Kobo Daishi Legends

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. Japanese legends and tales 伝説 民話 昔話 - Introduction .

Kōbō Daishi Kūkai 弘法大師 空海 - 伝説  Kobo Daishi Kukai Legends
(774-835) Kooboo Daishi Kuukai
お大師様 O-Daishi-sama, Henjō-Kongō 遍照金剛 Henjo Kongo

Founder of Shingon 真言 Japanese Esoteric Buddhism.

He walked around in many parts of Japan and countless legends about his deeds and accomplishments are handed down.
Most ubiquitous are the tales about wells, springs and ponds associated with Kukai.
Sometimes he even stopped or destroyed the water supply of an area, if the villagers were not kind to him, the poor monk.

. Kobo Daishi, Kukai 弘法大師 空海 - . (774-835) .

Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage 四国お遍路さん Henro Pilgrims in Shikoku
. Shikoku Henro Temple List .
Here you find legends related to this pilgrimage and its temples.

tokko, dokko, toko, doko 独鈷 / 獨鈷 / とっこ single-pointed Vajra, single-pointed "Thunderbolt"
. tokko 独鈷 と伝説 Legends about the Vajra Thunderbolt .
from Fukushima, Hyogo, Kagawa, Kyoto, Miyagi, Shizuoka, Tokyo.

Other legends deal with his walking staff from Gingko tree wood, 杖銀杏 or other material:
. tsue 杖と伝説 Legends about the walking staff of Kobo Daishi .


. Amanojaku 天邪鬼 "heavenly evil spirit " - Legends .
Most are explanations about local geological formations of rocks and boulders:
Zaimoku-Iwa 材木岩 - Timber Rocks, Gifu, 上宝村 Kamitakaramura, 双六 Sugoroku village
Hashigui-iwa 橋杭岩 Hashigui Rocks "Bridge Post Rocks", Wakayama
仙人岳 Mount Senningatake, Yamagata, 湯殿山の滝壷 Waterfall of Yudonoyama

. Emon Saburō 衛門三郎 Emon Saburo .
and the beginning of o-settai 摂待 alms for the Shikoku Henro pilgrims

. Fudo Myo-O and Namikiri Fudo 波切不動 .
How Kobo Daishi found Mount Koyasan 高野山, Wakayama.

. Megane Kobo めがね弘法 with glasses / 身代わり大師 Migawari Daishi .

. shibugaki 渋柿 and amagaki 甘柿 - bitter and sweet persimmons .

. unagi うなぎ / 鰻 と伝説 Legends about the eel .


- - - - - Legends from the prefectures - ABC-List - - - - -

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Ehime 愛媛県 - - - - -

祝森 Iwainomori
地蔵菩薩 Jizo Bosatsu and Seimen Kongo 青面金剛
In the hamlet 柿の木部落 Kakinoki (Persimmon Tree) there were two brothers. THe elder brother believed in 地蔵菩薩 Jizo Bosatsu, the younger one in 青面金剛 Seimem Kongo.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Aichi 愛知県 - - - - -

. migawari Daishi 身代わり大師 Kobo Daishi substitutes for us .
in a traffic accident on the 中国道 Chugoku road

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Fukui 福井県 - - - - -

. 三つの岩穴 a rock with three holes .
for : 酢 vinegar, 酒 sake and 醤油 soy sauce.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Fukushima 福島県 - - - - -

Beronaga べろ長 "the long tongue"
Taming a monster in Aizu Wakamatsu, Fukushima

. Nekomadake 猫魔岳 and Neko-Ishi 猫石 the Cat Boulder .
Kobo Daishi banning a monster cat.

. Taishi-Do 太子堂 Hall and statue with one eye .

. Yamamoto Fudo Son 山本不動尊 - Fukushima .
Founded in 807 when Kobo Daishi passed here and held a ceremony to appease the demons of the Yamizo mountains 八溝山.

Inawashiroko 猪苗代湖 Lake Inawashiro-Ko

Once a poor farm girl fave all the water there was to a thirsty begging monk (Kukai). And from the next morning, the water from 磐梯山 Mount Bandaisan flew all the way to her village.

