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|Last updated: 13 May 2017|
I. The Five Separate Heavenly DeitiesThese single deities, probably all male, whose forms were not visible, and to whom we refer in the text, collectively, as the “Elders” of Izanagi and Izanami, are:
A. three who came into existence at the very beginning, and whose origins are unknown:1. Amë-nö-mi-naka-nusi-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Center Lord Deity”) — the deity, some hold, with whom the emperor may be equated,
2. Taka-mi-musubi-nö-kamï (“High Generative-Force Deity”), a.k.a. Taka-ki-nö-kamï (“High Tree Deity”) — not only is this deity the grandfather of Ninigi, he also plays a crucial role in paving the way for Ninigi’s descent (cf. App. 2, (III.A.i & ii) — and
3. Kamï-musubi-nö-kamï (“Divine Generative-Force Deity”), a.k.a. Kamï-musubi-mioya-nö-mikötö (“Divine Generative-Force Parent Deity”) — parent of Sukuna-biko (cf. (IV.B.3) and App. 2, (II.1)); and
B. two more, whose origins are the “something like reed-shoots” that had sprouted forth between heaven and the young land:4. Umasi-asi-kabï-piko-di-nö-kamï (“Excellent Reed-shoots Male Deity”), and
5. Amë-nö-tökö-tati-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Eternal Standing Deity”).
II. The Seven Generations of the Age of the GodsThese are the twelve deities who came into existence once the Five Separate Heavenly Deities were present. The first two, like the Five Separate Heavenly Deities, have forms that are not visible, and each counts as one generation; the next ten are organized into five espoused pairs, each pair counting as another generation. The seventh, or last, of these generations consists of Izanagi-nö-kamï and Izanami-nö-kamï, the male and female deities “He-who-Invites” and “She-who-Invites,” respectively (Izanagi and Izanami, for short), who, “when the land was still young, resembling floating oil and drifting like a jellyfish,” were given the task to “complete and solidify this drifting land.”
III. The Eight-hundred Myriad DeitiesCalled Ya-po-yörödu-nö-kamï, these appear and reappear at numerous critical junctures. Note that ya, like its modern counterpart hachi, means “eight,” po, like hyaku, means “hundred,” and yörödu, like man, means “ten thousand,” whence ya-po-yörödu has the literal meaning of “eight million.” At the same time, yörödu, like colloquial English “gazillion,” may simply be conveying the notion of “ineffably many,” whence the translator’s rendering of ya-po-yörödu-nö-kamï not as “the eight million deities” but as “the eight-hundred myriad deities.” The same rationale dictates the English rendering of the yörödu in the name of Taka-mi-musubi’s daughter, in (IV.A.2), below.
IV. The three offspring of the Generative Force Deities
A. Children of Taka-mi-musubi-nö-kamï:1. Omöpi-kane-nö-kamï (“Many-Minds’-Thought-Combining Deity”) — each time some crisis caused the eight-hundred myriad deities to gather in deliberative assembly, it is to this deity that they turn with the task of pondering out a strategy for resolving the crisis. Later, it is he who must descend with Ninigi to oversee the proper worship of Ama-terasu on earth; and
2. Yörödu-pata-töyö-aki-tu-si-pime-nö-mikötö (“Myriad Woven-Fabric Abundant Autumn-Harbor Princess Deity”) — wife of the eldest of the sons born from the maga-tama beads during the contest between Ama-terasu-opo-mi-kamï and Susa-nö-wo; and mother of both Amë-nö-po-akari-nö-mikötö (“Heavenly Fire Brightness Lord”) and his vitally important younger brother Ninigi, already mentioned above.
B. Child of Kamï-musubi-nö-kamï:3. Sukuna-biko-na-nö-kamï (“Little Lad Deity”) — helped Opo-kuni-nusi-nö-kamï (“Great Land-Ruler Deity”) to create the land; sometimes identified with Ebisu, the Good Luck Deity who, being deaf, and therefore never hearing the call to the annual October Gathering of the Gods at Izumo, becomes the brunt of their laughter on account of his absence there.
V. Entities produced by Izanagi and Izanami
A. The first island created by Izanagi and Izanami:Onögöro — the island coming into existence when Izanagi and Izanami, standing on the Heavenly Floating Bridge, stirred the brine below with the Heavenly Jeweled Spear that they had received from their Elders along with their mission to descend to earth and to “complete and solidify this drifting land;” and to which they then descended, there to build their wedding palace.
B. Monsters born from Izanagi and Izanami’s first attempts at conjugal union:1. Piru-go (the “leech-child”), set adrift on a boat made of reeds; and
2. Apa, an island.
C. Islands born from Izanagi and Izanami’s next attempts at conjugal union, after consultation with their Elders:Numerous other islands were born after the initial crisis of giving birth to monsters was successfully resolved.
