Sekkyo Oguri Hangan Ichidai-ki

And lo,This is the mansion of Lord Takakura Kaneie,Famous throughout the capital.

It is already the first anniversary of the death of his sun, Oguri Hangan,

Alms are being distributed in his memory,

And the door to the main hall is buried in a mountainous crowd.

To this very place,

Just at this time, Oguri Hangan arrives.

He see the memorial alms,

Watches with a puzzled look,

And stands, not knowing what to do.

“What is this?

‘Posthumous name, Denkizan Daikoji of the Tension temple.

In life his name was Oguri Hangan Masakiyo.

Offered on the first anniversary of his death’ Hmm.

So this is the first anniversary of my death.

Thank goodness,

My parents must be alive and well.

He tries to go see them,Pay no attention to the alms,And goes right inside the gate,

Blowing stoutly on his pilgrim’s conch shell.

“I am a mountain priest on my way to the sacred mountain of Kumano.

humbly beg for your assistance.”

Hearing this, a retainer comes out.

“Traveling priest,

There is an important ceremony at this mansion.

At the main gate alms are being offered.

If you are a monk on pilgrimage to Kumano,

Why do you not receive alms and then be on your way.

The sound of your conch shell is disturbing.

Leave this instant!”

Hearing this, Oguri Hangan is troubled,

How he has finally returned home,

But has not yet seen his parents.

Even though it was his fault that they were separated,

Each day, each night he has longed for his mother,

For three years he has thought of his father.How many nights has he soaked his pillow with tears?The refusal is like a bamboo spear in his heart,

But without words to protest,

Not so much as a peep, like the cry of an insect,

In silent sadness he goes out the gate.

At this moment, from the watch tower,Lord Kaneie’s wife quietly comes down.”Lieutenant Sakon,

I heard what just happened.

That was a pilgrim to Kumano, wasn’t it?

He asked for our assistance.

Today is the day that we are distributing alms.

Even if that was only someone from the city,

Why did you not call him in,

And offer at least a meal before sending him away?

As you know,

This is the first anniversary of Oguri Hangan’s death.

For my son’s sake, quickly call that pilgrim back.

And offer him a meal.”

Lietenant Sakon replies respectfully,

“I hear and obey.”

And runs out the gate.

“Pilgrim! Pilgrim!”He calls him back, saying, “Come this way.”He takes him to the back kitchen

And has him remove his leggings and straw sandals.

He politely leads him to the guest parlour,

Brings out tea and the tobacco tray.

Before long a tray of food appears as well,

And Sakon serves his well.

From a neighbouring roomWith a forlorn air, the lord’s wifeGlances into the guest parlour.

With a start she jumps back

Approaches again and stands, staring.

“How strange,

This pilgrim on his way to Kumano;

In the features of his face and his age,

He is identical to my son Masakiyo.

I may be imaging things,

But the two are as alike as two melons,

Or among flowers, two irises.

How strange the appearance of this monk.

Perhaps drawn by the bond of parent and child,

Without noticing, she steps out of her room

And into the guest parlour.

“Traveling priest,If I heard correctly,You are on a pilgrimage to Kumano.

Where are you from and where are you going, traveling priest?”

She speaks and Oguri Hangan looks up.”Mother!”He would say, but holds back.

“I am from the province of Hitachi in the east.

How I am a humble pilgrim going from the province of Ki to Kinbuzen.”.

When she hears this, the lord’s wife draws nearer.And exclaims in wonderThat the pilgrim is from the province of Hitachi.

“Hitachi reminds me of one who is now gone,

Please listen to my tale:

For certain reasons,

My only child Oguri Hangan Masakiyo

Incurred the displeasure of the emperor,

And was exiled to Hitachi.

After that,

According to the stories I heard,

He fell in love with Princess Terute,

The daughter ofYokoyama Shogen Terutomo,

The governor of the province of Sagami.

He forced his way in and exchanged promises of marriage,

This brought his downfall.

He was fed the poison seven-fold

And together with his ten companions,

He died a tragic death.

It has been exactly a year since I heard of his death.

The alms being given out at the gate

Are in memory of my son’s sad death.

How fortunate that you are from Hitachi.

Perhaps your presence is due to a tie in a former life.

At least, for the sake of my son’s salvation,

Let me hear your tale.”

Saying this she stays lying in sadness,

Lost in tears.

Oguri Hangan can no longer hold himself back,”Mother!I am none other than your son,

Oguri Hangan Masakiyo.”

Hearing this, the lord’s wife sits up straight.

“Pilgrim, after seeing my distress,

Why did you say that you are my son?

This is very strange,

And there must be a deep reason for this.

Speak, tell me everything.

