A Great Man Who Wrote a Moving Word – Kukai

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

The other day, a reader of this blog asked me if the cover page of my new book Together with Inner God, the sea reflecting the sky, was the image of Kukai(空海). A sea of clouds spreading between the ground and the sun is very dreamy, to be sure.

  • a sea of clouds 雲海
  • spread 広がる
  • dreamy 幻想的な

Kukai’s childhood name was Mao(眞魚), which can be interpreted as “true fish.” When the soul of Kukai came down to this World of Reality from the World of Venus, the World of Sea Dragons supported him, acting as Ubusuna-kami(産土神), a guardian deity of one’s birthplace. I feel this is why his childhood name had the word “fish.” Souls protected by the World of Sea Dragons are to be very successful in the World of Reality, for the spiritual source of wealth is the sea. So I imagine that the word “海” in his name is suggesting that he had good luck by nature that assures success.

  • interpret 解釈する
  • support 支援する
  • wealth 富
  • assure 保証する

What I felt on receiving the question from the reader was that a sea of clouds matches Kukai spiritually. And what came to my mind then was a stone monument located in Mt. Koya(高野山), on which a word written by Kukai was inscribed. There is one word on the stone monument. It is “空”, or sky.  The word “空” written by Kukai  is very unusual. The word is skew and looks like steam rising up into the air. The entire word looks as if it were about to vanish like a living thing. Since Kukai normally wrote great block letters clearly, the word written in a cursive style struck me as rare.



  • match 合う
  • stone monument 石碑
  • inscribe 刻む
  • unusual 変わっている
  • skew 斜めの
  • entire 全体の
  • vanish 消える
  • rare 珍しい

The sea lying between the World of Gods and the World of Reality concerned his birth, but after he came of age, he lived his life to the full, supported by Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神), the Sun God, and Kunitokotachi-oh-kami(国常立太神), the symbol of the earth, just like a sea of clouds flows in the sky freely.

  • concern 関係する
  • come of age 成人する
  • to the full 思いっきり

Kukai can be said to be an embodiment in the World of Reality of Susanoo(スサノオ), which also suggests the relationship between Kukai and Koujin(荒神),  a fierce god. Human beings, once born, are to vanish like clouds sooner or later. We’re living between heaven and earth. If we vanish at all, why don’t we live in the precious moment to the full?

  • embodiment 具現化
  • fierce 荒ぶる
  • precious 貴重な
  • moment 瞬間

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

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

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.