|Kariba Myoujin 狩場明神|
|KEY WORD : art history / iconography|
called Kouya Myoujin 高野明神. An old hunter represented with a white dog or
dogs or as a courtly figure in formal dress. He is the son, or the emanation
of *Niu Myoujin 丹生明神,
the deity of Mt. Kouya 高野, Wakayama prefecture, and is therefore often depicted
as a companion to her although he may also appear alone or with other deities.
According to the legend of the founding of Kongoubuji 金剛峯寺 on Mt Kouya,
Kariba Myoujin guided *Kuukai 空海
(774-835, see *Koubou Daishi
弘法大師) to the sacred spot in the mountains where he founded his monastery
in 816. Kariba Myoujin and his mother both became protectors of the temple
and are worshipped, with two added deities, in Amano Jinja 天野神社 (now called
Niutsuhime Jinja 丹生都比売神社) on Mt. Kouya. These four deities were known as
the Kouya Shisho Gongen 高野四所権現, or Kouya Shisha Myoujin 高野四社明神. His Buddhist
本地仏 is *Yakushi 薬師 or *Dainichi
大日 of the Diamond World Mandala *Kongoukai mandara 金剛界曼荼羅.
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