Apr 18, 2011

How the Horse Shape First Appered on "Mountain of Horse," Akita Komagatake

April seems to be a special month of the year, since the long-awaited spring has finally arrived. We have been finding more signs of its arrival on fresh greens of butterbur sprout, mizubasho flowers, and soon cherry blossoms! Here is another sign of spring's arrival!

Akita Komagatake Seen from Akita Side

Jihei Chiba (千葉治平) is a nationally-awarded writer from Tazawa Area who wrote one of the best reference books on the history of Tazawako, Akita Komagatake, and Hachimantai. In his book, Tazawako Hakubutsushi (ふるさと博物誌), he introduces a local belief  about how a horse shape appeared on a  mountain that is now called "Mountain of Horse in Akita."

Long time ago, a feudal lord from Kanto area visited the Akita Clan territory. When he and his subordinates were passing through the Sengan-toge pass, one of the horses they had bought in Akita had suddenly disappeared. Despite the thorough search by the subordinates, they couldn’t find the horse anymore. So they gave up and returned home. That is when the shape of a horse started to appear on the face of Akita Komagatake.
The horse faces to the direction of Iwate and eats up the greens: Its back faces to the direction of Akita, bringing manure and make the soil more fertile. This is what people had believed to confirm Akita’s rich crops.  (Chiba, 169)

When you are on route 46 towards Iwate Prefecture, Sashimaki Area would be a perfect place for you to catch a glimpse of the shape! So, when you come visit Mizubasho (Japanese Skunk Cabbages) event, do not forget to take a look.

When driving on Route 46 towards Iwate Pref. Akita Komagatake is straight ahead. (Picture: Late March)

Here is one from last year: What does it look like to you?

Click the picture to find out!


lina said...

That is an interesting legend. Thanks for sharing. :)

Tazawako Tourism Association said...

Thank You as always :)