Pine (matsu)

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. Tengu to matsu 天狗と松 / 天狗松 the Tengu pine .
. pine 松と伝説 Legends about the pine tree .

Pine (matsu)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Plant


The Pine itself is not connected to any special season, but there are many other words used as kigo, using the pine as a part of it. There also various types of PINE in Japan.

First read this essay by Linda Inoki about the pine in Japan.


Matsu (Pine) By LINDA INOKI

From high in the sky,
The snow making its way down
Following the pine.

By Seishi Yamaguchi, quoted in "The Essence of Modern Haiku" by Takashi Kodaira and Alfred H. Marks (Mangajin)

With the onset of winter, many Japanese gardens start to feature strange and ethereal "sculptures" made of string: These are the yukitsuri, or "snow lines." Although their purpose is to protect pine trees from heavy snow, they are so airy and attractive that they seem to invite it to fall from the skies! This practical idea has been turned into a piece of garden artistry, and even in regions where snow rarely falls, gardeners cannot resist adding these graceful touches to the winter scene.

I sketched this small pine tree with its high snow ropes in a Tokyo garden. It is a goyomatsu ( Pinus pentaphylla; Japanese white pine), which you can identify by its silvery bark and pine needles growing in groups of five. White pines are slow-growing and are popular for training into bonsai or specimen trees in the garden. Being tough, long-lived and evergreen, pine trees are important symbols of endurance and eternity in Oriental culture. With their year-round foliage, they also bridge the seasons of winter and spring, and although we live in a material world it is good to see that many people still decorate their gateways with the traditional branches of pine to greet the New Year.
The Japan Times: Jan. 6, 2005

Yukitsuri, trees in bondage.
By Alice Gordenker, Japan Times Feb. 2007


CLICK for more photos

"Three friends of Winter", Pine, Bamboo and Plum
Shoo-chiku-bai 松竹梅
shoochikubai, shochikubai. Sho-Chiku-Bai

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

saikan sanyu 歳寒三友 Three Friends of Winter
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

They are an auspicious assembly used since olden times in Chinese art, later in Japanese art too. The symbolic meaning of the Pine Tree is "Long Life".
Pine trees show abundand green even in the fiercest of winter and hardly dry out, so they have been a symbol of long life in China since old times. They also represent friendship and constancy during times of advertsity. As symbol of good luck and agelessness this tree has stood in veneration and together with the bamboo and plum tree as become an expression of celebration and joy, especialy in the New Year season.

Sometimes the pine tree symbolizes one of the Chinese gods of happiness and long life, Shou Hsing.

In Japan, we have the couple of Joo (尉) and hers is Uba (媼)
"The Pine of Sumi-no-e" (住吉の松) and the Takasago Legend

. . . CLICK here for decorative Photos !

shoochikubai kazaru 松竹梅飾る (しょうちくばいかざる)
decoration of pine, bamboo and plum

kigo for the New Year
WKD : New Year Decorations (o-kazari)

Sho-Chiku-Bai on the Menu


New Year Kigo

Gate Decoration with Pine, kadomatsu 門松
placed one each at the gate or entrance of a home. Their size reflects the richness of the owner. They are put out on December to welcome the Deities and burnt on January 6 or 14 (matsu osame 松納め) .
..... Pines by the corners, kado no matsu 門の松

Kadomatsu and New Year Decorations ... KIGO List

Kamakura no furuki yadoya no matsukazari

these pine decorations
at the old inns
of Kamakura

Takahama Kyoshi, 1949

02 kadomatsu pine decoration
Temple Tanjo-Ji, by Gabi Greve

pine decorations, matsu kazari 松飾り
..... kazari matsu 飾り松
bamboo decorations, kazari take

Click HERE to have a look at some more photos !

..... Pulling Pine Seedlings (komatsu hiki)

- - - - -

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .

the 5th: cloudy, cold wind blowing, snow from around 4 p.m. -- a foot deep

chiru yuki ni tachiawasekeri kado no matsu

New Year's pines
alone together now
with falling snow

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku is from 1/5 (Feb. 15) in 1804, when Issa was traveling around in the area just east of Edo. His diary states the situation in a headnote. In the 12th month people stood a pair of New Year's pines in buckets or on stands in front of their doors and gates. People with money used taller pines and also added a third crossbar pine so that it connected the tops of the two vertical pines and created a symbolic gate resembling the wood or stone torii gate at the entrance to the precincts of a Shinto shrine. Sometimes a shamanic rope or the horizontal crossbeam above the gate entrance itself served this purpose.

