Shotoku and Daruma

. Legends about Prince Shotoku .

Shotoku Taishi and Daruma

Shootoku Daishi and Daruma

Imperial Prince Shotoku, 574-622

How Shootoku Taishi, the Prince Imperial, met a dying beggar:
When Shootoku Taishi walked along the village of Kataoka 片岡, he met a poor man and gave him a purple cloth. But the man died the next day. When they opened his grave, there was no body found, just the purple cloth folded nicely.
"This must have been Daruma, the Founder of Zen" was the verdict of Shootoku Taishi. So "It takes a holy man to recognize another holy man!"

Quoted from here:
Daruma with one Sandal 隻履達磨 Sekiri Daruma .


According to a later Japanese tradition, Bodhidharma did not return to India but traveled on to Japan. This version, propagated by the Tendai school, associates Bodhidharma with Shootoku Taishi, who came himself to be considered an avatar of the Tiantai master Nanyue Huisi (517-77). We are told that Shootoku Taishi one day met a starving beggar at the foot of Mt. Kataoka (in Nara Prefecture) and exchanged a poem with him. The strange literate beggar was first identified as an immortal in the Nihon shoki. His further identification with Bodhidharma rested upon another widespread legend, according to which Huisi had once been Bodhidharma’s disciple.

When the two first met on Mount Tiantai, Bodhidharma predicted that they would both meet again in a next life in Japan. This legend grew with the cult of Shootoku Taishi in the medieval period, and there is still a Daruma Temple at Kataoka, not far from Horyuuji — a monastery associated with Shootoku Taishi.

Daruma, Smallpox and the color Red, the Double Life of a Patriarch
Bernard Faure


Nihon Shoki
Translation by W.G.Aston

Chapter 22

Year 613, 12th month, 1st day

The Prince Imperial (Shootoku Taishi) took a journey to Katawoka (Kataoka). Now a starving man was lying by the roadside. He asked his name, but there was no answer. The Prince Imperial, seeing this, gave him to eat and to drink, and taking off his own raiment, clothed with it the starving man, saying to him: "Lie in peace".
Then he made a song, saying:

Alas! For
The wayfarer lying
And hungered for rice
On the hill of Katawoka
(The sunshiny)
Art thou become
Hast thou no lord
Flourishing as a bamboo?
Alas ! For
The wayfarer lying
And hungered for rice !

2nd day

The Prince Imperial sent a messenger to see the starving man. The messenger returned and said: "The starving man is already dead."
Hereupon the Prince Imperial was greatly grieved and accordingly caused him to be buried at that place, a mound erected and firmly closed.

Many days after, the Prince Imperial called for his personal attendants and said to them: "The staraving man who was lying on a former day on the roadside was no ordinary man. He must have been an upright man."

A messenger was sent to see. On his return he reported that when he went to the mound and made inspection, the heaped-up earth had not been disturbed, but on opening the tomb and looking in, there was no corpse. It was empty and there was nothing but the garment folded up and laid on the coffin.
Thereupon the Prince Imperial sent the messenger back a second time to fetch the garment, which he continued to wear as before.

The people of that time wondered much at this, and said:
"How true it is that a sage knoweth a sage."
and they stood more and more in awe of him.



達磨寺 Darumadera, Temple in Oji, Kataoka


gijin densetsu Legend of the Hungry Beggar

 © www.town.oji.nara.jp

This temple has been erected in the 13th century, in honor of the legend of Shotoku meeting Daruma. Nearby is the temple Hoko-Ji (Hookoo ji) 放光寺, which Shotoku had erected in his lifetime. Katakoa Shrine 片岡神社 is also nearby.
Every April on the 11th there is a memorial service for Daruma Daishi 達磨会式.

In the temple garden is a memorial stone with respect to the meeting of the two.
It was errected in 1448 with the wish to resurrect this temple to new life.
The Daruma statue was constructed in 1430, with the help of the Muromachi bakufu government. The "grave of Daruma" is worshipped in this temple compound.

