Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know that I consider all religions to be mythology, which people are usually fine with unless it’s their own personal religion I’m examining. At any rate En No Ozunu is revered as the founder and most active mythical figure in the belief system called Shugendo, and in some offshoot cults of Shugendo as a virtual patron deity of ninja practices and ancient weather forecasting.
Practitioners of the Shugendo faith are called Yamabushi and their belief system fuses elements of Shinto, Ainu, Buddhism and Taoism along with features of shamanism and the ancient Japanese reverence for mountains, all of which are considered sacred ground in Shugendo. The ninja connection is very big in popular culture but actually the Ainu are more technically the originators of many ninjutsu practices. For an even bigger pop culture tie-in there are versions of the En No Ozunu myth in which he is the father of Sadako (Neil Sadako?), the female figure in the Ringu novel plus its Japanese and American film adaptations.
En No Ozunu supposedly began his existence on Earth when he was born to a mortal woman who was Continue reading