Blessed is My Lady Benzaiten the goddess
For gamblers, whores, and thieves – Blessed are they
Who will call upon My Lady? Liars, the jealous, and me

Benzaiten Ukiyoe 2
Edo period print of a courtesan as Benzaiten-sama. At this time, the goddess was a traditional patroness for courtesans and other sex-workers, as well as “jealous women”, and professional gamblers (the forerunners of today’s yakuza)

2 thoughts on “Blessed

  1. Jealous women? Seems an odd combo with the courtesans but then deities often have seemingly contradictory parts of their domains. Her association with writing and court women reminds me a bit of the French & Italian literary salons.

    1. Well, she was petitioned by women who needed the favor of men, hence why she was labeled a “love goddess” by the Victorians who first bumbled into Japan in the Meiji period. If I recall correctly, some of her temples/shrines were also places where women could flee from unsatisfactory marriages to seek a divorce from their husbands.

      I should also add that she was also patronized by kabuki actors, who in the Edo period were all men, and who sometimes acted as sex-workers…

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