Showing posts with label - - - - - Terminology - - -. Show all posts
Showing posts with label - - - - - Terminology - - -. Show all posts

20/08/2017

Ta no Kami Legends

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. kami 神 Shinto deities .
. Yama no Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain .
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Ta no Kami, Ta-no-Kami 田の神 Tanokami, God of the Fields -
Introduction and Legends

paddy field Kami, god of the rice paddies, spirit of the rice field, Kami of the rice paddy

Ta no Kami, God of the Rice Fields is an important deity of the rice farming communities.
In Spring he comes down from the village mountain forest to the ta 田 rice fields to protect the harvest, hence the name Ta no Kami

In Autumn after the harvest, Ta no Kami goes back to the Satoyama mountain or forest behind the village to take a rest and collect strength for the next season..

Yama no Kami, God of the Mountain is the alter-ego of Ta no Kami after the harvest.
Yama here refers to the - - - . Satoyama 里山 "Village Mountain Forest" .



There are many stone monuments in his honor near the fields and at roadsides.
During festivals in his honor, the farmers hang paintings in their home or the local Shinto shrine to venerate this deity.

To understand Ta no Kami, it is important to know about the wet paddy culture of Japan.
The Japanese Emperor is embodying the god of the ripened rice plant.
. The Japanese Rice Culture .

The rice culture is related to divine animal messengers :
. Inari 稲荷 The Divine Fox Messenger .
- - - - - The deity venerated at Inari Shrines is Ukanomikami 宇迦之御魂神 / 倉稲魂神, the the spirit of rice.
. Ta no Kami and the ookami 狼 wolf connection .

Ta no Kami 土人形 clay bells and dolls
Ta no kami 掛け軸 scrolls and paintings

. Ta no Kami Matsuri 田の神祭 festivals and rituals .

Ta no Kami Mai 田神舞 / 田の神舞 神楽 Ta no Kami and Kagura dance
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Ta no Kami Men 田神面 / 田の神面 maska for Kagura dance
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

keshoogami 化粧神 Kami with make-up

. Haiku and Kigo 俳句と季語 for Ta no Kami .

. Ta no Kami - Legends from Aichi to Yamanashi .

. Doosojin, Doososhin 道祖神 Wayside Gods .
They are usually represented as two stone figures, man and woman.

. Daikoku Ten 大黒天 the Deity Daikoku venerated as Ta no Kami .
He is portrayed holding a golden mallet, seated on bales of rice, with mice nearby (mice signify plentiful food).

. Ebisu Ten 恵比寿天 the Deity Ebisu venerated as Ta no Kami .

Ta no Kami is depicted holding phallic fertility symbols or a rice bowl and a
. shamoji しゃもじ / 杓文字 / shakuji 杓 ladle .
Shamoji are used to scoop rice out of the cooking pot. Also called "Rice Paddle", rice spoon, wood spatula, rice scoop.


. Ta no Kami - Reference, Books and Links - .




. Yama no Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain - Introduction .
a Deity with one eye

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- - - - - Terminology - other names of Ta no Kami - - - - -

i no kami 亥の神 Kami of the wild boar
jigami, jishin 地神 land Kami
nōgami, nooshin 農神 Nogami, farming Kami Nogami
sakugami 作神 Kami of production
sanbai sama 三拝様 local Kami from the Setonaikai region
sojin 祖神 ancestral Kami
ta no kansaa 田の神さぁ Ta no Kansa, Kagoshima
tsukurigami 作り神 Kami of making
ushigami 牛神 Kami of cattle

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- - - - - Ta no Kami - Introduction - - - - -

- quote -
Tanokami "Kami of the rice paddy,"
a tutelary of rice production. The general term ta no kami can be found nationwide, but regional variations exist in the specific names used to refer to the kami. Some include nōgami (farming kami) in the northeast, sakugami (kami of production) in Yamanashi and Nagano, and tsukurigami (kami of making) in the Kinki area. People in the Izumo region use the term i no kami (kami of the wild boar), while the term jigami (land kami) is used in the Inland Sea region, and ushigami (kami of cattle) in Kyushu.



The rice paddy kami has also undergone synthesis with Ebisu in eastern Japan, and with Daikoku in the west, leading to different cults from those of fishing and commerce normally associated with these two deities.

Festivals celebrating the kami of the rice paddy are ordinarily distributed between spring and autumn in accordance with the various stages of the agricultural process, but they are especially noteworthy around the time of spring rice transplanting, while additional rituals may be held at harvest. Examples of the former include observances called saori (greeting the rice-field kami) and sanaburi (or sanoburi, "sending off the rice-field kami"), while the latter include i no ko ("child of the boar") and tōkan'ya ("tenth night").
The cycle of spring and autumn festivals celebrating the rice paddy kami are seen nationwide, and appear to be linked to legendary concepts of identity between the rice paddy kami and the mountain kami (yama no kami) in those two seasons. Namely, in spring it is believed that the mountain kami descends from the mountain to the village, becoming the kami of the rice paddy, and in fall, the rice paddy kami leaves the field and returns to the mountain, where it becomes the mountain kami.
Certain differences exist in some regions, however. In the ritual called aenokoto of the Noto area, for example, the same kami circulates between rice paddy and the home, while in other examples, the deity is believed to remain in the field as a "guardian watch." The tradition of the "watch" kami is related to the legend that all the kami throughout Japan gather at the Izumo Shrine in the tenth lunar month (called kannazuki, or "month without kami"), while the "watch" kami alone remains behind to keep guard.

Since the time of folklorist Yanagita Kunio, the theory that the rice paddy god is actually an ancestral kami (sojin) has gained wide acceptance.
- source : Kokugakuin - Iwai Hiroshi -


This deity with one eye and one leg comes to the fields to protect them before the harvest, now in the form of a kakashi, with one leg and one eye.
Even the modern yellow plastic balloons with one black ring, which hang in the fields, are a modern version of this deity with one eye.



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- quote -
Tano Kami (田の神)
is a kami who is believed to observe the harvest of rice plants or to bring a good harvest, by Japanese farmers. Ta in Japanese means "rice fields". Tano Kami is also called Noshin (kami of agriculture) or kami of peasants. Tano Kami shares the kami of corn, the kami of water and the kami of defense, especially the kami of agriculture associated with mountain faith and veneration of the dead (faith in the sorei). Tano Kami in Kagoshima Prefecture and parts of Miyazaki Prefecture is unique; farmers pray before Tano Kami stone statues in their communities.
- Agricultural kami
In Japan, there are agricultural deities or kami. In the Japanese documents, Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, there were kami of rice plants, Ukano Mitama, Toyouke Bimeno Kami, and kami of corns, Ootoshino Kami. (Of them, Toyouke Bimeno Kami was written also in Engishiki, and is considered to be a female kami.
Generally speaking, in the Tohoku area of Japan, agriculture-related kami is Nogami (agriculture kami), in the Koshin area, it is Sakugami, in the Kinki area, it is Tsukurigami, in the Tajima and Inaba areas, it is kami of i 亥 (inoshishi, wild boar), (On the day of i, the fields are struck; which is considered to give peace on the harvest ground). In the Chugoku and Shikoku areas, it is Sanbai Sama, in Setonaikai, it is the local kami. ...
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Clay bell of Ta no Kami

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- quote -
... in a park in Ikebukuro in downtown Tokyo ...
This particular Suitengu is just a small local shrine in front of which stand four very unusual stone statues. Seen from the front, these stones depict stolid standing monks with grinning, almost mischievous faces. In their hands, they hold small bowls topped with steamed rice, and shamoji paddle-shaped rice ladles. Although the local people treat these stones as Dosojin guardians, they are actually Ta no Kami, rice paddy spirits that have somehow arrived here from southern Kyushu region.



