The Holy Land blessed by the Gods
The Three Generations of the Heavenly Descendants
in Hyûga, Kyushu
" Amano Sakahoko "
The Japanese Sun Rising Flag
and the Three teeth fork-shaped
weapon staked up side
on the top of the Mt. Takachiho-no Mine.
Do you know the exact place where the Heavenly Descendant the
Mikoto descended at the order of the Godess of Sun Amaterasu
Takamagahara Field ( Heavenly Hill Field ) in Heaven ?
Ninigi-no Mikoto descended on top of the Holy Mt. Takachiho-no-Mine.
If you can
not believe such a fantastic story inspite of the holy and
majestic look of the Holy
Mountain, look at the three teethed spear " Ama-no-Sakahoko
- Heavenly Upside
Down Spear " staked on top of the Mt. Takachiho-no-mine.
It is not a devil's
By whom it was staked ? Presumably by God Ninigi-no Mikoto
There have been much speculation and opinion as to why the mysterious
Heavenly Lance is staked upside down on the top of Mt.Takachiho-no-mine.
This mysterious Heavenly Lance has been the cause of much speculation
and opinion as to why it was staked upside down in the top
of the mountain
It is believed that the weapon staked upside down points at the route to go back
to Heaven. Some people say, however, that it expresses the protest of the gods
on Earth against the gods in Heaven. There is another fantastic
opinion that god
Ninigi-no-mikoto dropped the weapon down to see whether the
the spot is
safe or not to descend on. This opinion, however, disregards
why the lance is
staked upside down.
This is a dangerous place to descend upon from Heaven. The Kirishima Mountain
Range has 23 volcanoes, 15 craters and 10 caldera lakes.
The lance " Amano Sakahoko " is rusted. It belongs
to the gods and not human
beings. The preservation treatment is up to the gods. It is
not a cultural heritage
of our human government.
At the end of the Edo Period, on the second year of Keio, in
Ryoma made the first honey moon trip in Japan to Satsuma. He
Mr.Takachiho-no-mine with his wife Oryô and saw
the Holy Hoko with his own
eyes and touched it. He sent a humorous letter to his sister
Otome writing about
the details of the honey moon trip with some illustrations.
The Japanese Mythology is not a science nor the
verificable history. The ancient
chronicles like " Kojiki " and " Nihon Shoki " are full of fantastic and mysterios
stories. They are the best detective novels
ever published in Japan.
You can enjoy yorself wandering among the gods
only by using imagination
and symparhizing with poor and miserable gods and also
glorious gods. Use
your imagination and have your fantastic theories.
( 5,167 feet above sea level )
The Holy Mt. Takachiho-no Mine
The fork-shaped Weapon
" Amano Sakahoko "
- Heavenly Up-side down three-
teethed weapon " staked upside down
on the top of the Holy Mr. Takachiho-no
Mine, Miyazaki prefecture.
In Ancient times, Kirishima Jingu Shrine was located btween the top of
Kirishima Jingu Shrine
Kirishima-cho, Aira-gun, Kagoshima pref.
By courtesy of Dept. of Mathematics and
Computer Science of Prof. Mori
Takacchiho-no Mine and Mt.Ohachi. It was moved to several places due to
the volcanic eruptions of the volcanoes.
In 1484, it was moved to the present place. The Temple is of course
dedicated to the the Heavenly Descendant Ninigi-no Mikoto. The buildings
of the Shrime were burnt down by an accidental fire later.
The present buildings of the Kirishima Shrine were reconstructed in 1715
at the order of 21st lord of Shimazu, Shimazu Yoshitaka.
The mini-Museum of
" NaniwaTamatsukuri "
of Ancient gems
" magatama " at the
Shrine in Osaka.
This has the shape of
an ancient house of
Kiritsuma zukuri style
of the Kofun period.
These houses are
discoverd in the form
of earthen replicas
called " Haniwa ".
The bronze mirror
This is not the same as the
genuine Heavenly Mirror
enshrined in the Inner Shrine
" Naiku " in the Ise
The curve-shaped " Magatama " gem.
One of the Three Heavenly Treasures
( Sanshu no Jingi )
Magatama is one of the three Heavenly Treasures
" Sanshu no Jingi " o " Sanshu no Shingi " which
the Goddess of the Sun bestowed on the Heavenly
Descendant Ninigi-no Mikoto as the symbols of his
legitinate ruling on Earth when he descended from
Heaven to Earth.
The genuine Heavenly Magatana " Yasakani-no
Magatama " was handed down from generation
to generation to the present emperor. It is treasured
in the Imperial Palace. We are not informed enough
about it, and we don't not know what it is like really.
Magatama is a gem made from green jade, blue
agate. cristal or other materias. We don't know
why it is curve-shaped.
Magatama were an ornament which the important
persons wore and were also charms which the
priests used for some religious rites.
The magatama were charms and the symbols of
power. They began to be manufactuered in III B.C.E.
and stopped being manufactured VII C.E. On the
South of the Osaka Castle, there is an area called
Tamatsukuri, jewel makers or jewel making, where
the Tamatsukuri Shrine founded in 12 years C.E is
In the ancient days, there lived people called
members of the Jewel makers' guild.
In the grounds of the temple, there is a mini
-museum called Naniwa Tamatsukuri Gem
Museum - Naniwa Tamatsukuri Shiryokan -
which has a collection of Magatama gems.
The house of this museum was built after the
fashion of the earthen " Haniwa " replicas of
the ancient houses, which have a style of
" Kiritsuma Zukuru - gabled houses ". " Haniwa "
were replicas of houses, horses, birds and
men in the first centuries C.E. ( the " Kofun "
- huge mausoleum Period. They are found in the
The Tamatsukuri-Inari Jinja is situated in
Tamatsurkuri 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Osaka,
close to the Osaka Castle.
In 1984, at the construction site of a road
" Hoko "
lance " Hoko "
of the Yaoi
the same one
found at the
of the Yaoi
the same found
|The "hoko "is a kind of a lance with
a pointed tip on one end and with a cylindrical tube on the other end to
be fitted onto a wooden pole as
shown in the above photo.
Bronze " Dotaku "
It is said that the bell-shpaed Dotaku
were used for some religious rites.
Archaeological Site of
Kamo-cho, Shimane pref.