D. Deities born from subsequent acts of conjugal union of Izanagi and Izanami:1. Opo-kötö-osi-wo-nö-kamï (“Great-Male of the Great-Undertaking Deity”);
2. several deities of dwellings:
3. Opo-wata-tu-mi-nö-kamï (“Great Sea-Spirit Deity”);
- Ipa-su-pime-nö-kamï (“Rock-Nest-Dwelling-Place Goddess”),
- Opo-to-pi-wakë-nö-kamï (a deity connected with architecture),
- Amë-nö-puki-wo-nö-kamï (“Heavenly [Roof]-Thatching Male Deity”),
- Opo-ya-biko-nö-kamï (“Great House-Lad Deity”), and
- Kaza-mötu-wakë-nö-osi-wo-nö-kamï (a deity protecting dwellings from the wind);
4. Paya-aki-tu-piko-nö-kamï (“Rapid Autumn Lad Deity”) — a male deity of sea-straits, ruling the rivers — and his spouse Paya-aki-tu-pime-nö-kamï (“Rapid Autumn Princess Deity”) — ruling the seas; the name of the former may be associated with “purification by ablution in rapid waters,” while a deity with the same name as the latter “swallows with a gulp all the sins which have been cast into the sea;” from these autumn deities, in turn, four more pairs of deities are born:
5. Sina-tu-piko-nö-kamï (“Wind Lad Deity”);
- a. Awa-nagi-nö-kamï (“Foam Male Deity”) and his spouse Awa-nami-nö-kamï (“Foam Female Deity”),
- b. Tura-nagi-nö-mikötö (“Surface Male Deity”) and his spouse Tura-nami-nö-mikötö (“Surface Female Deity”),
- c. Amë-nö-mi-kumari-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Water-Partings Deity”) and his spouse Kuni-nö-mi-kumari-nö-kamï (“Earthly Water-Partings Deity”), and
- d. Amë-nö-kupiza-möti-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Dipper-Holder Deity”) and his spouse Kuni-nö-kupiza-möti-nö-kamï (“Earthly Dipper-Holder Deity”);
6. Kuku-nö-ti-nö-kamï (“Stem Spirit Deity”), a tree deity;
7. Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï (“Male Mountain-Deity”) and his spouse, the plains deity Kaya-no-pime-nö-kamï (“Grassy Plains Princess Deity”), a.k.a. No-duti-nö-kamï (“Plains-Spirit Deity”); from these, in turn, four more pairs of deities are born (but see also (VII.1-5) below, for yet another five):
8. Töri-nö-ipa-kusu-pune-nö-kamï (“Bird-shaped Rock-hard Camphor-wood-Boat Deity”), a.k.a. Amë-nö-töri-pune-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Bird-Boat Deity”), cf. App. 2, (III.A.v.3);
- a. Amë-nö-sa-duti-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Soil Deity”) and his spouse Kuni-nö-sa-duti-nö-kamï (“Earthly Soil Deity”),
- b. Amë-nö-sa-gïri-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Mist Deity”) and his spouse Kuni-nö-sa-gïri-nö-kamï (“Earthly Mist Deity”),
- c. Amë-nö-kura-do-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Dark-Door Deity”) and his spouse Kuni-nö-kura-do-nö-kamï (“Earthly Dark-Door Deity”), and
- d. Opo-to-mato-piko-nö-kamï (“Great Door Mislead Child Deity”) and his spouse Opo-to-mato-pime-nö-kamï (“Great Door Mislead Woman Deity”);
9. Opo-gë-tu-pime (“Great-Food-Princess Deity”) — married to Pa-yama-to-nö-kamï (“Deity of the Mountain Foothill Entrances”), himself a child of the harvest and grain deity Opo-tösi-nö-kami (cf. XII) and Amë-tikaru-midu-pime (“Water-Fresh-Youthful Deity”); mother of Waka-tösi-nö-kamï (“Young Harvest Deity”); killed by Susa-nö-wo when he thought she was offering him polluted food; the source, in death, of various seeds, found in the orifices of her corpse, that Kamï-musubi-nö-kamï (“Divine Generative-Force Deity”) planted into soil, thereby initiating the harvesting/sowing cycle of agriculture; and
10. Kagu-tuti-nö-kami (“Fire-Shining-Spirit Deity”) — Izanami’s last-born child, the Fire Deity, whose birth caused the sickness and death of Izanami, and whom Izanagi consequently beheaded with the sword Amë-nö-wo-pa-bari-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Wide-Pointed Blade Deity”), a.k.a. Itu-nö-wo-pa-bari-nö-kamï (“Sacred Wide-Pointed Blade Deity”).
