Lake Biwa

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Lake Biwa
An overview photo of the lake.

Lake Biwa

Lake Biwa (琵琶湖) is a lake within Shiga Prefecture. The Seta-no-Karashi Bridge is built on the lake.1

According to Buddhist tradition, Mount Fuji rose from the earth in 286 BC after an earthquake that also created Lake Biwa.2

Supernatural Connections

It is mentioned as the home of The Dragon King in the Japanese Folktale My Lord Bag of Rice where Fujiwara Hidesato kills the Giant Centipede Seta.1 Additionally we see the tale known as The Gratitude of the Samebito set in this are where we find a creature known as the Samebito who due to a minor offence has been expelled from the service of the Dragon King.2


A poem written by Priest Manzei (subjected to the art of honkadori in the Tōkan Kikō) states that he wrote a poem whilst standing on Mt. Hiei gazing over Lake Biwa.3


1. Ozaki, Y.T. (1903) “The Japanese Fairy Book”. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd.
2. Davis, F. H. (1992) “Myths and Legends of Japan.” New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
3. Miller, R. A.. (1981) “The Lost Poetic Sequence of the Priest Manzei”. Monumenta Nipponica. Vol.36 No.2 pp.133-172

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