Inari Ookami

(a.k.a. Inari)

Prepare your planting in the spring for my coming, and send your offerings with me in the fall as I return to the sacred mountain1.
— Inari
 
Inari is one of the most mysterious and popular kami. He's best known as the god of rice cultivation and foxes.   This kami's most famous shrine is Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. Inari is also the protector of Toji (a popular temple) in Kyoto.
Although Inari is referred to in this article as 'he', he appears as both male and female.   Common depictions include:
an old man carrying rice or sitting with 2 foxes
a beautiful young woman
a bodhisattva (person seeking Buddhahood) of undetermined gender
   

Divine Domains

foxes, rice cultivation, fertility, merchants, tradesmen, swordsmiths, brothels, and entertainers  

Divine Symbols & Sigils

White messenger foxes that carry a ball , scroll, sheave of rice, sickle or whip in their mouths.  

Holidays

Nonogawa celebrates the end of the rice growing season with the Rice Harvest Festival (last weekend of October)  

Kith and Kin

Mother
Kamu'ou-ichi-hime
 
Father
Susanoo No Mikoto
 
Brother
Outoshi (Kami in charge of the year)
 
Half Siblings
Yashimajinumi (Master of Yu Mountain in Suga), Ōkuninushi (ruler of Izumo Province), Takiri-bime, Ichikishima-hime, Takitsu-hime, Isotakeru, Ouyatsu-hime, Tsumatsu-hime, Suseri-bime, Kuni'oshiwake, A'ohata-sakusa-hiko, Iwasaka-hiko, Tsukihokoto'oru-hiko, Tsurugi-hiko, Yanowaka-hime, Amanozako
 
Inari Appearing to a Warrior
by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (now Public Domain)
Inari helping a blacksmith
by Ogata Gekkō (now Public Domain)
1. Fictional quote to go with the legends of Inari's appearance in the spring planting and fall harvest.


Cover image: by Amy Winters-Voss

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