum by registering and join in this thread of Witch Hunt and Cannabis.
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27, 2007
      Kaneh Bosm = Cannabis = Ma

      See reports here, Please join us on our forum by registering and join
      in this thread of Witch Hunt and Cannabis.



      A minister here is advance a study, the study of the witch hunt on
      Cannabis/Kaneh Bosm/Ma

      Can anyone help the research find the trail back from China to India
      (we suppose) and we think in Vedic/Sanscrit there clues.

      Does Chinese word derivation migrate from those parts of the world?

      Or did the Chinese characters and language sort of just pop out of

      We trying to think through that Shen Nung (Nong), etc, was a/the
      prototypical model for Jesus.

      Since Shen Nong is a Chinese Mythical Diety, it is a high possibly
      Shen-Nong was a reality in Sanscrit/Vedic and Sanscrit/Vedic just did
      not pop out of somewhere, usually, it came in from outer space of was
      developed over time by who and how.

      We even have story that Ma/Kaneh Bosm/Cannabis was transspermia or
      brought in in cargo bays from above down to earth.

      Anybody here can try to join us in the thc-ministry.net forum and go
      through this with us?


      http://paranoia.lycaeum.org/marijuana/images/shen-nung2.gif (is that
      plant in hands Calamus or .... )



      Millions of years ago, humanoid creatures descended from the trees in
      Africa. These first men stood erect, their eyes peering into the
      beyond, their hands grasping rudimentary weapons and tools, ready to
      bend nature to their will.

      The descendants of these first men wandered into almost every corner
      of the earth and evolved into four main racial groups: the Negroids,
      Australoids, Mongoloids, and Caucasoids. Each race, living under
      different climatic conditions and in virtual isolation from one
      another, developed special physical characteristics to enable them to
      survive in their particular part of the world. Along with these
      physical traits there emerged rudimentary cultures as distinct as the
      colors of their skins. Some communities relied primarily on hunting
      for survival, refining their skills and weapons through the ages to
      capture prey and eventually to conquer and enslave rival communities.
      Others subsequently discovered that the seeds and leaves of certain
      plants would appease hunger and sustain life. Once they became
      farmers, men gave up their spears and knives for plowshares and
      permanent settlements came into being.

      The earliest civilizations sprouted along the banks of great rivers -
      the Hwang-Ho in China, the Indus in India, the Tigris and Euphrates
      in Mesopotamia (where biblical scholars have sought in vain for
      traces of the Garden of Eden), and the Nile in Egypt. The soil along
      these riverbanks was particularly suited for agriculture, being rich
      and deep and invigorated annually by new deposits of silt.

      Whether they remained hunters or became farmers, the people who lived
      long before the written word was invented, discovered through trial
      and error the best materials for shaping, molding, bending, twisting,
      and sharpening objects into tools. In each civilization these
      discoveries were much the same; the only differences were the
      materials at hand.

      On the basis of artefacts and the history of China in its later
      years, archaeologists now assure us that hemp has been a familiar
      agricultural crop in China from the remote beginnings of settlement
      in that part of the world down to our own time. When the Chinese went
      about testing materials in their environment for suitability as
      tools, they most certainly would have looked into the possibility of
      using hemp whenever they required some kind of fiber.

      Cannabis in China

      The earliest record of man's use of cannabis comes from the island of
      Taiwan located off the coast of mainland China. In this densely
      populated part of the world, archaeologists have unearthed an ancient
      village site dating back over 10,000 years to the Stone Age.

      Scattered among the trash and debris from this prehistoric community
      were some broken pieces of pottery the sides of which had been
      decorated by pressing strips of cord into the wet clay before it
      hardened. Also dispersed among the pottery fragments were some
      elongated rod-shaped tools, very similar in appearance to those later
      used to loosen cannabis fibers from their stems.[1] These simple
      pots, with their patterns of twisted fiber embedded in their sides,
      suggest that men have been using the marijuana plant in some manner
      since the dawn of history.

