Amenohohi (アメノホヒ)

Amenohohi is a god (Shinto) who appears in the Japanese mythology. The kanji used for Amenohohi are 天之菩卑能命, 天穂日命, or 天菩比神.

Amenohohi was born from the magadama (a comma-shaped bead) Amaterasu was wearing around her right mizura hair when Amaterasu and Susanoo made the oath of Amaterasu and Susanoo. Amenohohi is regarded as the second child of Amaterasu, who was the owner of the monozane (medium to produce something), and as the younger brother of Amenooshihomimi. Amenohohi was sent to go see Okuninushi (chief god of Izumo in southern Honshu Island, Japan, and the central character in the important cycle of myths set in that region) in Izumo Province to pacify Ashihara no Nakatsukuni (literally, "Central Land of Reed Plains," which refers to the human world). As Amenohohi was trying to convince Okuninushi to give up his power over Ashinohara no Nakatsukuni, Amenohohi came to have a high regard for Okuninushi, and became his retainer. Amenohohi came to live on the ground and did not come back to Takamanohara (plain of high heaven) for three years. Afterward, Amenohohi built the Kamosu-jinja Shrine (Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture) to enshrine Izanami in Izumo Province. Amenohohi's child, Takehiratori no Mikoto is said to have become the soshin (ancestor honored as god) of Izumo no Kuninomiyatsuko and others.

Although the descriptions in the "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters) and the "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) show that Amenohohi did not accomplish his mission, thsose in the Izumo kokuso kanyogoto (ritual greetings of Izumo kokuso, the high priest of Izumo Taisha Shrine) suggest a different story. According to Izumo kokuso kanyogoto, Amenohohi was sent to the ground to appease akujin (kami who give harms and damages to people) on the ground, reported the situation on the ground to Amaterasu, and brought peace to the ground along with Amenohinadori, his child, and Futsunushi, a god of sword. In other words, Izumo kokuso kanyogoto describes Amenohohi as a great god who settled the ground. However, it should be noted that Izumo kokuso kanyogoto was written by Izumo no Kuninomiyatsuko, who were the descendents of Amenohohi; this fact may need to be taken into consideration.

There are two theories regarding a part of his name 'hohi': one is that 'hohi' refers to '穂霊,' meaning he was god of rice ear; the other is that 'hohi' refers to '火日,' meaning he was god of the sun.

Amenohohi is professed as a god of agriculture, rice ear, sericulture, cotton, industry and others. Not only at shrines in the areas of former Izumo Province such as Nogi-jinja Shrine (Yasugi City, Shimane Prefecture; it is called Nogi no Okami, one of the four great gods in Izumo), Amenohohi is deified at Umamiokawatamuki-jinja Shrine (Hino-cho, Gamo-gun, Shiga Prefecture), Amenohohinomikoto-jinja Shrine (Fukui, Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture), Kiryu-tenmangu Shrine (Kiryu City, Gunma Prefecture), and Ashiya-jinja Shrine (Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture).

[Original Japanese]