Akaru-hime (阿加流比売神)

Akaru-hime is a god (Shinto) appearing in Japanese Mythology.

In "Kojiki" (Records of Ancient Matters), she is the wife of Amenohiboko, the child of the King of Silla. It is the same as the episode in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) of the warawame (a little girl, name not described) whom Tsunugaarashito, the child of the King of Gaya chases. The names of country, husband, and women differ between the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) and the Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), but the setsuwa (anecdote) in them are very similar.


In "Kojiki," it is described in the Ojin Tenno ki.

A long time ago, a woman was taking a nap at a marsh called Agunuma Pond in Silla, the sunlight shined on her genitals like a rainbow. The woman became pregnant at once, and gave birth to a red ball. A man who was watching this asked for and was given the ball, and always carried it with him. One day, when the man was carrying food to the mountain on a cow, he met Amenohiboko. Amenohiboko had the illusion that the man wanted to kill and eat the cow, so he captured him and tried to imprison him. Since Amenohiboko would not accept the man's explanation, he offered the red ball which he always carried, and was finally excused. When Amenohiboko brought home the ball and placed it on the floor, the ball turned into a beautiful girl.

Amenohiboko made the girl his legal wife, and the girl served him delicious dishes every day. However, when Amenohiboko became very arrogant and scolded the wife one day, she fled by boat to Tsu in Nanba, saying she was returning to her parents' home. The girl is said to be Akaru-hime who is enshrined at Himegoso-sha Shrine in Nanba.


In "Nihonshoki," it is described in the Suinin Tenno ki.

Tsunugaarashito went to the country with his cow carrying his luggage, but the cow suddenly disappeared.
When he followed its steps to the village, the officer in the village ate the cow saying 'judging from the contents of this luggage, the owner of this cow intends to eat this cow.'
In compensation for the cow, Tsunugaarashito was given a white stone which was enshrined in the village as god. When he brought the stone home and placed it on his bed, the stone turned into a beautiful girl.

Tsunugaarashito was delighted and tried to have intercourse with the girl, but the girl disappeared while he took his eyes off of her. According to the wife of Tsunugaarashito, the girl went east. The girl reached Nanba and became the god of Himegoso-sha Shrine. Additionally, she reached Kunisaki County in Toyo-no-kuni and became the god of Himegoso-sha Shrine, and is enshrined in two locations.

Unknown or lost writings of Settsu-no-kuni-fudoki

There is description on a god believed to be Akaru-hime in the unknown or lost writings of "Settsu-no-kuni-fudoki" (records of the culture and geography of the Settsu Province).

In the era of Emperor Ojin, a goddess in Silla fled from her husband and lived in 'Himejima Island of Iwai' in Tsukushi Province. However, she left the island fearing she would soon be found by her husband and arrived on an island in Nanba, which she named 'Himejima Island' from the name of the island where she previously lived.


Tale of the birth of Akaru-hime in "Kojiki" is a type of Ransei mythology where a woman receives sunlight and lays an egg, and a person is born from there. Many similar setsuwa exist in Korea. Examples include the tales of birth of Dongmyeong-seongwang (Ju Mong), the founder of Goguryeo, Kakukyosei Kyoseikan, the founder of Silla, and Suro-wang, the founder of Kinkan kaya, one of the Gaya.

A shrine corresponding to 'Himegoso-sha Shrine in Nanba' described in "Kojiki" is the Himekoso-jinja Shrine in Higashiobase, Higashinari Ward, Osaka City, and today, the shusaijin (main enshrined deity) of this shrine is believed to be Shitateru-hime, the daughter of Okuninushi (chief god of Izumo in southern Honshu Island, Japan, and the central character in the important cycle of myths set in that region). Additionally, she is sometimes considered the same god as Amenosagume, the follower of Amenowakahiko.

Himejima-jinja Shrine, which has the same name as Himejima Island in the unknown or lost writings of "Settsu-no-kuni-fudoki," exists in Himeshima, Nishiyodogawa Ward, Osaka City, and Akaruhime-no-mikoto (according to tradition of the shrine) is enshrined along with Sumiyoshi Okami (the great gods of Sumiyoshi). In addition, Akaruhimenomikoto-jinja Shrine (Sanjubu-jinja Shrine) in Hiranohigashi, Hirano Ward, Osaka City, also enshrines Akaru-hime.

Himegoso-sha Shrine in Toyo-no-kuni' is the Himekoso-sha Shrine in Himeshima-mura, Oita Prefecture. In the unknown or lost writings of "Buzennokuni fudoki" (records of the culture and geography of the Buzen Province) it is described that the name Kaharu-gami came from the fact that a god from Silla came and lived on the banks.

[Original Japanese]