User:Immanuelle/sandbox/The Tenson Korin to Jimmu's Eastern Expedition

Takemikazuchi tenson korin




Template:Infobox deity

Takemikazuchi (建御雷/武甕槌) is a deity in Japanese mythology, considered a god of thunder[1] and a sword god.[2] He also competed in what is considered the first sumo wrestling match recorded in history.

He is otherwise known as "The kami of Kashima" (Kashima-no-kami), the chief deity revered in the Kashima Shrine at Kashima, Ibaraki (and all other subsidiary Kashima shrines).[1][3] In the namazu-e or catfish prints of the Edo period, Takemikazuchi/Kashima is depicted attempting to subdue the Namazu, a giant catfish supposedly dwelling at the kaname-ishi (Template:Wikt-lang, 'pinning rock') of the Japanese landmass and causing its earthquakes.[1][3]

Forms of the name


In the Kojiki, the god is known as Takemikazuchi-no-o no kami (建御雷之男神 – "Brave Mighty Thunderbolt Man").[4] He also bears the alternate names Takefutsu-no-kami (建布都神) and Toyofutsu-no-kami (豊布都神).[5][6]

Birth of the gods


In the Kamiumi ("birth of the gods") episodes of the Kojiki, the god of creation Izanagi severs the head of the fire deity Kagu-tsuchi, whereupon the blood from the sword (Totsuka-no-Tsurugi) splattered the rocks and gave birth to several deities. The blood from the sword-tip engendered one triad of deities, and the blood from near the base of the blade produced another triad that included Takemikazuchi (here given as "Brave-Awful-Possessing-Male-Deity" by Chamberlain).[5][6]

The name of the ten-fist sword wielded by Izanagi is given postscripturally as Ame-no-ohabari, otherwise known as Itsu-no-ohabari.[3] (Accordingly, Takemikazuchi is referred in some passages as the child of Itsu-no-o habari. See next section).

The Nihon Shoki gives the same episode in the same general gist, albeit more vaguely regarding this deity.[7][8]

Quelling of the Middle Country

Takemikazuchi pins down a catfish (namazu) with a rock (kaname-ishi) to prevent earthquakes, 1855
Another Namazu-e depicting Takemikazuchi riding the catfish. Above is a depiction of the kaname-ishi, the rock used to subdue the fish

In the episodes where the gods of the heavenly plains (Takama-ga-hara) contemplate and execute the conquest of the terrestrial world known as Middle Country (Ashihara no Nakatsukuni), Takemikazuchi is one of the chief delegates sent down to subjugate the terrestrial deities (kuni-tsu-kami).

In the Kojiki (Conquest of Izumo chapter), the heavenly deities Amaterasu and Takamusubi decreed that either Takemikazuchi or his father Itsu-no-ohabari ("Heaven-Point-Blade-Extended") must be sent down for the conquest. Itsu-no-ohabari (who appeared previously as a ten-fist sword) here has the mind and speech of a sentient god, and he volunteered his son Takemikazuchi for the subjugation campaign. Takemikazuchi was accompanied by Template:Interlanguage link multi "Deity Heavenly-Bird-Boat" (which may be a boat as well as being a god)[9][10]

The two deities reached the land of Izumo at a place called "the little shore of Izasa/Inasa" (伊耶佐小浜), and stuck a "ten-fist sword" (Totsuka-no-Tsurugi) upside-down on the crest of the wave, and sat atop it, while demanding the local god Ōkuninushi to relinquish the Izumo province over to them. Ōkuninushi replied he would defer the decision to his child deities, and would follow suit in their counsel. One of them, Kotoshironushi or Yae-Kotoshironushi ("Eight-Fold-Thing-Sign-Master") who had been out fishing, was easily persuaded to forfeit his authority and retire into seclusion.

The other, Takeminakata would not concede without testing his feats of strength against Takemikazuchi. When the challenger grabbed Takemikazuchi's hand it turned as if into an icicle and then a sword, making him cringe. Takemikazuchi then grabbed Takeminakata's hand, crushing it like a young reed.[1] The challenger, chased to the sea near Suwa of Shinano (科野国之州羽海, in Kojiki), asked for clemency on his life, promising to hold himself in exile in that region (in this way, the defeated Takeminakata became chief deity of the Suwa Grand Shrine in Nagano Prefecture).[1][10]

The hand-to-hand bout between the two deities is considered the mythical origin of sumo wrestling.[11]

The Nihon Shoki names a different partner for Takemikazuchi in the task of conquering lands of the Middle Country. That partner is Futsunushi (a god who goes unmentioned in the Kojiki in the gods' birth episode[3] as well as this episode).[12][13]

Just as Takemikazuchi was chief deity of Kashima Shrine, this Futsunushi was the chief of the Katori Shrine.[3][14] In the early centuries, when the Yamato rulers campaigned in the Kantō and Tōhoku regions, they would pray to these two war gods for military success, so that subsidiary shrines of the two gods are scattered all over these regions.[14] The enshrinement of the deities at Kashima and Katori is mentioned briefly in the Kogo Shūi (807).[3]

The Nihon Shoki account has other discrepancies. The beach where the gods stuck the "ten-fist sword" is here called "Itasa". The chief god of Izumo (Ōkuninushi) is called by the name of Ōanamuchi.[notes 1] The wrestling match with Takeminakata is missing. In the end, Ōanamuchi/Ōkuninushi gave sign of his obeisance by presenting the broad spear he used to pacify the land with.[12][13] Jumping to a later passage (after digressing on other matters), the Nihon Shoki retells Takemikazuchi and Futsunushi's landing on the beach, this time stating that Ōanamuchi verbally expressed resistance to relinquish his rule, until the heavenly gods promised him palatial residence to recompense his abdication.[15][16]

Appended to the two passages is the mention of a star deity named Amatsu-Mikaboshi who resisted till the end, and whom Takemikazuchi and Futsunushi were particularly eager to vanquish. The latter passage states that the being who subdued the star god, referred to as Iwai no nushi (斎の大人) is enshrined at Katori, hinting that it might be Futsunushi.[17] However, the earlier passage says a god named Takehazuchi was the vanquisher of the star god.[18]

The Star God Takehazuchi is worshipped

Sumo Wrestling


Sumo wrestling has strong shinto roots. This myth highlights the significance of it.