The temple also has an old painting of the Nirvana Scene of Shakyamuni Buddha, which you can find on the source LINK.
source :  mahoroba.lib.nara

Two Scrolls inside the Temple
Shotoku and Daruma

© PHOTO : www9.ocn.ne.jp/~oji-syo


Daruma statue at the temple in Kataoka

Nara National Museum, Exhibition in 2003

Darumadera is located in Ôjichô, adjacent to Ikarugachô, in the middle west area of Nara Prefecture. When Crown Prince Shôtoku, who is called Shôtoku Taishi in Japanese, left his palace at Ikaruga-no-Miya for Kataoka (located within Ôjichô) he encountered a starving man beside the road. The man turned out to be an incarnation of the great saint Bodhidharma, who is known as Daruma-Daishi in Japanese.

It is said that the remains of this incarnation of Daruma Daishi were interred in the mound of the tumulus found beneath the main hall of Darumadera.
Given this legend as background, statues of Shôtoku Taishi and Daruma Daishi became the main worship objects of Darumadera.

The temple also possesses a Thousand-armed Avalokitesvara, Senju Kannon, which once placed in the temple's guest hall, and Buddhist paintings, such as an image of the Buddha's Nirvana, Jpns., Butsunehan-zu.

The temple also houses various artifacts recovered from archaeological excavations conducted in recent years. As the main hall of the temple has recently been rebuilt, the three statues of Daruma Daishi, Shôtoku Taishi, and Senju Kannon have been entrusted to Nara National Museum, allowing the museum to devise this special exhibition during which all the works of art of Darumadera can be viewed at once.
source :  Nara National Museum


Darumaji Temple, Ōji Town, Nara Prefecture
Excarvation report

Darumaji is a temple whose maintaining a tradition of being founded on the legendary story of Prince Shōtoku and a starving man at Mt. Kataoka; the temple’s main hall stands above the tomb (kofun) said to be the starving man’s grave.

In an excavation of lower strata conducted in conjunction with repairs to the main hall, a small stone chamber was detected with a stone stupa deposited in upright position. A square hole had been carved into the body of the stupa, in which a haji ware lidded vessel had been placed, within which a quartz crystal reliquary in the shape of a Five Elements Stupa was found, in which a relic had been placed.

CLICK for enlargementA stone stupa, ordinarily erected above ground, being deposited in an underground stone chamber in upright fashion, is exceedingly rare.
From a typological examination of the artifacts, including the stone stupa, and the results of investigations in the vicinity of the main hall, the deposit is inferred to have been made around the mid 13th century.

As the grave (kofun) of the starving man, held to have been an incarnation of Bodhidharma, was repaired at about the same time that Darumaji was founded, it is thought that the stone stupa was deposited in connection with the repair of the tomb. These artifacts and features may be evaluated as showing a new facet of Buddhist relic belief that was popular nationwide in the Medieval period.

Look at more photos here too.
source :  archaeology.jp . Okajima Eishō, Yamada Takafumi


CLICK for enlargement
More Japanese reference: 達磨寺 片岡

Daruma Mound / Kofun

Click here for more photos of the area !


Read the details of this
First Great Patron of Buddhism in Japan

Shōtoku Taishi (Shoutoku)
by Mark Schumacher

Prince Shōtoku (聖徳太子, Shōtoku Taishi)
February 7, 572 – April 8, 622)
also known as Prince Umayado (厩戸皇子, Umayado no ōji) or Prince Kamitsumiya (上宮皇子, Kamitsumiya no ōji), was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan who served under Empress Suiko.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Crown Prince Shoutoku has another name: Umayado that means
"a prince born in a stable".
The situation of the birth of Shoutoku remind us of the one of Jesus Christ.
Hata Kawakatsu founded Kooryuji Temple at Uzumasa, Kyoto in 603 and became the most influential brain of Crown Prince Shoutoku. the regent of Emperess Suiko.
source : gensei/ten

