Takeminakata-no-Kami or Takeminakata-no-Mikoto known as Minakatatomi-no-Kami or Takeminakatatomi-no-Mikoto is the name of one of the two principal deities of Suwa Grand Shrine in Nagano Prefecture. Known under the epithet Suwa Myōjin or Suwa Daimyōjin, he is considered to be a god of wind and agriculture, as well as a patron of hunting and warfare, in which capacity he enjoyed a fervent cult from various samurai clans during the medieval period such as the Hōjō or the Takeda; the deity was held to be the original ancestor of certain families who once served at the shrine as priests, foremost among them being the Suwa clan, the high priests of the Upper Shrine of Suwa who were revered as the living incarnations of the god. The Suwa deity is the subject of a number of different conflicting myths. For instance, in the Kojiki and derivative accounts, Takeminakata appears as one of the sons of Ōkuninushi, god of Izumo and lord of Ashihara no Nakatsukuni, forced into exile in the region of Suwa after being defeated by Takemikazuchi, an envoy sent by the gods of heaven, whereas other stories portray the god as being among other things a heavenly deity who conquered the Suwa region, an enlightened ruler of an Indian kingdom, a bodiless entity, or a human warrior named Kōga Saburō.
The god is named ` Takeminakata' in both the Sendai Kuji Hongi. Variants of the name found in the imperially commissioned national histories and other literary sources include'Minakatatomi' or'Takeminakatatomi'; the name's etymology is unclear. While most commentators seem to agree that take- are honorifics, they differ in how to interpret the other components of the name; some of the proposed solutions are as follows. The Edo period kokugaku scholar Motoori Norinaga explained both take- and mi- as honorifics, with kata as yet another tatae-na meaning'hard' or'firm'. Basil Chamberlain followed Motoori's lead and rendered the god's name as'Brave-August-Name-Firm' in his translation of the Kojiki. Historian Ōta Akira interpreted take-, mi- and -tomi as honorifics and took Nakata to be a place name: Nakata District in Awa Province, where Takeminatomi Shrine stands. Owa Iwao explains the similarity between'Takeminakata' and'Takeminatomi' by proposing that the name may have been brought to Suwa by immigrants from Nakata in Awa.
Minakata has been linked to the Munakata of Kyushu. Imperial Navy colonel and amateur ethnographer Matsuoka Shizuo interpreted Minakatatomi as being a goddess – citing the fact that the deities of Munakata shrine were female –, conflated with the male god Takeminakata. A number of more recent scholars have theorized that mina most means "water", pointing to the god being a water deity and/or a connection to Lake Suwa; the full name is thought to derive from a word denoting a body of water or a waterside region such as 水潟 or 水県. An alternative explanation for the word -tomi is to link it with dialectal words for'snake', thereby seeing the name as hinting to the god being a kind of serpentine water deity. A common epithet for the god enshrined in Suwa Grand Shrine – in the Upper Shrine located southeast of Lake Suwa – since the Middle Ages is Suwa Myōjin or Suwa Daimyōjin, a name applied via metonymy to the shrine itself. A variant associated with the syncretic Ryōbu Shintō sect, Suwa Hosshō Daimyōjin, "Dharma-Nature Daimyōjin of Suwa," was most famously employed by Sengoku daimyō Takeda Shingen on some of his war banners.
While the deity of Suwa Shrine named'minakata' in the imperially-commissioned national histories of Japan, is associated with the Takeminakata of the Kojiki in the Sendai Kuji Hongi, an identification repeated and popularized by the Suwa Daimyōjin Ekotoba, other myths and legends, some from within Suwa itself, give different accounts of the god's origin and nature. In fact, most of the religious rituals of Suwa Shrine are not so much concerned with the official identities of its deities but with their character as Mishaguji, local agricultural and fertility deities; the name'Takeminakata' in fact does not appear in historical records of the Upper Shrine's ceremonies. To reflect this distinction, this article shall use'Takeminakata' to refer to the figure described in the Kojiki, the Kuji Hongi, other sources which use the name or some variant thereof, and'Suwa Myōjin' or'the Suwa deity' to refer to the god of Suwa Shrine as portrayed in other myths and in his capacity as shrine deity. Takeminaka is portrayed in both the Kojiki and the Sendai Kuji Hongi as a son of earthly deity Ōkuninushi, ruler of Izumo Province.
