Showing posts with label who is who. Show all posts
Showing posts with label who is who. Show all posts


Kankiten (Ganesh)


Kankiten (Kangiten 歓喜天, also
Shooten 聖天;
Vinaayaka, Nandikeshvara, Ganesh)

kigo for the New Year

Hatsu Shooten 初聖天 (はつしょうてん)
First Ceremony for Shoten

CLICK for more photos


Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity of Hinduism, is the son of Shiva and Paarvati. He is the brother of Idaten.
He moves freely in the 3000 realms and is lord of 9800 demons.

The Japanese name "Daishoo Kangiten" is the pronounciation of the "Ganabachi" (Ganesh).

He belongs to the group of TEN deities (tenbu 天部) in Japanese Buddhism.

In esoteric Buddhism this deity is often shown as two human-like figures with an elephant head, embracing each other. As such, they are venerated with prayers for good marriage and children. The male deity is thought of as the oldes son of Daijizaiten 大自在天, the "great wild god" Daiboojin 大暴神).

To calm this wild god, the female is an incarnation of the eleven-headed Kannon Bosatsu, who converted this wild god to Buddhism. She is capable of intensive meditation (kanjin) and thus calms his wildness. So the name of these two is "Deity of Joy" (Kankiten, Kangiten).

The statues of these embracing deities are usually not shown to the public, because of the sexual implication. Thye are kept in separate shrines behind closed doors, the so-called Secret Statues (hibutsu 秘仏).

There are more than 250 temples in Japan, where Ganesh is venerated.
In Kamakura at the temple Hookaij-Ji 宝戒寺 is a Kangiten Hall where you find the oldest statue of a Kankiten in Japan. He is said to be especially powerful and therefore kept locked in a tabernakel since 1333. This is located in a separate hall for the deity.

In special exorcistic rituals of these deities the statues are usually poored over with oil, mostly hot oil.

Kankiten statues are also venerated from people in the restaurant business.

... ... ... Iconography

Body of a human being with an elephant head. Dressed like figures of a bosatsu. Sometime holding weapons, more often a large raddish (daikon大根) with two roots.

The elephant head of the male (nanten 男天) is placed on the right shoulder of the female (nyoten 女天), the head of the woman placed on the read shoulder of the male. So we can only see the back of the statues. The female wears jewelery on the head. Their feet are opposite each other, the female stepping on the toes of the male. Their hands are at the hips of each other.

In Mongolian statues, Ganesh is often depicted with a flame-halo.
Indian statues of Ganesh depict him standing on a rat.

Gabi Greve

Read about my encounter with the Kanki-Ten in Kamakura

Ganesh The elelphant-headed god in the India Saijiki

... ... ... ... ...

You can get this statue online here:
(C) Kurita Trading CO.,LTD 栗田貿易有限会社


At Miyajima, Japan

They are unusual because the statues represent Hindu gods, something generally not seen in Japan.

Ganesh Worship in Japan by Satish Purohit includes:

Scholars commonly date the presence of Ganesha in Japan with the age of Kukai (774- 834), the founder of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. The centrality of the worship of Ganesha or Vinayaka or Kangiten, as he is popularly called in Japan, is a distinguishing feature of this cult. The doctrines, rituals and beliefs of the sect have a number of parallels with the cult of Ganpatyas, to which belonged saints like Gajanan Maharaj of Shegao, Maharashtra.

Ganesha’s most popular form in Japan is the dual-Vinayaka or the Embracing Kangi. Two tall figures, elephant headed but human bodied, male and female, stand in embrace. The female wears a jeweled crown, a patched monks robe and a red surplice.

He appears in the Ryoukai mandara 両界 曼荼羅 as an elephant-headed deity called Binayakaten 毘那夜迦天. In China and Japan he came to be revered under the the name of Kangiten. Although in texts, two, four and six-armed forms are mentioned, in Japan Kangiten is usually shown as a pair of two-armed, elephant-headed deities in embrace. Images of Kangiten are rare and many are kept as secret images in temples and shrines. Many are small, and made of metal because his ritual involves pouring oil over the images. The ritual associated with Kangiten was secret and was part of other ritual observances, such as the goshichinichi no mishuhou 後七日の御修法 . In popular worship he signifies conjugal harmony and long life.

There is an iconographic drawing of Kangiten in Touji 東寺, Kyoto, by Chinkai 珍海 (1091-1152).
Copyright © 2004 Craig D. Rice, Ameeta Sony, and the UniYatra Group

... ... ...

Lord Ganesha: The mystery of His marital status

A very long collection of many interresting episodes around Ganesh.
The most detailed you will find on the WWW.


The Shooten Hall at Ashigara Pass



The Temple Yakuri-ji, Nr. 85 of the Shikoku Pilgrimage  

One attraction of this temple is Kanki-ten, a Buddhist guardian divinity enshrined in Shooten-doo Hall. Kanki-ten, meaning "gods in ecstasy", is actually an elephant-headed god and goddess in an inseparable embrace, a motif of Ganesh of Hindu iconography adopted along with Buddhism. They are believed to share their pleasure with their worshippers, also bringing them marital happiness, family well-being and success in business. They attaract many people when the fire ceremony is performed on the 1st and the 16th of every month, even though they are open to the public only once every 50 years.

Yakuri Temple, by Gabi Greve


Ganesh standing on a rat
source :

Kankiten (Kangiten, auch Shooten; Vinaayaka, Nandikeshvara, Ganesh)

Sohn des Shiva und der Paarvati: der elefantenköpfige Ganesh. Bruder des Idaten.
Shooten bewegt sich frei in 3000 Welten, regiert über 9800 Dämonen und hat besonders große Macht.
Abkürzung für "Daishoo Kangiten", vom Laut her "Ganabachi" (Ganesh) im Japanischen. Schutzgottheit der Magie und der Gelehrsamkeit.

Im esoterischen Buddhismus zwei Menschenfiguren (Mann und Frau) mit Elefantenköpfen, in harmonischer Umarmung, als Gottheit für Kindersegen und Ehefrieden verehrt. Der männliche Gott ist dabei der älteste Sohn des Daijizaiten, der "große, wilde Gott" (Daiboojin). Um ihn zu beschwichtigen, ist der weibliche Gott eine Inkarnation der Elfköpfigen Kannon, um den wilden Gott zum Buddhismus zu bekehren. Durch ihre Fähigkeit zur intensiven Meditation (kanjin) beruhigt sie die Wildheit, daher auch der Name "Freuden-Gott" (Kankiten).

Diese Figuren in gegenseitiger Umarmung werden im allgemeinen wegen ihrer sexuellen Anspielung nicht der Öffentlichkeit gezeigt und bleiben hinter verschlossenen Schreintüren, als sogenannte "Geheime Statuen" (hibutsu). Der Shooten des Tempels Hookaiji in Kamakura, die älteste Kankiten-Statue Japans, ist besonders mächtig und seine Statue ist seit 1333 in einem Tabernakel verschlossen.

Im Kult werden kleine Metallstatuen mit Öl übergossen, bei exorzistischen Riten sogar mit heißem Öl.

Häufig im Restaurationsgewerbe verehrt.

..... Ikonografie:
Menschenkörper mit einem Elefantenkopf. Gekleidet wie Bosatsu~figuren. Mit Waffen oder einem großen, gegabelten Rettich in der Hand.

Bei zwei Figuren liegt der Elefantenkopf des Mannes (Nanten) auf der rechten Schulter der Frau (Nyoten); der Kopf der Frau auf der rechten Schulter des Mannes. Von beiden sieht man nur den Rücken. Die Frau trägt Schmuck um den Kopf. Die Füße stehen sich gegenüber, die Frau tritt auf die Zehen des Mannes. Die Hände liegen jeweils an den Hüften des Partners.

