20/08/2017

Ta no Kami Legends

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. kami 神 Shinto deities .
. Yama no Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain .
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Ta no Kami, Ta-no-Kami 田の神 Tanokami, God of the Fields -
Introduction and Legends

paddy field Kami, god of the rice paddies, spirit of the rice field, Kami of the rice paddy

Ta no Kami, God of the Rice Fields is an important deity of the rice farming communities.
In Spring he comes down from the village mountain forest to the ta 田 rice fields to protect the harvest, hence the name Ta no Kami

In Autumn after the harvest, Ta no Kami goes back to the Satoyama mountain or forest behind the village to take a rest and collect strength for the next season..

Yama no Kami, God of the Mountain is the alter-ego of Ta no Kami after the harvest.
Yama here refers to the - - - . Satoyama 里山 "Village Mountain Forest" .



There are many stone monuments in his honor near the fields and at roadsides.
During festivals in his honor, the farmers hang paintings in their home or the local Shinto shrine to venerate this deity.

To understand Ta no Kami, it is important to know about the wet paddy culture of Japan.
The Japanese Emperor is embodying the god of the ripened rice plant.
. The Japanese Rice Culture .

The rice culture is related to divine animal messengers :
. Inari 稲荷 The Divine Fox Messenger .
- - - - - The deity venerated at Inari Shrines is Ukanomikami 宇迦之御魂神 / 倉稲魂神, the the spirit of rice.
. Ta no Kami and the ookami 狼 wolf connection .

Ta no Kami 土人形 clay bells and dolls
Ta no kami 掛け軸 scrolls and paintings

. Ta no Kami Matsuri 田の神祭 Tanokami festivals and rituals .

. Ta no Kami Mai 田神舞 / 田の神舞 神楽 Tanokami dance and Kagura dance .

keshoogami 化粧神 Kami with make-up

. Haiku and Kigo 俳句と季語 for Ta no Kami .

. Ta no Kami - Legends from Aichi to Yamanashi .

. Doosojin, Doososhin 道祖神 Wayside Gods .
They are usually represented as two stone figures, man and woman.

. Daikoku Ten 大黒天 the Deity Daikoku venerated as Ta no Kami .
He is portrayed holding a golden mallet, seated on bales of rice, with mice nearby (mice signify plentiful food).

. Ebisu Ten 恵比寿天 the Deity Ebisu venerated as Ta no Kami .

Ta no Kami is depicted holding phallic fertility symbols or a rice bowl and a
. shamoji しゃもじ / 杓文字 / shakuji 杓 ladle, rice paddle .
Shamoji are used to scoop rice out of the cooking pot. Also called "Rice Paddle", rice spoon, wood spatula, rice scoop.
meshige メシゲ in Kagoshima dialect.

. Ta no Kami - Reference, Books and Links - .




. Yama no Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain - Introduction .
a Deity with one eye

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- - - - - Terminology - other names of Ta no Kami - - - - -

i no kami 亥の神 Kami of the wild boar
. jigami, jishin, chigami, chijin 地神 Kami of the Earth / the Land .
. koosaku no kamisama 耕作の神様 Kosaku no Kami, Deity of Cultivation .
nōgami, nooshin 農神 Nogami, farming Kami Nogami
. Sakugami 作神 Kami of production 作神様 Sakugami Sama .
. Shanichi Sama, Shajitsu Sama 社日様 "Shrine Day Kami" .
sanbai sama 三拝様 local Kami from the Setonaikai region
sojin 祖神 ancestral Kami
ta no kansaa 田の神さぁ Ta no Kansa, Kagoshima
tsukurigami 作り神 Kami of making / see 作神 Sakugami
ushigami 牛神 Kami of cattle


- - - - - Another important deity for the fertility of the rice paddies is
. Mizu no Kamisama 水の神様 God of Water / 水神 Suijin .

- - - - - A personal deity for each villager
. ujigami 氏神 / ikke ujigami 一家氏神 .

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. Sai no kami, Sae no Kami 幸の神 Kami of Good Fortune . *

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- - - - - Ta no Kami - Introduction - - - - -

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Tanokami "Kami of the rice paddy,"
a tutelary of rice production. The general term ta no kami can be found nationwide, but regional variations exist in the specific names used to refer to the kami. Some include nōgami (farming kami) in the northeast, sakugami (kami of production) in Yamanashi and Nagano, and tsukurigami (kami of making) in the Kinki area. People in the Izumo region use the term i no kami (kami of the wild boar), while the term jigami (land kami) is used in the Inland Sea region, and ushigami (kami of cattle) in Kyushu.



The rice paddy kami has also undergone synthesis with Ebisu in eastern Japan, and with Daikoku in the west, leading to different cults from those of fishing and commerce normally associated with these two deities.

Festivals celebrating the kami of the rice paddy are ordinarily distributed between spring and autumn in accordance with the various stages of the agricultural process, but they are especially noteworthy around the time of spring rice transplanting, while additional rituals may be held at harvest. Examples of the former include observances called saori (greeting the rice-field kami) and sanaburi (or sanoburi, "sending off the rice-field kami"), while the latter include i no ko ("child of the boar") and tōkan'ya ("tenth night").
The cycle of spring and autumn festivals celebrating the rice paddy kami are seen nationwide, and appear to be linked to legendary concepts of identity between the rice paddy kami and the mountain kami (yama no kami) in those two seasons. Namely, in spring it is believed that the mountain kami descends from the mountain to the village, becoming the kami of the rice paddy, and in fall, the rice paddy kami leaves the field and returns to the mountain, where it becomes the mountain kami.
Certain differences exist in some regions, however. In the ritual called aenokoto of the Noto area, for example, the same kami circulates between rice paddy and the home, while in other examples, the deity is believed to remain in the field as a "guardian watch." The tradition of the "watch" kami is related to the legend that all the kami throughout Japan gather at the Izumo Shrine in the tenth lunar month (called kannazuki, or "month without kami"), while the "watch" kami alone remains behind to keep guard.

