|Part of the series on|
|Religions · Divinities|
|Creatures & Spirits|
|Stories and Myths|
|Kojiki · Kwaidan|
|Nihon Shoki · Otogizōshi|
|Abe no Seimei · Hidari Jingorō|
|Kintarō · Kuzunoha · Momotarō|
|Nezumi Kozō · Tamamo-no-Mae|
|Tomoe Gozen · Urashima Tarō|
|Amenonuhoko · Kusanagi|
|Sesshō-seki · Tonbogiri|
|Three Sacred Treasures|
|Mythical & Sacred Locations|
|Hōrai · Mount Hiei|
|Mt. Fuji · Rashōmon|
|Ryūgū-jō · Suzakumon|
|Takamagahara · Yomi|
Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (草薙の剣?) is a legendary Japanese sword as important to Japan's history as Excalibur is to Britain's, and is one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan. Japanese mythology is a system of beliefs that embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculture-based Folk religion. The primary religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shintō (神道 " the way of the gods " This is a list of divinities native to Japanese beliefs and religious traditions The following is a list of Yōkai, Obake, Yūrei and other legendary creatures which are notable in Japanese folklore, Japanese mythology is a system of beliefs that embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculture-based Folk religion. Kwaidan Stories and Studies of Strange Things (often abbreviated to Kwaidan) is a book by Lafcadio Hearn that features several Japanese The, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second oldest book of classical Japanese history. refers to a group of approximately 350 Japanese prose narratives written primarily in the Muromachi period (1392-1573 Yotsuya Kaidan (四谷怪談 the story of Oiwa and Tamiya Iemon is a tale of betrayal murder and ghostly revenge. (921?-1005? was an onmyōji, a leading specialist of Onmyōdō during the middle of the Heian Period in Japan. was a Japanese artist sculptor and carpenter active from 1596-1644 is a Folk hero from Japanese folklore. A Child of superhuman strength he was raised by a mountain hag on Mount Ashigara. also written Kuzu-no-Ha, is the name of a popular Kitsune character in Japanese folklore. is a popular Hero from Japanese folklore. His name literally means Peach Tarō; as Tarō is a common Japanese boy's name it is often translated as Nezumi Kozō (鼠小僧 was the nickname of one Jirokichi (次郎吉 1797 - 1832 a Japanese thief who lived in Edo (present-day Tokyo) during Tamamo-no-Mae (玉藻の前 is a legendary figure in Japanese mythology. ( 1157 ?– 1247 ? was one of the few examples of a true female warrior samurai in all of Japanese history. The legend of is a Japanese Legend about a fisherman who rescues a Turtle and for this is rewarded with a visit to the Palace of the Dragon or The following is a list of sacred objects in Japanese mythology. is the name given to the naginata in Japanese mythology used to raise the primordial land-mass Onōgoro-shima, from the sea Tamamo-no-Mae (玉藻の前 is a legendary figure in Japanese mythology. The is one of three legendary Japanese spears created by the famed swordsmith Masazane said to be wielded by the Daimyo Honda Tadakatsu. The, also known as the Three Sacred Treasures, consist of the Sword, Kusanagi (草薙劍 the jewel or necklace of jewels is a mountain to the northeast of Kyoto city lying on the border between the Kyoto and Shiga prefectures Japan. is the highest Mountain in Japan at.An Active volcano that last erupted in 1707–08 it straddles the boundary of Shizuoka and was the gate built at the southern end of the monumental Suzaku Avenue in the ancient Japanese cities of Heijō-kyō ( Nara) and Heian-kyō In Japanese mythology, Ryūgū-jō (竜宮城/龍宮城 is the undersea palace of Ryūjin, the dragon god of the sea The was the main gate built in the center of south end of the imperial palaces in the Japanese ancient capitals of Fujiwara-kyō ( Kashihara) Heijō-kyō ( Takama-ga-hara (also Takaamahara Taka-no-amahara Takamanohara Takamagahara (高天原) literally "High Heaven's Plain" but often translated as the "High Plain of Heaven" Yomi (黄泉 the Japanese word for the underworld in which horrible creatures guard the exits according to Shinto mythology as related in Kojiki For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. Excalibur is the legendary Sword of King Arthur sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful Sovereignty of Great See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands The, also known as the Three Sacred Treasures, consist of the Sword, Kusanagi (草薙劍 the jewel or necklace of jewels It is actually called Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi (天叢雲剣, "Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven") but it is more popularly called Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi. It is also called Tsumugari-no-Tachi (都牟刈の太刀). The is a Japanese sword, often said to be more curved and slightly longer than the Katana.
