SHINTO MYTHS: HACHIMAN, THE GOD OF WAR

HACHIMAN – The Shinto god of war. As Emperor Ojin he was born to the Empress Jingo, who was said to be carrying the child within her womb for three years while she finished successfully conducting her late husband’s war against the three kingdoms of Korea. (This is an interesting parallel to the birth of the Vietnamese god Thach Sanh, who was also said to be gestating for three years) The Korean invasion referred to when Jingo’s husband the Emperor Chuai died would be the one of approximately 200 C.E.  

Hachiman was seen not just as a god of proactive, offensive war but also as the protector of children and as the deity of the general prosperity that was thought to come from military strength. He might also be said to embody the concept known as “peace through strength”. Oddly to us in the West, white doves are a symbol of this god of war and are often his messengers in Shinto myths. Hachiman was also regarded as the patron god of spies since during his human life as Emperor Ojin he would often pose as a commoner to discover what was really going on in the country.

The god of war was said to have a high regard for the Minamoto ( aka Genji) Clan, one of the warring factions in the Japanese epic known as The Heike Monogatari. By some accounts Hachiman was really the father of the early Minamoto hero Yoshi-Iye and offered that hero divine assistance during his campaigns against Ainu tribes. The most famous incident involved Yoshi-Iye praying to his divine father to provide water for his dehydrated troops. Hachiman answered the prayer by having Yoshi-Iye shoot an arrow into a rock, causing a spring to burst forth.  A hair from the head of Yoritomo, the last Minamoto Shogun, was planted on the grounds of Hachiman’s temple at Kamakura and the deity caused the hair to grow into a gingko tree as a monument to the period of Minamoto influence.

FOR MORE SHINTO DEITIES CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/mythology/ 

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “SHINTO MYTHS: HACHIMAN, THE GOD OF WAR

  1. Please tell me u will write about the Heike!

  2. As war gods go this guy is pretty awesome!

  3. Nice details. I had never heard of Empress Jingo before.

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  5. Great and rare myths you found about this god

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