Category Archives: Hutomani

Toyouke Ōkami


Toyoke-sama.  Our beloved Toyoke-sama is also known as Toyoke Kami and Toyouke Ōkami 豊受大神. Toyoke-sama was arguably the greatest kami of Hotsuma. He is remembered as the father of Isanami and grandfather of Amateru. Amateru came to study with him when he was sixteen. Toyoke-sama imparted to the future Amakami of Yamato the wisdom of the ancestors known as the To-no-Wosite teachings of the Ame-naru Michi, the Way of Universe. 

The teaching is for all, and especially for leaders of society, to embody high principles of human behavior: honesty, integrity, and caring for the welfare of others.

Hutakami.  Toyoke’s daughter Isako became Isanami, spouse of Isanagi. The couple are known as Hutakami (Futakami), the kami couple of myth and legend. The Hutakami went throughout the land of Hinomoto teaching the Awa no Uta, the Song of Universe, containing all 48 of the syllables of Wosite language, promoting speech for improved communication and cooperation as well as for promoting good health and vitality.

Takamimusubi.  Toyoke was descended from Ta-no-Kunisatsuchi. Toyoke’s imina birth name was Tamakine. This means he was a man of tama spirit. We notice the many local words beginning with Ta. Tamakine became the fifth Takamimusubi in Hitakami which we now call Tohoku. Hi-taka-mi means to see the sun high in the sky. A remnant of Hitakami remains in the name of the major Tohoku river, Kitakami-gawa, whose old name was indeed Hitakami-gawa.

Taga.  The center of Hitakami was at Tagajo (Taka-jo), east of current Sendai. You can get there after a short train ride. You will be shown the remains of a former government center. There is still a large stone inscribed in more recent times, called the Keta-tsubo. On this rise may have been located the Yamate-miya of Toyoke. Nearby are several shrines named Taga Jinja. One of these, we believe, is the original shrine of Toyoke. This shrine spun off the Taga Taisha in Ōmi (now Shiga-ken). Why Ōmi? Ōmi was the center of Yamato under the care of Isanami and Isanagi.

We visited Taga Taisha. It is a large shrine that hosts a million devotees on New Year’s Hatsumode. By looking for the oldest part of the keidai precincts, we found Toyoke’s hokora next to Amateru’s.

Tanba.  Toyoke lived to a ripe age. When he was quite along in years, there was a disturbance in the region we call Kyotango in Kyoto-fu near the Japan Sea. Amateru asked Toyoke-sama to manage the situation from a base in Miyazu. Toyoke-sama transferred from Hitakami to Tanba and all went well and the people prospered. Toyoke-sama taught how to raise the five grains such as rice, wheat, and beans, and also how to raise silkworms for weaving.

When Toyoke-sama felt his lifeforce dwindling, he called for a tomb to be dug in the mountain of Kujigatake. He would prepare for his last breath. When Amateru heard about his grandfather, he rushed to his side. He entered Toyoke’s tomb and received the final teaching. Thus Amateru was initiated into the high level of wisdom. Then Amateru was sent out and the tomb sealed. The people were in such grief that Amateru stayed for a while to comfort them.

Toyoke’s tomb is said to be on Mt. Kujigatake (Kushi-gatake, also called Manai-gatake) where there is a manai spring. At the foot of Kujigatake is a shrine called Hinumanai Jinja. Toyoke Ōkami is the revered deity. The monument shown above mentions Five Grains. It is said that half-way up the mountain is an altar rock for the offering of five grains and other foods.

When Amateru himself came to the end of his life, he had a tomb built nearby. Amateru’s trusted friend, Sarutahiko, was the last to see Amateru in his tomb.

Futomani.  Toyoke-sama is the author of the Futomani Motoake chart which was employed as an aid for teaching cosmology and as a guide for decision-making. Amateru complemented the Futomani by selecting its 128 waka. We wouldn’t be surprised if Toyoke-sama also organized the Wosite syllabary into the neat, logical system that it is.


