By Gregory WrightLast updated on Nov 29, 2022
Susanoo-no-Mikoto is the Japanese god of the sea and storms. A powerful and boisterous guardiankami, Susanoo’s moods are often as temperamental as his actions are chaotic. His fight with the dragon Orochi led to the creation of the sword Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, one part of Japan’s sacred regalia.
The spellings and forms of Susanoo’s name are varied in both Japanese and English. In Japanese, his Kanji can appear as 建速須佐之男命 (Takehaya-Susanoo-no-Mikoto), 神須佐能袁命 (Kamususanoo), or simply as Susanoo: 素戔男尊、素戔嗚尊等、須佐乃袁尊, and 須佐能乎命. Each of these can be translated as "the Great God Susanoo." Because of his association with Kumano Shrine in Shimane Prefecture, he is also 熊野家都御子神 (Kumano Ketsumiko no Kami), the Great God/Caretaker of Kumano.
Historically his name has been the subject of multiple English translations due to the double o’s that appear at the end of his name; this large number of translations reflect a lack of standardized Romaji in the period after the Meiji Restoration (1868). Besides Susanoo, the most common spelling is Susan’o. Older translations of his name include Susano-o, Susa-no-O, Susano’o, and Susanowo.
Susanoo is a tumultuous deity at heart, and his chaotic moods and disheveled appearance are direct reflections of his status as the god of storms. The seas surrounding South Japan—where many of his shrines are located—reflect these attributes. Like many storm, wind, and seakamiwho serve under him, Susanoo can be both benevolent and malevolent. Despite this seeming moral ambivalence, he remains one of Japanese mythology’s most celebrated heroes. In what is now his most famous feat, he fought and slew the fearsome eight-headed dragon, Yamata-no-Orochi, killing it with his famed ten-span sword, aTotsuka-no-Tsurugi.
As the son of Izanagi, he holds dominion over spirits of thunder, lighting, storms, winds, and the sea.
Imperial Regalia and Shrines
Susanoo wielded the famed swordKusanagi-no-Tsurugi, the Grass-Cutter, also known asMurakumo-no-Tsurugi, the Heavenly Sword of Gathering Clouds. After drawing it from the corpse of Orochi, he gave it to his sister as a sign of penance. This blade eventually found its way to the Japanese Imperial Family and is now kept at Amaterasu’s shrine at Ise.
Susanoo’s own shrines are plentiful and popular. They include:
Kumano Taisha, his most important shrine, at Matsue, Shimane Prefecture;
Susa Shrine, dedicated to both him and his wife, at Izumo, Shimane Prefecture;
Yasaka Shrine, at Higashiyama, Kyoto Prefecture;
Tsushima Shrine, at Tsushima, Aichi Prefecture;
Hikawa Shrine, at Saitama, Saitama Prefecture;
Yaegaki Shrine, at Matsue, Shimane Prefecture.
Susanoo is the son ofIzanagi, the ancestor of allkami, and is a sibling of bothAmaterasu, the sun goddess, andTsukuyomi, the moon god. His family varies greatly depending from tale to tale, and as such he has many wives and children. Included in their number is Kushinada-hime, his first (and most prominent) wife who bore him five children: Kushiinada-hime, Inada-hime, Makami-furu-kushi’inada-hime, Yashimajinumi, and Okuninushi, the god of magic. Outside of his marriage, Susanoo has had countless consorts and children by other women andkami.
Susanoo is a very popularkami, and appears in many important Shinto myths.
Birth and Banishment
Izanagi fled from Yomi, where he had gone to retrieve his wife. After blocking the entrance to prevent her escape, Izanagi went to a nearby hot spring and cleansed himself of Yomi’s impurities. It was during this cleansing ritual that Izanagi inadvertently gave birth to three new and powerfulkami: Amaterasu, the sun goddess, and Tsukuyomi, the moon god, were born from his eyes, and Susanoo, the god of storms and seas, was born from his nose. Izanagi set these three gods at the head of the heavenly bureaucracy and selected Susanoo as its guardian.