The Ta no Kami cult is widespread throughout the country, and is at the heart of Japanese rural folk cosmology. The Japanese imbue rice with a sacred reverence and deep cultural significance that completely transcends the plant’s nutritional and economic value as a food grain. It was rice, first brought here from the Korean Peninsula nearly 3,000 years ago, that transformed Japan from a land of scattered hunter-gatherers to a great nation. Gohan, the basic word for cooked rice, is also a general term for food or a meal. Even today, the Japanese people, despite their insatiable appetite for bread and noodles, still think of themselves as rice eaters.

In most regions, the Ta no Kami are represented abstractly, with tree branches decorated with strips of paper, sometimes stuck into mounds of sand. In a restricted area of southern Kyushu, however, there is a tradition, dating back to at least the early 18th century, of carving unique stone representations, locally called Ta no Kansa. This tradition centers in Kagoshima Prefecture but includes a small portion of neighboring Miyazaki Prefecture as well.
- snip -
Yama no Kami reside in hills and forests all over Japan.
They can be thought of as basic animistic spirits mingled with the departed souls of the local ancestors, which are believed to eventually rise into the mountains. In many regions, these basic protective spirits inhabit the mountains during the winter months, but come spring they move down into the rice paddies, turning into the Ta no Kami and watching over the precious crop until the autumn harvest is over, after which they return to the forested slopes. In Kyushu, the Ta no Kansa stones are placed on the dikes that surround and separate the paddies, and the villagers hold colorful festivals to welcome and petition the Ta no Kami in spring, and to see them off with great thanks in autumn.
- source : Green Shinto 2012 -


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- quote -
Ta-no-kami: Water God of the rice paddy
Ta-no-kami: “Kami of the rice paddy,” a tutelary of rice production.
The general term ta no kami can be found nationwide. While the ta-no-kami has undergone synthesis and conflated with other folk beliefs and deities from other lineages, such as Daikoku and the Lord of the Mountain (Yama no Kami) and is now thought of as a male mountain spirit, it is plausible that the early Ta no kami was originally a female water goddess, given that such a goddess was venerated throughout Eurasia, and much of Central and Southeast Asia and given that the sound of “Ta” is similar to the “Da” shortened Indian form of the Danu / Dana / Dhanya goddess.
The Ta no kami
is depicted usually as an abstract deity or holding phallic symbols ...

- Continue reading in the :
. Darumapedia Library .

- source : japanesemythology.wordpress.com/ta-no-kami-god-of-the-rice-paddy -

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. Daikoku Ten 大黒天 .

A statue of Daikoku with Ta no Kami from Kagoshima in his back !


source : twitter.com/ikkaisai/status/

At 浜松市, 北区の光明寺 Komyo-Ji in Hamamatsu.

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- Reference : 田の神
- Reference : ta no kami japan


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

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .


. . . . . fukidawara 蕗俵(ふきだわら)"butterbur barrels" as an offering to the God of the Fields

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. Yama no Kami, Yama-no-Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain .

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- #tanokami #yamanokami -
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09/08/2014

Ahiru Kusa characters

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ahirukusa moji 阿比留草文字 ahiru kusa characters
(あひるくさもじ)

Izumo moji 出雲文字
Fujihase moji 節墨譜文字
Hayahito no te 薩人書 (from Satsuma)

jindai moji 神代文字 “scripts of the age of the gods”




- quote
Jindai moji or Kamiyo moji (Japanese: 神代文字 “scripts of the age of the gods”)
are characters that was said to be scripts used in ancient Japan. Debates since Edo period and Japanese academic society regard Jindai moji as forgeries. Although ancient character researchers insisted the existence as Uetsufumi or Hotsumatae found, it is denied in historiography because of no existence of earthenware with it. People who believe in the existence use the word Jindai moji in the meaning of "ancient characters". Since around mid-Edo period some people have been saying ancient characters were found in remains, Kofuns and mountains such as Chikushi characters, Hokkaido characters. Hundreds kinds of Jindai moji were said to be found.

History
Jindai moji was firstly addressed in the end of Kamakura period by Urabe no Kanekata (卜部兼方) in Shaku Nihongi mentioning his father, Urabe no Kanefumi, assumed ancient people could not have performed oracle bone style fortunetelling with turtles (亀卜, Kameura; turtle fortunetelling) as described in Nihon Shoki without having characters. Though there was no Jindai moji characters introduced in Muromachi period, some types of Jindai moji appeared in Edo period and each of them named after the source article or the place the characters discovered. Debate over the existence erupted in Edo period. Japanese academic society denies the existence.

... While scholars generally have negative opinions, Some scholars such as Inbe Masamichi (忌部正通)、Arai Hakuseki、Hirata Atsutane 、Takamasa Omiya(大国隆正) affirmed the existence of Jindai moji which Urabe no Kanekata (卜部兼方) first mentioned in Shaku-Nihongi in Kamakura era.

- - - - - Famous Jindai Moji
Woshite characters(ヲシテ文字)
Izumo characters(出雲文字)
Ahiru characters(阿比留文字、肥人書)
Ahiru kusa characters(阿比留草文字、薩人書)
Tsukushi characters(筑紫文字)
Katakamuna characters(カタカムナ文字、八鏡化美津文字)
Hokkaido characters(北海道異体文字、アイヌ文字)
Ryukyu characters(琉球古字)
Toyokuni characters(豊国文字、神宮文字)
Tsushima characters (対馬文字)

- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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不思議な文字 - strange characters
- source : intiwatana.blog96.fc2.com


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南朝古字(ナンチョウコジ)、とは神代文字の一つ
- source : kamiyo.nsf.jp

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- quote
阿比留草文字(あひるくさもじ)
は、いわゆる神代文字の一つである。出雲文字、節墨譜文字(ふしはせもじ)、薩人書(はやひとのて)とも呼ぶ。
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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source : facebook

stone memorial from Hikawa Jinja in Kawaguchi
川口市青木の氷川神社の石碑

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- Reference : 阿比留草文字

- Reference : English


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


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04/06/2014

kannagara and zuishin

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kannagara, zuishin 随身

- quote
Kannagara
Also written with characters such as 随神、神随、神在随、随在天神、乍神、神長柄、神奈我良、and 可牟奈我良.
Nagara, made up of the particle na and gara, "true character", is a word expressing dignity.
Kannagara has been interpreted in various ways, such as "kami just as they are," "as a kami," "because of being a kami," and "the kami’s will, just as it is." Further, the expression kannagara no ōmichi (the way in accordance with the will of the kami), signifying Shintō itself, was frequently used after the beginning of the Meiji period (1868).
The term has attracted a great deal of commentary regarding its meaning, pronunciation and significance since the Edo period and there is no one established theory.
- source : Fukui Yoshihiko, Kokugakuin 2007

