Hitokotonushi is an ancient Japanese god.
Descriptions in mythology and history books
Hitokotonushi appears for the first time in the second volume of Kojiki (The Records of Ancient Matters) (712). In 460, when Emperor Yuryaku went deer hunting in Mt. Katsuragi in Yamato Province, he saw a group of people walking along the ridge of the mountain in front of him. They were dressed just like his own group, wearing clothes dyed in blue with red strings attached.
When Emperor Yuryaku asked their names, the leader of the group answered, 'I am the great Hitokotonushi god of Katsuragi, who tells fortunes, both good and bad.'
Struck with awe, the emperor told his men to present the god with bows and arrows along with the clothes they were wearing. Hitokotonushi received these presents and saw them off.
In Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), which was written in 720, slightly later than the Kojiki, Emperor Yuryaku accidentally meets the deity Hitokotonushi just as in the Kojiki, but subsequently goes hunting with the god and has an equal status. In Volume 25 of Shoku Nihongi (Chronicles of Japan Continued), written still later, in 797, it is written that the deity Takakamonokami (or Hitokotonushi) fought over prey with the emperor and was exiled to Tosa Province by the enraged Emperor. This change in the status of Hitokotonushi is believed to be a result of a decline in the status of the Kamo clan, which worshipped Hitokotonushi as its clan deity.
(Some people believe, however, that the Takakamonokami god in Shoku Nihongi is the Kamonoomikami god enshrined in Takakamo-jinja Shrine, who is also known as Ajisukitakahikone.)
In Nihon Genpo Zen-aku Ryoiki (Buddhist Stories), which was written in 822, Hitokotonushi appears as a god who serves EN no Ozuno (a magician who was also a member of the Kamo clan), showing an even more serious decline in his status. It is written in Ryoiki that EN no Gyoja (Ozuno) was exiled to Izu Province as a result of an accusation submitted to the Imperial court by Hitokotonushi, who held grudges against him. According to the ancient text Ryoiki, En no Gyoja cast a spell on Hitokotonushi, which was allegedly still unbroken at the time Ryoiki was written.
In the Noh play, Katsuragi, Hitokotonushi is depicted as a goddess.
The head office of the worship of Hitokotonushi is Katsuragi Hitokotonushi-jinja Shrine, which is located at the foot of Mt. Katsuragi in Gose City, Nara Prefecture. Hitokotonushi, known as 'Ichigon-san' among the people in areas around the shrine, is worshipped as the god of the 'Mugon Mairi' (a Shinto religious service), who grants any wish expressed in a single word.
The Tosa Shrine in Tosa Province (Kochi Prefecture), where Hitokotonushi is reported to have been exiled in the Shoku Nihongi, worships Hitokotonushi. However, some people believe that the god enshrined in the Tosa-jinja Shrine is Ajisukitakahikone, and at present, these gods are both worshipped as protective deities of the shrine.
Due to the similarity of names, Hitokotonushi is sometimes mistakenly identified as Kotoshironushi, Okuninushi's son.