Monday, May 23, 2016

Tengu Dakiniten Fudo Myo

Last weekend I was visiting the priest at Takuhi Shrine on Nishinoshima in the Oki Islands. I was intrigued by the print of Fudo Myo hanging in the priests house, even though this was a shrine. Upon closer examination it turned out to be quite an unusual Fudo. Standing on a white fox, it was conflated with Dakiniten, the Hindu deity quite popular with the rulers in Heian Japan, and one of the sources of Inari. It also had wings and the face of a crow, and was therefore also a Karasu Tengu.

Seeing my interest, the priest went next door and brought back this old painting which showed a more traditional long-nosed Tengu/ Yamabushi.

The shrine is located under a cliff high on the mountain, and was a temple until the Meiji Period when it "became" a shrine and therfore sparing it the destruction that happened to every other temple on the islands.

I found several smaller shrines around the mountain and the highest one was a Sanjin Shrine which the priest assured me was to Tengu.

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