Goddess Konohana  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Konohana Image
KONOHANA (CHILD FLOWER) IS THE JAPANESE BLOSSOM PRINCESS, THE SYMBOL OF DELICATE EARTHLY LIFE. SHE IS THE DAUGHTER OF THE EARTHLY MOUNTAIN GOD, OHOYANA. KONOHANA IS TALL, THIN, AND DRESSED IN A MAGNIFICENT FLOWER ROBE. HER HEAD IS USUALLY COVERED WITH A CROWN-LIKE HAT. SHE IS A GENTLE AND BENIGN GODDESS WITH A TOUCH OF SADNESS IN HER FACE. SPRING IS HER TIME OF THE YEAR.

AS THE LEGEND GOES, SHE MET NINIGI, THE PRINCE OF A RATHER ILLUSTRIOUS FAMILY, AT THE SEASHORE...AND THE TWO FELL MADLY IN LOVE. THE TWO WERE QUICKLY MARRIED, AND IT SEEMS THAT KONOHANA CONCEIVED A CHILD ON THEIR WEDDING NIGHT. NOW, NINIGI WAS A VERY JEALOUS MAN, AND HE ACCUSED HER OF HAVING A PRE-MARITAL AFFAIR. ANGERED BY HIS ACCUSATION, KONOHANA SWORE THAT SHE WAS INNOCENT, AND TO PROVE HER FIDELITY, SHE SHUT HERSELF UP IN A CAVE, THEN LIT A FIRE, STATING THAT, "IF SHE AND THE CHILD THAT WAS TO BE BORN EMERGE FROM THE CAVE UNSCATHED, THAT WOULD BE PROOF OF HER INNOCENCE. THIS DID HAPPEN. SHE MIRACULOUSLY GAVE BIRTH TO A SON AND THEY DID INDEED EMERGE FROM THE CAVE. THUS, HER ORDEAL OF FIRE AND SMOKE ENDED HAPPILY, AND SHE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO BEAR HER HUSBAND ANOTHER TWO CHILDREN.

IT WAS SOMETIME BETWEEN THE 14TH AND THE 16TH CENTURY THAT THE BELIEF AROSE AMONG THE PEOPLE THAT SHE WOULD PROTECT THEM FROM THE VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS OF MOUNT FUJI JUST AS SHE HAD SAVED HER NEWBORN SON FROM ITS POWER. HENCE, SHE CAME TO OCCUPY THE POSITION OF A DIVINE FIGURE AND BECAME THE PRINCIPLE GODDESS OF MOUNT FUJI. SHE WAS REVERED BY MEN AND APPROACHED BY CHILDLESS WOMEN WHO SOUGHT HER BLESSINGS. AROUND HER FIGURE GREW ELABORATE SHAMANISTIC RITUALS AND MANY SHRINES WERE BUILT FOR HER WORSHIP.

KONOHANA BECAME A HOUSEHOLD WORD.

THEY BEGAN TO MAKE PILGRIMAGES TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN IN HER HONOR; AT FIRST, ONLY MEN WERE ALLOWED TO GO, BUT LATER WOMEN WERE ALLOWED TO JOIN THE ASCENT. AND THOSE FOLLOWERS WHO, FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER, CANNOT MAKE THE CLIMB, ALTALRS AE SET UP IN THEIR HOMES; CANDLES ARE LIT, AND IT IS DECORATED WITH FLOWERS AND MADE FRAGRANT WITH INCENSE, AND AT NIGHT, EACH GROUP LIGHTS A TORCH IN HER HONOR.

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This entry was posted on 5 May 2009 at Tuesday, May 05, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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