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Fujiwara no Takamitsu

Fujiwara no Takamitsu

Period: Heian Period Occupation: Writer, Monk Family: Fujiwara no Morosuke (father) Fujiwara no Tamemitsu (brother) Fujiwara no Koretada (brother) Fujiwara no Kanemichi (brother) Fujiwara no Kaneie (brother) Fujiwara no Kinsue (brother) Birth: – Death: 944AD Fujiwara no Takamitsu Fujiwara no Takamitsu (藤原 高光) was a member of the Fujiwara Clan, more[...]

Priest Genbō

Priest Genbō

Period: Nara Period Occupation: Buddhist Monk, sōjō Family: – Birth: – Death: 746AD Priest Genbō Priest Genbō (玄昉) was a Buddhist Priest and court official known to have died on 746AD. In 717 he was sent to China alongside Abe no Nakamaro and Kibi no Makibi where he studied the[...]

Buddhist Titles

Buddhist Titles

Buddhist Titles This page serves to list all different job titles associated with the Buddhist faith. We will continue to update as we add to the site. Sami Sami (沙弥) was a title meaning ‘Cleric of Minor Orders.’ This title was given to people by themselves. Until the arrival of[...]

Fujiwara no Yorimichi

Fujiwara no Yorimichi

Period: Heian Period Occupation: sesshō, kampaku Family: Fujiwara no Michinaga (father) Fujiwara no Shōshi (sister) Fujiwara no Kenshi (sister) Fujiwara no Ishi (sister) Fujiwara no Norimichi (brother) Fujiwara no Morozane (son) 2 daughters Birth: 992AD Death: 1074AD Fujiwara no Yorimichi Fujiwara no Yorimichi (藤原 頼通) was a member of the Fujiwara[...]

Bunbuku Chagama

Bunbuku Chagama

Bunbuku Chagama Bunbuku Chagama (分福茶釜 or 文福茶釜) is a Japanese Folktale about a Tanuki who rewards the man who rescued him. Synopsis A Buddhist Priest comes across an old battered tea kettle amongst a pile of lumber. He takes the kettle and proceeds to clean it, and began to use[...]

Gensuke

Gensuke

Gensuke Gensuke was a victim to the practise of Hitobashira in 1608. This event occured at the Matsue Ohashi Bridge. Attempts were being made to construct a bridge over the Ohashi river here, however, the pillars kept being washed away. A sacrifice was chosen (this being the next soul to[...]

Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga

Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga

Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga The Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga (鳥獣人物戯画 – Scrolls of Frolicking Animals) Chōjū-giga (鳥獣戯画) are a group of 4 emakimono scrolls with varying animal and human depictions, many of the animals having human characteristics. They are also notable as they contain no text.12 The scrolls measure 31cm high and are around 1 metre[...]

Fujiwara no Kadanomaro

Fujiwara no Kadanomaro

Period: Nara Period / Heian Period Occupation: – Family: Fujiwara no Oguromaro (father) Birth: – Death: – Fujiwara no Kadanomaro Fujiwara no Kadanomaro (藤原 葛野麻呂) was a member of the Fujiwara Clan living around the late 8th and early 9th century. He was the son of Fujiwara no Oguromaro. In[...]

Fujiwara no Izuko

Fujiwara no Izuko

Period: Muromachi Period Occupation: – Family: Fujiwara no Kintada (father) Birth: – Death:- Fujiwara no Izuko Fujiwara no Izuko was a member of the Fujiwara Clan. A daughter to Fujiwara no Kintada she lived from 1351-1406AD marrying Emperor Go-En’yu. Together they had a child who would become Emperor Go-Komatsu. In[...]

Haji no Umate

Haji no Umate

Period: Asuka Period Occupation: Retainer in the Office of Crown Lands Family: Haji Clan Birth: Death: 711AD Haji no Umate Haji no Umate (馬手) was a member of the Haji Clan known to have fought in the Jinshin War during his lifetime. When the future Emperor Tenmu left to become[...]

Haji no Ushikatsu

Haji no Ushikatsu

Period: Nara Period Occupation: Lieutenant Governor of Kazusa Province Family: Haji Clan Birth: Death: Haji no Ushikatsu Haji no Ushikatsu (土師 牛勝) was a member of the Haji Clan who we see mentioned as Lieutenant Governor of Kazusa Province in 738AD. In 745 we see him in the capital with[...]

Haji Clan

Haji Clan

First Ruler: Nomi no Sukune (dubious) Final Ruler: – Dissolution: – Cadet Branches: Sugawara Clan, Akishino Clan, Ōe Clan, Niehaji. For a full list of Clans: See Japanese Clans. Haji Clan The Haji Clan (土師氏) was a Japanese clan which claimed descent from the Shinto spirit Amenohohi in the 12[...]

Fujiwara no Shōshi

Fujiwara no Shōshi

Period: Heian Period Occupation: Empress Family: Emperor Ichijō (husband) Emperor Go-Ichijō (son) Emperor Go-Suzaku (son) Fujiwara no Michinaga (father) Fujiwara no Kenshi (sister) Fujiwara no Ishi (sister) Fujiwara no Norimichi (brother) Fujiwara no Yorimichi (brother) Birth: 988AD Death: 1074AD Fujiwara no Shōshi Fujiwara no Shōshi (藤原 彰子) was a member[...]

Mujina

Mujina

Mujina Mujina (貉) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien and are known to be shapeshifters like the tanuki or kitsune. One story involving this creature details how it liked to take the form of a monk and would perform devotions everyday[...]

Minamoto no Yorimasa

Minamoto no Yorimasa

  Period: Heian Period Occupation: Warrior / Poet / Monk Family: – Birth: 1104AD Death: 1180AD Minamoto no Yorimasa Minamoto no Yorimasa (源 頼政 was a poet and warrior living from 1104-80.12 As a buddhist monk he went by the name of Gensan-in Nyūdo2, but also was known as Genzanmi[...]

Inson

Inson

Period: Heian Period, Kamakura Period Occupation: Buddhist Sculptor Family: – Birth: 1120 Death: 1198 Inson Inson was a Buddhist sculptor known to have lived during the late Heian Period and early Kamakura Period from 1120AD to 1198. During his lifetime he lived in Heiankyō as was the lead representative of[...]

Kashin Koji

Kashin Koji

Period: Muromachi Period Occupation: Magician Family: Birth: 1524 Death: – Kashin Koji Kashin Koji (果心居士) was said to have been a magician born in 1524 who also went by the name of Shippo Gyoja (Pilgrim of the Seven Treasures). His ancestry is unfortunately not known and we can often find[...]

Minamoto no Shitagō

Minamoto no Shitagō

Period: Heian Period Occupation: Nashitsubo no Gonin, Poet Family: – Birth: 911AD Death: 983AD Minamoto no Shitagō Minamoto no Shitagō (源 順) also known as Minamoto no Shitagau was a Heian Period poet living from 911 to 983AD.12 Later in life he became a Buddhist Monk and took the name[...]

Henjo

Henjo

Period: Heian Period Occupation: Waka Poet, Monk Family: Priest Sosei (son) Birth: 816 Death: 890 Henjo Henjo (遍昭 or 遍照) was a Buddhist monk and poet, entering into religion in 849. Before this he was known as Yoshimine no Munesada (良岑宗貞) and lived between 816 and 890. Before entering into religion[...]

Priest Kisen

Priest Kisen

Period: Heian Period Occupation: Waka Poet, Monk Family: Birth: mid 9th Century Death: – Priest Kisen Priest Kisen (喜撰) was a Buddhist monk and Japanese poet living around the mid 9th century. Sadly not much is known about him other than he lived in the area of Uji and according[...]

Onmoraki

Onmoraki

Onmoraki Onmoraki (陰摩羅鬼 – Shadow Demon) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This particular creature is said to take the appearance of a crane with a black body and glowing eyes. When it flaps its wings it is known to give[...]