Jaoigataki, ja-oi-ga-taki 蛇追ヶ滝 Jaoigataki Waterfall

Kobo Daishi passed here and exorcised a huge serpent from the waterfall. Nearby is now a temple in honor of Fudo Myo-O.
. . . CLICK here for Photos of the waterfall!

. Waterfalls named "Fudo no Taki" 不動の滝 .

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Gunma 群馬県 - - - - -

. Kukai at 榛名山 Mount Harunayama (1,449 m) .

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Hyogo 兵庫県 - - - - -

People from the island 淡路島 Awajishima did not give him any water, so he made the wells dry out.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Ibaraki 茨城県 - - - - -

Once at 常陸 Hitachi a shabby looking monk begged at a home for a lodging, but was refused. When the master of the home later found out that it was Kobo Daishi, he climbed on a large 欅 zelkova tree and called out for the monk to come back.
弘法様よーい、弘法様よーい Kooboo sama yoooi, kooboosama yooi
Eventually the man turned into a 蝉 cicada calling ちばひめ chibahime.

source : otafuku.cocolog-nifty.com
若宮八幡宮の大けやき The Keyaki zelkova tree in the compound of the shrine Wakamiya Hachimangu in Hitachi Ota 常陸太田市.

It is said that to our day the cicadas of the region come to this tree on the 23rd of July (this is the day when Kobo Daishi is supposed to have passed here).

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Ishikawa 石川県 - - - - -

In the village of 能美 Nomi, villagers did not give him any of their precious water to drink. Since then everywhere the villagers dug for water, it had a strong mineral-iron taste.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Iwate 岩手県 - - - - -

In a home he was served bitter warabijiru 蕨汁 bracken fern soup, so he taught the farmer how to make this soup with a sweet taste 甘蕨.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Kagawa 香川県 - - - - -

. Yashima 屋島寺 and the 血の池 Chinoike Blood Pond .

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Kumamoto 熊本県 - - - - -

In the village of 下益城 Shimomashiki there was a hot spring pond, but when Kobo Daishi passed here, an old woman lied to him, telling him it was just plain water. From that day on, indeed, the pond turned into a water pond.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Kyoto 京都府 - - - - -

Dai Birushana Kyoo 大毘盧遮那経 Mahāvairocana Sūtra
The mother of Kukai had a vision that a monk had come all the way from Tenjiku 天竺 India and then she got pregnant.
When her son, Kukai, practised the rituals of the Shobo 正法 "True Law", he saw the name of a sutra called 大毘盧遮那成仏神変加持経 Dai Birushana Jobutsu Jinben Kaji Kyoo and eventually got this sutra in China. Back home he had an audience with 嵯峨天皇 Saga Tenno, when his body sent out the five ritual colors of Buddhism and he looked like Birushana Buddha himself. This was his way of showing his human body in eternal bliss (sokushin jobutsu 即身成仏).

Dai Birushana Kyo 大毘盧遮那経 Mahāvairocana Sūtra //Dainichikyoo 大日経
- - - - - Mahavairocana Tantra / Mahāvairocana Sūtra
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Kyoto 東大和市 Higashi-Yamato city

. Gyoki Bosatsu 行基菩薩 and Senju Kannon .

Kyoto 亀岡市 Kameoka in the Tanba region (Tamba)

One legend about shibugaki 渋柿 bitter persimmons, see above.

Kobo Daishi
came to a farmhouse at the river 犬飼川 Inukaigawa and asked for some water, but they gave him none. From that time on, the water of the river ceased to flow along there.

Kobo Daishi
came to the hamlet 穴太 Ano in 曽我部村 Sokabe village and asked for a cup of water, but they gave him none. From that time on, the water of the river became very dirty.

there lived a dirty priest along the fiver Anagawa. Once a woman washed her vegetables further down the river, but just then the dirty priest begun to wash his 手拭 towel. The woman got angry at the priest, but he left without saying a word. Since then, people wonder if this might have been Kobo Daishi.
Anyway, since that event, the clear water in the hamlet stopped flowing.

