This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Japanese Mythology

The Legend of Ame-no-Wakahiko

Ame-no-Wakahiko is a deity in Japanese mythology, featured prominently in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki. He is a member of the heavenly descendants (Tenson) and was sent to pacify the earthly realm.

Descent and Mission

Ame-no-Wakahiko was chosen by Amaterasu and Takamimusubi to descend to the earthly realm (Ashihara no Nakatsukuni) to bring order. He was dispatched to fulfill this mission but his actions took an unexpected turn.

Marriage to Kuninushi’s Daughter

Upon descending to the earth, Ame-no-Wakahiko met and married Shitateru-hime, the daughter of Ōkuninushi. He became content with life on earth and forgot about his mission to return to the heavens.

Divine Warning

Realizing that Ame-no-Wakahiko had neglected his duty, Amaterasu and Takamimusubi sent a pheasant (Nakime) as a messenger to remind him. However, Ame-no-Wakahiko shot and killed the messenger with a bow. This act angered the heavenly deities.

Ame-no-Wakahiko’s Demise

The arrow that killed Nakime returned to the heavens and reached Takamimusubi. He sent the arrow back to earth, where it struck and killed Ame-no-Wakahiko. His death marked the end of his mission.

Ame-no-Wakahiko’s body was respectfully buried by his earthly wife Shitateru-hime and his family. This story serves as a significant lesson about the relationship between the heavenly deities and the earthly realm.

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