Japanese Mythology, Spirits and Deities

Marebito: Japanese Visiting Deities and Spirits

Visiting deities. Mysterious visitors, often from across the seas or deep in the mountains, are a staple of many Japanese local myths. These strangers, if treated kindly, fed, and entertained, are likely to emerge as donors of important foundation gifts. Orikuchi Shinobu (Japanese scholar and poet) defined marebito as spiritual entities that periodically visit village communities from the …

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Okikurmi or Ae-oyna Kamui: Ainu Wiseman Or Protective God

Ainu culture hero who features in many myths as an extremely pious powerful man who performs all the Ainu rituals, or who calls on the kamui for assistance for his people. Okikurmi is wise and good, but he has a counterpart, Samai-unkur, the chieftain of a neighboring village, who is stupid, careless, and weak. The …

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Konohanasakuya-hime: Tale of Japanese Goddess of Mount Fuji

Daughter of Oyamatsumi-no-kami, a mountain deity; also Ninigi-no-mikoto’s wife, and mother to the quarreling deities Hoderi and Ho-ori. Sometimes also called Kami Ata-tsu-hime. Ōyama-tsumi gave his two daughters, Iwa-naga-hime (Long-rock princess—also a play on “long life”) and Konohanasakuya-hime (Flower-blossom princess) as wives to Ninigi-nomikoto after he descended to earth at Himuka. Ninigi returned the older …

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