Friday, July 6, 2018

Hotarugari( firefly-watching events)

Hotaru-gari(蛍狩り) literally means "hunting for fireflies", but actually means going out to see flashing fireflies. The Japan Meteorological Agency announced the end of the rainy season in the Kanto region on 29 June. The season ended 7 days  earlier than last year and 22 days  earlier than average. A seasonal rain front activated by Typhoon Prapiroon(Typhoon No.7) has brought torrential downpours in many parts of Japan. The threat of heavy rainfall and flooding will persist until Sunday.

Firefly-watching is nearing an end while I am dillydallying. Most of firefly-watching events were done, but some of them will last until mid-July.

蛍 / Firefly
蛍 / Firefly (credit:St.Také/flickr)


Kaneda River in Nan-bu cho, Tottori Prefecture
fireflies 05
fireflies 05 (credit: mstkeast/flickr)

audience waiting to flashing fireflies at Hotaru no Sato in Fukutsu City, Fukuoka Prefecture
IMGP1346
IMGP1346 (credit: yuki5287/flickr)
Kawaura River, Minokamo City, Gifu Prefecture
mid- to late June
Numerous fireflies glowed above the stream. 川浦川の蛍(ホタル)
Numerous fireflies glowed above the stream. 川浦川の蛍(ホタル) (credit: T.Kiya/flickr)



In  early June, Hotaru-hojo-sai (Releasing Fireflies Ritual) is held at Yanagihara Shinchi Pond in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Kanagawa Prefecture. Visitors can see fireflies flashing during a week from the ritual.
鶴岡八幡宮ほたるまつり - 柳原神池/鎌倉散歩
鶴岡八幡宮ほたるまつり - 柳原神池/鎌倉散歩  (credit: Tranpan23/flickr)

Tokyo Hotaru Festival imagined fireflies by Sumida river through LED lights. This event is not held any more.
IMG_9810
IMG_9810 (credit: Hetarllen Mumriken/flickr)



The word "hotaru (fireflies) " appeared in Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan) finished in 720, but  it is unclear what the word meaned.


In the Heian period(794-1185), fireflies were referred in literature such as the collection of poems "Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves", Sei Shonagon's "The Pillow Book", Murasaki Shikibu's "The Tale of Genji."

Sei Shonagon praised that lots of fireflies flitted to and fro on a moonless summer night. She also loved that a couple of fireflies hovered and blinked a dim light.

Hotaru (The Fireflies) is the 25th chapter  of "The Tale of Genji." When Genji's half-brother Hotaru Hyobukyo no Miya(蛍兵部卿宮) visits Tamakazura(玉鬘, Genji's adopted daughter), Genji releases fireflies behind a screen to light up her with fireflies, showing her beauty to him.

Title: Hotaru (The Fireflies), the 25th chapter of "The Tale of Genji"
Artist: Toyokuni(Utagawa Toyokuni Ⅲ/Kunisada I, 1786-1864)
Publication Date: 1852
Book title: Genji 54-jo(源氏五十四帖, 54 chapters of "The Tale of Genji")
courtesy of National Diet Library

Title: Hotaru (The Fireflies), the 25th chapter of "The Tale of Genji"
Artist: Ogata Gekko(尾形 月耕, 1859-1920)
Publication Date: 1892
book title: Genji 54-jo(源氏五十四帖, 54 chapters of "The Tale of Genji")
courtesy of National Diet Library

Title: Hotaru (The Fireflies)
Artist: Ichiyosai Toyokuni(Utagawa Toyokuni Ⅲ/Kunisada I , 1786-1864)
Book title: Genjiko no zu(源氏香の図)
courtesy of National Diet Library

Genjiko(源氏香) is a game in Ko-do( incense burning) in which  participators smell five scents and guess same ones. Five scents can be all the same or different. There are 52 possible combinations of answers. A collection of the patterns that show the combinations is Genjiko no zu. The combinations are assigned to the Chapters of “The Tale of the Genji.” Five vertical lines mean scents. The rightmost line means the first scent, and the leftmost one does the fifth scent. participators connect the lines that seem to be the same scents.

Set partitions 5; Genji symbols

Set partitions 5; Genji symbols

By Watchduck (a.k.a. Tilman Piesk)
 from Wikimedia Commons

Genjikonozu
Genjikonozu 
by  Mukai
from Wikimedia Commons
In the Heian Period, fireflies symbolized feelings of love, visible love, yearning heart. Actually fireflies light up to attract a mate.

