Jusan Pass

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Depiction of Kokan (with the wooden clappers) and three others performing the first ever instance of nioigake ("sprinkling the fragrance") in Naniwa (now Osaka).

Jusan Pass, or 十三峠 (Jusan Toge), is the name of a mountain path that runs along the southern portion of Mount Ikoma and connects Fukihata, Heguri-cho in Ikoma Country, Nara Prefecture, and Kodachi in Yao City, Osaka Prefecture. Its altitude is approximately 430 meters. Jusan Toge was a merchant route equal in importance to Kuragari Toge that connected Yamato and Kawachi provinces.[1]

Origin of the name "Jusan Toge"

Jusan-zuka (13-mounds), a structure north of the Jusan Pass (jusan-toge).

The name "Jusan Toge" literally means "(mountain) pass/path 13." It was named after a 13-mound structure (Jusan zuka) located a little north of the mountain pass or eastward of the Nara-Osaka prefecture border.

No one knows why these 13-mound structures were made, but it the prevailing consensus is that they were connected with native folk beliefs. The 13-mound structure along Jusan Pass is probably one of the more famous ones in Japan. It is believed to have been made in the 14th century.[2]

Significance of Jusan Pass

Kokan in Osaka Sprinkling the Fragrance [3]

Among Tenrikyo followers, Jusan Pass is most famously known as the name of the mountain path that Kokan, Oyasama's youngest daughter, crossed to get to Naniwa—now known as Osaka—in 1853 to engage in what is now considered as the first instance of nioigake ("sprinkling the fragrance").[4]

Later, followers coming from the western provinces would use the Jusan Pass to get to Shoyashiki. The mountain path is explicitly mentioned in two stories from Anecdotes of Oyasama.[5]

Tenrikyo followers today occasionally cross Jusan Pass as a religious practice, often to follow in the footsteps of Kokan Nakayama. Crossing Jusan Pass is included in the program of the Oyasato Seminar and other youth activities.[6]

Events leading to Kokan's mission to sprinkle the fragrance

The Nakayama Residence on 1838 and 1853.[7]

Kokan's Naniwa mission was a significant part of Oyasama's and her family's struggles to follow the instruction from God the Parent to "fall to the depths of poverty," which spurred Oyasama's effort to give away all of the family's material possessions.

On February 22, 1853, Zenbei, Oyasama's husband passed away for rebirth and, as a result, Oyasama sold the main house and sent Kokan on a mission to spread the name of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto.

This is considered as Oyasama demonstrating the Divine Model and practicing the teaching of buds sprout from knots; in that the passing of Zenbei was a "knot" and resolving to follow the path in "high spirits" by taking a step forward in spreading the teachings, or sprinkling the fragrance, and "falling to the depths of poverty," one will grow closer to God's intention for human beings.[citation needed]

One may refer to what Oyasama said at the dismantling of the main house to understand her attitude during the events that followed her husband's death:

"Now I shall begin to build a new world. Celebrate the occasion with Me!"[8]

The Route

Map of the route which Kokan walked, including the Jusan Pass.[9]

The route she took from Jiba at the time went through present-day: [1]

Tenri City
  • Senzai
  • Aramaki
  • Sugata (Nikaido Minami)
Yamato-Koriyama City
  • Miyado
  • Nukatabe
Ikoma County
  • Ando
  • Ikaruga-cho (Awa, Namimatsu, Tatsuta)
  • Heguri-cho (Wakai, Fukihata)

(Jusan Toge)

Yao City
  • Gakuonji
  • Fukumanji
  • Nanto
Higashi-Osaka City
  • Wakae Minami
  • Kamikosaka
  • Hishiya Nishi
  • Yokonuma
  • Eiwa
Osaka City
  • Oimazato
  • Honsho
  • Tamazukuri
  • Andoji-bashi (bridge)
  • Senba

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Tenrikyo jiten entry on Jusan Toge (p. 412).
  2. 十三塚 (Jusan zuka) - Wikipedia.
  3. OYASAMA – Tenrikyo Boys and Girls Association 1986, pp. 15–16.
  4. The Life of Oyasama, pp. 25–26. "Nioigake" has been translated into "spread the name of God the Parent" in The Life of Oyasama.
  5. See Anecdotes of Oyasama 114 and 191.
  6. Tenrikyo Online: "2011 Oyasato Seminar Begins"; "The High School Division of the Students Training Course".
  7. Reference Materials for the Life of Oyasama, pp. 76–79.
  8. The Life of Oyasama, p. 27.
  9. 教祖伝参考写真集 – 天理教青年教程第29号 (Kyōsoden sankō shashinshū – Tenrikyō seinen kyōtei dai 29 gō), pp. 35–50.