E. Deities born from the secretions or excreta of the dying Izanami and the mourning Izanagi:1-2. Kana-yama-biko-nö-kamï (“Metal-Mountain Lad Deity”) and his spouse Kana-yama-bime-nö-kamï (“Metal-Mountain Princess Deity”), born from Izanami’s vomit;
3-4. Pani-yasu-biko-nö-kamï (“Clay-Kneading Lad Deity”) and Pani-yasu-bime-nö-kamï (“Clay-Kneading Princess Deity”), two clay or fertilizer deities, born from Izanami’s faeces;
5-6. Mitu-pa-nö-me-nö-kamï (“Water-greens Woman Deity”) and Waku-musubi-nö-kamï (the male “Seething Generative-Force Deity”), born from Izanami’s urine; and
7. Naki-sapa-me-nö-kamï (“Weeping Marsh-Woman Deity”), born from the weeping Izanagi’s tears.
F. Deities said to be “born by the sword,” who came into being from the blood of the infant Fire Deity Kagu-tuti-nö-kamï whom Izanagi had slain with his sword Itu-nö-wo-pa-bari-nö-kamï:three deities who came into being when “the blood adhering to the tip of the sword gushed forth onto the massed rocks:”
1. Ipa-saku-nö-kamï (“Rock-Splitting Deity”),
2. Ne-saku-nö-kamï (“Root-Splitting Deity”), his spouse, and
3. Ipa-tutu-nö-wo-nö-kamï (“Rock Pipe Male Deity”); three more deities, when “the blood adhering to the sword-guard of the sword … gushed forth onto the massed rocks:”
4. Mika-paya-pi-nö-kamï (“Awesome Vigorous-Force Deity”),
5. Pï-paya-pi-nö-kamï (“Fire Vigorous-Force Deity”), and
6. Take-mika-duti-nö-wo-nö-kamï (“Valiant Lighting Male Deity”); and yet two more deities, when “the blood [that had] collected at the hilt of the sword dripped through his fingers:”
7. Kura-okami-nö-kamï, a dragon-deity, and
8. Kura-mitu-pa-nö-kamï (“Valley Water-greens Deity”).
G. Deities arising from the bodies of the slain Fire Deity and of the dead Izanami:1. eight Mountain Spirit Deities, from the Fire Deity’s body, and
2. eight Thunder Deities, present in Izanami’s corpse.
H. Deities born from Izanagi’s purification upon returning from Yömï, the Land of the Dead:i. Twelve deities from Izanagi’s cast-off clothing and accessories:
1. Tuki-tatu-puna-to-nö-kamï (“Stand-Erect Fork-In-The-Road Deity”), identified sometimes as a phallic deity, coming into existence when Izanagi discarded his stick;
2. Miti-nö-naga-ti-pa-nö-kamï (“Deity of the Rocks of the Road”), coming into existence when Izanagi discarded his sash;
3. Töki-pakasi-nö-kamï (“Time-Measurer Deity”), coming into existence when Izanagi discarded his bag;
4. Wadurapi-nö-usi-nö-kamï (“Lord-of-Misfortune Deity”), coming into existence when Izanagi discarded his cloak;
5. Ti-mata-nö-kamï (“Road-Fork Deity”), coming into existence when Izanagi discarded his trousers;
6. Aki-gupi-nö-usi-nö-kamï (“Insatiable Swallowing-Master Deity”), coming into existence when Izanagi discarded his headgear — “this deity may have performed some sort of purificatory function by opening his mouth and swallowing sins or evil;”
7-9. Oki-zakaru-nö-kamï (“Offshore Distant Deity”), Oki-tu-nagisa-biko-nö-kamï (“Offshore Surf-Lad Deity”), and Oki-tu-kapï-bera-nö-kamï (“Offshore Space Deity”), coming into existence when Izanagi discarded the arm-bands of his left arm; and
10-12. Pe-zakaru-nö-kamï (“Shore Distant Deity”), Pe-tu-nagisa-biko-nö-kamï (“Shore Surf Lad Deity”), and Pe-tu-kapï-bera-nö-kamï (“Shore Space Deity”), coming into existence when Izanagi discarded the arm-bands of his right arm.
ii. Eleven more from Izanagi’s bathing in the waters of the river Tati-Bana:
1-2. Yaso-maga-tu-pi-nö-kamï (“Abundant Misfortune-Working-Force Deity”) and Opo-maga-tu-pi-nö-kamï (“Great Misfortune-Force Deity”), evil deities that came into being from the pollution of the Land of the Dead when Izanagi began his bathing;
3-5. Kamu-napobi-nö-kamï (“Divine Corrective Deity”), Opo-napobi-nö-kamï (“Great-Corrective-Working Deity”), and Idu-nö-me-nö-kamï (“Consecrated-Woman Deity”), three deities born in order to rectify these evils;
6-7. Sökö-tu-wata-tu-mi-nö-mikötö (“Bottom Sea-Spirit Deity”), and Sökö-dutu-nö-wo-nö-mikötö (“Bottom Spirit Male Deity”), who came into being when Izanagi bathed at the bottom of the water;
8-9. Naka-tu-wata-tu-mi-nö-mikötö (“Middle Sea-Spirit Deity”) and Naka-dutu-nö-wo-nö-mikötö (“Middle Spirit Male Lord”), who came into being when Izanagi bathed in the middle of the water; and
10-11. Upa-tu-wata-tu-mi-nö-mikötö (“Upper Sea-Spirit Deity”) and Upa-dutu-nö-wo-nö-mikötö (“Upper Spirit Male Lord”), who came into being when Izanagi bathed on the surface of the water.
