2017/12/31

Welcome to Paradise !

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Welcome to Gokuraku 極楽 the Buddhist Paradise !

I will try and introduce information about the life of Shakyamuni Buddha
and a glossary of terms, many of them are kigo for Japanese haiku.

Paradise, Heaven 極楽 gokuraku and Hell 地獄  jigoku

ano yo あの世 the other world
haraiso はらいそ paradise (paraiso)
higan 彼岸 the other shore
joodo 浄土 Paradise of Amida
ka no yo かの世 the other world
. meido 冥土 冥途 the other world / yomi 黄泉 "the yellow springs" .
paradaisu パラダイス paradise, Paradies
raise 来世 afterlife, the world to come
rakuen 楽園 paradise, earthly paradise
shigo no sekai 死後の世界 the world after death
takai 他界 to die, to pass into the other world
tengoku 天国 heaven
tenjoo 天上 "up there", heaven

. toogen 桃源 Shangri-La シャングリラ, Arcadia, Eden - Toogenkyoo 桃源郷 fairyland, .
桃源郷 lit. Peach Blossom Valley

. Tokoyo no Kuni 常世国, 常世の国 The Eternal Land (of Shintoism) .
yomi 黄泉 the yellow springs, die Gelben Quellen
yuutopia ユートピア Utopia


And in the limbo toward the other world here are a lot of vengeful spirits, monsters and goblins.

. jigoku 地獄 Buddhist hell - Introduction .
naraku ならく / 奈落 hell, hades


. Pilgrimages in Japan - Introduction .


. - - - Glossary of Terms - - - . - not yet in the ABC index.


Your comments and help are most welcome!

Gabi Greve
GokuRakuAn 極楽庵, Japan



. Gokuraku Joodoo 極楽浄土 Gokuraku Jodo, Paradise in the West of Amida Nyorai .



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- PPP - / - QQQ - / - RRR - / - SSS - / - TTT -

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. Reference, LINKS - General Information .


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2017/12/29

General Information

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General Information and Reference


- - - - - - - - - - Latest Additions - - -

. Darumapedia - Temples and Gokuraku .

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A Tourist Guidebook to Paradise  
GokuRaku no Kankoo Annai 極楽の観光案内 by 西村公朝 Nishimura Kocho



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- - - - - - - - - - External LINKS - - -


Buddhism in Japan - Buddha Statues - an extensive guide

A-TO-Z PHOTO DICTIONARY
source : Mark Schumacher



Buddhist Art News - Japan
News on Buddhist art, architecture, archaeology, music, dance, and academia.
- source : buddhistartnews.wordpress.com




地獄と極楽がわかる本 - to understand hell and heaven
source : futabasha.co.jp

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A Cultural History of Japanese Buddhism
William E. Deal, Brian Ruppert




- quote -
Review by Jonathan Ciliberto
Intended for “upper-level undergraduate and graduate students as well as scholars,” A Cultural History of Japanese Buddhism fills a gap by presenting largely recent work of Japanese and Western scholars on Japanese Buddhism. The authors consider prior books on Buddhist cultural history as largely from Indian and Tibetan viewpoints. The particular presumptions, intellectual models, or even prejudices of such positions (e.g., to view Japanese Buddhism as a distant reflection, or a corruption, of a continental original) are seen as obstacles to an accurate history of Buddhism’s influence and interaction with Japan.

The great value of the book is to direct readers to approaches and theories perhaps overlooked by more general histories of Buddhism. Each chapter includes its own bibliography and notes, making the book useful for study of narrow sections of Japan’s history.

Published in 2015, many summaries of and citations to recent scholarship are incorporated. Although a relatively short volume (~200 pages, absent notes and biolographies), it includes a great deal of purely historical information surrounded by “cultural history,” covering Japan from protohistory to the present. The book includes a character glossary.

Some themes that run through the book are: that Buddhism in Japan was not a monolithic “ism,” and that individual sects were not exclusive of one another but rather interacted in practice and doctrine; the complex interaction of indigenous religion with Buddhism; Buddhist lineages in Japan as the agents of cultural influence (e.g., “lineages had already begun to pursue the possibility of an ultimate deity”).

Many chapters include subsections on women and gender in Japanese Buddhism, including a fascinating section on the link between literary salons “established in women’s circles” and often held within monasteries and creating an environment for “the evolving and intimate connection between monastic Buddhists and their lay supporters” (102-4). More generally, these sections illustrate the important influence of women on Japanese Buddhism throughout its history. The book also devotes substantial attention to religion in Japan in the modern period, a much-needed resource.

One instance of a simplification of Japanese history that the authors seek to correct is the view that Shinto and Buddhism remained largely separate strands. While the doctrine of honji-suijaku is relatively well-known, the book reveals in greater depth the complex interplay between the two religions by reference to the writings of recent (and less-recent) scholars.

Another attempt to reveal subtlety beyond a stock scholarly view concerns (in the Heian period) the “limitations of the ‘rhetoric of decadence’ [that] some scholars attribute to ‘old’ Buddhism”. The authors offer Minamoto no Tamenori’s (d. 1101) Sanbo’e as an attempt “to incorporate other parts of the populace” beyond the aristocracy. This undercuts the claim that “practitioners of the ‘old’ Buddhism were completely unconcerned with those outside their walls” as a cause of the emergence of “religious heroes” (like Kukai and Nichiren) (88-90). (That said, the ongoing theme of Japanese Buddhists, unsatisfied with the quality of teaching in Japan, who sought original texts and more authoritative teachers in China, does support the basis of a kind of “decadent” Buddhism.)

It is important to have a sense of what “cultural history” is, or what it intends to do, before considering the authors’ approach to a history Japanese Buddhism. Given that cultural history includes an extremely wide set of approaches, determining the present authors’ use of it as a method is largely about picking out strands from the mass of possibilities. (One author refers to “the notorious difficulty of organizing the disorderly profusion of intradisciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and varying national-intellectual meanings and understandings of the “culture concept” into anything resembling consensual form” [Geoffrey Eley, “What Is Cultural History?”, New German Critique, No. 65, Cultural History/Cultural Studies, Spring – Summer, 1995, pp. 19-36].)

