Tsugaru Three Fudo


Tsugaru San Fudoo 津軽三不動 Three Fudo Statues in Tsugaru, Aomori

All three statues in Tsugaru are said to have been carved of one large tree.
As brothers, Nagaizawa is the eldest, Nakano the middle and Kogake the youngest brother.

All three statues have been carved in 610 by the Chinese priest
Saint Enchi 円智上人 / 圓智上人.
Enchi had made the vow to promote Buddhism in the Northern parts of Japan and worked a lot near Tsugaru Azumayama 津軽阿津摩山, where he built a small retreat to venerate Dainichi Nyorai 大日坊.
He build five Shingon temples in Tsugaru 津軽真言五山 and found his last meditating place at the temple 最勝院 Saisho-In - see below -

The five Shingon temples of Tsugaru are
最勝院(田町現在銅屋町)- Saisho-In
百澤寺 / 百沢寺(岩木町百沢の現在 岩木山神社)- Hyakutaku-Ji
国上寺(碇ヶ関村古懸)- Kokujo-Ji
橋雲寺(岩木町植田)- Kyoun-Ji
久渡寺(旧小沢村現在坂元) - Kudo-Ji

Enchi was a disciple of the Chinese priest Chisha Daishi 智者大師 Chigi ちぎ / 智ギ (538 - 597), the third founder of the Tendai sect.

. Chisha Daishi Ki 智者大師忌 Memorial day for Chisha Daishi .
kigo for mid-winter

- - - - - Introducing the five Shingon temples of Tsugaru
. 津軽弘法大師霊場 - Tsugaru Kobo Daishi Reijo
Pilgrimage to 23 Kobo Daishi temples in Tsugaru .

. The Birth of Enchi and Kasuga Myojin 春日明神 .


- There are more "THREE FUDO" groups in Japan -
. Three Most Famous Fudo 三大不動尊 - 不動明王
日本三大不動 - 日本三体不動尊
Nihon Sandai Fudo Son .

- Introduction -

There is also a pilgrimage in Tsugaru to 33 Kannon temples
- source : www.mutusinpou.co.jp


Nagaizawa Jinja 長谷沢神社 Kuroishi town

Nakano Jinja 中野神社 - Kuroishi town

Kokujo-Ji 国上寺 - Hirakawa town


Nagaizawa Jinja 長谷沢神社

青森県黒石市上十川長谷沢壱番囲100-2 - Kitaharayoban-8 Kamitogawa, Kuroishi

- Deity in residence
Yamato Takeru no Mikoto 日本武尊

This shrine and Nakano Shrine were founded by
Sakanoue no Tamuramaro 坂上田村麻呂 (758 - 811)
- see below -

At the Fudo Hall 不動堂 in the compound, there are three paintings of Fudo Myo-O.
But the wooden statue of Fudo seems to be seated elsewhere now.

- reference - 黒石市 長谷沢神社 -

Nakano Jinja 中野神社

青森県黒石市南中野字不動舘27 - Fudodate-27 Minaminakano, Kuroishi

This mountain region is famous for the red autumn leaves 中野もみじ山.
And the village is named after the Fudo Hall, Fudo-Date 不動舘.

In the Nakano gorge is a waterfall dedicated to Fudo Myo-O 不動の滝.

- source and more photos : 5.pro.tok2.com/~tetsuyosie

This is a stone statue of Fudo near the waterfall, with a stone frog on each side. This reason is not quite clear.
The wooden statue made by Enchi could not be located yet.

source : madamada888.blog.fc2.com

- reference - 黒石市 中野神社 -


Kogakesan Fudoo-In Kokujooji 古懸山不動院国上寺 Kokujo-Ji

Kokujo-Ji 國上寺 temple is dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai, Buddha of Healing.
青森県平川市碇ヶ関古懸門前1−1 / Monzen-1-1 Ikarigasekikogake, Hirakawa-shi Town

It has been built in the Heian period on request of Shotoku Taishi at Mount Ajarayama 阿闍羅山 Ajara Yama ( 442 meters) to appease the realm in the Northern districts of Japan.
There were three halls in the compound, one for Fudo Myo-O, one for Dainichi Nyorai 大日坊 and one for Kannon Bosatsu 補陀洛寺.
It is now Nr. 23 on the pilgrimage to 33 Kannon temples in Tsugaru.