The history of the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi extends into legend. According to Kojiki, the Japanese god Susa-no-o encountered a grieving family of kunitsukami ("gods of the land") headed by Ashinazuchi (足名椎?) in Izumo province. is the Shinto God of the Sea and storms Myths In Japanese mythology, Susanoo the Withering Wind of Summer is the brother of Amaterasu Izumo (Japanese 出雲国 Izumo-no-kuni) was an old province of Japan which today consists of the eastern part of Shimane prefecture in When Susa-no-o inquired of Ashinazuchi, he told him that his family was being ravaged by the fearsome Yamata-no-Orochi, an eight-headed serpent of Koshi, who consumed seven of the family's eight daughters and that the creature was coming for his final daughter, Kushinada-hime (奇稲田姫?). For other places named Koshi see Koshi (disambiguation. Koshi (越 was an old province of Japan, that is now known Susa-no-o investigated the creature, and after an abortive encounter he returned with a plan to defeat it. In return, he asked for Kushinada-hime's hand in marriage, which was agreed. Transforming her temporarily into a comb (one interpreter reads this section as "using a comb he turns into [masquerades as] Kushinada-hime") to have her company during battle, he detailed his plan into steps.
He instructed the preparation of eight vats of sake (rice wine) to be put on individual platforms positioned behind a fence with eight gates. The monster took the bait and put each of its heads through each gate. With this distraction, Susa-no-o attacked and slew the beast. He chopped off each head and then proceeded to the tails. In the fourth tail, he discovered a great sword inside the body of the serpent which he called Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi, which he presented to the goddess, Amaterasu to settle an old grievance. or is in Japanese mythology a sun goddess and perhaps the most important Shinto.
Generations later, in the reign of the Twelfth Emperor, Keikō, the sword was given to the great warrior, Yamato Takeru as part of a pair of gifts given by his aunt, Yamatohime the Shrine Maiden of Ise Shrine, to protect her nephew in times of peril. was the twelfth emperor of Japan to appear on the traditional list of emperors. originally Prince Ousu (小碓命 おうすのみこと was a Japanese legendary prince of the Yamato dynasty, son of Keikō of Yamato, a legendary Ise Shrine ( Ise-jingū 伊勢神宮 is a Shinto shrine dedicated to goddess Amaterasu Ōmikami, located in the city of Ise in Mie prefecture
These gifts came in handy when Yamato Takeru was lured onto an open grassland during a hunting expedition by a treacherous warlord. The lord had fiery arrows to ignite the grass and trap Yamato Takeru in the field so that he would burn to death. He also killed the warrior's horse to prevent his escape. Desperately, Yamato Takeru used the Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi to cut back the grass and remove fuel from the fire, but in doing so, he discovered that the sword enabled him to control the wind and cause it to move in the direction of his swing. Taking advantage of this magic, Yamato Takeru used his other gift, fire strikers, to enlarge the fire in the direction of the lord and his men, and he used the winds controlled by the sword to sweep the blaze toward them. In triumph, Yamato Takeru renamed the sword Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (lit. "Grasscutter Sword") to commemorate his narrow escape and victory. Eventually, Yamato Takeru married and later fell in battle with a monster, after ignoring his wife's advice to take the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi with him.
