Umihiko and Yamahiko

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Japanese Mythology

The Legend of Umihiko and Yamahiko

Umihiko (Sea Prince) and Yamahiko (Mountain Prince) are brothers in Japanese mythology, prominently featured in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki. They play significant roles in myths related to hunting and fishing.

The Conflict Between Umihiko and Yamahiko

Umihiko and Yamahiko are brothers, with Umihiko skilled in fishing and Yamahiko skilled in hunting. One day, they decided to exchange their tools and try each other’s trade. However, this experiment ended in failure.

Yamahiko, using Umihiko’s fishing hook, failed to catch any fish and eventually lost the hook. Angered by this, Umihiko demanded that Yamahiko retrieve the lost hook.

Yamahiko’s Adventure

To find the fishing hook, Yamahiko journeyed to the palace of the sea god. There, he met Watatsumi-no-Kami, the sea god, who welcomed him. Yamahiko also met and fell in love with Toyotama-hime, Watatsumi-no-Kami’s daughter, and they married.

During his time in the sea god’s palace, Yamahiko managed to find the lost fishing hook. With the help of Watatsumi-no-Kami, Yamahiko returned the hook to his brother Umihiko, and they reconciled.

Lessons and Aftermath

The story of Umihiko and Yamahiko teaches the importance of cooperation and understanding through the brothers’ conflict and reconciliation. Additionally, the knowledge and experiences Yamahiko gained in the sea god’s palace play a significant role in later myths.

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