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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Ukemochi
[Ukemochi no kami] (Nihongi)
A deity appearing in an "alternate writing" quoted within Nihongi. The name uke is synonymous with uka, meaning "food," with the result that ukemochi no kami means a tutelary of foodstuffs, although some theories suggest that the kami is identical to Ōgetsuhime. According to Nihongi, Amaterasu commanded Tsukuyomi to go to Ukemochi, whereupon Ukemochi produced various foods from her mouth, including "things broad of fin" and "things narrow of fin," "things rough of hair" and "things soft of hair," and these she presented on one-hundred serving tables as a feast to Tsukuyomi.

Tsukuyomi, however, was enraged at being served foods that were "polluted" (since they had issued from Ukemochi's mouth), and drew his sword and killed Ukemochi. Hearing of this, Amaterasu sent Amenokumanoushi to investigate; it was found that cattle and horses were produced from the head of Ukemochi's dead body, rice was produced from her belly, and wheat and beans were produced from her genitals. Amenokumanoushi took these items to Amaterasu, who was pleased, saying that the foods would serve to feed human beings. Amaterasu planted the various grains and seeds in fields and paddies, a story said to represent one type of food-origin myth.

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