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Sword of Susano-o


In the creation myth of Japan written down in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, Susano-o is the Shinto god of storms and the sea. For upsetting his sister Amaterasu, he was banished from heaven to the province of Izumo. There he met a man named Ashinazuchi, who told Susano-o that the Yamato no Orochi ("Eight Branched Serpent") who had consumed 7 of his eight daughters and was coming soon to eat the last one. Susano-o gathered eight vats of sake (rice wine) and set them out for the creature to drink from. The wine made the orochi very drunk, and after it had passed out Susano-o hacked the creature to bits with his sword. When he cut into the tail he discovered the Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi hidden inside the creature's body. He returned to heaven and presented the sword to his sister as a reconciliation gift.

The name of Susano-o's sword varies based on the account, but I have seen it documented in any of the following ways:

Sword of Susanoo
Sword of Susano-o
Ama-no-hawe-giri ("Heavenly Fly Cutter")
Worochi no Kara-sabi ("Foreign spade of the Serpent")
Worochi no Aramass ("the Rough-perfect-one of the Serpent")
Ama-no-Haye-Kiri (Alternate spelling)
Worochi-no-Kara-sabi (Alternate spelling)
Worochi-no-Ara-masa (Alternate spelling)

For more information, you may want to consult the book, Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan. It should be a free download if you can find it online.

Japan, Mythology, Sword, Weapon


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