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GloPAD ID 1007093
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Digital Object Title Morioka "Dōkumbō denki" text
Component Associated Performing Art Puppetry
Component Treatise
Component Activity Date Unknown
Component Associated Location Morioka, Iwate, Japan
Component Represented Language Japanese
Component Associated People Suzue Ai (Recipient)
Date Object Created 1638
Date Object Destroyed Unknown
Object Dimensions 0 x 0 x 0 pixels
Component Notes Partial translation in "Religious Authority and Ritual Puppetry" article:
- The Leech Child drifted on the waves for many months and years. At some point in the past, he arrived at Wakokuzaki and had the shape of a wheel. There, he became a kami of light. At that time there was a fisherman by the name of Murogimi (From this time, the leader of the fishermen began to be called Murogimi. Later, his surname became Fujiwara and first name was Hyakudayū Masakiyo). Once, he was sailing in a fishing boat when suddenly the sky became dark, clouds gathered and darkened the sun, and lightning flashed all around. Noting the strangeness of this occurrence, Hyakudayū drew near to a small child he saw floating in the water. The child had the shape of a deity, and was only about twelve or so years old. The child turned to face him and delivered the following oracle: 'I am the Leech Child of long ago. Until now, I have had no worship hall. You shall build me a temporary worship hall on the seashore.' The hall built as a result of this oracle was the Nishinomiya Daimyōjin (Ebisu Saburō Den) in Nishinomiya. In this shrine, a person by the name of Dōkumbō was capable of meditating for this kami and receiving his messages.
- But after the death of Dōkumbō, there was no one to appease the deity, and so the Leech Child caused heavy rains and winds, fishing disasters, and mishaps on land. Hyakudayū then reported this to the head of the Fujiwara family, who was in the capital, and an imperial order was issued ordering him to make a puppet with the same face and posture as Dōkumbō. Obeying this order, Hyakudayū manipulated the puppet before the worship hall of the Leech Child, and the deity's spirit calmed down. After this, puppets of this type in the likeness of Dōkumbō were unusually effective in appeasing the Leech Child. Hyakudayū then went around to many provinces and worshipped many gods.
- After this, Hyakudayū-Dōkumbō stopped at Awajishima and transmitted this art. It was here that the gods created the great country of Japan, and here is the island of Toyoaketsushima. Hyakudayū was given the title of ayatsurimono, or puppeteer. He lived at Sanjō, Mihara, Awajishima, and there he transmitted this art. It is said that here the people of old worshipped the myriad kami. After his death, Hyakudayū was worshipped somewhere in Nishinomiya. He was granted an imperial edict from the capital to appease divine spirits. As an appeaser of kami, Hyakudayū was later awarded the proclamation, 'The great country of Japan is a divine country. The person who appeases the divine will is therefore someone of the highest talents.'
WARNING: This art is for the appeasement of kami. People should not take this lightly. If they do, it will weigh heavily upon them. People should be sorely afraid.
Postscript: There was a record of this story before, but it has been lost. It was based upon a secret letter from the house of Yoshida, but since the old document has not been well checked, I have followed only the oral version.
Sakagami Nyūdō
Kan'ei 15, mid-summer
Component Reference Religious Authority and Ritual Puppetry: The Case of Dōkumbō Denki
Rights and Ordering Information- to reproduce or order a copy of this digital object
Rights Statement
Credit Line Courtesy of Jane Marie Law
Ordering Information Contact the Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University