Mount Miwa

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Mount Miwa
Mount Miwa

Mount Miwa

Mount Miwa (三輪山, Miwa-yama) also known as Mount Mimoro (三諸山, Mimoro-yama) is a mountain located in Nara Prefecture.


Notation in the kojiki says that tname ‘Mi wa’ comes from the three twists of hemp from the tale relating to Ikutamayoribime (see below). Three threads in Japanese is pronounced ‘Mi wa’.23

Time of the kami

Before the first emperor, Ōkuninushi built for Ōmiwa a shrine upon this mountain as thanks for Ōmiwa acting as his guardian kami as he pacified the land of Japan.1

Ikutamayoribime became pregnant and her parents believe she had done this by herself, however after saying she had not they devised a way to find out who the father was. They instructed her to sprinkle red earth infront of the couch and pass a skien of hemp through a needle and to piece the skirt of a garment.

In the morning, three twist of hemp remained, and the needle pointed towards the way the kami had entered and left her home. And so following the needle the ended up on Mount Miwa finding Ōkuninushi there.23

Plague during Emperor Sujin

During this Emperor’s reign there was a plague, and so after divination he was instructed by Ōkuninushi to place Ohotataneko as head of his shrine upon this mountain to abate the plague.123

In the 48th year of his reign, he orders his sons Toyokiiribiko and Ikume to have a divine dream as he does not known who to choose as sucessor. Toyokiiribiko dreams he faces east of Mount Mimoro, flourishing a spear eight times and swinging a sword eight times. Ikume says he stood atop Mount Mimoro and placed a cord around all four corners of the land to drive away sparrows eating grain.

And so it is decided that Toyokiiribiko will rule over the Eastern land and Ikume was made crown prince.1


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.
3. Chamberlain, B. H. (1932) “Translation of the Kojiki.” Kobe: J.L. Thompson & Co.

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