The Kojiki does not include him in its genealogy of Ōkuninushi's children, although the corresponding section in the Kuji Hongi reckons him as the son of one of Ōkuninushi's wives, Nunakawahime of Koshi. Takeminakata appears in the Kojiki and the Kuji Hongi in 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
The Nihon Shoki, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second-oldest book of classical Japanese history. The book is called the Nihongi, it is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki, the oldest, has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical record of ancient Japan. The Nihon Shoki was finished in 720 under the editorial supervision of Prince Toneri and with the assistance of Ō no Yasumaro dedicated to Empress Genshō; the Nihon Shoki begins with the Japanese creation myth, explaining the origin of the world and the first seven generations of divine beings, goes on with a number of myths as does the Kojiki, but continues its account through to events of the 8th century. It is believed to record the latter reigns of Emperor Tenji, Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō; the Nihon Shoki focuses on the merits of the virtuous rulers as well as the errors of the bad rulers. It describes diplomatic contacts with other countries.
The Nihon Shoki was written in classical Chinese. The Kojiki, on the other hand, is written in a combination of Chinese and phonetic transcription of Japanese; the Nihon Shoki contains numerous transliteration notes telling the reader how words were pronounced in Japanese. Collectively, the stories in this book and the Kojiki are referred to as the Kiki stories; the tale of Urashima Tarō is developed from the brief mention in Nihon Shoki that a certain child of Urashima visited Horaisan and saw wonders. The tale has plainly incorporated elements from the famous anecdote of "Luck of the Sea and Luck of the Mountains" found in Nihon Shoki; the developed Urashima tale contains the Rip Van Winkle motif, so some may consider it an early example of fictional time travel. Chapter 01: Kami no Yo no Kami no maki. Chapter 02: Kami no Yo no Shimo no maki. Chapter 03: Kan'yamato Iwarebiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 04: Kamu Nunakawamimi no Sumeramikoto. Shikitsuhiko Tamatemi no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Hikosukitomo no Sumeramikoto.
Mimatsuhiko Sukitomo no Sumeramikoto. Yamato Tarashihiko Kuni Oshihito no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Nekohiko Futoni no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Nekohiko Kunikuru no Sumeramikoto. Wakayamato Nekohiko Ōbibi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 05: Mimaki Iribiko Iniye no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 06: Ikume Iribiko Isachi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 07: Ōtarashihiko Oshirowake no Sumeramikoto. Waka Tarashihiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 08: Tarashi Nakatsuhiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 09: Okinaga Tarashihime no Mikoto. Chapter 10: Homuda no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 11: Ōsasagi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 12: Izahowake no Sumeramikoto. Mitsuhawake no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 13: Oasazuma Wakugo no Sukune no Sumeramikoto. Anaho no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 14: Ōhatsuse no Waka Takeru no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 15: Shiraka no Take Hirokuni Oshi Waka Yamato Neko no Sumeramikoto. Woke no Sumeramikoto. Oke no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 16: Ohatsuse no Waka Sasagi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 17: Ōdo no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 18: Hirokuni Oshi Take Kanahi no Sumeramikoto.
Take Ohirokuni Oshi Tate no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 19: Amekuni Oshiharaki Hironiwa no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 20: Nunakakura no Futo Tamashiki no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 21: Tachibana no Toyohi no Sumeramikoto. Hatsusebe no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 22: Toyomike Kashikiya Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 23: Okinaga Tarashi Hihironuka no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 24: Ame Toyotakara Ikashi Hitarashi no Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 25: Ame Yorozu Toyohi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 26: Ame Toyotakara Ikashi Hitarashi no Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 27: Ame Mikoto Hirakasuwake no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 28: Ama no Nunakahara Oki no Mahito no Sumeramikoto, Kami no maki. Chapter 29: Ama no Nunakahara Oki no Mahito no Sumeramikoto, Shimo no maki. Chapter 30: Takamanohara Hirono Hime no Sumeramikoto; the background of the compilation of the Nihon Shoki is that Emperor Tenmu ordered 12 people, including Prince Kawashima, to edit the old history of the empire. Shoku Nihongi notes that "先是一品舍人親王奉勅修日本紀。至是功成奏上。紀卅卷系圖一卷" in the part of May, 720.