iii. Three noble children, finally, from the last of Izanagi’s ablutions:
1. Ama-terasu-opo-mi-kamï (“Heaven-Illuminating Great Deity”), the Sun Goddess, who came into existence when Izanagi washed his left eye, and would be given the mission of ruling heaven;
2. Tuku-yömi-nö-mikötö (“Moon Counting Lord”), who came into existence when Izanagi washed his right eye, and would be given the mission of ruling the realms of night; and
3. Susa-nö-wo-nö-mikötö (“Valiant Intrepid Raging Male Lord”), the Sun Goddess’s “evil” brother, who came into existence when Izanagi washed his nose, and would be given the mission of ruling the ocean.
VI. Deities that came into being during the contest between Ama-terasu-opo-mi-kamï, the Sun Goddess, and her “evil” brother, Susa-nö-wo-nö-mikötö
A. Three female deities, called the goddesses of Munakata, and enshrined in three famous shrines in what is now Munakata-gun, Fukuoka-ken, Kyushu, who came into being when Ama-terasu-opo-mi-kamï asked her brother for his sword:1. Takïri-bime-nö-mikötö (“Mist-Princess Goddess”), a.k.a. Oki-tu-sima-pime-nö-mikötö — to become one of Opo-kuni-nusi’s wives, and the mother of the following two deities involved in events leading to Ninigi’s descent (cf. App. 2, (III.A.iv)):
2. Ikiti-sima-pime-nö-mikötö, a.k.a. Sa-yöri-bime-nö-mikötö; and
- a. Adi-sikï-taka-pikone-nö-kamï (“Massed-Ploughs High-Princeling Deity”), a male thunder deity, and
- b. Taka-pime-nö-mikötö (“High Princess Lady”), a.k.a. Sita-teru-pime (“Lower Radiant Princess”);
3. Takitu-pime-nö-mikötö (“Seething-Waters-Princess Goddess”).
B. Five male deities, generally considered sons of Ama-terasu, who came into being when Susa-nö-wo asked for the myriad maga-tama beads wrapped in the Sun Goddess’s hair:1. Masa-katu-a-katu-kati-paya-pi-Amë-nö-osi-po-mimi-nö-mikötö (“I-am-Victorious Victorious-Vigorous-Force Heavenly Great-Rice-Ears-Ruler Deity”), a.k.a. Amë-nö-osi-po-mimi-nö-mikötö (“Heavenly Great-Rice-Ears-Ruler Deity”) — father of Ninigi, and precursor of Ninigi’s descent: indeed, selected by Ama-terasu to descend to the earth and rule there, he demurred, citing unruly earthly deities; once these were subdued, he was again asked to descend, but proposed that his son Ninigi go in his stead; it is through him, therefore, and also through his younger brother Ama-tu-pikone-nö-mikötö (q.v. infra), that the Yamatö rulers traced their ancestry back to Ama-terasu;
2. Amë-nö-po-pi-nö-mikötö — younger brother of Amë-nö-osi-po-mimi-nö-mikötö; the first of several deities dispatched to the earth with the mission, from which he failed to return, of subduing the unruly earthly deities his brother had reported; considered to be the ancestor of the rulers of Izumo, as well as of several other families of local rulers;
3. Ama-tu-pikone-nö-mikötö (“Heavenly Princeling Lord”), considered the ancestor of twelve families of local rulers;
4. Iku-tu-pikone-nö-mikötö (“Prince-of-Life Lord”); and
5. Kumano-kusubi-nö-mikötö (“Wondrous-Working Kumano Deity”) — an Izumo deity, as is his older brother Amë-nö-po-pi-nö-mikötö; “in ancient times there was a Kumano Shrine in [the part of Izumo that] is now Yatsuka-gun, Shimane-ken,” where Susa-nö-wo himself may also have been enshrined.
