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9/14/2011

Kumano and Nachi amulets

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Kumano and Nachi amulets - 熊野 那智

From ancient times to the Middle Ages, the faith instilled by the Kumano Sanzan of Hongu, Shingu and Nachi was at a peak and many believers ranging from emperors and nobles to the commoner made their pilgrimages to Kumano.
Kumano Kodo (熊野古道)

Please start here and come back:
. Introducing Kumano and Nachi .





yatagarasu ema, yata-garasu 八咫烏絵馬
votive tablet with a three-legged crow

yata no karasu 八咫烏(やたがらす / やたのからす)











from Kumano Hongu Taisha 熊野本宮大社
There are also many white flags with the name of this crow.

This three-legged crow (raven) was the guide of emperor Jimmu (Jinmu Tenno 神武天皇) when he visited the Kumano region.
The crow is the messenger of the deity Kumano Gongen 熊野権現. It leads people of pure heart to luck and prosperity.

Now it is on many items in the compound,
even on a black letter box 八咫ポスト.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !



source : ikebukuro.areablog.jp

a big votive tablet with the crow, black post box and many soccer balls




There are also mikuji fortune telling slips, hidden in a small black clay crow.
八咫烏おみくじ



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kachimamori 勝守 amulet to win from Nachi Taisha
MORE amulets from Kumano Nachi Taisha
source : www.kumanonachitaisha


various o-mamori amulets with the crow 八咫烏のお守り
. . . CLICK here for Photos !



strap with the crow 八咫烏ストラップ



source : yama on flickr

mamoribukuro 守り袋 crow amulet bag with a crow





yatagarasu michibiki mamori やたがらす導き守り
the way-leading crow amulet

on a string or strap


. Netsuke omamori 根付お守り amulets on a string .

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Yatagarasu Daruma 八咫烏だるま

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source : kumano.net

At the shrine Kumano Hayatama Taisha 熊野速玉大社 the head priest commissioned a large ema in 2004. The crow is made of silver and produces a divine golden shine (mihikari 神光) from its back, enlightening all around it.
The crow carries a brand of the sacred shrine tree (nagi no ki 梛の木 / 凪の木) . It is walking on auspicious red clouds, which appear on special situations (zui-un 瑞雲).
This votive tablet was offered with the wish for a better life of all mankind.

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神武天皇東征

quote
from the Kojiki records, Kamu yamato iwarebiko
the first legendary emperor Jinmu 神武天皇.
... left on a campaign to subdue the eastern provinces. Both Kojiki and Nihongi relate the eastern campaign while interspersing martial songs called Kume-uta.

Hosted by Usatsuhiko and Usatsuhime, and guided by the kunitsukami Shinetsuhiko, the army passed through the provinces of Tsukushi, Toyo, Aki, and Kibi, finally arriving at Naniwa (near present-day Osaka). The army failed to land there, however, and changed course and proceeded instead to Kumano.

During that period, the campaign was successful at subjugating the various tribes met, but in the fight with Tomi no Nagasunebiko (in Kojiki), Jinmu's brother Itsuse no mikoto was killed, and Inahi no mikoto (in Nihongi, Inai no mikoto) and Mikenu no mikoto (in Nihongi, Mikeirinu no mikoto) were buffeted by storms at sea and either drowned or departed to the "everlasting land" (Tokoyo), finally leaving Emperor Jinmu as the sole leader.

At Kumano, Jinmu's army was beset by noxious vapors issued by rough kami, and the entire band fell unconscious, but they were saved by the local man Takakuraji 高倉下, who received an oracular dream from Amaterasu and Takemikazuchi. With the sword Futsu no mitama provided by Takemikazuchi, Jinmu defeated the rough kami.

When the army lost its way on the road, either Takamimusuhi (Kojiki) or Amaterasu (Nihongi) appeared to Jinmu in a dream, telling him to follow the numinous Yatakarasu crow that would be sent as a guide.

Following the crow, Jinmu and his army, led by Michi no omi no mikoto arrived at Yoshino,
where they were met by the kunitsukami Ihika (in Nihongi, called Ihikari), Iwaoshiwaku, and the child of Niemotsu.

There, Jinmu orchestrated the surrender or defeat of the brothers Ukashi the Elder and Ukashi the Younger, the brothers Shiki the Elder and Shiki the Younger, the leaders Yasotakeru and Nagasunehiko, and the Tsuchigumo peoples. ...
source : Mori Mizue, 2005 - Kokugakuin



. Jinmu Tenno 神武天皇 and Haiku .