It means "Up to that time, Prince Toneri had been compiling Nihongi on the orders of the emperor. The process of compilation is studied by stylistic analysis of each chapter. Although written in classical Chinese character, some sections use styles characteristic of Japanese editors; the Nihon Shoki is a synthesis of older documents on the records, continuously kept in the Yamato court since the sixth century. It includes documents and folklore submitted by clans serving the court. Prior to Nihon Shoki, there were Tennōki and Kokki compiled by Prince Shōtoku and Soga no Umako, but as they were stored in Soga's residence, they were burned at the time of the Isshi Incident; the work's contributors refer to various sources
Hainuwele, "The Coconut Girl", is a figure from the Wemale and Alune folklore of the island of Seram in the Maluku Islands, Indonesia. Her story is an origin myth; the myth of Hainuwele was recorded by German ethnologist Adolf E. Jensen following the Frobenius Institute's 1937–8 expedition to the Maluku Islands; the study of this myth during his research on religious sacrifice led Jensen to the introduction of the concept of Dema Deity in ethnology. Joseph Campbell first narrated the Hainuwele legend to an English-speaking audience in his work The Masks of God. While hunting one day a man named Ameta found a coconut, something never before seen on Seram, caught in the tusk of a wild boar. Ameta, part of one of the original nine families of the West Ceram people who had emerged from bananas, took the coconut home; that night, a figure instructed him to plant the coconut. Ameta did so, in just a few days the coconut grew into a tall tree and bloomed. Ameta climbed the tree to cut the flowers to collect the sap, but in the process slashed his finger and the blood dropped onto a blossom.
Nine days Ameta found in the place of this blossom a girl whom he named Hainuwele, meaning "Coconut Branch". He brought her home, she grew to maturity with astonishing rapidity. Hainuwele had a remarkable talent:. Thanks to these, Ameta became rich. Hainuwele attended a dance, to last for nine nights at a place known as Tamene Siwa. In this dance, it was traditional for girls to distribute areca nuts to the men. Hainuwele did so, but when the men asked her for areca nuts, she gave them instead the valuable things which she was able to excrete; each day she gave them something bigger and more valuable: golden earrings, porcelain dishes, bush-knives, copper boxes, gongs. The men were happy at first, but they decided that what Hainuwele was doing was uncanny and, driven by jealousy, they decided to kill her on the ninth night. In the successive dances, the men circled around the women at the center of the dance ground, Hainuwele amongst them, who handed out gifts. Before the ninth night, the men dug a pit in the center of the dance ground and, singling out Hainuwele, in the course of the dance they pushed her further and further inward until she was pushed right into the pit.
The men heaped earth over the girl, covering her cries with their song. Thus Hainuwele was buried alive, while the men kept dancing on the dirt stomping it down. Ameta, missing Hainuwele, went in search for her. Through an oracle he found out what had happened he exhumed her corpse and cut it into pieces which he re-buried around the village; these pieces grew into various new useful plants, including tubers, giving origin to the principal foods the people of Indonesia have enjoyed since. Ameta brought Hainuwele's cut arms to the ruling deity over humans. With them, she built for him a gate in spiral shape; those who would be able to step across the gate would remain human beings, although henceforward mortal, becoming divided into Patalima and Patasiwa. Those unable to pass through the threshold became new kinds of ghosts. Satene herself became ruler over the realm of the dead. Patasiwa is the group to which both the Alune people belong. Hainuwele can be understood as a creation myth in which the natural environment, the daily tasks of men and the social structures are given a meaning.
In the myth spirits and plants are created and an explanation is provided for the mortality of mankind and the formation of tribal divisions within the Wemale ethnic group. Jensen identifies the Hainuwele figure with a Dema deity. According to Jensen the belief in a Dema deity is typical of cultures based on basic plant cultivation as opposed to cultures of hunter-gatherers, as well as complex agricultural cultures such as those based on the cultivation of grain. Jensen identifies the veneration of Dema deities in the context of many different cultures worldwide, he assumes. One of the main characteristics of Dema deities is that they are killed by early immortal men and hacked to pieces which are strewn about or buried. Jensen found versions of the basic pattern of what could be defined as "Hainuwele Complex," in which a ritual murder and burial originates the tuberous crops on which people lived, spread throughout Southeast Asia and elsewhere, he contrasted these myths of the first era of agriculture, using root crops, with those in Asia and beyond that explained the origin of rice as coming from a theft from heaven, a pattern of myth found among grain-crop agriculturalists.