Woman poet Izumi-Shikibu(ca.978-?) depicted fireflies as her visible affection for her husband in one of her waka poems. She felt like her strong feelings for him left her body and  flew around flashing. Commuter marriage was common among nobles in the Heian Period. Noblemen  visited their wives' houses. It was common that a married couple of nobles lived apart. A nobleman who lost interest in his wife gradually kept away from her. Her husband also had not seen her for a long while. 

Minamoto no Shigeyuki (源 重之, died 1000) wrote a poem about one sided love:
"Fireflies can't tell their feelings in words. They can do nothing but burn out.  They arouse pity."


In the Edo period, commoners also  went out to see fireflies when they began to appear at dusk. Edo residents visited spots to see fireflies such as Sorin-ji Temple in Yanaka, now-defunct Sugatami-bashi Bridge (an area around Nishi-waseda and Takada),  an area near Asukayama Park in Kita Ward,  an area near Iidabashi, jindai-ji Temple in Chofu City.

Title: Hotaru-gari Azuma Fuzoku(蛍狩当風俗)
        (Kabuki actor Sawamura Tanosuke Ⅲ)
Artist: Toyokuni(Utagawa Toyokuni Ⅲ/Kunisada I, 1786-1864)
Publication Date: 1860
courtesy of National Diet Library

Outstanding Kabuki actor Sawamura Tanosuke Ⅲ(1845-1878)  is graphically portrayed in this print. He was a gorgeous onnagata (an actor specializing in female roles) , even after he had his both legs amputated at the knee due to necrosis and had his right hand and left four fingers amputated.  He performed Kabuki with his prosthetic limb.

Title: Hotaru-gari Azuma Fuzoku(蛍狩当風俗)
 (Kabuki actor  Ichikawa Ichizo Ⅲ)
Artist: Toyokuni(Utagawa Toyokuni Ⅲ/Kunisada I, 1786-1864)
Publication Date: 1860
courtesy of National Diet Library

Title: Hotaru-gari Azuma Fuzoku(蛍狩当風俗)
 (Kabuki actor )
Artist: Toyokuni(Utagawa Toyokuni Ⅲ/Kunisada I, 1786-1864)
Publication Date: 1860
courtesy of National Diet Library
Title: Hotaru-gari Azuma Fuzoku(蛍狩当風俗)
 (Kabuki actor )
Artist: Toyokuni(Utagawa Toyokuni Ⅲ/Kunisada I, 1786-1864)
Publication Date: 1860
courtesy of National Diet Library



Title: Odori Keiyo Gedaizukushi(踊形容外題尽)
         Eiri shosetsu asagao monogatari(絵入稗史蕣物語)
Artist:  Utagawa Toyokuni III(Utagawa Kunisada I, 1786-1864)
Publication Date: 1856
courtesy of National Diet Library





Title: 34(A woman holding a uchiwa(fan) in her mouth and a firefly cage in her hand)
Artist: Yoshu Chikanobu (楊洲周延, 1838-1912)
Publication Date: 1898
Journal title: Shinbijin(真美人)
courtesy of National Diet Library
Children used to put fireflies into straw cages called hotarukago and placed them at their bedsides. I didn't know the cage. Some elderly people miss the cage.
hotarukago:
https://blog.tokyu-resort.co.jp/branch/nasu/200907/29/blog091636-17227.html

An around 70-year-old woman who were born and raised in Tokyo, one of my friends, saw fireflies flickering above the paddies in her childhood. They used to be common insects  even in Tokyo until about 60 years ago. Now fireflies drastically have decreased in Japan because they can live only in clean rivers. So artificially-raised fireflies are released in  many parts of Japan. Even now, there is a natural growth area of fireflies in Seijo, Tokyo. The area is not open to the public for the sake of environmental preservation.

ホタルブクロ/蛍袋 (Bellflower)
ホタルブクロ/蛍袋 (Bellflower) (credit: Dakiny/flickr)
In Japan, spotted bellflower(Campanula punctata) is called Hotaru-bukuro(蛍袋), which  literally means a sack for fireflies. It is said to be named for a Japanese lantern which was also called hotaru(火垂る). According to another account, It was named so  because a bellflower containing fireflies looked like a lighted lamp.


