- 常民文化 = Jomin bunka (ISSN:03888908)
- no.38, pp.206-181, 2015-03
Now it is becoming the accepted view that the Kamakura shogunate has gradually introduced Onmyodo from Kyoto since Minamoto no Yoritomo ruled as the first shogun, and utilized its divination and ritual methods for the shogunate government based on conventional research. When unusual natural phenomena such as natural disasters, celestial motion, strange behavior of animals, appearances of strange lights or cryptid birds and so on occurred, the Kamakura shogunate followed established procedures to prevent further disasters by holding Onmyodo ceremonies or making offerings to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu depending on the results of divination by Onmyoji about the meaning of the phenomena. Most previous research in this field has focused on Onmyoji or measures taken by shogunate government. In this paper, however, I investigated the abnormal natural phenomena called "kwai-i (strangeness)", which lead the shogunate government to take political procedures, based on Azuma Kagami as a main text. Especially I focused on two strange behaviors of animals, "Kicho-gunhi" (flight of yellow butterflies in groups) and "Sagi-kwai" (specter of herons). Kicho-gunhi occurred mainly at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu and were recorded before or after three wars including the Battle of Oshu (between the Kamakura shogunate and Oshu Fujiwara), Battle of Wada (rebellion of Wada Yoshimori) and Battle of Hoji (rebellion of Miura Yasumura). The articles of Azuma Kagami about Kicho-gunhi seem to include some falsifications. It is doubtful whether all of the Kicho-gunhi cases actually occurred, but even so it is certain that the phenomenon reminded people of occurrence of battles and was regarded as foreboding of battles in the Kamakura period. Sagi-kwai occurred at Shogun Gosho (shogun palace). It was regarded as bad omen and foreboding of Battle of Wada and the famine in the Kanki era. Unlike other kinds of kwai-i, the shogunate government shot herons as a countermeasure against Sagi-kwai without depending on the divination by a Onmyoji.