Ōkuninushi is a divinity in Japanese Shinto. His name translates to "Great Land Master", he is believed to be the ruler of Izumo Province, until he was replaced by Ninigi. In compensation, he was made ruler of the unseen world of spirits and magic, he is believed to be a god of nation-building, farming and medicine. This famous tale of the Hare of Inaba is omitted in the Nihongi. Ōkuninushi and his brothers, eighty gods altogether, were all suitors seeking the hand of Princess Yakami/Yagami of Inaba in marriage. They were all travelling together from their home country of Izumo to the neighboring Inaba to court her. Along the way, the brothers encounter a poor little rabbit or hare and raw-skinned, lying in agony upon a sea shore; the group asks what happened, the hare explains that he came from the island of Oki across the sea. He concocted a marvelous plan to accomplish this, recruiting the crocodiles into his service, unbeknownst to them, he beckoned one crocodile, challenged him to a contest to decide which of them had the greater number of kin, the rabbit or the croc-fish.
To settle the bet, he told the croc-fish to line up in a straight row across the strait, so he can hop on and count the numbers. But before the hare had gotten ashore to safety, he gloated about having tricked them, the last croc in line grabbed him and tore off the fur that clothed him; the gods who listened on were cruel-hearted, as a prank, instructed the hare to wash himself in the briny sea, blow himself dry in the wind. The hare was of course in much more stinging pain. Came along Ōkuninushi lagging far behind; the gentle-hearted god told the hare to go to the mouth and wash himself in the fresh water gather the flowering spikes of cattail plants growing all around, scatter the catkins on the ground and tumble around until he is covered by fleece. The cured rabbit makes a divined prediction that Ōnamuji will be the one to win Princess Yakami, "Though thou bearest the bag.". Just as the rabbit predicted, Princess Yakami/Yagami pronounced before the eighty gods that she had chosen Ōkuninushi as her mate.
The rival gods, his brothers, were all furious, conspired to slay him. They compelled him, on pain of death, to chase down a red boar, a boulder heated red hot. Ōnamuji died of burns, but his mother petitioned Kami-Musubi, one of the creator deities, she dispatched two clam goddesses, Kisagai-hime and Umugi-hime, to restore him. The passage regarding the curative treatment has been subject to emendations and reinterpretation, but recent commentary explains that the one goddess who represents the akagai or blood cockle gathered up her blood-red juices, which were placed in the shell of the other goddess, a hamaguri clam. His rivals tricked him into walking onto a fresh tree log split open and held apart by a wedge, snapped it shut, killing him a second time, his mother revived him once again, bid him to seek out Susanoo, banished to the Netherworld, to obtain wise counsel. In the underworld, he met the storm god Susanoo and his daughter Suseri-hime, with whom he shortly fell in love. Of course, Susanoo was aghast.
In response, he sent Ōkuninushi to sleep in a room full of snakes. However, Suseri-hime had given him a scarf; when Susanoo sent him to sleep in a room with centipedes and wasps the next night, he was still protected. As a trial, Susanoo shot an arrow into the middle of an enormous meadow, told him to look for it. Ōkuninushi searched and reached the middle of the field, at which point Susanoo proceeded to light the field on fire. A mouse showed Ōkuninushi a hole that he could hide in, brought the arrow to him. By now, after all his various attempts of murder, Susanoo was beginning to approve of Ōkuninushi. One night, after he told Ōkuninushi to wash his hair and go to sleep, Ōkuninushi tied Susanoo's hair to the rafters of his palace, fled with Suseri-hime, he took arrows and koto with him. When the couple made their escape, the koto brushed against a tree; the god jumped up, pulled down the palace with his hair. At the borders of the underworld, Susanoo caught up with the elopers and called out to them, advising Ōkuninushi to fight his brothers with Susanoo's weapons.
