Hashihime Bridge Deity

. Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .

Hashihime, Hashi Hime 橋姫 / はし姫 "Princess of the Bridge"
"bridge maiden", "The Lady at the Bridge"

Uji no Hashi Hime 宇治の橋姫, 織津比売 (せおりつひめ)の神
. Checkpoints, barriers around Kyoto .


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Hashihime (橋姫) ("the maiden of the bridge")
is a character that first appeared in Japanese Heian-period literature, represented as a woman who spends lonely nights waiting for her lover to visit, and later as a fierce “oni” or demon fueled by jealousy. She came to be associated most often with a bridge in Uji.

Kyōka Hyaku-Monogatari 1853

Very little is known about the origin of Hashihime. The most common interpretation is that she was a lonely wife pining for her husband / lover to return but due to his infidelity, she became jealous and turned into a demon.
- source : wikipedia


Hashihime no Yashiro 橋姫の社
Hashihime Jinja 橋姫神社 Hashihime Shrine

橋姫の社(はしひめのやしろ) は宇治橋の西づめにあり。はじめは二社なり。一社は洪水のとき漂流す。いま、礎存せり。
『古今』  さむしろに衣かたしくこよひもやわれをまつらんうぢの橋姫  読人しらず

ajirogi ni izayou nami no oto fukete hitori ya nenuru uji no hashihime 
慈円 - Jien (1155 - 1225) - 『新古』

後宇多院 Gouda-In (Gouda Tenno) (1267 - 1324) - 『新千』 

宇治市宇治蓮華47 Uji
- source : sites.google.com/site/miyakomeisyo -

Writing Margins: The Textual Construction of Gender in Heian and Kamakura Japan
By Terry Kawashima
The figure of Hashihime, . . .
- with poems about the Hashihime
- source : books.google.co.jp -

Hashihime no momijigasane ya kari te mashi tabine wa samushi Uji no kawakaze.

Wondering if I should borrow
from the Princess of Bridges
this robe of autumn leaves—
my rest while traveling so cold...
the Uji River wind.

Otagaki Rengetsu (1791 - 1875)

- source : rengetsu.org/poetry_db -

samushiro ni koromo katashiki koyo mo ya ware o matsuramu uji no hashihime

On a thin straw mat
Beneath a single layer of clothes
On this night, too,
I wonder, does she await me,
My maid at Uji Bridge.

source : Anonymous - wakapoetry.net

さむしろや待つ夜の秋の風ふけて. 月をかたしく宇治の橋姫
samushiro ya matsu yo no aki no kaze fukete tsuki wo katashiku uji no hashihime

How cold!
waiting out the autumn’s weary night
deepening as the wind blows
she spreads out the moon’s light
the Princess of Uji Bridge.

Fujiwara no Teika
- source : wikipedia -


- quote -
- Image 鳥山石燕『今昔画図続百鬼』より「橋姫」。解説文に「橋姫の社は山城の国宇治橋にあり」とあることから、宇治の橋姫を描いたものと解釈されている。
- Image 鳥山石燕『今昔画図続百鬼』より「丑の刻参り」
- Image 現在の堀川と戻り橋
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Hashihime – The Bridge Princess
From Mizuki Shigeru, Yōkai Stories
Nothing quite embodies the saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” like the Hashihime. A human woman consumed by jealousy and hatred, she transformed herself through sheer willpower—and the assistance of a helpful deity who taught her a complicated ritual—into a living demon of rage and death. A yokai from the Heian period, she is one of the most powerful and fierce creatures in Japan’s menagerie.

What Does Hashihime Mean?
With only two kanji, her name is straight-forward: 橋 (hashi; bridge) 姫 (hime; princess). But there is a secret meaning hidden inside. In ancient Japanese, the word airashi (愛らしい; pretty; charming; lovely; adorable) could be pronounced “hashi.” So “Hashihime the Bridge Princess” was also a homophone for (愛姫) “Hashihime the Pretty Princess.”
The only real question is why does such a horrible demon have such a lovely, delicate name? This is because the name predates the monster. There have been Bridge Princesses—benign deities of the water—for far longer than there have been jealous women with crowns of iron and burning torches clenched between their teeth.
- - - Hashihime as Water Goddess
Going back into ancient, pre-literate Japan, there has long been a mythology built around bridges. Japan was—and still is—an animistic culture where nature is embodied by spirits of good and ill. The wonders of nature, like particularly large and twisted trees or odd and out of place rocks, had their own guardian deities called kami. Rivers too, especially large rivers, were the abodes of gods. ...
In the year 905 CE, we get one of the oldest known written mentions of the Hashihime, in a poem from the 14th scroll of the Kokin Wakashū (古今和歌集; Collection of Poems of Ancient and Modern Times). This is especially notable because it mentions not just any Hashihime, but the Hashihime of Uji—a legend that would come to dominate all images of this fantastic creature.

