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The Fishing Goddess and the Fisherman

the tale of Torõrutsuki

Written by Endrise

The lights are there to ensure she knows where to throw her line. For as good as a fisherman she is, I rather don't want to be tossed across the region.
— Local Farmer

Amongst the local legends of Zipangu, there is one of the moon goddess Torõrutsuki. Of her incident fishing in the Lake of the same name, and how her Festival came to be.

The Fisher and the Farmer

The Tale

The story goes that in the northeastern parts of Zipangu lies a small lake, where the moon would shine upon every night on the water’s surface. Gazing from her crescent seat, Torõrutsuki looked down, seeing an ideal fishing spot for her place in the heavens.

She tossed her line down to earth, but found aiming to be difficult in the darkness. A small speck on the planet, impossible to land on a first try.

Her hook latched to everything but the fish she caught: trees, animals, collars of clothing and the roofs of buildings. Every time she reeled her line back in, something got tossed across the night sky. Causing things to land across the region as the line snapped before it could reach her.

One night, a famished fisherman wandered the region under the crescent moon, thin as bone, for they have not caught a proper fish in days. A hook latched onto his clothing, tossing him high into the heavens. However, the line did not snap, his weight too light to break it. So he rose above the clouds, above the stars, reaching the goddess to her surprise.

She apologised, assuming every line that snapped to be a fish too strong for her line, but the fisherman explained. Realising why her attempts failed, he offered an idea.

Going back down by the hook, the fisherman went to the lake and made a dozen lanterns. Placing them around the edges of the lake, Torõrutsuki could see their light from high above, and aim her hook better. In a single swing, the line landed in the center of the water.

The moment it rose back out of the waters, a fish as large as a boat rose from it. Landing on the shoreline of the lake, the goddess offered it to the fisherman to feast. He accepted and ate his stomach full. What was left over he tied to the hook as an offering, promising to illuminate the lake every crescent moon. So that she may fish bountiful catches and feed the region.

Variations of the tale

The tale of Torõrutsuki has multiple interpretations by the people of Zipangu. While the tale of her and the fisherman is the most well known one, the person she met can vary depending on who you ask. Some claim it to be a farmer, other a local ruler, or even local legends.

As for her accidents with the hook, the lethality of them varies too. More child-friendly depictions like to toss people across the region. Though a few grim tales depict it as killing the people once the line severs or the destruction of buildings causing casualities.[/p

History behind the myth

People date the origins of the myth shortly after the initial collapse of the First Zipangu Empire. Being tied to the mythology of Torõrutsuki, it might’ve been an attempt to explain some local issues that transpired during that era of the island nation.

There have been reports of several missing people across the region back in the day. Presumed kidnapping or trafficking, caused by local groups taking advantage of the power vacuum. The destruction of buildings being also probably tied to the events that transpired.

Related Locations
Related People

Festival of the Moon Goddess

It is a tradition for people from around the region to visit Torõrutsuki Lake during the first crescent moon. Every month during spring and summer they gather around the lakeside, holding festivities with many lights.

At the end, they let sail small boats with offerings upon the lake so that the goddess can fish them up. All so that she might feast on the leftovers while fishing afterwards.

Torõrutsuki Festival
Tradition / Ritual | Jul 7, 2021

A lunar festival in honour of the moon goddess Torõrutsuki.


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Cover image: Myth/Legend Cover by Endrise

Comments

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5 Jul, 2021 04:30

Who knew the Dreamworks kid had such a backstory? Joking aside, excellent myth, it was a very fun read.