Ama-no-Uzumu-no-Mikoto

Yuki-onna (Ame-no-ukihashi-hime-no-Mikoto): Tutelary Kami of the Art of Ninzuwu

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The following material is taken from the book Ame-no-Ukihashi: The Ancient Martial Art of Ninzuwu. This except reveals rare information about Yukionna, who is also the ruling kami of the Art of Ninzuwu, commonly known as Ame-no-ukihashi-hime-no-Mikoto among the Ninzuwu community.

Ame-no-Ukihashi__The_Cover_for_Kindle

Yuki-onna (Snow Woman) is a well-known yokai appearing in Japanese folklore. She is described as a tall, beautiful woman with long black hair and blue lips, appearing on snowy nights, some say during the full moon. Her extremely pale, in some cases transparent skin, makes it easy to blend in with the snowy landscape. She is said to wear a white kimono or can appear nude.

There are many stories surrounding Yuki-onna, but her description seems to vary as different regions in Japan seem to have a slightly different perspective of this entity than the other. There is, however, a consistent theme of a Yuki-onna preying upon travelers who are trapped in snowstorms. She can use her breath to freeze them to death or lead them astray as they die of overexposure to cold temperatures. In a Wikipedia article, under the title Yuki-onna, we read:

“Other times, she manifests holding a child. When a well-intentioned soul takes the “child” from her, they are frozen in place. Parents searching for lost children are particularly susceptible to this tactic. Other legends make Yuki-onna much more aggressive. In these stories, she often invades homes, blowing in the door with a gust of wind to kill residents in their sleep (some legends require her to be invited inside first).

What Yuki-onna is after varies from tale to tale. Sometimes she is simply satisfied to see a victim die. Other times, she is more vampiric, draining her victims’ blood or “life force.” She occasionally takes on a succubus-like manner, preying on weak-willed men to drain or freeze them through sex or a kiss.

Like the snow and winter weather she represents, Yuki-onna has a softer side. She sometimes lets would-be victims go for various reasons. In one popular Yuki-onna legend, for example, she sets a young boy free because of his beauty and age. She makes him promise never to speak of her, but later in life, he tells the story to his wife who reveals herself to be the snow woman. She reviles him for breaking his promise, but spares him again, this time out of concern for their children (but if he dares mistreat their children, she will return with no mercy. Luckily for him, he is a loving father). In some versions, she chose not to kill him because he told her, which she did not treat as a broken promise (technically, Yuki-Onna herself is not a human, and thus did not count.”

While some descriptions of Yuki-onna may appear to be horrific, there is evidence to support that she is an ancient goddess that was prominently worshipped during the Jomon period. Careful study of the Yuki-onna legend aligns her with the ancient Mesopotamian Inanna/Ishtar.

Yuki-onna is a spirit associated with snow. Inanna/Ishtar’s sacred color is white. Yuki-onna is noted for her remarkable beauty, sometimes said to spare the life of her prey, due to their age and how handsome they were. She is beautiful as fresh snowfall, but deadly as the cold can be. Inanna/Ishtar is described as the Goddess of Love and War.

January 2nd is the birthday of the ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna. During this time it was believed that the first dream of the New Year casted either a benevolent or malevolent fate for the recipient. The Japan Encyclopedia describes Yuki-onna as a Toshigami (歳神), a special deity that appeared on specific days and brought either good or bad fortune for the coming year.

Snowflake: An Ancient Symbol And Emblem of The Yukionna Society

Snowflake: An Ancient Symbol And Emblem of The Yukionna Society

Ninzuwu-Shinto records describe Yuki-Onna as an ancient goddess of a particular martial art style called Ame-no-Ukihashi . She is often portrayed as having no feet, floating across the snow, leaving no footprints, (a feature of many Japanese ghosts). She can also shape-shift, transforming into a cold mist or a burst of snow. These descriptions have a very deep esoteric meaning, as we read about in the Ivory Tablets of the Crow:

“And the Bride of Nyarzir has the body of a beautiful woman wearing a white dress without legs.”

Another aspect of Yuki-onna that we find in the Art of Ninzuwu teachings is her ability to feed off the life-force of her victims. In the Ivory Tablets of the Crow, we read:

“Upon seeing the Sword of the Ninzuwu, the Fahmu will inquire about your passage and the way you came upon this dream. You must answer with the following mantra……It means “fire-life eat.”

