Hare of Inaba
The Hare of Inaba can refer to two distinct Japanese myths, both from the ancient province of Inaba, now the eastern part of Tottori Prefecture. The Hare of Inaba legend belongs to the Izumo denrai, or tradition of myths originating from the Izumo region; the Hare of Inaba forms an essential part of the legend of the Shinto god Ōnamuchi-no-kami, the name for Ōkuninushi within this legend. The hare referred to in the legend is the Lepus brachyurus, or Japanese hare the subspecies found on the Oki Islands known as the Lepus brachyurus okiensis; the Japanese hare ranges between 43 centimetres and 54 centimetres in length, is much smaller than the common European hare. Japanese hares are brown, but may turn white during winter in areas with a varying climate, such as that of the Inaba region. One version of the tale of the Hare of Inaba is found in the Kojiki, the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, which dates from early in the 8th century; the legend appears in the first of the three sections of the Kojiki, the Kamitsumaki known as the Jindai no Maki, or "Volume of the Age of the Gods".
This section of the Kojiki outlines the myths concerning the foundation of Japan prior to the birth of the Emperor Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan. In the Kojiki version of the myth, a hare tricks some wanizame into being used as a land bridge in order to travel from the Island of Oki to Cape Keta. Cape Keta is now identified with the Hakuto Coast in the present-day city of Tottori; the hare challenges the sharks to see whose clan is larger -- that of the hares. The hare had the sharks lie in a row across the sea; the hare hopped across them, counting them as he went. Nearing the end, the hare exclaims; the last shark attacks the hare, ripping his fur from him.Ōnamuchi-no-kami and his eighty brothers were traveling through the Inaba region to woo Princess Yakami of Inaba. While the brothers were on their way to visit the princess, the flayed hare stopped them and asked them for help. Rather than helping the hare, they advised it to wash in the sea and dry itself in the wind, which caused it great pain.
In contrast Ōnamuchi, unlike his quarreling elder brothers, told the hare to bathe in fresh water from the mouth of a river, roll in the pollen of cattails. The body of the hare was restored to its original state, after its recovery, revealed its true form as a god. In gratitude, the hare told Ōnamuchi, the lowest born in the family, that he would marry Princess Yakami; the Hare of Inaba legend emphasizes the benevolence of Ōnamuchi, enshrined at the Izumo-taisha. Japanese scholars have traditionally interpreted the struggle between the kind Ōnamuchi and his wrathful eighty brothers as a symbolic representation of civilization and barbarism in the emergent Japanese state; the version of the Hare of Inaba legend told in the Kojiki has been compared to similar myths from Java in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India. Long ago, when Japanese goddess Amaterasu and her entourage traveled around at the boundary of Yakami in Inaba, they were looking for a place for their temporary palace a white hare appeared.
The white hare bit Amaterasu's clothes and took her to an appropriate place for a temporary palace along Nakayama mountain and Reiseki mountain. About two hours' walk, accompanied by the white hare, Amaterasu reached a mountain top plain, now called Ise ga naru; the white hare disappeared at Ise ga naru. The place of this legend is in Yazu town and Tottori city, in Tottori Prefecture, where the shrine Hakuto Jinja reveres the white hare. English Wikisource has original text related to this article: The White Hare And The Crocodiles Full text of Basil Hall Chamberlain's translation of "The White Hare of Inaba"
Japanese mythology embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculturally-based folk religion. The Shinto pantheon comprises innumerable kami; this article will discuss only the typical elements present in Asian mythology, such as cosmogony, important deities, the best-known Japanese stories. Japanese myths, as recognized in the mainstream today, are based on the Kojiki, the Nihon Shoki, some complementary books; the Kojiki, or "Record of Ancient Matters", is the oldest surviving account of Japan's myths and history. The Shintōshū describes the origins of Japanese deities from a Buddhist perspective, while the Hotsuma Tsutae records a different version of the mythology. One notable feature of Japanese mythology is its explanation of the origin of the Imperial Family, used to assign godhood to the imperial line; the title of the Emperor of Japan, tennō, means "heavenly sovereign". Japanese is not transliterated across all sources, see: #Spelling of proper nouns In the Japanese creation myth, the first deities which came into existence, appearing at the time of the creation of the universe, are collectively called Kotoamatsukami.
The seven generations of kami, known as Kamiyonanayo, following the formation of heaven and earth. The first two generations are individual deities called hitorigami, while the five that followed came into being as male/female pairs of kami: brothers and sisters that were married couples. In this chronicle, the Kamiyonanayo comprise 12 deities in total. In contrast, the Nihon Shoki states that the Kamiyonanayo group was the first to appear after the creation of the universe, as opposed to the Kamiyonanayo appearing after the formation of heaven and earth, it states that the first three generations of deities are hitorigami and that the generations of deities are pairs of the opposite gender, as compared to the Kojiki's two generations of hitorigami. Japan's creation narrative can be divided into the birth of the land; the seventh and last generation of Kamiyonanayo were Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto, they would be responsible for the creation of the Japanese archipelago and would engender other deities.
To help them to achieve this and Izanami were given a naginata decorated with jewels, named Ame-no-nuboko. The two deities went to the bridge between heaven and earth and churned the sea below with the halberd. Drops of salty water formed Onogoro; the deities made their home on the island. They fell in love and wished to mate. So they built. Izanagi and Izanami circled the pillar in opposite directions, when they met on the other side, the female deity, spoke first in greeting. Izanagi didn't think that this was proper, they had two children and Awashima, but the children were badly formed and are not considered gods in their original form. The parents, who were dismayed at their misfortune, put the children into a boat and sent them to sea, petitioned the other gods for an answer about what they had done wrong, they were informed that Izanami's lack of manners was the reason for the defective births: a woman should never speak prior to a man. So Izanagi and Izanami went around the pillar again, this time, when they met, Izanagi spoke first.
Their next union was successful. From their union were born the Ōyashima, or the eight great islands of Japan: Awaji Iyo Oki Tsukushi Iki Tsushima Sado Yamato Note that Hokkaidō, Chishima and Okinawa were not part of Japan in ancient times. Izanami died giving birth to Kagutsuchi called Homusubi due to severe burns, she was buried on Mount Hiba, at the border of the old provinces of Izumo and Hoki, near modern-day Yasugi of Shimane Prefecture. In anger, Izanagi killed Kagutsuchi, his death created dozens of deities. The gods who were born from Izanagi and Izanami are symbolic aspects of culture. Izanagi undertook a journey to Yomi. Izanagi found little difference between Yomi and the land except for the eternal darkness. However, this suffocating darkness was enough to make him ache for life, he searched for Izanami and found her. At first, Izanagi could not see her, he asked her to return with him. Izanami informed him that he was too late, she had eaten the food of the underworld and now belonged to the land of the dead.
Izanagi was shocked at this news, but he refused to give in to her wishes to be left to the dark embrace of Yomi. Izanami first requested to have some time to rest, she instructed Izanagi to not come into her bedroom. After a long wait, Izanami did not come out of her bedroom, Izanagi was worried. While Izanami was sleeping, he took the comb that set it alight as a torch. Under the sudden burst of light, he saw the horrid form of the once graceful Izanami; the flesh of her ravaged body was rotting and was overrun with maggots and fou
Toyotama-hime or Luxuriant-Jewel-Princess is a goddess in Japanese mythology in the episode of the "Luck of the Sea and the Luck of the Mountain" in the Kojiki as well as Nihon Shoki. She is the daughter of Watatsumi. Toyotama marries the prince, Luck of the Mountains, but returns to the sea when he breaks the vow not to spy on her while she goes through childbirth; the child she gave birth to was Ugayafukiaezu. Account of Toyatama-hime and the Luck of the Mountain appear in the Nihon Shoki. Toyotama-hime was the daughter of the Sea-Deity Watatsumi; the palace where they reside is said to be as if made from fish scales and lies undersea. She makes a fateful meeting with the hunter prince, named Luck of the Mountain known as Fire-Subside; the prince came in search of the fishing hook he lost at sea, borrowed from his elder brother Luck of the Sea. When the princess came to draw water from the well, the prince was waiting, having climbed a katsura tree that towered above the well; the prince made a gesture of spitting jewels into the vessel.
The princess was captivated by his beauty. Her sea deity father arranged a banquet. Toyotama married the prince, they lived in the place for three years. At the end of three years, Toyotama's husband let out a sigh and revealed his unfinished quest for the lost fish hook, which needed to be returned to his brother. After the hook was found caught in the sea bream's throat, Toyotama's husband was set upon a one-fathom long crocodile to return home and, with the advice from the seagod, subjugated his elder brother. Toyotama, who had accompanied her husband to the land above sea, announced her pregnancy; the prince built for her a child-delivery hut thatched with cormorant feathers, not thatched when she went into labour. Toyotama requested her husband not watch. Toyotama gave birth to a son, named Ugayafukiaezu or "Heavenly Male Brave of the Shore". Hoori's curiosity got the better of him and he attempted to spy on his wife. To his surprise, rather than seeing his wife as he knew her, he witnessed an enormous wani cradling his child.