In Issa's time many people also put various lengths of bamboo and sometimes other kinds of limbs and flowers in with the pines. Pine trees were believed to be the tree that gods favored when they came down from the sky/other world, and these "gate pines" were regarded as invitations to the god of the new year (toshigami) to visit the house and bring good fortune to it during the new year. In fact, the shrine-gate shape of the gate pines suggests that they symbolically turned each house into a temporary shrine for the year's god and for other gods. Many people put the pines up on 12/13 and kept them up until 1/15, when they were burned in sacred bonfires under the first full moon of the new year and sent back to the invisible world of the gods.

In this hokku it has begun to snow hard, and few people walk through the dim, snowy streets, giving the pines and snow some space and time together. The pines and the falling snow somehow seem aware that they are now together with each other. It doesn't snow that much in the Edo/Tokyo area, so this may be the first time. Perhaps it's a bit like two shy teenagers who like each other and suddenly find themselves next to each other. Of course Issa doesn't know exactly how the pines and snow feel, but there is an uncanny resemblance between descending snow and the descent of various gods of good fortune at New Year's. The pines have been put up above all in order to wait for these gods and to welcome their visits, and now something is happening. Perhaps Issa wonders if the pines can sense gods drifting down in the snow. Or perhaps it's more intimate, since the snow may be falling directly onto the pines, lying on their limbs.

A couple of more versions, the first literal and the second a stab, using an aural image, at what Issa might be getting at:

New Year's pines
find themselves together
with falling snow

New Year's pines
snow falling

Here is a photo of gate pines of the types common in Issa's time:

- Chris Drake -
Translating Haiku Forum

ko-isshaku sore mo kadomatsu nite sooroo

foot-high pines
stand tall by the door
at New Year's

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku is from the 1st month (February) of 1812, when Issa was staying in the area just east of Edo. It evokes a scene Issa saw at or around New Year's, when people stood a pair of pine trees just outside their doors. One pine was placed on each side of the door, suggesting divine gateposts down which a shamanic god (or a pair of gods) could descend, and at the houses of the rich and powerful a third pine or a string with decorations was often placed horizontally, linking the tops of the two vertical pines, a shape resembling the divine gates or torii at Shinto shrines. Thus the twin pines symbolically made each house or apartment into a temporary small Shinto shrine. Above all, the pines were set up to invite the god of the new year to make a visit to the house and bring good fortune to it during the coming year.

However, Edo and the towns around it were filled almost to bursting with poor immigrants from the country -- such as Issa -- who came to Edo to escape difficult conditions, poverty, or even starvation in their farm villages. Most of these people couldn't afford a pair of pine trees 5 or more feet tall, so they bought cheap one-foot sections of a pine limb and stood these vertically on each side of their doors using stands or small pots, often with decorations placed on them. Issa uses the term "short shaku" (equal to 99.4% of a foot) to evoke the commercial nature of these measured and precisely cut sections that poor people had to make do with at New Year's, probably because he wants to stress just how irrelevant physical length is to the spiritual value of the limbs.

Issa uses a very polite form for the verb "are" to show his admiration for the people who did what they could and stood the pine limbs in front of their door as an expression of respect for the gods and for all who pass by -- and to show his admiration for the pine limbs themselves, which are just as spiritually imposing at New Year's as the tall pine trees standing in front of the gates of large mansions. The polite verb form suggests Issa isn't writing about his own doorway but is expressing his great respect for the poor family that set up the one-foot pines that in their new context seem so tall.

Chris Drake


shared by Yoshinobu Takemura FB-JOJ

warau kado ni wa fuku kitaru - 笑う門には福来る
Fortune comes in by a merry gate.


observance kigo for mid-winter

matsu mukae 松迎え (まつむか)
"welcoming the pine decorations"

matsubayashi 松ばやし(まつばやし)"festival music for the pines"
kadomatsu oroshi 門松おろし(かどまつおろし)

On the 13th day of the 12th lunar month, the pine branches were cut in the local forest and brought home to make the decorations. This was accompanied with music on the way and food afterwards.
Nowadays it occurs often on the 8th day of December.
In some temples and shrines, ritual dances were also performed on this day.



young green, wakamidori 若緑 is a general term for the pines when they start growing.
also called
green of the pine, matsu no midori 松の緑,
first green, hatsu midori 初緑
green starts to stand up, midori tatsu 緑立つ

and finally

松の芯 matsu no shin, center of the pine growing, pine candles:
kigo for late spring

matsu no SHIN can also be interpreted as the strong will of the pine (human) to keep going in adverse situations, so this expression is well loved in Japanese poetry.