Another reference about the ancient rite of Yuki-onna can be found in the Ivory Tablets of the Crow’s account of how Nudzuchi met Xuz:

“Xuz took refuge in a cave, hoping that the cold wind would cease and fell asleep with only a portion of food for day left,…..Shortly after, a woman appeared with a fresh pot of stew in her hands and a drawn sword. She was a beautiful maiden with long black hair and full lips, like the flowers that last for one season……Xuz took the woman, whose name is …Lady of Heaven, the Warrior-Priestess, as his wife.”

The Art of Ninzuwu is said to be founded by the Tengu. The knowledge of how this came about is featured in a few articles appearing on the Art of Ninzuwu blog page. The reader is advised to review these writings at their own convenience. Our language, Vasuh, and many of our practices are based on rites sacred to the Tengu and the energies of the Ryugu-jo. Bob Curran, in the Encyclopedia of the Undead, states the following concerning Yuki-onna:

“Although Hearn described her as a type of ghost, the idea of the Snow Woman was probably much older than the folklore that he had heard. In some parts of Japan, the Yuki Onna was described as a form of the tengu, very ancient Japanese demons.”

According to the Art of Ninzuwu teachings, Yuki-onna was a class of warrior-priestesses who were named after the founder of their lineage and were known to train in the snow and severe cold. Their martial arts style was entirely mystical in its approach.

Many of the writings in the Ninzuwu tradition describe the Tengu as protectors of the Shinto faith. In like manner, Yuki-onna protected forests and other natural forms from predators during their winter sleep, which explains why her prey is often described as men seeking to fell trees. The Tengu were said to inhabit certain trees, specifically, those of cedar and pine. Other deities in Shinto mythology were also said to exist in trees.

Earlier in our discussion, we spoke about the similarities between Yuki-onna and Dingir Ishtar. The Shinto equivalent of Dingir Ishtar is Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto. Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is widely known as the deity who played an important role in luring Amaterasu Ohkami out of the rock-cave. In another myth, she escorts Ninigi-no-Mikoto to the Central Land of Reed Plains. The Encyclopedia of Shinto states the following about Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto:

“Kogo shūi notes that Uzume’s behavior on this occasion was the origin for the ceremony of spirit-pacification (chinkonsai), a religious service performed by the Sarume clan. In addition to her role as patron kami of actors and other performing arts, Uzume is also viewed as having the role of negotiator with new, unknown beings. Ninigi-no-Mikoto sent her to confront and ascertain the identity of the kami Sarutahiko, who stood at the border between the Plain of High Heaven and the Central Land of Reed Plains. In an “alternate writing” recorded in Nihongi, it is stated that the other kami were fearful of Sarutahiko’s weird appearance, and refused to meet with him, but Uzume bared her breasts and approached him with a derisive laugh. Thereafter, the two kami shared the role of guide for Ninigi as he proceeded on his descent, and Uzume accompanied Sarutahiko to his resting place in Ise upon completion of his role. In recognition of her service to the Heavenly Grandchild, Uzume was granted a new name based on Sarutahiko’s, thus becoming Sarume no kimi, or chief of the Sarume clan. 

According to Kojiki, while in Ise, Uzume made the fish swear obeisance to the Heavenly Grandchild; only the mouth-less sea cucumber did not speak, so Uzume used a knife to cut a slit in it for mouth. In this episode, the Sarume no kimi are thus portrayed as being the first to receive offerings at Ise. 


In addition, another “alternate writing” transmitted by Nihongi notes that it was Uzume who warned 
Amaterasu of Susanoo’s reapproach to the Plain of High Heaven after he had once been banished. Kogo shūi explains the origin of Uzume’s name as meaning a “fearsome and courageous woman,” but her divine personality was related more to the superiority of laughter and harmony than to confrontation and trepidation based on overwhelming strength. Further, based on the fact that the Chinese character forkanzashi (hair pin) is used in her name to indicate uzu, the name may have originated from words relating to the hair pins and other accoutrements worn by a divine medium (see miko).”

