During the time of the 6th Amakami Omotaru [Amakami is the ruler of Hotsuma], the weather changed and there was not much food. Toyoke was born in the family of the Takamimusubi, the ruling family of Hitakami in what is now called Tohoku. He was named Tamakine.
Toyoke governed Hitakami as the 5th Takamimusubi. He organized ceremonies for kami so that people could pray together in the same manner. He made the Futomani Motoake chart.
Toyoke was successful in increasing food production for his people. He was called Higashi-no-kimi, King of the East, and also Hotsuma-kimi. The people bestowed upon him the name Toyoke, or Toyouke. Here, ‘toyo’ means abundant, ‘u’ means greatness, and ‘ke’ is food.
Since the 6th Amakami Omotaru had no children, Toyoke resolved to find a solution. He asked his daughter Isako to marry Takahito and they would serve as the 7th Amakami. Takahito was the eldest son of Awanagi, ruler of Ne-no-kuni. This was the area known today as Hokuriku at the Sea of Japan and including Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures.
The couple became the 7th Amakami, Isanami and Isanagi. For a long while they had no children, and Toyoke was concerned that there would be no heir to rule Hotsuma. By his earnest praying a prince was born. This child became the 8th Amakami, Amateru.
Toyoke taught the young Amateru together with another grandson, Furimaro, in the Yamate Palace at Tagajo. The latter became Takagi, the 7th Takamimusubi, after his father Yasokine / Kanmimusubi.
Toyoke excelled at government, engineering, and education. He taught about horseback riding, obstetrics, metalwork, and yuki-no-michi.
Late in age, Toyoke was asked by Amateru to govern the San-in region, so he relocated to Miyazu in Tango (now Kyoto-Fu). When Toyoke knew he was about to die, he had a hokora tomb dug in the Kujigatake mountain of Mineyama-cho, 20 km northwest of Miyazu. He entered the tomb while still alive – this is called Toyoke-nori. He is deified at the Hinumanai Jinja at the foot of Kujigatake. Amateru, later, was also entombed at Kujigatake.
Note: As Ikeda exclaims, Toyoke cannot be compared with anyone else. This is exemplified by Toyoke creating the Futomani chart to teach the Way. That is why we are devoting many posts to the life and teachings of Toyoke. We have also visited his shrines in Hitakami, Omi, and San-in, as well as the Geku of Ise Jingu and the Moto-Ise shrines of Tanba.
This is an edited excerpt from the encyclopedia of Ikeda Mitsuru, 1999, 308pp.