While the authors don’t set out their approach, generally in the present volume they tend to consider Buddhism in Japan less in terms of its religious or spiritual character or content and more as a generator of social and political forms. Or, rather, it is unspoken that religion was the driving force in developing myriad cultural effects in Japan, but the book doesn’t linger on religion itself, as it does on these effects.

It is unclear whether this approach is based on the position described by the scholar of medieval Japanese Buddhism Bernard Faure when he refers to an “absolute standpoint” as a “contradiction in terms” (Faure, Visions of Power (2000), 9). (Faure is frequently cited in A Cultural History of Japanese Buddhism.) That is: there are no “religious” standpoints motivating individuals, in terms of absolute or ideal concepts, or at least that taking direction from such standpoints is delusional.

Faure’s view (following from Le Goff) is that “literary and artistic works of art (and, in the case of religion, ritual practice) do no represent any eternal, unitary reality, but rather are the products of the imagination of those who produce them” (Faure, 10, emphasis added). A similar view of religion advocates a “History of Religions approach – trying to figure out how and why certain forms of religiosity took shape the way they did instead of assuming that it was religious experience that made religion” (Alan Cole, Fathering Your Father (2009), xi).

Thus, Faure and historians who follow his approach write religious history absent of religion as an internal activity, aimed at self-improvement, transcendental, or altruistic. Or perhaps this approach simply considers individual “religious” experiences too personal, too psychologically opaque, to form the basis of historical inquiry, and thus discards consideration of such experiences as “religious” in nature, and instead consider them in mainly terms of materiality and politics.

The authors of A Cultural History of Japanese Buddhism follow more directly the historian Kuroda Toshio’s sociopolitical functionalist approach. While occasionally offering descriptions of Buddhist practice and doctrine, the book largely focuses on: state-control over and connection with Buddhism in Japan (“Buddhism was firmly controlled by the state” during the early period (66)); art as narrative or purely visual, rather than a function of practice (99); Buddhist practice as a means of gaining influence or power at court, and the claim that “undoubtably” the introduction of esoteric lineages was related to the royal court’s interest in such power(106); that the court drove ritual (“Pivotal organizational and philosophical changes begin to arise in the royal court with the consolidation of the annual court ceremonies” (88, 106)).

Throughout, the authors take pains to connect influential Buddhists with the court: “The Daigoji halls, like those in other major monasteries, primarily housed scions of Fujiwara and Minamoto heritage” (107); “The Shingon lineages, from a very early point, […] had a special connection with the royal line” (108); “the intimate association between Tendai’s Enryakuji (Hiei) and the leading Fujiwaras” (108). Every monk who was a member of a royal family is identified in such a manner.

The author’s de-emphasis on “religious” explanations for religious history in Japan is intended to counterbalance writers who rely too much on such explanations. Citing the notable effect of D.T. Suzuki’s presentation of Zen Buddhism to the West (absurdist, gnomic, iconoclastic), and pointing out that “few Japanese Zen adherents, except those in the modern period and particularly those with access to the writings of Suzuki translated into Japanese” would recognize it, the author’s more social-science approach finds some justification. (146-7).

Performance theory is connected with the authors’ approach. A Cultural History of Japanese Buddhism doesn’t lay any groundwork for the reader as to what the doctrine or technique of applying performance theory are. It is a notoriously amorphous field of inquiry. One description of the approach states that “the performative nature of societies around the world, how events and rituals as well as daily life [are] all governed by a code of performance,” and one sees how this aligns with Deal and Ruppert’s approach in the present volume: religious acts are not generated by authenticity, but rather are ritualized and “for show.” Performance theory is difficult to understand as contributing much to an analysis of history, since all human action is outward, and thus all actions are, in a literal sense, “performed.” The negative application of the theory is applied in the present volume: performance theory supports the strategy of avoiding examination the motivations, hearts, or minds of individual in Japanese Buddhist history.

This is a strategy for writing history, and indicates the above-mentioned scholarly caution, perhaps, but also it tends to paint individuals as acting according to a plan (or with hindsight), rather than by caprice, calling, sincerity, compassion, or irrationality. Perhaps it doesn’t matter, in terms of cultural history, whether or not an effect was caused by religion or some other motivation, but only that the effect did occur.

With regard to Buddhist art, the authors acknowledge – particularly as to poetry – that the “undoubted” motivation for including Buddhist themes was a recognition of the contrast between non-attachment and the “intoxication of those who made use of or found beauty in the linguistic arts” (102). Oddly – although in keeping with the author’s “non-religious” approach to religious art – the idea that such an aesthetic intoxication is meant exactly to advance individuals’ practice (e.g., through visualization) is never mentioned, with respect to poetry or any other art form.
- source : Buddhist Art News -

- reference -

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BUDDHISM & SHINTŌISM IN JAPAN
A-TO-Z PHOTO DICTIONARY OF JAPANESE RELIGIOUS SCULPTURE & ART

- source : Mark Schumacher



Digital Dictionary of Buddhism - 電子佛教辭典 / Edited by A. Charles Muller
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- source : www.buddhism-dict.ne

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2017/12/08

Jigokudani Hell Valley

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. Japan - Shrines and Temples - Index .
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Jigokudani 地獄谷 ”Hell Valley" -- Jigoku no Tani 地獄の谷

There are quite a few places with this name in Japan, especially in the many regions with volcanic activity and related onsen 温泉 hot springs.

- reference : jigokudani -

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Jigokudani Yaen Koen 地獄谷野猿公苑 Monkey Park
Even the wild monkeys enjoy a hot bath in a hell valley bath tub !



