Okuninushi is a Japanese god associated with the land of Izumo, in modern day Shimane Prefecture in western Japan. He is of the lineage of Susano-o. His most famous enshrinement is at Izumo Shrine, also in Shimane Prefecture, which is considered second in rank only to Amaterasu's Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture.
Ruler of Izumo
Along with his 80 brothers, Okuninushi set out from their homeland of Izumo to woo the maiden Yakami-hime of ancient Inaba prefecture. On the way, Okuninushi and his siblings encountered the Hare of Inaba, whose skin had been eaten by sharks as he attempted to cross a body of water. The brothers suggested that the Hare bathe in the salty ocean water, which only exacerbated the Hare's pain. Okuninushi provided medicinal herbs for the beast and restored his skin. In gratitude, the Hare guaranteed Okuninushi that Yakami-hime would be his.
Once Yakami-hime selected Okuninushi as her husband, his jealous brothers killed him repeatedly, though Okuninushi was brought back to life by his mother each time. He would eventually escape to the underworld, ruled by the temperamental storm god Susano-o.
Once there he falls in love with Susano-o's daughter Suseri-hime, which infuriates Susano-o and who puts Okuninushi through a series of trials, all of which he passes with Suseri-hime's help. He and Suseri-hime then escape the underworld with Susano-o's enchanted weapons, which he uses to subdue his corrupt brothers and gain his rightful rule over the land of Izumo. Okuninushi and other gods then work to build and develop the land and agriculture of Izumo. Okuninushi is said to have 181 children by Yakami-hime, Suseri-hime, and other goddesses.
Later, Okuninushi was approached by the gods Take-Mikazuchi and Futsunushi to abdicate his rule of the land in favor of Ninigi, the "Heavenly Grandson" of Amaterasu, who would become the father of the mythical first emperor of Japan, Jimmu, and thus the progenitor of the Japanese imperial line. Okuninushi agreed, and moved to rule over Yukai, or the "world of shade."