The God Hachiman – Koan 27

After paying a visit to worship at the shrine of Hachiman at Tsurugaoka, Oba Kagemitsu (a descendant of the Oba Kageyoshi who had been in charge of the construction of the Hachiman shrine) called at Enkakuji and had an interview with National Teacher Bukko.

The teacher asked: ‘Which way does Hachiman face?’

Kagemitsu said: ‘He faces the Great Teacher directly.’

The teacher covered his face with his fan and said:

‘How is it now?’ (Imai’s note: When the teacher is dead) Kagemitsu hesitated.

The teacher snapped the fan shut and hit him on the forehead with it. Kagemitsu had a realization, made a salutation and left.


How could that blow by Bukko, Teacher of the Nation, be the occasion of a realization?

This incident was first given as a koan in Kamakura Zen by priest Nei-issan, 7th master at Enkakuji, to the Ajari (Tendai priest) Hayashi Kobo Ryotatsu.



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