Benten Benzaiten

. 弁天と伝説 Legends about Benten .


Fudo Myo-O Gallery


Benten, Benzaiten 弁天 弁財天

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Benten on a dragon

She is also sometimes mixed up with the God of Water.
In India, the sound of her lute is said to evoke the sound of a flowing river and thus provide rain for the dry areas.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Goddess of Music, Poetry, Learning, & Art
River Goddess, Patron of Children
Protector of the Nation

Shinto Association = Kami Itsukushima Hime 厳島姫命

The sea goddess Benzaiten is the sole female among the Seven Lucky Gods of Japan. Her temples and shrines are almost invariably in the neighborhood of water -- the sea, a river, or a pond. She is the patroness of music, the fine arts (dancing, acting, visual), and good fortune in general, and is often shown carrying a biwa (Japanese mandolin) or playing a lute.

She is often represented as a beautiful woman with the power to assume the form of a serpent, or shown seated on a dragon or serpent and playing a lute. In fact, the snake is almost always associated with Benzaiten, who was originally a Hindu deity (Sarasvati) who represented learning, music and poetry. Such artistic learning and wisdom often bring prosperity, hence her inclusion in the Japanese group of seven luckies. She also has a jewel that grants desires. Some say it is a jade, while others say it is a pearl.

Read more about her here:
Mark Schumacher : Benzaiten

source : green shinto facebook
Benten at Chikubushima 竹生島 in lake Biwa

. Vasant Panchami festival .
A Hindu festival celebrating Saraswati,
the goddess of knowledge, music and art.


Offering raw eggs Festival

at Zeniarai Benten 銭洗弁天, Kamakura on the first day of the snake in the new year.
Mi no Kamisama 巳の神様 Snake Deity

Benten is related to the God of Snakes and Serpents, and the favorite food of this animal are eggs. So at the shops around Zeniarai Benten they sell boiled eggs as offerings, to have your wish come true.

弁天卵(ゆで卵)Benten Yudetamago
"Benten Boiled Eggs" are served at some Benten shrines on the evening of December 31, then people line up to ring the bell into the New Year.

Eggs as offerings to the deities

CLICK for more photos

Uga Benzaiten 宇賀弁財天,
a deity of good fortune and wealth. Most sources believe Ugajin is none other than Uga no Mitama, the Shinto goddess of foodstuffs mentioned in Kojiki and Nihongi, two of Japan's earliest records. Uga no Mitama is also commonly identified with a male counterpart named Uka no Mitama, the deity of grains. This Shinto pair are further identified with Inari, the parent Shinto god/goddess of rice and agriculture, who is identified with a white fox as his/her messenger.

Benzaiten / Mark Schumacher

. Uga no Mitama no Kami 宇賀御魂神 .
at 梅園身代り天満宮 Umezono Migawari Tenmangu Shrine

Ugajin 宇賀神
at temple Mimuroto-Ji 三室戸寺 Uji, Kyoto


Daruma Museum

. The Water God, Sui-jin Suijin 水神,
Sui-ten Suiten水天

More details about the Water Deities and Snakes

. Shichi-Fukujin 七福神 Seven Gods of Good Luck


Benten kozoo 弁天小僧 Benten Kozo
"'Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami'"
Shiranami Gonin Otoko(白浪五人男)
The Lad Benten (one of the five famous thiefs)
. . . CLICK here for colorful Photos !
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Benten Fuku-ume 弁天福梅 Benten Lucky Plum wine

Benten musume 弁天娘 "Lady Benten"
a brand of sake ricewine
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Sweets from Zeniarai Benten Kamakura

"the fountain of money" 銭洗いの泉
They come in the form of old coins.


ningyooyaki 人形焼き waffles
Dough filled with sweet bean paste, pressed in the form of the Seven Gods of Good Luck, including our Benzaiten.

Ningyooyaki, ningyoyaki 人形焼 figure waffles
(also with Daruma san)

take a bite
from the Benten face -
good luck for you


Benten dorei 弁天 土鈴 clay bell

Benten ema 弁財天 絵馬 votive tablet

Benten hariko 弁天 張子 papermachee doll

Benten omamori 弁天 お守り Benten amulets

. Shichifukujin 七福神 - Amulets .


bijin Benten 美人弁天 Benten for Beauty
Itsukushima Shrine, 厳島神社
栃木県足利市本城2丁目1855 - Tochigi, Ashikaga

Akashi Benten 明石弁天

Ashikaga is "the Land of Beauties".
This shrine relates back to 1056, to Akashi hime 明石姫 Princess Akashi
She was a beautiful, gentle woman, protecting her husband 源八幡太郎義家 Minamoto no Yoshiie Hachimantaro, as best as she could.