Ōkuninushi asked him to make Suseri-hime his wife, to build a palace at the foot of Mount Uka, which he agreed to. After the entire ordeal was over, Ōkuninushi became ruler of the province of Izumo; the Grand Izumo-taisha is dedicated to his spirit and is one of the oldest and most important shrines in Japan. He has a lot of other names, it is thought faith in him was combined from their image. Ōkuninushi-no-kami – It means an emperor or monarch. According to another opinion, he is said to have been the king in Izumo. Ōnamuchi-no-kami, Ōnamuchi-no-mikoto – These were his names when he was young. Yachihoko-no-kami – A hoko is a symbol of power. For this reason, Yachihoko is believed a god of power. Ashihara-Shiko-no-Ō, Ashihara-Shiko-no-Ō-no-kami – A shiko-no-ō is a symbol of strength of men, that is, Ashihara-Shiko-no-Ō is believed a god of war. Ōmononushi-no-kami Ōkunitama Utsushikunitama Kunitsukuriōnamuchi-no-mikoto Daikoku-sama – Probably because of th
Utaki is an Okinawan term for a sacred place a grove, cave, or mountain. They are central to the former noro priestess system. Although the term utaki is used throughout the Ryukyu Islands, the terms suku and on are heard in the Miyako and Yaeyama regions respectively. Utaki are located on the outskirts of villages and are places for the veneration of gods and ancestors. Most gusuku have places of worship, it is theorized that the origins of both gusuku and utaki are related. Biinudaki, Naha Misaki-on, Ishigaki Miyatori-on, Nago Pyarumizu-utaki, Miyako Sefa-utaki, Nanjō Sunuhyan-utaki, Naha Tohaya-uganju, Nago Tsunoji-utaki, Miyako Upugusuku-utaki, Miyako
An aji, anji, or azu was a ruler of a petty kingdom in the history of the Ryukyu Islands. The word became a title and rank of nobility in the Ryukyu Kingdom, it has been theorized to be related to the Japanese aruji, the pronunciation varied throughout the islands. It ranked next below a prince among nobility; the sons of princes and the eldest sons of aji became aji. An aji established a noble family equivalent to a miyake of Japan; the aji arose around the twelfth century. Shō Hashi was an aji who unified Okinawa Island as king; the title aji variously designated sons of regional leaders. During the Second Shō Dynasty, when the aji settled near Shuri Castle, the word came to denote an aristocrat in the castle town. A pattern for addressing a male aji began with the place he ruled and ended with the word aji, for example, "Nago Aji". For women, the suffix ganashi or kanashi followed: "Nago Aji-ganashi". Oroku Aji Yuntanza Aji Yoshimura Aji Yonashiro Aji Tomigusuku Aji Osato Aji Urasoe Aji Tamagawa Aji Kunigami Aji Omura Aji Motobu Aji Misato Aji Haneji Aji Nago Aji Kin Aji Uchima Aji Mabuni Aji Nakazato Aji Goeku Aji Ogimi Aji Gushikami Aji Mabuni Aji Tamashiro Aji Gushikawa Aji Takamine Aji Kushi Aji Katsuren Aji Kumemura Higashionna, Kanjun..
Ryukyu no rekishi, Tokyo: Shibundo. Higashionna, Kanjun.. Nanto fudoki, Tokyo: Okinawa Bunka Kyokai Okinawa Zaidan
Kojiki sometimes read as Furukotofumi, is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century and composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Genmei. The Kojiki is a collection of myths, early legends, genealogies, oral traditions and semi-historical accounts down to 641 concerning the origin of the Japanese archipelago, the Kami; the myths contained in the Kojiki as well as the Nihon Shoki are part of the inspiration behind many practices. The myths were re-appropriated for Shinto practices such as the misogi purification ritual. Emperor Tenmu ordered Hieda no Are to memorize stories and texts from history, many of which appear to have been, until the creation of the Kojiki known oral traditions. Beyond this memorization, nothing occurred until after Empress Jitō and Emperor Monmu had both passed and Empress Genmei came to reign. According to the Kojiki, Empress Genmei on the 18th of the 9th month of 711 ordered the courtier Ō no Yasumaro to record what had been learned by Hieda no Are.
He finished and presented his work to Empress Genmei on the 28th of the 1st month of 712. The Kojiki could be made to further the Imperial right to rule; this historical narrative is broken into the Age of Gods and the Age of Humans, wherein the mythology of the gods which gave birth to the land is told and transitioned in a chronological fashion to the reign of the Emperors. This narrative sets forth the divine mandate by which the Yamato line has right to rule, through the rhetoric used in the Age of Humans, the historical and military qualifications were established. Several of the narratives which give support to the imperial line, such as the subjugation of certain Korean kingdoms, have been confirmed as false and were included to erase failures and bolster reputations of Emperors past. Vast amounts of the Age of Humans is spent recounting genealogies, which served not only to give age to the imperial family, much newer than the Kojiki claims as little evidence has been found to support the existence of early Emperors, but served to tie, whether true or not, many existing clan's genealogies to their own.
Regardless of the original intent of the Kojiki, it finalized and even formulated the framework by which Japanese history was examined in terms of the reign of Emperors. The Kojiki contains various poems. While the historical records and myths are written in a form of Chinese with a heavy mixture of Japanese elements, the songs are written with Chinese characters, though only used phonetically; this special use of Chinese characters is called Man'yōgana, a knowledge of, critical to understanding these songs, which are written in Old Japanese. The Kojiki is divided into three parts: the Nakatsumaki and the Shimotsumaki; the Kamitsumaki known as the Kamiyo no Maki, includes the preface of the Kojiki, is focused on the deities of creation and the births of various deities of the kamiyo period, or Age of the Gods. The Kamitsumaki outlines the myths concerning the foundation of Japan, it describes how Ninigi-no-Mikoto, grandson of Amaterasu and great-grandfather of Emperor Jimmu, descended from heaven to Takachihonomine in Kyūshū and became the progenitor of the Japanese Imperial line.
The Nakatsumaki begins with the story of Emperor Jimmu, the first Emperor, his conquest of Japan, ends with the 15th Emperor, Emperor Ōjin. The second through ninth Emperors' reigns are recorded in a minimum of detail, with only their names, the names of their various descendants, the place-names of their palaces and tombs listed, no mention of their achievements. Many of the stories in this volume are mythological, the historical information in them is suspect; the Shimotsumaki covers the 16th to 33rd Emperors and, unlike previous volumes, has limited references to the interactions with deities. These interactions are prominent in the first and second volumes. Information about the 24th to the 33rd Emperors is missing, as well. What follows is a condensed summary of the contents of the text, including many of the names of gods and locations as well as events which took place in association to them; the original Japanese is included in parentheses where appropriate. The handing down of old folklore and its significance Emperor Tenmu and setting out the Kojiki Ō no Yasumaro compiling the Kojiki In the Edo period, Motoori Norinaga studied the Kojiki intensively.
He produced. Chamberlain, Basil Hall. 1882. A translation of the "Ko-ji-ki" or Records of ancient matters. Yokohama, Japan: R. Meiklejohn and Co. Printers. Philippi, Donald L. 1968/1969. Kojiki. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press and Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. Heldt, Gustav. 2014. The Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters. New York: Columbia University Press. There are two major branches of Kojiki manuscripts: Urabe; the extant Urabe branch consists of 36 existing manuscripts all based on the 1522 copies by Urabe Kanenaga. The Ise branch may be subdivided into the Shinpukuji-bon manuscript of 1371–1372 and the Dōka-bon manuscripts; the Dōka sub-branch consists of: the Dōka-bon manuscript of 1381.
Uruma is a city located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The modern city of Uruma was established on April 1, 2005, when the cities of Gushikawa and Ishikawa were merged with the towns of Katsuren and Yonashiro; as of May 1, 2013, the city has an estimated population of 118,330 and a population density of 1,400 persons per km². The total area is 86.00 km². The city covers part of the east coast of the south of Okinawa Island, the Katsuren Peninsula, the eight Yokatsu Islands; the Yokatsu Islands include numerous sites important to the Ryukyuan religion, the city as a whole has numerous historical sites, including: Katsuren Castle, Agena Castle, Iha Castle and the Iha Shell Mound. It is home to the largest venue for Okinawan bullfighting; the Mid-Sea Road, which crosses the ocean and connects the Yokatsu Islands to the main island of Okinawa, is now a symbol of Uruma. Uruma is noted for its role in hosting large-scale refugee camps and the initial organization of local government of Okinawa after the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.
As such the city is considered the home of the starting point of the restoration of civil life in Okinawa after the end of World War II. United States maintains four military bases in Uruma, some of which span other municipalities in Okinawa: Kadena Ammunition Storage Area, Camp McTureous, Camp Courtney, White Beach Naval Facility; the bases cover 12.97% of the total area of the city. Two controversies have surrounded American military bases in Uruma: the 1959 Okinawa F-100 crash which killed and injured numerous students and residents, the transport of Agent Orange via the White Beach Naval Facility for testing in Okinawa in the early 1960s as part of the classified Project AGILE. In the Japanese language the name of the city is written using the hiragana syllabary instead of kanji characters because, according to the city, it looks endearing and soft; the name of the city of Uruma comes from a poetic name for Okinawa Island. A folk etymology, adopted by the city itself, segments uruma into uru and *ma.
Another theory relates it to urumaa. The Okinawan origin of the word, has long been questioned. In fact, it was in mainland Japan that the word was first attested and came to refer to Okinawa; the first known reference to uruma is a waka poem by Fujiwara no Kintō in the early 11th century. He compared a woman's coldheartedness to the incomprehensible speech of drifters from Ureung Island of Goryeo Kingdom, which Kintō called Silla, a practice rather common in Heian-period Japan. However, the association with Ulleung Island was soon forgotten because the reference to Silla was dropped when his poem was recorded in the Senzai Wakashū. Thereafter waka poets only thought uruma as an island somewhere outside Japan with an unintelligible language. At the same time, it evoked a sense of familiarity because the phrase uruma no ichi was poetically associated with Mino Province. From the viewpoint of mainland Japanese poets, Okinawa might have been an ideal referent of uruma because, despite the exotic name of Ryūkyū, the first reference to Okinawan-composed waka poems was as early as 1496.
The first known identification of uruma as Okinawa Island can be found in the Moshiogusa, but the association remained weak for some time. For example, Hokkaido, in addition to Okinawa, was referred to as uruma in the Shōzaishū; the mainland Japanese poetic practice was adopted by Okinawan waka poets in the late 17th century. The Omoidegusa, a purely Japanese poetic diary by Shikina Seimei, is known for its extensive use of the word uruma. In the Sanzan Period, or Three Kingdom period, numerous gusuku, or castles were built across Okinawa Island; the area of present-day Uruma fell under the control of the Chūzan Kingdom, which covered the central area of Okinawa Island and its nearby islands. The Katsuren area of Uruma became notably prosperous in the mid-15th century. Katsuren Castle, a surrounding jōkamachi castle town, were constructed in this period. Under the Ryukyu Kingdom six magiri, a type of regional administrative district in pre-modern Okinawa, covered areas of present-day Uruma:'Nzatō Magiri, Gushichaa Magiri, Kachin magiri, Yunagushiku Magiri.
Nakagushiku Magiri included Tsuken Island. The Ryūkyū Kingdom ended in 1872 with the establishment of the Ryūkyū Domain, soon abolished with the establishment of Okinawa Prefecture in 1879; the existing system of magiri in Uruma continued with the establishment of Okinawa Prefecture. The magiri were abolished in 1907 under Imperial Edict 46, the central government extended the establishment of cities and village organization to Okinawa Prefecture. In 1908 the area of present-day Uruma was reorganized as the five villages of Misato, Gushikawa and Yonashiro. In the pre-war period Uruma had the most productive sugarcane industry in Okinawa Prefecture due to sources of irrigation and fertile soil; the areas of present-day Uruma were affected in World War II during the initial part of the Battle of Okinawa. L-Day, the initial land invasion of Okinawa Island, occurred on April 1, 1945. American forces swept across the island and by April 5 had secured the entirety of the Katsuren Peninsula. A smaller invasion force captured Tsuken Island on the same day, encountered stiff resistance from the Japanese military.
Tsuken Island was devastated by fire in the battle. After the capture of Tsuken, American forces reached Ikei Island on April 9, thus securing all the Yokatsu Islands; the area that became Ishikawa was a major refugee camp set up by
Susanoo known as Takehaya Susanoo no Mikoto and Kumano Ketsumiko no Kami at Kumano shrine, is the Shinto god of the sea and storms. He is considered to be ruler of Neno-Katasu-Kuni, he is married to Kushinadahime. In Japanese mythology, the powerful storm god, is the brother of Amaterasu, the goddess of the Sun, of Tsukuyomi, the god of the Moon. All three were born from Izanagi, when he washed his face clean of the pollutants of Yomi, the underworld. Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed out his left eye, Tsukuyomi was born from the washing of the right eye, Susanoo from the washing of the nose. Susanoo used Totsuka-no-Tsurugi as his weapon; the oldest sources for Susanoo myths are ca. 720 CE Nihon Shoki. They tell of a long-standing rivalry between his sister; when he was to leave Heaven by orders of Izanagi, he went to bid his sister goodbye. Amaterasu was suspicious, but when Susanoo proposed a challenge to prove his sincerity, she accepted; each of them took an object of the other from it birthed gods and goddesses.