In mongolischen Darstellungen hat Ganesh oft einen Flammen-Nimbus.

Quoted from : Gabi Greve : Buddhastatuen – Who is Who


Read Mark Schumacher about the Tenbu Group

Japanese Links




miyage ni kau meoto manjuu hatsu shooten

as a souvenir I buy
rice cakes for a good couple -
first Shoten ceremony

Sekido Takahiro 関戸高敬

meoto manjuu 夫婦饅頭 rice cakes for a good couple


歓喜寺 Kanki-Ji (Kangi-Ji) -佐渡市 Sado - Niigata
. Sake Legends and Buddhist Temples 酒とお寺 .

. Meoto Daruma 夫婦だるま good couples and Daruma  

Alphabetical Index of the Daruma Museum

INDIA Saijiki - Ganesh, Ganapathy [Vighneswara]

. WKD : New Year Ceremonies



Godai and Mishiho


The Five Great Elements of the Universe
godai ...

The theory about the five elements which comprize the universe is already stated in old Chinese texte, see an extensive report about the Five Elements in China the Wikipedia.

In a traditional Japanese grave stone, these five elements are represented as
gorin, the five layers, in the following order:

the earth layer (chirin 地輪), a square
the water layer (suirin 水輪), a spherical shape
the fire layer (karin 水輪), a triangular shape
the wind layer (fuurin 風輪, a half-moon shape
the space layer (kuurin 風輪), gem-shaped

Note that in Buddhism, the METAL layer is replaced by 空, the space.

Read Mark Schumacher about the
Five Elements of a Grave Pagoda .


The Five Great Buddhas of Wisdom Godai Nyorai 五大如来

Especially important to the Shingon Sect of Esoteric Buddhsim, these five Tathagata are eminations of the absolute Buddha. They appear frequently on the Japanese Mandala. They embody five fundamental wisdoms -- wisdom against anger, envy, desire, ignorance, and pride -- to help us break free from the cycle of death and rebirth, or the Six States of Existence (i.e., the cycle of suffering, Sanskrit = samsara).
Each of the five has a specific Mudra (hand gesture) that corresponds to one of five defining episodes in the life of the Historical Buddha.
Each of the five is also associated with a direction (north, south, east, west, center/zenith).

Dainichi Nyorai (Vairocana or Mahavairocana)
..... Center (Zenith)
Fukujoju Nyorai (Amoghasiddhi) North
Hosho Nyorai (Ratnasambhava) South
Ashuku Nyorai (Akshobhya) East
Amida (Amitabha) West

Read more from Mark Schumacher:
5 Tathagata


. Godai Myo-O 五大明王 Five Great Myo-O
Godai-son 五大尊 Five Great Wisdom Kings .


The Great Ritual for the
Wellbeing of the Imperial House

Go-shichinichi mishiho 後七日御修法(ごしちにちのみしほ)

In 834 (Joowa 1), Kuukai received imperial permission to perform the yearly "latter seven-day ritual" (goshichinichi no mishiho), held from the eighth to the fourteenth of the first month at the court, later at the temple Tooji in Kyoto. In this ritual too, the five great Wisdom Kings where in the center of the rituals. The statues used at To-Ji are said to be the oldest ones of this kind in Japan, made by order of Kuukai (Kooboo Daishi).
Before the Meiji Restauration, this ceremony had taken place at the Imperial Palace.

Here is a quote from the Tokyo National Museum:
The Twelve Devas in the Kyoto National Museum were formerly owned by Tô-ji (Kyôôgokoku-ji) Temple in Kyoto. Beginning in the Heian period, they were used together with the paintings of the Five Great Myôô (J. Godaison), which are still part of the temple collection.

The event in which they appeared was an esoteric New Year's rite held inside the Shingon-in, a chapel within the imperial palace. In this important annual ceremony, called the
"Latter Seven Day's Rite" (J. Goshichinichi no mishiho),
which was carried out under the supervision of successive generations of senior Tô-ji abbots, prayers were given for the tranquility of the emperor, the protection of the nation, and bountiful harvests.

Although it is said that the rite was begun by Kûkai (774-835, posthumously known as Kôbô Daishi), patriarch of Japan's esoteric Shingon sect, it was not actually established until after his death. During the ritual, large paintings of the Mandalas of the Two Worlds (J. Ryôkai mandara) hung in the hall of Shingon-in, graced on both sides by the Five Great Myôô and the Twelve Devas. These images were copied many times over.

observance kigo for the New Year
Shigonin no mishiho 真言院の御修法 Mishiho ritual at Shingon-In
From January 8 to 14.
At the temple Shingon-In of the Imperial Court.


observance kigo for the late spring
Enryaku-Ji mishiho 延暦寺御修法 Mishiho ritual at temple Enryaku-Ji
From April 4 to 11.

. Enryakuji 延暦寺 Temple Enryaku-ji) .
Tendai Sect Main Temple, Shiga


These five are the terrible threatening incarnations of the Nyorai Buddhas. They dissolve the bad influences in all the directions. A previous version of this power are the

Five Bosatsu of Great Power (godairiki Bosatsu五大力菩薩)

五大力菩薩は、千宝相輪を持った金剛吼、金剛灯を持つ竜王吼、金剛杵を持つ無畏十力吼、 千宝羅網を持つ雷電吼・五千剣輪を持つ無量力吼の恐ろしい忿怒(ふんぬ)の 形相すさまじい五菩薩の総称です。中国で訳された『仁王般若波羅蜜経』によりますと、 三宝(仏・法・僧)を護持する国王に対して、自ら赴いてその国を守護する仏であると 説かれています。
そのため、奈良時代から五大力菩薩を本尊として鎮護国家・万民豊楽を祈る 「仁王会(にんのうえ)」が盛んに行われました。


Five bodhisattvas enumerated in the Benevolent Kings Sutra. According to Kumarajiva's Chinese translation, they are Diamond Roar, Dragon King's Roar, Roar of Fearlessness and Ten Powers, Thunderbolt Roar, and Infinitely Powerful Roar.
Pu-k'ung's Chinese translation lists them as Diamond Hand, Diamond Treasure, Diamond Benefit, Diamond Yaksha, and Diamond Paramita. According to the sutra, if a ruler embraces the three treasures of Buddhism, namely, the Buddha, his teachings, and the Order-the community of believers who protect and transmit the Buddha's teachings-these five powerful bodhisattvas will protect him and the people of his country.

They are also called the Five Bosatsu of the Five Directions (gohoo bosatsu 五方菩薩) or
the Five Powerfull Roars (godairiki ku 五大力吼).
Later the five Myo-O replaced this group.

「五大力さん」として名高い醍醐寺の仁王会は、毎年2月23日に修され、参拝者には五大力菩薩のお札が授与され、盗難除けや災難身代わりの護符 gofu として祀られます。

金剛吼 ... 千宝相の輪 ... Kongoo Ku
竜王吼 ... 金輪灯 ... Ryuu-oo Ku
無畏十力吼 ... 金剛杵 ... Mui Juuriki Ku
雷電吼 ... 千宝の羅網 ... Raiden Ku
無量力吼 ... 5000の剣輪 ... Muyrooriki Ku


Before distribution 23rd of February, amulets called "Godairiki Mie" are substantiated through the prayer by Buddhist priest for a week at the Dodaido-hall in the Kami-Daigo area.

. Fudo Myo-O Gofu 不動明王の護符 talisman .

.. .. .. .. ..

