The eel is an interesting creature from the standpoint of biology, that is, its migration, its geographical distribution, its transformation of sex and so on. And because of its mysterious life, many legends and beliefs concerning the eel also have been originated and transmitted all over the world since ancient times. What interests the author is the ethnographic information that some ethnic groups don,t eat eels at all in Formosa, Micronesia, the Philippines and so on, with relation to totem ,animal and ancestor worship. Although we can hear a lot of folklore concerning eels in Japan, a non-eel-diet taboo is almost always told with Buddhist Kokuzo-Belief. The folk-explanation is that an eel is the messenger or the favorite food of Kokuzo-Budhisattva (akasa-garbha) and therefore should not eat it. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the development of an interrelationship between eels and Kokuzo-Budhisatta and to analyse several aspects of a non-eel-diet taboo in the historical ,context. Japanese folktales around the eel are classified according to the following items : (a) An eel as the messenger of a Kami (god) or of Buddha. The deities usually represented being that of Suijin (a water deity) , Mishimamyojin (三島明神) , Konpiragongen (金比羅宮) or Kokuzo-Bodhisattva. (b) An eel which transforms itself into a man, usually a monk. This eel usually represents the guardian spirit of a pond or river. (c) A one-eyed eel. These always possess magical powers. (d) An unusual or mutated eel and its activities. (i. e. a red, yellow or white eel an eel having large ears.) (e) The origin of a place name after an eel ; i. e., eel-mound, eel-wamp, eel-abyss, eel-paddy, etc. An overview of these folk tales leads to the following concept : People in early times thought the eel was a water deity itself, or the messenger of a water deity who was the guardian spirit of a pond, marsh, river, deep or lake. The eel inspired apprehension among these primitive folk due to its strange appearance and activities. Also in Japan, there is some evidence which indicates that the eel may be a mythical ancestor. The belief that spiritual creatures in water bodies may change into a one-eyed eel, which indicates the tenement of a god, is an idea promulgated by the late Kunio Yanagita. In another legend, the eel appears in a deluge in which the eel is transformed into a monk who warns the populace of approaching disaster and consequently saves them from catastro-phe. Kokuzo-Bodhisattva beliefs have included the mitigation or avoidance of disaster since the Nara Period. One particular Kokuzo sutra, which prevailed widely among temples practicing Kokuzo beliefs in Japan, portrays Kokuzo-Bodhisattva as an itinerant priest who displays his ability to avert disaster more effectively than any other Bodhisattva. Shingon Sect priests (当山派修験) , as proponents of this Kokuzo belief, have connected this belief with that of the eel and its appearance during innundation. The aforementioned information is the product of research data obtained from Tokurenji Temple (徳蓮寺) in Mie Prefecture. Tokurenji Temple belongs to the Shingon Sect and has tradition that the itinerant Kobodaishi (a founder of the Shingon Sect) stayed at this temple at some point in its early history. Many "Ema" (small wooden tablets with an optative phrase and a suitable picture) are dedicated to this temple and most of them are pictures drawn with a catfish and an eel. we can guess that the catfish was added at a later date because of the synonimity of its name and the name of a skin disease "namazu" and the folk-connection of the catfish to the cure of the disease.
前言 237 I ウナギをめぐる民族 237 II 鰻と水神信仰 239 III 鰻と虚空蔵信仰 241 IV 雲南神（鰻神）の発現 249 i. ウンナン神の分布 250 ii. 雲南神の解釈 ── 藤原説と早川説 250 iii. 新田開発と洪水 251 iii. 真言系修験の活躍 254 結語 257