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Fudo

by Micha F. Lindemans
The most popular of the Myoo ("great kings") and the god of fire and wisdom. He is the fifth of the guardians of the heavens and the patron of astrology. He is called upon at the start of difficult undertakings, as well as in times of war, epidemics and disasters. Fudo protects against calamities, great dangers and fire and theft. He resides in a temple on the summit of Mount Okiyama surrounded by fire. No one was allowed to see him seated in his sanctuary on pain of blindness. His priest Yenoki lived on, after his death, in a tree, watching over the moral conduct of the country people.

Fudo is represented as an ugly old man surrounded by flames with a sword in his right hand and a rope, to tie demons with, in his left hand. Legend has it that at the waterfall near Fudo's shrine at Ohara in the province of Awa, a young girl, called O Ai San, prayed there hoping for the cure of her blind father. She stood naked under the waterfall, praying, for a hundred days, and when she returned home after that time she found her father cured.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Fudo-Myoo

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