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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 79

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS

Yamashita Katsuaki 山下克明

Le terme onmyōdō, tel qu’il apparaît à l’époque de Heian 平安, désigne


un groupe professionnel de maîtres du Yin et du Yang (onmyōji 陰陽師),
occupant des fonctions officielles à la Cour. Ces fonctions recouvrent trois
domaines principaux : la divination, les activités magico-rituelles et les
interdits spatio-temporels.
La divination constituait le moyen de comprendre les causes des désastres
naturels, épidémies et autres calamités, attribués à l’action malveillante de
toutes sortes d’esprits et divinités. L’activité magico-rituelle des onmyōji
consistait essentiellement en des cérémonies purificatoires au cours desquelles
les influences néfastes étaient reportés sur des effigies (hitogata 人形),
lesquelles étaient ensuite abandonnées au fil de l’eau d’une rivière. Les rites de
protection comme le henbai 反閇 (piétinement) étaient d’inspiration taoïste.
Les interdits spatio-temporels consistaient avant tout à éviter les directions
rendues néfastes par la présence de divinités ambulatoires comme Taihaku
大白, Ten’ichi 天一, Ōsō 王相 et Daishōgun 大將軍.
À compter du milieu de l’époque de Heian, les familles Kamo 賀茂 et Abe 安倍,
spécialisées, la première dans le calendrier, la seconde dans la science des astres,
monopolisent les postes tels que ceux d’onmyō no kami 陰陽頭 et d’onmyō no
suke 陰陽助. Des onmyōji comme Kamo no Mitsuyoshi 賀茂光榮 (939-1015)
et Abe no Seimei 安倍晴明 (921-1005) offrent leurs services au souverain
ou à des membres de la noblesse comme Fujiwara no Michinaga 藤原道長
(966-1028) et Fujiwara no Yorimichi 藤原頼通 (992-1074).
Les onmyōji étaient des fonctionnaires du Bureau du Yin et du Yang
(Onmyōryō 陰陽寮), qui constitue la source de l’Onmyōdō. Ce Bureau était
spécialisé dans l’étude des techniques divinatoires et calendériques fondées
sur la théorie chinoise des Cinq Agents (wuxing 五行). Le nom de cette
administration apparaît dans le Nihonshoki 日本書紀 à la date de 675,
mais le Bureau est officiellement établi dans le Code de Taihō 大寶律令, en
701. Il comprend quatre branches principales : 1) le Département du Yin et
du Yang, composé d’onmyōji, d’onmyō hakase 陰陽博士 et d’étudiants du
Yin et du Yang ; 2) le Département du calendrier ; 3) le Département de
l’astronomie ; 4) le Département de la clepsydre.
Les documents indiquent un changement des techniques divinatoires
visant à remonter aux causes d’événements étranges, et aux rites permettant
de résoudre ces problèmes. On passe ainsi du domaine de la simple technique
à celui du rite religieux. Comment expliquer ce changement ?
Durant le règne de Kanmu Tennō 桓武天皇 (737-806, r. 781-806),
le système des Codes (ritsuryō 律令) commence à s’effriter. Le problème est
exacerbé par les querelles de succession qui marquent la fin de ce règne, et
qui donnent naissance à la peur des goryō 御靈. Le transfert de la capitale à
Heiankyō 平安京 en 794 sert d’arrière-plan au développement d’un Onmyōdō
de caractère plus nettement religieux. Une série de désastres naturels et de
présages contribuent à nourrir l’angoisse des classes dirigeantes. Les événements

Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 21 (2012) : 79–105


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80 Yamashita Katsuaki

étranges sont désignés par le terme de mokke 物怪. En 842, le souverain


retiré Saga 嵯峨上皇 (786-842, r. 809-823), dans un esprit rationaliste
confucéen, tente en vain de convaincre son fils, Ninmyō Tennō 仁明天皇
(810-850, r. 833-850), du caractère irréel de ces mokke. Il prêche dans le
désert. Peu après sa mort, Fujiwara no Yoshifusa 藤原良房 (804-872) rend
officielle la croyance en les mokke au cours d’une séance du Conseil d’État.
La peur se répand bientôt de la noblesse aux classes populaires, et les rites
d’exorcisme, orchestrés par les onmyōji, se multiplient. En 867, l’Onmyōdō est
validé en tant que courant magico-rituel lors d’une fête visant à enrayer une
épidémie.
Le caractère religieux de l’Onmyōdō passe ainsi au premier plan.
Dans la seconde moitié du IXe siècle, le nombre de rites privés du Yin et du
Yang, commandités par la noblesse pour éliminer les calamités, augmente
considérablement. Leur caractère apparaît clairement à la lecture de ces
documents rituels que sont les saimon 祭文. Ces rites sont recueillis dans le
Dong Zhongshu jishu 董仲舒祭書 (j. Tochūjo sai sho), un texte attribué
au célèbre confucéen Dong Zhongshu 董仲舒. Ils sont en tout cas fondés sur
la théorie chinoise des Cinq Agents, mais reflètent également une influence
de la synthèse bouddho-taoïste élaborée à l’époque des Tang. Ces rites sont
centrés sur des divinités comme le dieu de l’Étoile polaire Siming 司命 et
Taishan Fujun 泰山府君, le souverain taoïste du monde souterrain, associé
au souverain bouddhique des Enfers, Yama. Les rites astraux du bouddhisme
ésotérique et de l’Onmyōdō présentent de nombreux points communs. Un
exemple particulièrement significatif de ce rapprochement est le Fantian
huoluo tu 梵天火羅圖 (j. Bonten karazu, Diagramme des ‘Heures’ du
deva Brahmā), attribué au maitre ésotérique Yixing 一行 (673-727). Cet
ouvrage contient des représentations des sept étoiles du Boisseau du Nord
(Hokuto 北斗, notre Grande Ourse), des neuf Planètes ou Luminaires, des
douze signes du zodiaque occidental et des vingt-huit Mansions lunaires,
entourant le bodhisattva Mañjuśrī. Mais il mentionne également un rite
du Boisseau du Nord attribué au maître taoïste Ge Xuan 葛玄 (actif sous
les Wu orientaux 東呉). À partir du Xe siècle, les rites astraux se multiplient
au sein du bouddhisme ésotérique.
Du côté de l’Onmyōdō, l’influence chinoise prévaut dans les rites de
Taizan Fukun (ch. Taishan Fujun), où l’on retrouve des divinités bouddhiques
comme Yama, et diverses divinités cosmologiques. À la différence des rites
bouddhiques, les rites de l’Onmyōdō avaient lieu, non pas dans un temple
ou un sanctuaire, mais au bord d’une rivière ou dans le jardin d’une maison
noble, la nuit, sous le regard des étoiles.
Les rites Onmyōdō étaient également influencés par ceux du bouddhisme
ésotérique, notamment dans le cas des exorcismes de pacification des esprits
malveillants des morts (goryō). Toutefois, à la différence du bouddhisme
ésotérique, l’Onmyōdō n’avait pas de rites funéraires proprement dits, car il
était centré sur ce monde et n’avait pas de conception développée de l’au-delà.
En conclusion, l’auteur passe rapidement en revue les études récentes sur
l’Onmyōdō médiéval, stimulées par la découverte de textes divinatoires ou de
documents historiques tels que ceux du clan Wakasugi (Wakasugi-ke monjo
若杉家文書). Toutefois, rien ne prouve que des ouvrages comme le Zakka hō
雑卦法, une collection de passages tirés de textes divinatoires, aient été utilisés
à l’époque de Kamakura 鎌倉.

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 81

Introduction

The role of On’yōdō 陰陽道1 in relation to Japanese history has been newly recognized
in recent years, as has the influence of On’yōdō on various fields such as history,
literature, religion, and folklore.2 However, it seems that the study and awareness
of On’yōdō itself, which must be the prerequisite to study these different fields, has
not been sufficient. In this essay, I will consider the main characteristics of On’yōdō
and the professional duties linked to On’yōdō om Japan’s ancient times to the
early medieval era, the period during which On’yōdō was formed and developed.
Then, I would like to outline what kinds of source materials were transmitted to
the present day through On’yōdō-related texts, which will be useful for future
research on On’yōdō.