      The discovery that twisted strands of fiber were much stronger than
      individual strands was followed by developments in the arts of
      spinning and weaving fibers into fabric - innovations that ended
      man's reliance on animal skins for clothing. Here, too, it was hemp
      fiber that the Chinese chose for their first homespun garments. So
      important a place did hemp fiber occupy in ancient Chinese culture
      that the Book of Rites (second century B.C.) ordained that out of
      respect for the dead, mourners should wear clothes made from hemp
      fabric, a custom followed down to modern times.[2]

      While traces of early Chinese fabrics have all but disappeared, in
      1972 an ancient burial site dating back to the Chou dynasty (1122-249
      B.C.) was discovered. In it were fragments of cloth, some bronze
      containers, weapons, and pieces of jade. Inspection of the cloth
      showed it to be made of hemp, making this the oldest preserved
      specimen of hemp in existence.[3]

      The ancient Chinese not only wove their clothes from hemp, they also
      used the sturdy fiber to manufacture shoes. In fact, hemp was so
      highly regarded by the Chinese that they called their country
      the "land of mulberry and hemp".

      The mulberry plant was venerated because it was the food upon which
      silkworms fed, and silk was one of China's most important products.
      But silk was very expensive and only the very wealthy could afford
      silken fabric. For the vast millions of less fortunate, cheaper
      material had to be found. Such material was typically hemp.

      Ancient Chinese manuscripts are filled with passages urging the
      people to plant hemp so that they will have clothes.[4] A book of
      ancient poetry mentions the spinning of hempen threads by a young
      girl.[5] The Shu King, a book which dates back to about 2350 B.C.,
      says that in the province of Shantung the soil was "whitish and
      rich...with silk, hemp, lead, pine trees and strange stones..." and
      that hemp was among the articles of tribute extorted from inhabitants
      of the valley of the Honan.[6]

      During the ninth century B.C., "female man-barbarians," an Amazon-
      like dynasty of female warriors from Indochina, offered the Chinese
      emperor a "luminous sunset-clouds brocade" fashioned from hemp, as
      tribute. According to the court transcriber, it was "shining and
      radiant, infecting men with its sweet smelling aroma. With this, and
      the intermingling of the five colors in it, it was more ravishingly
      beautiful than the brocades of our central states."[7]

      Ma, the Chinese word for hemp, is composed of two symbols which are
      meant to depict hemp. The part beneath and to the right of the
      straight lines represent hemp fibers dangling from a rack. The
      horizontal and vertical lines represent the home in which they were

      As they became more familiar with the plant, the Chinese discovered
      it was dioecious. Male plants were then clearly distinguished from
      females by name (hsi for the male, chu for the female). The Chinese
      also recognised that the male plants produced a better fiber than the
      female, whereas the female produced the better seeds.[8] (Although
      hemp seed was a major grain crop in ancient China until the sixth
      century A.D.,[9] it was not as important a food grain as rice or

      Hemp fiber was also once a factor in the wars waged by Chinese land
      barons. Initially, Chinese archers fashioned their bowstrings from
      bamboo fibers. When hemp's greater strength and durability were
      discovered, bamboo strings were replaced with those made from hemp.
      Equipped with these superior bowstrings, archers could send their
      arrows further and with greater force. Enemy archers, whose weapons
      were made from inferior bamboo, were at a considerable disadvantage.
      With ineffectual archers, armies were vulnerable to attack at
      distances from which they could not effectively return the hail of
      deadly missiles that rained upon them. So important was the hemp
      bowstring that Chinese monarchs of old set aside large portions of
      land exclusively for hemp, the first agricultural war crop.[11]

      In fact, every canton in ancient China grew hemp. Typically, each
      canton tried to be self-sufficient and grow everything it needed to
      support its own needs. When it couldn't raise something itself, it
      grew crops or manufactured materials that it could trade for
      essential goods. Accordingly, crops were planted around homes not
      only because of the suitability of the land, but also because of
      their commercial value. The closer to the home, the greater a crop's

      Because food was essential, millet and rice were grown wherever land
      and water were available. Next came vegetable gardens and orchards,
      and beyond them the textile plants, chiefly hemp.[12] Next came the
      cereals and vegetables.