The first match between gods was between Takemikazuchi and Takeminakata.

The first human to practice it was Nomi no Sukune, a descendant of the Izumo clan, and an ancestor of Tenjin.

It has a lot of religious significance and symbolism


Ninigi was born to Ame-no-oshihomimi and Takuhadachiji-hime.[19]

This means Amaterasu is his paternal grandmother, and Takamimusubi is his maternal grandfather.[19]

He received the Japanese Imperial regalia before he descended.[20][21]

Life after descent


Loss of immortality


One story involves Ninigi looking for a wife; he meets this mountain god named Oyamatsumi, Oho-Yama presents Ninigi his two daughters Konohana and Iwa-Naga. However, Ninigi rejects Iwa-Naga for her looks and is cursed for rejecting her. Now he and his descendants will live shorter lives.[22][23]

We will explain a lot of this more on the chapter User:Immanuelle/sandbox/Iwanaga Faith

Birth of Ninigi’s children


Soon after Ninigi and Konohanasakuya-hime got married, Konohanasakuya-hime got pregnant. Ninigi accused his wife of adultery. In many versions his wife decided to go in to a hut and set the hut on fire to prove that she was a faithful wife. Konohanasakuya-hime and her sons survived, she gave birth to three sons named Hoderi, Hoori, and Hosuseri.[24]Template:Page needed

One variation says that Konohanasakuya-hime gave birth to Hoderi in the hut and had the other two children later.[25]



Template:Expand section

Later on, Ninigi died and was buried at E no Goriyo.[26]

Hoori and Ugayafukiaezu


We need a section on Hoori. He is not well documented on english wikipedia. Look at Helen Hardacre's analysis

Likewise for Ugayafukiaezu

Their wives both indicate ties to Watatsumi and the Azumi clan.

Overview on the two pre-kasuga faiths


Takemikazuchi and Futsunushi were some of the most significant deities in the Tenson Korin . Their two main shrines Kashima and Katori Shrines are sometimes seen as the two shrines directly below Ise Jingu

Kashima and Katori Shrines were made on opposite sides of the Tone river for Takemikazuchi and Futsunushi respectively.[27]

Takemikazuchi Jimmu


Emperor Jimmu's conquest of the East


Takemikazuchi's sword aided Emperor Jimmu in his subjugation of the east. At Kumano, the Emperor and his troops were either struck unconscious by the appearance of a bear (Kojiki)[28][29] or severely debilitated by the poison fumes spewed out by local gods (Nihon Shoki).[30][31] But a man named Takakuraji presented a gift of a sword, the emperor awoke, and without him hardly brandishing this weapon, the evil deities of Kumano were spontaneously cut down. When Jimmu inquired, Takkuraji explained that he had a vision in a dream where the supreme deities Amaterasu and Takamusubi were about to command Takemikazuchi to descend to earth once again to pacify the lands, this time to assist the emperor. However, Takemizuchi replied that it would be sufficient to send down the sword he used during his campaigns, and, boring a hole through Takakuraji's storehouse, deposited the sword, bidding the man to present it to Emperor Jimmu. That sword bore the names of Template:Ill (布都御魂), Saji-futsu-no-kami (佐士布都神), and Mika-futsu no kami (甕布都神).[29] This sword is the main dedication (goshintai) kept at Isonokami Shrine.[28]



According to Template:Interlanguage link multi in his Jinja to kodai ōken saishi (1989), Takemikazuchi was originally a local god (kunitsukami) revered by the Ō clan (多氏, Ō no uji, also written as Template:Nihongo2),[32] and was a god of maritime travel.[32] However, the Nakatomi clan also has roots in this region, and when they took over control of priestly duties from the Ō clan, they claimed Takemikazuchi as the Nakatomi clan's ujigami (clan deity). Ōwa goes on to theorize that the Ō clan was originally ōmi (大忌, "greater taboo (priesthood)"), but was usurped by the Nakatomi who were among the "lesser priesthood" (the latter claims descent from the Inbe clan (忌部氏)).[32]

The Nakatomi clan, essentially the priestly branch of the Fujiwara clan, also placed the veneration of Takemikazuchi in the Kasuga-taisha in Nara.[32] (The thunder god is one of several gods enshrined.)

When the Yamato kingship expanded control into the easterly dominions, Kashima (Kashima, Ibaraki) became a crucial base. Yamato armies and generals often prayed to the Kashima and Katori deities for military success against the intransigents in the east. In these ways, Takemikazuchi became an important deity for the Yamato dynasty.

  • Takemikazuchi is a supporting character in the popular manga and anime series Noragami.
  • Takemikazuchi is the leader of the Takemikazuchi Familia in the manga and anime series DanMachi.
  • In the video game Persona 4, Take-Mikazuchi is Kanji Tatsumi's initial Persona.
  • Takemikazuchi is the name of one of the Supreme Beings in the Overlord series.
  • There is a Digimon named Kazuchimon. Along with another Digimon named Fenriloogamon, both can DNA digivolve into its combined form, known as Fenriloogamon: Takemikazuchi.
  • In the videogame Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, Sasuke Uchiha can use an Ultimate Move called "Takemikazuchi".
  • In the visual novel Muv-Luv Alternative Type-00 Takemikazuchi is name of the best Tactical Surface Fighter mech of the Imperial Japanese Mainland Defence Force, only being accessible to the Imperial Royal Guard pilots.