This creature was none other than his beloved Toyotama. After catching her husband spying on her, she was utterly ashamed. Unable to forgive Fire-Subside, she abandoned their child by returning to the sea. Following her departure, she sent her younger sister Tamayori to help raise the child in her absence; as Ugayafukiaezu grew of age, he married his aunt and conceived a child, who became the first Emperor of Japan. Some commentators have noted a parallel between Toyotama-hime and the princess Oto-hime in the tale of Urashima Tarō, the boy who saves a turtle. Toyotama rode a sea turtle to return from the sea to give birth, according to the Nihon Shoki; the transformation of Toyotama into a crocodile form draws parallels with the Melusine legend of continental Europe and selkie legends of Scotland and Scandinavia. The extinct crocodile genus Toyotamaphimeia was named after this deity, in direct reference to this myth. Throughout Japanese media, human-dragon hybrids are commonplace, notably in video games such as Popolocrois, Fire Emblem and Breath of Fire.
In the Japanese anime Sekirei, there is a Sekirei named Toyotama that fights using a traditional wooden staff. Citations Bibliography
The Japanese archipelago is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan. It extends over 3,000 km from the Sea of Okhotsk northeast to the Philippine Sea south along the northeastern coast of the Eurasia continent, it consists of islands from the Sakhalin island arc, the Northeastern Japan arc to the Ryukyu islands and the Nanpō Islands. The term Home Islands was used at the end of World War II to define the area of Japan to which its sovereignty and the constitutional rule of the Emperor would be restricted; the term is commonly used today to distinguish the archipelago from Japan's colonies and other territories in the first half of the 20th century. The archipelago consists of 6,852 islands; the four main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu and Kyushu. The current Japanese archipelago topography is: Sakhalin, Honshu, Japan island arc composed of Shikoku and its surrounding islands. Hokkaido – The second largest island of Japan, the largest and northernmost prefecture, which consists of 14 subprefectures.
Hokkaido Hidaka Subprefecture Hiyama Subprefecture Iburi Subprefecture Ishikari Subprefecture Kamikawa Subprefecture Kushiro Subprefecture Nemuro Subprefecture Okhotsk Subprefecture Oshima Subprefecture Rumoi Subprefecture Shiribeshi Subprefecture Sorachi Subprefecture Sōya Subprefecture Tokachi SubprefectureHonshu – The largest and the most populated island of Japan, which consists of five regions. Tōhoku region consists of six prefectures. Akita Prefecture Aomori Prefecture Fukushima Prefecture Iwate Prefecture Miyagi Prefecture Yamagata Prefecture Kantō region consists of seven prefectures, including the capital of Japan, the Tokyo Metropolis. Chiba Prefecture Gunma Prefecture Ibaraki Prefecture Kanagawa Prefecture Saitama Prefecture Tochigi Prefecture Tokyo Chūbu region consists of nine prefectures. Aichi Prefecture Fukui Prefecture Gifu Prefecture Ishikawa Prefecture Nagano Prefecture Niigata Prefecture Shizuoka Prefecture Toyama Prefecture Yamanashi Prefecture Kansai region consists of seven prefectures.
Hyōgo Prefecture Kyoto Prefecture Mie Prefecture Nara Prefecture Osaka Prefecture Shiga Prefecture Wakayama Prefecture Chūgoku region consists of five prefectures. Hiroshima Prefecture Okayama Prefecture Shimane Prefecture Tottori Prefecture Yamaguchi PrefectureShikoku – The smallest and the least populated island of the archipelago, which consists of four prefectures. Ehime Prefecture Kagawa Prefecture Kōchi Prefecture Tokushima PrefectureKyushu – The third largest island of the archipelago, which consists of eight prefectures, including the Okinawa Islands in the Ryukyu island arc. Fukuoka Prefecture Kagoshima Prefecture Kumamoto Prefecture Miyazaki Prefecture Nagasaki Prefecture Ōita Prefecture Saga Prefecture Okinawa PrefectureSakhalin – Previously known and administered by the Empire of Japan as Karafuto Prefecture and a part of the Russian Federation, is sometimes considered to be geographically part of the Japanese archipelago, although Japan renounced its claim to the island in the 20th century.
