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 -

Nekotsuki and Monsters

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. Legends about cats .
. bakeneko legends about monster cats .

Fudo stabbing a Monster Cat
猫突 Nekotsuki Fudo

『猫突』(ねこつき). 猫突不動明王

This is a secret statue (hibutsu 秘仏)
at the temple Saishoo In 最勝院 Saisho-In,
Hirosaki, Aomori prefecture.
最勝院秘仏 猫突不動明王

63 Dōyamachi, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori

This statue had been at the temple Daizen-In 高賀山大善院. It was already mentioned in old books of the Tsugaru peninsula.

Kongoozan Saishoo-in 金剛山 最勝院 - 金剛山光明寺最勝院

The main statue is Dainichi Nyorai 大日如来.
People come here to pray for a good harvest and peace in the land.
There is also a statue of 文殊菩薩 Monju Bosatsu in the temple.

After the unification at the beginning of the Edo period, on advise of Priest Tenkai, there were five Shingon temples established:
津軽真言五山 Tsugaru Shingon Gozan.
Saisho-In was the leading Head of these temples. It also supervised shrines 千百三十三社 in the region for the Bakufu government in Edo. It was the most powerful temple in the region.
In the Meiji period, when Buddhism and Shinto were separated, the temple was relocated from the "Demon Gate" 弘前鬼門 side of Hirosaki to its present location at the remains of 連光山大圓寺跡 Daien-Ji (now temple Nr. 22 in the Kobo Daishi Pilgrimage).

The most prominent feature is the five-storied pagoda in the compound.

- quote
Five-Storied Pagoda in Hirosaki
Speaking about Hirosaki-city, tourists always give first choice to visit Hirosaki Castle. If you had time after visiting Hirosaki Park, or if you kinda missed the best days for viewing cherry blossoms, I recommend to stop at Five-storied Pagoda which is located to the southeast of the castle park. It will take about 15 minutes on foot from the castle.

This pagoda, 31.2 meters high, was build in 1667 for the repose of the soul of fallen soldiers. It is installed in the precinct of Saisho-in Temple.

- source : aomorimori.wordpress.com

- quote
The pagoda at Saisho-in temple was built around 350 years ago to commemorate those who died in battle during the reunification of the Tsugaru district in which Hirosaki is located. It's five stories high and stands just over 31 meters tall, and is said to be the most beautiful of its kind in Tohoku.

The komainu guardians are rabbits here.
- source : en.japantravel.com

- Chant of the temple
いつの世も 変わらぬ恵み 深くして 御教え高く そびえ立つ塔
澄みわたる 津軽国府の 中空に 最勝の塔 そびえて立てり

- Main Festivals
1月1日 修正会
1月15日 歓喜天祈祷会
2月1日 厄払い
旧暦3月21日 正御影供
旧暦4月8日 彿生会
旧暦6月13日 午頭天王例大祭
10月15日 七五三祝祷会
12月31日 除夜の鐘

- Belongs to the following pilgrimages
東北三十六不動尊霊場 第十五番札所 36 Fudo Temples in Tohoku
北国八十八ヶ所霊場 第五十九番札所 88 Henro Temples in the North
津軽八十八ヶ所霊場 第四十九番札所 88 Henro Temples in Tsugaru
津軽一代様 卯年生まれ - Tsugaru Personal Protectors - year of the hare

. 津軽弘法大師霊場 - Tsugaru Kobo Daishi Reijo
Pilgrimage to 23 Kobo Daishi temples in Tsugaru .

. 東北三十六不動尊霊場
Pilgrimage to 36 Fudo Temples in Tohoku .


CLICK for more photos

Let us look at the concept of a "monster cat", bakeneko, before proceeding to this special Fudo statue. This type of cat has supernatural abilities and sometimes a split tail.

A bakeneko (化け猫, 化猫, "monster cat") is, in Japanese folklore, a cat with supernatural abilities akin to those of the fox or raccoon dog. A cat may become a bakeneko in a number of ways: it may reach a certain age, be kept for a certain number of years, grow to a certain size, or be allowed to keep a long tail.
In the last case, the tail forks in two and the bakeneko is then called a nekomata (猫又, nekomata, 猫叉, or 猫股 "forked cat"). This superstition may have some connection to the breeding of the Japanese Bobtail.

source : Matt on facebook
. . . CLICK here for more Photos !
Toriyama Sekien 鳥山石燕

A bakeneko will haunt any household it is kept in, creating ghostly fireballs, menacing sleepers, walking on its hind legs, changing its shape into that of a human, and even devouring its own mistress in order to shapeshift and take her place. When it is finally killed, its body may be as much as five feet in length. It also poses a danger if allowed into a room with a fresh corpse; a cat is believed to be capable of reanimating a body by jumping over it.

There are legends of bakeneko in various parts of Japan, but the tale of the Nabeshima Bakeneko Disturbance in Saga Prefecture is especially famous

Folk legends
As with the nekomata, another cat-like yōkai which is said to derive from a cat whose tail split into two when it grew older, there are folk beliefs across Japan about how aged cats would turn into bakeneko. There are tales of cats raised for twelve years in Ibaraki Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture, and for thirteen years in Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture, that became bakeneko. In Yamagata District, Hiroshima Prefecture, it is said that a cat raised for seven years or longer would kill the one that raised it. There are also many regions where when people began raising a cat, they would decide in advance how many years they would raise it because of this superstition. Also, depending on the area, there are stories in which cats that were killed by humans in a brutal manner would become bakeneko and curse that human. The stories of bakeneko are not only about aged cats, but are also sometimes stories of revenge against cruel humans.

The strange abilities attributed to the bakeneko are various, but include shapeshifting into humans, wearing a towel or napkin on the head and dancing, speaking human words, cursing humans, manipulating dead people, possessing humans, lurking in the mountains and taking wolves along with them to attack travelers,[and many other things. As an unusual example, on Aji island, Oshika District, Miyagi Prefecture and in the Oki Islands, Shimane Prefecture, there is a story of a cat that shapeshifted into a human and wanted to engage in sumo.