Template:Use dmy dates Template:Infobox deity

Futsunushi (経津主神, Futsunushi-no-Kami, also 布都怒志命 or 布都努志命, Futsunushi-no-Mikoto), also known as Iwainushi (斎主神 or 伊波比主神, Iwainushi-no-Kami), is a warrior god in Japanese mythology. Also known under the epithet Katori Daimyōjin (香取大明神) after his shrine in northern Chiba Prefecture (historical Shimōsa Province), Katori Jingū, he is often revered alongside Takemikazuchi (the god of Kashima Shrine), with whom he is closely associated.[33] He is regarded as a legendary ancestor of the Mononobe clan,[34] and like Takemikazuchi is one of the tutelary deities of the Fujiwara clan.[35]



One theory interprets the futsu (Old Japanese: putu) in Futsunushi's name as an onomatopoeic sound of a sword swinging and cutting something,[36][37][38] while another theory proposes it to be derived from the Korean word for 'fire' or 'brilliance', pul (불).[35][37] A connection with the term furu ('to shake') has also been proposed.

Nushi (OJ: nusi), meaning 'master' or 'ruler', is derived from a contraction of the possessive particle no and ushi (OJ: usi), of the same meaning.[39]

The name Iwainushi (historical orthography: いはひぬし, Ihahinushi; OJ: Ipapinusi) meanwhile is a contraction of iwai no ushi (斎之大人), 'master of worship'.[35][40][41]





A variant account of Izanagi and Izanami's begetting of various gods (kamiumi) cited in the Nihon Shoki states that when Izanagi killed the newborn fire god Kagutsuchi (whose birth caused the death of his wife Izanami), the drops of blood from his sword congealed to form the rocks by the heavenly river (天の安河, ame no yasukawa) from which Futsunushi was born. The blood which dripped from the sword's hilt ring then turned into two gods named Mikahayahi-no-Kami (甕速日神) and Hihayahi-no-Kami (樋速日神); Mikahayahi is here identified as Takemikazuchi's parent. Another variant meanwhile states that Kagutsuchi's blood spurted out and transformed into two gods named Iwasaku-no-Kami (磐裂神) and Nesaku-no-Kami (根裂神). Their children, the male Iwatsutsunoo-no-Kami (磐筒男神) and the female Iwatsutsunome-no-Kami (磐筒女神), begat Futsunushi.[42][43] This is the version followed in the main narrative of the work's second volume.[44] Likewise the Kogo Shūi identifies Futsunushi as the son of Iwatsutsunome.

Subjugation of the land

Nihon Shoki
Inasa Beach (稲佐の浜 Inasa-no-hama) in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture

Both Futsunushi and Takemikazuchi are closely associated with the 'transfer of the land' (kuni-yuzuri) myth cycle, which relates how the deities of Takamagahara (the 'Plain of High Heaven') sent various messengers down to earth, to Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni (the 'Central Land of Reed-Plains,' i.e. the land of Japan), in order to demand that its inhabitants submit to their rule.

The main narrative of the second volume of the Nihon Shoki relates that after the failure of the earlier messengers, Ame-no-Hohi and Ame-no-Wakahiko, to perform their mission, the gods of heaven headed by the primordial deity Takamimusubi decide to send Futsunushi, the son of Iwatsutsuno'o and Iwatsutsunome, as their new emissary. Hearing this, the god Takemikazuchi - here identified as the son of Hihayahi - indignantly protests that he is also a stalwart warrior (masurao) like Futsunushi; the gods then agreed to assign him as Futsunushi's companion. The two then make their way to the shores of Itasa (五十田狹之小汀, Itasa no ohama) in the land of Izumo, demanding that the earthly deity Ōnamuchi (Ōkuninushi), the ruler of Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni, relinquish his authority. At the counsel of his son, Kotoshironushi, Ōnamuchi agrees to cede the land and withdraws into invisibility. After this, Futsunushi and Takemikazuchi proceeded to slay all those who refused to submit to them. A variant account adds that the two finally dispatched the god of weaving, Takehazuchi-no-Mikoto (建葉槌命), to subdue the last remaining rebel, the star god Kagaseo (香香背男). With all resistance gone, the two gods went back to heaven to report the success of their mission.[44]

A variant account has Futsunushi and Takemikazuchi putting to death the evil deity Amatsumikaboshi (Kagaseo) in heaven first before they descend to Izumo. The account adds that it was at this time that Iwainushi-no-Kami (possibly another name for Futsunushi), the deity enshrined in Katori, received the epithet iwai no ushi, 'master of worship.' In this version, Ōnamuchi initially refuses the demand of the two envoys. After Futsunushi goes back to Takamagahara to report, Takamimusubi sends him back to Ōnamuchi, this time with promises of rewards should he comply. Ōnamuchi finally accepts their terms and appoints the god of roads and borders, the funato no kami (岐神) as his replacement. He then finally disappears into the unseen world. Futsunushi, with the funato no kami as his guide, then makes his way around Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni, killing those who resisted him and rewarding those who submitted.[45]

Other texts
A double-edged straight sword (tsurugi) from the Kofun period (5th century)

Two legends from Ou District (意宇郡) of Izumo Province (modern Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture) recorded in the Izumo Fudoki feature Futsunushi.

Township of Tatenuhi. It is 10.7 miles northeast of the district office. At this place Futsunushi stitched up a rip in his sturdy shield of heaven. Thus it was named Tatenuhi, meaning "shield fastening."

Township of Yamakuni. It is 10.9 miles southeast of the district office. Futsunushi came to this place during a campaign. He said, "This is the land I wish to behold forever." Because of this the place is called Yamakuni, meaning "land to behold forever."[46]

The Fudoki of Hitachi Province (modern Ibaraki Prefecture) also refers to a deity named 'Futsu-no-Ōkami' (普都大神) who is often identified with Futsunushi.

