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Metamorphosis of a Deity: The Image of Hachiman in Yumi Yawata

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From the beginning, ours has been a land Where the gods protect the emperor. The vow of this god in particular Illumines the night Like the light of the moon. The waters of Iwashimizu flow ceaselessly, And as long as the stream runs on Living beings
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  Metamorphosis of a Deity. The Image of Hachiman in Yumi YawataAuthor(s): Ross BenderSource: Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer, 1978), pp. 165-178Published by: Sophia University Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2384124. Accessed: 23/05/2013 19:57 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. . Sophia University is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to  Monumenta Nipponica. http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 165.123.34.86 on Thu, 23 May 2013 19:57:26 PMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions  Metamorphosisofa Deity TheImageofHachimannYuvi Yawata byRoss BENDER ALTHOUGH the NohplayYumiYawata'('TheBowofHachiman')is a work ofnogreatiterary r dramaticinterest,t does presentatreatment f the )1 . Shinto deityHachiman whichsimportantfromhestandpointfJapaneseintellectual history.Hachimaniscommonly identifiedas theMinamoto clandeitynparticular and,by extension,s thegodof the warriorclans,theShintogod ofwar. Butthe Minamotocultinfactrepresentscomparativelyatestageofdevelopmentin thebelief,and tocomprehendtheHachimancultin itsentiretyonemust notignorethediffering onceptionsofthegod'srole which werecurrentin previouscenturies.Yumi Yawataisvaluableinthiscontext becauseitdemon-stratesnattempt duringtheMuromachiperiodtoreinterprethefaith ntermsofthoseearlierconceptions.Theplaycontainsonegreat surprise,whichitrevealsalmostimmediately.Anoldmanpresentsamulberrybow sheathedinasacktoenvoysof theemperorattendingthe JwashimizuHachimanshrinefestival;theenvoys,regardingthisasan auspicious sign,wishtounwrapthebow andworshipbefore thegod. Buttheoldmanprotests:Wrappingthebowinasack,Restoringtheswordto itssheath,Theseare the marksof anageofgreat peace.'Thismaynot seem allthat astonish-ing until onerealizes that the playisrejecting the viewof Hachimanas a god ofwarand themilitaryhouses.ThroughouttheworkHachiman isdepicted pri-marilyas adeitywho ensuresapeaceful imperialreign.Thepoliticalmessageisobvious.The editors of theYJkyokuaikan commentthattheplay'advocatespeaceinatimeofmilitaryrule;itlauds the imperialhouseat atime of shogunal despotism.'2Watsuji Tetsuro argues thatthe call for 1 iERIlJt. Theplayisgenerallyattributedto Zeami t!:IJT,1363-1443,who inhis ZeshiRokuju goSarugakuangit+S4*FfiAMRdiscussesYumi Yawataas a modelof waki-noJ;t.In his NJ: TheClassicalTheatrefJapan,KodanshaInternational,ev. ed. 1973,p. 102,Donald Keene refersothe workas a'godplay' byZeami, adding, 'Theauthorship fthe playshas yet to be establishedirmly. heabove attributionseflect urrentcholarshipnJapan.' 2 SanariKentaroftJMCM,ed., YokyokuTaikanRIikt,Meiji Shoin, 2nded., 1954,v, p. 3222. This content downloaded from 165.123.34.86 on Thu, 23 May 2013 19:57:26 PMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions  166Monumentaipponica, XXIII, 2 peaceand thenostalgia formperial ruleevidentin Yumi Yawata epresenttheethicalvalues ofthe lowerclasses,valueswhichweregivenarticulationthroughthemediumof theNoh play.He alsonotesthattheplayhasnoreferenceo theMinamoto,andhe suggestshat theview ofHachimanas Ojinisimportanto theplay'spacifisticentiment.3Thisisanexcellentinsight,butitrequiresa moreextensiveelaborationthanWatsujiprovides.Thepresentessay willattempttoexploremore fullytheplay'streatmentof earlierdimensionsof theHachimanbelief. Referencesto