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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Hiruko
(Kojiki)(Nihongi)
"Leach-child," a deformed infant born to Izanagi and Izanami as a result of Izanami's mistake in speaking first to Izanagi during their courtship. The child was placed in a reed boat and set adrift. The meaning of the child's name is debated, although hiruko means "leach," and the name may suggest a child with arms and legs but without bones. The main text of Nihongi states that the child could not walk even after reaching three years of age, with the result that he was placed in the "rock-camphor boat of heaven" (see Torinoiwakusafune) and set adrift to the mercy of the winds. In later times, Hiruko was identified with the deity Ebisu, a maritime tutelary and one of the "seven gods of good fortune" (shichi fukujin).

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