Yonago 10 matsu no shin long

© Gabi Greve

松の花 まつのはな matsu no hana, pine flowers

. . . CLICK here for more Photos !

松花粉 まつかふん matsu kafun, pine pollen
This is a growing problem in Japan these days.


松囃子 matsubayashi, music and dance performance

お松明 おたいまつ o-taimatsu pine torch [used in the ceremony] for O-Mizu Tori ceremony
CLICK for more photos

Read more about this festival here:



Pine needles falling down, matsu ochiba 松落ち葉

松漁 かつお katsuo bonito [kanji literally "pine fish"]

松蝉 [まつぜみ] matsuzemi, pine-tree cicada

松葉牡丹 まつばぼたん matsubabotan portulaca / rose moss
lit. "pine-needle peony"
Portulaca grandiflora
..... hiderigusa 日照草 ひでりぐさ sun plant



matsuba 松葉 pine needles

irokaenu matsu 色変えぬ松 (いろかえぬまつ) pines not changing colors
late autumn

松手入 まつていれ matsu teire,
pruning pines [literally "pine maintenance"]
kigo for late autumn

松ぼくり(まつぼくり)pinecones, pine cones
新松子 (しんちぢり) shinchijiri, new pinecones
..... 松ふぐり(まつふぐり) matsu fuguri
青松毬(青松笠) あおまつかさ aomatsukasa ao matsukasa, green pinecone
late autumn

. Matsutake 松茸 pine mushroom .
Armillaria edodes. VERY expensive.
松茸飯 matsutake meshi, rice with matsutake mushrooms, a very expensive delicacy

松虫 matsumushi, pine bug
lit. "insect in waiting", a symbol for a lady waiting for her lover.
- Matsumushi Haiku -

松虫草 matsumushi-soo, pine, bug grass



early winter kigo

shiki matsuba 敷松葉 (しきまつば) spreading pine needles
In the garden, to protect other bulbs and moss. This would give the garden an elegant look. Especially used for tea room gardens.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


late winter kigo

yukitsuri 雪吊 (ゆきつり)supporting trees with strings


late spring kigo

yukitsuri toku 雪吊解く(ゆきづりとく)taking down the support strings

Worldwide use

Kiefer, Rotkiefer

Things found on the way


Shigeoka no kamu sabitachite sakaetaru
chiyo matsu no ki no toshi no shiranaku

The pine, the tree that waits for a thousand reigns,
that flourishes and stands godly at Shigeoka, knows no year.

Manyo-Shu Poetry Collection - 紀朝臣鹿人 

Haruo Shirane - Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons
source : books.google.co.jp


. The Pine Tree Where Yoshitsune Rested .
kurakake matsu 経鞍掛松
Yoshitsune rested at this location and placed his saddle on the pine tree.


matsu pine of a Noh butai stage - 能舞台 松

. butai hajime 舞台始(ぶたいはじめ)first stage .


Matsu are a favorite for Bonsai too. Look at some nice pictures.

MATSU 待つ can also mean: to wait for somebody.
Here is a story about Daruma and the Pine, waiting...


soo asagao ikushi ni kaeru nori no matsu

Monks and morning glories;
How many have died and returned!
The Dharma pine.

Matsuo Basho

... this verse may be in the form of hokku, but it is not really hokku. It is a religious verse, and when we try to "preach" religion in hokku, the result inevitably fails. Also, this verse requires a kind of prologue just to be understood, which compounds the problem because it cannot "stand on its own feet."

Bashô saw a great and very old pine tree at a temple. It reminded him of the story of the Chinese Daoist Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu) about a tree that survived the years because its wood was useless. That set Bashô off on a train of thought about how many monks had come and gone, like morning glories that bloom in the dawn and die in the evening, and yet the great pine, protected on the temple grounds by the "Dharma," had survived to very old age.
Writing about such things has its place, but it does not fit hokku.

© David Coomler

Hoo no Matsu, nori no matsu, the Pine of the Buddhist Law.

. Basho at temple Taimadera  


. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

kadomatsu ya omoeba ichiya sanjuunen

pine decorations -
thinking about it, one night
feels like thirty years

Written in 延宝5年, Basho age 34.
In this year, Basho had decided to become a haikai master in Edo.

iku shimo ni kokoro Baseo no matsukazari

frost comes and goes
on the pine decoration
of my home

(tr. Gabi Greve)

kokorobase is a word play Basho uses to imply himself (Baseo), someone with a sincere heart.
How often the frost comes on the pine, the green does not change and stands there in endurance.

