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
The daimyō were powerful Japanese feudal lords who, until their decline in the early Meiji period, ruled most of Japan from their vast, hereditary land holdings. In the term, dai means "large", myō stands for myōden, meaning private land. Subordinate to the shōgun, nominally to the Emperor and the kuge, daimyō were powerful feudal rulers from the 10th century to the middle 19th century in Japan. From the Shugo of the Muromachi period through the Sengoku to the daimyō of the Edo period, the rank had a long and varied history; the backgrounds of daimyō varied considerably. The term daimyō sometimes refers to the leading figures of such clans called "Lord", it was though not from these warlords that a shōgun arose or a regent was chosen. Daimyō hired samurai to guard their land and they paid the samurai in land or food as few could afford to pay samurai in money; the daimyō era ended soon after the Meiji Restoration with the adoption of the prefecture system in 1871. The shugo daimyō were the first group of men to hold the title daimyō.
They arose from among the shugo during the Muromachi period. The shugo-daimyō held not only military and police powers, but economic power within a province, they accumulated these powers throughout the first decades of the Muromachi period. Major shugo-daimyō came from the Shiba and Hosokawa clans, as well as the tozama clans of Yamana, Ōuchi, Akamatsu; the greatest ruled multiple provinces. The Ashikaga shogunate required the shugo-daimyō to reside in Kyoto, so they appointed relatives or retainers, called shugodai, to represent them in their home provinces; some of these in turn came to reside in Kyoto, appointing deputies in the provinces. The Ōnin War was a major uprising. During this and other wars of the time, kuni ikki, or provincial uprisings, took place as locally powerful warriors sought independence from the shugo-daimyō; the deputies of the shugo-daimyō, living in the provinces, seized the opportunity to strengthen their position. At the end of the fifteenth century, those shugo-daimyō who succeeded remained in power.
Those who had failed to exert control over their deputies fell from power and were replaced by a new class, the sengoku-daimyō, who arose from the ranks of the shugodai and ji-samurai. Among the sengoku daimyō were many, shugo-daimyō, such as the Satake, Takeda, Rokkaku, Ōuchi, Shimazu. New to the ranks of the daimyō were the Asakura, Nagao, Miyoshi, Chōsokabe, Jimbō, Hatano and Matsunaga; these came from the ranks of their deputies. Additional sengoku-daimyō such as the Mōri, Ryūzōji arose from the ji-samurai; the lower officials of the shogunate and rōnin, provincial officials, kuge gave rise to sengoku-daimyō. The Battle of Sekigahara in the year 1600 marked the beginning of the Edo period. Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu reorganized 200 daimyō and their territories into han, which were assessed by rice production; those heading han assessed at 10,000 koku or more were considered daimyō. Ieyasu categorized the daimyō according to their relation to the ruling Tokugawa family: the shinpan were related to the Tokugawa.
The shinpan were collaterals of Ieyasu, such as the Matsudaira, or descendants of Ieyasu other than in the main line of succession. Several shinpan, including the Tokugawa of Owari and Mito, as well as the Matsudaira of Fukui and Aizu, held large han. A few fudai daimyō, such as the Ii of Hikone, held large han; the shogunate placed many fudai at strategic locations to guard the trade routes and the approaches to Edo. Many fudai daimyō took positions in the Edo shogunate, some rising to the position of rōjū; the fact that fudai daimyō could hold government positions while tozama in general, could not was a main difference between the two. Tozama daimyō held large fiefs far away from the capital, with e.g. the Kaga han of Ishikawa Prefecture, headed by the Maeda clan, assessed at 1,000,000 koku. Other famous tozama clans included the Mori of Chōshū, the Shimazu of Satsuma, the Date of Sendai, the Uesugi of Yonezawa, the Hachisuka of Awa; the Tokugawa regarded them as rebellious, but for most of the Edo period, marriages between the Tokugawa and the tozama, as well as control policies such as sankin-kōtai, resulted in peaceful relations.
