Iwakura Daiun-Ji


Iwakura waterfall and
temple Daiun-Ji 岩倉大雲寺

source : iinaa.net

The temple has been founded in 971 by emperor Enyuu Tenno 円融天皇 (959 - 991) for his personal prayers.

The Great Waterfall at Iwakura temple Daiun-Ji 大雲時 was seen as a cure for mental diseases and many visited in hope of a cure. It is also famous for the Statue of Kannon with 11 Faces, made by Gyoki Bosatsu.

The temple has been mentioned in many old stories, for example in an episode in the Genji Monogatari about Wakamurasaki 若紫, chapter 54. There it is called Kitayama no nanigashi tera 北山のなにがし寺.

In the haiku by Buson below, the Mad Woman refers to the daughter
皇女佳子, Princess Kako (Yoshiko 佳子/(よしこ)/(Kashiko かしこ)内親王 - 1057 - 1130) , of emperor Gosanjo Tenno 後三条天皇 (1034 - 1073), who became mentally disabled at age 29 (but it is not clear wheather of love-sickness) and lived is secluse at the temple. Since she was a servant to the Shinto deities (miko) she was not allowed to love a man. She stood under the Iwakura waterfall 岩倉の滝 and drank the sacred water of the famous well 閼伽井の水 (Akai no mizu) in hope to get well and later recovered.
source : michio_nozawa

Akai no Mizu 閼伽井(観音水) Kannon Water

It has been confirmed in its healing properties by the venerable priest Chiben Soojoo 智弁僧正(918~991) who used it for rituals of the esoteric Buddhism.
In a dream the saint Monkei Shonin 文慶上人 (965~1046)was an aparition of the Dragon King Botsunanda Ryuo 跋難陀龍王 (ryuu-oo), who advised him:
"This is a special water, you may use it to heal people!"
The Dragon king then hit the ground with the sleeve of his robe and this water came forth.
The spring never dried up, even in the worst of droughts. People came from near and far to use it for curing diseases of the heart and mind (kokoro no yamai 心の病) and eye diseases to our day.


Fudoo no taki 不動の滝 Waterfall of Fudo Myo-O
Myooken no taki 妙見の滝Waterfall of Myoken Bosatsu

source : iinaa.net
In December 2007, without any water

This waterfall has been used by pilgrims to the temple 八雲寺 for rituals of ablution to heal diseases of the heart and mind (in modern language, we might say: mental illnesses of all kinds).
Many people have been cured by standing under the cold waterfall and meditating in the "Dragon hall 龍屋".

In the year 701, this waterfall has been established officially 大宝律令 to heal mentally instable people 精神障害者.

The oldest book of Medicine in Japan from 984,
Ishin Hoo (Ishinboo) 医心法, also mentiones this waterfall.

In the 11th century, this place had been widely accepted for its healing effects. Local people started building lodges nearby and it has flourished ever since.

The hospice where princess Kako had stayed so many years in the past became the "Iwakura Hospital いわくら病院" in 1992, starting with 33 beds for the sick. Now there are more than 1000 beds for the ageing population with Alzheimer and other mental diseases.


天台証門宗 岩倉観音 大雲寺
Iwakura Kannon Statue

Homepage of the temple
source : www.daiunji.org


Memorial stone for Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉句碑

The stone inscription is hard to read


... iza saraba yukimi ni korobu tokoro made

let us say good bye
until we fall and slip
while watching the snow

Tr. Gabi Greve

Basho wrote this at the end of a visit to one of his pupils named Isa 伊佐.
The first line iza saraba, is a pun with this name.

The stone was erected in the Year Tenmei 4, 1785.

let's go out
to enjoy the snow... until
I slip and fall!

Tr. haikukantas

..... According to what Mr. Ozawa says, there once existed a secondhand bookstore called “Shorin-Fugetsudo” near the present Chunichi Hospital in Nagoya city. When Basho paid a visit to the owner of the shop, Magosuke Hasegawa (haiku poet name: Sekido), it started snowing. The smell of antique books mingled with that of snow stimulated the spirits of haiku poet. He made a haiku on the spot.

“Iza idemu yukimini korobu tokoro made”
“Let’s go out now until tumble over the snow”

How about comparison? It’s only a minor change from “idemu” to “yukamu” but the change gives the poem a little brighter touch. I gave it a thought and came to know that the tone senses of the two words, “yukamu” and “yukimi” are resonating in harmony with the common sound of “yu”. And I had my impression that the contrast of “iku” (go) and “korobu” (tumble) made the poem a little more dynamic.
source : www.ku-ma.or.jp

Auf also zum Schneeschau,
bis wir umfallen!

source : lotgoe.blogspot.jp

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Oi no Kobumi .


