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The Story of The Hare of Inaba


A hare traveled from the island of Oki (Okinoshima)

A White Hare and Sharks

A white hare tricked some sharks into being used as a land bridge in order to travel from the Island of Oki. The hare challenged the sharks to see whose clan is larger—that of the sharks, or that of the hares. The hare had the sharks lie in a row across the sea. The hare then hopped across them, counting them as he went. Nearing the end, the hare exclaimed that he had deceived the sharks in order to use them as a bridge. The last shark attacked the hare, ripping his fur from him.

Okuninushi and His Vicious Eighty Brothers
Around the same time, Okuninushi and his eighty brothers were traveling through the Inaba region to woo Princess Yakami of Inaba. Okuninushi was behind because he was ordered to carry his brothers' baggage. While the brothers were on their way to visit the princess, the poor flayed hare stopped them and asked them for help. Rather than helping the hare, they advised the hare to wash in the sea and dry itself in the wind, which naturally caused it great pain.

Okuninushi and The Hare

Okuninushi found the suffering hare. Unlike his vicious brothers, Okuninushi told the hare to bathe in fresh water from the mouth of a river, and then roll in the pollen of cattails. Immediately, the body of the hare was restored to its original state.

Okuninushi and Princess Yakami

In gratitude, the hare told Okuninushi that he would marry Princess Yakami. As the hare said, the bright princess could find the warm personality of Okuninushi at a glance and accepted his marriage proposal.

The Hakuto Shrine (The Hare Shrine)

The Hare of Inaba Pilgrimage Tour
Hakuto Shrine (Hakuto Jinja)
Hakuto Shrine enshrines the white hare. It is regarded as the god of medicine and match-making, also as having divine favor in protecting from skin disease.
Hakuto Coast (Hakuto Kaigan)
The white hare is believed to travel the Hakuto Coast from the Island of Oki.
Menuma Shrine (Menuma Jinja)
Menuma Shrine is believed to be the place where Okuninushi and Princess Yagami met.
Shitori Shrine (Shitori Jinja)
Shitori Shrine enshrines Shitateruhime, the daughter of Okuninushi. It is regarded as the a guardian deity of woman.
Hahaki Shrine (Hahaki Jinja)
Hahaki Jinja enshrines Kotoshironushi, the son of Okuninushi.
Nakayama Shrine (Nakayama Jinja)
Nakayama Shrine also has the white hare legend record.

Although "the Hare of Inaba" legend is believed to have happened in eastern Tottori, another "the Hare of Hoki" legend is also recorded in western Tottori. A hare, using trouts as a land bridge to travel a river, fell in the river and drifted towards the island of Oki in Shimane Prefecture. The hare, then as another legend goes, tricked some sharks into being used as a land bridge..
Nakayama Shrine is also known as "the Hakuto Shrine of Hoki". For generations, the priest family are told not to eat the fresh of hare.