O-Shichi Kannon



Fudo Myo-O Gallery


O-Shichi Kannon お七観音

At the Temple Tanjo-Ji in Okayama

A bell to warn if there is a fire

As a special temple of the pilgrimage to the 33 Kannon Temples in Central Japan, Tanjo-Ji (Tanjooji) hosts a hall for the Kannon Statue carved by Jigaku Daishi and enshrined here in 1631 by the Lord of Tsuyama.

This statue is now called "O-Shichi Kannon" to remind us of the famous woman "O-Shichi" who started a great fire in the Edo period, where many lives were lost and many temples burnt down. This statue is also for the repose of the soul of O-Shichi herself.




特別霊場 誕生寺 岡山県久米南町


Yaoya no O-Shichi
Greengrocer's Daughter Oshichi

Most people in Japan live in wooden houses. During the Edo era, those houses in Edo (Tokyo) stood much too close together. So if a fire broke out, it could spread rapidly. One of the big fires then was called 'the Big Fire in Tenna' or 'Oshichi-fire'.

Once there lived a greengrocer named Hachibei in Hongo, a town in Edo, with his wife and daughter Oshichi who was then 16 years old. She looked older than her age, though. It was 28th of December 1682, when a fire broke out in a nearby temple.
"Fire! Fire!" people shouted and ran this way and that way trying to make their escape.

Hachibei urged his wife and daughter Oshichi to get out of the house,
"It's getting windier. It must be a big fire. What is worse, our house is standing downwind of the fire. It's dangerous to stay here. Let's evacuate to the Kichijoji Temple."
(It was in Komagome, where their ancestor's grave was.)
"Run faster, or the fire will catch you! Don't stop!" Oshichi was said.
She followed her parents and ran as fast as her legs could move.
The fire started burning around noon and was put out at around five the next morning. It is said that over 3,500 people were killed in the fire.

Kichijoji Temple was already filled with a lot of refugees. The mother happened to see a young man sitting in the corner of the room trying to take a splinter out of his finger. She said to her daughter,
"Oshichi, that young man over there seems to have some troubles. Maybe he got a splinter in his finger. Go and help him take it out, while I greet the priest."
The daughter approached him to offer a help. She took his hand to examine. Soon she said,
"I got it! Are you feeling better?"
He smiled at her and said,
"Yeah, thank you. You helped me a lot."

The young man was working at the temple, as his parents asked the priest to look after him.
Hand in hand, the two young people gazed at each other for a while. Eventually they fell in love.
"Oshichi, Oshichi, I'm coming," the girl's mother called her daughter's name.
"Oh, your name is Oshichi, isn't it? I'm Kichisaburo," he said.
"Kichisaburo? Can I call you Kichi-sama?" the girl said.
"Sure. Uh...I want to know a bit more about you. Please write me a note and put it under that big stone there in the garden," he asked.
"Yeah, I will," she said and went away with her mother.

Oshichi and her parents were forced to stay in the temple until their house was rebuilt. During the days, the girl shared happy hours with the young man exchanging letters secretly. She found a letter written by him under the big rock in the garden and put her own letter there instead.

Continued HERE


External LINK

O-Shichi Kannon at Tanjo-Ji
美作観音霊場 List of the Temples

Photos of Tanjo-Ji

「八百屋お七と吉三の悲恋の碑」Stone Memorial of O-Shichi in Meguro Tokyo


fire and love -
quite a hot topic
for a cold night

More about FIRE and HAIKU


seikaku ga yaoya oshichi de shikuramen

the personality is like
Yaoya O-Shichi ...

京極杞陽 Kyogoku Kiyo (Kyoogoku) (1908 - 1981)

Modern Haiku, tr. by Gabi Greve


My Introduction

Temple Tanjo-Ji and Honen Shonin 法然上人

More of my PHOTOS from Temple Tanjo-Ji 2007

. Kannon Bosatsu 観音菩薩   


1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

the tomb of 八百屋お七 Yaoya Oshichi
in Sashigaya 指ヶ谷 / さしがや in Koishikawa - Edo