However, concerning the legend that cats could speak, it has been pointed out that it may have arisen because humans would misinterpret the cat's meowing as human language, and for this reason some would say that the cat is not a type of yōkai. In 1992 (Heisei 4), in the Yomiuri newspaper, there was an article that argued that when people thought they had heard a cat speak, upon listening a second time, they realized that it was simply the cat's meowing and that it was only coincidence that it resembled a word in human language.

In the Edo period (1603-1867), there was a folk belief that cats with long tails like snakes could bewitch people. Cats with long tails were disliked, and there was a custom of cutting their tails. It is speculated that this is the reason that there are so many cats in Japan with short tails nowadays, because natural selection has favored those with short tails.

Folk beliefs that cats can cause strange phenomena are not limited to Japan. For example, in Jinhua, Zhejiang, in China, it is said that a cat, after having been raised for three years by humans, would then start bewitching them. Because it is said that cats with white tails are especially good at this, there arose the custom of refraining from raising white cats. Since it is said that their ability to bewitch humans comes from taking in the spiritual energy of the moon, it is said that when a cat looks up at the moon, whether its tail has been cut or not, it should be killed on the spot.

Nabeshima Bakeneko Disturbance
about Nabeshima Mitsushige, the second daimyo of the Saga Domain
"Hana Sagano Nekoma Ishibumi Shi" (花嵯峨野猫魔碑史)
Saga no Yozakura (佐賀の夜桜)
Saga Kaibyōden" (佐賀怪猫伝)
Kaidan Saga Yashiki (怪談佐賀屋敷)

Edo period (1603-1867)
"Tōen Shosetsu" (兎園小説)
"Mimibukuro" (耳嚢)
"Shin Chomonjū" (新著聞集)
"Seiban Kaidan Jikki" (西播怪談実記)
"Kasshi Yawa" (甲子夜話)
"Owari Ryōiki" (尾張霊異記)

In Makidani, Yamasaki, Shisō District, Harima Province (now within Shisō, Hyōgo Prefecture), a tale was passed down about a certain person in Karakawa who was a bakeneko.

. nekomata 猫又と伝説 Legends about the Nekomata cat monster .


futamata kaijuu 二股怪獣 monster animal with two tails
Shiranui Monogatari 白縫物語 1862 - Utagawa Kunisada.

Iroha Nikki - The Cat of Okazaki
by Utagawa Kunisada

東駅いろは日記 - 岡崎


Bakeneko of Okabe


In a Buddhist connection, a "monster cat" has the following abilities:

This monsterous evil cat is full of the three desires of humans 貪瞋癡(とんじんち, tonjinchi, bonno). When it openes its mouth, lies, slander and bad speach come out 悪口両舌(あっく りょうぜつ, akku ryoozetsu). Its claws could kill people and it would steal things 殺生偸盗(せっしょうちゅうとう, sesshoo chuutoo). It also had the "wicked eye" to swear and curse people 瞋恚 邪見(しんにじゃけん, shinni jaken).

More about
Worldly desires, illusions, delusions (bonno)

Utagawa Yoshitaki (1841–1899), Actors Ichikawa Udanji I as the Ghost of the Courtesan Michinoku (R) and Kataoka Shôtarô as a Butterfly (L), in the Play Courtesans at the Festival of Spring Flowers (Keisei nazuna no sekku) 「契情なつなの佳節」「陸奥霊 市川右団次」(初代)「胡蝶の前 片岡松太郎」, 1873 (Meiji 6), February, signed Yoshitaki ga (on right sheet), Yoshitaki hitsu (on left sheet) 芳瀧画 芳瀧筆,
the impression at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
source : facebook


Woodcut Kitty Porn of the Edo and Meiji Periods
by Becca Rothfeld

Cats are the darlings of the internet, but a new exhibition coming to Manhattan’s Japan Society this spring brings a different perspective to bear on our feline friends:
Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-E Collection will showcase woodblock prints of cats from the Edo Period (1615–1867).

Beloved Concubine Kocho, Her Maid Okoma, and Narushima Tairyo” (1853)
Utagawa Kunisada,

In many of the prints on display in the Life of Cats, cats are dignified, even courtly, animals. They take their place alongside well-coiffed ladies, strolling around the grounds of palaces and wielding fancy fans. Occasionally, they even don aristocratic apparel; often, they are decidedly sophisticated, bordering on human.
- source : hyperallergic.com/ -


Here now the legend about this CAT.

Once upon a time ...
There was a monster cat at our temple that would tempt weak and cunning people and lead them into temptation and on evil ways. Therefore people in the neighbourhood were much afraid of it. It would also lick the oil from the temple lamps and when the oil was gone and all was dark it would steal things from the altar and eat the offerings.

In the beginning, one of the apprentice monks was thought to be the evil-doer and howevermuch he explained he did not steal the offerings, he was hit and thrown out of the temple. But but the evil deeds in the temple did not stop after he left.

The people of the village met and discussed what to do, but nothing seemed to help. The cat would always see the ruses of people and play even more bad tricks on them.

The stories of the evil monster cat made the rounds in the country and even the lord of the domain in his castle heared about it. The lord came to the temple Saisho-In and asked the head priest to engage the support of the deities.

So a secret ritual was held for seven days and prayers and fire rituals for Fudo Myo-O were performed three times a day during this week. When the last day of this ceremonies came, the evil cat tried to sneek into the main temple hall at midnight and eat some of the offerings.

And it happens in just that very "moment" (刹那 : せつな, setsuna, when an enlightened being snips his fingers and all things fall into place; when a rope woven of uncountable hairs is cut by the sword of a powerful being and only one hair is really cut into two parts. In modern Japan, one Setsuna equals 1/75 of a second. )

Fudo on the alter platform raised his hand with the sword and within one setsuna he stabbed the cat right into its breast.