      After the hemp was harvested by the men, the women, who were the
      weavers, manufactured clothes from the fibers for the family. After
      the family's needs were satisfied, other garments were produced for
      sale. To support their families, weaving began in autumn and lasted
      all winter.[13]

      The Invention of Paper

      Among the many important inventions credited to the Chinese, paper
      must surely rank at the very top. Without paper, the progress of
      civilization would have advanced at a snail's pace. Mass production
      of newspapers, magazines, books, notepaper, etc, would all be
      impossible. Business and industry would come to a standstill without
      paper to record transactions, keep track of inventories, and make
      payments of large sums of money. Nearly every activity we now take
      for granted would be a monumental undertaking were it not for paper.

      According to Chinese legend, the paper-making process was invented by
      a minor court official, Ts'ai Lun, in A.D. 105. Prior to that time,
      the Chinese carved their writings onto bamboo slips and wooden
      tablets. Before the invention of paper, Chinese scholars had to be
      physically fit if they wished to devote their lives to learning. When
      philosopher Me Ti moved around the country, for example, he took a
      minimum of three cartloads of books with him. Emperor Ts'in Shih
      Huagn, a particularly conscientious ruler, waded through 120 pounds
      of state documents a day in looking after his administrative duties!
      [14] Without some less weighty writing medium, Chinese scholars and
      statesmen could look forward to at least one hernia if they were any
      good at their jobs.

      As a first alternative to these cumbersome tablets, the Chinese
      painted their words on silk fabric with brushes. But silk was very
      expensive. A thousand silkworms working day in and day out were
      needed to produce the silk for a simple "thank you" note.

      Ts'ai Lun had a better idea. Why not make a table out of fiber? But
      how? Producing writing tablets the way clothes were manufactured, by
      patiently intermingling individual fibers was not practical. There
      had to be some other way to get the fibers to mix with one another in
      a lattice structure that would be sturdy enough not to fall apart.

      No one knows how Ts'ai Lun finally discovered the secret of
      manufacturing paper from fiber. Perhaps it was a case of trial and
      error. However, the method he finally devised involved crushing hemp
      fibers and mulberry tree bark into a pulp and placing the mixture in
      a tank of water. Eventually, the fibers rose to the top all tangled
      together. Portions of this flotsam were then removed and placed in a
      mold. When dried in such molds, the fibers formed into sheets which
      could then be written on.

      When Ts'ai Lun first presented his invention to China's arm-weary
      bureaucrats, he thought they would react to it with great enthusiasm.
      Instead, he was jeered out of court. Since no one at court was
      willing to recognize the importance of paper, Ts'ai Lun decided that
      the only way to convince people of its value was through trickery. He
      would use paper, he told all who would listen, to bring back the

      With the help of some friends, Ts'ai Lun feigned death and had
      himself buried alive in a coffin. Unknown to most of those who
      witnessed the internment, the coffin contained a small hole; through
      it, a hollow bamboo shoot had been inserted, to provide the trickster
      an air supply.

      While his family and friends mourned his death, Ts'ai Lun patiently
      rested in his coffin below the earth. Then, some time later, his
      conspirators announced that if some of the paper invented by the dead
      man were burned, he would rise from the dead and once again take his
      place among the living. Although highly sceptical, the mourners
      wished to give the departed every chance, so they set a sizable
      quantity of paper ablaze. When the conspirators felt that they had
      generated enough suspense, they exhumed the coffin and ripped of the
      cover. To the shock and amazement of all present, Ts'ai Lun sat up
      and thanked them for their devotion to him and their faith in his

      The resurrection was regarded as a miracle, the power of which was
      attributed to the magic of paper. So great an impression did the
      Houdini-like escape create that shortly thereafter the Chinese
      adopted the custom, which they still follow to this day, of burning
      paper over graves of the dead.

      Ts'ai Lun himself became an overnight celebrity. His invention was
      accorded the recognition it deserved and the inventor was appointed
      to an important position at court. But his fame was his undoing. As
      the new darling at court, rival factions sought to win him over to
      their side in the never-ending squabbles of life among the rich and
      powerful. Without meaning to, Ts'ai Lun became embroiled in a power
      battle between the empress and the emperor's grandmother. Court
      intrigue was simply too much for the inventor, and when he was
      subsequently summoned to give an account of himself, instead of
      appearing before his inquisitors, his biography states that he went
      home, took a bath, combed his hair, put on his best robes, and drank

      Although entertaining, the story of Ts'ai Lun's invention is
      apocryphal. The discovery of fragments of paper containing hemp fiber
      in a grave in China dating back to the first century B.C., puts the
      invention long before the time of Ts'ai Lun. Why Ts'ai Lun was given
      credit for the invention, however, is still a mystery.