The building for religious rituals or
conference in the Yoshinogari
of the Yaoi period.
in Saga pref.
to some agricutural land in Hikawa-cho town,
Shimane prefecture, 358 bronze swords
were discovered.The site was named "
Kojindami Archeological Site. This discovery
surprised many archiologists who had believed
that the cultural sphere of bronze arms was
in the north of Kyushu.The total quantity of
bronze swords discovered in the whole
Japan until that time had been only about 300.
In the following year of 1985, close to the
site above-mentioned, 6 " bonze Dotaku "
and 16 lance " Hoko " points were discovered.
These all discovered articles were designated
as National Treasures and were put on
exhibition in the Shimane Prefectural Museum.
Kojindani became " Archiological Park of
Kojindani " and the replicas of the discovered
articles were placed at the spots where the
original ones had been discovered.
In 1996, 12 years after those historical
discoveries, at 3.5 kilometers from the
Archeological Park of Kojindani, at Iwakura,
Kamo-cho town,Ohara-gun, Shimane
Prefecture, 39 Dotaku were found. Until that
time, the maximum quantity of Dotaku found
at one site had been 24 discovered at the
Oiwa-yama Archeological Site in Shiga
These discoveries challenged the ideas
that there were two different cultural
spheres of bronze weapons and the bronze
" Dotaku ".
Around the years 1930's, one famous Japanese
philosopher Watsuji Tesuo asserted that the north
of Kyushu had been the cultural sphere of bronze
weapons and the east of Honshu, the sphere of
bronze Dotaku.This concept had been considered
as a fact for many years.
These archaeological discoveries contradicted
the opinions of some historians who had believed
that in the Izumo region, there had not been any
powerful country. They believed that the
descriptions in the ancient cronicles are merely
legandary and mythological and not trustworthy.
The concrete and convincing evidence of the
existence of a powerful country in Izumo increased
the mystery about the ancient Japanese history
of the peaceful transfer of power of the powerful
Izumo clan to less powerful clan of the Heavenly
descendants written in Kojiki and Nihon Shoki .
Why the Heavenly Descendants who had lived in
an uncivilized southern part of Japan was able to
advance eastward subjugating pepoles more
powerful economically and militarily with higher
metal civilization ? The people in the northern
parts of Kyushu soon bagan using the iron
weapons instead of bronze weapons.
Why the people in Izumo agreed to be ruled by
the people who came from the Southern part of
In 1980, at Yasunaga, Tosu city, Saga prefecture,
the moldes to manufacture bronze Dotaku were
discovered. This shows the inter-influence between
two cultural spheres.
Between 1986 and 1989, at the Archaeological site of Yoshino-gari, many
ruins of the houses built in the middle of Yaoi period were unearthed.The
molds to manufacture Dotaku were also diswcovered ath the site.
A large area of 117 ha. became the Historical park of Yoshinogari. You
can see there
buildings of all times of the Yaoi period which lasted 6 centuries ( 3
B.C.E. - 3 C.E. ).
There was a citadel sorrrounded by 2.5 kilometer long moat.
It is a mystery why the Heavenly Descendants moved to the southenmost under-
developed place in the Satuma peninsula, the Noma Cape where the people
They were considered as uncivilized people for many centuries.The desendants
god Niigi-no-Mikoto lived during 3 generations in the Noma Cape. They married
of the uncivlized people during three generations. The story is very derogatoty
imperial family and would stain the Imperial prestage.
I believe that the story implies the unification of the whole races that
lived in the Japanese
Some historians believe that the writers of the Chronicles intended
people with the more vast lands as possible that the first Emperor Jinmu
in his Advance Toward the East. They set, therefore, the starting
point of the Emperor
Jinmu's Eastward Advance at the Southernmost place of the Kyushu Island,
Cape in the Satsuma Peninsula.
The god Sarutabiko-no-mikoto
guiding the heavenly descendants
The Goddess of the Sun, Amaterasu Ômi-kami
and Takagi-no-Kami, being informed from
the god Takemikazuki who returned to Heaven
after having investigated the situation on Earth
that Earth had been pacified, decided to
send down to Earth the sovereign to rule Earth.
The both gods re-conformed the order to the
son of the godess, Masakatsu Akatsukachi
Hayahi Ama no Oshihomimi no Mikoto to go
down to Earth to rule Earth, saying " The
underneath Ashihara no Nakatsu kuni finally
has been pacified now. Go down to Earth to
rule the land, as previously ordered. "
The god Ame no Oshihomimi no Mikoto replied :
" While I was preparing to go down to Earth, a son
named " Ame Nishiki Kuninishiki Amatsu Hikohiko
Hono Ninigi-no-Mikoto was born to me. He is grown-up now. I had my son
with the daughter of the god Takagi -no-kami. I believe that it is better
to send my son down to Earth instead of myself. "
The supreme gods agreeded with the suggestion of the god Ame no Oshihomimi no
Mikoto and ordered the god Ninigi-no-Mikoto, saying : " Your father has decided to
put in your hands Ashihara no Nakatsu kuni. Go gown there to rule it. "
The mask of the god
Saruta-biko no Mikoto
at the the pillar of
the bridge Shimakigawa
in Takahashi city, Okayama
used in the Shintoist
play " Kagura " .
（ ににぎのみこと ）
The Heavenly Descendant
" Tenson " Ninigino Mikoto
in the south of the
and farthest west of
the Kyushu Island.This
is a windy place and
a wind tower with propellers
to generate electricity
in seen in the above photo.
Thus, the god Ninigi-no-Mikoto wanted to go down
and looked downward and found a strange god
standing in the way at the point where the road
split in 8 different directions.
The strange god was illuminating both Heaven
and The god Ninigi-no-Mikoto was scared at the
strange god and was afraid to go down to him.
He was tall, red faced and had a long nose.
He ordered the godess Amenouzume-no-Mikoto,
saying : " You are feeble woman. But, you can glare
at anybody in his face. Go down to him and ask him
why he stands there in the way for the prince of the
goddess of the sun to pass. ".
She must have given him an fascinating glare. Later,
we will know that this godess was seductive, glamorous
She asked him why he was standing in the way there.
The god replied : " I 'm not a suspicious god. I'm a god
on Earth. I have heard that the prince of the Sun will
come down from Heaven. I have come here to receive
him from Heaven and guide him to our country
" Ashihara no Nakatsu-kuni ".