A loud mewoing cry war heared everywhere in the temple. Then a cat ran out of the main hall, through the garden and over the wall of the temple ...

In the morning Fudo Myo-O appeared in the dream of the priest.
"I have punished this evil cat. Its dead body is now outside on the west side of the temple wall. Please give it a proper burial! "

When the priest woke up and went to the spot, he found a huge cat with a red mark on the breast. When he went back to the temple hall he saw red blood drip from the sword of Fudo Myo-O and his rope was in disorder as if it had just been used.

So the priest burried the cat, placed a stone marker on its grave and peace returned to the village.

source : www15.plala.or.jp


bakeneko, bake-neko 化け猫 the monster cat

The Monster Cats enjoying a Dance

Cat, Fox and Frog . . .

source : facebook
Comical Hand Gesture Game (Dooke Ken Awase)
Cat, Inari fox and Frog

Woodblock print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川 国芳 .

short night ...
at the strike of midnight
the monsters dance


source : www.nichibun.ac.jp

by 歌川芳艶 Utagawa Yoshitsuya (1822 - 1866)

Strange monsters of the following kind are afraid at the feet of this female Daruma

hashika 麻疹 measels
kinkan 金柑 cumquat
kaibaoke, kaiba oke 飼葉桶 bucket for animal feed
mugi 麦 wheat


Monsters from the Kaibutsu Ehon 
The Kaibutsu Ehon 怪物絵本 ("Illustrated Book of Monsters") is an 1881 book featuring woodblock prints of yōkai, or creatures from Japanese folklore. Illustrated by painter Nabeta Gyokuei, the book is modeled after the influential works of Toriyama Sekien, an 18th-century scholar and ukiyo-e artist known for his attempt to catalog the many species of yōkai in Japan.

Kasha -- Cat-like demon that descends from the sky to feed on corpses before cremation

Nekomata -- Fork-tailed cat with a host of supernatural abilities

- source : pinktentacle.com/2011


Tales of Old Japan
by Baron Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford Redesdale


There is a tradition in the Nabéshima family that, many years ago, the Prince of Hizen was bewitched and cursed by a cat that had been kept by one of his retainers. This prince had in his house a lady of rare beauty, called O Toyo: amongst all his ladies she was the favourite, and there was none who could rival her charms and accomplishments. One day the Prince went out into the garden with O Toyo, and remained enjoying the fragrance of the flowers until sunset, when they returned to the palace, never noticing that they were being followed by a large cat. Having parted with her lord, O Toyo retired to her own room and went to bed. At midnight she awoke with a start, and became aware of a huge cat that crouched watching her; and when she cried out, the beast sprang on her, and, fixing its cruel teeth in her delicate throat, throttled her to death. What a piteous end for so fair a dame, the darling of her prince's heart, to die suddenly, bitten to death by a cat! Then the cat, having scratched out a grave under the verandah, buried the corpse of O Toyo, and assuming her form, began to bewitch the Prince.

But my lord the Prince knew nothing of all this, and little thought that the beautiful creature who caressed and fondled him was an impish and foul beast that had slain his mistress and assumed her shape in order to drain out his life's blood. Day by day, as time went on, the Prince's strength dwindled away; the colour of his face was changed, and became pale and livid; and he was as a man suffering from a deadly sickness. Seeing this, his councillors and his wife became greatly alarmed; so they summoned the physicians, who prescribed various remedies for him; but the more medicine he took, the more serious did his illness appear, and no treatment was of any avail. But most of all did he suffer in the night-time, when his sleep would be troubled and disturbed by hideous dreams. In consequence of this, his councillors nightly appointed a hundred of his retainers to sit up and watch over him; but, strange to say, towards ten o'clock on the very first night that the watch was set, the guard were seized with a sudden and unaccountable drowsiness, which they could not resist, until one by one every man had fallen asleep. Then the false O Toyo came in and harassed the Prince until morning. The following night the same thing occurred, and the Prince was subjected to the imp's tyranny, [pg 202] while his guards slept helplessly around him. Night after night this was repeated, until at last three of the Prince's councillors determined themselves to sit up on guard, and see whether they could overcome this mysterious drowsiness; but they fared no better than the others, and by ten o'clock were fast asleep. The next day the three councillors held a solemn conclave, and their chief, one Isahaya Buzen, said—

"This is a marvellous thing, that a guard of a hundred men should thus be overcome by sleep. Of a surety, the spell that is upon my lord and upon his guard must be the work of witchcraft. Now, as all our efforts are of no avail, let us seek out Ruiten, the chief priest of the temple called Miyô In, and beseech him to put up prayers for the recovery of my lord."

And the other councillors approving what Isahaya Buzen had said, they went to the priest Ruiten and engaged him to recite litanies that the Prince might be restored to health.

So it came to pass that Ruiten, the chief priest of Miyô In, offered up prayers nightly for the Prince. One night, at the ninth hour (midnight), when he had finished his religious exercises and was preparing to lie down to sleep, he fancied that he heard a noise outside in the garden, as if some one were washing himself at the well. Deeming this passing strange, he looked down from the window; and there in the moonlight he saw a handsome young soldier, some twenty-four years of age, washing himself, who, when he had finished cleaning himself and had put on his clothes, stood before the figure of Buddha and prayed fervently for the recovery of my lord the Prince. Ruiten looked on with admiration; and the young man, when he had made an end of his prayer, was going away; but the priest stopped him, calling out to him—

"Sir, I pray you to tarry a little: I have something to say to you."

"At your reverence's service. What may you please to want?"

"Pray be so good as to step up here, and have a little talk."

"By your reverence's leave;" and with this he went upstairs.