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- quote
随身(ずいじん、ずいしん)とは、
平安時代以降、貴族の外出時に警護のために随従した近衛府の官人(令外官)。

著名な随身

壬生忠岑  …… 平安時代、藤原定国の随身(伝『大和物語』)。
下毛野公時 …… 平安時代、藤原道長の随身。金太郎のモデルといわれる。
下毛野公忠 …… 平安時代、藤原頼通の随身。
秦公春   …… 平安時代、藤原頼長の随身。
秦重躬   …… 鎌倉時代、後宇多上皇の随身。徒然草に登場。

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



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- Reference : 随神

- Reference : kannagara


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


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04/02/2014

mini torii kuguri

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torii kuguri 鳥居潜り walking through a Shinto torii gate

The Torii stands at the border of the sacred compound. Before entering, you stop before the gate and make one deep bow. Be aware that you are now entering a sacred compound and be greatful for this.
The middle part of the access road from the torii to the shrine is reserved for the deities, so you should not walk in the middle. After bowing, proceede to the right or left and pass the gate.
Walk toward the hand-washing basin (手水 temizu, choozu) and cleanse hand, mouth and mind.

. torii 鳥居 Gate of a Shinto Shrine .

. temizuya 手水舎 purification font, purification trough .


Here we are especially looking at the small mini torii gates.

mini torii kuguri ミニ鳥居潜り crawling through a small torii gate

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At Iwazu Tenjin Shrine, this is done when a special wish has been realized.

Iwazu Tenjin, Aichi 岩津天神 - homepage
source : www.iwazutenjin.or.jp

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Yasaka Jinja 八坂神社 Kumamoto
熊本県:山鹿市山鹿196 

The deitie in residence protects from illness and keeps you in good health.
身体健全 - 病気平癒 - 無病息災.
Crawling through the mini torii will refresh your heart and keep you healthy.


Gionsan no torii kuguri ぎおんさん鳥居くぐり




This mini torii is about 35 cm high and 37 cm wide.

- source : daizukan9.blog63

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Awashima Jinja 粟島神社
Uto, Kumamoto - 熊本県宇土市新開町

This shrine also boasts the lowest mini-torii with a history of 200 years.
To crawl under it wards off evil, brings health (especially preventing women's diseases), helps with an easy birth and brings good business.
無病息災、健康開運、諸業繁栄


source : www.city.uto.kumamoto.jp

This is popular during the main festival from March 1 to 3.
The torii is about 30 cm high.

- quote
Since mini-torii are the shrine’s specialty, the parents in the district asked the authorities to create some special ones so their kids could crawl through in the hope of helping them pass school entrance examinations. That’s how the shrine’s chief priest came up with the idea for the one he’s showing off in the photo. The shrine has assembled it during the exam period during the past two years, and this year it was left up until March 31.


The pencils are 60 centimeters high and have a diameter of 10 centimeters. The inner opening is also 30 centimeters square. Pencils usually have six sides, but the priest must have been divinely inspired to make these with five. The word for passing a test in Japanese is gookaku 合格 gokaku, with a slightly elongated o sound.
Make the o sound shorter, and the word can mean 五角 “five angles”.
- source : ampontan.wordpress.com

- - - - - HP of the shrine
- www.awashima.or.jp -

- - - - - annual festivals
- www.awashima.or.jp/gyoji -


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Bizen no Kuni Soojaguu 備前国総社宮 Soja Gu in Okayama
The 324 deities venerated in Okayama can be visited here.
岡山県岡山市中区 Central Okayama Town



Crawling through the mini torii will ward off evil 厄除開運.
The torii on the right is for men, 42 cm high.
The torii in the middle is for women, 33 cm high.




To crawl through this mini torii in the form of an ema helps to pass an examination 合格成就.
- source : nakaimawo.exblog.jp


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Awashima Jinja 淡島神社 - Nagasaki
長崎



This mini torii is for a baby, which can be pushed through in the baby bed.

There is also a course with three mini torii in the compound.
They are getting smaller, 33, 30 and 27 cm. The 27 one is said to be the lowest mini torii in Japan. Somehow they represent the birth path of a baby during childbirth.



To crawl through them will bring a good partner for life, healthy children and a blissful marriage..
This is especially popular with the ladies during the festival time.

- source : b-spot.seesaa.net/article/83520733



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Happiness is a tight squeeze!
Dougill John
source : www.greenshinto.com/wp/2014

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Walking through the Torii Gates at Fushimi-Inari Shrine
- reference -



- Reference : 日本語

- Reference : English


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

- #toriikuguri -
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11/11/2013

kami no i - sacred well

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kami no i 神の井 well of the deity, sacred well

some sources quote this as a hot spring 温泉をいう.

Many shrines have a sacred well in the precincts. Some come with a local legend of their beginning.


source : www.visit-oita.jp
at Saiki 佐伯市大字日向泊 in Oita

On the small island there was no well and therefore the legendary Emperor Jinmu Tenno 神武天皇 landed on the island, drew his bow and where the arrow hit now is this well.

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source : www.mukasiya.jp

神の井酒造(株)
Takami-25 Odakacho, Midori Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture


a famous sake from Nagoya 純米酒

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


. WKD : well and well-cleaning .


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- - - - -  H A I K U  - - - - -

神の井やあかねにけぶる冬木の芽
kami no i ya akane ni keburu fuyuki no me

well of the gods -
the buds of winter trees
in soft red haze


Kadokawa Genyoshi 角川源義 (1917 - 1975)


- source : seppa06/0803
at Mount Tsukuba Shrine 筑波山神社
with a memorial stone of this haiku


. WKD : Mount Tsukuba 筑波山 Tsukuba-san .

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早乙女や神の井をくむ二人づれ
saotome ya kami no i o kumu futari-zure

rice-planting women -
two of them draw water
from the sacred well


. Iida Dakotsu 飯田蛇笏 .



. WKD : saotome 早乙女 rice-planting woman .
kigo for summer


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神の井の垣へ散りたる椎の花
kami no i no kaki e chiritaru shii no hana

from the hedge
of the sacred well scatter blossoms
of the Shii oak


Masumoto Yukihiro 升本行洋


. WKD : shii no hana 椎の花 Shii oak blossoms .
Castanopsis cuspidata



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07/11/2013

taisai - major festival

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taisai 大祭  major festival, major rites, Grand Festival



- quote
Taisai
One division of shrine rites, conducted in the form of major festivals. After the Meiji Restoration, these observances became regulated under government ordinance, and since 1945 they have been specified in the Regulations of Shrine Observances (Jinja saishi kitei) of the Association of Shinto Shrines (jinja honchō). The Regulations divide taisai into
reisai 例祭, kinensai 記念祭, niinamesai 新嘗祭, shikinensai, chinzasai, senzasai, gōshisai, bunshisai, and rites based on special shrine traditions.

