Nigihayahi (ニギハヤヒ)

Nigihayahi no Mikoto is a god (Shinto) who appears in Japanese mythology. It is written "饒速日命" in the "Nihonshoki" (The Chronicles of Japan), and "邇藝速日命" in the "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters).


In the Jinmu tosei (the Eastern expedition of the Emperor Jinmu) in the "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters), Nigihayahi no Mikoto appears as a deity enshrined by Nagatsunehiko, who was a powerful local clan in the region of Yamato Province. He made Tomiyasubime, a younger sister of Nagasunehiko, his wife and they had a boy, Umashimaji no Mikoto. Umashimaji no Mikoto was regarded as the ancestor of the Mononobe clan, the Hozumi clan and the Uneme clan. In the Eastern expedition of Iwarebiko (the future Emperor Jinmu), Nagatsunehiko fought Iwarebiko but was defeated. And afterward, Nigihayahi no Mikoto submitted himself to Iwarebiko because he found out that Iwarebiko was the descendant of Amaterasu.

According to the "Nihonshoki," prior to the Jinmu tosei (eastern expedition of the Emperor Jinmu), Nigihayahi received ten kinds of Shinpo (ten kinds of sacred treasures) from Amaterasu and he took Amenoiwafune ship to descend to Kawakami in Kawachi Province (Katano City, Osaka Prefecture). Then he seemed to move to Yamato Province (Nara Prefecture). The above story was considered to come from a different source, not from the legend of "Tensonkorin" (Descent to Earth of Ninigi, who was a descendant of the Sun Goddess). Nigihayahi no Mikoto has been regarded as an ancestor deity of the powerful clans, especially of the Mononobe clan, who was in charge of Saishi (religious services) while the Japanese Mythology clearly mentions that he was settled in Yamato Province prior to the Emperor Jinmu. This means, the existence of Nigihayahi implies many important subjects. There is a theory that sovereign power by Izumo family already existed in Yamato Province before the Emperor Jinmu. There are also other theories, such as, that the Mononobe clan was tied up politically in the region of Yamato.

In the "Sendai Kujihongi" (the Ancient Japanese History), Nigihayahi (no Mikoto) was called 'Amateru Kuniteruhiko Akima no Hoakari Kushitama Nigihayaki no Mikoto,' and regarded as the same deity as Amenohoakari, who was the son of Amenooshihomimi and the older brother of Ninigi.

In the "Shinsen Shojiroku" (Newly Compiled Register of Clan Names and Titles of Nobility), Nigihayahi was Tenjin (a deity from Takamagahara, who was not in the imperial line) while Amenohoakari was Tenson (the Imperial lineage, a descendant of Amaterasu).

Other names
Nigihayahi no Mikoto
Kushitama no Mikoto

Equited with Amenohoakari
Amateru Kuniteruhiko Ama no Hoakari Kushitama Nigihayaki no Mikoto

The theory of the son of Okuninushi
In the "Harimanokuni Fudoki"(Records of the Customs and Land of Harima), he was a son of Okuninushi no Mikoto.

Other names of Amenohoakari

Amateru Kuniteruhiko Ama no Hoakari no Mikoto.
Amateru Kuniteruhiko Hoakari
Amenohoakari no Mikoto
Hiko Hoakari no Mikoto
Ikishinikiho no Mikoto
Ameterumitama no Kami

There is a theory that Nigihayahi was a son of Susanoo no Mikoto, and was equated with Omononushi, Kamowakeikazuchi no Okami, Kotosakao no Mikoto, Yamato no Okunitama no Okami, Furunomitama, and Otoshi no Mikoto. Tshuneji HARADA, who sparked the ancient history boom, took a bold approach, and repeating the inference, he came to conclude that Nigihayahi was equated with Omononushi, who was the chief enshrined deity of Okami-jinja Shrine, Kamowakeikazuchi no Okami, who was the chief enshrined deity of Kamigamo-jinja Shrine, Kotosakao no Mikoto, who was the enshrined deity of Kumanohongu-taisha Shrine, Yamato no Okunitama no Okami, who was the chief deity of Yamato-jinja Shrine, Furunomitama, who was the enshried deity of Isonokami-jingu Shrine, and Otoshi no Mikoto, who was the chief enshrined deity of Otoshi-jinja Shrine. Although some people consider that there are many academic problems with his theory, others think it evokes a sense of Romanticism to the ancient history, inspiring quite a few writers.

Main shrines
Iwafune-jinja Shrine (Katano City):
The gigantic stone called Amenoiwafune ship is the goshintai (object of worship housed in a Shinto shrine and believed to contain the spirit of a deity).

Amaterutamanomikoto-jinja Shrine
Ishikiritsurugi-jinja Shrine
Kunitsuhikonomikoto-jinja Shrine
Mononobe-jinja Shrine
Yatanimasukushitamahiko-jinja Shrine
Hiko-jinja Shrine:
The shrine was established to enshrine the deity of airplanes in the Taisho priod.

Shrines that is considered to enshrine Nigihayahi as their deities.
Masumida-jinja Shrine:
Ichinomiya Shrine (shrine with the highest ranking in the area) of the Owari Province
The shrine's biography tells that the real name of the enshrined deity, Amenohoakari no Mikoto is Amateru Kuniteruhiko Ama no Hoakari Kushitama Nigihayaki no Mikoto.

Kono-jinja Shrine:
The first shrine in Moto Ise (shrines or places where the deities of Ise Jingu Shrine were once enshrined)
The shrine's biography tells that the enshrined deity, Hiko Hoakari no Mikoto is another name of Nigihayahi.