If there is anything suspicious in what you say,

Woman though I be, I will not let you go.”

Hearing this, Masakiyo says,

“Mother, I understand your suspicion.

Listen to my tale.

As you said,

I was Drawn by the beauty of Yokohama Shogen’s daughter Princess Terute,

Making her my wife caused my downfall.

I was served poison seven-fold

And together with all ten of my companions,

Died a sad death.

But by some miracle, I alone

Was sent back to the mortal world and become a shrivelled gakiami.

In Sagami I was saved by the holy man Totakuzan Yugyoji.

He place me on a cart,

And one after another, many people pulled it.

Until I reached the province of Ki on the Southern Circuit.

I finally arrived at the healing waters of Mt. Kumano.

The hot waters of that holy spring cured me.

After one week my eyes opened.

After two weeks my ears cleared.

After three weeks I had words again.

after seven weeks,

I was the same Oguri Hangan, again a full six measures in height.

As you can see, I was resurrected,

And fully restored.

I disguised myself as a mountain priest

And traveled all this way

In order to see father once more,

I want his forgiveness,


Somehow, please intercede for me.”

He pleads in tears.

The lord’s wife weeps and weeps as well.”Well said. I will do as you ask,And speak to your father.

Wait here.”

Saying this,

Lost in uncertainty, she leaves the room.

When she sees the lord,She kneels and bows low, both hands respectfully on the floor:”May I speak, my husband?

Just now, Hangan Masakiyo,

In the guise of a wandering pilgrim

Has asked to see you.

He is now in the back parlour.

Will you be so good as to see him?”

When he hears this, Lord Takakura’s voice roars.”What are you saying, wife?How could Masakiyo who has already left this world

Be here in the guise of a pilgrim?

Day and night we have longed for him.

Hearing our laments

And taking advantage of today’s ceremony,

One of the foxes, badgers or evil spirits

That live nearby

Has thought to steal the souls of this husband and wife,

Taken the form of our dear son,

And appeared to us,

Yes, I, Takakura will reveal this monster’s true form.”

He pushed aside his shaking wife

Takes down the bow of strong white wood from above the door,

With terrifying strength grasps it in one hand,

He faces the guest parlour and raises his voice.

“Monster, I am here!You, that pilgrim in there.It is suspicious that you have come calling yourself my son.

If you are indeed my son,

You will remember the secret art of catching arrows

Witch I taught you when you were young.

Come and catch the arrows that Takakura will shoot.

If by some chance you fail to catch the arrows,

It will penetrate your vitals

And put an end to your life.

Or you will prove that you are truly Oguri Hangan,

One or the other,

What is your answer?”

Hearing this, Masakiyo thinks,”Father,I should be abele to catch your arrows,

But I have been to the land of the dead and back,

And have not tested my skill since.

But if I miss,

And am hit by my father’s arrow,

I will not regret the life I lose.

I only regret that my resurrection will have been in vain.

What should I do?”

So he stands in hesitation, not knowing what to do.

He prays, “O Tamonten the god of kurama,

O arrow-wielding Hachiman of the forest shrine,

O San ja Daigongen of the kumamoto hot spring shrine.

Please Lend me your divine strength.”

He prays, heart concentrated in this one thought.

He stands up straight,


Shoot your arrows here.”

He spreads his chest and gives it a slap.

“All right.” the lord says.

He draws the first arrow with the bow,

Pulling and bending the powerful bow.

He shoots,

Oguri says, “I’ve got it.”

And holds the arrow in his left fist.

The lord draws the second arrowShoots and without a miss,Oguri grasps the arrow in his right fist.

Thinking that this time he will kill,The lord takes the third arrowPulls it back until the bow is a full moon.

He released it.

Masakiyo looks like hi’s thrown over backwards,

But he holds the arrow firmly in his teeth.

This is the mysterious power of the gods.

Holding the three arrows firmly,

He waves his arums high in the air.

“Lord Kaneie. Father,

I am truly Oguri Hangan.”

Lord Takakura throws his bow aside,And runs to him,”Well done, a sight to behold,

Well done, well done.”

“Father,How I’ve longed to see youFor three years I have been an undutiful sun.

Pease forgive me.”

Oguri’s mother can no longer hold back.She drops the rosary in her hand,Pushes open the screens between the rooms

But trips on the long train of her gown.

And in haste crawls to his side.



“How happy I am to see you again.”

The three grasp each other’s hands,

And again and again look tenderly at one another

In joy at seeing one another again.

Oguri Hangan’s feat of catching arrows,And his reunion with his parents,Is a miraculous flowering,

Like the rare blossoming of the udonge flower.

Truly this was a blessed event.