In another esoteric translation, they are called:

Center : Kongoo Haramitta 金剛波羅蜜多
East : Kongooju 金剛手
West : Kongoori 金剛利
South : Kongoohoo 金剛宝
North : Kongoo Yasha 金剛薬叉

Kongoo Haramitta is expecially evoked when the country is in trouble from enemies, earthquakes or other natural catastrophies.


Five Secret Bosatsu, Go Himitsu Bosatsu 五秘密菩薩曼荼羅
Mandala of the Five Secret Bosatsu


Kongoo Satta ... Skincolor 金剛薩垂
Mankongoo ... Yellow ... 慢金剛
Shokukongoo ... White ... 燈金剛
Yokukongoo ... Red ... 欲金剛
Aikongoo ... Green ... 愛金剛

They represent the four carnal lusts of humankind:

man (maana) = arrogant behaviour
shoku (sparsa) = clinging to material things
yoku (kaama) = longing for things
ai (trsna) = sexual lust

Kongoo Satta (the Diamond Being), also called Vajrasattva, is the second of the eight patriarchs of the Shingon sect. He is also called "Diamond Hand" (Kongoo shu bosatsu金剛手菩薩) or "Keeper of the Secret" (himitsu shu 秘密手). He is an incarnation of Fugen Bosatsu.
He is the only male bosatsu in this group of five.


. Godairiki-San 五大力さん .
At temple Daigo-Ji 醍醐寺, Kyoto.

Festival on February 23.

.Godairiki - Festival on February 23. .
--- A famous Kabuki play
Godairiki Koi no Fujime 五大力恋絨 (ごだいりきこいのふうじめ)
Five Great Powers That Secure Love
Godairiki koi no fûji


 - - Miyamoto Musashi 宮本武蔵

In 1640 Musashi accepted service with the Hosokawa clan, and three years later, in Higo Province, began work on his great book, Gorin no shô (The Book of Five Rings).
He finished this influential work on swordsmanship in May 1645 - the same year he died.


Fünf Bosatsu Gewaltiger Kraft (Godairiki Bosatsu)
Figuren des esoterischen Buddhismus.

Auch "Bosatsu der fünf Richtungen" (Gohoo Bosatsu) oder "Fünf gewaltige Ausrufe" (Godairiki Ku) genannt.
Sutra: Prajnaapaaramitaasuutra (Ninnoogyoo).
Zunächst Statuen mit mildem, später mit furchterregendem Gesichtsausdruck. Dann möglicherweise durch fünf Myo-O-Statuen ersetzt.
Sie beschützen in Japan die drei heiligen Staatsschätze. Bei der Zeremonie Ninnoo-e im Tempel Daigoji sind sie der Hauptgegenstand der Verehrung.

In der Edo-Zeit schrieben Frauen auf das Siegel von Briefen und Paketen "Godairiki", um den Inhalt vor den Augen Unbefugter und vor Diebstahl zu schützen.
Der Ausruf "Godairiki" soll vor allerlei Unheil schützen; er wurde daher auf Tabaksbeutel geschrieben, in Haarnadeln, Pfeifenhälse und kleine Schwerter eingeritzt und auf die Rückseite von Shamisen-Instrumenten geschrieben. Diese Gegenstände waren besonders auf Reisen sehr beliebt, da sie die sichere Rückkehr zur Ehefrau versprachen.

Eine große sitzende Statue auf einem Lotussockel, umgeben von vier stehenden Statuen mit einem Schritt-Sockel unter jedem Fuß. Alle mit nach oben abstehenden Haaren, ähnlich wie Fudoo Myoooo. Alle mit zwei Armen und drei Augen. Flammender Nimbus um Kopf und Körper.
Bei Bildern entweder alle fünf auf einem Bild oder fünf einzelne Bilder als Einheit.

Namen nach der klassischen Übersetzung:
Kongooku, Ryuuooku, Mui Juurikiku, Raidenku, Muryoorikiku.

Namen nach der esoterischen Übersetzung,
mit entsprechenden Nyorai, Bosatsu und Myoooo:

Zentrum: Kongoo Haramitta (Dainichi Nyorai, Tenhoorin Bosatsu, Fudoo Myoooo)
Osten: Kongooju (Ashuku Nyorai, Fugen Bosatsu, Goosanze Myoooo)
Westen: Kongoori (Amida Nyorai, Monju Bosatsu, Daiitoku Myoooo)
Süden: Kongooho (Hooju Nyorai, Kokuuzoo Bosatsu, Gundari Myoooo)
Norden: Kongoo Yasha (Fukuu Jooju Nyorai, Saiissaima Bosatsu, Kongoo Yasha Myoooo)«IP»
Kongoo Haramitta Bosatsu soll das Land retten, wenn es sich durch Aufruhr, Erdbeben oder andere Naturkatastrophen in Not befindet.


Fünf esoterische Bosatsu (Gohimitsu Bosatsu)

CLICK for more photos

Auch Mandala der Fünf Geheimnisvollen (Gohimitsu Mandara) genannt.
The boddhisattva of the five secrets
Figuren des esoterischen Buddhismus der Shingon-Sekte (Toomitsu).
Einheit mit einer großen sitzenden Bosatsu-Statue und vier kleine, sitzende Statuen im Hintergrund; Körper in fünf verschiedenen Farben.

Zentrale sitzende Statue: Kleine Statuen:
Kongô Satta (hautfarben)
Mankongoo (gelb)
Shokukongoo (weiß)
Yokukongoo (rot)
Aikongoo (grün)

Stellen die vier fleischlischen Gelüste der Menschen dar:
man (mâna) = Arroganz
shoku (sparsa) = Verhaftung
yoku (kâma) = Begierden
ai (trsna) = sexuelle Gelüste

.Buddhastatuen ... Who is Who   

Ein Wegweiser zur Ikonografie
von japanischen Buddhastatuen

Gabi Greve, 1994





Kobo Daishi, Kukai

[ . BACK to Worldkigo TOP . ]

Kobo Daishi Kukai 弘法大師 空海
(Kooboo Daishi, Kuukai) Kōbō Daishi Kūkai .. .. .. (774 - 835)

Founder of Shingon Japanese Esoteric Buddhism

For kigo about Kuukai see below.

Edited from an article by Koyu Sonoda:
There are few figures in Japanese history about whom such abundant biographies have been written as Kukai, popularly known by his posthumous title, Kobo Daishi.

Kukai was born in 774 in Sanuki Province on Shikoku. His birth name was Saeki no Mao. At seventeen he succeeded in entering the university. The trained his memory by using the Mantra of Akashagarbha.

In the autumn of 804, the first of the official diplomatic ships, in which Kukai was traveling, arrived in northeastern Fukien province in China. In the autumn of 806, Kukai returned to Japan.

Kukai's dazzling genius is graphically apparent in the calligraphy of a letter to Saicho (最澄), which is considered his greatest masterpiece.

He founded a temple on Mount Koya (高野山) in 816. Early in 823, Kukai was granted Toji (Too-ji 東寺), a temple situated at the entrance to Kyoto.

Kukai died on Mount Koya on April 23, 835, and it is believed that even now he remains in eternal samadhi in his bodily form within the inner shrine on the mountain.

Most ubiquitous are the tales about wells and springs associated with Kukai. A typical story is that in a certain village there was not sufficient water for irrigation, so the villagers had to be sparing in use of the water they drew from a far-off well. One day, there came passing through the village a traveling priest, who asked for a drink. The villagers willingly brought him one, whereupon the traveler, in thanks, struck the ground with his staff and a spring of water came gushing up. The traveler was in fact Kukai.

The best known of such activities is his direction of the reconstruction of the reservoir called Mannoike in Sanuki Province on Shikoku.