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The crow is the messenger of Susano-O 素盞鳴尊.
yata 八咫 means "big, large"

The crow is seen as an incarnation of the sun 太陽
(center of the image)

The three legs represent Heaven / Earth / Man 天・地・人
Heaven is identical with the deities.
source : www.hongutaisha.jp


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quote
Yata-garasu 八咫烏 (eight-span crow)
Why the three legs and why the black crow inside a sun disk?
The most plausible reasons involve Chinese mythology and Japan’s own creation legends. First, a black 3-legged crow known in China as Sānzúwū 三足烏 (lit. = three-legged bird) appears in Chinese art dated to the Yangsháo 仰韶 period (5000-3000 BC). In Chinese mythology and ancient texts, this bird is intimately related to the sun. According to the Huáinánzi 淮南子 (2nd century BC Chinese text), this bird has three legs because three is the emblem of Yang -- and the supreme essence of Yang is the sun.

Second, in Japan, various deities are associated with the 3-legged black crow, including Myōken (the deification of the Pole Star and Big Dipper), Nikkō Bosatsu (Sunlight Bodhisattva), and Emperor Jimmu 神武天皇 (Japan’s legendary first emperor).
In Japan’s own creation myths (e.g., Nihon Shoki 日本書紀, submitted to the Japanese imperial court in 720 AD), a giant crow called Yata-garasu 八咫烏 (eight-span crow) appeared to Jimmu, who had landed on the shores of Japan but gotten lost.
source : Mark Schumacher


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This ema leads us to another important amulet of this shrine complex.

Go-Oo Hooin 牛王宝印 sacred seal of the ox treasure
goou hooin, 牛玉宝印 (くまのごおうほういん)

An amulet to ward off evil. It is different at the various shrines in Nachi and Kumano.
Kumano Go-Oo fu 熊野牛王符, 熊野牛王神符
熊野山宝印, 那智瀧宝印, 烏牛王 "crow and ox treasure"
o karasul san おからすさん "honorable crow"

This amulet is quite powerful:

If you hang it over the hearth, it will prevent fire.
Over the main door of the home, it will prevent evil from entering.
Wear it in your pocket, it will prevent you from getting sea-sick, car-sick or sick in an aeroplane.
Place it on the bed of an ill person, it will heal the illness.
If you give it to a person after exchanging a solemn oath in written on the seal as "sacred paper" (seishi 誓紙), he has to keep the oath or promise (seiyaku 誓約), because it means making an oath in the presence of the gods, and they will punish the person who does not keep it. The samurai of old used it always to make pledges of support. If they broke their pledge and promise, three crows would die in Kumano and the person died, spitting blood.

The amulet shows a design called "crow character" 烏文字.
For each Chinese character, many crows are placed together to form it. There are also some sacred jewels (hooju 宝珠) in the design. They are combined to represent five characters.

The seal is printed on strong washi paper. There is a different design:
The design to represent the characters has a various number of crows
Hongu has 88 crows 熊野山宝印 "mountain treasure seal"
Shingu has 48 crows
Nachi has 72 crows 那智瀧宝印 "waterfall treasure seal"



Shrine Kumano Hongu 熊野本宮



Shrine Kumano Shingu, Hayatama Taisha 熊野速玉大社



Shrine Nachi Taisha 那智大社



牛王 "ox treasure" can be written as
牛黄 ("yellow of the ox", go-oo) referring to a special medicine prepared from the yellow gall stones, sometimes even the gall bladder of oxen and cows. It was used for weak hearts, stomach infections and kidney infections.
go oo en 牛黄円・牛王円 round tablets of ox gall stones
go oo kaji 牛黄加持・牛王加持 prayer incantation (for a special purpose), using seals with gall stone powder added to the washi paper mixure for the printed seals
(see below)


. Sensooji go oo kaji 浅草寺牛王加持 Ritual at Senso-Ji .
Go-Oo Kaji-E 牛玉加持会 Prayer Ritual for the Deity of the Ox
observance kigo for the New Year

. . . . .

During the Edo period, when pilgrimages to Kumano became popular, visitors would buy these amulets and bring them home to the family for protection. The wandering nuns from Kumano also walked around Japan, selling them to make a living.

The seals were also used in the pleasure quarters, to make pledges between a patron and a courtesan of high rank.



Nowadays, the Japan Football Association uses this crow as their symbol.



. Wishfulfilling Jewel (nyoi hooju 如意宝珠) .



. Imakumano Jinja 新熊野神社 Imakumano Shrine . - Kyoto
Established by retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa (後白河天皇) in 1160, by dividing the spirit of the Kumano shrine in Kishu (present day Wakayama) and to bring it here.