The standard for taisai is set by rites with a public character and a long history, such as those involving the transfer of a deity, festivals closely connected to the enshrined deity or the origin of a shrine. The instructions for such rites are set out in the Jinja saishiki, which specifies in detail how the rites are to be conducted.

The system of categorizing rites by their content and size goes back to the Ritsuryō period. According to the Jingiryō code for shrine rites,
"taishi are rites celebrated during an entire month, while chūshi last three days and shōshi only one day."

The rites are differentiated by the length of the period of abstinence that must be observed before it. The only large-scale rite mentioned for its especially important significance is the daijōsai (sokui), which is conducted as part of the ceremonies for imperial accession and is codified in the Engishiki. In the Ordinance of Imperial Household Rites (Kōshitsu saishi rei) of 1908, rites are divided into major (taisai) and minor (shōsai).

Taisai are the rites in which "the emperor leads the imperial family and government officials" and include genshisai, kigensetsu, spring and autumn kōreisai, spring and autumn shindensai, Jinmu tennōsai, kannamesai, niinamesai, senteisai (rites for the previous emperor), rites for the previous three generations of emperors, rites for the previous empress and rites for the previous empress dowager.

The daijōsai is not prescribed in the Kōshitsu saishirei, but instead in the Ordinance on Ascension to the Throne (tōkyokurei). As a very important rite celebrated only once per imperial reign, the daijōsai is treated in the Ordinance as representing a special category by itself.
- source : Mogi Sadasumi , Kokugakuin


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. Hachinohe Sansha Taisai 八戸三社大祭 Hachinohe Sansha Grand Festival . Aomori

. hatsu tatsu taisai 初辰大祭 Grand Festival on the first day of the dragon in January .
at Kifune Shrine 貴船神社 Kurama

. Izumo taisha 出雲大社 Izumo Grand Shrine - tai sai .

. Korei taisai 古例大祭 at Taga Taisha 多賀大社 Great Taga Shrine .

. Osorezan Taisai 恐山大祭 Great Festival at Mount Osorezan .

. Shinkoshiki Taisai 神幸式大祭 Procession of Gods Festival .
at Dazaifu matsuri 大宰府祭 Dazaifu festival - for Sugawara Michizane

. Shuki Taisai - Autumn Festival 秋季大祭 at Tamaki Jinja 玉置神社, Nara .

. Warei taisai 和霊大祭 Great Festival at Warei Shrine . Ehime


- Reference : 日本語

- Reference : English


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


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- - - - -  H A I K U  - - - - -

港に鱶は老い遠き海の大祭
hama ni fuka wa oi tooki umi no taisai

at the port
an old big shark far away
at the Great Sea Festival


Takayanagi Juushin 高柳重信 Takayanagi Jushin

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. . daijoosai, daijōsai 大嘗祭 Shinto Harvest Thanksgiving Ritual . .
- - - - - niiname no matsuri 新嘗祭 Niiname-Sai
- - - - - niinamesai 新嘗祭 harvest thanksgiving festival


奉納の繭も慈姑も新嘗祭
三谷いちろ


灯れる新嘗祭の二重橋
京極杞陽


医王晴れ新嘗祭の太鼓鳴る
前田時余


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reisai 例祭 annual festival



- quote
Reisai
The annual ‘major festival' (taisai) of a shrine, held on a day related either to the enshrined deity or the origin of the shrine. The term reisai is relatively recent.

In ancient times this festival was distinguished from other rites held throughout the year by using the honorific terms ōmatsuri ('great festival') or onmatsuri, or by associating it directly with the name of the shrine, as in Kasuga-sai, Kamo-sa and Iwashimizu-sai. Occurrences of the term reisai in illustrated guidebooks of the Edo period indicate that use of the word was widespread by this time, such festivals being perceived as differing from others.

Under the shrine system of the Meiji period, the kinensai, niinamesai and other rites were classified as taisai, and ceremonies in which emissaries (chokushi or heihaku kyōshinshi) made offerings were held at various shrines ranking from ‘government shrines' (kanpeisha) down to village shrines.

Given that reisai are held on days that have a special connection to the enshrined deity or the origins of the shrine, the dates of their celebration cannot be changed without special reasons. The reisai of some of the most prominent shrines are:

Kashihara Jingū (February 11), Kasuga Taisha (March 13), Katori Jingū (April 14), Heian Jingū (April 15), Ōmi Jingū (April 20), Izumo Taisha (May 14), Kamowake Ikazuchi Jinja and Kamo no Mioya Jinja (May 15), Atsuta Jingū (June 5), Hikawa Jinja (August 1), Kashima Jingū (September 1), Iwashimizu Hachimangū (September 15), and Meiji Jingū (November 3).

The Grand Shrines of Ise do not have a designated reisai, but the kannamesai of October 17, with its close association with the enshrined deity, is probably its closest equivalent. Although the system of making offerings from public funds was abolished after the war, imperial emissaries still visit shrines on the occasion of the hōbeisai.

Furthermore, the tradition is being continued by the Association of Shinto Shrines, which sends its own emissaries with offerings (honchōhei). The Association also attaches special importance to the dates designated for reisai, which cannot be changed without its approval.
- source : Motegi Sadasumi, Kokugakuin


. hōbei, hoobei 奉幣 offerings from Grand Ise Shrine 伊勢神宮.
kannamesai 神嘗祭, kanname no matsuri kannie no matsuri. shinjoosai しんじょうさい
kanname 神嘗 - kamunie, kamuname

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. shooreisai 松例祭 Shōreisai, pine torch festival .
at Mount Haguro




松例祭火の粉が落す杉の雪
升本行洋

松例祭火事装束の大目付
三原清暁

松例祭闇に羽黒の天狗翔ぶ
高木金男

桟俵被る阿呆や松例祭
棚山波朗

満願の髭がほころぶ松例祭
神林久子

身の丈を舞ひ飛ぶ修験松例祭
阿部月山子

とんぶりの握飯賜はる松例祭
高木良多

大梵天立ちて始まる松例祭
粕谷容子

天焦がす対の火柱松例祭
阿部月山子


. WKD : reisai 例祭 annual festivals .


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25/09/2013

shinbutsu - kami to hotoke

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-list .
. hotoke 仏 Buddhist deities - ABC-list .
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shinbutsu 神仏 kami to hotoke - the Deities of Japan

すゝしさや神と佛の隣同士
suzushisa ya kami to hotoke no tonaridooshi

this coolness !
Kami and Buddhas
side by side


Masaoka Shiki

The discussion started from here:
. WKD : kami to hotoke .

kamigami 神々 the Kami deities of Japan

. shinbutsu in Edo  江戸の神仏 Kami and Hotoke in Edo .

