Azuminoisora (阿曇磯良)

Azuminoisora (written in kanji as 阿曇磯良 or 安曇磯良) is a deity within the religion of Shinto. It is a deity of the sea, and also believed to be the ancestor of the Azumi clan. It is also called Isotakera.

"Hachiman gudokun," the book describing the history of Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine, reads 'Shikaumi Daimyojin called Azuminoisora.'
It indicates that Azuminoisora was the deity enshrined at Shikaumi-jinja Shrine (Fukuoka City) at that time (today, three deities of Watatsumi are enshrined at the shrine). Since the establishment of the shrine, the Azumi clan has been in charge of religious services.

In folklore, Azuminoisora (Isotakera) is a son of Toyotamahime no mikoto, and a theory states that Azuminoisora is the same deity as Ugayafukiaezu no mikoto that is also called Hikonagisatake (because both "iso" and "nagi" in these name indicate the seashore). In addition, "Hachimangu Goengi" (History of Hachimangu Shrine) states that Isora is the same deity as Amenokoyane no mikoto that is enshrined at Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

In "Taiheiki" (The Record of the Great Peace), the appearance of Isora (Adobe no isora) is described as follows:
The Empress Jingu invited deities to send the army to the three kingdoms of Korea, but only Adobe no Isora who lived at the bottom of the sea did not appear because he was ashamed of his ugly face with oysters and abalones. Sumiyoshi Sanjin (Sumiyoshi three deities) made the stage in the sea and performed Isora's favorite dance to entice him to come out, and he accepted. Isora borrowed Shiomichi no tama (tide flowing jewel) and Shiohi no tama (tide restraining jewel) (both are also described in a tale of Yamasachihiko and Umisachihiko in Japanese Mythology) that had magical powers to control the tide from the Palace of the Dragon King and presented to the Empress. Thanks to these magical jewels, the Empress succeeded in conquering the three Korean kingdoms. The history of Shikaumi-jinja Shrine includes similar description that, when sending the army to Korea, the Empress Jingu asked for Azuminoisora's cooperation to ensure safety at sea, and Isora made a deliberate decision to help the Empress. The Mekari-jinja Shrine that faces the Kanmon Straits in Kitakyushu City was said to have been established to pacify Isora's Nigimitama and Aramitama at Hayato on the way home from the conquer of three Korean kingdoms.

Azuminoisora is also called Azuminoisoramaru, the name said to be the origin of naming ships with a suffix "maru" (but there are various opinions). "Achime" in "Achimenowaza," one of Kagura (music and dancing performed at shrine) that has been handed down at the Court, refers to Azumi or Adobe.

[Original Japanese]