Onzoshi shimawatari(Voyage of Yoshitsune)
- Introduction -
This is a story about before Onzoshi (Minamoto no Yoshitsune) went to Kyoto. From Fujiwara no Hidehira in Oshu, where he had been taking shelter, he heard that “if he performs the ‘Law of Dainichi Buddha,’ which is in possession of Kanehira the Great, in Kikenjo in Chishima Province, Japan will become as he pleases.” Then, Onzoshi went to the harbor of Tosa (*Tosaminato, present-day Aomori Prefecture), and purchased a vessel called Hayakaze with one hundred ryo in gold coins.
However, Onzoshi did not know where Chishima was located. He prayed wholeheartedly to the gods, “Take me somehow to Chishima,” and started to row out to sea. As he rowed, guided by the wind, he passed by various islands, and on the seventy-fifth day, he disembarked on a mysterious island.
- Development -
This was a strange island where centaurs lived. They had upper bodies in the shape of horses, and lower bodies in the shape of humans. After more than eighty days at sea once again, Onzoshi reached a ‘naked island’ where everyone who lived on that island was naked. After seventy-two days passed, he then reached the island of women. This island was inhabited only by women, and they attacked Onzoshi. Onzoshi played a bamboo flute called “Taitomaru” beautifully, and got away after lying that he would “send men to become [their] husbands.”
More than 30 days afterwards, Onzoshi came across another island. It was a small island inhabited by small people who were only about as tall as a fan. There, he saw twenty-five bodhisattvas make an appearance. After navigating at sea for ninety-five days, he reached the island of Ezo. When he landed ashore, he was nearly attacked by armed men, but he played his flute and escaped trouble. After praying to Hachiman, the god of war, and presenting his boat, he finally reached Chishima.
- Turn -
Kikenjo on the island of Chishima was surrounded by sturdy, iron castle walls. Onzoshi was captured immediately by demons. He saved himself once again by playing the flute and captivating the demons. They then brought him to the great king. The great king looked terrifying, standing one hundred sixty feet tall, with eight hands and feet, and thirty horns. When Onzoshi started playing his flute, the great king was delighted.
Onzoshi asked about the “Law of Dainichi Buddha,” and although a vow of master and pupil was formed between the great king and Onzoshi, the great king did not say anything about the “Law of Dainichi Buddha.” The great king prepared a banquet, and he made his daughter Asahi, a heavenly maiden, listen to Onzoshi play the flute.
- Conclusion -
Onzoshi proposed to the heavenly maiden, and they were married. He asked Asahi to procure the “Law of Dainichi Buddha” that was in her father’s possession. Asahi stole the document and encouraged Onzoshi to return to Oshu.
Onzoshi, who broke out from Kikenjo by himself, was able to escape the demons that were following him by using mountains of salt and strong winds. After he returned to Oshu, Onzoshi used magic to learn of events that took place far away, and found out that Asahi was killed by her great father. Onzoshi held a memorial service for Asahi. Through the “Law of Dainichi Buddha” that was obtained in such a way, Onzoshi eradicated the Heike family, and the generation of the Minamoto family was born.