- quote -
The Jigokudani Yaen-koen
(altitude 850 meters) is located in the Valley of Yokoyu River sourced from Shiga-Kogen of the
Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park in northern part of Nagano prefecture.
- source : en.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp -
Nagano Prefecture, Shimotakai District, Yamanouchi, Hirao, 6845

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source : MFA Boston

At Hell Valley on Mount Tate in Etchû Province,
Nikushi Dôjin Demonstrates a Battle of Frogs and Teaches Magic to the Two Comrades Yoshikado and Iga Ju

Etchû Tateyama no Jigokudani ni Nikushi Dôjin kawazu kassen no ki o arawashi Yoshikado Iga Ju no ryôyû
「越中立山の地獄谷に肉芝道人蛙合戦の奇をあらはし良門伊賀寿の両雄に妖術を授く」
by Yoshitora 芳虎画



Tateyama Jigokudani 立山の地獄谷


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地獄谷あるとき群るる赤蜻蛉
jigokudani aru toki mururu akatonbo

hell valley -
sometimes red dragonflies
come in great numbers

Tr. Gabi Greve

岡田日郎 Okada Nichio

. akatonbo 赤蜻蛉 red dragonfly .
- kigo for autumn -


地獄谷くらく鴬老いにけり 吉澤卯一
地獄谷ここにもケルン積まれあり 塩川雄三
地獄谷すなわち石楠花谷として 花谷和子
地獄谷小さき日傘の湧いてきし 嶋野國夫
地獄谷老鴬もまた深く聞く 藤浦昭代
地獄谷隣合せの大花野 菅野一狼
ケルン灼け足奪はるる地獄谷 河野南畦

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. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .



................................................................................. Aichi 愛知県 
豊田市 Toyota

. oni no ido 鬼の井戸 the well of the Demon .
igokudani 地獄谷 "hell valley" at the river 田代川 Tashirogawa

tanuki 狸 badger
A farmer had to pass the Jigokudani every evening, and always had the feeling someone was following him.
At the road crossing with three paths there was a strange sound, ザダーン zadaaaan.
People said this must have been the mischief of a Tanuki.






................................................................................. Gifu 岐阜県 
益田郡 Masuta district 小坂町 Kosaka

天狗 Tengu
A person who did some rain rituals at 御嶽山 Mount Ontakesan went to the Jigokudani to give thanks. There is a rock formation named zoo no hana 象の鼻 nose of an elephant. When he passed there a strange being with a long nose could be seen.
And soon after there was a huge storm.








................................................................................. Hokkaido 北海道 



Meet the Demons (Oni) of Hell Valley in Noboribetsu Onsen Hot Spring - Hokkaido
. Oni 登別の鬼 The Demons of Noboribetsu .




................................................................................. Nagano 長野県 
上伊那郡 Kami-Ina district 中川村 Nakagawa

yama otoko 山男 "Mountain Man Monster"
In the North of 大鹿村 Oshika village is a place called Jigokudani. It is a spooky place with many bones of humans and animals.
Once a brave forest worker went there to cut trees. There were many good さわらの木 Sawara trees (Chamaecyparis pisifera), so he built a small hut and started working.
On a full-moon night there was an ominous rumbling in the mountain and something seemed to come closer and closer. Then a huge Mountain Man appeared in front of the hut, threw him the arm of a woman and said "Eat this!"
The man was so shocked and afraid, he made use of the moonlight and fled out of the forest and into his home in the village.







................................................................................. Niigata 新潟県 
西蒲原郡 Nishi-Kanbara district 赤塚村 Akatsuka mura

daija 大蛇 huge serpent
The master of 明かずの池 Akazu no Ike was a huge serpent.

. Legends about ike no nushi 池の主 と伝説 the Master of the Pond .

Other legends tell of the master of the pond as
. aka-ushi 赤牛 the red bull / red cow .
The red bull had to flee from the pond and escaped to another one, the pond in Jigokudani.





................................................................................. Shizuoka 静岡県 
静岡市 Shizuoka city

At the back of 臨済寺 temple Rinzai-Ji in Shizuoka city there is a dreadful, scary place called Jigokudani.
If you go there unprepared and not careful, you might die.
During 賎機山の合戦 the battle at Shizuhatayama many people died and their souls came to meet and stay here.
The battle was between the forces of Takeda Shingen and Tokugawa Ieyasu.



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- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -

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. Japan - Shrines and Temples - Index .


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Yakushi and oni Demons Legends

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. Yakushipedia - ABC-Index 薬師如来 .
- Shichibutsu Yakushi 七仏薬師 - see below
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Yakushi Nyorai and Oni Demon legends 薬師如来と鬼伝説


source : イスム谷中店 twitter


Yakushi with the lantern-carrying demons
. 天燈鬼 Tentoki and 龍燈鬼 Ryutoki .


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. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .


............................................................................ Aichi 愛知県
名古屋市 Nagoya 熱田区 Atsuta

. 高蔵不動院 Takakura Fudo-In .
"Festival of the Demons of Yakushi Nyorai 大薬師の鬼祭"





............................................................................ Mie 三重県
熊野市 Kumano

The samurai 小栗判官 Oguri Hangan had been given poison by his enemies and turned almost into a gaki 餓鬼 hungry demon. Yakushi Nyorai appeared in his dream and told him to go to Yunomine Hot Spring to be healed.

. Oguri Hangan 小栗判官 Legends .
Yunomine Onsen 湯の峰温泉 and Oguri Hangan - 和歌山県 Wakayama



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Shichibutsu Yakushi 七仏薬師 / 七佛薬師 Seven Yakushi Statues


............................................................................ Kyoto 京都府
与謝郡 Yosa district 野田川町 Nodagawa

muchi yakushi 鞭薬師 "whip Yakushi"
麻呂子親王 Prince Maroko Shinno carved seven statues of Yakushi Nyorai and offered them to 天照大神 Amaterasu Omikami with the prayer of help to drive out the Demons of the Oeyama region.
A white dog 白い犬 showed him a cave where he could carve the statues.
The third son of 用明天皇 Emperor Yomei (518 - 587), 金丸親王 Prince Kanemaru Shinno, is also known as
麻呂子親王 Prince Maroko Shinno or 当麻皇子 Prince Taima no Miko.
Many legends about this prince are found in the region of 福知山 Fukuchiyama.
Some are related to 吉田氏 the family Yoshida which is now known as 鞭氏 Muchi family.

After carving the statues he was powerful enough to drive out the 鬼神 Kijin Demons.
The demons hid in a cave called

鬼の岩屋 Oni no Iwaya.