Daimyō were required to maintain residences in Edo as well as their fiefs, to move periodically between Edo and their fiefs spending alternate years in each place, in a practice called sankin-kōtai. In 1869, the year after the Meiji Restoration, the daimyō, together with the kuge, formed a new aristocracy, the kazoku. In 1871, the han were abolished and prefectures were established, thus ending the daimyō era in Japan. In the wake of this change, many daimyō remained in control of their lands, being appointed as prefectural governors. Despite this, members of former daimyō families remained prominent in government and society, in some cases continue to re
Matsuo Bashō, born 松尾 金作 Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa, was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form. Matsuo Bashō's poetry is internationally renowned. Although Bashō is justifiably famous in the West for his hokku, he himself believed his best work lay in leading and participating in renku, he is quoted as saying, "Many of my followers can write hokku as well. Where I show who I am is in linking haikai verses."Bashō was introduced to poetry at a young age, after integrating himself into the intellectual scene of Edo he became well known throughout Japan. He made a living as a teacher, his poems were influenced by his firsthand experience of the world around him encapsulating the feeling of a scene in a few simple elements. Matsuo Bashō was born near Ueno, in Iga Province; the Matsuo family was of samurai descent, his father was a musokunin, a class of landowning peasants granted certain privileges of samurai.
Little is known of his childhood. In his late teens, Bashō became a servant to Tōdō Yoshitada in some humble capacity, not promoted to full samurai class, it is claimed he served as cook or a kitchen worker in some near-contemporaneous accounts, but there is no conclusive proof. A hypothesis is that he was chosen to serve as page to Yoshitada, with alternative documentary evidence suggesting he started serving at a younger age, he shared Yoshitada's love for haikai a form of collaborative poetry composition. A sequence was opened with a verse in 5-7-5 mora format; the hokku would be followed by a related 7-7 mora verse by another poet. Both Bashō and Yoshitada gave themselves haikai pen names. In 1662, the first extant poem by Bashō was published. In 1526, two of Bashō's hokku were printed in a compilation. In 1665, Bashō and Yoshitada together with some acquaintances composed a hyakuin, or one-hundred-verse renku. In 1666, Yoshitada's sudden death brought Bashō's peaceful life as a servant to an end.
No records of this time remain, but it is believed that Bashō gave up any possibility of samurai status and left home. Biographers have proposed various reasons and destinations, including the possibility of an affair between Bashō and a Shinto miko named Jutei, unlikely to be true. Bashō's own references to this time are vague, he was uncertain. His indecision may have been influenced by the still low status of renga and haikai no renga as more social activities than serious artistic endeavors. In any case, his poems continued to be published in anthologies in 1667, 1669, 1671, he published a compilation of work by himself and other authors of the Teitoku school, The Seashell Game, in 1672. In about the spring of that year he moved to Edo. In the fashionable literary circles of Nihonbashi, Bashō's poetry was recognized for its simple and natural style. In 1674 he was inducted into the inner circle of the haikai profession, receiving secret teachings from Kitamura Kigin, he wrote this hokku in mock tribute to the shōgun: When Nishiyama Sōin, founder and leader of the Danrin school of haikai, came to Edo from Osaka in 1675, Bashō was among the poets invited to compose with him.
It was on this occasion that he gave himself the haigō of Tōsei, by 1680 he had a full-time job teaching twenty disciples, who published The Best Poems of Tōsei's Twenty Disciples, advertising their connection to Tōsei's talent. That winter, he took the surprising step of moving across the river to Fukagawa, out of the public eye and towards a more reclusive life, his disciples built him a rustic hut and planted a Japanese banana tree in the yard, giving Bashō a new haigō and his first permanent home. He appreciated the plant much, but was not happy to see Fukagawa's native miscanthus grass growing alongside it: Despite his success, Bashō grew dissatisfied and lonely, he began to practice Zen meditation. In the winter of 1682 his hut burned down, shortly afterwards, in early 1683, his mother died, he traveled to Yamura, to stay with a friend. In the winter of 1683 his disciples gave him a second hut in Edo. In 1684 his disciple Takarai Kikaku published a compilation of him and other poets, Shriveled Chestnuts.
That year he left Edo on the first of four major wanderings. Bashō traveled alone, off the beaten path, that is, on the Edo Five Routes, which in medieval Japan were regarded as immensely dangerous.
Shinigami are gods or supernatural spirits that invite humans toward death, can be seen to be present or interpreted to be present in certain aspects of Japanese religion and culture. Shinigami have been described as monsters and helpers, creatures of darkness, fallen angels. Many cultures describe Shinigami as Death themselves. In Buddhism, there is the Mara, concerned with death, the Mrtyu-mara, it is a demon that makes humans want to die, it is said that upon being possessed by it, in a shock, one should want to commit suicide, so it is sometimes explained to be a "shinigami". In the Yogacarabhumi-sastra, a writing on Yogacara, a demon decided the time of people's deaths. Yama, the king of the Underworld, as well as oni like the Ox-Head and Horse-Face are considered a type of shinigami. In Shinto and Japanese mythology, Izanami gave humans death, so Izanami is sometimes seen as a shinigami; however and Yama are thought to be different from the death gods in western mythology. Some forms of Buddhism do not involve believing in any deities, so it is sometimes thought that the concept of a death god does not exist to begin with.