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shinbutsu shūgō 神仏習合 Shin Butsu Shugo - syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism
A wide variety of titles have come into use in accordance with the unique characteristics of kami, and as a result of historical changes in the way kami have been understood. In the ancient period, the title mikoto was used, while expressions such as myōjin ("shining kami"), daibosatsu (great bodhisattva), and gongen (avatar) came into use as a product of kami-buddha combinatory cults (shinbutsu shūgō).
During the Edo period, the title reisha ("spirit shrine") was applied to the departed spirits of human beings.
. 神仏 - read the details HERE .

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Buddhas and Kami in Japan: Honji Suijaku as a Combinatory Paradigm
by Fabio Rambelli (Editor), Mark Teeuwen (Editor)

This volume offers a multidisciplinary approach to the combinatory tradition that dominated premodern and early modern Japanese religion, known as honji suijaku (originals and their traces). It questions received, simplified accounts of the interactions between Shinto and Japanese Buddhism, and presents a more dynamic and variegated religious world, one in which the deities' Buddhist originals and local traces did not constitute one-to-one associations, but complex combinations of multiple deities based on semiotic operations, doctrines, myths, and legends. The book's essays, all based on specific case studies, discuss the honji suijaku paradigm from a number of different perspectives, always integrating historical and doctrinal analysis with interpretive insights.
- quote - amazon com -

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- quote
Shinbutsu Bunri 神仏分離
The separation of Shinto and Buddhism.
A series of administrative measures implemented by the Meiji government, designed to prohibit the shinbutsu shūgō (the systemic combination of kami and buddhas, shrines and temples, and their priesthoods) system that had its roots in the Nara Period (710-94). Buddhism, which arrived in Japan in the sixth century, steadily combined with Shinto until the emergence in the medieval period of the honji suijaku theory (the idea that kami were trace manifestations of "original" bodhisattvas) which came to constitute what one might call "Japanese religion."

In other words, there now began to proliferate across Japan the erection of temples within shrine compounds (jingūji), the practice of sutra reading at shrines, the application of the term "bodhisattva" to kami, and the celebration of rites at shrines by bettō or shasō (priests wearing Buddhist garb). Apart from Ise Jingū and a few other exceptions, most shrines were placed under Buddhist control. The combinatory dimension of shrines in the Hachiman and Gion lineages, which from the outset had a thick Buddhist coloration, was even more pronounced. Many were sites that were no longer distinguishable as either Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine.

In response to this situation, anti-Buddhist thought strengthened in the early modern period under the influence of Confucianism and kokugaku (National Learning, nativism). Kokugaku thinkers and shrine priests (shinshoku) began to call fervently for a return of shrines to their original form. The Restoration government, which came to power in 1868 proclaiming a "return to imperial rule" (ōsei fukko) and a political transformation that claimed the same creative state-founding legitimacy as that held by the mythological first emperor Jinmu (jinmu sōgyō), put the theory into practice and endeavored to clarify the distinction between shrines and temples. On the seventeenth day of the third month of that year, the government issued the "separation edicts" and ordered the defrocking of the bettō and shasō.
This was the first stage of shinbutsu bunri.

The second stage began on the twenty-eighth, when the government banned the application of Buddhist terminology such as gongen (avatar) to kami, and the veneration of Buddhist statues as the shintai (the sacred presence or enshrined deity) at shrines.

The beginning of the third stage was marked by the promulgation of orders on the twenty-fourth day of the fourth month banning the application of the Buddhist term "Daibosatsu" to Hachiman at Iwashimizu Hachimangū and Usa Hachimangū (presently Usa Jingū). Hachiman was henceforth to be known as Hachiman Daijin.

Finally, on the fourth day of the fourth intercalary month, all the defrocked bettō and shasō were instructed to restyle themselves as "shrine priests" (kannushi) and to resume shrine service. Those who refused on the grounds of their Buddhist beliefs were ordered to leave their shrines. At the same time, orders were issued to the Nichiren (Buddhist) Sect to desist from referring to the sanjū banshin (Thirty Protective Tutelary [Lotus] Deities) as kami.

As a result of these measures, all shades of Buddhism were eliminated from shrines across Japan. There were shrine priests, nativists and local government officials who interpreted these regulations as implying that Buddhism should be destroyed (this event was known in Japanese as haibutsu kishaku, which literally means "abandon Buddhism and throw out Shakyamuni [the historical Buddha]") and embarked on an extreme anti-Buddhist campaign.

This prompted central government to strictly instruct shrine priests that the separation of the two was to be conducted with utmost care, and that the intention was not the destruction of Buddhism. However, central government instructions had little impact until the abolition of the domains in 1871. Local government officials were still relatively powerful and, steeped as they were in Confucian thinking, they promoted anti-Buddhist policies across Japan in response to the separation regulations.
The result was the destruction of many temples and Buddhist treasures.
source : Sakamoto Koremaru , Kokugakuin





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- quote -
Haibutsu kishaku (廃仏毀釈)
(literally "abolish Buddhism and destroy Shākyamuni")
is a term that indicates a current of thought continuous in Japan's history which advocates the expulsion of Buddhism from Japan. More narrowly, it also indicates a particular historic movement and specific historic events based on that ideology which, during the Meiji Restoration, produced the destruction of Buddhist temples, images and texts, and the forced return to secular life of Buddhist monks.

An early example of haibutsu kishaku

is the Mononobe clan's anti-Buddhist policies during the Kofun period. The Mononobe were opposed to the spread of Buddhism not on religious grounds, but rather because of nationalism and xenophobia. The Nakatomi clan, ancestors of the Fujiwara, were allies of the Mononobe in their opposition to Buddhism.

Another example is the policies of temple closure and monk defrocking of the Okayama, Aizu, and Mito Domains, also adopted for political and economic, rather than religious, reasons during the early modern period. These domainal policies were in general based on Confucian anti-Buddhist thought. The Meiji period form of haibutsu kishaku, based on kokugaku and Shinto-centrism, was instead dictated by a desire to distinguish between foreign Buddhism and a purely Japanese Shinto.
- Haibutsu kishaku during the Meiji Restoration
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Shikoku 88 Henro Pilgrim Temples

. Jin’nein Temple (the 68th) and Kannonji Temple (the 69th). .

In the Daido era (806-809), Kobo Daishi enshrined Amida Buddha、which was Honjibutsu (Buddhist counterpart of the deity of the shrine) and designated the shrine as the 68th of the 88 Holy Sites of Shikoku.
. . . when temples and shrines were separated according to the Shinbutsu Bunri policy of the national government, Honjibutsu Amida Buddha of Kotohiki Hachimangu Shrine was removed to Nishi-Kondo Hall of Kannonji Temple, which became the main hall of Jin’nein Temple; . . .


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During the process of separation of Shinto and Buddhist objects of worship, the deity Myoken (the north star) was changed to Amenominakanushi 天之御中主神 at many shrines.

. Kotoamatsukami 別天津神 .
zooka no sanshin 造化の三神 "The three deities of creation"



. 'shinbutsu reijo junpai no michi' 神仏霊場巡拝の道
pilgrimage routes of Buddhist and Shinto holy places .


