Izumo Fudoki



Daruma Pilgrims Gallery


Izumo Fudoki (Izumo Fuudoki 出雲風土記)
Izumo no Kuni Fudoki 出雲の国風土記
"Records of Wind and Earth"

Archaeological findings according to the Records of Izumo

The Records of Izumo, Izumo Fudoki, where written about 733. They describe the life and customs of the area, from present day Matsue City toward the Grand Shrine of Izumo and along the coast of Shimane.
During the Nara period (710 - 794), the South-eastren side of Matsue was the center of politics, economy, and culture of the Izumo region. The Izumo no kuni fudoki contains numerous legends of deities which were, or likely were, Kunitama no kami.
The records tell of "a place of outstanding bountiful land and charming people".

Revised Text, modern print 訂正出雲風土記

Records of Wind and Earth:
A Translation of Fudoki with Introduction and Commentaries by Michiko Y. Aoki

The Journal of Asian Studies


The Faith of Izumo, Izumo Shinkoo

Izumo Shinkō is the faith centered around the shrine Izumo Taisha in Taishamachi, Shimane Prefecture. The "enshrined kami" (saijin) Ōkuninushi has many variant names or titles modifying those names, and from these we know that he was worshipped as, among other things, an earth kami, as the king or possessor of the land of Japan, and as a kami of land reclamation and agriculture.

From the distribution of legends concerning the kami associated with Ōkuninushi in the Izumo no kuni fudoki (733) we can see that the cult of Izumo encompassed the entire Izumo region. Until the Bakumatsu Period, Izumo Taisha was generally referred to as Kidzuki Taisha, and the shrine's foundation legend (which describes Ōkuninushi's "relinquishing the land" (kuniyuzuri), accompanied with the construction of a tremendous shrine) seems to reflect the historical unification of the Japanese nation.

Tgere is a cult relating to the "deities of prosperity" (fukutokujin) which held that Ōkuninushi was the deity Daikokuten. In Indian religion, Daikokuten was the deity of battle, Mahākālā; in T'ang Dynasty China he was adopted as a Buddhist deity of food; and in Japan he became a guardian deity of Buddhist temple kitchens. The conflation with Ōkuninushi  derives from the homophonous characters "大黒" (read "daikoku") and "大国" (read "daikoku" or "ōkuni"), and from the similarity of the two deities' characters as guardian kamis of food.

Evidence of the conflation of these deities was recorded in the Chiribukuro written in the mid Kamakura period. In Japan's Shikoku and Chūgoku regions, there are many "Izumo yashiki" buildings. These structures have been purified with small amounts of sand taken from below the floor of the Soga no Yashiro, which stands behind the "main shrine" (honden) of Izumo Taisha. People thereby make a spiritual offering of their land or homes to the ruler of the land, Ōkuninushi, in order to receive his protection.

At the beginning of the Meiji Period, Izumo Taisha emphasized the legend of "relinquishing the land" (kuni yuzuri) – namely, a peaceful transfer of land.
© Hirai Naofusa, Kokugakuin University.
Encyclopedia of Shinto


Yasugi Tsukinowa Festival
(Yasugi City)
This festival reenacts the story of the Inomaro-densho, recorded in the Izumo-Fudoki (the Izumo Natural Features Description). In this tale, the spirit of the daughter of Katari-no-Omiimaro sets off for the underworld.
The purpose of the festival is to comfort the daughter's restless spirit. Four festival floats, called dashi, parade through the streets accompanied by flutes and drums.


Village of Mitoya, Mitoya-choo 三刀屋町

The history of Izumo dates back far enough to meld with ancient Japanese legends. In the eighth century, the Japanese imperial court, by that time firmly rooted in Kyoto, commissioned written chronicles on the lives and times of all the locales under its control.

The chronicle about Izumo, "Izumo Fudoki," is the only chronicle that remains extant from that effort, a source of history and pride for the people of the Izumo region. Mitoya-cho is mentioned in Izumo Fudoki (written with different Chinese characters than are used today).

According to this ancient chronicle, Mitoya-cho was a resting stop for wayfarers traveling from the Sanyodo Highway to Izumo. Today, Mitoya-cho, with its population of 8,600, continues the town's ancient tradition of marking a travelers' interchange, though now the interchange is where the Onomichi-Matsue Line, the Chugoku Transversal Highway (a modern multi-lane expressway).