In 1154 the regent Hojo Tokiyori (1227 - 1236) re-located the halls to its present location.
They were called 三森山不動院古懸寺 and many warriors of the Kamakura period came here to pray.
In 1588 the first local lord, 津軽右京亮為信 Tsugaru Tamenobu (1550 - 1608) had the temple re-named to 国上山不動院古懸寺 and offered prayers for the safety and peace of the country. Further buildings were also erected at this time, as more land was allocated to the temple.
In 1871 the land was returned to the state and in 1893 during a fire on January 7 many buildings were lost due to a fire.
Munakata Shiko stayed here and promoted the faith in Fudo Myo-O with his art works.

- Temple Chant
むかしより 古懸の山に 法の灯を ともす大師の ありがたきかな
いつまでも 宿りおりたや 国上寺 衣の裾の その下にして

古懸山不動院 Kogakesan Fudo-In (another spelling : Hudouin)
Gomadoo 護摩堂 Goma-Do hall with the statue of Fudo Myo-O
Ajarayama Fudo-In 阿閣羅山不動院

座っている不動尊 - the statue of a seated Fudo Myo-O

- The local story knows this -
The third lord of the region, Tsugaru Nobuyoshi 津軽信義 (1619 - 1655) was at Edo castle when the talk came to statues, so he proudly said "A statue of Fudo Myo-O has to be seated".
But the other daimyo lords did not agree:
"Oh no, this can't be. A statue of Fudo Myo-O always has to be standing!"
The lord of Tsugaru became angry and said:
"Well, if you do not believe me, send an envoy to Tsugaru to have a look at the seated statue."

When Nobuyoshi reached his estate in Edo, he thought by himself:
"Oh dear, I said the statue is seated, but I have never seen it myself really!"
He ordered a fast horse to go to Tsugaru and have the chief retainer at the castle go to the temple to look at the statue.
When the retainer saw the statue, well, it was a standing Fudo Myo-O!
So the retainer, agast at what would happen to his lord in Edo, talked to the statue:
"Please, Fudo sama, sit down. You have to sit down to save the domaine of Tsugaru from great disaster. If you do not sit down now as I order you to, you will be called the "Ungreatful Fudo 恩義知らずの不動" for the rest of your life.

Fudo showed his intimidating face, but then he said:
"Very well then, I will help you and sit down!"
And he kept sitting down till our day.

source : ikarigaseki.xii.jp

The statue of a seated Fudo is also called nemari Fudo Sama ねまり不動様 (lit. "crouching Fudo").

When something bad is going to happen in Tsugaru, the statue starts to sweat (to get wet 湿ってくる).
Maybe it just gets wet when the weather becomes very humid in Tsugaru.

. asekaki Fudo 汗かき不動 / あせかき不動 sweating Fudo .

- The local story knows this -
The second lord of the region, Tsugaru Nobuhira 津軽信牧 (1586 - 1631) had to deal with a long drought and famine in his domaine. He had all the usual rituals for rain and help performed at the temple and was on his way back home. Then suddenly dark clouds came up and it began to rain and rain and rain and thunder ever more. Just when he thought "Well, I better not go home right now ... " he saw a light at the other side. He later learned that at this moment the castle was all aflame, because a producer of fireworks had an accident and fire broke out.
The whole castle burned down, even the large tower and all the historical records he had collected so far.
Legend knows that right before this tragic fire event, the statue of Fudo Myo-O had been sweating. But this time it was foreboding not another famine or flooding, but the fire at the castle.

source : www.hirosaki-taxi.co.jp

- A legend about the Ema votive tablets of this 古懸不動 Fudo:
The horse of the Ema, painted by 狩野法眼 Kano Hogen, used to take off at night and devastate the fields. So he had to paint a chain for the horse to keep it in its place.
(This kind of legend about Kano Hogen is known in other places.)
. Kano Motonobu 狩野元信 Kanō Motonobu .
Artist name : Kohoogen, Kohōgen こほうげん (古法眼)

津軽弘法大師霊場 - Tsugaru Kobo Daishi Reijo
Pilgrimage to 23 Kobo Daishi temples in Tsugaru
. Nr. 23 - 古懸山 國上寺 Kokujo-Ji(こがけさん こくじょうじ) .


