Dog Day for Pregnancy in Obitoke-dera Temple 帯解寺で安産を祈る、戌の日。

burn 3 sticks of incense.

Life is beautiful

Life is a succession of something new. I got married 2 years ago. We started new and busy life in the first year. Although it was busy, we could enjoy it. In the second year, I accidentally got a disease and fortunately recovered. After that my wife got pregnant. I felt happiness, but she kept feeling bad due to morning sickness for about 2 months. As soon as she got easy, we are supposed to go to a temple for `Inu-no-Hi’. What is it ? Life is like storms.

dog is a symbol of easy delibery

Pray for an easy delivery

What do you imagine about a dog ?  Obedient, wise, speedy and cute something like that. Well then, what is its peculiarity related to birth?  The answer is having an easy delivery and having many babies at once.

‘Inu-no-hi’ means ‘Dog day’. Dog day is the 11th day of a cycle of 12 days called 12-shi(1th:mouse 2th:cow 3th:tiger 4th:rabbit 5th:dragon 6th:snake 7th:horse 8th:sheep 9th:monkey 10th:bird 11th:dog 12th:wild boar) .

The belief that praying for a baby and wearing a maternity belt in Inu-no-hi in the fifth month of pregnancy leads to an easy delivery have been believed.

reception of Obitoke-dera Temple

Obitoke-dera Temple

Foreign tourists seldom visit this temple though it takes about only 10 minutes from JR Nara station by train. However, when it comes to praying for an easy delivery or having baby, it is one of the most famous temples in Japan. The foundation was in 858. Emperor Montoku in Heian period established this temple after he prayed for having baby to Koyasu-kannon which is main Buddha-statue here, and got a boy. When woman of the Imperial Family get pregnant, she is presented a traditional maternity belt and an amulet recently.

We wrote our name, address and the day the baby will be born at the reception and chose a type of maternity belt. Then monks offered a prayer to us with horrible voice, must be magnificent voice, in the main hall facing to Koyasu-kannon statue. During this other monk wrote an incantation on the maternity belt in other room.

maternity belt with incantation stamped

Until removing a belt

After we return home, my wife wore the maternity belt with an incantation stamped.She seemed not to feel well in a wired belt. ‘Obi Toke’ means ‘Belt Removed’ in Japanese. I am impressed that we have strange customs in our country. Hey my baby, what new things do you bring us next time?  First of all, I hope the belt will removed safely.

Obitoke-dera Temple



人生は、新しいこととの出会いの連続だ。2年前に結婚をして、新しく忙しい生活がスタートした1年目。慌ただしかったけれど、それを楽しめた。2年目、突然に僕が病気になり、幸運にも回復。そのあと妻が懐妊。僕は嬉しかった一方、妻は約2ヶ月間つわりで気持ち悪がっていた。体調が良くなったと思ったら、今度は「戌の日」にお寺に行くことになっていた。何なんだそれ? まったく、人生は嵐のようだ。



犬ときいて何を想像しますか? 従順、賢い、すばしっこい、かわいい。そんなところ。では、出産に関して、どんな特徴があると思いますか? 答えは、安産で一度にたくさんの子供を産む、ということだそう。










About kojiyoshimoto

Born in 1979 and grew up in Nara.Working for a city hall in Nara prefecture after 3 years carrier as an editor of design magazine in Tokyo. Hope my posts you inspire to go abroad to Japan!
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