小林靖彦回顧展 Kobayashi Yasuhiko
3.9 Iwakura and Daiunji (Kyoto Prefecture)

Legend has it that Emperor Gosanjō (r. 1068-1072) succeeded in healing the mental illness of his daughter by confining her in Daiunji (Daiun-ji Temple) in Iwakura, Kyoto, drinking holy water; it is said that this is why it was popular for curing mental illnesses.

After the Meiji period medical doctors paid attention to the system whereby mental patients were accommodated in several small Japanese-style inns (later called hoyōjo 保養所) in Iwakura. These hoyōjo were highly evaluated in that they were similar to the psychiatric foster-family care practiced in Western Europe. Furthermore, Iwakura had the reputation of “a colony of mental patients” ranked on a par with Geel in Belgium. However, most hoyōjo were closed by the end of the Second World War. The tradition in Iwakura effectively disappeared.

Kobayashi was interested in Iwakura from early in his academic career. He visited in 1946, 1962, and 1972. As for his visit in 1962 Kobayashi wrote, “In the grounds (of Daiunji) a mental hospital is standing now. … It is a modern hospital, which does not have the atmosphere of the former in Iwakura that I knew. I remember the former visit to Iwakura just after my demobilization.… Standing before this modern hospital, I feel we left something unforgettable behind” (Nihon seishin igaku shōshi [A Short History of Psychiatry in Japan], 1963).

The waterfalls in the grounds of Daiuniji.
Kobayashi, 1972.
source : kenkyukaiblog.jugem.jp


Iwakura Mental Hospital

Iwakura is 8km north-east of Kyoto Imperial Palace and is famous for a legend:
the third princess of Emperor Go-Sanjo (1068-1072), who developed a mental disease at age 18, was cured when she prayed to the eleven-faced Goddess of Mercy at Daiunji Temple, Iwakura.

Beginning about 1750, many mental patients wanted to share her good luck so began to stay in farmers' houses in Iwakura in order to pray at Daiunji Temple. Four farmers' houses specialized in hosting mental patients at the beginning of the 19th century and continued receiving them even after Iwakura Mental Hospital was established in 1884.

Iwakura's fame increased when Dr. Shuzo Kure wrote that Iwakura in 1895 had a similar family care system for mental patients to that of Geel, Belgium. Around 1930, Dr. Eikichi Tsuchiya, the director of Iwakura Mental Hospital, began to promote 'Iwakura' as 'a Geel in Japan.' 300 mental patients stayed in specialized sanatoria-farmers' houses and non-specialized farmers' houses in 1935 in addition to the 500 mental patients in Iwakura Mental Hospital.

However, Iwakura Mental Hospital was forced to close in 1945 by the Japanese army. Many sanatoria were closed as well because of a shortage of food. Since the number of beds in mental hospitals per 10,000 people in Japan was very few compared to that in Europe and the USA, the Japanese government helped people who wanted to establish mental hospitals. In Iwakura, the new Iwakura Mental Hospital was established in 1952 and the Kitayama Mental Hospital was established in 1954. Both increased their beds yearly.
source : naid



Iwakura no kyoojo koi seyo hototogisu

A little cuckoo across a hydrangea - Yosa Buson

cause the madwoman at Iwakura
to fall more deeply in love
o hototogisu

With an explanation about the hototogisu and the hydrangea:
source : Cheryl A. Crowley

Mad woman of Iwakura
Make love!

source : loren

In Iwakura
Fall in Love Mad Women
Little Cuckoo.

Encyclopedia of Disability
Stories from the Ebisu Mandara (ca. 1600–1950s)
The texts are by a well known writer, himself disabled.
source : sage-ereference.com

mad woman at Iwakura
please fall in love !

Tr. Gabi Greve

I am tempted to paraphrase

mad princess at Iwakura
please fall in love !

I prefere to use the Japanese name of the bird, since the word
cockoo in a poem about a mad, mentally ill woman seem to give way to speculation in English, which are not inherent in the Japanese.


Chris Drake wrote:

all right, nightingale,
love a madwoman
in Iwakura!

