Conspiracy of Ameno Wakahiko
(Gods in Takamagahara)
Amaterasu Oomikami (あまてらすおおみかみ) suggested to her own son, Ameno Oshihomimino Mikoto (あめのおしおみみのみこと), that he should rule Ashiharano Nakatsu Kuni (あしはらのなかつくに). Then, he followed his mother’s suggestion. However, Amenohoshihomimi stood up on the heavenly bridge between the Heavenly World and the Earthly World and looked down at Ashiharano Nakatsu Kuni. He was disgusted by what was going on in the Earthly World, saying “Ugh, what caos down there!” He immediately took his way back to his mother and reported how he felt. He gave his mission back to his mother, Amaterasu.
Takamimusuhino Kami (たかみむすひのかみ) and Amaterasu summoned all the gods to the riverbank of Ameno Yasuno Kawa (あめのやすのかわ) and had Omoikaneno Kami (おもいかねのかみ) chair the meeting. Amaterasu brought up the issue to all the gods there in the riverbank.
“My son, Ameno Oshihomimi, is supposed to rule Aahiharano Nakatsu Kuni. He was on his way, but he came back complaining about the chaos of Nakatsukuni. There seems to be a lot of intractable gods over there. Who, among us, should go and persuade them to return the reign of Nakatsukuni to me and my son?”
Omoikaneno Kami and all other gods discussed and made up their decision.
“Ameno Hohino Kami (あめのほひのかみ) should take your mission!”
Thus, Ameno Hohino Kami went down to Ashiharano Nakatsu Kuni. He did not only follow through his mission, but also flattered Ookuninushi. He didn’t go back to Takamagahara to report to Amaterasu. It had been three years since he was dispatched from Takamagahara.
“Ameno Hohino Kami didn’t do his job. Who, do you think, it is that going down to the Earthly World?” Amaterasu asked every god.
Omoi Kaneno Kami suggested that Amaterasu should send Ameno Wakahiko (あめのわかひこ）, the child of Amatsu Kunitamano Kami (あまつくにたまのかみ), to Nakatsukuni.” Ameno Wakahiko was provided with Ameno Makako Yumi (あめのまかこゆみ) and Ameno Hahaya (あまのははや) – a special set of a bow and arrow.”
Finally, Ameno Wakahiko came down to Ashiharano Nakatsukuni with a very important mission from the Heavenly World. On the other hand, Ookuninushi had a beautiful daughter called Shitaderu Hime (したでるひめ). Ameno Wakahiko came up the idea that he was to marry Shitaderu Hime and rule the Earthly World! He got married to Shitaderuhime and lived there for 8 years without reporting to Takamagahara at all.
Takamusuhi and Amaterasu was at a loss and asked all other gods again.
“What has become of Ameno Wakahiko? We would like to inquire what takes him so long to get his mission accomplished. Who, do you think, is suitable for this mission?”
Omoikaneno Kami said, “Nakime (なきめ) should go this time.” Nakime means a pheasant.
(Nakime – Pheasant)
Takamimusuhi and Amaterasu gave Nakime a mission – Ask Ameno Wakahiko if he really realized the mission given to him by all the Heavenly gods and why he had not come back here nor reported to us?
The pheasant took off to the Earthly World, giving the gods’ message to Ameno Wakahiko on the tree.
Ameno Sagume (あめのさぐめ), a sorceress, overheard the pheasant and suggested to Ameno Wakahiko that he should shoot the bird because her voice sounds ominous. That was what he did with the very sacred bow and arrow given by the Heavenly gods.
The sacred arrow hit and penetrated Nakime and kept flying to get to Takamagahara. Takamimusuhi caught sight of it and terrified to see the arrow because it was the very arrow he gave to Ameno Wakahiko. He summoned all other gods and showed the arrow to them, saying, “If this is the arrow coming back here after killing a bad god in the Earthly World, Ameno Wakahiko will not get shot by the arrow because he is doing his job. If he conspires against us, he will be shot by the arrow and die.” As soon as he said that, he threw the arrow back to the Earthly World. The arrow penetrated Ameno Wakahiko’s chest and caused him death. Now Ameno Wakahiko’s conspiracy was proven.
Shitaderu Hime, Ameno Wakahiko’s wife, cried so hard at her husband’s death that the gods in Takamagahara could hear her cry. From among them, Amatsu Kunitamano Kami, father of Ameno Wakahiko, and his family came down to Ameno Nakatsu Kuni to mourn over his death. They put up the temporary house, where the body of Ameno Wakahiko was set, and had a funeral for 8 days and nights.
Incidentally, Ajishikitakahikoneno Kami (あじしきたかひこねのかみ), one of Ookuninushi’s children, visited to mourn. Takahikone looks after Ameno Wakahiko so well that everyone mourning there believed Wakahiko revived! This made Takahikone furious. He said, “I paid a visit here because Wakahiko was a good friend of mine. You mistook me for the difiled body of Wakahiko?!”
Takahikoneno Kami drew his sword, crashed down the temporary funeral house, and kicked it off! This is the place called Moyama (もやま) in Mino (みのう) in Gifu (ぎふ) Prefecture. The name of the sword used to cut off the house is called Oohakari (おおはかり) or Kamudono Tsurugi (かむどのつるぎ).
After Takahikone left furious, his younger sister named Takahimeno Mikoto (たかひめのみこと) recited a poem to vindicate her brother’s honor.
“There is a weaver in the Heavenly World, who wears a necklace made of polished stones. As those polished stones grow brilliantly, the honor of my brother (Takahikone) is recognized over these two valleys.” [This style of poem is called “Hinaburi (ひなぶり).]
(Ooyada Shrine, which enshrines Ameno Wakahiko, photographed by Monami)