Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
 main menu
  »Home

  »Foreword

  »Guide to Usage

  »Contributors & Translators

  

  »Movies List
 Links
AND OR

Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Toyotamabime
[Toyotama bime no mikoto] (Kojiki)(Nihongi)
Daughter of the sea kami Watatsumi, Toyotamabime was the consort of Hohodemi and mother of Ugayafukiaezu. Detailed accounts of her marriage and motherhood are provided by both Kojiki and Nihongi. When Hohodemi visited Watatsumi's undersea palace, Toyotamabime met him and, entranced by his appearance, immediately informed her father of his arrival. She thereafter became his wife, but after three years, she became aware of her husband's longing for home, and Hohodemi subsequently returned to the land. Remaining behind in the sea palace, Toyotamabime informed Hohodemi of her pregnancy, and told him that she would ascend to the shore to give birth to his child on a day of harsh wind and waves. In preparation, she requested that he build her a parturition hut thatched with cormorant feathers.

True to her promise, Toyotamabime arrived on the shore accompanied by her sister Tamayoribime. Entering, the hut, Toyotamabime asked Hohodemi not to look upon her as she gave birth, but the curious Hohodemi peeked in and saw Toyotamabime writhing on the floor, transformed into a sea monster (called a wani or "crocodile," but probably meaning "shark"). Enraged and shamed that she had been seen in this form, Toyotamabime returned to her ocean home, blocking the passage between sea and land and declaring that it would no longer be possible to pass freely between the two realms.

Even after returning to the sea, Toyotamabime continued an amiable relationship with Hohodemi, exchanging love poems with him and sending her younger sister Tamayoribime to raise their child.

-Mori Mizue
"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.
Ver. 1.3