District of Shida. . . . An elder reports that at the beginning of Heaven and Earth, when the vegetal world was speaking words, a kami came from Heaven. Its name is the Great kami Futsu. In its rounds of the Central Plain of Reeds [Japan], it pacified various rebels. Once this Great kami had accomplished its work of civilization, it conceived in its heart the desire to return to its celestial abode. It therefore left its weapons and gear on earth, and, mounting a white cloud, returned to Heaven.[35]

The kuni-yuzuri myth featured in the Izumo no Kuni no Miyatsuko no Kanʼyogoto (出雲国造神賀詞 "Congratulatory Words of the Chieftain of Izumo"), a ritual declaration (norito) delivered by the province's governor or kuni no miyatsuko at the imperial court upon his appointment, has Futsunushi being dispatched with the deity Ame-no-Hinadori-no-Mikoto (天夷鳥命), the son of Ame-no-Oshihomimi, son of the sun goddess Amaterasu and the Izumo magnate clan's divine ancestor.[47][48][49]

Futsunushi is absent in the Kojiki, where the envoys sent by the heavenly kami are Takemikazuchi and the bird-boat deity Ame-no-Torifune.[50] The Kojiki's kamiumi myth identifies Takemikazuchi - here given the aliases 'Takefutsu-no-Kami' (建布都神) and 'Toyofutsu-no-Kami' (豊布都神) - as one of three gods born from the blood that fell from the blade of Izanagi's sword (the other two being Mikahayahi and Hihayahi),[51] although the kuni-yuzuri portion refers to him as the son of the deified sword itself, there given the name Itsu-no-Ohabari (伊都尾羽張).[50]

The Sobataka deity

Sobataka Shrine (Ōkura, Katori, Chiba Prefecture)

Sobataka Shrine (側高神社) in Ōkura, Katori is reckoned as the first and most important auxiliary shrine of Katori Jingū. Its deity, whose identity is kept secret since antiquity and thus is known merely as the 'Great Deity of Sobataka' (側高大神 Sobataka-no-Ōkami),[52] is the subject of a legend involving the god of Katori Shrine.

The story relates that the Sobataka deity, acting under the orders of the god of Katori, raided the land of Mutsu and stole 2,000 horses from the local kami. When the god of Mutsu gave chase, the Sobataka deity drained Lake Kasumigaura using a 'tide-ebbing jewel' (干珠 kanju), allowing the horses to cross over to the other shore. After the horses have safely crossed, the Sobataka deity then used a 'tide-flowing jewel' (満珠 manju), to restore the lake to normal, trapping the pursuer in an island in the middle of the lake known as Ukishima (浮島 'floating island', part of modern Inashiki, Ibaraki Prefecture).[53]


Matami Shrine (Katori, Chiba Prefecture)

The deity Ame-no-Naemasu-no-Mikoto (天苗加命), worshiped in Matami Shrine (又見神社) in Katori, is considered to be Futsunushi's son. Ame-no-Naemasu is reckoned as the ancestor of the Katori clan (香取氏), which traditionally served as priests in Katori Shrine. The Katori later assumed the name 'Ōnakatomi' (大中臣) after a grandson of Ōnakatomi no Kiyomaro, of the influential Nakatomi (Ōnakatomi) clan, was adopted into the clan.[54][55]





As the deity of Katori Jingū, Futsunushi also serves as the deity of shrines belonging to the Katori shrine network (香取神社 Katori Jinja). In addition, Futsunushi is also enshrined in Kasuga Grand Shrine alongside Takemikazuchi and Ame-no-Koyane (the divine ancestor of the Nakatomi and Fujiwara clans), in Shiogama Shrine in Miyagi Prefecture alongside Takemikazuchi and Shiotsuchi-no-Oji (the kami of salt making), in Nukisaki Shrine (貫前神社 Nukisaki Jinja) in Tomioka, Gunma Prefecture alongside a goddess known only under the generic epithet 'Hime Ōkami' (比売大神),[56] and as an auxiliary deity in Chiba Shrine in Chiba City.[57] A number of other shrines throughout the country also enshrine Futsunushi in an auxiliary capacity.

As patron of martial arts

Iizasa Chōisai Ienao

Both Futsunushi and Takemikazuchi were reckoned as eminent war gods (軍神 ikusagami, gunjin) since antiquity. The Ryōjin Hishō compiled in 1179 (the late Heian period) attest to the worship of the gods of Katori and Kashima as martial deities at the time of its compilation:

The two kami have been worshiped by many eminent swordsmen such as Iizasa Chōisai, the founder of Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū, and Tsukahara Bokuden, the founder of Kashima Shintō-ryū. Indeed, Chōisai was reputed in legend to have developed his swordsmanship style after being taught secrets of strategy by Futsunushi in a dream. Even today, many kendo dōjō in Japan enshrine either or both of these deities.[59][60]

Under shinbutsu-shūgō


A collection of medieval legends, the Shintōshū, identifies the Katori deity as a manifestation of the eleven-faced form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Kannon).[61]

Katori Jingū


Template:Infobox religious building

The Katori Shrine (香取神宮, Katori Jingū) is a Shintō shrine in the city of Katori in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is the ichinomiya of former Shimōsa Province, and is the head shrine of the approximately 400 Katori shrines around the country (located primarily in the Kantō region).[62] The main festival of the shrine is held annually on April 14, with a three-day Grand Festival held every 12 years.[63]

Enshrined kami


The primary kami of Katori Jingū is



The foundation of Katori Jingū predates the historical period. Per the Hitachi-koku Fudoki, an ancient record and per shrine tradition, it was established in 643 BC, the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Jimmu.[64] During this period, the Ō clan (多氏, Ō-shi) migrated from Higo Province in Kyushu, conquering local emishi tribes, and forming an alliance with the nearby Nakatomi clan, the progenitors of the Fujiwara clan at what is now Kashima Jingū. As the Hitachi-koku Fudoki dates from the early 7th century, the shrine must certainly have been founded earlier than this. The shrine appears in all of the Rikkokushi official national histories, which cover events to 887. The shrine was regarded as a tutelary shrine of the Fujiwara clan, and a bunrei of Futsunushi was brought from Katori to be enshrined in the second sanctuary of Kasuga Taisha when that shrine was founded in Nara. In the Heian period per the Engishiki (written in 927), Katori was listed as a myōjin taisha (名神大) and was one of only three shrines (alongside Ise Jingū and Kashima Jingū) to be given the higher-level designation of Jingū. In the Heian period, the shrine came to be regarded as the ichinomiya of the province.[65]