VII. Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï and his childrenOpo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï (“Male Mountain-Deity”), a son of Izanagi and Izanami, apart from having fathered eight children with his plains deity spouse Kaya-no-pime-nö-kamï (cf. (V.D.7) above), is also the single father of one son and four daughters:
1. Asi-na-duti (“Foot-Stroking Elder”) — a male earthly deity; his daughter Kusi-nada-pime (“Wondrous Inada Princess”), to have been offered to an eight-tailed dragon, was spared that fate by Susa-nö-wo, who, to everyone’s great relief, slew the dragon, married Kusi-nada-pime, and, after building a palace at Suga, installed Asi-na-duti as headman there;
2. Kamu-opo-iti-pime (“Divine Opo-iti Princess”) — became the wife of Susa-nö-wo, and bore him the son Opo-tösi-nö-kamï (“Great Harvest Deity”) and the daughter (?) Uka-nö-mi-tama-nö-kamï (“Food Spirit Deity”);
3. Kö-nö-pana-tiru-pime (“Blossoms-of-the-Trees Blooming-Princess”) — married the first-born son Ya-sima-zinumi-nö-kami (q.v. infra) of Susa-nö-wo and Kusi-nada-pime;
4. Kö-nö-pana-nö-saku-ya-bime (“Blossoms-of-the-Trees Blooming-Princess”) — became Ninigi’s wife, after his descent to the earth, and gave birth to Po-wori-nö-mikötö (“Fire-Bending Lord”), one of whose grandchildren was to become Jimmu, the legendary first emperor of the Yamatö line; and
5. Ipa-naga-pime (“Rock-Long Princess”) — the ugly eldest daughter of Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï; her rejection by Ninigi when she was offered to him in marriage along with her younger sister Kö-nö-pana-nö-saku-ya-bime led Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï to strip Ninigi of his immortality.
VIII. Children of Susa-nö-wo-nö-mikötö1. Ya-sima-zinumi-nö-kamï (“Eight Island Zinumi [?] Deity”) — the first of the deities of the seventeen generations (q.v. infra); born in Susa-nö-wo’s marriage to the granddaughter Kusi-nada-pime (“Wondrous Inada Princess”) of Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï (q.v. supra); noteworthy about Ya-sima-zinumi-nö-kami are: that his mother Kusi-nada-pime was that granddaughter of Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï whose sacrifice to the dragon his father averted by slaying that dragon; that, like his father, he too marries a daughter of Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï; and that the crucial Great Land-Ruler Deity Opo-kuni-nusi (q.v. infra) counts as one of his descendants;
2-3. Opo-tösi-nö-kamï (“Great Harvest Deity”), and Uka-nö-mi-tama-nö-kamï (“Food Spirit Deity”), born from Susa-nö-wo’s marriage to the daughter Kamu-opo-iti-pime (“Divine Opo-iti Princess”) of Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï (q.v. supra);
4. Suseri-bime (“Raging Princess Deity”), so named in recognition of her extreme jealousy; the second, but principal, wife of Opo-kuni-nusi (“Great Land-Ruler Deity”), q.v. infra.
Note: Susa-nö-wo, who once ravaged Ama-terasu’s heavenly rice paddies, and slew the great food princess deity Opo-gë-tu-pime (with the result that her corpse yielded all manner of seeds), is now the father of two new food or harvest deities, Opo-tösi-nö-kamï and Uka-nö-mi-tama-nö-kamï, and the scion of three more: one, the son Mi-tosi-nö-kamï (“August Harvest Deity”) of Opo-tösi-nö-kamï himself; and the two sons Waka-tösi-nö-kamï (“Young Harvest Deity”) and Kuku-tösi-nö-kamï (“Stem Harvest Deity”) born to the marriage of Opo-tösi-nö-kamï’s son Pa-yama-to-nö-kamï (“Deity of the Mountain Foothill Entrances”) with Opo-gë-tu-pime. Is this the same Opo-gë-tu-pime once slain by Susa-nö-wo, but now restored to life? or some sort of spiritual copy, or name-sake? In any event, we see here the intimate connections between food and death, as we see also in the appearance of Töyö-uke-bime-nö-kamï (“Abundant Food-princess Deity”) as the daughter of the deity Waku-musubi-nö-kamï (“Seething Generative-Force Deity”), who had been born of the seeping urine of the dying Izanami; despite her father’s polluted origin, it is she who descends with Ninigi to be the provider of unpolluted food for Ama-terasu at her shrine in Ise.
IX. The family of Opo-kuni-nusi-nö-kamïOpo-kuni-nusi (“Great Land-Ruler Deity”), both a son-in law (through his marriage to Suseri-bime) and a sixth-generation descendant (cf. The Deities of Seventeen Generations, below) of Susa-nö-wo, the Sun Goddess’s “evil” brother, from the latter’s marriage to Kusi-nada-pime (“Wondrous Inada Princess”); known also as Opo-namudi-nö-kamï (“Great Revered-One”), Asi-para-sikö-wo-nö-kamï (“Ugly Male of the Reed Plains”), Ya-ti-pokö-nö-kamï (“Eight-Thousand-Spears Deity”), and Utusi-kuni-tama-nö-kamï (“Land-Spirit Deity of the Visible Land”); twice killed by his eighty older brothers for having unwittingly won the affections of the princess they were all in contention for, but each time restored to life by his mother (cf. App. 3, (IV.1)); sometimes identified with Daikoku (the kami of laughter).
