Nainokami (ないの神)

Nainokami is a deity of earthquakes from Japanese mythology.

According to the records of the reign of Empress Suiko in the "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), in the summer of the seventh year of her reign (599 C.E.), a large earthquake struck the center of Yamato and an order was issued to offer worship to 'the deity of earthquakes' (Nainokami). Nai refers to earthquakes, so 'Nainokami' is not a shinmei (name of deity) but a term of divinity like 'No no kami' (the deity of fields) or 'Umi no kami' (the deity of the sea). There are no records of Nainokami's name or origins. In later periods, legends about the "kanameishi", a stone which is supposed to suppress earthquakes, at Kashima-jingu Shrine led to the belief that the shrine's central deity, Takemikazuchi, was a guardian against earthquakes. However, neither the "Kojiki" (Records of Ancient Matters) nor the "Nihonshoki" mention any connection between Takemikazuchi and earthquakes. There are also theories stating that Nainokami is a deity of the jinushigami (deities of an area of land) type or that it may have been related to Onmyodo (Yin-Yang) beliefs.

Some have suggested that Nai-jinja Shrine in Nabari City, Mie Prefecture, which is listed in the Engishiki (a 10th century book of laws and regulations), was originally dedicated to Nainokami of Iga Province (now western Mie Prefecture). At present, the shusaijin (main enshrined deity) of this shrine is Okuninushi (chief god of Izumo in southern Honshu, and the central character in the important cycle of myths set in that region).