Amaterasu birthed three women from Susanoo's Totsuka-no-Tsurugi while he birthed five men from her necklace. Claiming the gods were hers because they were born of her necklace, the goddesses were his, she decided that she had won the challenge, as his item produced women; the two were content for a time. In a fit of rage, he destroyed his sister's rice fields, hurled a flayed pony at her loom, killed one of her attendants. Amaterasu, in fury and grief, hid inside the Ama-no-Iwato, thus hiding the sun for a long period of time. Though she was persuaded to leave the cave, Susano-o was punished by being banished from Heaven, he descended to the province of Izumo, where he met an elderly couple who told him that seven of their eight daughters had been devoured by the eight-headed dragon Yamata no Orochi and it was nearing time for their eighth, Kushinada-hime. The Nihon Shoki, here translated by William George Aston in Nihongi, gives the most detailed account of Susanoo and Amaterasu slaying Yamata no Orochi.
Compare to that found in the Kojiki, translated by Basil Hall Chamberlain in The Kojiki, where Susanoo is translated as "His-Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness": Then Susanoo no Mikoto descended from Heaven and proceeded to the head-waters of the River Hi, in the province of Idzumo. At this time he heard a sound of weeping at the head-waters of the river, he went in search of the sound, he found there an old woman. Between them was set a young girl, whom they were caressing and lamenting over. Susanoo no Mikoto asked them, saying:-"Who are ye, why do ye lament thus?" The answer was:-"I am an Earthly Deity, my name is Ashi-nadzuchi. My wife's name is Te-nadzuchi; this girl is our daughter, her name is Kushi-nada-hime. The reason of our weeping is that we had eight children, daughters, but they have been devoured year after year by an eight-forked serpent and now the time approaches for this girl to be devoured. There is no means of escape for her, therefore do we grieve.” Sosa no wo no Mikoto said: "If, so, wilt thou give me thy daughter?"
He replied, said: "I will comply with thy behest and give her to thee." Therefore Sosa no wo no Mikoto on the spot changed Kushi-nada-hime into a many-toothed close-comb which he stuck in the august knot of his hair. He made Ashi-nadzuchi and Te-nadzuchi to brew eight-fold sake, to make eight cupboards, in each of them to set a tub filled with sake, so to await its coming; when the time came, the serpent appeared. It had an eight-forked tail; as it crawled it extended over a space of eight valleys. Now when it came and found the sake, each head drank up one tub, it became drunken and fell asleep. Susanoo no Mikoto drew the ten-span sword which he wore, chopped the serpent into small pieces; when he came to the tail, the edge of his sword was notched, he therefore split open the tail and examined it. In the inside there was a sword; this is the sword, called Kusa-nagi no tsurugi. This sword from the dragon's tail, the Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi or the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, was presented by Susanoo to Amaterasu as a reconciliation gift.
According to legends, she bequeathed it to her descendant Ninigi along with the Yata no Kagami mirror and Yasakani no Magatama jewel or orb. This sacred sword and jewel collectively became the three Imperial Regalia of Japan. While Amaterasu is enshrined at the Honden of the Ise Grand Shrine, Susanoo is enshrined at Kumano Taisha located in Shimane, where he descended when banished from heaven; the iwami kagura - Orochi The jōruri - Nihon Furisode Hajime by Chikamatsu Monzaemon Aston, William George, tr. 1896. Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A. D. 697. 2 vols. Kegan Paul. 1972 Tuttle reprint. Chamberlain, Basil H. tr. 1919. The Kojiki, Records of Ancient Matters. 1981 Tuttle reprint. Susanoo, Encyclopedia of Shinto Susano-O no Mikoto, Kimberley Winkelmann, in the Internet Archive as of 5 December 2008 Shinto Creation Stories: Sosa no wo in Izumo, Richard Hooker, in the Internet Archive as of 28 August 2006 Susanoo vs Yamata no Orochi animated depiction
Sefa-utaki, meaning "purified place of Utaki," is an historical sacred space, overlooking Kudaka Island, that served as one of the key locations of worship in the native religion of the Ryukyuan people for millennia. As a part of assimilation of Okinawa by Japan, it was shifted to serve as a Shinto Shrine, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu in Nanjō, Okinawa. Sefa Utaki is on the Chinen Peninsula, has been recognized as a sacred place since the earliest period of Ryukyuan history. According to Chūzan Seikan, this was the spot where Amamikyu, goddess of creation, made landfall on Okinawa; the shrine area itself comprises a number of caves and overhanging ledges opening to the east and south among towering rock formations of a high promontory over the sea. All buildings have been destroyed. Kerr, George H.. Ryukyu Kingdom and Province before 1945. Washington, D. C.: Pacific Science Board, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council.
OCLC 5455582 Yamakage, Paul de Leeuw and Aidan Rankin.. The essence of Shinto. Tokyo: Kodansha International. ISBN 978-4-7700-3044-3