The god Saruta-biko no Mikoto later became
the god for
good journey and became the
ancestor of the super beings called " Tengu
living deep in the mountain. The tengu was
considered as agile as a
"saru " or monkey.
There are many legends that the great
practiced martial arts with the tengu
deep in the mountain. Legend says that Ninamoto
-no-Yoshitsune learned martial arts with Tengu
in the Mt.Kurama in Kyoto, when he was a child.
became the goddess of the entertainment
many shrines in Japan dedicated for
these two gods. One of them is in Ise
city near the
Naigu Shrine. In the grounds of that Shrine, there
is also a small shrine for his wife " Amenouzume-
The Godess of the Sun, Amaterasu Ômi-kami and
Takagi-no-Kami decided to make 5 gods to
acompany Ninigi-no-Mikoto. They were Ame-no-koyane
-no-mikoto, Futodama-no-mikoto, Ame-no-uzume-no
They were chosen to go down to Earth.
In addition, the gem " Yasaka-no-Magatama with which the gods tempted
the Goddess of the Sun, Amaterasu Ômi-kami into coming out of the cavern to illuminate the world again, the mirror and the sword "
Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi donated by Susano-o-no-Mikoto, were handed to Ninigi-no-mikoto.
These three holy articles would become the three imperial regalias "Sanshu-no-shingi
The gem " Magatama " means the harvest of cereals, the mirror
the symbol of the Sun, the
sword military power.
The supreme two gods also ordered three more gods to accompany the god
mikoto. They were Tokoyo-no-Omoikane-no-kami( the god of eternal wisdom),
Tajikarano-no-kami ( the god of the strong hands ), and the god Ame-no-Iwato-wake
-kami (The strong god of the Heavenly Rock Door Opening ).
The goddess Amaterasu Ômi-kami told Ninigi-no-Mikoto " Worship the mirror as though it
were myself. The god Omoikane-no-kami must be in charge of the mirror worshipping
Therefore, the god Ninigi-no-mikoto and the god Omoikane-no-kami are worshipping
even now the spirit of the goddess of the sun Amaterasu Ômi-kami in the form of the
mirror in the Inner Temple " Naiku " at the river side " Isuzu-gawa - the river of 50 bells "
in the Ise-Jingu Naiku sanctuary. The sanctuary of Naiku( The Inner Shrine
)has an area
of 5,500 ha. In the Naiku sanctuary, there are 92 shrines, and in the
Geku shrine, 33
shrines, 125 shrines in total. The Naiku Shrine is the most important,
because the spirit
of the goddess the sun Amaterasu Ômi-kami is enshrined there. The goddess is the
ancestor of the Japanese Emperors and the Japanese people according to
It has been customary from ancient times to worship first the Outer Shrine
then to visit the Inner Shrine Naiku for the reason I don't know. Only
of the Imperial House and dignitaries are allowed to come close to the
shrines. In the
case of the Inner Shrine, it had 4 fold fenses( walls). We can not enter the South
Entrance of the outermost fence. We can have some glimps of upper parts
shrine of the "Yuiitsu Shinmei-zukuri " style from outside. We
can not provide you,
therefore, with nice pictures of the detail of the temples. Your can see,
many pictures of the inside of the shrine grounds on the official web.page
Ise Jingû Shrines. It is 6 kilometers from the Outer Shrine to the Inner Shrine.
There is a bus service between two shrines with several interesting places
The Naiku Shrine was firtst built more than 2,000 years during the reign
of the emperor
Suinin, but every twenty years, the Inner Shrine - Naiku, Outer Shrine - Geku, other 14
shrines, religious ritual treasures, bridges, and even white pebbles in
the grounds of the
shrines will be replaced by the new ones. This custom of the renewal or
replacement began in 680. The next over-haul replacement will take place
Last time, 50,000 people in the former Ise province and in the former feuds
Ise Shrine temples, clad in white, brought white pebbles to the construction
sites of the
shrines. The white pebbles were picked in the bed of the river "Miyagawa"
Outer Shrine - Geku.
The old material of wood will be donated to many temples in Japan to repair
emperor Suinin was the first emperor who watched the Sumo wrestling between
Herculean wrestlers Taima-no-Kehaya and Nomi-no-Sukune.
The goddess " Toyouke-no-kami " for food, clothing, housing and
industry is enshrined
in the Outer Shrine " Geku " of the ise sanctuary. The spirit
of goddess was invited about
1,500 years ago from the province of Tanba to serve food to the goddess
of the sun
during the reign of the emperor Yuryaku. The goddess of the Sun Amaterasu Ômi-kami
appeared in a dream of the emperor Yuryaku, and she said : " I need badly somebody
who will prepare food for me.
Then call for the goddess of food Toyouke-no-kami enshrined in Tanba. The emperor
Yuryaku invited the goddess of food and built at shrine at Watarai, Ise.
At the Geku
shrine, the ceremony of food serving was practised twice a day, in the
morning and in
the evening. This means that the ancient Japanese took two meals a day.
In the altars of the Shinto gods, we put rice, fruit, vegitable, seaweed
food not processed, steamed, boiled, grilled, or cooked. The Sun Goddness
Amatarasu Ômikami, therefore, did not want to have a cooking goddess.
however, like to take sake, processed alcoholic beverage made of sake.
We can see
in the grounds of many Shinto Temples colourful sake barrels donated by sake
There is a proverb which says : " There is no god who is a teetotaler."
god are Bacchuses. There are many Shinto festivals ans ceremonies related
Sake. In the wedding ceremonies, the bride and bridegroom practise the
of " San San Kudo - Three Three Nine cups od sake". In the Matsuo
Shrine, a god for sake is enshrined.
Sake Barrels ( Alcoholic Beverage
made from rice )
donated by many sake brewers
Grand Shrine " Matsuo-Taisya "
The legend of the Shrine says that in 733
when the fountain of pure water was found
in the grounds of the Shrine, the god appeared
and said that the water is good for sake
brewing, and it is the water for eternal youth.
" Ame-no-Iwatowake " was the god who guarded
the Sacred Entrance Gate. Ame-no-tajikarao-no
-kami was the god with strong hands. He is
now enshrined in the Sana Shrine.
