About 25,000 dolls are dedicated to Awashima Shrine (Kada Awashima, Wakayama city,
Wakayama Prefecture), and it is called the Doll’s Palace. It is not well known that
a pair of Magonote, back-scratcher meaning grandchildren’s hands in Japanese, are
put on among the dolls of the Awashima Shrine. The mysterious power of this Magonote
has been passed down to the priest of this shrine for generations.
This Magonote grabs the thunder.
Entering the Showa era, the progress of science brought about the penetration
of scientific knowledge to the public, and it is now more common for the whole
universe to be described as a scientific phenomenon. With such changes in the times,
both the priests of Awashima Shrine and its representatives have come to think of
the legend that the Magonote grabs lightning as a superstition without doubt, and
it is rare to talk about.
However, it is described in the priests’ diary which have been transmitted to
this shrine that the Magonote once grabbed lightning.
In the diary, which runs for several days from August 11 in Keian 4 (1651),
Saiki Tokuzaemon Yoshitada, priest of the shrine at that time, wrote:
“The traveler came from the country of Ise. Tachibana Masayuki named himself,
and he wanted to stay for a while. Tachibana was wounded all over his body, and
seemed to be in a state of escape. I decided to keep him without his detail, give
food and clothes in a separate room, and told Michisuke to take care of him.
“According to Michisuke, whether the wounds of Tachibana are cuts or holes,
probably by swords or guns. 36 years have passed since Osaka’s summer war, and
the war-torn world is a thing of the past. Gun fight must be very limited. “
“The chase can be the master of this area or this country, but I do not think
that he is a villain after looking at Tachibana’s clear eyes and dignified manner.”
“On a fine day when the wound was healed moderately, Tachibana climbed to the
mountain behind the shrine. I went there together with him. When we reached the top,
Tachibana took out two sticks like Magonote, turned it into the sky, and crossed it.
At that moment, the sky was suddenly covered with clouds and the area turned into
darkness, and a dazzling lightning struck Tachibana. Tachibana grabbed the lightning
with the Magonote, and for a while, was standing upright with lightning in between
for around five counts, as if it was catching the tail of a violently fluctuating
shining snake. Tachibana released the lightning, and the lightning went out into
the air, and the sky returned to fine weather again.
“Tachibana got down the mountain, left two Magonote hands on me and disappeared
“Tachibana has left some words. It was not lightning. It was spirit of my friend,
This is the end of Yoshitada’s description of Tachibana Masayuki and Magonote, and
these never appear in Saiki Tokuzaemon Tadayoshi’s diary. Tachibana Masayuki killed
himself in country of Suruga six days after leaving Awashima Shrine.
It is not known if Yoshitada knew that this Tachibana Masayuki was Yui
It was recorded in the diary of Saiki Tarouzaemon Tatsutoki on January 2 in
Keio 4 (1868) that there was a visiting person in search of Magonote calling
for thunder . According to the diary, the visitor’s name was Katsu Yasuyoshi.
He offered to study the confidence of the Magonote which manipulates lightning,
and offered to use it as a weapon to fight against Britain.