The spring water of Oomino Shimizu, where people would regain eternal youth.
Oomisaki Town 大海崎町


Village of Ohara 大原郡(Ohara-no-kori)

"Old men say as tradition that a person cultivated a paddy field in the mountain and maintained it. When he cultivated the field, a one-eyed giant came and ate the man. His parents hid themselves in a field of take but the leaves of take was moved by them."
Engi-Shiki "延喜式"


Izumo Fudoki no oka 出雲 風土記の丘

Shrine Kamosu jinja 神魂(かもす)神社

. © Japan Geographic with more photos !


Legend of Omizunu 淤美豆奴神, 淤美豆奴命

After our short break, let's think of the legendary God of the Great Water (Omizunu), who created the "Land Pulling Legend." He may have been the son of Susanoo. This legend was passed down by verbal means, as all legends were. This one was very strong, however, and never lost. In fact, it is stronger today, than ever before.

It is not included in the first books on Japan's history, even though the name, Omizunu, is recorded. Those books are, the Kojiki (712), and the Nihongi (720).

The legend only appears in the Izumo no Kuni Fudoki (733). Considering that this book was ordered by the Emperor in 713, it took a very long time to be completed. It was written by a grandson of a ruler in the Izumo no Kuni of those days, and he wrote everything that he knew, or could find out. These facts and legends still exist in that book.

Since 1936, the Izumo no Kuni Fudoki has been part of the Shinto Liturgy, and a great literary treasure among scholars all over the world. When Susanoo retired to the Land of Shadows--his last kingdom--one of his heirs, Omizunu, decided that the land he ruled was too small. Therefore, he decided to pull some land from other parts of the world to make his country bigger. See the next essay.

According to the story, he looked north for extra land and found some in a place which may have been the land of Mimana (or Kaya) in Korea. This seems likely to have occurred around 562 when Japan lost this colony to a joint attack by Silla and China! Paekche, a friendly country to Japan, was also defeated. Many Koreans came to Izumo no Kuni at that time, and were welcomed as farmers, artists and technicians.

Korea's name then was "Shiraga." Citizens of Japan's colony of Mimana (Kaya) in Korea, were considered as citizens of Japan, and these immigrants are thought to be the fact of one of the four steps in the Land Pulling Legend, which is written in this book. Other immigrants found that Izumo no Kuni was a good land and decided to make the trip there, themselves. I think these waves of immigration work together to give life to the four stages of the "Land Pulling Legend."

Izumo no Kuni

The archeological history dates back to the Jomon Era (12,000 to 300 BC) and this area is mentioned in the first part of both the Kojiki (712 AD) and the Nihongi (720 AD), the most ancient books in Japan. The Izumo no Kuni Fudoki (733 AD) is the third oldest publication in Japan, and is completely about the Izumo Kingdom.

The oldest legends of the Gods start here on Earth with Izanami and Izanagi, the first gods to come to earth to settle the Great Rice Ear Land of the Gods. The next to come was Susanoo, Amaterasu's brother. The Great Shrine, Izumo Taisha, is reputed to have been built to satisfy Okuninushi no Mikoto (Daikoku), Lord of the Great Land, when he offered his land to Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess.

While Izumo Taisha is supposed to be the oldest Taisha architecture, it isn't. In this part of Japan, there are at least three others that are older. Kamosu, the oldest shrine in Japan is 1600+ years old; Kumano Shrine, 1300 years old and, at one time, one of the most important shrines in Japan; and Yaegaki, 1300 years old. This is the shrine where Susanoo took his bride, Princess Inada, for safety. This shrine has the oldest wall mural in the country (1300 years old), a picture of Susanoo and Kushi Inada, his bride.

This area became less popular when the later sites of Nara, Kyoto and Tokyo became political centers. However, this area, in addition to helping in enthroning at least two emperors, has produced Prime Minister Takeshita, many politicians, famous authors, artists, poets, and other unique people such as Miss Izumo Okuni, who invented Kabuki!
© Studies of Japanese Culture

More in the Daruma Museum
Yatsuka Mizu Omizunu no Mikoto

Kamochi Shrine 金持神社

Yaegaki Shrine (八重垣神社, Yaegaki Jinja),
formerly known as Sakusa Shrine (佐久佐神社, Sakusa Jinja),
is a Shinto shrine in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Japan.

