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Japanese mythology 4: Okuninushi gave up his land to Amaterasu

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Introduction

To under stand Japanese culture and its inheritance without the knowledge of Japanese mythology. I’ll write a series of 5 posts on the important myths. In this post, let us see how Okuninushi gave up Izumo to Amaterasu. 合掌

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Okuninushi met a bunny

地主神社のうさぎさん

It’s been a long time since Susanoh and Kushinada Hime married (Check out the previous post). Okuninushi is one of his descendant. He had many brothers. They didn’t rule their country because they wanted to marry Yakami Hime. One day, they headed for Inaba (Tottori Pref.) to see her.

因幡の白兎八坂神社

On the way to their destination, they found a rabbit without his skin and coat on a beach. They advised him, “Bath in the sea and lie down at the top of a high mountain. And you’d be healed.”

It didn’t work and his skin was damaged. The pain made him cry.

Then Okuninushi passed by. He wasn’t with his brother because he had a big bag with hit brother’s belongings in. They forced him to carry it taking advantage of his generosity.

He asked the rabbit, “Why are you crying? What happened?”

He replied, “I live in Oki island (located near the beach). I wanted to come here and cheated the sharks.  I made them line up from the island to this beach. I stepped on their heads one by one. When I stepped on the last one, I said I cheated them. Hearing that, it bit me and peel my skin and coat off. ” And he told him what his brothers did.

因幡の白兎

Okuninushi advised, “Wash yourself in the mouth of the river. You’ll find many Gama around there. Spread their pollen over the ground and roll around on them. You’ll regain your skin and coat.

お福さん
お福さん

Gama is a plant the bunny has in his hands.

It worked well. He looked as used to be. He said to Okuninushi, “You’ll marry Yakami Hime. Your brother don’t.”

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Okuninushi gave up Ashihara Kanatsu Kuni to Amaterasu

日本神話の世界

After the marriage, his brother killed him 2 times but he was reborn each time with the help other Kami. They didn’t stop pursue him and Kami of tree sent him to Ne no Taksu Kuni, the land of deceased, where Susanoh ruled.

Susanoh met Okuninushi, he found he was the best Kami in Ashihara Nakatsu Kuni. He forced many difficulities to him and he overcame all of them. Finally, he admitted he was deserved to rule Izumo, a.k.a., Ashihara Nakatsu Kuni.

Now that Takama no Hara was ruled by Amaterasu and Ne no Katasu Kuni was ruled her brother. Both of them are Amatsukami, the Kami of Takamanohara (Amatsukami).

On the other hand, Ashihara Nakatsu Kuni was ruled by Ohkuninushi, the Kami of Ashihara Nakatsu Kuni (Kunitsu Kami).

Amaterasu wanted Ashihara Nakatsu Kuni ruled by Amatsukami in order to rule the whole universe. She sent delegate to Ohkuninushi four times in vain.

In the end, she sent Take Mikazuchi (Kami of thunder and sword). They asked Okuninushi to give up his Ashihara Nakatsu Kuni to Amaterasu. He replied that he wanted to flow his sons’ decision. One of them accepted the proposal but the other, Take Minakata didn’t. All of a sudden, Take Mikazuchi took him by the hand and threw him away. The son was scared and ran away. Take Mikazuchi pursuit him to the lake Suwa and tried to kill him. Finally, he surrendered and promised he would never leave Suwa.

七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

Take Minakata is enshrined in Suwa Taisha shrine in Nagano.

At last, Okuninushi gave up Izumo to Amaterasu but he asked for a condition: He wanted an edifice.

シカさん
シカさん

The edifice is Izumo Taisha in Shimane.

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Next Post

たけちよ
たけちよ

Now that the whole universe is under the control of Amaterasu. She send a ruler of Ashihara Nakatsu Kuni. He is an ancestor of emperor.

Japanese mythology 5: 1st Emperor of Japan acceded the throne
In this post, let us see how the ancestor of Japanese emperor arrived at Japan and the first emperor acceded the throne. 合掌



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