Sunday, April 2, 2023

Inada Shrine & Princess Kushinada


Inada Shrine in what is now Yokota, Okuizumo, enshrines Kushinadahime, in English referred to as Princess Kushinada, or simply Kushinada. Also enshrined here is Susano, who became her husband.

According to the story, the shrine is built upon the spot where Kushinada was born. Nearby is a small pond said to be where she was washed as a new-born, and a grove of bamboo said to have grown from the discarded bamboo blade that cut her umbilical cord.

According to the stories, of which there are multiple variations, she was the 8th daughter of an old couple, Asinazuchi, and Tenazuchi. Her seven sisters had all been sacrificed to a Yamata no Orochi, the 8-forked, 8-headed serpent, in all probability sacrificed to the 8 violent tributaries of the Hi River.

Susano turns up and offers to defeat the Orochi in return for Kushinada as his wife. The story is one of the best known of the Izumo cycle of myths from the classics, and the sword that became one of the three imperial regalia was found in the slain serpents tail. The story is also the best known of the Iwami kagura performances.  A series of videos of the Orochi kagura, and more detail of the story,  can be seen in my earlier posts, Orochi Spectacular, and Synchronized Serpents.

After marrying Kushinada, Susano settled first with her at what is now Suga Shrine and there composed what is considered to be the first Waka poem. Suga shrines are the main shrines for Susano and there are thousands of them around the country. Another shrine connected with Kushinada is Yaegaki Shrine near Matsue. In one version of the story this is where Susano hid her during his battle with Orochi.

In one version of the myth, Okuninushi is the son of Susano and Kushinada. In other versions, he is a later descendant. The most famous shrine in Izumo. Izumo Taisha, is now dedicated to Okuninushi, but for at least its first thousand years it enshrined Susano.

The previous post in this series on Okuizumo was Shinsoji Temple.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting, and nice to have the links to the videos!