. Minamoto no Yoshiie Hachimantaro 源八幡太郎義家
Hachimantarō, Hachiman Taro .

. Hidaka Jinja 日高神社 Hidaka Shrine . - and Hachimantaro in Mizusawa, Iwate

- - - HP of the shrine :
Her amulets grant beauty, good health and a long life.
This is the only shrine in Japan that grants a
certificate for "Beauty". 美人証明.

Amulet from Bijin Benten 美人弁天お守り

Beauty paper for your face, 美人弁天あぶらとり紙

Amulet to become a smiling beauty and mother.
- source : bijinbenten.com

. biyoo jisha 美容寺社 praying for beauty .


pokkuri Benten ポックリ弁天 / ぽっくり弁天 
Benten granting a sudden death

Seneiji 専栄寺  / 専榮寺 Senei-Ji, Shingon sect
千葉県佐倉市臼井, Chiba, Sakura town, Obukai 498-2

A small sanctuary in the temple compound.

In the temple compound is also a small sanctuary for five Shinto deities 五社様
Oosugi Jinja 大杉神社 Osugi Jinja
大己貴命 Oanamuji no mikoto , 天照大神 Amaterasu Oomikami, 倉稲魂命 Uka no Mitama no Mikoto (Uganomitama), 埴安姫命 Haniyasu Hime 、少彦名命 Sukunahikona no mikoto.

. pokkuri  ぽっくり amulets for a sudden death, "drop dead" .

- quote
A tutelary kami of earth.
According to an "alternate writing" recorded in Nihongi, Haniyasu no kami was produced by Izanagi and Izanami after they had completed giving birth to the "Great Eight-Island Country" (Ōyashimaguni). The name haniyasu is thought to mean "to knead earth so as to make it soft." Kojiki relates that the two kami Haniyasubiko no kami and Haniyasubime no kami were produced from Izanami's feces.
Kami with similar names include Haniyamahiko and Haniyamabime, two kami thought to have the same divine virtues and powers (shintoku), and which are collectively known by the name Haniyasu no kami.
Haniyasu no kami is worshiped even today alongside other deities, frequently on the occasion of groundbreaking rituals (jichinsai).
- source : Nakayama Kaoru, Kokugakuin 2005



kigo for the NEW YEAR

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hatsu Benzaiten 初弁財天(はつべんざいてん)
first visit to a Benten shrine

..... hatsu Benten 初弁天(はつべんてん) "first Benten"

fuse mairi 布施参(ふせまいり)
visit a Benten shrine(mairi) and make an offering (fuse)

hatsu mi 初巳 (はつみ) "first snake"
first day of the snake

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Minoo no tomi 箕面の富 (みのおのとみ)
lottery at Minoo

Mino no tomi

Minoo san Benzaiten mairi 箕面山弁財天参(みのおさんべんざいてんまいり)/ 辨財天
Visiting Benten at Mount Minoo

otomi hoo-e 御富法会(おとみほうえ)
Minoo tomitsuki 箕面富突(みのおとみつき)
picking a lottery ticket in Minoo

ichi no tomi 一の富(いちのとみ)first lottery win
ni no tomi 二の富(にのとみ)second lottery win
san no tomi 三の富(さんのとみ)third lottery win

tomifuda 富札(とみふだ)lottery ticket
..... o-tomi san お富さん(おとみさん)

Minoo City is located near Osaka, between Kyoto and Kobe.
At the temple Ryuan-Ji (Ryuuanji, Rooanji 箕面山滝安寺吉祥院) there is a famous lottery every year, since the Nara period. There are also poems of the Kamakura period about this lottery.
People buy a ticket (tomikuji宝くじ), write their name on it and put it in a box. When all have finished, a priest sticks a sharp pole in the box to pick out the first ticket, the BIG LUCK, daifuku 大福.
The person who won the first ticked now had to rush home without sleeping on the way, to ensure the good luck would not diminish.
The winning tickets bring good luck in business, health for the whole family and good fortune in general. They were considered as a good luck talisman 大福御守 from the temple.
The second and third winning lottery ticket were also considered very auspicious.