When Ninigi-no-Mikoto, the grandson of Amaterasu Ohkami, was venturing into the Central Land of Reed Plains he encountered Sarutahiko Okami, an earthly deity of awesome appearance. Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto was able to pacify what may have been a “would-be-conflict” between Ninigi-no-Mikoto and Sarutahiko Okami. The result was that both, Sarutahiko Okami and Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, shared in guiding Ninigi-no-Mikoto during his descent. “Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto was granted a new name based on Sarutahiko’s, thus becoming Sarume no kimi, or chief of the Sarume clan,” as mentioned in the information cited in the Encyclopedia of Shinto. W. G. Aston writes the following footnote concerning Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto’s title of Sarume-no-Kimi:

“The Sarume were primarily women who performed comic dances (sarumahi or monkey-dance) in honour of the Gods. They are mentioned along with the Nakatomi and Imbe as taking part in the festival of first-fruits and other Shinto ceremonies. These dances were the origin of the Kagura and No performances. Another function of the Sarume is that indicated in the part taken by Uzume no Mikoto when the Gods enticed the Sun-Goddess out of her rock-cave. She is there said to have been divinely inspired. This divine inspiration has always been common in Japan. The inspired person falls into a trance, or hypnotic state, in which he or she speaks in the character of some God. Such persons are now known as Miko, defined by Hepburn as a woman who, dancing in a Miya, pretends to hold communication with the Gods and the spirits of the dead,’ in short a medium.”

Aston notes how the rites of Uzume-no-Mikoto are observed, in part, by the miko, who served today as shrine maidens, but the term originally was applied to female shamans of ancient times. Miko often appear in a white kimono. One of the traditional tools of the miko is a gehōbako, or the supernatural box that contains dolls, animal and human skulls and Shinto prayer beads.

Sarutahiko Okami takes Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto as his wife. Interestingly, Saruahiko Okami is considered by some to be the ancestor of the Tengu. Based on the information we have covered so far, we can discern the origins of the Yuki-onna from sources not associated with the Art of Ninzuwu’s teachings. Yuki-onna was a warrior-class of priestesses, which were later known as the miko. These priestesses were adept in the magical arts, but were able to understand the astrological movements of the celestial bodies.

We can be certain that Yuki-onna represents an older class of priestesses, associated with Uzume-no-Mikoto, who later became known as miko, based on the myth of Amaterasu Ohkami emerging from the rock-cave. The emergence of Amaterasu Ohkami from the rock-cave had to take place during the winter solstice, the rebirth of the sun. This would mean that the dance of Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto was a winter solstice dance. Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is relative to Yuki-onna.

In the same way that Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto married Sarutahiko Okami, it is very well possible that the power of the ancient Japanese shamaness derived from the Tengu and other kami. The Encyclopedia of Shinto, under the subject Fugeki, states:

“A fugeki is believed capable of summoning a divine spirit or the spirit of a deceased person to descend into his or her body and mind, which both spontaneously and deliberately become the site to which the spirit descends; this process is called hyōi (“possession”). Such a religious figure is called a “shaman,” although, since he or she serves as an intermediary to the world of divine or deceased spirits, he or she could be called a “medium” (reibai). ….The Treatise on the Wa People (Woren zhuan; J. Wajinden) section of The Official History of Wei (Weizhi; J. Gishi) describes Himiko as a woman who skillfully captivated people through sorcery (kidō 鬼道)…. Line drawings on earthenware fragments dating back to the Yayoi period show a person raising both arms as if to fly and wearing a costume with what appear to be outspread wings. The person in this bird costume is presumed to be a priest officiating at a ceremony for the community. The appearance of a bird[2] was probably assumed by the priest to conduct the ceremony because birds were believed to be the bearers of spirits of grains (kokurei) and ancestral spirits (sorei). A figurine excavated from the Shimizudani ruins in Nara Prefecture has a deer drawn on its chest that is hypothesized to have been offered as a sacrifice or regarded as a spirit of the land. An artifact from the Karako-Kagi ruins, also in Nara Prefecture, has female genitals drawn on the bottom half of its body. Though whether or not the figurine depicts a person who will conduct a harvest rite is uncertain, the figurine does appear to be a female priest.”

When ancient Japan moved from a matriarchal society, ruled by female shamans, Himiko is an example of this, to a patriotic system, many of the practices of the ancient shamaness were deemed evil. Yuki-onna would appear at will as she represented the living shade of these ancient priestesses who now served as gatekeepers of the invisible realm.

Yuki-onna is represented by several forces in the Ninzuwu pantheon, but most-prominently as the Ayaqox. In the Ivory Tablets of the Crow, we read:

“Her dwelling place is full of clouds and flashes of lightening. It is said that even the ground she walks on will appear as the clouds of heaven.”