Maroko had victory over the three demons at 大江山 Mount Oeyama:
英胡 Eiko, 軽足 Karuashi and 土熊 Tsuchiguma

The three demons 英胡 Eiko, 軽足 Karuashi and 土熊 Tsuchiguma
They lived with their subordinate Demons in the region of Fukuchiyama.
Two of these three, Eido and Karuashi, had been captured and almost killed by the army of Maroko.
Tsuchiguma had been captured alive. He came forth and asked for all Oni to be pardoned.
Prince Maroko had one condition:
"You have to build seven temples, for each of the seven statues of Yakushi Nyorai, in one night!"
The Oni had no difficulty in building these temples and where then banned to
立岩 Tateiwa, a huge boulder at the end of 丹後半島 Tango Peninsula.




The old Temple 無量寺 Muryo-Ji has kept written documents of these events.
京都府福知山市字筈巻963 / 963 Hazumaki, Fukuchiyama-shi, Kyōto

At 雲原 Kumohara there is a valley called 仏谷 Hotokedani, where Prince Maroko prayed for power to drive out the Oni and carved the seven Yakushi statues.
Other temples in Fukuchiyama with legends about Prince Maroko are
長安寺 Choan-Ji / 577 Okunobe, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto
and
願来寺 Ganrai-Ji / 794, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto

The three Oni may be related to the three elements 「火」fire 「風」wind and 「水」water -
necessary elements for the production of iron with tatara bellows, and thus have been sword smiths.
Maybe this is also the reason why Maroko is called 金丸親王 Kanemaru or 金屋皇子 Kanaya (metal hut) in this region.

The Chinese character 胡 in the name of demon 英胡 Eiko might be related to the 胡族 Ko clan from China, famous for their metal making technology.
Other place names in Fukuchiyama which might be related to metal manufacturing are
魔谷 Matani "Devil's valley"(大江町北原)
and
火の谷 Hinotani (valley of fire) - 福知山市天座


. Ooeyama Oni Densestu 大江山鬼伝説 Demon Legend of Mount Oeyama .
related to Saka Doji 酒呑童子 a Sake Yokai Monster .
Shuten-dōji 酒呑童子 Shuten Doji 酒顛童子, 酒天童子, or 朱点童子

. Takadono tatara 高殿鑪 Metal making in ancient Japan .

. kishin, kijin, onigami 鬼神の伝説 Oni Deity Demon Legends .


- The Three Legends of Defeating the Oni in Mt. Oe
Prince Maroko - Shuten Doji - Hikoimasu no Kimi and the demon 玖賀耳之御笠 Kugamimi no Mikasa
- source : city.fukuchiyama.kyoto.jp/event... PDF file -


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- quote -
Emperor Yōmei 用明天皇 (Yōmei-tennō, 518 – 21 May 587)

was the 31st Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
Yōmei's reign spanned the years from 585 until his death in 587.
..... Because of the brevity of his reign, Emperor Yōmei was not responsible for any radical changes in policy, but his support of Buddhism created tension with supporters of Shintoism who opposed its introduction. .....
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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丹後の七仏薬師 Seven Yakushi Temples of Tango
- reference : geocities.jp/k_saito_site -

七薬師伝説 The seven temples with Yakushi Legends

1 - 施薬寺 Seyaku-Ji -- 善名称吉祥王如来 
1369 Taki, Yosano, Yosa District, Kyoto (与謝野町) ・桓武天皇勅願所、旧根本寺

2 - 清園寺 Seion-Ji -- 宝月智源光音自在王如来
(福知山市大江町) - 略縁起と縁起絵は府の指定文化財

3 - 元興寺 Gango-Ji -- 金色宝玉如来
(京丹後市丹後町) 竹野郡 Takeno district

4 - 神宮寺 Jingu-Ji -- 無憂寂勝吉祥如来
(京丹後市丹後町)・・麻呂子親王のものと伝わる墓がある

5 - 等楽寺 Toraku-Ji -- 法界雷音如来
(京丹後市弥栄町) Yasakacho Torakuji, Kyōtango

6 - 成願寺 Jogan-Ji -- 法界勝恵遊戯神通如来
(宮津市) Miyazu city

7 - 多禰寺 Tane-Ji -- 薬師瑠璃光如来
(舞鶴市) 346 Taneji, Maizuru, Kyoto
用明天皇勅願所 Built on request of Yomei Tenno
西国薬師第三十番霊場 Nr. 32 of the Saikoku Pilgrimage to Yakushi Temples


There are other temples claiming to be related to the seven Yakushi statues

円頓寺 Endo-Ji (京丹後市久美浜町 Tango Kumihamacho)
月光寺 Gekko-Ji (廃寺 not existant any more, 、京丹後市大宮町 Tango, Omiya)

- reference source : hirase.sakura.ne.jp/s1/oni -


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




Busshoji 仏性寺 Bussho-Ji, now 如来院 Nyorai-In
in 大江町 Oe-cho village. It is close to the Oni no Koryu Hakubutsukan 鬼の交流博物館 Demon Museum.
Hidden in the statue of Yakushi Nyorai is a small statue said to be Maroko himself.
The name of the temple is also 鎌鞭山 Kamamuchizan - referring to the event when Maroko made offerings of the weapons used to capture the demons:
kama 鎌 sickle and muchi 鞭 whip

The name of the temple derives from Bussho-Ji of 高野山真言宗如来院 Nyorai-In at Mount Koyasan.
It is also famous for the legends of Minamoto no Yorimitsu driving out the demons of 大江山 Mount Oeyama.
There is also the
. Onigajaya, Oni-Ga-Chaya 鬼ヶ茶屋 Tea stall of the Demons .

After 1916, 黄銅鉱・磁硫鉄鉱 various metals like brass and pyrrhotite iron were found in the region.

. 源頼光と坂田金時 Minamoto Yorimitsu and Sakata Kintoki .


. Inage 稲毛七霊場 - Seven Yakushi Temples in Yokohama and Kawasaki .

. Akamon Shichibutsu Yakushi Do Hall 赤門七佛薬師堂 .