Other temples later imitated this kind of lottery, but when it became "big business", the government of the Eod period forbid it. Still, lottery was carried out secretly.

Taiyuuji no tomi 太融寺の富 lottery at temple Taiyu-Ji
At the Benten hall 弁天社 of this temple tomikuji 富籤 were sold.
At this shrine lots for the female Benten and the male Ox deity Go-Oo 牛王 were sold.

The wish was for
shichinan sokumetsu shichifuku sokushoo
sevenfold harm to leave
sevenfold luck to come

This expression is also related to
the Seven Gods of Good Luck.

. Somin Shorai Fu 蘇民将来符 Somin Shorai Amulets .

i no kumi no ichiban tomi no Taiyuuji

the first lot
from the I-group lottery
at temple Taiyu-Ji

Ariyama Takehiko 有山武彦

. tomikuji, takarakuji 宝くじ / 富籤 lottery .
- Introduction -


momiji tenpura もみじ天ぷら/ 紅葉の天ぷら
tempura from maple leaves

From Mino Town
and the history of temple Ryuan-Ji 箕面山瀧安寺

Nowadays,the Great Festival of Benzaiten at the temple Ryuan-Ji is on October 10.


Benzaiten Shrine at Inokashira in Snow by Hiroshige

one breath...
outside the window
winter clouds

- Shared by Jimmy ThePeach -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013


almost over
this year of the snake, still
I pray to Benzaiten

Angelee Deodhar - December 2013


source : Ukiyo-e & sumi-e, facebook

Aoigaoka Keisei (1818-1844) 葵岡渓栖


Benten (Benzaiten; Saravasti)Ben-Ten
Feld- und Flußgöttin der alten indischen Mythologie. Wasser war in Indien eine Kostbarkeit und mit dem Saiteninstrument BIWA wurde versucht, die Geräusche von plätscherndem Wasser nach~zu~ahmen. Daher hat Benten oft eine Biwa (Lautenart) in den Armen und wurde später in Japan zur Göttin der Musik, Literatur und Sprachgewandheit; auch Reichtum, Gesundheit und langes Leben.
Als Gottheit der Künste auch folgende Bezeichnungen: Bionten 美音天, Myooonten 妙音天, Myooten Ongaku 妙音天音楽, Daibenten 大弁天, Daibenzaiten 大弁才天, Daiben Kudokuten 大弁功徳天, Daibenzai Kudokuten 大弁才功徳天.

Die shintooistische Version der Benten ist die Gottheit Itsukushima Hime no Mikoto.
Zur Vermehrung des Reichtums wird Geld in einem Teich der Benten gewaschen (Zeniarai Benten 銭洗弁財天) oder ein altes Goldstück (koban 小判) in der Geldbörse aufbewahrt.

Da es sich um eine Wassergottheit handelt, liegen ihre Tempel oft am oder im Wasser, nur drei große Anlagen in Japan liegen allerdings direkt auf Inseln:
Itsukushima Schrein auf Miyajima bei Hiroshima; 厳島神社
Tempel Hoogonji  宝厳寺 auf der Insel Chikubujima im Biwasee und 竹生島
in den Grotten von Enoshima bei Kamakura. 江ノ島

Der Bote der Benten ist eine Schlange; eine Geldbörse aus Schlangenleder ist besonders begehrt.

Wahrscheinlich identisch mit der Wassergottheit Ugajin 宇賀神 (Menschenkopf mit Schlangenleib). Es gilt folgende Assoziationsreihe des Glaubens:
Benten ... Wassergottheit ... Schlangenleib mit Menschenkopf ... Schlange ... Drachen.

Ab Kamakura-Zeit Benzaiten genannt und als Göttin für Wohnen, Essen, Trinken und Reichtümer verehrt; ab Muromachi-Zeit auch eine der sieben Glücksgötter.

Herabhängende Haare oder Knoten. Im aufgesteckten Haar ein weiterer Kopf oder eine Schlange mit Menschenkopf (Ugajin).