An Outline of Ancient and Medieval On’yōdō


On’yōdō is popularly thought to be an art of predicting the future originating om the
Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang 陰陽 and the Five Phases (Jp. gogyō / Ch. wuxing 五行).
However, the word “On’yōdō,” which begins to appear in historical records om
the Heian period, refers to a branch of professional and official duties directed
towards the Imperial Court and performed by on’yōji 陰陽師 and on’yō hakase 陰陽
博士. This is similar to the Rekidō 暦道 (calendar studies) performed by reki hakase
暦博士 and the Tenmondō 天文道 (astronomy / astrology) performed by tenmon
hakase 天文博士 attached to the On’yōryō 陰陽寮 (Bureau of Yin and Yang). Thus,
it is appropriate to treat On’yōdō as generally referring to a group of official on’yōji
and their professional duties.
So, what were the activities of these official on’yōji during the Heian period? The
answer can be determined when considering the actions of exemplary on’yōji such as
Abe no Seimei 安倍晴明 (921–1005) and Kamo no Mitsuyoshi 賀茂光榮 (939–1015).
When sorted, their duties may be consolidated into three fields: divination, magical
and ritual activity, and the investigation of chronological or directional taboos.3
Each of these fields requires a brief explanation. The first is divination. The
people of the Heian period thought that the curses (tatari たたり) of spiritual beings
generically called mono モノ (spirits or “things”)—such as deities (kami 神), ghosts and
demons (kijin 鬼神), the Earth Deity (Jp. Dokō-jin or Dokku-jin / Ch. Tugong 土公神),
and the Deity of the Hearth (Sōjin 伽神)—were the causes of various catastrophes

1.  Translator’s note: In this article, the characters 陰陽 are transcribed as “on’yō” according to
the original author’s preference. This transcription is also used for the titles of the author’s own
works. However, the usual transliteration, “onmyō,” is used for the titles of works by other authors.
2. For example, refer to Hayashi Makoto 林淳, and Koike Jun’ichi 小池淳一, eds., Onmyōdō
no kōgi 陰陽道の講義 (Kyōto: Sagano shoin 嵯峨野書院, 2002). See also Saitō Hideki 齋藤英喜,
and Takeda Hiroo 武田比呂男, eds., ’Abe no Seimei’ no bunkagaku: Onmyōdō wo meguru bōken <安
倍晴明>の文化學̶̶陰陽道をめぐる冒險 (Tōkyō: Shin kigensha 新紀元社, 2002). 
3.  Yamashita Katsuaki 山下克明, Heian jidai no shūkyō bunka to On’yōdō 平安時代の宗教文化
と陰陽道 (Tōkyō: Iwata shoin 岩田書院, 1996), 39–54.

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82 Yamashita Katsuaki

such as natural disasters, illnesses, or other strange events (kaii 怪異). Accordingly,
when such disasters occurred (or diseases were contracted), the Imperial Court or
the nobles sought the origin of these perceived curses. In order to deal with these
curses, on’yōji were summoned to perform divinations. Divinatory texts composed
by on’yōji focused on the origins of curses. In addition, these texts explain days
designated as monoimi 物忌 (days of taboo), during which one must sequester
themselves at home in order to avoid misfortune.
The second field is that of magical and ritual activity, of which there were many
types. They may be further classified into several categories. There were purifica-
tion ceremonies such as Karin no harae 河臨祓 and Nanase no harae (or Shichirai no
harae) 七瀬祓, in which one’s impurities or misfortunes were transferred to an effigy
(hitogata 人形) and discarded in the river in order to avoid calamity (sokusai 息災).
This field also included self-protection spells such as Henbai 反閇4 and Migatame
身固.5 Furthermore, there were also individual rituals that prayed for one’s hap-
piness (fukuroku 福禄) or the avoidance of disaster (josai 除災). All of these rituals
were strongly influenced by Daoism.6 Performances of these rituals were equently
the result of divining strange events or illness. On the occasion of natural disaster,
drought, or epidemic, the calamity was exorcized with public rituals such as the Tenchi
saihen sai 天地災變祭,7 the Goryū sai 五龍祭,8 and the Shikaku shikai sai 四角四界祭.9
Various other rituals such as the Taizan Fukun sai 泰山府君祭,10 the Zokushō sai 属星祭,11
and the Honmyō sai 本命祭12 were performed to secure an individual’s longevity
(enmei 延命), avoidance of calamities, and good luck (shōfuku 招福).

4.  Henbai is a ritual consisting of magical steps called uho 禹歩 and spells performed when
a client leaves his residence or moves to a new one in order to prevent the evil actions of ghosts
and demons.—Translator’s note: On henbai, see also in the present volume, Nishioka Yoshifumi
西岡芳文, “Aspects of Shikiban-based Mikkyō rituals”: 142, n. 15.
5.  Migatame is a ritual that involves reciting spells in order to protect one’s body.
6.  Translator’s note: The word Dōkyō 道教 (“Daoism”) is used throughout the original
article. This term has been le unaltered. However, it should be noted that within the scope of
this article, the term “Daoism” is equently used to describe the non-Buddhist belief systems of
China as a whole. As such, within this article, the term refers to a number of Chinese cultural
elements (such as Yin, Yang, and the Five Phases) that predate the founding of organized Daoist
traditions in China.
7.  A ritual of purification (harai 祓い) held when there are natural calamities (tenpen chii 天
變地異) or strange events (kaii 怪異) are sighted.
8.  The Ritual of the Five Dragons, utilized in order to pray for rain. It was performed at
Shinsen’en 神泉苑 garden in Kyōto when there was a drought.—Translator’s note: See also in the
present volume, Steven Trenson, “Shingon Divination Board Rituals and Rainmaking.”
9.  A ritual held at the four corners of the Imperial Palace and the four corner-points of
Yamashiro no kuni 山城國 (the province in which the capital was situated). It was performed when
epidemics were rampant in order to prevent the intrusion of pestilence demons.
10.  A ritual performed for longevity and prevention om calamities, addressed to the deity
Taizan Fukun 泰山府君 (Ch. Taishan Fujun).
11.  A ritual addressed to the Big Dipper in order to obtain longevity and good luck.
12.  A ritual addressed to the deity Tensō (Ch. Tiancao) 天曹 at the date of the same day of the
sexagenary cycle (eto 干支) as one’s birthday to pray for longevity and prevention om calamities.

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 83

The third field relates to auspicious and inauspicious dates, times, and direc-
tions, in this case, on the occasion of regular events such as annual functions of
the Imperial Court, extraordinary events such as the Emperor’s visits (gyōkō 行幸)
or private rituals performed for the nobility. The precedents and the fortune and
misfortune of times, dates, and directions were usually examined beforehand by
on’yōji. As is well known, among the feared directional spirits were Taihaku 太白,
Ten’ichi 天一, Ōsō 王相, and Daishōgun 大將軍神. On the occasion of leaving, trans-
ferring residence, or building a house, care was taken to avoid directional taboos,
or kataimi 方忌み. Katatagae 方違—proceeding to a different place in order to avoid
traveling in a taboo direction—was also equent.
In this way, on’yōji performed the role of reporting by divination the sources
of disasters, strange events and sickness to the people ightened of the curses of
mono-spirits. They purified these mono-spirits through magical activity and rituals,
and also reported fortunate and misfortunate dates, times, and directions in advance
of government affairs and events. On’yōji were thus inserted into the court social
system and became indispensable to it. In this sense, we can see in On’yōdō one
magical belief system that possessed a substantial role and function.
From the middle of the Heian period, alongside the expansion of the regency
government, the various positions within the Imperial Court became hereditary.
In On’yōdō, the Kamo 賀茂 (specialists in calendar science) and the Abe 安倍 (spe-
cialists in astronomy / astrology) clans came to monopolize the On’yō no kami 陰
陽頭 and On’yō no suke 陰陽助 positions.13 On’yōji such as Kamo no Yasunori 賀茂
保憲, Kamo no Mitsuyoshi, and Abe no Seimei enthusiastically attended to nobles
in power such as Fujiwara no Michinaga 藤原道長 (966–1028) and Fujiwara no
Yorimichi 藤原頼通 (992–1074). To attain the favor of the nobles, the on’yōji acted
as their personal healers or witch doctors, and this relationship was inherited by
their descendants.14 In the Kojidan 古事談 and other tale literature, there is a tale
in which Abe no Seimei is employed to protect Michinaga om a curse sent by a
hōshi on’yōji 法師陰陽師 (“monk on’yōji”) hired by a political antagonist of his.15 In the
role of government officials, the professional duties of the on’yōji became spiritual
preservation, attending to the Emperor and the nobility, and removing calamities
through divination and ritual.

13.  Translator’s note: These positions are respectively the director of the On’yōryō and his
assistant.
14.  Yamashita, Heian jidai no shūkyō bunka to On’yōdō, 143–53.
15.  Kojidan 古事談, in Kawabata Yoshiaki 河端善明, and Araki Hiroshi 荒木浩, eds. Kojidan,
Zoku Kojidan 古事談・続古事談, Shin Nihon koten bungaku taikei 新日本古典文學大系, vol. 41 (Tōkyō:
Iwanami shoten 岩波書店, 2005), 578.

