Obiko no Mikoto (大彦命)

Obiko no Mikoto (year of birth and death unknown) was a member of the Imperial Family. Kanji characters for "Obiko no Mikoto" are 大彦命 or 大毘古命.

Obiko no Mikoto was the first prince of the Emperor Kogen, and his birth mother was the Empress Utsushikome no Mikoto. He was a older brother of the Emperor Kaika and Sukunahikowokokoro no Mikoto (or in "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters) he was called Sukunahikotakeikokoro no Mikoto, and maternal grandfather of the Emperor Suinin. He was one of Shido-shogun (Generals Dispatched to Four Circuits) who mainly pacified Hokurikudo.

Descriptions in the mythology
According to the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) and the Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), Obiko no Mikoto was dispatched as one of Shido-shogun to the Hokuriku region by the Emperor Suijin's decree, pacified the powerful local clan of Koshi Province and built the foundation of the Yamato Dynasty. On his way to the battle, Obiko met a mysterious girl singing an ominous song, so he returned to report this encounter. He asked Yamatototohimomosohime no Mikoto to do divination, and she said that it was an omen of a rebellion by Takehaniyasuhiko no Mikoto and his wife Ata hime. In fact, the rebellion occurred, but Obiko and Hikokunibuku slew Takehaniyasuhiko while Kibitsuhiko no mikoto killed Ata hime to suppress the rebellion.

In addition, according to the "Kojiki," after he pacified Hokuriku region, Obiko met his son Takenuna kawawake, who was another Shido-shogun and pacified Tokai region, in Aizu.
(The name of Aizu came from this episode.)

Shrines that worship Obiko no Mikoto

Funatsu-jinja Shrine in Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture

Usaka-jinja Shrine in Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture

Aekuni-jinja Shrine in Iga City, Mie Prefecture

Isasumi-jinja Shrine in Onuma-gun, Fukushima Prefecture

Koshio-jinja Shrine in Akita City, Akita Prefecture

Descendants of Obiko no Mikoto
Obiko no Mikoto is believed to be the founder of several clans including Abe, Nasunokuni no miyatsuko, Tsukushinokuni no miyatsuko, Kashiwade no omi, Sasakiyamagimi, Igano kuniomi, Koshinokuni no miyatsuko, and Naniwa no kishi.

There is a high possibility that Obiko no Mikoto is identical to Ohobiko, an ancestor of Owake no omi and whose name is inscribed on the kinsakumei tekken (an iron sword with gold-inlaid inscriptions) that was excavated from the Inariyama-kofun Tumulus in Saitama Prefecture. If the two were the same person, many interpret that Owake no omi was the Abe or Kashiwade clan. There is another possibility, however, that Owake no omi was Mibu no kishi (the same clan as Naniwa no kishi) that was very influential in north Musashi Province later years.

Heresy of genealogy
Obiko was described as the father of Mimatsu hime, the empress of Sujin; in the section of Suijin in the Kojiki, however, there is a description that can be interpreted that Suijin was Obiko's uncle. Based on this description, there is a heretical explanation that questions the genealogy in the Kojiki and Nihonshoki.

This theory is based on the following evidence: 1) Obiko's grandson Iwakamutsukari appears in the year of 53 in Keiko tenno ki (Records of Emperor Keiko); 2) the number of generations inscribed on the iron sword excavated from the Inariyama-kofun Tumulus in Saitama Prefecture. These facts indicate that Obiko lived from the late third century to early fourth century, a period that was one generation after the Emperor Suijin. One generation after that, or during the era of Emperor Suinin, described the rebellion of Sahobiko that showed numerous similarities, such as the region of occurrence, with the rebellion of Takehaniyasuhiko in which Obiko was involved.

The Emperor Kogen who is said to be the father of Obiko is also believed to be the grandfather or great-grandfather of TAKENOUCHI no Sukune who was said to be born on the same day as the Emperor Seimu. This fact also indicates the high possibility that Obiko lived in the era of the Emperor Suijin.

Obiko's daughter Mimatsu hime who was the empress of Sujin was also described in the Kojiki as Suijin's sister. The credibility of this part of the genealogy is questionable.

[Original Japanese]