Showing posts with label Buddhist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buddhist. Show all posts


Osorezan Festival


Osorezan Big Festival (Osorezan taisai)

***** Location: Aomori
***** Season: Late summer
***** Category: Observance


Osorezan Taisai 恐山大祭 (おそれざんたいさい)
Great Festival at Mount Osorezan
Osorezan Grand Festival

itako いたこ Itako medium, female shaman
itako ichi いたこ市(いたこいち) Itako market

July 22 to 24

During the main festival in summer, many people come to get in contact with their lost loved ones through the blind Itako shamans.

The Osorezan access is open from May 1st to the end of October.
This region is one of the three most sacred places in Japan,
with Koyasan and Heizan.


I visited Osorezan many years ago.
I will try to tell you more about our encounter with the Itako in my report below.

. The Hot Spring (onsen 温泉) at Osorezan .

Lake Usorisan 宇曽利山湖
. Look at more of my photos !

Pilgrims also come here in autumn

Osorezan Aki Mairi 恐山秋参り.


Mount Osore (恐山, Osorezan)
is a region in the center of remote Shimokita Peninsula of Aomori Prefecture, Japan.

According to popular mythology, Mount Osore (literally "Mount Fear") marks the entrance to Hell, with a small brook running to the neighboring Lake Usorisan that is equated to the Sanzu River, the Japanese equivalent to Styx. The reputation is not surprising, given that the very volcanically-active site is a charred landscape of blasted rock filled with bubbling pits of unearthly hues and noxious fumes.

The Bodai temple (菩提寺, Bodaiji) presides over it all and organizes the area's main event, the twice-yearly Itako Taisai festival. The grand festival is held over a period of five days beginning on July 20. In a ritual called kuchiyose (口寄せ), blind mediums known as itako claim to summon the souls of the dead and deliver messages in their voices.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

People lining up for the kuchiyose.
口寄せ = Geisterbeschwörung,
„Herbeirufung des Mundes“.


Here are more of the details, please read Mark first and then come back:

Sai no Kawara, the Limbo for Children
The Role of Jizo Bosatsu in Saving Lost Souls
Mountain of the Dead, 霊場恐山
source : Mark Schumacher

Some literature

Schattschneider, Ellen. "Buy me a Bride: Death and Exchange in
Northern Japanese Bride Doll Marriage." American Ethnologist 28.4
(2001): 854-80. - Wedding Dolls

"Family resemblances: Memorial Images and the Face of Kinship."
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 31.1 (2004): 141-62.

"The Bloodstained Doll: Violence and the Gift in Wartime Japan."
Forthcoming in the Journal of Japanese Studies.

See also "The Mystery of the Mascot Dolls"at


remote sai no kawara in Tohoku

In Shinto mythology
the story goes that between life and death there flows a river.
This river is called Sai no Kawara 賽の河原 (translated it means Sai [Childrens Limbo; Limbo means a region on the border of hell or heaven, serving as the abode after death of unbaptized infants.] Kawara [riverside].
According to Shinto belief, children do not go to heaven or hell, but the souls of the dead babies play on the banks of this river, Sai no Kawara. And one of the things they have to do as their Duty (penance) there, is to stack up pebbles, and build little towers.

However, while doing so, a naughty, horrible devil usually appears who disturbs their playing, breaks their towers up, and scares them. And, it is here where the long sleeves of Jizos robe comes in handy. Because Jizo is the god who protects children, and he does not fail to protect them there on the banks of the Sai no Kawara. So when scared by this devil, they all jump into the sleeve of Jizos robe, where they hide and feel safe and warm. It is said that in the old days, some of the Jizo statues were covered in pebbles from people who stacked the pebbles in front of the Jizo, because it is believed, that for every tower of pebbles you build on earth, you help the souls of the dead children to perform their duty there on the Sai no Kawara.

Wedding Dolls for the Dead

Kokeshi and Infanticide in Japan

. Sai no Kawara, the Limbo for Children .


The female Itako Shamans of Osorezan イタコ

They are a phenomen in themselves during the festival.
I have had one of these itako shamans call up my dead father from Germany. After a long preparation with prayers and incense, she got the contact. But my father talked through the medium, but in the almost non-understandable dialect of Tsugaru. We did not dare interrupt her. After about 30 minutes all was over.
We got the advise to take good care of his grandchildren (we do not have any children), and I should take care to take a cold in the coming winter.

That is me in front of her tent, you can even see the tip of our car.

The itako later told us, she once had foreigners asking for her service, but they interrupted her twice to ask for a translation into normal Japanese ... by the time the spirit had left her and no advise from the other realm was given to them.

It took her a long time of apprenticeship to become an itako, with water ablutions in the middle of the cold Tohoku winter while she was only 12 years old, and studying with the priests at this temple, on how best to soothe the pain of the living, who lost a loved family member. She has a set of "advise" for the most common losses, like father, mother or a child. Also her "advise" through the kuchiyose seance depends on the time between the loss and the visit to her. She has a home on the Tsugaru peninsula where she spends a quiet winter and sits in her tent here in Osorezan during most of the summer, living a frugal life in the temple compound.

The itako play an important role in connecting the dead with their grieving relatives and provide relief by telling them the dead soul wants this or that, which the relatives can provide as an offering in the temple and feel much better afterwards. The provision of brides as wedding dolls for young men, who were lost at sea or during other accidents, is one example of solace for the berieved parents.

Daily Yomiuri: Why are most itako women?
There are various explanations. While male shamans are common in China and Southeast Asia, female shamans are more prevalent in India, North and South Korea, and Japan, where societies are based on patriarchal values. I think shamans tend to be female in societies where women are suppressed or discriminated against as an inferior gender. By associating themselves with the gods, women are able to balance their power with men in such societies.

Japanese used to believe that the gods offered mercy to those in misery, especially Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. She is one of the most commonly believed-in gods among itako. I have seen noseless yuta shamans in Okinawa Prefecture. Such physical defects used to be interpreted as symbolic of supernaturalstigmata.

The oldest reference to female shamans in Japan appears in the Wei Zhi, a Chinese chronicle of the third century. A woman called Himiko, who is described as a shaman, ruled an early Japanese political federation known as Yamatai using a divine power to converse with the gods.
The first reference to female shamans in Japanese writing dates backto the 11th entury.

What religion do itako believe in?
How is the initiation ceremony carried out?
Why haven't itako been respected in the same way as priests?
How can you verify that an itako has really entered a trance?

Daily Yomiuri: Can itako contribute to the well-being of modern people?
Shamanism can help make up for weaknesses of modern culture by providing relief for people in extreme suffering and pain, making fuller use of people's daily lives and keeping society and culture intact. Shamanism fills some of the spaces left open by modern rationalism and science.