During the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, Katori Jingū was revered as a shrine for the military class and received many donations from Minamoto no Yoritomo and Ashikaga Takauji. It also earned income from its control of fishing rights in the Katori Sea and highway barriers in both Hitachi Province and Shimōsa. Under the Edo period Tokugawa shogunate, the shrine was rebuilt in 1607, and again in 1700. Many of the structures in the present shrine date from this 1700 rebuilding.[65]

During the Meiji period era of State Shinto, the shrine was rated as a Imperial shrine, 1st rank (官幣大社, Kanpei Taisha) under the Modern system of ranked Shinto Shrines[66]

Cultural Properties


National Treasures

  • Kaijū Budō Kagami (海獣葡萄鏡), Tang dynasty China. This round cupronickel mirror has a diameter of 29.6 centimeters, and weight of 4.56 kilograms. It is decorated with bas-relief flowers, insects and a variety of real and mythological animals. It is almost identical to a mirror held by the Shōsōin Treasury in Nara. The mirror itself is preserved at the Nara National Museum. It was designated a National Treasure in 1953.[67]

Important Cultural Properties

  • Honden, Edo period (1700). The Honden of Katori Shrine was traditionally reconstructed every 20 years, similar to the system used at Ise Shrine until the system fell apart during the Sengoku period. The current structure was built in 1700 and was designated as Important Cultural Property in 1977.[68]
  • Rōmon, Edo period (1700). The Rōmon gate of Katori Shrine was also constructed in 1700 and was designated an Important Cultural Property in 1983. It displays the shrine's name plaque written by Fleet Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō.[69][70]
  • Koseto ōyū Kominu (古瀬戸黄釉狛犬), Kamakura to Muromachi period. The shrine has a ceramic Koseto pair of komainu, standing 17.6 and 17.9 centimeters high. One of these statues was featured on a 250 Yen definitive stamp of Japan. The set of statues was designated as an Important Cultural Property in 1953.[71]
  • Sōryū kagami (双竜鏡), Heian period. This mirror has a diameter 20.5 cm and is made of white copper. It is inscribed with the date of 1149, and is the oldest example of an inscribed Japanese mirror. The style is different from general Japanese mirrors, and was influenced by Song dynasty China or Goryeo. It was designated on November 14, 1953.[72]
  • Katori ōnegike monjo (香取大禰宜家文書), Heian to Edo period. This is a set of 381 documents that was in the possession of the Katori clan, the hereditary priesthood of the shrine. It was collectively designated on November 14, 1953.[73]

Registered Tangible Cultural Properties

  • Kaun-kaku (香雲閣), Meiji period. This two-story, hipped-roof Japanese-style building is located on the southeast side of the Katori Jingu Shrine and has been used for meetings. It was designated in 2000.[73]
  • haiden (香雲閣), Showa period. This building was constructed during a major renovation from 1945 by the Shrine Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It was designated in 2001.[74]

Kashima Jingu


Kashima Shrine (鹿島神宮, Kashima Jingū) is a Shinto shrine located in Kashima, Ibaraki in the northern Kantō region of Japan. It is dedicated to Takemikazuchi-no-Ōkami (武甕槌大神), one of the patron deities of martial arts. Various dōjō of kenjutsu and kendō often display a hanging scroll emblazoned with the name "Takemikazuchi-no-Ōkami". Prior to World War II, the shrine was ranked as one of the three most important imperial shrines Jingū (神宮) in the Shinto hierarchy, along with Ise Grand Shrine (伊勢神宮 Ise Jingū) and Katori Shrine (香取神宮 Katori Jingū). During the New Year period, from the first to the third of January, Kashima Shrine is visited by over 600,000 people from all over Japan[citation needed]. It is the second most visited shrine in Ibaraki prefecture for new year pilgrims.


Romon gate and stone lanterns, 2015
Main Shrine
Mitarashi (御手洗池) reflecting pond, 2015

Kashima Shrine is located at the top of the Kashima plateau in south-east Ibaraki Prefecture, intersecting Lake Kitaura and Kashima Bay and in close proximity to Katori Shrine, which also has a strong connection to the martial arts. The shrine is the home of the Kashima Shintō-ryū (鹿島新当流) school of Japanese swordsmanship. Tsukahara Bokuden (塚原 卜伝, 1489 - March 6, 1571), one of the most distinguished swordmasters in Japanese history, was a frequent visitor to the shrine and developed the school from a combination of his own experiences as a shugyōsha during Musha shugyō (武者修行) and the Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū (天真正伝香取神道流).

A large blade designated as a National Treasure known as the Futsu-no-Mitama Sword (布都御魂剣) is housed in the treasure house of Kashima Shrine.

The Honden (main shrine building), Haiden (prayer hall) and Rōmon tower gate entrance are all Edo period structures, and are National Important Cultural Properties. The gate is one of the largest three shrine entrances in Japan. A deer enclosure is also located down the forest path. Both Kashima Shrine's deer and those of Nara are considered messengers of the gods and hence share a strong connection.

Dojo inside Kashima Shrine, 2005

Enshrined deity

「Kashima Keystone」(Ansei Era, 1855)The upper section of this illustration shows the stone in Kashima Shrine while below the god Takemikazuchi is pinning the giant catfish Ōnamazu with his sword.Ōnamazu (大鯰) is said to live below the islands of Japan and when aggravated is the cause of its many earthquakes. Takemikazuchi restrains the catfish through the use of the keystone.

