The Hare of Inaba and Ookuninushi at Ookuni Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

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The Hare of Inaba and Ookuninushi at Ookuni Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

The clever hare of Inaba was trying to get to Cape Keta from Oki, so challenged to the sharks in the ocean to show him how big their clan is. After they lined up, the hare used them as a bridge to cross to Cape Keta. Just before he got to land he boasted about his feet to the sharks and the last shark attacked, tearing his fur from his body. Shortly after this, Ookuninushi and his 80 elder brothers came by and the hare begged them for help. Ookuninushi’s cruel older brothers told the hare to bath in the sea and dry himself in the wind which would have caused the hare excruciating pain. Ookuninushi, being a kind deity, told the hare to bathe in fresh water and then roll in pollen. The hare followed Ookuninushi’s advice and was restored. In gratitude the hare revealed his true form as a god and told Ookuninushi that he would win the hand of the princess that he and his 80 brothers were vying for. Good wins. 🙂

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