Read the complete story of his life here, please:

Safekeep Copy is here:

Kukai is often depicted on scolls or paintings seated, with a water container, a sprouted jar or water dropper or ritual ewer (kundika, Buddhist ritual sprinkler) beside him.

The vessel is probably best referred to as a ewer or kundika.
It references initiations (abhiseka [abhis'eka] ) in the historical transmission of Mikkyô. The Indian kundika (kun[.bel]d[.bel]ikâ ) was originally used for the royal accession ceremony for water from the four or five oceans poured on the head of the recipient; in Tantric traditions five ewers are often used. (Ennin received abhisekha from the master Yuanzheng 元政 with the Diamond World mandala then received the initiation of the Five Pitchers).

Read more about this discussion here:
© Cynthea Bogel / PMJS Group 2008

Read more about Kundika and Kendi:
The kendi is a well-known form in the Southeast Asian repertoire of vessels, and it has played a significant role in the rituals and daily life of the region since ancient times.
CLICK for enlargement
'Kendi' is a Malay word derived from the Sanskrit name 'kunda,' which came from 'kundika' a particular form of Indian vessel used as a container for liquids in both Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies.
Kendi in the Cultural Context of Southeast Asia
Dawn F. Rooney


Buddhist Artwork and Kobo Daishi
with more detailed information about Kukai by
source : Mark Schumacher


. Shikoku Henro Temple List 四国お遍路さん Henro Pilgrims .

. Legends about Kobo Daishi - 弘法大師 空海 - 伝説 .


Kobo Daishi for a modern need:

To bring children and good luck (like Daruma san).
子授招福大師 Kosazuke Daishi
An Offering from a Daishi Group in Osaka.
At the Temple Gokuraku-Ji, Nr. 2 in Shikoku.
修行大師像 平成十五年(2003年造像) 大阪極楽講同行による勧請、子授け招福をかなえて下さる修行大師様、 他の修行大師と違い子供を抱いておられるのが特徴 .

See my pictures Nr. 04 - 09 for more details.
... Photo Album Gabi Greve

Temples where to pray for conceiving of children. Usually Kannon or Jizo tend to that business. See
Child Protectors By Mark Schumacher

Here are many Japanese Temples for that purpose.
子授け寺・神社情報 へ

. Daishi Darani joo 大師陀羅尼錠 
Kobo Daishi Darani Medicine for stomach ailments .

Daisho-In 大聖院 , Miyajima


Kenmai hooyoo 弘法大師献米法要
Rice offerings for Kobo Daishi

Ritual at the temple Toji in Kyoto 京都・東寺

On the second sunday in April.
Kenmai-Hoyo (Buddhist memorial service presenting rice)


I have written a few articles about Kukai.

Ajimi Jizo 嘗試地蔵
Jizo Bosatsu tasting the food for Kobo Daishi

Koya San in Wakayama 高野山 和歌山県

Namikiri Fudo Wave-cutting Fudo 波切不動尊 、浪切不動明王 
Carved by Kobo Daishi himself.

Sunafumi Ceremony お砂踏み  (Shikoku Pilgrimmage) O-Sunafumi, osunafumi

Pilgrimages in the name of Kobo Daishi

Daruma San in Japan, Japanese Art and Culture: Washi, Japanese Paper


Kukai Kobo Daishi and KIGO for Haiku

Kuukai Kooboo Daishi is a well known personality in the living Buddhism of Japan.
Many of the ceremonies and festivals in his honour are kigo. Here we will list a few.

.. .. Late Spring

March 21 :
Kuukai Kooboo Daishi Memorial Day

This kigo has various other names listed here:

Kuukai Memorial Day and Ceremony, miei-ku 御影供、mie-ku みえく (in Osaka)
..... (Miei literally means: The Honorable Shadow. This type of memorial service for a deceased person is also performed for normal people. In the case of Kobo Daishi, a memorial service is performed each month on the 21st.)
Orthodox Memorial Service, shoo miei-ku 正見御影供 (April 21 at Tooji, Kyoto)
Memorial Group, Miei-koo 御影講, Daishikoo 大師講
..... ( A Daishiko is a group of followers of Kobo Daishi and Shingon Buddhism under the guidance of a temple. Koyasan Shingon Tenchi-ji: Daishiko )

Kooboo Memorial Day, Koobooki (Kobo-ki) 弘法忌
Kuukai Memorial Day, Kuukaiki (Kukai-ki) 空海忌
Dear Kooboo, Koobo san 弘法さん
..... (Called like this by the people of Kyoto.)

changing of his robes, mi-koromogae 御衣替, o-koromo-i 御衣井
..... (His mummy kept at Koya-San gets the robes changed to summer a lighter dressing. They are changed back to warmer winter wear in November. The mummy also gets food and water every day. The water is drawn from a holy well at the Temple Hooki-In 宝亀院, and sold as medicine for all sorts of ailments there as "Holy Water" reisui 霊水. Hooki is the name of the period when Kobo Daishi was born. )

Visiting three Kooboo temples, san Kooboo mairi 三弘法参り,
.. also : san Kooboo moode 三弘法詣で (in Kyoto, at temple Tooji on the first to third of January)
Visiting Ninna-Ji, O-Muromairi 御室参り (仁和寺)
..... (Famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms .)
Ladies visiting Jingo-Ji, Takao-san onnna moode 高雄山女詣, 高尾山女詣 (神護寺)
.....(On this day, ladies were allowed to the holy places otherwise only accessible to men.)

source : Otsuka Tsutomu - facebook

. Ninnaji 仁和寺 Ninna-Ji, Kyoto .

. Fudō Myō-ō, Fudoo Myoo-Oo 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O
Acala Vidyârâja - Vidyaraja .


.. .. Mid-Summer

aoba matsuri 青葉祭 (あおばまつり) festival of green leaves
Kooboo Daishi kootann e 弘法大師降誕会(こうぼうだいしこうたんえ)
birthday ritual for Kobo Daishi

June 15 is the birthday of Kobodaishi, the founder of Koyasan and Shingon Buddhism. The weather was not totally expected to be fine or even oppositely. But it was blessed by Kobodaishi's virtue and even rain waited to its fall. Not only whole town but worshippers all over Japan get together at Koyasan and celebrate Kobodaishi's birthday in many ways.
... People from Kagawa, one of the 4 prefectures in Shikoku Island where Kobodaishi was born and later opened his pilgrimage route, have participate in the parade in their pilgrimage costume. How well organized their beautiful dancing are!
... Young priests also participate in the parade and spread pieces of paper called "sangue" whose shape is a lotus petal*.
Sangue is widely given in the Buddhist services or ceremonies to hold some memorial services for Buddha or the Saint like Kobodaishi. People who get these are grateful to Buddha for his virtue.
source :


.. .. Mid-Winter

Last Meeting of the Memorial Group, Daishi-koo 大師講,
December 21
Osame no Daishi 納めの大師, 終大師 Shimai Daishi, Osame-Daishi 収め大師

. Kooya Doofu 高野豆腐 Dried Tofu from Mt. Koya .

Annual Events at Koyasan
For every month:
source :


.. .. New Year

First Ceremonies of the Year including

First Ceremony for Kobo Daishi, hatsu Daishi, 初大師 January 21


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南無大師 石手の寺よ 稲の花
Namu Daishi Ishite no tera ya ine no hana

Masaoka Shiki

Devotion to the Great Saint,
the temple of Ishite ...
rice plants abloom.

Tr. Kametaro

Ishite-Ji Temple, Nio Gate 石手寺(仁王門)and Haiku

. Emon Saburō 衛門三郎 Emon Saburo .
Legend about the "Stone Hand Temple"


tera no ko no shichi go san tote Namu Daishi

even at the Shichi-Go-San Festival
for the Temple Children -
Praise to the Great Teacher!

