Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for Yachihoko

Many of the stories you still see today are inspired directly and indirectly from various myths. For the 2015 A-Z Challenge, I'm going to share mythology from all over the world - myths that are familiar and obscure.

Yachihoko is from Japanese myth, and he's known as "the spirit of 8,000 spears." He is an interesting god, as he was always the victim of assassination attempts.

He had 80 brothers and sisters, and when all the brothers fell in love with Princess Yakami, the bickering came to blows.

When the princess picked Yachihoko as her husband, the brothers conspired against him. They tricked him into chasing after a red boar, which was actually a giant boulder that was super hot. Of course, Yachihoko caught it and died from burns.

His goddess mother petitioned the other gods to bring him back to life. So his brothers decided to kill him again. This time, they somehow got him to walk into a huge wooden log that was only held open by a wedge. When Yachihoko stepped inside, they removed the wedge, and the log slammed shut, killing him.

Mom saved his arse again, but this time she had him low in the Underworld. There, he fell in love with the storm god's daughter, Suseri-hime. Her father would have none of it, so he sent Yachihoko to sleep in a chamber full of poisonous snakes. He survived. Next, he made Yachihoko sleep in a room full of venomous insects. Once again, he survived.

The storm god fired an arrow and ordered Yachihoko to run across the field and retrieve it. When the poor sap started running, the storm god set fire to the field. Luckily, a mouse showed Yachihoko where to go, and he escaped with his life.

By this time, the storm god actually started to like Yachihoko and allowed them to marry. With his new wife's powerful and enchanted bow and arrow, they fought off his jealous brothers when he returned to the surface.

After his victory, Yachihoko deserved to become the ruler of Izumo Province.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think after all that he finally proved himself.

Sarah Foster said...

That's quite an ordeal! But you'd think after a certain point he would stop doing the things people told him to...

Chrys Fey said...

I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I am the youngest and I went insane while growing up. I couldn't imagine 80 siblings!

Christine Rains said...

Wow, after that, he does deserve to become ruler! 80 siblings. No thank you!

Jo said...

He really must have been a bit dumb to fall for all the assassination attempts. Although he seems to have redeemed himself at the end.

Pat Hatt said...

Wow, 80 is a ton haha he sure was a survivor

Anne Marie Schlueter said...

Goodness, what insanity is this?!

Pat Dilloway said...

80 siblings? That's about 79 too many for me.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Took him long enough to wise up to his brothers' intentions.

DEZMOND said...

saved by a mouse!

jaybird said...

Very interesting Y post. I've really been enjoying your posts this A-Z.

Sherry Ellis said...

Sounds like the poor dude had a tough time for a while! Glad it ended well for him.

cleemckenzie said...

Those brothers meant business, didn't they? Good for Mom. But that kid was blessed with a ton of luck.

Haneen I. Adam said...

wow! I like him already, he is definitely an interesting god worth of more research. I think Mom could have saved time by killing off her 80 other offspring and keep that precious one. just saying.

Patricia Lynne said...

Poor guy. At least it sounds like he got the last laugh in.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Wow, I would say so! The poor guy. I think he'd been through enough.

Holly Jahangiri said...

Wait, all that and he only got to be a provincial governor? :)

Robin said...

I rather like this one. The good guy won in the end!

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