Deity to be prayed to for practical benefits in this world will turn into the one who punishes greedy people.


Among the shrines where people pray for thriving business, the ones where Inari(稲荷) or Ebisu(戎) deity is enshrined are famous. A lot of people visit these shrines every day, where they cast the magnetism of their wishes for money at the deity. I can feel that at Fushimi Inari-jinja shrine(伏見稲荷神社), holy spirits are striving to clear the place of the accumulating magnetism of desire and purify it.

  • pray 祈る
  • thrive 繁盛する
  • enshrine 祭る
  • cast 投げる
  • magnetism 磁気
  • strive 努力する
  • clear A of B AからBを取り除く
  • purify 浄化する

At a certain head shrine of Inari-shin which belongs to another line different from Fushimi Inari-jinja shrine, fox spirits are being sent on errands so that they can support people’s selfish desires, regardless of its content. I can feel that a certain spiritual being, who is the boss of the fox spirits, is drawing up the bills for a huge price to pay with interest, which are supposed to be sent later to those who accepted the favor.

  • certain ある
  • belong  属す
  • on errands お使いで
  • selfish 身勝手な
  • regardless of A Aに関係なく
  • content 中身
  • bill 請求書
  • interest 利子
  • be supposed to~ 〜することになっている
  • accept 受け入れる
  • favor 恩恵

If those who prayed for something stop visiting the shrine every year, the boss will take away something important for them silently, as if it were saying “My men worked for you. What are you going to pay for it?”

  • take away A Aを取り上げる
  • silently 黙って

This also holds true of the groups people manage who do some spiritual business using the name of God. In this case, fox spirits on an errand correspond to living humans who are members of the group. What humans do, not fox spirits, can have strong impact on society, so their spiritual sin is much more serious.

  • hold true of A Aに当てはまる
  • correspond to A Aに相当する
  • impact 影響
  • society 社会
  • sin 罪

As for Ebisu deity, I can feel that he is accumulating desires humans emit very hard.  I can see a huge lump of human desires in every Ebisu shrines. It’s like people are praying to the huge lump of dirt of desires with their hands put together.

  • as for A Aについて言えば
  • emit    発する
  • lump 塊
  • dirt 垢

Ebisu deity is generally described as a fat man with a well-liking face who has a big sea bream in one hand and a fishing rod on the other hand. This seems to be a black joke by the great holy spirit who rules Yomi-no-kuni(黄泉の国). Hidden, ancient holy spirits have often left admonitions or warnings in folk tales or legends for people.

  • describe 描写する
  • well-liking face 福顔
  • bea bream 鯛
  • fishing rod 釣り竿
  • ruler 支配者
  • admonition 諭し
  • warning 警告
  • folk tale 民話
  • legend 民間伝承

The kanji of “戎” of Ebisu deity is similar to that of “戒”, meaning a warning. In the dark age where the World of the Dead was at the height of its prosperity, the faith that people worship deities to fulfill personal desires consoled and encouraged people to be sure. But in the age of the sun to come, Ebisu deity will turn into the one who punishes people for the sake of them. In the World of Reality, Ebisu deity will become equal to a deity who punishes people.

  • similar 似ている
  • the World of the Dead 幽界
  • be at the height of one’s prosperity 全盛期
  • faith 信仰
  • fulfill 実現させる
  • console 慰める
  • encourage 励ます
  • to be sure 確かに
  • turn into A Aに変わる
  • punish 罰する
  • for the sake of A Aのために
  • equal 等しい

What the deity whose face is healthy and cheeks are red will fish with his fishing rod might not be a sea bream…but greedy, selfish people who are always trying to depend on deities outside of them without paying any attention to their own Inner God.

  • fish 釣る
  • depend 頼る
  • pay attention 注意を払う

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.