In the temple are also some Fudo by Munakata Shiko 棟方志功.

source : madamada888.blog.fc2.com

. Shotoku Taishi 聖徳太子 - (574 - 622) .

13 國上寺 - ねまり不動 - Nemari Fudo
Nr. 13 on the pilgrimage
. 東北三十六不動尊霊場 Pilgrimage to 36 Fudo Temples in Tohoku .

- reference -


. Tamura Shi 田村氏 The Tamura clan .
- Edo 田村小路 Tamura Koji Alley district

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro 坂上田村麻呂 (758 - 811)
Sakanouye Tamuramaro -
... a general and shogun of the early Heian Period of Japan.
Serving Emperor Kammu, he was appointed shogun and given the task of conquering the Emishi
(蝦夷征伐 Emishi Seibatsu), a people native to the north of Honshū, which he subjugated and drove from the Tohoku region of Honshu to the island of Hokkaido. After emperor Kammu's death, the general continued to serve the emperors Heizei and Saga.

Recent evidence suggests that a migration of Emishi from northern Honshū to Hokkaidō took place sometime between the seventh and eighth centuries, perhaps as a direct result of this policy that pre-dated Tamuramaro's appointment. However, many Emishi remained in the Tōhoku region as subjects of the expanding Japanese Empire, and later established independent Fushu domains. After Emperor Kammu's death, the general continued to serve Emperor Heizei and Emperor Saga as Major Counselor (大納言 dainagon) and Minister of War (兵部卿 Hyōbu-kyō). He was the second man to given the title of shogun.
The first to receive this title was Ōtomo no Otomaro 大伴弟麻呂 (731 - 809).

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro first built Kiyomizu Temple (Kiyomizu-dera), one of the most famous landmarks to be seen in Kyoto.

... It is said that the famous Tanabata festivals and parades of Aomori prefecture (also celebrated in the city of Sendai in Miyagi prefecture), which draw over 3 million people to the prefecture a year, were popularized in remembrance of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro's campaign to subdue the tribal societies then living in Tōhoku. These annual matsuri are called the Nebuta festival in Aomori City and Neputa festival (ねぷた祭り) in Hirosaki City.

... Tamuramaro is reputedly buried at Shōgun-zuka, and his spirit is said to be guarding Kyoto still; but even if part of that tale is only myth, the recorded final resting place of the old warrior was near the village of Kurisu (Kurisu-mura 栗栖村) in Yamashiro's Uji district.

According to the Shoku Nihongi, an official historical record, The Sakaue clan is descended from Emperor Ling of Han China. And Sakaue clan's family tree shows that Tamuramaro is a 14th-generation descendent of Ling.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro is known for having founded the

Three - (Six) Kannon Temples in Oshu province 奥州六観音 Oshu Roku Kannon
also called 奥州三観音や6カ寺

to appease the dead bodies of the Emishi burried, and also their "demon deities" 鬼神.
He usually erected mounds for their heads (kubizuka 首塚) and a temple.

奥州三観音 - Three Kannon of Oshu

1 牧山観音(石巻市)- Ishinomaki (Iwate)
2  箟嶽観音(涌谷町)-  Wakuya (Miyagi)
3  富山観音 (松島町)- Matsushima (Miyagi) 

6カ寺 - Six Kannon Temples of Oshu

1 牧山観音(石巻市)- Ishinomaki (Iwate)
2  箟嶽観音(涌谷町)- Wakuya (Miyagi)
3 大武観音(登米市)- Tome (Miyagi) 
4  長谷観音(登米市)- Tome
5 鱒淵観音(登米市)- Tome
6 小迫観音(栗原市)- Kurihara (Miyagi)

- Check this link for further information and photos:
- source : chiyukihirosi.air-nifty.com

. roku Kannon 六観音 six Kannon .

. Chookonji 長根寺 Chokon-Ji - Miyako, Iwate .
The first Yakushi Hall 薬師堂 had been founded by
Sakanoue no Tamuramaro 坂上田村麻呂 in 807.
A bronze bell from this time is still existing. Sakanoue seems to have founded three Kannon temples in Nagane (Chookon) 観音長根.