At Temple Shobo-Ji
Tr. Gabi Greve

................................ 南無大師遍照金剛
Namu Daishi Henjo Kongo

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Namu Daishi Henjoo Kongoo
Prayer in the name of Kukai
the Gohōgō Mantra

Namu means"Oh!", Daishi is Kôbô Daishi (Kukai) and Henjô Gongô is Dainichi Nyorai.
In Mikkyô, Dainichi Nyorai is the foundation of the universe and Kukai through the ritual of Gakuho Konjo connected Dainichi Nyorai and Buddha.
In other words, the Namu Daishi Henjo Gongo are the words admiring Kôbô Daishi and Dainichi Nyorai.
© Hiroshi Kushima


.. .. .. Further Reference of the WKD

Saijiki for Buddhist Events

Memorial Days of famous people .

Pilgrimage(henro, junrei)Pilgrims
The 88 Temples Pilgrimmage of Shikoku

First Ceremonies of the year

Hanya Shingyo : Heart Sutra ..... 般若心経 ... and Haiku

Seven Five Seven (shichigosan) Japan.
Celebrating seven, five and three year old children

. . . . .

Beronaga べろ長 "the long tongue"
Taming a monster in Aizu Wakamatsu


Kobo Daishi gankake omamori 願掛けお守り
. Gankake 願掛け wish-prayer, to make a wish .

. Kukai O-Mamori 空海 お守り Amulets with Kobo Daishi .



Ikonographie von Kukai

Die acht Patriarchen der Shingon-Sekte (Shingon hasso 真言八祖(しんごんはっそ)) sind:
Ryuumyoo 龍猛, Fukuu 不空三蔵, Ryuuchi 龍智, Kongoochi 金剛智), Zenmui 善無畏 , Ichigyoo 一行禅師, Keika Ajari 恵果阿闍梨 und Kuukai (Kooboo Daishi 弘法大師・空海).
Beispiel: Reliefstatuen im Tempel Kongoochooji 金剛頂寺, Shikoku.

Besonders häufig sind Statuen von Kooboo Daishi (774 - 835), dem Gründer der japanischen Shingon-Sekte.
Auf einem großen Stuhl, in der rechten Hand einen Donnerkeil mit fünf Zacken, in der linken Hand einen Rosenkranz. Vor dem Stuhl stehen die Schuhe und ein Wassergefäß (kundika). Diese Wassergefässe werden in buddhistischen Ritualen verwendet, sie enthalten das "Wasser des Lebens". Ihr Ursprung ist in Indien (kendi, kundika), dem Ursprungsland des Buddhismus.

CLICK for more photos !Als stehende Figur im Pilgergewand, mit einem großen Strohhut, in der rechten einen Rosenkranz oder die Almosenschale und in der linken den Pilgerstab repräsentiert er so den Daishi auf seinen Pilgerfahrten (Shugyoo Daishi 修行大師).
So findet er sich häufig im Vorgarten eines Shingon-Tempels.

(c) Gabi Greve
Buddhastatuen (Buddha statues) Who is Who
Ein Wegweiser zur Ikonografie von japanischen Buddhastatuen


. Shikoku Henro Temple List 四国お遍路さん Henro Pilgrims .

. Legends about Kobo Daishi - 弘法大師 空海 - 伝説 .


- #kukaidobodaishi #kukai #kobodaishi -


En no Gyoja

[ . BACK to Daruma Museum TOP . ]

En-no-Gyôja 役行者 (Jimpen Dai-Bosatsu)
The Founder of Shugendo

En no Ozuno 役小角 "En with the small horn"

quote from

All yamabushi regard En-no-gyôja as the founder and as their spiritual ancestor. He was an ascetic-hermit who lived in the 7th century and got along with the bouddhic magic, and others...

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This man was called En-No-Ozuno of his true name which means "En (delivery: Japanese èn) "the small horned one" because he was born with a small horn on his forehead. "Devils" was a derogatory nickname the Japanese of the era gave Korean immigrants, and we know now that the Kamo family (En’s family) was of Korean descent. He was also known as En-No-Ubasoku (Upayaka En), by lay practitioners, but he is most commonly known as En the Ascetic (En-No-gyôja).

Emperor Kokaku was so impressed with his practices that he gave him the posthumous name of Jimpen Dai-bôsatsu (Great Bodhisattva of Divine Change). The first document which speaks about him is "Shoku Nihongi" and the book Nihon Ryoki (which was written between 810 and 824, that is to say forty years afterwards), which are the first Japanese books with Konjaku monogatari: "En-No Ozunu lived in the Katsuragi mountains (close to the town of Wakayama, near to the current Osaka) where he converted demons and communed with a Shinto god, practised the asceticism in the Ominé mountains; He could cling to a cloud with 5 colors and fly through the air. He employed the demon spirits to build a bridge which would connect the Katsuragi mountains to that of Kimpusen, a distance several hundreds of kilometers.

He was exiled on the peninsula of Izu, following problems with his cousin and disciple who was jealous of him. The emperor tried to execute him but the blade of the axe broke each time they tried to behead him. It is said that every night, he left his prison and flew away to practise ascetics at the top of the Mount Fuji. He was released thereafter.

It is also written more particularly in Nihon Ryoki, in chapter 28: En-No-Ubasoku came from the Kamo family of the village of Chihara (West of current Nara) in the district of Katsuragi of the plain of Yamato. From birth he was omniscient; and he revered the 3 Buddhist jewels (unusual at the time for a family of that closely followed Shinto beliefs like Kamo and Kusakabe).

He practised the magic sutra of the Queen of the Peacocks" (Kujaku-Myô-kyô). Becoming a spirit himself (according to the taoists), he practised the Buddhist doctrines and every night he clung to a cloud with 5 colors, then flew in space in company of the hosts of the realm of the spirits; diverted himself in the gardens of Eternal Life; slept in the floors of Zuigai; He breathed the air which nourished him fully. As he was 40 years old he lived a cave (the cave of Shô), dressed in linens and bamboo shoots, bathed in the natural sources of water (made taki shugyo), washing away there the stains of the world of desire. He practised the sutra of Kujaku and showed a marvellous capacity. He continued to control the demon spirits, obliging them to work for him for the construction of a gigantic bridge.

With all the data collected from different sources over several centuries, one ends up establishing a biography which has been pieced together little by little. The following has been discovered : the name of his father, his mother, 5 disciples including 2 demons, the transmission of the Secret Law (Mippo) by the Master Nagarjuna in the cave of the Mt. Minô. The traditions of the schools of shugen do not agree as on his end. Some say that he flew away into the sky over Mt. Tenjo-gatake. Others say he disappeared on the sea and that was only re-examined (in Korea) after several centuries, following an official voyage of the monk Dôkô of the Kimpusenji temple of the village of Yoshino.

Over the two centuries following his disappearance a growing number of individuals in Japan imitated his example: The monks Shôbô and Zôyô, as well as the itinerant yamabushi (as Jitsukaga at the time Meiji) continued to take him as a model. On January 25, 1799, the Emperor Kokaku decreed that he receive the posthumous title of Jimpen Dai Bosatsu! This document is always visible within the Shogoin temple in Kyoto.