Kashima Ōkami (鹿島大神, Kashima-no-Ōkami) is the official title of the main enshrined deity and identified as Takemikazuchi (武甕槌大神). In some historical texts he is also known as the great god of thunder.

According to legend, Izanagi, beheaded his own son Kagutsuchi the fire deity, as punishment for burning his mother to death. As he performed the act the blood dripped from his sword splashing onto the rocks below him, giving birth to several kami, two of which were Takemikazuchi along with Futsunushi (経津主神, Futsunushi-no-kami) the deity of Katori Shrine. Per the Nihon Shoki, Takemikazuchi was the deity who provided Emperor Jimmu with a sword as he departed for the conquest of Yamato, which is one reason the shrine is regarded as a patron. However, there is no mention of the shrine in either the Nihon Shoki or the Kojiki and the earliest written records, the Hitachi Fudoki, does not identify the Kashima-no-Ōkami with Takemikazuchi.


The Torii Gate in 2008 before the 2011 earthquake

According the shrine legend, Kashima Jingū was established in the first year of the legendary Emperor Jimmu, i.e. 660 BC. This is well into Japanese prehistory, and the oldest written records mentioning the shrine are in the Asuka period Fudoki (風土記) of Hitachi province, indicating that a kobe (神戸), or private house of ritual was rebuilt in 649 AD on a site where the great celestial god Kashima (香島の天の大神, Kashima-no-ten-no-Ōkami) descended from the heavens and where religious ceremonies and festivals had been held since the time of Emperor Sujin, Yamato Takeru and Emperor Tenji. This region was the ancestral stronghold of the Nakatomi clan, who were strongly allied to the Yamato court, and the area around Kashima became a center for strengthening the imperial court's control of eastern Japan following the Taika Reform. As both a war deity and a water deity, the Kashima kami were connected with military campaigns against the Emishi tribes of northern Japan. The treasury of the shrine has a one bucket said to have been a war trophy once owned by the Emishi leader Aterui.

During the Nara period, the Nakatomi clan rose to prominence and changed their name to Fujiwara and played a central role in reorganizing the Shinto ritual system. By the Heian period, Kashima Jingū was given the highest rank and the Shinto hierarchy, along with Ise Grand Shrine and Kashima Shrine. The Engishiki records list the shrine as the ichinomiya of Hitachi Province. Although the Fujiwara clan lost much of its power into the Kamakura period, the shrine continued to enjoy high status and prestige with the warrior class and was strongly supported by successive samurai governments and local daimyō. Minamoto no Yoritomo granted the shrine numerous estates, and many members of the samurai class entered the priesthood, sometimes advancing to very senior positions. The shrine buildings were extensively reconstructed during the early Edo period, with Tokugawa Ieyasu sponsoring the reconstruction of the main shrine in 1605 (currently the main building of the Oku-no-miya Shrine), Tokugawa Hidetada rebuilding the current main shrines in 1619 and with Tokugawa Yorifusa contributing the tower gate in 1634. In 1687, poet Matsuo Bashō traveled to the Kashima Shrine, writing of the journey in his haibun travel journal, Kashima Kikō.

Following the Meiji restoration, the shrine was designated a Kanpei-sha (官幣社), or imperial shrine, 1st rank, under State Shinto. The second torii gate was rebuilt in granite from Kasama in 1968 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Meiji restoration. The precincts of the shrine were designated a National Historic Site in 1986.[75]

The shrine suffered only moderate damage in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. The main torii gate was destroyed and 64 of the stone lanterns lining the shrine's pathways fell over. Although none of the main buildings were destroyed, the total cost of repairing the structures came to 170 million Yen. Following the earthquake, the first large scale archaeological excavation ever made on the site was conducted in the northwestern side of the precincts. Many artifacts dating back to the Nara period were uncovered.

Grand Imperial Ofuna Festival


This special festival held once every 12 years in the Year of the Horse is to honour the great deities Takemikazuchi of Kashima Shrine and Futsunushi of Katori Shrine. The festival is one of great pride for the people in the areas of Kashima and Katori and said to be one of the biggest in Japan. The next Grand Imperial Ofuna Festival will be in 2026.

The festival began during the time of Emperor Ōjin although it was stopped once during the civil warring of the Muromachi period . In 1870, the tradition of the festival was revived and given imperial status. In 1887 it was decided that the festival would be held every 12 years in the Year of the Horse.

Today the Grand Imperial Ofuna festival begins in the morning on the first of September and officials from the imperial court are sent to convey the blessings of the Emperor. In the early morning of the second day a mikoshi (portable shrine) from Kashima Shrine is carried overland along the edge of Lake Kitaura, a smaller part of Lake Kasumigaura, to a large boat waiting in the harbor. The boat, adorned with a great Ryūtō (龍頭) dragon motif, then joins a larger fleet of other colourful boats (in 2002 there were around 90) and carries the mikoshi across the lake to the other side. From there a divine procession awaits to take the mikoshi to Katori Shrine where the main festival takes place. After the festival a special temporary logging known as an Angu (行宮) is constructed and the Mikoshi is taken there before being returned to its main shrine in the afternoon of the third day.