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84 Yamashita Katsuaki

The Professional Duties of the On’yōryō and the Establishment of On’yōdō

So, when did such on’yōji come into existence? As on’yōji were officials of the
On’yōryō, the On’yōryō served as the foundation of On’yōdō as well. The On’yōryō
was an official bureau that governed the art of seeing the fortune and misfortune of
the future through observing changes in Yin and Yang, and the Five Phases. This
art was based on astronomy / astrology, calendar or divination, Chinese technology
called shushu (Jp. jussū) 術數 and fangji (Jp. hōgi) 方技. The word “On’yōryō” first
appears in the Nihon shoki 日本書紀, in the entry for the first month of 675 (Tenmu
天武 4).16 Under the enactment of the Taihō Code 大寶律令 of 701, the On’yōryō was
established as a government office under the jurisdiction of the Nakatsukasa-shō
中務省 (Ministry of Central Affairs).17
The personnel in descending order were the director—the On’yō no kami 陰
陽頭—and the administrative officials, the On’yō no suke 陰陽助 (Assistant), and
below them were the Jō 允, Dai sakan 大属, and Shō sakan 少属. There were also
four technical divisions, to which specialists and students were assigned and the
national applications of their professional duties were taken into account:

1. the On’yō (Yin and Yang) Department, which consisted of on’yōji, on’yō
hakase 陰陽博士 (doctor of Yin and Yang), and on’yō sei 陰陽生 (students);
their functions were bamboo stalk divination (senzei 占筮) and topomancy
(divination of the fortune or misfortune of the land);
2. the Calendar Department, which consisted of reki hakase 暦博士 (doctor of
calendar science) and reki sei 暦生 (students); They created the annual calendar
and predicted solar and lunar eclipses;
3. the Astrology / Astronomy Department, which consisted of tenmon hakase
天文博士 (doctor of astrology / astronomy) and tenmon sei 天文生 (students);
they interpreted changes in astronomy or the weather;
4. the Clepsydra Department, which consisted of rōkoku hakase 漏剋博士 (doc-
tors of the clepsydra) and shushintei 守辰丁 (attendants under the direction
of the two rōkoku hakase); they managed the water clock and announced the
time.

By 757 (Tenpyō Hōji 天平寶字 1), the texts for students of on’yō, reki, and ten-
mon had been specified (See Table II). From the professional duties defined in the
Ritsuryō 律令 system and the character of these texts, we know that technical skills in
divination played a central part in the professional duties of the On’yō Department.
However, as stated previously, Heian period On’yōdō, which was an extension of
the On’yō Department, was called to divine problems causing disaster, disease, and
other strange events—believed to be the curse of the mono-spirits—and utilized

16.  Nihon shoki 日本書紀, Sakamoto Tarō 坂本太郎 et al., eds., NKBT vol. 68, 416.
17.  Ritsuryō 律令, in Inoue Mitsusada 井上光貞 et al., eds., Nihon shisō taikei 日本思想大系,
vol. 3 (Tōkyō: Iwanami shoten 岩波書店, 1977), 164.

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 85

ritual and sorcery as a religious act to remove these problems. So, what events caused
a progression om the mere technical skill of divination to the realm of religion?
During the reign of Emperor Kanmu 桓武天皇 (737–806, r. 781–806)—om the
end of the Nara period through the beginning of the Heian—the Ritsuryō system
of government slowly began to crumble. In addition, there was also confusion
when the ruling class sought the next emperor. People feared that the onryō 怨靈
(vengeful ghosts) of political victims such as Imperial Princess Igami 井上内親王
(717–775) (consort of Emperor Kōnin 光仁天皇) and Imperial Prince Sawara 早良親王
(750–785) (crown prince and younger brother Kanmu) caused disease or death to
the Emperor’s nearest relatives.
It is presumed that this was also the background against which the relocation
of the capital to Heiankyō in 794 was carried out. However, this was not all. There
were also natural disasters such as drought and excessive rain and the outbreak of
other strange events (kaii) occurring near the Emperor’s residence—for example,
unexplainable phenomena such as birds grouping at the palace, or a mouse chew-
ing on the furnishings. These events were believed to be the result of curses om
gods or to emanate om Imperial mausoleums. Divinations were equently per-
formed to discover the sources of the curses, and since 824–833 (the Tenchō 天長
period), strange events also began to be referred to as mokke 物怪 (“strangeness of
things”). Not identical to mononoke 物の氣 (“pneuma of things”), they were also
called mono no satoshi モノノサトシ (“admonishment of things”). This mono referred
to unseen deities, spirits, demons, or energies while satoshi referred to an oracle or
omen.18 That is to say that strange events were recognized as omens of calamity to
be brought by the mono.
In the seventh month of 842, in response to this tendency for mysticism and
emphasis on divination and curses, the retired Emperor Saga 嵯峨上皇 (786–842,
r. 809–823) stated, “Each time a mokke appears, the prevailing view tends to seek
its origin in the curses of ancestral spirits. Truly, there is no reason for this. One
should not believe in divination.”19 The retired Emperor said this to his son, Emperor
Ninmyō 仁明天皇 (810–850, r. 833–850), and his retainers, and then passed away.
This last will is due to Confucian rationalism. With his testament, however, the
more the retired Emperor warned his people not to believe in divination, the more
the belief that curses were a result of mokke continued to overwhelm society. Ris-
ing aer the death of the retired Emperor Saga was Fujiwara no Yoshifusa 藤原良
房, a man who grasped political power by taking advantage of the Jōwa 承和 period
incident in 842.20 In the eighth month of 844, he made a decision at court council

18.  Mori Masato 森正人, “Mononoke, mono no satoshi, mokke, kaii” モノノケ・モノノサトシ・
物恠・恠異, Kokugo kokubungaku kenkyū 國語國文學研究, 27-9 (1991): 73–90.
19.  Shoku-Nihon-kōki 續日本後紀, Kuroita Katsumi 黒板勝美, ed., in Shintei zōho kokushi
taikei 新訂増補國史大系, vol. 3 (Tōkyō: Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 吉川弘文館, 1974), 136.
20.  In 842, the Crown Prince Tsunesada 恒貞親王 was accused of treason, and was deposed,
then Yoshifusa’s sister’s son, the prince Michiyasu 道康親王 was made Crown Prince (he would
later become Emperor Montoku 文徳天皇). This incident is considered as a plot by Yoshifusa,
who, later ascended to the position of regent (sesshō 攝政) for the first time.

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86 Yamashita Katsuaki

and stated, “In accordance with the fact that there are mokke, the curses of ancestral
spirits are made clear by the image of divination at the hands of the government
office. . . It is impossible not to believe things that are learned by divination.”21
Disasters and various strange phenomena were thus taken to be curses om
the mono-spirits. Since divination was the means to clari the main constituent of
these curses, it was taken to be a nationally indispensable function and this view
was proclaimed by the Imperial Court.
Aerwards, the fear of strange phenomena spread throughout the aristocratic
society, and before long, it became an ordinary fear. Thus, the premise by which
the professional on’yōji came into existence had been orchestrated because the
On’yōryō officials were the ones solely responsible for divining these phenomena.
Furthermore, people expected that the on’yōji who were believed to be able to deter-
mine the curses of mono through divination also had the magical power to remove
these curses. During the twelh month of 853, a ritual to paci harmful spirits
(gaiki shizume 害氣鎭め) was performed, according to a report om the On’yōryō
to the Emperor. From the eighth month of 859, the Kōzan sai 高山祭22 ritual was
performed to clear away damage om insects and to pray for an abundant harvest.
During the first month of 867, the ceremony of Kiki sai 鬼氣祭23 was performed to
prevent the spread of epidemics. Thus, it seems that On’yōdō became validated as
a magical religion around this period.24

The Religious Character of On’yōdō

On’yōdō ritual was implemented during the latter half of the ninth century. It
began with public ceremonies to clear away various disasters and request good
harvests. However, as time progressed, there was an increase in private activity
among individual nobles.
There were no less than sixty varieties of rituals recognized om this point up
until the Kamakura period. We shall try to classi the character of these rituals
which can be found in source documents, texts stating their aims (saimon 祭文),25
ritual sequences (shidai 次第),26 etc. The Tō Chūjo sai sho 董仲舒祭書 (The Book
of Rituals of Dong Zhongshu) is taken as a source for the previously-mentioned
Kōzan sai and Kiki sai as well as the Kasai sai 火災祭 (a ritual for preventing fire)

21.  Shoku Nihon kōki, 169.


22.  A ritual to prevent damage om insects and to pray for a good harvest.
23.  A ritual held in ont of a house in order to prevent the intrusion of pestilence demons,
when diseases and other ill omens occur.
24.  Yamashita Katsuaki, “On’yōdō no seiritsu to jukyōteki rinen no suitai” 陰陽道の成立と
儒教的理念の衰退, Kodai bunka 古代文化 59:2 (2007): 179–87, 192.
25.  Translator’s note: Saimon is the text chanted by the officiant during a ritual, offered to
the deities. It expresses the intentions and gist of the ritual.
26.  Translator’s note: Shidai is the text describing the sequences and procedure of a ritual.
It can be used as a ritual manual.