Sakhalin Oblast Mainland Japan Japan in the Paleolithic List of islands of Japan Extreme points of Japan
Fudoki are ancient reports on provincial culture and oral tradition presented to the reigning monarchs of Japan known as local gazetteers. They contain agricultural and historical records as well as mythology and folklore. Fudoki manuscripts document local myths and poems that are not mentioned in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki chronicles, which are the most important literature of the ancient national mythology and history. In the course of national unification, the imperial court enacted a series of criminal and administrative codes called ritsuryō and surveyed the provinces established by such codes to exert greater control over them. In the narrower sense, Fudoki refer to the oldest records written in the Nara period called Kofudoki. Compilation of Kofudoki was completed over a 20-year period. Following the Taika Reform in 646 and the Code of Taihō enacted in 701, there was need to centralize and solidify the power of the imperial court; this included accounting for lands under its control.
According to the Shoku Nihongi, Empress Genmei issued a decree in 713 ordering each provincial government to collect and report the following information: Names of districts and townships Natural resources and living things Land fertility Etymology of names for geographic features, such as mountains and rivers Myths and folktales told orally by old people Empress Genmei ordered in 713 that place names in the provinces and townships should be written in two kanji characters with positive connotations. This required name changes. For example, Hayatsuhime became Ishinashi no Oki became Ishii. At least 48 of the Gokishichidō provinces contributed to their records but only that of Izumo remains nearly complete. Partial records of Hizen, Bungo and Hitachi remain and a few passages from various volumes remain scattered throughout various books; those of Harima and Hizen are designated National Treasures. Below is a list of scattered passages. In 1966 the Agency for Cultural Affairs called on the prefectural governments to build open-air museums and parks called Fudoki no Oka near historic sites such as tombs and provincial temples.
These archaeological museums preserve and exhibit cultural properties to enhance public understanding of provincial history and culture. Japanese Historical Text Initiative Akimoto, Kichirō. Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei 2: Fudoki. Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 4-00-060002-8. Sakamoto, Masaru. Zusetsu Chizu to Arasuji de Wakaru! Fudoki. Seishun Publishing. ISBN 978-4-413-04301-4. Kojima, Noriyuki. Nihon no Koten wo Yomu 3 Nihon Shoki Ge • Fudoki. Shogakukan. ISBN 978-4-09-362173-1. 風土記 texts of the remaining Fudoki & scattered passages in other books. Manuscript scans at Waseda University Library: Hizen, 1800,Bungo, 1800, unknown Tsukamoto, Tetsuzō. Kojiki, Fudoki. Yūhōdō Shoten. Pp. 383–586. Scan at the Internet Archive. 風土記 国土としての始原史～風土記逸文
Watatsumi pronounced Wadatsumi, is a legendary kami, Japanese dragon and tutelary water deity in Japanese mythology. Ōwatatsumi no kami is believed to be another name for the sea deity Ryūjin, for the Watatsumi Sanjin, which rule the upper and lower seas and were created when Izanagi was washing himself after returning from Yomi, "the underworld". The earliest written sources of Old Japanese transcribe the name of the sea god in a diverse manner; the ca. 712 CE Kojiki writes it semantically. "sea god", transcribes it phonetically with man'yōgana as Wata-tsu-mi 綿津見 lit. "cotton port see" in identifying the Watatsumi Sanjin. The ca. 720 CE Nihongi writes Watatsumi as 海神 "sea god", along with 海童 "sea child" and 少童命 "small child lords" for the Watatsumi Sanjin. In the modern Japanese writing system, the name Watatsumi is written either in katakana as ワタツミ or in kanji phonetically 綿津見 or semantically 海神 "sea god". Note that in addition to reading 海神 as watatsumi, wata no kami, or unagami in native Japanese kun'yomi pronunciation, it is read kaijin or kaishin in Sino-Japanese on'yomi.
The original Watatsumi meaning "tutelary deity of the sea" is semantically extended as a synecdoche or metaphor meaning "the sea. The etymology of the sea god Watatsumi is uncertain. Marinus Willern de Visser notes consensus. "It is not impossible" he concludes, "that the old Japanese sea-gods were snakes or dragons." Compare the Japanese rain god Kuraokami, described as a giant snake or a dragon. The comparative linguist Paul K. Benedict proposed that Japanese wata 海 "sea" derives from Proto-Austronesian *wacal "sea; the Kojiki version of the Japanese creation myth honorifically refers to Watatsumi 海神 with the name Ōwatatsumi kami 大綿津見神 "Great Watatsumi god". Compare this sea god with mountain god named Ohoyamatsumi 大山積; the world-creating siblings Izanagi and Izanami first give birth to the Japanese islands and to the gods. When they had finished giving birth to countries, they began afresh giving birth to Deities. So the name of the Deity they gave birth to was the Deity Great-Male-of-the-Great-Thing.
