10/01/2016

Hitachibo Kaison

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Hitachibo Kaison Sennin 常陸坊海尊仙人
Hitachino Boukaison

(dates unknown)

Retainer of
. 源の義経 Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159 - 1189) .



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Hitachibō Kaison (常陸坊海尊) - Formerly a disciple from 園城寺 Onjō-ji, (or maybe at 比叡山 Heiizan) he once served Yoshitsune's brother. However, after a minor disagreement with his master, he fled to Yoshitsune in Hiraizumi. A clumsy monk who was prone to make several mistakes, he was known as the lovable coward among Yoshitsune's followers. Kaison took a liking to Yoshitsune's courage and quickly adhered to his master. He was also argued to have been Benkei's partner in crime as they shared similar upbringings.
. . . . . Learning from Shōshun and Benkei that Yoritomo had ordered his death, Yoshitsune had Shōshun executed. Reluctant to turn his arms against his brother yet wanting to survive, Yoshitsune finally decided to take action by heading towards his known supporters in the west. He set sail with Saburō, Benkei, Kaison, and 500 men to brave the waves on November 3. Kaison, who used his former pirate experience to man the boats for his lord, spotted a furious storm blocking their path. Benkei identified the storm's source to be souls of the departed Heike, refusing to allow Yoshitsune back to the west and pushing him towards Yoritomo. Although Yoshitsune had ordered his men to endure, the grudge of the spirits was too powerful and his entourage was forced to land back on shore.
. . . . . While they were captured, Yoshitsune tearfully met with the head priest of Miidera. On the head priest's advice, Yoshitsune and his men hid their armor and weapons to disguise themselves as monks. Benkei and Kaison helped instruct their master to properly look and act the part, though it broke their hearts to see their lord in such a state. Within a week or so, a hundred warrior monks nearby Yoshino banded to escort Yoshitsune.
. . . . . Yoshitsune rested quietly within his mansion in 衣川 Koromogawa, a month after Yasuhira read Yoritomo's order. His thirty or so loyal retainers were casually dancing until they spotted a troop of five hundred readily armed soldiers marching towards their position. At once, Benkei famously armed himself with a large pole arm (Iwatooushi) and coordinated the men to prepare their defenses. Their numbers were few and the squadrons barely consisted numbers in the double digits. The following day, Yoshitsune's loyal retainers fought bravely until their last, serving as the final resting place for Saburō, Yoshihisa, and others. Kaison was set up with eleven men but he fled on the morning of the attack.
He would forever be ridiculed in folklore as the lone survivor, the lone traitor.
. . . . . Yoshitsune is considered the first ninja in history and is heralded as a hero by the nearby townsfolk. The protagonist can then visit his tomb to loot his treasured sword and armor. A tengu wing can also be spotted beside his belongings.
One of Yoshitsune's trusted companions whilst living, Hitachibo Kaison, protects his grave from trespassers.
- source : koei.wikia.com/wiki/Yoshitsune -

Tales about Hitachibo Kaison are recorded in the following records:
『源平盛衰記』Genpei Josuiki, 『義経記』Yoshitsune Ki and 『平家物語』Heike Monogatari.

After the death of Yoshitsune, legend tells, Kaison attained furoo fushi 不老不死 eternal youth and immortality and lived at least for 400 more years. Therefore the date of his death is not known.

In the beginning of the Edo period, there lived an old man named 残夢 Zanmu, talking about the Genpei War, so people thought he was Kaison.
This is recorded in the 本朝神社考 Honcho Jisha Ko by 林羅山 Hayashi Razan.

Some legends in Iwate, 洋野町 Hirono town tell about his grave being there, even with a stone marker 石碑.

In Tochigi, 真岡市 Mooka town at the temple 遍照寺 Henjo-Ji, old records talk about Kaison, bringing the son of Yoshitsune named 経若丸 Tsunewakamaru to Lord 伊達朝宗 Date Tomomura (1129 - 1199), 常陸入道念西 Hitachi Nyudo Nensai 宗村 Munemura.
Date Tomomura is the founder of the Date clan 伊達氏初代.

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. Aoso Jinja 青麻神社 "Green Hemp Shrine", Miyagi, Sendai .
Old names of this shrine are
青麻岩戸三光宮 Aosa Iwado Sanko no Miya、
青麻権現社 Asao Gongen Sha 、嵯峨神社 Saga Jinja
三光神社 Sanko Jinja "Shrine of the three Light Rays"

Kaison is venerated at Aoso Jinja as a deity to heal eye diseases 眼病の神.