Motoake chart from Julian-Way

The son of Toyoke-sama also attended the lessons with Amateru, and he became the sixth Takamimusubi.

ukesuteme     ne no kuni ni kite     tamakine ni …

Ukesuteme came to Ne no kuni to see Tamakine …   from Hotsuma Tsutae Aya 15

Another Kunisatsuchi, Ta’s brother, Ka-no-Kunisatsuchi, had gone to China, and he had a descendant named Ukesuteme. Ukesuteme came to Hitakami to study with Toyoke accompanied by the sister of Isanagi from the land of Ne. Shirayama-hime (Kokori-hime) and Ukesuteme both excelled in acquiring the wisdom of To.

ukesuteme korohin kimi to      tinami ai

After Ukesuteme returned to the Korohin mountains and married the ruler of Akagata, they had a son. Consequently, admired for her wisdom as for her nurturing, she became known as Nishi no Haha, Mother of the West. In China, the Mother of the West has the name Xi Wangmu. She is one of the Seven Immortals. In Taoist paintings she holds the Peach of Immortality in her hand. In the Wosite literature, it is written that she received peach branches from Toyoke-sama to plant in Korohin.

Alternate identities.  Another name for the kami of food is Ukanomitama. And Toyouke’s most popular identity is Inari, the kami of the rice fields. The Inari shrines are the most plentiful in Japan, grounded in folk religion. Inari devotees may not realize the connection with the sage of Hitakami.

Toyouke at Ise and Moto-Ise Shrines:  Probably due to Toyouke’s reknown as provider of Five Grains and foodstuffs, his name has morphed into the female Toyouke-hime no kami at the Geku Outer Shrine of Ise Jingu. And yet, the chigi of the honden is cut vertically in male sotosogi fashion! As it is at the Moto-Ise shrines Hinumanai Jinja and Manai Jinja Okumiya of Kono Jinja (below).


Remembering Toyoke-sama

Let us remember Toyoke-sama who served the people of Hinomoto during their critical developmental period. Toyoke-sama, the great sage, set society’s tone of compassion based on a deep connection with Universe.  And, in remembering Tamakine Toyoke-sama, we do not forget our own tama nature.



Hutomani. Part 3. Ahara and Takamanohara

Motoake Ahara En.In the previous post on the Ahara waka, we connected the terms: ahara,   anohara,    takamanohara. The  a  in ahara and in anohara, as well as the  ama  in takamanohara have the meaning of Cosmos, where high kami dwell. Takamanohara may be deconstructed to be taka-ama-no-hara, where taka means high and hara means place.

The term Takamanohara is better known to readers of Japan’s creation myth. Isanami and Isanagi are the kami couple who create the eight islands of Japan while standing on the “floating bridge of heaven” in Takamanohara. This, of course, implies that Takamanohara is “Heaven”, and is often pronounced Takama-ga-hara. We would like to give another version of the creation story, the version taught by the Wosite documents.

To the present-day Japanese, Takamagahara – known in English as “High Plain of Heaven” with “ama” translated as “Heaven” – is a mythical place. This idea is based on Ki-Ki (the documents Kojiki and Nihon Shoki from the 8th century). The true history of Japan was changed by Ki-Ki. This is very unfortunate. In this Ki-Ki view, only “heavenly” kami dwell in Takamagahara which is separate from the world of people. Indeed, when this happened to the name, people were moving away from a deep connection with the kami.

Originally, Takamanohara (note the spelling) was a place of kami and people. It was referred to as if it were in Ama, Cosmos. The significance is that people and kami were in harmony with Ama, Cosmos. Takamanohara was a place on earth where people tried to live and make decisions in keeping with the way of the kami, with the way of Nature and Universe.

The name changed after the Woshite period and it picked up a voiced consonant (“ga”). A voiced consonant generally abbreviates the original meaning and gives a negative connotation to it. So “Takama-no-hara” in changing to “Takama-ga-hara” became limited in scope and in imagination, and it lost its pure aspect.

It is hoped that by exposing the nature of the Woshite world, we can show our readers the worldviews of the Woshite people. This Woshite worldview regarded humans in unity, or at least humans that intended to be in harmony, with the kami of Takamanohara and with all of Nature and Universe.

Please re-read Welcome to the World of Woshite regarding kami and Ama,

As you continue to read our articles, you will develop a clearer understanding of the World of Woshite. The World of Woshite was in harmony with the Way of Ama.


