04/01/2018

Yamanokami taiko drum legends

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. Yama no Kami 山の神 Yamanokami - Introduction .
. Ta no Kami 田の神 Tanokami - Introduction .
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Yama no Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain
and taiko 太鼓 the big drum




The big drum is often used for festival music.
. taiko, oodaiko 大鼓、太鼓、大太鼓 big drum .


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. Yamanokami and Tengu 天狗 the Mountain Goblin .


. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

kamikakushi 神かくし mysterious disappearance
If a child did not come home and was nowhere to be found, in former times people thought they have been abducted by a Tengu or by Yamanokami. Villagers went out with bells and drums to search for them. Parents also warn their children not to play hide and seek in the evening any more, in case they may disappear.


............................................................................ Aichi 愛知県
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知多郡 Chita district 美浜町 Mihama

. Tengu sama no isami 天狗様のいさみ flute melody of Tengu .






............................................................................ Kochi 高知県
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幡多郡 Hatta district 大正町 Taisho

taiko 太鼓
In the hamlet of 芳川部落 Hogawa on the other side of the valley they can heard the sound of a big drum at night from about 9 to 10.
They asked a priest for advise. He told them that Yamanokami was angry and that soon something bad would happen to the mountain. They called a special saint to perform rituals of appeasement and the sound of the drum stopped!

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高岡郡 Takaoka district 窪川町 Kubokawa

taiko 太鼓
In a cave called 太鼓堂 Taiko-Do, Drum Hall, the sound of a big drum was heard every month on the 20th day of the old lunar calendar. Wild animals came to play in the water puddles around the cave.
The clever hunters came at night to shoot their pray.





............................................................................ Nagasaki 長崎県

Tengu
When people hear the sound of rinrin like festival flutes and big drums, they say
"Yama no Kami is dancing!"
Others say tengubayashi 天狗ばやし a group of Tengu with festival instruments are passing.

- Two more legends about the Tengubayashi from 茨城県 Ibaraki

多賀郡 Taga district 黒前村 Kurosaki village and 高岡村 Takaoka village
The villgers sometimes hear the Tengubayashi, often from 1 to 2 in the morning.
In Takaoka village there has been a huge landslide on the mountain top, where the Tengu is now venerated.
If it rains for a long time in Takaoka, they say the Tengu is having a festival and beats the big drums.






............................................................................ Niigata 新潟県

Ta no kami 田の神
Before cutting the weeds around the fields, the farmers walk around the fields with bells and big drums to chase away the insects and animals (虫送りの行事 mushi-okuri).
This is the day when Tanokami comes down to the fields, so the farmers take a rest and say prayers in his honor.






............................................................................ Saitama 埼玉県
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秩父郡 Chichibu district 大滝村 Otaki

Yamanokami ga sawagu 山の神が騒ぐ Yamanokami is making noises
Sometimes Yamanokami makes a loud noise with flute and big drums in the early morning hours.







............................................................................ Toyama 富山県

Tengu 天狗
The words "Tengu" and "Yamanokami" are not said directly, people just say アノヒト "ano hito", "that person".
yatsudaikouchi ヤツダイコウチ means the Tengu beats a large drum with eight colors.
If people hear the sound and go to the forest, they are usually lucky to hunt a bear.


Once a man was taking care of a place all by himself when he heard the sound of the big drum from Yamanokami. It sounded like two beating the drum, Yamanokami and a Tengu.
He was quite amused and did not feel lonely any more.
On cloudy days, the drumming can even be heard during lunchtime.




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東砺波郡 Higashi-Tonami district 城端町 Johan

ヤマノバーバノタイコ,Yamanbaaba no taiko and マトギ matogi
If a Tengu beats the big drum or a mujina 狢 badger gets excited and beats his stomach, the villagers call it Yamanbaaba no taiko ヤマノバーバノタイコ, the mountain hag beating the big drum.
If it can be heard in the evening of a spring day, this is the sign of a good harvest in the coming year.


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- reference source : nichibun yokai database -



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. Yama no Kami 山の神 - Table of Contents - .

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sangaku shinkoo 山岳信仰 religion of the High Mountains is a different matter.

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

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .

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