Hakusan Festivals

. Legends about Hakusan / Shirayama .

Hakusan Shrine Festivals

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: New Year
***** Category: Observance


There are many Hakusan shrines 白山神社 in Japan.
see below about Hakusan belief.

Shirayama Hongu Shrine 白山本宮
(Hakusan Hongu Shrine
or Hakusan-ji Temple 白山寺)
Shirayama Hime Jinja 白山比咩神社(しらやまひめじんじゃ)
located on Mt. Gozenpo 御前峰
headquarter of over 2000 branch shrines and temples.

. Hakusan Shrine in Tokyo .


Nagataki Hakusan Jinja muikasai 長滝白山神社六日祭
Festival on the 6th day at Nagataki Hakusan Shrine

source : hibishigoto.blog

hana ubai matsrui 花奪い祭
"festival of taking blossoms by force"

People try to get a paper blossom from the decoration hung up at the ceiling.
It will bring good luck and fortune for the coming year.
The paper blossoms are cherry, chrysanthemum, camellia, peonies and poppies.

The famous dance 長滝の延年の舞 is performed.
This festival is an important folk cultural asset.

NagatakiJinja 長滝神社

The shrine is located in Gifu, Gujo Town, Hakucho village.

This shrine is one of the most important Hakusan shrines in Japan, best known for its Hakusan Mandala.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Since Meiji, the shrine and temple have been separated
Hakusan Chuuguu Chooryuuji 白山中宮長滝寺
Temple Hakusan Chugu Choryu-Ji


Another important festival of this shrine is held on May 5
dededen matsuri でででん祭り DedeDen festival
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Famous for its drums, which make the sound DEDEDE . . .


Nonomiya matsuri (No no Miya)箟宮祭 (ののみやまつり)
Nonomiya festival

Nonotake Hakusan matsuri
Mount Nonotake Hakusan Festival

At the temple Koopooji 箟峯寺 Kopo-Ji in Wakuyacho village, Northern Miyagi
Fourth Sunday of January.

An arrow-shooting ritual.
Two children clad in ancient robes and hats have to shoot12 arrows in exchange with a priest.
Depending on the hits, the weather and a good or bad harvest of the year can be forecast.

At the Kannon Hall 観音堂 of the temple
Hakusan Shinji 白山神事 Hakusan ritual

This is one of the oldest rituals in Japan, involving the Hakusan belief of mountain worship.

The region is famous for ancient findings of gold mines.


Shrine Hakusan Jinja 白山神社
Hakusan shinkoo白山信仰 Hakusan belief

First an animistic belief, now featured by Tendai Esoteric Buddhism.


Hakusan Shinkō
Hakusan is the collective name given to the three mountains Gozenpō, Ōnanjimine, and Bessan located at the intersection of the regions Kaga, Echizen, and Mino.
Hakusan shinkō is the faith based on the deification of these mountains.

Local farmers believed that Hakusan was a mountain inhabited by "water kami" (suijin), dragon kami (ryūjin), and the spirits of the dead.
Fishermen of the Japan Sea worshipped Hakusan as a kami of fishing and seafaring.

The Jinmyōchō section of the Engishiki records a "Shirayamahime Jinja" in Ishikawagun, Kaga (Tsurugimachi, Ishikawa Prefecture), but after the medieval period when "kami and Buddha syncretism" (shinbutsu shūgū) developed, it became customary to read "shirayama" as "hakusan" (both are readings of the characters 白山).

There are various theories as to the preponderance of Hakusan shrines (jinja or gongen) in eastern Japan in areas where outcastes (hisabetsu) live, but the reason for this are unknown. There have been various "enshrined kami" (saijin) claimed for the shrine, but currently Kukurihime no kami (i.e. Shirayamahime no ōkami) is the main kami worshipped alongside Izanagi no kami and Izanami no kami.

Kukurihime no kami 菊理姫命 is worshipped at the shrine okumiya on Mount Gozenpō, Ōnamuchi no kami is enshrined at Ōnanji Jinja on Mount Ōnanjimine, and Ōyamatsumi no kami is worshipped at Bessan Jinja on Mount Bessan.