Hutomani. Part 2. Ahara Waka

Motoake Ahara En.

Here is an example of one of the 128 waka, the ahara (a-ha-ra) in the Hutomani anthology. In the above chart, it is the triplet of Anami 1 with Misohu pair (2) and it is outlined in red. This beautiful chart by S. Sakata was created especially for this article.

a no hara ha       kami no atumaru

hito no hara        situku ni waza no

miti zo umi keru


a-no-hara /amanohara /cosmic field where cosmic kami gather.  hito no hara /miya / the place where human kami leaders gather, the central figure being the Amakami.  atumaru / to gather.  kami /a human who possesses great ability and has earned high respect; also kami is a powerful cosmic force of nature.  situku /a beneficial dew of rain or light, flash of energy.  waza /technology, methods, law, ability.  miti / way, law.  umi / born, produced.

The Ahara verse

A-no-hara where cosmic kami gather,

and hito-no-hara where human kami gather,

receive beneficial drops of rain and a flash of energy.

Thus a way is born.

The way, of course, is the solution to a perplexing problem faced by the people. The way is also in harmony with the laws of Cosmos. This waka suggests a deep connection between the Takamanohara of the Cosmos and that on the earth.The human kami leaders gather at hito-no-hara on earth with the Amakami leader as do powerful cosmic kami who gather at A-no-hara cosmic place. The abilities of the people are increased with the benefits of rain and light from the sky.


Hutomani. Part 1. Waka and Uranahi

Motoake En.

This post expands the previous Post 6.1 on the topic of Motoake and Hutomani. These informative charts are by S. Sakata.

Motoake Cosmology

The Motoake chart was designed by Toyoke-sama to teach how the world and humans are created, according to the teaching of To no Wosite. Motoake, the great beginning is represented by this chart. In the central circle is the unseen Source, Amemiwoya.  Amemiwoya is surrounded by the ring of eight Akuta-Kami which govern space and time. Their names are: To, Ho, Ka, Mi, Ye, Hi, Ta, Me.

The next ring, colored in pink, contains the eight Anami-Kami. The two outer rings, colored yellow, each contain sixteen Misohu-Kami; there are 32 Misohu-Kami. There are a total of 48 Kami in this chart. Each of the 48 Kami is represented by a phoneme syllable sound and an ideogram Wosite character.

The Anami-Kami determine the first sounding of creation. Then the Misohu-Kami appear in pairs, and they set the tones. People in Wosite age sensed the power of sound and the voice in the energy of creation by these kami.

Motoake as Hutomani

Motoake Ayama En.

Amateru Amakami studied with his grandfather Toyoke-sama and he learned the cosmology of this chart. Amateru lived a long life, and in his later years developed the use of the Motoake as the Hutomani process. In times of special trouble, the chart would be consulted for inspiration in coming to a solution.

The eight Anami-Kami work with sixteen pairs of Misohu-Kami. Let us explain. The Anami-Kami have a special order which is

a – i – hu – he – mo – wo – su – si.

We have numbered their sectors in the pink ring from 1 through 8. The people of the Wosite age sensed the power of the voice and the ideogram which shows it. The Anami-Kami are the first vocal sounds of creation. They work with the Misohu-Kami. The Misohu-Kami are paired, one in the third ring with its partner in the fourth ring. For example, the first pair might be labelled (1) ya-ma, outlined in red in the chart. The second pair (2): ha-ra, (3): ki-ni; (4): ti-ri, etc.

The sixteen triplets for  a  would be a-ya-ma, a-ha-ra, a-ki-ni, a-ti-ri, etc. The sixteen triplets for i  would be i-ya-ma, i-ha-ra, i-ki-ni, i-ti-ri, etc. There are 128 triplets (8 times 16). Even with only three syllables, these triplets give rise to images in people’s minds, recalling history and culture. People made waka poems of these triplet images and used them as proverbs. Amateru-Kami decided to collect 128 waka, one for each triplet. He put out a call for submssions of proverbs in waka form, and he selected 128 waka. The waka begin with the words ayama, ahara, akini, etc. We will show you one of these waka in a later article.

