"North Western Pacific" (Ainu religion)


pp. 293-303 Takashi Irimoto : "Ainu worldview and ... strategies".

pp. 293-294 (1.2.0) definition of "hunting"





"hunting to be a visit of the spirit (kamui) of the game animal, from the world of kamui (Kamui moshir) to the world of man (Ainu moshir). Thus, bear hunting is ... the bear spirit ... enabled to visit the world of man.

{Identically, South American Indians define hunting as spirit-possession (at the behest of a shaman) of a game-animal, entering it and forcing it to allow itself to be slaughtered.}


Ainu hunting ... was ... by the use of arrow poisons (aconite-based) {Inasmuch as aconite is a psychedelic hallucinogen, the possessing-spirit entering and forcing the animal is being treated to a gladdening dose of heavenly bliss.}, automatic devices (spring bows), ... arrow poisons were considered Surku Kamui (Kamui of Aconite) ..., and they served as messengers used by Ape huchi (Old Woman

"Assuming the form of an old woman, ... she [Athene] warned ... Sprinkling her with the juices of aconite, Athena" (Ovidius Metamorphoses 6 : 5-54, 129-145 -- A);


of fire; i.e. Kamui huchi, Kamui Old Woman) to contact Kimun kamui (Kamui of Mountains; i.e. good bear)." {with KIMun cf. [<ibri^] KIMah ‘Pleiades’ (Strong’s 3598) : [Kiowa] Pleiades are girls pursued by a bear; cf. similar [Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne] myths (DT)}

husband of the discoveress of aconite was (Diodoros Sikelos : Library of History 4.45.1 -- HG) PERses (cf. [Lithuanian] "mountain god" (RR, cf. LR&M) PERkunas; [Russian god (PF)] PERun : [Skt.] PARvata ‘mountain’ (P)}

A = http://www.thebestlinks.com/Arakhne.html

Strong = Strong : Hebrew and Aramaic Dictionary.

DT = http://www.nps.gov/archive/deto/stories.htm#kiowa

HG = http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/HekateGoddess.html

RR = http://www.wcer.org/members/europe/lithuania/religion.htm

LR&M = http://ausis.gf.vu.lt/eka/mythology/relmyth.html

PF = http://alkman1.blogspot.com/2006/12/perun.html

P = http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/perkons.html

pp. 294-295 (1.2.1) procedure for obtaining aconite plants





"prayed to the Kamui of Fire (Ape huchi) and the Kamui of Water (Wakka-ush-kamui). ...

offered ... inau (offering sticks with wood shavings attached) to Monorush kamui ... the Monorush kamui was the spirit that controlled the Kamui of Aconite. ...

{cf. [Aiguptian god] MaNeRoS- (Ma) [with /S/ as part of the word-stem], "the first who invented music." (OGR)}


The Kamui of Fire (Ape huchi; Kamui huchi) was the deity who first descended from the world of kamui (Kanto; Kamui moshir) to the world of man (Ainu moshir) ...

{likewise [the Aztec fire-god] Xiuh-tecuhtli was the 1st deity to arrive from the divine world to the human world}


She was the ... mediator who transmitted the ... words of man to the other kamuis ... Thus, ... the prayer for the Kamui of Fire, before collecting aconite, was to transmission ... to the Monorush kamui."

{This is similar to Catholic transmission of prayer to God via Mary (the mother of God), who is likewise female, like the Ainu Fire-goddess.}


"the role of the Kamui of Aconite ... was the messenger from the Kamui of Fire to the Kamui of Mountains ... for invitation."

{cf. [Tantrik] duti ‘messengeress’}


For this "Kamui of Mountains ... this invitation, ... the Kamui of Pine Resin (Unkotuk kamui) appeared ... Then, the Kamui of Mountains fell ... to ... seeing an old bear ... on the ground below. The Kamui of Pine Resin ... was the resin which had been used to fix the aconite poison on the bamboo arrow head, ... by being applied.

{cf. [Zulu] UNKulUnKulu; [Dakota] iNKToMI, the spider-god : cf. the aconite-besprinkled spider-heroine Arakhne}


In another myth ..., the Kamui of Pine Resin and the Kamui of Aconite appeared as so beautiful a Woman of Pine Resin (Unkotuk katkemat) ..., and as so good-looking a Woman of Aconite (Surku katkemat) as ... corresponded to the real effect of aconite on the bear, i.e. walking unsteadily on its feet".

