|Appendix 1||Appendix 2||Kojiki||Matsuri|| Comments? Use our |
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|Last revised: 05 June 2005|
I. Entities of Importance to Izanagi and Izanami1. Amë-nö-nu-bokö, the Heavenly Jeweled Spear that their Elders bestowed upon Izanagi and Izanami when entrusting to them their mission “to complete and solidify this drifting land.” (Recall that, at this time, “the land was still young, resembling floating oil and drifting like a jellyfish.” )
2. Amë-nö-uki-pasi, the Heavenly Floating Bridge joining Takama-nö-para, or heaven, with the terrestrial Central Land of the Reed Plains, over which Izanagi and Izanami would descend to earth, pausing first to create the island Onögörö, their future home, by using the spear Amë-nö-nu-bokö to stir the brine beneath the bridge in a churning manner.
3. Amë-nö-mi-pasira, the Heavenly Pillar that Izanagi and Izanami erected on the island Onögörö once they had descended there, and around which they circled, in a nuptual ritual, prior to engaging in their conjugal procreative activities.
4. Ya-pirö-dönö, the spacious wedding palace that Izanagi and Izanami had erected as well, prior to performing their nuptual ritual around the Heavenly Pillar Amë-nö-mi-pasira.
5. Amë-nö-wo-pa-bari, the sword (later to become known as Itu-nö-wo-pa-bari-nö-kamï, “Heavenly (or Sacred) Wide-Pointed-Blade Deity,” and to be consulted in conjunction with the actions preparatory to the earthly descent of Ninigi) with which Izanagi killed the infant Fire Deity, the last of the conjugal children of Izanagi and Izanami, whose birth had brought about Izanami’s demise.
6. The items of food — the grapes growing from Izanagi’s discarded head-band, the bamboo-shoots sprouting from Izanagi’s discarded comb, and the three peaches Izanagi found on his path — with which Izanagi could deter, hold at bay, and ultimately repulse the “hags of Yömï” whom Izanami had sent to pursue Izanagi on his flight from Yömï, the Land of the Dead, into which he had ventured from the Land of Papaki (where he had buried her) in the hope of reclaiming his dead spouse; this Land of Papaki, later a Honshu province lying between Izumo and Inaba, today, together with Inaba, forms Tottori-ken.
7. Ti-gapasi-nö-opo-kamï (“Great Road-Returning-Back Deity”) or Sayari-masu-yömï-do-nö-opo-kamï (“Great Abiding Yömï-Entrance-Blocking Deity”), the massive (or “thousand-pulling”) boulder (so called for the thousand persons that would be required to pull it) with which Izanagi was able to seal the pass Yömö-tu-pira-saka (“Flat Pass of Yömï”), thereby forever separating himself and his world of the living from his dead wife Izanami and her Land of the Dead (Yömï); the Kojiki notes that the pass it calls Yömö-tu-pira-saka, which is probably also where Susa-nö-wo was later to slay the dragon Kosi (cf. III.4, below), and where Opo-kuni-nusi, still later, would slay his eighty older brothers, “is now” the pass called Ipuya-zaka in Izumo province; indeed, indications of a village called Ifuya, perhaps the site of an Ipuya shrine mentioned in other early writings, have apparently been located in modern-day Izumo, in what is now Yatsuka-gun, Shimane-ken, not far from Matsue.
8. The maga-tama beads, strings of which Izanagi shook ceremonially and then gave over to his daughter Ama-terasu when entrusting to her the mission to rule over heaven; thereafter, they are almost an attribute of Ama-terasu: to fortify herself for her contest with Susa-nö-wo, for example, she adorns her hair and her arms with them; during the contest with Susa-nö-wo, once she has broken into three the sword he offered her, chewed up the pieces, and spat them out again as the Munakata goddesses, Susa-nö-wo five time begs for Ama-terasu’s strings of maga-tama beads and, likewise chewing them up, spits out the debris as the five male deities later to be known as Ama-terasu’s sons; again, strings of maga-tama beads figure among the offerings placed before the Heavenly Rock-Cave Door during the attempts to lure the sulking Ama-terasu back out; and they are given to Ninigi as one of the three sacred regalia with which to worship Ama-terasu following his descent to earth.
II. Objects and Creatures Figuring in Ama-terasu’s Concealment and Restoration1. The heavenly dappled pony which Susa-nö-wo skins “with a backward skinning,” and whose flayed carcass he drops down into the heavenly weaving hall (through a hole he had opened in its roof) while Ama-terasu is engaged in overseeing her heavenly weaving maiden at work there; this prank of Susa-nö-wo so alarms the heavenly weaving maiden that she dies, and Ama-terasu becomes so afraid that she enters the heavenly rock-cave door Amë-nö-ipa-ya-to and seals herself within.