Shitennō-ji

Shitennō-ji

Co-ordinates: 35°00′48″N 135°51′10″E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Osaka Prefecture Founded: 593AD Affiliation: Buddhism Shitennō-ji Shitennō-ji (四天王寺) is a Buddhist Temple said to have been constrcuted by Shōtoku Taisha in thanks to the ‘four heavenly kings’ he believed who had helped him win against the Mononobe Clan. This temple is the oldest[...]

Zenki and Goki

Zenki and Goki

Zenki and Goki Zenki and Goki (前鬼 & 後鬼) are two well known Oni with strong associations with the founder of the Shugendō Religion, En no Gyōja. Said to have dwelt in the mountains ranges close to Nara, they would regularly terrorise the people there by taking their children. En[...]

En no Ozunu

En no Ozunu

Period: Asuka Period Occupation: Religious Founder Family: Birth: 634? Death: 701? En no Ozunu En no Ozunu (役小角) lived during the Asuka Period, perhaps from 634-701AD. He was born with the name Kamo-no-e-no-kimi, but over his life he gathered many others such as En no Gyōja (役行者 En the pilgrim), Jinben[...]

Shugendō

Shugendō

Shugendō Shugendō (修験道) is a religion in Japan which is a mixture of both Buddhism and native Japanese mountain worship, historically said to have been founded by En no Ozunu upon the slopes of Mount Katsuragi, Nara Prefecture. The religion had a rather quick growth after its onset and the[...]

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji

Co-ordinates: 35°21′29″N, 138°43′52″E Region: Chūbu Region Prefecture: Shizuoka Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture. Height: 3,776m Mount Fuji Mount Fuji (富士山) is the tallest mountain in Japan, reaching a height of 3,776 meters. The mountain itself has 3 subsidiary volcanoes by the names of Komitake, Ko-Fuji and Shin-Fuji. Shin-Fuji being the most active[...]

Heaven

Heaven

Heaven This page about Heaven serves to bring together information we have gathered relating to the various ‘Heaven’s’ from different religions in Japan. As we gather more information this page may be broken down into seperate pages. Takamagahara – Shinto Takamagahara (高天原) is the Shinto version of Heaven. Its origins[...]

Fujiwara no Yoshitaka

Fujiwara no Yoshitaka

Period: Heian Period Occupation: Waka Poet Family: Fujiwara no Koretada (father) Fujiwara no Yukinari (son) Birth: 954AD Death: 974AD Fujiwara no Yoshitaka Fujiwara no Yoshitaka 藤原 義孝 (954 – 74) was a member of the Fujiwara Clan,  more specifically the Hokke Branch of this clan, and was the son of Fujiwara[...]

Nuppeppō

Nuppeppō

Nuppeppō The Nuppeppō (ぬっぺっぽう) is a kind of featureless blob type Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. The creatures name can be found derived from the word ‘nupperi’ which is something that is slack faced, or having a dazed expression. Sekien shows the creature in front[...]

Aobōzu

Aobōzu

Aobōzu The Aobōzu (青坊主 – Blue Monk) is a type of one eyed monk Yōkai seen depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. In his depiction his is shown in front of tea house, though no explanation to the history of this creature is provided. It is possible that[...]

Nuribotoke

Nuribotoke

Nuribotoke The Nuribotoke (塗仏) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. The creature, which is an animated corpse, is depicted as having dangling eyes and darkened skin. Within older depictions of the Yōkai we see the creature as having jet black skin, often[...]

Kōshin

Kōshin

Kōshin Kōshin (庚申) is a religion of Japan which can find its origins around the 9th Century. It contains a mixture of both Buddhist and Taoist teachings, but now it not widely practiced. One of their beliefs sates that worms reside within our bodies, recording both our good and bad[...]

Dōkyō

Dōkyō

Period: Nara Period Occupation: Buddhist Monk Family: – Birth: – Death:- Dōkyō Dōkyō (道鏡) was a Buddhist Priest who lived during the Nara Period and the reign of Empress Kōken. At the time he was renowned as the medical authority and so when Kōken became ill he was called upon[...]

Empress Jitō

Empress Jitō

Reign: 690-697AD Period: Asuka Period Family: Emperor Tenmu (husband) Prince Kusakabe (son) Empress Genmei (half-sister) Emperor Monmu (grand-son) Burial Place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Tenmu * Successor Emperor Monmu Empress Jitō Empress Jitō (持統天皇) was the 41st Emperor of Japan, ruling from 690-697. Originally her name was Princess[...]

