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  • Japanese: 大国主命 (Oo-kuninushi-no-mikoto), 大国主大神 (Oo kuninushi oo kami)

Ôkuninushi-no-mikoto (lit. roughly "Great Lord of the Land") is a mythological figure prominent in the Kojiki and strongly associated with Izumo province and the Grand Shrine at Izumo. While the Kojiki articulates the creation of the land by Izanami and Izanagi, Ôkuninushi is also strongly associated with the creation of the islands of Japan, and according to the Nihon Shoki is said to have handed them off to, or placed them under the protection of, the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. He is also considered a god of marriage and of other forms of linked fates, including interpersonal relationships in general. Ôkuninushi is also associated with the deity Daikoku.

A particularly famous myth in which he appears involves his father-in-law Susano-o firing a whistling arrow into a field, asking Ôkuninushi to retrieve it, and then setting the field aflame, trapping Ôkuninushi within it. The latter encounters a mouse, who helps him retrieve the arrow; having completed the task, Susano-o allowed him to leave the field unharmed.

Ôkuninushi had a number of wives or consorts, including Suseribime (a daughter of Susano-o), Yamato Totohi Momoso, and Takiri-hime no Mikoto, by whom he had a child, Aji-shiki-taka-hikone no Kami.


  • David Lu, Japan: A Documentary History, 7-8.
  • Gallery labels, Masuura Yukihito, "Shrines of the Gods," College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara, Jan 2014.[1]