It soon became apparent that Susanoo was too stormy to remain in the highly-ordered Heavens. Following this realization, Izanagi proceeded to banish his son, a sentence that Susanoo accepted. Before he left, however, Susanoo went to say goodbye to his sister Amaterasu, with whom he regularly quarreled.
Amaterasu was suspicious of his sincerity, and Susanoo challenged her to a contest to prove it. They would take the other’s object and see who could create the bestkami. Amaterasu took his sword and created three women; from her necklace, Susanoo created five men. This proved a trick on her part: she claimed that because the necklace was hers, the men were hers. Meanwhile, the women she had produced from his sword were his. Thanks to her clever interpretation of the rules, Amaterasu won the contest.
Enraged by this result, Susanoo went on a destructive rampage. He destroyed his sister’s rice field before flaying one of her horses and hurling its body at her sacred loom. This thrown horse killed one of her handmaidens and caused Amaterasu to flee in grief. Susanoo was banished following his rampage, but without Amaterasu, the world remained dark and stormy.
Orochi and Penance
Then Susanoo no Mikoto descended from Heaven and proceeded to the head-waters of the River Hi, in the province of Idzumo [sic]. At this time he heard a sound of weeping at the head-waters of the river, and he went in search of the sound. -Kojiki, translated by Basil Hall Chamberlain
Following his fall from the Heavens, Susanoo landed in Izumo and was taken in by an elderly couple. He soon learned of their troubles - of their eight daughters, seven had been devoured by a terrible eight-headed dragon of the sea, Yamata-no-Orochi. Their eighth daughter, Kushinada-hime would soon be sacrificed as well. Susanoo would not stand for this, however, and sought to end the couple’s despair. As they prepared for Orochi’s coming, Susanoo turned Kushinada-hime into a comb and put her in his hair. Meanwhile, the elderly couple placed a tub of sake outside for the dragon to drink. When Orochi drank the sake and fell asleep, Susanoo cut him into pieces. As he split the dragon’s tail, he saw a sword, the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, emerge.
Following these events, the grateful couple married Kushinada-hime to Susanoo. Now seeking to make amends with Amaterasu, the storm god presented her with Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi as a sign of his penance.
Once amends were made, Susanoo’s father Izanagi presented him with one final task: he must take Izanagi’s place as guardian of Yomi. Susanoo accepted the position, and to this day serves as the guardian of the gateway to the Land of the Dead. It is for this reason, in addition to their inherently violent nature, that storms are often associated with death in Japanese culture.
One of the most common tropes in mythology is that of storm gods fighting powerful serpents. In Greek mythology, this wasZeusand Typhon; in Norse tradition, it wasThorand Jormungandr; in Hindu tradition, conflict arose between Indra and Vrita. Closer to Japan, Yu the Great fought the dragon Xiangliu, a nine-headed serpent. Indeed, this trope is found in most religions of Eurasia, and has even found its way into modern Christian and Islamic tradition.
Susanoo and references to him appear regularly in popular culture, including:
InNaruto, where asusanoois an avatar created by a ninja’s chakra, made incarnate to fight for them, a skill available only to wielders of the Sharingan;
InBlazBlue, where Susanoo is the true vessel of Yuki Terumi, a lightning-wielding warrior;
InFinal Fantasy XIV, where Susanoo is the first primal available to fight;(Video) Spirits of DEATH That Drink BLOOD and Feast on Flesh - Greek Mythology Explained
In an old anime, translated asLittle Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon, which adapts the tale of Susanoo and Orochi.
