2018-12-01

Harunasan Mount Haruna legends

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. Japanese legends and tales 伝説 民話 昔話 - Introduction .
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Harunasan 榛名山と伝説 Legends about Mount Haruna
Gunma prefecture, (1,449 m) - Harunayama
Lake Harunako is also called Ikaho no numa 伊香保の沼 Swamp of Ikaho.


Mount Harunasan and 榛名湖 Lake Harunako

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Mount Haruna started to form more than 300,000 years ago and the last known eruption was c. 550. The volcano has a summit caldera containing the symmetrical pyroclastic cone of Mount Haruna-Fuji, along with a crater lake, Lake Haruna, along the western side.
To the west of the lake is Mount Kamonga, the tallest of Mount Haruna's numerous peaks at 1,449 m high.
The lake and the area to its east, as well as the southern and southwestern slopes, lie within the borders of Takasaki city. The border of Shibukawa city (to the east) nearly approaches Lake Haruna. Both Shinto village and Yoshioka town are on the southeast slopes of the mountain. The northern and northwestern slopes lie within Higashi Agatsuma town, which also bounds Lake Haruna. The summit lies on the border of Takasaki and Higashi Agatsuma.
Mount Haruna,
along with Mount Akagi and Mount Myōgi, is one of the "Three Mountains of Jōmō (Jōmō is an old name for Gunma) ."
- more in the wikipedia

At the top of Mount Harunasan is the Shrine
黒髪神社 Kurokami Jinja- see below



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- 榛名天狗 Haruna Tengu -

Shrine 榛名神社 Haruna Jinja
群馬県高崎市榛名山町849 / 849 Harunasanmachi, Takasaki, Gunma

満行権現 Mangyo Gongen is venerated at this Shrine. He is also known as
榛名権現 Haruna Gongen.



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This old shrine is said to have been built about 1,400 years ago. It is dedicated to gods that give blessings for world peace, bountiful grain harvests, prosperous business, and marriage. The large shrine is set in extensive grounds of 15 hectares, with a 700-meter approach to the inner precincts from the entrance. In recent years it has attracted attention as a spiritual power spot, with many tourists
- source : visitgunma.jp/en... -

The Deity in residence is 勝軍地蔵 Shogun Jizo
. Shōgun Jizō 将軍地蔵 Shogun Jizo, General Jizo .

This shrine is very old, and dates back to the time of 用明天皇 Yomei Tenno (585 - 87).
In the Nanboku Period it came under the patronage of 東叡山上野寛永寺 the Kanei-Ji temple in Ueno, Edo.

With the separation of Shinto and Buddhism in the Meiji period, it was changed back to Haruna Shrine.
Mangyo Gongen was seen as the Shinto version of Shogun Jizo.
The Deity 元湯彦命 Motoyuhiko no Mikoto was also enshrined.
東殿・饒速日尊(にぎはやひのみこと)Nigihayahi no Mikoto - in the Eastern Hall
中殿・元湯彦命 Motoyuhiko no Mikoto - in the Central Hall
西殿・熟真道命(うましまじのみこと)Umashimaji no Mikoto - in the Western Hall

Since Meiji, two Deities in residence
- 火産霊神(ほむすびのかみ)Homusubi no Kami
- 埴山姫神(はにやまひめのかみ)Haniyama Hime no Kami

- Amulet with a Dragon, the Master of Lake Harunako


- HP of the Shrine
- reference source : www.haruna.or.jp.. -

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Memorial stone of Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶句碑
visiting Haruna Shrine in 1808 on the way to Kusatsu.



鶯もとしのとらぬや山の酒 
uguisu mo toshi no toranu ya yama no sake

the nightingale, too
isn't growing old!
mountain sake

Tr. David Lanoue

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- source with many photos of the power spots
- reference source : s.webry.info/sp/lucky-day.... -


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- - - - - ABC List of legends from the prefectures :


. Akagisan 赤城山 /赤木山 Mount Akagi, Akagiyama (1,828 m) .
赤木山の杉の坊 Akagiyama no Sugi no Bo Tengu
Lake Harunako, 伊香保の沼 the Swamp of Ikaho
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The 赤城山の神 deity of Akagisan is a mukade ムカデ centipede.

