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6/06/2015

Sanbo Taro Okayama

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. minwa 民話 folktales / densetsu 伝説 Japanese Legends .
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Legends about Sanbo Taro, Mitsuho Taro 三穂太郎 と伝説 - Okayama
Sanbo Taroo 三穂太郎 Sanbo Taro, Miho Taro, さんぶ太郎 Sanbu Taro

. Legends from Okayama 岡山の民話と伝説 .
- Introduction -



Sanbo Taro is a representative story of a Giant Legend 巨人伝説 of Okayama,

Once upon a time,
Masatomo 真兼, a member of a powerful Kan clan, visited the temple 菩提寺 Bodai-Ji in 奈義 Nagi and met a beautiful lady on the way. They soon became intimate and a baby boy was born, named 太郎 Taro. But the lady told her lover not to come in the room when she was nursing the baby.
Masatomo promised, but of course got very curious and peeked in one day.
There he saw a huge serpent as the real figure of his love, nursing the baby. The woman/snake now had to leave her husband and son, but the boy stayed and grew up to be a man, after his snake-mother had provided a treasure ball with five colors 五色の玉.

He became very large and could reach Kyoto with just three steps of his long legs.
That is why they called him Sanbo Taro 三歩太郎(さんぼ太郎、三穂太郎) (Taro making three steps).
Nobody has ever seen his full figure from head to toe, he was just too big.

Taro had to get 豊田姫 Princess Toyoda Hime from a locla clan as his wife and they had children together.
But he was really in love with 小夜姫 / 佐用姫 Princess Sayo Hime from 佐用 播州 Sayo in Banshu (Harima, now Hyogo). Sayo Hime was quite jealous and when Taro came to visit, she spiked his straw sandals with needles.
When Taro took a step, the pain made him jump high into the sky and then his body fell down, scattering in bits and pieces all over the place.
Other versions tell of poison on the needles and Taro died from this poison.

His blood and muscles
formed the black earth in Nihonbara as Kuroboko in North Okayama, 血肉は日本原一帯のクロボコ(黒土).
In Nagi 奈義町関本 there is a place where his head is worshipped - 頭様 - at Miho Jinja.
In Mimasaka, Ute 美作市右手 his right hand is worshipped as 右手大明神 Ute Daimyojin.
In Nagi, Saibara 奈義町西原 his body is worshipped as 荒関荒神 Araseki Kojin.
In Tottori, Haji, 鳥取県土師 his shoulder is worshipped as Nyakuichi sama ニャクイチ様

Maybe these legends reflect the spread of the influence of the Kan clan.



Miho Jinja 三穂神社(三穗・みほ)
三穂大明神 Miho Daimyojin

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Shrine to venerate thr right hand, 右手大明神 Ute Daimyojin.

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The KAN clan of Mimasaka 美作菅氏
Sanbo Taro is most probably a descendant of 菅原道真 Sugawara no Michizane. Some legends say that he was in fact
菅原実兼 / 真兼 Sugawara Masatomo.



三穂太郎満祐 Sanbo Taro Mitsusuke
It seems he was a real person, member of one of the seven branches of the Mimasaka Kan clan - 美作菅家七流.

菅党, 菅家 :
有元氏(武家)/ 廣戸氏(武家)/ 福光氏(武家)/ 植月氏(武家)/ 鷹取氏(武家)/皆木氏(武家)/ 豊田氏(武家)/ 江見氏(武家)/ 垪和氏(武家)/ 粟井氏(武家)/ 戸川氏(武家)/ 柳生氏(武家)

The 垪和氏 Haga shi, also written 垪賀・羽賀・方賀・芳賀.

. Sugawara Michizane 菅原道真 (845 - 903).


. 垪和族 The Haga Clan .
竹内流古武道 Takenouchi Budo

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- quote -
The Kasane Iwa is related to the story of Sanbutaro, the legendary giant of Mimasaka. It is said that at one point, Sanbutaro picked up an onigiri with chopsticks and when he bit into it, there was a small stone inside. Of course, he didn't eat the stone, so when he discovered it, he removed it. That stone is the Kasane Iwa and it sits here around Yunogo Onsen.



The Kasane Iwa is only a stone from the perspective of a giant! It is actually a very large boulder. It's nice when in the Yunogo Onsen area to wander over and see it. It's free and the associated story is fun.



The story of Sanbutaro and is told by the Karakuri Tokei からくり時計 (clock)
at the opposite end of Yunogo Onsen every hour.
- source : Mimasaka Travel Guide -


- - - - - Other places related to Sanbo Taro



Musubi Iwa オムスビ石 Onigiri Rock (Musubi Rock)
where he sat down to each his rice ball for lunch. The rock is about 10 meters high.
Hakamagasen 袴ヶ仙, a 931 m high mountain

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Ibo Ike イボ池 Pond / Ibo Ike Sama イボ池様
where he stuck his walking stick in the ground on his way to Kyoto. The water sprouts from an opening in the rocks.
Makabe 真加部


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CLICK for enlargement !

Recent acitvities at Miho Jinja.

- source : Naokimi on facebook -

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Katsuta district near Mount Nagisan / 勝田郡にある那岐山

The first sleet, icey rain in winter is called 三穂太郎 Sanbo Taro.
Sanbo Taro is seen as yama no kami, 山の神 the Deity of the Mountain.
He is also the ancestor of the 武士団 Kan samurai clan living at the foot of Mount Nagisan.
Their main festival was centered around this first sleet.

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蛇淵の滝 Waterfall at Jabuchi river pool

Sanbo Taro maybe ived as a serpent in the river pool 蛇渕 Jabuchi near Mount Nagisan.


The legends around Sanbo Taro remind of the legends about 天狗 Tengu goblins and 河童 Kappa water monsters.

There are many legends in Japan about a serpent as wife 蛇女房.
The serpent is seen as an incarnation of the Deity of Water, 水神.

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- quote -
Kono Shrine, known locally as Nyakuichisan
... driving up Rte 53 heading towards Tottori City passing through Chizu Town.
Inside the main shrine building was shelf upon shelf of wooden cutouts of hands and feet.



The origin of this custom lies in a legend from Okayama, south of Chizu.
There was a benevolent giant name of Sanbutaro ( or Sanbotaro). He was so large that he could reach Kyoto in only three strides!! His head was buried down in Okayama, but for some reason that I have been unable to find out, his hands and feet were buried here.
- source : ojisanjake.blogspot.jp -

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. . . CLICK here for Photos !

- - - - - - - - - - . Reference 三穂太郎 .

- source : kibi_iwakura -

- source : 立石憲利 Tateishi san -

- source : hunterslog.net/dragonology -


- source : wikipedia - 美作菅氏 -

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

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