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5/30/2015

Legends black cow kuroushi

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. minwa 民話 folktales / densetsu 伝説 Japanese Legends .
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Legends about the Black Cow, Black Bull  黒牛と伝説 kuro-ushi, kuroushi

I have come across some legends about cows and bulls, but the special mention of color, like the RED or BLACK cow . . must have some deeper meaning.

Gabi Greve, May 2015

- - - - - Start exploring from here :
. Legends about the Red Cow, Red Bull  赤牛と伝説 aka-ushi, akaushi .


. ushi oni, ushioni, gyuuki 牛鬼 "bull-demon" ox ogre .
a monster in the pandemonium of Western Japan.


There are four breeds of Wagyu Japanese cattle:
the Akaushi (Japanese Red), the Kuroushi (Japanese Black), the Japanese Polled and the Japanese Shorthorn.




- quote -
Kuroushi Junmai Ginjo from Nate Shuzo-ten Co., Ltd., long standing brewery in Wakayama Prefecture, epitomizes this hot new sake taste . . .
“Kuroushi goes great with a wide range of flavors, even with western cuisines. It’s especially amazing with cheese! So, I recommend baked dishes topped with cheese,” says Mr. Keita Akaboshi of Sake Bar Kirakuya.
- source : www.chopsticksny.com -



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- Now let us go back to the past and enjoy some legends about "black cows".
Since most farmers in former times used cows for the field work, I use that translation.
Oxen and bulls were kept by specialized farmers for breeding.

. Buddha Statues and Cows (Bulls, Oxen) .


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- ABC - List of Black Cow legends from the Prefectures

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. . . . . . . . . . Fukushima 福島県

Once upon a time
飯盛山 Mount Iimoriyama was called 弁天山 Benten-yama, because deep in the mountains there was a small shrine to venerate the deity Benten. It was so far away from human habitation that the villagers of 滝沢村 Takizawa decided to have a new hall build nearer to the village. Every day one person from each farming family, about 50 persons, began to work there for more than two months and finally the hall was finished and a large banquet was to be held in the evening in the precincts.

But during midday there was suddenly the voice of a cow to be heared. When the villagers went to have a look, there was a beautiful girl riding on a black bull. She held a bowl filled with red auspicious rice in her hands and stopped at the village center. She was so beautiful that all folks were stunned at her sight.
The girl said:
"Thank you all so much for building this wonderful temple hall.
As a thank-you gift I offer you this bowl of red rice!"

"Where did you come from?" asked the villagers but she just told them to eat the rice and smiled beautifully. So they begun to eat and had never tasted anything better.
"That's so good, how delicious, how delicious. . . " and the more they ate the more the bowl filled again and was never empty.
They ate and ate, thinking it a bit strange but did not worry until all were filled to their heart's content with rice.
Then the girl took the bowl, placed it on the back of the cow, said "Thank you for accepting my humble gift" and left.
The villagers looked after her in surprize, but after a few hundred meters her figure simply vanished from sight.

"What a miracle, this must have been Benten Sama herself" the villagers finally realized.
And where the cow had suddenly disappeared they build a grave and shrine for the cow 牛の墓.
This is the origin of the village name Ushi-ga-Haka 牛ヶ墓 "Grave of the Cow" , 牛ヶ墓村 to our day.



And the mountain where Benten gave them all a never-ending portion of red rice was now called Iimori Yama 飯盛山, "The Mountain of a Large Portion of Rice".


. Benten, Benzaiten 弁天 弁財天 .

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. . . . . . . . . . Gifu 岐阜県

吉城郡 Yoshiki gun 上宝村 Kamitakara village

The master of the 黒淵 Black River Pond is a black cow with white spots.
It does not like smoke.
When it shows its head to the villagers, there will be a severe drought in the villatge 大旱魃.
The villagers have to go to the River Pool and perform some rain rituals.


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. . . . . . . . . . Hyogo 兵庫県

神崎郡 Kanzaki gun 神河町 Kamikawa village

1900年ごろの1月9日、某氏が山神祭の日であることを忘れて山へ猪猟をしに入ってしまった。猪の通る場所で一服していると、前から猪が1頭やってきたので、狙いをさだめて引き金を引こうとすると、猪の姿は消え、大きな黒牛のような怪獣が現れた。それだだんだんと大きくなっていったので、死に物狂いで逃げ帰ったという。

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. . . . . . . . . . Iwate 岩手県

Kurobeko to Kuma 黒牛と熊 The Black Bull and the Bear

Once upon a time
there lived a man who bred black bulls for bullfighting 闘牛.

黒牛(くろべこ)の、すばらしい闘牛だと。角(つの)は人の腕(うで)よりも太く、歩く姿はまるで黒い大岩(おおいわ)が動き出したようだ。角あわせをしても、一度も負けたことがない。
名前をクロとつけて自慢の種だったと。
ある年の角あわせの日、クロに組み合わせの知らせが来なかったと。
男は、クロをひいて会場へ行った。世話役(せわやく)さんに、
「俺(おれ)とこに、出てくれという知らせが無いのはどういうこった」
と聞いたら、世話役さんは、



「お前(め)とこのクロはあんまし強いんで、誰も角あわせしたくねえちゅんだ」
という。
しかたなく男はクロをひいて帰ったと。
牛小屋(うしごや)にいても、闘(たたか)う相手のいないクロは力を持て余しているふうだ。
「すまねぇなクロや。いまにきっとお前の相手になるような牛(べこ)っこを見つけてやっから」
と、毎日いいきかせていたと。
ところがある朝、男が牛小屋に行ってみると、クロの姿が見えない。


source : minwa.fujipan.co.jp/hagukumu/

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. . . . . . . . . . Kagoshima 鹿児島県

西之表市 Nishinoomote

At a place called Kuyamajii くやまじい there is a 化け物 monster called 黒牛 Kuroushi.


