Hidenori Hiruta of the Akita International Haiku Network has published a new eBook titled Resurrection of Tatsuko 辰子の復活.
Here are some introductory materials on the book through some pictures included.
Preface 2 The Legend of Tatsuko-hime 4 Loss of the Legend 11 The Resurrection of Tatsuko 14 Homecoming 24 Tatsuko’s Wish 52 The Road to Revival of Lake Tazawa 63 Prayer 66 Postscript 72 Bibliography 74
The Legend of Tatsuko-hime
An explanation board about the Legend of Tatsuko-hime stands at the birthplace of Kannarisawa, Okazaki, Tazawako, Semboku City, Akita Prefecture. CHIBA Jihei (1921-1991), a novelist who won the Naoki Prize in 1965, explains briefly about the Legend of Tatsuko-hime.
Sacred Spring of Gozanoishi Shrine
At the foot of Mount Takabachi is a sacred spring where Tatsuko drank water and became a dragon. The spring is in the precincts of Gozanoishi-jinja Shrine.
Loss of the Legend and Kunimasu (Trout)
On January 20, 1940, Lake Tazawa turned into a dam lake. Acidic water from the Tama River was diverted into the lake. As a result, the Legend of Tatsuko-hime was completely lost. The legendary trout disappeared from the lake.
The painting by HIRAFUKU Hyakusui
HIRAFUKU Hyakusui (1817-1933), a Japanese-style painter and tanka poet loved Lake Tazawa so deeply that he painted pictures and wrote tanka about the lake. In October, 1926, Hyakusui exhibited his painting titled The Legend of Lake Tazawa at the 10th Japan Fine Arts Exhibition.
Tanka by SAITŌ Mokichi
SAITŌ Mokichi (1882-1953) was a tanka poet and psychiatrist. In 1906, when he first met HIRAFUKU Hyakusui, the two poets became close friends. On June 18, 1947, Mokichi visited Lake Tazawa, and wrote the tanka about The Legend of Tatsuko-hime. It was about Tatsuko, who had a pitiful ending after her wish came true.
The Statue of Tatsuko by FUNAKOSHI Yasutake
FUNAKOSHI Yasutake (1912-2002) was a Japanese sculptor and painter. In 1950, Yasutake converted to Catholicism, and his new faith proved to have a profound influence on his works, which started to feature Christian motives. On May 12, 1968, the Statue of Tatsuko, which is golden bronze statue, was unveiled near the shore of Lake Tazawa. The sculpture is a well-known work of FUNAKOSHI Yasutake.
Tatsuko–gū by HIRUTA Hidenori
On July 30, 2020, HIRUTA Hidenori visited the birthplace of Tatsuko, and made up his mind to write a new version of the Legend of Tatsuko-hime. In his version, the nearby shrine called Ukiki-jinja Shrine, or Katajiri Myōjin is a renewed shrine which the resurrected Tatsuko inhabits forever. It is renamed Tatsuko-gū by Hidenori.
The birthplace of Tatsuko is in the area called Innai at the foot of Mount Innaidake, from the top of which Lake Tazawa can be seen on the reverse side below. A sign stands to indicate the site where Tatsuko was born. The house of Tatsusko was once built on the site of the house with a shed over there in the picture above. It was called the housing site of the Sannojō family.
Ōkura Shrine was originally called Ōkurasan Shrine, which was built on the side of Mount Innaidake. The shrine is said to have been founded in 807 by Sakanoue-no-Tamuramaro, the general of the early Heian period.
Kannarisawa-Yama (Mountain) Shrine near Tatsuko’s house was merged into Ōkura Shrine in 1910.
Ōkurasan Kanzeon was built in the precincts of Ōkurasan-jinja Shrine. Tatsuko prayed to Ōkurasan Kanzeon for her eternal beauty. Centuries after, Ōkurasan Kanzeon was relocated near Ōkura-jinja Shrine in August, 1995, thanks to Chief Priest TAKAHASHI Yayoi and shrine parishioners of Ōkura Shrine.
The Statue of Tatsuko as a goddess
Around 1985, a wood carving statue of Tatsuko was made by a wood carving craftsman in Shizukuishi, Iwate Prefecture. The statue is like a dragon goddess. Tatsuko seems to be pleased with her return to Mount Innaidake as the statue.
After her homecoming trip, Tatsuko climbed Katamaeyama-Shinrin Park. The lake and surrounding mountains were beautiful, clouds were mysterious, and trees were fresh green. However, Kunimasu disappeared from the lake after 1940. Fortunately, in 1968, Tatsuko was resurrected near the shore of Katajiri. Her eternal wish is to revive Lake Tazawa for Kunimasu to swim again.
Tatsuko made up her mind to visit Gozanoishi-jinja Shrine and to pray for the revival of Lake Tazawa. She said to herself, “I am now a resurrected soul. I wish in prayer that my lake will be revived so that my mother’s trout, Kunimasu, can swim again.”
Through the ring
the start to revive the lake
The Road to the Revival of Lake Tazawa
On March 29, 1935, 100,000 eggs of Kunimasu were sent to Lake Saiko in Yamanashi Prefecture for transplantation. Miraculously, in 2010, a team of researchers discovered living members of the species in Lake Saiko.
In 2017, Lake Tazawa Kunimasu Trout Museum was opened as an aquarium of Kunimasu. It is also a museum for exhibiting the history and culture of Lake Tazawa and for sending a message to the future.
On June 15, 2021, CHIBA Toshinari, a webmaster of the Lake Tazawa Revival Network, updated the fields of sunflowers on their website of Facebook. The sunflowers were in full bloom in August, 2020 in the fields of Ōsawa by the lakeside. Sunflowers were also praying for the revival of the lake with Tatsuko.
Lake Tazawa is a freshwater lake in Semboku City, Akita Prefecture. It is a caldera lake formed during volcanic activity 1.8 to 1.7 million years ago. It is the deepest lake in Japan (17th in the world) with a depth of 423.4 m. Lake Tazawa is famous for Kunimasu which is derived from a landlocked Sockeye salmon (kokanee). Kunimasu persisted over several glacial and interglacial periods in the lake. It is a salmonid fish endemic to Lake Tazawa all over the world. It also appears in the Legend of Tatsuko-hime. Legend has it that a maiden called Tatsuko wished for eternal beauty to Ōkurasan Kanzeon in Mount Innaidake. Through the oracle of the Goddess of Mercy, Tatsuko found a sacred spring at the foot of Mount Takabachi and drank divine water of the spring, and turned into a dragon. At the same time, she became the goddess of a lake, which was created after a sudden thunderstorm. Tatsuko’s mother was so sad that she threw a butt of the burning wood into the lake. The butt turned into a trout, Kunimasu. Sadly, on January 20, 1940, acidic water from the Tama River was diverted into Lake Tazawa. After that, Kunimasu disappeared and the legend was lost. Mercifully, Tatsuko was resurrected as one statue of a maiden erected near the shore of Katajiri, and as the other statue of a goddess erected in Mount Innaidake. Miraculously, in 2010, Kunimasu was found in Lake Saiko in Yamanashi Prefecture, and they are swimming in Lake Tazawa Kunimasu Trout Museum. Furthermore, supernaturally, it was discovered that the dragon god of Lake Tazawa inhabits the sacred hexagonal stone of Mount Takabachi near the lake. This book is a new story of Tatsuko written in English to introduce the history and culture of Lake Tazawa to people all over the world. This is a modern version of the Legend of Tatsuko-hime. The title is “Resurrection of Tatsuko”, and she has eternal wish for the revival of Lake Tazawa. The book also includes 40 pictures, 35 photo haiku, and 34 English haiku.
田沢湖は秋田県仙北市の淡水湖です。180万年から170万年前の火山活動の際に形成されたカルデラ湖です。日本で最も深い湖（世界で17番目）で、水深は423.4mです。 田沢湖は、陸に閉じ込められた紅鮭（ヒメマス）に由来するクニマスで有名です。クニマスは湖のいくつかの氷期と間氷期にわたって生き続けてきました。クニマスは、世界で田沢湖固有のサケ科の魚です。辰子姫の伝説にも登場します。 遠い昔、辰子という乙女が大蔵山観世音に永遠の美を願ったという伝説があります。観音様の御告げにより彼女は聖なる泉を見つけ、水を飲み、竜に化身しました。同時に彼女は突然の雷雨の後に造られた湖の主になりました。母親はとても悲しく思い、松明の木の燃え残りの尻を湖に投げつけました。その尻はマスになりました。 悲しいことに、1940年1月20日、玉川から酸性水が田沢湖に取り込まれ、クニマスは姿を消し、伝説は失われました。 幸いにも、辰子は潟尻の湖畔近くに建てられた乙女の像として復活を遂げ, また、院内岳に建てられた女神像として復活しました。 奇跡的なことに、2010年に山梨県の西湖でクニマスが発見され、田沢湖クニマス未来館で元気に泳いでいます。 さらに、超自然的なことに、田沢湖の龍神が湖のそばの高鉢山の六角形の石に宿っていることが発見されました。 この本は、田沢湖の歴史と文化を世界中の人々に紹介するために英語で書かれた辰子の新しい物語です。辰子姫伝説の現代版です。タイトルは「辰子の復活」、辰子は田沢湖の再生を永遠に願っています。この本には、40枚の写真、フォト俳句35句、英語ハイク34句が含まれています。
The book is available at the site below.