Then Ruiten said—

"Sir, I cannot conceal my admiration that you, being so young a man, should have so loyal a spirit. I am Ruiten, the chief priest of this temple, who am engaged in praying for the recovery of my lord. Pray what is your name?"

"My name, sir, is Itô Sôda, and I am serving in the infantry of Nabéshima. Since my lord has been sick, my one desire has been to assist in nursing him; but, being only a simple soldier, I am not of sufficient rank to come into his presence, so I have no resource but to pray to the gods of the country and to Buddha that my lord may regain his health."

When Ruiten heard this, he shed tears in admiration of the fidelity of Itô Sôda, and said—

"Your purpose is, indeed, a good one; but what a strange [pg 203] sickness this is that my lord is afflicted with! Every night he suffers from horrible dreams; and the retainers who sit up with him are all seized with a mysterious sleep, so that not one can keep awake. It is very wonderful."

"Yes," replied Sôda, after a moment's reflection, "this certainly must be witchcraft. If I could but obtain leave to sit up one night with the Prince, I would fain see whether I could not resist this drowsiness and detect the goblin."

At last the priest said, "I am in relations of friendship with Isahaya Buzen, the chief councillor of the Prince. I will speak to him of you and of your loyalty, and will intercede with him that you may attain your wish."

"Indeed, sir, I am most thankful. I am not prompted by any vain thought of self-advancement, should I succeed: all I wish for is the recovery of my lord. I commend myself to your kind favour."

"Well, then, to-morrow night I will take you with me to the councillor's house."

"Thank you, sir, and farewell." And so they parted.

On the following evening Itô Sôda returned to the temple Miyô In, and having found Ruiten, accompanied him to the house of Isahaya Buzen: then the priest, leaving Sôda outside, went in to converse with the councillor, and inquire after the Prince's health.

"And pray, sir, how is my lord? Is he in any better condition since I have been offering up prayers for him?"

"Indeed, no; his illness is very severe. We are certain that he must be the victim of some foul sorcery; but as there are no means of keeping a guard awake after ten o'clock, we cannot catch a sight of the goblin, so we are in the greatest trouble."

"I feel deeply for you: it must be most distressing. However, I have something to tell you. I think that I have found a man who will detect the goblin; and I have brought him with me."

"Indeed! who is the man?"

"Well, he is one of my lord's foot-soldiers, named Itô Sôda, a faithful fellow, and I trust that you will grant his request to be permitted to sit up with my lord."

"Certainly, it is wonderful to find so much loyalty and zeal in a common soldier," replied Isahaya Buzen, after a moment's reflection; "still it is impossible to allow a man of such low rank to perform the office of watching over my lord."

"It is true that he is but a common soldier," urged the priest; "but why not raise his rank in consideration of his fidelity, and then let him mount guard?"

"It would be time enough to promote him after my lord's recovery. But come, let me see this Itô Sôda, that I may know what manner of man he is: if he pleases me, I will consult with the other councillors, and perhaps we may grant his request." [pg 204] "I will bring him in forthwith," replied Ruiten, who thereupon went out to fetch the young man.

When he returned, the priest presented Itô Sôda to the councillor, who looked at him attentively, and, being pleased with his comely and gentle appearance, said—

"So I hear that you are anxious to be permitted to mount guard in my lord's room at night. Well, I must consult with the other councillors, and we will see what can be done for you."

When the young soldier heard this he was greatly elated, and took his leave, after warmly thanking Buiten, who had helped him to gain his object. The next day the councillors held a meeting, and sent for Itô Sôda, and told him that he might keep watch with the other retainers that very night. So he went his way in high spirits, and at nightfall, having made all his preparations, took his place among the hundred gentlemen who were on duty in the prince's bed-room.

Now the Prince slept in the centre of the room, and the hundred guards around him sat keeping themselves awake with entertaining conversation and pleasant conceits. But, as ten o'clock approached, they began to doze off as they sat; and in spite of all their endeavours to keep one another awake, by degrees they all fell asleep. Itô Sôda all this while felt an irresistible desire to sleep creeping over him, and, though he tried by all sorts of ways to rouse himself, he saw that there was no help for it, but by resorting to an extreme measure, for which he had already made his preparations. Drawing out a piece of oil paper which he had brought with him, and spreading it over the mats, he sat down upon it; then he took the small knife which he carried in the sheath of his dirk, and stuck it into his own thigh. For awhile the pain of the wound kept him awake; but as the slumber by which he was assailed was the work of sorcery, little by little he became drowsy again. Then he twisted the knife round and round in his thigh, so that the pain becoming very violent, he was proof against the feeling of sleepiness, and kept a faithful watch. Now the oil paper which he had spread under his legs was in order to prevent the blood, which might spurt from his wound, from defiling the mats.

So Itô Sôda remained awake, but the rest of the guard slept; and as he watched, suddenly the sliding-doors of the Prince's room were drawn open, and he saw a figure coming in stealthily, and, as it drew nearer, the form was that of a marvellously beautiful woman some twenty-three years of age. Cautiously she looked around her; and when she saw that all the guard were asleep, she smiled an ominous smile, and was going up to the Prince's bedside, when she perceived that in one corner of the room there was a man yet awake. This seemed to startle her, but she went up to Sôda and said—

"I am not used to seeing you here. Who are you?"

"My name is Itô Sôda, and this is the first night that I have been on guard."
[pg 205]

"A troublesome office, truly! Why, here are all the rest of the guard asleep. How is it that you alone are awake? You are a trusty watchman."

"There is nothing to boast about. I'm asleep myself, fast and sound."

"What is that wound on your knee? It is all red with blood."

"Oh! I felt very sleepy; so I stuck my knife into my thigh, and the pain of it has kept me awake."

"What wondrous loyalty!" said the lady.

"Is it not the duty of a retainer to lay down his life for his master? Is such a scratch as this worth thinking about?"

