Ashiharano Nakatsukuni (葦原中国)


(Ookuninushi and Sukunahikona)

 Ookuninushi (大国主), whose wife was very jealous of his new wives, successfully expanded his territory while getting married to the daughters of local powers and having his children. There was a strong belief in those days that you would gain strong spiritual power of the local god if you married the daughters of local rulers. Kojiki shows the names of Ookuninushi’s wives and their children. All of them ends with honorrific titles like Mr. whatever god or Mrs. whatever goddess. That means Ookuninushi (a god) got married to a local god’s daughter (Miss Goddess) to have children of gods (Mr and Mrs. gods). I don’t bother to show you the list of all those gods and goddesses because it’s boring! I just let you know there are 17 generations called Toamarinanayonokami (十七世神), starting with Yashimajinuminokami (八島士奴美神)whose parents gods were Susanoo (須佐之男命) and Kushinadahime (櫛名田比売).

When Ookuninushi visited Mihonosaki (御大之岬・美保碕) in Izumo (出雲) in Shimane Prefecture (島根県), he saw a god dressed in the skin of moss coming from far distance in the boat called Ameno Kagaminofune (天之羅摩船) made of the skin of some poteto on the waves.


 When asked, the tiny god didn’t answer. Ookuninushi asked other gods around him, only in vain. All of sudden, a toad called Taniguku (谷蟆) suggested to Ookuninushi that he should ask Kuebiko (崩彦), who was a scarecrow in a rice pad, because he stored lots of wisdoms.

 Kuebiko answered Ookuninushi correctly without hesitation. “His name is Sukunagikonanokami (少名毘古那神), whose father is Kamimusuhinokami (神産巣日神).

 Kamimusuhi was the third son following Amenominakanushinokami (天之御中主神) at the creation of Japan. So, he was a lot older than Amaterasuoomikami (天照大御神). On the other hand, Kamimusuhi revived Ookuninushi when he was killed by his 80 (inummerable) sibling gods.

 Ookuninushi just doublechecked with Kamimusuhi, who confirmed Sukunahikona as his son. Kamimusuhi also said, “Kukunahikona was born between my fingers. You cooperate with each other to build the country over there.”

 They started to build the country immediately. After the completion of the building, Sukunahikona went back to Tokoyonokuni (常世国).

 Ookuninushi lost his good partner and said, crying, “How can I coplete the country alone? I need another god to help me with this matter.”

 This time a god, coming from the sea while shining the sea, offered his help, saying, “If you seriously enshrine me, I will give you a help to created Japan. If not, the country will be a big mess forever.”

 Ookuninushi asked, “How am I enshrine you?”

 The god called Oomononushi (大物主神) answered “Enshrine me on the east side of Miwayama (三輪山). Oomononushi has been enshrined there since then.

 Kojiki shows the leneage/family tree of Ootoshinokami (大年神), whose father is Susanoo, and his family. Ootoshinokami’s leneage has been regarded as very important in Japanese history. His first son with Inohime (伊怒比売) was called Ookunimitamanokami (大国御魂神). Starting with Ookunimitamanokami, his leneage ended with Ootsuchinokami (大土神). All these gods and goddesses were called Tooamarinuhasirano Kami (十六柱の神) accordingly. They had 8 additional gods with one of their fellow gods. They were called Yahashirano Kami (八柱の神).

 Thus, Ookuninushi completed Ashiharano Nakatsukuni (葦原中国). His mission was finally accomplished. Ashiharano Nakatsukuni became so crowded and animated that all the gods in Takamanohara (高天原) were entertained by what was going on in Ashiharano Nakatsukuni.