Ame-no-koyane-no-mikoto who descended
from Heaven with Ninigi-no-Mikoto would
become the ancestor of the important Nakatomi
clan. " Natatomi " meant " the go-between
subject of the emperor between the gods and
the emperor. The clan was in charge of the
religious matters. Futodama-no-mikoto was
the ancestor of Inbe clan which was also in charge of rhe religious
matters, but went on losing its power, as the Nakatomi clan became more
and more powerful. From Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto, descended the clan of Sarume-no-kimi,
clan of priestesses
and religious female dancers. The descendants of Ishikoridome-no-mikoto became
manufacturers of mirrors, and the the descendants of Tamanoya-no-mikoto formed the
guild of the jewel makers.
Inner Shrine " Naiku "
in the Ise-jingu sanctuaries.
Dedicated to the goddess
of the Sun Amaterasu Ômi-
kami.Ise city, Mie pref.
Founded more than 2000
The upper parts of the
main buildings of the Inner
" Isuzu-gawa " River
( River of 50 bells )
Pure, sacred and mysterious
in the " Naiku " ( The Inner
Shrine )sanctuary . The hands
are washed here to purify
yourself before entering
the sacred area.
Outer Shrine " Geku "
in the Ise-jingu sanctuaries
Ise city, Mie pref.
The god Ninigi-no-mikoto, fully prepared, started
downward passing through thousands of clouds
and reached Ame-no-Ukihashi, the floating bridge
or the space station between Heaven and Earth.
From there, the Heavenly Descendants descended
to the top of the holy mountain Takachiho-no-mine
in the province of Himuka ( Hyuga ).
The two gods on Earth, Ame-no-Oshihi-no-mikoto
and Ame-Tsukume-no-mikoto appeared to welcome
the Heavenly Descendants.
They are armed to the teeth, carrying large arrow
quivers on their shoulders, carrying thick-handled
swords and bundles of sharp stag horn tipped
arrows under their arms. They served the Heavenly
Desendants as guards. Ame-no-Oshihi-no-mikoto
was the ancestor of the Otomo clan, and Ame-
Tsukume-no-mikoto was the ancestor of the Kume
-no-Atai clan. Both clans became royal subjects
He searched for a good place to build his palace
and finding a good place, said : " This is the best
place with the sun shining from the direction of the
sea in the morning and the sun set shining in the
evening. This place is directly connected with the
tip of the Cape Kasasa looking toward Korea.
He built there a huge palace tall enough to reach
Heaven and lived there.
One day, the god Ninigi-no-mikoto said to the
goddess Ameno-Uzume-no-mikoto : " You
were the first to talk to the god Saruta-biko-no-kami.
He guided us up to this place. Acompany him to his
native place. Inherit his name. Therefore, the
descendants of Ameno-Uzume-no-mikoto, even if
they are women are called with the male name of
Sarume-no-kimi. He had something stupid. When
the god Saruta-biko no Mikoto was fishing back in
his native province of Ise, a huge shell bit his hand
and he was dragged into the sea. He drowned
The goddess Ame-no-uzume-no-mikoto returned to the province of Hyûga
and gathered both small fishes, large fishes and seashells and asked them:
Will you be glad to serve to the emperor as his majesty's food ? All of
the fishes except a sea cucumber replied : " We will be glad to be
eaten by the emperor. The sea cucumber kept his mouth shut and did not
answered to her. She was angry and cut its mouth wide open with a knife.
Therefore, now the sea cucumber's mouth is wide open.
One day, while taking a walk in the Kasasa
Cape, Niigino Mikoto met there a beautiful girl.
He asked her who she was. She answered :
" My name is Sakuya Konohana Hime, and
I am a daughter of the god Ôyamatsumi no
Ôkami. " He proposed to her : " Please marry
me and help me to turn this land into a
prosperous country "
She said that she could not say yes or no byherself. She said : "
I'll ask my father
whether I can marry you or not. My father will answeryou about it.
Her father was very glad to hear about his proposal and agreed on
The god Ôyamatsumi no Ôkami is enshrined now in the Ooyamatsumi Shrine in
Ômishima Island, the Seto Inland Sea.
Ôyamatsumi-Jinjya Shrine for the
god Ôyamatsumi no Ôkami -
father in-law of the Heavenly
Descendant Ninigi no Mikoto,
in the Oomishima Island,
Seto Inland Sea, Ehime
Prefecture. One of the Island of
Shimanami-kaido - the Street
of the Islands.
One of the descendants of the god Ôyamatsumi
no Ôkami, Ochino Mikoto, went to the Seto Inland
Sea more than 2600 years ago to pacify the
islands to make it easier for the first emperor
Jinmu to advance eastward and chose Ômishima
Island as the sacred island, and enshrined the
soul of the god Ôyamatsumi no Ôkami. The Shrine
wnet on acquring prestage by being worshipped
by marine warriors, noblemen and the Imperial
House. It became the patron god of all Japanese
land and a god for foresty, mining, water, rice, sea
and land tranport and war. This is the head shrine
of 11,000 Mishima Shrines all over Japan.
The island is now connected by high technology
bridges with both Honsyu and the Shikoku Island.
The National Treasures Hall in the island houses
more than 80 % of helmets, armours,lances and swords in Japan desiginated
by the government as the National Treasures or the Important Cultural Heritages.
Over many years, famous warriors and warlords such as Minamoto no Yoritomo
donated to the Shrine their weapons and armours thanking to the god for
blessing them with victory.
This is a must for people who are interested in the armours and swords of ancient
warriors. The island is not well-known even among us Japanese who live
near-by Kansai district. The access to the island was improved by being
by the bridges and super-highways with Honshu and the Shikoku Island, but
it is not
a favorite spot to be visited by many Japanese and foreign tourists. The
has the Fine Arts Museum and the Maritime Museum.
しまなみ海道( Shimanami Kaido )
The Sea Street of the Islands, Great Kurushima
Bridge at the Kurushima Strait, Ehime Pref.
The Ômishima Island and other 5 main Islands are now linked with super high-ways
and colossal bridges which indicate the advanced technology of Japan.
Great Bridge is actually composed of three huge suspension bridges over the
Kurushima Strait. The super highway that connects the bridges is called
Kaido - Sea Street of the Islands ".