Since the time of folklorist Yanagita Kunio, the theory that the rice paddy god is actually an ancestral kami (sojin) has gained wide acceptance.
- source : Kokugakuin - Iwai Hiroshi -


This deity with one eye and one leg comes to the fields to protect them before the harvest, now in the form of a kakashi, with one leg and one eye.
Even the modern yellow plastic balloons with one black ring, which hang in the fields, are a modern version of this deity with one eye.



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Tano Kami (田の神)
is a kami who is believed to observe the harvest of rice plants or to bring a good harvest, by Japanese farmers. Ta in Japanese means "rice fields". Tano Kami is also called Noshin (kami of agriculture) or kami of peasants. Tano Kami shares the kami of corn, the kami of water and the kami of defense, especially the kami of agriculture associated with mountain faith and veneration of the dead (faith in the sorei). Tano Kami in Kagoshima Prefecture and parts of Miyazaki Prefecture is unique; farmers pray before Tano Kami stone statues in their communities.
- Agricultural kami
In Japan, there are agricultural deities or kami. In the Japanese documents, Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, there were kami of rice plants, Ukano Mitama, Toyouke Bimeno Kami, and kami of corns, Ootoshino Kami. (Of them, Toyouke Bimeno Kami was written also in Engishiki, and is considered to be a female kami.
Generally speaking, in the Tohoku area of Japan, agriculture-related kami is Nogami (agriculture kami), in the Koshin area, it is Sakugami, in the Kinki area, it is Tsukurigami, in the Tajima and Inaba areas, it is kami of i 亥 (inoshishi, wild boar), (On the day of i, the fields are struck; which is considered to give peace on the harvest ground). In the Chugoku and Shikoku areas, it is Sanbai Sama, in Setonaikai, it is the local kami. ...
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Clay bell of Ta no Kami

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- quote -
... in a park in Ikebukuro in downtown Tokyo ...
This particular Suitengu is just a small local shrine in front of which stand four very unusual stone statues. Seen from the front, these stones depict stolid standing monks with grinning, almost mischievous faces. In their hands, they hold small bowls topped with steamed rice, and shamoji paddle-shaped rice ladles. Although the local people treat these stones as Dosojin guardians, they are actually Ta no Kami, rice paddy spirits that have somehow arrived here from southern Kyushu region.



The Ta no Kami cult is widespread throughout the country, and is at the heart of Japanese rural folk cosmology. The Japanese imbue rice with a sacred reverence and deep cultural significance that completely transcends the plant’s nutritional and economic value as a food grain. It was rice, first brought here from the Korean Peninsula nearly 3,000 years ago, that transformed Japan from a land of scattered hunter-gatherers to a great nation. Gohan, the basic word for cooked rice, is also a general term for food or a meal. Even today, the Japanese people, despite their insatiable appetite for bread and noodles, still think of themselves as rice eaters.

In most regions, the Ta no Kami are represented abstractly, with tree branches decorated with strips of paper, sometimes stuck into mounds of sand. In a restricted area of southern Kyushu, however, there is a tradition, dating back to at least the early 18th century, of carving unique stone representations, locally called Ta no Kansa. This tradition centers in Kagoshima Prefecture but includes a small portion of neighboring Miyazaki Prefecture as well.
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Yama no Kami reside in hills and forests all over Japan.
They can be thought of as basic animistic spirits mingled with the departed souls of the local ancestors, which are believed to eventually rise into the mountains. In many regions, these basic protective spirits inhabit the mountains during the winter months, but come spring they move down into the rice paddies, turning into the Ta no Kami and watching over the precious crop until the autumn harvest is over, after which they return to the forested slopes. In Kyushu, the Ta no Kansa stones are placed on the dikes that surround and separate the paddies, and the villagers hold colorful festivals to welcome and petition the Ta no Kami in spring, and to see them off with great thanks in autumn.
- source : Green Shinto 2012 -


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- quote -
Ta-no-kami: Water God of the rice paddy
Ta-no-kami: “Kami of the rice paddy,” a tutelary of rice production.
The general term ta no kami can be found nationwide. While the ta-no-kami has undergone synthesis and conflated with other folk beliefs and deities from other lineages, such as Daikoku and the Lord of the Mountain (Yama no Kami) and is now thought of as a male mountain spirit, it is plausible that the early Ta no kami was originally a female water goddess, given that such a goddess was venerated throughout Eurasia, and much of Central and Southeast Asia and given that the sound of “Ta” is similar to the “Da” shortened Indian form of the Danu / Dana / Dhanya goddess.
The Ta no kami
is depicted usually as an abstract deity or holding phallic symbols ...

- Continue reading in the :
. Darumapedia Library .

- source : japanesemythology.wordpress.com/ta-no-kami-god-of-the-rice-paddy -

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. Daikoku Ten 大黒天 .

A statue of Daikoku with Ta no Kami from Kagoshima in his back !


source : twitter.com/ikkaisai/status/

At 浜松市, 北区の光明寺 Komyo-Ji in Hamamatsu.

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- Reference : 田の神
- Reference : ta no kami japan


. Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .


. . . . . fukidawara 蕗俵(ふきだわら)"butterbur barrels" as an offering to the God of the Fields

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. Yama no Kami, Yama-no-Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain .

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