Asia's History

Ōkuninushi’s Tale


Eighty one gods approached the court of Yakami, Every one of them has come with a single goal in mind, To win the hand of the princess. Eighty of them stand tall and resolute, and one of them stoops under a mountain of bags.
The one carrying the bags, is Okuninushi Last we saw him, he showed kindness to a hare in distress, and the hare in return foretold that he would be the one the princess would desire. And, this was true because when the eighty brothers showed up at court and declared their intentions, the princess firmly said “I shall marry none of you, I wait for Okuninushi.” Now, how she knew about Okuninushi is an open question? But, It s also not really relevant as her waiting for him turned out to be a pretty mixed bag. Since, his brothers immediately went about trying to kill him, Because you see they were not super happy about the princess answer, And so when camping on the mountainside they conspired together and came up with a fiendish plan.

They went to Okuninushi, and said “Oh brother there is a red boar that lives on this hill YOU must catch it for us or we’re going to kill you BRO”. now, that last bit probably should have clued in Okuninushi in that his brothers weren’t acting in his best interest, but being a dutiful brother he said: ‘’Sure” So, his brothers climbed up the mountain, found a great boulder, and heated it until it was red hot, Then they rolled it down the hill shouting: “There s the boar Catch it bro CATCH IT” So, Okuninushi leapt on the boar and was promptly burned to a cinder.

His mother was a goddess, and petitioned the other gods to save him, so they sent Princess Cockleshell, and Princess Clam to nurse him back to life. Frustrated, his brothers came up with another plan. They asked Okuninushi to stand between two halves of a tree that they d felled, but the tree wasn’t really split in two, It was just cut down the center and held open with a wedge. So, as soon as Okuninushi got in they removed the wedge and the tree slammed shut crushing him to death instantly. Once, again Mom asked the other gods to resurrect him, But this time when he was back she told him: “OK look you probably should’ve figured this out the first go round but your brothers ARE GOING TO KEEP TRYING TO KILL YOU” So, with this new knowledge, Okuninushi fled to the Realm of the Dead, There because myth he instantly fell in love with and married the Storm God’s Susanoo s daughter Suseri at which point the Princess of Yakami disappears completely from our story because again myth. But anyway, The Storm God is not pleased about his daughter marrying this good for nothing lesser brother of eighty other sons, So he tells Okuninushi “GO SLEEP IN THE SNAKE ROOM” because apparently he had one of those, But Okuninushi s new wife comes and gives him the snake scarf, because apparently she had one of THOSE, and tells him to wave it three times and the snakes will become peaceful. That s right, a heckin sleepy snake scarf.

That is just Van Damme adorable, And so the next morning when the Storm God looks into his Snake Room, he s shocked to see everyone curled up like friends, So he says thunderclaps “ALL RIGHT CENTIPEDE AND WASP HOUSE TIME” But, you can probably see where this is going That s right centipede and wasp scarf some waving and bam Okuninushi is A OK. So, now the Storm God s like YOU REALLY WANT TO MARRY MY DAUGHTER GO FETCH THIS ARROWWWWW AND HE SHOOTS an arrow far off into a marsh, Okuninushi rushes right off to go get the arrow, But as soon as he s in the middle of the marsh the Storm God sets the marsh on fire, “GOOD RIDDANCE” the Storm God says, and goes back into his house But in the middle of the marsh a mouse comes to Okuninushi and says Mickey Mouse voice The ground is hollow hollow ha ha, The surface narrow, oho boy, And Okuninushi picking up what he‘s laying down stamps on the ground and falls into a small cave where he can hide from the flames, And just as the flames close in above him, the mouse skitters into the hole with the Storm God s arrow in his mouth, and drops it in Okuninushi s, hand When the fire at last burns itself out, the Storm God goes out to the marsh and to his extreme surprise up pops Okuninushi with his arrow, But at the sight of him the Storm God says “YEAH LOOK AT HOW MANY CENTIPEDES YOU VE GOT ON YOUR HEAD GOOO GET THEM OFF”, But at that very moment Okuninushi s new wife slips him a bowl of berries and tells him to chew them up, and spit them out AS he s picking the centipedes off his scalp. As he does this, the Storm God thinks he s chewing up, and spitting out the centipedes which is apparently awesome enough for him to start liking the guy, And so he lets Okuninushi come back inside. And, they all fall asleep.

Mental note, try that centipede trick with future father in law, But when Okuninushi wakes he knows he’s got to get out there. So, while the murderous deity sleeps he ties the Storm God s hair to the rafters of his palace, and blocks him in with a stone, that would take mortal men to lift. He then steals the Storm God s Great Life Bow, and Great Life Sword, as well as his Lute of Heavenly Melody. With all the lute in done you see what I did there, Okuninushi grabs his wife and they make a break for it, but as they’re running Okuninushi scrapes the Lute of Heavenly Melody onto a tree, and it lets out a chord so loud it wakes the Storm God. In a rage, the Storm God tries to follow them but pulls down his own palace with his hair. Finally, disentangling himself from the wreckage he gives chase shouting “YOU D BETTER USE MY BOW TO SLAY YOUR HORRIBLE HALF BROTHERS AND BECOME MASTER OF THE GREAT LAND YOUUUUU WRETCH YOU D BETTER MAKE A PALACE SO HUGE THAT THE CROSSBEAMS TOUCH THE HIGH HEAVENS YOU VILLAIN” And, “YOU D BETTER TAKE MY DAUGHTER TO LIVE THERE YOU SCUM” .And, so the Storm God chased Okuninushi and his wife shouting these well meaning advice threats, But trips to the Underworld can change a person as well as getting impulse married, and Okuninushi emerged not as a mere bag carrier, but now as a true divinity But he still took the Storm God s advice threats to heart. So, he chased his wicked half brothers out of the land built a HUGE palace for he, and his wife to live in. and, as an added bonus became the first Lord of the Province of Izumo.