Conch trumpet plant (horagaisoo)

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Conch trumpet plant (horagaisoo)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Early Autumn
***** Category: Plant


horagaisoo, horagai soo 法螺貝草(ほらがいそう)
"conch trumpet plant"

Impatiens textorii

tsurifunesoo 釣船草 (つりふねそう) jewelweed
murasaki tsurifune 紫つりふね(むらさきつりふね)violet, purple
ki tsurifune 黄つりふね(きつりふね)yellow
yubihamegusa ゆびはめぐさ Fingerhut plant
no hoosenka 野鳳仙花(のほうせんか)wild hoosenka
yama hoosenka 山鳳仙花(やまほうせんか)mountain hoosenka
kaware hoosenka 河原鳳仙花(かわらほうせんか)hoosenka near a brook

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. Autumn Flowers . SAIJIKI


horagai 法螺貝 conch shell

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The conch shell, blown as a trumpet, served a number of purposes in Japanese history. It is called jinkai (陣貝), horagai (法螺貝), or a number of other names in Japanese depending on its function.

The conch is perhaps most associated with its use by Buddhist monks for religious purposes. Its use goes back at least 1,000 years, and it is still used today for some rituals, such as the omizutori (water drawing) portion of the Shuni-e rites at the Tōdai-ji in Nara.Each Shugendo schools have his own conch schell melodies which can be recognised by every Yamabushi...

Unlike most shell trumpets from other parts of the world which produce only one pitch, the Japanese hora or horagai can produce three or five different notes. The process of transforming a shell into an instrument is kept somewhat secret, but it involves the attachment of a bronze or wooden mouthpiece to the apex of the shell's spire. At freezing temperatures (often encountered in the mountainous regions of Japan) the player's lips freeze to the metal surface, so some players prefer wooden or bamboo mouthpieces. The symbolism of the conch schell form inside the Buddhist Dharma is the sanscrit letter BAN which is Cosmic Buddha: Dainichi Nyorai.

The hora is especially associated with the yamabushi, ascetic warrior monks of the Shugendo sect. The yamabushi used the trumpet to signal their presence (or movements) to one another across mountaintops and to accompany the chanting of sutras.

In war, the shell, called jinkai, or 'war shell', was used as a signaling trumpet. A large conch would be used and fitted with a bronze (or wooden) mouthpiece. It would be held in an openwork basket and blown with a different combination of "notes" to signal troops to attack, withdraw, or change strategies, in the same way a bugle or flugelhorn was used in the west. The trumpeter was called a kai yaku (貝役). The jinkai served a similar function to drums and bells in signaling troop formations, setting a rhythm for marching, providing something of a heroic accompaniment to encourage the troops and confusing the enemy by inferring that the troop numbers were large enough to require such trumpeters. Many daimyo (feudal lords) enlisted yamabushi to serve as kai yaku, due to their experience with the instrument.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

horagai mochi 法螺貝餅 Horagai sweets

These sweets are only sold on February 2 and 3, for the Setsubun festival, to drive away the evil spirits.
The owner of the sweets shop in Kyoto is a Yamabushi priest, who blows the Horagai himself.
He is the 9th in his family of Yamabushi plus sweet makers.
They are made with a stick of goboo 牛蒡 edible burdock, wrapped in white miso paste and covered by a small pancake, twisted into the form of the Horagai.

The same shop owner also makes the famous

gyooja mochi 行者餅 Mochi for Yamabushi mountain priests

A small crepe-pancake is wrapped around white miso paste The crepe is made from a special kind of flower, gyuuhi 求肥(ぎゅうひ), which gives it its special "mochi mochi" soft texture. It is a very simple but well-loved sweet.
These sweets are only sold on one day of the year, on July 16, the day in honor of En no Gyoja, founder of the Yamabushi.

Before the shop owner is allowed to make these sweets, he has to become a yamabushi (gyooja) himself and climb Mount Omine san in memory of En no Gyoja.

Kyoto, Kashiwaya Mitsusada 柏屋光貞
source : kyo-kasiwayamitusada

. En-no-Gyooja 役行者 The Founder of Shugendo .


(hora, hoora horagai 法螺貝, hoobyoo; S: dharma shankha)
Muscheltrompete , Horn des Gesetzes. Tritonshorn. Trompetenschnecke, Tritonshorn.

Sutra: Lotus-Sutra und Daimuryoojuukyoo.

Vertreibung der Dämonen. Mit diesem "Horn des Gesetzes" bzw. "Horn des Dharma" (hoobyoo) wird das Gesetz des Buddha bis in die letzten Winkel der Erde verkündet. Wenn man diesen Laut hört, werden die Sünden vergeben und man gelangt ins Paradies. Kuukai und drei weitere der acht China-Pilgermönche brachten erstmals ein Muschelhorn mit nach Japan.

Bei Zeremonien in der Tempelhalle und im Freien besonders von den Bergasketen (yamabushi) als Signal für wichtige gemeinsame Aktivitäten geblasen. Während der Initiationszeremonie erhält der Initiand vom Großmeister ein solches Muschelhorn als Zeichen seiner neuen Würde geschenkt.

Gehäuse einer Trompetenschnecke (horagai, makigai), an dessen spitzem Ende ein Mundstück (fukiguchi) angesetzt ist. Es gibt Ausführungen in verschiedenen Größen, im allgemeinen etwa 50 cm. Sie werden an einer kunstvoll geknüpften Seidenschnur (kai no o) um den Hals gehängt.

Die Kultgegenstände des esoterischen Buddhismus
(mikkyoo hoogu 密教法具, mitsugu)

Gabi Greve


. Shussebora  出世ボラ / 出世螺 Shusse Horagai .
From the conch to a dragon !


yama no kiri horagaisoo ni yobareshika

mist in the mountains -
this plant is really called
conch trumpet plant

Takaha Shugyo (Shugyoo) 鷹羽狩行

Related words

***** WKD ... Autumn Plants

. Shugendo / Mountain Ascets  





Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend from Yamagata
nogitsune / yako 野狐 fox Yokai monster
Once the priest from the temple 三蔵院 Sanzo-In was walking in the mountain forest, when he met a Nogitsune. He put his horagai 法螺貝 conch trumpet on the ear and blew. Suddenly the path became dark and he saw a house where he could stay over night. In this house, a woman had just died before giving birth. The priest was bewildered when he suddenly saw the woman get up again, blacken her teeth and then bit into the face of the priest. He turned his eyes in surprize and woke up . . . when he came to his senses, it was still light in the middle of the day.
more legends to explore

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Tottori 鳥取県 智頭 Chizu

. kitsune densetsu 狐と伝説 fox legends .
Once a child was bewitched by a fox. A Buddhist priest performed rituals and blew his horagai ホラ貝 conch shell during the whole night.
Next morning the child was dead.

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