Hotaruyaki
Hotaruyaki (credit: raichovak/flickr)
porcelain with a transparent pattern called 'hotarude'


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Dogs visited shrines on behalf of their owners(2)


10. Japanese wolf as the deity

According to an article in National Geographic(2012), Shiba-inu(a Japanese dog breed) and wolves are closer genetically than other breeds of dogs and wolves. In Japan wolves were called Yama-inu(wild mountain dogs) in the past.
 Musashi-mitake Jinja Shrine located at the top of Mt. Mitake has enshrined a Japanese wolf as the deity “Ooguchi Magami”. According to Chronicles of Japan, a white wolf led the way when Yamato Takeru no Mikoto(a Japanese legendary prince of the Yamato dynasty) got lost. The wolf commonly known as Oinu-sama has been an emissary or a subordinate to a deity.
 Oinu-sama has been enshrined as a guardian deity of mammalian pest control, fire and theft protection, protection against every accidents. Though meat-eating was officially prohibited on several occasions in Japan, game meat was available. There was very little livestock farming. So wolves benefited arable farmers. They got rid of deer, bear, wild boar, hare and other hungry animals which can ruin a crop.

The shrine is also dog friendly. Visitors can request a prayer specifically for dogs. Amulets for dogs are available. 

Musashi-mitake Jinja's goshuin-cho(goshuin note
武蔵御嶽神社の御朱印帳
武蔵御嶽神社の御朱印 posted by(C)さんばい

Go-shuin means a seal stamp given to worshippers at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. Go-shuin includes information such as the name of the temple and the date of visit written in calligraphy.

Musashi-mitake Jinja's goshuin
01_武蔵御嶽神社_御朱印
01_武蔵御嶽神社_御朱印 posted by (C)suswtl


It will be an 10 minute bus ride from Mitake station(JR Ome Line) to Takimoto Station(Mitake Tozan Cable). After 6 minutes funicular ride visitors arrive at Mitakesan Station. The shine is  25 minutes walk from the station. Each funicular car has a space for dogs.

Musashi-mitake Jinja Shrine(Japanese version only):

Around the shrine there are 26 Shukubo(pilgrim's lodging) that date back to the Edo Period. Shukubo are popular with worshippers, climbers, and hikers.

Mt.Mitake Tourisum Association:
http://www.mt-mitake.gr.jp/

Mt. Mitake Trekking 御岳山・日の出山トレッキング
Mt. Mitake Trekking 御岳山・日の出山トレッキング (credit:jetalone/flickr)


There are a lot of Shinto shrines which enshrine Japanese wolf in Japan.
Distribution map of Shinto shrines which enshrine Japanese wolf(Japanese version only):
http://www.raifuku.net/special/wolf/index.html



Mitsumine Jinja Shrine in Chichibu City, Saitama Prfecture has also enshrined a Japanese wolf as the deity “Ooguchi Magami".

Torii(shrine gate) of Mitsumine Jinja Shrine
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰 (Credit: mossygajud/flickr)
Zuishinmon gate  of Mitsumine Jinja Shrine (former Niomon gate guarded by two wooden warriors called Nio. The Nio statues were moved to another temple.)
三峯神社
三峯神社 (Credit: photoconjapan /flickr)

三峯神社
三峯神社 (Credit: photoconjapan /flickr)
A bronze torii(built in 1845) , Yatsumunemokutodai, chozusha are at the top of these stone steps.

Yatsumunemokutodai (八棟木灯台) is a decorative wooden lighting fixture built in 1857.
三峯神社 灯籠
三峯神社 灯籠 (Credit:Инариский /flickr)

chozuya(手水舎, Shinto water ablution pavilion) built in 1853
三峯神社 手水舎
三峯神社 手水舎  (Credit:Инариский /flickr)

 Haiden(front shrine) of Mitsumine Jinja Shrine
Cedar trees are estimated to be 800 years old.
三峯神社
三峯神社  (Credit:photoconjapan /flickr)
Haiden
三峯神社
三峯神社  (Credit:photoconjapan /flickr)

Haiden
三峯神社 拝殿
三峯神社 拝殿  (Credit:Инариский /flickr)

Okariya(The shrine of "Ooguchi Magami", the wolf deity)
Okariya literally means a temporary shrine. Rituals dedicated to the wolf deity are performed here because the deity usually remains sequestered in the mountains.
DSC_5374
DSC_5374 (Credit: Gaku@STUDIO-Freesia/flickr)

Stone lanterns stand on either side of front approach
三峯神社
三峯神社  (Credit:photoconjapan /flickr)
DSC_5306
DSC_5306 (Credit:Gaku@STUDIO-Freesia /flickr)

Okumiya (Inner Shrine) of Mitsumine Jinja is located at the top of Mt. Myohogatake and is 90 minutes walk from the front shrine.  Please note that bears may frequent the area.


second torii on the route to Okumiya
三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰 (Credit: mossygajud /flickr)
Yohaiden (Shrine to worship gods from a distance)
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)
Okumiya built in 1741


Komainu (狛犬, lion dogs) derives from Chinese guardian lions. A pair of komainu are placed either at the entrance of Shinto shrines, or somewhere inside. At the shrine, a variety of guardian wolf statues stand instead of lion-dog ones hither and thither. 