those dimensionsabound,andthe followingbriefoutlineofthe cult'shistoryhouldaidinunderstandingheallusions. HACHIMAN doesnot appearin theKojikior the Nihongi,nd thehistoryfthebeliefbefore heNaraperiodisobscure.One Japanesescholarhasstudiedthetraditionsofthe clansknowntobe associatedwiththe cultby the earlyninthcenturyndhas constructeda theoryofHachiman'ssrcins.Briefly,NakanoHatayoshibelievesthat thefaith wasthe resultofaprocessofamalgamationof Japaneseanimistic andKoreanshamanisticcultswhichfinallyfound ts centerat the UsashrinennortheastKyushutowardthe endof thesixthcentury.4ReferencestoHachimanappearregularlynthe RikkokushiromtheShokuNihongis n,andinlaterhistoricalworks,andthreemajorphasesin the cultfrom Naratoearlymedievaltimescan be discerned.DuringtheNaraperiod,the Usa shrinewasthecenterof Hachimanworship.Thepronouncementsofitsmediumhad dramaticimpacton stateaffairsntheeighthcentury;the oracleapprovingthecastingof the Daibutsuin Nara broughtgreatwealthandprestigeotheshrine,othatby749its officialseld courtrankhigherthan thoseatIse,andthegoditselfadbeen awardedthefirst ank.Dokyojustifiedhisattempton thethrone n 769withanallegedoraclefromUsa,andtherewereothernstancesduringtheperiodwhenthegod'swillwas claimedasgroundsforpoliticalpromotion.6Thefirstistoricalphaseofthecultis charac-terized bytheprimacyof Hachiman'soracularfunction.Heian Japansawthegrowthof a morecomplicatedandsophisticatedcult.Mostsignificantwasthedevelopmentoftheconceptthat HachimanwasactuallyaBodhisattva;theofficialistories wardedhim thistitleforthe first ime n809.7This Buddhist conceptionedtoa view ofthegodasaprotector,guardiandeity,aninterpretationwhich differedignificantlyrom heNaraimageof a Hachimanwhorendered decisionsonmattersof statethrougha medium. 3 WatsujiTetsur6 Tfnhf5, 'JapaneseEthicalThoughtintheNoh PlaysoftheMuromachiPeriod',tr. by DavidD.Dilworth, inMN, XXIV (1969),p.473. 4 NakanoHatayoshi rPVI,HachimanShinkoshioKenkyulW-AfXt@7D,YoshikawaK6bunkan,1967. 5tZ i1#,coveringtheperiod697-791,is thesecond oftheSixNational Histories,rRikkokushi N[, 6 ShokuNihongi,empy6Sh6h6 P1.12.27& 2.10.1;JingoKeiun*fiT3.9.25,inKuroitaKatsumi4;AO,ed.,KokushiTaikei J KokushiTaikeiKank6kai,1935, i, pp. 204, 211&369. 7 NihonKoki F1'NewJI,aid6 7k PM4.intercalary.21,inKokushiTaikei, II, p.82. This content downloaded from 165.123.34.86 on Thu, 23 May 2013 19:57:26 PMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions  BENDER: MetamorphosisfaDeity167Inthe mid-ninthenturyhe washimizuachimanhrinewasestablishedonOtokoyama,outhfKyoto.he mythftsoundingelateshatHachimantUsarevealedo a visitingonkisdesireoproceedoKyotooprotecthem-peror.hemonkrected hermitagenOtokoyama,hereupongreatightshoneponheeak,ndthemperorndempressad dreamsfpurpleloudthatescendedromhemountaino settleverhepalace.OtherraditionsftheperiodssociateachimanwithheNihongiegendsftheovereignsinguiandOjin.An earlyHeianmythlaimedhatHachimanadrevealedimselfsthemperorjinduringimmei' reign.8 hesignificancefhedentificationfHachimans Ojinsnot ntirelylear;ne uggestionsthattwasnattemptointegratehegodmoreloselyithhemperialnstitutiony makingimnimperialncestor.9uttisevidenthaturinghis eriodhegodwas eensensuringheprotectionf hemperor,ndtheHeiancultmaybeidentifiedsthephasen whichachimanssumedhespectftutelaryod.DuringheleventhenturyheMinamotolanbegantsssociationithhecultndbytheimef he oundingfhehogunatenewenterfHachimanworshipadbeen stablishedt theTsurugaokahrinetKamakura.sthelandeityf heGenji,HachimanaddevelopedwarlikespectndsuchworksstheAzumaagamindtheHeikeMonogatariepictimccordingly.ereHachi-mansabelledhegodofbattles',ndprayersithloodthirstyentimentsrerecorded:If thyraciousormepurelymanifestedo us,withoutoubtherebelswillbe puttothe word,ndthusoweeagerlynticipatehy elpwithtearsfoy."