Shitateruhime (シタテルヒメ)

Shitateruhime is a deity in Shinto described in Japanese Mythology.


Shitateruhime is described in "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters) and "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan). She is also described in apocryphal books such as "Sendai Kujihongi" (Ancient Japanese History) and "Hotsumatsutae."


In "Kojiki," Takahime no mikoto is also called Shitateruhime no mikoto.

In "Nihonshoki," her name is Shitateruhime. She is also called Takahime and Wakakunitama.

In "Sendai Kujihongi" (Lineage of the Mononobe and Soga Clans), she is called Shitateruhime no mikoto.

In "Hotsumatsutae," her name is Shitateruhime.


In "Kojiki," Shitateruhime is a daughter of Okuninushi and Takiribime no mikoto, and a younger sister of Ajisukitakahikone no kami.

In "Nihonshoki," she is a daughter of Utsushikunitama.

In "Sendai Kujihongi: Lineage of the Mononobe and Soga," she is a daughter of Onamuchi no kami and Tagorihime no kami, and a younger sister of Ajisukitakahikone no kami.

"Hotsumatsutae" describes Hiruko (Hiruko hime), the first-born daughter of Takahito and Isako, as having named herself Shitateruhime after she married as a sister deity of Amaterasu Omikami (the Sun Goddess).

In the genealogy of Okuninushi no kami described in "Kojiki," Shitateruhime is indicated as a younger sister of Ajisukitakahikone. That is why Takahime is known as another name of Shitateruhime, but some regard these as the names of sisters. In "Sendai Kujihongi: Lineage of the Mononobe and Soga," Onamuchi no kami and Takatsu hime no kami have a daughter named Takateruhime no omikami no mikoto, who is a younger sister of Tsumihayae kotoshironushi. This description can be a source of confusion.


According to the "Kojiki" and the main text of "Nihonshoki," Shitateruhime married Amenowakahiko who was sent from Takamanohara (plain of high heaven) to pacify Ashihara no Nakatsukuni (the Central Land of Reed Plains). When Amenowakahiko was killed by an arrow flung back from Takamanohara, Shitateruhime's wailing voice reached the heaven (or Takamanohara in "Kojiki"). Hearing her voice, Amenowakahiko's father, Amatsukunitama no kami, descended to Ashihara no Nakatsukuni and built a mourning hut to hold a funeral. When Ajisukitakahikone, whose appearance so closely resembled that of Amenowakahiko, visited the funeral, Amatsukunitama no kami mistook him for his own son returned from the dead and rejoiced. Angered that he had been taken for a polluted dead person, Ajisukitakahikone stomped down the mourning hut with his feet and flew off. Shitateruhime wrote a poem that revealed the name of Ajisukitakahikone. This poem is called 'hinaburi' ("rustic song").
(The main text of "Nihon Shoki" contains no description that she made such hinaburi.)
In an "alternate writing" in the first section of "Nihonshoki," the name of Amenowakahiko's wife is not indicated. The name of Shitateruhime appears as the person who wrote the hinaburi and as a sister of Ajisukitakahikone.


Onamochimiko no tamae no kami no yashiro Shrine (also called Otomi no yashiro. A related shrine outside the precincts of Izumo Taisha Shrine): Main enshrined deity Shitateruhime no mikoto

Himekoso-jinja Shrine (Nanba Higashi-obase, Higashinari Ward, Osaka City): Main enshrined deity: Shitateruhime no mikoto (up to the Edo period, it was Gozu Tenno (deity said to be the Indian god Gavagriva))
"Engishiki jinmyocho" (a register of shrines in Japan) indicates that Shitateruhime no yashiro is Himekoso-jinja Shrine. Note that the main enshrined deity of Himekoso no yashiro was changed from Gozu Tenno to Shitateruhime no mikoto after the Meiji period.

Mefu-jinja Shrine (Takarazuka City): Main enshrined deity Shitateruhime no kami
Shitori-jinja Shrine (Tottori Prefecture)
Although the current main enshrined deity is Takehatsuchi no mikoto, the history of the shrine includes many references of Shitateruhime. Therefore, up to the Taisho period, it was believed that Shitateruhime was the main enshrined deity of this shrine. A mound in the precinct of Shitori-jinja Shrine had been believed to be the grave of Shitateruhime, but excavation discovered that it was a kyozuka (mound of Buddhist scriptures).

Archetype of Shitateruhime

There is a theory stating that the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki used Himiko as the archetype of Amaterasu in heaven and Shitateru hime on earth. In this sense, Shitateruhime can be interpreted as a portrait of Himiko that captured a more realistic image.

Heresy and popular myth

Some state a theory that identifies Akaruhime with Shitateruhime based on the description of Himekoso-jinja Shrine in the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki, explaining that Kiyohiko who appears in the section of the Emperor Suinin is four generations after Amenohiboko who came to Japan in the early third century, so it matches with the generation of Himiko described in "The Record of Japan in the History of Wei."

It is highly possible that her brother Ajisukitakahikone is the same deity as Kotoshironushi, Hitokotonushi, Omononushi, and Oyamakui no kami, based on the legends of shrines across the country. Based on the combination with Ajisukitakahikone or the fatter Okuninushi and the mother Takiribime, some regard that Ichikishimahime (syncretized with Munakata Sanjojin and Benzaiten), Mitsuhanohime, and Ameshirukarumizuhi are the same deity as Shitateruhime with different names.

In "Honmatsutae," she is referred to as Wakahime, the goddess of waka (Japanese poem), or called Wakahirume as a sister of Amaterasu Omikami. It is described that, to Ogurahime, a daughter of Amakunitama, she entrusted a document entitled the Kumokushi-fumi, containing the inner mysteries of waka songs, as well as honoring her with her own name of Shitateruhime. Later, after her death, Wakahime was revered under the posthumous name of the deity Toshinori kami.

[Original Japanese]