Hunting goddess in Ainu mythology. She protects hunters, often appearing to a good hunter to show him the best place to find game. She is also the deity of the full catch for fishermen. Of great assistance to humankind, she was born of the base-plate of the fire-drill. Some say she is a relative of Shiramba Kamui, others that she is sister to Kamui Fuchi, goddess of the hearth. She is also called Isosange Mat (Bringing-down-game woman), and appears as a small bird to show hunters the location of their prey. In her person as Kamui Paseguru (Potent person), she is represented by the aconite plant, with which the Ainu would poison their arrows for the hunt.
For the Ainu, who subsisted largely on gathering, fishing, and hunting, Hashinau-uk Kamui is obviously of great importance. She may be invoked as an aid in childbearing and is often described as having an infant on her back.
- Ainu Mukei Bunka Densho Hozonkai. 1983. Hitobito no Monogatari (Fables of men). Sapporo: Ainu Mukei Bunka Densho Hozonkai, Showa 58 (1983), English and Japanese.
- Munro, Neil Gordon. 1962. Ainu Creed and Cult. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul; London and New York: K. Paul International, distributed by Columbia University Press, 1995.
- Ohnuki-Tierney, Emiko. 1969. Sakhalin Ainu Folklore. Washington, DC: American Anthropological Association. Anthropological Studies 2.
Handbook of Japanese Mythology written by Michael Ashkenazi – Copyright © 2003 by Michael Ashkenazi