Then the lady went up to the sleeping prince and said, "How fares it with my lord to-night?" But the Prince, worn out with sickness, made no reply. But Sôda was watching her eagerly, and guessed that it was O Toyo, and made up his mind that if she attempted to harass the Prince he would kill her on the spot. The goblin, however, which in the form of O Toyo had been tormenting the Prince every night, and had come again that night for no other purpose, was defeated by the watchfulness of Itô Sôda; for whenever she drew near to the sick man, thinking to put her spells upon him, she would turn and look behind her, and there she saw Itô Sôda glaring at her; so she had no help for it but to go away again, and leave the Prince undisturbed.

At last the day broke, and the other officers, when they awoke and opened their eyes, saw that Itô Sôda had kept awake by stabbing himself in the thigh; and they were greatly ashamed, and went home crestfallen.

That morning Itô Sôda went to the house of Isahaya Buzen, and told him all that had occurred the previous night. The councillors were all loud in their praises of Itô Sôda's behaviour, and ordered him to keep watch again that night. At the same hour, the false O Toyo came and looked all round the room, and all the guard were asleep, excepting Itô Sôda, who was wide awake; and so, being again frustrated, she returned to her own apartments.

Now as since Sôda had been on guard the Prince had passed quiet nights, his sickness began to get better, and there was great joy in the palace, and Sôda was promoted and rewarded with an estate. In the meanwhile O Toyo, seeing that her nightly visits bore no fruits, kept away; and from that time forth the night-guard were no longer subject to fits of drowsiness. This coincidence struck Sôda as very strange, so he went to Isahaya Buzen and told him that of a certainty this O Toyo was no other than a goblin. Isahaya Buzen reflected for a while, and said—

"Well, then, how shall we kill the foul thing?"

"I will go to the creature's room, as if nothing were the matter, and try to kill her; but in case she should try to escape, I will beg you to order eight men to stop outside and lie in wait for her."
[pg 206]

Having agreed upon this plan, Sôda went at nightfall to O Toyo's apartment, pretending to have been sent with a message from the Prince. When she saw him arrive, she said—

"What message have you brought me from my lord?"

"Oh! nothing in particular. Be so look as to look at this letter;" and as he spoke, he drew near to her, and suddenly drawing his dirk cut at her; but the goblin, springing back, seized a halberd, and glaring fiercely at Sôda, said—

"How dare you behave like this to one of your lord's ladies? I will have you dismissed;" and she tried to strike Sôda with the halberd. But Sôda fought desperately with his dirk; and the goblin, seeing that she was no match for him, threw away the halberd, and from a beautiful woman became suddenly transformed into a cat, which, springing up the sides of the room, jumped on to the roof. Isahaya Buzen and his eight men who were watching outside shot at the cat, but missed it, and the beast made good its escape.

So the cat fled to the mountains, and did much mischief among the surrounding people, until at last the Prince of Hizen ordered a great hunt, and the beast was killed.

But the Prince recovered from his sickness; and Itô Sôda was richly rewarded.

- source : www.gutenberg.org


- quote -
Cute collection of cats in the yokai world features magical powers, gods and flying catfish
Ayako Ishiguro is one of Japan’s most prolific cat illustrators. Her style is influenced by a mix of manga and traditional styles, and she’s published several books and held numerous exhibitions all featuring the humble feline.
- source : rocketnews24.com -


source : facebook


Byōso kassen 猫鼠合戦 The Battle of the Cats and Mice (1859)
Yoshitoshi - Cataloge of the prints
- source : yoshitoshi.net/series-
. . . CLICK here for more Photos !

Neko no sōshi 猫の草紙 Soshi story book of cats
tr. by Virginia Skord in "Tales of Tears and Laughter".
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Nezumi no sōshi 鼠の草紙 Soshi story book of mice
A mouse monk meets a cat monk on the road....
. . . CLICK here for more Photos !


Neko no myōjutsu 猫の妙術 The Cat's Eerie Skill
佚斎樗山 Issai Chozan (1659-1741)


. Legends about cats .

. bakeneko legends about monster cats .

. nekomata 猫又と伝説 Legends about the Nekomata cat monster .

Ghost Stories, kaidan 怪談

Monsters and Ghosts of Japan

. Yokai monsters 妖怪 - ABC list .



Fudo and Death

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Miroku Raigo zu 弥勒来迎図

The Phenomenon of Invoking Fudō
for Pure Land Rebirth in Image and Text

by Karen Mack

Invoking the esoteric Buddhist deity Fudō for rebirth is a lesser known aspect in the development of Pure Land worship. Fudō was invoked by reciting his incantation as a deathbed practice to attain proper mindfulness at death allowing rebirth into the Pure Land, particularly Miroku's Heaven, from the late Heian into the Kamakura period.

The association of Fudō and Miroku's Heaven extends back to the Tendai monk Sōō (ninth century), and invoking Fudō for rebirth was practiced by such notables as Emperor Shirakawa and the Kegon monk Myōe. Fudō was incorporated into Miroku Raigō paintings from the end of the twelfth century into the fourteenth century, probably as a last recourse by the traditional schools of Buddhism to the rising popularity of Amida worship and easy access to Amida's Pure Land through the nenbutsu.


Fudō appears in Miroku Raigō paintings because he was associated with rebirth in Miroku's Tosotsu heaven since the time of Sōō. With the proliferation of accounts of invoking Fudō for rebirth in Miroku's Heaven, the association of Fudō and Miroku's Heaven grew ever closer. Fudō's efficacy in attaining rebirth in Miroku's Heaven was to eliminate the hindrances to rebirth and provide the prerequisites. The doctrinal source for this efficacy is found in the Hachimei darani kyō. This efficacy was important in Japan because of a widespread belief from the tenth century, not specific to any particular religious school, that maintaining proper mindfulness at the moment of death was crucial for successful rebirth.