      The Chinese kept the secret of paper hidden for many centuries, but
      eventually it became known to the Japanese. In a small book entitled
      A Handy Guide to Papermaking, dating back to the fifth century A.D.,
      the author states that "hemp and mulberry... have long been used in
      worshipping the gods. The business of paper making therefore, is no
      ignoble calling."[16]

      It was not until the ninth century A.D. that the Arabs, and through
      them the rest of the world, learned how to manufacture paper. The
      events that led to the disclosure of the paper-making process are
      somewhat uncertain, but apparently the secret was pried from some
      Chinese prisoners captured by the Arabs during the Battle of
      Samarkand (in present-day Russia).

      Once the Arabs learned the secret, they began producing their own
      paper. By the twelfth century A.D., paper mills were operating in the
      Moorish cities of Valencia, Toledo, and Xativa, in Spain. After the
      ousting of the Arabs from Spain, the art became known to the rest of
      Europe, and it was not long before paper mills were flourishing not
      only in Spain, but in France, Italy, Germany, and England, all of
      them using the ancient Chinese system "invented" by Ts'ai Lun.

      Magical Marijuana

      During the course of its long history in China, hemp found its way
      into almost every nook and cranny of Chinese life. It clothed the
      Chinese from their heads to their feet, it gave them material to
      write on, and it became a symbol of power over evil.

      Like the practice of medicine around the world, early Chinese
      doctoring was based on the concept of demons. If a person were ill,
      it was because some demon had invaded his body. The only way to cure
      him was to drive the demon out. The early priest-doctors resorted to
      all kinds of tricks, some of which were rather sophisticated, like
      drug therapy, which we will examine shortly. Other methods involved
      outright magic. By means of charms, amulets, spells, incantations,
      exhortations, sacrifices, etc., the priest-doctor did his utmost to
      find some way of getting the upper hand over the malevolent demon
      believed responsible for an illness.

      Among the weapons to come out of the magical kit bag of the ancient
      Chinese conjurers were cannabis stalks into which snake-like figures
      were carved. Armed with these war hammers, they went to do battle
      with the unseen enemy on his home ground - the sickbed. Standing over
      the body of the stricken patient, his cannabis stalk poised to
      strike, the priest pounded the bed and commanded the demon to be
      gone. If the illness were psychosomatic and the patient had faith in
      the conjurer, he occasionally recovered. If his problem were organic,
      he rarely improved.

      Whatever the outcome, the rite itself is intriguing. Although there
      is no way of knowing for sure how it came about, the Chinese tell a
      story about one of their emperors named Liu Chi-nu that may explain
      the connection between cannabis, snakes, and illness. One day Liu was
      out in the fields cutting down some hemp, when he saw a snake. Taking
      no chances that it might bite him, he shot the serpent with an arrow.
      The next day he returned to the place and heard the sound of a mortar
      and pestle. Tracking down the noise, he found two boys grinding
      marijuana leaves. When he asked them what they were doing, the boys
      told him they were preparing a medicine to give to their master who
      had been wounded by an arrow shot by Liu Chi-nu. Liu Chi-nu then
      asked what the boys would do to Liu Chi-nu if they ever found him.
      Suprisingly, the boys answered that they could not take revenge on
      him because Liu Chi-nu was destined to become emperor of China. Liu
      berated the boys for their foolishness and they ran away, leaving
      behind the medicine. Some time later Liu himself was injured and he
      applied the crushed marijuana leaves to his wound. The medicine
      healed him and Liu subsequently announced his discovery to the people
      of China and they began using it for their injuries.

