Goddess Konohana Sakuya – Shinto Goddess of Flowers and Volcanoes

Goddess Konohana Sakuya-Hime is the Goddess who represents flowers and life, also representing mountains and volcanoes. Her main shrine is located on Mount Fuji.

Sometimes called simply as Sakuya, this Goddess is also related to the cherry blossoms as they show their beauty and soon disappear. This represents the cycle of life and death. Her name is freely translated as “princess who blossoms the flowers of the tree”.

Konohana Sakuya - Illustration
Konohana Sakuya – Illustration

Goddess Konohana Sakuya is the daughter of Oyamatsumi, the God who inhabits the mountains. According to the Nihongi, Izanami suffered fatal burns when she gave birth to Kagutsuchi, the God of Fire. After that, Izanagi raged and cut Kagutsuchi into pieces. From his blood and corpse, several other deities were born, including Oyamtsumi. Due to this, Oyamatasumi sometimes is considered brother of Goddess Amaterasu, also being son of Izanami and Izanagi.

  • Attributes: Goddess of flowers and volcanoes (mainly Mount Fuji)
  • Symbols: Cherry blossom (Sakura)
  • Place: Japan

Goddess Konohana Sakuya – Goddess of Flower

Konohana Sakuya with flowers and Mount Fuji
Konohana Sakuya with flowers and Mount Fuji, Image from “Shinto Cocoro

When Amaterasu sent her grandson Ninigi to teach rice planting to the people of Earth, his way was blocked by Sarutahiko. The Goddess Uzume persuaded Sarutahiko to allow Ninigi’s descent and the two guided him across the Earth. Upon arriving on Earth, Ninigi found and fell in love with Konohana Sakuya and asked her to marry him.

Ninigi - Amaterasu's grandson
Ninigi – Amaterasu’s grandson, Image from “Shinto Cocoro

Oyamatsumi sent Sakuya and also sent her older sister, Iwanaga-Hime, The Goddess of Rocks and Resistance, to marry Ninigi. Ninigi did not like Iwanaga’s face and returned her to Oyamatsumi.

Iwanaga-Hime, Goddess of Rocks and Resistance
Iwanaga-Hime, Goddess of Rocks and Resistance, Image from “Shinto Cocoro

Therefore Oyamatsumi warned that Ninigi’s life would be as beautiful as the cherry blossom, but would end quickly. If he had seen the essence of Iwanaga-Hime he would understand that even the strongest of the storms would not be able to knock him down, for he would have the power and strength of the rocks.

Because of this choice, Ninigi became mortal, and so did all of us, too. We live a beautiful and fast life as the cherry blossom does.

Konohana Sakuya – Protector Goddess

After the wedding night, Sakuya became pregnant. Ninigi suspected that the Goddess was bearing a child from another one instead of himself. Konohana Sakuya got angry with the accusation, and to prove her virtue she decided to give birth in a birthing hut. Sakuya set fire to the hut and said that she and the children would not be hurt by the fire, and this became true.

In other versions, Ninigi did not doubt Sakuya but angered her on purpose to prove that the children would be Kami.

She and three children emerged from the flames without any scratches. Their children are Hoderi (divinity of the treasures of the sea), Houseri (divinity of the mysteries) and Hoori (divinity of the grains). Hoori’s grandson, Jinmu, was the first emperor of Japan.

The Kojiki
 Shinto - The Kami Way
Shinto – The Kami Way
Shinto Norito - a Book of Prayers
Shinto Norito – a book of prayers

Goddess Konohana Sakuya – Goddess of Volcanoes

The Goddess Konohana Sakuya is called by people for protection against volcano eruptions and also to protect them from fire, just as she protected her children.

Konohana Sakuya Hime - Illustrated by Lidia Alina
Konohana Sakuya Hime – Illustrated by Lidia Alina

The Goddess is the main deity of the mountain and to this day remains. Temples were built in her honour and even today the annual fire ceremony is held on Mount Fuji. The devotees descend the mountain to bring protection to the city against the fire and to promote births.

Konohana Sakuya – Summoning

Konohana Sakuya protects against fire (which is a symbol of renewal) and facilitates childbirth, whether literal or not. She is a great Goddess to ask for protection against unwanted changes and to make the ideas or achievements flourish.

Necessary items:

  • A white paper sheet, pencil/pen or brush and ink
  • Candle (any colour)
  • Incense

At any time of day, go to a quiet place and light the candle and the incense. Start drawing flowers on the paper while you make your request to the Goddess, but do not forget the blessings she provides.

When you’re finished, think about how she could make a change your life while you wait for the paint to dry. Burn the paper with the drawings in the candle flame. It will be consumed, but your desires will prevail.

Thank the Goddess and bury the remains of the ritual next to a tree, with the exception of the candle, which should burn to the end.

Read about other Shinto Goddess

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