These delineate two different cultures in the history of agriculture itself. The earliest one transformed hunting-and-gathering societies' totemistic myths such as we find in Australian Aboriginal cultures, in response to the discovery of food cultivation, centered on a Dema" deity arising from the earth, the later-developing grain-crop cultures centered on a sky god. Jensen explored the far-reaching culture-historical implications of these and other insights in his work Myth and Cult among Primitive Peoples, published in 1963; the veneration of a Dema-deity implies that the creation of new life is attached to the end of life, to death. In the light of this fact Jensen indicates that some rituals of the Wemale people, such as the “Maro dance”, include many elements of the Hainuwele myth; therefore and ritual were structured in a unity of meaning. Recent research, disputes the use of the term Dema-deity in the context of the Hainuwele
Amaterasu, Amaterasu-ōmikami, or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami is a deity of the Japanese myth cycle and a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is seen as the goddess of the universe; the name Amaterasu is derived from Amateru and means "shining in heaven". The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great august kami who shines in the heaven". According to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in Japanese mythology, the Emperors of Japan are considered to be direct descendants of Amaterasu. Records of the worship of Amaterasu are found from the c. 712 CE Kojiki and c. 720 CE Nihon Shoki, the oldest records of Japanese history. In Japanese mythology, the goddess of the sun, is the sister of Susanoo, the god of storms and the sea, of Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon, it was written that Amaterasu had painted the landscape with her siblings while she created ancient Japan. Amaterasu was said to have been created by the divine couple Izanagi and Izanami, who were themselves created by, or grew from, the originator of the Universe, Amenominakanushi.
All three deities were born from Izanagi when he was purifying himself upon entering Yomi, the underworld, after breaking the promise not to see dead Izanami and he was chased by her and Yakusan-no-ikaduchigami, surrounding rotten Izanami. 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. Amaterasu became the ruler of the sun and the heavens along with her brother, Tsukuyomi as the ruler of the night, Susanoo as the ruler of the seas. Amaterasu shared the sky with Tsukuyomi, her husband and brother until, out of disgust, he killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi, when she pulled "food from her rectum and mouth"; this killing upset Amaterasu causing her to split away from him. The texts tell of a long-standing rivalry between Amaterasu and her other brother, Susanoo. Susanoo is said to have insulted claiming she had no power over the higher realm; when Izanagi ordered him to leave Heaven, 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 belonging from it, birthed deities. Amaterasu birthed three women from Susanoo's sword. 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. After Susanoo's defeat he went on a rampage destroying much of the heavenly and earthly realm, Amaterasu's rice fields, hurled a flayed pony at her loom, killing one of her attendants in a fit of rage. Amaterasu, in fury and grief, hid inside the Ama-no-Iwato, plunging the earth into darkness and chaos, she was persuaded to leave the cave. Omoikane threw a party outside of the Ama-no-Iwato to lure Amaterasu out but it was not until the Goddess Ame-no-Uzume danced promiscuously outside of the cave that Amaterasu came out. Susanoo was punished by being banished from heaven. Both amended their conflict when Susanoo gave her the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi sword as a reconciliation gift.
According to legend, responsible from keeping balance and harmony within the earthly realm, bequeathed to her descendant Ninigi: the mirror, Yata no Kagami. Collectively, the sacred mirror and sword became the three Imperial Regalia of Japan; the Ise Shrine located in Ise, Mie Prefecture, houses the inner shrine, dedicated to Amaterasu. Her sacred mirror, Yata no Kagami, is said to be kept at this shrine as one of the imperial regalia objects. A ceremony known as Shikinen Sengu is held every twenty years at this shrine to honor the many deities enshrined, formed by 125 shrines altogether. At that time, new shrine buildings are built at a location adjacent to the site first. After the transfer of the object of worship, new clothing and treasure and offering food to the goddess the old buildings are taken apart; the building materials taken apart are given to buildings to renovate. This practice is a part of the Shinto faith and has been practiced since the year 690, but is not only for Amaterasu but for many other deities enshrined in Ise Shrine.
The Amanoiwato Shrine in Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan is dedicated to Amaterasu and sits above the gorge containing Ama-no-Iwato. The worship of Amaterasu to the exclusion of other kami has been described as "the cult of the sun"; this phrase may refer to the early pre-archipelagoan worship of the sun. Himiko Shinto in popular culture Sól Surya Vairocana Zalmoxis Ōkami Amaterasu, fictional character from video game Ōkami
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
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