Japanese mythologies vol. 3 The land pulling myth of “Kunibiki-shinwa”

【 CONTENTS 】The myth of “Kunibiki-shinwa” that describes the beginning of “Izumo no kuni fudoki,” (Topography of Izumo Province) is a magnificent nonfictional drama that ancient people came up with.Visit the land that God opened up and learn about his great spirit from it.The myth of “Kunibiki-shinwa” that describes the beginning of “Izumo no kuni fudoki,” (Topography of Izumo Province) is a magnificent nonfictional drama that ancient people came up with. Once upon a time, the creation deity of Izumo, “Yatsukamizuomitsunu no Mikoto” looked over the land of Izumo and thought, “This land is thin and tiny like a long narrow strip of cloth. Why not stich it with other […]

  Culture, Izumo,

izumo


【 CONTENTS 】

City of Izumo
City of Izumo

The myth of “Kunibiki-shinwa” that describes the beginning of “Izumo no kuni fudoki,” (Topography of Izumo Province) is a magnificent nonfictional drama that ancient people came up with.

Once upon a time, the creation deity of Izumo, “Yatsukamizuomitsunu no Mikoto” looked over the land of Izumo and thought, “This land is thin and tiny like a long narrow strip of cloth. Why not stich it with other lands and make it bigger?”

He looked for extra available land somewhere over the sea and found some in the Korean Peninsula called “Shiragi.” He planted his big plow into the ground and dug up and separated the ground as if he were cutting and dividing fish.

He then hooked his braided rope around the land and pulled it hard while saying “kuniko, kuniko,” or “come on land.” The land was slowly pulled like a slow riverboat and attached to the land of Izumo.

These combined lands became Kizuki no misaki (the area from Kozucho, Izumo city to Hinomisaki).
When hooking the rope to the land, he hooked it on Mt. Sahimeyama (currently Mt. Sanbensan) and the rope itself then evolved into the Sono no Nagahama (Inasa beach).

He also pulled the land of Sada from the northern part (From Kozucho to eastern Kashimacho Sada) and attached that to the land of Kurami (Around Matsue city, Shimane Prefecture). He finally pulled the land of Koshi from the Hokuriku region, and attached it to the land of Miho no saki (Around Mihosekicho of Matsue city).

Another anchor he hooked the rope to, was Hoki province’s Mt. Hinokami (currently Mt. Daisen) and the rope itself then evolved into Yomi Island (currently Yumigahama).

He finally said “Oe” after pulling these lands together and planting a stick, and later the land became known as ”O”.

※Nagahama Shrine enshrines “Yatsukamizuomitsunu no Mikoto” the hero of Kunibiki-shinwa.
※Nagahama Shrine enshrines “Yatsukamizuomitsunu no Mikoto” the hero of Kunibiki-shinwa.

Visit the land that God opened up and learn about his great spirit from it.

The “Kunibiki-shinwa” land pulling myth describes the especially large Topography of Izumo Province. It is literally a story about God’s supreme power.
There’s a likelihood that people will understand it as a fiction, but it’s not.
One of the reasons is that the geography and the name of the land mentioned in the myth are matched with the current locations.

If you look at the Izumo area on the map, there is the main land of Izumo in the south, Shinjiko and Nakaumi. On the north side, there is the long Shimane Peninsula that lays on the west and east side. You will notice that Shimane Peninsula is divided into 4 parts.

This area is the land he pulled while saying, “come on land” and all the locations of Mt. Daizan and Sanben, and Inasa-no-hama and Yami Island are correctly matched with the myth. It’s so surprising!

There’s a theory that insists the Shimane Peninsula used to be part of the sea during the Jyomon period (BC.145 to BC 10) and its current terrain has been shaped by a natural phenomenon. Even if it were true, I would be really astonished by the ancient people’s powerful imagination to think that it was a work of art done by God.

※This article is featured by “Izumo Guide,” a website introducing recommended places to visit at Izumo.
For more info about sightseeing in Izumo, click here (Written in Japanese only).

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AUTHOR

HATSU

HATSU

Editor / Writer

I’m from Mie Prefecture, and a big fan of Yomiuri Giants, Japanese baseball team! I rarely stay at home every weekend, and love to go outside. I feel Japanese locals and the world will be connected soon! I’m trying to make a fun world!

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