Above Tengunoyu is the Kishibojin shrineAset up to protect the whole of Kita Onsen.
Women who wish to have children pray at the shrine and then bathe in the water of Tengunoyu.


Kishibojin jinja.

Close up of the jinja.

The Kishibojin statue

Originally from India,Kishibojin was known as
Haritior Hariteibo(in Sanskrit)the female demon
that ate childrenshe gave birth to 8,000 children,
but kept eating them.
She was a very frightening goddess!!
The Buddha heard about her eating the children
so he went and hid the youngest child, a girl.
The goddess discovering that a child was missing,
searched frantically for her.
Finally the goddess went to the Buddha,
he told her to stop eating her children,
and she felt sorry for what she had done.
From then on the goddess became
the divine protector of children.
This deity is also prayed for easy delivery
of mothers.

Close-up of the Kishibojin statue,
this replaced the original during the Meiji period.

Kishibojin now has two forms,
one as a demon the other as an angel.
Kita onsen's original statue was thought
to have been the demon form.
It was lost because people thought that
pieces carved from the statue
would cure childhood diseases,
so many people cut pieces from the statue
that eventually it disappeared

The present replacement statue used to have horns and fangs,
but they were carved away by people wishing for a cure.

Votive tablets outside the jinja

put up by people wishing for children.