(Mr Cow) is the pet name for this stone statue of a resting cow, handsomely adorned with a red bib.
|"Ushi-san", the familiar of the god
of Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine, is always lying stretched out, and he seems quite content
to be caressed by visitors. When supplications for improved academic performance
and examination success are made, he is said to pass these on to the god of the
shrine. That explains the presence of so many cows within the grounds of Kitano-Tenmangu.
White cows, black cows, brindle cows, calves - all stand in readiness for the
visitor. While originally the cow was the symbol of a good harvest, at some point
it came to represent scholarship after being associated with Sugawara Michizane
for so long. Not only that, but in the process of being rubbed by countless visitors
praying for good health, this cow's body has been polished to a high gleam. Now
that the scent of plum-blossoms is soon to be adrift in the air, why not give
"Ushi-san" a pat when you go out to admire the flowers?