Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
 main menu
  »New EOS site



  »Guide to Usage

  »Contributors & Translators


  »Movies List

Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
[Yomotsu shikome](Kojiki)(Nihongi)
"Hags of Yomi," considered personifications of the pollution of death. Both Kojiki and Nihongi relate the same mythic elements: when Izanagi broke his promise to Izanami and fled from the underworld land of Yomi, Izanami sent the "eight hags of Yomi" (eight meaning "myriad") to chase after him. While being chased, Izanagi waved a sword behind him and threw down his headdress, which turned into grapes. Izanagi then escaped as the hags stopped to eat the grapes. The hags continued to pursue him, however, so Izanagi threw down his sacred comb, which turned into bamboo shoots. Once again the hags stopped to eat and Izanagi escaped as far as the Even Plain of Yomi.

An "alternative writing" transmitted by Nihongi calls the hags "Yomotsushikome, also called 'Yomotsuhisame,'" thus indicating that the two were the same. See also Yomotsuhisame.

-Matsunaga Naomichi
"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