Read the details here :
source : Miki Fujii for The Yomiuri Shimbun


イタコ 中村タケ Itako Nakamura Take
She was born in 1932.

This publication "Itako Nakamura Take" consists of two DVDs with subtitles both in Japanese and English, six CDs and detailed explanatory book including the texts of all prayers in Japanese with excerpts in English.
The explanatory book is written by Komoda Haruko 薦田治子 et al. and translation by Kimura Mika.


This publication contains 61 chants and prayers that Nakamura Take chants in the various shamanic rituals, such as praying for the family's safety and prosperity, conjuring the dead and spell casting to cure a disease.
It received the Prize for Excellence, Agency for Cultural Affairs, National Arts Festival, 2013.
- source :


Hotoke-ga-ura 仏が浦

seen from above, on the way down

This is the most western part of the Osorezan Buddhist world, from here the souls take off directly to the Paradise in the West. The rough mountains look like Buddha statues and a huge area is reserved for the dead children.

cliffs like Buddhas

a cave for the final prayer

. More photos in my album .

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Zu den mizuko, bzw. den mabiki-ko, den umgebrachten Säuglingen, und ihren roten Lätz­chen habe ich in einem Tempel folgende Er­klärung gehört: Jizō hat gelobt, alle Kinder aus der Vor­hölle zu retten. Weil Kinder noch keine Sünden be­gangen haben, kommen sie nämlich nicht direkt in die Hölle, das wäre ja un­ge­recht. Aber sie müssen am Grenz­fluss warten und während dieser Zeit Steine auf­einander schichten. Das ist ähnlich wie Sisyphos. Sie warten so lange, bis keiner mehr um sie trauert. Die Mutter bindet also eines der Kinder­lätzchen zu einem Jizō und bittet, durch den Geruch des Lätzchens das Kind in der Vorhölle zu identi­fizieren und zum Paradies zu bringen.

Wenn die Mutter früher, in der Edo-Zeit zu lange trauerte, konnte sie nicht genug im Haus und am Feld arbeiten. Daher wurde ihr eine Periode von 7 Tagen nach dem Tod eines Kindes (nicht bei Abtreibung, aber bei mabiki, dem Töten eines weib­lichen Säuglings) ge­gönnt. Danach musste sie die Sachen des Kindes, Lätzchen und Spiel­zeug, bei Jizo „abgeben“ und die Trauerzeit war vorüber, Mutter musste wieder arbeiten gehen! Eine recht diesseitliche Religionsbenutzung.

Um den Iwaki-san in Nordjapan werden verstorbene Kinder zu ihrem 20. Ge­burts­tag verheiratet. Die Tempel verkaufen ca. 50 cm große Puppen von Bräuten oder Bräutigamen, die dann mit dem toten Kind „verheiratet“ werden. Das macht die Eltern froh und die Tempel reich. Es ist er­staun­lich, dort in so einer Halle mit tausenden von Hoch­zeits-Puppen zu stehen! Die Itako-Shamaninnen am Osore-Berg reden den Eltern auch noch manch anderes ein — so werden Tennis­schuhe und Fahr­räder oder Frack und Regen­mantel gespendet, manche Tempel sehen aus wie Altwarenhändler.

Dr. Gabriele Greve
source :

presents for the dead



Related words

***** . Hanayome ningyoo 花嫁人形  bride dolls .
and a famous folk song

. Sanzu no Kawa 三途の川 River Sanzu, on the way to hell .

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Todai-Ji Nara


Temple Todai-Ji 東大寺

***** Location: Nara, Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Observance


Tōdai-ji (東大寺, Todaiji, Tōdai-ji, Toodaiji, Eastern Great Temple),
is a Buddhist temple complex located in the city of Nara, Japan.

Its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden), the largest wooden building in the world, houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese simply as Daibutsu (大仏).

The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism. The temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara", together with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara.
Shika deer, regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, roam the grounds freely.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

- quote - Japan Times 2015 -
Great Buddha of Nara has only half its reported number of hair curls
The Great Buddha of Nara, a 15-meter-high statue listed among Japan’s national treasures, has only 492 spiraling curls of hair on its bronze head, not the 966 locks described in ancient documents, new research indicates.

The discovery was made via a 3-D analysis of the statue’s head using a laser scanning method, conducted by Takeshi Oishi, associate professor at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science, the temple in Nara where the statue is housed said Thursday on its website.

Todaiji temple asked Oishi to undertake the research because it kept receiving inquiries about the number of curls, known as “rahotsu,” on the Buddha’s head, with some visitors saying it seems the statue has many fewer curls than the number described in scrolls dating back nearly 1,000 years.

A question composed by the Mathematics Certification Institute of Japan further motivated the temple in the ancient Japanese capital to shed light on the issue, which “has remained a mystery to this day,” the temple said on its website.

When 966 hair locks are placed inside a circle, the question asks, what is the area of the smallest possible circle?

One hair curl is about 22 centimeters in diameter, 21 cm in height and weighs 1.2 kilograms.

The research required a laser beam because it is physically impossible to get behind the Buddha to count the number of locks there. A huge golden decoration representing a halo is located immediately behind the Buddha’s head, blocking access.

According to Oishi, it is estimated that the Buddha has 483 rahotsu and nine are missing, for a combined number of 492 — or just about half of the 966 mentioned in the earliest scrolls from the 1100s about the temple’s history. That number was repeated in later documents on the temple history compiled in the Edo (1603-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) periods.

However, it is still possible to assume that the statue did have 966 hair curls when it was originally built more than 1,200 years ago. The Buddha has been rebuilt each time it was damaged in war, making its seat and part of its knees the only surviving portions from the original built in 752 under the orders of Emperor Shomu to wish for peace and the stability of his nation.

- source : -


observance kigo for late spring

jukai-e 授戒会 Jukai initiation ceremony
initiation ceremony for novice monks and lay people

Toodaiji jukai 東大寺授戒

It was first performed in the year 6 of the period Tenpyoo Shoohoo 天平勝宝 (754), when priest Ganjin came from China and initiated the emperor Shomu Tenno 聖武上皇, Koken Tenno 孝謙天皇 and others.
In the following year a special hall, Kaidan-In 戒壇院, was constructed for this ceremony, where the Jukai ceremony was performed.

At present initiation rituals for lay people are performed in June 結縁授戒.
The initiation rituals for priests and monks are performed in November 授戒.

Kaidan-In 戒壇院

Todai-ji Kaidan-in Jukai Shiki
ceremony to impart the Buddhist precepts on priests and nuns at Kaidan-in of Todai-ji Temple



source :

Monks entering the hall for the Jukai ceremony, which had not been held for 26 years before that, due to repairs of the temple.


