7/06/2014

abura uri oil vendor

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. Places of Edo - Introduction .
- for 金剛寺 Kongo-Ji, see below
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abura uri 油売り oil vendor, oil peddler



Abura no Kamisama 油の神様 Deity of Oil
Rikyu Hachimangu Shrine in Oyamazaki-cho

At the temple Enryaku-Ji on Mount Hieizan in Kyoto there is an "eternal flame" and all lanterns are kept alight since more than 1000 years.
The lanters use oil flames for light,
and the oil 油 YU should not be "cut off" 断 DAN,
so the flame could continue to light the temple and show the way to enlightenment for the visitors.

This is the origin of the saying
yudan taiteki 油断大敵 Do not be inattentive.

. yudan taiteki 油断大敵 Be attentive ! .

. Aburahi Daimyoojin 油日大明神 Aburahi Daimyojin Deity .
油日神社 Aburahi Shrine, Shiga and aburabi, aburahi 油火 "oil fire"

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The oil vendor had to make sure he got the right amount to pour into the flask his customer had placed in front of him. This took a long time and so the proverb says:

abura o uru 油を売る to sell oil
goof off when you should be working
to spend time chitchatting or to waste time in the middle of a task

- quote
In old Japan, there were roadside merchants who specialized in the selling of oil for cooking and other household purposes. Even then, cooking oil was a low-margin commodity. Therefore, this occupation did not provide a very high level of income.

There are no longer roadside oil merchants in Japan, but the phrase abura o uru has become a metaphor for any low-value-added activity. The expression usually refers to office workers who putter about doing meaningless tasks, or spend too much time at the coffee machine or in the smoking area.
- source : www.japanese123.com


油売り油はうれず油売る
abura-uri abura wa urezu abura uru

the oil vendor
does not sell any oil
but oils the conversation


- reference - proverb japan abura uru



source : gakuyaura.chesuto.jp

oil vendor from the Hokusai Manga 北斎漫画

He carried two barrels with oil on his pole. The barrels were laced with copper in the inside.

The most common was rapeseed oil for lamps (tane abura 種油).

Egoma oil 荏胡麻油 / 荏油 was used for lighting up the Imperial Court, shrines and temples. Then gradually it spread and come to used by the general public.

Tsubaki abura 椿油 camellia oil was used for the beauty care of the ladies.

Gyoyu 魚油 fish oil was used for lamps.

Goma-abura ごま油 sesame oil was used for cooking.

When dispensing oil, the vendors got their hands dirty and had to carry some straw to wipe the hands clean.

打ち藁を手ぬぐいにする油売り
uchiwara o tenugui ni suru abura uri

the oil vendor
uses cut straw as a towel
to wipe his hands



. tenugui 手ぬぐい small hand towels .

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu in Edo .

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. Places of Edo - Introduction .

Tooriaburachoo, Tōriabura-chō 通油町 Toriaburacho District - Tori-abura



Many shops of the oil vendors were located in this district, now part of Nihonbashi, Ōdenma-chō district.
In the nearby districts were many lodgings and oil sold well for lamps and lanterns, since travelers used to leave the lodging at 4 in the morning, when it was still dark outside.



There were also many publishers and book stores in Toriaburacho. The most famous was
Senkakudoo, Senkakudō 仙鶴堂、鶴屋喜右衛門 Senkakudo, Tsuruya Kiemon.
The first Kiemon died in 1788, but his heir continued the publishing house.



In the late Edo period, Ukiyo-e (woodblock prints of everyday life in the Edo period) produced in Edo were known as "Nishiki-e" (brocade pictures) on account of their bountiful colors, and were extremely popular Edo miyage (Edo souvenirs). Ukiyo-e were sold by publishers called jihon-donya or ezoshi-ya who handled unique Edo books, and they contributed significantly to the development of Edo culture. This picture shows the front of the Tōriabura-chō branch shop of Tsuruya Kiemon, a publisher whose main shop was located in Kyoto. Their Edo branch operated as both a shomotsu-donya (publishers of regular books) and a jihon-donya.
- source : library.metro.tokyo.jp -

Publishers and vendors or calendars 江戸暦問屋 also used to live here.
. 江戸暦 The Edo Calendar .


