INARI

 

Real Name: Kodomo-no-inari

Identity/Class: Amatsu-Kami (Japanese/Shinto gods)

Occupation: Messenger; God of rice and prosperity

Group Membership: The Amatsu-Kami

Affiliations: Gods of Olympus, especially Hermes; Mana Yanowa and the previous priestesses of the Shosei Order, Wolverine (James Howlett/Logan)
    former pawn of 
Mikaboshi

Enemies: Mikaboshi, Ryuki, Hana Yanowa
                formerly the "God Squad" (Panther God/Bast, Sersi, Silver Surfer/Norrin Radd, Son of Satan/Daimon Hellstrom, Venus/naiad)

Known Relatives: Takamimusubi (father), Amaterasu (mother), Himiko, Homimi, Nioo (brothers), Ninigi, Hiruko (nephews), Uzumei (neice), Shinatsukiko, Tsukuyomi, Susanoo, Kagutsuchi, Emma-O (uncles), Uke-Mochi (aunt/wife, deceased), Benten (second wife)

Aliases: Inari Okami, O-Inari, Oinari-sama, Yeta (mortal guise), Uka-no-Mitama-no-Mikoto

Base of Operations: Takamagahara, Ama

First Appearance: Wolverine: Soultaker#4 (July, 2005)

 

 

Powers/Abilities: Inari possess the conventional powers of the Amatsu-Kami (Gods of Japan) including superhuman strength, speed, longevity and durability. He also has limited mystical skills and can change his form, such as adopting the form of a fox-person. 

                He can travel between mystic realms, though in recent times this takes much longer than it did in the past; "back in his day," he could do so almost instantly. He is strong enough to fly at great speeds (or perhaps travel between realms) with a god like Ares on his back.

                In Ancient Japan, he was known to take on a female form to mortals. He was often attended by two foxes who acted as his messengers.

                At least as an agent of Mikaboshi, he controlled many foxes.

                Inari is very wise and patient, lacking the arrogance of many of his brethren.

 

 

 

 

 

History: (Myth) - Inari is the son of Amaterasu, empress of an extradimensional race of beings known as the Amatsu-Kami who were worshipped as gods by the ancient Japanese. He is brother to Homimi, father of Ninigi, the first Emperor of Japan.

    Inari was taken as a husband by the food-goddess, Uke-Mochi, but she was slain by Susanowo, the sea-god, who was offended by her mystical ability to summon food from her body. In her absence, Inari stepped in to replace her as protector of the rice crop. In Shinto Religion, Inari-worship was merged with worship of Uke-Mochi and Inari's worshippers learned to honor him in both male and female forms. Sometime after Uke-Mochi's demise, Inari took the sea-goddess Benten as his wife.

(Ares#4 (fb) - BTS) - In his prime, Inari served as messenger of the Heavens, moving between different worlds in the blink of an eye.

(Wolverine: Soultaker#4 (fb) - BTS) - Centuries ago, priestesses of the Shosei Order visited Oinari.

(Wolverine: Soultaker#4 (fb) - BTS) - Oinari long kept an eye on Logan (aka Wolverine)

(Wolverine: Soultaker#3 - BTS) - Mana departed to seek out Oinari in hopes of learning the means to permanently defeat her corrupt sister, Hana, and the demon Ryuki,

(Wolverine: Soultaker#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mana rediscovered that secret texts spoke of the god Oinari's connection to their clan.

(Wolverine: Soultaker#4) - Mana traveled to the Toji Temple in Kyoto, Japan where she magically opened a chamber into a lower room. She approached a statue of Oinari and touched her hand to its forehead, saying "I bow my head and say a prayer, to the fox with silver hair."

Noting it had been centuries since a Shosei Order priestess had visited him, Oinari revealed he knew the fate of the order, as well of the threats of Hana and Ryuki. He told Mana that Ryuki was defenseless against the element gold, just like many other spirits are vulnerable to silver. Oinari than bade Mana farewell, telling her that they would meet again and, on that day, she would return this favor. Oinari also told Mana to pass his blessings on to Logan.

(Wolverine: Soultaker#5 - BTS) - Coating Wolverine's claws in gold enabled him to defeat Ryuki, and Mana slew Hana, banishing Ryuki back to Ashurado.

(Ares#4) - Hermes told and showed the other Olympians he had found an old man just sitting in the ruins of Olympus, refusing to speak to anyone but Zeus. Ares confronted the old man, telling old man Zeus was unavailable, and demanded he speak and reveal his identity. Assuring Ares he brought no harm, Inari identified himself and then tried to convince the Olympians of the common threat against both of their pantheons. He shared that his people were too prideful to seek the aid of the "barbarian west," but that if the Olympians could just reach out to them in a small gesture, together they could turn the tide; "Please, just ask my pantheon and they will come...but you must ask." However, the Olympians were also too prideful to ask for help, and they further distrusted Inari as he came from the same pantheon as Mikaboshi; Ares felt he could not trust his advice as more than a trap. Ares instructed Hermes to see Inari back off to the East, and Inari asked if he could at least have some water to quench his traveler's thirst. Ares told Hermes to give him their best, and then to take him away.

