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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Amatsumara
(Kojiki)
Other names: Amenomahitotsu no kami (Kogo shūi)

A kami of ironworking (kajishin). Kojiki states that as the blacksmith of the Plain of High Heaven, Amatsumara was called upon to refine the iron used for making mirrors, using the "hard rocks of heaven" and the "metal mountain of heaven" located above the "Tranquil River of Heaven" (Amenoyasukawa). Together with Ishikoridome, he was said to have assisted in the making of the mirror used to lure Amaterasu from her hiding place in the rock cave of heaven. The name Amatsumara means ma-ura ("eye divination"), which some believe means "one-eyed," a reference to an occupational hazard of blacksmiths.

Kogo shūi describes Amatsumara as a follower of Futodama; it also states that at the time of Amaterasu's hiding away in the rock cave of heaven, Amenomahitotsu no kami ("the one-eyed kami of heaven") was assigned to make metal weapons, and that during the reign of Emperor Sujin, the descendants of that kami were, together with the descendants of Ishikoridome, put in charge of recasting the divine mirror and sword.

According to an "alternate writing" included in Nihongi, Amenomahitotsu was designated by Takamimusuhi as a metalworker to serve the kami of Izumo. From these incidents, Amenomahitotsu is recognized as the same kami as Amatsumara.

According to Sendai kuji hongi, among the gods who subjected themselves to Ninigi at the time of his descent from heaven (tenson kōrin) were kami named Amatsumara or Amatsumaura. Nihongi's record of the reign of Emperor Suizei likewise mentions the name Yamato no Kanuchi Amatsumaura is mentioned. The name Amatsuma(u)ra refers to the ancestral tutelary (sojin) of the blacksmith occupational groups, and was apparently also used as a common name.

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