Tada Jinja



Daruma Pilgrims Gallery


Shrine Tada Jinja 多太神社
Ishikawa prefecture, Komatsu town 石川県小松市上本折町
多太八幡宮 Tada Hachimangu

Matsuo Basho visited here in 1689, on the 8th of September.
(or 25th of June in the year Genroku 2)
The shrine is very old and goes back to the year 503 and Emperor Keitai Tenno 継体天皇.
Now it is famous for the helmet of Saito Sanemori 斉藤実盛,
who found repose here in 1183.

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Sanemori Saito
(?-1183, June 22), a distinguished samurai in the late Heian Period (794-1185).
Also called "Nagai Betto 長井別当",
Saito Betto Sanemori 斎藤別当実盛

Saito fought at first for the sake of the Minamoto Clan, or Yoshitomo Minamoto (1123-1160) to be precise, who was father of Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1199), the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate. With Yoshitomo's defeat, Saito changed the side and stood by the Taira Clan, the arch-rival of the Minamoto.

At the battle of 1183 in Shinohara, Ishikawa Prefecture, where Saito fought against Yoshinaka Minamoto (1154-1184), Saito was near 70 years old and his hair had turned gray. In order to camouflage his old age or to make himself look young and brave, he had his gray hair dyed black. To his deep regret, however, he was beaten despite his frantic fighting.

Two and a half centuries later, Priest Taiku held religious services at Shinohara near the battleground to propitiate the souls of the war victims. Among the participants was an old samurai, who was not recognizable to anyone but Priest Taiku. The Priest asked the samurai who he was. In a private interview, he identified himself as Sanemori Saito and begged the Priest to hold a requiem mass for him with Nenbutsu chanting. The Priest cordially accepted his request and conducted the Buddhist mass specifically for him in Ji Sect fashion. Saito thanked him sincerely and disappeared in satisfaction. He must finally gone to the Pure Land Paradise.

That's the outline of noh and kabuki play of Sanemori.
© www.asahi-net.or.jp

WKD : Temple Yugyoo-Ji 遊行寺 and Sanemori


. Sanemori matsuri 実盛祭(さねもりまつり)
Sanemori festival, seeing off the bugs (mushiokuri)

kigo for late summer

unka うんか【浮塵子】 leafhopper, leaf hopper
Sanemori mushi 実盛虫 "Sanemori beetle"
kigo for all autumn


Basho in Komatsu,
Station 36 on the "Narrow Road to the North" :

I went to the Tada Shrine located in the vicinity, where I saw Lord Sanemori's helmet and a piece of brocaded cloth that he had worn under his armor. According to the legends, these were given him by Lord Yoshitomo while he was still in the service of the Minamotos.
The helmet was certainly an extraordinary one, with an arabesque of gold crysanthemums covering the visor and the ear plate, a fiery dragon resting proudly on the crest, and two curved horns pointing to the sky. The chronicle of the shrine gave a vivid account of how, upon the heroic death of Lord Sanemori, Kiso no Yoshinaka had sent his important retainer Higuchi no Jiro to the shrine to dedicate the helmet with a letter of prayer.

I am awe-struck
To hear a cricket singing
Underneath the dark cavity
Of an old helmet.

Tr. Yuasa
source: www.terebess.hu


Statue of Basho in the Shrine ground

© PHOTO: www.tcat.ne.jp

むざんやな 甲の下の きりぎりす
muzan ya na kabuto no shita no kirigirisu

how pitiful!
underneath the helmet
a cricket chirping

Tr. Ueda

Alas for mortality!
Underneath the helmet
A grasshopper.

Tr. Keene

Ungraciously, under
a great soldier's empty helmet,
a cricket sings

Tr. Hamill

how tragic and pitiful ...
a grashopper under
his helmet

Tr. Gabi Greve

The cut marker YA is in the middle of line 1, but line 1 is a separate line with respect to the following two.


And this is the famous helmet

© PHOTO : www.hot-ishikawa.jp


Compiled by Larry Bole :
Translating Haiku Forum

Some additional translations:

A more recent one by Ueda:

how piteous!
under the helmet
a cricket

so pitiful--
under the helmet,
a cricket

I am awestruck
To hear a cricket singing
Underneath the dark cavern
Of an old helmet.

"How piteous!"
under the warrior's helmet
the cry of a cricket

What a loss is here:
Beneath the warrior's splendid helmet
A chirping cricket.

under the helmet

What a tragic thing:
'Neath a mighty warrior's helm
Grasshoppers chirruping!

A heartrending sound!
Underneath the helmet
the cricket.

According to Barnhill, an earlier version has the alternate wording for the first phrase (with the same meaning):

ana muzan ya

Shirane points out that the first line of the haiku is taken from a Noh play by Zeami, titled "Sanemori."

According to Shirane:
...a wandering priest travels to Shinohara Village in Kaga, where he encouners an old man who turns out to be the spirit of Sanemori and who narrates the story of his death in battle at that site. In a passage narrated by the ghost, Higuchi Jiroo (d. 1184), one of Yoshinaka's retainers, is summoned to identify the washed, white-haired head of the slain warrior and exclaims, "Oh, how piteous! / It's Saitoo Bettoo!" ("muzan ya na. Saitoo bettoo nite sooraikeru zo ya").

