7/13/2008

Konpira Daigongen

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Fudo Myo-O Gallery

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Konpira Daigongen . 金毘羅大権現
(こんぴらだいごんげん) Kompira Daigongen,
Konbira Daigongen, Kombira Daigongen, Kompira Gongen

Shrine Kotohira, Kotohiragu (Kotohira Guu) 琴平宮


This deity is often simply called "Kompira San" こんぴらさん.
It is the Hindu deity Kum-bhira, Kumbhira (クンビーラ).



Konpira Daigongen is Kubira Taishou of the Twelve Yakushi Generals, or the same deity of Kinbira Taishou.
Konbira originally means a kind of crocodiles, becoming a head of demon deity, he was the divine protection of Oushari-jou (the castle of Buddha). It is famous that he descended to Matsuoji-temple in Sanuki (present Kagawa) and became the divine protection the sea.

source: www.butuzou.co.jp . Kurita

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Buddhist Syncretism in Japan

... at Mount Kompira, by affinity of name with its sea god, the Buddhist guardian Kumbhira, originally a Hindu crocodile god of the Ganges River, was said to have flown to Japan and became Kompira. He was accompanied by Elephant's Head Mountain near Bodh Gaya, which figures in the hagiography of the Buddha. Mount Kompira does resemble an elephant's head, although not as much as conventionalized views by Hiroshige and other artists. Given the animism of mountain worship, various divinities could be perceived in Hindu fashion as riders on their mounts. Beyond being a crocodile god, suitable to protect seafarers, Kompira was elevated to a Great Incarnation of the Buddha (daigongen).

Anthropomorphic iconography exists of Kompira Daigongen riding the mountain in the form of a white elephant - a creature associated with the Buddha, having served also as the mount of the ancient Hindu god Indra.

In time the Shinto-Buddhist hybrid Kompira Daigongen became identified with the Shinto kami of Mount Kompira, O-kuni-nushi-no-mikoto, one of the founding gods of Japan who was vaguely associated with crocodiles in the White Hare of Inaba myth in the Kojiki. A component from Chinese culture was later assimilated with the identification of the Buddhist and Shinto divinities atop Mount Kompira, with Daikokuten in the guise of one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune. In iconography he carries a bag like the kami O-kuni-nushi, with "Daikoku" a double pun on the Chinese characters for "O-kuni."

Two more triads can be documented. The second on Mount Kompira is an Eastern Pure Land Triad of the Medicine Buddha Yakushi Nyorai as ruler, Kompira Daigongen as delegate, and Fugen Bosatsu as attendant. Here Fugen (Sanskrit: Samantabhadra Bodhisattva) rides a white elephant in iconography and has been closely associated with the Shingon Buddhist temple on Mount Kompira.

Read the full article HERE
source :  Steve McCarty


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This statue is about 70 cm high.
It is carved from plain camphor tree wood.


© PHOTO : shouryu.com

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金刀比羅宮 Konpira Shrine
香川県仲多度郡琴平町892-1


quote
Kotohira-gū Shrines 金刀比羅宮.
Kotohira shrines can be found throughout Japan. Synonymous with Konpira 金比羅 shrines, Kompira 金比羅 shrines, Hitohira 琴平 shrines, or Kotohira 琴平 shrines.
They are devoted to Konpira 金比羅, a local kami 神 (deity) worshipped as the guardian deity for seafarers, navigation, fishing, and water for agriculture. Konpira's Buddhist counterpart is Kubira 宮毘羅, the leader of Yakushi Buddha's Twelve Heavenly Generals (Jūni Shinshō 十二神将), and also one of the Sixteen Protectors of Shaka Nyorai (Jūroku Zenshin 十六善神).

The main shrine is situated on Mt. Zōzusan 象頭山, a maritime location in Kagawa Prefecture (Shikoku Island), where locals fondly call the deity and shrine "Konpira-san" or "Konpira Daigongen" and claim his cult dates back centuries before the introduction of Buddhism to Japan.