Another reference to Yuki-onna found in the Ivory Tablets of the Crow is Wutzki, which is described as a “cosmic fire.” Wutzki and Yuki-onna are equivalent in terms of Simple and English Gematria:

 

Yuki Onna in English Gematria Equals: 660 ( y150 u126 k66 i54 0 o90 n84 n84 a6 )
Yuki Onna in Simple Gematria Equals: 110 ( y25 u21 k11 i9 0 o15 n14 n14 a1 )
Wutzki in English Gematria Equals: 660 ( w138 u126 t120 z156 k66 i54 )
Wutzki in Simple Gematria Equals: 110 ( w23 u21 t20 z26 k11 i9 )

It is interesting to note that both Wuzki and Yuki-onna equal 660 and 110. If we reduce these two numbers to a single digit we get 3 (660 = 6 + 6 + 0 = 12, 1 +2 = 3) and 2 (110 = 1 + 1 = 2). In the Vasuh language, three represents Tuu, which is symbolic of Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto, a lunar deity. 2 is symbolic of Amaterasu Ohkami, who some describe as a solar deity. Therefore, in Yuki-onna and Wutzki are the powers of the Sun and Moon. 2 + 3 = 5. Five equals Bnhu in the Vasuh language. Five also represents Owatatsumi-no-Mikoto and initiation into the rites of the Dragon Palace. The Ivory Tablets of the Crow states:

“Every battle is a creation. There is only one palace. It is the Dragon, but it is called the Gate of Death in error by many who do not understand.”

The term Wutzki itself refers to the ‘master-shaman of life-force energy.” Wu is a Chinese term for shaman, which in Japanese is miko. Wu is also the word for crow in Chinese. Tzu, or Tz, is a title meaning “master” in Chinese. Ki is Japanese for chi, or vital energy. Many of the words in the Vasuh language are a combination of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Sumerian terms, as these languages originated from the Proto-Afro-Asiatic language of the Empire of Mu.

History of the use of the martial way of Yuki-onna, Ame-no-Ukihashi, can be seen in the example of the onna-bugeisha. The onna-bugeisha are often described as female warriors who were members of the samurai class in feudal Japan. Famous among these were Empress Jingu and Tomoe Gozen.

While their association with the samurai is often noted in history, little information is available about their mysterious arts, which could paralyze an opponent without the touch of hands. These methods were inherited from a peculiar class of mike that say certain incantations while performing martial katas.

The martial stances of the ancient shamaness were taught in secret and by the use of a set of letters and symbols. The movement of chi energy can be taught and weighed by the shapes of letters, which were symbolic of certain body postures. These letters were known as onna-de, or woman’s hand, among the onna-bugeisha, which later became known as hiragana script.

 

Despite the horrific description of Yuki-onna, the account of Oyazu reveals a different side of the Snow Maiden. It shows us how a Yuki-onna was able to serve a beneficial purpose. Oyazu was a woman whose spirit appeared to Kyuzaemon, wife of Isaburo. She appeared at the home of Kyuzaemon and prayed before his family shrine. She told Kyuzaemon that her husband, Isaburo, had left her parents without support when she died and she wanted to correct this wrong. Next day, Kyuzaemon found that Isaburo had returned to his in-laws, having been visited by his wife’s spirit in the guise of Yuki-Onna.

This depiction of Yuki-Onna in the account of Oyazu, is similar to what is described in the Zhong Lü Chuan Dao Ji as a Celestial Immortal. The account describes Oyazu with the ability to manifest in the vicinity of an altar, but also travel great distances in the work of virtue. Spirit immortals who are summoned to heaven are given the minor office of water realm judge. Over time, they are promoted to oversee the earthly realm and finally become administrators of the celestial realm. These immortals have the power to travel back and forth between the earthly and celestial realms.

In the Art of Ninzuwu teachings, what is often described as a Yuki-onna, is seen as an ancient goddess, Ame-no-Ukihashi-hime-no-Mikoto, that was demonized by an opposing priesthoods. This force has several names, depending on its function.

[1] Ancient Chinese goddess Xi Wangmu is associated with the tiger and the color white. She was originally an avenging goddess of calamity and plague. During the Han Dynasty, however, she became associated with immortality and was a teacher of the sages.

[2] Birds are symbolic of immortality and a symbol of the soul. The Ivory Tablets of the Crow is an excellent example of this. In the book A Taoist Path to Immortality, we read: “The Chinese ideogram for “immortal” (hsien) depicts a man and a mountain, suggesting a hermit; the older form of hsien, however, shows a man dancing around, flapping his sleeves like wings. To become immortal is to be “transformed Into a feathered being.” Image comes from the mythology of eastern Chinese tribes who claimed bird ancestors, worshipped bird deities, and held religious rites with bird dances performed on stilts. The affinity of the Taoist immortals to birds (crane, phoenix, magpie, stork, or raven) is a persistent theme in iconography and legend.”

 

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