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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Ninigi
[Ame ni kishi kuni ni kishi amatsu hiko hiko ho no ninigi no mikoto] (Kojiki)
Other names: Amatsu hiko hiko ho no ninigi no mikoto, Amatsu hiko ho no ninigi no mikoto, Hiko ho no ninigi no mikoto(Kojiki), Amatsu hiko kuni teru hiko hono ninigi no mikoto, Amatsu hikone ho no ninigi no mikoto, Ame kuni nigishi hiko ho no ninigi no mikoto, Ame no ki hohokise no mikoto(Nihongi)



The kami who, as grandchild of Amaterasu ōmikami, descended (see tenson kōrin) from the Plain of High Heaven (Takamanohara) to the peak of Takachiho in Hyūga of Tsukushi (present-day Kyushu) to rule over the "Central Land of Reed Plains" (Ashihara no Nakatsukuni). Offspring of Amenooshihomimi and Takagi no kami's daughter Yorozuhatahime.

The three generations of kami beginning with Ninigi are sometimes called the "three generations of Hyūga," and represent the transitional period between the heavenly kami and the first emperor Jinmu. Ninigi's name is often associated with numerous honorific descriptives, including Amatsuhikohikohono (heaven-man, sun-child, rice ears), Amatsuhiko Kuniteruhiko-hono (heaven-man land-illuminate-man, rice-ears). Amatsumioyahiko-hono (heaven-parent man rice-ears), and Amekuninigishihiko-hono (heaven-land vigorous-man rice-ears)

While the precise meaning of many of these names is debated, they all denote a male kami of the "heavenly kami" lineage, related in some way to rice production.

According to Kojiki and Nihongi, Ninigi's father Oshihomimi was first commanded to descend and rule the Central Land of Reed Plains, but Ninigi was born while the Central Land was being pacified in preparation for Oshihomimi's descent. The main text of Nihongi states that Ninigi's grandfather Takamimusuhi raised him with particular affection. Furnished by Amaterasu and Takamimusuhi with five retainer kami, as well as with the symbolic sword, mirror and jewel, Ninigi descended in place of his father Oshihomimi. He married the daughter of the "earthly kami" (kunitsukami) named Ōyamatsumi, and later fathered the first emperor Jinmu as well as the ancestors of the Owari and Hayato clans. According to the main text of Nihongi, Ninigi was buried in the mausoleum of Hyūga-no-e in Tsukushi (Kyushu).

According to Kojiki, the five kami who accompanied Ninigi at the time of his descent included Amenokoyane and Futodama (both of whom performed divination at the time of Amaterasu's hiding away in the rock cave of heaven); Amenouzume (who underwent possession and lured Amaterasu from the cave); Ishikoridome (ancestral kami of the mirror-making clans); and Tamanooya no mikoto (ancestral kami of the jewel-making clans). The same kami names are listed as retainers in an "alternate writing" recorded by Nihongi. Other kami accompanying Ninigi included Omoikane, Tajikarao, and Amenoiwatowake, while Amenooshihi and Amatsukume no mikoto (ancestor of the Kume no Atai clan) went before Ninigi carrying bows, arrows, swords, and other weapons. Sendai kuji hongi claims that thirty-two kami accompanied Ninigi.

-Mori Mizue, Yumiyama Tatsuya
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
4-10-28 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8440, Japan
URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
Copyright ©2002-2006 Kokugakuin University. All rights reserved.
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