I have been wondering about Daikoku for a while now.
Daikokuten is a god with roots in Indian mythology, and I was a bit surprised when I first learned about his roots.
Did you know that Daikokuten was originally a fierce god of destruction? He is well known as one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, and there are many temples throughout Japan that worship Daikokuten.
As mentioned earlier, Daikokuten has its roots not in Japan but in Indian mythology. In Indian mythology, Daikokuten is called “Mahākāla” in Sanskrit, which is the alias of “Shiva,” the god of destruction and rebirth, when he became the god of destruction.
In Japan, the name “Daikokuten” is derived from the Japanese words “mahā” (big) and “kāla” (black). It is also called “makakara” from its Sanskrit sound.
The Mahakala, which is the root of Daikokuten, is characterized by its three faces and six arms. The body is often represented in blue or black. In mandalas and sculptures, he is depicted in various fighting poses, an example of which is as follows. The sword is held in the first hand of the right hand, and the first hand of the left hand is attached to the cutting edge. He also holds a human being in his second right hand, a sheep in his second left hand, and elephant skins in his third left and right hands. Daikokuten is the opposite of the Japanese Daikokuten, who is always smiling and chubby, and has a fearsome appearance.
Daikokuten was worshipped as “Kamado no kami” (god of the kitchen) in China, and thus Daikokuten came to be worshipped as the deity in charge of the kitchen kamado in Japan as well.
Daikoku-no-Mikoto is the deity of Izumo, known for its mythology of nation-building.
Since Daikoku-no-Mikoto was often represented as carrying a sack, it seems that Daikokuten in Japan came to be represented as a sack-carrier, similar to Daikoku-no-Mikoto, rather than as the rough-looking Mahakala of India.
In addition to his smiling face and his possessions, Daikokuten as depicted in modern Japan has a plump image, but Daikokuten, who had just been introduced to Japan, was still often depicted as a slender-looking deity.
This can be seen in the standing wooden statue of Daikokuten in the collection of Kanzeonji temple in Dazaifu, which is believed to have been made in the late Heian period (794-1185), with its slim figure and stern expression.
It is said that Daikokuten’s short stature and blessed appearance as we know it today is attributed to the Muromachi period (1336-1573), when the image of “Daikokuten = god of good fortune” began to take root.
Daikokuten is believed to bring blessings mainly related to money, such as a good harvest and prosperous business. The bag on Daikokuten’s left shoulder signifies treasures, the mallet in his right hand represents wealth, and the rice bale held by his foot signifies a bountiful harvest.
I really didn’t know that…. Gods have changed their appearance depending on the time period and the country they came from. Daikoku-sama looks very different.
骨董 買取【古美術 風光舎 名古屋店】