- Mark Schumacher -


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an amulet in the golden color of happiness
幸福の黄色いお守り




kootsuu anzen 交通安全 amulet for traffic safety




Konpira Inu こんぴら狗 the Dog of Konpira

Some people from Edo, who could not afford to visit so far as Shikoku, put some money around their dog's neck and sent it off with friendly pilgrims to make the pilgrimage (Konpira mairi こんぴら参り) on their behalf. The dogs would follow some other pilgrims and came back with a little amulet from Konpira to show they had made it.
(The story of a dog making the pilgrimage for his master is also told at other shrines and temples throughout Japan.)


Now there is even a children's picture book with the story of
Hashire GON 走れゴン


Homepage of the Shrine
source : www.konpira.or.jp


. Migawari 身代わ御守 amulet from Konpira .

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Visit Kotohira !
Folk Stories about
Oshisha-guchi
Chopstick washing place for Tengu
A story about “Teppo-man”
Stone steps climbing up to the Kotohira Shrine

Carpenter specialized in Shrines and Dharma

A long time ago, a carpenter who specialized in shrines was asked to conduct a big project. Because of the huge responsibility of the project, he was at a loss as to what to do, and thought of it over days and nights.
One night, he had a dream of a divine message,
“Carve statues of Dharma from a pine tree and meditate, and something good will happen to you.”
Therefore, he started carving Dharma statues and kept looking at them every day.
After following the divine message, he eventually was able to feel at ease, and his work went very well. As a result, he was able to complete the whole construction project of the Asahi-no-yashiro Shrine.
Since then, Dharma statues have been carved to help people in trouble. Today, they are regarded as a good souvenir of Kotohira.
source : town.kotohira.kagawa.jp



Kotohira Daruma 琴平だるま
Sanuki Daruma 讃岐だるま



. Konpira mairi 金比羅参り pilgrimage .
with a rucksack-like wooden box 笈摺 oizuri with a tengu mask.


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More in the Daruma Museum Library

During the eighteenth century, as the imperial house began to gain in stature, people identified Konpira Daigongen with the twelfth-century emperor Sutokuin, thereby associating the powers of the god with both the imperial house and with the supernatural powers of tengu, for both Sutokuin and the seventeenth-century priestly reviver of Mt. Zôzu were envisioned in the popular imagination as such winged, long-nosed creatures...
Meiji Civilization and the Politics of Shinto at Kotohira Shrine
Sarah Thal (Rice University) 2002


My Visit to Konpira San in Shikoku..
Kompira San and Daruma San 金毘羅さんと達磨さん
Kompira Kabuki, The Kanemaru Theater
Sanukibori 讃岐彫り Carving from Sanuki Area
..... and
The Ships for Kompira Shrine
金毘羅船々 Kompira Fune, Fune
a famous song about this shrine.



Konpira Daigongen 金毘羅大権現

Gongen Deities of Japan


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These barrels with the first sake of the season were but on the boats in the Edo time and then thrown into the sea as an offering to the deity. Some were washed back to the shore and whoever found them had to bring them to the shrine.
This was the famous daisan 代参 of the Kotohira cult.


- - - - - Kobayashi Issa

おんひらひら金比羅声よ冬の月
on-hirahira- kompira koe yo fuyu no tsuki

om bright god
Kompira....that voice! --
winter moon

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku is from the 11th month (December) of 1815, when Issa was traveling around in the area just east of Edo. In the first half of the hokku Issa quotes a mantra chanted for the god Kompira, a deity believed to protect the Dharma and to be an avatar of the bodhisattva Kannon. Perhaps Issa hears the voice of someone chanting the mantra to Kompira, and he also hears another silent hirahira, onomatopoeia for something that is either gleaming or fluttering. For a moment the mantra also seems to be coming from the bright, shining moon, as if the hirahira ("bright") in the mantra were visually "spoken" by the bright light the moon gives off. Kompira isn't connected with moon worship, so perhaps Issa is remembering that the moon is often used as an image to represent Kannon. Or he may simply be praising Kompira by suggesting that even the moon visually, in a silent "voice," repeats Kompira's mantra.

