Japanese myth tells of the sun goddess Amaterasu who flew over the world, spreading the staple crop of rice all over the lands, and saved her most august and sacred crop to scatter across the islands of Japan.

A less widely known part of the legend says that immediately following after Amaterasu was the dog-god Ōtisu, who rose over Japan and spread a thick layer of curry over the rice.


Ōtisu was born from a puddle of curry next to the divine river in which the god Izanagi, during a cleansing rite, birthed Amaterasu from his left eye.

Ōtisu looked back upon the small puddle of curry from which he had been born, and he saw that he was hungry.

A streamer of drool came forth from his mouth, and when it splashed into the puddle of curry, it became a tonkatsu.

Ōtisu looked upon the tonkatsu curry, and he wept, for he knew that it was not perfect.

As Ōtisu's tears fell onto the curry, they became cheese.



Ōtisu is a minor figure in Japanese mythology, largely worshiped in small areas of the country like Yokohama and Jinbocho.

He appears rarely in ancient woodblock prints and the occasional haiku, like this one composed by the poet Basho (1644-1694) as he bathed in a brown river:

Tonkatsu curry
Is what this water looks like
Was the dog-god here?

Contemporary takes on Ōtisu include the manga Ōtisu Monogatari, the 1987 Famicom shoot-em-up Ōtisu! Daibouken, and the unpopular early-learning game Boku mo Asoberu! Ōtisu Baby Dog Time.