Written in 1686 貞亨3年, New Year

MORE - - kokoro こころ - 心  "heart", mind, soul -
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


matsu tatete sora honobono to akuru kado

putting up the pines,
dawn sky breaks,
at the gates

Natsume Sooseki

Read more Haiku here !
University of Virginia Saijiki


... ... ... ... ... Pine Candles

Yonago 09 Matsu no shin

pine candles
on a sandy beach -
power of life

© Gabi Greve Beachflowers


pine candles -
day by day
they lengthen

© Linda Papanicolaou


hamamichi ya suna kara matsu no waka midori

beach raod -
from the sand emerging
young green

Choo Mu 蝶 夢(died 1795)

This haiku captures the same mood as I experienced in Yonago in 2004. This kigo usually discribes a scene of light and warmth and hope.


The following haiku where kindly suggested by Etsuko Yanagibori.

ame no ka ni tachimasarikeri matsu no shin

fragrance of rain -
growing up eagerly,
the pine candles

Watanabe Suiha (1882 - 1946)


Musashino no tori kuru matsu no shin mugen

birds of Musashino plain
coming to the pine candles -

Hasegawa Kanajo (1887 ~ 1969)


赤松は芯 黒松は花 こぼしけり

Akamatsu wa shin Kuromatsu wa hana koboshikeri

Red pine candles
Black pine flowers
so abundantly

Fujita Akegarasu 藤田あけ烏

Related words

***** komo こも【薦】straw mats around the tree trunks
to prevent insects to hurt the tree during winter time.


The Pine Tree of Priest Rennyo at Morinomiya
(Morinomiya Rennyo-matsu)
Utagawa Yoshitaki (1841-1899)
- from the series "One Hundred Views of Osaka" (Naniwa hyakkei), 1860.
— Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Saint Rennyo 蓮如
(1415-1499) 8th abbot of the Jōdo Shinshū sect. Temple Hongan-Ji
Rennyo-Ki 蓮如忌 (れんにょき)Memorial Day
Yoshizaki moode 吉崎詣(よしざきもうで)Yoshizaki pilgrimage

. WKD : Memorial Days .

. Honganji 本願寺 Hongan-Ji, Hongwanji .

. pine 松と伝説 Legends about the pine tree .

. Tengu to matsu 天狗と松 the Tengu pine .


- #matsupine #pinematsu -


Anonymous said...

accusing the pine
of foolishness...
evening mist

orokasa o matsu ni kazukete yuugasumi


by Issa, 1809

Kathleen Davis observes, "Pines and mist go together. They have conversations all the time."

Tr. David Lanoue / http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

Gabi Greve said...

pine tree shade--
one straw mat
my summer room

matsu kage ya goza ichi mai no natsu zashiki


by Issa, 1819

Tr. David Lanoue / http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

GOZA 茣蓙 is a thin straw mat used in summer and can be carried around from place to place easily.

It is different from TATAMI 畳, which is often also translated as "straw mat", but is much thicker and not easily removable.

Photos of GOZA mats

Photos of TATAMI mats

Anonymous said...

Pine Pollen Hay Fever, a big problem in Japan !

Fa. Schering has a haiku contest about it.
The winners for the Third Competition :

snifffffff fff,
the sound of a sniffling nose
the sound of spring

Takatsuka Mizuho (10 years)

my nurse
sneezes unison with me ...
what a big laugh !

Kawaguchi Miyo (93)



. . . ISSA said...

bird's nest--
tomorrow the pine by the gate
will be cut down

tori no su ya asu wa kiraruru kado no matsu


by Issa, 1804

The bird builds its next without Issa's knowledge of tomorrow. An image of Buddhist mujoo: impermanence.