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. . . . . . . . . . Nagano 長野県


CLICK for more photos !

A sinful woman left a piece of cloth to dry in the garden behind her house, but a passing cow snagged it with a horn and trotted off. The woman followed the beast all the way to Zenkooji, where it disappeared and she found herself standing before the image of Amida Buddha. From that point on, she became pious.

. Zenkooji 善光寺 Zenko-Ji .


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. . . . . . . . . . Nara 奈良県

大和郡山市 Yamato Koriyama

ある百姓が6年の約束で小僧を雇ったが、3年して病になり、死んでしまった。その後、夢枕に小僧が現れ、残り3年は明日伯楽が引いてくるはずの黒牛になって補う、と言った。その牛を買って使うと、ほかの牛の何倍も働いたが、3年後に急死した。その牛を葬ったのが牛の宮という塚。


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Once upon a time
奈良に近い小さな村に、政吉(まさきち)という男の子がおりました。政吉のお父さんが病気で働けなくなってから、たいそう貧しい暮らしをしておりました。

まだ遊びたい盛りの政吉でしたが、隣村の名主さんの家に六年の奉公に出ることになりました。名主さんの家に行く途中、「もう遊んでいる暇はないから」と、政吉の宝物だったおもちゃの黒牛を、丘の上の木の洞(木の穴)にそっと隠しました。政吉は朝から晩まで骨惜しみせず働くので、名主さんや奉公人にもかわいがられ、楽しく暮らしていました。

ところが、政吉が奉公に来て三年目に、裏山の柿の木から落ちて死んでしまいました。名主さんは残りの三年分の借金は帳消しにしてあげると、政吉の両親に告げたが、政吉の両親はそれでは気の毒だと思っていました。その夜、母の夢に政吉が出て「おらの代わりに黒牛が働くから」と言った。

次の日、名主さんの家に黒牛が現れ、木の洞に隠してあったおもちゃの黒牛はなくなっていました。黒牛は、他の牛の何倍も働く本当に良い牛で、名主さんからもかわいがられました。黒牛が来て三年の月日がたち、本来であれば政吉の年季明けの日となりました。その朝、働き者の黒牛は名主さんの家から姿を消し、木の洞からはおもちゃの黒牛が見つかりました。

名主さんは、その丘の上に小さな塚(つか)を建て、黒牛の霊を弔いました。その塚は「牛の宮」と呼ばれて、今も残されているという事です。

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. . . . . . . . . . Niigata 新潟県

佐渡の大倉村 Okura village in Sado, 加茂湖 lake Kamoko

Shakunage 石楠花 rhododendron

Once upon a time
a beautiful lively girl lived here with her mother and father, who was a woodcutter.
The girl took care of the cows in the open pasture from Spring to Autumn, although she was still very young and would rather play with other children.

One day a black calf was born in the herd. It grew up happily and joyfully in the care of the family and survived the fierce winter. But then its cow mother died. So the young girl took good care of the calf now all by herself.
Within two years, the calf had grown into a beautiful ox with black hair, strong horns and four strong legs. His black hair shone even more beautifully than that of the other cows in the herd. The young girl would often climb on its back and take a ride through the forest.



One night in summer, the girl took the black bull to view the moon reflected in lake Kamoko. On the way back, when the girl turned once more toward the lake, she found a young man standing behind her.
"I am the bull you have raised so tenderly. In summer, when the moon reflects in lake Kamoko, I am allowed to turn human. Oh, I love you so much!"

From that day on, the girl took the bull to the lake every night and the two could enjoy their time together. The girl was also deeply in love.

In the winter of that year the parents decided it was time to sell the black oxen, but the daughter would not have it. So they sneeked out at night when the girl was asleep, took the bull and went to sell it.
The girl tried to run after them when she woke up, but she came only to the mountain pass. There she fell down, red blood streamed out of her mouth and she died on the spot.
In spring the farmers planted a shakunage 石楠花 rhododendron bush on the spot at 大倉峠 Okura Pass where the girl had died.

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. . . . . . . . . . Okinawa 沖縄県

来間島に得たいの知れぬ怪物が夜ごとやってきて島の人々を殺すようになる。この噂を聞きつけた勇者たちが島へやってきたが、悉く殺害された。それを聞いた3兄弟が島へやってきて、怪物の正体は大きな黒牛であることをあばき、怪物を退治する。しかしその後怪物に逃げられ、その後をつけていき体中に毛を生やした血だらけの大男を見つけて殺す。


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. Reference - 黒牛伝説 .

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妖怪 データベース yokai database
- source : www.nichibun.ac.jp -


マンガ昔話データベース Manga Mukashibanashi database
- source : nihon.syoukoukai.com -



. Legends about animals 動物と伝説 .

. minwa 民話 folktales / densetsu 伝説 Japanese Legends .
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- - - #kuroushi #kuroushilegends #blackcowlegends - - - - -


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