Totsuka no Tsurugi (a sword in the Japanese Myth) (十束剣)

Totsuka no Tsurugi is a sword which appears in the Japanese myth. Totsuka no Tsurugi (十束剣) is written in various ways such as '十握剣,' '十拳剣,' '十掬剣,' and so on.

It is thought to be a general noun for a long sword rather than a proper name for a particular sword, since the term is found in various situations and it literally refers to 'a sword with 10 tsuka long' (tsuka is a unit of length; one tsuka is equal to the length of a fist), therefore the Totsuka no Tsurugi in several myths are considered different from each other.

It first appeared in the scene of Izanagi's killing Kagutsuchi in kamiumi (bearing gods between Izanagi and Izanami). This sword was called Ame no Ohabari or Itsu no Ohabari (the name of Itsu no Ohabari was later used as a name of Takemikazuchi's father god). Later when Izanagi fled the Yomi (the land of the dead), he shook off his pursuers of Yomi by brandishing a Totsuka no Tsurugi behind him.

When Amaterasu and Susano made an oath, according to Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), she gave birth to three goddesses from a Totsuka no Tsurugi which Susano had. The most famous Totsuka no Tsurugi sword is the one that Susano used when he killed off Yamata no orochi (eight-forked-snake) (the sword is also called 'Ame no Habakiri' [a heavenly sword to cut a monster serpent]; "Haba" means "a monster serpent"). It broke off hitting on Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi Sword that was in the tale of the Yamata no orochi (this Totsuka no Tsurugi is said to have been dedicated to Isonokami Futsu no Mitama-jinja Shrine then transferred to Isonokami-jingu Shrine in the reign of Emperor Sujin).

In the tale of Yamasachihiko and Umisachihiko, Hori lost Hoderi's fishing hook and melted down a Totsuka no Tsurugi in order to make a lot of hooks.

In the tale of suppressing Ashihara no nakatsukuni (literally, Central Land of Reed Plains, which refers to the human world), when Ajisukitakahikone attended a funeral of Ame no Wakahiko, he got angry and cut down the funeral hall with a Totsuka no Tsurugi sword. Then Takemikazuchi and others stabbed the Totsuka no Tsurugi sword backward in the sea in front of Okuninushi (chief god of Izumo in southern Honshu Island, Japan, and the central character in the important cycle of myths set in that region), and menaced sitting with his legs crossed on the point of the sword. This sword was later handed to Emperor Jinmu in the scene of Jinmu tosei (Eastern expedition of the Emperor Jinmu). Here, it is described that the name of the sword was Sajifutsu no Kami, Mikafutsu no Kami, or Futsu no Mitama.

When Emperor Chuai was on his way to subjugating Kumaso (a tribe living in the ancient Kyushu region), Wani of Oka no Agatanushi (the ruler of Tsukushi region) and Itote of Ito no Agatanushi (the ruler of Ito region) surrendered offering Totsuka no Tsurugi swords to him together with Maso kagami (a bronze mirror) and Yasakani (a big jewel) respectively.

[Original Japanese]