This is a very dangerous place for navigation. There are 3 meter difference
in the sea
levels between the eastern and western sides of the Strait. This large
causes a rapid flow of current. Moreover,there are many small isles and
In the old days, the marine warriors called " Suigun " or "
Kaizoku " guided ships to
pass through this dangerous strait and collected tolls.
Ninigi-no-Mikoto sent a messenger to the god Ôyamatsumi no Ôkami asking for her
daughter as his wife. The god Ôyamatsumi no Ôkami was very pleased with the
proposal of the Heavenly Prince of the Sun. Together with many gifts, he
sent not only
his beautiful daughter Sakuyakonohana no Hime but also another daughter
Hime to marry them to Ninigi-no Mikoto.
He was so surprised at the ugly girl Iwanaga Hime. He sent her back to the god
Ôyamatsumi no Ôkami, who felt much insulted and also ashamed. He sent a
message explaining his bona fide intention. : " I sent two daughters
no Himeand Iwanaga Hime to You, because Sakuyakonohana no Hime ( Pricess of
flowers in full bloom ) will bring you prosperity and glory in full bloom.
Iwanaga Hime ( Princess of rock of long life ) will bring You a long life of your glory
against snow, rain and wind like rocks do. You sent me back Iwanaga Hime, and so,
you are doomed to have a short life like plants and flowers which do not endure rains
and winds " Thereafter, the life of emperors has not been long. This descrption in the
chronicle is contradictory. Kojiki does not explain us when and how Ninigi-no-mikoto
died. His son Hoori-no-mikoto, however, lived 580 years, according to the chronicle
Similar myths are found in the South Pacific Islands among Polinesian peoples
but instead of the personification of the flower and rock, the banana and rock are
personified. The similar Polinesian myths are called Banana Myths.
One day, Sakuya-konohana-hime said to Ninigi-no-Mikoto. : " I am pregnant
and I am
having your baby. I can not have it privately, as it will be a descendant
of the sun.
So I have come here to inform you of my pregunancy. "
Ninigi-no-mikoto replied. : " Do you really bear my baby, for having
slept only one night
with me ? It may be a baby of some other god on Earth. "
Sakuya-konohana-hime said. : " If were a baby of some other god, it would be born
dead. If it is your baby, it will be born alive and healthy. I will prove
She had a huge birth house built quickly, and entered it. The house was
completely with earth. She set the house on fire. When the fire was very
Hoderi-no-Mikoto was born. he would be the ancestor of Ata-Hayato clan.
fire was more intense, Hosuseri-no-mikoto was born. When the fire was dull,
-no-mikoto was born.
Hoderi-no-mikoto called " Umi-sachi-biko - prince of blessings of the sea " made his
living catching fish in the sea. Hoori-no-mikoto was called " Yama-sachi-biko
of blessings of the mountain". He made his living hunting in the mountains.
Yama-sachi-biko, just for a change, wanted to do fishing. He asked his
brother Umi-sachi-biko to exhange fishing gear for hunting gear. His brother
rejected the request of Yama-sachi-biko. He repeated the request more than
times and Umi-sachi-biko finally accepted to exchange the fisihng gear
hunting gear for some time.
Yama-sachi-biko ( Hoori-no-mikoto ) did not catch any fish and lost the
Umi-sachi-biko did not hunt any animal nor bird in the mountains. Umi-sachi-biko
( Hoderi-no-mikoto ) asked his brother to return the fishing gear,saying " I can do
better with my own gear at sea. You can do better with your own gear in the
Yama-sachi-biko lost the fish hook. A line with the nice hook was bit off
by a fish.
He apologized his elder brother for having lost the hook. But, Umi-sachi-biko
insisted that his brother must find the lost hook and give it back to him.
Hiko made 500 hooks from his excellent sword he was carrying, but his brother
never forgave him, insisting that Yamasachi Hiko must return the original
him by any means.
He made one thousand more hooks which he offered to his brother to compensate
for the lost hook. Yama-sachi-biko, however, did not accept them. He said that he
wanted to receive back only one good hook and he don't want to receive
He was quite at a loss and wondering what he should do, depressed and weeping.
standing on a beach. Then,the god old Shiotsuchi no Kami ( the god of the
navigation ) appeared and asked him why he was so sad. Hoori-no-mikoto
( yamasachi-biko replied. : " I ve lost the fish hook of my brother. He did not accept
any of my compensations for it. So, I am sad. "
The god Shiotsuji said. : " It will be no problem. I have a good idea
for you. " He made
tightly woven bamboo boat and said : " Get on board this boat. I will
push it off a little.
You will soon be on a good current and reach the palaces of the sea god
At the main entrance of the palace at the side of a fountain, there is
a sacred tree
" Katasura ". Climb it, and then the daughter of the God of Sea
will appear. Consult
with her about your problem. "
He did what was advised by the god Shiotsuchi no Kami. Everything went on well as
had been told by the god Shiotsuchi no Kami. He climbed up to the branches of the
tree and waited.
A maid of princess Toyotamabime,daugher of the god Watatsumi-no-kami came out
of the palace with a beautiful water jar to draw some water from the fountain. She
found the shining figure of Yama-sachi-biko ( Hoori-no-mikoto )reflected in the fountain
and looked up to find a very gallant young man. She remained speechless for some
moment looking at the goog looking noble man. He called down from the tree
was thirsty and asked her for some water.
The woman handed him the water jar. He took off a jewel from his own necklace
put it in his mouth and vomitted it into the jar and returned it to her.
The jewel stuck
to the bottom of the jar and she could take it off. The maid handed the
jar with the
jewel to the princess Toyotamabime. Looking at the jewel at the bottom
of the jar,
she asked her maid. : " Are there anyone outside ? The maid answered.
: " There
is a gallant and noble young man up on a branch of the tree. He looks so
our king Watatsumi-no-kami. He asked for water and vomitted a jewel into
It can't be taken off, and I have brought the jar with the jewel to you.
The princess Toyotamabime came out of the palace and looked into his eyes
he also looked into her eyes. This act was called " Maguwai - confirming the mutual
love with the eyes.
She returned to the palace and said to her father, being so excited. : There is an
excellent noble young man outside of the palace. The god Watatsumi-no-kami
came out of the palace and said. : " It is the Heavenly Prince of
the Sun without any
doubt. He prepared the seat for him piling up many skins of sea lions,
and on top
of them, many silk cloths, and he invited Yamasachi-biko to sit down there.
in front of him many jewels, treasures, and the most delicious foods and
his fish dancers to dance to entertain him.
