Toyouke Ōkami

 

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Toyoke-sama.  Our beloved Toyoke-sama is also known as Toyoke Kami and Toyouke Ōkami 豊受大神. Toyoke-sama was arguably the greatest kami of Hotsuma. He is remembered as the father of Isanami and grandfather of Amateru. Amateru came to study with him when he was sixteen. Toyoke-sama imparted to the future Amakami of Yamato the wisdom of the ancestors known as the To-no-Wosite teachings of the Ame-naru Michi, the Way of Universe. 

The teaching is for all, and especially for leaders of society, to embody high principles of human behavior: honesty, integrity, and caring for the welfare of others.

Hutakami.  Toyoke’s daughter Hisako became Isanami, spouse of Isanagi. The couple are known as Hutakami (Futakami), the kami couple of myth and legend. The Hutakami went throughout the land of Hinomoto teaching the Awa no Uta, the Song of Universe, containing all 48 of the syllables of Wosite language, promoting speech for improved communication and cooperation as well as for promoting good health and vitality.

Takamimusubi.  Toyoke was descended from Ta-no-Kunisatsuchi. Toyoke’s imina birth name was Tamakine. This means he was a man of tama spirit. We notice the many local words beginning with Ta. Tamakine became the fifth Takamimusubi in Hitakami which we now call Tohoku. Hi-taka-mi means to see the sun high in the sky. A remnant of Hitakami remains in the name of the major Tohoku river, Kitakami-gawa, whose old name was indeed Hitakami-gawa.

Taga.  The center of Hitakami was at Tagajo (Taka-jo), east of current Sendai. You can get there after a short train ride. You will be shown the remains of a former government center. There is still a large stone inscribed in more recent times, called the Keta-tsubo. On this rise may have been located the Yamate-miya of Toyoke. Nearby are several shrines named Taga Jinja. One of these, we believe, is the original shrine of Toyoke. This shrine spun off the Taga Taisha in Ōmi (now Shiga-ken). Why Ōmi? Ōmi was the center of Yamato under the care of Isanami and Isanagi.

We visited Taga Taisha. It is a large shrine that hosts a million devotees on New Year’s Hatsumode. By looking for the oldest part of the keidai precincts, we found Toyoke’s hokora next to Amateru’s.

Tanba.  Toyoke lived to a ripe age. When he was quite along in years, there was a disturbance in the region we call Kyotango in Kyoto-fu near the Japan Sea. Amateru asked Toyoke-sama to manage the situation from a base in Miyazu. Toyoke-sama transferred from Hitakami to Tanba and all went well and the people prospered. Toyoke-sama taught how to raise the five grains such as rice, wheat, and beans, and also how to raise silkworms for weaving.

When Toyoke-sama felt his lifeforce dwindling, he called for a tomb to be dug in the mountain of Kujigatake. He would prepare for his last breath. When Amateru heard about his grandfather, he rushed to his side. He entered Toyoke’s tomb and received the final teaching. Thus Amateru was initiated into the high level of wisdom. Then Amateru was sent out and the tomb sealed. The people were in such grief that Amateru stayed for a while to comfort them.

Toyoke’s tomb is said to be on Mt. Kujigatake (Kushi-gatake, also called Manai-gatake) where there is a manai spring. At the foot of Kujigatake is a shrine called Hinumanai Jinja. Toyoke Ōkami is the revered deity. The monument shown above mentions Five Grains. It is said that half-way up the mountain is an altar rock for the offering of five grains and other foods.

When Amateru himself came to the end of his life, he had a tomb built nearby. Amateru’s trusted friend, Sarutahiko, was the last to see Amateru in his tomb.

Futomani.  Toyoke-sama is the author of the Futomani Motoake chart which was employed as an aid for teaching cosmology and as a guide for decision-making. Amateru complemented the Futomani by selecting its 128 waka. We wouldn’t be surprised if Toyoke-sama also organized the Wosite syllabary into the neat, logical system that it is.

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Motoake chart from Julian-Way

Another grandson of Toyoke-sama also attended the lessons with Amateru, and he became Takagi, the seventh Takamimusubi.

ukesuteme     ne no kuni ni kite     tamakine ni …

Ukesuteme came to Ne no kuni to see Tamakine …   from Hotsuma Tsutae Aya 15

Another Kunisatsuchi, Ta’s brother, Ka-no-Kunisatsuchi, had gone to China, and he had a descendant named Ukesuteme. Ukesuteme came to Hitakami to study with Toyoke accompanied by the sister of Isanagi from the land of Ne. Shirayama-hime (Kokori-hime) and Ukesuteme both excelled in acquiring the wisdom of To.

ukesuteme korohin kimi to      tinami ai

After Ukesuteme returned to the Korohin mountains and married the ruler of Akagata, they had a son. Consequently, admired for her wisdom as for her nurturing, she became known as Nishi no Haha, Mother of the West. In China, the Mother of the West has the name Xi Wangu. She is one of the Seven Immortals. In Taoist paintings she holds the Peach of Immortality in her hand. In the Wosite literature, it is written that she received peach branches from Toyoke-sama to plant in Korohin.