Important yearly festivals of Todai-Ji

January 7 - Shushoo-e 修正会

February 3 - Setsubun 節分 万灯明 星祭

Around February 20 - Shuuni-e 修二会 別火坊

March 1 - 15 - Shuuni-e 修二会 本行

April 8 - 仏生会 Buddha's Birthday

May 2 - 最勝十講 聖武天皇御忌 Memorial for Emperor Shomu
May 3 - 山陵祭 - 献茶式(裏千家) Tea Ceremony

June 5 - Shunjoo Ki 俊乗忌(しゅんじょうき)
June 28 - Kejo-e 解除会(けじょえ)
Purification, to drive away evil influence from the first half of the year.

August 7 - 大仏さま お身拭い Daibutsu Festival
August 15 - Mantoo Kuyoo-e 万灯供養会

September 17 - O-Bon 十七夜・十七夜盆踊り

October 5 - 転害会 - showing of secret statues
October 15 - 大仏さま秋の祭り Autumn Festival for the Daibutsu

December 14 - 仏名会

December 16 - 良弁忌 Roben Memorial Day
(kigo for mid-winter)


amulet for traffic safety 交通安全 

Homepage of the temple
source :

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 


- --- -Yokai Database

- Todaiji - 14 legends to explore -

- Daibutsu - 17 legends to explore -


Rooben Soojoo 良弁僧正 Roben Sojo (689 - 773)

The origin of Todaiji goes back to the Kinshoji, a temple that had existed in the eastern sector of the present Todaiji compound. Here, Roben (689-773), a scholar-monk of the Kegon sect who was to become the first abbot of Todaiji, had been active in 733. Roben is commemorated by a portrait-statue made around 1019 and kept in the Kaisando (founder's hall).

The kondo (main hall) of Kinshoji probably is the extant inner sanctuary of the hokkedo (lotus hall), popularly known as the Sangatsudo (Third Month Hall), where the Lotus Sutra (Hokekyo) is chanted yearly during the third month (sangatsu). The main icon of the hokkedo is the Fukukensaku Kannon, a splendid, dry-lacquer statue, made around 746. In 741 the Kinshoji became the provincial monastery-temple for Yamato Province (now Nara Prefecture). At that time the temple was renovated and renamed Konkomyoji after the Sutra of the Golden Light (J: Konkomyo kyo).

source : - Mark Schumacher

His statue is shown on December 16, on the memorial day of his death.

. Roben and the Oyama Fudo Myo-O .


jukai, o-jukai お授戒 initiation ceremonies are also performed by other Buddhist sects.

o-jukai ya niwa hirobiro to hana senpuu

jukai ceremony -
in the large garden
a whirlwind of blossoms

Matsufuji Kazan 松藤夏山

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Famous priests related to the temple Todai-Ji

. Priest Ganjin 鑑真 .

. Priest Chogen 重源 Choogen .

. Gyoki Bosatsu (Gyooki) 行基菩薩 .


There used to be seven large temples in Nara, Nanto Shichi Daiji 南都七大寺
Nanto Shichi doo 南都七堂 - shichi daiji 七大寺 :

. Daiji, ootera 大寺 large temple .
and haiku by Masaoka Shiki


When Matsuo Basho visited Todaiji in the year Genroku 2 in december, the temple was still under repair after the destruction wrought by the civil wars of the sixteenth century. The Great Buddha statue was only finally completed in 1692, after the visit by Basho described above, and the statue sat for years in the open like the Great Buddha in Kamakura.

The new Buddha Hall (which is the present one) was finally finished in 1708, and Basho did not live to see this. He grieved for the Buddha in its sad state, for at that time even the head had not been restored yet. Basho saw only the rump of the statue, slowly being covered by the first snow of the year, and he wrote:

hatsu yuki ya itsu Daibutsu no hashira date

first snow!
when will the temple building start
for the Great Buddha?

Tr. Ad G. Blankestijn

The year's first snowfall!
When are the columns of Daibutsu
Temple to be erected?

Tr. Oseko

Written in December Genroku 2. 元禄2年12月

Daibutsuden, the current Hall for the Great Buddha was built in 1709.

Barnhill translated:

Visiting the Southern Capital, I yearned for the eventual building of the Buddha Hall

first snow--
for the Great Buddha, when
will the columns be raised?

Barnhill also gives an earlier version of this hokku:

yuki kanashi itsu Daibutsu no kawarabuki

the snow is sad:
when will the Great Buddha
have its tiled roof?

It took about two years after the visit of Basho until the roof was preliminary fixed and the statue out of danger.

how sad to see it snowing!
when will the Gread Buddha Hall
get its roof tiled?

Tr. Gabi Greve

round tiles from the Daibutsu Hall
now a sweet from Nara
天平時代大仏殿の巴瓦 - tomoegawara

. . . CLICK here for Photos of the tiles !

Visiting temples with
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

. Hotoke, Daibutsu and Hokku .


source : facebook

Related words

***** . Drawing Sacred Well Water お水取り
O-Mizutori, Omizutori .

at the Nigatsudo hall of Todai-ji Temple.


. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 


. komainu 狛犬 / 高麗犬 / 胡麻犬 "Korean Dog" .

made by the Chinese sculptor Chinnakei 陳和卿 Chin Nakei, around 1196.
He had come from China on a mission to reconstruct the Todaiji in Nara.


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Needle ceremonies (hari kuyo)


Needle services (hari kuyoo)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Winter and Spring
***** Category: Observance


kigo for mid-winter in Kansai

hari osame 針納(はりおさめ) "end of the needlework"
hari yasumi 針休み(はりやすみ) "resting the needles"
hari osame 針納(はりおさめ) putting away the needles
hari matsuri 針祭(はりまつり)needle festival

haki kuyoo 針供養 (はりくよう) Hari Kuyo
(this word is also used for the spring ceremony)

Memorial service for used needles and pins

In the Kanto region, it is practised on February 8,
in Kyoto and Kansai on December 8.


kigo for early spring in Kanto

Needle Memorial Service (hari kuyoo 針供養)
February 8

This is the day when Buddhist masses are sung for needles broken during the past year since it is thought that the needles' lives were sacrificed in service.

A small three-step altar is set up and hung with a sacred rope and strips of cut white paper which indicate a sanctified area. On the top step are offerings of fruit and sweet cakes. On the middle step is a cake of tofu and on the bottom step are various sewing accessories.

On this day, the seamstresses take a holiday and bring their old needles to the temple to stick them in a piece of tofu or konnyaku. Threads of the five Buddhist colors were used with the needles.

Well, the priest is incanting a sutra which reflects the passage of the needles from usage and invoking some kind of Buddhist blessing which would then be passed on to the ladies themselves. Because as they show respect to the needles of last year, they're really saying to them, you know, 'Thank you very much for what you've done, and please give us your power and your energy for the coming year so that our sewing skills can become improved.'
(c) 2002 Jim Metzner Productions

. shitateya 仕立屋 / 仕立て屋 tailor, seamstress in Edo .