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 87

and Daiyaku sai 代厄祭,27 appearing om the tenth century onward. This can be
understood as the main foundation of religious action in its initial stage.28 “Tō
Chūjo” is the Japanese pronunciation of Dong Zhongshu 董仲舒 (176?–104? BCE),
a celebrated Confucianist of the Former Han Dynasty. He taught that the outbreak
of calamity was caused by an imbalance in the harmony between Yin and Yang. He
is said to have really performed a ritual of rain prayer with success, basing it on the
theory of Yin and Yang and Five Phases. In order to call forth rain, he is said to
have stated that one must be in accordance with Yin and lock away Yang, closing
the south gate and opening the north.29 The Tō Chūjo sai sho is probably a text of
a later period attributed to Dong Zhongshu because of his fame as a theoretician
and practitioner of Yin and Yang theory.
The Kasai sai, for which the shidai is still extant, includes praying for the coming
of the deities Kahaku 河伯神 (“River Earl Deity”) symbolizing water, Shudō 朱童神
(“Red Youth Deity”) symbolizing fire, and also five Bōge Kasai 防解火災神 (“Deities
Preventing Fire”) om the five directions (east, south, west, north, and center).
Its saimon makes statements such as “Kahaku is water energy. Shudō is fire. The
phrase sui koku ka 水剋火 indicates that water is victorious over fire,”30 and is thus
dense with Five Phases theory. It is believed that this text conveys characteristics of
rituals in the tradition of Dong Zhongshu. In addition, as seen in Table 1-A, in the
process of rituals such as Dokō sai 土公祭,31 Hyakkai sai 百怪祭,32 Juso sai 呪咀祭,33
and others, the deities of the five directions are invoked. These can be classified as
rituals of the type to remove calamity by means of Five Phases logic.34
Another large factor is the influence of Daoism. In China, during the second
half of the eighth century, Mikkyō 密教 (esoteric Buddhism) united with Daoist
beliefs. A great number of sacred texts were constructed with a mixture of Dao-
ism and Mikkyō. They included the worship of deities of Daoist origins such
as Siming (Jp. Shimei) 司命神—a deity considered to be Polaris or the Big Dip-
per—and Taishan Fujun (Jp. Taizan Fukun) 泰山府君, a magistrate of hell. Together
with orthodox Mikkyō scriptures, these texts were transmitted to Japan by monks
who visited China in the ninth century. A great number of common elements can
be seen between Mikkyō constellation rites and On’yōdō star rituals because they
used similar texts.

27.  A ritual for preventing diseases and calamities that were related to unlucky years.
28.  Yamashita, Heian jidai no shūkyō bunka to On’yōdō, 69–76.
29.  Han shu 漢書, Biography of Dong Zhongshu 董仲舒 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju 中華書
局, 1962), vol. 8: 2524.
30.  See the Saimon burui, 祭文部類, in Wakasugi-ke monjo 若杉家文書, no. 444. Murayama
Shūichi 村山修一, ed., Onmyōdō kiso shiryō shūsei 陰陽道基礎史料集成 (Tōkyō: Tōkyō bijutsu
東京美術, 1987), 266.
31.  A ritual to paci the earth deity, performed for the construction of a building.
32.  A ritual against one hundred strange (hyakkai) events.
33.  A ritual performed to avoid curses, for healing om illness, or for easy childbirth.
34.  Yamashita Katsuaki, “On’yōdō no shūkyōteki tokushitsu” 陰陽道の宗教的特質, Tōyō
kenkyū 東洋研究, 159 (2006): 91–117.

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88 Yamashita Katsuaki

Table I-A, B-1, B-2: On’yōdō Rituals, Classified According to the Lineage of their Deities

I-A: Rituals Including Deities of Five Phases (Wuxing) Lineage


Bōge Kasai sai Kahaku 河伯神, Shudō 朱童神, Bōge Kasai 防解火災神 of the East, South,
防解火災祭 West, North, and Center
Dokō sai Dokō 土公神 of the Eastern Azure Emperor 青帝, Southern Red Emperor
土公祭 赤帝, Western White Emperor 白帝, Northern Black Emperor 黒帝, and
Central Yellow Emperor 黄帝, and Godo Shōgun 五土將軍, Godo Shoshin
五土諸神, and others

Hyakkai sai Eastern Shō kō-otsu 䡐甲乙, Southern Shō hei-tei 䡐丙丁, Western Shō
百怪祭 kō-shin 䡐庚辛, Northern Shō jin-ki 䡐壬癸, Central Shō bo-ki 䡐戊己, and
various spirits of Hyakkai 百怪諸靈
Juso sai Lords Juso Kun 主呪咀君 of the East, South, West, North, Center, Four
呪咀祭 Seasons 四季, and Tenjō Chijō 天上地上, and others
Kōjin sai Large and small kōjin 大小荒神 of the East, South, West, North, Center,
荒神祭 Above, Below, and the Four Corners of the Universe 四維, and others
Reiki Dōdan sai Dōdan-jin 道斷神 of the East, South, West, North, Center, the Four Corners
靈氣道斷祭 of the Universe 四角四維, and others

I-B-1: Rituals Including Deities of Daoist Lineage


Taizan Fukun sai Yanluo Tianshi 閻羅天子, Wudao Dashen 五道大神, Taishan Fujun 泰山府
泰山府君祭 君, Tianguan 天官, Diguan 地官, Shuiguan 水官, Siming 司命, Silu 司禄,
Benming 本命神, Kailu Jiangjun 開路將軍, Tudi Lingzhi 土地靈 , Jiachin
Zhangren 家親丈人
Tensō Chifu sai Tiancao 天曹, Difu 地府, Shuiguan 水官, Beidi Dawang 北帝大王, Wudao
天曹地府祭 Dawang 五道大王, Taishan Fujun 太山府君, Siming 司命, Silu 司禄, Liucao
Panguan 六曹判官, Nando Haoxing 南斗好星, Beidou Qixing 北斗七星,
Jiachin Zhangren 家親丈人
Honmyō sai Tiancao 天曹, Difu 地府, Siming 司命, Silu 司禄, Hebo Shuiguan 河伯水官,
本命祭 Zhangji 掌籍, Zhangsuan zhi Shen 掌算之神
Shōkan sai Huangling 皇靈, Houtu 后土, Siming 司命, Silu 司禄, Zhangsuan 掌算,
招魂祭 Zhangji 掌籍, Dongwangfu 東王父, Xiwangmu 西王母
Karin sai Tiandi Lingshen 天地靈神, Siming 司命, Silu 司禄, Hebo Fujun 河伯父
河臨祭 君, the various deities of Famous Mountains and Large Rivers, Mingshan
Dachuan Zhu Shenqi 名山大川諸神

The scripture that can be noticed above all is the Fantian huluo tu (Jp. Bonten
kara zu) 梵天火羅圖 (or Fantian huoluo jiuyao / Bonten kara kuyō 梵天火羅九曜)35
attributed to the Tang Mikkyō expert Yixing 一行 (683–727) at the peak of this

35.  “Bonten kara kuyō” 梵天火羅九曜, in T vol. 21, no. 1311, 459b–462c, and TZ vol. 7:
705–736. See also “Kara zu” 火羅圖, TZ vol. 7: 693–704. On these texts, see also Takeda Kazuaki
武田和昭, Hoshi mandara no kenkyū 星曼荼羅の研究 (Kyōto: Hōzōkan 法藏館, 1995), 127–53.—The
original title is “Fantian huluo tu”; the title “Fantian huoluo jiuyao” was given by the editors of
the Taishō Canon.

