Kariba Myoujin 狩場明神
KEY WORD : art history / iconography
Also 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 counterpart *honjibutsu 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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