Amenonuhoko (天沼矛 or 天之瓊矛 or 天瓊戈, "heavenly jeweled spear") is the name given to the spear in Shinto used to raise the primordial land-mass, Onogoro-shima, from the sea. It is often represented as a naginata.[1]

Searching the Seas with the Tenkei (天瓊を以て滄海を探るの図 Tenkei o motte sōkai o saguru no zu?). Painting by Kobayashi Eitaku, 1880–90 (MFA, Boston). Izanagi to the right, Izanami to the left

According to the Kojiki, Shinto's genesis gods Izanagi and Izanami were responsible for creating the first land. To help them do this, they were given a spear decorated with jewels, named Ame-no (heavenly) nu-hoko (jewelled spear), by older heavenly gods.[2] The two deities then went to the bridge between heaven and earth, Ame-no-ukihashi ("floating bridge of heaven"), and churned the sea below with the naginata. When drops of salty water fell from the tip, they formed into the first island, Onogoro-shima. Izanagi and Izanami then descended from the bridge of heaven and made their home on the island.[3][4]


  1. ^ Daniel C. Pauley. Pauley's Guide: A Dictionary of Japanese Martial Arts and Culture. p. 4. ISBN 0615233562.
  2. ^ Jean Herbert (2010). Shinto: At the Fountainhead of Japan. p. 220. ISBN 0203842162.
  3. ^ Joseph Jacobs; et al. (1899). Folk Lore. 10. Folklore Society of Great Britain. pp. 298–299.
  4. ^ D.B. Picken (2004). Sourcebook in Shinto. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 8. ISBN 0313264325.