Fudo Temple 23 達谷西光寺 天台宗 - 姫待不動尊 - Himemachi Fudo
Takkoku Saiko-ji
... Probably the Japanese people in later generations blindly wanted to believe Tamuramaro Sakanoue as a most respectable hero and "Akuo-o" 悪路王 who fought with Sakanoue as an evil figure.
. Himemachi Fudo, Hiraizumi, Iwate .

. Kubizuka, memorial stone pagodas and mounds for the beheaded ... 首塚 .

. beraboo tako ベラボー凧 kite with a face sticking out the tongue .
from Akita, Noshiro 能代市, said to be used by Tamuramaro

One of the most respected leaders of the Emishi and also by Tamuramaro was
Aterui / Akuro-o / Acro-o アテルイ / 阿弖流爲 (? - 802)
Akuro Jin 悪路神 The Deity Akuro

"Tamo-no-kimi Aterui took up the leadership of this resistance. In 789, Aterui defeated a larger force at the Battle of Kitakami River, and remained at-large until 801, when he was defeated by Sakanoue Tamuramaro. Fighting continued until a court edict in 805, with one last campaign in 811, after which the pacification of the area was considered complete by Imperial edict."
. Mutsu 陸奥 in Tohoku 東北 .

- quote -
..... the most prominent chief of the Isawa (胆沢) band of Emishi in northern Japan.
Aterui was born in Isawa, Hitakami-no-kuni, what is now Mizusawa Ward of Ōshū City in southern Iwate Prefecture.
"Lord of the Bad Road" (悪路王 Akuro-o).
..... In 802 Tamuramaro returned to Michinoku and built Fort Isawa in the heart of Isawa territory. Then on April 15 he reported the most important success of all in this campaign: The Emishi leaders Aterui and More surrendered with more than 500 warriors. General Sakanoue delivered Aterui and More to the capital on July 10. Despite General Sakanoue's pleadings the government, "...cut them down at Moriyama in Kawachi province." .....
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

田村麻呂と阿弖流為 - 古代東北 / 新野直吉 
- reference source : jyo-sai.com/castle-report/nodonjon -


- quote
The World of Sakanouye No Tamuramaro: Black Shogun of Early Japan
by Runoko Rashidi

“For a Samurai to be brave, he must have a bit of Black blood.”
– Japanese Proverb

... I have always thought of Japan as a fascinating country and felt extremely fortunate to be able to travel there. ...
... Meaningful indications of an African presence in ancient Japan have been unearthed from the most remote ages of the Japanese past. ...

Of the Black people of early Japan, the most picturesque single figure was Sakanouye no Tamuramaro, a warrior symbolized in Japanese history as a “paragon of military virtues,” and a man who has captured the attention of some of the most distinguished scholars of 20th century America.

Perhaps the first such scholar to make note of Tamuramaro was Alexander Francis Chamberlain (1865-1914). An anthropologist, Chamberlain was born in Kenninghall, Norfolk, England, and was brought to America as a child. In April 1911, the Journal of Race Development published an essay by Chamberlain titled The Contribution of the Negro to Human Civilization. While discussing the African presence in early Asia, Chamberlain stated in an exceptionally frank and matter of fact manner:

“And we can cross the whole of Asia and find the Negro again, for when, in far-off Japan, the ancestors of the modern Japanese were making their way northward against the Ainu, the aborigines of that country, the leader of their armies was Sakanouye Tamuramaro, a famous general and a Negro.”

Dr. W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963), perhaps the greatest scholar in American history, in his book, The Negro (first published in 1915), placed Sakanouye Tamuramaro within a list of some of the most distinguished Black rulers and warriors in antiquity.

In 1922, Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) and Charles Harris Wesley (1891-?) in a chapter called Africans in History with Others, in their book, The Negro in Our History, quoted Chamberlain on Tamuramaro verbatim. In the November 1940 issue of the Negro History Bulletin (founded by Dr. Woodson), artist and illustrator Lois Maillou Jones (1905-1998) contributed a brief article titled Sakanouye Tamura Maro.