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


shichibutsu Yakushi 七仏薬師 Seven Yakushi statues - the Aura of Seven

- quote -
Lit. seven Buddhas of healing.
Seven manifestations of Yakushi 薬師 or the Master of Healing, said to reside in realms to the east of our world.
They were thought to be efficacious in appeasing the revengeful spirits of fallen political figures implicated in social calamities.
The names in Japanese are as follows (in order of progressive distance from our world):
Zenmyoushou kichijouou 善名称吉祥王, Hougatsu chigon kouon jizaiou 宝月智厳光音自在王, Konjiki houkou myougyou jouju 金色宝光妙行成就, Muyu saishou kichijou 無憂最勝吉祥, Hokkai raion 法海雷音, Hokkai shoue yuge jinzuu 法海勝彗遊戯神通, and Yakushi rurikou 薬師瑠璃光 (this last corresponding to the full name of Yakushi).
First mentioned in the fourth and latest extant Chinese translation in 707 of the YAKUSHIKYOU 薬師経 (Sk:Bhaisajyaguru-sutra, or Scripture of the Master of Healing) a text devoted to the cult of the Buddha Yakushi. In Japan they are represented either by seven independent images or, more frequently, by six or seven figurines attached to the halo of Yakushi sculptures. Popularity and worship of the Seven peaked in the late 8c and 9c.
Today the ritual service dedicated to them Shichibutsu Yakushi-no-hou 七仏薬師の法; first recorded to have been performed by Tendai prelate Ennin 円仁 in 850 survives only in the Tendai 天台 sect, where it is counted as one of the four major rituals shika daihou 四箇大法 of the "Mountain School" Sanmon 山門 or Mt. Hiei 比叡 branch.
- source : JAANUS -


- quote -
Seven Forms of Yakushi - Seven Buddha of Healing
Seven Manifestations of Yakushi

- source : Mark Schumacher -

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



source : The Sumitomo Foundation.

The central statue is 128.1cm, the ones to the right and left are 84.4 - 88.4cm
Made from katsura カツラ / 桂 Japanese Judas tree, Cercidiphyllum japonicum.
They are in the temple hall 赤沢薬師堂 Akazawa Yakushi-Do, Iwate.
They date back to the Heian period and the 藤原氏 Fujiwara clan in Hiraizumi.

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



- reference source : matumushidera -

Matsumushidera 松虫寺 Matsumushi Temple
千葉県印西市松虫 / Matsumushi, Inzai, Chiba 270-1602
Its statue is 七仏薬師 瑠璃光如来 Yakushi Ruriko Nyorai.

松虫姫伝説 - Legend of Princess Matsumushi

The temple has been founded in 745 on request of 聖武天皇 Emperor Shomu Tenno by 僧行基 Priest Gyoki Bosatsu.


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

. Yakushi Nyorai - - by Gabi Greve .

Shichibutsu Yakushi 七仏薬師 Sieben Yakushi-Statuen
In der Tendai-Sekte gibt es eine Form der Verehrung des Yakushi in seinen sieben Inkarnationen ( 七仏薬師法 Shichibutsu Yakushiho). Dabei bitten die Gläubigen vor allen Dingen um Heilung von Krankheiten und um eine leichte Geburt.



Eine große und sechs kleine einzelne Statuen des Yakushi Nyorai mit jeweils sieben kleinen Verkörperungen im Nimbus. Entsprechend dem Sutra der sieben Yakushi-Buddhas (Shichibutsu Yakushikyoo).
Diese Stauten werden bei Fürbitten für die Heilung von Krankheiten und um einfache Geburt besonders angebetet.
Diese sieben Figuren haben dann als Inkarnationen des Yakushi eigene Bezeichnungen :



1 Zenmyooshoo Kichijoooo Nyorai 善名称吉祥王如来 Zenmyosho Kichijo-o Nyorai
His Sanskrit letter is A - 梵字:ア
The name of his paradise is 光勝国.




2 Hoogetsu Chigonkoo Onjizaioo Nyorai 宝月智厳光音自在王如来 Hogetsu chigonko Oniizaio Nyorai
His Sanskrit letter is RA - 梵字:ラ
The name of his paradise is 妙宝国.




3 Konjiki Hookoo Myoogyoojooju Nyorai  金色宝光妙行成就王如来 Konjiki Hoko Myogyo Joju Nyorai
His Sanskrit letter is BAA - 梵字:バー
The name of his paradise is 円満香積国.




4 Muyuu Saishoo Kichijoo Nyorai  無憂最勝吉祥王如来 Muyu Saisho Kichijo Nyorai
His Sanskrit letter is SHIRA - 梵字:シラ
The name of his paradise is 無憂国.




5 Hookai Raion Nyorai  法海雷音如来 Hokai Raion Nyorai
His Sanskrit letter is DAA - 梵字:ダー
The name of his paradise is 法幢国.




6 Hookai Shooe Yuugijintsuu Nyorai 法海勝慧遊戯神通如来 Hokai Shoe Yugi Jintsu Nyorai
His Sanskrit letter is A - 梵字:ア
The name of his paradise is 善住法海国.




7 Yakushi Rurikoo Nyorai  薬師琉璃光如来 Yakushi Ruriko Nyorai
His Sanskrit letter is BEI - 梵字:ベイ
The name of his paradise is 浄瑠璃国.


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- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -

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. Yakushipedia - ABC-Index 薬師如来 .

. Yakushi Nyorai - Legends from the provinces .

. Yakushi Nyorai Pilgrimages 薬師霊場巡り - Introduction .


. O-Mamori お守り Amulets and Talismans .

. Japan - Shrines and Temples - ABC List .


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2017/12/01

Jigoku Hell Contents

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. Japan - Shrines and Temples - Index .
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jigoku 地獄 the Buddhist Hell - Contents



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. Diyu 地狱 (Jap. jigoku) (Sanskrit: नरक "Naraka") .
is the realm of the dead or "hell" in Chinese mythology.


. Eingakyoo 絵因果経 E-Inga-Kyo - Illustrated Sutra of Cause and Effect .