In Issa's time the big main shrine to the god Kompira on the island of Shikoku was located inside the precincts of a Buddhist temple of the Tantric Shingon sect, Matsuoji Temple. Issa made a pilgrimage to this temple-shrine complex in 1794, and at that time he surely heard the whole Kompira mantra being chanted: on-hirahira-kompira-kontei-sowaka. The opening on is Sanskrit om, and the hirahira is probably a reference to the fact that the god's name is actually Kotohira -- Kompira was a popular nickname later created by his many believers around the country. The mantra also has striking soundplay in it and should be spoken out loud: the h- in hira changes to p- after the -m in Kompira, and this -m sound itself echoes the initial on, while kom- is then echoed by kon-. The origin of this popular mantra seems to be unknown, but its sound was no doubt impressive to pilgrims who sang it out while they visited the shrine. By the time Issa visited the shrine, the mantra was well established, and he used it in a hokku:

on-hirahira choo mo kompira mairi kana

om a butterfly
fluttering pilgrim
at Kompira shrine



In Issa's time millions of people hoped to make at least one pilgrimage to the Kompira Shrine. The god-avatar Kompira was believed to protect fishermen and sailors, bring rain for farmers, and bring good fortune in general, and in cities and towns across Japan people formed Kompira kou or associations, to which they made contributions. Few people actually had the time or money to go on long pilgrimages, so the members pooled their money and chose one person each year to visit the main Kompira Shrine in faraway Shikoku and represent all the other members of the association there. Sailors were also usually to busy to make pilgrimages, so when their boats sailed passed the shrine, which is on the top of a mountain overlooking the Inland Sea, they would throw a cask of sake into the sea with a message on it as an offering to Kompira. Anyone who found a cask washed ashore and delivered it to the god at the shrine was believed to share in the god's blessing. Issa refers to this custom in a hokku in 1818:

meigetsu ya on-hirahira no nagashi-daru

harvest moon --
a cask floating ashore
for Kompira


On-hirahira is part of the mantra chanted the god Kompira, but Issa is in the mountainous area near his hometown, so the cask of sake couldn't literally be washed ashore near the Kompira Shrine. Issa seems to be drinking sake with the other villagers as they stay up and toast the full moon, and he seems to be taking the bright, gleaming (hirahira) moon to be a great cask of sake that he hopes will carry his prayer to Kompira.

In the 12th month (January) of 1817 Issa again evokes the Kompira mantra, and he uses hirahira in both its senses of fluttering and gleaming:

金比羅の幟ひらひら冬の月
kompira no nobori hirahira fuyu no tsuki

Kompira's bright
banners fluttering --
winter moon


Issa is in Edo and perhaps visits the big Kompira Shrine at Toranomon in Edo, which put up many tall, narrow banners, or perhaps he sees banners of the god fluttering in the bright moonlight in front of a Kompira Association meeting. Both the banners and moonlight seem to embody Kompira's mantra.

Chris Drake


. Kobayashi Issa in Edo .  

Issa travelled to Western Japan most probably in memory of Matsuo Basho, who could not do this trip in his own lifetime. 


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kigo for late autumn

Kotohira matsuri 金刀比羅祭 (ことひらまつり)
Kompira Festival / 金毘羅祭

October 9 to 11
The Annual Grand Festival of Kotohiragu Shrine
the 400 year old Omiyuki festival is held at Kotohiragu Shrine.
On the night of the 10th, 500 participants carry a mikoshi shrine 2 km to the otabisho where it is housed. During the route, they run down 785 steps in a single dash to the delight and amazement of the tens of thousands of visitors.
source : tourism shikoku.org




quote
Did noodle restaurants exist 300 years ago?
The oldest historical reference to Sanuki udon is a drawing on a 300-year-old folding screen. Konpira Sairei-zu,
("Festival drawings from the shrine of Konpira, the guardian deity of seafarers") a possession of the oldest shrine Konpiragu, is mounted on a folding screen and depicts in detail the temple town of that time.