Hutomani as Waka Anthology and Uranahi Inspiration

Hutomani may thus be considered an anthology of waka. The waka were used in connection with the principle of Motoake, to assist in deciding upon a course of action to a troublesome situation, a solutiion that would be in harmony with Universe.

When we perform Wosite analysis on the word uranahi, we get the result shown in the chart below. is the dynamic, powerful movement that can create new forms of things; ra  is the powerful energy that will be radiated during the process;  na  is the energy that is gathered together in harmony and is collectively moved down to the receiver; and  hi  means that from this energy, inspiration and new ideas will be born.

Therefore, the common labels for Hutomani: “divination” or “fortune-telling” do not convey the true meaning of Hutomani. Hutomani was a process of finding inspiration for approaching the solution to a societal problem by considering the way of Universe.

uranahi en

Amateru-Kami was compiler and editor of the Hutomani document. He was ably assisted by the scholar Amanokoyane, his tsurugi-no-tomo. Amanokoyane was also long-lived so that the document contains much of the wisdom that both great men had gained over the years.


1. Woshite Literature

Woshite Documents

There are only three documents extant in the Woshite corpus, even though many others are mentioned in the ones that we have. The three documents are the Mikasafumi, the Hotsuma Tsutae, and the Futomani. They are written in verse of five and seven syllables. Even today, Japanese poems, called waka, have five and seven syllables. In Woshite World, we study the Woshite written language and equip ourselves to read and understand the messages contained in these ancient documents. This is an introduction to the three documents. As you read this article, you will begin to become familiar with the Woshite World. There is much to learn, and it will be tough-going at first. But fascinating as well! Your understanding will grow as you keep studying with us.

A note about the Wosite society.  In Wosite times, wise and compassionate persons rose to leadership positions. They took on the responsibility to oversee the welfare of the people of the land. At the top was the Amakami, and he was assisted by his Tomi. Today, we may think they were rulers governing people, but it was not quite like that. They kept the best interests of the people in mind as they dealt with issues from time to time. They approached situations from the view of the Amenaru-miti teachings. In a particularly difficult situation they consulted the Hutomani for inspiration and guidance. Therefore, for the most part, their society lived in peace and sufficiency for a long period of time.

Sounds of Wosite.  Woshite in the old days was pronounced Wosite. You will learn how to pronounce Wosite syllables and words in later lessons. You will note some differences with contemporary Japanese, namely the syllables:  hu, ti, tu, si in Wosite versus fu, chi, tsu, shi in contemporary Japanese. We are writing Wosite words for English readers using Roman letters that are close to the way the Wosite language was spoken. In Wosite times, the H syllables were pronounced like fa, fi, fu, fe, fo. However, the F sound spoken by Japanese is very gentle and very similar to an H sound. This is unlike the Western F sound which is very fricative. Therefore, we will use the letter H. Later the sounds of language changed so that the syllable hu became sounded more like fu, as it is written now. So these days most people say and write Futomani. Here on these pages we will write it Hutomani. And instead of Mikasafumi we write Mikasahumi. Let us start using the Wosite spellings of words. At first, you may have encountered some Wosite words before in their modern soundings and will find the traditional way a bit strange.

Hotuma Tutaye (Hotsuma Tsutae)

The Hotuma Tutaye, at age around 2,000 years, is the youngest of the three documents and is, fortunately, complete. Of course, what we have are copies of copies. Tutaye is a term meaning a document that imparts knowledge and wisdom for later generations. All forty chapters, called aya, have been found and can be read today. The Hotuma Tutaye is an epic history of the land of Hotuma, the events and developments as well as the people who were prime movers. It shows that they tried to live in harmony with Universe, and most of the time succeeded in doing so. It conveys the lessons learned so that future generations can benefit.

The original 28 ayas of Hotuma Tutaye were composed by Kushimikatama, the Oomononushi who wrote it for Ihawarehiko (now called Jinmu Tenno). Oo-Tataneko of the same blood relationship added to it 12 more ayas in the times of Woshirowake (Keikou Tenno), approximately 800 years later. Oo-tataneko was Turugi-tomi and a descendant of Sosano-o, and this lineage called the Oo-mononusi held the position of Turugi-tomi from genertion to generation. His duty was to maintain peace and order in the land according to the principles of Amenaru-miti. (The title of Turugi-tomi is also called Migi-no-tomi which translates fo Minister of the Right. However, at that time, the position was different from what Migi-no-tomi came to mean later.)