{unsteady gait is usual for devotees inebriated with any hallucinogen}

Ma = http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/2023.html

OGR = Wallis Budge : Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life. London, 1900. cap. II : "Osiris God of Resurrection". http://www.touregypt.net/afterlife3.htm

{"the plant aconite sprang from the gall which Kerberos spewed." Kerberos "broke away from" Heraklees as the spring known as the Eleutherou Hudor ‘Water of Freedom’ "and freedmen used to drink of it" (HGM, p. 216). Insofar as the freedmen may have been redeemed from servitude, the gall allegedly proffered to Khristos upon the Stauros may be pertinent : of it "he would not drink" (Euangelion kata Matthaioi 27:34), apparently because to do so would have been to accept Kerberos as his personal Redeemer. Likewise it is that whilst Kerberos hath "burst his chains of Taenarian iron, and is wandering through our fields; that the earth has rumbled; that ghosts go stealing through the groves, larger than mortal forms." (Seneca : Oedipus 160sq. -- K) : thus did earth quake and the dead come forth from their tombs while Khristos was upon the Stauros (Euangelion kata Matthaioi 27:51-52).}

pp. 295-296 (1.2.2) symbolisms of the tanuki and of the hound





"as the messenger ..., a raccoon dog [tanuki = Nyctereuctes procyonoides] ... was believed to be a servant of the bear" {cf. Mexican Cacomistle (Bassariscus sumichrasti) = [Nahuatl] tlacomiztli, (literally) "half-cougar" (C); ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) "often kept as pets." (R)}

{cf. [Aztec god] Paynal (the divine messenger) had his "face design like a wooden carrying frame" (G, p. 3, fn. 17), i.e., a RACK}


"Besides the term seta for the dog, it was called mintar-us-kur, or the Kamui (spirit) residing in the yard ...

SEnTA is a Prussian hound’s name (EOPM)


The dog was also believed to have the ability to work in two worlds : that of the dead and the living. That is, the dead people’s souls, or the ghosts which came from the underworld ... only the dog was able to detect them and therefore barked. On the contrary, when living people happened to visit the underworld, they could not be seen by the dead people and were treated as a ghost. In this case also, only the dog could detect them and it barked".

{vide :- JDF; cf. also, e.g. :-Alexander H. Krappe "Spirit-Sighted Animals" FOLKLORE, Vol. 54, No. 4 (Dec., 1943), pp. 391-401.}

{The "mask" of the tanuki (similar to that of the raccoon) would the a reason for regarding it as possessed of 2 double-eyen, hence the "4-eyed hounds" as progeny of the bitch Sarama (according to the R.c Veda).}

HGM = H. J. Rose : A Handbook of Greek Mythology. 1991.

K = http://www.theoi.com/Ther/KuonKerberos.html

C = http://www.lioncrusher.com/animal.asp?animal=77

R = http://science.jrank.org/pages/5624/Raccoons.html

G = FLORENTINE CODEX, lib. I = The Gods. Santa Fe`, 1970.

EOPM = http://www.lituanus.org/1973/73_1_05.htm

JDF = http://www.swampfox.demon.co.uk/utlah/Articles/japdog.html

pp. 296-299 (1.2.3) symbolism of the bear




"Before starting on a hunting trip, the Ainu prayed to ...

the Mountain owning Kamui (Nupri-kor kamui),

the Kamui of Hunting (Hashinau-uk-kamui),

the Kamui of Forest (Shiramba kamui), and

the Kamui of Altar (Nusa-kor kamui)."


"the Ainu operated ... against the Bad Kamui (Wen kamui) ... by means of exorcised power of the Kamui of the Skull of the Good Fox (Shiratki kamui) ... In ... hunting, the hunter took magical counter-attack against the Bad Kamui ... with the help of Koshne kamui ... Then, lastly, in the case of a hunting death caused by a bear, ... the bad bear’s spirit, was banished to the Teine-pokna shir (the wet and underworld)".

p. 300 (1.3) the Bear festival

"The bear festival, or the sending-off ritual for the spirit of the reared bear cub (iomante) ... may be distinguished from ... the sending-off ritual for the spirit of the hunted wild bear (Kamui-hopunire) ...

