Konohana no sakuya-bime (コノハナノサクヤビメ)
Konohana no sakuya-bime is a goddess that appears in Japanese mythology. In general, her name is written as 木花咲耶姫. Her name is written as 木花之佐久夜毘売 in the "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters) and as 木花開耶姫 in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan). She is also called Konohana sakuya-bime, Konohana sakuya-hime or simply as Sakuya-hime. Her real name is Kamuatatsu-hime (神阿多都比売) in the "Kojiki" and Kayatsu-hime (鹿葦津姫 or 葦津姫) in "Nihonshoki," and Konohana no sakuya-bime is used as an alternate name.
Description in the mythology
She met Ninigi, who had descended in the Province of Himuka upon Tensonkorin (the descent to earth of the grandson of the sun goddess) at Kasasa no misaki (Cape Kasasa), and he proposed her to marry him. Her father, Oyamatsumi, was very happy about the news, and he offered him her older sister, Iwanaga-hime also. However, Ninigi married only Konohana no sakuya-bime and he sent home Iwanaga-hime, who was ugly.
Oyamatsumi said, 'I offered my two daughters together because I made a covenant that the son of Amatsukami (god of heaven) (Ninigi) will have a life as eternal as a rock if you have Iwanaga-hime as your wife, and if you have Konohana no sakuya-bime as your wife then you will prosper just like flowers blossoming on a tree. However, because you married only Konohana no sakuya-bime the life of the son of Amatsukami will be ephemeral like flowers on a tree.'
That is why emperors, who are his descendants, do not live as long as the gods (refer to the section "Konohana no sakuya-bime and Iwanaga-hime" in "Tensonkorin").
Konohana no sakuya-bime became pregnant overnight, and Ninigi suspected that the child belonged to Kunitsukami (god of the land). In order to disprove his suspicion she made a pledge and then went into the birthing room. She said that if her child was truly Ninigi's, then the child would be born safely no matter what, and she set fire on the birthing room. She gave birth to Mihashira no ko (three children), Hoderi, Hosuseri and Hoori, in the fire (refer to the section "Konohana no sakuya-bime giving birth" in "Tensonkorin"). Emperor Jinmu was the grandson of Hoori.
Konohana no sakuyabime means a woman as beautiful as flowers blossoming on a tree (cherry tree flowers). It is considered that that 'ata' in Kamuatatsu-hime comes from Ata-go, Ata-no-kori, Satsuma Province (the vicinity of present-day Minamisatsuma City, Kagoshima Prefecture). That is, she was from Ata Hayato, and the name means the daughter of the chieftain of the area.
It is considered that Konohana no sakuya-bime and Kamuatatsu-hime were originally separate deities. The story of Konohana no sakuya-bime and Iwanaga-hime tells about the ephemerality of life and the origin of death, and this is one variation of banana-type mythology often seen in various areas around Southeast Asia. Upon inserting the story of this banana-type mythology, it can be considered that the task was given to Kamuatatsu-hime, who was a daughter to Oyamatsumi.
Because she gave birth in fire she became a fire goddess, and she is enshrined at Mt. Fuji, which is a volcano. However, according to the legend passed down at Fujisan Hongu Sengen-taisha Shrine Konohana no sakuya-bime is a goddess of water. She was enshrined at Mt. Fuji in order to bring volcanic eruptions under control. In addition, from this story, she is viewed as a goddess who protects one's wife, a goddess of safe delivery of a baby as well as a goddess of child rearing.
Furthermore, there is a story of Oyamatsumi making amano tamukezake, which is present-day amazake (sweet, mild sake), using the heavily fruited head of rice plant from Sanada when Hoori was born. Therefore, Oyamatsumi is called Sakatoke no Kami and Konohana no sakuya-bime is called Sakatokeko no Kami, and they are considered to be deities of sake brewing.
Her father, Oyamatsumi, is a god that represented all the mountains. She inherited Mt. Fuji from her father, the tallest and the most beautiful mountain in Japan. She is enshrined in this mountain and protects the eastern part of Japan.
In addition to being the enshrined deity of Mt. Fuji at Fujisan Hongu Sengen-taisha Shrine (Fujinomiya City, Shizuoka Prefecture), she is also enshrined at Sengen-jinja Shrines all over Japan. In addition, she is enshrined as a goddess of safe delivery and child rearing at Koyasu-jinja Shrine (Shokansha (shrine where the gods of clothing, food and housing are worshipped) at Kotai-jingu Shrine in Hachioji City, Tokyo, for example). She is also enshrined as Sakatokekonokami at Umenomiya-taisha Shrine (Ukyo Ward, Kyoto Prefecture).
木花開耶姫 (Konohana sakuya-bime)
木華開耶姫 (Konohana sakuya-bime)
木花之開耶姫 (Konohana no sakuya-bime)
木花之佐久夜毘売 (Konohana no sakuya-bime)
木花開耶媛命 (Konohana sakuyabime no Mikoto)