Ashinadzuchi

Ashinadzuchi
Ashinadzuchi with his wife and daughter by Toyohara Chikanobu.

Ashinadzuchi

Ashinadzuchi ( 足名椎 / 脚摩乳命) is a Shinto kami seen in the texts of the Kojiki and Nihongi in relation to their dealings with Yamata no Orochi. He is the husband of Tenadzuchi and father to Kushinadahime in both the Nihongi and Kojiki.12 Additionally, the Kojiki lists his father as Ōyamatsumi.2

The kami’s name can be rendered as Foot Stroking Elder, Late Growing Rice Elder or Legless Elder. The image of legless could suggest a serpentine nature to him.2

There are several versions for the same event within the Nihongi for this part of the Shinto narrative. The first states that Susano-o comes across the kami and his wife as they lament over their daughter who is soon to be eaten by the Dragon Yamata no Orochi. The dragon comes ever year to eat one of their children and Kushinadahime is to be the next victim. Susano-o states that he can help them if they allow him to wed their daughter and so they agree. Susano-o then asks Ashinadzuchi and his wife to brew up some sake ready for the Dragons arrival so it may become drunk and fall asleep.1 This version of events is the same as the Kojiki.2

Ashinadzuchi
Susano-o and the Weeping Family, by Toyohara Chikanobu.

After this ordeal Susano-o marries his daughter and they have a son together, he then makes Ashinadzuchi and his wife Masters of his sons Palace, naming them Inada no Miyanushi (Palace/Shrine Masters).1

The second version names the father of Kushinadahime as Susa no yatsu mimi (presumably a title of sorts for Ashinadzuchi). He is also given the title Master of the Shrine of Inada in this version.1

The next states then when Susano-o arrives he finds Ashinadzuchi and his wife, here called Inada no Miya-nushi Susa no yatsu-mimi. In this version, their daughter is not yet born, but as her birth is near Yamata no Orochi will soon arrive to take it to eat. After the dragon is killed, the child is born with the name Inagami Furukushinadahime, and taken to be raised in Izumo. When grown her and Susano-o marry.1

The final version retold in the Nihongi states that Susano-o asks to marry Ashinazuchi’s daughter, and so is requested to kill the dragon.1

Footnotes

1. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697”. Tuttle Publishing.
2. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.

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