A. Opo-kuni-nusi’s wives:1. Ya-gami-pime (“Princess of Ya-gami”), who, though being courted by his eighty brothers, chose Opo-kuni-nusi in preference to any of them; later she left him, out of fear of the raging jealousy of the childless
2. Suseri-bime-nö-mikötö (“Raging Princess Deity”), his second — and, at the behest of her father Susa-nö-wo, principal — wife, whom Opo-kuni-nusi eloped with after she helped him emerge unscathed from the trials her father imposed on him; her jealousy caused Opo-kuni-nusi’s first wife Ya-gami-pime to abandon both son and husband and return to her home;
3. Takïri-bime-nö-mikötö (“Mist-Princess Goddess”), the first of the three goddesses of Munakata (who all came into being from the sword of Susa-nö-wo during his contest with his sister Ama-terasu);
4. Kamu-ya-tate-pime-nö-mikötö (“Divine Eight-Shields-Princess Goddess”); and
B. Opo-kuni-nusi’s children:1. Kï-nö-mata-nö-kamï (“Tree-Fork Deity”), a.k.a. Mi-wi-nö-kamï (“August Well Deity”), born of Ya-gami-pime, but abandoned in the fork of a tree when Ya-gami-pime, out of fear of the jealous Suseri-bime, fled back to her home;
2-3. Adi-sikï-taka-pikone-nö-kamï (“Massed-Ploughs High-Princeling Deity”), a male deity, and Taka-pime-nö-mikötö (“High Princess Lady”), a.k.a. Sita-teru-pime-nö-mikötö (“Lower Radiant Princess Deity”), both born of the Munakata goddess Takïri-bime-nö-mikötö;
4. Kötö-sirö-nusi-nö-kamï, a deity of the verbal expression of the divine will in oracular form, born of Kamu-ya-tate-pime-nö-mikötö) (“Divine Eight-Shields-Princess Goddess”), and decisive in the surrender of Izumo to Ninigi;
5. Töri-naru-mi-nö kamï (“Bird-like Sounding-Ocean Deity”), born of Töri-mimi-nö-kamï; he and his descendants figure among the “Deities of Seventeen Generations,” whose counting begins with Ya-sima-zinumi-nö-kamï, the son born in Susa-nö-wo’s marriage to Kusi-nada-pime; and
6. Take-mi-na-kata-nö-kamï (“Valiant Minakata Deity”), a son whose mother is left unspecified.
X. The Deities of Seventeen GenerationsThis term refers to the deities in the ancestral line that begins with Ya-sima-zinumi-nö-kamï (son of Susa-nö-wo and Kusi-nada-pime, that granddaughter of Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï whom Susa-nö-wo had saved from being offered to a dragon), and descends down, through Opo-kuni-nusi and Töri-naru-mi-nö-kamï (q.v. supra), as far as Töpo-tu-yama-zaki-tarasi-nö-kamï, the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Opo-kuni-nusi.
1. Ya-sima-zinumi-nö-kamï (q.v. supra), born in the marriage of Susa-nö-wo with Kusi-nada-pime;
2. Pupa-nö-mödi-kunusunu-nö-kamï (whose name is thought to be of foreign origin), born in the marriage of Ya-sima-zinumi-nö-kamï with the daughter Kö-nö-pana-tiru-pime (“Blossoms-of-the-Trees Falling-Princess”) of Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï;
3. Puka-buti-nö-midu-yare-pana-nö-kamï (“Water-on-the-Flowers-Sprinkle Deity of Pukabuti”), born in the marriage of Pupa-nö-mödi-kunusunu-nö-kamï with the daughter Pi-kapa-pime (“Sun River Princess”) of Okami-nö-kamï (a dragon deity, worshipped as a rain-maker, and thought to be connected with the dragon deity Kura-okami-nö-kamï born from the blood dripping from the hilt of the sword Izanagi used to slay the Fire Deity);
4. Omidu-nu-nö-kamï (“Land-Pulling Deity”), born in the marriage of Puka-buti-nö-midu-yare-pana-nö-kamï with Amë-nö-tudopë-tine-nö-kamï (“Heavenly To-Call-Together Goddess”);
5. Amë-nö-puyu-kinu-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Winter-Clothing Deity”), born in the marriage of Omidu-nu-nö-kamï with the daughter Pute-mimi-nö-kamï (“Great Ear Goddess”) of a certain Punodumo-nö-kamï;
6. Opo-kuni-nusi-nö-kamï (“Great Land-Ruler Deity”), born in the marriage of Amë-nö-puyu-kinu-nö-kamï with the daughter Sasi-kuni-waka-pime (“Pierce Land Young Princess”) of Sasi-kuni-opo-nö-kamï (“Pierce Land Great Deity”);
7. Töri-naru-mi-nö kamï (“Bird-Like Sounding-Ocean Deity”), born in the marriage of Opo-kuni-nusi-nö-kamï with the daughter Töri-mimi-nö-kamï of Ya-sima-mudi-nö-kamï (“Many-Islands Revered-One Deity”);