The eclecticism of these beliefs is evidenced by the Miroku Raigō itself. The incorporation of Fudō and the Katsuragawa waterfall that is said to lead straight to Miroku's Heaven attest to the influence of the Tendai school and ascetic practices 314 Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 33/2 (2006) originated by Sōō. The incorporation of Kūkai attests to Shingon belief in Kūkai waiting in eternal samādhi on Mt. Koya for the descent of Miroku.

The stylistic iconography of the Miroku Raigō painting with the two foreground bodhisattvas holding a lotus and canopy attest to influence from paintings of Amida Raigō of approximately the same time, such as the fourteenth-century Amida and Fifteen Bodhisattvas Raigō owned by the Chion'in. The very origin of the Miroku Raigō painting ascribed to the Nara priest Jōgen attests to the esoteric influence within the Nara schools of Buddhism.

These Miroku Raigō paintings, which were generated at the end of the twelfth century and continued to be painted into the fourteenth century, were probably produced within the traditional schools of Buddhism as a last recourse to the rising popularity of the new Kamakura schools promoting Amida worship and easy access to Amida's Pure Land, which soon eclipsed the older schools in popularity. By relying on the nenbutsu to attain rebirth in the Pure Land, one no longer needed Fudō's mantra to eliminate the hindrances to rebirth and this practice of intoning Fudō's mantra for proper mindfulness at the moment of death fell out of use.

source : Karen Mack : Nanzan University ...

Sōō 相応 (831–918)
Myōe 明恵 (1173–1232)
Fudō's "Mantra of Compassionate Help" (Jikushu 慈救呪)

BCC is here


source : www1.koalanet.ne.jp/galleria2

Miroku Raigo zu 弥勒来迎図 from the Kamakura period
and Fudo Myo-O 不動明王

. Miroku Bosatsu 弥勒菩薩 .

. Myoe Shonin 明恵上人 .


- source : nishikio.net

Amida Raigo zu  阿弥陀来迎図
at temple Kuroda Mudooji 黒田無動寺 Kuroda Mudo-Ji
Kuroda Nabari, Mie 518-0734

The main statue here is Fudo Myo-O.
The temple was founded in the late Heian period.
In the Edo period it became the Regional headquarter 中本山 of the Daigo-Ha 醍醐派.

. . . hope and salvation is the underlying message of Tendai, and one recurring painted image is that of the enlightened Amida Raigo swooping down on a cloud, surrounded by attendant deities -- sometimes accompanied by a heavenly orchestra -- to pluck a deserving soul from Earth "in the blink of an eye."

. Saicho, Dengyo Daishi 伝教大師最澄 .

. Amida Raigo zu  阿弥陀来迎図 .


Mantras of Fudo Myo-O 不動明王の真言





Mei-O Temple

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Mei-O Temple , Mei-O Ji 明王寺

明王寺(めいおうじ) Shingon Sect

This temple is located in Kobe city.

this temple is close to the famous Tenporin-ji 転法輪寺 (轉法輪寺), the oldest temple in the area (founded in 806), which had been burned down many times and to protect it from the wrath of the elements, this temple Mei-O Ji was erected. The fierce Fudo Myo-O then protected the buildings.

source : pilgrimari.exblog.jp : ro-shin

Temple Myo-o Ji

CLICK for more photos


Pilgrimmage to 33 Temples in Akashi, Kobe
This temple is Nr. 28 of the pilgrimage.

Alphabetical Index of the Daruma Museum


Kutaki Big Fudo

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Kegon Fudo Waterfall in Chichibu

Kutaki Dai Fudo Son

PHOTO from : kei.txt-nifty.com


More Photos from ... kurosuke ...

More Japanese Reference


Alphabetical Index of the Daruma Museum



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Fudo Myo-O at temple Daigoji 醍醐寺 Daigo-Ji

PHOTO : www.kah-bonn.de, 2008

Seated Fudō Myōō
Kaikei, Kamakura period, 1203 (Kennin 3)
Polychrome wood

Temple Treasures of a Sacred Mountain Daigo-ji -
The Secret Buddhism in Japan

25 April to 24 August 2008, Bonn Germany

Shingon Buddhism
The exhibition is an introduction to Shingon Buddhism and presents the Daigo-ji temple as a key cultural heritage site. It demonstrates the way in which religion reverberates through art and history. The unfamiliar pictorial language that characterises much of Esoteric or Secret Buddhism is examined in the context of its religious teachings in order to elucidate the roots of its symbolism and its ritual significance.

The art of Shingon Buddhism often seems confusing because of the large number of Buddhas and the unusual forms they take. By focusing on those figures of the pantheon that are relevant in the context of the Daigo-ji temple, the exhibition provides an insight into the basic structure of Shingon imagery.
© www.kah-bonn.de, 2008


醍醐寺 不動明王

CLICK for more photos of Daigo-ji

In 874, a Buddhist monk Shobo, who is known under his posthumous name of Rigen Daishi (the Great Master of Holy Treasures), built a hermitage to which Kannon (Avalokitesvara) statues of Juntei and Nyoirin were dedicated on the top of the Kamidaigo mountain where he discovered a well of the spiritual water named Daigo through an inspiration from a local god Yokoo Daimyojin. This is the origin of Daigoji temple. After a while pious supports of Emperor Daigo (897-930), Suzaku (930-46), and Murakami (946-67) contributed to development of Daigoji temple complex.

In 907, for instance, the Yakushi hall was constructed to fulfill the imperial wish of Emperor Daigo. The temple complex of Kamidaigo (the upper part of Daigo) was completed by construction of the Godai hall. Consequently a plan of the Shimodaigo (the lower part of Daigo) complex was carried on. The Sakyamuni hall built in 926 and the five-storied pagoda built in 951 were consisted of the prototype of the Shimodaigo temple complex.

