Do you know the metaphorical expression “Jump off from the stage of Kiyomizu”?

It's one of the most famous metaphorical expression in Japan

Do you know the meaning?

Are there people who really jumped off?

Just knowing a few stories (history, culture, food, souvenirs, etc...) will make your visit completely different! Please check the articles!

Read in Japanese (はじめに)






Deva Gate of Kiyomizudera temple Kyoto Japan

Deva Gate of Kiyomizudera temple(清水寺の仁王門)

Stories to enjoy the trip

1. Stage of Kiyomizu / Jump off from the stage of Kiyomizu!?

What's the meaning of the saying "Jump off from the stage of Kiyomizu"?

Nowadays Japanese people use this metaphorical expression when they bravely make a big decision.

As an example, buying a expensive thing, changing job or proposing to someone..etc

Though the saying most fits when we want to express that the decision is vital and might make a huge change to our life.

Let's say..."I bought a new car and felt like jumping off from the stage of Kiyomizu".

The Kiyomizudera temple was said to be built in 780 under the instruction of Tamuramaro Sakanoue - a big samurai hero in the Heian-era(794-1185).

But I”m afraid that most Japanese don’t know the historical fact, however most Japanese know the saying “Jump off from the stage of Kiyomizu”.

Stage of Kiyomizu Kiyomizudera temple kyoto Japan

Stage of Kiyomizu(清水の舞台)

Are there people who really jumped off from the stage?

400 people really jumped off during the Edo era.

Surprisingly, most of the people didn't die after jumping. The survival rate is said to be 80%.

But why ever did so many people jump off?

The reason was that it had been believed people who jump off from the stage of Kiyomizu will be able to make their wishes come true. And even if they die, they can go to heaven.

Because of these beliefs, many people jumped off from the stage, especially during the Edo era(1603 -1868).

But did the wishes of those people come true? Nobody knows…

These incidents made "the jump" very famous and the metaphoric expression had been formed. But NEVER EVER decide to jump off during your trip! It is strictly prohibited!!!

Read in Japanese(1.清水の舞台/清水の舞台から飛び降りる!?)

質問: 「清水の舞台から飛び降りる」という言い回しの意味は何ですか?





質問: 本当に飛び降りた人もいるんですか!?



彼らの願いは叶ったのでしょうか? それは誰にも分かりません・・・


2. Otowa water fall / Drink only ONE!

Can you tell me about this gathering water fall?

Otowa water fall is the root of Kiyomizudera temple.

To tell the truth,the name of Kiyomizudera temple comes from this water fall.
Moreover to explain, Kiyomizudera temple literally means 清= pure, 水=water, 寺=temple.

“Pure Water Temple”! Isn’t it coooool??

Nowadays, the stage of this temple became more popular, though the root of this temple is this sacred waterfall.
And this spiritual waterfall has been falling down for more than 1000 years.

otowa waterfall Kiyomizudera temple Kyoto Japan

Otowa water fall(音羽の滝)

Does Otowa water fall hold any divine favor?

It is said that each streams holds a different favor.

As you can see, the Waterfall is divided into 3 streams. Please have a look from the front of the waterfall.
From the left the stream holds the "Academic progress favor" "Good match(Love) favor" and "Longevity favor".

You need to choose only one of it. If you take 2 of them, your benefit will become half, and if you take all, you’ll have nothing from it.

And also, it is said that drinking the more makes the favor lower and lower.
Which favor would you like to get the most? Let’s decide after careful consideration!!

You can buy a bottle of this water at the souvenir shop near the Otowa fall. It should be a bit heavy but might turn it into a good souvenir. It`s said that it perfectly fits to make a delicious coffee.

Read in Japanese(2.音羽の滝 / 飲むのは1つだけ!)


この滝の水は音羽の山中から湧き出る清らかな水で、実はこれが【清水寺】の名前の由来となりました。漢字の意味としては、清= pure, 水=water, 寺=templeとなります。

"Pure Water Temple"ってかっこよくないですか?









