Shidodera Festival

- for Shido Kaido Highway, see below

Shidodera Festival (Shidodera matsuri)

***** Location: Kagawa
***** Season: Late Summer
***** Category: Observance


Shidodera matsuri 志度寺祭 (しどでらまつり)
Ritual at temple Shidodera

Shidodera hakkoo 志度寺八講(しどでらはっこう) prayer ceremony at temple Shidoji
Shido mairi 志度詣(しどまいり)visit of temple Shidodera
juurokodo e 十六度会(じゅうろくどえ)
juurokudo ichi 十六度市(じゅうろくどいち)

July 16
At temple Shidodera (Shidoji) in Sanuki town, Kagawa.

This is temple 86 on the henro pilgrimage of Shikoku.
. Shido-Ji, Shidodera 志度寺 Henro Temple 86 .

Fujiwara no Fuhito 藤原不比等 (658 - 720), a polititian of the Heian court, fell in love with an AMA diver, who helped him regain his treasure.
This festival is held at her grave (bozen matsuri 墓前祭), with a market and the showing of the main statue of the temple.
It is more of a ritual or ceremony than a festival.


Shidoji : Statue of Jūichimen Kanzeon
The Temple of Fulfilling One's Wish

Igisaraba goyoi wa koko ni shido no tera inori no koe o mimi ni furetsutsu

Honzon Mantra:
On maka kyaronikya sowaka

One of the daughters of Fujiwara Kamatari went to China to become a concubine of the T'ang emperor Tai-tsung. Once there, she sent back three tiny but precious jewels for her brother's use in work on Nara's Kōfukuji. Unfortunately the boat sank near Shido Bay and the three jewels were stolen by the Dragon King.

Her brother, Fubito, disguised himself and married a female diver in the area in order to recover the jewels. Eventually the wife gave birth to a son and at that time promised to recover the jewels on the condition that the husband promise to make the son his heir. Through a heroic dive, the woman recovered the jewels, but at the cost of her life because the Dragon King saw her and she only got away by slitting herself and hiding the jewels inside. She was dead when she reached the surface. The son, Fusasaki, became the heir and the ancestor of the northern branch of the Fujiwara aristocracy. The jewels sit between the eyes of the Shakuson statue at Kōfukuji in Nara.

This temple was built by the son and by Gyōgi Bosatsu in the 694 as a memorial to her and remains dedicated to the spirits of the dead (hence a strong association with Emma, the King of Hell). However, the original temple dates from much earlier and the honzon dates from the time of Empress Suiko in the 6th century.

According to Starr, the buildings were rebuilt by Gyōgi and the honzon is by Kōbō Daishi. Some say it is the incarnation of Monju Bosatsu, some say Sonoko Ama. The main Buddha with the Fudō and Bishamon are all National Treasures.

This legend has been made famous the Noh drama called Ama. Of interest are the tomb of Ama, a landscape garden featuring flowing water which is the masterwork of Hosokawa from the Muromachi Period, a Hosokawa from the Muromachi Period, a Niōō gate,, the hondō, and the five-story pagoda (Go-jū-no-tō).
source : www.shikokuhenrotrail.com


海人 (能) Ama - The Woman Diver

The highlight of this drama is definitely the scene where the diver brings back the jewel from the Dragon King’s Palace.
This scene is especially recognized as “Tama-no-dan (the Scene of the Jewel),” known for its great chant and dance. The woman diver holding a sword in her hand jumps into the Dragon King’s Palace, takes back the jewel, which is protected by the Eight Great Dragon Kings, from the sacred jewel tower, and cuts under her breast to hide the jewel in her gash.

Because of the Dragon’s Palace’s taboo to avoid the deceased, not even evil dragons approach her. Then, the woman diver pulls the safety rope... The zeal of the diver who is willing to cast her life aside for the sake of her son and her mission is dramatically expressed through the chorus and dance. You might have an impression that the whole piece was created for the sake of showing this “the scene of the jewel.

It is tragic that the son is bereaved of his mother. However, the somber atmosphere is changed by the short, up-tempo development of the story in the second half of drama. Ultimately the piece reaches a bright ending with the blessing of Buddha. This drama cherishes the climax and is artfully woven.
source : www.the-noh.com


Ama no Tama-tori Monogatari 海女の玉取り物語
The Story of the diver woman getting the treasure

Dragon decoration of a festival drum float.

