Enku Museum at Senkoo-Ji Temple 円空仏寺宝館

Ryoomen Sukuna 両面宿儺 Sukuna with two faces

Ryoomen Sukuna, a famous deity with two faces.

The Deity is described in the historical records Nihon Shoki日本書紀.

It has one face in front and one in the back and has four arms and legs.
In two arms it holds bow and arrows.
Usually this deity holds bow and arrow, but thinking of the woodworking people of Hida, Enku depicted him with an ax instead.
He put the two faces in front, one friendly, one with a wild expression.
In Hida, this deity is seen as the founder of the domain, Hida no Kuni 飛騨の国.

- quote -
“Seated Ryomen Sukuna,” created late in Enku’s life. The Sukuna was a two-faced demon who, according to the “Chronicles of Japan” (compiled in 720), ruled the Hida region with an iron fist until it was conquered by Emperor Nintoku (313-399). Hida folklore, however, claims that he defeated an evil dragon and is an incarnation of Kannon with the power to grant salvation.
The statue is thought to have been commissioned by the chief priest of Senkoji Temple; the subject may have been chosen to appeal to locals for whom the Sukuna was benevolent rather than despotic. Although roughly chiseled, the expressive facial contours and details, such as fingernails and a dimpled lower lip, illustrate Enku’s command of his craft. Enku equipped the Sukuna with an axe, perhaps in deference to local descriptions, or maybe on an artistic whim.
- source : japantimes.co.jp/culture/2013 -


While "Nihonshoki" described Ryomen-sukuna as a villain and an enemy of the emperor, people in Hida and Mino Provinces treated Ryomen-sukuna as a hero and benefactor and worshipped him.

According to "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), Ryomen-sukuna appeared in Hida Province where he disobeyed the Imperial court and made people suffer, but in 377 the Imperial court sent a military commander, Takefurukuma no Mikoto, to expel Ryomen-sukuna from the province.

Another theory states that Ryomen-sukuna refers to Emperor Chuai's sons, Kagosaka no Miko and Oshikuma no Mikoto.

One theory states that Ryomen-sukuna is a symbol of twins and brothers, therefore it refers to Oousu no Mikoto and Ousu no Mikoto (i.e. Yamato Takeru no Mikoto and his brother), twins in ancient Japanese history.

Ryomen-sukuna is regarded as Kaiki 開基 (patron of a temple at its founding) of Senko-ji Temple and Zenkyu-ji Temple in Nyukawa-cho, Takayama City (former Nyukawa-mura, Ono County), and it is said that he introduced Buddhism to Hida Province.

Minashi-jinja Shrine 水無神社, which is the ichinomiya (the highest-ranked shrine in the area) in Hida Province, has been worshipping Kuraiyama Mountain as shintaizan (a mountain worshiped as the sacred dwelling place of a deity or deities), but its enshrined deity is unknown, so a theory states that Ryomen-sukuna is a hidden deity of the shrine.

- source : english.cheerup.jp/corpus -


kaijin 怪人 masked mysterious man or deity ?

a descendant of the deity Sukunahikona 少彦名命の末裔 ?

source : japanfestival.web.fc2.com


Nyuukawa Sukuna Matsuri にゅうかわ宿儺まつり
Sukuna Festival at Nyukawa
November 3

source : ckorikori.exblog.jp


source : blog.goo.ne.jp

Sukunahikona no mikoto 少彦名命 (スクナヒコナノミコト) Sukuna Hikona, Sukuna-Hikona
Sukuna-Bikona スクナビコナ(スクナヒコナ)

In Izumo he is known by another name and venerated as a deity of Sake brewing:
. Kusu no kami 久斯之神(くすのかみ) .
Saka Jinja 佐香神社 in Izumo - Matsuō Shrine

Sukunahikona [Sukunahikona no kami] (Kojiki)

A kami who assisted Ōnamuchi in the "forming of the land."

According to Kojiki, Sukunahikona was a tiny kami who fell from between the fingers of its parent (oyakami) Kamimusuhi (according to Nihongi, Takamimusuhi). In Kojiki, Sukunahikona first appears riding on the waves in a boat made from the pod of the flowering vine called kagami (frequently identified as the gagaimo plant or Metaplexis japonica), and wearing the skin of a small bird. In almost all versions of the story, the kami appears as one half of a pair with Ōnamuchi, and the two kami cooperate toward the development of the land and the invention of medicines.

Later, Sukunahikona is described as climbing up a millet stalk and springing off in Misaki of Kumano (alternately, on the island of Awajima), thus passing to the "eternal land" (Tokoyo no kuni). Because of these attributes, Sukunahikona is viewed as possessing the characteristics of a tutelary both of grains, and of the "other world."
source : Kadoya Atsushi, 2005 kokugakuin

. Tokoyo no Kuni 常世国, 常世の国 The Eternal Land beyond the Sea .

CLICK for more images of Sukuna.


CLICK for more photos .

Hirai Jinja 飛来神社
福岡県福岡市博多区吉塚3丁目11番地(旧 東堅粕)- Fukuoka

- - - - - deity in residence
Sukunahikona Mikoto 少彦名命 / 少名毘古那神
the child of 太古神皇産霊神

Together with Onamuchi (Daikoku) he found the hot spring and is venerated as a deity of medicine and health, even helping with brewing medical ricewine (sake).
iyaku no kamisama 医薬の神様.

Sukunahikona is a very small person and was thus seen as a deity for children, especially their problems with arms and legs.
At this shrine in Fukuoka people bring wooden models of arms and legs and pray for healing.

. ashi koshi 足腰お守り amulets for strong feet and legs .

source : blog.goo.ne.jp/haichaolu2010
with more photos of Ema votive tablets


Venerating Sukunahikona no mikoto 少彦名命:

Onamuchi no mikoto and Sukunahikonano mikoto discovered Arima Hot Springs:
. 有馬 湯泉神社 Arima Tosen Jinja . - Hyogo

. Awashima Jinja 淡島神社 . - Wakayama

. Chiba, 伊予ケ岳 Mount Iyogatake .

. Kataishi Jinja 宿那彦神像石神社 - Keta Jinja 気多神社 .

. Ooarai isozaki jinja 大洗磯前神社 . -Ibaraki

. Hikona 小彦名 and Shinno shi 神農氏.
Deities of Medicine
Sukunahikona Jinja 小彦名神社 Shrine at Osaka

. Yakushi Jinja 薬師神社 Yakushi Shrines in Tohoku .
The deity in residence is usually 少彦名命 Sukuna Hikona no Mikoto, the Shinto version of Yakushi Nyorai, Buddha of Medicine and Healing.


. The deity 美津波能女之命 Mizuhanome no Mikoto .
comes down from heaven to heal 少彦名命 Sukuna no Mikoto.


. Buddha Statues and Japanese Deities .

- #sukunahiko #sukuna -