2. Amë-nö-ipa-ya-to, the heavenly rock-cave door within which the fearful Ama-terasu concealed herself after the events just mentioned in the heavenly weaving hall; later, in the time of Ninigi, the residence of Itu-nö-wo-pa-bari-nö-kamï, the Sacred Wide-Pointed-Blade Deity, formerly Amë-nö-wo-pa-bari (q.v. supra). In today’s Kyushu, just a few miles outside the town Takachiho, there is an Amano-Iwato shrine, whose grounds encompass two caves: one thought to be that in which Ama-terasu actually concealed herself; the other, quite near to the first, that in which the gods all assembled to devise the means of bringing her forth again (see the discussion in Chapter 3).
3. The long-crying birds of Tökö-yö, whose cries the eight-hundred myriad deities hoped would lure the Sun Goddess out of the cave.
4. The whole shoulder-bone, removed from a male deer of the mountain Amë-nö-kagu-yama, and used, along with papaka wood taken from the same mountain, in a divination performed before preparing to lure the Sun Goddess out of the cave.
5. The ma-sakaki trees, uprooted from the mountain Amë-nö-kagu-yama mentioned above, amongst whose branches the various solemn offerings meant to lure the Sun Goddess out of the cave were displayed; branches of sakaki are still in use today as offerings in Shinto ritual.
6. The white and blue nikite cloth suspended amidst the lower branches of the ma-sakaki trees; according to at least one Nihongi account, however, these have their origin later, being first produced by Susa-nö-wo, from his spittle and mucus, respectively, after his expulsion order; in a curious parallel, Susa-nö-wo himself was produced from the cleansing of the nose of his father Izanagi.
7. The strings of maga-tama beads made by Tama-nö-ya-nö-mikötö, affixed to the upper branches of the ma-sakaki trees.
8. The august mirror, made by Isi-köri-dome, first hung in the middle branches of the ma-sakaki trees, then taken down and placed before the mouth of the cave in which the Sun Goddess had concealed herself; later used to capture her image; still later, given to Ninigi, along with the maga-tama beads, as one of the three sacred regalia, with the directive to worship it on earth as the Sun Goddess is worshipped in heaven; currently enshrined in Ise.
III. The crucial objects and creatures involved with the subsequent punishment, purification, exorcism, and exile of Susa-nö-wo1. The restitutive gifts, a thousand tables full of which the eight-hundred myriad deities exact of Susa-nö-wo as a fine for all his heavenly sins — his breaking up the ridges between Ama-terasu’s rice paddies, his filling in their drainage ditches, his littering with his own faeces “the hall where the first fruits were tasted,” his skinning of the heavenly pony, with the concomitant death of the heavenly weaving maiden, and his many other “misdeeds,” not specified, but deplored as “even more flagrant.”
2. Susa-no-wo’s beard, and
3. the nails of his hand and feet, which the eight-hundred myriad deities cut off in connection with having Susa-nö-wo first exorcised and then expelled with a divine expulsion. One Nihongi account describes Susa-nö-wo’s severed fingernails and toenails as being used to make “things abhorrent of luck” and “things abhorrent of calamity,” respectively.
4. Kosi, the great dragon with eight tails, eight heads, and blood-oozing belly, soon to be offered the eighth daughter Kusi-nada-pime of the already seven-times-bereaved couple Asi-na-duti (son of Opo-yama) and Te-na-duti, that the exiled Susa-nö-wo, having descended to Töri-kami, along the Pï river, where he met these unhappy parents and learned of their plight, killed so that Kusi-nada-pime would not become its next victim; instead, she is now to become Susa-nö-wo’s wife. The Pï, incidentally, seems to be today’s Izumo river Hii-kawa, which flows from Mt. Sentsu down into Lake Shinji, on whose shore the town of Matsue is situated.
5. The sake Susa-nö-wo had Asi-na-duti and his wife distill, which, poured into eight barrels, each on its own raised platform by each of the eight gates in a fence they had built, would provide each of the dragon’s eight heads with such an intoxicating refreshment that, once each head was safely asleep in a drunken stupor, Susa-nö-wo could make short work of slaying the dragon.
6. Kusa-nagi, the mighty sword that Susa-nö-wo extracted from within the dragon’s middle tail, and then presented to Ama-terasu, who later conferred it upon Ninigi, along with the august mirror and the maga-tama beads, as another component of the three sacred regalia.
