Nyudo Priests Kiyomori


Nyudo Priests

nyuudoo 入道 is a Buddhist concept.
It means to get rid of the bonno 煩悩 worldly defilements and enter satori, enlightenment.

Based on this, it also refers to monks and priests who have taken the vows and shaved their head, living according to Buddhist pecepts.
Thus it is translated as
monk, man with a shaven head

Next it refers to members of the Emperor's family and the nobility, when they take the tonsure and use Buddhist robes.
One of the famous nyudo is Kiyomori 清盛入道.

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Taira no Kiyomori 平 清盛
1118 – March 20, 1181
was a general of the late Heian period of Japan. He established the first samurai-dominated administrative government in the history of Japan.

After the death of his father Taira no Tadamori in 1153, Kiyomori assumed control of the Taira clan and ambitiously entered the political realm in which he had previously only held a minor post

In 1156, he and Minamoto no Yoshitomo, head of the Minamoto clan, suppressed the Hōgen Rebellion. This established the Taira and Minamoto samurai clans as the top warrior clans in Kyoto. However, their new strength in effect caused the allies to become bitter rivals which culminated three years later during the Heiji Rebellion in 1159. Kiyomori, emerging victorious with Yoshitomo and his two eldest killed, was now the head of the single most powerful warrior family/clan in Kyoto.

However, his clan's power and influence in the provinces at this time is a matter of debate. Kiyomori showed mercy and exiled a few of Yoshitomo's sons, including Yoritomo, Noriyori, and Yoshitsune – a benevolence that would turn out to be the Taira clan's downfall later on.

Taira no Kiyomori is the main character in the Kamakura period epic,
the Tale of Heike (Heike monogatari 平家物語) .

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

The Kammu Heishi line, founded in 889 by Taira no Takamochi (a great-grandson of the 50th Kammu tenno, reigned 781-806).
His descendant was Kiyomori.
. Taira no Takamochi 平高望 .


In 2012, the famous yearlong drama of NHK features

. Taira no Kiyomori 平 清盛 .

and the shamoji rice ladles of Miyajima Island

Heian Period 'Godfather' brought to life on NHK
Kenichi Matsuyama takes title role in 'Taira no Kiyomori' drama
NHK executive director Takeshi Shibata first announced the new drama, "Taira no Kiyomori," in October 2010. At the time, he didn't know who would play the lead role, but he knew what he wanted from the show: "an energetic Heian Period (794-1185) version of 'The Godfather.' "
... Not that the tale of the Taira clan — or the Corleone family, for that matter — has much to do with pensions. What it does have to do with is the importance of strong family bonds — something that Matsuyama thought contemporary Japanese society needed to be reminded of. He asked his staff to contact NHK to get some information about the project.

Taira no Kiyomori (or Kiyomori of the Taira), is one of the best known people in Japanese history, and aspects of his life have been depicted in every form of popular entertainment from novels and painted scrolls to films and manga.

The most famous is the 14th century epic poem "Heike Monogatari," which has been translated into English several times, usually as "The Tale of Heike." Up to 500 pages in length, the English translation is considered along with the "Tale of Genji" as one of Japan's classics of literature.

Kiyomori's story inevitably begins with the mystery surrounding his birth. What's clear from historical records is that he was born in 1118 in an area that is now part of Mie Prefecture and raised as the son of the Taira samurai Tadamori. What's not so clear is by whom he was actually conceived.
source : Japan Times, December 30


source : Toshitoshi Tsukioka

新形三十六怪撰 - New forms of thirty-six ghosts

. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 月岡芳年 .
(1839 – June 9, 1892)


. WKD : Taira no Kiyomori

. Taira no Tadanori 平忠度
brother of clan head Taira no Kiyomori

. Taira no Tokiko 平時子
widow of Taira no Kiyomori

. Minamoto no Yoshinaka 源義仲 .
and Tomoe Gozen 巴御前


There are also tonsured goblins with this name.

wanyuudoo 輪入道 "monk in a wheel"

Wanyūdō is said to take the form of a burning oxcart wheel bearing the tormented face of a man. Various folklore purports him as the condemned soul of a tyrant daimyo who, in life, was known for having his victims drawn on the back of an oxcart.

He is said to guard the gates of Hell and to wander back and forth along the road between this world and the underworld, scaring townsfolk as he passes and stealing the souls of anyone who gets too close in order to bring them to Hell with him.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



kigo for the New Year

kadonyuudoo, kado nyuudoo 門入道(かどにゅうどう)
"Nyudo goblin the gate"

Two simple wooden figures, male and female, with simple eyes, nose and mouth painted in ink. They are put up at the entrance to the home to ward off evil. This is a custom of the Tohoku region.

small amulet, click for more illustrations

. Wood kigo for the New Year .


. nyuudoogumo 入道雲 "monk clouds"  
"clouds entering the Buddhist way",
large columns of clouds

These clouds look like huge white mountains shining in the sky. They are formed when the earth is very hot, thus creating rising hot air currents.
They are cumulonimbus clouds, sekiran un 積乱雲 or
very large cumulus clouds, yuudai sekiun 雄大積雲.


While I watched the fairly big clouds(入道雲)passing across the blue sky, I think it over to reflect upon the disaster and the mushroom of the atomic bomb and came up with the picture embedded with haiku.


summer is at the corner
which clouds does the heaven show
merciful priest or god of devils?

星舟 Seishu, Terry Ishii from USA

. Japan - after the BIG earthquake  


nyuudoo …
the winding path
of Spring

lost and found
a Nyudo Priest
once again

finding myself
I've lost my keys ...

monk clouds
the thundering
of satori

Don Baird, California


. Yokkaichi oonyuudoo 四日市の大入道
huge monster with a tonsured head

Mie prefecture




Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

demo boozu demo nyoodoo no koromogae

even for priests
and lay priests...
new summer robes

Tr. David Lanoue

Gabi Greve said...

Himamushi nyūdō
Himamushinyuudou 火間蟲入道

APPEARANCE: Himamushi nyūdō is a grotesque yōkai which lives under floorboards and crawls out at night time. It vaguely resembles a Buddhist monk, but it has a long neck, sharp claws, a body covered in thick, dark hair, and a very long tongue which it uses to lap up the oil from lamps.