2016/08/14

Ajaribo Tengu

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Ajaribo 阿闍梨坊 Ajari-Bo Tengu
Higoajari, Higo Ajari 肥後阿闍梨 / 備後阿闍 the Ajari of Higo, Acharya of Higo
Kooen, Kōen 皇円 Saint Koen

(? - 1169)

First a short description of an Ajari:
- quote
ajari Sk: acarya.
Teacher or master. A title conferred on an eminent priest who guides his pupils and sets a good example. As a rank in the Japanese priesthood, it was first used in 857, and was conferred on masters of both the Tendai 天台 and Shingon 真言 sects.
- source : JAANUS


- - - - - Higo Ajari is one of the
. 四十八天狗 48 Tengu of Japan .

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Kooen, Kōen 皇円 Koen
諡号 -- 肥後阿闍梨 - Higo Ajari
尊称 -- 皇円大菩薩 - Koen Daibosatsu 皇円上人 Saint Koen Shonin
He was a priest of the Tendai sect and his most famous disciple was 法然 Saint Honen.
He died at Mount Hieizan 比叡山功徳院.


His statue at 蓮華院誕生寺奥之院

- quote -
Renge-in Tanjō-ji (蓮華院誕生寺) Tanjo-Ji
is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon Risshu, or Shingon-Vinaya Buddhism, in Tamana, Kumamoto Prefecture. It is the head temple of Shingon-Vinaya Buddhism in Kyūshū and a branch temple of Saidai-ji (西大寺) in Nara (奈良).
It venerates Maha-Bodhisattva Kōen (皇円大菩薩, Kōen Daibosatsu) as its patron deity.
The temple stands on the site of Jōkō-ji Renge-in which was founded either at the end of the Heian period or the beginning of the Kamakura period and burnt down during the wars of the Sengoku period. The first abbot Zeshin Kawahara (1896 - 1977) was instructed through a spiritual communication by Kōen to restore Jōkō-ji Renge-in, which he accomplished in 1930 and renamed it Renge-in Tanjō-ji ("Birth Temple") in honor of the fact that it stands on the birthplace of Kōen.
... The temple consists of the Main Temple and the Oku-no-in, or the Inner Temple, which is located 2.5 miles north of the Main Temple on Mt. Shōdai.
... 1937 The Acharya Hall (阿闍梨堂, Ajari-dō) completed.
...
Patron Deity Maha-Bodhisattva Kōen
is venerated as the patron deity. Kōen (皇円) was a Tendai monk in the latter part of the Heian period. Since he was said to have died on June 13 in 1169, it is assumed that he was born in 1074.

Kōen was born in Tsuji, Tamana-shō in Higo Province as a great-great-grandson of Kampaku Fujiwara no Michikane (藤原道兼). His father was Fujiwara no Shigekane (藤原重兼), governor of Buzen Province. In his teens, he took the novice's ordination with Kōgaku (皇覚), a master of Sugiu School (椙生流), at Mt. Hiei, and studied Exoteric Buddhism under him. He furthered his education by studying Esoteric Buddhism with Jōen (成円). He started going by the name of Kōen around this time by taking a Chinese character from each of his masters' names. He lived in Kudoku-in on Mt. Hiei and became known as the Acharya of Higo (肥後阿闍梨, Higo Ajari). Hōnen who founded Jōdo-shū, a major school of Pure Land Buddhism, was ordained under Kōen in his last years and became his disciple.

He was also a noted scholar known for his erudition. He wrote Fusō Ryakki (扶桑略記, A Concise History of Japan) which is considered Japan's first chronicle detailing the events (mainly related to Buddhism) from the reign of Emperor Jimmu to that of Emperor Horikawa in the chronological order.

The actual circumstances of his death are unknown. According to the biographies of Hōnen written in the latter part of the Kamakura period, on June 13, 1169, Kōen commenced tantric practice in the form of a draconic deity in Sakuraga-ike Pond in Enshū. Sakuraga-ike Pond is an actual dammed lake in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture.
- source : wikipedia -



皇円大菩薩絵巻 Koen Daibosatsu Emaki - Scroll about his life
- source : youtube.com/watch -

This temple is Nr. 21 蓮華院誕生寺 一願成就不動 - Renge-In
of the Kyushu Fudo Pilgrimage 九州三十六不動霊場.

. 九州三十六不動尊霊場 Kyushu - 36 Fudo temples .


- HP of the temple -
St. Koen was born to a noble family on the very site of Rengein-Tanjyoji temple in 1073, in the Heian Era, the era of the aristocracy. Holding the reins of Higo province government, his grandfather, Lord Shigefusa Fujiwara, (Kanpaku; the highest rank of courtiers). St. Koen entered the priesthood in his infancy. He studied Buddhism and practiced Buddhist training asceticism at Mt. Hiei near Kyoto. When he was young, he was very famous as a great priest, as well as being a profound Buddhist scholar in Japan.
He wrote "Fusoryakki," which is numbered among the three great chronicles in Japan, including "Dainihonshi" and "Nihonshoki".
He also educated thousands of disciples. At the age of 74, he granted the fundamentals of Jyodo Buddhism to 15-year-old Honen who then founded the Jyodo Sect (the Pure Land Sect) and became the master of the priest Shinran.



