('bright princess') A patroness of sailors, born of a red jewel.
Goddess of Autumn.
Japanese Fertility goddess, witty goddess of persuasion. A companion of
Ninigi, she performed a bawdy dance hoping to entice the sun out of hiding.
This dance symbolizes the planting of seed which waits for the sun come
(Ama Terasu) The Great Goddess Spirit Shining in Heaven, this Japanese
Sun Goddess ruled weaving and agriculture. Disgusted with her brother
because of his violence toward women, Amaterasu enclosed herself in a
cave and refused to come out. Eight hundred deities gathered outside her
self-made isolation and tried to lure her out with a loud celebration.
Hearing the loud commentaries on an erotic dance being performed by the
crone Goddess Ame No Uzume, Amaterasu emerged, overcome with curiosity.
Seeing her radiance reflected in a mirror that had been set up outside
the entrance, she was amazed at her brilliance which she had never seen
before. She returned to the world and life was renewed. The snake, draped
on her arm, holds her brother's sword which she broke into 3 pieces that
became Goddesses. The Japanese Shinto sun goddess, ruler of the Plain
of Heaven, whose name means 'shining heaven' or 'she who shines in the
heavens'. She is the central figure in the Shinto pantheon and the Japanese
Imperial family claims descent from her. She is the eldest daughter of
Izanagi. She was so bright and radiant that her parents sent her up the
Celestial Ladder to heaven, where she has ruled ever since.
A Japanese Shinto water goddess.
The Japanese astral goddess of weavers.
(Benten, Benzaiten, Benzai-Tennyo) Japanese goddess of love, eloquence,
language, wisdom, knowledge, the arts, music, good fortune, and water.
She is the patroness of geishas, dancers, and musicians. Originally she
was a sea goddess or water goddess, on whose image many local deities
near lakes were based. Benzaiten rides a dragon while playing a stringed
instrument. The island of Enoshima rose up especially to receive her footsteps.
Benzaiten is portrayed as a beautiful woman, riding a dragon while playing
on the biwa, a stringed instrument. She has eight arms and in her
hands she holds a sword, a jewel, a bow, an arrow, a wheel, and a key.
Her remaining two hands are joined in prayer. It is often related that
when a dragon devoured many children, she descended to earth to stop his
evil work. Her messenger is a snake, and her eight arms hint at a Hindu
origin. Japanese women often carry charms in her likeness to encourage
beauty and accomplishment.
Sun goddess of the Ainu peoples. Originally she was the moon goddess but
after one night overhead watching all the adulterous behavings below she
begged the sun god to trade places with her; he did.
A Japanese Buddhist goddess of purity and wisdom, sometimes regerded as
(Huchi) Fuchi was venerated as patroness of the household and cooking
by the ancient Ainu people, and was a goddess of healing who "purifies
the body from disease." Also called Huchi or Apermeru-ko-yan-mat,
in Japan she is the first goddess approached in prayer, considered the
intermediary between gods and humanity. She is venerated in this form,
Sengen-sama, in the temple atop Mt. Fuji.
In the myths of many cultures, volcanoes have been seen as female forces
(Aetna in Italy, Pele in Hawaii, and Chuginadak in the Aleutians). The
aboriginal Japanese Ainus saw volcanic fire as female also, naming their
chief divinity Fuji, goddess of the famous mountain that now bears her
The Japanese goddess of the earth and of clay. She was formed from the
excrement of the creator goddess Izanami-no-kami.
From her head sprang the silkworm and mulberry tree; and from her navel
came the five grains - hemp, millet, rice, corn and pulse.
("lotus-child") In Japanese mythology, a young girl who died
of love for her betrothed; whom she had never seen. Her spirit 'stole'
the body of her sister Kei for a year so she and her fiancé could
live as lovers. Kei became ill 'like one dead'. At the end of the year
Hasu-Ko brought her lover to her ancestral home and told her parents that
she was content to die if they would marry her sister to him. Since this
was the only way to give her soul peace, the parents agreed. When her
spirit faded away, Kei revived suddenly and was happy to marry her sister's
fiancé. They lived happily ever after.
The Japanese goddess who ate all the sins cast into the ocean.
The goddess of the kitchen range, who protected and provided for the family
through the provisioning of harvested food. Her festival, called Fuigo
Matsuri, is held on the 8th of November.
The Hisa-Me are female demons of death in the Japanese underworld.
("princess live-long"The incredibly strong daughter of the mountain
god Oho-Yama who wanted her to marry Ninigi. The rice-god preferred her
younger sister Ko-no-Hana instead, and Iha-Naga cursed him.
