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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Yamatonoōkunitama
[Yamato no ōkunitama] (Nihongi)
Other names: Yamato no ōkunitama no kami



The central deity (saijin) of the Ōyamato Shrine, but possessing ambiguous attributes. According to Nihongi's record of the sixth year of Emperor Sujin's reign, Yamato no Ōkunitama was originally enshrined together with Amaterasu ōmikami inside the palace, but the emperor feared the power of the two kami, and decided to no longer dwell under the same roof with them. Amaterasu possessed the maiden Toyosukiirihime no mikoto and led her to a new place of enshrinement at Kasanui no mura in Yamato, while Yamato no Ōkunitama possessed Nunakiirihime no mikoto and was enshrined at the Ōyamato Shrine.
In his Kojikiden, Motoori Norinaga denied the theory that Yamato no Ōkunitama was the same as Ōkuninushi no kami, but the Ōyamato Jinja chūshinjō (1167) claims that Ōkunitama is the "rough spirit" (aramitama) of Ōnamuchi (another name for Ōkuninushi).

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