Ame-no-Tajikarao

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Ame-no-tajikarao (アメノタジカラオ) is a Japanese deity (kami) who appears in Japanese mythology. Ame-no-tajikarao is written as 天手力男神 in Kojiki, and 天手力雄神 in Nihon Shoki.

Mythological description[edit]

At the event of Amano-Iwato, Ame-no-tajikarao waited at the caves' door to pull out (in the Nihon Shoki and the Kogo Shūi, 'to pull open') Amaterasu (天照) from the cave, and thus return light to the world.

During the Tenson kōrin, Amaterasu had Omoikane, Ame-no-tajikarao, and Ama-no-iwato-wake-no-kami accompany the Imperial Regalia of Japan when it went to the Ise province to be enshrined at Ise Grand Shrine.

Explanation[edit]

The name Ame-no-tajikarao carries the connotation of a male god with extreme and surmounting physical brute strength.

Religious Belief[edit]

Ame-no-tajikaro is believed to be a god of sports and physical power, and is enshrined at shrines associated with Ise Grand Shrine such as Togakushi Shrine (戸隠神社), Sano Shrine (佐那神社), Shiroi Shrine (白井神社), Oyama Shrine (雄山神社), Tejikarao Shrine (手力雄神社) (Gifu), Tejikarao Shrine (手力雄神社) (Kakamigahara), Toake Shrine (戸明神社), and Ame-no-ta-nagao Shrine (天手長男神社). His own Shinto priests think he was originally a protector of agriculture (maybe because he brought back sun light to the world, or maybe because peasants need fitness to work in the fields). Strangely, this god is often in association with Sugawara no Michizane, as the god Tenjin.

At the Togakushi Shrine there's a legend that says that the cave door that Ame-no-tajikarao threw away landed on Togakushi mountain (戸隠山) in Shinano Province (信濃国).

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