?0ThetaleofthefeatfNasuno Yoichit thebattlefYashimanthefinal stagesfheGempeiWar stheocuslassicusor hedentificationfHachimans agodfwar.WhenashoecalledhisaleduringvisitoheHachimanhrineatKurobane,ewasrevivinghememoryfnaspectfHachimanwhichaddevelopedn the arlymedievaleriod.'2hismaybecharacterizedsthemar-tialspectfHachiman. TURNING again toYumiawata,nefinds llusionso eachofthese hases.heanimisticimensionf heaiths revealedmostlearlyntheoncludingassagewhich roclaimshatevenhe oundf hewindnthepines'samanifestationofthegod'sbody.The ideathatHachimanrenewsventhecolorfplants'reflectsheunderlyingeaningfhehrine'springestival.ervadingheplayisthenimisticonceptionfheholinessf hemountain. 8 MiyajiNaokazuIAI-,Hachimangu-oKenkyurRis6sha,1956,pp.6-7.9SaidaMoriujilMWiXA;,achimanjinoHonshitsui kansuruogaiJAS$*)*WiCMt5tf*,TsurugaokaHachimanguShamusho,Kamakura,1947,pp.16-8.10A.L.Sadler,tr.,TheHeikeMonogatari',inTransactionsftheAsiaticocietyfJapan, XLIX, 1 (1921), p.27. " Sadler,pp.234-6.Sadlerrefersohimas'YoichiMunetaka',but NasunoYoichi(Munetaka) g ishisusuallyacceptedname. 12 NobuyukiYuasa,tr.,TheNarrowoadtotheeepNorthndOtherravelketches,enguinBooks,Baltimore,966,p.103. This content downloaded from 165.123.34.86 on Thu, 23 May 2013 19:57:26 PMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions  168 Monumentaipponica, XXIII, 2 Allusionsto theearlyoracularroleofHachimanare relativelyfew.Acceptingthebow, theenvoynquireswhetherthegiftwas the oldman's own ideaorwasrathernspiredbyanoracleof thegod.Indignantlythemanrepliesthatitwasindeedthe god'sdecreethathepresentbow.Whentheold manreappearsasthe nochi-jite, hegodof theKawara sub-shrine,he recallsan oracle ofHachimanwhichstraditionallyscribedto the Naraperiod:'Beforeforeignands,ourland;beforeforeignpeoples,ourpeople.'Conspicuouslyabsentinthe playisthemartialaspectof thegod.The play-wrightmakesnoreferenceotheTsurugaokashrineorthe Minamotocult,andthroughhisdeliberateoversighthe createsanimageofthegodwhichdeniesthedeity'smilitaryfunction.AlthoughthereareallusionstoJingul'sconquestofKorea,theseare balancedbylongerpassageson thereignofOjin,apacificsover-eignunderwhomThecountrywasrich,the peopleprosperous,llunderheavenwasatpeace.'The fundamentalensionnthe playarisesfromhenegationofthegod's martialaspect.ReferencestoHachiman'sbow inthetitleandin thefirstscenecreatemartial overtones,and the themeis brieflyoundedintheJingiisections.Butinfactthe war godthemesmostnotablefortsabsence,andits veryabsenceconstitutescounterpointotheprimarymotiff theplay.Fromthebeginning,ourshas beenalandWherethegodsprotectthe emperor.The vowofthisgodinparticularIlluminesthenightLikethelightofthemoon.The watersofIwashimizuflow ceaselessly,Andaslongas thestreamrunsonLivingbeingsarereleased.Howglorioussthegod'scompassion!Trulythissanauspicioustime.Theselinesexpressthetruethemeof theplay.The work presentsanimageof Hachimaninhis tutelaryaspect;thisis theHeianconceptionof thegod,andthatmostcloselyassociatedwith theIwashimizushrineand the protectionof theemperor.Nearthe endof theplayHachimanis revealedas a Bodhisattva,thesymbolof profoundandeternalcompassion.Butthe Bodhisattvais seen ashavingapoliticalfunction:notonlydoeshereleaselivingbeings,butheprotectstheemperoras well.Animportantlementn thedevelopmentof thethemes theplay'suseoftime.Inthefirstectiontheoldmanexplainsthemeaningofhisgifttotheenvoys:'IntheAugustReignoftheGods,the worldwaspacifiedwiththemulberrybowandarrows ofartemisia.'The seriesofegendswhichfollowssorderednchrono-logicalsequencedescendingfromheageofthegods,theprimordialtimeofori-gins.The ageoftheChou,thetimeof humanemperorsnJapan,thereignsofJinguindOjin,theeraofKimmei,thefoundingoftheIwashimizushrine-the This content downloaded from 165.123.34.86 on Thu, 23 May 2013 19:57:26 PMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions
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