Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
 main menu
  »New EOS site

  »Home

  »Foreword

  »Guide to Usage

  »Contributors & Translators

  

  »Movies List
 Links
AND OR

Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Iwanagahime
(Kojiki)(Nihongi)
A daughter of Ōyamatsumi. Ōyamatsumi offered both his beautiful daughter Konohana Sakuyahime and her older sister Iwanagahime in marriage to Ninigi. Ninigi, however, could not bear Iwanagahime's unattractive appearance and returned her to her father. According to Kojiki, Ōyamatsumi told Ninigi that he had offered his daughters together with the vow that the life of the emperors would be as eternal as the rocks. But since the elder sister Iwanagahime (lit., "rock-long-princess") was returned, the life of the emperors would henceforth be brief like the blossoms of flowering trees (Konohana Sakuyahime means "tree-flower-blooms-princess").

According to an "alternate writing" transmitted by Nihongi, Iwanagahime was herself embarrassed by the incident and pronounced a curse to the effect that the emperors and all other beings would live lives as evanescent as the tree blossoms. In any event, the two sisters are portrayed as contrasts, and the story is offered as an explanation for the brevity of human life. In later years, however, Iwanagahime came to be revered as a tutelary of longevity. In a different "alternate writing" of Nihongi, Ninigi is portrayed as finding both sisters weaving on a loom in a high palace on the crest of the ocean waves.

-Mori Mizue
"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