Namiwake and Gongen

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Wave-parting Fudo . 波分不動明王 .
Namiwake Fudo

at Temple Dainichibo, Yudonosan

When Kukai Kobo Daishi was on his way to China to study Buddhism, this Fudo saved the ship when he was travelling from the severe storm.
Now the statue is revered as protector of the fishing boats and granter of a good catch.

source : www.kotobuki-p.co.jp

Dainichiboo 大日坊 Dainichi Bo

Yudonosan 湯殿山 ranks with Ise and Kumano as one of the three great sacred places in Japan. From ancient times, it was called the “unspeakable mountain”, and there was a strict religious commandment forbidding anyone to speak of the sacredness of Yudonosan.

Dainichibo was founded in the second year of Daido (AD 807) by Kukai Kobo-Daishi. The correct title of the temple is Yudonosan-Ryusuiji-Kongoin, and in fact, “Dainichibo” is the main hall of the temple though we usually recognize it as the generic name of the temple.

In the 19th year of Keicho (AD 1614), Kongoin-Ryusuiji was dedicated as an inner shrine of Ise. Dainichi-Nyorai (Mahavirocana) was enshrined in Dainichibo where many priests belonged, and Dainichibo flourished as the main hall of the temple.

Since women used to be forbidden to visit Yudonosan, Kukai Kobo-Daishi founded this temple for them to worship Yudonosan-Daigongen out of pity. This is the beginning of the temple, Yudonosan-Dainichibo.
The temple has suffered a number of misfortunes such as Haibutsu-Kishaku, a fire, and a landslide, but has continued to maintain its religious traditions for 1,200 years. Today the chief prieast covers 95 generations.
source :  www.dainichibou.or.jp


source : www.tohoku36fudo.jp

Nr. 02 Yudonosan 02 湯殿山 大日坊 - Dainichi-Bo
御瀧大聖不動明王 - O-Taki Daisho Fudo Myo-O
Honorable Fudo at the Waterfall

Nyūdō-11 Ōami, Tsuruoka-shi, Yamagata

Its original name was
It was the last temple on the pilgrimage to Yudono san where female pilgrims were allowed.

- Chant of the temple
みちのくの 湯殿の秘奥 たらちねの 
慈悲のみすがた ここに御不動

source : dainichibou.or.jp - treasures

お瀧に大聖不動明王(交通安全・厄難消除)Fudo and the Waterfall
with amulets for safety on the road and protection from evil influences

shuin 朱印 stamp of the temple

- - - - Yearly Festivals
1月 1日 元旦祈祷会
1月 3日 大黒天祭
1月 5日 大般若祭
1月 7日 七草祭
如月 2月 3日 節分/星祭り 節分の豆まきです。
2月 初午
弥生 3月 15日 釈尊ねはん祭
卯月 4月 8日 釈尊花まつり
4月 21日 大師御縁日(初大師)
水無月 6月 1日 湯殿山と大日坊お山開き
文月 7月 14日 湯殿山大網遍照講大祭
葉月 8月 14日 うら盆会/真如海上人入定御縁日
8月 30日 八朔大祭
師走 12月 9日 大黒様年夜
12月 31日 行く年くる年/除夜の鐘

- Homepage of the temple
- source : www.dainichibou.or.jp

. . Pilgrimages to Fudo Temples in Tohoku 不動明王巡礼
Fudo Myo-O Junrei - Introduction .   .


This kind of Namiwake Fudo is also worshipped at the Shrine
Funatama Jinja in Hakodate, Hokkaido.
Funadama Jinja 「船魂神社(ふなだまじんじゃ)」

CLICK for more photos

The high priest Ryonin came here and built a temple dedicated to Kannon in order to spread the Yuzu Nenbutsu Buddhism, saying that this place is designated as holy by the Goddess of Mercy. The temple is said to have originated in 1135 and to be the oldest one in Hokkaido, but this has not been confirmed.
There is also a legend that when Yoshitsune Minamoto came from Tsugaru, his ship was in danger of being ship wrecked, but was saved by virture of Funadama' s gracious diety.

