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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Ōmononushi
[Ōmononushi no kami] (Kojiki)
The kami enshrined on Mt. Miwa in Yamato at the time Ōkuninushi was engaged in the work of firming the land of Japan. According to Nihongi, Ōmononushi was an alternate name for Ōkuninushi. Nihongi also identifies Ōmononushi with Ōnamuchi's sakimitama and kushimitama (thought to represent aspects of a spirit that bless its owner with success and health), but it appears most likely that he originally represented a separate kami personality.

According to Kojiki's record of Emperor Jinmu, Ōmononushi impregnated the maiden Seyadatarahime by transforming himself into a red-lacquered arrow and striking her in the genitals as she was relieving herself beside a stream. The resulting child was Isukeyorihime, who later became the consort of Emperor Jinmu.

Both Kojiki's and Nihongi's record of Emperor Sujin state that at a time of pestilence and disaster, an oracular dream revealed Ōmononushi's wish to be worshiped by his descendant Ōtataneko at Mt. Miwa. Another episode in Nihongi relates that Ōmononushi was wed to a woman named Yamato Totohimomosohime, but visited her only at night; when she requested to see his true form, he hid in her comb case, where she found him as a small snake. After her alarm caused the snake to flee in shame to Mt. Miwa, the woman felt remorse and used chopsticks to stab herself mortally in the genitals.

Kojiki's tale of Ikutamayoribime is similar, with the maiden becoming pregnant by a young man who visits her only at night. Anxious to learn the identity of their daughter's lover, her parents tie a thread to the hem of his garments and follow the thread the next morning, whereupon they find it leads to the shrine at Mt. Miwa. These legends are the basis for the broad category of legends of the "Mt. Miwa type."

Ōmononushi is worshiped at the Ōmiwa Shrine in Nara Prefecture.

-Kadoya Atsushi
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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