After the killing of the bear cub, the spirit of the bear cub was believed to go back to the place of its parents (father bear and mother bear) as well as to the place of the chief of the bears ... The logic was similar in the case of a reared bird, such as the eagle owl which was ritually killed, thus assuming the role of messenger to his parents".


pp. 313-329 Taryo Obayashi : "Salmon in myth and ritual".

pp. 313-314 (1.1) North American beliefs & practices


North American


[Tsims^ian (on the Skeena river); Northern Maidu (of north-central California; Lemhi S^os^oni (of Idaho); Paviotso (of Pyramid lake, NV)] "there exists the feeling that the salmon is a person, living a life very similar to that of the people who catch him. The salmon have a chief who leads them up streams during run. ...

Salmon bones ... and refuse are generally disposed of by throwing them into the water, where they come to life


again and return to the salmon country. ...


underlying the attitude for veneration of the salmon : .... belief in the immortality of the salmon, and ... the conscious will of the fish in allowing itself to be caught. These concepts are also found ... in the bear cult".

pp. 314-319 (1.2) Salmon caerimonies among the Ainu of Hokkaido




"The salmon, honorifically called kamuy cep, i.e. the divine fish, was caught in those days in the rivers ... Autumn was a vital season in the subsistence calendar of the Ainu in Hokkaido. The salmon ... went up the streams, and ... In this season, the Ainu had to store fish ... for the coming winter, during which it was difficult to obtain food. Most of the males remained with their families at home, to catch the salmon in the near river, ... not far from


the village. ... The ... hunt for the bear was, however, ... in spring". {the bear would be hunted for its fur, suitable for winter garb for humans}


[Ainu myth] "a lazy girl ... was ordered by her mother to draw water. She went to a stream with a pail, but never came home again. With anxiety, the mother hurried to the river to find only the footgear of her daughter on the sand of the river bed. She ... asked


species of fish inquired from

response, and reason for response, by that species


red-bellied dace

refusal, because of girl’s "saying they consisted only of bones."


ciray (Hucho perryi, Pacific herring)

refusal, because of girl’s "hanging it on a tree branch, abusing its unpalatability."



refusal, because of girl’s throwing "them out, when they became somewhat old."



giving the information, on account of "you humans ... calling us the divine fish".


information given by the salmon :- "The daughter had looked up at the moon, ... saying, ‘I envy you Moon. You need not do any chores. ...’ The moon then took her upon itself ...


The mother looked up at the moon in tears. She recognized her daughter carrying a pail on the surface of the moon ...

The motif of a girl with a water pail on the moon is ... widespread in northern Eurasia". {[Snoqualmie (of WA)] Dog-Salmon stole Moon-boy (MT)}


"they cleaned the salmon rivers ..., throwing branches of detested trees such as niwatoko and nigaki ... rooted away from the riversides." {In Malaysia, the man in the moon is an old hunchback sitting beneath an inverted banyan tree. He is plaiting bark into a fishing line to catch everything on earth. There is also a rat which gnaws through the fishing line ..., but if the hunchback ever completes his fishing line, the world will end. (Skeat,W.W. "Malay magic").

In China, the man in the moon is called Wu Kang (Gekkawo in Japan) , the god of love and marriage, who unites lovers by tying their feet together with invisible cords. Wu Kang also cuts branches from the Cassia tree of immortality, which grows in the moon." (MMM)}


"Young women were forbidden to cross the rivers, exposing their buttocks ... They were instructed to wash their underskirts and underwear not in the rivers".


"Before the salmon capture began, ... Two inau cult-sticks at the altar were offered to each of the following deities :

the deity of the estuary (tomari-orun-kamuy),

the deity of the beach (ciwasi-kor-kamuy),

the deity of the lower course of the river (petru-wakkaus-kamuy), and finally

the fox-god (cironpu-kamuy)."


[myth from Saru valley, Hidaka district] "The marten was a great god who ... burnt a native water-imp (kappa) to death and two kinds of fox appeared from the ash. The fox from the red ash was a bad fox that delighted in tricking the humans, while the black ash produced a good-hearted fox ... The good fox ... rescued fishermen on the troubled sea." {but in the Vaidik system, both twin-brethren Nasatya gods rescue mariners in peril on the sea.}

"Especially in Chitose, the head of the black fox was wrapped in shavings, put in a case, and kept on a shelf. In order to divine the result of the fishing, a fisherman took the lower jaw from the fox head ..."