Since then Daigoji has played an important role as a main temple of Shingon school Ono branch in a history of Japanese Buddhism. Moreover, it might be worthwhile to note that many politicians in power have had a close family relationship with this temple. For instance, the linage of Minamoto Toshifusa, called Daigo Minamoto family, were the heads of this temple for many generations. Minamoto Toshifusa is known for having seized power instead of Fujiwara family in the late Heian period.

When his son Shokaku was the head of the temple, the temple complex of both Kamidaigo and Shimodaigo was more developed and the Sanboin was constructed in 1115. From his time on Daigoji temple had enjoyed its prosperity. However, Daigoji temple suffered from several fires. The fire especially caused by Onin and Bunmei wars in Kyoto city destroyed the Shimodaigo complex except the five-storied pagoda. It is fortunate that nowadays we can see the pagoda built in 951. In Kamidaigo complex the Juntei hall is well known as the eleventh place of the pilgrimage in the Western part of Japan and the Godai hall is as the center of the Godai-san faith.

The treasures in Daigoji which amount to more than a hundred thousand are preserved in Reihokan. Some of them are exhibited to the public in spring and autumn.

Hanami Parade.
On the secound Sunday of April
In the spring of 1598 Toyotomi Hideyoshi organized a gorgeous Hanami (Cherry-blossom viewing) party. Participants of the party amounted about 900, in which Hideyoshi's wife Kitanomandokoro, his son Hideyori, Hideyori's mother Yodo, several Daimyos and Shomyos, and so on, were included. This can be regarded as the last splendour of the person in power, for Hideyoshi died at the same year.

Read more here on the English HP of Temple Daigoji
© www.daigoji.or.jp

CLICK for more photos of the Waterfall

Fudo Waterfall at Temple Daigo-Ji

- quote -
Daigo-Sui 醍醐水 Daigosui water
Sweet Taste of Spring Water
Daigoji Temple in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, is now selling "Daigo-Sui," or Daigo spring water, which is bottled groundwater pumped from a well in the temple's precincts.

Daigoji Temple has a legend that Rigen-daishi, the temple's founder, was moved to say, "This is really delicious." after drinking the water of a spring in the mountains, and resolved to spread Buddhism. In 2009, the bottles were first given away as commemorative gifts for invited guests who attended the memorial service of the 1,100th anniversary of Rigen-daishi's death, and gained popularity. As a result, the temple decided to make them available commercially.

"Daigo-sui" is soft water that has passed Kyoto City water quality inspection. A 300-milliliter bottle costs 200 yen, and can be bought at the shop in the precincts or by mail order. The water intake from the well is limited at up to 5,000 or 10,000 bottles per month.
- source : kyoto-np.jp/kp/topics/eng -


Guide to Kami-Daigo(the upper part of Daigo)
Guide to Shimo-Daigo (the lower part of Daigo)
Guide to Sanboin

Fudodo, Goma-dojo
Five statues of Myo-o (Vidyaraja), with Fudo Myo-o (Acalanatha) in the center, are enshrined in Fudodo Hall. At Goma-dojo in front of Fudodo, the Saitogoma ceremony is performed by Tozan-ha mission practitioners of Shugen-do to pray for various concerns including world peace.

- source : www.daigoji.or.jp


紙本墨画不動明王像 altogether 5 paintings

不動明王像(三幅) 信海筆
Shinkai, painter of the Kamakura period

Toba Soojoo 鳥羽僧正 Toba Sojo

Look at one more scroll here
Chooga 長賀 Choga - 宅磨長賀 Takuma Choga, painter of the Kamakura period
- source : daigoji.or.jp/archives

. banjakuza, iwaza, ganza 盤石座, 岩座
stone pedestal for Fudo .


The bent Fudo .. Yojiri Fudo . よぢり不動
by Buddhist Painter Yoshihide 絵仏師良秀

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© PHOTO : www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp

(醍醐寺蔵 良秀様 不動明王図像)

The painter of this work ran out of his burning home to look at the flames, leaving wife and child to perish, but he painted the flames of Fudo !
The painting is in the store of Daigo-Ji.

............................ I found the story here also:

Long, long ago there lived an old artist in a town. His specialty was to paint images of Buddha; especially Fudo Myo-o---the Buddhist Divinity of Fire.

One day he was painting as usual. He concentrated his attention on his work. The Buddha he was working on was almost finished, but he wasn't satisfied with it. He sat at the picture all day, took a look at it, and added a blush or two, and took another look, one more blush was added...
It was windy that night. Suddenly a fire broke out from the neighboring house.
"Fire! Fire!" his wife panicked and cried.

But the artist was still gazing at his picture with a frown and arms crossed. Soon the fire started attacking his house. The smoke came into his room with the sounds of burning. No time to escape! His wife pulled his sleeve desperately, and cried frantically,

"Get out, or you'll be burned to death!"
The husband said to her calmly,

"Wait! I have to finish this work." He brushed her hand aside and kept on staring at the picture. Then there was a big sound! Part of the roofs was burned to the ground.
"Wow," the wife jumped out of the room in a hurry.

The flame caught his picture. The artist came to himself and rushed out of the burning house. He had a very narrow escape from the fire. Then he stood on the other side of the street to watch his house burning. An hour later, it burned down completely.

"We feel great sorrow for you." the neighbors consoled him for his bad luck.
"......." he didn't answer them, but kept looking at the ruins.
People came to him one after another to express their sympathy, but he said nothing. It looked like he had been meditating. His wife was worried about him and spoke to him nervously,
"What happened to you? Are you all right?"

He babbled something to her and smiled. Seeing him, many people there thought that he had gone mad because he had lost his house.
His wife asked him again,
"Are you all right?"
Then he said to her rather clearly,

"I've kept painting for many years. But I was never completely satisfied with my work. Thanks to this fire, I've learned something important. It was a wonderful experience for me."
Somehow he looked happy. People around him calmly listened to him.