What mythology is Susanoo from? ›
Susanoo, in full Susanoo no Mikoto, also spelled Susanowo, (Japanese: Impetuous Male), in Japanese mythology, the storm god, younger brother of the sun goddess Amaterasu. He was born as his father Izanagi washed his nose.What is a Susanoo in Japanese mythology? ›
(Japanese mythology, Shinto) The main Japanese storm god (along with Raijin and Fūjin), son of Izanami and Izanagi and brother of Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, Ōyamatsumi and Kagutsuchi.How strong is Susanoo mythology? ›
Susanoo-no-Mikoto is virtually a god, having vast unlimited powers. As such, he has unlimited strength and superhuman speed. He is also able to control the elements of the storm, generating cyclonic winds, lightning, storm and frost. He also uses powerful weapons, such as the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi sword.What god is Susanoo-no-Mikoto? ›
Susanoo-no-Mikoto is the Japanese god of the sea and storms. A powerful and boisterous guardian kami, Susanoo's moods are often as temperamental as his actions are chaotic. His fight with the dragon Orochi led to the creation of the sword Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, one part of Japan's sacred regalia.Who is the strongest god in Japanese mythology? ›
|Major cult center||Taga Taisha, Izanagi Shrine, Eda Shrine, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, Onokorojima Shrine, Mitsumine Shrine and others|
|Texts||Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, Sendai Kuji Hongi|
His elder siblings, Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, were also born during this ritual. In the Nihon Shoki, however, Susanoo is the child of both Izanagi and Izanami. Susanoo is also the youngest, born after his siblings Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi.Who is the Japanese god of chaos? ›
Amatsu-Mikaboshi (天津甕星) is the God of Evil, Chaos and the Stars to the followers of the Shinto religion in Japan.What is the sky god in Japanese? ›
Amaterasu, in full Amaterasu Ōmikami, (Japanese: “Great Divinity Illuminating Heaven”), the celestial sun goddess from whom the Japanese imperial family claims descent, and an important Shintō deity.Who controls the god Susanoo? ›
Izanagi set these three gods at the head of the heavenly bureaucracy and selected Susanoo as its guardian. It soon became apparent that Susanoo was too stormy to remain in the highly-ordered Heavens. Following this realization, Izanagi proceeded to banish his son, a sentence that Susanoo accepted.Who is the Japanese god of the void? ›
Amatsu-Mikaboshi is one of the few deities that has a deep connection to the void, which gives him the limitless potential to be stronger than most Primevals, second only to the beloved of God and the Primordials. He has a rather special relationship with Erebus with the two being somewhat close to each other.
Is there a god Susanoo in Naruto? ›
Susanoo, also known as the Tempestuous God of Valour (勇武の荒神, Yūbu no Aragami; ; ; ), is the third ability granted by the Mangekyō Sharingan to those who awaken the abilities Tsukuyomi — which symbolises the "darkness of the spiritual world" and Amaterasu — which denotes the "light of the material world".Which is stronger Susanoo vs Kurama? ›
To sum it up, in the final developmental stage of a Susanoo, the Perfect Susanoo is stronger than Kurama on its own. However, that does not make it stronger than Kurama in every situation because the Tailed Beast can enhance the jinchuriki's abilities and turn the tables in a battle.Who is the king of Susanoo? ›
Susanoo (スサノオ), also known as Omni-King Susanoo (オムニキングスサノオ) is the Shinto God of the Seas, Storms and the Underworld and is also one of the two sons of Izanagi. Susanoo is also the Omni-King of the 33rd Multiverse, an entity that is above all living beings in all universes.Who Susanoo without eyes? ›
Madara started Susanoo without his eyes, confirming that it's a power that does not *need* the eyes to be invoked. However, Sasuke could not use Susanoo. The implication is that because his MS powers faded, and since Susanoo still falls under a MS power, Susanoo could not be activated either.Who is the oldest Japanese god? ›
Izanami and Izanagi are held to be the creators of the Japanese archipelago and the progenitors of many deities, which include the sun goddess Amaterasu, the moon deity Tsukuyomi and the storm god Susanoo.Who is the strongest Japanese demon? ›
It has been said that Shuten-dōji was the strongest oni of Japan. Academic folklorist Kazuhiko Komatsu has counted Shuten-dōji among the three most feared yōkai in medieval Kyoto, alongside the vixen Tamamo-no-Mae and the demon Ōtakemaru.Who is the most god in anime? ›
- 1 Yato - Noragami.