Tr. David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

shigure o ya mdokashigarite matsu no yuki

winter drizzle -
it is quite impatient
this snow on the pines

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayash Issa

matsukage ni nete kuu rokujuu yo shuu kana

sleeping and eating
in pine shade -- more than
sixty provinces

Tr. and commment by Chris Drake >

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

waga ueshi matsu mo oi keri aki no kure

the pines I planted,
they, too, grown older --
autumn twilight

Tr. and commment by Chris Drake >

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho and the "Wild Pine"

suzushisa ya sugu ni nomatsu no eda no nari

Hirooka Sesshi 広岡雪芝 (1670 - 1711)
His haikai name was Nomatsu An 野松庵 "Hut of the wild pine"

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho and

- - - - - matsukaze, matsu kaze, shoofuu 松風 - まつかぜ wind in the pines - - - - -

matsukaze no ochiba ka mizu no oto suzushi

matsukaze ya noki o megutte aki kurenu


Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa


matsu kobu de kata tataki tsutsu yuusuzumi

hitting my stiff shoulder
gently against a pine knot
how cool the evening

This hokku is from the fifth month (June) of 1815, when Issa was in his hometown and traveling around visiting students in nearby areas. It has been a hot summer day, and one of Issa's shoulders is painfully stiff, perhaps from too much sitting in one position or too much writing or both. At home Issa can no doubt use a soft-headed mallet with a long handle that allows him to lightly hit the muscles in the back side of his shoulder and in the back of his neck, or he can ask his wife to hit the area lightly with her fists, but he is outside catching some cool air, so he no doubt begs a pine tree with a shoulder-high knot sticking out of it to bear with him for a while. He moves his body backwards and forwards so his shoulder softly hits the knot again and again until the stiffness abates or disappears. In this hokku evening coolness refers synesthetically not just to the air temperature but also to the kindness of the pine knot and the looseness of his muscles.

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve said...

matsu no ki - - - legend
Nagano 長野県


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

ryuutoo no matsu 龍灯のマツ Ryuto - the Dragon Lamp Pine
ryuutoo Yakushi 龍灯薬師 Yakushi of the Dragon Lantern
Temple 玉松山金蓮寺 Konren-Ji
松前町西古泉65 Masaki Cho, Nishikoizumi, Iyo-Gun, Ehime
Once upon a time
the fishermen of Masaki went out to the sea for fishing, when the weather suddenly turned bad. They tried to get back to land as fast as they could, but the strong wind and currents drifted the boat further out to sea. The fishermen rowed the boat with all their might, but eventually lost all their strength and just sang the Amida prayer:
「南無阿弥陀仏。南無阿弥陀仏。」 Namu Amida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu.

Suddenly they saw a light on the horizon, and then one more, and one more. They rowed the boat toward that light in hope for help. The three lights kept flickering as if they wanted to encourage the fishermen to do their best. This light came, in fact, from a pine tree in the compound of the temple.

The fishermen rowed faster and faster to reach this light and finally came to the beach.
"Thanks to the Buddha from temple Konren-Ji. Let us give thanks and pray!"
The fishermen stood in front of the pine and looked up to see the light again, but now all was dark.

"This must have been a dragon dancing and thus bringing light to the sea of Masaki!"

Eventually years later in a storm this pine tree broke down, but before it died, the fishermen took a branch and planted it anew. And to their surprize the new tree had three main stems. Thus they understood that this pine tree was the dancing dragon.
The tree we can see now is a much later generation.

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

zookin no hoshi-dokoro nari kado no matsu

our cleaning rags
drying between divine
New Year's pines

This hokku is from early in the first lunar month (February) of 1823, when Issa was living in his hometown. This was the lunar year in which both Issa's wife and his third son would die, but at New Year's Issa shows no signs of being aware of what will happen. Issa's family seems to have been very busy cleaning at the end of the previous year, but apparently they weren't able to finish. Some cleaning continues, and several dirty cleaning cloths have to be washed even at New Year's, so they have to use even the two small pine trees that stand as New Year's decorations on each side of their front door to dry a few of the cloths. These evergreen trees were a prayer for a long life and symbolized the god of the new year (toshi-gami), who was believed to visit the home by coming down the trees. Usually there was a straw rope tied horizontally between the tops of the two pine trees (or sometimes it hung from the horizontal beam above the house door) that created a kind of ritual gate through which people passed whenever they entered or left the house. White paper streamers signifying Shinto spiritual purity usually hung down from the horizontal rope. The pine trees were regarded as the body of the visiting god of the new year, and they were usually burned on lunar 1/15, the last day of New Year's, in order to send off the the god to the other world.

We have no way of knowing exactly what the pines and cloths drying by Issa's front door looked like, but it seems likely that a couple of newly washed cleaning rags have been placed on the horizontal rope between the paper streamers to dry. These small cloths, the size of washcloths, were used not for cleaning the body but for wiping floors, tables, and other surfaces, and they had to be washed quite often. The sight of old but newly cleaned wiping cloths drying on the purification rope perhaps seemed appropriate to Issa, since in Shinto everything can become purified by having the right mental attitude. Closer to Issa's core beliefs, perhaps the sudden juxtaposition of clean rags and purification streamers seemed to him to be a momentary vision of the Pure Land in this world.