"As you know I've painted images of Buddha with flames on his back. Now I should say the way I painted the flames was wrong. I've just learned how to paint the flames for the first time in my life. That's an eye opener for me. I can't wait to paint a new image of Buddha. This experience will add a new perspective into my picture."

Fudo Myo-o---its appearance is impressive, the angry face is scared. But inside the Buddha is full of love to people who are agonizing. The Buddha tries to give them a hand with a sword in its right hand, a rope in his left hand. The flames on his back show they will burn people's 108 worldly desires.

The images of Fudo Myo-o he painted from then on drew people's attention. They said his images seemed to sit in the real burning flames to save people. They wanted to have one since just looking at the images, they felt relieved. Soon he made enough money to rebuild a bigger house.
The Buddha painter Yoshihide was ranked among the most gifted artists at that time.
© (2007.6.1 With Itaya)


From the Daruma Museum

Seiryuu Gongen at temple Daigo-Ji 清瀧権現, 醍醐寺
Clear Dragon Deity

Godairiki-San 五大力さん

At temple Daigo-Ji 醍醐寺
February 23.

This festival is a type of the Ninnoo-e 仁王会(にんのうえ) ritual, performed at the temple Daigoji. It shows elements of the rituals for the five gread Fudo godai myo-o 五大明王.
. "Godairiki-san" or
Festival of the Five Powerful Deities .

source : facebook
Poster at Kyoto Station in 2014

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


Kukai was a friend of Saicho and traveled to China in 802, the same year Saicho did.

?? Kukai Kobo Daishi and Saicho both stayed at Daigo-Ji for some time, but then took separate ways to establish their own sects, Shingon and Tendai.

A stone statue of Fudo Myo-O from the temple, said to be carved by Kukai himself, was brought to the Kanto area to bring peace to the region and marks the beginning of Narita Fudo in Chiba.

. Narita Fudo 成田不動尊 .
新勝寺 Temple Shinsho-Ji, Chiba


daigomi 醍醐味 "taste of Daigo"

- quote -
Daigo (dairy product)
Daigo was a type of dairy product made in Japan during the 10th century.
The first mention of this word was in Nirvana Sutra.

譬如從牛出乳 從乳出酪 從酪出生蘇 從生蘇出熟蘇 從熟蘇出醍醐 醍醐最上
— 『大般涅槃経』

From cows to fresh milk;
fresh milk to cream;
cream to curdled milk;
curdled milk to butter;
butter to ghee (daigo).
Daigo is the best.

- Nirvana Sutra

This is the origin of the word, daigo-mi (醍醐味), which means a superb flavor.
Emperor Daigo encouraged the production of so and other cheese-like products. His name origin is thought to be based on the above text. Daigo is thought to have come from China, but it is no longer made in either China or Japan.
- source : wikipedia -

daigomi mo sasuga ni Tosa no funaryoori

such delicious taste !
yes indeed this is
the food on board in Tosa

Iino san 飯野鳴潮

. WASHOKU - Food from Kochi / Tosa .

. so そ 蘇(そ)酥 / 蘇 milk products of old .
daigo 醍醐 is the fifth of our five tasts (gomi 五味).
It symbolizes something very much at the top, in Buddhism even satori or enlightenment.


- #daigoji


Shimomura Kanzan

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Shimomura Kanzan 下村観山

Kanzan Shimomura (10 April 1873 – 10 May 1930)
was the pseudonym of a nihonga painter in Meiji through to the early Showa period Japan. His real name was Shimomura Seizaburō.

Kanzan was born in 1873 in Wakayama city, Wakayama prefecture into a family of hereditary Noh actors.

CLICK for more photos Having moved to Tokyo at the age of eight, Kanzan studied under Kanō Hōgai, and after Hōgai's death, under Hashimoto Gahō. He graduated first in his class at the Tokyo Bijutsu Gakkō (the forerunner of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music), and became a teacher at the same institution in 1894.

When Okakura Tenshin left government service to establish the Japan Fine Arts Academy (Nihon Bijutsuin), Kanzan joined him, together with Yokoyama Taikan and Hishida Shunso. However, Kanzan returned to his teaching post at the Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko from 1901-1908, with a hiatus from 1903-1905, when he went to study in England.

From 1914, he helped reestablish the Japan Fine Arts Academy, and in 1917 was appointed a court painter to the Imperial Household Agency. He served as a judge for both the Bunten and the Inten Exhibitions.

In terms of style, Kanzan was influenced by the Rimpa and the Kano schools, as well as early Buddhist paintings and Tosa school emaki. To these elements, he combined the realism developed from his exposure to western art works during his stay in England.

One of his representative works is a byōbu titled Yoroboshi or "The Beggar Monk" was created in 1915 in colored ink and gold leaf on paper. It is currently housed in the Tokyo National Museum, and is registered as an Important Cultural Property by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. The screen depicts a scene from a famous Noh play of the same name. In the scene, blind monk, has been falsely accused of a crime. Disowned by his family he wanders about, living as a vagrant. Although he is now blind, he has become one with the universe and can see all that surrounds him. Kanzan borrowed heavily from Momoyama period and Edo period style and composition, and the work shows a strong Rimpa influence.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

CLICK for more of his paintings
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「不動尊」 Fudo Myo-O

quote from : www.aurora-net.or.jp


Alphabetical Index of the Daruma Museum


Butsudan scroll

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Butsudan Altar Scroll with Fudo Myo-O

Main Article is HERE
Buddhist Family Altar, butsudan 仏壇

Three Deities of the Shingon Sect

Fudo ..... Dainichi Nyorai .... Kobo Daishi Kukai
不動明王 大日如来 弘法大師

Shingon Sect Family Altar
you can see the statue of Fudo on the left

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Alphabetical Index of the Daruma Museum