Toyotama-hime

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The beautiful goddess Otohime presents Urashima Tarō with a mysterious box that he is never to open. Illustration by Edmund Dulac (1916).

Toyotama-hime (豊玉姫?) (Japanese for "luminous jewel"), better known as Otohime (乙姫?), is a goddess in Japanese mythology, and is featured in the Kojiki as well as Nihon Shoki. She is the beautiful daughter of Ryūjin, the god of the sea. She married the hunter Hoori and gave birth to a son, who in turn produced Emperor Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan. After giving birth, she turned into a dragon or a wani and flew away.

The extinct crocodile genus Toyotamaphimeia was named after this deity, in direct reference to this myth.

References in popular culture[edit]

  • Otohime appears as a character in the video game Okami, where allusions to the story of Taro Urashima are made.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, there is a group of cards called "Spirit Monsters", which are all based on Japanese gods and other mythological creatures. Otohime is one of the deities featured.
  • Mutsumi Otohime from the manga series Love Hina by Ken Akamatsu gets her name sake from her (just as Keitaro Urashima's name is taken from Taro Urashima).
  • Queen Otohime of Fishman Island, from the popular manga/anime series One Piece, is also based on her. Other allusions to the legend of Urashima are connected to the island, including a box named the Tamatebako that is in the royal family's possession.
  • In the anime series Lilpri, Otohime appears as the goddess who causes the aging problems.
  • In the anime series Gintama, Otohime the ruler of Ryugu Palace is also based on her.
  • In the anime series Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san, Otohime works at the fishing goods shop in human world because her ryuuguujou is closed down.
  • In the popular phone app game, Fantasica by Mobage, Otohime is an 8* character.