Most statues wear bibs offered by believers.  It is said the bibs come from a prayer to Jizo(地蔵, Ksitigarbha in Sanskrit).  Though his mission is to save people between Buddha's death and the appearance of Maitreya(弥勒菩薩, Miroku-bosatsu), Jizo is also regarded as the guardian of children because he saves dead children who have to pile stones endlessly like Sisyphus at the banks(Sai-no-kawara) of death's river (Sanzu River.) The children can't cross the Sanzu River because they predeceased their parents. Ogres unpile the stones before the children complete a tower, but Jizo gives the children salvation in the end.

It's thought that parents whose child died started to offer bibs in prayer to Jizo for their child. This is considered as the beginning of statues wearing bibs in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.

三峯神社 朔日参り
三峯神社 朔日参り (Credit:Gaku@STUDIO-Freesia /flickr)



三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰 (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)





三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)





三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰(Credit:mossygajud /flickr)

Autumn in Japan
Autumn in Japan  (Credit:blueskyfantasie /flickr)


三峯神社
三峯神社  (Credit:photoconjapan /flickr)

三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)

三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)






三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)


三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)


三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)



三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)






三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰 (Credit: mossygajud /flickr)


三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)


三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰
三峯神社奥宮 - 埼玉県秩父市三峰  (Credit:mossygajud /flickr)

11. The dog shogun

Mention dogs, and "the dog shogun" Tokugawa Tsunayoshi comes to mind.  Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (徳川 綱吉, 1646-1709), the fifth shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, is known for  the Edicts on Compassion for Living Things (生類憐みの令 Shoruiawareminorei). He prohibited the killing of living things including humans. The law was a series of bans.

He made an extensive dog shelter with an area of approximately 990,000 square meters in Kakoi-machi(former area around Nakano 4-chome, Tokyo).  The shelter had five-part fenced-in grounds and each part had a doghouse, a feeding ground, a bower, a puppy breeding facility. About 80,000 dogs had lived there between 1695 and 1709. Some veterinarians and officials were assigned there.

Dog statues stand in front of Nakano City Office where the dog shelter used to be.
犬屋敷跡 (credit: Cookie M/flickr)

In recent years, Tsunayoshi has been re-evaluated as an exceptionally talented policymaker. At the time, Japan had a savage atmosphere in the post war period. He tried to change people's consciousness so that they were attracted towards non-violence and had moral fiber. The law aimed to show mercy to living things including humans.

In Edo(former Tokyo) a lot of feral dogs roamed the streets. They often did harm to people. On the one hand, some people killed them, and some gangsters ate dog meat. Tsunayoshi housed them in his dog shelter.

Sick cattle and horses were abandoned. Samurai often injured horses to improve their appearance.  He banned abandoning and injuring them. Animal shows by snakes, dogs, cats, and mice were banned.

"Living things" included humans. At the time many children and very sick persons were also abandoned. He strictly prohibited abandoning them. Additionally, he promoted improvement of prison environments. He obligated people to register the names of pregnant women and children aged seven or under, the numbers and owners of dogs, cats, cattle, horses and firearms.

The shelter's dogs were fed by taxpayers' money. People were deeply frustrated with his overly tight control for the protection of living things including dogs, cats, birds, fish, shellfish, and worms. However, it it said that his retainers expanded the ban to include all of living things. After his death, the shelter was demolished and most of the bans were abolished. The bans against abandoning cattle horses, children and sick persons remained.

When an apartment caretaker of Nagaya(one story tenement house) found an abandoned child in front of his apartment, it was his duty to find homes for the child. Stone notice boards called Maigo-ishi were built along the busy streets in Edo.  Handwritten notes posted on the stone let passersby know about homeless and missing children.

Lost Guide Stone and willow tree in Sensoji Temple
Lost Guide Stone and willow tree in Sensoji Temple
(Credit:そらみみ/Wikimedia Commons)
stone square pillar is Maigo-ishi