Mibudera

Mibudera

Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Kyoto Prefecture Co-ordinates: 35°0′5.76″N 135°44′36.02″E Affiliation: Buddhism Mibudera Mibudera (壬生寺) is a Buddhist Temple. The temple is related to the Yōkai spirit called Sōgen-bi, who was once known as the monk Sōgen. The monk is said to have stolen money offerings and lamp oil left at[...]

Emperor Kōtoku

Emperor Kōtoku

Reign: 645-654AD Period: Asuka Period Family: Emperor Kogyoku (sister) Prince Naka (nephew) Burial Place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Empress Kogyoku * Successor Empress Saimei Emperor Kōtoku Emperor Kōtoku (孝徳天皇) was the 36th Emperor of Japan, reigning from 645-654AD.1 His name prior to ascension was Karu.2 Reign Kōtoku came to[...]

Emperor Sushun

Emperor Sushun

Reign: 587-592AD Period: Asuka Period Family: Soga no Umako (uncle) Burial Place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Yomei * Successor Emperor Suiko Emperor Sushun Emperor Sushun (崇峻天皇) was the thirty-second Emperor of Japan. He was placed on the throne by Soga no Umako after winning a skirmish against Mononobe[...]

Horyu-ji

Horyu-ji

Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Nara Prefecture Co-ordinates: 34°36′51″N 135°44′03″ Founded: 607AD Affiliation: Buddhism Horyu-ji Horyu-ji (法隆寺) is a Buddhist Temple constructed under the orders of Shōtoku Taisha. The Yumedono (Pavillion of Dreams) here is reputed as the place where he had prophetic dreams.1 The original form of the document known[...]

Emperor Yōmei

Emperor Yōmei

Reign: 585-587AD Period: Asuka Period Family: Emperor Kinmei (father) Empress Suiko (sister) Burial Place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Bidatsu * Successor Emperor Sushun Emperor Yōmei Emperor Yōmei (用明天皇) was the thirty-first Emperor of Japan. He is known to have been the son of Emperor Kinmei and father to[...]

Emperor Bidatsu

Emperor Bidatsu

Reign: 572-585AD Period: Asuka Period Family: Emperor Kinmei (father) Empress Suiko (wife) Emperor Yōmei (half-brother) Emperor Jomei (grand-son) Burial Place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Kinmei * Successor Emperor Yōmei Emperor Bidatsu Emperor Bidatsu (敏達天皇) was the thirtieth Emperor of Japan. During his reign there were several court power[...]

Emperor Kudara

Emperor Kudara

Period: Asuka Period Occupation: Emperor Emperor Kudara Emperor Kudara is the name ascribed to an Emperor who gifted the image of the Buddha as well as Buddhist scriptures to the Emperor Kinmei which would eventually lead to the adoption of the religion in Japan.1 Footnotes 1. Martin, P. (1997) ”The[...]

Emperor Kinmei

Emperor Kinmei

Reign: 539-571AD Period: Asuka Period Family: Emperor Keitai (father) Emperor Senka (brother) Emperor Bidatsu (son) Emperor Yomei (son) Empress Suiko (daughter) Burial Place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Senka * Successor Emperor Bidatsu Emperor Kinmei Emperor Kinmei (欽明天皇) is the twenty-ninth Emperor of Japan. His brother was the Emperor[...]

Shin’yu

Shin’yu

Period: Muromachi Period Occupation: Buddhist Monk Shin’yu Shin’yu was a Buddhist Monk who acted as editor for Ken’yuu when he created a new copy of the Kojiki during the Muromachi Period.1 Footnotes 1. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University[...]

Ken’yuu

Ken’yuu

Period: Muromachi Period Occupation: Buddhist Monk, Author. Ken’yuu Ken’yuu was a Buddhism who copied early records of the Kojiki. He began copying the 2nd and 3rd book in 1371 from a manuscript written by court aristocrat Ōnakatomi Sadayo in 1266, belonging to Ise-born textual lineage. One year later he uses[...]