In times of old, fishermen used this day to appease the Sea Gods by sinking broken fishhooks onto the ocean bed. The tradition is now a refined ceremony practiced by housewives, clothmakers and even fashion students, who take a day off work to show their gratitude. They do this by placing their old needles and pins into a Japanese sambo navel orange, while their broken counterparts are stuck into some tofu or konnyaku jelly - a somewhat bizarre, though well-respected, memorial service for little bits of metal.
source :


kigo for the New Year

nuizome 縫初 (ぬいぞめ) first sewing
..... nuihajime 縫始(ぬいはじめ)
hatsuhari, hatsu hari 初針(はつはり)"first needle"
.... hari okoshi 針起し(はりおこし)
tachizome 裁初(たちぞめ)
This was done on the second of January. Usually a small bag was sewed.

. First Work - New Year Kigo .

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

nuibarishi, nuibari shi 縫針師 needleworker
People who did needlework were called
saihooshi 裁縫師 saiho-shi
Those who worked for the Samurai were called
nuibarishi 縫針師 or omonoshi 御物師 .
According to the garment they made the price for their work varied.

Since the Nara period, needles were made from iron, silver or copper. There are five needles in the 正倉院 Treasure House of the Shoso-In in Nara.

Many low-ranking Samurai made sewing needles as a side job. Thin pieces of metal were cut in the appropriate length and then filed to the best sharpness.

To make the hole in the needle (called the mimi 耳 "ear"), a special tool was used
maigiri 舞錐 "dancing drill" (mawashigiri 回し錐).

The hole was then smoothed with a very small and fine file.
After the needle was finished like this, it was once more heated in fire and then cooled quickly to make it strong.
The final check included to see it the needle was really straight, otherwise it was hit with a hammer to ajust the shape and then a final polish was applied.
Despite all this detailed work needles were rather cheap on the market, for about 50 Yen in our modern currency.
There were special vendors of sewing needles
nuibashi uri 縫針売.

Needles were also used to prick a finger and write a love-letter in blood, as told by Ihara Saikaku, Ibara Saikaku 井原西鶴.

. Edo shokunin 江戸の職人 Edo craftsmen .


- - - - - MATSUO BASHO - - - - -

haritate ya kata ni tsuchi utsu karakoromo

an acupuncurist
pounding into my shoulder;
the cast off robe

Tr. Barnhill

Written in 延宝3年 , Basho age 32.
The word haritate here refers to the tools of an acupuncturist.
karakoromo is a pun with a "Chinese robe"唐衣 or a cast-off robe 空衣, meaning a naked body.
The accupuncturist uses a small hammer to drive the needle into the skin. So Basho has his shoulder exposed to the doctor.

- This one about a needle is also about acupuncture:

. tsuki hana no gu ni hari taten kan no iri .

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


aki no yo ya tabi no otoko no harishigoto

autumn evening--
a traveling man busy

Tr. Lanoue

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

- haiga by Nakamura Sakuo -


enshrined broken needles
my grandmother and me
a memory of my mind

Etsuko Yanagibori


hari osame chiratsuku yuki ni moodekeri

putting away the needles -
I walk to the temple
in lightly falling snow

Takahashi Awajijo 高橋淡路女
(1890 - 1955)
her teacher was Iida Dakotsu. She belonged to the 雲母 Unmo group.


haribako 針箱 sewing box "box for needles"

source :

In the tradition of 堤人形 Tsutsumi Ningyo, the eyes are almost triangular.

. Sagara tsuchi ningyoo 相良土人形 clay dolls from Sagara .


. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

In 神奈川県 Kanagawa 横浜市 Yokohama
Once upon a time in a village there lived a beautiful young girl and every night, a handsome young man with carefully combed hair passed in front of her home. And as things go, one day the young girl was pregnant! The young man still did not say who he was and where his family lived.
So one night she stuck a sewing needle into his hair and from that day on, he never came back.
The people around her begun searching in the neighborhood and found a hole with a snake and a needle stuck in its head. For snakes the iron of a sewing needle is poison and the snake was already very weak. It just managed to tell them to prepare a bath with iris for his pregnant lover, so she would loose the baby of the huge serpent.

In 滋賀県 Shiga, 西浅井町 Nishiazai
there is the custom that a pregnant woman should not take part in a funeral. If for some reason she has to participate, she should carry a mirror and place a sewing needle in the hem of her robe, with the tip showing to the earth.

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

Related words


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Ango retreat for monks


Retreat (ango)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Observance


kigo for all summer

ango 安吾 (あんご) intensive retreat
(for monks , priests and sometimes laymen)

Skt varsha or varshika; Pali vassa;
tranquil dwelling, spiritual retreat

CLICK for original link
source :

natsu ango 夏安吾(げあんご)summer retreat for monks
..... gegomori 夏籠(げごもり), gekomori
..... ge 夏(げ)
gegyoo 夏行(げぎょう)

ame ango 雨安吾(うあんご)retreat in the rain
angodera 安吾寺(あんごでら)temple for retreat
gezutome 夏勤(げづとめ)summer rituals
..... ketsuge 結夏(けつげ)
ge-iri 夏入(げいり)beginning the retreat
ketsusei, kessei 結制(けつせい)
ichige 一夏(いちげ)lit. "one summer retreat"
ge hyakunichi 夏百日(げひゃくにち)100 days retreat
.... hyakunichi no gyoo 百日の行(ひゃくにちのぎょう)

ge no hajime 夏の始め(げのはじめ)beginning of the retreat
ichige kujun 一夏九旬(いちげくじゅん)
zen ango 前安吾(ぜんあんご)beginning of the retreat
chuu ango 中安吾(ちゅうあんご)middle of the retreat
go ango 後安吾(ごあんご)ending of the retreat
ge no owari 夏の終り(げのおわり)end of the retreat

gedachi 夏断 (げだち) "summer abstinence"
not eating red meat, not drinking alcohol, staying home reading the sutras and copying them.