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Akagisan no oni 赤城山の鬼 The Demons from Akagisan and Harunasan
Once the tow demons got into a fight. The demon from Akagi threw 小石 small stones and the demon from Haruna threw bara バラ(茨)plants with many thorns.
Therefore on Mount Akagisan there are many plants with thorns and on Mount Harunasan there are many small stones.

Akagisan no Tengu 赤城山の天狗 Tengu from Mount Akagisan
The Tengu made Akagisan in one night and then Harunasan in one night. Next he wanted to make a mountain bigger than 富士山 Fujisan and begun to pile up earth, but then a cock called out the morning and there was just enough earth to make
ヒトモッコ山 / ひともっこ山 Mount Hitomokkoyama, a small mountain to the West of 榛名富士 Haruna Fuji.
Other sources quite 上野の天狗と駿河の天狗 the Tengu from Ueno and Suruga for creating Mount Hitomokkoyama.




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満行大権現 Mangyo Daigongen / Deity 満行権現 Mangyo Gongen
榛名大明神 Deity Haruna Daimyojin
春名満行(はるなまんぎょう)権現 Haruna Mangyo Gongen (with a differenc character for HARU).



. Mangyoo 満行 / 万行(まんぎょう)和尚 Priest Mangyo .
(? - 1641) - Priest 満行坊 Mangyo Bo and the Red Eyed Fudo Myo-O in Edo
椿名満行宮大権現
He is said to be an incarnation of the first 愛宕山太郎坊天狗 Tengu from Atago,

Before he became the Tengu of Mount Haruna, Mangyo was the regent of Ueno 上野国西七郡,
- 群馬(くるまの)太郎満行(みつゆき) Kuruma no Taro Mitsuyuki.
The story is also related to 相馬ヶ岳/ 相馬山 Mount Somasan.


source : toki.moo.jp/gaten/551-600/gate551...

Mangyo was good at shooting arrows and once shot down a monster that had hidden in the Imperial Palace.
But he was cursed, got ill and died soon. His soul came back and caused more trouble, so they built a shrine to appease his soul.
He then turned back to human features and came to Mount Harunasan.
『満行大権現由来伝記』『榛名山御本地』

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多野郡 Tano district 上野村 Ueno village

jashin 蛇神 Serpent Deity
During the time of emperor Monmu Tenno 文武天皇 (683 - 707) the Serpent Deity from the river 神流川 Kannagawa in Ueno village wanted a human sacrifice, the daughter of the governor. The governor of 甘楽郡 Kanra district prayed for help and 公卿満行 the high official Mangyo came along. He used eight special volumes of the Hoke Sutra, 法華八軸, to drive out the serpent.
The body of the serpent was divided into eight parts and a special hall 八串堂 erected for it.
Mangyo became the son-in-law of the governor and was later venerated in the 満行堂 Mangyo Hall of Mount Haruna.
The daughter is said to have become the deity 野栗権現 Noguri Gongen.


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- - - - - Tengu 天狗

At mount Harunasan there are actually two Tengu:


source : toki.moo.jp/gaten/401-450/gate438,,,

The カラス天狗 Karasu Tengu
lives at 磨墨峠 the "Makuro" Surusu Toge Pass (1122 m) at the rock スルス岩 / 磨墨(するす)岩 Surusu Iwa, where there is a stone statue of him, made in 1937.


磨墨(スルス)岩 Surusu Iwa
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千葉常将 Chiba Tsunemasa made a vow at mount Harunasan and was granted a child. But the boy was kidnapped by a Tengu and disappeared.
So Tsunemasa took his army to fight the Tengu priest at the mountain Shrine to get his child back.
The child Aimitsu called from above the clouds:
あいみつわかはここにあり - I am far up Here!
The wife of Tsunemasa committed suicide in her grief.

