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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Hitokotonushi
[Katsuragi no hitokotonushi no kami] (Kojiki)
Other names: Katsuragi no hitokotonushi no ōkami (Kojiki)



A kami appearing on Mount Katsuragi, near the border of Yamato and Kawachi Provinces, and who could utter oracles of good or evil with the decisive speaking of a "single word" (hito-koto). The central deity (saijin) of the Hitokotonushi Shrine in Katsuragi, Katsurakami District, Yamato Province (present-day Nara Prefecture).

According to Kojiki, when Emperor Yuryaku climbed Mount Katsuragi with his many courtiers, they encountered another troupe having identical appearance. Enraged, the emperor readied his arrow and asked for the names of those in the opposing group. The leader of the group responded, "I am Hitokotonushi no kami of Katsuragi, who proclaims evil in a single word, good in a single word." Upon hearing this, the emperor and his courtiers removed their garments and offered them to the kami. Similar stories are found in Nihongi and Shoku Nihongi; the version in Nihongi reflects ancient beliefs in hermetic mountain wizards.

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