As I promised in the previous post, here is a very fascinating folklore from my hometown, Oiso.
In Oiso, fishers traditionally do not catch octopuses, and this is a folklore that explains why:
During the reign of Emperor Ōjin (270- 310), there lived a fisherman called Takonojo (蛸之丞; たこのじょう). Tako, by the way, means an octopus.
One day, when he was fishing as usual, he saw something glittering, drifting in the waves.
Lo and behold, it was a small octopus, and it began approaching Takanojo’s fishing boat!
The octopus crawled up onto his boat and suddenly began transforming into a shining statue of a Thousand-Armed Kannon (千手観音), which is said to be a manifestation of the Buddha’s compassion.
This statue was first enshrined at Koma Temple (高麗寺) but moved to Keikakuin Temple.
Because of this legend, real Oiso fishers do not catch octopuses.
What puzzles me, though, is that Buddhism reached Japan in 538AD, which was well after this miraculous incident happened in my hometown.
Anyhow, no octopus carpaccio for us Oiso-ites 😁
Tokyo National Museum, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons