Book Announcement! “Resurrection of Tatsuko 辰子の復活” by Hidenori Hiruta

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.

Cover page


 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.

Tatsukogū 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

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

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.

Tatsuko’s Wish

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

in prayer

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.

The Introduction

   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.
 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。

The book is available at the site below.

Resurrection of Tatsuko 辰子の復活 eBook : Hiruta, Hidenori …

3 thoughts on “Book Announcement! “Resurrection of Tatsuko 辰子の復活” by Hidenori Hiruta

  1. Arrigatto dear Hiruta San, for sharing this fascinating narrative. Warm regards, Bina

    On Sun, 3 Apr 2022 at 03:30, Akita International Haiku Network wrote:

    > Hiruta posted: ” 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. Cover page Contents” >

  2. Congratulations dear Mr Hidenori Hiruta for the ebook titled ‘Resurrection of Tatsuko’.
    Wonderful photos with descriptions.
    Thank you so much.

  3. Hiruta San, congratulations on the publishing of your book. It sounds like a fascinating story to research, write about, and then share.

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