Festivals and annual events



  • New Years Day Service (1st, 06:00)
  • Festival of Origins (3rd, 10:00)
  • White Horse Festival (7th, 18:00)


  • Setsubun Festival (Setsubun Day, 18:00)
  • Kigen Era Festival (11th, 10:00)
  • Bountiful Crops Festival (17th, 10:00)


  • Saitousai Main Festival of Colour (9th, 10:00)
  • Spring Festival (9th, 18:00)
  • Spring Equinox and Spirits of the Ancestors Festival (Spring Equinox Day, 10:00)


  • Rear Shrine Spring Service (1st, 10:00)
  • Inner Shrine Spring Service (2nd)
  • Shrine Ruins Spring Service (3rd)
  • Sakado and Numao Shrine Spring Service (4th)
  • Outer Shrine Spring Service (5th)
  • Outer Shrine Divine Spring Service (6th)
  • Ikisu Shrine Annual Spring Service (14th)


  • Bountiful Harvest and Horseback Archery Festival (1st, 13:00)


  • Summer Solstice Purification Ceremony (29th, 18:00)
  • Ōharai Shinto Purification Ceremony (30th, 15:00)


  • Grand Imperial Ofuna Festival (1st–3rd, in 2014)
  • Annual Shrine Festival (1st, 10:00)
  • Chinese Lantern Festival (1st, 18:00)
  • Fortune Festival (1st, 20:00)
  • Return of the Deities Festival (2nd, 15:00)
  • Xinggong Angu Imperial Logging Festival (2nd, 22:00)
  • Enshrinement of the Ancestors Festival (21st, 18:00)
  • Autumn Equinox Festival (22nd, 08:00)
  • Great Festival of Ancestral Spirits (22nd, 08:00)


  • Offering of the Harvest Festival (17th, 10:00)


  • Rear Shrine Autumn Service (1st, 10:00)
  • Inner Shrine Autumn Service (2nd)
  • Meiji Festival (3rd, 09:00)
  • Sumo Festival (3rd, 10:00)
  • Shrine Ruins Autumn Service (3rd)
  • Sakado and Numao Shrine Autumn Service (4th)
  • Outer Shrine Autumn Service (5th)
  • Outer Shrine Autumn Service (6th)
  • Ikisu Shrine Autumn Service (13th)
  • Shinjyosai Offering of the Harvest to the gods (23rd, 10:00)


  • Shrine Offerings Ceremony (20th, 10:00)
  • Tencho Festival (23rd, 10:00)
  • Shinto Purification Ceremony (31st, 15:00)
  • New Year's Eve Service (31st, 15:00)

Monthly service

  • Ceremony for the Ancestors (1st day of each month, 10:00)

See also



  1. During the Heian period, the expression 'east of the barrier' (関の東 seki-no-hi(n)gashi, whence derives the term 関東 Kantō) referred to the provinces beyond the checkpoints or barrier stations (関 seki) at the eastern fringes of the capital region, more specifically the land east of the checkpoint at Ōsaka/Ausaka Hill (逢坂 'hill of meeting', old orthography: Afusaka; not to be confused with the modern city of Osaka) in modern Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture.[58] By the Edo period, Kantō was reinterpreted to mean the region east of the checkpoint in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture.


