Japanese Mythology

The Shinto and Folk Gods of Japan...


Shinto Hunting God

Also known as Fire-Fade, Hiko-Hohodemi, Hikohohodemi, Ho-Ori-No-Mikoto, Yamasachihiko, Yamasachinohiko

Hero God of Hunting

He’s the heroic hunter son of Ninigi-no-Mikoto, great-grandson of Amaterasu, and the younger brother of Hoderi the fisherman. From him sprang the first of the Japanese emperors.

One day he and his brother were bored and decided to do a job swap. But when Hoori used Hoderi’s fishing tackle, the line snapped and he lost his brother’s favorite magic fish hook.

Hoderi was not of a forgiving disposition, and it was nag, nag, nag all the way home. “That was my favorite hook and I want it back. Don’t stand there waving your arms — go and get it. Don’t come home until you’ve found it — I’m not cooking for you. I didn’t catch anything with your stupid hunting gear anyway.” Then he took to throwing stones if brother came near their domain.

Hoori donned a wet suit and tried diving about in the sea, but it was hopeless. “Why am I doing this?” he asked himself, “am I a God or a sardine?” But all was not lost. He had been spotted by Toyotama-Hime, the Sea Dragon’s daughter, who thought “Oooh he’s gorgeous”.

Wearing her most seductive swimwear, she managed purely by chance to accidentally collide with his canoe. They hit it off at once. “Do you come here often?” she asked. “Only in the canoodling season,” he replied. With such repartee how could things go wrong?

When he confided about the missing fish hook she beamed with delight. “You’ve come to the right place. My dad is the Ruler of the Sea and if you come home to tea with me I’ll butter him up and get that silly hook back for you.” Now she knew she had him hooked.

At first Ryujin, Dragon King of the Sea, was not too pleased when his daughter brought home what he presumed to be a fisherman. Being the protector of aquatic species he had ‘No Fishing’ and ‘Fishermen will be Devoured’ notices all over the place. Hoori assured him he hated fishing as much as Ryujin did. ‘”I only tried it once — I hated every minute of it and I won’t ever do it again — and if it will help I’ll say sorry to the poor brave fish that got stuck on the hook and kiss his mouth better.”

After that the two of them got on like a dragon on fire. Three actually, as the daughter was planning wedding gongs. Everything was going so swimmingly she was in no hurry. Life was good in the palace and the wedding did eventually take place.

But there came a day when Hoori remembered the fish hook and his brother and became strangely homesick. By now his wife was expecting a child, so with Ryujin’s blessing and a gift of two Tide Jewels — and the fish hook of course — he planned a triumphant return to reclaim his half of the Hoori and Hoderi kingdom.

Was Hoderi happy to see him? Not a bit. “Where the hell have you been. Gallivanting around getting married — not even so much as a postcard in all these years. Oh, we’re going to use no postal service as an excuse are we? Too much trouble to put a message in a bottle then. So where’s my hook? No, I don’t want to meet her. She can shove off and have your baby. I don’t care where. It’s none of my business. There’s plenty of empty sheds around. They should be full of fish, but you lost my best hook didn’t you? Anyway, I’m going fishing even if the hook is bent and you haven’t bothered to straighten it out properly.”

Hoori scratched his head and got on with the matter in hand — settling his wife. She refused the services of a midwife and did not want him to be present at the birth. She wanted to be entirely alone. Hoori was very unhappy about this and was determined to keep an eye on her, so he peered through a crack when he heard a cry. He should have listened to her. At the first labor pang his wife changed into a monstrous dragon.

Hoori shrieked in fright and dismay, and she did the same, scuttling off swiftly into the sea leaving him holding the baby. She never did return but sent a sister in a nanny’s uniform to care for the child. “Serves you right,” said his brother.

This time the easy going Hoori had had enough of these jibes and decided to test the Tide Jewels. These are the equivalent of microchips for sea control. Jewel one — Whooooosh! Tide out out out. Hoderi was stranded in a boat with no sea underneath — no fish. Jewel two Whoooosh! Tide in with tidal wave, boat sunk and Hoderi up to his neck in water. Unfortunately he never learnt to swim. Hoori controls tide to creep mode, and does not stop until only Hoderi’s mouth is above water screaming and begging for mercy and promising to be ever-so nice from now on.

What happened to Hoori’s son? Well he grew up and married his caring aunt Tamayori-Hime and they in turn had a son called Jimmu-Tenno, who grew up to be the first human Emperor of Japan.

Hoori Facts and Figures

Name: Hoori
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Fire-Fade, Hiko-Hohodemi, Hikohohodemi, Ho-Ori-No-Mikoto, Yamasachihiko, Yamasachinohiko

Gender: Male
Type: God
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Hunting
Area of expertise: Hunting

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 25595

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Article last revised on November 20, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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