8. Kuni-osi-tömi-nö-kamï (“Earthly Great-Wealth Deity”), born in the marriage of Töri-naru-mi-nö-kamï with Pina-teri-nukata-biti-wo-ikötini-nö-kamï (“Rural Nukata Shining Deity”);
9. Paya-mika-nö-takë-sapayadi-numi-nö-kamï (“Rapid Awesome Bamboo Deity”), born in the marriage of Kuni-osi-tömi-nö-kamï with Asi-nadaka-nö-kamï (“Nadaka Reed Deity”), a.k.a. Ya-gapa-ye-pime (“Many River-Inlets Princess”);
10. Mika-nusi-piko-nö-kamï (“Awesome-Lord-Lad Deity”), born in the marriage of Paya-mika-nö-takë-sapayadi-numi-nö-kamï with the daughter Saki-tama-pime (“Lucky Spirit Princess”) of Amë-nö-mika-nusi-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Awesome Lord Deity”);
11. Tapiriki-simarumi-nö-kamï, born in the marriage of Mika-nusi-piko-nö-kamï with the daughter Pi-narasi-bime of Okami-nö-kamï ( the dragon deity mentioned in point 3);
12. Mirö-nami-nö-kamï (“Mirö Wave Deity”), born in the marriage of Tapiriki-simarumi-nö-kamï with the daughter Iku-tama-saki-tama-pime-nö-kamï (“Living-Spirit Lucky-Spirit Princess Goddess”) of Pipiragï-nö-sönö-pana-madumi-nö-kamï (“Deity of the Holly Whose Flowers Are Rarely Seen”);
13. Nunö-osi-tömi-töri-naru-mi-nö-kamï (“Cloth Great Wealth Bird-Like Sounding-Ocean Deity”), born of the marriage of Mirö-nami-nö-kamï with the daughter Awo-numa-nu-osi-pime (“Blue Pond Horse Great Princess”) of Siki-yama-nusi-nö-kamï (“Layered-Mountain-Lord Deity”);
14. Amë-nö-pi-bara-opo-sina-domi-nö-kamï (“Heavenly Sun Belly Great-Wind Deity”), born from the marriage of Nunö-osi-tömi-töri-naru-mi-nö-kamï with Waka-piru-me-nö-kamï (“Young Sun-Woman Deity”);
15. Töpo-tu-yama-zaki-tarasi-nö-kamï (“Distant-Cave Mountain-Promontory Abundance Deity”), born from the marriage of Amë-nö-pi-bara-opo-sina-domi-nö-kamï with the daughter Töpo-tu-mati-ne-nö-kamï (“Distant-Cove Wait-Root Deity”) of the mist deities Amë-nö-sa-gïri-nö-kamï and Kuni-nö-sa-gïri-nö-kamï (who had been born to Izanagi and Izanami’s children Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï and Kaya-no-pime-nö-kamï, cf. (V.D.7.b), above).
XI. Ninigi and his descendantsNinigi-nö-mikötö (full name: Amë-nigisi-kuni-nigisi-Ama-tu-piko-piko-po-nö-ninigi-nö-mikötö (“The-Heavens-are-Peaceful The-Lands-are-Peaceful Heavenly-Lad Lad-of-the-Rice-Ears-which-are-Peaceful Deity”); abbreviated name: Piko-po-nö-ninigi-nö-mikötö (“Lad-of-the-Rice-Ears-which-are-Peaceful Deity”); or, for short, simply Ninigi), born in the marriage of Ama-terasu’s maga-tama bead son-deity Amë-nö-osi-po-mimi-nö-mikötö with Taka-mi-musubi-nö-kamï’s daughter Yörödu-pata-töyö-aki-tu-si-pime-nö-mikötö, can therefore claim to be the grandson both of the Sun Goddess Ama-terasu and of the High Generative-Force Deity Taka-mi-musubi-nö-kamï. He will also become the great-grandfather of Jimmu, the legendary first emperor of the Yamatö line, whose ancestral line thus traces back to Ama-terasu. Indeed, in his marriage to Kö-nö-pana-nö-saku-ya-bime (“Blossoms-of-the-Trees Blooming-Princess”), a daughter of the Male Mountain-Deity Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï, Ninigi has three sons:
1. Po-deri-nö-mikötö (“Fire Radiant Lord”),
2. Po-suseri-nö-mikötö (“Fire Raging Lord”), and
3. Po-wori-nö-mikötö (“Fire-Bending Lord”).
It is the last of these, Po-wori-nö-mikötö, who becomes the grandfather of Jimmu, for Po-wori marries the crocodile- or dragon-daughter Töyö-tama-bime (“Abundant Jewel Princess”) of Wata-tu-mi-nö-kamï (“Sea-Spirit Great-Deity”) and has several children, one of whom, the son Ama-tu-piko-nagisa-take-U-gaya-puki-apëzu-nö-mikötö (“Heavenly-Lad Valiant-Lad-of-the-Shore Cormorant-Thatch-Incompletely-Thatched Lord”), goes on to marry his dragon-mother’s sister Tama-yöri-bime (“Spirit-Medium Princess”) and to father a son Waka-mi-kë-nu-nö-mikötö (“Young August Hair Deity”), a.k.a. Töyö-mi-kë-nu-nö-mikötö (“Abundant August Hair Deity”), a.k.a. Kamu-yamatö-ipare-biko-nö-mikötö (“Divine Yamatö-Ipare-Lad Lord”); it is this grandson of Po-wori who ultimately becomes the first Yamatö emperor, Jimmu.