(Ares#5) - Inari eventually returned to the remaining Amatsu-Kami - including Ame-No-Mi-Kumari, Bishamon, Kaminari, and possibly Izanagi - scaling the steps carved into an immense mountain and presenting the water given to him as a gift from the Olympians and telling them it was in consideration of their assistance against Mikaboshi. This led the Amatsu-Kami to believe the Olympians had asked for their help, and Inari bowed his head, secretly smiling as he noted he only delivered the message.

Inari joined the other Amatsu-Kami as they arrived to aid the Olympians, meeting with Hermes and acknowledging the success of the ruse they had set, crediting Hermes with the idea of the gift of water. The Amatsu-Kami's presence distracted Mikaboshi, and as he turned to destroy them, Ares' son Alex slashed Mikaboshi with the Grasscutter sword, banishing him back to Yomi. Inari and Hermes carried away Ares and Alex, respectively, as the Neptune and  Ame-No-Mi-Kumari used a massive wave to wash away Mikaboshi's weakened demons.

 

 

(Chaos War#3) - Mikaboshi conquered and enslaved the Amatsu-Kami - including Amaterasu, Inari, Susanoo, and Tsukuyomi

(Chaos War: God Squad#1 (fb) - BTS) - Mikaboshi used the Amatsu-Kami in a plot to defeat the "God Squad" (Sersi, Silver Surfer/Norrin Radd, Son of Satan/Daimon Hellstrom, Venus/naiad), a union of beings walking the line between god and mortal and thus somehow protected from means Mikaboshi had used to destroy gods or mortals.

(Chaos War: God Squad#1) - The God Squad encountered Inari in a tunnel between realities, where he claimed to have been struck down by Mikaboshi on the way to deliver a message to his brethren. As he seemingly died, Inari tasked the God Squad with following his fox to travel to Takamagahara, the temple above Yomi's gate, the last stronghold of the Amatsu-Kami. He told them to tell the gods that Inari Okami had sent them, and they were to join with the Amatsu-Kami in one final battle with Mikaboshi.

(Chaos War: God Squad#1 - BTS) - The fox led the God Squad to the realm of the Panther God (Bast), a god originally from the Ennead/Heliopolitan Gods/Egyptian gods worshipped by the Wakandans. The Panther God recognized the fox as one of Inari Okami's little pets and agreed to join them in their quest to stop Mikaboshi. The fox finally led the group to Takamagahara, where they encountered Susanoo and Tsukuyomi, who brought them to the gate of Yomi, in which Mikaboshi had formerly been imprisoned.

 

 

 

 

(Chaos War: God Squad#1) - While the God Squad considered re-imprisoning Mikaboshi within Yomi, the corrupted Inari and Amaterasu then revealed their presence, and all four gods admitted that they were already under Mikaboshi's influence. Inari's white fox turned to black as it rejoined Inari and several other black foxes, and Inari claimed to desire what Mikaboshi had offered: an escape from eons of endless suffering and servitude; he welcomed the coming abyss. In response, the Panther God leapt forward and devoured Inari despite his black foxes' efforts. The God Squad destroyed or fought off the other Amatsu-Kami, and ultimately the Panther God stayed behind to fight off the demons of Yomi while the others transported out of the realm of the Amatsu-Kami to continue the struggle against Mikaboshi.

 

(Secret Warriors#10) - Inari was present when Phobos (Alexander Aaron), son of Ares, was found worthy by the Council of Godheads to be a god.

Comments: Adapted by Michael Avon Oeming, Travel Foreman and Derek Fridolfs.

                In Japanese religion, Inari is often pictured as an old bearded man sitting on a sack of rice, but he was also worshipped in female form.

                In some versions of the myth, Tsukiyomi is sometimes attributed with slaying Uke-Mochi, but Susanowo is generally given credit.

by Will U and Prime Eternal ; updated and expanded by Snood

CLARIFICATIONS:
Inari should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Wolverine: Soultaker#4, pg. 10, panel 3 (fox form)
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica: Amatsu-Kami profile: Inari full-body image

Ares#4, page 12, panel 4 (sitting atop a pile of rubble and bodies);
                pg. 13, panel 1 (face)
Chaos War: God Squad#1, pg. 5, panel 4 (fox);
                pg. 11, panel 3 (Mikaboshi-corrupted form, with black foxes)

 

Wolverine: Soultaker#4 (July, 2005) - Akira Yoshida (writer), Shin Nagasawa (artist), Sean Ryan & John Barber (assistant editors), Nick Lowe (editor)
Ares#4-5 (June-July, 2006) - Mike Avon Oeming (writer), Travel Foreman (penciler), Derek Fridolfs (inker), Warren Simons (editor)
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica (2009) - Anthony Flamini (head writer), Alex Starbuck (editorial assistant), John Denning & Cory Levine (assistant editors), Mark D. Beazley & Jennifer Grunwald (editors, special projects), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Chaos War#3 (January, 2011) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Khoi Pham (penciler), Thomas Palmer (inker), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Chaos War: God Squad#1 (February, 2011) - Mark Sumerak (writer), Dan Panosian (artist), John Denning (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Secret Warriors#10 (January, 2010) - Jonathan Hickman (writer), Alessandro Vitti (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 06/13/16

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