Älteste Formen mit acht Armen (Happi Benten 八臂弁財天):
mit Pfeil, Bogen, Schwert, Axt, Donnerkeil, Stab, Rad der Lehre und wunscherfüllendem Juwel. Es gibt sechs berühmte Benten-Statuen mit acht Armen, eine davon befindet sich als Geheim-Figur in Enoshima.
Japanische Variation seit der Kamakura-Zeit bzw. Edo-Zeit:
7. Glücksgöttin als nackte weiße Frauengestalt mit einer Biwa. Die nackte Gestalt wurde manchmal mit reichen Frauengewändern umhangen.

Besondere Form:

Benten mit 15 Knaben (Juugo Dooji)
Benten ist von 15 Knaben in chinesischen Gewändern umgeben. Diese Knaben haben besondere Gegenstände bzw. Merkmale:

Aikyô Dôji 愛敬 : Pfeil und Bogen.
Gyuba Dôji 牛馬 : Ochs und Pferd.
Hanki Dôji 飯櫃 : Auf dem Kopf ein Gefäß mit Reis.
Hikken Dôji 筆硯 : Pinsel und Tuschestein.
Inyaku Dôji 印鑰 : Im rechten Winkel gebogener Schlüssel.
Ishô Dôji (Inyaku) 印鑰 : Mit zusammengelegten Kleidungsstücken.
Juusha Dôji 従者 : Drei Juwele.
Kantai Dôji 官帯 : Gürtel für Festlichkeiten.
Keishô Dôji 計升 : Viereckiges Reismaß.
Konzai Dôji 金財: Waage zum Goldwiegen.
Sanyô Dôji 蠶養 : Gefäß mit Seidenraupen.
Sensha Dôji 船車 : Schiff und Lastkarren.
Shômyô Dôji 生命 : Schwert und Juwel.
Shusen Dôji 酒泉 : Krug mit Reiswein.
Tôchuu Dôji 稻籾 : Reisballen.
Zenzai Dôji 善財 : Sack (mit Goldstaub).

Aikyô Dôji ist wahrscheinlich eine Version des Cupid.

Zenzai Dôji als eigenständige Figur wird im Kegon-Sutra erwähnt. Er ist das reinherzige Kind einer wohlhabenden Familie. Als er die Lehre des Monju Bosatsu hörte, bekehrte er sich und studierte unter Monju. Er errang großes Wissen und erlangte schließlich die Erleuchtung. Es gibt Abbildungen in Mandalaform dieser Lebensgeschichte des Zenzai Dooji seit der späten Heian-Zeit (Kegon Kaie Zenchishikizu Mandara 華厳海絵善知識曼荼羅).
. . . CLICK here for Zenzai Doji Photos !

Jeder dieser 15 Knabenfiguren ist als ursprüngliche Gestalt ein Nyorai, ein Bosatsu und ein Ten zugeordnet.

Gabi Greve
. Buddhastatuen ... Who is Who
Ten  天  (Devas)

The Seven Gods of Good Luck and Daruma san
The Eight Gods of Good Luck from Seya 瀬谷八福神


Gyuuba Dooji 牛馬童子(ぎゅうばどうじ)
at Hashiori Pass, Kumano 箸折(はしおり)峠
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Gyuba Doji (a boy riding on ox and horse)
is a stone statue located in back of Hokyointo (stone stupa) in Hashiori Pass on the Nakahechi route of the Kumano Ancient Road. The statue is only 50 cm tall but it is a symbol of the Nakahechi route.

Next to it stands the statue of En no Gyoja, the founder of mountain practice. It is said that the figure represents the tragic Emperor Kazan on the pilgrimage to Kumano Shrine. Emperor Kazan ascended the Imperial throne at a young age in the middle of the Heian period (794-1192) but was tricked into abdicating by the Fujiwara family’s conspiracy. After his abdication, he became a Buddhist priest and was given the appellation of Hoo (pious ex-emperor).

The name of the pass, Hashiori (literally meaning “breaking chopsticks”), is derived from the old story that when the emperor’s party had a meal at this place, they broke stems of Japanese pampas grass and used them in place of chopsticks.
Gyuba Doji statue keeps on giving a gentle look to the pilgrims on the Nakahechi route.
source : nippon-kichi.jp


On June 20, 2008, citizens of Tanabe City learned of the defacing of the statue known as “Hashiori Pass Gyubadoji.” The Chinese characters for Gyubadoji can be separated into the parts – Gyu meaning cow, ba meaning horse, and doji meaning a child (in this instance, the young Ex-emperor, Kazan-in). This statue is on the Nakahechi section of the Kumano Kodo World Heritage pilgrimage route and is often used as a symbol of the Kumano Kodo. This pilgrimage trail stretches from Kyoto to Nachi in the south of Wakayama Prefecture with the Nakahechi area.

