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Statue of Yatagarasu at Kumano Hongu Taisha.

Yatagarasu (八咫烏) is a crow in Shinto stories and is an important character in their mythology.[1] According to the tale, during Emperor Jimmu's Eastern Expedition, Yatagarasu guided him from the Kumano Region to Yamato Province. Takamimusubi, one of the Shinto gods, sent the crow.[1][1]

Yatagarasu is usually shown as a bird with three legs, and its picture has been passed down for many years..[1][1] Its name comes from the words "八咫烏," which means "eight-span crow" in Japanese.[2] The number eight means a large lucky number in Japanese culture as in the phrase Yaoyorozu no Kami or eight million gods. So this means large wingspan crow

In Shinto beliefs, when the great bird is seen, it is a sign of divine intervention in human affairs or the will of Heaven.[3] The crow's guidance is regarded as a blessing and a good omen.[1]

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References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Book of Ancient Matters, The Book of Ancient Matters, Gakken, pp. 130, 138, 139.
  2. Ponsonby-Fane (1953), pp. 143–152
  3. Ponsonby-Fane (1963), p. 11

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