2/15/2013

Hijiri Holy Men

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Hijiri ひじり【聖】”holy men" 

in Japanese religion, a man of great personal magnetism and spiritual power, as distinct from a leader of an institutionalized religion.
Historically, hijiri has been used to refer to sages of various traditions, such as the shaman, Shintō mountain ascetic, Taoist magician, or Buddhist reciter.
Most characteristically hijiri describes the wandering priest who operates outside the orthodox Buddhist tradition to meet the religious needs of the common people.
source : global.britannica.com







Temple Yugyooji 遊行寺 Yugyo-Ji
and the wandering monks (hijiri)
While the large institutionalized monasteries of the time do reflect this perspective, schools founded by hijiri practitioners, such as the early Yugyō school, contradict these expectations.
. 遊行寺 Temple Yugyo-Ji .




Kuuya Shoonin 空也上人 or Saint Kuya Shonin
(903-72)
. . . he began fourteen years of travel throughout Kyoto and the countryside doing good works and practicing a type of chanting using song and dance (odorinenbutsu 踊念仏). Popularly known as
Ichi no Hijiri 市聖 "Sage of the people in the market place"
and
Amida Hijiri 阿弥陀聖 "Sage of Amida".

. Kuuya Shounin 空也上人 Saint Kuya .


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sanmai hijiri 三昧聖 "samadlhi holy men "
they also worked as guards at graveyards

. onboo 隠坊 (おんぼう) graveyard warden .


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Ippen Hijiri 一遍聖 Saint Ippen
(1234 - 1289)

quote
The hijiri of medieval and later Japan were itinerate holy men, wanderers without home or possessions. If the term is applied loosely, one might see the poet-hermit monk Saigyo (118-1190) as a model hijiri, and perhaps even Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), the haiku master and inveterate traveler. But whatever the spiritual influences on the poetry of Saigyo and Basho it is aesthetic, and the lives of these poets not strictly given over to the didactic and devotional, as was the life of the most famous hijiri: Ippen.
. . .
Ippen recalled the sayings of a tenth-century monk, Master Kuya, called the "hijiri of the marketplace" and a model for Ippen . . .

He touches upon the theme of dwelling-place:

Though you have no settled dwelling
To consider a permanent home,
Since, after all, houses abound,
You'll never be drenched by the rains

[i.e., taking refuge in the nembutsu].


Ippen tells us that with this view of the universe:

Where a single mat is spread out
We feel no confinement;
Rising and returning with the utterance of the Name
Is the abode where no delusions arise.



Finally, these passages by Ippen:

To become solitary and simple in utter aloneness --
living wholly unconcerned about the multitude of worldly affairs,
and abandoning and disentangling yourself from all things -- is to die.
We are born alone; we die alone.

Food, clothing, and shelter are the three evil paths.
To desire and make a display of clothing is karma for the path of beasts.
To greedily crave food is karma for the path of famished ghosts.
To set up a shelter is karma for the path of hell.
Hence, if you aspire to part from the three evil paths,
you must free yourself from food, clothing, and shelter.

There should be no seeking after food, clothing, and shelter on our part;
we should leave these to the working of things.


Ippen, Hijiri
source : www.hermitary.com


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model of an oibako 笈箱 of the Edo period


初雪や聖小僧の笈の色
hatsuyuki ya hijiri kozoo no oi no iro

first snowfall -
the color of the backpack
of this meandering monk

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written in 元禄4年 , Basho age 44.

Basho observed this meandering monk from Mount Koya 勧進僧高野聖.
Traveling in wind and rain and now snowfall, his simple wooden backpack must have lost all color and faded into the gray landscape.

Basho himself was on a kind of "hijiri" life, traveling all over Japan, without a regular home.

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


Oku no Hosomichi, Matsushima
. Kenbutsu Hijiri 見仏聖 .


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初霜や笑顔見世たる茶の聖
hatsu shimo ya egao misetaru cha no hijiri

first frost -
the smiling face
of this Saint of Tea


. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .


. Sen Rikyuu, Sen Rikyū 千利休 Sen Rikyu, Sen no Rikyu .
another "cha no hijiri"


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ひぐらしやここにいませし茶の聖 
higurashi ya koko no imaseshi cha no hijiri

Higurashi cicadas -
here he is still alive
the Saint of Tea

Tr. Gabi Greve

. Mizuhara Shūōshi, Shuoshi 水原秋桜子 .




Zen-Master Eisai 栄西禅師 (1141 - 1215)
brought tea plants to Japan, he is the
Saint of Tea 茶の聖.

. Tea from Toganoo 栂尾のお茶 .



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山犬をのがれて霧の聖かな
yamainu o nogarete kiri no hijiri kana

he escaped
the wolves, this mendicant
monk in the mist . . .


Kooya hijiri 高野聖 Koya Hijiri
. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 .




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Kooya hijiri 高野聖 "mendicant priest from Mr. Koya"
another name for the Japanese giant water bug
tagame 田亀 / 水爬虫(たがめ) "field turtle"
Lethocerus deyrollei
kigo for all summer

. WKD : tagame 田亀 / 水爬虫 "field turtle" .



. Koya San in Wakayama 高野山 和歌山県 .
Sacred Mountain for Shingon Sect of Esoteric Buddhism.


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