Wakahirume no mikoto (稚日女尊)

"Wakahirume no mikoto" is a god (Shinto) appearing in Japanese Mythology. She is known as the enshrined deity of Ikuta-jinja Shrine (Chuo Ward, Kobe City) and Tamatsushima-jinja Shrine (Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture).

In Japanese Mythology, she first appears in the first "alternate writing" transmitted by "Nihonshoki" in chapter 7 of the Jindaiki (Records of the Age of the Gods), vol. 1. When she was weaving a Garment of Gods in a Imihatadono in Takamanohara (plain of high heaven), Susano who saw her skinned a horse from the tail and threw it in the room. Startled Wakahirume no mikoto fell from the loom and died hurting her body with the shuttle in her hand. Hearing this, Amaterasu Omikami (the Sun Goddess) hid in the Ama no iwato (Cave of heaven). "Kojiki" (Records of Ancient Matters) does not specify the name, but describes that a hataorime (a woman weaving) in the sky died when she was stabbed in her genitals with a loom, and these are considered the same tradition.

A god with this name appears next in the Jindaiki. When the boat returning from Empress Jingu's sankan-gaisei (campaign for the three Korean kingdoms) tried to head to Nanba and could not go straight, they returned to Muko no minato Port (Kobe Port) to do some fortune-telling.
Wakahirume no mikoto appeared and there was a divine message, 'I would like to stay in Ikuta Nagao no kuni.'
Thus, Unagami no Isachi was ordered to enshrine her. This is today's Ikuta-jinja Shrine.

Wakahirume' in the shinmei (name of god) means goddess of the young and fresh day. Since the other name of Amaterasu Omikami is Ohirume (大日女 or 大日孁), Wakahirume is believed to be Amaterasu Omikami herself or her childhood name (Ikuta-jinja Shrine explains that it is her childhood name), or a sister goddess or mikogami (the child god in a shrine where parent-child gods are enshrined). At Niutsuhime-jinja Shrine (Katsuragi-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture), the other name of the enshrined deity, Niutsuhime no okami, a god of water and rain or a god of mercury and mineral deposit, is Wakahirume no mikoto, and is believed to be the sister goddess of Amaterasu Omikami.

In Hotsumatsutae, where Wakahirume is described more in detail than in the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), it is described that it was the premarital name of Waka-hime (personal name was Hiruko, Hiruko-hime), the goddess of waka (a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables), who was the sister goddess named after Wakahito, the personal name of Amaterasu Omikami. Additionally, Wakahime who is believed to have died due to the misfortune of stabbing herself with the loom in her hand, when she was stunned by the horse which fell down due to the violence of Susano who tore the roof and threw in a Buchigoma (horse will various colored spots), was Wakahime Hanako, the sister of Chugu (the Empress) Seoritsuhime Honoko of Amaterukami, and is not the same person as Wakahirume (Hiruko-hime) enshrined in Tamatsushima-jinja Shrine. Some say that in Kojiki and the Nihonshoki, which were possibly created after Hotsumatsutae, this topic was dropped entirely, causing confusion. According to the description in the shrine's biography of Tamatsushima-jinja Shrine, when Empress Jingu advanced the troops to the peninsula, the god of Tamatsushima showed extreme miraculous power, so the Empress paid back by enshrining a branch shrine for the deity in Amano, Katsuragi-cho. Since then, the same god has been enshrined in two locations, Tamatsushima and Amano. Tamatsushima-jinja Shrine is called the three gods of waka along with Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine and Kakinomono-okami (Akashi). Wakahirume changed her name to Shitateruhime after getting married, but according to Hotsumatsutae, she was referred to as Toshitokujin after ascending to heaven as god.

However, it is widely accepted that Hotsumatsutae is a gisho (apocryphal book) created in the Edo period.

[Original Japanese]