"In Shiraoi, ... fishermen welcomed the arrival of a crow, bald on the back of its head, as an auspicious omen of a rich catch."


"the salmon is ... a mere creature sent by the deity to the humans, while the bear itself is a mountain deity who is kind enough to visit the human world. ... The salmon, called a divine fish, contains no divinity within itself, in contrast to the bear, which is a mountain deity." {In Siberia, the difference between the bear and all other animals is explained as, whereas all other species of animals have a single deity as chief over all a species, among bears each individual bear hath its own particular deity as its personal spirit-guide. (The Ainu seem to imply a somewhat similar arrangement, in regard to bears.)}


"Just as the deer ... waits release in the pouch of the god which rules game, the salmon are on the alert in a bag held by the fish-ruling-god (cep-atta-kamuy) or the god who sends the species of fish (cep-ranke-kamuy)."


"Also no impolite action should be taken toward the salmon itself, for instance, the striking of the fish with ... a stone instead


of a proper rod of ... mizuki (cornus controversa) adorned with shavings. In such a case, the insulted salmon returns weeping to the fish-ruling deity ..."

MT =Arthur C. Ballard, "Mythology of Southern Puget Sound," UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON PUBLICATIONS IN ANTHROPOLOGY, Vol. 3, No. 2 (December 1929), pp. 31-150, (reprinted by the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum, North Bend, WA, 1929); Ken Tollefson, "Cultural Survival of the Snoqualmie Tribe," AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURE AND RESEARCH JOURNAL, Vol. 16, No. 4 (1992), p. 34. http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=2586

MMM = http://btc.montana.edu/ceres/html/maninmoon.html

pp. 320-322 (1.3) big salmon & small salmon among the Japanese in the northern part of Hon-s^u {any lore from the northern part of Hon-s^u is likely to derive from the aboriginal Emis^i, close congeners of the Ainu}




[Mamurogawa, Yamagata praefecture] "Sake no Osuke, the salmon king, used to descend the river on the 15th night of the 11th lunar month ...


Only on this night were women ... into the hut and ... It was strictly taboo for men to see the salmon descend ...


[Niigata, Niigata praefecture] "The masters [master & mistress] of the river were a conjugal salmon couple, called Osuke (Big Salmon) and Kosuke (Small Salmon). ... On that eve, Osuke appeared in his dream as a white-haired old man and asked for mercy."


[S^onai area in Yamagata praefecture] "If a human happened to hear the cry of the salmon masters, he would die on the spot. Therefore the people pounded ..., making much noise, and kept to the house, in order not to hear it ...

Now it was a widespread custom in Japan for somebody to close his ears with two rice cakes when he heard of the death of a friend of a same age. Thus he pretended not to hear the bad news, and wanted to ward off possible ominous effects on himself."


[Takekoma, Iwate praefecture] "A beautiful girl ... was snatched by an eagle and dropped into the depths of an eagle. Out of the water, there appeared an old man who carried her home. He was a salmon in disguise. The girl married the salmon and their descendants never eat the salmon ...

A variant of this tale tells that it was not a girl but a man who was carried away by an eagle. And the old man who brought his home from a small island off Kyushu to Iwate was none other than Sake no Osuke, Big Salmon."


[S^ojin Gyorui Monogatari, "the battle between the Vegetable Foodstuffs and Fish ones", a 16th century Chr.E. parody of a historical struggle between clans in the 12th century Chr.E.] "the supreme commander of the fish army is none other than Sake no Osuke Hirenaga or Big Salmon with Long Fin, resident of Echigo Province, which is the present Niigata prefecture. Osuke ruled all the rivers flowing northwards." {cf. the parody True History by Lucinus, battle "with the Stockfish under a general called Slimer on the right, the Tunnyheads on the left" (TH)}

p. 322 [the salmon stones of the Yajima and Okac^i districts of Akita praefecture] "the prehistoric "salmon stones", which are stones engraved with salmon. They date probably from the Jomon Period ... their provenance from the Jomon Age became probable through discovery of a drawing of a fish in a similar style on a piece of Middle Jomon pottery from iwate Prefecture (about 4000 years ago) ..." {anything Jomon must surely be Emis^i}

TH = http://oddlots.digitalspace.net/guests/lucian_true_history.html


RELIGION AND SOCIETY, 36 = Juha Pentika:inen (ed.) : Shamanism and Northern Ecology. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996. part V = pp. 291-329.