[1/8] JAPANESE GODS AND GODDESSES | UKE MOCHI
Uke Mochi [保食神] is a goddess of food in the Shinto religion of Japan.
According to the legend recounted in the Nihon shoki (“Chronicles of Japan”), the moon god, Tsukiyomi, was dispatched to earth by his sister, the sun goddess Amaterasu, to visit Ukemochi no Kami. The food goddess welcomed him by facing the land and disgorging from her mouth boiled rice, turning toward the sea and spewing out all kinds of fishes, and turning toward the land and disgorging game. She presented these foods to him at a banquet, but he was displeased at being offered the goddess’s vomit and drew his sword and killed her.
When he returned to heaven and informed his sister of what he had done, she became angry and said, “Henceforth I shall not meet you face to face,” which is said to explain why the Sun and the Moon are never seen together. Another messenger sent to the food goddess by Amaterasu found various stuffs produced from her dead body. From Uke Mochi’s head came the ox and the horse; from her forehead, millet; from her eyebrows, silkworms; from her eyes, panic grass; and from her belly, rice. Amaterasu had the food grains sown for humanity’s future use.