This is a statue of Yamato Takeru (日本武尊) at Otori Taisha. He went around Japan and defeated his enemies until he finally met his demise on Mt. Ibuki in Shiga Prefecture where sought to kill an evil god.

This god disguised himself as a white boar (another version says it was a serpent) who sprayed a poisonous mist that sickened Yamato Takeru.

He eventually died and when his body was cremated and buried in Kameyama in Mie Prefecture, his spirit rose from the ashes as a great white bird. This bird landed in a few places before finally landing here in Sakai, Osaka, where this Otori Shrine was built. "Otori" means "Big Bird" (not like Sesame Street, but more like a great swan or firebird).

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