Saturday, September 15, 2012

Oshirasama - Girl And Horse Deity In Tohoku, Japan

Oshirasama is a guardian of the home - ie no kami - throughout the northeastern area of Japan. It usually consists of two dolls, female and male, or a girl and the other doll having the head of a horse. It is a representation of a legend about a farmer's daughter who fell in love with a horse. The father killed the horse, hanging it from a mulberry tree. The girl went to the heavens with the head of the horse. And the dolls are made of mulberry wood nowadays. On the 16th day of the 1st, 3rd and 9th month of the lunar calendar, there are special rituals related to these dolls, these days being called meinichi 命日, death anniversary.

I noticed this drawing in Tono - a girl and a horse, a subtle suggestion of the legend.

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