The Shirayama no ki, however, states that the indigenous "land master kami" (jinushigami) gave his land to Hakusan Gongen, and moved to Mount Bessan. This story is thought to reflect the expanded power of people who worshipped the newly Buddhist-styled Hakusan Gongen.
Hakusan was a "mountain where the kami abides" (shintaisan) (which was taboo to ascend), but along with the development of Shugendō people began to ascend the mountain. Legend claims that the "mountain was opened" (kaisan) by Taichō Shōnin at the beginning of the Nara Period, but his name does not appear in sources from that era. However, his name does appear in such Heian Period documents as the Taichō kashō denki and the Shirayama no ki, and therefore we can surmise that there were already people climbing the mountain for worship in the Heian Period.

The Shirayama no ki was copied 1439 but the original manuscript is believed to date back to the Heian Period. According to this text, Mount Gozenpō, where Kukurihime no kami is enshrined, was referred to by the name Zenjō (meditation), the kami was called Hakusan Myōri Daibosatsu, the "original Buddhist deity" (honjibutu) of Kukurihime no kami was the Eleven-faced Kannon (Ekadasamukha Avalokitesvara), Ōnamuchi no kami was the Buddha Amida (Amitābha), and Ōyamatsumi no kami was Shō Kannon (Ārya-Avalokitesvara). The text also records the legend that if one drinks water from the lake Midorigaike, where Hakusan Myōri Daibosatsu was supposedly born, one would achieve the "merit" (riyaku) of an extended, long life.

Documents place the site of Shirayamahime Jinja in Kaga, but there were three routes for climbing the mountain, from Hakusan Kagababa, Hakusan Echizenbaba, and Hakusan Minobaba, indicating that pilgrimages could start from each of the three regions that the mountain straddles. The mountain pilgrimage route is called a zenjōdō (path of meditation), the entrances to the mountain trails are called baba, and there were also places to worship from a distance.

Along the pilgrimage route are shrines called Hakusan Shichisha (the Seven Shrines of Hakusan). Women were permitted pilgrimage as far as the center shrine (Chūgū). We can imagine that many people made pilgrimages to the shrine as a result of the use of such materials as the Shirayama no ki and Hakusan sankei mandala paintings for preaching about the merits of Hakusan. Lodging facilities were established at the baba sites to accommodate pilgrims, and a system of Hakusan "associations" (kō) developed, in part due to the activities of oshi.
Thus the cult of Hakusan spread.
source : Nogami Takahiro, Kokugakuin, 2007


Mark Schumacher has all the details:

HAKUSAN 白山 (lit. white mountain)
is the collective name for a number of sacred Japanese mountains that converge along the borders of four prefectures (Ishigawa, Fukui, Gifu, and Toyama) in northwest Honshū island. From early on, Hakusan was known as a "mountain realm inhabited by kami" (shintaisan 神体山). The character "shin" 神 is also read "kami," which means Shintō deity. The mountains were once taboo to climb, but with the subsequent growth of Japan's Shugendō cult of ascetic mountain practice, Hakusan became a popular site of worship, meditation, pilgrimage, and ascetic training.The deification and worship of Hakusan's mountain kami is known as
Hakusan Shinkō 白山信仰 (lit. = Hakusan faith),
and today 2000+ nationwide Shirayama Jinja Shrines 白山神社 (also read Hakusan Shrines) are devoted to this faith.
The characters for Hakusan are also read "Shirayama."

Hakusan is undeniably one of Japan's most important and ancient sites of religious mountain worship (sangaku shūkyō 山岳宗). The Hakusan mountains are celebrated in the Man'yōshū 万葉集 (Japan's oldest anthology of verse compiled in the 8th century). Over the centuries, Hakusan became a stronghold of Shintō-Buddhist syncretism, a major pilgrimage site, a center of ascetic practice for the Shugendō 修験道 cult of mountain worship, and the focus of artwork known as the Hakusan Mandala. Today Hakusan is considered one of Japan's three most sacred mountain sites (Nihon Sanreizan 三霊山 or Nihon Sanmeisan 三名山).
The other two are Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama.