Three udon-ya restaurants are clearly depicted. At that time, udon-ya restaurants existed in large cities such as Tokyo and Osaka. That the temple town of Konpiragu had udon-ya noodle restaurants during this period reveals that Sanuki enjoyed a developed udon culture from an early period.
source : www.pref.kagawa.jp/menpaku


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kigo for mid-winter

osame no Konpira 納の金毘羅 (おさめのこんぴら)
last visit to the Konpira shrine

. . . . . shimai Konpira 終金毘羅(しまいこんぴら)

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kigo for the New Year

hatsu Konpira 初金昆羅 (はつこんぴら)
first visit to the Kompira shrine

..... 初金刀比羅(はつことひら)
hatsu tooka 初十日(はつとおか) first visit on the tenth


. SAIJIKI - Observances and Festivals .

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egao genki kun 笑顔元気くん 金刀比羅宮 for a smiling face

. MORE - egao omamori 笑顔お守り for a smiling face .

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. Oohirayama, Temple Konpira-In 大平山 金毘羅院 .
Kurayoshi, Tottori


O-Fudo Sama Gallery


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5 comments:

Gabi Greve said...

Osame no Konpira 納の金毘羅 (おさめのこんぴら)
Last Ceremony at the shrine Konpira

..... shimai Konpira 終金毘羅(しまいこんぴら)

kigo for mid-winter

Gabi Greve - Facebook said...

- Japan Times -
Travel tours for stuffed toys a hit with the elderly, disabled
TOKUSHIMA –
Elderly and disabled people, as well as those too busy to travel, haven taken to booking holiday tours for their stuffed toys.

Ecocoro Tokushima, a supplier of nursing care products based in the town of Itano, Tokushima Prefecture, organizes these tour packages, which come complete with photographs of the toys posing at popular tourist hots pots.

Tours offered by the company’s Sudachi Travel division include a visit to three of the 88 temples associated with the Buddhist monk Kukai on the Shikoku pilgrimage trail, which costs ¥2,160, and a trip to the Naruto whirlpools by high-speed boat, priced at ¥3,980.
...
ecocolo -
ecocoro Tokushima エココロ
徳島県板野郡 板野町大坂古田21
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Gabi Greve said...

Honmyozan Konpira Shrine, Arifuku

Honmyozan is a 412 meter high mountain behind Arifukuonsen. On top of the mountain is the Konpira Shrine.
Mountaintop shrines are a development of medieval Japan. In ancient Japan the tops of mountains were reserved for the gods to alight upon, and shrines were placed at the base of mountains. It's not uncommon to find Konpira shrines on mountaintops. Atago are other shrines that are commonly found on mountaintops.

Read on with Jake Ojisan
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http://ojisanjake.blogspot.jp/2009/01/honmyozan-konpira-shrine-arifuku.html
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Gabi Greve said...

Matsuyama kagami 松山鏡 The Mirror from Matsuyama

in a version from Okayama

ama no chuusai 尼の仲裁 the mediation of a nun

Once upon a time
there lived a young couple in a small farming village. When his father died, the young man was very sad and prayed all day at home in front of the family altar and at the graveyard, forgetting to do the field work.
So his wife reprimanded him after the 47th day of official mourning was over and suggested, he might make a pilgrimage to Konpira san and then come back refreshed for work.
. . .
http://omamorifromjapan.blogspot.jp/2015/05/matsuyama-mirror-legend.html
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Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Kagawa 香川県 

Once uopon a time
an old woman was on her way back from a pilgrimage to Konpira san and walked through the valley 五重谷, when a red cow came running after her. The old woman became quite scared and thought this must be a monster, so she hid in the forest. The red cow eventually disappeared, but to pray for its soul people built a small statue of Jizo Bosatsu at this spot.

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http://omamorifromjapan.blogspot.jp/2015/05/legends-red-cow-akaushi.html
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