      Another story tells of a farmer who saw a snake carrying some
      marijuana leaves to place on the wound of another snake. The next day
      the wounded snake was healed. Intrigued, the farmer tested the plant
      on his own wound and was cured.[17]

      Whether these stories had anything to do with the idea that marijuana
      had magical power or not, the fact is that despite the progress of
      Chinese medicine far beyond the age of superstition, the practice of
      striking beds with stalks made from marijuana stems continued to be
      followed until the Middle Ages.[18]

      Medicinal Marijuana

      Although the Chinese continued to rely on magic in the fight against
      disease, they also gradually developed an appreciation and knowledge
      of the curative powers of medicines. The person who is generally
      credited with teaching the Chinese about medicines and their actions
      is a legendary emperor, Shen-Nung, who lived around the twenty-eighth
      century B.C.

      Concerned that his priests were suffering from illness despite the
      magical rites of the priests, Shen-Nung determined to find an
      alternate means of relieving the sick. Since he was also an expert
      farmer and had a thorough familiarity with plants, he decided to
      explore the curative powers of China's plant life first. In this
      search for compounds that might help his people, Shen-Nung used
      himself as a guinea-pig. The emperor could not have chosen a better
      subject since he was said to possess the remarkable ability of being
      able to see through his abdominal wall into his stomach! Such
      transparency enabled him to observe at firsthand the workings of a
      particular drug on that part of the body.

      According to the stories told about him, Shen-Nung ingested as many
      as seventy different poisons in a single day and discovered the
      antidotes for each of them. After he finished these experiments, he
      wrote the Pen Ts'ao, a kind of herbal or Materia Medica as it later
      became known, which listed hundreds of drugs derived from vegetable,
      animal, and mineral sources.

      Although there may originally have been an ancient Pen Ts'ao
      attributed to the emperor, no original text exists. The oldest Pen
      Ts'ao dates back to the first century A.D. and was compiled by an
      unknown author who claimed he had incorporated the original herbal
      into his own compendium. Regardless of whether such an earlier
      compendium did or did not exist, the important fact about this first-
      century herbal is that it contains a reference to ma, the Chinese
      word for cannabis.

      Ma was a very popular drug, the text notes, since it possessed both
      yin and yang. The concepts of yin and yang that pervade early Chinese
      medicine are attributed to another legendary emperor, Fu Hsi (ca,
      2900 B.C.) whom the Chinese credit with bringing civilization to
      the "land of mulberry and hemp". Before Fu Hsi, so the legends say,
      the Chinese lived like animals. They had no laws, no customs, and no
      traditions. There was no family life. Men and women came together
      instinctively, like salmon seeking their breeding ground; they mated,
      and then went off on their separate ways.

      The first thing Fu Hsi did to produce order out of chaos was to
      establish matrimony on a permanent basis. The second thing was to
      separate all living things into the male and female principle - the
      male incorporating all that was positive, the female embodying all
      that was negative. From this dualistic principle arose the concept of
      two opposing forces, the yin and the yang.

      Yin symbolized the weal, passive, and negative feminine influence in
      nature, whereas yang represented the strong, active, and positive
      masculine force. When these forces were in balance, the body was
      healthy. When one force dominated the other, the body was in an
      unhealthy condition. Marijuana was thus a very difficult drug to
      contend with because it contained both the feminine yin and the
      masculine yang.

      Shen-Nung's solution to the problem was to advise that yin, the
      female plant, be the only sex cultivated in China since it produced
      much more of the medicinal principle than yang, the male plant.
      Marijuana containing yin was then to be given in cases involving a
      loss of yin from the body such as occurred in female weakness
      (menstrual fatigue), gout, rheumatism, malaria, beri-beri,
      constipation, and absentmindedness.

      The Pen Ts'au eventually became the standard manual on drugs in
      China, and so highly regarded was its author that Shen-Nung was
      accorded the singular honour of deification and the title of Father
      of Chinese Medicine. Not too long ago China's drug guilds still paid
      homage to the memory of Shen-Nung. On the first and fifteenth of each
      month, many drugstores offered a 10 percent discount on medicines in
      honor of the legendary patron of the healing arts.