He offered his daughter to Yama-sachi-biko as his wife. He spent in the
the Sea three happy years.
One night, Yama-sachi-biko gave a deep sign remembering the unfulfilled
his visit to the Palaces of the Sea. Toyotama-bime noticed it and said to his father the
Sea God Watatsumi-no-kami. : " My husband has been happy all these three years.
But, he gave a deep sign last night. He must have something to worry about.
The god Watatsumi-no-kami asked his son-in-law what was his trouble. Yama-sachi-biko
talked in detail about the lost fish hook and the trouble with his brother. The Sea God
immediately gave an order to all fishes to gather in the palace. He asked
them. : " Has
anyone among you swallowed a fish hook ? One fish said. : " The red
for several days that he has a sore throat. He must have a hook stuck in
his throat. He is
absent here today. ". The Sea God called the red snapper and discovered the fish hook
at his throat. That was exactly the hook that Yama-sachi-biko ( Hoori-no-mikoto ) was
The Sea God took off the hook, washed it, and handed it to Yama-sachi-biko ( Hoori
-no-mikoto ). The Sea God said to Yama-sachibiko. :" When Your Highness returns
to Your Highness's brother, don't face him, and gave it back to him with
shoulders turned to him, uttering " absent-minded hook, mad hook, poor hook, stupid
hook ". ( This act meant cursing on his brother.) " When Your Highness's brother had
a farm land at a high place, cultivate a farm land at a low place. Your Highness's farm
land will suck up water from the farm land of Your Highness's brother.
If Your Highness's brother had a farm land at a low place, have a farm
land at a high
place. I am the god in charge of water control. His farm land will be dry and he will be
poor during three years.
If Your Highness's brother bears Your Highness some grudge and attacks
Highness, use the magical power of the high-tide control gem " Shiomitsutama
and drown him with a flood. If he implores Your Highness to help him,use
gem " Shiohuru-tama " to draw water and let him alive. I will
give Your Highness the
two magical gems. " This story implies that the hunter became the
water control. The transition to a higher sedentary society from the
The Sea God said to all fishes. : " The Heavenly prince of the sun will return to His
Highness's native land on Earth. Who will be able to send His Highness
back in a
short time. ? The shark said : " I can take His Highness the Heavenly
Prince of the
Sun home and come back in a day. " The shark was nominated to
-biko back home. Yama-sachi-biko reached Earth on the shark's back. When
shark left the Palace, he hung a sword on a string he was carrtying around
of the shark. Therefore, the shark is called " The holder of the sword
". ( Notes :
the sharp teeth of the shark may be referred to as a sword. There
Yama-sachi-biko ( Hoori-no-mikoto ) returned the fish hook to his brother Umi-sachi
-biko ( Hoderi-no-mikoto ), who became more and more poorer by the magical power
of the Sea God, and becoming more violent, attacked Yama-sachi-biko.
Yama-sachi-biko used magical power of the gem "" Shiomitsutama " to annoy his
brother with a flood. Umi-sachi-biko ( Hoderi-no-mikoto ) asked his brother to pardon
him. Yama-sachi-biko used the gem " " Shiohuru-tama " to draw water to save him.
Umi-sachi-hiko swore to Yama-sachi-biko that he would serve his brother and guard
his palace day and night. This is the reason why people of the Hayato clan.
of Umi-sachi-biko represent the miserable acts of their drowning and subjugation.
( In the ancient days, it was customary for the subjugated people to represent
to show how they were subjugated to re-confirm their subjugation to the
Some old chronicles tell us that the warriors of the Hayato clan guarded
Palace day and night, barking like dogs at night, probably to scare off
In the Medieval ages, the word " Hayato " lost the connotation of barbarians and the
samurai in Satsuma proundly called themselves " Satsuma-Hayato "
, brave warriors of
Umi-sachi-biko ( Hoderi-no-mikoto ) surrendered and Hoori-no-mikoto became the
second ruler of Hyûga. One day, the daughter of the Sea God, Toyotama-bime came to
Hoori-no-mikoto and said :
" I am pregnant with your baby. I can not deliver a baby of the Heavenly king of the Sun
deep in the sea without Your Majesty's permission. I have come here to
Majesty of my pregunancy. "
They bagan to build a Birth Hut thatched with cormorant feathers. When
the hut was not
completed yet, she began to suffer the pains of childbirth and entered
the hut in a hurry.
She said to Hoori-no-mikoto : " Don't peep into the hut, when I deliver a baby, because
I will be turned to be what I really is. I would be ashamed to be looked
at in my real
person. Hoori-no-Mikoto promised her not to look at her while she
deliver a baby, but
being so curious, peeped into the hut to find a big shark wriggling in
Hoori-no-mikoto, so horrified at the sight of the real form of his wife, fled from there.
Toyotama-bime, so ashamed of being looked at in her real form, said : " I was thinking
of bringing up my baby, coming here frequently through the road which links
the Sea. I have been looked at, however, in my true form and I am
so ashamed and
I would not like to see Your Majesty again. "
She returned to the Palaces down in the Sea, closing the road to the Sea,
her baby in the hut. The baby was named " Amatsu-hikohiko-nagisa-takeukaya-
hukiaezu-no-mikoto " which means " the heavenly princess born in the hut
incompletedly thatched with cormorant feathers on the beach. "
Toyotama-bime continued to bear grudge to Hoori-no-mikoto. She yearned to see his
son. She sent her younger sister Tamayori-bime to see how his son
was, handing her
poem letter to Hoori-no-mikoto.
Red amber jewels are beautiful , make even their strings shine beutifully
They do not
exceed, however, in noble beauty, the white jewels you wore.
In the ancient times, the white colour indicated noblemess of aristocracy,
and the red
Hoori-no-Mikoto composed a reply poem.
I do not forget you until the end of my life
whom I slept in the Island of the wild ducks,
The god Hoori-no-mikoto lived 580 years in the Palace of Takachiho-no-miya.
His remains were burried at the west of the Takachiho-no-mine mountain.
This myth can be supposed to suggest the unification of people living in Japan and
people who immigrated to Japan from the islands in the Pacific Ocean. The
birth to the fairy tale of " Yama-hiko and Umi-hiko " with which
all Japanese children
are familiar with.