In the article Jones pointed out that:
“The probable number of Negroes who reached the shores of Asia may be estimated somewhat by the wide area over which they were found on that continent. Historians tell us that at one time Negroes were found in all of the countries of southern Asia bordering the Indian Ocean and along the east coast as far as Japan. There are many interesting stories told by those who reached that distant land which at that time they called "Cipango".
One of the most prominent characters in Japanese history was a Negro warrior called Sakanouye Tamura Maro.”

Very similar themes were expressed in 1946 in In the Orient, the first section of Distinguished Negroes Abroad, a book by Beatrice J. Fleming and Marion J. Pryde in which was contained a small chapter dedicated to
The Negro General of Japan — Sakanouye Tamuramaro.


In 1940, the great Joel Augustus Rogers (1883-1966), who probably did more to popularize African history than any scholar of the 20th century, devoted several pages of the first volume of his book, Sex and Race to the Black presence in early Japan. He cites the studies of a number of accomplished scholars and anthropologists, and even goes as far as to raise the question, “Were the first Japanese Negroes?”

In the words of Rogers:
“There is a very evident Negro strain in a certain element of the Japanese population, particularly those in the south. Imbert says, ‘The Negro element in Japan is recognizable by the Negroid aspect of certain inhabitants with dark and often blackish skin, frizzly or curly hair. ... The Negritos are the oldest race of the Far East. It has been proved that they once lived in Eastern and Southern China as well as in Japan where the Negrito element is recognizable still in the population.’”

Rogers mentioned Tamuramaro briefly in the first volume of World’s Great Men of Color, also published in 1946. Regrettably, Rogers was forced to confess that “I have come across certain names in China and Japan such as Sakonouye Tamuramaro, the first shogun of Japan, but I did not follow them up.”

Sakanouye Tamuramaro was a warrior symbolized in early Japanese history as a “paragon of military virtues.” Could it be that this was what Dr. Diop was alluding to in his first major book, Nations negres et culture, when he directed our attention to the tantalizing and yet profound Japanese proverb:
For a Samurai to be brave he must have a bit of Black blood.

Adwoa Asantewaa B. Munroe referenced Tamuramaro in the 1981 publication What We Should Know About African Religion, History and Culture, and wrote that “He was an African warrior. He was prominent during the rule of the Japanese Emperor Kwammu, who reigned from 782-806 A.D.” In 1989, Dr. Mark Hyman authored a booklet titled Black Shogun of Japan in which he stated that “The fact remains that Sakanouye Tamuramaro was an African. He was Japanese. He was a great fighting general. He was a Japanese Shogun.”

However, the most comprehensive assessment to date of the Black presence in early Japan and the life of Sakanouye no Tamuramaro is the work of art historian and long-time friend and colleague Dr. James E. Brunson. Brunson is the author of Black Jade: The African Presence in the Ancient East and several other important texts. In a 1991 publication titled The World of Sakanouye No Tamuramaro, Brunson accurately noted that “In order to fully understand the world of Sakanouye Tamuramaro we must focus on all aspects of the African presence in the Far East.”

Sakanouye no Tamuramaro is regarded as an outstanding military commander of the early Heian royal court. The Heian Period (794-1185 C.E.) derives its name from Heian-Kyo, which means “the Capital of Peace and Tranquility,” and was the original name for Japan’s early capital city — Kyoto. It was during the Heian Period that the term Samurai was first used. According to Papinot, the “word comes from the very word samuaru, or better saburau, which signifies: to be on one’s guard, to guard; it applied especially to the soldiers who were on guard at the Imperial palace.”

The samurai have been called the knights or warrior class of Medieval Japan and the history of the samurai is very much the history of Japan itself. For hundreds of years, to the restoration of the Meiji emperor in 1868, the samurai were the flower of Japan and are still idolized by many Japanese. The samurai received a pension from their feudal lord, and had the privilege of wearing two swords. They intermarried in their own caste and the privilege of samurai was transmitted to all the children, although the heir alone received a pension.

The “paragon of military virtues,” Sakanouye no Tamuramaro (758-811) was, in the words of James Murdoch:
“In as sense the originator of what was subsequently to develop into the renowned samurai class, he provided in his own person a worthy model for the professional warrior on which to fashion himself and his character. In battle, a veritable war-god; in peace the gentlest of manly gentlemen, and the simplest and unassuming of men.”