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 89

I-B-2: Rituals Including Astral Deities of Daoist Lineage


Genkyū Hokkyoku Beiji Xuangong Wushang Wuji Dadi Tianhuang 北極玄宮無上無極大帝天皇
sai 玄宮北極祭
Zokushō sai Beidou Qixing Kuigang Fujun Diyi Tanlang Xing 北斗七星魁罡府君第一貪
属星祭 狼星, Di’er Jumen Xing 第二巨門星, Disan Lucun Xing 第三禄存星, Disi
Wenqu Xing 第四文曲星, Diwu Lianzhen Xing 第五廉貞星, Diliu Wuqu
Xing 第六武曲星, Diqi Xing Pojun Xing 第七星破軍星
Taion sai Taiyin zhi Jing 太陰之精, the constellations Kui 奎, Lou 婁, Wei 胃, Mao
太陰祭 昴, Bi 畢, Zi 觜, and Shen 参

Saisei sai Suixing zhi Jing 歳星之精, the constellations Jiao 角, Kang 亢, Di 氐, Fang
歳星祭 房, Xin 心, Wei 尾, and Ji 箕

dynasty. This text contains drawings, mantras, and the like for the Big Dipper and
the Nine Luminaries (kuyō 九曜 / Skt. navagraha), celestial beings thought to control
the fortune of individuals. The text contains a quotation om the Ge Xian Gong li
Beidou fa (Jp. Kassenkō rei Hokuto hō) 仙公禮北斗法 (“Ritual of the Big Dipper as
Worshiped by Master Transcendent Ge”), which notes the ritual sequence and its
effects, in which offerings were presented to the Big Dipper and Honmyō ganjin 本
命元神 (an astral deity that determines a person’s original fate). This Ge Xian Gong
仙公 is the Daoist master (daoshi 道士) Ge Xuan 葛玄 (164–244) om the state of
Eastern Wu 東呉. This clarifies the Mikkyō-Daoist syncretism in this text. From
the second half of the ninth century, on’yōji began to perform the Zokushō sai 属
星祭 and the Honmyō sai 本命祭. By the beginning of the tenth century, Mikkyō
star rituals such as the Sonjōō hō 尊星王法, the Hokuto hō 北斗法, and the Honmyō
ganjin ku 本命元神供 also began to be popularly performed.
In the Tendai Mikkyō ritual compilation, the Asabashō 阿娑縛抄, it is said that
the ritual of Big Dipper is based on the “Kassenkō rei Hokuto hō” and the “Bonten
kara zu.”36 On the other hand, in 961, the on’yōji Kamo no Yasunori also cited the
Kassenkō rei Hokuto hō quoted in the Bonten kara zu, and stated: “The Shingon
masters perform the [Honmyō] ganjin ku and the Yin Yang experts perform the
Honmyō sai. Both utilize this doctrine, which has been known in the world for
ages.”37 Thus, it can be understood that the Honmyō sai of On’yōdō and the Mikkyō
rituals Hokuto hō and Honmyō ganjin ku were all based on Mikkyō scriptures
derived om the same Daoist tradition.
An analysis of the deities worshiped in On’yōdō reveals a strong influence
om Daoism. The Taizan Fukun sai 泰山府君祭 (shown in Table I-B1) is offered
to avoid calamity or to increase longevity by invoking the twelve Chinese deities
Yanluo Tianshi 閻羅天子 (Skt. Yama), Wudao Dashen 五道大神, Taishan Fujun 泰
山府君, Tianguan 天官, Diguan 地官, Shuiguan 水官, Siming 司命, Silu 司禄, Ben-
ming 本命神, Kailu Jiangjun 開路將軍, Tudi Lingzhi 土地靈 , Jiachin Zhangren
家親丈人. The rituals of Tensō Chifu sai 天曹地府祭, Honmyō sai 本命祭, and even

36.  Asabashō 阿娑縛抄 TZ vol. 9, 452b.


37.  Byakuhō kushō 白宝口抄, TZ vol. 7, 334b.

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90 Yamashita Katsuaki

Shōkon sai 招魂祭 feature many similarities. They characteristically feature the e-
quent worship of several deifications of heaven, earth, and nature as well as deities
of the underworld such as Taishan Fujun—particularly Daoist deities. Together
with the star rituals listed in Table I-B2, the establishment of these rituals was
influenced by both Daoist and Mikkyō scriptures. These types of rituals can thus
be labeled as prayers for individual worldly benefit.38
The types of deities worshipped were also reflected in the form of the rituals
themselves. On’yōdō rituals had no special religious facility such as a shrine or
temple. A temporary altar was created in a dry riverbed or in the gardens of a
noble’s personal mansion and the deities were summoned there. In addition, most
of these rituals took place between evening and dawn—that is, during the night.
Underworld deities, astral deities, demons or ghosts, and the like act at night, under
the cover of darkness. These deities were worshiped under a starry sky because it
was appropriate to their characteristics.
Another feature of On’yōdō was that it did not deal with individual onryō or
individual deceased persons. By divining on the cause of diseases, on’yōji determined
that spiritual energy or evil spirits (i.e., mono no ke) caused these curses. They were
then subdued by the incantations of Mikkyō genja 驗者 (ritualists). In addition, on’yōji
also participated in funeral rituals, but only in determining auspicious dates, times,
directions, and burial sites. A burial site ceremony was performed, but its purpose
was an appeasement of deities of the earth; it was not a ritual for the deceased. In
this way, on’yōji never participated in rituals for the individual spirits of the dead.
This is because On’yōdō was a religion of worldly benefit that held no vision of the
world aer death.39 For this same reason, even the on’yōji of the prestigious Kamo
and Abe clans took Buddhist vows in their later years.

The Fundamental Literature of On’yōdō Studies

As On’yōdō studies have become revitalized in recent years, and the records of the
Wakasugi clan (Wakasugi ke monjo 若杉家文書)—a large group of historical docu-
ments relating to On’yōdō—have been opened to the public, texts imported om
China and used in On’yōdō lineages, as well as their surviving writings, reports,
records, and archives are slowly in the process of being made clear.40 The studies of
authors such as Nakamura Shōhachi 中村璋八, Murayama Shūichi 村山修一, Takuma
Naoki 詫間直樹, Takada Yoshihito 高田義人, and others are representative of reprints
and facsimiles of historical records relating to On’yōdō.41

38.  Yamashita Katsuaki, “On’yōdō no shūkyōteki tokushitsu”: 96–102.


39.  Ibid., 109–14.
40.  Yamashita Katsuaki, “On’yōdō kankei shiryō no denzon jōkyō” 陰陽道關係史料の傳存狀
況, Tōyō kenkyū 東洋研究, 160 (2006): 69–116.
41.  Nakamura Shōhachi 中村璋八, Nihon Onmyōdō sho no kenkyū 日本陰陽道書の研究
(Tōkyō: Kyūko shoin 古書院, 1985); Murayama Shūichi 村山修一, ed., Onmyōdō kiso shiryō shūsei

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 91

So, what sort of subject matter survives in historical records related to On’yōdō?
Surveying them at the very least is essential in gaining a total grasp of On’yōdō. In
targeting main On’yōdō-related books before the medieval period, Table II dem-
onstrates the circumstances of their transmission and preservation. Within this
literature, among documents of Japanese origin, it is important that the Senji ryak-
ketsu 占事略決, a text relating to divination attributed to Abe no Seimei, still exists.
The Shō henbai narabini goshin hō 小反閇并護身法 located in the Wakasugi 若杉 clan
documents makes the contents of the Henbai ritual—performed by on’yōji—clear
for the first time. The Henbai sahō narabini sahō 反閇作法并作法 and the Henbai
buruiki 反閇部類記 are records relating to examples of actual performances of these
rites in the late Heian and Kamakura periods. Another text is the Bunkanshō 文肝抄,
which individually explains the rituals of On’yōdō. The Saimon burui records a large
number of ritual saimon. There is also a comparatively large number of surviving
texts such as the On’yō zassho 陰陽雑書 and the On’yō ryakusho 陰陽略書 that make
general statements on taboos related to dates, times, and the directions. Recently,
it has been discovered that these texts contain items similar to those recorded in
ancient Chinese technique books (Ch. shushu wenxian / Jp. jussū bunken 術數文獻)
such as the rishu 日書 (“day books”).42 Hereaer, continuing the study of these
historical records, we can expect to make progress in understanding the reality of
the characteristics of On’yōdō.
There is also an interesting, and paradoxical case. There exists a book of divin-
ation which, although having been transmitted in the Abe clan, seems to have never
been used in practice. Among the Wakasugi clan records is a text named the Zakka
hō 雑卦法. This text is a collection of scraps om other texts on weather divination
(kishō sen 氣象占) and comet divination (suisei sen 彗星占), accompanied by Five Phases
divination (gogyō sen 五行占) and diagrams.43 The Five Phase divination section con-
tains many quotations om the Di jing 地鏡, a lost divination text om China’s Six
Dynasties period. Transmitted during the ancient Nara period, agments of these
writings were conveyed by the Abe clan. It is a precious historical record thought
to have been transcribed during the Kamakura period, but there is no evidence of
Five Phase divination having been practiced om the Heian period onward.
Relating to this, I want to draw attention to the texts used by on’yō students as
designated in 757. The ‘Luli zhi’ 律暦志 and the ‘Tianwen zhi’ 天文志 chapters om
the Han shu and Jin shu 晉書 were specified for reki and tenmon students. However,
the ‘Wuxing zhi’ 五行志 chapters in the Han shu and Jin shu were not adopted, even
though they record divinations of calamities and strange events according to the Five