Ukaya-hukiaezu-no-mikoto, son of the god Hoori-no-mikoto, loved his aunt who
frequently visited him from the Palaces of the Sea, and married her. The
marriages were practiced often, but the marriage with aunts were rare.
They had children
Itsuse-no-mikoto, Inahi-no-mikoto, Minuke-no-mikoto and Waka-minuke-no-mikoto. This
last god called also Kamu-yamato-iware-biko-no-mikoto, the fourth Heavenly
of the Sun would be crowned as the first emperor of Japan in 660 B.C.E.
Minuke-no-mikoto went the Tokoyo-no-ku - the Eternal Land. Inahi-no-mikoto
went to the
Palaces of the Sea of his mother.
On the top of the holy mountain " Takachiho-no-mine
supposed to be the site of the
Heavenly Dsecent of the god Ninigi-no-mikoto, the heavenly
weapon " Ama-no-sachihiko
It's rusted, because it was not given any preservation treatment,
as its preservation
is up to the god and not to us humans. It belongs to the god.
It has been there since the times unknown. At the end of the
Edo period, Sakamoto
Ryoma made his honey moon trip, the first in Japan. He climbed
-no-mine with his wife to see with his own eyes the heavenly
weapon at the top of
the mountain and found it there.
One of the powerful gods on earth, Ôkuni-nushi-no
Mikoto agreed to be ruled by
the gods in Heaven, but with one condition. He asked the Goddess of the
Amaterasu Ôminokami to build a colossal shrine
in the land of Izumo ( Now,
Shimane prefecture ) for him.
It was an unbelievably
extravagant demand from the ruled to the ruler. Amaterasu
Ôminokami, however, agreed to his demand
and constructed the huge sky-
scraping shrine in Izumo. This Shrine originally
built by the gods has been
restored and re-built many times by humans. The Grand Shrine of Izumo was
taller than the original Great Buddha Hall in Nara. The present Great
Hall is two thirds of the original one, but even so, now we will
find it marverously
huge. It was said in the Heian period : " No.1 is the
Grand Shrine of Izumo,
No.2 is the Great Buddha Hall in Nara, and No.3 is
the Daigokuden Hall in the
Imperial Palace in Kyoto. It is generally said
that the Grand Shrine of Izumo was
48 meters tall. But, the present
Great Buddha Hall in Nara is 47.5 meters tall. The
origianal was 1 third larger than the the current
one. The Grand Shrine of Izumo,
therefore, should have
been taller than 60 meters.
The huge shrine had existed up to the Kamakura
period, but they stopped
re-building such a huge temple thereafter. The
present Grand Shrine of Izumo is
On the 28th April 2000, The Board of Education of Taisha-cho
town in Shimane
prefecture released news that huge wooden pillars which
supported the huge shrine which had been erected at the
end of the Heian
period were discovered from underground at the site
between the present
Worship Hall and the Main Hall of the Izumo Grand
Shrine. In September, the
center pillar was discovered. Each pillar was
made from three pieces of
wood bound with iron hoops.
largest wood was 1.35 meters in diameter. The pillars with three pieces of
wood bound is more than 3 meters in diameter. Nine sets of 3 piece-wood
discovered in all. Nails and other iron pieces were discovered also.
nail was about 40 centimeters( 1 foot and 4 inches ) long.
From the Kamakura period, they did not re-build huge Shrines at that
I believe that the legend of the Izumo clan who agreed to be
ruled by the gods
from Heaven was intended to justify the dominance of
the imperial house
of the emperors as descendants of the gods from
Heaven. People in the
Izumo region was very powerful and had advanced
iron making industry and
high technology of arquitecture. It is a great
mystery why they agreed to be
ruled by the gods who came from the
underdeveloped south without military
resistance. It suggests the peaceful unification of Japane peoples in ancient
The gods from Heaven paid respectful attention to the
gods on Earth in Izumo.
They chose Izumo
as the site of the annual convention of the gods. In October
of the lunar
calendar, all 8 million gods all over Japan are said to gather in
In many other provinces, the gods were absent. Therefore,
October was called
" the month without gods, or " Kannazuki ". In the Meiji Era, the lunar calendar
was abolished and the Solar Calendar was
introduced. Even now, the old
names of months are used as literary words and
in poems and in newspapers.
As the gods on Earth agreed to
be ruled, the Goddess of the Sun decided to
send to the Earth his grandson the god Ninigino Mikoto
to rule the land of Sun
on him the Three Heavenly Treasures, i.e., " Yata no kagami "
" Yasakano Magatama " gem and " Kusanagi-no Tsurugi " sword, as
symbols of the ligitimate ruler of Earth. Three Treasures " Sanshu no
have been handed down till now.
When the first emperor of Japan, great-grand-son of Ninigi-no-Mikoto
to the East from Kyusyuu, he remained in the Kibi region for 8 years. It is now
Okayama prefecture. It has a rich mythology, many legends and
many shrines. Some
of the legends were adapted to become fairy tales for children
like " Momotaro -
Peach boy ".
At many shrines in Okayama prefecture, they hold the shintoist dances and plays
called " Kagura " or " Okagura " based
on the Japanese mythology. The mask on
the pillar of the Shimakigawa bridge as shown in the above photo
is one they use
for one of the famous Shintoist plays of " Bichû
Kagura " in Takahashi city, Okayama
prefecture and of the god Saruta-biko no Mikoto.
Ochi no Mikoto went from the Kyushu Island to the Seto Island
Sea to put the islands
scattered there and the Sea under his rule so that the first
emperor Jinmu, the fourth
Heavenly Descendant could pass through easily the Sea in his
Advance to the East.
In Shikoku, there are many families with the family name of
Ochi. In January, 2004, one
of my uncle on my mother's side Ochi Teruo in Kagawa Prefecture
When he was alive, he used to talk to his nephews proudly :
" Our ancestors were
gods and are enshrined now in the Ôyamatsumi-jinjya Shrine
in the Ômishima
Island. " His grand parents came to Tadotsu-cho town in
One day, Kamu-yamato-iware-biko-no-mikoto consulted with his brother Itsuse-no-
Mikoto about the site of the capital and said :
" We sre ruling a small area of the Sun Rising Country. We are in
and the southernmost part of this country. We should advance toward the
govern better this Nation. "
They agreed on the Advance toward the East, and they started first toward
- to be continued
March 6th 2004 - Hiroaki Sasaki
Revised on 7th September 2004
( A )
狭野神社 （ さのじんじゃ ）
宮崎県 高原町 （ たかはるちょう ）
In the foreground, the smoking
" Shinmoe-dake ", the flat mountain
adjacent to it is Nakadake.