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The Invention of Religion in Japan
Jason Ananda Josephson



Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept of what we call "religion." There was no corresponding Japanese word, nor anything close to its meaning. But when American warships appeared off the coast of Japan in 1853 and forced the Japanese government to sign treaties demanding, among other things, freedom of religion, the country had to contend with this Western idea. In this book, Jason Ānanda Josephson reveals how Japanese officials invented religion in Japan and traces the sweeping intellectual, legal, and cultural changes that followed.

More than a tale of oppression or hegemony, Josephson's account demonstrates that the process of articulating religion offered the Japanese state a valuable opportunity. In addition to carving out space for belief in Christianity and certain forms of Buddhism, Japanese officials excluded Shinto from the category. Instead, they enshrined it as a national ideology while relegating the popular practices of indigenous shamans and female mediums to the category of "superstitions"-- and thus beyond the sphere of tolerance. Josephson argues that the invention of religion in Japan was a politically charged, boundary-drawing exercise that not only extensively reclassified the inherited materials of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto to lasting effect, but also reshaped, in subtle but significant ways, our own formulation of the concept of religion today. This ambitious and wide-ranging book contributes an important perspective to broader debates on the nature of religion, the secular, science, and superstition.
- amazon com -

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The Fluid Pantheon: Gods of Medieval Japan
Faure, Bernard

Written by one of the leading scholars of Japanese religion, The Fluid Pantheon is the first installment of a multivolume project that promises to be a milestone in our understanding of the mythico-ritual system of esoteric Buddhism—specifically the nature and roles of deities in the religious world of medieval Japan and beyond. Bernard Faure introduces readers to medieval Japanese religiosity and shows the centrality of the gods in religious discourse and ritual; in doing so he moves away from the usual textual, historical, and sociological approaches that constitute the “method” of current religious studies. The approach considers the gods (including buddhas and demons) as meaningful and powerful interlocutors and not merely as cyphers for social groups or projections of the human mind. Throughout he engages insights drawn from structuralism, post-structuralism, and Actor-network theory to retrieve the “implicit pantheon” (as opposed to the “explicit orthodox pantheon”) of esoteric Japanese Buddhism (Mikkyō).

Through a number of case studies, Faure describes and analyzes the impressive mythological and ritual efflorescence that marked the medieval period, not only in the religious domain, but also in the political, artistic, and literary spheres. He displays vast knowledge of his subject and presents his research—much of it in largely unstudied material—with theoretical sophistication. His arguments and analyses assume the centrality of the iconographic record, and so he has brought together in this volume a rich and rare collection of more than 180 color and black-and-white images. This emphasis on iconography and the ways in which it complements, supplements, or deconstructs textual orthodoxy is critical to a fuller comprehension of a set of medieval Japanese beliefs and practices. It also offers a corrective to the traditional division of the field into religious studies, which typically ignores the images, and art history, which oftentimes overlooks their ritual and religious meaning.

The Fluid Pantheon and its companion volumes should persuade readers that the gods constituted a central part of medieval Japanese religion and that the latter cannot be reduced to a simplistic confrontation, parallelism, or complementarity between some monolithic teachings known as “Buddhism” and “Shinto.” Once these reductionist labels and categories are discarded, a new and fascinating religious landscape begins to unfold.
- source : uhpress.hawaii.edu -

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- - - - -  H A I K U  - - - - -

初詣小さき宮の神仏
hatsumoode chiisaki miya no kami hotoke

first New Year's visit -
the Kami and Buddhas
at the small shrine


Hasegawa Kanajo 長谷川かな女

. WKD : hatsumōde 初詣 "first visit". - to a temple or shrine in Japan


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神仏の血を混沌と袋角
shinbutsu no chi o konton to fukurozuno

confusion in the blood
of Kami and Buddhas -
growing summer horns


Akamatsu Keiko 赤松[ケイ]子


This seems to be about the famous deer of Nara, who roam freely in the grounds of temples and shrines.

. fukurozuno 袋角 (ふくろづの) summer horns .
kigo for early summer

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. Shōmen Kongō 青面金剛 Shomen Kongo .
and the Koshin Cult
. Kōshin shinkō 庚申信仰 .

Yamazaki Ansai, drawing on the association of shin with the monkey (saru), advocated a Shintoistic kōshin cult, in which the primary object of worship was Sarutahiko. Within the Shugendō tradition as well, a unique form of the kōshin cult was propagated, so that there were three varieties of the faith: Buddhist, Shintō, and Shugendō.

. Sarutahiko densetsu 猿田彦伝説 Sarutahiko Legends .

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- - - - - Legends about shinbutsu 神仏 the Deities of Japan

. shinbutsu 神仏と伝説 legends about Kami and Hotoke - the Deities of Japan .

shinbutsu no kago 神仏の加護 divine protection of the Shinbutsu

Etoki nazotoki nihon no shinbutsu :
Anata o mamoru kamisama hotokesama ga mitsukaru hon
by Hideki Kawazoe


日本の神仏の辞典 - 大島建彦 (編集)


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. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-list .
. hotoke 仏 Buddhist deities - ABC-list .

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- #shinbutsu #kamihotoke -
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10/09/2013

shinigami God of Death

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shinigami 死神 God of Death "Grim Reaper"




- quote
Shinigami (死神, "god of death" or "grim reaper")
are gods that invite humans towards death, or induce feelings of wanting to die in humans, as applied to concepts in Japanese religion, classics, folk religion, or popular culture. There also exist similar concepts outside of Japan.

- - - Shinigami in Japanese religion
In Buddhism,
there is the Mara that is concerned with death, the Mrtyu-mara. It is a demon that makes humans want to die, and it is said that upon being possessed by it, in a shock, one would suddenly want to commit suicide, so it is sometimes explained as a "shinigami". Also, in the Yogacarabhumi-sastra, a writing on Yogacara, it was a demon that decided the time of people's deaths. The Yama, the king of the Underworld, as well as oni like the Ox-Head and Horse-Face are also considered a type of shinigami.

In Shinto,
in Japanese mythology, Izanami gave humans death, so Izanami is sometimes seen as a shinigami.

However, Izanami and Yama are also thought to be different from the death gods in western mythology, and since atheism has been posited in Buddhism, it is sometimes seen that concept of a death god does not exist to begin with. Even though the kijin and onryō of Japanese Buddhist faith have taken humans' lives, there is the opinion that there is no "death god" that merely lead people into the world of the dead.

Shinigami in ningyō jōruri
Shinigami in classical literature
Shinigami in folk religion
Shinigami in modern popular culture

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !







. Izanami 伊邪那美命 and Izanagi 伊弉諾 .


. Emma (Enma ten, Enma Oo) 閻魔天、閻魔王 Yama, king of hell .

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- - - The three deities most feared in Japan:

. Shinigami 死神 God of Death "Grim Reaper" .

. Binbogami, Binboo Gami 貧乏神 Bimbogami, God of Poverty .