7. The “many-fenced palace” that Susa-nö-wo built at Suga, the place in Izumo of which Susa-nö-wo, now cleansed of his pollution, could feel, “here, my heart is refreshed.” It is here that Susa-nö-wo begets Ya-sima-zinumi of Kusi-nada-pime, as well as other children by other wives.
IV. The crucial objects and creatures helping Opo-kuni-nusi into — and out of — his ordeals1. The rabbit of Inaba, who, grateful for Opo-kuni-nusi’s help in recovering from his mistreatment at the hands of Opo-kuni-nusi’s eighty brothers, “rewards” Opo-kuni-nusi by ensuring that the princess Ya-gami-pime, whom those eighty brothers were intent on courting (with Opo-kuni-nusi serving them as a mere baggage-carrier), would refuse to become the wife of any of them, choosing instead Opo-kuni-nusi himself as husband. Angered at this outcome, the eighty brothers twice succeed in killing Opo-kuni-nusi, only to have his mother each time restore him to life, once through the intervention of the Divine Generative-Force Deity Kamï-musubi-nö-mikötö, and the next time all by herself. Fearing for her son’s future safety, however, she urges him to depart for Kï, where he is instructed to seek the counsel of Susa-nö-wo, in Ne-nö-kata-su-kuni (the “Firm Ancestral Land,” which is probably just Yomï by another name). His first encounter there is with Susa-nö-wo’s daughter Suseri-bime; they quickly fall in love; and Susa-nö-wo, on meeting him, immediately imposes his own trials on Opo-kuni-nusi.
2. The snake-repelling scarf, given to Opo-kuni-nusi by Susa-nö-wo’s daughter Suseri-bime so that Opo-kuni-nusi could survive his first ordeal at the hands of Susa-nö-wo, to “sleep in a chamber of snakes.”
3. The second magic scarf given to Opo-kuni-nusi by Suseri-bime, with which Opo-kuni-nusi could survive his second ordeal at the hands of Susa-nö-wo, to sleep “in a chamber of centipedes and bees.”
4. The mouse, who, when Opo-kuni-nusi was helplessly trapped within a ring of fire — recall that Susa-nö-wo, having caused Opo-kuni-nusi to go fetch and bring back to him a humming arrow he had shot into a large plain, then “set fire all around the edges of the plain” while Opo-kuni-nusi was still within it — taught Opo-kuni-nusi to burrow into the ground while the fire passed harmlessly over him; and who, when Opo-kuni-nusi emerged unscathed, presented him with Susa-nö-wo’s humming arrow, so that, despite its having been nibbled at by the mouse’s children, he could in fact return it, as bidden, to Susa-nö-wo.
5. The centipedes that Susa-nö-wo, upon receiving back his humming arrow, had Opo-kuni-nusi groom from his hair.
6. The sword of life, the bow-and-arrow of life, and the heavenly speaking koto that Opo-kuni-nusi stole from Susa-nö-wo while the latter, lulled by the pleasurable sensation that Opo-kuni-nusi was still grooming his hair, was peacefully asleep.
7. The palace, with posts firmly rooted “in the bed-rock below” and crossbeams raised high “unto Takama-nö-para itself,” that the desperate Susa-nö-wo, railing at Opo-kuni-nusi as he makes good his escape with Susa-nö-wo’s daughter Suseri-bime and the three stolen objects enumerated above, suggests he should build for himself at the foot of Mount Uka. In fact, it is not until he conveys to Take-mika-duti-nö-kamï and Amë-nö-töri-pune-nö-kamï his readiness to yield control of the Central Land of the Reed Plains to “the offspring of the heavenly deities” that Opo-kuni-nusi builds such a palace — and that near the beach of Tagisi in Izumo — having stipulated that he be so worshipped at this, his dwelling-place, that it become “like the plentiful heavenly dwelling where rules the heavenly sun-lineage of the offspring of the heavenly deities.” It is out of just this palace that today’s Great Izumo-Taisha Shrine is thought to have arisen.
V. Sea Creatures of Importance to Opo-kuni-nusi, Saruta-biko, Ninigi, and Po-wori
A. Participants and Ingredients in the Consecration of Opo-kuni-nusi’s Palace1. Kusi-ya-tama-nö-kamï, grandson of the sea-straits deity Paya-aki-tu-piko-nö-kamï born to Izanagi and Izanami, who becomes the food-server and principal celebrant in the inaugural worship of Opo-kuni-nusi and attendant consecration of Opo-kuni-nusi’s palace.