Though the kijin and onryō of Japanese Buddhist faith have taken humans' lives, there is the opinion that there is no "death god" that leads people into the world of the dead. After the war, the western notion of a death god entered Japan, shinigami started to become mentioned as an existence with a human nature; the word "shinigami" does not appear to be used in Japanese classical literature, there are not many writings about them, but going into the Edo period, the word "shinigami" can be seen in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's works of ningyō jōruri and classical literature that had themes on double suicides. In Hōei 3, in a performance of the "Shinchuu Nimai Soushi", concerning men and women who were invited towards death, it was written "the road the god of death leads towards", in Hōei 6, in "Shinchuuha ha Koori no Sakujitsu", a woman, about to commit double suicide with a man said, "the fleetingness of a life lured by a god of death", it never became clear whether the man and woman came to commit double suicide due to the existence of a shinigami, or if a shinigami was given as an example for their situation of double suicide, there are interpretations that the word "shinigami" is an expression for the fleetingness of life.
Other than that, in Kyōhō 5, in a performance of The Love Suicides at Amijima, there was the expression, "of one possessed by a god of death". Since the character was seller of paper, the character who confronted death wrote "paper" as "god", but there are interpretations that Chikamatsu himself didn't think about the existence of a shinigami. In the classical literature of the Edo period, shinigami that would possess humans are mentioned. In the Ehon Hyaku Monogatari from Tenpō 12, there was a story titled "Shinigami", but in this one, the shinigami was the spirit of a deceased one and had bad intent, acting in jointly with the malicious intent within people who were living, those people were led on bad paths, which caused repeat incidents to occur at places where there was a murder incident, for example by causing the same suicide at places where people have hanged themselves before, thus these shinigami are somewhat like a possession that would cause people to want to die. Close to this, according to the essay of the Bakumatsu period titled "Hogo no Uragaki", there were the itsuki that made people want to commit suicide through hanging, as well as things told through folk religion such as gaki-tsuki and shichinin misaki.
In the Edo Period, the essay "Shōzan Chomon Kishū" in Kaei 3 by the essayist Miyoshi Shōzan, the one titled "upon possession by a shinigami, it becomes difficult to speak, or easier to tell lies" was a story where a prostitute possessed by a shinigami invites a man to commit double suicide, in the kabuki Mekuranagaya Umega Kagatobi by Kawatake Mokuami in Meiji 19, a shinigami enters into people's thoughts, making them think about bad things they have done and want to die. These are, rather than more like yūki, or evil spirits. In the San-yūtei Enchō of classical rakugo, there was a programme titled "Shinigami", but this was something, not thought of independently in Japan, but rather from adaptions of the Italian opera the Crispino e la comare and the Grimm Fairy Tale "Godfather Death". Shinigami are spoken about in folk religion after the war. According to the mores of Miyajima, Kumamoto Prefecture, those who go out and return to attend to someone through the night must drink tea or eat a bowl of rice before sleeping, it is said that a shinigami would visit if this was ignored.
In the Hamamatsu area, Shizuoka Prefecture, a shinigami would possess people and lead them to mountains and railroads where people have died. In those places, the dead would have a "death turn", as long as there is nobody to die there next, they shall never ascend if they were given a service, it was said that people who were alive would be invited by the dead to come next, it is ordinary to visit graves for the sake of Higan during noon or when the sun sets, but in the Okayama Prefecture, visiting the grave for Higan during sunrise without a previous time would result in being possessed by a shinigami. However, once one has visited the grave in sunset it would become necessary to visit the grave again during sunrise, to avoid a shinigami possessing one's body. With this background of folk belief, it is thought that sometimes people would consider the ghosts of the deceased, who have nobody to deify them, to b
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"
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi was a Japanese artist. He is recognized as the last great master of the ukiyo-e genre of woodblock printing and painting, he is regarded as one of the form's greatest innovators. His career spanned two eras – the last years of Edo period Japan, the first years of modern Japan following the Meiji Restoration. Like many Japanese, Yoshitoshi was interested in new things from the rest of the world, but over time he became concerned with the loss of many aspects of traditional Japanese culture, among them traditional woodblock printing. By the end of his career, Yoshitoshi was in an single-handed struggle against time and technology; as he worked on in the old manner, Japan was adopting Western mass reproduction methods like photography and lithography. Nonetheless, in a Japan, turning away from its own past, he singlehandedly managed to push the traditional Japanese woodblock print to a new level, before it died with him, his life is best summed up by John Stevenson: Yoshitoshi's courage and force of character gave ukiyo-e another generation of life, illuminated it with one last burst of glory.
