2015-08-04

silk kinu legends

- BACK to the Daruma Museum -
. Japanese legends and tales 伝説 民話 昔話 - Introduction .
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silk 絹 kinu - legends and tales
silkworm, kaiko 蚕, kuwago 桑子 "mulberry child"

kogai 蚕飼 / yoosan 養蚕, saisei 催青 rearing silkworms, sericulture, raising silkworms
mayu 繭 cocoon / mayudama 繭玉 "cocoon balls"
kaiko no ga 蚕の蛾 / sanga 蚕蛾 silkworm becoming a moth
shinginu 新絹 new silk from autumn
kuwa 桑 mulberry tree 


The practice of using silk began in Japan in the 3rd century, when ways to raise silk worms was introduced via China and Korea. C

. Silk (kinu 絹) history and many related words .
- Introduction -
- Kawamata Silk 川俣シルク ー Fukushima - Otehime 小手姫
- kuwahimesama kuwa himesama 桑姫さま deity to protect the mulberry trees and silk
- kaikogami, sanjin 蚕神 "Silkworm god", おしらさま O-Shirasama, 馬鳴菩薩 Memyo Bosatsu



source : swanweb.co.jp


. 薬師猫神様 Yakushi Nekokamisama .
the Cat was an important "Deity" to help protect the silk worm farmers from the many mice

. Silk Road シルクロード - Asian Highway アジアンハイウェイ .

himeko ひめこ, the princess child, who later became a silk worm

under construction

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- - - - - ABC List of the prefectures :



.................................................................. 愛知県 ....................................................................
豊田市 Toyota

kitsune 狐 fox
If a fox has cursed a silk farmer family, the fox will sit in the basket when carrying the cocoons to the market, and make it feel very heavy.


.................................................................. Fukushima 福島県 ...........................................................

. O-Suga sama お菅さま "Lady Suga" .
She observed the silk worms munching mulberry leaves with joy and told them:
neesan kuu wa ねえさん食うわ. Since then the leaves were called "kuwa クワ".


.................................................................. Gifu 岐阜県 ....................................................................
上宝町 Kamitakara

nezumi ishi 鼠石 stone with a mouse pattern



This is a stone with a special pattern thet looks like a mouse, of about 1 meter.
Once it was carried to the temple 桂峯寺 Keiho-Ji at 長倉 Nagakura in the hope, it would attract visitors and bring riches to the village. But then the silk worms near the hamlet of 双六 Sukeroku began to wither and die.
And all the mice at the temple began to become crazy and farmers nearby died suddenly.
So they brought the stone back to its former place.

. ne 子 / nezumi 鼠  Rat, Mouse .



.................................................................. Gunma 群馬県 ....................................................................
嬬恋村 Tsumagoi

oni no medama 鬼の目玉 "the eyeballs of a demon"

On the last day of the first lunar month (now January 31) people make silk cocoons from wheat straw and millet powder and place them at the front gate as an offering for the deities. They are called "eyeballs of a demon" and protect the home from bad luck. When a demon comes along, he will see these large eyeballs and run away.

These "eyeballs of a demon" are also offered in other regions of Japan, made from other material, especially during the Setsubun rituals.

. Oni 鬼 and Setsubun 節分 rituals .


.................................................................. Nagano 長野県 ....................................................................


. silk worms and the smell of 天麩羅 . 天ぷら Tenpura, Tempura .

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Kappa 河童
and yamamayu 山繭 wild silkworm, giant mountain silkworm moth




A Kappa lived in the 馬の足窪 "Hollow of a horse foot". One of his best-liked food was the thread of mountain silkworms. Once a dead body was found in the river 鳥居川 Toriigawa. It was not wounded or harmed, but the silk threads of the seams of his robe were all missing.

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飯島町 Iijima

kuda くだ Kuda (an animal)
Kuda, a green bamboo tube where cooked rice is kept. When people hit it, the KUDA comes out and the family where this happens will become rich and have a lot of silk worms.
A home with many KUDA is blessed, but if there are too much, they will eat too much and eventually the family will become poor and its members become ill.
So the family has to call for an exorcist 祈祷師, a Shinto priest, and have rituals performed.

