10 Nov 2015

MINGEI - amulet against burns



- - - - - A golden frog to prevent burns ! - - - - -

source : jigane.com

yakedo 火傷 burn, scald the skin
yakedo no majinai, jumon 火傷の呪い / 呪文 incantation to heal a burn

himodoshi, hi modoshi 火もどし / 火戻し to give the fire back

In former times, when housewives, craftsmen and other people used open fire for many activities in daily life, they often got burns on their skin, sometimes quite severe wounds.
To seek healing people had to go to a special healer specializing in "hi modoshi no jutsu" 火戻しの術 the magic ritual of "giving the fire back"

jujutsushi 呪術師 magic healer

The healer chanted special prayers and spells and poured water over the affected body part. Soon the patient would not feel the heat of the wound any more. Often the wound healed fast and did not leave a scar.
There was no fixed payment for a healing session, since that would take away the effectiveness of the spell. But some small amount of money was passed on "from the heart" of the healed one.

This art of healing was passed on is some families. The spells were not spoken out loudly and nobody could hear them (to use them on his own). They were only given to the oldest son of a healer. Very seldom they were overheard by other children and passed on in the family.

Candles and incense sticks were placed on a table before the family Shinto altar, also offerings of purifying salt and rice. Bowing deeply tree times the healer then chants the incantations without making a sound. He then uses a bamboo grass leaf to sprinkle purified well water over the would while he chants.

Other souces quote a more simple way of healing (possibly with a stronger placebo effect).
The healer would write the character の over the affected body part, chant some incantation and that was it.
As an aside, even now mothers use the spell for all kinds of pain
itai no itai no tonde ike (tondeke) 痛いの痛いのとんでいけ pain, pain go away

The healers also knew other spells, for example to protect farmers and others walking in the dark nights of the Edo period, often without a lantern to save money for a candle. On the darkest spots of the road there were often evil spirits, malevolent Tanuki, Kitsune or other Yokai to scare and harm the people.

- reference : nippon.zaidan.info -

If someone has burnt the skin,
he goes to the local shrine to have a ritual performed:
himodoshi 火もどし to give the fire back.
Then he pours the water from the flower vase of the Butsudan on the wound.

. butsudan 仏壇と伝説 legends about the Buddhist family altar .

- - - - - Here is a story from Yamagata:

kajiya to isha to miko 鍛冶屋と医者と巫女
A blacksmith, a doctor and a Shrine maiden

むがしあったけど。Once upon a time
- to cut a long story short, the three came to hell together and were put into a hot chauldron to suffer for their sins.
But the Shrine maiden performed some "himodoshi" and they did not suffer in the boiling water.
(Maybe some kind of Hot Spring magic?)

- Read the Japanese story here ! -


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