. gekyoo 夏経(げきょう) copying the sutras in summer .
gegaki 夏書 (げがき) "writing in summer"
shakyoo-e 写経会 meeting to copy sutras

gebana 夏花 "summer flowers" as offerings on the altar
..... gebana tsumi 夏花摘み(げばなつみ)picking flowers for offerings
during the ango retreat
Every day new flowers are offered.
This is done at the temples, but can also be done at home for the family altar.
The origin of this custom dates back to the Heian period, where offerings were made at the Western Tower of temple HieiZan, Kyoto.


kigo for early autumn

. gege 解夏 end of the summer ascetics .
..... ge aki 夏明き(げあき), ge no hate 夏の果(げのはて)
..... sooan, soo-an 送行(そうあん)
..... gegaki osame 夏書納(げがきおさめ)
..... butsukangibi, butsu kangi bi 仏歓喜日(ぶつかんぎび)
..... kangibi 歓喜日 "a day to rejoice"


kigo for all winter

. Fuyu Ango 冬安居 Winter Retreat for Monks  
yuki ango 雪安居(ゆきあんご) retreat for monks in snow


An, ango (安居), or kessei (結制),
is a Japanese term for a three-month period of intense training for students of Zen Buddhism, lasting anywhere from 90 to 100 days.The practice during ango consists of meditation (zazen), study, and work (samu).

Ango is typically held twice a year, the first period from spring to summer and the second period from fall to winter. The word ango literally translates as "dwelling in peace"; the summer ango is referred to as ge-ango and the winter period is u-ango.
Additionally, some monasteries and Zen centers hold just one ango per year.

Concerning Zen practice in the United States, author Ellen Birx writes,
"Many centers now allow members to attend retreats on a part-time basis. Many have ango, a three-month long period of intensified practice, that members can participate in while continuing to go off to work during the day."

Taigen Dan Leighton writes a more traditional definition, "These are ninety-day training periods of concentrated practice without leaving the monastic enclosure (except for monks going out for necessary temple business). They date back to the summer rainy season retreats of Shakyamuni's time. In Japan, they have been held twice a year, summer and winter."
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

komorido 籠人 / 籠り人 person retreating in a hall for religious practice

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


shibaraku wa taki ni komoru ya ge no hajime

for a while
I will sit behind the waterfall -
summer retreat begins

Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉
On May 20,year 元禄2年4月2日

source : itoyo/basho

Urami no taki 裏見の滝 - 裏見の瀧 "Back- view waterfall"
near Nikko, with a cave behind the waterfall for mountain ascetic practises.

urami 恨み to hate, have a grudge,

hototogisu Urami no Taki no ura omote

hototogisu -
Urami no Taki
with back and front

Written on the second day of the fourth lunar month, Genroku 2
When Basho spent time behind the waterfall, he could not hear the hototogisu any more and felt this as URAMI.

Placenames used by
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .
Oku no Hosomichi

. Fudo Myo-O 不動明王 statue at Urami .


source : Yamada Naokimi

haru no yo ya komorido yukashi doo no sumi

this spring night -
a person mysteriously in retreat
in the temple corner

Tr. Gabi Greve

Spring 1688, at Hase 初瀬 (Hatsuse)
The temple in Hase is known from the Tales of Genji (Genji Monogatari), where ladies of the court came to pray to Kannon to find a suitable lover.

. Temple Hasedera 長谷寺 .

Oi no Kobumi 笈の小文
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


gegaki, ge-gaki 夏書き copying the sutras during the retreat

natsukashiki ge-gaki no sumi no nioi kana

I remember so fondly
the smell of his ink
during summer retreat writing

at the 17th death anniversary of priest Watanabe Unriboo
渡辺雲裡坊 Watanabe Unribo Seihan (1692-1761)
from Owari

tamoto shite harau ge-gaki no tsukue kana

with her long kimono sleeve
she cleans the desk
for summer retreat writing . . .

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .

Buson also wrote this hokku when he met Seihan in Edo, making fun of their shaven heads:

mizu-oke ni unazuki-au ya uri nasubi

in the water tub
they nodd to each other
a melon and an eggplant

source :



gekomori ya tatami ni kobosu hitorigoto

summer retreat -
my lonely mumblings tumble
on the tatami mats

source :


wazawaza ni choo mo kite mau gebana kana

even the butterflies
come to dance here -
summer flower offerings

Tr. Gabi Greve

- - - - -

setchin no uta mo ge-gaki no hitotsu kana

in the temple privy
this poem, too,
a true summer prayer

Tr. Chris Drake

This summer hokku is from the 4th month (May) in 1822, when the summer retreats (夏 ge, or 夏安居 ge-ango) are getting underway at various Buddhist temples. Following a custom that began in ancient India during the Buddha's lifetime, in Japan, too, monks and laypeople gather at temples and concentrate on prayer, chanting, meditation, and study during the rainy season in early summer. The retreats usually began on 4/8, the birthday of the Buddha, and could go on for as long as 90 or a hundred days. Issa seems to have visited a temple on 4/8 or a little later, and in the privy he sees a poem or poems brushed on the wall. Uta usually refers to a waka or a kyoka, a humorous "crazy waka," and it could be either one here.
Evidently the poem refers to one of the Buddhas or is inspired by Buddhism, since Issa takes it to be legitimate summer retreat writing (ge-gaki 夏書). Summer retreat writing usually referred to calligraphically writing the name of a Buddha, especially Amida, or to copying out sutras, but this humble poem, perhaps humorous, obviously expresses deep spirituality.

Chris Drake

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

. WKD : Summer Flowers .

. Toilet, Outhouse (benjo, no setchin, toire) .

Related words

Kigo for Summer

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Cow nose ring festival


Nose ring festival (hanaguri matsuri )

***** Location:
***** Season: Mid-spring
***** Category: Observance


cow nose ring ceremony はなぐり 供養)

memorial ceremony for the cows 牛魂供養
third saturday in April

hanagurizuka 鼻輪塚 / 鼻ぐり塚 "nose-ring mound"
hanaguri zuka

CLICK for more photos

Farmers send the nose rings of their cows, which come in all sorts of material, from plastic to metal.

Fukudenkai Temple 福田海本部のはなぐり塚
This temple is close to Kibitsu Shrine in Okayama prefecture.

There is now also a statue of a large pig and the memorial service covers all kinds of livestock, bred for human consumption.

Memorial services with fire rituals (goma) are held every month on the third saturday, but the mid-spring and autumn ceremonies are the most popular, because they can be combined with cherry-blossom viewing or red maple leaves.

. . . . .

"hanagurizuka" is decorated with more than 6.8 million nose rings of cows.

The Fukudenkai cult, established in 1901 by Tsuyu Nakayama, taught that in order to accumulate positive karma one should pray for the souls of cows, as
"the animal spends all its life for the people; it not only works in the fields but, after death, its flesh is then eaten and its skin is used for leather."

Since the early Showa period (1926-1989), the nose rings of cows have been put on the burial mound and twice a year—once in spring, and again in autumn—special ceremonies known as Chikukonsai are held to mourn the spirit of this beast.
source :

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


source :

cow ring ritual -
I thank for the steak
of last night

Nakayama Ishino

Related words

***** . Cow, Bull, Ox (ushi 牛)  

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Domyoji Temple


Doomyooji 道明寺 Temple Domyo-Ji, Domyoji

***** Location: Osaka, Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Observance


Domyoji Tenmangu 道明寺天満宮
藤井寺市 Fujidera Town, Osaka

Domyoji Tenmangu Shrine originates in Haji Shrine that Haji Tribe built in 3 A.D. to enshrine their ancestor Amenohohi no mikoto (the son of Amaterasu Omikami, the goddess of the sun).