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滋野村 Shigeno

Inarigami 稲荷神
The greatest enemy of silkworms and cocoons are the mice. The deity Inaigami is believed to protect farmers from this damage.

There are other protector deities for the silk farmers :

保食神 Ukemochi no Kami / 蚕玉神 Kodama no Kami / 絹笠神 Kinugasa no Kami / 蚕霊尊 Korei-Son


source : kokowa1.at.webry.info



.................................................................. Saitama 埼玉県 ....................................................................
Chichibu, 大滝村 Otaki

kitsune 狐 fox
If a family has cared for a fox, this animal will later bring silk cocoons to the farmer.

Oosaki ke オーサキ家 the Osaki family
During the high times of silk production, the Osaki family had a lot of silk cocoons. They carried them to other homes to help with the work, but the Family fas not well liked.
To appease the "Oosaki オーサキ" they built a small sanctuary in the garden.
Oosaki might be a local word for a huge salamander.)


.................................................................. Tokyo 東京  ...........................................................



.................................................................. Toyama 富山県 ....................................................................
婦負郡 Nei

daija 大蛇 the great serpent
The family of 田中正治 Tanaka Masaharu in the hamlet of 鎌倉 Kamakura was a rich silk farmer, the line of his servants carrying silkworms extended all over the slope シチベエ坂 Shichibeizaka. Once he found a large serpent in the rack of the silkworms. He killed it with a sickle and burend it. This was a very long serpent, called ツバサミヤライ.
After that, the family fortune declined slowly.


(This is a sample from a different place.)

Until now they venerate 大蛇の額 a large plate with the picture of a serpent in the home.



.................................................................. Yamanashi 山梨県 ....................................................................

. Doosojinba 道祖神場 Place for the Dosojin .
to grill mayudama dango マユダマの団子 rice dumplings in the form of silk cocoons

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中巨摩郡 Nakakoma district

fukoo no kizashi 不幸の兆 an omen of bad fortune
One of the silk farmers found that about 10 of his silk worms had made a large piece of silk, almost as big as one tatami mat and as thick as a cotton cloth.
In this year, the grandfather of the family died, and then the child of the owner died too. The eldest son of his younger brother committed suicide. The good luck of the family was gone and soon they were in great financial trouble.
The strange behavior of the silkworms was the beginning of all this misfortune.


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yokai database 妖怪データベース reference
- source : www.nichibun.ac.jp -
kinu 絹 33 entries
kaiko 蚕 102 entries (00)
yoosan 養蚕 31 entries (00)
mayu 繭 13 entries (00)
kuwa 桑 184 entries (00) . . .

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. minwa 民話 folktales / densetsu 伝説 Japanese Legends .
- Introduction -

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- Yookai 妖怪 Yokai Monsters of Japan -
- Introduction -




- quote -
Shinchuu, Shinchū 神虫 Shinchu, "The Divine Insect"
a deity depicted as a silkworm moth. It was known for miracles.
The painting measures 25.8 by 70 centimetres (10.2 by 27.6 in).
Extermination of Evil (辟邪絵 Hekija-E) is a set of five paintings depicting traditional Asian deities banishing evil. The other four are:
Tenkeisei (天刑星, literally meaning "the star [that metes out] heavenly punishment"),
Sendan Kendatsuba (栴檀乾闥婆)
Shōki (鍾馗)
Bishamonten (毘沙門天)
- source : wikipedia -


妖怪図鑑

It is a large insect with 8 legs and wings, often shown eating a Demon and leaving the ground in blood.
Its body is much bigger than that of the Demons it is supposed to fight and they fear it greatly.
It resides in the Buddhist continent of 瞻部州 Nanzenbushu [or Nansen bushu]. It has a great appetite for Oni demons, devouring 3000 in the morning and 300 in the evening.
- reference : tyz-yokai.blog.jp/archives -

. Onipedia - 鬼ペディア - Oni Demons - ABC-List - .

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- #silkkinu #kinusilk #silklegends #shinchu #silkwormmoth-
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