In the center of the background,
Takachiho-no-mine, and on its
right hand, Ohachi-dake.
( Tokyo University : Earthquake
Research Institute )
(A) Sano-jinjya Shrine
Legend says that the site of this shrine is the place where Kamu-yamato-iware-
no-Mikoto ( who would be the first emperor of Japan Jinmu ) was born.The shrine
was founded in 475 during the reign of the fifth emperor Kôshô. It burnt down by
the erruptions of the Kirishima volcanic mountain range. in 788, 1134 and 1718.
The infant name of emperor Jinmu was Sano-no-mikoto.
(B) Kirishima volcanic mountain range.
In the above photo, the mountain on the right hand with a large crater
Mt.Shinmoe-dake. The flat mountain adjacent to Mt.Shinmoe-dake is
-dake. In the background, the highest mountain is the holy Mt.
-mine to where the god Ninigi-no Mikoto descended from Heaven. On the
right hand of the holy mountain, the mountain with a crater is
In the ancient times, Kirishima Shrine was situated between the Mt. Takachiho-
no-Mine and Mr.Ohachi ( Mt.Bowl ). All building of the shrines were
the volcanic eruptions and the Shrine was moved to other places several
after each eruption..
Mt. Kishishima usually means the range of the twenty three
sometimes means, however, specifically the only highest mountain
range, 1,700 meter high Mr. Kara-dake. Kyushu is the island of
（ Takachiho-cho, Miyazaki Pref.)
This Shrine uses the Coat of Arms of
the Imperial House " Crysanthemum ",
because the 3 generations of
the Heavenly Descendants are
The Fourth Heavenly Descendant
would become the first emperor Jinmu
who would advance toward the
Beneath dense fog, among the
mountains, nestles Takachiho-cho
town together with the gods
( Takachiho-cho, Miyazaki pref.)
O-kagura ( Sacred Shinto Dance )
performances in many private
Takachiho-cho, Miyazaki pref.
( Takachiho raiway )
Night Performance 8.00 - 9.00 PM
For more detail, contact the Takachiho
-cho Tourist Association 0982-73-1213
Access to Takachiho-cho
From Hakata ( Fukuoka ) to
Kokura by " Nozomi " JR
Shinkansen 16 minutes,
by JR Hikari 17 minutes
From Kokura to Nobeoka
by JR Express " Nichirin "
234 minutes ( 3 H 54 minutes )
From Nobeoka to Takachiho
About 1 hour and 20 minutes by
by Takachiho Railway
Takachiho-cho is the town where 15,500 people live among the gods
and with the
gods. It is rich in'rich in natural beauty, cultural
heritage,and folklore. In Autumn,
after the rice harvest, when chilly fog creeps into the valleys
and the whole area of
Takachiho will submerge under thick fog called " Unkai
- Sea of foggy clouds ", from
the end of November until February, many private houses
and local meeting halls
in many villages of Takachiho -cho will become
mini-theaters of O-kagura
( or Kagura ).
O-Kagura is the religous Shinto Dance and Music. According
to a mythlogical legend
described in the Chronicles " Kojiki " and " Nihon-shoki ", when the goddess of the
sun Amaterasu Ômi-kami closeted herself in a rock cave shutting it with a heavy rock
door, making the whole world dark, godess Amenouzume-no-Mikoto danced
humorous dances accompanied with cheerful music. This performance tempted the
Goddess of the Sun into opening a little the rock door. Then, the strong gods opened
it wide. This story is one of the favorite performances of
In the ancient times, in 18 village of Takachiho, there
were 500 shrines, including 88
important shrines. The O-Kagura dances and music were
completed in the 10th
century. They were staged only at the shrines by shintoist
priests. In the second half
of the Edo Period, however, the studies of mythological
chronicles, " Kokugaku "
National Studies were promoted by some scholars, and people became more
familiar with the Japanese myths. At the end of the
Edo Period, O-Kagura came to
be presented in the private houses by people who
are not priests nor professional
Now, there is the Kagura Theater in Takachiho for tourists.
The admission fee is
￥500. Ther performances will be held at 8.00 - 9.00
PM. They will show 4 dances
for one hour. The O-Kagura in Takachiho are called "
Yo-kagura - Night Kagura "
because they are shown at night.
In case of the Yo-Kagura in private houses, the gods
will be invited by the Shinto
priest first to the houses where Yo-kagura is presented.
At 7-8 PM, performances
of Yo-kagura begin.They continue 20-24 hours on end with
only one short break.
Thirty Three dances ( plays ) are presented. Its order
and details differ from
village to village. Each village has customs a little
different from those in other
villages. Although these performances are not for tourists,
you can attend them
as one-day-shintoist with some procedure. They were
not exclusive people.
You must respect their customs and observe them. You must become one-day
child of the clan - Ujiko. In ancient times, each clan
has as its shrine. " Child of
the clan means " a child of the god of the
shrine of the local community.
You must present as an offering to the god two or three
shô of Syochû or money
for about ￥3,000 in an envelope with " Go-shinzen
- to the presence of the god "
written. Shô is a quantity of Sake, 1.8 liters
in a large bottle. Syochû are alcoholic
beverage of Kyushu, made from rice, barley, sugar cane
and sweet potato. The
envelopes to contain money are sold at stationary stores
or at large book stores.
You must be aware that people enjoy watching dances.
But, the dances are
religious ceremonies. You must not step on the dancing place where only the priests
and dancers can enter. At some houses, you may be entertained
with Syochû and
some food. They don't run, however, restaurants. You
must carry with you some
food and drink, because the performances last more than
20 hours. You had better
carry a blanket with you, because in late autumn and
in winter, it is cold in
Takachiho with a temperature - 2 ° - 6 ° C, although the flat places are only 300 meters
obove the sea level. The windows are taken down and the houses are wide open so
that people outside the houses can see performances.