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observance kigo for the New Year

Kiyomizu no Go Ou 清水の牛王 (きよみずのごおう)
Go-Oo Ox Deity at temple Kiyomizu
Kiyomizudera go Oo清水寺牛王(きよみずでらごおう)、
..... 清水寺牛王杖(きよみずでらごおうづえ)
Go-Oo stick at Kiyomizu Temple

On the last day of the New Year Rituals (Shuuni-e 修正会) in February, the statue of an 11-headed Kannon is shown to the priests and they walk around it, hitting the floor with sticks from branches of the willow tree, which likes the sun and brings spring to the world.
On that day, people buy the amulet of Go-Oo to prevent evil in the coming year and pray for good business.


Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto was founded in the early Heian period.
The temple dates back to 778,
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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The 牛王 is not related to the Ox-headed Deity
. Gozu Tennoo 牛頭天王 holy king of the bulls .

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. . . CLICK here for Photos of votive tablets!

. Reference .


source : www.mikumano.net


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The Ten Treasures 十種神宝 tokusa no kandakara
When Jinmu Tenno passed here on his way to the North-East he offered (put (OKI 置) the four heavenly jewel treasures (tama 玉 ) at this place, hence the name, lit.
"Shrine where the Jewels are layed down".
Tamaki Jinja 玉置神社 "Tama oki jinja" - Tamaki Jinja

. Shrine Tamaki Jinja 玉置神社 .

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ドラゴン牛黄カプセル Dragon Go-Oo capsels
(made from Australian cows)

still awailable to our day as kanpo medicine.

. Chinese Medicine (kanpo 漢方薬) .

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牛王加持 法多山田遊祭 尊永寺
Go-Oo Kaji ritual during the great festival at Hattasan, Temple Sonei-Ji
Shizuoka, January 7
This temple is known for a Kannon Bosatsu to ward off evil.
yakuyoke Kannon 厄除け観音
The Hoin Seal from Kumamoto is used during the ritual.

Look at more photos from the festival
source : hattasan.hamazo.tv


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nagi ningyoo なぎ人形 dolls from sacred nagi wood



the sacred shrine tree (nagi no ki 梛の木 / 凪の木)
Podocarpus nagi
A big tree can grow till 25 meters high and have a circumference of 1.5 meters.

nagi is also a pun on the sound, meaning a windless, peaceful day. Relating to this, the amulet is valuable for a peaceful, quiet home and family. The fishermen use it to pray for a quiet trip.
We also have the deities
the male Izanagi no Mikoto - representing the wind (nagi)
the female Izanami no Mikoto - representing the waves (nami)
They must be together to create something, in this case the country of Japan.


These dolls are made one by one from the fruit of the tree. The priest and shrine maidens paint little eyes and a nose, one by one.
The branches of the tree are very strong and to not break easily when you tear on them, so symbolically they have become an amulet for a good relationship (enmusubi).


The trees are said to have been planted by Taira no Shigemori 平重盛,k when he visited Hayatama Taisha, and have been here for more than 800 years. Their circumference is about 6 meters here in Kumano.
The leaves can ward off evil and many visitors took some as amulets on their way home.


千早振る熊野の宮のなぎの葉を 
実らぬ千代のためしにぞ折る

chihayaburu Kumano no miya no nagi no ha o
minoranu chiyo no tameshi ni zo oru

Waka by Fujiwara no Teika 藤原定家

How hard you may try,
a "nagi" leaf at the Devine Kumano Shrine
never to be torn off side to side.
Doth the bond between a couple
last a thousand years?

Tr. with help from facebook friends



Chihayaburu, Chihaya furu (ちはやぶる/ちはやふる) means "1000 quick shakes".
It refers to the white paper wand (haraigushi) of a Shinto priest, shaken to purify an area and the people before a ceremony.
It is a makurakotoba keyword for poetry, representing the diviniy of a place.

This leaf of the nagi tree can easily be torn along the lines, but not from one side to the other. It makes "little boys cry" to try and tear it this way.
The strength of the leaf is a symbol for the strong bonds between a good couple.



The sacred NAGI tree in the compound of Hayatama Taisha
source : jp/pancho/travel



. Utamakura, place names used in Poetry .
"makura kotoba" 枕詞, 枕言葉, "pillow words"


GoOo at the temple Saidaiji, Okayama
牛玉西大寺寶印 / 枝牛玉 . 牛王串 . 牛玉積み
source : ki_warabi

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新宮の巫女の売りゐる梛の苗
shinguu no miko no uri-iru nagi no nae

the shrine maidens
at Shingu sell it -
seedlings of sacred Nagi


Kameda Yasuko 亀田ヤス子

. shinguu and betsuguu, betsugū 別宮 Betsugu separate shrines .


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himatsuri ningyoo 火祭り人形 dolls from the Nachi fire festival



Nachi no himatsuri 那智の火祭り Fire Festival at Nachi

oogi matsuri 扇祭(おうぎまつり) hand fan festival
kigo for late summer

main festival at Nachi Taisha
July 14.