This temple used to be called Kannondo (a temple dedicated to Kannon) but was renamed Funadama Gracious Diety at the end of the Edo period. The Funadama Shrine became a villege shrine in 1879. As the main building of the Shinto shrine, rebuilt in 1892 , was ravaged by a disastrous fire in 1907, the object of worship was temporarily removed to the Hakodate Hachiman Shrine in Yachigashiracho.
The main shrine was built in 1932. The present building was built in 1962.
source :  The city of Hakodate


At the Temple Dainichi-Bo there are many more interesting statues, here I want to introduce just two more Gongen types.

Ii no Yama, Byaku-I Gongen 飯山白衣権現

This statue is said to be more than 1000 years old. It is in fact a White Kannon (byaku-i Kannon) with a strong female aspect. Women come to this statue to pray for an easy birth and healthy children.

Izuna Gongen, Iizuna no Gongen 飯網の権現

This is an incarnation of the Fox Deity, Inari. People pray to him for a bountiful harvest and good luck in business. He looks like a Tengu, a long-nosed goblin.
Some Yamabushi sects thin Iizuna (Izuna) is the original Japanese form (honji) of Fudo Myo-0, especially at Mt. Takao near Tokyo.

. Izuna Daigongen 飯縄大権現 at Mt. Takao  
Fudo with the face of Garuda

飯縄不動尊 Izuna Fudo Son
. Tengu and Fudo Myo-o 天狗と不動明王 .

source : www.kotobuki-p.co.jp

Here is a modern version of Iizuna Gongen :

In the Nanbokucho era, Shungen of Godaiji-temple in Kyoto entered Mt.Takao (near Hachioji in Tokyo). It is said that he was manifested by Iizuna Gongen. Since then, Mt. Takao has been the principal place of Iizuna Gongen belief, however, mountaineering ascetic is originally the religion which came from the area of Mt. Iizuna, Mt. Togakushi in Shinshu. He has the same style of Akiba Gongen.

Akibagongen 秋葉権現 Akiba Gongen
Born in 799 the name is 周国 Kanekuni, he became a priest when he was a little child. He lived in a temple in Zaoo-do in Tochio-city in Niigata prefecture. He was a mountaineering ascetic believing Iizuna Gongen. He was commonly called Sanjaku-bou (small monk 三尺坊権現(さんじゃくぼうごんげん)) because he was small. When he attained Fudou Zanmai Hou he got manifested by a black bird with golden wings holding a sword and a rope in the flame of fire. It is said that he went down to Akiba Yama in Shizuoka-prefecture riding on a white fox for himself. He became the god for calming fire
source : www.butuzou.co.jp : kurita

Akiba Gongen

Sanjaku-Bo Priest Kanekuni (三尺坊 Sanshakubo)

. 成就院(たこ薬師)Temple Joju-In .
Meguro, Tokyo, with a statue of Akiba Daigongen 秋葉大権現

. Master Carver Enku 円空 .

. 秋葉山 Akibayama, Akiba Yama and
Karasu Tengu 烏天狗 .

Iconographically, Izuna Gongen is usually depicted in a form resembling that of a tengu (a mythical winged demon with long nose believed to live deep in the mountains), and riding upon a white fox, a depiction resembling that of the deity Akiba Gongen (Sanshaku Gongen).

Since Akiba Gongen is also believed to have originated in the Mt. Izuna and Togakushi area, the two deities are obviously closely related. Since the Buddhist counterpart (honji or "original essence"; see honji suijaku) of Izuna Gongen is said to be the bodhisattva Jizō (Sk. Ksitigarbha), the cult displays a mutual influence with the Atago cult (which involved an amalgamation with Shōgun Jizō or "Jizō of victory"). As a result, the deities are often referred to by the conjoined name Izuna-Atago.

