2016-12-26

Totsukawa Legends

- BACK to the Daruma Museum -
. Japanese legends and tales 伝説 民話 昔話 - Introduction .
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Totsukawa / Totsugawa 十津川と伝説 Legends about Totsukawa village

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Totsukawa (十津川村 Totsukawa-mura) is a village located in Yoshino District, Nara Prefecture, Japan, along the Totsukawa river.
It's recognized as the largest village in Japan in terms of land area.
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Onsen - Hot Springs
Totsukawa has many natural onsen or hot springs. Tosenji hot spring in Totsukawa was put on the list of the best one hundred hot springs in Japan. The water from some of these hot springs is safe to drink. The source temperature of the water is about 70℃ and is also said to cure your cuts and burns. The hot springs in Totsukawa are unusual because the hot spring water is used, as is, directly from the source without reheating or recycling. Good onsen are said to keep you warm even long after bathing and many people claim this of the hot springs in Totsukawa.
There are also many footbaths in Totsukawa which are said to have health benefits for feet.
Footbaths in Totsukawa are free of charge.
- More in the Wikipedia -




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. Legends about Onsen Hot Springs 温泉と伝説 .
- Introduction -

Totsukawa Onsen 十津川温泉 Totsukawa Hot Spring
Nara Prefecture, Yoshino-gun, Totsukawa-mura Hiraya / 奈良県吉野郡十津川村平谷



En no Gyoja met a couple of Oni who were eating humans. He asked them not to do that any more but they did not listen to him. He hid in a cave but they wanted to give him human flesh to eat even there.
Now 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O comes along and pressured the couple not to eat humans any more. So they promised to change their ways.
Zenki went to 洞川 Dorogawa (now a famous hot spring), and Goki went to 十津川 Totsukawa .

. Zenkibō 前鬼坊 Zenkibo, Zenki-Bo .
his wife Goki 後鬼.

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Totsugawa Go 十津川郷 The Totsugawa Region
There are legends about serpents, cats, wolves and other animals.
Waterfalls also feature in these stories.

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When someone feels a buzzing and ringing in the ear, very soon a person of his/her age will die.

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hebi 蛇 serpent, snake // daija 大蛇 huge serpent

Sometimes villagers have sighted the bones of huge serpents.

The white serpent 白いグチナワ Guchinawa (Kuchinawa) is seen as a messenger of the Gods.

Once an old woman begun to venerate a white serpent near her home and soon the family became quite wealthy.

Once some forest workers saw a white serpent coming from between some rocks where they wanted to built a road. They became afraid and could not continue. They called a priest, had purification rites performed and then could continue the work.

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Many people have seen huge serpents, some with a body like a huge pumpkin and more than 3 meters long.

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After a strong typhoon, a tree had fallen right over the road. When they tried to remove the tree, it suddenly started to move all by it self!
Whow, it was a huge serpent !!

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Once the locals angered a serpent, but in revenge 50 serpents came along with their 蛇の親分 Serpent Oyabun Boss. So the people had to stop working and hold a ritual for the serpents.
Once there came a huge white serpent and a small white one along to live here. Rumors spread and no more workers came to help, even borrowing money became very expensive.

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At the waterfall 平内滝 Heinaitaki there live about 10 small serpents.
Some have seen a serpent wound around a human skull.

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Ryuujin 竜神 Dragon King
There is a huge hinoki 桧 Japanese cypress where the Dragon King lives. It is covered by thick fuji 藤 and kazura 葛 vines. If people break the vines, there is a strange sound. If this sound is heared, a 大蛇 huge serpent will appear.


- reference : 9 guchinawa legends -
7 kuchinawa くちなわ / クチナワ legends

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neko 猫 cat - monster cat

The waterfall from Nekoyoshi 猫良滝 is known as a place of the neko no kai 猫の怪 Monster Cat.



At the waterfall ネコマタの滝 猫又 Nekomata "Monster Cat Legs" a group of travellers once had to take a pee. The Cat Lord of the Waterfall got very angry about this and it started to rain in no time.

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Waterfalls along Totsukawa River



Sasa-no-taki (Waterfall of the Bamboo Grass) This waterfall was put on the list of 100 best waterfalls in Japan.
- - - - - Look at all the waterfalls here
- reference source : nps.ed.jp/totsukawa-hs/sub/yoshikuma -

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nozuchi 野槌 / tsuchinoko ツチノコ Hammerspawn
a legendary snake-like cryptid

Once there lived a large ノーヅチ Hammerspawn named 大八太郎 Daihachitaro.
An old woman was cutting weeds in the fields when some stones came flying along - or so she thought.
But in fact it was a Hammerspawn. - She got poisoned by its bite and died soon after.

. nozuchi 野槌 / tsuchinoko ツチノコ - Introduction .


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ookami 狼 wolf

If villagers have to go around to spread the word that someone has died, they always should go two of them. If for some reason only one can go, he must carry a knife ready to pull out of his breast pocket. This is a spell against being attacked by wolves.

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tanuki 狸 Tanuki, badger

Some villagers have been tricked by the Tanuki.
In the evening there was sand and stones thrown at them, but when they got after it calling 「おのれ、打ち殺すぞ」 "You beast, we are going to kill you", there was nothing.
Once they heard the sound of an ax felling a tree at lunchtime, but there was nobody. They could only feel the touch of a Tanuki.


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- reference : nichibun yokai database 妖怪データベース -
64 十津川 to explore (21)

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● How the village Totsukawa got its name:
At the time when Tenmu Tenno 天武天皇 was still a prince called 大海人皇子 Oama no Miko and was hiding in Yoshina, he looked all the way South and sighed in grief:
「とほつかは」 tootsukawa

● How Mount Hatenashi 果無山 got its name :

In the Southwest of Totsukawa, near the border to 紀州 Kishu, Wakayama, there is a mountain range called Hatenashisan (Hate-nashi-san).
There was a busy road 上り下り七十二丁 up and down for about 8 kilometers for people to walk to Kumano.
But in the mountains lived an ogre called いっぽんだたら Ippondatara, with only one leg and eyes like huge plates.
Sometimes it brought harm to the farmers, but on the day hate no hatsuka ハテの廿日 / 果ての二十日 (the day 20 of the 12th month).
On this day, the appeased Ogres and Oni demons were free to roam, and it was especially dangerous. So people did not walk along this pass.
This is a pun: ハテナシ山 - On the day HATE there was no traffic (NASHI) - Mount Hatenashi.

. Obamine no Ipponashi 伯母峯 一本足 Ippondatara .
in in Wakayama, 北山村 Kitayama village.

. hate no hatsuka 果ての二十日 the final day 20 of the year .


● Tengu-ura 天狗崖 《てんぐうら》Tengu Cliff
At 高津 Takotsu the Totsukawa river runs through a gourge with steep cliffs, called Tengu-Ura.
There live some large and small Tengu. In autumn they all come here to enjoy the colored leaves.


. shichinin misaki 七人ミサキ Misaki of Seven People .
- a group of persons who died in an accident or in unnatural circumstances.
At 吉野郡十津川村榎谷 - 山天 Yamaten in olden times, 七人旅 seven travellers have died of hunger. Now they come out for revenge, if seven people travel along this road.
If a group has to travel here, they make sure to be six or eight people, never seven.

- reference source : 十津川村の伝説 -

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. Legends about Kobo Daishi Kukai - 弘法大師 空海 - 伝説 .

. Japanese legends and tales 伝説 民話 昔話 - Introduction .

- Yookai 妖怪 Yokai Monsters of Japan -
- Introduction -

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. Join the friends on Facebook ! .

- #totsukawa #totsukawanara -
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