His reputation has only continued to grow, both in the West, among younger Japanese, he is now universally recognized as the greatest Japanese artist of his era. Yoshitoshi was born in the Shimbashi district of old Edo, in 1839, his original name was Owariya Yonejiro. His father was a wealthy merchant. At the age of three years, Yoshitoshi left home to live with his uncle, a pharmacist with no son, fond of his nephew. At the age of five, he started to take lessons from his uncle. In 1850, when he was 11 years old, Yoshitoshi was apprenticed to Kuniyoshi, one of the great masters of the Japanese woodblock print. Kuniyoshi gave his apprentice the new artist's name "Yoshitoshi", denoting lineage in the Utagawa School. Although he was not seen as Kuniyoshi's successor during his lifetime, he is now recognized as the most important pupil of Kuniyoshi. During his training, Yoshitoshi concentrated on refining his draftsmanship skills and copying his mentor’s sketches. Kuniyoshi emphasized drawing from real life, unusual in Japanese training because the artist’s goal was to capture the subject matter rather than making a literal interpretation of it.
Yoshitoshi learned the elements of western drawing techniques and perspective through studying Kuniyoshi’s collection of foreign prints and engravings. Yoshitoshi's first print appeared in 1853, but nothing else appeared for many years as a result of the illness of his master Kuniyoshi during his last years. Although his life was hard after Kuniyoshi's death in 1861, he did manage to produce some work, 44 prints of his being known from 1862. In the next two years he had sixty-three of his designs kabuki prints, published, he contributed designs to the 1863 Tokaido series by Utagawa School artists organized under the auspices of Kunisada. Many of Yoshitoshi's prints of the 1860s are depictions of graphic death; these themes were inspired by the death of Yoshitoshi's father in 1863 and by the lawlessness and violence of the Japan surrounding him, experiencing the breakdown of the feudal system imposed by the Tokugawa shogunate, as well as the effect of contact with Westerners. In late 1863, Yoshitoshi began making violent sketches incorporated into battle prints designed in a bloody and extravagant style.
The public enjoyed these prints and Yoshitoshi began to move up in the ranks of ukiyo-e artists in Edo. With the country at war, Yoshitoshi’s images allowed those who were not directly involved in the fighting to experience it vicariously through his designs; the public was attracted to Yoshitoshi’s work not only for his superior composition and draftsmanship, but his passion and intense involvement with his subject matter. Besides the demands of woodblock print publishers and consumers, Yoshitoshi was trying to exorcise the demons of horror that he and his fellow countrymen were experiencing; as he gained notoriety, Yoshitoshi was able to have ninety-five more of his designs published in 1865 on military and historical subjects. Among these, two series would reveal Yoshitoshi’s creativity and imagination; the first series, Tsūzoku saiyūki, is about a Chinese folk-hero. The second, Wakan hyaku monogatari, illustrates traditional ghost stories, his imaginative prints set him apart from any other artist of the time.
Between 1866 and 1868 Yoshitoshi created some disturbing images, notably in the series Eimei nijūhasshūku. These prints show killings in graphic detail, such as decapitations of women with bloody handprints on their robes. Other examples can be found in the strange figures of the 1866 series Kinsei kyōgiden, which depicted the power struggle between two gambling rings, the 1867 series Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kōdan. In 1868, following the Battle of Ueno, Yoshitoshi made the series Kaidai hyaku sensō in which he portrays contemporary soldiers as historical figures in a semi-western style, using close-up and unusual angles shown in the heat of battle with desperate expressions, it is said that Yoshitoshi's work of the "bloody" period has influenced writers such as Jun'ichirō Tanizaki as well as artists including Tadanori Yokoo and Masami Teraoka. Although Yoshitoshi made a name for himself in this manner, the "bloody" prints represent only a small portion of his work. Th
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