Benzaiten Imagery in Japan

Mark "Onmark Productions" Schumacher has published an insanely detailed introduction to Benzaiten Imagery in Japan.

Prior to the 12th century, Benzaiten's Hindu origins as a water goddess were largely ignored in Japan. But sometime during the 11th-12th centuries, the goddess was conflated with Ugajin (the snake-bodied, human-headed Japanese kami of water, agriculture, and good fortune). Once this occurred -- once Benzaiten was "reconnected" with water -- the level of her popularity changed from a trickle into a flood.


See also: Schumacher's introduction to Bodhidharma imagery in Japan.

Popularity factor: 5


If I'm being honest, I have to admit that 95% of what I know about Japanese mythology I learned by dorking around on that site.


Yeah, at least 80% of all my Googling for some god or architectural quirk or other takes me there eventually.

Leonardo Boiko:

That site is my own TVTropes, in that every time someone links to it I end up spending the entire afternoon there.


Quite a site! BTW, Bentenshu is one of the many Japanese sects that made it to Hawaii.


Great photo! I love the way ocean air helps iron rust and greenery grow over it.

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