Note: The numbers preceding the names of these kami represent their position in the the traditional chronology
This section is a selective and loose retelling of the major episodes of Book 1 of the Kojiki, the Age of Gods, based on the translations by Chamberlain and Philippi, although I have frequently referred to the original for clarification, particularly with regard to names. The section numbers are derived from the original as given by Yamaguchi (Japanese). Some of the section titles are taken from Chamberlain. The sections are linked to the corresponding ones in How Many Kami in Japan?, and vice versa.
"Master of the August Centre of Heaven"
Fujimi 2-4-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō
Chichibu Jinja 秩父神社
Banba-machi 1-3, Chichibu-shi, Saitama-ken
Yohashira Jinja 四柱神社
Ōte 3-3-20, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano-ken
Kushiro Jinja 釧路神社
Tōya 52, Kushiro-chō, Kushiro-gun, Hokkaidō
Shrines bearing the name Ame-no-minaka-nushi
Arranged by Prefecture
Chiba-ken, Chōsei-gun, Chōnan-machi Chōnan 1257
Chiba-ken, Isumi-shi, Nittano 109
Chiba-ken, Katsuura-shi, Nakajima 374
Chiba-ken, Sakura-shi, Kamishizu 962
Chiba-ken, Sanmu-shi, Toda 1000
Chiba-ken, Yotsukaidō-shi, Yamanashi 823
Ehime-ken, Kitauwa-gun, Kihoku-chō Nakanokawa 187
Fukushima-ken, Yama-gun, Nishiizu-machi, Okugawa Ōtsunagi
Hyōgo-ken, Sumoto-shi, Ikenouchi 410
Kagoshima-ken, Kirishima-shi, Kokubunkiyomizu 3-4-17-17
Kagoshima-ken, Makurazaki-shi, Kotobuki-chō 259
Kagoshima-ken, Minamikyushu-shi, Kawanabe-chō Furuton 2417
Kagoshima-ken, Minamisatsuma-shi, Kaseda Tsunuki 12072
Kagoshima-ken, Satsumasendai-shi, Nakamura-chō 7330
Okayama-ken, Kurashiki-shi, Hashima 899
Wakayama-ken, Shingū-shi, Sano 1065
Yamaguchi-ken, Hōfu-shi, Kurumazuka-chō 5-28
The first kami, appearing at the very beginning of the Kojiki. In Chamberlain's translation “The names of the Deities that were born in the Plains of High Heaven when the Heaven and the Earth began were the Deity Master-of-the-August-Centre-of-Heaven...” (p17). He makes no further appearance in the Kojiki and is also mentioned just once in a note in the Nihon Shoki. The Plains of High Heaven (Takama-ga-hara) is the dwelling place of the gods and is said to be connected to the earth by the Floating Bridge of Heaven (Ama-no-uki-hashi). Ame-no-minaka-nushi and the two kami who appeared after him in Takama-ga-hara, Takami-Musubi-kami (the High-August-Producing-Wondrous Deity) and Kami-Musubi-kami (the Divine-Producing-Wondrous Deity), are commonly referred as the Three Gods of Creation, Zōka-no-Sanjin.
The early parts of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki were for centuries considered to be imitations of Chinese models and it is not until the appearance of the brother/sister duo Izanagi and Izanami in the 12th generation of kami that they take on a fully Japanese persona. During the Edo period, however, Nativist scholars re-examined this interpretation and Hirata Atsutane propounded a theory contending that Ame-no-minaka-nushi was the primary kami of the seven major stars making up the Ursa Major constellation. Like Motoori, Hirata has been kamified and is enshrined at the Hirata-jinja in Tōkyō’s Shibuya-ku. His theory was taken up by the government during the early years of the Meiji Restoration as part of a nationalist drive to clearly separate Shintō and Buddhism and promote the former at the expense of the latter Shin-butsu bunri. Prior to this many shrines and Buddhist temples shared the same space and many Buddhist gods were also Shintō deities. One of these, Myōken, a bodhisattva considered to be the personification of the North Star, was replaced by Ame-no-minaka-nushi in shrines. I have identified 45 Myōken Jinja, 33 of them in the west of the country. It would seem a safe assumption that at least some of them were previously temples but at the moment I don’t have time to look into this. An interesting byway to meander along later.