The Izuna cult also underwent combination from an early period with the cult of the Buddhist deity Dakini (Sk. Dakini), and a kind of magical technique was adopted from the medieval period involving the use of foxes as spirit familiars. This belief spread even among members of the court and warriors; the deputy shogun Hosokawa Masamoto (1466-1507) was known to have practiced the Izuna-Atago techniques (ref., Ashikaga kiseiki, Jūhen Ōninki), and the imperial regent Kujō Tanemichi (1509-1097) is likewise said to have studied Izuna practices (ref., Matsunaga Teitoku, Taionki).
Such practices involving on the control of spirit familiars of foxes (kitsune tsukai) later came to be called izuna tsukai.

The Izuna cult came to be associated with military arts as well, and Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin are known to have shown strong devotion to Izuna Gongen as a martial tutelary.
The school of Japanese fencing called Shintō Munenryū is also said to have originated at Mt. Izuna. In addition to Mt. Izuna in Nagano, Izuna Gongen can be found enshrined at Yakuōin on Mt. Takao (in Hachiōji, Tokyo), Hinagadake in Gifu, and Mt. Izuna in Sendai.

The Izuna Gongen of Sendai goes by the name Izuna Saburō, and is particularly well known as one of the "three tengū of Japan." Some scholars have suggested that belief in this tengu was responsible for the Izuna cult.
source :  Itō Satoshi . Kokugakuin University.

. The Atago shrines of Japan .

CLICK for more English information
Izuna Gongen

Izuna Gongen Hall at Mt. Takao .. CLICK for more photos
Izuna Gongen Hall at Mt. Takao

More Reference : Izuna Gongen


Yoshino Minasugi Kozakuraboo 吉野皆杉 小桜坊 
Yoshino Minasugi Kozakura-Bo

source : sakuramotobou.or.jp/about/akiba-daigongen
吉野皆杉 小桜坊(よしのみなすぎ こざくらぼう)
Yoshino Minasugi Kozakura-Bo
南無秋葉大権現 Namu Akiba Daigongen


Sakuramotobo 桜本坊 Sakuramoto-Bo Temple
With a statue of 秋葉大天狗 Akiba Daitengu, who protects the cherry blossoms and its viewers on Mount Yoshino.

井光山五臺寺 / 吉野郡吉野町吉野山1269
- HP of the temple : sakuramotobou.or.jp -

Kozakurabo is one of the
. 四十八天狗 48 Tengu of Japan .

. Yoshinoyama 吉野山 and the Cherry Trees .


This Fudo is a bit different from the
Namikiri Fudo . 波切不動, the Wave-cutting Fudo.


External LINK

Gongen (Avatars) of Japan
Mark Schumacher


. Dakiniten (Vajra Daakini) 荼枳尼天 .

Dainichi Bo and the Living Mummies of Japan

TENGU and DARUMA 天狗 Long-Nosed Goblins

Inari 稲荷 - The Fox God Cult Kitsune, the animal fox.

Konpira Daigongen . 金毘羅大権現 Kompira Daigongen

Zao Gongen 蔵王権現

Akiba Sama 秋葉様 in Akita 十和田市栃ノ沢 Tochinosawa (Towada town)
. Sake 酒 rice wine for rituals and festivals .

. . Pilgrimages to Fudo Temples 不動明王巡礼
Fudo Myo-O Junrei - Introduction .   .


. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .

kamikaze ya meshi o horidasu aki no yama

this wind a god
digging food from the earth
on a mountain in fall

This hokku is from the ninth month (October) in 1818, when Issa was staying in areas not far from his hometown. Judging from the previous hokku in Issa's diary, which is very similar to this hokku, the mountain is Mt. Iizuna (also Izuna), located not far from Zenkoji Temple. It is also a mountain that, for better or worse, was used as the site of some outdoor events at the Nagano winter Olympics. It is visible from Issa's hometown and, along with nearby Mount Togakushi, was in Issa's time a sacred mountain and a major site of Yamabushi mountain monk austerities and rituals, so when Issa writes "god-wind" (kamikaze) he is referring to the god of the mountain appearing in the form of wind.