      Painless Surgery

      As physicians became more and more familiar with the properties of
      drugs, ma continued to increase in importance as a therapeutic agent.
      In the second century A.D., a new use was found for the drug. This
      discovery was credited to the famous Chinese surgeon Hua T'o, who is
      said to have performed extremely complicated surgical procedures
      without causing pain. Among the amazing operations he performed are
      organ grafts, resectioning of intestines, laparotomies (incisions
      into the loin), and thoracotomies (incisions into the chest). All
      these difficult surgical procedures were said to have been rendered
      painless by means of ma-yo, an anaesthetic made from cannabis resin
      and wine. The following passage, taken from his biography, describes
      his use of cannabis in these operations:

      But if the malady resided in the parts on which the needle
      [acupuncture], cautery, or medicinal liquids were incapable of
      acting, for example, in the bones, in the stomach or in the
      intestine, he administered a preparation of hemp [ma-yo] and, in the
      course of several minutes, an insensibility developed as if one had
      been plunged into drunkenness or deprived of life. Then, according to
      the case, he performed the opening, the incision or the amputation
      and relieved the cause of the malady; then he apposed the tissues by
      sutures and applied linaments. After a certain number of days the
      patient finds he has recovered without having experienced the
      slightest pain during the operation.[19]

      Although modern research has borne out marijuana's anaesthetic
      properties and has shown that alcohol does indeed augment many of
      marijuana's actions, it is unlikely that Hua T'o could have produced
      total insensibility to pain by the combination of these drugs unless
      he administered so much of them that his patients lost consciousness.

      While ma's stature as a medicinal agent began to decline around the
      fifth century A.D., it still had its advocates long into the Middle
      Ages. In the tenth century A.D., for example, some Chinese physicians
      claimed the drug was useful in the treatment of "waste diseases and
      injuries", adding that it "clears blood and cools temperature, it
      relieves fluxes; it undoes rheumatism; it discharges pus".[20]

      An Early Psychedelic

      Since the Chinese are the first people on record to use the marijuana
      plant for their clothes, their writing materials, their confrontation
      with evil spirits, and in their treatment of pain and disease, it is
      not surprising that they are also the first people on record to
      experience marijuana's peculiar psychedelic effects.

      As so many other testimonials to marijuana's multifaceted past have
      been found interred deep within the bowels of the earth, so too was
      the proof of China's early flirtation with marijuana's intoxicating
      chemistry found buried away in an ancient tomb. Rather than any piece
      of cloth or handful of seeds, however, the evidence takes the form of
      an inscription containing the symbol for marijuana, along with the
      adjective or connotation meaning "negative".[21]

      Unfortunately, we will never know what the gravediggers had in mind
      when they were chiselling these words in granite. Was it just a
      mindless piece of graffiti? Even if it were, it indicates that the
      Chinese were well aware of marijuana's unusual properties from very
      ancient times, whether they approved of them or not.

      Many did not approve. Due to the growing spirit of Taoism which began
      to permeate China around 600 B.C., marijuana intoxication was viewed
      with special disdain. Taoism was essentially a "back to nature"
      philosophy which sought ways of extending life. Anything that
      contained yin, such as marijuana, was therefore regarded with
      contempt since it enfeebled the body when eaten. Only substances
      filled with yang, the invigorating principle in nature, were looked
      upon favorably.

      Some Chinese denounced marijuana as the "liberator of sin".[22] A
      late edition of the Pen Ts'au asserted that if too many marijuana
      seeds were eaten, they would cause one to "see demons". But if taken
      over a long time, "one can communicate with the spirits".[23]

      However, by the first century A.D., Taoists became interested in
      magic and alchemy,[24] and were recommending addition of cannabis
      seeds to their incense burners. The hallucinations thus produced were
      highly valued as a means of achieving immortality.[25]

      For some people, seeing spirits was the main reason for using
      cannabis. Meng Shen, a seventh-century physician, adds, however, that
      if anyone wanted to see spirits in this way, he would have to eat
      cannabis seeds for at least a hundred days.[26]

      The Chinese have always been a highly reserved people, a nation
      rarely given to excesses. Temperance and restraint are cherished
      virtues of their society. But these are ideal traits, not always easy
      to live up to. And on more than one occasion, the waywardness of
      segments of the Chinese population was denounced by the authorities.

      In a book attributed to Shen-Nung's successor, the "yellow emperor",
      for example, the author felt that alcoholism had truly gotten out of

      Nowadays people use wine as a beverage and they adopt recklessness as
      usual behaviour. They enter the chamber of love in an intoxicated
      condition; their passions exhaust their vital forces; their cravings
      dissipate their essence; they do not know how to find contentment
      with themselves; they are not skilled in the control of their
      spirits. They devote all their attention to the amusement of their
      minds, thus cutting themselves off from the joys of long life. Their
      rising and retiring is without regularity. For these reasons they
      reach only one half of the hundred years and then they degenerate.