Curtesy of Shugendo

Read more about
The God of Shugendo: Zaô-gongen (the Avatar Zaô)

The Pantheon of Shugendô Particularly the worship of the Buddha Fudou-Myô

... /shugendo/images/Fudo-myo.jpg

Doctrines of Shugendô

... /shugendo/images/freeclimb.jpg

This is a great resource to learn more about Shugendoo.
.. Shugendo


. the Demons Zenki 前鬼 and Goki 後鬼 .
- Introduction -

the husband Zenki 前鬼 and his wife Goki 後鬼。

These demons promised En no Gyoja, a Shugendo priest at Mount Ominesan in Nara, to protect the pilgrims of the area. They had five children, whose families in the x-th generation up to this day have five mountain huts where the pilgrims can rest during their walk from Oomine to Kumano.
The family business is going on for more than 1300 years now. Gokijo 後鬼助 san, in the 61 generation, lives in Osaka now and comes back every weekend and holidays to take care of the pilgrims.
There are now many legends about these two and En no Gyoja.
Enjoy my blog!

source :


En no Gyooja (E no Ozunu)
"Der Asket En".

Wandernder Priester, der erstmals im Shoku Nihongi (797) erwähnt wird. Gründer bzw. Ahnfigur der Bergpilger des Shugendoo (Yamabushi). Prototyp eines Magiers.

Um 634 geboren; seit dem 32. Lebensjahr übte er sich mehr als 30 Jahre in esoterischem Buddhismus auf dem Berg Katsuragi, bis er übernatürliche Kräfte erwarb. Er bestieg zum ersten Mal die heiligen Berge Kinpusan (dort erschien ihm die Gottheit Zao Gongen) und Oomine und gilt daher als der Gründer der Bergpilger-Tradition in West-Japan.
699 wurde er nach Izu ins Exil geschickt, aber zwei Jahre später wieder begnadigt. Über die letzten Jahre seines Lebens ist nichts bekannt.

Ausgemergelte Gestalt. Geht auf hohen Holzsandalen (geta), begleitet von zwei Dämonen. Mit einem Vogelgewand um die Schultern. Chinesischer Fächer oder Pilgerstab in einer Hand.

.Buddhastatuen ... Who is Who   

Ein Wegweiser zur Ikonografie
von japanischen Buddhastatuen

Gabi Greve, 1994


source : facebook

carved by 慶俊 Monk Gyoshun
ca. 78 cm high


En no Gyooja and Shugendo … An Essay

WASHOKU : Maple leaves tempura (momiji tenpura)

もみじ天ぷら/ 紅葉の天ぷら
With their origin related to En no Gyoja !
Minoyama Ryuuan-Ji, Osaka 箕面山瀧安寺

Shugendo The Way of the Mountain Ascets, Yamabushi

Zao Gongen 蔵王権現


. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

- reference : nichibun yokai database 妖怪データベース -
34 役行者 / 15 小角 / 7 役小角
The legends related to Zenki and Goki have been explored in their own entry.


. Master Carver Enku 円空 .

source :

大和郡山松尾寺 Matsuo-Ji
奈良県大和郡山市松尾山 - Yamato District, Nara


- #ennogyoja -


Kurikara, the Sword of Fudo Myo-o


Kurikara, kulika 倶利伽羅 the Sword of Fudo Myo-o

Kurikara Fudo, Kurikara Fudoo

source : 仏像ワールド - facebook

My MAIN Story is here:

The Buddhist Sword of Wisdom 知剣 chiken  
. The Wisdom King Fudo Myoo-o and
the Sword Kurikara

For the other swords, see below!

With the sword of wisdom, Fudo cuts away the

sandoku 三毒 "three poisons" . three passions
三不善根 - skt: akuśala-mūla

01 貧/欲しい、惜しいの心 - desire, passion, greed
ton (lobha) represented by a rooster

02 瞋/怒りや恨み - anger, aggression, hatred
shin (dosa) represented by a snake 蛇 鶏

03 痴/正しいことが判断できない)
- confusion, bewilderment, delusion
chi (moha) represented by a pig or wild boar 豚

- quote
The three poisons (Sanskrit: triviṣa; Tibetan: dug gsum) or the three unwholesome roots (Sanskrit: akuśala-mūla; Pāli: akusala-mūla), in Buddhism, refer to the three root kleshas of ignorance, attachment, and aversion. These three poisons are considered to be the cause of suffering (Sanskrit: dukkha).

In the Buddhist teachings, the three poisons (of ignorance, attachment, and aversion) are the primary causes that keep sentient beings trapped in samsara. As shown in the wheel of life (Sanskrit: bhavacakra), the three poisons lead to the creation of karma, which leads to rebirth in the six realms of samsara.
Of these three, ignorance is the root poison.
From ignorance, attachment and aversion arise.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

"The Sword symbolizes more
than the simple protection of the doctrine.
It is the emblem of the victory
that knowledge gains over error."
source : quotes about Fudo

. sandoku goyoku 三毒五欲 the three poisons and five passions .
The five desires (goyoku), the five obstructions
I. They are desires for
① property, ② sexual love, ③ eating and drinking, ④ fame, and ⑤ sleep.
II. Five sense - objects:
① form, ② sound, ③ smell, ④ taste, ⑤ the tangible.
These are so called because they make desires arise in humans.
- source : -


The unmovable Fudoo (Acala Vidyaaraaja) is one of the Wisdom Kings (Myoo-oo). He is usually depicted in a very wrathful way. He is a typical Japanese deity, introduced by Kobo Daishi about 806 and soon became a special protector of the Mountain Ascetics (yamabushi). An impressive waterfall is considered the personification of Fudoo, for example the Great Waterfall at Nachi, which we met in the story about
. Kumano 熊野

Fudoo is portrayed holding a two-edged sword with a three-pronged hilt in his right hand and a coiled rope in his left hand. With this sword of wisdom, Fudoo cuts through deluded and ignorant minds and with the rope he binds those who are ruled by their violent passions and emotions.

CLICK for more photos
Click for more photos

Kurikara Fudo is another personification of this deity, this time in the form of a Dragon-Sword. The Dargon King Kurikara (Sanskrit: Kulikaa Nagaraajaa) is said to have a golden body color and is sometimes depicted with one or two horns on his head. Legend has it that Fudoo had to fight the representative of a different religion. He changed himself into a flaming sword but the opponent did the same and the fighting went on without a winner. Now Fudoo changed himself into the Dragon Kurikara, wound himself around the opposing sword and started eating it from the top. This episode gave rise to the iconographic rendering as we know it now.

The dragon used to be a vasall or symbol of the deity, but in this unique case the symbol and the deity came to be honored as the same thing. Especially during the Edo period where the sword was a symbol of the vasall's loyalty to his lord, the statues and steles of Kurikara Fudo were produced in greater numbers.


The kulika Dragon King symbolises the triple poison - greed, anger and folly.


source : facebook


- quote
Kurikara 倶利迦羅
Also known as Kurika 矩里迦, a transliteration of Sanskrit Kulika, the name of a dragon-king *ryuu 龍 mentioned in Indian legends.
In this connection he is also known as Kurikara Ryuu 倶利迦羅龍 (Dragon Kurikara), sometimes with the addition of ou 王, to read Dragon king Kurikara. Kurikara could also be an abbreviated transliteration of Kulika raja (King Kulika), or of Kulika-nagaraja (Dragon king Kulika).

In Esoteric Buddhism mikkyou 密教 he is regarded as a manifestation of *Fudou Myouou 不動明王 and is also known as Kurikara Fudou 倶利迦羅不動 or Kurikara Myouou 倶利迦羅明王. He assumes the form of a flame-wreathed snake or dragon coiled around an upright sword, with his open mouth about to swallow the tip of the weapon, which is called the Kurikara sword, kurikaraken 倶利迦羅剣.

According to the KURIKARA RYUUOU DARANIKYOU 倶利迦羅龍王陀羅尼経 (Kurikara Ryu-O Darani Kyo), this manifestation of Fudou had its origins in a contest between Fudou and a non-Buddhist heretic in the course of which Fudou transformed himself first into a sword and then into the dragon Kurikara and threatened to devour the sword into which the heretic had changed himself.