陰陽道基礎史料集成 (Tōkyō: Tōkyō bijutsu 東京美術, 1987); Takuma Naoki 詫間直樹, and Takada
Yoshihito 高田義人, eds., Onmyōdō kankei shiryō 陰陽道關係史料 (Tōkyō: Kyūko shoin, 2001).
42.  Liu Lexian 劉樂賢, “Shutsudo jussū bunken to Nihon no Onmyōdō bunken” 出土術數
文獻と日本の陰陽道文獻, translated by Mori Masashi 森和, Waseda daigaku Chōkō ryūiki bunka
kenkyūjo nenpō 早稻田大學長江流域文化研究所年報 4 (2006): 235–55.
43.  Wakasugi-ke monjo 若杉家文書, no. 83. Kobayashi Haruki 小林春樹, and Yamashita Katsuaki,
eds., Wakasugi-ke monjo Chūgoku tenmon gogyō sen shiryō no kenkyū「若杉家文書」中国天文・五行占
資料の研究 (Tōkyō: Daitō bunka daigaku Tōyō kenkyūjo 大東文化大學東洋研究所, 2007), 125 sqq.

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92 Yamashita Katsuaki

Phases theory. It would seem that this was because the “pre-rational” interpretations
about calamities and strange events based on the Five Phases theory such as those
explained in these writings could not be naturalized in Japan. This was certainly
for the same reason that the Zakka hō was buried in the Abe clan archives without
its use ever having been recorded. There is a fundamental difference between the
Chinese system which attempted to explain the outbreak of calamities and strange
events and human affairs as correlative according to the Five Phases, and the Japa-
nese notion of calamity which was seen as caused by the curse of the mono-spirits,
or the acts of deities, ghosts and demons, or onryō. Finally, it appears it was in this
aspect that On’yōdō itself had its raison d’être, because it dealt with the mono-spirits
through divination and ritual.
Translated by Joseph P. Elacqua

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 93

Table II: The Chief On’yōdō Texts in Ancient and Medieval Times

Titles preceded by a ○ are existent works.


Texts Composed in China Texts Composed in Japan

Type of Text On’yōryō Texts Texts Utilized Texts Utilized from the Tenth
(Specified in from the Ninth Century Onward—Composed by the
757) Century Forward Kamo and Abe Clans

On’yō ○ Zhouyi 周易 ○ Senji ryakketsu 占事略決 *3)


—Divination (Yijing 易經) ○ Rokkō senshō 六甲占抄 *4)
Xinzhuan
yinyang shu 新撰
陰陽書

Huangdi jinkui
黄帝金匱 *1)

○ Wuxing dayi
五行大義 *2)
On’yō Dong Zhongshu ○ Shō henbai narabini goshin hō 小反
—Ritual jishu 董仲舒祭書 閇并護身法 *5)
Ge Xian Gong ○ Henbai sahō narabini sahō 反閇作法
jifa 葛仙公祭法 并作法, Henbai burui ki 反閇部類記 *6)

○ Bunkanshō 文肝抄 *7)


○ On’yōdōsai yōmotsuchō 陰陽道祭用
物帳 *8)
○ Saimon burui 祭文部類 *9)
On’yō Xinzhuan ○ Da Tang Rekirin 暦林,
—Taboos yinyang shu 新撰 yinyang shu 大唐 ○ On’yō zassho 陰陽雜書 *11), On’yō
陰陽書 陰陽書 (fasc. 32, ryakusho 陰陽略書*12)
33) *10)
(Time  /  Day Shangshu li 尚 ○ On’yō Hakase Abe no Takashige kan-
/ Direction) 書暦 jin ki 陰陽博士安倍孝重勘進記 *13),
○ On’yō kikkyō shō 陰陽吉凶抄 *14)
Qunji longji 群忌 ○ Hōgaku kinki 方角禁忌*15)
隆集 ○ Kenten zensho 建天全書 *16)

○ Suyao jing 宿 ○ Rekirin mondō shū 暦林問答集 *17)


曜經 ○ Nippō zassho 日法雜書 *18)

Reki ○ Han shu, Luli Zhangqing ○ Senmyō reki 宣明暦 *19)


(Calendar) zhi 漢書律暦志 xuanming li 長慶 ○ Teichūfu no koto 定注付之事 *20)
宣明暦

○ Jin shu, Luli Lili 暦例 ○ Futenreki nittensa rissei 符天暦日躔


zhi 晉書律暦志 差立成 *21)
Dayan liyi 大衍 Futian li 符天暦
暦議

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Do not circulate without permission of the editor / Ne pas diffuser sans autorisation de l’éditeur
94 Yamashita Katsuaki

○ Jiuzhang 九章
Liuzhang 六章
○ Zhoubi 周髀
Dingtian lun
定天論

Tenmon ○ Shiji, Tian- ○ Tianwen yaolu ○ Abe no Yasuchika no ason ki 安倍泰


(Astronomy / guan shu 史記天 天文要録 *22) 親朝臣記 *23)
Astrology) 官書

○ Han shu, ○ Tiandi ○ Kehi yōroku 家秘要録, Tenpen chiyō


Tianwen zhi 漢書 ruixiang zhi ki 天變地妖記 *25)
天文志 天地瑞祥志 *24)

○ Jin shu, ○ Yisi zhan 乙


Tianwen zhi 晉 巳占
書天文志

○ Sanjia buzan
三家簿讃 *26)
Hanyang yaoji 韓
楊要集 (Tianwen
yaoji 天文要集)
<Unused Books> <Diaries>
○ Zagua fa 雑卦法 *27) ○ Yōwa ninen ki 養和二年記 *28), Jōkyū
shokyū sannen guchū reki
○ 承久三年具注暦 *29)
○ Arimori kyōki 在盛 記 *30)
References
*1)  Nishioka Yoshifumi 西岡芳文, “Kanazawa bunko-bon Bokusei sho ni tsuite” 金沢文庫本『卜
について,
筮書』 Miura kobunka 三浦古文化 54 (1994): 15–34; Kosaka Shinji 小坂眞二, “Kōtei
kinki ni tsuite”『黄帝金匱』について, in Higashi Ajia no tenmon, rekigaku ni kansuru takakuteki
kenkyū 東アジアの天文・暦学に関する多角的研究 (Tōkyō: Daitō bunka daigaku Tōyō kenkyūjo
大東文化大學東洋研究所, 2001), 1–4⒍

*2)  Nakamura Shōhachi 中村璋八, Gogyō taigi kōchū 五行大義校 (Tōkyō: Kyūko shoin
古書院, 1984).

*3, *4)  Kosaka Shinji 小坂眞二, Abe no Seimei sen Senji ryakketsu to Onmyōdō 安倍晴明 『占
事略決』
と陰陽道 (Tōkyō: Kyūko shoin 古書院, 2004).
*5,* 7, *9) Murayama Shūichi 村山修一, Onmyōdō kiso shiryō shūsei 陰陽道基礎史料集成 (Tōkyō:
Tōkyō bijutsu 東京美術, 1987).
*6) Yamashita Katsuaki 山下克明, “Wakasugi-ke monjo Henbai sahō narabini sahō, Henbai
buruiki” 若杉家文書『反閇作法并作法』 『反閇部類記』 , in Tōyō kenkyū 東洋研究 165 (2007): 63–9⒋
*8) Kosaka Shinji 小坂眞二, “Onmyōdō sai yōmotsuchō” 陰陽道祭用物帳, Rekishi to minzoku
歴史と民俗 7 (1979): 14–⒛

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 95

*10) Nakamura Shōhachi 中村璋八, Nihon Onmyōdōsho no kenkyū 日本陰陽道書の研究 (Tōkyō:


Kyūko shoin, 1985); Yamashita Katsuaki, “Daitō On’yōsho no kōsatsu”『大唐陰陽書』の考察, in
Higashi Ajia no tenmon, rekigaku ni kansuru takakuteki kenkyū (Tōkyō: Daitō bunka daigaku
Tōyō kenkyūjo, 2001), 47–70.
*13, *14) Takuma Naoki 詫間直樹 and Takada Yoshihito 高田義人, Onmyōdō kankei shiryō
陰陽道關係史料 (Tōkyō: Kyūko shoin, 2001).