. Enma Ten 閻魔天、Enma Oo 閻魔王 Ema King of Hell - Yama-raja .


. Hachi Dai Jigoku 八大地獄 Eight Great Hells .
Hachi Netsu Jigoku 八熱地獄 Eight Hot Hells

. Hachi Kan Jigoku, Hachikan Jigoku, Hakkan Jigoku 八寒地獄 Eight Cold Hells .


. Jigoku Bosatsu 地獄菩薩 "Bosatsu of Hell" .
- - - - - Namu Jigoku Daibosatsu 南無地獄大菩薩, Jizoo Bosatsu 地蔵菩薩

. Jigokudani 地獄谷 ”Hell Valley" - Jigoku no Tani 地獄の谷 .

. Jigoku Dayû, Jigoku Dayuu 地獄太夫 Jigoku Dayu, Courtesan of Hell.

. jigokudoo 地獄道(じごくどう)The Realm of Hell .

. jigokue, jigoku-e 地獄絵 painting of hell .
- - - - - jigoku ezu 地獄絵図 Hell Paintings and books about them

Jigoku Jinja 地獄神社 Shrine (tba)

. Jigoku no Baba 地獄の婆., Datsueba 奪衣婆 or 脱衣婆 the Old Hag of Hell .

. jigoku no oni 地獄の鬼 demons of the Buddhist hell .

. jigokuyaki, jigoku yaki 地獄焼 grilling seafood alive - "Hellish grilling" .  


. Juu Oo 十王, Juo, Ju-O - 10 Ten Kings of Hell - Ten Yama Kings .


. Kabuki 歌舞伎 and Hell .

. Kawanabe Kyōsai 河鍋暁斎 Kawanabe Kyosai Hell paintings .

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 jigoku haiku 地獄俳句 .


. meido 冥土 冥途 the other world / yomi 黄泉 "the yellow springs" .


. naraku ならく / 奈落 hell, hades .



. Sanzu no Kawa 三途の川 River Sanzu, the river on the way to hell .

. Seikooji, Seikō-Ji 星光寺 Temple Seiko-Ji - Kyoto .

shoojigoku 小地獄 Shojigoku "small hell" (tba)


. Taizan Fukun 泰山府君 / 太山府君 King of Hell .
Taizan-O 太山王(泰山王) King Taizan
Daizan oo 泰山王 Daizan-O (incarnation of 薬師如来 Yakushi Nyorai)


. yomi 黄泉 "the yellow springs" .


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- - - - - Gokuraku and Jigoku - Table of Contents - - - - -

- AAA - / - BBB - / - CCC - / - DDD - / - EEE -

- FFF - / - GGG - / - HHH - / - I I I - / - JJJ -

- KK KK - / - LLL - / - MMM - / - NNN - / - OOO -

- PPP - / - QQQ - / - RRR - / - SSS - / - TTT -

- UUU - / - VVV - / - WWW - / - XXX - / - YYY - / - ZZZ -


. Reference, LINKS - General Information .



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. Japan - Shrines and Temples - Index .


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2017/11/22

Yakushi and Fudo Legends

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. Yakushipedia - ABC-Index 薬師如来 .
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Yakushi Nyorai and Fudo Myo-O legends 薬師と不動 伝説

. Fudō Myō-ō 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O
- Acala Vidyârâja - Vidyaraja .





Fudo Myo-O, carved by 西村公朝 Nishimura Kocho in 1975
in a keya tree (Torreya nucifera)

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長野県史 民俗編 南信地方 ことばと伝承 -Nagano
8 観音・薬師・地蔵・不動の伝説 :(2)薬師の伝説
長野県史刊行会




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............................................................................ Aichi 愛知県
名古屋市 熱田区 - Nagoya Atsuta

. 高蔵不動院 Takakura Fudo-In .
"Festival of the Demons of Yakushi Nyorai 大薬師の鬼祭".



............................................................................ Shiga 滋賀県

. 不動寺 Fudo Temple .
the Ise Road near the Ishi Yakushi stone 石薬師伊勢道



............................................................................ Nagano 長野県

. Fudo Son 不動尊 at 経平 Tsunehira .

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



source : vill.omi.nagano.jp/history

Statue of Yakushi Nyorai, Statue 147 cm, All is 387.9 cm.

福満寺 Fukuman-Ji
長野県東筑摩郡麻績村山寺 / Yamadera Hi, Omi-mura, Higashichikuma-gun, Nagano

This secret statue was shown once every 50 years. Some people who have tried to get a look at it during other times have been heavenly punished with eye disease.
After a repair in 1947 the statue is now shown every second year on the 31 of December and on the 3rd of May.
The statue was made by Ennin in the year 849, when he traveled in Tohoku. He also carved 日光・月光菩薩 Nikko and Gakko Bosatsu, 四天王 Shitenno and 十二神将 Juni Shinsho.
He added a letter with his wishes for the prosperity of the region
「我いま、仏勅(ぶっちょく)を奉じて薬師如来を安置し奉る、日々に鎮護国家・五穀豊穣・除災招福の秘法を修して霊験利生(れいげんりしょう)を得せしめよ」

. Ennin - Jigaku Daishi 慈覚大師 / 慈覺大師 .
(794 – 864)


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- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -


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. Yakushipedia - ABC-Index 薬師如来 .

. Yakushi Nyorai - Legends from the provinces .

. Yakushi Nyorai Pilgrimages 薬師霊場巡り - Introduction .


. O-Mamori お守り Amulets and Talismans .

. Japan - Shrines and Temples - ABC List .


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2017/11/20

Yakushi and Tengu

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. Yakushipedia - ABC-Index 薬師如来 .
. Tengupedia - ABC-Index 天狗 .
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Yakushi Nyorai and Tengu Legends 薬師と天狗伝説

. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .


. Temple Yakuo-In 薬王院 .
At Mount Takao-san 高尾山 in Tokyo Yakushi is venerated, and so are the Tengu.
The Izuna Daigongen deity at Mount Takao used to be called
飯縄不動尊 Izuna Fudo Son




. Join the TENGUPEDIA on facebook ! .