Alternatively the dragon and sword are sometimes said to represent the noose and sword held by Fudou and images of Kurikara may be used as a substitute for Fudou as for example on the lid of a lacquered sutra box *kyoubako 経箱 from the Heian period belonging to Taimadera 当麻寺 in Nara, where he is flanked by Fudou's two attendants *Kongara douji 矜羯羅童子 and *Seitaka douji 制た迦童子.

Early statuary representations are rare: that kept at Ryuukouin 龍光院 Mt. Kouya 高野 (Koyasan)  in Wakayama prefecture, inside a small shrine *zushi 厨子 is thought to date from the Kamakura period, although temple tradition holds that the sword (42.2cm) was brought back to Japan by *Kukai 空海 (774-835).
The largest completely wooden image (183.2cm), dating from the late Heian period, is kept at Kotakeji 小武寺 in Ooita prefecture.
The Kurikara pattern, kurikara-mon 倶利迦羅紋 is also a popular motif in tattoos irezumi 入墨.
- source : JAANUS

source :


source : facebook

at the Chiba Art Museum 千葉市美術館


. Fudo with white eyes , Mejiro Fudo 目白不動 Tokyo
White Fudo, Shiro-Fudo 白不動 .


Stone carving

Erected in 1666. Compounds of the White Fudo, Edo.

© 岩倉櫻


At Kawaguchi Village, Taki no Zawa

This Sword Fudo watches over a watering place in a gourge of a mountain pass near Hachioji, Tokyo. There are many poisonous snakes in this area and many people died of their bites. Since the statue was erected in around 1770, Fudo protects the humans. The present statue dates from the Meiji period.
The area is also called Fudo Valley, Fudo Yatsu 不動谷津.
There is also an old mountain cherry tree close by, said to be more than a few hundred years old, with a diameter of about three meters.

© 川口の自然を守る会 .


Inunakisan, Inunaki san 犬鳴山

This statue is said to have been made by En no Gyoja himself 役行者の自作.


Kobo Daishi came to this region in the footsteps of En no Gyoja, carved a statue of the Great Fudo and performed sacred rites to honor this statue.
The deity would ward off evil influence and protect the pilgrim from dangers.


犬鳴山本尊 大龍不動明王

The fire ceremony

大阪府泉 佐野市大木8
source :

Situated in Izumisano City, Mt. Inunaki is known as the location of a hot spring resort, as well as Shippo-ryuji Temple, headquarters of the Inunaki school of Shugendo, which is one of the oldest Shugendo temples founded by En-no-gyoja about 1,300 years ago.

In the precincts of the temple 28 pilgrim spots are recognized, among which some are at main Shugendo training halls; some are near waterfalls; some at rocks; some at smaller Shugendo halls; and others at small shrines, so that many visitors can experience making a pilgrimage.

Also called “Nyonin Omine” (the alternative to Mt. Omine for women), Mt. Inunaki is famous as a Shugendo training place where women are allowed to participate in Shugendo training although they are forbidden to enter Mt. Omine, another famous Shugendo training spot.

The name “Inunaki” (dog barking) comes from the legend that when a hunter was about to be attacked by a giant snail in the mountains in the era of Emperor Uda (887 to 897), his dog barked furiously and sacrificed himself to save his master’s life. On the way to Shippo-ryuji Temple, you can see tombs of fine and faithful dogs.

The hot spring resort located along a stream at the foot of Mt. Inunaki has an atmosphere of a quiet mountain village, with various seasonal attractions, including mountain cherry blossoms in spring, fireflies and kajika frogs in summer (“kajika” means river deer in Japanese; kajika frogs croaking sounds like deer calling), autumn leaves in autumn and fluttering snowflakes in winter.
source :


. Arao Fudo-In 荒尾不動院 倶利伽羅不動 Kurikara Fudo .


Shikoku Henro temple
- source : photo by Oliver -


Ishikawa prefecture, Kurikara Fudo-Ji Temple
128 Takenohashi, Tsubata, Kahoku District, Ishikawa


Modern Caraving of Kurikara Fudo

総柘植 倶利伽羅不動龍剣 
© 昇龍堂


Kurikara Pass 倶利伽羅峠

The temple Kurikara Fudo-son is located near Kurikara Pass, a place famous for the battle between the Heike Clan and Saso Yoshinaka during the 2nd year of the Eiju period (1183). The statue of Fudo Myo-O is said to be carved by Kobo Daishi.
Matsuo Basho passed here on his famous walk to the small roads in the North.

CLICK for more photos

Kurikara ga tani 倶利伽羅谷 
is a valley located on the border between the provinces of Kaga and Etchu and is the valley below Kurikara toge Pass.
This is the site where in 1184 Kiso no Yoshinaka led his forces against the great Taira army and drove them back in defeat. Yoshinaka won a night battle by tying flaming torches to the horns of cattle and stampeding them through the Taira lines in front of his advancing army.
Curiously Basho makes no mention of this, especially since the Taira army was led by Koremori.

The battle of Kurikara, also known as the battle of Tonamiyama (砺波山), was a crucial battle of Japan's Genpei War; in this battle the tide of the war turned in the favor of the Minamoto clan.

Minamoto no Yoshinaka, commander of a contingent of warriors from Shinano province, raided Taira lands several years earlier, before his raids, and the war itself, were put on hold on account of two years of famine. As conditions improved in 1183, the Taira sought retribution against Yoshinaka. Taira no Koremori, son of Taira no Shigemori and grandson of the late Taira no Kiyomori, took charge of this operation, backed by Michimori, Tadanori, Tomonori, Tsunemasa and Kiyofusa.

Their forces severely reduced by battle and famine, the Taira sought to recruit warriors from the surrounding lands, and did so at the risk of further famine, since many of these warriors were farmers leaving their farms. Though some chronicles list their numbers as exceeding 100,000, this is a highly unlikely number, and other, more reliable sources have estimated it as being closer to 40,000.

Minamoto no Yoritomo, Yoshinaka's cousin, moved to fight him for dominance of the clan in March 1183, but was convinced to stand down and withdraw by Yoshinaka, who argued that they should be united against the Taira. To ensure his intentions, Yoshinaka also sent his son, Yoshitaka, to Kamakura as a hostage. Shortly afterwards, Yoshinaka received news of Koremori's army, and moved to engage him, along with his uncle Minamoto no Yukiie and so-called shitennō, his four most loyal retainers: Imai Kanehira, Higuchi Kanemitsu, Tate Chikatada, Nenoi Yukichika.
......................................................... snip

Meanhwhile, Yoshinaka's armies moved into position, and as the sun set, the Taira turned to find behind them a Minamoto detachment, holding far more flags than a single detachment should merit, again giving the illusion of greater numbers. Yoshinaka's central force, having gathered a herd of oxen, now released them down the pass, directly into the Taira army, with lit torches tied to their horns. Many of the Taira warriors charged into the herd, while many others were simply knocked clean off the path, to their deaths in the rocky crags far below. Many more tried to retreat, but became lost in the various paths, meeting their deaths at the hands of Minamoto warriors lying in wait for them, or falling into various gorges and the like.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Oku no Hosomichi ... 2007
Matsuo Basho and NHK

Gabi Greve


Read more about the Waterfalls connected with Fudo :

Waterfalls and Fudo Myo-o 不動滝

O-Fudo-Sama in Japan: Waterfall Ascetism (taki shugyoo)


Afuri Jinja, Oyama 大山の阿夫利神社

A statue of Kurikara-ryu-o, or Kulika in Skt.Kurikara-ryu-o is believed to be an incarnation of Fudo-myo-o. Ryu-o is the king of dragon, and here the statue shows a dragon in a blaze is trying to swallow a sword.