Enryaku-ji

Enryaku-ji

Co-ordinates: 35°04′14″N 135°50′28″E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Shiga Prefecture Founded: 788AD Affiliation: Buddhism Enryaku-ji Enryaku-ji (延暦寺) is a Buddhist Temple overlooking Kyoto. The temple itself is build upon Mount Hiei, situated in the old Province of Omi. Built during the Heian Period, the temple gained control of many estate lands[...]

Miidera

Miidera

Co-ordinates: 35°00′48″N 135°51′10″E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Shiga Prefecture Founded: 672AD Affiliation: Buddhism Miidera (三井寺,御井寺) is a Buddhist Temple located close to Lake Biwa in Otsu city. Folktales It is mentioned in the Japanese Folktale My Lord Bag of Rice. According to the story, Fujiwara Hidesato donated a bell to[...]

Raigō

Raigō

Birth: – Death: – Period: Heian Period Occupation: Buddhist Monk Raigō Raigō was a Buddhist monk who lived during the reign of Emperor Shirakawa, residing at Mii-dera. During his lifetime he was tasked by Shirakawa to pray for the safe birth of his son, with the promise of his temple[...]

Nakatomi no Kamatari

Nakatomi no Kamatari

Period: Asuka Period Occupation: Naidaijin Family: Fujiwara no Fubito (son) Birth: 614 Death: 669 Nakatomi no Kamatari Nakatomi no Kamatari (中臣 鎌足) was a member of the Nakatomi Clan and later founder of the Fujiwara Clan. Kamatari lived from 614-669AD12 and was the father of Fujiwara no Fubito.2 During his[...]

Soga no Umako

Soga no Umako

Period: Asuka Period Occupation: – Family: Soga no Iname (father) Soga no Emishi (son) Emperor Sushun (nephew) Birth: – Death: – Soga no Umako Soga no Umako (蘇我 馬子) was a member of the Soga Clan noted to have been even more powerful than his father, Soga no Iname. During[...]

Soga no Iname

Soga no Iname

Period: Kofun Period Occupation: Minister Family: Soga no Umako (son) Birth: – Death: – Soga no Iname Soga no Iname (蘇我 稲目) was one of the rulers of the Soga Clan, the Emperor Kinmei is known to have taken two of his daughters as consorts. Prior to the reign of[...]

Tengu

Tengu

Tengu The Tengu (天狗) are a type of Yōkai depicted as a type of Raven in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. They have deep associations with the Shugendō Religion, seen as guardians of Mountains and some legends state that martial artists such as Miyamoto no Yoshitsune learned their tricks from these[...]

Inugami

Inugami

Inugami and Shirachigo The Inugami (犬神, Dog God) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō alongside the creature Shirachigo (白児, White Child). The Inugami is also seen in the Hyakkai Zukan. The Inugami has associations with Western Japan and the island of Shikoku, here venerated as[...]

Mononobe Clan

Mononobe Clan

First Ruler: – Final Ruler: – Dissolution: – For a full list of Clans: See Japanese Clans. Mononobe Clan The Mononobe Clan (物部氏) are known to have made up the Imperial Guard. During the reign of Emperor Kinmei this Clan and the Nakatomi Clan opposed the adoption of Buddhism, despite[...]

Soga Clan

Soga Clan

First Ruler: Soga no Iname Final Ruler: Soga no Iruka Dissolution: 645AD For a full list of Clans: See Japanese Clans. Soga Clan The Soga Clan (蘇我氏) was a very powerful clan in ancient Japan, orchestrating the placing of several rulers on the Imperial Throne. 400-600AD Branching off from the[...]

Nakatomi Clan

Nakatomi Clan

First Ruler: – Final Ruler: – Dissolution: – Cadet Branches: Fujiwara Clan For a full list of Clans: See Japanese Clans. Nakatomi Clan The Nakatomi Clan (The Intercessors1– 中臣氏) are known to have been the Hereditary Chief Custodians of Shinto and Rituals claiming descent from the Shinto kami Ameno Koyane.2 [...]