. The Dragon Art Gallery – 2012 .


Hana no ue no homare no ishibumi
The Stone Monument of Glory

A joruri Bunraku play from 1789.

The story of Tamiya Botaro 田宮坊太郎 from Marugame, who as a boy had succeeded in avenging his father, the victim of a murder, in 1642.
He made a vow in front of Konpira Gongen in Shikoku.
There is one famous scene in the play called
Shidoji no ba 志渡寺の場, at Temple Shidoji
Botaro's wetnurse O-Tsuji お辻 had taken cold water ablutions here to pray for the boy, who could not speak when young and througher deed gained the power to speak.
Some say it was his real mother.

source : kabusk/shasin32
In the compound of the temple there is the "well of O-Tsuji" お辻の井戸.

- Reference -


Fujiwara no Fuhito 藤原 不比等
(659 – September 13, 720)

was a powerful member of the imperial court of Japan during the Asuka and Nara periods. Second son of Fujiwara no Kamatari (or, according to one theory, of Emperor Tenji), he had sons by two women, and those sons were the founders of the four principal lineages of the Fujiwara clan: the South, North, Ceremonial, and Capital lineages.
Also, he had four daughters by two other women. three by Kamohime, one by Tachibana no Michiyo. One daughter by Kamohime became Emperor Mommu's wife Miyako, who in turn gave birth to Emperor Shōmu. The daughter by Michiyo became the empress of his grandson Shōmu, Empress Kōmyō.
. . . . .
In 697 Prince Karu, the son of Prince Kusakabe and therefore grandson of Emperor Temmu and Empress Jitō, was appointed to the crown prince. Fuhito supported this appointment strongly and got the favor of Empress Jitō. Since then his promotion in the court began. In 701 Prince Obito, later the emperor Shōmu was born by Miyako. He succeeded to make Obito the crown prince and made his other daughter a wife of Obito. Until then only a royal lady could be promoted to the empress, but he succeeded his daughter the empress of Obito, the emperor Shōmu. It was the first empress who didn't derive from the imperial household.

He moved Yamashina-dera, the Buddhist temple which was the main temple his clan supported, to Nara and renamed it Kōfuku-ji. After his death, Kasuga shrine, the main temple of the Fujiwara clan was settled near to Kofuku-ji in 768.
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Things found on the way

When lord 佐藤継信 Sato Tsugunobu (1150 - 1185) died and gave his life to save his Master, Yoshitsune came to his grave to mourn for him.
He also gave his beloved horse 太夫黒 Tayuguro, Tayu-guro , which was a gift to Yoshitsune from the Emperor. The priest Kakua 覚阿上人 cared for the horse at the temple 志度寺 Shidodera, but after the events at Hiyodori Pass, it was given to 極楽寺.
And there is also a grave mound for Yoshitsune's Taiyu-guro.

. Yoshitsune 義経 and his horses 義経の馬 .


. kaidoo 街道 Kaido highways in Shikoku .

The old Shido road 志度街道 Shido Kaido
Now Route 11 国道11号

One of the main roads of the Takamatsu Domain in the Edo period.
The starting point was the South Gate of Takamatsu Castle.

also called

Higashi Sanuki Hama Kaido 東讃浜街道
or simply
Hama Kaido 浜街道 Road along the Beach

From Takamatsu along the beach, passing Shido Town, toward Tokukshima.

東浜 Higashihama
志度 Shido
(17 km from Takamatsu)
鴨部 Kamobe
西村 Nishimura
引田 Hiketa (famous for Japanese Sugar, Wasanbon)
(30 km from Shido)
阿州 Ashu - Awa no Kuni, Tokushima.
(32 km from Hiketa)

source and more photos : matinami.o.oo7.jp

The town of Shido was active as a "temple town", thanks to the temple Shidoji.

. The old Kaido roads of Japan .

. Sake Legends and Buddhist Temples 酒とお寺 .

Related words


. Shikoku Henro Temple List .

. Woman divers (ama 海女 (あま) .




1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Miyagi
. A 六部 Rokubu pilgrim on the Hama Kaido 浜街道 .
and the monster cat 大天婆 Daiten Baba in Kesennuma