XII. Opo-tösi-nö-kamï: Parents, Wives, ChildrenOpo-tösi-nö-kamï (“Great Harvest Deity”) was the son of Susa-nö-wo and Kamu-opo-iti-pime, one of the five daughters (cf. (VII.2) above) of Opo-yama-tu-mi-nö-kamï.
A. Opo-tösi-nö-kamï had 3 wives:1. Ino-pime (“Princess of Ino” [Ino is an Izumo place-name]), the daughter of yet another generative-force deity Kamu-iku-subi-nö-kamï,
2. Kagayo-pime (“Shining-Princess”), a sort of sun deity, and
3. Amë-tikaru-midu-pime, a.k.a. Amë-wakaru-midu-pime and Amë-siru-karu-midu-pime.
B. He had what the Kojiki counts as sixteen children (though the sharp-eyed reader will see seventeen):five from his marriage to Ino-pime:
1. Opo-kuni-mi-tama-nö-kamï (“Great Land Spirit Deity”)
2. Kara-nö-kamï (the so-called “Korean Deity”), to whom, for a time, it was the practice to sacrifice cattle,
3. Söpori-nö-kamï (“God of Söpori”),
4. Sira-pi-nö-kamï (“Deity of Mukapi”), and
5. Piziri-nö-kamï (“Day-Knower Deity”), who knew the days good for planting and for harvesting;
two from his marriage to Kagayo-pime:
6. Opo-kaga-yama-to-omi-nö-kamï (“Great Radiant-Mountain-Entrance-Noble Deity”), and
7. Mi-tösi-nö-kamï (“August Harvest Deity”);
and nine from his marriage to Amë-tikaru-midu-pime (and it is here that the sharp-eyed reader will see ten):
8a-b. the hearth- or kitchen-deities Oki-tu-piko-nö-kamï (“Embers Lad Deity”) and Oki-tu-pime-nö-kamï (“Embers Princess Deity”),
9. Opo-yama-gupi-nö-kamï (“Great Mountain Stake Deity”),
10. Nipa-tu-pi-nö-kamï (“Ceremonial-Place Spirit Deity”),
11-12. Asupa-nö-kamï and Papiki-nö-kamï, two deities protective of house and land,
13. Kaga-yama-to-omi-nö-kamï (“Radiant-Mountain-Entrance-Noble Deity”),
14. Pa-yama-to-nö-kamï (“Deity of the Mountain Foothill Entrances”),
15. Nipa-taka-tu-pi-nö-kamï (“Yard High Sun Deity”), and
16. Opo-tuti-nö-kamï (“Great Soil Deity”), a.k.a. Tuti-nö-mi-oya-nö-kamï (“Earth-Mother Deity”).
C. From the marriage of Opo-tosi-nö-kamï’s son Pa-yama-to-nö-kamï (“Deity of the Mountain Foothill Entrances”) to the daughter Opo-gë-to-pime-nö-kamï (“Great Food-Princess-Deity”) of Izanagi and Izanami (but see the Note to (VIII) above), eight deities were born; their enumeration evokes the annual calendar of agricultural activities, interspersed with ritual religious events:
1. Waka-yama-gupi-nö-kamï (“Young Mountain Stake Deity”),
2. Waka-tösi-nö-kamï (“Young Harvest Deity”),
3. his younger sister Waka-sana-mi-nö-kamï (“Young Rice-planting-Maiden Deity”),
4. Midu-maki-nö-kamï (“Water-Sprinkling Deity”),
5. Natu-taka-tu-pi-nö-kamï (“Summer High Sun Deity”), a.k.a. Natu-nö-mi-nö-kamï (“Summer Woman Deity”),
6. Aki-bime-nö-kamï (“Autumn-Princess Deity”),
7. Kuku-tösi-nö-kamï (“Stem Harvest Deity”), and
8. Kuku-kï-waka-murö-tuna-ne-nö-kamï (“Tendrils Youthful-Dwelling-Vines Deity”).
D. Note the parallel between the ancestral progression from the Great Harvest Deity Opo-tösi-nö-kamï, through his son Mi-tösi-nö-kamï (the “August Harvest Deity”), to his grandsons Waka-tösi-nö-kamï and Kuku-tösi-nö-kamï (the “Young Harvest Deity” and the “Stem Harvest Deity”, respectively), and the cyclically repetitive logic of agriculture, in which harvest follows endlessly upon harvest. Of course, each successive harvest grows out of the seeds gathered from the previous harvest; the very first seeds, though, before there was any previous harvest to gather them from, had to be harvested from the body of the slain food deity Opo-gë-to-pime-nö-kamï.
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|First posted: 16 Apr 2003|