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

LEGENDs from Edo
Nana Fushigi 七不思議
Ipponmatsu - Ippon-Matsu
negai no matsu 願いの松
血の出る松 / 血のでる松 A bleeding pine tree
火消しの松 pine or 火消しのビャクシン A mountain juniper extinguishing a fire.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Aichi 愛知県 豊橋市 Toyohashi

Niryuu no Matsu 二龍の松 Niryu no Matsu, "Pine like two dragons"

Some old trees have a strange demonic power.
The pine tree at the temple 参州長興寺 Choko-Ji is called "Pine like two dragons".
Once the tree turned into two children, who went to the head priest and asked him for 硯と紙 an inkstone and paper. When he gave it to them, they were much pleased and begun to write a poem on it.
"This will prevent any fire from distroying the temple!" they told the priest and then turned back into the two stems of the tree. The paper has become the special treasure and amulet of the temple ever since.

Gabi Greve said...

Tengu no matsu 天狗の松, Tengu no koshikake matsu 天狗の腰掛松.
and more legends

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Nagano 長野県 LEGEND
上伊那郡 Kamiina district 南箕輪村 Minamiminowa

matsu no ki 松の木 pine tree
Once upon a time
there was a huge pine tree and from its trunk there grew two こぶ huge bumps.
The farmers tried to cut down one of them, but from the cut white mild begun to flow. Since then the villagers let the tree grow and venerated it as a shinboku 神木 sacred tree.
During the typhoon in 1934 it fell down.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Saruechoo 猿江町 Sarue Cho - "Monkey Inlay"

The Edo estate of the 九鬼家 Kuki family of the 丹波綾部 Tanba Ayabe domain was in Sarue.
In their park was an old pine, the famous
小名木川五本松 Onagigawa Gohon Matsu


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend from Fukui 敦賀市 Tsuruga

yoru no mamono 夜の魔もの monster of the night
yama no kami koo 山の神講 prayer group for the god of the mountain / kanko (かんこ)
This prayer group has special rituals for its members.
For example if someone has built a new home the children have to gather in the 大日堂 Dainichi-Do Hall. Their leader has a shimenawa しめ縄 sacred rope around the hips which he lays down at the big matsu no ki マツの木 pine tree.


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend from Hyogo 兵庫県 ..有馬郡 Arima district

Yamanokami no tatari 山の神の崇り curse of Yamanokami
If someone cuts a matsu 松 pine tree in the forest, he will be cursed by Yamanokami. He will hurt his neck and his nomi 鑿 chisel will not cut any more.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Yamanashi
. kadomatsu 門松 gate decoration with pines for New Year .
The Zen temple 正福寺 Shofuku-Ji has a Yakushi Do Hall.
On the New Year's night, the Yakushi in this hall had to go out to take a pee. He stumbled in the dark and hit his eye on a branch of the pine decoration, thus becoming blind.
Now there is never a pine decoration for the New Year at this temple.
51 to explore !

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend from the Musashi Province
Kanagawa, 多摩区 Tama ward

koshoo 古松 the old pine
橘樹郡宿河原村 In the Tachibana district, Shukugawara village there is an old pine on the top of the mountain.
Around 1834 is suddenly withered and all villagers were very sad. In this year, a young man from the next village had used some branches for firewood, but he came down with a high fever. So his family took the remainder of the branches, placed them around the old tree and said prayers and apologies. Soon the young man became well again.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend from Tokyo, 立川市 Tachikawa

reiken 霊験 spiritual achievement
At 八幡宮 the Shrine Hachimangu in Shibazaki village in the Tama district there is a Buddha statue said to have been made by 弘法大師 Kobo Daishi. People come here to pray for spiritual achievements.
Once upon a time, there was a fire at the Shrine, but the statue had flown away just in time. The temple was reconstructed around 1717. At the pine tree in the compound there was a strange light and when they dug there, they found the statue, safe and secure.

Gabi Greve said...

pine 松と伝説 Legends about the pine tree

Gabi Greve said...

kadomatsu ya meido no michi no ichirizuka

pine decoration at the gate -
a milestone mound on the way
to the Nether World

Tr. Gabi Greve

Another year in the life of Saikaku has passed . . .
. Ihara Saikaku, Ibara Saikaku 井原西鶴 .
(1642 - 1693)

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