Susanoo

Susanoo is a Japanese deity known for his unpredictable and often violent behaviour, especially in myths involving his sister Amaterasu (the sun goddess), and his banishment from the heavens. He is a god of seas and storms, but there is also another side to this unlikely hero.

 
After his banishment Susanoo descended to the earthly plane and came across a couple who told him that seven of their eight daughters had been devoured by an eight headed dragon. Susanoo offered to help. He turned the daughter Kushinadahime into a comb and placed it in his hair.
 
 
Then with the help of the couple, he managed to get the dragon so drunk he was able to kill it. He then discovered a sword in its tail which he gave to Amaterasu to apologise for his earlier actions. This sword was to become one of the sacred regalia of Japan. 
 
 
Susanoo then married Kushinadahime. They had five children, one being the god Okuninushi. He is also associated with marriage and together with his wife, was linked to fertility. Rabbits are often connected to him as a result. Today Susanoo is still widely worshipped throughout Japan and is considered a cultural hero.
 
Art Credits:
1. Yoshitoshi
2. Via Shinto Cocoro
3. Matthew Meyer
4. Utagawa Kuniyoshi

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