O-Take Nyorai

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.. .. .. .. .. .. O-Take Nyorai お竹如来

This haiku by Issa started my search.

suzumego ya otake nyorai no nagashimoto

baby sparrow
is O-Take Buddha
at the sink

R.H. Blyth explains that "O-Take Buddha" refers to a servant who was legendary for being frugal, never throwing away a single grain of rice. The baby sparrow at the sink is eating crumbs, much like its namesake.

Sakuo Nakamura/David Lanoue


Original with more Japanese monsters
© kaibutsu


O-Take was a servant of the Sakuma family, in the later half of the 17th century in Otenma-Cho in Edo. Her favorite word was "Mottainai" "How wasteful". She never wasted a grain of rice or a stem of a vegetable.

One day, a group of mountain ascetics from Yamagata came visiting this home. They had had a revelation telling them to look for a Nyorai Buddha here in Otenma-Cho in Edo, at the home of the Sakuma family. When they asked for the Buddha, the owner of the Sakuma home cound not understand. When the mountain ascetics walked around the house, they saw a servant picking up grains and saw a light like the halo of a buddha from her waist upward. Now they knew they had found their Nyorai incarnation.

O-Take died on May 19 in 1680 and was burried in Asakusa at the temple Zentoku-Ji 善徳寺.

On the red flag behind this stone Buddha you can read:
For good luck and fortune : O-Take Nyorai

The anniversary of the death of O-Take is on May 19. Every year on the first sunday after that day, there is a ceremony in her honor. The story of O-Take became quite famous during the end of the Edo period and fascinated the people. It was often told during lecture performances, subject of woodblock prints and even made into a Kabuki play.

CLICK for original LINK
「開運招福 お竹如来」
© Temple Zentoku-Ji 善徳寺

O-Take gave her own food to the cats and sparrows of the home. She lived off the grains of rice saved in a net of the sink. She always said the Amida Prayer when she worked.

ORIGINAL from old stories of EDO
© mukashibanashi

WKD: Namu Amida Butsu, the Amida Prayer


Stories and publications about O-Take Nyorai

「於竹大日如来縁起絵巻」 資料:



『お竹大日如来』(羽黒山叢書) 荒沢寺正善院/編

『於竹大日如来縁起絵巻』(3巻本) 嘉永2年(1849)、喜多武清/監修

『於竹大日如来霊宝之語』 嘉永2年(1849)
金剛樹院/蔵 ([戸川 1991a]に翻刻)





... ... ... 於竹大日如来 井戸跡

Well where the ascetics saw O-Take Nyorai




More about Nyorai Buddhas of Japan !!!!!

Back to the Daruma Museum Index

World Kigo Database


Unknown said...

I was suprised very much.
I will visit to the well near that I have lived in before.
At the time of issa staying in Edo,
Otake-san was populare Nyorai-sana whom people beloved much.

Thank you, Gabi san.


Anonymous said...

are you standing guard
like O-Take Buddha?
mountain cuckoo

mamoru ka yo otake nyorai no kankodori


by Issa, 1815

O-Take Buddha was a loyal servant.

Tr. David Lanoue

Anonymous said...

picking up rice
from the tiled floor
not one grain too many

Ella Wagemakers

Anonymous said...

Gabi san, thank you for your kind information on Otake Nyorai Buddha.

At your blog I found this sentence.
O-Take was a servant of the Sakuma family, in the later half of the 17th century in Otenma-Cho in Edo. Her favorite word was "Mottainai" "How wasteful". She never wasted a grain of rice or a stem of a vegetable.

"Mottainai" "How wasteful", they are very important Key phrase as the economical philosophy that has supported peasant and merchant in Edo era.
We have grown up under the same catch phrase "don't do the wasteful deed".

Edo life has been basically circulation system.
And this catch copy has been popular and alive till 1970th in Japan.

Now Otake san's spirit is necessary under 100 dollars /barrel.
And every country must keep reducing the volume of CO2 discharge.

Here I will recommend to all of you, praying Otake san and Issa san.


haiku-shelf (Angelika Wienert) said...

very interesting, Gabi!

thanks a lot for all your informations!

best wishes,

Gabi Greve said...

Thanks to all for visiting my O-Take Nyorai sama !


『Behold My Swarthy Face。』 said...

Thank you so much! It's so hard to find anything on the O-take dainichi!


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

羽黒山 Hagurosan 正善院 Shozen-In - 荒沢不動尊 Arasawa Fudo
Kootakuji 荒沢寺 Kotaku-Ji, Kotakuji
and the Fudo Myo-O Pilgrimage in Tohoku