Seimon Absolving Oath


Absolving of sins (seimonbarai)

***** Location: Kyoto, Japan
***** Season: Late Autumn
***** Category: Observance


seimonbarai 誓文払 (せいもんばらい) absolving of lies
..... Ebisugire, Ebisu gire 夷切れ(えびすぎれ)

On the 20th day of the tenth lunar month.
(Some saijiki place this now in early winter).

Prostitutes and merchants of Kyoto go to a special shrine, Kanjaden 官者殿, to pray and get absolved for for all the lies they have been telling their clients in order to maintain their good business.
To attune for their sins, they make very cheap bargain prices and this has formed into the normal bargain sales of kimono shops and later the large department stores.

Later a visit to this small shrine was also done to get absolved for lies in a love relationship, especially for the many geisha of the Gion quarters.
During the visit, the geisha was not allowed to say a word, it was therefore

mugon moode 無言詣 shrine visit without talking.

Ebisugire refers to the fact that it was done on the Day of Ebisu, the Deity of the Merchants.

seimon 誓文 is a written oath.

. Ebisu えびす 恵比寿 .

. Mugon Mode at the Gion Festival .


Kanjaden 官者殿 Kanjaden Shrine Hall
Shijoo Teramachi 四条寺町

It is close to Yasaka Shrine and the Gion quarters in Kyoto and belongs to the Yasaka Shrine group 八坂神社.

Deities in residence

Amaterasu no Omikami 天照大神
Susanoo no Mikoto 素戔嗚尊

. . . and also
Tosa no Boo Shooshun 土佐坊昌俊
Priest Shoshun from Tosa

(1141 - 1185), Shoshun Tosanobo (Shoshin Tosanobo)

永治元年8月15日(1141年9月19日)? -
A priest and military commander of the Heian Period.
The story is related to Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
On his way to Kumano, Tosanobo had come to Horikawa to take the life of Yoshitsune, on behalf of his brother Yoritomo, but Yoshitsune him sign an oath of loyalty to himself on three pieces of paper each instead .

Three written oaths were kept at Hachimangu, one at Kumano Gongen and the third had been burned to ashes. Tosanobo then ate the ashes to convey his sincerity to Yoshitsune.

But Tosanobo was going to attack Yoshitsune anyway in that night.
Yoshitsune's loyal retainer Benkei mistrusted the written oath of Tosanobo and warned his master.

The story then continues with betrayal and revenge . . .

Tosanobo Shoshun, his real name was Shibuya Konnomaru 渋谷金王丸.
source : www.hi-ho.ne.jp/kyoto

source : cardiac.exblog.jp

洗馬 武蔵坊弁慶・土佐坊昌俊
Benkei and Tosanobo riding (washing) a horse
a pun with seba 背馬→せば=洗馬」

Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳


source : www.kyoto.zaq.ne.jp

Yoshitsune makes Tosanobo write an oath

Now kept at Horikawa Gosho in Kyoto 堀川御所.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Yoshitsune: A Fifteenth-Century Japanese Chronicle
google book including the story of Tosa no Bo.
source : books.google.co.jp


Related words


. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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