This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Japanese Mythology

The Legend of Takemikazuchi’s Conquest

Takemikazuchi is a prominent deity in Japanese mythology, known as the god of thunder and swordsmanship. He plays a crucial role in the myth of the transfer of the land (Kuniyuzuri), as recorded in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki.


Amaterasu, the sun goddess, intended to have her descendants rule the earthly realm (Ashihara no Nakatsukuni). She sent her grandson, Ninigi-no-Mikoto, to the earth. However, the land was already governed by Ōkuninushi, and to ensure a peaceful transition of power, Ōkuninushi needed to cede his land.

Takemikazuchi’s Mission

Amaterasu and Takamimusubi dispatched Takemikazuchi and Futsunushi to persuade Ōkuninushi to relinquish his control over the land. Takemikazuchi descended to the land of Izumo and confronted Ōkuninushi.

Negotiations for the Land Transfer

Ōkuninushi agreed to cede the land but first sought the opinions of his sons, Kotoshironushi and Takeminakata. Kotoshironushi readily consented to the transfer, but Takeminakata challenged Takemikazuchi to a test of strength.

The Test of Strength

Takemikazuchi and Takeminakata engaged in a contest of strength. Takemikazuchi hardened his hand like a rock and gripped Takeminakata’s hand, overpowering him with immense strength. Recognizing Takemikazuchi’s superiority, Takeminakata conceded defeat and agreed to the transfer of the land.

Completion of the Land Transfer

Thus, Ōkuninushi ceded the land to Takemikazuchi, marking the beginning of the heavenly descendants’ rule over the earthly realm. Takemikazuchi is enshrined at Izumo Taisha, revered as the guardian deity of Izumo.

This myth underscores the themes of divine authority, strength, and the peaceful transition of power, deeply rooted in Japanese culture and history.

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