Futodama (フトダマ)

Futodama is a god that appears in Japanese mythology. His name is written as 布刀玉命 (Futodama no Mikoto) in the Kojiki (The Records of Ancient Matters), 太玉命 (Futodama no Mikoto) in Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), and 天太玉命 (Ameno Futodama no Mikoto) in Kogoshui (History of the Inbe Clan). He is considered to be the main ancestor of the Inbe clan (忌部氏) (later the Inbe clan (斎部氏)).

Description in mythology
His birth is not mentioned in the Kiki (the Kojiki and Nihonshoki), but in Kogoshui it is commented that he was a son of Takamimusubi.

At the occasion of Ama no iwato (the hiding of Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess, in the heavenly rock cave) Omoikane came up with a plan to get Amaterasu Omikami (the Sun Goddess) out of the cave. He conducted futomani (scapulimancy) with Amenokoyane no Mikoto in order to read whether the plan was sound or not. Then, when Amaterasu peeked out of the cave he brought Iotsu-masakaki (ever green tree) of Ama no Kaguyama mountain adorned with magadama (comma-shaped jewel) and Yata no Kagami (the eight-span mirror; one of the Imperial regalia), and he and Amenokoyane presented the mirror before her.

Upon Tensonkorin (the descent to earth of the grandson of the sun goddess) he was ordered to descend with Ninigi, and he accompanied him as one of Itsutomonoo (five deities later to become ancestral deities of the five clans). In Arufumi (supplement volumes of explanatory notes in Nihonshoki) of Nihonshoki it is written that he, along with Amenokoyane, was ordered to become a protector of the shrine that enshrines Amaterasu (Ise-jingu Shrine).

Along with Amenokoyane (ancestor, worshipped as a god, of the Nakatomi clan) he is a god of rituals.

According to the Kiki, Amenokoyane rather than Futodama, played a more important role at Iwatogakure (the hiding of Amaterasu Omikami in the heavenly rock cave). This reflects the power balance between the Inbe clan and the Nakatomi clan when the Kiki was written. According to Kogoshui written by INBE no Hironari of the Inbe clan, Futodama plays a more central role instead.

He is worshipped as a god of divination and Shinto rituals. He is enshrined at Futodamanomikoto-jinja Shrine (Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture), Oasahiko-jinja Shrine (Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture), Awa-jinja Shrine (Tateyama City, Chiba Prefecture) and Ohara -jinja Shrine (Kimitsu City, Chiba Prefecture).

[Original Japanese]