      Alcohol, in fact, was a much more serious problem in China than
      marijuana, and opium overshadowed both in the attention it later
      received. The Chinese experiment with marijuana as a psychoactive
      agent was really more of a flirtation than an orgy. Those among the
      Chinese who hailed it as the "giver of delight" never amounted to
      more than a small segment of the population.


      As in China, hemp fiber was highly regarded among the Japanese and
      figured prominently in their everyday lives and legends.

      Hemp (asa) was the primary material in Japanese clothes, bedding,
      mats and nets. Clothes made of hemp fiber were especially worn during
      formal and religious ceremonies because of hemp's traditional
      association with purity in Japan.[28] So fundamental was hemp in
      Japanese life that it was often mentioned in legends explaining the
      origins of everyday things, such as how the Japanese earthworm came
      to have white rings around its neck.

      According to Japanese legend, there were once two women who were both
      fine weavers of hemp fiber. One woman made fine hemp fabric but was a
      very slow worker. Her neighbor was just the opposite - she made
      coarse fabric but worked quickly. During market days, which were held
      only periodically, it was customary for Japanese women to dress in
      their best clothes, and as the day approached, the two women began to
      weave new dresses for the occasion. The woman who worked quickly had
      her dress ready on time, but it was not very fashionable. Her
      neighbor, who worked slowly, only managed to get the unbleached white
      strands ready, and when market day came, she didn't have her dress
      ready. Since she had to go to market, she persuaded her husband to
      carry her in a large jar on his back so that only her neck, with the
      white undyed hemp strands around it would be visible. In this way,
      everyone would think she was clothed instead of being naked inside
      the jar. On the way to the market, the woman in the jar saw her
      neighbor and started making fun of her coarse dress. The neighbor
      shot back that at least she was clothed. "Break the jar", she told
      everyone who could hear, "and you will find a naked woman". The
      husband became so mortified that he dropped the jar, which broke,
      revealing his naked wife, clothed only in hemp strands around her
      neck. The woman was so ashamed as she stood naked before everyone
      that she buried herself in the earth so that she would not be seen
      and she turned into an earthworm. And that, according to the
      Japanese, is why the earthworm has white rings around its neck.[29]

      Hemp fiber also played a part in love and marital life in Japan.
      Another ancient Japanese legend tells of a soldier who had been
      romancing a young girl and was about to bid her farewell without
      giving her as much as his name, rank, or regiment. But the girl was
      not about to be jilted by this handsome and charming paramour.
      Unbeknownst to her mysterious lover, she fastened the end of a huge
      ball of hemp rope to his clothing as he kissed her farewell. By
      following the thread, she eventually came to the temple of the god
      Miva, and discovered that her suitor had been none other than the god

      Besides its roles in such legends, hemp strands were an integral part
      of Japanese love and marriage. Hemp strands were often hung on trees
      as charms to bind lovers[31] (as in the legend), gifts of hemp were
      sent as wedding gifts by the man's family to the prospective bride's
      family as a sign that they were accepting the girl,[32] and hemp
      strands were prominently displayed during wedding ceremonies to
      symbolize the traditional obedience of Japanese wives to their
      husbands.[33] The basis of the latter tradition was the ease with
      which hemp could be dyed. Just as hemp could be dyed to any color, so
      too, according to an ancient Japanese saying, must wives be willing
      to be "dyed in any color their husbands may choose".[34]

      Yet another use of hemp in Japan was in ceremonial purification rites
      for driving away evil spirits. As already mentioned, in China evil
      spirits were banished from the bodies of the sick by banging rods
      made from hemp against the head of the sickbed. In Japan, Shinto
      priests performed a similar rite with a gohei, a short stick with
      undyed hemp fibers (for purity) attached to one end. According to
      Shinto beliefs, evil and impurity cannot exist alongside one another,
      and so, by waving the gohei (purity) above someone's head the evil
      spirit inside him would be driven away.[35]
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