The hokku is fairly conversational, so it might even deserve "Hey, nightingale...." Buson's painting with this hokku in it shows a hototogisu/nightingale (hototogisu aren't normally associated with madness, the way cuckoos are, but with intensity and mystery and otherworldliness) flying over wet-looking blue-purple hydrangeas, which catch the wet feeling of the hototogisu's voice. Originally the hokku was prefaced by a short quote from Kenkou's 'Tsurezure-gusa' or rambling essays (no. 107) indicating that the point of view is that of a commonsensical, ordinary kind of man.

Probably Buson means it ironically. Sort of like, nightingale, your uncanny, wild song is so filled with crazy love that it's simply beyond me. You'd better fall in love with a madwoman who can understand your (incredibly beautiful and transcendent) sudden bursts of song between your long silences that make me long for you so. I'd guess the madwoman would be both a real woman staying in an inn near the temple with the waterfalls reputed to cure madness as well as a part of Buson himself that's at the root of his personality beyond his everyday identity that he could access through his writing and art. Buson is often a bit Jungian. I think there may be a hint that he's having a half-humorous yet spiritual lover's quarrel both with the bird and with himself.

It seems doubtful Buson was writing about any specific madwoman, and in his time many of the women who were deemed "mad" were probably classified that way because they loved too much, not too little. See the last chapter of Saikaku's "Life of a Sensuous Woman," which Buson might possibly have in mind. Many contemporary bloggers read the madwoman as the subject of the hokku, but that's unlikely. Commentators traditionally read the hokku as addressed to the hototogisu, and that's what the language implies. There is no 'kyoujo o,' but 'o' would make the middle line or unit have 8 syllables, and it's not strictly necessary anyway. Also, if no kireji is used, then the first part of the hokku tends to be the object of the verb, which comes later; and the "please love..." is clearly directed at the nightingale, the bird addressed strongly by Buson or his persona/voice here. There are also no particles indicating that Buson is addressing a/the madwoman. Of course, if a translator feels Buson is unconsciously making a direct address to a/the madwoman, then that interpretation is also fine.

Though Buson no doubt visited Daiunji Temple, this hokku was written on 4/4 at a gathering of poets, not at Iwakura. And Buson's painting is of a scene a month or so later, during the rainy season, when the rain and somewhat psychic hydrangeas create a border otherworldly landscape. So I'd guess Buson may be writing a poem more on a spiritual or visionary level (rather than recording an immediate observation / experience) about how male poets need to learn from madwomen in order to really understand the haunting cries of the hototogisu -- and about love, too. The most heartbroken being in the hokku, I'd think, is probably Buson, since the bird refuses to sing "down" to his low level of understanding and obviously needs to find a sensitive and "wise" madwoman to communicate with.


. Hototogisu and Haiku .


source : cfmjs676

後三条天皇 Emperor Gosanjo Tenno
Emperor Go-Sanjō (後三条天皇, Go-Sanjō-tennō)

(September 3, 1034 – June 15, 1073)
was the 71st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

Go-Sanjō's reign spanned the years from 1068 through 1073.

This 11th century sovereign was named after Emperor Sanjō and go- (後), translates literally as "later;" and thus, he is sometimes called the "Later Emperor Sanjō". The Japanese word "go" has also been translated to mean the "second one;" and in some older sources, this emperor may be identified as "Sanjō, the second," or as "Sanjo II."

Go-Sanjō had three Empresses and seven Imperial sons and daughters.

1050-1131 Imperial Princess Toshiko (聡子内親王)
1053-1129 Imperial Prince Sadahito (貞仁親王) (Emperor Shirakawa)
1056-1132 Imperial Princess Toshiko (俊子内親王) - Higuchi? saigū (樋口斎宮) (Saigū = Imperial Princess serving at the Grand Shrine of Ise)
1057-1130 Imperial Princess Kako (佳子内親王)
- Tomi-no-kōji Saiin 富小路斎院
1060-1114 Imperial Princess Tokushi (篤子内親王) - Empress (chūgū of Emperor Horikawa)
1071-1185 Imperial Prince Sanehito (実仁親王) - Shirakawa's would-be heir
1073-1119 Imperial Prince Sukehito (輔仁親王)
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


. Iwakura matsuri 岩倉祭 (いわくらまつり)
"festival of the rock cave" .

at Iwakura Town, Kyoto. Shrine Iwakura Jinja 石座神社


. Festivals, Ceremonies, Rituals - SAIJIKI .

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 



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