Kotoshiro nushi (事代主)

Kotoshiro nushi (a Japanese ancient god) is a god that appears in Japanese Mythology (Shinto religion). It is also known as Yaekotoshironushi no kami.

Mythological description
He was born to Okuninushi and Kamuyatate-hime.

When Okuninushi was requested by Takemikazuchi to hand over the land at Ashihara no Nakatsukuniheitei, Okuninushi replied that his son, Kotoshiro nushi (a Japanese ancient god) was away fishing at Mihogasaki Cape and would reply. Then Takemikazuchi went to Mihogasaki Cape to request Kotoshiro nushi to hand over control of the land. Kotoshiro nushi answered in the affirmative, then tilted the boat with his foot, slapped his hands upside down to transform the boat into a fresh brushwood fence and hid himself in it.

Upon hearing that Takeminakata also gave in to Takemikazuchi, Okuninushi agreed to hand over the land saying that his 180 children would not disobey Amatsu kami (god of heaven) if Kotoshiro nushi was the leader.

His name 'Kotoshiro' literally means 'knowing words' and he is a god that took charge of takusen (oracle). Koto in his name can be written in the Chinese character "言" (words) or "事" (events), because there was no distinction between words and events in ancient times.

Believed to be a son of Okuninushi, Kotoshiro nushi is said to have originally come not from Izumo, but from Yamato. He became a Mythical god in Izumo known for giving away control of the land. He was originally a god of paddy fields in Katsuragi and assumed the status of a god of oracles by taking over part of the status of Hitokoto nushi (a Japanese ancient god). This is why Kotoshiro nushi held an important position in Katsuragi Dynasty and is regarded as one of the Mikannagi Hasshin. Katsuragi has Kamotsuba-jinja Shrine (Gose City, Nara Prefecture), which is the origin of shrines having the names "kamo" in it all over the country, for example Kamo-jinja Shrine (Kamowakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine and Kamomioya-jinja Shrine.

There is a legend that Kotoshiro nushi, who shut himself up in Aofushigaki in Miho, became Mishima-myojin (the deity of Mishima-jinja Shrine) in Miyake-jima Island one of the seven islands of Izu. The legend also says that he was enshrined in present-day Mishima-taisha Shrine (Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture) after producing 10 islands together with the god of Mt. Fuji.

He is regarded not only as a god of oracles but also as a lover of fishing and is identical to Ebisu (god of fishing and commerce) because he was fishing during the story of giving away control of the land. He was also worshiped as the sea god and a god of commerce. The deity Ebisu, one of the Seven Deities of Good Luck, carries a big sea bream under his arm while holding a fishing rod, and originates in the story of handing over control of the land.

He is also enshrined in shrines that are dedicated to Ebisu such as Miho-jinja Shrine (Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture), Nagata-jinja Shrine (Nagata Ward, Kobe City) as well as Imamiya-ebisu-jinja Shrine (Naniwa Ward Osaka Prefecture).

However, the name of Imamiya-ebisu-jinja Shrine suggests that 'Imamiya' is originally an abbreviation of 'Ima Nishinomiya.'
Therefore it is natural that its enshrined deity was Hiruko like Nishinomiya-jinja Shrine, which presents itself as the Ebisu Sohongu Shrine.

[Original Japanese]