A farmer named 久作 Kyusaku, who was almost blind, came to pray for healing to Aoso Shrine every day. In the year 1682 天和2年4月1日 on the first day of the fourth month at ushi no koku 丑の刻 the double-hour of the bull (a mysterious time after midnight) he suddenly could see again.
The first thing he saw clearly was a strange old man with white hair, who said his name was Hitachibo Kaison, who told him:
ここを日月星三光の窟とたたえよ、目を明かにしてやるぞ!
And then his eyes were healed.
Kaison believed in the power of the star constellations 日月星, seishin 星辰, and told him to build a sanctuary near the cave named
Iwado Sankooguu 岩戸三光宮 Iwado Sanko Gu Shrine.



Iwado Sankooguu 岩戸三光宮 Iwado Sanko Gu Memorial Stone

Once Hitachibo roamed upstream of the river Koromogawa in Hiraizumi and stayed at the nome of an old man. The man gave him red meat of a well-tasting fish and after that he attained eternal youth and immortality.
(See the legend of the nun Shii Bikuni about eating meat of long life.)
He later came to use the name of Seietsu Sennin.

Seietsu Sennin 清悦仙人

Around the time of 1620 , there lived a strange old monk named 清悦 Seietsu. He was from Kyoto but came to Tohoku on request of Yoshitsune.
One day he went fishing to the river 衣川 Koromogawa and a strange man living in a cave gave him some red meat to eat. It is said this would make a human live a long life 三光をしのぐ長寿になる. So he kept alive to our time, they say!

The Legends and stories of Seietsu, 清悦物語 Seietsu Monogatari, tell his strange life.
It reports he lived for more than 400 years was even invited by 伊達氏 Lord Date.
He is also known as
無名翁 Mumei-O (The Old Man without a Name) or 気散 Kisan.
He even met with Hitachibo Kaison. Other Legends say he WAS Hitachibo.


- source : success/kaison_play -

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Matsuo Basho - Oku no Hosomichi - 奥の細道 - おくのほそ道

. - - - Station 28 - Mogamigawa 最上川 - - - .

Sennindoo 仙人堂 Sennin Do (外川神社 Togawa Jinja)
This Hall is upstream from Shiraito Waterfall. It is a shrine in honor of Yoshitsune's retainer Hitachibo Kaison.



"I saw the Cascade of Silver Threads sparkling through the green leaves and the Temple called Sennindo 仙人堂
standing close to the shore."


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Fukushima 会津若松市 Aizu Wakamatsu

Kaison is a person from the Heian period, but some say he lived more than 400 years.
In a dream around the year 1588 he saw 天海僧正 Saint Tenkai eating nameshi 菜飯 rice with leaves. Tenkai told him to eat kuko meshi 枸杞飯 rice with wolfberry Lycium rhombifolium.
More than 130 after that a strange old man appeared, called 残月 Zangetsu and talked about the story of Yoshitsune and Hitachibo Kaison.

. Tenkai 天海 - Jigen 慈眼 (1536 - 1643)
He was close to Tokugawa Ieyasu and built the temple Kanei-Ji in Ueno.

. wolfsberry クコ【枸杞 kuko 】 Lycium rhombifolium .

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Gunma 伊香保町 Ikaho

chisen 地仙 The Local Saint
上州伊香保にある温泉に1人の樵がいたが、周りの住人は彼の年齢を知らなかった。その地の古老が言うには、彼は源義経の旗指で、奥州合戦の時に義経ととも に蝦夷の地に逃げた。義経は彼の忠勤を称えて、常陸坊海尊の伝えていた灸の技術を彼に伝え、彼はそれによって地仙となり長寿を得たという。

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Iwate 釜石市 Kamaishi

常龍山光学寺の大徳塚は何を祀ったものか誰も知らなかった。あるとき山伏が塚に参っているので寺の僧が塚の主を問うと、山伏は亀井六郎の墓であると答え、義経一行のことを事細かに語った。山伏は常陸坊海尊だったろうということになった。


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Miyagi 白石町 Shiroishi - see also Shiroishi Hot Spring below

阿子島屋という古い呉服屋にいた老人は超長寿で、甲州流の秘法とされる戦場沓の製法を知っていたり、元禄3年に107歳で死んだ天鑑和尚が15、6歳の頃 にはすでに老人で経を教えていたり、家康の時代に暦にすでに暦の誤りが指摘されていたことを知っていたり、元禄5年の火事を呪文で水を呼んで鎮めたりした といわれている。元禄6年に死んだと言われているこの老人は常陸坊海尊だと信じられている。
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Sendai 宮城野区