The Japanese god of food or goddess of rice. Inari is one of the most
mysterious deities of Japan. He is both male and female. Each year he/she
descends from a mountain to the rice fields. The fox is Inari's messenger
and it is believed that he/she can assume a fox's shape. The deity may
also assume the shape of a spider in order to teach wicked men a lesson.
Inari is portrayed with a beard and carrying two bundles of rice.
An Inari-shrine can be found in many Japanese towns and in many households
he/she is venerated as a symbol of prosperity and friendship. These shrines
are guarded by statues of foxes, divine messengers. Inari's central temple
is Fushimi-Inara in south-east Kyoto city, built around 700 CE.
Inara the rice-goddess is celebrated in a festival held during the first
days of spring when cultivation begins. She may be identified with the
Indian Lakshmi and the Javanese Dewi Sri. Inari is also sometimes identified
with Uga-no-Mitama, the goddess of agriculture.
An artisan goddess who made a mirror for the sun goddess Ameratsu.
In Japanese Shinto-mythology, a primordial goddess and personification
of the Earth and darkness. Izanami ("the female who invites")
is the wife and sister of Izanagi. Together they created Onogoro, the
first island of the Japanese archipelago. She died gaving birth to the
fire god Kagutsuchi and since then she rules over the underworld.
Her husband went there to take her back with him, but she refused. By
sealing the entrance to the underworld she tried to imprison him, but
Izanagi managed to escape. Her festival was celebrated the seventh of
A Japanese empress who was deified for her military exploits in Korea,
probably in the 4th century AD.
A Japanese goddess. She is the mother of the dwarf god Sukuna-bikona.
('divine generative force') The Japanese goddess who collected and sowed
the seeds produced by Ogetsu-Hime, the goddess of food. Kami-Musumi was
also responsible for reviging the god of medecine, O-Kuni-Nushi, when
he was killed by his jealous brothers.
('divine wind') The Japanese air goddess to whom the kamikaze pilots of
World War II were dedicated.
The Japanese Thunder Woman, also known as "Heaven's Noise".
She has been seen by some people in the shape of a heavenly queen.
The Japanese goddess of metals, particularly mountain minerals. Her husband
('Princess of Grass') Goddess of herbs, fields and meadows.
The Japanese goddess of the plains.
The goddess to whom Japanese women pray when they want children and a
goddess who protects children. Her image is treated with great care and
reverence in the house. She is of Indian origin.
The Japanese goddess of luck and of beauty. She is the patroness of song
and dance, protectress of the geishas. She is the sister of the war god
The Japanese Buddhist patron goddess of little children. Her name means
'mother goddess of the demons' and she was originally a monstrous demon
from India (called Hariti). She abducted little children and devoured
them, until the great Buddha converted her. Now she represents the Buddha's
appeal to compassion, and his devotion to the welfare of the weak. Kishimojin
is portrayed as a mother suckling her baby, and holding a pomegranate
in her hand (the symbol of love and feminine fertility). She is also called
A fox spirit, or a demon who appears in the shape of a fox, in Japanese
mythology. Kitsune-Tsuki ("Fox-Lunacy") is possession by such
a spirit. It occurs mostly in women. The fox spirit enters through the
fingernails or the breast.
A ancient good-natured Japanese tree-deity, the goddess of the kitchen.
She lives in an enoki or nettle tree. It is custom that old dolls may
not be thrown away but should instead be dedicated to Kojin by placing
it at the roots of an enoki tree.
(Kono-Hana-Sakuya-Hime) ("child-flower") The Japanese Blossom
Princess is the symbol of delicate earthly life. She makes the flowers
bloom. She is the daughter of the mountain god Oho-Yama, and is the wife
of Ninigi. She met him on the seashore and they fell in love. Ninigi asked
Oho-Yama for his daughter's hand, but the mountain god proposed that he
should marry his elder daughter Iha-Naga ("princess live-long")
instead. Ninigi choose Ko-no-Hana and the lived happily together and had
three sons, including Hoderi and Hoori. Their marriage, however, was not
a happy one. Because of her husbands unreasonable jealousy Ko-no-Hana
retired to a hut in the woods. The hut she later set on fire and she perished
in the flames.
The Japanese goddess of mediation.
Goddess of dawn.
The Japanese queen of heaven, goddess of light, of sun and moon.
The Japanese goddess of royalty, wife of the storm-god Susanowo. She has
a shrine in Atsuta.