  1. a b c d e Ashkenazi, Michael (2003). Handbook of Japanese Mythology. ABC-CLIO. p. 266. ISBN 9781576074671.
  2. 三品, 彰英 (Shōei Mishina) (1969) [1968], "たけみかづち", 世界百科事典 (Sekai hyakka jiten), Heibonsha, vol. 14, p. 367
  3. a b c d e f Ouwehand, Cornelis; Logunova, Vera Vasil'evna (1964). Namazu-e and Their Themes: An Interpretative Approach to Some Aspects of Japanese Folk Religion. Brill Archive. pp. 57–., gives sword as "Itsu-no-o habari"
  4. Heldt, Gustav. The Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters. Columbia University Press, 2014.
  5. a b Chamberlain 1919, §VIII, The slaying of the fire-deity, pp.35–
  6. a b 武田 1996『古事記』text p. 27/ mod. Ja. tr. p.213
  7. Aston 1896 harvnb error: multiple targets (5×): CITEREFAston1896 (help), pp.28–29;
  8. 宇治谷 1988 『日本書紀』上 p.26
  9. Chamberlain 1919, §XXXII, Abdication of the deity Master-of-the-Great-Land, pp.121-
  10. a b 武田 1996『古事記』text p. 60/ mod. Ja. tr. p.244
  11. 彦山, 光三 (Mitsuzō Hikoyama) (1969) [1968], "すもう", 世界百科事典 (Sekai hyakka jiten), Heibonsha, vol. 12, p. 597
  12. a b Aston 1896 harvnb error: multiple targets (5×): CITEREFAston1896 (help), Chapter:Age of the Gods II, pp.67-70.
  13. a b 宇治谷 1988 『日本書紀』上 p.56-8
  14. a b 武田, 政一 (Masaichi Takeda) (1969) [1968], "かしまじんじゃ", 世界百科事典 (Sekai hyakka jiten), Heibonsha, vol. 4, p. 404
  15. Aston 1896 harvnb error: multiple targets (5×): CITEREFAston1896 (help), Chapter:Age of the Gods II, pp.79-80.
  16. 宇治谷 1988 『日本書紀』上 p.64-6
  17. 寺島良安; 島田勇雄, 樋口元巳 (1985). 和漢三才図会. Vol. 10. 平凡社. p. 71. ISBN 9784582804478. subscribes to this view
  18. 宇治谷 1988 『日本書紀』上 p.64, 58
  19. a b "Book II". Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697, Volume 1.
  20. "Ninigi | Japanese deity". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  21. Coulter, Charles Russell; Turner, Patricia (4 July 2013). Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-96397-2.
  22. Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan. Asiatic Society of Japan. 1875.
  23. Davis, Frederick Hadland (1 January 1992). Myths and Legends of Japan. Courier Corporation. ISBN 978-0-486-27045-6.
  24. Gagne, Tammy (15 December 2018). Japanese Gods, Heroes, and Mythology. ISBN 9781532170706.
  26. "Ninigi". Mythopedia. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  27. "Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697/Book III - Wikisource, the free online library". Retrieved 23 May 2024.
  28. a b 武田 1996『古事記』text p. 77-8/ mod. Ja. tr. p.260-1
  29. a b Chamberlain 1919, §XLV.—Emperor Jim-mu (Part II.—The Cross-Sword Sent Down From Heaven)., pp.164-
  30. Aston 1896, pp. 114–115 harvnb error: multiple targets (5×): CITEREFAston1896 (help)
  31. 宇治谷 1988, p.94-5
  32. a b c d 小向, 正司 (1992). 神道の本. Books Esoterica. Vol. 2. 学研. pp. 76–7.(zasshi code 66951-07; kyōtsu zasshi code T10-66951-07-1000)
  33. Namazu-e and Their Themes: An Interpretative Approach to Some Aspects of Japanese Folk Religion. Brill Archive. 1964. pp. 58–. GGKEY:2TUFXDJBJPN.
  34. Como, Michael I. (2008). Shotoku: Ethnicity, Ritual, and Violence in the Japanese Buddhist Tradition. Oxford University Press. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-19-988496-4.
  35. a b c d Grapard, Allan G. (1993). The Protocol of the Gods: A Study of the Kasuga Cult in Japanese History. University of California Press. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-520-91036-2.
  36. Newman, Jesse C. (2015). History of Kyudo and Iaido in Early Japan. AuthorHouse. p. 92.
  37. a b Aston, William G. (2015). Shinto - The Ancient Religion of Japan. Read Books Ltd. p. 115. Archived from the original on 29 April 2024. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  38. Lancashire, Terence (2006). Gods' Music: the Japanese Folk Theatre of Iwami Kagura. Florian Noetzel. p. 277.
  39. Matsuoka, Shizuo (1929). Nihon Kogo Daijiten (日本古語大辭典). Tōkō Shoin. p. 980. Archived from the original on 29 April 2024. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  40. Template:Cite wikisource
  41. Kitagawa, Joseph M. (1990). Religion in Japanese History. Columbia University Press. p. 31. Archived from the original on 29 April 2024. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  42. Template:Cite wikisource
  43. Kuroita, Katsumi (1943). Kundoku Nihon Shoki, vol. 1 (訓読日本書紀 上巻). Iwanami Shoten. pp. 33, 39–40. Archived from the original on 20 April 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  44. a b Template:Cite wikisource
  45. Template:Cite wikisource
  46. Records of Wind and Earth: A Translation of Fudoki, with Introduction and Commentaries. Translated by Aoki, Michiko Y. Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 1997. pp. 83–84.
  47. De Bary, Wm. Theodore; Keene, Donald; Tanabe, George; Varley, Paul, eds. (2001). Sources of Japanese Tradition: From Earliest Times to 1600. Columbia University Press. p. 38. Archived from the original on 29 April 2024. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  48. Takioto, Yoshiyuki (2012). "Izumo no Kuni no Miyatsuko no Kan'yogoto no Shinwa (出雲国造神賀詞の神話)" (PDF). Komazawa Shigaku (in Japanese). Komazawa University. 78: 1–17. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  49. Nishioka, Kazuhiko. "Amenooshihomimi". Encyclopedia of Shinto. Kokugakuin University. Retrieved 25 March 2020.[dead link]
  50. a b Keizai Zasshi-sha (ed.). "Kojiki". Kokushi Taikei, vol. 7 (国史大系 第7巻). Keizai Zasshi-sha. p. 47. Archived from the original on 19 April 2023. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  51. Keizai Zasshi-sha (ed.). "Kojiki". Kokushi Taikei, vol. 7 (国史大系 第7巻). Keizai Zasshi-sha. p. 15. Archived from the original on 28 November 2023. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  52. "香取市/側高神社". Marugoto-e! Chiba (まるごとe! ちば) (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  53. Katori-gun shi (香取郡誌). Chiba-ken Katori-gun. 1921. pp. 362–363. Archived from the original on 29 April 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  54. Katori Jingū-shi (香取神宮志). Katori Jingū Shamusho. 1938. pp. 5, 38. Archived from the original on 29 April 2024. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  55. "Katori-shi (香取氏)". 家紋World - World of KAMON. Archived from the original on 30 September 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  56. "Nukisaki Shrine Official Website (一之宮 貫前神社)" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  57. "千葉神社について". Chiba Shrine Official Website (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 26 October 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  58. Marshall, Yuko (2008). Heterogeneous Japan: The Cultural Distinctions Between Western and Eastern Japan. p. 6. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  59. Kiyota, Minoru (2013). Kendo: Its Philosophy, History and Means to Personal Growth. Routledge. p. 35. Archived from the original on 29 April 2024. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  60. Bennett, Alexander C. (2015). Kendo: Culture of the Sword. University of California Press. pp. 47–49. Archived from the original on 29 April 2024. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  61. "Katori Jingū (香取神宮)". Honji suijaku shiryō binran (本地垂迹資料便覧) (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 10 August 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  62. Shibuya, Nobuhiro (2015). Shokoku jinja Ichinomiya Ninomiya San'nomiya (in Japanese). Yamakawa shuppansha. ISBN 978-4634150867.
  63. Plutschow. Matsuri: The Festivals of Japan. Page 173
  64. "Katori Shinto Ryu" (PDF). The Doshikai. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
  65. a b Yoshiki, Emi (2007). Zenkoku 'Ichinomiya' tettei gaido (in Japanese). PHP Institute. ISBN 978-4569669304.
  66. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 125.
  67. "海獣葡萄鏡" [Kaijū Budō Kagami] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  68. "香取神宮本殿" [Katori Jingū Hondenlanguage=Japanese]. Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  69. 宝物・文化財. 香取神宮 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 3 July 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
  70. "香取神宮楼門" [Katori Jingū Rōmon =Japanese]. Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  71. "古瀬戸黄釉狛犬" [Koseto ōyū komainu =Japanese]. Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  72. "双竜鏡" [Sōryū kagami =Japanese]. Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  73. a b "香雲閣" [Kaun-kaku =Japanese]. Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  74. "香取神宮拝殿・幣殿・神饌所" [Katori Jingu Shrine, Heiden, Shinsensho =Japanese]. Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  75. "鹿島神宮境内 附 郡家跡" [Kashima Jingū keidai tsuketari gūke ato] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 20 August 2020.

See also






See also






Template:Shinto shrine

Template:Shinmei shrines