2. The cormorant that Kusi-ya-tama-nö-kamï turns into, so as to be able to dive into the sea, thence to bring up the clay with which he would fashion flat pottery vessels.
3. Seaweed leaves and stems, with which Kusi-ya-tama-nö-kamï made a friction-fire starting board and a friction-fire drill.
4. The fire that Kusi-ya-tama-nö-kamï drilled with these implements, whose smoke should rise as high as heaven, and whose heat should burn “the bottom bedrock … solid,” in this way realizing Opo-kuni-nusi’s aim to fulfill Susa-nö-wo’s prophetic description of the attributes of Opo-kuni-nusi’s palace.
5. The perch, wide-mouthed and broad-finned, that fishermen using nets on “thousand-fathom ropes” should “draw hither and raise up” for Kusi-ya-tama-nö-kamï to “present [as] heavenly sea-food viands.”
6. The trays of split bamboo, to be so laden with these fish offerings that they would “bend down under the weight” thereof.
B. Sea-Creatures and Others in the Mediation of Saruta-biko’s Service to Ninigi1. Amë-nö-uzume, who first accosts Saruta-biko (in obedience to Ama-terasu and Taka-ki-nö-kamï) to inquire what has brought him to the heavenly crossroads, seemingly blocking the path along which Ninigi is to descend, only to learn that he has come simply to serve as Ninigi’s guide;
2. Mount Taka-ti-po of Pimuka in Tukusi, on whose peak Ninigi and company, guided by Saruta-biko, ended their descent; Mount Taka-ti-po seems to be Kyushu’s Mount Takachiho; here Ninigi, just as did Opo-kuni-nusi before him elsewhere, builds a palace with posts “rooted … firmly in the bedrock below,” and crossbeams “raised high unto Takama-nö-para itself.”
3. The shellfish (in Azaka, Ise, where Saruta-biko — having been accompanied there, at Ninigi’s request, by Amë-nö-uzume — was now fishing) in whose shell Saruta-biko gets his hand so inextricably caught that he falls into the sea and drowns.
4. The broad universe of fish, both “the wide-finned and the narrow-finned,” who, gathered together by Amë-nö-uzume (who may well be acting here under the name of Saruta-biko, whose name, after all, Ninigi had bid her to assume when serving him), all “as one” pledge their willingness “to serve the offspring of the heavenly deities.”
5. The sea-slug, the only one among the fish to have remained silent, whose silence Amë-nö-uzume rebukes by slitting its mouth with a dagger.
C. Implements and Denizens of the Sea Instrumental in Po-wori’s Gaining Dominance over Po-deri1. The fishhook, lost by Po-wori after being lent it by his eldest brother Po-deri, that Po-deri insists Po-wori return.
2. Sipo-tuti-nö-kamï (“Brine-Spirit Deity”), who makes Po-wori a boat and instructs him to sail therein to the castle of Wata-tu-mi-nö-mikötö (“Great Sea-Spirit Deity”), whose daughter will be able to help recover the lost fishhook.
3. Töyö-tama-bime (“Abundant Jewel Princess”), Wata-tu-mi-nö-mikötö’s daughter, whom Po-wori almost immediately weds, not to remember about his lost-fishhook problem for three years.
4. The assembly of “all the large and small fish of the sea,” summoned together by Töyö-tama-bime’s father Wata-tu-mi-nö-mikötö, who asked them “whether any fish had taken the fishhook.”
5. The sea-bream, unanimously identified by the assembled fish as the most likely candidate because of its recent complaints of “a bone … caught in its throat,” from within whose throat the lost fishhook, indeed found to be lodged there, was recovered. In one Nihongi account, it is not a sea-bream but a kuchi-me (“Lady-Mouth”) in whose throat the lost fishhook is found lodged, and for this reason “the fish kuchime is not among the articles of food set before the Emperor.”
6. The tide-raising and tide-ebbing jewels, given to Po-wori by Wata-tu-mi-nö-kami, whose powers would enable Po-wori, after pronouncing a suitable malediction over the lost fishhook and then restoring it to Po-deri, to gain dominance over his older brother.
7. The crocodile-dragon on whose back Po-wori was transported from the watery realms of the sea-deity Wata-tu-mi-nö-kami and his daughter — and Po-wori’s wife — Töyö-tama-bime, back to land, there indeed to find Po-deri, return the fishhook, and, with the help of the malediction he had pronounced over it, and the power of the tide-jewels, gain dominance over his brother.
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|First posted: 26 July 2003|