Sukunabikona (スクナビコナ)

Sukunabikona (also called Sukunahikona, as well as Sukunaminokami, Sukunahikona, Sukunahikone, and so on) is a god in the Japanese mythology.

In "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters) he is said to be a son of Kamimusubi (Kamimusubi no Kami), and in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) he is said to be a son of Takamimusubi (Takamimusubi no Kami).

He is a god who came on the Amenokagami-no-fune Ship when Okuninushi was creating the nation. Although he is said to be small, this came later from descriptions that 'he wears the skin of himushi (goose or a moth)' and 'he is one of my children who fell from between my fingers' of Takamimusubi no Kami. He is described in various ways, for example as a god who cooperated in creation of the nation, an everlasting god, medicine, stone, or the spirit of the grain. However likening to liquor and stone is merely an imagination from descriptions and refers only to his nature.

According to "Kojiki," Sukunabikona came on Amenokagami-no-fune Ship from between waves when Okuninushi was creating the nation and participated in the creation by order of Onamuchi no Okami. Similar description is found in "Nihonshoki" and he rarely appears in other literature than "Kojiki" and "Nihonshoki." While he has various aspects of a creator of nations, he is likened to have a personality like that of a naughty child (from the 6th alternate writing of Section 8 in Nihonshoki). Like Onamuchi, Sukunabikona appears as a creator of many mountains and hills as well as a god of names. He later leaves to Tokoyo no Kuni (parallel universe beyond the sea).

The source of the name Sukunabikona is, according to "Kojiki," his name "Sukuna" (few, little) is just in contrast with "Ona" (many, big) of Onamuchi, and the name does not necessarily mean the size of his body.
Seiichi KANAI says the name means 'an Imperial son in his youth.'
As this god never acts alone but is always with Onamuchi, there are age-old arguments over the relations between these two gods. Taryo OBAYASHI finds 'the second self' and Atsuhiko YOSHIDA points out a twin-like relation. Although Sukunabikona is said to be a toraijin (people from overseas, especially from China and Korea, who settled in early Japan and introduced Continental culture to the Japanese) because of the description that says he came from over the sea, this is only due to an association made from coming on a ship with a foreigner and does not go beyond the bounds of being a unique story. In Japan there is a belief from old ages that the Pure Land is over the sea or in the bottom of sea and all the wealth and wisdom and life come from there. This is a legend originating from experiences from the Jomon period and it is said Sukunabikona has the same origin.

Main shrines dedicated to Sukunabikona

Awashima-jinja Shrine (Wakayama City) (Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture)
Gojoten-jinja Shrine (Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture)
Sakatsuraisozaki-jinja Shrine (Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture)
Ikune-jinja Shrine (Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka City) (Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture)
Ikune-jinja Shrine (Nishinari Ward, Osaka City) (Nishinari Ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture): Separated from Ikune-jinja Shrine in Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka City.
Sasaki-jinja Shrine (Azuchi-cho, Gamo-gun, Shiga Prefecture)
Hattori Tenjingu Shrine (Toyonaka City, Osaka Prefecture)
Junisho-jinja Shrine (Himeji City) (Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture)
Sukunahikona-jinja Shrine (Chuo Ward (Osaka City), Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture): Separated from Gojoten-jinja Shrine
Omiwa-jinja Shrine (Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture) and its sessha (auxiliary shrine) Otataneko-jinja Shrine (Wakamiya-sha):
Dedicated to Sukunahikona no Mikoto

[Original Japanese]