Myth#10 : Death and resuscitation of Okuninushi

Yagami Hime chose Okuninushi for marriage but his brothers got angry that he was chosen.
They conspired to kill him in Mt. Temayama. When they reached at the foot of the mountain and one of his brothers said, “there is a red bore in this mountain and we will drive it away to the foot of the mountain. When the red bore comes down, you catch it. If you fail, we will kill you instead.”

Then they rolled a giant burnt rock down to where Okuninushi standed and waited. He was not able to catch it and died right there.

Okuninushi ’s mother was very sad that he died. She went up Takamanohara and asked Takagi what to do.

Aoki Shigeru, Onamuchi no Mikoto, c. 1905. From Wikimedia Commons

Takagi soon sent down Sakigai Hime and Umugi Hime to revive Okuninushi .

Sakigai Hime and Umugi Hime dissolved shell powder in water and and put it on all over the body of Okuninushi and he came back to life.

The huge burnt rock Okuninushi could not catch is said to be buried under the ground of Akaiiwa Jinja and water Sakigai Hime and Umugi Hime used is said to be Shimizu Spring near the Akaiiwa Jinja.

Later, brothers of Okuninushi realized that he was still alive. They really wanted to kill him. So they lied and took him to a mountain and put him in a crack of a large tree and killed him.

His mother showed up again and revived him then said, “You will be destroyed if you stay here any longer. Run to Oyabiko (deity of house) in Ki No Kuni (present Wakayama Pref.).”

However, his brothers chased after him. Oyabiko let him escaped secretly and told him, “Go to Ne No Katasu Kun where Susanoo (his ancestor) lives. ”