A Buddhist deity who is often conflated with Inari. Dakiniten is the Japanese transformation of a type of female Indian demon called dakini, attendants of Kali, goddess of death, and bearers of her blood cup. They were converted to Buddhism by Dainichi Nyπrai. In Japan, the demon type became changed to a single person: Dakiniten. She is usually depicted sitting on a flying white fox. Her face is white. She is the patroness of magical spells, and there are special spells said in her name to promote success. The flying fox on which she rides originated in India, and this relationship creates her association with Inari, as either his assistant or as an avatar, she being the honju (universal deity), he being the suijaku (Japanese manifestation). She carried a flaming jewel (the sign of Inari) in her left hand. She is sometimes, though rarely, identified as Sae-no-kami.
- Smyers, Karen. 1999. The Fox and the Jewel. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Handbook of Japanese Mythology written by Michael Ashkenazi – Copyright © 2003 by Michael Ashkenazi