Alternate identities.  Another name for the kami of food is Ukanomitama. And Toyouke’s most popular identity is Inari, the kami of the rice fields. The Inari shrines are the most plentiful in Japan, grounded in folk religion. Inari devotees may not realize the connection with the sage of Hitakami.

Toyouke at Ise and Moto-Ise Shrines:  Probably due to Toyouke’s reknown as provider of Five Grains and foodstuffs, his name has morphed into the female Toyouke-hime no kami at the Geku Outer Shrine of Ise Jingu. And yet, the chigi of the honden is cut vertically in male sotosogi fashion! As it is at the Moto-Ise shrines Hinumanai Jinja and Manai Jinja Okumiya of Kono Jinja (below).

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Remembering Toyoke-sama

Let us remember Toyoke-sama who served the people of Hinomoto during their critical developmental period. Toyoke-sama, the great sage, set society’s tone of compassion based on a deep connection with Universe  And in remembering Tamakine Toyoke-sama, we do not forget our own tama nature.

Note:  This has been cross-posted from  https://woshiteworld.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/toyouke-okami/

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Hotsuma Tsutae Aya One: “tati maiya” by Waniko

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tati maiya         mihuyu kami oki        

     Standing up;  when 3 years old hair-cutting ceremony

hatuhi-moti         Awa no uya ma hi        

     New Year’s day mochi, gave respect to Awa

momo ni hina         ayame ni ti maki         

     peach for Hinamatsuri, iris and mochi

tanahata ya          kiku-kuri iwahi.         

     Tanabata,  chrysanthemum-chestnut festival.

This is a continuation of the previous post, with a continuation of the verse. In this passage we see the traditional Japanese festivals of the year:  New Year’s day, third month Hinamatsuri Peach Festival, fifth month Boys’ Day Iris Festival, seventh month Tanahata Weaving Loom Star Festival (more about Tanahata Hosi Maturi in another article), and ninth month Chrysanthemum-Chestnut Festival. Many people even today think that the Tanahata or Tanabata festival came from China. You can see that it originated in the land of Wosite. It perhaps, much later in the Heian period, combined with the Chinese Weaver festival of Qixi.

As for the Peach Festival, WoshiteWorld has posted three articles beginning with  https://woshiteworld.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/origin-of-hinamatsuri/

Again, we thank JTC and Mr. Takabatake for kindly permitting us to present these excerpts from the Waniko book. For further information about the book, please refer to  http://www.jtc.co.jp/english/hotsuma/hotsuma.html and contact:  info2@jtc.co.jp.

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Hotsuma Tsutae Aya One: “Sono waka wa” by Waniko

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These opening lines from the  Hotsuma Tsutae appear in the Waniko edition published by the Japan Translation Center in 2001 and 2016. They are shown here with the kind permission of Mr. Seiji Takabatake of JTC. We wanted to show you how beautifully the writing of Waniko Yasutoshi from 1779 has been reproduced. For further information, please see our earlier post.

Hotsuma Tsutae Aya One

Hotsuma Tsutae Mihata no Hatu:  Kitu no na to homusi saru aya
Sore waka wa        wakahime no kami         

     That waka of Wakahime Kami,

suterarete       hirota to sotatu        

     Given away and taken up to raise

kanasaki no        tuma no chi wo ete        

     Kanasaki’s wife gave her milk

awa-u-wa ya        te uti sio no me        

     Baby clapping awa-u-wa with the gentle wife.

ume-re-hi wa        kasimi-ke sonae        

     On her birthday, he made an offering of cooked food.

Hotsuma Tsutae Waniko Edition

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The Japan Translation Center has recently (2016) republished the Hotsuma Tsutae as written out by Waniko Yasutoshi in 1779. It is a fine collector’s edition with cover embossed in gold lettering, the title being a facsimile of Waniko’s handwriting. You can read about Waniko’s work here:

http://www.jtc.co.jp/english/hotsuma/hotsuma.html

We will show excerpts from the book in the next two posts.

The JTC also publishes The Hotsuma Legends, 1999, by Yoshinosuke Matsumoto and The World of Hotsuma Legends, 1996, by Mitsuru Ikeda. For further information, please contact: info2@jtc.co.jp.

The Hotsuma Tsutae is an alternate history of ancient Japan.

The oldest version now available to us was copied in the 
year 1779, but it is said to have been first written more 
than 1,800 years ago. 

The Waniko original version of the Hotsuma Tsutae, plus 
a commentary on the course of tradition of the Hotsuma Tsutae 
by Yoshinosuke Matsumoto.

The Japan Translation Center is working on a progressive 
translation of the text into contemporary Japanese, and 
thence into English. For further details, visit 
www.hotsuma.gr.jp/index-e.html