- 2 Beerus - Dragon Ball. ...
- 3 Tet - No Game No Life. ...
- 4 Arceus - Pokemon. ...
- 5 Zeus - Record Of Ragnarok. ...
- 6 The Truth - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. ...
- 7 Haruhi Suzumiya - The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. ...
- 8 Kaguya Otsutsuki - Naruto. ...
Susanoo is a gigantic, humanoid being made of the user's chakra that surrounds them and fights on their behalf. It is the strongest ability available to those who have the Mangekyō Sharingan, and in fact is the rarest to achieve.Who has the strongest eyes in Naruto? ›
Sasuke was further fortified when the Sage of the Six Paths taught him the Six Paths' powers. He is the strongest Sharingan user of all time since, by adulthood, he had grown powerful enough to compete with people like Momoshiki Otsutsuki in combat.
1) Hagoromo Otsutsuki
Shown as a Susanoo user in the Naruto anime, Hagoromo is undoubtedly the strongest Susanoo user. Manifesting his full-body variant immediately, he could overpower his mother Kaguya in her Ten-tails form.
Who is god of moon? ›
Selene, (Greek: “Moon”) Latin Luna, in Greek and Roman religion, the personification of the moon as a goddess. She was worshipped at the new and full moons.What gender is Tsukuyomi? ›
In Japanese mythology, Tsukuyomi is the god of the moon as you might expect, but what you might not expect is that in mythology he is a male!What are the 7 Shinto gods? ›
Seven Lucky Gods are seven deities that are Jurojin, Ebisu, Hotei, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Daikokuten and Fukurokuju. It is said if you worship all the seven deities, you will be blessed with seven happiness and prevent you from seven misfortunes.Who is the Japanese god of eternity? ›
Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto.What is Earth god in Japanese? ›
Dojin (土神), is a Japanese god of earth, land, and/or soil.Is there a Japanese fire god? ›
Ho-musubi, also called Kagu-tsuchi, or Hi-no-kami, in the Shintō religion of Japan, a god of fire. His mother, the female creator Izanami, was fatally burned giving birth to him; and his father, Izanagi, cut him into pieces, creating several new gods.What is dragon god in Japanese? ›
Ryujin (aka Ryu-o) is the dragon king, sea god, and master of serpents in Japanese mythology. With his magic jewels he is responsible for the tides, and he represents both the perils and bounty of the sea and so was especially relevant to an ancient island nation like Japan.Is there a Japanese god of death? ›
Shinigami (Japanese: 死神, lit. 'kami of death') are kami that invite humans toward death in certain aspects of Japanese religion and culture. Shinigami have been described as monsters, helpers, and creatures of darkness. Shinigami are used for tales and religions in Japanese culture.Who is Susanoo mother? ›
According to the myth, Amaterasu hid herself in the cave after a dispute with her impetuous younger brother Susano-no-Mikoto, bringing darkness to the land until she was eventually lured out by the goddess of mirth with laughter and a mirror, bringing light to the world again.
Who can control Amaterasu? ›
Amaterasu is a Mangekyo Sharingan ability used by Itachi Uchiha and his brother, Sasuke Uchiha. In both cases, Amaterasu is accessible through the left eye. When used, this ability immediately burns the target with black flames that cannot be extinguished until they burn to a crisp.Are there friendly yokai? ›
Some yokai are friendly and totally harmless, while others are outright fearsome and malicious — there are some man-eating monsters in the mix, too!Is there a Japanese god of light? ›
Amaterasu, Shinto God of light | Amaterasu, Japanese mythology, Gods and goddesses.Is there a Japanese god of mischief? ›
Tanuki is one of Japan's two contributions to the archetypal Trickster, the other being kitsune, or the fox. Trickster is one of the world's oldest mythological figures, and examples abound in mythology and folklore worldwide.Can Madara's perfect Susanoo fly? ›
According to the Databooks any perfect Susanoo can fly.Who is the Japanese god of swords? ›
Takemikazuchi (建御雷/武甕槌) is a deity in Japanese mythology, considered a god of thunder and a sword god. He also competed in what is considered the first sumo wrestling match recorded in history.Who is the god of Sharingan in Naruto? ›
A connection further strengthened as the origin of the Sharingan comes from Kaguya Otsutsuki, a being from another world that was regarded as a god on Earth.Is Susanoo stronger than baryon mode? ›
4 Stronger: Baryon Mode
Without a doubt, this ability is much stronger than the Susanoo.
