Nai no Kami Earthquake

. jishin 地震 Legends about Earthquakes .

Nai no kami 地震神
The Japanese god of earthquakes.

nai no kami ないのかみ / なゐの神【地震神】 deity of earthquakes

and what we need most, an earthquake talisman - 地震御守

by Mori Mizue
A kami worshiped following disastrous earthquakes.
The earliest historical record of an earthquake in Japan appears in a poem included in Nihongi's account of Emperor Buretsu, but the first record of an earthquake kami and its worship comes from Nihongi's records of the reign of Empress Suiko.

In summer of the seventh year of her reign (599 C.E.), a temblor struck the capital regions, and an order was issued to offer worship to the kami of earthquakes, although no title is given to any specific kami to be worshiped.

In later periods, the transmission of legends regarding the "pivot stone" (kanameishi) at the shrine Kashima Jingū led to the belief that the shrine's central deity Takemikazuchi was a protector against earthquakes, and identifications were also made with kami of the "landlord deity" (jinushigami) type.

The mythologies transmitted by Kojiki and Nihongi, however, provide no descriptions of kami with clear attributes as protective tutelaries against earthquakes, and the original deity may have been related to Chinese Onmyōdō (Yin-Yang) beliefs.

Some have suggested that Nai Jinja in Nabari of Iga Province (a shikinaisha or shrine listed in the Engishiki) was dedicated to this kami.
source : Kokugakuin University, 2005

In the Manyo-Shu 万葉集 poetry collection there is a verse reading


The pivot stone may wobble
but it will not become unstuck
as long as the God of Kashima Shrine is with us!

In the Edo period people believed that if you write this poem on a piece of paper, read it out loud three times and then stick the paper to your door, the house will be protected from earthquake damage.

(Some sources say this poem is not from the Manyo-Shu.)


jishin mushi 地震虫 (じしんむし) earthquake bug

This mythical animal is mentioned in the Nihon Shoki volume about Suiko Tenno 推古天皇紀.
In the year 599 there was a huge earthquake in the region of Nara, so the Tenno ordered the "God of Earthquakes" Nai no Kami「地震神」(なゐのかみ) to be venerated in the country.
The name refers to the attribute of the deity, like the "god of the fields 野の神", or the "god of the sea 海の神".

This deity was later venerated at the shrine Kashima Jingu.

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Takemikazuchi no mikoto (武甕槌大神)

Tekemikazuchi standing on a catfish

the "rough spirit" (aramitama) of Amaterasu ōmikami

He holds down the God of the Earthquake, here in the form of a huge catfish, and sits on the famous "key stone" "kaname ishi 要石".

A giant catfish (namazu) lived in mud beneath the earth. The catfish liked to play pranks and could only be restrained by Kashima, a deity who protected the Japanese people from earthquakes. So long as Kashima kept a mighty rock with magical powers over the catfish, the earth was still. But when he relaxed his guard, the catfish thrashed about, causing earthquakes.

by Kadoya Atsushi
A kami produced from the blood adhering to the sword when Izanagi killed the fire kami Kagutsuchi. Together with Amanotorifune (Kojiki) or Futsunushi no kami (Nihongi), Takemikazuchi descended to the land of Izumo and entreated Ōkuninushi to transfer the land (kuniyuzuri) to the heavenly kami.

Kojiki adds that he engaged in a test of strength with Takeminakata, the child of Ōkuninushi, who had opposed the heavenly forces. Subduing Takeminaka, he drove him away to Suwa in the province of Shinano (present-day Nagano).

On the occasion of Emperor Jinmu's eastern campaign, Takemikazuchi deferred from descending to aid Jinmu, but in his place sent his sword Futsunomitama, in this way aiding Jinmu's forces in their successful pacification of the land. Takemikazuchi is worshiped at Kashima, Kasuga and other shrines.
source : Kokugakuin University, 2005

Kashima Shinko 鹿島信仰
The Faith related to Kashima
. Kashima Shrine 鹿島神宮 Kashima Jingu .  

Kashima Torii 鹿島鳥居 Kashima Shrine Gate

It broke down during
the super earthquake on March 11, 2011.



Nai jinja 名居神社(ないじんじゃ)shrine Nai Jinja

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In the town Nabari 名張市下比奈知 宮ノ谷 in Iga, Mie prefecture.
The pronounciation may have changed from nafuri to nahori to nabari to nai.

The deity Ooanamuchi no Mikoto 大己貴命 おおあなむち‐の‐みことis venerated.
He used to be a Kunitsu Daimyojin 国津大明神 (the god of the earthly realm).

also venerated the deities :

Sukunahiko no mikoto 少彦名命(スクナヒコナノミコト)
Amenokoyane no mikoto天児屋根命(アメノコヤネノミコト)
Kotoshironushi no mikoto事代主命(コトシロヌシノミコト)
Ichikishima hime no mikoto 市杵嶋姫命(イチキシマヒメノミコト)
Hiruko no mikoto 蛭子命(ヒルコノミコト)

This is a shrine dedicated to the deity of earthquakes,
jishin no kami 地震の神.


god of earthquakes -
what does it take
to keep you quiet ?

Thank you, Origa san, for your haiga.
Let us hope Nai no Kami accepts this offering.


The Super Earthquake March 11, 2011
magnitude 9:0
with a huge tsunami of more than 10 meters
. Tohoku region Pacific Ocean offshore earthquake .  


. WKD : Earthquake (jishin 地震)  

. jishin 地震 Legends about Earthquakes .

- #jishinearthquake -


Anonymous said...

I have been watching the news and I am still at a loss for what to say. My heart grieves for Japan and the Japanese people. Such an enormous tragedy. I am so glad you are ok and in a safe spot. So much clean up and work to do over there, it will be such a struggle for all. I hope your earthquake god has a good long sleep now and leaves everyone alone.

mother earth
with each sigh
a new tear


Anonymous said...

Very poignant Gabi, my heart goes out to all of you in Japan.
I hope warm breezes and spring flowers come soon to cheer you.

Hiruta said...

Thank you very much, Gabi-sensei!

Earthquakes are beyond human powers,but they can't create gods or goddesses.

What supreme works of your learning!


Gabi Greve said...

Thank you so much Hidenori sensei.
Just watchet the news, Japan is really in a big problem ...

facebook said...

not now but later
the man dreams of
Takemikazuchi no mikoto


Anonymous said...

Giant Catfish moves!
a BIG wobble shakes
even Daruma


Anonymous said...

All so sad and horrifying.

facebook said...

how does one appease him/her/it?


Heike Gewi said...

the earth shakes
off the houses
deep cracks in spring

Heike Gewi

Gabi Greve - Kappa said...

Kappa no Aramitama 河童の荒魂