Okuninushi

Okuninushi

Great Lord of the Country; Great Land Master; Prince of Plenty; The Great Landlord; The Celestial Matchmaker

ALSO KNOWN AS:

Onamuchi; Okuni Nushi; O-Kuni-Nushi; Daikoku Sama

CLASSIFICATION:

Kami

Okuninushi is the Shinto spirit of magic, medicine, and healing. A shamanic deity, he presides over travel between realms and dimensions. He is the son-in-law of Susano’o, married to his daughter. Okuninushi became ruler of Japan and established formal veneration of Susano’o. (According to another myth, Okuninushi is Susano’o’s own son.)

Alarmed by her brother/rival’s increasing power and influence, Amaterasu sent her grandson Ninigi to Earth to reestablish her rule. Rather than battling, Okuninushi and Ninigi struck a deal: in exchange for Okuninushi’s loyalty, Ninigi promised to recognize Okuninushi as perpetual guardian of the imperial family which he, Ninigi, would found.

Okuninushi is the guardian kami of Japan and its emperor. As compensation for surrendering sovereignty of Japan, Okuninushi was given dominion over the great invisible land of spirits and magic. Trickster Okuninushi died twice and was resurrected twice. He rules the unseen, which includes the dead. Okuninushi is petitioned to provide happy marriages and to ensure successful, satisfying negotiations.

Creature: White rabbit

Sacred site:

Okuninushi is enshrined at Izumo, the most significant Shinto shrine, with the exception of Ise.

SEE ALSO:

Amaterasu; Daikoku; Kami; Susano’o

SOURCE:

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.

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