BLOGWalking2021.12.10

Places where the legend of 鵺 (Nue) remains

Many specter legends have been born in Kyoto since the Heian period.

"Nue" is said to be a legendary creature that appears in "Heike Monogatari (The Tale of the Heike)".

The area around Daishogun-jinja Shrine in Higashiyama, Kyoto was once called 'Nue no mori' (the forest of Nue).

In the Tale of the Heike, "a mysterious thing resembling the voice of a Nue apperars" tells.

With black clouds rising from the Nue Forest night after night, this "obscure thing" is seen above the palace.

It was the Emperor Konoe who was frightened by this "obscure thing" with the eerie sound of "hyo-hyo."

Therefore, the imperial order was given to MINAMOTO no Yorimasa, who was considered to be a master of archery, and others to kill this "obscure thing"

It was a creature with a face like a monkey, a body like a raccoon, limbs like a tiger, and a tail like a snake.

For this reason, there is a theory that people and things with unknown characteristics were called 'Nue.'

It is said that Yorimasa killed the Nue twice, and the first place was this Nue forest.

鵺の森_リサイズ4.jpg

During the construction of Heiankyo in 794, Daishogun-jinja Shrines were built across the eastern, western, northern and southern parts of the capital.

"Daishogun-jinja Shrine" in the east, "Daishogun-hachi-jinja Shrine" in the west, "Daishogun-sha Shrine" in the south, and "Nishigamo Taishogun-jinja Shrine" in the north.

Among them, Sanjoguchi, one of "Kyoto Nanakuchi (seven entrances)" is Daishogun-jinja Shrine in the east.

It is also called "Taishogun-jinja Shrine Higashi Sanjo-sha" because FUJIWARA no Kaneie had the Higashi Sanjo family nearby.

A giant ginkgo tree that is said to be 800 years old attracts attention in the precincts.

The yellow leaves, which are colored later than others, stand out in the blue sky and have an overwhelming presence as a sacred tree.

You can get a wooden plaque of sacred tree or a seasonal Goshuin, so why don't you check it out?

In December, the shrine office is open only on the 11th (Sat), 18th (Sat) and 19th (Sun).

The wooden tag is in the shape of a ginkgo tree, and the seasonal goshuin is designed with a ginkgo tree.

As it is written in Chinese characters as a "夜"の"鳥" (night bird), 鵺 (Nue) is said to sing mainly at night.

It is said that it was in the Edo period that the sound of an ominous bird believed to be a Nue was found to be a kind of 'Tsugumi.'

In addition, it is said that it was after the Taisho period that it came to be called "Tora-tsugumi" in the present day.

I wonder that the sacred tree of 800 years old might have heard the song of Nue, too.


Taishogun-jinja Shrine
640 Nagamitsu-cho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City
5 minutes walk from Subway Higashiyama Station

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