Mrs. Twelve



Juni-Sama is a mountain goddess who annually gives birth to twelve children. Those twelve children represent the twelve months in a solar calendar and so Juni-Sama births the year. If she was ever a creation goddess, those myths are forgotten. Instead Juni-Sama is treasured for her ability to conceive and deliver easily. She births those twelve children every year effortlessly; Juni-Sama’s blessings are thus sought for human women, too.

Juni-Sama is believed to ensure easy labor and childbirth but she must be asked. If labor was difficult or extended, it was once traditional for the father or other relative to lead a horse towards the direction of a mountain to summon her. (Any mountain; it doesn’t have to be a specific mountain. Whether she was once associated with a specific peak, she is now a spirit who dwells in mountains in general.) Juni-Sama would ride back on the horse and hopefully successfully take charge of the delivery.

Few people now have horses. It’s unknown whether Juni-Sama will deign to ride in a car or on a bike or scooter. It may be easier to have her image substitute for her.

Allegedly, hanging a scroll depicting the mountain spirit near a laboring woman’s bedside offers protection and relief. (The image may also be used in the same way during pregnancy.) Her blessings thus are available to everyone, even those far away from mountains.


Juni-Sama holds a rice spoon in her right hand. (Phallic symbol? You bet.)


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.