“Goddess of Fire” by Suzette Troche-Stapp

“Okitsu-hime’s themes are fire, providence, kinship and health. Her symbols are fire sources (especially those cooked upon) and boiling water. Okitsu-hime is the Shinto Goddess of kitchens in Japan. Here She watches over all foods prepared and over family interactions to keep health and emotional warmth in the home. Traditionally, any pot of boiling water represents this Goddess’s activity.

As in Japan, today is the perfect time to honor those people who prepare your food (even if it’s you!). Give your kitchen Goddess the day off and go out to eat.  Or, alternatively, uplift the kitchen Goddess’s talents by preparing a truly sumptuous meal of all your family favorites. Leave a small portion of each course on or near your stove as an offering to Okitsu-hime.  Later, put these tid-bits in the compost, or outside for the birds, so the Goddess’s blessings will continue to generate good things.

Light a candle today, and get out some cleaning utensils to scrub the stove, toaster, over, or microwave so that Okitsu-hime’s energy can really shine in the area where you prepare most of your meals.  Symbolically, the cleaning process washes away sickness and negativity. Afterward, light or turn on that appliance for a moment to draw the kitchen Goddess back to Her honored place of residence.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Huchi-Fuji” by Kris Walherr

Okitsu-hime is “a Shinto kitchen-Goddess. Daughter of O-Toshi. Consort of Oki-Tsu-Hiko.” [1]  Interestingly enough, I found in Transactions, Volume 10 that Oki-tsu-hiko and Oki-tsu-hime together form a single deity. [2]

According to Karen M. Gerhart, “it is unclear when anthropomorphic images associated with the god of the hearth fire appeared, but at some point a pair of deities formed of clay or wood, known as Okitsuhime no mikoto (female) and Okitsuhiko no kami (male), were enshrined in the kitchen of the imperial palace and received offerings from the person(s) in charge of preparing food.  This practice then spread to members of the court and later to commoners, who enshrined the images in their kitchens to protect the hearth fires” (p. 20).





Asiatic Society of Japan. Transactions, Volume 10.

Gerhart, Karen M. The Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan, “Death in the Fourteenth Century“.

Mythologydictionary.com, “Japanese Lore, Gods, Demigods, Heroes, Symbols, and Other Famous Mythological Characters: Oki-Tsu-Hime“.



Suggested Links:

Aston, William George. Shinto, the way of the gods, “The Pantheon – Nature Deities: Furnace  Gods“.

Hearn, Lafcadio. Japan; an Attempt at Interpretation, “Development of Shinto“. (p. 143)

Heyden, Louise. Suite101.com, “An Introduction to Kitchen Witch Goddesses“.

Herbert, Jean. Shinto: At the Fountainhead of Japan.