. Yakubyoogami 疫病神 Yakubyogami, Deity of Diseases .

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

Donba ドンバ
ドンバに引かれて誰かが死ぬと、それから3年目、7年目、13年目には、ドンバに引かれて死ぬ人ができるという。死神がついているのをドンバが引っぱるという。ドンバは死人のはらわたまで食べるという。

Kumamoto 熊本県 宮地町 Miyajimachi
夜伽に出て帰る者は必ず、茶か飯一杯を食して寝るのである。死神につかれぬためである。


- source : nichibun yokai database -

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- - - - -  H A I K U  - - - - -


死神に呼ばれて覚めし秋すだれ
shinigami ni yobarete mezameshi aki sudare

called by the God of Death
I wake up -
blinds in autumn


Inagaki Kikuno 稲垣きくの


. WKD : aki sudare 秋簾 blinds in autumn .
sudare are mostly made of bamboo to keep a room in the shadow and cool.



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死神の見えかくれして世はさくら
shinigami no mie-kakureshi yo wa sakura

the God of Death
plays hide and seek -
a world of cherry blossoms


Hozu Misao 保津操


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死神は美男なるべし荻の声
shinigami wa binan narubeshi ogi no koe

the God of Death
should be a good-looking man -
voices of miscanthus



Ikeda Sumiko 池田澄子 (1936 - )



source : maboroshinomori

. WKD : ogi no koe 荻の声 "voice of the common reed" .
kigo for early autumn
Miscanthus sacchariflorus

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死神により残されて秋の暮
shinigami ni yori nokosarete aki no kure

the god of death
did not get me today -
autumn dusk


Maybe Issa is overlooking a valley in evening twilight, remembering some friends or relatives that have already gone . . .

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 - Introduction . .


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死神が春の踏切番に憑く 仁平勝 東京物語
死神が時を渡つて来て死にぬ 永田耕衣 陸沈考
死神が死んで居るなり百日紅(さるすべり) 永田耕衣(1900-97)

死神とあそぶこゝちや金魚飼ふ 山田文易
死神と問答しつつ日記買ふ 須山俊夫
死神と背中合はせの春隣 小出秋光
死神と逢う娯しさも杜若 永田耕衣 陸沈考
死神により残されて秋の暮 一茶
死神に尻餅つかせ鎌鼬 林 翔
死神に居留守をつかふ寝正月 山下律子
死神に踏み込まれたるカンナの家 高澤良一 随笑

死神のへつらい笑う帰り花 橋 間石
死神の御手をのがれて髪洗ふ 植田房子
死神の素通りしたり韮雑炊 小泉八重子
死神の薄き履物花ざくろ 磯貝碧蹄館
死神の行きし雪稜月遺り 福田蓼汀 秋風挽歌
死神の覗く鳥鍋囲むなり 清水基吉 寒蕭々
死神の追ひ来る冬を籠りけり 小林康治

死神はうからまで来し桃啜る 中戸川朝人
死神は下戸かも我は年酒くむ 林 翔
死神は美男なるべし荻の声 池田澄子
死神もうつらうつらと日向ぼこ 遠藤若狭男
死神を召使ひをり冬籠 小林康治
死神を見送つて居る牡丹かな 永田耕衣
死神を蹴る力なき蒲団かな 高浜虚子
死神を蹶る力無き蒲団かな 高浜虚子
死神を遠く遊ばせ寒椿 八木林之助
死神侍らせ粗衣爽かに独り酒 三谷昭 獣身
死神馳す晴れに吹雪いて八ケ岳 小澤實

死に神のかの指遺い縷紅草 増田まさみ
死に神の遠出してゐる春障子 尾崎隆則
死に神は死ねぬ神かな二重虹 山崎十生「招霊術入門」
死に神は美男なるべし荻の声 池田澄子 たましいの話
死に神は近づけまいぞ着膨れて 鉄山幸子
死に神を負ひ香水の香をまとひ 櫛原希伊子

死者を早や死に神去りし花柘榴 右城暮石 上下
白牡丹緋牡丹死神がとほし 廣瀬町子
禁欲の死に神はじけ鳳仙花 増田まさみ
緑蔭を看護婦がゆき死神がゆく 石田波郷
腐刻画の死神笑ふ花七日 星野石雀
若者には若き死神花柘榴 中村草田男「萬緑」
蒲団干すついでに死神も干す 前田吐実男
足袋かさね穿いて死神よせつけず 富田潮児
身ほとりに死神を飼ひ冬籠 小林康治 『華髪』
隣家まで来た死神に挨拶する 鈴木石夫
霜ひびき犬の死神犬に来し 西東三鬼

たたみ込む暑や死神に手を貸して 高澤良一 素抱
ちぢみ着る死神と寝し髪すゝぎ(一応、床払ひ) 殿村菟絲子
人暑うして死神が死ににけり 永田耕衣 自人
少年の死神が待つ牡丹かな 永田耕衣
手の中に死神がいる寒暮なり 寺田京子
手を打つて死神笑ふ河豚汁 矢田挿雲
日参の死神のヒマ潰しかな 永田耕衣
春一番死神もまた矢を放つ 古賀まり子 緑の野以後
枯れふかくきて死神をつきはなす 安江里枝

source : HAIKUreikuDB

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01/09/2013

kamidana - household Shinto altar

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kamidana 神棚 household Shinto altar, "shelf for the Gods"




. Ishitani Residence in Chizu, Tottori 智頭 石谷家住宅 .



- quote
A household Shinto altar, a facility for the conduct of family rites at home, in which amulets of the kami, an "apportioned spirit" (bunrei) of the kami, and similar items may be enshrined. The place chosen for installation of the kamidana should be clean, bright, and quiet, in a location convenient for worship and placement of offerings.
An eastern or southern orientation is generally considered to be desirable.

While kamidana have today become important sites for daily devotion to the kami, the institution of the kamidana itself is not particularly old. Toward the end of the Heian period, rites for ancestral spirits (sorei) were entrusted to Buddhism, and it became customary to enshrine ancestral tablets (ihai) in household Buddhist altars (butsudan), which was accompanied by a movement to conduct rituals in each household.

From the medieval period, the spread of the Ise and other cults led to the custom of installing kamidana for the enshrinement of kami that had been "dedicated" (kanjō) in other locales.
In the early modern period, priests called oshi helped spread the Ise cult to the populace, and it became customary throughout the country to construct special Ise altars (Daijingūdana) to enshrine an amulet (taima or ofuda) from the Grand Shrines (Jingū).

The institution of kamidana thus spread to individual households from around the mid-Edo period. In addition to the kamidana used within Shrine Shinto (Jinja Shintō), other kamidana may be found with specific names and varying locations in accordance with the kami enshrined, including
Ebisu-dana, Kōjin-dana, Toshitoku-dana, and Kadogami-dana.

Kamidana may also be dedicated to tutelaries of craftsmen with special artisan skills, or to other tutelaries of specific trades. Other kamidana are devoted to success in business and good fortune.
source : Okada Yoshiyuki, Kokugakuin



- CLICK for more samples !

kamidana 神棚 "shelf for the Shinto Deities"


. Shinsatsu 神札 , Mamorifuda 守り札 Amulets for the kamidana .

