Ugajin is the lord of prosperity, wealth, destiny, and having enough to eat. He has dominion over food, especially rice. Ugajin is venerated beside Benten at her shrine in Kamakura, Japan—a shrine originally dedicated to him. In the Western year 1185, on the day of the snake in the month of the snake in the year of the snake, Yoritomo Minamoto (1147–1199), founder of the Kamakura Shogunate, had a dream in which an old man who identified himself as the Lord of Ugajin gave him directions to a spring, telling him to worship Ugajin with the water. If he did this, peace, then lacking, would be restored. Minamoto did as directed; the shrine Zeniarai Ugafuku Jinja, now popularly called Zeniarai Benten, still stands at the spot.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Hakuja (White Snake); Ugano-kami
Ugajin manifests as an old man or as a big white snake with an old man’s head.
A coiled snake with a human head
Dragon goddess Benten, his frequent companion
Whole, unbroken raw eggs
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.