. Oyama no Fudo 大山の不動様.


Most statues of Fudo Myo-O have him carry a special sword

Most statues of Fudo Myo-O have him carry a normal sword

gooma ken, gooma no ken 降魔の剣 goma sword of Fudo Myo-O
subjugating the demons, demon-quelling sword
gooma riken 降魔利剣 demon-subjugating sharp sword
fudoo ken 不動剣 sword of Fudo
eken, e-ken sword of wisdom


riken 利剣 the double edged sword of Sapience (or Hôken)
sacred sword

sanko ken 三鈷剣, sanko no ken 三鈷の剣
sword with a three-pronged vajra
Sankoji 三鈷寺 Sanko-Ji - Kyoto
"temple of the three-pronged vajra.

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Gravures ou Horimono sur katana
L'épée, ou Ken, représentait la divinité Fudo Myoo

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Fudo's Sword

"On an afternoon in November, 1963,1 went to the Kurama temple with the intention of walking over the top of the mountain and down the other side to Kibune," chronicles British professor of Japan studies Carmen Blacker in The Catalpa Bow. "A little way down from the summit I heard from among the trees a strong hard voice reciting what sounded like mantras. I left the path and followed the voice until, in a clearing in the forest, I saw an enormous cryptomeria tree, its huge trunk girdled about with the belt of straw rope, and before it, with her back to me, a woman seated on the ground reciting. The hard base voice continued for several minutes, through a number of invocations, while the woman sat perfectly motionless with a long rosary in her hands.

Venturing to approach her, I asked if there were still a good many tengu (half-bird, half-hawk spirit) to be found on the mountain. She turned to face me, a brown face peculiarly like an old bird, with an expression fierce yet remote and a pair of extraordinarily glittering eyes, brightly sparkling like steel. 'If you do gyo [austerities] like me you can see them,' she replied abruptly. I asked again if the kami (god) in the great tree was very strong. 'Ask it. The tree is more than a thousand years,' she replied, and without another word, and without looking behind her, she plunged rapidly down the mountainside until she disappeared among the dark green trees and yellow leaves."

This wilderness mystic - a modern day miko, Shinto priestess - peacefully haunting the sacred hill valleys of Japan is not different from the revered Hindu shamans of Nepal or India. Both can ply the palpable pure energy that interconnects all form - nagare in Shinto texts and Satchidananda in Sanskrit. Both use it to heal. The Indian shaman and Japanese yamabushi mountain ascetic both perceive the many planes that invisibly interpenetrate ours. The miko plucks a koto lute; the Hindu shaman claps a bell - by sound, both alert those who live beyond. Each know how the magic of fire, mantra and meditation further stretches open the veils between these worlds for communication with the beings that reside there - kami in Japanese and devas in Sanskrit. Both understand how a mountain - or lakes, trees or rocks - can be the home of celestials. Hindus trekking along the pilgrimage pathways of Japan would naively marvel at all the "Siva lingams." Oval boulders girdled with straw bands speckle sacred hilltops, drawing the pilgrim to halt and worship. Japanese refer to the physical portal to the deity's consciousness yorishiro, "vessel" - murthi in Sanskrit.

Fudo Myoo: A Japanese Siva Reflection
Overwhelmingly a one nerve current cavernously flows beneath the Orient landmass, welling up at different points and periods as yogis - Indian, Chinese, Japanese - plumbed the uniquely Asian akasha of consciousness. Cruder overland intercourse and dispersion of ideas by trade and travel mirrored the subtler mind routes. Today religious similarities, sympathies and sensibilities wed snow-capped Fuji to icy Kailas in an unearthly way. Examples abound. Esoteric Tendai Buddhists believe Maheshwara (Siva) taught them Yorigito, mediumship and at the secluded mountainside temple of Ryosanji, in Okayama, an ichiko, priest, wears large white swastikas, the ancient Hindu symbol, embroidered on front and back of his indigo gown.

The Shiva-like Japanese Deity Fudo Myoo re-echoes this pan-Asian interlacing. Like Shiva, Fudo Myoo specially befriends the recluse, mystic and mountain hermit, granting boons and powers. Fudo Myoo, explains Dr. Carmen Blacker, is the "central and paramount figure in the group of divinites known as the Godai Myoo or Five Great Bright Kings, who in esoteric Buddhism stand as emanations, or modes of activity, of the Buddha. His long hair hangs in a coil over his left shoulder." Like Siva Nataraja, He is always ringed with fire. The ichiko or Japanese shaman sees Fudomyoo as his own most interior Self and meditates on this essential oneness just as the Saivite tantric seeks to merge with Shiva-ness within. "Fudo is frequently represented by his attribute, an erect sword," continues Dr. Blacker, "twined about by the dragon Kurikara," not unlike Shiva entwined by a serpent and often represented by his trident alone. "The halo of flames which surrounds Fudo is the same fire which the ascetic must kindle in himself. Here again is surely a reminder of the kundalini snake which as it rises up the spine of the yogi confers upon him heat and transformed sexual energy. As it writhes spirally upwards round Fudo's erect sword, we see the shakti or feminine energizing force in its traditional serpent aspect. Once again we meet with this mysterious coincidence of images, so far unexplained, between India and Japan."
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.
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. yorigitoo 憑祈祷 / 憑り祈祷 exorcistic 祈祷 kito rituals .


Schwert-Fudoo (Kurikara Fudoo)

Zweischneidiges Schwert, von einem Drachen umwickelt, der die Schwertspitze im Maul hält. Der Drachenkönig Kurika (Sanksrit: Kulikah) hat eine goldene Körperfarbe. Manchmal mit einem Horn auf dem Kopf dargestellt. Von einem flammenden Nimbus umgeben.

Nach einer Überlieferung kam es einmal zu einem Wettkampf zwischen Fudoo Myoooo und dem Vertreter einer anderen Religion. Dabei verwandelte sich Fudoo in ein flammendes Schwert, aber der Gegner tat dies ebenfalls und sie fochten ohne Ergebnis. Nun verwandelte Fudoo sich in den Drachen Kurika, umwand das Schwert des Feindes und begann, es von der Spitze her zu verschlingen. Nach dieser Geschichte entstand das Kurikara-Schwert.

Drache zunächst als Bote bzw. Symbol des Fudô und später als die Gottheit selbst verehrt. Einziges Beispiel, bei dem Symbol und Gottheit getrennt und doch als Gleichwertig verehrt werden. Für die Samurai der Edo-Zeit war das Schwert ein ganz besonderer Gegenstand der Vasallentreue; in dieser Zeit breitete sich der Kurikara Fudoo besonders aus.

Aus Holz, Bronze, Eisen oder Stein. Oft entweder in der Myôô-Halle oder davor aufgestellt.

© Gabi Greve
Buddhastatuen (Buddha statues) Who is Who
Ein Wegweiser zur Ikonografie von japanischen Buddhastatuen


Statue with Fudo holding his Kurikara sword

神代楠一木造 made from one piece of very old kusunoki 楠 camphor

- source : - Mitooka -

. 水戸岡伯翠 Mitooka Hakusui .
Mitooka 水戸岡仏像彫刻研究所
Buddha Statues Store and Research


. Nanzoo-In 南蔵院 Nanzo-In, Nanzoin .
Fukuoka, Kyushu

Statue of Fudo Myo-O with a Dragon face !


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. 犬鳴山 Inukaisan  七宝瀧寺 Shipporyu-Ji .


The Gods of War:
Sacred Imagery and the Decoration of Arms and Armor

By Donald J. LaRocca
the triple-pronged vajra as the hild of the sacred sword

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. Swords with Dragon decorations .

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