The gods Susanoo and princess Kushinada are enshrined here. This shrine is dedicated to marriage and matchmaking. The people who come to this shrine often pray for a marriage partner, good marital relations, pregnancy and healthy child-bearing. In keeping with this theme, several large wooden phalluses can be found on the shrine's grounds.

The Yaegaki Shrine was erected in the spot where Susanoo built a house for himself and Kushinada to live.

At the shrine, visitors can see the Mirror Pond. One can place a paper on the water's surface and a divining coin on the paper; the amount of time the coin stays afloat on the paper is supposed to indicate the fate of one's marriage.

In the shrine's treasure house is an ancient depiction of the enshrined Princess Inata, painted on Japanese Cypress. It is believed to be the oldest shrine wall mural in Japan.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


In the tenth lunar month (now celebrated in October)
the deities of Japan come to Izumo to do some "matchmaking" (enmusubi 縁結びの), not only for couples but all kinds of fates bound together. They take one week for this, when the people of Izumo keep very quiet, do not watch television and do not disturb the deities.

. kamiarizuki 神有月 "month with the gods"

It is also said that the
. zenzai ぜんざい
sweet bean soup was first introduced in Izumo as an offering to the deities during the Octobber meeting.
In Izumo they are called by their original name
"mochi for the Gods" jinzaimochi 神在餅.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

A special kind of nori laver
. uppurui nori 十六島海苔(うっぷるいのり)
from the Uppuri Island is used for the New Year food and other dishes and food offerings in Izumo.

The Izumo region is a famous producer of
. めのう (瑪瑙) , 出雲めのう agate stone
Many are formed into ritual magatama jewels for the imperial family.

Other accessary of old, made from jade, glass or seashells:

kudatama 管玉 tube beads
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kushiro 釧 bracelets, old form of 腕輪
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


. Morotabune Boat Race Ceremony 諸手船神事  

This rite takes place on December 3 at Miho Shrine in Mihonoseki Town, Yatsuka County, Shimane Prefecture.
三保神社 Miho Jinja / 島根県松江市美保関町

. . . . .

美保神社の和布刈神事 Cuttind kelp at Miho Shrine
神迎(かみむかえ)神事 Kami mukae
諸手船(もろたぶね)神事 Morotabune
青柴垣(あおふしがき)神事 Aofushigaki
板ワカメの作り方 ita wakame
十六島(うっぷるい)uppurui nori
ノリの「島」見学 nori island Uppuri
ノリの食文化の起源 eating nori
海藻と魚介類 seaweed and seafood
紫菜島(のりしま)神社 Norishima shrine
韓神新羅(からかみしらぎ)神社と海藻文化 Karakami shiragi shrine
海苔の神様、三浦昭雄先生 God of Seaweed
三浦先生の生い立ち  Miura sensei

and more
source : 出雲海藻風土記


The Old Road to Izumo, Izumo Kaido 出雲街道


External Reference

..... Evolution of the Concept of Kami
ITÔ Mikiharu



Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

- quote
Kushinadahime クシナダヒメ - Kushi inada hime -櫛名田比売 - 奇稲田姫
The daughter of Ashinazuchi and Tenazuchi. About to be devoured by the serpent Yamata no orochi, Kushinada hime was saved by Susanoo in exchange for becoming his wife. Susanoo transformed the girl into a comb and placed her in his hair, then defeated the serpent. He afterwards built a palace in Izumo where he married her. Kojiki states that Susanoo composed a song on the occasion of his wedding . . .

and more about combs for beautiful hair

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kanayago-kami 金屋子神 Deity of the Blacksmith
Goddess of Tatara
tutelary of mines, metals, and the techniques associated with them.
Shrine 金屋子神社 Kanayago Jinja
Kanayama-hiko-no-mikoto and Kanayama-hime-no-mikoto
Tatara was likely imported into Japan from Korea by way of Shimane Prefecture, and seeing as the San’in region is rich with titanium magnetite, a necessary ingrediant for iron production, it took hold here very early on in Japanese history.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

kawari usagi 「変りウサギ」 all kinds of rabbits
出雲大社 Izumo Grand Shrine

Gabi Greve said...

Shimane 島根県の鬼伝説 Oni Demon Legends