Chamberlain explains. A subsequent Kojiki passage describes Watatsumi's daughter Otohime and her human husband Hoori living with the sea god. After Hoori lost his brother Hoderi's fishhook, he went searching to the bottom of the sea, where he met and married the dragon goddess Otohime, they lived in the sea god's underwater palace Ryūgū-jō for three years. So he dwelt in that land for three years. Hereupon His Augustness Fire-Subside thought of what had gone before, heaved one deep sigh. So Her Augustness Luxuriant-Jewel-Princess, hearing the sigh, informed her father, saying: "Though he has dwelt three years, he had never sighed. What may be the cause of it?" The Great Deity her father asked his son-in-law saying: "This morning I heard my daughter speak, saying:'Though he has dwelt three years, he had never sighed. What may the cause be? Moreover what was the cause of thy coming here?" Told the Great Deity how his elder brother had pressed him for the lost fish-hook. Thereupon the Sea-Deity summoned together all the fishes of the sea and small, asked them, saying: "Is there perchance any fish that has taken this fish-hook?"
So all the fishes replied: "Lately the tahi has complained of something sticking in its throat preventing it from eating. On the throat of the tahi being thereupon examined, there was the fish-hook. Being forthwith taken, it was washed and respectfully presented to His Augustness Fire-Subside, whom the Deity Great-Ocean-Possessor instructed. Watatsumi instructs Hoori how to deal with Hoderi, chooses another mythic Japanese dragon, a wani "crocodile" or "shark", to transport his daughter and son in law back to land. Two Nihongi contexts refer to Watatsumi in legends about Emperor Jimmu. First, the army of Emperor Keikō encounters Hashirimizu 馳水 "running waters" crossing from Sagami Province to Kazusa Province; the calamity is placated through human sacrifice. Next he marched on to Sagami, whence. Looking over the sea, he spake with a loud voice, said: "This is but a little sea: one mig
Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto is the goddess of dawn and revelry in the Shinto religion of Japan, the wife of fellow-god Sarutahiko Ōkami. She famously relates to the tale of Amaterasu Omikami, her name can be pronounced as Ama-no-Uzume. She is known as Ōmiyanome-no-ōkami, an inari kami due to her relationship with her husband. Amaterasu's brother, the storm god Susano'o, had vandalized her rice fields, threw a flayed horse at her loom, brutally killed one of her maidens due to a quarrel between them. In turn, Amaterasu retreated into the Heavenly Rock Cave, Amano-Iwato; the world, without the illumination of the sun, became dark and the gods could not lure Amaterasu out of her hiding place. The clever Uzume overturned a tub near the cave entrance and began a dance on it, tearing off her clothing in front of the other deities, they considered this so comical. This dance is said to have founded Kagura. Uzume had hung a beautiful jewel of polished jade. Amaterasu heard them, peered out to see what all the fuss was about.
When she opened the cave, she saw the jewel and her glorious reflection in a mirror which Uzume had placed on a tree, came out from her clever hiding spot. At that moment, the god Ame-no-Tajikarawo-no-mikoto dashed forth and closed the cave behind her, refusing to budge so that she could no longer retreat. Another god tied a magic shimenawa across the entrance; the deities Ame-no-Koyane-no-mikoto and Ame-no-Futodama-no-mikoto asked Amaterasu to rejoin the divine. She agreed, light was restored to the earth. Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is still worshiped today as a Shinto kami, spirits indigenous to Japan, she is known as Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, The Great Persuader, The Heavenly Alarming Female. She is depicted in kyōgen farce as a woman who revels in her sensuality. According to Michael Witzel, Uzume is most related to the Vedic goddess Ushas, a descendant of the Proto-Indo-European goddess Hausos. Both goddesses share many similarities such as the cave and the exposure of breasts as a sign of friendship.
Witzel proposed that the Japanese and Vedic religions are much more related compared to other mythologies under what he calls Laurasian mythology, that the two myths may go back to the Indo-Iranian period, around 2000 BCE. Music, Ame-no-Uzume op. 4 composed by Hiroaki Zakōji In Lewis Libby’s The Apprentice, Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is praised at the novel’s climax as “the goddess who brought laughter to the heavens and coaxed the sun from its cave”, while mocked by the novel’s narrator as a “false goddess” who merits her ceremonial murder at the novel’s climax by a figure leaping from the back of the stage. After her death, various successors take up her powers, regaining control of the novel’s youthful protagonist. Ame-no-Uzume appears in the second season of American Gods, played by actress Uni Park. Littleton, C. Scott. Mythology: The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling. London: Duncan Baird Publishers. Pp. 464–467. A substantial article on this subject Amaterasu and Uzume, Goddesses of Japan, at Goddess Gift A one-paragraph glossary entry in Italian