Because of St. Koen's vow to attain a miraculous power to save mankind, he entered Nirvana as a dragon-deity incarnate at Sakuragaike-pond in Shizuoka prefecture in 1169. Subsequently he received Bosatsugyo-training asceticism in the next world. ...
- source : www.rengein.jp -
2288 Tsuji, Tamana, Kumamoto / 熊本県玉名市築地2288



His most important work is Fusoo Ryakki 扶桑略記 Fuso Ryakki, written in 1094 on request of 堀河天皇 Horikawa Tenno (1079 - 1107), at Mount Hieizan. It contains 30 volumes

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Koen the Dragon Bodhisattva:
History and Hagiography, a Translation and Analysis of the "Fuso Ryujinden."



Aaron Patrick Proffitt (Author)

- quote
Kōen as Maitreya Devotee and Tengu
... the Fusoo ryuujinden claims that according to "folk-lore" and "myth", Koen was also said to be a Tengu, or mountain spirit/goblin. In these contexts he is referred to as the Higoajari 肥後阿闍梨, or the Ajari of Higo Kingdom.
- source : books.google.co.jp

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- quote -
Ōshōkyō-in 応声教院 山門 Sanmon Gate at Oshokyoin Temple
Oshokyoin Temple located in Nakauchida, Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Pref. is a temple of the Jodo sect. The principal object of worship is the statue of Amida Nyorai (quasi national treasure). The temple originates in Tengakuin Temple of the Tendai sect, which was established in 855 by the priest Jikaku Daishi as an Imperial prayer temple for Emperor Montoku. Later, Honen Shonin (1133-1212), the founder of the Jodo sect Buddhism, placed the statue of Amida here to the memory of his teacher, Koen Ajari, who was said to have transformed himself into the Ryujin (dragon god) to save people in Sakuragaike Pond in the neighboring town. The temple sect was changed from the Tendai sect to the Jodo sect and its name was also changed from Tengakuin to Oshokyoin at this time.



Oshokyoin is a branch temple of Chioin Temple in Kyoto. It is also known as the fudasho (a visiting place for pilgrims) for those who are born in the year of dragon and snake in Enshu (present-day Shizuoka Pref.) area. The temple possesses the manuscript of the Koen Ajari legend and the statue of Hafuki Amida Nyorai (Amida with mouth open). Up the stone steps at the entrance stands the Sanmon Gate (the temple gate), which was erected by the 2nd Shogun, Tokugawa Hidetada. In the precinct are full of unique objet d'art such as Nonbei Jizo (Bottle-man Jizo). There are also two of the Seven Wonders in Enshu, Mitabi-guri (a chestnut tree producing chestnuts three times a year) and Kataba-no-Ashi (the reed grass that has leaves on only one side of the stem).
- source : nippon-kichi.jp -

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

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

Ajari-ike 阿闍梨池 The Ajari Pond
In 1198 建久9(1198)年正月18日,Saint Koen Ajari became a dragon thanks to his faith in 弥勒菩薩 Miroku Bosatsu. He came to the 善光寺如来堂 Nyorai Hall in the temple Zenko-Ji.
He walked around seven time and then went into the Ajarigaike pond, which was in fact a swamp. This swamp is now quite small, but if people perform 如来印文 certain rites of Nyorai for 17 days, it will become full of water. This happens because this pond in Nagano is said to be linked to the Sakuragaike in Shizuoka (遠州 Enshu), where he died.



. Zenkooji 善光寺 Zenko-Ji Nagano .


................................................................................. Sakuragaike 桜が池

Koen Ajari became a serpent and waited for his ascend as a dragon to the realm of Miroku Bosatsu.



When his death came near, he scooped some water from the pond and suddenly there were huge waves on the pond. Even now on a calm evening people can hear the sound of ritual bells near the pond.



Every year during the summer equinox people bring an offering of rice with red beans in a half-open bucket and someone pushes it into the water. Then the water begins to whirl and draws the bucket to the bottom.

- reference : nichibun yokai database 妖怪データベース -


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- quote
Ajari Kikenbo - a Kingmaker Character
Languages:
Tengu, Common, Varisian, Draconic (kobold), Elvish
Homeland
Untrustworthy. Liars. Thieves. Ne’er-do-wells.
Sooner or later the names people call you begin to sink in and become your own identity. Such was the case with young Ajari.
- source : brevoy.obsidianportal.com


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. - yookai, yōkai 妖怪 Yokai monsters - .

. Tengu 天狗と伝説 Tengu legends "Long-nosed Goblin" .

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

. Mingei 民芸 Regional Folk Art from Japan .

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