History and Cultural assets Document archives

Utsunomiya`s Folktales

Joko-ji Temple ③ Blunder of Keihan-zenji


In old days, Keihan Osho, a chief Buddhist bonze of Joko-ji Temple, gained trust of many people as a very excellent Buddhist bonze. When the Osho built Komyo-ji Temple, he cut the cedar trees of Mount Futaara as a building material. Therefore, many people spread rumors one another, saying, “It might invite anger of Futaarayama Daimyojin, a great god.”
One day, an old man living nearby plowed a field and happened to take a nap at a ridge of the field, because he felt terribly exhausted. Then one Shinto priest appeared in his dream.
“Keihan Osho cut the sacred trees of Mount Futaara without permission. I will give him punishment, but because he is a very excellent Buddhist bonze, I will punish him after receiving permission of Bonten, or Brahma. As I am going to visit heaven now, I want you to let me use your white horse.” He said and disappeared.
When the old man rushed back home and checked the barn, the white horse was not found anywhere. The man felt faint when he told this mysterious happening to the Osho. The Osho thought, “There is no other ways than counting on Buddha,” and worked hard on his duties day and night from that day.
One day the Osho fell asleep in a drowse while having some tea in the living room. Then a messenger of Brahma appeared in his dream. “You are an outrageous person who cut the cedar trees of Mount Futaara without permission. Having been ordered to put an end to your life, I came down here, but could not shoot you with an arrow, because your body is filled with sutra. You should be ready for it today at last.” The messenger said and shot an arrow. The old man awoke from his dream in which the arrow hit the instep.
He jumped up in wonder and looked around to find nobody. The Osho felt sorry for himself, saying, “I made a blunder by neglecting my duties with a careless mind at last.”