View Full Version : Old Kanji/Shodo questions

Devon Smith
23rd January 2001, 00:45
I'm hoping for some help with some translation/explanation. My understanding and recognition of kanji is very poor, and I've come across something of possible historical relevance to me.

The following is an image taken from a Japanese wall scroll that I own that appears to be between 50 and 100 years old:


I have seen this shodo displayed behind formal pictures taken in a dojo sometime around WWII. It is different that what I have seen displayed more recently, which is shodo for "Amaterasu Oomikami" (sun goddess).

In this text I see reference to "hachiman-daijin" and "kasuga-daijin" around the larger script reading "tenshoukotaijingu" or, "shrine of the sun goddess".

Can anybody help me further understand anything about this text?

Thanks in advance for anything that you might be able to offer!


Joanne Miller
23rd January 2001, 06:00
Hello Devon,

*With refrence to the picture you posted with regards to the Kanji of Amaterasu (Ise no Kami)*

The last 2 kanji is read as "Jingu" , which means grand shrine. Actually all these 6 Kanji is exactly what is written on the O-fuda of Ise shrine which one can buy. (O-fuda are those wooden tablets inside a kamidana that cost around 1000 yen which must be change every year.)

As for Hachiman kami , the kami is taken as a diety of war so one can find Hachiman kami o-fuda in a dojo kamidana. I know some Jujutsu ryuha in Japan which uses the Hachiman o-fuda in their dojo.

As for Kasuga kami, actually this is sort of like a 4-in one thingy :) In Kasuga Taisha (located in Nara), 4 dieties are enshirned in the Honden (Inner sanctum)

The 1st building houses Takemikazuchi no Mikoto (Kashima kami)of Kashima Jingu in Ibaragi,the 2nd builidng houses Futsunushi no Mikoto (Katori kami) of Katori Jinju in Chiba,
3rd builidng houses Amenokoyane no mikoto and the 4th one is Himegami.

Since Kashima & Katori kami are traditional worshipped as budo tutelary dieties , maybe that's why Kasuga kami is used in place?

Hope that helps


[Edited by Joanne Miller on 01-23-2001 at 03:55 AM]

Devon Smith
23rd January 2001, 13:31
This is exactly the kind of help I'm looking for. Thanks very much for the explanation, Joanne!

Joanne Miller
24th January 2001, 14:13
Hello Devon,
I am been asking around about the Jpeg you posted. It seems that it is much more significant that I thought !

It seems this specific scroll is known in Japanese as " Sanja Takusen" which translates as "The 3 shrine oracles " and were quite popular. It has something to do with Shinto doctrine. In addition I was told and that the names of the kami written in the scroll has some buddhist slant to it.

The oracle first appeared in Todaiji (I think that's the buddhist temple in Nara with the big buddha statue) I am not sure of the dates as all I was just told are these.

It seems for each of the oracle , Hachiman , Kasuga & Tensho Kotai Jingu there are specific "teachings/doctrines" attributed to these oracles.

Sorry I am unable to help more maybe you can ask around more specifically on "Sanja Takusen" or maybe some other forum member who's skilled in Japanesse religons would like to help out ?


Devon Smith
25th January 2001, 08:44
Thanks again, Joanne! The plot thickens....

Here's what I've found so far: http://pears2.lib.ohio-state.edu/FULLTEXT/JR-BJ010/bj10_2_7.htm


[Edited by Devon Smith on 01-25-2001 at 03:13 AM]