A Female Guru Who Saved People In Exchange For Her Soul


While I was writing an article about Mr.Shiko Munakata(棟方志功, 1903-1975, a world-famous woodcut artist) in this blog, I was remembering something. I’ll write about it as one of my memories of Showa era, 1926.12.25-1989.1.7, which was the heyday of the World of the Dead.

  • article 記事
  • Showa era 昭和
  • heyday 全盛期
  • the World of the Dead 幽界

There are some prints of Benzaiten(弁財天), a goddess whose body is plump, among the works of Mr. Munakata. They are colorful works of the plump face of Benzaiten with her eyes big. I love one of these pictures and have its copy hanging on the wall of my house.

  • goddess 女神
  • plump ふくよかな
  • work 作品
  • hang ぶら下がる

Seeing the picture without thinking, I felt instinctively that the face was that of a middle-aged woman who existed as a model, rather than that of a goddess. There are some works whose model is his wife, but the vision which occurred to me by gazing at the picture was an unexpected one.

  • instinctively 直感的に
  • middle-aged 中年の
  • exist 存在する
  • rather than~ 〜よりもむしろ
  • vision 光景
  • occur to A Aの頭に思い浮かぶ
  • gaze じっと見つめる
  • unexpected 予想外の

It was a figure of a female founder of a new religion, whose branches have existed mainly in the Kansai region. It worships Benzaiten. Mr.Munakata seems to have met her before engraving Benzaiten. Her supernatural power was famous among particular people, including political and business circles, in the 30s of Showa era and she was thought of as the embodiment of Benzaiten.I have never met this woman. She should have passed away before I began to go to a nursery school. I think her pictures have not been published since she was alive.

  • figure 姿
  • female 女性の
  • founder 教祖
  • region 地方
  • engrave 彫る
  • supernatural power 神通力
  • partucular 特定の
  • political and business circles 政財界
  • think A as B AをBと考える
  • embodiment 化身
  • pass away 亡くなる
  • publish 公にする

Well, I’ll write about a dream of my spiritual reading, feeling her spiritual current flowing into me from the work by Mr. Munakata. She seems to have been a wife of a chief priest of a Buddhist temple which has something to do with Mt.Koya(高野山). She had a baby and almost entered middle age, when she was possessed by a spiritual being. It was an acquired possession.

  • current 流れ
  • chief priest 住職
  • have something to do with A Aと何らかの関係がある
  • be possessed  憑依される
  • spiritual being 霊的存在
  • acquired 後天的な

In my spiritual vision, the spiritual being seems to be a huge white snake, which was a Kenzoku (眷属)that had served Tenkawa-dai-benzaiten-sha(天河大弁財天社)in Nara prefecture. It is not a dragon deity but a huge white snake. There was another man after the world war Ⅱ who was possessed by such a huge snake spirit. He is a male founder of a new religion who advocated the word “world peace.” His white snake was a Kenzoku that belonged to another line of her white snake.

  • huge 巨大な
  • prefecture 県
  • dragon deity 龍神
  • advocate 提唱する
  • belong to A Aに属する

Those Kenzokus were sent from the World of Gods so that they could resolve people’s worries closely related to their lives during the period of high economic growth of Japan and support the Japanese economy behind the scene. Unlike a dragon deity, this large snake was in a world closer to the World of Reality so it was familiar with this world and was able to exert its great power. Her remote psychic vision must have been so strong that she could see things in detail as if she watched color television.

  • resolve 解決する
  • worries 心配事
  • related 関係した
  • the period of high economic growth 高度経済成長期
  • behind the scene 背後で
  • be familiar with A  Aをよく知っている
  • exert 発揮する
  • remote 遠隔の
  • in detail 詳細に
  • as if S+V まるでSがVするかのように

I feel pity so much for this female founder. Unlike the founders of other religions of Showa era, she must have had almost no private happiness or pleasure as a human being. Though a large religious building was built thanks to the help of an adviser of a world-wide consumer electronics maker in the Kansai region or that of her followers of political and business circles, she passed away in her fifties.

  • feel pity 不憫に思う
  • private 私的な
  • pleasure 楽しみ
  • thanks to A Aのお陰で
  • advisor 相談役
  • consumer electronics maker 家電メーカー
  • in one’s fifties 50代で

According to one of her important supporters, when he visited her in a hospital before she died, she was in great pain twisting her body on the bed, saying “I want eggs.” Snakes love eggs. That is, her physical body had fallen a prey to the large snake. She seems to have devoted her soul to the large snake in exchange for making people’s wishes and desires come true. She had a mission of the era.

  • according to A Aによると
  • be in great pain 大いに苦しむ
  • that is つまり
  • fall a prey to A Aの餌食になる
  • devote 捧げる
  • in exchange for A Aと引き換えに
  • wish 望み
  • desire 欲望
  • come true 実現する
  • mission 使命

I’m filled with sadness all the more because I can feel her loving look. The age is over in which human beings can make something happen on condition that they give their souls to spiritual beings of the World of the Dead.

  • be filled with A  Aでいっぱいになる
  • sadness 悲しみ
  • loving look 愛情深い眼差し
  • be over 終わっている
  • condition 条件

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

棟方志功 弁財天


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