. . .

As Sora's diary reveals, Basho originally composed the hokku as a religious offering (hoonoo) to the Tada Shrine, near Shinohara, the old battlefield where the head of Sanemori had been washed.
[end of excerpt]

Sanemori had dyed his hair black so that his opponents in the battle wouldn't refuse to fight him because he was an old man. When his head was washed, his white hair was revealed.

The commentator Iwata, in Ueda's "Basho and His Interpreters," is quoted as saying:

There have been three different readings. (1) A cricket was actually chirping under the helmet. (2) The poet did not actually hear the cricket but imagined it was chirping when Sanemori was killed. (3) It does not matter whether the cricket was actually chirping at the time. Each reading has its merit, but I can most readily accept the first one.
[end of excerpt]


There is also a MATSUO SHRINE !
Matsuo Jinja 松尾神社

But this shrine is not related to the poet, but to the Matsuo Shrines in Japan.
. Matsuo Taisha 松尾大社 . Kyoto
The deity of the shrine is known as a God of Japanese sake.

So even if people come there to Tada Jinja and the Matsuo shrine to pray for improvement in their haiku writing, this will not help much.

© PHOTO : www.asahi-net.or.jp

. Matsuo Basho visiting Shinto Shrines .   

Oku no Hosomichi - - Station 36 - Komatsu 小松 -


- quote
kabuto 冑 - so written 兜.
A helmet, usually made of iron.
The earliest Japanese helmets were made in the Kofun period. There were two types:
the shoukakutsuki kabuto 衝角付冑 which has a raised front called shoukakubu 衝角部 and a low rim, and the
mabisashitsuki kabuto 眉庇付冑 which is hemispherical with a horizontal visor called *mabisashi 眉庇.
The crown of the helmet is called hachi 鉢, and featured iron strips tomebyou 留鋲 that were tacked to the rim at the back and sides to protect neck *shikoro 錣.

During subsequent centuries the construction of helmets became more complex, and their size increased. This is well illustrated by the hoshikabuto 星冑 (star-helmet) typical of the Kamakura period. Radiating metal strips are fixed to the crown with large tacks. The helmet was often named according to the size, shape and number of the tacks, called hoshi 星.

Representative features of the hoshikabuto are: the high hoe-shaped decoration kuwagata maedate 鍬形前立 with an animal head at the base (see *maedate 前立, *shigami 獅噛); the circular hole in the top centre of the crown tamaberi 玉縁 often used to support other ornaments; a ring of petals *kikuza 菊座 around the tamaberi; a chevron-shaped edge aoibaza 葵葉座 (hollyhock-leaf pedestal) surrounding the kikuza. The number of pointed tips on the aoibaza corresponded to the number of metal strips attached to the crown, and hoshi were used on the tips of the aoibaza.

Strips with leaf-shaped tips were called shinodare 鎬垂 and were sometimes made of gilt-bronze. The hoshikabuto has a visor, cords shimeo 忍緒, and the sides of the rim are inverted *fukikaeshi 吹返. The layers of the rim are numbered, and the names hachitsuke-no-ita 鉢付の板 and hishinui-no-ita 菱縫の板 refer to the highest and lowest layers respectively. The hoshikabuto and its variations continued to be used until the late Muromachi period, although a range of new shapes and styles of helmet appeared.

Examples include: the sujikabuto 筋冑 (veined helmet), popular in the Nanbokuchou period; shiinomigata kabuto 椎実形冑 (acorn-shaped helmet), with a pointed tip; momogatakabuto 桃形冑 (peach-shaped helmet), a helmet influenced by western European models with a ridge along the top; eboshi 烏帽子, derived from Nara period hats of lacquered paper ichinotani kabuto 一の谷冑 (single-valley helmet), said to be named after the steep valley Ichinotani 一の谷 in Hyougo prefecture.

In Buddhist sculpture, male guardian deities *ten 天 are depicted in helmets. Two distinct styles can be seen; the first, found on Heian and pre-Heian figures is strongly influenced by Chinese helmets. The helmet fits closely over the head, and can be seen on the Jikokuten ryuuzou 持国天立像 in Toudaiji 東大寺, Nara. The second style, predominant from the Kamakura period is illustrated by Konpiraou 金比羅王 in Rengeouin 蓮華王院, Kyoto. It is much larger, elevated up, off the head to the point where the hair is visible. It has a visor.
source : JAANUS


. kabuto ningyoo かぶと人形 dolls with helmets .
Musha ningyoo 武者人形 Samurai Dolls for the Boy's Festival




Anonymous said...

Another version:

How pitiful it is,
To hear a cricket chirping
Underneath the helmet!

[Toshiharu Oseko - "Basho's Haiku", page 176]

I noticed that Gabi san and Britton translate "kirigirisu" by "grasshopper". Toshiharu Oseko explains:

"In those days, kirigirisu meant today's "koorogi": a cricket, Grylloidea. Today's kirigirisu is a long-horned grasshopper, or Japanese katydid, Gampsocleis buergeri."


Gabi Greve said...

At 淡路 Awaji there was a temple with the ihai 位牌 Buddhist mortuary tablet of 斉藤実盛 Saito Sanemori.
On its back side were the letters SAMUHARA.
サムハラ sa mu ha ra - letters of a divine amulet