Ohanjin (黄幡神)

Ohanjin (also pronounced as Oubanshin) is deification of Rago, one of Kuyo (nine-planet crest), and is mainly enshrined as a stone monument on the border of settlement, in the center of a village, on the border of villages, crossing, or T-junction.

Today Ohanjin is deified as a guardian deity of a village as guardians for the community, but was originally a snake god called Rafu in the Indian myth and was feared as a god who brings disasters. After it was introduced to Japan it was syncretized with Susano, a deity who caused eclipse.

It is also one of Hasshojin (Eight General Gods) which control good and bad directions. It is also called hakanokata as well as a god of war. It would bring bad luck to move soil to the direction of this god while it brings good luck regarding warfare.

Though as a result of syncretization it is categorized as a god, Ohanjin is deeply related to Buddhism, especially esoteric Buddhism.

Ohanjin looks very similar to Doso-jin (a god who prevents evil spirits from coming) in appearance, but can be distinguished by the following features.

Ohanjin on whose stone monument are carved Chinese characters or Sanskrit related to Rago (ohan).

Ohanjin which expresses anger as fudomyoo and has nine snakes which express its origin Rafu.

Ohanjin with characters which express sun and moon on both sides or above and under of Rago (Ohanjin). It is said to have succeeded the nature of Susano with which Ohanjin was syncretized.

Nisshoku (Gesshoku) Ohanjin
Ohanjin with a black circle (sometimes partly black only) expresses solar or lunar eclipse on the Rago (Ohanjin).

It is said to express the nature of the Rago star which causes solar and lunar eclipse.
Jakei Ohanjin
Rago (Ohanjin) is Ohanjin, having turned totally into snake form.

It is said to express its origin Rafu or its tally Ketu.

Consolidated Ohanjin
Ohanjin as a consolidation of the above varieties.

[Original Japanese]