源義経の家臣であった常陸坊海尊は仙人になり、元亀天正のころ、関東や信越地方で源平合戦や奥州落ちの様子を詳細に語ったという。不思議な道士風で、年齢は500歳にも及んだといわれている。
- - -
常龍山光学寺の大徳塚は何を祀ったものか誰も知らなかった。あるとき山伏が塚に参っているので寺の僧が塚の主を問うと、山伏は亀井六郎の墓であると答え、義経一行のことを事細かに語った。山伏は常陸坊海尊だったろうということになった。

阿子島屋という古い呉服屋にいた老人は超長寿で、甲州流の秘法とされる戦場沓の製法を知っていたり、元禄3年に107歳で死んだ天鑑和尚が15、6歳の頃 にはすでに老人で経を教えていたり、家康の時代に暦にすでに暦の誤りが指摘されていたことを知っていたり、元禄5年の火事を呪文で水を呼んで鎮めたりした といわれている。元禄6年に死んだと言われているこの老人は常陸坊海尊だと信じられている。

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Yamagata 最上郡 Mogami

etsunagitsune 飯綱狐 / エツナギツネ
瓶割山は判官の北の方がお産をしたところである。その歳、常陸坊海尊が飯綱狐を使って安産させたといわれている。信州の飯綱山、京の稲荷山の飯綱狐は陀吉 尼(だきに)天の法であるが、仙台の飯綱三郎は海尊が残したものであるという。明治の頃、禅僧が瀬見に宿泊したとき、不思議な老人に狐を預けられた。楕円 形の重い石で、石の膚理が狐9疋の形になっている。今は秋鹿郡石巻の小西九兵衛という人が珍蔵している。


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Shiira bikuni シイラ比丘尼 The Nun Shiira



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Iwate, 釜石 Kamaishi - and Miyagi 南三陸町 Minami Sanriku

One day a fisherman went fishing near Hiraizumi, when a strange old man living in a cave gave him a strange red fish to eat.
His companion 五郎三郎 Gorosaburo did not eat the fish meat but took it home with him and told everyone not to eat it. His young daughter of 6 years named シイラ Shiira was so tempted to eat this meat, she did not listen to her father's warning and ate it.
After this Shiira never died and lived as a nun for at least 200 years. Now nobody knows where she is.
The old man is said to have been 海尊仙人 Kaison Sennin.

After the death of 平泉の秀衡 Lord Hidehira in Hiraizumi, his retainer Gorosaburo took his life to follow his master, as was the custom of the times.
The wife of Gorosaburo took their young daughter Shiira and hid at 本吉郡の竹島 Takeshima Island in the Motoyoshi district.
The Heavenly Nymph at the Cave of the same name at Takeshima island 竹島の天女洞 refers to the girl Shiira, who lived more than 250 years, always looking like a woman in her forties.


Togura 戸倉 - Takeshima 竹島
Different from the other islands in the inlay, this island is of a soft white rock.

shiira 鱰/鱪 / シイラ is the name of the common dolphin, Coryphaena hippurus.

- - - - - Legends of a similar kind are told about
yao bikuni 八百比丘尼 a young nun for 800 years
- and -
. sennen bikuni 千年比丘尼 a young nun for 1000 years .
never growing old, because once she ate the meat of a "human-fish" .
The "human fish" 人魚 (ningyo) is most probably a Dugong.
Whoever eats its meat will live for 1000 years without changing his/her features.

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Hitachibo Kaison Sennin 常陸坊海尊仙人 Legends
- source : nichibun yokai database -

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- quote -
Obara Onsen 小原温泉
Legend has it that in the late Heian era, Hitachibo Kaison (a retainer of Minamoto no Yoshitsune) discovered Obara Onsen. This hot spring is commonly known as [Me-ni-Obara].
The Obara Onsen that is nestle close to the upstream of the Shiroishi River and v-shaped valley is said to be discovered by Minamoto no Yoshitsune’s retainer • Hitachino Boukaison. In the 800 years since its discovering, the hot spring has since heal countless people.
The colourless and odourless spring water heals illness. The name of “Me-ni-Obara” is very famous and guests from all over Japan come here in seek of the ravine water.
Shiroishi City is the gate to Zao area in Miyagi。白石温泉 Shiroishi Onsen
- source : shiroishi-navi.jp -

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常陸坊海尊についての一考察
- Reference - success/kaison -

- Reference - English -


. Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets .

- - - #hitachibokaison #kaisonhitachibo - - -
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