ちょっと重いのですが お土産に是非。

3. Jishujinjya-Shrine / Countless scars of curse...

Why does the Shrine inside the Kiyomizudera temple draw so many people ?

This shrine is popular for the god of love and match-making. It holds a sad weird story too.

The name of the shrine is Jishujinjya Shrine.

There are many kinds of deities enshrined in this temple. But the most gathering deity is enshrined at the innermost of the Shrine. It is the deity called “Okage myojin”.

In Japanese, Okage(=おかげ) means like “Thanks to...” and Myoujin(=明神) means “Great deity”.

It is said that this great deity has divine favor of all kinds of wishes and grants one wish perfectly! Especially draws many worshippers as a female guardian god for love and match making.

Please decide carefully and select one wish you really want to make true!

Jisyujinjya shrine Kiyomizudera temple Kyoto Japan

Jisyujinjya shrine(地主神社)

What are people doing with the big stone?

People are checking their fortune of love by walking between the 2 stones!

The stone is called the Love fortune stone.

Roughly ten meters apart, it is said that those who could reach one stone from the other with their eyes closed will have their wish for love granted by the shrine's gods.

Let's have a try!

Love fortune stone Jishujinjya shrine Kiyomizudera temple Kyoto

Love fortune stone(恋占い石)

Please tell me about the weird and sad story too.

It is a story related to the tree behind the great god, Okage Myoujin.

Noroi Sugi Cursing cedar Jisyu shrine Kiyomizudera temple Kyoto Japan

Cursing Cedar(呪い杉)

There's a sad and unique story which occurred at Jishyujinjya shrine. During the Edo period(1600-1867) it is said more than a few hundred women were involved in.

Please look at the several scars on the tree.
What kind of scars do you think they are??

The tree is a Japanese cedar and called “Inori-sugi”, literally meaning the “Praying cedar”. Everybody prayed to this tree to make their wishes come true.

Besides, this cedar has another name which is “Noroi-sugi”.

Noroi writes like “呪い” in Kanji. How do you feel about this kanji?

Maybe you will feel nothing about it, but I tell you that it’s one of the most weired Kanji of all...Never use it for your tatoo even you love the Kanji shape….

What do you mean by Noroi?

Noroi(=呪い) means CURSE. So this tree is also named “Cursing cedar”.

In japan, there is a cursing ceremony called "Ushinokoku-Mairi" transmitted from the ancient days.

Literally, "丑の刻(Uchinokoku)" means two o'clock in the morning and "参り(Mairi)" means visit. In the past, especially women drove a nail into the sacred tree, and invoked a curse on a hated enemy.

People say these scars were carved during the Edo period(1600-1867). Even now, you can actually see the countless scars of hammered nails in the cedar.

Why on earth did they drive a nail into the tree?

The scars would be representing the passionate curse of who had been betrayed by the lover.

“Ushinokoku-Mairi” is usually recognized as the way to express the grudge. From an another point of view, it could be recognized as the “earnest heart” of the women in that age. Because women in the standpoint of the society in those days were very weak, they had to endure hardship even if they got betrayed by their husbands or boyfriends.

“Ushinokoku-Mairi” was the outlet of the anger who had to repress their emotions.

You can see this cedar at the innermost of the shrine. You may feel the sad emotions of women in the past.

But don’t drive a nail!! You should tell your anger to your boyfriends directly!www

Read in Japanese (3.地主神社 / 無数の呪いの傷が・・・)

質問: なぜ清水寺の境内にあるこの神社にはこんなに多くの人が集まっているのですか?






質問: あの大きな石で皆さん、何をしているんですか?




質問: 怖くて悲しいストーリーの方も教えてください。






質問: この呪いという言葉にはどんな意味があるのですか?

「呪い」という漢字は、英語で言うCurseという意味です。よって、この杉は「Cursing ceder」とも呼ばれているのです。




質問: 彼女たちが釘を木に打ち込む動機はなんだったんでしょうか?









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