Tsunemasa is now venerated at the shrine 常将神社 Tsunemasa Jinja
/ 榛東村山子田に鎮座する常将神社
The wife is now venerated as Benten sama.
The Child Aimitsu waka is vererated at 黒髪山 Mount Kurokamisan.

Chiba Tsunemasa was a retainer of
. 源頼朝 Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147 - 1199). .
- the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate.

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相馬山のお天狗様 Tengu from Mount Somasan
The Tengu from Mount Soma and 力持ち the Strong Man from Kita-Soma had a competition in making mountains in one night.
The Strong Man threw earth to make Mount Somasan, but the Tengu imitated the morning call of a cock to make him stop.
The Strong Man was angry and turned around on his heels many times, thus leaving lake Harunako.
The piled-up earth became ふたもっこ山 Mount Futamokko.


相馬山 Somasan

In former times, many strange things happened at Mount Somasan. It was even written with the Chinese characters
総魔 total negative magic.
On top of the mountain is a stone statue of
相馬大神 Soma Okami "Great Deity of Soma"


source : toki.moo.jp/gaten/351-400/gate399

The statue has been erected in 1868 by the village 中村 Nakamura (now part of 渋川市 Shibukawa city).
The 黒髪神社の奥宮 mountain top shrine of Kurokami Jinja had been erected in 1881.

Kurakami 黒髪 black hair - maybe a local dialect for
Kura-okami 暗神, a deity residing over rain and darkness.
On Mount Somasan there are often thunderstorms.

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榛名町 Harunamachi town

On 榛名山 Mount Harunasan, Harunayama , there lives a Tengu. He dug out earth from the bottom of 榛名湖 Lake Harunako and tried to add it to 富士山 Mount Fujisan.



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Kobo Daishi Kukai 弘法大師 once came to 榛名山 Mount Harunayama and wanted to make 1000 valleys.
But the local Tengu managed to hide one valley and Daishi sama went back to 紀州の高野山 Kishu, to Mount Koyasan.


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. daija, orochi 大蛇 the huge serpent, great snake .
Harunako no Nushi 榛名湖の主 the Master of Lake Harunako

There are various tales of a girl becoming a serpent or even dragon and 池の主 Master of the Lake.
Villagers make offerings and put them in a special box, which after diving down comes back up and has some scales of a fish or serpent in it.
These scales may be kept as amulets in the local Shrines or temples.

Once a girl of the village jumped into lake Harunako and became a serpent.
On this day her family now makes offerings of mochi 餅 rice cakes, puts them in a wooden box and throws them into the swamp.
They say the box sinks down, but then comes up once more before finally disappearing.

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吾妻郡 Agatsuma district 東吾妻町 Higashi-Agatsuma

The daughter or an old woman of the temple 善導寺 Zendo-Ji becomes Master of the Lake.

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安中市 Annaka city

The girl from the Shrine Haruna Jinja in Annaka becomes Master of the Lake.
The girl climbs up to heaven and becomes a princess, leaving two carps, higoi 緋鯉 one golden red carp, and one magoi マゴイ carp as Master of the Lake.
On the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, villagers make offerings of 12 food trays, which are soon flying up into the sky.
Children of 2 years are brought to Haruna Shrine to pray for their blessings.
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koshimotogani 腰元ガニ / 腰元蟹 "maid servant crabs"
When 箕輪城 the castle of Minowa fell to the enemy, the princess jumped into the swamp. Her koshimoto 腰元 maid servants followed her and became special crabs. (This tale comes with local variations.)
The servants cleaned the swamp and made it into a beautiful clear lake.
The princess later became ryuu 竜 a dragon as Master of the Lake.
At that time, Shrine Haruna Jinja was called 伊香保神社 Ikaho Jinja.