After Buddhism was introduce into Japan, Prince Shotoku decided to build a magnificent temple composed of the five-story stupa and seven halls on the land with an area of 320 m east and west and 640 m north and south, which Haji Yashima donated. The temple was named Haji Temple (Hajidera 土師寺) and later it was assumed the new name of Domyoji by
Sugawara no Michizane (enshrined as a deity of learning).

The shrine possesses a lot of treasures including 6 National treasures, 2 Important National Properties, and 1 Prefectural Cultural Property. The halls were burnt down in the battles to capture Takaya Castle during the Warring States period, however the treasures were unaffected.

Later the temple was given sanctuary to by Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and the Tokugawa Shogunate and designated as a vermilion-seal certificate land. Now people visit to pray for academic achievement, safe delivery, safe driving and so on.
In 2002, “The 1100th Year Anniversary Festival” in memory of Sugawara no Michizane was held.
Doumyouji, Fujiidera City, Osaka Prefecture
source :

. WKD : Sugawara Michizane 菅原道真

. Hajibe 土師部(はじべ) / 土部 Haji-Be clan .
and Haniwa 埴輪 clay figures


kigo for mid-spring

Doomyooji matsuri 道明寺祭 (どうみょうじまつり)
Domyoji Temple Festival

Doomyooji hoshi ii 道明寺糒(どうみょうじほしいい)
dried cooked rice from temple Domyoji

March 25, the memorial day of Sugawara Tenjin, is celebrated.
The Heart Sutra (Hanya Shingyo) is read many times and visitors from far and wide recite with the priests.
The Haji Clan 土師 used to have a nunnery here, later taken over by the Shingon school of Buddhism. 

On the festival day, there is also a memorial service in thankfulness of the rapeseed oil (used for lamps) :
natane kuyoo 菜種供養

The grandmother of Michizane, Kakuju-ni 覚寿尼, lived in this nunnary, and when he was put in exile in Kyushu, she put a plate of rice in the direction and said prayers for his wellbeing every day. After the ritual the rice was then eaten by the nuns who all were in good health. Thus the rumor of the miraculous qualities of the rice spread.
Later the mochigome rice was watered for two days, then simmered and dried for 10 days and after that dried for 20 days near the fireplace. Then it was ground in a stone grinder and the powder is the "Domyoji flour" used for making mochi to our day.

The mochi flour and all kinds of mochi rice dumplings is sold very well during the festival.

Doomyooji hoshi ii 道明寺糒(どうみょうじほしいい)
cooked dried rice from temple Domyo-Ji


kigo for late summer

. Hoshi-ii (hoshiii, hoshii) 干飯 (ほしいい)
cooked dried rice
..... 糒(ほしいい)乾飯(ほしいい)
hiki-ii 引飯(ひきいい)"ground rice"
kare ii かれいい、karei かれい、hoshi-i ほしい

doomyooji 道明寺(どうみょうじ)
(cold rice from) "Temple Domyo-Ji"

Here the name of the temple is used as a name for the food offering.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

domyojiko, doomyoojiko どうみょうじこ (道明寺粉)
dried and granulated glutinous rice flour
for kashiwamochi, sakuramochi

Japanese confectionery consisting of a sweet pink mochi (rice cake) and red bean paste, covered with a leaf of sakura (cherry tree).
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Osaka Tenmangu 大阪天満宮

Tenjin san no Uso 天神さんのうそ the bullfinch of Tenjin
On the 15th of January is the festival.
The figures came on a thick paper with the inscription
There were also three boxes, from Gold, Silver or Wood.

. usokae うそ替え exchanging bullfinches .
ritual at Tenman-Gu shrines

Tenjinbata 天神旗(花) Tenjin Flag
It's original name was Tenjinbana 天神花 Tenjin Flower
It was distributed on the main festival in summer, on July 25.

source :

天満宮の扇子 folding fan of Tenmangu
寝牛 bull lying down, from wood

. Osaka Folk Art - 大阪府 大阪市 .


mizu mukete ato toi tamae doomyooji

Domyoji stands in front of your mother's altar.
Offer water both sacred and secular
and console her spirit.

source : Sasaki Sanmi, Chado

water offerings
to console her spirit
with Domyoji rice

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written in memory of the Mother of his disciple Fuboku 一柳軒不卜
Written in 延宝6年, Basho age 35.
Here it is not the name of the temple, but the name of the cold rice food (hoshi-ii) prepared there.
Ofter offering on the family altar, the cold water is used to prepare some Domyoji rice. May it cool off the soul on this hot summer day.

offering water
may the deceased be consoled
with dried boiled rice

Tr. Reichhold

MORE hokku about food by
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


Two haiku collected by Yamamoto Nori Store in 2009,
about sakuramochi

source :

sakuramochi, "Cherryblossom rice dumplings"
sakura dumplings

sakuramochi butsubutsu arishi Doomyooji

the sakura dumplings
are quite bumpy -
temple Domyo-Ji

Doomyooji hoshii no beni ya sakuramochi

the pink of dried rice
from temple Domyo-Ji -
sakura dumplings

Related words

***** . Sugawara Michizane 菅原道真 and Tenman-Gu 天満宮 shrines

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Saga in Kyoto


Saga 嵯峨 Spring Festivals

***** Location: Kyoto, Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Observance


Saga is an area in Kyoto, Arashiyama Saikyo-ku district.

There are many large temples in the area, which was used by the courtiers as a retreat after leaving politics.

Daikakuji 大覚寺 Temple Daikaku-Ji
see below

Seiryooji 清涼寺 Temple Seiryo-Ji, Shakado 釈迦堂
see below

. Tenryuuji 天竜寺 - 天龍寺 Temple Tenryu-Ji .
Rinzai Zen Temple

Daruma painted by Seki Bokuoo (1903 - 1991)

- Shared by Charlie Smith at Kyoto.
Joys of Japan, March 2012

Many festivals of these temples are kigo.


Emperor Saga

Emperor Saga (嵯峨天皇, Saga-tennō) (786–842)
was the 52nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 809 through 823.

Saga was a scholar of the Chinese classics. He was also a renowned as a skillful calligrapher.

According to legend,
he was the first Japanese emperor to drink tea.

Emperor Saga Tenno played an important role as a stalwart supporter of the Buddhist monk Kūkai Kobo Daishi. The emperor helped Kūkai to establish the Shingon School of Buddhism by granting him the Toji temple in the capital Heian-kyō (present day Kyoto).