Tokko legend, see above

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Osaka 大阪府 - - - - -

. A letter for the Dragon Palace 竜宮 .

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Shizuoka 静岡県 - - - - -

Tokko no yu 独鈷の湯

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Tochigi 栃木県 - - - - -
芳賀町 Haga town

shirohebi 白蛇 White Serpent

At the temple there is a stone memorial of one ken wide and one shaku high (幅1間、長さ1尺). Below it lives a white serpent. This is a 経塚 Sutra Mound founded by Kukai.
. kyozuka 経塚と伝説 Legends about a sutra mound .

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: - - - - - Tokyo / Edo 東京 江戸 - - - - -
市谷 Ichigaya

市谷亀岡八幡宮 Ichigaya Kameoka Hachimangu
founded by Kukai as 稲嶺山(いなりやま) Inariyama
- reference : shrine.iki-kiru.com/ichigaya -

Koto ward  江東区 Eitaijima 永代島

. Kobo Daishi and 竜灯 Ryuto, "Dragon Lantern" .

台東区下谷 Shitaya - 清水稲荷 Kiyomizu Inari

tokko 独鈷 Vajra


- - - - - reference - - - - -

妖怪 データベース yokai database - 270 entries tba
- source : nichibun.ac.jp -
- - - - - 空海 - 14 entries (02)
- - - - - 弘法 - 354 entries (00)
- source : nichibun.ac.jp -

空海の歩いた足跡に伝説が付き纏う。。。 (10)
- reference : plala.or.jp/eiji/kukaidensetu -

- Reference in Japanese - 弘法大師 空海  伝説
- Reference in English -


. Kobo Daishi, Kukai 弘法大師 空海 - . (774-835) .


. Join the friends on Facebook ! .

- #heianlegendskukai #kukaikobodaishi #kobodaishi #kooboo -




Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Tokyo Nerima, Nukui 貫井(ぬくい) "pulling out a well" village
When Kobo Daishi Kukai visited the area, the villagers were suffering from a severe water shortage. So he slapped is walking staff into the ground and thus water begun gushing out of the new well.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Nagasaki 長崎県
佐世保市 Sasebo city
Once a man became 肺病 a difficult lung disease and the specialist doctor told him he had maybe just half a year to live.
The man got an amulet of Kobo Daishi to substitute for him, got healed and could continue to work in the fields as a farmer.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Oita 大分県

Once Kukai asked for some negi 葱 leek, but the farmer did not give him any.
The next day all the leek had dried and nothing would grow on the field any more.
Another time he came to a river where an old woman washed potatoes and daikon 大根 radish.
He asked her to give him some but she only gave him a dirty potatoe.
Soon after the water in the river did not flow any more.

Gabi Greve said...

Legends from Kyoto 亀岡市 Kameoka city
Once upon a time, a dirty priest was resting on the banks of the river 穴川 Anagawa. Further down the river a woman was washing leaves for supper. The priest begun to wash his tenugui 手拭 hand towel. The woman got very angry and the priest left.
The priest was in fact Kobo Daishi. And from this time on, fresh water did not flow in this village any more.
In 曽我部村 Sogabe village, 穴太 Ano hamlet, Kobo Daishi asked for a drink of water, but the villagers did not give him any.
Since than the water in Ano village became too dirty to drink.
At the bank of river 犬飼川 Inukaigawa, Kobo Daishi asked a farmer for water, but did not get any.
The farmer refused to give him any.
Later the water of the river did not flow any more when it was needed by the farmer.
. shibugaki 渋柿 bitter persimmons .

Gabi Greve said...

Saga Tenno 嵯峨天皇 Legends about Emperor Saga

Gabi Greve said...

Henjooin 遍照院 Henjo-In Fudo - Chiryu
弘法山 Kobosan, Kobozan 遍照院 Henjoin

The temple was founded by Kobo Daishi, who came here in 810 and carved three statues of himself.
見返り大師 mikaeri Daishi