Futodama (布刀玉命) is a god in Japanese mythology, claimed to be the ancestor of Inbe clan, whose characteristics are believed to reflect the functions of the clan as court ritualists.[1][2]


Name and etymologyEdit

The god is known as Ame-no-Futodama-no-Mikoto (天太玉命) or Futodama (布刀玉, 太玉) for short. His name is speculated to mean great gift or offering.[1][3][4]


After Susanoo accidentally killed one of Amaterasu's attendants in her weaving hall. She got upset and locked herself in Amano-Iwato causing the world to plunge into darkness, so Omoikane and other gods came up with a plan to get her out.[5]

Futodama and Amenokoyane were tasked with performing a divination.

After Amaterasu left the cave, Futodama used a shimenawa to prevent her from going back to the cave again. This story is said to be the mythical origin of shimenawa.[6]

In Kogo shūi, Futodama is placed as the leader of the preformed rituals.[2]


FutodamaTakuhadachiji-hime Oshihomimi
Inbe clanNinigi-no-Mikoto

In Kogo shūi Futodama is the child of Takuhatachijihime, and grandchild of Takamimusubi.[citation needed] But in many versions he is the son of Takamimusubi and the uncle to Ninigi.[7][2]


Futodama is believed to be enshrined at Awa shrine. Where there is a festival to the kami every year on August 10.[8] He is also enshrined at Amatsu Shrine alongside Ninigi and Ame-no-Koyane.[9] The Engi Shiki lists several shrines to Futodama in Izumi Province.[1]

Popular cultureEdit

In the Japanese role playing game Shin Megami Tensei IV Futotama is a level 42 demon. Futotama created other demons when fused, if he is fused with Virtue it creates Israfel. If Futotama is fused with Master Therion it creates Vivian.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "Ameno Futodama • A History of Japan - 日本歴史". A History of Japan - 日本歴史. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  2. ^ a b c "Encyclopedia of Shinto - Home : Kami in Classic Texts : Futodama". eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp. Retrieved 2021-07-13.
  3. ^ Aston, W. G. (2015-11-16). Shinto - The Ancient Religion of Japan. Read Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4733-7719-6.
  4. ^ Aston, William George (1905). Shinto, the Way of the Gods. Longmans, Green. ISBN 9780524006801.
  5. ^ "Amaterasu". Mythopedia. Retrieved 2021-07-13.
  6. ^ Bocking, Brian (2005-09-30). A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-79738-6.
  7. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, R. A. B. (2014-06-03). Studies In Shinto & Shrines. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-89294-3.
  8. ^ https://www.google.com/books/edition/Japan_Encyclopedia/p2QnPijAEmEC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Awa+shrine&pg=PA61&printsec=frontcover
  9. ^ http://www.kotodamaya.com/amatsu-jinja/
  10. ^ https://www.google.com/books/edition/Shin_Megami_Tensei_IV_Strategy_Guide/BJHiCgAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=Futotama