. The Hata Clan 秦氏 Hata Uji .
and the Korean and Christian connection


Prince Shōtoku and the Ninja
Did you know that Prince Shōtoku, known as a great reformer of ancient Japan, used ninja? Some speculate that it was his ninja that gave the prince the reputation of being 'super human' or magic. The prince appointed Ôtomo Hosohito to the office / role of 'Shinōbi (志能備・志能便)'.
Does this make Ôtomo the head of state intelligence, or an actual ninja? Let's look into it. Incidentally, it's sort of funny that his name, Ôtomo Hosohito (大伴細人), is similar to 'saisaku (細作)', an old name for spies... in fact, one might say that it's even slightly suspicious...
*Kanji is ateji / man'yōgana and is not necessarily indicative of meaning.
Well, who was Ôtomo Hosohito? He is mentioned in relation to Shōtoku-taishi in the Ninjutsu Ōgiden, a late Edo period document. For context, Shōtoku-taishi lived during the 6th century (Asuka period) and the Ninjutsu Ōgiden (忍術應義伝) was written around 1800, though it naturally claims to be considerably older.
Now, stop me if you've heard this one before, but the legend goes that Ôtomo Hosohito was taught ninjutsu by a mysterious old man who also passed onto him secret scrolls. It is said that Ôtomo Hosohito is the true founder of the Kōka ninja. Hosohito met Shōtoku-taishi when the prince fled to Kōka after losing a battle to Mononobe Moriya. Hosohito tied Shōtoku-taishi's horse to cedar tree and disguised him by using a ninjutsu technique so that Moriya's men rode on by without detecting him. Apparently the site of this miracle is called Basugi (馬杉, 'Horse Cedar') to this day.
Thereafter the prince asked Hosohito to spy on the Mononobe Clan and obtain information. Hosohito also tried to lure Mononobe Moriya to Kōka. Eventually Moriya was defeated at Mount Shigi in nearby Nara, and thereafter Shōtoku-taishi gave Hosohito the title of 'Shinobi', which meant 'one proficient in obtaining information'. Hosohito was the eyes and ears of Prince Shōtoku.
The Sōga Clan's victory over the heretical Mononobe Clan is credited to spying. In the parlance of the time then Shinobi meant 'spy' and the state used these spies to gather information on political rivals and the Imperial Court. Prince Shōtoku is said to have been well informed thanks to his shinobi. The prince himself is said to have superhuman abilities, being able to hold up to ten different conversations simultaneously and respond in kind to each.
Shōtoku-taishi is also said to have recruited a man named Hata Kawakatsu, an ancestor of the Hattori Clan, and so perhaps Iga ninjutsu also can be traced back to the Asuka period too? The Hata are said to have used their commercial activities as a front for information-gathering, and apparently Shōtoku-taishi had the Hattori Clan gather information in Iga and Ise.
So is any of this true? Or is it Edo period fantasy?
The academic consensus is that these stories are not to be accepted as fact, as they originate in Edo period ninjutsu scrolls which sought to establish ancient origins for their schools or documents. In another document, the Iga Mondō Ninjutsu Kazamurai no Makoto (which I'll just casually translate as 'Ninjutsu - True Stories of the Iga warriors'), for example, ninjutsu can be traced back to Emperor Jimmu, Japan's (legendary) first Emperor (traditionally dated to ruling from -660BC). The Ninjutsu Ōgiden's story is very creative, but it cannot be corroborated with any prior documents and originates there, making it very unlikely to be anything other than invention.
Spies were probably used in ancient Japan, and it's possible that Prince Shōtoku had even gained know-how from Sun Tzu's Art of War, given his thirst for knowledge from the continent, but that's as far as we can reasonably go with this; Ninja Snopes rates this one as 'mostly false'. I wrote this after seeing the Ninjutsu Ōgiden's contents presented as fact in a small museum.
. Adam Robert Turner .