While this is the most popular theory of how the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi got its name, it is most likely false. In the ancient Japanese language, kusa meant "sword" and nagi meant "snake". Thus, an alternative theory is that Kusanagi meant "sword of the snake".
Although the sword is mentioned in the Kojiki, this book is a collection of Japanese myths and is not considered a historical document. The first reliable historical mention of the sword is in the Nihonshoki. The, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second oldest book of classical Japanese history. Although the Nihonshiki also contains mythological stories that are not considered reliable history, it records some events that were contemporary or nearly contemporary to its writing, and these sections of the book are considered historical. In the Nihonshoki, the Kusanagi was removed from the Imperial palace in 688, and moved to Atsuta Shrine after the sword was blamed for causing Emperor Temmu to fall ill. The, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second oldest book of classical Japanese history. For the submarine see Los Angeles class submarine. ---- Events By Place Europe Emperor Justinian II is a 200000 m2 Shinto shrine complex located in Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in Japan. (c 631 - October 1 686) was the 40th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession Along with the jewel and the mirror, it is one of the three imperial regalia of Japan, the sword representing the virtue of valor. Magatama (ja 勾玉 or ja 曲玉) are curved Beads which first appeared in Japan during the Jōmon period. The, also known as the Three Sacred Treasures, consist of the Sword, Kusanagi (草薙劍 the jewel or necklace of jewels
Kusanagi is allegedly kept at Atsuta Shrine to this day, although it is not available for public display, and its existence cannot be confirmed. is a 200000 m2 Shinto shrine complex located in Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in Japan. It is recorded that during the Edo period, a Shinto priest claimed to have seen the sword. The, also referred to as the Tokugawa period (徳川時代 Tokugawa-jidai) is a division of Japanese history running from 1603 to 1868 According to him, the sword was about 84 cm long, shaped like calamus, fashioned in a white metallic color, and well maintained. Calamus or Common Sweet Flag ( Acorus calamus) is a Plant from the Acoraceae family Acorus genues Another record claims that this priest died from the curse and the power of the sword, but this is most likely a story that was spread to emphasize its power.
In recent times, Japan's nationally run broadcasting station, NHK, went to Atsuta Shrine to videotape the sword but were turned away. or Japan Broadcasting Corporation, is Japan 's Public broadcaster.
Although some sword may be held by the Atsuta shrine, it is somewhat unlikely to be the legendary Kusanagi. In The Tale of the Heike, a collection of oral stories transcribed in 1371, the sword is lost at sea after the defeat of the Heike clan in the Battle of Dan-no-ura, a naval battle that ended in the defeat of the Heike clan forces and the child Emperor Antoku at the hands of Minamoto no Yoshitsune. The Tale of the Heike ( Heike monogatari, 平家物語 is an epic account of the struggle between the Taira and Minamoto Clans For other uses of the word Taira see Taira (disambiguation The was a major Japanese clan in historical Japan The was a major sea battle of the Genpei War, occurring at Dan-no-ura, in the Shimonoseki Strait off the southern tip of Honshū. For other uses of the word Taira see Taira (disambiguation The was a major Japanese clan in historical Japan Emperor Antoku (安徳天皇 Antoku-tennō) ( December 22, 1178 &ndash April 24, 1185) was the 81st emperor Yoshitsune_with_benkeijpg|thumb|"Yoshitsune and Benkei Viewing Cherry Blossoms" by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka]] Minamoto no Yoshitsune (ja 源 義経 (1159 &ndash In the tale, upon hearing of the Navy's defeat, the Emperor's grandmother led the Emperor and his entourage to commit suicide by drowning in the waters of the strait along with the three imperal regalia, including Kusanagi. Although the Minamoto troops managed to stop a handful of them and recovered two of the three regalia, Kusanagi was said to have been lost forever. Although written about historical events, The Tale of the Heike is a collection of epic poetry passed down orally and written down nearly 200 years after the actual events, so its reliability as a historical document is questionable. The Tale of the Heike ( Heike monogatari, 平家物語 is an epic account of the struggle between the Taira and Minamoto Clans
According to some records, the Tenth Emperor, Emperor Sujin, is reported to have ordered the fashioning of a replica of Kusanagi. was the tenth imperial ruler of Japan to appear on the traditional list of emperors. However, this information was reportedly only made public after it was known that the sword had been stolen. The imperial household claimed that it was the replica which was stolen, but it is just as likely that the replica was made after the fact to replace the irrecoverable sword. It should be noted that Emperor Sujin is considered a "legendary Emperor" by historians, because of a lack of sufficient evidence to assign him to a historical period.
