Shikome

Shikome

  • Affiliation: Shinto
  • Kami of: Affiliations with Yomi.
  • Family: None

Shikome

The Shikome (黄泉醜女) (also called the Hisame) are the names for the Eight Ugly Females of Yomi. The Wamiōsho also gives them the additional name of Gogome and says they were used as a kind of bogey men to scare children.1

These women are sent in pursuit of Izanagi after he offends his wife by looking upon her dead body in Yomi. This is mentioned in both the Kojiki and Nihongi. As Izanagi flees from them he throws down a vine which was wound in his hair which turns into grapes. The women eat this and continue in pursuit. Next, he throws down the comb in his hair which becomes bamboo. Again they eat it and continue in pursuit.12

One version of the Nihongi states that Izanagi made water against a tree, making a river which the Shikome had to cross, but as they prepared to do so he had blocked the entrance to Yomi with the boulder Chigaeshinoōkami.1

In the Kojiki it is said they finally flee back into Yomi when Izanagi stands and strike a threatening pose holding some peaches which become the kami Ōkamizumi.2

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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