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. Folktales, legends about Yakushi Nyorai 薬師如来 / お薬師様 / お薬師さん .


................................................................................. Aichi 愛知県
北設楽郡 Kita-Shitara district 本郷町 Hongo

kamikakushi 神かくし spirited away
A boy born with 生来痴鈍 an intelligence defect left home for a walk when he was about 15 or 16 years and did not come back in the evening.
Next morning when he came home, he said he had been in the mountains and played with Yakushi Nyorai and some Tengu.




................................................................................. Iwate 岩手県
平泉町 Hiraizumi

Karasu Tengu 烏天狗
In the 中尊寺薬師堂 Yakushi Hall of temple Chuson-Ji there is 頭蓋骨 a skull of a 鳥天狗 Karasu Tengu in the treasure hall.




................................................................................. Kyoto 京都府
中京区 Nakagyo

tengu no tsume 天狗の爪 nail of a Tengu
Since about 1715, at the temple 丹州国分寺 Kokubun^Ji in 丹州 anshu (the Tango/Tanba region) they show a statue of Yakushi Nyorai and also the nails of a Tengu.

. tengu no tsume 天狗の爪 tengutsume 天狗爪 nails of a Tengu .





................................................................................. Nagano 長野県

.......................................................................
下伊那郡 Shimo-Ina district 上村 Kamimura

Tengu sama 天狗様
Once a family prayed to Tengu sama to have children - and what do you know, next morning a baby was sleeping at their front door.
They took it in as their own child and loved it dearly. But they were quite busy with other things and the child died when it was just 4 years.
Now the family thought this was the punishment, because they did not care properly for the child of a Tengu.
They begun to venerate it as 薬師平の三倉の明神 the Deity of Mikura of Yakushidaira.

Yakushi-Daira 薬師平 Yakushi Daira "Yakushi Plain"

.......................................................................
下伊那郡 Shimo-Ina district 高森町 Takamori

Guhin sama 狗賓様 - 稚児石 Chigoishi stone
At the river 小田沢川 Odakozawagawa there is a boulder called Chigoishi 稚児石 "Stone of a Child".
It is said if you rub a Daikon radish on the stone when it rains there will be blood flowing from it.
On the 8th day of the 4th lunar month during お薬師祭り the festival of Yakushi there is chigo mai 稚児舞 a dance of children. To be selected as a child to participate is a great honor but also a danger, because if the child makes a mistake during this dance, it will have bad luck.
Once a child took a wrong step and Guhin sama grabbed the child and flew away with it. He sat on a huge boulder at Odakozawagawa and ate most of the child.
The rest he took to river 片桐松川 Katakirimatsukawa and ate it.
Since then the dance of the children was stopped.

. Gubin, kuhin 狗賓 / グヒンサマ Guhin Sama Tengu "Wolf Guest" .




................................................................................. Shiga 滋賀県
甲賀郡 Koka district 信楽町 Shigaraki

In Shigaraki town there is a 不動寺 Fudo Temple.
Once a man went missing there and people got out with drums and bells to look for him. They found him dead leaning on a tree on the Ise Road near the Ishi Yakushi stone 石薬師伊勢道. This must have been the doings of a Tengu.




Fudooji 不動寺 Fudo-Ji
滋賀県甲賀市信楽町黄瀬2843-2 / Shigaraki, Kinose


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- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -

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. Yakushi Nyorai - Legends from the provinces .

. Yakushi Nyorai Pilgrimages 薬師霊場巡り - Introduction .


. O-Mamori お守り Amulets and Talismans .

. Japan - Shrines and Temples - ABC List .


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2017/11/18

Denzu-In Dentsu-In Tokyo

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Denzuuin 伝通院 Denzu-In, Denzuin - Tokyo
小石川伝通院 Koishikawa Denzu-In, Dentsu-in, Dentsuin

The reading of the Chinese characters differs.



文京区小石川3-14-6 / 3 Chome-14-6 Koishikawa, Bunkyō ward
Jodo sect of Buddhism 浄土宗

The temple was founded in 1415 by 聖冏上人 Saint Shogei.
The main statue is 無量聖観世音菩薩 Muryo Sho Kannon Bosatsu

The mother of Tokugawa Ieyasu, 於大の方 O-Dai-no-Kata, was buried at this temple in 1602. The Tokugawa clan took care of the tomb and it soon became famous.
The wives and children of other Tokugawa Shoguns are buried here too.
The old wooden buildings burned down in WWII, but the stone tombs are still as they were.



Tombs of the Tokugawa Family

- quote -
The temple Dentsu-in is counted as one of three Shogun family's temples with Zojoji Temple and Kaneiji Temple.
... This temple is known as the place where a radical Samurai team was organized. This group became Shinsengumi, unofficial police in Kyoto at the end of Edo era.
- source : richiefukuda.blogspot.jp -

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shuin 朱印 stamp

- Homepage of the temple
- source : denzuin.or.jp...


. 江戸三十三観音霊場 Pilgrimage to 33 Kannon Temples .
Nr. 12 in the Edo pilgrimage
東京三十三観音霊場 Nr. 25 in the Tokyo pilgrimage

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It looks as impressive as the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris -
said the novelist Nagai Kafu (1879 - 1959, who was born in the Koishikawa district.

Kafu has written about Haien no seirei: "Kitsune" (The Fox)
His father had seen a strange monk with a tail (in fact the fox Takuzosu) walking in the area in plain afternoon.
The more tails an Inari messenger fox has, the more powerful it will be.
- See below for the fox legends of old.


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Yūten 祐天 Yuten Shami, 祐天上人 Saint Yuten Shonin
..... Yuten came to be patronized by Keisho-in, the mother of the fifth Tokugawa shogun Tsunayoshi, who is said to have called on him in his hermit's hut on the outskirts of Edo. In Genroku 12 (1699) he was in unprecedented fashion summoned to Edo castle and promoted from being a lowly wandering monk to the position of head priest of one of the Jodo sect's eighteen major temples in the Kanto area. In samurai terms, his status had become equal to that of a daimyo with a fief of 100,000 koku. The following year he was further promoted by an appointment as head priest to the Iinuma Gukyoji temple in Shimosa, the very temple where he had performed his first famous act of exorcism.
Finally in Hoei 1 (1704), he was placed in charge of Koishikawa Denzuin in Edo, a temple next in standing only to the Zojo ancestral temple at Shiba.
. Saint 祐天上人 Yuten Shonin .