Another story holds that the sword was reportedly stolen again in the sixth century by a Chinese monk. However, his ship allegedly sank at sea, allowing the sword to wash ashore at Ise, where it was recovered by Shinto priests. Given the somewhat fantastic nature of this story, its historical accuracy is questionable.
Due to the refusal of Shinto priests to show the sword, and the rather sketchy nature of its historical references, the current state of or even the existence at all of the sword as a historical artifact cannot be confirmed.
Much like Excalibur, Kusanagi's high profile has made it popular, appearing in various works of fiction. Its appearance typically signals the nearing of an end of the storyline. But unlike Excalibur, it is rare for characters to actually use one in a combat as it is a ceremonial weapon. Instead, its magical properties are stressed. It is sometimes misrepresented as a katana, because it is a Japanese weapon.
In the popular Japanese manga Naruto, a villain named Orochimaru (Naruto) is able to procure the Kusanagi sword from a snake that comes out of his mouth. is an ongoing Japanese Manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto with an Anime adaptation Orochimaru himself uses many jutsu ninja techniques of the snake.
In the Anime Blue Seed the main protagonist is named Kusanagi and was given his powers from a giant eight headed dragon. is a Japanese Manga written and illustrated by Yuzo Takada. It was animated for broadcast on TV Tokyo in 1994 This series also contains the character Susano-o as one of the main antagonist. There however is no mention of the actual sword itself, rather it regards the main character Kusanagi as a Hero metaphorically symbolizing the sword itself, as he has the ability to turn a snake like green and has serpent eyes.
In Okami, a game for the Playstation 2 and Wii systems, the Kusanagi is represented as a jade-edged glaive obtained upon defeating Ninetails. In the same game, there is a character named Susano who slays the eight-headed snake Orochi. However, the sword he uses is called Tsukuyomi, which is the Shinto God of the Moon. Tsukuyomi or Tsukiyomi (月読の命 or 月夜見の尊 Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto) also known as Tsukuyomi-no-kami, is the god of the Moon in
In the Nintendo GameCube game Tales of Symphonia, each successive defeat of a Sword Dancer is awarded with the Yata Mirror, Yasakani Jewel, and Kusanagi Blade. is a Video game first released for the Nintendo GameCube and later for the PlayStation 2.
In the american comic Usagi Yojimbo, there is a story arc named Grasscutter I & II that is heavily influenced by Kusanagi no Tsurugi's story. is a Comic book series created by Stan Sakai. Set primarily at the beginning of Edo period Japan (early 17th century with anthropomorphic
In Kyuden, a fictional novel by Jonathan Holburt, a man called Scott tries to steal the three sacred items (see Imperial Regalia of Japan) to help a man become the rightful emperor. The, also known as the Three Sacred Treasures, consist of the Sword, Kusanagi (草薙劍 the jewel or necklace of jewels
In the novel The Sword that cut the Burning Grass, by Dorthy Hoobler, Kusanagi is stolen from the boy emperor, but it cannot be used by anyone not chosen by Amaterasu.
A paper on the Kusanagi and it's history and political and legendary influence on Japan by an expert on Japanese history and mythology.