Myth#23 : Guidance by Yatagarasu (Sacred Large Crow)

Iwarebiko kept moving southward on the water, and managed to land at Kumano (border area between present Wakayama Pref. and Mie Pref.). When they landed, big bears appeared and disappeared and suddenly went away somewhere.

Sooner the large bears disappeared, Iwarebiko and his men suddenly lost consciousness and fell down. The true identity of large bears was rough deities in Mt. Kumano.

When Iwarebiko regained consciousness, he saw Takakuraji, a local man, offering a sword to him on his knees. Iwarebiko said, “It seems I have lost consciousness for a long time”, and received the sword.

Before he does anything, the rough deities were cut down and his men quickly regained consciousness by the power of the sword.

Iwarebiko asked Takakuraji, “Why did you offer the sword to me?”
Takakuraji said, “I saw a dream: Amaterasu and Takagi ordered Takemikazuchi to descend to Japan to help you out. However, Takemikazuchi replied, ‘It would be sufficient if my sword that I used when I suppressed Japan was provided to Iwarebiko. I will have Takakuraji to deliver the sword to him. I will drill a hole in the roof of Takakuraji’s storehouse and drop it down.’ As it was revealed in my dream, the next morning I went inside the warehouse, and found the sword Takemikazuchi dropped. So I came up here to offer it to you. ”

Ginko Adachi , Emperor Jinmu - Stories from "Nihonki" (Chronicles of Japan), c. 1891. From Wikimedia Commons

Ginko Adachi , Emperor Jinmu – Stories from “Nihonki” (Chronicles of Japan), c. 1891. From Wikimedia Commons

When Takakuraji finished the explanation, Iwarebiko heard the voice of Takagi suddenly.
“You and your men should not move forward as there are many rough deities ahead. I will send Yatagarasu (sacred large crow) from Takamanohara now so just follow it.”, he said.

They followed Yatagarasu and arrived the upstream of the Yoshino River. They went further. They went through the mountains and reached Uda (present Uda city in Nara Pref.).

In Uda, there were brothers of local powerful clan named Eukashi and Otoukashi. Iwarebiko sent Yatagarasuand and asked, “Descendants of Amaterasu are here. Will you serve them?”

Eukashi shot the arrow and drove Yatagarasu away. Eukashi tried to gather his army but could not gather as he expected. So he pretended to obey Iwarebiko and built a large palace to welcome Iwarebiko and his men. However, the palace was set up with a trap, which heavy things would fall when someone enters inside.

Otoukashi knew his brothers plan so went to Iwarebiko and exposed that Eukashi’s plan.
Michinoomi and Okume called Eukashi said, “Go inside the palace you said you built for us. Then prove you have no bad intention to us!”

They forced and pushed Eukashi into the palace. He caught the trap he set up and died.