. shuppansha 出版社 publishing company, book publisher .
ABC - Introduction


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source : www.eonet.ne.jp/~kumonoue
山崎油売り oil vendor from Yamasaki

宵ごとに都へ出づる油売り
ふけてのみ見る山崎の月



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. aburazara, abura-zara 油皿 oil dish, oil plate .

to be put under a portable room lantern (andon 行燈). They were frequently used in every household until the electric light took over.


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abura boozu, aburaboozu  油坊主 Aburabo oil monk



- quote
This tsuba illustrates the 12th-century story of the oil monk from Yasaka shrine in Kyoto.
On a stormy night, reports circulated in the city of a fire-breathing monster. Taira no Tadamori went out to capture the monster and discovered that it was actually a poor monk walking to Yasuka shrine. He was carrying an oil lamp that emitted flames when he blew on it.
The monk is on the right side of tsuba, carrying the lamp and an umbrella. The moon and a small bird in flight are at the upper left. The rain is highlighted in gold.
On the back, the gate to Yasuka shrine is depicted.
- source : art.thewalters.org




source : ukiyoe.cocolog-nifty.com

平忠盛 Taira no Tadamori and 油坊主 abura boozu

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Abura-bo 油坊 Oil Priest, Oil Monk


- reference : wikipedia -

A fireball (kaiki) yokai from Shiga and Kyoto. The spirts of dead priests who were oil thieves.
They are cursed to haunt as Abura-bo after their deaths.

and

Abura-sumashi 油すまし "Oil Presser", "oil wringer"
A Yokai from Kumamoto.


- reference : wikipedia -

. - yookai, yōkai 妖怪 Yokai monsters - .


...................................................................................................................... Kyoto 京都府
京都市 Kyoto City

rinka. onibi 燐火 will‐o'‐the‐wisp
The will‐o'‐the‐wisp light apprearing in a summer night is called 油坊 Abura Bo.

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. Dogen 道元禅師 Zen Priest Dogen .
Once a man stole some of the sacred oil for the lamp at 比叡山 Mount Hieizan.
When he died his spirit became a rinka 燐火 will‐o'‐the‐wisp and flew around in sommer nights.
The light at 七条朱雀 Shijo Kujaku from 道元 Dogen is probably from this flame.
This kind of story is told in many parts of Japan.




...................................................................................................................... Shiga 滋賀県
Shiga 野洲郡 Yasu district // 比叡山

aburabo 油坊 "oil monk" lights can be seen from late spring to early summer.
The light looks like a monk, hence the name.
They say a monk who stole sacred oil from the lamp at Mound Hieizan turned into this ghost.
. Hieizan 比叡山 Mount Hiei Legends .

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Shiga 愛知郡 Aichi district 秦荘町 Hatasho town // 金剛寺 Kongo-Ji

Once upon a time, at 金剛寺 the Temple Kongo-Ji there was a priest
who came every morning to pour some oil into the lamp.
One day the priest wanted to do something malicious and stole some oil to make it to money.
When he wanted to go out to enjoy himself he could not move and died soon.
The next morning a priest at the temple gate heard of a ghost showing there.
This ghost carried some oil and walked up to the main hall. The priest heard a voice:
「油返そう、油返そう。わずかなことに、わずかなことに」.
"I bring back some oil, just a little, just a little!"
This aburabo 油坊 oil monk can be seen to our days.

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高知県 Kochi / Kongo-Ji

佐蹉跎山金剛寺七不思議 Seven wonders from Temple Kongo-Ji
龍の駒笹
一眼一足の笹
不増不減の水
天燈
午時の雨
搖ぎ石
潮満ち石

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長野県 Nagano 上田市 Ueda city // 金剛寺 Kongo-Ji

ji ishi 爺石 Grandpa Stone, ba ishi 婆石 Grandma Stone
Once upon a time
a rich old couple from Matsushiro wanted to visit the home of their daughter in Ueda, where their grandchild had been born.
They were carried in a palanquin over the pass 地蔵峠 Jizo Toge.
But the palanquin bearers were two bad men.
When they came to the pass 金剛寺峠 Kongoji Toge, they stole the money of the couple and threw tha palanquin down the valley.
Grandpa rolled down, hit a stone and turned into a stone himself, the Grandpa Stone.
Grandma reached a forest and turned into Grandma Stone.
The palanquin stopped at a small Shrine for Yamanokami and turned into Kago Ishi 籠岩, the Palanquin Stone.


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- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -

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. - Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu poems in Edo .


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