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- quote from JAANUS
kamidana 神棚
An interior shelf *tana 棚, where paper talismans, kamifuda 神札, or amulets, gofu 御符, issued by the major Shinto shrines were enshrined for worship as tutelary household deities, kami 神, in traditional vernacular houses, *minka 民家, of the Edo period.

Candles were lit and offerings of rice, fruit, fish, rice wine etc. were made daily. Little is known about the early development of the kamidana, but small shrines to tutelary deities inside a residence go back to ancient times among the aristocracy, as the Heian period Higashi Sanjou 東三条 mansion demonstrates. It is probable that in early times offering tables within a house were not permanent, but were set up as occasion demanded for specific ceremonies and afterwards removed. Dating the emergence of the kamidana is difficult because there are few old examples, but it was closely connected with the development of the domestic Buddhist altars *butsudan 仏壇.

One of the earliest surviving examples may be found at Yoshimura 吉村 House, a 17c village headman's residence near Osaka, now an Important Cultural Property. This consists of a recess equipped with shelves and sliding doors *fusuma 襖, but it is not clear whether this originally functioned as a kamidana. A more common type of kamidana occupied the top part of a cupboard unit todana 戸棚, and resembles a doored upper shelf *fukurodana 袋棚.

However, the most widespread type was a plain board forming a shelf fixed to the top of the lintel members *kamoi 鴨居, and supported by cantilevered brackets from beneath, or stabilized with timber hangers *tsurigi 吊り木, suspended from the beams above. On this shelf a miniature Shinto shrine was often installed to contain the kamifuda. This structure may be elaborate in design, though unlike the miniature shrine cabinet *zushi 厨子, of the Buddhist altar, the timber was usually unlacquered, *shiraki 白木, following one of the most venerable traditions of shrine architecture.
This type of kamidana was believed to have developed comparatively late and the decorative shrine later still.

The kamifuda enshrined may be that of a clan deity, ujigami 氏神, or come from one of the major national shrines, such as Ise Jinguu 伊勢神宮.

Particularly in the houses of craftsmen and merchants, there may be separate shelves known as engidana 縁起棚, where deities with combined Shinto and Buddhist identities, such as *Ebisu 恵比須, *Koujin 荒神 or Inari 稲荷 were commonly enshrined.

It was not unusual for houses to have two separate kamidana. Kamidana were most often located in one of the main everyday living rooms or the kitchen, close to the earth-floored area *doma 土間. They were sometimes placed toward the rear of the room, facing the front of the house *omote 表, or at the high end *kamite 上手, facing down the room toward the doma. They were often placed in the corner of a room for better support.

In many 17c to early 18c farmhouses in central and eastern Japan, the kamidana, though usually a later addition, was placed close to the shallow decorative alcove *oshi-ita 押板, in the living room *hiroma 広間. In rare cases, for instance, if the house was totally Shinto and had no butsudan, the kamidana was installed in one of the formal reception rooms *zashiki 座敷.
source : www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus

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soreisha 祖霊舎 household Shinto altar


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- quote
Kamidana (神棚, kami-dana, lit. "god-shelf")
are miniature household altars provided to enshrine a Shinto kami. They are most commonly found in Japan, the home of kami worship.
- Purchasing and caring for kamidana
First, a kamidana cannot be set up on the ground or at eye level. It must be above an ordinary person's eye level. Second, a kamidana cannot be set up over an entrance, but must be built into a space which people will not walk under. Finally, when an ofuda is enshrined in a kamidana, after removing the pouch it is customary to leave an offering of water, liquor, or food in front of the kamidana, which should be renewed regularly. These rules apply both to one's household and to martial arts dojos.

Ofuda are replaced before the end of each year.
However, kamidana can be kept in one's house until they are no longer usable.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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. New Year Decorations for the Kamidana .


. butsudan 佛壇 or 仏壇 Buddhist family altar .


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On the first day of the New Year, the Sun Goddess Amaterasu Oomikami is worshipped in many places of Japan. During the Edo period, is was customary to bow and clap your hands in prayer to the sun, o-tentoo-sama, every morning and also make offerings to the numerous Shinto deities at the small shelf for the Gods (kamidana) in every home.
. Amaterasu Oomikami 天照大神 .


Hakata Daruma dolls
During the last day of the year peddlers would walk around to sell little Daruma dolls to be put on the Family Shelf of the Gods (kamidana) in the house beside a candle to wait for the New Year while praying for good fortune.
. Hakata Ningyo 博多土人形 Dolls from Hakata .


Fire has been looked at with veneration and fear since olden times and the kitchen hearth has been a special place of worship. Most traditional homes have a shelf for the gods (kamidana) near the hearth (kamado) or open hearth (irori).
. Kamagami 釜神 The Hearth Deity .


. kodakara no ishi 子宝石 stone to get pregnant .
This stone must be put on the shelf of the gods (kamidana) for daily prayers.
Put on a pink cushion, it can also be placed in the bedroom, with a prayer every evening.


. kodakara suzu 子宝鈴 ritual bell to get pregnant .
This bell is for the use at home for the daily prayer in front of the Shelf of the Gods (kamidana).


. O-too matsuri 御灯祭 Torch Festival at Kumano .
People take the torches home, place them on the shelf for the gods (kamidana 神棚) and pray for the good luck of the whole family in the coming year.


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- - - - -  H A I K U  - - - - -

神棚も仏壇もなく神の留守
kamidana mo butsudan mo naku kami no rusu

no altar for the gods
and no Buddhist family altar -
the gods are absent


Yamauchi Yuushi 山内遊糸 (born 1925)


The tenth lunar month (now November), after the harvest when the Japanese gods had done their duty, they left their local shrines for a bit of a vacation. They would all go for an audience and to celebrate at the great shrine of Izumo, so the rest of Japan was "without gods".
. kami no rusu 神の留守 the gods are absent .


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神棚に護符いく重ね夏蚕飼ふ
kamidana ni gofuu iku-kane natsugo kau

on the God's shelf
amulets are piling up -
caring for silk worms in summer


Minayoshi Soo-U 皆吉爽雨 Minayoshi Sou, So-U (1902 - 1983)
Born in Fukui


. natsugo 夏蚕 (なつご) silkworm in summer .


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source : yamadas.net/festoon.htm - 神棚と注連飾り


神棚に注連ゆるぎなし新世帯
kamidana ni shime yurugi nashi ara-jitai

no slack in the rope
of the shelf for the Gods -
this new household


Kezuka Shizue 毛塚静枝


. shimenawa 注連縄 a sacred rope .


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神棚の一枚板や冬怒濤
kamidana no ichimai ita ya fuyu todoo

only one board
for the shelf of the Gods -
surging waves in winter


Masuda Yooichi 増田陽一 Masuda Yoichi


Many modern homes are rather small and there is no space for an elaborate shelf or home altar. Various kinds of small "one board" altars are now on the market.


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