Kirin. Kirin is only ahead of the Susanoo technique because of the fact it destroyed Itachi's Susanoo. The move is a dominant offensive technique. Sasuke cannot use this technique all the time, but when he has enough chakra, it can be a dangerous attack.Is Susanoo stronger than Titan? ›
Sasuke's armored susanoo's durability is far greater than Reiner's armored titan. In ribcage stage it protected sasuke from lava. Plus Armored susanoo is equipped with a sword and bows with arrows. The arrows themselves are very fast.
Can Rinnegan use Amaterasu? ›
In addition to the Rinnegan's power, this eye retains the abilities of Sasuke's left Mangekyō Sharingan, including the ability to cast ocular genjutsu and use Amaterasu.Can Rinnesharingan use Susanoo? ›
Susanoo is a unlocked through MS so having 2 Rinne Sharingan might not do anything. LegionZero wrote: Susanoo is a unlocked through MS so having 2 Rinne Sharingan might not do anything.What eye has Amaterasu? ›
Itachi had Tsukuyomi in his left, and Amaterasu in his right. Sasuke had Amaterasu in his left eye, and could extinguish and control the shape of the flames in his left, as he did during his fight with Killer B, stopping B from being killed by the Amaterasu.What mythology is Amaterasu from? ›
Amaterasu is the highest deity in Japanese mythology. In the most famous legend about her, she shuts herself away in a cave, bringing disasters to both the world and heaven.What is Naruto Susanoo based on? ›
Susanoo's designs are based on Tengu (天狗), well known yokai that are associated with the ascetic practice of shugendō.Who is the god of chaos in Japanese mythology? ›
Amatsu-Mikaboshi (天津甕星) is the God of Evil, Chaos and the Stars to the followers of the Shinto religion in Japan. He is not actually an Amatsu-Kami but a primordial being who was imprisoned in Yomi, the Shinto underworld, for all eternity.Who is the creator of the Susanoo? ›
Susano'o is the brother of Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, and of Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon. All three were created from Izanagi, when he washed his face to clean the dirtiness of Yomi, the underworld.Who is the Japanese god of rage? ›
Aizen Myōō is the embodiment of rage: his hair stands on end, a snarling lion rises from his head, and his six arms brandish Esoteric Buddhist weapons and other emblems of power.Who is the strongest god in all mythology? ›
Zeus, the king of the gods in Greek mythology, is often considered to be the strongest deity. He is known for his power and strength, as well as his ability to control the weather.Who is strongest god? ›
Indra also called Śakra, the supreme god, is the first of the 33, followed by Agni.
Who is the god of Uchiha? ›
Indra Otsutsuki is the founder of the Uchiha Clan. He was the elder son of Hagoromo Otsutsuki. When Hagoromo made Asura his successor instead of Indra, the latter lost his composure. Indra was being manipulated by Black Zetsu, which played a major role in driving him to the edge.Is there a Japanese god of magic? ›
Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto (Japanese: 天宇受売命, 天鈿女命) is the goddess of dawn, mirth, meditation, revelry and the arts in the Shinto religion of Japan, and the wife of fellow-god Sarutahiko Ōkami.Who did the perfect susanoo? ›
features Kakashi's Perfect Susanoo, which when activated, forms around the user and becomes an extension of their will, acting and attacking on their behalf.