Throughout his career, Tamuramaro was rewarded for his services with high civil as well as military positions. In 797 he was named “barbarian-subduing generalissimo” (Sei-i Tai-Shogun), and in 801-802 he again campaigned in northern Japan, establishing fortresses at Izawa and Shiwa and effectively subjugating the Ainu.

In 810 he helped to suppress an attempt to restore the retired emperor Heizei to the throne. In 811, the year of his death, he was appointed great counselor (dainagon) and minister of war (hyobukyo).

Sakanouye no Tamuramaro “was buried in the village of Kurisu, near Kyoto and it is believed that it is his tomb, which is known under the name of Shogun-zuka. Tamuramaro is the founder of the famous temple Kiyomizu-dera. He is the ancestor of the Tamura daimyo of Mutsu.” Tamuramaro “was not only the first to bear the title of Sei-i-tai-Shogun, but he was also the first of the warrior statesmen of Japan.”

In later ages he was revered by military men as a model commander and as the first recipient of the title shogun — the highest rank to which a warrior could aspire.”
- source : atlantablackstar.com

Sei-i-tai-Shogun 征夷大将軍
- List in the Wikipedia
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 月岡芳年 .


- - - - - Legends - - - - -

. kinma 木馬(きんま) "wooden horse" amulet from Miharu, Fukushima .

................................................................................. Iwate 岩手県
気仙郡 Kesen district

When Sakanoue no Tamuramaro drove out the demon of this region, the teeth of this Oni were left over.
The boss of the native 蝦夷 Emishi group was called 赤頭 Akagashira.

赤頭 Head of Akagashira

and his oni no kiba 鬼の牙 demon teeth

Tamuramaro built a grave for Akagashira and offered a statue of Kannon Bosatsu to appease his soul. This is now at the temple 竜福山・長谷寺 Hasedera.
When they dug out the grave in 1704, they found 33 teeth in the skull of this Akagashira Oni.
ケセンの鬼の国 Kesen is the land of the Oni.

- reference source : saitoseika.co.jp/adariHP/adariho40 -

. oni no ha 鬼の歯 teeth of an oni / kiba 牙 fangs .


. Oodakemaru 大嶽丸・大竹丸・大武丸・大猛丸 Odakemaru .
Kijin 鬼神大猛丸 the Demon God Odakemaru alias Aterui アテルイ / 悪路王 Akuro-O / Acro-O 阿弖流爲 (? - 802)
And legneds about the fight with Tamuramaro.

- source : nichibun yokai database -
40 legends to explore about 坂上田村麻呂 !


. O-Mamori お守り Amulets and Talismans .

. Tsugaru Glas Daruma 津軽のガラス工芸だるま .


- - - - - Other Fudo temples from Tsugaru

. Saishoo In 最勝院 Saisho-In . - Hirosaki
Nekotsuki Fudo 猫突 Fudo stabbing a Monster Cat


. Pilgrimages to Fudo Temples 不動明王巡礼
Fudo Myo-O Junrei - Fudo Pilgrims - INTRODUCTION .

. 津軽弘法大師霊場 - Tsugaru Kobo Daishi Reijo
Pilgrimage to 23 Kobo Daishi temples in Tsugaru .


. - Join Fudo Myo-O on facebook - Fudō Myō-ō .


. Japan - Shrines and Temples - ABC .

- #sakanoue #tamuramaro -


Gabi Greve said...

Tono Jisha Meguri 遠野寺社巡り  temples and shrines in Tono - Iwate
遠野の坂上田村麻呂伝説 - Sakanoue Tamuramaro

Gabi Greve said...

Hidaka Jinja 日高神社 Hidaka Shrine
Mizusawa, Iwate

Generalissimo . Sakanoue no Tamuramaro 坂上田村麻呂 . (758 - 811)
had captured the castle 胆沢城 Isawajoo here in 802 and the area has been known as 日高見国 Hitakami no Kuni of the Ezo people 古代蝦夷.

Gabi Greve said...

Daienji 大圓寺 / 大円寺 Daien-Ji

Main statue is Dainichi Nyorai 大鰐の大日様 Owani no Dainichi)

This Dainichi is closely related to the nearby hot spring and Saint Enchi Shonin 円智上人 / 圓智上人 Saint Enchi .