Upon a narrow grass mat
laying down her robe only
tonight, again –
she must be waiting for me,
Hashihime of Uji

- - - Hashihime as Female Demon
How the transformation happened—from benign, sexy river goddess to avatar of female rage—is unknown. Most likely it happened like all folklore, organically and over time. The shrines to the Hashihime existed near bridges, and as people forgot their original purpose they began to make up new stories. Most of these stories tended to include some legend of the Hashihime as “woman done wrong.” There are old legends of a woman whose husband went off to war and never came back, and she wept by the river bank in sorrow until she was transformed into the Hashihime. Others are stories of jealousy and revenge. ...
While Lady Rokujo is not the Hashihime, ...
- - - The Heike Monogatari and the Hashihime of Uji
...The Heike Monogatari emphasizes repeatedly than the Hashihime is a “still-living” oni. ...
Toriyama’s Text:
“The Goddess Hashihime lives in the under the Uji Bridge in Yamashiro province (Modern day Southern Kyoto). That is the explanation for this drawing of the Hashihime of Uji.”
- - - Kanawa 鉄輪 – The Iron Crown
The Noh play Kanawa (鉄輪; The Iron Crown) comes from one of the versions of the Hashihime story from the Heike Monogatari. ...
- - - Other Hashihime
Although she is by far the most famous, the Hashihime of Uji is not the only Hashihime. Nagarabashi bridge over the Yodogawa river in Osaka and the Setanokarabashi bridge over the Setagawa river in Sega prefecture also lay claim to their own Hashihimes.
- - - The Hashihime Shrine
..... Shrine records claim the Hashihime Shrine dates back to 646 CE, making it older than most known legends of the Hashihime of Uji. Most likely it was originally dedicated to the water goddess under the bridge, and the kami of the shrine evolved along with the legends. ...
- source : Zack Davisson -


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The Tale of the Hashihime of Uji
Translated from the Heike Monogatari
During the Imperial reign of the Emperor Saga, there lived a courtly lady consumed by jealousy. So powerfully was she in jealousy’s grip that she made a pilgrimage to the shrine at Kifune and cloistered in prayer. For seven days, she devoted herself to a single-minded wish: “Oh great and powerful Kami of Kifune, grant me the powers of a devil while I am still living. Make me a fierce being, terrible to behold. Let my outer form match the flame of jealousy that burns so brightly within. Let me kill.”

That great miracle-working Kami of Kifune understood the depths of her desire, and heeded her call. “I am moved by pity and by the sincerity of your prayer. If you wish to become a living oni, to change into a monstrous form, get thee to the Kawase river in Uji. Perform the ceremony I shall now teach you, and then return to submerge yourself in the waters of the river. Do this for 21 days.” This courtly lady saw and heard the manifestation of this celestial being, and was in rapture.
- continued here
- source : Zack Davisson -

. ikiryoo 生霊 . 生き霊 Ikiryo“living spirit” .
vengeful spirit, mostly female
ushi no toki mairi


totose 十歳 - an expression from the Genji Monogatari.
Hashi Hime, Hashihime 橋姫

sono hito mo kashiko ni te use haberi ni shi nochi,
totose amari nite

A pictorial subject based on "The Lady at the Bridge" Hashihime, Chapter 45 of GENJI MONOGATARI 源氏物語 (The Tale of Genji).

The last ten chapters of the Tale are known as UJI JUUJOU 宇治十帖 (The Ten Books of Uji). This chapter, the first of the ten, introduces the Eighth Prince Hachi no miya 八宮, a half-brother of Genji, and his two daughters, Ooigimi 大君 and Naka no kimi 中君, who live with him in his self-imposed retirement at Uji (south of Kyoto). The prince is known for his piety and wisdom. Kaoru 薫, whose serious character is engendered by deep misgivings about his paternity, begins to study under Hachi no miya.
Eventually he learns from Ben no kimi 弁君, the daughter of *Kashiwagi's 柏木 wet nurse, that he is not in fact Genji's son, but rather the illegitimate son of Kashiwagi. The scene most frequently chosen for illustration shows Ooigimi playing a lute biwa 琵琶 and Naka no kimi a harp koto 琴 under the moon and clouds while Kaoru secretly peers in through a break in the villa's bamboo fence.
This scene survives in a section of the earliest illustrated version (12c) in the Tokugawa 徳川 Art Museum.
source : Jaanus

. Matsuo Basho - totose 十歳 .
aki totose kaette Edo o sasu kokyoo


Tea Bowl, Known as "Hashihime" (bridge maiden)
Mino ware, Shino type, Azuchi-Momoyama - Edo period, 16th - 17th century

- source : Tokyo National Museum -


- Reference : 橋姫
- Reference : Hashihime

. noroi 呪い cursing a person .

. Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .

- #hashihime #hashihimeshrine #japanesehistory #chawan -

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

Shrine Hashihime no Yashiro, Uji

If the procession of a wedding passes before this shrine, someone will certainly become very ill or even die. It is also possible that the wedding will not be successful and the couple divorced.

During the Time of Minamoto no Raikō many people suddenly disappeared.
When he investigated the events, he found that during the times of 嵯峨天皇 Saga Tenno a very jealous woman cast a spell at 貴船の社 Kifune Shrine.
The shrine is therefore associated with the Ushi no toki mairi 丑の時参り, the ritual of wearing candles on one's head and laying a curse at a shrine during the "hour of the Ox", since it is from the resident deity that Hashihime learns the prescribed ritual to turn herself into an oni鬼 demon to exact vengeance.
This story is told in the Noh play Kanawa 金輪 ("The Iron Crown").

. 源頼光 Minamoto no Yorimitsu, Raiko (948 - 1021) .
Minamoto no Raikō

- reference : nichibun yokai database -




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