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The Daily Volcano Quote: volcano gods in Japan 4 July 2011

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Though Japan has one hundred volcanoes, of which half are more or less active, the feelings excited by volcanic phenomena have left little trace in the religion. The Kojiki, Nihongi, and Norito do not recognize any worship of volcanoes. Perhaps the Aso-tsu-hiko and Aso-tsu-hime of the Nihongi are to be reckoned an exception. These are no doubt personifications of Mount Aso, a remarkable volcano in the province of Higo, which is frequently referred to in later history. The drying up or overflowing of a lake within its crater was supposed to portend famine, pestilence, drought, or the death of the sovereign.

W. G. Ashton, Shinto: The Way of the Gods (London: Longmans, 1905), p. 147. The highly active Aso caldera retains its crater lake, and remains ‘a remarkable volcano’ today.

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