At first glance the hokku seems a bit arcane, but it refers to well-known legends about the mountain that most readers in Issa's hometown area would have known. The name of the mountain is now usually written with characters meaning "Food-Rope Mountain," but in the previous hokku in his diary Issa uses phonetic hiragana symbols for Izuna, presumably because he is referring to older characters (飯砂山) which mean Edible Sand Mountain, a reference to the fungal microorganisms that grow in large clusters just under the surface of much of the soil on its slopes. When exposed by the weather or dug up, these tiny microorganisms resemble grains of brown barley, rice, or sand that are stuck together. The microorganisms are edible, though they have been shown to lack nutritional value. However, traditionally they were believed to be nutritious and were commonly called "the Tengu's boiled rice and barley."

The term Tengu refers to the minor mountain god who protects the god of Mt. Izuna, and he is often described as if he were a part or a form of the mountain god himself. The mountain god, named Iizuna Gongen, or Iizuna (Edible Sand) Avatar, is believed to be an avatar of Dainichi (Vairochana), the great Sun Buddha. The Tengu protector-god's name is Izuna Saburō, and he is one of the eight most famous and powerful Tengu mountain-protecting gods in Japan. Representations of him can be seen at the link below surrounded by flames as he stands on a white fox, his shamanic familiar or helper. The Yamabushi mountain monks who worshiped and did austerities on Mount Iizuna referred to both the Tengu and his fox as dakini, a name used for minor protective gods and goddesses in Indian Buddhism. The avatar-god of the mountain was believed to be both fierce and compassionate, and in times of famine he was believed to ask his Tengu-god helper to carry the edible sand that grew in his mountain-body to areas where starving farmers could find it and survive by eating it.

In the hokku Issa seems to be on or at the foot of the mountain. He can feel an autumn wind blowing, a wind that is also carrying away away loose topsoil, and in one place the wind has uncovered an area grainy particles resembling sand or boiled rice and barley that had been growing underground. The mountain god, as a manifestation of the Sun Buddha, was imagined in terms of strong spiritual light and flames that cut through human delusions, and the god was therefore said to feel hot and to cool itself by having one part of itself, its Tengu helper god, blow cool mountain winds over the mountain. Issa seems to feel that the autumn wind is the motion of the mountain god cooling off, and at the same time the god is mercifully blowing away topsoil and digging up edible "sand" out of its own divine body -- the mountain -- for the sake, presumably, of local farmers in case the fall harvest is a poor one.

Chris Drake

. kamikaze 神風 the divine wind .


- #iizunagongen -


Gabi Greve said...

Namiwake Jinja 浪分神社 Sendai

"Shrine where the waves parted"

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Izuna Fudo Son 飯縄不動尊 is venerated

Hooshoo-In 宝勝院 Hosho-In - Isumi Fudo 夷隅不動
夷隅郡夷隅町苅谷307 - 307 Kariya, Isumi, Chiba

Sainosan 幸野山 Shoo-oo-Ji 聖王寺 Sho-O-Ji

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Akiba Sajakubo - 秋葉三尺坊大権現 - Akiba Gongen

painting by 白隠禅師

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Yamanaka Yakushi 山中薬師, Gifu
瑠璃山医王寺 Rurisan Io-Ji

The main lodging of Ochiai village is run by the 本陣井口家 Iguchi family.
It is said a traveller was told the secret of the medicine by the deity 秋葉大明神 Akiba Daimyojin.

Gabi Greve said...

funadama 船玉 / 船霊 / 船魂 guardian deity of a boat
funadama san 船玉さん / フナダマサン / funatama フナタマ


Gabi Greve said...

Akiba Kaido 秋葉街道 Akiba Highway
遠信古道 Enshu Kodo
Now mostly along the National Hiahway 152.
信州街道 Shinshu Kaido in Shizuoka.

秋葉山本宮秋葉神社(あきはさん ほんぐう あきはじんじゃ)Akiha san Hongu Akiha Jinja