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. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .


- . Inari 稲荷 the "Fox Deity", "Fox God" .

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Hakuzooshu 伯蔵主 / 白蔵主 / 白蔵王 Hakuzoshu / Hakuzosu

A high priest from Dentsu-In. 覚山上人 Saint Kakusan Shonin, went to Kyoto and and on his way back had a monk named Hakuzo as his companion to teach him on the way. Hakuzo was an excellent student, but once when he had a high fever, he talked in his dream and said he was a fox. Now he is the protector deity of the shrines dedicated to
Hakuzosu Inari 伯蔵主稲荷.



- reference : the Yokai monster Hakuzosu -

. - yookai, yōkai 妖怪 Yokai monsters - ABC-List - .


- Tomioka Tessai (1836–1924)
- source : metmuseum.org/art... -

- quote -
Fox Spirit in the Guise of a Traveling Monk (Hakuzosu)
The vulpine figure dressed as a traveling monk, gazing intently at a nearby trap, is the protagonist of the popular kyōgen play Tsurigitsune (Fox Hunter).
In this comic morality tale, an old fox disguises itself as the monk Hakuzōsu, whose fox-trapper nephew has succeeded in ensnaring most of the fox clan. Recounting a variety of lore about the wily vengeance of the fox, the fox-cum-monk persuades the trapper to give up his trade. This drawing shows the fox prior to heading home, unable to resist the temptation to take the bait from the discarded trap. The trickster ends up caught, to the delight of the chagrined trapper who realizes he has been fooled by a fox in disguise.
- - - The poem on the upper left is by the artist's wife, Haruko:

Hito wo nomi hakaru to omou orokasa ni onore kitsune no wana ni kakareri.

You who seek to deceive
will find yourself
caught in the fox trap
and foolish.


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A similar story is told about the Fox-Priest Takuzo . . .

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Inari Daimyojin 稲荷大明神

Another fox posing for a monk was named 多久蔵主 (たくぞうす) was Takuzosu.
Also spelled 澤蔵主 / 澤蔵司 / 沢蔵
He came to the priest's seminar at Dentsu-In every night and took part in the discussions. He learned all the secret teachings of the Jodo sect within just three years.
In the year 1620, on May 7, the Head Master of the Seminar had a dream vision about Takuzosu:
"I am the Shinto Deity Inari Daimyojin from the Chiyoda castle of Edo. I always wanted to study about the Jodo sect of Buddhism and now finally my wish has come true.
I will now go back to be a Shinto Deity, but will stay on as the protector of your establishment! "
- - - - - And thus he became the 護法神 protector deity of Dentsu-In.



He is venerated at 慈眼院 Jigen-In, 澤蔵司稲荷 Takuzosu Inari
3 Chome-17-12 Koishikawa, Bunkyō ward



- Homepage - takuzousuinari . com -



Detail of 澤蔵司稲荷 Takuzosu Inari
江戸名所図絵 Edo Meisho Zue - modern version


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dainaru hi 大なる燈 The Great Lantern

Around 1720 there was a Kannon temple called 伝通院 Denzu-In. On the 25th day of the first lunar month there appeared a strange light like a lantern above the temple, slowly moving from North to South. It then moved up to the sky and became a star which glowed and sparkled every night. On the 8th day of the third lunar month there was a large fire, covering the area from Ushigome to 千住 Senju.
Later they found the bodies of many people who had died in the garden of this temple.

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keiun 慶雲 auspicious cloud

In the year 1825 on August 15 the author 外岡北海 Sotooka Hokkai walked in the compound of Dentsu-In when he saw an auspicious cloud in five colors cruising over the village. The cloud turned white and colorful again and hang there for a while.
When people asked where it had come from, he could only say they had been there all the while.

goshiki no kumo 五色の雲 clouds of five colors


- reference : denzuin.or.jp-

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mikkazuki shoonin 三ヶ月上人 Saint Mikkazuki

Saint Mikazuki thought the frogs were disturbing the students and ordered the frogs to shut their mouth.
Since then not a frog's voice had been heard in the compound.
This was called musei kaeru 無声蛙 the frogs without a voice.

There is also a book - 伝通院の無声蛙 - by 加瀬順一 Kase Junichi

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nezumi 鼠 the rat

A monk from Denzu-In had killed a rat at four in the afternoon, when he was still in his youth. Just before dying the rat had bitten his finger.
Now every day at six in the afternoon his finger begun to hurt - for the rest of his life!

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Tengu and Fudo 天狗と不動明王

In the temple 伝通院 Denzu-In lived a person named 岱雄 Taio. One day he went out begging with the monks but did not come back. Two days later they found him fainted in the back of the dormitory. When he came back to himself, he told the following story. When he wanted to make an offering, his body suddenly became light and he took off to the sky. Then he went to 成田不動 Narita Fudo to pray, spent some time between the woods talking to some Tengu who wanted to do Sumo wrestling with him. They gave him food and kept him for seven days.
The Tengu had also told him if he wanted to come back to them, he should face East to Narita and think of Fudo Myo-O, then they would come and fetch him again and give his some presents from Narita.

. Legends about Tengu and Fudo Myo-O .

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yuurei 幽霊 ghost

Once there were two men, 久米蔵 Kumezo and 文作 Bunsaku, working for 藤田廉平 Fujita Renbei. One day Renbei said, that Bunsaku became ill and died and had been buried at Dentsu-In.
One month later a woman named 志計 Shige said she had seen Bunsaku in 芳町 Yoshicho village. He had been peddeling material to make barrels. So all thought that it must have been his ghost.
Later they learned that Renbei had made a mistake, and it was Kumezo, who had died!

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- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -
- reference : tesshow.jp/bunkyo/temple_koishikawa_dentsuin...





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. Japan - Shrines and Temples - Index .


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