Daruma Temples in Japan . Darumaji, Daruma-Ji . Darumadera


guchikiki Taishi - Taishi listening to your complaints

川越八幡宮 八幡神社
埼玉県川越市南通町19-1 - Saitama Hachiman Jinja


Exhibition Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, May 2008

CLICK for more photos

"Prince Shotoku:
Treasures from the Kawachi Santaishi"

at the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art presents treasures drawn from Eifuku-ji, Yachu-ji and Taiseishogun-ji temples in Osaka Prefecture, which are all connected to Prince Shotoku (574-622). A regent and politician in the Asuka Period (late sixth to early eighth centuries), Prince Shotoku authored in 604 the Seventeen Article Constitution, a Confucianism-based document that is considered to be the first statutory law in Japan. Deeply admired by many followers, his connection to the three Osaka Prefecture temples has made them a popular destination since around the Nara Period (710-784). "Pictorial Biography of Prince Shotoku," a set of seven paintings illustrating important events in the life of Prince Shotoku, was created sometime during the 14th to 16th centuries.
This exhibition celebrates the completion of the set's restoration at Eifuku-ji, with colors that return to their original state fromalmost 500 years ago.
© Japan Times

聖徳太子 ゆかりの名宝
河内三太子 叡福寺・野中寺・大聖勝軍寺

© PHOTO : taishi.exh.jp

. Haiku and Temple Horyu-Ji 法隆寺  


Shotoku Taishi figure 聖徳太子の尊像
from Temple Hokke-Ji 法華寺

This was an amulet, sold at the temple, but is not produced lately any more.

. Folk Toys from Nara .


.................... H A I K U

.Tennooji shoojin ku 天王寺生身供 (てんのうじしょうじんく)
Birthday Ritual
shari dashi 舎利出し(しゃりだし)"showing of the sacred bones" .

Shitenno-ji, Osaka 四天王寺
kigo for the New Year


Shooryoo-E 聖霊会 Memorial Ceremonies for Shotoku Taishi
Taishi Memorial Service, Taishi E .. 太子会 (たいしえ)
kigo for mid-spring

陰暦二月二十二日 22nd day of the 2nd lunar month
Now celebrated in March at temple Kooryuuji 広隆寺 Koryu-Ji in Kyoto.

float for Taishi, taishi yama 太子山(たいしやま)
kigo for late summer

This is a float in rememberance of Shotoku Taishi, the founder of the temple Shitenno-Ji. To get the wood for the construction, Shotoku went to the nearby forest by himself to search, pray and purify the trees before they where felled.

This float is used during the great Gion Festival (Gion-E 祗園会), another kigo for late summer. This is a famous festival of Kyoto City and will be described elsewhere.

© PHOTO gionfest.htm

External LINK
Kyoto Gion Festival


Prinz Shootoku, Prinz Shotoku
(Shootoku Taishi)

Er wird als eine Inkarnation von Kannon Bosatsu angesehen. Im Inneren seiner Statue findet sich manchmal eine kleine Kannon-Statue so plaziert, daß der Kopf sich in Höhe des Mundes von Prinz Shootoku befindet.
Dadurch wird zum Ausdruck gebracht, daß seine Worte direkt die Worte der Gottheit sind.

.Buddhastatuen ... Who is Who   
Ein Wegweiser zur Ikonografie
von japanischen Buddhastatuen

Gabi Greve, 1994

- ###shotokutaishi ##shootokutaishi #shotokudaishi -

. Legends about Prince Shotoku .



Gabi Greve - Enku said...

Imperial Prince Shotoku, 574-622
. Shotoku Taishi 聖徳太子 .

Carved by
Enku 円空

Gabi Greve said...