Gabi Greve said...

In the town of Shikama 色麻町 in Miyagi Prefecture 宮城県 in northeastern Japan,
there is a shrine devoted to a water god. In the Heian period (794-1192), a shogun named Sakanoue no Tamuramaro arrived in this area.
A man called Touemon swam like a kappa across the swiftly flowing river and worked hard for the shogun. The shogun was so pleased that he gave Touemon the surname kappa, which has been handed down by generations of chief priests at the shrine ever since.
Kappa Legends in Japan

Gabi Greve said...

Tokuraji 安狐山 斗蔵寺 Ankosan Tokura-Ji
宮城県角田市小田斗蔵95 / Tokura-95 Oda, Kakuda-shi, Miyagi
The Kannon Hall was built in 807 by
. Sakanoue no Tamuramaro 坂上田村麻呂 (758 - 811) .
to house a special bronze statue of a Kannon with 1000 Arms.

Gabi Greve said...

Fujiwara no Chikata no Yonki 藤原千方の四鬼
The four demons of Fujiwara Chikata

Once Fujiwara no Chikata used the Demon Deities to haunt travellers in the region.
But Tamuramaro came to punish him.
In the Heian Period, noble family Fujiwara no Chikata started war with the imperial court, used the
yonki (four devils: kinki 金鬼 gold devil, fuuki 風鬼 wind devil, suiki 水鬼 water devil,
ongyoki 隠形鬼 / 怨京鬼 stealth devil)
to distress the imperial armies.
The waka poem of Kinotomo, who had come to put down Fujiwara no Chikata, said
“All things, whether grass or tree, are ruled by the Emperor,
and not even a devil can turn his back to the Emperor and live in this land”
to disperse the four devils and Fujiwara no Chikata was defeated.

Gabi Greve said...

三重県 Mie 熊野市 Kumano

An old legend tells about
. . Sakanoue no Tamuramaro 坂上田村麻呂 . (758 - 811)

He once went to Onigajo 鬼ヶ城 "the castle of the demons" in Kumano and shot arrows with yomogi ヨモギ mugwort and susuki ススキ pampas grass into the eyes of the Oni.
This is the origin why people throw mugwort and suski on the roof during the Setsubun rituals.

Gabi Greve said...

青森県 Aomori Onizawa
鬼神社(きじんじゃ)Ki Jinja, Kijin-Ja at 弘前市鬼沢菖蒲沢地区 Hirosaki-shi, Onizawa

The villagers in Onizawa have a fond relationship with this Oni Deity - 鬼が神様なのである.
At Setsubun, they do not throw beans to drive the Oni away.
At the Boy's festival they do not thatch the roof with mugwort and iris to drive the Oni away.
The Oni here might have been some outlaws in hiding or even Koreans in hiding, which Tamuramaro expelled.

Gabi Greve said...

kijin - onibito オニビト / 鬼人と伝説 "human demon" Legends
ans Sakanoue no Tamuramaro

Gabi Greve said...

... Iwate 岩手県
気仙郡 Kesen district

When Sakanoue no Tamuramaro drove out the demon of this region, the teeth of this Oni were left over.
The boss of the native 蝦夷 Emishi group was called 赤頭 Akagashira.
Tamuramaro built a grave for Akagashira and offered a statue of Kannon Bosatsu to appease his soul. This is now at the temple 竜福山・長谷寺 Hasedera.
When they dug out the grave in 1704, they found 33 teeth in the skull of this Akagashira Oni.
ケセンの鬼の国 Kesen is the land of the Oni.
At the temple is his mask and the 33 teeth.
oni no ha, oni no kiba 鬼の歯

Gabi Greve said...

Hachimen Daioo 八面大王 Great King with Eight Faces
魏石鬼 八面大王 (ぎしき はちめんだいおう) Gishiki Hachimen Daio is a legendary figure in Nagano.