- Remains of Minowa Castle
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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榛東村 Shinto village

The princess daughter of 木部様 Lord Mokubu becomes master of the Lake.
Rituals were held in her memory on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month.
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A hunter attacked a pray he saw near the lake Hamanako. Suddenly it became cloudy and a thick fog prevented him from seeing. The hunter swooned. Later he went back to the place where he had shot and found two scales on the ground. He must have seen the serpent, Master of the Lake, while it was enjoying some sunshine on the land.
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In winter villagers come to cut the ice out of the lake. They hit the Master of the Lake, the Huge Serpent, with their saw. The wound of the Princess/Serpent did not heal well so she moved on to the well of the temple 長年寺 Chonen-Ji in 室田 Murota. There she shape-shifted into a man and played 将棋 Japanese Shogi chess.
But her identity became open and so she climbed from the well into the sky.


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渋川市 Shibukawa city 小野上村 Onogami village

Once a girl of the village jumped into lake Harunako and became a serpent.
On this day her family now makes offerings of mochi 餅 rice cakes, puts them in a 重箱 lacquer box and throws them into the swamp. The box came back with the 鱗 scale of a snake.
This scale is still kept now in a temple in 原町 Haramachi town.
- Another version of this story tells of this happening with 魚のコケ(鱗) the scales of a fish.

. hebi 蛇と伝説 Legends about snakes and serpents .
serpent in lake Harunako

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kamisoku ishi 神足石 stones with the footprint of the Deity
The stones are about 40 cm large and the footprints are quite clear.
They have been left when Haruna Gongen was walking here.

ofuku ishi 御福石 lucky stone
This huge stone is about 2 meters wide. If someone touches it with its hands and it moves, it brings good luck.

ookami ishi 大神石 stone of a great deity
This stone is about 1 meter large. From a cavity below it flows a special water that heals warts, 疣水 ibomizu.

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kitsune 狐 fox
The priest 正通和尚 Masamichi met a mendicant monk (nun) named 朱鶴 Azuru and they built the temple 茂林寺 Morin-Ji.
Azuru took care of the temple and many people came here. She even had a 大茶釜 huge pot for making tea for 1000 people.
Once when she took a nap, her tail showed and people saw the was a fox. So she had to leave the temple.
But the tea pot is still there.

The temple is now famous for the story of a 狸 Tanuki:
. Bunbuku Chagama 文福茶釜 / 分福茶釜, Lucky Tea Kettle Story .


Temple Morin-Ji was built in 1426. There are many Tanuki statues in the compound.
群馬県館林市堀工町1570 / 1570 Horiku-cho, Tatebayashi-shi, Gunma


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倉渕村 Kurabuchi village

Bingushi Inari ビングシ稲荷 Bingushi Inari Shrine
Once a villger went to the Inari shrine and borrowed 賽銭 the offering money and the Inari fox statue, hoping to bring them back next year in double.
And indeed, the property and richness of his family had doubled.

鬢櫛山(びんぐしやま) Bingushiyama, Mount Bingushi (1.350 m)
Izumisawa, Higashiagatsuma, Agatsuma District, Gunma


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高崎市 Takasaki city

. deidaarabotchi デエダラボッチ, ダイダラボッチ Daidarabotchi monster .
The huge monster-man, called Detchiboo でっちらぼう Detchibo in local dialect, once came to Mount Harunasan to sit down. His feet's impression left the remains of the swamp.





............................................................................... Shizuoka 静岡県
静岡市 Shizuoka city

oino お犬 / オイノ O-Ino, Honorable Dog
Every year in August or September the people make a pilgrimage to Mount Harunasan to get amulets.
Since Mount Harunasan is related to the Honorable Dog, the amulet helps 狐憑き to avoid being bewitched by foxes.


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- reference : nichibun yokai database 妖怪データベース -

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. animals and their legends 動物と伝説 - - ABC list .

. plants and their legends  植物と伝説 - - ABC list .

. trees and their legends  樹木, 木と伝説 - - ABC list .

. Persons, People, Personen and their legends - - ABC list .

. Legends about Kobo Daishi Kukai - 弘法大師 空海 - 伝説 .

. Japanese legends and tales 伝説 民話 昔話 - Introduction .

- Yookai 妖怪 Yokai Monsters of Japan -
- Introduction -

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