Aji-Shiki (Adi-Sikï-Taka-Pikone-no-Kami)

The Shinto god who created Mount Mo-Yama. He had a quick temper. He carried a sword that was as long as a span of ten hands.

Aji-Shiki was a close friend of the Shinto god Ame-no-Wakahiko, or the Heavenly Young Boy, who was a trusted emissary of the gods. The two male gods looked very much alike.

Ame-no-Wakahiko was sent by the gods of heaven to Idzumo, the Central Land of the Reed Plains, to report on the mischievous earth gods that were ruining the land. But he liked the land so much that he married a princess and never returned to heaven.

After eight years, the angry gods sent a pheasant bird to tell Ame-no-Wakahiko to return. The god’s wife was afraid of the bird, so her husband shot it. When the arrow landed in heaven, the gods threw it back to earth, where it struck Ame-no-Wakahiko in the chest.

The wife’s cries of grief were heard all through heaven. The dead god’s parents floated down to Idzumo and built a mortuary house to bury their son in. With family and friends, they celebrated his memory with song and dance for eight days and nights. When Aji-Shiki arrived, the heartbroken relatives mistook him for his dead friend. His parents embraced Aji-Shiki and clung to his hands and feet.

Aji-Shiki was insulted to be mistaken for “an unclean corpse.” But the family would not listen. So, he unsheathed his sword, swung it, and cut down the mortuary house. Then he kicked the house high into the air. When it landed, the impact caused the mountains of Mo-Yama to spring up along the upper banks of the Awimi River in the land of Mino. The legend is set down in the Kojiki, the chronicle of the Shinto gods. It adds that as Aji-Shiki flew away, his younger sister sang a song about him, called the Pina-Buri, to mark the event for divine history.



Japanese Mythology A-Z – Second Edition – Written by Jeremy Roberts – Copyright © 2010 by Jim DeFelice – Publisher : Chelsea House Publishers