Kayano-hime (カヤノヒメ)

Kayano-hime (or Kayanu-hime) is a god (Shinto) of grass appearing in Japanese mythology. It is written Kayano-hime (鹿屋野比売神) in Kojiki (The Records of Ancient Matters) and Kusanooyakayano-hime (草祖草野姫; 草祖 means the soshin (ancestor honored as god) of grass) in Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), and "Kojiki" describes that she had another name, Nozuchi no Kami.

She was born between Izanagi and Izanami during kamiumi (birth of the gods). In "Kojiki," she gave birth to four pairs of eight gods together with the mountain god, Oyamatsumi. The word 'kaya' in the shinmei (name of god) represents kaya (grass). Kaya was a familiar grass for humans, used to thatch roofs, and therefore, became the name of the god of grass, representing grass.

At Tarumaezan-jinja Shrine (Tomakomai City, Hokkaido), she is enshrined together with mountain god, Oyamatsumi no Kami, and god of trees, Kukunochi. At Kayazu-jinja Shrine (Jimokuji-cho, Ama-gun, Aichi Prefecture), she is enshrined as the only goddess of pickles in Japan, and is worshipped as the god of tabacco in areas producing tabacco leaves.

The other name, 'Nozuchi,' means 'spirits in the field.'
However, this 'Nozuchi' later became the other name for Japanese copperhead, and furthermore, was considered a monster snake. Nozuchi, due to its name, was believed to be shaped like a gripless hammer with a head and bottom similar in size, and would bite on people's feet. Tsuchinoko also derived from the monster snake, Nozuchi.

[Original Japanese]