16/03/2019

Yamanokami Regional 33 Akita

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
. 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 Legends from Akita 秋田県


. Legends about Yamanokami 山の神と伝説 .


source : forbesjapan.com/article...

. Namahage なまはげ / 生剥げ demons of Akita .
The servants of Yamanokami, the demons from the Oga peninsula, are allowed to come down to the local families on the 15th day of the first lunar month.


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田の神,山の神 Tanokami becomes Yamanokami
On the 16th day of the 10th lunar month,
Tanokami goes back and becomes Yamanokami. Pepopletake a rest and celebrate with offerings of konamochi 粉餅 rice cakes powdered with walnut powder.
On this day it is not allowed to go to the forest and work.
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Inside a mine it is not allowed to whistle or clap your hands. If you do, Yamanokami, who supports the ceiling with his hands, becomes happy and pulls his hands away.
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. Okojo, Okoze オコゼ a short-tailed weasel or ferret .
the messenger of Yamanokami.


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. matagi 又鬼 - マタギ と伝説 Legends about bear hunters .

In Akita there are many bear-hunter communities.
On the festival day of the female Yamanokami, who is very jealous, their womenfolk do not dare to go outside all day.




....................................................................... 秋田市 Akita city .....

kuri no ki 栗の木 sweet chestnut tree
Deep in the mountain forest is a huge sweet chestnut tree, where Yamanokami is venerated. Even if cut down it will soon be up again.
Once a man named 弥兵衛 Yahei tried to cut this tree down, but blood came sprouting from the tree and a boy of 5 years came out. The child had a strange figure and looked very angry, picking up Yahei and throwing him on the ground, telling him never to cut this tree again.

. kami no ki, kaminoki  神の木、神ノ木 tree of the deity, tree of Yamanokami .




....................................................................... 平鹿郡 Hiraka district .....
山内村 Sannai mura village

. Hihi 狒々/ 狒狒 / 比々 Hihi Baboon Monster .
About 400 years ago a samurai named 大次郎 Daijiro moved to the village from 仙台 Sendai. His younger brother left his wife and child behind and said he would go hunting.
A monster baboon came and ate the daughter of his brother. The poor younger brother was very angry and with the consent of Daijiro went out to kill the baboon.
Later they burried the body of the baboon and all their old weapons in the ground of a local school. They started to venerate Yamanokami at that place.



....................................................................... 上小阿仁村 Kamikoani village .....
in 北秋田郡 Kita-Akita district

In the village of Kami-Koani there was one area where Yamanokami was seen as 男神 a male deity and one where she was 女神 a female deity.
After a wedding ceremony husband and wife were not allowed to go into the mountain forest for a few days, because Yamanokami was very jealous.
So young couples went to work in the fields, made tools from straw and performed other work inside the house.
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A couple went to the mountain forest to make charcoal. The husband cut a tree from a dangerous place. His wife observed him from below and saw a woman supporting his hips. The wife thought he was being unfaithful and called out "Shame on you!" The figure of the supporting woman disappeared on the spot and the husband fell deep into the valley.
The female Yamanokami had been helping him.



....................................................................... 鹿角郡 Kazuno district .....

Nanzoboo 南祖坊 Priest Nanzobo and Hachitaroo, 八太郎 Hachitaro
The Lord of 十和田湖 lake Towadako was called 八太郎 Hachitaro.
One day a strange priest named Nanzobo came and told him to hand the lake over to him. Both begun to fight and Hachitaro lost.
So he begun to block the river 米代川 Yoneshirogawa and built a new lake.
Now Yamanokami came and threw stones at him, so Hachitaro had to flee again.
He run very far away and became the Lord of 八郎潟 Hachirogata.


- CLICK for more photos of the Hachirogata area !

- quote -
Hachirōgata (八郎潟 Hachirō-gata) is a lake in Akita Prefecture in northern Japan.
Its formal name is Lake Hachirō (八郎湖 Hachirō-ko), but it is also called Hachirōgata Regulating Pond (八郎潟調整池 Hachirō-gata chōseichi). At 4 meters below sea level, Hachirōgata is the lowest point in Japan. . . .
According to a legend,
a man called Hachirō was transformed into a dragon and chose the lake for his home after wandering a long time. Thus, the lake was named Hachirō-gata (-gata means "lagoon").
Later, he was attracted to a woman who owned Lake Tazawako, another lake in Akita Prefecture, and moved to be with her. After that, Hachirōgata became increasingly shallower.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !




....................................................................... 北秋田郡 Kita-Akita district .....
荒瀬村 Arasemura village

Once on a snowing night Yamanokami took the form of a pregnant woman and asked for shelter at the hut of seven woodcutters, but she was turned away.
At the next hut of six woodcutters she was taken in cordally. So Yamanokami gave them four 大熊 great bears as a present.
Then Yamanokami turned the group of seven into 小鼠 small mice with no special color.




....................................................................... 仙北市 Senboku city, Semboku .....

. takezaiku 竹細工 legends about craft from bamboo .
If a child is born, Yamanokami spends the whole night at the Shrine to decide the fate of the baby.
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Once a wife took some lunch to her father working in the mountain. But the female Yamanokami became jealous and when the father cut a tree, he fell below it and died.
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Yamanokami becomes Tanokami in spring and is seen as female. The deity likes
. okoji オコジ(虎魚)and Yamanokami .
Yamanokami is usually helping with a birth . . . . .


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Senboku 西木町 Nishiki town

大石岳 Mount Oishidake (1,059 m)
On the 10th day of the second lunar month, it was not allowed to go to the mountain.
Yamanokami was sewing seeds for trees on this day.
Others say they should not go to the mountain and should not bring Natto fermented beans as food, lest Yamanokami would let them slip and fall.
They also should not wash their dishes in the river because Yamanokami might want to swim down the river on that day.

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Senboku 西仙北町 Nishi-Senboku town

bakko sugi バッコ杉 Bakko cedar
On the 9th day of the second lunar month, on the day of Yamanokami, a man went to the forest to make charcoal, although it was forbidden.
On his way home he saw his bakko バッコ(末娘) youngest daughter, who was supposed to be home. He called her but she did not turn around, so he started running after her, but could not catch up. When he came to
kugikake no oo-sugi 鉤掛けの大杉 the big cedar tree further down the valley, he lost sight of her. When he came home, his daughter had been home all the time, waiting for him. Since then the name of the tree changed to
Bakko Sugi, cedar of the youngest daughter.


about 38 m high, 7,4 m circumference, about 300 years old
source : hitozato-kyoboku.com/bakko-sugi...



....................................................................... 山本郡 Yamamoto district .....
二ツ井町 Futatsui machi town

Around 1940, there was a huge fire in the village. In front of 山神神社 the Shrine for Yamanokami there stood a beautiful young woman.
This must have been Yamanokami, taking refuge from the fire.


Yama Shrine, Haraikawa-59 Futatsuimachi Kogake, Noshiro

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- reference source : nichibun yokai database -

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. Legends about Yamanokami 山の神と伝説 .

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

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

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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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