Gyubadoji is on the first section of the route after it turns inland towards the first of three grand shrines, Kumano Hongu Taisha. It is little more than a twenty minute hike from the main highway leading to Hongu-cho and Kumano Grand Taisha, and it is a relatively easy hike which is popular with visitors to Kumano.
The statue was defaced with the head of Kazan-in, a retired emperor from the 10th century, being taken.
source : kumanokodoguides.blogspot.com


ema from shrine Hakone Jinja 箱根神社


Torii in front of a Benten sanctuary are very popular, although torii are usually only found at the entrance of a Shinto shrine.

Torii are also found at the entrance of sanctuaries dedicated to the group of TEN 天部, the devas, many of them coming as deities from India.


. Noten Okami 脳天大神 .
at 龍王院 Ryuo-In - Dragon God Shrine, Yoshino, Kinpusenji 金峯山寺 

O-Fudo Sama Gallery

. 弁天と伝説 Legends about Benten .

- #benten #benzaiten -


anonymous said...

It's a great education each time I visit the museum, Gabi san

Gabi Greve said...

Toro Benten TORO BENTEN とろ弁天

Temple Ryohoji 了法寺

Gabi Greve - facebook said...

Kumarendra Mallick wrote-

Sarswati puja or Basant Panchami

Today is Saraswati puja. Saraswati is the goddess of learning, wisdom, art, culture, dance and music. Seated on a white lotus, the goddess is believed to have 'veena', a musical instrument used till today, in her hand and is therefore known as Veenapani (pani means hand).
In Indian calendar it is Basant Panchami, Basant means spring and panchami is the fifth day. This is the birthday of the goddess.

A very auspicious day, the kids are taught to learn the alphabets. New projects are taken up on this day. In school, colleges and different centres of art and culture, very elaborate puja (worship) is performed in honour of the goddess. In every musical concerts the artists pay their obeisance at the beginning of the programme. The poets and writers worship goddess Saraswati everyday.

Let us pray and offer our puja to her for the benefit of the mankind. May she grant us wisdom, learning and may we improve upon our skills in art, culture, dance and other artist pursuits.

goddess of learning --
may the poets get drowned in
the ocean of wisdom


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Aikyô Dôji, Aikyoo Dooji 愛敬童子 Aikyo Doji - one of the 15 attendants of Benten with bow and arrow.
He represents military class and also the god of love 敬愛和合.
His mantra is
おんぎヤぎヤりぎヤぎヤり そわか

He is also called Sekon Doji 施願童子.
Aikyoo-In 愛敬院 Aikyo-In
駒場滝不動尊 Komabataki Waterfall Fudo
. Miyagi

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Torii in front of the Benzaiten Hall at temple

Ryoosenji, Ryōsen-ji 霊山寺 Ryosen-Ji

in Nara.

Gabi Greve said...


Benzaiten Shrine in Nara, Tenryu
with a large Torii


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Waterfalls in Edo

Benten no taki 弁天の滝 Benten Waterfall

Gabi Greve said...

Benten in Gifu

ajimi Jones Aoi Tokugawa) also went to what is locally known as "Benten Pond" dedicated to the the Goddess Benten or Benzaiten (弁才天 or 弁財天), more formerly referred to by the name Ichikishima-hime-no-mikoto (市杵島姫命),is the goddess of everything that flows: words, knowledge, speech, eloquence, and music. Said to be the third daughter of the dragon-king of Munetsuchi, over the course of centuries she has grown in her atributes from being a protective deity of Japan, to one who bestows good fortune on the nation and its people. She is often depicted as holding a biwa, a form of Japanese lute.

Only the locals, residents of Takiro and Ichinokura know about "Benten Pond" and it's tiny shrine. If one lives in the northern parts of Tajimi, it is likely that they have never heard of it. Historically (but not in modern times) the pond was much larger but like many things, has been encroached upon or naturally and artificially filled in, until here, just a little stream flows through.

