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Japanese mytholgy 3: Kushinada Hime ends Susanoh’s Odyssey

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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 Kushinada Hime put an end to Susanoh’s odysesy. 合掌

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Ousted from Takama no Hara

As described in the previous post, Amaterasu hid away into the cave and the world in a complete darkness. Other Kami managed to take her out of the cave and the sun rose again.

After the incident, Susanoh was ousted from Takama no Hara due to his behavior, or Tsumi he committed : Violating the social norm and the sacredness of Takama no Hara.

Other Kami asked him to hand in things to make up for what he did. They cut his nails and beard off.

シカさん
シカさん

Ancient people thought they put their Tsumi into a part of their body they can remove. And they using it as a tool of getting rid of their Tsumi.

七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

This is the origin of Harae. Check out the link below.

What is Misogi and Harae? 禊と祓を英語で説明
Misogi and Harae is the ways to get rid of evilness in order to prepare for something sacred.  In this post, I'll show you what they are. 合掌
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He saw Kushinada Hime, his future wife

Ousted from Takama no Hara, he head for Ashihara Nakatsukuni, or the place known as Japan. Hre reached Izumo (Shiname Pref.) and strolled aorund. Then he found chopsticks floating in a river. He thought there was someone near there and walked along the river to find an old couple and their daughter sobering.

They are Kami lived in Ashihara Nakatsu Kuni.

たけちよ
たけちよ

Kami live in Takama no Hara is Amatsu Kami (天津神) and the ones live in is Kunitsu Kami (国津神).

Susanoh aksed the reason why they are crying.

石見神楽

The father explained, “We used to have eight daughters. A huge serpent called Yamata no Oroshi (八岐大蛇) lives near hear. Last seven years, we offered our daughters one by one as a sacrifice. This Kushinada Hime (櫛名田比売) is the only daughter left to us. And this year, we have to offer her to the serpent.”

シカさん
シカさん

Yamata no Orochi is as huge as mountains, has 8 heads and 8 tails.

クシナダヒメ

Susanoh asked him, “I understood. I’ll eliminate it. Then, would you allow me to marry your daughter if I could defeat the serpent?”

The father accepted his offer.

Susanoh transformed Kushinad Hime into a comb and stuck it to his hair and asked the couple, “Make strong Sake. And build a wall with eight entrances around your house. Put large bowls at the entrances and fill up the bowls with the Sake you made.”

八岐大蛇

Some time later, Yamata no Orochi appeared and started drinking the Sake and fell asleep. Susanoh cut its heads off and stubbed its tails to exterminate it.

 

七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

In the video, the one with a sword is Susanoh and the one in a white outfit is Kushinada Hime.  You can enjoy this Iwami Kagura performance at Gion Matsuri or Awata Matsuri.

Then, he found a sword in one of the tails. And he dedicated it to Amaterasu in Takama no Hara.

たけちよ
たけちよ

The sword he found is Kusanagi no Tachi (草那藝之大刀)/ Ameno Murakumo no Tsurugi (天叢雲剣). He dedicated the sword to Amaterasu and it became one of the three regalia stated in the previous post.

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He composed the first Waka

Now Yamata no Orochi had one away and Susanoh married Kushinada Hime. They settled down in their new palace. He saw many clouds in the sky and composed the first Waka (和歌 Japanese poem) in Japan:

夜久毛多都 伊豆毛夜幣賀岐 都麻碁微爾 夜幣賀岐都久流 曾能夜幣賀岐袁

シカさん
シカさん

Pronounciation: Yakumo Tatsu, Izumo Yaegaki, Tsumagomi ni, Yaegaki Tsukuru, Sono Yaegakiwo

たけちよ
たけちよ

It’s very hard to translate this even in modern Japanese. He sings the clouds looks like a walls build around the palace in order to save his wife from any bad luck.

お福さん
お福さん

Waka is improtant for us. For example, Reiwa, the imperial era, was named after a Waka in the eighth century.

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Next post

たけちよ
たけちよ

Okuni Nushi, a Susanoh’s descendant, gives up Ashihara Nakatsu Kuni to Takama no Hara. Don’t miss it. One of the most exciting story in Japanese mythology, BAAAH!!!



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