The Hagoromo Legend of Miho

There was once fisherman named Hakuryo (white dragon) who lived in Miho. Every morning he went fishing near the pine groves of Miho. He was used to seeing the coastal scenery, but one spring morning, he saw Mount Fuji looking particularly beautiful.

An indescribably good smell was hanging in the air. He followed the smell and found the most beautiful kimono he had ever seen hanging from the branch of a large pine tree. He thought it was too beautiful to leave behind and began to pick it up to take home.

At that moment, he heard a voice say, “That is my kimono. Please do not take it.” When he turned to look he saw a beautiful woman standing in the shadow of the pines.

“I am a tennyo. That kimono is called hagoromo and you have no need of it. Please return it to me.”

Hearing that it was a tennyo’s hagoromo, Hakuryo felt even less inclined to return it.

“If I do not have my hagoromo, I cannot return to the sky. Please give it back to me.”
She was sad and Hakuryo felt sorry for her. So he handed it back saying, “I will give it back to you. But in return, please show me the dance of the tennyo.”

The tennyo happily agreed and said, “I cannot dance without my hagoromo. First, please return my hagoromo.”

Hakuryo thought for a moment. “If I give it back to you, you may return to the sky without dancing.”

The tennyo answered sharply, “Doubts and deceptions belong to the human world. These do not exist in our world above the sky.”

Hearing these words, Hakuryo felt ashamed and returned the tennyo’s hagoromo.

The tennyo wrapped her hagoromo about herself and flipped the sleeves gracefully as she began to dance her dance.

Hakuryo could hear a flute and drums playing from out of nowhere, and a pleasant scent filled the air. He watched mesmerized as the tennyo danced higher and higher. She flew as high as Mt. Ashitaka, and then as high as Mt. Fuji, until she disappeared into the mist above the mountains.

To this day, the “Hagoromo Festival” is held every October in Shizuoka. (October 10 this year, if any readers are located nearby.)

The above story was translated from Shizuoka City’s promotion page.

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