To those people who don’t know their history and legends, the first God of Iron and Steel may have been Susanoo. Perhaps Susanoo arrived here at the beginning of the Yayoi Era. He was the god who discovered the sword in the tail of Yamata no Orochi. The sword is a weapon of war and so, we may say that Susanoo was not a man of peace. According to the legends, he had a reputation for violence.


His kingdom eventually spread all along the north coast of Kyushu and Honshu to Koshi which is now Toyama. When he left it, to go to his final kingdom in the “Land of Shadows,” poor rulers took over. This finally led to the breaking up of his kingdom.

最終的に須佐之男之の王国は最終的に九州の北沿岸から本州の高志(こし 現在の富山県)にまで達します。そこを後にした須佐之男は、自らの最後の王国「黄泉の国」へと旅立ちますが、彼の後継者たちは無能で、とうとう須佐之男の国は分裂してしまいます。

The second God of Iron could have been Okuninushi’s son Ajisuki. You won’t find much information on Ajisuki, but there were 44, out of 122 shrines dedicated to him, in the Izumo Area, as far back as the early 8th century. He is the “God of the Hoe and the Plow,” but is often called the “God of the Golden Plow.” He is the God of Iron for agricultural tools, and he taught many farming techniques. Therefore, he is also the “God of Agriculture.” Ajisuki’s name is often shortened to “Azuki” and he is credited with the discovery of the Misasa Hot Springs.


It is said that women don’t like to go there, or eat rice grown there if they are pregnant, because their child might be born dumb, as Ajisuki was supposed to have been at that time. In fact, the first words he uttered, were upon his discovery of the spring. He said to Okuninushi, “This is the place, my father.”


However, I believe that his name was Homuchiwake, who was sent to Izumo as a representative of the Emperor, his real father, to cement the agreement with Izumo no Kuni when they finally merged. Homuchiwake was dumb! He was adopted by Okuninushi to further good, friendly, and peaceful relations with the Yamato people. Okuninushi was an intelligent leader! He didn’t want his people involved in any wars that would cause them unnecessary difficulties, when they could have everything by accepting a peaceful merger.

しかしながら、私は彼の名前は本牟知別(ほむちわけ)ではなかったかと思います。彼は、出雲との統合がなされたとき、その取り決めを強固なものにすべく実の父親であった天皇の代理として出雲に遣わされました。本牟知別は口が聞けませんでした。 本牟知別は、大和の国とのより友好的で平和的な関係を築くために大国主のところにもらわれます。賢明な指導者であった大国主は、取り決めに従うことですべてを手に入れることができるというときに、自分の国の民にいらぬ労苦を強いるような戦はしたくないと考えていました。

Homuchiwake became Ajisuki in the Izumo language. The term wake, meant the person was a member of the emperor’s family. Homuchiwake came to Izumo, and his trip there is very carefully described in the Kojiki and the Nihongi. It is in this legend that the Hii River is mentioned. According to this story, Homochiwake came here in the company of three kings. There is no mention of the kings returning to their homes in Yamato, but they may have done so. Then again, maybe they didn’t. Many other men, sent on missions to Izumo no Kuni, didn’t see fit to go back to Yamato. From this fact, we can assume that Izumo no Kuni, even though given bad names by the rulers in Yamato, was a very good place to live.

本牟知別という名は出雲の言葉・味耜に変わります。ワケという言葉は、その人物が皇族の一員であることを示します。の出雲への旅は、古事記と日本紀にたいへん詳しく描かれています。この伝説は斐伊川についても述べています。 これによると、本牟知別は三人の王と共にこの地にやってきたということです。王たちが大和の国に戻ったかどうかに関する記述は見当たりませんので、正確なところは定かではありません。ほかにも大勢の男たちも出雲の国に遣わされますが、出雲がたいへん良い所だったため、彼らは大和の国の支配者から罵倒されても帰りたがりませんでした。

I can only agree with that idea. I have lived here for over 30 years now. This story of Ajisuki is a very thought provoking one, in that, it shows that the emperor sent his son to Izumo as a kind of hostage to keep the peace, and give Izumo a feeling of being close to the royal family. Of course, Homochiwake was dumb and as such couldn’t be a Shaman.


This may have made him less valuable to the ruling family, but while in Izumo, he was cured and became a very famous god. The treatment he received there may have been friendly and kind, which could have cured him. I have always said the Izumo no Kuni people were wonderful!


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