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Title: Hoori  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hoderi, Toyotama-hime, Ugayafukiaezu, Ryūjin, Kirishima-Jingū
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Hoori (火遠理命 hoori no mikoto), also known as Hikohohodemi no Mikoto, was, in Japanese mythology, the third and youngest son of the kami Ninigi-no-Mikoto and the blossom princess Konohanasakuya-hime. He is one of the ancestors of the Emperors of Japan. He is also called Hohodemi and is most frequently known as Yamasachihiko (lit. the prince of the mountain of fortune).


Hoori's legend is told in both the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki. Hoori was a hunter, and he had an argument with his brother Hoderi, a fisherman, over a fish-hook that Hoori had forced his elder brother to lend him and had lost. Hoderi claimed that Hoori should give back the fish-hook, for he refused to accept another one (due to the belief that each tool is animated and hence unique). Hoori then descended to the bottom of the sea to search, but was unable to find it. Instead, he found Toyotama-hime (Princess Toyotama), also known as Otohime, the daughter of the sea god, Ryūjin. The sea god helped Hoori find Hoderi's lost hook, and Hoori later married the sea god's daughter Toyotamahime.

Hoori lived with his wife in a palace under the sea for three years, but after that Hoori became home-sick and wished to return to his own country. His brother forgave him after he returned the hook, and Toyotamahime gave birth to a son named Ugayafukiaezu. During the time when Toyotamahime was giving birth to her child, she had Hoori swear not to attempt to see her real figure. But he broke his promise and discovered her true form was a dragon or a wani. She was ashamed and returned to her father, never to return. Ugayafukiaezu married Toyotama-hime's sister, who brought him up, and she gave birth to Emperor Jimmu, who is known as the first Emperor of Japan. Hoori reigned in Takachiho, Hyuga Province for 560 years.

Religion and culture

Hoori's cult is often associated with both his parents and his wife. He is worshiped mainly as a god of cereals or grain. In mythology it was said that the ho (火) part of his name meant fire, but etymologically it is a different character pronounced ho (穂), which refers to crops, particularly rice. Ori (折り, to bend) incidates a crop that is so rich, it bends under its own weight. His alias Hohodemi means many harvests.

In folklore, Hoori known as Yamasachihiko, travels lead him to a visit to the sea god Ryūjin. Where he (Hoori) gets married to Otohime the daughter of Ryūjin, Otohime is also known as Toyotama-hime (Japanese for "luminous jewel").

External links

  • The Story of Hoderi and Hoori from Myths and Legends of Japan by F. Hadland Davis
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