Hutomani (Futomani)

11)Motoake(Amoto)The Hutomani was compiled by Amateru Amakami. In order to have the best document for use by the leaders of society, Amateru compiled 128 waka verses. He was in his last years of life. The Kagami-tomi Amano-koyane assisted. The Wosite original calls this document Moto ra tutaye no humi. A humi, like a tutaye, is a written document to convey wisdom of the elders to succeeding generations. The term Moto ra tutaye no humi refers to how the solution to a problem is found. It is based on applying the principles of creation of Ame-tuti Universe. The words, Hutomani and Motoake, also refer to the creation process. The teachings were vital to understanding the process of creation, and thus to deriving a solution. The creation of Universe is taught through the Motoake chart shown here, and details are given in Post 6.1 and other posts. Please search on Category Motoake.

Motoake chart depicts the forty-eight creation Kami as the ideograms of phonemes. What is the relationship of the Motoake Kami to waka? Waka poetry is made of the combination of sounds of two kinds of Kami and their effects. Waka has a connection with the energies of Universe and the solution of a problem. When a problem arose, one of these waka poems would be selected to assist in the solution. Regretfully, we do not know the selection rules.


Mikasahumi (Mikasafumi)

Mikasahumi is an older Wosite narrative of which only around 14% has been discovered so far. The fragment that we have consists of approximately 10,000 Wosite characters. The contents include history similar to that of the later Hotuma Tutaye. They also describe important events more precisely than does the Hotuma Tutaye. The theme of Mikasahumi is how to keep Amenaru-miti, the Way of Cosmos, alive for daily life. It carefully analyzes the changes that take place seasonally. It formed the basis for festivals and other events that observe the seasonal changes and express thanks for their blessings.

This seasonality has been transmitted even to today’s matsuri/festivals of gratitude: New Year’s eve and New Year’s day, Nanakusa (rice porridge with seven herbs), Setsubun (the traditional end of the winter festival), the Hina-matsuri doll festival in the third month, the Aoi-matsuri in the fifth month, the Tanabata-matsuri star festival in the seventh month. This is also continued in the observances of Jichin-sai (ceremony of calming the ground prior to building construction) and of Shichi-go-san (for children 7-5-3 years of age), and others. The origins and the ideas of all these traditional festivals are written in the ancient Mikasahumi.

There’s even more. Mikasahumi describes how the size of Universe is determined by a certain measurement technique. More familiarly, there is a measure to use for everyday purposes.

We learn from Mikasahumi that those who took on the responsibility for the welfare of people operated in accordance to the Laws of Ama, the Universe. (It would not be fitting to call them rulers or governors.) These ideas from Universe form the basis of the academic study of Japanese tetsugaku (philosophy).

Mikasahumi was written by Oo-Kasima who held the position of Kagami-tomi. It is said that the first half of Mikasafumi was written by the first Kagami-tomi Amano-koyane. Amano-koyane was a great-great-grandson of Toyoke-sama. Kagami-tomi was a top leadership position according to Wosite tradition. After Amano-koyane, the position was inherited for many generations by members in the lineage of Toyoke-sama. Kagami-tomi’s duty was to keep alive the transmission of the Kagami tradition: the discernment of good and bad in pursuit of Amenaru-miti, the right Way, in running society for the sake of the people. The word, Kagami, comes from ka (good) ga (not good) mi (to see). Kagami-tomi held the important responsibility of upholding the principles of Kagami. (In those days, Kagami-tomi was also called Hidari-tomi, which can be literally translated as Minister of the Left. The title, Minister of the Left, has continued but has come to carry a different meaning for his role.)


Wosite Literature

Wosite writing is found extant only in the three documents described above. Two primary characteristics of Wosite literature are:  (1) Writing and reading proceed from top to bottom, and from right to left. This is similar to traditional Japanese writing.  (2) Documents were written in columns of 5 and 7 ideograms each. When read aloud, these lines amount to verses with rhythms of 5 and 7 syllables.

You will see selections from the Wosite literature in following lessons.