Kasamori Inari


Kasamori Inari Fox Shrines

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Kasamori Inari Fox Shrine, 笠森稲荷

Kasamori Inari Fox Shrine カサモリ稲荷

Kasamori Inari Dai Myojin 瘡守いなり 大明神

Kasagami, God of the Smallpox Scabs 瘡神(かさがみ)

瘡守薬王菩薩 Kasamori Yaku-O Bosatsu. PHOTO .

Kasa mori, most probably meaning

to protect (mori 守り) the scab (kasa 瘡(かさ) on a wound or smallpox.

Click for original LINK, Kubota Cool !

This Inari fox deity was popular during the Edo period when smallpox where dangerous. If not treated properly, they would leave deep skars in faces of people.
This Deity is also worshipped to protect and cure from other skin diseases, ulcers and also to help cure syphillis.

The scab of a wound was represented as an earthen dumpling (tsuchi dango), offered to the Fox Deity Inari. When the wound healed properly, the dumpling was covered with white rice powder (looking like the white powder used for doll making, gofun) as an act of thanking the Deity.

Fox gods like to eat dumplings of white rice, but this was not affordable as a common offering, so people out-tricked the tricky fox god and made mud and earth dumplings for him. Since the Fox god was waiting for the real ones after he performed his miraculous treatment, he would usually carry out the wish of the worshipper. Now when the patient was healed, the Fox god was offered mud dumplings with a thin coat of rice powder.

Since smallpox were very much feared during the Edo period, there were many shrines to this deity to pray for protection and healing.
The daily offering to this deity is also a set of two mud dumplings (土の団子).

The famous beauty of the Edo period, Kasamori O-Sen (1751~1827) 笠森お仙, also worshipped at a famous Kasamori Shrine in Edo for the protection of the beauty of her skin; there are many woodblock printings about her, especially by Harunobu Suzuki.
Osen, the "teahouse girl at Kasamori Inari Shrine".

Kasamori no O-Sen:English Reference

. Kanban musume 看板娘 Kamban "advertising servant" .

CLICK to look at many prints!


手鞠歌 Children's song about the dumplings


Let's to go the Fox Shrine over there.
Let's visit the teahouse of O-Sen.
Let's sit down and have some bitter tea!
Sip the tee and peek at her and then
dumplings from rice, dumplings from mud,
dumplings, dumplings, dumplings !

O-Sen bringing dumplings

CLICK for original LINK : Kubota.cool!
by Suzuki Harunobu

© Kubota: Kasamori Osen
Japanese LINK with many photos !


CLICK for photos of the Shrine !


© www.kashiwashobo.co.jp

There were many shrines of this name in many places of Japan, since the smallpox were a difficult disease to cure.
When the great shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu fell ill with a swelling on his head, he prayed to the Kasamori Inari Shrine in Edo to get well.

Yamanashi Kasamori Inari Jinja

The reading of YAMANASHI is special here.

CLICK for LINK and original information !

Kasamori Inari Shrine in Morioka, Hachimangu Shrine compound

Kasa no Mori Inari Shrine in Osaka, Takatsuki (かさのもりいなり)
Especially helpful for syphillis patients (baidoku 瘡(かさ=梅毒のこと). 瘡毒平癒の神.


Kasamori Kannon, 笠森観音
Chiba Prefecture

CLICK for original LINK !

Kasamori Temple was founded in 784, and is known as the 31st holy temple among the 33 holy grounds of Bando. This important cultural asset, supported by 61 pillars of various lengths and dedicated to Kannon (Goddess of Mercy), is a rare sight even in Japan.
The temple is also known for housing a haiku monument composed by the famous haiku poet Matsuo Basho.
© www.ccb.or.jp Chiba

External LINK
Pilgrimage to Bando Fudasho : Kasamori, Chonan

CLICK for more photos !

samidare ni kono Kasamori o sashi mogusa

during the rainy season
here at Temple Kasamori
I get some moxabustion

Matsuo Basho at Temple Kasamori-ji 笠森寺

Moxibustion (moxabustion) and Haiku


Worldwide use

A Tale from Taiwan

" Hot and delicious dumplings! Red beans and sesame.
One for ten cents, two for twenty cents and three for free!"

Mountain Ban Pin Shan

Things found on the way


Daruma, Smallpox and the color Red, the Double Life of a Patriarch
by Bernard Faure


. Ichiron san no kubi ningyoo いちろんさんの首人形
head dolls from Ichiron san .

in memory of Minamoto no Tametomo 源為朝 (1139 - 1177), sold at Kasamori Inari


Shining Mud Balls, hikaru doro dango 光る泥だんご

English Reference, Bruce Gardner
Japanese Reference


Disease-preventing fox god ... by Issa

shimogare ya gofun no hagashi tsuchi dango

frost-killed grass--
whitewash peeling off
the mud dumpling

nakamura sakuo comment :

1819 the most sad year of Issa.
His daughter was affected by smallpox.
As the general custom, he prayed to the fox god, offering the mud dumpling.
If the sickness would be recovered, the mud would be painted whitewash.
But she died.

sakuo renku

剥がれて吾が子 あの世へ旅立つ
hagarete wagako anoyo he tabidatu

peeling off
she has gone to the other world

 © Look at more haiga by Nakamura Sakuo HERE !


tsuchi dango kyô mo kogarashi kogarashi zo

today too,
winter wind!

u no hana ya kodomo no tsukuru tsuchi dango

deutzia in bloom
children make


Tr. David Lanoue

Seen in light of the smallpox background, the children are not just playing around, it seems! Maybe they are making offerings to pray for their siblings.

Related words

***** Fox (kitsune) Japan





Unknown said...



GWSDCC said...

Wikipedia's information introduces Masanobu Fukuoka's seedballs as "土団子,土だんご,Tsuchi Dango Earth Dumpling" see here; then in the article devoted to M. Fukuoka, the collective website says: Also he re-introduced the ancient technique of seed balls (粘土団子,土団子,土だんご, Tsuchi Dango (Earth Dumpling). The seed for next season's crop is mixed with clay, compost, and sometimes manure, and formed into small balls. The result is a denser crop of smaller but highly productive and stronger plants."
Do you know whether Tsuchi Dango have been used in agriculture before M.Fukuoka introduced them to the world ?
Thanks alot,

Gabi Greve said...

Dear Anthony,
I will have to check this out later.
Thanks for asking !!

Gabi Greve said...

Yoojuin 養壽院 / 養寿院 Yoju-In - Sakuragi
東叡山 Toeizan 養壽院 Yojuin
笠森稲荷 Kasamori Inari

台東区上野桜木1-15-3 / Tokyo, Taito ward, Ueno, Sakuragi
The statue of 准提観音 Juntei Kannon 准胝観音.