Gishiki no Iwaya 魏石鬼の岩屋(ぎしきのいわや) Cave of the Gishiki Demon

At the foot om mount Ariakeyama there lived the farmer 弥左衛門 Yazaemon with his son 弥助 Yasuke.
The son has been abducted by a Demon named Hachimen Daio 八面大王. Yasuke grew up to be a fine young man. One day he helped a yamadori 山鳥 pheasant.
Three days later Yasuke med a beautiful young woman and married her. But Hachimen Daio became quite jealous and wild again.
When 坂上田村麻呂 Sakanoue no Tamuramaro came tho the Kannon Hall to pray, He had a vision telling him to use the feathers of a pheasant tail to make an arrow.
When Yaskue heard this, he begun to worry. But his wife, the incarnation of the pheasant, offered her tail feathers and then disappeared.
With this arrow, the evil Hachiman Daio could be shot down and driven away.

Gabi Greve said...

Nihon Jinja 日本神社 (にほんじんじゃ) Nihon Shrine, "Japan Shrine", Saitama

This is a shrine in honor of Jinmu Tenno, the first emperor of Japan, built in 791 by Sakanoue Tamura Maro 坂上田村麻呂
This is the only shrine with this name in Japan.

Gabi Greve said...

Fukushima 福島県 田村郡 Tamura district 三春町 Miharu

kinma 木馬(きんま) "wooden horse"

Tamuramaro fought against the local tribesman, 大多鬼丸」(大滝丸) Otaki Maru, who lived in a cave at 大滝根山 Mount Otakine san (1,192 m).
延鎮上人 Saint Enchin had carved the statue of Kannon at temple Kiyomizudera and from the left-over pieces of wood had carved 鞍馬 100 wooden horses with saddles and sent them to Tamuramaro. Tamuramaro put the horses in his armor and left for Tohoku. When he was in a pinch fighting, all of a sudden 100 horsemen came out and helped him fight at Mount Otakine.
When he returned in triumph, the horses had disappeared from his armor.
One day later, one of the wooden horses was found all sweating at 高柴村 Takanomura village near 三春 Miharu. A man named 杵阿弥 Kiami realized it was one of the wooden horses given by Enchin and out of piety he carved the other 99 anew.
Three years later, the one horse became missing. The family of Kiami still preserves the memory of the wooden horses.
When they gave a horse to a family with an ill child, the child got well very soon. Now the horses are a kind of amulet for bringing up healthy children in Miharu.
Gyooei Koji 行叡居士 Gyoei Koji

Gabi Greve said...

Tokyo, Akabane Hachiman Jinja 赤羽八幡神社 Shrine
4 Chome-1-6 Akabanedai, Kita / 東京都北区赤羽台4-1-6

The shrine was founded in 784 by 坂上田村麻呂 Sakanoue Tamuramaro on his way from Kyoto to subdue the rebels in Northern Japan.

Gabi Greve said...

Onikobe Kaido 鬼首街道 Onikobe Highway - "Demon Head Highway"
with many legends about Tamuramaro.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Ehime 愛媛県
The 船まつり boat festival of the Shrine 津島大社 Tsushima Jinja is held on July 14.
On this day, boats loaded with something like 3万3千 torches come to the harbour. This will make 流行病の厄神 the deity of pandemics go away. People have to close the windows and doors of their home.
牛頭天王 Gozu Tenno of the Tsushima Shrine is related to 悪路神 Akuro Jin.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Akita - . Sakanoue no Tamuramaro 坂上田村麻呂 .
At 房住山 Mount Boju in 二ツ井町 Futatsui there is an old temple. Now there remains gorintoo 五輪塔 a five-storied stone pagoda grave marker and an old well, which was dug by 坂上田村麿 Sakanoue no Tamuramaro.
Around 1938 a woodcutter tried to clean the well and was surprized to find pottery pieces, golden pieces and a monkey messenger from 庚申様 Kojin Sama. But this mountain is sacred to Kojin Sama and later nobody ever tried to clean the well again, fearing the curse of the Deity.


Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Mie, 亀山市 Kameyama city
The Onigami attacked 坂上田村麿 Sakanoue Tamuramaro, but 千手観音 Senju Kannon defeated him.

Gabi Greve said...

Yamanotera Dounji 山ノ寺洞雲寺 The Mountain Temple Doun-Ji
宮城県仙台市泉区 - Miyagi, Sendai city, Izumi ward
Sakanoue no Tamuramaro spend some time as a child in this temple.