Campaign of the Month: February 2017
The errant Kami god of storms
Susano-o is among the most rambunctious of the Kami, a god of strength and chaos with little regard for the set order of things and a much greater interest in what might prove entertaining or exciting at the moment. He is a thunder god, unleashing fierce blows when the mood takes him or merely roiling the clouds for lesser storms if he so chooses. He is so great a disruption that he has been banished from the court of the Kami more than once, but he always returns; as one of Izanagi’s three children, he is still a prestigious figure, and his many great deeds reinforce his larger-than-life reputation.
Susano-o and the Yamata-no-Orochi
After Amaterasu banished him from heaven for his insults, Susano-o descended to earth and wandered among its people. He happened to come across an elderly couple one day who were weeping beside the road. When he asked them what was wrong, they explained that a terrible eight-headed dragon, the Yamata-no-Orochi, lived nearby and demanded a maiden sacrifice for each of its heads. Seven of their daughters had already been devoured, and only Kushinada, the youngest and most beautiful, remained. When Susano-o beheld Kushinada he was filled with desire for her and told the old couple that if they granted him Kushinada as his bride, he would slay the dragon. They happily agreed, and Susano-o transformed Kushinada into a comb which he placed in his hair, so that he could safely take her to witness the battle.
Instead of attacking the dragon head-on, Susano-o devised a plan; he built a great structure with eight openings in it, and before each opening placed a large tub of sake. Smelling the enticing alcohol, the Yamata-no-Orochi slithered forth and stuck its heads through the eight openings, drinking the tubs of sake dry before falling asleep, drunk. Susano-o was then free to chop off the eight heads at his leisure, which he did. For good measure, he chopped the rest of the dragon to pieces as well; when he cut into its tail, he discovered a fabulous sword hidden within it, the famous Kusanagi. He returned to the heavens with his bride, Kushinada, and humbly presented the sword to Amaterasu as a peace offering, which she accepted, allowing them to stay.