Futsunushi no kami (経津主神)

Futsunushi no kami is a deity that appears in Japanese mythology. He appears in the "Nihon Shoki" (Chronicles of Japan), but not in the "Kojiki" (Records of Ancient Matters). He is also called Iwainushi no kami. In "Izumo no kuni fudoki" (Culture and Geography of Izumo Province), Futsunushi no kami (経津主神) is written 布都怒志命.

The sixth addendum to the chapter on the birth of the gods in the "Nihon Shoki" states that when Izanagi cut up Kagutsuchi (the deity of fire), the drops of blood from his sword, Totsuka no Tsurugi, congealed to form the rocks by the Ame no Yasu-kawa River from which Futsunushi no kami was produced. According to an addendum to the seventh chapter, the blood of Kagutsuchi splashed onto the rocks by the Ame no Yasu-kawa River, transforming them into Iwasaku no Kami and Nesaku no Kami. Their children, Iwatsutsunoo and Iwatsutsunome, produced Futsunushi no kami. During the pacification of Ashihara no Nakatsukuni (the Central Land of Reed Plains), Futsunushi no kami descended from heaven to Izumo accompanied by Takemikazuchi and urged Okuninushi to transfer the land to the descendants of the heavenly deities. However, accounts found in "Izumo no kuni fudoki" and "Izumo kokuso kamuyogoto" (Divine Words of the Ritual Priest of Izumo Taisha Shrine) portray Futsunushi no kami as descending alone. In Tatenui no sato, Ou County, Izumo Province (presently Yasugi City, Shimane Prefecture), an anecdote is told about Futsunushi no kami sewing together the rock Ama no iwatate, which had been split in two.

Since 'futsu' is an onomatopoeic term referring to the sound of a sword severing something, Futsunushi no kami became the god of the power of swords. He is also interpreted by some as the divine personification of the sacred sword Futsu no mitama (also known as Sajifutsu no kami, Mikafutsu no kami) that Takemikazuchi no kami gave Emperor Jinmu at the time of his campaign to the east. In "Sendai Kujihongi" (Ancient Japanese History), on the other hand, Futsu no mitama is called "Futsunushi no kami's sword of spirits."

The "Kojiki" records that Takemikazuchi no kami is also called Takefutsu no kami or Toyofutsu no kami. In the "Kojiki", Takemikazuchi no kami plays the main role in pacifying Ashihara no Nakatsukuni, suggesting that Takemikazuchi and Futsunushi are the same deity. Due to the fact that Isonokami-jingu Shrine, which enshrines Futsu no mitama, is considered to have been the armory of the Mononobe Clan, it is believed that Futsunushi no kami was originally the Mononobe Clan's guardian deity. With the rise of the Nakatomi Clan, however, Futsunushi's divine attributes were gradually appropriated by Takemikazuchi, the Nakatomi Clan's guardian deity.

Futsunushi no kami is the main deity at Katori-jingu Shrine and on the other side of the Tone-gawa River, Kashima-jingu Shrine enshrines Takemikazuchi no kami. Futsunushi is also enshrined, along with Takemikazuchi and other deities, at Kasuga Taisha Shrine. The Joso region where both Katori-jingu and Kashima-jingu shrines stand was the stronghold of the Nakatomi (Fujiwara) Clan, so the spirits of both deities were divided and transferred to Kasuga Taisha Shrine, the Fujiwara family shrine. In addition, Shiogama-jinja Shrine enshrines Futsunushi and Takemikazuchi together with Shiotsuchinooji.

[Original Japanese]