Sacred Hakusan Mountains

Gozenpō 御前峰
Ōnanjimine 大汝峰
Bessan 別山
Kengamine 剣ヶ峰
Ōkurayama 大倉山
Sannomine 三ノ峰

Hakusan Pilgrimage

Hakusan Deities

Shirayamahime no Kami 白山比売
(aka Kukurihime no Kami 菊理媛神 aka
Hakusan Myōri Daibosatsu 白山妙理大菩薩)

Kukurihime no Kami 菊理媛神

Hakusan Myōri Gongen 白山妙理権現
Izanagi no Mikoto (伊邪那岐命 or 伊奘諾尊 or 伊耶那岐命) and
Izanami no Mikoto (伊邪那美命 or 伊奘冉尊 or 伊耶那美命).

Ōnamuchi no Kami 大穴牟遅神 (or 大己貴神)
Ōyamatsumi no Kami 大山津見神 (or 大山祇)

Hakusan Shichi Gongen 白山七権現
Hakusan Sansho Gongen 白山三所権現

Betsuzan Daigyōji 別山大行事

7 important Hakusan Shrines

Hakusan Mandala 白山曼荼羅
At Nagataki Hakusan

source : - Mark Schumacher

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Hata Uji to Hakusan Jinja 秦氏と白山神社の関係
. The Hata Clan 秦氏 Hata Uji .
and the Korean and Christian connection

Taichoo 泰澄 (682 - 767) Shugendo priest
He was the second son of the samurai family of Mikami no yasuzumi 三神安角(みかみのやすずみ)and became a monk at age 14.
In 117年 he climbed mount Hakusan in Echizen province and became a "super Bosatsu"
myoori daibosatsu 妙理大菩薩.

In 717, the great Buddhist monk and teacher, Taicho Daishi, guided by a woodcutter Gongoro Sasakiri, climbed high up Mount Hakusan, an isolated sacred mountain, in order to meditate.
One night, while Taicho was sleeping after beginning his rigorous regime of spiritual exercises, the guardian deity of Mount Hakusan appeared to him in a dream and said:
‘Lying about twenty-three kilometers from the foot of the mountain is a village called Awazu. There you will find an underground spring of hot water with wondrous, curative powers, which have been bestowed upon it by Yakushi Nyorai, the Divine Healer. However, the villagers are unaware of this blessing. Go down from the mountain and go to Awazu. With the people of the village, unearth the hot spring and it will serve them forever.’”
- - - - - - quote - divinehumanity - - - - -

. Hakusanboo 白山坊 Hakusan-Bo, Hakusanbo .
Taichō 泰澄上人 Saint Taicho Shonin / Taicho-Daishi 泰澄大師


.Hakusan Guu 白山宮足王社 Hakusan shrine and
Ashioo Sha 足王社and Ashi-O Shrine "for the deity of strong legs" .

愛知県日進市本郷町宮下519番地 - Aichi, Nisshin town


The various Hakusan shrines are often visited by haiku groups.


Nou Hakusan Jinja 能生白山神社

This Hakusan shrine in itoigawa, Niigata was visited by
Matsuo Basho
and there is now a stone memorial.

新潟県:西頸城郡/能生町 Nou-Machi

akebono ya kiri ni uzumaku kane no koe

morning light -
the sound of the temple bell
swirls in the autumn fog

Matsuo Basho, 1689, July 11

Shioji no kane 汐路の鐘, 越後能生社汐路の名鐘
"The bell for ebb and flood"
Legend knows that this bell made a sound when the tide was coming up, so that the villagers know it and the children can take care on the beach.
The original bell was lost in a fire, but later replaced from the leftovers of bronze that could be found.
It is 107 cm high and has a diameter of 68 cm.
From the inscription of the bell it is known that it belonged to
Hakusan Gongen temple Taihei-Ji
It was made in 1499.
Now it is at Itoigawa 糸魚川市大字能生7239(白山神社).