Hayato Tokugawa - facebook

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Fukushima 福島県

Once upon a time
飯盛山 Mount Iimoriyama was called 弁天山 Benten-yama, because deep in the mountains there was a small shrine to venerate the deity Benten.


Gabi Greve said...

Myoo-on boo 妙音坊 Myoon-Bo, Myoonbo.

The legend of the Tengu from 高野山弁天岳 Mount Bentendake (984 m)
Benzaiten is venerated at the shrine 弁財天社 on this mountain.
Myoon-Bo Tengu lived on a large cedar tree in the compound and protected the shrine.
and Tengu Korin-Bo from Koyasan

Gabi Greve said...

Gofunai Henro Temple
Nr. 51 - Enmeiin 延命院 Eimei-In

- 玉龍山 Gyokuryuzan 延命院 Eimei-In 弘憲寺 Koken-Ji
台東区元浅草4-5-2 / 4 Chome-5-2 Motoasakusa, Taitō ward
There is also a statue of 弁財天 Benzaiten, carved by 弘法大師 Kobo Daishi.
Kukai carved two statues of Benzaiten, the other one is at Chikubushima 竹生島 in lake Biwa.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Gunma Itakura
Benten sama no tatari 弁天さまの祟り the curse of Benten

North of the home of 小林角蔵 Kobayashi Kakuzo is the oldest shrine for the deity Benten, 弁天ヤシキ Benten Yashiki.
When he tried to make some fields there, his house almost burned down.
The Benten Deity later moved on to Mount 筑山 to the 雷電沼 Raiden-numa swamp.

雷電神社(らいでんじんじゃ) Shrine Raiden Jinja, 群馬県邑楽郡板倉町板倉

Gabi Greve said...

Edo Fuyukichoo 冬木町 Fuyuki district
Kōtō 江東区 Koto ward
Close to 仙台堀川 Sendai Horikawa. Fuyuki literally means "winter trees".
Fuyukiya 冬木屋 was a lumber merchant. The first Fuyuki had come from Gunma. His name was 上田直次 Ueno Naoji. The third owner was 冬木屋弥平次 Fuyuki Yaheiji, who established a large lumber yard here.
In 1705 Fuyukiya Yaheiji became the head man of district, which was then named after him.
冬木弁天堂 Fuyuki Benten was the shrine of the Fuyuki family.


Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Mount Akagisan, Gunma
勢多郡 Seta district 赤城村 Akagi mura village

Benten 弁天
At the town of 溝呂木 Mizoroki there was a place named ワクタマ Wakutama where clear water came out of the mountain.
Beside it was a small Shrine for Benten, the Deity of Water. If people pour water on the Shrine, it would soon start to rain.

Gabi Greve said...

Edo Yochoomachi 牛込余丁町 Ushigome Yochomachi district

厳嶋神社 - 抜弁天 Itsukushima Jinja Nukebenten Shrine
東京都新宿区余丁町8-5 / 8-5 Yochomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo

In 1086, when Minamoto no Yoshiie was on his way to Northern Japan, he took residence here, because it was the highest area. Fujisan could be seen clearly in the distance.
To give thanks for his victory (and escape, nuke) he had the shrine built in memory of the Itsukushima Shrine on his way back.
Since the escape road passed straight from South to North through the shrine compound, it was also called Nuke-Benten.
This shrine is one of the six famous Benten shrines in Edo.

Gabi Greve said...

Edo roku Benten 江戸六弁天 Six Benten Shrines in Edo

Gabi Greve said...

Anyoji 安養寺 Anyo-Ji, An’yō-ji - Kagurazaka
医光山 Ikozan 長寿院 Choju-In

Tokyo 新宿区神楽坂6-2 / Shinjuku, Kagurazaka
with Zeniarai Benten

Gabi Greve said...

The Lord 徳川有親 Tokugawa Arichika had two sons. They lost in a war but survived and fled.
Before they commited ritual suicide, they prayed to their o-mamori honzon 御守本尊, the Deity 宇賀神 Ugajin.
The Lord had a dream where a priest in gray robes appeared and told him:
"Get out of this place and survive!"
When Arichika woke up, he felt the divine protection of Ugajin.
He went to a nearby temple and became a monk. The priest gave him gray robes.
This was really strange.
Arichika was also known by the name of 世良田有親 Serada Arichika.