Click for more photos !

quote
Nachi-no-Hi-Matsuri
Nachi-no-Hi-Matsuri, which is one of the three largest fire festivals of Japan, is staged in the Kumano mountains of Wakayama Prefecture, an area registered as a World Heritage Site.

12 vermilion mikoshi (portable shrines), 6 meters tall, decorated with ogi fans and mirrors, are designed in the image of the Nachi-no-Otaki Falls (the Great Waterfall of Nachi) near the shrine. At the Kumano Nachi-taisha Shrine, the waterfall itself is the object of worship and is regarded as a deity.

During the festival, you can enjoy viewing the mystical scene of 12 huge 50-kg pine torches waved around so very close to these portable shrines that it appears as if the portable shrines are about to be scorched. The enormous pine torches represent the 12 deities dwelling in Kumano as well as the 12 months of the year. For this festival, the 12 deities "come home" to the main waterfall to celebrate. The portable shrines, which are produced in the image of the sacred falls, are filled with the spirits of the 12 gods, and then purified by the fire of the pine torches; in this manner, vitality is enhanced through these sacred rituals, which is one important objective of this festival.

Once the festival starts, people carrying the portable shrines on their shoulders give out loud cries as they run up the steps of the shrine, while people holding the large pine torches dash down the steps to the great applause of the spectators. Then the portable shrines and large pine torches are moved to the falls of Nachi, and here a ritual is performed to pray for the power of the deity of the waterfall to fill the air.

Water falls from a height of 133 meters, and looking up at the falls against the background of primeval forests, you will surely sense an air of sacredness. As it becomes very crowded, we recommend that you arrive at the falls early, before the ritual starts so that you can have a good view of the fire festival.
source : www.jnto.go.jp

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. O-too matsuri 御灯祭, 御燈祭 Torch Fire Festival .
in Shingu at the shrine Kamikura Jinja 和歌山県新宮市の神倉神社.
February 6.
kigo for early spring


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Fudaraku Tokai 補陀落渡海
Taking a boat to the Fudaraku paradise of Kannon

from the shores of Kumano
. yomi 黄泉 "the yellow springs" .










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. Regional Folk Toys from Wakayama .



. WKD : Crow, Raven (karasu カラス / 鴉) .


. Tohoku after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011

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7 comments:

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

taisha, ooyashiro, Ōyashiro 大社 big shrines

.
http://japanshrinestemples.blogspot.jp/2013/05/taisha-big-shrines.html

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kumano shrines in Tohoku
.
第七百三十一話「大洞の熊野神社」 Kumano Jinja
第六百二十三話「山口の熊野堂」
第四百九十九話「佐比内の熊野神社」
第三百五十四話「板沢の熊野神社」
第三百五十三話「平野原の熊野神社」
第三百四十九話「恩徳の熊野神社」
第三百四十七話「中下の熊野神社(菊池の発祥?)」
第三百二十六話「綾織の熊野神社」
第二百二十三話「附馬牛の熊野神社」
.
Tono Jisha Meguri 遠野寺社巡り  temples and shrines in Tono, Iwate

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kumano Taisha 熊野大社 Kumano Shrine
Matsue, Shimane
島根県松江市八雲町熊野2451
Izumo-no-kuni Ichi-no-miya Kumano Taisha
.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Shikoku Henro
Temple 21 Big Dragon Temple
太龍寺 Tairyu-Ji.

Kōbō Daishi performed the Gumonjihō (reciting the Mantra of Kokūzō one million times) at the age of 15 on the summit of Mt. Tairyū.

They have a fuda with the
Kumano-no-gō.
.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Some books about Kumano
collected in our facebook group
(click on the arrows)
.
Gods of Kumano
etc.
.
.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...


karasu 烏と伝説 legends about crow, raven

Gabi Greve said...

Yatagarasunavi.org やたがらすナビ
for Japanese literature, Chinese literature, Chinese philosophy, etc.

日本文学・中国文学・中国哲学とその周辺を扱ったサイトです。
メインメニュー

古典文学電子テキスト検索1)
和漢籍研究ツール検索2)
りぞうむ文学辞典3)
フィード4)
国文学主要雑誌論文情報
中国学主要雑誌論文情報
歴史学主要雑誌論文情報
やたナビTEXT
今昔物語集(本朝世俗部)
松平文庫本『唐物語』:藤原成範
大福光寺本『方丈記』:鴨長明
梅沢本『無名抄』:鴨長明
陽明文庫本『宇治拾遺物語』
尊経閣文庫本『閑居友』:慶政
梅沢本『古本説話集』
宮内庁書陵部本『今物語』:藤原信実
世継物語(小世継)
.
http://yatanavi.org