When Yoshitsune fled to the North of Japan around 1185, the village had about 7 homes of fishermen.
Basho wrote a few haiku at the village, while he stayed with Tamaya Goroemon 玉や五郎兵衛.

source : www.noumachi.com/tamaya

Discussion of the haiku by
- Larry Bole -

The voice of the bell
Eddies through the mist,
In the morning twilight.

--Basho, trans. Blyth

Blyth comments:
"The sound of the bell has taken to it the form of the mist, lingering here, hurrying there, trailing and swirling through the damp air.
Compare Onitsura's verse, Vol. II, page 91."

tookitaru kane no ayumi ya harugasumi

The bell from far away,--
How it moves along in its coming
Through the spring haze!

Onitsura, trans. Blyth


. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .

hakusan no yuki kira-kira to atsusa kana

in this heat
snow on Mt. Hakusan
shining, shining

Tr. Chris Drake

This summer hokku is from early in the 6th month (July) of 1819, the year Issa evokes in My Year (Oraga haru), soon before Issa's beloved baby daughter died on 6/21. In 1824 Issa wrote another version in which he uses teka-teka to, 'shining, glistening, lustrous' instead of kira-kira to.

Mount Hakusan (2,702 m, 8,865 ft.) is the highest mountain to the southwest of Issa's hometown area, and he is apparently able to see the long, high ridge that forms its peak in the distance. The mountain may get its name ("White Mountain") from the snow that remains even in the summer. Along with Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama, Mt. Hakusan was in Issa's time one of the three most sacred mountains in Japan, and Yamabushi mountain monks spread belief in the deity of the mountain, a female god named Shirayama-hime no Kami, around Japan. Even today there are more than 2,700 shrines around Japan devoted to worshiping the mountain, which is believed to be the body of Shirayama-hime, who is accompanied there by the two primal parent deities in Japanese mythology, Izanami and Izanaki (also called Izanagi).

In Issa's time both Shinto believers and Buddhists (often the same people) made pilgrimages to the mountain, and Buddhists believed the female mountain deity was a manifestation of the androgynous bodhisattva Kannon. The Zen master Dogen saw the Hakusan deity in a vision once, and he prayed to her as the shamanic protector of Eiheiji, the large Soto Zen temple he founded. The mountain was also revered by the haikai poet Chiyojo, who, as Issa surely knew, was born not far from Mt. Hakusan. In the present hokku Mt. Hakusan, with its snow shining brightly in the strong summer sun, is not simply a physical mountain but a luminous visionary presence, and in spite of the summer heat its coolness comes across the distances and makes Issa feel cooler.

This hokku is worth reading out loud in Japanese just to hear the sound. The play of a, i, and u vowels and the repetition of k- in the sequence ku...ki...ki...ki...ka is striking and adds to the sensation of brightness.

Here is a photo of Mt. Hakusan in summer:

Chris Drake

Related words

***** . NEW YEAR - the complete SAIJIKI

. Hakusan Shrines in the WKD .
Shirayama jinja, Hakusan jinja 白山神社


. Legends about Hakusan / Shirayama .

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

BACK : Top of this Saijiki





Gabi Greve said...

Tokyo / Edo
小石川白山権現社 Koishikawa Hakusan Gongen Sha
5 Chome-31-26 Hakusan, Bunkyō-ku, Tōkyō


Gabi Greve said...

Ishikawa 白峰村 Shiramine mura

. Kanko odori かんこ踊 Kanko Dance festival .
in honor of Saint Taicho coming down from the mountain.
Yamanokami is seen as a Tengu.

Gabi Greve said...

大師堂 Daishi Do Temple Hall
to start the climb of Mount Hakusan
Hakusan, 御前峰 Gozengamine, 剣ヶ峰 Kengamine, and 大汝峰 Onanjigamine.

Gabi Greve said...

岐阜県郡上郡高鷲村 Gujo Takasu village 白山信仰 Hakusan Belief