Seven "Big Temples" in the Kinki region, 近畿地方に七大寺
Related to Shotoku Taishi

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

Kurokoma Taishi 黒駒太子
Prince Shotoku Taishi on his Black Horse


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kaburaiji 鏑射寺 Kaburai-Ji

The temple has been founded in 581 by Shotoku Taishi 聖徳太子, since this was the homeland of his mother.
He made it the temple of Buddhist Studies 仏教弘通 (bukkyo guzu) and offered a special kabura arrow, hence the name Kaburai Temple.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Tsugaru, Aomoir

Kogakesan Fudoo-In Kokujooji 古懸山不動院国上寺 Kokujo-Ji

It has been built in the Heian period on request of Shotoku Taishi at Mount Ajarayama 阿闍羅山 Ajara Yama ( 442 meters) to appease the realm in the Northern districts of Japan.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Archery Contest
"Shotoku Taishi Eden"  聖徳太子絵伝
Illustrated History of Prince Shotoku

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kakurinji 鶴林寺 Kakurin-Ji Harima, Hyogo
加古川市加古川町北在家424 / 424 Kakogawachō Kitazaike, Kakogawa-shi, Hyōgo
The temple was built on request of Imperial Prince Shotoku in the hope to spread Buddhism. Its original name was Shitennoji Shoryo-In.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Koby, Hyogo, 太福寺 Taifuku-Ji
suzume no sugomori 雀の巣ごもり sparrows in a nest

Shotoku Taishi 聖徳太子 got smallpox when he was 3 years old. He then stood under a waterfall and prayed to get well. Next morning he remembered a dream where Kannon Bosatsu told him that he would be healed. So he had the temple 太福寺 built at that spot.
Now people come here to pray for the health of boys born in the year before February 11 each year, to the 太子祭り Daishi Festival. Then they get this amulet of a pair of sparrows in a nest to put at the entrance of their home to ward off further evil.
They also eat some はらみ餅 harami mochi.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Shotoku is founder of
Aburahi Jinja 油日神社 Aburahi Shrine, Shiga

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Fukuo Jinja 福王神社 Fukuo Shrine, Mie
The shrine is located up on a steep slope, the 天狗坂 Tengusaka. It was established more than 1200 years ago by 聖徳太子 Shotoku Taishi to venerate Bishamonten.
The main days of rituals are on days with a 3, where many people come to venerate.
During the time of 敏達天皇 Emperor Bitatsu Tenno (538 - 585), a statue carver named 安阿弥 Annami came from 百済 Kudara, Korea, and carved the statue of Bishamonten. Shotoku Taishi later placed it here to pray for the safety of the country and to protect shrine 伊勢神宮 Ise Jingu.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

guchikiki Jizoo 愚痴聞き地蔵 Guchi-kiki Jizo listening to complaints

Anonymous said...

He was maybe the first to have a pet dog . . .
Yukimaru 雪丸


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Nihon no sennin 日本の仙人 Japanese Immortals and Hermits
He is listed as Nr. 03

Gabi Greve said...

Tokyo Taishidoo 太子堂 Taishido district
Setagaya, Taishido 一丁目 - 五丁目 first to fifth sub-district


Gabi Greve said...

Shotoku Taishi and the Takenouchi Kaido

Gabi Greve said...

Naritasan Fudo Son 成田山不動尊
光徳寺 Kotoku-Ji // 高崎成田山 Takasaki Narita San
高崎成田山太子堂 Takasaki Naritasan Taishi-Do Hall
Built by the craftsmen and artists of the area to venerate Shotoku Taishi a protector deity.

Gabi Greve said...

He founded the temple Hofukuji 宝福寺 / 寶福寺 Hofuku-Ji
in Tokyo, 中野区南台3-43-2 / Nakano ward, Minamidai -
offering a statue of Nyoirin Kannon.

Gabi Greve said...

A statue of Senju Kannon carved by Shotoku Taishi at
temple Ennooji 圓應寺 Enno-Ji, Yoshida in Yokohama