*13) Yamashita Katsuaki, “On’yō hakase Abe no Takashige kanjin ki no fukugen”『陰陽博士安倍


孝重勘進記』 の復元, in Nendaigaku (Tenmon, Reki, Onmyōdō) no kenkyū 年代学 (天文・暦・陰陽
道)の研究 (Tōkyō: Daitō bunka daigaku Tōyō kenkyūjo, 1996), 113–30⒎

*19) Yamashita Katsuaki, “Senmyō reki ni tsuite” 宣明暦について, in “Kōraishi” Rekishi Senmyō reki
no kenkyū「高麗史」暦志宣明暦の研究 (Tōkyō: Daitō bunka daigaku Tōyō kenkyūjo, 1998), 7–2⒌
*20) Senmyō reki chūteifu no koto no kenkyū 宣明暦注定付之事の研究 (Tōkyō: Daitō bunka
daigaku Tōyō kenkyūjo, 1997).
*21) Suzuki Ikkei 鈴木一馨, “Futenreki nittensa rissei to sono shūhen”『符天暦日躔差立成』
とそ
の周辺, Komazawa shigaku 駒澤史學, 51 (1998): 69–9⒏
*22) Nakamura Shōhachi, Nihon Onmyōdōsho no kenkyū, 475–50⒉
*23) Kondō Heijō 近藤瓶城, Kaitei shiseki shūran 改定史籍集覧, vol. 24 (Kyōto: Rinsen shoten
臨川書店, 1984).
*24) Nakamura Shōhachi, Nihon Onmyōdōsho no kenkyū, 503–9; Ōta Shōjirō 太田晶二郎,
“Tenchi zuishō shi ryakusetsu”『天地瑞祥志』略説, in Ōta Shōjirō chosakushū 太田晶二郎著作集,
vol. 1 (Tōkyō: Yoshikawa kōbunkan 吉川弘文館, 1991), 152–82; Mizuguchi Motoki 水口幹記,
Nihon kodai kanseki juyō no shiteki kenkyū 日本古代漢籍受容の史的研究 (Tōkyō: Kyūko shoin,
2005), 177–36⒋
*26) Wakasugi-ke monjo Sanke bosan no kenkyū 若杉家文書『三家簿讃』の研究 (Tōkyō: Daitō
bunka daigaku Tōyō kenkyūjo, 2004).
*27) Kobayashi Haruki 小林春樹, and Yamashita Katsuaki, eds., “Wakasugi-ke monjo” Chūgoku
tenmon gogyō sen shiryō no kenkyū「若杉家文書」中国天文・五行占資料の研究 (Tōkyō: Daitō bunka
daigaku Tōyō kenkyūjo, 2007).
*28) Yamashita Katsuaki, Heian jidai no shūkyō bunka to On’yōdō 平安時代の宗教文化と陰陽道
(Tōkyō: Iwata shoin 岩田書院, 1996), 189–20⒍
*29) Yamashita Katsuaki, “Jōkyū sannen guchū reki ni tsuite”『承久三年具注暦』について, Tōyō
kenkyū 東洋研究, 127 (1998): 89–1⒙
*30) Kondō Heijō, Kaitei shiseki shūran, vol. 24 (Kyōto: Rinsen shoten, 1984).

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Table III: Activity of the Onmyōji Abe no Seimei 安倍晴明 (921–1005) 96

(△―divination [including land divination] ◆―sorcery/ritual 〇―taboos related to date, time, or direction)


Date Official Rank Age Event Source
960 Tenmon tokugyōsei 40   He investigated the design of a sacred sword at the Naishi dokoro 内侍所 because the Chūyūki 中右記
天文得業生 Imperial Palace burnt down with the sword inside.
6th month, 41 ◆ He performed the Gotei sai 五帝祭 under the direction of Kamo no Yasunori 賀茂保憲 Wakasugi ke monjo
961 for the casting and molding of a sacred sword. 若杉家文書
6th month, On’yōji 陰陽師 47 〇 He investigated an auspicious date and time to begin political matters due to a summons Honchō seiki
23rd day, 967 om the Department of the Secretariat (geki kyoku 外記局). 本朝世紀
12th month, 52   He performed the Tenmon missō 天文密奏 (report of astronomy/astrology) due to an Chikanobu kyōki
6th day, 972 unusual phenomenon in the heaven (tenpen 天變). 親信 記
12th month, ◆ He reported to the emperor that Shikaku sai 四角祭 should be performed due to an Chikanobu kyōki

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6th day, 972 epidemic.
1st month, 9th 53   He performed the Tenmon missō due to an unusual phenomenon in the heaven. Chikanobu kyōki
day, 973
5th month,   He presented a kanmon 勘文 (a letter offering his divinatory opinion) related to a great Kakaishō 河海抄
19th day, 973 storm that destroyed court buildings.
5th month, 54 △ He accompanied Kamo no Yasunori 賀茂保憲, who performed the tenji 點地 (examination Chikanobu kyōki
14th day, 974 and selection of a land) for Daijōin 大乗院 of Mount Hiei 比叡.
6th month, ◆ He served at the Karin gokei 河臨御禊 (purification ritual at the riverbed) performed Chikanobu kyōki
12th day, 974 by the emperor.
12th month,   He performed the Tenmon missō due to an unusual phenomenon in the heaven. Chikanobu kyōki
3rd day, 974
5th month, 59   He compiled the Senji ryakketsu 占事略決. Senji ryakketsu 占事
26th day, 979 略決 postscript
7th month, 64 〇 Together with Fumi no Michimitsu 文道光, he reported the date and time appropriate Entairyaku
29th day, 984 for the abdication of the emperor and those of the establishment of the crown prince. 園太暦

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4th month, 65 ◆ He performed a ritual of gejo 解除 (purification) due to the fact that pregnancy of Fujiwara Shōyūki 小右記
19th day, 985 no Sanesuke’s 藤原実資 wife continued aer the predicted date of the delivery.
Yamashita Katsuaki
5th month, 〇 Emperor Kazan 花山天皇 removed his mourning robe. Seimei’s prediction that he should Shōyūki
29th day, 985 avoid a fukunichi 復日 (date of the same zodiac sign as that of the month) on the following
day was not heeded.
11th month, Entairyaku
  He administrated the kishimai 吉志舞 dance at the Daijō-e 大嘗會 (the first food offering
985 ritual performed by the emperor aer his enthronement)
2nd month, Fih rank, Lower 66 △ He divined on strange events in the Daijōkan 太政官 official reception hall. Honchō seiki
16th day, 986 grade (正五位下)
2nd month, △ He divined on strange events in the main room of the Daijōkan official reception hall. Honchō seiki
26th day, 986
2nd month, 67 ◆ He performed a henbai 反閇 ceremony for the changing of Emperor Ichijō’s 一条天皇 Shōyūki
19th day, 987 whereabouts om the Gyōkasha 凝華舎 to the Seiryōden 清涼殿.
3rd month 21st ◆ He performed a henbai ceremony for Fujiwara no Sanesuke crossing to Nijō palace 二条第. Shōyūki
day, 987
7th month, 4th 68 ◆ He performed the Kiki sai 鬼氣祭 for Fujiwara no Sanesuke’s child. Shōyūki
day, 988
8th month, 7th 〇 He investigated an auspicious date and time to perform the festival of Keikokusei 螢惑 Shōyūki
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS

day, 988 星祭 (the planet Mars).


8th month   Not having served at the festival of Keikokusei, Seimei presented a letter of apology to Shōyūki
18th day, 988 Fujiwara no Kaneie 藤原兼家.
1st month, 6th 69 △ He divined the source of the emperor’s illness. Shōyūki
day, 989
1st month, 7th ◆ He performed the Misogi 禊 (purification) as the emperor’s move to the southern palace (nanden 南殿, Shōyūki
day, 989 that is the Shishinden 紫宸殿).
2nd month, ◆ He performed Taizan fukun sai 泰山府君祭 to ease the sickness of the Empress Dowager Shōyūki
11th day 989 Fujiwara no Senshi 皇太后藤原 子.
2nd month, ◆ He performed a henbai ceremony for the emperor’s visit to En’yūji 円融寺 to see his Shōyūki
16th day 989 father, the ex-emperor En’yū 円融上皇 (chōkin gyōkō 朝覲行幸).
2nd month, Fih rank, Upper 73 ◆ Because a Misogi ritual that he had performed for the emperor had been efficacious, a Shōyūki
2nd day, 993 grade (正五位上) notification was given to Sanesuke stating that Seimei would be promoted.
5th month, 7th Zen tenmon hakase 74 〇 He investigated an auspicious date and time for the extraordinary Ninnō-e 仁王會. Honchō seiki
day, 994 前天文博士

