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yudan taiteki



yudan taiteki 油断大敵 Be attentive !

At the temple Enryaku-Ji on Mount Hieizan in Kyoto there is an "eternal flame" and all lanterns are kept alight since more than 1000 years.
The lanters use oil flames for light,
and the oil 油 YU should not be "cut off" 断 DAN,
so the flame could continue to light the temple and show the way to enlightenment for the visitors.

This is the origin of the saying

yudan taiteki 油断大敵 Do not be inattentive.

Don't be too sure of yourself!
Overconfidence [ Carelessness] can be very dangerous.
Unpreparedness is one's greatest enemy.
Idleness is the devil's workshop.

amulet from Enryaku-Ji

. Mount Hiei 比叡山, Hiei-zan .
and temple Enryaku-ji 延暦寺 .


"Yudan Taiteki" Good-luck Charms
Rikyu Hachimangu Shrine in Oyamazaki-cho

Good-luck charms carrying the words "Yudan Taiteki," or
carelessness is the great enemy,
have appeared at Rikyu Hachimangu Shrine in Oyamazaki-cho, Kyoto Prefecture, which is associated with "Aburaza," or oil merchant association. The reason the words were selected is that "Yu" of "Yudan" means oil. The charms were made in celebration of the 1,150th anniversary of the shrine's foundation. Four types of colorful charms are given to worshipers. The shrine staff explained,
"If you warn yourself in every situation, such as when taking an examination, working or driving a car, then seize an opportunity, god favors you."

Rikyu Hachimangu Shrine's good-luck charms labeled
"Yudan Taiteki" that is associated with oil (Oyamazaki, Oyamazaki-cho, Kyoto Prefecture)

The charms were made as a result of the popularity of ecological shopping bags and commuter pass holders, on which the words "Yudan Taiteki" were printed, which the shrine sold several years ago. The Chinese characters "Yudan Taiteki" are stitched with gold thread onto a black ground for the charms. The charms come in four colors: red, yellow, green and purple. All the colors are vivid and eye-catching.

Rikyu Hachimangu Shrine was the base of Aburaza in the medieval period. The shrine thrived on its exclusive sales of votive light oil made from perilla seeds, and "Oyamazaki no Abura uri," or oil merchants in Oyamazaki, traveled throughout the country. In the Warring States period, "Yamazaki no Kassen," or Battle of Yamazaki, was fought at the foot of Mt. Tenno, on which the shrine stands, and Hideyoshi Hashiba and Mitsuhide Akechi struggled in it for supremacy.

A shrine staff member who proposed making the charms said,
"If oil was cut off, it was impossible to illuminate the darkness, and there was a danger that people might be attacked by enemies. I hope people will consider votive light through this charm and also feel the importance of illuminating not only space, but also human minds."
source : www.kyoto-np.co.jp/kp


Abura no Kamisama 油の神様 Deity of Oil
Rikyu Hachimangu Shrine in Oyamazaki-cho

. abura uri 油売り oil vendor in Edo .


離宮八幡宮 Rikyu Hachimangu Shrine

*Founded in in 859 by the Emperor Seiwa
*Built at the site of the Emperor Saga's villa (Rikyu)
*Hinotosai-Festival (Spring Festival) started about 1130 years ago
*This is the birth place of EGOMA (labiate) oil making in Japan

Enshrined Deities
*The great deity of Sakatoke 酒解大神(さかとけのおおかみ)
*Emperor Ojin 応神天皇
*Three daughers of Emperor Ojin 比売三神(ひめさんしん)
and many more

Legendary Shrine History
At the begining of the Heian era(794-1185), the Emperor Seiwa ordered Gyokyo, a budist priest, to remove the debine symbol of the Usa-Hachimangu from Kyushu, and enshrine it somewhere right place in Kyoto.

When Gyokyo stopped by Yamazaki, he saw that a holy light emanated from the mountain at night. He dug at the place then found spring water gushing out of a rock. He decided to enshrine the god there and later, a shrine was built for the prosperity of Japan.

Rikyu-Hachimangu was originally named
"Iwashimizu (=spring water)-Hachimangu".

Today, however, it is called "Rikyu(=Emperor Saga's villa)-Hachimangu".
It is because the shrine was built at the site of the Emperor Saga's villa.

As the Birth Place of EGOMA 荏胡麻
(=labiate、Perilla frutescens Britton) oil making
At the end of the Heian era, the shinto priests of the Rikyu-Hachimangu invented an apparatus called "Nagaki" to make oil by squeezing egoma seeds.

At first, Egoma oil 荏胡麻油 was used for lighting up the Imperial Court, shrines and temples. Then gradually it spread and come to used by the general public.

With the Changes of the times...
Rikyu-Hachimangu was in full flourish as oil merchant center, Aburaza 油座.
In 1864, however, most of the buildings were burned because of a war.
Furthermore in Meiji era (1864-1912), the national railroad was constructed at the site of the shrine. A scale of the shrine was reduced into almost a half.
Only the southern half part of the shrine remains today.
source : rikyuhachiman.org

. Hachiman Shrines and their festivals .


not related but found when googeling:

source : orlando76.exblog.jp/


yudan shite iku na Usaka no shiriuchi matsuri 

do not be off guard
at the bottom-hitting festival
at Usaka shrine

Tr. Gabi Greve

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

The stick for hitting was made of the sacred sakaki tree (Cleyera ochnacea).
Some say the stick was made of a sakaki branch cut during the new year to cook the special rice porridge with seven herbs (nanakusagayu), so the women would give safe birth.

Three hokku about this festival:
. WKD : Usaka matsuri 鵜坂祭 Usaka Festival .


. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .

. Tohoku after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011



1 comment:

Gabi Greve - Basho Archives said...

yudan shite iku na Usaka no shiriuchi matsuri  

do not be off guard
at the bottom-hitting festival
at Usaka shrine

Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