A Japanese goddess, the last-born child of the mother goddess Izanami.
A Japanese demoness who lives in the forests. She flies like an insect
but she is bigger and stronger than a man. It is believed that she can
pick up an unwary traveler and devour him.
(Nakisawame) The goddess of the Eight Island Country directly below heaven.
Her name means "The Lady of the Middle World".
"Luminous Jewel". A Japanese goddess, the beautiful daughter
of the sea-king Ryujin. She married Hoori and gave birth to a son after
which she turned into a dragon (her father's original shape). She is also
(Ko-no-Hana) The goddess of the sacred mountain of Fujiyama and the blossom-goddess.
She guards the secret well of eternal youth, dispensing its water of life
to only a few people. Her shrine is located at the top of the mountain.
Worshippers greet the rising sun there. Sengen is often referred to Ko-no-Hana-Saku-ya-Hime
("the princess who makes the tree-blossom bloom") and Asama
("dawn of good luck"). Sengen is depicted as a young girl scattering
tsubaki, pink blossom.
In Japanese mythology, the Shiko-Me are female devils.
A Japanese goddess, wife of Shine-Tsu-Hiko.
The Japanese goddess of autumn.
Japanese goddess of earth and food and agriculture.
The Japanese goddess of grain. Her shrine, geku, is traditionally served
by a priestess, saigu.
("old woman, wet nurse") The spirit of the pine tree in Japan.
She and her husband Jo ("love") symbolize marital love and fidelity.
The Japanese goddess of agriculture.
A rice goddess, usually pictured with foxes, her divine messengers.
Goddess of food.
The Japanese Shinto goddess of fertility and food. She was killed by the
moon god Tsuki-yumi when she offended him by vomiting large amounts of
food. From her dead body emerged various animals including a horse, an
ox, a silk worm; as well as rice, beans and other grains. Her attributes
are often absorbed into those of Inari.
(Okinawa) A creator goddess, who with her brother Umikii-gami, created
humans and the land.
Goddess of singing.
The Japanese Shinto goddess of joy and happiness, called the Daughter
of Heaven and Heaven's Forthright Female. Her name means "whirling".
She is also the goddess of good health, which people obtain from drinking
the blessed water of her stream. When the sun goddess Amaterasu had hidden
herself in a cave, thus covering the earth in darkness and infertility,
it was Uzume who brought her back. With her provoking and curlew dances
she managed to make the gods laugh so hard, that Amaterasu left the cave
intrigued. Her emerging brought light and life back to earth. Her brother
Ninigi married Uzume to the deity who guards the Floating Bridge to Heaven.
The favorite weaving maiden of the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu. She
died when the evil Susanoo threw a flayed piebald colt through the roof
of the "Heavenly Weaving Hall". Terrified, Wakahirume fell onto
her shuttle, which fatally punctured her vagina. This so enraged Amaterasu
that she closeted herself into the Sky-Rock-Cave, and only the creation
of the world's first mirror could lure her back out. (In some interpretations,
Wakahirume is the sun goddess' younger sister, or a younger dawn form
of the divinity.)
The Japanese goddess of the hunt, forest, agriculture, and vegetation.
This early Japanese princess became possessed by the goddess Amaterasu,
ancestral mother of her clan, and under the goddess' influence founded
a temple used as Amaterasu's sanctuary.
Goddess of the hunt. Goddess of the forest. Goddess of agriculture. Goddess
This goddess was a spirit of sacred mountains, one who brought good luck
to hunters and woodsmen who attended to her rites but she could be quite
stern with those who did not. One-legged and one-eyed, she was invoked
as a protector for women, for she has a secret box of souls from which
she endows each new being. As a seasonal goddess, she annually gives birth
to twelve children, the year's twelve months. In singular form, she is
Yama-no-Shinbo, the mountain mother.
A vampire-bat from Japanese mythology. It is believed that it is the spirit
of a woman whose anger lowered her status in rebirth.
This cherry-tree goddess was a beautiful young woman each spring. She
remained celibate while her beauty lasted, only taking lovers when her
petals had fallen.
(Yuki-Onne) The Lady of the Snow, the Snow Queen or Winter Ghost in Japanese
mythology. Sometimes she appears as an earthly woman, marries and has
children, but sometimes she will disappear in a white mist. To those lost
in blizzards, struggling futilely against the cold, she came, soothing
them, singing to lull them to sleep, then breathing a deathly cold breath
on them. The "snow maiden" was the spirit of death by freezing;
a calm, pale woman who appeared to the dying, making their death quiet