One Stroke Dragon drawn at Toji-ji temple about 80 years ago
As the name suggests, the One Stroke Dragon is a picture of a dragon whose torso is drawn in one stroke. Because it is drawn continuously, it is regarded as a symbol of continuous happiness or a continuous good match. Therefore, the One Stroke Dragon has been appreciated as a good luck charm since the Edo period (1603 to 1868).
In addition, the Nyoihoshu (wish-granting jewel also known as Chintamani) held by the dragon is said to make people’s wishes come true, keep disease away and bring happiness.
The Japanese Archipelago itself is said to be shaped like a dragon, and dragons have long been enshrined in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.
The Ascending Dragonof “OMAMORI” One Stroke Dragon is drawn with a sincere prayer for fulfilling a great wish and the Dragon Looking Downas protection against bad luck.
Keisuke Teshima, the artist who draws the “OMAMORI” One Stroke Dragon, visited Toji-ji temple and met the 105th Chief Priest (眞瑞大和尚). The Chief Priest showed him a One Stroke Dragon that was drawn about 80 years ago, and Teshima was strongly impressed. This is how Teshima’s relationship with Toji-ji temple began.
Keisuke Teshima, "Kyoto" One Stroke Dragon Artist
Teshima draws the One Stroke Dragon while praying for the associated continuous happiness and a continuous good match. His technique of expressing the dragon god in one stroke, which is beautiful, delicate and sometimes wild, is highly praised not only in Japan but also in other countries. He learned the spirit of the dou (way) of Japan through karatedo, which he has practiced for 14 years since he was six years old. He has been attracted to dragons since childhood and drew numerous pictures of them. He discovered the traditional One Stroke Dragon and was strongly impressed with its technique and history. Then Teshima learned the technique on his own. In his first year as a One Stroke Dragon artist, he held his first personal exhibition in Ginza and then made a foray into the world. Under the creed of “Introduce the Japanese tradition to the world,” he has held exhibitions and live performances at 13 venues in Los Angeles, New York, Washington and Florida. He pursues the dragon with the spirit of Shuhari (a concept that is common to Japanese art, martial arts, etc. meaning “learning, bending, and breaking the rules” as steps of mastering arts) while maintaining the tradition of the One Stroke Design that has continued since the Edo period.
We donated the revenue from the One-stroke Dragon Charity Auction held at Duterte’s Kitchen in the Philippines, which amounted to approx. 10 million yen, to homeless youth. We took this as an opportunity to hold a live performance of the drawing a One Stroke Dragon and presented the picture to Mr. Manny Pacquiao, at a congressional office building in the Philippines.
"Kyoto" One Stroke Dragon Artist Click here
The Dragon and Omamori (Lucky Charms) in Japan
The body of a dragon is said to be the same shape as the Japanese archipelago. Since ancient times, Japan has been regarded as a land of mysteries where the spirit of the dragon lives.
In addition, since the Jomon and Yayoi periods (14,000 BC to 300 AD), the dragon has been worshipped as the god of water that brings rain. Rain is needed to cultivate rice, which is at the heart of Japanese culture.
Rice is enshrined in Shinto shrines. Rice straw is spun endlessly into shimenawa (sacred rope) and enshrined as a holy object. Along with shimenawa, a dragon is present at all Shinto shrines, because the dragon is the god of water that symbolizes the production of grain and brings blessed rain, which is essential for cultivating rice.
Another essential element for cultivating rice is thunder, which purifies the atmosphere. In kanji, thunder is written as 雷, a combination of 雨 (rain) and 田 (rice paddy), indicating the deep relationship between the two.
In addition, strong thunder is called inazuma (稲妻), a combination of 稲 (rice) and 妻 (wife/other half). Inazuma has long been thought of as an invaluable phenomenon that is essential for cultivating rice.
It is said that thunder or inazuma, which occurs when a dragon descends to earth, brings cleansing rain as a blessing for the rice, along with electricity from the heavens purifying the atmosphere by reducing oxidation in the air.
This allows the rice to receive energy from the heavens. Actually, it is said that frequent thunder in the summer results in a good harvest. The valuable thunder and inazuma are caused when a dragon descends to earth beyond space and time.
This is why inazuma or water droplets are often drawn in the picture of the One Stroke Dragon by Keisuke Teshima.
Moreover, the left part of 和, a kanji meaning Japan, is called ine-hen, which means rice, while the right part (口) means mouth. Thus, 和 as Japan means rice-eating people. Japan was also called Zipang, the land of gold, because the color of rice stalks is gold. The skin color of the yellow race is also said to be the color of rice stalks. In this way, rice is the spirit of Japan; it is in the DNA of the people, and is an integral part of life for the Japanese. Accordingly, the dragon that cultivates rice as the all-time Japanese staple exists deep within the minds of the Japanese as a lucky charm. The Dragon god lives in the minds of the Japanese.
What is Omamori?Since ancient times, people have believed that they can protect themselves from disasters and danger by placing an object close to them containing a god’s force. This object was replaced with Omamori at some point and various types of Omamori began to be provided at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.
In Japan, Omamori is regarded as an avatar of a god or Buddha.
Various opinions and theories exist regarding the traditions and origins that we described above.
It is based on our own research and therefore may differ from your opinion or interpretation. Your understanding is appreciated.