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97
8th month, 1st 75   In the monthly report of the Chamberlain’s Office (kurōdo dokoro 藏人所), alongside Kamo Chōya gunsai 98
day, 995 no Mitsuyoshi 賀茂光榮, he is listed among on’yōji allowed to visit the Chamberlains’ Office. 朝野群載
12th month, Shukei gonsuke   He stated that divination by thunder (kaminari no miura 雷の御卜) should be stopped Gonki 権記
19th day, 995 主計権助 since it had already been reported in a report (kanmon) on strange events of heaven submit-
ted by the Bureau of Astronomy (Tenmondō 天文道).
3rd month, 77 〇 Together with Mitsuyoshi, he investigated the date and time for erecting a building for Chūyūki
21st say, 997 the deity of Hirano (Hirano-shin 平野神) among the three deities of hearth worshipped
at the Imperial Table Office (Naizenshi 内膳司).
5th month,   He answered a question om Chamberlain Fujiwara no Nobutsune 藤原信經, stating Chūyūki
24th day, 997 that a sacred sword should be forged for the Naishi dokoro that burned down.
6th month, 〇 He investigated an auspicious date, time, and departure direction for the Imperial visit Gonki
17th day, 997 to Higashi sanjō in 東三条院.
6th month, ◆ He performed a henbai ceremony for the Imperial visit. Gonki
22nd day, 997

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7th month, 8th 79 ◆ He performed a henbai ceremony for a transferral of the emperor to the North building Gonki
day, 999 of the Imperial palace (dairi kita no tai 内裏北對) of Ichijō-in 一条院.
7th month, △ He divined the source of the emperor’s toothache. Gonki
16th day, 999
7th month, 〇 He also investigated an auspicious date and time to perform a ritual. Gonki
16th day, 999
9th month, 7th  He reported the shi of nennyo 年預 (office clerk) at the Kokusō in 穀倉院 to Fujiwara Gonki
day, 999 no Yukinari 藤原行成.
10th month, △ He divined the auspiciousness of transferring the grand empress dowager to a new palace. Shōyūki
14th day, 999
10th month,  Because the grand empress dowager became sick, together with Mitsuyoshi, he checked Shōyūki
19th day, 999 the place to which she was to be transferred.
11th month, 〇 He investigated an auspicious date and time to perform the Bōge kasai sai 防解火災祭 Shōyūki
7th day, 999 sponsored by the emperor.

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11th month, ◆ He was also mandated to perform this same ritual. Gonki
7th day, 999
1st month, 80 〇 He investigated an auspicious date and time for the official establishment of Fujiwara no Midō kanpaku ki
28th day, 1000 Shōshi 藤原彰子 as empress (chūgū 中宮). 御堂関白記
Yamashita Katsuaki
2nd month, 〇 He investigated an auspicious date and time for the Imperial visit to Hōkō in 法興院. Midō kanpaku ki
16th day, 1000
8th month, 〇 Together with the On’yōryō and Mitsuyoshi, he was mandated to report an auspicious Gonki
18th day, 1000 date and time for the Imperial return to the palace.
8th month, Junior Fourth Rank, △ He divined the source of a mokke 物怪 at the residence of Fujiwara no Yukinari 藤原行成. Gonki
19th day, 1000 Lower Grade
(従四位下)
8th month, 〇 At the occasion of the installation of a weaving machine (on-hatori 御服機) at the Office Gonki
19th day, 1000 of Clothing (oribe-zukasa 織部司), he was mandated to report to the emperor if it faced a
taboo direction.
10th month, ◆ He performed a henbai ceremony for the emperor’s leaving om Ichijō in 一条院 palace Gonki
11th day, 1000 as well as for the emperor’s arrival to the newly-made Imperial palace.
10th month,   He served as the deputy assistant secretary (taifu-dai 大輔代) at the Ministry of Civil Gonki
21th day, 1000 Services (shikibu 式部) at the occasion of the ceremony of conferment of rank.
6th month, 81 〇 He investigated auspicious dates and times to offer ten thousand Fudō 不動 statues for Gonki
20th day, 1001 Fujiwara no Senshi’s 藤原 子 (known also as Higashisanjō-in 東三条院) to heal her illness
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS

and also for the ceremony of the first eating of solid food for the eldest Prince (ichi-no-
miya 一宮 ) Atsuyasu 敦康親王.
12th month, △ Together with Mitsuyoshi and Agata no Tomohira 県奉平, he divined the propriety of Gonki
17th day, 1001 the move of Higashisanjō-in (Fujiwara no Senshi) to the residence of Yukinari.
12th month, 〇 Together with Mitsuyoshi and Agata no Tomohira, he investigated miscellaneous matters Gonki
23rd day, 1001 concerning a funeral of Higashisanjō-in (Fujiwara no Senshi).
12th month, Sanni 散位 ◆ The Tsuina 追儺 ceremony was stopped at the Court, but was performed at Seimei’s Seiji yōryaku
29th day, 1001 private residence. Everybody in the capital performed it, imitating him. 政事要略
3rd month, 82   Together with officials of various specialties (shodō 諸道), he investigated the source of Gonki
19th day, 1002 equent repeated fires in the palace.
7rd month, Daizen no Daibu ◆ He performed Genkyū hokkyoku sai 玄宮北極祭 for the emperor. Sho saimon kojitsu
27th day, 1002 大膳大夫 shō 諸祭文故実抄
11th month, ◆ He performed Taizan Fukun sai for Fujiwara no Yukinari. Gonki
9th day, 1002
11th month, Sakyōken no Daibu ◆ Following Seimei’s theory, Yukinari offered paper money to Taizan Fukun at sunrise. Gonki
28th day, 1002 左京権大夫

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99
8th month, 83 △ He divined the source of the eldest Prince Atsuyasu’s sickness. Gonki 100
21st day, 1003
2nd month, 84 △ Attending Fujiwara no Michinaga 藤原道長 together with Mitsuyoshi, he determined Midō kanpaku ki
19th day, 1004 the ground where the Sanmaidō 三昧堂 should stand at Kobata 木幡.
2nd month, 〇 He answered Yukinari’s question about the auspiciousness of the date to perform a ritual Gonki
26th day, 1004 of Three Treasures (Sanbō kichinichi 三寶吉日) [a Buddhist ceremony].
6th month, △ Together with Mitsuyoshi, he divined on the question of impurities involved with a Midō kanpaku ki
18th day, 1004 Michinaga’s 道長 visiting to Kamo 賀茂.
6th month, 〇 Michinaga stopped performing a Buddhist ceremony (sakubutsu 作佛) because Seimei Midō kanpaku ki
20th day, 1004 stated that it was a metsumon nichi 滅門日 (an inauspicious day).
7th month, ◆ He performed a Goryū sai 五龍祭 in order to pray for rain, and he was granted a gi Midō kanpaku ki
14th day, 1004 because the ceremony was efficacious.
8th month, △ Together with Mitsuyoshi, he divined the propriety of Empress Fujiwara no Shōshi’s Midō kanpaku ki
22nd day, 1004 visit to Ōharano Jinja 大原野神社.

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9th month, △ He divined the source of a strange rumbling at Tōnomine 多武峰. Midō kanpaku ki
25th day, 1004
12th month, ◆ Together with Mitsuyoshi, Masahira 昌平, and others, he performed a ritual for Michinaga. Midō kanpaku ki
3rd day, 1004
2nd month, 85 ◆ He performed Shintaku sahō 新宅作法 because Michinaga changed his residence to his Midō kanpaku ki
10th day, 1005 new mansion of Higashisanjō dai 東三条第.
3rd month, 8th ◆ He performed a henbai ceremony for the empress’ visit to Ōharano Jinja. Shōyūki
day, 1005
12th month,   He passed away at the age of 8⒌ On’yō kakeizu
16th day, 1005 陰陽家系図

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Yamashita Katsuaki
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 101

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Abbreviations
NKBT Nihon koten bungaku taikei 日本古典文學大系, 100 vols. + index 2 vols.,
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T Taishō shinshū daizōkyō 大正新脩大藏經, 100 vols., Tōkyō: Issaikyō kankōkai
一切經刊行會 and Daizō shuppan 大藏出版, 1924–1935.
TZ Taishō shinshū daizōkyō zuzō 大正新脩大藏經図像, 12 vols., Tōkyō: Daizō
shuppan 大藏出版, 1932–1934.
ZGR Zoku Gunsho ruijū 續群書類従, edited by Hanawa Hokinoichi 塙保己一,
68 vols. + 15 supplementary vols., Tōkyō: Zoku Gunsho ruijū kanseikai
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102 Yamashita Katsuaki

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 103

Tochūjo sai sho 董仲舒祭書, see below, Yamashita Katsuaki, 1996, pp. 72–73.
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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ON’YŌDŌ AND RELATED TEXTS 105

Yamashita Katsuaki 山下克明


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106 Yamashita Katsuaki

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