Saga's grandson, Minamoto no Tōru, is thought to be an inspiration for the protagonist of the novel The Tale of Genji.
In ancient Japan, there were four noble clans, the Gempeitōkitsu (源平藤橘). One of these clans, the Minamoto clan are also known as Genji (源氏), and of these, the Saga Genji (嵯峨源氏) are descended from 52nd emperor Saga.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Saga Tenno 嵯峨天皇 and 弘法大師空海 Kukai Legends .

- 9 more legends to explore -


kigo for mid-spring

CLICK for more photos

Saga no hashira taimatsu
嵯峨の柱炬 (さがのはしらたいまつ)
Saga torch ceremony

..... Saga o-taimatsu 嵯峨御松明(さがおたいまつ)
..... hashira taimatsu 柱松明(はしらたいまつ)
..... o-taimatsu 御松明(おたいまつ)

In memory of the anniversary of Shakyamuni Buddha on March 15 at the temple Seiryo-Ji. (originally it was held on February 15.)

At about seven thirty at night, three torches of about seven meters length and 1.5 meters diameter are lit. From the power of the flames the good fortune and harvest of the coming year is divined.

One of the three famous fire festivals of Kyoto.

. . WKD : Fire Festivals of Japan  


kigo for late spring

Saga Dainenbutsu Kyoogen
Amida Buddha Prayer Kyogen

..... Saga dainenbutsu 嵯峨大念仏 (さがのだいねんぶつ)
..... Saga nenbutsu 嵯峨念仏(さがねんぶつ)Saga nembutsu

One of the three most important prayer kyogen performances at the Shakado hall of temple Seiryo-Ji. This prayer ceremony is held in spring and autumn, but the spring one is the kigo.
It used to be on march 15, but now it is held for two days on a saturday and sunday in mid-april.
It was started by saint Engaku at temple Mibudera (Mibu Nenbutsu) in the year 1279., who prayed to see his deceased mother again.
It is now an intangible cultural folk property.
Like in the Mibu Nenbutsu, there are no words, but only the sound of the gong "kanden kanden" and the big drum. It is really quite a rural dance performance of Old Saga.

The various performances are called

Hana nusubito 花盗人
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Daibutsu kuyoo 大仏供養

Yo-uchi Soga 夜討曽我
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

and others.


Saga men 嵯峨面 masks from Saga

Fudo Myo-O in red 不動明王面(赤)

Look here for more from the Fujiwara family masks:
source : fujiwara/

Originally the masks from the Shakado Kyogen were produced from papermachee and sold at the temple as amulets for the visitors. This custom was abolished during the Meiji period.
Now it has been picked up again by Fujiwara Fuseki 藤原孚石.
His son and grandson are now producing these simple, but charming masks.

They are made by plastering washi paper into the mold, then taking the mask out and coloring it. This is now the job of the second generation Fuseki. His son still has to learn how to plaster the masks.
The paper is taken from old books, since this is the strongest washi. He uses pages with Hiragana for female masks and pages with Kanji for male masks.
There are now about 30 different kinds made by the Fujiware family.

CLICK for more photos !

. Masks from Japan .


. . WKD : Namu Amida Butsu, the Amida Prayer  

. . WKD : Kyogen, kyoogen 狂言 and Haiku  


External LINKS

The Living Buddha – Seiryoji Temple, Kyoto

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Cooking Radishes for Nichiren
at Temple Sanpo-Ji 三寳寺 (さんぽうじ)

with tofu from Saga 嵯峨豆腐.
Sagadoofu is the starting point of Kyoto Tofu, with its beans from the Saga plain and fresh water from the nearby forests.

mukashidoofu むかし豆腐 old-fashioned tofu (touhu)
Made by the shop Morika 森嘉(もりか)near Shakado Hall (Seiryo-ji Temple).
It is made with sumashi-ko すまし粉), sekko, a kind of calcium sulfate instead of nigari. This dates back to a time after the war when they could not get any real nigari and had to find a substitute.
The store uses only the old equipment and all is made by hand. Only a small amount of this tofu is made every day for sale.

Kawabata Yasunari was fond of this hard tofu.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Morika no karashidoofu からし豆腐 tofu with mustard flavor

Famous Dishes from Kyoto

taimatsu no hi no ko terashite Sagadoofu

light up by the sparks
from the huge torch ...
tofu from Saga

Shimaoka Kaihyoo 島岡海豹


senshun no seisui afurase Sagadoofu

overflowing with
well water from early spring ...
tofu from Saga

Hiko ヒコ

Daruma on a lantern at a shop in Saga

aburimochi, aburi mochi あぶりもち. のあぶり餅
slightly roasted dumplings
from Saga, Kyoto


iza nobore Saga no ayu kui ni miyakodori

Let's go up to Saga,
You seagulls,
And eat trout!

Yasuhara Teishitsu 安原貞室 (1610-73)
Tr. Blyth


Seiryooji 清涼寺 Temple Seiryo-Ji
Shakado 釈迦堂 The Shaka Hall

yuku aki ya sude ni o-shaka wa kyoo no sora

autumn ends--
already the Buddha
fills Kyoto's sky

Tr. David Lanoue


autumn ends--
already the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni
is under the sky of Kyoto

Tr. Gabi Greve

In a prescript to this haiku, Kobayashi Issa alludes to a statue of Gautama Buddha being returned to its temple in Kyoto.

Seiryooji 清涼寺 Temple Seiryo-Ji in Saga, Kyoto, is quite famous for the sandalwood statue of Gautama Shakyamuni which is about 160 cm high and rather simple in a robe of Indian style of Gandhara Buddhas. It was made in China and had the intestines made of silk inside.

The statue had been shown at the temple Eko-In 回向院 (Ekooin) in Edo in 1810.

By using the expression sude ni Issa shows us that the Buddha statue is already back home, while he is still in Edo, trying to get his inheritage, to get back under his own sky in Shinano.

In 538 the very first Buddha image to arrive in Japan was a statue of Shakyamuni presented as a gift by a Korean king.
... in 1249 the priest Eison ordered a copy of the Seiryoji Shaka and installed it as the principal object of worship at the large Saidaiji temple in Nara.
... The Seiryoji Shaka is still shown on the 8th of each month.
source :

Seiryōjishiki Shaka 清凉寺式釈迦
source : - Mark Schumacher -

. Tainai Butsu 胎内佛, 胎内仏 statue within the statue .

Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni, Gautama Siddharta)
Die Verkörperung des Prinzen Shakyamuni Gautama (um 550 - 480), geboren in Kapila, Indien, der als Mensch tatsächlich gelebt, die Erleuchtung erlangt und diese Lehre dann verbreitet hat. Als Figuren des Religionsgründers waren Shaka-Statuen in der Asuka-Zeit in Japan zunächst besonders beliebt. Älteste Statuen in Indien aus Gandhara und Madura, um 100 v.Chr., in Japan aus der Asuka-Zeit, z.B. Shaka-Statue des Udenoo des Tempels Seiryooji in Kyooto mit fast noch indischem Faltenwurf.

Shaka-Statue des Udenoo
(Udenoo (Utenoo) Shaka, Zuizoo Shaka)
König Udayana (Udenoo, Utenoo) von Kausambii in Indien war ein Gläubiger, dessen Leben im Sutra Zooitsu Agonkyoo beschrieben wird. Nachdem Shakyamuni in den Tushita-Himmel einging, wurde der König sehr krank. Seine Minister waren sehr besorgt und fertigten einen Buddhastatue aus Sandelholz; daraufhin wurde der König wieder gesund. Diese Statue, angeblich die erste Buddhastatue überhaupt, heißt auch "Glückverheißender Shaka" (Zuizoo Shaka).

Der japanische Priester Choonen ließ eine Kopie dieser Statue anfertigen und brachte diese "durch drei Länder" (Indien, China, Japan) gewanderte Figur mit nach Japan (sangoku denrai). Diese Kopie existiert heute noch im Tempel Seiryooji in Saga, Kyoto. Figuren in diesem fremdartig anmutenden Stil werden Seiryoo-Figuren (Seiryooshiki) oder Saga-Figuren (Sagashiki) genannt.
Die Haare des Shaka sind dabei wie ein dicker Zopf um den Kopf gerollt. Diese Statuen waren in der Kamakura-Zeit sehr beliebt; es soll insgesamt in den großen Tempeln des Landes über 100 Stück davon gegeben haben.
Udenoo ist auch bekannt als einer der Gefährten des Monju in der Monju-Fünfergruppe.

- Buddhastatuen ... Who is Who
Ein Wegweiser zur Ikonografie
von japanischen Buddhastatuen
Gabi Greve, 1994


Temple Seiryo-Ji is famous for the plum blossoms and early red momiji leaves.
source : niwa/seiryoji.htm

source :
Shakado in Autumn splendor

. Yuugiri Ki 夕霧忌 Yugiri Memorial Day .
A memorial service for Yugiri Tayu is held every November at Seiryoji Temple.
She was a high-ranking courtesan at the Shimabara quarters in Kyoto.
kigo for early spring


O-Mi-Nugui 御身拭
ritual cleansing of the Amida Buddha statue

on April 19

A statue of Amida Nyorai is shown and special prayer chantings (insei nenbutsu 引声念仏) performed.
The statue is then clensed with a white cloth dipped in fragrant water. This white cloth, when used to cover a dead body, makes sure the soul will go straight to Buddha's paradise in the West.
This ritual is in memory of the Mother of Anki Monin 安喜門院 (1207 - 1286), wife of Emperor Gohorikawa Tenno 後堀河天皇.

observance kigo for late spring

gosoo no sono te kagita ya ominugui

the smell of the hands
of the honorable priests -
cleaning the statue

Tr. Gabi Greve


go-soo no so no te kagita ya omi-nugui

I want to smell the hands
of the honorable priest--
cleaning the Buddha statue.
Tr. Naotaka Uematsu

. Tan Taigi 炭太祇 .


Ritual cleaning (Ominugui) of statues is also done at other tempels at other times.
- Reference -


Daikakuji Dainichi E 大覚寺大日会
Ceremony for Dainichi Nyorai
at Temple Daikaku-Ji

At the Dainichi Hall of the Octagonal Hall
28 of October
observance kigo for late autumn

. Dainichi Nyorai 大日如来 .

Daikaku-ji is a Shingon temple dating from the Heian period. It is famous for moon-viewing boat cruises on Lake Ōsawa. Shakyō (sutra transcription) lessons are held daily at the temple.
Daikaku-ji was founded in 876 by Empress Masako (810-879) on the site of the Saga-rikyū, a country villa built for her father, Emperor Saga Tenno (786-842). The temple kept a close relation with the Imperial family, and was actually a monzeki (門跡), i.e. a temple whose appointed abbot was an Imperial prince.

In the early 14th century, retired Emperor Go-Uda (1267-1324) conducted his cloistered rule from Daikaku-ji. A school of ikebana named after the emepror, the Saga Goryū, is still based in the temple.

The Shin-den Hall (宸殿) was transported from its original location in the Imperial Palace in the 16th century. It contains some valuable fusuma screens attributed to the Sengoku-period Kanō school, the most famous schools of Japanese painting.
source : japan-guide

- quote
Daikaku-ji (大覚寺 Daikaku-ji is a Shingon Buddhist temple in Ukyō-ku, a western ward in the city of Kyoto, Japan. The main images are of the Five Wisdom Kings, centered on Fudō. It was a villa of Emperor Saga (785-842), and later, retired Emperor Go-Uda conducted his cloistered rule from here. A school of ikebana, the Saga Goryū, maintains its headquarters in the temple. The artificial lake of the temple, Osawa pond, is one of the oldest Japanese garden ponds to survive from the Heian Period
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There are moonviewing parties on boat on the Osawa pond.

Fudo Myo-O as venerated in the Hall of the 5 Great Fudo
五大堂, now in the Museum of the temple.

. Fudō Myō-ō, Fudoo Myoo-Oo 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O
Acala Vidyârâja - Vidyaraja .

- Homepage of the temple - Daikaku-Ji Monseki 大覚寺門跡
- source :

The temple is also famous for its Chrysanthemums

Saga-giku 嵯峨菊
- source : ichinen-fourseasonsinjapan.

People learn how to grow them to have flowers in the numbers of shichi-go-san
three on top, five in the middle and 7 near the bottom.
Also some withered leaves near the ground - and all this at the same time.
It is a secret to study how to grow them - only at this temple.


suzushisa o e ni utsushi keri Saga no take

portrayed in painting:
bamboos of Saga

Tr. Barnhill

Painted into a picture;
Bamboos of Saga.

Tr. Blyth

la fraîcheur peinte
dans une peinture ;
les bambous de Saga

Tr. Daniel Py

Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉
元禄7年 - 1694

Basho was staying at the home of Yamei 野明亭, a friend of Kyorai.

. Sakai Yamei (1662-1713) .

. Mukai Kyorai 向井去来 .

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

Related words

***** Mibu Nenbutsu 壬生念仏
Invoction of Amida at Mibu Temple

Mibu Kyoogen 壬生狂言(みぶきょうげん)

***** Kyoto
. "capital of blossoms", hana no miyako 花の都 .


. Arashiyama 嵐山 Storm Mountain .