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Abe no Seimei – True Story of a Japanese God

Abe no Seimei – True Story of a Japanese God

Abe no Seimei was a renowned Japanese legend and like other legends, several myths began to circulate just after he died. These myths sapped his true story. This post entails his true story.

Enjoy his incredible story!

True story of Abe no Seimei



Abe no Seimei is a Japanese god whose main shrine is located in Kyōto. In Japanese history, he is the most famous onmyōji who lived from 921 to 1005 CE.  He is believed to hold magical powers and incredible foreseeing capabilities. He is the most successful astrologer and diviner of his time and served six different emperors. He is the author of the most famous book Senji Ryakketsu, which includes about six thousand predictions and thirty-six fortune telling techniques.

Kamo no Tadayuki and Kamo no Yasunori were proud teachers of Abe no Seimei. It was believed that he was born with supernatural powers which were inherited from his mother, who was a white fox. Seimei mastered his magical spells from a book Hoki Naiden. Hoki Naidei originated in India and passed generations to generations and reached China. This book was inherited by a Chinese wizard named Saint Hokudō and he further passed this book to a Japanese envoy Kibi no Makibi. This book passed from Kibi no Makibi to Abe no Nakamaro and lastly to his descendant Abe no Seimei.


Enemies of Abe no Seimei

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Abe no Seimei became very famous even in his small age. But, due to his fame, he made many enemies. A famous priest Chitoku once planned to masquerade Seimei. He acted as being a traveler who wanted to learn magic from Seimei. He decided to disguise Seimei with his two servant spirits. But, Semei understood everything only in a single look of him. The following day, Semei secretly unsummoned his servant’s spirits. Chitoku after realizing all this knelt down and begged pardon from him.

Ashiya Dōman hold topmost grudges against Abe no Seimei who decided to kill him by plotting against him.

Dōman was a successful onmyōji and was much older to Seimei. Dōman upon hearing Seimei’s acclaim contested a divination duel against him. Dōman had no stand against him and Seimei very easily defeated Dōman. Since then, Dōman decided to take a revenge of his defeat.

Ashiya Dōman out of revenge somehow convinced Seimei’s wife to give him Hoki Naiden, Seimei’s book of magical spells. Then, Dōman created a magical spell so that Seimei could not know that his book was with Dōman. Out of deception, Dōman one day bragged about the book. Seimei confidently told him if he could present his book then he could kill him. Dōman presented his book and he killed Seimei.

Saint Hokudō intuited the murder of Seimei and traveled from China to Japan. Then, he first gave back life to Abe no Seimei’s by doing some magical spells. Lastly, he decided to take the revenge of Seimei’s death. He went to Dōman’s house and asked him innocently if he could meet Seimei. Dōman replied to him that Seimei died. But, Hokudō told him that he is still alive. Dōman then confidently told him that he could kill him if he will be able to present Seimei in front of him. Hokudō presented Seimei and killed Dōman and Seimei’s wife for their betrayal.

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